Beecher/Keller (with a side-order of Ronnie Barlog)
The book Toby had been reading slides off his lap as he rises unsteadily to his feet. He's never been around Chris so freshly off a kill, doesn't know what to expect. As Chris takes a step forward, Toby takes a reflexive step back, hardly aware he's even retreating until he feels the heel of his sneaker bump up against the back wall of the pod. The cool of concrete through the thin cotton of his t-shirt sends a shiver up his spine as Chris closes the remaining distance between them. He thinks it's the cool of the concrete. And pressed now into the shadow of the bunks, he hears, suddenly, the shallowness of his breathing, feels the hammering of his heart.
Is he scared? Should he be? Ronnie is dead.
Browne is dead. Shemin is dead. Those three guys (whose names he never tried to remember), those guys were all dead. And Chris...
Toby takes in the glimmer around Chris' narrowed eyes as that hot gaze settles on him, the coiled tension flexing through that tightly muscled body, and Toby has no remaining doubts that Chris is capable of just about anything.
But then Toby flashes on an image of Ronnie, on his knees under the stairwell, wiping a glistening smear of spit and Toby's come from his chin with a backhand swipe as he looked up puppyishly, waiting for counsel and... Yeah, Toby thinks sickly, all things considered... maybe he was capable of just about anything too.
Chris is practically on top of him now, crowding his space, too close to ignore, and even though Chris hasn't made a move to touch him... yet...Toby feels pinned by his presence.
"What do you want?" he manages with only a small quaver in his voice before Chris leans in, grazing against him in a hundred little flashpoints of contact.
"You," Chris breathes against his neck in a low shiver of sound, and Toby doesn't know how so simple a word can carry such a complex chord of longing.
Except, of course, that he feels it too: especially now, with Chris right here, so close, rubbing up against him. Toby closes his eyes, letting the memory of better days wash over him. He'd tried so damned hard to erase this, paint it over, blot it out with the rank musk of other men. But no matter how acrimonious things had gotten, down where it counted it had always been Chris he wanted, Chris he craved...
Eyes still closed, Toby hardly registers the movement of Chris skimming down his body before he feels the first rough tug at his fly. He knows he should probably stop this, protest, say something, but all he can seem to do is nod and groan approvingly at the dearly missed sensation of Chris' strong fingers coaxing his already rock-hard dick from the constricting hell of his jeans.
A buzzer sounds somewhere deep within the bowels of the prison, and Toby's eyes blink open in a panicky afterthought of caution. With what rational awareness he can muster over the drowning pleasure of Chris' priming caresses, Toby angles around to catch sight of Johnson at the hack station... absorbed in a newspaper. Toby lets out a sigh, realizing Up Your Ante is still playing, so most of the denizens of Em City are safely lined up in stupefied rows before the tube. Then, almost as though he's forgotten his eyes are open now, Toby glances down, and just for a moment, instead of Chris on the floor in front of him, he sees...
God, was it possible it'd been only 24 hours since Ronnie had come to him about this mysterious ‘deal' he'd said the Feds were floating? And at the feel of another teasing pull on his dick, Toby's tortuous brain conjures another memory of the deserted stairwell, and how triumphant he'd felt at the petty victory over Chris in collecting this "fee" from the supposedly off-limits Ronnie. How he'd smiled to himself, patting Ronnie's head while calculating his old billable hours schedule (adjusted for inflation, of course) against what a blowjob's worth of legal counsel might constitute in this particular instance. But those thoughts had evaporated quickly as Ronnie got down to sucking him off, because, ah, yeah, it hadn't taken very long for him to master the universal currency of Oz. Although Toby supposed that wasn't terribly surprising, considering who'd tutored him.
And when Toby realized that was why the way Ronnie stroked him was so damned familiar... He'd looked down, fully intending to fuck Ronnie's throat chokingly hard for being dumb enough to fall for Chris' lying, seductive, bullshit. But instead, Toby's eyes somehow just swept in Ronnie's coloring, the close-cropped dark hair, and really, he hadn't consciously meant to squint or, when that hadn't worked well enough, to relax and unfocus his eyes just enough to imagine...
Then Toby had come, instantly and hard, gushing into Ronnie's surprised mouth, choking him a little anyway. And that had been good, for the moment. A nice buzz that lasted until Ronnie'd actually started to speak.
It'd taken a moment for the gist of Ronnie's semi-articulate ramble to penetrate Toby's post-orgasmic lassitude, but certain words managed to punch through the haze:
Murders. Testify. Keller.
Toby shudders and reaches blindly for Chris' shoulders, stilling him just as he's starting to open his mouth.
"I -- couldn't let him," Toby blurts, surprised by the urgency of his tone.
Chris takes a moment to nuzzle at the rough hair of Toby's pubes before looking up.
Their eyes lock for a long moment -- an understanding that has always surpassed words. Then, still holding Toby's gaze under lowered lashes, Chris leans in again and takes Toby's cock into his mouth, swallowing him down into the velvety wet heat of his throat. Toby's fingers dig into the waffled material of Chris' shirt, and he gasps at the sudden, remembered intimacy of this touch.
There had been a time, not long ago, when it had meant everything -- having Chris to be close to, in the comfort and security of their own little self-created world. It made a secret refuge from the constant, grinding wear of life in Oz. And now, feeling Chris' mouth on him again washes Toby through with a deep relief as much as pleasure, as though the world is somehow righting itself again after weeks of nightmarish topsy-turvy. Because he's so fucking weary of this war between them. So tired and numb with the sniping, and the jousting, and the escalating games of pridefulness and stupidity. Toby thinks it's bad enough that nothing will ever be able to erase the horror of what Schillinger has done to his family. Could he really afford to let this, the one small pocket of solace he's found inside this hellhole... could he let it corrode away as well?
And the moment Ronnie's words had tumbled out of his naive, pretty mouth -- Toby knew what he would do. He'd briefly put himself through the requisite mental gyrations of pretending to debate whether or not he'd tell Chris, since it might, after all, have meant the end of Ronnie's life. But in his heart, he had already known.
Toby lets out another groan as Chris starts working him more intensely -- and feeling how much Chris clearly needs to do this, for him, to him, is finally Toby's undoing. He thrusts with his hips, again and again, giving over to the mindless pleasure of his body's prerogatives, knowing that Chris will take anything he can dish out. And almost as if he'd been waiting for a cue, Chris reaches up to grab Toby's waist, leaning his weight into Toby's legs to shove him back against the wall of the pod and holding him there. A slight scrape of teeth against the underside of his cock marks the sloppy edge of Chris' desire to get him off, and Toby can feel the gathering knot of tension tightening down his body before it explodes into a pulsating nova of an orgasm, tearing right through him, and into Chris' hungrily waiting mouth.
Toby slides to the floor before he's even sure he's done and lies there, spent and exhausted. Chris curls around him, and they stay, quietly, just breathing.
It will be hours still before Ronnie's body is discovered, and, sitting tangled securely with Chris once again, Toby can't help but wonder: Does it matter? Did it ever, really?
"Toby," Chis says softly. He turns Toby's chin to look at him, and somehow Toby has the eerie sense that Chris knows exactly what he's been thinking. "We're in Oz. You do what you have to do. You did, and I'll never forget it."
Toby nods and closes his eyes before resting his head against Chris' shoulder.
Do What You Have To Do
what ravages of spirit
and I have the sense to recognize that
that I don't know how
a glowing ember
I know I can't be with you