[Trilijah] The Mystery in the Dark Alleyway

Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners

Fandoms: The Originals, The Mystery of the Hansom Cab

Rating: T

Pairing: Trilijah – Elijah Mikaelson x Tristan de Martel, Madge x Brian

Genres: fanfiction, slash

Characters: Brian Fitzgerald, Madge Fitzgerald, Elijah Mikaelson, Tristan de Martel

Warning: crack

Summary: Madge happened to witness her husband, Brian, engaging in an intimate act with Mr. Mikaelson in a dark alleyway. But was it really her husband?

The tenth installment of the Trilijah Collection series

Preview:

“And I assume Madge knows of this friend?”

“We had dinner twice so, yes, Madge knows Mr. Mikaelson. Said he was a truest gentleman.”

“And yet she accused you of having an affair with… him?”

As if touched a nerve, Brian raised his voice by an octave. “She saw him and me in a dark alleyway…”

“You and him what?”

“Engaging in intimate acts!” cried Brian, his face turning beet-red. “Or so she believed!”

Felix squinted his eyes. “Did you?”

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Even when the door to their bedroom was slammed against his face, missing his nose by a centimeter, Brian still had no bloody comprehension of what had just happened and why.

He had arrived home early in a jubilant mood, having just won a profitable contract, to find his newly wedded bride with her eyes all red and puffy and a soaked silk handkerchief in her hand. Before he could open his mouth and ask what was troubling her so, Madge had hurled a train of accusations at him, the gist of which being her catching Brian’s engagement in an adulterous affair with a friend of theirs, and it finally culminated in her shutting him out from their bedroom for an infinite time length.

He consulted with his trusted close friend Felix such a few hours later, when he was ‘hiding from the out-of-the-blue hurricane’ at Felix’s cordially provided shelter, namely his house. Being the good, helpful friend Felix was most of the times, he listened carefully to Brian’s story without his usual trademark gossip-monger status.

“A whiffy?” Felix said, offering his scented handkerchief.

“No, thanks.”

Felix shrugged and took a swift but deep inhale from his handkerchief. “So, Brian, who is this Mr. Mikaelson?”

“An expatriate I’ve gotten acquainted recently. He said he was living in New Orleans and came here for his love of traveling and some business.”

“Oh, an American. Love the Americans. Is he young or middle-aged?”

“Not a typical American we’ve gotten used to seeing here, definitely. He seems much European to me, with his eloquent speech and fastidious manners. Although I know not his true age, I wager he couldn’t be more than twenty-eight. We have attended a few exhibitions, hung out at the club a few times, but that’s all.”

“And I assume Madge knows of this friend?”

“We had dinner twice so, yes, Madge knows Mr. Mikaelson. Said he was a truest gentleman.”

“And yet she accused you of having an affair with… him?”

As if touched a nerve, Brian raised his voice by an octave. “She saw him and me in a dark alleyway…”

“You and him what?”

“Engaging in intimate acts!” cried Brian, his face turning beet-red. “Or so she believed!”

Felix squinted his eyes. “Did you?”

“As if I would have done such things to sabotage our young marriage! In broad daylight and with a man, no less!”

Felix’s look pronounced “Okay, if you insist” as he declined on the chaise lounge to better enjoy the drug’s effect deliciously nestled in his system. “So, where were you really at the time she claimed to see you and Mr. Mikaelson? At least you should have an alibi to prove your innocence.”

“I was entertaining an Irish client. We had lunch then a few drinks.”

“Then it’s easy. Arrange a home dinner and have that gentleman clear your name for you,” Felix said with a wide, condescending grin to his genius idea. Really, Brian could have thought of this and saved the both of them the trouble.

“Like I haven’t thought about it,” Brian sighed. “But he caught the ship back to Ireland right after we signed the contract and is not coming to Melbourne until next year.”

“How about telling her you were clubbing with me at that time and if she asked me, I’d play along. It’s just a harmless white lie between gentlemen.”

“You were with your wife at that time.”

“Oh, right,” Felix agreed, as if only did he remember what, where and with whom he had been at that particular time. “And Madge and she are very close, so…”

“They’re probably talking about it as we speak,” Brian added.

“In quite a quandary, are we?” Felix sighed, softly shaking his head. “Well, I once heard that women with child can be a little… temperamental… irrational even. But it’ll pass… eventually.”

“What if it won’t?”

Felix straightened his back to pat his friend’s shoulder. “It will, have a little faith. In the mean time, you’re welcome to stay here while we try to soothe dear Madge.”

Brian could return to his home a day later, with no small part thanks to Felix and his wife and beloved Sal, who thankfully didn’t fall in the stereotypical ‘sister-in-law who sides with the wife and condemns the husband no matter what happens’. He felt that he had owed Sal his life the second time.

But it was still too soon to rejoice on Brian’s part, for although Madge no longer shooed him from their home, she hadn’t put down the barrier (figuratively and physically) to their bedroom, allowing Brian only the cold, minimal comfort of the sofa. And so, the very next morning, Brian commuted to work with visible circles around his sockets and his usual bright eyes had somewhat become dull. He had to rake his brain for an excuse other than his wife’s warding him off from their bed every time a colleague displayed their concern (or curiosity) for his condition at the worst timing possible. Needless to say his mood remained low throughout the entire morning.

However, it had a major improvement when he ran into Mr. Mikaelson that afternoon and was invited to join him for lunch. Handsome and sharp-dressed as he was never not, Mr. Mikaelson was a ray of sunshine in these gloomy days of his. So gentlemanly were his manners that Brian felt infinitely terrible for harboring such uncomely thoughts about him − ever since Madge’s accusations, strange ideas had been sprouting in his head like wild mushrooms, resulting in his subconscious avoidance of eye contact with him in the first few minutes of their meeting. Certainly Mr. Mikaelson must have noticed the oddities in his mannerism, together with his sunken eyes, yet he said not a word about them. For his politeness alone Brian was grateful to him; for his invitation to a farewell dinner before his return to New Orleans he would be forever indebted to Mr. Mikaelson. Although he was more than just a little upset about their budding friendship being nipped, this farewell dinner was the timely patch he needed to mend the supposed tear in the marriage fabric before it became an unfixable hole.

Never did Brian imagine the huge surprise Mr. Mikaelson’s farewell dinner would bring.

But that was all after he had managed, pled actually, to get Madge to come with him. The invitation was for the both of them and there was no way he would, or should, show up by himself. Once again Sal proved herself to be an angel sent to earth to rescue him from this dire dilemma. On top of that, Brian’s banishment had received a lift and he was allowed his side on their bed. Not the complete mercy he hoped yet Brian was never a greedy man.

“I’m so glad you could come as my invitation came in such short notice,” Mr. Mikaelson greeted them on their entrance into his flat, shaking Brian’s hand and kissing Madge’s. Madge’s ire hadn’t exactly gone but she was taught to be a full-time proper lady despite everything and so she responded with pleasantries and a gentle smile. Plus, who could resist smiling to Mr. Mikaelson’s immense charms?

Once the attentive servants took care of their coats, gloves and hats, the husband and wife were shown the dining room. Mr. Mikaelson’s dwelling wasn’t huge, as he’d told Brian he had only planned a temporary stay, but what it lacked in size it was well compensated in style. Although this was Brian’s second time here, he still couldn’t help a sense of awe upon laying his eyes on the intricate ornaments placed at their befitting place to accentuate not only their values but also the room’s. In the center of the space, under a chandelier, was a marvelous table set for four.

“Are we expecting a guest?” asked Brian.

“Not exactly a guest but rather an old friend of mine who crossed the ocean to remind me that I have gone for too long.”

“… or to brutally cut short his much-enjoyed expedition, so he incessantly complained,” a voice seamlessly picked up where Mr. Mikaelson’s speech was left. The speaker showed himself immediately afterwards, stepping inside the room through a door opposite from the table. With even-paced and steady steps, he approached the couple, whose were staring at the new face with an appalled expression plastered on their faces.

Staring at a person with their eyes wide was never an acceptable gesture in their books, yet no amount of education on manners and etiquette could have prepared Madge and Brian to deal with the shock of seeing a stranger wearing Brian’s face in front of them. The word ‘doppelgänger’ came to their minds and it rang an ominous bell.

“There he is,” said Mr. Mikaelson with a hint of a sigh, “I was afraid you wouldn’t make it in time for dinner, Tristan.”

The man called Tristan arched an eyebrow. “That you took me for an ill-mannered man wounds me deeply, Elijah.”

He seemed to notice the strange expressions on Brian and Madge’s faces but like Mr. Mikaelson earlier, he feigned ignorance. “Ah, Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald, what great pleasure to meet you. My name’s Tristan de Martel.”

His hand was dry when he gave Brian a firm handshake. He then bowed to place a light kiss on the back of Madge’s hand. Typically French.

“If you don’t mind my asking, Mr. de Martel, are you from France? Your last name sounds French.”

“Not at all, my lady. I am indeed a Frenchman, though I feels as if I haven’t stepped foot on the Gaule land for centuries.”

“I have to admit we were more than a little surprised that you and my husband bear such a resemblance. Uncanny even.”

“I, too, have a confession to make,” Tristan replied, his eyes glancing between Brian and Mr. Mikaelson. “Part of the reason I came to Melbourne was because I heard that Elijah befriended a man who looked like my long-lost twin.” A brief pause. “The rumor turns out to be pleasant truth.”

Not being able to come up with a reply, Brian just smiled. Perhaps it was true, the saying nowadays, that the world was becoming smaller after all.

“Tristan, is it good-mannered to keep the guests standing like this?” Mr. Mikaelson chided him, not unkindly. “Please, have your seats, Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald.”

Soon as they were settled on a hansom cab to ride home, Madge pulled her husband into a tight hug and from her flowed a series of apologies. “I’m so sorry, Brian. I was such an idiot to doubt your fidelity.”

“There, there,” he cooed, patting her dark, fine hair that had gathered the chill of the night and became cool. “I can’t really blame you for mistaking him for me. When he walked in, I had to doubt my sight.”

“His voice even sounds like yours.”

“That it does,” Brian agreed.

“Is there any chance that you may have a long-lost twin?”

“One that is French and possibly blue-blooded? I think not. Speaking about it, I remember Mr. Mikaelson once said that I resembled an old friend of his. I never realized how massive that understatement was. Mr. de Martel looks like me so much there’s no telling between us, which is frightening.”

“Oh no, Brian. In terms of appearance he and you might be one person, but I always know who my husband is, even if you dress the same clothes,” Madge reassured him with a gentle touch on the side of his face.

Touched by her words and gesture but still curious, Brian asked, “How can you tell?”

“Woman’s instinct, silly dear. Mr. de Martel was very charming indeed, yet his charms seemed to have an icy edge, so unlike Mr. Mikaelson’s, which are warm and sort of alluring.”

Brian appeared hurt. “You speak as though I possess no charms at all! How on earth did I ever manage to ask for the hand of the famous Frettlby daughter in marriage?”

“Every wife wants her husband to be least charming as possible,” she whispered. “Lessens the trouble.”

Brian laughed. “That’s why Mr. Mikaelson remains a bachelor. So does Mr. de Martel, obviously… Wait, if it was him that you mistook as me in the alleyway, does it mean…”

Madge nodded in agreement.

“Oh… I never realized Mr. Mikaelson…” A prolonged pause between he resumed his speech. “Anyway, at least they seem a rather compatible pair. What did Mr. de Martel say to you before we left?”

“He spoke a strange thing,” Madge said, frowning. “It wasn’t offensive or anything, just strange. He congratulated me on my pregnancy…”

“He probably heard from Mr. Mikaelson.”

“That wasn’t the strange thing. The next thing he said, however… He said ‘all the best wishes to your twins’.”

The second time in the day Brian looked shocked. “Twins? How could he know?”

“Perhaps his career is fortune-telling. It’s still very soon and not even a certified doctor could tell.”

“Strange man that he is,” Brian concluded.

Brian almost forgot about that ‘twin’ incident until he was reminded of it on the day of Madge’s labor, a beautiful Saturday in spring. He had been pacing in anxiety outside the delivery room when a young nurse came out from the inside and announced, “Congratulations, Mr. Fitzgerald. Your wife gave birth to a pair of beautiful and healthy twins.”

End

Note: I’m fully aware that Tristan and Brian in the illustration are differentiated only by the their bowties (Tristan: black, Brian: white).

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