UPDATE!

Feb. 20th, 2008 02:47 pm
[identity profile] anisapologist.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] michaelxmahone
LOVE AND COMPLICATIONS—PART III
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Michael/Alex
Summary: Michael begins the healing process with Alex at his side.
Disclaimer: If I owned PB, it would get a fourth season.
Author’s Note: So, PB may be over forever….but the slashing should go on and on. Let's keep hope alive for a season four!




Living with Alex again made Michael Scofield happy. He awoke to find a beautiful man he thought he had lost forever beside him in bed each morning. The lovemaking was scorching and hot. And as they got to know one another all over again, Michael was amazed at just how much they shared in common, from favourite book to films to political views.

But having Alexander Mahone back in his life was not a cure-all; Michael still had—and nurtured—his demons on a regular basis. He still had nightmares about Sara. He still felt immense guilt over Veronica and even Tweener. Every time he looked into the mirror, the face he saw staring back was that of a self deluded murderer-by-proxy, who had been so hell bent on saving his big brother, he hadn’t thought about the cost in human collateral until it was all too late.

When it all became too much, he would drink. He knew Alex hated it, and would try to only drink in secret, or when Alexander was out or asleep, but this night Alex had caught him red-handed, as it were, with his hand in the drinks closet.

It was late, but Michael couldn’t sleep. He had slipped out of bed and to he living room, knowing he was being self-destructive, but unable to stop himself.

He was aware of Alexander’s presence right behind him, but he didn’t stop. He opened the bottle and took a gulp, then another, ignoring Alex’s sighs behind him. But when he went for a third gulp, long arms came around his body and took the bottle from his hands, “Stop, Michael.”

“I need a drink!” Michael growled, refusing to turn around, reaching for another bottle on the shelf, but Alex had had enough.

“No, you don’t.”

He wrapped loving but firm arms around his lover and forced him away from the closet. Michael put up little resistance, allowed himself to drug away, tears streaming from his eyes.

When they reached the bed, Alex laid his lover down and fell atop him.

“What you need is to forgive yourself.” He told the younger man gently.

“I can’t!” Michael said between sobs.

They kissed wetly for a few moments, just feeling one another, but when Michael grew impatient—as he always did—with foreplay and began to speed things up, Alex forced his hands up over his head and pinned them to the bed possessively, “My way tonight,” he gasped between kisses.

Michael gave his lover a confused look, but went along. He groaned and cried out as Alexander took an excruciatingly long time to strip him of his boxers and tee.

“I don’t want to rush it tonight,” Alex explained, taking Michael’s swollen sex into his mouth and sucking for barely a moment, before pulling away, causing the younger man to protest with a mangled sound, somewhere between a cry and a scream.

He kissed his way up Michael’s chest and licked into his mouth once more, but Michael was growing frustrated and turned his head away, “Don’t tease me…don’t ruin it…”

Alex gave him a perplexed look, “I’m not ruining it, Michael. I’m making it better….just relax and go with it.”

He took Michael in hand and stroked slow and gentle, ignoring Michael’s pleas for ‘harder’ and ‘faster’.

Alex knew Michael liked sex hard, rough, unforgiving. He likened Michael’s experience with sex to his experience of life—hard and unforgiving; rough and cold. He wanted to be different for Michael. He wanted to show him that sex—and life—didn’t have to be that way.

He loved Michael as tenderly as he could, but younger man fought him every step of the way.

Michael shuddered and arched upwards towards his lover, “Please…” he begged desperately, but Alex only smiled down at him.

“Slow,” he repeated, refusing to let go of Michael’s wrists as he dipped his head to lick and kiss the inked torso of his lover, feeling Michael squirm with pleasure and need beneath his tongue, “Tender…”

“Not this way,” Michael moaned, “Nonono…” he shook his head violently.

Alex paused in his gentle ministrations to look into Michael’s eyes, “Why not this way? Why can’t you let me love you gently, Michael?”

“I can’t…I’ve never…” Michael stammered.

“I know you’ve never…I know,” Alex replied soothingly, “That’s why I want to do that for you. To show you…it can be good this way too, Michael—slow, gentle. It can be…soooo good. Let me show you. Let me show you how good it can feel.”

Michael tried to relax, but he couldn’t. He pulled away in frustration, “I can’t!”

Alex reached out for him tentatively, “Its okay…”

It was then that he realised Michael was crying, “No, its really not! I’m such a freak! I can’t….I’m sorry.”

“There’s nothing to be sorry for, Michael…and you’re not a freak. You’re just used to sex…a certain way. ..”

“Yeah, a ‘certain way’! I like to be hurt and I like to be used! How can you say I’m not a freak?”

Alex swallowed hard and tried to remain calm and soothing in the face of Michael’s obvious self-hatred, “It’s all you’ve known,” he said softly, reaching out to tentatively stroke Michael’s back, “And that’s partially my fault. We’ve never done anything except rough sex…that’s part of your problem, Michael. But we can change that—I want to change that.”

Michael shook his head against Alexander’s words, “I’m not worth all this, Alex…why are you trying so hard? I’m…not worth it.”

“Don’t you EVER say that about yourself again, Michael!” Alex replied sharply, sitting up now and forcing Michael to turn around and look at him. It was the closest to angry that Michael had seen him in years, “You are worth every bit of this—you’re worth…so much more. God…I hate that you don’t believe that. I hate that…hate yourself.”

“I’m sorry…”

“And stop saying sorry all the time!” Alex cut him off, his voice thunderous and causing his lover to wince. He instantly regretted yelling and lowered his voice, “I didn’t mean to…shout, Michael. Its just….you’re so convinced that you’re worthless, that all you deserve is for men to use you, hurt you…it makes me sad. Sad for you.”

Michael managed a small smile at that, and looked into his lover’s eyes for the first time since the conversation had started, “Thank you….for caring. Caring about me…I’ve never…had anyone like you in my life. Never had…anyone who…cared so much.”

Alex embraced his lover, holding him close, “Well, you have him now.”


***
Michael was drunk again.

He didn’t drink every day—at least Alex didn’t think he did—but he still drank way too much and way too often. And when he drank, it almost always made him sick.

Alex had been staying with Michael for nearly a month now, slowly unpacking more and more of his things each day—and it seemed like every time he opened a drawer or a closet door to hang clothes or put something away, he found yet another bottle stashed there.

He would pour the remains down the sink, often right in front of Michael. Not that it really mattered—Michael could always go and buy more and often did—but Alex wasn’t going to make slow suicide by bottle easy for him.

Alexander could often predict what would trigger a bout of excessive drinking on his lover’s part. If Michael had nightmares—often about Sara or Tweener—he drank, if Lincoln called and they argued over the phone, he drank; if it was some sort of anniversary (like the day his mother died or the day Lincoln was sentenced to death), Michael drank. And every single time he returned from a speaking engagement, because, Alex assumed, the engagement brought to the forefront memories Michael would like to forget, he drank.

Today was a combination of reason: Lincoln and Michael had gotten into a vicious fight over the telephone two days prior. Michael wouldn’t tell his lover what they had fought about, but it went on for nearly an hour, Alex hearing muffled, one-sided shouting in another part of the house, until Michael slammed the phone across the room and broke it. That night, he had to wake Michael twice during the night due to nightmares, and then Michael had to travel back to Chicago for a speech.

When he returned home, he began drinking and didn’t stop until he passed out. Alex had asked—then begged—him to stop, but Michael had made some nasty comment and went right on. In despair, Alex had retreated to the bedroom, where he had fallen asleep.

Alex awoke earlier that morning to the sounds of his retching in the toilet. With a sigh, he drug himself to the bathroom to be there for his lover.

He vomited until there was nothing left to vomit, and then he vomited some more. Alex knelt behind him, holding him at his shoulders, stroking his back soothingly. He said nothing because there was nothing to say.

When he was done, Michael leaned his head down against the toilet seat, gathered his strength and managed to stand. He staggered to the vanity and brushed his teeth, before sliding to his knees again, unable to stand, “I’m so sick…” he groaned.

“You’re not sick,” Alex replied sharply, “You’re drunk.”

Michael didn’t bother to deny it. He never did—not anymore.

He gathered the younger man in his arms and Michael just went completely slack, “Am I going to die?” he asked in a harsh whisper, and Alex shook his head almost violently.

“NO!” he replied forcefully, “I won’t let you, baby…I love you, Michael. Love you so much…but this has to stop. The drinking has to stop, Michael. And…you can’t do it alone. You’re going to need to…go somewhere.”

He expected Michael to fight him and protest, so he was surprised—and not unpleasantly so—when Michael merely nodded and passed out again in his arms.


The rehab centre was very much like the ones Michael used to visit Lincoln in when he was a teenager and Lincoln was the addict. He had never felt much empathy for Linc back then, always believing that Lincoln—like all addicts—had chosen to poison his body. Now, he understood that sometimes, addicts didn’t choose to drink or snort or shoot up…sometimes the guilt and pain and disappointment chose them.

Alexander visited Michael everyday.

It was awkward…to say the least, since Lincoln was often there too.

Since the time, a few months back, when Alex Mahone had turned up on his doorstep saying simply, “I need to talk to you about Michael,” Lincoln had managed to accept his brother’s unconventional relationship with the man who had killed their father—not to mention others—a million years ago. He had accepted it, but he had never become comfortable with it. It was hard enough for Lincoln to accept that Michael actually preferred men to women—he had always half-hoped that Michael’s brief feelings for Sara Tancredi would blossom into a full-on appreciation of the opposite sex, though it never had—let alone Alexander Mahone.

Not that Lincoln was in any position to judge, considering his own unconventional relationship with Michael when they were younger. He still hated himself for ever letting it happen. It all seemed now like some sort of years-long bad dream that had never really happened…but when he was around Michael for any length of time, he remembered that it had, indeed, happened. He would see Michael’s obsession with him begin to bubble up to the surface…it was one of the reasons that he chose to live three states away from his little brother, whom he loved, but would never understand.

But now Michael—with the help of Alex—had agreed to face his issues, his problems head on, and Lincoln could do nothing else but be there for him, support him as best as he could, even if that meant sharing way too much time with a brother he’d had once had an incestuous relationship with, and a man he had loathed for years.

Michael could sense the tension in the room every day, but in typical fashion, chose to ignore it most of the time. His years with Lincoln had taught him that his older brother was nothing if not a stubborn bastard, and someone ill at ease expressing his feelings to anyone. He had learnt how to deal with Lincoln on his terms and how to avoid possible minefields in their relationship. When Linc became too abrasive or aggressive towards Alex, Michael would step in, changing the subject deftly or making a joke to lighten the mood. Both men usually backed off at that point—though, twice, it had come to blows and Michael was forced to watch in horror as orderlies removed both his brother and his lover from the centre, instructing them to not return for forty-eight hours.

Two days later, when he was allowed to return, Alex had apologised to Michael; Lincoln never did. He just acted like none of it had happened, much to Alexander’s dismay—Michael had not seemed surprised by Lincoln’s denial at all, and had welcomed him back as if nothing untoward had occurred. Alex guessed that their relationship had been like that for far too long for it to change now…

Alex was a lifeline for Michael. He gave him reason to get out of bed in the morning and the strength he needed to face his problems…but the other man was not without issues and problems of his own. He still felt more than enough guilt for what he had done to Michael’s father, to Tweener, to Haywire…he still cried about Oscar Shales in his sleep. And despite what he told his lover, Michael knew that he still harboured feelings for his ex-wife, Pam.

He had asked Alex, the night before he went in to rehab, if Alex would wait for him.

“Of course,” Alex had replied, as if Michael should have already known as much.

“You won’t go back to Pam again?” Michael had seethed accusingly.

“Why would even think such a thing?”

“I don’t know—maybe because you’ve done it before!” Michael knew he was being unreasonable, but he couldn’t control his fear of losing the only thing in his life that he cared about, “I can’t lose you again, Alex—I can’t! I don’t think I could survive if you….I can’t.”

Alex nodded, acknowledging Michael’s fear, “I understand. But I won’t leave you.”

“We won’t be able to have sex,” Michael announced, as if that were a deal breaker, “Maybe you don’t really love me, Alex…maybe its just…I don’t know…lust? If you can’t…have sex with me…maybe you’ll get sick of me. Go sleep with Pam…”

Michael was spiralling now, his arguments and words hardly making any sense, even to his own ears. He talked so fast that Alexander was only catching every third word or so, but it all negative, all bad. Alex knew enough from his years as a profiler to know the signs—Michael was in a downward spiral, and Alex had to pull him back up and out of it before he had some sort of psychotic break.

“I’m not going to leave you, Michael…or sleep with Pam.” He reached out to clasp Michael’s hand in his own, “Sex isn’t the only thing that you offer me, Michael. I love your intellect, I share so many of your interests, I love your smile and your humour…your laugh. There is so much more between us then sex—there always was. After all, it took us years to even get around to having sex!”

Michael had to laugh at that. He rested his head on Alex’s chest, feeling exhausted, “I love you,” he whimpered softly.

“And I love you, Michael.”


It was hard to talk about his past—much harder than he ever thought it would be.

Michael told himself every single day that he had gotten out of that world he lived in as a child—a world of abuse and uncertainty and hopelessness. He had left it behind. He had overcome those who had abused him—and to admit, in some doctor’s office—that he had NOT overcome it—at least not completely, not emotionally, felt like he was handing his abusers some kind of victory.

The fact that Alex and Lincoln were often there in the room for the therapy sessions made it doubly hard. He had admitted most of what had happened to him at the hands of his foster carers to both of the other men, but had never gone into great detail, telling himself that he didn’t remember details. But the truth was, he remembered every single abusive event in minute detail and had just buried them so deep within his protective walls that he thought he had forgotten. Once the walls were torn down, the memories came streaming forth with relentless agony and detail, and Michael simply opened his mouth and admitted the vilest of things that he never, ever thought he would admit to in the light of day.

The doctor was a professional and reacted with no reaction at all. But Lincoln could not hide his emotions—he never could. The man went from angry to homicidal, to depressed to hopelessly sorry in fits and starts, leaving Michael feeling guilty forever speaking the truth about what had happened to him when Lincoln was locked up.

At one point, Michael had asked the doctor why Lincoln had to be there, and the doctor had merely smiled, “He needs to know and you need him to know.” He said it as if it were the most obvious thing in the world—and maybe it was. But that didn’t mean it was easy.

Alex was better had hiding his disgust, uneasiness and pain at Michael’s admissions, but the younger man knew his lover so well that he could read him like a book. He knew Alex was devastated by Michael’s abusive past…and he dreaded the day when he would have to talk about the incest he’d shared with Lincoln…

Thankfully, Lincoln was told that he did not have to be there for those sessions. There would be no point, since Lincoln had been there, so he already knew how it all happened and the feelings involved—but Alex was there, and it caused Michael to clam up immediately, for fear of losing his lover once again.

“How did it feel when you made love with Lincoln?” the doctor asked him gently.

Michael’s face was like stone, “We didn’t ‘make love’—we had sex. It was disgusting. We’re brothers! We shouldn’t have…wanted each other like that.”

“Are you saying that because you believe it or because you think that’s what society expects you to say?”

That threw Michael. He wasn’t used to being in the same room with someone as smart as him, so willing to see right through his charades. He fell silent, stared at his shoes. The session was going nowhere.

“Michael,” Alex whispered, his voice hoarse with emotion, “Its okay, you know. You can be honest. You have to be honest, actually—it’s the only way you’ll ever get better. I’m not going to leave you, Michael.”

Michael looked directly into Alexander’s eyes, and saw the sincerity there. There was a long pause and then he began:

“I slept with Lincoln because he was the only person in my life that I had ever loved and who had ever loved me. I thought that was what you did when you loved someone; you gave them pleasure like that. Those other men? I hated them—HATED THEM! What they did to me? I knew it was wrong…but with Linc…I don’t know, really…it didn’t feel wrong, not then anyway. I had read a lot about sex, trying to understand what was happening to me, what those other men were doing to me—and I knew that what they were doing was sexual abuse. I couldn’t do anything to stop them, really—but I knew they were sick for doing it to me. I read about paedophiles and I knew that’s what they were…but I also read about sex being a beautiful thing, between two people who loved each other….and I loved Linc. I was so…fucked up. I just wanted it to be beautiful for a change, you know? I wanted to make love, not just…get raped. And…I wanted to be in control for a change—stop if I wanted too, do it if I wanted too—and Linc always, always gave me that choice. He was so gentle with me…it made me feel like I had a choice.”

The doctor nodded, but didn’t look convinced. He scribbled some notes in a notebook and glanced at Michael.

“But Lincoln felt immense guilt about your sexual relationship, didn’t he?” he asked, “Do you think that might have pushed him into self-destructive behaviours?”

Michael nodded, recalling how tormented Lincoln would be afterwards, how he would berate himself for days, disappear for days or even weeks unend after a sexual experience with Michael, drink and do drugs to forget….Michael had often wondered if Lincoln might have straightened himself out much sooner—and never ended up in that parking garage that night he was set up for murder—if Michael hadn’t kept begging him for sex.

“It was my fault…it was all my fault.” Michael said firmly, his voice shaking with emotion, “He started sleeping with me and the drug taking, the drinking, the…staying out until all hours…it got…so much worse. He stayed out so he wouldn’t have to see me, sleep with me. He got drunk to forget what we did together because he felt so guilty…he got stoned so he’d pass out and not have to give me what he knew I wanted….”

“You make it sound as if you abused Lincoln,” the doctor said gently, “Like you raped him.”

On the face of it, it sounded absurd—Lincoln was twice his size and Michael could never ‘rape’ him—but Michael knew what the doctor meant, and he nodded, “In a way, I did. I manipulated him. I told him that I loved him, needed him. I made him feel like he owed me…he felt guilty already for not being a good provider and big brother to me. He felt bad about me getting put into foster care…I used that to my advantage. I used it to get him to make love to me. I did that…for years.”

“It sounds like you were treating Lincoln the way those foster parents treated you.”

Michael had to agree, Afterall, they hadn’t exactly held Michael down or tied him up to have their way with him—it was much more stuble. They made it clear that sex was what was expected of him in return for a place to live—he had no choice. In many ways, neither did Lincoln—Michael made it clear that sex was what was expected of him if he wanted Michael to continue to look up to him and love him and be a brother to him. Lincoln, in many ways, had only been a child himself when the incest had begun…he was a victim too.

“Yes, it was similar” Michael said very softly, ashamed, “I got off on it—the power I had over him. I could get him to give me the one thing he never wanted to give me and I could get him to do it so easily…I think I enjoyed that more than I did the sex itself.”

Alex squirmed at that notion, uncomfortable at the acknowledgement that Michael, in some ways, had become the very abuser he so loathed and who had so hurt him. Alexander Mahone suddenly wished he was anywhere but in that room, he felt hot all over and just wanted to run screaming from the place—but Michael was lost now in deep thought and memories and hardly seemed aware of his presence, much less his increasing discomfort.

“You say that you began making love with your brother because you wanted to escape the dysfunction of being raped and abused by your other carers…but your relationship with Lincoln was every bit as dysfunctional wasn’t it? It wasn’t about beautiful lovemaking…it was about you controlling him and the sex, abusing his love for you, the way your abusers abused your trust and vulnerability. Would you say that’s true, Michael?”

Tears welled up in Michael’s eyes now. It was certainly not the first time Michael had heard that question—he had asked it of himself hundreds of times over the last ten years…but it was the first time someone else had asked it, and he wondered if he had been that transparent all along.

He could not answer with words. Michael nodded and began to cry.

“So, would you say that your abuse of Lincoln drove him to drugs and alcohol?”

“It didn’t…lead to him first abusing those things, no. He had been abusing them already. But it got a lot worse, yeah…and I know what you’re going to ask next, and the answer is yes: Eventually, he got so screwed up in selling drugs and doing drugs and working for people who were…less than reputable….yeah, in a way…the sex with me led him to that parking garage that night.”

The doctor leaned back in his chair and appraised his patient for a long moment.

“Is that the real reason that you went to Fox River and…did everything you subsequently did for Lincoln? Because you believed, somewhere deep inside, that you were responsible for what happened to him?”

The realisation hit Michael like a bolt of lightening and he literally felt himself go weak. With no hesitation, he replied, “Yes. I think it is. I know it is.”

With that, the doctor ended the session, which Alexander was grateful for—he didn’t know how much more he could have taken.

Michael was low and listless as he said his goodbyes to Alex and was led back to his room.

Alex lingered until Michael was gone, and then turned to the doctor, “What happens now?”

“Now?” the doctor looked mildly surprised, “Now we are getting somewhere. Michael has finally faced some very dark truths about himself. Now he can heal.”

Alex nodded vaguely and just hoped to God that the doctor was right.

TBC…..

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