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.
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.
Title: Nunc Atque Semper
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.)
I went down to Sheerness on Sunday morning, as part of a trip which also took me along the Thames and Medway on Waverley
and to Chatham - I wasn't sure if this was a step too far in AoS geekery, but actually it was very interesting!
There's nothing left of the Sheerness Bush would have known, because the whole dockyard was demolished and rebuilt between 1815 and the 1820s, which is a shame, and to be honest there's not much left of the working buildings of the current site, at least not accessible to the public - but what is there is fascinating. (And I need to check the dates, because although the rebuilding didn't start until after the war, I have a feeling that Bush must have been there about the time it was first being talked of, with this idea of everything becoming new and Sheerness becoming more efficient and more important.)
I'm also glad I went because it's given me quite a new view of the place - I'd seen it described somewhere as the ends of the earth, and it is in a way, these days, although not as much as before the big bridge and new road opened. But start thinking about it, as with the Lords of the Isles at Finlaggan, not in terms of how hard it is to get there by land, but in terms of how easy it is to get to everywhere else by sea, and suddenly it looks completely different - at the mouth of the Thames and the way to the Channel, right at the anchorage at the Nore, and only a few miles by water from the dockyard at Chatham on the Medway.
I've written it all up at wordpress, so I won't repeat it here, but here it is: Sheerness
This page, From Spitalfields to Sheerness
is also well worth a look - possibly more than mine, as the author got inside the dockyard wall!
It's the LAST CHAPTER!!! Thanks to those of you who've seen this through all 148,000 words, and thanks also to everyone else for dealing with my repeated updates!
Also, this chapter is kind of absurdly long, so it had to spill over into 2 LJ posts. Sorry about that!
Title: Harboured and Encompassed
Word Count: 15647
Pairing: Horatio Hornblower/Archie Kennedy
AO3 link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/9135700/chapters/25825650
Trigger warnings: hospitals
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Here, as promised to nodbear
some pics and a link
to the pics taken at Buckler's Hard. We arrived there on Tuesday the 13th of June at ten in the morning. A bright, sunny day. Fluffy and the Boys were with us, of course.
As you all well know it's located near Southampton and had once been an important place were the Royal Navy built its fleet.( Read more...Collapse )
- Music:chain saw in the background
After a brief hiatus, Harboured and Encompassed is BACK! Also, for those of you who are excited to see each installment, you'll be happy to know that part of the reason for the few weeks off from posting is that I scrapped most of the final chapter of the novel and replaced it with 3 mostly new chapters (and approximately 30,000 words). So, enjoy the extra text! For those of you who are looking forward to this being over, you only have one week left to suffer (at least, until I finish the sequel).
Title: Harboured and Encompassed
Word Count: 4856
Pairing: Horatio Hornblower/Archie Kennedy
AO3 link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/9135700/chapters/25540275/
Trigger warnings: hospitals, panic attack
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Sorry to have been so long absent - I feel like I have been waiting for a prisoner exchange deal on middies or something. Or circumnavigated the planet!
Thinking of many friends made here in recent years and how good that is,and especially wanting to greet USA friends, like vespican
and all Following Sea friends in the States (three days late sorry) for 4th July,not forgetting of course to salute Horatio's 241 birthday.And he still looks good on it!
Its been good recently to catch up with a few folks -saw esmeralda_t
for a good day out in Bristol and had a great time with amaraal
on her recent visit. We thought we would visit Portsmouth again, where we played the 'Be the Captain of the ship' interactive game and I am glad to report we came off well- see picture below ...
( Sir Edward writes: so I should hope!)
however as a Gunner on the Mary Rose on the same day I was somewhat over zealous and sank more than I captured... also below;)
I have traditions around these parts. Even if I don't log on much, I'll still pop round following_sea
(All credit for the photo/mockup to rum_inspector
, whose blog I originally found this on. Poke around this blog and you'll find a better version of the picture thanks to anteros_lmc
Unfortunately, I don't have much more to offer this year other than my well-wishes. But I wasn't about to let Mr. Hornblower's birthday pass without comment. So have an extra glass of rum for me, will you?