The place: Limbo. The time: irrelevant. And the tall dark stranger strode confidently through the first available portal; he'd been here before on several occasions and knew the rules well.



A few hundred years later and in an entirely different fandom, M'man Archie Kennedy lay groaning in his hammock. Groaning not, as he longed for, with pleasure from one of his fellow officers who shall for the sake of decency remain unnamed, but with pain. Normally a little bit of pain was not something the officers on his majesty's ship Indefatigable were at all averse to under the right circumstances and with the right people supervising to make sure that events didn't get out of hand, but when the pain was the result of being hung from the rigging then flogged as the standard punishment for presenting oneself for duty naked without the express permission of the captain it was a different matter.

Wincing, he tried to redistribute his weight to stop himself falling out of the hammock as the waves around the ship rose, but whichever way he turned he was unable to make himself comfortable and eventually fell asleep face down with one hand draped over the side.



"Ah, to sleep, perchance to dream," sighed Xander as he surveyed the small cabin from the confines of Limbo.

Here was a man who knew his cue.

And as he watched some of the less sympathetic of Archie's crewmembers place the pale, delicate hand into a bucket of water, Xander decided to take action.

He jumped through the big whirly swishy thingie into the cramped cabin and promptly tripped over his own feet, reaching out for the one small shelf on the wall to break his fall. And fell through it

"Hey, no fair!" he shouted to the world in general, but to the author in particular. All the existential, astral plane stuff just got on his nerves, it got in the way of all the sex, which was the point of these things, wasn't it?

But his shouts went unanswered and Xander was getting impatient. He tried to remove the hand from the bucket of water, moved by the feelings of solidarity that only someone who had experience the same thing many times could know, but it wouldn't budge.



"H'r't'o?" muttered Archie in his disturbed sleep and shuddered



A knowing look crossed Xander's face.

"Very subtle, and oh so erotic I don't think," he complained, knowing that yet again it would fall on deaf ears. But since it didn't look like there was much in it for him tonight, Xander decided that the young man in the hammock might as well get some enjoyment from it.

He sat down on the edge of the now satisfyingly solid hammock with his weight barely registering a shift in its balance and began to stroke Archie's surprisingly silky hair. More shivers of pleasure rewarded his efforts and as his fingers continued down the neck tracing each of the vertebrae in turn he felt his other hand stray towards his trouser pocket.

"Down boy," he whispered, almost to himself. Tonight was about Archie, the sad yet beautiful man asleep in the hammock whose body Xander's hands were becoming better and better acquainted with. They wandered across his shoulders in tandem and gently, very gently, down his back, moving lightly across the many cuts.

And then came the trousers. 18th century navy uniforms were not what Xander was used to, but he soon managed to find the fastenings and solve the complex problems of undoing them.

"Strange how I get all solid again when it's required for putting a little more smut into the plot."



There was a timid knock at the door and another young man entered the room, almost embarrassed by his own presence there.



"Well hello sailor," said the spectral Xander, whistling. The second man was younger, yet higher ranking than Archie, a little taller and of a slighter build with dark hair and deep dark eyes. And those trousers! As he took off his jacket and shirt there was little left to the imagination.



He stood over Archie, gently shaking him awake until he opened his eyes and looked up smiling.

"Don't worry, Archie, I'll be gentle."



For a second Xander considered giving them a little privacy, but why leave just when things were getting interesting.