A Lesson from Scripture

The coat was an old one, much in need of patching and cleaning. It had seen Jonathan through his three years in the Peninsula. As her mother would have said, it didn’t owe him anything. And he could certainly afford a new one: that was never the problem. But Arabella had been brought up to be thrifty, as befitted a poor curate’s daughter, and she couldn’t abide waste, even now.

Title: A Lesson from Scripture

Author: fengirl88

Characters: Arabella Strange/Jonathan Strange, Colquhoun Grant/Jonathan Strange

Summary: Arabella knows her bible well.

Author’s Notes: Takes place in the same ‘verse as Speaking Likeness; written for a flash fic challenge on Tumblr.

Read it on Archive Of Our Own

A Fresh Face

wellanceynps

Colonel De Lancey buys his way into the army.

 Boys like him come in short supply; tall, young, sturdy and he looks good in a redcoat. He starts out well, and most of his regiment would argue that he deserved his title anyway, wealth or not. But they all know he wants what most of them want, a side seat next to Wellington. But Lord Wellington doesn’t take his boys on without rigorous examination.

Title: A Fresh Face

Author: saturni_stellis

Characters: William De Lancey/Duke of Wellington

Summary: Lord Wellington likes to sample the men of his regiment, and Colonel De Lancey is more than happy to comply.

Author’s Notes: I place entire blame on the JSMN kink meme and the Tumblr team!peninsula gang for this. I apologise in advance to the real Wellington and De Lancey – however these characters are based entirely on the ones that appear in the show/book. It’s worth noting that I also based this off the presumption that Wellington didn’t really know or have any acquaintance with our dear De Lancey before he was made Colonel. (Not beta’d so apologies for any mistakes).

Read it on Archive Of Our Own

The Boys

The boys are playing at soldiers again. The mothers pause in their companionable chatter over the mending basket and peep over the garden wall to see them pass.Young Colley has his wooden sword drawn as he leads them in procession to the woods, their leader since Arthur was sent to school. He has his best red jacket on again, a woolen scarf tied around his waist like a sash and a tall hat folded out of paper. “He’s very proud of that coat,” whispers his mother as he goes by, “sometimes I think I’ll never get him out of it even at bedtime.” She’s quietly grateful though, that he minds his clothes more than the most boys and she can trust him to keep an eye on the others.

Title: Stories from Tumblr (The Boys)

Author: Owl_by_Night

Characters: William De Lancey, Colquhoun Grant, Jonathan Strange, Winespill, Jeremy Johns, John Childermass & John Segundus

Summary: The boys play at soldier, while their mothers look on.

Author’s Notes: A short bit of fic inspired by asexualscripps wondering about the Peninsula Boys when they were very young. I read a book many years ago where the youngest characters are playing at soldiers while the older characters watch them in secret, so this is also inspired by that.

Chapter 1 of Stories from Tumblr

Read it on Archive Of Our Own

Ghosts

ghosts

Jonathan clutched at the sheets, his knuckles white on the linen of his bedspread. Sweat poured down his temples and rolled onto his cheeks, mixing with his tears. Unintelligible words escaped his lips every now and then, as his head tossed back and forth on the feather pillow.

Title: Ghosts

Author: madmaximoff

Characters: William De Lancey & Jeremy Johns & Arabella Strange & Jonathan Strange

Summary: Jonathan Strange’s ghosts come back to haunt him.

Notes: This story was written for the 2015 JSaMN Society of Magicians Halloween Party, for the JS&MN + ghosts category; the author has very kindly allowed me to post it here as well.  Please express your love by leaving a comment below.

~*~

Jonathan clutched at the sheets, his knuckles white on the linen of his bedspread. Sweat poured down his temples and rolled onto his cheeks, mixing with his tears. Unintelligible words escaped his lips every now and then, as his head tossed back and forth on the feather pillow.

Arabella knew not what he saw in the dark. She did not wish to. But this sight, of her husband in utmost terror of what horrors lay behind his eyelids, was not unknown to her, nor was it in anyway uncommon. Nearly every night since he returned from the Peninsula, and even more so after the Battle of Waterloo, when he slept he would cry bloody murder, toss and turn and wake with a scream before he came to his senses.

The first time this had happened, Arabella was awake in an instant, calling for the servants and pleading with Jonathan, pleading for him to come to his senses, all to no avail. Only after the housemaid had thrown a bucket of water over him had he awoken, pale and shaking not only from the cold.
Now, she just stared at him, sad eyed and even sadder of heart, as she waited for her husband’s visions to pass. She lay her hand on top of his, and rested her head on his shoulder, praying that this night would not be as bad as the last.

Jonathan himself was not unaware of his wife’s touch, but to him, it was not the hand of a loving woman. In his mind, it was the half rotten hand of a Neapolitan soldier, clutching at his wrist with a vice-like grip. The harder he tried to pull away, the harder the dead man held. He scrabbled at his arm until his fingernails tore his skin to bloody ribbons, and yet still the corpse held on. Before he could attempt further escape, another figure wrapped his arms around his waist, pulling him backwards. He looked back, and saw the familiar colours of the British uniform.

More and more hands grabbed at him, covering his view, and before his mind could register it, he was falling. The hands vanished into smoke, and Jonathan’s vision cleared to reveal a moonlit field entirely unknown to him. He seemed to be completely alone. He looked around, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw a face that made his blood run cold. Colonel De Lancey stared at him with dead eyes, his skin white and stretched tight over his bones. His breaths were rasping and rattling, and brought a fear to Jonathan’s heart that he never wished to experience again. He scrambled back, unable to rise to his feet, turning away from De Lancey. But his vision was overtaken by a burned and bloody Jeremy, with a similarly rasping voice. Tears rolled down his face as he backed away. In the distance he heard a voice calling his name. The voice sounded kind, loving. He wanted to run to it, but could not will himself to stand. Instead, he curled his fingers into his hair, and brought his knees to his chest, and rocked back and forth in the dirt, trying to block out the nightmares.

As a magician, Jonathan was skeptical of any sort of magical being mentioned in folklore, other than faeries of course. But after his time at war, and the days and nights he spent amongst soldiers who feared that every day would be their last, he was sure of one thing; the dead who roamed his darkest dreams would haunt him until he was in his own grave, and that, in his mind at least, their definitely were such things as ghosts.

~*~

Bloodletting

They have seen such horrors here, walking behind Death as he reaps a bountiful harvest, but this – this they could not imagine.

It is fortunate that their eyes are closed and sleep holds them fast. What the men in the ranks don’t know can’t hurt them. Or, rather, it could hurt them very badly – but not tonight. Tonight its hungers will be sated elsewhere.

Title: Bloodletting

Author: onstraysod

Characters: William De Lancey/Colquhoun Grant/Jonathan Strange/Duke of Wellington

Summary: Vampire!Wellington satisfies his hunger with De Lancey, Grant and Strange.

Notes: This story was written for the 2015 JSaMN Society of Magicians Halloween Party; it is part 4 of onstraysod’s JS&MN + vampirism series.  You can leave feedback for onstraysod here, or on Tumblr, where you can also read the other stories.

~*~

They have seen such horrors here, walking behind Death as he reaps a bountiful harvest, but this – this they could not imagine.

It is fortunate that their eyes are closed and sleep holds them fast. What the men in the ranks don’t know can’t hurt them. Or, rather, it could hurt them very badly – but not tonight. Tonight its hungers will be sated elsewhere.

“My lovely boys,” Wellington says in a lazy tone, and he sets his wine glass aside. The old Portuguese manor is furnished with the tattered remnants of a long-dead owner’s lost prosperity, and His Lordship sits at ease on a settee covered in faded red damask. His neckcloth is undone, his coat discarded, and he rolls up his sleeves as his gaze wanders over the two men on their knees before him. With a smirk he beckons, a slight flick of his wrist. “Come here, my dear Colonel.”

De Lancey goes forward on all fours, his eyes bright with adoration as he looks up at His Lordship. When he reaches the settee he dares to raise himself by sliding his hands up His Lordship’s thighs. Wellington brushes his thumb across the younger man’s plump bottom lip, letting the flesh drag a little beneath his touch. His gaze is on that mouth, that pretty young mouth, and his licks his own lips in sympathetic longing.

“What are you willing to do for me, Colonel?” Wellington asks, an edge of heat in his tone.

De Lancey’s eyes are wide, glittering in the candlelight. “Anything, my lord.” His breath catches in his throat as he speaks. “Everything.”

One of Wellington’s eyebrows arches and he smiles. “Everything, Colonel? That encompasses a great deal.” He takes De Lancey firmly by the upper arms and pulls him closer until their faces almost touch. Then Wellington tilts his head and ghosts the tip of his long nose across De Lancey’s cheek. The younger man trembles, his breath coming in hot gasps.

“I am yours to command, my lord,” he murmurs, daring to reach out again and lay his hands upon Wellington’s shoulders. “Please. Let me serve you.”

Wellington’s fingers run through De Lancey’s thick ginger hair; his mouth nuzzles against the Colonel’s neck as he replies: “As you wish.” A shiver passes down the length of De Lancey’s body as Wellington lays his tongue against his throat, passing it slowly, wetly, down along his skin until he finds the throb of the young man’s jugular vein. He lets it rest there for a moment and De Lancey writhes against him, anticipation setting him aflame.

Wellington holds the Colonel firmly against him, one hand on his hip, another clasping his jaw, and De Lancey’s back arches, a gasp escaping his lips, as Wellington’s fangs sink deep, deep into his flesh. Pain sears through the young man, seethes and courses through every nerve, tensing every muscle to the point of breaking, until it is suddenly replaced by a very different sensation. Wellington grasps his Colonel harder, tighter against him as he feeds, moving the hand from De Lancey’s hip up the path of his spine, into his hair, cupping his head as he sucks up the warm lifeblood that pulses out so readily, gushes over his tongue, expelled by the speed of the Colonel’s heartbeat. As euphoria supersedes pain De Lancey cries out weakly, grasping at Wellington in turn, fingers curling and digging into his His Lordship’s shoulders hard enough to wound; tremors echo through him until his whole body begins to convulse. His eyes are closed but his mouth hangs open, his breath pants out between wet lips, and his head falls back as he moans, heedless of the sleeping men outside, lost in this strange abandon. With a growl Wellington sucks harder, and De Lancey’s face pales to an ashen white in His Lordship’s grasp – then Wellington releases him, and the young Colonel falls backwards into waiting arms.

Breathing deeply, licking the blood that remains glistening on his lips, Wellington looks down at the men sprawled on the rug before him. Yes – there is adoration in De Lancey’s eyes when he looks at Wellington. But not love. That is reserved for the face that bends over De Lancey now, for the man whose arms cradle him, whose strong hands caress his cheeks. Colquhoun Grant cushions De Lancey’s fall, lets his superior officer’s head rest back against his bare chest, makes of his lap a pillow for De Lancey’s head, and De Lancey gazes up into Grant’s face with a floating, detached expression. Grant strokes his hair gently and, bending over, cleans the blood from the puncture wounds in the Colonel’s throat with soft, lingering licks.

“Grant,” De Lancey murmurs with a smile, his voice the satisfied purr of a kitten, his expression that of someone still wandering halfway between wakefulness and dream.

Wellington purses his lips as he leans back against the cushions of the settee, a drowsiness borne of satiation overtaking him, and something between approval and jealousy stirring in his still, silent heart. “Your turn, Major Grant.”

Grant looks up at His Lordship, nods once, then bends over De Lancey again and presses a gentle kiss upon the Colonel’s soft lips. “I must, you know,” he whispers, placing another kiss upon the tip of De Lancey’s nose, upon his brow and both eyelids. “You are too weak. I cannot–”

“Do not apologize,” De Lancey says, reaching up to touch Grant’s face. “It is only fair, after all. And I have seen the way you look at him.”

Grant does not reply. He lays De Lancey’s head carefully down upon the rug and rises as Wellington turns and gestures, again with that same lazy, imperious motion of the hand, towards the shadows at the edge of the room. “Come Merlin. We have need of you.”

Jonathan Strange walks slowly into the candlelight. He is shaking, but his mouth is set, his expression resolute. His coat is gone, his neckcloth removed, and he stands in front of Grant expectantly, his chest rising and falling with the rapidity of his breathing, a wild and dangerous light in his eyes.

“Do you consent, Merlin?” Wellington asks, his voice a sleepy rumble from the settee.

Strange does not take his gaze from Grant’s “I consent.”

Grant reaches out his hand and gently strokes Strange’s cheek. He holds himself in control yet, though watching Wellington feed upon De Lancey has aroused his hunger to a fevered pitch and need gnaws at him like an uncontrollable fire. “I will try not to hurt you,” Grant says, and leaning forward he touches his lips to Strange’s as if to seal a promise.

Strange says nothing but when Grant pulls away he takes the edges of his shirt in his fingers and tugs it wider apart, exposing a broad swath of chest. Grant watches him, motionless for a moment, before reaching out again to trail a finger in increments down his sternum. Then all at once the Major’s control breaks and he falls to his knees. He rips open the buttons of Strange’s breeches and pushes them down over the magician’s hips. Here is a landscape to explore at leisure, but now Grant’s only thought is to feed, and he goes immediately to what he desires. Darting forward suddenly he sinks his fangs into the most prominent vein in Strange’s groin.

The magician gives a hoarse scream and jerks back, but there is no escaping the vice-like grip of Grant’s arms about his waist, or the hand that grips his arse. He stiffens and gasps for breath as the pain seizes him, then falls suddenly away. Strange’s hands find Grant’s head almost of their own accord, his fingers burying themselves in Grant’s hair as the Major draws great draughts of his blood. He is aware of De Lancey and Wellington watching, eyes riveted upon him; of the pleasurable, envious expressions on their faces as they listen to Grant groan as he feeds, but Strange no longer cares. His mind is unmoored from his body, sailing high in another plane of existence, and he closes his eyes and rides the waves of lightness, only halfway conscious of the moans issuing from his own mouth.

Grant releases him suddenly, muttering an oath, and falls backwards upon the rug. He stares up at Jonathan, a look of astonishment on his face. He has devoured magic: he has tasted its sharp tang upon his tongue. He feels it, roiling and churning within him.

Though pale and weak, Strange keeps to his feet. He stands gazing down at Grant, mouth wet with Strange’s blood, and the magician draws his breath in great shuddering gulps. Wellington is suitably impressed by Strange’s resilience and he rises from his settee and approaches the magician, laying a hand upon his shoulder.

“Well done, Merlin. You have proved your worth to us this night. Never let it be said that the ministers sent you to the Peninsula in vain.” And Wellington sets his hand to Strange’s jaw and turns his gaze away from Grant, then takes Strange’s mouth, The kiss is deep, commanding, and Strange tastes De Lancey on Wellington’s tongue, and from the floor where he lays now wrapped in Grant’s arms De Lancey gives a yearning sigh as if he feels it.

Another relic of the old Portuguese nobleman who had once owned the manor is a massive four-poster bed, hung with blue brocade curtains. It holds four men that night, bare limbs tangled, hungers – for the moment – satisfied.

~*~

The Deepest Cut

“My lord,” De Lancey stood before his commander wearing an incredulous frown, “surely you do not mean to have an officer flogged? There must be an alternative.” He knew Wellington was not averse to using corporal punishment to discipline the “scum of the earth” and make examples out of those who broke the rules but this was unprecedented.

The General looked up from his desk, “Are you questioning my decision, De Lancey? I gave my word when the local authorities agreed to hand him over and the court martial has ruled that he should bear the consequences of his actions. He steadfastly refuses to name the men responsible for these crimes and must therefore be subject to the punishment that would otherwise have been inflicted upon them.”

“But, sir!”

“That is enough, Colonel. I will not tolerate this. You are dismissed.”

Title: The Deepest Cut

Author: solitaryjo

Characters: Colquhoun Grant/William De Lancey

Prompt: I’d love to read about one of the Peninsular characters being disciplined via flogging (could be Strange post-trees scene, Grant after losing Wellington’s artillery, anything A!A thinks of..)  The character’s reactions to the punishment would highly interest me, particularly Wellington’s indifference to it and the impact on the person receiving it. H/C afterwards would also be a big bonus.  It doesn’t have to be shippy but feel free to make it so if you’d like!

Summary: Wellington has one of his officers flogged.

Read it on the jsmn kinkmeme

Read it on Archive Of Our Own

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Book cover for The Deepest Cut