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25 February 2008 @ 01:32 pm
Prison Break Slash Fiction: "And This You Owe Me" (PG-13)  
Title: And This You Owe Me
Author: HalfshellVenus
Characters: Michael/Lincoln (Slash, somewhat Dark)
Rating: PG-13
Summary: How could Lincoln know it was even possible for Michael to rescue him, or all that his brother would come to demand in return?
Author's Notes: Written during a 60_minute_fics session on "Weapons," and for my fanfic100 claim (this is "And"), this is a fleshed-out version of one of the "Stories I Never Wrote You" entries, namely the one for "Beware Of Greeks Bearing Gifts."
Also for the February foxriver_fic challenge.

x-x-x-x-x

I've come to get you out, Michael said.

Lincoln let him try because he was sure it would never happen.

It didn't start with Lincoln agreeing to it. You can't, he told Michael that first day, it's impossible.

Because it was.

It was far too late to save Lincoln, either from the system or from himself. Lincoln wasn't even worth saving, wasn't worth risking Michael's life for. When Michael showed him the tattoo (a series of disturbing biblical images devouring Michael's flesh), it just drove the point home: everything Lincoln had ever done wrong was somehow responsible for Michael's troubled state of mind. Lincoln's failures would destroy them both.

But he let himself be persuaded by Michael's enthusiasm as the weeks went on. Lincoln finally came to believe so strongly in that impossible hope that he was hardly surprised when his brother rendered it true.

In Nebraska, Lincoln found that there were other plans his brother had never mentioned. Having broken the two of them out of prison to save Lincoln's life, Michael had certain expectations. The key one was that Lincoln would be grateful.

Grateful wasn't a thank-you or a quiet hug, or even a promise to walk the straight and narrow until the end of time. Grateful was giving Michael the one thing Lincoln never could have imagined he'd be asked for— the whole of himself, body and soul.

It turned out that the army that had freed him from Fox River did so only to form its own occupation.

It didn't start with Lincoln agreeing to it. We can't, he told Michael, you're my brother.

Lincoln omitted all the parts about them both being men, all the reasons he didn't see Michael that way, didn't love him that way. It became clear that Michael did and would— and maybe always, a lifetime of always— until it was Lincoln who was wrong for not loving Michael enough, especially after everything Michael had done for him.

Every kiss was a form of self-betrayal (though Lincoln had betrayed so many others that this was the one time it couldn't matter). Every whisper, every touch, every slick-hard heated-flesh moment Michael demanded was one Lincoln owed him. He'd lost the right to say No.

They made it across the Mexico border finally, where freedom could almost be glimpsed. Generic tourists turned anonymous, they edged away from recognition with every passing day. Lincoln ached for the chase to be over.

But part of him knew it wouldn't help, for he was already caught. He was a slave to his brother's need for him, bound by the shackles of his own guilt. The chains had begun forming over a decade ago.

Under the stars of a new country, Michael warmed Lincoln's side. His skin was a seal against the night air, against the possibility of anyone or anything else— half solace and half suffocation.

There were times Lincoln wondered how much longer, how much more. When would he have endured enough to show his gratitude, to claim release from his brother's hold?

But the look in Michael's eyes was seared inside him, deeper than truth or hope or anything Lincoln knew before.

It didn't start with Lincoln agreeing to it.

But that never mattered. It was already too late.



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


 
 
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on February 25th, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
It turned out that the army that had freed him from Fox River did so only to form its own occupation.

For some reason that made me smile. Even though it shouldn't, because it's not like it's nice, but it still did.

I think you have pretty much nailed how deeply paralyzing Lincoln's pessimism and his it won't work and his we can't is to his personality, especially when it comes to Michael.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on February 25th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC)
Even though it shouldn't, because it's not like it's nice, but it still did.
In this particular story, all that Michael does looks more like strategic manipulations than anything else. And Lincoln gets caught by them before he even sees it coming.

and his it won't work and his we can't is to his personality, especially when it comes to Michael.
I think his first expectation, that they wouldn't make it out of Fox River, was entirely reasonable. It really WAS impossible, until Michael proved it otherwise.

But in a larger sense, everything Lincoln is sure can't be done winds up happening anyway, because Michael is just that determined. Even when the "spoils" of the victory are Lincoln himself-- Michael is not about to accept anything like "No."
The Good, The Bad and The Lana: smilie priyankathelana on February 25th, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC)
I think what's so interesting about this is that Lincoln sees it in such an all or nothing way, his body, mind & soul, a self betrayal. IMO, it reads like another version of there is no way this can work, let's never even try it. He just can't get out of this skin.

At their core, Michael is the optimist, the believer and Lincoln is the pessimist. Which imo makes it all even harder when it looks like Michael could be losing that faith, because Lincoln will still be the pessimist. And one wonders what exactly it would take for Lincoln to learn to believe.

*iz amused and wonders if Lincoln might be a secret subscriber to German Weltschmerz philosophy when I compare it to all those fatalistic unhappy German gay/straght soap romances on youtube*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lincoln (pensive)halfshellvenus on February 26th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
Which imo makes it all even harder when it looks like Michael could be losing that faith, because Lincoln will still be the pessimist.
Interesting point, because this is where we edged in S3. Without Michael's optimism nothing would ever change or be accomplished.

*iz amused and wonders if Lincoln might be a secret subscriber to German Weltschmerz philosophy*
Maybe he's just living it, and can't see any other way to be. Look how broody he is in this icon here... :D
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on February 26th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
I think what's so dark and compelling about is that you can so see it. That Lincoln would always see it as tainted on some level because it was forced on him, like in some say he is still wearing shackles. To quote Chris Rock, a nice jailer is still a jailer.

So he wouldn't enjoy it because he was forced into it, but he would be unlikely to do it on his own (and Michael is unlikely to force him into it because he loves his brother and wouldn't want him to be unhappy).

Obviously the only solution is seduction ;p
Deadbeat Nymph: lincoln scrapedeadbeat_nymph on February 25th, 2008 11:48 pm (UTC)
It turned out that the army that had freed him from Fox River did so only to form its own occupation.

*shivers* That's so ominous. And yet totally appropriate, which says a lot in itself.

I know this isn't a sequel to "Bound By Love", and that it's obviously from an entirely different universe, but I find it a very interesting parallel. Like a pendant piece, each one exploring a different articulation of the power dynamic between the brothers, but in a way that forms a very rich portrait of the complexities of their relationship.

Edited at 2008-02-25 11:49 pm (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on February 26th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
*shivers* That's so ominous. And yet totally appropriate, which says a lot in itself.
Can you imagine the shock? You're freed from an impossible fate only to find that some seemingly impossible thing is what you now owe for it. And how can you say No, when of all remarkable things you're still alive because of this one person? Lincoln is trapped, and he never saw it coming.

each one exploring a different articulation of the power dynamic between the brothers, but in a way that forms a very rich portrait of the complexities of their relationship.
That's part of what was interesting to flip this, and I'm glad you noticed that. Lincoln has all the emotional power in the relationship between these two... unless Michael were to decide to use that guilt over freeing him as leverage. At that point, Lincoln would either have to walk away or give in, and I like exploring the possibilities of the latter (I've read several of the former over the years).

Especially with the history behind him of all the times he's fucked up and what it's cost other people, I like the torture of him feeling as if he has to push down his own needs and wants this time. In his mind, Michael has the right to want this much from him after all of that, and he doesn't deserve to refuse it.
etherealflaim: toocuteetherealflaim on February 26th, 2008 01:50 am (UTC)
Oh, my dear, you have done it again! You have taken the characters that we all know and love so dearly and put them under just the right lens with your brilliant prose =) They're still the same characters we know and love, but we can see very clearly the parts of them that aren't their most attractive. Michael, being calculating and selfish. Lincoln, being guilt-ridden and pessimistic. Michael, persevering to the point of subjugating his brother into the slavery of his own love. Lincoln, focusing too much on the future impossibilities instead of working with the present to make whatever future as good as possible.

I love every word you write! They leap off the page and dance around on my keyboard. It's all I can do to keep them from reshaping the world I live in ;) (That comes later when it's not a dumpy apartment that is less than worthy of their attention ^_^)
~EF
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on February 26th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
but we can see very clearly the parts of them that aren't their most attractive. Michael, being calculating and selfish. Lincoln, being guilt-ridden and pessimistic.
I usually like to ignore these aspects of the two of them, but once in awhile it's interesting to explore what happens when their worse aspects collide, as they do here. Probably need to put a "slightly dark" warning in the headers).

It's all I can do to keep them from reshaping the world I live in ;)
Hee. :) That's a very sweet thing to say. :)

If they could reshape the world, Lincoln wouldn't be mooning over a woman he hardly knows and Michael wouldn't be driving away on some ridiculous fool's errand right now. *sigh* Darn the canon!
anisapologist on February 26th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
I love the angle of this story because it has always been my belief that Michael, being so utterly obsessed with Lincoln, probably did only do what he did for the man so that he could have Lincoln 'all to himself' as it were, whether that be in a sexual way or just in a suffocating sense. I always thought that Lincoln would probably ending seeing the electric chair as preferable to a lifetime of Michael's obsession.

Great work!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on February 26th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
because it has always been my belief that Michael, being so utterly obsessed with Lincoln, probably did only do what he did for the man so that he could have Lincoln 'all to himself' as it were, whether that be in a sexual way or just in a suffocating sense.
I've wondered that as well-- it's definitely a side-effect of what he accomplished, at least in the short term. Saving Lincoln means his brother "owes" him (at least emotionally), and being fugitives (the original outcome of their escape) would mean the two of them escaping together away from the rest of the world, possible forever. I even hinted at this in the crack picSpam 'story,' "Penguin Break"-- Michael's future for the two of them is very... isolated, at best.

I always thought that Lincoln would probably ending seeing the electric chair as preferable to a lifetime of Michael's obsession.
Ooh, what a dark, dark thought. And yet, a really interesting one!

Actually, given all the people Michael's plan mowed through to save Lincoln, I don't think Lincoln can ever truly be free of even just the guilt about being 'saved.' NO-ONE would be worth that, and god knows, Lincoln is less worthy than most. And Lincoln knows it too. :0

Thanks so much for reading!
Antyantychan on February 26th, 2008 12:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah baby! It's like a companion piece to "Payback"!

I've come to get you out, Michael said.

I think he said "I'm getting you out of here" in the pilot. /nitpick

everything Lincoln had ever done wrong was somehow responsible for Michael's troubled state of mind. Lincoln's failures would destroy them both.

*le sigh* "A show about family" - Went, my ASS!!

Lincoln finally came to believed so strongly

That should be "believe"?

. Grateful was giving Michael the one thing Lincoln never could have imagined he'd be asked for— the whole of himself, body and soul.
It turned out that the army that had freed him from Fox River did so only to form its own occupation.


Did I mention that season two and that whole Sara-key and "I have to get LJ" crap sucked?

It didn't start with Lincoln agreeing to it. We can't, he told Michael, you're my brother.
Every whisper, every touch, every slick-hard heated-flesh moment Michael demanded was one Lincoln owed him. He'd lost the right to say No.


Care to write a companion smut piece that explores these particular situations more in depth than "Payback" (like, with anal and stuff @_@)?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on February 26th, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
I think he said "I'm getting you out of here" in the pilot. /nitpick
He might have-- I don't remember it all that well, and I'm guessing Lincoln doesn't either (he remembers the message, but probably not the exact words). However, I fixed the other typo you noticed. :0

Did I mention that season two and that whole Sara-key and "I have to get LJ" crap sucked?
SO stupid, all of it. Even the money part-- you'd think Michael would A) Have set aside his own money, and B) Realized it was key to get out of the U.S. pronto. The point of Panama was that there was no extradition treaty, so the faster they could get there the safer they'd be. And "dumbass" is not something that strikes me as in-character for Michael.

Care to write a companion smut piece that explores these particular situations more in depth than "Payback" (like, with anal and stuff @_@)?
I thought that's where this one was going (I even had it marked as "R" when writing it), but it looks as if the mood and angst won out over the porn. Non-con/darkPorn really aren't my thing in general, so it's rare for me to go there... :0
Antyantychan on February 26th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
you'd think Michael would A) Have set aside his own money, and B) Realized it was key to get out of the U.S. pronto.
And "dumbass" is not something that strikes me as in-character for Michael.


A) Yeah, because he seems to have sold his apartment (this is my way of pointing out that in season 2, Michael's loft was empty, even though Veronica said in "Brother's Keeper" that Michael had bought it - why did he empty it of all the furniture if it wasn't rented?).

Obviously, Michael turned out too smart for the writers. And don't even get me started on continuity (Nick Santora... soccer world cup... 2006 instead of 2005... damnit!).

but it looks as if the mood and angst won out over the porn. Non-con/darkPorn really aren't my thing in general

Oh NOES!! *clings* But, but, but pr0n!! PR=N!!! *coughs* Actually, writing porn bores me senseless, so I really can't complain. But you know, I'd love to read some more Lincoln/Mike-the-urban-professional slash. Because all we seem to get is the teen/college stuff and (post-)series fic. I'd love to read some fic where they have an incestuous relationship pre-series and it sort of works - before Lincoln fucks up again, which then would of course be the real reason why Michael's so pissed off with Linc when he sees him at the beginning of Brother's Keeper. Yeah. Um. Just saying. XD

Working on the vid we discussed, BTW.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on March 6th, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC)
But you know, I'd love to read some more Lincoln/Mike-the-urban-professional slash. Because all we seem to get is the teen/college stuff and (post-)series fic. I'd love to read some fic where they have an incestuous relationship pre-series and it sort of works - before Lincoln fucks up again, which then would of course be the real reason why Michael's so pissed off with Linc when he sees him at the beginning of Brother's Keeper. Yeah. Um. Just saying. XD

I hadn't thought of this before, but now that you mention it I really only have the one story in that timeframe ("Icicle Palace"), and though I'm more comfortable now with writing before/after/apart-from canon, the way Michael's mad at Lincoln in "Brother's Keeper" is part of what makes writing in that timeframe hard for me. And maybe others as well, since there isn't much from that era in general.

Although... food for thought. ;)
Antyantychan on March 10th, 2008 11:26 am (UTC)
the way Michael's mad at Lincoln in "Brother's Keeper" is part of what makes writing in that timeframe hard for me

Well... that'd only have to be the last part of the story. But, I'd love to read about a phase were Linc is kind of holding it together and they do... I guess couply stuff. You know, "Icile Palace" without so much, "It's wrong!!" torture and more going out for drinks and dinner. And, because people in Chicago know them, they could leave town every now and then for PDAs. And, if all that fluff is too much, somebody (like from Michael's office) could be out of town too and spot them there. *drama* But basically, it'll be a continuation of From Which There Is No Return.

Although... food for thought. ;)

Yeah. XD
happy is as happy does: Brothers hug (3x13) - Prison Breakhappywriter06 on February 27th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
I've always saw Michael's need to save Linc more from the POV that it's his brother (non-incest) and he owes him (guilt). When you put this spend on it, it's hard for me to see it yet, I can see it. And as much as I love Michael, by the end of this, I was hoping Linc would run away. He didn't ask Michael to do it and the bigger hurt may've been not going along with it. So he went along and now he's got gotta to save them both.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on March 6th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
And as much as I love Michael, by the end of this, I was hoping Linc would run away. He didn't ask Michael to do it and the bigger hurt may've been not going along with it.
Oh, me too-- even in a canon sense, Lincoln never asked Michael to save him and the cost to everyone around them was just too high. No-one could ever be worth that, least of all Lincoln.

But now that it's done, and Michael wants that gratitude in return, you can see why Lincoln would feel trapped. Which is why this one is more of a darkFic-- this isn't a happy ending, and even if Lincoln leaves it still won't be. :(
tyrical: PB_Lincoln_1tyrical on March 8th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC)
There is something about this is disturbing.

I think the aspect of no choice in the matter is what gets me. It's very fatalistic as if this thing. This love of Michael's is so all consuming and so selfish.

That the only thing that Lincoln has left is being trapped in this relationship that is all fucked beyond reckoning. There is no goodness and no light.

As if once he was freed he was well and truly imprisoned. Not by bars you could see but by Michael's need. No Michael's expectation.

The weight of Michael's preferred payment is more of a prison that Fox River ever was. This saddens me in the worst way because these mental prisons are so much worse that real ones. Also there will be no joy in this life after for neither of them. The one thing that they are both so desperate for.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on March 9th, 2008 01:20 am (UTC)
You can see why I rarely write the darker stories, because not only do they lack a happy ending but they DO tend to be disturbing.

It's very fatalistic
It is-- as if once Lincoln knows what Michael wants, he's doomed to say Yes. Perhaps not fifteen years ago, but now? How can he truly refuse?

The weight of Michael's preferred payment is more of a prison that Fox River ever was. This saddens me in the worst way because these mental prisons are so much worse that real ones.
This is very true-- you trap yourself in such a prison, and lose all ability to see or create freedom after that. Most of the time, it's all over once that mental prison forms.

Also there will be no joy in this life after for neither of them.
Exactly, not even for Michael. Once you manipulate something like this, you can't ever be sure it's real. And in this case, it isn't.

I'm glad you saw so much of what was in this story, in spite of it being full of heartbreak. ♥
Clair de Lune: pb - brothersclair_de_lune on April 25th, 2008 04:54 pm (UTC)
I meant to comment on this fic when you first posted it and I kept on... not doing it. I wanted at least to tell you that I really liked it. It's a chilling take on Michael's reasons to 'save' Lincoln - obviously the saving part is disputable and that's the terrible thing here. I usually don't favor such dark motivations for him, but it's totally believable even though I don't *want* to believe it.
On a self-centered note, you expanded on one of my prompts \o/ and this was a perfect way to fulfill it. Thanks for that.

I friended you - hope you won't mind.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on June 8th, 2008 07:05 am (UTC)
I usually don't favor such dark motivations for him, but it's totally believable even though I don't *want* to believe it.
I have that same feeling-- I like to think that it's all out of this compelling love, and Michael just can't NOT do it... but at the same time, we've definitely seen how ruthless and manipulative he can be.

And what if it was both-- that once he had that emotional hold over Lincoln, he didn't want to let go of it? Would Lincoln ever realize that Michael didn't save him only for that, now that it's turned into this eternal system of payback?

On a self-centered note, you expanded on one of my prompts \o/ and this was a perfect way to fulfill it.
That's right, I'd forgotten that the meme contribution that inspired this one was yours-- and I'm always thrilled when they turn into full-fledged stories. Honestly thought I'd have a few more of them by now, but that SPN Sweet Charity story has really held up a lot of other writing.

Sorry for such a late response, and please make yourself at home. I'll try my hardest to keep the Michael & Lincoln aspect alive, as long as I can. :)
Clair de Lune: pb - brothersclair_de_lune on June 9th, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)
at the same time, we've definitely seen how ruthless and manipulative he can be.
Oh, absolutely, and I enjoy this side of the character. I want to believe he wouldn't act that ruthless and manipulative with Lincoln, but he definitely did with Sara, Pope or Sucre. And even more with some bad guys but that's another story.

And what if it was both-- that once he had that emotional hold over Lincoln, he didn't want to let go of it? Would Lincoln ever realize that Michael didn't save him only for that, now that it's turned into this eternal system of payback?
Brr. Lincoln not realizing that Michael did have good intentions at some point may be even creepier.

Sorry for such a late response
No worries. I haven't been the fastest reviewer around anyway ;)

I'll try my hardest to keep the Michael & Lincoln aspect alive, as long as I can. :)
It's good to know :)
You know, there are a few Michael/Lincoln prompts posted for the current round at rounds_of_kink - some of them actually not that 'kinky' - and prompting is still open for a few days. I'm just saying ;)