Medsoc Musical

medsoc series

One of these days someone was going to drag Arthur bloody Wellesley kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century. Today was clearly not that day. Why he couldn’t just send a group email like any other director was a mystery to Grant.

“Did you get it?” William asked breathlessly. Still in his rugby kit; he must have run all the way.

“No,” Grant said, glaring at the JCR notice-board. “And look who did.”

Title: Medsoc Musical (series)

Author: fengirl88

Characters: William De Lancey, Colquhoun Grant, Jonathan Strange, and Arthur Wellesley

Summary: AU in which Team Peninsular are medical students at the University of Cambridge. The Medsoc’s Christmas musical is the Rocky Horror Picture Show; Grant is not happy with the casting.

Notes: Several of these stories were written for challenges at fan_flashworks, but all are available at Archive Of Our Own (see below).


Part 1: Give You Some Terrible Thrills: One of these days someone was going to drag Arthur bloody Wellesley kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century. Today was clearly not that day.

Part 2: A Much Better Game: Only Arthur Wellesley would insist on having the end-of-show party in a sodding mansion in the middle of bloody nowhere.

Part 3: Why Don’t You Stay for the Night: A coach journey, an accident, and a happy ending.

Part 4: Eggs in the Morning: “So, how do you like your eggs in the morning?”

Part 5: Photographic Reconstruction: It was Jonathan’s idea, of course, recreating that photograph from the set of The Rocky Horror Picture Show for the Medsoc display at the Freshers’ Fair.

Part 6: Arrivals: Even after all these years, the sight of Grant in a crowd still catches Jonathan under the heart.

Part 7: Snapshot: It’s Jonathan’s favourite picture of Grant, of all the ones he’s taken.

Part 8: Apple: Jonathan catches up with Grant on his break.

Part 9: Knullruffs: The only thing louder than the fire alarm is Walter Pole’s pyjamas.

Part 10: Available Without Prescription: “Can’t sleep,” Jonathan grumbles. “Read to me?”

Part 11: The End of Summer: Grant keeps just one picture in his wallet, an image from the end of their first summer together.

A Cornish Meeting


In the small cottage, Grant stretches and checks the clock once more. Nearly time to go down to the beach to wait for the boat. He puts down his book, noting the page, and fetches his coat from the rack by the door.

Outside the night is very still. He came here two days ago, all the way to the far reaches of Cornwall to a small, obscure village on the banks of the Helford river. It’s little more than a cluster of cottages and fishing sheds around the wide bay onto the river. SOE have been using it as a convenient place to land boats, bringing agents to and from the continent, without anyone observing. Tonight, the cargo to be landed is more precious to Grant than any other. Jonathan, abroad for over a month, is finally being sent home.

Title: A Cornish Meeting

Author: Owl_by_Night

Characters: Colquhoun Grant/Jonathan Strange, ref. Colquhoun Grant/Arabella Strange and Colquhoun Grant/Arabella Strange/Jonathan Strange

Summary: Grant meets Jonathan on his return from an overseas mission.

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Related Fiction: The Art of Ungentlemanly Warfare


You Can Be Had

mission doll grant

Jonathan likes this time of day – the not-so-small hours, after a good night’s clubbing. It’ll still be dark for ages yet, though it’s so warm it doesn’t feel like December. He drapes his jacket over his shoulders and breathes in the sour-sharp air of the city streets.

He and Art and William sit in Bar Italia till it closes at 5, then walk through Soho. Art is grumbling about the lack of all-night places in London, how the developers have taken the heart out of the city, how it would all have been different fifty years ago.

“Well, you would know,” William says, and Art smacks him hard on the arse and calls him a cheeky young whippersnapper.

Title: You Can Be Had

Author: fengirl88

Characters: William De Lancey, Colquhoun Grant, Jonathan Strange, and Arthur Wellesley, in various combinations

Summary: A modern AU inspired by the plot of the musical Guys and Dolls.

Author’s Notes: This is for Owl_by_Night and etave, who originally prompted it in a Tumblr conversation about Guys and Dolls and then egged me on to write it.

Chapter 1: Jonathan makes an ill-advised bet after a night at the club with his friends.

Chapter 2: The crypt of St-Martin-in-the-Fields isn’t where Jonathan thought his night out would end, but here he is, with the man from the Mission – his name is Grant, apparently – who insists that what he needs is hot sweet tea.

Chapter 3: Whatever Jonathan was expecting from dinner with Mission Man, it didn’t include getting flustered and being teased about it before they’ve even got inside the restaurant.

Chapter 4: Jonathan’s phone wakes him with a text message from Art: no words, but a picture that’s the very definition of NSFW.

Chapter 5: Jonathan and Grant go to the cinema, amongst other things.

Chapter 6: From the aftermath of the row to New Year’s Eve.

Chapter 7: Henry Woodhope’s scary kid sister is the last person Jonathan expected to meet at the Save-a-Soul Mission.

Chapter 8: Grant’s wearing the same middle-aged blue cardigan and dull t-shirt he wore for dinner at the Cuban restaurant; it’s infuriating that Jonathan now finds this outfit attractive.

Read it on Archive Of Our Own


You Can Be Had Extras

Chapter 1: Flawed Hero: A glimpse of Art’s point of view.

Chapter 2: Squaring Up: Art’s had these encounters before with the man in possession.

Chapter 3: Strips Nicely: “I bet that one strips nicely,” Art’s godmother had said, staring appreciatively at some well built rugby-player.

Chapter 4: A Silver Bracelet: The bracelet’s a flat band of silver, engraved with Elvish characters.

Read it on Archive Of Our Own

I Will Lay Me Down

I Will Lay Me Down


Major Colquhoun Grant scanned the faces around the table they’d set up in the converted stables at the end of the courtyard and breathed a sigh of relief when he noted a particular absence.

“Where’s Strange?” he asked the man next to him.

“Oh, he took himself off to the mountains as soon as the post arrived. Said the men need him to read their letters for them.”

Grant smirked. It was clear that the magician undertook this task out of a need to boost his sense of self importance rather than any altruistic motivation but as least he was making himself useful and keeping out of the way.

Title: I Will Lay Me Down

Author: solitaryjo

Characters: William De Lancey/Colquhoun Grant, Arthur Wellesley & Jonathan Strange

Summary: Colonel De Lancey receives a letter that shakes him to the core.


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Read it on Archive of Our Own


Swipe Right

Swipe Right


Supper was over that Sunday evening and so the four of them walked out into the front garden, conversing amiably in the deepening twilight. Arthur was lighting the first of several post-meal cigarettes and murmuring something appreciative about the late summer blooms in Bell’s flowerbeds, and Jonathan lagged behind the others, watching with boyish fascination the wavering flight of a moth. His wife took the opportunity to thread her arm through Colquhoun Grant’s, leaning her head affectionately on his shoulder.

“You know how much Jonathan and I enjoy having you over for these Sunday suppers,” she said gently. “But it makes us sad to think of you dining alone all the rest of the week.”

“I don’t hear you telling Arthur that,” he remonstrated with a good-natured smile.

Title: Swipe Right

Author: onstraysod

Characters: William De Lancey/Colquhoun Grant

Summary: Colquhoun Grant has given up on his love life, but his friends – Arthur Wellesley and Bell and Jonathan Strange – have done no such thing. Without Grant’s knowledge, his profile is posted to an online dating site and it isn’t long before William De Lancey shows up at his door. William’s planned an unusual first date, but Grant is less than enthusiastic. Will love prevail?

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Read it on Archive Of Our Own


Chance Encounters

Chance Encounters


“We apologise for the delay to this service. This is due to an earlier train fault. We should be departing shortly.”

The announcer doesn’t sound any more convincing than the last three times he mentioned their apparently imminent departure, which has gone from fifteen minutes late to simply ‘delayed’. Grant shifts his weight from one foot to the other and mops his face on his sleeve. He’d like to be anywhere but here. On fucking exercise for four weeks and now stuck on this packed train on the hottest day of the year. He wouldn’t have got on the train at all if it hadn’t been for the contents of the memory stick, tucked in the inner pocket of his uniform trousers that has to get back to Wellesley tonight so the analysts can start looking at it.

Title: Chance Encounters

Author: Owl_by_Night

Characters: William De Lancey/Arthur Wellesley, Colquhoun Grant/Jonathan Strange

Summary: A chance meeting on an overcrowded train leads to an exchange of phone numbers, but Grant has secrets to keep and it’s not always easy to begin a relationship when the other person doesn’t know who you really are.

Author’s Notes: This initially grew out of a kinkmeme prompt asking for Grant overheating in his uniform, but changed into modern Grant overheating in a different uniform and then grew a plot without my noticing. Also partially inspired by an episode of Spooks/MI5 where Tom goes undercover as an army officer.

Read it on Archive of Our Own

for peace comes dropping slow

for peace comes dropping slow


Grant wakes quietly and immediately – one second his eyes are closed and the next he’s staring into pitch darkness slowly reassembling itself into furniture shapes. He can’t work out why at first – maybe just the ghost of nights of shallow sleep, stretched out under cars or canvas or dust-tinted sky – until a stone rattles the windowpane, more like a sequel than a first attempt. He knows who it is before he opens the window, but he makes a show of starting a little, to please Strange.

“Grant.” Strange sounds pleasantly surprised to see him, like they’ve just run into each other in Tesco’s. “You took so long to wake up, I feared you would never come.” He’s leaning against something that glows in the gloom like a UFO. Knowing Strange, it could well be.

Title: for peace comes dropping slow

Author: wordonawing

Characters: Colquhoun Grant/Jonathan Strange, Colquhoun Grant/Arabella Strange/Jonathan Strange, Arabella Strange/Jonathan Strange

Summary: Modern AU in a military setting.  Grant and Strange go on a road trip.

Read it on Archive Of Our Own

In dreams

In dreams


There had been a point on that flight home when Grant had been sure that William was going to die. The moment when he’d stopped thrashing, stopped twisting away from the pain and gone quiet. His hand, bloodied and shaking with shock, had fallen lax against his side and Grant had thought ‘he’s going to die’.

Title: In dreams

Author: Owl_by_Night

Characters: William De Lancey & Colquhoun Grant

Summary: Grant dreams about the flight back from France when William was injured.

Author’s Notes: Short snippet set sometime around Chapter 19.

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Related Fiction: The Art of Ungentlemanly Warfare

The Art of Ungentlemanly Warfare

The Art of Ungentlemanly Warfare

the artist; (c) Edmund Miller; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Edmund Miller; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Grant finds De Lancey asleep in his office chair with his boots on Grant’s desk, so Grant thinks it only fair to kick the chair away from the desk until it wakes him up.

“Is there a reason you’re in my office?” he asks, dropping a stack of reports down with a thud.  “Or are you just here for a quiet place to kip?”

De Lancey stretches lazily, his pale blue uniform shirt pulling tight across his chest.  “I’ve got news for you actually.  They’re sending you a new magician.”

Title: The Art of Ungentlemanly Warfare

Author: Owl_by_Night

Characters: De Lancey/Wellington, John Childermass/John Segundus, Colquhoun Grant/Jonathan Strange

Summary: Team Peninsular reimagined as combatants in World War 2.


Chapter 1: With World War II raging, a unit of the Special Operations Executive is dedicated to the use of magical espionage. They are Arthur’s Ungentlemanly Magicians.

Chapter 2: Very few people have a good night’s sleep and Jonathan Strange joins the unit.

Chapter 3: Strange arrives on a mysterious airfield in East Anglia and meets the rest of the Peninsulads. It does not got go quite as he imagined it.

Chapter 4: The team are sent to France to rescue Arthur and nothing goes according to plan. They also go to the pub, where everything goes according to Childermass’ plan.

Chapter 5: After the catastrophe of the last mission to France, plans are made, Strange gets his chance to shine and Childermass discovers that not all is as it seems behind enemy lines.

Chapter 6: An interlude from espionage. After events in France, leave is taken and three couples spend the weekend together.

Chapter 7: Leave comes to an end and the boys return. Meetings are held and Strange gets his new assignment.

Chapter 8: Cold weather and worry make for short tempers but fortunately there are phone calls from home and visits North to make things better.

Chapter 9: A mission is planned and Jonathan makes his first trip to wartime France.

Chapter 10: Death, and the aftermath

Chapter 11: Plans are made, explosives set and someone is going to get a shock…

Chapter 12: Dealing with the consequences

Chapter 13: The rescue mission

Chapter 14: The first twenty four hours after the mission.

Chapter 15: (The continuing repercussions of the mission).

Chapter 16: William adjusts, Arthur plans and Arabella enters negotiations.

Chapter 17: William goes back to work and Grant and Jonathan finally get some time alone.

Chapter 18: Arthur deals with a visit from Section X and Segundus does the magic.

Chapter 19: William deals with Arthur’s boys visiting, there are changes for the Ungentlemanly magicians, and thoughts turn to the future.

Chapter 20: An anniversary.

Please leave your adoring comments for Owl_by_Night on Archive Of Our Own!


Related Posts

(Listed in chronological order relative to the timeline of the main story).

The Great War: The impact of the Great War on the characters in The Art of Ungentlemanly Warfare.

Learning to Dance: Vignette set in the 1920s, when De Lancey and Grant were at school together.

Recruitment: 500 words to tell the story of how William came to be working for Special Operations Executive.

Grant: Five minute challenge backstory fic, set just after Grant returns to England, having escaped from captivity in occupied Europe.

It’s the Coat: Short fic set some time before Jonathan joined the Ungentlemanly Magicians, which also touches on the incident that Grant referred to in Chapter 9.

Emma and Walter: Cut scene from Chapter 15.

Arthur: At the end of Chapter 15, Laura has written to Arthur (cut scene).

In Dreams: Short snippet in which Grant dreams about the flight back from France when William was injured.

A Cornish Meeting: Grant meets Jonathan on his return from an overseas mission.

An Ungentlemanly Wager: Some time after Ungentlemanly Warfare ends, Merlin unwisely makes a bet with William.

Like Father, Like Daughter: Grant, Jonathan and Arabella raise a family after the war.




The first face Grant sees when he wakes is William’s. He’s sitting with his chair tilted back on two legs, an irritating habit from childhood, but drops forward with a thud that makes Grant’s head ache.

“”Hello sleepyhead,” he says with a smile, “it’s good to see you awake at last.”

Title: Grant

Author: Owl_by_Night

Characters: William De Lancey/Colquhoun Grant

Summary: Pre-canon Grant was captured by the Germans but has now escaped back to England.

Author’s Notes: Implied past torture, nothing explicit.

Read it on Archive Of Our Own

Related Fiction: The Art of Ungentlemanly Warfare