Just a warning a friend of mine came up with this when I was over at her house and I just had to write it down, it is a William Bush/ Rouge Johnson (a character we created) story containing heavy slash so if you don't like don't read and I know I have a problem so don't tell me about it. Also, this is set in an alternate universe when Horatio met Maria Mason when he was a midshipman, and died while he was in Kingston, in child birth, with Richard. Let us say that Richard is in the care of a guild and it will roll out from there. By the way lady Barbra doesn't happen until later so might have a mention if I feel like it, also if you have a problem with stereotypes please don't read, because we both took many arrows to the knee in the planning stage.

Tough Love

Chapter 1

"Hey, do you know Horatio Hornblower?" asked a female voice from the darkness of an ally way.

"Why do you want him?" Lieutenant William Bush asked.

"I'm his wife" the voice said. William laughed.

"Horatio doesn't have a wife, she died in child birth" William said, smiling into the darkness that surrounded the voice. A grunt came from the darkness as she revealed her self; she was about average height, with dark brown hair that was wound up in a pony tail, and dark green eyes that flickered around nervously.

"Fine, you caught me. No I am not Mr. Hornblower's wife, but I do have a message for him" She said looking challengingly into Bush's eyes.

"Okay, I will go get him" Bush said, leaving the woman to stand in the street. When Bush came back he was with a tall, dark haired man with a sad looking face.

"Mr. Hornblower?" She asked the man looked at her, contemplating the news she might have brought him.

"Yes" He said. She handed him a sealed letter and smiled.

"Good luck to you, sir" She said, and then walked into the inn. Horatio looked down at the letter in his hands, and went up to his room, to read, leaving Bush to his own devices. Once Horatio had read the letter about five times, just to make sure he wasn't misreading it, he went down to where Bush was having a pint.

"William read this" Horatio said, shoving the letter under his friend's nose. Bush looked up at him with drunken eyes.

"Why can't you just tell me 'Ratio?" Bush asked. Horatio took a closer look at his friend, and was surprised to find that Bush, the one who was always reliable, was sloshed.

"William, you're drunk man!" Horatio exclaimed as the thought occurred to him. Bush smiled dazedly.

"That's what happens on shore leave 'Ratio" Bush slurred.

"Well then it is my job as your friend to get you to bed, before you do something stupid and reckless" Horatio said. Horatio then helped Bush to bed without a single protest, and left him lying on his back, in Bush's room, to get into his own bed.

The woman sat at the bar.

"I'll have a beer" She said to the bar keeper.

"Of course, miss" He says with a heavy Indian accent. She drinks it, and then goes up stairs, to Bush's room, breaks in, then locks door behind her, once inside, pulls knife out of sheath.

Bush moaned then sits up, tired of staring at the ceiling, to see the woman from outside, in his bedroom, brandishing a knife.

"What are you doing?" He asked.