A/N: I do not own Breakout Kings, wish I did because they would have gone on for at least another season. Geez it's about time that I came up with another ff. This is a one-shot, there maybe other one shots that would show snippets of Lloyd as he struggles with the decision. But not quite yet.
Warning: This story is heavily based with angst. Minor swear words used, no graphic images.
Lloyd paced inside his cell, 'This is it, tonight is going to be the night, I can't take it anymore.'
"Lowery!" Lloyd turned to look at the guard, "Your work release van is here, the other two are already waiting outside."
Lloyd nodded and sat on the floor back facing the guard, same procedure as always. Lloyd felt like he was in a daze it seemed like it took just two steps to get to the transpo van. Erica and Shea were already in the car waiting. They were both expecting him to be hopping up and down, barely able to sit in excitement that they got another runner and a chance to earn another month off. But strangely he was silent. He gave them each a glance and a nod before sitting down and staring out the window.
Erica turned to Shea and whispered, "What's with him? Something happen?"
"Why would you think that?" Shea turned to face her.
"Because he isn't sequestered like the women are, that's why." Erica huffed.
"Nah man, I haven't heard anything."
They both turned to look at Lloyd, but he was too absorbed into whatever he was thinking about to give them any notice.
The van arrived and they were walked into the bullpen and debriefed on their runner. Lloyd only had half an ear on the case, he couldn't turn his mind off of his decision.
"Lloyd? Lloyd!" Charlie yelled.
Lloyd broke out of his daze and cleared his throat, "Yeah Charlie?"
"Are you paying attention or do you just want to stare some more?"
"No no, I'm good."
"Anything you want to say?"
Lloyd just cleared his throat, ran a hand through his hair and shook his head.
**10 minutes later**
"Okay so Ray will go down to the restaurant for us and bring us lunch, I'll be in my office making calls, you all keep on looking for something that might give us a hint into this guy."
Everybody nodded and continued digging through their folders. Erica wandered over to Shea and nudged him to get him to look up. Shea gave her a questioning look and she tilted her head in Lloyd's direction. "Go ask him what's wrong," Erica whispered.
Rolling his eyes, Shea walked over to Lloyd's desk and bent down into his eye range. "Yo, Lloyd."
"Everything aight up there?" Shea tapped his forehead.
Lloyd's eyes focused on Shea's face and just shook his head.
Lloyd leaned in over the desk to make sure he wasn't overheard by Julianne or Erica, and just said, "I'm going to let them take it."
"Take what? What are you talkin bout man?"
"I can't live like this anymore, and you know what I'm referring to Shea."
"It? Why man? Thought you had made yourself known that you had a shroud of protection around you." That's when Shea really looked at Lloyd. Like really looked. He had bags under his eyes from not sleeping well, his hair was more disheveled than what was normal for him, his eyes were rimmed in red, and when he changed into his civvies; he missed a couple of buttons on his flannel shirt. This wasn't the perky, gung-ho Lloyd that wanted to earn as many months off as he could to avoid going back to maximum security, this was a saddened-depressed creature.
"What brought this on? And don't lie to me Lloyd, why haven't you asked Julianne to help you out a little, if you know what I mean."
"There's no chance of her ever going for a guy like me Shea, I'm a convicted criminal with a 25 year sentence." Lloyd swallowed. "I'm tired of not being touched with affection, ok?"
"Whoa whoa, what do you mean?"
"I mean, my mother barely ruffled my hair or gave me a pat on the back when I was growing up, and all the girl's my age just wanted to say they fucked a genius kid." 'The sticky fumbling in the backseat of a car, with a girl who called him the wrong name'. "And to top it off, they would say I was creepy, and they only slept with me out of pity that I wouldn't get any girl with my looks." Shea's eyes widened at that statement.
"Dude, you're not that bad." With that statement Lloyd sank back into his seat and folded in on himself. "That's it, I'm done talking about it, leave me alone."
Shea protested, seeing how much that sentence hurt him, "I didn't mean it like that Lloyd. You were creepy and off-putting at first, but now that I got to know you, you're not half bad. Come on man…"
"No, I said I was done. And I mean it, my mind is made up, if I sell myself I might get at least some form of affection, as twisted as that affection may be. I may even get somebody who will be nice. Nobody, not you, Erica, Ray, Charlie or Julianne will change my mind."
"What about going to Erica and asking her to 'ruffle your hair'?"
"Please, every time Erica gets angry I flinch thinking that she's going to hit me. She reminds me of my mother."
"Alright fine, I'm going over to ask Julianne to help you out." If anything, Lloyd folded himself into his chair even more now. "Please don't, I don't want to ruin her. Leave her out of this, it's my decision," Lloyd whispered.
But Shea had made up his mind to help the socially awkward genius out. Lloyd looked up in time to see him turn and open his mouth. "I said DON'T!" All eyes turned to look at him. Knocking his chair over, Lloyd ran from the room into the bathroom. Turning and closing the door, he held onto the sink and breathed heavily through his mouth, he looked up and gazed at himself through the mirror. "I'm so pathetic…I could have been so much more, my mother was right." Sudden anger surged through him and he gave into that feeling, punching the mirror to try to dispel the image of the pathetic on-the-verge of tears man in front of him. He had meant it when he first met Shea and Erica, that guys like him don't "do well" in prison.
"What the hell did you say to him!" Erica yelled at Shea. Holding his hands up in surrender from the angry woman in front of him, "Relax aight? I just said I was going to talk to Julianne about his problem."
Julianne stood up at the mention of her name, "What problem? How could I be of any help?"
"The poor guy has some twisted sense of morals, that's what Julianne."
"And what morals would that be Shea?" Julianne narrowed her eyes at Shea.
"Lloyd as he says, is affection starved. And didn't have much in the way of affection from his mother nor from any girlfriends, which; from what I take it, he never had any." Julianne held her hands up to her mouth, "Oh my god! That's awful."
Shea nodded, "Now Erica will know what I'm talking about," turning to face Erica, "Lloyd says he's going to find somebody to give him any sort of attention, good or bad. He's going to give it away Erica. He deserves better than what he thinks. We need to change his mind. Haven't you noticed how distant he's been lately and how he looks? He looks like shit, man. Prison is finally taking its toll on the guy. He's been pent up for years and has had no attention given to him. I feel sorry for the guy, I really do."
"What do you mean give it away Shea, I need to know what is he planning on doing. Is he going to hurt himself?"
"Julianne, he's planning on becoming a whore. Like I said, if he can't get any good attention, he'll settle for the bad kind."
Erica and Julianne gasped. "I had no idea he was this bad," Erica said. "Julianne, why don't you help him out?"
"Excuse you, I'm not a slut!" Julianne said hotly.
"And we're not saying you are! He needs someone who will be gentle with him. Who won't hurt him. And most of all, doesn't scare him."
"Why don't you ask Erica then?"
"Because after Erica hit him, he flinches away from her at times. You know he has no filter on that mouth of his and Erica has a temper."
Erica spoke up then, "It has to be you Julianne. He trusts you and I think you trust him back. The both of you are made for each other. Even if you guys just talk about nothing, you'll be helping him more than you think. You're more confident than you give yourself credit for." Julianne glowed a faint red and nodded. Taking a deep breath she held and counted to five before she let it out. She turned and went to where the bathroom was.
"Please change his mind Julianne." Erica whispered before going back to her desk. Shea did the same. It was up to her now.
Julianne gathered up her courage and knocked on the bathroom door. "Lloyd?" She said softly.
From where Lloyd was curled up in the corner, crying into his knees, he heard Julianne calling his name softly. "Please go away Julianne, I don't want you to see me like this."
"Screw this!" Julianne muttered as she opened the door, she had heard enough to know he was crying in there.
Lloyd's head shot up and gazed at Julianne in amazement that she showed a rare moment of authority. "What's all this about Lloyd?"
"I'm sure Shea already told you."
"He didn't, he only said how you wanted to talk to me about something. So tell me, what is so bad that you overturned your chair, yelled at Shea, and punched the mirror."
"Nothing, it's just stress and the fact that my mind won't shut itself off."
"Uh huh, see I don't believe you. You can tell me while I pick the glass out of your hand."
Bending down to get to the first aid kit underneath the sink, she gingerly sat down next to Lloyd in his corner and gently started using tweezers on his knuckles. After about 2 minutes of silence Lloyd spoke.
"I've decided to become a prison whore Julianne." Julianne, to her credit, didn't flinch.
"But you're so smart, why would you want to do that to yourself?"
"I want someone to touch me, in a kind way. It's only been myself for years. And I can't take it anymore."
"What do you mean touch you? Like as in a hand through the hair, or the other kind?" Julianne questioned.
"I'm talking about any and anything I can get Julianne." Lloyd ducked his head down, ashamed that he had admitted that fact to her.
Julianne pursed her lips in thought, "So what is it that you were angry at Shea for?"
Lloyd mumbled into his knees, hair covering his eyes.
Julianne drew in a breath to steady herself, drawing on her steadily growing cache of confidence to be forceful with him, "Lloyd, look at me." Lloyd refused, pressing his face further into the fabric of his jeans. Julianne hesitantly reached her hand out that wasn't holding the tweezers and gripped Lloyd gently by his chin and lifted his head up. Slowly, so agonizingly slow, his hazel eyes appeared into view. Julianne gave a soft smile and put the tweezers down.
Lloyd allowed Julianne to lift up his head, astounded that she seemed to have more confidence than he, to try and make eye contact. Not only did she do so, but she held his piercing gaze comfortably. Even as full of shame, anger, and self-loathing as he was, Lloyd was proud of the fact that she could do that. Until she asked her question again, wincing Lloyd forced himself to continue holding her gaze while he responded.
"Shea asked me if I was going to ask you to help me out, I said no. He was turning around to ask you…and I panicked."
"Why weren't you going to ask me? I'm not good enough for you to trust me?"
Shaking his head Lloyd responded, "I didn't ask you because I didn't want to stain you and your pureness."
"But Lloyd, you do realize that I trust you right? You have helped me more than years of therapy and shrink visits."
"And it is because you trust me, that I didn't want this situation to be known to you. You're growing by both small steps and leaps, while I was just getting further and further behind. How could I tell you about my problem? I could have made you doubt yourself and all that hard earned progress would be set back to before I met you." Lloyd swallowed thickly.
"That is for me to decide and me alone Lloyd. Everybody's got mental problems, some people are just more noticeable than others. I just wish that you would have come to me first when you started feeling this way." At this Lloyd finally broke eye contact and looked down from Julianne's earnest eyes.
"But I'm a criminal, a convict. I wrote that prescription that helped that girl commit suicide. You don't understand, I have nothing to offer. I didn't want to dirty your wings that were just starting to become white again with my problems. Every time I hear that we have a runner, I look forward to seeing you and your smile. Because that's all I'm able to take, I take it. And it helps me get through the night."
Julianne took her hand from his chin. Lloyd started to bring his head back down to his knees, 'That was it, the last straw. She wants nothing more to do with me. I knew it. She was only taking pity on the animal in the corner of its cage.' Suddenly, he felt a hand holding his left cheek. Shocked he looked up and without thinking, he nuzzled into her hand. Thinking that she was saying that she wanted nothing more to do with him and was about to take her leave, he wanted to savor and memorize the feel of somebody's hand holding his face like this.
With that reaction, Julianne followed the rest of her instinct. She put her other hand on his right cheek, so she was now cradling his head in her hands. Lloyd closed his eyes and sighed. He envisioned that he was exhaling all of the stress that had been building up. Julianne knew she had done the right thing when he sighed. He looked so at peace. That's when she decided to take it a step further. Making sure that Lloyd still had his eyes closed, she gave him a feather light kiss on his lips.
Lloyd nearly jumped out of his skin at the feel of her lips on his. Never in all of his fantasies would he have ever imagined Julianne doing this. His eyes practically bulging from his head, he looked at her in astonishment. Giving him a small smile Julianne answered his unspoken question that was in his eyes.
"Lloyd, do you know why I did that? I did that because I wanted too. I did it because I've decided to help you like you helped me. And I like you Lloyd. Everybody treats me like I'm made out of glass because of my problems, but you treat me different because you know I could be stronger, and when I prove you right; you get this look on your face. You get this proud look on your face and it makes me feel good, and I want to continue to make progress and keep that look on your face." Lloyd held his breath and held himself still, afraid that if he moved he would spook Julianne and she would run.
"I'm not saying like I'm expecting you to be my boyfriend, or vice-versa. We have to let things take its time. But what I do know is that I want to help you, you shouldn't go through this alone." While she was saying this statement, she ran a hand through his hair, letting her hand play through the hair at the back of his neck. Lloyd closed his eyes and thought hard, 'Could I sully her purity? Could I really be that selfish? Did I really have to ask myself that question? Of course I will but not without her permission.' Mind made up, Lloyd opened his eyes and answered Julianne.
"I just want to let you know that I will accept your help and I'm sorry for not bringing this to your attention sooner. I do trust you. And anytime I feel myself slipping, I will let you know."
Smiling, Julianne rose to her feet holding out a hand to Lloyd. "Come on, let's wrap your knuckles and get back out there before Shea and Erica start telling stories." Lloyd pulled himself up and gave Julianne a small smile, but it was real and not forced, with only tiny hints of sadness this time. Julianne led him to the sink and took great care in wrapping up his knuckles, "All right! All done."
She had her hand on the doorknob when Lloyd called her name. Julianne turned and found herself in a engulfed in a tight hug. Lloyd put his head in her hair and said softly, "Thank you." Before releasing her and held open the door, letting her go through first.
Erica and Shea looked up from their folders and waited with bated breath when Lloyd and Julianne emerged from the bathroom. Lloyd righted his chair and sat down, resumed trying to put together a psychological profile of their runner. Because his head was down he missed the looks Shea and Erica aimed at Julianne. All she did was give a little nod and squeezed Lloyd's shoulder. To which he reached up and squeezed her hand before she moved back to her desk.
They all looked up and Ray opened up the elevator with their lunches. "Alright anybody got anything?" Everybody shook their heads and winced when Ray's gaze noticed Lloyd's knuckles. But he didn't say anything, just walked into Charlie's office and gave him his lunch. "No dilly dallying, I want this guy caught."