Title: Icicle Palace
Characters: Michael/Lincoln (Slash)
Summary: Taboos and secrets, desperation and denial.
Author's Notes: This was my Round 3 Prison Break Fic Exchange story for deadbeat_nymph, who wanted Michael and Lincoln with pink skin, hot chocolate and blue wool. Also written for fanfic100, where I have the Slash pairing of Lincoln and Michael. This is for prompt #61, "Winter."
This is their secret, so taboo they never talk about it themselves.
The two of them meet, once or twice a week. It’s usually at Michael’s, just out of habit. When it started, Lisa and the baby were at Lincoln’s place, but Michael's usually lived alone. That keeps things simple.
Sometimes it’s only half an hour—more if they can get it—but when the door closes they fall on each other, devouring all the missing pieces of who they are. Kiss by kiss and touch by touch they remap all the well-loved places, the parts of each other they know better than themselves.
“Missed you,” one of them might whisper, but the rest of it is names and noises and Yes. Always frantic at first, becoming confident and familiar. And then the heated desperation dissolves into tenderness when every need is finally spent.
This week is one of the bad ones. Lincoln got pushed onto graveyard when someone stayed out sick, and Michael had a deadline for a project that stole everything but a few ragged hours of restless sleep. By Tuesday, they still haven’t made contact. Michael’s in his office when Lincoln calls, surrounded by notes and diagrams.
"When." Lincoln's voice on the phone is rough, edgy. Needy.
"Not today," Michael answers ruefully, his head pounding with the weight of ideas and schedules and contracts.
"I miss you," Lincoln grinds out.
"I know," Michael says despairingly. It is an ache they don't discuss, but it is always there, a shadow on their souls until the next time they meet.
Wednesday is the same as Tuesday, and Thursday is just as hopeless. They've spent over a week apart when Lincoln calls on Friday. They never let it go that long unless they have no other choice.
"Tonight." Lincoln states firmly.
"Yes," Michael breathes. "It might be midnight by the time I'm done, but yes—I'll call and let you know. What about—"
"Traded shifts," Lincoln says. And that’s it—they hang up without another word.
Michael focuses all his energy on finishing then, on finally getting out from under that project. He hurries through the last few details, winding up blueprints and materials lists and paperwork. He calls Lincoln while he waits for the El, heat gathering in his stomach at the sound of Lincoln’s voice.
When he gets off the El near his apartment, it’s already been snowing for hours. The snow blankets the city’s grit and winter grayness with a beauty it doesn’t deserve. It’s ten o’clock now, and the air is getting colder. The flakes drift lazily under the streetlights, a promise of happiness, of warm places to call home.
Lincoln had left the pool hall ten minutes after Michael called. He knew he'd probably be the one to get there first, but he was so goddamned restless he just couldn't stand waiting around any longer. Now, standing in the alcove of the apartment's entrance, Lincoln scans the street watching for Michael's approach.
The figure coming around the corner quickly becomes Michael, and Lincoln stops himself from running across the street to meet him. Still, when Michael looks up and sees him from the bottom of the stairs, Lincoln feels himself breaking into an irrepressible grin.
Michael takes the stairs two at a time, and then he's right there in front of Lincoln, snow dusting the blue wool scarf that accents his overcoat. Michael's cheeks are pink with the cold, eyes bright in the half-lit doorway and lips parted for breath, and Lincoln can't stand it—he reaches out and captures Michael's mouth in a sudden, heated kiss. Michael opens to him with a groan, even though they don't do this, never out in public or where anyone else can see. Michael's mouth is slick warmth and enticing tongue, his hands clutching Lincoln's jacket as they press together heedlessly.
The sound of a car coming down the street brings them back to the here and now. Michael pulls away— his neighborhood, his reputation—and fumbles with the key to the outer door, scraping over the keyhole with shaking hands until he fits it in. He slips inside, tugging Lincoln after him, and nearly sprints up the stairs to his floor while Lincoln laughs softly behind him.
Opening the apartment door is as troublesome as the downstairs one was. Lincoln takes the keys and unlocks the door neatly, his calm betrayed by the speed with which he shoves Michael inside once it's open.
The door slams behind them, and they are kissing, touching, pulling off each others' clothes. Michael's overcoat crumples swiftly to the floor, joining Lincoln's leather jacket. Michael's tie follows, then a flurry of rapid movements and sharply drawn-in breath as Lincoln unbuttons Michael's dress shirt, grazing a nipple with his thumb and following it with his tongue.
Michael's head thunks back against the door, but he hardly notices—his brother has his full attention. Lincoln nuzzles and licks down his abdomen, tongue dipping below the waist of Michael's pants as he loosens the belt, the zipper, and just pushes everything down.
Fingers, lips and tongue swirl across Michael then, tracing, reaffirming… remembering. This is sustenance, the center of everything. It is nameless, wordless, and too secret to say out loud.
Michael slips down to the floor, tired of waiting for his chance to do all those things in turn. He kisses Lincoln again, one hand slipping under Lincoln's shirt while the other holds and strokes Lincoln's face. This is what he waits for, most days of the week or even longer.
Lincoln shifts down again, running his tongue along the silk of Michael's belly. He lifts those hips with his hands as he settles back into place, urging Michael along with all the skill he has learned from his brother's body.
Michael gasps—arches up—and Lincoln coaxes him expertly into a state of half-delirium. The ceiling swims in the shadows made by streetlights in the darkness of the room. It drops and rises, tilts and fades as Michael moves under the power of Lincoln's touch.
Michael's hands stroke over Lincoln's shoulders, caress his hair in a worshipful haze. "Lincoln," he whispers weakly, pulling Lincoln upward in a signal to take the next step.
Lincoln moves astride Michael then, rubbing up slowly the way Michael loves best. He unfastens his pants and Michael helps remove them. Then they return to the cadence they know so well.
Like the key in the door, Lincoln unlocks Michael's desire, setting it free from the fortress of self-control.
Swerving and gliding, finding that unmistakable rhythm, he rides the wave of Michael's ecstasy until his own cries fill the air. "Michael… Oh, Michael…," his voice calls out unbidden. The words spill forth, just like always, to reveal the helpless passion Lincoln holds inside.
Michael's arms come around him, pulling him down against his skin. The murmured noises and reverent touches melt the edges of reality from these moments that define their private world.
They lie together, soothed and content. Softly tangled, each the other as much as himself, they can now breathe easily.
"Do you have to leave?" Michael whispers.
"Not tonight," Lincoln says. "This time I can stay."
"Lisa still thinks I'm working graveyard," Lincoln rumbles above Michael's ear.
So Lincoln lied for him—for them. It isn't the first time. It won't be the last.
"I wish we could live this way," Michael says wistfully. It's all he's ever wanted. All he'll never have.
"You know we can't." And that's the end of it. They won't talk about this again.
Tonight is theirs—so rare and fleeting—and tomorrow the world begins watching them once more.
Michael shifts closer and tighter, lays a kiss on Lincoln's neck.
They'll pretend this is enough and keep going this way, meeting every week just like they've done the last few years. It's not their reality, these interludes of desperation.
Yet neither one of them can leave it all behind and walk away…
------ fin ------