jack_aubrey: *watching his first lieutenant* I think Tom Pullings is quite fond of Maximus.
stephen_maturin: *looks around* I think they're all quite fond of him, Jack.
jack_aubrey: Well, that should improve his mood!
stephen_maturin: *is still pondering this* I think it may be a projection of how they feel about you. He is not their captain, therefore he is safer to consider as a comrade, a friend or... *wide-eyed* Dear Jack, I believe the entire ship may, in fact, be in love with you.
jack_aubrey: Ha, ha, ha! That was very funny indeed, Stephen. The whole ship! *wipes his brow and guffaws*
stephen_maturin: *is deadly serious*
jack_aubrey: *finds that even funnier*
stephen_maturin: *sighs* Actually, Jack, I think it might be that Lieutenant Pullings does indeed admire Maximus.
jack_aubrey: Well, perhaps it would be good for Maximus to spend some time with Lieutenant Pullings, then. I wouldn't want him to feel any inappropriate obligation to me. Er, to us.
stephen_maturin: *nods slowly* Indeed...
jack_aubrey: *is slightly unhappy about this, but resigned* Well. I shall invite them both to dinner then.
stephen_maturin: *reaches out and pats his arm* Good, Jack.
jack_aubrey: *sighs inwardly, concluding that Stephen is probably jealous of Jack and Maximus but he rather understands that because he is jealous of Stephen and Maximus, and goes to find Pullings*
Pullings: *is very pleased to be invited to dinner with Jack, Stephen and Maximus and agrees eagerly*
jack_aubrey: *goes to find Maximus*
maximus_tm: *has just concluded another lesson in swordplay with the midshipmen and is now leaning against the rail and staring down into the water*
jack_aubrey: *leans over to see what he is looking at* Why, that is a sunfish. Or a marlinspike. Or...oh dear. The doctor could tell you.
maximus_tm: *laughs softly* I am sure the doctor knows what it is thinking, whatever it is.
jack_aubrey: Or at least he will tell you that he does, before he dissects it, when it would have made a perfectly good dinner. On which subject, I hope you will honor us with your presence.
maximus_tm: Of course I will, there is no need to even ask. Captain.
jack_aubrey: I've also invited Lieutenant Pullings.
maximus_tm: Indeed? Very well. I have not yet dined with any of your officers, I do hope they haven't felt put out about it.
jack_aubrey: I have sent fresh pork down to the officers mess. I daresay they will want me to continue to invite you to sail with us, ha, ha!
maximus_tm: *smiles at him* Very generous of you, Captain.
jack_aubrey: *cautiously* But you have met Tom Pullings, I know. An excellent seaman.
maximus_tm: Yes, he does seem to be.
jack_aubrey: *brightens a bit* Then you like him? You find his company agreeable?
maximus_tm: Why, yes, I do.
jack_aubrey: Perhaps I shall have him show you the ropes, the next time I am busy with the carpenter and his mates. Would you like that?
maximus_tm: Certainly, I would.
jack_aubrey: *very slightly jealous, and irked at himself because he knows this is selfish of him* Ah, good. Excellent!
maximus_tm: *smiling a little* Yes, excellent.
jack_aubrey: *somewhat anxiously* Of course, you should not feel obligated to try to befriend any of the crew simply because they are my crew. That is, if I make a suggestion, you must feel free to tell me no.
maximus_tm: Of course, I will, Jack. *smiles*
jack_aubrey: And if...that is, if you, ah, wanted to visit alone with myself and Stephen...
maximus_tm: ... Yes?
jack_aubrey: *stammers for a minute* Well. I don't wish to overwhelm you with introductions if you would prefer that I not.
maximus_tm: No, Jack, it's quite all right. *reaches out and squeezes his shoulder* I have indeed met most everyone here by now -- and I would like to dine with the three of you tonight.
jack_aubrey: Ah. Good. Well, I had better go and tell Killick. *goes below to find Killick and runs into Stephen* Maximus said that he will join us.
stephen_maturin: Did you doubt that he would?
jack_aubrey: No. Of course I could not be certain that he would want to dine with Tom...though why shouldn't he want to dine with Tom? *somewhat cranky*
stephen_maturin: *raises eyebrows at him*
jack_aubrey: Well? Of course he would want to dine with us and Tom.
stephen_maturin: *pulls Jack aside into his own cabin* You sounded rather put out.
jack_aubrey: *goes and sits down* No, not at all.
stephen_maturin: *goes over and stands behind him, hands on Jack's shoulders, kneading a little* You are tense.
jack_aubrey: I'm worried about him. Do you think he is ready to be observing such social niceties?
stephen_maturin: Jack, he has been giving lessons -- he most certainly is ready for socializing.
jack_aubrey: He has been giving lessons to the ship's boys, who can hardly be considered his equals. That is not the same thing as...
stephen_maturin: Eating dinner with Lieutenant Pullings?
jack_aubrey: Well, exactly. Next to myself, Tom is the senior officer on this ship. Should the worst happen, he could find himself taking orders from Lieutenant Pullings!
stephen_maturin: Yes... otherwise, he would be taking orders from you.
jack_aubrey: It's not as if I've been giving him orders!
stephen_maturin: Yes, Jack, but eventually, you will.
jack_aubrey: I don't see why I should, except when necessary. It isn't as if I give you orders on a daily basis.
stephen_maturin: *sits at Jack's right and gives him a bit of a look*
jack_aubrey: *gives an exaggerated shrug* Very well. If you think he's ready to be off drinking with the crew.
stephen_maturin: *sighs* That is not what I am saying.
jack_aubrey: I do wish you would speak plainly, Stephen.
stephen_maturin: I am wondering if you regret asking Pullings to join us now because you have considered these other things, or if, perhaps, because you do not wish to share just yet.
jack_aubrey: *breaks eye contact and fiddles with a loose thread on his coat* Don't be ridiculous. It isn't as if he's mine to share or not. And it isn't as if the three of us haven't been...ah.
stephen_maturin: Of course, Jack.
jack_aubrey: *frowns* There is, of course, the matter of...well, it hardly matters what he tells Tom about his origins. I don't doubt Tom's loyalty to me. But I have not actually spoken to Maximus about the rumors that I have allowed to circulate, though I assume he must have heard them.
stephen_maturin: Which rumors?
jack_aubrey: *looks at Stephen like he's not sure what country he's been living in* Why, that he is my brother. That he was born of English parentage. *now looking worried* We had better speak to him. Before dinner, I mean.
stephen_maturin: *nodding* Yes, Jack.
jack_aubrey: I shall find him. *straightens his jacket and goes back up on deck*
stephen_maturin: *watches him go, then heads off to make a few notes on a bird he's been studying*
jack_aubrey: *finds Maximus talking to Tom about how the halliards work*
maximus_tm: *looks very happy to see Jack again*
jack_aubrey: *is very happy to see Maximus but not sure how he feels about the fact that Maximus and Tom are already such good friends* I'm very sorry to interrupt, gentlemen, but I was wondering whether I might have a word with you, Maximus.
maximus_tm: Oh, certainly, Captain. *gives Pullings a smile before stepping aside with Jack*
jack_aubrey: *quite formally* The deck is yours, Lieutenant Pullings. If the wind picks up, see about the foresail. *escorts Maximus below*
maximus_tm: Is there a problem, Jack?
jack_aubrey: *laughs too loudly* A problem! No, no, not at all. *marches straight to the stern cabin*
maximus_tm: Then...what is it?
jack_aubrey: *escorts him inside and shuts the door* Ah...Maximus, have any of the men asked you where you come from?
maximus_tm: No, Jack... *laughs softly* I imagine they are all too polite to do so, since I believe they guess that I am your illegitimate brother.
jack_aubrey: *scratches his head and looks away* I must confess to you that I have done nothing to discourage that belief.
maximus_tm: It has never been easy for illegitimate children -- however, it would be easier for me to pretend that I am, indeed, your brother, rather than "Lieutenant, did I mention that I am over one thousand, five hundred years old? I was a general under Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius!"
jack_aubrey: *laughs, relieved* I believe you may find among the crew that there are more men whose parents were never married than otherwise. Of course, it is different for men of our status, though one is often surprised even there about which men are bastards and which are not. *decides he can't violate Stephen's privacy by mentioning his name* It does not trouble you, then, to be thought of as such?
maximus_tm: No, Jack, it does not trouble me. It is one of the smaller troubles of my life.
jack_aubrey: I am very glad for that. It solves several problems all at once, you see. To begin with, it will be presumed that you are an Englishman...do you object to being thought a subject of the King?
maximus_tm: No, it does not trouble me.
jack_aubrey: *smiles and nods* Good, good. Because, if you are believed to be an Englishman rather than a Spaniard, no one will question any position to which I might assign you on this ship. Nor will they question your share of the prize-money, so long as you acquit yourself in battle, which I am certain you will do. And there will be no questions about why your bunk is near to mine, nor why you spend so much time in the stern cabin.
maximus_tm: *smiles back* From the expression on your face, for a moment I thought you had very bad news for me. You seemed very worried, Jack.
jack_aubrey: *glances away again* I had merely realized that if you were going to be, ah, fraternizing with members of the crew, it would be better for everyone if we came to an agreement about how to present your origins. I think you need not worry about our father -- that is, my father. One look at you and General Aubrey will be sorry he can't make you his heir and put you at the head of the army with Wellington, ha!
maximus_tm: *reaches out and squeezes his shoulder* I would much rather stay by your side.
jack_aubrey: *is utterly distracted by this, and puts his hand on Maximus' arm, having forgotten what else he was going to say*
maximus_tm: *rather impulsively leans in and gives him a kiss* How long until dinner, Jack?
jack_aubrey: *is holding on to both his arms now* Ah...the bell just struck...
maximus_tm: So...Stephen and Lieutenant Pullings should be here any moment now?
jack_aubrey: No, no, not for nearly another hour. *clears his throat suddenly* Stephen. Ah...he might be back at any minute.
maximus_tm: *nods slowly and glances at Jack's mouth* Ah, yes...
jack_aubrey: *is utterly transfixed by Maximus' eyes on his mouth and can't seem to come up with any good puns*
maximus_tm: *leans forward and kisses him again, not quite as brotherly as before*
jack_aubrey: *kisses him back, not very brotherly at all*
maximus_tm: *presses closer, lifting a hand to Jack's hair*
jack_aubrey: *can't think what to do but let him, though he is perfectly aware that Stephen, or Killick, or any number of other people might arrive at any moment and neither Stephen nor Killick would bother to knock*
maximus_tm: *breaks the kiss and rests his forehead against Jack's* Oh. Forgive me--anyone could have come in.
jack_aubrey: *laughs rather breathlessly* Yes, well, fortunately most of them believe that you are my brother.
maximus_tm: *stroking his cheek* That was not a brotherly kiss.
jack_aubrey: No, but there is some small chance that someone coming in unexpectedly might have feigned to believe that it was.
maximus_tm: *smiles and brushes his thumb over Jack's mouth* Perhaps, yes.
jack_aubrey: *looks at him with vague helplessness* This is very confusing. A few minutes ago, I had very nearly convinced myself that you were my long-lost brother. I was thinking of my father as our father, and how pleasant it would be to have another who understood...but of course that is all fancy.
maximus_tm: *sighs a little, slipping his arms around Jack and holding him* I am not your brother.
jack_aubrey: I know that. And yet...you must be my brother. It is because so many accept that you are my brother that we can be here like this at all.
maximus_tm: *strokes his hair a little, nodding* Of course.
jack_aubrey: *is feeling terribly selfish and greedy and thinking that he inadvertently told Stephen untruths about Maximus twice that day, and shuts his eyes because he doesn't want Maximus to stop*
maximus_tm: *kisses his forehead* I have not upset you?
jack_aubrey: *smiles at him a little* I won't deny that you have made me more confused, but no, you have not upset me.
maximus_tm: *frowns* Confused? I'm sorry, Jack.
jack_aubrey: There is no need to apologize. Don't it confuse you? *laughs a little*
maximus_tm: *smiles a little* Yes... yes, it does. *holds him tight again* But I am not nearly so confused when I am with you.
jack_aubrey: *is trying to decide whether Stephen would be upset with him for kissing Maximus when Stephen isn't there or pleased with him for making Maximus smile, and knowing he is far from objective in choosing which he should do*
maximus_tm: *closes his eyes and lets out a little sigh, stroking Jack's back* Is there going to be more plum dessert tonight?
jack_aubrey: *chuckles a little, wondering what Maximus is really asking* There will always be dessert, except during emergencies.
maximus_tm: *nuzzles at his ear* Good.
jack_aubrey: *lets out a very quiet, inadvertent moan*
maximus_tm: *trails his lips along Jack's cheek and kisses him again*
jack_aubrey: *holds on to him and kisses him back*
maximus_tm: *sucks on his lower lip, pressing closer to him*
jack_aubrey: *wraps an arm around his waist and holds him there*
maximus_tm: *licks at Jack's lip* I want...
jack_aubrey: *moans softly again* What do you want?
maximus_tm: *pulls back and then drops down to his knees, opening Jack's breeches even as he looks questioningly up at him*
jack_aubrey: *glancing back at the door* Dear God, here?
maximus_tm: Tell me where. Please.
jack_aubrey: *steps back, tugs his clothes into place and tries to think -- his sleeping cabin is mere steps away but he has no idea where Stephen has gone off to, nor what he'd say about this* Please. Get up. Let me think.
maximus_tm: *gets quickly to his feet*
jack_aubrey: *paces toward his cabin, spins back around* Maximus. I apologize. I have to -- I must speak to Stephen. I am truly sorry if I... *stops and wonders whether Maximus will get morose, or, worse, go off in search of Pullings*
maximus_tm: Where is Stephen?
jack_aubrey: *attempting to laugh* Oh, he is no doubt studying an emu or an ostrich that has become trapped in the rigging.
maximus_tm: *sounds a little sad* I would have hoped perhaps I would be more interesting to him than a bird.
jack_aubrey: Please don't take it to heart. Stephen has occasionally forsaken my cabin for days on end to sketch birds and collect lizard dung.
maximus_tm: So he might not even come to dinner?
jack_aubrey: He will join us. He may be angry that I was making jokes at his expense; I am sure he realizes that there could be no emu in the rigging, as no emu could have flown there; only ostriches can fly such great distances from shore.
maximus_tm: *realizing that Jack is stalling* You should go and find him. I will review the musical scales Stephen made up for me.
jack_aubrey: You aren't angry? Or unhappy with me?
maximus_tm: No, Jack, not at all.
jack_aubrey: *smiles, starts to take his leave, rushes back over to kiss him, then races out to find Stephen*
stephen_maturin: *has completely engrossed himself in his most recent literary acquisition about birds*
jack_aubrey: *comes and stands inside the entrance to his office*
stephen_maturin: *senses a presence and looks up, blinks at Jack a few times, then drops his book* I missed dinner again, didn't I?
jack_aubrey: *almost jumps out of his skin before he realizes that of course he would have heard the bell* No, dinner hasn't been served yet.
stephen_maturin: Oh, well, good... Whatever is the matter?
jack_aubrey: *makes a rather helpless gesture* Maximus...he, ah...
stephen_maturin: *gets to his feet* What? What's happened?
jack_aubrey: *tries to wave him down* Nothing. Nothing. He's fine.
stephen_maturin: *lets out a sigh of relief* Good. Then... what is it?
jack_aubrey: He wanted to, well...Stephen, I fear that I was perhaps not entirely truthful with you earlier.
stephen_maturin: *takes off his glasses and frowns at him*
jack_aubrey: *cannot bear to see Stephen frowning, resolves the he will have to tell Maximus sorry but no, wonders how much this will upset Maximus, wonders whether Stephen will be very angry with him for upsetting Maximus, and is at an utter loss what to say*
stephen_maturin: Jack, what has happened? Are you certain I do not need to see him?
jack_aubrey: *very low* ...he kissed me.
stephen_maturin: He what?
jack_aubrey: Kissed me. I...persuaded him that I...Stephen, I'm afraid I am making a terrible mess of things.
stephen_maturin: *sounds very amused* You are distressed because he kissed you?
jack_aubrey: *hears the amusement in his voice* You are not distressed at all that he kissed me?
stephen_maturin: No, Jack, I have been trying to tell you for several days now that he is quite taken with you.
jack_aubrey: He tried to, ah, that is, he would have, if I had let him... *gestures at the floor, unable to come up with words*
stephen_maturin: I see. And you stopped him.
jack_aubrey: I did not say anything unkind to him, Stephen! He was smiling when I left him.
stephen_maturin: That is very reassuring.
jack_aubrey: *anxiously* Well, what should I have done?
stephen_maturin: Jack... did you want him to... ?
jack_aubrey: *glances at him quickly* Ah. As I said...well. Here I am.
stephen_maturin: Yes, here you are. *sits down again and smiles a bit at him*
jack_aubrey: You aren't upset with him, are you? I'm certain he meant no disrespect to you.
stephen_maturin: No, Jack, I am not upset at all.
jack_aubrey: I told him I would return shortly. I did not want any awkwardness at dinner. Ah...what do you think I should say to him?
stephen_maturin: About what, exactly?
jack_aubrey: *turning very red* Well, I may have led him to believe that I was not entirely unwilling.
stephen_maturin: I think, Jack, that I would be surprised to find that you were unwilling.
jack_aubrey: *looks as though he may have an apoplexy*
stephen_maturin: *gets up and points at the chair* Sit. Before you have an apoplexy.
jack_aubrey: *sits, hanging his head*
stephen_maturin: *stroking the back of his neck* It has not entirely escaped my notice that you desire each other.
jack_aubrey: *very unhappily* Stephen, I don't mean to.
stephen_maturin: *strokes his hair* Jack... if you find yourself alone with him and wish to -- I would be angry with you only if you chose to try to hide it from me.
jack_aubrey: *looks up at him rather pathetically* Stephen, I have never hidden anything from you. I would certainly not hide...that is, if it, ah, if I were to allow anything to happen, I would never hide it.
stephen_maturin: But you... will not allow anything to happen?
jack_aubrey: I -- I don't see how I could. It wouldn't be right, when I am telling everyone that he is my brother, would it? And it would not be fair to you.
stephen_maturin: *nodding* And when the three of us are together?
jack_aubrey: You are saying...you want that to stop?
stephen_maturin: No, Jack. I am asking, what happens then?
jack_aubrey: I don't know. *looks miserable again* What should you do, was you in my shoes?
stephen_maturin: *sighs* I honestly don't know, either.
jack_aubrey: *is quite horrified by this as Stephen knows everything, except anything about matters nautical* But...what should I tell him now!
stephen_maturin: What did you tell him when you left?
jack_aubrey: Only that I needed to speak to you.
stephen_maturin: Well, you could merely tell him that it was a personal matter, or you could tell another untruth and say that it was ship's business that you had forgotten about.
jack_aubrey: I don't like telling untruths. I daresay I don't do it as well as -- as other men.
stephen_maturin: Then simply tell him that you came to me on a personal matter -- which you did, and I will tell him that we should be able to see porpoises soon, and if he has never seen one, will be certain to immediately "lecture" him on the subject.
jack_aubrey: *still looks distressed*
stephen_maturin: There's no point in being that upset about it. We'll have dinner, and it will be a lovely evening, and then Pullings will return to his duties.
jack_aubrey: I'm not hungry.
stephen_maturin: *gives him a look*
jack_aubrey: *irritably* You are the one who is always telling me I eat too much!
stephen_maturin: Very well. We can spend the evening here together, and I am certain that Maximus and Tom will enjoy their dinner alone together.
jack_aubrey: Don't be ridiculous, Killick would not serve dinner in the great cabin was I not in attendance.
stephen_maturin: So you will cancel dinner, then?
jack_aubrey: *glares at him* You are being most uncommonly cruel!
stephen_maturin: And you, my dear Jack, are being quite absurd.
jack_aubrey: Absurd! What is it that you think I should do, Stephen?
stephen_maturin: Smile, and laugh, and have dinner, and if Maximus should want to...touch you, later, if that is what you desire... then LET him.
jack_aubrey: ...do you want him to touch me?
stephen_maturin: ... I beg your pardon?
jack_aubrey: That's the second time you've suggested that I simply do what he -- what I -- well, that I simply should do it!
stephen_maturin: Jack, I don't want to see you miserable like this.
jack_aubrey: I am certainly not going to be less miserable if you are unhappy!
stephen_maturin: Jack, I am not going to be unhappy.
jack_aubrey: I know that you are not going to be unhappy tonight. You seem quite amused by all of this. But what of next week, or next month?
stephen_maturin: *frowns a little* I cannot say with any certainty what the next weeks and months will bring.
jack_aubrey: *looks miserable again*
stephen_maturin: *sighs* Do you wish to tell him that you are not interested unless I am involved?
jack_aubrey: Do you think I should?
stephen_maturin: *sighs and runs a hand over his hair, leaning back against his small desk* I may have been present that night, Jack, but he initiated it with you. It's you he desires.
jack_aubrey: Stephen, you practically pushed me into his arms that night.
stephen_maturin: Well, yes, I suppose I did.
jack_aubrey: Also, I believe you underestimate the extent of his interest in you.
stephen_maturin: *looks startled by this*
jack_aubrey: I am the first person he met from this century, and the captain of this ship. And your particular friend. I don't think he would have dared touch you unless he thought he had my full approval.
stephen_maturin: Well -- well, yes, that makes sense.
jack_aubrey: *suddenly curious* If it had been you, today, instead of me, and I had been up on the quarterdeck trying to teach those poor fellows to splice...what would you have done?
stephen_maturin: *blushes a little* I would have babbled excuses and fled to hide.
jack_aubrey: Why? I know you are drawn to him.
stephen_maturin: Because I would not dare to hurt you, Jack.
jack_aubrey: *is speechless for a minute and blinking too much to look at him*
stephen_maturin: Not--not over this. Not over him. *strokes Jack's cheek* I love you, not him.
jack_aubrey: *covers his hand with his own, swallows a couple of times* Then why should it surprise you that I ran away and came here?
stephen_maturin: *shakes his head* I suppose it doesn't.
jack_aubrey: *knows better than to try to embrace him in the sick bay, so just holds on to his hand* Stephen...there have been women, for both of us. Why should this be different?
stephen_maturin: Because he is not a woman?
jack_aubrey: But why should that change anything? It does, I know. I should find it far more bitter was you to go off with some man in London instead of with Diana.
stephen_maturin: *smiles a little* I wish I could tell you.
jack_aubrey: But...I daresay, even if it was a man, it should not change my love for you.
stephen_maturin: Nor mine for you, my dear Jack. *wants desperately to lean down and kiss him, but refrains, and merely squeezes his fingers instead*
jack_aubrey: Do you know, when I am with you, without him, I find that I did not lie. I do think of him as a brother. And...I would not begrudge you my brother, nor him you.
stephen_maturin: But just a little while ago, with him... I think he would not have wanted to pleasure you if you were behaving in a more brotherly fashion.
jack_aubrey: *turns very red again* I was speaking to him about my father, and feeling most fraternal. And then...he touched me, and I forgot what I was saying.
stephen_maturin: His touch seems to have that effect.
jack_aubrey: Then you must understand, Stephen, that I meant in no way to be disloyal to you!
stephen_maturin: Oh, Jack, I knew that.
jack_aubrey: *hears the bell and jumps to his feet* Dear God, Stephen! They'll be waiting.
stephen_maturin: *smiles and adjusts his jacket for him, smoothing out the sleeves* Yes, they will. Come, my dear.
jack_aubrey: *does his best to make himself presentable and dignified, strides through the orlop nodding to people*
stephen_maturin: *follows Jack, a tiny smile on his face*
jack_aubrey: *marches straight to the cabin, where Pullings is waiting respectfully outside, nods to him and sweeps on in*
stephen_maturin: *follows him in, along with Pullings*
maximus_tm: *looks up from intently studying the pages on notes and scales that Stephen had done up for him, and gets to his feet, smiling broadly*
jack_aubrey: *smiles back just as broadly, then turns very red, and wonders what Tom must think if he notices* Ah. Maximus. I'm very sorry we were detained.
maximus_tm: At the very least I think I have most of this memorized now. *puts the pages down and steps over to the table*
jack_aubrey: *marches over himself, as no one is supposed to sit before the captain, though he hasn't really bothered to explain any of these things to Maximus, and Stephen has never worried much about them and Tom won't say anything*
maximus_tm: *pauses with a hand on the back of a chair, and figures he should wait for Jack to sit*
stephen_maturin: *glances down at the deck and smiles a little*
jack_aubrey: *sits, clears his throat very loudly, asks Tom about the sails, and gets a ten-minute report on them*
maximus_tm: *sits across from Stephen and listens intently to Tom's report, trying to pick out any particular sailing terminology that sounds familiar*
jack_aubrey: *is aware of Maximus listening as intently as Stephen is tuning the conversation out and wonders why*
maximus_tm: *catches Jack's gaze for a moment and gives him a little smile*
jack_aubrey: *smiles back at him, then glances at Stephen, who appears to be watching Tom glancing back and forth from Maximus to Jack*
stephen_maturin: *remains quite quiet, and then looks up as Killick comes in with their meal*
jack_aubrey: *discovers that he has, in fact, become quite hungry, and eats two servings of pork even though Stephen is shooting him looks*
Pullings: *is even hungrier, having taken the early watch*
maximus_tm: *eats his fair share, still rather startled at just how much Jack can eat*
jack_aubrey: *is also drinking more than is probably wise, and telling horrible jokes for the benefit of Maximus as everyone else has heard them before*
maximus_tm: *sits back in his chair with his wine glass in his hand as he has eaten his fill*
jack_aubrey: *is listening to Stephen go on about porpoises to Maximus and wondering if there is some polite way to shut him up, like making a joke about how Stephen lost his virtue to a porpoise*
Pullings: *announces that he must see to the pumps, and that Jack should please let him take care of it, sir, and enjoy his evening*
maximus_tm: *politely wishes Tom a good night*
stephen_maturin: *actually interrupts his own tales of porpoises to wish Tom a good night as well*
jack_aubrey: *seizes upon this opportunity to ask Maximus whether he ever went to Greece, and talks right over Stephen when Stephen mentions that there are porpoises in the sea there*
maximus_tm: No, Jack, most of my campaigns were in the east and the north.
jack_aubrey: And you said you had never been to Rome, until you were taken there?
maximus_tm: *nods* Yes, that's right.
jack_aubrey: You must have been away from your family for longer than I am.
maximus_tm: Yes. Before -- everything happened, I had been away for nearly three years.
jack_aubrey: Three years! *glances at Stephen* I hope that you had a particular friend with you, so long away from home.
maximus_tm: Yes, I did.
jack_aubrey: *thinking that explains a lot, and wondering how to ask whether this was common, as the stories about Rome say* Then you did not mind being sent marching across the Empire at your Caesar's whim?
maximus_tm: Mind? I longed for home. I loved my wife and my son. I wasn't able to watch him grow. But it was my duty. I believed in Rome. Cicero -- my... particular friend, as you say -- made it a little more bearable.
jack_aubrey: *thinking it is interesting that he has never heard Maximus say his wife's name* I understand. I did not mean to make you remember unhappy times.
maximus_tm: No, it's...all right... Though I must admit I long for the day when I can speak of it without such pain.
jack_aubrey: I am very sorry. More plum duff?
maximus_tm: Yes, thank you, Jack.
stephen_maturin: *is a little sulky that they've stopped talking about his porpoises*
jack_aubrey: *offers some to Stephen* Doctor?
stephen_maturin: *glances up at him* Thank you. *takes some for himself and sits back to watch them both*
jack_aubrey: *only takes a little, as he is quite full from dinner and feeling slightly uneasy again*
maximus_tm: *quiet for a moment, then, says in a soft voice* I have memorized all the notes on the scale. The one that Stephen left for me a few nights ago. I suppose it is time for more. *gives a little smile*
jack_aubrey: *glances at Stephen* Do you have more work for him?
stephen_maturin: Well, we shall see tomorrow if you have truly memorized them. *smiles at him in return and finishes his plum duff*
jack_aubrey: Oh! I have something for you. *gets up and goes digging* Killick found it in my private stores; he thinks one of the men must have gone looking to steal wine and dropped it, so of course none of them will admit to owning it now. *comes back to the table* Here. It's a pennywhistle. Not so fine an instrument as a cello but you can practice scales on it.
maximus_tm: *takes it and looks at it curiously* Well, thank you, Jack.
jack_aubrey: *is happy again* You've no need to thank me but some poor drunken brute on the lower decks.
maximus_tm: *smiles at him, noticing instantly that he is in better spirits, and reaches out to cover his hand*
jack_aubrey: *hesitates for a split second, decides it would be brutal not to take his hand, and glances at Stephen as he does so*
stephen_maturin: *nods a little with an encouraging smile, then gets up to go over to his cello*
maximus_tm: *looks down for a moment, squeezing Jack's hand* I will admit to you, though... that for a while, when you did not come back... I was worried.
jack_aubrey: Worried about what?
maximus_tm: That I had upset you.
jack_aubrey: *is shaking his head but squeezing his fingers much too tightly for comfort* No, not at all.
stephen_maturin: *is tuning the cello as quietly as he can, hoping not to draw attention to himself*
maximus_tm: *lets out a relieved breath* I would hate to think that I had already done something to make you ask me to leave. I've become very comfortable here. With you. Both of you.
jack_aubrey: *is horrified that he would think this* Maximus, even if you had upset me, I would not ask you to leave!
maximus_tm: *looks very embarrassed* You must understand, Jack, that for the last several months, I have not been in the best state of mind.
jack_aubrey: *is embarrassed by this entire conversation, as Englishmen just Don't Talk About Such Things* Please. There is no need to explain. It delights me that you are comfortable here -- Stephen, too. *glances over at him where he is tuning* I will tell you the truth...I did not know what to think, before, without him here.
maximus_tm: Yes, yes, that is what I thought, after you left. I should have known. *peers at him for a moment, then smiles brightly* You are embarrassed. I'm quite sorry for bringing it up.
stephen_maturin: *has begun playing a Mozart piece, very softly, one he is quite comfortable and familiar with so that he might watch Jack and Maximus*
jack_aubrey: *blushes some more* Certainly not. I had only thought that I had better explain. I did not want you to think that I hadn't desired, or perhaps I should say that I had not appreciated...
maximus_tm: *leans over and kisses him* I understand.
stephen_maturin: *lets out a happy-sounding sigh at this and keeps playing -- this is better than the opera*
jack_aubrey: *is thinking he should probably go join Stephen at playing but is having the damndest time letting go of Maximus' hand* I am very sorry if I upset you.
maximus_tm: No, Jack -- well, yes, I was upset, but...many things seem to upset me after all that has happened. *laces his fingers with Jack's*
stephen_maturin: *lets his playing come to a crescendo at a particularly lovely, poignant part of the piece, and then plays more softly again after a moment, staring resolutely down at the cello to hide his smile*
jack_aubrey: *realizes that Stephen is watching them and playing for them and blushes some more without looking at him* Yet you seemed content when we returned for dinner.
maximus_tm: I was happy to see you. And it seemed that you were not terribly unhappy.
stephen_maturin: *is really, really enjoying himself*
jack_aubrey: I was not unhappy at all. I had thought that he *tilts his head in Stephen's direction* might be upset with me, but he was not. *can't blush any more at this point as he is already bright red, and tugs at his neckcloth*
maximus_tm: *thinks that Jack's fair skin might not be able to take much more blushing, and so he reaches out and pulls off his neckcloth, then gets up so he can help him out of his jacket in an attempt to make him more comfortable* I am glad that Stephen was not upset with you. I could not bear it if I came between you.
jack_aubrey: I think we agreed that that was not possible.
maximus_tm: *looks really, genuinely happy about this*
stephen_maturin: *finishes the piece with a dramatic flourish and then moves instantly into another*
jack_aubrey: *glances over again to see if Stephen wants company but he's playing a cello solo* I did not want you to feel, though, as if the two of us might be toying with you.
maximus_tm: *looks embarrassed by this, sitting again but taking Jack's hand* I will admit that the thought had crossed my mind.
stephen_maturin: *screeches horribly*
jack_aubrey: *is miserable* Maximus, I would never -- and he would never -- we did not discuss it -- it was all so very sudden --
maximus_tm: *leans over and kisses him* Good, then.
stephen_maturin: *is playing a little better now, though he misses a note*
jack_aubrey: Whatever did I say to make you think that -- is it that I have not properly introduced you to the others on board, or -- do you know, I think Pullings might have fancied you, I should have sent him in earlier but I was so distracted --
maximus_tm: *is about to say something, but then considers Jack's words again, and then gives him a wide-eyed stare* ... Fancied me?
stephen_maturin: *chokes back a bit of a laugh*
jack_aubrey: *suddenly realizes that he's being outrageously indiscreet where his first lieutenant is concerned* I am only making guesses of course!
maximus_tm: Oh. Oh, of course, of course.
jack_aubrey: *is quite ashamed of himself on any number of levels* You must not make any assumptions...I am not even certain that he looks at men in such a way, I've certainly had no direct evidence or I should have had to call him up for such indiscretion, I only thought...well, never mind what I thought! *mops at his face* I have had too much wine.
maximus_tm: *reaches out and tenderly touches Jack's face* I do wish you would relax, Jack.
jack_aubrey: *goes completely still under his fingers, though "relaxed" would not really be the word*
maximus_tm: *trails his fingers over Jack's cheek, and down his neck, to his chest, then starts unbuttoning his shirt*
jack_aubrey: *takes a single look to see if Stephen is paying attention and/or showing any reaction, then grabs Maximus by HIS shirt, pulls him close and kisses him*
stephen_maturin: *pauses in his playing, then begins again after a moment*
maximus_tm: Mmm! *kisses him back, reaching out to loosen Jack's hair*
jack_aubrey: *is rather urgent and not gentle tugging at Maximus' clothes*
maximus_tm: *lets out a little whimper against Jack's lips, stripping off his clothing before working on Jack's*
jack_aubrey: *tugs Maximus up to his feet* I need -- need to bar the door --
maximus_tm: Oh. Oh, yes.
jack_aubrey: *stumbles away from him, barricading the bulkheads with chairs from the table*
maximus_tm: *glances at Stephen, as though seeking permission*
stephen_maturin: *smiles reassuringly as he ruffles through sheet music to find another cello solo that he has been working on recently*
jack_aubrey: *moves back awkwardly to the narrow space left between the table and the locker, as there's not much room between Maximus and Stephen*
maximus_tm: *approaches Jack again, wrapping his arms around him and kissing him soundly*
jack_aubrey: *moans quietly and kisses him back*
maximus_tm: *touches his hair, then strips off his clothing*
jack_aubrey: *is trembling a little and feels ridiculous about it*
maximus_tm: Did you want to sit on the locker there? I could get a blanket and kneel in front of you. I want you in my mouth.
jack_aubrey: *looks at Stephen, who is sitting perhaps three feet away, then blushes and nods*
stephen_maturin: *smiles, playing another piece, a little louder this time, as though he intends to be able to help drown out any sounds Jack might make*
maximus_tm: Good. *kisses Jack again* Go. Sit. I will be with you shortly.
jack_aubrey: *sits, gripping the edge of the locker* Stephen.
maximus_tm: *has gone off to fetch a blanket for his knees*
stephen_maturin: Yes, my dear?
jack_aubrey: *feeling strangely shy even though he has been around Stephen naked more than he has been around Sophie naked* You're sure this is all right?
stephen_maturin: Oh, yes. I will admit I get... ah... very excited at the prospect of merely watching the two of you together.
maximus_tm: *returns, refolding the blanket before he puts it on the floor in front of Jack so that he can kneel upon it*
jack_aubrey: *is quite pink and sweating a bit and his knees feel like he's expecting to be hit by a broadside*
stephen_maturin: *turns that reassuring smile to Jack*
maximus_tm: *puts his hands on Jack's thighs, stroking gently* Will you be all right?
jack_aubrey: *is now quite dreadfully embarrassed, and quite distressed that when he moves his hand to touch Maximus' face his fingers are trembling*
maximus_tm: *turns his head to kiss Jack's hand, then pushes his thighs a little further apart as he leans closer to him and licks his cock*
jack_aubrey: *shudders, braces his feet on the floor and tries to hold still*
maximus_tm: Jack. *licks him again, and again, from root to tip*
jack_aubrey: *strokes through his hair, closing his eyes, and tries to think about ropes and sails to calm himself*
maximus_tm: *sucks on his balls, gently, one at a time, his hand sliding up to let his fingers trail over his cock*
jack_aubrey: *lets out a soft enthusiastic groan, and doesn't dare look at Stephen whom he fears is probably far too amused*
maximus_tm: *does this for quite some time, stroking him teasingly until he moves his mouth up Jack's length again*
jack_aubrey: *is doing his damndest just to keep his moaning quiet, clutching one of Maximus' shoulders, rocking on the edge of the locker* Oh that's -- yes, that -- ohh...
maximus_tm: *softly* And this? *takes him into his mouth, sucking gently*
jack_aubrey: *lets out a most ungentlemanlike whimper and clings to his shoulder* Oooh!
stephen_maturin: *smiles, torn between watching them breathlessly and playing, breathlessly, to try to cover any of Jack's moans*
maximus_tm: *hums softly and takes him in deeper*
jack_aubrey: *tries to watch, realizes that if he does it will be over much too quickly, clenches his eyes shut and tries not to think about the fact that Maximus is really good at this*
maximus_tm: *takes Jack's cock as far into his mouth as he can, then pulls back and takes him deeper again, starting a slow, steady rhythm sliding his mouth over him*
jack_aubrey: *is gnawing his lip with the effort not to cry out, and thinking maybe Stephen should keep some of the leather he gives patients to bite during amputations in the cabin*
maximus_tm: *sucks gently each time he moves his mouth up Jack's cock, and his hands slide up Jack's chest to play with his nipples*
jack_aubrey: *is making urgent little noises in his throat, squeezing Maximus' shoulder in the same rhythm Maximus is sucking him, vaguely aware that Stephen must be studying his face but completely past worrying about it*
maximus_tm: *takes him in as deep as he can now, swallowing around him, moaning softly, and then starting to suck almost urgently*
jack_aubrey: *starts to say Maximus' name but ends up only managing the first syllable, sounding like a sheep, hips jerking up off the locker*
maximus_tm: *doesn't let up on him, quite determined to make him fill his mouth, pinching his nipples*
jack_aubrey: *lets out rather the equivalent of his "Let fly" roar, and spends hard in his mouth*
maximus_tm: *swallows it down eagerly, tenderly stroking down his chest, and his sides, and then finally his legs*
jack_aubrey: *reaches out, trying to catch his hands and pull them to his lips* Oh. That. Where did you learn -- no, I'm sorry! It was simply, not even the whor-- ah, the women I have known... *realizes he would do best to be completely silent, and groans once more*
maximus_tm: *turns his head and kisses Jack's thigh, speaking softly* This sort of thing was not forbidden by our laws, Jack.
jack_aubrey: So...you mean...anyone could...?
maximus_tm: Well -- to an extent, yes. *gets up off his knees, and sits next to Jack, slipping an arm around him*
jack_aubrey: *pulls him closer and to kiss him* I am afraid that you may find the people of this era to be quite dull by comparison.
maximus_tm: *decides that it would be best not to say anything about their religion, and merely shrugs a little* I think I will survive, Jack.
jack_aubrey: *is still somewhat embarrassed, feeling rather inadequate* I would like to, ah, if you would let me touch you...
maximus_tm: Of course I would let you. *nuzzles his neck*
jack_aubrey: *kissing the side of his face, moves his hands onto his chest and begins exploring, afraid that his rough fingers may be unpleasant*
maximus_tm: Mmm... Jack... *turns his head to try to find Jack's lips*
jack_aubrey: *kisses him, sliding his tongue into his mouth, and moves his hands down his belly to his groin*
maximus_tm: *squirms, already quite delighted by this, sucking on Jack's tongue*
jack_aubrey: *touching him hesitantly, knowing his calloused fingers can be abrasive -- he has felt them on himself* Would you -- if I picked up that blanket -- would you lie down?
maximus_tm: *nodding* Of course I would.
jack_aubrey: *picks the blanket up from the deck, folds it back on itself in case it's gotten dirty or damp, and puts it down behind himself so Maximus can stretch out somewhat*
maximus_tm: *stretches out as much as he can, letting out a contented sigh*
stephen_maturin: *is merely watching them, breathlessly*
jack_aubrey: *rolls Maximus onto his side and moves behind him, glancing up at Stephen as he shifts and smiling, then kissing his way down Maximus' back*
maximus_tm: *trembles a little* Oh...
stephen_maturin: *sets the cello aside and adjusts the position of his chair so he can watch a little better now that he can't quite see Jack*
jack_aubrey: *having concluded that Maximus is not going to object to being put in a submissive position, rolls him onto his belly as he urges his legs apart*
maximus_tm: *spreads his legs fairly willingly, letting out a little whimper*
stephen_maturin: *realizes he really has no choice but to open his breeches, as he is getting very, very uncomfortable*
jack_aubrey: *slides one hand beneath Maximus and strokes him gently as he lets his lips travel all the way down his back and between his parted legs*
maximus_tm: *groans* Oh. Oh, Jack... yes. Please.
jack_aubrey: *heartily pleased to have such encouragement, strokes a little more firmly as he extends his tongue and licks the rough spot behind Maximus' balls*
maximus_tm: *gasps as his hips jerk helplessly* Oh!
stephen_maturin: *lets out a tiny whimper*
jack_aubrey: *groans softly and keeps licking, rubbing the head of Maximus' cock in the softest part of his palm*
maximus_tm: Oh, Jack I--I shall not last! *squirming and thrusting against his hand*
jack_aubrey: *is delighted to hear this, as it must mean that he is doing something right, and presses his tongue inside Maximus slowly*
maximus_tm: *covers his mouth with his hand and lets out a small cry, lifting his hips up and back*
jack_aubrey: *greatly encouraged, moves his tongue more vigorously and strokes Maximus' cock in firm quick strokes*
maximus_tm: Oh! Jack!
stephen_maturin: *groans helplessly and moves over to them*
jack_aubrey: *pulls him in to kiss him, dragging him across Maximus' thighs*
maximus_tm: *grunts a little as he turns over to look up at them*
stephen_maturin: *presses himself rather shamelessly against Jack, though he is still fully clothed apart from his open breeches, kissing him hungrily*
jack_aubrey: *fumbles with his breeches, trying to push them down to his hips*
stephen_maturin: *whimpers as he opens his shirt, unwilling to let his mouth move away from Jack's*
maximus_tm: *sits up and helps with Stephen's breeches, getting them down to his thighs*
jack_aubrey: *glances over at Maximus to see whether he's doing this out of obligation and discovers, not at all to his surprise, that Maximus is participating quite enthusiastically* Stephen. Lie down between us.
stephen_maturin: *does so, very eagerly*
maximus_tm: *is able to get Stephen's legs free of the breeches*
jack_aubrey: *leans over and kisses Stephen again with a somewhat naughty smile* What would you like, dearest? One of us? Both of us?
stephen_maturin: *returns the smile* I would like both of you, very much.
jack_aubrey: *moves fully to one side of Stephen so that Maximus can maneuver on the other, and smiles at Maximus across his hip* Would you show me how you did what you were doing with your tongue?
stephen_maturin: *whimpers in a truly undignified manner*
maximus_tm: *grins at Jack* Oh, you mean, this? *demonstrates*
stephen_maturin: *covers his mouth and wails*
jack_aubrey: Oh, yes. Please, let me try. *nudges Maximus' tongue aside with his own, though not knocking Maximus' mouth entirely away from Stephen's groin*
maximus_tm: Mmm... you must be very gentle. It makes him crave more, you see. *has slipped his mouth down and is licking Stephen's balls, teasingly*
stephen_maturin: *squirming in anticipation*
jack_aubrey: *follows Maximus for a moment, letting their tongues tangle together and around Stephen's balls, before moving up to suck and lick him the way Maximus did to him*
stephen_maturin: *has reached down and tangled his fingers in Jack's hair, and thinks that Maximus' has been getting longer, and things that if they continue to do this to him he will scream so loudly that surely they will hear him in up on the quarterdeck, no, no Jack's enjoying this too much, they will probably hear him all through Europe*
jack_aubrey: *can hear the noises Stephen is making, and lifts a finger to press to his lips to silence him*
stephen_maturin: *sucks on Jack's finger, thrusting helplessly up towards them both*
maximus_tm: *hums softly and sucks on Stephen's balls, stroking his belly soothingly*
jack_aubrey: *slides his finger in and out of Stephen's mouth, grinning very wickedly at Stephen over Maximus' shoulder and mouthing "He wants you" to him*
stephen_maturin: *looks at Jack for a moment, then turns his attention to Maximus* I would like to look at your injuries. I believe I left a bottle of oil here several nights ago. It is very soothing, as I am certain Jack will agree.
jack_aubrey: *is stroking Maximus' hips* It feels very soothing, yes.
maximus_tm: Whatever you think is best, Stephen. I shall not argue.
stephen_maturin: *smiling sweetly* I will fetch the oil.
jack_aubrey: *to Maximus * Perhaps you should lie on top of me. The locker can be uncomfortable, and Stephen's treatments can take some time.
maximus_tm: *shivers a little* That is a very kind offer, thank you. You will not be uncomfortable?
jack_aubrey: *smiles at him somewhat naughtily, lies on his back on the blankets* My dear fellow, I am used to having a hard deck beneath me.
maximus_tm: *settles above him* But, Jack, I weigh considerably more than a blanket.
stephen_maturin: *returns, pours the oil over his hands and rubs them together to make it warmer before he starts rubbing Maximus' thighs*
jack_aubrey: *wiggles a bit beneath Maximus to get comfortable* Yes, you do, but you feel quite agreeable nonetheless.
maximus_tm: *softly* Only "agreeable"? *squirms as Stephen's fingers tickle him*
stephen_maturin: Do hold still, I must be thorough.
jack_aubrey: *reaches up and puts a hand on Maximus' back to hold him still for Stephen* Perhaps better than agreeable.
maximus_tm: *licks Jack's chin* You feel delightful, if I may be so bold.
stephen_maturin: *is working his way up Maximus' leg now* He is wonderfully warm -- quite nice to have on cold nights. *smiling to himself*
jack_aubrey: *rubs his foot along Stephen's leg as he tilts his chin down to Maximus, and kisses him*
maximus_tm: *kisses him back, moaning a little into his mouth*
stephen_maturin: *drops one hand and strokes Jack's leg tenderly, then moves up higher, rubbing Maximus' thigh*
jack_aubrey: *is doing his best to stroke Stephen up and down with his foot while rubbing his thigh up against Maximus, opening his mouth for his tongue*
maximus_tm: *greedily exploring Jack's mouth, thrusting against him*
stephen_maturin: Please hold still, or I cannot do this properly. I want very much to help you.
jack_aubrey: *strokes Maximus face with one hand while shifting his legs more widely apart so Maximus can settle more deeply between them* Perhaps, Stephen, he needs a different sort of relief.
stephen_maturin: Hmm... *slides his hands up again, stroking over Maximus' buttocks until he squirms* Perhaps you are right, Jack...
jack_aubrey: *kisses Maximus again, still stroking his face* Would you like that?
maximus_tm: Oh... *wants to spread his legs but they are quite trapped between Jack's thighs* I would indeed.
jack_aubrey: *shifts beneath Maximus so that one of his thighs is nudging Maximus' apart, and pushing up between his legs to push him further up Jack's belly and against his own cock* Well, Stephen, the patient is yours.
stephen_maturin: Oh, you are far too kind, Jack. *smiles at him, and reaches for the oil again, pouring more over his fingers before sliding them between his buttocks*
maximus_tm: *trembles and kisses Jack again* This -- this is what you said you wanted.
jack_aubrey: *softly, innocent* Did I?
maximus_tm: Yes--oh! *trembles as Stephen gently pushes a fingertip inside him* You said you wanted--to see this.
jack_aubrey: *is watching him most eagerly, but trying not to make him feel as though he is being examined* Oh...you do look so very eager...
maximus_tm: *whimpers and licks at Jack's lower lip* Stephen has--mmm!--very long fingers.
jack_aubrey: *offers Maximus his fingers to suck, not wanting to kiss him because then he won't be able to look at him* Yes, he does indeed.
maximus_tm: *licks at Jack's fingers, then takes two into his mouth*
stephen_maturin: *pulls his fingers free from Maximus' body, then moves back briefly to strip away his clothing* You will tell me, of course, if you experience any discomfort? *Maximus merely grunts at him, as his mouth is quite busy, and Stephen reaches for the oil again to slick his cock, looking at Jack*
jack_aubrey: *is smiling at him and thrusting very slowly against Maximus*
maximus_tm: *sucking hard on Jack's fingers as he moves against him*
stephen_maturin: *gets between their legs, behind Maximus, trying to hold him still with one hand* Slowly...I want you to enjoy this. *guides himself handsomely inside him as Maximus moans loudly around Jack's fingers*
jack_aubrey: *is pushing up against Maximus, both to lift him up to Stephen and to rub his own cock alongside Maximus', reaching around to squeeze a buttock with the hand Maximus isn't sucking on*
maximus_tm: *groaning as Stephen enters him, torn between thrusting forward or back and staring down into Jack's eyes*
stephen_maturin: *moans softly, sinking in deep and holding still for a moment*
jack_aubrey: *is watching Maximus, but very aware of Stephen moaning as it's a sound that's often a prelude to his own climax, and groans himself, pushing up against both their weight*
stephen_maturin: *moans a little louder as Jack pushes Maximus up against him, and starts moving, thrusting deep into Maximus' body*
maximus_tm: *is shuddering helplessly, caught between them as he is*
jack_aubrey: *tears his fingers from Maximus' mouth to stroke and tease one of his nipples, watching his face* Oh...Stephen...
maximus_tm: *bites down on his lip and shudders, thrusting more frantically against Jack*
stephen_maturin: Oh--y-yes, my dear? *thrusting harder, gripping Maximus' hip*
jack_aubrey: *is squeezing Maximus' bottom and shoving up against him* This is good Stephen...
maximus_tm: *is beyond speech, moving between them, desperate for release*
stephen_maturin: It--it is--oh, Jack, I am so close...! *shudders and thrusts in hard enough to make Maximus cry out*
jack_aubrey: *watching Maximus and moving with him effortlessly*
maximus_tm: *shudders again and spurts between them, his mouth opening on a scream that he can't quite get out*
jack_aubrey: *cries out for Maximus as Maximus' weight presses over him*
stephen_maturin: *can feel Maximus clenching around him and moves faster, harder, shoving him down on Jack*
maximus_tm: *collapses onto Jack, whimpering softly each time Stephen pushes into him*
stephen_maturin: *focused on his own release, thrusting hard for a few short moments before he goes still, spilling inside Maximus*
jack_aubrey: *is holding on to Maximus, stroking him every time Stephen shoves deep, still watching his responses*
maximus_tm: *still whimpering even as Stephen rests against his back, and licking at Jack's throat*
jack_aubrey: *struggling to breathe with them both pressing down on him, but reaching past Maximus' head to stroke Stephen's face*
stephen_maturin: *pulls away and settles down at Jack's side, pressing close to both of them and kissing Jack's cheek*
jack_aubrey: *gets his arm around Stephen to keep him near as he reaches up to Maximus with his other hand* How do you feel?
maximus_tm: *squirms a little* Oh... I feel wonderful... *kisses Jack again*
stephen_maturin: *lifts one arm above his head so he can play with Jack's hair as the other strokes lightly up and down Maximus' back*
jack_aubrey: *makes a faint noise and rolls Maximus off him, between himself and Stephen again* You looked like you were entirely focused on the sensation...
maximus_tm: *sighs rather blissfully* It felt so good... *reaches out and strokes Stephen's cheek*
stephen_maturin: *takes his hand and kisses his fingers* I would have you know I do not do this for all my patients. *smiles*
maximus_tm: Then I count myself very lucky.
jack_aubrey: *is embarrassed but curious* Stephen...may I ask...how similar...
stephen_maturin: Remarkably. The only differences I can actually discern between the two of you are hair color, the number and location of scars, and, ah... *looks at Jack's belly*
jack_aubrey: *puts a hand on his own belly, feels a scar and assumes that must be what Stephen is talking about* It is remarkably strange. Maximus, I'll have you know I have done this with very few men -- and never two at once! -- yet you feel quite familiar to me.
stephen_maturin: *breathes a sigh of relief that he didn't make Jack sulk again by talking about his weight*
maximus_tm: Then I feel quite honored, Jack. *rolls onto his side and presses against him*
stephen_maturin: *presses up against Maximus' back, resting an arm over him and stroking Jack's chest*
jack_aubrey: *smiles, reaching out for Stephen's hand*
stephen_maturin: *takes Jack's hand and holds it as tight as he can without causing either of them undue pain* Oh.
jack_aubrey: Are you well, my love?
stephen_maturin: *whimpers softly with pleasure*
jack_aubrey: Why Maximus, we've broken him.
maximus_tm: Do you think we can put him back together, Jack?
jack_aubrey: Why, look, out the window. A porpoise.
stephen_maturin: *grunts and closes his eyes*
jack_aubrey: *to Maximus, in mock-concern* My god, we've killed him. Fetch the surgeon! ...but wait, he is the surgeon.
maximus_tm: This is quite the predicament we've gotten ourselves into.
jack_aubrey: *sighs* Do you have any suggestions for reviving him?
maximus_tm: Very cold water?
jack_aubrey: I do suppose I could have Killick bring some. Though when he sees what we have been doing with the blankets he is sure to scold me. *idly strokes Stephen's chest, and pinches his nipple*
maximus_tm: You've done it! He is reviving!
jack_aubrey: *is laughing delightedly*
stephen_maturin: *opens his eyes and glares*
jack_aubrey: *leans up over Maximus and kisses him very enthusiastically*
stephen_maturin: *kisses him back, stroking his cheek*
jack_aubrey: *gives a tug and gets the blanket so he can drape it over all of them, wishing they could actually stay like this for any length of time*
maximus_tm: *sighs happily and is utterly content despite the fact that they can't stay like this*
stephen_maturin: *holds them both and wishes desperately that they could simply stay like this all night, finally falling asleep*
jack_aubrey: *is soon snoring*
maximus_tm: *manages to doze off despite Jack's snores, which are a lot like his own*