Izzy here, with my fanfic, “Journal Entry,” another piece of Aubrey/Maturin slash. From Post-Captain(spoilers!), after Jack averts the mutiny, and owned by Patrick O’Brian.

Journal Entry

By Izzy

September 14, 1804

I told Jack about the mutiny. I do not think I truly violated my principles, as I gave no names. And as luck would have it, I feel I did the men good rather than harm. I may be understanding of mutinies, but I have concluded that they are far too reckless an action, to be attempted only by those who truly feel they have no other course. For once a man has mutinied, the laws of a nation set damnation on his head. Even if the crew of this ship had successfully brought this ship to the French, they would always have had to stay out of English hands, and were they to go to sea again, there would always be that fear of being captured and identified. They could never in their lives return home. Having lived with the fear of identification myself, I find myself thinking those who are willing to enter upon a life with it, barring true necessity, are either ignorant or foolhardy, or both.

My principles perhaps stay intact, but I admit my pride does not. It very nearly kept my mouth shut, and for good reason. I have been out plenty of times, and never broken the rules like this. Such an aberration in my behavior has forced me to face certain conclusions when it comes to myself.

I attempted to rely on the fact, and I am still certain on this point, that almost all of my resentment is in that Jack is seeing Diana, and that if he was seeing any other woman, no such resentment would exist, or if it did, it would be so slight as to be insignificant. I could never expect fidelity from Jack, and I am not jealous of Sophie at all. I still hope for their engagement. I could not, after all, be jealous of Jack having feelings for her without hypocrisy, when I have such similar feelings for Diana, another fact I have relied on.

Yet this separation, painful enough under any circumstances, has led me to too much of a reaction. I have suffered friendships broken in this manner before, and I am aware it is always a painful circumstance, but not this much so. I have not before this felt my will giving way. There is an action coming up, and if Jack is wounded, I fear I will be completely undone.

When we began our physical intimacy in Spain a number of months ago, I saw no change of feeling accompanying it, nor a need for it, even when things persisted past our return to England. Perhaps I have been willfully blind; I have suffered from voluntary illusions in the past. That I was blind, willfully or otherwise, I cannot doubt. The power of my feelings is such that they cannot have sprung fully-formed the evening after I called him out, when they first had their effect.

I hold for him a certain tenderness, perhaps it should be called, which we would not have assumed, not unlike that I hold for Diana, but purer, I believe. More like what my feelings were for Mona. I seem to see the same innocence in him, which is absurd, but if I take a better look at my memories, it is absurd in both of their cases, so one may say it amounts to the same thing.

What disturbs me still more is the need. It is not just for unselfish love for him that my will is giving way. It is fear also, that I may not wish to live without him. That I could indeed get too attached to one person I have acknowledged as a risk, as in the past few years I have had to find my reasons for living one at a time. But more recently, I counted on being able to fall back on either my love for Jack or Diana if for any reason I lost the other. I believe I may have indeed lost Diana, so perhaps it is merely the misfortune of losing both.

Either way, perhaps I have reached a point where I must choose between life and honour. Do I cling to the latter so greatly that I will die in this manner for it? To die for honour honestly and quickly on the field is one thing. To let myself starve to death is another. It is a slower process, for one thing, so the temptation to break is far greater. And even length aside, there is no worse fate. I have starved enough in my life, both figuratively and literally, to be thoroughly convinced of that. Can I stay like this, knowing what it will be like?

And yet, can a man live in the manner in which I would be forced to live, were I to reconcile with Jack? To be apart from Diana, as torturous as it is, is relieving also. And there are certain boundaries between us, which lessen my pain, and I do not have them with Jack. Also, she knows all; I have never had to worry about concealment from her. I cannot let him know of my feelings. He may have put aside old moral repugnances at the acts he has engaged in with me when he felt the desire for them, but to learn he is loved in a way I am not sure he even thinks possible will make him confused at best, and disgust is not impossible. There has been trouble enough between us already. If this breech is mended, I am willing, or at least believe myself to be so now, to take whatever measures are necessary to prevent another.

But is it possible to keep such a secret from him? Another thing I have become certain of is I cannot keep him in dark forever about to my intelligence work. Already he saw through one lie, and I could almost forgive him calling me a liar, when my being so clearly has caused him so much pain. My only advantage in keeping secrets from him is his ability not to notice things, and there is a limit to that. I do not know just when the business of my being an agent will come out, but I am certain it will.

So the list of outcomes stand: either we meet as planned and part completely, we reconcile but I spend my life on guard and emotionally troubled, we reconcile until Jack finds out and turns away, and we again part completely, or we reconcile, Jack finds out, and does not turn away, but is never quite comfortable around me again, and our friendship is irreparably damaged. There is no way out of this pain, unless he by a miracle were to return my feelings.

I do not know why I dare hope for that. In theory it is not an impossibility; our natural inclinations are similar enough that what has happened to me could happen to him. But theory does not take into account individuals. It surprises me sometimes that our friendship has persisted as well as it has. I should not want more. But have I grown desperate enough to hope for what would be the only solution?