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The first story I wrote, be gentle with the spoons.
"Hey, Alvarez!" Officer Murphy called out to the Latino as he stalked past the guard station. "You've got a meeting with a lawyer after work detail."
"What?" The last time Alvarez had talked to his court appointed lawyer had been after his last unfortunate parole hearing. He seemed to remember the weary man saying something about not holding his breath. Pendejo.
"Arnold Zelman is re-interviewing witnesses for Cyril's appeal. Just try to fit it into your busy schedule, 'kay Alvarez?" Murphy said with his usual sarcastic air as he shooed Miguel away.
As Alvarez was escorted to the hospital ward for work, he wondered how many times they needed him to tell them that he didn't see shit. O'Reily hiring some slick ass lawyer wasn't gonna change anyone's story.
Near the end of his shift Alvarez spotted O'Reily lurking around the hospital ward. Must've been sniffing around for Dr. Nathan. He was there more often than Miguel lately, not even trying to pretend to be sick anymore. Fucking guy thought he could get away with anything.
Or maybe he wasn't there for Dr. Nathan at all. As soon as Ryan had spotted Miguel, he started ambling towards him. He was trying to look casual, but the guy was looking frayed around the edges lately. All the shit with Cyril must've been wearing him down. Any sympathy Miguel might have had for Ryan disappeared as he reminded himself that it was probably all Ryan's fucking doing anyway.
Maybe if he ignored him and just kept walking, Ryan would leave him the hell alone.
Amazingly, it must've fucking worked, because by the time Miguel got to the storage room O'Reily was nowhere to be seen. He decided to unpack the new shipment of supplies until it was time to head back to Em City. Nothing worth stealing of course, not like they'd leave him alone with any of the good shit.
Just as he was drifting away into the monotonous rhythm of it all, the door cracked open and in slid Ryan O'Reily, casually shutting the door behind him.
Shit. Guess he hadn't gone far after all.
Attracted trouble like a fucking magnet, all right.
"We need to have a little chat Alvarez." Miguel's latest trouble spoke smoothly.
"'Bout what man? I don't have any business with you." Miguel deflected. This had to be about Cyril's case. O'Reily was making a show of trying to save his brother. Too little, too late. It was Ryan's fucking fault Cyril was here in the first place. The Irishman always put himself first and now he had to pay.
"Ah, but you could..."
"No thanks." Miguel tried to gruffly cut off the bullshit before it started.
"Just give me five minutes, I'll make it worth your while." Something frantic flashed in O'Reily's usually calculating eyes that made Alvarez stop and pay attention. O'Reily must've really been off his fucking game. Maybe he was finally getting his ass kicked by karma or whatever.
A noncommittal grunt was the only reply Miguel gave as he leaned against the shelf across from O'Reily. Let's see what the mick's game is this time.
"Once in a lifetime opportunity, hermano. Strictly business." Ryan started, cool and businesslike to counter Miguel's impatience. "You going to see my lawyer today?"
"You want me to lie, right?" Alvarez really hadn't seen what had happened. It happened so fast nobody but those directly involved really knew what had happened or why.
Ryan settled into his patter, seeing that he had Miguel talking. "Nah, you were there. You saw what went down. Li Chen went after me, Cyril defended me. Maybe you heard Shupe or those fucking chinks talking about raping my mom, or planning to off me. You could mention that." Ryan added the suggestions casually, sneakily communicating what he'd like Miguel to say.
Miguel had heard that version, or variations of it. But that story had probably come from O'Reily himself, spread by the other Irish. Alvarez knew how the slick mick worked. Some other rumors said he'd wanted Li Chen dead, and it wouldn't be the first time he'd used his brother for his fucking dirty work. How could anyone do something like that? Cyril was just a little fucking kid when it came down to it. He worshipped his big brother and Ryan took that loyalty and devotion and twisted it towards his own ends, again and again.
"I didn't see shit, man." The more Miguel thought about it the more it pissed him off. Ryan was such a manipulative bastard. You shouldn't do that shit to the people you loved, the people who depended on you.
Alvarez knew what it was like to be loyal to people who didn't give a shit, who abused it. The pain and betrayal forever tucked away in his mind. He still had nightmares of blood and screaming. No truce and no trained dog would ever take that away, never take away what Miguel had done. All for someone who didn't give a shit.
Ryan was just the same as El Cid. Fucker was worse. Using everyone, even his own family. He had no heart.
An edge of anger finally made an appearance in Ryan's tone as his face hardened. "Everyone saw it. They're just keeping silent."
"What's in it for me?" Miguel decided to string the bastard along a little, see what it was worth to him.
Ryan's face relaxed slightly as a cat that ate the canary grin teased at the edges of his mouth. He thought that he had Alvarez. "What do you want, hermano? I can get it for you. Money. Tits. Guerra off your back, permanently. A fucking pizza. I'll make it happen."
Nothing that meant anything to Ryan. No sacrifice at all. He wasn't serious about saving his brother.
Alvarez shook his head. "I don't want your money, man. Tits? I'm off that shit. And me and Guerra have an understanding now."
"Everyone wants something." Ryan's expression kept that hard, knowing edge.
Something that mattered. If you really loved someone you'd give up what mattered most, even if you didn't have a chance in hell of saving them. Alvarez knew this, wore it as a scar on his face. A permanent reminder of his baby boy. And O'Reily was offering *tits*. He didn't give a shit about anyone but himself.
Miguel suddenly wanted to make him twist in the wind for that. Instead of telling him to fuck off again, Miguel decided to ask for something that would've really made Ryan pay for it first. Earn it. Just to make him see the real price of things, before Miguel told him no way and chased him off.
Something that mattered. The one thing that O'Reily would never part with. Even to save his brother's life.
Instead of replying, Alvarez just slowly raked his gaze over the Irishman's frame. Jesus, when was the last time he'd washed his fucking clothes? That stained and ripped purple rag he was wearing made Miguel's eyes hurt. Miguel carefully kept those thoughts off his face and just raised his eyebrow in proposition
Ryan was no idiot. Eyes widening in disbelief, he backed up a step. "You're fucking insane. Not a chance." Vehement denial.
Alvarez couldn't help but smirk, it was so rare to see O'Reily lose his composure. "What if it's the only thing I want? All or nothing, baby."
Alvarez knew he was playing with fire, but the rational part of his brain took a back-seat to his amusement at seeing the lord of the fucking dance off-kilter for once in his life. He had to fuck with him, just a little. Because he could. Because he needed to show him, taunt him. Put the bastard in his place, because for once Alvarez held the power. He ignored the little whispering voice in his head which wondered if this wasn't more about the dead man that Miguel couldn't punish.
It wasn't like he was serious. He had no intention of laying a hand on the cocksucker, just wanted to see him twist. O'Reily deserved this shit.
Ryan's eyes narrowed as he gave Alvarez a dangerous considering look. "No."
The seemingly simple refusal held a hint of challenge. Motherfucker was trying to bargain.
Alvarez started to turn away with a shrug, back to shelving, when he felt a hand on his arm. He stopped and waited for the silver-tongued man to start into another spiel.
"Done." Simple. Final. Completely unexpected.
And probably a complete fucking lie.
He let Ryan spin him around until they were again facing each other. Ryan's face was set back in a business-like mask. "You'll testify, then I'll..."
Miguel cut him off with a disgusted snort. Still trying to wriggle out of it. It stopped Miguel from ending the game. "Yeah, right man. I knew you wouldn't fucking do it." Miguel started to back away again, gesturing dismissively. "I testify, you'll just back out later, hermano."
"Fine." The word was cold and flat.
Before he could react, Ryan's hands were on him, pulling him close, mouth on his in a sudden brutal kiss.
Miguel's lips parted with his startled gasp, and Ryan's tongue was in his mouth before Miguel could think, the Irishman forcefully plunging forward.
The pure shock of it put his brain on autopilot. It had been so fucking long since he'd kissed anyone... that he just went with it. On instinct. Tongue tangling with Ryan's in what was more of a savage attack than a kiss. Sloppy and hard, their teeth clacking together.
He got lost in the contact, riding the shockwaves. Hand on the back of Ryan's neck, nails slightly scraping the tender flesh.
Motherfucker's mouth was skilled at more than just weaving lies and Miguel just...didn't stop, logical thought left by the wayside.
What had started out brutal, slowed down as the initial violence was exorcised. Chased away by the soft groans swallowed into each other's mouths. Ryan changing the assault into something different. Clinging to him, sucking Miguel's tongue into that hot mouth.
Long slow kisses... like begging. Like Ryan was trying to pull Miguel inside himself. It made Miguel whimper. Fucking *whimper*. Which just served as encouragement to the Irishman, whose hands were roaming over Miguel's body, strong and sure.
In a sudden instinctive quest to get closer to the lean body, Miguel backed Ryan up against the wall. Ryan's arms automatically wrapping around Miguel, pressing their bodies together. Felt so fucking good, lanky body sliding against Miguel's. So close he could feel every little tremor that ran through that warm body when he bit Ryan's lower lip...when he eased his fingers under the edges of that ugly shirt. It went straight to his dick.
Through the fog it finally registered that Miguel wasn't the only one that was hard. Another dick, attached to the body with that mouth. It was such a fucking shock that he ended up just... rubbing up against Ryan, groaning at the contact.
Ryan's head fell back as he let out a harsh little moan, rocking up against Miguel.
I'm no fag, my ass. He knew faked passion when he felt it and Ryan was certainly enjoying himself. His hands digging into Miguel's hips, eyes closed, the tension of earlier melting away.
Wait a minute...
What was he doing?
How had this started in the first place again?
Reality came crashing through the haze of heat he'd been lost in since Ryan had kissed him. Everything had gone too far, too fast. And Ryan wasn't the only one getting off with a male body.
Then came another quick realization, blotting that part of it out -- this was it. All those shanks Miguel had survived and it was his mouth that would end up getting him killed. His big fucking mouth, inherited from his father. Gee, thanks Dad.
Of course, his father had only lost his tongue because of it. Miguel was fucking with Ryan O'Reily. Literally. Ryan would make sure someone cut off his dick.
What would be worse? Going through with it or pulling away now? 'Hey man, I was just fucking with you, guess maybe you should rethink that fag thing, huh?' Yeah right, then they would have a laugh and everything would be just peachy. His head filled with hysterical laughter as his mind started to just... slip sideways.
He had to stop this. Now.
Ryan abruptly obeyed, breath coming out in short pants, finally opening his eyes to look at Alvarez. What Miguel saw there almost forced him back a step.
"...Whatever you want..." Ryan's dark tone held a plea, desperation and pain so sharp and clean in his eyes that it fucking hurt to look at.
Miguel knew that look. So familiar, even though he'd only ever seen it in the mirror before.
Right before he'd slashed his face.
It stopped him cold.
Miguel finally saw it. No love in Oz... here it was staring him right in the face. Ryan really did mean it. He was willing to give up anything. Even his precious ass. All to save the person that meant the most to him.
And Alvarez was just fucking toying with him... mocking him. Remembering what he felt when he was pleading with God for his baby's life, he suddenly felt sick to his stomach.
Lost and grasping, Ryan started to move forward again.
"No." Miguel's voice quiet and firm, he moved to stop Ryan, pinning his arms against the wall to keep him still. Those hands skimming his body were fucking distracting. He had no idea how to explain. And he had never been good at apologies. He didn't know how to fix this, to fix anything.
Lightheaded and falling, he tried to block out all the conflicting voices in his head. Part of him just wanted to slam Ryan back against the wall and forget everything again.
"I'm not like this." Miguel's voice was barely a whisper ghosting across Ryan's cheek, speaking more to himself than Ryan. Mind caught up in a swirl of memories. Bleeding eyes, Rivera's wife yelling at him, El Cid's ugly-ass face just laughing at him, his baby hooked up to a fucking machine. The riot.
Seeking Ryan's help during the riot. Trying to do something good, something human, only to be met with cold and calculating self- interest.
'What's in it for me?'
'What will you give me?'
When had he started to sound so much like all the other scum in this place?
When had Ryan O'Reily become selfless?
Alvarez pushed away from Ryan and backed up towards the door, trying to escape.
One thought repeating over and over in his head. Out.
He had to get away. Now.
Away from Ryan. That look in his eyes sharpening the jagged twist in Miguel's gut.
Had to get out. Get it out of his head. Miguel's hands reached up to clutch at his head, almost defensive.
Was he talking? Low Spanish mumble, must've been him.
"Perdona me. Voy a defenderlo. Perdona me..."
Door hard and cool against his hand and then he was finally out. Quick to get his grip back on reality now that there was a solid barrier between them. Between him and the pain, the heat. Alvarez tried to take deep slow breaths as he walked down the hall, determined.
He had to concentrate. Calm the fuck down. He had to fix this, couldn't go bugs now. Miguel had something to do, something important. He owed them.
As soon as the door closed behind a retreating Alvarez, Ryan just slid down the wall, lacking the will to stand. Left alone with his thoughts.
He turned the events over and over in his mind, trying to see what else he could have done. He saw nothing but missteps.
When it mattered most, his talent had failed him. It always did when it came down to the people closest to his heart. Loss of control destroying everything every time.
When a threatened Shupe had spouted off exactly what Ryan had wanted, he'd thought it was all over. But no, that lying pussy was an unreliable witness. Pathological fucking liar. That had been his last ditch effort.
So few witnesses left to be re-interviewed, so little time, too many enemies.
His mind had landed on Alvarez. He hadn't even formed a fucking plan. He'd been reckless, desperate.
Loss of control.
Alvarez. They weren't friends. They weren't enemies, not really. They'd done business before. Threats that had worked on Shupe weren't the right tactic to take with the Spic though, he'd fight back. Simple easy transaction of goods and services, should've worked. Ryan should've just been able to buy him off.
That fucking infuriating bitch, knew exactly what buttons to push. Knew what price would be most dear. But Ryan would pay it. Decided in such a quick moment, to give up what he'd thought he never would. In a heartbeat. He owed it to Cyril. And his own selfishness; Ryan O'Reily could not stand to be left alone in this shithole for the rest of his life. Cyril had always been there. Ryan had depended on him, taken him for granted. Cyril would never be the same man that had always had Ryan's back, but he was still the most important part of Ryan's life. He'd just never realized it quite like this until Cyril was almost gone forever. It was like getting his heart ripped out of his chest. If Cyril died, part of Ryan would go with him. He was fighting for both their lives. He would do anything.
But beneath the guilt, the obligation, the fear of loss, and the loneliness waiting to swallow him whole, there was something else, hidden deep enough that Ryan could almost pretend it wasn't there. Something that scared him almost as much as Cyril's death. Something that Miguel Alvarez had yanked out into the light, where it could no longer be ignored. A simple truth.
The fucker had just fled, leaving Ryan with this undeniable knowledge. Leaving Ryan alone and unsure... falling. Lips sore, body still humming, heat from the Latino fading from his body, but not his mind.
Barely registering the dull thud, Ryan banged his head back against the wall, brief pain grounding him. What he had almost done... couldn't pretend now that it was something he was forced to do. Here, alone, left craving. His desperate intent to save Cyril stripped away. All he'd wanted in the moment was to pull Miguel back to him and hold on, drown in that uncomplicated mouth, and never resurface. Ryan licked the coppery tang of blood on his lip where Alvarez had bit him, letting himself get lost in the memory.
He'd had no choice. He was doing it to save his brother. So he'd been free. Free to let go, free to give in to something he never would have acknowledged... until Alvarez forced him to.
Ryan had wanted it. The realization hit him as hard and fast as his father's fist. Left him just as breathless and dizzy.
The sudden noise of a routine buzzer cut into his thoughts. A harsh reminder of the here and now. Didn't have time to process the destruction of everything he thought he knew, or the impending loss of everything he held dear. Not now. He had to get up. Carry this shit with him. Had to keep moving, see past the roiling hurt and confusion. Compartmentalize it for now. Ignore the itch under his skin, focus instead on the ache of loss in his heart that had taken up permanent residence. One more impossible thing to deal with resting on his shoulders, skittering around his brain.
He had to get up, back to Em City. What he really needed was to see his brother. Reaffirm the one thing in his life he was sure of, the one thing that he knew. Before he lost it forever. Needing above all right now to be with the one person who knew him inside out... and loved him anyway. Unconditionally. Ryan managed to drag himself up, put one foot in front of the other. Because no matter what, he had to carry on.
Translations, with help from Czeri:
Pendejo - asshole
Perdona me. Voy a defenderlo. Perdona me...- "I'm sorry, I'll protect him. I'm sorry..."
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