Pairing: Lincoln/Michael (slash, slight AU)
Summary: Post-Escape, established relationship. The journey south continues after a new form of relationship has begun.
Author’s Notes: Written for lissa_bear's birthday, this covers both romance and Water Sex (she wanted water sex ages ago). This continues in the “Shape of Freedom” universe, which is AU in that Lincoln and Michael escape from Fox River by themselves and begin journeying south. This follows after "Riding Out The Storm" in this larger series. Also written for fanfic100, where I have the slash pairing of Lincoln and Michael. This is for prompt #29, "Birth."
In the calendar of days since their escape, the seventh night was spent by a river.
They had driven twelve hours that day, until their bones ached against the car seats. Finally, they stopped to pitch a tent above the river bank on a quiet stretch of road..
“Why not closer to the water?” Lincoln had asked.
“Flash flood,” Michael responded. As usual, he had done his homework.
The water was a little muddy after yesterday’s storm, but still cool and inviting in contrast to the heat.
“We can swim in it though, right?” Lincoln asked.
“Yeah,” Michael reassured him. “Just don’t swallow.” Lincoln looked so flummoxed at that phrasing that Michael burst out laughing. “I mean, you know—the water,” he said.
They finished setting up their campsite, getting the basics out of the way. Michael scrubbed a few clothes in the river and hung them up on a makeshift clothesline while Lincoln gathered wood for the fire they’d need later.
And then their clothes were shed like shackles as the lure of liquid drew them in.
God, it felt so good to be wet all over. To sink into the cool, swirling sweep of rejuvenation after so many days of unbearable heat.
Michael splashed the water up over his arms and chest, enjoying the relief from the sunlight baking his skin. He watched his brother sink down and sit in the shallows, the river gathering and eddying around him in whirlpool fashion. Lincoln became one with the water, leaning back into its cleansing caress. His smile was completely relaxed, soothing Michael like a forgotten memory returning from the past.
Michael sat down beside him, realizing that he would never have thought of something so simple himself. This was perfect— just sitting here, enjoying the river so effortlessly. It was glorious, this tranquility and delicious, slipping softness.
“What are you smiling at?” Lincoln’s eyes had opened enough to see the quiet happiness on Michael’s face.
“You,” Michael answered.
“Me?” Lincoln asked. “Why?”
“It’s just nice to see you having a good time. You haven’t had a lot of opportunity to do that.”
Lincoln laughed. “Isn’t that the truth.” He put his arm around Michael’s shoulder, pulling him over for a hug. “Just being out here is a miracle in itself.” He leaned against his brother, eyes drifting up to the sky. Occasional clouds lay unmoving against the glare of blue, frozen in place by the stillness of the air. “I feel like a new person out here, like I’m getting a chance to start everything over.”
“You are,” Michael said softly. “And so am I. We can’t be ourselves anymore, not with the way things sit. But that means we can invent who we want to be, creating ourselves as we go.”
“It’d be great not to be such a fuck-up this time around.” Lincoln smiled wryly. “I could hardly do a worse job than I did before.”
Michael looked over at him, thinking how many times he’d heard that in the last few years. “Not everything you did was bad, Lincoln,” he said. “I’m proof of that, if you need a reminder.”
“I still managed to drag you down with me.” Lincoln would not look at Michael then, at the evidence of where his choices had led them. “No matter how hard I tried, it still happened.”
Michael put a firm hand on Lincoln’s arm, drawing his attention back to him. “I’m here by choice,” Michael said. “And that’s all that matters. I would never have been happy again if you weren’t here too.”
“There has to be more to your life than me,” Lincoln said.
“Not anything more important than you. That’s what family’s all about.”
Lincoln smiled sadly, but he reached over and hugged Michael all the same. “I don’t deserve you,” he murmured.
“You made me,” Michael answered. “So if anyone does, it’s you.”
Lincoln laughed, bound by Michael’s logic yet again. He cupped a hand around Michael’s face, stroking his thumb over those gentle lips and following it with a kiss.
Michael felt that forbidden touch jolt straight through his body, enslaving him with his own desperately buried desire. He could not fully believe Lincoln wanted this too, and each altered moment was a gift he neither expected nor hoped to have again. He kissed softly in return, never pushing or presuming, and waited to see where things would lead. The increased pressure on his lips, the caressing of his face and the movement against his mouth, gave him his answer. He kissed more passionately, his response both acknowledgement and welcome. And Lincoln fell into it, swiftly, surely, his whole body joining in with a lifetime of confidence behind it.
Lincoln guided Michael backwards until he was lying down, his face above the water and the rest of him gradually submerged. The stroke of Lincoln’s hand down a path from shoulder to groin made Michael gasp, and his mouth opened to Lincoln’s as he drowned in the sensation of sharp-edged need. Michael shifted under Lincoln’s hand, then stilled against the reminder of rocks below him. His reached for Lincoln’s hip, holding on with no coherent purpose. He wanted it closer, wanted Lincoln closer, wanted him just there as Lincoln rubbed him into a climax that shocked him with its speed.
Michael lay there breathless, quieting under Lincoln’s languorous touch. Looking into Lincoln’s eyes, he found himself held fast in their tender regard. It was too good to be believed, too amazing to be real. Yet it was there. It was his. And it meant more than any words he could ever summon.
He drew Lincoln down for another kiss, turning and repositioning him as he moved Lincoln onto his back. He started slower than Lincoln, tracing that broad chest under the water, sweeping his hand across the planes of Lincoln’s stomach. He moved his hand lower, just next to but not touching the part of Lincoln that ached for him. Pressing a languid half-circle above and over to the other side, he teased Lincoln with his hand and appeased him with his kiss. Finally, a brush across the middle brought forth the satisfaction of Lincoln bucking up into that moment of promise. Michael rubbed with deliberate care, arousing in one moment, and cupping his hand in the next to force the flow of water against Lincoln’s most sensitive spots.
He pulled his head back a moment just to watch what he was doing to his brother. Lincoln’s head tilted back with the progression of arousal, his cheeks flushed under those wet, dark lashes. Michael focused his attentions, and Lincoln writhed and quickened his breathing. It was so entrancing, so fluid, this moment of holding Lincoln on the brink—in and out of the water, held between the past and the unknown future.
When Michael leaned down to kiss him again, moving into hard and skillful strokes, Lincoln arched up in surrender as the river washed away all traces and sounds of his release.
Michael shifted down to lay his head against Lincoln’s chest, listening to the falling rhythms of Lincoln’s heart and the leap and splash of the water surrounding them both.
It was so peaceful here, a lull in their journey as the sense of hurrying got put aside.
They had crossed over, from outrunning the past to beginning the present, transitioning from fugitive to forgotten as they drove down Mexico to their destination in a country beyond.
It was a new life that awaited them—where the only constant they took with them was the unchanging aspect of their inescapable devotion.
It was a home not yet found.
It was a future not yet discovered.
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