Within a Dream

Archie sits quietly on the large rock above the swirling blue-green sea. Stirred about with mist, it looks pearly-smooth as it turns over and flips up in lazy waves. The mist curls along the white-sand beach, slipping among the grains of sand, round and cold. And there are rocks. Tall rocks, some ripping into the sky, others flat and enormous. His is wide, and just overlooks the sea. It's a rather grey-blue colour, and terribly hard beneath his bare palms. He wears all his usual clothes; the blue-and-white uniform coat, white breeches, even boots, and his hat. His hair is bound back with blue silk ribbon, very decently.

He waits, quietly, wondering how long. He's always the first one there, and his dream comes after.

Martin arrives in a moment; early, for him. He's dressed up tonight, in a silvery silk waistcoat, and a black silk cravat. His breeches are always brown linen, and he hasn't changed that fashion yet.

He smiles, and inclines his head in greeting, hopping, sprightly, up onto the rock beside Archie.

"Good evening, my good Englishman."

"'Evening, Martin.. You're early, aren't you?"

"In fact, I am. It's our half anniversary."

"I'm sorry?"

"Well, I've been meeting you on this mad rock for six months now. Don't you keep track? Dreams are peculiar things, Mr. Kennedy. For example, is it not peculiar that I should dream of an Englishman, when I gather we are not fond of one another, and yet cultivate a friendship? You are a figment of my imagination, and I of yours. And I like you. And you really ought to get rid of the dreadful hat."

Archie smiles a little, in his usual shy way. "I really think I ought to keep my hat. Unless I earn a better one."

"Oh, good God. That's not the point."

"Then you must say what the point is."

"You know the point, you infuriating boy. The point is, I have been meeting you on this mad rock for six bloody months. Half a year of my dreams, you've wasted."

"Gracious, I'm sorry."

"Of course you're not." Martin closes his eyes happily, and slings an arm about Archie's shoulders. "Isn't it a nice ocean?"

"The real one isn't this colour."

"Picky, aren't we?"

"I like the real one. I like being on board of a ship. I like being sung to. This sea doesn't sing."

"I can sing."

"Not like the sea."

"Perhaps not, but I can still sing." Martin hums for a bit, then sings, randomly chosen snatches of song from various childhood memories.

"They don't match..." Archie leans on him just a little.

"For a seaman, you certainly are a perfectionist."

"I should think that should lend to it."

"I don't know why I bother..." Martin laughs to himself, and suddenly kisses Archie gently, very amused.

"Stop that. I shall wake up."

"Oh, now I'm confused. I thought there was a Horatio fellow. Why did you let me do that?"

"You're a dream. I'm only dreaming."

"I suppose there's something in that."

"Besides, I could pretend..."

"You look very wistful. You would like to pretend, wouldn't you? Poor mad English boy. I shall push you off into this sea and cause you to stop hurting my pride."

Archie sits straight very quickly and touches Martin's shoulder, his grey eyes regretful. "I'm sorry."

"Yes, I know you are. Very well, another kiss. I expect Horatio could do it better."

"I shan't find out..."

"Then hey! for a dream, for a dream. 'Do my best to make you happy." Martin kisses him again, and puts his heart into it. Unfortunately, his heart doesn't come back out.

Chapter Two.
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