"Ha -- h'm."

[Spoilers up to "The Happy Return" or "Beat to Quarters" or whatever it seems to be called. ]

Maria is a good woman, patient and reliable. When the Captain -- when Horatio used to use endearments with Bush, those were small infractions. Perhaps the betrayal increased in Horatio's mind with his losses. Their friendly love affair was snipped short by Atropos.

Reunited by the Lydia, they still kiss desperately, hungrily, still share a bunk and the slick slide of skin against skin, but it is always the Captain and the First Lieutenant. The Captain keeps his own counsel at all hours, on deck or in private. Bush knows better than to insist or complain.

Sometimes he misses Horatio's voice.

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