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Written for Oz Magi 2009 with a request for "obsessive (stalkery) Keller, obstinate (yet ultimately weak) Beecher"
There's Only So Much Here to Go Around
Breaking Beecher's arms and legs isn't like killing. Chris had expected it to be similar - the bones snapping easily in his hands - but those college boys, their eyes hazy with sex, their lips wet and swollen - they hadn't known what hit them. It was quick, clean, and efficient, but Beecher spits and yells and struggles like a wild animal.
There's no moment of relief when eyes go dull and blind, devoid of anger and accusation. No, Beecher glares up at him murderously even with his body broken and limp. Chris can't help leaning over him and staring into those venomous eyes, into that face red with rage and pain, entranced by it.
He kisses Beecher on the cheek and murmurs - loud enough for Vern to hear, makes damn sure Vern can hear, because it's all about the act, "Was it good for you, baby?"
The day after Operation Toby is complete Chris sits with the O'Reilys and the Others to eat as usual. From across the cafeteria, Vern throws him a curious, sidelong glance, but Chris ignores it. Rebadow's eyebrows creep upwards in surprise. Chris stares at him, silently daring him to say something.
Ryan discusses Beecher with morbid fascination. Chris just grits his teeth and grunts whenever a response is demanded of him.
"When's he coming back?" Cyril interjects suddenly, face knitted into consternation.
"I don't know, Cyril," Ryan snaps dismissively, turning back to Busmalis and Hill to say, "I hear they found him in a pool of his own piss and vomit." Cyril's pout is just as damning as Rebadow's piercing, far too knowing eyes.
Later, Vern calls his name while he's handing out mail. Chris ambles over. "Someone write me a letter?" he asks, smiling.
"Keller," Vern says, no break in his actions as he gives out bundles of postcards and magazines. "The game is over."
"I know," he says brightly. "Mission accomplished."
"So why, pray tell me, are you still hanging out with those fuckwads?"
Chris crosses his arms over his chest and lets his gaze wander slowly around Em City. "The way I see it, we're even. We go way back, Vern, but I'm not one of your Aryan fucks."
Vern's eyes narrow dangerously, and he leans in closer, breath stale against the side of Chris' face. "I don't like what I'm hearing, prag."
"I ain't your prag anymore, Vern," he hisses, careful not to raise his voice. "Now I promise not to get in your way, but I'm not gonna do your fucking dirty work anymore." Chris pats Vern on the shoulder and walks away, hoping he hasn't signed his death warrant.
He's tracing the frayed edges of Beecher's pillow when Metzger clears his throat behind him. "Let's take a walk, Keller," he says briskly. Chris can feel everyone's eyes on him as he and Metzger walk across Em City - O'Reily's keen interest and Schillinger's smug satisfaction.
Metzger escorts him to a deserted hall. "You're not having second thoughts are you? Thinking of alleviating your guilt?" He taps his club lightly on Chris' chest. His smile is cold, reptilian. He reminds Chris of Vern, only more refined. Chris stays silent and Metzger cocks his head thoughtfully, looking Chris up and down. "You know, McManus has asked me to investigate this personally."
Chris hooks his thumbs into his pants pockets, rocks his weight back on his heels and tries to look bored. "Are you going to pin it on someone?"
Metzger shrugs. "If necessary."
"And you're saying that someone might be me?"
Metzger hits him in the stomach with his club to drive the point home.
Luckily for Chris, the Latinos and the Sicilians get into a brawl in the computer room that week and both the Warden and McManus forget about Toby's `accident' for awhile.
The thing is, Chris hadn't really been thinking ahead when he signed on with Schillinger. He hadn't been expecting 88 years, hadn't been expecting Schillinger to be in Oz - just dumbly agreed to be Schillinger's partner, thinking it'd grease his way into Em City.
As it turns out, Oz is pretty boring without Toby; it's harder to fill the hours without a companion. The Others are still fine with him, but it's not really the same. Honest to God truth, Chris had never even considered not going through with Operation Toby. He had thought about fucking Beecher while he had the chance as a little side benefit, but he always knew how it would end - Beecher broken.
It's too bad, really. With every day in Oz crawling by at a snail's pace, Chris doesn't even want to contemplate 50 to 88 years.
About three weeks later, McManus calls Chris to his office. Chris isn't worried exactly, but he wonders if the jig might be up. He hears Beecher's voice in his head - "If you do something wrong, you're summoned to McManus' office," but all McManus wants is to tell him that Beecher is back from Benchley Memorial and recuperating in the prison hospital.
McManus furrows his brow and frowns, concerned, and says, "I just wanted to see how you were doing after the thing with Beecher. I know you were pretty good friends."
Chris almost feels bad for the man - that he could be so earnest and always, always so wrong. Chris thinks about it for a second - the possibilities here - turns it over quickly in his mind and then says, "I wanna see Beecher."
"Well..." McManus says, "Good. I think that'd be good for him."
Chris feels a strange thrill when he walks into the hospital - he's actually getting away with this. Mineo leads him to Beecher's bed, tells him he has ten minutes, and then goes to talk to Dr. Prestopnik.
Beecher's arms and legs are all in casts - held elevated. His eyes are closed, and Chris thinks he's asleep for a moment, before they slit open. Toby doesn't seem particularly surprised to see him - though Chris guesses he's on a lot of meds.
"Come to see your handiwork?" Beecher grits out, voice thick and rough.
"Something like that, yeah." Seeing him like this - maybe Chris should feel regret, remorse - there might be some of that deep down - but he does feel a twinge of pride, a feeling of I made this. He wants to touch the casts, feel the ridges of the plaster. He likes that Toby is practically vibrating with impotent rage.
"Fuck you," Toby spits. "Fuck you. Always - always gloating."
Chris steps closer to the bed, then, and puts his face close to Beecher's, sees the glazed look in his eyes and realizes that Toby is hallucinating - thinks he's hallucinating at least, which means he's been hallucinating about Chris, which is enough to brighten Chris' whole day. There's hope for them yet.
O'Reily is in his pod when he returns to Em City, leaning casually against the bunk bed. Chris doesn't really want to deal with him right now. He wants to think about Toby, about how he's going to fuck him, about all his gorgeous plans to get him back.
"Hey, Keller," O'Reily says, that snake-like smile on his face. "You know, Rebadow told me a pretty interesting story."
Chris crosses his arms over his chest, stares him down. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Uh huh." O'Reily knows he's made his point. He saunters out, but he's looking at Chris a little differently; Chris can see it - there's a bit more interest now. "I didn't see this one coming," he throws back over his shoulder. Chris feels tension lock in his jaw, feels anger spike in his gut, but clamps himself down, tells himself not to give anything away. O'Reily's not an issue, not yet at least.
That night, in the too-quiet pod (Chris misses the sound of Toby breathing, snoring - his nightmares even - those at least gave Chris an excuse to touch him), Chris slips his hand into his boxers and can't decide whether he wants to think about sucking Toby off while Toby begs him helplessly to stop or kneeling up over Toby's chest and feeding his cock into Toby's mouth - staring into his narrow, furious eyes.
He settles for something more general - Toby, all healed, hating Chris, but totally, completely unable to deny the need between them. Chris likes that idea.
About a month later (Chris isn't one of those guys that scratches tally marks in the wall - it'd just be too depressing), Beecher's back in Em City. It's comical is what it is - the two of them, still sharing their pod because Toby hasn't ratted him out. Chris knows he should be watching his back, but he's something like giddy with Toby's return.
Of course, Beecher is always going to be a vicious bitch and Chris has to do his stint in protective custody, but after that...Chris figures - since Toby isn't going to make it easy - that it's time to devote himself to getting him back.
There's an odd kind of accord that settles between them - Chris pushes and persists and Beecher allows it to a point and then will suddenly show his claws. It's all part of convincing Toby he can be trusted, Chris figures. Let him know his intentions - well, they're not pure, but they're not anything underhanded or dishonest either. Chris likes this game well enough; it keeps him busy, eats up his time.
He's sure Toby is smart enough to have calculated exactly how long he can keep holding out before Chris gets fed up and turns his attention elsewhere (or maybe Beecher really did want nothing to do with him, but that's something Chris refuses to contemplate because Beecher loves him).
One day, after Chris finds out from Rebadow that Toby tried to get him switched to another pod (but McManus had flat-out refused - thinking, perhaps, of how concerned Keller had been about his wounded friend), he follows Toby into the shower, going on and on about how Beecher needs to get the fuck over himself. Just by the set of his shoulders, Chris can tell how frustrated Toby is. It's like poking at a snake, but Chris just can't help it. Chris is pretty mad himself, but he still takes the opportunity to admire Beecher's body as he discards his towel and gets under the water.
Toby actually growls when Chris takes the showerhead next to him, but Chris blithely ignores him. Toby tries to give him the same treatment in return, but he's too tense to make it convincing. Chris watches while Toby valiantly tries to keep his eyes away from Chris, soaping himself up with the tiny prison-issued soap.
"Let me get your back," Chris says after a moment, because watching Beecher try to twist his still-healing arms around is too painful to stand.
"Fuck off," Beecher snaps.
Chris sighs. "Just shut the fuck up and let me help you." He steps from his showerhead over into Beecher's space and presses an insistent hand to Beecher's shoulder, urging him to turn around. Beecher looks back at him and glowers, but complies.
"I don't need your goddamn help," he hisses as Chris takes the soap from him and trails a long, slow line down his spine. He can't hide the way he likes to be touched, though. Chris can sympathize. That's what prison does - makes you desperate for any kind of contact. It's far too easy for Chris to just rub his hands up and down Toby's back. Toby doesn't - he doesn't relax, but stays very still with his head bowed forward. It makes Chris bolder; he fans his fingers out to touch Toby's sides, massaging circles on Toby's wet skin with this thumbs. They're alone, which is lucky; Chris knows Toby's sensitive about having an audience.
Beecher's lost quite a bit of weight. He looks good - mean and lean. Chris strokes his lower back - feels the soft hair there, the curve of his spine as Beecher arches away from him. He follows that curve with his thumbs, lets them rest at Toby's tailbone, nudges just a little further down - testing the waters as it were, only to be interrupted by Beecher snarling, "Keller," - a sharp reprimand.
"Sorry," he breathes against Beecher's neck. "It's all wet and slippery back here."
Beecher laughs sarcastically and then turns, elbowing Chris away. Chris, far from dissuaded, puts his hands on Toby's hips and then drops to his knees. The shower spray is mostly blocked by Toby's body, but some spatters in his eyes, making it hard to gauge the expression on Toby's face. What's unambiguous is Toby's dick - half-hard, interested in the proceedings. This is the closest Chris has gotten to what he wants in what feels like forever, but he knows how mercurial Toby can be - knows not to take too much or he risks Toby lashing out.
"Let me suck your cock," he says over the weak gurgle of the water. He strokes Beecher's stomach encouragingly and then nuzzles the crease of his pelvis. He thinks he hears a shaky intake of breath, but knows, even with his vision impaired, that Beecher is glaring at him. "What?" Chris says guilelessly, sitting back on his heels. "Afraid I'll bite it off? That's more your style, baby."
Toby scrapes his fingers through Chris' buzzed hair, and then pushes Chris' head back to look down at him searchingly. He touches Chris' mouth with a gesture that seems unconscious. Chris has him - he can feel it - he has Toby. He fits the heels of his palms against Toby's hipbones and leans in against the pressure of Toby's hands and swirls his tongue around the head of Toby's cock. Toby's hips stutter forward and Chris is salivating at the thought of taking that erection in his throat except Toby takes a nervous step backwards - nearly slips on the tile, but catches himself on the wall behind him.
There's a knot of frustration in Chris' throat, and he levers himself to his feet, feeling like this could easily deteriorate into a physical fight. Much rougher than he's dared be with Toby recently he jerks Toby around to face the wall and then plasters himself to Beecher's back, rides his cock against the crease of Beecher's ass. It's a dark thrill, letting himself think about fucking Toby - about forcing his head down and holding him still and fucking him for being so goddamn difficult.
Chris couldn't ever do that, though - not to Toby, because Toby is clearly not the forgiving type and Chris isn't looking for a one time thing.
And Toby -fucking Toby - even though he's flushed and his heart is pounding, his breath coming in harsh little pants, even though he wants Chris just as desperately as Chris wants him, even though his cock is hard - would fit so perfectly in Chris' hand (Chris is sure of it), Toby shakes him off like Chris is nothing but an annoying burden, a gnat to be flicked away, and says, "No."
Chris lets him slip free of his hold, capitulating for the moment, but he heard the waver in Toby's voice, felt the hungry push of Toby's ass back against his groin. Chris knows he's going to win this war eventually. He can be patient. He's got time.
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