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After the Ball

Chapter Text

I cast a sentry’s glance over my shoulder as the carriage rolled away, but the fog was, for once, serving a noble purpose: to thwart anyone who’d be foolish enough to attempt to follow us on such a night.

Holmes led us straight through an empty mausoleum of a stately home and out the back, through a garden gate and another door, and then up a flight of stairs.

“Mrs. Watson, tonight, as always, you have shown yourself to be a singular creature.”

The strain of Holmes’s voice and the time required for him to light a simple oil lamp betrayed his state. I empathised with his condition. I, too, suffered from a heady combination of love, lust, and admiration for our companion.

When the bolt hole—the one Holmes called his ‘dressing room’ for its inventory of costumes and greasepaint as well as its proximity to London’s theatre district—was finally bathed in a warm glow, I helped my wife out of her hooded cloak.

“Singular? Precision with language, please, Mister Holmes,” said Mary playfully. “I was one of no fewer than three Cleopatras at the ball.”

“Ah, but you were the only one to foil a master blackmailer,” he replied, taking her cloak and mine and carefully storing them, along with his own, in one of two large wardrobes.

“I was glad to help the Duchess. She is a kind woman, and if we all had to pay for the sins of our youth as she has…” Her voice faltered and shook her head. “That I bear some physical resemblance to her was a stroke of luck. Of course, that resemblance was made greater by your skill, Mister Holmes.”

“And yours, too, my dear,” I said as I untied Mary’s black silk mask, then my own. Then I removed my wig and handed wig and masks to Holmes.

Holmes opened the door of the second wardrobe to reveal a shelf of mannequin heads, all admirably coiffed save one.

“If you’ll forgive me, my dear man, for reusing a phrase, I think the stage lost a fine actor when my wife decided to confine herself to domestic duties.”

I punctuated my statement with a kiss to Mary’s bare shoulder.

She gave a wifely wave towards the back of her neck, and I unfastened a beautiful, but, according to Mary, beastly heavy, necklace of five draping strands. The last of the strands bore a few large stones, one of which had been nestled provocatively in the valley of Mary’s cleavage all evening. I handed the necklace to Holmes; he placed it in a case and murmured something about the costumes being returned to their proper owners when it was safe to do so.

“Domestic duties?” Mary echoed with a warm laugh. “Let’s see, now, what would those be? Is placating angry scullery maids any less delicate a business than foiling master blackmailers?” She turned and gave me a flirtatious tap on the shoulder with her wide, dark-plumed fan, then continued, “I enjoyed spending time with the Duchess, learning her mannerisms and speech and history, and I think she enjoyed it, too. It helped to distract her from her misery.”

Holmes took the fan and stored it and the necklace case beneath a cot, which with the wardrobes, a dressing table with mirror and stool, and a washstand, made up the room’s  furnishings.

“Our villain thought himself clever when he selected a masked costume ball for his nefarious purpose, but he forgot that his victim, too, could benefit from the camouflage. And at the risk of blathering like a schoolboy, you played your role splendidly,” said Holmes. “Everyone who knew the Duchess, bosom friend to vilest enemy, was fooled, and speaking of schoolboys and bosoms…”

He wiggled his eyebrows.

“I must confess that tonight you behaved yourselves admirably in that respect, gentlemen,” said Mary evenly. “I didn’t catch you staring even once, Mister Holmes, and John, well, no more than is to be expected if I was the Duchess herself. This very modern Parisian corset, of which you are curiously in possession of, Mister Holmes,” Holmes looked away in a mock display of demureness, “allowed me reduce, and amplify, myself to the Duchess’s proportions.”

“There’s nothing wrong with the original dimensions—or the enhanced version,” I added quickly and, I thought, diplomatically.

Holmes snorted. Mary sighed, “Oh, John.”

I blushed, but then Mary turned towards me, and I gave her a peck on her impishly grinning lips.

“Oh, how I adore you. Now, if you two will help me out of this fabulous—and torturously cumbersome—Queen of the Nile headdress, then you may do much more than ogle.”

Holmes swiftly and carefully unpinned the headdress and set it on the dressing table. Then he swept Mary up in his arms and buried his face in her, well, bosom.

She tugged at his hood and began petting his dark slicked hair.

I took my place standing behind her, looking over her shoulder.

Holmes’s expression, what little I could see, was rapt.

“Are you going to write me a sonnet, Mister Holmes?” Mary asked as she stroked his head. “Or would you prefer that I call you by your stage name of the night, Mister Petrarch?”

“You may call me anything you’d like, m’lady, but my poem’s but two words,” was the muffled reply. “’We danced.’”

I bent to kiss Mary’s neck and felt her melt against me. Holmes’s lips were, no doubt, expertly caressing her skin; his tongue was searching, like the forked, flickering tickle of a serpent’s, for soft flesh and buried nipple.

We danced.

It had been a rare and wonderful moment, watching Mary and Holmes dance; they glided across the floor, effortlessly and openly, with the grace that was both their natures and with the freedom afforded by costumes and masks and assumed identities.

And in that rare and wonderful moment, I’d had to wear two masks, the one of black silk and the stern visage of the Duchess’s distant cousin, but my heart, oh, my heart, had threatened to burst.

I danced with Mary, too, of course, but the joy was different.

When I looked down, I saw Mary heave one breast out of the dark bodice; Holmes’s dark head quickly obscured her pink bud.

Mary groaned. Then she turned her head and puckered her lips.

I kissed her long and hard, and when the kiss broke, she groaned again.

I removed the golden bangles from her arms and tossed them noisily onto the dressing table. Then I rubbed the angry welts that the rings had left behind on her skin.

“So good to me,” she whispered as she reached for my hand. She kissed my palm then shoved my hand down the other side of her bodice.

“What would you like, my dear?” I asked as I fondled her breast.

Holmes halted his ministrations abruptly and looked up, with expectant countenance.

Mary hummed, then said, “I want you to pleasure me, without finding your own release, and then I want to give you instructions on pleasuring each other.”

Holmes and I exchanged a heated glance, then he said,

"Every fine actor secretly wants to direct, Watson."

Chapter Text

The wooden stool had been set aside, and Holmes and I were now on our knees, forming both seat and legs of a very different kind of furnishing.

Beneath the more yielding underskirt of her costume, we were pleasuring Mary with our mouths, pausing only, now and again, to kiss each other’s lips between her legs.

Mary’s hands rested lightly on our heads. She made minute shifts, leaning forward into Holmes’ nursing of her clit, leaning backwards, encouraging my biting of her buttocks and licking of her thighs and rim.

I held her calves, in case her knees buckled, but knew the precaution was probably unwarranted.

Mary might be overwhelmed by fatigue later but not now.

She began to mewl, and I knew Holmes was bringing her to crisis. He knew it, too, for he placed his hands over mine in a similar gesture of support.

“Lovely,” she sighed. “Now help me out of the rest of this and strip yourselves as well.”

We complied.

When we were all nude, she stood between us.

I played with her breasts while Holmes pinched her bottom. We called her our queen of the Thames and the Nile and a host of other bodies of water, mixing our mythologies and geographies but not our reverence.

She petted our half-hard pricks and licked our nipples.

“Do what you will,” she said in a slightly matronly voice. “But the first one to make a mess of himself without permission will be the loser.”

I felt my own prick stir and glanced adoringly at Holmes’s proud erection. Then I looked Holmes in the eye and knew the competitive glint I saw in his gaze was in my own as well.

Mary’s hand cupped Holmes’s face. Her thumb drew a fat line down the centre of his lips.

“You first,” she said. “The moustache rubs me too raw for a third act.”

I sat on the stool, believe it or not, and watched for a bit.

But only a bit.

Because it became painfully obvious that I had nowhere safe to put my hands. When I rested them on my thighs, they traveled to my throbbing prick. When I crossed them over my chest, I felt ridiculous.

It was sheer torture under such circumstances.

Holmes was on the cot on his back. Mary was kneeling, straddling his head, riding his mouth. His fingers were in her cunt and her arse.

I drank in the utter abandonment on Mary’s face as she squeezed her breasts and threw her head back and let her mouth hang open. She began to moan softly, and I took up a place on the edge of the cot.

It was awkward and uncomfortable, but it gave him an excellent view of Holmes’s prick, jutting out from a wiry thatch of dark hair, and Mary’s bottom, breeched as it was now by one of Holmes’s elegant fingers.

Mary grunted a little and then gave a long sigh.

Then they disentangled themselves and Holmes poured water in the wash basin, offering a wet cloth to Mary and taking one for himself.

“I could use one of those,” I remarked as Holmes rubbed his crotch with what had to be a cold, arousal-reducing rag, “if I’m to keep myself in check.”

One hit me in the face.

But it worked because I was quite in control of myself when Mary guided me onto my back and took the same position with me that she’d taken with Holmes.

Holmes had no trouble with sitting on a stool naked. Of course, he didn’t.

I knew how to please my wife and I set about doing it, but she, God bless her, had the most curious notion.

Whereas with Holmes, she had caressed her own body and gyrated like a disreputable music hall dancer, now, with me, well, I wasn’t certain what she was doing, but I could hear what she said.

She was talking about the sitting room curtains! And getting cheated by the butcher on the chops! And, the fly in our ointment of domestic bliss, the scullery maid!

In the end, I was forced to ignore her voice altogether and fix the whole of my attention on the job at hand, so to speak.

It wasn’t until she’d nearly smothered me, then sighed and lifted herself off that the explanation revealed itself.

Holmes’ skin was pink, almost red. His prick wasn’t just stiff, it was leaking. He’d laced his hand behind his head and looked as if he were in agony.

“Oh, you wicked woman,” I breathed, but Mary just smiled and plopped herself in the corner of the cot. She tapped her lips thoughtfully and said,

“John, please help Mister Holmes; he looks as if he could use a cold dash of water during intermission.”

Chapter Text

The two people I love most in this world share the damnable habit of ordering me to do the impossible, or shall we say, highly improbable without the least bit of guidance and then, or so I have always suspected, silently laughing at my attempts to comply with their wishes.

Such was the case when Mary told me to bugger Holmes without coming to crisis myself.

Standing, I might add.

She wanted this done standing while she lounged on the cot with her back to the wall.

Well, I had to bend him near in half, of course, and I had to think of quite a few unpleasant things to keep my lower half in check while I fingered, then breeched him.

“Perfect,” they sighed in acclamatory unison when my prick was finally fully-sheathed.

Demanding, the pair of them, but they do throw a dog a bone sometimes.

“You give a fine performance, Mister Holmes.”

“But, here, there are no costumes, Mrs. Watson,” said Holmes, for they never called each other by their Christian names, at least never in my earshot. “No pretense, no script, except, of course, your lustful whim. Here we are more soldiers before their superior officer than thespians before their directing bard. We are raw and ready and clinging with every fibre, awaiting to your command.”

“How regal!” she cried, and I heard the teasing half-smile in her voice.

I turned my head and slowed my thrusting even more.

Mary’s legs were wide, her knees spread. She was playing with herself with two hands.

“I shan’t be able to hold back much longer, my dear,” I said, feeling the reins of my desire beginning to snap.

“You shan’t have to, my dear,” she replied quickly. “I would very much like Mister Holmes, if he’s amenable, to put his cock right here,” she opened her folds, “and I would like you, John, to take him as he takes me. Sort of a queue at the cheating butcher’s, if you will.”

The words had no sooner left her lips than Holmes was shoving me back, then lunging forward, effectively freeing himself from my intrusion without any assistance from me. He then leapt for Mary.

She welcomed him with open arms and cunt.

I followed behind at a close trot.

Naturally, it was a short-lived joy. But, oh, how I reveled in the scene, the chance to watch, at very close quarters, my loves find the pleasures they sought and at long last being permitted to find my own release and fill Holmes’s plump arse with pent-up seed.

When we’d cleaned Mary and ourselves once more, Mary asked the time, and when Holmes found his watch and answered her, she announced that she would nap for an hour or so while we amused ourselves.

We wrapped her in a host of blankets and threw a pair of old carpets and the jar of slick on the floor.

Of course, the first order of business was to tongue Holmes until he had to bite his lip, or so I saw later, to keep from shouting. Then he turned over and I sucked his long, lean, elegant prick dry.

At the very end, I saw he was also forced to cram a section of cloth—costume, rag, I wasn’t certain what—into his mouth. The ultimate imperative was, naturally, to not wake Mary, whose even breath could be supposed through the smooth rise and fall of the mound of blankets. I would have bit off Holmes’s appendage myself and, I think, he would’ve supported my decision if either of us had made anything louder than a stifled whimper.

I swallowed Holmes’s bitterness then lunged up and kissed him squarely on the mouth.

We hadn’t time for politeness or even hygiene. The nightingale would soon be exchanging posts with the lark and I’d be returning with my wife to our domestic haven and Holmes would be heading to Baker Street and, I supposed, the aftermath of our efforts at the ball as well as closing the case.

And so, after the kiss, Holmes laid me down on the somewhat filthy carpet and made swift but passionate love to me.

With those long, elegant fingers which made me wax poetic in public print, he caressed and teased and, quite simply and redundantly, for I’m told the latter’s a forte of mine, loved me.

He kissed my lips and face and neck and damaged shoulder. He touched me everywhere. He licked my stomach and hips and even the backs of my knees before he took my prick in his mouth and gave me exactly what I’d been craving from the start.

I felt a hand brush my hair. Mary was looking down at us and smiling. I fucked Holmes’s mouth rather roughly, for pleasure and for show, and spent myself down his throat.

Holmes pulled off and said hoarsely, “Thank you again for your assistance this evening, Mrs. Watson.”

“It was my pleasure, Mister Holmes. I shall be looking forward to no mention of it at all in papers.”

He smiled.

“And now,” she said, “I shall be escorting my husband home.”

Holmes nodded. He gave us both a hand.

And Mary and I leaned in and kissed him on the cheek.

At the ball, we play parts. A thrice-appointed snare.

A Petrarch bides in eaves. He weaves the whole cloth scheme.

A Cleopatra reigns. Inside and out, a queen.

A Nelson stands in brass. Napoleons beware!


A Cleopatra lures. Her charms dance everywhere.

A Petrarch spots the wolf. The sheep graze as in dream.

A Nelson circles ‘round. The waters start to teem.

The three-point trap is sprung! The villain grieves despair!


After the ball, we play. An unmasked revelry.

To quiet nook we hie. Divest our worldly pall.

Within, we can embrace. Without, the night’s sleeps tall.

A celebration wild. One act with cast of three.

A festive jubilee. Love’s own victory.

Together we are three. We are we—after the ball.

Chapter Text

“Are you still cross, John?”

“I think I’ve every reason to be!”

“I have apologised. Will you allow that, after the night we had, we were both positively inebriated with fatigue?”

“I suppose.”

“Yet you still hold a statement spoken in that condition against me?”

“You made a very unfair comparison, my dear, between my and Holmes’s attentions to your intimate anatomy.”


“He’s like riding a well-groomed stallion without a saddle!”

“Oh, John. It was a poorly-chosen metaphor.”

“I’ll say! No one rides alpacas, my dear!”

“Only a very privileged few, John. Ask Mister Holmes if you doubt me.”