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Melancholia and its Cure

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Will Henry’s life at Harrington Lane was not what one would call “typical” or “boring”. Much to the contrary, Will Henry’s life at Harrington Lane was fraught with a variety of marvellous creatures and intense situations. That was, of course, when Dr. Warthrop was committed to his work, whipped into a frenzy by a new theory or delivered specimen. When the Doctor was experiencing a bout of acute melancholy, Will Henry’s life was still not boring. Quite the opposite, actually.

Since he was a child, come to live under the Doctor’s hospitality, Will Henry fought through the Doctor’s episodes, either frantic or drained. Both were equally exhausting. However, as Will Henry grew, and his relationship with Dr. Warthrop--now Pellinore--had evolved, the assistant had found a sure fire way to at least temporarily lift the Doctor from his depressed state.

No longer a boy, but a young man nearing adulthood, Will Henry had first experienced his attraction to the Monstrumologist. He found himself gazing, heavy-lidded, at the strong curve of his jawline, or the broadness of his shoulders from behind. He always flushed when the Doctor demanded, “What are you staring at, Will Henry, snap to!”.

And older now, snap to was exactly what he planned on doing, having spent several days witnessing Dr. Warthrop’s woeful attitude. Will headed into town early that morning, his weary old mare picking a leisurely pace down the lane. The sun peaked over the buildings in the hollow of the town, the land rising around the growing municipality.

Will Henry kept his fingers loose around the reins, thumbing absentmindedly at the old leather and gazing into the distance at the sunrise. The sky was stained in soft yellows and pinks, the pastels extending up towards the wintry blue of the night, chasing it off for the day to arrive. The assistant had a plan. It worked, most of the time, sure as the end of the Doctor’s manic spells.

Arriving at the baker’s little shop, Will Henry dismounted his mare, hitched her to the available railing, and walked inside. The chime of the doorbell announced his presence to Mr. Flanagan, and Will Henry paused, inhaling the warm, sweet air. The scent of raspberries and fresh loaves of bread filled him, and he closed his eyes, relishing in the homey environment.

“Good morning, Will Henry!” Mr. Flanagan greeted as he emerged from the back of the shop, a tray of rolls in his mitted hands.

“Good morning, Mr. Flanagan.” Will Henry returned amiably, his lips quirking upwards at the baker’s cheerful morning attitude. “Do you happen to have any scones finished yet?”

“I do indeed. We make ‘em after the bread, since you come so early.” The baker returned, a grin plastered across his ruddy face.

It was true, that Will Henry had ended up coming early in the morning once or twice a week, especially while the Doctor was upset, as it was part of his routine to help him feel like his normal self again. “I’ll have six, sir.” Will Henry said, fishing in the pouch of money that the Doctor had bestowed upon him for trips into town to purchase necessities.

The baker used parchment paper to pick up the raspberry scones and slip them into a paper sack, folding down the top and handing it to Will Henry. Will Henry paid, thanked him sincerely, and left for the manor on Harrington Lane. The scones in their bag were warm against his thigh through the saddle bags, and he breathed the delicious scent of them the whole way home.

After he had untacked the mare and stabled her away, Will Henry trotted up to the house, and fighting with the slightly warped wood of the back door, entered. The door creaked as he closed it, and the lock clicked behind him, the bag of scones in one hand. Having set everything up before he left, Will Henry put on a pot of the Doctor’s favorite tea and proceeded to fix himself a small breakfast of toast and scrambled eggs with milk.

He ate quickly, then prepared a breakfast tray for the Doctor. He added sugar and cream to his tea, then poured him a cup and placed two scones on the tray as well. The assistant was careful in heading upstairs, and balanced the tray in the crook of his arm in order to turn the doorknob leading to Dr. Warthrop’s bedroom.

The room was dark, the heavy velvet curtains drawn and the sunlight unable to penetrate the thick fabric. Will Henry gently set the tray down on the Doctor’s nightstand, casting a fond glance at the mane of hair on the pillow. The younger of the two swept the curtains aside and tied them back, letting the early morning sun stream through the windows.

A resulting groan sounded from the bed, and the bedsheets shifted against each other as the Doctor rolled, his back to the light. Will Henry gently pulled the rich comforter back just enough to slip into the bed beside the Doctor, winding his arms around Pellinore’s increasingly thin waist.

The Doctor sighed softly, settling back into the curve of Will Henry’s embrace, and turned sleepily to face the other. “Good morning.” Will Henry murmured into the nape of Pellinore’s neck, pleased that the other was roused enough to react but not so much as to be angered.

Pellinore stretched his free arm out, yawning softly, then draped that arm over Will Henry’s shoulders. “Are those scones?” He asked quietly, voice rough with exhaustion.

Momentarily, Will Henry felt a twinge of guilt for waking the Doctor, but he knew it was one of the only treatments that pleased him during such a spell of upset. “Yes, raspberry. They’re still hot. Tea, too.” He answered, carding his fingers through Pellinore’s untamed hair.

“Hmm.” Pellinore replied non-committally, pulling a little away from Will Henry’s embrace to sit up and reach across him to snatch up a scone.

Will Henry grinned, relaxing into the soft bedding, inhaling Pellinore’s scent from the pillow. Part one of his plan had worked. The Doctor usually let himself be swayed by scones and tea and Will Henry’s comfortable embrace.

When the first scone and about half of the tea was gone, Will Henry gathered the Doctor back into his arms and covered his chapped lips with his own. Pellinore’s lips parted, and he kissed back, lazy and content to drape his arms over Will Henry’s now broad shoulders. Will Henry held Pellinore close, lifting his slight frame from the mattress so he could wrap his arms tighter around him.

Pellinore’s night clothes hitched up as the Doctor curled his legs around Will Henry’s calves, shifting up and trying to get as close to his assistant as possible. Will Henry broke the kiss with a lasting swipe of his tongue, leaving Pellinore to arch his back and release a small whine.

“Feeling any better, sir?” Will Henry inquired cheekily, a self-satisfied smirk playing over his lips.

Pellinore’s brow furrowed, his eyes darkening with irritation. He pursed his lips, tightening his grip on the back of Will Henry’s shirt, tugging a little in order to draw him back down, closer. “Will Henry, are you being cheeky?” He asked, voice carrying the dangerous edge that Will Henry was so fond of.

“No, sir. I’m not.” Will Henry answered, his grin brightening as he leaned down to nip at the column of Pellinore’s throat.

The Monstrumologist grunted, gripping hard at Will Henry’s shirt and pulling. “Enough of this. We have work to do, yes? Documents to transcribe?”

Will Henry sank his teeth into the curve where Pellinore’s neck met his shoulder, and the Doctor let out a surprised yip. “Will Henry!” He snapped, giving a little squirm beneath the assistant. “There are much more beneficial things to be doing with our time!”

“Mmhm.” Will Henry hummed, delighted with the reactions the other was giving him. “Of course there are, sir.” He agreed playfully, running his hands from Pellinore’s hips down to his thighs, lifting his legs to pull their bodies together.

A gentle keen fell past Pellinore’s lips, and he rolled his hips halfheartedly up into Will Henry’s. “There you go, sir.” Will Henry praised, applying more pressure with his own hips.

“After this, there is…” Pellinore trailed off, fingers for once not grimy with the viscera of some specimen, scrabbling at Will Henry’s back for leverage. “There is work to be done, Will Henry.”

“Yes, sir.” Will Henry answered, mouth travelling back up to claim the Doctor’s.

Pellinore worked under him, muscles tense, and found his release quickly in the weight of Will Henry’s hips. The Doctor panted, face flushed, and pillowed his cheek against Will Henry’s shoulder.

Will Henry continued to roll his hips, slow and easy, until he came as well. Pellinore made a pleased sound deep in his throat, near clinging to his assistant. He seemed to be in a much better mood, limp under Will Henry, and the assistant smiled gently, peeling himself away from the other.

“Feeling better, Pell?” He asked sweetly, kissing Pellinore’s throat.

The Doctor convulsed slightly, over-sensitive, and swatted at Will Henry’s shoulders. Will Henry took this action as a yes, and lifted the remaining to scone to take a bite.