Literary Babies

It occurs to me that while there have always been cracktastic "character X gets turned into a kid" fics, I've never seen one in literary fic. And that seems tragic to me. So I wrote some snippets:

Pride and Prejudice
It is naturally assumed that an eight-year-old boy in possession of fine health, appealling demeanor, and large eyes must be in need of affection. However little known the feelings of the boy are, however, he will be sure to make them known, as eight-year-old boys of any upbringing are not known for hiding their feelings when tiresome women attempt to flatter them.

"Oh, mamma, he's so darling!" cooed young Kitty Bennet.

Lydia Bennet was more direct. "Fitzy, baby. Would you like to come upstairs and play? Kitty and I will dress you up like a little soldier and give you sweets."

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, though of only eight years of age, was as coldly proper as ever. "I regret to inform the young ladies that my mamma and pappa would be quite cross if I were to be found associating with those so far inferior to me in rank and quality. Also I do not want to dress up like a little soldier. I want to dress up like a little gentleman," he lisped.

Neither Kitty nor Lydia were blessed with superior understanding, and this proud speech only made them coo the more. Mrs. Bennet was no help, only declaring that this shocking turn of events had given her an attack of the vapors. She laid her hand to her own head and declared that such nonsensical age-switching would be the death of her, really it would.

"Madame, I demand you remove your daughters from my person," said young Fitzwilliam, struggling in the over-affectionate grasp of those two careless young ladies.

At that moment, Miss Bennet and Elizabeth Bennet walked sedately into the room. It is remarkable that two young ladies of such character could emerge in a family so low, but emerge they had. Poised and correct, they did not partake in the oafish entertainments of their sisters.

"Lizzie, Jane! See what has befallen us!" called Mrs. Bennet. Young Fitzwilliam glanced up from his prideful and cold attempts to remove himself from the attentions of the younger Misses Bennet, and saw Lizzy. His enormous eyes grew wide.

"''Lizabeth, help me!" he cried, and flung himself across the room and buried his head in her skirt.

"There, there," said Elizabeth, and she slipped a cake into one tiny hand.


Jeeves and Wooster
There are moments in every gentleman's life when he must admit that, no matter how unflappable he likes to consider himself, he is currently utterly flapped. The moment when my valet Jeeves appeared before me as a seven-year-old boy was high on the list of flappery times.

"Hullo, Mr. Wooster," lisped this adorable and probably demonic spawn which had replaced my trusty Jeeves. "My name's Reggie. Let's play soldiers!"

"No," I replied, quite cleverly. "I want Jeeves back. The adult Jeeves. Aunt Agatha is coming to tea and she wants me to marry That Dreadful Mavis Blitherington and I need Extrication."

"I can Exticate you, Mr. Wooster," said the charming and frightful little beast. "I'm going to be a gen'eman's gen'eman when I grow up, and I need practice. I'm good at Exticating!"

I was going to refuse the tiny toad once more, but I pride myself on being devilishly smart when I need to be. The infant's huge, liquid eyes; his trembling lower lip; his tiny hands even now engaged in tidying the tea things on my bedside table -- if anybody besides Jeeves could overturn Aunt Agatha's diabolical matchmaking, it would be this manipulative fiend. "Right, you can help, Jeeveslet. But don't bally it up! This is a matter of Life or Death."

"Oh, thank you, Mr. Wooster!" cried the miniature valet, and flung himself at me, getting his sticky hands tangled in my nice warm covers. Dastardly child, eh what? Still, it wouldn't hurt to play soldiers with him for just a few minutes, I thought, nobly.


Speaker for the Dead
Novinha looked in horror at the outworlder who leered at her. Here was her dear peaceful Andrew, suddenly the size of a six year old boy, and here was this stranger -- whas he somehow responsible for this madness? -- who shouldn't have been on Lusitania at all. Was he an advance scout for the fleet, somehow travelled impossibly fast?

"Let me help you with that, little lady," said the stranger, staring at Novinha's breasts. Novinha backed up a step, and saw Andrew take a step forward, clenching his tiny fists.

"Andrew, no," she yelled. Peace-loving Andrew would be no match for this, this varelse at the best of times, and now he was barely more than a baby, an adorable moppet with hair in his eyes. But Andrew took another step toward the laughing villain, and then another, and then Novinha couldn't understand but there was a flying body and the snap of bones and the stranger was lying in the Lusitania mud burbling blood out through an oddly flattened nose.

Andrew turned to her, his gorgeous eyes huge in his fat child's face and colder than she'd ever seen them. "There, that's done," he said.