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In Case You Don't Live Forever

Chapter Text

Theodorus van Gogh snarled at the morning sun peeking through the gap in his curtains, cursing the summer's early brightness under his breath for waking him up so early on his day off. The Dutchman begrudgingly rose from his comfortable bed, stretching out as he stood up before traipsing over to his wardrobe to retrieve some clean clothes to wear - For some reason, this morning his shirts smelt differently than they usually did. There was a sweet, floral fragrance clinging to the white cotton, perhaps something to do with the new housemaid that le Comte had mentioned? He shook off the thought in favour of focusing on finding a cup of coffee after he'd finished buttoning up his shirt and trousers.

Once he reached the kitchen, Theo's aquamarine eyes set on a lady much smaller than him in height who seemed to be concentrating on cracking eggs into a large ceramic bowl, the new maid to be precise.

"Goedemorgen,"  The brash art dealer spoke flatly, smirking when the the little lady jumped in surprise, dropping an egg in her shock. She brushed he apron down with delicate hands attempting to seem at least a little more presentable in her new uniform.

"O-oh um, good morning Master um,"  the maid fumbled over her words as she curtsied to the handsome man who still stood in the doorway, his icy gaze fixed on her flustered face, "M-my apologies, Sir. I don't believe that I know your name quite yet."

"Theodorus van Gogh,"  he grunted in response as he strode into the kitchen, crossing his arms over his broad chest, his smirk only growing as he watched the young lady's bright eyes widen at his name before she curtsied to him again.

"Master Theodorus, of course - Good morning! How may I help you?"  She spoke rather hurriedly, nervous, as if she were speaking to a celebrity idol - Had she maybe heard of his name before? The sweet little maid held her hands behind her back and rocked back and fourth on her heels lightly, gazing at the handsome Dutchman absentmindedly, seeming to not notice the smashed egg on the tiled floor.

"Your name and a cup of coffee. Quickly."

"Oh- I apologise for not introducing myself! I'm MC. And coffee, coffee -" She searched the countertop for the fresh pot of coffee that she'd brewed, muttering until she found it, quickly pouring a mug of the hot walnut coloured liquid for her new acquaintance, "Would you like sugar and milk, Master Theodorus?"

"Five sugars and a dash of milk," Theo replied bluntly, chuckling lowly when MC's eyes seemed to almost pop out of her head at the request, "I have a sweet tooth, get used to it." He continued to watch her as she spooned the sugar into his coffee and added just a splash of milk before she handed the steaming drink to him, curtsying once again. "You don't have to curtsy to me all of the time, MC. Focus that energy on things like cleaning up the uncooked omelette on the floor."  At his words, MC gasped sharply, looking down at the sticky egg on the kitchen floor and then rushing to the sink to wet a rag to clean up the mess. Without a second thought, she dropped to her hands and knees to clean up the mess as quickly as she possibly could in order to get back to preparing breakfast.

"My, my what do we have here? A pretty little bird on her knees? By Jove it must be Christmas!" MC heard another man's voice enter the room - A British accent with a cheeky tone of voice, and the smirk on his lips could be heard without even having to look at him. The maid stood up quickly, a bright red blush dusting her cheeks as she met eyes with the new addition to the conversation: He was handsome, too. Slate coloured hair which was tousled just enough, royal blue eyes which seemed to hold the seven seas and swim with playfulness and a charming smile that could put even Disney princes to shame. "Arthur. Pleased to meet you, luv." He reached out one of his large hands and took both of MC's in his grasp, kissing them softly.

"M-MC. It's a pleasure to meet you, Master Arthur. May I get you anything?"

"Just a black coffee please, MC. And no need for the formalities, please, just Arthur is fine." He spoke whilst still smiling at her, entranced by her every move as she gracefully poured his coffee and handed it to him, their hands brushing against each other in the exchange, making MC blush once again. 

MC continued in her efforts to make breakfast for the household whilst her two new acquaintances left the kitchen to sit and the dining table together, presumably to discuss work or something of the like. She cracked a few more eggs into the bowl she'd been working on previously, adding flour, sugar, milk and butter, whisking the ingredients until they formed a thick, brown batter - enough pancake batter to feed a small army, she thought, though, this was meant to feed all of the residents and both members of the house staff. The maid hastily began to cook up the pancakes on the stovetop, making sure that they were all perfectly cooked and as fluffy as could be. By this time, her colleague Sebastian had returned from collecting fresh honey and syrup from the store room in the cellar and had resumed helping her to make breakfast for the large household. The pair engaged in some small talk whilst they worked, finally managing to complete their task within twenty minutes before serving up the food to the residents in the dining room - Seems as though most of them sleep in late, thought MC as she could only count six men sat at the dining table despite there being thirteen places set. 

The maid held a plate stacked high with pancakes as she carefully walked down the length of the table to where the brunette with the thick Dutch accent sat right next to the Brit she'd met that morning. "Master Theodorus, your pancakes. Would you like some syrup with them?" MC's eyes brimmed with hopeful anticipation, waiting for Theo to put his newspaper down and meet her gaze, which he eventually did. He took the plate into his huge hands, their size almost the same as the medium-sized plate itself. Theo hummed lowly, nodding at MC's offer of syrup,

"Just bring me a bottle of the stuff." She quickly scurried into the kitchen to retrieve the liquid-sugar, placing it beside his cutlery before she presented Arthur with his own breakfast which she held in her free hand. The author grinned at her, examining the plate of mouth-watering food before he looked at her again,

"Looks delicious. Thank you, luv."

"Ah, you don't need to thank me, Arthur. It's my job to look after you all."

He chuckled softly in response, flashing her another one of his charming grins, "So she's gorgeous and humble? Luv, you should come to visit me in my room sometime. I'd like to get to know you more."

"Shut up, klootzak," Theo interjected, his mouth half-full with pancakes and his eyes once again focused on his paper, "You've known her for barely half an hour and you're already trying to make a move on her? You're despicable." The pair continued to bicker back and fourth about Arthur's decorum or lack thereof, however, MC hadn't noticed as she'd been tending to the needs of the other residents - Bread and fresh fruit for Jean, sandwiches for Isaac, pan au chocolat for Mozart and a big stack of pancakes for Vincent who sat opposite his brother.

"Pancakes for Master ... Vincent, is it?"

"Ah yes, thank you MC! And you needn't call me 'Master', I prefer just Vincent if that's okay?" The blond smiled at MC with such sweetness, his expression could outshine the sun. 

"Of course, Vincent. Would you like syrup too?" MC replied to which the artist politely shook his head, declining her offer,

"Oh, no thank you, MC. I don't share my little brother's fondness for sugar. And please, will you sit and join me for breakfast? You've worked so hard this morning, you deserve a break before you continue with your day." The maid agreed to his offer, sitting down and chatting with the older of the van Gogh brothers whilst they both enjoyed their breakfast peacefully. 

After breakfast, MC was left alone in the dining room to clean up, a small smile on her face as she gathered the crockery from the table, "I think I'm going to like it here."