Challenge #69: Word Of The Day (write a drabble using Webster's online Word of the Day)
"And the meek shall inherit the earth."
In Oz, the meek shall bear weight upon their backs, bruise their throats, coat their tongues with filth. They will smear their faces with garish cosmetics, cry and shake crouched in the darkest corners biting their fingers in despair. They will pray for invisibility. Oblivion.
But they are not allowed to be invisible. They must actively participate in their torture. They must placate and soothe their oppressors, kiss the sour skin that beats them, humble themselves with false cheer to the jeers of the Coliseum.
The meek inherited nothing but pain.
Challenge #62: Something Blue (something must be, well, blue.)
It was kind of a shame. He was a sweet old guy once you'd gotten to know him. But, business was business. Even for girls. A man like him would understand.
"Mr. Nappa?" Nat whispered to make sure dinner's wine had worked its sleepy magic.
The real trick here was getting the job done without breaking a nail, but Nat pressed the pillow down hard, harder, until the old man's struggling ceased. Death he had ahead of him? This was almost a kindness.
There. If you ignored the strange blue pallor of his skin, he looked... peaceful.
"Sweet dreams, hon."
Challenge #54: Oh La La (incorporate a non-English word or phrase.)
To Your Health
"Za vashe zdorovye."
"Yeah, sure. Cheers."
O'Reily peered dubiously into his shot glass before knocking back the vodka with a grimace that made Stainislofsky smile.
"Yours are not the only people who know what to do with potatoes, hey?"
O'Reily blinked and gave his head a shake before handing back the glass. "Stuff tastes like fucking anti-freeze. So, look Nikolai, we got a deal, or what?"
"We drink on it. We got a deal."
"Not like I'd trust a handshake from you, anyway."
"Nor I, you, my friend."
"Friend." O'Reily laughed. "And they always say humor gets lost in translation."
Challenge #52: Self-Gratification (heh, pretty self-explanitory)
Toby shifted again, trying to get comfortable, trying to ignore the apneatic snores of the Colonel, sawing away in the bunk below. Fucking jarhead redneck asshole.
Sleeping in his bed.
Toby flipped onto his back and let out a sigh, knowing the cure to his problem only furthered his disease. But finally he gave in and let the images come, a mental highlight reel soon accompanied by a forlorn strain at the front of his boxers.
"I know," Toby whispered silently into the darkness, slipping his hand into the slit-front fly to stroke his cock reassuringly. "I miss him too."
Challenge #50: Devil's Advocate (write from the POV of a character you dislike)
Portrait of the Artist as a Death Row Inmate
They never shut up. Black boy and the... whatever the hell that freak Ginzburg was. Yakkity-yak-yak. Cough, hack, cough. At least the whore was gone. What a fucking tea party that had been.
Miles stepped back to appraise his portrait from proper viewing distance. Not quite there yet. Hopefully Schillinger would be back with replacement paints soon. That last yellow was way too bright. He needed the darker ochre, damn it. For posterity.
Ginzburg let loose another spasm of coughs just as Miles was leaning in to retouch a line. Smudged!
"Just die already!"
"You too," came the tired-sounding chorus.
Challenge #49: Get Out of Jail Free: HT100 Anniversary -- do a past drabble you missed. I did previous Challenge #46 Lingering (something from the past lingers.)
Julie sat instantly, obediently, looking up expectantly at Miguel, awaiting further instruction. Her reddish-pink tongue lolled comically out of the side of her mouth, somehow making her obvious understanding all the more striking.
"Good girl," Miguel murmured softly, crouching to stroke the fine, soft blonde fur of her head. Julie turned her warm, soulful eyes towards him, and blinked.
Rivera couldn't do that anymore.
Miguel patted Julie. Dogs were cool. Easier to deal with than people, that was for sure. Way less confusing and fucked up. Dogs just heard you out.
Maybe... maybe Rivera could use that too.
Challenge #45: Cuffs (Kind of a drive-by sequel to HT100 Challenge #35 - Lockdown: Another Fine Mess)
An Attractive Nuisance
"You, stay put. I'll look for another way out."
"Fuck that, I'm coming with you." Toby struggled to his feet, patting around for his shattered glasses.
"Why does this shit happen to me?" Chris grumbled under his breath, and Toby could tell he was rummaging around for something in his leather jacket.
"What're you..." Toby managed to fit the cockeyed lenses over his eyes as Chris produced a shiny pair of handcuffs. "Hey! You can't..." Toby started, but the only answer he received was a menacing glare and the 'click-click' sound of metal engaging around his wrist.
"You. Stay. Put."
Challenge #42: Isn't It Romantic (A Valentine's Day challenge.)
Scene from an unknown universe
"What, no chocolates?"
"Shut the fuck up and get over here."
Toby grinned and began to sing, "Isn’t it romannnntic..." before letting himself fall backwards onto the bed, giggling.
"No more champagne for you. That jacket is a mess."
"You know, you're kinda sexy when you're bossy," Toby said slicking his tongue suggestively along his lower lip.
"Only when I'm bossy?"
"Shut the fuck up and get over here," Toby mimicked, grinning again. But after a moment, he sat up and started digging into the pocket of his pants. "No, for real Chris, c'mere. I've got a present for you."
Challenge #35: Lockdown (The boys are locked in somewhere.)
Another Fine Mess
I had this dream, see, where a drunk-in-the-wrong-neighborhood
college student Toby gets mugged, maybe by a fresh-out-of-Lardner Chris.
Because I really need yet another WIP.
Toby's vision reels -- besides drunk and glasses-less, probably a concussion with his luck -- as his Good Samaritan pulls him through a steel door off the alley, into what smells like the storage room of a commercial laundry. The sirens recede as the snick of a lock clicks into place.
"Not your friends?"
"Fuck, I just got out."
The guy leans back, closing his eyes. His jacket falls open, and for the first time, Toby can focus well enough to make out the dull gleam of a gun handle, barely visible against the taut black cotton hugging his torso.
Challenge #32: Hombre Muerto (Someone is dead.)
"That mutha'fucka's dead."
The stage, audience, silenced, hushed for that rarest of moments in Oz -- not respectful, more simply shocked -- in registration of the sudden, impossible absence of Vern Schillinger.
There, in his final command of the spotlight, Vernon Schillinger, an institution within an institution, making life miserable for all and sundry since 1992... Every rape, murder, insult, injury, flashing through the minds of all assembled. How can it be? The eyes flick almost nervously between the heaped body on the ground and the man silently holding the knife -- an odd hesitation between jubilation and -- what, exactly?
No one knows.
Challenge #29: Bound (something is bound, either literally or figuratively.)
Action was a funny thing: once you took it, you were bound by what you'd done. Even if you were the type who never thought things all the way through.
Sometimes it didn't hit you until later.
Until too late.
Adrenaline faded, leaving only memories of wounded eyes and so much broken. What was it again that had been gained? Maintenance of an amicable understanding with Vern felt like a strange priority in the sudden absence of Toby's genuine warmth. But now that close, sweet, vulnerable trust was encased in a hard shell of plaster. Chris had bound them both.
Challenge #26: Obvious (work in Chris' line: "I would have thought that was fairly obvious" -- line not counted in word total.)
Props to Bonnie
"Wait a minute, wait a minute..." Toby tossed his cards onto the pile in the center of the table and leaned back in his chair. "You mean to tell me Bonnie would just go out and pick up these women?"
Chris nodded, dealing out the next round. "She got to be pretty smooth."
"I'll bet. And she what, sometimes she'd share, and sometimes she wouldn't?"
Chris grinned. "How mad she was at me."
"Yeah, I know how that goes," Toby grumbled. "I guess I never realized Bonnie was so wild."
"I would have thought that was fairly obvious, Beech. I mean, I did marry her twice. "
Challenge #19: Amnesty (go back and do a challenge you'd previously missed -- I did #10: Nostalgia (any character, set in S 1-4)
It was just looking forward, really, in a funny kind of way. If you thought about it. Which he did, a lot, but most people didn't. Well, he bet they did, but they tried not to. It scared them too much, and then they got mad at him because he wasn't scared. Not of the truth. The future. He just wanted to see.
He moved on to the next one, admiring the stitches. So many stitches....
A piercing beam of light flashed in his eyes, and he raised his hands in a protective gesture.
“Groves! Jesus, drop that fucking sheet!”
Challenge #17: Dirty Talk (pretty self-explanatory *g* Later worked into the full-length PWP, Zipless)
“Just a quickie.” Toby’s chest was pushed up against the copy machine now. “We won’t get caught.”
“How would you know?”
“’Cause, we’ll, uh, make a force field with our minds, like in those movies, you know, with the old guy in the robe.”
“These are not the droids you’re looking for,” Toby choked on a snort, but he could already feel himself coming unglued -- steamed open by that rough whisper in his ear, the hard heat pressed against his back.
“Exactly,” Chris purred, pleased. “No one’ll find us. Come on, I’ve gotta have a little piece of this ass.”
Challenge #15: Blast from the Past (must be set in Season 2)
“He broke my fucking nose, Vern! That wasn’t part of the plan.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Vern took a deep breath before beginning his next set.
“But...” Mack started to protest.
“Enough!” Vern exhaled deeply and let the bar settle back down in its cradles with a metallic rattle. “Christ, Mark, when did you get to be such a whiner?”
Mack looked down at the floor to hide the flush rising on his face. Fucking Keller. Wasn’t even one of them, but Vern always took his side. Lit up all happy whenever he was around.
Who the hell was this guy, anyway?
Challenge #13: Double Down (double-sized drabble)
And the college boys were so fucking easy. Fish in a barrel. These identical little junior versions of The Man. Fast-tracking young immortal pre-suits who never thought in a million years that anything bad could ever happen to them.
They usually met Bad at the bar first, moving back as the night wore on, into a darker, quieter space in the rear where they could "really talk." Drinks progressed from draft beer to shots, and they never seemed to let themselves notice when the switch took place. Oh, they knew they were being a little wild, doing something they didn't ordinarily--letting this guy buy them drinks. But...it wasn't anything they couldn't handle.
And this guy was charming. He seemed so interested, paid so much attention.
It was the penetrating gaze that really got them, how he leaned in across the table. Hypnotic blue eyes, unnerving and alluring, familiar and challenging, honing right in on what nobody else in their young and sheltered lives had ever really been able to recognize. The dirty inner secret they knew made them different from their friends.
It was in the guy's smile. He could see just how sexy they really were.
Challenge #11: One to Grow One (follow up an earlier drabble)
Flight (follow up to Incognito)
Actually, he had listened to Chris -- well, part of it anyway. The 'I want you to turn your back on all this shit and run' part. He just hadn't gone in the direction Chris anticipated.
But he couldn't go back now. Couldn't hit the rewind button and resume the sodden, strangle-suited life he'd led before. The square-clipped privet hedge of his parents' home looked suddenly as bad as steel. Chris' voice in his head said: RUN.
And he had. Straight to the only truth he'd known in years.
“Are you angry?”
“Yes,” Chris says, reaching out to take his
Challenge #9 Change Canon (some canon event must go differently)
The file for Dr. Ferstopnik grows sweaty in my hands as I scan down the row of beds. Sick guy, broken guy, sick guy... Chris.
Really here, alive, okay. Paler, little thin, but lying there with headphones on, he looks reassuringly bored as I approach.
Chris seems to sense as much as hear me, turning in my direction even before I speak.
His surprised grin makes me smile for the first time in weeks. I check over my shoulder, and for once in my luckless life, the coast is clear. I lean in to give him a kiss.
Challenge #6: Free for All (anything goes)
Just ignore him. Just ignore him. Smile politely at the gray-paced adventures of Busmalis and Rebadow. Don't look up. Just ignore him.
But Said's latest, sensibly suggested mantra provides flimsy protection.
Don't look up. He can't offer you anything.
Except... everything. Maybe.
No. Idiot. Sucker. Weakling. Fuck it.
Look up, for just a fraction of a second, you swear. And meet his lawless gaze, on you zealously as always. Did you honestly want different?
Read the libertine promise in his smirk.
Whatever you're needing, baby, I'm your man.
No limits, no boundaries. That's the offer.
It's fucking irresistible.
Challenge #4: Sense of Smell (In which a scent must play a role.)
He let Poet finish his deal before moving in to wait for his own score, tucking deeply into the slotted shadows under the stairs.
Evidence of countless not-quite-secret transactions rose from the floor, reeking of compulsive desire in a sour-musk blend of sweat, piss, vomit, and spunk that no amount of ammonia-heavy institutional mop-slop could ever quite mask.
He wondered at the perversity, such a stink making his mouth water, raising hair on his neck. Was it the remembered thrill of illicit craving, or anticipation for Chris? Then he closed his eyes and smiled wryly. Like there was a difference.
Challenge #3: Voyeur (In which someone must be watching.)
Oh yes, there they were. His boys. Together.
Watching them roll and groan and sweat, it doesn’t take much to superimpose this foreplay grapple on the gymnasium floor over the sense memory he would always carry. There had been so many faceless, blob-like, useless holes in the years since, but still… Vern could close his eyes, rub his fingertips together, and conjure the feel of Chris: fisted glove leather over all that dense, hard, muscle.
And of course, Tobias was easy. Sweet, pliant, softer, moister, more like… latex. Yes. Yessss.
And he was hardly even aware of lowering his zipper.
Challenge #2: Contact Visit (Beecher and Keller meet in the contact visit room.)
The man sitting here is such a mixture of things familiar and unfamiliar after all this time. Keller knows he’s staring, but can’t make himself stop.
A nasal sniff. “Yeah.”
“Hm.” Keller eyeballs his visitor critically. “How was the trip up?”
“Kinda pretty. I’ve never been to this part of Massachusetts before.”
Keller closes his eyes, calculating the risks involved. “You ever gonna fucking listen to me?”
“Nope.” A laugh. “Probably not.”
“Figured as much.” Keller sighs, but appreciation wins out. “It’s a good job. Although I gotta tell you, baby, that’s the craziest beard I’ve seen yet.”
Challenge #1: Good Boy (In which Keller calls Beecher a "good boy.")
“Shit. I hate you, Beecher.”
Chris turned at the sound of Hill’s muttering, and looked down over Toby’s shoulder at the board. He smiled, recognizing the layout of remaining pieces, and sure enough, there was Toby’s vaguely lunatic cackle signalling the third checkmate.
“Good boy,” Chris said softly, reaching to scritch the nape of Toby’s neck.
“I am! I am gooooood,” Toby howled. He tipped his head back and rocked precariously in his chair to turn a smile up at Chris, a smug, lascivious curve to that cherub’s mouth.
Crazy little egghead cocksucker. How many more fucking hours until lockdown?