Paring: Spander (of course)
Warnings: Bad language and explicit sexual m/m activity.
Summary: Xander is wrongly convicted of murder and sent
to Riverview Correctional Institution where Spike is a guard.
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters or products named in
this story and sadly, make no profit.
Thanks to the amaxing Petxnd for the banner.
The next two weeks passed by with a predictable, daily pattern
establishing itself. The nights were still long and often punctuated
with times of claustrophobia and depression, but the days.....
the days were full of joy, hope and anticipation.
Xander knew there was no future for them and Oz had certainly
been generous with criticism and admonition for the way his cell mate
was acting toward C.O. Pratt, but Xander didn't care.
What else did he have to look forward to? What other reason was there
to allow his heart to continue to beat? There was nothing except the
large round clock on the wall of the dayroom that ticked agonizingly
slow till the three o'clock shift change.
That's when his world would again started to turn. The solid, gray,
steel door would swing open and HE would walk in. C.O. Pratt.
Xander had practiced saying it all morning. He would whisper the
name under his breath. The others called him that, why not Xander?
When he finally gathered up the courage, it rolled off his tongue like
butter. He had raised his hand and called out.
Spike had pointed his affirmative response and Xander was thrilled.
It had felt so natural. It had seemed right. He wondered if Spike ever
called any of the inmates by their first names.
Outside rec period was heaven. Each housing unit had a 45 minute
time to go out to the compound. A large two acre area surrounded
by two 30 foot high fences topped with razor wire that glinted like
diamonds on the California sunlight.
Two corners were set up with round cement circles containing basketball
hoops. These were always claimed and dominated by the more aggressive
men who needed the opportunity of controlled, physical assertiveness.
It allowed them the release of shoving, cursing and exhausting themselves,
all the time establishing who had the strength and power and who didn't.
Xander avoided these areas like the plague.
Instead, he chose the worn, grass free, oval walking track in the center
of the yard. Lap after lap he walked. Sometimes alone, sometimes
with Oz or one of the other inmates he had found companionable.
Often, with Spike.
It had become the pattern that by Xander's third lap around the quarter
mile track, Spike would join him and walk along side. They would
talk about Xander. His adjustment to prison, his life on the outs, his
few friends who wrote to him and why his parents didn't.
What was surprising to Spike was that Xander actually had very few
complaints. He said he missed knowing the time and he wondered if maybe
someone on the outs would send him a radio if he asked. Beyond that, he
seemed to be starting to accept his situation.
Spike always listened patiently. He encouraged Xander to talk and
he walked alongside quietly, always watching the rest of the exercise
yard intently and without criticism.
It helped tremendously to get everything off his chest, but Xander seldom
discussed his case. He had professed his innocence and knew Spike
didn't believe him. What could be said beyond that?
This was, to Xander, the best time of the day. Fresh air and sunlight.
Freedom, for just a little while, from the claustrophobic feel of the
cement block walls closing in on him. And it was spent with someone
he liked very much. Maybe too much. It was what he lived for.
Oz had watched all this form and develop with great concern
He had promised himself he would not interfere, but knew Xander
was about to make the biggest mistake of his life.
Faith had watched all this form and develop with great concern.
She had promised herself she would not interfere, but knew Spike
was about to make the biggest mistake of his life.
They had been partners for two years and after a string of other C.Os,
he was easily the best one she had ever worked with. She was one of
the few people in the institution that knew he was gay but to Faith it
didn't matter. After all how was that any different than her working
with male inmates? She knew there was a clearly defined line.
She would never dream of crossing it and assumed Spike felt the same.
"Damn, it's been a long week. I'll bet you are ready for your days
off aren't you?"
Faith had propped her feet up on the small office desk. Her paperwork
was finished and the unit was locked down, lights out. They were
15 minutes away from shift change and she felt the time had come
for a heart to heart.
Spike unhooked the heavy, thick belt from around his uniformed waist
and tossed it onto the long counter that served as a desk.
"Yeah. I think I am going to spend one of those days just sleeping."
"Um, Spike, you know I think you are arguably the best C.O. in the
institution and a great partner right?"
"Uh, Oh. What did I do?"
Faith took a deep breath and dove in.
"It isn't what you have done but it's what I'm afraid of what you are
about to do."
"And what is it you think I am going to do?"
"Inmate Harris. The other cons are starting to notice."
"Notice what? What are you accusing me of, Faith?"
"Nothing. Look, Spike, all I'm saying is that these inmates have all
day to study us and look for any weakness they can exploit. They
are beginning to talk about the amount of time you and Harris
spend together and I just wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea to put
some distance between you. Let me deal with him for a while."
Spike knew what she was saying was true, but something about the
man drew him in. He found himself getting into his uniform an hour before
time to drive in. He automatically looked around the dayroom as soon
as he entered the housing unit, seeking and searching for the man who
wormed his way into Spike's life and mind. Spike was undeniably
attracted. Worse yet, he was infatuated.
Still, Spike wasn't stupid. He knew he had stepped onto thin ice and
was close to breaking through. He needed to jump back. Quick. He
had to get some solid ground under his feet and if Faith and the
other inmates were noticing, he better do it now.
Faith waited. She hoped he would take her advice in the spirit in which
it was given.
"Look, maybe I'm out of line. I just...."
"No. No, you're right. I got caught up in feeling sorry for him, but
that's all it was. I can see where that sympathy might have been
Faith smiled and winked.
"Go somewhere this weekend and get laid. I hear Mansfield has some
great bars where the beer is cold and the men are hot. Why not
swallow a few of each?"
"I think that is an excellent idea."