A/N: Just a short little ficlet inspired by lovely images of Matthew playing cricket in series 3. I have to give credit to mediawatchingal and willa dedalus for suggesting the idea. :)


Mary's cheeks burned from smiling constantly as she observed her husband's boyish exuberance for the game. Matthew was an excellent sportsman. She briefly worried that he would injure his back, and the thought conjured an image of her darling in a wheelchair. What a shame it would have been had he been forced to watch from the side. She thanked God every day for the miracle that he was…and for the tiny miracle, only recently discovered, that grew inside her.

She applauded and cheered as Matthew scored the winning run, immediately looking in her direction for her approval.

After accepting pats on the back from his team, he strode proudly to her side, his wide, dimpled grin making her heart race as it always had.

"Very well done, dearest," she praised as he approached, lifting a gloved hand to gently caress his cheek.

Matthew reached up and took her hand in both of his, caressing it lightly with his fingers.

"I've come to collect my prize." He wagged his eyebrows suggestively.

"Oh, really? And what would…"

Her flirtatious reply was cut short by his lips as he caught her up in his arms, spinning her in a circle as his lips parted hers. Mary blushed as the rest of the family cheered and apploaded, though she knew they had grown used to Matthew's little displays of affection by now. He didn't seem to be able to help himself, but she was very far from complaining.

She gave his bottom a playful swat as he turned to return to the field before resting her hands on the tiny, almost imperceptible, fullness of her lower belly. It hadn't always been easy. They had argued more times than she could count, but their love had always kept them strong. She could honestly say she had never been happier.


Mary looked up in concern as Matthew practically limped into the bedroom, one hand rubbing his lower back.

"I may have over done it today, dearest," he admitted tiredly.

"I told you to be careful," Mary chastened gently, turning back the covers on his side of the bed.

"I was careful," Matthew retorted, still irritated that his old injury didn't allow him to be as active as he once was. "This damned back of mine….it can be such a bother."

"I know, darling." Mary squeezed his hand and offered him a sympathetic smile as he seated himself in bed.

"I don't know how I'm ever going to get to sleep." Matthew rubbed his hands over his face in weary frustration. He was completely worn out from the day's exertions, but the very thought of trying to get comfortable with the persistent ache in his lower back was intolerable.

"If you'd like, I can rub it for you, like I did that time Diamond threw you."

Matthew had to laugh at her reference to his embarrassing display of spectacularly bad horsemanship. He raised her hand to his lips for an affectionate kiss.

"Would you, love? That would be heavenly."

While Mary rose to fetch a jar of hand cream from the bathroom, Matthew slipped off his pajamas and positioned himself, with a great many moans and groans, face down on the bed.

When Mary returned, she was greeted by the sight of his bare bottom, and she couldn't help but smile. She remembered how she had admired it during the match earlier that day, and her cheeks flushed with heat.

As she had done on previous occasions, Mary placed a knee on either side of Matthew's hips, seating herself on his thighs, as she pressed and rubbed at the tense muscles of his back, wringing a string of pained groans from his lips. After several minutes of this, the pain began to fade into sweet relief, and, soon, Matthew found that there were other areas of his body that craved her soft touch.

Carefully, he turned over onto his back, placing his hands on the silky skin of his wife's bare thighs. Mary placed the jar of cream on the table, and leaned down for a kiss, fully aware of her husband's needy state.

Gripping her hips tightly, Matthew started to roll them over, but Mary stopped him by pushing his shoulders back against the pillows.

"I don't wish for you to injure your back again, darling," she purred as she placed her hands in both of his, leveraging herself over him. "Just relax, and let me ease your aches.

Fin