?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
05 February 2007 @ 08:15 am
Prison Break Slash Fiction: Nothing To Hold Onto  
Title: Nothing To Hold Onto
Author: HalfshellVenus
Pairing: Lincoln/Michael (Slash, one-sided)
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Lincoln's smile had always meant far too much.
Author's Notes: Pre-series story, a different take on Lincoln/Michael from my other stories. Written for the 60_minute_fics prompt of "unrequited love," and my fanfic100 Lincoln/Michael claim. This is prompt #34, "Not Enough"

x-x-x-x-x

Lincoln's smile had always meant far too much to Michael.

He didn't see much of it after their mother died. There was really nothing for either of them to smile about then.

He lost it for awhile—both the smile and Lincoln too. The brothers were sent off to foster care, and then split up when Michael got placed and Lincoln stayed behind. Lincoln was the luckier one then, because it was dark and lonely in that closet, the one Michael was kept in. The memory of his brother, of being together again, kept him going.

Michael was relieved when he got sent back to the main facility, then crushed to find that Lincoln was gone instead. Fortunately, it didn't last. Lincoln was a handful-- too much anger and too little hope. He returned within a month. It wasn't long before both boys realized that the secret to staying together was to keep being sent back.

When Lincoln was old enough, he went to work and got a place of his own. Michael went with him. It wasn't perfect, but they didn't expect that. It was definitely better. Lincoln was busy and he was tired, but they had their family back.

For awhile, that was enough.

Then Lincoln started staying out overnight, or he brought his women back. There were too many of them, too many names, though Michael remembered them all. As soon as Lincoln was finished with one of them, another would spring up in her place. The house was either empty or crowded, with little time in between.

Lincoln's smiles came far too easily then, and they weren't just for Michael anymore. Smiles that lit Michael up from the inside—that reminded him he was here, that he was alive—were being given to just anybody now.

Michael needed more than that. And not just more—he needed everything.

He listened inside words, and tried to discern longed-for messages in the hush of everyday fog. Lincoln's gaze holding his was a secret language with no clear translation. His name on Lincoln's tongue was a love song that no-one else could hear.

Michael outdid himself on chores, homework and thoughtfulness. He kept waiting for that spark of recognition, the one that said I see you and Thank you and the ever-elusive Yes.

He watched his brother with eyes that would have given him away, if only Lincoln had been looking. He dreamed of forbidden closeness, of kisses that woke him from his sleep when their passion made him moan.

"I love you, Lincoln," he said one evening—his voice so whispery that the sound alone embarrassed him.

"I love you too," Lincoln replied, that offhand grin nearly breaking Michael with its ease.

They weren't saying the same thing, and they never would be. But only Michael saw that.

The love Lincoln had for him wasn't shallow—it just wasn't enough.

And the thing that drove Michael to leave then was finally realizing that that part would never change.



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



 
 
 
Daea Nereem: pretty boynereem on February 5th, 2007 07:57 am (UTC)
Oh my, this does have a very deep sadness to it. Almost bittersweet, a final moment to move Michael along, to be who he became, perhaps. I do like my happy endings, but this was a good read! Lincoln's smile is burned into my mind's eye.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: DominicSexyhalfshellvenus on February 5th, 2007 04:29 pm (UTC)
Almost bittersweet, a final moment to move Michael along, to be who he became, perhaps.
Yes, yes-- you know that he needs to let go of the situation, because it will never be what he needs and staying will break his heart. In this story, it's all too the good that he leaves, though it's not an easy or happy choice at all.

I do like my happy endings, but this was a good read! Lincoln's smile is burned into my mind's eye.
Thank you so much! I have some 100 prompts for Lincoln/Michael, and with 60+ of them left to go there's room for a lot of varied takes on this relationship. ♥
aeroport_art: Wentworthaeroport_art on February 5th, 2007 09:31 am (UTC)
Oh, Karen :O This little piece is amazing. There were so many lines I loved in it.

His name on Lincoln's tongue was a love song that no-one else could hear.

...were being given to just anybody now.

It's so succinct but I feel like you captured Michael's LLI-influenced obsessions perfectly, like how he remembers all the women's names. Really outstanding work, this is going into my memories :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on February 5th, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC)
His name on Lincoln's tongue was a love song that no-one else could hear.
The "unrequited" prompt really inspired a different perspective, that of hearing and seeing far more in someone else's behavior than is actually going on, and of the slightest thing, like your name, becoming everything when the object of your love says it. *sighs* *has been there*

Remembering all the women's names has layers, too-- there's the LLI one, and then there's the implication that Lincoln doesn't even remember them all (because they aren't important and there are too many of them) but Michael can't help but feel every single blow to the heart as they pass by, and how could he forget something that hurts so much? *thinks glaring thoughts at sexy!Cad!Lincoln*

I'm so pleased that you like this one, Li! :) Between those two challenge, the themes for this story were really well-defined. Sometimes challenges are good! :D

(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: L/M Prisoner of Lovehalfshellvenus on February 5th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, one-sided love is so hard. To be practically surviving on tidbits of attention from the other person while they really have no idea and there's no hope that it would ever be more... arggggh. I've been in Michael's shoes before, and it is an awful place to be. :(
stage_masterstage_master on February 5th, 2007 06:45 pm (UTC)
Oh Dear
Your pieces are always so textured and thought-provoking that I often have trouble deciding what I want to comment about. The language of the piece is wonderful in the fact that it's as if this is the adult-Michael still thinking with the child-Michael's mind. Lincoln is so intertwined with that sense of naivete and being raised that I believe he subconsciously thinks about him in a younger mindset. Okay, without writing a total book here, I just wanted to point out my favorite quote:

"They weren't saying the same thing, and they never would be. But only Michael saw that"

Words are so complex, as are the meanings that are given to them, that you can say the exact same thing as someone else and each of you could mean something completely different. It is here that Michael finds heartbreak, that his brother and himself will never be on the same level of understanding when it comes to love and what kind to give.
Beautiful piece. (And I'm sorry for this crazy-long comment, but I love reading and analyzing your work.) Good luck with the rest of your table, I'll certainly be watching for you!

Much love,
stage_master
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: SN Lovershalfshellvenus on February 6th, 2007 03:51 am (UTC)
Re: Oh Dear
you can say the exact same thing as someone else and each of you could mean something completely different.
Yes, yes-- that was the whole crux of that line. On Michael's side, the words are loaded with extra layers of meaning and hope. And on Lincoln's side, it's a very "of course" kind of moment that he hardly even thinks about. The contrast between those two positions is so painful...

And I'm sorry for this crazy-long comment, but I love reading and analyzing your work.
No apologies needed-- I love longer comments and analysis. Makes me think about my own work in a different way.

Good luck with the rest of your table, I'll certainly be watching for you!
I'm 35 fics into the table right now-- the whole thing is here. :D
Deadbeat Nymph: michael eyesdeadbeat_nymph on February 5th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
You have so many beautiful images here to describe how Michael consumes Lincoln's expression. This whole section is especially lovely:

He listened inside words, and tried to discern longed-for messages in the hush of everyday fog. Lincoln's gaze holding his was a secret language with no clear translation. His name on Lincoln's tongue was a love song that no-one else could hear.

This is about both unrequited love and love that's not enough, which are two different things. Although it's heartbreaking, there's a beauty to the parallel of the ardency of Michael's longing and the resoluteness of his leaving. It can be hard to leave when they don't force you, especially if you are, on occasion, getting those smiles. ;)

How good to see more M/L from you! Thank you.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on February 6th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad you drew that section out-- the first sentence was added over the first draft for 60_minute_fics, and that whole part seems to me to show the crux of what's happening to Michael without holding any guarantees that Lincoln feels the same way. And sadly, the truth of unrequited or the greater love is that it doesn't matter. That the person doesn't feel what you do, or feel it as strongly, in no way affects what you feel. How much simpler the world would be if it did.

It can be hard to leave when they don't force you, especially if you are, on occasion, getting those smiles. ;)
I liked this as a different sort of explanation for why Michael becomes distanced from Lincoln at some point before Lincoln goes to jail. It's not just that Lincoln's fallen into drugs (though that would be enough), but also that it's a matter of self-preservation for him. It's too easy to stay, and nothing will change if he does. :(

Glad you enjoyed this one, Nymph. I have your wonderful longer comment for PBFE to get back to-- haven't forgotten it.

And I hope to get more Michael/Lincoln out before the show kills my love entirely (darn M/S shippiness). :)
I'm the girl that you just won't admit you adore.: brotherstabularassa on February 5th, 2007 09:33 pm (UTC)
So beautiful and heart-breaking. Your stories always touch me. Thank you. <3
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on February 6th, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
Your stories always touch me.
Oh, that means so much to me. Moving readers is a very big part of why I write, and it's so lovely to hear when it works.

Thank you. ♥
I'm the girl that you just won't admit you adore.: brotherstabularassa on February 6th, 2007 08:06 pm (UTC)
You are so welcome:)

It definitely works. <3
happy is as happy does: hold on - morbidmuchhappywriter06 on February 5th, 2007 09:37 pm (UTC)
It's because of you and pam and a couple of other people I love good slash. Months ago, I would've never thought I say that.

The love Lincoln had for him wasn't shallow—it just wasn't enough.
Heartbreaking. Just really heartbreaking. It really captures that sense of lost, rejection that one feels when all the feelings are on one side. *wipes eyes*

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on February 6th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
It's because of you and pam and a couple of other people I love good slash. Months ago, I would've never thought I say that.
Whee! Since you like het as well, you're already way ahead of me. You have no limits on the likes now. :)

It really captures that sense of lost, rejection that one feels when all the feelings are on one side. *wipes eyes*
I have definitely been there myself, and once you realize that it is truly hopeless, then getting far, far away seems like the only way to survive it. *sigh*

So glad you enjoyed this, and moreover that you "got" it deep down where it was written from. :)
chanchito_z on February 6th, 2007 12:30 am (UTC)
This was absoutely beautiful. But then, your fic was some of the first I read after I discovered Prison Break, and your work has never ceased to amaze or move me. You made me not only want to read Michael/Lincoln, but you made me belive it and love it. You still do. Thank you for sharing.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on February 6th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
But then, your fic was some of the first I read after I discovered Prison Break, and your work has never ceased to amaze or move me.
That is so wonderful to hear for so many reasons! I hope my stories made you feel a part of the show and its characters-- that's a big aspect of why I write. Sometimes it's to explore the characters and new ideas with them, and other times it's to explain the gaping holes that canon leaves out (such as, why does Michael throw his whole life away for Lincoln? What would make that believable).

You made me not only want to read Michael/Lincoln, but you made me belive it and love it. You still do.
Thank you! That makes me so happy, you can't imagine. Michael/Lincoln as a pairing was what inspired me to begin writing fanfic in the first place, instead of just reading it. It seemed that their story, the two of them, really cried out to be told and I just couldn't ignore it.

Thank you so much, Chanchito. ♥
Maz (or foxxy!): Michael Rubs Headtuesdaeschild on February 6th, 2007 06:20 pm (UTC)
This is so heart-breakingly sad that it almost makes my soul ache.

But you always do make me feel with your stories, sweetheart. Thank you!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on February 6th, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
This is so heart-breakingly sad that it almost makes my soul ache.
I so love to hear this, you can't imagine. The first draft I wrote for 60_minute_fics seemed not to be quite emotional enough, and after modifying it it's hard to be sure it really got there. As I'm sure you know, from writing yourself-- after awhile, you kind of lose a sense of how affective a piece is, and it's wonderful to know when it succeeds.

But you always do make me feel with your stories, sweetheart. Thank you!
Thank YOU, foxy. :) More than anything, I want readers to "feel" along with the story when it's this type of fic, rather than be left standing back and having only an intellectual reaction to it. :)
Maz (or foxxy!): Michael Rubs Headtuesdaeschild on February 7th, 2007 06:39 pm (UTC)
As I'm sure you know, from writing yourself-- after awhile, you kind of lose a sense of how affective a piece is, and it's wonderful to know when it succeeds.
I'm really not in the same class as you! But yes, I know what you mean. I always feel worried about posting something I've agonised over because I've gone over it too many times and it all becomes blurry and indistinct. :(

More than anything, I want readers to "feel" along with the story when it's this type of fic, rather than be left standing back and having only an intellectual reaction to it. :)
Oh, you did that, sweetheart! In spades!! :D
pbwhispererpbwhisperer on February 9th, 2007 02:00 am (UTC)
Never enough! Your writing is so awesome. The emotions, the angst. (And I never even heard of Supernatural, until I read some of your spn fic, because of the Prisonbreak fic).Seriously, love all your writing! thank you.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on February 10th, 2007 04:16 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm always so pleased when the emotions and angst are reaching people. That's wonderful!

I'm also pleased to be luring people across my two main fandoms, and the fact that you have a Supernatural icon there is awesome! I've gotten a few people to come the other way as well, so more fandom folks for both sets of brothers. \o/

Thanks so much for reading and commenting. :)
alazysod on February 11th, 2007 04:23 pm (UTC)
Oh. :( It's short but packs a lot of punch, especially the last line.

They weren't saying the same thing, and they never would be.
dklfj oh, poor Michael.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on February 11th, 2007 07:14 pm (UTC)
If that isn't just the pain of unrequited love in a nutshell. :( Even when someone does love you, if it's the wrong kind or simply not of the right level, it just doesn't help.

And you are powerless to change that.

I was hoping to show a little here a possible reason for why Michael and Lincoln's relationship is distant and strained in "My Brother's Keeper." If Michael had to walk away for loving too much (rather than giving up on Lincoln because of drugs), that adds a whole new element into his unwillingness to get pulled back in again...