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Chicken No More

A/N: The story of how Piper finds the balls to free fall. Set after season 1. My fingers are rusty from fic writing (shout out to the Kittenboard), but hopefully this will still give you a ride. Feedback is much appreciated - Sleek

PIPER

Have you ever spent days without seeing a day?

Four thick, grey concrete, immovable walls... that's my day. My night.

My latest stomach content.. a toss between fungus and maggots.

The toilet bowl.. my constant company… for purging… defacating.. shitting shit shit.

Why is it, even if I chose the arms of safety… I get yanked back into the thralls of hell?

Here is me choosing Larry.

Here is me, hoping I would get the same kind of quiet that Polly has. A husband you can depend on. A remodeled apartment (think of all steamy debate. Honey, lets paint the baby room beige. No, Pipes, the first colour infants see is actually red. Make it red.) Think of all the sit-down, wine tasting dinners, the barbecue by the pool, my mother finally removing her judgemental eyebrow knit from her face… and Cal… well Cal doesn't want to please anyone, so he doesn't expect others to do the same for him.

I wish I were more of Cal.

But I'm Piper. Currently a Chapman.

And I wish.. after God knows how many days in SHU..

I wish when I get out.. I could finally have the balls… to be a free woman, even in prison.

And the funny thing is, the moment I became… ball-some… it would get me here, in silent-fucking-confinement. This incarceration is my castration.

Dogget's voice rang in my head like an almighty gong. Nobody loves me. Nobody.

For a blissful moment that truth connected. I connected. Finally, my mind, heart, soul connected in one smack of a fist. It hit me hard. And I hit her. Harder.

Shit Chapman. What did I get myself into?

How will I ever get out of this?

Is there someone waiting for me out there?

He probably gave up on me.

She probably hates me.

It doesn't matter who I really love anymore. Love is for the fearless. And though once she called me brave, in my heart I knew I wasn't.

I chickened out on the one person who called me brave.

Fuck.

Will I ever see her again?

Those long, subtly toned arms a canvas of painted rose…

Arms that meant both safety and danger.

Those stormy grey green eyes that offered comfort in one minute and calculation the next.

Those sun hot lips that are both my satisfaction and my hunger.

A love that was wild wind, a howling force beyond my understanding. Not rooted on promises or safety. Just the certainty of freedom. The reckless curve that is Alex.

And I… I abandoned her. Again.

Why do I have to be so godamn ball-less?

ALEX

Alex re-read the last paragraph of the book 'Born to Run'. But no matter how much she tried, she couldn't escape into Copper Canyons of Mexico like she used to. Books were always her diversion. Her plane ticket out. But now her mind isn't going anywhere.

Fuck you Piper. Fuck you and your fiancé, your boring Connecticut upbringing.. fuck you for needing me.. for those big sad Bambi eyes.. I don't want to care about you anymore.

Fuck you and your soft warm nape… hungry hands… thirsty lips... your addictive laughter. I will never. Ever. Fall for that shit again.

I can do this. If I can let go of heroin. I can let go of you.

It is too bad they shut you away to SHU again.

If I can get you out, I would.

But maybe if I don't see you.. not a trace of you..

Not a hint of your scent or shadow..

I can begin to forget.

And maybe. Just maybe. It wouldn't hurt as much anymore.

2 MONTHS PASSED

The canteen squeaked with the slippery boots of inmates. Snow has melted right into the soles of the women of Litchfield correctional. Piper took a few tentative steps in the hallway. The noise was too much. For a moment she wanted to run back to her cell in the SHU. Somehow the days of silence have made her… sensitive to every sound. Tiny noises. Heck, she thought she could even hear what her inmates were thinking as they stared at her when she lined up food.

'Welcome back, Chapman' somebody called out. It was Big Boo, maybe. Piper wasn't sure. She wasn't sure how a tray was now in her hands and it seems she has found a seat. Her body was a pilot of its own.

'You gonna eat that pie Chapman?' Nicky's voice cut her ear. She didn't realise that Morello and Nichols were sitting across her.

Nicky's hands reached out to grab the pie from Piper's tray. Instinctively, Piper shielded her food with both hands.

This earned a dry chuckle from Nicky. 'Finally, the corpse shows some signs of life.'

'Eat Chapman, slowly. One bite at a time, you'll be okay hon.' Morello said.

Piper smiled a little at the two inmates and ate slowly.

Then something pricked her memory. She didn't see a tall, raven haired woman sitting nearby. She usually sat with them, or just a few benches away.

Piper swiveled her head around. Taking in as much as her bleary eyes could see.

'Where's Alex?' Piper's hoarse voice was barely above audible.

Nichols and Morello silently exchanged glances.

It didn't bode well.

ALEX

Alex felt her smart suit hung too loose. This black charcoal grey pant suit used to be her second skin, now it feels like draperies..

Man up Alex, Don't lose your cool.

She took a deep breath and opened the door that says 'Cage, Fish and Associates'.

'Alex' a large, well-manicured hand was proffered. Alex took it firmly and gazed directly at Mike, her new lawyer.

Mike slid his hand on his suit and deftly buttoned it before sitting down behind an oval-glass table. Alex didn't wait for an invitation and sat on the swivel chair across Mike. Legs crossed at the ankles.

'Nice to see you sans your prison khakis.' Mike nodded and stared at Alex's generous rack before looking at her face. Alex was used to making her mammaries an ambassador to her mind. It distracts most people, which make it easier to confound and conquer them.

'We are not here for flattery Mike. Tell me the conditions of my probation.'

Mike steepled his hands and paused. Considering Alex with a flat, stony stare.

'Very well. Considering that I helped you re-open your case and bargain for bail, a little courtesy won't be out of place. In the meantime,' Mike opened a briefcase and pulled out a leatherette file folder, he placed it neatly in front of Alex.

'Adam Starr's last will and testament. His request preceding his demise was to find all of his offsprings. Lucky for you, your half brother committed suicide last year and your half sister became a nun with a staunch vow of poverty. I spoke to her, she is revoking all of her rights to whatever your father left you lot.'

'So.. this is the magnanimous donor you mentioned who offered bail?' Alex asked. 'Is he so influential he could hold sway the Department of Justice?'

Mike ignored her question and gestured not too patiently at the leather folder splayed open in front for Alex.

Alex adjusted her glasses on her nose and scanned a legal-sized, lined yellow paper filled with the scrawl of her father's handwriting. His penmanship was wide, heavy and loopy, as if written by a hand that had too much Red Bull.

Alex skimmed through the first part and zeroed in on her name.

'To my daughter with a great rack, Alex. I now remember your mother. She wrote to me before, sent your pictures. But I wasn't ready for that kind of shit. She used to wear glasses like you did. The only nerd I ever rolled with. Sad to hear she died. I know you have no one left, so I leave you my cottage in Malibu. I f*cked up as a Dad, but I'm not so bad six feet under. Keep my music alive kid.'

'To my other offspring (Mike, find all the other letters.) Whatever Alex has should be equally divided to you all.'

Alex didn't know what to feel. It is as if a stranger handed her a house from Salvation Army. It was an after thought kindness. Distant. Well her dad is a stranger, no matter how many times her mother talked about him. But in the end, he helped her get out of this jam.

'Mr. Starr left me a small amount to find you all. With just a picture of a 7 year-old kid, it was hard to find exactly where you are. Apparently, you never stayed in one place. Good thing you got caught,' Mike offered a small smile which Alex didn't share.

'You are to serve five more years of your sentence on probation. You are not to leave the state of New York and your probation officer will check in with you every other week. You are expected to find legal employment, do community service and integrate with society...peacefully.' Mike gave a measured look at Alex who nodded once. He continued. 'I had your Malibu house estimated at 6 million. A buyer who is friends with your father is ready to sign the paper work. We can cover your 4 million bail, taxes and my fee just fine. No worries.'

Alex swallowed this for a bit.

'But isn't it my decision if I want to sell the house?'

Mike cleared his throat.

'Seeing as you can't leave New York, what is the point? First things first, we get you a paternity test. Then you need to sign the deed of sale and sell the house. We need to settle your bail this month. If you want to go back to prison, let me know.'

Alex crossed her arms across her chest. 'So, this meeting was just a formality.'

'No worries ,' Mike said as he retrieved the folder from Alex and shut it back in the briefcase. 'We are just selling the house. Whatever's in it are all yours.'