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30 March 2006 @ 04:57 pm
Prison Break FanFiction: The Waking Dream  
Author: HalfshellVenus
Category: Lincoln and Michael (Genfic)
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Lincoln’s POV. Post-episode 115, “By The Skin and The Teeth”-- after the reprieve.
Author’s Notes: Yes, another dark one. Written for the pbreak_drabbles prompt of “Post-By The Skin And the Teeth”, and also for the prisonbreak100 challenge, where I have the Gen pairing of Lincoln and Michael (this is for the prompt of “Ends.”).

x-x-x-x-x

Can’t-breathe-can’t-breathe-can’t-breathe

There’s no air inside the hood-- he’s suffocating in all this darkness. His hands grip the chair’s arms, his legs harden with the need to bolt up and escape. His whole body is tense, just waiting… waiting… and god-please-hurry and sorry-Michael and he’s sweat-drenched and dizzy and then his mind is drifting, numbing as the waiting stretches out.

They’re taking the hood off. Why are they taking it off?

Oxygen drifts into his brain, too slowly to dispel the fog. Did it already happen? He doesn’t remember feeling anything.

They lift him up out of the chair, onto his feet. His legs are shaking and his mouth is full of panic-shot saliva, and he just might vomit if he moves. Water from the sponge is still dripping down his face, into his eyes, and it stings. He feels it.

Maybe it didn’t happen.

They lead him back into the hallway, where the light crowds in on him and noises move in dull clouds against his ears. Table. Chair. Michael.

If Michael is here, maybe he’s not dead. Maybe.

The touch of Michael’s hand is solid. Real. Veronica is here too, talking, pressing in on him, but he’s got nothing to give her. There is nothing left even for himself anymore. He is husked-out and hollow, a shadow that should no longer exist.

Words echo, slurry. The sensation of his own voice rumbling out of his chest surprises him. He said something, but it’s already gone. It’s fallen back into nothingness just as if it never was.

Michael’s sharp eyes pierce him for a moment, an expression that is too complex to process. It’s probably love. It all comes down to that in the end. It’s underneath everything Michael has ever said or done to him, done for him.

He is so tired he could fall asleep right here, and when the guards stumble him to his cell he welcomes the sight of that soulless cave. The bed, the darkness-- he embraces them and returns to the sleep he never left.

In. Out. Dreams and questions and memories… He awakes in blackness, dreams of sunlight, slipping in and out of sleep for minutes/hours/days.

The afterlife should be more vivid, he thinks, but no-one has ever answered from experience whether that’s true.

This could be happening, or it could be death. It could be another nightmare, or just a phantasm born out of the last impulses of his dying brain.

He doesn’t know. And it doesn’t matter. Someone will tell him if he needs to wake up.

He sleeps.


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



 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lincoln (pensive)halfshellvenus on March 31st, 2006 04:12 am (UTC)
Lincoln *did* look like a husked-out hollow empty man in the ep. You captured that wonderfully with your words and painted imagery.
Just like last week, I didn't think I was going to write this one either (I had to get some distance from this episode, once again). But out of the post-episode things that might have matched the pbreak_drabbles challenge, this is the one that seemed to most need to be written.

Because Lincoln was so numb, as if part of him had died in that chair anyway. And it needed an explanation, I thought.

Such a tragic episode. I was so glad that phone call came, although sooner would certainly have been better. :(
wentworth801 on March 31st, 2006 02:42 am (UTC)
Loved this! This scene was soo chilling! Thanks for giving us words to go along with it!!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lincoln (pensive)halfshellvenus on March 31st, 2006 04:13 am (UTC)
It was just horrifying, going so close to the end.

And afterward, after all the fear and anxiety and anger... Lincoln was so withdrawn and out-of-it. I thought we needed an explanation of why.
Kimberley: PB: by everlynlampshade_days on March 31st, 2006 03:30 am (UTC)
Wow. This is intense.

The touch of Michael’s hand is solid. Real. Veronica is here too, talking, pressing in on him, but he’s got nothing to give her. There is nothing left even for himself anymore. He is husked-out and hollow, a shadow that should no longer exist.

*wibbles* That's just so right on (as is every other part of this fic) that I can't even begin to explain how right on it is.

Moving, insightful work. *applauds*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lincoln (pensive)halfshellvenus on March 31st, 2006 04:16 am (UTC)
*wibbles* That's just so right on (as is every other part of this fic) that I can't even begin to explain how right on it is.

Thank you so much. His behavior was different than I might have expected in that scene, and it really motivated me to dig deeper and make sense of what was going on inside him. Not relief. Not elation. More like a part of him was stolen that might never return to him.

I always appreciate your thoughtful comments so much, Kim. You see into my work very well. :)
alienmomalienmom on March 31st, 2006 03:36 am (UTC)
that was amazing! poor linc, he doesn't even know if he's dead or alive! the man is in shock!

This could be happening, or it could be death. It could be another nightmare, or just a phantasm born out of the last impulses of his dying brain.

poignant and heartbreaking at the same time. thank you for putting a 'voice' to that whole scene.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on March 31st, 2006 04:20 am (UTC)
poor linc, he doesn't even know if he's dead or alive! the man is in shock!
He sure seemed to be. That's the only explanation for that behavior.

How can he be sure? When it went so close to the end and there was no hope left at all. What if this is the aftermath of the thing he feared after all?

He'll straighten it out eventually, but I think initially... every part of it is so unbelievable to him that the distinction between Real/Not-Real is more than he can make.
The Good, The Bad and The Lana: brothers execution hugthelana on March 31st, 2006 08:39 am (UTC)
I love this soooo much. It really makes me wish that we could have seen more of the psychological state Lincoln was in, more of the build up towards it, instead of it just being an afterthought of the show. Because it just strikes me as such an interesting thing to explore. Have you seen zsuness preview clip? Especially under that light.

I think I love this part the best: They lead him back into the hallway, where the light crowds in on him and noises move in dull clouds against his ears. Table. Chair. Michael.

If Michael is here, maybe he’s not dead. Maybe.


It's just so *guh*. Kinda reminds me a bit of a reverse of alazysod's team drabble. *squishes it*

I love him walking in a daze and still wondering if this is death, and if this is hell and why it didn't hurt/he didn't feel anything.

The Veronica part, so cold. I guess I kind of always assumed that he didn't even feel or notice it and that's why he didn't react (while he still notices Michael).
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lincoln (pensive)halfshellvenus on March 31st, 2006 05:19 pm (UTC)
It really makes me wish that we could have seen more of the psychological state Lincoln was in, more of the build up towards it, instead of it just being an afterthought of the show.
WORD. It's a big part of why I wrote this one-- there was a gaping hole in the episode in going to the really psychologically interesting place (because they went to the flashy at!the!last!minute! place instead).

I love him walking in a daze and still wondering if this is death, and if this is hell and why it didn't hurt/he didn't feel anything.
And how could he know, at this point? All his chances were gone, as far as he's aware.

The Veronica part, so cold. I guess I kind of always assumed that he didn't even feel or notice it and that's why he didn't react (while he still notices Michael).
Thinking about the way she touched him.... it was in a way that would be less _comforting_ to a person and more demanding somehow. They've been estranged, and she drops this "loved you forever" bomb on him right before they lead him into the chair and... it's too much. She's not in the position right now to take those liberties with him, and he's just not up to being sensitive or polite. Can you blame him?
The Good, The Bad and The Lana: Veronica only hopethelana on March 31st, 2006 06:59 pm (UTC)
Thinking about the way she touched him.... it was in a way that would be less _comforting_ to a person and more demanding somehow. They've been estranged, and she drops this "loved you forever" bomb on him right before they lead him into the chair and... it's too much. She's not in the position right now to take those liberties with him, and he's just not up to being sensitive or polite. Can you blame him?

You should write serious and unhappy Lincoln/Veronica. Like both their point of views and why they messed up.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: DominicSexyhalfshellvenus on March 31st, 2006 07:26 pm (UTC)
You should write serious and unhappy Lincoln/Veronica. Like both their point of views and why they messed up.
It's hard to tell how many times they've been through it (at least two, I think), and I know I alluded to his side of it in "Waiting For Yes," when Lincoln's being asked to make a choice about his future with Michael.

But yes, getting into the questions of what/why/when things went wrong would be interesting.
The Good, The Bad and The Lana: Lincthelana on March 31st, 2006 07:29 pm (UTC)
I oculd totally picture something about contrasting POV. Like what he sees in something and what she seems in something and how it just totally doesn't match at all.
PamalaX: mikehuglincpamalax on March 31st, 2006 03:40 pm (UTC)
There is nothing left even for himself anymore. He is husked-out and hollow, a shadow that should no longer exist.

That is exactly what I saw on his face, in his eyes, as this scene played out on screen.

Perfect way to say it!! BRAVO!!

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on March 31st, 2006 05:21 pm (UTC)
That is exactly what I saw on his face, in his eyes, as this scene played out on screen.

Me too. And I'm so sorry they didn't GO anywhere with it, that they jumped off onto a ooh-conspiracy? tangent instead. (please keep the "24" writers away from "Prison Break." I love them both, but they serve different needs. Thanks.

Thank you for your wonderful comments, Pamala. :D
mooyoo: Linc - Sadmooyoo on March 31st, 2006 11:02 pm (UTC)
Woah, dark and kind of creepy (my first reaction, oddly enough, was "yikes!" - but not in a bad way), and intense. His not knowing whether he's alive or dead is very... yeah, intense I think is the best word. Very intense. And good. Liked this one very much.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on March 31st, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC)
Woah, dark and kind of creepy (my first reaction, oddly enough, was "yikes!" - but not in a bad way), and intense.
Can you imagine going through that? What would you think, in his place-- all drugged out by your own stress and the unrealness of the whole situation?

The way he looked in that episode, the way he behaved afterward-- this seemed the best explanation for why he was so numb there.

Glad you liked it, though it definitely was dark. But not much moreso than the show, really. :(
mooyoo: M/L - ExecutionReflectionmooyoo on April 1st, 2006 12:03 am (UTC)
Can you imagine going through that? What would you think, in his place-- all drugged out by your own stress and the unrealness of the whole situation?

Oh yeah, definitely, why it felt so dark - because it feels very true, and goes along very well with the numb, almost deadened look he had as they brought him back from the execution.

But not much moreso than the show, really. :(

Especially these last two episodes, eesh. So heavy.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lincoln (pensive)halfshellvenus on April 1st, 2006 12:05 am (UTC)
I aim for the truth, definitely-- even when it's dark and unhappy. :(

Fabulous new icon, as if Lincoln is already a ghost and Michael's pain will never end. Yeesh. Now that's dark.
tyrical: PB_L_sorrowtyrical on April 2nd, 2006 12:40 pm (UTC)
I just couldn't imagine being put through all that. Knowing you're going to die and then finally making peace or at least come to some understanding with that and then nothing. That immediate feeling of being lost and gone, not knowing or caring what was what.

Which was so beautifully written here.

The Chinese were right the anticipation of death is worse than death itself.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lincoln (pensive)halfshellvenus on April 2nd, 2006 06:09 pm (UTC)
then finally making peace or at least come to some understanding with that and then nothing. That immediate feeling of being lost and gone, not knowing or caring what was what.
Exactly-- as if your soul has died before the rest of you, and though your body is there you are not really in it any more.

The Chinese were right the anticipation of death is worse than death itself.
For the victim, it's certainly true. Death is quick, even when it is painful, but waiting for it when you know it's coming would seem to last forever. :(
miss_mazzie on April 3rd, 2006 01:01 am (UTC)
Very interesting concept. Can you just imagine having to go through all of that just so you can do it again? I would think the next 2 weeks (or however long he has before the next time around) will be even worse than the anticipation of the execution the first time around. I do think a piece of Linc died. An optimist would say that colors must look brighter and flowers smell sweeter after near-death like that, but I don't think so. If anything, the shadows of everything probably just get darker.

Thanks for a great fic... again... per your usual.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lincoln (pensive)halfshellvenus on April 3rd, 2006 01:34 am (UTC)
Can you just imagine having to go through all of that just so you can do it again?
That's the even worse thing. As far as we know, he's going to have to go through that AGAIN. Ugh!

I don't think so. If anything, the shadows of everything probably just get darker.
I think if it was true reprieve, then over time his appreciation for life would grow. But it's isn't anything safe or lasting, there is no guarantee. Why start to live again when you're already dead? :(

Thank you so much for your insightful comments, miss_mazzie. :D
Ice-T: an actor, also a refreshing beverage: PB M/L hugfiddleyoumust on April 5th, 2006 07:37 pm (UTC)
The touch of Michael’s hand is solid. Real.

I love this line so much. There are so many underlying emotions in those two sentences.

It’s probably love. It all comes down to that in the end. It’s underneath everything Michael has ever said or done to him, done for him.

Another fabulous couple of lines. They are so wound up together in everything they do. I really love that Michael is the one person he can acutally focus on and internalize about after everything that's happened.

This is so haunting and sad. I'm really glad that you gave us some insight into Lincoln's head in the aftermath of that scene. The actual writers gave us so little to work with.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lincoln (pensive)halfshellvenus on April 5th, 2006 08:04 pm (UTC)
They are so wound up together in everything they do. I really love that Michael is the one person he can acutally focus on and internalize about after everything that's happened.
In his daze, that's the one thing that seems to permeate. And perhaps to hint that he made it after all-- at least for now.

This is so haunting and sad. I'm really glad that you gave us some insight into Lincoln's head in the aftermath of that scene. The actual writers gave us so little to work with.
Thank you, Julia! I'm not sure why they neglected something as interesting as a man who had been walked up and bolted down in the Electric Chair-- and then reprieved at the very last second-- in favor of showing us Michael creeping through pipes and around the Whack Shack again and again and again. It's such an odd choice. So much of the show is strangely and woefully underwritten, and this was a stunning example. If you're going to go to that dark, dark place... MAKE something of your opportunity.