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Beta'd by Erin.

Points of View - part 2 - "An exercise in routine"

by Ralu

Returning to Em City after having met his father, Beecher wasn't exactly feeling *relieved*, as he would have hoped a talk about that with his old man might have made him feel.

No, he definitely wasn't FINE with the whole charade he and Keller were playing.

Because, truth be told, most of the time, Toby couldn't quite bring himself to be as easy about this thing going on between the two of them as Chris might have hoped.

He hated the Em City choir, always following his and Keller's every step, every word, every sign of affection, every motherfucking swing they occasionally took at each other. Like they were the best sideshow around, with Keller playing the clown and himself the *lil' ol' woman* most guys secretly wanted to get a piece of.

That horrible feeling of being type-cast again, the thing Toby hated the most.

Because, let's face it, the man is NO *woman*, he's nothing that could be easily classified.

(Except maybe as a junkie.)

Toby kept slipping through everybody's fingers, smooth and far more loose than a lot of the guys in Oz, always changing direction, always swimming against the stream. Rarely goin' with the flow. Always on the edge. Predictably unpredictable.


So, going back to his pod and finding Keller slouched on *his* top bunk, reading something (or pretending to) didn't inspire in Toby any feeling of loosening up, after having seen his father.

As one might have expected.

"How was *seeing dad*?" Chris asked, looking up at Toby only for a second.

Voice even, a little bored, a small hint of...mockery.

But, I guess, when you never had any dad at all, when you don't have any family whatsoever coming to see you in here...it's only natural! To act like that. To feel that *lack* of...whatever. To be envious.

"It was OK."

Not even looking in his direction, face kept carefully blank, but Keller has been his podmate for way too long not to notice his discomfort.

'No, honey, don't wanna talk to you, don't even wanna look at your sorry ass... Got a headache! So get off my fucking case, already!'-- like being *married* all over again, Chris couldn't help but muse.

"Didja see Holly?"-- knowing this particular subject usually got Toby out of any pissy emotional state he was in and just fucking *relax* a bit.

"No. Not today."

Still not looking anywhere near him.

And Chris feeling this weird annoyance. The kind that comes from not getting the full attention he craved so much it had turned into a habit, especially around Beecher. Mixed with something...unsettling. Frightening. Making his heart cringe, his whole body slightly shiver.

"Gotta do laundry," Beecher muttered almost to himself, turning for one insignificant second to face the other man. Sighing, like the very act of meeting Keller's eyes was some kind of burden.

Like he was sick. Of him - Keller could have placed a bet on that one.

(--And: 'Get the fuck off my bunk! You've got your own, use it. Stop trying to get *inside* me anyway you can, bitch!'--)

'Okay, he's *pissed*...',Chris mused, not moving.

Waiting just a little more, just to see what he'll do.

(--'Nope, he ain't coming anywhere near me...Suit yourself, asshole!'--)

So he gets down and moves away a little from the other man, watching him going through his stuff, looking for something. Or pretending to.

While Beecher can only think, almost whisper it: 'Come on, I don't feel like talking to you, don't feel like even being in the same room with you, just fucking leave.'

"Don't need this shit..." Toby finds himself muttering, even though Chris hasn't said another word, hasn't even tried to. Didn't even get that close to him. Didn't get close at all, truth be told.

"Okay," the other man says, voice lowered into a murmur to match Beecher's.

Hesitates for a moment, giving him a sidelong glance, as Toby keeps going through his laundry.

(--'If this is what you want...'--)

And when Beecher finally turns around, he finds himself left all alone. A small twitch of the corner of his mouth, a bit nervous, annoyed. But, overall, as Toby discovers a bit surprised, not that much feeling...of any kind.

Oh, maybe just one of his moods...

(--And: 'God, I could sure use a fucking drink, right now!'--)


A couple of days later.

After pretty much deliberately avoiding going anywhere near Beecher, unless, of course, he really had to, Chris had started to feel that inner craving again - that need for his body to sense his presence, that habitual desire to simply get as close as possible to Toby, fucking CARVING himself into the other man's flesh. Mind. Soul.

Into everything Beecher had. Into whatever he was, at the end of the day.

And, at night, listening to the other man's slow, steady breathing, almost *hearing* his sated pulse as he buried his face deeper into the pillow, made Chris almost BEG for a fucking nightmare to come over Tobe like a storm and make him toss and turn, whimper, cry and fucking even scream at the end of it.

Then, he'd know what to do, he'd get close to him, Tobe would let him do it. 'Cause, shit! Tobe needs, always *needs* someone to fucking drag him out of his nightmares and just hold him. Just to know someone gives a shit.

(--'And I'd do that for ya, four-to-fifteen-to-fifty-to-eighty-eight-to-fucking-eternity, baby! In a heartbeat. 'Cause, fuck me!-- and *you* can definitely *fuck me*-- if I have anything else better to do with my time in here! With the rest of my life.'--)

Wanting to get up and just touch his back, that nape of his, his shoulders. See him shiver, wake up all freaked out, that glimmer of fear in his eyes, if only for a second; that arch of bad fucking memories.

Knowing that Chris knows, that he'd lived it too.


And cooling down, biting back that impulse of his to say something he knows would hurt Keller.

(Since he's so good at that...)


(--And:'Oh, my God! Oh, my sweet fucking Jesus! S.M.I.L.I.N.G., smiling, smiling like *that*!'--)

Drowning that ugly squint into something way more inviting. Soothing.

That fucking intimacy all over again, like everything and everybody's disappeared and there's nothing left on this world but them.

Dissolving time, forcing it into one everlasting second of pure tenderness.

(--'Nothin' and nobody's gonna take that away from me, Tobe. Nothin', nobody's EVER gonna take you away from me.'--)

But, back in the here and now, Toby's playing cards with O'Reily and Rebadow, while Keller's (not) watching the whole thing from a nearby table. Reading.

And, strangely enough for a high school dropout, Chris does read. A lot!

Those big, beautiful dark eyes of his moving fast from left to right, right to left, then looking up for a second...two seconds...

Hearing O'Reily rumbling annoyed:

"This shit's gonna fucking kill us! Doin' the same fucking thing one day after the other 'til we're in fucking hell, doin' the same fucking thing forever, I bet."

"We need another player." Beecher's voice is low and bored.

"Hey, Keller, wanna play?"

And that's not Toby's voice, but Rebadow's.

One small glance at Toby, seeing the silent invitation in the other man's eyes.


Dragging his chair to the table and sitting between O'Reily and Beecher (natch!), uncharacteristically NOT spreading his long legs under the table, eyes on Bob's hands shuffling the cards.

O'Reily, grinning:

"What's wrong with you two? Off, again?"

And, again uncharacteristically, Beecher being the one to snap back, nasty:

"What the fuck do you care, O'Reily?"

Suddenly uneasy, Tobe gazes over at Rebadow, searching for that uncanny neutrality the other man seems to have mastered into an art. Something never too close, but, at the same time, strangely comfortable. Familiar. But, instead of giving into Beecher's silent plea, Bob looks straight at Keller, the other man's face seeming more and more tired, withered.

Like he's sick of constantly trying to find the right path to Beecher's heart...and something else.

(And he usually gets that *something else*...but it seems that's not exactly what Keller's after. Which, as it turns out, is too bad for him. 'Cause Toby's having a hard time to... Well, Tobias is *complicated*...)

"I wonder if my cat's still alive," Keller mumbles almost to himself, not looking at anyone.

And, to that, both Beecher and Ryan stare at Chris, and then at each other, completely dumbfounded. Like witnessing the Second Coming or something similarly insane. (Where did THAT come from?!)

Ryan's smirk widening into a clown-like smile, Beecher frowning, not quite getting what it actually meant.

Rebadow, being a man who's probably seen and heard a lot of strange, slightly irrational things since being in Oz, gives Keller a comforting look, filled with an odd distant sympathy that makes Chris shiver a bit.

Like everytime (and this almost never happened) someone showed a shred of genuine care, and didn't expect a blowjob in return.

"What was your cat's name?" Bob asks gently.

And Keller (shrugging) looks at him, looks at the table, looks at Beecher. His snub nose, his wrinkled brow. Those blue eyes, puzzled.

"Didn't have a name...it was just a 'cat'. 'Cat'."

Eerie silence for a second. Like goin' into fuckin' uncharted territory with nothin' but a dim flashlight. Too much silence, for someone's taste.

"Christ, Keller! What's with you and your fucking dead cat, what kinda guy's got a cat for a pet, anyway?!"-- Ryan almost squeaks, getting up, boredom, annoyance and plain ol' jail frustration - all coming together disappointingly slow. A lazy tidal wave, breaking and disappearing even before reaching the shore. Jesus, he's bored!...

Looking at Rebadow and knowing, KNOWING he'll probably end up in his shoes, one day.

Being the lucky motherfucker that he is.

And feeling his stomach roll.

( Well, even The Lord of the Fucking Dance has his bad days.)

"Fucking crazy freaks", he manages to mutter, on his way to...wherever.

While Rebadow - knowing instinctively the two men need some time for themselves to work out whatever tensions had built up between them the past few days, simply gets up and leaves quietly.

Sensing the ball's (finally!) back in his court, so to speak, Keller can't seem to stop himself from doing this private dance of his, his chin resting on his outstretched arm on the table, head tipping slowly on one side, looking at Beecher, and then looking at the table,and then looking at Beecher, and then...

Looking more weary than ever. And pensive.

(But doesn't he always look like that?)

And...sensual, smoldering eyes roaming all over Toby's face, neck, shoulders...

Rubbing his lips slightly against his forearm, that unbearable easiness breathing through every pore of his body, making Tobe give him one of those *I-can't-believe-I'm-doing-this-but -I-can't-help-myself* patented Beecher looks.

Trying so hard not to smile.

"Stop doin' that," Toby says, fighting back a sudden urge to giggle like a tickled 6-year-old.

(And Keller, thinking: 'This can't be that easy. Man, IT IS, it really is... Just his fucking moods, I guess.')

Spreading his legs under the table, twisting close around Beecher's ankles.

Feeling him twitch a little, but playing along.

Reaching out to run his fingers on Toby's arm, barely touching his knuckles.


And Toby slightly shaking his head, like the whole thing was so fucking childish. Stupid. More arousing than anything.

A low husky whisper:

"It was a big fat fucking cat. Huge. It sometimes couldn't walk straight."

And, finally, FINALLY, Toby smiles. Like he really is amused. Or like he would have blown up if he hadn't smiled that very moment.

Eitherway, Chris knows he still has it.

Has him.

In spite of...well, everything.

And it is so fucking easy it hurts, sometimes. Just sometimes.

---end of part 2/4---
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