Characters: Lincoln, T-Bag (Gen, Humor)
Summary: An often irresistible force meets an immoveable object.
Author’s Notes: Written for pbreak_drabbles (the “Free For All” challenge), this idea came out of a “Stories I Never Wrote You” prompt for Five Ways T-Bag Didn’t Almost Die. I might someday write that larger story, but until then...
Lincoln was unpacking his fourteen possessions into his GenPop cell when someone slid around the doorway like water easing around a rock.
“You’re new here, now, aren’t you?”
The man was wiry and intense under that lazy style of speaking. Lincoln glanced over warily, but kept on putting things away.
“The name is Theodore Bagwell. Folks call me T-Bag. And you must be Lincoln Burrows. Pleased to meet you.”
Lincoln nodded, and stuck the pillow in its case.
“Fox River can be a confused and conflicted place at times. We’ve got societies here,” T-Bag continued. “Might be worth your attention. Are you a man who feels the pride of untainted skin?”
“No,” Lincoln answered shortly. He knew that line, even from his stints in Juvie. It was the kind of opener used to feel out new blood for the Aryan Brotherhood.
The stranger leaned against the wall as if his welcome was understood. “Discourse, then. Philosophies and discussion.”
“No.” Lincoln folded the edges of the sheets around his bunk. Stuck on the bottom—for now—he’d be kept awake by every shift and roll of his cellmate for at least the next week.
“Well perhaps you’re more a man of action. Weightlifting and sports and what-not.” The man came closer, his eyes sweeping appraisingly over Lincoln’s body. “There’re plenty of ways to pass the time here. Some might consider me to be a veritable expert on that.”
Lincoln’s voice became firm. “No.”
T-Bag let out a small noise of exasperation. “Do you know any words a’tall that aren’t No?”
Lincoln turned around swiftly, backing the man against the wall. He clenched the front of T-Bag’s shirt with one hand, and pulled the other one back in warning.
“Yes,” Lincoln said dangerously, “I do. But most of them are in the language of Fist.”
The man blinked, but never lowered his eyes. He waited, making no concessions to that threat, and after a moment Lincoln pushed himself back and kept on glaring.
T-Bag moved casually toward the door, rolling his neck as if the world held no worry. He held his head high as he ambled around the corner— still as confident and unperturbed as ever.
It didn’t matter. Lincoln was just as familiar with this dance as T-Bag. And he knew T-Bag had understood.
They always did.
Lincoln was particularly skilled in that style of communication.
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