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29 January 2006 @ 09:50 pm
PrisonBreak FanFiction: The Shape of Freedom  
Author: HalfshellVenus
Characters: Lincoln/Michael (Slash)
Rating: PG
Summary: Alternative Escape story. Pre-slash, unconnected to my other slash works.
Author’s Notes: Written for the fanfic100 challenge, where I have the slash pairing of Lincoln and Michael. This is for prompt #41, “Shapes."

x-x-x-x-x

The rhythm is calming, and Michael half-drowses with the swaying and soft clanking that rolls underneath him.

He is curled on his side, Lincoln close behind him, keeping what warmth they can against the cold metal and the dampness in the air. It has been one of the longest, best days of his life, and no part of it was easy or certain or safe.

The evening had been hurried, desperate. Things were pulled together, too many changes happening at the wrong time, and Michael rode the adrenaline with as much control as he could muster.

Getting Lincoln into the Infirmary again on such short notice had been a challenge. They’d settled on induced vomiting aided by large amounts of soap. Then, with too many escapees and so much danger, Michael had listened to his gut for once. He’d abandoned the easy money and the jet in waiting, and gone for simplicity instead. He and Sucre hung up a sheet and crawled out through the back cell wall, rushing through the corridors and tunnels. They’d dropped through the ceiling vent into the Infirmary, and the three of them had slipped out the window and across the wire. Across the rooftops and off over the edge, they dashed down the street and into the night.

Sucre had left them after just two blocks, his mind on Maricruz and the pickup he’d arranged. Lincoln and Michael took to the fields, breaking through late harvests and off toward the train tracks. The evening freight had left on schedule, and they had huddled in waiting as the black and rust-colored vision approached. Roaring closer, and then just passing them, they’d angled off a few cars back and then jumped it. Scrambling onto the ladder nearly as one, they had gone up to the top and down through the closest roof access. That such doorways still existed, for whatever unknown reason, was something Michael would be grateful for until the end of his days.

And then they had tumbled to the floor, surrounded by the darkness that carried them toward a new beginning. They clutched each other with rib-crushing relief, and then suddenly Lincoln was kissing Michael like the end of a long journey. And it was shocking and wonderful all at once, and whatever it meant it was absolutely right just for now. Michael met him just as fiercely and would have followed that moment anywhere Lincoln wanted to go and then some, but he held back for fear of pushing them toward something his brother would regret. Before long, Lincoln pulled back and started to recant. Michael just put his finger over those flustered words and kissed him back again, firmly. “You’re welcome,” he said—and it was complete and perfect and true. He pulled Lincoln’s head against his shoulder, and they rocked with the flow of relief and freedom and a future.

Hours later now, Michael’s hand covers the curve of Lincoln’s arm across his chest. His worries are just beginning, but he has conquered the hardest piece of the puzzle and escaped with both of them alive. He has his brother now, molded to him like the essence to his ether, and he has wanted this too much and for too long to ever admit. His brother’s presence makes him quiet, stops his searching, and the last uneasy part of who Michael is ceases resisting and comes to rest inside him. He had hopes and fears, and dangling, desperate plans. But having Lincoln here-- out of immediate danger, and with no shackles or executioners to destroy him—this is the part that had to become real.

And so they are here in an empty boxcar, Michael scheming and Lincoln sleeping. Their luck is holding and they are still undiscovered on this journey West-- this escape that no-one would ever have thought possible. This clumsy transport was not even Michael’s second- or third-level backup plan, but actual elegance was never needed. Escape by train is a classic and proven method. And it has the advantage of simplicity.

They will move at night, working their way toward the storage locker in Iowa where food and clothes and a car will be waiting.

Right now, they travel toward their future, floating roughly in this industrial haven. Illinois will soon be behind them. And this crude and boxy chariot is just the beginning of the shape of freedom.

----------- FIN -----------

Continue on to next story


 
 
 
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on January 30th, 2006 07:25 am (UTC)
Awwwwww *hugs self*. This is just really, really undefinably sweet to me. And very, very perfect. Especially the whole kissing part and Linc sleeping and Michael plotting. I so would love to see more from this universe.

Also, I love trains. ^___^

And everybody has to do Michael and Linc sleeping together (as in actually sleeping).

Makes me wonder how much time they would have till they are discovered. Maybe for one guard check up or two at the most? At best the whole night if the guards don't want to check behind the sheets.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: kissMichaelhalfshellvenus on January 30th, 2006 04:25 pm (UTC)
I had such trouble finishing this one, mainly trying to strongly marry it to the fanfic100 prompt (especially since I shifted from "Brown" to "Shapes," although I think ultimately each fic was better suited to the one I used at the end).

Way back when, when someone asked me to do a follow-up to "The Arrangement," I had a series of 1-paragraph vignettes that wound up being expanded into chapters instead. The final vignette was restful relief on a train after escaping, where they had finally made love completely for the first, unhurried time. That wound up instead being incorporated as the final chapter of "The Arrangement," and it all happened in Michael's cell after the riot.

But this post-escape train setting still held a lot of appeal to me. In part because it DOES seem a realistic place to wind up after getting out of the prison grounds. Being carried away, hidden inside a boxcar, when people are looking all over for you is not a bad plan for putting distance between you and the prison. Especially if your escape plan is so freakishly complex that losing Abruzzi to a hospital bed might collapse it.

And everybody has to do Michael and Linc sleeping together (as in actually sleeping).

This has always had its own sweetness for me-- it speaks of trust and belonging and bonding, in a slashy or regular sense. This probably says it awkwardly, but it's like returning to the womb along with someone else. Even if that someone is a friend and not a sibling, the basic completion and comfort that goes with it is the same. It's a moment of softness, peace and safety that so often eludes us all. Hope that doesn't sound too dorky.
(no subject) - thelana on January 31st, 2006 12:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on January 31st, 2006 01:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelana on January 31st, 2006 09:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
Are we back to hos over bros?lissa_bear on January 30th, 2006 07:34 am (UTC)
Beautiful! I love the image of Michael laying awake in Lincoln's arms, thinking and being happy for once! Love love love the ending!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 30th, 2006 04:29 pm (UTC)
Wow, so glad you liked it. I haven't been so unsure of a fic I've posted in a long time. The ending was hard to get right. I had the final paragraph sitting there for two days, wondering if it was going to work and changing a word or two in subsequent visits to it. The final change was a single word that I removed 10 minutes before posting it.

Sounds like it came together after all, thank goodness.

And it's so nice for Michael to have a moment of peace in all he's been pulling together in the last many weeks (and what he's lost along the way). He was overdue :-)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on January 30th, 2006 04:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lissa_bear on January 30th, 2006 04:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on January 30th, 2006 08:11 am (UTC)
I'm relatively new to fan fiction and have never commented on a writer's work before, but I am compelled to break my silence and compliment your art. While any incest angle is really not my thing, I have to read every story you post. In my opinion, you capture the essence of the complex relationship between these two brothers, that beautiful aching quality of the one who loves more than he can ever be loved in return.

His brother’s presence makes him quiet, stops his searching, and the last uneasy part of who Michael is ceases resisting and comes to rest inside him.

I have no concept of how a person can form these small amount of words into a sentence that so perfectly captures a moment. Beautiful job. Thank you.
The Good, The Bad and The Lana: happy hug Veronicathelana on January 30th, 2006 11:50 am (UTC)
You are so going to make her day :)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on January 30th, 2006 04:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Fish: Micheal Scofieldrhymeswithghoti on January 30th, 2006 06:08 pm (UTC)
Great tone. Really loved the quiet, breathless, relieved feel of it. And aww, Michael plotting while Linc sleeps.

(Also, you know I'm not an incest fan, but I loved the kiss. Sweet and romantic is a brotherslashy way. So good work!)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 30th, 2006 08:03 pm (UTC)
And aww, Michael plotting while Linc sleeps.

Makes you feel for him, doesn't it? Until the miracle of clemency happens, or overturning of the verdict, he can never really let go of the responsibility for there lives and future. And being a fugitive is a lot of work :-(

but I loved the kiss. Sweet and romantic is a brotherslashy way. So good work!)

Excellent! Not too much, possibly just a huge surplus of feeling on Lincoln's side and the secret pull toward 'more' on Michael's side.

You're brave to read this with the incest angle, although most of the PG ones are pretty low-key (sometimes more angst than anything).

So glad you liked it :-) Wonder what we'll actually see on the show, or whether the escape will be sidelined due to other plot developments (i.e, The Truth Revealed, or short-term stay of execution, or what have you).
she said mysteriouslyresounding_echo on January 31st, 2006 08:46 am (UTC)
Oh, I liked this. :)

And yay for ditching the prison-bastards, and just taking Lincoln and Sucre with him. I do hope Sucre made it (although, I don't he will without Michael, on the show that is).

Also, I've got a bit of a train-kink, especially in the hobo-transient-hopping sense, so I enjoyed this quite a bit.

And yes, everyone should do a sleeping/spooning M/L fic. It's just *so* cute.
The Good, The Bad and The Lana: happy hug Veronicathelana on January 31st, 2006 09:04 am (UTC)
And yes, everyone should do a sleeping/spooning M/L fic. It's just *so* cute.

Especially since you are the one who started it ;D
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on January 31st, 2006 05:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 2nd, 2006 07:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Skippy!
alazysod on February 3rd, 2006 08:11 pm (UTC)
*continues to spam your journal* Oh, this was so sweet.

But having Lincoln here-- out of immediate danger, and with no shackles or executioners to destroy him—this is the part that had to become real. <–– Favorite line.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 3rd, 2006 08:16 pm (UTC)
*continues to spam your journal*

Plz!

Oh, this was so sweet.

:-) It's one of the rare moments of peacefulness (however brief) in a really harried scheme. Watching the episodes, I almost ulcerize in sympathy with Michael. :-\

But having Lincoln here-- out of immediate danger, and with no shackles or executioners to destroy him—this is the part that had to become real.

That pretty much sums up what it's all about, and why Michael's doing this.

Glad you enjoyed this one. You're reading fast! Are you sticking to the lower-rated slash ones (here and in the SN stuff)? I will totally understand if that's true.
(no subject) - alazysod on February 3rd, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on February 3rd, 2006 08:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
BEWARE OF JENMAR.: PB - Cavity Search - Privateclex_monkie89 on February 4th, 2006 08:39 am (UTC)
I'm very much wondering how I missed this the first time around...

Love it. Muchly. I love the kissing and the sleeping and the way they ended up trashing a large chunk of the plan for the sake of ease.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 4th, 2006 08:53 am (UTC)
I'm very much wondering how I missed this the first time around...

It was just posted on Sunday, but I moved it up in the Slash list because the rest of the stuff down below has a Post-Escape chronology. Trying to avoid confusing people.

Plus, *cough* crack_van excitement that has been eating up all of our lives (but especially yours).

and the way they ended up trashing a large chunk of the plan for the sake of ease.

I'm more pragmatic than Michael, I guess, because flexibility is really important when you have a larger goal in mind and things are... bogging down in bad ways :-( So, I helped him along a little.

Glad you liked it so much. It's so close to being Gen, except for that kiss, but that sort of puts it right in the middle. Gen on Lincoln's side, Slash on Michael's, and it doesn't get too far anyway.
(no subject) - clex_monkie89 on February 4th, 2006 09:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
PamalaX: mikecloseuppamalax on February 7th, 2006 04:02 am (UTC)
Beautiful written!!

I'm sure you know I'm not comfortable with the romantic approach to this relationship but I think this was exceptionally well done.

I am curious, because I adore you work, if your ponder doing a brotherly piece without the slash tone.
I adore the simple thought of this all consuming devotion being all about being brothers. Family. All that each other has ever had and nothing more.

I understand your vision but would just love to see your take on a family devotion theme without the romantic overtones.
You don't have to listen.. even consider... but I think you'd do it so beautifully I just had to ask.

Nice work
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 7th, 2006 05:28 am (UTC)
Well, I'm glad you liked it. I know that the slash isn't your thing, but occasionally you'll read for the emotional subtext.

I am curious, because I adore you work, if your ponder doing a brotherly piece without the slash tone.

This is where I'm a little confused. Do you mean, write the same exact piece without the slash? Or write familial pieces that do not have slash?

I thought about writing this one as Gen, but it was originally conceived as slash and so I left it there.

I write a LOT Of the brotherly relationship in a Gen context-- although usually (like this one) it's just from the perspective of one brother at a time.

Try my LJ homepage, and see how you feel about the Lincoln pieces under "Genfic." (Reading bottom up, from oldest to newest). If you can deal with Lincoln's POV, I think you'll find what you're looking for there.

Under the "Lincoln & Michael" Gen section there is also "Remembering Who We Used to Be," which you may like too.

Basically, I'm heading forward on both fronts. I have the slash pairing for fanfic100 and the Gen pairing for prisonbreak100, so there are lots of fics to be written. Keep checking!
PamalaX: PB eyespamalax on February 7th, 2006 03:42 pm (UTC)
So you're telling me if I look for things marked gen written by you I'll find the stuff I'm looking for?

Sorry, keep in mind I'm old school fan fic and gen is new term for me.

If that is the best way to find what I'm looking for I will and thank you for the advice.

BTW: Just so you know I don't take issue with slash, Mulder and Krycek slash is still some of the hottest stuff I've ever read, its the between brother slash I can't handle. Or nephews... okay its incest I guess.

I just didn't wnat you thinking I was narrowminded.

Its very hard for me because I am so taken with the relationship between M & L but have a hard time finding lot of fic about it that doesnt slide into
brothercest. I actually want that stuff MORE than MS but filtering through the stuff I'm not comfortable with to the stuff I soooooo want to read is a challenge.

Thanks for the chat.
I shall be on the look out for ... GEN? *g*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 7th, 2006 05:27 pm (UTC)
So you're telling me if I look for things marked gen written by you I'll find the stuff I'm looking for?

Yes, exactly. The Gen is for, not "General Audiences" by "General Fic". I.e., there is no 'ship or slash going on. You're avoiding the brothercest(which I totally understand, truly) and the nephew-slash (which squicks me out too-- that whole underage thing). I'm avoiding the Michael/Sara shipper stuff. The "Gen" is our common ground :-)

Um... Mulder/Krycek... my brain goes somewhere else when I see those words. So conflicted and hot!

Thanks for the chat. I shall be on the look out for ... GEN? *g*

Please! There is an entire section of it on my LJ homepage, and mooyoo is writing a lot of Gen Michael/Lincoln. quincykat has hit on it several times (she's doing the whole series for fanfic100), including her really outstanding The Shiver Through Autumn.

Hope to be hearing from you again. "Precious Things," which you loved, was one of the Michael/Lincoln Gen pieces.
(no subject) - thelana on February 8th, 2006 10:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
tyrical: WN_relieftyrical on February 12th, 2006 08:34 pm (UTC)
All the moments, all the near escapes, all the planning, and its the simpliest things that in the end make it work.

I really like that about this. The description of all the stages. The amazement that they did it. That Linc is safe and free. The fact that they haven't been discovered yet. The deperation and the overwhelmingness that they did it.

I like the train as a symbol of movement and freedom. Lovely piece I really like this one alot.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 12th, 2006 08:59 pm (UTC)
and its the simpliest things that in the end make it work.
And some people, Michael included, never realize that simpler is usually better. Scientists call it "Occam's Razor" (very old idea): the simplest and most complete solution is usually correct/best.

I really like that about this. The description of all the stages. The amazement that they did it. That Linc is safe and free. The fact that they haven't been discovered yet. The deperation and the overwhelmingness that they did it.
I am thisClose to taking out the kissing and making a Gen version of this, because the actual escaping part works so well for me. I can totally see that happening and working.

I like the train as a symbol of movement and freedom. Lovely piece I really like this one alot.
Thank you so much! In general, readers are liking this one more than I expected. Which shows I don't know everything, now do I? :-P
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 20th, 2006 04:00 pm (UTC)
I love it when I happen upon a series I haven't seen ebfore and don't have anything to do for the rest of the morning but sit and read :)
That sounds like a great morning to me! Coffe?

Thanks for this, it's nice to read a new twist in the escape rather than the usual thing.
I got so impatient during the hiatus, and really-- Michael's entourage is so BIG and his plan is so overly complex-- that I went for the more simple approach instead. Plus the back-end planning (or fallback, I guess I could say) in case they have to escape by ground instead of by air. I mean, if he thought they were going in "The End of the Tunnel," well, Abruzzi (and his airplane access) are out of that picture right now.

Glad you enjoyed this one :D