Nicky hadn't spoken to Red since their fight in the kitchen at the beginning of the week. At least Red was still feeding her, that was the least she could ask for. But she just didn't see what Red was so worried about. She had seen Chapman around this prison. How unassuming she had been. How defensiveless she was.
At least at first.
Maybe she had gotten creative enough to make lotion for Red's back to win her over after insulting her food in her first week but she was nothing more then some pinterest browsing creative chick. The life of drugs, and violence that many of the women in this prison were so used to, it wasn't something Chapman would ever ready for, she would never be able to thrive in the prison system.
Nicky remembered seeing Chapman her first day. She had the wide eyed look that the new prisoners sometimes got. The "I don't belong here but now I'm stuck" sort of look. Maybe Nicky had been inside these walls for too long because part of her was starting to find those new prisoner looks of shock kind of funny. Mostly because it reminded her of how she felt when she first got here. But now she was being taken care of, she had a group to look after her and even when they fought, she knew they only had their best interests at heart.
That first week when she introduced herself to Chapman for the first time she realized that girl wasn't just scared, she was fucking terrified. This wasn't a world for someone like her. She wasn't built for it, she wasn't strong looking or scary or used to scraping by. She was one of the few that came from a good family, one that had a strong support system and one that way paying for some stupid shit she did when she was younger.
She wasn't built for it. She never was.
Chapman was starting to find her footing around the prison. Nicky could tell she was taking the "keep your head down" approach. Nicky couldn't blame her. From what Nicky heard through the prison grapevine she was pretty sure Chapman had a very short sentence. If she was smart, she would keep that head of hers down and out of the way and she would be out of here before anyone even learned her name.
It was a solid approach.
This place seemed harmless at times, after you got used to it. But you were always one step away from extending your sentence and getting stuck in the cycle again. Just one violation, one threat, one pissed off CO and you were looking at added time for some shit you didn't do that wasn't your fault.
It was later in the week when Nicky found herself in line behind the new prisoner and got an early glimpse of the fiery blonde in action. The line for the telephones had been particularly long that day but that never really bothered Nicky. It's not like she had anywhere to be. Plus she loved to listen to all the one-sided conversations. If she were lucky there'd be a screaming match today. Those were her favorite.
Unfortunately there has just been boring confessions of love and some minor crying when she was bored out of her mind and still stuck in the line four hours later. Fortunately she was finally second in line, just behind Chapman. A burly bull dyke with a messy Afro and 'family' tattooed across her neck jumped the line and grabbed the phone just as Chapman was reaching for it.
Nicky had expected Chapman to follow her heads down approach, to fall back in line and wait for the next phone, but not today. Instead she poked the bull dyke hard on her shoulder.
"Excuse me!" Chapman said when she was ignored. Nicky could feel herself physically cringe as she watched Chapman's rigid finger come down for another poke.
The person on the other end of the bull dyke's phone call must have answered because Nicky heard her give a quick 'hello' before turning around and blocking the receiver with her hand.
"Can I help you?" The bull dyke asked. Nicky was relieved to see an amused smirk on her face, she was enjoying Chapman's display more than she was being pissed off by it. That was good. But Chapman was one step away from getting the horns on this one.
"I was next." Chapman said. She sounded like a mother scolding a child. She even wagged her finger for good measure.
"So you're next." She said moving her hand from the receiver to give a quick one work response to something that must have been said on the other end.
"You cut the line." Chapman said as she folded her arms across her chest.
The bull dyke stared at her. She made a circling gesture with her hands as if she was expecting more from her story. When Chapman didn't add anything the bull dyke turned her back to her and carried on her conversation.
Chapman stepped back to her place on the line. Throwing her back against the wall in a huff. Nicky eyed her for a second, she knew she had to say something to this newbie before she got herself killed.
"Ya know." Nicky said. She matched Chapman's stance against the wall. "You might want to learn to pick and chose your battles if you want to survive here."
Chapman was quiet, her eyes still focused on the bull dyke's back. Nicky wasn't even sure she was listening to her until she saw Chapman's head slowly turn to her direction.
"I've been waiting here for hours. You've been waiting too. She just-." Chapman stopped and let out another huff.
"I'm not denying that." Nicky said. She leaned her shoulder against the wall and turned to face Chapman. "What I'm saying is, look at her-" Nicky saw Chapman's eyes follow her gesture back to the massive form, the bull dyke had wide rigid shoulders, she looked more like a football player than a female inmate. She was easily a foot taller than both of them and had, what looked to be, a body made of pure muscle.
"And then look at yourself." Nicky's eyes raked over Chapman's petite body. She couldn't help biting her lip as she progressed up her legs, to her small breasts and when she finally met Chapman's wide eyes Chapman's took a small step backwards and covered herself.
"Sorry it's been a while." Nicky admitted.
Nicky could see Chapman relax a little and dismissed her with a breath of laughter.
"I'm just saying that some people are the takers and some are the givers and you have to know where you stand before you get yourself punched in the face-" Nicky paused. "-Or worse."
Chapman was looking away from her again but Nicky knew she was listening this time. Listening and contemplating, studying the massive frame that she had just finished arguing with. If the bull dyke had wanted to fight today Chapman would have been a bloody mess on the floor before the guards could even react. That was even if the bull dyke had been dumb enough to attack Chapman while guards were around to save her.
As if on cue, Red was walking by with her kitchen minions in tow.
"But what about her?" Chapman said. "She's not exactly big-eh" she stumbled on her words. Nicky couldn't help but smirk, at least she was learning something from this food lockout. Be careful who you piss off here. She was thinking before she spoke, being careful not to accidently anger Red anymore than she already had when she insulted her food.
But Nicky got the point without Chapman stumbling on her words anymore so she spared her having to figure that shit out.
"Red runs the kitchen and everybody has to eat." Nicky said. "There's all types of power you can get here. You just have get creative or befriend the right people." She gave Red a nod as she walked by. Red returned the nod with as much of a smile as you'd ever get from Red before she turned her glance into a glare as her eyes landed on Chapman.
Chapman kept her eyes focused on the tiles at her feet.
Good. Nicky thought. She's a quick learner.
Even from her spot halfway across the prison yard, Nicky could see the way Warren's smile made her face shine and it wasn't hard to see why. Warren was seated next to Chapman in the fresh spring grass their backs leaning against the shed. Nicky could see that Warren was listening intently to something Chapman was saying but even then Warren's wide smile was evident even through her concentration.
Nicky had never thought she would see such a pairing in her life but then again she's seen crazier shit inside these walls and outside of them. And sometimes when people needed someone and they were going through some shit, they clung to the first person that would grab them. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Maybe that's the case here. Maybe Chapman just needs someone and Red is just reading too much into the situation.
Nicky watches as Warren''s smile suddenly fades. Her glance drifts up until her and Nicky lock eyes. Warren's eyes grow cold and Nicky can feel a chill run up her spine. The face that was all smiles and sunshine is suddenly full of hatred and anger and Nicky can't place where it's coming from. She looks over at Chapman for an explanation but she is just whispering more words into Warren's ear.
Warren's glare fades back to a grin as Nicky watches her turn towards Chapman and steal a kiss while a guard's back turns to him as he continues down his patrol route.
A heavy hand falls onto her shoulder and Nicky feels herself jolt.
"You know when I first saw them together I thought 'how fucking weird'." Big Boo says as she lines up next to Nicky and watches as Suzanne and Chapman's quick kiss turns into a full makeout session before it is broken up by an annoyed guard.
"Then I thought." Big boo continued. "One crazy bitch deserves another."
"I just feel bad for Warren." She said with a laugh.
Big Boo's hand left Nicky's shoulder as she turned to leave the exercise yard.
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