Title: Cookie Cutters (1/1)
Author: papillon
Summary: Beecher on dreams and reality, Katherine and Chris.
Rating: PG13.
Pairing: B/K, mentions of Katherine.
Disclaimer: Fontana.
Date: Dec. 31, 2001; Jan. 3, 2002.

It's a cookie cutter dream, the kind he bought into--wanted to believe he bought into--before. It is a Hallmark scene: the sun, the park, man and woman and child with their picnic basket and the afternoon spread out before them. This is what he should want: normalcy, but even in his dream, nothing feels right and Katherine's hand is soft and smooth and--wrong--wrong--wrong!--in his.

Katherine's hands are narrow, long-fingered, delicate bones. They are pale, mostly, but he can see faint traces of ink along her fingers sometimes. Katherine's nails are smooth ovals, painted a soft shell-pink. Her flesh is soft with hand cream, and her skin has absorbed the scent of aloe. She straightens his tie, touches his shoulders, arms, back, and her touch is light, a polite admittance of attraction.

Chris' hands are strong, powerful, and Toby's body still aches with the memory of what those hands are capable of--pain and pleasure, betrayal and protection. Chris' touch isn't polite, isn't light--his hands know Toby, not tentative guests' like Katherine's, they move as if they belong against Toby's body. Chris and Toby have lain together in the quarter-darkness, Chris' breaths hot puffs against the back of Toby's neck, their hands twinned together over Toby's stomach. Toby has nuzzled at Chris' hands, has swirled his tongue against the edge of Chris' nails, traced the sharp edge of callouses, sucked past the rise of Chris' knuckles, and watched his eyes, dark.

Katherine is nice enough, Toby thinks. He would be lying if he said that the sight of painted lips, delicate woman's hands, curve of breast and hips and ass don't send jolts of appreciation through him. She is kind, and attractive, and he hardly knows her at all. She is a safe fantasy, meaningless, and the very thought of her isn't enough to make him ache with loss and want as does Chris. He may like watching the sway of Katherine's hips, but he gets hard at the memory of Chris' smile.

Katherine's lips are soft and full, carefully painted, subtle and feminine. Her smile is reassuring, comforting, and when they are alone, something he reads as promising. Toby thinks that she would kiss like she smiles--careful and soft and tender, delicate nips along his lower lip, a swirl of her tongue in his mouth, soft hands bracketing his face.

Chris has a thousand different smiles, shades upon shades of meaning to the twitch and pull of his lips. Toby has catalogued those smiles, even before he realized why he watched Chris' lips with such steady fascination. He has seen the stretch of a shark-grin--teeth and danger. He has seen Chris smile, knowing and sensual and inviting. Too rare, he has seen a flash of happiness, brilliant, heart-stopping, for _him_. Chris' kiss is a masterwork, all talent and knowledge and Toby loves Chris' mouth against his own because Chris can speak without words--possessive, tender, angry, regretful, passionate, loving, and Toby has tasted them all against his lips.

He dreams of Katherine and wakes knowing that such a life isn't his, isn't right, doesn't make him _feel_. It is a dream special ordered by his parents, cozy and domestic and hetero white upper-middle class and he can't see Chris in this picnic fantasy, but he can't see himself there, either. He has choked on his rage and fear, guilt and shame and denial and he doesn't want Katherine and white picket fences and picnics in the park. He wants Chris, needs Chris, loves Chris and won't and can't leave this place and settle into a sober and penitent version of the Toby who was.

He's been a fool a dozen times over, denied himself, inflicted a thousand small wounds in his fear. And Chris may be gone, but Toby has learned, finally--and he won't cast aside his hard earned education and allow himself to believe in Katherine. This is who he is, he loves Chris, and full breasts and smooth thighs won't bring him back to the safe world that is no longer his, the soft Toby who was crushed beneath the weight of Vern at his back.

Katherine is nice, but Chris has wound himself into Toby's soul.

He's never really liked picnics, anyway.