A/N: Saw Master and Commander, it ate my brain. You know how it goes.

Hands

Stephen has such delicate hands.

Very delicate hands. Much thinner than Jack's own. Softer, too - not that Jack goes around holding hands with the ship's surgeon, but regardless. There are occasions, surely, when men's hands may touch and it is from such times that he can tell that Stephen's hands are soft and fine, lacking the calluses and scarring of Jack's own.

They draw his attention more than he would like. Back home, naturally, they are not so much of an oddity; much of the nobility remain disinclined to do much, if anything, for themselves. But on a ship like the Surprise, manned with a crew of weathered sailors, where even young Blakeny's hand is roughened and marked - why, then, it is hardly surprising that a man with delicate surgeon's hands like Stephen should draw his attention.

Such terribly delicate hands.