slashsmut jubilee girl serial beecher keller

It's the Quiet Ones You've Gotta Watch Out For

Part Eight

by Jubilee Girl


"I let you down... let me pick you up... forgive me, forgive me..."

"When I step into the light... my arms are open wide..."

Lyrics by David Matthews, used without permission


Cut to: Int. LAUNDRY ROOM - the following DAY
BLARE pulls an armful of his laundry from the dryer, throws it on top of the dryer and begins sorting and folding his clothes. He's the only one in the laundry room. KELLER strolls by the laundry room, spies BLARE and backtracks. He opens the door and checks to make sure no one else is around before going in.

KELLER
Hey.

BLARE (turning)
Hey.

KELLER
How you doin'?

BLARE
Oh, fine, thanks.

KELLER crosses over to the dryers and hops up on one of them, right next to BLARE. They sit quietly for a few beats, then -

KELLER (conversationally)
Y'know… this is where Toby and I first kissed. Right here in this laundry room.

BLARE
Really.

KELLER
Yep. He was sitting right about where you're standing, now. He hops down off the dryer and walks over to me… real slow, like. Puts his hands on my shoulders… and says, "I love you."

BLARE (continues folding his clothes, not looking at Keller)
Mmm.

KELLER (leans in towards Blare; whispers:)
Don't think I can't see what you're up to…

BLARE (looks over at him; puzzled:)
I beg your pardon?

KELLER
With Toby. I know you're trying to steal him away from me. So, let me just tell you right now, buddy boy, it ain't gonna happen. Toby and I are like this. Nothing can come between us.

BLARE
Well, how can I steal… what was never rightly yours in the first place, Chris?

KELLER
Oh, you think you're real fuckin' slick, don'tcha?

BLARE (chuckles; turns to Keller, stops folding laundry)
No… just being logical. I mean, okay, let's just size this situation up, shall we? You… get sent to EmCity and are put in Toby's pod under false pretenses. Right? In this living situation you can observe him, at your leisure: learn how he thinks, how he feels, what makes him tick… what he fears most, who he hates and why he hates them. The terrors that make him bolt up in bed and scream out loud in the middle of the night.

BLARE begins to stroll around the aisle of clothes dryers.

BLARE (cont'd)
You weasel your way into his head and find out his every vulnerability. Am I on the right track so far? Stop me if I'm recounting any of this incorrectly. Toby falls in love with you, *tells* you he loves you - in this very room, no less - and then when he is at his most vulnerable and most trusting, you and that despicable cocksucker Vern Schillinger take him into the gym and break his arms and legs.

BLARE leans against the dryer, staring daggers at KELLER.

BLARE (cont'd)
Now, tell me, Chris… who was it that told you the fastest way to man's heart is by breaking his arms and legs and leaving him to rot in a hospital bed, looking so much like a broken fucking rag doll?

KELLER (firmly)
That just goes to show what you know, man! Toby forgave me.

BLARE
Stop playing with me, Chris. I know it was you that hurt him. We're pros at skull-fucks like this, you and I. For us, it's all just par for the course… but Toby… he's not *like* that. There's a part of him deep down that, despite all of the shit that he's been through, truly wants to *trust* the people around him. There's that sliver in him that's so earnest and genuine. And what did you do? You broke his heart into little tiny pieces and pissed all over them!

KELLER
Hey, I don't know what Toby told you, but I didn't have anything to do with it - it was all Vern's idea.

BLARE
It doesn't matter *what* you owed Vern Schillinger. I don't know and I don't *want* to know. That's not the point. Love isn't a chip you bargain with, it isn't a commodity to be traded or sold. It's a *gift*, like respect - it's something that's *earned*. Toby gave you his love and in return you destroyed him.

KELLER
Fuck you. You've got some nerve stickin' your nose in our business like this. You don't know the jack shit about me and you definitely don't know jack shit about Toby.

BLARE
Oh, but I do. You seem to forget, I saw relationships like yours nearly every day in my work. Women getting beaten to a bloody pulp by their husbands, yet somehow they could never find it in them to leave the no-good fuckers that beat them senseless. Toby forgave you and took you back for the same reason all those women forgave their husbands: he didn't think he had any other options. That he had no one else to whom he could turn. But now… I'm here and all that's going to change. I'll see to that.

KELLER
Oh, yeah? What are you gonna do, huh? You gonna kick my ass? Snuff me so you can have him all to yourself?

BLARE
I don't think that will be necessary. You seem like a relatively intelligent man. You know that you won't win this round, so why don't you just pull off your gloves and bow out gracefully? Toby's looking to *me*, now, to help put him back together and I'll be damned if I'll let you stand in the way of that. You've done your damage. Just walk away and let Toby live his life in peace.

KELLER
What the fuck are you talkin' about?

BLARE
Oh, didn't Toby tell you? Dr. Nathan has arranged for him to go to St. Luke's three days a week for the next month for his therapy. And he's asked me to come with him.

KELLER (breathlessly)
*You?*

BLARE
Oh, dear. I believe I've done it again, haven't I? My, my. (takes a deep breath, sighs)

KELLER hops down off of the dryer and is a blur as he bolts out of the laundry room, leaving BLARE by himself.

BLARE (to Keller's back as he runs out:)
Sorry that you had to find out this way, mate, truly!

BLARE coolly and calmly continues folding his remaining laundry, whistling through his teeth. He smiles and chuckles to himself softly.

Cut to: Int. Commons Area - DAY
BEECHER, BUSMALIS, REBADOW, and HILL are playing cards. KELLER walks up and grabs the sleeve of BEECHER's sweatshirt.

KELLER (low, angry whisper:)
C'mere, I gotta talk to you.

KELLER yanks BEECHER up out of his chair, his cards falling out of his hand, and begins to drag him back to their pod. BEECHER moves slowly because of his braces, but KELLER pays no mind to that.

HILL (throwing down his cards, calling after Keller)
Hey, man! What the hell is wrong with y'all? Can't finish a damn game no-how this week! Shit!

Cut to: Int. BEECHER and KELLER's pod
KELLER whips the pod door open and pushes BEECHER inside roughly.

KELLER
What the fuck are you trying to do to me, Toby?!

BEECHER (innocently)
What?

KELLER
Don't fuckin' play dumb with me! I know about you and Blare!

BEECHER (indignantly:)
What about me and Blare?

KELLER
St. Luke's.

BEECHER
Yeah. So?

KELLER
So when were you gonna tell me?

BEECHER
You told me you didn't care. "I don't give a shit," you said. What made you change your mind so fast?

KELLER
When I found out you chose Blare over me for this St. Luke's thing! Goddamnit, Toby! What d'you want me to say? What d'you want me to do? You want me to get down on my knees and beg your fuckin' forgiveness because I care enough about you to want to protect you from that sick fuck, is that it? Is that what you want? Okay, okay, here, look… watch me… (slowly gets down on his knees) See this? You see?

BEECHER (not buying it)
Get up, Chris! Cut the bullshit!

KELLER
This isn't bullshit! I'm sorry, Toby. Okay? *I am sorry.* I won't talk shit about Blare anymore, I promise. I won't say another word about him. I admit it - seeing you getting so close to Blare scares me. It feels like you and Blare are spending more and more time together and I'm slowly but surely gettin' pushed out of the picture.

BEECHER
Yeah, well… you should have thought about that before you decided you couldn't trust me. It's too late for sorry's, now.

KELLER
Please, Toby, just give me another chance!

BEECHER
How many more chances should I give you, Chris?! It seems like all I've done lately is give you another chance and another chance and another chance! One after the other! Jesus Christ! When does it stop? When will it be enough for you? I'm not the one that should have to put up with this bullshit. You owe *me,* remember? You broke *my* arms and *my* legs. I don't owe *you* a damn thing! Every time I give you another chance, I'm doing you a favor, when you should be the one doing favors for *me*.

KELLER (stands slowly)
I know that… I know! Can't you see that I've been trying to make it up to you? Ever since that day in the gym, and the three months you were in the infirmary, I've been trying to think of all the ways that I can to prove to you that I really do love you and that I know I was wrong. I was wrong for what I did! But you… you're just turning me away. Just dismissing me like what we had before all the shit that happened, all the stuff we've been through together, doesn't matter. It's not fair, Toby! If you want to forgive me, forgive me. If you want to make me suffer, I will stand here and I will let you hurt me and I won't make a fuckin' sound.

KELLER grabs BEECHER's hand, BEECHER struggling for just a moment, and pounds it hard against his own chest once, twice, three times - BEECHER remains silent, too shocked to say anything.

KELLER (cont'd)
C'mon, hurt me. Don't just stand there like a chicken shit, when I know you've got it in you. Hurt me! Break my nose, gimme a black eye. Do *something*! Just … don't hate me. Don't turn me away like this. I can take anything you can dish out… but I can't take that.

METZGER (in the background:)
Lights out! Sweet dreams, ladies!

We hear the metallic clunk of the EmCity lights being turned out one by one. Soon, the room is buried in almost complete darkness. BEECHER and KELLER stare at each other - KELLER's eyes glimmer in the darkness from the tears that are welling there. BEECHER slowly pulls his hand from KELLER's grip, reaches up and cups KELLER's face in his hand.

With a soft, almost unintelligible sob, KELLER puts his hand over BEECHER's and presses his face into his hand. He pinches his eyes shut tightly and we see the tears slip down his cheeks and glitter in the sparing light.

Cut to: GLASS POD
HILL sits in his wheelchair - the entire set is shrouded in darkness, save for the tiny light that shines from the lit candle HILL holds in his hand.

HILL (VO)
"The darkness… is no darkness with thee…"

HILL lifts the candle up to his face, blows it out and the screen GOES BLACK.

Cut to: WIDE SHOT -- Just outside the door of BEECHER and KELLER's pod - they've turned so that we can now see both of their silhouettes in the darkness - ever so slowly, they move closer to one another, BEECHER never moving his hand away from KELLER's face. BEECHER pulls KELLER to him and their lips meet - they kiss passionately, deeply.

DISSOLVE to the sounds of grunting and moaning. The CAMERA has a nice eyeful of the coarse Oz-issue blanket on the bottom bunk. There is NO SOUND, other than that of the lovemaking of the two people in the bottom bunk.

The CAMERA slowly travels upwards… we see a bare back - slick and glistening with perspiration. The man on top thrusts deeply into the man underneath him and it elicits a long, muffled groan.

The CAMERA continues its travels, now panning at a painfully slow pace to the left, around the bunk. We can see BEECHER and KELLER, limbs hopelessly intertwined and covered with sweat. BEECHER is on top, KELLER on his stomach underneath him, his face buried in the pillow under his head.

BEECHER holds himself up using both of his arms. The blanket covers them both from the waist down, both men completely naked. Every so often, we see a bare calf, thigh or foot peeking out from under the blanket.

Ext. Close - KELLER
He writhes under BEECHER, propping himself up a bit on his elbows, lowering his head and pressing his forehead into the pillow as BEECHER continues thrusting into him. He pinches his eyes shut and lets out a soft moan.

BEECHER lowers his head and presses his lips to KELLER's shoulder blade, running the tip of his tongue along the salty, moist skin. He opens his mouth wide against KELLER's shoulder blade, trying to taste all of the tender skin he can at one time. KELLER lets out his breath in a tortured groan - it sounds almost like a sob. BEECHER presses his forehead against KELLER's back and lets out a soft moan.

Ext. Close - BEECHER's hand
It strokes KELLER's back and his ribs gently, running his fingers over the tender flesh, under his body to tease his nipples.

With a synchronous impatient grunt, BEECHER collapses on top of KELLER, and continues thrusting. BEECHER slides his hands up KELLER's body and up his arms - he laces the fingers of his hands with both of KELLER's - both sets of hands clenching into white-knuckled fists.

BEECHER buries his face in the crook of KELLER's throat. KELLER cranes his neck and his lips crush against BEECHER's. BEECHER thrusts into him deeply and KELLER's mouth gapes open as he lets out a throaty moan - BEECHER quickly slips his tongue into KELLER's mouth. KELLER closes his lips around BEECHER's tongue and they kiss deeply. BEECHER frees one of his hands from KELLER's and cups KELLER's chin in his hand as they kiss.

KELLER (gasping for breath)
Toby, let me turn over, let me turn over… I wanna see you…

With some careful maneuvering, KELLER turns over onto his back and folds his arms around BEECHER. BEECHER buries his face in the crook of KELLER's shoulder again, their hips rocking in a quick, painfully steady rhythm. KELLER nuzzles BEECHER's ear with his lips as they rock together, nibbling on his neck gently with his lips and teeth. Their lips meet impatiently and soon both are kissing each other hungrily, tongues wrestling together.

BEECHER pushes himself up on both of his hands again and slides his left hand between their two bodies… KELLER cries out as BEECHER wraps his fingers around his erection. KELLER loops his arms around BEECHER's neck and pulls him as close as he can, their foreheads pressed together. Their rhythm begins to pick up as we see BEECHER's hand working between their bodies, shielded by the ugly green blanket covering them both.

KELLER's head lolls back onto the pillow and he sucks in a deep breath through gritted teeth as he fights desperately to find something to hold onto. His hands work their way to BEECHER's back, slippery and shiny with sweat, and he somehow manages to hold on. The pressing of his fingers make red indentations in BEECHER's pale skin, but soon fade to ultra-white imprints of his fingers. Both men begin panting as we see the muscles in BEECHER's back begin to tense up.

BEECHER lets out an agonized cry as he orgasms, pressing his face into the crook of KELLER's shoulder. KELLER grabs onto BEECHER's bicep, squeezing it tightly as he soon grinds into his own orgasm. BEECHER collapses into KELLER's arms and they lie completely still, both fighting to regain their breath.

FADE OUT

FADE IN - LATER

BEECHER lays back in the bunk and KELLER lays against him, eyes closed (but still awake), his head resting on his broad chest, arms wrapped around his waist. BEECHER runs his fingers through KELLER's hair and neither say a word for a few beats. BEECHER looks down at KELLER and hesitates for a moment, but then finally speaks.

BEECHER
There's nothing I can do.

KELLER
Huh?

BEECHER
I can't get Dr. Nathan to make you my aide instead of Aaron. The forms are already filled out and approved. We start my therapy tomorrow. There's nothing I can do to --

KELLER
Shh. It's okay. It doesn't matter.

BEECHER
You sure…?

KELLER opens his eyes and looks up at BEECHER - after a moment, a warm smile spreads across his face.

KELLER
Yeah…

BEECHER wraps his arms around KELLER and pulls him close, he kisses KELLER's temple gently, then closes his own eyes as they drift off to sleep.

Part Nine


Cut to: Int. BLARE's pod - the following DAY
BLARE sits curled up in his lower bunk sideways, his back resting against the cool cement wall, dressed in a sleeveless t-shirt, black tracksuit bottoms and sneakers. A sketchpad rests on the tops of his knees, at which he makes idle swipes with a piece of charcoal.

The angle of the shot shifts and we see BEECHER limping slowly with his cane towards BLARE's pod door. He knocks softly, then pulls the door open. We see BEECHER has on the orange Oz-issue jumpsuit for temporary prisoner release. We also notice that BEECHER has shaved off his beard.

BEECHER
Hey, Aaron…

BLARE (closing the sketchpad and setting it aside)
Hey, Toby!

BEECHER
You almost ready? We have to be out there to meet the van in ten minutes.

BLARE picks up his orange jumpsuit between his thumb and forefingers as if it bothers him just to touch the hideous piece of clothing.

BLARE
Oh, sure. I've just got to change into this lovely… er, garment… Metzger gave me to wear.

BEECHER (striking a pose)
Aww, you don't like it? It's haute couture for the prison set… very GQ.

BLARE snickers and stands up - he unzips the jumpsuit and steps into it, tugging it on over his own clothes.

BLARE
You shaved of your beard!

BEECHER (rubbing his chin, smiling)
Yeah… since it's kind of a special occasion. My first steps outside this shithole in over two years.

Smash Cut to: Int. A VAN - DAY
BEECHER peers out the window as the scenery blurs by like an excited puppy dog as BLARE watches him. He grins and laughs to himself softly. BEECHER turns to him and smiles brightly, then turns back to the mesh-covered window, sunlight streaming over his face.

As BEECHER turns his head, BLARE notices a black and blue mark on BEECHER's throat - a love bite - BLARE blinks with surprise for just a moment, then his smile fades. He sits back in his seat, hands in his lap, and glances over at BEECHER sadly, then looks away - looking out the window on his side, instead.

Cut to: Int. ST. LUKE's Therapy Gymnasium - DAY
BEECHER lays on his back on a mat as the BEECHER's THERAPIST, JAKE, slowly lifts BEECHER's right leg. BEECHER's face is ringing wet with perspiration, his hair falling in limp ringlets on his forehead.

BLARE and BEECHER have taken off their prison jumpsuits. BEECHER is clad in a pair of sweatpants and his gray hooded sweatshirt, with a white t-shirt underneath. BLARE sits on his haunches close by, watching. BEECHER's body tenses and his breathing speeds up - he lets out a grunt of pain.

JAKE
Easy… take it easy, Toby… just breathe. Don't force it.

BEECHER (cries out)
Ahh, fuck! Ah… cramp!

JAKE
Which leg?

BEECHER
Left… aghh!

JAKE
Hey, Aaron, take care of that cramp for me for just a second? I'm gonna go run and get this guy some water. He deserves it after all the hard work he's put in today.

BLARE (nodding)
Oh, sure! No problem.

JAKE stands up from the mat as BEECHER sits up, resting his weight back on his hands. JAKE pats BEECHER on the shoulder and sprints OFF-SCREEN, leaving BLARE and BEECHER by themselves.

BLARE crawls over to BEECHER and sits by his legs. He gently pushes up the left leg of his sweatpants, pulls BEECHER's leg down so it's stretched out in front of him flat on the mat and carefully begins kneading the knotted muscles in his calf. BEECHER sucks in a hiss of breath and grits his teeth.

BLARE
Take it easy. Just take a deep breath. I'll have this nasty little kink sorted in no time. Deep breath, in through your nose and out your mouth.

BEECHER nods and tries to relax, he lowers himself back onto his elbows, letting his eyes droop closed.

BLARE
Your body just has to get used to being active again. All that time your arms and legs were in those casts, your muscles shrunk… you need to start stretching them out again We can do that here.

BEECHER (wiping at his face with his sleeve)
I feel like an overcooked noodle right now.

BLARE (chuckles)
Don't worry, it'll get easier. Toby, have you ever done any Karate or martial arts before?

BEECHER (laughs)
Me? You're joking, right?

BLARE (grins)
I'll take that as a no. Well, I've got an idea… and you can say no, if you like, but I think it would be very helpful to you in your therapy.

BEECHER
Yeah? What?

BLARE
Well, I think I could teach you some Katas.

BEECHER
Katas?

BLARE (nodding)
They're like warm-ups for Karate. There are different kinds of Katas, depending on what you want to do with your body. Strengthen your muscles, improve your flexibility or stamina. We'd start out slowly and simply, of course, to give your body time to adjust to it, but I think it'd really be good for a person in your situation.

BEECHER
I don't know, Aaron. I mean, I trampled on my wife's toes when I tried to waltz at my wedding. I've got two left feet! You gotta be pretty graceful to do that stuff, don'tcha?

BLARE (chuckles)
Just like everything else, the grace comes with practice. Nobody starts out new to it and gets it down on their first go. It takes time and patience. There… how's your leg now? Better?

BEECHER flexes his leg tentatively and smiles.

BEECHER
Yeah, the cramp's gone. Thanks. So, d'you really think I could do that stuff?

BLARE (smiling)
I'd be willing to teach you if you'd be willing to learn. What do you say?

BEECHER (long pause; thinking)
Let's go for it! (smiles brightly)

Ext. Close - BEECHER and BLARE's hands
BEECHER reaches out and shakes BLARE's hand firmly in a soul-brother handshake.

MONTAGE of shots:

BEECHER sits on a stationary bike, cycling slowly.

JAKE works on raising BEECHER's leg to a 90-degree angle. BLARE kneeling next to him, watching.

HILL (VO)
Struggle can bring out the worst in human beings… but it can also bring out the best in them. Struggle can bring to light what poets and authors consider the most divine aspects of the human spirit.

ST. LUKE'S GYMNASIUM:
BEECHER picks up a 10-pound free weight, struggling to lift it.

BLARE kneels in front of BEECHER, spotting him as he strains to do a sit up. JAKE kneels down behind BEECHER, giving him words of encouragement.

HILL (VO)
Winning the struggle despite insurmountable odds is what makes the victory taste all that much sweeter.

BEECHER picks up a 20-pound free-weight, lifting it easily.

BEECHER and BLARE stand together on at mat at the back of the GYM in EmCity. BLARE slowly walks through the steps of a basic Kata, BEECHER standing off to the side, arms crossed over his chest, watching.

HILL (VO)
There's nothin' like a challenge. Something about the human heart … it just makes you wanna win.

BEECHER lifts a 50-pound weight, muscles in his arm rippling - he curls it easily.

BEECHER does push-ups quickly and easily, BLARE on the floor alongside him, doing push-ups with him, keeping up his pace, yelling his encouragement every time they press up.

HILL (VO)
To beat the shit out of whatever's got you down. Like Rocky. "Yo, Adrian!"

BEECHER is almost a blur as he does his sit-ups, now - BLARE no longer needs to hold his feet to help him.

BLARE and BEECHER move smoothly and gracefully together through the first few positions of the Kata BLARE has taught him. BEECHER now wears a sleeveless sweatshirt, his newly well-toned arms and body slick with a thin sheen of sweat.

HILL (VO)
To blast through those obstacles and come out on the other side victorious. It makes your heart beat faster, it makes your body pump that sweet, sweet adrenaline through your body. It's the feeling of what it means to be truly, undeniably, beyond the shadow of a doubt, ALIVE! Halle-fuckin'-lujah! (laughs loudly)

BEECHER jogs at a steady, fast pace on a treadmill.

HILL
On the other hand… desperation forces you to answer questions you never even imagined you'd ever have to ask yourself. "What would I do if I hit a little girl with my car while I was driving drunk? And what if I killed her?" "What if somebody holds me and my girlfriend up one night in a dark alleyway? Do I protect her or my wallet?"

Cut to: Int. MAIL ROOM - DAY
SCHILLINGER stands by the x-ray machine, scanning prisoner's personal packages. He spots something in the view screen of the x-ray machine. He casually picks up the tiny package as it comes out on the other side of the x-ray machine and slips it under his shirt.

HILL (VO)
Desperation shows us the true sides of ourselves. The dark, down and dirty end of human nature. The primal side of the civilized coin. The side that shames us, the side that everyone would rather just hide from the world … and themselves… and deny it ever existed.

Cut to: Int. A HALLWAY in OZ - DAY
SCHILLINGER makes a trade-off with an unknown INMATE. SCHILLINGER hands the INMATE the tiny package and in return, the INMATE slips him a SHANK. SCHILLINGER pats the INMATE on the shoulder as he hides the shank in his sleeve.

HILL (VO)
Everybody says there's a lot of conspiracies floating around in the world right now, but that's one of the most obvious… and most human ones. It's a global cover-up - everybody trying to bury their inner beasts. Whilst it's the tiniest flicker of faith that holds you back and keeps you from jumping off of that cliff and into oblivion, desperation is the little red devil with the horns and the pitchfork, sitting on your shoulder who whispers in your ear, egging you on and telling you, "Who the fuck cares if you jump, so long as you don't feel it when you hit the ground?!"

Part Ten


Int. GYM - DAY

BLARE and BEECHER go through their Kata slowly and silently, eyes lightly closed - a pair of well-oiled, living machines. They stand on a mat in the center of the gym, the two of them in loose, comfortable clothing. Their movements are slow but complex and carefully executed. The clang of weights being lifted and the grunts of the men lifting them waft through the gym - an odd contrast to the peaceful, unobtrusive movements of BEECHER and BLARE.

CYRIL sits on the floor by the opening in the chain link fence, watching BLARE and BEECHER with wide, fascinated eyes and a gleeful smile fixed on his face.

BLARE finishes a movement, then takes a deep breath - he stands straight and tall and lets his hands drop down to his sides. He opens his eyes, wipes some sweat off of his brow and steps off of the mat to watch BEECHER, hands on his hips.

BLARE
Not too slow, Toby. Just remember: serenity, grace. Think of your body as a river. Let it flow smoothly. Don't tense your muscles up. Cyril?

CYRIL (perking up)
Yeah?

BLARE
Toss me a towel, would you, please?

CYRIL grabs BLARE's towel from where it's lying on the floor beside him, balls it up a bit and tosses it over to him. BLARE catches it in his hands and dries off his face.

BLARE (smiling)
Thanks, kid!

CYRIL smiles brightly - happy to be of help. BLARE drapes the towel over his shoulders, turns, and continues watching BEECHER.

SCHILLINGER strolls into the gym easily, like a shark cruising for signs of some wounded or dying animal nearby. Soon, he spots CYRIL. He starts to swagger over in CYRIL's direction and as he walks and the CAMERA begins to follow behind him, we see he has the SHANK tucked in the waistband of his trousers, at the small of his back.

SCHILLINGER crouches down next to CYRIL, while BLARE's back is turned and BEECHER's eyes are still closed, reaches out and strokes CYRIL's hair. CYRIL turns and sees SCHILLINGER and lets out a soft, terrified whimper.

SCHILLINGER (puts a hand on Cyril's shoulder)
Hey, there, cutie pie. How you doing?

CYRIL (shying away)
Leave me alone.

SCHILLINGER
Awww. You aren't happy to see me? What a shame. I'm certainly happy to see you, Cyril. Why don't we go and have some fun, huh? Would you like that? I know I'd sure like that…

CYRIL (quickly standing up)
Leave me alone! Toby! Aaron!

BLARE whips around and sees SCHILLINGER harrassing CYRIL - he strides over to them and pulls CYRIL to his side and behind him, standing between CYRIL and SCHILLINGER. BEECHER steps off the mat and grabs CYRIL, pulling him back and out of harm's way.

BLARE
Don't you know when to quit, Vern?

SCHILLINGER (chuckles)
I was just havin' a little fun, Aaron, don't get your lace panties in a bunch.

BLARE (firmly)
Turn around and walk away.

SCHILLINGER
Or what? You're gonna kiss me again?

INMATES that were lifting weights now abandon them and gather around to see SCHILLINGER and BLARE arguing.

BLARE
Need I remind you what happened the last time you and I had to have a chat, Vernon?

SCHILLINGER (scoffs)
Fuck you.

BLARE
All I ask is that you stay away from me, Toby and Cyril. That's not too much to ask, is it, Vern? Pretty reasonable, right?

SCHILLINGER
What, you think you're that retard's daddy all of the sudden? Since when is what I do or don't do to that little fuck any of *your* business?

BLARE (squaring his jaw)
Since I *made* it my business.

SCHILLINGER (reaching out to touch Blare's face)
Well, then, since it's your business now, how about I take you into the storeroom and fuck your brains out like I did to that retard? How would you like that, huh?

BLARE slaps SCHILLINGER hand away. SCHILLINGER steps back for a second, glances at the crowd gathered around them, shrugs and chuckles -he whips around and delivers a sucker punch to BLARE's face. BLARE stumbles backwards dizzily for a moment, caught off guard, cupping his nose. BEECHER steps forward to help him, but BLARE waves him away.

BEECHER
Aaron…!

BLARE (wiping his nose gingerly)
No, Toby. I'm okay, I'm okay. (squares himself up, shaking off the pain) You wanna try that again, Vern? Maybe now that I'm ready for it, huh? You fuckin' prick.

SCHILLINGER reaches behind him into the waistband of his trousers and whips out the shank. Immediately BLARE begins stepping back, hands raised. BEECHER pulls CYRIL even further away from the two men.

SCHILLINGER
How about a little of this, huh? You ready for this, you little pussy-ass Limey boy!

BLARE steps back further and pulls his sweatshirt off over his head, he tosses it aside, never taking his eyes off of SCHILLINGER.

BLARE (speaking loudly)
I want everybody to listen to me very carefully. Pay very close attention and hear what I'm saying right now. This man has a weapon and is trying to harm my friends and myself. What I am about to do is purely for my own protection and in my own self-defense.

BEECHER (yelling)
Somebody call a CO! Goddamnit! Somebody do something!

Nobody moves. They're too enthralled with what's taking place on the gym floor. BEECHER can't move - the crowd is blocking the doorway, so there's no way for him or CYRIL to get out to call for help. SCHILLINGER, BLARE, BEECHER and CYRIL are all fenced into the gym - the place has unwittingly been turned into a gladiator arena.

SCHILLINGER and BLARE slowly walk around each other - SCHILLINGER thrusting the shank out in his direction tauntingly.

SCHILLINGER (to Beecher:)
The CO's aren't gonna get you outta this, you fuckin' wimp. It's just you, me, Aaron and Cyril, here. Real cozy like.

SCHILLINGER lunges at BLARE as if to run him through with the shank. BLARE side steps him and as SCHILLINGER continues lunging through, he brings him arm swiftly down in a downward slice on his back. The INMATES watching hoot and holler, egging the fight on. SCHILLINGER stumbles but doesn't fall. BLARE widens his stance and raises his fists in the ready.

SCHILLINGER recovers, steps in close and swipes at BLARE with the shank - it makes contact with his stomach, opening up a long, nasty horizontal cut which instantly begins bleeding. BLARE gasps and steps back, cradling his wounded stomach. He lifts his hand and it comes away bloody - it's just a superficial wound, nothing serious.

Cut to: BEECHER and CYRIL
CYRIL clings to BEECHER, terrified tears running down his cheeks - BEECHER has his arm wrapped protectively around CYRIL's shoulders.

CYRIL
Aaron…

BEECHER (soothing)
Shh, don't worry, Cyril. He's gonna be okay. Aaron can take care of himself.

SCHILLINGER takes another swipe, this time aiming for BLARE's face - BLARE blocks the swipe, grabs SCHILLINGER's hand and punches him dead in the face. SCHILLINGER stumbles back, but quickly recovers - he lets out a primal howl and charges at BLARE, wrapping his arms around him and tackling him to the floor.

As they roll on the floor, SCHILLINGER frees his arm and sticks the shank into BLARE's side. BLARE lets out a scream of pain. BLARE scrambles into a kneeling position above SCHILLINGER. He grabs SCHILLINGER's arm that holds the shank and swiftly brings it down across his leg, bringing his leg up as he does so. SCHILLINGER's arm snaps over BLARE's knee like a sapling twig.

SCHILLINGER lets out a blood-curdling scream - his hand spasms involuntarily and sends the shank flying. The shank lands on the floor and goes sliding - stopping at BEECHER's feet.

BEECHER picks up the shank and tosses it well out of SCHILLINGER's reach. BLARE struggles on the floor with SCHILLINGER for a moment - he brings his leg up and kicks him squarely across the jaw with the heel of his foot. BLARE collects himself and quickly stands, while SCHILLINGER remains on the floor.

BLARE
Aww, too bad, Vern. You've lost your toy. Come at me and let's do this like civilized men, you fucking yellow coward.

SCHILLINGER slowly pulls himself to his feet. He spits out a mouthful of blood onto the wooden gym floor. He and BLARE circle each other again, fists raised.

BLARE swings and SCHILLINGER ducks the punch. SCHILLINGER brings back his arm and punches BLARE square on the jaw. BLARE shakes off the punch, but we see a trickle of blood in the corner of his mouth, now.

BLARE swings once, twice - right hook, left hook - and hits SCHILLINGER in the face dead on both times. SCHILLINGER reels. BLARE goes to throw another punch, but SCHILLINGER grabs his fist and uppercuts him to the stomach. BLARE gasps and coughs, fighting for breath. BLARE straightens, steps back a bit and breathes deeply to catch his breath.

BLARE crouches into a wide, defensive Karate stance, fists held at the ready, should SCHILLINGER try to charge him again. Instead of attacking, SCHILLINGER puts his hands on his hips, leans his head back and laughs at him. The rest of the INMATES join in.

SCHILLINGER is so busy laughing, he's not paying attention. BLARE squares himself up, takes a deep breath and sprints towards SCHILLINGER.

Extreme close-up: SCHILLINGER's shocked face

BLARE lifts himself up into a high-kick, which connects perfectly with SCHILLINGER's face. SCHILLINGER is cut down, landing on his back on the hardwood floor like a sack of potatoes, completely still. His nose is now gushing blood, very obviously broken. He's down for the count. The INMATES cheer and clap loudly.

BLARE steps back, clutching his stomach and side as BEECHER and CYRIL run up to him. BEECHER has BLARE's sweatshirt, which he carefully presses to the wound in his side. BLARE lets out a hiss of breath.

BEECHER
You okay?

BLARE
Ahh! Yeah. Yeah, I think so. I'm certainly doing better than he is right now. (nods towards Schillinger)

BEECHER (wrapping his arm around Blare's shoulders)
C'mon… let's get out of here.

BEECHER carefully leads BLARE towards the gym exit - the INMATES that were once blocking the door now part, patting BLARE on the back as he passes. BLARE limps noticeably - blood streaking his face and his body.

BLARE
Here's a question for ya, Toby…

BEECHER
What?

BLARE
How am I gonna explain this to the doctor?

BEECHER (grinning)
Uh… tell her you slipped on some soap in the shower?

BLARE (chuckling)
Oww oww… ah, shit, that hurts! Don't make me laugh! (pauses for a second, thinking:) God, that soap can be fuckin' vicious, though, can't it?

BLARE and BEECHER crack up - BLARE wincing and nearly crying from the pain in his side as the three of them make their way out of the gym.

All the INMATES return to what they were doing - as if nothing has happened - leaving SCHILLINGER alone on the gym floor, bleeding profusely. No one bothers to help him up or call a CO.


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