Author's Note: It's been so long since I have posted some fiction. But when people kept prodding me to watch Orange is the New Black, I finally consented and I finished the first season within the entire day. It's a refreshingly beautiful show and I'm completely taken by it. I read about how it was based on the book/memoir; I checked out facts and compared notes on the subject. And my one-shot will be nothing like the memoirs, because I will not have Piper end up with Larry. I know that it's the realistic approach, though I loathe to admit it because I'm a ridiculously hardcore Piper/Alex shipper now.

Synopsis: 'The twenty-four weeks post finale, Piper scratches her arms until they bleed, avoids Alex like the plague, tries to work on not punching more people, and tries fruitlessly to not give into depressing sex with unruly prisoners.' A little look on how Piper faces this new darkness inside of her and tries to learn how to be alone for once. Piper-centric.

Pairings: Endgame Piper/Alex. Hints of all other canon pairings.

Copyright: Orange is the New Black is not property of myself. The book belongs to Piper Kerman and this wonderful television series is thanks to Netflix and the directors and producers of that show.

No Beta, just myself and my mistakes.

Might do a part two, so review and let me know how this first part makes you feel.

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She keeps her head hanging nowadays.

The only sounds in the room are the faint echoes of the other prisoners in the hallway.

Their bellows of insanity are the only thing that keep Piper sane; that statement would be beyond funny if she wasn't completely sure she was already out of her damn mind by now. She hadn't scratched at her arms in two days, or continuously rocked back and forth like a complete lunatic. That's always a plus in her book; it was filled with overwhelming negatives right now so it made her feel a little bit lighter.

She honestly didn't know how long she been in here. At first she tried to count the amount of cafeteria trays; you received one for breakfast and one for dinner. They were both equally disgusting; they both had tidbits of mold growing and they resembled more of a damn swamp knock-off than actual food. Fuck her, she missed Red's food so fucking much. Hell, even Gloria's. She was well aware that she had lost a decent amount of weight. It was somewhat amusing; women strived for perfection and to be as little as possible, and now that she only nibbled at some of her food and was the thinnest she's ever been, she felt like absolute garbage. Now this was a mother-fuckin' cleanser.

Her mother would probably have a fucking coronary-slash-aneurysm if she observed the state her daughter was in.

She's surmised that she's been in here roughly eight weeks; she tried to keep count but it was rather fruitless. Her hair had grown by an inch or two, and she reasoned that the roots of her hair probably looked beyond shitty. She really would have to pay a visit to Sophia when she got back, that is if she could actually leave the cafeteria after devouring Red's - or maybe Gloria was still working the kitchen - food.

She sighed forlornly and glanced down; the shallow scratches on her arm only went to her forearm. It had been a habit she developed some weeks - maybe two or three - back. It had first been because of the irritation. The voice on the other side of the wall seemed to placate her once more; they talked of anger, of control, of the fucked up legal system. Of course it had been in a rather batty and half-cracked way, but some communication was better than none. It had kept her mind off of Larry. Off of Alex. Off of her extended prison sentence.

"They are so fucked up; the guards here," she rasped out, glancing hopefully at the wall. "Just-just everyone who steps foot in this place."

Utter silence reigned for several moments. Then..."That must mean you too, right?"

The voice was that familiar mocking whisper, the one that sent shivers down the blonde's spine and made her furrow her brow deeply at the wall. Her forehead met the surface, and she opened her mouth to deny the words. She searched and searched, and the dark fog in her brain was in a fit of hysterics. It's giggles just reminded her that she was now one of the crazy ones.

"Yes," came from a shaky throat, "I guess that means me, too."

And then the conversations had stopped. She had tried religiously to keep them flowing; talking to a fellow crazy-person was better then developing voices in her own head and chatting with them. She was considerably certain that her neighbor hadn't of been removed; her ears would have perked of hopefully at the sound of those heavy doors opening. So it left her somewhat offended that she apparently wasn't a good companion; it was probably her fucked up narcissism talking once more, but whatever.

So she had gotten angry, of course.

The first forty-eight hours she had kicked the wall and demanded that the crazy person responded.

Then the next twenty-four hours she had laughed incredulously, cried a little bit, and then began her habit of rocking back and forth and scratching her arms. She hadn't done that for two days though, so she guesses she was learning to cope with the losses that came her way. And she was learning that maybe the darkness inside her brain wasn't such a bad thing.

She had been self-righteous and she had been incredibly vile. The girls here constantly calling her on her shit and waiting for her to embrace her crazy and just knock them the fuck out. But my-my, she couldn't have done that; she was a sweet doe-eyed girl that used to run with the wrong people but was still the ever-loving debutante.

Not anymore, apparently.

She wasn't that woman anymore, and she knew that if somehow she could ever speak to Larry again, she wouldn't beg him to take her back. He was the sweet man whose only true problem in life consisted of the occasional starving artist gig. She would be that one ex; tainted and pulling a whole lot of baggage to the front door. Mostly baggages of heroin, since that's what got her here in the first place and everything. This darkness was somewhat agrreable to her though, because it had been an eye-opener. If the girls thought they had time in Litchfield to think, than fuck they had no idea how much thinking they would be doing in solitary.

Occasionally she thought of the random essays she did on literature at Smith.

And after that, she tried not to think of her after-college adventurous romps with Alex. That shipped had sailed and she was beginning to accept that it was never returning.

They would always have unbelievable chemistry, but they were complete poison for each other. It was an almost devestating concept to grasp at first. Because every fiber in her being wanted to make something work between them, and that was half of the fucking problem. She wanted such a damn impossible cake that there was no way she could eat it. She couldn't have them both; one for her safety nest out of prison and one for her adventurous journey in prison. Alex was a manipulating cunt and she herself was a narcissistic asshole.

Alex played games but was seemingly sincere with her feelings towards her.

And Piper, well, she was just admittedly fucked up. She knew that when they released her from solitary that she would try to avoid run-ins with Alex. The woman clearly wanted nothing to do with her and that was completely understandable to her now that she had gotten past her 'I'm the victim' blinders. Like Alex said once, they both sucked. It was heart-breaking to know but she was getting there.

She hissed between her teeth at the wall. "You there, asshole?"

She snorted when there was no response for several minutes, and she rested her head against the wall and closed her eyes tiredly. She knew her body was weak and it really sucked, to be perfectly honest. She's pretty sure she couldn't even take Pennsatucky again if they went at it. Not that they actually would, because given the outcome of everything the two of them would never interact again. Of course she had been lucky that everyone had testified on her behalf, and that the many cuts on her proved that it was self defense.

And that they weren't cheap enough to completely cut all of the security cameras outside.

It saved her ass, because she could have easily gotten a longer sentence than another seven years. Not that it in itself wasn't a hassle to fight for, because they originally wanted her put in Maximum Security and give her ten years for manslaughter, despite the pleads of self-defense until evidence was shown. She could honestly give a shit now; her mom and Polly were furious, at her and for her, and Larry's father wouldn't even glance at her when he came through to argue her case. It was weak and half-hearted - because he's never fucking liked her at all - and it was much appreciated.

God, she was beyond tired.

Her hazel blue eyes glanced warily down as she released a soft breath and tried to remember the lessons from Yoga Jones.

And it's all about the breathing: in and out and in.

Her messy unmanicured fingers crawl and scratch along the floor beside her, and the screams by the crazies begin to start. So she just breathes and listens to them in rapt attention; it's almost rapture, the way the all mixed together and almost sound like a Gospel choir. If she weren't so fucked up, she would call it horrendous and beyond chilling to listen to. But she's a little fucked in the head and probably always would be, and Gospel choirs make her think of that little bitch who tried to...

Her gaze snaps to the side when she hears the keys being turned into the door.

Jingle. Clang. Clank.

The guard looks at her with reluctance and she just gazes back blankly. Holy shit, was it her time already? Because she was just getting started in here; adapting to her surroundings, developing her own crazy. She was actually preparing to start her own screams tomorrow, because she wouldn't want to be left out or anything.

He hesitates and gestures.

Son of a bitch.

It's her time.

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She doesn't know if it's from habit now, but she still hangs her head and just watches the tiles.

Even when locked in a - probably uninteresting - conversation with someone, she's not truly there. She just nods her input noncommitedly and traces the tile patterns with her eyes for long periods of time. Some people think she has snapped, because while they used to tease her with the whole 'Taylor Swift is everybody's bitch in here' thing, now they just give her weary head nods and occasional glances of minor respect. The girls from the Ghetto all think she's the 'shit' now, and that was Taystee's terms, not her own.

They had massive grins on their faces when they questioned her when she returned, asking how she shanked Pennsatucky and everything. They kept everything rather light-hearted and vague; they didn't probe, because the girls seemed to sense that she had probably lost her mind while in solitary.

They just grinned; occasionally there was the edgy glance towards one another, like they were walking on eggshells in the slightest of ways, and then Poussey would crack a joke about murder and the girls would suddenly get deeply hesitant for the briefest of seconds. They were a lot more intuitive than they ever let on, and they kind of held Piper's respect, despite their bad reputation. Because after the hesitance, then they would snicker at Poussey's joke, and nudge Piper gently, because she was staring at the tiles and not paying attention. They asked her if she could become their hitman.

Her lips actually had quirked up gently, because she almost found it as amusing as it was offending.

But given the looks of curiosity, intrigue, and sympathy from the girls of the 'White Suburban' block, she would take the offense any day over those girls.

Morello's eyes flicker with sympathy sometimes and Piper just pretends to ignore it.

Nichols just looks at her; not with sympathy, not with pity, but she just looks. She had always been overwhelmingly thoughtful that way. And it was somewhat of a bespectacle to behold, because Nichols was known for running her mouth and generally being quite the smartass. But when she kept her mouth shut, when she did press her chapped lips together, somehow her gaze could just read you. Her dark brown eyes would survey her for several seconds, and then her head would tilt in acknowledgement.

It made Piper extremely grateful that Nichols wasn't trying too hard to approach her. It could be because of the Alex thing, because the two always seemed to be side-by-side these days. It made Piper swallow a little more harshly than usual, because while her warped mind was beginning to grasp that it was truly over between the two of them, she really didn't need to see the connection between Alex and Nichols. She had reasoned with herself that it was none of her business, and that she was just lucky to be alive and breathing.

But then Morello glances her way and shoots her a soft smile.

And then Yoga Jones is just giving her a peaceful look as if she just knew of the wars going on inside Piper's head.

And then Nichols nods at her and nudges Alex gently and whispers something into her ear and Alex actually grins a little bit. It's sarcastic and not-completely sincere, but it's still there. Alex hadn't met her gaze since she had returned a week ago to Litchfield. And all in all, maybe it truly is for the best. Because she remembered what the tall brunette said, and for once she actually listened.

So she didn't go to her with her sadness.

She just pushed her tray away and went back to staring at the tiles, and all the conversations went somewhat null around her very being. The patterns of the tiles were rather boring and bleak; the black of them were made into tiny squares and it was defintely the worst design ever. Then again, this whole place was most definitely not made from any fashion-aware designers. This place was for fuck-ups, not the privileged in life.

The scratches on her arms are still fresh from last night, so she mentally decides to focus on that instead.

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She's somewhat relieved that they keep her away from screwdrivers now.

They had assigned her the position to work the janitorial nightly duties and she didn't necessarily blame them.

She had been met with steely glares and a stern voice declaring that she was too hazardous to be in electric and that she would be assigned elsewhere. She had just committed involuntary manslaughter and had been released from solitary three weeks ago, so she wasn't really that suprised that none of the staff seemed to trust her. Despite it being in self-defense, they looked at it as if it were a homicidal case. They viewed her as incredibly dangerous and she nearly always scoffed at the motion.

But that was when she really started thinking about it herself.

That dark fog in her brain overtook her senses sometimes; the vindictive little one that made her stop and truly think about her actions from that night eleven weeks ago. She could have easily stopped it with one punch and went and informed an officer about the altercation. But she hadn't.

She remembers that terrifying rage well up within her, and she remembers lunging with all that she had in preparation to defend herself. And then she just didn't know. She had completely fucking lost her mind on the other girl, wailing on her like a damn cagefighter and supplying the beatdown until everything just went to shit. She hadn't stopped; when the deep red of the blood painted across the snow and the knuckles on her skin was being torn off ruthlessly, she still hadn't stopped. And that made her feel unstable and completely horrified at herself.

The dark fog in her brain - the one that sounded eerily familar to her solitary confinement neighbor - just chuckled harshly in her head sometimes. It laughed mockingly and even reasoned with her that she had wanted to take her rage out on someone. It just had to have been at the right time and with the right person. And then the opportunity presented itself and she had grasped it with both hands and just embraced it.

Her hands had trembled and her adrenaline had been pumping through her veins. Her entire body had been thrumming and she remembers it with an almost fascination. If it weren't for the feelings of utmost hate, anger and overwhelming rage within her, she would have almost declared it an out of body experience.

But that little voice just laughed and prodded at her to do it again, and she steadfastedly ignored it. She didn't care that Pennsatucky's crew shot her the most hateful looks known to man; and more than a few times they knocked into her shoulder more than once, almost daring her to do something in public. You would have to be absolutely dense if you didn't notice the guards tense up whenever this occurred. And the other girls almost looked expectant. But Piper refused to give in. Because she had let the rage control her once and she was beyond frightened to do it again.

This darkness scared her at times; it helped her cope with the loneliness and inevitabilites of life, but shit sometimes it fucking scared her to death.

So yes, she had those hurtful and vengeful thoughts.

Thoughts of rearing her fists back and knocking the fuck out of those hillbilly meth-addled teeth. And even worse, pulling her good ole' trusty screw out and sinking it into their midsections if they dared come at her with anything other than their fists. It made her swallow and blink back tears at these thoughts.

So yeah, maybe it was best that she wasn't around screwdrivers.

Oh well, at least she could re-bond with her former wifey.

Her lips pursed as the mop she grasped half-heartedly in her hands gently swayed across the filthy tile.

This place was a comple shithole and she wasn't any closer to getting it clean; she had been there for at least an hour, but her thoughts had swept her away. It was a familiar occurance these days. That, and the squares of the tiles were slightly bigger than the ones in the cafeteria. So it made her stop and stare at the floor aimlessly for several moments...minutes...maybe a half hour. She didn't really know, because her brainwaves mostly focused on the most minimal things nowadays and the most basic of human interaction was still slightly uncomfortable to her.

Sometimes she just wanted to be alone; which is ironic, seeing as how she had been terrified of that weeks ago and played the back and forth game with Larry and Alex. Now she had lost both and lost her early sentence. She had lost everything, it seemed. Polly hadn't called since she had gone back to Litchfield, and her mother had visited her only once just to tell her how awful she looked. Motherly love and all that. But she almost felt like anything could happen at this point and she could give a rat's ass.

God, this floor was so fucking dirty.

"You seem lost in thought, Dandelion."

Her gaze snapped up and she gaped lightly when she saw Suzy swaying to unheard music, her precise strokes of the mop making Piper feel like a damn failure. But it wasn't like she had been necessarily trying anyways, so it didn't really matter. But she felt a little hesitance rush through her when she saw her, if not a little regret, as well. She knows how badly her words had hurt the poor woman, accident or not. And angry words had been said to Piper over the past few months, from both of her exes and her best friend. But funnily enough, what Suzy said in the bathrooms that one day had really stuck with her and suprisingly gutted her a lot more than most.

Because her eyes, the ones she's known for throughout the entire prison, had been human and raw and hurt. They hadn't been wide with the crazy, with the humor, with the mischief she was normally known for. They had just stared into her own with a thick sheen of hurt reflected in them.

'You're just not a nice person,' she remembers her saying. 'You're all wilted and shit with the petals dying.'

So she just stared at Suzy in slight suprise, because she hadn't been called that nickname from the woman in quite awhile. But Suzy didn't really seem to care, because she just shrugged noncommitedly and shifted her hips to her own beat. It almost made Piper smile a little bit. She took a deep breath and put her mop back in the bucket, kind of hoping to meet Suzy's eyes. But her concentration was one hundred percent on the floor, and she even began humming in the back of her throat as the blonde just stood there in suprise.

"I thought you said I wasn't a dandelion anymore," she mutters, thinking the first thought that came into her mind.

Suzy pauses for the briefest of seconds and her eyes flicker back towards her in response. It's so brief that Piper almost misses the entire interaction altogether, and the other woman's cleaning habits were back up to top notch within seconds. As for the tall blonde's curious input though, she just shrugs her shoulders and makes a throaty noise of agreement.

"You're not," she says evenly, without missing a beat. "But you're getting better. I can see some petals starting to grow now."

If she weren't so afraid of offending Suzy, she probably would have snorted out loud. Because the statement is beyond a little crazy. She had committed manslaughter, been locked by herself for eight weeks, finally came back here and was acting like a complete zombie. She honestly hasn't seen how she's grown in any way at all, other than now being able to throw a few punches and actually leap off the high horse she had been on when she first arrived. But then the entire thing somewhat collided into her all that once.

Maybe Suzy saw something in her that Piper hadn't seen in herself yet. She remembers a few rants on her waspy-ness, and how she was an impersonation of Bambi. She had heard what the others thought of her; that she was the sweetheart who had her heart in the right place but could never truly grasp what actual pain or regret truly was. She was the one everyone clambored to because of her 'innocence' and overall persona. And now that illusion had been shattered, people were still hanging with her out of respect and maybe a little fear nowadays.

And it suddenly hit her that maybe she was officially one of them now. Rising from the ashes and all of that shit.

She takes a breath. "I kind of understand what you meant, now. How mopping the floor is like cleaning your dirty thoughts away - your feelings."

Suzy suprisingly doesn't falter in her administrations, but she does turn her head around to her and gives her a quick nod. She almost seemed suprised that Piper even remembered that particular conversation. And the tall blonde honestly remembered every word of it. Not many people had been real with her, almost treating her like a suburban housewife. Suzy - and Alex, in her own way - had been completely and utterly real and called her on her bullshit the first time around.

So yeah, she most definitely respected 'Crazy Eyes' now.

"I think you're starting to get it, girl," she intones neutrally, and the taller blonde nods at her.

The timing was actually going by faster now, and for once she actually didn't mind being not alone. Suzy was suprisingly insightful company and it was beyond refreshing from the usual cluster this place was. Now a one-on-one non prodding conversation she could absolutely take right now. While she had no doubt that Suzy was curious as to how things went down that night, she definitely wasn't asking her or even acting curious about it. Almost like she was preparing for something to happen-something to make her fall. She wondered briefly if the shorter woman was psychic.

It would obviously explain a lot.

"So how are you and vanilla swirl doing?" Her question was nonchalant, no degree of push in it. "Word around is that you two aren't humping around so much anymore."

Piper chokes on her own breath in shock, and the mop clatters onto the floor from her shaking hands. She shot Suzy a quick, placating smile when she leaned forward to pick up her mop. This time she grasped it as tightly as she could in both hands; her knuckles turned white, but she couldn't afford one of shorter woman's comments affecting her like that again.

And for once, she felt like actually talking to her. Because there wasn't an edge of demand or curiosity in her voice; it was almost as if she were waiting for Piper to talk to her about it. And to actually see that in someone since she had returned to Litchfield, it was actually quite lovely. Because of all the people in this completely crazy joint, it felt like Suzy would be the last to judge her at any given point. She called Piper out on her imperfectness and now after knowing what she had said about her, what she had done, there was still no amount of disrespect in her voice.

She was just there and waiting, so Piper just opened her mouth for a few moments and searched for the right words to say. Suzy hummed as she opened the stall door and began to mop inside, and she seemed to be in no particular rush to know this tidbit of information. So Piper searched and searched internally at what answer to give. She could begin rambling and explain herself, or she could be blunt and to the point.

So she finally decides. "No, we're not together anymore. It's a complicated issue."

Suzy laughs from the stall. "It always is Dandelion, it always is. Girls be bitches up in this joint. Sometimes you have to slap them girls up and show them who the top bitch is."

Piper actually kind of laughs a little bit, and the nearly imperceptible tears that had sprung in her eyes from earlier quickly faded back. The girls in this joint were complicated women, and now that she had seen all of the drama of being in a relationship with a fellow inmate going around, she was almost content at being 'single.'

Almost.

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Her eyes still trace along the tiles and along her shoes when she walks.

It's what put her in this awkward predicament in the first place.

She had just trapsied forth, heading back to the Ghetto block after dinner. Dinner itself had been a rather awkward affair, seeing as how Suzy had made her way over and sat beside her. Her movements were almost diligent, like she was watching her back for something. She had just shot a grin down at Piper and placed her tray next to hers. The other girls didn't say anything at all, seeing as how she was still sitting with Sophia and Taystee and all of them. She hadn't seen Miss Claudette in quite awhile, and that itself made her considerably depressed.

Because the woman was quite good at deflecting conversations, and whenever she had been around, she had somewhat just pretended that she wasn't up for discussions. She had just relaxed and basked in the other woman's aura and she genuinely missed that. Not that the other girls were bad company, but it's just she's still used to finding herself again in seclusion, and this many people in one room almost felt like claustrophobia.

But the conversations had briefly trailed off when Suzy sat next to her.

And she wasn't embarrassed anymore to be seen with her; she was trying to learn how to get over that asshole stage of herself.

The conversation picked back up rather quickly when a debate had exploded about the hotness of Rihanna. It had been a little bit childish and a little bit ridiculous. But it was almost, well, nice. The girls just laughed and disagreed and gyrated their hips in a beyond sexual manner, hooting and hollering their encouragements at each other. She chipped in her own two cents about Rihanna's looks, because she honestly thought the woman was banging, and she said as much when all their heads inquisitively turned to her for her opinion.

The girls laughed so hard that they nearly fell off of their seats.

"Chapman, you know you would lick that pussy up!"

Black Cindy had then hit the floor in her hysterics; her exclamation could be heard over every conversation in the cafeteria and Piper had been mortified. Her cheeks had flamed a furious red, and her lips pursed as she pointedly rolled her eyes at the immature behavior. She could feel strong gazes on her and she didn't even want to look over at the 'White Suburbia' table. So she had just leaned against Suzy's side a little unintentionally at first, just shrugging when the girl threw her an odd glance. She didn't really care anymore. People could assume that she was fucking her because people were already assuming about her anyways.

So dinner had been a little awkward to say the least.

And she had left the cafeteria before the dinner bell had set off signalling their departures. She just wanted some peace and quiet before all of the girls got back to their block, because her throat was beginning to itch slightly and she was fighting incessantly not to scratch at her already messed up arms. The claustrophobia was beginning to get to her a little bit.

And she must have even looked a little ill, because she had begged Fischer to let her go to the clinic so she could get something for her 'cold.' At first the feminine guard look sympathetic but a little hesitant, but Piper knew she had her when she shot her the doe-eyed pout and even said she could escort her if she didn't trust her. It was almost too easy, because the woman's eyes softened and she informed her to be on her way and stay out of trouble. Piper just remembered grasping the woman's hands thankfully and squeezing them, ignoring the tall woman's slight blush.

And then she had walked somewhat aimlessly.

She had been heading in the general directions of her dorm, but she had become distracted once more and lost in her own thoughts as she trailed down the hallway.

Her body collided with the taller woman's quite painfully, and the next thing she knew she was on her back. Her pace had been pretty quick and the body in front of her had seemed to be going at the same pace. At first she groans a little bit, because slamming your chest into a quickly moving body was considerably painful enough.

So she softly grabs her left tit and sits up rather painfully, her eyes connecting to a pair of suprised blue eyes.

Alex.

Piper's breath hitches in the faintest of ways, completely imperceptible to the pair of eyes that were now boring shamelessly into her own. She tries to appear completely unaffected, shooting the taller woman an apologetic look as she shakily climbs to her feet. Her chest is aching like a bitch and so is her back; she really needs to get away from her former lover right now, because she felt like she was suffocating and that there was no oxygen in her lungs at all. But she doesn't want to give the woman the satisfaction of seeing her crumble apart in front of her. She didn't want Alex to see what a fucked up mess she now was.

Her legs ache to run and her heart is a little bit heavy, but she swallows and tries to balefully ignore it. She would respect the woman's wishes and be the better person here and not give into a confrontation, no matter how fake and shallow it was. So she reaches forward and extends her hand a little bit, and she watches as Alex eyes it with a little trepidation.

She sees the way Alex is eyeing her now; her guard was officially up now, because the flicker of curiosity and concern in the woman's gaze was gone.

She was now looking at Piper indecipherably with very little emotion crossing her face as she seemingly reluctantly took the extended hand of help. Piper tugs with all of her might and she has the taller woman back on her feet and now straightening her - adorably, though Piper would scoff and deny it - crooked glasses on her face. She had to stop from smiling, because she had honestly adored when Alex used to mess with her glasses and put them on her head. But she knows that even feeling that adoration is completely uncalled for now, completely undeserved.

So she averts her gaze and shoots her a soft nod as she begins to walk forward to her dorms.

She didn't know why that these were some of the hardest steps she had ever taken.

She had seen the quick flash of a frown on Alex's face as she walked around her with no comment at all. But she remembers the taller woman's harsh words, and she remembered that as of now she didn't even want the blonde woman to be in her existence. So she wouldn't talk to her and she wouldn't even look at her.

But Piper knew that last one was complete shit, because Alex was beautiful and always had been, so not looking at her would be toeing the line along with impossible. The dark-haired woman had been the only woman who had truly caught her eye, because Piper hadn't been into girls before she had met the edgy girl. And looking back at it now, she probably would have never even looked at the same sex if her and Alex never had anything going on. It's not that she didn't find women attractive, because she honestly did.

But she didn't rove her eyes down their form they way she did with Alex. She didn't stare at them all enraptured and painfully aroused. She had never even kissed another girl besides her former girlfriend, and that one night in college did not count at all. Alex was it for her when it came to females, and that somewhat sucked seeing as how she was in a women's correctional facility; fancy terms for the ever lame word prison. She almost wishes she could be into other women, because then maybe she could shack up and help ease her pain over Alex and Larry.

But the taller woman was the only one she truly looked at like that, and she almost wanted to crawl into a dark corner and pout like a child.

Alex was 'swirling' with Nichols, and that thought alone made her close her eyes briefly as she tried to erase some of the upsetting images in her head.

She opened her eyes and steeled her gaze ahead. She was not going to break down and lose any of the progress that she had made the past couple of months. She had a life before Alex and a life after her; she would survive here and finish out her sentence and then her ex would be nothing more than painful blip in her memory.

So she ignores the presence of the woman who's still halfway down the hall. She knows that the woman is still there, because she almost had a sixth sense when it came to her. She was probably looking at her with hate and anger across her face, and the smaller blonde really didn't need to witness that. So she pretended the gaze wasn't following her and she hung her head once more as she traced her eyes along the tiles. She was gonna count the squares back on the way to the dorm, because maybe that would ease her mind for awhile.

She really does try to stop herself later on that night, but blue eyes are on her mind and the scratches along her arms are now fresh again.

/

Out of everyone here she honestly didn't expect her to do it.

Alright, that was an outright lie. So maybe she would have called it being her if anyone had the balls to actually do it.

It had just been an overall horrible morning, because her forearms were burning and the odd twisting in her stomach was becoming worse. She thinks she might be getting a genuine stomach bug, but she really doesn't want to make a big deal out of nothing if it just ends up her being dramatic. It could have just been the aftermath of seeing Alex and Nichols fucking in the chapel. She didn't actually 'see' them per se, but when all the girls had assembled there for some stupid meeting or another, you would have to be a complete dumbass to miss Nichol's cocky smile as they came down from the stage rather than the entrance.

And Alex's rumpled khakis.

Her stomach twisted again and she reasoned with herself that this was definitely not a stomach bug. This was a hardcore case of emotional - turned physical - hurt in her body. And it made her so angry that she was being affected like this, because she shouldn't even give a damn in all honesty. She and Alex hadn't messed around in thirteen weeks, since before her stint in solitary. It is none of her business as to who Alex seeks physical comfort in.

At least she wasn't alone though, because sometimes she saw a flicker of sadness in Morello's eyes when she glanced at Alex and Nichols.

It lead to a silent understanding between the two.

They had made choices that concerned their outside lives. Both had plans to get married to their fiance and both of them just ended up getting caught in the whirlwind of physical comfort and genuine affections. And in her case, charming ex-girlfriends, no matter how much she had initially hated her.

And their eyes would meet sometimes in a soft salute, and Piper would shrug and Morello would glance down and sigh.

It really sucked, but it was nice to know that someone else was trying to move on too.

And sometimes she swore that the count of desperation was escalating to severe levels, because Boo had lost her Little Boo and she had been walking around in a depressive state the past three days. The damn butch had positively whimpered when Taystee had turned on the television and Animal Planet was doing an episode about puppies. It was almost sad to watch herself, and she wondered if that's what she looked like the past five weeks here; a zombie and completely careless. It was a little bit worrisome because Piper herself was becoming the target of her outlet.

Boo had been sniffing nonstop around here, giving her the nods up and the little winks.

'I know you and Vause ended and I could deal with a huge pussy-eating session.'

Piper had been horrified but she tried not to let it appear on her face. Boo was no way in hell her type at all, but that didn't mean that she didn't have feelings as well. And she reckoned that after hurting Suzy's feelings so recklessly that one time, that she wouldn't quite disregard Boo in the same manner that she had with Suzy. She would be polite but firm, because she didn't intend on having sex with anyone currently. The cuts in her heart were still a little too deep for her liking and she honestly couldn't picture being with anyone but Alex in this entire joint.

At least, that's what she tells herself when Boo's fingers are buried up to the hilt inside of her and the tears of regret prickle behind her eyelids.

/

At first she wonders if she had imagined the entire thing.

Dinner had been a reckless riot, per usual, and it just seemed like another uneventful night in the stint.

Well, until it had turned into a quite eventful riot. It started off relatively simple; the only difference is this time she actually participated in the conversation one hundred percent, laughing genuinely and giving it her all. They were honestly having a good time and enjoying themselves; it was as if there wasn't a dark shadow looming over her head and the darkness in her heart had resided briefly. She couldn't remember exactly what everyone had been debating about, but she thinks it had something to do with the hot sauce and the lack of vending machines in the schools.

She honestly didn't know, because these girls were ranting about it and arguing about it ruthlessly. Sophia always approached with the more ethical and logical part of the argument, because nutrition in schools was important and she was glad that they were taking away some of the vending machines. Taystee had been furious and immediately shot back her defense.

She honestly didn't know how the bread and milk started to be thrown from their table.

Honestly though, Piper was a girly girl and she couldn't throw worth a goddamn, despite Nichol's jokes about rejoining the softball league. So of course when she decides to join in the obvious food fight session, she steadfastedly misses her target by several inches...or feet. The guards had been heading their way and she figured she would get one last good one, because fuck it, she was in here for another seven years anyway.

Her carton of milk soared over Black Cindy's head and had struck the victim directly in the face, making milk explode and the girls in the Ghetto positively roar with laughter. She didn't notice who she hit at first, because Mendez is back from probation and him and Bennett look just a little bit furious at them. The curses are spittling from their mouth and all the girls practically are pushed back onto the benches. She just smirks when Suzy giggles and she whispered if she threw her pie. Suzy shoots her this look like, 'bitch, you ain't that important to me anymore.'

But all she knows is that blonde hair and several girls behind her are storming towards their table.

The trouble in the air is stifling and she just knows that something is about to go down. It's that familiar feel or foreboding that encases your entire being; the stuff that makes you get the chills along the back of your neck and the stuff that makes you cringe in anticipation. She doesn't really know what happened next, because it was almost so out of left field that she thinks it might be a crazy dream. But then again, Pennsatucky's friend's attacking her wasn't exactly that farfetched of an idea either.

But she just knows that everyone suddenly got the same warning bells in their head because it was almost like a shield had developed around their table.

It was a little too late though.

Because she can feel the plastic of the tray impacting the side of her face and then she's sinking on to the floor.

Not that's she's actually sinking; that would almost imply being graceful with purpose in the movements. So no, she fucking catapults off the bench and then the next thing she knows, other than the fact that she's holding her head and her vision is beyond blurry, feet are scuffling against each other and bodies are impacting furiously with each other.

It's overwhelmingly fucking loud and she clenches her eyes shut and waits for the nausea to pass. Even if she did get to her feet, what was she supposed to do? She was still on probation in this place and if she threw a punch she knew that it would be yet another year to be in this hellhole. So she couldn't even fucking fight back, and it made her just a little bit enraged. Her cheeks flamed with anger and the darkness in her brain probed her ruthlessly; 'c'mon, Chapman. This is your opportunity, you know? Get to your feet and show the rest of those meth-head freaks just why Pennsatucky didn't stand a chance against you.'

Her stomach churned and she turned her head against the cool of the tile. Her eyes open slowly, the blurriness beginning to fade, and she sees a sheepish little Nichols crouching beside her. There is a shit-eating grin on her face, and she laughs just a little bit as Piper tries - and embarrassingly fails - to sit up and survey what's going on.

"You took a big-ass smack, Chapman," she nods.

Her smaller hands wrap around her midsection; it was a rather weird position to be in, because Nichols wasn't exactly a touchy-feely person. And while they weren't on the outs exactly, it was common knowledge that because of her messing around with Vause, her and Piper weren't exactly the best friends forever either. News spread like crazy throughout this place, and she really despised the looks she got over the past few weeks. A few were curious as to what happened and a few were pitying; she wasn't stupid, she knew Alex was a fucking catch.

Her stomach stopped churning like a meat grinder and she shakily put her hand to the side of her face.

There was still voices shouting and still a few scufflings going on, but it seemed to have cooled off slightly. She could hear numerous guards barking orders and could feel a few consoling slaps - her body shook because they weren't exactly considerate - on her shoulder by a few of the Ghetto girls. She just sighs and meets Nichol's eyes, and for the first time, she noticed that in her hand was a familiar pair of dark glasses.

Her mouth opens questioningly, and Nichols follows her line of sight.

This is the first time she looked mildly uncomfortable, because she loosened her hold on Piper and just shrugged her shoulders. For once she seemed to be searching for the right words to say, and it honestly was an odd sight to behold. Nichols was blunt and to the point, and yet she seemed to struggle at explaining something.

"I know we all got our lesbian drama," she begins, and Piper just looks confused. "But if somebody smacked Morello like that, they would fucking pay."

Nichols eyes had darkened and her jaw seemed to clench just thinking about it. It was the first time she had seen the girl truly angry at something. And she could see it in her head; Nichols could be vicious if she wanted to and the image of her flying towards someone and beating the life out of them for Morello wasn't that hard to see at all. That still doesn't explain why she's holding Alex's glasses. Her confused look made the shorter blonde sigh, and she gently gestured her head to the side.

Wait...oh no...oh no, no, no...

And there it was.

She noticed the three security guards uniforms struggling as the first thing.

But Alex had always been the tallest woman in the joint, so scoping her out wasn't the hardest thing in the world. And she honestly almost wished that she hadn't. Because the guards hands were grasping at any part of the wild woman that they could reach, and she was moving so rapidly and crazily that it was almost a fascinating sight to watch.

Dark hair was flying and her arm was flailing wildly back and forth. The much smaller body below her was struggling and the familiar blonde hair of Leanne was whipping back and forth aggressively on the tiles. She knew it was from the forces of the impact and not an actual struggle, because she could already see a small amount of blood on the floor and her mouth opened slightly in horror. She had never seen Alex so enraged looking before, and she still hadn't seen a glimpse of her face yet. But she didn't even need to.

Leanne was shouting and whimpering wildly, and all of the girls from the Ghetto block had finally seemed to back off. They were just watching this still progressing altercation, and while she knew it was beyond serious what was going on, she couldn't help but feel her heart speed up slightly. Her heart thrummed at the thought of Alex immediately jumping towards her defense.

She cursed herself rather quickly as well, because she knew Alex was in deep shit as soon as this fight was over. She didn't need to be swooning like a little teenage girl at the thought of being defended. Because this isn't high school where you will get a suspension and then can proceed to fuck in your car; this was prison. And she knew that Alex was probably looking at even more extended time now and definitely a trip to solitary for a little while. And then the flutterings of love turned into a massive influx of pure raw guilt. Because she no longer had the right to have the woman defend her.

"Fuck," Nichols exclaims, her voice rather rough. "Alex needs to calm her shit because this is not looking good."

It really, really wasn't.

"Can't you go over there and try to pull her off?"

Nichols then looks at her like she's a complete fucking moron, and she honestly was.

Nichols scoffs. "I'm not getting in the middle of that. The guards will just take me down and Alex looks like a fucking madwoman right now."

Piper stands rather unsteadily to her feet, and she's suprised when Nichols keeps her arm loosely wrapped around her waist. It was almost like it was a duty, and she's almost wanting to ask her why she was being so nice to her. But then she truly thought about and it really wasn't hard to grasp at all. It was obvious she was only really doing this for Alex. Her ex-girlfriend may not have asked her to, but she can see a support network when it's rather obviously there. She knew it must be an unspoken thing of sorts.

The guards had finally gotten ahold of Alex, and it finally seemed as if she had slowed down her rage just a little bit.

Because she didn't even struggle when the cuffs were placed on her wrist, just straightened out her shoulders and looked straight ahead.

It was the first time she saw her face since the fight, and she almost wishes that she hadn't. Because Alex's blue eyes were darker than she had ever seen them; while the woman's body stopped raging her eyes told the entire story. They were dark and angry and even a little sadistic. And the clench of the woman's jaw looked almost a little painful. But she didn't look at a single soul, just directly ahead, as the guards began to march her towards the cafeteria doors. They were coming closer and closer and Piper strained to see them around the Ghetto girls clamboring to get a look.

But Poussey grasps her and hauls her forward, and she grabs Nichol's hand almost as an afterthought.

Her fingers shakily grasp on to the hand that was holding her own and she can feel a consoling pat on the back a sympathetic looking Poussey.

But Nichols suddenly surges past the girls before Piper can even tell she had left. She can only watch as the guards stop her immediately, and she just holds up Alex's glasses as an explanation. They just seem to nod wearily and she walks forward and right into the middle of it.

Three guards are around a still pissed looking Alex.

And a lump wells up within Piper's throat as she watches the tender way that she puts the glasses on Alex's face. Her hands seemed to be overly-cautious and gentle and the blonde nearly wanted to stare at the floor so she didn't have to witness this suprisingly tender moment. But she was drawn in; it was almost masochistic in a way, because she couldn't keep her eyes off of them.

It's almost like they were communicating silently, Alex's darkened eyes boring into Nichols. But Alex raises her gaze and she ran her eyes along the table almost looking for someone. Piper knew who she was searching for and the lump in her throat grew stronger when she realized that she was afraid to even meet her gaze. But they do; they had always been inevitable to each other, because as soon as she steels herself and stares directly at Alex, the taller woman just seems to know where she's at.

Their eyes are boring into each other's own.

And wants to mouth an 'I'm sorry' or even avert her gaze to the floor, but she honestly just can't.

And it was funny, because while it seemed like time had frozen for her, she knew the subtle interaction had been brief. Alex's eyes were flashing with something indecipherable once more and then her gaze averts back to Nichols. It almost makes her wanna bend over and vomit the way that Nichols nods at whatever Alex quietly mouths at her.

And then the next thing she knows, they are gone from the cafeteria.

And hours later when she's still in her bunk, she has to put her shaking hands under the pillow to stop the damage.

/

She honestly wanted to punch Nichols right in her fucking face.

Because nowadays she was never alone. The woman even left 'White Suburbia' and came and sat next to her with the other Ghetto girls. They never said a single word though, because for some reason no one truly had a problem with her. They found her sarcasm funny and Piper herself never protested her companionship, so they stayed quiet. Plus, Red was well-respected among every single one of the ethnic groups, and it was popular information that her and Nichols had always been close.

But it didn't quell her curiosity in the slightest, because she would ask quietly why she was there. She didn't sound defensive or even offending in anyway, she just wanted to know why Nichols was keeping her company while Alex had her three week stint in solitary. She didn't know the details of her punishment, and Nichols honestly didn't know either.

She could tell that it drove her just as mad sometimes.

But she was always there. Leanne suffered from a cracked jaw and a heavily bruised face; the rest of the Jesus crew avoided any type of confrontation whatsoever, even when Nichols and the Spanish Mami's would mock and give them shit. But after witnessing the way Alex tore into the shorter blonde two weeks before, she would avoid her like she were the devil himself, too. Whenever they were in the same room they wouldn't go anywhere near her, and when one actually had the balls to and sent a wise crack her way, Nichols seemed to mysteriously be there.

Her short stature actually looked intimidating for once, and she could never really hear what she whispered back at them.

She figured it had something to do with Alex, because their faces paled and they immediately shut up.

It was almost as if she had her own little guard dog. It was sweet in a way, and maybe her bitterness against Nichols hadn't of been justified in the slightest. But no matter how many times Nichols was there to stop any of the Bible-thumpers to stop messing with her, she wasn't there to see the damage that Piper was doing to herself.

But nobody could tell, even the sharpest of minds, because she walked with purpose now among the hallways.

She just happened to wear long undershirts as well.

/

It's as if all time has stopped in a halting motion.

Because Piper's hands are shakily grasping the outer edge of Alex's bunk, almost in disbelief that the woman was before her in the very flesh.

Her eyes looked a little bit jaded and her statuesque figure seemed to be a little on edge. But then again Alex hadn't been in solitary before, and the crazy events that unfolded to land her into solitary was a cringe in itself. And on top of the blankets that her right hand is resting upon almost restlessly, she can see the still fading blue around the knuckles. It makes her want to sigh forlornly and take that limber hand and kiss it until there wasn't a single mark of any destruction on it.

She wanted to kiss everything, really.

It welled up within her and she had to clench her hands into fist to stop from striding over there and doing just that. She knew she wouldn't receive a well reception at all, and she had to fight down every instinct in her being to go over there and just offer the most minimal of comforts. But it would progress on her end and she just knew it. She wouldn't be able to stop at that; she would fight that familiar desire and she would surge forwards and kiss the ever-living shit out of her ex-girlfriend. And she would kiss every line, every mole, and every subtle heroin scar that was in the crook of her elbow.

She closed her eyes tightly and let loose a shaky breath, finally getting her hormones and overwhelming feelings under control.

Alex's eyes met hers when she did re-open them.

Despite the lack of makeup and the firm set of her shoulders that screamed tension, she was still the most beautiful woman Piper had ever seen. She had one of her books grasped in her hands; her blanket was pulled up over her knees and her glasses were perched firmly on top of her head. It was a familiar and endearing sight, and it made the smaller blonde woman almost smile a little bit. Alex hadn't said a single word to her since she noticed her hesitantly hovering form; she was a little bit relieved but also a little bit worried.

Alex hadn't said, "Oh, fuck no," like the last time.

But she certainly didn't seem to be the least bit welcoming, either.

So drew all of her courage into one short sentence: "May I come in?"

Alex's gaze hadn't averted from her book, but she noticed that her eyes weren't moving forwards in any way. They weren't tracing and reading the words along the page, and she can see the taller woman's fists clench briefly up. And that alone makes her lose all of her bravado, because her ex-girlfriend was obviously fighting with herself on whether she should even interact with Piper or not. But to be fair to her case, Alex was the one who suddenly reared up in her defense when she had no right to. She didn't have to interfere but she had.

She didn't deserve an explanation in any form, but it would be nice if the girl who suddenly threw fists and barged back into her radar would at least have the decency to have a little closure with her. To at least speak to her; if it was a small conversation that lead to hurtful things being said, at least she would know where she stood.

But Alex's gaze briefly flickers over towards her. "Be my guest."

Those three words send a small amount of triumph within her; she can feel it spread through the tips of her toes all the way to her heart. She has to curse at herself inwardly as to not prance in there like a goddamn lovestruck teenager. So she just smiles softly and takes a few hesitant steps forward.

The space between the entrance and her actual bunk feels like an eternity, and she takes light footsteps until she's at the edge of her bed. Despite her self-warning, she can't help but tuck a stray strand of her longer hair - it now reached the top of her breasts - behind her ears shyly.

"You don't need an invitation to sit down."

Alex's voice is nonchalant and non-threatening, but it didn't necessarily hold any amount of warmth to it, either. But given the fact that they hadn't even had a conversation in fifteen weeks, the words feel like a small amount of heaven to her. It makes her stop and just be extremely grateful. She was suprised that they had even made it this far. Because the last conversation that they had consisted of Alex's heart breaking and Piper trying to ignore the crack in her own chest. With the words that were fired against her, she was just incredibly lucky they were even talking in civil tones.

So she softly sits on the edge of Alex's bed.

She doesn't relax in any way at all, and she feels this odd longing shoot through her at the image of how they used to be. When Piper would jump on the bed without invitation and lean her back against the wall, shoulder to shoulder with Alex. When the taller girl would shoot her that smile reserved only for her and wrap her free arm - the one that wasn't holding a book, the nerd - around Piper's waist gently.

She glances down at the familiar patterns of the blanket and just loses herself for the briefest second.

But she couldn't afford that right now, because dinner would be over in less than forty-five minutes and then the rest of 'White Suburbia' would be present. And the fact that Alex was even allowing this at all still suprised her just a little bit, so there was no way that she wouldn't get a chance to say the few things she has been wanting to say.

"I just wanted to say thank you."

Her voice is unsure but not at all hesitant, and she goes back to looking down at Alex's blanket.

"A lot of stuff has gone down between us and you still jumped in and protected me, even when I didn't deserve it."

Alex's eyes are no longer on her book; instead they are trained just a little bit over the edge, her gaze roaming aimlessly among the bleak walls. She wasn't meeting Piper's gaze in any way, but the blonde knew she was listening with the way that her nostrils flared slightly and her hands tightened gently on her book. She didn't even really expect her ex-girlfriend to respond at all, so she decided to continue with everything she had kept bottled up inside. She didn't expect anything to change after this, and while that would be complete hell to deal with, she knew she would try for Alex.

She was finally listening for once, and while a part of her would always love the edgy drug-dealer that stole her heart, fucked her over, and never gave it back, she thinks she would be alright if she walked out of this prison with no strings attached to this place. No one to wonder about contacting and no one to have to visit.

Maybe they could co-exist, and it would be a wonderful step for them to take. They were in here at least another seven years together; she didn't know the extent of Alex's sentence, but the way she used to joke around about being in her forties and a prison drop-out, she guessed she probably had a full decade ahead of her.

Maybe until Piper got out they could at least be respectful towards one another.

They were here and it sucked beyond comprehension but Piper was beginning to deal with suckiness of life and just maybe Alex could just join her on the 'no regrets' train of thought. If she had to do this whole thing over again, she would honestly say that she would. Maybe this place had made her a better person and helped her embrace the fact that you can't just sweep buy and get everything you want in life. She sure as hell wouldn't add on the excess seven years onto that little do-over, but shit happens and just maybe it would be alright.

"I don't expect us to ever be together again."

This time Alex's jaw clenched tightly.

"And I don't even expect us to be friendly with one another," she murmurs.

The book in Alex's hands is all but forgotten now and she's just gazing now at the blanket where her feet are resting under. Piper can tell that she's just listening and absorbing her words. Alex would never admit it in a thousand years, but just maybe she wanted this chance just as much as Piper did; the shorter blonde could see it in her actions now.

The way she listened carefully, like these were the last words that would ever be directed towards her. And Piper admitted painfully that they just might be; they could be civil and co-exist, but that didn't mean they ever had to interact in a conversation again. A lot of the girls here had their own drama and their own crap going on with each other, but her and the taller woman had over a decade of history between them; the good, the bad, and the ugly. That was something you could never, ever take away from them.

Piper can't really go higher than a whisper. "I'm in here for another seven years, and I just hope that we can maybe just co-exist in the future."

She sees surpise flicker across Alex's face.

Her voice was deep and throaty, and Piper resisted a shiver. "They gave you seven years?"

"Yes," she whispers.

For the first time in a few weeks, her gaze locks on Alex's. The taller woman is now focusing on nothing but her, and she feels a small thrill shoot through her at the prospect. She has to stop her eyes from tracing every single detail of the older woman's face. It's one of the strongest urges she's ever had to maintain, but when those charming blue orbs locked onto her own, she just relaxes her body and shoots her a self-deprecating grin.

Alex had glanced briefly at her hand, almost like she had wanted to take it.

A soft warmth flooded through her stomach at the knowledge that Alex was struggling just as much as she was. She didn't want to sound like a complete asshat, but she knew she would always have a soft-spot in Alex's heart. They had been together for years, and she had been Alex's first meaningful relationship. They would always have a place for each other. They would have a fair amount of hate, bitterness and misunderstandings; wounds that would never be healed and things that could never be taken back. But they would probably always unconditionally love each other.

"I have nine," she snorts. "I got two years taken off by every yuppie that I named."

"Including me?" There's no malice in her voice, only a morbid hint of amusement.

Her lips quirk up in comfort, wanting the taller girl to know that she was just joking around with her. Their situation sucked epically, but they were lucky they didn't get twenty five to life for being in an international drug cartel. Just thinking about it now makes her think on how lucky they are, given their shitty situation.

It just makes her think of that song Alex always used to listen to and hum. She had always adored the Monty Python series, making Piper watch it with her on occasion. But she would always shoot the blonde that infuriating grin and began to whistle and sing. 'Always look on the bright side of life.'

Alex quirks up an eyebrow and smirks just a little bit. "Including you."

Piper smiles a little and goes back to staring at the blanket, soothing her hands along the pattern and remembering a conversation she had with Alex many weeks back. It makes her glance up briefly before looking back down once more, relaxing her hand and making sure it never strays to her former lover's.

"God," she laughs, "We both suck."

Alex laughs softly beside her and for once everything just seems to be a little bit lighter.

/

They really were something that was completely inevitable.

They had been nowhere near best friends, but the tensions that been between them were slowly fading into the background.

On occasion Piper would walk over and sit with their crew, noticing the way Alex's eyes immediately locked onto her and the way Morello's eyes lit up slightly. They certainly didn't engage each other in conversation, but sometimes she would state her factual input and it wasn't met with malice or coldness from the taller brunette.

And for some reason Nichols and Alex no longer were messing around. It was just small talk she heard through the grapevine; the way they interacted was an obvious clue as well. They no longer 'shuffled' into breakfast seperately, and they no longer had inside jokes that they whispered in each other's ears. They were still friendly with each other and beyond a little flirtacious, but it didn't take a trained observer to know that something had definitely happened between the two that made them seperate.

They didn't seem bitter about it, and Piper had to almost physically cover her mouth in order to stop the questions of what happened.

It was none of her business and she tried not to overly think about it too much. She was just happy being friends with everyone and while her heart would always ache a little bit for Alex - and an echo for the long-gone Larry - she was happy where she was as of right now. Not happy that she was in prison, obviously, but happy enough that she was finally at a somewhat sane place and the scratches on her arms that were healing slowly. She tried not to think about it several times though; the coincidence of everything.

Apparently Alex hadn't known that her and Larry had ended things months ago, and that Piper was actually alright with it.

'I'll just get me some prison bitches,' she had joked, following the conversation.

But only a couple of weeks later and things had seemed to end between Alex and Nichols. She truly couldn't grasp why, because they almost seemed to have a nice little thing going. It still made her scrunch her nose up thinking about it, but it was something she had come to accept. They didn't seem to be anywhere close to love or anything, but there seemed to be an odd bond there that not even she could grasp.

So she tried not to think too much into things nowadays.

The way that Alex had no hesitation on sitting beside her anymore when she actually did sit with them. They would trade light conversations about how Mendez was a damn pig and how Daya was looking increasingly pregnant. They would even borrow a book from each other occasionally.

So she was actually suprised that they had even made it back to this point.

Boo had made a joke referencing their little encounter and everybody laughed just a little bit. But when Piper blushed and turned her head towards the table and Boo obviously had the cocky look on her face, it was suddenly nonstop questions at the two of them.

"You two hooked up?!"

"Holy shit!"

It seemed to go on nonstop and she finally raised her embarrassed orbs to meet everyone elses. Everyone was either curious or in shock, but the only one who wasn't looking at them was Alex. She just continued staring down at her tray and gently twirled around the bread in her long, nimble fingers.

Boo smirked, and Piper groaned internally in advance. "God, Chapman here has the finest pussy I've ever seen. She was just so tight and wet -"

Oh, for fuck's sake!

" - And those little whimpers she does when she - "

Her mortification is broken when Alex stands up faster than she's ever seen her, grasping her tray in a white-knuckled grip and then striding towards the exit of the cafeteria. Her back is rigid and the way she throws the tray back on the holders is violent and more than a little bit frightening.

She can only stare in shock as Alex basically thrumps both of the doors in her hands, striding out with a vengeance she had never seen. She can only turn around to face everyone once more with her lips parted in slight shock. Everyone seemed to share this look with one another and she honestly wanted to strangle all of them just a little bit. But she sees the mischief in Boo's eyes and she suddenly realizes exactly what they had been doing. Those manipulative little cunts...

Her mouth opened in anger...

Nichols just rolls her eyes at her. "You and Alex need to stop being such little assholes. Go fuck the shit out of your woman, Chapman."

"She's not mine," is all that she can gape and say.

A barely there anger flashes across Nichol's brown eyes. "She was always yours, Chapman, you ignorant blonde shit. Now go get her."

And then she had.

/

Her eyes were unseeing and she couldn't even grasp reality at this point.

Alex's blue eyes were darkened to an almost black and her pupils were dilated; it was one of the sexiest things she had ever seen. She would stare at them longer if she wasn't tilting her head back in rapture, fighting desperately to keep her eyes open so that she could lock eyes with her current lover.

She was failing miserably and she finally allowed them to flutter closed as they began to roll back in her head.

She couldn't think, couldn't wonder, couldn't grasp...

Two long, lithe fingers was pumping in and out of her with a startling intensity. Every single stoke was precise and it made her legs tremble in ecstasy. Alex knew just where to touch to make her go completely insane, and it was completely glorious.

She doesn't how long they have been doing this, but obviously for quite awhile. Their bodies reflected a thick sheen of sweat and she could feel her hair sticking to her damp forehead. Alex's beautiful raven hair was equally as damp, sticking to her sweat-soaked chest as she moved her entire body along with the thrusts of her hand. She was so beautiful that it was completely ridiculous, with the flush from her exertions travelling along the top of her chest from her neck. Her cheeks were a deep red and she reached up to cup them as their bodies gyrated back and forth sensually.

Her eyes closed and she tried not to moan.

Everything suddenly shifted and she felt her leg being lifted over Alex's shoulder with her free hand. The taller woman's body hips shifted closer as her upper body moved off of her own, and she fails to hold back a gasp as the other woman presses into her with an even deeper angle, her body beginning to move desperately once more. Alex's fingers are going at an almost break-neck speed, and she was thrumming her clit with her thumb expertly. She wasn't going to last much longer, with the look of utter devotion on the woman's face, her brows furrowed in concentration as she looked and made sure that she was feeling nothing but pleasure.

Alex had always been a generous lover.

And Piper had always excelled at yoga.

So she shifts her hips up and straightens her leg out on Alex's shoulder, allowing the woman to sink - fucking somehow - deeper than before. She just smiles in pleasure and wraps her other leg around Alex's waist as much as possible. Because she wanted to be near every part of her. She wanted to feel her skin and even consume every molecule on every fiber. She wanted to run her tongue in-between Alex's magnificent breasts and absorb all of the sweat that built up. She wanted to tongue, touch, and just absorb her in every possible way.

Their pants echo throughout the chapel and she is so fucking thankful that Alex had payed someone to watch the door.

Alex's fingers curl inside of her and she can feel her fingers practically strum the ridges like a musical instrument.

Jesus fucking Christ.

She arches because she can't take anymore, and there's this blazing hot heat that erupts from the tips of her toes and travels onto the roots of her hair. It's blazing and completely an eruption of overwhelmingly pleasure, and she can feel her legs tightening brutally on Alex's shoulder and waist. She's choking from trying to mask the built up cries in her throat, and black dots dance in front of her vision as every part of her tightens around Alex. She can practically feel her insides grasping at and milking and nearly tearing off Alex's fingers and her head hits the stage floor as she whimpers throatily.

Alex is shaking above her and the woman is as breathless as her. "Fuck, baby."

And her body slumps almost lifelessly onto Piper's, who opens her legs and allows Alex to settle her whole body in-between them.

She can feel the hot air puffing against the skin of her soaked neck, and she grasps the back of Alex's damp hair and keeps her there desperately. Her senses were slowly starting to return to her, and she could feel every single place that Alex was connected to with her. It was magnified now due to her sensitivity, and she just closed her eyes and wet her lips, leaning her head back and relaxing her entire body. She could feel the puffs of breath against her neck and could feel the almost barely there kisses that Alex was placing there.

Her muscular arm was wrapped protectively - possessively - around her waist and occasionally she would shift her hips on top of her. She could feel Alex's wetness against her own and she was honestly tempted for a quick round two. In fact the words were about to come out of her mouth, but a soft whisper in her ear stops her.

"I heart you."

Alex's breath is hot against the shell of her ear, and she shivers uncontrollably as goosebumps begin to rise along her skin. And she just closes her eyes in joy and grasps Alex even impossibly tighter to her body, shifting her face so that she could whisper right back.

"I heart you, too."

Alex smiles and brings one of Piper's forearms up to her mouth, closing her eyes and gently laying kisses along the lightly scarred area. And Piper just watches her affection with a look of fascination on her face, eyeing the way her full lips brush every single little scratch and hair. She's slow and taking her time and Piper feels her heart swell with a scary amount of love.

She really did feel inevitable to her.

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Maybe a part 2?