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25 March 2007 @ 11:11 am
Prison Break Gen Fiction: As Opposites Balance  
Title: As Opposites Balance
Author: HalfshellVenus
Pairing: Lincoln and Michael (Gen)
Rating: PG
Spoilers and/or Warnings: Early Season 2
Summary: They are nothing alike, but balance lies somewhere between them.
Author's Notes: Kicked off by the 60_minute_fics challenge on "Yin and Yang," and written for prisonbreak100, where I have the Gen pairing of Lincoln and Michael. This is prompt #88, "Control," for the latter.

x-x-x-x-x

Relax, and I'll tell you a story.

In Michael's memory, Lincoln's voice is the one he hears now, grown-up and deep. The voice of the 10-year-old, 16-year-old Lincoln is gone, like the boy he so briefly was.

In the past, Michael was a child—always a child, with a brother so much older. That feeling of being small and powerless is still with him. The path from a dying mother to the foster care system to an abusive foster father is an unbroken line. It flows through Michael's first night in the savage cesspool of the county jail, and then in Fox River. It continues on to that night when Lincoln couldn't be saved and that day when he nearly died.

Lincoln, on the other hand, seemed ready for the blows life dealt him right from the start. He didn't want them or always expect them, but once the outcome was set he'd square his shoulders and take them on.

Michael doesn't understand that, how Lincoln can go from partying to prison like it's the next inevitable step. Where does that acceptance come from? It's not that Lincoln is beaten-down, it's that he's prepared for the consequences to turn wrong.

Michael is never prepared for anything he didn't plan and double-check and carefully scheme. Even when there are plans, there is room for the unpredictable—and it comes too often. He will rack his brains, and box in a solution to fit the moment, but it doesn't come easily.

He invents new plans for the things that fail after the first plan doesn't work. Lincoln ambles from one problem state to another, unplanned and unflappable. It's hard to know which is better.


Relax, and I'll tell you a story.

The plots featured animals on picnics, when he was little and Mom would come home late. Lincoln would sit on the edge of the bed and talk about forests and meadows and streams-- all those far-off places a city boy couldn't see, where a rabbit might meet a bear.

Michael wonders if Lincoln ever went there, that outdoor-world beyond the limits of bus-lines and traffic. He'd have to ask directly-- Lincoln stopped talking years ago about the things their father did for him. Lincoln had a Daddy, and Michael had a source of DNA. Somehow, it was all the same man. Both sons resented him for it.


Relax, and I'll tell you a story.

In the darkness of the Stevenson Home's Upper Boys' Ward, Michael would press toward the edge of his mattress. Lincoln's shape was backlit by the hallway glow every night, as he murmured ongoing adventures into the space between their beds.

Spiderman would save people from burning buildings, or Batman would collar a crook and save the city. In the unsteady world of orphans and adoptions, Superheroes could be counted on for happy endings.


Relax, and I'll tell you a story.

It's the one about two brothers, who find their way back again from separate lives.

One is strong enough for sorrow, but weak against the chance to slip the burden for easy escapes that never last.

The other bends under the weight of everyday chaos and negativity, but his determination forces the impossible, the equivalent of a lever that could shift the world.

Caught in the stalemate between his Death Sentence and the conspiracy that corralled him, Lincoln waits for the end he cannot change.

In a choice between losing Lincoln or having himself, Michael plans for a future with no past.

Now they're here behind the wheel of a car they got just yesterday, headed for buried treasure. Side-by-side, they make their own ending from this stolen beginning that was never supposed to be.

They have a chance to start this over, this life that tried to kill them both body and spirit.

Whatever happens, they're here together.

By definition, they've already won.



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




 
 
 
poważny zamyślony kwadrat: PB/Brothers3pellamerethiel on March 25th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
I really loved that story - it's so greatly written, filled with so true emotions and these tiny little details which help to build the whole picture. I really liked that.
He invents new plans for the things that fail after the first plan doesn't work. Lincoln ambles from one problem state to another, unplanned and unflappable. It's hard to know which is better.
One of my favourite parts. :)


In a choice between losing Lincoln or having himself, Michael plans for a future with no past.

Sentence no.1 for me. It left me speechless. ;)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on March 26th, 2007 07:58 pm (UTC)
One of my favourite parts. :)
That really is the brothers in a nutshell, and though Lincoln's other choices have been stupid and gotten him in trouble, in the general sense it's much easier and less stressful to be the kind of person who goes with the flow rather than overplanning every last contingency. :0

Sentence no.1 for me. It left me speechless. ;)
Thank you!

What Michael gave up for Lincoln was huge-- he honestly had to expect that he might be giving away his entire life and everything he was.

Thanks so much for reading!
PamalaX: boysboatpamalax on March 25th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
Awwwwwwwww I love this one!

The vision the two is so beautifully done.

Not to mention an ending to the story, yet to be written, welcomed whatever it may be simply because they are together.

* sigh * I do SO LOVE my brothers :o)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on March 26th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
Not to mention an ending to the story, yet to be written, welcomed whatever it may be simply because they are together.
And that's the part that's finally hit Lincoln, now that he's gotten a taste of freedom and lost that threat of imminent death. He has the perspective to see that they've won right now, that this is good.

Michael has already forgotten it, on to the next goal, the next problem, and he's missing what really matters. Let's hope he comes around soon.

So glad you liked it!
Deadbeat Nymph: despondent golddeadbeat_nymph on March 26th, 2007 03:28 am (UTC)
I've wondered often about the stories Lincoln told Michael when they were little. I love the images that come to mind at the thought of Lincoln's storytelling.

The stories themselves would make for a good set of drabbles, I think.

Thank you. This was lovely. :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on March 26th, 2007 08:02 pm (UTC)
The stories themselves would make for a good set of drabbles, I think.
What an interesting idea! A reflection of the past through those stories.

I wrote Lincoln trying to tell Michael a story in a Slash fic, but it went the other way-- a totally incompetent attempt by someone who didn't pay enough attention to how stories went when he was a kid. ;)

Thanks so much for reading! :)
Deadbeat Nymphdeadbeat_nymph on March 26th, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, I always read. :)

I'm trying to get better at comenting on everything I read. I used to hold back when I didn't have something particular to say, but I've come to realise that even a small "thank you" can be meaningful.

I wish everyone else got that too. *cough* people who don't comment on the fics written for them in fic exchanges *cough*

Of course, sometimes I hold back because I want to say something more because I really love a particular fic, but can't think of what exactly. And then I forget to go back. :( But I'm trying to work on that, too.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on March 26th, 2007 08:32 pm (UTC)
I rarely lurk in comments. What slows me down is when I have boatloads of something to say about a particular story. Takes awhile to summon the energy, on occasion!

I wish everyone else got that too. *cough* people who don't comment on the fics written for them in fic exchanges *cough*
Grrrr. Have nagged and will nag again. :(

But I'm trying to work on that, too.
It's all good in my book, so long as it's not "U h0r, I h8 U and ur fics." ;)
Deadbeat Nymphdeadbeat_nymph on March 26th, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC)
Grrrr. Have nagged and will nag again. :(

I think that, for this round, what's done is done. I just hope that in the future some people will be more considerate. Overall, though, I think most people commented, and many did so quite thoughtfully, so I don't think it's a huge problem.

It's all good in my book, so long as it's not "U h0r, I h8 U and ur fics." ;)

LOL! Yes, it's true. But I've never seen anything remotely like that in this fandom. :)
bluesister on March 26th, 2007 05:05 am (UTC)
One is strong enough for sorrow, but weak against the chance to slip the burden for easy escapes that never last.
I know you've worked to understand Lincoln and I think it's paid off. I think this whole thing is a great summary of the show (or what the show should have been ;).
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Gen PB brothershalfshellvenus on March 26th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
I know you've worked to understand Lincoln and I think it's paid off.
It started from the beginning, too, not just because he's so unlike me but because the character is so terribly underwritten. He's more of a plot device than a character. :(

I certainly wish the show were running more along these lines, i.e., the brothers being the central focus of the story and not the means for a bunch of random chase scenes (heck, it's all chase scenes now). ;)
Deadbeat Nymph: michael eyesdeadbeat_nymph on March 26th, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC)
There's no doubt that the writers have sacrificed all characterisation this season for the purposes of plot twists and "thrills." Stupid fucking writers. Grrr!

But I can't give up on the show because I love my brothers too much to let something as inconsequential as canon get in the way. ;)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on March 27th, 2007 06:21 am (UTC)
But I can't give up on the show because I love my brothers too much to let something as inconsequential as canon get in the way. ;)
Hee! That is actually an excellent viewpoint. *tries to embed in brain*
Jas Masson: ima_pseudonymjasmasson on March 26th, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
Could have saved myself a £30 bid! Lovely. I love the end; hopeful and so true to them.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on March 26th, 2007 08:06 pm (UTC)
:D You got away with it and got a story anyway, though it wasn't Slash.

But I tell you, I practically need incentive now to get my mojo working on stories about the brothers-- the show's really crept away from their characterization! *cries*

Pre-season is my savior now. ;)
Jas Masson: ima_pseudonymjasmasson on March 28th, 2007 07:34 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear that, although not surprised. I'm in the UK so we're a lot behind and I've not downloaded the US episodes because I'm trying to draw out the pleasure. But. It says a lot that while not ACTIVELY trying to avoid being spoiled, I haven't really been at all, because there's so little Michael and Lincoln fic it's easy to remain unspoiled as I have nothing to read *pout*.

It does say something about the state of the fandom, because that said I can't POSSIBLY remain unspoiled by Supernatural because of all the fic I just MUST read!

I'm sad for PB fandom ;-)
chanchito_z on March 27th, 2007 05:11 am (UTC)
Stories like these are really the only thing that can keep me watching the show sometimes. Thank you for helping me keep my faith in the brothers. It was lovely.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on March 27th, 2007 06:23 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, and oh, do I know what you mean.

I don't recognize the two of them together anymore, not in the way we saw them in Season 1. I hardly know who the characters are individually now, and it's so frustrating.

The story of the brothers got me hooked on the show, and it was one of the first things jettisoned for Season 2. What were the producers thinking? *cries*
sk56sk56 on March 27th, 2007 09:22 am (UTC)
Such a lovely balancing act here, both in content and in rhythm.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Gen PB brothershalfshellvenus on March 27th, 2007 03:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I wanted the theme and the style to sort of match up here, and when you talk about Yin/Yang, I tried for Supernatural first for that weekly challenge, but Lincoln and Michael were so much more obvious.

And like Yin/Yang, they balance each other-- they're both SO extreme in their differences that they need each other to arrive at any sort of middle. :)