by Jen

This job sucked.

"I haven't seen my boy in five months. Please."

Murphy gave his best sincere look to the older woman.

"I'm sorry ma'am, as I already told you, he can't have visitors for the next thirty days."

"Why? He's not that bad."

The crap just kept piling up every day. Murphy almost told her why her kid was in the Hole. But it wasn't right for a teary mom to find out her pride and joy got busted for trying to rape his podmate.

"I want to see the warden."

Pissing on the pool table, maybe, but rape? Nah.

"The warden is very busy...."

"I bet he is! Riding Governor Devlin's coattails. I see him on tv."

Ten minutes already.

"Would you like to leave a note?"

Her eyes went from puffy to angry.

"What's your name?"


"Thanks. Your superiors will hear from me."

Murphy considered himself a patient fella, but enough was enough.

"Hey, lady, you think I get a thrill outta this? Maybe if you did a better job with your kid to begin with, he wouldn't be cooling his heels in solitary."

He expected some tough anger, maybe even a slap. Instead, she choked a sob and wiped her eyes.

"I just wanted to see my baby."

And off Mrs. Gardner went, drudging away, glasses crumpled in hand.

A heartbreaker, but nothing new. He'd seen it a million times. Never get involved, never feel. It was still a struggle some days, but twenty years in uniform taught him a few survival skills. So many guys gave in to the helplessness and corrupt shadows, it ruined their lives. Tainted their souls. Murphy only dipped his big toe in once. And he'd regret it for the rest of his miserable mick life.

Hamid Khan. Ryan O'Reily. O'Reily. Such a piece of work.

He didn't need to see him. The dreams were bad enough. Demanding O'Reily turn himself in, getting that know-it-all smirk instead. Watching the lanky body lose clothes, bending over so O'Reily could slip him some green meat, not being able to stop it. Wanting....needing.

Murphy looked down at the hardness pressed against his zipper. *This is why you don't think about Ryan at work? Remember?*

Time to take a break. He radioed for Summers, heading toward a cup of shitty coffee and beige-white walls.

Murphy had chosen to back away from the con with the hypnotic eyes. After Khan, way too risky not to. O'Reily never gave a shit about him, pushed the right buttons. Musta been so easy to watch the "hack" wag his tail and wait for the bone. Never even had to deliver any teary goodbyes, soon as the knowledge of that water bottle jumped into Khan's waiting grave, O'Reily never spoke more than two words. Course, now he couldn't even speak that, thanks to Murphy's parting of the ways with retro Querns. Hadn't seen suit jackets that fuckin' ugly since the Bob Newhart Show.

He sat with his cup, needing the caffeine to stop from tearing out the hair he had left. And then he saw him. Murphy cocked his head, trying not to sound too pathetic, probably failing.


That skinny little ass turned around and practically ran outta the room. Coward. Maybe it'd be best to go after him, try to.....nope. Tim had to come around in his own time, then he'd put on a happy face and pretend the last few months were a bad dream. This was worse than the others had been, but it still fit the McManus pattern.

He looked so thin and sickly, he needed more meat on his bones. Or meat *in* his bones, but he never let that happen, unless it was a very special occasion. Like any time Tim was horny enough to have six beers, bite the pillow, and pull that temporary amnesia shit as soon as sun hit his eyes. Sure Tim, it's so hard to sit cause the chair isn't comfortable enough.

Coffee wasn't too bad. Guess Father Mukada didn't make it today.

Tim and O'Reily hated each other. Funny thing was how much they had in common. When each had a plan, they were driven beyond belief. The gleam in their eyes seemed inhuman. Obsessed. O'Reily plowed through no matter what, he'd lose every pint of blood before he gave in. Tim's shoulders slumped, but he always came back. Neither guy could be counted out before round ten. When Murphy (used to) talk to them, he knew their minds were everywhere, constantly thinking and juggling the dozens of problems Em City caused.

Em City.

Em City was a friend, an enemy, and their only future. They were both prisoners, encased in that ever-changing, never-changing shithole. All that time spent on Doc Nathan and Diane, their true mistress had glass walls and a life sentence.

Huh. Helluva lotta waxing for a lug who barely finished college. Murphy barely even knew O'Reily. Felt uneasy saying his first name, even in his own head. But he'd hung around guys like Ryan every day in his old neighborhood, all bullshit, cold as ice one minute and exploding emotion the next. His steps were the same, 'til he had to change. Ryan never had that chance, he had to choose. Go dark or die.

That's why Murphy tried to help, he felt their connection, no one else understood. It took the spiking to kick his head outta his ass. Ryan was a manipulative motherfucker who used the Black Irish to further his own cash flow. That choirboy face hid a selfish soul. Still, when he remembered the looks Ryan gave him, their easy banter, had it all been a game?

"Hey Murph."

Hadn't realized his thoughts were so far away.

"Yeah Armstrong?"

"Thought you might want to know Cyril O'Reily's laid up in the infirmary. He flipped out on some homeboys after they tried to give him a chocolate bar."

A chocola....


Armstrong grabbed a donut, going back out to the trenches. Murphy crossed his arms on the table. Em City may have been a pit, but Cyril used to be pretty safe. What the hell was going on there? Thank Christ Em City wasn't his problem. That's what he told himself, standing to go the infirmary. Not his problem anymore.

He stood by Cyril's bedside. Poor kid looked pale as a ghost. Completely out of it. It was hard to remember this little boy had garroted a man in his own car. He deserved punishment for killing Preston Nathan, but this was too damn much.

Knuckles were white from clenching the cold metal around the bed. He barely noticed Nathan joining him.

"I heard what happened. He's drugged."

"I gave him haldol."

She looked detached, either she didn't care or she wouldn't allow herself to. Thought about commenting on her rape, but realized how stupid it was before his mouth opened. "I'm sorry you were raped." "I hope you feel better soon." "I hope the bastard gets what's coming to him." Nothing was appropriate, nothing took the pain away. Instead, he went back to the other nearby victim.

"Was the haldol necessary?"

"No, I'm looking for a guinea pig. Why the fu.."

When he turned to look at her, the possible tirade blew off. Musta seen it was an honest question, not an attempt to ride her ass. She glanced at the chart, at her coat, everywhere but his face.

"Yes, it was necessary."

He didn't watch her walk away. Cyril was so peaceful, no fear in his eyes. Almost wished he could stay asleep, but this was living death. The whisper flew out before he could stop it.

"Like life in Oz ain't the same thing."

A hand brushed a stray hair from Cyril's eyes. Not his. Must be Sister Pete.

"Thank you for coming to see him."

"Least I could do."

Her hands seemed so soft and small, until she encircled Cyril's right hand with her left. Giving everything she had to make his pain less.

"Ryan O'Reily has been waiting outside for a while. He's very upset. Could you go see him?"

She had her no-nonsense face on. Murphy was tempted. Ryan could use him as a punching bag, blame him for not being around, rant on his shoulder. It might bring back whatever they used to have.

"That's not my job Sister."

"Could you just talk to him for a minute?"

"I'm sorry, I can't."

She gave up. Good. Murphy began walking back to his post, not too thrilled. But he made a promise to himself, and he was gonna keep it. Ryan O'Reily was a big boy, he didn't need some fucking hug and a pat on the head. Didn't take away those guilty pangs Murphy felt, but that was all he had to make do with.


Home. Finally. Long live the piles of dirty laundry in the hall. Let's not even talk about the pizza boxes reproducing like Tribbles on his coffee table.

Work was shit, shittier every day. He knew he couldn't last much longer. Few weeks maybe. The easiest part of the day had been the Hispanic lady whose only English was "chew toy".

A sip of beer helped clear his thoughts. Cheap stuff but potent. He tossed his clothes in a pile on the bed while his bath water ran. It was a small tub. He loved Joe's big, round tub, used to sit in it for hours. Probably loved that tub more than he ever did Joe. Nice guy though.

His last real relationship, at least eight or nine years ago. They sorta fizzled, stopped caring long before the goodbyes were said. He remembered how relieved Joe seemed.

Steam smothered the mirror, hot water singing his body when he sat inside. Ooooohhh...too damn hot. Loved it this way. His head lolled against the back of the tub, staring at the ceiling. He felt so tired. Horny too. Every once in a while a pickup from the bars filled his bed. They never stuck around past breakfast. Half were gone when he woke up.

Beads of sweat rolled down his forehead. He wiped them away before they hit his eyes.

A regular boyfriend wouldn't be hard to find. He just didn't care. Lack of ambition. When he turned 18, Pop asked about his future career plans. A cop. Just like the rest of the Murphy men. College came and went, majored in political science with phys ed as a minor. Then Pop got his head blown off during a drug bust, and Ma begged him to stay away from the force. He took a job at Attica instead. Not what she had in mind. He still got teary phone calls on the anniversary of Pop's death.

Warm water now, soothing, cleansing every part of his body. The washcloth felt smooth against his chest.

Murphy never planned to make it a career. When something better came along, he'd jump on it. 20's, 30's, mid 40's, still no brass ring to lunge at. He did his job, paid his bills. He was a damn good guard.

He poured the rest of his beer over his head, cool liquor traveling through his scalp, catching the drops on his tongue.

O'Reily and Tim were built on ambition. And now they were suffering the consequences. He missed how they made him feel. So much alike, so different, too bad they couldn't be lumped into one man. Tim's cute mouth mixed with O'Reily's sleekly muscled arms.

The cloth swept over his matted chest fur, a low groan echoed as his hand found a nipple. He had such a nice body, especially for his age. Wished he got noticed more. Nothing wrong with being called hot, unless it's a prisoner. Prisoners who ain't named Ryan O'Reily.

//O'Reily's round ass and Tim's cock...//

He wrapped the washcloth around his base, water hitting the floor as small strokes grew longer. Rubbed his cock over his stomach, hairs coated by early spunk.

//Tim and Ryan fighting, Ryan jumping on top of him, rolling around, pelvises thrusting against each other, Ryan gives that I'm gonna fuck you smile..//

Murphy rolled his balls, one, then the other, scraping his head with the thumb nail. Middle finger found the crack, massaging the entrance.

//Ryan ripping Tim's pants off, throwing his legs over skinny shoulders...//

So close, so fucking close it was rumbling in Murphy's gut, tightening his nuts...

//Tim grunting and clawing Ryan's back, hissing "Fuck me, fuck me Ry...//

Murphy shoved his finger all the way in, mouth open in blissful silence as he came. All over his belly, neck, the wall beside him, finally shooting the last in the water.

Tired now, needed to get out before he fell asleep. He let the cool water wash over him a few more minutes, scooping the cum off his belly, licking a few drops off his fingers, immersing the rest when his hand went underwater.

Not a big need to rush, now that he thought about it. He'd have to do the same bullshit tomorrow anyway. Same thing every day.