‘Come on, John,’ Theodore huffed. ‘I don’t want ‘em thinking we live like complete animals.’
He’d spent the past hour or so whizzing around the room picking up clothes, food wrappers, condoms, the handcuffs the Alabamian had begged John to buy him, anything that wasn’t in its rightful place.
‘Teddy, we do.’ John laid sprawled across the bed while the smaller man jogged around the room in attempts to make the hotel room look tidy.
‘That is not true, I do my best to make this place home,’ the Alabamian argued, hands on his hips as he stood still for the first time since he'd started.
‘What are you making such a fuss for? These are the same people you broke out of prison with, they wish you died years ago, they don’t care about your living conditions.’
‘Ya ass is gonna be sorry when the first thing they notice is the come stains on that there chair, you can explain it ‘cause I sure as hell ain’t.’
‘Come here, Teddy.’ The smaller man walked over and was pulled down onto John’s lap. ‘Everything’s gonna be fine, you have nothing to be worried about.’
‘I ain’t worried about shit, John, I just don’t want ‘em thinking all we do is fuck, eat, and sleep.’
‘That’s all we do and you know it, but I get it, they don’t need to know.’
‘This is the only place we got, John and there ain’t enough room for the two of us as well as all this crap laying around.’ Theodore ran his hand through the taller man’s hair, looking around the room, hoping that’d make it all disappear. ‘How on Earth did we let it get like this?’
‘You need to take a break, grandpa,’ John remarked. ‘Those old bones aren’t gonna last much longer if you carry on running around like your pants are on fire.’
‘I’m still kickin’, John, you should be the first to know,’ the Alabamian replied, finally vacating his seat on John’s lap. ‘Ya throwing me around the room five times a day, I’m doin’ just fine.’
There were four gentle knocks on the door to their room and Theodore was on his feet, bounding towards it. Opening it just a crack, to begin with, he saw two familiar faces and pulled it wide open.
‘Pretty,’ Theodore sighed, his tongue instantly running along his bottom teeth. He leaned against the door frame.
’T-bag,’ Michael responded, that accustomed look of weariness in his expression. Even after all those years, he still watched the Alabamian with his usual squint.
‘Uh, it’s Theodore if ya don’t mind,’ the Alabamian grinned, his eyes flicking to the right to see the other half of the pair. ‘Sink.’
‘It’s Lincoln if you don’t mind,’ he grimaced with that rumbling voice, looking less than happy.
‘Come in, boys,’ Theodore said, pride dripping from his voice, standing aside. ‘Take ya shoes off, thank you kindly. I only just got it clean. Ignore the mess, I’m workin’ on it.’
‘You been living here all this time?’ Michael asked as his eyes scanned the place.
‘No,’ John said, falling into a hug with Michael. ‘We’ve been moving around a bit, of course, we had no choice when that bastard over there got in trouble with a woman staying in the hotel-‘
‘You were the one that had some fucked up idea about a week of celibacy and refused to fuck me, John, what was I supposed to do?’
‘Not rape someone would’ve been a good idea, Theodore.’ John eyed him closely.
‘You’re sick, you know that?’ Lincoln interrupted, earning an empty glare from Theodore.
‘If all ya gonna do is judge me, you can leave. I got no problem in kickin’ you out.’
‘Theodore. Play nice.’
The smaller man huffed, dropping down on the chair. He looked like a little kid who’d just been told they can’t have ice cream for breakfast. Meanwhile, the two brothers were yet to find a place to sit.
‘So how are you two surviving in tiny hotel rooms with one bed? Back at Fox River, you couldn’t be within five feet of each other without being at each other’s throats,’ Lincoln spoke, earning a chuckle from the man slumped in the chair.
‘We’ve settled our differences,’ John said. ‘Right, Theodore?’
‘Right, John,’ the man replied, keeping his dark eyes down.
The two brothers seemed to find entertainment in the sight of Theodore Bagwell under the control of another; Lincoln finally had a grin painted on his lips.
Despite the little disagreements and the irritated stares being thrown around, every man in that room felt a weight lift their shoulders at the sight of familiar faces. Faces that weren’t out for their asses. Faces they could trust.
Maybe Theodore wasn’t the most welcomed member, but John decided he would make up for the crude remarks thrown at him later when they were alone again. In fact, he whispered this in the man’s ear when the brothers were in conversation and noticed the flush in his cheeks and the grin twitching at the corner of his mouth.