A/N: HAPPIEST OF HAPPY MONDAYS!
I clearly had to write a fic based on THAT PREVIEW for 3x02. So here it is. And it's Pemonynen's birthday today (WOO! *throws poppers*) so this is dedicated to her. :)
Thanks to EOlivet as ever for her reassurance and polish!
I have only one more thing to say. And that is that OMG FLIRTATIOUS SHIRTLESS MATTHEW KISSING AND SNUGGLING IN BED IS NOW CANON. I CANNOT COPE WITH THIS. HEEEELLPP. This may be my last Monday posting in case I EXPIRE after next week's episode.
In Your Bed
"I think," Mary mumbled lazily against her husband's lips, "that it's quite about time you're supposed to make yourself scarce so that I can get up…"
"You don't mean that." He smiled into her kiss, fingertips tracing idle circles on her back where silk rippled against her skin as he leaned up toward her.
"Oh, I do... You are supposed to."
"Perhaps. But you don't want me to…"
Matthew had absolutely no intention of leaving his wife's slender, loving arms and the warmth of her bed. Gentle morning sunlight streamed in through the window, and he knew that by any measure of decency she was right… He probably should leave her to dress and breakfast and whatever other little morning routines she now had as a married woman. As… his wife. The thought, the simple notion that she was, and that they were here, made him grin and he pulled her down against him in a fresh renewal of their love. Her murmured agreement was lost in the enthusiasm of their embrace, as hands discovered anew the softness of bare skin and silk and the tickle of hair, all of it still an utter revelation.
"Darling…" Mary gasped, but her smile belied her reprimand. They couldn't stop smiling – it seemed as though they hadn't stopped, not once, not since the wedding and while they danced in the flower-bedecked hall and all through their blissful honeymoon during which there was not one word of legacies or fortunes. And now they were back in Downton, in her home and her room and her bed, and reality had not yet encroached… and nor would it. Not just now.
"What?" His fingers curled around her hand that was stroking his cheek, and he turned his head to kiss her palm. He loved the feel of her weight on him, he loved the feel of her hands on his body, the sensation of her breath on his skin, he loved… her…
"Are you, now…"
"Matthew!" She laughed and smacked him playfully, not protesting as he tugged her down to nestle against his chest. "I mean it. It's terribly late in the morning and I'm starving."
"But I don't want to go," he said petulantly, wrapping his arms around her and kissing the top of her head.
Mary smiled happily. "No, and I don't want you to, either. But I do want some breakfast. Very much."
He sighed. "Then what do you propose, my darling?"
For a little moment she paused as if in thought, though really the solution was simple.
"Well I'm going to ring for Anna to bring up a tray."
"But darling –"
"Oh, you must get past that, dear," she sighed, wondering at the rough tickle of his chest hair beneath her palm. "You can hide in the wardrobe if you feel you must but Anna will hardly be shocked. We are married, after all –"
"I know that, but –"
Before he had the chance to reply – and she knew he wouldn't leave, anyway – she leaned over him to pull the bell, stifling a shriek as he took advantage of the movement to steal a fleeting caress.
"How long will it take?" he breathed against her neck as she eased back down to him.
They kissed, though only lightly, tenderly, and lay back against the soft, cool pillows feeling pleasantly tired. But Matthew couldn't quite relax.
After a little while of listening to only gentle breaths and birdsong, he shifted a little and said, "Darling I really think I should –"
"You should what?" Mary twisted and arched an eyebrow. "Give me one reasonable suggestion that doesn't involve cowering in the next room like a fugitive, because that is not reasonable."
"I don't know, but I just think – it doesn't seem right that –"
"Well we managed yesterday, and the day before that, and Anna hasn't had a heart attack yet, has she dear."
Matthew blushed. "But… yesterday I had – something on, at least!"
Mary's eyebrow lifted higher as she leaned up on her elbow and saw Matthew's pyjamas scattered over the floor, warming at the memory and grateful now that his passion last night had been too eager to care for slipping her nightdress from her slender body, unable to wait even that moment it would have taken to rid her of it…
"So you did," she murmured, fingers stroking idly across his chest. "I can't possibly think what you might do –"
"Oh. Well – yes, I suppose… Quite."
Licking his lips, he eased out of bed, inhaling sharply at the feel of cool air against his skin. He could feel Mary's eyes on him, and though he had no shame in his nakedness after their indulgence on honeymoon (not even of his scar, not after she'd overwhelmed him with such loving attention to it), to be naked and in her bedroom, in Downton, at home, still seemed quite… new.
It was fortunate that he was already prickling with awareness, for when a soft knock tapped out on the door just as he was getting one leg into his pyjama trousers, he snapped up instantly and dived back towards the bed. The trousers tangled around his legs and he kicked them away, cursing as he scrambled under the covers while Mary tried desperately to stifle her laughter.
"Good morning Milady, and – Mr Crawley," Anna came slowly around the door, bearing a large tray of toast and eggs and tea where her eyes were politely averted.
"Good morning, Anna!" Mary greeted her brightly, sitting up against the headboard while Matthew sank down and muttered the same beside her, blushing furiously.
If Anna noticed his blush, or his bare chest and shoulders, or his nightclothes strewn on the floor by the bed, she did not react in the slightest. She simply put the tray down on the cabinet beside Mary, smiled pleasantly without quite meeting their eyes and ducked quickly out again.
As the door shut Mary let out a little laugh, and eased down to lie back against Matthew's shoulder, who seemed to have burrowed down into the blankets.
"Oh, my dear… You see, Anna didn't bat an eyelid! I think your modesty is – well, mostly – intact," she smiled.
"I suppose so..." Matthew grinned shyly, and hugged her warm body closely to him. A little embarrassed he might be, but he was also… so, so happy.
His smile widened when his wife sighed happily, stretching as she rubbed a tired hand across her forehead. "But, I'm sorry, it still seems odd to be found in your bed…"
As his voice seemed to lick over the words, your bed, he was in her bed, he was Matthew and he was her husband and being found in her bed… Mary felt fresh warmth spear in her belly and she rolled over, leaning over him with a glittering, knowing smile.
"Honestly, you make it sound so sordid," she breathed.
"Oh, dear. Well… isn't it?"
His eyebrow flicked up in a teasing invitation and she laughed, and lowered her head to kiss him. Her hand came instinctively up to caress his cheek, and he lifted his own hand to stroke his fingers lightly over her wrist.
He was laughing too, and as he eased his head up to return her kiss their lips met in parted smiles that could never quite fade in the delight of taste and softness and arousal. Her hand slipped to the back of his head, into his hair, and his fingers slid and curled gently around her arm as they shifted together, their breakfast quite forgotten.
A/N: Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed it, and I'd love to know what you thought! (On that note I'd just like to apologise sincerely for not having not found time to reviews for so long - please be assured that every single one means the world to me, and I appreciate so much that you let me know! You're all darlings!)
Thank you! :)