So this is my first ever attempt at fanfiction, but after binge-watching Orange Is The New Black this wouldn't stop bugging me until I wrote it. I'll definitely need encouragement to continue though, so please review, I want to hear the good and the bad :) This ended up having a lot more dialogue than I intended, but I decided to post it as it was to see what you guys thought.
Piper never would have thought she had it in her. All the rage, all the heartbreak, the pent up frustration of the past few weeks came bubbling up to the surface and possessed her body as she repeatedly beat the crazy meth-head who had tried to kill her. Until Doggett's body stopped moving under her. Until she could feel the bones in her hand break. Until she finally came to her senses and recoiled in horror at the unrecognisable face in the snow, battered and covered in blood. Blood that she had put there. Some of it her own, dripping profusely from the cut on her hand. What had she done?
She doesn't remember how she got to the hospital. Apparently Bennett found her by Pennsatucky's body, hugging her own knees and wailing like a madwoman so that she had to be sedated. She woke up with her right arm in a cast and the left one handcuffed to the bed, her brain spinning from the drugs they had given her to calm her down and numb her hand.
Polly was by her side while Bennett stood at the edge of the room. He nodded his head in acknowledgement, seeming pleased that she was awake, and turned his back to give the two friends what privacy he could.
- "Hey kid. You're awake." Polly leaned over to stroke Piper's shoulder, eyeing her with a mixture of worry, sympathy, and something else that Piper couldn't quite place in her current state.
Polly looked at her like she was crazy. "Po-lly" she enunciated, as though trying to teach a toddler how to talk.
- "No, Pennsatucky – Doggett, is she...?" Piper coughed. Her throat was dry, her tongue felt like cardboard.
Polly poured her a cup of water from the bedside table and helped her sit up to drink, affectionately brushing a few strands of hair away from her forehead. She would be a great mother. Was, Piper corrected herself. She was a mother already.
- "The inmate whose face you broke your hand on?"
- "She tried to kill me!" Piper replied defensively. It was funny how easy the two friends found it to slip back into sarky banter. Well, it would be if the situation weren't so serious. Polly looked at her with concern, in a way that Piper would find condescending if it didn't feel entirely justified.
- "I know, Pipes. I know you wouldn't... she - she's in surgery. They don't know if she's gonna make it."
Piper had never known her friend to have such trouble telling her anything. Polly was not afraid to tell things like they were, and Piper loved her for it. The two had a long history of calling the other out on their bullshit. But suddenly the atmosphere felt tense in the small hospital room. Polly was having trouble looking at her friend, her eyes darting around trying to find something else to settle on.
Fear. That's what had been in her expression earlier on. Polly was afraid of what her friend was becoming, unsure if she recognised her anymore. Not that Piper could blame her.
She started tearing up.
- "Hey. Hey, it's gonna be OK. She'll be fine, I know it."
Piper couldn't help the dry chuckle that escaped her throat, as she started crying in earnest.
- "Nothing's OK. Everything's wrong. I'm hurting everyone who's ever loved me, I may have just killed someone, they're going to send me to max for life and I'm never going to see the love of my life again".
The words tumbled out in a desperate rush, leading Polly to awkwardly try and hold Piper despite the handcuffs and the cast. Bennett turned his head to send an uncomfortable look their way. He knew inmates shouldn't be allowed this much contact from visitors, even in hospital, but he couldn't bear to separate the two. He liked Chapman, and he was a good guy who disagreed with the cruelty of dehumanising inmates by denying them the basic human comfort that was another person's touch.
Piper continued weeping into Polly's shoulder as her friend stroked her hair, murmuring nonsensical comforting noises to calm her down. After Piper's crying subsided, Bennett awkwardly cleared his throat and Polly sat back into her chair after giving the guard a look that made it clear she was not best pleased with this situation.
- "Pipes – you don't know that. I heard one of the guards say that they were getting the CCTV from the yard where you... where it happened, and they'll see it was self-defence. And as for Larry -"
At that, Piper's eyes flicked to Polly's. They had been friends for so long that they could often tell what the other was thinking with a look, to the point that their respective partners sometimes half-joked that they felt left out. And, looking into Piper's slightly sheepish face in that hospital bed, full of pain and guilt and doubt, Polly understood.
- "Oh, Christ Piper. You're not talking about Larry, are you?" Piper looked down. "That bitch sent you to prison! You had something perfect going on with Larry, and she ruined your life!"
- "I committed the crime, Polly! *I* took that money across a border, I deserve to do time. Besides, if I were in her situation I probably would have named her if it meant less time for me."
- "But... I don't get it. You picked him. You were going to marry him just the other day."
- "I make mistakes."
- "Ya think?"
Piper smiled a small, bitter smile, and shook her head, trying to find the words to explain what she felt.
- "I just... I love him, I do. And he said that he loved me, and that he wanted to marry me right now and that we would get through all of this shit together."
- "When he ended it with me, I was shocked and hurt and sad that the man I had cared so much about was walking away. And I felt guilty for hurting him, because he's such a good man and he was so good to me. But I was also a bit relieved. I think..." Piper paused before her next sentence. She hadn't consciously realised she felt this way until now, but the drugs that were clouding her brain paradoxically gave her a clearer insight into her messed up love life. "I think I chose him because he was safe. He represents the perfect suburban life that I've been trying to build for myself these past few years, so that I could be the nice blonde lady I was always meant to be. But now that I might never see Alex again-"
Polly managed to sigh and roll her eyes at the same time, before pursing her lips to stare at her friend like she was an incorrigible child whom you couldn't help but love, no matter how many times she got herself into trouble.
- "What is it about her, Pipes? I never got it. You know she's bad news."
It was Piper's turn to sigh.
- "I don't know. She... I know she has her flaws."
This earned her another glare, with raised eyebrows this time that left Piper in no doubt that Polly would continue rocking this motherhood gig into her kid's teenage years and beyond.
- "But she probably knows me better than Larry did, she knew the good and the bad and she still loved me. She took a hold of my heart ten years ago and now that I've seen her again I just can't seem to shake her... I can't keep lying to myself, pretending that I'm something I'm not and that I deserve to be in prison less than the others. This is my life now. I have to stop running away from my shit and accept that. And accept the fact that I am undeniably, irrevocably, inevitably in love with Alex Vause."
Piper had almost forgotten that Polly was there. As the words were coming out of her mouth, seemingly of their own accord, she could feel how true they were.
She turned back to her friend, and with a pathetic little shrug she concluded:
- "The heart wants what the heart wants".
- "Well your heart is an idiot, sweetie."