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Beta'd by Erin.

"Slide" (said the little penguin.) - Part 5/11:"pointless"

by Ralu

(Trade. Share. Take something and give something back. Over and over and over. Something you may not want, something you may not even *know* the other person has to give; something the other guy may not even want to give away in the first place. Exchange. Maybe something will eventually come out of it. Something just HAS to, right?)


"You wouldn't be doing this if you were out."

Toby looks at him a bit puzzled. He cocks his head:

"Doing what?"

Jesus, I hate you when you get like this, Keller thinks. Toby always pretends to simply not understand something whenever he doesn't want to talk about whatever Keller's throwing at him. And - strangely enough - Keller's been throwing a lot at him lately. Neither of them can go anywhere, they're stuck. Itches just HAVE to be scratched.

"*This*," Keller answers, tracing an invisible line between the two of them.

There's a 'safe' distance between them: Keller's sitting on the floor, one leg slightly bent under the other; Toby's on his bunk, dangling his feet like a small child. The 'safe' distance is necessary. The other day they almost got into a fistfight over some stupid argument that had come out of nowhere. Yep, distance IS a necessity.

"With *you*, you mean."-- Beecher seems to want to stop playing dummy. He's got a serious look on his face and he's stopped dangling his feet.

"Yep. Me...or any other guy."

"Probably," Toby says, his voice letting out just enough bullshit doubt to make Keller snap back at him a bit too rough:

"*Probably*?! Come on, Beecher, you're full of shit and you know it. Did you ever fuck a guy before coming to Oz? Did you ever even want to? Did you ever even fucking *imagine* you'd ever get to do it?"

Beecher looks down at the floor.


"That's what I thought."

"Well, if that's what you thought, then why the fuck did you ask me in the first place?"

Keller just shrugs. He knows Toby enjoys having sex with him, he knows it makes him feel good. Wanted. Needed. It gives him that false sense of security he craves so fucking much. And yeah, Keller knows how to make someone, ANYONE come; there's no big fucking secret behind it. He did it with Schillinger, he did it with his wives. He had done it before Schillinger, with women and countless men...he'd done it all the time with whoever, for whatever reasons: money, drugs, debts to pay, scores to settle...sometimes - way too seldom - for intimacy. Or just to get off. Most of the times, just as a means to an end.

But with Toby...it is different. And in a way, Chris feels good about the fact that the other man would *probably* never fuck another guy, if he weren't in here. With him. (Locked.)

Beecher's not a fag. Beecher's not a slut either. And...he actually gives a shit... Keller can feel it whenever they're fucking, it's like Chris' sixth sense or something. Beecher does care; he doesn't just want to *take*. He wants to GIVE. Give as much as he's patently capable of. Which - most of the time - is just too fucking little... Not enough. Never enough.

"When was the first time you fucked a guy?" Beecher asks, dangling his feet again for a second: "I mean, how old were you?"

Keller swiftly glares at him with so much sudden anger and hate it sends a chill running down Beecher's spine. He's definitely done with dangling his feet now.

"I answered your question..." Toby tries testing the waters, tries to push just a little.

"It wasn't a question, Toby. Just an observation."

Keller is not in the mood. Not for this. Never really is.

Toby stares at him for a couple of seconds, involuntarily nodding his head.

"Fine, whatever. I don't know why the fuck I keep trying to do this," he scowls, ignoring the other man and dragging a small book from under his pillow.

Keller slightly bangs his head against the wall and looks at the ceiling. He's chewing at his inner cheek and Toby - with just one sharp look thrown at the other man over his reading material - knows Chris is trying to figure out the best way to get out of this standstill. Probably trying to give something about himself without *really* giving anything about himself. Spinning in circles, Toby thinks. And doesn't it feel exhausting?!...

Chris looks at him for a brief moment; then he leans his chin on his shoulder, stubbled jaw rubbing against his skin. Like a cat, stroking itself. Or a child. (A very lonely child.)

"Why do you wanna know?" he asks quietly.

Beecher's startled, even if he kind of expected it. It still takes him by surprise. Keller NEVER gives away things about himself when Toby asks him to.

"I don't know..."-- Toby stutters, because he really doesn't know: "You don't have to answer if you don't want to," he adds after a long pause.

He senses a sudden shift in the pod's shaky balance, like all the musky, still air breathed in and breathed out with a desperate, sickening repetitiveness has somehow managed to defy the laws of physics; gravity seems to have kicked in so heavily the air they breathe scratches their throats and burns their lungs. Its own weight is unbearable. Something's got to give, Beecher thinks.


Keller's barely whispered word breaks the silence just for a second. (Like a stone thrown in the water...small waves disappearing, imperceptible circles fading out.) Toby remains silent.

"It wasn't nice," Chris adds. His face contorts into something the other man can't identify. Never really will probably.

*Everything* has had enough time to sink in so deep it just can't be recognized anymore; or understood. By nobody, not even by Keller himself.

"It's pointless, Toby. It's pointless."


( Not all trades are fair. And not all exchanges are desired... That doesn't stop them from happening though.)

---end of part 5/11---
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