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A short piece.


by Anne

Title: Lifeline

Author: Anne

Pairing: BK

Warnings: Spoilers for Season 5

Summary: What's going through Keller's mind when he sees Toby for the first time since he's been back in Oz.

I hear Beecher call my name and I think it must be a dream. He says it softly, almost like a whisper and it caresses my skin. I stop and realize that I am really awake. So I turn and there he is, standing there like some kind of vision. Only he's real. I think he is, anyway.

He holds up something in his hand and gives me that sheepish grin of his. He says ``You've got mail,'' and I hear his voice again and I know that he really is there and I'm not dreaming. He rests his hand on the bars between us and I grab for it like a lifeline. I cover it with mine and feel it's warmth. I finally smile and let myself feel the first joy I've known since I got back to Oz.

Only Toby could turn the worst day of my life into one of the best.

In the weeks - or is it months - since I have returned to Oz, I have been living from one fucking shithole day to another. No Toby. Too much Claire. A beating that almost killed me. A lawyer who shit all over me and tried to take away the one person who mattered to me in the whole world. Fucking FBI with their eyewitness and their goddamned trial. And today; today I ended up on death row. What could be worse than that? I never felt more dead in my life than I did today; all my hope just gone. Yet all I have to see is Toby's face looking at me like that - with so much love and everything else melts away. All that matters is the feel of his hand under mine and the way he's looking at me.

I reach my free hand through the bars and wrap it around his neck and I look in his eyes before I lean forward and then my lips are on his and I'm tasting him and it's the best fucking thing ever. My mouth opens around his and I feel this tongue against mine. I have this overwhelming desire to take and suck everything I can from him. It's been too long and this...this...thing between us is just too much. And I've been drowning for so long and I need something to hang onto.

But Toby yields under my assault; giving as good as he's getting. And that's when I realize I don't need to take anything. Toby gives me everything I could ever need. Just touching him and kissing him like this gives me hope; something I didn't have even five minutes ago.

His kiss is both gentle and passionate. It wipes away all the mistakes; all the pain. It makes me realize that I don't have to do this thing alone anymore. Toby is going to be with me always; even if he's not in the room with me.

I love this man more than I ever thought I could possibly love anyone. And there's no doubt in my mind he feels the same for me. I see it in his eyes. I feel it in his touch. And I taste it in his kiss.

If I have to die, then so be it. But I'll be leaving Oz more whole and more loved than when I came in. That's Toby's gift to me.


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