by Anne

Notes: The first Oz story I ever complete, this is a post-Revenge is Sweet missing scene. Disclaimer: These characters were created by Tom Fontana. I am only borrowing them. No money is being made. First posted to the twistedsisterhood in early 2001.

Toby walked up the stairs slowly, practicing in his head what he wanted to say. This madness had to end. He and Chris were playing a deadly game and Toby needed to find a way to put a stop to it.

He stopped at the doorway of Chris' pod. Toby waited until Chris looked up at from the bunk he was lying on.

"Chris, we need to talk."

"I don't think so."

"Chris, three men are dead because of this thing between us. I don't even know what to call it."



"You could call it nothing. There's nothing between us. Not anymore."

"Then why did you kill Shemin and Brown and Barlog? He was your friend, for Christ`s sake."

"You don't know that I did."

"You as much as admitted to killing Shemin! You stood right here and taunted me!"

"Well, you were threatening to rat me out."

"Look, Chris, can we stop playing these fucking games for 10 minutes and just talk to each like two human beings?"

"I don't know. Can we?"

"Look, if you're not even going to try and take this seriously, I'll just leave."

"Fine, Toby. Sit. What do you want?"

"When we spoke about Shemin, you admitted to me that you cared about who I was sleeping with."

Chris watched Toby, but didn't respond.

Toby sighed and took a deep breath. "If you care who I fuck, then you must still have feelings for me. What I don't understand is why you can't just forgive me and come back to me. I still love you, Chris," he said and touched Chris' arm.

Chris pushed Toby's hand away. "Don't."

"Can you at least explain to me why. If you can't forgive me, then why am I supposed to do? Wait until you get over this pissy mood? Abstain from sex for the rest of my time in Oz? What? What do you want from me?"

Chris leaned toward Toby swiftly, his expression suddenly angry. "This ain't no pissy mood, Toby."

"Well then, what the fuck is it?"

"I really need to spell it out for you?"

"Apparently, yes."

Chris paused, breathing deeply, trying to gather his thoughts. "When you accused me of ordering Gary's death," Chris started, his voice cracking with emotion. "You ripped a hole in my heart, Toby. I knew then that you didn't love me. At least not as much as I love you," he said, his eyes glistening with tears.

"No, Chris. That's not true," Toby said desperately.

"Can I finish?"

"I'm sorry. Please, go on."

Chris cleared his throat. "Before I met you, Toby, I never trusted myself to love anyone. I never opened myself to anyone. But you gave me everything and I finally believed that I was worth loving. I let you inside me; a place no one has ever been," he said and paused. "Then you accused me and it was like my whole world fell apart."

"I'm so sorry, Chris. It wasn't that I didn't love you anymore. And it wasn't that I didn't trust you."

"What was it then? Huh, Toby? Because we were together when it happened. We weren't fighting. You had absolutely no reason to even suspect I might do something like that. What did I have to gain? I already had your love. At least I thought I did. I certainly had no reason to want revenge. It made no sense, Toby."

"Chris, when Gary died, a part of me died; the small part of me that still believed there might be some fucking good left in this world. I blamed myself and I hated myself. When Zabitz told me you had ordered the hit, I was so deep inside my grief and self-loathing, I would have believed him if he told me my mother ordered the hit. It wasn't you I didn't trust, it was me. I needed to lash out and you were there; like you've always been there. I just feel safe with you - I can be just be me and you'll always be there."

"That sounds pretty, Toby, but you tried to kill me."

"I wouldn't have really killed you, Chris. You and I both know that."

"Then why?"

"I don't know. Even if I wanted to, Chris, I couldn't kill you. You're stronger than me and I know that. Maybe somewhere deep inside of me, I wanted you to slap some sense back into me; pull me back into reality," Toby said and paused. "You know, Chris, after Gary died, you never tried to comfort me. I sat in that pod for days crying and you just came and went like always. When Gen died, you comforted me. When the kids were kidnapped, you comforted me. Why did it stop after Gary died?"

Chris got up and walked to the other side of the pod. "Your grief for Gary was different than for Gen. It was all encompassing like some kind of living thing. I was afraid, Toby. I was afraid to get near it. Besides, I didn't think there was anything I could do."

"Jesus, Chris, all it would have taken was a gentle touch; an `I'm sorry.' You couldn't give me that much?"

Toby waited for an answer and saw something in Chris' eyes he'd never seen before. Was it fear?



"What were you afraid of?"

"That you would push me away again. That I wouldn't be enough to help you get through this. I knew I couldn't take your rejection again. Ironic, isn't it, since that's what I got anyway?" he said, laughing wryly.

"I didn't reject you, Chris. You are rejecting me now. Can't we stop this now? Please?"

"Toby, I can admit that I still love you; I always will. I can admit that it kills me to see you with other guys. But I can't just make this pain you gave me go away. It's part of me now. I can't be with you now. The hurt is still too fresh. Maybe I'll be able to forgive you, but I can't do it now. I'm not that strong."

Toby nodded sadly. "I understand. I'm not going to stop hoping, though. Can we at least call a truce? This game is wearing me out."

Chris nodded. "Just stop flaunting your lovers in front of me."

Toby nodded. "I'm sorry about that. I guess I was trying to force you into taking me back," he said and stood up, walking over to where Chris stood. "I love you, Chris. You're my heart and I will wait as long as I have to."

"I love you, too, Toby," Chris said, tears in the corners of his eyes. Toby embraced Chris fiercely and then left the pod.

*The End*

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