Ryan O'Reily hated lockdowns. He hated when his younger brother turned him into a parent. Now he had to deal with both at the same time. "Cyril stop it."
He tried to strike out of his little brother's embrace. When they were smaller, Cyril was always the bigger and stronger one. He still was. "'Cause guys don't do this to each other."
"You let Sean."
Shit. He knew it was a mistake to let Sean kiss him in front of Cyril. After fours years all the blood in his brain still rushed south with a look from the hack. Murphy said, "Come here O'Reily," and Ryan fell to his knees. He could not help himself, it was like quicksand, the more he struggled the deeper he was sucked in. Sean had complete control over Ryan's sexuality and he loved it. Still it was bad for Cyril to see. He could get ideas.
Thinking about Murphy grabbing him, pulling him into the storage cage and kissing him while the clean up crew was still in the kitchen started to arouse Ryan. With Cyril still in his arms, that was bad. Ryan pulled out of his brother's embrace. "It's different with Sean."
"Why? He's your friend like Toby and Chris are friends. They kiss all the time."
Cyril would not let his older brother finish. "You said that it was okay for them to kiss 'cause they love each other."
Ryan thought about explaining the couple's relationship to Cyril. It was the most committed and caring relationship he had ever seen. Somehow, in the hellhole of Oz the two men formed a genuine love match. The longer they were together the stronger each man became. They seemed to bring out the best in each other.
It was cute the way Chris still followed Toby around like an overprotective wolfhound. Keller might be fucking Beecher, but Toby ruled that roost. He even managed to stop Keller from killing Schillinger. Ryan told Cyril it was not bad because Beecher and Keller loved each other as if they were married. He wished he had a chance to have a connection that strong, just once in his life.
Beecher told Cyril that Chris was his special friend. Maybe that was the way out.
"Cyril, Sean and me, Toby and Chris, we're special friends."
Yeah. Right. Special friends that remind you how good alive feels and make you feel like you never left the poppy field on the way to the Emerald City. He thought about the heat, the warmth, and the feel of Sean inside of him. He never wanted to leave the poppy field.
"Ryan, you don't love me." Tears crawled down the baby's face. He wished Cyril would just hit him again. It never hurt as bad when Cyril hit him. The tears always had a sharper edge, it was always Ryan's fault. He swallowed, "Yes I do love you. You're my brother."
The lips started trembling and Cyril started sniffling. "No you don't. You're just saying that."
Ryan suddenly remembered seeing the same face and hearing the same voice thirty years earlier. Cyril was trying to get Mom to give him a hug and a kiss. She was saying he was too old, then his bottom lip started trembling. She couldn't resist Cyril either. He remembered being five years old and thinking it was so unfair. Cyril got all the kisses and hugs. It was so easy for Cyril to get to kiss him, almost as easy as it was for Ryan to get Dad to hit him.
Fuck. "Cyril, I do love you. I look out for you and protect you. It's just brothers don't do that with brothers. Guys only to that with special friends, in private." The tears started coming out full force. "Cyril. I'm sorry."
Ryan tried to hold and comfort his younger brother. He walked away from Ryan's touch. Cyril was a little kid again and little kids did need a lot of reassurance. Ryan remembered what it felt like to hunger for love from the people you depended on most in the world - your parents. He swore that would never happen to one of his children. Except Cyril was not his child, he was Ryan's brother. The type of kissing Cyril was asking about was not a little kid type. It was a full-grown man type. Ryan looked at his younger brother, Ryan was one of the few people in Oz who knew Cyril when he was an adult. Ryan knew the adult Cyril better than anyone and he forgot the adult was trapped in the child's mind.
Then it hit Ryan, what Cyril was trying to do. Damn. Cyril still had the O'Reily moves. They were just buried under a fog of lost memories. Cyril was always the better planner of the brothers, more finesse, level headed and better gait. Ryan shook his head and started chuckling, "Still got it bro." He cupped his brother's face, "It might be buried in there and you might not be able to say it anymore, but you sit got it." Continuing to laugh, Ryan smoothly slid his hands to his brother's shoulders. "You want a special friend?"
Cyril beamed and nodded.
Ryan pulled him into an embrace and asked, his face buried in Cyril's neck, "Got anyone in mind?"
Cyril relaxed into his older brother. "Peter," he whispered.
Ryan pulled back, looking at his brother, not sure if he heard right. "Peter?"
There was no Peter in Em City or Oz that Ryan could remember. Peter Pan?
Cyril looked at Ryan as if he was the slow one, "Peter, in the white room."
"White room?" Now Ryan was confused, when had they been in a white room recently?
"Ryan," Cyril was getting frustrated with his older brother. "Where I go to feed the scary men who aren't allowed to come to the kitchen."
"They're not scary, they just have problems." Ryan said out of reflex. Cyril was talking about the mental ward. It was one of McManus' brilliant ideas forCyril to be one of the inmates bringing the food to the ward. He thought it would be good for Cyril to learn to do something without Ryan's help. He had to figure out a way to kill McManus without Murphy knowing.
Peter Schibetta. Ryan forgot about him. Great. Cyril picked the son of a man Ryan helped kill as his new playmate. Just when he thought life couldn't get any more fun. The upside was Peter still thought his father was alive; he spoke to him everyday, from what Ryan heard. Schibetta had been in that mental ward for five years, in that time he'd regressed until he was at the level of a five-year-old. Same as Cyril. Wait. He wouldn't be a new playmate for Cyril either, they knew each other before Oz, before the accident. Maybe this did have an upside.
"Yeah, you remember. Good Ryan." Cyril patted him on the back in a parody of Ryan's reaction every time Cyril remembered something.
"Cyril, he's not in Em City with us. How is he going to be your friend?"
"Peter's coming to live here. Sister Pete said he's stay...bill...lived."
"Yeah. Right." Cyril was picking up Ryan's bad habits. He would have to remember to watch his language around his younger brother. "Cause he hasn't got any worse in a year and Tim said Peter should come to Em City and live with his Uncle Marty 'cause I'm here and doing so well with you." Cyril was bouncing in joy.
Ryan was disgusted when he remembered what he had to go through to get Cyril transferred from Gen Pop to Em City. "Because you're doing so well in Em City?"
"That's what Tim said. Aren't you proud of me?"
Ryan was starting to get a headache, "Cyril stop bouncing." McManus. Dead. Good. "How long have you and Peter been talking about this?"
"Since I first started going to the white rooms. I remembered Peter from before and he remembered me. His mom is very sick. She had to go to the hospital and get an operation, like our Mom and you did."
"His mom's dead Cyril."
Cyril's face fell. "Yeah, I know, just like Mom. Peter told me, he was very sad." Cyril bit his lower lip. "I guess hospitals only kill Moms."
Ryan's headache was getting worse. Sometimes talking to Cyril was like eating glass, too much of it could really fuck you up. "Did Peter tell you that too?"
"No, but our Mom and his Mom where sick like you and you didn't die and they did."
"I was lucky."
Cyril giggled, "Bastard."
The pain was making Ryan squint. "What?"
"Shannon said you were a lucky bastard. Ryan, why does Shannon only come to visit me? She's your wife?" Cyril looked expectantly at Ryan. He couldn't remember the divorce, no matter how many times Ryan told him. He wondered if it was God's revenge for falling in love with Gloria.
Ryan hated lockdowns, even if they were short ones. This was turning into a very long lockdown. He started pacing across the confined space of his pod. "Cyril I explained, Shannon and I aren't married anymore." He had to get Cyril away form this line of questioning. It always lead back to Gloria and why did Ryan ask Cyril to do the bad thing. "When is Peter moving in with his Uncle?"
Cyril pointed out across the quad. "Now."
Ryan looked out and there was a very scared and young looking Peter Schibetta waiting for Franky De Lora to clear out of his Uncle's pod. He wondered who was going to be lucky enough to be saddled with the wiseguy thug. This could work, with Bevilacqua's arrival the wiseguys were back in power and in charge of everything that moved in Oz. It couldn't hurt to get in good with them. He turned back to his brother, "You want me to go over and ask Mr. Bevilacqua if Peter can come over for a visit?"
Cyril hugged his brother. "Ryan could you?"
Ryan laughed and returned the hug, "Tomorrow after we're done with work." He ruffled his brother's hair. "Okay?"
"Really, you promise?" Cyril's face glowed.
"Yeah, but it's time to get ready for bed now." He gently pushed his brother toward the sink.
Ryan noticed Peter appeared in Cyril's bedtime prayers along with the usual cast. Ryan added his own request for God to keep Cyril safe and thanked him for Sean Murphy. He drifted to sleep thinking of his lover's warm body pressed against his own. The one fantasy never destined to become reality.
Ryan dreamed of Sean. He did every night, but normally the dreams were not so vivid and didn't contain the nagging worry that Cyril was watching.
He dreamed about Murphy grabbing him and pulling him into a deserted office, one with no view into the prison, only a big glass window facing outside. He pushed Ryan against the window, face out. It was a beautiful clear blue day.
The ocean winds swept away all the clouds and Ryan could almost taste the sea in the breeze. It rained the night before and the air smelled of salt. The office was high up and he could see over the tops of the surrounding buildings. Sean pressed flat against Ryan's back. He brought his arms in front of Ryan and opened the window. The air was icy cold and damp, but it was fresh air from the outside, Ryan inhaled deeply. At the same time Sean's hands slid under the inmate's shirt, brushing over his nipples and pulling it off.
Ryan closed his eyes and pushed further into Sean's heat. The combined stimulation of the cold air on his naked chest and Sean's incinerating hands was nearly overwhelming. He could feel the CO's chuckle as he threw his head back on Murph's shoulder. Sean began to lick and bite his way across O'Reily's neck and down his back. A brood of seagulls flew past the window. Ryan imagined flying with them and groaned as Sean bit his shoulder. He needed more.
Sean broke contact and Ryan pressed his face into the cold glass. The people on the sidewalk hurried out of the wind. He remembered doing that, Cyril used to laugh and slow his pace in that great big Duster of his. Murph returned shirtless, his bare chest warming Ryan from behind as his hands skimmed down Ryan's trousers.
Clouds were rolling in from the sea. Ryan could hear thunder rumbling closer as the sky darkened. He felt Murphy slide into him. The heat was amazing. Ryan moaned and pushed back. He didn't think he would ever get enough of this man. He tried to press through Murphy's skin. The sky darkened to a charcoal blue. Sean reached around and grasped Ryan. The air was sodden and heavy with salt. Sean squeezed. Lighting flashed. Ryan shook and pushed back into Murphy. The sea started to pour from the sky.
Ryan shuddered. He reached through the open window to catch the rain. Sean sighed O'Reily's name. Ryan brought his hand to his mouth. The rain tasted like Murphy.
Ryan woke up with the taste of his tears in his mouth. Four years and he had never seen Sean completely naked. He rolled over and made plans for the next day.
Continued in Growing Pains