I don't know why I wrote this. I just did. Any Hornblower or Bush fans should close their eyes before they read this. Thank You for your time.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Horatio Hornblower. Luckily for all of you.
Hornblower- The Things We Didn't See


"Run her into the hull, dammit! Cripple her!"

It was 4:30 in the morning. Captain Sir Edward Pellew was exercising his impressive lungs again. This would be all well and good if his ship was engaging the enemy in a close and dangerous battle, that invariably involved Horatio Hornblower leaping around with a serious expression on his face, doing something that endangered the whole crew, then thinking up some clever plan to get them out of the mess at the last minute and at some point pulling off his shirt to dive into the water to rescue someone and returning in very tight, clinging, wet, white trousers. No surprises there then.

Unfortunately, he was asleep, and having rather disturbing dreams that involved the Indefatigable, Horatio Hornblower, a blocked sink, a French ship and a very stylish squirrel.

The sleepy bald head of Lieutenant Bracegirdle peered into the cabin to see his impressive and daring captain wrapped up in blankets thrashing around and bawling like an infant.

"No! That's my dress Susie! Give it back or I'll tell Mumsie-Wumsie on you! Waaaaaaaaah!"

The bewildered man walked over and shook Pellew awake. The man sat up and, at the speed of light got out of bed, washed, dressed, took the ship's cat for a walk, darned his socks, played a game of chess with Long John the hamster, did the laundry, dusted Bracegirdle's nose, redecorated the ship (in a tasteful 17th Century florescent orange that TOTALLY gave it more class) and revarnished his little wooden model of the Indy.

"Yes, Mr Bracegirdle, did you want something?"

"Um, well I just dropped by to say that Styles has turned into a chicken, some other guy has fallen overboard, the paint's starting to run and you're wearing a duck costume."

Pellew looked down. He was dressed in his very smart Navy uniform and sporting several Wrestling belts. There was no duck in sight.

He looked up to see his lieutenant disappear out the room saying, "Made ya look! Made ya look! Your face is covered in cow muck!"

"Why you little...!"

Too dignified to run after the man, he merely shot him. Much more hassle- free. "Note to self," he said, blowing the smoke away from the end of his pistol as he struck a 'The-name's-Bond' pose. "Stop killing off lieutenants. Promote Hornblower. Praise Hornblower. Stare at Hornblo...No, wait! Don't say that out loud! Ahem, continuing train of thought, Note to self P.S., Ignore Kennedy, no matter how sweet, noble and downright heroic he is."

*******************

Meanwhile outside, practising for when they actually encountered the enemy...

"FIYAH!"

"FIYAH!"

"FIYAH!"

"FOIRE!"

Archie Kennedy, Horatio Hornblower and Some Other Guy turned to a slightly confused William Bush, and burst out laughing. (The fact that Bush was on the Indefatigable anyway was quite a coincidence. It's a long story. It began in the summer of '69...*voice grows indistinct and more agreeable part of Demus takes over narrative.*)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

"What! What are you laughing at?" cried the unfortunately voiced lieutenant.

None of them could answer, as they were currently engaged in rolling around on the floor giggling like deranged chipmunks.

After about 5 minutes, Hornblower stood up, suddenly aware that his girlish giggling was undignified and he wasn't wearing his hardass 'Emotion-is-a- weakness-must-impress-Pellew' expression. Assuming the aforementioned look, he turned and strode away, leaving Archie and Some Other Guy still acting like senile tree rodents and Mr Bush almost in tears from being ridiculed.

This bare-faced defiance of helpless laughter would have been very impressive, had he not tripped over a random coil of rope, gone flying in the direction of the mast, bounced off the sail, rolled past the group of officers and come to land in the sea.

Archie, having recovered from his hysterics, looked over the side of the ship and sighed. His friend was floundering hopelessly in the 2 foot high water. "Why didn't we remember to call the stunt double?" he said in a world-weary way, before leaping over the side and coming to Horatio's rescue.

As soon as they were on board, Captain Pellew strode up to them and dragged them both into his office/ boudoir/ cabin. Anyone who had any sense at all who was nearby blocked their ears with the nearest thing that came to hand- wax, cloth, parsley, Basil Brush (boom, boom!), Ferraris, restaurants, Styles, etc.

***************************

"WHAT THE $#%&$ WERE YOU PLAYING AT, KENNEDY? YOU COULD HAVE GOT HORNBLOWER KILLED, FOR GOD'S SAKE! I'LL NOT LOSE MEN TO NO BETTER CAUSE THAN THE SATISFACTION OF THEIR OWN SWIMMING NECESSITIES! AM I MAKING MYSELF CLEAR!"

Archie winced and nodded, sadly. Why does he hate me so?

*dreamy tragic music that is very tacky plays in the background. It has beautiful, sad, heart-rendering lyrics.

#'In the town, where I was born,
There lived a man, who sailed to sea!
And he told us of his life,
In the land of submarines.
We all live in a.. What the?
What the $#%# is
This $#&$ song about? It has
Nothing whatsoever to do with the #$$&
Storyline, which is $#!% enough as it is!
Hey, don't you cut me off, I'm not finished yet..!'# *

Pellew turned his ferocious glare on the trembling and, suffice to say, rather damp Hornblower. "You sir! You are the greatest man this navy ever produced and I suspect you will continue on the road of success for many years! Now get out of my cabin and save britain, you yellow-bellied heroic hard-working lay-about, Dammit!"

Horatio and Archie jumped out of their skins, hit the ceiling, caused 1000 pound's worth of repairs, re-entered their respective skins and ran off, knocking over several small and remarkably frail old women, who just appeared out of midair.

************

Back on deck, meanwhile, Bush was trying to beat the answer as to why everyone had been laughing at him out of Some Other Guy. His eyes were glazed over in a bloody rage, he snorted steam and he was indeed terrifying to behold. His hair was sticking up as if he'd just received electric shock treatment. And after this fic, he'll probably need it. He raised a large anachronistic chainsaw, just in time to shave off Hornblower's hair as he exited the captain's cabin. (Ooops */ducks tomatoes thrown by rabid killer fangirls/*).

Archie, sighing and looking heroic YET AGAIN (authoress clutches chest and feels stroke coming on) picked up all that was left of his best friend's hair and cunningly glued it back on. With Superglue. On a rolling ship's deck. And no newspapers down. Do Not Try This At Home. This, however, was a complete waste of time because, him being the main character and all, the biased script-writers/ directors /producers decided that Hornblower had a strange ability to instantly regrow his hair.

Anyway, back to the point, not that there was one to start with, Hornblower and Archie eventually managed to pacify Bush with money, alcohol, sweets, toy row-boats, song sheets and various types of pork pie. Mr Bush was fond of pork pie. In a good way.

Suddenly out of thin air (not thick air, thin!) there came a blood chilling shout of "!"

There was a pause. Then: "LAUDANUUUUUM!"

There was another pause. Everybody blinked, confused. Their bewildered looks disappeared as Midshipman Wellard performed the Time Warp and appeared on the deck (Their bewildered looks DISAPPEARED! *Scratches head*) He immediately leapt up and proceeded to sprinkle everyone with flowers and candy, singing the Happy Song.

"Sing the happy happy happy happy happy happy song
Sing the happy happy happy happy happy happy song
Sing the happy happy happy happy happy happy song
Sing the happy happy happy happy happy happy song
Sing the happy happy happy happy happy happy song" and so on and so forth.

Bush's face was getting redder and redder. A component inside him was objecting to being strewn with pink objects. It would have the same effect as Captain-Pellew-meets-curry-with-no-liquid-in-the-vicinity. An explosion.

With that almost painful slowness that film producers like to taunt us with, Archie turned and caught sight of the man. With the customary shout of "NNNNNNNOOOOOOO!" (which he used for the sake of tradition) he bulled himself forwards and agonisingly slowly picked up Bush and ran with him to the side of the ship, unceremoniously dumping him into the water.

There was a whistling noise (not unlike a kettle) and there was a cry of "TURNIPS! WATER! I CAN'T SWIM! HELP ME! SAVE ME!"

Archie groaned at the tacky déjavu and once again plunged over the side to save a less capable man than himself.

***************
Well? I know its strange, and awful, and character bashing, and I'm going to be set upon by a horde of Rabid Killer Fangirls...But please leave me a review. It doesn't have to be a good review. I just need help with my "Can't stop character-bashing" problem.
Thank you!