A Simple Wish

By K9

  As the door opened, Tobias Beecher glanced up nervously. He'd been sitting there for ten minutes. His hands were sweating, and he could hear his own heartbeat thrumming in his ears. This was turning out worse than he could ever have imagined it would be. The excitement, and wanting, was quickly being replaced by cold fear, as he contemplated the very worst scenarios.

What if that last telephone call was more than just a man trying to be noble? What if Chris Keller had simply moved on, and really didn't want to see him? What if he just didn't love him any more?

Suddenly, a familiar figure walked through the door, and sat down opposite him; not looking, or even acknowledging his presence.

The old swagger and arrogance was there, and the battlement that defended 'Fort Keller' was firmly in place. Chris's face was blank and cold, his attitude typically dismissive and uncaring.

Could Toby really stand another crushing Keller rejection in this lifetime, and come out the other side with his sanity intact?

This was the Chris who had shattered his body, and laughed in his face. Who had watched as Vern Schillinger had snapped Toby's legs, and just smiled. This wasn't the man who'd held him so gently through the nightmares, and the alcohol withdrawal; the same man who had whispered words of support and sympathy in his ear, when the demons came in the night; demons in the shape of Kathy Rockwell.

"Hey," Toby said eventually, in a small voice.

Piercing blue eyes turned on him viciously.

"What do you want here, Beecher?" Chris Keller snarled at last.

"I wanted to see you," Toby replied, trying desperately for his voice not to sound pleading.

"I told you not to come here," Chris stated coldly. He glanced around at the other prisoners, and their visitors, with an air of discomfort.

"I needed to see you."

"Beecher, what more do you want from me?" Chris asked. He still looked around the room, glaring at anyone who dared to meet his gaze, but quite deliberately avoiding prolonged eye contact with Toby.

"For God's sake, Chris, I *love* you, I needed to see you!" Toby hissed. His patience was wearing thin already. Truly, Chris Keller was the only man who could make him lose his temper this damned fast.

Suddenly Chris met Toby's eyes; the brief look of raw pain was almost choking in its intensity.

"Don't fucking say that!" he snapped, "Why don't you go get on with your life, and leave me the fuck alone?"

Reacting like a man slapped in the face, Toby recoiled slightly. "Why are you behaving this way?" he whispered, "What have I done to deserve this?"

"What have you done?" Chris's face softened into a sneering smile, "What have *you* done?"

"Yes!"

"Aw, fuck you, Beecher."

"For Christ's sake, just talk to me. Is that so much to ask of you? What, you have something better to do with your time today?"

Chris Keller's lips tightened, and his brow furrowed. Toby had seen this look a thousand times. It meant that Chris felt cornered.

"I'll *never* be free, Toby. Do you really understand what that means?"

"Of course I do."

"No you *don't*. No, you fucking *don't* understand what that means."

"It means that you'll never leave here, because of me."

"Fuck you, Beecher. Me being here has nothin' to *do* with you. I fucking *deserve* to be here. What I'm trying to say is, that I *know* I'll never leave this place. I'll die inside prison walls, and that's okay, I've accepted that. What I haven't accepted, yet, is that I'll die never havin' touched you again." Chris's voice died to a whisper, and he turned his head away.

"Oh Jesus," Toby's hand quivered, as he physically had to stop himself reaching across the table.

"So, y'see, you comin' here, it don't help me. It just makes me realize what I can't have is still there, and still desirable to me."

"I'm sorry, Chris. I never thought...."

"Please go, Toby."

Physically stilling his trembling hand, Toby swallowed hard and took a breath. He so badly wanted to reach out for the wounded man across the table from him, but he knew that the action would betray their relationship to everyone in the room, and make life even harder for Chris.

"Don't send me away. You think it hurts any less for me, knowing you're here, and I'm out there? Knowing that *I* don't deserve to be out there after what I did..."

"Shut the fuck up, Toby. You *do* deserve to be with your family. You should never have been sent to fucking Oz in the first place." Chris closed his eyes for a moment, as if trying to compose himself. "I had this crazy dream last night," he said suddenly.

Toby looked up, and frowned. This was an unexpected change of subject.

"I dreamed that God gave us one more day together. Just one day, to do anything we wanted to do; go anywhere we wanted to go. I'd promised him, y'see, that if he gave me one more day with you, I'd quit buggin' him," he smiled the old Keller smile, and Toby felt compelled to join in.

"So what happened?"

"Aw, we fucked like crazy guys," Chris smirked, "Ended up on a beach, watching the sun go down."

"And?"

"And it wasn't enough," Chris's smile faded, "No amount of time with you is ever gonna to be enough for me." He glanced down at his hands, and absently picked at his fingernails. "Don't you see, Toby, even if you came here every day for the rest of your life, it wouldn't be enough for me. We were doomed from the moment we set eyes on each other. *That* was God's punishment for the crimes I committed. Not getting sent to Oz, not being here....You."

"Don't say that, please. I don't regret having met you for a second." Toby finally reached across the table and grasped Chris's now clenched fist, "Chris, look at me. Look me in the eyes, and tell me that you wish you'd never met me."

Pain filled blue eyes finally lifted, and captured Toby in their hypnotic stare. "I wish I'd never met you," Chris said coldly, watching the hurt flash across Toby's face. "If I'd never met you, I couldn't have caused you the pain I did, never have hurt you, never have broken your arms...or your heart."

"And, never have been there for me when I needed someone. Never have picked up the shattered pieces of Tobias Beecher that Vern Schillinger left behind. Chris, we met for a reason, I really do believe that. God, fate, call it what you will, it had a plan for us."

"Great fucking plan," Chris glanced around the room again. He viciously eyed a heavily tattooed man, who was grinning at Toby holding his hand. This was Keller the predator once more, blatantly daring anyone to challenge him with that 'What the fuck you lookin' at' glare.

"We happened for a reason," Toby stressed, "I know you believe that. And if I can only see you once in a while, just to know you're okay?"

"Forget me, Toby."

"I *can't*, why won't you see that? Those last months in prison, and after I got out; they've been hell, not being able to see you. Not even knowing if you were dead or alive. Even when we were fighting in Oz, at least we had contact."

"Look, we got different battles to fight now. I gotta try to stay alive in this place, and you gotta be a man, and get on with your life outside. Every time you step into this place, you're making that transition harder...for both of us."

Toby looked down at his hand still resting on Chris's. He pursed his lips and took a breath.

"I don't think I want to go on without you in my life in some way," he said at last.

"Don't fucking say that. What's the matter with you? Didn't Oz teach you *anything*? You survived that shit hole, Schillinger and all those Aryan rat-fucks couldn't bring you down. Now what? You're gonna die of a 'broken heart?'" Chris raged.

Angrily, Toby glared back, "Oh, and what you're feeling is something different? If it's so easy to just forget everything that happened, why the fuck aren't you practicing what you preach?" he reached up, and grabbed Chris's tee shirt in his fist, pulling him in close, "You're the one begging, Keller. Begging me not to come here, and remind you that we were lovers. Don't you like being reminded that once upon a time you actually gave a damn about someone?"

Faces almost touching now, Chris snarled, "You think I fucking need to be reminded of that? I remember that every friggin' night when I close my eyes, and you're not there in the room with me."

"Hey, you two, break it up!" a shadow suddenly fell across both men, as a guard stepped into the fray.

"I'm sorry," Toby looked up at the man, and smiled weakly. Releasing Chris's shirt, he sat back in the chair.

Fatigue washed over him, and he suddenly felt...old, and tired.

"Some things just never change, do they?"

Cocking a wry smile, Chris shook his head, "We don't. Shit, Beech, we'd end up killing each other eventually, anyway. You know that."

Finding a smile in reply, Toby nodded, "What a way to go though, huh?

Silence descended. Toby watched as Chris ran his fingers through his hair. Subtle, nervous, signals that said Chris Keller's fašade was cracking.

For the most part, Chris was the most arrogant guy Toby had ever met. He was manipulative, and devious, and undeniably dangerous. No one knew that better than Toby. Even Sister Peter Marie had questioned if Keller even had a soul to save, when he'd used her for his own nefarious plan to get Beecher back. But, Tobias Beecher knew the *real* truth. Only he had crawled beneath the veneer, and touched the soul that cosseted itself so firmly behind the protective shell. Taken time to search beneath the pain, and injury, that life had dealt Christopher Keller, and truly find the man behind the 'monster.'

Suddenly, Chris leaned forwards, across the table. He rubbed his face brusquely. "I do love you, Toby," he whispered almost shyly, "An' I'm sorry."

Toby couldn't hold back the sappy smile as he spoke. "I know you do. I never doubted that for a minute."

They sat merely looking into each other's eyes. Sharing the same thoughts as they'd done so often in Oz.

"Okay, times almost up!" a voice eventually pierced the passionate silence that lay between them.

Chris stood up, and gestured for Toby to do the same. With a puzzled frown, Toby climbed to his feet and glanced at the other prisoners, who were still watching with morbid interest.

"C'mere."

"Chris, are you crazy?" Toby's pale blue eyes opened almost impossibly wide.

"No, that's you, remember? Crazy Beecher. Man, he was something, wasn't he?" Chris Keller grinned, as he pulled Toby into his arms, and kissed him.

Toby didn't hear the whoops and catcalls. Nor even the sound of the guard telling them to cool it.

Chris tasted exactly as he remembered; so sweet and masculine. His scent was still a heady mix of prison soap, and that undeniable essence of Keller, that could turn Toby weak-kneed in a split second. The last time they'd kissed this way, they'd been saying goodbye. Such a bittersweet moment, it still hurt for Toby to even think about.

"You look real sexy in that leather jacket," Chris whispered suddenly in Toby's ear.

A very familiar reaction to that voice quickly began to pool in Toby's groin, but on opening his eyes, he was rapidly shaken back to reality. The fact that they had the rapt attention of everyone in the room, seemed to concern Chris very little. Shouts of 'faggots' and 'fucking queers,' were falling on deaf ears, and Chris Keller merely flipped them the finger, and held on to Toby for a moment longer.

"Can I come back again?" Tobias Beecher asked finally, praying for the right answer.

The smile said it all, and words were somehow pitifully inadequate. With a gentle stroke of his finger across Toby's cheek, Chris spoke at last.

"Sure."

The End

 

 

"One More Day" by Diamond Rio

Last night I had a crazy dream.

A wish was granted just for me.

It could be for anything.

I didn't wish for money,

Or a mansion in Malibu.

I simply wished for one more day with you.

 

One more day,

One more time.

One more sunset, maybe I'd be satisfied.

But then again,

I know what it would do.

Leave me wishing still for one more day with you.

 

The first thing I'd do is pray for time to crawl.

Then I'd unplug the telephone,

And keep the TV off.

I'd hold you every second,

Say a million I love you's.

That's what I'd do, with one more day with you.

 

One more day,

One more time.

One more sunset, maybe I'd be satisfied.

But then again,

I know what it would do.

Leave me wishing still for one more day with you.

 

Leave me wishing still for one more day...

Leave me wishing still for one more day...

 

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