When Captain Reynard gets a magician assigned to his sailing ship, he's resigned to the worst. He's a fighting man of the King's Navy, and magicians are a nasty lot. But something about Jessop is irresistible.
Magician Jessop, small, grumpy, extremely touchy and on edge, has been deeply damaged by life. Touch is not easy for him, strangers are not easy for him, but against all odds, the crew takes him under their wing, and most of them are very kind to him. The captain especially turns out to be a gentle man, and his warmth undoes something in Jessop.
The captain falls in love with his magician—but does not dare speak those words aloud. The magician feels things for Reynard, as much as he's able to for anyone. Perhaps they might work their way to a satisfactory conclusion, commitment and happiness and a life together. But war is a dangerous time for love...
36,000 words - Low Heat
Content warnings: contains references to a character's sexual trauma