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08 January 2007 @ 11:40 am
Prison Break Slash Fiction: Icicle Palace  

Banner by katipl

Title: Icicle Palace
Author: HalfshellVenus
Characters: Michael/Lincoln (Slash)
Rating: R
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."

x-x-x-x-x

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."

"But what—"

"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 ------




 
 
 
(Anonymous) on January 8th, 2007 07:04 am (UTC)
Really really loved it. Oh such passion!!! Thanks for writing.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on January 8th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! This was a different sort of flavor from what I usually write-- I usually have their relationship beginning once Michael joins Lincoln in prison. I think this makes for some nice variety. :)
Vicki: cuffedeilan on January 8th, 2007 12:48 pm (UTC)
So much emotion...

wow, awesome job!!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on January 8th, 2007 07:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad people are feeling the emotion in this story. That's the real crux of what's happening here.

Thank you!
little Alexlitalex on January 8th, 2007 03:35 pm (UTC)
whee! PB slash! excellent! very hot and very angsty.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on January 8th, 2007 07:35 pm (UTC)
I'm not writing as much of this as I used to (though I still love it!), but keeping this under wraps clear into the new year was a long wait! Couldn't post it until after the Prison Break Fic Exchange reveal.

Thanks for reading and commenting! :)
PamalaX: Michaelsadpamalax on January 8th, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
I know I commented on this when it anonymous but I wanted to stop in again and let you know how much I loved this.

Like I said the feeling that they are incomplete without one another is overwheleming and I LOVE it!!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on January 9th, 2007 02:07 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, Pamala, and I really appreciate the comments in both places. :D

I'm always thrilled when you like one of my slash pieces, because I know it's all about the emotion for you and that was really the driving force behind this whole story. Especially the underlying theme of being incomplete when they're apart, which you really caught here. :)
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on January 9th, 2007 02:07 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I see you like my other fandom as well. :)
callmetofucallmetofu on January 8th, 2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
Sorry I didn't comment the first time. Beautiful story, but also sad.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on January 9th, 2007 02:09 am (UTC)
Thank you, Tan. :) It IS really sad-- this one is kind of a slice away from canon, in my mind, and years in the future Michael gives up on Lincoln entirely for awhile. I couldn't keep that inevitable crash from creeping into the tone a little.

And you DID correctly guess that it was mine. I'm surprised more people didn't-- it's even my type of story!
tyrical: PB_brotherstyrical on January 8th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
Loved the desperation of this piece.
The need that is so pervasive and all consuming.
You could see the need just drawing them together.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on January 10th, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
Loved the desperation of this piece.
The need that is so pervasive and all consuming.

That's really the driving force behind this story-- that desperation for completion, with the sense of self fading away in between each meeting.

A different sort of story for me, and a nice change of pace, too. :)
froggyniektete on January 8th, 2007 09:40 pm (UTC)
The passion and desperation you've captured in this fic is overwhelming even to us readers. I still think you're the best Michael/Lincoln fluff-smut writer out there, though :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on January 10th, 2007 06:56 pm (UTC)
The passion and desperation you've captured in this fic is overwhelming even to us readers.
Thank you so much! I really wanted that part to be the main focus of the story.

I still think you're the best Michael/Lincoln fluff-smut writer out there, though :)
Hee! And thank you for that too. I do write the fluff and smut, although occasionally there's the deep longing and the angst. Nice to know that my PWP is loved. I'm hoping to at least get an awards nomination for it this year. :D
aeroport_art: M/Laeroport_art on January 9th, 2007 03:53 am (UTC)
I think I already commented before but here's another compliment. Great fic! Love your writing, babe :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on January 10th, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, Li! I was so certain everyone would know this story was mine over on the exchange, but only callmetofu guessed it.

The Fic Exchange inspires me to try to modify my own style a bit, and I think that's a good thing to do at times.

Going to join us? Lookit-- I moved up the assigments date to around Jan 27, so that you could join and finish off your fic loooong before April. ;) *big begging Sam eyes*
(no subject) - aeroport_art on January 11th, 2007 03:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on January 11th, 2007 03:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
itsirtou: hottest icon EVERitsirtou on January 9th, 2007 06:19 am (UTC)
I absolutely love this -- it's just gorgeous.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on January 10th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! It's more feeling-driven than sex-driven here, but there's so much to work with between these two.

I see you have the illicit icon of Bellick abusing Michael. :D I wonder who saw that scene in the show and DIDN'T automatically think of that? :0
I'm the girl that you just won't admit you adore.: by_agent00tabularassa on January 9th, 2007 08:43 am (UTC)
Seriously, I've commented on this piece before but you capture their angst and love for each other like no one else.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on January 10th, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you! *beams* That is such a huge, huge, compliment!

And thank you for commenting twice, too-- I like having comments in my own journal as well. :D
(no subject) - tabularassa on January 11th, 2007 01:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on January 10th, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, you wild thing you. :)

I love beautiful sex as much as or more than I love hot, porny sex. I write the other sometimes, but I'm more of a "lovemaking" person than a "hormone-sundae" kind of person. :)
Deadbeat Nymph: michael eyesdeadbeat_nymph on January 31st, 2007 04:46 am (UTC)
Part 1
I'm commenting here instead of under the PBFE posting. I hope that's okay.

I wanted to write a good one for this pairing for you.

Well, I don’t know why I’m special enough to deserve your good effort, but I’m glad I am! Thank you. It is a good one for this pairing and for me. I feel especially blessed in consideration of the fact that you’ve mostly been writing for That Other Fandom. ;) How happy am I to get a PB fic from you!

The whole first section is beautiful. I love the description of not only their desire but their need, the asymmetry of their identities that can only be mended when they’re together to form a whole. Echoing happywriter06, the imagery of these lines is especially lovely:
…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.

I love the dialogue. Its sparseness evokes unspeakable need. And what’s more? That an entire conversation expressing supplication, pained refusal, desperation and reassurance – and, of course, desire and need – could be had with only eight words spoken is very impressive.

…heat gathering in his stomach at the sound of Lincoln’s voice.
I felt it.

The flakes drift lazily under the streetlights, a promise of happiness, of warm places to call home.
I’m from cold places. This image is perfect. When a certain type of snow is falling, the fluffy flakes under the streetlight are magical.

I love the description of their meeting outside the apartment, the combination of hotness (the kiss, the pressing together) and the gentle humour of their displays of eagerness.

Once they get into the apartment… Well, the heat and emotion are so awesome that if I were to comment upon individual parts, I’d just be copying the entire text and punctuating it with oohs, ahs, and oh, babys.

I’m glad Lincoln could stay the night this time. :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on June 28th, 2008 07:04 am (UTC)
Re: Part 1
My gosh, this is reply is delinquent, but better late that never! Yes, that's my cowardly thought at the moment.

I love the description of not only their desire but their need, the asymmetry of their identities that can only be mended when they’re together to form a whole.
I love the phrasing of that last section, because I think it IS their differences that in part make them need each other so desperately. The Yin seeks the Yang that creates balance.

That an entire conversation expressing supplication, pained refusal, desperation and reassurance – and, of course, desire and need – could be had with only eight words spoken is very impressive.
I know exactly which part you're referring to there, and I'm thrilled that you noticed it. ♥

When a certain type of snow is falling, the fluffy flakes under the streetlight are magical.
I remember this so well from the three years I spent in Illinois-- so beautiful, so hushed, and what it evokes is someplace comforting that is inside instead.

I’m glad Lincoln could stay the night this time. :)
You get a sense of that being part of their desperation, that everything is stolen moments that are over too quickly. It just drives the need higher, because it's never fully satisfied.

These are such wonderful, detailed comments. *snuggles them*

Re: Part 1 - deadbeat_nymph on July 2nd, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Part 1 - halfshellvenus on July 2nd, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Part 1 - deadbeat_nymph on July 2nd, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Deadbeat Nymph: pronedeadbeat_nymph on January 31st, 2007 04:50 am (UTC)
Part 2
My comments were too long, so here is the second part.

More generally…

Sometimes I struggle with stories written in the present tense, but you do it well, avoiding all the tense confusion traps in which so many other writers get caught. Also, the present tense works well in how you’ve structured the narrative, describing a situation, a status, and elaborating the description of that state with concrete events. These events construct a powerful image of the overwhelming love that defines the characters’ identities, which is evident even in canon. (Well, Season 1 canon, anyway.) aeroport_art said that this is a great precursor to canon, and I agree completely. All beloved pornness and views of the world through slash-coloured glasses aside, what you describe lays a convincing foundation for canon. Nobody loves his brother that much, unless he loves his brother. There was a ship manifesto that argued it perfectly (I don’t remember whose it was now though, damn). I find that your fic makes the same solid argument but delineates it through narrative description instead of explicit declaration. This I like! :D

The flow of discussion among you, pamalax and mooyoo about that idea of how separation causes the brothers not only unhappiness but incompleteness as well got me thinking. Of course, the M/L shippers are all convinced that this sort of relationship is what preceded canon, with fluctuations according to desire and intent. However, I never really gave any consideration to the thought that canon itself was the inescapable, necessary outcome of such a relationship. mooyoo’s they're stuck in this situation because neither can really figure a way out and can't really move forward if it means moving away from each other and your response that they can't find an answer that means staying, and they're afraid they won't survive if they move apart. They're stuck in this arrangement until something outside their control changes that turns canon into an inevitable outcome.

But it’s more than that. The emotional realm that you’ve created in this story makes me feel that Michael, whatever his conscious intentions might have been, got thrown into prison to be with Lincoln as much as to free him. Once-a-week visits from the outside could never have been enough – especially since once-a-week visits when they were both ‘free’ barely kept them alive and moving. Starting from your story, I can imagine easily that Michael would have put himself in insane danger and actual suffering just to be with Lincoln as much as he could. And the fact that it’s prison and no one knows that they’re brothers - not at first, anyway - actually frees them from the social restrictions that kept them apart for so long. No one in prison would ever question Linc the Sink fucking Pretty Fish, now would they? If it weren’t for the whole Death Row thing, I could even imagine Michael getting himself sent to prison just to be with Lincoln. I think the idea of the two of them being locked away together in a tiny cell with nothing to do but each other would have appealed to them both.

Anyway, those are just some thoughts. Sorry they're so long.

Thanks again for my lovely fic. :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on June 28th, 2008 07:11 am (UTC)
Re: Part 2
Nobody loves his brother that much, unless he loves his brother. There was a ship manifesto that argued it perfectly (I don’t remember whose it was now though, damn)
Hee-- it's my ship_manifesto, actually, which may be why this seems equally convincing.

Part of the motivation for this setting was Michael's overwhelming canon need to save Lincoln later (that we don't see enough foundation for) and the disruption in their relationship that "My Brother's Keeper" reveals (and that this story hints at in its ending). This was designed to be exactly something pre-series that would fold into (and explain) canon, so I'm thrilled that you think it does exactly that. :)

Michael, whatever his conscious intentions might have been, got thrown into prison to be with Lincoln as much as to free him.
I've always felt that as well-- even if Michael's plan didn't somehow come off, he would have tried his hardest and he would have the proximity to his brother that it's been killing him to have withheld. He can't control his feelings for Lincoln, so why not try (even if desperately) to control the circumstances?

I think the idea of the two of them being locked away together in a tiny cell with nothing to do but each other would have appealed to them both.
That has huge appeal to me- I really found the whole Death Row and restricted-yard-time aspect of Lincoln's imprisonment to be a painful challenge in writing "The Arrangement." Talk about barriers! How appealing to have those taken away, and the boys left with nothing better to do. Mmmm...

I'm so glad you liked this story, and long comments are always especially pleasing to me rather than the opposite!
Re: Part 2 - deadbeat_nymph on July 2nd, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Maz (or foxxy!)tuesdaeschild on July 6th, 2007 09:21 am (UTC)
You write such classy slash, my dear!

Like the key in the door, Lincoln unlocks Michael's desire, setting it free from the fortress of self-control.

Like that!! Because that's no ordinary slash image!!

Softly tangled, each the other as much as himself, they can now breathe easily.

And that! Stunning imagery!

The feeling they are hiding their true selves from the world runs right through this gorgeously hot and brilliantly told tale!

Beautiful!! But then, it's your slash so it was never likely to be anything else!! :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on June 28th, 2008 07:14 am (UTC)
I don't know how I missed this comment, but let me rectify that now. :)

I'm so glad you liked this story-- it's a time period that I hadn't really worked with before, and yet as a pre-canon story it had SO much appeal. Funny how much the prompts had to do with it-- they created a mental image of the setting, and the rest of the story came from there.

Because that's no ordinary slash image!
It's really more romance than slash, isn't it? Honestly, about half my M/L stories are more like romance than slash. But I like that flavor very much, so that's probably why.
(no subject) - tuesdaeschild on June 29th, 2008 10:36 am (UTC) (Expand)