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nameless POB fic - for DPK

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Nov. 24th, 2007 | 06:43 pm

Another one for the moot gift exchange, this time for des_pudels_kern.  H/C, gennish (no slashier than canon, anyway).

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"I am quite all right," Stephen said, crossly.  "I wish you wouldn't fuss over me so, Jack.  It is only a touch of ague: febris acuta, or brennyng agues, as Langland had it –and if they could survive it then without cinchona and arsenite of potassa I am sure I shall do quite well.  And while we are on the subject, you may bring me Thomas Whitaker's edition, and let me finish reading."

Yet within an hour he was in another cold fit, shaking and delirious.  Jack – though not without an anxious eye for the brewing storm, and a twinge of guilt at leaving Pullings in charge of the quarterdeck in such conditions – sat by him and held his hand and listened to him rant.

"Feveres and fluxes, coughes and cardiacles, crampes and toothaches, rewmes and radegundes and roynouse scalles, biles and bocches and brennynge agues, frenesies and foule yveles… ."(1)

"Which you should never've let the Doctor read that book, and 'im so sick," Killick said reproachfully, pushing a cup of coffee roughly into Jack's hand.  "Gibberish the lot of it, and no good for a sick man.  Look now, don't cover 'im up so, 'e's burning up with it.  Take that blanket off of 'im."

"But he asks for it," Jack said plaintively, letting Killick pry it out of his hands.  His steward was probably right – Stephen's skin was burning hot to the touch, and the sweats which drenched him turned any bedding damp in minutes – but it hurt him to see Stephen shake and shiver and cry out.

"Jack," Stephen said weakly, some hours later, and Jack was at once by his side again.  "Is the storm passed?  Is everyone unharmed?"

"Hush, hush, you musn't talk."  Jack fussed over him, plucking at his pillow and trying to smooth the blankets that Killick had finally allowed.  Bonden hovered behind him, clutching Killick's bowl of gruel.  "How are you feeling, Stephen?"

Jack's voice was a little overloud and careful, the better to address an invalid, and Stephen winced.  "I would be better," he said, "if you would all stop hovering over me.  My death is not imminent, I will not expire should you take that foul slop away and allow me a little space to breathe."

Jack himself breathed a little more freely: Stephen's voice was weak and hoarse, but the familiar irritable tone brought a great upwelling of joy in his breast.  "But you are quite recovered?"

"Of course I am not quite recovered – for shame, Jack, you have seen me often enough brought low by miasmata."

"Well," Jack said, cheerfully, "you are well enough to scold me, at least, and that can only be good.  You cannot feel so very bad now."

"It is indecent," Stephen said, turning over as best he could and scowling, "to look so thoroughly pleased at being scolded.  If I am to feel ill, you should of a courtesy not look so very cheerful. Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris (2); call me a cruel man if you will, but I would take it as a kindness if you could attempt to suffer with me, just a little."

Behind Jack, Bonden put the soup down on the desk and slipped away.  With the passing of the Doctor's fever the last of the storm had passed, and above decks the sky was blue and the air brisk.  He nodded reassuringly at the hands, and felt the last of the tension go out of the ship: the Doctor would be all right, and all those who had indeed suffered with him through the night felt their hearts lift at last.

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(1)  "Fevers and fluxes, coughs and carditises, cramps and toothaches, rheums and retinitises, and running sores, boils and blains and burning agues, frenzies, and other foul evils." - Piers Plowman, Langland.  We can assume that Dr Maturin has Thomas Whitaker's 1813 edition.
(2)  'It is a comfort to the unfortunate to have had companions in woe.'  Mephastophilis, in Marlowe's The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus.
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Comments {11}

Sherwood Smith

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from: sartorias
date: Nov. 24th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
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Excellent! Tiny thing: miasma is what you breathe (bad air) not what you catch, but otherwise, awesome!

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whiskey_johnny

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from: whiskey_johnny
date: Nov. 24th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
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Could you help me with how to phrase it? - I wasn't sure. What would you say if you believed you'd been exposed to miasma that caused an illness? (I should probably go back and see how PO'B phrased it when Stephen got yellow fever tromping about in the African swamps with their miasmas...)

Thank you. :)

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Sherwood Smith

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from: sartorias
date: Nov. 24th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
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You could say "...you have seen me enough times when I've been brought low by miasmata."

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whiskey_johnny

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from: whiskey_johnny
date: Nov. 24th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! - I will make the correction. :)

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Gilly McGillicuddy

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from: tootsiemuppet
date: Nov. 24th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
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you are well enough to scold me, at least, and that can only be good.

Hee. Never ever stop writing.

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from: snakey
date: Nov. 24th, 2007 11:11 pm (UTC)
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I'll try not to! Getting back into POB has got me writing again, after a long long dry spell, so it can only be a good thing.

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dPK

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from: des_pudels_kern
date: Nov. 24th, 2007 11:07 pm (UTC)
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I didn't know you had a fic journal! *flails* No one told me! Okay, it's probably linked somewhere in your non-fic journal, but I can't be expected to actually see something like that without getting pointed in the right direction

And what do you mean, no slash? ...Ah. *realizes that, as usual, the sexing only happened in her head*

"But he asks for it," Jack said plaintively Now this? Most adorable part of the whole fic. So simple - what Stephen asks for, Jack will give him.

*pets it and coos at it and loffs it dearly*

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whiskey_johnny

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from: whiskey_johnny
date: Nov. 24th, 2007 11:10 pm (UTC)
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(Well, that's why I said no slashier than canon - we can all fill in what happened off-page, if we want.... *grin*)

The fic journal is linked from my profile page. *points you in the right direction*

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dPK

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from: des_pudels_kern
date: Nov. 24th, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC)
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(Oh please. Many authors just skip the sexscenes. Doesn't mean they don't happen.)

*goes to look for the link and see if it leads her back here*

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whiskey_johnny

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from: whiskey_johnny
date: Nov. 25th, 2007 10:58 am (UTC)
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(And O'Brian was a discreet man, bless him. Hee!)

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from: sharpiefan
date: Dec. 17th, 2007 01:18 am (UTC)
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O'Brian is more discreet than Bernard Cornwell, who never actually comes out and says that Sharpe and Lawford are at it in Tiger as though it's going out of fashion, even though we all know they are...

"But he asks for it," Jack said plaintively is just so perfectly Jack. *loves*

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