Author~ Me!! (watchthehorns)
Type~ Angst, Slash, Hurt with not much comfort, suggested non-con (not grapic)
Pairing~ Horatio/Archie (not very obvious but will be developed later) Archie/Simpson
Summary~ That night he lay awake; determined not to give Simpson the satisfaction of seeing him prostrate and fitting with fear; determined not to prompt further dislike and irritation in his shipmates, he knew they only just tolerated him now; determined not to embarrass himself in front of a possible new friend, only friend
A/N: Watching Hornblower in bed because I'm not too well at the moment (icky cold) and I remebered how much I love Archie and his angst and so I was cruel to the poor boy, it started as a drabble about the folding of shirts and kinda took hold and flourished. I'll probably write more for this at some point... so let me know what you guys think!
Archie’s hand shook as he folded his shirts for the fourth time that evening and laid them carefully back into his trunk counting them as he went. He knew this was bad for him, it was becoming an obsession, he had done it every night he could when he had been with them upon the Justinian but it calmed his nerves. Once he had folded and smoothed the creamy white fabric perfectly and placed them symmetrically and evenly in his trunk he would close the lid, close his eyes and just imagine them there. He would then open his eyes, open the trunk and begin again. He repeated this six times and by the final time his heart beat was at a steady pace, his breathing was as close to normal as it ever reached these days and his hands no longer shook.
And now everything was as it was once again. After six months in what he had nicknamed ‘purgatory’, they were sailing out to sea again, only this time he would’ve finally been free. And he had been; he’d been so happy, even in that hell of anchoring, he knew the men had noticed his new confidence and been surprised by it but now... His stomach revolved and he clamped a trembling hand to his mouth, swallowing desperately. And then... why, why couldn’t he just have been accepted? He would pay for the man’s’ commission himself if he thought it would take him away, but knowing his luck the man would be posted to the Justinian as a Lieutenant and then he would have real power over him. The mere thought of that sent cold terror down his spine.
“Archie?” Archie flew upwards, knocking painfully into his trunk and dropping the painstakingly folded fabric. Horatio’s face was riddled with concern when Archie finally controlled himself enough to look him in it but Archie’s quick smile assuaged that and Horatio stepped fully into the midshipman quarters and settled next to him on Clayton’s trunk, a seat Archie had returned to as soon as possible to hide the shaking of his legs. If Horatio saw, he would know, he would see his weakness. He must not know.
“You were excellent today... with the navigational problem” He managed that without a single stammer and rewarded himself by giving Horatio one of the smiles he saved for those he felt had earned them. He may not be worthy of note even when giving them, however he felt he could retain some of his dignity by allowing only those he admired and liked to see a smile his older sister had once begrudgingly admitted could rival the stars.
“I do not believe the others, Mr Simpson especially, share that sentiment, but thank you” Archie’s heart leapt as Horatio threw him a smile which he knew must leave his lying in the dust.
“They... don’t matter, the captain was very im.impressed. You’ll be a Lieutenant i.i.in a year” He smiled his best smile, the one he had been saving for someone special, someone he was almost certain he would never have the good fortune to meet, but now, it seemed right. He had only known him a day but he knew Horatio deserved that smile.
Horatio himself felt his chest swell at the young man’s praise and returned the astounding smile with one of his own and moved the conversation onto Archie’s own studies; eager to know more about the quiet young man whom he could happily become friends with. Unfortunately neither saw the foul faced Jack Simpson slipping out of the shadows and out of the midshipman’s quarters, seething at what he had heard.
“...A fancier of other boys, perhaps?...” Archie shuddered and ducked his head. He knew where that comment had been aimed and he attempted to shrink into himself to avoid further attention. He pleaded that Horatio just take offence and not think upon what had been said. Not think that maybe the comments related to his ship mates and were not just barbs to offend. He could not have Horatio knowing. Not that.
That night he lay awake; determined not to give Simpson the satisfaction of seeing him prostrate and fitting with fear; determined not to prompt further dislike and irritation in his shipmates, he knew they only just tolerated him now; determined not to embarrass himself in front of a possible new friend, only friend.
“It’s you and me on watch tonight boy. How I have missed our time together.” The words, loaded with implication ran through his mind over and over, Simpson had grabbed his arm just before he had left the mess with Horatio and hissed them into his ear. Archie had known then that Horatio would find out, as all the others had and like all the others he would turn a blind eye to something so disgusting it could not even be reported and Archie would lose another potential friend due to his own weakness, his own invertedness.
Archie was startled from his own thoughts by the two bells of the 0100 hours watch and swallowing determinedly, stomach clenching, bile burning his throat he pulled himself from his bunk, just in time to see Mr Simpson stalking from the room. His stomach cramped violently and he doubled over, hand clamped to his mouth, desperate not to give in to the churn in his abdomen.
“Archie?” A gentle hand on his shoulder sent him whirling upwards, eyes wide with fear.
“oh” Horatio peered at him through the shadows of the cabin, lines of worry creasing his usually smooth, carefree face. Despite himself Archie felt his heart leap; that worry was for him. Determined to deserve the consideration Horatio was showing him he sent Horatio another carefree smile and stood on what appeared in the darkness to be steady legs. “Still getting used to being at sea again after all that time staying still.” With a quick nod and another smile he grabbed his boots and his jacket and stumbled out of the room, knowing that if Horatio ever lowered himself enough to ask questions of Archie’s life, he would be able to refuse his dark eyes and crooked smile nothing, and then he would have sealed his own fate and it would all return to how it was.
“I see you didn’t trouble yourself getting dressed, my naughty little boy is learning.” His stomach clenched again as lust laced words spread through the chill night air, as iced fingers danced along his arm, the thin shirt providing no protection and he drove down the desire to pull away, knowing it would only make things worse.
“So, have you missed me sweetling?” The cold fingers slid a trail of repulsion up his chest, stroking his neck, slowly, watching the tendon’s jump beneath his touch. Despite his resolve to remain stoic, Archie twisted his face away, desperate not to see the cruel eyes cloud with lust.
“No no Demimonde” malicious fingers gripped his chin, turning it slowly towards him, caressing the cheek beneath his touch. “You mustn’t look away Chèri- Amie. I want to see your beautiful tears as I take my pleasure” Archie shuddered and bit back a sob of pity and self revulsion as he was forced sharply to his knees, clammy fingers still crawling across his face and scalp, sliding over his lips, dipping past and fondling his tongue and inner cheeks. One hand withdrew and Archie cast his eyes down, knowing what that hand was doing. He gave an involuntary shudder as a calloused, spit slimed thumb pulled his mouth open, caressing his lips, before slithering to cup the nape of his neck, pulling his face towards his fate.
Archie could only stare, revulsion and self loathing building inside as the now exposed organ bobbed, engorged with lust. Archie dug his nails into his hand, fighting back the urge to wretch as the familiarly sickening scent of stale sweat, unwashed flesh and fetid lust rode over him in waves, knowing that this, he deserved, Simpson was right, he was the invert who desired this type of contact, Simpson was only giving him what he wanted.
“Back where you belong sweetling, now open wide, ol’ Jack’s got a present for your hungry little mouth” Archie resigned to let the tears fall as his jaw was stretched achingly, his mind already closing in on itself, his last thoughts of Horatio, thanking god he did not know.
Horatio slid down the worn wooden steps. Mind reeling, hands clenching, he breathed deeply, then vomited into the hold.
Demimonde & Chèri- Amie are words dating from Hornblower's time period used to describe whores and is Simpson's way of humiliating and controlling Archie even more.
Anyway, please review!!! ^_^