Title: On going Home, Chapter 18
Word Count 2044
Disclaimer I did not invent them
On Going Home, Chapter 18
The water had dried on Archie's back. . His chest was wet, and the ends of his hair, but the side facing the sun was warm and clean and dry. Horatio was caressing him with silent abstraction. Archie had rested his head on his folded arms, at least an hour ago, and there he had stayed. He had a clear view, with one eye of the edge of his own arm, pink from the sun, with glowing hairs, like little bent trees. And there was a dark feathery shutter that closed when he blinked. That was his own eyelashes going by.
Horatio's hand seemed to be spreading the sunlight over him, making sure that it reached all over Archie's back and shoulders. Like someone pouring honey over a parquet floor. Silly, no one did that, terrible mess, where had Archie gotten that huge bucket of honey? Father would be so angry. Father would...
“Horatio, I think I fell asleep.”
“I was having the strangest dream about the floor of our house in Scotland. Something about a bucket – no, it's gone. I can't remember.”
“Was it an all right sort of dream?”
“Oh yes. I have those too you know. This was just an ordinary stupid dream. Made no sense at all. What are your dreams like Horatio?”
“Ha'hm, well. Sometimes I dream about whist.” Archie thought privately, that the only thing more dull than playing whist would be dreaming about it. Had anyone else made this claim he would have doubted. With Horatio, he was dismally sure it was true. Archie sat up. He was awake now.
“Do you ever have the other sort of dreams?”
“You know, the good sort?” Archie knew it was unkind to tease Horatio this way, but it was so much fun to see his face turn pink.
Horatio turned red. “Yes.” He whispered. “But only since I met you.”
“Ah...” Archie gave a contented wiggle. “And do you ever---?” Archie made a practiced gesture.
“Yes.” Horatio whispered. “I tried not to for a long time, but-- and I only felt that way since knowing you.”
Archie shook his head. It seemed inconceivable. Horatio was eighteen. He should have been wanting something put somewhere for the last 3 years, at least.
Archie leaned over and kissed Horatio's burning red ear. Horatio's head was down, buried in his bony knees. Archie could see the vulnerable bumps of his spine, all the way down. Too much teasing. Archie made his voice kind.
“Well, now you won't have to do it. I'll do it for you, Honeybee.”
They leaned together, warm arms touching, quiet for a while, on the rock, in the water, in the sun. Archie leaned closer, after a while, and rested his chin on Horatio's shoulder. Horatio slung an arm around him. It felt good that way, touching all the way down the side and hip, warm skin pressing. They could share the trapped heat between them.
“I've been so happy this week, Horatio.” Archie said.
“Oh, well, good. Me too.” Horatio said.
“It's so serene here. It's amazing.”
“Quieter than Justinian anyway.”
“And it is quieter than a frigate will be.” Archie added. “We are going to fire cannons on a frigate, not just pretend.”
“I suppose you are right.”
“Horatio, I know that I'm right.”
There was a long pause. Archie went back to picking at the memory of the dream. He really couldn't remember at all. The pleasant dreams were never as clear. Didn't seem fair. The horrid ones were vivid.
He could tell, with his newly acute awareness, Archie was aware that Horatio was thinking of something. Well. He would say it in his own time.
“The other day when we –ha'hm-- with, with the nard, did you like it?”
Archie looked at him, in drop mouthed astonishment. There he was, Horatio,sitting naked on a rock, in the middle of a pond – and he had obviously lost his mind.
Archie took a deep breath. He wanted his answer to be very very clear.
“Like it? Of course I liked it. It felt so good, and it was you and I'd wanted you for so long...”
Archie was kissing Horatio's neck and ear as he spoke, nibbling unthinkingly. He felt himself harden in response to the memory alone.
“Did you like it, Horatio?” Archie asked. He had tried to be slow and gentle, but he knew he had lost control at the end.
“I loved it.” Horatio said simply.
“Oh, good.” They were grinning at each other now. Archie's face was drawn up in what felt, to him, like his usual smile. But he had noticed that Horatio had a particular grin for such thoughts. It was close-lipped, steep sided, and there was something of the fox about it.
“I'd like to do it again today.” Horatio said.
“Me too, but we don't have the--”
“Actually,” Horatio said, “I have it in my coat pocket.”
“Oh? That shows commendable forethought.”
“I thought you would think that.”
“You are not sore?” Archie asked. “I was trying to wait a little, because--” He had to swallow hard against a sudden lump in his throat--”Because I don't ever ever want to hurt you.”
Horatio smiled. It was his real smile this time, the one that Archie had loved since the first day. Archie saw that his eyes were full of great gentleness. He gave the funny little wiggle that Archie now knew meant he was wanting.
“No. I don't think I am sore. Not enough to matter anyway. Can we go back to the field? I want-- I want to do it there.”
They slid into the water, sleek as two happy eels. They swam for the shore with purpose.
There were new flowers, close to the ground, tender and small in the dried grasses. The rain had brought them up.
They knelt down, face to face. The ground was pliant under Archie's knees. The noon sun was warm on his hair, and it brushed Horatio's curls with copper.
Noon, Archie thought. On Justinian, on all His Majesty's ships, the day was beginning. There they would have the whole day before them.
Horatio was touching him now, touching his face with a gentleness just short of tickling. Archie closed his eyes, to feel it more strongly. Horatio's hand slid under his hair, where it was still damp. He was caressing the skin underneath. It felt so good. Archie let his head drop forward, mouthing Horatio's shoulder, wetting the soft fabric of his shirt. Horatio was nipping up the side of his neck, there were sharp teeth, under the soft soft mouth.
They pulled apart long enough to struggle with shirt buttons. Bare chested, Horatio was ready to crash against him again, and Archie wanted that too, but he smiled and held Horatio back a moment, just to look at him. “You amaze me.” Archie murmured. “God, Horatio.”
Archie stroked down over Horatio's shoulders and arms. He brought those nervous hands to his mouth. He could taste the lines on Horatio's palm. The tip of his tongue was crazed, desirous, tracing the lines of love, of life, of future.
“Archie.” Horatio whispered. It made Archie ache to hear his name spoken in that way, with such tender want. “Archie, will you touch me here again?” He gestured shyly toward his chest. “It was—I liked it.”
They were going to the ground now, together. “Yes I will. Of course I will. Whatever you want Horatio.” And then he couldn't speak, because Horatio was over him kissing his mouth with single minded purpose. He found his hand rubbing that sweet warm spot on his back, low, above his trouser laces. That little area was hidden all the time, always there under Horatio's shirt, his uniform, as he went through his day. Nobody knew about it, no one had ever caressed him there. Only, only Archie.
Horatio was moving against him now, hard against Archie's own hardness, hissing through his teeth. “Shh, slow down.” Archie rolled him off sideways, and turned to face him. “There's no hurry, no hurry, no, shh.”
He was got Horatio's trousers off, and struggled out of his own. Both of them sprang forth, deliciously ready. The ache of need had climbed into his lower gut. The little flowers were crushed under them, as they moved, Archie could smell the weeping stems. He was rubbing his nose over Horatio, over shoulder, neck, chest, Horatio was clean from the pond. He smelled like the best thing ever, and Archie wanted that in his nose for the rest of his life.
Archie rasped a palm over the little disc of nipple. Horatio's entire body kicked. He whined, and the sound was high and hot. Archie could feel Horatio's hands, on his back, pulling him close, pulling him over. Horatio was unwilling to wait. His voice was in Archie's ear, sweet nonsense words, loving words, tickled down Archie's spine. Each word a gift, for Archie to keep forever.
Archie flailed for the nard bottle. His fingers caught the edge of fabric, dragged it toward him. “Dammit.” It was snagged in the pocket sideways. Required two hands. He rolled to the side. The coat dragged over Horatio's face.
“Dammit – Don't laugh Horatio, I'm trying to-- there.” He got it loose from the pocket, Horatio's laughter died away slowly, replaced by a look of wide-eyed trust that squeezed Archie's heart.
“Let's do you first.” Horatio said. He took the little stone bottle. He touched Archie a moment later, and the slide of his hands was the best thing ever, ever. Horatio was looking down at what his own hands were doing, sliding over the pushing-forward length of Archie. “Look at you Archie--” Horatio said. “Look at you, you are so—” They were both looking, could not stop looking at what Horatio's hands were doing. It took Archie some time to realize that they were both staring down at his cock in open mouthed idiocy. He caught Horatio's hands, pulled them away.
“Your turn Horatio.” His mouth was dry. Horatio whined and lifted as Archie readied him. He was sweet and soft back there, but his hands were strong around Archie, as they joined together. His hands were on Archie's flanks, and it was all right.
Archie's hands were in the weeds, crushing the soft new flowers, and he could not help it. Horatio was under him, and moving with him, and his knees were in the meadow grass. The sun was on his back, like honey from a bucket – something about a bucket – no it was gone for good. It was slower this time, and they had time to speak to each other, words of love that snagged in their mouths, crazy endearments caught in their hair. Horatio's hands were in his mouth, tasting of the pond and the meadow. He was a creature of this place, of the grasses and the tea brown water. And Archie was pulled along forward, and given a place to belong.
Horatio went first, and Archie felt the rigid moment, and the heated wet between them. Grateful, gasping, Archie followed him down.
The mania had passed. Their bodies were heavy together, drained, for now and slow. The shivering grasses above them formed a little round world, topped by an oval of blue sky, just the size of the two of them. Sleep was not a reasoned decision. It overtook them, and here at least they did not have to resist. The sound of the wind in the grass, was almost like the purling water on the side of a ship. Archie's last disjointed thought, was that it smelled better. They slept.