On the morning after the whole book incident, Darcy and Michael are cuddling in bed when Michael brings up they should think about what to get Arthur for his birthday
Darcy, assuming that surely they would tell her a month ahead at least, thinks it’s sad that his birthday is so close to Christmas only to get utterly flabbergasted when she hears it is the same day as the reception
After first shortly cussing out Michael for not telling her earlier she jumps out of bed to storm over to the library, luckily Michael reminds her to put some clothes on first
With a bang of the door and a loud “ARTIE!” she marches into the library and hiding behind his book does Arthur no good at all
When confronted about his birthday he blushes and tries to defend himself: “But, but, the wedding is clearly more important…”
She looks at him and with a deep sigh launches into her lecture: “As much as I absolutely wanted this wedding to be soon, Arthur-dear, you are just as important. You are part of my family, the only brother I have, and your birthday symbolizes the day the world gained a wonderful person like you. It is the day I want to show you that you are special, that you are loved, and that your existence makes a difference in the lives of the people around you. Your birthday is the day of the year where I can show you that you are a gift to my life.”
Stunned by her uncommon directness he does not know what to say to all that and blushes harder: “Um… thanks?”
Knowing that there is no sense in crying over the situation, as much as she is irked by it, she decides to make the best out of it: “It cannot be changed for this year, which means, to make up for keeping silent too long you have to be completely honest now and tell me what gift you really always wanted and never thought you could get. And you are not allowed to complain when I get it for you.”
Arthur honestly does not know where to even start thinking about this, nobody but Michael ever really cared for his birthday, let alone made a big deal about getting him a gift, so he shuffles his feet insecurely: “Um, but…”
Darcy can see that he is uncomfortable with the unfamiliar situation and her insistence on indulging him so she puts on her sweetest smile and grabs his hand in the reassuring manner she has seen Lucy and Michael do so often: “I have time to wait until you decide, but you will tell me.”
Arthur cannot quite stifle the low eeping-sound that comes out with his mumbled: “Okay…”
She tries her best to make him less apprehensive about the situation and goes right for the one thing she knows is a sure fire way to get him interested: “Shall I make us some tea while you think it through? Maybe bring you a honey cake?”
Just as she suspected he perks up at the mention of the honey cake: “Thank you, if you don’t mind?”
She does not mind but she wants to make sure that he is not thinking of using her friendliness to escape she adds in her best big sister voice: “Only if you promise not to run off while I’m gone, no foul play, you are not getting away from me, young man!”
He knows she won this round so he nods earnestly and answers: “Yes, Ma’am!”
Darcy claps her hands in delight “Tea and cakes coming up then. This will be fun!”, before she bustles off to the kitchen.
Pretty materializes out of nowhere and Arthur and him banter back and forth until Darcy returns and Pretty suddenly is nowhere to be seen (mysteriously vanishing honey cakes not withstanding)
Having found out that his current favorite book is Treasure Island Darcy goes into full party planning mode for a pirate themed party the day after the reception and all Arthur can do is take notes while exchanging glares with Pretty behind Darcy’s back
Arthur does get one in on Michael though when he pushes him into the role of Jim Hawkins
Darcy walks off to tell John but finds Seward and Lord Arthur in a conversation that could break into blows any moment
Darcy decides her father needs a rescue and puts on her cutest little daughter behaviour on to “steal him from Lord Arthur”
The tactic of womanly wiles seems to work rather well on both of them and Seward isn’t even aware of what she did until she has gotten him into another room and he asks what she wanted to talk about. Telling him that she noticed that he nearly was at the point of blows with Lord Arthur he stoutly refuses, only slightly repentant to her questioning look, but does not stop her when she says she going to help.
Giving up on the topic she brings up the birthday party for Arthur and how Seward always helped with hers and if he couldn’t please go to the library and help with Arthur’s. Seward mentions that he really likes Arthur and let’s slip: “Why couldn’t you have considered him…”
Darcy is utterly shocked and isn’t even going to start to deign that comment with an answer
With Seward off to the library, Darcy is heading back to her room, picking out the cutest dress she owns and puts her hair into pigtail braids before she heads out to find Lord Arthur
Displaying her best behaviour, and biggest most adorable eyes, she talks to Lord Arthur that he please not be angry with her father. She understands that he suffered and feels betrayed but that all the lies Seward told were for her benefit. Despite him at first, counter arguing that they would immediately done something about her, her asking him how many dhampirs he knows that are tolerated when they are not vampire hunters shuts him up.
She rounds her plea off by hoping that he and Lucy can find a way to solve this and that she would be happy to call him uncle. He seems touched and probably a bit overwhelmed by her implication so she leaves.
While she is hyperventilating over what she just did around the next corner Michael finds her and seeing her distress immediately asks what’s wrong. She tells him what she just did and he is so proud of her. Throughout the conversation, she finds out that Pretty was in the library when she had the heart-to-heart with Arthur about his birthday and she ends up carrying off a cat that is way too happy to have his belly scratched.
Deciding the got the whole thing started she decides it is time to get her mother to sort all those silly male issues out, so she knocks on Lucy’s door. When she enters based on the invitation she finds Lucy in the bathtub, prompting her to turn right around and set Pretty in front of the door. Lucy seems disappointed which garners her a “Mother!”.
The two of them do agree though that Darcy put down the foundation on which Lucy can work her own womanly wiles to get Lord Arthur and Seward to see reason (defined as what the women think is best, of course). So Darcy leaves Lucy to her beauty routine in order to have the highest possible impact.
Meanwhile Arthur tried to tell Seward that it’s okay to not make a big deal out of his birthday to which Seward only replies: “You have met my daughter…” which gets Arthur to give up and go over the notes he took from Darcy’s frantic planning with, as he addresses him, Dr. Seward
Darcy, having found Michael a respectable and innocent distance away from Lucy’s door, thinks she left Arthur alone with the scary male father figure for long enough, given that she’s aiming to habituate him to having an actually good dad around without overexposing him
But before they fully return she remembers why she originally went out and rushes to find John first (with a bit of help from Pretty’s nose). John seems to be going over security improvements for the reception but of course immediately sets aside time to talk to Darcy. When she declares that they are having a themed party for Arthur and that she is holding Jim Hawkins, much to Pretty’s chagrin, she asks him if he would be okay to be their Long John Silver and gets exactly the reaction she had hoped for. She also asks him if they maybe could try to have a play with the help of his “amazing powers” and a little bit shy he says he could at least try.
When Michael and Darcy walk back into the library and Michael addresses Seward as John Darcy can basically feel the temperature in the room dropping, luckily she can send Seward out saying that Lucy wants to talk to him and files it for later that she needs to have a talk about this.
Being anxious about the talk between Lucy and her two old suitors she sends Pretty to monitor the situation
When she tells Arthur what she was up to they realize that has repercussions for the seating order at the receptions and the two of them frantically go through options, with Arthur letting it drop that if the adult situation goes bad Lord Arthur would deserve some bad luck if he wants to harm Darcy
Hoping it doesn’t come to that and Darcy getting anxious about the whole situation they decide they can get her over there with an invitation for the reception
Just as she hoped she does not end up having to listen at the door because Pretty does notice her outside the room and tells her they’ll need more time
Exhausted from all the social interaction today, she complains to Pretty and the two of them curl up on one of the corridors fainting couches together
For a while, until Pretty decides it gets dangerously long, Darcy is a red wolf taking a nap curled around an orange cat, before she turns back human, turns around and goes right back to her nap
Arthur meanwhile has snuck through the servant stairs and is raiding the kitchen for a sandwich