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Interpretive Dance

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Len was sitting in the common area, his feet up on a nearby chair as he reclined in his seat while reading a book, deceptively casual and relaxed. He knew better than to really let his guard down in prison, but he didn’t like to look like he was always being vigilant. Sometimes it gave the impression you were scared, which was a stupid thing to do. And by pretending not to pay attention to his surroundings, it had the added bonus of guards and other inmates getting within hearing distance while they had discussions. Most were useless and uninteresting, but you never knew when a useful tidbit might slip out of someone’s mouth.

One of the inmates who had been, for some time now, hoping to make a name for himself in the prison, came over to stand in front of him. For all his posturing in the hopes of asserting his dominance over Len, whom he apparently decided he needed to topple off the throne to get one of his own, he still didn’t dare to actually get close enough to truly crowd Len or kick either of the seats he was using.

Len pointedly ignored him, turned a page in his book and kept on reading.

“Just what do you think you’re doin, Snart?” The inmate growled, beefy arms at his sides but ready to go if he needed.

“Interpretive dance.” Len said, without pause, and very pointedly lifted both of his legs from the seat they were occupying and switched which one crossed over which ankle, then set them back down on the seat again.

“What’s that supposed to mean?! This is my table!” The inmate snarled.

“Dunno what you’re talkin about, Norbert. This table was vacant when I got here and I didn’t see a ‘reserved’ card on it.” Len replied, unconcerned, even a bit absent-minded, as though the sentence or paragraph he was reading was far too interesting and certainly too important to give this man his full attention.

“I don’t respond to that name. You should learn to show more respect.” The inmate said, low and what he apparently thought passed for threatening.

“Does your mother still call you Norby?” Len asked, shifting his gaze to the next page.

“You little wiseass!” The inmate finally brought his arms up as he began to take a looming step forward.

Mick, who had been sitting nearby, gave a low and threatening growl in the back of his throat, emanating right from his chest and slowly stood up, unfolding his own arms, a look of slightly crazed anticipation on his face signifying that he was absolutely ready to go and would relish kicking Norbert’s ass.

Norbert was clearly reevaluating his options when he saw Mick stand and give him that creepy as hell demonic look. Everyone in the prison knew what that look meant. Nobody really wanted to start shit with Mick when he had that look in his eyes. But, Norbert needed to figure out a way to retreat without losing too much face. In prison, if you were viewed as the slightest bit weak, it was like a feeding frenzy with the other inmates.

Len turned the next page in his book, as though he really couldn’t be bothered with what was going on at all.

“You’re just lucky I got shit to do. Watch your back, Snart.” Norbert said before backing away and lumbering off. As attempts to save face went, especially in prison, it wasn’t that great and the other inmate would likely pay for that. But, Norby had never been all that bright in the first place.

Len glanced over at Mick as his partner sat back down.

“Overdid it a little bit, don’t you think?” Len asked, but mostly just teasing his husband. Not that anyone in here knew they were married. There were good reasons why they kept that little tidbit of information on the down low, even when they were out of prison.

“Who cares? I was bored. It worked, didn’t it?” Mick said with a shrug, but no actual heat to his words. It really was just a casual discussion between them.

“And you call me dramatic.” Len said with a smirk before going back to his book.

“Learned from the best, didn’t I?” Mick teased with a grin, causing his husband to give a soft snort of amusement.