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02 February 2006 @ 11:05 pm
Prison Break FanFiction: "Precious Things" (Michael, Lincoln, PG)  
Title: Precious Things
Author: HalfshellVenus
Category: Lincoln and Michael (Gen)
Prompt: #58, “Hold”
Rating: PG
Summary: Longing for security in a cruel and changing world.
Author’s Notes: Written for the prisonbreak100 challenge, where I have the Genfic pairing of Lincoln and Michael. This is for prompt #58, “Hold.”

x-x-x-x-x

All the places Michael remembered were small, those apartments and borrowed rooms where he and Lincoln grew up. He got used to accepting what was given, and kept himself from wanting too much more than he could have.

Even as a child, Michael was a pragmatist. He might consider, and even hope, but he kept his expectations firmly under control.

For years, he and Lincoln shared a bedroom. When things were bad, they tried not to grow their belongings out of more than a box could carry. When things were better, there might be posters, books and toys. But there was very little that stayed precious. Both knew better than to love anything too much that they might later be forced to give away.

In the last few years before their mother died, the family was crammed into an aging apartment that had three main rooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. Lincoln and Michael had just one bed between them, but neither of them thought that was unfair. Being the big brother carried a lot of responsibility and sacrifice, but it shouldn’t mean having to sleep on the sofa for years on end.

They learned to maneuver into comfort together, spooned on their sides with Lincoln at the back. Lincoln was solid, all strength and security. He kept Michael from falling off the edge of the bed—and later, the edge of the world—as their childhood spun out before them.

Michael was all elbows and edginess, always struggling to settle down at night when his unfettered brain could not help thinking. “Go to sleep,” Lincoln would whisper, as if a simple command could still such an uncontrolled process. And over time Michael adapted, to the point where his brother’s breath behind him could lull him into slumber. When it was finally just the two of them, their mother then a beloved memory, this closeness soothed their fears and kept them sane. They held on nightly, clinging to the past while their future slipped and wavered in the dark.

Lying awake now in his prison bed, Michael wishes Lincoln were here with him. He’s too old to be so childish, but he still misses the safety of knowing someone else will take care of everything. His bed feels unfamiliar, and it's just too big right now, it’s too... unstructured. It is like all of the dangerous possibilities that haunt his schemes and deliberations. He has lost the comfort of confinement and control.

His thoughts are twisting, tumbling day and night now, always afraid of what he might miss. The slightest inattention, and something will change, or shift… or fail… and the price will be more than Michael can survive.

He is managing details, endlessly planning and fine-tuning, and this is the loneliest he’s been in a long time.

His nerves are unsettled and his bed is cold, and having Lincoln here would end this feeling and the reason for his worries all at the same time.

After all the places he let go of, the belongings that slipped through his fingers, he still kept one precious thing that was his no matter how bad it got. That his brother and his childhood and his center are all one and the same is simply the hand the universe has dealt him.

But no piece can be parted from the other, nor survive unbound from the whole.

These fragments joined as one are all that have held Michael together, that are holding his world together even now.

He must not, even for a single second, let them go.


-------- fin --------

 
 
 
Ice-T: an actor, also a refreshing beveragefiddleyoumust on February 3rd, 2006 07:22 am (UTC)
This

That his brother and his childhood and his center are all one and the same is simply the hand the universe has dealt him.

and this

But no piece can be parted from the other, nor survive unbound from the whole.

So sad and resigned. Very beautiful. lissa_bear always recs your stuff, but I haven't had a chance to read most of it yet. If this is any indication I know I'll love it!



The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 3rd, 2006 07:48 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! I really wanted to capture both what was loved and what was lost in this piece, and Michael's desire to hold onto everything that mattered.

lissa_bear is very kind to me. ;) There is a lot of PB stuff to read, but I think it's worth it. :-)

She got you into this fandom but good, didn't she? First it was writing Lincoln/Sara, then it was committing to Westmoreland for prisonbreak100. And you're already 3-4 fics into the challenge.

There are so many interesting ideas to write for this show. Just wait-- you'll be writing T-Bag one day, at least one fic.
(no subject) - fiddleyoumust on February 3rd, 2006 07:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on February 3rd, 2006 08:25 am (UTC)
Wow, I LOVE it. It made me all teary eyed and you know I never say that about a story. I love this one.

They learned to maneuver into comfort together, spooned on their sides with Lincoln at the back. Lincoln was solid, all strength and security. He kept Michael from falling off the edge of the bed—and later, the edge of the world—as their childhood spun out before them.

Somebody should do a story about their first night alone in the appartment after the mother died. And somebody should do a story about Michael's first night alone in his own apparment that he bought.

Michael was all elbows and edginess, always struggling to settle down at night when his unfettered brain could not help thinking. “Go to sleep,” Lincoln would whisper, as if a simple command could still such an uncontrolled process.

Totally reminds me of how some husbands are conditioned to stop snoring for a while when you kick them, without really waking up. Makes sense that they would have some things like that, if they really slept together regularly.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 3rd, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC)
Wow, I LOVE it. It made me all teary eyed and you know I never say that about a story. I love this one.

Wow indeed! It's true, I don't recall you ever getting teary-eyed over anything in the fanfic world (although, like me, movies are deadly for you). SO glad you liked it that much!

Somebody should do a story about their first night alone in the appartment after the mother died.

That would most likely be me someday, because I prefer the notion of them evading Social Services together (hard, but it can be done) rather than the foster-home shuffle. Mainly because they'd tend to get separated that way.

Makes sense that they would have some things like that, if they really slept together regularly.

And not always because you think it will work, but because you're tired and it's annoying. I have a husband, and the snoring is occasional and the least of it. Quivering, jerking (like, every 30 seconds) keeps me awake endlessly. Not to mention the occasional running in the bed thing :-(

You might be interested to know that this idea, Michael was all elbows and edginess, was where this fic began. This contrast in their sleeping styles ties right into their personalities, and it evoked more than just that moment for me.

Your feedback on this one makes me *do the desk dance*! :-D
(no subject) - mooyoo on February 3rd, 2006 07:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
jeyhawk: prison break: michael blankjeyhawk on February 3rd, 2006 01:23 pm (UTC)
Oh that was sweet and hurtful and all the other good things. :0) And I do hope it's okay that imagine them doing more than just sleeping together when they are once again able to share a bed. ;0)

Little brother Mike longing for his big brother is just the best image ever.

Thanks for sharing.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Linc/Michael by xenasoulhalfshellvenus on February 3rd, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC)
Oh that was sweet and hurtful and all the other good things. :0)

They have been through a lot together, and the part where the worries end still hasn't arrived yet. :-(

You can imagine anything you want. I write the slash as well, though, so your imagination will have company. :-)

Little brother Mike longing for his big brother is just the best image ever.

And safety and security, and all those things he never really had, but compared to now... they were better than nothing.

Love your icon, BTW. I tried to make one from that exact larger picture, but I couldn't shrink it down appropriately (it was horribly grainy).
(no subject) - jeyhawk on February 3rd, 2006 05:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on February 5th, 2006 03:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on February 5th, 2006 05:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on February 5th, 2006 06:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
Are we back to hos over bros?lissa_bear on February 3rd, 2006 03:37 pm (UTC)
Wow, so beautiful and sad! And I just woke up, so there's no possible way that I can leave anything more coherent than that. Sorry.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 3rd, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
That's great! Plus, you read it so early in the morning. Did jewels nag you? She got to it last night. :-)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on February 3rd, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lissa_bear on February 3rd, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on February 3rd, 2006 06:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Fish: Micheal Scofieldrhymeswithghoti on February 3rd, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
Awww. Loved this.

And as always, there's too many good lines to quote. The whole thing is so sad and sweet and Michael.

His thoughts are twisting, tumbling day and night now, always afraid of what he might miss. The slightest inattention, and something will change, or shift… or fail… and the price will be more than Michael can survive.

But no piece can be parted from the other, nor survive unbound from the whole.


These struck me as really in character and good lines besides.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 3rd, 2006 05:28 pm (UTC)
The whole thing is so sad and sweet and Michael.

Oooh, thank you :-) That is the most important thing of all.

Glad you liked those particular lines-- the endlessly spinning brain, the panic underneath, and knowing what will happen if ever stops fully paying attention. I'm surprised he can eat or sleep, with all of that coursing through his system all the time.

But no piece can be parted from the other, nor survive unbound from the whole.

He has so little that matters, and it's all so interconnected. Losing Lincoln would mean losing the greater part of himself-- who he has been, what they've shared, all of it-- both the good and the bad.
PamalaX: PB eyespamalax on February 3rd, 2006 06:09 pm (UTC)
Beautifully done!! BRAVO!!

Would you consider allowing me to put this in the recommended reading
section on my webpage? If not I certainly understand but you've done such a wonderful job I'd love to rec it to the page visitors
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 3rd, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
Ah, thank you pamalax! I've so enjoyed the interesting discussions that have come out of you reading my fics lately (even when I'm not part of them!).

Would you consider allowing me to put this in the recommended reading
section on my webpage?


I could pretend to mull this over for about .0000257 microseconds, but why bother? A big, unrestrained "YES, PLEASE" is all I can come up with.

I would be honored :-D
(no subject) - pamalax on February 3rd, 2006 09:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
michelle: Lincoln and Michael 1certainthings on February 3rd, 2006 06:27 pm (UTC)
Beautiful. Stunning. A masterpiece.

Wow.

[snips out my favourite-favourite bits. If I quoted just favourites, well that would be all of the lines]


He kept Michael from falling off the edge of the bed—and later, the edge of the world—as their childhood spun out before them.

“Go to sleep,” Lincoln would whisper, as if a simple command could still such an uncontrolled process. And over time Michael adapted, to the point where his brother’s breath behind him could lull him into slumber.

He is managing details, endlessly planning and fine-tuning, and this is the loneliest he’s been in a long time.

That his brother and his childhood and his center are all one and the same is simply the hand the universe has dealt him.

But no piece can be parted from the other, nor survive unbound from the whole.

These fragments joined as one are all that have held Michael together, that are holding his world together even now.

He must not, even for a single second, let them go.


That last bit is amazing.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 3rd, 2006 06:54 pm (UTC)
Beautiful. Stunning. A masterpiece.

Good heavens. That is very high praise. Thank you, smidgy!

He kept Michael from falling off the edge of the bed—and later, the edge of the world—as their childhood spun out before them.

Sounds like no-one is taking that in the slashy sense, which is a relief. I wanted to give the feeling of every part of their lives spinning out of control right out from under them, when their mother died.

I'm glad you liked the ending so much, too-- that was the hardest to make coherent and to tie the underlying themes in the story together.

I'm kind of surprised no-one's picked this line, They held on nightly, clinging to the past while their future slipped and wavered in the dark.

Not just for the poetry, but for the feeling of uncertainty in it.

Your feedback was wonderful :-)
(no subject) - certainthings on February 3rd, 2006 07:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
alazysod on February 3rd, 2006 07:23 pm (UTC)
This was so sad and beautiful. I want to give Michael a hug. :(

Favorite lines:
He kept Michael from falling off the edge of the bed—and later, the edge of the world—as their childhood spun out before them.

He’s too old to be so childish, but he still misses the safety of knowing someone else will take care of everything. His bed feels unfamiliar, and it's just too big right now, it’s too... unstructured. It is like all of the dangerous possibilities that haunt his schemes and deliberations. He has lost the comfort of confinement and control.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 3rd, 2006 07:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, alazysod. You haven't commented on many of my fics, so I can tell you like this one!

Don't you think these thoughts might occur to Michael from time-to-time, with all of that almost hopeless responsibility resting on his Plan and his ability to execute it? I can just see him occasionally wanting to be back in a simpler and safer past. It wasn't a great past, but it had to be better than this.

Is that (*head scratch*) Reilly from Oz in your icon? I'm creeping through Season 1 on DVD...
(no subject) - alazysod on February 3rd, 2006 07:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on February 3rd, 2006 07:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - alazysod on February 3rd, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on February 3rd, 2006 08:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - alazysod on February 3rd, 2006 08:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mooyoo on February 3rd, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - alazysod on February 3rd, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mooyoo on February 3rd, 2006 09:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
mooyoomooyoo on February 3rd, 2006 08:01 pm (UTC)
I love pieces like this, that look at what Michael & Lincoln mean to each other and why Michael holds so strongly onto Linc. Really like it. Like the difference between when they were kids and things weren't always great, but they were together, and now, when they're separated and Michael's pretty much alone. He needs Linc not just for comfort and protection, but to balance him out.

Even as a child, Michael was a pragmatist. He might consider, and even hope, but he kept his expectations firmly under control.

Yes, exactly. If you think about Michael over the course of the series that seems to be pretty much how he operates, he won't really entertain the thought that The Plan won't work, even when things look dismal, until he hits a total roadblock - he keeps the others going because he's so completely convinced that it'll work until the end of the last ep, when he realizes that it's impossible to break through the new pipe and switches gears, letting go of the possibility that they'll get out as he realizes that it's impossible.

Anyway, liked it a lot :) Nice, and sad with poor lonely Michael.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 3rd, 2006 08:09 pm (UTC)
He needs Linc not just for comfort and protection, but to balance him out.

Exactly. They're so different, but there is a Yin/Yang balance between them as a whole.

Anyway, liked it a lot :) Nice, and sad with poor lonely Michael.

Thank you! And really, I think that in many ways... Michael may have been lonely most of his life. He's just moreso than usual right now.
(no subject) - mooyoo on February 3rd, 2006 08:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
wentworth801 on February 4th, 2006 06:17 am (UTC)
Great piece! My favorite part:
Lincoln was solid, all strength and security. He kept Michael from falling off the edge of the bed—and later, the edge of the world—as their childhood spun out before them.

Now if only the TPTB would write this into the damn plot! This would make a lot of sense!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 4th, 2006 06:45 am (UTC)
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it :-)

Now if only the TPTB would write this into the damn plot! This would make a lot of sense!

It actually amazes me how much they still have dodged the background of the main characters, mainly Michael and Linc. Other than the one scene by the lake with the woefully miscast child actors. *Sigh* Every time I remember that, I think maybe it's better that they don't touch it.
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on February 4th, 2006 01:19 pm (UTC)
Randomly, am I going crazy or have you not submitted your latest stuff to pbf? (sorry, but I'm just such a neat freak when it comes to wanting easy access and big time archives)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 4th, 2006 05:48 pm (UTC)
I have submitted it, but I'll check again (You're making me paranoid!). Since pamalax has read & commented, I'm fairly sure it's there.

BUT, since you've saved my butt twice this week on other people's fics that are now only in the pbf archive... I'm always glad to be sure :-)

Boy, I wish princessdoe would resurface :-(
(no subject) - thelana on February 4th, 2006 06:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on February 4th, 2006 07:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelana on February 4th, 2006 07:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on February 4th, 2006 07:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelana on February 4th, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on February 4th, 2006 08:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelana on February 4th, 2006 08:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelana on February 4th, 2006 08:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on February 4th, 2006 08:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelana on February 4th, 2006 08:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
jamiepbfan on February 5th, 2006 04:37 am (UTC)
i give up....im simply just gonna say I LOVE YOU!!!!! LOL!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 5th, 2006 06:05 am (UTC)
I'lllll take it!

Thank you! Getting caught up in the reading tonight, eh? I was awfully busy in January.

If you read Supernatural Fanfic at all, I will probably have keeled you before midnight.
BEWARE OF JENMAR.: PB - Brotherly Love - Lincoln & Michaelclex_monkie89 on February 7th, 2006 09:11 pm (UTC)
Finally had the time to read this.

I love it, of course. I love the details like Michael being able to fall asleep just to Linc's breathing, it's a very cute thought that's also incredibly sad for some reason.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 7th, 2006 11:55 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you finally made it here :-)

I love the details like Michael being able to fall asleep just to Linc's breathing, it's a very cute thought that's also incredibly sad for some reason.

I think that's because it shows how Lincoln's mere presence provides such comfort for him-- in a context where he has very little-- and the reader knows that Michael doesn' have anything like that anymore. Especially now, when he needs it again.
(no subject) - clex_monkie89 on February 8th, 2006 12:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
dawnstarrisingdawnstarrising on February 11th, 2006 03:59 am (UTC)
*sniff*
That actually made me snivel and I had a lip quiver!

Absolutely beautiful!

I want a Lincoln to put me to sleep as well :0D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 11th, 2006 06:07 am (UTC)
Re: *sniff*
Oh, thank you so much!

It was meant to evoke a lot of feeling, for all the things that went wrong that the two of them barely survived... and that their importance to each other remains constant.

Michael has set himself on a very brave and lonely path, trying to accomplish this miracle for the sake of his brother. At the same time, there was never any real question for him of not doing it. :-(
Re: *sniff* - dawnstarrising on February 11th, 2006 08:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: *sniff* - halfshellvenus on February 11th, 2006 10:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
tyrical: PB_Alazysod_L_sorrowtyrical on February 12th, 2006 08:43 pm (UTC)
My heart just broke. Again.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 12th, 2006 09:07 pm (UTC)
Michael has had such moments of sorrow and loneliness in his life (your icon is perfect).

This plan he's trying to accomplish, that is so complicated and unlikely and that means absolutely everything, has got to be the loneliest challenge he's ever faced alone. :-(
Da'mien: Artemisdecayd_matter on June 8th, 2006 06:49 am (UTC)
He kept Michael from falling off the edge of the bed—and later, the edge of the world—as their childhood spun out before them.

I < 3 this.

It's a bittersweet fic -- 'cause Lincoln's nowhere near Michael! ;0;
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on June 8th, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)
I < 3 this.
:) Thank you very much!

It's a bittersweet fic -- 'cause Lincoln's nowhere near Michael! ;0;
Yes, and it also gives a feeling of what they lost when their mother died. They had only each other-- not enough to replace her, but enough to survive her absence.
realpestilence: piglet yellrealpestilence on September 19th, 2011 10:58 am (UTC)
.....D:
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Gen PB brothershalfshellvenus on September 20th, 2011 02:22 am (UTC)
You can understand why it would be such a hard time for Michael, though, can't you?

After a childhood that was a struggle, to find himself trying to manage an impossible scheme and knowing he'll lose everything if he doesn't succeed... boy, I'd want to be a little kid all over again too. *sigh*