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shames and idle hours

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Francis had known it to be a strange idea from the moment it first came to him. He’s quite at peace with the fact, having pondered it for some time in his bunk, with only Terror’s boards of English oak separating him from the icy lawlessness of this bizarre, despotic place. Why should he not think it? Things ceased to make sense here such a long time ago.

The main fact of the matter is this – the whiskey, more often than not, now leaves him soft and dormant, and Fitzjames’ needs are going unmet. It is an idea born out of necessity, more than anything else – there’s nothing in him that desires to be kind, or generous. He just wants to save himself the headache.

 

Francis and Fitzjames are still at odds, of course, still cannot look at each other without undisguised distaste, but happily this has not proved to be a stumbling block for the tempestuous, bruising routine of fucks into which they have fallen. Fitzjames wants him as much as he hates him, and Francis is happy to indulge in the former without thinking too much on the latter. It is very easy, when he is buried to the hilt inside his second-in-command, to forget what it means – the significance of wanting and hating in equal measure. Desire and detestation bundled up together; Francis tries not to think about what would happen if one were to ever outweigh the other.

No, their mutual animosity has not stood in the way of a good buggering, but Francis’ rapidly dwindling collection of spirits – and his consumption of them – have rather proven to be an obstacle. More than once has he not been able to rise to Fitzjames’ challenge, leaving Fitzjames sneering and sniping, thinking himself so clever for all his sharp, crude comments, wearing his self-satisfaction on his face in a way that makes Francis want to slap it off again.

It is then that the idea came to him, the idea to recruit some healthy specimen to stand in his stead. Francis could watch, could look upon his good works with some sort of grim satisfaction. More importantly, it would shut Fitzjames up, stop him complaining and pawing petulantly at Francis at every available opportunity.

He had thought of Sergeant Tozer at once, because Tozer is one of those men that Francis would have envied as a youth; well-built, strong, with a thick head of hair, masculine whiskers, a handsome face. Even his voice – the Liverpudlian twang would likely keep him from the very finest of London ballrooms, yes, but all the same he is English, and it still puts him in better stead than some middle-born, middle-aged Irishman.

Moreover, Tozer is dependable and hardworking, and Francis had been sure that he could see to Fitzjames as he sees to his musket drills. He knows how to keep his men in order, which is exactly what Fitzjames needs.

Fitzjames had agreed to it without much persuasion. Francis had expected this, because Fitzjames is hungry for all manner of depraved acts, and Francis doubts he has ever turned down a Marine who wishes to bugger him. Tozer had been a little more hesitant, which Francis had also expected. It is an astonishing proposal, far beyond the remit of his duty, but it had not taken long for interest to spark in his eyes, and he had eventually admitted that he would be happy to do it, would enjoy it, that he serves at the Captain’s command.

(Francis would not force him, if Tozer had truly objected to it, but there is something straightforward about him that Francis enjoys. Tozer will do as asked, and he will not overthink it. A blessing, really. If only all matters relating to Fitzjames could be so simple.)

 

And so, that is how Francis finds himself here, sat in his chair in his cabin, surveying the sight before him; Fitzjames bent over Francis’ own desk, bracing himself on his forearms, his trousers around his ankles, with Sergeant Tozer of the Royal Marines behind him, crimson jacket unbuttoned and hanging open, fucking into the Commander with a particular look of concentration on his face.

It had taken Tozer a moment to find his bearings, once he was fully seated inside Fitzjames, looking to Francis for a nod of encouragement, but after that it did not take long for the young man to fall into a comfortable rhythm, as if he has been doing this every night for many years. Fitzjames certainly seems to appreciate it, if his deeply satisfied groan is anything to go by. He glances up at Francis, perhaps hoping to find discomfort or regret or jealousy on his face. His features take on a sullen expression, however, upon seeing the air of smugness Francis has about him. This is, after all, Francis’ doing. His creation. Fitzjames cannot hope to get the upper hand here.

“Don’t pout so, James,” Francis chides, giving in to the temptation to needle him a little. “I know you’re enjoying it. Just what you needed, hm?”

Fitzjames’ mouth twists. “Don’t presume to know what I need,” he snaps, but he cannot help the moan that comes with a particularly insistent push of Tozer’s hips, and he drops his head, his hair falling around his face.

Francis smiles at this, noting with acute satisfaction how Tozer does not seem to react at all, as if he can so easily shut out their bickering. If only Francis could do the same. It would save him no end of trouble. He wouldn’t be surprised if Tozer is not even thinking about Fitzjames at all, if Tozer has instead tuned him out to imagine the ruddy-cheeked whores to be found in any number of English ports.

“Pull his hair,” Francis says at length, and Tozer obeys without hesitation, grabbing a handful of the stuff in one strong fist. Fitzjames’ head is wrenched back, his chin forced to jut out, his lovely white throat bared. He whines, and squeezes his eyes shut. The sound makes Francis grin to hear it. “I knew you’d like that.”

“I like him doing it,” Fitzjames snaps with a suddenness that Francis did not quite expect. “Rather him than you. What a relief it is to finally have someone young and fit, and sober.”

Francis says nothing, clenches his jaw. If Fitzjames had any sense, he’d stop at that, but there must be something about Francis’ reaction that spurs him on.

“And isn’t he handsome, Francis. A model Marine, the very specimen of English manhood.”

It is not much for Francis to rise slightly from his chair and slap James across the face, not much at all.

He slaps him hard enough that it leaves his palm tingling. He clenches his hand into a fist, trying to hold onto the feeling.

Fitzjames makes a ragged, wet sort of noise, the strength almost going out of him with his surprise. He quavers, groans, looks up at Francis with a particular blaze in his eyes that makes Francis want to fall upon him and devour him utterly. The whole thing is enough to startle Tozer from his rhythm, and he stills the movement of his hips and gapes at his captain.

“Keep going,” Francis barks, and Tozer can only blink, but he manages to collect himself and resume his motions, his hands finding Fitzjames’ waist. “Don’t worry, Sergeant,” he adds, once the moment has passed, his voice softer now. “He likes it. Tell him you like it, James.”

Fitzjames’ jaw works for just a moment, before he manages to grit it out from between his teeth. “Yes, I like it.”

Francis leans back in his chair with a louche satisfaction, grinning like an old lech and rather feeling like one too. Fitzjames’ admission seems to spur Tozer on into a more involved performance, because suddenly his thrusts are shunting into Fitzjames with much more force, if the way that Fitzjames’ brow creases and his teeth catch at his lower lip are anything to go by. Tozer grips at his hips so tightly that his knuckles go white.

Fitzjames looks up again and meets Francis’ gaze, and it is now, suddenly, that Francis wishes with some urgency that he were in Tozer’s stead, fucking into the vice-like heat that haunts him without reprieve, his hands on Fitzjames’ body, Fitzjames’ soft, smooth skin beneath his fingertips.

Francis opens his mouth to say something, almost reaches out to curl a lock of Fitzjames’ hair around his fingers, when suddenly Fitzjames stiffens and he keens, his body rigid and trembling as he spends onto the polished floorboards of Francis’ cabin with a long, protracted groan. When Tozer starts to slow, Francis snaps at him to keep going, for God’s sake.

Fitzjames drops himself down, resting his forehead against the varnished surface of the desk, making the sort of attractive whines and moans that he always does when he is spent and oversensitive. His skin shines with sweat, and he is flushed and damp-eyed, totally overwhelmed.

Francis never wants to look away.

He can finally feel the much-delayed stirrings of his arousal, so late in proceedings as to be embarrassing, and he takes a deep breath to try and will it away. He cannot, however, will away the sudden and peculiar feeling of exclusion as he watches Tozer’s hands at Fitzjames’ waist, holding him gently, now. Tozer is clearly trying to soothe, running a hand up Fitzjames’ back to stroke softly at the nape of his neck, at the fine, sweaty curls of hair there. James makes a little noise, arching up into the touch.

As if this has triggered something in him, Tozer’s movements suddenly become frenzied, his hips jerking wildly as he reaches his climax. He spends into James with a groan, falling forwards against his back once it is through him.

Francis hates the sight of it so much that he almost has to look away. A ridiculous reaction, considering this whole thing was his own bloody idea. Too late to start regretting it now.

Tozer seems to gather himself and, perhaps still sluggish and slow in the aftermath of his climax, he presses a kiss to Fitzjames’ shoulder.

Francis’ hands clench into fists. “Get out,” he snaps, loud enough and harshly enough that Tozer startles slightly, but he dutifully pulls out of James, wiping his prick down with a handkerchief that he hastily shoves into his pocket as he scrambles to right his clothes. His hands fumble as he buttons up his jacket. The door is closed firmly behind him as he flees.

 

“Hand me a cloth,” James eventually says in the silence that Tozer has left behind him.

Francis gets to his feet, rounding the desk for a glance at James’ lovely, well-used arse.

He finds a cloth by the washbasin in his berth. “What a mess he’s made of you,” he comments.

Francis,” James snaps, snatching it from his hand as soon as he is within reach. He says nothing else but gives Francis a queer look to which Francis obliges, turning away to give James a little privacy as he tends to himself.

He could have dampened the cloth, he supposes. That might have been a kindness.

“Did you enjoy that?” James eventually asks. Francis can hear him pulling his trousers up from the floor, trying to reattach his braces. “Was it what you wanted?”

Francis clenches his jaw, briefly, turns to see James buttoning up his waistcoat. “I should be asking you that. Things do generally revolve around what you want.”

It doesn’t make sense even to his ears, but he has said it now, and he wants it to be true, wants this to be a reality where it is true.

James sneers at him. “So kind of you to have such a care.”

Now fully dressed again, he looks as though nothing at all has happened, as if he has just popped in for tea – though the vague, lingering redness on one side of his face betrays him, makes Francis’ stomach tense with excitement.

“There’ll be less hassle for you now, anyway.” James says, smiling slightly when Francis raises an eyebrow, confused. “If I’m ever at a loose end, I can go straight to your hardworking Marine Sergeant. No need for you to play the go-between anymore.”

Francis can only watch, mute with rage and with a clenching sort of dread, as if realising he might be in danger of losing something – not something precious, per se, but something on which he has come to depend. Something he needs, craves, against his better judgement. Something he thought he had securely in his grasp.

James finally dons his greatcoat, his gloves, picks up his hat from the bench by the window. Francis wants to say something, anything, but he cannot will it to happen, cannot spur his body into movement.

“You can put your feet up now,” James says just before he takes his leave, casting a disdainful look around the room, his eyes at last settling on Francis. “Have a drink. Enjoy the peace and quiet.”

The cabin door makes almost no noise at all as James closes it behind him.