Characters: Michael and Lincoln (Gen, KidFic, Fluff)
Summary: Taking stock, down to the last Tootsie Roll, after Halloween.
Author's Notes: Happy late birthday to pamalax! This was actually for her October writing challenge, but I ran out of time before Halloween and decided to instead approach the prompts as a post-Halloween story (Michael, Frankenstein, darkness and caramel apple). Also for my prisonbreak100 claim, this is #64, "Fall," for obvious reasons.
"You can't seriously be planning to eat all that candy."
"Sure, why not?" Michael sorts his haul carefully—chewy in one pile, peanuts in another, a third pile for the non-chocolate stuff. He gets stuck almost immediately on what to do with Snickers and Baby Ruths, which are both chewy and have peanuts.
Rats. Maybe he'll eat those first...
"Aren't you afraid of getting a stomachache?" his brother persists.
"I'm not eating them all today, Lincoln, geez." Maybe Lincoln's jealous, since he's too old to go trick-or-treating now that he's fourteen. Not that he didn't want to, but Mom said No. Michael figures he'd better milk the few years he's got left, before he meets the same fate.
"How many apartments did you go to?" Lincoln asks.
"Three-and-a-half floors," Michael says absently. Mrs. Lettner's popcorn ball looks really good, pink and sticky. He puts that in the "Eat now" pile, then changes his mind and opens the baggie and takes a bite. Mmmmm…
"Did people like your costume?"
"Best Frankenstein ever, Steve Weston said! Plus, a lot of people gave me extra candy."
"Extra!" Lincoln frowns, "I never got extra, not even the year I went as Han Solo."
"That's because your costume was a vest and plastic ray gun," Michael comments. "Mine was good."
"Yours was a plastic milk jug and some paint and magic markers! And an old suit."
"I had nuts and bolts on the mask, though, and fake scars and everything. Details count, Lincoln."
His brother eyes the substantial quantity of loot on the table. "Apparently so."
"So what did you do last night, just hand out candy?"
"Nah—I went to Veronica's and we watched scary movies in the dark, until she climbed up onto my lap. Then we… we did something else."
"Kissing," Michael snorts.
"Don't knock it—you'll find out what it's all about one of these days."
"Uh-huh." Michael puts a Payday in the chewy pile, and then the peanut pile before he realizes it doesn't have any chocolate, which is the third pile. Crud. He puts it in the middle, the nexus of all piles.
"Jesus Christ Michael, are you about done already?" Lincoln's done washing the morning's dishes and wants to sponge off the table. "Mom'll be home soon, and she's not going to like all this mess. Besides, don't you have homework?"
"Did it at school."
Lincoln frowns with the resentment of someone who's still getting used to how much extra work there is once you get into high-school. "Of course you did," he mutters grumpily.
Michael's nearly done sorting, but he already knows something's missing. No candy corn or Rolos, and worst of all—
"I can't believe nobody made caramel apples this year! I must have gone to a third of the apartments in this building."
Lincoln smiles a slow and slightly evil grin. "Veronica's family did. You should have gone there."
"Mom said I couldn't leave the building."
"That's too bad." Lincoln opens a cupboard door with a flourish. "Or you could have had one of these."
There are two of them in there, big ones, golden-brown globes of caramel goodness with popsicle-stick handles. Michael can't stop staring. "Green apples or red?"
"Green of course," Lincoln scoffs.
Even knowing that Lincoln's up to something—probably has been all along—doesn't change a single thing. "All right," Michael sighs, "What do you want for that one on the left?"
"Now you're talking," Lincoln grins. "A full-sized Three Musketeers, two peanut M&Ms and two fun-sized Almond Joys."
"What? That's highway robbery, Linc—it's just one apple!" Michael splutters.
Lincoln raises an eyebrow. "Precious commodity," he says drily.
Michael's always loved the vocabulary and phrases he picks up from so much reading, but maybe it's not always such a great idea to show them off—they don't sound so good when they're used against you. "Fine," he says. "It's a deal." It hurts, but desperation always does.
Afterwards, Michael forgets to fixate on the deviousness of Lincoln's plan. He's got caramel on his nose from biting into the wonderfully large apple, and the whole world is now focused on ultimate taste of Fall.
"Worth it?" Lincoln asks.
Because it absolutely is.
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