Characters: Michael/Lincoln (Slash)
Summary: Post-Escape "Paradise" Universe schmoop for mooyoo's birthday!
Author's Notes: Happy belated birthday, Rachel! I couldn't think of anything drabblish that seemed to work, so this took a little longer. Hope you enjoy it and the mood, and that your birthday was wonderful!
Also for fanfic100 ("Home"), and foxriver_fic's February challenge.
The view of the ocean through the main window is still a surprise, all these months later. Lincoln grew up with concrete and streetlights and brick all around him, and then gray walls and steel bars stole his freedom again and again until neither it nor a future was left.
But Michael changed it all.
He brought Lincoln hope and then liberty, breaking down the barricade formed of all the impossible things that had scripted Lincoln's death. The price to be paid was large but necessary: they would both have to become someone else.
It isn't as hard as Lincoln thought it would be. They live in a new country now, with new names and the dullest of invented histories. They're still Michael and Lincoln to each other when they're alone, but to others they're Daniel and Steve, a couple of friends from Canada who went looking for the good life someplace it never snowed. Clearly, they've found it.
Leaving his name and his past behind is easier when both things are tied to a death sentence, when he's already outlived the fate that was in store for him. Michael was his only company for months when they first arrived here, but it wasn't suffocating the way Lincoln had feared. In the shift to being lovers as well as brothers, they had more to offer each other in the way of completion and less of the mindless irritation that came from being so different. And Lincoln had forgotten that while Michael could get so intensely wrapped up in unpredictable things, he tended to be calm and quiet most of the time.
Lincoln had been through enough solitude and silence at Fox River to nearly make him crazy, but he’d never managed to find calm. Anxiety and desperation always chased it away.
Here, even the air is soothing. Salty and soft, it brushes sweetly over the skin with no trace of the bite of Chicago’s wind, or the odors of car exhaust and construction… of broken plumbing and barely-leashed aggression.
The sunsets are the most beautiful Lincoln has ever seen— the sky glowing with oranges, pinks and violets as the sun slips down below the horizon and into the sea. Lincoln remembers a beach trip to the Jersey seashore when he was four, but the sun went down over the land instead of the ocean. It took Lincoln days after to moving here to stop thinking every night that something must be wrong.
Beer is cerveza down at the taberna, or bought from the mercado to cool in the fridge at home. Lincoln knows the names of a lot of common foods and a fair number of basic verbs. He's not eloquent, but he's able to communicate—enough to buy groceries, work some construction, navigate the town. The rest will come with time.
Sometimes he’ll be standing on the street and the sound of these other people, this other language, washes over him in a chaotic tide. He’s the element that’s out of place here.
But when he comes around the corner and down the road that leads to their little white house, everything’s fine again. This is where he belongs now.
Inside the house, Michael’s in the shower while Lincoln sets the table for a late breakfast. Through the window beyond the kitchen table, Lincoln sees the rough, high waves of an incoming tide assaulting the sand. The ocean has moods, like the weather, and he’s still learning what they mean.
"Morning," Michael says behind him, his hand falling on Lincoln’s waist. Lincoln turns and gathers him in for a kiss, all fresh skin and wet hair, the droplets on Michael’s neck begging to be traced with Lincoln’s fingertips.
"Ready for breakfast?" Lincoln asks.
"Or something better." Michael kisses the side of Lincoln’s neck, dragging his teeth over his brother’s jawline. "Unless you're in a hurry…"
"Not anymore," Lincoln laughs.
Everything's different than it used to be, from the person in his arms to the paradise outside his door. And even though Lincoln never expected any of this— didn't earn it, doesn't deserve it— there is one thing of which he's certain now:
This is home.
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