Characters: Lincoln, Michael (Gen)
Summary (Pre-Series): Lincoln had never been where Michael was going.
Author's Notes: An Australian Flood Auction fic for krazykipper, who wanted Michael and Lincoln on Michael's first day of college.
Also for prisonbreak100 ("Today").
"Got everything?" Lincoln asked. It was mostly out of habit. Lincoln had never been where Michael was going.
Today, Michael started college.
It would probably be a lot like high school, Lincoln thought. Michael would take the El instead of a bus, and all his classes would be farther apart. But the backpack and books and sack lunch were the same. So was Lincoln's question, even though Michael had been doing all of his own organizing for a couple of years.
"Got it," Michael said. He couldn't seem to stop smiling, as if he wasn't sure this was really happening. "I can't believe Mom saved the money for this," he added.
Lincoln nodded calmly, the lie behind the truth all too fresh. There'd never been any money before he'd found a way to borrow it, and he'd be struggling to repay it for a long time to come. But that wasn't for Michael to know, now or ever.
Lincoln would never have had much of a future anyway, but Michael was going to be somebody. With this, Lincoln was making sure of it.
I should say something, Lincoln thought, searching for the right kinds of words. "I'm really… proud of you, Michael," he finally said.
Michael ducked his head and grinned. "Thanks."
"You ready?" Lincoln asked.
Michael nodded vigorously. "Yeah."
Lincoln stepped in close and put his arm around Michael. "Go get 'em."
Michael picked up his backpack and headed for the door. "I'll be back by dinner."
"Okay." That was familiar too, but everything suddenly felt off-balance. Michael was growing up, and Lincoln was happy for him, but this was new territory for them both. All Lincoln could do was hope.
"You'd better still be humble," he called after Michael.
"Not a chance," Michael laughed.
Lincoln grinned, feeling oddly reassured by Michael's burst of confidence.
Despite everything they'd been through, it was a sign that Lincoln had clearly done something right.
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