stephen_maturin: *cracks a joke about Jack eating too much*
jack_aubrey: Precisely what is so funny?
maximus_tm: *looks back at him evenly* Nothing, Captain.
jack_aubrey: You certainly seemed to find something amusing a moment ago. *looks at Stephen to see if Stephen shares this assessment*
stephen_maturin: *raises his eyebrows at Jack and goes over to his cello*
maximus_tm: No, no, Captain, not at all.
jack_aubrey: *wanders over to get his violin and whispers to Stephen* I did think that you were concerned about his emotional state.
stephen_maturin: *hisses back as he sits down and starts tuning the cello* He seems to be in very high spirits tonight. That is good for him.
jack_aubrey: *decides not to press this issue and starts tuning his violin, glancing at Maximus* Would you like an explanation of how the tuning works?
maximus_tm: *gets up and crosses the cabin to stand next to him, looking at the violin* I would appreciate that.
jack_aubrey: *demonstrates how the tuning pins work and where the strings attach*
maximus_tm: And that bigger one--*points at the cello* It is much the same?
jack_aubrey: Well, in principle it is the same, though it is held between the legs rather than... *swings the violin under his chin with a flourish* Its sounds are deeper.
stephen_maturin: *has finished tuning and improvises a quick melody to demonstrate the sound of the cello*
jack_aubrey: *has the impression Stephen may be flirting with Maximus and plays a rather show-offy variation on the improv*
stephen_maturin: *glances at Jack, and grins at him*
maximus_tm: *is smiling and watching them both* Oh, marvelous! A beautiful sound together, I have no idea WHAT Killick was talking about before.
jack_aubrey: *utterly blankly* What was Killick talking about?
maximus_tm: Something about... "scrape scrape, screech screech..." He didn't sound particularly, ah, pleased with your playing, but my friends, that was beautiful.
jack_aubrey: *scoffing* Killick has no ear for music at all. Come, let us play something truly worth your attention. The Mozart, Stephen?
stephen_maturin: *smiling up at Jack* The Mozart, indeed.
maximus_tm: *sits down and has more of the wine*
jack_aubrey: *is waving his bow and counting beats*
stephen_maturin: *leads into the song, glancing occasionally between both Maximus and Jack*
jack_aubrey: *tries to watch Maximus to see whether he's watching himself or Stephen, but ends up getting into the playing and forgetting to worry about it*
maximus_tm: *rests his elbow on the table and his chin on his hand and watches them both, enjoying the music very much, though thinking that Jack may be trying to upstage Stephen, and thinks this is rather endearing*
jack_aubrey: *finishes, with a big smile for Stephen, having completely forgotten that Maximus is there for a moment* We played that very well, my dear.
stephen_maturin: *looks up at Jack, smiling up at him* We certainly did, joy. I might even say that was the best we have played it.
jack_aubrey: *suddenly notices Maximus watching them and looking a bit amused* Ah. You have caught us on a good night!
maximus_tm: Then I am very happy, Captain.
jack_aubrey: *taken slightly aback as he is pretty sure Maximus called Stephen "Stephen" earlier* Please, address me by name. We do not stand on ceremony while we play.
maximus_tm: Very well, then, Jack. *smiles brightly at him*
jack_aubrey: *is pleased that he has gotten Maximus to smile* Well. Shall we try another, Stephen, or might we only ruin our earlier brilliance?
maximus_tm: Please, play another! My ear certainly couldn't tell if it was not perfect.
jack_aubrey: *is about to suggest Corelli, then realizes that may be too wistful for Maximus* What about the Nardini, Stephen?
stephen_maturin: *nodding* An excellent suggestion, Jack. *notices that Maximus is still smiling, and starts immediately into the music*
jack_aubrey: *struggles somewhat with a very fast violin movement, but thinks he is doing a reasonable job*
maximus_tm: *thinks everything looks absolutely effortless to them and is quite caught up in the melody*
stephen_maturin: *winces as he misses a note, but is pretty sure Jack is the only one who noticed, and gives him a quick apologetic glance*
jack_aubrey: *can't spare any thought for it as the movement is so very fast and he is struggling to keep his fingering*
maximus_tm: *is utterly enchanted and wondering if he could convince Jack to teach him how to play*
stephen_maturin: *notices the way Maximus is staring, and glances down to watch his fingers, hiding a little grin*
jack_aubrey: *finishes off the piece with a big flourish, as he is quite proud of himself*
maximus_tm: *applauds for them, more so for Jack* Wonderful, wonderful!
jack_aubrey: *had been about to hug Stephen enthusiastically, and checks himself, blushing* Thank you.
maximus_tm: No, thank YOU, for allowing me to have a private audience. I am honored, Capt--Jack.
stephen_maturin: *grinning to himself as he sets the cello aside*
jack_aubrey: *puts the violin in its case, and, at a loss what else to do with his energy, shakes Maximus' hand enthusiastically* I am heartily glad that you enjoyed it.
maximus_tm: *takes Jack's hand between both of his, smiling up at him* I would gladly hear you again.
jack_aubrey: *flushes some more* Well, perhaps not this evening. I dare say we have made enough noise, ha, ha! *picks up his glass with his free hand and drains it*
maximus_tm: No, perhaps not tonight. But -- well, whenever you can. *realizes he is still holding Jack's hand and lets go, reaching for his own glass again*
jack_aubrey: If I had time, I would teach you to play. Perhaps Stephen might... *suddenly can't decide if he actually wants to recommend that Stephen give Maximus cello lessons while he's busy on the quarterdeck* ...ah, perhaps Stephen might teach you to read music.
stephen_maturin: *glances between the two of them, as Maximus gives him a rather expectant look* Oh, indeed I could.
jack_aubrey: *knows he has no right to give Stephen a Look since it was, after all, his own idea, and pours himself some more wine* Very good, then.
maximus_tm: Well, we did have time to sit together and have lunch today, and we talked for some time... the next time there is such a lull in activity, surely you could teach me. *gives him an utterly charming smile*
jack_aubrey: *is thinking that Maximus has an utterly charming smile, then realizes that he is on the receiving end of a smile very similar to the one he uses when he is trying to utterly charm a woman* Ahh...oh...indeed.
maximus_tm: *keeps smiling up at him and takes a drink of his wine*
stephen_maturin: *finally gets up and returns to the table, pouring himself another drink, raising his eyebrows at Jack*
jack_aubrey: *is blushing quite a bit and peers at Stephen to see if he notices*
stephen_maturin: *as Maximus' attention seems utterly devoted to Jack, decides it's quite safe to wink at Jack as he takes his seat at the table across from Maximus*
jack_aubrey: *refills Stephen's glass and passes it to him* Maximus and I were talking earlier about the birds in Brazil.
stephen_maturin: Indeed? *smiling* What did you say about them?
maximus_tm: Jack told me that there are birds that can speak. Is this really so? I had no idea that birds could be so intelligent.
stephen_maturin: *launches into a lecture about how the birds in Brazil are not so much intelligent as adept at mimicry, about birds, about Brazil, that tangents off into sloths and various other furry, four-legged creatures*
jack_aubrey: *is slightly distracted and somewhat relieved to see that Maximus does not appear to be panting to see a sloth* Stephen, we were both wondering how a sloth knew enough about grog to have developed a taste for it.
stephen_maturin: *has paused mid-thought at Jack asks this question, though he was in fact only talking so much so he could observe Maximus and his behavior towards Jack* Ah. Well, I imagine that it did not, in fact, know about grog and only developed a taste for it after you gave it to him. It was probably a reaction more along one that you or I might have when exposed to a food that is different than what we normally have -- we relish it, if we find the taste agreeable in the slightest.
jack_aubrey: *is sipping his wine* But...grog! Sailors drink it as the only ration they may have, not because it is preferable to good port. *goes to yell to Killick for the plum duff*
stephen_maturin: Oh, of course, but I imagine the poor sloth had been exposed to neither grog nor port, so naturally he did not know the difference.
maximus_tm: *watching Jack rather intently as he gets up and goes over to the door*
jack_aubrey: *comes back, smiling at Maximus* There, you shall have your plum duff. Stephen, how was I to know that the sloth could not hold its liquor?
maximus_tm: *smiling back*
stephen_maturin: *watching them both, then sighs a little* In hindsight, I do suppose you could not have known.
jack_aubrey: You called me a... *decides he will not be so impolite as to use the term in front of Maximus, though Maximus probably speaks no French* ...a rather foul name! Though not as foul as the words the men teach their parrots, ha, ha! Stephen once had a parrot on my ship that could say the most vile of phrases.
maximus_tm: *glances at Stephen in surprise* You taught the parrot to say...?
stephen_maturin: *blushes a bit* It is entirely the fault of a biting lizard.
maximus_tm: *stunned* A talking LIZARD?
stephen_maturin: No, the lizard bit me and I uttered a phrase that should never have escaped my lips.
jack_aubrey: *laughs heartily* This is what comes of bringing alligators onto my ship, Stephen!
stephen_maturin: Oh, it was hardly an alligator, Jack! *turns to Maximus and explains that the lizard was not, in fact, an alligator, nor could it talk*
maximus_tm: *nodding slowly in understanding*
jack_aubrey: *interrupting loudly over Stephen* He has brought alligators, and bees, and the sloth, and an ostrich onto my ship.
stephen_maturin: There has never been an ostrich on this ship. You are confusing it with the cassowary.
maximus_tm: *is smiling at Jack again* You have great patience, my friend!
jack_aubrey: *gives Stephen a pleased look* And I have not even told him about the spiders.
maximus_tm: I despise spiders.
jack_aubrey: *bangs his fist on the table in triumph* As do I!
maximus_tm: Horrid things. Though... *leans towards Jack, grinning and speaking softly, though certainly loud enough for Stephen to hear* as far as I am concerned, Jack, nothing should have more than four legs.
jack_aubrey: I do hope the weevils have not been upsetting you.
stephen_maturin: Arachnids are a vital part of our environment. Imagine a world overrun with flies if there were no spiders to eat them.
jack_aubrey: *gives Stephen an impatient look* Stephen, if nothing had more than four legs, there would be no flies, for flies are arachnids.
stephen_maturin: *a little indignant* No, Jack, flies are insects. Spiders and scorpions are arachnids.
maximus_tm: *blinks at him*
stephen_maturin: *patiently explains the difference between insects and arachnids*
jack_aubrey: *gives Maximus a "You see what I have to put up with?" look* Stephen, the point is, we would be just as happy with neither. Would you not prefer to eat biscuit free of weevils?
maximus_tm: *grins at Jack and nods along with what he is saying, as he has now had his fill of weevils*
stephen_maturin: Yes, but...
jack_aubrey: *groans and looks at Maximus* He is about to expound on the value of weevils for sailors, because of something about meat and the digestion.
maximus_tm: *laughs softly and reaches for his wine glass again*
stephen_maturin: Then I shall not.
jack_aubrey: *realizes that Stephen is on the verge of becoming low, quite forgets himself and squeezes his hand* My dear, you are... *remembers himself, realizes that Maximus is watching him, flushes, decides Maximus does not know enough about life in the Navy to make any judgments and decides not to show any great restraint* ...you are welcome to explain for Maximus, if you wish.
maximus_tm: I would be most interested to know, Stephen. *turns that utterly charming grin on the doctor*
stephen_maturin: *a little flustered, getting the full effect that grin* I see. *takes another drink and explains for him*
jack_aubrey: *is now somewhat put out that Stephen is getting the grin* No man who has only recently been subjected to weevils and the sea should have to listen to so much detail, or he might lose his dinner. More plum duff?
maximus_tm: *smiles at him and takes the offered dessert happily*
stephen_maturin: *looks a little put out this time, as Jack has interrupted him again*
jack_aubrey: *turns* Stephen? Would you like more?
stephen_maturin: No, thank you, Jack, I have eaten quite enough tonight.
jack_aubrey: *frowns a little* Are you well, my dear?
stephen_maturin: Yes, joy, I am well.
jack_aubrey: *apologetically, to Maximus, as he gets himself another large helping* He is always telling me I eat too much, ha, ha!
maximus_tm: Well, it is certainly not my place to say, Jack... *steals a spoonful from him* but I think you have a healthy appetite.
stephen_maturin: *is about to say something to this, but merely steals some of Jack's plum duff as well*
jack_aubrey: *glances to both sides as if he feels conspired against*
maximus_tm: *notices the look on Jack's face and can't hold back a little giggle, feeling quite light all of a sudden -- perhaps from the wine -- and offers up a spoonful to Jack*
jack_aubrey: *leans over to take it from Maximus' spoon, notices Stephen watching him and gives him the charming smile around the mouthful*
stephen_maturin: *smiles at Jack and takes a spoonful for himself*
maximus_tm: *utterly focused with Jack's mouth for a moment*
jack_aubrey: *thinks Stephen must be proud of him for getting Maximus to laugh, and smiles broadly*
stephen_maturin: *his own smile has broadened a little, indeed feeling proud*
maximus_tm: Oh, Jack, you have -- *lifts a hand and wipes a little of the dessert from the corner of Jack's mouth with his fingertip*
stephen_maturin: *has stopped smiling*
jack_aubrey: *thinks nothing of this as Stephen does it for him when they're alone all the time* Thank you. Stephen, if we did touch at Brazil, I suppose you would want to see your vampires... *voice trailing away as Stephen does not look terribly happy*
stephen_maturin: Oh. Yes, I would like to see the bats.
maximus_tm: *has a bit more of the plum duff for himself, not having really noticed that Stephen is staring at him*
jack_aubrey: *glancing puzzled from Stephen to Maximus and back* But you must promise me that you will not try to bring one aboard! Can you imagine what the men would say with a vampire flying about the hammocks!
stephen_maturin: Oh, Jack, the bats would not harm them.
maximus_tm: *offers more plum duff to Jack*
jack_aubrey: *takes the bite without even looking at Maximus as he is staring at Stephen* The bats are VAMPIRES, Stephen!
maximus_tm: We had tales of such creatures in Rome.
stephen_maturin: *looks annoyed* They are merely called vampire bats! They are not vampires.
jack_aubrey: *nods gratefully at Maximus and speaks as if he did not hear Stephen* There, you see! Even if they do not suck out the lives of men *shudders slightly* you know sailors and their omens. No one will sleep a wink with a vampire aboard!
stephen_maturin: *sighs* Oh, very well, I shall leave the bats behind.
maximus_tm: *is about to wipe Jack's mouth again when Stephen huffs out a breath and grabs a napkin to wipe Jack's mouth himself*
jack_aubrey: *looks back and forth between the two of them again and decides he was more comfortable when Maximus and Stephen seemed overly friendly* I really can't eat another bite. You finish it, Maximus.
maximus_tm: *thinks he has overstepped his bounds and sits back, quite suddenly much more subdued* No, that's all right, Jack, I'm not hungry.
stephen_maturin: *curses inwardly* Ah.
jack_aubrey: *furrows his brows at Stephen, unable to guess what he's at, then says overly brightly* Well, in that case perhaps I shall finish it after all. It would be a shame to waste! *takes the fork from Maximus and shovels some in*
stephen_maturin: Do be careful, my dear. You should not overeat.
maximus_tm: *glances out the windows at the back of the cabin*
jack_aubrey: *mouth full* I am not overeating.
stephen_maturin: *reaches out and has more of the dessert* You should stop eating if you no longer feel the NEED to eat.
jack_aubrey: *pushes the plate towards Stephen* Very well, plum, I did not realize that you wanted it.
stephen_maturin: *smiles a little* That is not entirely what I was implying, Jack... *eats it anyway*
jack_aubrey: *sees Maximus looking out the windows and worries that he is grown melancholy* Maximus...how do you find sleeping in our cots? They are not uncomfortable for you, I hope?
maximus_tm: *turns back to him* Mm? Oh, I have grown used to them.
jack_aubrey: Stephen once said that they were better than opium for restorative sleep, didn't you, my dear! *suddenly realizes that perhaps this was indiscreet; then again Maximus may have no idea what opium is*
stephen_maturin: *glances at Jack, looking apologetically at him and thinking about how to bring back Maximus' happier mood*
jack_aubrey: ...provided a man don't get seasick of course. Ha! Stephen, do you remember that time you told me you had contracted a deadly contagion because you did not want to admit that the gale made you ill? Ha, ha, ha.
stephen_maturin: *blushes a little as Maximus looks over at him, and can't help but laugh a little at this*
jack_aubrey: *grins broadly at Maximus as well* Those of us accustomed to the sea simply take it as a matter of course.
maximus_tm: Yes, I imagine you do. I am simply glad I was not ill for long.
jack_aubrey: We have had uncommonly good winds this voyage. You must have brought us luck!
maximus_tm: *smiles a little more* Do you think so?
jack_aubrey: *bangs his fist on the table for emphasis* I do! Don't you agree, Stephen?
stephen_maturin: I am not certain any omen should be -- *immediately decides to let this slide, and nods* Well, yes, Jack, it would appear so. *smiles*
maximus_tm: *startles a little as Jack's fist goes down on the table, then thinks he really should be used to that by now* Why, then, I am glad to have been able to bring luck to your ship. *almost reaches out to touch Jack's hand, then thinks twice about it*
jack_aubrey: Perhaps when we refit we should have a gladiator for our figurehead!
maximus_tm: *smiles* The lady that stands as your figurehead now is far prettier than I am. *glances at Jack as the words leave his mouth, hoping he has not offended*
jack_aubrey: *laughs heartily at this* But I have always said that women are bad luck aboard a ship. Haven't I, Stephen? Damned bad luck. Though the men might find it very shocking, was I to put Maximus' face on our figurehead. Stephen, you have never commented upon our likeness, yet I overhear someone every day guessing that Maximus must be my bast-- that is, my long-lost brother.
stephen_maturin: I have heard such talk as well. I think the men have been trying to get me to slip and tell them something--something that, in all honesty, I do not know! *smiles a little* The resemblance is uncanny indeed. Apart from hair color, you could be twins.
jack_aubrey: Perhaps if Maximus was to spend as much time in the sun and salt as I have, our hair would be the same color. Maximus, have you ever worn your hair long?
maximus_tm: Not since I was young, and never quite as long as yours... *reaches out to touch the ponytail without thought*
jack_aubrey: *unconcerned with this as he is feeling fraternal* If I am ever in trouble with tipstaffs again, I should like to take you to London with me and confuse them. Ha!
maximus_tm: *frowns a little* Forgive me -- tipstaffs?
jack_aubrey: *sighs* I suppose you did not have debtor's prisons in Rome.
maximus_tm: Oh--from that unfortunate incident of yours. Are the tipstaffs the ones who pursued you?
jack_aubrey: They did. I had all but escaped them, too, but Stephen was badly injured in his...ah, in an accident, and I was escorting him to his coach. He was able to have me out of prison very quickly, however. *smiles warmly at Stephen*
stephen_maturin: *smiles back* I do what I can for you, Jack.
maximus_tm: *chuckles softly* Oh, we could surely confuse your enemies I grew out my hair and *looks down at Jack's belly* ah... *looks up at him again and smiles warmly* And spent enough time out in the sun to make it grow lighter.
jack_aubrey: *is oblivious to the fact that Maximus was looking at his belly because he made him laugh again* Can you imagine, Stephen, if they had two of me to fight! They would call me doubly lucky Jack. Ha, ha, ha!
stephen_maturin: *smiling more, quite pleased that Maximus' mood is returning* Indeed they would. Your enemies would be in fear, because you could be in two places at once.
maximus_tm: I hope you know, Jack, that I would surely do whatever you needed to help you, for all you have done for me while I have stayed with you.
jack_aubrey: Why, I have done very little indeed. I imagine Stephen might have done more for your old injuries -- Stephen, I do not mean to intrude upon your area of expertise, but there is a scar on his back that looks quite inflamed to me.
maximus_tm: Oh, Jack, it is not--
stephen_maturin: *looks at him* I would like very much to see it.
jack_aubrey: *reddening somewhat* Ah, perhaps it was not my place to interfere. But, Maximus, if it is causing you any pain, you should let the doctor look at it.
maximus_tm: *sighs softly* Should you like to see it here, then? Or would it be better to return to your... your...
stephen_maturin: *smiling a little* Remove your shirt. I shall look at it here and if there is indeed anything I can do, I can fetch what I need.
maximus_tm: *sighs again, and takes off his shirt as Stephen comes around to look at it*
jack_aubrey: *gets up and comes around as well* There, you see? *touches Maximus' back and gently traces alongside the scar*
maximus_tm: *shivers a little, holding the shirt tightly between his hands*
stephen_maturin: *touches it, to make a point as he knows that it will be painful, and tsks when Maximus does indeed make a noise of protest* You should have told me you were in pain. I shall fetch what I need for it. Do not put your shirt back on as I am certain the fabric is only making it worse. I will be back shortly. *leaves the great cabin to get what he needs*
jack_aubrey: *rubs over Maximus' arm in what is meant to be a comforting manner, notices goosebumps and rubs somewhat harder* Are you cold?
maximus_tm: Ah--a little, yes. *looks up at him*
jack_aubrey: *takes him by the shoulders firmly, turns him and rubs up and down both arms, admiring the muscles* He will not be long. And once there is a proper dressing on that wound, you will be much more content. No wonder your mood has been so low!
maximus_tm: *lets out a little sigh and leans back towards him a bit* You are both far too kind to worry so much... *covers one of Jack's hands* I do not thank you often enough.
jack_aubrey: *pulling him closer to keep him warm, mindful not to touch his back* There is no need. As the men say, we could be brothers.
maximus_tm: *softly* Yes, brothers indeed... *snuggles back against him, utterly forgetting about his back as he has grown quite used to the pain over the past few days*
jack_aubrey: *is still stroking his arms, somewhat envious of his muscles* My only brother, I'm afraid, is...well, perhaps it is best not to speak of him.
maximus_tm: I am terribly sorry, Jack. *squeezes his hand*
jack_aubrey: *squeezes back* Oh, there is no need. I very rarely need speak with him, or with my father.
maximus_tm: *looks up at him, frowning a little* Then, Jack, I am glad you have found others to share your love. Your wife, children, and Stephen...
jack_aubrey: Yes, I have been very fortunate in my -- *breaks off and catches his eye, trying to guess if he is implying anything by that last* -- ah, my friends and family.
maximus_tm: *smiles up at him* You are very lucky to have Stephen, Jack.
jack_aubrey: *finds that he must break eye contact as he nods, for his face is flushing again* Yes, I know. I believe that I have told you that he is the finest surgeon in the fleet, and as you have heard, a most amiable musical partner, and we have always -- *jumps back a little as the door opens* Why, there you are.
stephen_maturin: *has more than he actually needs in his arms, almost on the verge of dropping some of it* Jack, please, could you help me get this to the table? I fear I may lose something and I would hate to break anything...
jack_aubrey: *rushes over and takes the bandages and a bottle from Stephen, looking anxious* Is it very serious, Stephen? You would appear to have brought your entire sick bay!
stephen_maturin: Oh, no, no, not all of it! *grabs at Jack's sleeve with a finger, leans forward and whispers in his ear* He is utterly taken with you. *gives him a little grin then heads over to the table* I should have thought to ask Padeen for help, the salve I plan to use will have that healed up quickly, but unfortunately requires more ingredients than most. *gives Maximus a sympathetic look* The application will be painful at first.
maximus_tm: *nodding slowly, suddenly missing Juba's healing methods as he stares at the bottles and bandages on the table*
jack_aubrey: *is spluttering during the beginning of this monologue, uncertain whether he could have heard Stephen correctly, then comes over* Is there anything I might do to assist you, doctor?
stephen_maturin: *hands Jack a bowl of some sort of paste-like substances* Mix these while I get the rest prepared.
maximus_tm: *is looking with an expression of distress at Jack*
jack_aubrey: *soothingly, to Maximus, while he grinds* Dr. Maturin's concoctions have never failed to cure what ails me, no matter how much I might lament them at first. Stephen, do you remember that time I was certain that I was dying, when you told me that some lady friend of my acquaintance had been too loose with her favors? Ha!
stephen_maturin: Why, yes *looks at Maximus and smiles reassuringly* And we treated that very quickly, not a worry about that now.
maximus_tm: *is nodding slowly* Well, ah... it doesn't... smell too badly. Not like what you put on me when I first came on board.
jack_aubrey: Once you have been caught in the doldrums on a ship with two hundred men, no medicinal dose can ever smell so unpleasant again, I assure you.
stephen_maturin: *takes Jack's bowl from him and adds what he was mixing, and mixes that*
jack_aubrey: *knocks on the table, and whispers* It is bad luck even to mention that word. The wind dies, the ship becomes trapped in its own filth in the middle of the sea. Let us hope your luck keeps us from them on this voyage!
maximus_tm: Oh, I hope so! *follows suit and knocks on the table as well*
stephen_maturin: *comes around to Maximus' side of the table and puts the bowl down, gathering the bandages close, and, without any ado, begins to apply the salve to the scar*
maximus_tm: *has been rather unprepared for this as he was watching Jack again, and starts with a soft cry, feeling as though Stephen has reopened the wound*
jack_aubrey: *reaches out, offering his hand* It only stings at first.
maximus_tm: *takes Jack's hand and holds on, closing his eyes*
jack_aubrey: *looks at Stephen anxiously and indicates Maximus with his head*
stephen_maturin: *rests his other hand on his shoulder, stroking gently* It will not hurt for long. Do not forget to breathe... *is still applying the salve* You're doing fine.
maximus_tm: *thinks that it might have actually hurt less when he received the wound in the first place, and squeezes Jack's hand*
jack_aubrey: *flinches, as Maximus has a very strong grip, but does not let go* Would you like more wine? ...Stephen, may he have more wine?
stephen_maturin: Yes, indeed he may.
maximus_tm: *lifts his other hand for the wine glass, then drops the arm as Stephen tells him to hold still*
jack_aubrey: *lifts the glass to Maximus' lips and slowly tilts it for him*
maximus_tm: *takes a drink and looks gratefully up at Jack, licking a drop of wine from his bottom lip*
stephen_maturin: There. That covers it. *stroking up and down Maximus' arms* Try to relax now.
jack_aubrey: *reaches over to wipe the wine lingering just beneath Maximus' mouth* Are you still in pain?
maximus_tm: *almost licks at Jack's finger, and turns a little red* A-a little. It is going away very quickly, though. *glances back at Stephen, briefly* It was excruciating for those first few moments. At least--at least the smell is tolerable. *gives a little laugh*
stephen_maturin: *rubs at his shoulders, still feeling that he is far too tense*
jack_aubrey: *also still very close to him* And are you still chilled? Stephen, he has broken out in gooseflesh.
maximus_tm: *tugs on Jack's hand, drawing him closer*
stephen_maturin: *rubbing his arms again* I shall put the bandage on you now, Maximus. *pulls back a little to retrieve it to wind it around him*
jack_aubrey: *turns Maximus slightly toward himself and rests his hands on his shoulders, smiling at him* You still have wine on your chin.
maximus_tm: *lifts his own hands to Jack's forearms* Where?
stephen_maturin: *gives Jack what can only be described as a very, very naughty smirk*
jack_aubrey: *gives Stephen something of a glare and pulls his hand, with Maximus' on his arm, over to his mouth and wipes it off with a finger* There.
maximus_tm: *quite boldly licks at Jack's finger* Mm. Your wine is very good, Jack.
jack_aubrey: *draws in a sharp breath and blushes quite noticeably* Ah! Thank you. It was a gift from a port admiral.
stephen_maturin: *smirking, lifting his eyebrows and mouthing "He. Wants. You" at Jack, though he is not certain Jack can read lips*
jack_aubrey: *can read this perfectly well, and reddens even more, trying to figure out some way to tell Stephen that he thinks he has it wrong without drawing Maximus' attention*
stephen_maturin: *smiles and ties off the bandage, rubbing Maximus' arms again* Are you still cold? I am afraid I would advise against putting on your shirt so soon... *is about to give some excuse why, while still giving Jack that naughty smirk, when Maximus interrupts to agree quite readily to this*
jack_aubrey: *reaches out for the wine glass to give his hands something to do, takes a drink, meets Maximus' eyes over the rim of the glass and offers some to him*
maximus_tm: *reaches out for the glass, but Stephen lowers his arm*
jack_aubrey: *gets the glass to Maximus' lips but his hand is a little unsteady and he spills quite a bit of the wine down his face* Oh, I am most dreadfully sorry! *looks around frantically for something to wipe his chin with*
maximus_tm: *licking his lips* Oh, do not apologize, Jack!
stephen_maturin: *grins and rubs a little harder at Maximus' shoulders, causing him to moan softly*
jack_aubrey: *wipes at Maximus' chin with both hands, licks his own fingers, then sees Stephen's grin and gives him a somewhat despairing look*
maximus_tm: *looking up at him with parted lips and wide eyes, then groans again as Stephen's fingers work over his shoulders*
stephen_maturin: Do you feel more relaxed now?
maximus_tm: Ohhh. Oh yes...
jack_aubrey: *swallows a little and tries to take a step back, but the table is too close behind him* Ah. Let me, perhaps... *starts unwinding his neckcloth to wipe Maximus' face, thinking that Killick is going to have words with him about this*
maximus_tm: *drops his eyes to watch Jack's hands, leaning towards Stephen a little bit*
stephen_maturin: *urges him forward again* Do be careful, we must give the wound room to breathe through the bandage...
maximus_tm: Of course, Stephen...
jack_aubrey: *is breathing rather quickly and trying to keep his lower body out of contact with Maximus, while glaring at Stephen and tugging the cloth free* Here. *wipes at his face and down his throat*
stephen_maturin: *smiles sweetly at Jack*
maximus_tm: *lets out another little moan as Stephen hasn't let up on his shoulders yet, and tilts his head back a little, closing his eyes* Ohh that feels...
jack_aubrey: *bites his lip and tries not to look at Maximus' face, nor at Stephen's*
stephen_maturin: *is trying very hard to meet Jack's gaze*
jack_aubrey: *drops the cloth onto the table behind him, shifting his lower body up against Maximus in a way he does not intend*
maximus_tm: *reaches up and rests his hand on Jack's hip, and this time Stephen does not make him lower his arm* Jack... *opens his eyes and looks up at him*
jack_aubrey: *is very deliberately looking at no one* Ah. Perhaps I should... *can't wiggle out from between Maximus and the table*
maximus_tm: *softly* Should...?
jack_aubrey: *can't seem to remember phrases like "check that our skysails have been trimmed"* Well...the, ah...quarterdeck. Yes.
maximus_tm: *lowers his hand down to his own lap, not bothering to hide his disappointment* Of course.
jack_aubrey: *is still quite trapped between Maximus and the table, and gives Stephen a "get me out of here" look*
stephen_maturin: *raises his eyebrows, rubbing his thumbs up and down the back of Maximus' neck, and quite seemingly unwilling to do much to help Jack escape*
jack_aubrey: *gives Stephen a "You are wicked and naughty and if you don't help me you will pay for it" look*
stephen_maturin: *gives him a very sweet smile*
maximus_tm: *spreads his legs a little and lets his shirt fall down onto the floor*
jack_aubrey: *takes a deep, rather embarrassingly shuddery breath*
maximus_tm: *softly* Do I make you so terribly uncomfortable?
jack_aubrey: *laughs much too loudly at this* No, no, of course not, no!
maximus_tm: *reaches for his hands* I want to thank you for all you've done for me...
jack_aubrey: I've told you, there is no need, not need at all, it has been my great pleasure. *cringes at this choice of words as Stephen grins* Is there...anything you need?
stephen_maturin: *even before Maximus can reply* I think it is fairly obvious, Jack, that our guest is in need.
jack_aubrey: *swallows and tries to grip the table behind him but his hand is so sweaty that it slips right off the edge*
maximus_tm: I would -- anything you desire, Jack.
jack_aubrey: *is looking over his shoulder at Stephen* Is this a game, Stephen?
stephen_maturin: No, Jack, it is not a game.
maximus_tm: *shaking his head, and gently wrapping his fingers around Jack's hands* Please. Let me...
jack_aubrey: *is still looking past Maximus at Stephen* You want him to...?
stephen_maturin: *is now quite excited at this prospect* Yes. Oh, yes.
jack_aubrey: *looks at Maximus* And, you, you know that he and I. That is to say, there are laws in the Navy... *stammers*
maximus_tm: *nodding slowly* Yes, I know.
jack_aubrey: *bites his lip, having run out of excuses* Oh.
maximus_tm: *smiling up at him* Please...I want to. Even just to touch...
jack_aubrey: *jerks his hips forward involuntarily in a most ungentlemanly fashion, and whimpers just as un-officer-like*
maximus_tm: *holds his breath and reaches up to open Jack's breeches* Please...let me touch you.
jack_aubrey: *lets out another soft whimper, pressing forward into Maximus' hands* Oh. Oh. Stephen -- door --
stephen_maturin: *hurries off to the door, making sure it is firmly shut, and turns around to watch them, breathing heavily*
maximus_tm: *pulls the breeches down Jack's hips, pulling his cock free and stroking him gently* I would say that you are in almost as much need as I am.
jack_aubrey: *groping for his shoulders, trying to pull him against him* I can't...reach you...
maximus_tm: *nearly breathless all of a sudden* Do you want to touch me?
jack_aubrey: *glances at Stephen to make sure Stephen is still breathing heavily rather than upset* I -- yes.
stephen_maturin: *smiles and moves away from the door, grabbing blankets and spreading them on the floor*
maximus_tm: *sees the movement out of the corner of his eye and gets up, taking Jack's hand and tugging him over*
jack_aubrey: *follows him, flushed and shaking a little* Stephen? Are you, that is, will you join us?
stephen_maturin: *immediately starts to remove his clothing* Certainly, Jack.
maximus_tm: *smiles, unbuttoning Jack's shirt as he leans forward and kisses him tenderly*
jack_aubrey: *moans and returns the kiss, licking the wine from Maximus' lips and touching carefully around his bandages*
stephen_maturin: *lets out a soft whimper as he watches them, stepping forward to help with Jack's clothing*
jack_aubrey: *can't stop running his hands over Maximus' muscles* You are so very strong.
maximus_tm: *presses closer to him, stroking his chest and back and arms* So are you. *kisses him again, then pulls him down onto the blankets*
stephen_maturin: *is still working diligently to remove everyone's clothing, then presses up against Jack's back, kissing his shoulders*
jack_aubrey: *is shuddering already, trying to keep Maximus' hands away from his lower body or he thinks it will all be over that quickly* Let me...here...
maximus_tm: What, Jack? *kisses him again* Tell me what you want.
jack_aubrey: *is stroking him, astonished at the similarity between them even here and biting his lip so as not to groan aloud at the discovery* Ahh...this.
maximus_tm: *moans quite shamelessly, shuddering* Ohh--that feels... oh, Jack, that feels good...
jack_aubrey: *is fumbling behind himself with his other hand for Stephen, and trembling at the feel of Maximus pressed up against him*
stephen_maturin: *presses closer to Jack, stroking his chest and whispering in his ear* Dear Jack, how I love you.
jack_aubrey: *groans, thrusting against Maximus' thigh and speeding up his hand on him, as Stephen's cock encounters his palm*
maximus_tm: *whimpers and reaches for Jack's cock as he is certain he is not going to last, leaning towards him to groan against his shoulder as he strokes him*
stephen_maturin: *thrusts against Jack's palm, still whispering* Does this feel good? Do we feel good against you like this?
jack_aubrey: *cannot form a single coherent syllable as Maximus touches him and Stephen is leaking in his palm, and he bites down on his lip to muffle a scream as he comes*
maximus_tm: *whimpers helplessly as he feels Jack's seed spurting over his skin, and shudders before spilling over his hand*
jack_aubrey: *trying not to lean to heavily on him, still shaking, and rubbing Stephen as well as he can*
maximus_tm: *reaches over Jack to touch Stephen as well, whispering his name*
stephen_maturin: *moans and cries out as he comes in Jack's palm and over his hip*
maximus_tm: *smiles and slides down, licking Jack clean*
stephen_maturin: *snuggling Jack*
jack_aubrey: *puts one arm around each of them and lets out a long, deeply satisfied sigh*
stephen_maturin: *has a hand resting over Maximus' arm and is thinking just how very clever he is*
maximus_tm: *plays with Jack's nipple*
jack_aubrey: *sighs and squirms* Stephen, you aren't gloating about how clever you are, are you?
stephen_maturin: *as if affronted* Do you truly believe that I would do such a thing?
jack_aubrey: *is momentarily distracted by Maximus' fingers* Ooh. Yes, Stephen, you most certainly would.
stephen_maturin: Why, Jack, I have no idea what you mean. *kisses his cheek*
maximus_tm: *leans over Jack so that he might have a kiss as well*
jack_aubrey: *peers back and forth between them because he has a vague suspicion that they might be plotting together*
maximus_tm: *kisses Jack after he has received his kiss from Stephen, with a lustful expression on his face*
jack_aubrey: *growing curious what he looks like, himself, with such an expression* Maximus...would you let me watch Stephen with you?
maximus_tm: With me?
jack_aubrey: *flushing a little* Buggering you.
maximus_tm: *blushes a little* Oh. Oh, yes, Jack, I would.
jack_aubrey: *smiles, satisfied, and looks at Stephen*
stephen_maturin: *smiling* Is that what you want, Jack?
jack_aubrey: *blushes very slightly* Ah. Yes.
stephen_maturin: Then, when his back is better, we must see what we can do about that.