Category: Lincoln/Michael (Slash)
Summary: Post-escape, established relationship. Follows directly after Keeping His Distance. This was not the day Lincoln expected to have.
Author’s Notes: Written for the fanfic100 challenge, where I have the slash pairing of Lincoln and Michael. This is for prompt #2, “Middles.”
The couch was lumpy and damned uncomfortable, and Lincoln was awake half the night struggling to get comfortable and wondering what the hell was going on in Michael’s head.
They’d had a great time yesterday. A late morning, waking to the soft brush of Michael’s hair on his chest. Those slender fingers had drawn reverent paths along his shoulders and face, and they’d made slow, sweet love while the sun climbed in the sky.
Breakfast became brunch when they were finally ready, and they’d eaten on the porch while watching the waves.
Later, they’d worked on the porch railing, replacing the loose spindles and a decaying side rail. It was something to do, and even though they were just renting the house it was satisfying. They might be here for months-- or years-- and these small investments of themselves made the whole experience a little more personal.
Making dinner that night, Lincoln had hindered Michael more than anything. Tracing his hands over Michael’s as he washed lettuce, kissing that elegant neck and slipping his arms around his brother’s waist, Lincoln had enjoyed all of it far more than the meal that eventually followed.
Candlelit luxury had ended the evening in bed, with unhurried exploration of each other’s contours and desires. Curving together afterwards, they had drifted into that state where it was too much to remember where one of them left off and the other began.
All of that, Lincoln thought, had been as perfect a day as he’d had in a lifetime. And this morning, he’d kissed Michael goodbye knowing that they’d spend today apart, but that tomorrow would be another opportunity for something close to that kind of soft, easy communion.
Instead, he’d come home to all hell breaking loose inside of Michael. He never even saw it coming.
He’d gone out near the end of the day, when waiting for Michael had gotten to be too much, and he’d hung out at the bar talking to various people. He never told them much about himself, but just enjoyed the feeling of being able to leave if he wanted to, come and go as he pleased, have contact with people who weren’t looking to do something to him or get something from him. Pleasant conversation was in short supply in the Pen, and Death Row had been so unendingly grim and isolated.
He’d met a commercial fisherman who’d talked about his boat a lot, and a nice woman who temped as an office worker. And then he’d caught sight of the clock, and thought that surely Michael must have come back. So he’d paid up and walked on home, with the evening air drifting across his skin.
His heart had lifted at the sight of the car, and his thoughts were already on soft sheets and pillow talk when he opened the door. But something was off, he could tell by the set of Michael’s shoulders. There was something broken in that posture, and his brother avoided his eyes. Lincoln couldn’t quite get ahold of what was going on until words with edgy sounds started making it through. Then suddenly Michael was talking about dating—or not dating—and stepping back from what they were doing, and there was so much fragility and fear in those beautiful eyes.
He’d found himself reacting more to Michael’s pain than anything, and clearly nothing he could do right then was going to fix it. So he’d agreed to what Michael thought he wanted, and now… here he was.
The couch was stiff under his aching back, and his thoughts were troubled. Secluded off in the bedroom, his brother was hurting and uncertain. But even if he went in there right now, his apologies and reassurances would not be heard.
On opposite sides of the door each was longing for the other.
If either of them slept tonight, it would not be restful.
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(On to the next part)