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26 February 2009 @ 12:18 pm
Prison Break Fiction: "Hope Aloft On The Wind" (Gen or Slash, PG)  
Title: Hope Aloft On The Wind
Author: HalfshellVenus
Characters: Lincoln and Michael (Gen or Slash)
Rating: PG
Summary (Pre-series): After leaving prison, Lincoln searches for a sense of who he still is.
Author's Notes: For clair_de_lune's birthday, and her request for Michael and Lincoln and something soft and warm.
Also for fanfic100, this is "Air."

x-x-x-x-x

Nothing was the same inside prison, not even the simplest things like water, food and air. Except in the communal shower areas, the water was cold and tasted faintly of rust. Food was too tied up in power and control, too much like being a poor kid on the school lunch program where you ate things you hated just to fill your stomach and where fistfights broke out over desserts. Even the air was wrong, always too close and too tight. It was filled with the stench of sweat even in winter and rationed out in prison yard breaks that were too infrequent to keep a man on the near side of sanity.

Lincoln wasn't the same in prison, either.

It was when he got out that he noticed, three days into freedom after a two-year stint for a B and E. He was sitting on the roof of Michael's apartment building, drinking a beer so cold that the outside of the bottle was wet. A breeze stirred the rooftop, tickling over his bare legs and carrying the scent of hot tar mixed with tree blossoms. The city rose up all around him—muted traffic noises, radio music, and road construction filtering in from afar—and in that abundance of normalcy and activity, Lincoln realized that his shoulders had unclenched from a state they'd held for far too long. He was a man like any other now, out enjoying the heat and sunshine. He didn't need that ready anger or hardened shell just to survive, not here. In this world outside prison bars, those defenses were for dark alleys and bad neighborhoods and not for every living minute both waking and sleeping.

Michael was still at work, but he'd be home before long. Lincoln was happy enough to wait, knowing that they had time now—that no foster home placements or visiting day restrictions would break their relationship into scattered minutes, hours, months. It was such a relief not to feel desperate for that rare contact, and not to have to hide from Michael how hard all of the waiting in between actually was.

Lincoln had never liked being dependent on anyone else for his happiness. His father (and his mother, without meaning to) had taught him how dangerous that was. Finding it on his own, however, had proved even harder. On the bad days he found himself thinking that he could count through the really good times without using all the fingers on both hands. It was hard to believe that would ever change.

But when he came home three days ago to all the signs of Michael's independence and success, to the way Michael's eyes shined when they looked at him, Lincoln suddenly had the feeling again—so long forgotten—that things could be different this time, that he might finally have a future.

This was the constant truth in both their lives: even when things got so bad that Lincoln had utterly lost all hope, Michael would somehow still be living it.

Looking up at the sky—so blue, so incredibly open—Lincoln thought he might check around at the docks for work in a day or two, and see if any of his friends still had a handle on the construction trade. He was strong and he had experience, and it wasn't too late to start over.

A light wind curled over the rooftop, the air so soft and warm against his skin that it was like the comfort of a life he barely remembered. How could he still miss something he'd hardly even had?

The door opened behind him, and Lincoln turned.

"I see you've found the perfect way to enjoy the good life," Michael said. He was wearing his business clothes, minus the jacket, and though it was the end of the day his eyes still lit up for Lincoln.

The scent of his aftershave drifted past, as spicy and unique as Michael himself, and Lincoln felt a surge of happiness and possibility that almost made him dizzy. He reached out to pull Michael down next to him, the warmth from Michael's skin tingling across the mere breath of space between them.

Lincoln smiled in hazy satisfaction, contentment filling him in ways he'd rarely known.

He cherished the truth of that moment.

"Now it's perfect."



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


(Sweet Charity remix of this story from Michael's POV (slash) is here)



 
 
 
happy is as happy does: Brothers hug - Prison Breakhappywriter06 on February 26th, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
*adjusts slash colored glasses* Very nice. I think my favorite part though is the opening. The way you describe life on the inside really gives the reader a feel for what it's like.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on March 2nd, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
I really miss those in-prison days, if for no other reason than for the richness of how different everything is from regular life.

Though it's nice to be grateful when you're out and you know you've got it good now. :)
Clair de Lune: pb - brothers2clair_de_lune on February 26th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
I love the mood of the piece, how the story itself feels soft and warm (and in contrast, the grittiness of the first paragraph). Reading this, I can't help thinking of what's coming for Lincoln, and yet it doesn't seem to matter that much, maybe because the fic is so peaceful and hopeful that I cannot not believe everthing isn't going to be okay.

Special love for these lines:
Lincoln had never liked being dependent on anyone else for his happiness.
This was the constant truth in both their lives: even when things got so bad that Lincoln had utterly lost all hope, Michael would somehow still be living it.
How could he still miss something he'd hardly even had?


And even though my slash oriented mind reads the ending in a certain way *g* it does work either as gen or as slash, which is nice. I enjoy the ambiguity/subtlety here.

Thanks so much :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on March 2nd, 2009 02:50 am (UTC)
how the story itself feels soft and warm (and in contrast, the grittiness of the first paragraph).
I'm glad to hear that, because I wanted your prompts to be felt in the story's mood as well as directly in some of the things that happen.

And though it will eventually go wrong for Lincoln later, sad to say, at least for now he has the hope of escaping being the guy who keeps bringing that on himself.

And even though my slash oriented mind reads the ending in a certain way *g* it does work either as gen or as slash, which is nice. I enjoy the ambiguity/subtlety here.
It does for me too-- I wrote it with slashy intent, but where it finished was as a story that could really be either. Apart from everything else, Lincoln is out and he has Michael again, and he can enjoy the luxury of spending time with him and not having arbitrary deadlines cutting things short. And at least for the moment, he has hope that he'll become something better himself. :)
The female version of Rob Gordonfreaky_nea on February 28th, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
So soft and peaceful and hopeful. Thanks for that. <3
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on March 2nd, 2009 02:51 am (UTC)
The "hopeful" part is something I really wanted for this, because those moments have to have been all too rare for Lincoln, and I wanted to curl up in that feeling at least for awhile.

And the chance for Lincoln to realize that Michael succeeds where he fails, simply because Michael perseveres when hope should be gone, was impossible to resist. He borrows a little bit of that hope for himself, seeing the evidence of where it can lead.

Thanks so much for reading!
(Anonymous) on March 3rd, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
aww, you know how to touch hearts!
thank you, couldn't the writers just use these lines to end the series?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lincoln (pensive)halfshellvenus on March 3rd, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, I wish that the writers (at this point) loved the series the way the fans do!

We lost along the way the whole sense of "family" and why Michael would do such a crazy, desperate thing as going to prison to break out his brother. And we never really got the character background on either brother that I'd hoped we would-- Lincoln has always been far too little explored, and even Michael has been more "labeled" than actually revealed, if that makes sense.

Filling that void is what originally inspired me to begin writing fanfic (for Prison Break, 4 years ago).

I'm glad you think this succeeds in enhancing the show! :)
(Anonymous) on March 5th, 2009 03:14 pm (UTC)
I do totally agree with you, they kind of left things hanging, am so glad you took us in the right direction!

and for the previous comment of 'freaky nea', do read your fan fiction as well, and really like it, can't comment to you anonymously though!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on March 5th, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoy my stories over all. :)

can't comment to you anonymously though!

You should be able to, if you like-- I don't think any of the entries have anonymous commenting disabled. If they do, it's a mistake!