It's been a while since I've uploaded anything, I've had a serious case of writers block. Inspiration struck me today so I wrote this and uploaded it hoping this would give me my mojo back. BTW this show is all kinds of awesome. So I hope you enjoy this, it's a fun little meaningless thing that should be an easy read, so go ahead. Read it!

Empty Pen

Alex and Nichols:

Nichols giggled as she spelled out the word oral using the homemade Scrabble tiles some nameless inmate had made what she could only guess was a lifetime ago. Things had a way of getting lost inside the walls but no matter what happened she'd always found solace in the Scrabble set. There was something fascinating about how resilient the game was. The stained cardboard face outlined with crayon and marker, the handmade tiles ripped delicately into near perfect squares. The backwards Q's, the capital T's, they'd all stood the test of time. They had been here when Nichols stepped through the bars and would surely be here long after she'd gone.

"Oral," Alex said sliding her own tiles across the board. The humor of the word was lost on Alex. She didn't seem to find the simple things funny like Nichols did but Alex could be counted on to always get the joke, even if she didn't find it funny.

Nichols giggled like a school girl and Alex peered at her over the top of her glasses as she was prone to do when Nichols behaved like a six year old.

"You're such a kid sometimes. Every time we hang out I feel like I'm thirteen and we're playing doctor in my bedroom closet."

Nichol's eyes lit up with interest. "You used to play doctor? Let me guess you were always the doctor."

Alex finally smiled and finished arranging her word with the tiles. Nichols was convinced the woman was only half paying attention to the game. Whenever they played Scrabble Alex never challenged her words even when she simply made them up in her head. Her last word before Oral had been Pendit. She knew that wasn't a word, she'd never heard anybody say it but Alex had let it go without even a glance. Now she had added to it to build the word expenditure. Typical Alex, even fancy in Scrabble Nichols said to herself.

"I was always the doctor because we always played at my house. My mom was always working so she was never home so I was able to entertain." She said the word entertain with a hint of a smile and Nichols found herself wondering what the woman meant by entertaining. How much trouble could two thirteen year old girls actually get in without any drugs or booze?

"Expenditure," Nichols said changing the subject. Alex never shared, they'd done a laundry list of dirty things together and she knew very little about her life outside the bars and whenever she asked Alex always found a way to change the subject.

"It means," Alex started to say.

"I know what it means. I'm a junkie not an idiot. I can read and write," Nichols said sternly. She didn't know why it bothered her, Alex knew she wasn't an idiot, she knew she'd been raised with the best of everything. Having an education wouldn't be much of a stretch.

Alex nodded quickly. "Of course. I'm sorry," she said, and she did sound genuinely sorry. Then again she'd been this way for days now. Down in the dumps. Likely over her fall out with Chapman. Alex had finally managed to put her foot down and send Chapman away but Nichols knew she desperately hoped that Chapman would come crawling back on her hands and knees asking for forgiveness. If she did Nichols knew Alex would forgive her almost immediately. Instead of pressing the issue she decided to lighten the mood. The Latinas were sitting a few tables away listening to everything and she knew showing weakness wasn't a good idea inside the walls.

"Hey speaking of expenditures, what's the most money you've ever spent in one day?"

Alex gave her a confused glance likely wondering where the question had come from. She thought it over and shook her head. "I don't know. I don't like this game."

Nichols rolled her eyes. "Come on, I'll go first. When I was sixteen me and a couple of friends of mine checked into a hotel, bought a bunch of booze, blow, and H and we had a party. Three days of partying. I've never had so much sex and so much pussy in my life."

Alex finally allowed herself to show a real smile. "How much money did you spend?"

Nichols nodded proudly. "Twelve grand. I'm surprised I didn't OD." In reality Nichols didn't remember how much money she actually spent. She remembered leaving the house with twelve grand but she wasn't sure how much she'd actually spent on drugs and alcohol. She did remember by the time she checked out on Monday afternoon she was dead broke.

"Now you. What's the most you've ever spent in a day?"

Alex looked up at the cold grey ceiling and considered it. "I guess I'll have to go with seventy nine thousand."

Nichol's eyes widened with interest. "Eighty Grand?" Who spent eighty grand in a day?

Alex nodded. "Seventy nine thousand six hundred forty one dollars and eight cents."

In the distance Nichols saw Mama Diaz's head snap to attention. Even she thought that was a huge number.

"What the hell did you buy?"

Alex shook her head. "Two first class tickets to the French Riviera, A bungalow on the beach for a week. A pearl necklace from Tiffany's and enough clothes to make any woman happy."

Nichol's sat open mouthed at the revelation. She knew Alex was a drug dealer but she didn't know she was THAT big a drug dealer. Most dealers couldn't afford to drop that sort of money in a day. And the dealers she knew likely had never even heard of the French Riviera.

"You must have been a pretty big dealer," Nichols said. This time Diaz actually turned to look at her.

Alex shrugged the comment off. "I made a lot of money. Got a lot of prison time too."

"So you were like a kingpin."

Alex laughed. "No. I was upper management. You got street guys, you know corner guys. They bought from a guy who bought from a local kingpin, that guy bought from another guy who bought from me. All organizations work different but I answered to a guy who dealt directly with the Cartel. I was an importer, high on the food chain but not high enough that I didn't have to worry about getting my head blown off if I fucked something up. It was very stressful, but lucrative."

Nichols nodded with amazement. "You were a big shot then."

"Yeah, you should have seen my perp walk. The feds marched me out of my house at the crack of dawn in panties and a tee-shirt."

Nichols laughed. That was nothing. She'd been through worse on a half dozen Saturday nights in Manhattan.

"So this girl you took, tell me she at least put out."

Alex laughed, Nichols knew she wouldn't answer the question but her smile was all the answer she needed.

"I mean because spending eighty grand earns you swinging from the chandelier sex in my book. That gets you a threesome, or a foursome. Whatever you're into."

"It was the best week of my life."

Nichols nodded with a naughty smile. "Threesome it is."

Alex rolled her eyes. "No threesome. Just the two of us. We did stuff like that a lot. Spain, Monte Carlo, Rio de Janeiro."

"She must have been really special," Nichols said before reality slapped her in the face. "No. Tell me it wasn't with her."

Alex turned a light shade of red but it faded almost instantly and she put back on her poker face.

"Chapman. You did all this with Chapman?" Nichols didn't believe in jealousy. The junkie had sucked all the jealousy out of her long ago. All the jealously, all the shame, all the pride, they were all distant memories. Still hearing she'd done all this with Chapman sucked a little.

"She was my girl, I treated her nice," was all Alex said.

Nichols only shook her head. "What the hell happened between you two? You went from being in love to not speaking for ten years. You had a condo together or something. I remember you said you lived together."

"A flat. We had a flat together."

"A flat. You mean like in London?"


Nichols ran her hand through her ragged blonde hair. "Paris. You guys lived together in Paris?"

"And in Malaysia for a while."

Nichols picked through the Scrabble tiles in front of her. "So what happened?"

Alex shrugged. "It ended. Badly."

Diaz, Flaca and Maritza:

"No fucking way. Vouse? The big girl with the glasses," Flaca asked with a healthy dose of skepticism?

Maritza nodded eagerly. "No she's right, I heard some of the guards talking about it. She's in here for trafficking, I know that much. Mendez was telling one of the other guards that she's hooked up with some Cartel so they should be careful not to fuck with her too much."

Diaz nodded. "She was really hooked up I guess. She was like upper management. My guy Cesar was the man back home and he wouldn't have been able to get in the same room with her," she shook her head and offered a wicked smile. "If he wasn't such a dumbass I'd try to get him hooked up but he'd probably just get his dumb ass killed."

Maritza laughed. "Fucking tell me about it. My man Juvy got shot on the corner arguing over a quarter ounce. He didn't die or nothing but he clearly can't be trusted to handle business. He needs the drug dealer Special Ed program. He wouldn't last a week with a cartel before he fucked up the count or something stupid like that. That's why I'm in here now, he sold to an undercover. This motherfucker comes on the block wearing LeBron's. Nobody from the hood wear that shit. I told Juvy, Yo dude is off brand, he setting you up. Dumb ass didn't listen. They kicked my fucking door down and put both our asses in jail. Normally if he step up I get a pass and they don't charge me, but nope. This asshole swings at the cop, not only did he get knocked the fucked out but they gave us both time."

Diaz and Flaca both laughed as Maritza told her story. Diaz had been mixed up with dealers her whole life, she knew the streets and the players on them. Cesar was cool. He put food on the table and handled his business but he wasn't cut out for the big time. He didn't have the foresight to see all the players on the board. He was an excellent Checkers player but the big money was in Chess.

"If you think that's fucked up listen to this. Vouse was a baller and guess who her bottom bitch was," Diaz asked with a proud and confident smile.

Maritza shrugged and Flaca arched an eyebrow.


"Fucking Chapman," Diaz said with playful confidence.

Maritza's mouth shot open. "Blondie?"

"Fucking Blondie. Walks around here with her college nose in the air and she fucking a dealer just like the rest of us."

Flaca shook her head. "I thought she was in for money laundering or something."

"Yeah, fucking Vouse's money," Maritza said not bothering to hide her excitement.

"I knew they were fucking but damn, it's like that?" Flaca said with a tone Diaz couldn't decipher. Flaca had always had a problem with gays. She didn't explain why and Diaz had never asked but she could tell there was a lingering issue boiling below the surface. Truth be told Diaz wasn't sure Flaca didn't have her eye on Maritza but she'd never actually say that out loud. Flaca was the type to stab first and talk later.

"It's like that. They had a condo in Paris, and another one in Malaysia. Vouse used to spend mad money on her. She took her to the Riviera in France. Flew that bitch first class. Bought her a necklace from Tiffany's and let her go on a crazy shopping spree. She spent like eighty thousand dollars in one day on clothes and shit."

Maritza nodded eagerly. "That's what I'm talking about right there. Juvy used to drop me some money to keep me looking nice but he never let me get down like that. I need to find a man who gone take care of me like that. I mean I already showed I got heart. I got popped with my guy and I didn't rat or nothing. That gotta count for something right?"

Diaz nodded. "Hell yeah it does. A man needs to know you got his back."

"So are Chapman and Vouse like married or something," Flaca asked?

"I don't think so. Vouse said they used to go all these places and shit, Rio de Janeiro, Monte Carlo, Spain, but something happened and they didn't talk no more. I don't think they had talked since Chapman showed up in here."

"I wonder what happened," Flaca said softly. "They looked okay a while ago."

Maritza shook her head, "Not now though. They don't talk no more at all."

"I don't know what happened, Nichols asked but Vouse didn't say," Diaz explained.

"I bet Vouse kicked her ass. I bet Chapman started acting all superior and Vouse had to beat her down a bit. I mean it happens, some bitches don't know they place." Maritza seemed excited by the idea of Chapman getting her ass kicked but Diaz chalked it up to jealousy. Women inside got that way sometimes, agitated and envious. "You know how those suburb types are though, the first time they man act up a little they bolt."

Diaz nodded. "You try letting a grown man punch you in the face see if your ass don't bolt."

Flaca laughed. "I can take an ass whopping if I fuck up but I ain't no damn punchin bag."

"Eighty thousand dollars' worth of Gucci and Prada and shit. Jewelry. Trips around the world to fancy places. Flying first class. You wouldn't take a punch every now and then for that shit? And it's not like it's some dude punching you, it's a girl," Maritza teased.

"You gotta lick her cha cha though," Diaz added. "You lick cha cha? Because if she dropping all this money on you she gonna want to fuck you."

Maritza shrugged with a devilish smile. "Do I gotta tell people? Do people gotta know I'm fucking her?"

Diaz laughed out loud. "No, I guess not. Have that bitch move you to Paris, or Puerto Rico or some shit. Don't call home or nothing. Nobody gotta know you like licking the cha cha."

Maritza rose off her bunk and slammed her hands on her hips. "Well count me in then."

Diaz and Flaca hooted and hollered approvals. Diaz knew Maritza was just kidding, her daughter was off with a gay cousin and she'd heard the girl worry about her well-being even though deep down in her heart she knew it was the safest place for her. Away from the gangs and drugs and danger of the big city. The baby had her own room, her own toys and a stable life. Diaz loved her children but if it was HER daughter in that set up, dykes or no, she'd leave the girl where she was.

"But Chapman ended up in prison," Flaca said diplomatically. "If you fuck her you go to prison."

Diaz just shrugged. "We're in prison anyway. And we didn't get to travel around the world."

"Hell no," Maritza added.


Chapman curled up comfortably in her bunk and cracked open her book. She'd been spending a lot of time reading these days. Her bunk was the safest place for her lately. She didn't have to see Alex in her bunk with her nose buried in a book. Nichols would come by occasionally to chat but there was something off about the interactions that she couldn't quite put her finger on. There was a tension that wasn't there before. Alex had likely spilled the beans about all of her indiscretions. Nichols was probably weary of being friends with the sort of person who could leave her girlfriend of a few years when she was most in need of her love and support. Even a friendly support.

"Hey," the voice said softly. It took Chapman actually raising her head to put a face to it.

"Hi," she responded softly.

"Flaca," the girl said softly.

Chapman nodded. "I know," she lied.

Flaca smiled. "Can I talk to you?"

Chapman shrugged. This didn't sit right. She didn't have a beef with the Hispanic crew but she couldn't remember having a conversation with any of them but little Diaz.

"Sure, come in."

Flaca stepped in and looked around as if inspecting the place. "What you reading?"

Chapman flashed her a copy of her book. "The Iliad."

Flaca only nodded. "What did he do? Build something? Like Noah's Ark."

"Ever hear of a Trojan Horse," Chapman asked not expecting much.

"You mean like the Greek thing where the people hid inside?"

Impressed Chapman nodded. "Yeah. That's what it's about. Well it's the whole thing, not just the part about the Horse. I'm going to start the Odyssey next."

"Achilles and Zeus."

Chapman smiled. "Achilles and Zeus."

Flaca's mouth began to form the edges of smile but something inside her changed and she frowned.

"What did you do to get in here?" The girl finally asked. The friendliness that had been in her tone a mere second ago was gone. The words were hard and cold, impersonal.


Flaca looked over her shoulder then swung on the balls of her feet and left without saying another word.

"Weird," Chapman muttered to herself.

"What's weird?" Chapman recognized the voice right away this time. Morello.

"Nothing," Chapman said not in the sharing mood. Besides whatever Flaca's problem was she got the feeling she wouldn't be happy with her blabbing it all over the prison.

"Quick question. So I know she knocked you around a little bit so this may not be the sort of thing you want me drudging up but I was thinking of going to Spain on my honeymoon and I know you and Vause used to live there and I wanted the rundown."

Chapman's head almost exploded. "Wait, who hit me? And I used to live where?"

Morello didn't blink. "Vause. She smacked you around while you lived in Spain."

Chapman almost screamed. "Fucking prison. Sit down, let me tell you about Spain. And she never beat me up. That's crazy."

Morello nodded quickly. "Of course it is," she said robotically. Chapman knew there was nothing she could say that would change her mind.