Characters: Michael, Veronica (Gen)
Summary: It was impossible to think they could save Lincoln, but just as impossible not to try.
Author's Notes: My final Australian Flood Auction Fic for krazykipper.
Also for prisonbreak100, this is "Why?"
Michael was surprised to hear he had a visitor, given that he'd been in prison for less than a week. He had no doubts about who'd come to see him, though.
He'd burned a lot of bridges in his desperation to be sent to Fox River prison before Lincoln's execution. There was only one person left who would even have bothered with him, and she was as stubborn as he was. For once, he couldn't help being grateful.
"Veronica," he said. "You're looking well."
"Cut the crap, Michael. Are you okay in here?"
That wasn't an issue he cared about, right now. He was alive, and the first parts of his plan were already in motion. Those were the only things that mattered. "I'm fine," he said.
Veronica's eyes searched his face as if she might find an explanation for all the things he wouldn't say. "You don't look fine." It sounded like an accusation. "None of this makes any sense," she added, as if that would ever change any of his choices.
Michael regarded her coolly. "It does to me."
"But you can't just… you don’t—"
Michael stiffened, fueled by sudden intensity. "Oh, yes you do."
"You could get killed in here, Michael," Veronica pleaded. "Don't you remember what you said, after Lincoln was arrested?"
He smiled wrily. "Which time?"
"The last time! When we'd both had it with Lincoln and his drugs."
"You said you were giving up on all of this, that you weren't going to keep cleaning up after him."
"So did you," Michael reminded her. "And just look how well that turned out."
They both sat there for a moment, with memories of ultimatums and broken promises between them.
"But what are you doing here, Michael?" Veronica asked softly.
"What I have to."
She looked so scared then, so young. "I can't lose you both," she said. "Give me your word that it won't come to that."
Her words surprised him. Veronica was almost family, but 'almost' was where it stopped. Lincoln had always been what bound them all together—Michael and Veronica were just the weak corners of an inescapable triangle. Without Lincoln, their connection might prove too tenuous to last.
"You know I can't make any promises," Michael said gently.
Veronica drew in a slow, shuddering breath. "Do you really think you can save him?"
"I know I have to try."
She got to her feet, her movements betraying the same weariness as her eyes. "You and me both." Her shoulders sagged a little as she made her way toward the exit. She didn't bother looking back.
Michael watched her go, and waited for a guard to escort him back to his cell. There was still so much to do, and every minute counted. He couldn't ever let himself forget that.
He and Veronica were all that stood between Lincoln and death now, and the odds were far from good.
Thank god neither one of them was the kind of person who would ever think of giving up.
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