“There were two nights when it rained, and they all slept huddled together under the shelter of a blanket stretched between willow trees—there had been a ridiculous pleasure about waking up to find Bush snoring beside him with a protective arm across him.”—
Sometimes the fanfic writes itself. And sometimes the fanfic has already been written, and it was C.S. Forester himself who wrote it.
“Bush was like a fussy parent with a venturesome child—like a hen with one chick. He was always nervous about entrusting his precious Hornblower to these unpredictable Russians; Hornblower grinned at Bush’s solicitude.
“Anything to keep you happy,” he said.”—
“‘On the fourth planet out from that star, there’s a race of intelligent sea serpents who worship whales as gods. The whales on that planet aren’t intelligent, of course, and the serpents know that, but they believe the whales are so enlightened that they don’t need to be intelligent. Around that one’ – he pointed again – ‘there’s a frozen world where an old enemy once stranded me. I had to build a fire to keep warm till I could be rescued, and I ended up throwing one of my favourite ties on the fire to keep it going. And around that sun’ – he pointed at another star, directly overhead – ‘there’s an ice-cream shop where they kept me waiting an hour and a half for a chocolate milk shake. Can you believe it!’”—