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03 November 2005 @ 10:33 pm
Prison Break Fanfiction: Closer to the Inevitable  
Title: Closer To The Inevitable
Author: HalfshellVenus
Character: Lincoln(Gen, Angst)
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Early S1
Summary: Too much waiting and thinking about the end that is coming...
Author’s Note: This story originated in Chapter 5 of "The Arrangement," but I modified it and expanded to make it a standalone Genfic. Also for my prisonbreak100 claim of the Gen pairing of Lincoln and Michael, this is #31, "Death."

x-x-x-x-x

It was night, and they were running. Lungs aching, feet stumbling through the field, they made their way toward a set of tracks, a train whistle sounding nearby. The ground shook and rumbled up through their legs as they put on speed, trying to intercept one of the dangling ladders. Michael surged forward and jumped, catching hold and hauling himself up. Lincoln ran faster and faster, trying desperately to reach Michael’s outstretched hand, as the train seemed to edge farther and farther away and Michael called to him anxiously, “Lincoln! Lincoln!”—

His own groan of despair woke Lincoln up. The Row was dimly lit and quiet in the early hours of the morning. Lincoln put his head down and ran his hands up over the back of his neck, trying to shake off the feelings of doom and loneliness brought on by the dream.

It was harder and harder to sleep, as his execution date drew closer, and what sleep he got was besieged by nightmares. Horrors past, present and future, things that had never happened, things that still might—all of these made appearances night after night. Reliving the trial where he was convicted of murder and sentenced to Death Row. Dreams in which he had shot the Vice President’s brother after all. Michael walking away from visiting hours one day and never coming back, leaving him to rot in isolation. Michael being raped and murdered while he was in prison trying to save Lincoln’s sorry ass. The Chair... His last panicked moments before they threw the switch. The anguish in Michael’s face as he watched Lincoln being led away. L.J.’s tears and bitter disappointment in the father he never was.

God, he thought. The nightmares and the waiting were killing him. He needed it to be over, one way or another. He wanted to believe in Michael’s plan, had to convince him that he did just because he owed Michael that much. But the thoughts of what was coming if that failed were very real. His mistakes, and his fears for how L.J. and Michael would be affected by his leaving them— they were on his mind almost every waking moment, and it sickened him. Their weight threatened to crush him.

Every day was a step closer to the inevitable. Whether that end would be annihilation or salvation, he did not know. He had no ability to choose, no power to affect the outcome. The helplessness was maddening.

He was more aware now than ever of his isolation on Death Row, with its unsettling lack of distraction from the worries and panic that surfaced unpredictably. Although he could not and would not unburden himself to Michael, his optimism and almost daily presence were still very comforting. Lincoln missed him a great deal when he was alone.

His own part in the escape plan consisted of waiting for the other pieces to fall into place. Or alternatively, for them not to-- but he tried not to think about those possibilities. He wished he were more able to help move things along, instead of worrying about where they might go wrong. So much of the plan was complicated, interdependent on the right people, the right access, the right opportunities. It was nowhere near being as much under Michael’s control as Michael liked to think.

Lincoln didn’t mention that to him. But he was all too aware of it.

Even Michael’s own safety over in GenPop was at risk, and it pained Lincoln that he could not be there to protect him. He had always protected Michael, and Michael needed it here more than ever. Lincoln did at least have his reputation to offer, which was something. Although there was little revenge he could enact directly, should anyone harm Michael, no-one could be sure that he wouldn’t arrange to have it done.

“Link the Sink” was a far angrier and more unpredictable man than Lincoln Burrows could ever be. For once, this was to his advantage.

Lincoln sighed. His brain was running in overdrive, and it wasn’t even morning yet.

How long would this day last, and what would it bring? Continued hope? Despair? Danger? Boredom?

Lincoln had never been a religious man, but he found himself seeking answers to the questions he could not hope to understand.

Why had this happened to him—the wrongful conviction and the impending death sentence?

He had not been a saint, certainly, but for so many years he had tried to do the right thing as best he could. He had tried to salvage Michael’s safety and happiness from the ruins of their family life. True, he had gotten waylaid with juvenile infractions and some drug problems, but didn’t any of that earlier effort count for anything? It was true that the burden of responsibility for stabilizing the two of them had eventually pushed Lincoln to rebel and self-destruct for awhile—but didn’t carrying that responsibility for so long at least mitigate those results?

And he’d never meant to get L.J.’s mother pregnant… but he had tried to do the right thing afterwards for his new family, for as long as he could stand it. Even though that also meant letting Michael founder alone while he did. That no-win situation still plagued his conscience to this day.

So if there was a point to Lincoln dying for the one crime he did not commit… what was it? Was his sole purpose in life to be part of a larger lesson in pain for Michael and L.J.? Was he a casualty in someone else’s plan, like Job’s family in the biblical story?

It just made no sense to him. Looking at where he was now -- with Michael right alongside him, all for the sake of his sorry ass-- he wondered what he’d ever had to offer but the chance to hurt those who loved him.

If it came down to it, and he did not escape execution… he hoped Michael and L.J. could forgive him for not being a better man. He had tried, honestly tried for so long before he just gave up. He was trying again now, for their sake, and would continue as long as he could.

But a flawed vessel can only hold so much before it fails. He hoped he could last long enough for all of it to succeed… or at least long enough that it no longer mattered.

Ultimately, he prayed. Disjointedly, inexpertly, sometimes angrily. He pleaded for a miracle, for release, for mercy. And in the darkest hours, when hope had fled, he pleaded for comfort to be given to those who survived him.

He had no expectation that any of his prayers would be answered. They had not been as a child, and there was no reason why they would be now.

But still, he had to work with what he was given. And as always, he tried to do the best he could. It was all he would ever have.

And who was he to want more?


-------- fin --------




 
 
 
Diellepseudoartiste on November 29th, 2005 06:26 am (UTC)
*sigh* So completely in love with your Lincoln characterization. You don't make him Superman, and you don't make him dumb, he's just a complicated imperfect regular guy. And *squee!* over the Protective!Lincoln vibe! I couldn't believe it when you wrote no one had commented! I guess when some slashaholics see the word 'gen' they just don't get excited no matter how good the fic is, which is a shame.

Peace! :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 29th, 2005 10:27 pm (UTC)
So completely in love with your Lincoln characterization. You don't make him Superman, and you don't make him dumb, he's just a complicated imperfect regular guy.

Thank you so much. I love this version of Lincoln, my version. With the first story, Roadmaps, I just wanted to flesh him out because the show was giving us so little of him. Now, it appears that I may be writing AlternateUniverse!Lincoln, compared to the show where he is dumb!Lincoln. :-(

I guess when some slashaholics see the word 'gen' they just don't get excited no matter how good the fic is, which is a shame.

You know, I think it's the other way around. I've had people comment that, because I write slash, they assume ALL my fics are slash, and so they don't read the Gen stuff. Too sad! Most of my PB stuff is Gen.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Yay you!

The Good, The Bad and The Lana: brothersthelana on December 4th, 2005 03:41 pm (UTC)
Sigh, finally sat down and reread this piece again. But it's just so hard to wrap in words what I like so much about. I just touches so many ideas that really work for me a lot. From Linc's frustration that his main role in the plan is to wait, to him being worried for Michael's safety where he can't protect him, to him worrying about the ones he'll leave behind (note, totally what he told the priest on the show in the most recent episode).

I really wish I had something more insightful to offer, but I don't. I just really, really like it.

I have to admit that faith has always been fascinating to me. When somebody who does not believe decides to pray after all, what they ask for and what kind of hopes they pin on it.

Was his sole purpose in life to be part of a larger lesson in pain for Michael and L.J.?

That is a great and very creepy thought.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on December 4th, 2005 05:26 pm (UTC)
I think you actually expressed very well what grabbed you in this piece.

When somebody who does not believe decides to pray after all, what they ask for and what kind of hopes they pin on it.

I tried to touch on that in the vacillation between what he prays for-- different things when he's optimistic than when he isn't. And a lot of spiritual flailing. If he's prayed in the past, for instance about his mother's life, the results weren't promising.

I love getting reviews for this piece. It has about 280 hits right now on www.prisonbreakfic.com, but zero reviews. :-(
The Good, The Bad and The Lana: michael/sucre amigosthelana on December 4th, 2005 05:38 pm (UTC)
I love getting reviews for this piece. It has about 280 hits right now on www.prisonbreakfic.com, but zero reviews. :-(

Well that's people for you.

Then again, I can't really judge. I never gave any reviews before I discovered livejournal. But then again, back then I was a scared 14 year old secretly reading slash and completely convinced that all the writers must be indefinitely much older and smarter than me, I didn't even dare to approach them (of course then the only feedback option was through direct emai; at least with livejournal you can see what the other people are writing and you know what the appropriate style and form of feedbacking is).

I have to say though I really admire people who stick with what they believe in and what they want to write. If it was just about reviews, you could always try to write some crowd pleasing Michael/Sara or otherwise porn fic. Trying to write whatever is popular. Me, as a reader, I'd rather have an author who sticks with what they think is true to their style. Regardless of whether it always fits my personal tastes (as painful as it is, I can give you a long list of professional authors who I loved for their first books who then decided they wanted to grow up and write more intellecutal fiction, which ended up being less accessible to me. But hey, that's a completely story).

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on December 4th, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC)
I have to say though I really admire people who stick with what they believe in and what they want to write.

I think you kind of have to. Or at least, I do. I can't imagine writing something that didn't matter to me.

That would be-- oh yeah-- Junior High writing assignments. Always hated those :-P
B: hairstrifechaos on January 6th, 2006 09:46 pm (UTC)
Ok when you said you'd done a different version of this chapter I had to see it for myself, because everything else you've written so far I've loved.

This isn't an exception. It was brilliant. I got all choked up, Lincoln is so deeply in despair over his own future; and it's not like you can actually blame him--- the guy is on death row. Or whatever they call it when you're about to be given the e. chair.

His concern protectiveness of both LJ and Michael are so deeply touching. Makes my eyeballs go all misty. *grins* This was very lovely, and gives a lot of perspective on Lincoln's character. It gives him depth. I mean, him trying to find meaning in being punished for the one crime/sin he didn't commit; and then his novice attempts at prayer for redemption, if not for himself, then at the very least for those he cares about.
How you go over some of the decisions he's made and regrets, like abandoning Michael to his own devices in order to take care of LJ.

It's so bittersweet. *grins* *glomps* I'm addicted now, and will be checking your 100fics chart religiously now. *cackles* *grins* *waves*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 6th, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reviewing this! It is a whole different take on the beginning of that chapter from "The Arrangement." I struggled with that chapter, because it was getting really dark as I was writing it. And then I decided to cut off all but those first two paragraphs and save them as potential angst snippets for another story. And then later, it seemed that they really just flowed better out of that same introduction. So I essentially have two different flavors of stories out of this one introduction.

Lincoln has all too much time to think, and to regret, and to be angry over THIS being the crime that will mark him and destroy him-- the one he didn't do. And what devastation it will cause for Michael and LJ if he dies.

You might try Dialogues in Faith, which flows pretty well out of this one.

I'll be updating for fanfic100... but in the meantime, more Genfic like this will be cropping up too!

Thanks for visiting. :-D
tyrical: AP_aJolietyrical on April 14th, 2006 02:40 am (UTC)
And who was he to want more?

He's human, he wants things to be set to rights, he wants a second chance, he wants to not be where he is now. He wants what we all would want in his place.

But most of all it seems he wants for those to love him to continue and to remember that of all he was good and bad that he did try and he does love them.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lincoln (pensive)halfshellvenus on April 16th, 2006 05:22 pm (UTC)
he wants to not be where he is now. He wants what we all would want in his place.
He does, all of it. But I think he considers himself less worthy than many (present prison company, excluded, of course :0).

to remember that of all he was good and bad that he did try and he does love them.
That seems the best he can hope for-- to be remembered well, for the most part, and to remind himself that he did make the effort much (if not all) of the time.
Maz (or foxxy!)tuesdaeschild on May 12th, 2006 09:13 am (UTC)
Lincoln, like the rest of us, cannot change what's inevitable, can he? Which is what gives this piece such a feeling of angst. I'm sure many of us can identify with the feeling of helplessness the inability to control something gives us. Yet, despite everything, Lincoln isn't selfish and his thoughts are still very much for those he would leave behind.

Sad and full of insight. Wonderfully done!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Lincoln (pensive)halfshellvenus on May 12th, 2006 04:18 pm (UTC)
his thoughts are still very much for those he would leave behind.
And I think this is true for a lot of people facing death, when they really know they can't escape it. They lose hope of saving themselves, but can't stop being plagued with guilt for what will happen to everyone around them. They feel responsible for it, even though it is beyond their ability to control.

Glad you liked this one. Considering what his character goes through on the show in terms of events and plot points, he is surprisingly neglected there regarding his actual feelings and thoughts. He's being used as a plot device more than as an actual character, which I admit tends to bug me. All this dramatic potential being created-- and yet on the show, it's always about somebody else? What is THAT all about?
Maz (or foxxy!)tuesdaeschild on May 13th, 2006 10:16 am (UTC)
He's being used as a plot device more than as an actual character
Can't help but agree with you. After all, he's the person Michael is risking everything for (not to mention Dominic Purcell being the first name in the opening credits!), yet he's not given much to do except sit around in his cell and look emotionally tortured. There have been glimpses of him showing his feelings, but it's been all too fleeting. Maybe in Season Two, assuming they succeed with the escape (they have to, right?) we'll see more Lincoln-based drama.

We can only hope!