Title: The Great Pretender
Subject Info: A teensy reworking of a scene in the episode '4giveness' in season 6 involving Keller, Beecher, and Sister Peter Marie.
Originally posted to: Lyric Wheel at Yahoogroups
Song Title and Artist: 'The Great Pretender' by Buck Ram (Freddie Mercury version)
Lyrics provided by: Rebecca
The Great Pretender
Chris Keller rolled his shoulders, listening to the clicking of tense muscles, as he waited patiently in Sister Peter Marie's outer office.
It had been a while, and he wasn't sure just how he felt about having his brain examined by Sister Pete right now. On the outside, he was the same old Keller, cocksure, arrogant and unfeeling, but on the inside he was consumed.
Toby was gone, paroled from Oz, and he was all alone. The dreams still came in the night; his victims, the people he'd hurt, the lives he'd ruined, but now there was a new one; Tobias Beecher, naked, sweating, moaning, fucking a cute little blond pussy, telling her all the things Keller himself wanted to hear from those sweet masculine lips.
'I love you. You're so fucking hot. I need you. I have to fuck you. I'll want you forever.'
Suddenly Keller heard a snap, and realized that he'd torn the chair grip away from the base of the chair. He'd been holding on so tightly, the flimsy wood construct had snapped under the pressure.
"Fuck!" he hissed, and tossed the grip under the chair, hoping that the hack by the door hadn't seen what happened.
He had to be calm; he needed to convince Sister Pete that everything was cool. If she thought he was on the edge, she'd have him shipped off to the psych ward, or doped up on some shit, and right now he needed his mind sharp.
The door opened with a click, and the familiar sight of Sister Peter Marie appeared.
"Chris, I'm sorry to keep you hanging around," she said slightly breathless, "We had an emergency situation."
"Ain't no other kind of situations in Oz, Sister," Chris drawled, turning on his best smile.
"Yes, well, that might be true, but there's no excuse for me keeping you waiting."
"That's okay, I got eighty eight years of time to waste. I ain't going nowhere."
Sister Pete gestured for him to follow her into the small office, and he shoved himself insolently to his feet, shooting the guard a sneer before he closed the door behind the two of them.
"So, Chris, how are you?" she asked.
"I'm just great."
"Hell, yeah. I'm off death row, back in gen pop, an' I got Vern Schillinger as a neighbor. I'm in heaven!" Chris dropped down into the seat opposite the desk and grinned. "How you doin', sister?"
"Me? Oh I'm fine. It's you I'm a little worried about."
"You're worried about me?" Chris smirked, "Why sister, I didn't know you cared?"
"Well I do," she replied, blatantly ignoring the innuendo. "I'm worried that you're feeling a little...abandoned since Tobias left?"
Chris looked away and shook his head, "He deserves to be with his family. He saved my life, I owe him a lot."
"Yes, you do, but you also still love him a lot, don't you?"
Piercing blue eyes blazed for a moment, "Yeah, I do."
"So you must...miss him?"
"What you trying to say, Sister?"
"I'm not trying to *say* anything, Chris, I'm trying to ask you how you feel about Tobias being paroled? And I'd like the truth, not the politically correct version."
"When did you ever know me be 'politically correct'?" he laughed.
"When you're trying to evade the question. Like now."
Chris rubbed his nose with the back of his hand, and shrugged his shoulders. "I miss him, yeah, but he deserves to be free."
Sister Pete sat back in her chair, and frowned. She wasn't buying the act, and Chris knew it.
"What you want me to say Sister, that every minute I'm in here without Toby is hell?"
"Is it?" she asked.
Biting at his lower lip, trying to use the pain to steady his voice, Chris took a breath before answering. "Yeah."
"How does that make you feel?"
"What else, Chris?"
"He's seeing someone, did you know that?" Chris forced a smile, "He's dating Holly's teacher."
Sister Pete straightened up in her chair, "And that annoys you?"
"Hey, you let me out of here, I'd have the nearest piece of ass I could. I don't blame him."
"Now I think you're lying to me, Chris."
Digging the nails into the palm of his hand, Chris tried to stop himself from trembling. She knew, she already fucking knew how he felt, but she wouldn't let go until he'd spilled his guts...again.
"Be honest with me, Chris, it will help."
"I'm fucking angry, okay?" he snarled.
"Because Tobias has found himself a lady friend?"
"Because he walked out the fucking door, and forgot all about me the first time some piece of ass wiggled his way!" Chris raged suddenly.
"I love him, but he don't love me, not really." Another shrug. "He loves this woman, I can tell."
"Is that what he told you?" Sister Pete asked.
"No, but he wouldn't, would he?"
"He told you he was sleeping with her. I think maybe Tobias is trying to be honest with you for the very reason that he *does* love you?"
"Yeah, I'm sure Toby thinks he's being real noble," Chris grated his teeth. For a moment, he could see them; walking hand in hand across a lush green meadow, children playing happily around their feet, the sun shining, the wind sweet with summer fragrance. "Bitch!" he spat suddenly.
"Who is?" Sister Pete's voice was soft but piercing.
Chris looked up, and was almost surprised to see the nun sitting there, "What?" he asked; the smell, and taste of summer blossom still lingering in his throat.
"Who is the 'bitch'?" She asked again.
Sitting up Chris leaned forwards; resting his elbows on the desk he pulled himself across the space until he was only inches from Sister Pete's face. Using his patented, but strained Keller smile, he whispered, "I am, Sister, I am."
"No one thinks that!" Sister Pete gasped.
"I do. Oh yeah, I'm the 'Great Pretender' Sister, I can fool these prags, 'cause they ain't too bright; just in case you didn't notice," he grinned, "But I can't fool me. I play the game, I do my stuff, I fucking survive, but it's hollow and cold in here, now Toby ain't around." He rested his hand on his chest, tightening it into a fist, crumpling his tee shirt in blind anger.
"I know you miss, Tobias, Chris, but you have to let him go. Is there no one else you really care about, someone you could do something good for?"
"My ex-wives, I guess. I still kinda care about them, especially Bonnie." Chris sat back, and made a point of staring at the picture of Christ on the wall.
"Why not do something nice for Bonnie? She still visits you, doesn't she?"
"You need to redirect your rage," Sister Pete insisted, "Chris, are you listening to me?"
Tearing his gaze back to the woman behind the desk, Chris tried unsuccessfully for a smile. "Yeah."
"Don't do anything you might regret later," she warned, "You need to get your anger under control. I'm going to suggest that we have another session tomorrow, at three. Is that okay?"
"Sure, you know I like visiting you, Sister," Chris replied, "But can we make it four, only Toby's visiting at two thirty?"
"See you tomorrow, Sister."
The pain was almost unbearable. Chris lay on his bunk, trying not to let his imagination take him back to that sweet summer meadow, where Toby was now naked and fucking that woman until she screamed. Adrift in a world of his own, feeling every moment of pain and loneliness like a scalpel to the heart, he kept coming back to the same terrible conclusion.
He wanted Toby back, no matter what the cost. Was it worth having the man he loved hate him, just to have him here, he wondered?
Turning over in his bunk, he decided to sleep on the dilemma, and make his final decision tomorrow.
Chris looked at the clock and wondered what the hell had happened to Toby? The guy was seriously anal about being late, so there must be a good reason why it was almost three, and he was a no show.
Vivid and disturbing scenarios flashed before him, strengthening his anger and resolve to get Toby back.
Maybe the bitch queen had decided he shouldn't come visit his prison lover?
Suddenly, the door opened, but it was Sister Pete who walked into the room.
"Chris, I have bad news for you," she said gravely.
"Toby? Is he okay?" Chris sprang to his feet. His stomach rolled over, as he pictured a thousand horrible ways Toby might be dead, in those fleeting seconds.
"He's been arrested," she said almost in a whisper, "He was caught drinking and driving. It's a parole violation, and he's on his way back to Oz."
Speechless, Chris stood, staring at the nun. Thoughts and emotions tangled and confused, he wrapped his arms around his chest defensively. "Is he going back to Em City?" he said at last.
"No, he's coming here to Unit B."
"Sister, I want to be there, when he comes in, please?" he pleaded.
"I'll see what I can do."
The bars slid back, and an orange clad figure appeared. Toby's face was tear streaked, and more wretched than anything Chris had ever seen.
The two men stared at each other for a moment, before Chris moved forwards and pulled Toby into his arms.
"I fucked up, Chris," Toby sobbed, "She said that one drink wouldn't matter, but it does, it always does!"
"I know, it's okay," Chris held him tightly, despite the disgusted grimace of the hack at the door.
"When she asked me to take her home, what could I do? I didn't even think about having no fucking license anymore!" Toby buried his face in Chris' shoulder. "I'm so fucking stupid!"
"No, you're not, you were just doin' what you do, taking care of the people you love."
"She never loved me, I think I was her charity case; the ex-con boyfriend." Toby spat the words viciously.
"I'm sorry, Toby, I'm sorry you're back here." Chris held on tightly, and vowed that this was the last time he'd ever lie to the man he loved more than life.
Toby moved away, wiping his face with the back of his hand. "She could never love me the way you do," he whispered, "I'm sorry if I hurt you."
Chris smiled, "Yeah well, hurtin' seems to be what we do, right?"
"Not anymore," Toby replied, gently brushing his hand down Chris' face.
"Come on girls, lets get you two settled into your little love-nest," the hack sneered as Toby was given a shove.
Chris watched the dejected, slouching figure walk ahead, back into the depths of Oswald Correctional Facility, back to his own private hell, and he thanked God that it had happened this way. It was terrible, and cruel, but at least they were together again, and no one, and nothing, would come between them this time.
Chris hoped that one day God would forgive him for what he'd been about to do, because if Toby ever found out, he sure as hell wouldn't.