maximus_tm: *to himself* Jack is having the usual 'But what if Stephen goes off to collect beetles and gets both me and himself killed' worries. And Stephen is afraid to take me anywhere because he isn't certain whether I would go of my own will or just because Stephen asked me to. I do wish they wouldn't worry so much.
Blakeney: Who, sir?
maximus_tm: Oh! *jumps, not having realized that he had come in, and looks a little embarrassed* The Captain and Doctor Maturin, ah, they ... oh, it is not important. *pats his shoulder* How is the Latin coming along?
Blakeney: *quickly hides the spider he has been drawing on top of his Latin notes* Very well, sir, I think.
maximus_tm: *smiles a little* What were you drawing?
Blakeney: *considers lying, remembers that Dr. Maturin very much frowns upon lying, and reluctantly pulls out the spider drawing*
maximus_tm: *tries not to make a face at the fact that it is a spider, but appraises it nonetheless, nodding* I dare say that one day, Mr Blakeney, you shall be as good as Doctor Maturin.
Blakeney: *tries to decide how formal he must be, since this man is his Latin tutor and apparently the captain's illegitimate brother, but has no official position on the ship* If I might ask you, sir, what is it that the captain and doctor are worried about? Might I be of any assistance to them or to you?
maximus_tm: *ponders how to answer this* They are only concerned that a few of my recent injuries do not seem to be healing properly.
Blakeney: Is it very painful?
maximus_tm: *smiles* Only when I think about it.
Blakeney: Sometimes I think that I can still feel my arm. It itches dreadfully and I can't scratch it. Doctor Maturin said that happens often when a man loses a part of himself in a battle.
maximus_tm: Yes, in my experience that does happen.
Blakeney: *studies him surreptitiously, as it does not appear that Maximus is missing any limbs* Were you in many battles, sir?
maximus_tm: *smiles a bit* I have seen a few in my time.
Blakeney: I never wanted to be a naturalist. I wanted only to be a captain. But my men would have to work harder to protect me, wouldn't they? Some of them would die.
maximus_tm: *ponders these words carefully* It is very difficult to prevent death in battle. And in war. The men who fight for their captain have no delusions that they will always survive. And we, of course, honor those who do not.
Blakeney: *thinks about this* I would not like to see men die who would have lived if I had my sword arm. Either I must learn to use my left arm as well as the other, or perhaps I have no business being on a ship. But look, I can't even draw with this hand and you can scarcely read my letters.
maximus_tm: I think, Mr Blakeney, that with time you will learn to use this arm as well as you did your sword arm. In fact I am quite confident of this. You still have a great deal of time ahead of you.
Blakeney: I don't want to be a midshipman all my life, with the crew feeling sorry for me. Doctor Maturin said that I could study to become a doctor, but missing an arm might be just as difficult for a surgeon.
maximus_tm: Something tells me that you will not be a midshipman all your life.
Blakeney: What about you, sir? Will you go back to the army? I am guessing that is where you learned to fight.
maximus_tm: It is entirely likely that I will.
Blakeney: When your injuries are healed perhaps? But I think the captain shall miss you.
maximus_tm: *smiling a bit* Having just discovered his existence, I think I would miss him as well.
Blakeney: *startled* Did your mother not tell you...oh! I beg your pardon, sir. I had only thought that perhaps you knew of him when you were growing up.
maximus_tm: No, I was...never told.
Blakeney: *looks around uncomfortably several times, then leans close* I have heard it said that Doctor Maturin is someone's natural son, as well.
maximus_tm: *cannot help but smile at this, reaching out to squeeze Blakeney's shoulder briefly as he nods, and speaks in a soft voice* Though we shall, of course, keep this between ourselves.
Blakeney: *nods, and whispers* They say he is also a Papist. But he does not talk like a Papist. He does not even believe that God created all the animals. So I do not know what to think.
maximus_tm: *is still very confused about all this Christianity business, and ponders this for a brief moment* He is a good man, and very clever, and completely loyal to Captain Aubrey. I think that is how it is best to think of him.
Blakeney: *starts to formulate a question about the other rumors about Dr Maturin and Captain Aubrey, recalls suddenly that this is the captain's bastard brother he is speaking with, and stops himself* Yes, I am quite sure that you are right.
maximus_tm: *smiles and leans back* Now that we have whiled away all this time, I think you had best show me your verbs, Mr Blakeney.
Blakeney: *pulls out the sheet that had been under the spider* I understand the verbs, but I don't understand this declension at all. Why must it be so complicated?
maximus_tm: *smiles and explains it to him, giving him some work to review until the next lesson*
Blakeney: Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. I do apologize, sir -- it is only that I have a better memory for philosophy, and for history.
maximus_tm: There is nothing to apologize for. We all have our strengths, and cannot be good at everything. Why, if we were, think how dull everything would be without a little challenge here and there.
Blakeney: *smiles at him* You are a good teacher, sir.
maximus_tm: *smiles back* I try my best. Thank you, Mr Blakeney.
Blakeney: *collects his books and rises to go* Do you have any children of your own, sir?
maximus_tm: *looks down for a moment* I did. A son.
Blakeney: *looks down too* I see. I lost my own father when...well, I'm very sorry, sir.
maximus_tm: Thank you. I am sorry for your loss.
Blakeney: He was a friend of your bro -- of the captain's.
maximus_tm: I did not know that. ... I am sure that the Captain grieved for his loss as well.
Blakeney: My mother asked him to look after me. When she was very upset about my arm, he told me that my father would have understood. He knew the life at sea.
maximus_tm: I think it is safe to say that the Captain has done a very fine job. *smiles at him*
Blakeney: *blushes and smiles* Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. I had best go to my berth, sir.
maximus_tm: *smiles* Yes, you should. Have a good day, Mr Blakeney.
Blakeney: *touches his head where his hat should be* And you as well, sir.
maximus_tm: Thank you. *remains where he is for a moment after Blakeney goes, then gets up and walks to the stern cabin to write out the musical transposition Stephen left for him*
stephen_maturin: *is in the cabin at the table working on a drawing *
maximus_tm: *greets him warmly and sits down to work, wanting to show Stephen how diligent he is about learning music*
stephen_maturin: *gazes thoughtfully at Maximus*
maximus_tm: *is very carefully drawing out a scale and notes and labeling the notes*
stephen_maturin: This is a half-note, not a quarter-note. Do not fill in the circle.
maximus_tm: Oh. *does not fill in the circle and continues*
stephen_maturin: You understand that these *points to flats and sharps* are the same note? That it is a sharp in the C sharp major scale, but a D flat here?
maximus_tm: *has to ponder this for a moment* Oh...oh, yes, Stephen...I will admit that I am having a difficult time grasping these sharp and flat notations.
stephen_maturin: But you can hear the difference? If I were to play the B scale without the flats, it would sound quite dissonant.
maximus_tm: *frowns* Yes, I can hear the differences when they are played.
stephen_maturin: Jack, I think, plays as much by ear as by the musical notations. Often our duettos are adaptations of quartets or pieces written for more instruments, and we must improvise, and he is far more skilled at it than I am.
maximus_tm: Oh, but you both play beautifully!
stephen_maturin: *smiles a little and stretches his fingers unconsciously* I do not play with the same natural sensitivity to the music that he does. Nor are my hands as firm in their control.
maximus_tm: *reaches out for Stephen's hand, rubbing his fingers a little* You are still very, very good. True, my ears have not been trained to be so sensitive to music, but...
stephen_maturin: *is wondering what Maximus must think about the twisted fingernails of his tortured fingers* You have heard us showing away, I am afraid, on the quicker pieces. It is in the adagios that you may truly perceive the difference.
maximus_tm: *is unfortunately still not entirely clear on what an "adagio" is, but smiles at Stephen anyway* You must let me hear all the different types of music you play for each other.
stephen_maturin: We shall. I am sure it will make Jack very happy. *glances at his fingers in Maximus'* They, ah, were broken.
maximus_tm: *frowns a little* This is what... Jack was talking about the other night?
stephen_maturin: I am not certain what you mean.
maximus_tm: About your bravery, Stephen.
stephen_maturin: *is most embarrassed to have this brought up like this* Maximus, I really can't say what Jack was talking about the other night, but if we are to speak of bravery, I should tell you that Jack saved my life, at great risk to himself and his ship, to...extract me.
maximus_tm: *softly, still holding onto his hand* He loves you very much.
stephen_maturin: *not looking at him* I love him as much as I have ever loved anyone.
maximus_tm: You are both very, very lucky to have each other. Your gods have smiled upon you.
stephen_maturin: *smiles at this* The Blessed Mother has smiled upon me, indeed. *glances over at him again* He loves you as well, you know.
maximus_tm: *blushes a little* Oh. *seems to have no idea what to say to this*
stephen_maturin: *smiles at his blush* I believe he has grown quite attached to you. He would be most unhappy if you went away.
maximus_tm: *looks at him* I do not wish to make Jack unhappy.
stephen_maturin: *completely straight-faced, no way to tell whether he's joking or not* I am glad to hear it. If you hurt him, I should have to call you out, and I should warn you that I am an accurate shot.
maximus_tm: So I hear. *is silent a moment* Has Jack truly grown so fond of me?
stephen_maturin: Can you not see it? Jack has never had much skill at hiding his attachments, nor his dislikes, though those are rare. He is uncommonly generous.
maximus_tm: *smiling a little* I have never met anyone with such--unbridled generosity.
stephen_maturin: I cannot help wondering how like him you would have been, had you lived his life instead of the one to which you were born. He seems very certain that, had he lived your life, he would be very much like you.
maximus_tm: Had I not lived in a world of constant warfare, political scheming, and betrayal? I imagine it would be entirely possible that I could truly be an echo, as it were... or perhaps he would be mine ... I get very confused, Stephen, when I think about such things. *smiles a little*
stephen_maturin: *still has his hand, and squeezes it* Jack has seen the warfare, and the political scheming. But any betrayals have not seemed to violate his essence. He believes that men are good, though it is strange enough that he is most in his own element away from them in the majority, at sea. I have never seen him so happy as on a ship.
maximus_tm: Perhaps, then, that is what I needed -- to be that far removed from it. *rubs his thumb back and forth across the back of Stephen's hand*
stephen_maturin: *watches their hands together* You seem less melancholy.
maximus_tm: I am less melancholy... I have been very distracted of late. It is difficult to focus on my troubles I can focus, instead... *touches Stephen's cheek* on you. On both of you. *smiles*
stephen_maturin: *studies him curiously* You do not resent me, in truth?
maximus_tm: No, not at all. I fear, however, that you may resent me.
stephen_maturin: What cause have you ever given me to resent you?
maximus_tm: Ah -- I could ask you the very same question! *still holding on to his hand, trying not to squeeze it for fear of hurting him* I fear that you may resent me for spending so much time with Jack.
stephen_maturin: Jack is his own man, as am I. *smiles wryly* You may observe, when we put into port, that he will suddenly become quite distracted by the first Brazilian lady with a bosom to pay him suitable attention.
maximus_tm: *looks a little bit distressed by this news* Oh. Well. Of course. But -- you and I, Stephen, we are going to go look for your vampires?
stephen_maturin: *smiles very approvingly at this* Certainly, if you are truly interested -- Jack will sometimes accompany me to find my specimens, but rarely with any real enthusiasm.
maximus_tm: *is, in fact, almost horrified at the idea of Jack forgetting about him, but trying not to let this show* I am indeed very interested!
stephen_maturin: *notices his unease and is uncertain of the cause* If you would rather accompany Jack to see the, ah, delights of the port, I will not be wounded.
maximus_tm: *shakes his head quickly* No, Stephen, I would much prefer to go with you.
stephen_maturin: Well, I shall be very happy to have you with me. Though I should warn you that it may gain you a reputation among the men as an eccentric; few of them appreciate my interest in natural philosophy. Jack is tolerably interested, to a point, but he will go on about the traditions of the service any time I ask to bring some small specimen aboard...I suppose he is still angry that my wombat ruined his hat.
maximus_tm: I do not mind. I was a farmer, after all, and have more than a little passing interest in the things the earth gives us. *smiles a little, then looks curious* What exactly is a wombat?
stephen_maturin: It is a marsupial, found in Australia... *realizes that this is all going to be meaningless to Maximus* Should you like to see my sketches?
maximus_tm: Yes, very much. *smiling* And where is Australia?
stephen_maturin: *gets up to fetch Jack's globe* This is Australia, here. My sketches are in my cabin, if you will give me a moment.
maximus_tm: *is looking at the globe, searching for Rome*
stephen_maturin: *not hearing a reply, notices that Maximus is looking at the wrong part of the world entirely, then realizes that Maximus is not, in fact, trying to look at Australia* Here. This is Europe as it looks now. Napoleon, the tyrant of whom I have been speaking, controls this... *makes sure to include Spain, indicating Catalonia* This is England, a piece of what you might have known as Britannia. Jack is from here... *indicates* And the part of my family not from Spain is from Ireland, here.
maximus_tm: And -- where is Rome, now?
stephen_maturin: *indicates the city* The Empire is no more, Maximus.
maximus_tm: *looking at it with wide eyes* It's so small.
stephen_maturin: Do not underestimate Rome. St. Peter established the Church there, and the Pope lives there.
maximus_tm: *isn't entirely certain who he is speaking about, or what, exactly a Pope is, but he nods anyway* Oh. Very well. So it is part of another country, now?
stephen_maturin: Not precisely part of it. The Holy City is not under Italian rule, though naturally there have been alliances... *realizes that this is not what Maximus really wants to know* There is no Emperor. There were invasions in the east and north, and there were schisms. The Eastern Empire, centered in Byzantium... *points* ...and the Holy Roman Empire, consisting of the states here... *points again* These became Christian, while another religion entirely arose in the East, the men you may have heard Jack refer to as Mohammedans.
maximus_tm: *nodding slowly, digesting this, tracing Italy with his finger*
stephen_maturin: *sinking into a chair, distracted* You must understand...there were wars. Holy wars. Religious wars. The Christians were driven from Jerusalem, and sent armies to retake it...then there was a schism within the Church itself, and you will meet men on this ship who may behind my back lament me for a Papist. Men ceased to speak Latin as the Empire crumbled, with the countries nearest to Rome speaking dialects that are derived from it -- French, for instance, and Spanish and Italian -- but northern Britannia was invaded by Germanic tribes, and the English you hear derives from their languages.
maximus_tm: *is taking his time to digest this as well, and tries for a little laugh and a smile* Do you know, I had thought to myself how unpleasant English sounds to the ear...
stephen_maturin: *smiles too* I beg that you will not say so when anyone else is present. I shall teach you some Gaelic, if you would wish.
maximus_tm: *reaches out and takes his hand again* I would like that, Stephen.
stephen_maturin: *is quite suddenly struck by how much he resembles Jack, and clears his throat* Ah. My wombat drawings are in my cabin. Would you like to come with me?
maximus_tm: *smiles and nods, getting to his feet*
stephen_maturin: *leads him in, peering at a pair of caged rats upon which he has been performing experiments before getting out his sketches*
maximus_tm: *momentarily distracted by the rats, then goes to stand near Stephen*
stephen_maturin: *has found a sketch of a wombat, and shows Maximus* Marsupials carry their young in pouches until they have grown enough to survive outside. Here, you see...
maximus_tm: Remarkable... I have never seen anything like this... *stands a little closer to peer down at the drawing*
stephen_maturin: I was fortunate...well, I am not certain that Jack would say so. We traveled to Botany Bay, being forced to stop at Desolation Island after a Dutch frigate, or perhaps it was a man of war... *he knows none of this means a thing to Maximus and moreover thinks Maximus is standing closer than he need be only to study the drawing*
maximus_tm: *rather hesitantly rests his hand on Stephen's lower back, stroking it a little*
stephen_maturin: *lowers the photo slowly, putting it down on the desk*
stephen_maturin: I try not to keep older drawings with me when I sail. The risk of damage is so great. I have a few more... *reaches for the sketches he had with the wombat, flipping through them for Maximus and stopping when he finds a half-finished one of Jack*
maximus_tm: *steps a little closer, peering around his shoulder and reaching around him to lightly touch the drawing* You are very talented, Stephen. *lets his other hand move around to rest on his waist*
stephen_maturin: *leaning toward him a little* I have little talent at all. I have only studied the figures so that I may record my observations.
maximus_tm: I could not draw like this... *moves his hand around Stephen's waist, holding him around his middle and pulling him closer, nuzzling at his hairline now*
stephen_maturin: *very nearly drops the drawings and puts them down quickly, turning toward Maximus* I am certain that you could, if you studied the technique. You seem quite adaptable.
maximus_tm: Then, perhaps, it is another thing you could teach me. *reaches up and strokes his cheek, down over his neck, and pulling him close again with his other hand*
stephen_maturin: *finding it very nearly a relief to be with someone who can be so direct about what he wants, closes his eyes and kisses him*
maximus_tm: *leans up a little towards him, returning the kiss quite eagerly*
stephen_maturin: *moves his hands over Maximus slowly -- he has rarely had the opportunity to touch him like this, with Jack present and so much the focus for both of them*
maximus_tm: *returns the gesture, sliding his hands up Stephen's arms and over his shoulders, then removing his neck cloth as he thinks this must be terribly constricting, trailing his fingers lightly up and down Stephen's neck before he breaks the kiss to press his lips to the skin under his fingers*
stephen_maturin: *lets out a soft moan as Maximus' mouth touches his throat, unbuttoning his own shirt so that he may touch him where he will, then pulling Maximus' shirt free of his trousers to move his own hands over his back*
maximus_tm: *moans a little in response, pressing closer to him and moving his mouth lower, kissing Stephen's chest, then up again as his long neck is very, very tempting*
stephen_maturin: *automatically checks the skin around Maximus' inflamed scar with his fingertips, pleased to note that it does not seem to be warm, nor overly swollen, then loosens his shirt in front and slides his fingers around his chest, touching his nipples the way he knows Jack would like to be touched*
maximus_tm: *gasps and closes his eyes, shivering in delight, then licking and kissing Stephen's neck again, opening his shirt completely so his own hands can be free to touch and explore his chest*
stephen_maturin: *steps back for a moment, shedding his own shirt, then removing Maximus', looking directly at him the entire time*
maximus_tm: Stephen--I must know... *takes hold of his wrists, gently, and holds Stephen's hands against his chest* You do not desire me simply because I look like Jack?
stephen_maturin: *shakes his head no* You do not desire me simply because he is my particular friend?
maximus_tm: *shakes his head, releasing one of Stephen's wrists to touch his face again* No, Stephen.
stephen_maturin: *pulls him close again rather forcefully with his free hand and kisses him*
maximus_tm: *holds on to the back of Stephen's head, returning the kiss eagerly, enjoying the warmth of Stephen's chest against his own*
stephen_maturin: *can't resist sliding his hands up Maximus' arms admiringly*
maximus_tm: *smiles a bit and licks at Stephen's lower lip* We will have privacy here?
stephen_maturin: *glances slightly uneasily at the temporary partition* In truth, we would have more privacy in Jack's cabin, which is considered sacrosanct. I think he would not mind, but I don't know if you would wish that.
maximus_tm: I would much prefer to have the privacy, Stephen.
stephen_maturin: *is quite aroused at the idea of having Maximus on Jack's blankets, for reasons he cannot explain to himself* Come with me, then. *pulls his shirt back on, leaving the neckcloth* You do understand that he might come in and find us there.
maximus_tm: Yes, I do understand. *buttons his shirt and makes himself look presentable*
stephen_maturin: *walks out with Maximus and marches to the stern, nodding to Killick* The captain said that I might use his space for a procedure. *leads Maximus inside*
maximus_tm: *is suddenly giggling as he walks towards Jack's private cabin to fetch the blankets* Do you know -- I think -- if ever any of the other men aboard heard of how often you perform procedures on me, Stephen, they must either think that you are actually experimenting on me, or that you must stitch me up every night to keep me from falling apart!
stephen_maturin: *very earnestly, following him into the private cabin* I am certain they believe that I am treating you for some unmentionably disease.
maximus_tm: *spreading the blankets out* Oh dear. Why, Doctor, I believe I feel faint. And very warm. *looks at him, mirth in his eyes* I fear I may need a treatment.
stephen_maturin: *still earnest, though certainly looking amused* Maximus, I must admit that I am worried. It seems that whenever I see you, some physical ailment arises.
maximus_tm: *raises his eyebrows* Well... the one about my leg, the other night, I was merely making up on the spot as an excuse to get you to touch me...but I thought that was, in fact, clear between the three of us.
stephen_maturin: *sitting on the blankets and reaching out to clasp his arm* It was clear. I will admit that I am concerned that you did not tell me of the pain in your back, however, before Jack discovered the infection. I want no confusion about my capacity as a physician when you are in need of treatment, as opposed to when you are merely...uncomfortable.
maximus_tm: I'm sorry I did not tell you sooner, Stephen. *moves closer to him* I promise you, if anything like that happens again, I will be certain to tell you immediately.
stephen_maturin: *is taking his shirt off again, and stops to look at him, truly in earnest this time* I also wish, if you want me to touch you, not as a physician, for you to be direct with me.
maximus_tm: *leans towards him, kisses him tenderly, and then whispers* Make love to me.
stephen_maturin: *pulls him in for another kiss* Is that what you want? Because if you would prefer the other, I am willing...
maximus_tm: No, it is what I want, Stephen. *pulls back to remove his shirt, then goes to work on his trousers*
stephen_maturin: *starts to help him, then decides to let him do it himself in the interest of speed and takes off his own clothing, watching him*
maximus_tm: *settles naked against the blankets, reaching up to touch Stephen's shoulder and arm, smiling a little as his finger traces over freckles*
stephen_maturin: *stretches out beside him and strokes over his arms again* There are few men in all of England who could stand against you.
maximus_tm: *blushes* You flatter me, Stephen.
stephen_maturin: No, I speak quite plainly. I daresay there are few men anywhere in the world who could stand against you. *leans over him and kisses him heatedly*
maximus_tm: *wraps his arms around him, pulling him closer as he licks and sucks at his lips and tongue*
stephen_maturin: *moves over him, stroking a hand from his arm to his chest*
maximus_tm: *sighs and wriggles with delight* You a soft touch... it is wonderful.
stephen_maturin: *smiles at him* You do not rush the act. That is wonderful. *kisses him again, pushing his arms above his head so that he may run his hands all the way up the undersides to Maximus' wrists and then down to his sides*
maximus_tm: *moans up into Stephen's mouth, arching a little* My favorite part of the act...is what leads up to it. I love to touch...to taste...to be touched-- *giggles and squirms a little when Stephen's fingers move along his sides*
stephen_maturin: *gives a soft moan of pleasure, and lowers his head to suck a nipple*
maximus_tm: *moans again, lowering one of his arms to stroke Stephen's hair, and upper back*
stephen_maturin: *moves across to the other side, stroking up and down Maximus' arms again and lingering just inside the curve of his upper arm*
maximus_tm: *trembling a little bit* Oh--they are so sensitive! *moans, squirming more*
stephen_maturin: *looks up and smiles at him* But I think you like it.
maximus_tm: *smiles back* Well, yes, I do... *gently urges Stephen's head down again*
stephen_maturin: *obediently licks and sucks at him again, making a wider path with his tongue, until he is working his way down*
maximus_tm: *lifts himself up on his elbows, looking down his body to watch him*
stephen_maturin: *glances up, feeling slightly uneasy, and moves off suddenly, urging Maximus onto his side and moving to lie parallel with his feet above Maximus' head* If you want me to do something different, show me. *returns to licking down his belly*
maximus_tm: *lets out a little noise of protest, as he had wanted very much to watch, but moves his hand to Stephen's back, stroking it lightly as he merely leans towards him to mimic what he is doing, licking at his belly*
stephen_maturin: *pulls Maximus close by the hip and takes the head of his cock into his mouth, just holding it there for a moment, tasting*
maximus_tm: *gasps, then licks Stephen's cock before taking the head into his mouth, moving his hand up to Stephen's hip*
stephen_maturin: *responds to this by sucking enthusiastically, running his tongue around the head and squeezing his hip*
maximus_tm: *moans a little and takes him in deeper, sucking eagerly on him in return*
stephen_maturin: *takes his hand from Maximus' hip and urges him to bend his upper knee, which pushes him in deeper and also lets Stephen move the hand to his testicles and behind them*
maximus_tm: *whimpers, unable to continue to suck on him for a moment, merely trembling a little and rocking his hips*
stephen_maturin: *feels his mouth go slack and gently withdraws so that he can slide lower, licking where his fingers have just been*
maximus_tm: Oh--oh, Stephen! *trembles again and tries to turn over onto his belly*
stephen_maturin: *shifts aside to let him, bending his knees and moving behind him*
maximus_tm: Oh, please... *lifts up on his elbows and knees, spreading his knees apart*
stephen_maturin: *holding him still by his hips, bends and licks him again*
maximus_tm: *gasps* Oh... Stephen!
stephen_maturin: *quite encouraged by this response, does it again and again, stroking one hip and buttock*
maximus_tm: *is now trembling almost violently* Stephen...
stephen_maturin: *squeezing his other hip* Do you wish me to stop? Or to continue?
maximus_tm: It has been...oh, I fear that I will scream if you continue.
stephen_maturin: *amused and quite unaccountably pleased, sitting up for a moment and shifting away to find the bottle of oil* I cannot allow you to scream. Might I suggest that you bite down on something? Your shirt perhaps? *smiles and moves back into position, returning his tongue to its previous place and pushing it gently inside*
maximus_tm: *stuffs a bit of Jack's blanket into his mouth to stifle his cry*
stephen_maturin: *strokes reassuringly over his thigh as he continues to penetrate him in this way*
maximus_tm: *moaning and crying out against the blanket, thrusting back a little against Stephen's tongue*
stephen_maturin: *moves his fingers gradually higher on Maximus' thigh, brushing his balls, then his cock*
maximus_tm: *thrusts against his fingers, whimpering loudly*
stephen_maturin: *closes his hand around him as he begins to thrust more deliberately with his tongue*
maximus_tm: *shudders hard and then spills over Stephen's fingers, choking back a scream*
stephen_maturin: *makes a satisfied noise and withdraws his tongue back to the surface, brushing it over him a few times*
maximus_tm: *whimpers a little and lets go of the blanket* Oh, dear Stephen.
stephen_maturin: *kneels up a little and leans over him, kissing his back* May I understand that you enjoyed that?
maximus_tm: I most certainly did enjoy it.
stephen_maturin: *strokes his hip* You were quite vocal. Somehow I thought perhaps that was more often for Jack's benefit.
maximus_tm: *laughs softly* No -- I have always been rather vocal.
stephen_maturin: *urges him to lie flat, and rolls him over so they are facing one another* I had thought, as an army general, that perhaps you kept your pleasure more private.
maximus_tm: *blushes a little* I did try my very best to be as discreet as possible. *strokes down Stephen's chest and belly, then brushes his fingers over Stephen's cock*
stephen_maturin: *makes a soft urgent noise*
maximus_tm: Tell me what you want, Stephen, and I will give it to you.
stephen_maturin: *moans quietly again* Only that you touch me, in any manner that pleases you.
maximus_tm: *looks for a brief moment as though he is vaguely uncertain what to do now, then urges Stephen over onto his back and starts kissing and licking his way down his body*
stephen_maturin: *goes quite still, only twitching involuntarily from time to time, biting his lip and breathing heavily through his nose*
maximus_tm: *keeps moving lower, until his mouth is hovering over Stephen's cock, then looks up and smiles a bit* May I?
stephen_maturin: *lets a moan escape, jerking his hips helplessly* Please...
maximus_tm: *takes a long, slow lick along Stephen's cock before taking it into his mouth and sucking gently*
stephen_maturin: *balls the blankets in his fist and breathes harshly through his nose, trying to keep himself quiet*
maximus_tm: *slips his hand under Stephen's hip, urging him up to push in deeper, rubbing his tongue against the underside of his cock*
stephen_maturin: *acquiesces quite readily, whimpering as softly as he can*
maximus_tm: *lets Stephen's cock thrust up as deep as he can tolerate, moaning a little around him, and then sucking on him again*
stephen_maturin: *groans and thrusts ungallantly, raises his feet off the floor and spurts abruptly into Maximus' mouth*
maximus_tm: *swallows quite eagerly, then withdraws enough to lick him thoroughly clean*
stephen_maturin: *continues to make soft helpless noises, writhing beneath him*
maximus_tm: *slides up Stephen's body, leaning over him and smiling very happily*
stephen_maturin: *reaches for him and pulls him close* That was quite delightful.
maximus_tm: *settles against him, his head on Stephen's shoulder and an arm around him* Mmm yes it was.
stephen_maturin: *feels an absurd grin tugging across his face, holds him and gives in to it* Other than Jack, I have never...I did not expect to become so involved.
maximus_tm: Involved...oh yes. I am quite attached to you both.
stephen_maturin: I know Jack is very attached to you. He would... *takes a breath, drops his eyes* So am I.
maximus_tm: *bites his lip and is silent for a moment* I--I think I might be ...
stephen_maturin: *touches his face* Yes?
maximus_tm: *takes Stephen's hand* I might love him.
stephen_maturin: I -- He loves you. I know he does.
maximus_tm: *kisses Stephen's hand* And you, Stephen. We both love you.
stephen_maturin: *swallows* Do you know, I have only said that to perhaps three people in my life.
maximus_tm: *holds him again, stroking his arm, wishing he could think of something adequate to say to this* Dear Stephen...
stephen_maturin: *softly* I only want you to understand. I am not like Jack, nor perhaps like you. He forms attachments easily. I do not want to suggest that they are trifles to him, but on the whole I do not believe that they affect his nature so very deeply as they do with me.
maximus_tm: It's all right, Stephen. I--I think I rather need to love again, and if I have both of you, it must be all right.
stephen_maturin: *makes a strange sound that might be a laugh* I do not think I am an easy person to love. Nor to live with.
maximus_tm: *frowns a little and bites his lip* But surely you would not discourage me?
stephen_maturin: I don't believe I could even if I thought it best. This is what I am trying to tell you...I am afraid that I am quite attached. That perhaps I... *gets stuck on the word again*
maximus_tm: *touches Stephen's mouth with his fingertips* That is enough for me, love.
stephen_maturin: *closes his eyes, kisses the fingers and draws a breath*
maximus_tm: I have forgotten -- how long did Jack say we would be in port?
stephen_maturin: However long he said, he will attempt to make it at least two days shorter. *smiles*
maximus_tm: Hmm... well, then, Stephen... when we go, for however long we stay, you must allow me to make love to you each night.
stephen_maturin: My dear, I had not planned on giving you an alternative. I would have said it was medicinal, if necessary.
maximus_tm: *laughs softly and holds him a little tighter* Good.
stephen_maturin: *is touching Maximus' face and pondering the differences between being attached, loving someone without erotic attachment, having a passionate connection, and how many people for whom one can have such feelings at the same time*
maximus_tm: *has his eyes closed, then opens them and peers up at Stephen, flashing him his Most Brilliant Smile*
stephen_maturin: *swallows and thinks that perhaps these are rather specious distinctions* You will not become exasperated following me around pursuing creatures in the jungle, once we reach Brazil? I am afraid that ashore I can be nearly as distractible as Jack, though for very different reasons.
maximus_tm: No, Stephen. I will enjoy it. *stroking his chest again, pulling a blanket up a little higher over them as he sees Stephen has goosebumps*
stephen_maturin: *starts to say something but goes wide-eyed as he hears footsteps outside in the great cabin* Shh--
maximus_tm: *looks a little panicked, whispers at him* Are others allowed in here when Jack is not around? Besides you, I mean!
stephen_maturin: *shakes his head* That is probably Jack.
maximus_tm: Indeed? *leans up and kisses him soundly*
stephen_maturin: *smiles and leans into the kiss, just as Jack steps in, looks at the two of them and then looks distinctly as though he might have an apoplexy on the spot* Joy, are you quite well?
jack_aubrey: *makes a very unNavylike noise*
maximus_tm: Jack? Do you need to sit down? It is quite comfortable here, and warm. *pats the blanket*
jack_aubrey: *stammers* You...Stephen...that's my blanket...and the... *decides he had better sit down before he falls down, and does*
stephen_maturin: We thought that you would return before dinner. Pray, take off your coat, as you are turning very red.
jack_aubrey: *gapes at him, then sends the coat flying in a way that would certainly upset Killick*
maximus_tm: *looks up at Jack for a long moment, smiles sweetly, then leans towards Stephen and starts licking his neck*
stephen_maturin: *groans* I do hope that you have had a fine morning, Jack. Mine has been...quite productive...
jack_aubrey: *still staring at the two of them, then beginning to unfasten his breeches without even bothering to remove his boots* I want to know what I missed.
maximus_tm: *pushes the blanket back, and then kneels over Stephen, a knee on either side of his hips* Well, Stephen showed me some pictures of...wombats, were they?
stephen_maturin: *running a hand appreciatively up Maximus' thigh, and smiling at Jack* I showed him what few sketches I have recreated from Botany Bay, only the roughest. And we discussed the fall of Rome, though you might be better suited to fill him in on the history of warfare in the time since.
jack_aubrey: *doesn't want to think about wombats or warfare, pushing his breeches down and drawing his own cock out with a kind of proprietary shamelessness* Yes, yes?
maximus_tm: And then Stephen kissed me. It was a very nice kiss -- and then, of course, our shirts started to come off, but we realized there would not be much privacy in Stephen's cabin, so we buttoned up quickly and came back here. *looks at Jack's cock for a moment, then leans forward to lick Stephen's nipple*
stephen_maturin: *moaning, and reaching to stroke Jack's exposed thigh* That is not entirely accurate. I did not kiss him until he had driven me to distraction with his hands on my clothing. It is very comfortable in here, and there are happy memories as well.
jack_aubrey: *is simply staring glaze-eyed at them and squeezing his cock in his own hand as if he's forgotten what to do with it*
maximus_tm: Oh, yes, that's right -- I had my hands on you first. That was quite enjoyable. *reaches out for Jack's other thigh, urging him forward* Stephen has a most delightful body, very responsive. But I fear he used it against me, Jack, and drove ME to madness instead. He used his tongue on me and nearly made me scream.
stephen_maturin: *softly, stroking Jack's thigh* You taught me that, love. I fear I should not have had the courage, had you never wished to try.
jack_aubrey: *moans, pushing himself forward toward their hands* Oh...you used your tongue on his...and I wasn't here! *wailing a little*
maximus_tm: *smiles a little and leans towards him, licking his thigh* He fucked me with his tongue, Jack. It was delightful.
jack_aubrey: *bites his lip to stifle a terribly indiscreet groan* Oh, I -- I imagine -- Stephen...
stephen_maturin: *twists out from beneath Maximus to get his mouth on Jack's other thigh, licking his way up* And then he made me spend in his mouth, you know how skilled his lips are.
maximus_tm: *has worked his mouth towards Jack's balls, and starts licking at them*
stephen_maturin: *grinning up at Jack* Do lie down, joy, before you have an apoplexy. *straightens him out, pushing him toward Maximus in the process, and settling behind him*
maximus_tm: *slides down a bit and starts licking Jack's cock in earnest, feeling it twitch and jump against his tongue* Mmm... dear Jack. Did our words excite you?
jack_aubrey: *shudders and thrusts against Maximus' tongue* Oh, it...yes that's...your mouth is wonderful!
stephen_maturin: *is kissing his way down Jack's back, lifting one of his legs into the air to give both himself and Maximus better access* I should like to make a comparison, Jack, while it is so clear in my mind... *licks up the back of his balls and over his hole*
jack_aubrey: *wails* Oh God Stephen!
maximus_tm: *chuckles softly* He is very, very skilled, Jack. *moves his mouth lower and starts sucking on Jack's balls, letting his fingertips stroke lightly up and down his cock*
jack_aubrey: *thinks he may, in fact, have an apoplexy* Oh! Max -- Stev -- there, yes!
stephen_maturin: *has wetted the opening with soft licks, and presses his tongue inside*
maximus_tm: *moves up higher again, dragging his tongue along the length of Jack's cock, and takes him in his mouth, sucking eagerly as he strokes Jack's thigh soothingly*
jack_aubrey: *is moving his hips, frenzied, rocking himself between Stephen's mouth and Maximus'* Oh I shall not last, I tell you, I shall -- ah!
stephen_maturin: *pressing his tongue in and out enthusiastically, feeling Jack tighten in response to Maximus' ministrations*
maximus_tm: *slides his hand up higher, stroking and tormenting Jack's nipple as he swallows around him*
jack_aubrey: *bucks and trembles*
stephen_maturin: *moves his tongue urgently and strokes the backs of Jack's balls with his fingertips*
jack_aubrey: *shudders again and sends hot jets of seed spouting into Maximus' mouth*
maximus_tm: *swallows eagerly, then pulls back to lick him clean, stroking and rubbing his chest gently before he slides up to smile at him*
stephen_maturin: *slides up as well, bending his knees into Jack's* Why, love, you have left your boots and stockings on.
jack_aubrey: *whimpers and mewls like one of his primates*
maximus_tm: *moves down to remove Jack's boots and stockings, then up again to slip an arm around them both and kiss Jack's nose*
stephen_maturin: *has both arms around Jack and is kissing his hair and the back of his neck, stopping to smile at Maximus and stroke his face over Jack's shoulder*
jack_aubrey: *groaning softly* You are conspiring to kill me. What is it that you want, my ship? My money?
maximus_tm: Oh, dear Jack, we would never. *kisses him tenderly, reaching up to hold onto Stephen's hand*
stephen_maturin: Certainly not. We were, however, conspiring to show you that we had missed you. Is it to your satisfaction?
jack_aubrey: Any more satisfaction, Stephen, and you would have killed me without your pistol, and you should have to dress Maximus up in my uniform and try to pass him as me before the crew.
maximus_tm: *laughing* But, Jack, I still have no idea what a spanker boom...well, what anything is!
jack_aubrey: My point exactly, and if you went to Stephen for advice, the ship would sink within minutes, ha, ha! Stephen don't know his futtocks from his topgallants, ha, ha, ha.
stephen_maturin: *is laughing creakily, nuzzling the back of Jack's head* Then you had best keep safe, my dear.
maximus_tm: *strokes Jack's cheek and kisses him again* I think we would both be devastated if anything happened to you.
stephen_maturin: We will not allow anything to happen. Maximus can defend you, and I shall keep you both healthy with a bolus and more lime juice.
jack_aubrey: *makes an unhappy noise* I assure you, Stephen, I am feeling very, very well.
maximus_tm: *chuckles softly and holds him a little tighter*