Tozer saw him in the early rising sun of the morning, light casting from its 8 o'clock shadow. His body cloaked in pure radiance, as he stood on the deck, arms crossed and laying on the wooden side railing, back facing Solomon, as he climbed the hatch, to where wind gladly greeted his face. The air was brisk, cheeks immediately flushing with the new feeling. He wondered how such a frail figured man could stand out here, watching sunrise, not a care in the world if a sudden breeze was to knock him right over.
If anything this sight of Hickey made him slightly more comfortable. It was funny thought to him, that Lieutenant 'god loving' Irving was to be perceived in such a bad light and cramped hallways, spitting blasphemy on this man, whom stood so still, silent yet still breathing and to bathed in sunlight. His presence was godlike, so etiquette in posture and possessing majesty. Almost as if this human being alone begged for admiration. He simply could not tear his eyes from this simpleton of a man, like a great spell had fallen over him.
A wave overcame him, that he saw himself drop to his knees for this man and do anything he commanded, anything at all, simply just to be near this man, to be able to be controlled and lead by this man. The man that he knew very little about. He didn't know what this feeling was, wether it be a warning or simply some blessing in disguise. He felt disturbed by the thought, as he knew he'd let this creature eat Mr Hickey, to save his own guts. Hell he'd risk anyone else's lives to save his own.
His mind did wonder to if Lieutenant Irving was indeed correct with his predictions and knowledge of Mr Hickey. But he quickly rid those thoughts, flushing them away and to never be heard again. A man this relaxed could simply not be a danger at all. It told him everything he needed to know when his boots thumped against the wooden deck of the ship. The man did not stir, lax and at peace with the world. That told him a lot indeed. This man was unlike any other on this journey.
Any other man would jump and curse, a glare shot in his direction, and he would never again turn his back for fear of being stabbed or thrown overboard. This man did not care, too lost in his thoughts to do so. Tozer was now filled with curiosity to approach this man, his legs done the walking for him, till his side was near enough pressed against the other mans.
The outstretched land before them was misted over by fog. He could understand the other mans wanting to be out here, where it was so peaceful and hardly a mouse stirred. It was a desolate sight indeed. It made him curious as to why Mr Hickey preferred to be so alone, perhaps an introvert or a lonely sailor. A cough sounded beside him, before his head changed to look over the much taller man, eyes peering into him with such authority.
This mans aura was starting to change with each passing moment. He could feel that familiar thought creeping up on him. That Cornelius was no man of god, nor of good willed intentions. It seemed almost stupid to single out one man out of the others, and so he had to think just what Hickey had done that Gibson felt he had to tell the 'lamb of god' about.
"It's so beautiful out here, don't you agree sergeant?"
It was a hushed voice, surprisingly barely heard over the deathly silence that surrounded the men from all angles, Ears ringing from the white sound. His face was coated with a smile, chin poking out sharply and eyes wrinkling as he done so. Solomon didn't quite know how to reply to the question. He didn't agree, but at the same time he wanted the information out of Cornelius. He waited for a long moment before replying:
"I see nothing but outstretched barren land, Mr Hickey. There is nothing beautiful about it."
He gestured toward the land in front of them, hand falling back down beside him soon after, Hickey laughed out of his nose, head turning back to look out at what he had called so beautiful. He sighed as he took it all in, like a pair of love birds, however Mr Tozer knew the Antarctica had given no consent to such perverting eyes.
"Barren land, a million miles from England... It could take two years before we're found."
Tozer had to raise his eyebrow at this, what a weird thing to say. Like he'd just made a decision that they were stuck on the ice, with no where to go, that the crew would never make it back to England.
"And what makes you say such a thing?”
The other man said nothing, he could only stare off into the far distance, almost like he didn't even hear the other man talk. This sent shivers tingling down Solomon's spine, the uncomfortableness starting to settle in. It was nothing like the feeling he got from Lieutenant Irving.
"I had a talk with Lieutenant Irving last night..." he shifted from one foot to the other, "he told me about you. He told me how you're a 'Devious Seducer'. Would I be correct to say you are so?"
A laugh came from Hickey, his head dropped between his shoulders. His eyes wrinkled unbelievably more. Tozer on the understand didn't understand where this man thought it was so funny. He did understand that if he was to be found so, he'd be met with law.
"Sergeant...I don't mean to be rude, but I don't understand how this is any of your business."
Solomon turns to him slowly, looking him up and down with no more than a unlining of disgust, "It's my business Mr Hickey, because I have to put up with your boyish bullshit. You and Lieutenant Irving, running around like headless men, accusing one another of ridiculous accusations."
That smile stilled remained. That was what tipped Tozer off the most. How could this man stand here and act like the accusations were nothing, that he wouldn't get in trouble if found guilty of homosexuality and seduction. He yet again had nothing to say to Solomon.
"What have you got to smile about, Mr Hickey?"
"What haven't I got to smile about, Sergeant? Maybe you should ask yourself that question."
His voice was dripping with saltiness, sarcasm following in its footsteps. He knew this conversation was becoming more confrontational with each passing second.
"Mr Hickey, I take pride in knowing that you will be dealt with when the time comes. I know just like myself, that many other men would gladly push you into the mouth of that creature, if it meant their lives were to be saved."
He saw the lump in the smaller mans throat being swallowed, knowing fully well that these other men would do so. With no hesitation these men would sacrifice the smirking buffoon.
"And what makes these men any more important than me?"
He had to really highlight the Petty in ‘Petty officer’, arguing about the stupid things like it mattered out here.
Tozer turned to face him fully, having put up with enough foolishness for the morning(but not for the day), "Maybe you should ask yourself that question, Mr Hickey."
It felt sweet in a way to give this man a taste of his own medicine. Cornelius would now know not to turn his back to Tozer, nor to answer back. His dominance had been inserted into the other mans brain...or so he had thought. He should have known better than to think this caulker was afraid of him. He had something the men would call 'Small mans syndrome.' Like they hate the taller men because they're so small.
"Don't you wonder to yourself why you stick out like a sore thumb, Mr Hickey?"
"I ain't done no wrong. I have never done no wrong." It was Tozer's turn to laugh now, out of excitement, because he knew he was finally able to break through Cornelius's defence system.
"Then why is Lieutenant Irving persisting to me, that you have?" A scowl overcame the younger mans face, blue eyes piercing through Tozer skin, but he ignore the feeling, instead pushing to get to the bottom of the pit.
"Lieutenant Irving is a lonely man. And Lonely men make up little stories. It is a normal habit, however I would wish he'd stop using my name in vain."
A smirk overcame Solomon's lips, plastered on clearly to Cornelius to see. If only he could hear himself and how absolutely foolish it all sounded, "Is Mr Gibson also an old man?"
"Mr Gibson...what does he have anything to do with this?" He had him cornered now, he'd have to answer truthfully, there was no other way out of this, because both him and Hickey knew that Mr Irving will spill like a can of beans if asked.
"Lieutenant Irving told me just what you've been doing to Mr Gibson...or well, not all of it...but your going to tell me that, aren't you Mr Hickey?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Don't be stupid Mr Hickey, you know damn well what I'm talking about. But you don't understand, that if you don't want to tell me, I can simply go to Lieutenant Irving...I can go to Mr Gibson and I'm more than certain they'd gladly tell me."
He stepped away from the wooden side board, eyes finally being able to open completely without creasing. His right hand came up to block the rising sun before he started talking, "Mr Gibson....he doesn't know what he wants, he's a good lad sure...he just get scared sometimes. I know he means no harm, but it ruins my reputation with everyone else. Like I've told you before Sergeant...I ain't done nothing wrong."
Tozer slowly nodded, shrugging his shoulders, "I understand Mr Hickey...and I'm sure Lieutenant Irving will as well. We are separated here, from the evils of the world, Mr Hickey...we make the best of what we got. It seems to me, you've done just that...but you've become greedy in doing so. Just remember, there are eyes here to watch, where there may not have been at home."
It was Hickeys turn to watch him, eyes trailing up his body, cheeks flushed with the cold. He watched the taller and more dominant man descend down the stairs, gracefully and with sheer beauty. Hickey had to laugh to himself once alone, thinking to himself just how truly appealing the other man was. He thought to himself how, yes the other man was more overpowering and Cornelius in himself was recessive compared to rankings, but how easily he could turn that all around. He could get what he wanted, well he would anyway, he'd just have to remember not to mess it up like he did with Mr Gibson.
He shook his head, making his way toward the stairs into which he'd drop to the commotion room. That's another thing he had to deal with...Billy.