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Wellbeing

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Horatio Hornblower
The Adventure Continues:
Retribution!
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Wellbeing:
a good, healthy, or comfortable state.

~

Horatio lost sight of Archie as soon as they boarded the Renown from the Spanish Vessel and were eclipsed by of the escaped Spanish prisoners from their cells. Archie could fight as good as the rest of the crew, but that wouldn't stop the Alpha from worrying about his Mate, like he knew Archie did him in any given skirmish. They would always fight with everything to get back to each other in the end, so Horatio focused to keep that promise. He would like it if last night was not the last one that he spent with the Beta.

They had succeeded in stopping the hostile takeover, but had suffered more loses and now held less prisoners. Burns had been among the injured, thankfully not among the dead.

"You heard about Buckland getting trussed up in his hammock?" Horatio grinned as finally caught his first sight of Archie since the boarded, sitting out of the way on the deck.

"Yeah," Archie gave a shaky chuckle.

He wanted to hug and kiss his Mate in relief, but was forced to be satisfied with sitting unusually near and bumping shoulders. Archie tried to swallow the grimace, but the Alpha had been watching him keenly.

"Are you okay?" Horatio asked in concern, eyes scouring the man. "Did you get injured? Archie?!" he saw the red on the white of his waistcoat, obscured by his hunched position and dark blue frock jacket. "Is it yours? Is--"

"It's just a scratch," Archie assured him, but Horatio could see the pain dulling his usually bright blue eyes.

Horatio dropped to his knees in front of his Mate and tore his jacket aside to reveal the large, dark blood that stained his clothes and continued to. "Scratch?!" he made a sound of anguish.

"O-okay," he stammered, "Maybe m-more than a scratch." And his blue eyes fluttered before they rolled up and he slumped forward, unconscious.

Horatio caught his Mate, arms wrapping around his limp, bloodied body in a second of pure terror, but he gained control. "Somebody, give me a hand!" he shouted. "Kennedy's shot! Help me get him to the sickbay!"

Two crew members took either of Archie's legs while Horatio took his shoulders and they hauled the unconscious Beta below deck and to the sickbay. "Doctor!" Horatio shouted desperately as they set him onto an already blood-soaked table.

Buckland called him away and he was forced back to his duties, left wondering if his Mate was even still alive under the doctor's hands. But before he was sent back onto the Spanish Vessel, he managed to visit Archie, patched up but still out in the sickbay.

Horatio knelt beside him, taking his Mate's limp hand in his and holding it. "You're going to be okay. It's just a scratch, right?" he rested his cheek against Archie's hand for a moment, pressing his lips to the knuckles. "You have to be all right, Archie. You can't leave me, not like this."

When they made port in Kingston, they were all going to be arrested. And this could not be the last time he saw Archie, held the Beta, kissed his Mate.

He leaned forward and brushed the blond auburn hair from Archie's pale forehead. "Come back to me," he whispered. "We either live together or die together, Archie. There is no middle ground." He repeated his Mate's words back to him.

f

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Horatio Hornblower
The Adventure Continues!
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