Character: Michael (Gen)
Rating: PG-13 (language and prison content)
Summary: (S1) Even Michael can't plan for everything...
He’d thought he’d be fairly anonymous in the general population once he got inside. He was quiet, and he didn’t look for trouble. Why was he suddenly the object of so many unwanted sexual advances? Sure, he’d heard things about prison, but he’d figured a lot of that was hype. It wasn’t like anyone paid him much attention outside, at least not that he’d noticed. But then, he had been awfully preoccupied the last few years…
He’d expected to fly under the radar with the guards. So how was it that he’d managed to get Bellick’s back up in the first few seconds of talking to him? He thought he’d been pretty low-key and respectful, but Bellick had it in for him. Now, whenever they spoke Bellick’s eyes got squinty and his mouth got tight, telegraphing that he was about one step away from bringing a beat-down on him. What had Michael said? He would probably never know.
On the flip side, he never expected to be helping the warden out with anything remotely resembling a popsicle-stick palace. Now he was getting friendly attention from the prison’s top dog, which was still attention, and so what the hell had happened to that staying invisible part of his plan?
Then there was the old man. Michael had thought he would go for the bait right away. But D.B., or whoever he actually was, could not have been less interested. Michael had hoped to make an ally of the old man, and have some cash to call on after the escape. Now the aftermath would be a little more complicated.
He’d counted on crossing paths with Lincoln more often once he was inside, and having a little more casual time to spend with him. Who knew that he’d barely be allowed to talk to him, and never to touch him? Why the hell would the guards care? But they did—about this and about almost every other move the prisoners made. Sometimes, on lineup, your feet had to be right there, or they’d call you on it.
He’d worried about guarding his honor against beefy cons (and possibly failing). So how could his biggest problem be some puny little fuck with a relentless need to cause him untold varieties of damage? Why hadn’t the other prisoners taken T-Bag down already? The creep was a freak show unto himself in this damned circus.
Michael had known prison was isolating, but he was only going to be there for a few weeks. He was surprised to find how much he missed being able to chat with someone—not even a friend, maybe just someone in passing—without the potential of death-escalation from the most meaningless of comments.
He’d also expected to lose sleep in the pen, what with lying awake and listening for the guards at night and trying to gauge whether he could make a move on his tunnel access project. Instead, any time he didn’t have to stay awake he found himself dropping off and sleeping like the dead. Constantly watching his every word and move had turned out to be absolutely exhausting.
Consequently, he was completely unprepared for waking up to the sound of his cellmate ripping his clothes off. What the hell kind of a psycho does that to a person while he’s sleeping? Someone making moves on his ass after dark he could see, but getting after his tattoos? What was next—would the guy flay his skin off so he could save some samples for later scrutiny? That whole episode had really freaked Michael out. His stomach still curdled every time he remembered it.
But losing his toes (god, he tried not to think about it, he looked away every time he put on his shoes and socks)…followed by his surprisingly solid alliance with Abruzzi… that he could not even have imagined. Of all the prices he’d thought he might pay to put this thing in motion, this one was larger and more permanent than he’d been prepared for.
He could agonize about the effects later, and for the rest of his life if he wanted to, but the overwhelming shock of it was hard to put aside.
This particular sacrifice had better turn out to have been worth it.
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