Animatium LRP was a game that ran for over 6 years finishing back in 2018. It was set in a Fantasy Regency Era where magic, Fae and mystical creatures existed. Below is a fic pertaining to a certain event that had happen during one of the games. it might make sense. it might not. All I know is that playing Charlotte alongside two of my most favorite people as Oliver and the Dr was a roller coaster ride of emotions and adventure and the three of us have been close real life friends ever since.
Charlotte Buckham hated dancing, she had no skill for it, her talents lay in drawing and design not dance. Dancing made her nervous and awkward! What gentleman would want to dance with a flailing woman, uselessly attempting to keep in line with the other lady's. She was not surprised that her dance card was barely full.
The Turkish delight had been the first to ask for a dance, Charlotte was more than happy to throw her card at him, they had always gotten along and now that he had married Jane there was no pressure to impress him. He had asked for dance number two and she looked forward to clumsily muddling her way through the steps with a good friend.
The next two names on her dance card she wrote down her self; her favourite Dr and her Olibug. They didn't get a say in the matter, if she had to dance so did they. She wrote them both down for the Jinny's market one seeing as it was down twice to be danced.
The fourth to ask her was Lieutenant Teal. Charlotte had alway been fond of Teal ever since she had met him on uncle monty's ship. He was always kind to her and never judging and if memory served her correctly he was as bad as she with keeping time. If only she had made it to the dances.
Charlotte's day had been shattered with a simple sentence "doesn't matter, I'm giving up my chance at love and happiness anyway!" Said at first just to rile her, Dr Beaumont-Christianson had decided to say that he would volunteer for the horrific position of being the anchor. "No deal! ...NO DEAL!" She shouted after him chasing him through the room... Her heart had caught in her throat and she felt sick to the stomach. All appetite lost she spent the next hour or so watching everyone else enjoy tea and cakes, laughing and encouraging the goings on of the charity auction.
The evening meal was worse, she had been sat between Oliver and the Dr . She watched as they suspiciously opened the sweet surprise left at their setting, just managing to comment " oh would you look at that, my two favorite confectionary" before sitting in almost silence. Charlotte even turned her nose up to the wine she was offered. She did not want to drink, nor eat, even after the Dr had confessed that he had only said it to get a rise from her.
The mindless panic set in when she saw the realisation on his face as it dawned on him that he had to volunteer, that his mean joke was about to become a reality. Before she could recover her sanity a volunteer was being asked for.
"I VOLUNTEER!" She jumped out of her seat screeching over the Dr, cutting him off.
"Not a chance!" Oliver pulled her back into her seat the three of them now shaking with nerves and adrenaline.
As the evening continued she missed the first dance with Mcgarrett. She popped her head in to the ballroom to see if she had been missed, he had not seemed to mind and had found another dance partner to replace her. The next dance for Charlotte was the first Jinny's market. The Dr had this one. The two of them stood near the back looking at each other, their eyes having a conversation that their mouths could not. She watched as the colour drained from his face "I can't do this!" Charlotte nodded in agreement and they left the room, she had now missed the second dance on her dance card.
Whilst she stood outside Arthur Hervey ask to speak with her.
"Why do you want to volunteer?" He asked her.
She spun him some vaguely truthful story as to why. Something along the lines of how she had ruined her chances at love and happiness already and that the Dr and the other volunteer; Miss Dudley, had not yet had the same opportunities that she had already experienced. Of course Arthur was a smart man and so he asked again "why do you want to volunteer Charlotte?"
Her gaze shot straight to the Dr standing in the doorway. She quickly looked back to her friend asking her the questions she didn't want to answer, hoping he hadn't seen. The pitying look on his face told her he had and with that the first of many warm salty tears fell from her eyes. Charlotte managed to half mumble, half sob "because I don't want to lose him". How she hated Arthur for making her cry. "Don't let go of that" he gently told her before walking away.
Jane and Miss Reed appeared as if from nowhere. Wrapping her arms around Charlotte and speaking comforting words of encouragement, Jane held her until she had managed to regain some composure. Miss reed's face a picture of sympathy and concern. Charlotte offered the ladies companion a sad half smile. Elizabeth Reed really was one of the loveliest people she had ever had the pleasure to meet. Far too lovely to be in this mess that everyone seemed to be in.
Back in the building Oliver pulled her to one side "I'm going to ask the toy maker to release me from our agreement". Charlotte didn't understand. Why did he need to be released from the agreement? "If he says yes, then I can be the anchor" Oliver explained.
"NO!" Charlotte was starting to find it difficult to breath "Don't you dare!" She couldn't be without Oliver! She had lost him already for far too long, she had only been given him back! She was overheating, she needed air, her clothes were making her feel claustrophobic. She couldn't decide what would be worse; Losing the man she had just realised she loved, or losing the man she had always loved! No! She would not allow it, she would be the anchor! She would march up to the toymaker and forbid him to allow Oliver to break their agreement! And the Dr would just have to suck it up and be grateful that she would not let him throw his life away! Stupid men! Didn't they realise she was trying to protect them?
As it happened, the Carver sought out Charlotte before she could him.
"You have been refused" he informed her
"You do know why don't you?"
Charlotte shook her head, feeling confused and rejected
The Carver had that superior glint in his eye, as if to say that he knew something that she did not. "That is a conversation for another time" he smiled over his shoulder as he left her standing, feeling more at a loss than ever.
There was no reasons for her to be refused! Oliver must have spoken to him first, he must have made an arrangement to stop her from being the anchor. BLOODY MAN! Could he not see what this was doing to her. He had made it impossible for her to save the Dr! She would have to result to more extreme measures.
"I will kill myself" she informed them both. The Dr laughed nervously not sure if she was being serious or not. Oliver's jaw tightened, the hurt of the remark attempting to etch it's way across his face. " I will throw myself from a cliff! I shall jump the wall and fall to my death!" She stated quite matter of factly. Arthur Hervey interrupted them, wanting to speak with the three volunteers, Miss Dudley standing behind him.
Things were discussed and it was decided that they should find out more about becoming the anchor. Charlotte held back, beginning to doubt herself and her decision. Maybe the Dr should be the anchor. After all it would give him his hero moment that he so desperately deserved. She shook her head pushing the thoughts from her mind.
Joining the other two volunteers, she sat back out of the way, Charlotte knew it was not going to be her and did not want to hear about the terrible fate that would await the anchor. Arthur came to kneel in front of her. "Do not give up on life yet Charlotte" he pointed out that people loved her, that her friends cared about her. Reaching up to her face he gently stroked her cheek, wiping away yet another tear that he had caused. He paused for a moment "Charlotte, you should tell him"
She stood facing the man she had begun to think so fondly of. The cold night air chilling her through, she shivered and without hesitation the Doctor had draped his coat around her shoulders. It was warm from the heat of his own body, The soft scent of medical cleanliness and his naturally earthy musk clung to it, engulfing her, threatening to remind her of all she was about to lose. Her heart felt as heavy as the fog that had settled around the Sanford estate.
Charlotte took a deep breath, she could do this, words were easy for her. Don't think, just say. It's what she has always done.
"Charlotte, you should tell him" Arthur Hervey's words still fresh in her ears.
"Ithinkmightloveyouidintknkwijustdontwantolose you" the words fell from her lips in an untranslatable babble. The Doctor looked confused, concerned even, he must have thought she was suffering from the medical joke that was 'grey humours'
Charlotte went to try again, but instead the next words she spoke were much different "It has to be you"
The Doctor nodded, he had already known this " what about Dudley?" He asked "She won't step down".
The pair looked at each other for a moment, deep in regretful thought. It had been decided that they should vote among themselves because no one else wanted to condemn one of them to being the anchor; they were all cowards!
"Charlotte, you will have to throw the vote" the Doctor spoke softly. Of all the nights and days they had spent together these last five weeks, he chose tonight to call her by her first name. Each time he had used it, her heart broke a little more. They returned to the building in a mournful silence.
"We need another pair!" A voice called from the ballroom
"You two! Go!" Arthur Hervey pointed to them both. Looking pleased with himself, he obviously thought he was helping, that perhaps he was doing the doctor and Charlotte a favour. She could hear him congratulate himself on his matchmaking skills. How was Arthur to know that Charlotte had just agreed to sacrifice the man he now expected her to dance with. It was a stupid dance, full of clapping and skipping, twirling and laughing. Charlotte hated it. Every moment of it. This was not a time of joy for her. It was a time of defeat. She was losing, again! And there was nothing she could do to stop it.
She was relieved when Oliver appeared, taking her hand for the one dance on her dance card that she would dance that night.
The second Jinny's market. She let herself sink in to her friend, her guardian. The one man that had never let her down, yet she had let him down so many times before. For a short moment she was lost to the world, the pair of them dressed in black. They were the night in the sky, the shadows of the earth. Pressed against him, she was calm. But the calm passed too soon.
"Lady Buckham, we need a decision" she was in the games room, all eyes on her. The doctor replied to the voice, but her mind was too panicked to hear. "I thought we had more time, I have to say now? Here?"
"We need an answer" the voice again, was it Arthur's? Major lord Sanfords? or even Mr Smiths? She didn't know any more.
In her head she knew what she must do, and she knew how she wanted to do it. Removing the doctors coat from her shoulders she would hand it to him, reaching up on to her tip toes, she wanted to kiss him, just once on the cheek, so that she would finally know how he would feel upon her lips. No doubt it would be the last time she would have the chance and then she would whisper in his ear of how brave she thought he was and that she would miss him terribly but she was proud to say that he was a man worthy of her heart. Then she would give her choice.
Charlotte looked at miss Dudley, giving one last thought to choosing her instead before she put her plan into action. In a frenzy She threw the doctors coat at him, "I vote for the..." She choked back a sob "the Doctor will do it!" She launched her self from the room, running in to the ballroom and through the dancers. Not wanting anyone to see her cry, she ran through an open door and out in it the darkness, people called her name, but she refused to look back. she tripped her way around the building, her feet catching on her skirt before collapsing to her knees. oh how she cried, great big heaving sobs, choking her with every breath. the damp from the ground seeping through the thin translucent material of her dress making her almost bare legs cold.
How apt that she had come as Nyx, goddess of the night and darkness, daughter of chaos, a deity that even Zeus himself feared! All she felt now was darkness and hatred! She wanted her anger and heartbreak to burst from her, for her to really become Nyx. She would make them all pay for their stupid ways! All their stupid rules! Why couldn't the anchor have been a military man? It could have been Jameson or Davenport! Or any of the other men! .. Why did they not volunteer. She refused to believe that all the men in the room were secret dreamers, prismatics or attached to some ridiculous fae creature!
Two lady's came up behind her as she picked herself up from the ground, Lieutenant Garnet, or the actress Mrs Siddons it did not really matter to her as they asked of her well being.
"Oh don't worry about me” Charlotte managed "I'm quite alright"
As she turned to walk away Oliver was by her side, she turned in to his open arms, and let him hold her.
Charlotte had embraced Oliver many times, but never had she needed to be with him more than she did at that moment, tears still streaming down her face she tried and failed to compose herself. Oliver's body providing support and comfort, she held on to him tightly. A part of her was thankful that it was not him she had to lose tonight. She could not survive without him. All those years that she had been through where she was not with him were just a distant nightmare now that she had him back with her. He made things right, he protected her; body and heart.
Another a pair of arms found their way around Charlotte. A pair of arms belonging to a sobbing Miss Dudley. Pathetic woman! What did she have to be sad about? What had she lost tonight? Her happiness? No! A piece of her heart? No! Was she condemned to a life of loneliness? Misery? Numbness? No! No! NO! then why was this stupid woman crying? Charlotte felt Oliver's hold on her tighten. Could he sense that she wanted to hurt this woman, ball up her fists and punch Dudley square in the face!
"Why did you have to volunteer!" She wanted to scream "why could you not have just waited for another gentleman to offer! you dreadful, awful woman!"
Instead Charlotte shook the arms around her off, and headed for her room. Jane caught up to her and requested some help adjusting her clothing. A wicked smile reaching across her face. Charlotte was happy for her friend but she couldn't quite match Janes enthusiastic joy. So many happy things had happened during the evenings events; proposals, dancing, and the start of a few new romances. With Jane newly adjusted and looking slightly more presentable, Charlotte watched as her friend practically skipped into the arms of her love.
Having acquired two bottles of spirits she returned to the party. Tucking herself behind Oliver like a rabbit hiding in its Burrow. Charlotte took a mouthful from one of the bottles. The strong liquid was sweet on her tongue. Without a second thought she raised the bottle to her mouth and drank. She did not stop until the bottle was mostly drained. Finishing up the dregs She took a moment to look around. Discussions were in full swing yet people were still able to spare a moment to roll their eyes at Charlotte, or to shake their heads. Pffttt...well Fuck 'em! She was Fuck 'em Buckham.
Fuck 'em all! The Allertons! The Sanfords! The Rotherhithes ! The Church and the Knights! Charlotte didn't care anymore.
The Doctor passed her on his way out of the building, not making eye contact with her as he went. She had trusted him! Trusted him not to hurt her! Trusted him not break what little was left of her heart! Charlotte opened the second bottle; a spiced rum. As she guzzled the intoxicating substance she thought of all the things she has lost.
Her mother, her innocence, Richard, her happiness, Her father, her marriage, her family, her reputation, three months, Houdin and now her Doctor. Why couldn't she be there anchor? She thought bitterly through a drunken haze, she was already halfway there. She took comfort in the dark liquid quickly dulling her senses, Feeling an oddly familiar rush.
Oliver removing a bottle from her hands was the last thing Charlotte Buckham remembered of that dreadful day.