A Game of Hearts

Author: Trasker
Email: dt482@ncf.ca
Rating: Oh.. I'd say somewhere around the R/NC17 area...
Archive: If you want it, you got it. I'd be honoured if anybody actually liked it enough to want to keep it.
Ownership: Pfft. If I owned 'em, I don't even know what I'd do with 'em. Except maybe buy them matching sweaters.
Feedback: Sure, what the heck. I'd like to know how I measure up against all you pros.
Notes/Comments: This is my first fic of any kind, so I figured I'd go with something easy and Beecher and Keller are the easiest-- you can take that anyway you want. ;) So, B/K it is, with some mentions of Cyril for my sister who has an all-consuming crush on him. The lyrics are "Shape of my heart" by Sting provided by Bastian. Props out to Bastian, I liked the song, even if writing the fic to go along with it made my brain hurt at times. Oh yeah, in this little world, Chris comes back from Cedar Junction, and does not end up in protective custody. I live in Canada and don't have HBO so I can pretend that's what happens. As for the game Cyril and the rest are playing at the beginning, it's hearts, just in case the terminology isn't familiar. I'd like to apologize for the length of the fic. I did try with all my heart to cut and crop, but, in the end, it ended up being a pretty long sucker, rounding out at about 4.5 pages on wordpro. I'm a bad girl. I need to be punished.


The mood in Em City was decidedly calm. Deals were being done, angry words exchanged -- that aspect of life in Oz never changed, but everything seemed to be happening at a much more leisurely pace. Many sat playing cards or chess, and the table where the O'Reily brothers were sitting was no exception.

"Your move, Cyril," Ryan said impatiently, glancing over at his brother who was concentrating on the four remaining cards he held clutched in his hands. Cyril quietly placed a jack of diamonds on the pile of cards in front of him.

"Finally!" Ryan sighed and swept the cards away, preparing his next move. Cyril placed a hand on his arm.

"It's over," Cyril said softly, "I won."

"What?" Pancamo said incredulously, "What the fuck does he mean 'he's won'?"

Bob Rebadow glanced over Pancamo's shoulder to look at the cards. "He's right. There aren't any hearts left. Cyril took them all. He shot the moon." Bob glanced at the 20 dollar bill they'd been writing the score down on. "Which gives the rest of you 26 points added on to your score making the final for you, Morales... 104. Game over. Cyril wins."

"Un-fucking-believable," Morales said, letting out a low whistle. He handed over the bill they'd been keeping score on while Pancamo pulled two 10's out of his pocket. "Here, you scumfuck. Enjoy it, 'cause I ain't fallin' for this shit again," he turned to Morales, stunned. "Who the fuck knew the 'tard was a goddamn card shark?!"

The two men walked away, shaking their heads. Ryan and Cyril grinned at each other, though Ryan's smile was decidedly more wicked. He scooped up the money, handing a 10 to Cyril and pocketing the rest for himself 'for management duties' he'd told Cyril.

"Well, well," said Rebadow, "you two are certainly cleaning up today."

"Yeah," O'Reily smirked, "'course it's not real fair what with Cyril being so good at hearts and all. But hey, who am I to deprive him of a simple pleasure?"

"Well, be careful," Rebadow warned, "some people don't take lightly to being duped"

"Yeah, thanks, I'll take that into deep consideration." O'Reily smiled up at Rebadow as he watched the two men make their way across the room. "Hey, looks like we found some new victims. Beecher, Keller, you in for a friendly game of Hearts with me and my brother?"

Keller shook his head, smirking, "No way, O'Reily, there's barely a man left in Em City who ain't been beaten by your brother. I have no desire to lose 20 bucks."

"Suit yourself, K-Boy," Ryan shrugged. "C'mon Cyril, let's go find some *real* competition."

Cyril shuffled off after his brother, shooting an apologetic glance back at the two men. Toby shrugged and Chris smiled sadly, as if the effort of talking to the O'Reily's had been too much for him. Chris wasn't looking well lately. His face had a sallow appearance that made him look thinner, tired, though, Toby noted, no less appealing. His eyes, normally a brilliant blue seemed to take on a misty grey appearance, as though smoke had somehow been trapped behind them. He'd looked like this for days now.

Beecher had prodded him at first, trying to find out what was wrong, but his questions had been met with icy stares, and he'd long given up on getting a response. Chris had been on his best behaviour lately. This wasn't a choice however, but a command from McManus. Trouble of any kind that could be traced back to Keller was going to get him buried deep in Gen Pop. Keller was dying trying to keep himself entertained without doing anything.

"So, feel like doing something?" Toby asked.

"What do you have in mind?" Keller asked, his voice flat.

"We could play cards." Beecher responded. Keller shrugged.

"Sure, why the hell not? It beats sitting around 'till lockdown. Besides, beating you'll be a nice easy way to finish the day."

"And what makes you so sure you're going to beat me?"

Keller snorted, "C'mon Beech, I've been dealing cards since I was old enough to count. You don't stand a chance."

"Really? Want to bet on it?"

"Beecher, there ain't one thing you got that I want," That stung. Not for the first time, Beecher wondered if Keller was even interested in being his friend anymore, let alone his lover. Beecher held out a balled up 20 from his pocket.

"Here."

"I ain't takin' your money, Beecher." Chris paused. "However... if you really want to make it interesting..."

Beecher looked at Chris, momentarily confused by his proposal until he saw the slow smile spread over Chris's face. God, it was good to see that again. Beecher started to protest but Chris spoke before the words left his mouth.

"All I'm proposing is a friendly game. Winner gets... well, that's up to the winner to decide." Beecher frowned.

"Hey, if you're chicken, I can understand. I'd be scared too, if I was up against me."

Beecher rolled his eyes, a mocking burst of air escaping from his lips. "I'm not scared," he insisted, "it's just.. well, the way people speak about us already... I don't know if I'm ready to be part of the soap opera again."

"Yeah, well those who speak know nothin'. Look, it doesn't matter. If you're not interested, that's fine."

Beecher paused and frowned. For a second there, he could've sworn he'd seen a bit of the old Keller emerge. Fuck it, he thought. Who the hell cared what everyone else thought, as long as it made Chris a little happier.

"No, I'm interested. I just hope you're prepared to lose, that's all."


High on the guard tower, Officer Murphy yawned. The boredom that had been spreading like a virus around Em City had caught up with him. "Long day, Murph?" McManus asked as he came up the stairs.

"You don't know the half of it," Murphy complained, "part of me is glad everyone's behavin' and another part of me is secretly hoping for somethin' to do."

"Yeah, well, you may get your wish. I don't like the looks of that crowd gathering down there."

"That?" Murphy scoffed, "shit, that's just Keller and Beecher. They've started some kind of card game. Should tell you how slow things are 'round here. They've got everyone's attention."

"Still..." McManus fretted, "keep an eye on it. You know how quickly things can escalate when a competition's involved."

"Like a boxing match... or a basketball game?"

"Touche."

"Look, don't worry. Everything's taken care of. Just go home."

"'Kay Murph. See you tomorrow."

Murphy looked down on the gathering crowd that was encircling the small table. If this was the worst things got... well, it was going to be one hell of a quiet night.


Chris glanced across the table at Toby, his brow furrowed in deep thought. Beecher casually threw three cards down and plucked three more from the deck, trying to look nonchalant. Chris held back a grin, knowing Toby never did anything without copious amounts of thinking. The problem with Toby, in a card playing sense at least, was his eyes. They always betrayed him. Chris had only to glance at Toby to know that he had nothing of any worth in his hand; that he was hoping Chris would be fooled. Keller sighed. This was almost too easy.

"We can play another game if you want?"

"Quitting already, Keller?"

"No. I'm being nice to ya. I know you're bluffing. By my estimates, you got maybe a pair of fours at best." From the look on Toby's face Chris knew in an instant that he had hit close enough to the mark with his guess. Toby raised an eyebrow, in an attempt to appear aloof. It failed.

"How do I know you're not bluffing?"

"You don't."

"Then I'll take my chances, Keller."

"Fine."

Toby lay down his cards. He had a pair of 3's. Keller nodded, his face betraying nothing. Chris laid down his cards one by one. The queen of diamonds. The 5 of hearts, the 7 of clubs. The anticipation was clear on the faces of the crowd that had formed around the two men, but nowhere was it more evident then on Toby's face. Several of the inmates began shouting their irritation:
"For fuck's sake, Keller!"
"Hurry the fuck up, asshole!"

Chris let a lazy grin spread over his face-- he loved being the centre of attention. He dropped the remaining two cards letting them float to the table. The queen of hearts. The queen of spades. Keller looked at Toby, a smirk playing on his lips. Toby felt himself release the breath he didn't know he'd been holding. The catcalls began almost immediately.

"Better watch your ass tonight, Beecher!"

"Allright, that's enough!" Murphy bellowed from above, though, secretly, he was glad for the distraction. Toby looked up from the table to Chris's eyes. He couldn't read them. He could only wonder what Chris had in mind as his prize.


Chris had disappeared immediately following the game citing "urgent business" as his reason. He left Toby to clean up the cards as well as any inkling of self-respect he might have had left. What could Chris possibly have in store?

Hours had passed since the familiar "Coouuunnnnt!" had been bellowed, and still Chris had not moved from his bottom bunk. He lay on his side slowly turning the pages of a magazine. Anticipation was keeping Beecher from staying still. He paced back and forth. The pod had always seemed more than big enough for the two of them, but now it felt suffocating and constricting... was the air getting thicker in here?

"You tryin' to wear a hole in the floor?"

The sudden break in the silence made Toby jump, eliciting a sharp laugh from Chris who simply shook his head and went back to his magazine. The loud buzzer signifying lights out made Toby jump again, only Chris didn't laugh this time. Instead he looked up at Toby with those smouldering, mischievous eyes. Beecher could see the renewed spark of life in them even in the dark. Chris said nothing, but raised himself off the bunk and moved to where Toby was standing. They stood mere inches from each other, gazing at each other's faces, as if they were trying to burn the other man's image on their brain. Toby could feel Chris's warm breath spreading over his face, his throat. Toby ached to touch him, to be assured that everything was allright between them. But if he was looking for something in Chris's face, he was disappointed. Chris stared stonily at him. Toby opened his mouth to speak, but Chris pressed a finger against his lips, and shook his head.

"I won, Toby. This is *my* reward." Chris leaned forward, placing his hands on either side of Toby's face. He kissed him, crushing his lips against Beecher's, his forcefulness betrayed how badly he wanted this, needed this. He forced his tongue inside Toby's mouth, exploring what he'd been without for so long. Toby began to slip his hands around Chris's waist, but Chris pulled back, shaking his head. Toby understood. This was Chris's game. He could touch Toby, but Toby couldn't reciprocate. Another mindfuck. Toby felt he should be angry, but he found his anger slipping away as Chris's hands roamed over his body. Chris held the hem of Toby's shirt in his hands, and pulled it over his head, Toby lifting his arms to ease it off. Chris's eyes broke the stare as he gazed at Beecher's body. Toby waited for some words of tenderness, but they never came. Chris just crooked his finger and backed up towards the bed, beckoning Toby to follow him. Toby did, helpless to object, somewhat glad they weren't as visible to the prying eyes when they were on the bed. Chris gestured for Toby to lie down, which he did, still curious as to what exactly Chris had in mind. Chris pulled off his wife beater, it clung to the thin film of sweat that had formed on his skin, making it look as though the shirt had been made especially for his well-muscled (though decidedly thinner, Toby thought) torso. Toby's mind was swimming with desire, his cock was pressing against his boxers, making reasonable thought almost impossible.

"Please..." he whined.

Chris grinned, lowering himself on Toby. Toby groaned in pleasure from the contact. He wrapped his arms around Chris's firm shoulders and felt Chris immediately tense. Keller sighed and raised himself away from Toby's body, drawing an involuntary whimper from Beecher.

"I thought you understood the game."

A look of disappointment flickered across Toby's face. Surely Chris wouldn't stop here, leaving him like this? Luckily for Chris, Toby's state of shock was the perfect moment to pounce. Before Toby knew what was happening, he found his arms suspended over his head, his wrists held tight by a powerful grip. The feel of human flesh was soon replaced by the cool, unyielding metal of handcuffs.

"A gift," Chris said in response to Toby's confused look, "from an unsuspecting C.O. Just in case you forgot the rules." So this was Chris's "urgent business."

Chris slid Toby's boxers past his waist, and wasted no time in letting his own boxers leave his body. He lowered himself back onto Toby who was now lying prostrate with his hands held high above his head, completely vulnerable to anything Chris had in mind. Chris kissed Toby's neck, his chest-- the taste of Toby hadn't changed. The sweet, slightly salty flavour of his skin made memories of moments past come flooding back. He kissed down Toby's stomach, moving towards his cock, licking slowly, maddeningly slowly there, just to see Toby squirm, to see him realize his own helplessness.

Chris lowered his mouth onto Toby's cock, swirling his tongue around it as he went down. Beecher was lost in a haze of lust, unable to form words, just feral groans and gasps. Toby's body strained forward, trying to get as much of himself inside Chris as possible, but as he did, Chris raised himself back up again, taunting him. For the first time in months, Chris felt there was a reason to live again, and it was lying below him bound and wanting.

Chris's cock was throbbing as it brushed against Toby's thighs, and he was aware that he might not be able to last as long as he'd like. It had been too long. Besides, he reasoned, Murphy could only ignore them for so long before even he would tell them to break it up. Chris's cock was already wet with precum, and he let the tip of it press against Toby's ass, teasing him one last time. He touched the tip of Toby's cock, the moisture glistening on his fingers in the dim light. Toby bit his lip to contain a cry, his arms tugging at the restraints that stopped him from being able to force Chris inside him. Chris slid one, then two precum-slick fingers inside Toby, and any worry Toby had had about the penetration being painful after so long was washed away as desire spread through his body like a current. Before he had time to fully register the feeling, Chris was inside him.

He buried himself deep within Beecher, as if he was trying to become Toby. Toby could taste blood from biting his lip so hard, trying to quiet his writhing body. Chris slowly thrust in and out of Toby, finding it hard to believe that he had gone without this closeness for so long.

All the memories of his hellish time at Cedar Junction began slipping away, replaced with the images of Toby's warm, willing flesh. Toby's cock began to twitch against Chris's stomach as Toby felt himself nearing release. Chris thrust hard inside Toby, wanting him never to forget this, to forget him. Toby closed his eyes tight, bursts of light erupting beneath his eyelids as he came hard, harder than he could ever remember. Chris felt the warm, stickiness of Beecher's arousal flow on his stomach, his chest, as Beecher screamed in pleasure over his orgasm and in agony over not being able to hold Keller. Chris clamped a hand over Beecher's mouth, and Beecher bit down on his fingers, hard enough to break the skin. Pain mixed with pleasure. A perfect metaphor for them.

The sound and feel of Toby's orgasm was enough to push Keller over the edge and with one final thrust, he exploded inside Toby, claiming him like he had so many times before. They lay there like that, for as long as they dared, willing the moment to remain forever suspended.

After a time, Chris reached under the pillow for a pair of keys and undid the handcuffs. This was the only movement for a long while. When Chris finally spoke it was soft, hoarse. "I'm sorry..." he started, "comin' back, seeing you... after all the shit that happened at Cedar--"

It was Beecher's turn to put his hand over Chris's mouth. "Shhh.. I know, I know."

Chris rolled on his side and Toby slid in front of him. Just like old times. "Who knew playin' cards could be such a workout?" Chris smiled. "We should do that again some time."

"Only if you promise to win," Beecher grinned.

"Deal."


Shape Of My Heart
Written by Sting & Dominic Miller

He deals the cards as a meditation
And those he plays never suspect
He doesn't play for the money he wins
He don't play for respect

He deals the cards to find the answer
The sacred geometry of chance
The hidden law of a probable outcome
The numbers lead a dance

I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But that's not the shape of my heart

He may play the jack of diamonds
He may lay the queen of spades
He may conceal a king in his hand
While the memory of it fades

I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But that's not the shape of my heart

And if I told you that I loved you
You'd maybe think there's something wrong
I'm not a man of too many faces
The mask I wear is one

Well, those who speak know nothin'
And find out to their cost
Like those who curse their luck in too many places
And those who fear are lost

I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But that's not the shape of my heart
That's not the shape, the shape of my heart
That's not the shape, the shape of my heart


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