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Beta'd by Erin.

Go Straight to Hell, Boy - part 16/17

by Ralu

"He knows."


Beecher slowly slumps into a chair next to her. He's tired, he's exhausted. Fine lines on his forehead become thicker and his mouth twitches into a sour grin.

"How the hell did he find out?"

"I don't know," Pete murmurs slowly, leaning in towards him, fingers lightly curling around his arm: "He wants you to do it."


"He's told me..."-- she tries to control her breathing: "Tobias, he's not going to do anything against you. He's told me to convince you to do it. To turn him in."

Beecher nods his head in disbelief.

"He knows what he's done to you. And he's sorry. I guess it's his way of making it up to you."

"That's bullshit," he whispers.

"No, listen to me. He wants you to be happy, for you to be with your children."

"He's told you that?"


"Oh, come on Sister. You know him, he's a liar. He'd say anything to get his way."


"I mean what other chance does he still have? He's using you to get to me, like always. To get you all...sympathetic. Otherwise he'll have to kill me, right?"

"He'd never kill you. You know that."

"Yeah, I know."

He knows. It's the one certainty he possesses about him. Chris Keller would rather kill the whole damn world than finish him off. (--'Ain't that ro-man-tik?'--)

"I think he's being honest. He's changed, he's different."

"He's *depressed*," Toby says sarcastically.

"Yes, he is."

"He's depressed, I'm depressed, everybody's fucking depressed!..." (--'What fucking else is new?'--)

"Tobias, listen to me. When you asked me for an advice on this...you had already made up your mind. You want to make a deal with the FBI to get out of here, right? He's giving you permission to do it. I believe he's tired...of everything. Of lying. Of feeling guilty."

"Feeling *guilty*? Giving me *permission*?!... Fuck him."

"Unless...a part of you wants to punish him. To make him suffer. Has this thought crossed your mind?"

"I just want to get out. Go back to my kids. I don't wanna punish him. He's not worth even that." He sighs, leaning in his chair, elbows on his knees. "I'm so tired, Sister. I've let my life pass me by. I don't wanna grow old and die in this place. I don't wanna end up like him."

"I believe that's exactly what he thinks."-- her voice's shivering just a tiny bit: "He loves you. But he also knows - I think he's finally come to accept it - you don't belong here. Your life doesn't stop here, it shouldn't. That's why he's doing this. Tobias...Chris is doing this for you. It's the only thing he can still do for you. You should appreciate it."

"You know, I've hated this man with so much intensity...so many times. It was nothing resembling my feelings for Schillinger. He didn't humiliate me, he didn't break me. He just lied and...lied. Betrayed my trust. Still I loved him. And I don't even know why... It's crazy, isn't it? I hated him so much because he showed me what I could be, just how low I could sink... And now...he's doing it again. Fucking complicity."

"He just wants to help you."

"He will die. He's worthless, nobody gives a shit about him. If the D.A. was able to convict him on Heekin's testimony... He's got no chance."

"Tobias, you need to talk to him. He needs you to talk to him. You have got to talk to him, for both of you."

"What? I need closure?"

"He needs it too."

"Yeah, but... I honestly don't think he's capable of it, Sister."


Of course, the most important element in this particular equation for Beecher is just how much - if any - does Keller value his own existence. More than that, how can a man used to reacting almost instinctually to protect himself from whatever or whoever might get in his way - intentionally or not - abandon his own self, that which makes him who he is... And for what? For who? For love? (--'Oh, come on!...'--)

But then again...he did put his life on the line, more than once. For...(--love.) For Toby. How can a man like Christopher Keller just let go of everything that he is...for him? Beecher knows - if there's anything blatantly obvious about Chris for whoever gets to know him a little bit more deeply - Keller's perception of his own life, of its value, is pretty much close to zero. The man hates himself. The fact that he keeps breathing - that he's managed to breathe all this time - seems to be nothing but the simple result of an unconscious rhythm his own body produces for him; it's not something that he asks for, it just happens. (A jerk.) A perfectly functioning organism...soulless.

And now - apparently - even that beautifully skilled - crafted over the years - survival reflex seems to be crumbling down. The man's falling in on himself, like a house of cards.

But there's another element involved in this (whatever *this* is) - an element both Sister Peter Marie and Beecher himself are well aware of: Chris' fear of that 'pain and fire for all eternity'... (Salvation)

God and hell and heaven - all that twisted, fucked up Catholic understanding Keller retains over his own life and of all the things he's done; his sense of loneliness, of being abandoned.

Sister Pete's words echoing in Toby's head:

"I guess it's his way of making it up to you."

Maybe this is his way - the *only* possible way - of making up to everyone he's ever hurt. Making it up...(--to those men he's killed.) Making it up to God himself. (Cutting a deal.) His life for Beecher's; his life for the ones he's taken. Booking himself a place in heaven. (Tit for tat.) What else is new?...

What Beecher doesn't realize - and Pete only slightly suspects - is that Chris has given up. On himself; on others. On heaven, or salvation or grace... On God himself. His love. His forgiveness. Most importantly: on Toby's forgiveness. He's just...abandoned it all. And he's freer than he's ever been. Oblivious. Kind of like...(--being dead.)


Nighttime in Em City.

Ryan O'Reily stares outside of his pod, green eyes lowered and tired. He feels - maybe for the first time - completely aimless. He's tired; tired of Oz, of himself, tired of his life. Tired of everything. Small flashes flicker into darkness: a pair of equally green eyes staring at him, skinny fingers twisting and twirling into long blonde hair. His own name faintly echoing in his ears... (--'Wyan...'--)

Behind him, the lower bunk squeaks; he turns around to see Beecher gazing at him, blue eyes just as lowered and tired.

"Can't sleep?" Toby asks quietly.


A moment of silence spreads between them like time itself. Oz time; seemingly endless, unusually bendable.

"Are you really gonna do it?"-- a beat: "Rat on Keller."

"How the..." Beecher draws a long, ragged breath; looking down. "Did you tell him?"

O'Reily moves towards him, sitting on a chair across the other man:

"Shit. Don't tell me he knows."

"Yeah. He knows." Toby's voice is calm. Tired. "He knows."

"What are you gonna do?"

Beecher doesn't respond. He doesn't have to.

Ryan moves again towards the pod's door, staring outside into Em City's darkness. His home. Everybody else's.

"You're both fucking walking disasters," he whispers under his breath. "When you don't destroy others, you somehow find ways to destroy yourselves."

His words dissolve into the night. Em City remains silent as a tomb.

---end of part 16/17---

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