|An Ocean of Secrets
Author: Miss Flossy PM
Lucy Carrington is Dr Maturin's assistant. Aubrey hates her, the crew respect her, Mowett adores her. She's may not be perfect, but then none of them are. Prepare thyself... Story 1 in my Mowett's Adventures series! Huzzah!Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance - Chapters: 22 - Words: 42,109 - Reviews: 22 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 10-09-04 - Published: 09-20-04 - Status: Complete - id: 2064514
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Welcome to An Ocean of Secrets!
This is a piece of fiction based around the film Master and Commander, with nothing whatsoever to do with the books. Why did I write it? Well, originally, to make up for all those stories here on fanfiction about Pullings always getting the girl. It seems that nobody ever gives the other guys on the Surprise a chance with the ladies, so I figured it was about time that changed...!
An Ocean of Secrets started out as just romantic drabble, about a fictional female character (Lucy Carrington) on the Surprise during the Acheron mission, who has a special place in her heart for 2nd Lieutenant William Mowett (cute and cuddly teddy bear that he is!). Gradually as the story unfolded I added more characterization around the two main protagonists, which gave the story more depth. We learn that Stephen Maturin is hopeless with his emotions, Lucy is stubborn, proud and lonely, Captain Aubrey is a chauvinistic pig, Tom Pullings enjoys his wine a little too much, and William Mowett is not always the cool, calm gentleman he would have the crew believe he is! It's all very Danielle Steele, but I will admit it was a hell of a lot of fun to write! Note that the rating is for some of the more intimate stuff near the end of the story – it's not explicit, but some of the language is pretty direct, especially in the last chapters, and it ain't for the young ones. You have been warned.
Oh, and for those of you who may be concerned, Lucy Carrington is definitely NO Mary-Sue!
I really hope you enjoy reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. I had such a good time writing this I have now begun a sequel of sorts, called Abbotsleigh Park, which continues the adventures of Mowett and Pullings, but with a bit more comedy and light hearted romance. I have started publishing it here on fanfiction, so make sure you have a read! I am also thinking of a story about Mr Howard, who, like Mowett, seems to be sorely ignored here on fanfiction...
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy An Ocean of Secrets, the story of Lucy Carrington, her adventures on the HMS Surprise, and her secret love for the officer who stole her heart.....
Luv ya's all!
Miss Flossy! xxxxx
Chapter 1 – Absent Thoughts
It had been a long day. Too long. Everything seemed to go wrong today, as if it was always destined to.
Lucy collapsed in a chair in the doctor's cabin, heaving the heaviest of sighs. Everything had been done; measurements and samples were taken, crew examined, stores accounted for. It seemed to Lucy that she had not stopped working since the sun had risen, but that for all she had done, she realized that in fact she had really done nothing. In the back of her mind she was a little bewildered as to why the doctor had requested these tasks be done today, when nothing really required their attention.
Her hard work was appreciated by the doctor, this she knew, although he did not always express it. Now he was sitting at his bench, pouring over his microscope, intently inspecting his latest water samples. She was used to his mumbling while he worked, sometimes in English, sometimes even in Spanish, although now her Spanish was almost good enough to understand him. She smiled in spite of herself; she loved watching him work. Something about the way he never gave up on a problem inspired her to always do her best, no matter how lonely, or uncomfortable, or exhausted she may feel.
Exhaustion. It was a though which brought her back to her current state of tiredness with lightening speed. She sighed again, reflecting on her achievements, and what was still required of her before the evening would finally be at an end.
The doctor looked up from his microscope. The lines on his face gave away his own exhaustion as he stared at her over the top of his wire spectacles. "You have worked very hard all day, haven't you? I don't think I have seen you sit still since dawn."
"No, sir, I am not tired" she replied wearily. "Just relieved to finally have the day come to an end." She put her head back and stared at the ceiling. Leaking again, she noted absently.
"I know what you mean" he sighed. "The past week has been one of painful normality. I know I have been trying to keep busy, and to keep you busy also. You seem of late to be somewhat out of sorts, my dear, and keeping you working always puts a smile on your face." He looked back to his microscope with renewed intensity.
Lucy turned to him with a look of surprise, unaware until this moment that he had noticed her mood. The doctor was always a difficult book to read; you never really knew if he was listening or noticing anything you said or did, and so never really thought to hide your emotions from him. In truth he was very intuitive, something she should have realized long before her melancholy had become evident to him. Of course she had never spoken of it; Lucy's life and feelings were an ocean of secrets, and although the doctor was the closest thing she ever had to family, she hesitated when opening her heart to him, lest he should mention her feelings to the Captain, and then....who knows what would happen then.
"I am not out of sorts, Stephen," she said with attempted humility. "I am just trying to find my place in this floating prison. It's not easy sometimes, you know."
He paused, gazing at her over the top of his glasses. "Yes, I can understand that. Being one of only a handful of women on board does make it difficult for you, I am sure. Being my assistant can't make it any easier, but you know that the crew respect you and trust your judgment. You shouldn't need me to tell you that."
"No sir, I know that is true, and I thank God for it. Still, there are some times when I believe it would be a lot easier to be a man!" She laughed.
The doctor's eyebrows raised slightly. "No, Lucy, I could never imagine you a man. There is something about you which is peculiarly feminine, even in this floating prison, as you call it."
No, she could never be a man, she thought. What a terrible idea. Even though her life had been one of torment and struggle, she would never wish to change her sex, simply for the sake of making things easier. That was not her style. From the first time the doctor had seen her in that street in East London, shivering with cold and fever, he had seen something in her eyes which had intriegued him. Her strength, her courage, her intelligence, all shone through the filth that enshrouded her and gave her an inner glow that he could never quite explain. He had taken her in, given her shelter, and showed her the amazing world of medicine, and for Lucy, this was a dream come true. Her future was destined to be lived on the street, begging and looting, and eventually whoring for the sake of a penny or two; but the doctor had rescued her from that fate worse than death, and having showed her that helping others was something she too could achieve, she had taken hold of it with both hands and never let go. That was over 10 years ago, and though both of their lives had changed somewhat, she still relied on his teaching and care, as she would on the brother she never had, or the father who she might have known if he had not left her on the street to die.
Still, there were some things about Lucy that he didn't know, and never would. She had never spoken of love to him, perhaps because she though it was a little outside his realm of understanding. Certainly, she had seen him take on his share of lovers, but none had touched his mind as well as his heart, and Lucy had always wondered if there was ever a woman who could truly find affection with a man like Stephen Maturin. She knew that there would never be such a feeling between them, that was certain. She loved Stephen, to be sure, but not in a romantic way. He was never one to show the emotion that she craved from a man who could win her heart. Besides, her heart had been won by another long ago.
She roused herself from her thoughts and looked again at the doctor, still intent on his microscope. Smiling, she stood and stretched. "I am going to have dinner with the other girls tonight, Stephen. Is that alright with you?"
"Yes, yes, that's fine" he answered, not bothering to look up. "Have a nice evening."
"And you, sir" she replied. "Give the Captain and the officers my compliments." She added, knowing that the doctor was to dine in the Captain's Cabin with the senior members of the crew that night.
"Shall I give all of the officers your compliments, or just the one?" He asked from behind his microscope.
Lucy went pale. He knew. She didn't know how, but he knew. There was nothing for it. Thoughts raced through her head that never should have been entertained, but within a few seconds she had regained her composure, and saw the only way out.
"Why, all the officers of course, my dear doctor. I trust they are all well." She smiled at him and left the room, closing the door with a satisfied thud. Thank God that was over, she thought. But how did he know? Who had told him? Surely she had not given her feelings away so greatly. If he knew, then who else knew? Her mind raced though hundreds of thoughts as she absently made her way to the women's mess room. This was something she needed to discuss with Kitty, and quickly.