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25 May 2006 @ 11:36 pm
Prison Break Gen Fiction: Flown (Pbreak_Drabbles version)  
Title: Flown
Author: HalfshellVenus
Character: Charles Westmoreland (Gen)
Rating: PG
Summary: What could have been, and what changed it all.
Author’s Notes: Written for pbreak_drabbles Challenge #11 for stories from the finale, “Flight.” I was not satisfied with this for philosophy_20, however, and it has been re-written in the following post.

x-x-x-x-x

Hard to believe he used to be ambitious.

He had it all planned out once. The perfect crime. Riches beyond dreaming and a lifetime to enjoy them.

The irony still just about kills him. He did it. He actually pulled the damned thing off. And then, in the middle of his waiting-it-out-and-lying-low-period… he slipped up. On some entirely unrelated piece of foolishness.

Years of cooling his heels in the pen, and that fortune was still hiding-- locked up where even rats couldn’t use it. He’d gotten older, and prison life was dicey. He might even take that secret to his grave.

He’d quieted down some during his time inside. He never was flashy or loud, but escaping people’s notice became a gift. Keeping alive, waiting out that sentence with his treasured feline friend… he’d settled into the slow drift of nothingness.

Then this kid came along, started digging into the past. Insinuation, persuasion-- like he’d just spill all his secrets and hop onboard some pie-in-the-sky notion of a breakout. He’d seen that tried before. Why should this kid be the genius that succeeded?

Losing Marilyn hadn’t pushed him. Oh, he knew that could happen at some point, though he’d always hoped it wouldn’t. But he could keep on going, die a little bit more inside.

His daughter made the difference. The insane cruelty of keeping a man from his only, dying child until it was entirely too late to matter... that had finally broken the inertia that formed his days.

His risk-taking streak edged on back. First, setting the trigger for arson. Then gambling with the only memento of his daughter. And he’d won that knock-down drag-out with Bellick to save the team’s chances—pretty good for a tired old man.

He’d hung on so damned hard, through every aching, shuffling step down to the end. But now he knew. For him, the journey stopped here. He’d taken that last chance, but an accident had finished it. He wouldn’t make it out to see her. He’d never have that last goodbye.

He knows Michael better now, that he’s more than just some kid. Michael never belonged here, and he’s got too many secrets of his own. But knowing why won’t change what is. There’s something special inside Michael that perceives more than money inside of him. Westmoreland sees it shining through now, in murmured encouragements to keep trying… and then sadness when the hopelessness is clear.

He offers the only thing he has—to the only person who’ll survive and deserve it. He extracts a promise for his daughter—a messenger for his love.

The room glows behind Michael’s head, those eyes swimming before his own in the wavering blue darkness. Sounds of motion he can’t process echo in bursts through his confusion. He slips into the carelessness of nothing as the light fades from the room.

By the time the sirens sound and the floodlights roam the grounds, his journey is complete.

Peace remains. But Westmoreland has flown.


-------- FIN --------
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i'm chris, not dustin (bella): Michael - Cry (animated)accrues on May 26th, 2006 07:03 am (UTC)
*shivers*

Peace remains. But Westmoreland has flown.
Wow.... I love your writing, you always do it so well and fluidly. And in some bits it's almost poetic, like it could be a poem but it's not...

Well, I liked this, it's good to see more Westmoreland out there.. RIP Charles.

I wish I had a more appropriate avatar but this'll do.


The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on May 26th, 2006 08:12 pm (UTC)
in some bits it's almost poetic, like it could be a poem but it's not...

I can't help that style, really-- I think because poetry was too much of my background, and I have an insane love of words and how they flow and brush together.

Well, I liked this, it's good to see more Westmoreland out there.. RIP Charles.
Poor Westmoreland. One of the few escapees I actually liked.

Believe it or not, I decided that this wasn't as emotional a story as I'd intended, so I revised it for a non-pbreak_drabbles version where I don't have the 500-word limit.

Your avatar was perfect. ;) Thank you.
i'm chris, not dustin (bella): Michael - Just a gameaccrues on May 27th, 2006 10:00 am (UTC)
Poor Westmoreland. One of the few escapees I actually liked.
Few? I love them all in their own little ways.. well.. I dont know about T-bag.. :P But certainly Abruzzi, C-Note, Manche, Sucre, Haywire, Michael and Linc!

Believe it or not, I decided that this wasn't as emotional a story as I'd intended, so I revised it for a non-[info]pbreak_drabbles version where I don't have the 500-word limit.
Yeah, I noticed that on my flist.. Thought it was the same but obviously not! I'll go have a look ;) I mean.. more emotion? No way! :P
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Casthalfshellvenus on May 27th, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC)
Few? I love them all in their own little ways.. well..
Oh, I think they're fun. But in terms of who I'd be OK about letting out in society again, Michael, Linc, Sucre, Westmoreland, C-Note yes. T-Bag, Abruzzi and Haywire, no. I have no feeling for Manche at all, except HurleyDude!Cousin. ;)

Yes, the second version IS more emotional. :0
i'm chris, not dustin (bella): Michael - Against fence b&waccrues on May 28th, 2006 01:46 am (UTC)
T-Bag, Abruzzi and Haywire, no.
Oh yeah, but I still think they're fun. I have the small feeling for Manche. He was being used and he almost deserved to go over the wall with them. The only reason he failed was because he was desperate. (Not to mention *cough* huge *cough*)

Yes, the second version IS more emotional. :0
Shall read!
The Good, The Bad and The Lana: westmoreland sad flamethelana on May 26th, 2006 07:20 am (UTC)
I'm so happy you wrote this. So good for Westmoreland to get some decent sendoffs in fic :D

He had it all planned out once. The perfect crime. Riches beyond dreaming and a lifetime to enjoy them.

I always found it interesting how similar he and Michael are in that regard. Both intelligent people who put all their money on the one big con, one big gamble.

I can't help but wonder if Westmoreland was always so calm in his incarceration and with his fate because of why he was there. He had his big awesome plan and then somebody died of it and he went to jail and accepted his fate. It resonated with me, because I could see Michael reacting the same way if it weren't for him still having responsibilities to Lincoln and LJ on the outside (especially with the quotes about how he could see Michael going back to jail after all is said and done).
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Final Hughalfshellvenus on May 26th, 2006 08:17 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy you wrote this. So good for Westmoreland to get some decent sendoffs in fic :D
You might like the longer version better. When I woke up, I wasn't as satisfied with the short version, and I'd had to whittle it down from about 570 words (for the 500-word limit) after already feeling constrained. The new version is about 735 words, and I think the emotion is stronger.

I always found it interesting how similar he and Michael are in that regard. Both intelligent people who put all their money on the one big con, one big gamble.
This is interesting-- I hadn't thought about this parallel at all. They are more sympatico than it first appears...

He had his big awesome plan and then somebody died of it and he went to jail and accepted his fate. It resonated with me, because I could see Michael reacting the same way if it weren't for him still having responsibilities to Lincoln and LJ on the outside (especially with the quotes about how he could see Michael going back to jail after all is said and done).
I can see this too. There was the ideal version of both plans, where no-one was supposed to get hurt. And then the reality, that almost no plan is perfect in its execution, because variables occur along the way. And sometimes, those imperfections are so large that they cannot be forgiven, even to yourself.
The Good, The Bad and The Lana: big smile happy sarathelana on May 26th, 2006 08:23 pm (UTC)
Grin, I'm still trying to sell you on the Pope/Governor Tancredi parallelism about both of them having kids they didn't pay enough attention to and that sank into drugs and who might have been saved if they had just been there for them. I have been thinking about that ever since Pope almost gave the Gov the news in "Flight". Maybe it could even work with Sara alive (since I personally assume that she's alive), Pope warning the Gov not to make the same mistake and keep an eye on her.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Casthalfshellvenus on May 27th, 2006 12:35 am (UTC)
Grin, I'm still trying to sell you on the Pope/Governor Tancredi parallelism about both of them having kids they didn't pay enough attention to and that sank into drugs and who might have been saved if they had just been there for them.
I know, I know. I think I'm going to have to pass on this one. I don't feel even an inkling of inspiration, and I'm gun-shy on Sara because I'm sick of everything I write about her becoming AU! Oy. I have one fic in the pipes for her, but after that.... well. We'll see. *evil glare*

I wrote a Haywire fic. *dances*
Tiger Lilytigerlily0 on May 26th, 2006 07:05 pm (UTC)
That was good. I like reading stories featuring Westmoreland.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: MichaelInBarshalfshellvenus on May 26th, 2006 08:13 pm (UTC)
I'll miss him. He was an interesting guy, and provided a little balance to all the energy and insanity.

I wound up reworking this into a longer version, because this first one didn't quite do him justice...
NoraNora!: AnaLangelrose493 on May 26th, 2006 09:46 pm (UTC)
This is really sad but a nice way to remember him. I miss him, he was awesome.

Love your writing, so poetic and peaceful.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: PB Casthalfshellvenus on May 27th, 2006 12:36 am (UTC)
This is really sad but a nice way to remember him. I miss him, he was awesome.
He brought such a nice touch to the show, and such a different perspective. I will miss his scenes with Michael (for what could have been), C-Note (for the friendship they began), and T-Bag (for the standoffs they'd get into).

Love your writing, so poetic and peaceful.
Thank you! What a lovely thing to say. :)