Author's Note: So, I started looking around, and I thought there wasn't enough Horton/Ned slash out there! Call me crazy, but this fic was born of that need, although I do not promise in any way to limit it to that pairing. ;) Also, if anyone else knows of any Horton/Ned slash out there please send me a message, I'd appreciate it! Enjoy the fic.

Stumbling into Bliss

by: Mother Mnemosyne

Chapter 1

Horton gently settled next to the sunflower that supported the world of the Who's, resting his considerable bulk against the side of Mt. Nool so that only his head was inside the small cave. He hummed happily as he settled his trunk around the stem of the flower, his head resting on the soft moss around the entrance. "Ned," he called softly, "You there, buddy?"

Down in Whoville, the Mayor was working late in his office. It seemed that more often than not he would need to sleep on a cot in the corner after working late into the night. Repairs were going smoothly, but Ned was still overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork involved in repairing basically every structure in the town, from picture frames and punch bowls, to streets, buildings, and light poles. He yawned widely and strerched, rubbing his tired eyes. He perked up as he heard Hortons voice coming from the gramaphone, and wheeled his office chair over. He had connected a small flexible hose to make it easy to hold, and now he took it down and held it lovingly. "Horton, how are you?" he asked, smiling.

"I'm doing okay," he said, losing some of his cheer. "I got lonely and thought I'd come say hello..."

"Horton, what's wrong?" The elephant wasn't acting like his normal happy self.

Horton puffed out a small sigh, and in Whoville Ned's hair ruffled in the breeze. "It's just... I missed you..."

Ned felt a rush of affection for the savior of Whoville and smiled. "Oh, Horton. I miss you too." He leaned back and looked up at the blue-black sky above. "I am so glad that you've been coming back to visit us."

They sat in a companionable silence, and Ned experienced the first few moments of peace he'd had in days. "You know, Horton, I didn't think you'd come back at first."

"What? Why would you think that?" Horton looked puzzled as he stared at the speck on the sunflower.

"I dunno, why would you? You'd kept your promise, and been faithful one hundred percent. You can't even see me, so why would you bother?," Ned answered nonchalantly. It was strange how much the answer to the question seemed to matter to him, and he felt as if he couldn't breath as the silence, now slightly awkward, stretched on.

Just as he was about to look down, disappointed, Horton answered. "Well, I don't have to see you to *care* about you," he said indignantly. "That's just silly, Mr. Mayor. You care about me, right?"

The mayor laughed, feeling even more joyful. Horton certainly was a unique person, faithful and innocent, never questioning that Ned returned his feelings. More than either of us would be comfortable with, he thought, his smile faltering slightly. "Of course," he assured the elephant.

Horton and Ned spoke long into the night, and Horton felt happier than he had in a very long time. Several hours later, Horton yawned and said, "I wish I could see Whoville, just once."

"Me, too," he answered sincerely. "I'm sorry, Horton, but I'm beat. I'm going to lay down on my cot over here, okay?" Silence met his ears for a few moments. "Horton? Are you there?"

After a few more moments, the sounds of light snores reached his ears. Smiling, Mayor McDodd lay down and swiftly joined his friend in sleep.

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Horton awoke slowly the next morning. He snuffled and rolled over, then squinted. There certainly was more sunlight inside this cave than he remembered. It suddenly occurred to him that the rock he was laying on was exceptionally soft, and quite a bit flatter than he remembered...

...And he probably should have fallen off of Mount Nool when he...rolled...over...

With a loud yelp, he jumped up and found he was on top of a strange structure, with a flattish, grass-covered surface, with sloping sides, also covered with grass. He whimpered slightly. How had he been moved? Where was he now? How could he get down?

Most importantly, what were all those strange little creatures milling about below him?

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To Be Continued...

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Please let me know if you'd care to see more of this story by reviewing! Or, if you think it's twaddle, also feel free to review! Or, if you simply like the term "twaddle", you can review and let me know your appreciation of my word choices! All opinions are appreciated. :D Happy reading!