And sometimes in Oz, boy meets boy
Pairing: B/K
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: HBO owns Oz.
Summary: AU where Keller arrives before the riot.

Beecher applied another layer of lipstick. He didn't think as he did it, and if he'd looked in his own eyes, he'd have seen that they were dead.

"I'll be damned," Schillinger spat excitedly. "Chris Keller."

Beecher just put it on. He'd find out the bad news soon enough.

"Vern Schillinger, haven't seen you for a while." The voice was smooth and bored-sounding. Beecher put the lipstick away and found a corner to lean into where he could watch the scene. These pods were too damn small. No escape.

Schillinger stuck out his hand, and the stranger took it. Beecher kept his breathing to a minimum. The stranger lifted his lips. It wasn't quite a smile. "That your prag?"

"Broke him myself." Schillinger sounded so damn proud. Idiot. Beecher didn't agree with that assessment. He'd been broken when he got here. Schillinger continued, "Who's your podmate?"

"Ain't got one, not yet." Keller shrugged, and his eyes were cold, still. Beecher wanted to shiver. He had a bad feeling about this, but he hadn't had a good feeling since Dino pushed him down.

Schillinger's snake eyes darted between the two men. "Well, Bitcher here is for sale."

Beecher flinched. He'd known that Schillinger was sick of him. Branding and now a sale. Livestock. Fucking Nazi.

"Won't you miss him?" Keller asked skeptically.

"Got my eye on another piece - something fresh." Schillinger laughed, and Beecher almost felt sorry for Scott Ross. The fucker had it coming, but it would still hurt him.

Keller took the three steps that put him directly in Beecher's breathing room. "I don't know, better than some black man, I suppose. How much?"

Beecher knew better than to complain. These two would stomp him into the floor.
"Two cartons of cigarettes."

Beecher met those cold eyes and a small shiver worked its way down his spine. This was the devil he didn't know. Keller's lips quirked. "Haven't got it. Shit, Vern, I just got here." He paused and smudged Beecher's lipstick. Beecher stiffened. Hate didn't begin to cover this. Keller turned away in a clear dismissal, and Beecher nearly groaned, whether in relief or upset, he wasn't sure.

"It's you, or I'm gonna let the niggers whack him. No nigger is having his ass," Schillinger said, as if Beecher was nothing. Oh yeah, Beecher was nothing. For a moment, he'd forgotten. He didn't want to die, but he sure as hell didn't want this either. O'Reily might have an answer, or at least a tit to make it all go away.

Keller rolled the muscles in his shoulders. Show off. "I got a twenty."

"Deal." Schillinger didn't hesitate. "I'll go set it up. Bitcher, get your shit. You belong to him now."

Beecher went ahead and cringed. He'd been sold as if he were cattle. "Yes, sir." He didn't move though as Schillinger strode happily out the door.

Keller looked around, handed him some toilet paper, and growled, "Wipe that shit off."

"Yes, sir." Beecher was happy to comply, and he scrubbed it off quickly. He used the moment to look again at his new owner. Tall, dark hair - what was left of it - muscles, and an easy attitude that said dangerous things. Keller was no prag, and never had been. He had a small smirk on his face. Beecher made a quick decision not to fight about this, not that he would. Anywhere away from Schillinger was somewhere good.

"You coming?"

"Sure." Beecher began to make a pile. It took very little time, and he tossed the lipstick on the bed as they walked out together. "Nazi fucker."

Keller laughed and gave Beecher a small shove. "Yeah. But don't get cocky. You're still a prag."

Beecher knew that all too well, and he wasn't going to discuss it. He hung up his laundry bag, put his shaving kit on the shelf, and glanced at the bunks. The top one was empty, but . . . "Floor?"

"Top bunk." Keller went to the sink and washed his face. Beecher made his bunk and didn't watch, not much. Nothing would happen until lights out.


Beecher turned immediately towards the door. "Yes, McManus?"

"This okay with you?" McManus tried to look like he cared. Prick. If he'd cared, he'd have moved him months ago.

"Perfect." Beecher didn't look at Keller. McManus stared at them both for a long moment, nodded, and went off. Schillinger showed up five seconds later, with that stupid grin on his face. Keller slapped the money in the Nazi's hand, and that was the end of it. Beecher wasn't sure whether to sob in relief or scream in fear. Later tonight, he'd figure that out.

Keller caught him by the arm. "You're in for the day."

"But I need to see O'Reily," Beecher whined. Whining worked on Schillinger. Keller just grinned and pointed at the bunk. Beecher winced. Keller wasn't a redneck fool like Schillinger. Their eyes locked, and Beecher looked away first. He got up on his bunk and stretched out to wait. And wait. For his ass fucking.


Keller waited until his little prag looked away. There was spirit left in this one. Schillinger was still an idiot. "Bitcher, Beecher - whatever your name is - I have business elsewhere. Stay put. We have to talk, and I don't want to be tracking you down."

"Yes, sir," Beecher intoned. He'd probably be gone before the door closed, but Keller had to take that chance.

Keller weaved his way through hacks and bars until he stood in front of Sister Peter Marie's desk. She took off her glass and stared up at him. Keller grinned. "Happy to see me, Sister Pete?"

"Christopher Keller. I had no idea you were transferred here" She smiled and stood. Keller was glad to see her, but a hug wasn't in the works. She laughed. "You owe me a huge favor"

"I know." Keller laughed now. He'd hoped that she'd forgotten. "So, call it in."

"Who's your podmate?" She sat back down, but her smile didn't dim.

"Some poor fuck. Bitcher? Beecher?"

"Tobias Beecher?" the nun gasped out the name.

"How the hell can I know?" Keller slumped down in the chair. "Schillinger had him and didn't want him. I took him."

"You’re a saint among men." Sister Peter Marie gave him the eye. "Metaphorically speaking."

"Of course, 'cause I'm still a murderer." Keller laughed. He knew who he was. "Beecher can do my laundry."

The sister shook her head. "Tobias works for me. He's my assistant." She gave him a long stare. "And he's hooked on heroin."

"I should've guessed. His eyes were glassy as marbles." Keller didn't like the way this was going. He owed her, she was about ready to call it in, and it was going to be a pain in his ass.

She sighed, pulled off her glasses, and pointed her finger at him. "I expect you to get him clean."

"Sister Pete" Keller shook his head. Damn. "I ain't no babysitter"

"You owe me. Get him clean and keep him that way. He's a lawyer, intelligent, and knows Word." She pointed at the computer. "Any arguments?"

"One or two, yeah." Keller thought it over. He did owe her, but they were even after this. A lawyer? Fuck. There was no way he was going to baby some fucking lawyer. "It'll be ugly."

"I expect it will." She sighed. "Do it anyway."

"For you, but we're even." Keller wanted to make that perfectly clear. "I'm not detoxing any more of your pets"

She laughed softly. "Deal, but do this one right, and Keller, don't have sex with him."

"I agreed to one thing." Keller stood and gave her a wink. "He's a prag." And he left her office before there were any more favors dredged up. She might have been glaring after him, but he didn't look back. So little Beecher worked for the nun? Well, that was fine, but the rest of the day, he was going to find himself on a short leash, and at night, his mouth would be busy.


Beecher waited five minutes before hitting the floor and going to find O'Reily. One tit was not going to last. He'd need an extra until he could figure out Keller. A couple of the Aryans gave him a grin, but they stayed away, and he ducked into O'Reily's pod, but it was empty. Going back out to the main room, he spotted Hill and Rebadow, but where the fuck was O'Reily?

"Beecher, you're going to enjoy Keller." Schillinger was always around, the fucker. "He knows how to fuck a man's ass."

Beecher let his eyes talk, and he went up the stairs. "Officer, is O'Reily in the gym?" Polite, always polite.

"He had to see the doctor." Wittlesey was nice, for a hack. "You got moved?"

"Yes." Beecher turned away. "And he doesn't like lipstick."

"It's something." She didn't sound as if she gave a damn, but she did, a little. Beecher had seen it. He went back downstairs and gave up. His new pod was on the ground floor, and he went inside slowly. Leaning into a corner, he took a hit, but not too much. It was all he had. The drug seeped through him, and he let it push away the hell. When it was better, he crawled up on his bunk and tried to relax. Later was coming.


"Schillinger, I think I got ripped off." Keller slid into a chair and glanced at the TV.

"You did, you dumb fuck." Schillinger laughed. "Prag's a fiend. I don't tolerate that."

Keller sighed as if he were stupid. "Where is he?"

"He was looking for a score, but slipped into your pod a few minutes ago." Schillinger was too damn smug.

Keller had known the prag wouldn't obey orders. "When's count?"

"Five." Schillinger stretched and smirked. "I branded him."

"Good for you." Keller didn't give a damn, not much. He had to get the lawyer clean, but there was no way he was losing his jizz doing it. "Shit. It's not worth a one-way trip to the solitary to kill him. I'll put up with it."

Schillinger nodded. "My hands are clean. My parole hearing is coming up, and Bitcher was a liability." And he strutted off with his pals. Keller sighed. He should have minded his own business. The Brotherhood killed prags all the time. Damn. And now the nun would have his ass if he backed out. Shit. He stared at the TV and refused to go deal with it until forced.


Keller shuffled up with the rest of the losers and got into line next to Beecher, who was higher than a fucking kite. Idiot. Well, Beecher might as well enjoy it, because as of now, he was done.


Beecher tried to stand still. He hadn't been to the hole, not yet, but the idea of spending the night with this fucker made him consider it. How many men would have his ass over the next years? Did he care? The tit in his pocket whispered at him, and he fidgeted. Keller sighed. Beecher tried harder to stand still.

"Everyone in!"

Beecher didn't move until the hack gave him a glare. Keller pushed him through. "You have any clothes that didn't belong to a faggot?"

"Huh?" Beecher played stupid. He had plenty of practice, dealing with Schillinger.

"You look like a faggot." Keller peeled off his shirt and tossed it on the bunk. "Are you?"

Beecher stared at the impressive array of muscles that Schillinger would never have and swallowed hard. "No. Your Nazi buddy made me dress this way."

"Well, he ain't here." Keller moved fast and stripped the white, faggot shirt off Beecher's back. Beecher gasped in shock and futilely pushed. Keller threw it in the corner. "You work for the nun?"

"Yes." Beecher forgot the 'sir' on purpose, just to see if he could.

Keller went to the door and stared out. "I'll say this once. Treat Sister Pete right or I'll put a shank in your heart."

"I could've used you around here earlier." Beecher tried to make a joke because his guts told him to believe that. Keller was a killer, and he glared. Beecher took a step back, but Keller didn't move to hit him. Beecher swallowed hard. "I will. I like her."

"I hate favors. You know that? I hate them. Don't ever find yourself owing a favor to a nun" Keller leaned into his arms. "How many tits you got left?"

Beecher tucked his back into a corner that was well lit. He wouldn't answer that.
"Sister Pete wants you clean." Keller turned, and his smile was mean. "And it ain't gonna be pretty."

"Fuck you, Keller," Beecher snapped before he had the good sense to keep his mouth shut. He needed another hit, and he reached in his pocket. Should he try it?

Keller laughed. "What did Vern do when you said that?"

Beecher blinked in surprise and didn't pull it out. "I never did."

"Yeah, you'd be dead." Keller laughed again. "Vern's so dumb. You're not broken; you're high. You lick his boots?"

"I hadn't gotten high until he made me do that" Beecher kept his eyes on the floor. He would need a big hit if he had to polish Keller's boots with his tongue. As fast as he could, he yanked the tit out and did his best to get it up his nose.

Keller moved now, and he was fast. Beecher pushed with his free hand, but the tit ripped away from him before he could snort it. He threw himself after it, but Keller shoved him down. A hack banged the glass with his stick, and Keller just smiled. "Too bad."

"That's mine" Beecher struggled up, but stayed away from Keller, and the hack left satisfied. "Give it back"

Keller flushed the tit before Beecher could move another inch. "Taking a hit every once in a while is no big deal, but you're out of it."

Beecher nearly snarled. He couldn't do this without that. Words choked him, and he turned away to the corner. "I needed that"

Keller merely smiled. He didn't give one damn. Beecher rubbed his face. He hated himself. Hate. Hate. He tried to lock down every shred of emotion. Keller went back to staring out the door, and Beecher wished for a weapon - a sharp one.


Keller ignored the prag. They might fight later, but right now, little Beecher was still afraid. Schillinger didn't understand how to gain a man's cooperation for longer than five minutes. Stupid Nazi fuck. Keller gave the prag a hard look. Beecher was about done. He'd been pushed too far, and one more day might have seen one of them dead. Keller grinned. He should have stayed out of it. The prag might have gotten lucky. "So, you're not gay?"


"I get by." Keller laughed. "Where's your brand?" Silence. Beecher breathed hard, but he didn't speak, and Keller knew the answer. What a poor fucker. "You know he'll expect me to mark you."

"No." A soft strangled word.

"He will." Keller shrugged. "We'll get you a tat. Something like 'prag ass.'"

Beecher pushed away from the corner he was trying to hide inside and climbed up on his bunk. "Over my dead body."

"You're a funny man." Keller smiled up at him. This was so stupid. Beecher was beginning to sweat, and he'd need some heroin soon. Keller wondered if Beecher would be better off in solitary or in the hole during this. "How about 'I love heroin?'"

Beecher curled towards the window. Well, now, it was just the wait. Keller rubbed his forehead. Nuns.


Beecher stared out the glass. Would getting off heroin be as hard as getting dry? He was about to find out. Keller was a fuck, throwing out the tit. Beecher clasped his hands together and rolled back quickly when he sensed that other man was too close.

Keller was there, right there, and he was big. "Well?"

"I gotta have something. I'll do anything." Beecher licked his dry lips. He hadn't had any pride for months. Had he ever?

"You're gonna do that anyway." Keller's eyes narrowed. "Were you ever not a prag?"

"I made it a day or two" Beecher immediately felt his face flush. Schillinger would have killed him for that, and Keller wasn't any different, even if he hadn't been cruel, yet.

Keller shrugged. "You were easy meat. Okay, when you start to puke, hit the toilet, and leave me alone." He rolled onto the bottom bunk. "Got it?"

Beecher groaned softly. He was in for a long fucking night. The lights stayed on forever, and when they did switch off, Keller took up space on the floor and started doing exercises. Prick. Didn't he have enough muscles? Beecher shook harder. He clenched his teeth. When morning came, he was getting high. Damn it.


Keller didn't watch, not much, but the bastard had a long night. Sleeping wasn't possible, but he didn't care. There was always time to sleep in prison. Watching Beecher was somewhat entertaining. Dumb fuck. It was very late when Beecher finally spoke.

"Aren't you going to fuck me?"

Keller burst out laughing. "Eager, huh?" He strolled over to the bunks, but refused to touch Beecher's sweaty body.


Keller smirked. "Later, we'll have time for everything."

Beecher thrashed on his bunk. "I'm going to kill Schillinger"

"Well, okay." Keller was glad to hear it. Someone needed to do it. He lay back down and watched the mattress above him move. "Leave me out of it."

"Both of you fuckers" Beecher was irrational; he was probably like that when he wasn't on drugs. Keller put his hands behind his head and made plans for the morning. He'd have to move quickly and work fast, or Sister Pete would be disappointed with him, and he'd rather avoid that.


Beecher headed out the door when it released, but Keller was right beside him as they went out. Beecher saw O'Reily immediately and gave him the sign. O'Reily gave him a thumbs up.

"Forget it," Keller muttered.

Beecher whirled and threw a punch at him - a weak one. Keller caught him and spun him back right before the hacks intervened. "No trouble here."

The hacks glared. Beecher glared back, but he managed to calm down. He had to have a tit. That was what was important. Keller released him, and Beecher made a dash for O'Reily.

"Ryan, please, a tit." Beecher clasped his hands under his arms. His entire body was shaking. God. He had to have one.

O'Reily looked over Beecher's shoulder. "Who's your new friend?"

Beecher didn't look at Keller. "He’s no friend" Please"

"Chris Keller." Keller put his big hand on Beecher's shoulder and squeezed hard. "I got no beef with you, O'Reily, but no business with my prag. None."

"You can't do that" Beecher felt it wail out of him. Shit" Who the hell did this fucker think he was? "Ryan, we're friends" Come on"

O'Reily stared at them both and raised his hands. "Sorry, Beech. There's a new sheriff in town."

Keller smiled that rotten smile. "Not one. I know he's pitiful, but he's going to be a clean, pitiful prag."

Beecher growled softly and wanted to throw himself on Keller and pummel the shit out of him, but that would be stupid. Keller was ready for it, and he was strong. Beecher tried to get a hold on O'Reily's arm. "Please."

O'Reily backed away. "I'm not getting in the middle of this. Keller, we'll talk later."

Keller nodded. Beecher trembled. He tore away from them and headed straight for Adebisi. The black man was dangerous as a cobra, but this was an emergency, and Keller couldn't intimidate that crazy fucker. But Adebisi was already in the kitchen, and Keller was still right behind him.

"Beecher, wait-" Keller spun him around.

"Don't you mean - Bitcher?" Beecher clasped his head. "God damn it!"

"Whatever." Keller's eyes laughed at him. Prick. "Let's go eat."

Beecher gagged and headed back to the pod. He had to make it through until he could hook up. Black faces laughed at him, and even the fags giggled, but it was Schillinger who laughed the hardest. Prick Nazi.

"You'll be nigger bait by the end of the day." Schillinger never stopped grinning. "Keller ain't gonna put up with this."

Beecher held himself tighter. "I'm gonna kill you," he whispered. "Dead."

Schillinger laughed. He swaggered off, and Keller shoved Beecher all the way inside their pod. "Sleep it off, wacko."

Beecher threw himself at Keller and landed flat on his back. Keller picked him up and tossed him on the bottom bunk. Beecher punched wildly, but Keller wasn't there. "I hate you"

"It's good for you in a place like this." Keller made sure the door was open and sat down to keep watch. "One more fuck up and I'll make sure they toss you in the hole. Have you been yet? It's cold, and you're naked, with only a bucket for piss and shit."

"Sounds like home." Beecher rubbed his face. He felt himself start to heave. Keller yanked him down and thrust his face at the toilet. Beecher fought and threw up, and then did it some more, but Keller was too damn strong.


Beecher felt Keller's hands vanish. Keller started talking, fast. "He's puking. I'm just helping him hit the toilet."

"You okay, Beecher?"

Beecher sat down and faced Officer Wittlesey. "I'm throwing up!"

She nodded. "Detox, huh?" She did care, but not all that much.

Keller handed Beecher a wet towel. "Sister Pete told me to look after him."

Beecher frowned as the name made magic, and Wittlesey backed off. "I'll get with her. Stay in your pod, Beecher. No trouble."

"Yeah, yeah." Beecher wiped his face and put the towel on top of his head. He heard them whispering, and he didn't give a damn. He ached, and he was tired of it. Was feeling good so damn wrong?


Keller talked his way out of trouble and made sure the nun would hear of his good deed. Damn prag - puking everywhere. Finally, the puking stopped, and that's when the sobbing began. Keller groaned, but stayed with him. Helping, even comforting him as much as was possible. The prag was an idiot, but he'd been living with Schillinger and that had earned him something.


Keller looked over his shoulder. "Sister, I better get into heaven for this"

Sister Peter Marie frowned and gave Beecher a good looking over. "Infirmary?"

"I think the worst is over." Keller shrugged. "If he goes, I can't protect him, and he needs it."

"He's probably safer here." The nun smoothed her hand over Beecher's sweaty brow. "Get him a shower before count."

"I'll try. He's not exactly cooperative." Keller stood up. "We are so even."

"We are." The sister sighed. "Keep it up."

"Right," Keller said as she marched out. She'd be back and probably other hacks as well. Damn it. Beecher groaned, and Keller nudged him with his boot. "Shower. Now"

"Yes, sir," Beecher choked out. "I'll be dirty when I get done." He giggled. Insane fuck.

Keller helped, shepherded, and ended up washing him. The whistles were bad enough, but Schillinger's grin was too much. Beecher was a limp dishrag. Shit prag. Keller let him slump to the floor while he took a leisurely shower.

O'Reily swaggered in and took the shower farthest from Beecher. "What the fuck is going on?"

"Detox. I thought you'd recognize it." Keller soaped his balls. "No tits for him. Don't fuck with me on this."

"Sure." O'Reily grinned. He was lying. "Listen, the Muslims are making trouble. Word is there's going to be a riot."

"So?" Keller didn't much care. He'd look out for himself. Beecher groaned. Oh, and the prag too, maybe.

"I could use a good man behind me." O'Reily was full of shit.

"You're gonna need more than me." Keller shrugged. "If it happens, I'll keep my eyes open."

"Good enough." O'Reily knelt down and twisted Beecher's head from side to side. He frowned. "He's fucked, man."

"Yep." Keller rinsed off his hair.

O'Reily stood up. "I kinda like him."

"I'm not gonna kill him," Keller growled. "He'll be up in time to burn a cot or two."

O'Reily laughed and shut off his shower. "He's with us." And he went on his merry way.

Keller shut off the water and pulled Beecher up. "Come on."

Beecher stared up at him. "Thanks."

"For what?"

"Not fucking my ass." Beecher managed to stumble back to their pod, and Keller trailed him. Keller didn't help him to the top bunk. If Beecher couldn't make it, he could sleep near the toilet, but he struggled up and lay down with a huge groan. "Please."

"No." Keller brushed his teeth. He needed it after watching the prag puke all day. "Ready to suck my cock?"

Beecher grabbed his stomach as if he was going to puke. "God, no."

"I didn't think so. Well, there's tomorrow." Keller laughed. He'd collect, eventually. He gave Beecher a pat and got into bed. A quick nap and then a hundred push ups or so.


Beecher listened. The dumbass was asleep. Count wasn't for a while, but Keller obviously didn't care. Beecher waited and then silently slid off the bed. Someone would be around. Kenny or Adebisi would do, even one of the Italians. A steel hand wrapped around his wrist. He fell forward, and Keller had him on the lower bunk, all nice and tight. Beecher went completely still as his arms were pushed back and held. His chest rested on Keller's, and their eyes couldn't get any closer.


"I need it," Beecher gasped out. He did. He did. "Please. Just one more. One. More."

Keller held him close. "Kiss me."

Beecher jerked his head back. He'd be damned if he'd do that. Their bodies nestled together, and he whimpered softly. Keller was bigger than Schillinger in the only place that mattered to a prag.

"Off!" Beecher!" Get off him!"

Keller shoved Beecher off the bunk, and he hit the floor with a smack. The CO jerked him up and slammed him into the wall. His brain stalled, and he couldn't draw a breath with the nightstick jammed across his throat.

"Keep your hands to yourself!" The CO pushed with the nightstick, and Beecher nodded frantically. Keller said nothing. He was innocent. Fucker. The CO dropped Beecher and left with a frown. Hacks were pricks. Beecher landed on his hands and knees and took a harsh breath. His throat hurt, and he still needed a tit.


Keller got up and patted Beecher on the head. "Come on, prag."

Beecher gritted his teeth and came to his feet fast. He wanted to run or fight or run and fight. Keller stood passively as their numbers and names were read off. Beecher looked up and down the line. Everyone smirked or looked as if he were dead to them. Well, he was dead to himself, so what had he expected? Keller pulled him in the pod and shut the door. It locked. Beecher jerked away and went to brush his teeth. He didn't watch Keller exercise. Finished, he scrambled up to the top bunk. He was somewhat safe up here. Keller, the fucker, smiled at him and started doing sit ups.

"What do you want from me?" Beecher forced the words out. He had a hard time thinking, but Keller hadn't fucked him, yet.

Keller furrowed his brow. "It's a fairly standard arrangement. Let's see, you're the prag. You do the laundry, and I fuck your ass to thank you. How long you been here?" The derision was so easy to hear.

Beecher bared his teeth. Anger and pain pulsed through him. "I'm not livestock."

"I bet you weren't this pissy with Vern. He'd have beat you into tomorrow." Keller didn't stop moving. "Aren't you supposed to say yes sir and shit like that?"

"Yes, sir." Beecher lowered his head, but he knew his eyes burned. This had been easier when he was on the tit, but now it was damn near impossible.

Keller laughed. He laughed. What a fucker. "Okay, how about this, you do the laundry. The rest is negotiable."

Beecher didn't believe that shit. "Whatever. Sir."

"Getting better. You know, Beecher, you weren't worth twenty bucks." Keller kept going up and down. Beecher thought he might throw up again, so he lay down to watch the lights on the glass.


Keller went until his muscles burned and a slight rush of endorphins swept over him. Sweet. Beecher was hiding, again. Idiot. Keller didn't want the prag's ass. Not only was it Vern's castoff, but the fool would probably cry. Shit. He didn't need that. Hearing a soft sob from the top bunk, he groaned. Yep, Beecher liked to cry. Shit. What had he done? He'd just wanted a quiet podmate" A rap on the door made him jump, and he got up as the hack let in McManus. Prick. Beecher stayed turned away.

"Everything okay in here?" McManus asked. His eyes were on the top bunk.

Keller took a seat on the bottom bunk. "Beecher's crying, but I bet that's nothing new."

McManus shifted his jaw. "Beecher, you want to go to the infirmary?"

Beecher sat up. There was a long moment of silence. Keller waited to hear it. With any luck, the little prag would run out of here.

"No. Fuck off." Beecher fell back down flat.

Keller laughed. The little prag had balls. "You heard him. He likes me."

"No trouble, Keller. I know you and Vern are buddies." McManus tried to look tough, but he couldn't carry the weight. "Understand?"

"Sure. No trouble." Keller spread his hands. "Don't worry. Beecher and I are going to be great friends." Yeah. Right.

McManus left in a huff. Keller washed his face and chuckled. Beecher had some people in his corner, which he could have used to his advantage, if he hadn't been so busy getting high and licking boots. Stupid. "You should have left, Beech."

"Fuck you, sir."

Keller wiped with a towel and glanced behind him. Did the prag have a weapon? No, not yet. He'd have to watch for that. He tossed the towel on the pile and went to lie down. His cock wished for a warm body against it, and he blinked as the lights went out. Beecher gasped softly, and Keller was suddenly curious. What did the brand look like? Quietly, he stood and tapped Beecher on the shoulder. "Show me the brand."

Beecher was strung tight, and Keller thought the prag would refuse, but slowly, very slowly, he shoved down his boxers and rolled over. Keller put his hand on Beecher's ass and pushed the ass cheek into the dim light. A swastika. How fucking original. Vern. Vern. Vern. Beecher's hands clenched, he might go nuts. Keller told his cock to settle down, he'd seen enough. He patted the sweet ass because he could and ducked back down on his bunk. Beecher didn't move for a long minute, and then the bed creaked as he adjusted himself.

"Happy?" The word was soft and furious.

"Considering I'm in prison, you threw up eighty times today, and I had to put up with a nun, McManus, and too many fucking hacks - yes." Keller rubbed himself.

"You could have looked in the shower." Beecher sounded defensive.

"You were lying on it." Keller stroked his cock gently. He needed this. "Now shut up while I jack off."

"Yes, sir," Beecher sneered.

Keller laughed. He didn't know why, but he liked this prag.


Beecher put his hands over his ears and didn't listen to the smack of flesh on flesh. He didn't give a damn, as long as Keller didn't touch him. Keller hadn't touched him. Why not? Beecher ground his teeth. He needed something, anything. The room spun, and he clutched the blanket. Time dribbled away and back, the lights went off, and he woke with a start when his stomach refused to do this any longer. He rolled off the bunk, hit the floor, but made it to the toilet. There was nothing in him to puke, but his body didn't know that, and he lay on the floor, shivering.

"Come on, Toby." Keller took a gentle hold of him, and they eased onto the bottom bunk together. Beecher wanted to curse and fight, but he clutched and shook. Any human contact felt better than a cold floor. Keller held him and stroked his hair. "It's okay. You can beat this."

"I don't fucking want to" Beecher hugged himself and Keller. Damn. Fuck. Piss. Shit. And all those curse words strung together. "Please. Give me something."

Keller sighed and stroked him gently on the shoulders and chest. "I don't use. I get drunk every now and then, but no drugs, not anymore. Lose control in prison and they'll carry you out in a body bag."

"Sounds perfect." Beecher sighed. He still trembled, but it was better. The warmth of the man underneath him helped. "When are you going to ass rape me?"

"You in a hurry?" Keller made them both that much more comfortable. "I can speed up my time table."

"Shit. I hate you." Beecher hated everything. He did, and especially himself. "Vern too."

"Everyone hates Vern." Keller squeezed Beecher's ass. Beecher flinched in surprise, but he wouldn't fight it, couldn't fight it. It wasn't worth it. Keller yawned. "Sleep. I'll throw you on the floor when the lights pop on."

Beecher laughed in spite of himself. He wasn't worth twenty bucks, but he was glad to be away from Schillinger, even here was better. His breath evened out, and he slept until his car struck a child, and the scream he heard was his own.


"Shit!" Keller tossed the prag on the floor more by accident than intent. That screaming could wake the dead. "What the fuck is wrong with you?"

"Nightmare," Beecher gasped and curled into a tight ball.

Keller didn't touch him. The wacko. "I'm going to kill Vern for this!"

Beecher giggled. "Good." He sounded nuts, and he probably was certifiable. Keller rolled out of bed, found a towel, and wet it. He scrubbed his face and threw it on Beecher. His heart was still racing. The lights came on, the horn sounded, and he stretched. Time to get moving. Beecher didn't move, at all. Keller dressed slowly to give him time, but it was useless. He'd probably have to get tough with Beecher today and force him to eat.

"Get dressed. Breakfast."

"No." Beecher didn't move.

Keller checked for a hack before slapping Beecher like a girl. "Up! Dress! Now!"

Beecher reacted to that. His eyes widened, he gulped, and he got the fuck up. Keller threw him some clothes. Beecher staggered, but he got dressed. Keller was going to make the nun pay for this. He took Beecher to breakfast, which the prag refused to eat. Schillinger watched. He would. All the Aryans looked curious, and that was bad.

"He's your prag?"

Keller checked out the old man, but he looked harmless, not that he was, he just looked it. "I need him to do my laundry." They exchanged a cautious smile.



They went back to eating. Beecher stared at the food and mumbled, "He talks to God."

Keller ignored him. "Eat, Beecher, or I swear I'm going to rent your ass to the biggest black man I can find."

"That would be Adebisi." Rebadow nodded. "Eat, Beecher."

Beecher didn't even bother to glare, but he did start to eat. Keller watched everyone, and tallied up alliances. There were always a few with no affiliations, and he would be one of them. He'd deal with them all, but he wouldn't join their stupid, little gangs. Fuck that. High school was over.

Rebadow pointed to a young man rolling up in his wheelchair. "That's Augustus Hill."

Keller nodded. He'd remember. Hill didn't hang with the homeboys. Beecher made a retching noise, and Keller rolled his eyes. "I need a vacation."

"Don't we all." Rebadow stared at Beecher. "God says he'll do better tomorrow."

"Tell God I need him better today." Keller pushed Beecher's tray away. "Stop eating, stupid prag."

Beecher slumped onto his arms. He looked like shit. What a waste of money. Schillinger clapped a hand on Beecher's shoulder. "He's a great prag. I loved him. I did."

Keller squeezed his orange. "By the time I run out of clothes, he'll be on his feet."
Schillinger laughed and went off. What a fucker.

Hill seemed to time his words to drop into the silence. "Laundry?"

"I hate laundry." Keller shrugged. "I bet Beecher doesn't mind it. I'll do something nice for him."

"I bet." Hill was a sharp one. He'd be a good ally to have, even crippled. Keller continued to watch. He'd leave the lunchroom when he had to, not before.

"What's your job detail?" Rebadow was a curious old man.

"Don't have one yet." Keller shrugged. "Got here yesterday. I'm sure someone will remember me today."

Everyone nodded, shrugged, or looked away in complete disinterest, except Beecher, who dry heaved again - what a great breakfast buddy. Keller was going to get that nun for this, he was. He peeled his orange and ate it.


Beecher thought it might be easier to die. Hell, maybe he was dying. It sure did suck. He didn't listen to that fucker Keller, and he didn't give a shit about dick.

Keller hauled him to his feet. "Walk."

Beecher kept his eyes focused on Keller's back and walked behind just like Vern had taught him. Walking sucked, but if he fell, Keller would drag him, so he stayed on his feet, barely. Dizziness swept over him once or twice and he swayed. There was always someone close enough to laugh, and a casual push sent him to the floor.

"Hands off my property!" Keller snapped, and he lashed out. Beecher saw the other man fall, and a hack stepped in immediately. Keller pulled Beecher up, and they kept moving. Property? Fuck this fucking fucker. Years later, their pod was in front of him, and he fell gratefully to his knees in front of the toilet and lost his breakfast. Keller grumbled, "Stupid fucker."

Beecher put his back to the wall. His eyes felt like they were going to roll away. He shut them and tried not to pass out. Oh, what the fuck.


Keller watched him slump over. Goddamn this day was a good one. He scooped up Beecher and put him on the bottom bunk. More chance the fool would make it to the toilet from there.

"Keller? How is he?"

"He ate, threw up, and passed out." Keller brushed his hands off. "I've decided that you owe me. I'm losing my jizz here."

Sister Peter Marie frowned at him. "I doubt it. Even I heard you managed to score a prag."

Keller liked that about her. She was brutally honest. "Right. He's a fucking basket case."

The nun sighed. "You go about your business. McManus has your work detail."

"Who'll watch the dumb fuck?" Keller enjoyed the spark that lit up her eyes.

"I will. Now, go on." She shooed him out the door. Keller didn't look back. He had people to meet and things to settle, before any fucking riot.


Beecher slept. When he was awake, he lay still and tried to control his breathing. He just wanted to fade away. Gone. Gone.


He didn't answer. He rolled away and watched the lights against his eyelids. Sister Pete sighed. She'd give up and go away, eventually.

"I have to go now. Don't do anything foolish. Keller will look after you. He's not a nice man, but he probably won't hurt you, unless you make him."

Beecher didn't believe a fucking word of that. He sat up and clutched his stomach. "He's a Nazi fuck"

"No, he's not. He doesn't run with any of the groups. He's a loner." Sister Pete stepped close and put a sympathetic, and unwanted, hand on Beecher's leg. "Get clean, and then you can face the rest of this."

Beecher rubbed his eyes. Was she an idiot? "I don't do that. That's why I'm here in the first place"

"Drug meeting, tomorrow. Be there." She gave him a squeeze.

"Fuck off," Beecher spat, right as Keller came through the pod door.

Keller's face went mean, and he struck so fast that Beecher had no time to duck. His head hit the glass, everything went dark for a moment, and he was back.


"He ain't talking shit to you, Sister." Keller sounded pissed. "He's a piece of shit!"

Beecher put his arms over his head and stayed flat on the bunk. His head felt like it was on backwards. God damn this life.

"Trouble, Sister?" Hack.

"No problems, Diane. I'm just leaving. Keller, you need to settle down, and Beecher, group tomorrow. Don't be late." Sister Pete was suddenly gone. Beecher swallowed a large hunk of fear. He should have been nicer. She might have stayed longer. Keller's hands wrapped in his shirt, and Beecher found himself trying to stand.

"Never again, you fuck prag."

Beecher shrugged. "Sure. I didn't know you were her bitch." He laughed.

Keller shoved him against the wall. Beecher didn't try to stay upright. He slipped down it and lay in a puddle by Keller's boots.


Beecher didn't move. Keller went out, but all that mattered was that he was gone. A hack poked him with a stick. "Out! Line up!"

"Yeah. Yeah." Beecher fumbled up, and the hack pulled and pushed until he was standing next to Keller. "I'm going to kill you."

Keller crossed his arms. "Twenty bucks, wasted."

Beecher drew a deep breath and straightened his back. He'd get clean and then he'd kill and kill. It'd be something new in his life.


Keller watched as the prag turned into a homicidal lunatic. It didn't take long. Typical. Stupid fuck. It was the tits. They'd make him crazy for a day or two. Keller would have to watch his back. He ought to push Beecher toward Schillinger and watch the fun. Maybe tomorrow he would, but tonight was the problem. The door locked, and Keller saw Beecher give him a look that said 'fuck you.'

"Where'd you go to school, Beech?" Keller hoped to catch him off-guard.

"Harvard." Beecher did look surprised.

Keller wasn't surprised. Beecher was fucked up, but he was smart. "I'm a Yale man, myself."

Beecher burst out laughing. Keller watched him - crazy fucker. Beecher leaned against a wall and laughed some more. That would keep him busy for an hour or two. Keller took a hard look at the contents of the pod. He knew what he needed, but whether he could improvise was the question. Damn. He just hadn't been here long enough.

"What are you looking for?"

"Some way to tie your crazy ass up for the night." Keller went ahead and told the truth. "I want to wake up in the morning."

Beecher grinned. It was psychotic. "I don't think we have any rope."

"There's always something." Keller went through their clothes again. Yep, these pants would have to do. Beecher wouldn't need his Dockers any time soon. Keller checked the position of the hacks and pulled out his shank.


Keller didn't even glance at him as he sliced the pants into two long strips. That'd work. When he was finished, he turned and faced him. "What?"

Beecher had eyes only for the shank, and Keller tucked it away. Keller would have to hide it good from now on. Beecher put his back to the wall. "Don't airhole me."

"I should. Fucker." Keller folded the pants and put them away. The strips he kept in his hand. "If you'd have gotten a weapon, you wouldn't have been pragged."

"I'd have been killed." Beecher licked his lips. Nervous. He suddenly laughed. "You're right. It would have been better."

Keller shrugged. He wasn't going to talk about it. "You still puking?"

"No." Beecher shook his head.

"Okay. Do fifty push ups." Keller sat down to watch. "Now, prag."

"Fuck off" Beecher turned towards the glass and put his hands on it. "Fuck off."

Keller laughed. He tucked the strips under his pillow for later. "Gotta sweat that poison out of you. I'll count to three."

"And then?"

"And then I'll beat the shit out of you, quiet-like." Keller smiled. He would.

Beecher clutched his own arms. "They'll see."

"I can work around that." Keller pointed at the floor. "You do fifty, and then I will."

Beecher just fell to the floor. It wasn't graceful. He did ten of the worst pushups Keller had ever seen. Shit. A lawyer. Keller got on the floor and helped him find the right balance points. Beecher cursed under his breath, but managed ten more before collapsing. Keller laughed and started his own. "Beech, you gotta be tough in this place. Weaklings are always prags."

"Fuck you."

"You also need a new curse word or two." Keller pushed up, smacked Beecher across the head, and resumed, smoothly. "You liked it when Vern fucked you?"

"God damn, no!" Beecher leaned against the wall, rubbed his head, and breathed hard.

"Then do twenty more." Keller began to clap on the up push. "And do some sit ups. You need some muscle in your stomach - lazy ass lawyer."

"I really am going to kill you and your Nazi master," Beecher spat.

Keller thought the little prag would try, but he should exercise first. Beecher waited another minute or two, probably trying to prove his point, and then began to do sit ups. Keller said nothing. Beecher was going to find out exactly how weak he was when the lights went out.


Beecher did the sit ups, but not because the dickhead had told him to, but because the cocksucker was right. He had to get stronger. So he could kill them. When he collapsed, Keller was still going strong. Beecher stumbled up and went to wash his hands and face. The shank was on Keller - no chance to get it until they slept. Weakly - he did everything weak - he got on his cot and tried to breathe. No thinking, but Keller got in the way of that. Beecher leaned his head over the side and watched the fucker. Keller was strong, fit, and he had more muscle in just his ass than Beecher had in his entire body. Crap. When Keller got horny, and he would, he'd take it. Take. Take.

"Like what you see?"

Beecher looked out the glass. He had seen that look on Schillinger's face often enough. When the lights went out, things were going to get messy. Keller had waited all he would. There had to be an alternative. Setting the pod on fire would be nice, but he didn't have a match, or even two sticks to rub together. He could jump on the fucker and hope for the best. Schillinger had fucked him when he was unconscious once or twice. It wasn't quite so bad then. Beecher laughed aloud. Shit. He was crazy. Tremors skipped across his muscles, and the pod spun around twice. He needed tits. Bad.

"Puke in the toilet."

"I'm aiming for you, fucker." Beecher laughed. He hoped the lights stayed on forever. His entire life had been flushed down the shitter, but he was done playing the prag. Done. Unless Keller got him some drugs. "Hey, Keller. Get me tits, and I'll let you fuck me."

"Let?" Keller laughed. "You have a great sense of humor." He chuckled some more. Bastard. "How about this - you suck my cock and I'll say thank you."

Beecher shut his eyes, quivering. He clutched his stomach and groaned. He couldn't do this anymore. He wouldn't. "How about I kill you?"

"With what? Your fucking glasses?" Keller was washing his face now and wiping off with a towel. Sweat glistened on his body. Muscles stood out in sharp relief. Beecher quivered again, this time deep inside. He was dead. Dead. He didn't care. He didn't, but Keller wasn't through taunting him. "Just four more hours to go." And he rolled onto his bunk. "You should sleep now."

Beecher put his head to the glass and pounded once, twice, and again. Keller grabbed him by the neck and pinned him down to the mattress. "I can't sleep with you doing that."

"I don't give a fuck." Beecher grinned. He knew he was losing his tenuous grip on reality. Keller raised his fist, and the lights went out.


Keller checked the position of the hacks after knocking Beecher out. It was for his own good. The prag was dangerous - to himself. The hacks weren't around, and Keller yanked Beecher down to the bottom bunk and tied him - hands together to the head rail, and feet together to the foot rail. It'd keep him out of trouble for the night. Nothing was stronger than cloth. If he got to yelling, Keller would gag him. Keller threw a blanket over him. Beecher looked fine, just asleep. Stupid fucker.

Keller brushed his teeth and paced. He hated the boredom more than anything. Tomorrow, he'd go to the library and get something to read. Shit. The time before the lights went out lasted forever. If he had that twenty back, he could have bought some skin magazines. He sat down on the bottom bunk and smoothed his hand across Beecher's face, throat, and chest. The prag felt good. Warm. Alive. He groaned softly, but didn't wake up.

"You shouldn't be here. You're too weak." Keller sighed. He couldn't save Sister Pete's pet forever. Beecher was going to have to get tough. He was already crazy, maybe that would help. The Aryans would always be trouble. Beecher would have to learn to survive. He opened his eyes - the rage, fear, and hate were easy to see.

"Get off me!" Beecher struggled in his restraints. "Off!"

Keller clapped his hand over Beecher's mouth. "Stop yelling. Now. Or I'll gag you and let you drown in your own vomit."

Beecher went dead still - like a deer in the headlights. He believed, and his mouth shut. Keller pulled his hand away slowly. Beecher growled, "My legs are tied together, stupid."

"I don't want you." Keller smiled at him. "I don't fuck Vern's old holes." He nodded slowly. "That's right, prag boy. I have standards." He got off the bunk and went back to pacing. Beecher had felt too good. A little distance would help get rid of this raging hard on. Keller watched the hacks and stared out at other pods. Rebadow waved once. Old fart. He lived in fear, which was smart.

"You're lying."

Keller leaned against the glass. "I lie a lot, but not this time. I only bought you 'cause I thought you'd be fucking quiet!" He shook his head. "Fuck, was I wrong."

Beecher laughed. He did way too much of that. "I thought I had to do the laundry."

"Well, that too." Keller went to piss. He yanked off his boots and trousers when he finished. It was hot in here and smelled like Beecher's puke. "You fucking stink."

"Yeah." Beecher laughed some more. A gag might be a great idea. "I might piss the bed."

"Do that and I'll rub your fucking nose in it." Keller sat down again, right next to Beecher. Beecher tensed and pulled. He breathed hard through his nose. Keller ignored the panic. "Did it hurt when he branded you?"

"You are a stupid fucker." Beecher's eyes were wild.

Keller had to agree with that. He should never have gotten involved with Schillinger, again. "The way I see it you have two choices. One: try to kill him and die, or two: get tough and hope for the best."

"How about three - I provoke him into killing you, and he goes to solitary forever?" Beecher's voice was rich with irony. Harvard bastard.

Keller had to admire that plan. "I like it, except for the dying part." He stood up and moved away before he touched the smart, and yet stupid, prag again. "You could get him to kill, say, one of the brothers."

"I thought they were niggers."

"Whatever." Keller didn't use that word. He liked living. "Vern is up for parole soon. He's keeping a low profile."

Beecher grunted. He seemed to be thinking. No telling what that lawyer brain would come up with and Keller made a note never to underestimate Beecher again. Beecher was more dangerous than he looked, now that he was crazy and somewhat clean.

"O'Reily says there's gonna be a riot. Plenty of chances to kill someone and get away with it."

"Another good plan. You're full of them. If I need anyone whacked, I'm hooking up with you." Keller wandered over to the laundry and began to toss through Beecher's stuff. Checking for a weapon was a good idea. Keller found an envelope inside Beecher's shaving kit and opened it. It had scraps of pictures in it, and he laid them out to piece them together. Beecher's family - nice looking people. "Vern never changes his ways."

Beecher made an ugly face, but said nothing, and Keller turned his attention back to the pictures. "She divorce you?"

"Right after she saw the swastika on my ass!" Beecher was a wounded animal. He might gnaw his arm off.

"They usually do. I got three myself." Keller shrugged. "You can't blame them."

Beecher made a soft sound, somewhere between a gasp and a whimper. "I blame me."

Keller nodded and carefully put the pieces back in the envelope. He tucked it under Beecher's pillow. "Got any money?"

"I always give it to O'Reily."

"Smart little prag." Keller smiled and stood. He went back to staring out the door. "Are you hungry?"

"Yeah," Beecher said quietly.

Keller dug in his laundry and pulled out an orange. He went back to sit near Beecher's hip and slowly peeled it. The smell was almost better than the taste. The juice dripped, and he licked it off before sticking a piece in Beecher's mouth. Beecher didn't look happy, but he ate it.

"Don't get any ideas. I'm still not fucking you, no matter how much you want it." Keller laughed at the outraged look on Beecher's face, and he stuffed another orange slice inside him. "Stupid prag."

Beecher tugged the cloth, but he ate, and Keller licked his fingers. When it was gone, he tore the skin into little pieces and flushed them. At least, the pod smelled better.


"No problem." Keller refused to wash his hands. The smell would stay with him. He gave Beecher another look. It was their first conversation that didn't include curse words or dirty names. "Need to piss?"

"No." Beecher used his small bit of slack to curl away towards the glass. "You're not a Nazi?"

"No." Keller adjusted the blanket around him so the fact that he was tied was less obvious. A hack banged the door, and Keller got away fast. Damn pods really did take away a man's privacy. With bars and concrete, the hack had to be directly in front, but these pods were a crappy idea, gone bad. He began to pace again - nothing else to do, and when he finally looked at Beecher again, he was asleep.


Beecher roared awake in the middle of the night. Same damn nightmare. Was his brain so steeped in guilt that it couldn't come up with an original way to torture him? He jerked the cloths, remembered he was tied, and cursed softly.

"Need to piss?"

"Yeah." Beecher didn't, not really, but he was sick of this, and he would give Keller some exercise before it happened again. Keller slid down and untied him fast. Beecher rubbed his wrists and went to piss. He took his time and washed his face and hands. Keller watched, waiting. Beecher raised his hands. "Give me a fucking break."

"You're fucking crazy, and I want to sleep." Keller didn't move though.

Beecher hung up the towel. "I'll be good."

Keller laughed. "Fucking lawyers are the best liars. You're waiting to find that shank and give me an airhole or two."

"I'd have never thought of that." Beecher grinned. It was true. He rubbed the bruise on his face. "Sister Pete ain't gonna like this."

"I told her it would get ugly." Keller adjusted his cock in his boxers, and Beecher felt his mouth go dry and his heart speed up. Keller said he didn't want him, but that hard cock had other ideas. Shit. Keller smiled. "Bigger than Vern?"

"Yeah." Beecher took a cautious step towards the bunks. "Just - just let me sleep."

Keller shrugged. "This time. Act like a nutball again and I'll knock you out harder."

Beecher had no trouble believing that, and he got up on the top bunk fast before Keller's cock changed his mind about ass fucking. Keller settled down below him, and Beecher stared out into the dark of Em City. Stupid movie. No place like home. Right. He ran a fast hand through his hair and decided to grow it long. He'd look crazier, and that was good. His heart began to slow down, and he listened to the fool underneath him breathe. Keller wouldn't sleep; he was too smart.

"Hey, Keller?"


"Don't ever call me Bitcher." Beecher put all his hate, and there was a lot of it, into those words.

"Didn't plan on it." Keller yawned. "Now, go to fucking sleep, prag ass."

Beecher ran his hand down to his brand. It was obscene. He was a prag, but he was nobody's bitch. He smiled at himself. It was crazy. He was crazy. It felt good. The night lasted longer than he thought it would, and he didn't sleep again. His body still ached for tits, but he pushed it away again and again. If he were clean, he could kill Schillinger. He'd never manage it high, and Schillinger had to die. Die. The alarm sounded, the lights snapped on, and Beecher sat up.

Keller got to the toilet first, and they dressed in silence. "No tits today."

"Got it." Beecher opened the door and bolted out it. He had to get out of there, but he didn't make it far.

McManus caught him before he'd gone five steps. "Everything working out with Keller?"

Beecher leveled a glare at Keller. "Sure, fine. He likes oranges."

"Glad to hear it. I scheduled you for the infirmary after work today." McManus drew that much closer. "Beecher, listen, Keller's dangerous."

"And Schillinger wasn't?" Beecher yelled. He wanted to pound McManus into the tile floor, but the hack was there. "Leave me the fuck alone."

McManus gave him that look and walked off. Beecher's stomach cramped and O'Reily was right there. "Need something?"

"You're crossing Keller?" Beecher couldn't hope for that.

"No, just asking." O'Reily laughed. Prick. "You still got some money on account."

"Get me some dirty magazines and a shank - a good one." Beecher found his eyes drawn to Schillinger. "A sharp one."

"Will do." O'Reily went off fast. He'd do it. Keller was nowhere around, and Beecher tried to straighten his shoulders. He was never going to make it in this place if he didn't act like a man - a crazy man.

"Hey boys, Bitcher lost his way." Schillinger stepped right in front of him. "Let's escort him to his rightful owner."

Beecher backed up. He wasn't afraid. He wasn't. "Don't touch me."

The Aryans laughed, circled him, and shoved him. He could only go with them or go to the hole. A hack glanced over and shrugged. Schillinger led the way to the mess hall, and Beecher found himself going along. Fuck" This crap never stopped, but it was going to, and Schillinger was going to be dead at the end of it. Schillinger didn't let him get in line. Hell no, he took him right to Keller, who already had a tray.

"Keller, you lost your bitch."

Beecher wanted to throw up, but his stomach wasn't cooperating now.

"I'll be damned." Keller shrugged. "He wanders off."

Beecher tried not to cringe as Schillinger shoved him to his knees. "Apologize, prag."

Keller took a bite of biscuit, and Beecher wanted to bite his tongue off. Everyone in the whole fucking place went quiet, watching. Rebadow nodded at him, and Beecher gave up. He had to do this. "Sorry."

Schillinger slapped him across the back of the head. "Say it right!"

"I'm sorry, sir!" Beecher gripped the bench tightly. He couldn't live this way, but he would. He would. Until he was strong, and then Schillinger was going to die.

Keller patted the bench. "Sit down, prag. We'll kiss and make up."

The Aryans all laughed and swaggered off, even Schillinger. Beecher swallowed his bile and sat down, but he wasn't kissing this bastard. Keller leaned and kissed him firmly on the mouth. "You're a dumb fuck."

Beecher wiped his lips. They tingled. He'd never kissed a man - on the lips. "So are you."

"Rebadow, would you get Beecher here some chow? He's hungry, and I'm not sure he can make it through line." Keller spoke quietly.

"Sure. He can have mine. I never eat in the morning." Rebadow pushed his full tray over in front of Beecher. "God spoke to me last night."

Beecher didn't pick up his fork. The food looked worse than usual. He cast a brief glare at Keller. "Is he hitting Schillinger with lightning?"

Keller laughed. Rebadow shook his head. "No. He said that you two are going to be together forever, whether you like it or not."

"Great." Beecher picked up the toast and ate it. His stomach thanked him. "Just great."

"Can we bargain with him about this?" Keller rolled his orange to Rebadow. "Please?"

"God doesn't negotiate. As far as I can tell, he doesn't give a damn." Rebadow took the orange and began to peel it.

"That squares with my thinking." Beecher ate all he could. He might puke it, but he had to eat.

Keller picked at his food and finally pushed his tray away. "Beecher, put the trays away."

"Sure." Beecher didn't argue about it. Schillinger was watching. It was humiliating, but Keller was better than the Nazi, though not by much. "Lick your boots later?"

"I'll let you know." Keller gave him that cocky smile. Beecher made a rude noise and went to put the trays away. Every man on the line made a gesture, but he just sighed. If he'd have known he was coming to prison, he'd have gone to the gym regularly. Oh, and shanked a few people for practice. He laughed, and the Hispanics muttered something about him. Keller got up and met him by the door.

Beecher was careful to walk behind him until they were out of sight of the Nazis. "I need a shower."

"You sure do. I'll go with you." Keller put his arm around him. "Vern will settle down in a few days. Just be a good boy until then."

"You stole my orange." Beecher ignored the weight of Keller's arm and glanced down at Keller's noticeable bulge. "And you're a prick."

"Yeah." Keller turned him loose, and they went to shower.


Keller didn't fret too much about Beecher after they went their separate ways. Things were smoothing out. Beecher was smart, and he knew the score now.


"Hi, Sister Pete," Keller said patiently. He smiled as he turned. He did like her, damn it.
"Beecher looks better. You deserve a medal."

Keller waved his necklace. "Got one and I'd rather have a sainthood." He shrugged. "Beecher is smart. I think he knows he can't kill Schillinger, if he's high."

"Beecher? Kill? Lord, I hope not." The nun crossed herself. "I'll counsel him. He needs to turn loose of his anger."

"He has a swastika on his ass." Keller rubbed his eyes. He needed some sleep. "When's group?"

"In an hour." Sister Pete smiled. "I knew you'd come."

"Yeah. Yeah." Keller didn't like it, but he'd go because it would look good in his file, and he didn't want to end up in Gen Pop. "I need a favor."

She frowned. "I'm probably going to say no."

"Schillinger tore up the pictures of Beecher's family. Get him some new ones. Would you?" Keller watched her face. She'd do it. "I don't care, but he would."

Sister Pete smiled at him. "How many men have you killed?"

"More than I should have." Keller took a step towards the common area. She was too nosy. He went to watch the news and doze until group. Beecher would be there. He was getting it together - too bad about his ass.


Beecher smiled when O'Reily slipped the shank into his palm. "Thanks."

"Hide it good." O'Reily nodded. "I put the magazines in your laundry bag."

"You're an honest man among thieves." Beecher enjoyed the lie. "We square?"

"Yep." O'Reily pointed with his chin. "There's Keller. Put that shank in your sock. I'll cover for you."

Beecher waited one second and did it as O'Reily ran interference. Keller didn't look suspicious, but he was smart. "Beecher, I'm going to the library."

"I'll go with you." Beecher fell into step behind Keller. It would pay to stick close to him. Schillinger was on the prowl today. Parole or not, he was still a fucker.

"I'll show you how to hide your shank later." Keller spoke softly. "Dumb prag."

"Thanks." Beecher opened the door for his podmate. "Maybe there's a book I can check out - Everything You Need to Know About Prison, But Were Afraid to Ask."

"You're a funny fucker." Keller pulled him up even. "Tell me about the hacks."

"Like what?" Beecher didn't get it.

"Which ones are dirty? Which ones are easy?"

Beecher had to think about it. "I haven't really paid attention." He felt so stupid. He'd pay attention from now on, close attention.

Keller shook his head. "They're not your friends" He pushed open the door to the library. "Don't look at me while we're in here."

Beecher didn't ask why. He didn't care. He was happy to do it, and he found a book quickly and sat down to read. Keller didn't join him. Nice. They left, each with a book, right before count.

"I'm glad you don't like me." Beecher checked the hallway for Nazi fuckers. It paid to be careful.

Keller shrugged. "If the fucking hacks think we're cozy, they'll watch our pod closer. I don't need that shit."

Beecher thought about it. Keller was a survivor. Keller knew everything about prison. This was an opportunity to learn a few things before the prick had a nasty accident.


They stood shoulder to shoulder, and Schillinger found an excuse to grin at them. He shoved his finger into his fist. Keller chuckled. Beecher found himself smiling in return. He pointed his finger at Keller's crotch and put his hands ten inches apart. Then, he pointed at Schillinger and went down to six inches. It was funny.

"Trying to get me killed?" Keller glared at him.

"Yeah." Beecher laughed. Schillinger wasn't laughing anymore.


Keller took a good hold of Beecher's neck and shoved him into the door before opening it. Beecher gasped in shock. Now he could hear Schillinger laughing. "Fucker!"

"Right." Keller pushed him at the bunk. "You are so fucking stupid!"

Beecher's rage surged up and he went for his shank. Keller stepped, and everything went dark.


Keller looked up quickly after knocking out the prag. The hack would be here in a minute, and Keller put him on the bunk fast. That looked better. Luckily, Beecher had been crouched, and it hadn't been so obvious. Keller removed the shank and stuffed it under Beecher's pillow. Prag was smart to get a weapon, but he'd lose it if he didn't learn how to hide it. Shit, that bruise on his face was going to be bigger. Well, he'd earned it this time.

"God, I hate you." Beecher sat up slowly, shoved his back into the glass, and held his face.

"Get yourself killed, not me." Keller picked up the books and tossed them on the correct beds. "What else did you buy?"

Beecher rubbed his face. "Some girly magazines."

"I'll pretend you were thinking of me."

The door opened, and Keller tried to look innocent. Wittlesey gave them each a hard look. "Keller, if that bruise gets any worse, you're in the hole until it's gone. Understand?"

Keller raised his hands. "He fell."

"Yeah, right after you punched him." Wittlesey hefted her nightstick. She was serious, but she went away without using it.

Beecher laughed. "Schillinger was smart enough to hit me somewhere other than my face."

"How was I to know you had jizz with the CO's?" Keller crossed his arms. "You fucking her?"

"God, I wish." Beecher pointed at his laundry bag. "All yours, just stay away from me."

Keller shrugged and went to dig them out. "I have energy for both." He flopped down on the bunk near Beecher. "Let's share."

Beecher got off the bottom bunk fast, and he was out of sight in a blink. Keller settled back to enjoy the naked girls. Beecher was a fool, but he had good taste in literature.


Beecher decided after an hour to invest in porno mags for his podmate. The quiet was nice and no mention of push ups. He read his book, rubbed his face occasionally, and told the craving for tits to go away, every three minutes.

"In the morning, you're fucked. Vern is going to want an apology." Keller flipped a page loudly. "I can only do so much."

Beecher snapped his book shut. Keller was implying that he was some sort of protector. Fuck that. "I can handle it."

"Like you did this morning?" Keller snorted. "Shit. You're hopeless. I give up."

Beecher hit the glass with his fist. "Shut up, fucker."

"We'll get there." Keller sounded smug. Beecher shut up before he got tied to the bed again. It wasn't long before he heard the smack of fist on flesh and hard breathing. He smiled. Put that juice anywhere but on or in him. Keller groaned and gasped softly. Beecher refused to picture it, but it was obvious when it was over.

"All right, time to exercise. Come on, Beech."

Beecher didn't want to hear it. His stomach hurt. He didn't look. "Forget it."

"You gonna fiend on me tonight?" Sound of water.

"No," Beecher whispered. He clutched his stomach. Shit. The lights seemed to pound into his brain. He heard himself groan. Keller didn't talk. Thank God. Beecher suffered for what seemed like days, and finally, finally, the lights went out. He undressed in the dark and threw his clothes on the floor. "Shit."

Keller tossed him a wet towel. "You poor fucker." It didn't sound very sympathetic.

Beecher wiped his face and shut his eyes. Keller was right about one thing. Tomorrow was going to suck. The night oozed from one breath to another, and Beecher finally had to puke. He had to. The twist in his guts was sharp, and he moved fast to get down to the toilet. That was the plan. Something tangled his feet, the shock of the fall was quick, like a knife, and he lay in a heap. The pain drove the vomit away - for a minute.

"Shit! Toby!" Keller was there, grabbing him. "God damn it!"

"Toilet," Toby whispered. Keller pushed him there. Toby screamed from the pain and threw up. His face dripped blood on the floor, and he grimaced. They both heard the door open, and the flashlight made them blink.

"I warned you!" Wittlesey yanked her baton out. "Throw Keller in the hole, hard."

Beecher could only watch as they ripped Keller away, beat him, and dragged him from the pod. Christ, that wasn't fair. Wittlesey helped him up. "Let's get you to the infirmary and maybe the hospital."

"I fell," Toby whispered. It was true, this time.

"Right." Wittlesey pushed Toby's arm towards his heart. "Let's go. Fast as you can."

Toby moved. He still had plenty of time to see Schillinger laughing his ass off.


Keller tried not to fight. It made it worse, but he always did anyway. The floor of the hole was as hard as usual, and he'd have sworn that was the same bucket from his last prison. The door slammed. He put his head on his arms and let the pain bang around. Beecher's arm had been busted - bad. Little prag had the worst luck, and now it was spreading to him. Shit.


"Where's Keller and Beecher?" Hill asked at breakfast.

"Don't know." Rebadow shook his head. "But something bad happened."

Schillinger laughed and spoke loud enough to be heard. "Beecher was messing with me right before count, but Keller took care of that. Broke his arm and his face!"

Hill shook his head as the laughter spread. Bunch of pricks. "Well, Keller's in the hole then."

"Yep" The hacks beat the crap out of him." Schillinger, when he was gloating, was ugly. Well, the fucker was always ugly. "What a nice day."

Hill nudged Rebadow. "I like Beecher, but Keller . . ."

"God says they'll be fine." Rebadow smiled in his crazy way. Hill groaned. Oz sucked.


"Okay, Beecher, what happened?" McManus sounded tired. "Forget it. I know what happened. Tell me why."

Beecher cradled his broken arm to his chest and sat up straighter. He was going to be here for a couple of days, and that was just fine. "Would you like to know the truth?"

"Please. For a change of pace!

"I was on the top bunk. I needed to puke. I fell. Keller was asleep. He didn't touch me until I asked him to help me to the toilet." Beecher made sure to use small sentences. McManus was an idiot.

"You expect me to believe that!" McManus waved his clipboard like a maniac.

Beecher took a deep breath. "He punched me in the face - twice, but this, this was an accident."

Dr. Nathan appeared on Beecher's other side. "The break is consistent with a fall, not a fight. I've seen enough to know. I think he landed on one arm and his face."

Beecher waited to hear it. He wasn't sure why he cared enough to tell the truth, but Em City was hard enough without the small amount of protection that Keller provided. Keller hadn't even tried to fuck him. Not yet.

"How's the detox?"

"Fine." Beecher smiled. The pain med was sweet. McManus pulled Dr. Nathan aside, and Beecher didn't bother to listen. He felt good, and it was enough in this shitty place. The day dozed away, and he didn't wake until Schillinger dropped some mail on him.

"Mail, Bitcher."

Beecher bared his teeth. "I hate you."

"Best thing I ever did, selling your ass. Now I get to watch Keller fuck with you, and I'm squeaky clean for my parole hearing." Schillinger laughed. Shit. He needed to shut up.

Beecher picked up his mail. "You forgot to empty them."

Schillinger's dirty smile faded away. The look on his face was easy to read. Beecher nearly smiled. Keller had done this - somehow.

"Fuck off." Schillinger strolled away with his mail cart, and Beecher tried to decide whether to look at his letters. It would hurt him, but the pain of not looking was worse, and he drank in each word. These letters he could keep. Keller wouldn't care. He'd arranged for it to happen. Why? Why would he waste his jizz on this?

"Tobias? How are you feeling?"

Beecher stuffed the mail away. "Demerol is a wonderful thing." He smiled at Sister Pete. "How are you?"

"Worried about you." She stood close and put a gentle hand on him. "Keller did this?"

"No. It's hard to believe that I fell, but I did. Withdrawal's a bitch." Beecher told the truth softly. No one believed it. It didn't really matter, except that Keller had taken a beating for him. "Keller's going to be pissed. He might beat me for real now."

Sister Pete turned Beecher's face. "He might."

"Long as he doesn't fuck me. I don't care." Beecher smiled grimly.

"He told me about your pictures." She dug inside her coat pocket and pulled out an envelope. "I asked your mom to send them to me since Schillinger works the mail room."

Beecher watched his hand shake as he took the fat envelope. So much hope in such a tiny package. "Thanks." It came out ragged.

"You're welcome. Get well, and Beecher, Keller knows how to survive in prison. Listening to him might not be a bad idea." Sister Pete put her glasses on and left him with his photographs. He looked through them slowly. Keller had done this for him - two nice things in one day. Why? Pity? Or praying that it would score him a blowjob? Beecher clutched his mail, stared at his children, and didn't care why. A blowjob wasn't any big deal.


Keller pissed in the bucket and did some slow, easy stretches. He'd had worse beatings, but usually he'd actually done something to deserve it. Damn hacks. This wasn't Beecher's fault even if he was a stupid prag. The door creaked open, and Keller turned to look. McManus, the fucker.


"What?" Keller had played this game so often.

"Beecher says he fell."

"Little prag is telling the truth." Keller made it sound like a lie. He wasn't losing his jizz over this stupid shit.

McManus narrowed his eyes. He really had a hard time looking tough. "Beecher's on the edge."

Keller shrugged. He wasn't doing the pushing. "How many days?" That's all that mattered.

"Three. For some reason, I believe Beecher." McManus turned away. He tried to deliver a warning with his eyes. It fell short. Keller smiled and went back to stretching. Three was nothing.


Beecher slept, woke up, and slept some more. Dr. Nathan told him that it had been three days when she released him back to Em City. "Beecher, I'll schedule you back here next week to check that cast. Please stay out of trouble."

"Sure." He winked his one eye at her. The other had swollen shut and stayed there, but he didn't feel it. He would later, but that was later. He dressed with no help and made his way back to his pod. Well, Keller's pod. And he was there, reclined on his bunk with a girly magazine in his hand. At least he wasn't jacking off.

"Hey, Beech."

"Keller." Beecher put his envelopes away immediately. For a moment, they weighed heavily on his sense of fairness. "I guess I owe you."

"Sure do." Keller didn't lower his magazine. Beecher sighed and sat down in a chair that had found its way into the pod. He didn't feel like talking or fighting or even cursing. The pain med was washing it all out. Keller dropped his magazine. "You okay?"

Beecher gasped. He moved to Keller's side before he regretted it. "Chris? Shit. You want some of my pain med?" It was all he had to offer for this.

Keller seemed to think about it. "If you've got a spare."

"I hid a few in my pocket." Beecher handed him one. "Fucking hacks. Well, crap. It was my fault."

"Don't get all fucking weepy on me." Keller took it and swallowed fast. Beecher reached out his hand and traced gently around Keller's bruised face, cut lip, and black eye. Keller let him.

"Sweet," Schillinger purred.

Beecher didn't have it in him to jerk away, run, or even snarl. He was too tired. "I owe you." He kept his eyes on Keller.

Keller glared at Schillinger. "Vern, beat it."

Schillinger did leave, after making obnoxious kissing noises, and Beecher sighed in relief. "I hate him."

"I know." Keller casually dropped his hand on Beecher's leg. "Everyone thinks I fucked you over, so we better go with that."

"Don't much care." Beecher felt the hand fall away as he went to stare into the mirror. "I'm tired of running."

"Stop then." Keller had gone back to studying naked women. "There's gonna be a war. People are pissed. They want their cigarettes."

Beecher probed his eye. It'd heal soon. He had to be able to see. "And their conjugals." He shrugged. "I'm not missing anything."

"Me neither." Keller put the magazine under his pillow and sat on the edge of the bunk. "Let's go to lunch."

Beecher cringed a little. He didn't want to face the population of Em City. "No."

"You never learn, do you?" Keller stood and stretched. "You stay here. Alone. In your pod. Good luck."

Beecher cradled his arm. "Help me hide my shank."

"Now you're thinking." Keller pulled it out from under Beecher's pillow where it had lain for three days. "Poke a hole in your pocket so only the blade dangles down. Be careful when you sit."

"Simple enough." Beecher did it and smiled. "I want to stick it in Schillinger."

Keller nodded. "Come on. I'm hungry."

Beecher trailed after him, and sure, there were men that laughed, but he didn't care. He kept moving and found a place to sit between Keller and Rebadow. "What's God up to these days?"

Rebadow raised his eyebrows. "He's on vacation."

"Lucky bastard." Keller began to eat. "Beecher, eat."

Beecher hunkered down and ate. The drugs took away some of his appetite, but he was hungry enough. He kept his good eye on Keller. The lawyer part of his brain began to analyze everything that had happened in the last week, and he waited to hear the verdict. Trust Keller? No. But stick close? Yes, and learn how to survive. A riot would be hell, and he'd need Keller to get through it.

Hill rolled up. "Beecher, you are some poor motherfucker."

"Yeah, but I got a plan." Beecher squeezed his orange.

Keller glanced at him. "Be scared, people."

Beecher made sure his arm wasn't in a bad position. "Yeah." He ate all he could. He had to get strong.


Keller wondered what personality had taken over Beecher now. Beaten down prag? Crazy tits man? Or the worst - the lawyer. The Aryans were spending a lot of time laughing lately, and it made Keller nervous. They only laughed at other people's anguish, and it wasn't going to be him, or his prag. He stabbed the potatoes and wished he hadn't decided to take on Beecher, but it was too late.

"So, Keller. You beat him, and he loves you for it." Schillinger put his boot on the bench next to Keller. "How'd you manage that?"

"He's high." Keller shoved his plate away and stood up. "Doc hopped him up on the good stuff. He'll be a fucking nutjob by tomorrow."

Schillinger seemed to like that answer. Prick. "Brand him. I want to see it."

"I'm not into that." Keller met those cold eyes with his own. He wouldn't back down today or any other. "He's getting a tat."

"Not painful enough." Schillinger smirked at Beecher. "Brand him."

Keller admired Schillinger's ability to spit out words as if they were the law unto Rebadow's God, but it wasn't going to happen. "Back off, Vern. I bought him fair and square. You want everyone in Oz to know what a prick you are?"

Schillinger pulled his head back. "Fine. Break his other arm and a leg while you're at it."

"And spend more time in the hole? Not a chance." Keller moved closer to those stupid snake eyes. "Back the fuck off."

"I like that about you, Keller. You're not a pussy." Schillinger put his boot down. "Not like the rest of you," he sneered.

"Weak, Vern." Keller sat back down and drank his juice. Schillinger swaggered away with his crew of asswipes.

Beecher leaned close. "Am I really getting a tattoo?"

"I said it. It's happening. Right after lunch." Keller didn't look at him. "Scared?"

"Nah." Beecher shrugged. "I'm high."

Keller couldn't argue with that. He was feeling no pain as well. Beecher put their trays away, one at a time. Keller watched for trouble, but no one wanted to take him on today. They went back to Em City, and Keller headed straight for Eugene's pod. Eugene looked up with calm disinterest.

"Beecher, this is Eugene. He'll take care of you." Keller pushed Beecher down in a chair, but gently. "As you can see, he's an expert."

Beecher stared at the biker with more skin covered by ink than wasn't. "Something small, really small."

"Pussy prag." Keller leaned against the door to watch for hacks. "Eugene, look at the brand on his ass. Beecher, show him."

Beecher just did it. He didn't argue. Fucking amazing. Eugene stared with an expert's eye. "No way to cover that up. Pretty good work for Schillinger. He must have liked you."

"Fucker." Beecher yanked his pants back up.

Keller stepped out, checked, and then back inside. "Can't you turn it into something?"

"Not without branding him. It'll smell awful." Eugene laughed. Beecher turned a pale shade of white. Keller made him sit again. Eugene took Beecher by the arm and gave his skin the once over. "Nice. How about some barbed wire around his arm, and a capital K hanging from it?"

Beecher spoke up. "How about a B for Bitcher?"

Keller saw Beecher's eyes go a little crazy. "No, no letters. Hang a small crucifix from it."

Eugene smiled. "Good idea. We'll get started." He pointed at the door. "Get out, Keller, and the hacks are less likely to cause a fuss."

"Fine." Keller wandered out to watch TV, but he watched and waited. Good thing Beecher was high.


"Where's your Beecher?" O'Reily sat down fast. He never slowed down.

Keller didn't want to know what crazy scheme O'Reily was up to now. "Getting a tat. He's high."

"That'll help." O'Reily's eyes laughed. "You look out of it too."

"Yep. Beecher knows how to share." Keller laced his hands behind his head and stretched. He should go check, but there wasn't any screaming. "What's the bad news?"

"Muslims are waiting. No one knows what for." O'Reily's head never stopped looking around. "Need anything?"

Keller thought about it. "Grenade launcher would be fucking sweet."

O'Reily laughed and hopped up. He was juiced on something. "I'll work on it." And he was gone. Keller glanced over his shoulder, and his eyes bumped into Wittlesey. She was a weird one. Looked dead on the outside, but she'd beat the shit out of him for nothing. She liked Beecher. Why? Pity? Probably. He was like a hurt puppy, except when he was fucking nuts.

"Where's Beecher?" she asked.

Keller looked around. "Library?"

She nodded and gave him a look. She'd whack him for fun. He slumped down further. Beecher had given him some good shit. The afternoon passed, and he didn't worry too much. The only hack that even wandered near Eugene's pod didn't care what happened, as long as no one was fighting. Keller knew he fell asleep for a short time, and he woke up when someone sat down next to him. Beecher looked somewhere between sick and fucked.

"Take another one."

"Good idea." Beecher swallowed it down. He shuddered. "I hate you again."


Keller got up with a groan. With any luck, Beecher would pass out on his bunk and spare him five hours of complaints. There weren't enough skin magazines to get through the day. When they were alone, he said, "Let me see."

Beecher pulled his sleeve up and winced. "Fucker hurt!"

"Quit yer bitching. It's better than being branded." Keller looked it over. Nice work. The crucifix was small, but well done. When the swelling went down, it'd look great. "Want some help getting undressed?"

Beecher gave him a long look. "You're horny."

"I'm always horny." Keller went to lie down. "Do me a favor and stay off the top bunk tonight. You're fucking clumsy."

Beecher didn't answer, but next thing, he was up top. "I'm going to read."

"Try sleeping." Keller opened his book. He was horny, and he wanted Beecher's ass. Crazy Beecher, prag Beecher, any Beecher. Schillinger always fucked his prags half to death. Beecher's ass was probably big enough to run a truck through. Keller reached in his pants and pulled his cock up straight. Shit. Now he was fucking horny.

"I'll give you a blow when the lights go out."

Keller nearly shot come in his boxers. He knew Beecher would fall asleep, and it wouldn't happen, but it sounded great. "You don't bite, do you?"

"Never know." Beecher laughed insanely.

"Forget it." Keller gave up trying to read. He got up, stripped off his shirt and pants, and started exercising.

Beecher had to make a comment. "Nice ass."

Keller ignored that. He began to ache fast - too many bruises in painful places. No reason to quit though. He stayed with it until he collapsed. Sweat dripped off his forehead.

"Schillinger's getting fat, don't you think?"

"Yeah." Keller got up and washed. He wiped his face and went to stare out the door.

Beecher should fall asleep, but he didn't. "Most of the time, I don't know whether to thank you or spit on you for buying me."

"Do a little of each; it'll get you through the day." Keller didn't turn until he heard the prag's shoes hit the floor. Beecher took his time undressing. Between the cast and the pain med, he fumbled, but Keller didn't reach to help him.

Beecher brushed his teeth slowly. "I think I'm going to grow a beard."

Keller didn't care. He watched. "If the Muslims start killing people, we're going to have to have a fucking plan."

"My plan is to kill Vern. Everything else is flexible." Beecher gave him that crazy grin.

"Okay." Keller rubbed his forehead. He hoped the Muslims waited a while longer.


Beecher didn't like the fact that he was staring at Keller in a way that could only be described as sexual. Keller was sexy. No doubt about it. Beecher put his stuff away and leaned against the wall. Schillinger was an ugly bastard, but Keller, Keller wasn't. Beecher tried to remember if he'd ever been attracted to another man, probably not. This was a first. The lawyer in him told him that it was nothing but a side effect of being crazy lonely. Keller had actually been friendly, well, not friendly, but somewhat considerate.

"Quit staring at me."

Beecher blinked. He dragged his eyes from Keller's crotch. "I've never wanted to kiss a man."

"You haven't been in prison very long." Keller's eyes sparkled. Beecher thought that was the truth. Soon, farm animals were going to look good. Sex with Schillinger had been brutal. It hadn't really been sex. It had been violence with body fluids. Keller pointed at his bunk. "Lie on my bunk, will ya?"

Beecher looked there and back. He'd said he would, and he owed it to him, for the pictures, if nothing else. He shrugged. "Sure." He lay down and tried to find a good place for his arm. "I need a shower."

"You're not too bad." Keller stayed by the door. "Wittlesey is close. Don't start fucking bleeding."

"I'll give it a try." Beecher chuckled softly. "Why haven't you fucked my brains out?"

"Don't want to."

Beecher heard the 'but' at the end of that sentence. Keller had changed his mind. Beecher gripped his own cock through his boxers. He could use an orgasm or two. Vern hadn't ever bothered with that" Fucker. "Oh, I remember. You don't fuck Vern's holes."

Keller actually groaned softly.

"That your answer?" Beecher tried to hide his amazement.

"Yeah. Leave me alone." Keller's eyes were dark and deep.

Beecher nodded. "I'll do the laundry tomorrow." It was the least he could do.


"But I expect you to fuck me in thanks." Beecher enjoyed watched Keller's jaw clench. Keller wanted to lose control. Would he? And was it a good idea to push him that far? Beecher didn't know, but he wanted to find out. "Did you promise Sister Pete not to touch me?"

"Hell no. You're a prag." Keller's head lowered slightly.

Beecher believed that, but he wasn't terribly happy about being called a prag. "If I'm a prag, what are you?"

"A fool." Keller began to pace. "Don't get up. McManus is out there, prowling, wishing he were a tiger."

"Does he ever go home?"

Keller shrugged, stopped, and got up on the top bunk. Beecher tried to relax. Demerol was good for helping that. He felt his eyelids drooping.


Keller heard his prag fall asleep. Maybe calling him a prag was an exaggeration. Beecher didn't beg or crawl, not unless forced. Most prags liked it. He was beat down, but he wasn't out, and Keller wouldn't bet against him finding a way to kill Schillinger before the smoke from the riot cleared. There would be a riot. O'Reily said the Muslims had guns, so they did. Said was waiting for the right time. He was smart. He'd get it done. Adebisi and the rest were crazy enough to jump right on the bandwagon, and Said knew it.

The door opened, and Keller refused to look worried. He waited. McManus looked at them both before saying, "Keep your dick in your boxers."

"Yeah." Keller ran his hand lightly across his bruised face. "I get the message."

"Things are crazy enough around here." McManus looked tired. Good. He'd make more mistakes. "One more incident and the warden is calling for a lockdown."

"Fuck." Keller hooked his thumb at Schillinger's pod. "Better tell the Nazis."

McManus looked that way, but didn't answer. He glanced at Beecher again and muttered, "Poor fucker."

Keller pretended not to hear. He tapped his face. "Got a cigarette?"

"They're against regulations." McManus pulled one out of his pocket and handed it over.

"Thanks. Tell Sister Pete that she owes me." Keller flipped the cigarette through his fingers.

"She told me to give you a cigarette." McManus went out the door, and Keller listened for it to lock, and it did. He didn't smoke it. He tucked it away and looked at pictures of naked women until the lights went out. Only then, did he slide off the bunk, find a match, and draw a deep breath. Damn. That was good. He turned to find Beecher's eyes on him. Keller smiled and slipped down on the bunk next to him. Beecher waited, and Keller passed the cigarette to him. Even the second-hand smoke felt good in his lungs.

"Damn," Beecher sighed and handed it back.

"Compliments of a feisty nun." Keller took a long drag. He was careful not to shove against Beecher's broken arm. "McManus says-"

"I heard," Beecher interrupted. "Something will happen."

"Too many men and all of them too fucking mad." Keller reluctantly handed the cigarette back. He stared at Beecher's lips as Beecher took a puff. Beecher shut his eyes and groaned. Keller almost reached to touch, but stopped himself. The cigarette came back, and he inhaled deeply.

"Thought we were supposed to have the cigarette after." Beecher giggled. He was crazy.

"You heard what McManus said. He wants my nuts on a platter. Your ass is safe." Keller didn't hand it back. He'd earned it.

Beecher gave him a sad look. "One more puff?"

"Shit." Keller passed it to him. "That work with your wife?"

"Every time." Beecher sucked and sighed. "I may live."

"May not." Keller doubted it. Beecher wasn't cut out for this hell. He'd get sliced, diced, fucked, and whacked. Matter of time. Beecher shrugged. He probably didn't care all that much. Keller took it again, filled his lungs, and pulled Beecher into a kiss. Beecher didn't argue. He groaned and gave all. Keller came up for air. He felt like he'd been struck with a nightstick. Damn. That was a kiss. He wanted more. "I'm fucking doomed."

"Your own damn fault for buying me." Beecher used his free hand to squeeze Keller's chest. "Kiss me again like that."

Keller shared the smoke until the cigarette was dead. Flicking it into the toilet, he found Beecher's mouth again. They kissed, hands reached, stroked, cocks grew heavy with need, and Beecher moaned, "Shit."

"Not on my bed." Keller wasn't going to fuck him, but he was going to enjoy himself. Beecher hissed when Keller bumped into the new tattoo, but it didn't matter. Keller took his time, licking, kissing, and sucking. He wanted to drive Beecher crazier, and it didn't take long. Beecher, and his cast, went towards the middle of the bunk. Keller shoved up into the warm mouth. Damn" Beecher could suck like a Hoover. Keller was careful not to touch Beecher's head, but he pushed with his hips, almost frantic for more throat. The instant Beecher took most of him, Keller popped off. It was like a .357 going off - sharp, hard, sweet.

Beecher licked his way up until they were kissing again. Keller used his hands to do it. He stroked, teased, and finally slipped a finger deep inside Beecher's ass to make him feel all the pleasure. Beecher never complained. He never said 'stop,' and he never cried.

"Come for me, Toby." Keller kissed and licked places he knew wouldn't hurt. Beecher arched his back and orgasmed. It hit them both, and Keller laughed softly. "Toby."

Beecher groaned and wrapped his arm around Keller's neck. "I'm not licking your boots."

"Always later." Keller kissed him again. It was powerful, even after. Beecher shut his eyes and dropped off to sleep. Keller smiled at him and eased away to clean them both. "Never had it better." But Beecher couldn't hear that. Keller took the top bunk after putting a blanket on the prag. No, he wasn't a prag. He was Toby, and he was better than a cigarette.


Beecher shielded his face against the sudden onslaught of light. Shit. Did they have to do that? Keller was already pacing, dressed, and Beecher felt like passing out.

"Can you stop?"

Keller whipped around and glared at him. "What?"

"You're making me dizzy." Beecher stretched, carefully. "Hand me a pill, will ya?"

"Sure." Keller dug one out of Beecher's pants and passed it over. "Three more."

"I'll make them last." Beecher sat up. "So, you don't mind if I snort pain meds, but no heroin."

"Right. Ever been trapped in a fucking cell with someone who's crazy for tits?" Keller snapped.

Beecher flushed. He was a dickhead. "Uh, no."

Keller pulled out Beecher's shirt. With quick slashes, the sleeves were gone. Beecher watched in silence. He would remember that competence. Keller tossed him the shirt, and Beecher let it lie. "First, a shower."

"Okay." Keller looked on the edge, and Beecher took a healthy step back by going to piss.

Beecher shook his cock off. He felt pretty good, for one beat up, sad motherfucker. The pill would help. His arm throbbed, but that was nothing. He was used to his ass aching. "I'll wait here, if you want to go eat."

Keller gave him a nasty look. "No. Get dressed. You can fucking shower after we eat and before you go to work."

Beecher opened his mouth to say he wasn't hungry and stopped. He was pushing his luck. Keller's eyes were flat, hard, and dangerous. Instead, Beecher nodded. "Sure, whatever you want."

"Finally," Keller muttered. He went out the door and paced right outside. Beecher fumbled on his clothes and dragged after him. Breakfast was always eggs, and Beecher waited patiently in line, right behind Keller. Keller was as tense as some kind of wild animal. Why? What the fuck was going on? Beecher didn't have a brain cell to worry about it, not now the medication had kicked in. The pain in his arm faded away, and he sighed with relief. Someone pointed at him, and he shuffled closer to Keller. Keller gave him a fast squeeze. "You are so fucking mine."

Beecher turned scarlet. He couldn't help but wish his wife had said that, just once. Once would have been enough. He took his tray and went to sit by Hill. Keller was already there. He leaned and said, "Hide a few things in your pockets, in case of a lockdown."

"Okay." Beecher would do it. Keller knew how to survive.

Hill grinned. "You look high, Beecher."

"Thanks." Beecher grinned back at him. "I love Dr. Nathan."

"Everyone does." Hill adjusted his gloves. "Got anything to trade for my orange."

Beecher thought about it. "How about a kiss?"

Hill rolled him the orange. "Have it. Stay the fuck away." They laughed together. Beecher leaned slightly into Keller's warm body, and Keller squeezed Beecher's thigh.

"Look at the love." Schillinger, of course.

Beecher was too high to care. "Killer, I mean, Keller, I don't like him." And he giggled.

Keller handed Beecher his fork. "Eat. Dumbass."

"Okay." Beecher found his mouth and began to eat. His black eye was open today, and he felt a keen sense of relief. He couldn't rely on Keller every minute, even though lying around on the bunks for five or six hours could be fun.

"Vern, I've decided I like him better when he's fucked up. He's more fun, and it's easier to get his pants off." Keller kissed him - hard. Beecher nearly dropped his fork. Kisses were nice. He laughed as Schillinger stormed away. Damn Nazi prick fag. That about covered it. When the food was gone - in stomachs or pockets - Beecher took the trays. When he got back to Keller, Schillinger was there again. Didn't he have a job?

"Let me see it," Schillinger demanded.

Keller yanked Beecher around and showed off the tattoo. "See. He cried. Enough already."

"I didn't cry. Not much" Beecher whined. It made Schillinger pliable. "It hurt"

Schillinger laughed. "Good."

Keller put his hand on Beecher's neck. "Time for our shower."

"I'll be dirty when we get done." Beecher laughed at Schillinger and went off obediently. This place was so much easier when he was fucked up. Keller pulled him close and laughed in his ear. When they reached the pod, Beecher got naked fast, wrapped a towel around his hips, and said, "Get O'Reily to keep watch."

"Why? I'm not fucking you." Keller smiled tightly. "Come on."

Beecher followed that little towel across the commons to the showers. They waited their turn. Keller wasn't shy about putting an arm around him, and Beecher admitted he liked it. He shouldn't like it, but he did. They wrapped his cast in plastic first, and he held it up high out of the water. "Killer, I'm too fucked to scrub and hold my arm up."

"I'm tired of washing your ass." Keller sighed and soaped him down. "And I like Killer about the way you like Bitcher."

"Oh. Sorry." Beecher leaned into the wall and enjoyed the water. Some days it was enough to be clean, but not very damn often. "How many did ya kill?"

"More than one, but one was enough to land me in this shithole until they take me out in a box." Keller's eyes snapped. "Rinse off, fucker."

"Yes, sir," Beecher mumbled. He shouldn't have asked. Keller was not a safe man. He wasn't kind, and he wasn't nice, but wow, he was sexy. Look at that ass. Beecher hoped he felt like this when the medication wore off, but it was too much to hope for. Keller snapped off the water and dried him off. Beecher unwrapped his arm as he walked back to the pod.

Keller glared at him. "Your towel is on your shoulder."

"Yeah." Beecher worked at the plastic. He didn't give a damn. Everyone in this place had seen a swastika before. He slumped down on the bunk before attempting to put his clothes on.

Keller was getting dressed - black shirt and black pants. "After work, we'll do the damn laundry."

"Sure." Beecher stretched. "I bet I look like shit."

"Clean shit, but yeah, pretty damn beat up." Keller tossed him some clothes. "Get moving."

"Okay." Beecher smiled and dressed - no sleeves to scrap against his raw tattoo. He bagged up the dirty clothes and left them in the chair. That done, he straightened the stuff left out on the sink and made the bunks.

"What the fuck are you doing?"

"My job is to clean up. Yours is to fuck me happy." Beecher had a thought and checked his pictures. They were safe. "Thanks again."

"Man's gotta have something." Keller pointed at the door. "Got your shank?"

"Yes, Mother." Beecher smothered a laugh. Keller escorted him to the nun's office. Beecher knew again that he didn't have a scrap of pride, because he liked it. He felt safe.

"Tobias! Good to see you." She smiled.

Beecher smiled back and didn't watch Keller leave. "Before you ask, yes, I took a pain pill." He slipped down into his chair and stared at the first folder. "You're behind, again."

"Of course. Can you work?" She always managed to sound like she cared.

"Sure, just not fast." Beecher shrugged.

Sister Pete was suddenly standing over him. "How are you doing with Keller?"

"I think, I kinda like him. I'm not sure yet." Beecher told the truth. Sex and friendship were two different things, especially in Oz. "He can keep me safe."

"For a price," she said softly.

"I might be willing to pay it." Beecher opened the first file. "Remember Blazing Saddles? Work, work, work."

"Funny movie." She laughed. "Group is tomorrow."
"I'll be there." Beecher started pecking away.

"That tattoo is, um, new." She went to sit down, but she'd pester him the entire time about this and that. It was her way.

"Schillinger insisted Keller brand me. Keller refused. Thank God. He opted for a tattoo. I agreed, reluctantly. I really, really don't like Schillinger." Beecher leaned closer to the page and squinted. "I have to remember my glasses."

Sister Pete was quiet. She was thinking. She did a lot of that, but she'd have something to say. "He's up for parole before too long."

"That's what I hear." Beecher typed a few more sentences. It wasn't easy with half-fingers on one hand. "Which is worse? A Nazi in prison, or one on the street?"

"I don't know." The nun fell silent again. Beecher kept at the files until she told him to leave. He did with a wave and headed towards the pod. When he got there, he grabbed up the laundry and went to do it. His wife had rarely done the laundry. He'd done it on weekends, usually hung over. Hiding in the laundry room had always seemed like a fine idea. Now, he was high in the laundry room. Things never seemed to change. He separated, started, and sat down to watch the machines run. No one had messed with him yet, but the day was young. His arm was starting to ache, but he ignored it. He didn't have that many pills left and no money to bribe Alvarez into stealing him some more.

"Tobias Bitcher."

Beecher didn't look. Of course, it was Schillinger. The big Jew hater never let well enough alone. "Yeah."

"First thing I do when I leave this place is fuck your pretty wife."

"Ex-wife." Beecher didn't even twitch. "She's pretty frigid. Better take one of your prags, if you want to have a good time."

Schillinger moved closer and hissed, "I ain't no queer!"

"Whatever." Beecher waved his hand dismissively. "A Harvard lawyer could argue the case that you're a fag and win, but I'm not going to argue with you."

"I should have tossed you to the niggers." Schillinger was angry now. Beecher was surprised that he didn't care, he wasn't scared, and he didn't think it was the drugs. Schillinger kept talking. "Adebisi still wants your ass."

"Hell, Vern. Adebisi wants your ass." Beecher laughed at the thought. "My lawyer brain has been thinking. This can go one of two ways. You and I can declare war and count the casualties."


"You can walk away and rest assured that Keller likes to beat on me occasionally, when he's not fucking me." Beecher noticed the first cycle was done and got up. He took the clothes out, tossed them in the dryer, and pushed the button. "I'm still on the fence about my options."

"You'll do what Keller says." Schillinger sounded more confident. "And Keller listens to me."

"Yeah. It does seem that way." Beecher found a chair far away from Schillinger. "My arm hurts."

"I wish I'd have seen that." Schillinger always went away laughing - the prick. "Prag!"

Beecher wrapped his hand around his shank and squeezed. He knew what he wanted, but he also knew there were always consequences. Four years wasn't that much. He'd come very close to going completely batshit, but he was thinking clearly now, and he had to make a choice. Kill the Nazi, ruin his parole, or let him go and pray someone shot him. It was a tough decision, and either way; people were going to get hurt.

"How's it going?"

"Fine." Beecher turned his shank loose. He threw Keller a smile. "Sister Pete tossed me out early."

Keller nodded and sat down across the room from him. "The gym is cleaner."

"Oz sucks."

"Yep." Keller yawned and shut his eyes. "You're really going to do my laundry?"

"I did it for my wife." Beecher put more clothes in the dryer. "She even trusted me with her delicates."

Keller laughed. "Talk dirty like that some more."

Beecher smiled. He did like Keller, even if he was a killer. At Harvard, they'd forgotten to teach him that inside the most hardened criminal was a man. "You want me to follow you around like a good, little prag?"

"I was hoping you'd ask to suck my cock again." Keller uncoiled and was on his feet. He lazily strolled over to Beecher and traced his finger around Beecher's mouth. "You're gonna have to do some of it, or Vern will want me to kill you."

Beecher didn't miss the implication that Keller might do it. Beecher nodded. He'd thought the same. "Yeah. And you like it."

Keller didn't answer. His eyes were hard, even stony, but they were like that a lot of the time. He leaned and captured Beecher's mouth, taking what he wanted. Beecher let him because it felt good, and nothing ever felt good in this damn place.

"Break it up, girlfriends!"

Beecher and Keller separated, but their eyes stayed glued on each other's lips. The hack banged the door with his stick, and they shrugged. There was always later. When the dryers stopped, they folded everything and went back to the pod. Beecher put the clothes away while Keller watched.

"Beech, why don't you take it easy? You looked tired."

Beecher wanted sex, he didn't want sleep, but his arm ached. "Okay. You'll-" He broke off. He couldn't say it. Perhaps he did have a scrap of pride left.

"I'll be close." Keller shut the door behind him. Beecher pushed off his shoes and took over the bottom bunk. His eyes ached, and he closed them. Oz could go the fuck away for a couple of hours.


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