Augustus Hill / Eugene Dobbins
Huge thanks to Actizera for deadline-busting beta on this baby! *g*
Bach was a badass. Augustus closed his eyes and let the music flowing from the strings of Eugene Dobbins's cello wash over and through him. For the past couple of days, he'd taken to hanging out by the stage in the cafeteria instead of the gym during the first free hour after work detail, sitting transfixed as Dobbins worked that concerto over and over again, perfecting perfection. It was the fastest hour of the day, but the music stayed with him, replacing the jumbled cacophony of basketballs bouncing on the gymnasium floor, the clank of iron from the weightlifting cage, and the shouted, boastful trash-talk of inmates in his mind. Those were all sounds that belonged to the world of Jackson Vahue and the kind of school yard, peer pressure, "prove-you're-my- brother" bullshit that had almost gotten Augustus hooked on heroin again. But listening to Dobbins practice, man... that was like the soaring sounds of freedom. Free will. Potential.
And he liked Dobbins. For a guy who was as famous within the world of classical music as Vahue was in basketball, Dobbins was remarkably down to earth, easy to talk to. He just seemed approachable in a way that Vahue never did. Augustus remembered the oddly confessional conversation they'd had on Dobbins's first day in Oz, when the charm of the concerto drew Augustus to the stage to introduce himself. It was weird -- he didn't know jack shit about classical music or instruments or anything, but right from the beginning, something in Dobbins's playing had connected.
"It sure is beautiful," Augustus had said, tentatively reaching out to stroke the deeply toned wood of the cello.
"Beautiful but lonely," Dobbins replied, wistfully.
Wistful wasn't something you heard too often in the guarded confines of Oz. Augustus was sure he had to be missing something obvious because of his lack of knowledge about instruments.
"Lonely? How does a cello get lonely?"
"I have no one to play with."
"You sound great by yourself. You don't need anybody to play with," Augustus said, surprised that anyone capable of creating the incredible music he'd heard that afternoon could think he needed help.
"I'm used to playing symphony orchestras, 90 to 100 musicians making music. A cello by itself is just not the same."
He'd smiled then, sadly, and Augustus got it. Because it wasn't the cello that was lonely. And boy did Augustus ever get that. Loneliness was such a constant that he hardly even thought about it anymore after nearly two years here. Sure, Annabella visited as often as she reasonably could -- but it was such a long way from the city, and she had to work hard these days to take care of things. And inside Oz, he had acquaintances but no real friends. He had hoped -- a foolishly star-struck hope, maybe -- that Jackson Vahue would be his friend. But the only things Vahue cared about were basketball and white powder.
It was all the worse for being in the damned chair. Even the most basic self-comfort -- jerking off -- had become a hollow exercise when he couldn't feel anything. And now that Governor Devlin had eliminated conjugals...the one way Augustus had left to relate sexually was pretty much gone. He read his issues of Hustler and he thought about his wife and he fantasized about fucking, but it only seemed to call attention to the lack. It was bad enough being disconnected from the people he cared about, but being disconnected from his own body was almost unbearable. He did it anyway, of course. At night before bed. And in the shower, which was about the only sensual experience he had left.
Thinking about his loneliness made him ache with it suddenly. He hoped it would pass, like it usually did, but after a few hours had gone by and it was still preoccupying his mind, he headed for the shower, grateful to find himself alone there. He undressed quickly and got under the warm spray. Water pouring over every inch of skin that could still feel activated his sense of touch in some way, at least... but it was a poor substitute. He stroked himself to hardness in the hopes that the physical act of release -- even without the joyous rush that used to accompany it -- did something to counter the knots of dejected frustration that continually built up inside of him.
Augustus startled at the sound of Dobbins's voice behind him, and he quickly folded his hands in his lap to cover what he'd been doing. "Hey, uh, hey, man," he fumbled out, trying to sound nonchalant.
"Oh, sorry," Dobbins half-laughed, a flush rising on his pale skin. "Didn't mean to interrupt!"
"Ah, fuck, wasn't interrupting much," Augustus muttered. Then he caught the smirk playing at the corners of Dobbins's mouth as he finished hanging up his towel. "What?"
"Nothing," Dobbins was still blushing but still smiling too as he came around to stand beside Augustus, turning on the neighboring shower. "Just...that's what I was coming in here to do. It's kinda funny, is all."
Then Augustus laughed, disarmed. That was one of the coolest and most refreshing things about Dobbins -- he didn't seem to feel the need to bluster through all the bullshit macho posturing that would have gone on with most of the guys in this place. It made Augustus feel strangely close to him, right at the moment.
"Well, ain't nobody in here but us chickens!" Augustus blurted out with a shrug.
Dobbins's hands stilled on the water taps. They were strong-looking hands, with long, sensitive fingers, capable of -- accustomed to -- coaxing beauty from an inanimate object. Suddenly, Augustus found himself speaking again.
"Dobbs, help me?"
Dobbins hesitated for what felt like an eternity, partially cloaked in the clouds of steam beginning to rise around him. Then he half-turned to face Augustus, expression unreadable. He cleared his throat.
"I, uh, thought you couldn't...?"
"Feel? Nah, I can't. But if I could see someone besides myself again... you know, maybe I could remember... imagine...." Augustus looked down, shaking his head. "Ah, I don't know. It's stupid, forget it. I'm sorry, I don't know what got into me to even ask something like that." He attempted what he hoped was a dismissive laugh, even as his hands twisted in his lap. "Don't want you to go thinking I'm all weird..."
"No. No, it's okay." And the next thing Augustus knew, Dobbins was crouched next to his chair. Augustus met his eyes warily, half expecting physical retaliation -- this was Oz after all. But Dobbins's expression was earnest, even kind. "Hey, you know, you're the only person in this place who's been even halfway nice to me. "
Augustus swallowed. "You got a gift, man."
"Yeah," Dobbins laughed, "fat lot of good it's done me in here."
Augustus didn't know how to answer that, so he said nothing, watching Dobbins instead. He was a pretty handsome guy, in a surprising, boyish way, especially now, with his hair wet and slicked back off his face. Augustus wondered if that made any difference.
Dobbins looked at him a moment longer, then something in his expression changed -- in his eyes, the set of his jaw. He gave a barely discernible nod.
"Just us chickens, right?" Dobbins broke off and looked back over his shoulder to check behind them. "Look, I'll do us both. I'll close my eyes and it'll be just like normal...plus one."
Augustus swallowed again. "Dobbs, man, you don't gotta... I was just being crazy..."
Dobbins rolled his eyes. "Shut up and move your hands out of the way."
Augustus speechlessly did as he was asked. Then he watched, amazed, as Dobbins's hand came around the rail of the chair and into his lap. His fingers were trembling slightly, but then he suddenly reached forward, made a fist around Augustus's still semi-erect cock, and gently began to stroke. Unable to help himself, Augustus slid a glance over toward Dobbins's face. His eyes were indeed closed, a look of concentration etched across his features. Then Augustus let his gaze travel downward, to where Dobbins's other hand had gone to work, beginning to pull on his own dick with the same rhythm he was using on Augustus.
Augustus stared for another moment, then blinked and tried to put the freaky unreality of what was actually happening out of his mind long enough to take advantage of the opportunity Dobbins was gifting him with here. He returned his attention to the action taking place in his own lap. His dick, which seemed to be as reliable as ever, physically speaking, was fully hard now, and Dobbins's hand seemed to respond to that with an increase of speed. Augustus tried to forget for the moment just who the hand belonged to and concentrated on the simple fact that it was a different hand.
God, how long had it been since there was a hand on his cock besides his own? Months, since Annabella's last conjugal visit. And he watched Dobbins's hand sliding up and down over him, twisting now a little on the upstrokes, and he thought about that last conjugal: Annabella's musky sweet scent and the taste and texture of her skin against his lips and tongue. God, he missed Annabella. But that thought made him a little sad, so he quickly subbed in some images of his favorite girl-girl spread in the latest issue of Hustler -- that one shot of the sassy-looking brunette straddling the fake redhead... yeah, that was a good one. He smiled, running the Hustler images through his mind while he watched his dick get worked over with increasing intensity. It was almost, almost like the pleasure of actual sexual activity. And if there was a Bach concerto running through his brain somewhere in there too, well, that was maybe a little weird, but he could deal with it.
Then Augustus heard a soft little groan from Dobbins beside him. He looked over, then down, just in time to see Dobbins beginning to come, a slight stutter to his stroking rhythm now as spurts of jizz streaked white towards the tile floor, then swirled away in eddies of water flowing down the drain. Augustus looked back up to Dobbins's face just as he opened his eyes. For a moment, there was a kind of openness and vulnerability in Dobbins's expression that hit Augustus in a place that surprised him. Like he'd just had sex with this guy. Which he kind of had and kind of hadn't, both at the same time. Just as that threatened to feel really embarrassing, Dobbins held up the hand that had been working on Augustus.
"Good timing," he said with a funny little smile, turning his hand to wash the spatters of Augustus's come away in the shower.
Augustus glanced down into his own lap, seeing the remaining goop in his pubic hair. He was a little disappointed that he'd missed getting to watch his own pop shot. But what the hell, that was a pretty small quibble, all things considered.
"Yeah man, good timing," he agreed. "Uh... thanks."
"Don't worry about it," Dobbins said with a faint smile, getting back up to his feet. "Gotta be able to give someone a helping hand once in a while, right?"
"Right," Augustus laughed. Then he heard the sounds of more people coming into the shower area, and he and Dobbins both automatically seemed to turn to the business of washing up, casually, like they'd just been having any old conversation. But in the back of Augustus's mind, wheels were turning.
Jenkins, he thought with a private smile, as the name of the inmate who played the trumpet in Unit B became clear in his memory. Augustus thought he'd heard Jenkins play some pretty complicated stuff, maybe he'd be up for a duet. Augustus decided he'd talk to him in the morning.
"Gotta be able to give someone a helping hand once in a while, right?" Dobbins had said. Augustus watched him turn off the shower and reach for his towel.
Right, friend. Absofuckinglutely right.