Pairing:Elsie Hughes/Charles Carson
Blurb: Downton Abbey is a really active fandom and it’s nice for once to have the oldie ship be just as busy as the youngun’s. Charles Carson and Elsie Hughes are given all the hallmarks of unrequitedness in the very first ep of the series. The very poignant scene sets up so much for shippers and says a lot about their relationship. The most senior of all the staff it’s only natural they would turn to one another over the years. Over the two seasons of the series there are so many little moments that only enforce they are more than colleagues. Foremost they are friends. They are two people who’ve known one another for at least 20 years and know they can rely on the other. It’s quite enjoyable to watch the two of them together. Fics for them usually run the gambit of AU, angsty, fluffy or smutty and all four work for them. Combine those and you get some brilliant reading.
The fics listed below aren’t necessarily my faves, well I take that back they are my faves, but almost every fic for C/E is awesome. It was very difficult to pick just a few.
Fic Rec #1:Cottageverse
Author:bsg_aussiegirl or Aussiegirl41 at FFN
Link:LJ or FFN
Why This Must Be Read:This is a story told in drabble form for after Charles and Elsie retire. I have no idea how it’s being done but for each section being only around 300 words there’s a lot of punch in those little sections. It’s at times funny, steamy, emotional. Getting to see how Charles and Elsie are handling retirement is delightful. It’s a WIP so I can’t say how it ends but I know I’m on the edge of my seat for that next section.
Fic Rec #2Autumn
Why This Must Be Read:Another retirement fic but that will happen a lot with this couple. They are a bit older than most ships. This fic is lovely. It is perfectly in character. I love how Elsie frets over Carson and he does the same in his way. It’s a perfect example of how these two characters fit together, are made for one another. It’s also incredibly fluffy which IMO is never a bad thing.
Fic Rec #3:Needs, Wants, Desires
Why This Must Be Read:I’ve recced fic by Onesimus before because well she’s quite brilliant. And with this story she delivers again. It’s features a younger Charles and Elsie (which she writes fantastically) and could be bordering on Crackfic but it just works so well. She’s caught how I think they would be and taken an awkward, uncomfortable and turned it into passion filled declarations. I love that the smut in this is so hot but you feel how much they love each other. Yes they have as the title suggests but its only strong feelings because they are for one another. This is just one of many great fics she’s chosen to share with us.
Fic Rec #4:The Bench
Why This Must Be Read:Good old fashioned smut. OMG it’s wonderful. And it’s playful smut which suits this couple. There’s also the bonus if you’re a Jim Carter fan of a parallel with a scene from a production he did. And you can’t loose with that.
Fic Rec #5:An Imagined Affair
Author:Lavender and Hay
Why This Must Be Read:This fic starts with an introspective, angsty Charles. More than in character for the butler of Downton. As it progresses and he and Elsie work out their feelings it feels so right. This is one of those fics I think could be canon if the series went that work. It’s just fabulous that way.
Fic Rec #6:Inside, Outside, Under My Skin
Why This Must Be Read:This is one of my favourite aspects of Charles and Elsie – young fic. I love stories when they are younger in the house. It’s very fun and playful and has just the right amount of UST. I like how you can see Mrs Hughes in Miss Hughes. Maple Fay is so wonderful with these two.
Fic Rec #7:Perfect Strangers
Why This Must Be Read:One of many AU’s for the couple and it’s perfect. What if they’d met and she was married to Joe Burns. I love how incredibly angsty this story is. No one ends up happy and it’s just right. A must read. Trust me on this.
Fic Rec #8:The Beginning
Why This Must Be Read:The title says it all. A fic of their first meeting. It’s absolutely brilliant. I love it and as with a lot of the C/E authors it feels totally in character. These are the Charles and Elsie we meet in 1912. I love how fluffy it is.
Fic Rec #9:Brief Encounter
Why This Must Be Read:Another before they met at Downton fic that is utterly delightful. It incorporates some backstory with Lady Mary (who I find fascinating in her relationship to Carson) so that is also a treat. Very high on the fluffometer.
Fic Rec #10:Growth
Why This Must Be Read:kouw had stated this was basically a PWP but somehow this fic becomes so much more. It’s about two people taking a kind of friends with benefits situation and finding out they truly love one another. This fic is filled with so much emotion. Yes there’s smut. Some most excellent smut but there’s fluffy moments, angsty moments. This story is filled with plot. Another must read.