Title: To be there
Word Count 324
Disclaimer Not mine
To Be There
The voice was weak and rasping, but it was sensible and it was Horatio.
“I'm right here. Welcome back.”
“What happened to my arm?”
Horatio lifted the bandaged arm gingerly, and frowned at it.
“The doctor came and bled you, Honeybee---”
“But I don't, I never--” Horatio stopped, gasping, frowning.
“Shh, Horatio. Don't take on so. You were out of your head for three days. He said it would bring the fever down, and it did. It did.”
“It made me weak. I'm so weak.”
Archie reached for the water, held the cup to Horatio, without speaking or asking. Horatio drank clumsily. Archie smiled to himself. Matter of fact seemed the way to go. He remembered his own illness in El Ferrol. He would try Horatio on soft food later. He could get something specially made up, the cook liked Archie.
The face that turned, trusting, to Archie was pale, beneath the sailors tan, it was hollow eyed, sore lipped. But it was Horatio, and the fever lowering, and Archie felt now that he would surely live. Oh-- Archie caught that thought back before he could be punished for hubris. He ran his fingers over the wood of the sea-chest.
“I have something wonderful to tell you,” Archie said.
“You are going to go home for a little while, Horatio, to see your father, and to rest, and get better. Captain Pellew has given you three weeks leave.”
Archie had thought to please, but he had done it wrong. The glassy eyes filled with tears.
“I don't want to leave you,” Horatio whispered.
“No, no. Listen. I am to go with you. That is the best part. I am to go with you.”
Archie reached out to gently touch. “I'll be there too.” He said.