Rating: NC 17
Summary: "...the roses here are prisoners too, when morning comes around."
Notes: beta: msilverstar
Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction, which means that while the characters depicted are based on public personas of real celebrities, the events described in the story never happened. This story in no way claims to represent the truth about the people mentioned within or the way they would behave.
When Viggo shuffled back into his cell after dinner, a person-shaped lump hid on the bottom bunk, previously occupied by the recently deceased Les McEnroe. The new occupant, who Viggo was about to share a six foot square cell with for eighteen hours a day, had the blanket pulled over his head, with only sock-clad feet visible.
The cell door clanged shut behind him, and Viggo let out a silent sigh of relief. Cell mates who hid under blankets were not cell mates who were going to make brutalizing him their favorite pastime. Cell mates who hid under blankets would hopefully leave him alone. Cell mates who hid under blankets...
He shook his head. The warders knew him, knew he was unaligned with a gang, too old and slow to be a real threat to anyone. McEnroe had been put in with him the year before to wait out the last months of his life in relative safety, and while he hadn't liked the mean old bastard, he hadn't ever hurt him. This new person, buried under the illusory privacy of a pathetic thin, gray blanket, would be another old man, too weak to survive out in the madness of the main cell blocks.
Viggo clambered up onto his bunk, and dug his journal and pen out from under his sheet. He had 90 minutes of flickering fluorescent light left, before the cell block was plunged into darkness, and he planned on making the most of it.
The stranger in the bottom bunk woke him, sometime deep in the darkness of the night, bunk springs squeaking, then a moment later, a long, hard stream of piss in the metal toilet bowl. Poor bastard must have been busting.
When Viggo moved, turning a little to glance at the stranger, the pale light filtering through the cell door silhouetted him, thin and surprisingly young, one hand on the concrete of the wall, his back hunched as he flinched at the sound of Viggo's bed squeaking.
"Take it easy," Viggo said in a low voice. Somewhere in the cell block, people were shouting, and someone was singing loudly.
A face peered at him, gaunt and wretched, beneath a shaved head.
"My name's Mortensen." No threat there, no challenge, and as the stranger tucked himself away and ducked back down onto his bunk, his face was lit for a moment, and Viggo found himself staring at the man. He was achingly beautiful despite his thinness, with the kind of bone structure that Ancient Greek statues had, delicate and perfect.
"Bloom," the stranger said, his bunk squeaking as he settled himself. "Do you snore?"
"Yes," Viggo said, and he heard the unconscious sigh of relief from Bloom. Cell mates who were snoring were safe; this was something Viggo knew, too.
When Viggo lowered himself carefully from his bunk at lights on the next morning, his knees protesting at the strain, Bloom was sitting cross-legged on his bunk, staring blankly at the bare concrete. Les had owned that wall, and all of his photos and newspaper cuttings were gone. Viggo's wall, beside his bed, was plastered with sketches he'd done, and photos and cards from home, as was the cell ceiling. He'd never go home.
"You can put anything you want up there," Viggo said, while he pissed.
Bloom didn't answer, and when Viggo glanced over from washing his hands in the tiny hand basin, Bloom was staring at his lap, where his hands twisted together.
Viggo pulled his T-shirt off and splashed water at his armpits, then slapped on deodorant and brushed his teeth. He had a few days' growth of beard, but shaving had to be done under the supervision of a corrections officer, and didn't happen more than once a week, just like showering.
Viggo pulled his cleanest T-shirt out of his locker and dragged it on, then squatted down in front of Bloom's bunk.
Bloom lifted blank eyes slowly, meeting Viggo's gaze. "I'm not a bully," Viggo said. "I belong to no gang. I'm not powerful enough to threaten anyone, I'm too old to be taken seriously. That's why I'm in here, not out in one of the open cell blocks."
Bloom nodded slowly, but his shoulders stayed hunched over and the fluorescent lighting recessed into the concrete ceiling showed the bruises marking Bloom's face.
"Thank you," Bloom whispered.
A bell rang, down the other end of the block, and the calls of inmates echoed down the halls, jeering and shouting, background noise to the past five years of Viggo's life.
"C'mon," Viggo said. "Breakfast time."
Fear creased Bloom's face, when the barred door of the cell slid open. The corrections officer, a mountain of a man named Bruno, said, "Move it, Mother."
Bloom looked at the CO, then at Viggo. "We eat separately," Viggo said. "Just this block."
Bloom stumbled, clambering off his bunk, but Viggo resisted the urge to hold out a steadying hand.
"Come on," Bruno rumbled, but he didn't sound annoyed, just his usual self. "You're in the protective custody block now, Bloom, and Mother here will look after you."
They shuffled, all three tiers, twenty cells long, 120 men, along the walkways, down the metal stairs, and into the hall at the end of the block.
Bloom hesitated in the doorway, despite Eddie from the tier above bumbling into his back. Eddie's mind was too shattered to register Bloom had paused, so Viggo grabbed Bloom's elbow and pulled him aside, letting Eddie through.
Bloom was shaking, where Viggo held him, so Viggo let go of him in a hurry, and they watched the rest of the tier amble in, across to the hatch that served their food.
"See?" Viggo murmured. "We're harmless here, all of us. Too mad, or too weak, that's what we are."
"Which are you?" Bloom asked, his voice a whisper.
"Too weak," Viggo said, and to his surprise, when he moved toward the hatch, after the boy with only one leg had hobbled through the door, last as always, Bloom followed him.
The inmate on the other side of the hatch shoved a tray through for Viggo, and Viggo carried it over to the nearest table, sitting with his back to the hutch.
Bloom crept onto the bench, tray in front of him, his eyes darting anxiously at the others sitting at the table. "Alfred, known affectionately as Fat Alfie," Viggo said. "Chucko, Hollis, Mal. This is Bloom."
Only Hollis was cognizant enough to look up from his lumpy mush and cold toast and nod at Bloom. Chucko muttered at the crusts of his toast. One day, if Viggo lived long enough to get parole, he'd write something about the damage ice did to people's minds and make the world read it. Until then, he was just relieved to be surrounded by husks of men who were too medicated to be dangerous. He didn't even mind the lack of conversation most days.
Beside Viggo, Bloom sagged a little, perhaps with relief, and picked up a plastic spoon and fiddled with his mush.
After breakfast, when the bell was clanging and they were queuing to drop their plastic plates into the bin, Bruno yelled, "Medication call. Everyone else, back to your cells."
Bloom peered across at Bruno, Bloom's half full bowl sliding into the bin. "You got meds?" Viggo asked. "I have, too. I'll show you where to go."
The line of men moved slowly, past the dispensing window, where the fat nurse sat behind the dispensing window of shatter proof glass.
"Viggo Mortensen," he said, when it was his turn at the window.
The nurse typed on a keyboard, then compared Viggo's face with the image on the screen. She shook pills into a container, then pushed the container and a plastic cup of water through the slot. "Drink all the water, and show me your mouth," she said, sounding unspeakably bored.
The routine bored Viggo, too.
He shook the container, counting the pills. Two AZT (the standard, generic, low budget treatment for HIV/AIDS), one EPO (to keep his red blood cell count up with all the meds he took), his morning dose of Thorazine (to keep the voices away) and one Bevirima (an experimental antiretroviral drug). He didn't mind being part of a clinical trial, if it meant he got decent meds.
"You got a problem?" the nurse asked.
Viggo tossed the pills down his throat, emptied the cup of water, then bent forward and showed the nurse his open mouth.
"Next," she said.
Viggo hung back, under Bruno's watchful eye, while Bloom gave his name at the window.
The nurse nodded, and said, "You feeling better now, Orlando?"
Bloom nodded, and took the container of pills she handed him. Bloom didn't toss the pills back, he carefully placed each pill in his mouth in turn, swallowing each down separately. Fourteen pills, including the sadly familiar AZT white capsules with the blue band.
In the cell, Viggo flopped down on his bunk, but Bloom hovered. "Have you, um, got anything to read?" Bloom asked.
Viggo pointed at the top of his locker, where a teetering mound of books balanced precariously. "Help yourself, just don't damage anything, and keep it quiet."
Viggo pulled his thin pillow over his head, blocking out the light and the sounds of the cell block. He was planning on napping while the Thorazine was floating through his system, which was the happiest part of his day.
Viggo lay on his back, staring at the ceiling in the gloom. Sleep would take a while: he could hear Hammond yodeling down the block, and no one could sleep through that.
He didn't think of himself as a bad man, despite the completely deserved prison sentence. The Cos called him Mother, he didn't hurt people, he didn't want to hurt anyone. But he was human, painfully human, and spending days locked down in his cell, right up close and personal with Bloom, was just about driving him crazier.
He was horny, badly enough to be edgy and jumpy. He needed to jerk off, dump his load, but every time he moved, making his bunk squeak, he could hear the hitch of panic in Bloom's breathing, in the dark cell. He'd have to wait, hope that Bloom went to sleep and snored, then he could take care of himself.
Movement woke him, sometime during the night, jerking him awake out of a deep sleep with fear, his breath rasping in his throat. When he turned his head, he could make out the ghostly shape of Bloom in the dark, pale and shimmering.
"Shh," Bloom whispered, then the bunks creaked as Bloom clambered up the frame.
"What?" Viggo whispered, as Bloom was lifted the blanket, sliding long bony legs in beside Viggo.
"Fuck me." Just a murmur in the darkness, maybe from Viggo's over-heated imagination, but the body pressing against his wasn't a dream. His imagination was not that good.
Bloom's hand, groping at Viggo's boxers, was invitation enough, but when Viggo returned the touch, pressing his palm against Bloom's groin through cotton, Bloom was soft.
"Don't worry 'bout that," Bloom whispered, pushing Viggo's hand away. "Just put it in me."
Bloom's breath was harsh in the darkness, over the metal creaks of the bunks, and when Viggo propped himself up on his elbow, he could just make out the twisted shape of Bloom's mouth, the pain around his eyes.
He grabbed Bloom's hand, which was inside Viggo's boxers, squeezing and pulling at his cock, and dragged his fingers off, a move for which he deserved a fucking medal, not that anyone would give him one.
"Stop," Viggo hissed.
"Just do it," Bloom whispered, turning over, away from Viggo, wriggling his boxers down, jamming his ass against Viggo's crotch.
Viggo took a deep breath and planted a hand solidly on Bloom's angular shoulder. "No," he said firmly.
"You've got it, too," Bloom said. "I've seen you taking AZT. Do it."
Bloom was trembling under Viggo's hand, and it wasn't with lust. He was a mess.
Viggo relaxed his fingers, so they no longer dug into Bloom's shoulder. "Why?" he asked.
He stroked his palm over the point of Bloom's shoulder, where bones pressed against his skin, down his arm to his elbow, slowly and gently.
Bloom made a strangled sound, as though he was trying not to cry. "Please," he whispered.
In the darkness, Viggo closed his eyes, resting his forehead against the back of Bloom's neck. When he exhaled, his breath rushed across Bloom's skin, and when he breathed in again, the sour smell of Bloom's body filled his mind.
"It doesn't have to be like that."
Bloom moved, and Viggo thought he was going to flee, back to his bunk, but Bloom rolled over slowly, his face wet, and he looked like his heart was breaking or something. Weakness like that, weakness and need, would get Bloom killed out in the general prison population. No wonder he was in the protected block.
"Oh, fuck," Viggo whispered. Then he did something he hadn't done the whole long, lonely time he'd been inside. Something he must have done on the outside, when he young. Something he'd thought he'd lost forever.
He kissed Bloom, pressed his own dry lips against Bloom's gently, held them there for long seconds, while his heart banged against his ribs, sending his blood whistling through his body.
"Oh!" Bloom gasped, when Viggo lifted his mouth. His arm slid around Viggo's shoulders, invitation enough for Viggo to lean his head forward again, his mouth open when it met Bloom's.
They kissed, slow and tentative, the stubble on Bloom's face catching on Viggo's beard, and Bloom moved closer, his body warm against Viggo's. It was intoxicating, better than anything Viggo had ever shoved in his veins or up his nose or drunk out of a bottle, better than a dick in the ass, better than anything he had ever imagined.
Viggo slid his hand across Bloom's back, drawing him even closer, finding the hard bones of his spine, the skin tight across his ribs, then, finally, his hand drifted down to Bloom's bony ass, drawing him closer.
This time, while their tongues slipped together, Bloom was hard, cock straining at his boxers, jabbing into Viggo's hip. Their legs tangled, spit trailed down Viggo's chin, into his beard, and Bloom moaned into his mouth, deep and low.
In a desperate fumble, Viggo got his hand between their bodies, wrenching his boxers down, grabbing his own cock, just before it all became too much, stroking himself, rubbing the head of his cock against the fragile skin of Bloom's belly.
It felt like he was never going to stop, he just kept coming, on and on, pumping come up Bloom's belly and chest, groaning into Bloom's mouth in a desperate attempt to muffle the noise.
Bloom's hand was there, between their bodies, spreading come over skin, grabbing his own cock, and Viggo held him close while he shuddered and gasped, and something hot and wet spread over Viggo's hip and trickled into his pubic hair.
Viggo's mouth was numb, like his mind, but he didn't stop kissing Bloom, across his face and neck, while Bloom lay limp and weak in his arms.
Catcalls echoed down the cell block, and Viggo whispered, "Guess that was loud."
Bloom chuckled, a rumble in his throat. "Never would have guessed you were a screamer."
Viggo pulled the blanket back up, over both of them. "Don't go," he whispered, when Bloom moved, beginning to untangle their bodies.
Bloom made a small noise, a gasp or a sob, but he stayed, his head on Viggo's shoulder, while Viggo stroked his arm, tracing the tendons through his skin.
They didn't talk, though Viggo would have liked to ask where Bloom was from, since his accent was something Transatlantic. It was enough just to have someone to hold, and the night was the shortest one Viggo had ever experienced inside.
When dawn crept through the skylights over the walkway, Bloom moved, lifting himself up and leaning over Viggo, to kiss him one last time.
"Tonight?" Viggo asked.
Bloom nodded, and he looked shy in the half-light. "You gonna tell me no tonight?" he whispered.
His weight was nothing, when Viggo gripped his sharp hips, lifting him up and settling him across Viggo's legs. "Feel that?" Viggo whispered, and Bloom nodded, his knees squeezing against Viggo's thighs, his groin a hot weight against Viggo. "That's for you, for tonight."
"Promise?" Bloom whispered, then he was gone, down the bunk frame, leaving Viggo to stretch contentedly and rub at the dry come flaking off his belly. Feeling happy was just asking for trouble, for some CO or inmate to come along and smash things apart, but he couldn't help himself, not right at that moment.
Viggo floated through the day, sleeping solidly in the morning with the Thorazine swishing through his body, then spending a couple of hours in the exercise yard, walking around in the late autumn sunshine, his jacket buttoned all the way up, Bloom close beside him. It wasn't like in the main cell blocks, where the inmates exercised hard, lifting weights and playing ball, fighting each other. Where they were, people just wandered around, haggling for cigarettes and telling lame jokes.
The sky overhead, a faded blue, promised the seasons were turning, and it would be cold soon. Then Viggo thought of cold nights, with two blankets between the pair of them, and all the body heat they could share. It was going to be a good winter.
That night, before lights out, Viggo lay on his bunk and watched while Bloom peeled his T-shirt off and washed up. He was hard already, there wasn't anyway he'd be anything else, and when Bloom stood up again from the sink, Viggo reached out a hand and traced fingers over one of the bruises on Bloom's back.
The bruise was firm and rose under the skin. "How did you get the bruises?" Viggo asked.
Bloom pulled away from him, and when he glanced at Viggo, his hand went to the marks on his face. "They're not bruises. I've got KS."
"Fuck," Viggo said under his breath. "No wonder you're so thin."
Bloom nodded, pulling his T-shirt on quickly, hiding the marks on his body, but there was nothing he could do about the patches on his face.
"Does that make a difference?" Bloom asked.
Viggo shook his head. "We've all got problems here. Maybe they'll let you out on parole because of it."
Bloom shrugged, but didn't say anything, just climbed onto his own bunk, leaving Viggo to lie there, staring at the photos of his lost family that he'd stuck to the ceiling.
He fell asleep, listening to Bloom snuffle in his sleep, when the lights went out. He was worn out from not sleeping the night before, and from the hard work of feeling something other than hopelessness.
Bloom woke him, spreading a second blanket over him, then climbing under the double layers of warmth, and it took Viggo a sleepy couple of minutes to wake up enough to do more than just wrap his arms around Bloom.
"Will you do something for me?" Bloom asked, his voice low, when Viggo had kissed him.
"What do you want?" Viggo asked, and he could feel he was smiling in the darkness.
"Call me Orlando," Bloom asked. "Just when..."
"Orlando," Viggo whispered, his lips against Bloom's ear. "I can do that, if you'll call me Viggo."
The next kissed burned and soared, and Bloom's hands were eager, pulling Viggo's T-shirt up, rough nails on his skin, then his mouth closed over Viggo's nipple, biting carefully, teeth marking the skin, so that Viggo gasped.
"Have you got anything?" Bloom asked, when he lifted his head again.
Viggo shook his head. "I tried to get some margarine, but Bruno stopped me."
"I asked the nurse, and she just laughed at me," Bloom said.
Viggo touched Bloom's face, cradling his cheek, running fingers down his jaw. "I won't do it dry. I can't do that to you."
Bloom leaned forward, so his lips touched Viggo's ear. "Make me come first."
Viggo had to close his eyes, in the darkness, just for a moment, at the thought. "Yeah."
Clambering down the bunk, without hitting his head, was hard work, making the frame creak, but when his hands found Bloom's hips, his boxers were already pushed off. "Oh, fuck," Bloom whispered, when Viggo's mouth slid down his cock, sucking slowly.
Viggo's hands pushed Bloom's thighs apart, finding the roughened skin, pausing to spit on his fingers, then slowly sliding one fingertip in, making Bloom's cock jerk hard against the back of Viggo's mouth.
When Viggo eased his finger in, carefully feeling, doing everything he could to make this something other than a prison fuck, Bloom's hand grabbed his shoulder. "Soon."
He let Bloom's cock slide out of his mouth, rubbed his finger in circles, just in the right place, while his teeth and lips slid up the shaft of Bloom's cock, feeling the precious pulse and throb, smelling his come. Right then, Viggo wanted nothing more than to suck the come off Bloom's belly, to eat it all, but Bloom's fingers were there already, scooping up the come, stopping it from trickling into the bedding.
Viggo scrambled back up the bunk, kicking his boxers off, then Bloom's hand closed over his cock, spreading the come over his aching flesh.
Bloom rolled away, pulling his knees up, and Viggo held his breath when the tip of his cock touched flesh. He pushed in smoothly, burying himself deeply, and Bloom was so hot inside it took Viggo's breath away, so he had to hide his face against Bloom's neck.
"Yeah," Bloom whispered, and when he uncurled his knees, moving his weight back against Viggo, his cock was hard again, as soon as Viggo touched it.
They stayed like that, joined together, Viggo's mouth pressed against the pounding pulse in Bloom's neck, then Viggo began to move slowly, rocking forward, dragging his cock back again, spitting into his hand, then stroking the slippery saliva over Bloom's cock, spreading it with his fingers, up and down.
He had to clench his mouth closed, to stop from yelling, when the burning inside him started, because nothing had ever felt as good as sliding his cock into Bloom's ass, nothing ever would feel as good again.
He came, grunting helplessly, then lay there, still deep inside Bloom, while Bloom writhed and stroked, hands over Viggo's, guiding him, so that Bloom's come seeped between his fingers, sweet and hot.
When he slipped out, finally, Bloom rolled over in his arms, his body bare against Viggo's, skin to skin.
They didn't say anything, because there wasn't anything to be said.
Winter came, cold and hard, water seeping from concrete walls.
When Bruno let Viggo back into the cell, they'd taken Bloom away, to the infirmary Bruno said.
But Viggo knew, had known from the moment he'd crouched beside Bloom's bunk, to wake him for lunch, and Bloom's eyes had stared glassily back at him, not blinking, in a face blotched dark by Kaposi's Sarcomas. Bloom had gone, slipped away like the flesh had slid from his frail bones.
The winter had taken him.
Bruno slapped Viggo on the back, then slid the cell door closed. "Take it easy, Mother. I'll ask the warden not to put anyone in here until tomorrow," Bruno said.
Viggo nodded, not sure that he would ever be able to speak again.
He clambered onto his bunk blindly. In a gap in the mattress he had a carefully hoarded stash of Thorazine, slipped out of his medicine cup and into his pocket, day after day. His rainy day supplies.
The pills, big and fat and orange, tumbled out of the mattress, into his hand, pill after pill. He took them slowly, so as not to make himself vomit, then lay down on his bunk, not bothering to pull the blanket up.
He was going to be very cold, there was no point in trying to fight it.