by Kelly G (Lady Catherine Dunbar)
"Get in there you English Dogs!" the Spaniard shouted
as he pushed
Horatio and Archie into the small prison cell. The two young men
fell to the ground, unable to keep their balance. Spitting once more
in disgust the guard shut and locked the heavy wooden door.
Horatio pulled himself up into a sitting position and rubbed
"Are you all right Archie?" he asked as he helped
his friend sit up.
Archie nodded weakly, his eyes closed.
"What do you think they did with Cat and Doctor Sebastian?"
voice was full of worry and concern. His bright blue eyes searched
Horatio's long face for some kind of comfort.
"I am sure Cat is all right Archie. They wouldn't dare
hurt a lady.
And as to Doctor Sebastian..," his voice trailed off as he recalled
his first meeting with the doctor. Sebastian had been beaten for
being half Spanish and half English when he had been taken by the
Spanish and Horatio suddenly had a sinking feeling in the pit of his
stomach. He looked over at Archie and could see the same fear
shining in his eyes. Without a second thought Horatio hurried to the
door and pounded on it.
"What is it!?" came a harsh voice.
"What have you done with the doctor and the lady?"
"The senorita is staying with the Don and the doctor is in another
cell. Not shut up you English dog!"
"Do you thinking he was lying?" Kennedy asked. Horatio turned to his
friend and shrugged.
"About Cat, I doubt it. About Dr. Sebastian. . ." his voice trailed
off once again, not wanting to think about what it meant if the guard
was lying. Horatio saw the worry written in Archie's eyes and rushed
to pacify them.
"We could ask to see them," Horatio suggested, trying to comfort his
friend. "We will, we'll ask to see them tomorrow when we are sent
out into the yard." A few months earlier Archie might have rejected
Horatio's taking charge of the situation, but now he welcomed it. He
nodded, too anxious and exhausted to argue, was glad he did not have
to do the worrying. The strain of the day, emotional and physically,
was beginning to effect him. Horatio could see the exhaustion etched
on his friend's face and knew he needed some rest.
"Why don't you get some sleep Archie? I'm sure they're
You know that both of them are capable of taking care of
themselves." Archie nodded tiredly, knew Horatio was right.
"If anything happens to either of them I'll kill them
can count on that," Archie threatened as he sat as he pulled himself
onto the closest cot.
"I'll help you," Horatio promised as Archie fell
asleep. Instead of
climbing into the cot across from Archie and getting some sleep
Horatio simply leaned against the frame of the cot and sat there on
the cold floor watching his friend sleep.
For a moment Horatio almost expected to hear Hunter snoring
bunk behind him. He was taken back to a year before when they had
been in that first prison and he had spent his nights watching Archie
to make sure he was there if he slipped into a fit. This prison was
so much like the other that he could almost lose himself into the
past. But so much had happened in the past year that the past could
never be relived. Thinking of what had happened in the last year led
Horatio to recalling the events that had led to their capture.
They had been off the coast of Gibraltar when Captain Pellew
Horatio and Archie to escort Dr. Sebastian and Catherine Dunbar back
to the ship. The two had been staying at the Admiral's and Pellew
wanted to make sure they returned to the ship safely. Horatio,
Archie and their men had made the trip with no occurrence and had
reached their destination safely. It had been the trip back that had
been a disaster. The group had been ambushed and the few marines
Pellew had sent with them had been killed. The remaining members had
been captured and brought to their present location. Upon their
arrival they had been broken up. Horatio, Archie and their men had
been led one way while Cat and Dr. Sebastian were each led in a
Horatio felt the failure of his expedition leaning heavily
shoulders. He was not responsible, he knew that, but he was the
officer in command of the mission and therefore he had failed. Just
another failed mission to add to the pile, he thought. Then there
was the undying guilt of getting not only his men captured, but his
three closest friends as well. His men had been through such a thing
before and he hated to put them through it again. Their faith in him
had to be worn through by now. Then there was Archie. He had been
brought back to the living hell he had left no more than a year
before. Only God knew how this would affect him. Horatio cursed
fate. Archie had come so far, just to have this happen. Why did it
always seem that he was getting the worse parts of life? Don't you
think you've tested him enough, Horatio thought bitterly.
The thought that souls as noble as Cat's and Dr. Sebastian's and as
pure as Archie's were forced to suffer such an experience made
Horatio sick. And Archie wondered why he believed more in logic than
With these thoughts floating through his mind Horatio drifted
sleep, pure exhaustion finally taken hold of him.
After being led away from the rest of her entourage Cat had
escorted into the governor's office, a large open airy room of marble
that smelt of fresh fruit. Sitting at the ornate desk at the end of
the hall sat a middle aged Spaniard who was apparently finishing some
"The Lady Catherine Dunbar Senior Don." The man
looked up when his
guard spoke and smiled softly when he saw Cat, but his eyes hardened
when he noticed that her hands were bound in front of her.
"What is this?" he asked angrily as he stood and
gestured toward her
"We thought it best to tie them," his guard said
nervously. "As a
precaution," he added.
"Well untie her immediately. I will have no woman treated
in such a
manner, especially a noble senorita." The guard did as he was told
and as Cat rubbed the circulation back into her wrists the Don made
his way over to her.
"I apologize for the way in which my guards have treated
Dunbar." Cat forced a smile, knew this was not the time to have a
"That is quite all right Senor, I completely understand,"
in perfect Spanish. The Don stared at her in surprise for a moment
and then a smile crossed his lips.
"Ah, you speak our language," he said in English.
"Yes, but not as well as you speak mine." The Don
gave her a small
nod to illustrate that he accepted her obvious lie.
"Why thank you. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Don
Fernando Santiago and I welcome you to my humble quarters." Cat
simply smiled and curtsied in response to his polite bow.
"I accept your warm welcome, though it looks like I do
not have a
choice otherwise." Don Diego waved away the comment with one hand.
"Nonsense. I do not hold women in my prison, especially
such high standing. You are free to go whenever you please, but I do
hope you will stay and keep me company for at least a day or two. It
is not often that I receive a chance to dine with such a beautiful
Senorita." Cat watched him carefully, looking for any hint of
deceit. Being an aristocrat had taught her never to take words at
face value and over the years she had learned the fine art of reading
people. Cat decided that this man was honorable in his intentions
and truthful in the words he spoke.
"It would be my pleasure to stay with you for a day before
to Scotland, but I am not leaving without the men I arrived with."
There was a cool edge in her voice and Santiago knew at once he was
dealing with a woman very skilled at art of playing with Aristocrats
and military men.
"I am afraid that request will be harder to fulfill.
You see it is
not my decision whether to keep them or release them. I receive my
orders from my commander. It could be months, even years before they
are released, depending upon how long the war continues and whether
an exchange can be made."
"Then I will wait." It was said with such finality
in her voice that the Don did not doubt for a moment. "And I will
write your senior in command and request the release of my fellows
and I will write a letter to their Captain to assure them they are
"Very well Senorita. It will be my honor to be your host
and I will
mail your letters for you." Cat smiled and curtsied.
"Thank you Senor."
"It is my pleasure Senorita. My guards will show you
to your room
and tomorrow you may see your friends."
"My thanks again Senor." She curtsied again, turned
followed the guards out of the main hall, her mind racing with what
she was going to say to the Spanish commander in her letter.
As they were being separated Dr. Sebastian had not been worried
himself, but for his there young friends and his crew. Even when he
was singled out his concern was for them. He did not worry for
himself, fore he already knew what to expect and he was not going to
waste his energy worrying. He needed all he could muster to survive
what he knew was going to take place.
After the crew and Cat were led away Sebastian was led into
prison and down several corridors until he was shoved into a small
dark empty cell. The cell held no bed and no windows. The only
thing that occupied the space was some straw strewn across the
floor. His guards followed him inside and two of them roughly pulled
him to his feet and held him between them. A large stern looking man
stepped forward and smiled cruelly. Without saying a word the man
backhanded the poor doctor, leaving a large red welt on the right
side of his face. Sebastian gave the man no reaction, simply pushed
the pain to the back of his mind. He was used to such things and
knew that it would only get worse.
The large man grabbed Sebastian's chin roughly and forced him
"You have a strong will Senor," he said, a cruel
lilt in his
voice. "I will have quite a delightful time breaking it." Sebastian
said nothing, simply stared back at the man through defiant black
eyes. This caused the large man's cruel smile to grow wider. "We
shall show you what we do to those who side with the enemy." Moving
quickly he belted Sebastian in the stomach with his left fist. The
swift blow caused Sebastian to double over in a struggle to catch his
breath. The large man laughed, pleased to receive such a reaction.
The two guards then let go of Sebastian, allowing him to fall to the
ground. He landed hard on his side, causing his stinging cheek to be
cut open. Sebastian was given only a moment to collect his thoughts
before his world exploded into pain.
Right after breakfast with the Don Cat headed outside to the
speak with Horatio and Archie, to make sure that they were all
right. If they had been harmed she was swore she would tear out the
Don's eyes herself, with her bare hands.
She had written her two letters the night before and had given
to the Don that morning to send. She had put great passion into her
letter to the Spanish command, using all her aristocratic techniques
of charm and logic. Not only was the letter passionate, but it was
also very logical, to prove to the command that she was not simply
some love struck woman pleading for the life of her sweetheart. She
had reminded them of their honor and her noble connections, knowing
that it would strike a cord with the noble conscience Spanish
society. Her second letter, the one to Captain Pellew, was
comforting, without being obvious. It was familiar, but held a hint
of propriety. It ensured him that except for the few marines they
were all well to her best knowledge and the she was working for their
release. She told him their location to her best knowledge so if
they did escape he would know where to retrieve them. She had ended
the letter on a light note, reminding him that she could not wait for
that dinner he had promised her.
As soon as she entered the yard she caught sight of Horatio
Archie sitting together under an awning talking. Restraining herself
from running to Archie and embracing him she walked with perfect
dignity across the yard, the seamen bowing as she passed.
"Archie, Horatio." The two young men looked up at
the sound of her
voice and smiled widely, a great weight lifted from their shoulders.
They stood up and quickly went over to her, Archie taking her
instantly into his arms. He knew he should not display such emotion
in front of his men, but he could not help himself. The sight of Cat
safe was simply too much for him to take after hours of worry. He
held her for several moments, burying his head in her hair, reveling
in it's distinct smell. It smelled like home, like the highlands of
Scotland. Cat, in turn, held him tightly, so relieved that he was
all right. Finally they let go of each other and allowed themselves
a quick kiss.
"God I was so worried," Archie sighed, holding her hands.
"I thought worrying was Horatio's department?" she
teased, smiling at
Horatio. Horatio could not help but blush and duck his head.
"Well I will try not to take his hobby away from him for
Archie added, loved teasing his famously stoic friend. Letting go of
Archie's hand Cat moved over to Horatio and took his hand in hers.
"Good to see you in one piece Horatio."
"You as well Cat. Archie's been unbearable the past few
"Now you know what is like to be around you constantly,"
said. Cat could not help but laugh.
"Well I am glad to see that thus far the experience has
your spirits." Archie gave her one of his dazzling smiles as he
pulled her towards the table where Horatio and he had been sitting
and all three of them sat in the old wooden chairs.
"How have they treated you Cat?" Archie asked anxiously,
"Oh very well," she assured him. "The Don has
been quite a
gentleman. I do believe him to be a man of honor. In fact he said I
am free to leave whenever I wish." At this Horatio and Archie shot
each other surprised looks.
"He did?" Horatio asked. She nodded.
"Yes, but I informed him that I will not leave without
arrived with and thus I will remain here." Archie's eyes grew wide
and he squeezed her hand.
"No. You must leave at once. I want you as from here
as you can
"Are you telling me what to do Mr. Kennedy?" Cat
was not really
upset by his words, knew they were spoken only in love. Her words
were spoken as more of a challenge.
"No, I am simply advising you on what course of action
Please Cat. I want you safe."
"First of all complete safety is known only by the dead.
all I am quite safe here, I assure you. I am staying right here
until I can assure all of you freedom," she said as she gestured
about. While Archie stared at her in amazement Horatio looked around
the yard at his men. Suddenly his face became creased with worry and
he turned back to Cat.
"Cat do you have any idea where they took Dr. Sebastian?"
became dark as she shook her head.
"No, I am quite ashamed to say I did not even ask about
She hit her closed fist on the table and bit her lip. Archie knew
how upset she was and placed a hand on her shoulder to comfort her.
"It's all right Cat. You were worried about him, you
that he had been taken away from the rest of us." She nodded
"Yes I did, but I will soon remedy that." She stood
up and began to
make her way towards the gate, when Archie grabbed her gently by the
"Where are you going?"
"I am going to ask the Don where Dr. Sebastian and if
I use the
correct persuasion he will tell me." Though he was worried for her
safety Archie nodded, knew if anyone had a chance of finding him it
"Just be careful." She cocked her head and smiled mischievously.
"Always." She kissed him on the cheek and continued towards the gate.
"Cat?" She turned around, an expectant look on her face.
"Find him for me." She could not help but smile
softly at this, knew
how important Dr. Sebastian was to him.
"You have my word."
"Senor Santiago?" The Don looked up from his work,
surprised to see
the Scottish beauty standing at the end of the hall.
"Ah, Senorita," he greeted her as he stood up. "To
what do I owe
this visit? I thought you would be out associating with your
"I was Senor, but the matter of a missing comrade has
brought me to
you." Santiago's brow creased in confusion.
"Missing comrade Senorita? Is one of your men not accounted for?"
"Yes," she said calmly as she approached his desk.
"Our doctor is
missing and the men are quite worried about him. Could you perhaps
tell me where he has been placed?" Santiago's confusion did not
"Yes, doctor," Cat said impatiently, beginning to
annoyed. "Tall fellow, about fifty, very Spanish in appearance."
"I know of no such doctor Senoritta."
"Senor," she said, leaning forward on his desk, "I
am in no mood for
"This is no game Senorita. I swear I have never heard
of this Doctor
of which you speak. Captain, do you know who the Senorita is
referring to?" he asked the man that stood near the door. The man
walked over well assured, but with a small hint of doubt in his eyes.
"Why, yes Senor." Santiago's eyes became wide and his teeth clenched.
"Why was I not informed of his existence?" The Captain
to doubt himself more and more with each passing moment.
"I thought it unnecessary to inform you of the presence
traitor." At the word traitor Cat came unglued.
"Traitor?! Do you dare call that noble man a traitor?!
have to be loyal to another flag before now to be a traitor and Dr.
Sebastian has always been loyal to England and England alone!! He
may look Spanish but his heart is pure English!!" Both men were a
bit taken aback by the woman's violent outburst and were afraid she
was going to pounce upon them and tear their eyes out.
It took the Don a moment to regain his senses and when he did
choose to ignore her outburst, to keep himself from physical harm.
"What have you done with him?" he asked the Captain
captain by this time had lost all cockiness and was now livid.
"He is in one of the secluded cells." Fuming the
Don grabbed his
jacket and headed towards the door.
"Come Senorita Dunbar, we shall see your friend immediately."
she despised being ordered about Cat had gotten her way and thus knew
enough to keep her mouth shut. Shooting the captain a piercing glare
she picked up her skirts and fell into step behind Santiago.
Shouting orders as he went the Don led Cat through the prison
they arrived in front of Sebastian's cell.
"Open it now," Santiago ordered the nearest guard.
his keys the poor guard unlocked the door and pushed it open, careful
to step out of the way. The Don moved swiftly into the small cell,
Cat on his heels. Santiago froze several steps within the door, Cat
nearly running into him. Collecting herself Cat followed his gaze
until her eyes fell upon the frozen form of Dr. Sebastian.
"Dear God," she whispered, her eyes locked upon the
doctor. Moving past the Don she hurried over to where he lay and
knelt by his side. Placing her hands on his shoulders she gently
rolled him over so that she could better asses his injuries. Her
efforts were rewarded with a low moan. Her heart nearly broke when
she saw his face, which was covered in bruises and blood. She placed
a comforting hand on his forehead, could already feel the heat
radiating from his body. "Dear God," she muttered once again, gently
stroking his torn cheek.
"Senorita?" Cat turned her head to look at the Don,
who's eyes were
locked upon the man she kneeled over. "Does he live?" It was barely
more than a whisper, for even the Don, who had seen so much in his
life, could not believe the extent of the credulity he was witnessing.
Cat nodded slowly. "Barely," she added quietly.
his eyes full of sympathy.
"I will have him taken to the infirmary and a doctor will
be sent for
immediately." Cat nodded, knew she should be grateful, but all she
felt was hate, a deep sense of hatred and injustice that she lived in
a world that would allow such an injustice to happen to such a sweet
The doctor was quickly moved to the infirmary, Cat never leaving his
side, making sure no harm came to him. Santiago sent for a doctor
and ordered the captain to go to his office to await punishment.
Though he wanted to make the man was all right, Santiago thought it
best to leave the Lady Dunbar alone, knew her anger would arise soon
and did not want to be the target of such an outburst.
Once Dr. Sebastian was laid out on one of the empty beds in
infirmary Cat took control of the situation, ordering one soldier to
fetch her a bowl of boiling water and another to fetch clean sheets
to use as bandages. After they arrived back she shooed them away,
leaving her alone with the unconscious patient. Placing the bowl and
the sheets on the table next to the bed she turned to the task of
tending his wounds.
First she unbuttoned his jacket and carefully removed it, causing
to moan but not to wake. Laying the bloodstained coat over a chair
she then removed his no longer white vest and then shirt, revealing
his bruised and battered chest. Though she was no innocent Cat could
not help but gasp at the sight of his wounds, it seemed as is every
inch of him was covered in purple bruises and blood. She guessed he
had at least a few broken ribs, if not several other broken parts.
Sighing heavily she ripped the sheets into strips and began to clean
out the wounds on his chest methodically, a skill she had learned
during the recent war and those between the clans. Being a Highland
Scot, doubtless of noble birth, Cat was no stranger to war and thus
was no stranger to tending to men's wounds.
After working quietly for nearly half an hour Sebastian began
and roll his head from side to side. Standing up Cat took up a clean
rag, dipped it in the water and cleaned his brow, hoping to soothe
him and bring down his fever.
"Shhhh," she soothed as he battled the fever raging
in his mind. "It
is all right now Doctor, you are safe now," she said, stroking his
cheek with her hand. His head continued to rock back as he began to
mumble, Ángel, the Spanish word for angel, over and over. "Shhhh,"
she whispered as she continued to stroke his cheek. Dipping the rag
back into the water she stroked his face with it as she stroked his
hair reassuringly with the other hand.
"It is all right Doctor, no one will hurt you any more,
it is over."
His head continued to roll back and forth as the mumbling continued.
His eyes fluttered open and searched the room in panic, his breathing
becoming heavy and labored.
"Ángel, Ángel," he muttered in near
hysteria, attempting to sit up.
Jumping up from her seat Cat held his shoulders and pushed him gently
"Easy Dr. Sebastian, you must keep still." His wild
fear filled eyes
searched for the source of the voice and finally found their way to
Cat's worried filled face. His eyes became wide as they stared into
her kind sable eyes. The fear disappeared from them and his face
melted into the most serene expression she had ever seen in her
life. His battered hand, the one that was not broken, reached up and
gently stroked her cheek with the back of his hand.
"Thank God your safe my dear," he whispered hoarsely,
pure love in
his voice. "What I would have done if they had harmed you."
Catherine, who was surprised by little, stared at him in complete
shock, his words not quite registering. She continued to stare at
him as he touched the cross around her neck, the one he had given
her, and kissed it reverently. "I knew it would always protect you,"
he whispered before falling into a contented pain induced sleep.
With those words Cat's heart nearly stopped, his words of a few
months ago flying back into her head, "This was my wife's. . . It
once adorned the neck of an angel . . . I would be honored if you
would wear it."
Archie watched from under the awning as Horatio paced across
at the base of the wall, counting the steps. Personally Archie did
not know how knowing the length of the wall would help in their
escape, but he did not question Horatio. Yet Archie knew that
Horatio needed something to occupy his exact mind, and with no
mathematic books about, figuring an escape was the next best thing.
Horatio, finishing his measurement of the wall, squinted up at the
top of the wall wondering how often the guard changed.
Horatio's calculations were not simply obsessions of a mathematical
mind but the apparition of guilt. He still felt guilty for not
freeing his men from the last prison, yes they had been freed but by
a bit of chance. If that ship had not wrecked they could still be in
that prison rotting. Horatio still felt a great amount of guilt for
letting chance free his men than his own attempts and had decided not
to allow that to happen again.
After a few moments Horatio realized someone was standing next
him. Looking over he saw Mathews waiting patiently to be noticed.
"Yes Mathews?" The older smile nodded his head and saluted casually.
"Sorry to interrupt Sir, but one of these guards says
the Lady Dunbar
wants to see you and Mr. Kennedy in the infirmary hall." Instantly
Horatio's heart stopped, not liking the sound of that at all.
"Thank you Mathews," he managed as he turned to towards
wanting to face what was probably waiting in the infirmary.
Upon seeing Mathews head over to Horatio, Archie sat forward
seat and took interest in the conversation, glad for the distraction
from his fear for Dr. Sebastian. Though Horatio wore a mask of worry
Archie did not worry greatly, for Horatio was known for his stoic
"What is it?" Horatio sighed heavily and shrugged.
"Cat wants to meet us in the hall outside the infirmary."
flashed across Archie's bright blue eyes, but none the less he stood
up quickly and motioned for Horatio to lead the way.
The two young men hurried through the gates, the guards watching
with no expression on their faces as they opened the gates for them.
As they turned one of the corners they spotted Cat pacing in
the infirmary door, worry etched on her face. Instinctively the two
ran towards her, afraid of what they might fine. At the sound of
pounding feet Cat turned around and smiled at the sight of her to
best friends running towards her.
"Cat, what is it?" Archie asked as he reached her.
Cat stared into
the searching blue eyes, afraid to tell him, knew he loved Dr.
Sebastian as a father. She looked to Horatio for reassurance before
she continued, who simply nodded over Archie's shoulder. Taking a
deep breath Cat began her story, watching their reactions as she
went. She described how she had him, his wounds, his fever and
finally his delirium.
Horatio and Archie listened closely, their concern for their
friend growing every moment. Finally when she told them of his
delirium their hearts nearly fell out of their mouths, especially
when she told them who he thought she was.
"He thinks you are his dead wife?" Horatio asked
when she had
finished, hoping he had heard her wrong. She nodded sadly.
"Did you correct him?" Archie asked, his eyes locked on the door.
"No," she answered softly.
"You did the right thing Cat," Horatio assured her.
warned me never to correct a someone experiencing delirium, since it
might shatter them completely."
"What do we do now?" Archie asked anxiously.
"Wait and hope his fever breaks," Horatio offered.
"May I see him Cat?" Archie asked hopefully, eyes
not moving from the
door. She smiled sweetly and nodded.
"Of course Archie, go ahead." Tentatively Archie
pushed the door as
Cat took Horatio be the arm and pulled him down the hall, leaving
Archie to himself. Closing the door quietly behind him Archie's eyes
strayed to the lone figure in the infirmary. His eyes locked on the
doctor's figure he moved like a ghost toward his bed, afraid of what
he would find. Barley breathing Archie took a seat in Cat's chair
and stared at his mentor and the closest thing he had ever known to a
real father with tears in his eyes. The man was covered in bruises
and looked so ill and frail Archie thought his heart would break.
Unsure if touching him could harm him more Archie gently picked up
his hand and held it loosely in his, never taking his eyes off the
man's face. As he held Sebastian's hand he recalled that Horatio had
once told him that people could still hear you when they were
unconscious and that it was always good to talk to them, so Archie
took a deep breath and started talking.
"Horatio once told me that you should talk to people who
even if you do not think they can hear you, so I am going to talk to
you, even if you can not hear me, because I know you have done the
same for me so many times. I can not believe people would do this to
you, you the most noble person I have ever known. I learned long ago
that nobility is not something you are born into, its not a title you
are given, it's a trait you earn, it's a gift life teaches you. And
I have been gifted to know you. I learned from you that family does
not have to begin or end with blood, but with kindred spirits. I
never thought I would have a real family, but you are my family, you
and Cat and Horatio, you are all my family, and I could not bare to
loose any one of you. Please do not leave me Dr. Sebastian." Tears
began to role down his cheeks. "I need you." He clutched the hand
tightly as his head fell upon the mattress and he began to cry
uncontrollably, soaking the mattress with his tears.
"Ángel?" Archie looked up instantly at the
Sebastian's head was turned towards Archie with his eyes focused
questioningly on the young man. At first Archie smiled, but the
smile disappeared when he realized Sebastian did not know who he
"It's me Dr. Sebastian, Archie, Archie Kennedy."
grew wide with fear as he weakly tried to pull his hand away.
"Ángel?! Where is my Ángel?! Where is
my wife?! What have you done
with my wife?! Ángel!" He began to try and climb out of bed with
great difficulty. His heart filling with panic Archie leapt out of
the chair and tried to hold him down, which simply caused the doctor
to struggle and scream all the more. For all his injuries Sebastian
still fought like a tiger, growing more panicked with each passing
"Let go of me! What have you done with my wife!? Where
is my son?!
Who are you?!"
"Dr. Sebastian! It's me, Archie!" he called desperately,
keep the man calm. Just then the door slammed open and Cat and
Horatio came running into the room.
"Archie!?" they asked at the same moment, though
"Help me!" he cried as he tried to push the delirious
man back on the
bed. Horatio and Cat jumped to his rescue immediately. Horatio ran
to the other side of the bed and tried to help Archie push him down
on the bed. Before Cat could say anything Sebastian's wild eyes
roamed to Horatio and all of his strugglers ceased as his eyes became
wide with love, his face creasing with the same emotion as it had
when he had looked at Cat the first time.
His face creased into a wide smile as he looked upon Horatio's
"My Son," he whispered, pure love in his voice.
"Thank God you are
safe." Though his hand shattered he still placed it behind Horatio's
back and pulled him into a tight embrace, kissing his cheek.
Horatio, who was not one to openly display emotion, stared
fear and awkwardness at Cat and Archie. Cat made a quick sign to him
to hug him back, which Horatio did, quite awkwardly. Deciding to
save her very uncomfortable friend Cat reached over and gently put
her hand on his back.
"Luis, you need to lay down dear, your still very ill."
pulled away from Horatio and nodded obediently.
"Right as always my dear," he conceded tiredly. Cat forced a smile.
"Let me help you lay down Luis," she said softly.
He nodded and
allowed himself to be eased back down, his head resting on the
pillow. "How are you feeling?" she asked as she pulled the blanket
"Tired," he sighed.
"Well just let yourself sleep my dear, you are safe, we
safe." He smiled contently as he gazed upon Cat, seeing his long
dead wife in her face. A smile upon his face he drifted off into a
When she was sure he was asleep she sighed and looked up at
young men with a relieved look on her face. Horatio looked
uncomfortable and embarrassed standing on the other side of the bed.
"You all right Horatio?" she asked. He nodded numbly.
turned her attention to the equally shaken Archie, who's eyes were
locked on Sebastian.
"Archie," she ventured, touching his arm gently.
His gaze did not
move from the doctor as he spoke softly.
"Will he live Cat?" he said in utter sadness. Cat
bit her lip. She
looked over at Horatio for a moment, then back at Sebastian.
"I do not know Archie," she responded honestly.
"I do not know."
She looked again at Horatio, hoping he could add a more educated
medical opinion to her rather bleak one. He looked sadly at
Sebastian and shrugged. He was not trained in medicine and her guess
was a s good ad his. Even if he recovered physically, who knew if he
would ever be the same mentally or emotionally again.
His gaze turned from Dr. Sebastian to Archie, who's eyes had
moved from Sebastian's form. Horatio could only guess what this was
doing to his best friend.
Before anyone could say anything more the infirmary door opened
"It is time to return to your cell Seniors," he said
moved towards the door and stopped when he saw that Archie had not
budged, his eyes still on the doctor. Cat moved over to him and
touched him lightly on the arm.
"Go ahead Archie," Cat encouraged softly. "I
will look after him."
He nodded slowly, took one last look at his mentor and then followed
Horatio and the guard out of the infirmary, leaving Cat alone with
Horatio and Archie entered their cell in silence, Archie walking
to his bunk and sat down, his eyes lost in thought. Horatio watched
his friend for a moment by the doorway, his brow creased with
concern. He knew that Sebastian and Archie were very close and the
idea that his mentor did not recognize him most likely cut him quite
deeply, just as it would if Horatio's father did not recognize
Horatio, or Archie Cat. Horatio took a deep determined breath, he
would not let Archie fall into the mood he had been in when he had
first found him at the other prison. Bracing his shoulders he
stepped forward and sat down on his bunk, facing his friend.
"Archie, as a consolation he does not know who Cat and
I are either,"
he offered softly, afraid that if he spoke to forcefully Archie would
become angry with him as he had in the other prison.
Archie's eyes cleared as he rejoined the present and turned
Horatio, his face creased in confusion.
"Horatio, what are you talking about?" It was then
Horatio's turn to
look completely befuddled.
"Well, I was trying to tell you not to take it to heart."
"Take what to heart?" Horatio had by this time lost
all of momentum
and once again became the awkward young adult.
"The. . .fact that he thinks that I am his son."
crinkled in thought for a moment before his face broke into
laughter. It was not full hearty left, nor was it mocking in tone.
It was simply the laughter of someone grateful to have a diversion
from the pains they were experiencing.
Archie, still chuckling softly, saw that his friend was looking
him in utter confusion and slight hurt.
"I am sorry Horatio," he apologized as he stopped
laughing. "But to
be honest I was not even thinking on that." Horatio blushed, ducked
his head, was horribly embarrassed.
"I simply thought that. . ."
"I would be upset that he choose you and not me as his
nodded weakly. "I know that he is ill, I understand that. Yes, it
hurts a little, but he could not chose a better man as his son." He
smiled to let Horatio know he understood, and Horatio instantly felt
ashamed. How stupid do I think Archie is, he thought to himself. He
understands the situation, better than I do apparently. There I go
thinking that he needs my help all the time. He sighed, what a lousy
friend I am.
"Thank you for asking though," Archie added. Horatio
looked up and
saw a true thankful smile. He returned the smile, glad that Archie
had put it so subtly.
Archie thanked Horatio for two reasons. One, he truly was
that he had a friend who was constantly worrying about him. Yes it
did get annoying, but it was worth it. Second, he would not let
Horatio brood about his ability as a friend, which was in no way
lacking. Horatio had a tendency to fall into brooding moods, and
Archie would not let him fall into one of his moods over him. He was
relieved to see Horatio smiling and was glad that he now had only one
friend to worry about.
Horatio knocked politely on the infirmary door the next morning,
been given permission to visit the doctor. He waited patiently, his
hands behind his back, which he did when he was uncomfortable or
"Come in," came Cat's voice from inside. Shyly Horatio
door and hesitantly entered the room to find Cat sitting by
Sebastian's bed a book in her hand. Her tired face broke into a
smile when she saw him.
"Ah, come in Horatio." Forcing a small smile Horatio
behind him and walked toward her, his eyes on Sebastian.
"How is he?" The smile faded as she sighed tiredly
through her hair, something she did when she was tired.
"He had several nightmares last night, took me nearly
each time to calm him down." Horatio saw an uncharacteristic
tiredness in her eyes, knew that they must have been horrible to
drain such a fiery spirited woman who would take on the entire
Spanish army if need be.
"Where is Archie?"
"He is in the exercise yard. They would only let one
of us visit
"How is he?" Horatio gave her a small smile.
"Better than one would expect." A relieved smile
face, which turned into a yawn she tried to hide sheepishly with her
"Cat, why don't you go try and sleep, I will watch him."
him carefully for a moment and then Sebastian. Horatio could see she
was battling with her loyalty to Sebastian and her own exhaustion.
Was I like this when Archie was ill? he thought to himself.
She eyed Horatio once more, her chocolate eyes searching his
dark ones, knew Sebastian would be safe with him.
She smiled and nodded as she stood, gazing sadly at the doctor
moment before turning to Horatio.
"I think I will take you up on your offer Mr. Hornblower,"
with a smile, trying to lighten the mood.
"Always glad to help a lady Miss Dunbar," Horatio
stoic Horatio making a stab at humor Cat could not help but laugh
Still smiling she held out the book she had been reading.
help to pass the time," she supplemented.
Horatio took the offered book and glanced at the title, Don
Ugh, not again. Cat noticed his horrible expression, as if he had
eaten rancid beef. She chuckled softly.
"Do not worry Horatio, it is the English translation."
the relief on his face as he looked up at her and displayed a rare
"Thank you Cat."
"Do not mention it Horatio." As she walked past
shoulder lightly, and gave him an encouraging smile. Horatio could
not help but smile weakly at her. Cat was one of the few people,
besides Archie, who could lift his spirits with just her simple
When she was gone he sat down in her empty chair and watched
doctor for a moment. The man seemed to be resting peacefully
enough. Horatio hated seeing anyone so ill abused, but the fact that
it was one of the people he held in the most esteem made him sick and
angry at the same time. He bit his lip in frustration and opened the
book Cat had given him, hoping to turn his mind away from the present.
Horatio had been reading for little under a half an hour when he
heard muttering coming from the bed. He looked up to see Sebastian
rolling his head back and forth, muttering something in Spanish.
Horatio put down his book quickly and moved over to the doctor,
gently shaking him, trying to break him out of his nightmare.
"Dr. Sebastian," and then he remembered and cursed
wake up." With a start the doctor's eyes opened wide in shock and
anxiety, but as soon as his eyes focused on Horatio his breathing
slowed and he visibly relaxed.
"My son," he said with pure love in his voice. Horatio
relieved to see the doctor awake and at least somewhat coherent.
"Are you all right papá?" Sebastian nodded,
using his left hand, his
good hand he waved Horatio away.
"It was nothing, my son." He turned his head, his
eyes searching the
room. "Where is your mother?" Horatio pulled his chair over and sat
down, decided he would try to keep Sebastian awake and talking as
long as possible. It would stave off nightmares, and perhaps Horatio
could learn more about the doctor's wife and son. He knew it was
wrong of him to want to pry into the man's personal secrets and
normally he would not do such a thing, but he wanted to know more
about the doctor's beloved family, a family he refused to keep in the
past. Perhaps then they could figure out how to bury the doctor's
"Mamá is sleeping in her room." Sebastian
nodded, seemed to
understand her decision and approved it.
"Good, she looked tired." Horatio good see that
the doctor was
beginning to tire from this simple excursion. Horatio knew he had to
get some water in him before he let him sleep.
"Are you hungry papá?" he asked, reaching
for the pitcher of water
and cup Cat had left behind.
"Yes, please," he answered, his voice becoming weaker.
poured a glass of water and, placing his hand behind Sebastian's
head, helped him to drink. Sebastian took a few sips and closed his
eyes tiredly as Horatio lowered his head back onto the pillow.
"Anything else papá?" The doctor weakly shook
his head. "Well, then
try and go back to sleep papá, you need your rest." Ho ratio had
barely gotten the words out and Sebastian was already asleep.
Sighing he sat back in his chair, watching the doctor for a moment
before once again picking up Don Quixote.
Horatio had been reading for nearly an hour when the door opened
slowly. He looked up and could not help but smile when Archie
cautiously entered the sick room, closing the door quietly behind
"How is he?" he asked tentatively, eyeing the doctor.
and closed the book, dog earring the page he was on.
"He had a nightmare and I had to wake him, got him to
water though. He has been sleeping well for the past hour." Archie
nodded, taking it all in.
"I thought you would like a break," he explained
as he walked over to
his friend. Horatio looked over at the doctor, felt the same
reluctance to leave that Cat had felt when he had come to relieve her.
"Go on Horatio. I can not work on an escape by myself."
gave him a small smile, nodded. He almost asked Archie if he would
be all right if Sebastian began screaming like he had the day before,
but refrained. Archie could handle it himself, he would be ready for
it now. Horatio had learned that being a good friend included not
questioning a friend's abilities, but trusting him to be able to
handle things himself.
"Would you like something to read?" he asked, holding
out the copy of
Don Quixote. Upon seeing the book Archie smiled.
"I see Cat lent you her favorite book. You take it out
yard. I have my own book," he said, pulling out a small book of
sonnets from his inside coat pocket. "Besides I have read Don
Quixote about five times."
Horatio smiled and left the room for the yard. Archie took
seat, eyed Sebastian for a moment and then opened his book to his