the Hamlet-Horatio fic with the kettle that I said I would write
A scream from down the hallway blasted the Latin revision
from Horatio’s mind. He stared at his dorm door, decided he would ignore the
sound, and then a frantic hammering started on the other side.
He opened the door on Rozencrantz and Guildernstern, who
looked terrified, but also drunk. He gave them A Look.
“-Guildenstern. What the fuck’s happening?”
“We came in and we’re drunk, and the kettle- Roze wanted
some- Hamlet’s dead!”
Horatio drummed his fingers on the doorframe. Hamlet was that
posh bastard who bragged about not being able to boil an egg, and then took the
piss out of Horatio for using instant coffee. Hadn’t even asked what his name
was. It was obviously a wind-up.
“Not in the mood, guys. I’m really-”
“He’s dead!” Rozencrantz hissed. “Literally dead! And you’re-
you’re the clever one!”
Horatio had a test on Monday. He glared at Rozencrantz. He
grabbed his room key from the hook.
Hamlet was piled in a heap on the kitchen floor, motionless. Horatio
went to him.
He laid Hamlet on his side, and as the lights flickered into
life, his stomach dropped when he saw the guy’s face was bluish.
“Jesus shit. Have you called 999?”
Rozencrantz’ eyes widened.
“I told you he was
fucking clever, Guilders!”
And he ran out. Horatio’s fingers scrabbled for Hamlet’s
pulse. He grabbed a towel hanging off the oven door and rolled it up.
“Hamlet.” He said loudly, “Hamlet, if you can speak, Hamlet,
speak to me. Or- or- or make some sort of sign.” He checked for breathing.
Guildernstern hopped from foot to foot behind him.
“Stop it, Guilders!” He hissed.
“Can I do something?” Guildernstern burst out, “I want to do something, mate?”
“Get a glass of water or something, and shut up, I need to
Horatio laid Hamlet on his back, put the rolled up towel
under the back of his neck, and knelt at his side.
He took a breath, and clasped his hands on top of Hamlet’s
Rozencrantz nearly bumped into Guildernstern when he came
back with the phone.
“Yeah. Yeah.” He was saying into it. “No- we- our friend,
yeah, he’s sober, and he’s doing the pumping chest whatsit. Seems to know what
he’s doing? Usually does. We’re up at the uni-“
Hamlet inhaled loudly. Horatio nearly jumped out of his
“Ffffffuck.” Hamlet coughed. “Fuck.”
“Hamlet, stay- stay with us. Stay.”
Horatio held out his hand, Guildernstern went over and passed
him the water.
“Hamlet, if there’s anything I can do to make this easier,
you need to let me know. Can you sit up? Can I help you sit up?”
Hamlet didn’t protest, so Horatio sat and supported him.
“Who’s there?” Hamlet mumbled into his chest.
“Friends. Roze, Guilders. Oh- I’m Horatio. We sort of haven’t
“Horatio? What a stupid name.”
“Thank you, Hamlet.”
“Give me the cup.”
But he could barely move, and Horatio noticed burn marks on
his hands. He glanced at the counter and noticed a pool of water, with a peeling
cable in the middle of it, connected to the kettle. Didn’t need his grandfather
to materialise in the sky to make sense of it.
He helped Hamlet drink. Both their breathings returned to
more normal rates, and sirens wailed in the distance.
BONUS (for nerds):
“Er, sorry, is he alright now?”
Everyone glanced up at the new voice. Another student, in
pyjamas, stood at the kitchen door.
“Yeah. Basically fine.” Horatio said. “Paramedics should be
along in a bit.”
“That’s incredible.” The student said. “I mean, he was- he
“Yeah, mate, it’s ok. You can go back to bed now.” Horatio
vaguely remembered this guy. Weird surname.
“Like- he was dead,” The unknown persisted. “-like dead. And you made him alive.”
“John. John F-”
“John. I’m a bit stressed right now. It’s not magic. You can probably learn it