|Agent Fox Mulder (i_want_2) wrote in multi_fiction,|
@ 2008-03-20 00:08:00
|Entry tags:||hornblower, rated: teen, slash|
Fic: Into the Mists 1/1 Horatio Hornblower
Title: Into The Mists
Author: Lopaka Tanu
Disclaimer: I do not own Horatio Hornblower.
Characters: Horatio, Archie, Maria
Prompt: Supernatural (Creature)
Fandom: Horatio Hornblower
Warnings: Language, Character Death
Summary: The fog holds secrets no living mortal shall know.
Author's Note: Spoilers for Duty.
As a lad, Horatio had heard tales of great creatures that haunted the depths of far oceans. Terrible monsters that stretched the imagination were known to eat men, having plucked them from their very boats. Someone always had an uncle or a cousin who would swear to have born witness. Each testimony varied from person to person, but one thing was always consistent, the fog.
In every story ever told of dire consequences, baring warnings about entering the fog. Demonic creatures inhabited the cool mists that longed to steal the souls of any who dared venture there. Many a man had lost his life because he was foolish enough to ignore them. On ships, at least a man had no choice, but those who ventured to the shores deserved whatever fate these demons sought fit to give.
When the fog rolled in, people would shutter their windows and bar their doors. No self respecting man would dare trot about in the dense matter. A mother would scarcely be worthy the title if she allowed her child to run free, lest the mist steal them away. Everyone knew creatures inhabited the mist, evil and hungry, they waited.
As a child, these stories fascinated Horatio. Many a night he laid awake dreaming of what he would find in them. Despite the whispered warnings from his childhood acquaintances, he longed to venture out in search of these beings. Perhaps they were not as bad, merely misunderstood. After all, people in London walked the foggy streets daily and none were harmed by anything less than human. May be the stories were just that.
As time passed, and he grew old enough to make decisions about when he would take walks on his own, Horatio never forgot these stories. Over the years, he grew to realize these stories were no more than that. For every lost uncle's friend or disappeared brother's shipmate, there was a logical answer, usually something involving disease. To say he was disappointed hardly seemed fair, but considering the alternative, he figured it best.
Creatures who haunted the fog were better left in the imagination was the common consent.
Halting midstep, Horatio faltered enough he had to catch himself on a near wall. He frowned as he glanced about, sure he had heard someone calling to him. When no figure presented itself from the mists, he tugged his seacoat tighter about him. "Who is there?"
A wind billowed from the streets, tossing papers and leaves in his direction.
His hair, damp from the morning, froze in place. Shivering, Horatio tugged up his collar. "Show yourself." When no more response came, he heaved a put upon sigh and turned to continue on his way. After three steps, he found he could no longer see the street.
Reaching out again, he found the wall. Using it to guide his fingers, he took each new step carefully. He hadn't the time for delays if he was going to make it to Mrs. Mason's boarding house before she threw his possessions in to the street. It would hardly be the first time, and most likely, would not be the last.
With each step, he painfully felt the loss of his sword. The last true sign of his earned rank, it had only garnered him enough to pay half his past debt. Still, the greedy woman would keep him up so long as he earned even a little coin. The promise of more was all that kept him in linens, be they clean or not.
"Poor Horatio, you look terrible."
The whisper blew across his ear from a heated breath. Spinning, he swung out wildly to draw back the one who dared presume such a close contact. When he encountered no soul, corporeal or other wise, Horatio's gaze widened.
Swallowing, he drew in a shuddering breath. He forced himself to blink several times in the hopes of clearing his vision. All for not, the mists were still too thick. He licked his lips and croaked twice before he could get out a horse whisper. "Who is there?"
Facing in to the wind, he found himself clutching desperately to the wall. More leaves were kicked up, flying about as spirits straining the limits of his vision. He frantically tracked any movement, any thing he could see in the dull gray light. "Show yourselves, I am not afraid."
"Always the brave one. You'd face down a cannon if it meant you were right." A chuckle accompanied the voice.
Closing his eyes, Horatio turned his head to the side. Warmth cupped his cheek, forcing him to face out in to the fog. Despite the insistence of the touch, he kept his eyes tightly shut. "Go away."
The warmth on his cheek chilled rapidly. Opening his eyes, Horatio reached up to place a hand over the skin. He could feel the lingering traces of fingers upon his skin.
Mists swirled, bone chilling winds driving them apart. As they separated, a figure appeared in the distance.
At first, Horatio could make out nothing but a vague outline. Within moments, though, familiar features appeared and a knowing smile graced them. In shock, Horatio took a step towards the person. Before he could stop himself, he reached out a hand to touch him.
"Hello, Horatio." Arms raised, he stepped forwards to wrap them around the taller man.
Closing his eyes when they made contact, Horatio held back but for the hand upon this man's shoulder. It could not be, all laws dictated it was impossible. The man before him, holding him, should not exist in this place. Realizing this, Horatio wrapped his arms tightly around him.
He gave a huff as the breath was squeezed from his body. "I've missed you as well."
Not caring for decorum, Horatio buried his face in the shoulder of his companion. Inhaling deeply, he pressed his lips against whatever skin was available. "God, my sweet Archie." Not wanting to let go, he pulled back only enough to stare deeply in to his eyes. "Please."
Tilting his head to the side, Archie reached up to caress Horatio's cheek. This time, the touch lingered and the hand remained solid. "Yes."
Horatio closed his eyes. It would be all right now.
Dipping the already soaked cloth back in to bowl of water, Maria quickly squeezed the excess out. She frowned at the feel of it. The water was no longer cool, which meant she had to go down and draw up more from the well. As she turned to place the rag back over Horatio's forehead, his body heaved a great sigh.
For a moment, she stood there waiting the next breath. She was still standing there twenty minutes later when her mother came looking for her.