Title: They Said He Was Depressed (3/5)
Subject Info: B/K and some other guests of the state. Chris survives the fall in Season 6, but has a slight problem
Posted to: TS/TSFX
Feedback to: TS/private
Beta: Sandra Obsessed and Snowed in, I thank you.
Note- Sr Pete and Toby have borrowed lyrics written by Eric Clapton & Will Jennings. So I hope you indulge me.
Sr. Pete was almost through interviewing a new prisoner but was having difficulty concentrating. In her peripheral vision she saw Toby and knew that he was unintentionally distracting her by his constant glancing up at the clock or stretching his arms above his head or cracking his neck. She hated the sound produced when people twisted in strange ways to get their neck or back to crack. `The Man Upstairs had not meant for humans to produce such a noise.'
After she escorted the man to the door and reminded him of their next session, she turned around to look at Toby. She doubted that he had gotten much work done today and it wouldn't do any good if she let him go too early. Chris needed to find his own way and he was a survivor. And if he doesn't remember Toby, well maybe that's the best solution. That way Toby could really get on with his life without the excess baggage to carry around. He would always love Chris in his own way, but the bond would finally be broken.
The radio was always on and they had it turned down low so they could still work but enjoy a song if a good one came on. Since they both liked to work listening to music, they compromised on an FM station that played music from the 60's, 70's, and 80's. It was a combination of different types of music but leaned more towards Toby's taste in music than Sr. Pete's. He didn't care for the Barry Manilow and Carpenter tunes and she didn't care much for Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin sounds, but they had agreed the station wouldn't be turned off. Sometimes the music put them in a good mood and they sang out loud like when songs such as "Copacabana" came on, but Sr Pete had trouble remembering all the words. Sometimes she made them up which made Toby laugh. Toby had a photographic memory, like a certain part of his brain was devoted to the storage of lyrics.
Today was different though, Sr. Pete wasn't paying too much attention until she saw Toby slumped over his computer and she instantly tuned into the music.
Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would you feel the same
If I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on
'Cause I know I don't belong here in heaven...
Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven?
Would you help me stand
If I saw you in heaven?
I'll find my way through night and day
'Cause I know I just can't stay here in heaven...
Time can bring you down, time can bend your knees
Time can break your heart, have you begging please...
"Tobias? I know working today is not easy, but it's best if you keep your mind occupied. And if that song is depressing you then shut the damned radio off! Would you like some coffee and we can talk?"
Toby chuckled. "I know that, Sister. And it's ok, really it is. That song...I just wonder if Chris and I really would know each other in Heaven and if we're really going to get in."
"But wasn't that song written after Eric Clapton's son died? I think he's talking about his young son." She asked then realised her foot was in her mouth.
"Yeah, I guess it applies to Gary also. Look Sister, I'm all right. It's just a song and sad though it may be, that's all it is. Thanks for the coffee offer but I don't think I need any more caffeine, my mind and body ...well, I feel like I'm going to erupt like Krakatoa. And I'd rather finish this up if you don't mind. The time will go a lot faster that way."
"Hmm...Ok, Tobias." She continued working for about forty-five minutes then she looked up at Toby. He seemed to have gotten a second wind and was rapidly doing some typing and her digital watch said 1:50.
"Toby, why don't you call it a day so you can get back to Em City just a little early? Go find Chris before most of the other inmates get back from their jobs. Does that sound agreeable to you?"
"Don't have to ask me twice, Sister. Thanks and I'll see you tomorrow." Toby was shutting down his computer and shoving everything on the desktop into one of the side drawers so she could lock it.
"No Tobias, don't come in tomorrow. Tomorrow's Saturday."
"Yeah... right. Have a good weekend, Sister." Toby exited the office, shut the door, leaned against it for a moment and took a deep breath. Then he walked into Em City and towards his pod.
He entered the quad and quickly glanced around. Nothing out of the ordinary, the usual card games and some movie on TV. As he finished climbing the stairs, he was able to see into his `room'. Chris wasn't inside. But he wasn't worried. He knew Ryan was close by wherever Chris might be. When he opened the door, he looked around and didn't see any signs that Chris might have even been there. He felt a little like a cat on a hot tin roof, so he quickly washed his hands, brushed his teeth and tried not to stare at himself in the mirror. When he finished he looked at both of the beds, ran his hand across the pillows and blankets. He was a little surprised when it appeared that no one had made contact with either one.
Toby could see Officer Murphy at the guard station as he left his pod so he thought he would ask him if he had seen Chris. He walked the few steps down and quickly glanced around the TV area. No sign of Chris or Ryan.
"What is it Beecher?"
"Have... have you seen Chris or O'Reily recently?"
"Not since I let him loose in here a few hours ago. He was with O'Reily for a while playing chess. Sorry. They'll turn up." Murphy said trying to reassure him. He smiled at Toby and then resumed looking at the daily log on his clipboard.
Officer Murphy knew that Beecher was having a rougher time with this than he let on. A staff meeting had been held to inform the C.O.'s of Chris's condition and possible ways to handle situations that might crop up. Sister Pete felt compelled to point out to everyone in the room that Tobias Beecher was also affected by Chris's accident and amnesia.
Suddenly, there was a disturbance coming from downstairs. Murphy was alert to it but hadn't heard any request for assistance from the C.O.'s patrolling that part of Em City so he just continued working.
Toby listened to where the noise began. "Oh, no...Chris!"
Poet and Reggie had only worked a half- day because they did something that pissed off Redding, again. They had spent the extra time in the most constructive way they knew how, somewhere underneath the staircase getting high. They were feeling no pain.
Ryan was watching TV, some old movie about some union men and a waterfront. He didn't pay too much attention to it, but became interested when Marlon Brando appeared on the screen. The hairs on the back of his neck tingled when he saw Poet and Reggie headed toward their cell. Chris was still asleep in his `former' home, the one he had shared with Toby a few years ago. Ryan knew Chris had entered it probably out of some distant memory and had hoped he would remember something while he was in there. He periodically glanced inside and saw that Chris slept soundly. The men now sharing that small space, called home by some, was Poet and Reggie. They got there first.
Reggie opened the Plexiglas door and quickly saw a white baldheaded man asleep in the lower bunk. He lost it at that point. Then Poet joined in.
"Hey Dawg. Watcha you doing in my bunk? I ain't your prag. His pod is upstairs. That's where you supposed to be, with your girlfriend, Beecher." He grabbed Chris by his legs and started dragging him off the bed.
Ryan shot out of his chair and ran into the pod as fast as he could. He got on the other side of the bunk and was able to help Chris before his head hit the metal frame or worse yet, the floor. Chris woke up and felt confused with hands all over him and everyone yelling.
"Get your mother-fuckin hands off me!" Chris yelled and started swinging back. Seeing O'Reily, he said, "What the fuck's going on?"
That was the noise that was heard at the guard station. Murphy held Beecher back, refusing to let him go down the stairs.
"Lopressti, what's going on?" Murphy said as he leaned over the rail. He was able to see Officer Lopressti inside the pod. Officer Howell was moving the crowd that had gathered away from the door.
"Show's over, ladies. Go back to whatever you were doing before we lock it down." Claire said almost in a monotone voice while she waved her nightstick around.
"Officer Murphy, please! No lockdown, please!" Toby had his right hand on the C.O.'s shoulder.
"Beecher, take your hand off me now and I'll forget that you put it there."
Toby did as he was told and put both hands on the top of his head, shut his eyes, and took a controlled deep breath.
"Beecher, you settle down. Control yourself and if you don't, I'm..I'm.. Well, I'm going to call Sr. Pete and she'll figure out what to do with you!" Murphy concluded.
"You two, get out of here!" Lopressti screamed at Reggie and Poet.
"But it's our pod, man." Reggie screamed back.
"I'm not gonna tell you guys twice. Get the fuck out!" Lopressti screamed again.
As the two of them walked out muttering to each other, Lopressti went to Chris. "What's going on here? Are you trying to get your fool head bashed in?"
"Well Officer Lopressti! I'm fine, thanks for asking. What the hell was that all about?" Chris questioned him.
"Looks like Papa Bear's been sleeping in the wrong bed!" Lopressti said then took a few steps out of the pod and glanced up toward the guard tower. "He seems to be ok." He finally responded to Murphy's earlier question.
"Take him to the infirmary so Dr. Nathan can check him out. Have O'Reily go with him." Murphy yelled down. He turned towards Beecher.
"He's ok, but I'm going to have Dr Nathan check him out to make sure."
"Can I see him, please?" Beecher pleaded.
"No! I know you want to be with him, but at this moment you're too volatile. Beecher, please, go back to your pod or go watch TV. Better yet, why not go the gym and work off some of this excess energy or it's the hole. Your choice."
Toby held his hands at his sides and clenched and unclenched his fists. He so wanted to punch Murphy, or Lopressti. At least Claire. That was one way to get rid of some of this excess energy. He just wanted to see Chris. Then he wanted to punch O'Reily. Why did he let this happen? He promised he would watch Chris's back. And how come Ryan got to go to the infirmary with Chris instead of him? It just wasn't fair.
No words were exchanged on the way to the infirmary. Lopressti held on to Chris's right arm and for once Chris didn't shake him off. He felt a little dizzy so the extra support came in handy without making him feel like a whimp. Once inside Dr. Nathan had Chris lie down on one of the gurneys. Ryan stood close by but not in the way of her examination.
"Chris, squeeze my hands." She told him as she began her neurological exam. "Not so tight, Chris."
Next she had put her hands against the bottom of Chris's feet. "Now, try to push my hands down."
"Ok, Chris what day is today?"
Gloria looked at Ryan and asked, "Is it?"
Ryan just shrugged.
"Ok, Chris, who is the President?" She asked as she continued her exam.
"Lee Tergesen." He answered matter of factly.
"Lee Tergesen? The actor from `Weird Science'? Are you sure he's the president, Chris?"
"No, but he's a good actor. And that's what they are, aren't they?" Chris responded.
"I guess so. Well then, your pupils are equal; you have equal strength in your hands and feet. You seem to be alert, oriented and feisty as usual. You're fine as far as I can tell. Ryan, did he hit his head at all?"
"No, no. I was at his side before any damage was done. I had his back." Ryan boasted.
"I'm feelin' ok but a little dizzy doc. Just in case you wanted to ask me." Chris said sarcastically and wondered why no one would directly ask him questions they talked around him.
Dr. Nathan smiled at Chris. For all of the bad things she knew Chris had done, he was still a handsome devil. When Chris smiled it lit his whole face up. "Good, but just to be on the safe side I'm going to keep you overnight. "Is that ok with you, Chris?"
He nodded his head in agreement and tried to relax as she started speaking to O'Reily when McManus suddenly appeared.
"Jesus Christ, he wasn't even in Em City half a day and shit's already hit the fan!" he bellowed, vaguely acknowledging O'Reily. "Gloria, what the hell happened? Is he going to be ok?"
"Tim, Ryan, please let's go in my office. I'm going to keep him because it seems like he's getting some memories back, quicker than I thought he would. It's a lot for him to process at once. Sometimes it can be overwhelming not knowing what memories are true and what the brain makes up from bits of overheard conversations so it might be easier for him to stay here. Ryan, can you tell Toby that he's ok and he can see him tomorrow morning? Tim, is that ok with you?"
"Yeah, sure." Tim said as he rubbed the top of his balding head.
Chris had fallen asleep on the gurney, and was still sleeping when the dinner trays arrived. They decided to let him sleep and if he was hungry when he woke up, they could always get him a sandwich. The nurse checked his vital signs at midnight, 4am, and 6am. Everything checked out ok. But at 4am after they checked him over he said to the nurse, "I've gotta take care of some business. Where's the john?"
The nurse pointed towards the door to his right and Chris stood up. She quickly grabbed his arm, "Are you ok?"
"Just feel a little dizzy but I don't feel like peeing in a bucket. Just give me a minute." He said as he cocked his head and smiled at the nurse.
In just a few seconds his head cleared. "I'm ok now."
She released his arm and Chris walked to the bathroom.
The nurse called for the orderly to stand outside the door just in case Chris needed any help and because the emergency light didn't always work.
"Hey man, you need any help I'm right out here, ok?" The orderly told Chris
"That's cool, I'm fine." Chris said as he finished and slowly walked over to the sink to splash some cold water on his face. He was covered with sweat and wasn't sure why. The cold water felt good and he splashed his face a few more times and then rubbed his neck with the cold water. As he cupped his hands under the faucet and took a few sips, he felt someone watching him. He reached for a paper towel and as he lifted his head to wipe the water from his face he looked into the mirror and could have sworn he saw Toby in a bunk staring back at him.
After Chris got back into bed from his short little trip to the bathroom, the orderly stopped by his bed to make sure he was ok.
"Hey man, let me get you some new pajamas, you sure are drenched in sweat. You sure you're ok? Want me to get the nurse?"
"No, just some dry pajamas and a towel would be nice. Thanks for asking, man." Chris said. He kept hearing a few words spoken earlier that day, ` I ain't your prag. His pod's upstairs. That's where you supposed to be, with your girlfriend, Beecher.'