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29 January 2006 @ 10:46 am
Prison Break FanFiction: Keeping His Distance  
Title: Keeping His Distance
Author: HalfshellVenus
Category: Lincoln/Michael (Slash)
Rating: PG
Summary: Post-Escape, established relationship. Follows directly after “Darkness Falling.” Michael cannot outrun the clouds gathering over the relationship he has with Lincoln.
Author’s Notes: Written for the fanfic100 challenge, where I have the slash pairing of Lincoln and Michael. This is for prompt #70, “Storm.

x-x-x-x-x

Michael stumbled out of the parking lot, leaving Lincoln and the blond woman to finish their flirtation. Or their mating dance, if it came to that-- and he really couldn’t stand thinking along those lines any farther.

He headed down to the ocean, needing to calm down—to think—before going back to the house. The beach was dark and empty now, the waves hypnotic and soothing. He took his shoes off, as he so rarely did, and wandered in and out of the edges of the pooling tide. The moon shone brightly overhead, the sole witness to all the pieces of him that were missing.

He’d known it was possible, always known it, though he’d been unable to keep himself from hoping. If he were being honest, he even knew that it was likely—maybe even inevitable. All those things that made Lincoln irresistible worked on other people just as well as they did on him. And Lincoln himself was drawn to the ladies—too many of them, too often. Always. Men were not his preference, or even second choice, and when you added in the fact that the man in question was his own brother… Michael knew all too well that Lincoln didn’t like it when things got complicated.

He sat down a little farther from the water, watching the moonlight weaving through the waves. He could not hide down here forever. Sooner or later, he would have to brave the emotional battle to come.

He breathed and waited, gathering his strength. Finally, he stood up and brushed himself off, pulling his shoes back on and heading up to the house. Better to be prepared. Better to have a plan before Lincoln showed up, whether that was tonight or tomorrow or days down the road.

************

The lights were still off at home, and Michael felt absurdly relieved. He stood in the small living room, surveying his options, and quickly found the line between what he could deal with and what he couldn’t. Lincoln, in the same bed with him after what Michael had seen, would be altogether too much. Michael pulled an extra sheet and pillow out of the hall closet, and a couple of blankets, and made up the couch. He figured that locking the bedroom door would be a clear enough message if Lincoln got home later in the night.

He dug out the rum that they kept for mixed drinks, and downed a glass of it for his sanity and his nerves. He brushed his teeth and took some aspirin, and was turning on the living room lamp by the sofa when the front door opened.

His stomach clenched over the alcohol inside it, and he turned away to gather his composure. It was too late to bolt into the bedroom, and that was a coward’s choice anyway. He schooled himself to calmness, readying himself to face his brother.

The hand that clapped him on the shoulder made him jump, and he backed away from Lincoln’s boisterous greeting.

“You were gone forever today,” Lincoln said.

Michael’s gaze flicked down toward the floor. “Not entirely,” he said.

‘Well, you hadn’t come back by dinnertime, so I decided to go out for awhile instead of waiting around here.” Lincoln seemed to take notice of the edgy look on Michael’s face. “Probably should have left a note,” he mumbled as an afterthought.

Michael kept his voice as even as possible. No nagging, no accusations. “That would’ve been a good idea,” he said lightly. “I wasn’t sure whether something had happened, and I had to go out looking for you.”

“Oh, yeah? I was down at the Riptide.”

“Yes,” Michael said simply. “I saw you through the window, talking to some blonde woman.”

“Yeah. She was pretty nice. I liked her a lot.”

Michael gritted his teeth and looked away. He had seen enough blowups with Lincoln and his girlfriends to know that drama and histrionics would drive his brother away like that. He was not going to get all girly about this and throw his dignity after his heart. He would hate himself for it, and it would only make things worse.

Lincoln had edged around to the side to try to get Michael’s attention again. “She said she had a sister. Thought you might like to meet her.”

Michael didn’t even look up. “Lincoln, if you try to set me up with her, or anyone else, I may kill you in your sleep,” he said flatly.

“What?”

“I am not in the market for dating. At all.” Trust Lincoln to make him say it, to define what should have been obvious.

It was then that Lincoln finally noticed the made-up sofa behind his brother.

“Are we having company?”

Michael couldn’t quite contain a noise of exasperation. He spun on his heel and headed into the kitchen for another crack at the rum.

Lincoln followed right behind him, too quick and too close. He grabbed Michael’s arm, turning him around and backing him up against the counter. “I have the feeling I’m missing something here.” His confusion was evident, and that made it all even harder.

“Lincoln…” Michael began. He had nowhere to move, and finally settled on putting his hands on Lincoln’s chest and pushing him back. He caught his gaze, and pled his case. “I know we haven’t talked about this relationship over the long-term, and I guess I just didn’t want to force the issue before I had to. But what we have is… real, and so amazing. And for me, it’s complete—just the way it is.” Michael swallowed, and looked away. “But I’ve never just assumed that you felt the same way. I don’t know what this is for you—whether it’s good for now, good for awhile, or just… convenient.”

Lincoln’s grip on Michael’s arms tightened. “Wait a minute—where is this coming from? Was it that woman at the bar?” He ducked his head around to where he could catch his brother’s eyes.

“Michael. I didn’t sleep with her. I wasn’t planning on sleeping with her.”

Michael felt the slightest lessening in the tightness around his heart, but didn’t let down his guard. “I wasn’t trying to say that you did,” he said softly. “But it seemed… that the possibility might have occurred to you. From what I saw.” He took a deep breath, and kept on going. “I think we need to step back a little. Give you some time to figure out what you want to be doing. Who you want to be doing it with.”

Lincoln’s tone was annoyed. “What makes you think I need that? Did I say I wanted a change?”

Michael’s voice was quiet. “No. But I think I need you to be sure. More sure than I saw tonight.”

“I didn’t do anything! I was just talking!”

Michael’s touch had softened. “Lincoln. I don’t want my needs and my desires to make your choice for you. I need to take myself out of this equation for you to see this whole thing clearly.”

“And what, you want me to sleep on the couch now?”

“For awhile. Until you know.”

Lincoln shifted sideways, crossing his arms. “And how long will that be?”

“I don’t know. At least a few days. Maybe longer. We’ll both know when you’ve figured it out.”

That tightness was forming around Lincoln’s eyes again, and his mouth had hardened. “All right. For you, I’ll do it. For awhile. But I still don’t think it’s necessary.”

“It’s important to me. This—us—matters to me. If I have to let it go, I want some warning.”
.
Michael’s eyes were too bright, and Lincoln understood what he was seeing more than what he was hearing.

He nodded his head, and pulled Michael to him gently, pressing the softest of kisses against his cheek.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

“Me too,” Michael whispered. He brushed his hand over the side of Lincoln’s face, and then he was slipping away, across the room.

Lincoln could only watch in silence then as the bedroom door drifted shut.



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


(On to the next part)





 
 
 
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on January 29th, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC)
Ah, this storyline is like crack to me. :D

“She said she had a sister. Thought you might like to meet her.”

*dies laughing*

Why do I suspect that Lincoln sleeping on the couch is going to make Linc very cranky very soon?

Still haven't seen Black Robe. Currently I don't even have a library/Blockbuster card and I'm a bit lazy to get one. But it's definitively ony my list. Maybe I'll bug my cousin on whether she has it (she has like the hugest movie collection ever).
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: kissMichaelhalfshellvenus on January 29th, 2006 07:42 pm (UTC)
Ah, this storyline is like crack to me. :D

Well I know how I feel about stuff I describe that way, so-- thank you!

“She said she had a sister. Thought you might like to meet her.”

Lincoln can be so dense sometimes. At least we can laugh about it.

Glad you liked this installment :-)

"Black Robe" yes. "Deep Cover" yes. Must.See.
Kimberley: PB2: by everlynlampshade_days on January 29th, 2006 09:28 pm (UTC)
Ahaha. Lincoln's cluelessness is beyond amusing. And oh man, Lincoln on the couch. Things have the potential to get very interesting, methinks.

Loved it, as always. :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slash by tinamishihalfshellvenus on January 29th, 2006 10:12 pm (UTC)
Lincoln's cluelessness is beyond amusing.

Unless you're Michael, in which case... Grrr!

And oh man, Lincoln on the couch.

It's the universal "Bad dog" punishment of relationships, isn't it? :-D

Glad you liked this one :-)
(no subject) - lissa_bear on January 29th, 2006 10:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelana on January 29th, 2006 10:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on January 29th, 2006 11:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelana on January 29th, 2006 11:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lissa_bear on January 29th, 2006 11:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelana on January 29th, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on January 30th, 2006 02:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelana on January 30th, 2006 07:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on January 29th, 2006 11:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lissa_bear on January 29th, 2006 11:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on January 29th, 2006 11:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on January 29th, 2006 11:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lissa_bear on January 29th, 2006 11:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelana on January 29th, 2006 10:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on January 29th, 2006 11:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelana on January 29th, 2006 11:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on January 29th, 2006 11:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelana on January 29th, 2006 11:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on January 30th, 2006 02:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
Diellepseudoartiste on January 31st, 2006 01:17 pm (UTC)
OMG, I can't even imagine the resolve it would take to make hot!Linc sleep on the couch, no matter how much of an arse he is being. You go Michael!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Linc/Michael by xenasoulhalfshellvenus on January 31st, 2006 05:42 pm (UTC)
I can't even imagine the resolve it would take to make hot!Linc sleep on the couch,

The urge to just throw the hands up and take whatever part of Lincoln he could get would be damned compelling, I admit.

But I think Michael fears completely losing Linc so much that he wants to confront it now, in his mind, rather than wait for it to blindside him the way it already had back at the bar. :-(

Linc? Think with the big head more, not just the little one.
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slash by tinamishihalfshellvenus on February 2nd, 2006 07:55 pm (UTC)
I wonder how Lincoln will show Michael how much he means to him!!!

Me too. :-0

No, seriously, I'm working my way forward in this arc.

Glad you liked!
BEWARE OF JENMAR.: PB - Brotherly Love - Lincoln & Michaelclex_monkie89 on February 4th, 2006 08:28 am (UTC)
Bugger I totally thought I had commented on this...

I love it. And I love how they're completely miscommunicating and just... missing it. Love.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 4th, 2006 08:37 am (UTC)
Hee, glad you checked back just in case.

And I love how they're completely miscommunicating and just... missing it.

Me too. :-) It's both funny and frustrating at the same time. I'm sure Michael's in his bed right now, either fighting off tears or grinding his teeth. :-0

Glad you enjoyed this :)
(no subject) - clex_monkie89 on February 4th, 2006 08:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on February 4th, 2006 08:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - clex_monkie89 on February 4th, 2006 09:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on February 4th, 2006 09:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - clex_monkie89 on February 4th, 2006 09:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
Mouse: Alone / manuanyacastalie on February 5th, 2006 09:42 pm (UTC)
Love that little series of yours, love the storyline - you're doing a great job with it *loves*

And Lincoln *shakes head* You can be so DENSE! The 'she has a sister' bit made me cringe, I swear lol Poor Michael *hugs him*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slash by tinamishihalfshellvenus on February 6th, 2006 03:07 am (UTC)
Love that little series of yours, love the storyline

Oh, so glad you're enjoying this. I don't usually write these longer arcs, other than the PB chapter series. I'm hoping the emotional entanglement is more intriguing than frustrating. :-)

And Lincoln *shakes head* You can be so DENSE!

I know. I cracked myself up writing that for him because I can just SO see it.

The 'she has a sister' bit made me cringe, I swear

It's more being dense than deliberate insensitivity, but still... Ouch!

Thanks for your lovely comments :-D
tyrical: PB_Alazysod_L_desperatetyrical on February 12th, 2006 08:12 pm (UTC)
Poor Lincoln. He doesn't even know how he fucked up.
Still as blind as a bat. He is being himself which is worse off because Michael knows that too.
Poor Michael. Wanting and having are two very different things. I think Michael is finding this out the hard way.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slash by tinamishihalfshellvenus on February 12th, 2006 08:52 pm (UTC)
Still as blind as a bat. He is being himself which is worse off because Michael knows that too.
Exactly. He just can't help being Lincoln, and there is the question of whether that will be enough to hold them together in this romantic relationship that they have... or will it force them apart.

Poor Michael. Wanting and having are two very different things. I think Michael is finding this out the hard way.
And having and keeping are even moreso. Nothing stays exactly the same way that it starts out to be. Sometimes that is for the good, but other times not.
dawnstarrising: Lincolndawnstarrising on February 14th, 2006 10:01 pm (UTC)
Lovely.
Really enjoyed it. Poor Linc seems so confused.

D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slash by tinamishihalfshellvenus on February 14th, 2006 11:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Lovely.
Really enjoyed it. Poor Linc seems so confused.
And he is. The next story in this arc shows why.

I think that when it comes to Michael, confusion is probably a recurring experience for Lincoln. Or for anyone, when it comes right down to it. :)
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 20th, 2006 02:51 am (UTC)
I'm so proud of Michael for standing up for his feelings and needs!
And very bravely too, considering what he'll lose if Lincoln bails out on this.

I'm enjoying this series a lot!
So glad to hear that-- I aim to please! Myself as well as others... :D
B: Beautiful Alonestrifechaos on April 11th, 2006 05:35 am (UTC)
Michael is just so pretty when he's angsty, and Lincoln being dense makes me giggle. The 'are we having company?' comment had me in fits, god I could just see him asking that, the look on his face *shakes head* that was priceless.

I feel so bad for Mikey, what with the having to take the high ground and all, but at the same time totally love it. You capture their characters and really bring the stories to life. I can't wait to check out the next fic that follows this up! I'm off to devour it now. *grins* *glomps*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on April 11th, 2006 06:04 am (UTC)
Lincoln being dense makes me giggle. The 'are we having company?' comment had me in fits, god I could just see him asking that, the look on his face *shakes head* that was priceless.
I feel like I'm being mean to Lincoln when I do that, but... just can't help it. He has those moments. And Michael's overthinking everything has got to lead to a certain degree of randomness that would be hard for anyone to live with. :0

You capture their characters and really bring the stories to life. I can't wait to check out the next fic that follows this up! I'm off to devour it now.
Whoo-hoo! Moving through the arc!

There is another one too, that starts with "The Shape of Freedom"-- different slash universe, different flavor. And then there are some random p0rns as well...

When will I find the time to move all my arcs forward (the ones that could use it)? Heavens!