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Slash and Yaoi Fiction
Title: The Last Flight to Nowhere
Author: Juxian Tang
Fandom: One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Pairing: McMurphy/Billy
Rating: NC-17
Status: complete
Archive: yes
Feedback: juxiantang@hotmail.com
URL: http://juxian.slashcity.net
Disclaimer: The movie belongs to Warner Brothers and the characters belong to Ken Kesey and no copyrights are infringed here.
Spoilers: You mean the story can spoil the movie for you. No way! :-)
Summary: Jesus... I can never think of a good summary. What the hell happens here? Well, they talk, then they fuck - what else do you want from a slash story? :-)

THE LAST FLIGHT TO NOWHERE

He thinks about it. From his second or third night in the ward - when he wakes up abruptly after merely half an hour of sleep with the familiar sucking ache in his bottom belly. And as he lies in the darkness, gently sliding his hard palm around the head of his little soldier, there are the thoughts coming to his mind. He doesn't really like to make love with his right hand... better than nothing, of course - and just think about those poor loonies who have their wrists chained for the night. Isn't it what can really drive you mad?

It might have been better on the farm, he thinks - in this aspect, at least. There were things happening there, everybody knew. He was not too much into this shit - but sometimes a man just doesn't have a choice. Not that he ever put someone down - he doesn't do it: forcing himself on someone - but he used to arrange his things in the right way and he always could get what he wanted and to make it mutually... beneficial.

But here... Well, he can't press on these crazy sons of bitch - and they certainly won't go over their head for a pack of cigarettes to please him. Yet the thought about Harding groveling to get a cock into his mouth makes McMurphy chuckle and move his hand over the smooth tender-skinned shaft a little more vigorously.

Harding and Ches and Scanlon are all old mules. He isn't sure he would want to shove his precious stick into their sappy mouths. I mean you have to be desperate to go for any of them, R. P. McMurphy.

Any? Not quite true and he knows it. From the moment when his thoughts take this playful turn, the idea is somewhere in the back of his mind, behind the image of pathetic Harding or any other inmate on their knees. McMurphy just isn't sure he wants to drag this thought out. Only it is too late. There is one ass he wouldn't mind driving his cock in - and it certainly does not belong to Hard-On or to Cheswick.

Billy... Oops. He has known it would be like this. That's why he's tried to keep it at bay. Something in him protests against the cruel proximity of this thought and he frowns - but at the same time his hand starts flying along the shaft with the mute intensity that is stronger than anything else before. He is not in control of the images that flood his mind now - no more than any man would be in this state. If it were not the ward... if it were the prison work farm... And a kid like this there. It would create endless possibilities after the light went off. For a moment, for this short spell of time when his cock rules his mind, McMurphy likes to imagine it - and that's how he shoots in his palm with a short gasp, his hand filled with the wet warm fluid.

He slides out of the bed soundlessly and tiptoes to the tub room to wash it off. His face in the unflattering electric light is hard and old, the dark bristles shadow the lines of his face and make it sharper - but his eyes are still slightly drunk with the relief. Ain't you damn stupid, R. P.? When did ya jerk off thinkin' about a boy? Don't you have enough chicks to occupy your mind when you play with yourself?

Yeah chicks. The point is he can hardly remember the face of his last girl-friend - and the only "chick" he sees here is this white-dressed bitch behind the glass that can emasculate a guy with her stare. He is not that desperate to fantasize about her - or about that little fucked-up assistant that catches the words right from the Nurse's mouth. So why not? Thinking about the kid is better than that - or better than wanking mechanically with his mind somewhere else. And soon McMurphy already knows the track of his fantasies and stops fighting them. What one doesn't know doesn't hurt him - and Billy will certainly never know.

But it is still not so easy when the kid is around - and come on, he is almost always around, as if stuck with him, casting these short stares of impossible blue and then looking away quickly as if his eyes can reveal something unforgivable about him.

Sometimes McMurphy wishes he didn't notice these things. As he used not to. Well, he knows a nice ass when he sees it - and who doesn't? But he never looks more than at it. Somehow with the kid it is different. Too many details sticking with him for his unwelcome night fantasies - Billy's thin wrists flashing the ugly pattern of white scars on their insides. The way the blue vein flutters on his neck when he tenses under the Nurse's merciless gaze. The long strands of curly hair he pulls over his eyes - hiding behind them, the same as he hides behind the chain with the cross on his neck. He wonders how it is to attempt suicide again and again for someone who apparently believes in God. An illogical question - and why, after all, should he ask it, should he think about it at all? What does it have to do with how cute Billy's ass is - and even that is not McMurphy's concern. He will never have it all the same.

Not because it is so impossible - not even because it is too risky and there is no way to keep the kid silent if the things go wrong. But exactly because of all these things he knows now. The way Billy wraps his arms around his skinny body, all curling inside himself - the look of a trapped animal in his eyes whenever Ratched addresses to him - even the way how he makes McMurphy's short name a polysyllabic one when stammering.

But when he tries to vote for watching baseball and they all let him down, his mood changes. Traitors! Oh boy is he pissed off. All of them traitors. Well, he expected Harding to shy away - after all, the guy wouldn't recognize a good game even if it bit his nose. Perhaps Sefeld. But others? Billy? The kid used to devour him with his eyes! So, how could he be so wrong about him? It is not the World Cup that really matters, it is the realization of his failure that smarts most.

He broods over it - how they made him suck in front of the fuckin' Nurse-cunt. And when he tries to raise the wash station, he does it also because he needs to do it - to let out some of his anger or it will burst him apart. Not that it wouldn't be nice to throw this shitty piece of marble to the window and get out - but he kind of knows he won't be able to do it. He dares them to bet for it, building more hatred inside himself at their greed - and seethes inwardly when Harding jumps at the opportunity to get some of his money back.

With the corner of his eye he sees Billy hugging himself as usual, building his arms around himself higher and higher, burying his face in the crook of his elbow until only his nose and eyes stay outside but under the cover of the long fringe, too. The look in his blue eyes is scared and miserable. Why? He is not threatened with anything. But somehow McMurphy can read it. The kid feels awkward - for him. Sure that he would lose. Ashamed.

Should be ashamed! Oh fuck. McMurphy feels that there is something soft in him that reacts almost involuntarily to what Billy does to himself - but he hardens his heart quickly. The kid doesn't deserve his care - no more than any of them does. And with this hatred in him he attacks the station.

It doesn't move.

"But I tried, didn't I? God damn it, at least I did that."

Pain and strain serve good for him - but there is something of this anger left in his tendons - lingering like a hangover. And as he lies in his bed, he feels the intoxicating fury seeping through his body, concentrating equally in two fireballs in his forehead and between his thighs. His palms are too numb and tender when he tries to caress his cock - and he really doesn't want to do it again like this.

He is angry. They betrayed him - why does he have to be Mr. Nice Guy with them? Especially with Billy.

He slips out of the bed soundlessly, making no more noise in the darkness than a big gracious feline would make, sliding around the ward. One of his hands, warmed up and firm, lies down on the kid's shoulder - the other one barely touches his mouth to prevent him from making noise if he decides to do it.

The kid's eyes flash dark - and still blue. McMurphy tightens both his palms holding him down and nods his head towards the tub room silently. Is it the moonlight or does he really see a short sparkle of joy in Billy's eyes? What does he think? Does he know that McMurphy is angry? He must have known.

Billy nods carefully against the hand on his mouth and then McMurphy lets him go. The kid follows him, quietly enough, pulling the t-shirt on himself. Come on, son, you won't need this.

He closes the door neatly and packs the slit under it with a towel not to let the light out, then stands up and turns back. The kid sits on the fuckin' station, blinking his slightly puffy eyes and wrapping himself into his arms again - but this time it is probably from cold. McMurphy reads the curiosity in his eyes and sees how he looks up and down quickly and his mouth twitches and McMurphy knows it means he wants to say something and weighs if it is worth going through the unavoidable agony of squeezing the words out.

He suddenly thinks very piercingly that he should have left the light off - then he wouldn't have had to look at it. He wouldn't let himself feel this soft place inside his heart again. So soft that it probably clashes with the hard pole rising the front of his underpants.

Too late now.

"Care for a cigarette?"

Billy nods emphatically. He almost always does, even though not to the point of getting up and smoke at night.

"T-they would smell the smoke."

The thrill in his voice fights the fear. Stupid kid. How well he filters what can be allowed and what not - what can stand for a minor forgivable offence and when he should crawl inside himself in front of the Nurse and his mother. They trained him well. They probably encourage his smoking because it lets him be a rebel in something very small.

For some reason McMurphy feels his fists rolling in the balls. Painful - the skin on his palms is cracked and impossibly tender - and he relaxes consciously. Why does he care? It is not what he has brought the kid here for.

"No way. Turkle ain't gonna smell it even we set the whole place on fire."

He catches the kid's smile, far more generous than the joke deserves - and one of those scared checking looks again. Yes, he feels guilt. He knows he let McMurphy down.

So what? Are you going to push on it to make him bend over for you? You can do it, R. P. You know you can.

The heaviness in his groin is so urgent that he just needs to rub it, at least with his own palm - and he can't do it when the kid stares at him all the time. They smoke in silence and he suddenly feels disgusted with the whole situation. Do it! Either do it - or bring him back to the bedroom, man. And go for Harding - he would be delighted, you bet.

He moves around the room seemingly aimlessly. There is a strange silence there, broken occasionally with a short chuckle from Billy as he catches McMurphy's eyes. The air seems to be thick and he knows it is thick with his arousal; he can smell it and it drives him almost insane. He stops at last at the wash station, his hand resting on the cool marble just in an inch from Billy's ass. His arm is outstretched along the kid's side - and he senses very sharply the wave of heat that comes from this thin body.

"T-they didn't have to bet with you. You could have harmed yourself," the kid stammers. Wrong! No harm done yet. The thought is so fierce that for a moment it seems to him that he says it aloud - and he doubts again when he sees Billy's long lashes fly up and down. And at the next moment the kid slides down from the station.

Is there the intention to leave in what he does? McMurphy's arm almost circles him, the awkward position when the kid turns out to be pressed between the marble bulk and McMurphy's body. Just inches between his narrow abdomen and McMurphy's hot straining erection. It seems he can feel their energies mix at this point. So close. So painfully needed.

And yet he knows with the perfect certainty that if Billy tries to leave he will let him. No matter how his body screams to do otherwise. He can't play these games. A little power exchange, a little coercion that can be taken as a foreplay - just as in his fantasies - but he can't do it. His body is still like a string - and the flame between his thighs is still sweet and painful and craves for release - but he can't.

Billy doesn't move. Doesn't make his way past him, not even shifts a little. Perfectly still and burning hot and so bony and these blue eyes are so close and McMurphy sees him open his mouth and shut it again nervously but when he does speak it is still a surprise.

"D-do you w-want to kiss me?"

At first he doesn't believe that he really hears it. He shouldn't have tried to raise the station - has he something done with himself that he hallucinates? The damn piece of marble. He pierces his eyes into Billy's, trying to read something behind this flashing blinding blueness - but the stumbling voice still sounds in his head - and the kid doesn't look away, though clearly forcing himself to look.

"What?!"

"Y-you heard. Is it w-what you've brought me here for?"

Shit. He can't believe his ears. The kid... What does he know about it? What can he know? And again it is as if he says it aloud because Billy shows his widely spaced teeth in a short awkward grin but when he speaks there is some strange serenity in his voice:

"I can be c-crazy, M-Mac, but I am not an idiot."

His eyes slide over McMurphy's body, downwards slowly, until stop almost obscenely against the demonstrative erection poking against the thin cloth of his underpants.

McMurphy flushes suddenly. His arm drops and he makes a step back, giving Billy the space that he doesn't demand. The kid doesn't move. There is the same desperate courage in his eyes and McMurphy doesn't know what he wants more - to stop seeing it or to believe at last that it is true. And the knowledge that the things can be that easy - isn't it intoxicating? It could have made him feel going high but something prevents him from that, something jaded and heavy in his chest that feels almost like disappointment.

What do you wait for? Take it. Or turn away and go and jerk off in the comparative privacy that the blanket in the common bedroom can give you. What do you prefer, R. P.?

But he doesn't move and suddenly Billy's eyelids flop down and he whispers, his stammering worse than usual:

"I c-can do it for you... The things to make you f-feel g-good..."

And there is this long-fingered hand, trembling slightly, the sight of the fingernails bitten almost to the roots so familiar - reaching to his crotch. It is what you want - what you yearn - what you beg for! Don't you, R. P.?

He would want to shake this hand off. If he had a little less of self-control. But he feels something very unbreakable in himself - like the marble of this wash station that can kill anyone who tries to fight it - but there is certainly the man or the moment when it gives in. He takes the narrow wrist in the ring of his fingers and stops it from moving. He doesn't want to hurt - he just stops it.

There is something quivering in Billy's face again - it is not that his features get distorted, it is something far subtler, maybe, how his eyelashes tremble not hiding the dark blue of his eyes or his lips are on the verge of starting to form the words that will never come off without stumbling. Then he doesn't say anything at all and just licks his lips withered with his feverish breath.

He might appear cool but he isn't.

"I didn't know you're into it," McMurphy says cruelly. There are more brutal formulae in his mind, like "I didn't know that you are queer" or "I didn't know that you are a cocksucker" but even though his anger at being cheated - the kid seemed innocent - and turned out not to be - demands the outlet, he still can't be as sharp as he would like to be. Not when this bony wrist burns through his palm, struggling in short jerks to get out of his grip and then stilling like a scared animal.

He sees with contentment how Billy's face goes pale and pink and pale again and the hand wiggles more but he holds it firmly and mercilessly.

"So, you can make me feel good? You think it is so easy?"

There is a tearing inhale that makes Billy's chest flutter and then he starts saying something and stops and starts again and this time finishes half-successfully:

"I th-thought it was what you wanted, M-Mac."

And you are right, kid, you are damn right! That's the thing.

This poking rod between his legs urges him to stop it, so, he continues harshly:

"And when did you become a pro? You don't look like that at all."

"I... I am not a..." his head is drooping. His free arm flies up and when it turns out that there is no place for it to squeeze between their bodies to make the most vulnerable armor around him, Billy's eyes become as trapped as they get in the worst moments of the group sessions.

McMurphy feels a small pang of shame at what he does. How could it come to this? He had never thought he would want to hurt the kid. It must be his brains, totally cooked on the flame of his hard-on, that made him do it.

"B-but I know what to do. IL was taught."

The words have so little voice in them that McMurphy almost catches them as the sigh on his face than hears them. And then the realization descends on him.

He freezes so abruptly that even his breath seems to stop. In a moment his hand is gone from the thin wrist and even though he's seemed to control his hold, he still can see the red marks of his fingers against the pale skin. Then he grabs Billy's shoulders and shakes him.

"Who did you do it to? Who did it to you?"

The intensity of his own emotion startles and scares him but all too late to stop it. Going wrong. Wrong and he can't prevent it - but his hands on the bony shoulders tighten and he shakes the kid and he glares into the huge blue eyes on this narrow waif-ish face.

"Who was it?"

No, it is not possible. Not with his mother apparently watching every his step, not in the family like his - he is not a street kid that could get in trouble and nobody would know about it, nobody would care. The things like that just don't happen with them clean boys.

And yet he looks in Billy's upturned face as if he can dig out the answer with his eyes.

Yes, it must be this. What else?

"M-my stepfather."

And at once after the word is said:

"But he didn't do it."

Letting him go. Almost pushing him away - a step back. And Billy starts folding as if a marionette doll with the strings cut off. Slides on the floor with his knees up and his arms around them. The tangle of ashy fringe over the eyes that seem to look somewhere inside - or very outside, into the past.

"She said: "Did he touch you? I know he did. Tell them that he did, don't make your mommy cry. I just want good for you, Billy." She was angry with him, you see... because he was all over that bar girl and he didn't grovel when she caught him. She told me to say that he did it to me... held me and kissed me and touched me there and made me touch... his cock. They asked the questions about it and she taught me what to answer, she... showed me what I would have to do... as if he told me to do it. She said she would get ill if I didn't let her protect me. She said I was the only happiness of her life... that she only wanted me to be safe... happy..."

The voice trails away, the long vowels and stammering consonants dying in the quiet room - and suddenly McMurphy can hear how water drips slowly somewhere, not even in the room - maybe, under the marble station.

"Did they believe you?" for some reason it is difficult to say it out. Is there a phantom presenting there, in the tub room only with two of them? The man who had married a short stocky woman with fierce blue eyes, Billy's mother - the strong heavy man with bristles on his chin and the easy turn of broad shoulders - who then fell in love with a girl in the night bar. And for some reason it suddenly seems to McMurphy that he sees his own ghost there.

"I... I was good... C-convincing. Where else could I know these things from?"

Billy's face is titled up, not hidden for once, and there is a small crooked smile on it, the corner of the mouth dances but still the smile doesn't go away.

"I t-tried so h-hard. I didn't want her to get ill. And she said she would die if I let her down. And do you know?" it sounds almost like a question and McMurphy feels bound to shake his head. "I t-think after a while she herself started believing that I was... abused."

McMurphy chuckles. Nervous reaction. His thoughts make a weird twist suddenly. Perhaps he might have met this man in his journey around prisons. He would never know. He would never look back at him. Maybe, only if he wanted to jam his cock to someone's mouth - and whose mouth would suit better for that than the child's molester's?

Suddenly he wants to ask something cruel again, like: "So, you made her happy?" but he doesn't. There is no much contact with reality in Billy's eyes - and he asks another thing:

"How many years did he get?"

Billy shakes his head. The moment of openness is over. He wraps himself into his arms again, his face buried between the sharp knees and McMurphy presses his back to the wall very tiredly. Going wrong. He thought everything was going wrong. So, how would you call it now, R. P.?

"H-he used to take me fishing," Billy says suddenly and his voice is almost dreamy, no trace of hysterics in it. "He was the only one who ever took me somewhere."

Okay. Okay. Suddenly McMurphy feels so tired that he would like to slide down against the wall, too - imitating the pose of the kid on the floor - all angles and twisted limbs - but he resists it. No, he is not broken. He is strong. Perhaps strong enough for two of them.

"But why..." a sudden thought strikes him. "If they believe you were abused - why doesn't the Nurse talk about it ever? I mean she lives to pull our nerves out."

"She did," Billy answers quietly and there is the familiar despair behind the serenity. "Oh they all did. All the time. Until I did this."

He moves subtly and this time his hand doesn't tremble as he pulls down the string of his pajama pants slightly - and in the flash of pale skin under his t-shirt McMurphy sees the short ugly dent of a fresh scar - still pink, maybe, only months old.

"I did it with the scissors," Billy says and there is a trace of weird pride in his voice. Must have been blunt scissors. Must have been deep. McMurphy muses that he didn't see it before, even in the swimming pool, it was low enough to be always covered. "B-but I didn't want to die. I know what to do if I want to die, I know how to do things... I just wanted them to stop talking."

Billy lets the string go and the strip of flesh disappears under the misshapen clothes. For some reason McMurphy feels sorry about it. Was the sight erotic? He wouldn't say so, except that probably everything is turning-on for him now, adding to the slow burn in his bottom belly that isn't soothed even with the burn of sadness in his mind. Then he realizes that there has been a moment when he's felt as if something pushed him in his back - to come up and kneel in front of the kid, his eyes on the same level with Billy's eyes - and touch him, touch him there, put his palm on this scar on his belly - warm it up. And it wouldn't be wrong.

But he doesn't move.

"I think it was the last time when someone touched me - when they held me down," Billy says with another one of his self-conscious smiles - and McMurphy winces with the pain it causes in his heart. "T-they only touch me when they need to stop me. Maybe, I sometimes do it so that they touch me," a short dry laughter, light and unhappy. "But how can I want them to touch me? I am a danger for anyone who does it. With what it can cost them - no wonder people won't do it... are afraid..."

Oh shit. You don't really need to listen to that, R. P. You just wanted a good fuck, that's all. Not a big deal. It isn't worth... that.

But he doesn't leave. No matter how easy it is - and with the way Billy speaks there are plenty of pauses that can be taken as the end of conversation. And he feels as if the back of his head is squeezed into the vice - the cruel pain that urges him to raise his hand and check. He probably strained too much... He waves his head trying to shake this pain out and can't.

Don't do it, R. P. The things are already bad. Don't get yourself trapped. It is not going to be an easy fuck. You know it. You know.

"I ain't afraid of nothing, son."

His words fall into the emptiness, regretted at once, and for these moments of silence he hopes that they will mean nothing, that Billy will just let them hang. Then Billy slides up against the water station slowly, his body unfolding, the slim wrists crossed tentatively in front of him as if he is torn between pulling and pushing. He presses to the marble block, his face is tilted up and turned to McMurphy. He doesn't look away any more - and then he puts his hands behind his back. No more protection at all.

"I know you are n-not," he whispers, only stuttering once, and then going on. "You are soL alive. I need to be alive, too."

He makes a step, soft and fluid, all awkwardness gone from it, and reaches his hand to McMurphy's. The grip of thin hot fingers is firm and he takes McMurphy's hand and presses it to his groin. There is softness and heat and vulnerability there.

McMurphy suddenly thinks that he has never touched anyone else's cock before - except his own. It was always his cock served when he did it to males. But Billy probably doesn't know the rules - and you know what? - he doesn't care to explain them now.

"S-so, will you kiss me?"

"I am not a big way on kisses..."

"C-s-selia... kissed me," he says quickly before their lips touch. And meld. Billy's lips are thin, so fine that he seems to bruise them with his mouth - but he can't stop it. And he knows Billy doesn't want him to stop - these little sounds, slightly louder than a puppy's whimpering would be - he knows what they mean. The kid's narrow body is like a string in the circle of his arms, not trembling but vibrating, thrown back in trust to the unfailing support of McMurphy's arms. And he trails his lips along the arch of Billy's neck - and it turns out to be easy, this kissing. So easy that it makes them both laugh and he feels as Billy's throat flutters with this laughter and it is much more satisfying that to see the beating of pulse on his neck when he tries to hide inside himself and has nowhere to run.

Their bottom bellies are close, grinding against each other - and after a few moments they are not frozen on the spot any more - but both move in the kind of dance - Billy's t-shirt goes off - and his rib-cage, every bone so clearly outlined under the thin skin, pressed to McMurphy's broad chest and he can feel the drumming of the kid's heart against his ribs, feelings as it speeds up when he presses Billy against the drawers and starts blindly shuffling through them. He knows what he looks for - they both know.

At last the can is here, he grasps it and handles Billy to the free space in the middle of the room, using his other hand to throw the towels on the floor. They lie crumpled but at least they are warm and he lowers Billy on them. The kid's body is a perfect arch drawing towards him, not willing to break the contact even for a minute. His fingers get suddenly very strong, capturing McMurphy's hand, mauling it, the corner of the towel between their palms, getting wet but they are too clinched in the touch to let it go.

He hears the kid sob when his fingers slide to the silkiness of his pubic hair. It is warm and moist there and the lid of the can rattle on the floor and then McMurphy buries his two fingers inside the kid and feels his warmth and softness envelop him. He sees Billy's teeth draw into his lower lip in pain and his eyes become misted, milk-blue, not flashing-bright for once. But although his breath is torn, he smiles - a little bloody smile but happy.

"M-Mac... Mac," he says clearly.

Then he hooks his fingers into McMurphy's shoulders and clings to him as long as it goes. He closes his eyes but McMurphy leaves his open - to read this face - and he has learned to read it - as it changes from the struggle with pain to flushing, to the eyes moving swiftly under the translucent eyelids as if he is dreaming. Billy tosses his head back and the moist locks of ashy hair fall back leaving his face totally open.

He comes still looking at this face and there is no thought in his mind that it used to be a woman's face he could look at in the moments like this. Everything is as it has to be and better and he sighs once, twice - contentedly, his muscles twitching in the demand of relaxation. Then Billy continues to grid against his softening cock, his lips curved in expectation. He lies down his hand on the silk and hardness of the kid's cock and feels as it pushes in his palm, faster and wilder - and he has to use his other hand to cover Billy's mouth when he comes to stop his cry.

The towels are a mess under them - they will have to do one hell of cleaning for the bitch not to know anything, he thinks with amusement. He feels warm in the chilly tub room. His face is buried against the thin collarbone - and then suddenly he feels the slight fingers dance on the nape of his neck - more eloquent than their owner can ever be - and he can read what they say. Thank you. Even if it is a question who has given something.

Then he hears the soft whisper and it says something very different.

"I will not betray you, M-Mac. Never. I'd better die."

It takes more time for them to start moving - hell, they would have fallen asleep just like this - and McMurphy tries to bring them into their senses spraying some cold water around the room. The kid jumps up like a scared cat and tries to cover himself but then he relaxes and starts laughing, too, and McMurphy hushes him.

And then he stops with the hose in his hand, his eyes still on giggling Billy, and the smile slowly crawls off of his face. The kid is happy. Just because of some phantom love, the ghost of caring - from someone who doesn't turn him down.

So, R. P.? He suddenly understands how deep it gets into him - to see the kid laugh like this - how much it matters. And it scares him to know how much he can do to see it again.

And when he takes them to the holiday instead of breaking out from there - he knows why he does it. He watches Billy making the awkward pass on Candy with the mixed feeling of joy, amusement and jealousy - and that's when the tight knot in his soul of the wrong he has done starts untwining.

Later at night he doesn't pretend being asleep any more as he had been doing all these nights knowing Billy watching him from his bed. He takes the kid to the tub room and then Billy says, a flash of shy smile and then this questioning look again:

"She i-is beautiful. I know you d-don't want me any more, Mac."

It is so easy to grasp the opportunity the kid gives to him - to make his way out - and still he can't.

"I do, Billy, I do. Just not today... I am tired."

Not today, son. Not ever. He knows it. Whatever else but not that. It just costs too much - to care - and Randall Patrick McMurphy cannot afford it. The things like this- they can kill him and he wants to live and get out and have fun with his life.

He doesn't know that it is already too late.

THE END

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