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Bits of the Past

Title: Bits of the Past

Author Eglantine_br

Word Count 479

Rating G-ish

Spoilers None

Disclaimer Not mine






Bits of the Past







Horatio had had a head of dark hair at birth. It had been the first thing anyone noticed about him.

“Boy or girl?” His mother had gasped.


Can't tell yet, Helen,” the midwife had said. “Not by the ears. Lovely dark curls though. Are you sure you are not birthing a sheep dog?” Luckily, Horatio's mother had had a good sense of humor. She had given a gurgle of a laugh. The laugh had become a straining grunt. Baby Horatio had slithered forth.


That had been 21 years before. Nobody living remembered that moment, except for one Kentish midwife. She was eighty years old. She dozed by the fire now, she had fifteen grandchildren of her own. She had delivered them all. She thought of that, when she thought of such things. Horatio Hornblower's birth had been nothing at all remarkable. But he had had the curls ever since.


This morning, Archie had curls too. He lay, half asleep, in the pool of sunlight. He was turned on his side, away from Horatio. His heavy braid, wrapped with black ribbon, trailed down his back, to his shoulder blades. But underneath, Horatio found a row of tiny perfect ringlets. The heat brought them out. Horatio set himself to uncurling them with his tongue. Archie made a small whining sound, and shivered. He and Horatio wound together in a tighter knot. They neither knew, nor cared, although another old woman could have told them, that the honorable Archie Kennedy had been bald as a snooker ball at birth.


Oh, hmm. Feels nice Horatio.” Archie wiggled back against the heat, torn between sleep and the lovely shivery feeling.


Horatio's arm came around him, and drew him close. Horatio angled his mouth to bite softly at the muscled cords of Archie's neck. “Love you, you taste so good.” He murmured.


Archie chuckled. “You love me because of how I taste?”


Horatio gave a chuckle of his own. “That's one reason.” He said. His face was rather pink.


Archie sighed. He was so warm. Everything felt so good. Horatio's legs and thighs were under his own. He felt as everything inside him had been replaced with honey, sweet and viscous. “I feel so safe like this.”


Safe?” Horatio was muzzy with sleep too. He was still licking Archie's neck. The past seemed far away.


The way you press against me-- against my backside.” Archie sounded hesitant. “I never thought I would let anyone do that.”


Hmmm.” Horatio was still kissing the small damp curls, but he was thinking now. His face was sad. As he paged through the memories, he confirmed the truth. Given choice, Archie had always angled his body some other way.


Safe, Archie. We are both safe.” Horatio said.






( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 19th, 2016 12:42 am (UTC)
They do sleep a lot, don't they? But they are so sweet that way. I love the angst and healing here, and the little curls and the honorable snooker ball. My last baby was very much the same - the skin on his head so soft and peach fuzzy. I loved nuzzling it. He is three now and his brown-blond loose curls still have not reached down his neck.
Sep. 19th, 2016 01:27 am (UTC)
My babies were both bald as eggs. I used to put a Christmas sticker bow on daughters head sometimes, just for fun. Then when they were three to five they both had showstopping curls. Daughter's hair is just wavy now. Son kept the curls.

This one was fun because I got a little glimpse of Horatio's mom. She represents for me, all the long ago women who never saw their kids grow up.
Sep. 19th, 2016 03:49 am (UTC)
Oh, that is fun. Mine all had dark blond wispy curls in the heat and humidity (about 3/4 of the year here), that grows into softly straight chocolate brown as they get bigger. Theirs has the magic ability to stay smooth and frizz-free in 100% humidity - a gift from their father. Mine is only slightly wavy but the humidity wreaks merry havoc with it, not in a good way. But the bits around the edges do make little ringlets like Archie's.

Is his braid all wrapped up and hidden under the ribbon, like m'lord Edrington's?

Poor Mrs Hornblower, though. It makes me think of those heartbreaking weathered old tombstones with "mother and baby" inscribed on them. At least she got to see her Horatio grow from baby to young boy.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )