SUMMARY: Michael’s keeping a health issue to himself.
CHARACTERS: Lincoln Burrows(20), Michael Scoffield(13),
NOTES: In one of the new episodes “Safe and Sound”, a few weeks back so I hope no one that watches it is getting spoiled, Mike and Linc were up in an air vent trying to get into a secured room to get one of the cards that holds Scylla (a comp program not the monster) – that’s what they’re doing this season, helping an agent get the program which happens to be into six separate cards all of which are separately being held by someone real important. So they’re getting one of these cards and they’re hiding up in the air vent and Mike’s holding up that screen thing and his nose bleeds (which has been happening a few times this season, but he hasn’t told anyone). Linc, ever the Michael observer, sees this and gives him an angry look and Mike just looks away. When they finally jump down from the air vent into the room that they had to go through all this trouble for, Linc’s glaring at Mike and he does this big sigh thing and Mike’s all “What is it?” – see, he’s not really a genius because that one is obvious. But regardless, Linc’s been dealing w/ Mike all his life and he’s just all points to nose and “how long’s it been happening?”. Mike tries with a “It’s not a big deal”, because clearly he’s never had a big brother – but oh wait, that’s Linc so Linc counters with a “It’s a big deal when you’re thirteen.” And then I’m like “Say what?!” and so I start thinking fic!! before I tune back in and Mike’s all “Please don’t tell Sara.” I’m thinking he should be more worried about the hunk of a brother that looks about to kill him more than his ex alcolholic girlfriend, but regardless, Linc’s all you dummy “Sara’s a doctor. She can help,” because you need to talk s l o w and clearly for non-geniuses like Mike. Little brother however tried for the “I’m acclimating to the warmer climate”, which is clearly not flowing with Linc, but Mike does make a point that they have work to do (Stealing the info off that card on the other side of the wall in the safe) so Linc drops it.
The program continues on, but no one’s really interested in that because did I mention this inspired fic? :)
Michael cautiously opened the door to the apartment, peering inside to see if anyone was there. His brother, Lincoln, was supposed to be at work for another hour, but with the way things were going lately he wouldn’t be surprised to see him there early. Luckily, it seemed like there was one thing going for him today.
Sighing, Mike walked in and closed the door behind him. He dropped his bookbag right at the door and took off his jacket, tossing it on top. Linc could bitch about it later. Actually, that might be enough for his brother to focus on and not ask him how school had gone that day. Because Michael wasn’t all that good at lying as it was, but he had a progressing percentage of zip when it came to lying to Linc.
He got started on their dinner, dumping the last two cans of spaghetti and meatballs into the pan to simmer while he got his homework out. He was going to get his work done, eat dinner and start cleaning his room like Linc had been nagging on him about for the last month. He really needed to be on his brother’s good side, because there was just no easy way to go about what he had to do.
Earlier that day -
Michael hurried through breakfast, wolfing down his cereal even as his brother yelled from down the hall that he needed to get a move on it. He wasn’t really hungry even, rarely was, but Lincoln got really ticked off when he said that so he was eating for Linc’s sake really.
“Are you done!?”
“In a minute!” Seriously, Linc was the one that wanted him to eat, he wasn’t going to risk death from chocking anymore than he had to.
Lincoln reappeared, dressed and ready for the day – which was quite the feat since he’d been hammered the night before – and grabbed at his own breakfast – his cup of coffee. Michael glared.
“Alright then, let’s go.”
“What?” Linc asked, drowning the now cooled liquid and grabbing for his newly purchased car’s keys.
“Your breakfast? You’re not even going to bother eating? You haven’t eaten since yesterday. I made toast.”
Lincoln was about to snap at him, Mike could tell, but he just held up the plate and the three pieces of bread he had toasted and gave his brother a look. Linc sighed and rolled his eyes, grabbing the bread pieces and heading to his coat.
“I would have grabbed something on the way to work. You don’t have to waste the bread. Ask me next time.”
Michael stood up and went to dump his bowl in the sink, which was getting pretty full. But Linc’s theory consisted on having a once go through the dishes a week. Which was easy enough if LJ wasn’t around. They ate take out most of the time anyway.
“Bread goes bad you know. And, it’s already been bought. I added just a little butter, so it’s not all that sticky.” Mike moved to his bag and started to run for the door, smiling at Linc when his brother took an exaggerated bite from the toast.
He moved to go by his brother and start heading out, when he was pulled away from the door from the back of his jeans.
“What? What happened?” Mike asked, worried he’d done something wrong with something and giving Linc his look of complete loss.
“Coat, Einstein,” Lincoln stated, releasing his jeans and smacking the back of his head.
Michael bit his lip, turning to his coat still on its rung. They lived in Chicago and it got pretty cold there, especially with the start of the winter season.
When he had gotten to school, Michael moved fast and went straight for his class. He was a few minutes early, but there was no harm in being early. Especially since he really didn’t like how kids looked at him.
Though he had been in the same school district most of his life, after their mother’s death, Mike and Linc had been sent into foster care for a while until Linc turned eighteen. They weren’t always together in that year and a half, but Linc was always fighting for them, fighting to see and talk to him, that Mike was glad that they were finally together now. But when he had come back to school, it was as if all of the kids thought he was infected or something. He’d never been really popular, but he had had a few friends. But they had all changed, and he couldn’t blame them really because he too had changed. Change came with a part of life. He was making a few friends though, but none that he had in his first period Statistics class. He was now a year ahead of his fellow classmates, a freshman in high school now, and it wasn’t more because no one wanted to put too much pressure on him yet. They’d been saying he was a genius ever since that social worker psychologist guy told them he had low latent inhibitors.
Regardless, the class started filling in, and before long he was once again submerged by his daily schedule and running from one place to another.
Michael was working his way through a headache in the fourth period class when it happened. It wasn’t the first time that he had felt that way, and he was beginning to think that it wouldn’t be the last. Just as he was preparing for his World History exam, his pen to the virgin white paper, he smelled the tell telling scent of iron and felt that twinge of pressure right at the back of his nose.
And then the blood dripped. Spreading out against the white of the paper and the pale yellow of the desk. Not. Good.
It was the fourth time that it had happened in school, second to his luck in that particular class. His nose would just start to bleed.
His head jerk movement caused three more droplets to start their descent. He tried to play it off, but pale white male against the red of blood is just an obvious.
“Oh dear!” the teacher’s now panicking. “Don’t, don’t panic. Just, tilt your head back.”
“No, I’m fine,” Mike said wiping at the drying blood from his chin and nose.
The teacher sighed at him and crossed her arms. All the students were looking at her and he hadn’t meant for that to happen.
“Nurse’s station, now. Thank you.”
“But, the test?! I don’t-
“I can’t have you bleeding in here Michael. It’s against protocol and morals and that is not what I want to do here, thank you.”
So Michael got up from his seat, taking all his things with him. When he entered the nurse’s office, with yet another bleeding, she gave him a look.
“Mr. Burrows? Weren’t you just here at the end of last week?”
“Yes Mrs. Linkle, I was.”
“Then what happened?”
“Your nose, son. What happened?”
“I don’t know.”
Mrs. Linkle was not pleased with his answer. So, much like she had every time that she had had to see him, she gave Mike a note and handed it over. Michael sighed, thinking about how he was already going to have to forge another of his brother’s signatures there.
“And can you inform him that in two days’ time I would like to see him come in.”
“Why? For a checkup?” Mike asked, knowing that wasn’t the reason at all and stating it just the same.
“No. So we can talk about what it is that is giving you these nose bleeds.”
Just freaking great.
When he heard the door opening, Michael tried to shake off his sudden panic. There was no reason for him to panic. He was perfectly and would remain so.
But the truth was, in all of trying not to let Lincoln worry and to handle things himself, he was just going to be an even bigger burden on his brother right now. Not to mention he’d been constantly lying.
Yeah, he was so dead.
“Hey!” Linc yelled as he entered.
Michael could feel his heartbeat flutter faster. Goodness he hadn’t even seen his brother yet and he was already failing miserably.
“kit- Kitchen!” he stammered, clearing his throat and not wanting to sound as if he was up to anything even though technically he was.
Lincoln walked into the kitchen and smiled over at him. For some reason, his brother liked seeing him like that – calmly sitting at the table and doing his homework. And Michael understood why too, it was like as Michael flourished Linc felt like he was finally doing something right.
“Hey! How was school?”
Rat’s ass and fuck.
“Um, fine.” Mike turned back to his work and read over the Paleolithic era some more, not really caring all that much since he could feel his brother’s gaze on the back of his head.
“Fine huh?” He heard Linc walk further into the kitchen, drop some things over at the counter and tug the fridge open. “Just fine.”
“Yep. It was a good day.”
“I started dinner,” he added, trying to change the subject fast but mistakenly being foolish enough to look up at Linc as he did it.
“I can see that.”
Linc grabbed a can of beer, checked on the food cooking on low and turned it all off. He opened the can and headed back over to the table, sitting in the seat besides Mike.
“So, uh can we eat now?”
“Sure.” Michael nodded but Linc kept looking at him and he couldn’t break eye contact and he was slightly worried that either he had missed some blood on his face or that he was starting to sweat from the nerves. Either way, the look Linc was giving him was not boding well.
“Don’t you, you know, want to get washed up or something?”
“I will,” Linc said as he raised the can to his lips and sipped at it, still looking intently at his baby brother.
“I washed up a few plates we could use.”
Michael knew what Linc was doing. His brother loved psyching him out like this. Make him believe that Linc knew more than what was possible for him to know. He would look at Michael all calmly and smile sometimes and Mike would just explode. He wasn’t cut out for lying, not to Linc.
Lincoln watched Mike for a few more sips, glanced over at what his brother was working on before he stood up again and set the half full can on the table.
“Alright, let me get changed while you clear off the table. And get your things out of the doorway, you want to trip over all that crap in the morning?”
Lincoln hadn’t said a thing all through dinner. Well, that wasn’t exactly true, he had talked. They both had. But it was all calm and neutral and kind of freaked Mike out. So when Linc grabbed both of their plates for the sink and told him to continue his work, Michael almost blurted it out right there.
It was stupid, which was something he shouldn’t be, but it was. Lincoln had to know. He had to go to that conference or else they’d have them investigated or something. It was hard enough with when sometimes the state people came by and were all anal. Even if Linc says that he shouldn’t say that and maybe Mike agrees but Linc says worse anyway so it doesn’t matter.
“I’m going to jump in the shower. You about done?”
“Just about. I just want to check a few things over.”
Lincoln smiled and reached over to ruffle his hair. He was kind of fond of that and Mike really didn’t know why.
“You are way too much of a geek, we can’t be related.”
“Shut up,” he scoffed, but Linc was already entering the bathroom and he wasn’t going to comment back to him anyway.
When Mike stepped out of the shower and his pajamas are waiting for him on his bed, he got that really guilty feeling in his stomach. He could hear Linc in the kitchen, doing the dishes because LJ was going to be there for the weekend and he might as well do them now. He’s talking on the phone now too, and Michael only hoped that school administrators don’t work overtime at eight pm.
He slipped on the long tee shirt and boxers. Those were plenty big on him too, but they’re too small for Linc anymore so he just used them for sleeping anyway. He grabbed a pair of socks out of Linc’s dresser and headed into the living room to put them on and watch some TV. Conveniently, he can clearly hear over the soft flow of water in the kitchen to the conversation that Linc’s having. Michael hears his name a few times, but it could be anyone from Mrs. Linkle to Veronica, to their mom’s sister Lorraine who sometimes calls to make sure they’re still alive or something.
“Alright…Thank you….Yes, sure…Night.”
Linc walked into the living room, flopping down on the couch beside his brother. He frowned at what Mike was watching and then snatched the control from the kid’s smaller hands.
“Hey,” Linc softly scolded, quickly changing the channel and grateful that his brother was dazed thinking about something else. “Just because the channels there doesn’t mean you’re allowed to watch it.”
“Huh? Oh, I wasn’t watching that!” Michael looked guiltily away from the TV and Linc and glanced around the room. Lincoln rolled his eyes.
“Alright, spill it. What’s eating you up today?”
“Nothing.” It was maybe a tad too fast of a response.
“Want to try that again?” Linc said more seriously, smacking the back of Mike’s head, hard.
“No,” he answered honestly and then turned to look over at the TV. Linc had stopped on some infomercial that was pretty stupid and more for women that men or teens but he still looking deeply interested at it.
“How about you try that again before we starting having this conversation with your ass up and over my lap, huh?”
Michael looked down at his lap and wanted to bolt out of the room and, what hide under the covers? There was nowhere in the apartment that he could hide, and if he tried to leave then he’d more than likely get a worse spanking, and out in public too.
“I need you to come to school on Thursday.”
“Conference.” Mike glanced up and then away because Lincoln hated his little one word answers and he was definitely going to get swatted later for them but for the life of him he couldn’t just blurt everything out like that. Not with Linc already threatening him.
“With and why?”
“Michael! Damnit, tell me what the hell happened or else!”
“I, um, I’ve been to the nurse a few times lately and I think she’s maybe concerned a little bit.”
“The nurse? What happened?” And Linc’s hands are all over him now, lifting his shirt and shifting his hair around to see his scalp and all – trying to gauge what was wrong.
“Linc! I’m fine. It’s nothing.” Michael’s hands clenched at his boxers and the hem of his shirt, tugging them out of his brother’s hands.
“How many times is a few times exactly and what did you go in there for?”
“Michael, so help me,” Linc threatened and he was already using his grip on Mike to tug him closer to his lap.
“Four. Ffive times.”
“Five times? Since when?”
“Last two weeks.” Linc’s eyes grew furious and he reached out and smacked him on the thigh really really hard.
“Two weeks! Michael!”
“I’m sorry.” And he was. Really. Because he didn’t want anyone to have to worry or to be scared or anything. It was just a little blood. Nothing like that time a few months back when Lincoln had gotten into a bar brawl and his nose had been running with blood but the other guy wasn’t even conscious so it was a victory. And Linc had been fine after that, and he’d lost a lot of blood. Michael hadn’t lost nearly that much in all of the incidents at school. Or the ones that had occurred at home.
“Sorry? We’ll see about that. Tell me exactly what happened.”
“My nose,” he whimpered, biting at his lip and rubbing with his hand at the bare thigh where Linc had been mean to him.
“What? Bled?” Michael nodded. “You get hit with something?” He shook his head. “Sniff something?” Another head shake. “Was it dry in there, too hot?”
“No. nothing like that.” Lincoln frowned. Michael felt defeated.
“Dunno, it just bled out.” Lincoln pulled at Mike’s arms again and Michael thought he was going to start crying but Linc just settled him on his lap, facing him, and tilted his head back to look up his nostrils or something.
“How many times and how much.”
“Uh, not that much. Nothing really. I’m fine Linc.”
Lincoln released Michael’s chin and glared at him. His hands came to rest on his brother’s hips and while it was a loose hold, it made Mike nervous all the same. Especially since they tightened at the last phrase.
“I won’t ask you again, Michael. How. Many. Times.”
“Like, maybe ten or or twelve.”
“Damnit Michael! What the fuck were you thinking! Don’t you know better?! You have to tell me this kind of shit, damnit. For fuck’s sake, do you know how dangerous that is? Do you!”
Michael didn’t get a chance to respond. Linc made use of his hands and easily maneuvered him around until his butt was skyward and his face was guiltily and miserably hiding in the couch cushion beside them.
Lincoln wasn’t known for being a softie or weak for any means and when he was dedicated to something, say like taking care of his brother, he stuck pretty good to it. And in his eyes, when he had to discipline, it was only ever done one way and that was on the bare and Michael hated it.
“Lincoln? Linc, please!”
“Two fucking weeks, Michael! Where’s your head, damnit! For fuck’s sake!” And then his hand’s dropping like a ton of bricks or something equally as hard and deadly.
Michael closed his eyes and tried to picture himself somewhere that wasn’t his current predicament. He wasn’t very successful, but it was helping him keep from sobbing.
It wasn’t as if Lincoln did this to him for every little thing. Because he didn’t. Sure, his brother was pretty short tempered, and him and LJ had both been awarded with swats here and there when Linc really wasn’t to be bothered, but Linc was usually really good with the both of them. And LJ was just almost two and he wasn’t really bad just yet.
Lincoln was nowhere close to abusive, and Michael should know. Those years that he had spent in the ‘system’ were the scariest of his life. He had met a lot of angry, scary people through that and he was ever grateful to be with his brother. And it wasn’t to say that Linc was the only one that had ever spanked him, because in his second home from the system, the lady there who always smelled of cigarette smoke and never let him call Linc, she had this tree out back that she yanked the branches off of and called them switches. At least those weren’t on the bare, but he’s still smart enough not to mention her to Linc because his brother is of the mind that he and only he can lay on hand on him.
At least Lincoln loved him, because none of the others had. Not the ones that hurt him, and not the ones that had left him alone. And definitely not the ones he couldn’t even remember.
Michael came back to his current position when something harder than his brother’s already hard hand started coming down against his throbbing cheeks.
“Yeow! L-linc?” Michael looked up from the couch and turned his teary around to look over his shoulder. And while the sight of his red bottom wasn’t all that surprising, the fact that Lincoln had gotten a hold of a ruler from where they were perched was.
“Quiet.” But Michael couldn’t be quiet now, because the smack that landed then was so much worse than the first set that he had been able to ignore.
“Lincoln! Linc, please!”
“You become a doc or something?” Lincoln growled, raising his arm and bringing it down again, hard. “Suddenly you know everything now? Huh!”
“Nnnoo! Lincoln! Ow!”
“You. Tell. Me. When You’re. Hurt! You little moron! You trying to die here or something! Fucking Christ, Michael!”
“Stop! Linc! It hurts!” he doesn’t even know why he had said that. It wasn’t like his brother was going to be sympathetic. Or even the slim chance that he would ease up or stop all together. But that wasn’t Lincoln’s style.
“Lost your fucking mind!”
Lincoln cursed a lot, even though he didn’t like for Michael to do it and was trying kind of hard so that LJ wouldn’t hear those words from him. Mike’s pretty sure that the kid’s hearing plenty over at his mother’s place, but he better be smart enough not to bring that back to their place with him. Because Linc would flip out. It’s not even that he had a thing against kids cursing or anything, he just didn’t want his kids to do it. And Michael kind of fell into that category.
“Not telling is lying! And you don’t lie to me!”
He didn’t lie, not when he could help it. It was one thing that they both tried really hard to keep true to. And yeah, Mike couldn’t do a damn thing to him if Linc lied – which Michael was pretty certain that he did –but he didn’t know when they were lies and when it was the truth, so he always believed him. And the certain points he was currently making sure helped push that lesson along.
“Ow! OWW! St- OP!!”
Lincoln was being pretty thorough, making certain that all parts of his brother’s disobedient bottom were equally and thoroughly covered. He tossed the ruler aside and resumed with his hand.
“Don’t lie to me, AGAIN!” The last, and final, set of smacks marked his thighs and sitting area, which was going to seriously put a cramp on his seating and lifestyle.
“You promise me. You say just that, Michael.”
“I pr prom-iss.” And he’s trying to get his words out clearly through the sobbing, but it’s pretty damn hard.
Lincoln pulled the boxers back to their place and lowered the hem of Mike’s shirt to just over the now crimson cheeks. Michael continued to cry, feeling better every second that no resounding and painful smacks landed and instead enjoyed the calmer and more approachable version of his brother. Linc passed his hand through his brother’s sweating hair and rubbed at his back.
“Easy, Kid. You’re going to be just fine.”
“Hopefully enough to remind you to be straight with me.” And Michael didn’t expect Linc to be feeling any kind of sorry.
Lincoln got him back to his feet and then pulled him into his arms. Michael returned the hug, holding onto Linc and never wanting to having had disappointed him.
“Did didn’t th think!”
“Didn’t think what, hm? That I wouldn’t mind you out there bleeding half to death? You maybe being hurt and my not knowing? Or just in general, you not even caring about your own health?”
“I d do care!! I didn’t want to scare anyone.”
“Mike,” Lincoln groaned, dropping back down to sit and pulling Michael along with him to his chest. “You can’t keep secrets like that from me, not about your health. You hear?”
“Michael, I’m serious.”
“- I’m fine.”
“A doc will be the judge of that.” Michael hated doctors, hadn’t liked them in the first place but really hated them after how they hadn’t been able to help momma, and Linc knew that. But as Michael looked up and tried to reason with his brother, he was met with a determined look. There would be no changing Lincoln’s mind about this. “I’ll tell my boss tomorrow that I’m taking off early on Thursday. Then, I’ll head over to the school just at the end of the day. Meet me there and we’ll head to the doctors after.”
Michael frowned. He didn’t like the plan one bit, but Lincoln wasn’t stating it for an opinion that was what they were going to do. No matter how Michael personally felt about the whole thing.
“And, if it starts bleeding again, you tell me. Clear?”
“I mean it, Michael.”
"If I ask you, I’ll know if you’re lying to me.”
“This is serious.”
“Lincoln! I know!”
“Hey!” Lincoln warned, smacking the side of Mike’s head and not being gentle about it. “Don’t get smart with me.”
“Good. Now, bed.”
Michael sighed. He glanced around, but he couldn’t find a clock. He was certain he still had some time before bed.
“Come on, let’s go.” Lincoln stood them both up, and Michael grabbed his left wrist, maneuvering it until he could see the time on the wristwatch.
“By ten minutes! And, you haven’t really been honest with me for half a month now. No TV for you.”
“I barely get to watch!” Michael groaned. His life was so unfair, and sometimes his brother was certainly out to make things worse for him.
“Then, I guess you won’t be missing much. Shut it, Mike. And get to bed!”
Michael groaned again, and was about to reply when Linc released him at the entrance to his bedroom.
“What?” Linc snapped.
Michael knew he looked guilty, but he couldn’t help it. He wondered whether it would be a good idea to bring up that he had been forging Lincoln’s signature for those two weeks, or if he should maybe see if they brought it up during the conference.
“Um, good night, Linc.” He quickly hugged his brother and turned into his room. Confessing now, when Linc was still all in ‘spanking mode’ was not a good idea at all. And Michael knew a thing or two about ideas, and plans, and puzzles. Sure, come Thursday he was sure to be dead, but for the moment he was going to play it cool.
“Night,” Linc hugged him back, shoving him into the room with a final swap to his head and then headed back to the living room, probably to watch one of those channels that Michael had to pretend didn’t even exist.
Michael laid down to sleep. He closed his eyes and tried to not imagine the look on Lincoln’s face when he learned of his further transactions. He certainly wasn’t going to make it to fourteen at the rate he was going.