Word Count 580
His skin was crowded with feeling. He was small and hot, and it was too much. The sounds of the ship and the night outside fell away forever, over the plotted curve of the earth. His head crackled with ache at each breath. Everything was too tight and too big, and too dizzy.
And how foolish and childish to say 'I don't want to be ill-- it frightens me.' Horatio's questions were spikes of reason, and they would not stop. Horatio's eyes were pools of reproach and worry. It was wicked to want to deceive him. And anyway, it could perhaps not be done. This was the doctor's son.
“Let me see now Archie.”
Horatio's fingers were sliding, pressing, up the arm, where it was so sore. And the firm touch soothed, and Archie had to press close in response. Horatio had the bandage off now, and this was calming, this was so much better. The gentle knowing mouth, moving all up Archie's sore hot arm.
And Archie had gabbled out a promise, and Horatio was satisfied with it. The searching mouth was licking and kissing, Archie leaned back, half in Horatio's lap now, letting himself be cossetted.
Archie could feel the slight abrasive tickle of whiskers, they did not have much time. He would have to get up himself, and dress and shave. It seemed such a lot of work. He must have twitched slightly at the thought, because Horatio said “Not yet” And his hold tightened. Archie let himself be held so. It was good to lean against Horatio, just for a little while
Horatio's other hand was traveling up Archie's leg. His legs ached with fever, and he had not said, but somehow Horatio knew. The hand, the good hand, smooth and cool, soothing the heat, and going up to take hold where Archie was most needy.
“Do you want this?” The hand rubbed, once, twice, stopped. Archie was pushing up to get more, and there was no more, only the promise held waiting.
“Oh, yes, I--”
The hand recommenced movement, but slowly, and ticklishly light.
“At least, let me get you sick-listed today. You are not going to be able to think straight out there. Better you stay in and sleep.”
The gripping hand stroked once, perfectly. Archie gasped, struggling toward his pleasure. The hand paused again, waiting his answer.
“All right. Yes. What you said. Just-- oh.”
Horatio brought both hands to bear, in instant reward. Archie moved toward and toward, and every move was so much better. This was drawing the wicked heat from him, the dark eyes looking down and knowing all his need.
“Oh, the, now. Now.”
He fell back.
“You?” He asked as soon as he could speak. But Horatio smiled and shook his head.
“Don't worry, get me next time. Let's put your nightshirt back on.”
And Archie found that he was weary enough to let that go without argument.
“You bested me there--” He said, as he settled into his hammock.
“Cards.” Horatio said. “It's like cards-- Only I do love you, you know.”
“Hmm-- I know. Love you too. Next time.”
He had meant to at least watch Horatio shave, but the worst of the heat was gone now, and his eyes were heavy.
The splashy sound of morning came in with, golden light. Archie slept.