Rating 12 (non-explicit femslash)
No spoilers for Series 3
Notes: this was inspired by A Strange Adventure by fengirl88 and is a different take on the controversial opera described in that.
The advantage of working for Mycroft Holmes is that he often gets offered hospitality by his contacts, and when he doesn't want the latest treat, he passes it on to Anthea. And two free tickets to the opera means she can take Ella out somewhere; they've had to cut back recently, with their current financial situation.
The disadvantage is there's normally a reason why Mycroft doesn't want his gifts and Anthea's now realising what it is. ENO is less stuffy than Covent Garden and she'd thought Ella would enjoy Die Fledermaus. But she should have known that ENO and Strauss is a conceptual disaster waiting to happen.
Anthea's spotted Mycroft's pet policeman in the audience, so the director might yet get arrested for crimes against taste. And though she's cringing at every new revelation, Ella is surprisingly unruffled as she consults her programme at the interval.
"I see someone still loves Freud," Ella announces. "He's misunderstood him completely, of course, but that's probably the point."
"It's the director's vision that matters, everyone else just exists to serve his genius. A common pattern."
"We don't have to stay," Anthea says hastily, because she can sense where this is going.
"It's OK," Ella says more cheerfully, "but next time perhaps we should pick something ourselves, not just accept your boss's bribes."