This is a Hitchhiker's Guide/Hornblower crossover, written by two slashers. The authors are Les Lapins Mauvais and Demus. All credit to Les Lapins Mauvais for the original idea and development of that idea. Also, the title is hers. It's on my account because she is, alas, going on holiday and wouldn't be able to post it on hers.
For those who don't know, 'Hornblower' was a series of books (made into a TV series) about a young officer in the Royal Navy in the eighteenth century during the war with France. His name is Horatio Hornblower, from the TV adaptation his best friend is called Archie Kennedy and his captain is called Captain Sir Edward Pellew. Unsurprisingly, a popular Hornblower slash pairing is Archie/Horatio- we've paired them off in this fic.
Please enjoy, gentle readers. And please leave a nice review- it's LLM's birthday on Wednesday (is manipulative)
One fine day, HMS Indefatigable was skipping gaily over the waves, when suddenly, the lookout spotted something strange in the sky. He called to Lieutenant Hornblower, who climbed up to the main top (trying to ignore his fear of heights) and observed the strange object through his telescope. It appeared to be floating in the sky, or perhaps flying like a bird, although it did not have wings. It was sleek and white and rounded, and as he watched, it plummeted into the ocean with a tremendous splash. "We must go see what it is," Hornblower exclaimed, rushing off to tell Captain Pellew...
Waiting outside the Captain's cabin, Horatio hastily flattened his untameable curls and straightened his uniform before knocking on the door. "Come!" came a deep, imperious voice. Horatio tried not to think of what he had been engaging in with Acting Lieutenant Kennedy the night before, and entered the room. He came smartly to attention. Captain Pellew, possibly one of the bravest, cleverest, interetingest, sexiest (alright, I'll stop...) captains ever to command a ship of His Majesty's Navy glared at his panting lieutenant. "Yes Mr Hornblower?"
"Sir, there is a matter on deck that urgently requires your attention!" Horatio reported, absently wondering where Pellew bought his face cream. That was some serious firming going on right there.
"Oh God, its not that Styles fellow hanging upside down from the rigging by his undies again is it?"
"Erm...No Sir. But I do think your presence is needed Sir."
Pellew sighed, put away his paperwork and stood. "Bloody Lieutenants, I can't leave in charge for five minutes without something going arse-up can I?" With that, he stomped off. Horatio followed, wondering what had put his captain in such a fine mood.
When they got on deck, Horatio noticed the aforementioned Acting-Lieutenant Kennedy (better known as Archie, The Crumpet, or "mmph don't stop that feels good mmm") leaning jauntily against the ship's side, looking through a telescope at the strange object that had crashed into the ocean. Horatio noticed how the sun glinted off his golden hair where it stuck out from under the hat that made him look like an adorable edible little elf (see Frogs and Lobsters), his jacket stretched across broad shoulders, his lovely tight trousers and cute boots, the way his hands caressed the hard length of the telescope... and realised that the Captain was waiting for him to respond to a question.
He blushed, tearing his gaze away from his friend's attractive figure, and stammered, "Ah, yes, sorry sir, I didn't hear your question."
Captain Pellew glanced toward the Acting Lieutenant whom Horatio had been staring at for the past several minutes. A fine enough sight, he admitted, but not any excuse for not listening to his captain. He gave Horatio a stern look, with eyebrows raised just enough to let him know he knew exactly where the young man's thoughts had been occupied. On the voyage home from Muzillac he had picked up a few tricks from Major Edrington in the eyebrow department.
"I said, Mr. Hornblower, what is that big white thing in the ocean?"
"Oh. Well, it looks a bit like a whale, sir. Except no one's ever heard of a white whale because Moby Dick hasn't been published yet."
"Moby what? I'm not even going to ask."
"Excuse me sir, but you just did."
"Right you are Mr. Hornblower. Brilliant and astute as always. But whales can't fall from the sky." (Captain Pellew had clearly never been to Magrathea).
Just then, Mr. Kennedy turned around to call out, "There's people on the strange object, sir. They seemed to come out of some sort of hatchway." He smiled glowingly at Horatio, who fidgeted uncomfortably.
"Well then," Pellew said, "we must launch boats to pick them up. Mr. Hornblower, please see to it."
In a few minutes, the Indy's boats were pulling toward the white thing bobbing in the ocean. There were two men standing on top of it, one with curly ginger hair and garishly coloured clothing, the other with dark hair and wearing an old plaid dressing gown. Horatio thought there was something rather odd about them, but he didn't know what it was...
Archie moved to stand behind Horatio as the two men were helped into the boats and rowed back to the ship. "There's something not quite right about this, H'ratio," he murmured, his warm breath tickling the Welsh...Englishman's ear. Horatio shivered almost imperceptibly and made a conscious effort not to lean back into the heat of his friend's body. Captain Pellew harrumphed, causing Horatio to come to instinctive attention. The lieutenant cursed Archie- he could practically feel the smirk on his playful lover's face.
It wasn't long before the two strangers were unceremoniously hauled aboard- the crew of the Indefatigable wasn't going to stand for any of this weirdness. Whether they arrived in a large white whale or not, these people were men like any others, and that meant they might be Frogs, and the only good Frog is a dead Frog. So there.
Before any of the bemused officers (who were frankly confounded by the strange attire of their arrivals) could say anything, the smaller, ginger-haired man waved and grinned, which caused him to look like a carnivorous lunatic and caused them to flinch back instinctively. "Hello!" he said, cheerily. "We're having a spot of bother with our binary thrusters, bloody things, so I don't suppose..."
"I beg your pardon sir?" Captain Pellew had gone an interesting shade of puce. "What do you mean by your profane language and incoherent jabbering?"
The man frowned, his indecently large blue eyes narrowing. "I didn't think I was being that incoherent." He broke off as his taller companion tugged urgently on his sleeve and whispered something in his ear. "Don't be a twit Arthur, of course we aren't on Earth!"
Archie raised his eyebrows at Horatio, causing the senior lieutenant to twitch and wonder jealously if Lord Edrington had given him any private facial expression tutoring. Pellew ignored their little interaction, his face darkening as his 'guests' in turn persistently ignored him. It wasn't going to be long before he cracked. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...
"WILL YOU GENTLEMEN PLEASE TELL ME WHAT YOUR PURPOSE IS HERE!"
Several birds flying overhead (who had up till now had been living carefree, happy, birdy lives) instantaneously suffered multiple seizures and died as the great roar battered through the air like an angry bouncer through a crowd of teenagers. Even though such a scenario does not exist and therefore such a comparison may not be drawn.
The ginger-haired man looked askance at the enraged captain, seemingly unaffected. His companion, whose name was obviously Arthur, now had his plaid-covered arms wrapped tightly around the shorter man's waist and he seemed to be whimpering into his associate's neck.
"Well really," the smaller figure exclaimed, his arms akimbo. "Was that entirely necessary? He's going to be insensible for the rest of the day now!"
Thanks for reading.