Characters: Lincoln, Michael, T-Bag (Gen, Humor)
Summary (early S2): The one person Michael never seems to plan for just keeps on turning up…
Author's Notes: Intended for pbreak_drabbles "Volatile" prompt, but it's too long. This is for prisonbreak100 instead, where I have the Gen pairing of Lincoln and Michael: prompt #22, "Enemies."
"I've got… certain information that you boys need," the voice drawls with maddening confidence.
That voice—and its owner— should have been gone and forgotten a whole week back.
How does a man survive losing a hand in the middle of a police hunt? Who else does that? Bagwell should have bled out that very night, but yet he's here, invading their car. Like a cockroach able to survive a nuclear fallout, nothing ever really seems to touch him.
"I've committed the map to memory," T-Bag continues. "In case you boys happen to get any ideas."
Lincoln has ideas, all right--- they start with Pow and Scumbag and end in "Cough it up, Bagwell." Michael has ideas, but they're just like Michael—too reasonable, too civilized.
"Shut up or ride in the trunk," Lincoln says. Linc has never, ever been a patient man.
Michael thinks the trunk might be excessive or dangerous or… something. Something bad. But Lincoln's tense and T-Bag's quiet, and right now it feels like something's going to explode.
"Well?" Lincoln says.
T-Bag just looks at him, and slides on into the back seat. Lincoln and Michael shrug at each other, and get in the front. The journey begins.
"Continue on through this next little town," T-Bag says, "about fifteen miles farther." He glances around the back seat, casual and slow. "You boys didn’t happen to bring digging implements along, now did you?"
As it happens, they did not. Something to do with getting their cover blown in a hardware store before they'd laid in their supplies. Michael still doesn't know what went wrong.
"I need to stop up ahead and make a phone call," he announces. Linc's gaze slides over to Michael's cell phone. "Untraceable," Michael adds, all too innocently.
Right, Lincoln thinks. This'd better be about the future and not the past.
Lincoln pulls off to the side of the road, where a banged-up phone booth waits at the edge of town. Michael gets out and Lincoln waits. He's always waiting—he's been waiting for years. It usually works out, until he feels like beating someone up.
"You've got a real partnership going," T-Bag drawls. "Like Beauty and the Beast. Or Jekyll and Hyde."
"Who do you suppose your brother's calling now? That pretty lawyer of yours?"
"Or maybe the lovely Doctor from Fox River Prison. I heard she was hospitalized…"
Lincoln's up over the back of the seat in a flash, his hand wrapped around the front of T-Bag's scrawny neck.
"Hold on now, Burrows, hold on!"
"You talk too much." Lincoln squeezes harder.
T-Bag jerks sharply from side-to-side, trying to break free of Lincoln's grasp.
Across the road, Michael's still waiting for his connection in New Mexico to pick up the phone. It's taking longer than he expected— apparently this guy's the only person in the continental U.S. without an answering machine or voice mail these days.
The phone rings and rings as Michael looks up and down the road, in case someone's coming. He doesn't like standing out in the open like this, where anyone could just—Jesus, what the hell's going on over there?
Through the dust kicked up by the quaking car, he can see random movements inside.
They've barely been alone in there for two minutes, for crying out loud! Michael slams the phone down and stomps back over to the car, yanking the door open viciously.
"Hey!" he yells, and Lincoln stops mid beat-down to stare at Michael's rare display of temper. T-Bag gurgles something in his throat, and Michael whips his baseball cap off and swats Lincoln's arm until he lets go. "What the hell's the matter with you two?"
"You're kidding, right?" Lincoln's confused.
Michael rolls his eyes. "I know what it's like when he gets going, I really do. But what part of keeping a low-profile do the two of you not understand? It's not a difficult concept!"
"In my defense…" T-Bag begins.
"Save it," Michael replies, as Lincoln starts scowling again. Michael puts his hat back on and climbs in, shutting the door. "Here's what we're going to do," he announces.
"We're going to find a hardware store and buy supplies, and then T-Bag's going to lead us to Westmoreland's stash. But until we need directions, there's no talking from you at all," he glares at T-Bag pointedly.
"I still think the trunk would be better," Lincoln mutters.
"The trunk is still an option. But for now let's start with this."
Michael looks at them both, to make sure they understand. Lincoln starts up the engine and pops the brake, easing back onto the road.
Every few moments T-Bag shifts around in the back seat, and Lincoln eyes him in the mirror-- just looking for an excuse to pounce.
I am never having children, Michael thinks to himself.
Millions or no millions, this day is going to last forever.
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