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Sharpe and the Prettymen. Fic of many chapters. No.l.

Chapter Text

Title Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author [info]bluegerl
Archive [info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to [info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe, Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage later.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it!
All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Following Chapters    2.  3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8  9. 10. 11. 12,13.14.15/16. 17. 18 19 20.

 

 

Richard Sharpe was cursing his highest officer in the rudest words he could find. He was trudging through almost ankle-deep wet mud, the flapping sole on his boot really starting to come apart as Harris's temporary mend of fish-glue still smelt and didn't stick now. Why does Nosey have to have his tent at THAT end of the camp and stick me and me Chosen at this end, the wet end, where all the water seemed to run. Bloody Officers, bloody spoilt lot... and he carried on, muttering and cursing solidly until he slipped and skidded his way up to the top of the hill, in the still pouring rain.

Outside the big tent, he sheltered as best he could under the edge of the awning, trying to wipe the rain from his hair and eyes. It was running down his neck, and soaking his uniform. Someone was coming out of the tent, so he stood beside the entrance. As he squinted through the rain, the tall hat of the outcoming Dragoon hit the awning, lifted the sagging waterlogged canvas, and tipped the gathered bucketful of rain straight down on to Richard (Probationary, cursing, fuming, and bloody mad) Major Sharpe. He leapt back, spluttering, splashing, letting out an involuntary "SHEEEIIITE" as the ice-cold deluge really finished off his soaking.

"Is that Sharpe I hear out there?" the voice of Nosey, Lord Wellington called.

Richard stamped his feet trying to shake the worst of the water off "Sir! Yes, it's Sharpe. Sir!"

Hogan's trumpeting sneeze preceded, "Well, ye'd better be comin' in then, you dozy dorkin-lad."

Richard (fed up) Sharpe saluted, his sleeve spraying droplets in the direct of Hogan's snuff box, Wet snuff doesn't get sniffed up noses and make really filthy great sneezes all over everything. It smears on your nose and makes yer look bluddy daft! He hoped the drops had travelled sufficiently far.

"Take a seat, Sharpe. you look a bit damp. Not going to take cold, I trust, as we have a little job for you? At least, it will take you to somewhere a little less inclement and somewhat warmer." A small difficult smile reached for Nosey's eyes. "Don't look so alarmed, my lad, it's not trekking into hills looking for red-booted Russians again."

Richard stared at Nosey's black eyes, and wished he could go looking for red-booted naked Russians again. Them drawings that were painted all over the hard muscled chest...

"Did you want to find him again, eh? Sharpe, I said, DID you want to go looking for your Russ... oh, you are with us. Good." Lord Wellington trimmed the small smile from his lips. "I am sending you to Lisbon. In Portugal. You do know where that is? It's on the coast, and is a big city, with inns and whorehouses which should please you, and some of your men. It also has a Port, for ships. Sharpe! Will you pay attention please? Stop looking like a drowned rat!"

Richard Sharpe straightened his back, and tried to wring some water from his jacket. Then he glared back at Nosey. The damned wet was all round places he liked to stay warm, dry and airy. He surreptitiously pushed the water with his extended hand from both thighs down to his knees, his thumb and wide-spread fingers firmly stretching across his hard-muscled upper legs, raising ripples in the green serge.

The Duke of Wellington's eyes followed the movements as if hypnotised, the scrape, push, ripple... "Ah, yes, the Port, where there are... ahem... er.. ships. Yes. Ah, Hogan, if you will..." and his eyes continued to watch the sliding and smoothing of his junior officer's large, firm long-fingered hands that could ... err...

"There's a ship that'll be coming from the grand city of London, and Their Lordships - or rather, Your Lordships, Sharpe, me boy, are sending you to pickup a rather smart pretty uniform we hope we can use."

Sharpe switched his eyes from the black ones of Nosey to the innocently blue ones of Hogan (Major Confirmed) that twinkled above the snuff-stained moustache.

"Me, Sir, a pretty uniform, Sir, a 'pretty' uniform?" Richards mouth staggered over the words. Me, in a pretty uniform, wot in hell is he blethering on about now? Tis daft!

"Yes, Sharpe, very pretty, lots of epaulettes and feathers... you'll do well to tidy yourself up a bit before you meet him." Richard's heart sank even further. Oh god, a pretty uniform filled with a pretty head and oh, shite, I have to smarten meself up... oh, Pissenshit. I hate these jobs!

"His name is Lt. Colonel Winstanley, The Viscount Blakeney, Royal Hussars, and his three adjutants. Captain Craig, Daniel, Captain Butler, G. and another Major, also Probationary, by the unlikely name of Gyllenhaal. Jacob. I gather the latter is from the American north, one of the dissenting States I believe. You will take your Chosen Men, all smartened up. Please, young Richard, 'smart' as in 'immaculate,' and you will attend a Dress Parade before leaving." Hogan heaved another huge sigh, hesitated, then let the air out again. No sneeze, Richard grinned. Then ducked as a sudden unexpected roar nearly blew the papers sideways off the table.

"The reason," said an ice-cold voice above thin fingers collecting and tidying blown papers, "for this escort duty, is the importance of this Winstanley person. He is apparently of the highest intelligence, and is to be considered an asset in the formulation of strategy on and off the battlefield. He is unmarried, seemingly unattached, and is, I understand, teetotal. I may be misinformed on these facts, but as far as I can ascertain, they are approximately correct. So please, also take care with your comportment, Sharpe, and that of your men. Choose your most sober and least disreputable to accompany you. The mounts," Richard's ears perked up, Mounts... he means hosses and I hates hosses. SODDit. "The mounts will be supplied to you by the cavalry and they will send two grooms with you. One, I gather is a master with horses, and can solve almost any problem that may occur in relation to the animals."

Richard Sharpe just wanted out of this. OUT. NOW! A bloody ride all the way to the coast, to pick up a pretty - a sodding PRETTY boy, to fetch offa bote. And his minders, all very 'pretty' too, no doubt, and bring 'em back here, from a city. A City, full of life, and beer and wimmin and whores and card-games and whoring and drinking and bedding wimmin, and... And the bastard... Giving me a sodding teetotaller - a non-drinking, probably non-whoring-non-breathing nasty little worm of a... Richard Sharpe's heart fell right to the bottom of his soaking, squelching, once-scarlet boots.

"When, Sir, when have I to do this?" Hopefully when he was 82 and nearly dead...?

"The ship docks in three weeks I shall expect you to be there, rested and fit. So you had better leave by early next week, at the latest. That should give him long enough, eh, Hogan? Do you think that enough time?"

Hogan twinkled at Sharpe, who glared resentfully back. "Aye Sor, plenty of time to sew his buttons back on, and," smiling winningly at the sour face of his Duty Boy, "get that split in the back of your pants sorted. Eh, Richard, me lad, Ye'll get it all done, nae doubt?"

Richard spent the next six, very wet days in one of the worst moods he had ever possessed. His men cowered. Ramona swore at him when he swore at her. Patrick just looked very, very hurt and rolled his eyes at the Heavens, crossing himself piously whenever he saw Richard's glowering face. If the face addressed him, Patrick would sigh, lower his shoulders, and agree. Whatever it was, he would agree. Then he'd go and do what ever he, Patrick, thought was necessary to cover the badly phrased, surlily grunted orders.

The Chosen Men, picked from the usual twenty or so, had been marched off to the Camp Clothing Officer, who was told in a very thick Irish brogue, in no uncertain terms, to fit them all out in "Dacent breeches, fair-smart jackets wit' ALL dem buttons on proper." Real leather, soft pack straps, and canteens, "wit' de boockles sewed snap-on." A small number of coins passing hands and Hogan's name being also misused, made sure that eight Chosen Men with Sgt Harper in charge, presented themselves to the scrutiny of Major (Confirmed )(Richard always spat that out) Hogan on the day before departure. Major Hogan found himself impressed. Quite surprisingly impressed, and said so in a back-handed sort of way to Major (Probationary) Sharpe.

"Not a bad bunch, but the clothes don't maketh the man here. Couldn't you find a more agreeable set of visages, eh, young Richard, me lad? But on the whole, laddie, on the whole, they'll do."

Richard snorted. He knew his men were the best there were, and he knew Hogan knew it. That's just his way of being nice. Richard could do without Hogan sometimes. But he couldn't help it... he had to like the bastard. He mentally counted his own buttons on his new green jacket. All there and nicely, tightly 'snapped-on' as Patrick referred to sewing. His breeches weren't new, but they had been very carefully repaired, washed, and brushed. Richard liked the feel of his well-fitting green trews. Be nice if someone else liked the feel, especially if he was wearing his own scarlet boots. Aaaah, Nickolai, of the long legs, and the suns and stars on that...

 

The horses were scrutinized with even more care. Mounts, on this hilly, stony soil had to be fit, nimble and level-headed. No jumpy blood-silly animals could be allowed to danger men or equipment. The Head Groom, a slim tawny-dark-haired man, with blue-grey eyes that saw into far distances, was seen to be everywhere. His hard brown hands feeling fetlocks and hooves, stroking shoulders, lifting tails and inspecting for signs of worm. His voice was apparently a small song for the horses, they followed his murmurs with their ears, and whatever he wanted, they appeared to be doing almost before he asked. Richard was as impressed with this horseman as Hogan was with his own turnout.

He had asked Hogan the name of this groom. "Frank. Frank Hopkins. He's been all over with horses. Has no interest in anything but his horses. I gather he has won some fine wagers with his mustangs that run. And," Hogan sniffed, reluctantly, " I have to say, even as an Irishman, that this Hopkins knows more about bloody horses than most of my countrymen. Damn his hide. Lost quite a sum once, betting on an Irishman and not this Hopkins fella." Hogan harrumphed away, leaving Richard with a feeling of pride almost. He was getting someone who had beaten Hogan - at his own game almost! Richard began to appreciate and like Frank Hopkins.

Chapter Text

Title Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author [info]bluegerl
Archive [info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to [info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe, Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage later.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Chapter 1

Climbing up the valley into the rocky grey hills, their breath steaming in the cold air falling from the remaining snow on the peaks, Richard Sharpe, Patrick Harper, Harris, Tongue, Perkins, Hagman, Cooper, Ryan, Roberts and Forman, were relieved to be on their way. At last.

All finished with the prinking and preening, with the polish on the boots, the blanco on the lanyards, spitting on the buckles to shine the brass. They had stood, unaccustomedly rigid at attention whilst Himself, Old Nosey, that fat sneezing Irishman, two tarty Hofficers, and their Man himself, Major R. Sharpe, peered at them. They poked their collective noses down the rifle barrels, pulled on toggles, snapped fingers on strapping. Boots were made to be lifted, inspected for wear and repair.

The Chosen men themselves had been overwashed, over-groomed and were looking forward to feeling human again in about a week. A week of not washing, eating over a smoky fire, and scratching rather than combing. Major Sharpe was, at present, looking extremely handsome with his hair fresh-washed, a good shave by courtesy of Patrick that morning, his new jacket beaming its dark green up at his green eyes. Hogan had snorted, and mashed his kerchief across his face, hiding his smile as he watched the Duke's eyes as they slid continually over the slim figure of Sharpe, taking in the smooth shape of the backside as he bent to examine the soles of a boot. It had been a most entertaining morning for Hogan, who actually approved of Sharpe as a soldier, more than for his sheer beauty.

The horsemen were in charge of taking the spare mounts. They followed the soldiers, the horses nose to tail, the second groom by the name of Sam Scobles, leading with the best nags, and Frank Hopkins bringing up the rear. His voice could occasionally be heard, chirruping to the laggards as they snatched at a roadside bush, or a clump of something green. Richard had tried to speak with him before they set off, but Hopkins had simply said, "You're the leader, I follow you," and had turned away, as if it was all settled.

Four days on, the hills had become more spread, softer to ride in. The guerilla activity seemed to be quiescent. Late winter was a time to gather forces, and recover from the hardships of the previous snowy freezing months. Sharpe hoped they could arrive in Lisbon without any activity, and make their collection swiftly, then return as fast as they could. This delivery boy stuff was not what he considered soldiering. Any idiot officer could go and fetch another pretty officer, it didn't take the best riflemen in Spain to protect a pansyboy. He wondered if this was a lesson he had to learn from his escapade with Nikolai, when he had not done as he had been commanded. His objective had escaped him. Pity. A great pity.

"Hey up. We'll rest up tonight in that village. No doubt there'll be a barn we can borrow, and the horses could do with a bit of extra grain. Patrick, can you and Cooper get on ahead and book us a bed in the Inn, or the barn, or whereever?"

As they rode off, Forman trotted up and said Scobles had reported a lame horse, and he thought his was beginning to favour a leg, as it had slid on a badly rocky patch. Sharpe nodded, and decided if the village was reasonably friendly, they might stay a day or two, as Lisbon appeared to be within reach in not many more days. It had been a quiet trip so far. He dropped back to the rear, behind the last horse, a large silver-grey. Hopkins was sitting like a sack of oats, easy in his saddle, on that bald-faced roan he favoured. He sits a horse like he was part of it. Richard's mind registered a hint of jealousy. He rode well enough, and enjoyed the feel of good horseflesh between his legs, but this man was part of the damn horse. Richard's mind removed the jealousy with a snicker, thinking, Could you get conversation out of him if you neighed like his horses?

They rode along in silence for a distance, then Richard felt he had to break this comfortable silence, in order to define the reason why he was back here instead of up in the lead.

"The horses? They are in form? Any troubles with any, especially the ones for the fancy boys? Scobles says apparently we have one lame and Forman says his is favouring. Shall we stay over for a day or so to rest us all?"

"Yup, might be a good thing. Feet need a tidying up. One or two torn heels."

"What about you? Fancy a night down at the local inn, with a beer in your hands? A pinch at the girlies' bums, eh?"

A soft chuckle appeared in the air round RIchard's neck. He almost felt it. He looked at Hopkins.

"Gave up women. More trouble than horses."

"Well, I figured you weren't married or anything... not with your lifestyle, as Hogan said it."

"Hogan makes a lot of it up. Or he listens with the wrong ear."

Richard rode on a little more.

"I was married once, a real stunner, a real woman she was, Teresa. We have a little daughter somewhere back down there." he ventured.

"Was? Not now?"

"Aah, well, being caught up in the early days, it was a bit bad like. She got herself killed by a bastard soldier, who ended up dead too. I made sure of that." His casual voice didn't give away the pain he had felt at her death at the hands of the hated Sgt. Hakeswill.

"So it's you for the wild life and women as they come, eh? Nice and uncomplicated."

Sharpe suddenly found himself urging his horse forward, leaving the soft honey-toned joking voice that caught at his mind in the same way it caught at the horses'. He felt... he felt... uncomfortable, yet not.

 

That night, the bedding allocated and sorted, heavy packs unloaded, the horses hobbled and let to roam overnight in a secure field beside the big barn, they settled down for a quiet night under cover.

"Made a change from bloody rocks and creeping things that bite your neck," grunted Cooper, and Hagman grinned to himself. He knew how to find a corner or a hollow in which to tuck himself, untroubled by busy stones, or active beetles. Perkins was digging in his pack for his mouth organ, while Harris had already unearthed his book. "Watcha reading this time then, Harris?" No reply, as a dirty finger was already being licked ready to turn another page.

Richard sat himself down beside Patrick. Sticking finger up into his mouth, he felt his tooth. That one there. That was not a happy tooth. It had been wobbling about since that bloody Frenchy with the wolfskin fancydress had clouted him with that sword hilt. Cracked his face a corker before he'd been himself whacked into submission. Perhaps it'll just fall out on its own? He poked again, and yelped. Patrick grinned up at his friend.

"Remember you do, surely, that time I had to pull mine, for yer own use. The blood ye wanted? Mebbe ye'll have to be pullin' at yerself, and I'll be there givin' ye the best encouragement surely, as a good friend can do? "

"Belt up, Patrick, I'll not be pulling me own teeth, I tell you. And neither will you be pulling them either. This one stays in me head." and he added fervently, I hope!

"If any of you gentlemen need assistance in that respect, I surely can help. I pull horses' teeth easy." The slowest of breaths floated into Richard's ear, and the honey-brown voice stuck in his head, curling round like the smoke from the dying fire.

He turned, finding only a shadow behind, hardly visible in the gloom. A rustle on the straw-scattered floor showed a boot, then a portion of long leg. Richard had a feeling he needed to look further, to find the solidity of the owner of this drifting lazy voice.

Patrick yawned, "I'm for the shut-eye then, I'm fair ready for the green hills of sleep. Will ye be coming along, cos if not, don't ye dare tread on me hand like ye did the last time ye fell over me, dead silly drunk, ye were so!"

"Er, not just yet Pat, and anyway, I'm not that side of you, I'm this side, nearer the fire tonight - and don't you bloody snore like you have done either, I don't know how Ramona puts up with it."

Richard settled himself down. Waited. Then the voice came again. "When will we be in Lisbon? Have we stables there?"

"Should be in about - four days, if we spend one day here, resting up. Hogan wanted us to be there well before the ship docked. Will two or three days give you time to sort the horses out? They aren't too knackered, are they?"

"Nah, plenty left in 'em. It's just... " the voice hesitated. "Just that I ain't used to cities and all... " A fidgeting rustle in the straw behind Richard, and another leg joined the first one in the firelight. "I'm not liking the cities. I ride alone, outside..."

"Well, if you like we'll let you stay with the horses, perhaps we can find somewhere outside the main city for you and them. It's me that's got to meet this bloody flower, and stick it on a horse and hoick it back to HQ. I don't suppose you need even speak to him. IF he deigns to speak to any of us common peasants. Sounds like he's a right High-and-Mighty One. Him, and his three nursemaids."

"I've heard of him, you know. Down in the south, where I was last, they had been saying about his clever tactics in surprise and in hiding out on patrols. He's supposed to be the ears of the Army - he knows all the right people apparently. He has spies or informers in some strange places."

"You know more about him than Hogan told me... all I know is, he's supposed to be important to them up there in HQ and I have to prevent him being kidnapped, stolen, I dunno... for information, or... Who wants to steal him anyway? D'you know?"

"Nope, but I suppose one can guess. The Frenchies, or the Spanish who want to put the Spanish King on the throne instead of a talking head."

"So we can look out for all sides then. Eyes in the back, on the sides and in front as well. I hate this sorta job. It's all guesswork, and play it as it happens. Gets boring when nothing does happen, and then panic and sweat when something does come up. Neither is right for a soldier who should be fighting battles, not messing about nursemaiding pretties." Richard chucked a stone on the fire, and jumped in fright when it exploded a few minutes later. The laugh came from the darkness.

"Some stones can surprise you, they have hollow hearts and when you heat them, they explode, suddenly, like that one. You should be careful where you find your stones. I'll say goodnight, must just check the horses." The voice slipped past, as softly as the shadow it was.

Richard went to sleep, listening to a soft voice, and not hearing the rolling snores of Sgt Harper, dreaming of his Ramona.

Chapter Text

Title Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author [info]bluegerl
Archive[info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to [info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe, Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage later.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!


 

Rest Day

The following day was spent in general housework. Washing was done, and hung to dry. Hair was cut, boots mended and polished. Hagman, Cooper and Perkins went off to find something useful to do with their rifles, and brought back several large healthy, but very dead rabbits. Somehow Harris had charmed the local store owner's wife into parting with a sack of onions, and another of carrots, all for a smile, a poetic display of armwaving oratory, and just a very few coppers. Hopkins and Scobles were active amongst the horses, but most of these were hobbled and happily grazing in the meadow.

The afternoon passed by in a desultory manner, a little harmonica music, a gentle song from Patrick who was missing his Ramona, and general conversation about the officers they were to bring back to Nosey.

"Did I hear you say he was 'pretty' Sir, I mean, as in 'pretty' as in blonde and cuddley, or 'pretty' as in rich and nasty?" Cooper was aware that rich and nasty were ripe for plucking if he could find a loose feather, but the pretty ones for cuddling were best left for Mr. Sharpe.

"Nope, Cooper, you can keep your hands in your pockets and I shall not be keeping my arms around these, I can tell you. The prettiest is an Earl's son. Sounds a bloody sight too superior for the likes of you to finger, cos if he found your little pinky lifting his watch or sommat, you wouldn't survive to stand a Courts Martial! So. Lay off, and that is an order, Coops. I'm not so sure about the other three. Best leave off until we have the measure of 'em. They might be 'Yessers' or they might be real soldiermen. All of you," Sharpe raised his voice, "All of you will not take any advantage of these officers, they are in our care, and shall be treated with respect. I want no cheap comments, none of that nudge-nudge, wink-wink stuff either. And I do not know yet what exactly Lord Wellington meant when he said 'Pretty'. And you will refer to Nosey as Lord Wellington, or His grace, and not 'that bloody old Nosey'."

He turned to Patrick, "Hey, Pat. What do you think he meant by 'pretty'? eh? I hope to god it's someone who can ride, at least, or who isn't worried about the whiteness of his knickers on a horse? I intend to bring them back to HQ as fast as possible, without actually killing them. I'm a bit worried. Hopkins says they are so important, the Spanish and the French wants to kidnap them... I can't believe we are going to have to fight our way all the way back, eh? Tell me that Pat, old son?"

Patrick Harper snorted softly. He knew that Richard Sharpe would welcome a good stiff fight, but only if he knew he wasn't going to have to mop up crying babies after. And as long as it took place on Richard's battleground, up here in the hills, and not house-to-house messing about in a big City. He also thought just a little about how 'pretty' this officer might be, as he knew Mr. Sharpe, Sir, was not averse to enjoying a pretty person in general, as long as the other person was also agreeable. "I'd suggest we jest be for the taking of it as it comes, for the day to decide. Mind you, and I'm not saying this for the easy saying, but twould be fine indeed if we could make it back all in one piece, to be sure, all hale and hearty on our report to Himself."

Sharpe's reply was a long gentle snore. His chin had fallen on his open shirt collar, and his strong, fine fingers were clasping each other over his flat belly. Patrick removed the beermug from beside his mate, and gave him a gentle push. Sharpe rolled softly on to his side, grunted, shuffled his bare feet, and snored again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Three days later, riding into the outskirts of Lisbon, they looked a smart, close group of competent soldiers. Uniforms neat, faces shaven, hair tucked under bonnets and Sharpe himself sporting his slightly battered shako. Frank Hopkins and Sam Scobles bringing up the rear with the remaining horses simply looked as they always did, scruffy, working grooms. Hopkins was wearing a wide-brimmed very worn looking felt hat that he had told Perkins was very useful for watering horses. Perkins had asked why couldn't the horses drink the water themselves, but Hopkins had said they would dirty it for the humans. It was better to give it to them in smaller amounts as well, to stop them blowing themselves out. Horses can't run fast if they are bloated. Perkins had walked away peering inside his small bonnet, and wondering if it would hold enough water for a dog, or a donkey?

The noise and bustle of the town seemed so noisy, almost irritating after the silence of the hills, which had been broken only by the sound of hooves and the occasional snort. The Chosen Men usually conversed by sign language if there were prey to be acquired for a meal, or signals passed, when under fire. They were not exactly a chatty bunch, they knew each other so well that small talk was only for drinking times, when the tongues were let free to wag.

Sharpe headed down the streets. He reckoned that the sea would be at the end, when the alleys and roads stopped going downhill. They passed through a wide, almost empty square, bounded on all sides by hugely impressive, somewhat ornately decorated, buildings. Streets debouched into the square willy-nilly. They also left the square in the same manner. Sharpe lifted his shako and scratched his head. The roads all seemed to come down as far as this, and then rise. Where was the bloody sea, and this damned port place?
"Pat, get over to that group of chaps will you, ask 'em where the Port is? And where the best Inn is, and where the Portygesey Army barracks is, and if there are any good places to.. "

"Yes, for sure, I'll ask 'em all the questions in the bloody dictionary, if ye'll just be the stopping supplying them. I know what ye wanter know, and I shall be finding out if ye'll stop the wagging of yer tongue." Patrick cantered gently off to the far side of the square, slowing to a trot beside the two men who had just parted company from their friends.

"Ahem, Sors, would you be excusing me?" Patrick reached into his mind and heard Ramona say "Por Favor signores, qui esta .." and he extracted sufficient information to trot back towards his waiting officer, and wave his arms in the general direction of the largest of the white buildings to their right.

"He said the mayree is down that-a-way, past the meat market and then the fishmarket." Sharpe waved them on, their group having to spread out, ending almost single file as they threaded their way through the narrow stall-filled streets.

Frank Hopkins had insisted he accompany Sharpe to the Port, but he would leave as soon as he had found where they would be billeted. He would stay with the horses on the northern outskirts, which had a reasonable amount of grazing and didn't appear to be too far from the waterside. Perkins or Roberts would be messengers between them. Perkins would stay up with the horses to relay down to the port, and Roberts, being a city lad once, would worm his way back to Hopkins with any message about the boat, and its contents.

Final arrangements made, Sharpe was billeted in the Officers' quarters of the remains of the Portygesey Army, but he wondered if there were many left in that army. They seemed to have been a fairly haphazard bunch, coming and going as and when the farms, the wars, (or skirmishes, he corrected himself) and the weather dictated.

Two days of wild wet weather preceded the arrival of the seven boats that had fought their way through the Bay of Biscay in the cold spring gales. Richard watched carefully as the crews of the boats unloaded, and came ashore helping passengers who were almost falling down the gangplanks to the quay. They seemed to stagger even though they were standing on solid ground. Sharpe remembered his days at sea, and the sensation that the ground was rising and falling beneath him after only about five days rolling around on the ocean. He wondered, hopefully, if he would see Nosey's Prettyman stagger wildly around as he touched down on the quayside. He kept looking, but saw no-one that seemed to fit any description of anything very pretty. A couple of nice young ladies, with four moustached old duennas in charge. Several older men, certainly not soldiers, and certainly indeed, not 'pretty'.


By seven that evening, Major Richard Sharpe was brassed off with staring at strange bodies, and finding none to please his eye, or enable him to complete his job. Where in hell were these four bloody officers, it wouldn't be too unlikely, he supposed, that they may have fallen overboard in the gales and wild seas...?

Sitting back from the inn-table, poking at his back tooth with a sliver of wood, Richard wondered what he would have to do to find these stupid, half-witted, fancy-pants of officers who got themselves lost from just one ornery little boat...  The door swung back, held by a grovelling forelock-tugging innkeeper. The space revealed the most beauteous creature ever beheld by Major (Probationary) Richard Sharpe of the 95th Rifle Brigade. The apparition was exquisite. He was glowing, golden, divine. His uniform shone, epaulettes and aiguillettes positively aped sunshine, the white gloves would make a new winter snowfall appear tired, end of season. The gloss on the knee-high, two-tone boots, ornamented with golden tassles, was brighter than the shine on Richard's now forgotten beermug.

This wondrous sight was followed by three further beings. Each as slim, handsome, elegant and immaculately attired as the first. Admittedly the premier beauty was at least a head taller than his adjutants, but that was indeed proper. His dark head, bearing close-cut swirls of thick, glossy curls, was lifted high, so that the deep brown eyes beneath the long lashes could stare in a languorous manner down at the now-feeling-dreadfully-uncouth, blonde, scruffy Major.

"May I present myself, Major, it is Major (questionmark?) Sharpe, is it not? I am, I think, the person for whom you have been waiting?  Col. Winstanley, the Viscount Blakeney. These are my three companions, acting Adjutants. Captains Craig," Craig ducked his head politely, "Butler," Butler also inclined his head, graciously. "And Gyllenhaal." The last was tall, slim, and had the most lustrous blue eyes Richard had seen on a man.

Richard Major (Probationary) Sharpe sighed. Oh dear, these are indeed very, very, pretty men. Very pretty indeed. And, his mind added, will probably be very pretty problems!

 

Chapter Text

Title Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author [info]bluegerl
Archive[info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to[info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe, Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage later.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Chapter 1, Here        Chapter 2  Here. 
Chapter 3 Here

 

 

 

 

 

The four very pretty men that Major Sharpe was supposed to be escorting back to his Grace the Duke of Wellington's Headquarters in rural Portugal, had apparently arrived on the larger, cleaner and more seaworthy vessel that had tied up four days previously. They had found themselves lodging in the best house in the city, that of the Mayor and his four pretty daughters. They had also acquired some fine riding horses Richard was assured, so that the nags he was suggesting they use would do perfectly well carrying their baggage.

"If, of course, that meets with your approval, Major?" Richard could feel and taste that question of 'Probationary' every time the bloody Viscount or Earl or whatever, said "Major". Richard Sharpe knew the taste of gall. He had swallowed fairly large lumps of it in the past, when unavoidable, but he resented the idea that he should be bathed in the damned stuff daily for the next ten or twelve days. It would happen, escorting this primping, prideful, ponce (he spat the word with all the force he could inject into his mind,)this PONCE back to Nosey. His spirits lifted just a fraction as he thought of this lovely creature being sprayed with the golden nasal explosions of Major (Confirmed) Hogan. He hoped it would spatter the pure whiteness of the britches that smoothed and slid their way over those well-formed and muscled thighs.

Richard was still seething and spitting blood as he rode back up to the encampment of Hopkins and Scobles. Nags, I'll give him nags... they'm bloody good hosses, and I shall pinch the grey for meself now!

Frank was at the pump, his shirt off, and his breeches nearly down past his white backside. Richard reined in, and watched... the play of strong muscles on that back, brown and silk-skinned. Hopkins threw back his head spraying water in a fine arc, then raising his arms, rubbed his hands back through the long strands. The sun emphasised the shining dampness on the shape of the shoulders, and the sinewy figure as it threw a towel over a shoulder and turned with a so-innocent smile toward Richard.

"Heard you coming! You do cuss a lot you know. I gather things are not all light and honey-coloured down in the big city?" He rubbed the towel over his chest that had dark curling hairs clinging round the brown nipples set in the strong pectoral muscles, and which darkness branched down to meet in the middle around ...

"Ah yes. Frank, Not all milk and honey, I can tell you. They are the most ..."

"I heard you, I said. I heard every imprecation, cussing description, swearword, blasphemy, vilemouthing, and other charming utterances you were making extremely loudly as you came up into the camp. I gather you do not like this, or is it all these, characters we have been told to escort back to be stuck under the wings of the Broody Hen back in Portugal proper?"

"Have yer got some decent drink on you? I am going to get utterly, totally and dishonourably pissed, and cry into your shoulder about it all! I really am."

Richard Sharpe was true to his word, and later that night, Frank Hopkins poured the unresisting limbs of his escort officer into a horseblanket, put a large bowl beside his head, and fell into the big haypile at the far side of the barn. He slept later, as he had much on his mind. A great deal on his mind.

 

 

 

Richard was pale, greenyfaced, and weak. He was trying to haul his saddle on to the back of the fine grey he had kept for the Prettyman, but which was now going to be his. The horse decided he really didn't want to be saddled by a staggering, sour-smelling wreck who had the saddle round the wrong way to start with. Sam Scobles took pity on the poor officer as he was in no fit state to be on a horse, let alone trying to gear one up. Hopkins was watching Richard idly from the barn doorway. They had vaguely discussed the plans for today, and it had been accepted by both men that the route back would be the same as that by which they had come. Better for them, and far better for the horses' feet; and by the sound of the officers as described by poor Major Sharpe, better for fancy riders too.

 

Six hours later, fourteen extra baggage horses, four extra riders prancing around on pure-blood Spanish-Arab crosses, and Richard still nursing his appalling hangover, the Duty Escort of Major Sharpe, his Chosen Men, mounts and grooms, set off toward the not-so-far mountains separating the coastal strip of Portugal from the inhospitable interior.

 

There had been some disagreement as to the route that would be followed. Lt.Col. Winstanley, resplendent in his 'workaday' uniform, with the pale buckskin britches setting off the dark maroon jacket, silver lanyard and polished swordbelt, had marched into the big library, and negligently tossed upon the table four rolls of maps.

"You do know how to read a map, eh, Sharpe, with all your experience, I'm sure you can." In a tone of voice that implied I'll wager you cannot make head nor tail of it!

He had spread two of the rolls out over the desk and the table. His slim dark hands had pointed with the aid of a silver blade from the desk, to various landmarks, peaks and rivers. He made Richard lean well over the table, and stare long and hard at the little dotted lines showing the pass over which they would ride. His breath had warmed Richard's ear, and his arm, strangely, had rested, gently and casually it must be said, on the green shoulder of the Rifleman. His buckskinned thigh was pressed against Richard's hip, and his pomade was of something masculine, yet flowery...

Major Sharpe had had difficulty in concentrating upon the silly little dotted lines, he was much more concerned with what his cock was doing inside his very recently hard-brushed breeches.

"You see, there, Major, just there..." and Lt. Col Winstanley leant past Richard's ear, resting an elbow on the map turned his head and looked into the green-gold blinking eyes of his junior officer. The dark chestnut-brown eyes made it clear that the Major was 'agreeable' to those eyes, that they appreciated his strong nose and the grim set of the wide mouth, and one or two other attractive attributes. Lt Col. Winstanley, it was being made very apparent, would be not averse to a closer acquaintance with the handsome if slightly scruffy young man.

Richard had turned away from the map and grunted as he mentally told his active dick to stop wriggling.

"I know which way we're returning, and it won't mean climbing sodding great mountain passes. We've come the easy way, which may be one or two days longer, but we are returning the same way. I intend to deliver you four into the Duke's hands in very good nick. No dents or bruises, and your nice pretty uniforms all smart and shiny. Is that clear, Colonel?" Richard's green eyes glittered in his pale gold face. "I am in complete agreement with my men, and the Groom-master who is keen to preserve the health of his animals as well. We go back my way. No need for these fancy maps!" He caught the very light eyes of Craig, who seemed to be licking his lips, "Wotcha licking for, Captain, is it fancy brandy time yet then?" in as rude a voice as he could manage, and stomped out of the room.

He was sweating, waiting for the imperious, "Majah IF you don't mind, return HEAH." Which did not come.

 

By nightfall the group had reached the first village that tucked itself into the folds of the foothills. There was a reasonable Inn, and two big barns which became available for the cost of a few small coins. A short journey, the first day was always a way to settle packs, gear, tack and men back into the routine of up-aback each day just after dawn. They all slept.

Chapter Text

Title Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author[info]bluegerl
Archive[info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to[info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe, Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage later.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Previous Chapters   Here, listed at the start of chapter 1..

 

The next day woke to grey mist and wet rolling clouds promising even more rain later. Morning curses drifted over sticking straps and the humped backs of animals resenting the sharp box-edges they were being made to carry. Breakfasting on the last decent bread and a leg of ham, Major Sharpe strolled through the organised mayhem of his breaking camp. He waved his hamleg at Hopkins, who grinned, turned, patted his backside, then facing Richard, rubbed his belly in a satisfied manner. Richard hoped he meant he had eaten a good bit of rump steak for breakfast, and not what Richard had woken up wishing for...

Hearing the clatter of hooves nearing the camp, he called everyone to order, and detached himself from the last minute rush. His eyes were greeted with the sight of four men, galloping up the slope from the village, swords at the charge, coming hell-for-leather at him and his men. He was becoming very irritated... this was a serious journey, not a Sunday outing with a bunch of japerers. He stepped forward, ensuring he was well clear of his men mounting behind him.

He stopped. The four clattering, snorting, shouting group crashed to a dusty, terrifying halt, almost under Richard's feet. He was used to rearing horses, noise and seeming chaos in battle, but this was totally unnecessary. He remained standing until the dust had settled and the sneering grins had disappeared just a little from the faces above him.

"Now you have exercised your lungs, and nearly pulled your horses' mouths to a bloody pulp, would you care to join along with the escort, gentlemen?" He ostentatiously brushed at the dust on his jacket.  "I wish you to be in the centre of the group. You will have four of my best marksmen behind you, and I and Sgt Harper, will lead the others in the front. You will be aware the spare horses will be sheltering you from either side. Mr Hopkins on the right, and Scobles with his mounts on the left." Major Sharpe glared at the four.
"Please do not break this formation. The hills ahead are one of the places we may experience a little trouble. Please contain your enthusiasm for any further horseplay. That is all. Now, in formation if you would, please, gentlemen."

 

Two hours into the noon, a break was called. One horse was exchanged, a shoe being pulled. Cold provisions were munched, various forms of liquid drunk, comfort stations visited. Frank wandered up to Richard as he stood looking out over the further hills.

"So far, no moans about the pace. Are you not pushing it a bit? I know you're keen to be shot of this bunch, but let's not get carried away? Four more hours, five at the most, please. Should we get jumped, I'd rather not have a bunch of weary horses to push about."

"I dunno. My back's been crawling all today. I got this feeling we're not - I won't say 'alone' but we are definitely being watched. I'm sure of it"

"Yep, back there, just outa the village. I thought I saw some youngster go haring off up into the orchard as if he'd been stung. After that, yes, it's there all right. Just where they are... I feel they're ahead and on our left. What about that big heap of rocks we had to detour coming down?"

"I'm sending Hagman and Coops up there, they're our best scouts, can move without disturbing a bloody rabbit they can. Hagman has eyes like a real hawk. You don't move exactly noisily either... wanna join them?"

"How did you guess. Yes, I have my own reasons for scouting, but if you don't mind, forward can be for our men, but I might just find my way around the middle here... I don't appreciate the way the prettymen are conversing. Up to no good, more high jinks? I shall enjoy finding out. Let you know on my way back!"

Richard used his telescope again. He saw more hills, more stunted trees, more rocks; but nothing moved apart from desultory buzzards floating high, and a family of goats skidding their way down a slope.

The small cliff-fall of rocks was safely negotiated and the trek onwards to the east continued until a halt was called in an open space beside a small brook.

As the camp was being set up, Frank appeared beside his Major. "News. Your Lord Winstanley is into a bit of naughtiness. They are intending to indulge one another for entertainment this evening. I have a suspicion your presence is going to be requested. You do know what I mean, Sharpe, you do know?" and his grey eyes looked hard at Richard (once guttersnipe) Sharpe, full of question.

"Yes, it goes on you know, amongst these pretty fellas quite a lot. They get bored, I suppose. I'll let 'em get on with it, as long as they don't expect me to wallop 'em with my hoss cane?" Laughing happily, "Cos I tells yer, I would enjoy that good and proper. Beat the shite outta the daft boogers, I would!"

"Well, you've been warned, but y'are big enough and ugly enough to look after yourself! Enjoy the beating!"

 

 

Richard had found himself well fed and watered, a good brandy with his excellent piece of meat, and a particularly nice piece of cheese. Then the suggestions had come. Would he care to shed his jacket, and even his shirt? It was a warm night and the fire particularly hot. He refused all tempting suggestions, especially as Lord Winstanley was showing a decidedly firm, rippling belly, with bronzed hard muscles that moved interestingly as he raised his arm to pull at Richard's jacket. Richard was hot, he was sweating, but he had no intention of removing any article of his clothing in the presence of these... He could see Captain Craig's eyes glittering in that pale mad blue look he had. His sweat seemed to grow cold in that look. Butler on the other hand seemed to be more interested in his fingernails. The foreigner, Gyllenhaal, was right at the back of the small tent, digging into a large pouch, which contained chinking, rattling somethings. He had already pulled out a flogger and stuck that in the side of his boot.

Richard suddenly stood. He grabbed at the tent pole to steady it, as his head hit the roof. "I must go and check the lookouts, if you don't mind, gentlemen. I wish you a good evening." and he ducked out neatly before anyone could catch him. He marched several paces away before he dare stop and take some deep breaths, undoing all the buttons on his jacket, waving the sides about to cool himself. A quiet chuckle came from beside his right ear.

"Warm work in there? They been trying to corrupt a handsome young officer?" and a shadow materialised at Richard's side. He grinned back,
"I could see how it would be going, so I got out. You come round the lookouts with me, I fancy some sane talk?"

The two men strolled into the darkness. Cooper was squatting, his back against a tree trunk, barely visible. "You should be challenging us, Coops, wakey wakey!"

"Heard you coming, Sir, a while back, you have a very distinctive snigger, sir. Didn't need to challenge Frank either. Didn't you hear him do that little whistle he has... the double tone!"

"Ok then, Coops, but still check properly. I don't like that bunch of poncers we have. They're trouble somewhere."

Frank stopped at the fallen tree that made the gap in the treeline. Pulling out a small tin, he offered it to Sharpe who took a small hand-rolled cheroot, and shaded his hand as it was lit. Frank sat on the trunk, lighting his own little cigar. Sharpe lowered his backside beside the calm figure, enjoying the uncomplicated acceptance of company.

"Whaddya reckon with those in there? D'you really think they are up to this 'intelligence' Nosy goes on about? I can't find much in their heads except polishing up their ladidahs and smacking each other with pink velvet whips, generally behaving like a bunch of typical overrich toffs."

"I took a look in their spare baggage when we stopped and you were eating. I have one or two little pouches I extracted to look at more closely. It seems they do have quite a lot of information about Boney's intentions concerning the Kingdom of Spain. He is also considering putting his brother on the throne once Spain is retrieved." Frank snorted, and spat on the stub end of his cheroot before tossing it into the undergrowth. "I don't know where this stuff came from, but it doesn't seem all that new. The only difference is, how it was obtained, and from whom."

"Does that matter? If it tallies with what else we know, then it can't be far wrong, can it? Mind you, Boney will have to take back Spain first, and that seems a bit unlikely right now."

"This had a great deal more inside detail than the rough guesses made in London. It was detailed, surprisingly so."

He suddenly kept still. Cocked his head, listening. "Hear that? Someone hurt? Eh, we'd best go find out, Rich. Trouble, eh?"

Chapter Text

Title Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author [info]bluegerl 
Archive [info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to [info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe, Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage later.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Previous Chapters Here, listed at the start of chapter 1..

 

They came to Cooper standing at the alert. Cooper confirmed he had heard a cry, but nothing further. At the edge of the clearing, everything seemed in order. Sleeping forms, humped in the dark, feet pointing at the fire. The horses were quiet on the lines. Sounds of laughter came from the only light, inside the canvas of the four Hussar officers. Richard looked at Frank, who raised an eyebrow back. They walked obviously toward the tent, then quietly paused, leaning heads to listen. Richard could feel Frank's soft breath on his ear, and feel the arm that rested over his shoulder, as they both cocked ears. Voices were obviously joking, or laughing at something.

RIchard heard Winstanley say, quite clearly "Whack it to him then, that wouldn't be any good, he'd not feel it, you nincompoop."

Then there was the sound of a groan, or a whimper, Richard wasn't quite sure which. He could hear a grunt, then another. A muffled cry... The two listeners needed to hear no more. Richard strode to the tent-flap, pulled it hard aside and stomped in. His head nearly knocked the roof, and he had intended to stand near the centre pole. That unfortunately, was occupied. By a wetly bleeding, half-naked body, with its hands tied to the pole top. It was... it seemed to be... Captain J.Gyllenhaal.

"What is going on here?" Major Sharpe felt it was a fairly superfluous remark, but it was all he could think of, his brain was having difficulty in taking in the rest of the scene. "Kindly untie that man and cover him."

The men in the room merely gazed back. Then Butler moved back to the campbed and sat. Lt.Col. Winstanley, quite unidentifiable as an officer, or a Viscount, or anything other than a very fine body, naked, and covered in what appeared to be a fine film of oil. This body half-lounged in a camp-chair, flipping a fine cane idly at a well-spread leg. Richard gulped. He had to appreciate the artistic arrangement, but he was also an officer in charge of an escort duty and please could he be found something else to do than discipline a bunch of queery japesters who were set on doing exciting things to his undergear...

"This is neither the time nor the place to be indulging in capers. SIR. Sirs. We are under observation by foreign agents and they could be preparing to attack. I would be glad if you would kindly dress yourselves. And you, Captain Craig, will replace those implements you are holding into the pouch from whence they came."

He stood back a pace, beside the tent door, hoping that he could somehow summon help. Not that Sgt. Harper would really be suitable, and perhaps Frank... Frank appeared suddenly, stumbling, and falling with his shoulder banging into the tentpole. His head was red. His head was red?  Richard went to move forward, but found himself gripped, crushed by two very large, exceedingly strong bodies. All he could do was kick his legs, uselessly. More silent figures swept past him, throwing cloths and skins over both Captain Craig, and Captain Butler, rolling them to the floor. The Viscount was stifled beneath one very large muffling skin, then wrapped around with ropes. Richard had time to appreciate the sight of Craig and Butler being pulled by their feet out through the back of the tent, where a large convenient hole had appeared, then the view of Col. Winstanley, upended over a bulky shoulder, feet trussed like a pig to market, and his bare arse shining like the full moon. Richard almost had time to grasp the wish that he would love to smack, with his bare hand, and with all his might, on that.. when the world went black.

~~~~~~~~~

 

One eye opened, blearily, his hangover was as bad, if not worse than usual... Hangover? His head ached, not from drink, but from a bloody great lump on the back of it, and he was lying uncomfortably on a bed with a body half on top of him. He peered cautiously down at the bad smelling end of a person, he presumed, that was resting on his chest. It smelt bad because it had that flat, iron-tasting smell of blood. He explored gently with his hand, and found an ear, a cheekbone, some very hard crusted hair that was stuck to his jacket. Slipping his fingers beneath the stuck strands, he shifted the head. It was Frank, deeply unconscious, or sleeping. Remembrances clattered into his mind, the picture of Bare-arse Winstanley as it was disappea... when he was hit. Frank falling against the base of the tentpole. Bloody hell. They'd been caught napping, literally with their knickers down. Bloody fuckin' hell. What would Nosey say. What in hell... where was everyone?

Major Sharpe raised his pounding head and gave what he hoped was an authoritative shout. "Sergeant Harper, Men! Pat!" but it came out in a long bleat of "Me-e-e-n" and "P-a-a-a-t" as he groaned and laid his melon-sized bump back on the bed. It must have been heard, because the tent-door opened, and Sgt Harper's tousled black head appeared, with a look of firstly incomprehension, then an additional look of concern overwriting the first.

Major Sharpe found himself lifted gently. The unconscious form of Frank Hopkins was detached from his jacket, which seemed sodden with blood from Hopkins's badly cut scalp. He removed his coat, his sash, and bent to remove his boots, but had to lie down again to stop the tent suddenly feeling as if it were blowing in a full gale. He faded away for a while. When he found the world again, it was less excitable, if more crowded. His arm was warmed by the full length of Hopkins, lying on his side, a large green bandana wrapped around his head holding what seemed to be a sizable pad of cloth over his head above his left ear. Sharpe's feet were warmed by another body, lying on its side also, but this one was awake and gazing at him with very large, soft blue eyes, one of which was becoming blacker by the minute.

"Gyllenhaal, you OK? You were in a bit of a mess just now? What in hell was going on with you, eh? Where is everyone? Why the fuck doesn't anyone tell me anything?" As his voice rose to his typical Sharpe roar, three people entered the tent. Sgt Harper bearing a large jug in one hand, and three mugs in another. Forman, just behind, carried a platter of cheese, bread and what appeared to be onions. Ryan appeared and stood, apparently waiting for some instruction.

"Patience, now Sor, a smidgin of the patience would be a good thing, sor." Patrick chuffed his motherly tone as he put the jug down on the small table. "Seems like the prettymen have been run off with, but have you no worries, sor, I have the best snoopers in the country after the going of them. Hagman, Cooper, and Perkins as runner. Tongue is ready with the horses. Harris has found some notebooks he is delving into which he seems to think are of interest, and the maps."

"How long have I been out, Pat, it's light now... Frank and I were - it was before we were going to bed... what - midnight? What's it now?"

"Coming up to midday, but don't you fret. There's nothing much to be done until we find out where, and Hagman will surely manage that and report back. Tis best you rest yourself, and poor Frank there. He's lost a lot of blood and needs to sleep. I have guards and scouts organised. Now then, have a wee taste of this, twill put the heart back in yourself." Richard raised himself up on one elbow, took a swig of the offered mug, and then drank deeply.

"Aaaah, that's good, Pat. One of your usual best. Fill it up again, and leave me one for Frank when he wakes. What about Jake here. Has he eaten or drunk anything. What are his wounds like, he was seeming sliced all over? Filthy little slices?"

"He's been stuck back together, they were only superficial cuts, the sort that're made in funny games, begorr. Nothing dangerous, but they've been cleaned up. Lucky for him he looked like he was too badly injured to take with them. He'll be well in a day or two now, sir. You rest again. I'll be back as soon as I hear from Dan."

Richard slept again, and woke to find Frank's head on his chest, nestling in the dip between his shoulder and chest. He was breathing long and slow, huffing through open lips on Richard's skin. Richard found his arm had rested round the Frank's back and his thumb was making very slow slides across his lower ribs. Someone had washed the blood away from Frank's head and the bandana smelt just of cheroot smoke and horses. It was a very pleasant smell. Richard breathed in, and out, and in again, savouring... He looked at his feet and saw the youngest of the prettymen smiling at him. This prettyman was not exactly a beauty today. One eye was black, the top lip was cracked and slightly swollen, his hair had been scraped back from a raw looking graze over his right ear. His body was dressed so Richard couldn't assess how the skin with those obscene little cuts looked. Richard asked quietly,

"How are you now, young Jake. By the way, how old are you? I put you at mid- to late twenties?"

"I'm fine, thanks Major. This has happened before with the Colonel. It's of no great matter. My age? I am thirty-four next month. I know I don't look it, and that is one reason why my association with Col. Winstanley has been useful. I am the 'baby', the 'innocent', who is useful in their work."

Richard felt Frank begin to move. He raised his arm up to cradle Frank's back, and hold him further over on to his chest. The back of his neck seemed a good place to rest his hand, while the other hand curled softly round the now slack, brown, muscled upper arm. He smelt the bandana again, and smiled. He smiled again at the old but baby-looking Captain resting at his feet. Patrick would tell him if any... Major Sharpe fell asleep again.

Chapter Text

Title Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author [info]bluegerl
Archive [info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to [info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe/ Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage later.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Previous Chapters Here, listed at the start of chapter 1..

 

With a large bowl of soup, a newly baked loaf and some more of Patrick's delightful milk and brandy to drink, Richard began to feel himself again.

He had spent quite a time in the afternoon, between dropping off to sleep for no reason, asking Gyllenhaal how he found himself involved with this bunch of very bizarre officers. Jake, (they had agreed it was forenames amongst officers) had told Richard about the work they undertook, in 'The development and obtention of information pertaining to the movements and intentions of the enemy.' Whoever that was assumed to be at the time.

There were advantages in knowing the enemy's intentions beforehand, as Jake knew that Richard agreed. But it was the obtaining of this information before it would be implemented that was the useful trick. The four officers, led by of course Col. Winstanley, were the pick of the bunch. They extracted information, mostly very reliable information, from their subjects,and not by unpleasant torture in gruesome dungeons.

Jake laughed, almost in delight. They used sweet coercion. He laughed again when he said that quite often the captives they were 'interrogatiing' were found to gabble quite unrestrainedly as their bodies strained and pulled against the padded chains, or moaning, begging, at the enticing sight of a well-oiled, solidly forward-poking, anxious cock. He spoke of the fine dinner beforehand, the gentle 'understandings', and the "Of course, we are officers together, really can't have this unpleasantness, can we?" that put the captives off their guard. Then the temptations of undress, 'for comfort you understand?' that Richard had already encountered.

After that, Jake said, it became just a question of whether the captive liked the body of the colonel, or his own slim, childlike figure. If there were objections to the use of the homoerotic temptations, then Captain Craig would be let loose with his particular little tools. He had the small ones, that were purely for entertainments, but then Captain Craig did rather hope to encounter a strong resistance to the games on offer. He could then reach into his own leather bag, and ensure that the captive spoke out. Loudly, in explosive shouts of pain. Even to the point of begging, weeping, to be allowed to speak.

On the other hand, there was the odd captive, but they were extremely rare, that either would never divulge the information required, or did not in fact, possess that information at all. In which case, the captive, being no longer of use, and who could not be released, was quietly and without fuss, killed. That was the function of Captain Butler. He was the disposer, the cleaner-up of unwanted evidences. He mopped, swept and gathered any traces of er... unpleasantness, or even pleasant happenings, so that when the information, gathered into the very receptive brain of the beautiful body, was produced in official documentation, it appeared to have been gained without a great deal of difficulty. The colonel was the brain behind all the moves. He seemed to be so very aware of the unconscious wishes of a captive. Jake smiled coyly up at Richard.

"He read you like a book, Richard, he knows your likes. We don't have women officers for this work, more's the pity, but you could have had him, or a big busty blonde with a deal of life in her, and either of them would have had you chattering like an organ-grinder's monkey. You are into both, aren't you?"

Richard couldn't deny that a big bit of woman could, if he felt like it, get him chattering away, but only about his job... oh, aahh. Oh, yes, about his job, which is just what they would want to know about.. He felt his face grow red. He liked his job, he was a bloody good soldier, and so he was proud of it, he liked to talk about it.... and so they would be able to find out where, and when and what... OH SHIT. Mind you, if he was into the other, someone like Frank say, having a bloody good bang there, he wouldn't have been able to speak anyway, too busy with the feeling and as to what noises he was making... well, they weren't going to make much sense of that, that's for sure.

Now at the near end of the day, Patrick came in with the last soup, and some news. Perkins had run and ridden back from Hagman, right up ahead. He had encountered Tongue half-way, ready to ride back fast with any urgent news. There were about twenty of them, all horsed, but moving slowly because of the double mounts. Hagman reckoned they were Frenchies, but there were no distinguishing clothes or horse-gear. Perkins said he had seen a French cavalry sabre, but Daniel had said it could have been stolen from another dead fella. They were a good twenty mile ahead, and were hidden in a large crack in the mountainside. It weren't exactly a cave Dan had said, it were more leaning-over shelter, with an exit and entrance. Escape no problem, and difficult to attack.

Dan had also said they had rifles. Not muskets. Rifles. So he reckoned they were the French, but trying not to shout too loud about it. Hagman would be staying up there, under cover. Tongue had taken his supplies back up to Dan with his extra water and blankets. They'd keep with them whatever. Dan had laughed, "Unless the real French army came along, wanting to get their hands on the English Intelligence men as well."

All Major Sharpe had to do was to counter-attack, fight cleanly with no casualties on his side, regain the prisoners, and win the day. Hah bloody hah! How? That was what Major (Probationary) Sharpe wanted to know. He was lying here in a bed, with his arm round a very sick, very nice body, very sick body, he firmly reminded himself, that couldn't travel very well, or far. He had someone sitting smiling knowingly at him from the end of the bed, whom he should have under arrest or at least in chains, or something. As it was, he rather fancied seeing Jake in chains, nice loose ones though...

Gently lifting Frank's head from where it had been lying against his belly for the latter part of the afternoon, he wriggled out from the bed. Ignoring the slight waving of the scenery until it settled down, he wandered outside, had a very satisfactory piss behind the tent. Then he found his jacket that someone had washed, dried, and scrubbed free of the encrusted blood, and buttoned it on. It had shrunk a little, but it would stretch again with the wearing, he hoped. Conference grouped round the fire. Frank was too weak to travel far. Accepted. Jake was a pain in the arse as he would have to be guarded now all the time. Accepted.  Hagman, Perkins and Tongue out of use, scouting. Accepted.  Scobles would have to cope with the horses for the time being. Accepted. That left Scobles, Ryan, Harris, Forman, Cooper, Patrick and himself. To look after Frank Hopkins, guard Gyllenhaal, and rescue the prettymen from twenty well-armed, rather sneaky Frenchies.

Richard went back into the tent. Jake was sitting on the bed, helping Frank to drink, with a little slopping, from the milk and brandy jug.

"How are you Frank, you look bloody pale?" Richard's voice was soft with worry. He couldn't see any signs of further bleeding from under the bandana, which had slipped a little, giving Frank's white face an oddly merry look.

"Don'tcha worry about me, I'll mend soonest, jest a little wobbly at the knees. I can move, but don't ask me about my stamina, it doesn't exist right now. It'll only be a day or so, then I shall be up and running as usual. No-one else hurt in all this nonsense, then?" Jake had told him of the abduction, but he knew nothing of what had happened outside the tent to the general camp.

"Look Richard, I know what you're worried about. I will give you my word, I will not try to escape, or hinder you in your rescue of Winstanley and the other two. In fact, I think it might be a good thing to give you assistance as I need not blot my Courts Martial copybook any more? You will be preferring charges I suppose, when we all are presented to His Grace as prisoners?" Jake's rueful smile crinkled up his big blue eyes until Richard could have tossed him a bonbon as if he were an enchanting child. Bloody pretty babything he was!

"Why don't you let me look after Frank here, at least he can ride with me, I'll hold him in front, we can manage with a rug and strap. Then we can all go off and work out something to get the others back."

 

Two hours later, camp broken, the remains of the officer's tent stowed on one of the now empty fancy horses, the Duty Escort wound its way to the northwest into the more rocky area of the mountains. By dark they had covered sufficient ground that it was felt reasonable to make short camp. No fires, no loud talking, and no music, Perkins not with his harmonica tonight,  The horses were tied, staying packed, and ground fed. Rocks were felt, grubbed up, moved and tossed. Blankets pulled up over chilly ears, heads on saddles, the Chosen Men rested, relying on the sleepless, head-aching Richard Sharpe. Sleepless because Frank was sleeping again, soundly, and not particularly in the arms of the Orphyuss bloke, but in the arms of bloody Jake!

Chapter Text

Title Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author [info]bluegerl
Archive [info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to[info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe/ Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage later.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Previous Chapters Here, listed at the start of chapter 1..

 

 

Rescue.

The sun rose, crisping the air. The breath of men and horses also rose, fogging their faces. There was thin ice on the water-buckets the horses nosed into, and steam drifted up from the welcome tea made over a dry-wood fire hidden behind a gathered heap of shading rocks. Richard had slept well, despite the annoyance of not having a nice warm arm round a nice warm Mastergroom. He comforted himself as he sipped noisily at his tea, that by tonight Frank'd be fit enough to ride by himself and then Richard could get all matey again.

Patrick fished into his pack, producing a pair of mittens. "Tis yer gloves, ye'll mebbe be using the pigwhopper today, Richard?"

Richard looked up, surprised. "Yes, I suppose we'd have to sort something, Pat. What in hell, though? How's about a two-pronged attack, but all of us at one end, with hahahah nowt at t'other?"

"Aaah, ye'll be thinking of the wee matter of a few ghosty troops, then, Richard? Like them as were at Contreras Riberos... that scared the bejasus out of them then, but, Richard, these is Frenchies, and, I think, good ones, not silly half-drunk Spaniards!"

"But the thing is, Pat, they don't KNOW it isn't the bloody Cavalreh come to our rescue, or their downfall, or sommat. WE know it ain't nobbut a bunch of firecrackers and a coupla spooked hosses, but do they, Patrick, do they?"

They arrived to crawl up beside Hagman as he lay, Betsy cradled in his arms, his chin on the stock, watching with his eternally keen eyes.

" Wo'cheer Dan, all quiet then?" Richard's dark brown voice in Hagman's ear raised a quiet satisfied grin.

"Aye, all quiet. Not a wail or a weep, Sir, and it seems not a washbucket emptied yet. They are still there, or they were till moonset."

"You back off for the minute then, Dan, get some rest. Where's Tongue? We've brought yer Perkins back with us."
"He's sleeping, he's been a good lad, but his snoring on watch was too noisy. Sent him back into the rocks there. He'll be up betimes. " Hagman turned and began to wriggle away from the skyline. "I'll be getting me head down for a couple then, sir. Ok?"

"Aye, off you go, Dan, and thanks. Coops can spy for this morning. Snoz well."

 

The forenoon was spent with unpacking, and repacking the contents of certain boxes, certain metal objects, decorated with one or two curses as black powder spilt to tickle noses, or burn into raw cuts on hands. The early evening found many small canvas bags, necks tied with protruding wicks, stacked in a dry corner, and one single tent pole wound with rolls of surly looking black rope.

Five green backsides slid and crawled as quietly as possible down the ravine, crossing the small stream and scattering, hiding, up in the cliff on the far side. Richard watched through his telescope as the heavily loaded men sloped at a doubled-up run across the top of the gorge, to disappear into the dusk and darkness of the further edge. He prayed that they would reach their objective somewhere they could leave the sacks suitably arrayed against the rock, trusting to achieve a rockfall as a bonus. Then the retreat to the high roof of the cliff, leaving one of their number at the end of the length of fuse-rope, once it had run to its end. They had drawn straws for that, and Cooper had cursed as he hadn't taken the short. It was Harris, who grinned, looking pleased. As well as books, he liked playing with sparkley fuse-rope that ended in big, noisy bangs.

All set. Four men rejoined the group which had gathered at the foot of the slope, amongst some small trees. Most of the horses, Frank, Scobles and Gyllenhaal had been left hidden back among the rocks on the escape route atop the cliff. Sharpe looked at the wall of rock. They just had to have the energy to run back up that slope in a hurry if needs be. Ah well, he was always surprised at how much energy could be found when you're scared shitless at being shot, or cut down.

 

 

 

As the moon peeked an eyelash over the edge of the Portygesey mountains, all hell let loose. To the north, a wild firing of guns, explosions, tumbling of rocks, yet more explosions and lights flashing. The occupants of the under-ledge appeared in shock, in chaos, mostly in undergarments of varying shades of colour and cleanliness. They ran around shouting for a few minutes until a stentorian voice bellowed like a bull deprived of its sex-life. Jackets, swords were grabbed and partially buckled on when up the gorge came a group of galloping horses, ridden by dervishes with glittering uniforms. They exploded amongst the confused, newly-woken kidnappers and scattered them to several distant spaces where they crouched in corners of rocks, far from swiping sabres and kicking heels.

Then followed the army. This was too much. A whole army was marching in full colours, flag waving, drums playing, straight at them. The French ran, pulling up their britches, their jackets on, with the now unloaded and unfireable rifles banging and swinging against backs and arms. The bull-roaring voice was not heard again, but its owner had taken cover under the lee of the overhang, dragging with it two other bodies, half clad, but possessing handy looking knives, a sword or two and a pistol.

Richard and Pat swung under the rocky ledge. As their eyes were not yet accustomed to the darker shadows, it was almost too late when Pat yelped "Behind, Rich!" An arm swung down, whistling past the place where Major Sharpe's shoulder had been mini-seconds before. Then the clatter of sword against a rifle butt, and Patrick's grunted curse. Richard was too busy with the bull-voice and a very nimble sword to speak, but he twisted, reached, struck, twisted, hit out, found something hard, leapt backwards over a pack, swung again, and hit something very solid. Solid enough to be a head? He leant back against the wall, trying to stop gasping, listening for any other movements.

He could hear Patrick pulling something along the ground, and hoped it was Pat's assailant, and that that one would be no more bother. Just as he detached himself from the wall he was crashed solidly into by a body throwing him back, falling. His head hit what he wished it hadn't right on the bruise from two days before and his eyes rolled up. He instinctively raised his arm, his sword held crossways across his body, and that saved him from the downward striking arm holding a very killing knife. He rolled, pulled the arm hard, then disregarding his crossed eyes, flung himself over, sitting heavily on the half-turned body, reaching for the head. He found hair, grabbed and lifted, then banged down, banged, and banged again. Face, nose, cheeks, he cared not. His head hurt. This bugger had hurt his poor head. He found that head in his hands was no longer resisting, so he let it drop. He sat on the unmoving bullvoice, puffing, sweating, hands shaking, with his eyes closed but his ears still listening. There were only sounds of English voices; relieved, chatting, English-speaking voices! An Irish voice called across in the dark, asking if its leader was still in one piece. He grunted, then called back that he was.

Cooper and Forman lit torches, and stuck them in the cracks in the walls. Richard beheld two of his prettymen. Tied, gagged, cold, wet and very, very uncomfortable. They had been dressed, although in the most odiferous of pants and tunics. Craig was sporting two black eyes, from which his pale, almost white eyes glared with an intensity surprising, considering his position. Richard grinned to himself, Mebbe he likes a taste of his own punishments. Mebbe he's turned on and is enjoying the gag, the painful way in which they have screwed his hands behind him. I think I may add a further touch... tie those hands to his ankles, tightly. Then he couldn't even blow a kiss without giving hisself a hernia!

The Col. Winstanley lay face down on a badly cured skin on the rocky floor. His bum seemed to be a mixture of colours. RIchard could see red, yes, grazes. Black, the dried blood, but green? Ahh, grass stains, and the blue... left over bruises, and the purple on that far cheek is simply artistically beautiful. Richard, Major (Probationary, and proud of it) Sharpe stood and admired the backside, the rounded, prettily coloured, fondleable-when-clean, bumcheeks of his most disliked and Senior Officer, and a bloody Viscount no less. Richard could not stop grinning. At all.

Chapter Text

Title Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author[info]bluegerl
Archive[info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to [info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe/ Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage later.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Previous Chapters Here, listed at the start of chapter 1..

 

 

 

Three Frenchmen had been gathered up. One suffering a broken ankle, which Hagman had splinted up, with a certain gentleness. The other two were tied, their feet hobbled, in line with the three Englishmen, also tied and hobbled. They would remain so until they could be mounted, then they could be nose-linked to crupper in the fashion of the packhorses. Richard was really looking forward to a hard ride back. He had found it much harder to ride a fast-moving horse dodging amongst obstacles when his arms and hands were behind his back. It altered the balance of the body somehow, and he was looking forward to riding his own fancy blood Arab in a well constructed saddle, whilst he rode up and down the line. He'd be remarking on the fineness of the day, or the need for speed... He was grinning most of the day at the thought of this pleasure.

The underhang had been cleared out, a fire relit, and the decision to rest the night under cover was accepted and deemed essential. The horses were on lines, safely within distance. A large, recently killed deer that had been found hanging in a nearby tree had induced Forman, Dan Hagman and Patrick to indulge in their culinary dexterity. Wineskins were produced. It had been a shelter used, perhaps, as a way-station, or a gathering point, but it was capacious and much warmer than outside. Watches were set, a short spell each, in fairness.

The congratulations were many, backs were slapped, roars of laughter interspersed with ribald remarks made on the appearance of the Frenchies. Guffaws at their fright at the sight of six horses with pepper up their arses and a good poke, ridden by shrub-packed cloaks decorated with the pots and pans.

Richard was proud of his army. A find of a small herd of goats, which, when tied together, with the tent pole wedged hard on the billy's horns bearing a pair of Patrick's best underpants, had been driven by Richard and Perkins each banging on the upturned base of a tin waterbucket. "Darummm Darummm Darummm."'

Perkins had made a bugle call with his clever hands, and the Major was in full voice, shouting "Quick March. At the double! Right TURN. AaaaatenSHUN." Hoping that the Frenchies didn't understand army commands.

The goats had responded well.. They had trotted at a good infantry speed down the narrow path, and the billy had tossed his head repeatedly, waving Pat's knickers just like a Brigade flag.

It was a time of triumph, a time of enjoying their own company, and a time to be again thankful that they were in the charge of that idiot Major (clever, on Probation) Richard Sharpe.

Patrick was left in charge of the revelry and the prisoners, who were safely secured right at the back of the sheltering rock. Richard joined in the celebrations for a short while, then quietly signalling to Patrick and Dan Hagman, he slipped out into the darkness. He had a struggle to find his way to the top of the cliff, but Scobles had tethered the main group of horses beside the trees, where he, Gyllenhaal and Frank Hopkins were encamped.

Richard lowered himself beside the small fire and told of the success of the venture. He couldn't help chuckling over some of the general effects of the circus he had set in motion. It was certainly an improvement on the efforts made on the previous occasion. Scobles produced a dark brown bottle from somewhere.

"This 'as bin kep' fer a right time. An' it seems like a right time ter me nah. Drink up Major, and you, Frank. this one you knows and likes!"

Richard took a swig. Then took another. Fine and so smooth. What in hell?  He looked at the bottle, there was no label. He cocked an eye at Scobles, and waving the bottle, asked, "I suppose you call this horse liniment or embrocation or suchlike when the customs men looks in your baggage? To me, it tastes like a very fine hundred percent proof French Brandy. You don't use it for the horses, do you?" Frank chuckled, and held out a hand.

 

"C'mere with that, you greedy bugger. I had some the first week, by mistake. Snooping around, I checked it with my finger, then... yes, it's the very best, and he stole it from someone. Scobles never ever bought it!" Richard moved over to sit beside Frank. He handed over the bottle,

"You OK now, Frank, still a bit... eh? Pity you couldn'a been with us down there, but honestly, we didn't need much help. Twenty piss-scared crapauds running for their lives with their swords tripping them up and their panties falling down, were quite a sight. Didn't think it'd work quite so well, but I suppose it was the surprise."

 

His arm had lifted of its own accord across the shoulders of Hopkins, and the hand rested in a friendly holding fashion just under Frank's ear. Frank leaned forward, passing the brown bottle to Gyllenhaal, then he leant back, pushing into the arm.

"I'm for bed before long, Richard, we have real work to do tomorrow. We now have three cowardly Frenchies, not much of a problem, but three nasty Englishmen as well. I do not like the Englishmen, but we're stuck with them. What do you propose to do when we get back to Wellington? It's going to make a difficult presentation with just what they have been doing to Jake here. We need more evidence of malpractice, old son. What say we get to bed and think about things... eh?"

 

Richard nodded, and followed Frank into his space, tucked behind the shrubbery. They lay, comfortably, Richard's heavier cloak allowing their feet to poke out at the stars, the cold stars. Two resourceful men found it warmer, and more pleasant to lie folded around and with each other, breaths warming necks or ears...

Snores resounded.

Chapter Text

Title Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author[info]bluegerl
Archive[info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to[info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe/ Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage later.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Previous Chapters Here, listed at the start of chapter 1..

 

 

 

Chapter 10 Sharpe and the prettymen

 

Frank woke first, his arm having been crushed under the weight of a large, warm, snoring body for some time. He had to extract it before it fell off. The snoring body grunted, snorted, and turned over, folding Frank into a long-armed groping clutch. The body opened an eye, and rubbed its nose on Frank's, which was conveniently close.

"You're like a damned dog or a horse, rubbing noses."

"'Snice and warm though. Cold day out there." The warm gaze became suddenly sharper, darker. Dirty fair head lifted, turned and bent to touch lips. Dry, warm, touching; They rested, then gently, quietly moved, rested again. Frank had to answer that question, firmly, and without haste, but most definitely. His lips opened, and his mouth asked, and was given. A tongue found another, touched it, and played, tasted it, pushed, then sucked, mouths tried to bite, heads twisted, thrusting, rocking, reaching. Hands came into play, and they found their own games. They stroked, they pulled at shirts, at pants, they nipped with pinching fingers at nipples and tweaked hairs on a chest, then followed their own way, both down, downward to their goals. Both hands met at the junctions. Both fumbled with fastenings, laces, buttons, bloody things in the way, until they felt, held and enjoyed the long, hot, self-sliding lengths of two men, horny as hell, wanting a decent willing help to start the day perfectly.

The day had began really well. Richard and Frank lay back, hands resting each over the other's limp willingnesses of a few long moments before. Their breaths puffed smaller and slower fogs into the cold morning air.

"Gotta make a piss, Frank. And shit, it's time we got things moving. 'I'd like to stay and play some more later, after a nice long sleep, but... got six prisoners, and Jake. Hell. Jake!" Richard shot into an upright position, and grabbed for his shirt. He had to rootle for it under the cloak, and pulled it from under Frank's backside.

"Wotta we gonna do 'bout Jake? How've you found him, Frank? D'you think he's unlikely to cause trouble, or shall we add him to the hosslines? He seems quiet and cooperative enough to me, but I've not seen much of him. You have. Whaddya think?" He climbed out from under the cloak, and chucked a boot at the grinning soft-lipped nekked-chested, good-tasting, needing...

Richard directed his morning piss at the foot of a silver birch, and bemoaned the thought that Patrick would be dispensing his grand mug of tea around the newly woken sleepers down in the shelter. He could do with a couple big mugs of that right now. Right. He shrugged himself back into his trews. Down to the bottom camp, and get Scobles to take the horses down the slope there, meet up at the junction of the river and the little stream. Get sorted there, and move on. Should be at least thirty mile or more by late afternoon, supposing we have no more trouble.

"Frank, you and Jake can take the easy side way down to the junction there, Scobles can fetch the animals in two goes. You take it easy, Frank, and don't go taxing yerself. Jake, I will keep you on your honour not to do anything underhand or stupid? OK?"

Receiving a nod from both men, and a loud grunt from the horselines, which he accepted as Scobles' agreement to his wishes, Richard slid himself down the slope again in the hope of scrounging at least a lukewarm mug of tea.

"Aaaah, Major Sor, tis a wee bit late ye are now. The tay's been sat here a while and now it's all gone. Did you find things up on the top to your liking?"  Patrick's cheeky eyebrow lifted, and his smirk waved good morning to Richard. Who growled back. No tea.

The six pepper-arsed horses had cooled off and were found grazing peacefully in a small patch of grass in the streamlet's curve. The goats had disappeared, and the tentpole was found broken in two pieces, still bearing Patrick Harper's underwear, but in a very distressed condition. They had been chosen, Richard insisted,"because they didn't look like a flag of surrender, not being white, but being made of some foreign coloured material, like ..." and he sniggered pointedly at his Sergeant ..." like flannel. In red and white and blue - crosses, not in stripes."

Harper rolled them up in his big hands, half blushing, until the thought hit him. "Tis the Flag of the English, to be sure! So I likes to do me farting through it, and I sit on it, day in and day out. So that'll teach you what I think of the English and their flag." Sgt. Harper, Irish through and through, although born in the English side of the Derry, strode off whistling 'The green hills of Doneaigh Ben Aigh'.  Richard looked after him, and felt his heart grow warm with love for this big, gentle, clever friend.

The column, now grown by three, moved neatly and sparely through the low pass, down into the plain, across long sweeps of empty brownness, and then into the low feet of the next range of hills. Camp was made. Sentries were set, the last of the deer reheated and consumed, then tired men and animals slept where they fell almost. Only the prisoners slept where they were put, tied to the one solitary tree, in which an owl hooted, endlessly, all night.

Morning came, and with it, rain. The hills had looked too clear yesterday, and had seemed so much closer than they were. The soldiers knew that sign. They were in tune with nature in that respect, and learnt to cope with its vagaries. So cloaks were broken out, saddles wiped dry before being settled with bums, collars turned up, before the faces of the column again turned eastwards, but with a hint of the south to it.

Another day, thought Richard. Another bloody, wet, dank day. He had ridden this fancy bloody horse up and down the column, and had found Frank, slouched on top of that lemon roan like he could have slept there, grinning at him, then the horse, and then back at him. Ok. this bloody animal is all fancy prancing, but it's a sod for comfort. The bugger trots like it's jiggling on the spot. Wish Frank'd stop grinning at me, like he knows I'm gonna have a sore arse tonight. Shall hafta find an excuse to change horses for tomorrow. Wouldn't mind that ugly bugger I had to start off with. He had a lovely low trot.

Richard's only compensation had been watching and occasionally, smiling compassionately (hoped it looked like anyway, hahah) at the wet, bumpingly uncoordinated bundles atop the worst of the pack animals.

He smiled a different kind of smile at Prettyman and his two surly adjutants. Richard had to admit he couldn't keep them confined for much longer. The reason for the confinement was hardly sufficient for him to abuse his position, nor abuse theirs. He knew it would be necessary to find an arrangement that would allow the officers to regain their position, but without giving away his own authority and command. Some form of word bond? Good conduct promises? But he would most certainly raise the questionable methods of interrogation with the General. He couldn't let the treatment of Gyllenhaal pass without some attention.

 

 

Chapter Text

Title Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author [info]bluegerl
Archive [info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to [info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe/ Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage later.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Previous Chapters Here, listed at the start of chapter 1..

 

 

Four mornings away from final destination, Richard woke, again with his nose pushed up against Frank's back. His bum was sore, but not from sitting on that fancy horse. That had found its way back under the pretty backside of Col Winstanley, who, now redecked out in all his finery, pranced and bounced in flourishes in and around the column. Richard thought he was too damn full of himself.

Yesterday Richard had made a mistake. He had allowed Craig and Gyllenhaal to go off on the hunt for game as supplies were very short. Gyllenhaal had come back quiet, pale, and without any game. Craig, on the other hand, returned boastful, smug and with a self-satisfied air about him. He also had two brace of partridge, three rabbits and a cocket of crows. Thirteen birds in all and three rabbits was a big bag for one man with just a musket and duck shot. Richard wondered if Gyllenhaal had managed to even fire his musket. He had meant to go over and sniff it, but had been called away. He made up his mind to have a chat with Jake this morning as they rode. Craig's firearm would be 'er... disabled' decided Richard, and he'd get Pat to do an 'inspection' today.

Late that morning, the prancing grey of Col. bloody Winstanley decided to shed its load, and try to roll. Winstanley, taken by surprise, found himself dumped unceremoniously on the unpleasantly hard ground. Richard's eyes whipped round the column, and he thought he knew the answer. Perkins had a grin. Daniel Hagman was pushing something back into his saddlebag. Richard wagered himself a thousand silver ones that that was the cause. That useful but pestilential blow-pipe of Dan's that could shoot tiny sharp tacks with force and accuracy. Richard had been on the receiving end just the once. Major Sharpe averted his eyes and refused to allow an inner grin to surface. Then he had to turn his horse sharply, swing back to the centre and shout,

"Enough of that. Sir! Cease! Sir, you will STOP that!" and throwing himself from his saddle he pushed into the milling mass of horses and men. "Stop that, or I will be forced to stop you! Colonel!"

His voice rang hard, loud and very clear. Winstanley continued, his uniform sleeve flapping, and his aiguillettes dangling from the back of his split jacket. He was repeatedly and thoroughly beating the rearing terrified Arab with as much strength as he could. His voice was slurred and wild, voicing words Richard couldn't have found himself using in the most extreme of conditions. The horse was bleeding from the head, neck and shoulder, with the saddle now hanging under its belly making the animal even more frightened.

Major Sharpe had had enough. He simply raised his arm, and, as hard as he could, he brought his whole body-weight behind the full arm swipe with clenched fist to catch the Colonel beside the chin, just under the ear. Winstanley bounced backwards, then blundered to his knees. and fell. The horse backed into the line of packhorses and was restrained by Scobles, who led it back to the end of the column. Winstanley was lifted and unceremoniously dumped face down over the nearest empty packhorse, tied sufficiently to keep him in place.

Richard's temper moved the column forward at almost double the pace it had used previously. Major Sharpe was in a bad mood. His hand hurt.

Frank slipped alongside a little later. "The grey's all right, you know, it just got a good fright, and a little gentling should sort that. But don't let Winstanley near him again." Richard grunted his acceptance of the news and advice. He would, if he could, bring Winstanley to Wellington riding a bloody donkey.

"By the way, the pouches I 'acquired' when I went through their packs the first coupla days. You remember I said? Well, there is a lot of surprisngly unpleasant material in there, but what is also important is the other notebook. The one with all the information about the other officers, their ladies and all their habits. Even the King is not omitted. It makes for some very dirty reading, and I mean dirty as in filth. Not fun.. I should be putting it back somehow, but I don't think I will. It can't not be shown to Wellington."

Richard was beginning to wish he could be a cook or wagonmaster, anything to be away from the mess he seemed to be creating. Not only had he defamed and abused a senior officer, he had made him look foolish, and cruelly stupid. He had allowed him to be kidnapped, taken from right under his, Richard's, nose. He had then pushed his authority by making said rescued senior office ride tied to his saddle like a common criminal for two days.

Finally, he had physically assaulted the officer by striking him in full view of all his men. And knocked him flat out, swearing at said officer as he did so. Richard would no longer be a Probationary anything, let alone Major, when all this came to light. And to light it would come. Captains Craig and Butler would see to that.

Craig was also behaving in an odd manner. He had been muttering to Butler for most of this day, and the day before, whilst they had both been mounted but tied together on the packmules. They appeared to have talked, concernedly, occasionally looking at Gyllenhaal, saying nothing to him, but acting as if Capt. Gyllenhaal was the subject of their conversation. Sharpe had noted, and although he could find no real threat, he felt one existed.

"Frank, have you any idea what to do about Jake. Is he really one of them, or would he be prepared to turn King's evidence, and tell tales? Have you only managed to deduce, or really find anything out at all? I just get sweet smiles and a polite, if pretty, brushoff!"

"He's difficult to figure. I think he likes his fun, and this idea of him being used as a baby-pretty-toy does have its uses, but is it as useful as all that? Can't be many captives who are into pedophilic habits and would fancy him, even dressed up in a nappy." Frank sniggered, "His legs don't look right, too hairy."

Richard felt a poke of jealousy. How did Frank know Jake's legs were hairy? What had happened up there while he had been busy being a mad, but successful soldier?

"Well, what are we going to do? Christ, I want rid of this lot I can tell you. I want to tell Nosey he can shove his next job where he wants me to shove me ... where his nosebag should go. Frank. I do not like these pretties. One little bit. I have a nasty feeling, Frank, and even sleeping with you isn't stopping me having 'em."

"Nah, I know what you mean. They might look foppish and silly-pretty, but they're bad meat underneath. It's just a question of how to find out, and what it actually is about. And just the notebooks and our information of behaviour toward Jake isn't going to be enough to warrant your treatment of them, they could talk their way out of that somehow, they're slick enough. Just have to wait, hope, and pray we can get them to trip up over something."

Richard Major (Probationary for not much longer) Sharpe sat hunched over his supper. He really didn't want even to eat half a rook, a lump of quail and a couple of chunks of something else. It tasted fine, but he just wasn't hungry, somehow. His back crawled in anticipation.

Chapter Text

Title: Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author [info]bluegerl
Archive [info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to[info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe/ Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage later.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Previous Chapters Here, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11 . and listed at the start of chapter 1..

 

 

The night was full of stars. Frank and Richard lay together under the horseblankets, warm, hungry and naked. Horse-hard hands were stroking down the long muscular length of an army officer's upper thigh. The same muscular thigh was trying its best to spread itself wide, and lift itself up, up, and right up, to be held with gripping fingers, pulled tight beside the thigh-owner's ears. Another horse-hard hand was holding the body of the thigh down, firmly, leaning on the hip bone as the flat hardness of the belly twitched and pulled. The callouses were oiled, in something warm and slippery and Richard couldn't care what it was. He wanted that slippery finger to find its way down his perineum, to poke gently behind his balls, which were already tightly tucked up in their usually soft sac. Major Sharpe was biting on a shirtsleeve, trying not to shout his beggings at this monster who was teasing, teasing, smiling and stroking his own purple-pink length. He wanted two slippery fingers into him, he wanted the whole bloody fist if bloody Frank didn't get on and fuck him blind. He needed to be bashed from here to bloody London and back, he wanted... you sod...
Just as Major Sharpe spat out the shirt sleeve and had taken a deep breath to bellow his want into the night sky and to hell with whoever heard it, there came the sound of shots.

Richard's cock twitched, but didn't die. A shout, then more shouts. His cock fell flaccid and he leapt from the warmth, to run hopping, forcing one leg then the second into his pants. His sword-sling had somehow been suspended round his naked chest, but his bare feet felt nothing except the need to hurl a soldier into battle.

He tore into the tented area, grabbed Cooper by the arm,

"What?" Cooper pointed at the tent. "Prettymen, sir, bad prettymen. Trouble"

Richard's bare chest pushed into the largest tent. Gyllenhaal was pointing a pistol at Captain Butler, whilst Dan held a knife at the throat of Captain Craig. Gyllenhaal appeared to be wearing a red shirt, but Richard realised it was blood. Again. Oh Shit - it just gets worse.

Hagman nodded at Butler. "He's the trouble, Richard. You might ask them why."

Craig glared whitely at Butler who stood with his back against the tent side, his one hand scarlet. He was making no attempt to wipe it, or hide it. One hand was simply scarlet. The other hand held a short strip of material; a memory of India came to Richard. A garrot string, but it was thicker, different?

"I presume there is a reason for this uproar and weapon waving. Mr Gyllenhaal, you will continue to point your pistol at Captain Butler. SERGEANT! "

Sgt. Harper appeared on the instant, bearing ropes, gags and assorted means of restraint from the horselines. He crossed to Hagman's captive, rapidly slipped hands and arms into tight efficient containment. He also relieved Craig of two very small slim instruments, remarkably like skewers, from Craig's boot tops. Richard recognised those, also. For banging with the fist into skulls, causing instant death. Or for pushing up nostrils to pierce the brain. Nasty little spikes. No good for toothpicks.

Butler put up a struggle when Patrick began to rope. Hard and fast, he threw himself toward the door then quickly turned and almost succeeded in diving beneath the brailing, only to be hauled back by his kicking leg. Patrick's not inconsiderable weight plunked itself hard on Butler's torso, stopping the hissing grunts that issued between the Captain's fine white teeth. Craig spat,

"You'll be hung drawn and quartered, you cocky little snot. Your sort won't last against what we have to say about you. You perverted little rent boy. From the gutters of any big Ci..."

Hagman's hand finished that sentence with a loud smack! Then put a full stop on it with a low, sneaky, two-fingered snap-thrust to the unprepared bellymuscles. Craig shut up for quite a while as he tried to breathe.

Richard felt material being put in his hands. He pulled on his shirt, his jacket, and stepping backwards, shoved feet into boots. His sword found its way back into its scabbard and that attached itself to his belt. Major Sharpe was dressed, and in command.

~~~~~

Captain Jake Gyllenhaal stood beside the tall shape of Forman who held a pistol in his right hand. The other two Captains were variously sitting, restrained, in opposite corners of the tent, with Cooper and Tongue behind, Richard, Hopkins and Hagman faced them from behind a board that had become a table. Sgt. Harper stood to the side, alert and bulkily composed. Harris sat, licking the point of his pencil, ready to take notes of the proceedings.

Richard's sword lay across the 'table'. His shako rested on the sword's crosspiece. This was to be a formal interrogation in front of witnesses. Captain Daniel Craig remained bent and tied on the small clothing trunk.

"Craig. Where is Col Winstanley?" The voice was hard, cold and clear. "I require to know, and know immediately. I realise it is of no use applying unpleasant methods to you personally, so I am just going to ask you again. Where is Col. Winstanley? If you know where he is, or to where he is going, you will tell me. If you do not. I am arresting you, and you will be taken under full restraint to the General Wellington. and probably shot; after I have persuaded him not to flog you." Two calm quiet hands folded themselves on the board before the erect green-jacketed figure.

"I am waiting."

Captain Craig raised his pale mad eyes, smiled slowly and with a curled unpleasant lip, replied clearly,

"I will cut off your fornicating cock and then take your balls and fry them both in gun oil. You will ..." He grunted as Cooper's hand slid toward his other ear. "I won't tell you, because I don't know where that clever bastard has gone. You sickenn-NING... " his voice rose to a muted scream as Cooper's hands pressed somewhere on his neck.

"Say 'Sir', say 'Major Sharpe, Sir'... " and Cooper's persuasive hands moved again. "Say it..." A mumbled "snnr" was passed by Cooper and the hands removed, to rest, waiting, on either shoulder.

"Very well. You are under arrest to stand a full Courts Martial."

A cold, dark green-eyed look transferred itself.

"Now, Captain Butler. You will please explain why you are in possession of a razor-edged garrott of particular unpleasantness, and why you were attempting to take the life of Capt Gyllenhaal? I will not take a refusal to answer. I also know other uses for a razor-edged garrott and I will use it on you personally. You do understand, Captain?" Richard's voice hissed as he spoke. His green-gold eyes, usually soft-coloured lying quiet in his face, now glittered, and were of the darkest green. When Major Sharpe had dark green eyes, then there was murder in the air.

Captain Butler fidgeted. Tongue leant forward and whispered into his ear. It seemed to be a message that was understood. That Butler had better speak. Captain Butler cleared his throat. His eyes were of a peculiarly clear light green, and looked straight back at RIchard's brilliant black-green ones. He then threw back his head and laughed. A laugh almost of happiness

"I am merely obeying orders, Major. Obeying orders, and in so doing I cannot be held responsible. Merely obeying orders given by Colonel Winstanley, and others of even higher rank amongst Their Lordships in London. I am afraid, you, little Major, with your even littler General Wellington, will be unable to touch any one of us. Even Gyllenhaal, whom we were attempting, unsuccessfully, to dispose of here, will be disappeared without trace, dying perhaps in some foreign battle. And you, little Major, will be able to do nothing about any of it, at all. Give up, Major. GIve up."

Frank Hopkins stood. He looked calmly competent, but out of place amongst the smell of blood, disturbed hangings, and the torn bedclothes, scarlet stained. He seemed small, slim, insignificant in his plain tunic and shirt. Yet there was an inner power that pervaded the tent. Richard found it difficult to breathe. Hopkins leant forward just a little and placed a brown pouch on the board. His hand followed that with a notebook covered in dark maroon leather. That, in its turn, was covered by a second notebook in a yellow cover.

Butler's face went pale. His light eyes were fixed on the red book, then the yellow. He began to look sweaty and sick.

Craig tried to lunge toward the table, but succeeded only in tipping himself over, falling against Cooper's leg, which unhappily jerked in response against the side of Craig's head. He was righted, and Cooper ensured the Captain's consciousness by slapping him two or three times hard across his face.

"That'll do Cooper, thank you. Please do not disfigure the Captain, he wishes to remain one of the pretty men." Sharpe turned his head enquiringly up to that of Hopkins, "Continue if you would, please. I believe you have something of importance to impart? Harris, you are getting all this down?"

Richard was quietly praying that Frank did have something of importance to impart, or at least unlock this impasse. He knew he was walking on boggy ground, trying to wring confessions out of these two hard, nasty bastards, and to do it with kindness. Even Gyllenhaal seemed reluctant to actually say why they were attempting to kill him. What was it that Gyllenhaal knew, and was what he knew sufficient to have kept him in the group until now?

Chapter Text

Title: Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author [info]bluegerl
Archive [info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to[info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe/ Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage later.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Previous Chapters Here, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 1112 .
and listed at the start of chapter 1..

 

 

 

 

 

The horsemaster spoke in a clear ordered voice. It was almost as if he were reading from a prepared text, or giving evidence to a court...which of course he was! Richard mentally kicked himself, all this would be required as evidence in a Courts Martial, for which he would be the Officer responsible.

"I am Francis Peter Hopkins. My rank is Colonel in the Intelligence Branch of the King's Troop. I have been commanded to investigate the four officers of whom you are aware. Three of whom are now present. Captains Daniel Fortescue Craig. Gerald Armstrong Butler, and Jacob Gyllenhaal. The fourth officer who is unfortunately absent, is the Col. Evelyn James Purefoy Winstanley, Viscount Blakeney, son of the Earl of Gloverhampton, in Essex, England. These gentlemen have been the concern of quite a few senior members of the British Government, the senior officers of the British Army, and are of particular interest to the Prime Minister Mr. Spencer Percival, First Lord of the Treasury. In fact, I have been instructed to find a way of bringing their suspected misdeeds to light, and to justice.

Major Richard Sharpe's mind picked up his jaw and stuck it back on his face. A bloody colonel, he'd been shagging a bloody colonel for the past several days and nights. Oh, why do I DO these things... a bloody full colonel. He tugged at his jacket sleeves and tried to look very severe. Bloody Frank, a horsemaster and a damned colonel, and I... Richard began to feel aggrieved that he hadn't been put completely in the picture either, typical Hogan trick, giving me a hand of cards, all marked.

"During this escorting duty, there has come into my hands some additional knowledge, and certain documents that you see here, which will ensure the punishment of those crimes that are detailed within these books. However, I wish to confirm that the attempt to take the life of Captain Gyllenhaal was simply to ensure his silence. He is apparently, not one of the most secure adherents to this particular group. He had shown some wish to retire himself from them some time ago, but had been persuaded to continue by means of blackmail and other threats. Is that not the case, Captain Gyllenhaal?

Jake looked down at his feet, his hands. Then lifted his head and with his large, darkly blue eyes, stared hard at Hopki... Colonel Hopkins, He slowly, almost reluctantly, bowed his head in assent.

Then as he opened his mouth to speak, " I... " there was a rustle outside the tent, then silence. Richard looked at Patrick and nodded. Sgt Harper slipped eel-like behind the table and out of the tent-flap. Richard nodded at Gyllenhaal, signalling him to continue.

"I have been part of this group for the last seven years and we have been moved to many areas that are of dispute or particular interest to Their Lordships in London. We were instructed to obtain what information we could... I was under the misunderstanding that we would be assigned as adjutants or administration officers in some form, so that we would be able to peruse documents, discuss and chat with other officers, and if possible, become closely acquainted with the more suspect or interesting persons. I believe I have a certain look and personality that allows me to become intimately acquainted with other men, who may at certain times and in certain moods, be encouraged to, shall we say, 'chat?'" Forman changed his pistol from right to left hand and his weight from foot to foot.

"I joined the Col. four years ago and was engaged in some dubiously enjoyable activities that became with time, more and more intense and of questionable intent. I am not sure whether the actions we undertook were in fact to obtain information and confessions, or were embarked upon for the pleasure and delectation of the aggressors, and not the captives. Col. Winstanley was always the one who thought up the most appropriate of what he called 'punishments'. He had a particularly fertile mind when it came to little embellishments. Captain Craig was his personal choice for the use of Col. Winstanley's 'toys', although I was allowed to introduce the more juvenile entertainments. Craig much preferred the more intensely personal and painful ones. The Colonel was always present, and was always in charge ... "

Frank Hopkins sudden fell forward over the table, dislodging it and falling sideways into Hagman, whose chair tipped, throwing him to the feet of Forman. Hopkins' shirt seemed to have a long sword sticking out from under the left shoulderblade, and a bubbling sound came from Frank's mouth as he slid.

Richard sat frozen for what seemed a lifetime, then a voice stated from just above his head.

"No-one will move at all. No one, as Major Sharpe has this sword against his neck. I will use it to cut deeply and without compunction, if anyone so much as twitches. Gyllenhaal, take Forman's pistol, then release Craig and Butler. Major Sharpe, you will reach out your right hand, very carefully, and pass back to me those two notebooks that you have there. I would also like the pouch. Slowly. IF you please."

Richard wondered what the hell had been going on out there. Ryan had been on sentry duty, and hadn't Pat just gone out there to see what that noise was? He felt the pressure of the blade just under his Adam's apple, and was reluctant to swallow, so he lifted his right hand from the paper on which it had been resting, and reached for the two books, sliding them back to the edge of the board.

He brought the pouch back in the same way, leaving his hand where it had been, on the paper. So's he could make a quick grab at his sword! Then his hand was smashed hard on the back with what appeared to be a rock. His eyes watered. That's me sword hand, you bugger,,,

Gyllenhaal had cut the two other men loose, and they now filed past the board. Craig reaching out to collect the pouch and the books. Richard was cradling his hand in the other, but listening, hoping there would be a disturbance outside, or something to stop this bloody edge of cold steel slicing very slightly into his neck. It hadn't wavered one tiny iota since it was first felt. He glanced at Frank's body, half fallen into Hagman's lap. Dan was holding it, his hand beneath Frank's head, and the other resting beside the protruding section of sword blade. Hagman's eyes looked worried, asking...

Just as Richard was mentally bracing himself to convulse against the restraint he heard the swish of cloth against cloth, his head seemed to explode or implode... but it stopped functioning as a head.

Chapter Text

Title: Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author [info]bluegerl
Archive [info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to[info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe/ Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage later.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Previous Chapters Here, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11 .12. 13.and listed at the start of chapter 1..

 

 

The straw on which he lay was particularly odorous. It smelt as if it had not been changed for the whole winter. He tried to lift his nose from the worst of the dung pillowing his ear. Major R.Sharpe of the 95th Rifle Brigade was rolling in shit. Lots of it, and it was old shit! His head, soggy on one side with cowdung, and hurting like bloody hell on the other, lifted to peer cautiously into the gloom of what must be a large barn. He couldn't move his arms, nor his legs, but with an effort and a remarkable amount of extra pain to his head, he managed to sit in a reasonably upright position.

In the further corner, upon some clean straw, bundled together were Sgt. Harper, his hands trussed to his ankles behind his back, his nose pressed into the back of Ryan, equally tied and rather more conscious. Forman was rolled into a corner beside them. Richard couldn't see Daniel or Frank. Those two were the important ones. what in hell was happening to Frank, and Dan. Was Frank alive even... Richard tried clearing his throat, and coughed. He spat a couple of times and then called softly,

"Pat, Ryan, Gordon? Any of you awake? Answer for god's sake. Ryan?"

A grunted shuffle of feet, and a pair of boots waggled up and down. At least someone's, though unable to talk.

He humped and shuffled over to the heap beside the wall. With his back to the nearest tied hands, he fumbled with ropes. Patrick began to wake, and made life a little difficult until he had been told to "Fucking bloody lie fucking still, you stupid sot. I gotta get these ropes loose offa someone. Belt up and go back to sleep."

Ryan finally found his hands free, then his feet, and he set to work on Richard's bindings. They moved swiftly to the remaining men. Richard spent a small while with a bandana from Patrick's pocket, wiping the cowdung from his ear, and counting up his men. He was missing Hagman, yes. but also Perkins, Cooper, Tongue, Roberts and Harris. He didn't want to think about Frank and Scobles. He did not want to think about Frank. At all. He was likely to give a little whimper of fear if he thought about Frank and that sticking-up sword...

The door swung open, throwing great painful lumps of light into the gloom. Harris stumbled to his knees, which were bare, as was his backside. He seemed to be wearing only a shirt. Richard moved over to haul him up. Harris put a finger to his lips, and pointed to the door. Then held up two fingers, sliced his hand across his neck in a warning. Two outside, nasty to mess with, wonder who they can be? There's only the four of them so it can't be they are sparing Craig and Butler to guard us... Gyllenhaal is hardly reliable enough? They must have some more hands from somewhere?

A quick conflab in whispers gave them some sort of plan. There was nothing to be seen peering through the small cracks in the barn wood. Nothing much to be heard, except the noise of horses eating, moving and then voices saddling and tacking up. Richard thought he may have heard Scobles voice cussing that big roman-nosed bastard that always cowkicked?

The sun moved round, the few bright lines on the floor wandered very slowly from right to left, and grew longer. Then footsteps approached, several footsteps, of many men. One door slid back, and four strange men appeared, ones Richard had not seen before. Neither had Pat, nor Ryan... Harris nodded. He mouthed 'five' and flicked his head at them. So, five extras were there. Richard wondered where they had come from, but he knew he would rather have done without them.

They were trussed again, allowed to keep their feet loose and shoved outside. The saddles were already on the horses, and Scobles was half-hidden in the troop of packhorses way past the barn. He seemed to be free to move about.

Mounted, they moved forward. From the side of a half demolished building emerged the Prettymen. Astride gleaming well-groomed animals, they also appeared gleaming and well-groomed. Col Winstanley smiled handsomely down on Major (dungspread) Sharpe on his low mule. "A fine day to be riding toward your Headquarters is it not, Major? And you so suitably dressed for your appearance before the General. I am sure he will appreciate your pomade."

Richard spat after him. He'd get him! Oooooh, he'd bloody get him and roll him in pigshit that smelt worser and worser and... his mule needed hacking hard with his heels to move, humping its back in resentment. Richard hated riding with his hands tied much too tightly behind him, and to the ill-fitting saddle as well.

Five hours later, Four elegant men reclined on clean grass, against clean rocks, and eating, Five others lay tied lumpily in a rope chain feeding from a single pot and a single spoon.

Richard muttered "Has anyone seen or heard anything of Frank or Dan? Or Perkins and Coops? What have they done with Hopkins, and is he still alive?" He lowered his voice and leant his dungcrispy hair towards his sergeant. "I didn't like the look of the bloody sword, Pat. I feel so sodding responsible. I should have put us facing the door, not with our backs to it. It was a bloody juvenile stupid mistake to have made, and poor Frank has paid for it. I bet they've made sure of him, he's a bloody full Colonel in the Intelligence for heaven's sake."

"Ahh, eat a bit of this stuff, sir, and stop fretting. There's nowt much you can do here. Eat a bite o' soup sir, and mayhap Perkins and Coops will be trailing us, or have news of Dan and Frank. If they've done in Frank, Dan will be blowing down the wind back to us as sure as cows eat grass. Fret not, sir."

Remounting, Richard checked the sun again. It was really low on the horizon. Eh, the bloody horizon in front of them? They were going west, into the setting sun. West! What in hell would be in the west?'

The night was spent, loosed, in relative comfort, in a locked, but clean room. Some bedding, a large jug of water and a bucket had also been left. The ropes had been removed, but folded in the removing in such a way as to leave no doubt they would be in use again on the morrow. Richard gave up his worrying. He found himself saying in his mind, over and over, Frank and Dan, Dan and Frank, Frank and Dan, until he fell asleep.

Breakfast for the five was two loaves, fourteen eggs, boiled. and more ropes. Richard was led into the main house, a large mansion with marble floors and some extremely ornate gilding on the ceilings. He was presented to The Prettyman. Richard, in filthy green uniform breeches, a shirt hardly discernible under the dirt, and his hair still reeking of cowdung, stood at one end of the polished floor,. The Prettyman lounged in an immaculate newly-laundered-looking white shirt. A silk cravat was clipped beneath his shapely bronzed chin by a large sapphire. He was munching a tasty looking leg of... Richard couldn't see from this far, but it made his mouth water.

Dining over for the Prettyman. Richard, seriously wanting information as to the whereabouts of Frank, Hagman, Perkins or Cooper, followed meekly into the Library. He was made to sit in an opulently carved armchair, his own arms being firmly attached to those of the chair. Craig smiled gently at him. A most unpleasant smile, with promises in those pale eyes...

"Now, Richard, we have plenty of time. Plenty of playtime. I feel you have been somewhat remiss in your appreciation of us, of Craig's skills with his pretty little toys, and Butler's talent with the picks sadly found in Craig's boots. I believe you threatened Butler with his razored garrott, with use in a particular instance? I believe he might wish to use them on you in that choice way. After, of course, I have finished with my own little enjoyment of your nether regions. How would you care for a long, slow, bath, followed by a most enjoyable massage, Major? I do think you could do with one!" Winstanley's voice purred.  Major Sharpe's mind growled obscenties.

Some while later, Major (Probationary still) Sharpe found himself denuded of what remained of a filthy uniform, a pair of almost unrecognisable once-scarlet boots, an empty sword-scabbard, belt and whistle. His sash, shako and dignity had been lost some time ago.

He lay, flat on his back, his hands held really firmly by ties, of silk? to a bar at the head of the bed. His feet were free. To kick, hopefully, at some imprudent balls or cock... He had been washed, oiled, and played with by the clever manipulative hands of 'James', as the Richard had been told to call him. He wasn't exactly comfortable, as some part of him was distinctly uncomfortable, as it waved about in the air, being preposterous and totally undisciplined. He was sweating blood trying to persuade it to just lie down and die. DIE! You bastard cock, don't take any notice of what that bloody James is doing to you. Leave it alone, ignore it... just don't... oh, please bloody cock, don't keep waving about asking... Cock was not answering, and even when his mind was tearing up thinking about Frank, it refused to collapse in a little weeping heap.

A long moan of satisfaction from the dark golden brown torso above him, gilded delicately with fur in a curling streak from nipple to nipple. The nipples were tinkling gently with small bells and chains that had been touched and pulled, as the white gloved hands stroked their way down from the breastbone, following the dark curves of hair curling and pointing down to the large purple-headed monster, weeping in pleasure. The white gloved hands pulled once, then twice...

James Prettyman Winstanley lowered himself on to the waving object, which he held firmly, pulling up, and then pushing down, and pulling up again, until he could rest it in exactly the right place for the weeping rigidity of Richard Sharpe to please him. Slowly, very slowly, hearing the sucked-in hissing sounds from the alternately slack then firm lips of Col. Winstanley, Viscount of some bloody place in Essex and hell, Richard Sharpe gave up the unequal fight. He surrendered and let all his principles flee, screaming - oh, shite, he always yelped like that... sod sooood. and huoommph aaah... ooh - aaaAAHHH!

Major Sharpe came back to the room, breathing more slowly and he tried to roll onto his side. The pull on his arms reminded him he hadn't been snuggled under the cloak with Frank in an early morning, but was here, just after a long demented day, an exciting bath, in the stinking bloody bed of a raving perverted maniac who was allowing...

"Craig, Gerrofff. You take that sodding thing offa me." Major Sharpe's eyes were bulging as his raised head watched horrified at the knowledgeable hands busy around his personal, already insulted equipment.

Craig simply smiled and continued to tie a complicated network of pebbly strings that glittered ominously, round Richard's flopping limpness, enfolding his balls. It seemed to tighten up and start squeezing, forcing the pebbly objects in tighter and tighter. Richard closed his eyes and started praying. This, he knew, was going to hurt. He hoped he would be left with a usable set of dangly bits when it had finished squeezing the sodding juices out of any part of him.

James Prettyman was standing beside the bed, a towel in one hand with which he was idly wiping his chest, and biting into a ripe fruit of some sort, which squirted juice, red juice, down on to the towel. Major Sharpe squawked, and tried to widen his legs, then cross them to relieve the tightening of the web around his scrotum. The towel reminded him of the red and white of Frank's shirt as he fell ... when was it, just two days ago?  He grated through gritted teeth,

"What happened to Frank Hopkins? Did you kill him with that pigsticker? Where'd you leave him?" That last 'him' ended on a somewhat higher note than he had intended, This bloody web was too tight, much too tight...

"Aaah, your poor friend and undercover colonel. Fancy you poking a full colonel and you, a mere major on probation.. Tut tut, Richard, a naughty thing to do.. I hope you made it worth his while? You are quite capable with the equipment Nature has provided. Quite capable. I hope he made you happy in return?"

"You were asking after his health, his physical, or his mental health? The first appears to be somewhat delicate, as his lungs are suffering some impairment, but I believe his mental abilities are unrestrained. He cannot speak much, the lungs, you understand, are inclined to bleed. I have no doubt his body will, if treated with care, recover in time. However, what care, and if, or where he is receiving it, I know not, and neither do I care. He will be of no nuisance to us in future."

"You mean, you don't even know where he is? You bastard, you sodding bleeding crazy - you don't even bloody mind what happens. Where was he when we left?"

"Oh, I think he had been hauled from the tent by the locals, he and that other old man. It was up to the locals to decide what to do with them. We left quite soon after the fracas."

"Where's Butler now? Sticking skewers up someone's nose? I shall resent it very strongly if you are buggering around with my men. Okay. You may 'play' with me, and I will consent to that, if you leave my poor normal sodding men alone. I cannot think that Ryan or Forman would even have any idea... and Pat ... well, he's a woman's man. Nothing more, nothing less."

Richard squeaked again. That webbing was screwing his balls back into his body... and it was going to give his cock gangrene, cutting off all blood flow, not just the heavyweight stuff. He tried to shift again. Craig glanced at Prettyman, who nodded, tossed the towel back to the discarded dinner table, and strolled to the bedside.

He leant over, kissing Richard hard, wetly and hungrily. Then reached up and retied the silken tasselled sashes. James Prettyman sat beside his captive, stroking an inner thigh, then the other, then this, then that one... watching the webbing twinkle as the contents tried to twitch and wriggle free.

The stars were shining outside. Brightly enough to allow the shadows that crept to the corner of the house to see where to put their feet, silently. Six shadows. Who went by the names of Cooper, Perkins, Tongue, Roberts, Scobles, and Daniel Hagman, the old man.

Chapter Text

Title Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author [info]bluegerl
Archive [info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to [info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe/ Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Previous Chapters Here, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.12.13..14
and listed at the start of chapter 1..

 

Cooper, having picked the outside lock on the log chute to the cellars of the big house, was sliding down it, the last of the six. They felt their way silently through cold stone passages, tucking hand-fumbled onions or apples into packs or pockets. Perkins suddenly stopped in mid-scrunch.

"Mmph... That's Ryan's cough! Know it anywhere! It's Ryan, somewhere close-by!"

Six men became ten, with hushed greetings, many soft questions, while Cooper tucked his picklocks back safely next to his skin. Sgt. Harper was sporting a goose-egg sized lump on his skull, and Harris was mocked as he wore a skirt of brown blanket in place of his uniform trews. Otherwise the Chosen Men were in reasonably fine fettle and extremely cross about their treatment. They were also missing a certain, sometimes bloody-minded, difficult bastard, their favourite and secretly esteemed, Major.

Hagman volunteered to scout ahead, various throat-cutting or head-bashing duties were allocated, and instruments distributed. There was some hushed dispute as to whether a chair leg was as sufficiently solid as a leg from a stool, but then Ryan decided to take both and find out. He wanted repayment for his nasty upset outside the tent three nights ago now.

~~~~~~

Meanwhile the esteemed Major was lying, curled up in agony, dearly wishing he could clutch his balls, his cock, and all that region between his legs to relieve the excrutiatingly red-hot, screaming pains that were involving the whole of his body.

He had already given up trying to breath naturally, but now he found he was crying continually in deep growling moans with his breath as he caught it, and a higher, more whimpering sound as he groaned his breath out again. He dared not even stop squeezing the tears out from his screwed-up eyes as they slid off the side of his nose onto the bedsheet. His hands had been re-tied to the bar on the bedhead, so that he was half-suspended on one buttock, unable even to lift a foot high enough to push upward as both his feet were roped to the bedfoot. Richard Sharpe did not want to move just a foot, or a leg, he just wanted to tear this bloody evil scrotum-screwing thing from him. If it tore his bloody balls off with it, he was beginning not to care. Anything to stop this pain, this all over me body pain...

The two Prettymen had left him alone now for seeming hours, although what sense the praying mind of Richard Sharpe had left, told him it could only have been an hour at most. Craig had taken his nasty little bag of tricks with him, and Richard had feared for his men. Although what the Prettymen would want to find out from them was nonsense, maybe Craig just wanted some more fun while he waited for Major (pathetically whimpering) Sharpe to scream his beggings for release. Which, Richard told himself, would not be all that long unless he could concentrate on... oh, shiitte me bloody balllllsssss they'll be like blooooody currants, red hot bastard currrraaaanntttss

The door opened. The one on the far side of the room. Captain Butler seemed to be backing in, with a sword stuck point-deep in his neck. The sword was attached to a hand, a body, and Daniel Hagman's smile followed. Butler continued his backward stumble to allow the room to fill with three more oh, so welcome men.

Richard's ears began to function as ears. There was the clash of metal, several shouts, some obvious furniture smashing, then a high keening wail followed by a soft thud. More noise, pots being thrown, a table or something heavy being overturned, Richard could hear Patrick's voice bellowing his favourite Irish curses, the ones he used usually when cracking two skulls together. Richard prayed fervently that a) he would be released from this impossibly painful method of reducing movement, and b) he would still be capable of causing personal unpleasant and lasting injury to a certain Col. James Purevil Winstanley. He, Richard, wanted to prove he still had some balls.

Perkins grinned round the door, and then was sent off to find a bowl with warm water, some better cloths, and to ask Scobles for some horse liniment. The big blonde-haired body lying on the bed was still quietly sobbing as the pain changed from screaming, slicing knives-sharp to the dreadful banging, thudding, of doom. Richard was so afraid his nether regions would never stop feeling as if a herd of horses were on parade down there. Accompanied by the big double drums on that bloody grey up front. Oh Jeeeeesssuuus.

Ryan and Forman also presented themselves, looking very pleased. Sgt. Harper had also reported "All present and correct, sort of, Sir" and had outlined the enjoyable head-bashing that had occurred when they had stumbled upon Craig and Prettyman inside the library, both with their attention tightly focussed on the tied body of Capt. Gyllenhaal. That made it so simple to just dot the two rather severely so that they fell, hard, upon the stone floor and ceased to function for a while.

Butler on the other hand, being a sneaky sort, had managed to elude a fairly irate collection of Chosen Men, despite being harassed by two upswinging swords, and three types of cosh being waved and hurled at him. However, he had, in error, backed into a doorway that was occupied by Daniel Hagman, who seemed reluctant to share the space.

The total find, Sgt. Harper reported was "One Colonel, tied and trussed, with his pretty knickers on back to front. Just as a deterrent you understand, sor, just a deterrent, tis so hard to piss out of, or to run in, Sor."

Sgt. Harper smiled sadistically. "One Captain Craig. D. tied, trussed, and gagged. Unable to walk far, sir, being as how a foot came into contact rather hard with his er, genitals, sir. He was complaining loudly, but we have stopped that. Then there is the Captain Butler. He is no trouble at all, Sir, rolled as he is in a carpet, which is now wrapped in sacking, and tied ready to be placed on the packhorses. Sir."

Major Sharpe, still hissing a little under his breath, asked after Capt. Gyllenhaal's health. He was assured that this same gentleman was in good order, although disarmed and with a light leash upon him, in case he should decide to trot off somewhere. Richard had already managed to enquire also after the well-being of his own men, "Were they fed and watered and so on? And the animals, were they handy, and in good fettle?"

There were only seven horses left it appeared, and four mules. The local peasantry, who had been persuaded to join in the jollity of the last three days, had been promised the pick of the animals, so that the fancy blood beasts, and the younger, fitter horses had been dispersed to the good lord knew where. That left only the roman-nosed bastard, Frank's lemon roan, and that flat-backed bay that were much good for riding in comfort.

Richard was still unable to move properly the next morning. He had spent a sleepless night, partly due to the throbbing pains, but mostly due to his worry as to where was Frank, and was he still living even? Dan had done his best to gentle his major, insisting that the family he had left Frank with were the kind sort, and wouldn't just up and run leaving Mr. Hopkins to die. He had made sure they saw the gold that was promised when he, Daniel returned to his friend.

~~~~~~

 

Richard had at last fallen asleep not long before the owl had finished outside and flown off, as the sun would be up before long. Dan Hagman left him asleep, and had some thoughtful words with Sgt. Harper. The subjects covered were the prisoners, their transportation, Major Sharpe and his transportation, the recovery of sufficient horses to allow the said transportation to take place. It ended with the decision to send four men, with four of the horses, to search for Mr. Hopkins in the village and see how he was faring, and ascertain if he could be moved.

Meanwhile, down in the dungeon from which the Chosen Men had departed, the three most unpleasant of the Prettymen were still tied. They were chained to a wall each, well out of reach of each other, and their hands had been loosely secured to their waist-chains with a collection of rusty curbchains dumped in a corner of the stables. Due to some very unpleasant language issuing from these so superior officers, Sgt. Harper had decided they should be gagged until he decided they could take what nourishment he proffered. Sgt. Harper was fussy about what officers he respected and liked, and those he did not. So far their behaviour had not pleased the Sergeant.

The day was spent in rest and recreation, recovery and general housekeeping. Cooper had been prowling, finding a goodly supply of provisions in a storehouse near the stables adjoining. Dan, with Ryan and Forman being the largest of the men, had been sent off with instructions to bring Hopkins back if he could travel at all. If they could find a wagon all the better, as mules behaved better with wagons. Daniel and his shadow Perkins had already located the 'cave' where the wine was kept, and the cold store. Perkins was now on guard, squatting on a large brocaded chair borrowed from the salon, but clutching his rifle nonetheless. Dan had been able to retire to a bed for a few hours as he had been up overlooking his Major most of the night, before handing over to Patrick. Tongue and Harris had been secluded in the study, seemingly with something to occupy themselves.

Major Sharpe woke about four in the afternoon, a new man. Bellowing for Patrick, he climbed from the bed, and after a few tries at bending his knees and doing giant strides, found he was almost back to normal. Pat answered the summons with an overloaded food tray, a bottle of wine stuffed down a pocket each side of his jacket, and a silently uttered prayer of thanks to the Good Lord above that his bad-tempered, shouting, impossible Major was all up and himself again.

Reunions followed in the salon. Patrick and Richard made copious notes in regard to the Prettymen, for the edification of their General, and the other officers selected for the Courts Martial. There was no doubt whatsoever that the Prettymen had been criminal in much of their behaviour, and now that the notebooks were back in Major Sharpe's possession, he was going to make sure they would never escape justice. He knew how Justice worked in the Army. He hoped in a quiet way, he would hear some loud voice demand a flogging first... something like two or three hundred lashes? Pat saw his Major's eyes begin to glaze over, so he took the glass from his hand and Major Sharpe was bundled off to his bed again. Morning would be busy.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Waiting was over. The regular squeak-squawk of a turning wagon wheel brought a cheer, and a lump to Richard's throat as he saw the tired white face on the piled straw. Ryan dropped off the roan, unhitched, and left Major Sharpe climbing on to the small wooden frame. Hands clasped, one strongly, one somewhat more weakly. Eyes met, grey ruefully into damp green-gold ones, which were asking... asking...

"Yeah. Be fine." Whispered, croaking, the breath carefully released.

"Thank God for that... I saw that bloody sword, Frank - and you fell into Dan! It all got a bit frantic after that. We've got them now though, and I am never going to untie a single bloody rope until I can chuck all three of them into boiling oil. We're keeping a close eye on Gyllenhaal, and not letting him roam about either. He has quite a lot to answer for, but I don't think he'll be a nuisance on the way home. I gather Dan's had a look at you? He thinks, if we're careful, we could make a start tomorrow, early. Ok with you? I've got you a decent bed downstairs, so you don't have to be moved too much."

The decent bed had become two, side by side, and Hagman smiled, taking himself off for a really decent night, in the bed recently vacated by his Major.

Chapter Text

Title Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author [info]bluegerl
Archive[info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to [info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe/ Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Previous Chapters Here, 1. 2. 3.4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.12.13.14.15 and 16..and listed at the start of chapter 1..

Chapter 17 Sharpe and the Prettymen 


By late midday the wagon train had covered sufficient distance to call a rest halt. The prisoners were untied, the Frenchmen removed in one group, with a single guard. The special prisoners were lowered with pained grunts to the ground, trying to stretch legs, and wriggle nether-ends. Col James Purevil Prettyman Winstanley wished he would never ever see any unspeakably miscalled mule again. Ever in his life! Even if his life did became considerably shorter if that damned notebook survived this trip.

Captain Craig was almost of the same mind. His mule was somewhat less bloody-minded than the Colonel's, but it was nonetheless exceedingly uncomfortable in its gait.

Captain Butler glared. He was of the opinion that the less he said in the future the less he would be obvious. He had started the journey by misbehaving in a somewhat stupid way... as if he could possibly have galloped off on that bloody lazy grey, with his hands and feet tied and unable to guide or rein it in? So he had been removed from his mount, and been made to walk behind it with a Frenchman atop, tied to its crupperhook for the next four hours. Captain Butler's feet objected, strongly. His boots were not made for cross country marches, and were now full of blood from some rather large blisters on the feet inside the boots.

Richard sat on comfortable padding, inside the wagon. He kept tipping a tin mug to Hopkins' mouth, muttering curses, questions, and grinning. Frank was improving; his colour was certainly not the grey it had been yesterday morning. He had eaten, and could raise a cheeky smile at Richard's worry.

"I'm sorry to slow - you down like this - Rich. Why not let - me come back behind you,- you take them on - ahead, - maybe Ryan and Cooper - could stay with me?" His whispered breaths were less bubbly, but still slow.

 

"Don't be bloody daft, man, I need Ryan and Coops as guards. Wot the hell d'you mean, slow us up? I can make Craig walk this next fifteen mile or so. They're not the fastest marchers, these Prettymen, and someone's got to walk, we've not enough hosses."

Richard knew they did have enough animals, but he had persuaded Scobles to report lameness and hoof damage to three or four beasts whilst Sgt. Harper and Sharpe were within good hearing distance of the prisoners. Sgt. Harper had grinned broadly at Scobles, still recovering from a black eye and badly bruised upper arm from Craig's mishandling at the tent fight.

Captain Craig stumbled, cursing softly, breathlessly, to fall on his knees at the final halt. He was aware of the sneaky smiles sliding across mens' faces, but he really was not in a fighting mood. Or even a loudly cursing mood. He simply wanted to have left his feet somewhere about ten miles back.

Richard took pity on both him and Captain Butler, allowing them to remove their boots and bathe their feet in water fetched from the small pool in the rocks that also watered the horses. He couldn't help looking at the bloodied mess that had been the smooth pampered toes of officers used to riding, not walking far, and never making forced marches in high temperatures. It had been hot today.

There was just over one more day's march to go before the last slope into the Camp that Richard would be so pleased to call Home for once. He dearly wanted to be shed of this lot, and to stand before that perving bloody General and give him a headache. A headache to deal with of a proportion that even Richard had never been given, by the General or his bastard associate Hogan, (Major Confirmed).

Coming back with his hands full of cheese and bread, he slumped down on the rock beside Frank. A quiet, almost proper bed had been made with Richard's cloak, and those of the two Prettymen who had had them. Those were sitting tied to a treetrunk, decorating the base like cherries round a cake. Gyllenhaal had been delegated the post of feeder/waterer, but without his boots on, in case he thought of sprinting off somewhere silly.

"Thought you'd bought it, you know, Frank. I were real worried. Dan kept telling me you were alive, and being looked after. I didn't believe him, and got meself in a right old pickle." Major Sharpe looked at the moon, just rising over the far range of hills. His voice had roughened, and his long fingers were tearing the bread into small pieces.

"Hey you. You aren't going to - feed the birds are you? Give the bread a rest, - and stop thinking about - what didn't happen."

Frank's hand, pale, and less firm than was usual, rested on RIchard's green clad knee. The Major's jacket was off, ready to be used as a pillow, and his shirt, stale and crumpled, was open. Frank's hand then moved upward, to touch, then push gently into the crease of the groin. Grey eyes, barely seen in the dusking light, lifted to the crinkled, worried eyes under the shaggy blonde hair. Grey eyes, asking, just a little... Richard leant down, then lay down, his elbow propping his head, until he could bend enough to touch his lips to Frank's waiting open mouth. There was a long quiet moment, then heads began to move, to turn, to lift, breath taken quietly and then the heads joined again. Colonel Frank Hopkins of the Intelligence Corps was being mentally shagged rotten again by a mere Major (Probationary) in full view of the quietly understanding Chosen Men.

Chapter Text

Title Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author [info]bluegerl
Archive[info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to [info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe/ Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Previous Chapters Here, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.12.13.14.15 and 16.17.and listed at the start of chapter 1..

Daylight crawled reluctantly over the horizon, painting the dew on cloaks, packs and reluctantly moving boots. It had been a quiet night, disturbed only by loud contented snores from sleeping clear consciences. The sentry had been allowed to occasionally wander over to the three bundles tied around the base of the tree. He had been instructed to enquire, rudely, if the tree supports were asleep, and to ensure that they were not. Major Sharpe was getting his own back, in his own way.

He had spent the night beside Hopkins, who had been enjoying the warm soft bed made from the cloaks of the Prettymen and Richard's own over the top of all. Frank woke slowly, and as slowly reached his head forward and kissed the snoring open mouth of his favourite Major. Said Major gulped, twitched and was up on his feet ready to thump, decide, duck or do whatever was necess... Then he looked down at the sound of Frank's chuckle, and then at himself, his shirt rucked up under one armpit, and his dangly bit shrinking to almost nothing in the chill dawn. So Major Sharpe did the obvious thing to remedy the chill and cure the dangly bit's diminishment, and sneaked back under the cloaks. His mouth found that of the Horsemaster, and was satisfied to find energetic action. He was careful not to overexert his love, so two men found their joint pleasure in a reasonably short time, to the relief of both. Richard was more than happy to know that his Frank was definitely on the mend.

On joining the main body of his Escorting Men,over their breakfast tea, he called to Patrick.

"Pat. I want you and Harris to ride on later. I think there's no chance we're in bad lands here, and I do want to have the right welcoming committee waiting when we turn up. Patrick - you'll have to liaise with Hogan. Tell him we are arriving about mid-morning tomorrow, with seven prisoners, four of whom are important and dangerous. Make sure he knows they are dangerous and tricky-bad. You don't have to say who they are, Pat... I think it might be better if we just bring them face to face, and present them with all the evidence at the same time. I'm not going to take any chances that what we have to say will be dismissed as a senior officer's word against mine. Just make sure we have a secure place to keep them. Very secure."

"Also arrange accommodation for Fra... for the Colonel. He will now obviously be needing somewhere suitable for an officer of his rank, and health problems. I think maybe the preparations for the arrival of the originally expected Prettymen would give adequate rooms for Mr...  Colonel Hopkins?"

Richard was realising that at the end of tonight, it would be goodbye to Frank, and tomorrow, it would be "Sir, yessir, nossir, yessir, three bags full sir," and Frank will have disappeared into the soft banks of his memories. He cleared his throat, and found he was playing with the tassels of his sash. He glared up at the sun, which picked out the shaggy hair falling over the long ears, giving shadows to the strong neck rising from the filthy collar of his only shirt. Frank couldn't keep his eyes from this gold-diffused figure, and found himself smiling in quiet contentment.

"Harris, you'll have to go with Tongue and Patrick. I'm giving you one copied notebook and Tongue the other. For God's sake, keep it safe, you know how important that is. If these buggers try anything, and mebbe damage or even destroy the original notebooks, then those ones will have to be our witness. Without those we could be - well, probably be shot I suppose. You and Tongue will give these copies personally to the Sergeant at Arms and make him lock them in that safe he carts around. Do it yourself, if you can. Don't let them out of your sight. And tell the bloody Sarnt it IS life or death for twelve men."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Riding alongside the wagon, Major Sharpe looked down at the man he knew as a friend, Frank. Then had to re-look and remember that this was a full Colonel, in one of the best regiments in the British Army. Trusted by them Lords in London and probably patted on the noddle by that damn fat booby George, hisself. That was his Frank, his friend, his lover, who he had been very intimately loving for the last fortnight, or three weeks. It seemed like a lifetime to Richard... that voice had been in his head for ever. The feel of those strong horseman's hands sliding up and down his back, into his cleft, into him with the long calloused fingers. He wondered if he would be able to watch a full Colonel walk towards him, a sideways grin under the fancy-feathered cocked hat. He knew he wouldn't. He'd risk punishment by turning and walking away. Not walking from Frank, walking from what he couldn't have, and did so want.

Frank Hopkins was stitching a stirrup leather that Scobles had given him for occupation. He had spent most of the morning re-reading the red notebook, checking all his facts. He was satisfied that he had all the necessary evidence there. There'd be no need for a confession, except as confirmation. He had tucked the red leather deep into his pack, and begun to fidget from idleness.

Richard had been up forward, checking on the guard, the prisoners, who were now taking it in turns to ride, walk and ride again. The big roan was patient, and bore the continual tying and untying of ropes under his belly. Then, satisfied with progress and security, Sharpe had fallen back and ridden alongside the wagon. He grinned at the fat sheepskin that Frank was leaning against. He had been sitting on that for the past couple of days, but now all his particulars were back in good working order, so he'd no need of a thick soft sheepskin strapped to his saddle as balls' protection.

"Getting along now then, Frank? I s'pose I shall have to start thinking of you as Sir, or Colonel Sir. It's going to be funny back in Camp, knowing you're up there with the bigwigs, eating off silver and sleeping in a gurt big bed. Not the Frank I've been shagging for too long now. It's become a bit of a habit. A bad habit, and I'm gonna find it difficult to break..." His voice cracked, then slackened into sadness. "Ah well, that's a soldier's life... easy come and let it go. Eh..Frank? Let it go?"

"Don't be such a clothhead, Richard, I can't go back as a full Colonel - I wasn't before, and I can't now. I shall still have to be the Horsemaster with Scobles." Frank chuckled. "By the way, Scobles is also a Captain in the Horseguards, seconded to me for the last five years. So you see, we'll still be working together, undercover. It's been a reasonably successful arrangement, and I've been doing this for a lot longer than I've had Scobles. So when we go back, to them I shall have to present my credentials and behave like a senior officer, but out of that tent, or wherever the billet is, I am just back to being Frank Hopkins. Does that bother you?" He paused. "Or does it bother you that underneath, in your mind, you know my Army rank?" He played idly with the strap, then looked up at the big blonde.

"Either way it isn't going to make a bit of difference to me, or my feelings about you, or this great bunch of arseholes you've collected. I shall go on doing my job, when and where I'm asked. If I had my way, I'd like to go on working wi.. No! Well, let's just wait and see. I might even have to go to London to give my evidence. We don't really know."

Richard grinned awkwardly down. He held out his hand, and ruffled the hair of his lover, then shook up the reins and cantered off. A silent man in a squeaking wagon watched the strong straight back join the front group of guards.

The last camp of the Duty Escort was made only some short miles from the Headquarters just inside the Portygesey border from Spain. Major Sharpe allowed an early stop. He had to arrange the riding arrangements for tomorrow.

"Sir, Major Sharpe Sir," Sgt. Harper's voice hummed in his ear. "The Prettymen, like. They seem to be in a bit of a mess, Sir, and I recall the Major Hogan as saying we were supposed to be bringing this load back all - what was he said now, something like 'all pretty and nice and shiny'. Right now, Major Sharpe sir," and Patrick's voice broke into the gurgle of laughter he had been trying to stifle since the unloading of the prisoners. "Right now, sir they are the dirtiest, smelliest, most moaning lot of officers I have ever met in me whole Irish life, begob. Tis a sight to behold, Richard sor, but I think we had best be a-cleaning of them up just a little?"

"Aye Pat, you're right again. Hogan did say 'nice and shiny and clean.' What do you suggest, we leave them not so nice and shiny, or polish them up a bit? They could do with a wash and brush up, and how about we give them a shave and a trim? Eh? Not too much though. Make it a little less obvious we have been none too friendly on the way here. A little spit and polish then, Pat. I shall expect you to see to get it organised. I've other things to do."

He and Frank sat on the far side of the campfire and watched Col. James Winstanley have his face shaved with cold water and no soap. Ryan had the greatest pleasure in pulling his nose up hard just to get the last bit of whisker from under the said nose.

Scobles' shears had been borrowed for the hair trims, which were not exactly made by skilful hands but which would suffice, though a little ragged here and there. The dress jackets had been pulled from the packs, the aiguillettes unbent, a sash or two found. Pantalons were difficult to find clean, and boots were simply boots. Despite pleas to the gathered Chosen men, no-one apparently had any boot-blacking to repair the colouration of Col. Winstanley's once immaculate tasselled footwear.

Sgt. Patrick Harper and Corporal (temporary) Harris presented themselves, ready to leave with their packages. The three had secured the fast safe horses, and all were fully armed. Hopkins handed over the copied notebook papers, sealed in an oilskin packets, sewn and sealed. Harris pushed his firmly inside his jacket, next his skin. Harper had his own instructions which he tucked into his saddlebag. Tongue, with his packet securely hidden, joined them, Then they set off, their backs to the setting sun. Only twelve straight miles before they were in the security of the H.Q. and its many men. Frank and Richard looked at each other. They both knew what was to come.

Colonel Francis Hopkins and Major (Probationary) Sharpe spent one last night, groping, panting, grabbing at slipping cloaks from bare backsides as the activity increased, finally collapsing in a breathy heap to sleep, soundly, without a thought in either head.

 

Chapter Text


Title Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author [info]bluegerl
Archive[info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to [info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe/ Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Previous Chapters Here, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.12.13.14.15  16.17 18.and listed at the start of chapter 1..

 

 


Riding down the last slope toward the camp, Major Richard Sharpe felt a great relief sweeping over him. He could at last breathe freely, or he would once the four slightly polished prisoners had been finally passed over to the security of the Sergeant-at-Arms with a dozen alert soldiers. He had donned his freshly brushed jacket, Cooper had kindly stitched up the sleeve, and he had pulled his battered shako from the communal pack.

The prisoners had at last been given a mount. Col.Winstanley did have a horse, but the three Captains were still tied each to a mule. The Chosen men, equally 'shined and polished,' rode where possible, but mainly marched proudly ahead of the group, Bakers held at the 'ready'. Scobles and Mr. Hopkins were riding at the rear, both in their usual clothing. The French prisoners were sharing the wagon.

Richard had had a fairly vehement argument with Frank that morning, but he had been over-ruled by the sheer decisive power of Frank Hopkins when his mind was made up. The Horsemaster was riding in this morning, and that was that. He did look well, and he was sitting easily on the fair-gaited roman-nosed gelding. Scobles had nodded when Richard had begged with his eyes, that Scobles watch out for him.

There was a parade group awaiting down at the camp. Two Adjutant-Captains, Ford and Robson, the two best sergeants and fourteen soldiers. Major Hogan was also in the forefront, alternately pecking at the assembled soldiers' uniforms, and then turning to stare up at the slope. RIchard could see the white of his face and his cravat as he turned. He had the impression that Hogan (Major confirmed damn him) was somewhat fidgety, agitated? Good. It was time somebody made the bloody joker worried. The only trouble was, if Hogan's out in the front, how could he get these damn prisoners past, without causing a right ruckus? He wanted to throw them into the tent, showing the General AND Hogan at the same time. This Major did not want any advance notice of his surprise to leak out. He, Richard Sharpe, was really going to rub their bloody sniffy noses right in the proverbial!

Sgt. Harper appeared at the Major's side, and spoke in his ear. Hogan looked up at the approaching group of horsemen, then turned and hurried back toward the largest tent. Patrick grinned, and waved an arm reassuringly back toward his friends, then marched briskly in Hogan's footsteps. Richard sighed approvingly.

 

 

Two hours later, Tongue, Harris, Hagman and Perkins stood to attention before the tent. Behind them were Cooper, escorting Captain Craig, Then Col. Winstanley, with big Forman. Behind were Captain Butler, Captain Gyllenhaal, and Ryan. The remaining Chosen men brought up the rear. Scobles and Mr. Hopkins had disappeared, taking the horses and mules with them.

RIchard tugged on his jacket, pulled at his sash, and taking a deep breath, pushed open the tent door.

Stepping smartly to the table, he snapped to attention, "Major Sharpe reporting back from Escort Duty. Sir."

He glanced quickly at Hogan's burly form. For once there was no snuff box evident. Hogan was looking very, very serious. Richard hoped it was a good sign.

"Ah yes. Major Sharpe. Back from the simple duty I gave you of escorting four senior officers from Lisbon to my Headquarters. This it appears you have done, in a somewhat unorthodox manner, but with your reputation one is not surprised. Give your report, man. Give me the details, in full. You may take as long as is necessary. I am prepared to stay here all day in order to hear what extraordinary behaviour has taken place."

General Wellington looked hard straight at his junior officer, who appeared, on the whole, smart and capable. Major Sharpe looked back at his General.

"Sir, may I bring in the prisoners? I feel they would be better in here, and not on view outside, Sir."

Assent being given, chairs found, the Senior Officers were brought in and sat in a line. Richard could hear the Sarnt 'Arms shouting his troops to attention around the tent.

"At ease, Major, take your ease, but remain standing while you report."

Major Richard Sharpe swallowed. PIcking into his mind for the first occasion that he had smelt a problem, he began to speak.

He was interrupted when he had reached the time of the first discovery of Captain Gyllenhaal bleeding, trussed to the tent pole.

He turned slightly and looked at the person who had interrupted his flow of words appearing at his side. It was... Frank? This pretty man was Frank Hopkins? This was the bloody Colonel Hopkins in full uniform, cocked hat beneath an immaculately sleeved arm. Aiguillettes glittering, the medal on his left breast twinkling, his many buttons were indescribable... and those long legs dressed in the most close fitting of dark maroon ... glove-leather?

Richard's voice came to a scratching halt ... he couldn't breathe....

"Carry on, Major, I am listening. Are you faint, man? Give the Major a chair, someone!"

"Nossir, I'm all right, Sir, really sir, I just... ahem... eeerggh." Major Sharpe cleared his throat, blushed bright crimson, and mentally promised to kick that bastard Frank out of his bed tonight when he had finished giving it to him the hardest he had ever....

Colonel Hopkins smiled serenely at the gulping sweating man beside him, and appreciated the sentiments he could feel were being directed his way.

"I am merely here, General, to hear the rest of the Major's report, and answer any questions you may wish to put. Carry on, Major." The full Colonel of the Intelligence Corps in the KIng's Troop, smiled so sweetly at the blushing, drooling Major.

 

The behaviour of the prisoners was not exactly exemplary. There was a deal of denial, shouted curses, and some languid sophisticated banter from Col. Winstanley. This became, as the report continued throughout the afternoon, more subdued as it was becoming clear that General Wellington was listening exceedingly carefully, and making copious notes.

After a break for some refreshment, Major Sharpe was allowed outside to stretch his legs. The prisoners had been brought water and some food, two insisting they be allowed outside also. This was granted but two guards accompanied them, each separately, to the latrine lines. Ryan came back with a large grin, having escorted Butler. Richard cocked an eyebrow at him, wondering....

Colonel Hopkins, Major(confirmed) Hogan, Adjutants Ford and Robson, had been closeted with the General for half an hour when Richard was called back.

"Did you know of this plan to assassinate me, Major? Did you have any idea when you first met these men?" One sardonic eyebrow lifted. "When did the knowledge come to you?"

"When the Colonel Hopkins and I were... er, talking, Sir, and I was expressing my disgust at the treatment of Gyllenhaal, Sir. He told me there was a lot more to these men than I had been told. Sir!"

He hoped that point had got through, about him being kept always in the bloody dark when it came to these jobs.. Mebbe they'd take a bit of notice when it came to the next one! Like hell, they bloody would!

"He told me he was here to investigate them, and he asked me to cooperate. I didn't understand why at first. He told me after, when the notebooks had been found, and they had confirmed what he had thought. Then he told me what was in the red book, Sir. The yellow one, I gather, is for blackmailing their Lordships and others back in London?"

"Yes, that is the case. Did you read the yellow notebook at all, Major? Did you actually have your hands on it at any time?"

Richard wasn't that thick, he knew what he was being asked. Did I know what was in the bloody book and he sodding well didn't, more's the pity... There may have been sommat on Hogan or Nosey himself... heh heh... that would've been worth-while seeing....

"Nossir, not at any time, Sir, the yellow one, The... er, Colonel Hopkins had copied that. I, with Corporal Harris and Tongue, copied out the red notebook, and had it witnessed page by page as the Colonel Hopkins suggested. It didn't take all that long, Sir, as it is fairly clear, precise and well planned." And it would have bloody worked too, if those bastards hadn't got me in charge.

"So, you are closely acquainted with the contents of the red notebook. Do you think this plan would have worked, this nail through the head? In my bed, indeed? How very entertaining. I mean, the method of the assassain finding his way into my bed, that seems a little... decorative?"

"Sir, it is decorative, and you were right about them being 'pretty', Sir. I had some experience of their ... er... skills, Sir.' He could feel the warmth of Frank beside him, and began blushing again. Since that bugger had come in all prettied up, he hadn't stopped blushing scarlet. Richard hated his blushing, Frank had told him it was delightful, but he weren't the daft bugger doing it.

"So Col. James Winstanley was to seduce me, ply me with this excellent brandy Scobles has found, and then allow this Butler to bang these skewers into my skull, and without me even noticing? I find that hardly credible, Major, hardly credible!"

"Sir, you have no idea how very beautiful the Colonel can look when you're pissed... erm, somewhat the worse for drink, SIr, especially when he is all oiled, and shiny and he is lying there with his legs wide and his cock all waving. Sir."

Hogan had had enough. He exploded into laughter, spraying snuff splatters in all directions. He fell on to a bench, pushing Cooper out of the way. Waving his bedlinen kerchief, he wiped his eyes, and then burst out laughing again.

"Truly, me ill-begotten little cherub, you are the simplest, dumbest, most wonderful, crazy, soldier ever in this dishonest world. D'yer ken I might even be in love wi' yer, and the General here beside, into the bargain. Have ye ever heard a soldier describe a sex scene in sich particulars to his highest bloody General without even batting a blushing eye.... Richard, me old duck, you are our most precious gem!" Major Hogan leant his head upon Cooper's astonished shoulder and chortled helplessly again.

Frank beside him was smothering his laughter, snorting breathily, and shaking his head gently. General Wellington was scratching furiously on his papers, his face a strange dark red colour and his lips compressed tightly.

Major Sharpe looked around. He couldn't see anything funny? The General had asked him how he could have been seduced, so he'd told him. Then he grinned to himself, maybe he wanted all of the details that could be explained? Richard himself had felt the heat of the General's gaze on many occasions, and reckoned it wouldn't have been too difficult for Winstanley to get into Nosey's breeches, always supposing they were still on for him to get into. Richard nearly joined in the sniggering, but straightened up sharply and coughed.

Lord Wellington trumpeted into his own silk kerchief, then looked at his hunter lying on the table. Picking it up, he replaced it on the chain across his waistcoat. His colour had improved by then, as he said,

"Well, gentlemen. I think that will suffice for today. Perhaps the prisoners could be escorted by the Sergeant at Arms and placed under secure arrest until they are called for on the morrow. It goes without saying, Major Sharpe, and you, Colonel, your presences will also be compulsory. Hogan, perhaps you would see these gentlemen out, and dismiss the men. They can return to their unit area, to stay until this enquiry is finished. Their evidence may, or may not, be needed." The now composed figure straightened his papers and leant back in his chair. "That will be all. Thank you for attending. May I wish you a good evening, Major, and congratulations on your completed Escort Duty, but I am not sure whether you will be congratulated on the end result. Goodnight."

The resounding laughter outside was punctuated with the sounds of a slapped back, choking coughs, and some mumbled swearing from a very relieved Major.

Their supper that evening was interspersed with chuckles, and rapier-wit comments on the colour and presentability of the General's person, his reactions and his eventual succumbing to the seduction. The assassination was never mentioned.

Later that night, the Colonel and the Major slept close. Very closely indeed, as they were both in Major Sharpe's small camp bed in Major Sharpe's small tent. The Colonel was not thrown out at all, that evening, nor in the morning.

 

Chapter Text

Title Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen
Author [info]bluegerl
Archive[info]rugbytackle
Crosspost to [info]sharpe_thinking
Category FPF/S Pairing: Richard Sharpe/ Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo, Plus The Chosen Men, James Purefoy, Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Craig and others.
Rating NC 17 Touch of bondage.
Chapters 20. completed.
Disclaimer. This is all imagination. It has nothing whatsoever to do with poor Mr Cornwell and his books, I have only borrowed his lovely men in green. The other gentlemen's names are just to toy with with no malice aforethought. I hope no-one will be offended, and no-one will ever make money from it! All mistakes are mine. Absolutely!

Previous Chapters Here, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.12.13.14.15  16.17 18  19  and listed at the beginning of chapter 1.

 

Chapter 20 Richard Sharpe and the Prettymen

Morning reluctantly wept over a sleeping camp. Sentries crouched under sodden cloaks, clutching their rifles beneath dry armpits. The six wettest guards were on duty outside the wooden building that housed the four prisoners, each chained to a wall out of reach of the other.

Major Sharpe woke to the drip-drip of water on his tent roof, and the gentle snoring of a well-sorted fancy Colonel, still decorated with a tassel from one of his golden aiguillettes. He was so pleased to be back in a camp without the godawful responsibilty of having to maltreat four senior officers, who were way up there beyond his... wait though - they wouldn't be so senior later, would they? Stripped of all rank, publicly, accused and found guilty of treason, attempted murder? No, not attempted, they actually hadn't tried, thanks to Frank's and his efforts.

Richard (still Major Probationary) Sharpe lay back in his small camp bed, made even smaller with the body of a very senior Colonel... Richard's sniggers woke the Colonel, who reached out a long arm and pulled the golden body of a very happy man back on to his chest, and within reach of a very hot, happy cock. Richard's dangly bit, Not shiny and not decorated with gold thread, immediately stopped being dangly and sprang upright to attention like the good soldier it was. Frank Hopkins' mouth reached for Richard's, his hands grasping for firm smooth buttocks. Richard banged his knees trying to lift one leg high enough to enable him to sit on his Colonel. He succeeded, enjoyably and very energetically. The camp bed suffered severe concussion, and creaked loudly in protest at the gymnastics being performed. A passing wet sentry paused, listened to the mounting cries, and when they finally roared in unison, he smiled knowingly, and moved quietly on.

Courts Martial required the wearing of full uniform by everyone who was present. General Wellington appeared in his dress jacket, sashed, decorated, pimpled with medals, and his feathered cocked hat sat upright on its stand. Major Hogan had merely changed his cravat, it appeared, a powdering of snuff still colouring the blue stripe on his collar. Richard snorted. Patrick would have spotted that and had it off in a second. Hogan needed a nursemaid more than he did. He'd taken the greatest care over his appearance this morning. He really was at the smartest he had ever been, thanks to the now getting dressed person of Colonel Hopkins, for the loan of a freshly washed linen shirt.

The Courtroom Table, as it had now become, was covered in a large sheet of canvas, hiding the legs usually visible below. Five chairs sat behind neatly placed sheets of paper. Quills and ink before. Very regimented. Sandboxes one, each two chairs. Sandbox, one, large, before the central chair.

Several large volumes were piled on a small chest behind, against the tent wall. A table held flasks, water bottles and drinking vessels covered with cloths.

At ten of the morning precisely, the tent door was held back, and the Courts Martial officers filed silently in. They took their places, leaving one chair beside the central one, vacant.

General Wellington looked up, nodded at the Sergeant-at-Arms waiting just inside the tent. Four still slightly more polished, but grey-faced men trooped in, hands bound. Richard grinned to himself as he noticed the state of Capts. Craig and Butler's boots. Tut tut, filthy dirty, disgraceful... They were pushed into sitting upon four folding stools, and their gags removed. A pause at the tent door, and the Colonel in the Intelligence Corps, in his full glory, glided past Richard’s figure squatting in his chair, and slid into the vacant chair beside the General. The gavel rapped on its block of firewood.

"The Court will come to order... " Richard sat to attention at the back wall of the tent, and listened to the charge.

"...Charged with treason against the person of his Majesty King George III of England, his officers, and his country, by reason of your attempting to assassinate one of the aforesaid Majesty's most favoured Officers in His Majesty's Army. In so doing you also attempted to seduce...”

Richard sat further up to attention, listening intently, "other officers of His Majesty's Army, debase the honour and name of the Regiment to which you have had the honour of being commissioned...." the Adjutant's voice droned on and on. Richard, who hadn't had a great deal of sleep, being as the bed was a bit small for a big fella like himself...when playing host to another big fella, began to feel his attention wander, his eyes feel heavy, and this weren't a bad chair he were sitting in...

He felt a nudge, looked up and found the Courts Martial had proceeded quite a way. The Col. Winstanley was now asked to stand, his hands were loosed, and he had to place his hand on the Bible to swear. He still looked ... well, handsome, his height and his well-shaped round head, the dark springing curls framing a face of strength in bone. His eyes, large and still lustrous, despite, Richard hoped, some sleepless nights of the sort he didn't usually suffer, stared defiantly at the General.

"I will not swear on this book or any other. This so-called Courts Martial is a farce. It is unorthodox, it has no qualified lawyers present, neither for the prosecution nor the defence. I will not speak.” He paused, waiting for a response. None came, he continued,

“If you wish to proceed with this ridiculous nonsense, then I demand to be sent to London, post haste, to appear before some rather more prominent and qualified Officers. I will be represented by my own legitimate lawyers in front of a proper Judge. I also demand that my two adjutants, Craig and Butler, be allowed to accompany me. They are on my personal staff, and I am responsible for them. Capt Gyllenhaal is of no matter. He has not been of much assistance in the past, and was on the point of being dismissed by Their Lordships. I now withdraw from this scenario. Good Day, gentlemen."

Richard felt the tension in the tent screw itself into a knot... what would the bastard try and do? He felt for his sword, and held it firm, ready. The bastard was not going to walk out of here, no way, over Major Sharpe's live and very resisting body. He felt the Sergeant bang his fist on the tent behind him. The door opened and four large, armed and determined men in the red and green uniforms stood across the width of the tent. Craig had turned on his stool and his pale mad eyes wavered, became despairing. He turned back toward the desk, shoulders slumping and his hands stilling.

Butler hadn't moved an inch. He sat, staring forward as he had done during the whole of the proceedings. He neither moved a foot, changed a leg, or even clenched a fist when the charges against him had been read. He seemed to have retreated into a silent world, where only commands from his Col. Winstanley penetrated. Richard had never seen anyone with such dark control. He shivered, despite the warmth in the crowded tent.

WInstanley remained standing. He turned back to face the desk, his face lifted, slightly mocking, still exuding a confidence Richard was sure he could not possibly feel. He looked sure, unafraid. Surely there were doubts in his mind?

Nosey sat back in his chair, cradling the quill between his fingers, pressing the feather down along the curve of his thumb. He looked back, up at Winstanley. Long, cold, expressionless. Richard knew that look. That was a bastard of a look, it chilled you right through, took any thought of cockiness or cheap confidence right out and chucked it on the soil-heap. It could freeze a man to death. Col. Winstanley stared back. Then Major Hogan let out a sneeze. He had been going purple for a small while, trying to hold it in. The sudden noise broke the tension. Winstanley held out his hands to be rebound, then turning, nodded to his two confederates. They rose, and the three marched from the tent, surrounded by the military guards.

Major Sharpe made to move, then he saw Capt. Gyllenhaal, almost forgotten in a chair to one side. He also rose, bowed politely to the Court, and walked quietly from the tent. He caught Richard's eye as he passed, and gave a small shrug of his shoulders. He smiled in a friendly fashion, and Richard found himself smiling back. He couldn't really dislike young Jake, although his wrists remembered being tied rather too tightly to a bed bar. He hoped Gyllenhaal got off lightly and was posted somewhere not too unpleasant.

Wellington's voice came clearly over the small hubbub, closing the court proceedings and declaring the Courts Martial at an end. The Prettymen were to escape the clutches of this small portion of the King's Army, and would be sent for trial at a far higher, more senior and less manoeverable court than this.

In a way Richard was relieved. Frank had explained last night that it would be far better, as the Lords in London could call on not only the Army staff, but the Navy as well. Frank had seen no mention of Navy personnel in the yellow book, Viscount Blakeney had been concentrating where he knew his way. Wives, lovers, courtesans, Army Mess Rooms, as well as whores, sodomisers, even bestials had all been under his gaze, found in and around his military connections, and thence into his notebook. Winstanley had known where to look, and where the money lay. It would be a great relief to quite a few members of the upper classes with army associations to find a certain silence suddenly occurring.

Major Hogan came across to pat Richard on the back.

"Ye did a grand job, me laddie, a grand job. But then, that's why we pick on you, isn't it, me laddie? My little innocent-faced, dirtyminded little bugger. He is a bugger, isn't he, Frank?" and he cocked a very knowing, very blue eye at the still exceedingly elegant Colonel Hopkins. "You'd be agreeing wit me now, would you not, that this is one fine bugger, Hopkins... but then, you would know, of course."

He clapped Major (still bloody Probationary) Sharpe on the shoulder, then grasping his shoulders in both big hands, he pulled Richard to him. Major Sharpe found himself being well and truly bussed by a hairy, snuff-smelling, wet mouth that gave him thought. Somewhere in the tiny back of his mind, the names of Nosey and Hogan linked themselves, with a question mark.

Frank pulled Richard away.

"I'm getting out of this fancy gear now, and I need some help with the buttons. Patrick is away busy somewhere where I sent him, so I think I shall need your nice fingers, Richard. Come on, my rather large accommodation is over there. The Prettyman was going to be set up very prettily, but we can make use of his large, soft, clean bed, and the wardrobe with - who hung them up? The white silk shirts, and smooth underdrawers..." He smiled at a grinning Hogan, who winked back. "Come along Major randy Sharpe, come and prove what Major Hogan has just inferred, that you are indeed, a very fine bugger!"

Two men, one a Colonel, one a still waiting to be confirmed Major, walked, arms around each other toward a tent erected in a secluded corner. There was a time and a place for everything and really pretty men should be in ... in their rightful places.