Deep Enough

by Riley Cannon

Disclaimers/warnings: Tom Fontana and HBO own them; I'm only borrowing them for purposes of angst. Song: Taking Over Me by Evanescence
Lyrics provided by: Eliza

"Deep Enough"

"You know," Chris replied, defeat pervading his shrug.

Toby nodded, thinking he did know. "I miss you," he said, and then wished he could take the words back when he saw how much they hurt him.

Chris balled his hand into a fist and slammed it against the glass, shattering it and working his fingers through, cutting himself. Toby reached for him, the jagged shards slicing his own flesh. But he didn't care. All that mattered was he could wind his fingers around Chris', their blood mingling as they stared at each other, starved for each other and oblivious to the SORT team pouring into the room, both of them yelling and fighting as the hacks tried to pull them apart.

"Toby! Toby!" Chris reached for him, straining to get to him even as the guards grabbed him and bundled him out of the room.

"Chris!" Toby lunged after him, furiously struggling to get free. "Chris!" He pounded on the glass, fought with his captors who only clamped down harder, merciless as they held him back and got in the way, always fucking getting in the way. "Chrisssss..."

"...Chris..." he mumbled, struggling against the pull of sleep and rolled over to drag a hand up and rub at sleep-gummed eyes, surprised that he didn't feel the sticky warmth of fresh blood. "Chris?" he whispered into the dark. Silence answered him. He knew not to expect to anything else but he still had to sit up and confirm it, weary gaze roaming the empty pod.

He climbed down from his bunk and padded over to the sink, turning on the tap and cupping his hands to catch the cold water, splash it over his face. He looked in the mirror and watched the drops of water roll down his skin, one of them clinging to his chin for a long moment before splashing against the stainless steel basin. Chris had caught him at this early on, standing there as if mesmerized by his own reflection, Toby explaining he was only trying to make sure he was still real. A corner of his mouth lifted as he remembered Keller's reply, nothing but an eloquent look that said he was wondering just what kind of nut job he'd been locked in here with.

A long time later, when everything was real, Toby hadn't needed to search for his reality in a mirror. He had found that every time he looked in Chris' eyes. He missed that, he needed it back. He was so afraid he would lose himself forever without it.

One arm braced against the sink, Toby reached out to the water-spotted glass, fingers tracing over his features and pressing hard against the mirror, aching to feel something. Tempting, so tempting to slam his fist into the glass and feel it cut him, feel his blood flow and prove he was alive.

Yeah - and spend his last night here in the hospital, maybe even get his parole yanked by that demonstration of his instability. Great plan there, Tobias.

He sighed, fingertips rubbing over the silvery glass and closing his eyes against the rush of memory. That New Years' Eve, that night he released all his anger and caution and let Chris touch him again, welcoming that touch, so tender and careful as if Chris feared anything more would shatter this magical thing they had created against all the odds. Chris had stood back after that first kiss to simply look at him, look and soak up the sight of him, long fingers reaching to touch his face and graze along each feature, stroking along his eyebrows, following the line of his nose, dancing along his lips before claiming another kiss. God, he wanted that again, wanted someone to look at him and touch him like he was the most precious thing they had ever seen.

No, not someone - Chris. Chris...

He pressed his face to the mirror, the glass cold against his cheek, warming as his breath fogged it - and jumped at the sharp rap of a nightstick against the pod door, the hack's implacable glare telling him to get back to bed, reminding him he wasn't out of here yet. Because that really might slip his mind, he might suddenly be suffused with a devil-may-care air these last hours. Christ, he wouldn't draw an easy breath until he was in his dad's car and Oz was twenty miles behind them.

Would twenty miles be enough? A hundred, a thousand, the other side of the world?

Heaving another sigh, Toby climbed back into his bunk, rolling on his side to look out into the darkened common area and wonder what time it was, how much longer did he have? That was better, thinking about how this would be the last night he ever spent like this. Better still was imagining how it would feel to be home in a few more hours, holding his children, and tomorrow night sleeping in a big, comfortable bed. A big, empty bed ... and he rolled onto his back, fighting not to drown in that emptiness. It would get better when he was away from here, when he wasn't hit with memories everywhere he turned.

Sure, and O'Reily had a bridge to sell him.

He squirmed around some more, feeling the bedsprings and every lump in the mattress more acutely than ever tonight. He longed for sleep, for the release and escape it offered. He thought he remembered loving to sleep, once upon a time. A time when sleep hadn't been filled with nightmares, with dreams of all he'd lost and might never find again. Sweet dreams, baby... But who can decide what they dream?

Toby folded an arm under his head, hurting for what he'd lost, in that moment believing he would give up everything to find Chris. Where was he, why had he gone? That last visit, Chris had looked at him and seen how he was grieving for the love Chris was trying to kill with harsh words - met a woman, offered him a job somewhere in the back of beyond, time he was moving on - Chris had said those words and looked at him, blue eyes brimming with how much they hurt. Chris had touched his hand and told him how much he loved him still with nothing but that touch, fingers trailing across the back of his hand. And Toby had known there was no woman, no back of beyond, no moving on. But Chris had left him just the same, had walked way and never looked back and left him all alone.

He hated him for that sometimes. Wanted to beat the crap out of his other times for having so little faith, for not believing it would work. Most times he just ached to have him back and show him what they had was more than Oz, stronger than all the reasons Keller could think up for why it couldn't be.

Didn't Chris know they had to be together to live and breathe and survive in the world? Had Chris forgotten all they had, all they knew about each other? Did Chris think anyone else could ever know him like that, love him like that?

If Toby had to track him down to Timbuktu and remind him, then that's what he would do, because that was something else he saw in the mirror when he looked deep enough. Now he knew what had driven Chris, why Chris had never given up on winning him back. No way was Toby giving this up with any less of a fight.

It didn't matter that he had no idea where to start, how to start. Those were just details and details were not going to keep him from what he wanted - and he wanted Chris Keller like nothing else he had ever known. And wherever in creation he was right now, Keller had to know he'd never get away this easy.

Toby closed his eyes then, thinking the rest of the night might not be so bad now ... and tomorrow was a brand new day.

Toby walked into the restaurant and staked out the corner booth, relaxing on the red leather banquette, his fiddling with the napkin holder and salt-and-pepper shakers the only thing betraying the nervous butterflies romping in his belly. He sucked in a deep and calming breath, mentally squaring his shoulders as someone approached, and looked up to lock eyes with the waiter.

The waiter swallowed and tore his gaze away, glancing around the busy restaurant in a flush of confusion, and fumbling with the menu, dropping it. He bent to pick it up but Toby beat him to it, fingers brushing along the waiter's wrist.

"Wh--what will you have?" the waiter said, clumsy with his order pad and pencil, too.

Toby glanced at him, lingered on his lips, looked back at the menu and smiled to himself. "Well... you, naked and sucking my cock would be a good appetizer."

"I...I'm not sure we have that."

Toby beckoned him closer, closer, until he could clasp the nape of his neck and look deep into those blue, blue eyes again. "I've got a really generous tip for you if you can find some," he whispered.


"Oh," Toby tugged him even closer, not caring who was watching, "you bet your beautiful ass," he said and kissed him, hard and quick and deep. "Don't you ever fucking leave me again," he whispered fiercely, fingers scrabbling through short, dark hair. "You hear me?"

Chris nodded once, quick, and flipped off caution and discretion with the same aplomb as he pressed his mouth to Toby and sealed their fate.


You don't remember me but I remember you I lie awake and try so hard not to think of you but who can decide what they dream?
and dream I do...

I believe in you
I'll give up everything just to find you I have to be with you to live, to breathe you're taking over me

have you forgotten all I know
and all we had?
you saw me mourning my love for you
and touched my hand
I knew you loved me then

I believe in you
I'll give up everything just to find you I have to be with you to live, to breathe you're taking over me

I look in the mirror and see your face
if I look deep enough
so many things inside that are just like you are taking over

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