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The Commodore had very specific habits. He wasn't actually in his cabin all that terribly often but his hours of return were quite regulated and when he was there, the order in which he accomplished his tasks was regular and unfaltering.

As such, it was somewhat terrifying to have him burst into the room at half past midnight, well after when he normally would have come to bed, his wig disheveled, his sword bloody, his eyes considerably less settled than in general. It did not escape Spencer's attention that his cravat was still tied, his buttons still buttoned. The man was, in all things, by the book, impeccably so.

Spencer chanced a, "Sir?" He knew he was lucky that the Commodore never used physical force to chastise him for his missteps, had heard the stories of cabin boys on other naval vessels, but it wasn't something Spencer had ever been all that wont to test.

The Commodore startled and then said, "Oh, yes, boy. Bring me some water, and some fresh linens and pay no attention to the mess on the deck. You are perfectly safe."

"The mess on the deck" consisted of a fair number of dead bodies, pirates, from their markings, and a few live ones, being herded up, bound and less-than-pleased at being so. There were catcalls when they saw Spencer, but Spencer kept his chin up, his eyes forward. He wasn't afraid. The Commodore had said he was "perfectly safe," and whatever else, the Commodore had never lied to Spencer before. Not that Spencer knew of, any way. Spencer might, perhaps, have hurried his step some at the sounds of whistling, cooing, epithets such as "pretty," and "bonny," but that was simply because he wished to get the Commodore his water more quickly. Yes, that was all.

When he returned with the water, the Commodore had removed his wig, his waistcoat, shirt, shoes and breeches. Spencer bit the inside of his lip. Those were his duties. He had no wish to be dismissed. His mother would no doubt be thrilled at his return, but his father, who had the mouths of two girl children to feed and was depending upon Spencer's rise within the Navy to aid in that, his father would bear the disappointment in silence and never, ever say a word to Spencer, and that would be worse than all the yelling in the world.

Spencer noticed, with some sympathy, that the Commodore's biceps had small scores in them, that his chest was sporting the first signs of what would be considerable bruising come morning. He said, "Let me help you, sir."

The Commodore looked at him for a moment before saying, "It's rather late for you is it not? Perhaps you should be getting some rest."

Spencer, who had, until now, followed each suggestion as though it were an order, said, "I would much prefer to help, sir."

There was something in the Commodore's--Norrington's, a tiny, rebellious spark within Spencer whispered--eyes that he had never seen before, something like helplessness, or perhaps need. The two could be hard to tell apart in a man whose default expression was staunch blankness. He said, "No, I think--" but Spencer was quite certain his brain had been muddled from the exhaustion of killing dastardly pirates in the pursuit of protecting Spencer's honor. (Or his ship. Whatever.) Spencer dipped one of the linens in the water and carefully began to clean the wounds on the Commodore's arms. They weren't deep, but if they were not well flushed they could easily become infected. Spencer had seen what happened to wounds that filled with infection. He shuddered at the thought.

At the touch of the linen, the Commodore closed his eyes. Softly he said, "Please, Spence-- Boy. I order you to retire to your cot for the evening."

"Yes," Spencer agreed, trying not to let his glee at the acknowledgment that the man knew his name show. "Just as soon as I've cleaned these, and gotten you into your own bed."

Norrington's--and surely, surely Spencer could call him that in the privacy of his own mind, could certainly do so if Norrington was in fact thinking of him as Spencer--eyes flashed open. "You are being willfully disobedient. I could have you--"

Spencer looked at him, waited for the judgment to fall from his lips, for the sentence of lashes or a day without rations or dismissal to come, but Norrington seemed unable to complete the thought. Spencer said, "Yes, you could," and continued upon his task, steady and sure in his purpose. There was one cut that needed stitching, and Spencer found the kit right where he had placed it, competently and neatly sewed the surgical thread into place. Norrington's breathing became shallow at that, although he made not a sound, and without knowing how, Spencer found himself pressing his lips to Norrington's, his only thought one of giving breath, of evening things out. He pulled back almost immediately, horrified at himself. He could remember as long as he had had thoughts at all for other people that it had always been boys--Ryan, with his regal bearing and his education, meant for the priesthood, Brendon and his lips, the sound of his voice standing out from the rest of the choir on Sundays, Jon with his affable air and his schoolboy pranks--but never had he acted on it, never had he even thought to. He said, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, sir, I can't imagine--" but the rest of his justification was cut off by Norrington pulling Spencer back to him, crushing his lips to Spencer's and Spencer thought, "Oh," and then, "Oh, yes, like that."

Norrington's hands were kind and sure at Spencer's arms, and his lips were full and knowing where they met Spencer's and Spencer had maybe been waiting his entire life for this moment, just like this. Norrington murmured, "Sorry, I'm so--" but Spencer wasn't, surely didn't want Norrington to be, so he simply kissed him some more. Norrington slipped from the press of Spencer's kisses, slipped down to his knees and said, "Beautiful, beautiful boy."

Spencer said, "Spencer," because he was, because that was his name, because Norrington knew his name, maybe had all along, or maybe only after Spencer had distinguished himself as loyal and capable, but he knew, and because Spencer was not a boy, had not been since he had stepped onto the boards of the ship, perhaps earlier, when he had fitted himself into his naval uniform and Ryan had murmured, "The Caribbean is quite far."

"Spencer," Norrington breathed, and then unlaced Spencer's breeches to take Spencer's cock into his mouth, holding to Spencer's hips. Spencer thought for a moment about the ways in which that was backwards, how it was his job to undress, his job to please, but he couldn't hold to the thought, because Norrington, with that quiet, precise tongue of his, knew exactly what he was doing. Spencer was young and had never had someone even think to do such a thing to him and he could not hold long before saying, "Sir, please, sir, I'm--"

Norrington held him where he was, held him and took Spencer into him, his throat working in the wan candle light of the cabin. Spencer said, "I--"

Norrington said, "Sh," and it was an order as clear as any other he had ever given. Spencer hushed. Norrington said, "Perhaps now, it would be best if you returned to your--"

Spencer cut whatever preposterous suggestion the man had been about to make off by running his fingers lightly over the skin of Norrington's cock. Spencer had seen it time and again while changing the man, but never like this, never hard, ready, waiting to be touched. He had certainly never touched it, not this cock, nor any other beside his own. It was warm and smooth and Spencer couldn't have kept himself from wrapping his fingers around it on pain of court marshal. Norrington gasped, "Spencer," and Spencer pulled. Norrington bit at his lip, tossed his gaze to the side. Spencer, though, laid two of the fingers of his free hand to Norrington's cheek, lead his gaze back to where Spencer could meet it, could watch as this man, this perfectly controlled person, became unraveled, undone at the touch of Spencer's fingers, his palm.

Norrington came silently, his breath labored, his eyes battling fronts of pleasure and damnation. Spencer took his hand back to himself and after a moment, cleaned them both with the last of the linens. He said, "Let us get you dressed for bed, shall we, sir?"

Norrington stood, and straightened into his full bearing. He managed to pull it off even naked. He said, "Please, that would be most--"

Spencer waited.

Finally Norrington said, "Please, Spencer." Spencer returned to his duties.

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Skin by egelantier, photo by microbophile