Category: Lincoln & Michael (Gen, Fluff)
Summary: My first true fluffyFic (and kid!Fic too). A family outing on a perfect day.
Author’s Notes: Written for prisonbreak100, where I have the Gen pairing of Lincoln and Michael. This is for prompt #63, “Summer,” and was written as an antidote to the first (and very depressing) episode of the show to follow the hiatus.
Michael thought he was the first one up, but there were tote bags and backpacks waiting by the front door.
Something was happening. A trip. He ran back into the bedroom at full speed.
“Lincoln! Lincoln! We’re going somewhere!”
Lincoln groaned. Bouncing was a lousy way to wake up.
“I know, Michael. I helped Mom get ready last night.”
“What is it? Where are we going?”
Lincoln pulled the pillow over his eyes. “Mnh. A surprise. Mom said I couldn’t tell you.”
Michael sat back. Too much stuff for the zoo or a museum. Not enough stuff to visit their cousins in New York.
“Boys, time to get up,” their mother’s voice floated in from the kitchen.
“C’mon Lincoln. Let’s go!”
Michael was out the door already and scampering off down the hallway. There should be a law, Lincoln thought. Morning people and normal people should never have to share a room. He threw the covers off and sat up slowly. Mom said he wouldn’t be old enough to have coffee until he was twenty, or it could stunt his growth. Better short than dead, he thought as he lumbered toward the bathroom.
Michael marched in front to the bus stop, carrying his backpack like he meant business. Lincoln and their mother followed, with backpacks and totebags in tow.
Bus. Bus. El. Train. By 9:30 they were heading North out of town, and Michael had been talking almost non-stop.
“Are we bringing lunch? What is it?”
“Sandwiches, chips, some fruit,” his mother answered, smiling at her son’s energy. “Maybe something special.”
“Who made the sandwiches? Lincoln?”
Lincoln’s eyes rolled up toward the ceiling. “Not this again.”
“You put too much jam on them,” Michael protested. “It squeezes out, and they get sticky!”
“And yet, you’ve lived,” Lincoln said.
“Try to think about how much fun we’re going to have,” their mother said.
“I could if I knew where we were going.” Michael’s face was hopeful.
“You’ll find out when we get there.”
By eleven o’clock, they were on the street, marching toward… the Lake.
“Cool!” Michael yelled. “But how come we came so far just to go back to the Lake again?”
“It’s different here,” his mother said. “This is where I used to come with your grandparents when I was a little girl.”
Down the stairs and into the sand, and Michael took his shoes off at once. He squished his feet down into it and scuffled his way toward the water, kicking up little clouds as he went.
Lincoln smiled in spite of himself, because he still loved going to the beach almost as much as Michael, even though the beach was really Lake Michigan. It didn’t have the deep, rolling waves of the ocean, but it had almost everything else.
“I want to go in!” Michael said.
“What about a snack first?” his mother asked.
“Not hungry—I want to go in!”
“All right, honey.” She spread out the picnic blanket, and helped Michael get his things off and onto the blanket before he dashed off into the water. Lincoln followed suit, and soon the two of them were jumping up and down in the quiet waves at the water’s edge, shrieking and laughing like a pair of toddlers.
They swam and dived and splashed each other until lunchtime, as their mother walked along the shoreline. Then they sat down to eat and let the sun dry them off.
“Pickles!” Michael had his sandwich in one hand and the now-decapitated pickle in the other. They dived into a bag of Doritos later, their fingers turning orange as they ate.
“My sandwich is sandy,” Michael said after a bit.
Of course. “Duh,” Lincoln replied.
“Lincoln, don’t talk to your brother like that!”
“Sorry,” he muttered. There was sand in his too, but he figured it was part of the deal.
“I brought marshmallows for later,” their mother said, and Lincoln’s eyes lit up for the first time that day. Going to the beach never seemed complete without roasted marshmallows.
When lunch was done, they settled down to playing in the sand before their mother would let them back in the water. Lincoln made a fortress, carefully scooping out the middle and shoring up the sides. He liked to stay closer to the water where the sand was wetter, because it was easier to work with. Michael preferred to go back and forth with buckets of water as he needed them.
After half an hour, the fortress wasn’t looking too bad. It had turret-like mounds, and a decent moat around the outside.
Lincoln got up to see what Michael was doing. Holy— Michael’s castle had a courtyard and a drawbridge, and a wall walk in addition to the moat. He’d used pebbles to mark off the entranceway, pieces of straw near a makeshift stall area in the courtyard, and he’d decorated each of the six turrets with feathers.
Huh. Lincoln’s fortress pretty much looked like crap now in comparison. He stomped right through the middle of it to get a drink, and then walked down to the water again.
“Wait for me!” Michael called, leaving his masterpiece behind. Lincoln was partly submerged by the time he got there.
“Can I ride on your back?” Michael asked, and that was a tradition too. He climbed up, and Lincoln piggybacked him in the water, galumphing unpredictably as Michael giggled and held on tighter.
“Are you ready? I’m gonna launch you.”
“Okay,” Michael said. Lincoln burst up into the air and dumped Michael off into the water below, ducking away from the splash. Michael was up again almost immediately.
“Do it again!” he said, and he clambered back into place. Bounce, bounce, jump, splash! Five more times, and Lincoln was out of breath.
“You’re getting heavy,” he said, and Michael patted him on the side and waited. They’d moved down the shore a little, and the water shifted and poured where they stood.
“Hey!” Michael said suddenly, clinging onto Lincoln.
“What? What is it?”
“Something’s touching me. Something icky.”
“Probably a lake monster,” Lincoln said. “They get hungry after awhile.”
“Mo-o-o-m-m!” and Michael was tearing up out of the water before Lincoln could take it back. He sighed. Sometimes he forgot that Michael couldn’t always tell when he was kidding.
“It’s okay, Michael,” he called out, wading after him. His mother was shaking her head as he approached. “It was only joking,” he said. “It’s just seaweed.”
“This isn’t the ocean—it’s a lake,” Michael insisted.
“Well, yeah, but seaweed still grows in it. Or something like it. Don’t worry about it—it’s just a plant.”
Michael looked at his mother expectantly, and she nodded her head.
“Ready for the marshmallows?” she asked.
“I’ll get some sticks and grass,” Lincoln said. He gathered enough to start a small fire, and his mother set aside a couple of the longer pieces for roasting with.
Once they had a steady flame, they jammed the marshmallows onto the sticks and held them out. Lincoln turned his slowly, watching it brown. Michael moved his too close, and it suddenly caught on fire. He waved it frantically, making the fire grow, until there was a black lump of gunk on his stick. His mother pushed it off into the edge of the fire, and loaded up a new marshmallow. Lincoln’s was perfect, almost burning his mouth a little as he ate it and set up another one.
Michael had charcoal again in no time, and Lincoln gave him his marshmallow instead. “It’s all… gooey.” Michael said. “Yuck.”
“It’s supposed to be like that,” Lincoln answered. “You’re supposed to taste it, not worry about what it feels like.”
“Wis nah oo bad,” Michael said in surprise, mouth full and sticky.
“Patience, Young Skywalker,” Lincoln said, and showed him the slow, careful technique of roasting without getting too close.
After six more marshmallows apiece, they were both nauseated and had had enough. Their mother closed up the bag and broke the sticks up into the fire and burned the remains. Lincoln lay down in the sun and closed his eyes, while Michael sat and watched the water.
But four o’clock, it was time to catch the train again. They shook everything out and folded it back up, putting their clothes back on over their swimsuits. Michael turned back for one last look at the lake as they trudged back to the station. Birds swooped and dived out over the edge and the sun glinted off the water underneath them. It was perfect and beautiful. He would come to remember that day forever.
He fell asleep on Lincoln’s shoulder during the train ride back into the city. His brother dozed back against the seat behind them while their mother watched them sleep.
----- fin -----