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Beta'd by Erin.

Untitled (beyond good and evil)

by Ralu

Songs used in this story: P.J. Harvey - "30"; Portishead - "Sour Times"; Tori Amos - "Spark"; Jeff Buckley - "Hallelujah"; Beethoven - "Moon Sonata"; Lydia Lunch - "What is Memory". Lyrics used without permission, obviously.


Fragment 1.

"Thirty miles The world unfolds..." (P.J. Harvey - "30")

He keeps looking at the floor, hands in his pockets, back leaning against the edge of the table. Shaking.

Rationalize it, Toby. Find explanations, justify it. Find the perfect excuse. I know you can, you've always done it. Before.

The floor, his muddy footprints, small nerves stretching and twitching, humping themselves at the back of his eyeballs. Staring like a blind man.

*Before...* Before, before, before, BEFORE!... He can't. Not anymore.

The black road, headlights flashing through the rain drops...that man's twisted body lying on his side.

The fucking radio, that fucking news chick, the motherfucking radio!... He flinched and his smile turned into a grimace.

Legs sprawled like a broken puppet. Dead, cold fingers curled near his bloody chest.

He knew. And he would've told the cops, he would've told *someone*. His eyes flickered, his hands grabbed the wheel tight, tighter. And Keller saw it - fear. Toby saw it too.

And he had money. And a car. And money. And...he didn't mean anything.

Can you *rationalize* it Toby?

The wound on the side of his head, close to his temple, water dissolving into blood, blood melting into dirt.

He's dead. He's going to be found and he's going to be buried. And he'll rot in the ground until nothing will remain of him. Nothing but dirt and grief and tears. And senselessness.

"Come on." Keller's voice - hoarse, commanding. "Get in the fucking car."

Quick flashes flicker through his mind, and Toby's mind is clearer than it has ever been.

The look on his face after Shemin's murder - "That don't mean dick."

Timmy Kirk's voice slithering inside him like a sharp edged knife - "Kidnapped this rich fucking business suit. The guy turned up dead, gutted like a pig."

"Guys like Keller...they kill for sport."

That sound cracking in the back of his throat, just before Toby's arm snapped.

"Get in the fucking car."

He did.

He did not utter a word. He just got in the front seat and strapped his seatbelt on.

Chris didn't look at him when he got in the driver's seat. Not one glance, not even when they pulled in, not even when the clerk snickered like a moron when giving them the keys to the room.

Chris paid with that man's money for it.

Stuffed the rest of it in his back pocket and threw away the wallet and the small photos of a little girl and a smiling dark haired woman waving at whoever took the photo.

Money and a car. Utilitarian. Because...he only loves you, Toby. The rest of world, *all* of them - they're disposable.

He didn't look at him not even when they found themselves all alone in the small room.

Just walked past by him, throwing his jacket on the bed but keeping the gun to himself. Crumpling the blood stained edge of his shirt with his fingers. Straight into the bathroom.

Not one single word. Not one look.

"Get in the fucking car."

And now he's here, stuck in a small, shitty motel, listening to the sound of the water running in the bathroom sink. Looking at the dirty, beige carpet ending right at the tip of his boot.

Oh. my. God.

He wants to say the words, just to whisper them. But he doesn't. It would be the easy way out.

Blame it on anybody else, blame it on God, on that poor bastard bleeding to death on the side of the road. Blame it on Sister Pete for not doing her goddamn job a long fucking time ago, because SHE should have known better. She should have known, she fucking *knew* better. Blame it on Mukada for not telling him that *this*...this is not love.

Who would have listened to them? Who HAS listened to any of them?

"...you've got this *thing* between you and Keller..."

They have all but shouted in his ears. And he refused to listen.

This is not love.

That man is dead because of him.

He's set this whole fucking nightmare-on-wheels all by himself. His own personal funhouse - Keller's figure reflecting inside himself, his own face reflecting onto whatever dumbass with the tiniest shred of common decency to pull on the side of the road and pick up a couple of strangers in the middle of the night. He's set an animal loose.

He sees it now. And now it's too late.

Keller's eyes were dead. Hollow. Beecher *did* look at him, if only for a brief second, right the moment he got in the car. Cold. It terrified him, and Toby did his best for the rest of the drive not to look at him again, not to even move.

That don't mean dick.

"What are you going to do, Toby?" he whispers slowly.

The water stops running. He hears movement in the bathroom, and then the toilet flushing.

What are you going to do?


Fragment 2.

"You say you don't want it again And again but you don't really mean it You say you don't want it This circus we're in But you don't you don't really mean it You don't really mean it..." (Tori Amos - "Spark")

Toby looks at the clock near his bed, wishing time would stand still, go backward, move fast forward.

Tick. For Christ's sake, just TICK.

And time *does* tick. Finally. Dragging everything along with it.

Keller doesn't wait for him outside his work place. He doesn't stalk him, doesn't grab him in some dark back alley near his home. He doesn't jump him from behind outside the door of his apartment. No. He KNOCKS.

One knock. Two knocks. Three knocks and Beecher - half-asleep and holding his toothbrush - opens the door without even looking through the peephole first.

You would think he had learned something.

Later, none of that even matters. Nothing matters anymore.

Chris is pushing him against the wall, heavy, swollen tongue rummaging through his mouth for something, *something*...

Just *give* me what I want. Please. I know you still have it. I know you still need it.

While Beecher's body remains limp between his clutched hands, in his harsh embrace. His tongue responds, his mouth takes it, takes it all. But it's just that. A reflex. Something he thought he forgot. Something he doesn't really remember, not quite. Not like it used to be.


Keller breaks off the kiss, and his eyes are dark, his eyes are darker than the night itself. Toby knows that, he senses it through Chris' dead cold skin, through the shiver in his fingertips still clinging to his wrists. Even if he keeps his eyes closed.

Toby's eyes are open though.

So...are you feeling the fire? Are you feeling what you've longed for, what kept you awake all these dreamless nights?

Too many dreams. No dreams at all. Moving around like a sleepwalking broken puppet. A zombie in broad daylight. Trying to move on. Trying to live. Be alive again.

Are you burning Toby? Are you alive again?

Stupid fucking junkie.

"I've missed you," Chris whispers, one hand thrown over his shoulder, fingers twirling softly through the short hair at the back of his neck.


Tell me you've missed me. I need you to.

Tell him you've missed him too. He needs it.

"Did you miss me?" His eyes are begging.

He's begging.

Tell him you've missed him.

"Yeah," Beecher mutters slowly, closing his eyes for a small second and leaning his head into Keller's shoulder. A short sigh inside the other man's chest, an aching vibration shuddering his shoulders.

And then Keller nudges closer into his body, and Toby feels the hard, square shape pressed against his hip. The gun.

He opens his eyes. Again.

You and me and a gun. Like some fucked up song.

"Where the fuck are you going?" Beecher asks, throwing away his credit card in a bush when Keller's not looking.

Keller may have gotten his car keys, he may have raided his fridge cursing through his teeth at Toby's regular AA meetings and *abnormal* interest in healthy food. He may have taken what little change he found through his pockets, but he's not taking his fucking money. The money he worked for, the money he went to AA for, his P.O.'s pride and joy, nooo... He only dimly realizes that by throwing it away 'they' will have a fuck of a lot more tough time finding them. He also completely ignores the fact that both of them will eventually need money.

"Where the fuck do you think you *can* go?"

Keller turns towards him and delivers the stupidest, most moronic, most disarming smile the man's capable of.

"Dunno man, dunno."


Beecher hates him instantly.

"Is that thing even loaded?" he asks, knowing just how dumb his question is.

Keller smiles again, slowly leans over and turns on the radio. Then he looks at him, and Beecher cringes almost unconsciously.

Smooth, soft, velvet-like intent. Or indifference. Toby doesn't really know which. Never did know with Keller.

"Now, why would I carry a unloaded gun, To-by?"


Maybe you should get that gun away from him. And do *what*, Toby?

Do what...

Silence settles. Wheels turn, trees passing, the last sunbeams leaking slowly onto the windshield. Passing signs along the road, movement under his skin - fading, fade, faded.

Chris doesn't say anything. His gray eyes sparkle under lowered eyelids and Toby realizes it's the first time he's ever seen him without fluorescent lights staining his skin in dead white shades, hollowing his eyes. He doesn't look that much different. He doesn't look different at all.

Do *you* look different Toby?

Yeah. Different than he looked *before*. Everybody probably looked different before. Everybody but Chris. Maybe.

"Stop it," Keller says under his breath, eyes still on the road ahead of them.

"Stop what?"

He knows *what*. But he wants Chris to say it. To *articulate* it.

"Stop fucking staring at me." His voice carries a small nervous vibe, which Keller tries to hide. Not that it's of any use. Not now.

Beecher knows everything about him. He just can't pretend anymore. He's fucked.

"Oh, but I thought you wanted me to *fucking* stare at you," Toby replies sweetly, even though his face remains blank as paper. "Isn't that why you're here?"

Keller doesn't look back at him.

"Why did you come?" Beecher's voice tenses suddenly, words hissing through his teeth. "Why did you come after me?"

A short glance, head cocking slightly to the right. Smiling.

And Beecher senses it. Fear.

Maybe he doesn't know. Maybe he has no fucking clue.

Dunno man, dunno...


Maybe that's your answer, To-by. A four-letter word, just like love, just like hate. Just like wife. Or prag. He's come for you because you're his. Or he's yours.

`Til death do us part. When you make your man your prag, he's your prag for life.

Or both.


Fragment 3.

"Oh, am I, what and why 'Cause all I have left is my memories of yesterday Ohh these sour times..." (Portishead - "Sour Times")

Drive backwards, pull yourself together, make it happen.

Like that music video Toby saw a couple of weeks before his world turned upside down once more.

Drive backwards, see where it all started, what you did. Why you did it.

Keller - turning towards him and smiling that animal smile he knows so well, that disturbing grin he never forgot. Something he unconsciously looked for in others. Complete strangers.

"Whatcha doin', Toby?" Grinning, teeth revealed through bitten lips - a wolf's grin, that's what it looks like, *that's* what it is. Gray eyes like sharp needles piercing his own blue, slant gaze.

"Whatcha doin', To-by?..."

And Beecher moves his hand away from the gun lying under a black leather jacket and a couple of candy bars.

Think, think, THINK. Don't ever stop thinking, that's the one thing you're good at. The only thing you ever DO...

Right, Tobe? Over-educated bitch.

And yeah, Toby is thinking, like always. Too much, too little. Always in contradictory terms, like stretching your arms toward the horizon and touching the void.

Beyond good and evil? Nah... Not *good ol'* Toby.

Keller moves around the room, an odd vibe falling off his shoulders. He lifts one of the photos lying on a shelf, and rubs the frame with his thumb. Holly and Harry and Chuck the dog.

Toby's waiting, waiting, *waiting*. Waiting for him to say something, 'cause he knows, he fucking KNOWS Chris is going to say something, anything.

But he doesn't. He just looks at the photo for a couple of endless moments and puts *them* down next to their mother. Next to Gary and a pregnant and smiling Genevieve Beecher, waving at Toby. Waving at life itself. Waving at Chris. He doesn't pick it up, but doesn't look away either.

"I'm sorry about your wife," he says, completely out-of-the-blue.

It's been more than 10 hours since they left the house, and Beecher is dozing off on the front seat of his car, with Keller driving. Even if he doesn't have a license anymore. And yeah, he's a fucking fugitive.

"You've said that before," Toby mumbles, looking at him sideways.

"Yeah, I did." Chris doesn't look back at him, but his voice is almost a forced whisper. "I did."

*I'm sorry about THIS.*

That's what he's actually trying to say. Or that's what Beecher wants to think he means.

He falls asleep listening to the sound of the car's engine, inhaling Keller's cigarette smoke. Cathy Rockwell. Well, long time no see, right, Cathy?

He's not going anywhere. He never *went* anywhere. What the hell was he thinking?

Watch the road stretching in front of you through darkness. A monster's tongue, licking, teasing and finally swallowing what little is left. You're not going anywhere. And neither is he.

"I hate you," Toby says, looking at him. His voice is calm, relaxed. He's not trembling, his limbs are not aching. His unshaved jaw itches, but he's not scratching it.

He remembers - oh, yes, he can still *remember* - the same road, the same purring sound of a car engine. He's 16 and his father has just *made* him put his seatbelt on. Same words, different tone of voice. Different man. Still...the same words.

Can you actually hate, Toby? Are you capable of hate?

"Is that for me?" Keller still avoids his gaze, concentrating on the void stretching in front of him. "Or for yourself?"

Good fucking question.

"You, me. The whole fucking universe."

And now Chris *does* look at him. Thank you Jesus, thank you Holy Mary, mother of Christ, he's not fucking smiling. Thanks for such small miracles among a shitload of blunders and fuck-ups.

"Oh, that's sooo much better," Keller whispers morosely, looking back at the road.

Beecher wants to put his head through the fucking windshield. He wanted to put his own father's head through a windshield, a long time ago.

And why do you keep going there Toby, huh? Why? He knows, and his lips curl into a semi-maniacal, sour grin. He's helpless. He's a fucking 16-year-old stuck in a car with a man he hates, a man he can't get away from. Im-po-tent.

Standing as close to omnipotence as any sorry human being walking this Earth can.

But...it's a lie, right? Everything's just a lie. THIS IS A *MO-THER-FU-CKING* LIE!

He wants to scream it from the top of his lungs, to spit the words right into his face, howl at the moon and the sky and the wind 'til hell and heaven crumble and collide into one another and the whole fucking world comes to an end - ALL balancing on the tip of his tongue.

Just one word...

You're playing a farce here, Chris, and I'm just going along with it because, honestly, what the fuck else *can* I do?

You're lying, and abusing your own lie, feeding off on it like a fucking junkie, like a dying man, like a desperate lover...and you know it. You know it.

"You're a fucking clown," Beecher hisses through his teeth, fists clenching involuntarily. He's definitely trembling now.

Keller turns towards him almost the minute Toby's words roll off the tip of his tongue.


One sudden swirl, the wheel turning right beneath shaky hands. The car engine stops suddenly, and oh, yeah, Beecher's awake. He is fucking AWAKE.

"What didja say?"

Both men stare at each other in the dim light, the car radio slowly chanting away between them:

"But remember when I moved in you And the holy dove was moving too And every breath we drew was hallelujah..."

Nobody remembers anything. Nobody forgets anything either.

"I said"-- heart pounding like a thousand wild horses, fingernails biting into the warm flesh of his palms: "You're a fucking clown." He breathes in and out, in and out, fast, faster. "A fucking JOKE!" Fastest.

Oh, my God, oh sweet fucking Jesus, this is it, THIS IS IT!... The end of the fucking universe, ba-by!

He can hear Chris breathing too hard, too fast. He's got tears in his eyes. (Like being punched in the gut.)

"It's not a cry that you hear at night It's not somebody who's seen the light It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah..."


"It's 2.45 AM, dear friends, and..."

"You fucking BITCH!"

Chris tries to punch him in the face but Toby somehow manages to swing around fast enough in the small space available and Keller's fist collides harshly with the car's window, torso bent over Beecher, screaming, yelling like a dying wild animal caught in a trap, spit leaking over his chin and onto Beecher's neck, Toby slithers like a snake under Chris' body and goes for the gun and he *almost* grabs it, almost, ALMOST, but his lungs give in and he screams in pain, screams in ANGER, knees kicking into the other man's chest 'cause Keller - "You motherfucker!" - Chris fucking Keller is twisting his wrist hard, harder --'You want to *break* my fucking arm AGAIN?!'-- gun falling on the floor - "GodDAMN motherFUCKER!" - between their tangled legs.

"You fucking cunt, you fucking CUNT..."

Keller's more powerful than he is, Beecher is not stupid, he knows that.

And so he claws, grabs his neck, pulls at his flesh, blood, BLOOD, he wants to see HIS blood flowing through his fingers - 'God PLEASE, if you ever gave two shits about me, GIVE me *this* right now, RIGHT THE FUCK NOW, Jesus fucking Christ, NOW!' - and his bent fingernails break through Chris' skin, drawing blood, sinking into his flesh like fish hooks, like goddamn carving knifes, and - 'Oh, Christ, this feels good, give me more, GIVE ME MORE, not enough, *never* enough...'

Teeth sinking at the base of Chris' jaw, close to the carotid arteries, blood on the tip of his heavy, swollen tongue whiplashing against Keller's bruised skin, biting and licking and scraping and choking and kissing and biting again and again and - 'Yeah, I'm gonna bite your fucking throat, chew on it and swallow your fucking insides, you soulless, psychotic bitch, you ain't GOING anywhere, you ain't GETTING anything, you're MINE, you're, *I'm* MINE' - yelling and screaming and...

"What do you want from me?!..."

*What* do you want from me?...

Keller's body falls slack over Beecher's abdomen, his forehead burying into Toby's chest. His hands bend alongside Beecher's body, grabbing at his ribs, crumpling his already torn up shirt.

Toby stops. His nails are still hooked into the back of Chris' neck, blood staining the sleeves of his shirt, but he's not tearing anymore, just pressing down hard. He stops breathing; he listens.

One. Two. Three, four, five... Breathe in, breathe out, remember to breathe in again...

Drive backwards, pull yourself together, make it happen. Make *what* happen?...

Breathe out.

Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" slowly spins on the car's radio into the night, feather-like piano sounds twisting above his head, above Chris' head. The other man's ragged breath breaks repeatedly into his chest, in and out, in and out, slowly, slower...hitching. Crying.

Toby can hear him sobbing quietly, and he knows Chris is afraid, Chris is fucking terrified. Chris has always been terrified. He'll never stop being terrified.

He puts his blood-smeared hands over Chris' shoulders and hugs him tight, Keller's breath echoing damp and hardened through his ribs.

"It's fucking beautiful," Chris whispers into his chest.

Toby can't help but smile.

Chris probably doesn't even know who Beethoven is.


Fragment 4.

"Thirty miles Looking for something in your smile I'm looking for something in your smile I'm looking for something..." (P.J. Harvey - "30")

The problem is...

Do you feel the fire, Toby? Are you burning, To-by?

...yeah, *that's* the problem.

'Cause Beecher's stomach clenches and his fingertips tickle and his heart is beating, beating, BEATING like a fucked up jazz drum set, Max Roach and Charlie Parker on his favorite CD set, sounds filling up the apartment, making the windows vibrate and the sun smile back at Toby, making *Gen* yell at him because she never liked jazz, she never liked any of the things he did, she never liked him... And he really isn't going anywhere, is he?...

His own words resounding inside his brain, scratchy noises from the past - the past that's never really been *past*, not even after getting a job to keep his mind occupied, not even after taking his kids to soccer games, not even after fucking that school teacher again and again and again.

Nooo, the past is here to stay, ba-by.

He's right in front of you, crushing into your body, pushing and pulling and waiting for that small crack, just the smallest, tiniest crack...yeah, there it is, head on, SLIDE... Do you feel better now, Toby?

Are you alive, you fucking bitch? Are you breathing?


Fast, faster and don't stop doing it, never fucking stop...

Don't you ever walk away from me. Don't you ever...

High. Give me what you can. Higher.

Beecher long ago stopped trying to see through those cracks in Keller's lizard-like skin. He's stopped asking himself 'why' or 'how' or 'when' or 'how many'.

If he were to get his answers now...it wouldn't make much of a difference anyway.

He remembers fucking a hooker a couple of months after getting out of Oz. Some nice girl - nice tits, nice ass, pretty mouth.

Nice girl-hooker, nice hooker-girl. Great fuck.

He remembers her mouth, teeth shining like an animal's grin - dangerous and sexy and vulgar. Sad. Chewing gum maniacally.

"Don't tell me you've never done this before," she snickered.

"No, I have."

He had. Hadn't he?

Sticking the gum on the back of her hand. Spitting and then putting it back in her mouth.

He comes thinking of that girl's hand with the gum still stuck on the back of it.

Hookers are sexless.

He actually whispers it, closing his eyes and zipping his pants.


Keller looks at him, and Toby knows he didn't understand. It was silent enough not to.

"Nothing," Beecher whispers.

And he falls down again.

Is it that easy, Toby? Are you that easy? Definitely.

Chris smiles - dangerous and sexy and vulgar. Sad. And Toby smiles back.

Marion's gone. Holly and Harry are NOT. IN. Gen's dead. Gen's dead and buried. Old pictures and dirt under his fingernails.

Smile, smile some more. Show me your teeth, show me your fucking gums, Chris. Smile for me. I'll smile for you. I know you want me to.

He starts kissing him, tasting his own come in his mouth, and he knows that he's alive and he knows that he's dead. He bites his lips, he bites his mouth again and again, give me more and he's alive again and he dies breathing inside him and he comes inside himself over and over and over...

And he's alive again.


Fragment 5

"Counting something what have I found" (P.J. Harvey - "30")

They quickly ran out of money. Keller asks him about his credit card, Beecher just shrugs.

"Besides, you DO know we *couldn't* use the fucking credit card even if I still had it, right?" Toby asks as a matter of fact. There's a small dare hidden beneath his blank statement.

Come on, Chris, come on motherfucker, show me how *stupid* you are. How stupid you are NOT.

He's missed this. Oh, God, HOW he's missed it!... Nobody *gives* like Keller. Nobody ever did. And it's the sweetest part of it all, because Toby's the only one Keller ever gave to. He's got life and death in his hands, heart's blood and come flowing and twisting through his fingers. He is...some kind of a God, isn't he? Chris has given him that.

"Well," Keller says, blankly: "We gotta get money. And ditch the car." Not a hint of it. "*That's* what we gotta do, Toby."

Game - set - match.

You're not GOD, To-by, you're shit. Just like him. Wake the fuck up.

Still...HE came after me.

Muscles relax, tension slightly dissipates throughout his body. He's...lighter. And he can barely admit to himself - no, he doesn't want to admit it, but it's there, oh, yeah, it's there...Keller came for him. Him and nobody else. And it's good. It's...power. *Sweet*.

They rent for the night, a small motel room and Keller pays for it with what little money they still have. A broken TV, a ridiculously small bed, horrible yellow wallpaper. And it smells. Keller doesn't seem to notice though.

"Where are you going?" Beecher asks him, trying not to stare at the gun Keller's playing with, like a small kid.

"Out. Food, money...'member?"

Like talking to the retarded.

"You're taking that with you?" he says, pointing at his gun.

And - *finally* - Keller seems to notice. Toby's afraid of it, he's afraid of him holding the gun. He clumsily puts the gun down on a chair.


A short whisper. And he's out.

There's your chance, Toby. Grab it.

He could take the gun. He CAN take the gun. And leave. Go BACK. He could just leave... He can leave...

But he doesn't.

Toby's HERE - and he doesn't want to be where (what) he was before Chris came. Time...time is fucking ticking and the world is moving and Beecher doesn't give two shits about where it is heading to. Time ticks for him, buried under his skin. Toby's burning.

And *To-by* doesn't really care much about what Chris - *his* Chris - does that night to get back to that crummy room with sandwiches and pizza and cigarettes and Coke (no beer - how *considerate*) and money.

64 bucks and 50 cents.

"I love you," Chris says, stuffing his mouth with a piece of pastrami sandwich.

"Uh-huh," Beecher replies.

Same here, baby. Same here.

Soon as the sun dawns, they start hitch hiking.


Fragment 6

"Blood is just memory without language..." (Lydia Lunch - "What is Memory")

One shot. Just one shot, a little *pop*, barely audible under the heavy rain hitting across the roof of the car. Headlights flickering in and out of the darkness, in and out, in, out, in...out...in.


This can't be happening, this isn't happening, this... This just happened.

Get in the fucking car.

He just stands in the rain, arms hanging like broken branches around his body. Slack.

Get in the fucking car.

Keller doesn't turn around to look at him. Keller doesn't look at anything, just *stares*. Down, underneath his cold, paper-like skin, beneath the black traces of blood smearing the man's hands.

"Get in the fucking car."

Keller's words imitating his own - a bicephalus monster.

"I breathe through you, you breathe for me."

Gen would lean over, one hand on his shoulder, the other on his chest, and whisper the words in his ear. A shared secret she forgot to keep. Or maybe HE is the one who forgot to... Maybe he never even knew how to keep it in the first place.

The water stops running. He hears movement in the bathroom, and then the toilet flushing.

Keller's still holding the gun in his right hand. Three small drops of blood on his white tank top, prison issue pants half unbuttoned.

And Toby sees for the first time the scars on his arms. Cigarette burns, cuts. A tattooed pattern of need. Loneliness.

He also sees his own marks on the back of Chris' neck and shoulders as he leans over to pick up his jacket. Still fresh. Painful.

Toby rubs his own sore wrists, smirking. He's not smiling. He doesn't smile anymore.

"What's so fucking funny?" Keller asks, folding the jacket around his chest.



"You've got a couple of blood stains on your top," Beecher says, pointing at his ribs. "Right there, Chris."

Keller touches his ribs slowly, looking down. His fingers tremble, his whole body starts shaking uncontrollably.

"See?" Toby's not smirking anymore. He stands quiet for a couple of seconds, cold, tired blue eyes glaring at the other man. Dispassionate. "Guess it brings back memories, huh?"

Tell me how you've murdered them. Tell me how you murdered ALL of them. Tell me how it felt. Because I KNOW you felt, you FEEL. Still... You *still* feel.

"Fuck you," Keller whispers, keeping his eyes closed. He lays on the bed, body curled up in a fetal position, burying his face in the sheets.

Don't tell me anything, I don't need you to. Not anymore. I know. Now I know. You've touched me, and I've touched you. There's no going back now.

"Fuck me?" Fingers brushing against his stubbled jaw, a wide, toothy grin. Nodding. "I'm already fucked, Chris. And so are you."

Peas in a pod, that two-headed snake he saw once in a glass jar in the science lab when he was 13. Always wondered which head decided to go where, which brain overpowered the other. If they ever thought the same thing if only for a brief moment; if they ever gave up together.

"I breathe through you, you breathe for me," Toby whispers, sitting down on the edge of the bed. He puts his hand on Chris' knee and feels his flesh shiver through the rough fabric, the smooth electric wave running through his bones.

One second...breathe in, breathe out. Stop breathing. Just...let it burn.

His hand moves up over Chris' thigh, and his body responds. Inevitably.

Maybe inevitability was invented by some shithead who just didn't want to deal. With anything. With himself. The easiest way out. Or the hardest way in.

"Move over. I wanna fuck," Beecher mutters.


And again, she's right there, smiling back at him. Teeth and spit and a flicker of a tongue over her lips - frightened and dangerous and inevitable. A hunted animal hunting back out of sheer survival instinct. Burning and dying with the exact same passion, 'cause it's all she has left, all she's ever had.

Thrusting his hips, jerking, hitting that spot 'cause he can hear her breath hissing through those gum-chewing teeth of hers and he thinks for a moment she's going to swallow it and choke on that fucking gum of hers and die in his arms, with his cock still inside her.

And he laughs hilariously and she laughs with him, pumping a couple of times more, legs wrapped around his back.

But it's not her laugh, is it? It wasn't her laugh. It wasn't yours...

Who THE FUCK cares? He doesn't. He did once, but... Not anymore.

I gave her 100 bucks, how much would you ask for? he almost whispers in Chris' mouth, and he knows Chris ain't cheap merchandise, oh nooo, he's too good to be worth *only* 100. Then again, she was *good* too.

And Toby knows there really is no way back; not to the man he used to be, not to the man who loved Chris way back. The man who feared knowing, or even asking.

Because Toby knows. No more fear. No more illusions. No more dreams either.

You kiss me and I kiss you back. And that's all there is. Eternity.

And death follows, silent as a dreamless night. Motionless, broken into little pieces, a black and white puzzle of what is, what used to be. What will never be. Careless as the wind, open like a smile. Indifferent.

Death follows.


And he's back in his pod, back in Em City, back in Oz.

Back in Chris' bottom bunk, cramming against each other, one into the other.

And Chris may cry, he may scream in pain or fear or lust, he may grunt and growl like an animal. He may bury his face into the pillow and welcome Beecher's weight on his back, and wait, and burn, and stretch, and ache, and fill, and come, and whisper something Toby's never understood, never even wanted to.

He may curl up like a little boy in his arms and dream dreamless dreams. All that Chris has ever dreamed his whole life.

And he may smile - funhouse mirrors hanging everywhere in sight. And he may pretend it is not so.

And he may pretend that it is... What he's always wanted.

You breathe through me, I breathe for you.

Toby's not going to rob him of that. How could he, really?

A two-headed snake does not tear itself apart, it CANNOT. Just wallows in compromise. And hopes for a quick end.

If a two-headed snake can actually hope. For anything.

He runs his fingers idly over Chris' mouth...and he smiles in his sleep. Tortured, kneeled down, bent over. Smile.

He's stuck inside himself.

Make it.

Sweet and painful and sensual. Whore-like tenderness. Murderous.


He's nesting in his arms...


...like a dying animal.


Kill him.

---the end---
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