Title: Forgiveness
Fandom: OZ
#042 Daddy
Characters: Ryan O'Reily, Seamus O'Reily, Gloria Nathan
Rating: T
I do not own OZ or any of the characters belonging to OZ, I am not making any profit from this fanfic and I don't intend to.
Forgiving is easier said than done. AU

Listening to his father's attempts to explain himself felt surreal, not even once before had Seamus O'Reily ever tried to apologise to any of his sons – or to anyone else for that matter. Fuck. There were even tears shimmering in his eyes – but they would never fall because boys don't fucking cry. Not even when their sons are executed (fucker hadn't even come to see him off) or when they killed their daughters or when they beat their eldest child bloody every night he was sober enough to catch him.

When he had been a child, every day had been spent thinking ahead for that one day when he was big enough and strong enough to pay his father back for all the pain he and Cyril had been put through. He'd daydream of killing this man slowly and gruesomely and over and over and over again. Funny thing was that that was where his plan to kill Schibetta had come from, a plan he had never dared use on his father. As much as he had hated him, to a young boy Seamus O'Reily had seemed invincible, as inevitable as any other force of nature. And Seamus had thrown him and Cyril out on the streets before Ryan was old enough to know just how easy it was to kill people – only fucking smart thing that bastard ever did.

Now staring down at this pathetic lump of a man, struggling with an apology that came way too late the way only a man who had never apologised before could, Ryan couldn't imagine ever feeling as much as a speck of fear for him. It was startling to realise that the bullshit Seamus was spouting could actually be genuine, but it didn't move him. No pity, no sorrow stirred in his heart. Nothing, except a familiar chill that always settled in his head when he decided someone was going to die.

His so called father asked for forgiveness, all wide-eyed and pleading, and no one who saw him that moment could have guessed what a piece of shit he really was. Ryan shifted his head to watch Gloria working on the other side of the hospital, surreptitiously keeping an eye on the two of them, father and son. For her, the woman he would gladly give up his soul for, he should make an honest effort to forgive dear old dad for his past transgressions. If he didn't, if he followed through with his intention to kill Seamus, he could kiss any chance with her goodbye; it would ruin all the progress he had made over the past years since he had her husband killed.

She was beginning to love him, really love him, but she still hadn't truly forgiven him yet. At times he thought it was more because she felt that he had made her Preston Nathan's murderer just as much as he and Cyril were than any other reason. It was amazing what a single priest, a mother and a faked act of forgiveness could do to soften Gloria's disposition toward him. Ryan had never imagined he would ever find a use for a priest but he had. It was just too bad his value was inseparable from his death. Even though Father Meehan had been a means to an end, like so many others, he had come to like the man. But just because he had learned to like a priest, didn't mean he was any more enamoured with religion than before, as far as he saw it religion only got in the way of things that needed to be done. He wasn't a man that changed for the better that easily; no man was – not in OZ.

Seamus was already dying; Ryan had seen enough men die to know that, and to lose Gloria just because he wanted to be the one to stick a shank in him... it just wasn't worth it. His father would die anyway, just not by his hand. He tried to remember a moment when his father had shown either O'Reily brother any sort of kindness.

In the end, Ryan told his father he forgave him, then as he watched the relief spread over Seamus' face he leaned down and whispered softly in his ear. "No fucking way, you cocksucking son of a bitch."

Pain and anguish replaced the relief on Seamus' rough features in an instant and the small amount of hope he had seen before died out. Fuck, it felt wonderful watching him like this.

Then the last breath leaves Seamus O'Reily's body and Ryan called out for help. Gloria came rushing immediately, checking Seamus' vital signs with practise ease and efficiency but was in vain. Seamus O'Reily was already gone.

Hugging Gloria tightly, her slender hands stroking his back soothingly, he thought he had finally found a use for his father after all.

The End.