A/N: I'm sorry it isn't an AETAT update... which will be coming soon, rest assured! As I was tackling chapter 13 (I'm finding it a tricky one to write), in need of a break I sought drabble prompts, and miscreantrose gave me the notion of either Matthew or Mary sharing a steamy fantasy. Now, I was a bit stumped, but this is what happened and it got slightly carried away from me - hence the posting here, for posterity and length.

It's very, very smutty. :S Massive thanks to both miscreantrose and pemonynen who are absolute stars at keeping me going!

Um... enjoy!

Waiting For A Wish

She'd thought he'd been giving her strange looks at dinner.

Well, not strange... No, she knew those looks rather well by now, the way he would stare at her quite unashamedly across the table, the way his eyes would darken just a fraction when she happened to look up at him, the way the corner of his lip would curl up in a little, knowing smile. The looks that made her skin feel hot beneath her dress, that made her ache to discover just what he was thinking of when his lip quirked at her like that...

Usually, when he gave her such looks over dinner, he'd make the quickest excuse possible to retire for the evening. In fact, at times she had even feared that he'd take her up on that joke of carrying her to bed naked in his eagerness. It was transparent, perhaps, but in the rush of desire she found that she never cared, her only thought to be with him, as soon as they could be.

But tonight, the strange thing was that after those looks at the dinner table... he seemed in no hurry at all. Smiling with her father, sharing a joke with Tom, asking Edith (and listening very patiently to her lengthy reply) about the article that she was working on, even chattering with Granny about Mr Molesley's father and his rose bushes... good heavens. He was doing it on purpose, she was convinced of it.

In fact when she said that she had a headache, and would everyone mind if she went to bed, Matthew's only contribution was, "I'm sorry, darling - I'll let you rest for a while, then, before I come up."

She stormed upstairs, feeling a headache actually coming on with her frustration.

By the time he joined her in the bedroom, having taken an absolute age with Molesley to get changed into his pyjamas (and Mary didn't really see what there was to take so long) it was almost midnight. She folded her arms crossly as he slid into bed beside her, and tried to kiss her on the cheek.

"I'm sorry," he murmured. "How's your head?"

"Worse than it was when I said I had a headache," she snapped fiercely. "Which you knew perfectly well was a lie-"

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry..." his whispers were punctuated by soft kisses across her forehead, as she tried to bat him ineffectually away. He wouldn't let her. "I'm sure I can find a way to make it better..."

"Then why didn't you - oh, it doesn't matter," she huffed out a breath, smacking his hand away again. "You've missed your chance, Matthew Crawley."

His hand stilled upon her waist, and he drew back to sit against the pillows and fold his own arms, now.

"Well alright, but that's a shame. If you must know... I've been so long because I wanted... I wondered, if we could do something particularly... but had to wait until everyone had gone to bed. And if I'd come up with you, my darling... Well, I wouldn't have been able to wait."

A short silence hung between them, until Mary shifted, twisting around to see him, her curiosity piqued.

"What do you mean... something particularly you wanted to do? Why does everyone need to have gone to bed?"

"It doesn't matter now, you've a headache after all."

"Matthew..." Her fingers played over his chest, teasing the fastening of his pyjamas, but he just raised an eyebrow. She shuffled nearer, and kissed his cheek, smiled as she heard him sigh. "Tell me what you meant."

He paused. Then, "I'd far rather show you..."

"Alright," she whispered.

To her surprise, Matthew clambered back out of their bed. She stared at him, puzzled, but he held out his hand.

"Please... come with me?"

More confused than ever, she consented, more from curiosity than desire. He'd led her to think that he wanted to enjoy her, that he'd been holding back but... what on earth for?

In their dressing gowns, they crept downstairs, quiet in case any servants lingered. With her hand in his, Matthew led them to the dining room, slipping inside and closing the door with a satisfying click behind them.

"Why are we here?" Mary stood awkwardly by the table, picking at a thread on her sleeve. She honestly didn't know what she'd been expecting in the first place.

Her husband turned towards her, a dark, almost animalistic hunger in his eyes.

"Because I want you," he gripped her arms and kissed her, hard enough that her lips stung deliciously, propelling them back until she collided with the table. "Here..." he growled, his lips scorching across her jaw to her ear where gentle nibbling punctuated each word. "I have wanted to make love to you here, since I kissed you here, and six years... is a very long time to want something, my darling."

She clutched him, weak with arousal.


"Please, Mary..." His fingers were already loosening the belt of her dressing gown, his hands sliding beneath it to her nightdress beneath, bunching it up in eager fists.

"Yes... Yes, if you like," she breathed in hitched gasps, barely capable of anything more. In only moments she found herself stripped, her lips taken once more by his in a blistering kiss as he lifted her to sit on the edge of the table. Instinctively her ankles locked around his waist, pulling him as closely against her as she could, her hands tight in his hair as their mouths crushed together. Matthew moaned, the sound lost against her mouth, and as his lips parted her tongue teased between them to find his. She hummed in pleasure, but when he sucked hard and bit down gently, her hum built into a deep groan of need. Her hands scrabbled desperately to shed his dressing gown, tossing it aside, then baring his torso to pale light of the sliver of moonlight that pierced between heavy curtains. There was no conscious thought beyond relishing the sensation of his tongue in her mouth, wanting more, wanting him, wanting this.

She yelped in frustration when he pulled away, his palms smooth against her bare thighs as he sank to his knees between them. Her knuckles were white as she gripped the edge of the table, staring in aroused fascination as his fingers so tenderly stroked beneath her dark curls, then his head shift as his mouth replaced his fingers, desperate to taste what he found there, what he knew now, so well.

Matthew was in heaven, drinking her in, her scent, her taste, every precise texture of her, as his tongue lapped in long, slow strokes at the wonderfully wet heat of her centre. He could feel her trembling, feel her fingers clench in his hair and her nails against his scalp, and they were here... He pressed his lips against her, parting them to suck gently and she bucked, teasing his tongue again and again over her most sensitive spot, panting in delight, his breath hot against her body. Somehow he knew - heard it, felt it, something - when she collapsed back upon the table, and he was forced to cling to her hip with one hand to steady her, fingers digging into her warm flesh as the fingers of his other hand eased slowly, then quicker, and quicker, into the tightness of her body.

Her breaths were quick and harsh, laboured with arousal, as she lay back and her hips rocked instinctively against his mouth... and all she could think of was that this was the table she had sat at, eaten at, for all the years of her life, the table that her family dined at every evening, and now she was lying naked upon it, holding her husband's head between her thighs as he did unspeakable things. She couldn't even tell what he was doing any more, the combined sensation of his mouth, tongue, fingers, all stroking and sparking fire within her, it was too much to comprehend at once and her body responded instinctively. Her hand clamped over her mouth as she screamed, her back arching wildly in its peak, as Matthew continued to kiss, soothe, caress her swollen, sensitive flesh.

"Oh God," she exhaled slowly, blinking up at the high ceiling as his movements slowed, and stopped, "oh God..."

Slowly, he stood, his lips following the languid path of his hands up her body, pausing when he reached her breasts, taking each in turn in his mouth as he sucked, stroked, pinched them with tantalising pressure that drove Mary wild beneath him. He straightened and looked down at her, reverently touching her pale skin that was flushed with pleasure, her form laid out bare for his own. It was difficult to breathe.

"Damn, you're stunning," he murmured, catching her smile in the moonlight, leaning down once more as he pressed hot, worshipful kisses to her skin. "Exquisite... my darling, perfect..."

She stroked his hair, and carefully sat up, thrilled to be level once more with his lips as she kissed him deeply.

"Is this what you'd thought about?" she whispered into his mouth, their breath caught and mingling between them. "Is it alright?"

He grinned, nipping her lower lip between his teeth and soothing it with his tongue.

"Better than my wildest dream... and I will think about it, when I sit here at breakfast tomorrow..."

She moaned softly, faint with the thought of him sitting here eating breakfast so casually and innocently after they'd been here like this.

"Where do you sit? Usually I mean..."

"What, for... breakfast?"

"Mmm," her answer hummed around his lips, her tongue sliding luxuriantly against his.

He pointed, mumbled, "There..."

She nodded, satisfied, and as their kiss went on and deepened, her nimble fingers made quick work of unfastening his pyjama trousers, loosening them around his hips and pushing them down until they slipped to his ankles with a soft rustle. He gasped, and she purred against his neck, feeling his pulse race under her lips as she stole glances at his hard arousal, her fingers stroking him in delight. Just for a moment, she heard his soft whimper of pleasure and felt him tremble, and then... with her palm to his chest gave a firm push so that he stumbled backwards, landing with a quiet thud in the chair he'd indicated.

He barely had time to exclaim in shock before she'd slid off the table, the polished wood gliding against her skin and she was on her knees, palms grazing up his thighs as her head lowered to take him in her mouth.

"God! Mary..." he cried out, his hand instinctively curling at the back of her neck, beneath her loosening hair. He always tried to be careful never to hold her too tightly there, to cause any her discomfort as his hips jerked helplessly up... but dimly he got the impression that his wife adored when he started to lose control, her efforts seeming to redouble as his head fell back in heady bliss, his cries becoming less and less restrained.

Her tongue played deftly around his tip, teasing him to breaking point, smirking around him as she felt his fingers tighten in her hair and his body quake at her hands. At every moment she felt the thrill course through her of Matthew's loudening grunts of pleasure, fearing they may be overheard and after all, the door wasn't locked, but they were too far lost in the rush of each other to care. Matthew shuddered again and she hummed in delight, relishing each taste of him between her lips that sucked decadently at him.

As she went on, and on, his panting breaths grew more and more erratic, choked between sobs of pleasure. "Mary, please," he groaned weakly, "I need to... please, stop, or I'll... fuck, Mary!"

She released him just in time, perching back as he let out a loud, frustrated moan. She smiled devilishly up at him, kissing his thighs softly, as he stared at her through heavy-lidded eyes, his body trembling.

"Yes, darling?" she murmured, and he nearly came apart then at the sight of her flushed cheeks and swollen, shining lips.

"I want to...' he gasped, "enjoy this... properly..."

She arched an eyebrow. "You weren't enjoying-"

"Oh for God's sake you know that's not what I... I want... you, darling, properly..." His fingertips ghosted across her cheek with such love, such perfect adoration that her heart clenched, even now. And God, she wanted him, too. She didn't want this to be over yet.

She stood up, taking his face in her hands with a deep, indulgent kiss on her way, and turned to take the small step back toward the long mahogany table. She felt his eyes rake hungrily down her naked back, and shivered at the sound of his low, appreciative murmur of, "God, do you know how beautiful you are..."

Slowly, his fingertips trailed from the nape of her neck, down, feather-light, to the base of her spine. He kissed between her shoulderblades, saw her fingers grip the edge of the table, and gently pulled her hips back against his.

"Matthew..." the soft whimper hummed from her lips at the feel of him pressed against her bottom. Her skin felt electric, burning with anticipation, but as she went to turn and face him he held her firm.

"No, like this... please," he pleaded softly, his lips only a breath from her ear, and she shivered again. It wasn't so very often that Matthew vocalised his desires so openly, when it came to their lovemaking, and she found that she adored it when he did, so eager to please him. It seemed to make their every move more potent, heightened somehow, and so when he pushed gently at her shoulders to ease down over the table, she did so willingly, her hands stretching out and palms clouding the dark wood to steady herself.

She trembled in anticipation, and cried out with Matthew as his body joined with hers. Slowly he drew back, savouring it, gripping her hips tightly before slamming into her again, and again, growling his pleasure through gritted teeth. He loved the sound of her shuddering gasps with every thrust, loved the sight of her long, elegant spine arching before him, loved the feel of her instinctively thrusting back against him... God, it was heavenly...

Ever since he'd first kissed her, so long ago, sitting just over there, he'd dreamed of being with her like this. They'd been so young then, so stupidly innocent of everything that was to come, and he could recall so distinctly the raw delight of that kiss. How overwhelmed he'd been, how powerful and powerless he'd felt all at once, to be kissing Lady Mary and feeling as though he'd broken through the walls of ice that seemed to shroud her (where he'd been concerned, at least). He could have laughed, looking back, thinking of how barely he'd scratched the surface of the wonderful, complex woman that was Lady Mary... his darling wife. Sometimes he still felt like he'd only just scratched the surface, though he knew her now more intimately than he'd ever hoped was possible.

Here they were now, six years later and mere feet away from that first, heady kiss, and he only had to glance down to see her fingers splayed and head thrown back in passion as he plunged into her and she cried out his name, over and over... He bucked against her, touching as much of her porcelain skin as he could reach, feeling as though his chest might explode from the passion for her that couldn't be contained. He moaned helplessly, and pulled away, gasping as cold air swathed his glistening flesh and his limbs weak and trembling.

Mary cried out as he withdrew, and looked back over her shoulder, feeling faint and exhausted in the most blissful way but... why had he stopped?

"What is it?" she gasped, resisting the urge to turn and slap him for halting just as she'd been reaching the height of ecstasy. In answer his hands simply stroked up her slender back, and urged her to rise. She did so, and he turned her to face him, lifting her easily back up onto the tabletop. He kissed her, smiling suggestively in response to her questioning gaze.

"I want to look at you," he breathed, and eased her to lie down.

But standing over her wasn't enough, and he crawled up to join her, enough to see into her darkly glittering eyes, to see her looking back up at him with trust, love, and... most evidently of all, in this moment, unbridled need.

"Yes," she purred as he sank luxuriantly into her once more, "Oh God, darling, yes..."

Lying atop the dining table, entwined together with her legs tight around his hips and their mouths crushed together in a needful kiss, they forgot everything but the pure wonder of their bodies joined together, aware only of sensation, desire, fulfilment. The thought of Carson's horror if he were to know was quickly batted away, the knowledge that they'd think of this and blush at dinner tomorrow a far pleasanter thought to dwell on, but still forgotten in moments as they rocked together, harder, quicker, desperate to give and to reach that edge of agonising pleasure.

Matthew's hand curled under her thigh and held her there, pounding deeper within her as she clung to him, dimly aware of cry after cry tearing from her throat as she seemed to teeter blissfully on the brink and at last came apart in his arms. Every muscle tightened, convulsed, the rolling waves of sensation drawn out by his frantic thrusts, seeking his own release which finally came with a long, shuddering moan against her shoulder, his limbs jerking erratically with aftershocks of his peak.

She held him tightly, soothed him as they trembled together and their breathing slowly calmed, becoming more aware of the cold, hard wood beneath their sweat-slicked bodies.

He wanted to thank her, wanted to tell her he loved her, wanted her to know that every moment of heartache and six long years of waiting and wishing had been utterly, undoubtedly worth it for the feeling of lying in her arms like this, here, sated, completed, loved. His lips, his throat, wouldn't cooperate, too fogged with pleasure to form his thoughts into words. But as she stroked his hair tenderly back from his damp forehead, kissed his hot skin, and he felt her warm breath mingling with his as they kissed... Somehow, he knew that she understood.

Still, he would tell her when he was able... And when they dined here tomorrow, their family seated around them in ignorance, they would be the only ones to know, the secret acknowledged and shared in little looks and glances across the table... the place where he'd first kissed her, asked her to marry him, and now at last had joined with her as his wife, full circle.

She smiled as she felt his arms tighten around her, and wondered what he was thinking as their lips brushed tenderly together. When she thought of how cross, frustrated, put out she'd felt earlier... Matthew had been right, she thought with a sly smile.

This had been worth waiting for.


A/N: So there we are, a little (a lot of) smut for distraction on a steamy summer evening... Thanks ever so much for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!