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The first installment of the Asysum Series. Written for the 2004 Live Journal Oz Magi exchange. If you squint, you can find a smidge of pre-slash.
No beta, but my thanks to Sister Sleep for her advice and encouragement.
So Sue Me
"I fuckin' hate that movie."
"Come on O'Reily, it's not that bad. What about the part -"
"Naw man, I hate every fuckin' minute of it, Beecher...pick another one."
"Alright. Let's see..."
"You know what, I don't want to play this game no more." O'Reily got up off the concrete floor and started pacing around the small room, aiming his fists at the concrete walls, pulling back at the last second - just when Beecher thought it would be too late to stop the punch. "I hate being trapped in a small space like this. This sucks."
"OK, let's think of another game then."
"Naw, I just need to be out of here. I need to calm down." He stopped and kicked the wall next to the door, then leaning up against it, he blew out a gust of air. "Man. Sorry, Beecher - I'm not good company today, huh? We been plannin' this for a week now and suddenly I'm acting all - crazy. I don't know what's wrong with me, man."
Beecher leaned up against the shelving unit at his back, moving his shoulders to try and get comfortable. He could smell the disinfectants and cleaners stored on the shelves behind him. He sighed and looked up at O'Reily; "Why don't you find a guard to take you to the gym? Then you could work off some of this aggression."
O'Reily shook his head. "Then they'd want to know where I've been for the last hour. No, this will only work if we stay here for the whole time. If they realize we've skipped out on work, they'll figure out how they let it happen and then we won't be able to get away with it again. Nah, I just got to get myself under control, you know? I can do this. I just gotta calm down."
"Do you think it's the E? I mean, I know this is the first time we've snuck out like this, but usually when we get high it's either dope or pot. Maybe the problem is the drug, not the place at all."
"I don't know. Yeah, it could be." He started pacing again. Four steps one way, turn, four steps back to the door. Turn and start over.
Beecher pulled his legs up and out of the way and stared at the shelves opposite him, trying to think of what he could do to help. If O'Reily lost his cool in here, they could both get into a lot of trouble and that was the last thing Beecher needed right now. Schillinger would not be happy if he ended up in the hole. He cringed at the thought of an angry Schillinger. That bastard was always looking for a reason to torture him - he didn't need to be giving him excuses to think up new ways.
"I don`t know, Beecher, I mean my friends never said anything about this. They only ever said good stuff about it, you know? How it made you friendly - even with strangers - made it easy to get along with people. They said you laugh at everything and have a good time no matter what you're doing."
"Yeah well, they weren't in prison at the time, were they?"
O'Reily stopped pacing and starred down at Beecher. Reluctantly he grinned just a bit. "Good point, Law Boy."
"Thanks. So what do you say we find a new game?"
"Yeah? What kind of game?" The pacing started up again, but with a little less intensity this time.
"Oh, I don't know...maybe something that will encourage all that laughing we're supposed to be doing about now?"
"Ya know any funny jokes?"
"Not too many. Mostly about the law."
"Never mind that shit. Somethin' I can laugh at, too."
"Did you hear they came out with a new Barbie doll called `Divorced Barbie'"?
"Divorced Barbie? What the fuck, Beecher?"
"Yeah, it comes with half of Ken's stuff and alimony."
"Shit, man. That's bad, Beecher. Real bad."
"What about that new sushi bar in town that caters exclusively to lawyers?"
"Come on, man..."
"It's called Sosumi."
"So sue me...yeah, I got it. Yeah, real funny."
"Old lawyers never die, they just lose their appeal."
"Man, I'm sorry I brought it up."
"It was so cold last winter that I actually saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets."
He got a groan for that one.
"How do you get a lawyer out of a tree?"
"Cut the rope."
"Oh, heard that one before, huh?"
"Yeah yeah, I heard it." O'Reily leaned up against the door and grinned just a bit, like he was afraid to encourage him by showing too much enthusiasm.
Beecher relaxed slightly - he was making a little headway. He launched into the next set. "What's the ideal weight of a lawyer?"
"You're just not gonna give up, are you? OK. Gee Beecher, I don't know, what is the ideal weight of a lawyer?"
"About five pounds - including the urn."
That one got Beecher an honest to goodness chuckle. "I think they wrote that one for my lawyer. Matter of fact, I dreamed about that..."
"I bet you did. You know any jokes?"
"Not lawyer ones. Except - you did hear about that graffiti they found in the showers last week, right?"
"Ummm, I don't think so. What did it say?"
"For a good time, hire a hooker; for a lot of time, hire my attorney."
Beecher grinned. "That's good, Ryan...I'll have to tell my brother that one."
"He's in Law School right now."
"Jesus, Beecher, how many lawyers are there in your family?"
"Trust me O'Reily, you really don't want to know. Why is it that California got all the lawyers and New Jersey got all the toxic waste dumps?"
O'Reily thought about that one for a moment. "I don't know, why?"
"New Jersey had first choice."
O'Reily reluctantly chuckled at that one, so Beecher joined in. This was better - things were beginning to loosen up a bit. "What do you call 5000 dead lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?"
O'Reily slid down the door to sit on the floor, his arms circling his knees. "I dunno. What?"
"A good start."
"Oh man, where do you get all these?"
"Angus - my brother - collects them. He tells them at the dinner table. Drives my father crazy."
"Yeah, I bet."
"What's the difference between a lawyer and a terrorist?"
"Terrorists have sympathizers. Yeah, I heard that one, too."
"You see, you do know some lawyer jokes, don't you? How many lawyers does it take to roof a house?"
"Depends on how thin you slice them."
"Ow. That one hurt, man."
"Get over it, O'Reily. How do you stop a lawyer from drowning?" Beecher didn't even slow down this time. "Shoot him before he hits the water." He got a snicker out of O'Reily for that one so he kept going. "How do you know if a lawyer is well hung?"
"You can't get your finger between the rope and his neck."
O`Reily`s snickered while Beecher paused for a breath. "Yeah, OK, that one was good. I'll have to remember that one."
"Do you know how to save a thousand drowning lawyers?"
Beecher earned his first real laugh for that one. Then O'Reily surprised him: "How can you tell when a lawyer is lying?"
Beecher grinned at him - he knew the answer but he wasn`t about to spoil the moment. "I don't know, how?"
"His lips move."
"Where do vampires learn to suck blood?"
"Now you're getting the hang of it! I took my family to Florida last year to try and get some sun. But I just burned because you know lawyers don't tan, they just appeal."
O'Reily groaned. "Aww, man..." He pulled a joint out of his pocket, lit it and took a big drag. "Here, take a hit off this."
"You've been holding out, O'Reily!."
"Nah, not holding out. I just wanted to see what the E would do on it's own first, ya know?"
"Well it looks like you're beginning to relax. That's a good sign, right?"
"Yeah, I think I'm getting there, Beecher. Maybe we just didn't wait long enough, huh? Who knows. I'm getting pretty mellow now."
Beecher tried to hold in the smoke from his hit, but suddenly he coughed; laughing and spewing smoke out into the air. "What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 40?"
"Well, that's an answer but it's not the right one. The correct answer is Judge Lima!"
O'Reily stared at him for a minute as Beecher laughed - high pitched and silly. "Oh, wait - was that your judge`s name?" He watched Beecher collapse onto his side in hysterics, howling with laughter and gasping for air.
"Shit! Beecher!" O'Reily stretched out to put his hand over Beecher's mouth. He hissed at him - "Shhhhh...Beecher! Shut up, man. Not so loud! You tryin' to get the hacks in here? Shut the fuck up!!!"
Beecher continued to laugh against the palm of O'Reily's hand for a moment. But slowly he calmed down, took a deep breath through his nose and nodded to signal that he was ok. O'Reily stayed on the floor next to him for a minute, staring intently at his face.
Suddenly, Beecher was very aware of just how close O`Reily was to him right now. This was the one man he felt safe around, here in this hell hole. The one man Beecher thought he knew well enough to tell exactly what O'Reily wanted from him. Because it was the same thing Beecher wanted - someone he didn't have to worry about. Someone he could relax around. Someone he could count on to get high with and let down his guard. Someone he could trust. Then why did he suddenly feel uneasy, as O'Reily starred into his eyes? It had to be the drugs - "paranoia the destroya" he thought giddily to himself. He reached up and pulled O'Reily's hand from his mouth.
"Oh man, I am suddenly so high!" He giggled softly as he took the joint out of O'Reily`s other hand and took a hit.
With a start O'Reily rolled onto his back and took a deep breath. "That's better, man. You gotta be careful. No more lawyer jokes for a while, ok?" He took the joint Beecher offered him.
Beecher rolled onto his back, unconsciously mirroring O'Reily's pose and put his hands behind his head. "Right. But I`ve got to remember that one, Ryan. That was a good one."
O`Reily grinned up at the ceiling. "Yeah, you're right Beecher, that was a good one."
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