Title: Limbo
Author: Ramius
Finished: January 2, 2001
Rating: PG-13 for language only, darlings
Summary: Chris. Cedar Junction. They don't get along too well.
Feedback: Mmmmmmmmmmfeedbackmmmm
Disclaimer: Alas, they are not mine. Whatever shall I do?
Spoilers: Technically through season 4.2 and 5, I guess, but no specific mentions of, well, anything, are made.
Warnings: Um, this is not a happy fic. Within this fic, there is no HML. I repeat, no HML. There isn't even a Toby. And if I've done my job right, you won't be exactly delighted at the end. Consider yourself forewarned.
Thanks: To Ninon for the idea, for the title, and for the read-through. You rock. :)


Five steps across, five steps back. Five across, five back. Over and over, I paced the length of my new home. Gotta measure it, gotta size it up. Gotta know where ya stand. Oz. Cedar Junction. Oz. Cedar Junction. Well, Toto, we're sure as hell not in Kansas anymore.

Kansas. I've been to Kansas. Going west. Going east. Both on the bike. Left less than a lasting impression. But what the fuck. It was Kansas. Fuck! Where was I? Oh yeah.

The cell. My cell. Five steps across, five steps back. Cedar Junction, home sweet home. No job yet, they were hard to come by here. So many men - not a hell of a lot to do when they spend ninety-nine percent of their time locked up. Food... food... food comes to you in Cedar Junction, you don't go to it. And no chicken nuggets, either. Just some diet crap they expect us to eat. Stay healthy. Gave me the runs at first, been sticking to the liquids ever since. No podmates here, either. Or cellmates. Or whatever the fuck they call them. Twenty-two and a half hours in this room. Just you and your own stink to keep you company. An hour and a half out. Okay, an hour once you figure in count and the usual rowdiness. Gym, shower, back to the cell. Some guys get phone calls, some even have visitors. Who am I to tell them how to spend their free time. Gym. Shower. Ain't nobody gonna' come visit me here anyway. Gym. Shower. Sleep.

Sleep. Used to be I could fall asleep anywhere, anytime. Now I'm just... just... always tired. Tired of life. Tired of trying to live. Tired of trying not to live. Lie awake for hours, even after jerking myself off. Who knew the day would come when cumming wouldn't be enough to send me off into la-la land. Apparently Chris Keller's brain had other plans. Hell if I could tell you what they are, though, because I just lie here and stare at the ceiling. Amazing what you can see in the dark once your eyes get used to it. Amazing what you can hear when everyone's supposed to be sleeping. The settling of the walls. The talking of the COs. The guy in the tier under you, screaming his head off. Your own heart beating. My own heart, struggling to keep me alive, to keep that blood flowing - to my head, my feet, my dick.

Amazing what goes through your head, lying there in the dark, staring at cracks and listening to snores. My parents. Lardner. Vern. The girls. Oz. Sometimes there's this bird. Don't know how the fuck he got all the way in here, but swear to god he's there. Little blue bird, keeping me company.

Lights up. I look around the cell. Seems smaller. Nope. Five steps across, five steps back. Five across, five back. One of these days I just know. I just know it's not gonna be five anymore, and I don't know what I'm gonna do than.

Breakfast - powdered eggs. Just juice for me, thanks, and I slide the tray back out. Kitchen guy gives me a funny look, but shrugs and keeps going. Why the hell should he care if I starve to death? Breakfast is over, back to pacing. Back and forth, back and forth.

Pace. Gym. Shower. Jerk off. Stare.

Day after day. After day. After day. And then these guys show up. Two guys, they're wearing suits. Look like the cops did when they testified against me in court. Cheap suits, wrinkled ties. One of 'em's got a yellow stain above his breast pocket. Cheap suits, cheap men. Could screw 'em over a thousand different ways.

Not today. No, not today. Just walk. Breath. Talk. Talk? Okay, I can do talk. Body? Pancamo? Oh, *that* kind of talk. Okay. Okay, I can do this. Who, what, when, where. Got it covered, got it covered, got our goddamned asses covered. Talk, talk, leave. Bye. See ya real soon. K-e-y. Y? Because we like you. M-o-u-s-e. Least there aren't any rats here. None that I've seen, anyway. 'Course I'm on the third tier, who knows what goes on down below.

Gym. Shower. Jerk off. Stare.

Lookey, lookey, the cheap suits are back. More talkity, talkity. Mr. Yellow Stain's givin' me a funny look, though, like he knows I'm the one that stole the cookie from the cookie jar, and it doesn't matter how much I say it wasn't. Bye. Buh-bye, boys. Have a nice trip.

Gym. Shower. Jerk off. Stare. Pace.

Five steps across, five back. Five across, four ba- no. Stop. Start again. Five across, five back. No visit from the cheap men today. No visits for anybody. No gym, either. Everybody's in their cells twenty-four/seven until the big man says so. Goin' out for free time last night, some guy smart-mouthed the guards. Ended with them dragging him out of the main room. So now we're in our cages. Like it's gonna stop us from knowing they didn't bring him back.

Four days. 96 hours. 5760 minutes. 345600 seconds. Three hundred forty-five thousand, six hundred seconds, and is it just me, or are the walls moving? Lights out comes, and I'm pretty sure they're not even there anymore. Or here. Or wherever the hell I am. 'Cause it ain't in jail anymore.

Morning. Lights up. The walls are still there. Four steps across, four steps back. Four steps across, four steps back. Today we're let out. Gym. Feels good to use my body again. Shower. Never thought I'd be thanking god for water, even if it's not hot. Jerk off. Why bother. Stare. Another night. Not too much sound now, everybody's on their best behavior. Mr. Blue bird has stopped coming to visit me during the nights. Guess he's got better things to do. Other people to visit. Rainbows to fly over.

Lights up. Four steps across, four back. Three steps... shit, is it getting hard to breath in here? Gotta sit down for a minute. Lying down sounds good. Maybe I'll just lay here all day. Better than pacing. Yeah, I'll just lay here.

Fuck! Who's banging? Oh, look, it's the cheap men. Thought maybe they had gone for good. Guess not. What, come to the bars to talk? No thanks, fellas, I'm nice and comfy just where I am. Hah. Guess they think so, too. Guard's letting them come inside. Surprise, surprise. Will wonders never cease. Mr. Yellow Stain is talking, but I'm not paying attention, because his partner in crime has something of much more interest to me. He's got my buddy, my bird. My body jerks up, because it heard the word. The one word, the magic word. Oz. I don't know what the hell it means yet, but as I watch the blue bird hop out of my cell, I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to breath again.

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