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29 June 2008 @ 11:36 am
Prison Break Slash Fiction: To Ease The Pain (PG-13)  
Title: To Ease The Pain
Author: HalfshellVenus
Pairing:Michael/Lincoln (Slash)
Rating: PG-13 (subject matter)
Summary: (Pre-series to Season One) Michael doesn't realize what he wants from Lincoln until his chance for it is gone.
Author's Notes: A little belated birthday gift for tuesdaeschild, which I hope she likes!
Written for 60_minute_fics (a prompt of "Hurt") and for my fanfic100 table (this is "Red.")

x-x-x-x-x

The first time Michael remembered it happening was when he was five.

He'd gone down the stairs ahead of Lincoln and stumbled over the last third of them, striking his chin on the concrete so hard it bled. Lincoln, who'd told him to hang onto the railing but hadn't watched to make sure he did it, had gathered Michael into his arms and held him, murmuring desperate reassurances before helping him back to the apartment and cleaning him up. Michael could still feel the warmth of Lincoln's arms around him, the soothing kiss to his forehead when all of it was over. He'd never understood why Lincoln blamed himself so much for what had happened, but he accepted it. That was Lincoln, and always had been.

The second time, Michael was eight and had fallen out of a tree. He'd sprained his wrist (lucky he didn't break it, Lincoln had said) and scraped a path along the back of his knee that had soaked right through his jeans. His surprised yelp had brought Lincoln over from the basketball court to blame and comfort him in turns, probing the injured arm with care and tenderness before half-pulling and half-carrying Michael home and calling their mother.

At ten, when Michael had crashed his skateboard into the apartment house wall and gotten a cut on his head that made Lincoln panic, he'd felt like an idiot. Standing there while Lincoln sifted hurriedly through his hair and asked questions about the President and what day of the week it was, Michael had leaned into his brother and let Lincoln's strength slow down the spinning inside his head.

"I don't know how it happened, Linc—it's a wall. It never moves," Michael had mumbled in embarrassment.

"You were probably thinking about Mom instead of looking where you were going." Lincoln had answered quietly, and Michael had known then that Lincoln understood.

"Will she ever get better? Why doesn't she get better?" he'd asked.

Lincoln had just held him more tightly and rocked him for a moment. "I don't know…"

Both boys were at the Childrens' Home a year and a half later, when a kid named Rodney had hit Michael in the mouth so hard that Michael had almost bitten a chunk out of the inside of his lip. Lincoln had broken Rodney's nose and pulled Michael in close where no-one else could touch him, and Michael had realized there were a lot of ways he'd be willing to hurt himself just for that kind of attention and devotion from his brother.

Lincoln had wound up being taken to Juvie before Michael had gotten a chance to test that out. It hadn't stopped Michael from thinking about—dreaming about—all the ways he wanted those scenarios to play out.

Later, Michael could see that Juvie had changed Lincoln. It had hardened his heart. He'd become distant, no longer driven to be the big brother, focused instead on money and then eventually on scoring his next high.

Michael had been sent to a family that took care of him by then, but it hadn't stopped him from wanting Lincoln and the way things had been for them before. It couldn't stop him from wanting more.

The day at Fox River when Michael sat across the glass from Lincoln and asked him to swear his innocence, it all came back. The pull from the past of that need for comfort and reassurance was so strong it nearly choked him.

It didn't help that he'd be the one providing all those things to Lincoln instead of receiving them. There was no-one to help Michael through all the challenges to come.

Michael's blood had brought them closer together in the past, and his blood—being prepared to sacrifice it if he had to—was what would save his brother now.

With his hand on the glass, Michael couldn't touch Lincoln, but he could feel him. Lincoln was all he'd ever wanted, all he'd ever hoped for.

If he managed to save Lincoln, things might finally be different. Michael might finally have a chance at the love he'd been chasing for so long.



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

 
 
amodalie: went blueamodalie on June 29th, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
This is a beautiful little fic! And you know what? While reading those bitter-sweet, sad and endearing childhood episodes I thought of the older brothers and had exactly *that* scene in Fox River in my mind which you describe later. Michael in his dark red shirt, jaws clenched and his eyes tearing up. Such an intense moment! And you're leading the way very smoothly to it. :)))
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on July 1st, 2008 06:28 am (UTC)
While reading those bitter-sweet, sad and endearing childhood episodes I thought of the older brothers and had exactly *that* scene in Fox River in my mind which you describe later. Michael in his dark red shirt, jaws clenched and his eyes tearing up. Such an intense moment!

That moment is such a powerful part of the series for me, because in Michael's mind it's his last chance to turn back from the plan he's already set in motion, and with Lincoln's words the ability to choose another path just vanishes.

And the entire story was set up exactly with the intent of hitting that canon moment and showing why Michael would be there, ready to make that commitment, and accept being pushed over the edge into the dangerous choice.

I'm thrilled that you not only liked how that worked, but that it was leading there for you anyway-- as if it made sense that Michael would be driven to that moment. :)
Gretagretazreta on June 29th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is lovely. And it makes so much sense to me, that it's that relationship in the past with Lincoln that makes Michael so willing to give everything up for him.

Also, I loved this little bit:
"I don't know how it happened, Linc—it's a wall. It never moves, because that's what I said EXACTLY the time I drove into the corner of the theatre house at University. I just didn't take the turn carefully enough. Lucky it was quite slow!

As always, your prose is so crisp and precise and vivid. I really like it.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on July 1st, 2008 06:34 am (UTC)
And it makes so much sense to me, that it's that relationship in the past with Lincoln that makes Michael so willing to give everything up for him.

I've thought since the show first aired that there must be something in their past that explains why Michael loves Lincoln that much (too much, really) that he'd be willing to destroy everything to save him. Canon still hasn't shown us that, and so I keep coming back to variations on how to lay that foundation for Michael's choice. It's like writing Dean finally feeling Sam's love- I just can't leave it alone.

I just didn't take the turn carefully enough. Lucky it was quite slow!
Yowch! Hope there wasn't too much damage to you or the car!

In Michael's case, it's all the nicer that Lincoln knows what was really happening-- that Michael's fear and worry rendered that wall invisible to him for a moment, and that those worries are normal (oh, the pain for the reader who knows where the mother's sickness leads).

I'm glad you liked this story- I forget sometimes that you watch both of my main fandoms, and it's so nice to have other double-dippers around. :)
(no subject) - foophile on July 3rd, 2008 01:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on July 3rd, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC)
:D Nice of you to speak up! I'm always happy to hear from people. :)

Taking the parts in whole, by the end you made me feel exactly how Michael would have felt. His desperation for Linc's love broke my heart and made complete sense to the PB canon.
That was really the goal here, too-- to build all of these isolated moments into something that you could see Michael beginning to crave, until he finally just can't let go of that bond and how it defines his happiness.

The "why" of Michael doing so much for Lincoln is this gaping hole in canon that they've never filled in. Hardly anyone would go to the lengths that he does, and given that instead of cause for that devotion we've seen rough spots where they didn't always get along... there must be some deeper reason that Michael cannot keep himself from saving Lincoln (I don't buy LLI as the reason, it's a flimsy diagnosis and SO lame as a storytelling device). That motivates me to come back and write reasons for it again and again, most of them slashy. ;)

So glad you liked this and the SN stories as well! Hope to see more of you from time to time. :)
Maz (or foxxy!): Hugging Brothers Season 3tuesdaeschild on July 3rd, 2008 09:01 am (UTC)
Delightful! I'm sure you know I have a real fondness for hurt!Michael with comforting!Lincoln fics so you couldn't have picked anything lovelier for my birthday fic! *beams*

It feels like Michael was on the path that led him to that scene in Fox River from the time he fell down the stairs at five years old, with each occasion when he'd hurt himself and felt the comfort of his brother pointing the way there like a signpost.

We all know the sacrifices Michael made for his brother, which did include shedding blood, and this scenario makes it so easy to understand why. When Michael sat on the other side of the glass screen and asked Lincoln to swear he was innocent it was kind of the clincher for me in believing the relationship between the brothers. So your gorgeous tale of always-in-need-of-comfort Michael and always-ready-to-provide-comfort Lincoln only reinforces their bond and my understanding of the reasons why Michael would go to such extreme lengths to save his brother.

Lincoln sifted hurriedly through his hair and asked questions about the President and what day of the week it was

Awwww! Sensible Lincoln! But still so very sweet!

Michael's blood had brought them closer together in the past, and his blood—being prepared to sacrifice it if he had to—was what would save his brother now.

And that pretty much sums up the whole premise of Season One and the reason why I fell in love with the show! It's lost it's way some in the past two seasons but I continue watching in the hope that the writers will give us again what we loved so much in the early days.

But if they don't at least I still have something pretty to look at...Wentworth Miller! Yes, I can be that shallow sometimes! :)

So in summary...THANK YOU so much, sweetheart! You're so very kind and so bloody good at writing the brothers! So good at writing period!!

*hugs you*

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on July 3rd, 2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
It feels like Michael was on the path that led him to that scene in Fox River from the time he fell down the stairs at five years old, with each occasion when he'd hurt himself and felt the comfort of his brother pointing the way there like a signpost.
Yes! That's exactly what this story is trying to convey, an entire path from Michael's childhood through to that moment, where being comforted becomes worth the injury... and where Lincoln's love becomes worth any form of sacrifice.

And that pretty much sums up the whole premise of Season One and the reason why I fell in love with the show!
Me too-- it's why the show was compelling, and why I loved it so much. Without that insane devotion, and the ability to pull that scheme off, the heart of the show is gone. I miss that terribly, and while I can give up The Plan I don't want to give up on what bound Michael and Lincoln so tightly together. It's the heart of the show, and I've missed it!

At this point, I'm grateful for every story because canon has made it SO hard to feel locked into what's going.

But I'm especially grateful that I could write this one for you-- many happy returns, Marilyn! *hugs*
Maz (or foxxy!): A Little Joytuesdaeschild on July 7th, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
You are a lovely lady, Karen! *hugs you tight* :)

tyrical: PB_Scofieldtyrical on July 6th, 2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
Whenever I read Michael like this I always break a little bit. He wants so much and is so focused that I feel he misses out on everything else because of this one longingly desperately unfulfilled promise of maybe.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on July 8th, 2008 02:24 am (UTC)
He wants so much and is so focused that I feel he misses out on everything else because of this one longingly desperately unfulfilled promise of maybe.

I love how you phrased that, because when I think of him in a slashy sense, it's utterly true. He clearly needs Lincoln more than Lincoln needs him, and there's a certain desperation to the choices Michael has made.

And the "unfulfilled promise of maybe"... even in canon, we've seen it happen. *sigh*
PamalaX: Brotherspamalax on July 8th, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC)
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh very nice fic! I was away with Ry when this came out and almost missed it.

No matter how frustrated you may become with them you continue to know these two characters like the back of your hand.

I'm living on pins and needles wondering what will happen to the brothers this fall so thanks so much for always suppling all thats need to keep hope alive.

Hope you and yours are well and getting closer and closer to smoke free.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB slashhalfshellvenus on July 8th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
I'm living on pins and needles wondering what will happen to the brothers this fall

*sighs* Hope I can get there before the season starts. I'm stuck on "meh." *cries*

I'm glad you enjoyed this story-- and that you came back for it!

The smoke... sadly, it's ba-a-a-a-a-ack. :\