Keller had no way out, he'd be dead either way. So would Beecher, both of them *fucked*. But still, maybe Schillinger did think he had some use for him, something that he may be worth having around.
Keller rolled off of the bed, swallowing hard and standing up, he stretched slightly and rolled his head. He looked over at Beecher sleeping and wrapped his hand around his neck.
Beecher stirred and his eyes opened and stared at Keller's cold and calculating face. He grabbed his hand as Keller's grip tightened around his neck, Keller added his left hand and continued to tighten his grip, Beecher began coughing, choking on the air, clawing at the hands that were taking his life. But Keller still pressed harder, until he couldn't do it anymore. As he let go of Beecher's neck, he spun around and took a punch at the wall in frustration. Beecher gasped for air, filling his lungs, trying to breathe again. He lied back and continued to breathe deeply, closing his eyes with relief. But he heard Keller's footsteps approach him again, this time loudly.
Keller grabbed him by the back of the neck and pressed into him with his lips, and Beecher didn't put up any fight. After awhile, Keller felt Beecher reciprocating the kiss. Giving as Keller took, taking as Keller gave. Beecher's mouth pushed hard against Keller's. He roughly kissed him, and bit down on Keller's lip, until Keller could taste the warm and salt of his own blood. Beecher licked the blood off of Keller's lips, and continued to kiss him. Until they had to pull away to regain air in their lungs.
The only sound in the room was their hard breathing. Keller could make out his jawline, and the whites of his eyes, and as he moved in to kiss him again, this time Beecher pushed him away.
"This isn't gonna happen. We're not gonna happen." Beecher hissed.
"Fuck that." Keller replied lowly.
"Yeah? So what the fuck were you doing with your hands around my neck?" Beecher grinned madly at him. "You stupid fuck. You were trying to kill me -- now that's romance."
"But I didn't."
"Yeah, `cause you thought you could get your cock sucked before, right?" Beecher carefully got down off his bunk. "That ain't gonna happen, just ask Robson."
"Beecher. Schillinger is gonna kill you, and me."
"Schillinger was gonna kill me when I first got into Oz. I'm still breathing. Now ask me if I care about you dying." Beecher looked him dead in the eyes, and Keller grinned at him.
"Don't need to. Know you do." Keller replied. "He sent me to kill you...but how `bout we kill *him*?"
"Mmm...tempting, but I'll have to pass. I'll take care of Vern-baby my own way, and by the way -- you better sleep with one eye open, fuckwad," Beecher replied, giving him a grin of his own. Keller smirked at him, crossing his arms.
"Don't turn your back on me." Keller hissed his own threat. Beecher's grin didn't subside. They stared at each other coldly, and Beecher pushed past him and returned to his bed.
Keller took a deep breath and looked down. "Fucker," Keller whispered as he sat down on his bunk. "Fucker..."
* * * * * * * * * *
Beecher stepped out of the shower hall just as Vern pushed in the mailroom cart the next morning.
"Mail..." Vern called, looking dully over at Beecher and smiling curtly at him.Beecher tensed, and glanced over at Keller who was staring at him from a table in the common room where he sat with Ryan and Cyril O'Reilly.
Beecher returned to his pod, pulling on a pair of chinos and a t-shirt. He glanced out at Vern handing off mail to the inmates standing in line, only his eyes weren't on the mail, they were on Keller, and Keller's were on his. Fuck, didn't look good for lil' Chris. You can cross Schillinger once and *maybe* get away with it, but twice and you're dead.
Only you're still alive aren't you, Bitcher?
Although the dumb fuck who stepped into Oz three years ago is dead and buried, he hardly knew himself anymore. He looked in the mirror and he could almost see that lawyer, the one who had kids and a wife. But mostly he just saw some crazy prag.
A prag's prag.
Keller. Why didn't he just do it? If Vern wanted Beecher dead in return for his own life, why couldn't he have just killed him?
Because Keller loves you. Sang the voice inside him. And you love him.
Fuck that. Keller doesn't know what love is. None of these fucks know what real love is. He doesn't even know what love is. Not anymore. At least that's what he told himself when he felt his feelings for Keller rising out of the pit of his gut where he pushed them down. Like last night, when Keller roughly grabbed him by his neck, and kissed him. It was just so perverse, just seconds before he was squeezing the life out of him with his bare hands and then he was kissing him. But this wasn't just some kiss, it was passionate, it had meaning. Course, that's what he thought was happening in the laundry room all those months ago, and look where it got him.
One thing was for sure. Beecher didn't trust Keller. But after last night, he knew that Keller didn't want to hurt him anymore. But the damage was done, and even if Beecher wanted to be with Keller, which he didn't, he told himself, he would never put himself in the same position that had landed him in Keller's arms and a body cast.
But maybe he could be with Keller, some other way. After dressing, Beecher strode out of his pod, right past Schillinger and over to Keller.
"Can we talk?" Beecher asked, as Keller turned to look at him. Keller shrugged. Beecher sighed. "Out of his view, Keller." Keller got up and followed Beecher to their pod.
"Okay what?" Damn glass walls, Beecher thought looking out at Schillinger who only had to turn his head to watch them.
"What the fuck, Beecher?" Keller said, growing impatient.
"About what you said last night. About us killing Schillinger together."
"Yeah, what about it?" "Offer still open?" Keller grinned. "Thought you were gonna take care of `Vern-baby' yourself?"
"Hey, I'm doing this for you pal--"
"Fine. You don't want my help, fuck off." Beecher replied quickly.
"Who said I needed your help?"
"You. Last night."
"No I didn't. I said let's kill Schillinger, and I only said that to help *you*," Keller told him, leaning his back against the bunk.
"I am so *sick* of your fucking games!" Beecher shouted. Keller moved away from the bunk, and got into Beecher's face.
"*Me*??? You're the one with the fucking split personality! One minute you're threatening me and the next minute you're being all friendly. I don't *need* or *want* your fucking weak ass help - so *you* can fuck off!"
Beecher only sneered at him, grinned slightly, and left the pod. Keller watched Beecher storm through the common room, not even throwing a glance over at Schillinger who taunted him, then chuckled. The smile on Vern's face faded quickly however as he turned and looked at Keller. He shook his head at him.
Naughty boy, Christopher.
Keller put his head down. Fuck. He *almost* forgot about Schillinger wanting his balls as a trophy. And not in that way, at least not anymore. Keller threw himself on the bottom bunk. Fucking Beecher, crazy crazy fuck. Although, maybe he's the crazy one -- because this whole thing could have been avoided, if he had just finished the deed last night. No more Beecher, and maybe life without parole for Keller -- that wouldn't be so bad. Parole in 50? He was in for life anyway. At least then he wouldn't have to keep looking over his shoulder. But Keller didn't want to dwell on why he hadn't killed Beecher, he knew why, and it wasn't because he was a dumbfuck, though that factored into it. Definitely.
The only thing to dwell on now was how to get Schillinger, before he or any of his crew got him. And Keller wasn't alone. Beecher wanted Schillinger, even more badly then Keller, and O'Reily - he was out to get Schillinger as well, after what he did to his brother. Ain't Vern popular? But how, how could he do it?
If only he was friendly with someone in the Aryan Brotherhood, what Keller would give to have that advantage. Someone playing from the inside, only to get close and boom! See ya in hell, Vern. But there was no way he could seduce one of Vern's inside boys. Was there? No --- no way. He didn't have enough time, he needed some way of knocking him off fast and easy, with no mess, nothing leading to him in the end.
But what caught him off guard was Beecher accepting the offer to team up together. And the only way Keller knew how to defend himself when he was caught off guard was to push away, close himself off. Right now, he couldn't trust anyone, least of all his little bunkmate Beecher. Especially not after him knowing that Keller was going to kill him last night. Even though it was everything he wanted, Beecher coming to *him*, asking *him* to join up. Only there was one thing missing from that proposition. And if Chris couldn't have him the way he wanted, he didn't want him any other way. He knew that was somewhat of a lie, but it seemed pointless to him to have Beecher as his buddy, his *pal*, when he knew he would never think of him that way. Never.
Keller got up from the bunk and looked at Beecher's bed, and took the pillow and flung it across the room. He fingered the blood clot on his lip, he picked at it, until the wound Beecher had made with his teeth began to bleed again. He could feel Beecher's lips on his when he closed his eyes. He licked the blood off his lips, closed his eyes for a brief moment.
When he opened his eyes, he realized he definitely needed some space, needed to gather his thoughts, needed to think of something other than threading his fingers through the golden hair of his his podmate as he kneeled in front of him. Because all he needed to do was get Schillinger, and he couldn't afford any distractions. Toby was a big distraction, his only distraction. Keller strode out of the pod, tossing a casual glance at Schillinger. Fuck you too, Vern.
He spotted O'Reilly under the staircase, handing off a ballooned sak of tits to some blond guy, while Cyril stood next to him, tall and strong and completely unknowing. Keller walked up to him once the tit trading was finished.
"O'Reilly," Keller said, O'Reilly nodded at him, his eyes darting across the quad area. Keller nodded toward Schillinger once Ryan finally looked at him.
"You up to it?" O'Reilly gave him a knowing smile.
"That fuck's going down." "When?"
"Soon." O'Reilly replied. "That's all you need to know."
"I could help you." O'Reilly just smiled and shook his head.
"Naw, don't think so." Keller knew O'Reilly was right, he was one person in prison who didn't need anyone's help. How that was possible for O'Reilly wasn't hard to figure out. He lived off manipulation. Twisting people the way he wanted to, the way he needed to. Just for his survival, just to survive in this fucking hellhole.
Keller swaggered away, over to a table where Rebadow and Busmalis sat with that fucking Russian. They became silent once Keller sat down, and Stanislofsky lowered his gaze as he began to deal cards to the old timers. What a wonderful life, Keller thought as he watched a smirking Schillinger wink at him and walk away. Oh yeah, oh fuck.
* * * * * * * * * *
As Beecher sat in Sister Pete's office typing on the computer, Officer Mineo walked in. He briefly looked at Sister Pete who looked up at him from her desk, then looked over at Beecher. "Beecher, McManus wants to see you." Beecher glanced over at Sister Pete, who looked at him with raised eyebrows.
"Now." Mineo said forcefully, as Tobias got up, and followed the CO back to Em City to McManus's office.
"McManus, got Beecher for you." Mineo said as he and Beecher walked up to the unit manager's office. McManus nodded and waved them in.
"So, Beecher. How're you doing?" McManus asked, as he sat on the edge of his desk, making himself seem more approachable, friendly even. But Beecher only looked at him blankly.
"Why exactly am I here?" Beecher responded.
"I want to talk to you about Officer Metzger..."
"What about him?" Beecher shot back coolly.
"You do know you were the last one seen with him before he turned up dead, don't you? Turned up *murdered*." McManus replied, getting up from his desk and sitting down behind it, leaning forward and looking at Beecher.
"So what?" Beecher replied. He crossed his arms and watched McManus scratch his hairless head.
"Let's see, Beecher. You were seen leaving Em City with Metzger and coming back to Em City without Metzger, later he turns up dead in a dark hallway. How do you think that looks?"
"I don't know. How do *you* think that looks?"
"It looks like you fucking killed him, that's how it looks!" McManus shouted as Beecher sat calmly and emotionless across from him.
"What you have is all hearsay. Who's to say I didn't come back with Metzger? Did any officers see me come back without him, or is this all prisoners' words? And which prisoners? Maybe some of the Aryan faction?" Beecher smirked as he saw McManus look down at the papers on his desk briefly. "So, *why* am I here again?" McManus narrowed his eyes and called Mineo into his office.
"Take him away."
Mineo grabbed Beecher roughly by the arm and Beecher nodded briefly at McManus before being dragged out of the office. He smiled to himself, shaking his head. Even though McManus pretty much more or less figured out Beecher was somehow to blame for Metzger's death. Beecher knew, McManus didn't really give a shit. It saved him the trouble of finding out some dirt on him to get him transferred out of Em City and fired. Beecher did him a favor. That was all an act he put on back there, Beecher knew that would be the last he'd hear of that.
As Beecher hurried down the steps and back on route to Sister Pete's office, Keller came up behind him.
"We need to talk."
"Later," Beecher said, not looking at him. Keller began to walk in the same pace as Beecher next to him.
"Lockdown. I have some things to say to you too." Beecher replied, as he neared the gates of Em City. Did he have anything to say to Keller? And why was he talking to him now? Ahh, fuck this. Back to Sr. Pete, get away from all of this shit. Spend a blissful hour staring at a computer screen.
"Keller." Beecher stopped, and Keller turned and looked at him. Beecher sighed, "I'll tell you tonight. Okay?" Keller just turned and walked away.
Beecher went towards the gates, and an officer walked up to him and escorted him back to Sister Pete's office.
* * * * * * * * * *
As the plexi glass door whooshed open, the inmates stepped in. Beecher stepped in behind Keller, who turned to look at him.
"Okay." Keller started, watching as Beecher crossed the room to his bunk. "I've thought about things, and I want your help."
"Help with what?" Beecher asked, climbing up to the top and stretching out.
"With the plan against Schillinger."
"Oh....you have a plan?" Beecher asked, looking down at Keller. Keller's face flushed.
"Well, we gotta kill him."
"How? When? And where? Got anything on that?" Beecher asked, Keller just stared at him.
"Didn't think so. Great plan."
"Fuck off. I don't need your help--"
"We're gonna do this again?" Beecher said, as he grinned.
"Look, Keller, I'll help you, but we gotta make sure how we do Schillinger is clean, picture perfect...and he ends up dead. Not *barely* alive, *dead*."
"Yeah, `cause if we don't. *I'm* the fuckin dead man." Keller replied, walking closer to Beecher's bunk. He rested his hands on the mattress, and Beecher's heart quickened as Keller's arms brushed up against his legs. "Schillinger wants me dead, because you're still alive."
"I know." Beecher said, as he scooted his legs away from Keller's arms, but Keller grabbed his thigh.
"Toby." Keller ran his hand up the inside of his thigh. He stared into his eyes, and Beecher grabbed his hand with his.
"Stop." He flicked his hand away. "I'll work with you on this. But that's it. This thing between you and me, is finished." Beecher stared at Keller, whose face hardened with contempt and disappointment and he disappeared to the lower bunk. Beecher took a deep breath. Unbelievable.
Keller thought just because he agreed to help him out that there'd be something sexual to be gained. He moved in on him way too fast. //"I'll help you" "Okay, good. Now lets fuck. Close the deal."// Ever hear of shaking hands? Beecher didn't know what he was doing helping him in the first place. The way things were with them, they'd have another fight tomorrow about the same fucking things and then the deal would be off, only to be back on again later, only by then it would be too late.
Keller lied back in his bed, staring at the thin matress above shift slightly and then become still. Only the slow breathing of his podmate could be heard. He somehow always knew how to get the fucking upperhand. Because that's what this was all about, pushing him off -- telling him he doesn't want him, it's all to get upperhand. So when Beecher decides he does want him, he'll have him lapping out of his hand. Which he will, which I'm already ready to do. Keller thought angrily. Bastard. But if he thinks after that, if he'll still have the control over this -- he's fucking naive.
Then again, maybe he doesn't even think he will have control. Maybe that's why he's taking so long to come around. Keller grinned to himself, yeah Toby yer just waitin' aren't ya? Waitin' to hand me over the lines. And I tried to be good to you too, I mean I ratted on Vern, which is why he wants me dead. And I didn't kill you when he wanted me to, and now he's gonna kill me. I put my life in jeopardy for you. Oh yeah, Chris, you're a fuckin' saint.
Then Keller remembered he couldn't even trust his partner in this whole Vern project. Who's to say Beecher doesn't want him dead after they get rid of Vern? Beecher's one sick fuck, and definitely not in the best frame of mind right now. So Keller can't put that past him, yet still, he doesn't feel like he has too much to worry about. But if that happens, if Beecher tries to make a move on him, Keller will be there to greet it -- he took mercy on him before, if he threatens his own life, he won't do it again.
And if that means killing him, so fucking be it. There's only one real reason to kill in this shithole, and that's to survive.
But a plan. A plan to get Schillinger was going to be extremely difficult. Nevermind the fact that they are in completely different units, there's always a way that can be worked out. But Schillinger is always surrounded by his cronies, even if they do get close enough to shank him, there'll ass will be next on the ground, bleeding internally. Fuck, fuck, fuck.
Keller didn't want to think about it anymore. Not now, he pushed his head down into the flat pillow trying to drift off to sleep.
* * * * * * * * * *
A few hours later, Keller found himself standing in front of his pod, half awake. Beecher stood next to him, silently watching him. After count was finished Beecher sat down at a table with Keller, shuffling cards.
"So..." Beecher started, looking at Keller who watched the cards in Beecher's hands.
"Have you decided how we're gonna kill him?" Beecher asked as he dealed the cards out. He watched Keller's reaction to the question, and then he watched him search for words in his head.
"Great." Beecher muttered looking down at his hand. Ouch. He was the dealer and yet he's got the shittiest hand, how is that possible?
Keller leaned into Beecher, lowering his voice into a husky growl. "What we need is someone on the inside of the whole Vern camp to take care of it for us."
"That is not gonna happen, those fucks are way too loyal for their own good."
Suddenly, out of the corner of Beecher's eye, he spotted O'Reilly without Cyril talking casually to a hack who was near him. It didn't look suspicious at all, which was what interested Beecher. He put his cards down and watched. The C.O. was new, short with reddish brown hair, he resembled Ryan in a way. He was Irish, that much was clear. And apparently chummy with O'Reilly. Keller followed Beecher's glance and looked at the two standing near the bottom of the stairs.
"What the fuck is goin' on there..." Keller said slowly. Beecher waited until Keller returned his glance to him.
"I dunno, but it could be useful."
"Suppose O'Reily's got a hack in his pocket. It wouldn't be the first time."
"I still don't see how this is useful to *us*"
Of course you don't, Beecher thought. "'Member Metzger?" Beecher said simply, waiting for Keller's face to break into an "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, you mean *that*" look. Keller looked down at his cards, and smiled to himself.
"So you think this guy could be a Metzger type deal. A guy who would kill for O'Reily?" Beecher only shrugged, and smirked back at him.
"Read 'em and weep." Beecher said, laying down his shit hand of a pair of two's.
"Damn. Does that beat a flush?" Keller replied slapping down his cards.
"I hope you know I let you win." Beecher said, taking the cards and shuffling them.