by cmshaw
23 Aug 2000

Disclaimer: I'm just one more crook among crooks, stealing what I want....

Summary: From Toby's side, a mid-fourth-season riff on the rift between himself and Sister Peter Marie.

Warning: Just the usual Oz R rating for language and sexual situations.

He had heard desperate covetousness in her voice.

The realization was sour, the sudden understanding noxious in the back of his throat. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, he thought, and shivered. Strange that a nun would fail to recognize it -- perhaps she struggled against it, berating herself at night when she walked free out of Oz and left the two of them trapped down in there together.

Trapped; together. Did she pity the one state as she envied the other? Did they twine together in her mind as two bodies might?

It was disappointment, betrayal: she had been his friend, his anchor, and his touchstone for sanity, on those days when sanity was an option. Her denial was the final indignity when she claimed anger on his behalf -- as if she merely worried that Chris weren't good enough for him and good enough to him. As if she didn't want him herself, regardless of how good he was.

Fuck! and it wasn't like she knew who it was that she was wanting so badly, not the way he did. You couldn't learn the pain and the passion that was Chris Keller from a series of half-hour counseling sessions; you learned the good and the bad of the man with his blood under your nails, your bones under his hands, his spunk and your own staining the same dirty sheets together. She could talk about his lies but she'd never touched his lips, never opened them up and sucked out the truth behind them into her own mouth, not the way he had.

He'd paid for this bitter, crazy love, and he was going to keep it. No one else was going to come along and hurt worse, pay more -- certainly not this nun who could sleep in her own bed at night with the windows open and the moon shining in, with her crucifix and her jealousy tucked under the blankets next to her body. She had heaven. He didn't have that much, and he wasn't going to give any of it up. He wasn't going to share it -- as if he could, as this could be anything but all-encompassing obsession that admitted nothing and no one else into its circle of two -- and if Chris had used her, in his obsession, that was her own damn fault, wasn't it? She should have known better, if she wanted to claim to know him at all: Chris did use people, he lied, he cheated, he stole, he stole hearts and ripped them to shreds looking for what wasn't there. Toby loved him anyway, with all of his ripped and shredded heart.

That was all of it, then, all the worldly goods of Tobias Beecher: the clothes on his back and one lying, beloved sociopath to feel him up through them. It wasn't enough -- nothing was enough to balance the hellish equation of Oz -- but it was sufficient unto the moment. It was even, sometimes, good. Sometimes, when Chris' hands slid up his back and Chris' shoulders flexed under his hands as they kissed, it was even enough to make him forget: not that he was in Oz, but that he had ever been anywhere else.

Maybe that was something worthy of envy after all.

Then again, maybe it wasn't.



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