The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors (halfshellvenus) wrote,
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors

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.


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--------

Tags: michael_lincoln, pb_gen, prisonbreak100
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