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08 December 2005 @ 07:52 pm
Prison Break Gen Fiction: Remembering Who We Used To Be (PG)  
Title: Remembering Who We Used To Be
Characters: Michael, Lincoln (Gen)
Prompt: #36, “Smell”
Rating: PG
Author's Notes: Written for the prisonbreak100 fanfic challenge, where I have the Gen pairing of Lincoln and Michael.

x-x-x-x-x

When Michael asked Lincoln his favorite smell once, Lincoln chose vanilla, because it reminded him of their mother.

Michael thinks their mother used to wear a light, flowery perfume, and he hopes he will find it again one day and remember. What stays in his mind instead is the memory of chemicals and death, and he is always a little bit nervous in the infirmary when the combination of disinfectant and rubbing alcohol hits him. He gets that urge to bolt every time, and he tries to bury it with nonchalance or stoicism. If that doesn’t work, he finds himself starting to babble and he knows he’s not making the best impression.

Michael’s favorite smell was the shaving cream Lincoln used in high school. The bathroom would be steamy with it in the mornings, and he inhaled it— confidence, manliness, the mysterious things that older kids always knew about. At night, when he was alone and it seemed like Lincoln was never coming home, Michael would sneak into his room and press his face into his pillow, breathing in security and belonging.

One night Lincoln came in late, his clothes reeking of marijuana. Michael had been around it before at school, but it brought out a rage in him then that he hadn’t known he possessed. Years later in college, he would suffer from the “good-boy” label each time he walked away when his friends broke out the baggies. Pot had taken Lincoln away from him when he needed him most. The hell if Michael was going to let it get inside his own soul.

Here in Fox River, Lincoln no longer smells like Lincoln. Michael imagines they are all pretty much the same, even himself, uniformly covered with an overlay of sweat and harsh soap and cheap shampoo.

That will be remedied soon enough when they got out, and they can work their way slowly back toward individuality.

Michael misses the way Lincoln used to smell, and all of the feelings it carried. But it’s a small thing, compared to what worries him most.

After years of drugs and prison, and all this time close to the edge on Death Row, what Michael wonders is this:

Inside, is Lincoln still Lincoln anymore?


----- fin -----


 
 
 
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on December 9th, 2005 06:21 am (UTC)
I know you try to make this gen, but boy it's not working ;D

Seriously, I love it, also because it's such an important point to ponder, what if Michael saves Linc and Linc is not at all like he expects?

Though that bit about the mother's perfume gave me the funniest mental image of Michael running around with a perfume bottle randomly spraying then on potential love interest girls for sex. (note: that is a good thing, because I like picturing fucked!up!Michael AND it amuses me)

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on December 9th, 2005 06:36 am (UTC)
I know you try to make this gen, but boy it's not working ;D

*thwap!* Take off those slash-glasses! I'm saving the slash stuff for fanfic100 (already have a short piece written).

what if Michael saves Linc and Linc is not at all like he expects?

I think it's inevitable, that Linc will be different. But Michael is somewhat in denial about that.

Actually, regarding the perfume, it's more as if this might be a "lost" scent (i.e., a perfume no-one wears anymore), but he hopes to come across it again someday and remember happier things about his mother. Ever had a smell take you by surprise that way, where you get a sudden flashback to something forgotten (a place, or a feeling even) that happened when you were like, 5?
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on December 9th, 2005 06:40 am (UTC)
I think it's inevitable, that Linc will be different. But Michael is somewhat in denial about that.

I know. Just point #3423432 I hope will be addressed by the series some day.

Ever had a smell take you by surprise that way, where you get a sudden flashback to something forgotten (a place, or a feeling even) that happened when you were like, 5?

Not really. I fear I'm not much of a smell person. But I envy people who are.
faithinfaithfaithinfaith on February 13th, 2006 10:45 am (UTC)
here you have used another angle that I really like -- the humans ability to remember things when they regocognize a smell. It's interseting and creative and clever. And as usal you but a wonderful touching twist at the end, by adding some angst. It's briliant and I really like it. Another thing I really like with your stories is the pace. Calm, pensive, nothing overdramatically at all and still very touching. Again -- great work!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 13th, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)
The "Smell" prompt is for the prisonbreak100 challenge (100 stories, built around the 100 prompts in the table). When I think of smell, memories is almost the first thing that comes to me. It seemed perfect for this story-- memories both good and bad, and choices that they force in us.

It's true that the pace is usually very, hmmmm, readable, I guess. Not rushed, and the flow should keep you interested and carry you to the next part of the story without the feeling of abruptness or having missed something. (or nodding off in the middle).

Glad you liked this one so well! I always enjoy your comments. :)
tyrical: AP_aJolietyrical on April 14th, 2006 03:07 am (UTC)

Inside, is Lincoln still Lincoln anymore?


You know I never thought to ask that question.
I wonder is he?
Of course he's different but is he so changed that they wouldn't even be able to relate? Oh the possibilities.

Smell is the strongest trigger for memories. I could see it being a determinging factor in Michael's thought process when trying to gain the strength to keep going.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Gen PB brothershalfshellvenus on April 16th, 2006 05:38 pm (UTC)
Of course he's different but is he so changed that they wouldn't even be able to relate? Oh the possibilities.
The amount of damage prison can do to a person-- Death Row experiences and near-exectution aside-- can change them forever.

I wonder if Michael realizes that it's happening to him, even now. He will not be the same person leaving prison as he was when he went in.