John Irving had had enough.
It had been almost a full week now since he tried whatever strange lichen Mr. Goodsir had recommended would stave off scurvy, a full week of John not being able to do his job because he was acting like a man possessed.
It had started innocently enough, John feeling a bit warmer than usual, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Then the sweating had begun, enough that he was worried about a fever.
The other lieutenants had picked up on it, too; Little had told him in no uncertain terms to seek out medical attention, or at least get some rest.
This order had come in handy, as on the second day, John had found himself unable to leave his room.
He was constantly dripping sweat now, his face ruddy in the small mirror opposite his bed.
His eyes had a glassy sheen to them, his skin felt too tight, his extremities were by turns numb and too tender.
All in all, his condition was that of one suffering from a normal fever, were it not for his other, more unusual symptom.
John Irving was hard.
Now, this wasn't the first time in his life he experienced his flesh rising of its own volition, nor was this in and of itself particularly worrisome.
No, the fact was, John was hard, no matter what he tried to do about it.
He had attempted the usual remedy, shamefaced and biting his wrist to avoid any unwelcome attention, but his erection did not seem to wane.
Even worse, the more he tried to touch himself, the more frustrated he would become, almost crying out to the heavens on his third go.
And it wasn't like that was his only problem; he was near insane from a deep desire to do something .
He wasn't sure what exactly he needed, but his imagination certainly had no issues coming up with all manner of scenarios to fuel his agony: faceless creatures holding him down, scratching his skin, filling him up in places John didn't even want to think about.
It had been almost a week of this torture.
John believed it was fair to say that his situation was indeed desperate, and desperate situations called for desperate measures.
His steward, Gibson, had cared for him during his supposed illness, and John had feigned sleep under his blanket each time he had come in.
However, hearing him enter the room this time, John had sat up, careful to arrange the blanket so that he didn't accidentally reveal any damning evidence, and asked Gibson to call for Mr. Hickey.
Gibson had looked as if John ordered him to bring a live tiger into his room: afraid, doubting his superior's sanity, and vaguely worried for his own safety.
After John had to repeat himself twice more, he hurried off, the image of utter confusion.
That had been almost an hour ago, and John was almost certain by now that either Gibson had decided to ignore this incident, or Hickey had picked one of a number of possible reasons as to why he actually did not want to come see him.
John was just about to give up hope and maybe have another go at self-abuse when Hickey entered his room, striding in as if he owned the place.
Immediately John's hackles went up, he could not stand the smug expression on the man’s face.
"You called for me?" Hickey asked, surveying the room with a curious eye.
John felt strangely naked, observed, as if he didn't want whatever judgement Hickey was forming to find him lacking.
"Yes," John coughed, "sit down, please, Mr. Hickey."
John sat opposite him now, still in his sweat-soaked underclothes, his blanket bunched up over his lap.
He knew he must look a mess, and he didn't want to see Hickey's reaction to his current state, but what he would have to say next he needed to say to his face with all the dignity he could muster.
"Now, before I ask something of you, I need to make it clear that whatever transpires in this room, be it words or deeds, can never leave. That is an order."
Hickey only raised one flexible eyebrow in response, motioning for John to continue.
"I have, well, I am in an unfortunate situation. You see, there was an accident that has impacted my health, and I need… support, with a few of my symptoms. When it came to the, the nature of this support, I remembered that you were a man who might not be opposed to doing what I ask of you, that is, opposed on principle, as some other man might be."
Hickey actually leaned forward in his chair, clearly intrigued now, although his expression stayed fairly neutral.
"There is not much use in beating around the bush, certainly; yes, it's probably for the best to get right down to the matter," John rambled on, speaking more to himself than to his opposite.
Closing his eyes and sending a hurried prayer heavenwards, John gathered all of his bravery and ripped away the blanket covering his crotch in a quick motion.
For a moment, there was silence. Then:
"You called me because… because you are stiff. And you want me to help out? Lieutenant, pardon me asking, but have you never learned how to take yourself in hand?"
John sputtered indignantly.
There was certainly an amused glint in Hickey's eyes now.
“Of course I- how dare- I know how to, how to get rid of it. Under normal circumstances, which these are decidedly not. I was talking with Mr. Goodsir and, oh, it doesn’t matter what happened. What matters is that the usual course of action seems to have no effect, even less than that. And the only other thing I could think of was- well, it was- you know what I’m trying to ask you, Mr. Hickey.”
Hickey stroked his beard, most likely to hide an insolent grin.
John very much wanted to cover himself again, but he recognised that what was out in the open now couldn’t be taken back into the shadows.
Hickey started to speak a few times before settling on a cryptic “I see.”
John coughed again.
“The other reason I asked for your presence specifically was that you must know that I have your fate in my hands. Should you make the decision to go talking to anyone about what you have seen, I have no qualms detailing your arrangement with Mr. Gibson to the Captain. I will not force you to do anything, and should you walk away and never tell a soul, I will do the same, but I could also put in a good word for you if you help me out.”
He knew that his reasoning here was on shaky grounds, but it was the best he could come up with, his only insurance against certain ruin.
And he needed to do something; even just someone else being in the room with him and seeing him like this seemed to make his situation infinitely worse.
Hickey probably didn’t care about his recommendation, it was more likely that he knew this would give him an advantage over John, something he probably couldn’t resist.
“Okay, I’ll do it,” Hickey said, getting up from his chair.
John let out a relieved breath.
“But we’re going to have to do this on my terms, if I’m the one who’s supposed to do all the work here. And don’t get me wrong, Lieutenant, but you don’t seem to have a lot of experience, if you don’t mind me saying.”
John clenched his fist in the discarded blanket by his side.
No experience with buggery? Of course he didn’t!
Unless Hickey was saying that he looked like a bumbling virgin, which might be the truth, but was even more untoward for his subordinate to imply.
Whatever it was, he couldn’t react the way he really wanted to for risking a change of mind in Hickey.
“Fine, good, you call the shots in this regard. How do you propose we do this?”
“Oh, don’t you worry, Lieutenant, you just get yourself comfortable, maybe undress already, and I’ll be just a second retrieving some supplies.”
John cried out, pulling on the sturdy hemp ropes binding his wrists to the sides of his bunk and pinning him down, his naked chest fully exposed to Hickey, who was sitting on his crotch with no intention to budge anytime soon.
He was still fully dressed, in contrast to John’s stark nudity.
Hickey looked down at John crossly, taking one of his nipples between his forefinger and thumb and giving it a mean pinch.
John nearly howled.
“You will have to control your volume, unless you want the entire crew to see you like that. Do you want that, Lieutenant?”
John could feel hot tears running down the side of his face. His breathing was laboured.
Hickey slapped his face, only once, but with a considerable amount of force.
John squeezed his eyes shut, his hips bucking involuntarily, almost unseating Hickey from his chosen throne.
“You need to answer me when I ask you a question. I know you’re new to this, but it’s all about healthy communication, alright? Now, I’ll ask you one more time: Do you want the crew to see you like a bitch in heat, Lieutenant?”
John almost couldn’t hear him through the loud noise in his head, his blood pumping for dear life.
“No,” he whimpered, “I don’t, I don’t, I swear, please.”
Hickey sat up and then let himself drop again, which felt like someone was pulling all the air out of John’s lungs.
“No, no, no, we’ll have to do this again. You can’t lie to me, Mr. Irving. Isn’t that one of your Commandments? The third one, maybe?”
“God, dear God,” John implored.
Hickey patted his cheek where he had slapped him, the area burning red-hot.
“I know you’d like that, Sir. You can’t admit it to yourself, like you couldn’t admit to wanting this, either, but it’s written on your face plain as day. You know that they say a sodomist can always spot another? Don’t know if that’s true, me, but I could certainly smell it on you like an obscene stench. There’s just something different about a gentleman who wants to have a cock up his arse. I’ve seen enough of them in my time, I know what to look for.”
He let his small hands roam over John’s chest, fingernails catching, leaving hot trails in their wake.
“Now look at you, absolutely debased. And you’d have me flogged for simply having some quick fun with Gibson. Oh, believe me, they’d be doing much worse to you if they found out about what you really are, Lieutenant. Unless you’d give yourself up so willingly to all of them, that might buy you a few weeks’ time till they grow tired of the novelty.”
The sharp sounds of a series of slaps to John’s belly filled the room, each one making him twitch helplessly.
He moved his hips in an agonisingly slow rhythm, pressing down on John.
“What am I going to do with you, Lieutenant Irving? I suppose I could just fuck you, quick and dirty, but I don’t know if that will cure your illness.”
At this he reached down to squeeze John’s cock. John let out a high-pitched moan.
“No, I think we’ll have to be more thorough than that.”
Hickey moved up John’s body, kneeing till he could straddle his chest and working his trousers down enough to take himself out.
John felt faint, the erect cock in front of him looking unreasonably big at this angle, so close to his face.
One hand stroking himself, Hickey moved the other to card his fingers through John’s sweaty hair before giving it a rapid pull.
John howled, his stomach cramping tightly, trying to both pull his head away from Hickey’s hand and push towards it to relieve the strain.
Hickey sat back down on John’s stomach, one hand still in his hair, putting his cock back away with the other.
Against his will, John let out a disappointed noise before he could stop himself.
“Mr. Irving, you have to understand that with you screeching like doxy out for double pay, I simply can’t risk it. We don’t want just anyone to hear you, do we? No, this won’t do.”
John blinked a few times, tears falling from his lashes.
He wasn’t certain what was going on, all he knew was that Hickey had to continue what he was doing, or John would surely die.
“Gibson? Gibson, come in, I need a hand in here,” Hickey called towards the door.
John felt his heart stop. For a blessed second there was no reaction, then the door opened slowly, a sheepish looking William Gibson peeking in from the other side.
“Did you bring your- good, excellent. Our dear Mr. Irving here can’t help but make a ruckus.
Please gag him for now, for all our sakes.”
Wide-eyed, John looked over at where his steward was hovering in the doorway.
Gibson didn’t seem too sure of himself, eyes wandering from Hickey to John and back again, but finally he gave in and walked towards the bed, pulling out a ratty cravat on his way.
John, who had found his voice again at last, cried out.
“Gibson! Gibson, you can’t think- this will have consequences, you hear me? I will make sure-” but the rest was muffled by the sensation of a balled-up piece of cloth being pushed into his mouth.
“Gibson, be a dear and prepare the Lieutenant for me, would you? Oh, don’t look at me like that, you can have a go at him too, after all. You’d think I never do anything for you.”
John let out a subdued noise between a groan and a moan, sweat pooling on his forehead, his jaw already straining.
He let his head fall back, arms going slack from exhaustion. He was still so undeniably, undoubtedly hard, and everyone could tell.
“That’s what I like to see,” Hickey mused while climbing off from his position on top of him, “now he’s finally got the jist.”
He gave John’s cheek another few patronising pats, then motioned for Gibson to take over his place on the bed.
John stared at the ceiling, eyes wide, trying to remember any kind of purifying prayer, yet nothing came to mind, his thoughts blank except for a red-hot current that seemed to run through his entire body.
If he hadn’t been gagged, John would have yelled out loud enough to wake all of Terror .
His legs pushed towards his chest, he could feel all of his nerves concentrating on one single point, the area where Hickey had breached him.
He was now rhythmically driving into John’s body over and over, huffing out quiet breaths while entering him.
The intrusion was almost too much to bear, at once both painful and deliriously exquisit.
What made John squeeze his eyes shut in humiliation wasn’t his body reacting to the buggering with excited pleasure, it was his mind going into overdrive providing him with images of what he might look like to an outsider: wantonly taking what he was given, but craving so much more.
Hickey was moving faster now, swearing under his breath.
The sound of his body slapping against John’s was obscene, and he knew with cold certainty that he would not be able to go to sleep without replaying it in his head for a long time to come, abusing himself to the wretched thought of being taken like this.
His own cock remained untouched, bouncing against his belly, and with his arms bound there was nothing he could do to find relief.
Hickey grunted, hitching John’s legs up higher, his thrusts becoming more erratic.
Just as John was sure he would finish, a sharp pain bloomed on his thigh before he could feel Hickey spill inside of him.
The feeling was strange, and yet impossibly right in some way John could not find any words for.
For a moment, it was as if he himself had been able to let go, the urge to rut and come undone forgotten.
Then Hickey pulled out of him, John wincing at the stinging sensation, and his own urgency came back with a throbbing reminder.
Hickey was breathing heavily now, having finished, and he sat back on his hatches, letting John’s legs settle around him.
John couldn’t bear to look at him, still studying the ceiling intently, at which Hickey pinched the tender flesh on his thigh.
Looking down, John could see the source of his earlier pain now; Hickey had bitten him, the red indentation of his crooked teeth marking him, stark against his pale skin.
He was taking him in with a strange, contemplative look on his face.
Seemingly having decided on an appropriate course of action, he plunged two fingers back into John, whose eyes nearly rolled back into his head.
Had he been able to speak, he wouldn’t know whether he would have cursed or prayed.
Hickey removed his digits, John seeing them glisten at the edge of his vision with the oil Gibson had massaged into him earlier and what had to be Hickey’s own fluid, before he moved up John’s body, fingers outstretched.
John saw him reach towards his face and pressed his head as close as possible to the hard mattress beneath, but there was nowhere for him to go.
Shushing him like an unruly child in church, Hickey touched his forehead, then his lower lip, then his chest, leaving behind a trace of sticky wetness.
John was confused for a moment before he realised Hickey’s gesture for what it was, and he shuddered. Hickey was blessing him with a perversion of the sign of the cross.
John let out a desperate, muffled groan, his cock twitching in shocked delight.
Hickey chuckled, then turned towards the other side of the room where Gibson was still standing.
Irving had nearly forgotten about his steward watching him, a heady rush of shame coming over him at the thought of being seen like that.
Gibson was pale, and there was a noticeable bulge straining his trousers.
John tried to swallow around the gag in his mouth.
Hickey got back up, pulling on his disregarded clothes from where they were dropped next to the bed.
Playfully slapping Gibson on the chest twice, he moved to sit down in John’s only chair, stretching out his legs and crossing his arms behind his head, the image of relaxation.
Seemingly unsure how to proceed, Gibson looked between John, splayed out on the bed, ruined and panting, and Hickey.
“You might want to get in there, my friend,” Hickey grinned, “he won't feel like this when the Marines are done with him. I'll give it a week or so.”
John moaned in heated agony.