Fic Challenge: If I Only I Had a Pair of Tweezers
by Claarijke

This story takes place on board the Indefatigable,
with Archie (who will not get hurt) and the rest of
the gang.

"Oh, Archie, if I only had a pair of tweezers. The
wonders I could perform!" Horatio and Archie sat in
the deck, basking a bit in the sun.

"What would *you* need tweezers for?" Archie asked.
Except for keeping his eyebrows in excellent
condition, Archie never used them. And Archie knew
Horatio couldn't care less about the state of his
eyebrows. Archie had tried. Even that time in
France... "Mariette will like you even more when your
eyebrows look nice, Horatio, come on. I can do it if
you don't know how to do so yourself... really, girls
like a man with good eyebrows." He didn't succeed
obviously. Archie sincerely believed Mariette would
have not given up running across the
bridge-about-to-blow-up, if the face she would look at
in the end had nicer eyebrows. Nonetheless, none could
really be blamed for her death, there were too many
factors to be considered.

"... but then I would take out the bullet and that way
I might be able to save some lives when we do not have
the expertise of a real doctor nearby." Horatio
finished his speech and looked sideways at Archie, who
was lost in thought. "Archie, you didn't hear a word I
said! How could you? You were supposed to listen and
help me find some good arguments to persuade Captain
Pellew I need a pair of tweezers. I believe it is a
vital part of a man's survival kit when not on board a
ship with a ship's doctor nearby."

"Oh, Horatio, my apologies. My mind wandered. You
have a good point. Simply work out the part why you
need them a bit more and Captain Pellew will no doubt
grant your whish." Archie replied, in a hushed tone,
to calm down Horatio a bit. "What we need is a list of
situations when you would need your tweezers, and what
exactly you would do with them. When you present this
list to Captain Pellew he certainly will take a good
look at it. Don't worry Horatio, the next harbour we
land in, you can buy your tweezers."

"You realy think so?" Horatio asked his friend. "It
would mean so much to me, you know. It would mean I am
more than a rather handsome swashbuckling hero. I
might save lives." Horatio said passionately.

"Hmm, you are absolutely right. Let's find paper,
quill and ink and get to work. We have two more hours
before your next watch starts. That should be enough,
don't you think?" Archie asked his friend. "And,
Horatio, about that 'looking rather handsome', you
know what else you can do with tweezers, don't you?"

"Archie, I will not let you pluck my eyebrows. I like
them the way they are." Horatio told him. "So do my
fans. Besides, medical tweezers are not to be used as
beautifying utensils."

"It was worth a try... Here, I drew two columns on
this sheet, here's one for accidents and this one is
for solutions." Archie pointed to the nearly empty
sheet of paper before him.

Horatio looked at him and looked puzzled. "Where did
you get that paper, and the ink and quill? You didn't
leave your place." He asked.

"Oh, this is my travelling kit. I never leave my
bunk without it. "Archie replied cheerfully. "The
worst thing I think is, ending up somewhere and not
have some paper, ink and a quill. Although I must say,
the quill tickles a bit when I tuck it back into the
pocket I sewed in my shirt." He explained. "But
Horatio, we must get on with this list."

"You are absolutely right. What about 'splinter in the
eye'?" Horatio asked, as he wrote it down.

"Good one! How about this one 'bullets' and 'basically
anywhere' for places of impact." Archie said
enthused.

"But I need different sizes of tweezers, long ones for
when the bullet enters the body and makes a deep
wound, and tiny ones when I need to be more precise,
like whe I have to take a slpinter out of an eye."
Horatio remarked.

"Yes, good point. What about a cleaning set, so you
can disinfect your tools after you've used them. What
a great excuse for a personal bottle of rum." Archie
grinned.

"Oh, haha, Archie, please be serious now. This list
means a lot to me. Well, not the list, but I want
those tweezers." Horatio went on. "What have we got so
far to show Captain Pellew?"

"Lets see..."Archie looked at the list. "for accidents
we have: Splinters in the eye and bullets anywhere and
for solutions, we have tiny tweezers for eyes, and
different sizes for outher wounds plus a disinfecting
kit. That's all." Archie sighed.

"Hey, what is that list about you need to show me?"
Captain Pellew walked toward the two friends. "I
couldn't help but overhear the two of you talking. I
have a bit of a problem and you seem to know about
this... Horatio, I had no idea this was your area of
expertise!"

"What seems to be the matter, sir?" Horatio asked.

"I have an appointment with the Dutchess of
Wharfedale; she will come on board to visit in about
an hour. But the problem is... One of my eyebrowhairs
has grown in and now it has begun to fester a bit. Can
you do something about that?"

"I probably could, Sir, if I only had a pair of
tweezers, some alcohol, a soft clean cloth and maybe a
tiny needle and thread." Horatio sighed. "And I have
none of those things..."

"But I have!" Archie jumped up in exitement. "Here, it
is all in my emergency eyebrow trimming set."As he
spoke, he unbuttened his jacket, and his shirt and dug
into the pocket that was there. From it he took a pair
of tweezers, a soft, scented piece of cloth, a tiny
bottle of alcohol and a needle and a thread. Horatio
was shocked.

"You helped me make that list and all the while you
had that on you? And now you are going to save the
day!" Horatio spoke angrily.

"No, I am not. See, these are my eyebrow tweezers,
correct." As he spoke he handed over the articles to
Horatio. "This is my soft cloth for when I have a
runny nose, and I don't want to chafe it. The cloth is
clean by the way." He said as Horatio was a bit
reluctant to accept the cloth. "The alcohol is there
to clean the tweezers. That is why I figured you would
need that as well. and the needle is for..." Archie
started to blush. "Well, it is for emboidering little
flowers of the inside of my uniform..."

"Well, gentleman, all this seems like what we need,
Mr. Hornblower, if you can perform this surgery on
that nasty hair you will get your set of tweezers."
Captain Pellew spoke. "Let's get inside my cabin, not
every crewmenber has to witness this."

Inside, Horatio carefully operated on his captains
eyebrows, first removing the hair, then adding a
little bit of alcohol to the cloth and gently holding
it to the fresh wound. Then he took the needle and
made two tiny stiches.

"There sir, all done. I must say I am honoured that
you were my first patient!" Horatio said.

"Thank you Mr. Hornblower. By the way, Mr. Kennedy, I
hear you are a whizz at plucking eyebrows?"