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"A fork and a knife can lock a door, did you know that?" Reece shook his head like he understood the slyest joke in the book, "Learned that from when my parents took my locks after my second hospitalization," He dug the cigarettes out from his waistband, and picked up the lighter, nodding once at Gaige.

Gaige narrowed his eyes for a moment before blink it away and taking a stick from Reece. It was ironic -and he knew it- how Gaige had learned to pick a lock and Reece had learned to make a lock. How the world spins in so many ways.

"Wait!" Reece slapped the lighter Gaige was just about to click, shoving the tall boy towards the wall. Gaige flinched at the contact, the pressure of hands on his body, on his shoulder. It felt terrifying to have someone touch him without him initiating it all. Everything was catching up with him.

"We need to open the window and smoke through there. Or the air vent," Reece pointed up at the ceiling, probably to show the vent, but Gaige didn't bother to look up, "They can't see or smell it. We have to make sure to spray the room spray and probably a little cologne too."

Reece stepped up on the toilet, climbing onto the vanity and over the sink so there was still room for Gaige. They were using the vent now. Gaige narrowed his eyes at the boy crouching on the countertop, cigarette dangling, waiting to be lit. There were only two things to do; Break that stupid fork and lock thing in the door and go back to his room, or climb up on top of that counter -risk looking like a complete idiot- and have his three minutes of relief.

Gaige didn't bother stepping on the toilet to get on the counter. He was even more hunched over, squeezed to fit between the ceiling and the countertop. His 6'6 frame did not fit easily. He could basically already feel his back hurting.

But the flick of a lighter, heat of the flame, and horrible inhale of his cigarette made it all worth it. Reece snatched the lighter from his hand to light his own, but Gaige barely even noticed.

Lips slack, eyes heavy-lidded, the grey wisps of stress, fear, and longing danced up into the air vent and out into the world. 

A world Gaige wished to be part of again.

"God," Reece chuckled, Gaige snapping out of his trance of comfort blink twice to focus on the boy bent all funny and laughing at him, "You look like you just came in your pants. How long has it been? Are you really that much of an addict?"

Gaige swallowed the embers of death and alleviation. He just kept his eyes tightened. Careful of the boy a foot away from him -across the sink bowl. Gaige watched, judgingly, for a moment too long, before tipping his chin up and letting the embers re-escape into the vent.

"Oh come on, we're bonding. The few minutes of the day no one will bother either of us," Gaige scowled, and shook off the ashes of his cigarette into the sink, running cold water at the same time. When he shut it off and looked back up, Reece had another wicked smile of his face, "New deal. I'll give you two more cigarettes to take on your way after this one if you talk," Reece even went as far as to pull the little baggie of sticks from by his feet on the counter and swung it in front of Gaige's face.

That's two more Gaige didn't have to go to fucking Reece for. Two more Gaige could use whenever it all got a little too much. Two more Gaige could use up until Thursday when he finally got his phone card.

But to talk to Reece? Was it worth it?

Two cigarettes in lockdown were pretty much worth anything. And Reece was making a shitty deal.

If it weren't Reece, Gaige would have smirked. He'd slept with people for the same amount of cigarettes.

Gaige snatched the bag from between Reece's fingertips, opening it, pulled out to unused mind-numbers, and slid them into a pocket of his windbreaker before tossing the bag at him.

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