Category: Lincoln and Michael (Gen, Humor)
Rating: PG (Language)
Summary: Lincoln’s POV on another side of Michael. Persistence isn’t always a good thing…
Author’s Notes: Post-Escape, written for the prisonbreak100 challenge (Prompt #90, “Home”). This is a different slant on Michael, but still within the limits of reason.
When Lincoln opened the door to their rented house, he noticed a funny smell.
He didn’t think much of it at first. It could be anything—including Michael’s cooking. Or something trapped under the house. He was unloading groceries in the kitchen when a sudden snarl of swearwords promptly got his attention.
Michael was in the bathroom, surrounded by wrenches and towels and half of the toilet’s plumbing dumped in a bucket.
“Need a hand?” Lincoln offered. Michael face hardened as he shook his head. “Anything I can do to help?” Lincoln asked again.
Michael’s eyes became steely, his voice deep and flat. “Go away,” he ground out. Lincoln put his hands up in apology and went into the living room.
There was a scarred black-and-white television there, and Lincoln turned it on and flipped through the channels. Everything was in Spanish, and he didn’t understand enough of it yet to follow the dialogue, so he kept the sound low. He found one of those mysterious shows featuring people dressed up as plants and brides and kings. They were weirdly entertaining, and even knowing what was going on wouldn’t have helped much. It was perfect.
He sprawled on the ratty sofa, jiggling his leg and wondering exactly how long ago Michael had taken the toilet apart. Lincoln had been out running errands most of the morning, and… God. He hoped it wasn’t since then. Any time Michael couldn’t fix something right away, things tended to get ugly.
A dull thunk echoed through the wall, followed by “Sonofabitch!” Lincoln got a good-sized piece of meat out of the freezer and carried it to the bathroom. Michael glared accusingly, but accepted it in rigid silence. Lincoln backed out of the room.
As a Freshman in high school, Michael had opened up the back of the range to fix a heating coil. They hadn’t been able to cook anything for a month, and Michael got so increasingly frustrated about it that Lincoln ate at friends’ houses whenever he could. Finally, he woke up one morning to the smell of eggs cooking on the stove.
They never spoke of it.
Michael had gotten very good with electronics over time, and god—the miracles he’d worked at Fox River Prison were amazing. He was incredibly skilled at home repairs in general except for… the occasional incident. And there was nothing like someone else’s ham-fisted installation and a lack of replacement parts to set the stage for disaster.
Lincoln thumbed through a book restlessly as growls spilled out from the hallway. He rolled his eyes. Michael was really locked in a Dance of Death with the plumbing. Aggravation was in the air, and it was wearing on Lincoln’s nerves. He was getting into a sledgehammering mood, which was bad. First, because they didn’t have a sledgehammer. And second, the house was half-falling down anyway.
He was about ready to just disappear for the afternoon—except for the small possibility that Michael might kill himself in there—when an idea formed.
He pulled a Modello out of the fridge, and drank half of it in one long swallow. He took a second bottle to Michael.
Michael’s tone was dangerously dry. “Do you really think this will help?”
“I doubt it’ll hurt,” Lincoln admitted. He opened the bottle up and handed it over, then barricaded himself in the bedroom for awhile.
It was dark when he woke up. He moved quietly into the living room and found Michael asleep on the sofa.
The next stop was the bathroom, which looked no better than it had been before. Still, the key part of the job had been accomplished just by getting Michael out of there.
Lincoln closed the door quietly, and picked up the wrench.
Sometimes the right tool for the job was far less important than who exactly was holding the damn thing. Lincoln might not have any better luck with fixing that lousy, half-assed excuse for a bathroom fixture. But he had way more experience with crappy workmanship than Michael did. And he definitely had the advantage of lower expectations…
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