Title: The Meadow in SummerAuthor Eglantine_br
Word Count 1471Rating R
Spoilers Well, noneDisclaimer I only invented the muffins
The Meadow in Summer
“One for each hand.” Mary said. She
handed Horatio the muffins.
“You used to say that when I was
little.” Horatio said.
“Little!” Mary said, “You are
still little. At least to me.” She shook her head briskly, and
reached up to give Horatio a kiss.
“And two for you Mr. Kennedy.”
Mary did not kiss Archie, but took a deep breath and smiled. “Now
see that you eat them. Don't you forget. You both need feeding up.
I'm sure you can't be getting proper nourishment on the ship-- all
that tilting side to side..” She cleared her throat. “ I'm so
glad to see you boys home. Run along now, and have fun.”
She shut the kitchen door after them,
with a decisive thump.
“Well,” said Horatio, “Since we
have been ordered to have fun..” His dark eyes were dancing at
“Eat yours up Archie. Take advantage
of not being tilted sideways.” Archie took a big bite, and his
mouth flooded with sugar and apples. He blinked.
“She really likes to feed us,” he
“Yes,” said Horatio. “Mary gives
you food if she loves you. It has little to do with 'feeding up.' I
could be standing here with Cleveland and she would say he needs more
“ Love.” Said Archie, giggling, “I
would hope that if you stood here with Cleveland you would not be in
love. Miss Cathcart would have your balls on a string.”
Horatio looked up, and Archie felt the
world really tilt. “I'm not in love with Cleveland.” Horatio
said. “I'm in love with you.” His voice had dropped low, and he
was smiling, but oh...The sound of it dragged down Archie's spine and
stroked him, all underneath.
“Lets go somewhere.” Archie said.
The meadow was really there. It had
been there, all along, through France, all through Spain, through
chains and fears and and sea and fever. It had waited, for the past
3 years, and in all the heat of his dreams.
It had been a spring meadow last time
with with the world just greening. It was summer now. This was late
August. And all this, left to itself would be plowed again and
tilled next year. That was fine. Let the farmer worry about fallow
land. Let him lie awake and ponder crop rotation. Archie was a blue
water man. Next year, Archie thought, could take care of itself.
They waded in, with thorns and petals
snagging trouser legs. Archie had burrs in his stockings. The flowers
were blown, bolted to a hairy tangle of neglect. The wild grasses
were heavy, seeds drooping off the stalk.
Horatio hit the ground first, on hands
and knees, circling like a dog, to flatten the grasses. Archie
dropped down too, not reaching to touch, not yet, but watching.
“Oooh, careful-- nettles.” Horatio
said. And so, Archie was careful. He crushed the plants under hand
and knee. They made a space where two could lie. Above was only the
sky. It was was blue and cloudless, framed with plants Archie had no
words to name. And all around was the heavy scent, and the fierce
tipped thorns of the briar roses.
The first time, he had been afraid to
reach and take, though he had done so. His heart had been pounding.
Now he knew what Horatio had to give, and he knew himself too. He
looked at Horatio, and sucked in a long breath. His heart was still
pounding. Horatio's face was as red-cheeked as a slapped child. His
hair was disheveled, and he was sucking his nettled fingers.
“Let me, now” Archie took the
fingers gently. Horatio made a small sound, as Archie kissed them, a
voiced gasp, not quite a word. His chest was heaving rapidly. Archie
could see the pulse in his throat.
Archie unfolded the hand, in his own;
horatio's hand, a beloved, awesome, precious thing. He looked at the
hand, Horatio looked at him. He brought it up to his mouth, to
taste. Horatio's palm was warm and smooth with sailors callous.
Between the fingers was softer, Archie slid the tip of his tongue
there, flicking, darting. Here was a faint echo of salty sweat, and
the taste of clean Horatio. The skin there was pliable and sensitive.
Horatio's eyes had shut.
And they had done it last night, and
the day before, at the pond. They had glutted on love since coming to
Kent. They had touched, skin to skin, flank to flank every night and
awakened so in the mornings. And still-- still it was not enough.
Archie was rigid, right now, dripping, dry mouthed and trembling. He
could see that Horatio was the same. A touch there would bring that
long body surging against his own. Horatio would bear him down
against the ground, and they would be off, pushing and twisting to
the sweetest conclusion. One stroke of one finger would do it.
Not yet. Archie was not going to do it
Night was one thing-- coupling in the
dark was sweet-- Horatio soft skinned and trusting in his arms, and
the hardness burning down below between them. So good, always, but
this was different. There was time here to look, Archie wanted to
look, to see everything.
Horatio's dark eyes were open now, soft
and shining. He unfolded that warm hand all along Archie's cheek and
jaw. He slid it over the shivering skin of Archie's neck, and drew
him close. Lips touching-- Horatio spoke into the kiss.
“Want you now, Archie,” He said.
He let Horatio do the work. Let Horatio
peel the clothing away, and settle Archie back, to face the circled
sky. The grasses were soft, after all under Archie's naked skin. No
nettles. Archie let his legs sprawl. Horatio was kneeling over him,
not touching, just looking. Archie was vulnerable visible. It felt
“Just look at you.” Horatio
He pushed the hair back away, from
where it always slid to flop in Archie's face. Archie rolled his head
back, to catch the hand in his open mouth-- but Horatio did not let
Horatio was kneeling, folded easy,
sitting on his long feet. . Archie could see the darkness between his
spread thighs-- just the place to slide a hand. It would be damp in
there, and slightly rough with the little short hairs, and Horatio
would look down, and make that sound that he sometimes-- but Archie
Horatio could do what he wanted.
Horatio was-- oh. Archie felt his breath stop, his chest lift.
“Oh,” he said, and it was a
plaintive, rising note. This was a distant tickle, unbearable
promise. Horatio was trailing down him, not with fingers but with the
weeping stem, the drooping head of the wild grasses.
The little stem went down the center of
Archie, over his breastbone, over his hitching belly, and gently,
unbearably, the head now of the golden grain, over the lifted
straining stem of Archie.
“Please, your hand--” Archie
And it was good to ask, even though he
was breathless and aching. It was so good to ask, and know he would
Horatio's hand, down and all on him
now, and perfect. Horatio cast the stalk of grass aside, as if it had
never mattered at all, and he did the best things with his hand. And
he had the little jar in his other hand, and Archie, writhing in the
grass, was to be given everything.
And yes, now everything. Horatio over
him, silky and strong, and the heat, all down over Archie. And Archie
was inside Horatio, but this was no taking, just giving and giving,
an agony of perfect giving. And Horatio was steadying him, kissing
his face, breathing with him, going with him, all the way to the
And the little circle of grasses was
warm, and windless, and quiet. Archie heard the small sounds of
insects, and a little rustling as Horatio drew him close. He yawned,
“Why don't you sleep a little,
Archie?” Horatio said.
“Hmm, think I might.” It was hard
to make sense. His mouth wanted to be yawning. His belly was heavy
with muffins. His lower parts were damp, but drying in the sun.
Archie put his head down. He could hear the tiny sounds of birds
overhead, and the busy insects. No matter. He pulled his naked legs
up, curled sideways like a cat. Horatio was next to him, leaning on
an elbow, watching. Horatio was awake. He would watch over Archie's