Fic

Jan. 30th, 2008 09:05 pm
[identity profile] switchblade-kid.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] michaelxmahone
Title: Long Time Running
Author: [profile] switchblade_kid
Pairing: Michael/Alex
Rating: NC-17 (to be safe)
Word Count: 5567
A/N: I have mixed feelings about this one. It's probably completely implausible, but I've tried to keep them in character. I've never, err, written anything this explicit, so... :/

Part One:

For nearly five years, the word ‘love’ had not entered Michael Scofield’s mind. He no longer loved the summer months, nor did he love this apparent freedom that he had been blessed with. Blessed. He’d lost everything, but he had his blessed freedom.

 

Did he even love Lincoln anymore? He loved him because he was his brother, sure, but when was the last time he’d even spoken to him? Time didn’t really matter in Limbo, and they’d come to realize that after Michael escaped Sona. They drifted apart neutrally, naturally you might even say. What can you do? Things just happen like that sometimes: you break your brother out of prison, annihilate whatever existence you had and run for your life. Then you get recaptured and have to escape all over again.

 

Escape.

 

The escape for Sona- what a complete shambles. It was so clear in his mind. He was running for his life, Lincoln was nowhere to be found, Whistler had been shot in twice, his body twitching, blood and brains escaping from the bullet holes in his skull. He remembered vividly turning around to witness the carnage, before he felt a hand grab him and pull him away. It was Alex’s hand curled tightly around his wrist, beckoning him into the void, reassuring him that anything was better than staying put and being killed.  

 

And they ran. And ran. And they didn’t stop for seven months.

Those months never seemed to end, but now those months seemed like a nanosecond in this whole mess of space and time.

Michael remembered them fondly. When they weren’t running they were living in backstreet motels, conducting their lives under the cover of warped domesticity. There were endless, sweaty nights spent tangled up half in each other between dirty sheets. Pure, tender love-making and hot and fast fucking on bathroom floors. Phone calls from Lincoln filled with empty apologies: “I’m sorry bro; I just couldn’t get there in time. Tell me where you are and I’ll come and get you.”

“And Alex? No?...Ok. Have a nice life, Linc. Enjoy the freedom we won’t have for a long, long time.”

“Michael, will you just stop for one goddamn-”

 

And then that one chilling hour when they were finally apprehended by the law, the local Panamanian law who were armed to the teeth like American riot police. Alex suggested they shoot their way out and make a run for it. Michael asked Alex if he’d even seen Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. When Alex said ‘no’, Michael explained to him why they couldn’t “shoot their way out.”

Blame it all on me,” Michael had said. “Tell them I kidnapped you and forced you on the run with me.”

Not a chance,” Alex replied. He kissed Michael deeply before pulling open the door.

They walked out, dropped to their knees in perfect synchronicity and raised their hands in the air.

 

There was a hearing a week later in Chicago. Under a sea of media, they were sentenced.

The judge, with his bulging eyes and chubby face, passed down his punishment:

“Michael Scofield, you are hereby sentenced to six years probation. Alexander Mahone, you are hereby sentenced to seven years, eligible for parole in four years: your time to be served at Ohio State Penitentiary.”

The judge leant forward in his chair. “These lenient sentences will be carried out on one condition, and that is that you are never to contact one another again. Not even in death.

Gentlemen, your relationship is destructive and your crimes are inexcusable. Had it not been for the intervention of key witnesses to support both of your ‘conspiracy’ claims, I would have considered locking you both away for life.

May you learn from your crimes and realise what you have lost. Mr. Scofield, I wish you luck rebuilding your broken life. Mr. Mahone… it troubles me to see a former lawman in your position. May your incarceration be a lesson to you that even the great can fall and that nobody is above the law. Perhaps it would have been better had you never met at all, but now you’ll never know.

Court is adjourned.”

         

The bang of the gavel rang in Michael’s ears and he wished the judge had given him the death sentence. Their eyes met as Alex was dragged away, their grief mirrored in one another’s faces.

 

And now, five years later, Michael wondered how he’d survived for so long. Alex was probably dead- killed by some punk in prison who’d never even bothered to ask anything of his life, much less the reasons for his being in prison. Or, by some stroke of luck, maybe he’d survived. Perhaps he’d started a new life, learned to love again, adapted to the same normality that Michael now found so suffocating. He only wished he could be around to grow with him.

         

It was a rainy evening in Illinois: the sky was heavy with fierce storm clouds and the relentless wind whistled through the trees surrounding Michael’s home. He was renting a small house not far from Joliet, paid for with his modest paycheque and contingency bank account that he’d set up not long after he’d decided to break Lincoln out. It was as close to home as he could make it: it wasn’t a swanky loft, but he’d decided that he’d never really had a home to begin with, so making it comfortable wasn’t really an issue at all.

With summer coming into its own, Michael had made sure to install a small air conditioning unit- it’s steady hum his only constant companion.

 

Settling down for the evening, Michael decided it would be a good time to go through some of his case files. He was working with young offenders in his neighbourhood. It was a good way of putting his demons to rest by sharing with other young offenders, the nature of prison and life after. He told them that it was cold and tiring, but that a strong person could rebuild- even if, for himself, restoration was never an option.

He opened one file: Timothy Wilson, nineteen, car theft and repeated drug offences. You would have never thought it looking at his picture. Timothy looked as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth.

He came from a family Michael would have killed for. Good parents with good jobs. Nice house.

He threw down the file on his coffee table.

 

The doorbell rang; one long buzz that jolted Michael from his seat.

“Go away,” he said aloud. He didn’t really expect the visitor to hear, let alone comply.

Buzz.

Michael turned the TV on and tried to ignore the buzzing.

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

He threw down the remote with such force that the batteries popped out of the back. He was halfway to the door when he thought about going back to fix it.

He opened the door, cursing himself for forgetting to turn on the porch light. There stood a man with his back to Michael.

“Yes?” Michael hissed, making no attempt to hide his irritation. The caller turned and spoke.

“Hello, Michael.”

“A-Alex?” Michael stammered.

 

This was all a dream- he’d wake up soon to his alarm clock radio blaring in his ears.

 

Michael grabbed Alex by the collar and pulled him inside. Once in, he slammed the door shut with his foot. He shook his head; incoherent words spilling from his mouth as he took Alex’s face in hands.

“It’s ok, Michael. I’m ok,” Alex said. Michael was clawing at his coat desperately, like he was trying to make sure that Alex was real and not some mirage that floated in from the storm. They embraced for what seemed like hours, neither one noticing just how sodden Alex’s clothes were.

“Please tell me no one saw you. Please, Alex.”

“Relax, no one saw me.”

“Are you sure? How can you be sure?”

“After spending my life in the FBI, I can assure you my powers of observation are pretty damn good.”

They pulled away from one another.

“You’re soaking,” Michael said. “Take those off…”

Alex laughed, “Boy, you don’t waste any time, do you?”

“…and I’ll get you some dry clothes,” Michael finished, his voice edgy and serious.

 

Alex nodded and Michael retrieved the clothes swiftly, returning with a tee shirt, pyjama bottoms and socks.

He put them down on his coffee table and Alex started to disrobe.

“There’s a bathroom if you’d rather…”

“It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, Michael. There’s no reason to get shy.”

“I’m not. It’s just…”

“Awkward?”

“A little,” Michael admitted. He watched Alex pull off his tee shirt and fold it. “You’ve lost weight.”

Alex nodded and put the dry shirt on. “It wasn’t intentional; I just didn’t do anything in prison to keep my, y’know, rogue agent physique.”

Michael afforded himself a small laugh- the first genuine laugh he’d had for years. “You look good though. Healthy.”

“It’s amazing how much better you can look when you’re not addled with drugs,” Alex replied. Michael looked unsure how to react. “I’m clean. I mean completely. No more midazolam. No nothing.”

“Would it be against the rules to offer you a beer?”

“Well, I think I can stretch to that.”

 

Michael went to the kitchen and took two beers from the fridge. He opened them and considered putting them in glasses. He decided that might make Alex feel too much like a guest, so he shook off the thought and returned to the living room.

Alex was sitting on the couch; his wet clothes were folded neatly and placed on the arm of the couch. Michael sat down next to him and handed him his beer. He raised the bottle to Alex and said, “Here’s to five years of wondering.”

They clinked the bottles together and took a long drink before placing them on the coffee table.

“This is very strange,” Michael said. It wasn’t really aimed at Alex, more to himself: a thought that he didn’t really mean to say aloud.

“We’ve got so much to discuss, and not a whole lot of time to do it,” Alex replied. He was playing with his fingers now, trying to disband the tension he was beginning to feel.

“What do you mean? How much time?” Michael asked.

Alex looked at his watch. “It’s seven fifty-five, so I’d say we have about eleven hours.”

“Eleven hours?” Michael shifted his weight and turned to Alex. “You drop in on me after five years; turn my life upside down-”

“Michael, that’s a bit extreme…”

“No, no it’s not!” Michael was raising his voice. This was more frustrating than wondering whether or not Alex had lived. “It’s not extreme. Five years, Alex. Five goddamn years of wondering; five years of praying that you’d be alright. And now, you find me and risk your freedom- my freedom- for eleven hours?”

“Look, I’m sorry alright, but it’s the best I could do!” Alex rubbed his face in frustration. “I’ve got a plane to catch at ten tomorrow morning. Robert, an old buddy of mine, has found me a job.”

“Where?”

“I can’t say, kid. It’s too risky.”

“Too risky?” Michael scoffed, “Sitting on my couch drinking beer isn’t risky?”

“Touché.” Alex shrugged and reached for his beer. “I’m here now, and I’ll be here for as long as I can. Either we stop arguing about the inevitable or I’ll go.”

“Go?” Michael spat.

“Yeah, I’ll go. I’m not remembering you like this, Michael. I’ll just blot this out and remember you sleeping next to me in a grotty Panamanian hotel.”

Michael was defeated. The smell of sweat and dirty sheets was already flooding his nostrils. He could almost taste the sour drinking water and Alex’s fingers.

“Fine.”

 

They sat in silence for a moment before Alex spoke up. “So…how’s Lincoln?”

Michael emitted a pitiful laugh. “Be damned if I know. Fine, I think… I guess.” Michael wanted to avoid talking about his brother as much as possible. “What about Cameron?”

“Yeah, he’s good. He’s doing well in school. He says he wants to be a doctor.” Alex shrugged, “Kids. They idealise everything. But he’s got his dad’s determination- he’ll be Dr. Mahone one day.”

“That’s great to hear. Hopefully he won’t get mixed up with a wanted fugitive, though. It doesn’t really make life easy, does it?”

Michael and Alex shared a laugh.

“It doesn’t,” Alex admitted, “But it sure makes it interesting. First you hate one another, then you become obsessed with one another and before you know it, hey presto, you’re both taking showers together and drinking warm beer in a cabin.”

Michael looked down to avoid Alex’s gaze, “We had some good times, right? I mean, underneath it all, the haze of hate and obsession, there was some good, right?”

“I wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t,” Alex said. He leant over to Michael and took his face in his hands. They stared intently at one another, Michael’s eyes brimming with tears. He dropped his gaze and tried to blink them away.

“Michael,” Alex coaxed gently, “don’t worry. I won’t think any less of you if you cry about it. I cry all the time.”

“I know, I know,” Michael whispered.

It was then that they kissed for the first time in five years. It wasn’t a kiss filled with passion, more of sadness.

 

Michael’s stomach was fluttering, invaded by butterflies that shouldn’t have been there. They broke the kiss mutually and Michael fell forward to rest his head on Alex’s chest.

 

“How long has it been?” Alex asked.

“Five years. There’s been no one since you,” Michael replied. He was a man of needs, of course, but since Alex the thought of another body being that close to his own made him retreat in disgust. Masturbation had its perks, but it wasn’t the same. It wasn’t Alex. “What about you?” Alex didn’t answer. “I won’t be offended if you’ve had sex with other people, Alex.”

“I don’t know how long exactly… but there’s been a few.”

“Men?”

“No. Just women.”

“Tell me about them,” Michael asked. He took Alex’s right hand in his own and began to study every finger; indentation; scar. He watched the bones shift under the skin and felt the pulse in his scrawny wrist.

 

Alex reclined pulling Michael with him. Wrapping his free arm around Michael, he agreed to tell him. “The first woman I met at the deli. What can I say? She served me corned beef and I just couldn’t resist her.”

Michael laughed heartily into Alex’s chest. “Wow. What a Romeo.”

“I know. We only did it once. I’d just gotten out of prison and… well, you can guess.”

“What was she like?”

“About five-six, curvy…”

“No. I meant in bed.”

Somewhat startled by the depth of interest Michael seemed to have in his sex partners, Alex choked out “What?”

“How was she in bed?”

“Um,” Alex cleared his throat, “Good… I guess. Do you want me to lie?”

Michael laughed, “No. I already told you I wouldn’t be upset if you’d slept with anyone else.”

“If you want the truth, I thought of you the whole time.”

“You’re such a liar.”

“Not about this. I’m serious, Michael. These women were just…”

“A fuck,” Michael said. It was a question.

“To put it bluntly: yes.” Alex placed his hand of the back of Michael’s head; moved it down to his back. He felt the notches in his spine through his shirt, the dip in his back.

 

“I think you should take me with you.” Michael sat up and looked Alex in the face. “When you leave, take me with you.”

“I can’t, Michael.”

“Then stay here with me. They’ll never know. They’d never think that we’d be stupid enough to pull a stunt like that. I’ll look after you.”

“Michael, I am not playing Terrence Steadman for the rest of my life, alright?”

Michael eyed Alex dangerously. He saw Agent Mahone staring back, daring him to challenge his defiance. “Did you seriously just say that to me?” Alex didn’t answer. “Please tell me you didn’t just imply what I think you did?”

Alex shifted uncomfortably, rather like Michael had seen him do when he had been coming off the midazolam in Sona. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that, but it’s completely childish, not to mention absurd, to think that I could hide out here for the rest of my life.”

“Well, excuse my naiveté in these kinds of situations.” Michael rose from his seat, pulling down his shirt at the back where Alex’s hand had been just moments before.

“Where are you going?” Alex demanded.

“The bathroom. Why? Do I need a pass?” Michael replied sarcastically.

He left Alex corroded by the guilt of ruining they’re last evening together.

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