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Horatio Hornblower
TITLE: Youth of Delight, Come Hither, Part 11
WARNINGS: Long digressions into sails and paintings
DISCLAIMER: Hornblower and characters belong to ITV and the Forester estate.
SUMMARY: Horatio wanders about the Kennedy home, feeling less and less welcome.


This time, Horatio woke as soon as the maid opened the door, sitting upright, and only momentarily disoriented.

“Good morning Mr. Hornblower, sir,” she greeted him quietly. “I’ll just wake your fire up, and then bring your water. Breakfast will be available in the dining room whenever you are ready, sir. Or I can bring you a tray?”

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TITLE: Youth of Delight, Come Hither, Part 10
WARNINGS: Regency society minutia and angst
DISCLAIMER: Hornblower and characters belong to ITV and the Forester estate.
SUMMARY: Horatio endures another dinner, and visits a club

A/N: I have finally managed to make them kiss, a LOT. The one drunken kiss got all handsy and awful and had babies. Unfortunately, this is not where they do it. I apparently feel the need to write a lot about eating, painting, and awkward socializing before I can get to the kissing. So I'm trying to write it as quickly as I can, but it will be a couple more installments yet before I get to it. But kissing is written. Terrible kissing, but it's there, I promise. You just have to wait a while longer.


They had regained their cheerfulness on the walk back to Portman Square through the simple expedient of Miss Kennedy's refusal to be glum, and Horatio's quiet submission to her rattling communications and determined charm. It was an agreement he was used to.

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8th-Sep-2019 10:16 am - With Feel of Weary Woe
TITLE: With Feel of Weary Woe
WARNINGS: Angst, Jerk!Horatio, and a very unreliable narrator
DISCLAIMER: Hornblower and characters belong to ITV and the Forester estate.
SUMMARY: Horatio and Archie quarrel over, Simpson, cowardice, and the demands of duty.

A/N: Youth is still fighting me, but as I was re-reading my old stuff, this fic wanted to be written. This is set in the days after Simpson arrives and begins to harass Horatio, but before the Inquisition. I always thought there must be some consequence to his relationship with Horatio from Archie’s stuttering servility, and some reason that Archie did not intervene in the Inquisition. So I always pictured that they must have quarreled. This is what I decided they argued about. In my set of fics, it almost immediately follows “Voyeur“ and is a day or so before "Need Not Fear Harm."

"Why do you let him do it to you?"

The soft scorn in those accusatory words hit Archie like a bullet, jerking him from oblivion with an embarrassing spasm of limbs. A sudden sick dread stabbed his gut, already roiling with grog drunk too quickly, to kill the taste of its other contents. How had Horatio known? How could he tell? Kennedy scrubbed at his face with one scratchy blue sleeve, frantic that some careless remnant of their activity had given him away. Then the rest of his friend's words belatedly penetrated the fog that always overtook him after.

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28th-Aug-2019 06:59 pm - Little Boy Lost
A/N: Confession-- I don't know if I actually wrote this. I found it in my Hornblower notes, underneath a bit of poem I'm almost certain I didn't write, probably some scrap of Blake, but this segment seemed like my poetic style so I punctuated it a bit better and post it now. I know when it's meant to be, and in whose voice. (It is Archie, of course, in Ferrol, trying to make sense of Horatio.) But I have literally no memory of actually writing it, which is very odd and makes me question myself. I did search the web and couldn't find it, but if I stole this from somewhere, my deepest apologies.

Little Boy Lost
Where is that sweet boy
who held my hand?
Who wept.
Who stormed the gates,
and stumbled, fell, needed.
Who gazed up at me--
at me!
Lost, shamed, distempered,
mad at all the world.

Who was all the world
and never knew so.
Never knew how I clung
to those shy smiles,
the eager fingers,
the admiration.

Yes, I was admired
once, in spare moments.
I was sure-footed in a rough sea.
I knew my way around the deck.
I knew a head from a halyard--
knew many things.
I tried to teach them
but I was unfit.

And now the student
is a man, tall, strong,
sure-footed in a storm.
Who has a voice for orders,
and eyes that
just gaze
21st-Aug-2019 10:53 am - Youth of Delight, Come Hither, Part 9
TITLE: Youth of Delight, Come Hither, Part 9
WARNINGS: Angst, more angst, and coffee.
DISCLAIMER: Hornblower and characters belong to ITV and the Forester estate.
SUMMARY: Horatio goes shopping, and learns a little of Archie's naval history.

A/N: I know this is a lot of an original character, so sorry for that. This fic just keeps longer, and the kissing no closer, so sorry for that too. I have a couple more segments to hook together, and then I will start to run out of material, but I think I have the end of the fic figured out at least. I'm trying to push through to get there while I have energy, so a third apology for peppering the community all of a sudden.


Much to Horatio's surprise, his morning passed quite pleasantly. After a pause to put on the shoes that were waiting outside his door---polished so expertly as to appear almost new again---Archie took him down to the morning room. It was as elegantly appointed as the drawing room, just a little softer, all pale yellows and pink and cushioned armchairs, lit well by the large windows looking over an interior yard. While there he was quizzed by Lady Anne about the comfort of his room and the satisfaction of his breakfast, and by young Anne about his preference for Mayfair over St. James. He praised the hospitality, of course, and deferred the choice of shopping district, not having spent time in either on his one voyage through London.

It was only the two ladies present, with the younger Kennedy's with their tutors, and the men either out or still abed. So with his guest duties done, Horatio was free to partake of a second, more leisurely cup of coffee and watch his fellow midshipman among his family. These two, at least, clearly doted on the boy, who was drawn down to sit next to the lady and forced to let the maid bring scones and tea. If her mother's eye had noted her son's recent weight loss, it was less clear that Lady Kennedy discerned anything else amiss, making no comment even on the faint bruising shadowing one cheek.

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17th-Aug-2019 02:15 pm - A Solitary Boy
Fic: A Solitary Boy
Author Eglantine_br
Wordcount 850

A Solitary Boy

Horatio landed, sitting, knees up, hands buried in the soft earth. His knee was bleeding through his stockings only slowly. He could, if he bent over, see how the blood came through the little lines of Mary's knitting. It came in a sensible way, first through the gaps between the yarn fibers, and then into the wool itself. Under the stocking it felt hot and wet. He pushed a little on it with his thumb, winced.

He had gotten dirt up his shirtsleeves when he slid. Little bits of twigs were lodged there too, some as high as his elbows. Mostly that was itchy. His hands were sore, but only a little, beads of bleeding under the dirt. He dusted them off together, gave his palms a lick. The sun was low, and it getting cold. Time to go home.

It was harder to climb up than it had been to fall down. The embankment was raw, muddy at the bottom, crumbly at the top. But there were juts of tree roots to pull himself along with. Horatio used those. He fell going up only a few times, just forward, onto his face, not down to the bottom again, so that really didn't count.

At the top he collected his things. He had a little boat he had carved. It wasn't very good, but better than the previous one. He had a slingshot too, he had been practicing with pebbles. There was some trick, certainly, to getting an accurate result. A trick he did not know. And he had a book, of course. He always had a book. It was wrapped in a bit of clean toweling that Mary had given him. She said books should stay indoors, but father said No, Horatio can take them out, so he did.

For a while while the sun was high, today Horatio had taken his sling and played at being David. But David was not quite right alone. There ought be another boy, to think up adventures with. A boy to talk to, about important ideas. That would be Jonathon.

But really there was just only Horatio.

At the step he remembered to use the boot scraper. It wasn't easy with everything he was carrying. He had to balance against the house, awkwardly.

Mary opened the door.

“Where have you been? Look at you covered with mud. Twigs in your hair, Never get them out...” The words didn't matter much. These were just sounds she made. Like a big soft bird singing.. It took a lot to get Mary angry.

“A big boy of almost seven years, nearly have the bottom out of those new breeches the doctor bought you. My goodness. Let me see your hands.”

“They don't hurt.”
“Well. Good. Glad to hear it. Arms up, I don't know how I will get this shirt clean...” Mary said.

The hearth stones were smooth and warm beneath his naked skin. Away behind him Horatio could hear the sound of Mary pouring wash water. The heat of the fire tightened the skin of his face. He stared into the flames and let his eyes blur until it was only ribbons of orange in a blackness, like another world.

“Here now, wash yourself like a good boy. I'll get your nightshirt.” She set the basin down beside him. It was steaming, and the towel was soft, and Mary's soap was good. But Horatio did not unfold himself to wash. He sat naked on the hearth and watched the fire.

The fire was in parts. The bottom was ashes, which looked soft, like the fur of a cat. But you could not touch them, of course. Some of the ashes were split with chasms of red, not soft, not safe.

Above that the flames, that was the next part. Orange in black, waving like flags. Sometimes the flames crept under and between the logs, to shoot out someplace new and wave from there. Bits of flame broke loose from the main, too. They waved briefly, and collapsed at the chimney's edge to smoke. That was good. Father said they had a good chimney. They would not have a chimney fire.

The last part was the smoke. Still part of the house's fire, drawn away into the world to become something alone. Maybe it came out the chimney top, unformed and unsure. It looked that way. Horatio had seen it, wreathing the damp black trees.

If smoke could look down it would see all the houses with dark between them, each house a separate box of light, and heat. Each person in each house full of thoughts and plans and life. Each one alone, each one real as he was. How strange the world was made that way. He pushed on his knee a little. It was forming a scab now.

“Horatio, stop dawdling now and get washed and dressed.” So he did that.
16th-Aug-2019 02:58 pm - Youth of Delight, Come Hither, Part 8

TITLE: Youth of Delight, Come Hither, Part 8
WARNINGS: Angst, more angst, and toast.
DISCLAIMER: Hornblower and characters belong to ITV and the Forester estate.
SUMMARY: An awkward breakfast

A/N: Archie is being a right prick, and I want to slap him, but unfortunately I have a rather lot of filler that I need to get through before I can expose him in all his awfulness. So I am trying to push through it as quickly as possible before I lose steam again. So this is mostly scene setting and time killing, sorry!

Horatio came awake slowly, uncertain of where he was but too comfortable to be unduly fussed over the mystery. It was only when his bleary eyes fixed on the small portrait among the gallery of landscapes opposite the bed that he remembered suddenly that he was in Kennedy’s bedroom, in London, in the house of an earl. Archie! He started to bolt out of bed, but the squeak of the startled maid brought him up.

“Goodness, your pardon sir!” She was his age or a little younger, Horatio reckoned, and looked well in her neat uniform, with an upright posture and a friendly round face---flushed now with embarrassment. “I didn’t realize you were stirring, I hope I didn’t wake you sir.” Her eyes were carefully cast down at her feet, but Horatio had the impression, nonetheless, that she had examined him thoroughly. Whether she found him as clownish as he did himself, her face didn’t betray.

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15th-Aug-2019 12:05 am - It's been a while...
Hi I'm still around here. Just, have little time to draw something now, thus my drawing skill has clearly got poorer X( Still sometimes I try.

10th-Aug-2019 10:05 am - Youth of Delight, Come Hither, Part 7
TITLE: Youth of Delight, Come Hither, Part 7
WARNINGS: Angst, more angst, and almost no kissing.
DISCLAIMER: Hornblower and characters belong to ITV and the Forester estate.
SUMMARY: The world's most awkward sponge bath begins.

A/N: I'm sorry. Sorry I abandoned this, and you all. Life, mental unwellness, more life, and a muse that desserted me entirely for almost seven years, got in the way. I thought, a time or two, about trying to go on, and never got past re-reading it all. But for some reason, this week, that vague yearning to know what happened next finally roused itself fully, and here we are. I know it's rusty, but hopefully not unreadable. There's still so much more in this story, and I'm not sure how far I will get before the muse abandons me again. But I'll try. eglantine_br and bauhiniakapok, wherever you are, I never forgot you. Hope you find this entry someday.

For anyone still here, but who has no idea what this is, here's the link to the first part of the fic and here's the last installment, posted six and a half years ago! I know LiveJournal is mostly dead, so I am cross-posting to FanFiction.net, you can find my fics in order here: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/2586527/KarasBroken

Horatio started where it was safest. With a gentle daubing motion he mopped the trickle of blood tracing down Archie's cheek, chasing it back to its origin. His other hand stroked his friend's damp temple, trying to soothe. Though still apparently unaware, the older boy's eyes were squinched tight, brow wrinkled with pain or its anticipation. The cut had slowed to seeping, and Horatio was able to stop it with some pressure, and clean the dark smears from Archie's hair. He was pleased to see the other mid’s face begin to ease. Next he wiped away the sweat, blood, and spittle from lips first pinched tightly, but gradually softening, falling open in a way that made Horatio's gut clench.

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4th-Jul-2019 03:28 pm - Tradition is Tradition
I find myself in the same position this year that I was last year; things going on in the real world plus different fandoms grabbing my attention leading to me not spending a lot of time in the world of Hornblower. But thanks to the date being so easy to remember, I make sure to take a little time out of the day to say...


May your day be spent with the drink, food, and companions of your choice!

And best wishes to all my fellow Hornblower fans, regardless of if you're a member here, post all your fic on Ao3/Fanfiction.net, or just enjoy the show on your own. It's nice to know there are people still devoted to this show after all this time.
28th-Jan-2019 06:15 pm - Proximal
Title: Proximal
Author Eglantine_br
Rating pg
Word Count 800


He made it gentle, he put his hand up slow. “Best not, Honeybee.”

“Oh, All right then.”

Horatio was sleepy anyway. This Archie told himself. And it was true. Horatio was yawning already, rumpling his hair with his free hand, undoing his trousers with the other-- lovely. He squanched out of his shoes and he was clumsy, and it made Archie tight in the throat. Horatio rolled into bed.

Dark covered the space. Archie undressed quickly. He tried not to think about how he was the only only one who ever said 'no,' and only since France. Spain. Spain from Horatio's perspective, because that is where Horatio had found him. But it was France that was the problem. Oh yes.

France, of frozen mud, and cutting glass, of ice wind and leather lash. France itched memory like a ball shard in a scar. It moved with Archie, it rode his brain. He knew now that it always would. Another in the list of things to pollute him. Archie was not a child anymore, but that did not mean that he knew how to do what he was trying to do. He knew very damn well how memory can swell to monstrous size. He had known that before Horatio, before the Indy, before Papillon, before Bitche. What he did not know was how to make memory small again. How to secure it in a box and fit the lock. Pushing Horatio away while he tried was just a deranged attempt to keep one of them clean of it.

Today the mud had been the proximal cause. Footprints. Mud. But proximal was its own cause, if you wanted to look at it that way. Archie was letting things get proximal now. A man could not pretend to be rational, and push everything away all the time-- and some things, people, Archie wanted close.

They had come ashore in a nameless town to get water, Archie, Cleveland, and a jolly full of Marines. The Marines were good for lifting and carrying. But there was no point in hissing at them to be quiet, they just could not seem to do it. And anyone with a nose-- even a Frenchman-- could detect them from 50 yards by using it.

The sun had set by the time they got the butts filled. They set back in single file, Cleveland in front with a dark lantern, and pistol, and Archie in back with a cutlass. He could see well in the dark, as long as he did not look into the light. He kept his eyes down, focusing on the line of churned mud. It would be obvious by daylight, but by then it would not matter.

The lantern cast meager light backward, leaving pools of darkness inside some footprints, turning others to idiots gold. They were going a little uphill now, he could feel his legs working. His stockings had long since dried and the mud made them stiff. But he was warm, and he was wearing shoes. And even if he did have the smell of mud in his nose, he was warm, and he could use his hands to catch himself if he fell. He could hiss a command forward anytime and make the whole line stop, for any reason, or for none. He was senior here. And he was wearing shoes.

All he had to do was open his mouth and speak, and he could move to the front, on some pretext. Perhaps that would be better. Cleveland was not stupid, he would know something was odd, but he would wait until later to ask. All Archie had to do was speak up. But his mouth was clenched shut. His hands were down by his sides. They were not chained. They were light as air. He could lift them anytime. He could wave them about. He could kill with them. He could do anything with his hands. He could do anything with his mouth. He could open his mouth and scream and scream.

At the top of the rise the ground was more dry. They stepped into stony scree. And here was the cart, brought around to help them. The Marines loaded the water butts. He and Cleveland rode back to the shore. Cleveland did not say anything. Perhaps because he was smoking his pipe.

He was dozing when morning came. Dozing was all right. It would be several days before he dared to really sleep. The hard part was keeping that from Horatio.

“Good-morning Archie,” Horatio's voice was just that little bit thin. He did not put a question into it, but Archie could feel the shape of where the question should be.

“Come here, Honeybee,” Archie said, and drew him proximal.
4th-Jul-2018 03:53 pm - Fill To Me the Birthday Glass
This community has been pretty silent as of late, and I myself haven't been doing too many Hornblower related things thanks to various things going on in my life, but there are some traditions I don't step away from, and one of them is to take time out every Fourth of July to say...

Happy Birthday, Horatio!!!

I sincerely apologize for not having the time or the inspiration to play around in your world as of late, but hopefully I'll get some inspiration soon. And as long as this community exists, I'll make sure to post it here.

Many happy returns! May you allow yourself an extra glass of rum and indulge in a few games of whist.
19th-May-2018 07:20 pm - Nunc Atque Semper
Title: Nunc Atque Semper
Author: BBCPhile
Word Count: 3819
Pairing: Horatio Hornblower/Archie Kennedy (past); Horatio Hornblower/Maria Mason
AO3 Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/14700108
Warnings: Past character death, Dead Kennedy Universe, period-typical homophobia

Summary: During their three years of marriage, Maria Mason had learned to weather Horatio's extended absences, changeable moods, and occasionally sharp temper, and to steer clear of the storms as best she could.

That is, until she found the men’s wedding bands and love poetry from an A.K. that Horatio had hidden in his desk

Thanks to Shakesperia for the prompt: "Set in canon, after Horatio and Maria are married, she finds some evidence of his (romantic) past with Archie, and begins to understand why he's so physically and emotionally distant towards her. If this could be done without vilifying Maria, that'd be great (because she is a precious, sweet thing who did not deserve this pain.)"
Thanks to Guardyanangel and Kedge for the amazing beta work!
(Incidentally, this is the only Dead Kennedy Universe fic I will ever write, because it just hurts too much, and Maria deserved a hell of a lot better than she got, in the movies at least. This is my attempt to make it better.)
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