A tale of two redcoats

Fox and squirrel by Ka-Kind on Deviant Art
“Fox and squirrel” by Ka-Kind on Deviant Art (detail), used with permission

“What is it that you’re working on, Merlin?”

Strange looked up from his notebook, eyebrows raised in question. He had been lost deep in thought and had forgotten that anyone else was even present. Colonel De Lancey was looking at him now from the opposite side of the table, waiting for an answer.

“… I am trying to decipher precisely what it was that caused my protection spell to go awry.”

De Lancey pushed aside his papers and sat back in his chair. “Did it?” he asked. “Go awry, I mean?”

Strange cocked his head to the side, regarding De Lancey with a curious look. “I turned Major Grant into a fox, Colonel.”

Title: A tale of two redcoats

Author: nothinghamshire

Characters: Colquhoun Grant, William De Lancey & Jonathan Strange

Summary: This is the sequel to The Curious Incident of the Fox in the Wartime, written as a birthday gift for solitaryjo.  It is followed by The Thrill of the Chase, a response by solitaryjo.

This fic does not currently appear elsewhere on the net, so if you don’t follow nothinghamshire and solitaryjo on Tumblr (you should!), and you’d like to leave feedback, please do so below.


“What is it that you’re working on, Merlin?”

Strange looked up from his notebook, eyebrows raised in question. He had been lost deep in thought and had forgotten that anyone else was even present. Colonel De Lancey was looking at him now from the opposite side of the table, waiting for an answer.

“… I am trying to decipher precisely what it was that caused my protection spell to go awry.”

De Lancey pushed aside his papers and sat back in his chair. “Did it?” he asked. “Go awry, I mean?”

Strange cocked his head to the side, regarding De Lancey with a curious look. “I turned Major Grant into a fox, Colonel.”

Grant, seated to De Lancey’s right, smiled down at the map he was perusing. De Lancey’s mouth twitched in amusement. “I remember it well, sir, but your intention was to protect and disguise Grant, was it not? It seems to me that your spell worked very well.”

Strange sighed, putting down his pencil. “Yes, but… I can’t very well turn the entire army into foxes, can I? Certainly they will be disguised, but I can’t imagine that they would prove to be very effective in combat. For one, they’d have a devil of a time handling guns.”

Grant looked up at this. “You wish to use magic to protect and hide the entirety of our forces?”

“Certainly!” Strange said, baffled by the very notion that his idea should be questioned. “If I can manage it, well, we should be unstoppable. Surely Lord Wellington could not object to that?”

Grant mulled this over for a moment or two. “If it should go awry again,” he said at length. “And we suddenly had tens of thousands of foxes roaming about the peninsular, I imagine Lord Wellington would object quite strongly. Unless he was of course among their number and then I am afraid you would be on the receiving end of a rather nasty bite to the ankle.”

De Lancey chuckled, but Strange wouldn’t rise to the bait. “I do not see that it can hurt to try,” he said. “In fact, I feel duty bound to do so.”

De Lancey nodded. “I admire your determination, Merlin. Though I do wonder where you shall find so great a quantity of heart shaped pendants.”

Strange felt heat rise in his cheeks as Grant cleared his throat and turned his attention back to his work. Strange had not expected that Grant would be willing to share that little piece of information.

“There are any number of tokens that might suffice…” he began, but De Lancey ceased him with a wave of his hand.

“Forgive me,” De Lancey said. “This is a serious business and you are right that you ought to give it a try, but one favour, if you please?”

“Name it, Colonel.”

“No more experimenting with Grant. We made light of it before, but truly our heads would roll if any harm came to him.”

Grant huffed a short laugh, looking up at De Lancey with a wry, questioning look. De Lancey shrugged.

“Yes,” Strange replied, chagrined. “Yes, of course. As you wish.”

Two days later, Strange was alone in his tent, sitting on the ground with his notes scattered about him. After much deliberation, he felt confident that he had determined the particulars of the spell and was ready to try a new enchantment, but found himself in the unfortunate situation of having no suitable object to serve as a talisman. The pendant had been ideal as it was small, easy to conceal and its relatively unique appearance in a camp of soldiers meant there was little chance of it being mistaken as belonging to someone else if it was mislaid. Looking through his belongings now, Strange found that he had to choose between a pencil, a shaving brush, or an item of clothing. Something which could be worn seemed preferable and given that his choice of garments was somewhat limited these days, he decided that he could do without one less cravat and chose the one which was most tattered and soiled.

He performed his bit of magic with efficiency, holding the scrap of material out in front of himself and speaking the incantation under his breath. He felt the loose ends of the spell tie together and allowed himself a triumphant little smile. There was no doubt in his mind that this time he had managed it, so he had no qualms in putting the scarf about his neck. However, just as he was about to begin knotting it, Grant’s words echoed in his thoughts. If it should go awry again…

If it should, Strange would find himself in a spot of trouble. No one other than De Lancey and Grant knew that he was attempting this spell and if should suddenly transform into a fox – or something worse – there would be no magician to right it. Cursing under his breath, Strange tucked the cravat into his pocket, climbed to his feet and blustered out of his tent.

He walked about the camp until he happened upon Colonel De Lancey and was unsurprised to find Major Grant nearby.

“Merlin,” De Lancey said by way of greeting. “Don’t tell me: you’ve found an exceedingly well stocked jewelers?”

Strange ignored this, giving a bitter little smile. “Colonel De Lancey,” he said. “Major Grant. Forgive me if I am intruding.”

Grant shook his head. “Not at all, Merlin. I was just about to go and find a cup of wine and a bite to eat if you’d care to join me?”

“Ah,” Strange said. “A kind offer, but I wonder if you might be persuaded to delay. Just slightly, of course.”

Grant raised an eyebrow in question.

Strange turned to De Lancey, looking very pleased with himself “I am happy to report that I have modified my spell and have one again performed it.”

Now it was De Lancey who was arching an eyebrow. “Well, I am sorry to have to say it, but I fear it hasn’t worked. I can see you as plain as day.”

Strange rolled his eyes in exasperation. “I have performed the spell, which is to say I have enchanted a talisman, but I am not wearing it because it has occurred to me that it would be wise to err on the side of caution.”

“There’s a first time for everything,” Grant replied.

Strange ignored this remark and instead turned to De Lancey. “Now, I see that there could be some danger in performing the magic on myself and I have given you my word that I will not perform in upon Major Grant, so I wonder, Colonel, if you might be willing to volunteer yourself?”

So it was that they ended up by a small copse of trees, not too far from the camp but far enough that they had the required privacy. Strange had asked that Grant join them, in case his assistance was needed and De Lancey had seemed content to go along with the plan up until the moment when Strange produced the cravat from his pocket.

“What is it that will happen to me?” he asked, warily eyeing the not at all suspicious seeming neck scarf.

“As with the last attempt, you will become impervious to harm and be seen as a natural part of the environment,” Strange answered simply.

De Lancey frowned. “A natural part of the environment. But not a fox?”

Strange gave an exasperated sigh. “No. Not a fox. It merely means that you will… blend in.”

De Lancey looked at Grant. Grant shrugged.

“Very well,” De Lancey said, slipping out his jacket and handing it to Grant. “I am in your hands, Mr Strange.”

Strange looked at Grant, who gave a firm nod. With that, Strange wrapped the cravat around De Lancey’s neck and began to knot it.

“God speed,” Grant said with a grin.

De Lancey didn’t have the chance to respond before the magic took hold. Grant watched in wonder as the atmosphere around Strange and De Lancey shifted and in the blink of an eye, De Lancey was no longer there. Just as before, when Grant had been the subject of the spell, all that remained was an empty uniform pooled upon the ground. Strange looked back at Grant with a self-satisfied smile.

“Capital,” he said to himself.

“So… where is he?” Grant asked.

“Hm? Oh… well, he’s,” Strange waved his hands about aimlessly. “Around.”

Grant stepped forward, looking about the clearing. “And clearly nude. Was that intentional?”

Strange looked down at De Lancey’s uniform, his frown giving way to an unconvincing nod. “Yes. Quite intentional.”

At that moment, there was a distinct rustling coming from the discarded clothing. Strange and Grant looked at one another.



Grant carefully nudged De Lancey’s shirt with this foot, then the breeches. He shook his head, about to reassure Strange that they were not to be subjected to a repeat performance, when two tiny red paws, swiftly followed by a small tuft-eared head emerged from De Lancey’s left boot. Grant flinched and stepped back, his brain not quite making the connection between the squirrel and the Colonel before it was too late. He lunged forward to grab the boot at the same moment as Strange, which only resulted in them sending it sprawling and the squirrel – De Lancey – skittered off into the undergrowth.

A few seconds passed as the Major and the magician stood, dumbfounded, looking off into the trees.

“How absolutely fascinating…” Strange murmured, breaking the silence.

Grant’s eyebrows rose towards his hairline. “Merlin, if you start to take notes, so help me-”

Strange rolled his eyes. Grant shot him an accusatory look. They ran off into the wood in search of their errant Colonel.

“I imagine,” Strange said. “That we must have seemed terribly frightening to so very small a creature.”

They had been walking in circles for a good thirty minutes, examining the treetops as they went.

“Perhaps,” Grant replied vacantly, his attention focussed on the task at hand. “Yet I find it hard to imagine De Lancey feeling intimidated, whatever his size.”

“I never did ask… were you aware of your own mind? When you were a fox, I mean. Is that why you came back?”

Grant paused and eased out the crick in his neck from looking up for so long. “It was very instinctual, at first. I only felt that I should not be where I was, that there was danger and I ought to flee. It was impossible to resist that urge”

Strange yearned to reach into his pocket for his notebook. He settled instead on touching the closest tree, feeling the ridges of its gnarled bark under his fingers. “And after that?”

A small, boyish smile curved on Grant’s lips. “I had the time of my life. I fear I couldn’t properly put it into words, but I felt… free, I suppose.”

“So, you could control it?”

Grant nodded. “Yes, once I had become accustomed to it.”

He was watching Strange carefully, an all too obvious thought beginning to take shape in his mind. Strange reached into his breast pocket and pulled out a small woven bag.

“I have kept this with me, for fear it might fall into the wrong hands. I did not think we would have use for it again.”

He took the pendant from the bag and held it out, offering it to Grant.

“A fox is a natural predator, you know,” Grant said, even as he took the necklace.

“Precisely! I have no doubt you will be able to hunt him and you need not fear; he will be quite safe. I saw bullets bounce off you like rain off a window pane. That part of the magic has been successful at least.”

Resigned to his task, Grant briskly removed his outer clothing, until he was left in just his drawers. Strange politely averted his eyes until the moment when Grant slipped the golden chain over his head and once more transformed into the handsome, lithe creature that Strange’s magic had made him. Despite Grant’s assertion that he could master the instincts of the animal, the fox reacted in much the same way as it had on their first encounter, warily eyeing Strange before turning and dashing off into the wood.

“Grant!” Strange yelled, running off after it. “I say, Grant! Do not forget De Lancey!”

Fortunately for Strange, foxes were not inclined to scamper off up trees, so he had a far easier job of following the transformed Grant than they’d had tracking the squirrel version of De Lancey. A squirrel! The precise detail of what he had done wrong baffled him and he knew that he would stay up half the night trying to fathom it, but the immediate moment called for more pressing action. Losing one of Lord Wellington’s prized officers had been one matter, but Strange dreaded to think what would happen to him if he had to confess to turning two into wild animals. A flash of red fur to his left caught his attention and he slowed his pace, not wanting to startle the fox. The creature itself had come to a standstill and had its nose pressed to the ground, snuffling about the base of a tree. Strange stepped tentatively towards it.

“… Major Grant?” he asked, softly.

The fox looked up. Strange froze. It regarded him carefully for a moment, then went back to the business of sniffing. Strange took another two steps forward. The fox sat back on his haunches and looked up into the tree. Strange followed its gaze and sure enough, there on the lowest branch sat a small red squirrel. It was entirely motionless, its flat black eyes fixed on the fox.

Strange crouched down, a mere few feet away now.

“Grant?” he tried again. “I trust you can hear me in there. Is that… is that De Lancey?”

The fox went up on its hind legs, it’s fore paws resting against the trunk of the tree. Strange could have sworn it looked concerned. Above them, the squirrel made an angry sort of chittering sound and Strange would have laughed at the utter preposterousness of the situation had it not been imperative that he lure his companions back.

“It is him, isn’t it?” he said, keeping his voice quiet. “And he hasn’t quite remembered himself yet…”

The fox made an odd sort of bark, which made the squirrel chitter anew. It was a fierce little thing, that much was sure. A lesser squirrel would surely have retreated, but De Lancey held firm. He would defend his tree with his life. Again, Grant tried to communicate, this time with a soft crooning howl, the like of which Strange had never heard and wasn’t sure an actual fox was capable of making. The squirrel made an inquisitive sound in reply. Strange was stunned; it was truly remarkable and altogether odd.

The fox dropped down onto all fours and approached Strange. It nudged at Strange’s knee with its head. He didn’t quite take the hint, so it repeated the action until he stood.

“You wish me to leave?” he asked and once more the fox butted against him. “Alright, alright. You have made your point.”

Leaving the bizarre sounds of animal conversation behind him, he returned to where they had left Grant’s discarded uniform. With nothing else to do, he sat and waited, nervously tapping his foot and watching the gap in the trees through which he had come. Some ten minutes had passed when he spied the fox sauntering into view, a small red bundle of fur clasped in its mouth. Strange’s stomach churned.

“Dear Lord,” he said under his breath, scarcely daring to move. Had he been wrong about the spell? Had De Lancey been entirely vulnerable and Grant powerless to his hunting instincts? He crawled forward towards the fox. “Grant? Listen to me very carefully… I must ask that you drop that squirrel.”

The fox bent its head and very gently parted its jaws, setting its prize down on the floor. Strange, fearing the worse, tentatively reached out. The squirrel righted itself and looked up at him quizzically. Strange laughed. It was wearing a miniature cravat – his cravat, he realised – which the spell must have caused to shrink. It was ridiculously endearing.

“Colonel,” Strange said. “Thank heavens.”

The fox made a huffing sound which was eerily like a laugh and Strange decided in that moment that he’d had quite enough of these peculiar versions of his friends. He very carefully extricated the tiny cravat from about the throat of the squirrel and sighed with huge relief as De Lancey, entirely unscathed and entirely naked, reappeared before him. For once in his life, De Lancey was speechless. He merely blinked, watching as Strange removed the pendant from around the fox’s neck to reveal Grant, who immediately spluttered and complained of having fur in his mouth.

Strange quickly tucked the two enchanted objects into the bag and stuffed it into his pocket.

“Merlin?” De Lancey said, sounding very unsure of himself.

Strange and Grant shared a concerned look.

“Are you quite alright, Colonel?” Strange asked.

De Lancey shook his head, as though clearing away some unpleasant thought, then regarded them both with his usual confident smirk. “You will not be surprised to hear that I have decided to not recommend this particular magic to his lordship, but I do wonder if you might enchant the hats of the French and turn them all into voles?”

Strange almost crumpled with relief as Grant and De Lancey began to laugh. So it was that the officers retrieved their uniforms and the three of them returned to camp, Grant and De Lancey arguing the superior merits of each of their animal counterparts the entire way.

His Lordship’s Men

at dinner3

Major Grant couldn’t remember much of life before being a soldier.

He was accustomed to war and not just the battles, but the company of the men, the kinship of which one formed with his fellow soldiers- a brotherhood that could only be explained by boys of regiment.

He was, first and foremost, a soldier, so discipline, obedience and following orders came naturally to him.

Title: His Lordship’s Men

Author: Anonymous

Characters: Colquhoun Grant/William De Lancey and Colquhoun Grant/Duke of Wellington

Prompt: Wellington and Grant fucking, with optional involvement by De Lancey and Strange. Pref. fuckbuddy arrangement, but OP isn’t fussy. + for uniforms + for dom!Wellington + for Grant’s hairy chest and forearms and big dark eyes + for De Lancey’s efficiency + for Strange’s surprising energy (see also Of Duty).

Summary: Wellington deals with the discipline of his officers personally.

Read it on the jsmn kinkmeme

Truth or Dare

Two days had passed since the victory at Salamanca, which had done a great deal to establish Lord Wellington’s credentials as an offensive general and was already being talked about as his most impressive military success. Intelligence gathered by his exploring officers had given him the confidence to execute a succession of flanking manoeuvres that had resulted in a rout of the French left wing, injuring both Marshal Auguste Marmont and his deputy commander, General Bonet, and creating confusion amongst the enemy ranks that the Anglo-Portuguese army had successfully exploited.

Title: Truth or Dare

Author: solitaryjo

Characters: Colquhoun Grant, William De Lancey & Jonathan Strange

Summary: Grant, De Lancey and Strange relaxing after Salamanca.

Notes: This fic does not currently appear elsewhere on the net, so if you’d like to leave feedback for solitaryjo, please do so below.


Two days had passed since the victory at Salamanca, which had done a great deal to establish Lord Wellington’s credentials as an offensive general and was already being talked about as his most impressive military success. Intelligence gathered by his exploring officers had given him the confidence to execute a succession of flanking manoeuvres that had resulted in a rout of the French left wing, injuring both Marshal Auguste Marmont and his deputy commander, General Bonet, and creating confusion amongst the enemy ranks that the Anglo-Portuguese army had successfully exploited.

One of those exploring officers, Major Colquhoun Grant, was sitting with Colonel William De Lancey and the Army’s Magician, Jonathan Strange, in the Plaza del Corrillo, a small irregularly shaped courtyard just off the city’s main square, reflecting on the battle and drinking copious amounts of a local wine which had none of the refinement of the vintages they were used to back home but certainly made up for this with its natural, earthy qualities.

Grant was deep in conversation with Strange, who had also played a vital role in the victory by helping to conceal the majority of Wellington’s troops from the French and raising a dust cloud to make Marmont think they were retreating and he was facing nothing but a rearguard.

De Lancey leaned back on his stool and studied the houses on the opposite side of the square, trying to work out the meaning of the carvings of various celestial bodies and mythological figures that topped the columns supporting the porches.

“I have heard quite enough from you two about your heroic exploits,” he complained, “We are supposed to be relaxing, not rehashing the battle over and over again. May I suggest that we play a little game?“

Grant looked at Strange and raised his eyebrows. He knew De Lancey very well by now and was a little wary of the kind of game he might suggest, given his somewhat ribald sense of humour and penchant for practical jokes and the like. However, the wine was having the desired effect and he found himself saying “What game would that be then?”

De Lancey grinned. “Each of us must choose between revealing a truth or undertaking a challenge of some sort. Of course, the particular truth or challenge is not to be revealed until the choice is made. Major, I will allow you the honour of going first, and Merlin, you can come up with the truth or challenge.”

Grant took a sip of his wine and looked at Strange, trying to decide which would be the lesser of the two evils. He reminded himself that the magician was not a military man and might not have the decorum to refrain from asking questions of a personal nature, which would not do at all. Besides, what kind of challenge could he set that would not be simple enough to accomplish?

“I choose a challenge,” he said with a confident smile.

“Of course you do,” Strange replied, “I would expect no less.” He glanced around the courtyard seeking inspiration and his eyes lighted on the Spanish soldiers at the next table.

“I challenge you to drink wine from a one of those odd looking bags the locals are using.”

Grant looked around. He had seen men drinking from these goatskin botas before but never paid them much attention. Now that he actually watched, it did not seem to be so very much of a challenge. Surely all one had to do was hold up the teardrop-shaped wineskin and squeeze it to squirt the wine into one’s mouth.

Having appropriated a bota from one of the men at the next table, who seemed to find it rather amusing that this British officer should wish to participate in one off their traditions, he held it up in front of his face. He did not want to put his mouth too close to the damn thing in case that showed him up as a novice and made him the target of mockery, so he took hold of the spout with one hand and supported the bag with the other, tipped his head back, moved the bota a small distance away from his face, and squeezed.

The wine came out at a bit of an unexpected angle, but Grant managed to catch it in his mouth and maintain the position for the best part of half a minute before lowering the bag and turning to Strange and De Lancey in triumph, only to discover that they were looking over at the next table where the Spanish men had started moving their botas to arms-length and back again while still drinking, making this look like the easiest thing in the world.

Unwilling to lose face in front of his friends, who were now regarding him with a mixture of expectation and barely concealed glee, Grant raised the bag again and attempted to copy what the Spaniards were doing. This proved, of course, to be a huge mistake. As soon as he started to move the bota, the stream emanating from it deviated from its course, missing his mouth completely and spraying wine all over his face and the front of his coat.

Strange and De Lancey could not contain their laughter and Grant could not stop himself from joining in, causing the wine to spray in an even wider arc.

“Enough,” gasped De Lancey when he managed to stop laughing for a moment, “ I do not wish to be responsible for causing any more harm to your precious uniform. Now it is my turn and I also choose a challenge. Major?”

When Grant did not respond immediately, De Lancey rolled his eyes and impatiently prompted him to play along, “Come on Grant, what it is you wish to see me do?”

Grant swallowed and hoped the colour he could feel rising in his cheeks would pass as the effects of the alcohol; there were a lot of things he wished to see De Lancey do, none of which were appropriate for the current situation.

There was one thing though. De Lancey could often be heard around the camps singing all manner of lewd and bawdy folk songs to help boost the men’s morale on the night before a battle and although Grant did not always appreciate the lyrics, he did find the sound of the Colonel’s voice very pleasing.

“I challenge you to sing us a song, but not one of those vulgar ditties you entertain the men with. Something sweet and tender. Perhaps something that you would sing for a lover?”

He shut his eyes briefly and gave a small shake of his head as if he were chastising himself for the way he had phrased the request and expecting to be ridiculed, but De Lancey licked his lips slowly and, looking straight back at him, began:

Oh! why should the girl of my soul be in tears
At a meeting of rapture like this?
When the gloom of the past and the sorrows of years
Have been paid by a moment of bliss?

Are they shed for that moment of blissful delight,
Which dwells on her memory yet?
Do they flow like the dews of the love breathing night,
From the warmth of the sun that has set.

Oh! sweet is the tear on that languishing smile,
That smile which is loveliest then;
And if such are the drops that delight can beguile,
Thou shalt weep them again and again.*

The last notes of the song seemed to hang in the still evening air for some time after De Lancey finished and the way the two officers held each other’s gaze made Strange feel as if he were intruding on a very private moment that he wished he could be a part of, so he was glad when the silence was broken by a round of applause from the other British soldiers gathered in the square.

At this, De Lancey seemed to remember where he was, tearing his eyes away from Grant and giving a little bow.

“Your turn, Merlin”

Strange sighed “I suppose I must also choose a challenge now,” although he was secretly pleased that he would not have to reveal the sort of truth De Lancey was likely to ask for.

De Lancey looked delighted, he had clearly been thinking about this since he proposed the game in the first place. “I challenge you to complete a task set by Lord Wellington that you have so far failed to even attempt.”

Strange was at a loss. “I do not know what you mean,” he said, sure that he had at least tried to fulfill every one of the demands Wellington had placed on him, no matter how trivial or impossible they had seemed.

“Do you not recall?” De Lancey paused and frowned as if trying to remember, “I think what he said was something like ‘I have a great fancy to see Major Grant sprout wings and flutter about’”

Grant shot him a meaningful look “It seems you remember that a little too well. Perhaps you could suggest something else, I am not sure Merlin should attempt to do magic when he has consumed such great quantities of wine.”

De Lancey just shrugged, “Rules are rules. Are you playing the game or not?”

Strange remembered the way they used to look at him with disappointment when he first arrived in the Peninsula and sometimes failed to produce the desired results with his magic and found that he very much did not want to see that look on De Lancey’s face again.

“Very well,” he said, “but not in such a public place. We do not want the locals spreading tales of magic being used in such a manner.” He looked over his shoulder and saw the Romanesque church of San Martín in the corner of the square. “In there, perhaps?”

They emptied their glasses and tried to act as if they were returning to their rooms for the night, hoping none of the British soldiers remaining in the square would point out that they were going in entirely the wrong direction. Luckily, the door of the church was hidden from the view of the Spanish soldiers, who no doubt would have taken offence at the sight of three drunken British Protestants staggering into one of their holy buildings.

Strange looked around the at the church’s ornate interior. “Right,” he said with a wicked grin, “wings it is then.”

He approached Grant and reached out his hand, “May I?”

“Oh, very well,” Grant laughed, assuming that whatever Strange was about to do, it would have absolutely no effect. After all, it was surely not possible for a man to actually sprout wings.

His expression changed abruptly when the epaulettes on his scarlet coat started to shift and grow, transforming into a magnificent pair of golden wings that reached from the floor to a good two feet above his head. The wings seemed to give off an incandescence that illuminated the church’s sandstone walls in much the same way as the earlier sunset had lit up the facades of the city, causing them to glow with a warm amber light. This light in turn reflected back off Grant’s fair hair, giving the impression of a halo hovering above his stunned face.

For a while, Strange and De Lancey simply stared at the vision in front of them, their eyes wide with what could only be described as adoration. Eventually, however, De Lancey found he could not resist the opportunity to tease Strange one more time. “So this is what you see when you think about Major Grant with wings then?”

“I imagine it is merely an effect of our surroundings.” Strange retorted, “My mind must have been addled by all these bloody religious statues. I suppose I could extend the spell to you but you would likely grow horns instead of wings.”

Grant, who had actually been looking like he was quite proud of his wings, cleared his throat and asked apprehensively “This is not permanent is it, Merlin?”

“Of course not,” said Strange, reluctantly causing the wings to disappear.


Grant awoke convinced that his mind must be confusing the previous evening’s events with the wine-induced dreams he had experienced during the night. Surely that could not have actually happened. He got out of bed and started dressing, hoping that he would not feel quite so ill once he was properly put together and could at least give the impression that he was ready to face the day’s duties.

He picked up his coat from the chair where he had left it and was cursing himself for agreeing to play De Lancey’s silly game and getting wine stains all over his uniform when his eye was caught by a glimmer of light and he watched with a smile of amazement as a large golden feather floated gently to the ground.


* “Oh! Why Should the Girl of My Soul Be in Tears” by Thomas Moore (1809)

Author’s Note: Sorry for the lack of actual fluttering about.

Of Duty

Strange had never been one to feel guilt when it came to indulging himself in the pleasure of his own palm. It was natural, he thought, to relish and enjoy release. One could spend an eternity wallowing in the regrets and worries of the day when finally confined within one’s bed, and indeed one’s head. Yet, a simple moment of purposeful touches, and the permitting of the mind to trespass into territory fenced-off during sunlit hours, could bring on such a deep and satisfying sleep.

Title: Of Duty

Author: Anonymous

Characters: Colquhoun Grant/Duke of Wellington & Jonathan Strange

Prompt: Wellington and Grant fucking, with optional involvement by De Lancey and Strange. Pref. fuckbuddy arrangement, but OP isn’t fussy. + for uniforms + for dom!Wellington + for Grant’s hairy chest and forearms and big dark eyes + for De Lancey’s efficiency + for Strange’s surprising energy (see also His Lordship’s Men).

Summary: Strange fantasises about Grant and Wellington.

Read it on the jsmn kinkmeme

Marital Disharmony

marital disharmony

The quarrel between Arabella and Jonathan was well into its second day now, and for two pins she would have smashed every mirror in the house. Before Jonathan went to the wars, their arguments had often ended in a vigorous bout of fucking, but this time the anger between them was too fierce and bitter for any such quick resolution. Both of them were half-mad with vexation and sorely in need of release.

It was time to end this, Arabella thought, before the breach became irreparable. Cutting through Jonathan’s latest burst of self-justification, she burst out: “Enough!”

Title: Marital Disharmony

Author: fengirl88

Characters: Arabella Strange/Jonathan Strange

Summary: Arabella takes matters into her own hands after the King’s Roads quarrel.

Author’s Notes: Written for this prompt at the kinkmeme: “Angry Arabella/Strange – Hot Mad Sex.  I’m imagining this happening after the King’s Roads argument, but it could work at other times as well. Arabella is really, REALLY angry with Jonathan and the way she expresses it is to absolutely dominate him: ripping his clothes off, pushing him down on the bed, showing him just who’s boss in every possible way. Jonathan is left completely wrecked, exhausted, and very thoroughly chastised for his misbehavior.”

Notes: Part of the General Arabella series.

Read it on Archive Of Our Own

A trivial use of magic

trivial use of magic

Wellington and De Lancey strode out of the tent to attend to other matters, leaving Major Colquhoun Grant and Jonathan Strange to finalise the details of the following day’s actions.

Grant sighed and rubbed at his temples as he studied the maps on the table. Strange had noticed him doing this a lot over the last few days and decided it was time to voice his concern, as Grant’s furrowed brow suggested that whatever the problem was, it was getting worse.

Title: A trivial use of magic

Author: solitaryjo

Characters: Colquhoun Grant & Jonathan Strange

Summary: Grant has a headache, and reluctantly acquiesces to Strange’s offer of help.

Read it on Archive Of Our Own

In Which Grant and Strange Tend to Their Wounds

strange and grant attend to wounds

Grant listened for a moment before entering the farmhouse where the stewards had set up a decent, though dusty, temporary mess. It was well past midnight so he found no one tending a stew in the stone fireplace, nor even washing up the heavy black kettles. Thank God for the dark and the quiet at last, he thought as he removed his stiff jacket and unbuttoned his waistcoat. Time to pursue the next mission: to find a crust of bread and cup of wine.

Title: In Which Grant and Strange Tend to Their Wounds

Author: second_skin

Characters: Colquhoun Grant/Jonathan Strange

Prompt: I’m not quite sure how they would get access to a bath amidst a war, perhaps they are on leave, perhaps one of them has the advantage of the use of a decent hotel room, but just give me these two bathing together. It doesn’t even have to be smutty or turn into sex, I just want soft wet touches and soapy kisses and hair stroking and just a rare moment of peace in a nice tub.

Summary: Grant and Strange deepen their relationship after the events in the mill.

Read it on the jsmn kinkmeme

Read it on Archive Of Our Own

The far side of the mirror


Jonathan Strange’s blood was pumping faster and faster as he listened to Mr Gatcombe’s account, causing the copious quantities of wine that Grant had been plying him with all evening to saturate his entire system. He might’ve swayed on his feet were it not for the counteractive force of his own magic, which was faintly buzzing now throughout his body with a kind of electric current, charged and anticipatory. His indignation was growing more pronounced with every word the stranger spoke, until he could no longer keep up the pretense.

“Sir, I am Jonathan Strange, and I have never heard of you before today. You are the victims of a hoax.”

Title: The far side of the mirror

Author: fohatic

Characters: Colquhoun Grant/Jonathan Strange

Summary: When the gentlemen from Nottinghamshire provoke Jonathan Strange into disappearing through the Bedford’s mirror, he brings along an unexpected passenger who may have had one glass of port too many.

Author’s Notes: This is a response to a very brief kinkmeme prompt asking for Strange/Grant wall sex (prob. this one – Ed.). It was meant to be a PWP, but I got a bit carried away…

Read it on Archive Of Our Own

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Book cover for The Far Side of the Mirror

Give Him a Mask and He’ll Tell You The Truth

Colquhoun Grant was no stranger to adventure, but there were some things which he was quite content to leave undiscovered. Masquerade balls certainly placed high on this list, yet here he was, on leave in the city of Vienna, preparing for just such an event. He picked up his new cravat, silver in colour and silken smooth between his fingers, and thought that William De Lancey had a lot to answer for. De Lancey had chosen the cravat, along with the beautifully woven midnight blue waistcoat which Grant donned next. He gave himself an appraising look in the mirror and had to admit that the clothing was well chosen. It felt good to wear something other than his uniform for once.

Title: Give Him a Mask and He’ll Tell You The Truth

Author: nothinghamshire (neut)

Characters: Colquhoun Grant/William De Lancey

Summary: Major Grant and Colonel De Lancey play a game while on leave.

Archivist’s Notes: Originally published on Tumblr and then on AO3 in September 2015.  The author has now closed their accounts on both channels, but agreed to allow NPS to archive the story here.  A Very Queer Set of Gentlemen can be found here.

Author’s Notes: This fic came about following a Tumblr post that I made about Grant and De Lancey wearing something other than their uniforms. fourteenpavanes suggested that they might attend a masquerade…

Posted in celebration of The Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Society of Magicians Character Week, with today being Colquhoun Grant featuring William De Lancey or, as it is otherwise known, De Grancey Day.

I have no idea why this is set in Vienna, it just sort of happened. Oh and De Lancey’s German is purposefully basic.

Half beta’d, so mistakes are almost inevitable.

Pure unadulterated PWP.


Give Him a Mask and He’ll Tell You the Truth

Colquhoun Grant was no stranger to adventure, but there were some things which he was quite content to leave undiscovered. Masquerade balls certainly placed high on this list, yet here he was, on leave in the city of Vienna, preparing for just such an event. He picked up his new cravat, silver in colour and silken smooth between his fingers, and thought that William De Lancey had a lot to answer for. De Lancey had chosen the cravat, along with the beautifully woven midnight blue waistcoat which Grant donned next. He gave himself an appraising look in the mirror and had to admit that the clothing was well chosen. It felt good to wear something other than his uniform for once.

The mask was of course the finishing touch and had been a matter of much contention; Grant was a man of simple tastes and the flamboyant nature of these masquerades did not appeal to him. De Lancey, declaring that Grant would opt for something dull and hardly worthy of him, insisted on locating a suitable mask. He had disappeared for a few hours the previous day and was triumphant upon return, brandishing a small box and wearing a pleased smile. Grant opened that box now with a frown. It was a very fine mask, that could not be denied. The brow was the most ornate part, with a large crest positioned over the centre of the forehead, flanked on either side by a horse. Grant had decided that it was agreeably masculine and was quite touched by the thought which De Lancey had clearly put into his choice. With a sense of grim determination, he picked it up and made his way downstairs, where he found De Lancey leaning casually by the front door of the guest house, awaiting the arrival of their coach. While Grant’s ensemble was accented with silver, De Lancey had opted for gold, which was offset dramatically against his black waistcoat and made his hair seem more red than usual.

“Why Major Grant,” he said with a slow smile. “Don’t you look dashing.”

Grant arched an eyebrow, a warning to De Lancey not to push his luck. Their host, a small balding man by the name of Prock, entered the hallway.

“Ah!” he said with a smile, noting their appearance. “The masquerade!”

De Lancey grinned in return. “Ja, mein Herr. Do not expect us back early.”

Herr Prock bobbed slightly, nodding his head and making a sound of agreement. “Herr colonel,” he said, his tone more sombre. “I must ask. No ladies, if you please.”

Grant shot De Lancey a look and was rewarded with a hearty chuckle. “Yes, very good,” De Lancey said to a confused looking Prock. “Nicht Dame. You have my word.”

Soon after they were being driven through the city and De Lancey gave Grant a lingering look, tracing the finely embroidered feather pattern on Grant’s waistcoat with the tip of his finger before gently poking each button in turn.

“It’s a very pretty thing,” he said. “A wonderful colour on you.”

Grant let himself smile. “You don’t look half bad yourself.”

De Lancey’s lips twitched as he turned away to look out of the carriage window. “You’re going to meet someone tonight,” he stated simply.

Grant moved closer to De Lancey, reaching down to take his mask from him. “Am I indeed?”

“Yes,” De Lancey teased as Grant lifted the mask to his face and gently knotted the ties behind his head. “Someone eager, perhaps a little impressionable and certainly quite taken with soldiers.”

Grant chuckled quietly, brushing his fingertips over the soft skin on the nape of De Lancey’s neck. “That sounds very promising.”

De Lancey turned back to him, his blue eyes bright against the gold of his mask. Two winged lions danced across his brow, the stern face of Mithras set between them. Grant thought that perhaps he might review his opinion of masquerades.

“Give me your mask,” De Lancey said, his voice taking on a husky quality that Grant recognised all too well. “And turn around.”

Grant did as ordered, knowing it was the last time that night it would be required of him.


They had played this game before and Grant needed no further instruction. When they arrived in front of the imposing facade of the Hofburg Palace, they exited their carriage and went their separate ways. Grant hung back, watching De Lancey saunter off and disappear into the crowd. After a brief pause, he proceeded. The ballroom was cavernous inside, with impossibly large and ornate chandeliers hung from the vaulted ceiling. The light from the candles caught the gold leaf edging the frescos, giving the room a magical glow. The orchestra, situated in an alcove towards the north end of the hall, were playing a gentle waltz and already excited ladies were enticing their gentleman into the dance. Grant slowly circled the room, seeking out a good vantage point from which to observe. He hadn’t been there long before he noticed a young woman looking his way. She was wearing a delicate lilac coloured gown and had a soft tumble of auburn curls framing her face, where she wore a rose-patterned mask. He did not see that it could do any harm to indulge her interest.

“Meine Dame?” he asked by way of greeting. He held out his arm towards the dancefloor in invitation and she curtsied with a smile.

“Mein Herr,” she replied, taking his hand.

Grant was no expert when it came to dancing, especially these fanciful continental styles, but he could manage well enough. She was a fragile slip of a thing and followed his lead well, even if his turns were a little clumsy. She smiled at him and he paid her the required attention, making idle conversation while keeping an eye on the rest of the goings-on around them. A sea on stylish gowns, expertly tailored jackets and whimsical masks rippled about them. A group of young women were chatting behind their fans, clearly discussing the merits of the circle of men that stood close, feigning disinterest. Older couples twirled by, oblivious, those days of amorous plotting far behind them.

Grant danced with the girl in the rose mask until another gentleman politely enquired if he may step in. Moving aside with a gracious bow, he was immediately met by another prospective partner in the form of a blonde woman wearing mask styled in the likeness of a swan. They smiled at one another and Grant took her hand. She proved to be a little more forthright than her predecessor. When the orchestra struck up a spirited piece, she helped Grant through the faster paced dance, all but taking the lead and gently teasing him when he fumbled the steps. She was bright and witty and a thoroughly charming companion. He had no trouble in finding someone to take over when it was time for him to move on.

He made his way about the ballroom slowly, moving from group to group, watching and listening. A buxom Italian woman complained to her friends that this showy Austrian ball could in no way compare to the ridotti of the Veneto. A young Viennese gentleman begged with his mysterious dance partner not to leave him without sharing her name. A group of portly men, deep in their cups, shared a joke which made their lady companions mutter among themselves. Grant observed all of this with detached amusement. He drank and wandered and eventually caught sight of a gold-masked man with red hair upon the dance floor. He sank back into an alcove to watch De Lancey, light on his feet and moving with a grace that seemed to delight his petite, dark-haired partner. She was smiling, her eyes fixed on his until he said something which made her laugh and lower her gaze. Grant smirked in the shadows.

He waited there for some time, watching them turn and twirl about the floor until he lost sight of them amongst the other dancers. They eventually circled back around and moved next into a playful quadrille, which De Lancey proved to be equally as skilled at. When it came to an end after a few frenetic minutes, De Lancey pressed an audacious kiss to the back of the girl’s hand. She bit her lip in a bid to conceal her smile, which faltered as De Lancey caught the attention of a tall gentleman in a bull mask and invited him to take his place. The smile was now forced, polite and not entirely convincing, as she accepted the hand of her new partner. De Lancey bowed and left the dance. Grant followed.


He found De Lancey seated in a secluded anteroom, carefully considering the glass of red wine in his hand. Grant approached and sat next to him. There was always a thrill in this moment, not knowing what would follow, or who De Lancey would be. The addition of the mask only heightened this tonight and Grant chose to remain silent for a while, enjoying the anticipation.

“Some might say it was foolish to desert such a pretty young lady,” he said at length. “Especially when you were so clearly in her favour.”

The mysterious version of De Lancey smirked, turning to acknowledge him. “Perhaps. Though others might say it is foolish to place all of your eggs in one basket.”

Grant shot a wry smile back at him. “You are something of a cad, then? Intent on breaking as many hearts as possible by dawn?”

De Lancey sipped his wine, his eyes fixed on Grant’s. “It is only a dance, sir. Besides, you are as guilty of casting aside at least two lovely women this evening yourself.”

Grant leaned in a little closer. “You have been watching me?”

“No more than you have watched me, it would seem. Anyway, you cut so fine a figure. I could hardly help but notice you.”

Grant took the glass from De Lancey’s hand and drank from it. De Lancey wet his lips with the tip of his tongue and Grant knew his words and manner were having the desired effect. “Quite the outspoken one, aren’t you?” he murmured, letting his hand rest lightly on De Lancey’s knee. “Tell me your name.”

De Lancey looked at Grant’s hand, then raised his eyes to Grant’s very purposefully. “Matthew,” he said, simply.

Grant repeated the name back at him, trying it on for size, then asked, “And what is it that brings you to Vienna?”

“I’m a painter, sir. I have been travelling about the continent for some months, looking for inspiration.”

This was a surprising new direction for De Lancey’s imaginings. He had been a low ranking soldier a few times, a naive country gentleman and once even a lowly footman. Grant pressed the wine glass back into De Lancey’s hand and watched him take a drink.

“Well,” Grant went on, a little haughtiness creeping into his tone. “You do not look like a penniless artist, so I will assume you are relatively successful.”

De Lancey – or rather Matthew – looked humbled by this. “I know it is not considered a respectable occupation, certainly not by fine gentleman such as yourself.”

A couple entered the anteroom and made for the sopha opposite them. Grant glanced at them, then stood and nodded his head, indicating for De Lancey to follow.

“What makes you so certain that I am a fine gentleman?” he asked as they wandered back out into the hall.

“I have known my fair share of fine gentlemen,” De Lancey replied, his smirk returning. “And I recognise the way you move, the way you speak. You are a military man, are you not?”

Grant laughed. “Major Colquhoun Grant of the 11th Foot.”

Matthew, because that is who he was in that moment, looked delighted at this. “A Major,” he breathed. “How very exciting.”

Grant laughed. “Tell me,” he said. “About these fine gentlemen you have known.”

“What would you have me say, Major Grant? Shall I speak of their exploits at war, or their handsome uniforms? Perhaps you would like hear the pretty words they used to seduce me?”

They paused, Grant standing very close to De Lancey. He spoke low in his ear. “I would have you tell me about their skills in the bedroom.”

De Lancey turned his face towards Grant, but kept his eyes on the floor. “You are very bold, sir.”

“And you are not nearly as bashful as you would have me believe.”

De Lancey smiled, looking up. “Perhaps.”

Grant smiled back, then nodded towards the dance floor. “I wish to see you dance again, Matthew. Indulge me.”

De Lancey assented with an ironical bow, then moved back into the dance, giving Grant a coy look over his shoulder as he went. Grant bit his lip, feeling his excitement begin to grow. He would quite happily have quit the ball there and then, dragging De Lancey along with him, but he knew there was more to be gained from being biding his time. De Lancey so loved to know that he was commanding Grant’s attention; he loved to be watched and yearned for and so Grant did just that. De Lancey would come to him when he was ready.


The moment the carriage door was shut behind behind them, Grant pulled De Lancey into a desperate kiss. He felt consumed by lust after another hour of watching De Lancey move from partner to partner, charming and flirting as he went. He felt an overwhelming desire to assert himself now, so he pushed De Lancey into the carriage seat, letting him feel precisely how excited he was. De Lancey moaned against his mouth.

Grant broke off and gave him a warning look. “You must be quiet, Matthew.”

The carriage pulled away and De Lancey bit his lip, the very picture of mischief. “Forgive me,” he murmured, letting his hands wander quite freely over Grant’s body. “But you have inspired such want in me, Major Grant.”

Grant pushed his fingers into De Lancey’s hair, pulling his head back to expose his pale throat. He leaned down to kiss and lick at him there, feeling De Lancey’s pulse flutter under his lips. “You are a dreadful tease,” he breathed. “Letting me watch from a distance as you were admired and pawed at.”

De Lancey exhaled slowly, shakily. He untied Grant’s mask and looked at him as though seeing him properly for the first time. “I was thinking only of you,” he said, pressing his fingers into the thick muscles in Grant’s shoulders. “Of the things you might do to me. And how very commanding you seem.”

Grant couldn’t hold back a possessive little growl. He reached out, aiming to divest De Lancey of his mask, but De Lancey caught his hands and shook his head. “Leave it,” he said and Grant claimed De Lancey’s mouth once more, taking him by the hips and lifting him into his lap. De Lancey’s hardness answered his own and they rubbed together for a brief moment, pausing when it proved too much.

“Is that what you want?” Grant asked between kisses. “To be commanded?”

De Lancey caught Grant’s bottom lip between his teeth and gave it a tug. “Mm,” he sighed. “Yes.”

Grant took a firm hold on De Lancey’s hips and drove up against him once more, causing them both to gasp. He raised one hand to grasp De Lancey’s jaw, forcing him to look him in the eye.

“Open my breeches,” Grant breathed. “And suck it.”

De Lancey’s breath caught in his throat as he paused to fully register what Grant had ordered. After a moment or two, he was clambering awkwardly off Grant’s lap, his movements lacking grace with the carriage in motion. He settled on his knees in the small space, his fingers the only part of him that he commanded with confidence as he unbuttoned Grant’s trousers.

“Oh my,” he said, brazenly eyeing Grant’s crotch. “Major Grant, you are…”

Grant looked down at him, amused. “Yes?”

De Lancey bit back a grin. “You have a very fine prick, sir.”

Grant smirked. “Perhaps you would care to sketch it, Matthew? Although I would be obliged if you might wait until later. As much as I might enjoy having my prick praised, I should rather have it pleasured.”

That was all it took for De Lancey to cease his teasing and set about his task; Grant knew that nothing spurred him on like being told what to do and he did so love to use his mouth in this way. He set to running his tongue all along Grant’s straining length, following it with small open mouthed kisses before applying himself to the crown. Here he stayed for a while, alternating between suckling with his plump lips and tracing with the pointed tip of his tongue. He turned his eyes up to meet Grant’s as he sank down, taking as much of Grant’s prick into his mouth as he could. Grant cursed under his breath. He reveled in this sweet torture for as long as he could and although reluctant to make De Lancey stop, he did not wish for things to end so soon. He took a hold of De Lancey’s hair, urging him up and off his prick.

“Have I pleased you?” De Lancey asked, his voice ragged.

“You are a very skilled cocksucker, Matthew. You have clearly had your fair share of practice on that long line of very fine gentlemen.”

De Lancey, his lips swollen and hair mussed, smiled up from between Grant’s knees and the sight left Grant’s mouth dry. He pulled De Lancey back up into his lap and they kissed again, more leisurely this time. De Lancey ghosted his fingers over Grant’s aching prick and whispered devilishly, “I cannot wait to have this inside me.”

Grant groaned. “God, yes. That’s what you want, isn’t it? To be bent over and fucked.”

By way of response, De Lancey gave Grant’s cock a squeeze and matters might have got out of hand again very quickly had the carriage not began to slow then. Sensing that they were nearing their destination, Grant tucked himself back into his breeches with no small amount of regret. They used these last few moments of privacy to regain their composure, straightening clothing and collecting their thoughts. There was a danger of the game failing as reality threatened to break the spell, so Grant leaned over, pressing a quick, hot kiss to De Lancey’s mouth as the carriage came to a halt. “Just wait until I get you upstairs,” he said, even as the door was pulled open.

Grant swiftly paid the coachman and got them into the guesthouse with little more than a nod of the head to the night porter. De Lancey followed close behind, his rapid breathing betraying his state. They took the stairs two at a time and all but tumbled into Grant’s room, pulling at one another’s clothes as soon as the door was locked behind them.

“You won’t remember any of those other gentlemen by the time I’m finished with you,” Grant said as he loosened De Lancey’s cravat.

De Lancey chuckled softly at this, clearly taking it as a promise rather than a threat. They worked swiftly, loosening fastenings and shedding layers. Grant disturbed De Lancey’s mask as he divested him of his shirt and wondered if now was the time to remove it. De Lancey straightened the mask on his face and gave a quick shake of his head to make his intention clear, so Grant moved instead to De Lancey’s breeches, palming at the curve of his erection through the fine material before turning his attention to the buttons.

When they were both naked, Grant pushed De Lancey onto the bed and laid over him, pressing his hips down and their mouths together. De Lancey moaned into the kiss, his hands coming up to take a firm hold on Grant’s rear. He pushed his fingers into the taut muscles of Grant’s buttocks and pushed his own hips up, desperate for contact and friction.

“Is this how it always is for you?” Grant breathed against his ear. “Are you always so desperate for a soldier’s cock?”

De Lancey practically whimpered at this and pushed his fingers into Grant’s hair, gripping hard. “One as thick and hard as yours, Major Grant? How could I not be desperate for it?”

He bit at the sensitive skin beneath Grant’s ear, then laved the same spot with his tongue. Grant sighed against him. “Turn over,” he ordered.

They were neither of them in the mood to draw this out. It has been hours since De Lancey had set the game in motion and they had both harboured their desires all evening, knowing it was leading to this. The time for subtle flirtation and gentle play had passed. Grant shifted his weight, allowing De Lancey the room to roll onto his belly. He watched for a moment, simply enjoying the sight of De Lancey rubbing himself against the bed in a bid to find some relief.

“Now now, Matthew,” he said, stroking a hand down De Lancey’s back and letting it come to rest on his arse. “Patience.”

He parted De Lancey’s buttocks and leaned down to rub the wet head of his prick against him, just for a moment. De Lancey made a low keening sound.

“Please,” he rasped. “Don’t tease.”

Grant was not nearly as composed as he seemed. This was something that they didn’t often have an opportunity to indulge in and he found himself trembling slightly as he rose to his feet and went to retrieve the oil that they had packed for precisely this purpose. De Lancey looked back over his shoulder, watching Grant approach with the small bottle in hand. He was biting his lip and the sight caused a wave of desire to wash over Grant. God, he was beautiful.

“Matthew,” he murmured as he settled back down. “Spread your legs for me.”

De Lancey complied, gasping as the first cold drips of oil slid down between the crease of his arse. The tip of Grant’s forefinger followed, circling the rim of De Lancey’s hole before pressing in. The sound he made was almost enough to end Grant there and then.

“Quiet,” Grant soothed, leaning over to cover De Lancey’s mouth with his other hand. “You must keep quiet.”

De Lancey nodded and Grant moved his hand away. “Forgive me. It just feels so good. So very good.”

To his credit, De Lancey did a sterling job at keeping his silence as Grant proceeded. He writhed under him, breathing heavily and burying his face in the sheets when it all became a little too overwhelming. By the time Grant was stretching him around three fingers, he was softly pleading. This was more than Grant could stand. He slowly withdrew his fingers, but De Lancey did not protest. Instead he shifted up unto his knees, presenting his arse.

“My God,” Grant breathed. “God, I want you.”

De Lancey dropped his head down towards his chest. “Do it,” he said. “Take me.”

So Grant did. With one long, exquisitely slow push of his thick cock, he filled De Lancey and left them both fighting for air. Grant could do little more than breathe for a while, feeling as though the heat and tightness of De Lancey around him might drive him to madness. He held De Lancey’s hips, his thumbs rubbing there in soothing circles. De Lancey, for his part, was quieter than Grant had ever heard him. It wasn’t until Grant finally moved that De Lancey made a choked sort of sound and jolted forward like a startled animal. Grant groaned in response, catching De Lancey and in two quick motions sliding his hips back, then ramming in. He set a pace of slow hard thrusts, urging De Lancey’s body to yield to him. De Lancey was gasping like a man who had just run a mile and Grant could see him balling his fists in the sheets, his knuckles turning white.

He thought about De Lancey, posing as Matthew, seducing other men. Other soldiers. He pictured De Lancey in a studio in Paris, sketching a nude man, then sinking to his knees to pleasure him. Jealousy burned low in his gut. He reached down, hooking his arms under De Lancey’s to bring him upright. De Lancey let his head fall back against Grant’s shoulder. His lips were parted, his eyes closed.

“Mine,” Grant said, bringing his hips up hard.

De Lancey moaned, reaching back to thread his fingers into Grant’s hair. He brought Grant’s face down towards his own and they kissed like that, De Lancey twisting back awkwardly to meet Grant’s mouth.

“Yours,” he breathed back.

Grant took De Lancey in hand, fisting his cock with a precision and accuracy that only he could muster.

“Mine,” Grant said again. “You’re mine, Matthew. My little painter whore.”

De Lancey writhed and crooned, his grip on Grant’s hair becoming unbearably tight. “Please,” he begged, his voice strained.

Grant turned his attention to the sensitive tip of De Lancey’s prick, working the underside roughly with the pad of his thumb.

“Matthew,” Grant breathed, pushing deep and sure with his hips. “Matthew…”

De Lancey gasped one, twice, then shuddered all over as he spent. Grant flung one arm tight around De Lancey’s chest, holding him upright as he rode him through his release. De Lancey tightened around him and Grant was defeated. He pressed his forehead against De Lancey’s shoulder and the truth of his desire made itself know.

“William!” he cried out as he released. “Oh, William. Oh, God.”

Grant kept rocking his hips, chasing the last little sparks of pleasure as he fumbled to untie De Lancey’s mask. He wanted nothing more in that moment than to see his face. They slowly separated and Grant dropped the mask to the floor before pulling De Lancey into a kiss and urging him to lay down beside him.

“Christ, Grant,” De Lancey said when they parted, all traces of Matthew vanished.

Grant laughed breathlessly and De Lancey grinned at him, dropping his head back onto the pillows. Grant rolled onto his side and looked down at De Lancey fondly.

“A painter?” he asked.

De Lancey quirked an eyebrow. “It got you worked up enough, didn’t it?”

You got me worked up. Where did you learn to dance like that?”

“My sister. She said it was the only way I’d attract a woman.”

Grant dropped back onto the bed with another laugh. De Lancey shifted closer, laying his head on Grant’s chest. “Mine,” he said, imitating Grant. “I rather like it when you get all possessive.”

“I thought you might need reminding after being passed around by all those admirers. It was very cruel of you to flaunt yourself like that, knowing that I could scarcely cut in.”

De Lancey turned his eyes up at Grant and smiled. “My dear Major Grant, are you jealous? I’d dance with you now, only… well, I shan’t imagine I’ll even walk straight for a few days.”

Grant shook his head in feigned disapproval, though a grin threatened. “Then it is fair to say that my work here is done, is it not?”

De Lancey pushed himself up onto his elbow and pressed a lingering kiss to Grant’s waiting lips. “Oh, I am not through with you yet Major,” he said. “Certainly not yet.”



Little Distractions


Grant had many scars upon his body that could be described as unsightly. He wasn’t ashamed of any of them, for a collection of battle blemishes often made a good soldier. A good soldier came to war domesticated and soft-skinned, and left with a pock-marked pelt of visible memories that could drive a man mad if he paid much attention to them. Grant paid as much attention to the decorations upon his skin as he did those on his uniform which recognised his rank, or medals he might be awarded. A scar, like a medal, was proof of bravery. However, it didn’t stop Grant from wanting to cover his. Again, this was not due to embarrassment, but because they were always a distraction.

Title: Little Distractions

Author: Anonymous

Characters: Colquhoun Grant/Jonathan Strange

Prompt:  I’ve read some really incredible Strange/Grant fics on this meme but all of them have involved Grant topping. Whilst I love this, I’d really like to read something where Grant is happy to bend over and gladly give himself to Merlin and Merlin being a surprisingly talented top.

Summary: Strange treats Grant like an equal.

Read it on the jsmn kinkmeme