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16 October 2005 @ 06:12 pm
Prison Break Fanfiction: "Who He Was" (Lincoln, PG)  
Title: Who He Was
Author: HalfshellVenus
Character: Lincoln (Gen)
Rating: PG
Summary: These are the burdens of being the big brother…

x-x-x

When Michael was a baby, Lincoln’s role had been simple. Don’t make too much noise. Keep the small toys off the floor, and don’t play too rough. He liked to make Michael laugh, with funny faces or tickling his tummy and toes. After many months, he was allowed to read him the occasional story, with Michael snuggled in his lap and his silky baby hair against Lincoln’s cheek.

By the time Michael was two, their father was out the door. Tired of the responsibility, tired of being a grownup, or maybe just tired of them, he had gone out one night and had never come back. In between his mother’s tears and Michael’s crying, Lincoln found himself doing more of the parenting that Michael needed. He knew how to read stories with voices, how to build Lego palaces for Michael to destroy, and how to kiss and bandage the boo-boos while their mother was at work.

Sometimes he wondered why no-one was really taking care of him that way, a seven-year-old boy who needed time and answers too. But at least Michael had him.

At four, Michael was Lincoln’s constant shadow. He was unshakeable, no matter what Lincoln was doing, and could not be persuaded to do anything other than trail after him all day long. Some days it was okay. On others Lincoln just wanted to break free— to just have some time with his friends and do what he wanted to do. On those days he would escape out the back door, leaving Michael crying brokenhearted behind him and with the guilt already eating into his own happiness. But most of the time they had fun together. Lincoln had showed Michael his first frog. He taught him how to swing, and about keeping caterpillars in jars.

And the day Lincoln walked into Michael’s room and found him wearing his underwear on his head and trying to put his tiny little socks on the cat was one he would never forget.

Michael broke his arm when he was seven. Lincoln had gone back into the house for just a minute, and Michael fell out of the maple tree. An ear-splitting scream drew him back outside in an instant, and he rushed to Michael’s side, cradling him in his arms and wondering how bad it was. When the wails and sobs just would not stop, Lincoln knew something was terribly wrong and ran back in for their mother. He crouched there behind her in the back yard, listening to her comfort Michael and feeling the sickness grow in his stomach. He should have been paying more attention. It was his fault.

A year later, Lincoln couldn’t figure out how an eight-year-old could beat him so easily at Monopoly, but that was usually how it went. Still, it was a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. And he proved more than once that tickling can trump strategy pretty darn well.

Nine-year-old Michael was a bully magnet at school. Maybe it was his sarcastic mouth, or the way he always looked like he thought he was smarter than you. The problem was that Michael actually was smarter, and he was too young to know how to keep a lid on it.

Lincoln would go by the elementary school to pick Michael up in the afternoon, and he just couldn’t seem to get there quickly enough. The number of times he found him with torn jeans or a bloody nose just made him run all the faster the next day. Always too late to catch Michael’s tormentors (except for one day that had been particularly satisfying), he could only hold Michael and rock him gently while his own anger mounted. Then they’d go home, and Lincoln would make Michael hot chocolate and sit next to him on the sofa while they watched cartoons until their mother came home.

She died when Michael was eleven. She’d been sick most of the past year, but they had kept hoping she would make it. Lincoln alternated between keeping watch over her and staying out all night, always torn between the extremes of anxiety and guilt. After she was gone, Lincoln tried his best to make up for her. He checked Michael’s homework, made sure his clothes were clean, and held him at night when he cried. It was killing him too, missing her, but he never said anything.

He had to be the strong one…

These thoughts came back to him now, sitting on Michael’s bunk and holding him on his lap as the riot raged on and Michael shook and choked through tears. This monster that Michael had unleashed had gotten people killed and more people hurt. The C.O. he had tried to save had been killed anyway. Michael had to know it was all because of what he had set in motion that day.

For Lincoln, sitting there with his bruised and aching neck and blood on his face, that C.O. had had a name. It was Bob. He was too new, too kind, and he had a family that he loved. He was a good man. And he didn’t treat Lincoln or anyone else like dirt. He had been apologizing to Lincoln just this morning, just hours ago, and now he would never go home again.

But Lincoln didn’t say anything. He never would. He rocked Michael instead, comforting him and letting his own grief gnaw at his heart.

It was hard, always holding and never being held. And, god, sometimes he just felt so tired.

But it was who he was. It was who he had always been.

He hoped it was enough.


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


 
 
 
she said mysteriouslyresounding_echo on October 17th, 2005 03:51 am (UTC)
you are quickly becoming my favorite pb author...
I enjoyed this little thing. I loved your transition into the riot; it was so smooth, nearly seemless.

"It was hard, always holding and never being held. And, god, sometimes he just felt so tired."

This is a great line, and it sets up the end so well. Please keep Linc and Michael fics coming! Slash, implied, or just platonic, I love 'em all.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 17th, 2005 05:49 am (UTC)
Re: you are quickly becoming my favorite pb author...
I think that line you mentioned summons up a lot of what I think about Lincoln.

He's not a martyr, he's just trapped by what he thinks he should do and has to do. And somehow, it is more important than what he might deserve himself. I felt tired for him when I wrote that ending :-*

Glad you liked it!
Marcelademonic_cookie on October 17th, 2005 04:15 am (UTC)
Beautiful as always. Love the way you wrote Lincoln, with the way he represses all his emotions, sacrificing everything he is to keep Michael safe and happy. It really works with the frantic, completely panicking on the inside Lincoln we see in "Riots, Drills, and the Devil Part 2". He's so overly concerned about his brother that he doesn't even acknowledge that he himself may be in danger.

Love your fics, and you know it!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 17th, 2005 05:55 am (UTC)
Thanks! Well, at least I know you like the Lincoln ones, anyway :-P

He seems, let us say, to be undervalued by the fanfic writers. I enjoy giving him some depth.

I agree with you about the ending to the Part 2-- his real focus was that Michael was not being hurt or killed in that riot. The fact that he must have felt half-dead himself after being strangled and beaten did not seem to register.

This is the reverse direction of that brotherly devotion, and in this fic, you could say that while it is costing Michael now (in prison), it has been costing Lincoln his entire life-- and still does.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 17th, 2005 05:57 am (UTC)
Is this you posting in the "Television Without Pity" forum, on Letters to the Inmates?

"Dear Michael,
Do you like me? Check yes or no and slide this letter into the nearest vent. It will then be delivered to me via the sewers. The day after I receive your answer you will see a bald man wink at you. This will either mean that I'll find you and we'll live happily ever after, or you're about to get shivved. Depends on your answer."

This cracked me up.
The Good, The Bad and The Lana: michael geeky smilethelana on October 17th, 2005 11:19 am (UTC)
Loved it. (then, what else is new)

I kind of kept picturing my baby nephew and how he interacts with his younger sister (even though they are just 2 years apart). It's amazing what kind of unique interaction such young children can have already.

At four, Michael was Lincoln’s constant shadow. He was unshakeable, no matter what Lincoln was doing, and could not be persuaded to do anything other than trail after him all day long.

I can so picture that. Ditto for the Michael and the cat episode.

Loved the whole regret about the CO's death part. In fact, the whole ending/last few paragraphs.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 17th, 2005 05:43 pm (UTC)
Yes, I (gasp) actually have children, so I have some experience in this area. The bonds, the battles, and the absolute weirdness of the things they do.

The ending was meant to be something you could imagine happening offscreen, before the riot settled down and someone showed up to take Lincoln home. Considering that he was willing to take on 9 inmates (including T-Bag, who loves his knives)to protect that poor C.O., I think he would have agonized over him dying despite all their best efforts.
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on October 17th, 2005 08:39 pm (UTC)
One of the most amusing things my nephew does is sit on his sister and pick at her face. My sis in law always freaks out (because the niece [who can't even crawl yet] always has some minor scabs on her face because of it) and he sits there all innocently and says "But Ines likes it. See she laughs.". And she totally does. She adores her brother already. She used to be quite a morose baby (at least compared to him) and nobody can make her laugh like he can.

Errr, end of boring self experienced baby story. :)
One zarkin frood: PB - Brothers: true love never diesscarletumbrella on October 17th, 2005 04:06 pm (UTC)
Wow. You draw the characters so realistically... One can't help being drawn in emotionally. This was a beautiful piece. I absolutely love the perspective with which you see Lincoln. I agree with the others -- keep it up! :) I look forward to reading more from you.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 17th, 2005 05:45 pm (UTC)
This is about the highest praise one can get. I try to get inside them myself, to express them for the reader.

I'll just be over in my happy place now... :-)
skippy_peanutsskippy_peanuts on October 25th, 2005 07:27 am (UTC)
i like it
i might have reviewed this over on ff.net but oh well. i really like this story. its so cute. and just.. i dont know. its good. i dont know if you have other stories at the moment but if you do i'd like to read them.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 25th, 2005 02:34 pm (UTC)
Re: i like it
Multiple reviews are even more loved :-)

Check out my homepage on LJ (follow my username).

I organized my fics over the weekend (in the painfully late hours).

Everything that is completed and posted is available there now.
dawnstarrisingdawnstarrising on February 12th, 2006 01:06 am (UTC)
*sniff* again
Poor Linc!

Beautifully written as always.

"But it was who he was. It was who he had always been." and "It was hard, always holding and never being held. And, god, sometimes he just felt so tired."

Quite heart breaking really. I want to give him a big hug and tell him its ok.

How do you always make me want to cry?

Thank you.

D



The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lincoln by always2nlhalfshellvenus on February 12th, 2006 01:17 am (UTC)
Re: *sniff* again
How do you always make me want to cry?

I'm just glad these stories resonate so well that they make you feel this much. :)

This one, "Who He Was," is probably the hands-down favorite of my Genfics among other readers. I imagine you know why now :)
dawnstarrisingdawnstarrising on February 12th, 2006 01:23 am (UTC)
Re: *sniff* again
This one, "Who He Was," is probably the hands-down favorite of my Genfics among other readers. I imagine you know why now :)

I most certainly do. Poor man hasn't had someone to care for him in a long time. Certainly would explain a lot of things in hes done in his younger years.
faithinfaithfaithinfaith on February 12th, 2006 04:05 pm (UTC)
I really loved the pace of this story and the warm feeling it left inside. Kind of made me wish I'd have a big brother like Lincon, but the real genius part is the undelying angst. The fear of faliure, the feeling of not being good enough and -- of course -- the guilt!

great work! And this time I didn't even had to cry. ;)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lincoln by always2nlhalfshellvenus on February 12th, 2006 05:51 pm (UTC)
the underlying angst. The fear of faliure, the feeling of not being good enough and -- of course -- the guilt!

You can see how someone who needed more in his own life, and instead wound up providing that for someone else, might never be sure he was doing it right, or doing enough, and all the while missing all of those things for himself. And with years of living with that, he might just step away from all responsibility and all desire to try for awhile (that period where Lincoln was involved with drugs).

great work! And this time I didn't even had to cry. ;)
Glad you liked it! Hope to hear from you again!

tyrical: AP_aJolietyrical on April 14th, 2006 02:34 am (UTC)
From son to brother to father in a few short years.

I understand why Lincoln would turn to drugs, why he made some of the choices he made.I understand that we are who we are and it takes and extraordinary amount of effort to change it. Sometimes we try and fail and try and fail again. Never quite getting to that place.

I wonder would there ever be a time where Lincoln could get that kind of shelter or has he gotten to the point where that need is a moot point?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lincoln (pensive)halfshellvenus on April 16th, 2006 05:26 am (UTC)
From son to brother to father in a few short years.
And too-soon not fully a child, which hard on its own.

I understand why Lincoln would turn to drugs, why he made some of the choices he made.I understand that we are who we are and it takes and extraordinary amount of effort to change it. Sometimes we try and fail and try and fail again. Never quite getting to that place.
I can see Lincoln shouldering that responsibility, and trying to do his best... and at the same time, wanting to just run from it at times. NOT wanting to be the glue that holds everything together. And of course, the problem with drugs is that once you start down that road (for instance, because you are tired of struggling to cope)... your ability to cope will be reduced in the future. And then... your cycle is self-creating. :(

I wonder would there ever be a time where Lincoln could get that kind of shelter or has he gotten to the point where that need is a moot point?
It's a good question. In the "Paradise" Universe he does, obviously. But can't you see Michael just fearing an instant backslide on Lincoln's part? Because the other possibility is that the kind of man who has tried to escape his problems in the past with drugs... might be the same kind of man who would escape all those left-over negative feelings from conspiracy/near-execution/etc. in exactly that same way. I.e., has lost all hope of really enjoying his life and is instead just waiting to get back to the most effective way of escaping all of it.

A horrifying thought, but not outside of realistic possibilities, is it?
(Anonymous) on April 15th, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC)
Wow
You gave a great insite to Lincon. Tieing in with the show at the end was marvelous. It all flowed and kept a picture in my head. Brilliant!
Cant wait to read more of you works.

W~B
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lincoln (pensive)halfshellvenus on April 16th, 2006 05:19 am (UTC)
Re: Wow
You gave a great insite to Lincon.
The character is so... cryptic... on the show that he kind of inspires the next to fill him out and understand him better. Of all the Prison Break characters, he is my favorite to write for.

Tieing in with the show at the end was marvelous. It all flowed and kept a picture in my head. Brilliant!
I had started the basic concept for this story (and didn't do much with it) about 4 weeks before that end-of-the-riot episode aired. And once it did... that was the strong ending I was looking for to tie this piece together. The rest of it filled itself in after that.

Glad you liked it-- hope to see you around again! Thanks!