Character: Michael (Gen)
Summary: The loneliness of the scheming mind.
It was hard to believe, after all this time, that it had been easier to communicate with his brother when all they had were visiting hours.
Admittedly, they had been far too short, and just a couple of times a week at best. But at least they were guaranteed. Not snatches of conversation flying past each other at random moments, hoping not to get cut off in mid-sentence by a watchful guard.
It had been years since Michael had had the luxury of even being able to touch Lincoln, to be held and to feel safe for the smallest fraction of time before Lincoln disengaged himself emotionally as well as physically. Michael’s hopes had readjusted and shrunk with each change in their situation: plotting courtroom strategies side-by-side during the trial, visiting weekly through a plastic shield, and finally, low voices and whispers trading plans and ideas in the briefest of words as they floated in and out of each others’ orbits—always under suspicion and supervision.
They were closer now in proximity, and yet their time together was farther apart than ever in predictability and control. Sometimes, when the doubts crept into Michael’s head, he wondered if he could be making the biggest mistake ever. If Lincoln’s time came, and they were still inside… he had lost every opportunity to spend meaningful time with his brother at the end. And squandered every bargaining chip he would have had as a civilian instead of a prisoner.
These were the thoughts that plagued him as he watched Lincoln during work duty, hoping to ease his way closer without attracting notice or trouble. Alert for every chance, a passing word or touch, this time went by too quickly—always colored with anxiety.
And in his cell… waiting for the moments when he could nudge the plan forward… there was too much time to think about the despair trying to get a foothold on his heart. It crowded in at every unfocused moment. And it would devour him if he failed.
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