Character: Michael (Gen)
Summary: She is a distraction that Michael cannot afford...
Author’s Notes: Written for the prisonbreak100 challenge, where I have the Genfic pairing of Lincoln and Michael. This is prompt #35, “Not Enough.”
Her touch is soft and her hair is sweet-smelling, and Michael wishes every day that he didn’t know that. He expected privilege and an air of pity. Instead, her compassion makes all of this hard.
He uses kindness to deflect her suspicions, and distance to avoid leading her on, but he’s never sure any of it is working. Her eyes notice too much. He is careful not to drop his guard, to let himself be seen. She is too interested in him-- knows too much about him-- and this is just another damn part of his plan that looked a whole lot easier on paper.
He doesn’t know if this will make it easier when the entire thing blows apart. Will his gentle regard have shown that hurting her was never supposed to part of it? And if not… he hopes her anger will help her to move on. He wishes he could tell her that she deserves more, and someone better, but the con who will betray her has no right to speak that truth. It’s a conversation they have no foundation to be holding, though her waiting eyes suggest it.
But he can’t be having sunset and tequila fantasies when his brother’s fate is marked down on a calendar for all the world to see. And some days he thinks she should already know that, should stop expecting him to charm her like every tomorrow is the same.
Lincoln comes first, has been first forever, and his chances will not be compromised by hopes or tenderness, no matter what could have been. It won’t be this that makes Michael forget what’s important. Saving Lincoln is his purpose, and he can’t afford to fail.
He measures the days until he can end this stage play, slipping through the trapdoor with his brother to freedom.
And he’ll remember her, with some regrets. But he never promised her a leading role.
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