In Deep by Twocrazywriters
Summary: This story takes a detour from Prison Break canon after Alex Mahone ends up in a hotel with Felicia Lang and Richard Sullins in Panama. Unlike the show, he doesn't wait for her and escapes through the window.
Categories: Post-Escape, Alternate Universe Characters: Agent Alexander Mahone, Agent Felicia Lang, Gretchen Morgan, Lincoln Burrows, LJ Burrows, Michael Scofield, Other
Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama, Romance, Tragedy
Pairing: Lincoln and Mahone, Michael and Sara
Warnings: Drugs/Drug Use, Graphic Violence, Sexual Situations, Slash, Spoilers S1, Spoilers S2, Spoilers S3
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 25 Completed: Yes Word count: 69789 Read: 23501 Published: April 01, 2011 Updated: December 18, 2011
Story Notes:
Beta by the amazing Foxriverinmate.
Mention of sexual relations between Lincoln and Gretchen.

1. Chapter 1 by Twocrazywriters

2. Chapter 2 by Twocrazywriters

3. Chapter 3 by Twocrazywriters

4. Chapter 4 by Twocrazywriters

5. Chapter 5 by Twocrazywriters

6. Chapter 6 by Twocrazywriters

7. Chapter 7 by Twocrazywriters

8. Chapter 8 by Twocrazywriters

9. Chapter 9 by Twocrazywriters

10. Chapter 10 by Twocrazywriters

11. Chapter 11 by Twocrazywriters

12. Chapter 12 by Twocrazywriters

13. Chapter 13 by Twocrazywriters

14. Chapter 14 by Twocrazywriters

15. Chapter 15 by Twocrazywriters

16. Chapter 16 by Twocrazywriters

17. Chapter 17 by Twocrazywriters

18. Chapter 18 by Twocrazywriters

19. Chapter 19 by Twocrazywriters

20. Chapter 20 by Twocrazywriters

21. Chapter 21 by Twocrazywriters

22. Chapter 22 by Twocrazywriters

23. Chapter 23 by Twocrazywriters

24. Epilogue by Twocrazywriters

25. Alternate Epilogue by Twocrazywriters

Chapter 1 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
This is our new novel! Be prepared that this is a little darker than our 'Touch' series.
Alex felt the blood rush in his head. His heart was beating like a drum, but the only thing he was thinking about was how to get away. He knew he wouldn’t have a prayer in court. Not like he was now. Nobody would believe, or trust, an addict.

Not to mention that Sullins would rip him apart as soon as he found out that the agent he’d accused of corruption was one-step further down the road.

So he’d escaped through the hotel window. He’d felt bad for Lang for a moment, but he had to think of himself first.

A junkie. He was a junkie. His hands were shaking, sweat running down his back. Where was he? He had been running. He’d fallen, hands chafed. He’d almost run into a market, but turned into an alley as soon as he realized he was heading into a mass of people.

The alley. He was still there. He smelled vomit and something else that mixed with the stench. He wasn’t sure if it was his own or the odors from the alley itself. He tried to focus and keep a clear head, but it was damned hard when all he wanted, needed, were his pills. He curled up, exhausted and in pain.

“Mahone,” somebody growled. He knew that voice. He directed his shaking body to it as he was suddenly hoisted up and slammed against the wall. “I thought I saw you slithering in here. You’re out?! You fucking bastard!” Just what he needed; Lincoln Burrows.

“Some water.” His throat felt like cardboard.

“I don’t fucking care.” To emphasize he didn’t, Burrows landed a fist in Alex’s stomach. Alex doubled over in pain, but he couldn’t for long. The hand was back around his throat, tightening, but he didn’t have the strength to fight it so he closed his eyes, his hands feebly touching Burrows’ as his tears fell.

“What the hell-” Burrows demanded, face close to Alex, using the rest of his bulk to keep Alex plastered against the wall, holding him prisoner, supporting him.

Alex could smell something like garlic… it made him sick. On the other hand, maybe it was just how much he craved what he didn’t have.

“You’re on drugs?!” Burrows asked incredulously. Alex laughed or at least he thought he did. It sounded pathetic.

“Not anymore.” He should be in a panic, but he couldn’t begin to care. What else could he do? He was in no condition to fight this man. Lincoln Burrows had been unable to kill him before, but Alex was smart enough not to depend on that again. On the other hand, strangling a man was very personal. It made it so very real.

Then real laughter sounded, bitter, sarcastic. It wasn’t his own. “Oh this is fantastic. Did you do this to yourself or did somebody shoot you up in Sona? And since we’re on that subject, how did you get out?” The hand had loosened around his throat. Strange he hadn’t felt it when that happened.

He opened his eyes to look at Burrows’ face. “FBI came to get me; I jumped bail so to speak.”

Burrows’ eyes narrowed. “Looking for a hit?” Alex couldn’t deny it even though he wanted to. “I really want to kill you… but first you’re going to give me some information.” Burrows looked around and was seemingly satisfied with what he saw. “Behave, act like nothing’s wrong.”

Alex didn’t know what the other man expected. Why would he listen to a man who threatened to kill him after he’d got what he wanted? “Why should I?” he rasped.

“Because I know what it’s like and I can make you suffer a lot worse than you are now.” Burrows spoke loudly in his ear.

Alex complied with his wishes mainly because he didn’t know what else to do.
~~~~~~

He didn’t know how long they’d walked. He stumbled a few times, but Burrows had an arm around his waist steadying him whenever he almost fell.

“You’re going cold turkey, aren’t you?” Burrows had asked him during their walk.

“None of your-“ he didn’t finish that sentence as a painful spasm wrecked his exhausted body.

Again the laugh; it sounded cruel to Alex’s ears. Then again, he probably deserved to be mocked by someone like Burrows. “Oh yeah, you’re going cold turkey all right.”

Burrows said nothing else and got him into a rickety car.
Alex vaguely wondered where Burrows got the money for it, but then again, the man was a criminal; he’d probably stolen it. The ride made him even sicker and he almost threw up. However, he kept his dignity; little there was left of it, intact.

After some time, they stopped in front of a rundown house in the middle of the woods. Trees and foliage surrounded it, almost hiding it from his eyes. Burrows dragged him out of the car, to the wooden door and kicked it open. It looked more like a small shack inside. Nothing much was in it and a persistent moldy odor made it even less appealing. This place hadn’t been used in a long time.

“Nobody is going to find you here. Now sit down” Burrows pushed him down on a chair and hit him out of the blue with a left hook. He almost fell off from the sheer force of it, pain blossoming in his jaw.

Burrows disappeared to the back for a moment, but Alex knew he wouldn’t make it two steps to the door. He felt an almost basic instinct for survival, but he wasn’t sure if he wanted to live more than he wanted to die. He just needed one of them; his pills.

Burrows was back, carrying rope.

“Can you-” Alex tried, hating himself for what he wanted to ask.

“No I can’t, not yet.” Burrows voice sounded softer somehow; maybe it was because he was behind Alex tying him up with rope. “What did you take?”

Like hell Alex was going to answer that. Burrows would use it against him. Alex knew he would. All of them only wanted to hurt him. What had he been thinking going along with this man?

“What the hell did you take, Mahone?” Burrows was back, right in his face. “Hey!” A slap to his right cheek rattled his brain.

Alex hissed, “Fuck off,” in return.

Burrows smiled, growled, “If you want to get rid of what you’re feeling, that rollercoaster, you’re going to tell me right now.”

Alex was getting cold, his arms cramped already from the tight rope around him. He felt out of control and it scared him. “Midazolam” he said without fully realizing his mouth had betrayed him.

“Good. I’ll be back soon. Maybe I’ll bring you some candy,” Burrows mocked him, opened the door and then disappeared.

The next few hours were pure agony. The sun was setting, which was actually a good thing because the light hurt his eyes, but other than that… he couldn’t defend himself and his shaking made him unable to try and get loose. He was cold, so cold and every part of his body hurt. He was positive he could hear something nearby, but nobody ever entered. He felt like laughing and crying at the same time and counting didn’t help. His fevered mind lost count several times, so he gave up.

He had to focus; control was everything, even the last shred he could dig up. “It’s a rainy night in Georgia-” he started to sing. His voice was raw, his throat hurting beyond words, but he could do this. He could sing this song.

The darkness around him descended, but his renewed focus gave him a steadfast mind. Every word came streaming out and he sang the entire song from beginning to finish. Five seconds after the end, he began again.
~~~~~~

“Mahone!” Somebody kicked against his chair and if not for the ropes he would have fallen off. He still felt awful and his vision was blurry. “I’ve got you something,” a loud, raw voice said.

“Thank you, please-” He whispered, unable to speak loudly. He looked at the dark shape that must be Burrows walking in front of him. Then a light appeared, a candle maybe.

“You want some water with it?” Burrows said gruffly in stark contrast to the kindness he was offering.

“Yes-” Burrows came closer and two thick fingers holding a pill wormed their way past Alex’s lips. He didn’t even care if the man had washed his hands. Alex tasted salt from Burrow’s fingers and then felt the pill on his tongue. Oh God.

The fingers were already out of his mouth and a glass was at his lips. His head was pulled back none too gently and he drank what he could, almost choking but relishing the feeling of water.

“That’s it, nothing more or you’ll get sick.” Burrows said as he pulled the glass away much too early. Some moisture spilled on Alex’s chin and clothes.

“What do you care?” Alex rasped.

Burrows leaned towards him. “I don’t want you to choke on your own vomit yet.” He then walked to the other side of the room, sat down and watched him.

Alex closed his eyes and let the pill do its job. He just hoped it was the right one. It soon took effect. It wasn’t nearly enough and he was left craving more, but at least it took the edge off. He was able to focus a bit more and the pounding in his head disappeared. Finally, the state of his body wasn’t his all consuming worry anymore. About nine feet in front of him was Burrows, peering at him. A candle outlining his features, but not showing much more. A few more candles were scattered around the cabin, giving it a ghostly, eerie feeling. Whoever thought candles only brought romance was wrong.

“Does anyone know I’m here?” he asked; voice still raspy. He really needed more water.

“No.” Burrows groused. He seemed angry about something, but then again he had plenty of reason to be just that.

“What are you planning to do with me?” Alex rasped again.

“Starting to get worried, Mahone?” It probably should have sounded teasing, but somehow there was no real sting in it. Burrows’ heart wasn’t in it, it seemed. Maybe that could be an advantage.

“You don’t kill and killing me like this would be an execution, one more notch up from *just* killing somebody.” Alex tried to reason with him, but Burrows just snorted.

“You don’t think I got the balls to squeeze your throat?”

Alex tried to smile as he suppressed a chilly shiver. “Oh I think you’ve got balls, but it doesn’t take balls to kill.”

His captor stood and walked towards him. “And you should know; isn’t that right, Mahone?”

He inclined his head, feeling sorrowful all of a sudden. He looked towards the flame and for a moment, he thought he saw David Apolskis staring back at him. “Yes, I should know.” He said softly.

Burrows stood close to him now, big frame darkened because what little light they had was behind him. “How’s Michael?” It sounded sad, but eager. It gave Alex an upper hand he didn’t really want to take.

“Angry, afraid, pigheaded.” His lips and tongue moved without consulting his brain again. Control was slipping away as fast as it had come.

“Can he do it in time?” Burrows continued. Presumably he meant breaking out.

Alex couldn’t let that one lie. “Losing faith in your brother, Burrows?” Just like the first time, he didn’t see the fist coming, but his jaw felt the imprint and his head was still ringing as Burrows was pacing on the other side of the room, as far away from Alex as he could be.

“Don’t you try to use any of your fucking tricks, Mahone.”
Burrows was angry again, an emotion Mahone was more comfortable with. He understood it and he could use it.

“I’m not using any tricks,” he whispered, because every word hurt his throat some more.

Burrows was beside him with a few steps, crossing the room in two seconds, invading Alex’s personal space. “Just so you realize. If you go back on the streets you’re dead. Cops are looking for you, Company probably too and you’re an addict. How long do you think you’ll survive alone?”

The closeness of Burrows’ face to Alex’s should probably invoke some emotion in him, but it didn’t. He didn’t feel afraid, disgusted… nothing. “How long will I survive in here?” He asked.

Burrows ground his teeth, blew out the candles and left Alex in total darkness.
~~~~~~

He woke up and was amazed he had actually fallen asleep in that agonizing position. He’d lost the feeling in his hands some time during the night after pins and needles wreaked havoc in his entire body. The chair was hard and unforgiving, the darkness closing in on him and bringing him waking nightmares. There was a bird outside, chirping. Light shone through small openings in the wood and from underneath the curtain that was hanging in front of the lone window. Thank God night was over.

The door opened with a bang; Burrows was back. Alex regarded the man with irrational fear as another tremor shook his body. “I didn’t mean to kill your father.” He could hardly hear himself. His voice was almost gone.

Burrows didn’t show any emotion on his face except for his eyes, which showed unimaginable pain. “If you want to live longer you won’t say anything even close to being connected to my father, got that?”

Alex nodded.

Burrows opened the small bag he had with him and took out a bottle of water and a small box. Opening it he took out another small pill and Alex’s heart almost leapt out of his chest.

“Let’s get one thing straight. I’m not your drug dealer; it stops the moment I get what I want from you,” Burrows said stiffly as he stood in front of him, water in one hand and the pill in the other. Alex wanted to say something, but Burrows just continued, “open wide.”

Alex did what was asked and again the fingers put the pill in his mouth. Burrows then opened the bottle and put it against Alex’s lips. He tried to swallow as much as he could as he felt the pill going down, hopefully doing what it needed to do fast. It was over too quickly and tears sprang into his eyes from the forceful intake of the blessed liquid. Burrows was moving away, putting the bottle on the table.

Suddenly, out of the blue, Burrows asked, “what would you do in a hostage situation?”

The question threw him. “What?”

Burrows turned; eyes blazing, somehow furious. “You heard me, asshole. What would you do?”

Alex felt the drugs entering his system and looked the man in the eye. He thought about what he had said yesterday and realized that yeah, if he played his cards right, Burrows might very well be his best bet of getting out alive.

“Contact the criminal, the hostage taker, first.”

Burrows shook his head. “Yeah I know; no dice there. “

Alex was getting curious now. Burrows had somebody in trouble. Couldn’t be Michael. The kid then? Didn’t he hear Michael say something about that in Sona? “When communication with the hostage taker doesn’t work you find out why they did it. Why did they take the hostages, make a profile and play with that.” It still hurt to talk, but his voice was a bit louder now.

Burrows didn’t answer immediately and his eyes wandered everywhere but at Alex. He was thinking. Alex wished he knew what about.

“How are your hands?” He asked completely avoiding the previous subject.

“Can’t feel them anymore.” Alex replied.

It was silent again and Burrows looked at him in that eerie manner of his. The one where you didn’t know if he was going to attack you and beat you into a pulp or deflate and sit. Then, the strangest thing happened; Burrows untied him. “You’re no used to me without hands,” he said.

Alex wanted to rub his hands, but found he couldn’t. “Why this sudden turn of generosity?” he whispered as the half-empty water bottle was placed next to him.

“I’ve got a problem and you’re going to help me solve it.” Alex cocked his head in question and Burrows let out a mockery of a laugh. “Yeah, seems like I am desperate doesn’t it? They killed Sara, if that means anything to you, and they’re going to kill my son.”
End Notes:
Feedback, comments etc are great as always:-)
Chapter 2 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
As always, beta by Foxriverinmate
‘They’re going to kill my son.’ It still echoed in Alex’s mind, Burrow’s broken voice as he’d said it. Alex had a son too. He knew of the anguish and fear. It explained Burrow’s erratic behavior and Michael’s obsession with time.

“They want Michael to break Whistler out or they’ll kill your boy?” He asked and Burrows nodded.

“That about sums it up.” It was bad for him, but Alex couldn’t bring himself to care beyond the similarities with his own case, back in the States. The company had threatened Cameron. God knows what they could still do. He wasn’t about to jeopardize his family for this fugitive.

“What is it that you want from me?” He did wonder. It wasn’t as if he could break Michael and Whistler out.
“I don’t know. You’re the expert; think of something.”

Alex snorted. He was hungry; maybe he could get Burrows to bring some food as well. “It isn’t that easy. I would need details and you’ll need manpower.”

Burrows practically vibrated with a mix of anger and total devastation. It told Alex all he needed to know; this was it, he had nobody else.

“I’ve got Sucre and the bitch from the Company. There’s Whistler’s girlfriend, but she could be more trouble than help.”

Burrows needed somebody to talk with, obviously. The man was desperate. Alex saw a small light at the end of the dark tunnel. “What happened to Sara?” He asked softly.

Burrows turned, didn’t look him in the eye. Instead he asked briskly, “you’ve got feeling in your hands again?” Alex didn’t answer directly because he was a bit thrown by the renewed anger in Burrows’ voice. Burrows didn’t wait and roughly grabbed Alex’s arms; tying one hand behind his back, looser this time, the other hand was given a bit of freedom with the rope going around his legs and the chair.

“I’ll get you some food.” Burrows groused as he exited before Alex’s sluggish mind found something to say.
~~~~~~

Alex was trying to get out of the ropes. He had been trying for some time now, but they wouldn’t give. Even with the extra freedom Burrows had given him, there was no way he was getting out. His wrists hurt and he still had not an inch of progress to show for his efforts. It figured Burrows knew how to tie a knot.

His head snapped up when the door banged opened so loudly that he expected it to fly out off the hinges. Burrows barged in, straight at him. He grabbed Alex by his shirt, pushed him, chair and all, to the back of the cabin and slammed him against the wall behind him. He did this without a hint of effort.

The pure fury told Alex he could be in deep shit when a fist slammed into his stomach and the famous Burrows’ anger he’d read about rained down on him in a flurry of fists and open hands. It was over in seconds, but Alex was bleeding and hurting bad. The only comfort was that he was already hurting, so it wasn’t a new feeling; just a bit worse.

Burrows was pacing again; a caged panther out for a kill, but without the capability to do so. Alex tasted the blood in his mouth, his tongue feeling his teeth, making sure nothing was loose. He was sure his jaw was bruised now; his face was probably turning into something resembling his general state of being.

Burrows hit the wall with his fist, shaking Alex out of his physical check. It went on for a couple of minutes until the fist bled a lot more than Alex’s split lip. Burrows turned then, back to the wall, and let himself slide down. They shared a single look and then the man closed his eyes. Alex continued to stare at him, trying to gauge his state of mind, but gave up after Burrows made no move to get back in the game.

“Did I break anything?” Burrows finally said after a long time.

Alex had shot glances at him, but was staring at the small cracks of light in the wall when he heard the voice. He looked up again. Weary eyes, one of which was puffing up rapidly, met defeated ones. Then Burrows turned his gaze away as if he was ashamed.

“No, I don’t think so.” Alex tried to sound as nonchalant as possible, but his voice quavered a bit. He was aware that he was probably close to a mother of a breakdown. He couldn’t even escape if he got the chance and the only real opportunity he had at all lay with a man who could easily beat the crap out of him at will and kill him for kicks. And now, the last bit of strength Alex had had was effectively beaten out of him by those two hammers Burrows called fists.

“They cut off her head because I didn’t follow orders. I tried to break her out.” Burrows said in a low voice, breaking slightly. “They sent her head to me in a box. I don’t know how to tell Michael.”

Alex let out a breath of air as if he’d been punched again. That was rough; maybe he would have reacted like Burrows had. He was caught between a rock and a hard place with nowhere to go, exactly where Alex was as well.

“I’m sorry.” He whispered.

Burrows glanced at him. “Are you really?”

Alex didn’t know much, but he did regret the doctor’s death. He even regretted most of the killings he was responsible for. Apolskis and Patoshik came to mind.

“Yes I am. The people who… died by my hand, it was necessary, but I didn’t enjoy it. I don’t enjoy seeing people die and suffer.”

Burrows puffed out a hiccup of a laugh. “How was it necessary? Like that company bitch felt it was necessary to kill Sara?”

Alex shook his head. “People like that kill hostages for shock value, making sure you understand what they can do, keeping you under control. I killed because I had to, just like you would do anything for your son.”

He could see the denial in the man’s eyes, so he added, “if it could save your son you would execute me right now. You’d hate it, feel miserable and sick. You’d probably carry it with you all of your life, hampering your sleep, your existence, but you’d do it.”

Burrows dragged a hand across his face and stood slowly, as if he was the one hurting from a beating. “Maybe, but only to protect my son, not to protect my hide or my career.”

It figured Scofield would have shared his thoughts with his brother, but Alex didn’t care anymore. He didn’t deny it either.

“These people killed my ex-girlfriend, my ex-wife…they won’t stop, Mahone. You need to take some responsibility for this too.”

Alex didn’t know what to say. He’d only started to think about this company a few days ago. In a way beyond his own problems that is.

Burrows moved towards the door and said almost soberly, “I’ve got a first aid kit in my car. I’ll go get it. Do you want a sandwich?”

Alex nodded and let his eyes follow the man as he exited the meager cabin again.

Burrows was back within minutes and true to his word he carried a kit and a big, brown paper bag. “Here.” Burrows spoke softly, but roughly. “I’ll cut you lose, you can do the rest yourself.” He threw the paper bag at Alex’s feet and put the kit next to him on the small wooden table that had held his bottle of water before.

Burrows pulled out a knife and cut him loose. Circulation began to flow again and cause some pain in his legs and arms. “You can walk if you want. I’ll just sit over there until you’re done.”

Alex couldn’t exactly walk. It took quite some time to get feeling back in all of his limbs. The process hurt and he tried to minimize the pain by flexing his arms and legs slightly, one by one. He picked up the paper bag and found a simple wrapped sandwich as well as some water. Burrows was sitting on his chair, watching him. Alex would have been self-conscious about that if he wasn’t quite so low. He couldn’t begin to think about anything else when he had food and water in his hands. When he’d eaten the sandwich and slowly drank his water, he felt like he resembled a bit of a human being again. “Go and take a leak, back room; there is a toilet you can use. Leave the door open.” Burrows suddenly said.

A toilet? Alex hadn’t thought of that.

It wasn’t that he had to go and Alex didn’t want to humiliate himself like that either. On the other hand his body gave him so many mixed signals that he wasn’t sure if he really didn’t need to use a toilet. Soiling himself later definitely wasn’t an option. So he tried to stand slowly and almost fell. Burrows didn’t make a move to help him.

He shuffled towards the small room in which he saw something more closely resembling a bowl with a hole in it than a toilet. Although the cabin looked like it hadn’t been cleaned for some time, the toilet itself wasn’t that dirty. He opened his fly and relieved himself. It wasn’t much, he had hardly drunk anything at all, but it was something. Enough to have given him trouble later on.

He turned when he was done to see Burrows watching him closely, eyes shifting downwards as Alex put his cock back in and zipped up. Alex waited; disgusted that he couldn’t wash his hand as Burrows said “Go and fix yourself up.” For a moment, Alex started to resent it. He wanted to spit something back. That he wasn’t a dog to listen to commands, but he tried to let go of his anger in favor of survival.

Burrows must have seen him clenching his jaw however, because he said, “Don’t give me that, man. You’re the bad guy, I’m the good guy. I’m giving you something here.”
Alex snorted as he opened the kit with unsteady hands. The gauze was tied up in a tight roll and he tried to pry it open. It slipped from his hands after his fourth try.
Burrows practically jumped up.

“Fuck’s sake,” He growled and picked up the gauze as he put a hand on Alex’s shoulder. “Sit down.” Alex could hardly do anything else when the man pushed him down without patience. “Wait here.” Burrows slammed the gauze on the table and walked to the other room. “Don’t get any ideas, Mahone. Don’t move.” Alex had no idea what to expect but realized Burrows meant he didn’t want him to escape. Yeah, like he could as he was now.

Before he could have contemplated everything, Burrows was back with a brown bowl of water and a washing cloth. The ones he saw his grandmother use. “Don’t get the wrong ideas about this. Wash your face, get that grime and blood off and I’ll bandage you up.”

The bowl found a spot next to the kit and gauze and Burrows went back to his chair, watching Alex. Alex moved lethargically, he realized this, but that was what pain could do to a body. He took the washing cloth, immersed it in the water and put it to his face. It felt wonderful. The coolness of the water and the idea of getting clean for just a little bit caused a swell of emotion. He closed his eyes against it as his hand stilled on his face.

“Mahone?” Burrows said. It didn’t sound kind, but not cruel either. It didn’t sound like anything.

“Yes, just give me a moment,” he said and didn’t receive an answer so he assumed Burrows understood. It surprised him that Burrows gave him that moment, that minute to feel civilized, reasonably human.

He moved his hand now, across his face, his neck and arms. He hesitated for a moment, but then put the cloth back and opened his shirt.

“I don’t need the floor show, Mahone.” Burrows commented.

“I need to clean up, right? My chest, I-” A shiver wracked his body as the chill touched his uncovered flesh. He stoically took the washcloth again and put it to use. His eyes moved to Burrows who still watched his every move.

They sat like that. Watching each other, each of them on opposite sides of the room, as Alex’s hand roamed across his chest. “Do you have a towel?” He dared ask when he was done.

He didn’t get an answer, but Burrows stood, disappeared from sight into the backroom and appeared again. He threw an old, threadbare piece of cloth resembling a towel to Alex. “This is not a hotel,” Burrows groused.

Alex didn’t bother answering and dried his chest without putting too much pressure on his bruises and cuts.

Burrows was closer now, standing in front of him, still watching. When Alex’s hand stilled, Burrows took the towel from him and threw it behind him. He picked up the gauze, got it open in one try and tore a piece off with his mouth. Without a word, he started to bandage Alex’s arm, his hand and part of his chest. He used salve as well and although he wasn’t exactly caressing Alex, he wasn’t rough either. Alex couldn’t remember the last time he had another human being touching him with something akin to kindness. That it was Burrows, a man he was ordered to hunt and kill, who did this made it all even more surreal. He wasn’t sure what to think.

He had a feeling Burrows was thinking something along those lines as well. The large hands went so mesmerizingly slow that Alex got goose bumps as Burrows poured care on Alex’s skin. Mending what he had broken before.

“You just can’t stop killing people, can you? Michael said you killed a guy in Sona” Burrows spoke softly as he backed off, salve still in hand, using it on his own wound from hitting the wall.

Alex put his shirt back on. “Yes, I killed a man in Sona. Did Michael tell you why?”

Burrows put the salve back in the kit and shook his head. “No, but I’m sure you’ve got a story ready.”

Alex shrugged and realized too late that such an action hurt his already bruised body. “You wouldn’t believe any of it. Ask your brother.”

Burrows rested his hands on the kit, a piece of gauze in his hands. He wasn’t looking at Alex. He was probably thinking. It made Alex uneasy. Was the man going to hit him again? Or tie him up to leave him here for another night filled with terror?

“I... we need your help. I can’t do it alone.”

Alex was impressed. He’d never believed Burrows could utter words like that, even though he believed them to be necessary. The entire build up before the forced kindness; was Burrows trying to manipulate him?

“There are too many variables, according to Michael. He only has a short time to come up with this plan and once on the outside… I don’t know how’s he’s going to react at Sara’s death and my son-” A hint of defeat came back into Burrows’ voice, making it crack a little, and for just a moment Alex felt something akin to sympathy. He didn’t want to.

“I can’t help you.” Alex said without even thinking. Burrows head snapped up, looking at him with anger already creeping back on his face. “They’ll kill my family if I save yours.”
Chapter 3 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
Beta by Foxy.
Burrows was struggling with his anger, Alex could see that. “Your family? You were hunting us because of your dirty secret and all of a sudden it’s your family?” he spat.

“I... I tried to get out, but then my boy got in a hit and run and ended up at the hospital. A company agent threatened me outside. What do you think that means?” Alex didn’t have to explain and yet he did feel the need to do so.

“You’re a killer,” Burrows still tried his jaw clenching. He clearly didn’t want to believe Alex was anything more than a despicable person.

“If you hate me so much, why ask me for my help? Do you really think it matters?” Alex asked.

Burrows balled his fists and then unclenched them again. “I want to do… my son is in danger and Michael… I have to do something more than just obey this Susan bitch. I would do anything.” Burrows put broken sentences together, his distress evident in the tension in his shoulders and face. He turned his back to Alex, a hand dragging across his head and ending on his neck. “For the record, I still hate your guts, but Michael and I aren’t that stupid that we can’t see...” Burrows added, implying something that he didn’t want to say.

Alex went over his options. Saying no would probably get him killed or at least in a world full of pain. Saying yes would spell the same for Cameron and Pam. There had to be a third possibility he had missed and yet his fevered brain couldn’t see it. “As I said, my family-“

Burrows leaned forward, hands against the wall and his head bowed, interrupting him with a sigh. “Where do they live?”

Alex didn’t want to answer when another bout of fear came creeping in. Would Burrows do anything to them just out of revenge? Rational thought waged war on his baser instincts until Burrows repeated the question and added, “I have some friends; maybe they can help.”

Alex took a deep breath and continued to watch Burrows’ back. The man stood as motionless as an Ancient Roman statue, muscles rippling like a lake. “What can these *friends* do? Can’t they help with your son?”

Burrows finally turned; his face a blank mask. “They could give your family a safe house. Nobody would ever expect me to be involved in their… safekeeping. I already tried to get their help here; they don’t operate outside the US. It’s too high profile, too much of a risk.”

Alex closed his eyes. Take a gamble and trust the lives of Cameron and Pam to this man? He claimed he was innocent and maybe the company was involved, but what guarantee did he have his boy wouldn’t be killed just like that?

“I’m not going to use them against you. I told you before, I didn’t kill Steadman and I sure as hell don’t do kidnappings.”

Alex snorted and looked into Burrows’ eyes. “And what do you call this?”

Burrows leaned forward and growled, “retribution. You murdered my father, hunted us down.”

This time it was Alex who interrupted him. “It was my *job* to hunt escaped convicts. It was what I was, and am, good at. The law, Burrows. You can’t hold that against me.”

Burrows lay one hand on Alex’s right shoulder. It felt intimidating and he was sure it was meant that way. “You didn’t have to kill anyone while enforcing your *law* and I told you not to say… I am trying to give you a chance to make up for all the shit you’ve caused.” Burrows paused and brought his mouth close to Alex’s ear. “Now I would love to leave you here and never come back. You’d slowly die alone. What do you think would get you first? Withdrawal? Hunger and thirst? Or the pain, cramps and lack of circulation from being tied up?” The whisper sounded even more intimidating than Burrows could have managed swinging his fists.

Alex wanted to fight back, let his eyes pierce Burrows’, but his feelings told an entirely different story. Burrows could do just that, leave him here, and it frightened him to the core.

“Get my family to a safe place and I’ll… atone.” Alex spoke deliberately, making every word count. He hoped it was enough even though he hated to show weakness like this.

Burrows stared at him for a few more seconds then let go. He pulled a piece of paper and a pen from his pocket and put it on the table beside Alex. “Write down the address and then put your hands behind the chair.”

Alex did what was asked and wrote the address with a shaky hand. As he obeyed, he tried to quell any emotion as well. When Alex felt the rope going around his wrists again it hurt even through his bandages. He noticed that they weren’t at tight as before, but it still made him anxious. A tremor wracked his body.

“Take it easy will you?” Burrows said, raising his bulk to full height behind him and taking the address. “I’ll be back soon.”

Alex swallowed, deciding if that was good or bad, and looked up at Burrows’ back as he moved towards the door. “If we’re going to work together, you will have to trust me at least a bit,” he said softly.

Burrows stopped; he stood where he was and didn’t move at all until he said in a tone of voice that betrayed his annoyance, “you’ll have to earn it, Mahone, and that will be very, very hard.”

The door closed behind him and Alex was, once more, left alone.
~~~~~~

Alex was dreaming, or at least he hoped he was. It was strange. Somehow he realized where he was, but the table in front of him wasn’t empty. It was filled with heads. Apolskis, Patoshik, Burrows senior and even Abruzzi all sneered at him. The blond company agent was in the back, but Alex didn’t care about him. He had crossed a line; the other men hadn’t. Not really, not to him personally.
Suddenly all of the heads changed form. Apolskis morphed into Pam, Patoshik into Cameron and strangely enough, Burrows senior morphed into his son’s face. He had never killed Lincoln Burrows. The ropes around his wrists attested to that.

“Why can’t you acknowledge what you did,” Burrows’ head said. Alex blinked, tried to make them go away but they didn’t.

“I am! Don’t you think those pills attest to that?” He hissed at the heads on the table.

The door opened, the heads disappeared and he stared at Burrows, head attached to his body this time.

“Who were you talking to?” Burrows asked as if it was normal to hear a captive man talking in an empty cabin.
“Nobody,” Alex snapped.

Burrows smiled. “Pills are getting to you, aren’t they?”

Alex was annoyed, he had every reason to be so he answered gruffly, “if I had the proper amount of what I usually take they wouldn’t get to me this way at all.”

Burrows walked to the table, put a bag on it and sat down on his chair. “I told you before, Mahone, I’m not your dealer. You should be happy I got you a anything at all. Besides, you didn’t tell me how much you’re used to.”

Alex ground his teeth and refused to talk. Burrows continued to look at him, probably to see if he would break, but he didn’t. That felt like one little victory.

“I’ve called somebody who might be able to help. She isn’t sure yet, she doesn’t want to do much to jeopardize what they’re doing.” Burrows spoke matter of factly, but there was a hint of anxiety in his voice. Alex wondered why. As if the man would care what happened to Pam and Cameron. It was probably selfish. Burrows wanted it to work so he could use Alex.

“So what do we do now?” Alex asked, hoarse again. He’d only had one bottle of water in what seemed like ages, after all.

“Now we wait and I’ll fill you in.” Burrows seemed confident, almost arrogant. As if Alex would agree to anything. Even though the man was probably right, Alex still resented it. The entire situation wasn’t something he’d chosen, but then again, it was best if he quickly accepted everything as it was.

“I am not really in the mood, Burrows,” he spoke before thinking again. “As you can see I am not that comfortable. Even prisoners at Fox River have a better time in solitary.”

Burrows quirked his lip, looking slightly annoyed himself now. “You’re right; I’ll cut you lose. Just remember that I’ll rip you apart if you try anything.”

Alex believed him. The simmering rage, the resentment was still present inside of Burrows. The only difference with the beginning of this wonderful relationship was Burrow’s realization, or whatever you might call it, that he didn’t want to be like that; a violent man, ready to kill and maim.

Burrows stood, cut the ropes around Alex’s wrists and took the salve out of the first aid kit that was still present. “Here, use it if you need it.” He put it on the table with his own-bandaged hand and moved back to his side of the room.

Alex stared at him, trying to put his point across.
Burrows got it. “Yeah, I’ve got food. You want wine or beer with that, sir?” Sarcasm was dripping.

Alex snorted. “I need food and normal amounts of water if you want more out of me than blood and cracked bones.”

Burrows startled at that. “You’ve got cracked bones?”

It was almost funny, but strangely enough Alex couldn’t find the laughter inside. “No, not yet but if you’re planning to use me as your personal gym again…” He slowly removed the bandages on his arms with Burrows’ eyes following his every move.

“You deserved everything you got, Mahone.”

Alex nodded as he tried to ignore the pain he felt. “Yes, maybe I did or still do, but we’ve had this conversation before. You want me to atone, to help you. I told you I will only help if my family doesn’t pay the price.”

Burrows leaned forward, arms resting on his knees. Alex took the salve and slowly smeared it over his wounds. “It’s that simple to you? You could run the moment you know they’re safe, the moment I give you a little room to move.”

Alex continued with the salve, pretending not to look at his adversary, but taking glances from the corner of his eye anyway. “So far I haven’t gotten much room and I doubt you will give me that much. You’ve just told me to earn atonement and trust. You also know the people who are supposed to protect my son and... ex-wife. What makes you think you could ever be a victim in this arrangement?”

That brought anger back to the other man’s eyes. “Victim? You want to talk about being a victim?!”

Alex interrupted him, putting the salve besides him, focusing solely on Burrows now. “Yes. I may not be the poster child for best behavior or trust, but you hold all the cards here. You’ve said it before, I have nowhere to go. I’m as stuck as Michael is and he’s in Sona as you can probably recall. I know you view me as the devil incarnate or at least some sort of demon, but I can assure you there isn’t much I can do now.” Alex stopped talking. Not really happy with what he had said and yet oddly relieved that he had said it.

Burrows didn’t answer, but continued to stare. Alex left his arms bare out in the open, for Burrows to see. He couldn’t put the gauze back anyway. When he moved his hands towards his face, ready to take care of those problems, Burrows lowered his gaze and said, “You’re a killer, you’ve crossed a line. You may view me as a criminal, but even amongst smalltime crooks there are certain lines you don’t cross.” He wasn’t finished talking; Alex felt that there was more to come, so he waited. Burrows voice was softer now. “I didn’t kill Steadman. He killed himself quite recently, but… there was a dead man in the car in that garage. It wasn’t Steadman. I had a gun and I had people who tried to make me do it.” Burrows swallowed; it was quite clear he was uncomfortable, but he still continued to talk. “I know what it’s like when you’re forced to do something you don’t want to do just to protect your family. We’re not the same, Mahone, but the things that are happening might turn me into you and I am going to try damn hard not to let that happen.”

Alex was stunned. He didn’t really know what to say, but he was saved from saying anything when Burrows spoke.
“You’re here, you’re going to make sure neither Michael nor me has to do anything close to that… shit; ever. You’ve already done it, we haven’t. You protect us the way you know how, you help us and maybe, maybe…”

That was it and Burrows didn’t talk anymore. After what felt like ages, Burrows stood, took the salve and smeared it on Alex’s face. Then, he took the gauze and put fresh bandages on his arms. His chest and neck got the same treatment.

When it was done, Burrows went to pick up his bag and pulled out two more sandwiches, a bottle of water and a small white pill. He put all of it next to Alex on the table. Then he left the shack, leaving Alex unbound. He didn’t drive away, but still, he gave Alex room.

Alex didn’t touch his food, but took the pill and water first, his mind on Burrows. It was then that he realized what had bugged him before. It wasn’t just Burrows who hated him. He hated himself and for one reason only; Burrows thought he might be able to kill in cold blood. He implied that would have pulled the trigger on Steadman, or whoever it was, if he hadn’t been setup.

Alex didn’t really believe the man was capable of killing in cold blood. Even the beating of the past few days had proven that. Nonetheless, it seemed that Burrows was afraid he could be like Alex. Suddenly a lot more made sense to him. In none too subtle words he was asked to be an enforcer if it was needed. He wasn’t just wanted for his mind.

He tried to relax just a little as he figured out Burrows’ character and motives while he was eating one of his sandwiches. He was not going to go from being the Company’s hit man to Burrows’, but he could come up with a way where nobody needed to be what they hated most.
Chapter 4 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
Beta by Foxriverinmate.
Alex had eaten, drank and enjoyed the feeling of the pill. It took the edge off again. Even though he felt like he was constantly teetering on the edge of the abyss, it gave him enough to stay afloat.

He’d found a bit more cloth and put it on the floor in a corner, near Burrow’s chair. It was good to sit on something other than the chair. He tried lying down and found it wasn’t exactly comfortable, but his aching body cheered and sighed. He gave in and fell into an exhausted sleep.

“Mahone!” He felt something, or somebody, nudge his legs.

The voice was soft too, but with a raw element to it. He opened his eyes to see Burrows standing over him in a dim light. The cabin was dark save for a few candles. There were more than last time and Alex decided he liked that. He’d always hated the dark, but since last night…

“Had a good nap?” His captor asked with thinly veiled sarcasm as he moved away to the table.

Alex tried to sit up; he managed it slowly. “Yes, I think it helped a bit.”

Burrows looked at him sideways. “Stay there; I’ll make you some more food.”

Alex obeyed, but only because he wanted what Burrows had to offer. The makeshift bed was a lot better than the hard and unforgiving chair. “You’ve got a stove here?” He asked lightly.

Burrows barked out a laugh. “You’re not serious, are you? No, I’ve brought a water boiler. We’ve got a bit of electricity here through a generator. I’ve plugged it in outside.” Burrows took the small electric boiler out of his bag and stuck it into something Alex couldn’t see. They didn’t speak as Burrows walked back and forth slowly emptying the bag bit by bit.

It was a normal scene in a twisted sense of the word. Alex leaned against the wall, just sitting and watching as his captor, or partner whatever you wanted to call it, made some food.

“It tastes like shit, but it’s warm. My mother always said that you have to make sure to eat something warm every day, no matter what it is, as long as it’s warm,” Burrows murmured as he poured water into two large cups. He put a spoon in each and handed one to Alex.

The warmth seeped into his hands and Alex realized then how cold he’d been and still was. The food was some sort of broth. It looked like noodles with some vegetables; it would probably taste like cardboard.

“Thank you,” he said before he slurped a spoonful.

Burrows didn’t answer, but soon a slurp from his direction indicated that they were both eating.

It wasn’t bad at all and when he was done, Burrows took the cup out of his hand and produced a couple of boiled eggs from the water boiler. “You want bread with them? I’ve got some salad too.” Alex looked up, seeing a large man who was supposed to be quite intimidating and had beaten Alex up on more than one occasion, waiting for his answer with hot eggs in one hand and a water boiler in the other.

It was so absurd that Alex couldn’t push away the bubble of laughter that was threatening to come up so he gave into it. Burrows stared at him, raising one eyebrow. “You’re cooking for me.” Alex wheezed.

For a moment he thought Burrows would attack him in anger, but then his lips twitched and he quickly turned around.

“Yeah well, don’t get used to it, Mahone.” Burrows gruffly said, though there was no real sting in his words.

Alex felt a glimmer of hope flicker. “Bread and some salad would be fine.” He said with a small smile.

“You’ve got it,” Burrows said as he put the meager but wonderful meal on a dingy, plastic, plate and handed it to Alex.

Alex tried to fold his legs and saw Burrows shake his head. “No man, not good. Come on; sit at the table while you’re eating.” He motioned his head and grabbed Alex’s chair pulling it closer.

Alex didn’t really want to sit on the chair again, but Burrows was probably right, so with a groan and feeling like a very old man, he got up slowly. Burrows leaned towards the makeshift bed in another unexpected gesture of kindness and picked up Alex’s plate. He shoved it on the table just as Alex was sitting down.

“I keep on thanking you,” Alex said as he looked at his plate, the smell appealing to his stomach.

“Yeah you do.” Burrows rumbled as he dug into his own meal. They ate in silence for a while. When Alex had finished his eggs and bread, he picked around his salad a bit, stealing glances at Burrows who had already finished.

“You’re nothing like me, Burrows, and you’ll never be. It isn’t in your nature.”

Burrows looked up, straight into Alex’s eyes. He looked startled, but there was something else in his eyes too. “Of course I’m not,” he said without conviction.

They stared at each other until Burrow’s cell rang. He let it ring three times and then broke their eye contact to rise and answer. “Yeah?... when?... God, are you sure?... all right, yeah… thanks, Jane. I owe you one… yes I know… I will be” He closed the phone and looked at it.

“Was that the person who could help to protect my family?” Alex asked.

It startled Burrows; that much was obvious. “Yes, yes it was…” Burrows was evasive and licked his lips as he looked back at his phone. It unnerved Alex.

“The phone is dead; tell me what’s going on!” He snapped.

Burrows didn’t get angry, but looked at him, this time with compassion in his eyes. “I’m sorry.”

Alex felt a lump in his throat, his chest. If only he could be numb, but every part of his body was screaming in denial. He wanted to shake Burrows, make him tell him what he meant. What did he have to be sorry for?

Burrows put the phone away and turned. He stood before Alex, rubbing his neck as he looked at the floor, still avoiding Alex’s eyes. “I… my friend went to the address you gave me. Police were present.”

Alex started to feel sick. This couldn’t be happening. “They… your wife, man. They killed her.”

No, he couldn’t just believe what Burrows, a criminal who held him hostage said! But what if… Pam, they’d gotten to Pam? Oh God. “My boy.” He croaked, trying to keep his composure.

Burrows still didn’t look at him. “Taken by the FBI for questioning and protection. Jane, my contact, she couldn’t say how he was.”

Alex clenched his fists and looked down. He didn’t know how to react, what to do. Rage, disbelief and sadness warred inside of him. “Why should I believe you?” He said hoarsely. “You may have fed me, but you haven’t exactly shown me… you could do this as another way to…”

Burrows was suddenly in his face, sitting on his haunches, looking oddly shaken himself. “I would never do that, man. I never thought-”

“That my family would pay the price for my failing?” Alex said bitterly. “I told you. I told you what would happen. You’re using this.” He couldn’t just let it go and it was easier to believe Burrows was doing this out of spite than it really being true.

“Listen, Jane said that a woman named Lang was seen with… your son. She’s going to try and get more information. Do you have relatives where they might-”

Alex interrupted him as his hand shot out to grab Burrow’s shirt. The other man let him.

“I’m not going to give you any other names.” He felt his voice crack. He didn’t believe that Burrows was lying. He had made the profile. He knew it was unlike him, but Alex didn’t want it to be.

Burrows glanced at the hand clenched around the front of his shirt, but ignored it as his eyes found Alex’s again. “I’m just trying to help you track him. I don’t know if the company would… well, just think about it, all right? I don’t have any booze, but I can make some instant coffee. It’ll taste bad but so did dinner.”

Alex didn’t answer, dropping his gaze to the floor again. Beautiful Pam, laughing Pam, Cameron in front of the Christmas tree, playing with his new toys, Pam’s soft hands as she mapped Alex’s naked body, groaning under him in pleasure, Pam giving birth to Cameron, marrying, college. All his memories flashed through his brain in quick succession. He closed his eyes firmly. Tears were forming, but he wouldn’t let them fall. He couldn’t, because it wasn’t true.

He felt Burrows getting up. The light shone through his eyelids a bit brighter now the human brick wall wasn’t shielding him from it. “Mahone, I’ve been where you are now. It doesn’t mean much, I know, and you’re angry. Just focus on the Company and don’t do anything crazy.”

Alex opened his eyes to see the man in question standing, leaning against the table, looking at the water boiler. Alex barked out a laugh. “Crazy? Are you serious?”

Burrows looked at him sideways. “Mahone, remember how I went crazy when I first saw you? That was crazy weeks after my father… died. I was numb when I heard Veronica died and I can’t even describe the emotion of hearing of the death of my son’s mother. You need to keep your cool or you’ll not be around for your son much longer.” Quite a speech for Burrows and it made Alex angry.

“Pam… this is your fault. If you hadn’t abducted me-” Alex spoke deliberately slowly.

Burrows turned towards him, standing at full height. “That’s bullshit and you know it. You wouldn’t have made it back in time and you would still have been arrested. Possibly been killed yourself.”

*How does that help your son* hung unsaid between them. The water boiled and Burrows grabbed two plastic cups to make the dreaded coffee. Alex didn’t take his when it was offered. “Come on, man, take it and drink it.”

He almost pushed it into Alex’s hands and although Alex resented it, he took it. He held it as his mind continued to whirl. Burrows didn’t speak and they drank their coffee. It was horrible, but Alex could hardly remember what good coffee tasted like anyway.

“Why don’t you tell me about her?” Burrows said softly, staring into his empty coffee cup.

Alex stared at him, not sure how he should respond. “Is this some sort of bonding session? I tell you about Pam and you tell me about your father?”

Burrows jumped up, knocking his chair across the cabin and throwing the empty cup aside. “Damn it, man! I’m trying to give you a break here. You want to suffer alone? Fine, I know what that’s like too.” Burrows stomped out of the cabin, muttering things that described Alex’s state of mind.
~~~~~~

A few candles were dying out when the door opened again. Alex had moved back to his makeshift cot. The dark mass of Lincoln Burrows came towards him. He threw something at Alex. “Here, it’s getting colder. I found a few blankets in my car. Take that one.”

The blanket was large and thick. It would most certainly provide warmth and, if Alex wrapped it around himself, softness to lie on. In the meantime, Burrows had picked up the fallen chair and put it upright. He sat down and wrapped something that appeared to be a blanket around himself.

Alex must have shown his confusion because Burrows said, “I’ll stay with you tonight. Go to sleep. I’ll get some toothpaste in the morning.”

The few candles that were still burning flickered in their dying struggle and Alex found he was talking without thinking. “I met Pam in college. We were together whenever we could be. She was my sweetheart.” It sounded hoarse, but true.

Burrows handed him another cup of water and returned to his chair. “Veronica was mine for a while.”

Alex nodded and even though it was fairly dark, he thought he could see Burrows do so in return. They went to sleep after that. Or at least, Alex tried, feeling Burrows eyes on him for quite some time before nightmares greeted him on the other side.
Chapter 5 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
beta by Foxy.
As always, comments are way to lift an author's spirit;-)
“I don’t care what you’re saying, you fucking asshole,” Burrows boomed. “You’re dead.” Alex felt the blade go deeper and knew he would have been with Pam soon if only he hadn’t damned himself to Hell. He sucked in his breath and waited for the snarl on Burrow’s face to fade away. It did, but not in the way he expected it to.

“Mahone!” The voice sounded different and something shook him. Alex opened his eyes, which was strange since he could have sworn they were open already. Burrows towered over him, looking at him with uncertainty. There was no hint of the hatred he’d shown earlier. A dream. It must have been a dream or was he hallucinating again? God, he hoped not; he needed his bearings.

Alex could see the sunlight that had barely begun to shine coming through the cracks of the wooden wall and he saw Burrows more clearly. Burrows didn’t speak and turned to leave the cabin when he realized Alex was awake. Alex had had a bad night, but not as bad as when he was tied to the chair. Physically his situation was better. He didn’t want to think about the mental anguish that was heaped upon him.

However, last night’s revelations had made sure that sleep wasn’t that much of an option anyway. Even though he tried not to, he kept replaying every horror scenario of Pam’s death in his mind. He loathed himself for being the cause of it all.

He guessed that Burrows didn’t have much of a night either since the man had been sitting on that chair. Alex was surprised he had fallen asleep at all and wondered to a degree why he had been dreaming about Burrows instead of Pam. There was a healthy amount of fear lingering, but not for his death. Maybe he should try and talk Burrows into killing him. Maybe the company would leave his boy alone if they knew Alex was dead. Then again, probably not. Sighing as he tried to get up, Alex decided to chalk his dream up to anxiety, pain, exhaustion and his grief.

The door opened again to admit Burrows. “I’m going to get some food and I need to show my face at the hotel, visit Michael... Going to have to tie you up again.” Burrows stated the fact without emotion, but Alex felt fear grip him. “I’ll be back later. Anything you prefer, dinner wise?” Burrows continued.

Alex cleared his throat, trying to sound confident when he wasn’t. “I would like to eat and drink something before you… leave.”

Burrows nodded. “I’ll leave what is left of yesterday’s grub near you. I’ll tie your legs and one hand. I’m showing you some trust, Mahone. Don’t betray it.” Alex almost snorted at that, but he was grateful he wasn’t dragged back to the chair. He stared at it. It stood in a beam of light, outlining the misery it had caused him.

“Wounds still giving you grief?” Burrows asked as he opened the brown bag to get out bread and instant coffee.

“Which ones?” Alex asked in return.

Burrows stilled, looked sideways. “Mahone, listen, I am sorry, all right? Everything that’s going on...I really never thought-”

Alex didn’t want to hear it, even though the man probably meant well. “It’s fine, I understand. Just…leave it.”

They didn’t speak again until Burrows had made them a cup of coffee, put a bottle of water next to Alex and had provided him with three sandwiches. Alex wondered if he could even eat one. “Don’t screw me over when I’m gone,” Burrows said as he stood up, throwing half of his abysmal coffee away.

“I wouldn’t be able even if I wanted too.” Alex rasped into his own coffee cup. Burrows had gotten the rope and started to bind Alex’s legs. He gave him some room to maneuver, but it wasn’t much since he now had a table pretending to be his ball and chains.

“Are you right or left-handed.” Burrows moved up with the rope, looking at Alex in question.

Alex was amazed again at how bad Burrows was at this. Alex could just lie to him and he’d probably believe it. “I’m right-handed.”

Burrows grabbed his hand and started to tie him to a ring in the wall. “You should have looked, “Alex said as he a cough rattled his body.

Burrows was done and he’d turned away. “What’s that?”

Alex motioned to his hands. “To see if I’m right or left-handed. You could have seen me eating and drinking, but you didn’t pay attention, did you?”

Burrows sat on his haunches, his left hand going to his neck, massaging it. “No I didn’t. Pretty stupid huh?” The man looked annoyed with himself.

“Not really. It’s just... strange behavior. You’re surprising me.”

Burrows got up and barked out a short, bitter laugh. “What? That I’m stupid?”

Alex found himself smiling even though he had no patience for self-pity.

“No, your file and your profile are 100% correct, but they don’t show that you are such a bad crook.”

Burrows took one last glance at him. “Thank God my hostage tells me how to do this then.” He smiled a smile that didn’t reach his eyes and left.

Alex was left alone once more, but this time he was less afraid than he had been a day ago.
~~~~~~

Alex had been sleeping on and off as he tried to eat a little bit and kept on drinking. He kept on thinking about Pam and how scared she must have been, how she could have died.

He didn’t even want to think about Cameron. God, he hoped they would take care of his psychological damage, but give him some warmth too. Thoughts of Franklin crept into his mind and how he’d almost taken a parent away from Franklin’s little girl. Maybe this was divine justice. For what he had tried to do, his own son was now suffering the consequences.

Evening was slowly setting in and Burrows still hadn’t returned. Alex did not want to sit in the dark again and he was angry that he hadn’t thought of asking for a light. On the other hand, Burrows probably would never have given him fire to light it no matter how bad he was at this.

When it was almost too dark to see, the door flew open and Burrows stood in the opening. Pale light from the moon outlined his massive physique and for a moment neither of them moved. Alex found he even braced himself for another attack even though his brain tried to tell him not to be afraid.

“There’s trouble,” Burrows stated. His voice sounded oddly vulnerable and rough at the same time. As if he was trying to man up, but was having a hard time doing so. He entered, closed the door and started to lighten up the cabin with candles. It was so mundane and homely; it was close to being absurd.

Alex didn’t ask what kind of trouble there was. He was fairly certain he would get an explanation soon enough. When there was enough light in the cabin, Burrows started to use the boiler, but after a few seconds he just picked it up and threw it against the wall next to the door. Alex sat stiffly, having seen that form of rage before. He couldn’t believe he had been so wrong about the man, but still... When Burrows turned, Alex braced for impact.

“I’m sorry. I... erm... have a temper.”

Alex bit his tongue when he felt the urge to inform Burrows that he already knew.

Burrows sat down, elbow leaning on the table, head resting in his hand. “Michael got jumped today. They stabbed him. It wasn’t bad, but-”

Alex let out a breath. He was okay for now. He hated it that he was so easily rattled nowadays. He wanted one of his pills, but clamped down on the desire. Scofield was wounded? That didn’t sound good. “Will it be a problem for him to get Whistler out on time?”

Burrows nodded and returned Alex’s stare. “Bellick met me outside the prison. Michael was asleep at the time, or so he says. I have no way of telling if I got the truth, but I’ve got no other choice. Then I got to the hotel and that... that…” A fist banged the table, Burrows was frustrated and angry. So far so good though because he had kept his promise not to hurt Alex anymore.

“What happened, Burrows?” He asked now. He didn’t want to care, but somehow he felt a need to know.

“She was there. The woman the company sent. This Susan. She wanted to know where I’d been and what I was doing. She’s getting suspicious of me and I was away the entire night.”

Alex closed his eyes for a moment then looked at Burrows again. The man had been right. He needed help if only to have somebody around to tell him how to cover his tracks and tie up basic loose ends.

“What did you tell her?” Alex hoped Burrows had been a little clever there.

Burrows smiled ruefully. “That I was scratching an itch and found a willing woman. She offered to take the woman’s place. I declined.”

Alex inclined his head. It wasn’t the best solution, but it was something; however… “You’re going to have to show it if you want her to believe that story for long.” Alex said.

Burrows rubbed his palms on his trousers, showing how nervous he was. He didn’t look at Alex as he stood up and retrieved the boiler. Alex hoped it still worked.

“I know that I have to come with proof. I just have no idea what. A hickey and some scratches on my neck?”

Alex puffed out a laugh. Yes, the man needed help.

“From what you’ve told me she isn’t stupid. She’ll know that you’re hiding something. You’re a bad liar.”

Burrows smiled a little at that and turned his head towards Alex. “Right now I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, Mahone.”

Alex glanced at his ropes and Burrows took the hint. Somehow, he had gotten the boiler working even though he had slammed it against the wall. Burrows must have gotten an extra sturdy one going on past experiences. “It’s a good thing, Burrows, but in this situation it won’t be an asset. That means you need a cover that will make you highly uncomfortable.”

Burrows had cut the ropes. Alex used his legs a bit and rubbed his wrist when Burrows stretched out his hand to help him up. “Come on, I’ll help you up and *cook* you something warm and you can tell me your idea.”

Alex took the offered hand and was pulled to his feet as if he was a feather, straining his aching body. The man’s strength was incredible. He’d probably spent his days doing push-ups in prison. Alex was off balance and nearly fell, but Burrows kept him from falling and helped him to a chair near the table.

Alex let out a small groan of discomfort, but got no comment. “You won’t like my idea; then again, I can’t say I care much for your cooking.”

Burrows looked at him and quirked an eyebrow. “You going prissy on me, Mahone? This isn’t the Hilton.”

Alex barked out a laugh and returned the stare. “No it isn’t, but I’m fairly sure you can do better than this, Burrows,” Alex said and he knew Burrows could hear the challenge in his tone of voice. After a few seconds, a slow smile broke out on Burrow’s face.

“Maybe I could. What do you want?” Burrows had gotten the underlying hint. That was good. Alex took a moment and felt a part of himself flooding back. He’d been given a chance and even though Burrows was no FBI agent, he might just be a potential partner to help him do what needed to be done.

“I’ll help you with your plan to break out Michael and get you out of Panama, but...” Alex took a deep breath then continued “if you want me to help we’re partners, equals. I get good food, I’m no longer a prisoner and… you will help *me* get revenge on the bastards who killed my wife.” He voice broke a little and he cursed himself for letting it happen, but he let it go.

Burrows didn’t answer straight away. He opened his mouth a little, sucking his lower lip into his mouth as if he was deep in thought. Then he nodded and held out his hand. “All right; partners, but you will stay in the cabin or we’ll have more shit to clean up.” They shook hands and Burrows added “But if you fuck me over, Mahone, I will find you and I will kill you.”

Alex smiled. “I’m counting on it, Burrows.” They let go of each other’s hands and Burrows went back to whatever he was doing to get them some food.

Then, out of the blue, Burrows said gruffly, “call me Lincoln or Linc. Burrows reminds me too much of my old man.”
Chapter 6 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
Beta by Foxy
“So what was this idea of yours to get me uncomfortable and Susan a firm believer?” Burrows, *Lincoln*, it wasn’t going to be easy to switch from last to first name, said as he put two plates in front of them. Some bread, cheese and hot noodles adorned the white plastic. Two cans of beers had already been opened. The cheap Mexican kind, but Alex didn’t mind.

“Alright, Susan doesn’t really buy it that you’re scratching an itch. You’re not acting the part and wouldn’t be able to make it stick and make it believable unless…” Alex took a sip of his beer. He anticipated somewhat of an explosion. He continued. “You’re having a liaison, but not the kind she’s expecting. Something you wouldn’t want anyone to know about because it would radically change any image they have of you.”

Bur- Lincoln frowned; Alex knew the man didn’t get it yet so he clarified somewhat crudely. “When you see her again you’ll have a discreet, but large hickey, some bite marks or something on your chest. You’ll sit down with some discomfort as if you’d just had a cock up your ass.” Alex took a bite of his noodles.

The dime dropped, the light bulb went on and the elephants went on a stampede. Lincoln got quite red in the face and hissed, “I’m not going to be a fag and a fucked one at that!”

Alex took another sip of his beer. “I told you you wouldn’t like it. The stigma that is attached to the role as a bottom upsets you and you’d be embarrassed just as you are now. It would be believable that you wouldn’t want anyone to know, especially Susan. As well as that, you really are *seeing* a man. Aside from us screwing around, it’s closer to the truth than anything else. With the way you’re acting, she’ll believe it.”

Lincoln had stopped eating and gripped the table hard. His Adam’s apple was bobbing with several furious swallows. “There has to be another way.”

Alex shook his head. “From what you’ve told me this woman is highly sexual. She’ll enjoy seeing you squirm and she’ll believe you need sex after being on death row for so long. She will also need placating as to why you didn’t take her up on her offer to sleep with her. You have to convince her in some way that it’s not her, but you. Keep in mind it’s going to be an act to help your brother. Who cares what she thinks she knows or what anybody else thinks for that matter. It’s not like you actually have to do it. ”

Lincoln leaned forward, growling. “And how I am supposed to find a woman outside of town to give me a hickey?! No way that I can get one in town without the danger of her noticing.”

Alex stopped at that, but then continued to put a forkful of noodles into his mouth. He chewed and swallowed. “You can ask your friend Sucre or I’ll do it. That would probably be better for the story. You wouldn’t have to lie that a man gave it to you.” Burrows stared and didn’t say anything, so Alex urged him into action. “Come on, your noodles are getting cold.”

Lincoln began eating slowly, his eyes moving from Alex’s face to his plate. He didn’t speak, but ate and Alex couldn’t help but squelch some laughter at the picture the man made. Lincoln Burrows had been in prison a lot. In prison, sexual experiences of the male kind weren’t that strange. Alex wondered if Lincoln really was angry at having to portray being queer or because he’d been called out on previous experiences. It was intriguing.

When they were almost done, Lincoln decided to join Alex’s train of thought. “Okay, so I throw Susan off. What else is the course of action?” he said while he obviously tried to keep his jaw from locking up.

Alex wanted to answer, but the banging in his head wouldn’t stop. It had started just after his suggestion and only got worse. Alex grabbed his beer and nursed it as he willed his brain to work at full capacity. It was no use, but at least he had some of his wits left. He hoped they remained.

Lincoln must have seen his discomfort because he reached inside a pocket and took out a small strip of pills. “I’m sorry, I forgot. You should have asked.”

Alex barked out a laugh that sounded cynical to his own ears and took an offered pill. He didn’t want to be this weak, but what choice did he have?

Lincoln took the rest of the pills again and put them away. Smart man. Not wanting to talk about his drug habit, Alex answered Lincoln’s previous question with haste. “You need to buy us more time. Tell her it can’t be done in a week. Tell her…tell her about Michael.”

Lincoln looked away, jaw set and showing his hatred towards something. Alex suspected it was this Susan. “I already told her Michael was stabbed. She didn’t really care about it beyond what it could do to her timeframe.”

Alex leaned forward. “It should be clear to a woman of some intelligence that there is a problem with said schedule if the mastermind is sick and laid up. Make it sound a little bit worse than it might be, but just a little. We don’t know if she’s in contact with this Whistler.”

Lincoln’s eyes found Alex’s again. “You think Whistler is working for her?”

Alex shrugged as he sat back against the chair again. “Maybe; at this point, everything is possible. You have to take it all into account before making a move. Just remind her that you will get Whistler out because you want your son back. Try to come across a little bit desperate.”

Lincoln snorted at that. “Trust me; I am pretty desperate... Want me to play up the disgust I feel? That I’m going for cock because I want to be punished?”

Alex searched Lincoln’s face for clues. He was saying one thing, but really meant another. Or so he thought.
Alex needed to keep a clear head, but so did Lincoln.
Both of them were getting frazzled no matter how much beer they drank or pills Alex took. Maybe they were sliding down faster because of it.

“No, don’t do anything like that. Just be real. You don’t want to be punished. You want to punish, lash out, because you have been punished for three years. I get that, Lincoln, but this is not the time.”

Lincoln sat still for a few seconds and then nodded. He got up to get another beer and offered one to Alex who declined. It numbed the senses. The pill helped to make the rough edges disappear and he started to feel a bit mellower. The alcohol had helped too much already. One bottle was enough.

“Okay, say I get more time. What else can we do?” Lincoln asked as he opened the bottle still standing near the edge of the table.

Alex took a moment to think. He hadn’t put everything down yet, so he tried to think what Scofield would do.
“I’m not a planner, Lincoln. Your brother is the specialist in that area. I can, however, map out possibilities on the outside. Determine law enforcement and routes to take. I can also work on possible calamities and a search and rescue for your son.”

He actually started to feel bad for the kid. If he really was innocent, the boy been dealt a bad hand.

It started to rain outside the cabin. It sounded loud, almost as if they were in the middle of it. The irrational happiness of not being alone in this cabin, happiness which was nothing more than a few candles and his pills reared its ugly head. He’d started out resenting the feeling the drugs gave him. Now he just hated it.

Lincoln finally moved again. He banged the door with his fist, though softly by his standards and sat down. His head bowed and the beer bottle rested on his knee.

“Do you think I’m going to be able to get my boy out?” He said it softly, probably afraid of the answer.

Alex didn’t know what to say, so he tried the truth. “I wish I could tell you yes, but I can’t. We know they easily kill women. I’m afraid they’ll have no qualms about children either.” It tasted sour in his mouth, those words. He thought of Cameron and a graveyard. To lose a child… these people knew how to play on horror.

Lincoln dragged a hand across his face and brought it up again, over his scalp finally resting on the back of neck. He still didn’t look at Alex. “He has a life ahead of him. Or at least he would have had if he didn’t have such a fuck-up for an old-man. It’s my fault he’s in this situation. It’s my fault Michael’s in it too.”

It was ironic that those words could apply to Alex as well. Weren’t they a pair of the world’s greatest fathers?
“We all make mistakes, Burrows, and your brother made his own.”

Lincoln looked up. A small crooked smile crept across his face. “Is it hard to get used to my name, Mahone?”

Alex realized his mistake and cringed. “Old habits die hard. I’ll try for Lincoln again if you can get rid of the Mahone,” Alex countered. No way in hell that Lincoln Burrows would be comfortable with calling him Alex.

However, he inclined his head, narrowed his eyes and said; “all right, we’ll see who’s the bigger man, Alex.”
Alex felt a smile threatening as well. It was bitter sitting here with this man, thinking about their children. The people they could still protect.

“Is the offer for that beer still valid?” Alex asked.

Lincoln didn’t answer, but he got up. He grabbed the last one and for a moment, Alex thought he was going to throw it. Lincoln didn’t, thank God, because Alex wasn’t sure he would be able to catch it with his fucked up body.

Lincoln opened the bottle first and then gave it to Alex, holding it a few seconds longer as he looked at something that must have shown on Alex’s face.

“I’ll bring you paper and pens tomorrow. Draw up some lists of what you need. Maybe start to detail a back-up plan for Michael,” Lincoln said as he sat down.

Alex nodded in agreement, but had to ask. “List for the cause?” He voice took on a husky sound. Maybe he truly shouldn’t have taken that second beer.

Lincoln kept staring at him. Alex wondered which one of them was trying harder to get where the other one was coming from. “And for you. Write down what you need. For yourself, I mean. Just don’t ask for chocolates and flowers.” Lincoln Burrows rumbled, a soft smile still playing around his lips.

“Mr. Burrows, are you attempting to joke around with your new sexual status?” Alex asked as one of the candles died out and left a burnt up smell.

“Fuck you, Mahone.” Lincoln shot out, although the corner of his mouth quivered showing he truly wasn’t a bigot.

Alex was sure his instincts were right; the man had some experience in the male department, scratching an itch in prison quite probably; outside, less than probable.

“I think that would be Alex, Lincoln, and the ploy is that you’re the fucked one,” Alex responded with velvet on his tongue.

Lincoln got up quite abruptly at that and left the cabin. Alex thought for a moment he had gone too far. Not that he cared, much, but he needed the other man. Had he read the permission for teasing the wrong way?

He heard a car door slam twice before the door opened again. Lincoln came in with an arm full of… stuff and continued their talk as if he had never left.

“Over my dead body; just as I’m not going to sleep on the fucking chair again.” He dumped what he had brought on the floor near Alex’s makeshift ‘bed’ and started to sort it out.

“You’ve brought pillows?” The situation had gotten otherworldly again, although it never really had been anything less.

“Yeah, two of them, more blankets and these mats or whatever you call them. Couldn’t get a proper mattress but they might be enough.”

Lincoln worked swiftly and before Alex could say another word, his corner had transformed somewhat. He now had a camping mat, three blankets and a pillow. It actually started to look like a real bed. Burrows repeated the same process, presumably for himself, in a corner on the other side of the cabin. Alex counted two blankets, instead of three.

“Why are you doing this? You don’t have to stay here.” Alex asked.

Lincoln stopped, back to Alex, hands on his upper legs as he knelt before his bed. He could hear the sound of their breathing mixing with rain outside. There was nothing else that could make a sound; just the forest and them. It made him aware once again that it was night.

“I’m doing this because I have to.” Lincoln said softly. “I have to.”

In a strange way, it explained everything because Alex understood it very well.

They stayed exactly where they were for a few more minutes and then Alex finished his beer. Lincoln left his corner and walked to the toilet. He kept the door open as he relieved himself. “There’s toothpaste in the bag. Help yourself.”

Brushing his teeth was the highlight of Alex’s day.
Chapter 7 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
As always beta by Foxriverinmate.
When Alex woke, he felt a lot better than he had the day before. He turned and felt his muscles were less cramped and his wounds were itching a bit, the sign of the healing process being well under way. The only thing that really bothered him was the pounding in his head and the dry mouth he seemed to have ever since he no longer had control over his pills. He blinked, rubbed the ridge of his nose and forehead and sat up, blankets falling off his chest. He looked in Lincoln’s direction quite automatically and found that particular corner of the cabin was empty.

He willed his legs to move and he soon stood, looking for a hint of what Lincoln Burrows was playing at. He found two pills on the table beside a bottle of water, the kettle and a few sandwiches. On the chair sat a neatly folded clean shirt. Alex didn’t know what to think so ignored everything but the pills and carefully walked towards the door. His hand on the doorknob, he opened it slightly, a beam of light assaulting his eyes.

The vision of the trees, sunlight and basic freedom was nearly overwhelming. He hadn’t been able to appreciate it when he’d escaped Sona and the hotel room due to his withdrawal, but now… He stepped fully outside, his bare feet reveling in the feel of dirt and fallen leaves. The morning sun felt warm and comforting. Alex tilted his face upwards and closed his eyes. For a few moments he stood, basking in sunlight, the sound of chirping birds calming him in a strange way.

In the distance he could hear a soft cracking and soon it transformed into the distinct sound of somebody coming closer, breaking twigs and leaves that lay fallen on the ground. He opened his eyes and shifted to the right. Lincoln’s car was still there and Alex hadn’t even actively looked for it.

“You didn’t bolt.” Lincoln’s voice drifted over to him before he saw him appear through the trees. From his appearance, Alex gathered he had gone for a swim. His chest was bare and dripping wet, as were his feet.

“I didn’t think to do so. Must be getting old.”

Lincoln nodded at the answer and motioned behind him. “There’s a small lake a few paces that way. It’s cold, but clean. If you want to, I mean.” Lincoln had stopped for a moment as he spoke, but now resumed his stride and was with Alex in a few steps. He stood, face to the door, before he stopped again. He didn’t look at Alex, but that was alright.

“I’ll get some coffee ready. Maybe some food if you want. I’ll wait for half an hour.” After that, Lincoln Burrows covered the rest of the distance to the door and entered, leaving Alex alone.

It was an act well played, even though Alex wasn’t really sure what the purpose was. Lincoln all but gave him the *get out of jail free* card, but on the other hand, free to get into what? As he had thought before, Alex was well aware of the wall against his back. He had no other choice but to work with Lincoln Burrows and his tenacious brother, because he had no other viable options.

The door behind him opened again. Soft rustling didn’t tell him anything until something soft was pushed into his hands from behind him.

Lincoln’s arm and hands fleetingly touched his side as he retreated again and mumbled “thought you might want to have something resembling a towel.”

Alex smiled. He started to feel human after being stripped of the feeling in the last couple of weeks. He couldn’t help thinking that the very man who was instrumental in that stripping now carefully helped him to rebuild. It was unnerving to say the least. Alex started to walk as he tried to keep his moment of carefree thinking afloat. He was going to take a bath.
~~~~~~

As Lincoln had said, the water was cold, but not too cold to bathe in. It was heavenly for Alex to be able to scrub off the dirt, filth and even flecks of disgusting bits that he didn’t want to name. He’d still had parts of the alley’s crusted reminders plastered on his skin. He hadn’t realized just how horrible the state of his body was until he got the dirt off.

His clothes were dirty too and even though Lincoln had put a clean shirt with the towel he’d pushed into Alex’s hands, his socks, underwear and trousers were still quite grimy. For a moment, he wondered why Lincoln had gotten him a shirt and not any underwear. Then again, judging by its size the shirt was probably Lincoln’s. Maybe a spare he kept in the car.

Alex got out and dried off as best as he could. He did not put the dirty underwear on again and left his socks too. The only thing that he did wear were his mucky trousers and of course the shirt that smelled and felt so very clean.

He began his trek back to the shack again. He didn’t know how long he had taken and had a fleeting thought of Lincoln leaving him as a gesture of good will. However, when Alex arrived at his temporary *home* he found the car was still there.

He opened the door and found Lincoln sitting at the table, elbows leaning on the top, cup of coffee in hand. Lincoln turned his head to look at him and Alex closed the door. “Susan just called. She wants to see me in an hour. She probably wants to twist my balls again.”

Alex nodded and moved towards the other chair that was situated at the table. Lincoln put his own cup aside and poured one for Alex. He rumbled softly, “I need you to… help me with the proof that I’ve been fucking around.”

Alex looked up and could swear a hint of red crept up Lincoln’s neck. He took the cup of coffee in hand and answered. “No problem, just remember that it’s business. Get in, let her mock you get more time and use the emotions you’re feeling. It will look real.”

They stared at each other and Lincoln pushed his cup away.

“I’ll try to bring you some fresh clothes and that paper I promised you. Anything else you really need?” Lincoln stood and he started to unbutton his shirt.

Alex took a sip of his coffee as he continued to stare at Lincoln and his steady work on his shirt. “Just something different to eat than noodles or sandwiches, if that’s possible. And some clean socks, pants and underwear, please.”

Lincoln was done with his shirt and let it hang open. He took a step closer to Alex and the red crept up his neck again. “I’ll do my best. Can you-” he didn’t finish the sentence and he looked away, clenching his jaw. It looked as if he was on his way to the slaughter, but on the other hand, having your father’s murderer’s lips on you probably was the same thing.

Alex sighed and placed his right hand on Lincoln’s hip. “Come closer, stand between my legs. I’ll give her something to think about.”

Lincoln did what was asked and Alex had a broad lower chest and belly of clean flesh in front of him. He put his left hand in Lincoln’s side and leaned forward, placing his lips above Lincoln’s navel. Lincoln gasped at the contact and Alex opened his mouth, letting his tongue lick at the skin before he started sucking in earnest. He felt a hand landing on his shoulder and let the skin leave his mouth with a pop.

“One more on your chest. Large enough to give her some pause.” Alex said without looking at Lincoln’s face.

Lincoln didn’t answer, but let some sort of timbre sound leave his mouth. It sounded like an agreement and since Alex wasn’t pushed away he took it exactly like that.
Alex stood and bowed forward, attacking Lincoln’s chest just below his right nipple. He repeated the process, sucking and licking until he was totally satisfied with the result. He’d felt Lincoln shudder when Alex had licked his nipple, but he’d ignored it just as he had ignored any reaction he had himself.

He fell back in his chair, leaned against the backrest and looked at Lincoln. The man had closed his eyes and Alex felt a flash of shame. He couldn’t imagine having the kind of contact they’d just had with the person who had murdered Pam. All reasonable thoughts of relaxation flew out of the window at that. How could he even enjoy a single cup of coffee when all of this was going on?

“I’m sorry,” Alex ground out, “for making you uncomfortable.” Lincoln took a deep breath and opened his eyes.

“Not your fault, I asked for it. I’ve been in jail too long. I’ll be back as soon as I can. Try to work on some ideas in the meantime, will you?” Lincoln said as he quickly closed his shirt, leaving the top three buttons open to let the upper hickey peek out. He turned and left the cabin.

It was then that Alex realized that Lincoln’s trousers had tented somewhat around his groin. Now that was something Alex never could have imagined. It appeared Lincoln rivaled him in the department of being fucked up.

He finished his food, and what was left of the coffee, before he started to think about his course of action. This shack was going to be his base of operations. He was going to make plans here, sleep and eat here for at least a week, if not more.

The wall behind him didn’t offer any possibilities. It wasn’t broad enough because it was cut short by the walk-through to the other part of the shack and the toilet. Opposite him, the same happened because of the door. To his right was a window. That left the wall where Lincoln had slept the night before. With a few thumbtacks, all right maybe a lot, he could start to map out Michael’s plan and his own.

He would need paper, a map of the region, flight times, knowledge of the coastguard, rosters and changes of the guards at the prison. He was pacing, strategies forming in his head and a familiar buzz vibrated through his veins. It didn’t dull the pain in his heart or the ache in his throat. The feeling of his living was overshadowed by Pam’s death. He hated it.
~~~~~~

It was nearly as dark as the day before when Alex heard a car coming up to the cabin. Unlike yesterday, it wasn’t dark inside since he had the freedom to light candles. He’d used the brown paper bag, a small branch and cold coffee to write some thoughts down in shorthand. He hoped it was Lincoln outside. If it wasn’t and this Susan had decided to visit him, he was in deep shit. He would have to talk to Lincoln about that little problem.

The car engine died and a door opened and slammed shut. Alex sat down on his chair, facing the door. If it wasn’t Lincoln he wouldn’t be able to do much about it anyway. Another door opened and later shut again. Maybe the trunk? He braced himself for his visitor, but nobody came. It was odd and for a moment Alex imagined Lincoln standing outside, looking at the door with a couple of bags in his arms.

Maybe he had because when the door did open Lincoln was there. The bags he had been carrying were deposited carefully on the table. The keys to the car were thrown carelessly next to them. Lincoln went back to the door and closed it, letting his hand linger on the wood.

“How did it go?” Alex asked, a bit more curious than he thought he would be.

Lincoln’s lip twitched before he spoke. It wasn’t amusement. “She laughed at me, jeering about me playing hide the sausage and if Michael knew. I told her no and that it was going to stay that way.” Lincoln’s hand balled into a fist and then relaxed again.

Alex smiled. “Exactly what we expected she would do then.”

Lincoln clasped his hands together. “That and more. She really annoyed me before, but now. I can’t help but hope she’ll… trip and break her neck or something.”

Alex snorted. That was a poor attempt to hide the fact that the other man probably wanted to wring her neck the same way he’d almost done to Alex days before. Somehow, he didn’t take Lincoln for an aggressive man when it came to women though.

“Did you get some extra time out of her?” Alex pressed, since Lincoln was not forthcoming with the information, probably still squirming in his humiliation.

Lincoln swallowed with a grimace and for a moment, Alex thought he would spit on the ground. He didn’t though and put his right hand against the door again, leaning slightly as he studied the floor...

“Yeah she gave us an extra week. So we’ve got ten days in total. She added that she wanted to watch the next time I was taking it up the ass.”

That caused Alex to laugh. “She’s not subtle is she? Frustrated woman?”

Lincoln shrugged and shifted his eyes to Alex’s. “I think she’s just a psycho and probably tries to needle me.”

Alex searched Lincoln’s face. He was quite sure Lincoln had pegged this Susan right. She didn’t sound like a stupid woman. She probably got off on power games and that included comments like that.

Lincoln’s hand left the doorpost as he turned fully towards Alex. They were both standing with no more than three feet between them. The bruising hickey Alex had given Lincoln earlier stood out like a badge.

“I’ve brought you clothes, paper, pens. Even got some thumbtacks for the wall; figured you’d use them like Michael does.”

It caused an unfamiliar stirring in Alex’s gut. It wasn’t the mention of fresh clothes, but the prospect of being able to do something. Plan and get ready to gut the bastards who’d killed Pam from head to toe. He was grateful that Lincoln gave him the opportunity. That feeling almost caused him to fail to notice the continued display of discomfort Lincoln was exhibiting. Something was off.

“Something else?” he asked.

Lincoln nodded, avoiding his eyes. “Yeah, brought an axe.”

Alex raised his eyebrows at that, but the way Lincoln had said it told him there was more and the axe wasn’t exactly part of the message that was upsetting. “An axe, right,” he commented.

Lincoln looked at him again, his hand finding his neck, massaging for a few seconds before dropping along his side.

“It’s… when I got your clothes I walked past a newspaper stand.” Alex felt chills run down his spine. He tried to swallow, but found his mouth wasn’t moist enough.

Lincoln took one step closer, Alex backed off one. “What?” he barked out. He didn’t know if he was more frightened than angry; maybe it was panic. It was a strange sensation.

Lincoln didn’t move anymore, but compassion crept into his eyes. It heightened Alex’s emotions at a blinding rate. “It was a US paper. There was an article about a… a murder in Cleveland. It’s about your wife. I bought it, do you want to-?”

Alex grabbed the edge of the table, his nails digging in. “Give it to me please.”

Lincoln turned and rummaged through one of the bags. Alex fell to the chair, nails still holding onto the table for dear life. Before he knew it, the newspaper was splayed out in front of him. The headline screaming: ‘Ex-wife of FBI agent dismembered. Agent missing; involvement suspected.’
Chapter 8 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
Beta by Foxriverinmate
Alex had trouble breathing and felt like he was underwater. He didn’t want to think; he didn’t want to know. And yet he did. His mind went into overdrive. Had they made Cameron watch the slaughter? Had Pam been dead before they’d… they’d… cut her up in pieces? Or... God he couldn’t bear to think of it.

“Alex! Mahone… come on man, breathe.” Lincoln’s voice tried to penetrate the walls Alex had erected around his wounded mind. “I know it’s horrible, but you’re not doing her any favors by croaking yourself. Think of your boy.”
Cameron. Why hadn’t they mentioned him in the article? Cameron would have known his father. Why think he was involved when Cam was obviously, he was…?

Strong hands pressed down on his knees and a loud voice spoke again. “Mahone, look at me right now and tell me that you’re with me!” He slapped Alex’s cheek.

Alex started coughing because of it and Lincoln’s face swam into his vision. He looked worried, which was insane seeing who they were.

“There you are. Talk to me if you need to. Scream, yell, hit. Plot the fucker’s death, but don’t space out like that. I’m not burying your corpse.” Lincoln took one last glance and left Alex’s direct line of sight as he walked back to the brown bags that sat on the table.

Alex didn’t speak. He didn’t think he could. His eyes drifted to the newspaper again. The headline and Pam’s picture, from when she was still alive, was screaming at him.

Out of the blue, Lincoln was back again and snatched it away. “You’ve seen it; doesn’t help to look at it. I know the pain, man. I’ve been there.” He’d put a pill in front of Alex, a shot glass next to it.

Alex noticed another glass in front of Lincoln when the man started to pour from a bottle of Tequila.

“It’s good stuff. Perhaps we should empty it tonight. What do you think?” Alex swallowed the pill, took the glass and gulped the burning liquid down in one swift move. Lincoln added, “I’ll take that as a yes.”

They’d emptied half of the bottle between them and Lincoln didn’t pull out any food except some nacho chips, mumbling something about getting decent food tomorrow. Alex was too far gone to care.

He did mention to Lincoln that he wanted the spot Lincoln used as a sleeping area so Alex could work on the wall. After that, things had gotten foggier and they emptied the bottle before falling into a deep slumber. Pam greeted him in his drug-induced sleep.
~~~~~~

Alex woke up to an overwhelming feeling of nausea. He didn’t know where it came from, but as he felt the contents of his stomach coming up he struggled to get to his feet. He frantically tried to remember where he was and if there was a toilet near. Seconds after he’d flung his head over the toilet in the back he started heaving. He felt miserable. There was a reason for it. Again, his brain scrambled until it presented him with a picture. Pam. They’d done something horrible to Pam.

“That wasn’t the brightest idea I’ve ever had,” somebody groaned behind him. Lincoln.

Alex grimaced and flushed the toilet. He slid down against the wall and closed his eyes. He wanted some water, but that meant moving again. He heard stumbling and before he knew it, part of Lincoln Burrows was leaning on top of him, retching in the toilet. Again, the thing flushed.

“I’m not a rug, Lincoln,” he rasped as he opened his eyes.

The other man looked as bad as Alex felt. Lincoln blinked his eyes and inclined his head to fully look Alex in the face. Then, he laughed. It was soft, and somewhat painful judging by Lincoln’s grin, but it was a laugh.

“Sorry, man, but I don’t think I want to move,” Lincoln answered, after he’d crawled no more than two feet away from the toilet, ending up somewhere near Alex’s bed instead of his own. Lincoln closed his eyes and lay down. “I’ll be back in two hours or so.” Lincoln mumbled and then he was silent.

Alex shook his head, but stopped the motion midway. He aimed for his bed, started crawling in Lincoln’s direction, and let his body collapse the moment he touched the blankets. Lincoln was close. He could hear the man breathing. Well, that should help. At least Lincoln could tell Susan that he’d really shared a bed with a man.
~~~~~~~

When Alex woke again he felt a lot better. He took a moment to get his bearings and found he couldn’t move his legs much. Opening his eyes, he looked down at what he expected to find. Lincoln had moved in his sleep, perhaps missing a pillow, and was using Alex’s upper legs. He looked quite comfortable. Alex on the other hand felt a prickling in his legs matching the feeling in his arms from his nights on the chair.

“Lincoln,” he tried but nothing much resembling a voice came out. He really needed water. “Lincoln!” he said again, speaking up this time as his hand gently pushed at the man’s head.

It worked. Lincoln mumbled sleepily and opened his eyes. The way his head was turned, he was quite close to parts of Alex that Alex wasn’t sure he’d want to be confronted with. He saw the wheels turning, the eyes moving from Alex’s crotch to his arm and then to his face.

“Good morning,” Alex said drolly and Lincoln shot up, grimaced in pain and stopped moving altogether as he nursed his head. “I won’t ask you how you feel, “ Alex said, feeling somewhat glad that he’d responded better to his pill and tequila cocktail than Lincoln had.

Lincoln made a sluggish movement with his hand. “Sorry about that. I move around when I sleep. Fuck, I shouldn’t have drunk that much beer.”

Ah. That explained it. “Drank a lot yesterday?”

Lincoln peeked through his fingers. “When dealing with Susan… and then I saw that paper…” Lincoln made a noncommittal gesture. Alex didn’t know if it meant if he was sorry to have found the paper or that he mentioned it again or even drinking beer after it.

They sat in comfortable silence, each nursing their heads, although Alex’s pounding head was a bit better than what Lincoln must obviously be feeling. When the feeling in his legs rushed back, he slowly got up, almost stumbling over the bottle of tequila that had somehow landed on the floor. A few brown paper bags sat next to the door; water bottles. Alex got two.

“You want one?” he asked Lincoln, showing the bottle to him. Lincoln nodded and Alex threw him the blessed liquid. Lincoln caught it, but barely. Man, the guy was badly off. Alex walked backwards until he touched the chair and sat down. He opened the water bottle and started drinking. He heard Lincoln do the same.

“How’re you feeling?” Lincoln suddenly asked.

Knowing he didn’t mean the hangover, Alex didn’t answer. He didn’t want to put it into words and apparently Lincoln accepted that.

After a few more minutes, a rustling announced Lincoln’s movement. He got up, stumbled over the tequila bottle Alex had narrowly missed and almost bumped into Alex.

“I’m going to take a piss outside, get some air, and dump myself in the lake. If I’m not back in an hour I’ve drowned,” Lincoln groused. He staggered through the door, leaving it open. Cool wind came in, as did the sun.

Alex remained where he was. He didn’t move or do anything but look. The sounds outside became more distinct; the chirping birds and a soft breeze rustling the trees. The open door was a good thing. They hadn’t aired the cabin in days. If they weren’t careful it would soon smell like the alley Lincoln had found Alex in.

With a sigh, Alex stood, picked up the tequila bottle and tried to straighten their respective bed area. He then flushed the toilet again and tried to clean up the wooden table a bit. He could see rats coming for their leftovers as well if they didn’t start cleaning up after themselves.
He wasn’t hungry, but put some water in the electric boiler to make coffee. The bags that Lincoln had brought contained all he needed; paper, pens, thumbtacks, maps and… a cell phone? Why had Lincoln put a cell phone in? Could the man be any more blatant? Alex put it in the middle of the table and regarded it for a few seconds before he turned to Lincoln’s sleeping corner and picked up the blankets, pillow and mattress and shoved it to his own area. There wasn’t much room anyway and it was the only logical spot. If Lincoln had a problem with it, well, tough luck.

The phone pissed him off. So did the fact that he had been drinking; with Lincoln Burrows of all people, and had reveled in his self-pity. No that it was a lie. He was disgusted.

Now that the corner was empty only one thing remained; the chair that had been his personal hell, his prison when he first came here. He didn’t want to look at it anymore. He remembered that Lincoln had said he had brought an axe and sure enough, near the door in a corner near the table, sat one. Alex picked it up and eyed the chair again.

Once more he became aware of the sounds outside; the rays of sunshine that peaked through the door and the wooden walls. He breathed in and out, axe in hand, staring the chair down. Then he swung the axe in desperation and with all the force he could muster. He poured all his feelings into it.

He parted the armrests for Pam and her unfair and terrible suffering. He destroyed the backrest for Cameron and his fear and horror. He destroyed the seat for Apolskis and Patoshik. The legs…the legs were for the brothers, his own addiction, his shame, his hatred… his dread.

When he was done, he sat down in the midst of the splintered bits of chair. He held onto the axe and stared at the remnants of the instrument of his pain and nightmares. It seemed so silly.
~~~~~~

“Nice to see you’re not holding back,” Lincoln’s voice boomed, breaking Alex’s equilibrium after such a long time of silence and contemplation. Alex didn’t look at him.

“I needed to clear the area so I could work,” Alex reasoned. He tightened his grip on the axe handle and got up. He saw Lincoln walking up to him from the corner of his eye, but didn’t move.

Lincoln stopped, his frame casting a shadow over the broken pieces of the chair. “You could have moved it. Just a thought.” His voice was a lot softer than it had been mere seconds ago. He placed his hand on the axe handle just below Alex’s hand and pulled. “I’m not that comfortable with that axe in your hand.”

Alex snorted and turned his head towards Lincoln, not letting go of the axe. “You don’t trust me then? After all we’ve been through together.”

Lincoln clenched his jaw again as Alex had seen him do quite a few times these past few days. “Don’t start with me, man. I know you’re in pain, but the only reason this axe isn’t in your back is my son… and maybe, maybe because you’re not the company scum I thought you were.” He ripped the axe from Alex’s hand in one swift move, taking four steps to the table and practically throwing it into the corner again.

“But that hasn’t really moved me up the pissometer, has it? I already told you we are not alike. Pam’s death is nothing like your ex-wife’s.” Alex didn’t know why he said it, why he made the situation worse, but he *had* to say it, he had to, he…

A cloud came over Lincoln’s face. The one Alex had seen when he had been charged back in that alley as well as when he was still bound on the chair. “Lisa was killed because of me; your wife was killed because of you. The comparison stops there. I’m not *that* stupid, Mahone.”
Alex continued to stare at him. “You could have fooled me, putting that phone out in the open like that, *Burrows.*”

Lincoln took a step closer to Alex and hissed, “Think what you want to think. I don’t give a shit. Just do your job and maybe I won’t kill you.”

Alex sneered. “Maybe? Oh, we’re back to maybe now. And here I was thinking I was working to gain your trust and *forgiveness*, since you’re such a sainted man after all. You don’t kill people; unlike me, the scumbag without a soul.”

Lincoln took one step closer and used his height and physique to maximum effect. “I tried to be civil, Mahone. I tried to help you with the shit they heaped on you-“
Alex took a step closer now as well. “Yes you did. Why did you? Did those hickeys inspire you?”

Lincoln’s hand shot out to Alex’s throat, squeezing as he took the last step to plaster their bodies together. Alex didn’t give an inch; they were breathing hard, the air thick around them. Alex stood and took it, pressing closer into Lincoln.

“Fuck you, Alex.” Lincoln spat. He released Alex as if burned and stomped out of the cabin he’d entered less than ten minutes ago.

Alex was raging. He felt alive, even more so than when he had been planning again. He’d come to life, his loins had literally sprung into life; especially after feeling Lincoln’s answering interest against his hip.

Alex smiled miserably. This was sick beyond reason, beyond being a killer FBI junkie. Pam had just died. His boy was God knew where and he had to come up with a backup plan for Michael Scofield’s escape. He did *not* need something like this and yet… and yet.
Chapter 9 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
Beta by Foxriverinmate and remember, feedback is always nice;-)
After calming himself and willing his ‘problem’ down, Alex pushed the button on the electric boiler again. It had boiled before but he’d been so busy with the Goddamned chair… he kicked the wood to the side of the wall and started to pin the map on the broad panel. It was his only way to stay reasonably sane. It would distract him from maudlin thoughts and give him a purpose. After that, he would kill the people who’d taken Pam and Lincoln Burrows was going to help him whether he wanted to or not. Fuck his prison attitude. Alex hadn’t been in Sona that long.

He found a little peace as time passed. The map was only the beginning. He started to compile lists of information they needed, what they knew and material Lincoln would have to obtain.

He soon decided that they needed another escape route including a way to throw the military off. It made him think of the easiest options; a jeep perhaps or a truck. They’d have to give it a quick paintjob as it would be used to deter the guards for as long as possible. They’d leave it in a ditch somewhere on the night of the escape to throw them off guard. It was simple, but it could very well give them some time.

Scofield had come up with a boat to keep them off the army’s radar during the manhunt that would follow their escape, but after that, the plan was pretty murky.

Somewhere along the line Alex surmised that the *mastermind* would want closure on Sara’s death. Hell, he might even want revenge. Alex could understand that sentiment. As long as he didn’t hamper Alex’s own hunt.

During his work he’d forgotten the boiler again, but when he heard the car outside start and drive away he was reminded once more of the tenuous situation he was in. He wondered if Lincoln would show up again today. He turned, switched on the boiler for a third time and waited for it to do its work. He absentmindedly mixed the instant coffee with the hot water and brought the vicious brew to his lips.

No matter what he thought of Lincoln’s goading, the phone might not have been a trick. He had to concede that maybe Burrows had meant well this time. It was a pre-paid one, new. It would serve as a good warning system if something should go wrong on either side of their deal. He’d overreacted, probably. It didn’t change the color of the crap they were in though.

Pouring another cup of coffee, he went back to work and changed the wall into a collage of notes, maps and markings.
~~~~~~

When it got dark, he picked up one of the bags that Lincoln had left. He’d noticed candles and matches when Lincoln brought the supplies yesterday. No matter what the man had said, he was showing quite a lot of trust. Whether it was forced or not, Alex wondered if Lincoln Burrows was either incredibly dimwitted, desperate or an accidental genius when it came to manipulation. He suspected it was a little bit of at least two of those.
He’d lit the candles and surveyed his wall again when he heard the familiar engine of the car purr in the distance. For a fleeting moment, he felt like a housewife waiting for her husband to come home. It brought his thoughts back to Pam.

Five minutes later, Lincoln stood in the door opening. Alex had never closed the door when Lincoln had left nor had he heard him approach the cabin.

They stared at each other and then Lincoln broke their eye contact speaking low and soft. “You wanted good food. That’s why I brought the axe.”

Alex wasn’t sure what he meant, but before he could ask, Lincoln continued to talk as he put another bag on the table, hardly even looking at Alex or the wall. “Just a small campfire. I don’t think it can hurt, so far away from the city. If anyone should see, they’d already have noticed the light from the shack anyway.” He shot a glance at the broken chair and added, “The chair’s a start.”

Alex’s words rasped in his throat. “Yes it is.”

Lincoln nodded, grabbed the axe and went outside. Alex stared at the chopped up chair and smiled. It would have been poetic if Alex didn’t know better. He picked up all the pieces, not caring if he got splinters in his hands. The music of Lincoln Burrows swinging the axe with methodical rhythm accompanied him and was somehow comforting.

Alex didn’t want to question why he’d gone from hunting somebody who he’d viewed as nothing more than a petty crook to having an irrational fear of the man to actually being comfortable in his presence. Alex’s last couple of weeks had been a rollercoaster drop from the good life into Hell. He hoped he wouldn’t drop any further, if that was even possible.

When he’d gathered the wood he went outside where Lincoln was chopping the last bits in the glow of the cabin’s candle light. It was dangerous, but Alex didn’t say a word. If Lincoln wanted to do this, well, he was an adult and saner than Alex was. Alex kept an eye on him just the same, dumping the broken chair a few steps further away.
“Mind getting me a beer?” Lincoln asked as he wiped his forehead. It was quite a warm day; even the evening hadn’t tempered the air.

Alex looked from the cabin to Lincoln’s car. “You’ve brought some?”

Lincoln pointed halfheartedly to the car, confirming what Alex already thought. That meant he could make a run for it, but Lincoln had an axe and the car keys. Alex opened the doors, finding two six-packs on the backseat.

He heard Lincoln throwing something on the floor, presumably the axe, and take a few steps. Leaves and dry twigs cracked beneath his shoes. Come to think of it, they probably did the same when Alex walked on them but Alex hadn’t listened like this before.

He turned around, leaned against the car and watched his…*partner*. Lincoln crouched on one knee, working swiftly and precisely. He had the wood in place within minutes, and a crackling fire started to devour the evidence of Alex’s frustrations. Lincoln also made some sort of contraption, possibly to lay food on. Alex wasn’t sure.

It definitely seemed as if Lincoln done this before. Maybe he had taken his brother into the woods for little trips? Or perhaps his son?

“You’ve brought food? Sturdy enough for the fire?” Alex asked as he walked up to Lincoln who looked up at him. Alex handed him a beer and kept one himself.

Lincoln took it, but remained in the position he was in, one knee on the ground, near the blaze. The heat of the fire was almost too much to bear, but Alex stood his ground as Lincoln stared at him. Finally, the man opened his beer, threw the cap in the flames and took a large gulp.

“Yeah, I’ve brought food.” He motioned to the cabin. “The bag on the table.”

Alex followed his gaze. The heat of the campfire made him a bit drowsy and the work of the day combined with his healing body made him aware of just how tired he was.
Nevertheless, he got the bag, opened it and found four packages wrapped in foil. He glanced at Lincoln who had sat on the ground. The corner of his mouth was turning upward, but ever so slightly. “Jacket potatoes with garlic and a bit of rabbit food.” Alex raised his eyebrow and went back to Lincoln while rummaging in the bag. It contained a small plate with sausages, some sticks to put food on and berries of some kind. Well Lincoln had done his best.

Lincoln tapped his leg with his beer bottle. “Sit down, man. I’m hungry.”

Alex snorted and gave the plate with the sausages on to Lincoln. He drank quietly, listening to the crackling fire, the sounds of night in the jungle and Lincoln’s rustling and breathing.

Big hands worked the food expertly, turning the meat in the searing flames. It was almost... homey, in a twisted sense of the word, and thoughts of home weren’t good at all.

“You’ve been working on the wall.” The question left Lincoln’s mouth as a statement.

Alex inclined his head and nodded in thought. “Yes, I assumed it would be best to use my time wisely.” Alex stared into the fire.

Lincoln continued to focus on the meat, the delicious smell drifting towards Alex’s nose. He really was hungry.
Lincoln pulled out two sausages on a stick and gave one to Alex, taking out a small tube of some kind of sauce from the bottom of the bag. Alex had missed that one. Not that he had time to worry about it, because Lincoln dumped some of it on Alex’s sausage without asking.

“Any ideas or plans that could help us? Do we have time work out both your’s and Michael’s plans?”

Alex took a bite out of the steaming hot meat. He closed his eyes for a moment, just enjoying the wonderful feeling of something hot and hearty. How strange that a few seconds of contentment were so easily enjoyed when you really had nothing to be content about.

“Yes we have some time. I need you to start looking for something like a jeep or truck. Wheels the army would use around here. Take a look around Sona and find paint in town so we can give our ride the right color. I want you to get Sucre involved with the plan as well. He has to be right on the spot when Susan lets you know where your son is. Let him scout out and report to us while we’re breaking out your brother and Whistler from Sona.”

Lincoln whistled. “Tall order.” Lincoln rumbled.

Alex smiled and lifted his beer to confirm. “It’s just for starters. I want electricity maps from around the prison. I want a safer solution than the generator bit Michael came up with, including the problem with cutting power in the first place. Not to mention what we’re going to do after we’ve sailed away into the sunset on that boat. I want both Whistler and your son out. Susan isn’t getting squat.” Alex took a sip of his beer and shifted his eyes from the fire to Lincoln’s face. It took a moment to adjust his eyes.

Lincoln looked amused. “You’ve had quite a productive day.” He looked down, avoiding Alex’s stare, but kept his lips curved in a smile that looked painful to keep up. “You’re a smart man, Alex. Even in conditions like this.”

Was that a compliment? It was out of place. “Are you trying to mellow me down for something, Lincoln?” he sounded rough. The thought ‘your bunk or mine’ popped into his head, but Alex knew it was a bad joke.

The smile left Lincoln’s face as if he’d heard anyway and he shot Alex a sideways glance. “Do you think we can do and prepare all of that in a few days?”

Alex narrowed his eyes and let go again. The palm of his hand was moist. Sweat maybe, or it could be the midnight air. “We have more than a few days. Susan gave us an extra week. We should be able to do it in the nine days we’ve got, yes.”

Lincoln shook his head, his eyes leaving Alex’s face, and he sighed. Lincoln swiped his hand over his face, his head and ended on his neck. It was some elaborate ritual maybe. How to say something the other person doesn’t want to hear. Alex suspected Lincoln was an expert.

Lincoln’s eyes searched out Alex’s again. It was right there, the message Alex didn’t want to hear, but didn’t know yet. He braced himself.

“I tried to get more pills today,” Lincoln started and Alex’s heart started racing. Trouble. Was he seen? “When I was near the drugstore I saw this guy who wasn’t local. I think he was a fed or something.”

Alex gritted his teeth. Sullins. He must have put two and two together. “Were you seen?” he asked.

Lincoln shook his head, “I don’t think so. I don’t know why they were there, but... from what I can gather the first time I went there, these pills aren’t something they hand out much. Even below the counter.”

So that’s why Lincoln got them so easily; his experience as a crook paid off. “You can’t go back. They will monitor everything.” Alex stated without emotion, although a storm was raging inside.

“I know, but Alex… that was the only place that had a few in storage. Even if I hit the streets, I have no connections, it will take time and-” Lincoln sounded truly apologetic.

Alex interrupted him. “We don’t have that time and you asking around will stir up a hornets’ nest. You aren’t connected to me yet, but the FBI, or Susan, will realize right away who you’re peddling for.”

Lincoln sighed. “You know what that means don’t you?”

Alex swallowed, trying to calm his racing heart. “We only have a few days for the plan, because I have to go cold turkey.” He held Lincoln’s eyes and thought he saw a flash of compassion there.

“I’ll help you as much as I can, but if I have to leave, which is going to happen-” Lincoln left the rest unsaid.
Alex knew what he was going to say anyway. No junkie was strong enough alone and Alex couldn’t be trusted in withdrawal. He’d blow everything out of the water if he was allowed to roam free. He looked into the fire. The chair was nearly burned away, logged down by the wood that Lincoln had chopped.

He was going to have to get a new one.
Chapter 10 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
Beta by Foxriverinmate
Lincoln had left him alone to stare at the fire. He had gone to the lake again and Alex suspected the other man tried to be outside as much as possible to enjoy the freedom. There was a difference between a fresh lake and a 4 by 4 isolation cell. On the other hand, maybe it was the feeling of being able to do what you wanted when you wanted to do it.

The thoughts brought him back to his own situation. He hated taking drugs, but he always knew… Now he was being pressed into doing something when it wasn’t convenient. Was it ever going to be? He threw a twig on the dying embers of the fire and a short flare gave a little bit of extra warmth. Lincoln had given him his last pill yesterday just before they got drunk. He hadn’t worried about it this morning because he’d expected a pill tonight. He had no security about it and yet he had fallen into false sense of security that was an illusion. Lincoln Burrows; his pill pusher.

His body already started to protest the absence of his hit. However, Lincoln had gotten pills that weren’t as strong as his previous ones. Alex was continuously experiencing a light version of withdrawal simply because he didn’t get enough. He chalked a lot of it up to his injuries, but he knew that not all of it was due to that.
He expected that he would be hit by full blown withdrawal tomorrow, in the evening at the latest. That meant he only had tonight and maybe the morning and part of the afternoon.

Well, he thought as he got up, muscles groaning, time was wasting then. He threw sand on the remnants of the fire and went inside the cabin.

The wall was waiting just as he’d left it. This was quite logical. Just the fact that he’d thought that very thought showed Alex that he wasn’t thinking clearly at all. He’d just have to try harder. He lit two more candles and planted them close to his work. Then he started to re-read and go over the basics of his little plans. He didn’t have grand plans like Michael, but it should be enough to close any hole that might open beneath their feet. He just wished he’d had his pair of glasses.
~~~~~~

He squinted, deciphering certain sandy roads and names on the map when he heard Lincoln come in.

“What are you doing?” Lincoln asked.

Alex couldn’t quite place the tone of voice. Probably because he wasn’t trying. He made a non-committal gesture as he continued to work.

Lincoln came up behind him, his shadow wiping out every shred of light Alex had. Alex said impatiently, “Lincoln, I need to get this done before I’m no longer capable.”

Lincoln snorted. “You won’t be capable of doing squat when you’ve died of exhaustion.”

Lincoln smelled of fresh water, wood and something musky. It was an oddly nice smell. Alex shook himself out of it. “I didn’t know you cared,” he said roughly, tracing one path on the map with his finger.

Lincoln moved to the table, giving Alex his light back again. It was becoming hard to function. The drought in his throat had returned and his bones ached. Not to mention that he was tired as hell, but no way was he going to concede to that.

“I’ll make you a cup of coffee,” Lincoln said and Alex heard him pouring water into the boiler and switching the device on. After that, it was silent. Alex glanced behind him. Ass perched on the table, Lincoln leaned on it as he stared at Alex.

Alex gritted his teeth and went back to his work. “What?”

He didn’t look, but he could imagine Lincoln
shrugging. “Nothing.”

Alex hated behavior like that. It was how Pam got under his skin before… he shook his head to get those thoughts out. He was not going to be bullied into whatever it was that Lincoln Burrows wanted him to do. He ignored the eyes burning a hole in his back and wrote some directions on the wall. Their biggest problem would be that jeep. He really needed -

The click of the electric boiler announced that the water was ready. Two mugs clattered on the table and Lincoln poured water into them. Using a spoon to put the coffee in, he made sure it sounded extra loud and annoying. Alex balled his fist around the pen he was holding until he couldn’t take it anymore. Halfway to furious for reasons too numerous to contemplate, Alex turned and took two steps closer to Lincoln.

“Why are you doing this?!”

Lincoln was smart enough to leave the mugs where they were, because Alex would have done something regrettable if he hadn’t. “You can beat going cold turkey. The first days are the worst, after that you can deal, you’re tough. I am counting on you to get back on your feet within a week. But you can’t do it if you screw yourself over before you even get into it. Already told you; I’m not going to bury your corpse.” Lincoln crossed his arms in front of his chest as if he wanted to emphasize that he was still the boss.

Alex shoved one hand in his back pocket and played with his pen with the other as he calmed his breathing. “You don’t know that. If I work now, I… until I can’t-”

Lincoln closed the distance between them, grabbing Alex’s arms. “Listen to me; you were already going down this road when I found you. You’re already sliding down because of the amount I’ve given you.”

Alex shook his head. He didn’t want to look Lincoln in the eye. This was humiliating. “This isn’t news,” he tried. Lincoln’s fingers dug into Alex’s biceps.

Lincoln growled, accepting the resistance. “You need to sit down and have that coffee with me. We’ll go to bed afterwards. I want to get this over with as soon as we can.”

Alex barked out a laugh. Lincoln wanted to get this over with? Well, he wouldn’t want to inconvenience him even more.

Nonetheless, Alex did as Lincoln requested and sat on a chair the moment Lincoln let him go. They sat opposite each other, with a coffee mug in their hands. Neither one spoke. Alex didn’t know which pair of eyes was more active.

After the drink, Alex stood and took care of business in the toilet. His teeth needed brushing too. Lincoln had already undressed when Alex was done, pants and shirt draped across the chair. He’d also pulled his ’bed’ as far away from Alex as was possible, which wasn’t that far. Maybe two feet max.

Alex threw his own clothes on the other chair when Lincoln took his turn with the toilet and crawled into his bed. The blankets were oddly comforting. He closed his eyes and was asleep before Lincoln returned. His night proved to be worse than the night before. This time, Pam accused him together with Apolskis. She hated him and Alex agreed with her.
~~~~~~

Alex opened his eyes and immediately regretted that he did. The piercing light bore into his skull, even though he couldn’t really see a source for the brightness. He recognized the metallic taste in his mouth. He’d had that before, when he was in the alley and on the chair… he rolled onto his back and let out a small groan. He felt pain in areas that had no business to complain.

“How’re you feeling?” Lincoln’s voice rumbled from beside him. Alex turned his head and looked into Lincoln’s eyes.

He was on his back as well, mirroring Alex’s position. It seemed that they did that a lot these past days, mirroring each other…

Alex coughed and rasped, which made Lincoln break their eye contact as he reached up for a bottle of water that stood on the table. His blanket pooled around his waist as he sat up, his bare back to Alex this time. This was a novelty, since Alex had seen Lincoln Burrow’s naked chest more frequently than any other man he had ever met. This was so fucked up.

Lincoln gave him the bottle and Alex sat up. “Thank you.”
He coughed again. “I feel like shit. How are you feeling?” Lincoln laughed at the answer and stared at Alex as he attempted to let the water wash away the metallic taste. That didn’t work of course.

“Just trying to make sure my investment won’t go sour.”

Lincoln got up, blanket falling away completely now.
The man’s legs were muscled. Not a real surprise there, but Alex had never given it much thought. Thick thighs, muscles roping up and down. He realized he’d let his eyes roam and scrambled to sit with his back to the wall, following Lincoln’s moves.

Lincoln was doing something on the table. Presumably some breakfast ritual. “You think you can handle some coffee? Some dry bread might work as well,” Lincoln asked, not the least uncomfortable about his lack of dress.

Alex shook his head, but then realized this gesture might be interpreted the wrong way. He weakly waved his hand. “I can take food. I don’t feel sick.” Alex’s eyes left Lincoln and wandered to the wall. Uniforms, they needed uniforms too. How to do that without abducting two guards?

“You’re thinking again. What is it?” Lincoln asked as the coffee water was slowly heating up.

Alex stood slowly, every bone in his body hurting, and dragged himself to the wall.

Lincoln let out a sigh. “Alex, what is the problem?”

Did Lincoln read that from Alex’s face or his body language? It surprised him. “I was just… we need two uniforms to go with the jeep, but I don’t want to start a murder spree among the guards.”

Lincoln stood beside him; Alex hadn’t even heard him coming up. “We don’t have to. Sucre’s started work at the prison. I’ll see if he can find out if they have a laundry service of some sort. Maybe we can steal some. No way that they will regulate everything that closely.”

It was an idea. Crude and simple, but then again, so were Alex’s. “All right, get him on that and you-”

Lincoln gave him a short pat on the back and it stopped Alex speaking quite effectively. Alex was actually shocked the man touched him like that.

“I’ll take care of it, Alex. Sit back down and eat something. You can tell me the rest, but only while you’re eating.”

Who appointed him mother hen and fucking saint? Alex got annoyed again and wanted to lash out. He turned to face Lincoln who smiled. The bastard actually smiled. He probably enjoyed seeing Alex in pain.

“Don’t try it, man. I know the feeling. Control it, there’s no reason for giving in to it at this stage,” Lincoln stated and went back to the table to make another cup of ghastly coffee.

Alex had no idea how to respond.

He stood, feeling awkward and he shifted his gaze to the wall. Lincoln didn’t say anything else, but Alex suspected he looked at Alex now and then. His mind was frazzled, his thoughts scattered all over the place. He looked down at his hands and saw them shaking. He felt tears threaten and had no idea why. What if Lincoln abandoned him? For some reason that frightened him more than being beaten into a pulp. Swallowing and gaining composure, he turned on his heels, took the necessary steps and sat down at the table.

Lincoln pushed a coffee mug at him and motioned to the plate of sandwiches.

“Thank you,” Alex said. Lincoln nodded and started to eat his breakfast. Alex did the same although all feelings of hunger had left him.

“So, what are your orders, general?” Lincoln asked without malice in his voice.

Alex chewed the last bit of bread in his mouth and answered carefully. “Keep an eye on me. The moment when you think I am even less trustworthy than you already think I am…”

Lincoln waved him away. “That’s not what I meant, man.”

Alex pulled his chair closer to Lincoln’s as if they were conspiring. “It is important, Lincoln. If I become desperate…You have no idea how lethal I can become.”

Lincoln’s face grew dark and he didn’t answer immediately. “Believe me I know that you’re lethal and I will kick you in the nuts and tie you up if it needs to be done, but till then we are going to plan what we can just as you wanted to do yesterday.”

Alex nodded. “Do you have a pen and paper?” Alex asked and Lincoln leaned sideways to delve into his trouser’s pocket. He pulled out what was needed. Alex started to dictate part of his plans. He spewed out just about everything he could think of causing Lincoln’s notebook to become fuller and fuller with every minute.

He’d even remembered cases he’d worked on and plucked information from those. A murderer had bought shoes that were two sizes smaller than his own, cut off the soles and glued those beneath his own shoes. It had thrown them off for some time, looking for a guy with smaller feet when they compared evidence from crime scenes.

They could use this if they needed to go somewhere and steal something, like those uniforms. It would be harder to connect them to a crime and they would be long gone should the Panamanian Police ever connect the dots.

They sat like that for hours. Lincoln wrote, still only wearing his pair of boxers, while Alex walked. He walked back and forth from the wall to the table, sitting down as much as he could to keep the worsening withdrawal symptoms at bay, but it was like keeping a storm at bay. It would come, no matter what.

Finally, Lincoln’s notebook was full. Alex suspected he hadn’t been straightforward and structured in everything he’d been saying. He hoped Lincoln could make head or tail of it. Alex couldn’t anymore.

Lincoln put the notebook on the table; his hand lay on it as he stared at the scribbled-covered pages. “I’m going to try to get everything done, Alex, but no way-”

Alex interrupted him. “Get me through this.” He started shaking, sweat running down his back. His defences had breached.
Chapter 11 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
Beta by Foxriverinmate
The first attack of pain was something that Alex didn’t expect. His chest contracted, he found it hard to breath and for a moment, he thought he was having a heart attack. His arms wrapped around his body on instinct and he hunched over.

“All right, you need to lie down. Come on.” Lincoln’s hand was on Alex’s shoulder as he growled out the command. Alex hadn’t even heard the man move. “Alex, get up and lie on the cot.” Lincoln slid his hands under Alex’s armpits and pulled him up.

Alex groaned; he was cold and he couldn’t shop shivering, damn it. Lincoln steered him towards the bed. Alex wasn’t sure how, but he landed on his side without really hurting himself, so he probably hadn’t fallen down.

“Stay here, I’ll be right back.” Lincoln said close to Alex’s ear.

Alex tried to lift his head and saw Lincoln’s retreating back. “Really?” he rasped, overwhelming fear warring with embarrassment.

Lincoln stopped near the door and shot over his shoulder, “you should know the answer to that question by now.”

Alex coughed, wracking his body even more as Lincoln walked out of the shack.

Things became increasingly blurry after that.
~~~~~~

He was hot. He kicked the blankets off him. When did he pull them up? This fucking shack. He shouldn’t let Lincoln Burrows push him around like that. Alex knew all about the game he was playing. Trying to help a little bit, playing the macho alpha man routine combined with some emotional anguish.

Bastard kept him here in this shack on purpose. Oh yeah, but Alex wasn’t going to fall for it. Lincoln was his enemy. He had no friends. Even Pam hadn’t been his friend anymore, not really. It was because he still loved her that they... It hadn’t got anything to do with her feelings. She was just a pawn. They were all pawns. Oh God, his love had killed her! It was his fault. If only he hadn’t been so stupid!

The pillow below his face felt wet. Did the roof leak? Lincoln hunched before him, handing him a piece of cloth. Some sort of handkerchief. Alex used it.
~~~~~~

He felt like he was drifting. It was wet everywhere. Lincoln pulled him up.

“Can you get your shirt off?” Lincoln asked somewhat loudly. It didn’t sound sexual. What did he want? Lincoln twisted his head sharply to his side. Alex saw a bucket. It seemed hot. “Got a wash cloth in it. Get some of that sweat off.”

Ah okay, Alex got it. “Thank you,” he whispered. Something clean. That was good. His shirt smelled like last week’s garbage. His hands shook badly, but he got the first button undone. His fingers seemed three times their size, because he kept fumbling.

“I’m going to rip it open if you don’t hurry up, man.” Lincoln groused.

Alex hiccuped a laugh. “Afraid the water will get cold?”

Lincoln didn’t respond, but swatted Alex’s hands away from the buttons. He did what he said and ripped it open. Buttons flew in all directions, but Alex didn’t care. He looked Lincoln in the eyes, face close to his. For a moment he thought he saw something there. Something past the bland look that had only been broken by moments of aggression. An emotion he hadn’t seen before. But as suddenly as it had appeared it was gone again.

“I’m not going to help you clean your chest,” Lincoln said as he backed away. He tugged on the bucket so it was further away from Alex. He had to crawl after it. Lincoln turned on his heels and left the shack. Alex wanted to holler after him. Asshole. Getting off on getting him to crawl.

However, when he started to use the water he became aware that Lincoln didn’t mean to torture him. It was foresight. Alex was shaking so badly that the water splattered the floor as much as it did his chest, face and arms. Better the floor than his bed.
~~~~~~

He was shivering and cold. He couldn’t find the strength to use the towel. It was so far away he’d have to crawl and then near the towel… Bill Kim was laughing. He loved seeing Alex like this. He taunted, pointed and called him names. Alex tried to block him out of his mind. Kellerman came in. He came in? That meant Alex wasn’t outside?

“Why aren’t you dried off?” Kellerman said, but it wasn’t his voice. It was dark; a candle was lit.

Alex squinted and croaked out, “Kelle.. Keller-
Kellerman, who didn’t sound like… he interrupted Alex.
“God damn it, you’re hallucinating? What the hell was that stuff you were on?” It wasn’t Kellerman. Alex knew this man better than he knew Kellerman. The name just slipped his mind…

The man came closer. Right; Lincoln. He had the towel in his hand. He must have gone to some lengths to get it. Lincoln bowed, sitting on Alex’s level now, and roughly started to rub Alex’s upper body. The motion brought more shivers to Alex’s flesh as well as goose bumps, but it made him warm too. He felt a smile creeping up his face and moisture in his eyes.

“You’re a fucking wreck, you know that? I should have remembered what a great treat this was going to be. I’m not your nurse, Mahone.” Lincoln spat out.

He sounded angry. Alex didn’t know why. The words didn’t fit with the actions though.

Alex was drowsy now that he was warming up. “Come on.” A voice spoke in his ear, tugging on him, slowly dragging him to his bed.
~~~~~~

“Alex, stop fighting me you bastard!” Lincoln had been holding him down for over ten minutes now. He was damned strong. Didn’t he understand that this was killing Alex? Just one pill. If they could go in fast… Alex could even go in by himself. Just a little bit to stop the pain.

“You’re killing me. You’re letting me die,” Alex growled, clawing as much as he could, even though Lincoln held him in a vice.

Lincoln brought his right arm up to Alex’s throat. His left hand kept a grip on Alex’s arms, but his grip was slipping so he slammed Alex’s chest against the wall. Figured Lincoln would do that. It’s what the man did best after all.

He used his mouth and bit down hard on the fleshy part of Lincoln’s arm. Blood filled his mouth. It wasn’t his own.
“Son of a bitch! You fucking asshole! God damn it!”

Lincoln’s strident voice resounded throughout the cabin, but he didn’t let go. Alex didn’t either. Lincoln held him closer pressing into Alex’s backside with his arm digging into Alex’s air supply. The man was going to kill him after all. Not by withholding what Alex needed the most. He’d chosen the more hands-on approach. Always a murderer. To think that Alex had believed him innocent and incapable off….

Alex lost consciousness.
~~~~~~

“I’m sorry. I’m really sorry, Alex.”

A soft voice penetrated Alex’s foggy mind. He opened his eyes. It wasn’t dark. He tried to move his arms and legs, but found he couldn’t. His vision became sharper and he saw Lincoln in front of him.

“You’ve tied me up again? You’ve got no right!” His throat felt raw, painful, but he could still talk. Alex pulled on the ropes. He was still on his bed, but he could hardly move an inch. How the hell did Lincoln Burrows know how to tie somebody up like that? Prison bondage games perhaps? Alex snorted and felt the hatred fill him again. “Just give me a pill. I know you have some. You’re just holding them back because you get off on this, don’t you?”

Lincoln shook his head, let his big, meaty paw roam across his face as if he was the one in agony and stood. “Don’t you dare leave me like this you… Burrows!”

The man just left the shack. Alex continued to rant and shout until he was hoarse.
~~~~~~

“Easy; small sips.”

Alex sat with his back against the wall. He was exhausted, but tremors no longer wracked his body. Lincoln held a bottle of water to Alex’s lips. It was cool and soothed Alex’s throat.

“You’ve done some shouting,” Lincoln added as if to explain why Alex felt like he did. That was probable. Then he noticed a large bandage on Lincoln’s arm.

“Accident?” he rasped between gulps.

Lincoln smiled ruefully. “I underestimated you. I’m free of any disease, I hope you are too.” He took the bottle from Alex’s mouth and put it away.

Alex tried to make sense of what he’d said. Had Alex done that? A quick survey of Lincoln’s face told him that could very well be the case. Damn…

“I’m sorry.” *For this shithole we’re in, that you have to see me like this, that we ever crossed paths, that I ever was born, your father, this …everything.*

Lincoln held Alex’s gaze for minutes until he finally nodded. “Go get some rest. I think you’ve beaten the worst. Just stay on track now.” He patted Alex’s arm and got up. He looked like shit.

Alex suspected he hadn’t slept much and his opinion of Lincoln Burrows had just gone up quite a few notches. It took a guy with balls to do what he had just done for Alex.

“Lincoln, thank you,” he rasped, still sitting against the wall on his bed.

Lincoln leaned against the table and bowed his head a little before he looked behind him, at Alex.

He smiled and for a moment Alex thought he'd say something like 'I didn't do it for you'. He didn't, however. He just said, “You’re welcome.”
~~~~~~

Alex woke up. He had no idea how much time had passed, but he guessed it had been some days.

Drained as he was, Alex still felt good. He had beaten it and as Lincoln had said, the worst was behind him. At least, drugs wise. Reveling a bit longer in his bed, just lying there not feeling too hot or too cold, he eventually got up. There was some bread on the table and the water in the boiler was still reasonably warm. He poured himself a mug to make some coffee. He could drink it right away.

He looked at the wall as he stood drinking. They needed to start working again now he was over it. They’d lost enough time already. Where was Lincoln anyway?

Antsy to get back to what they should be doing, Alex put his half empty mug on the table and left the cabin. The car was still there so that meant Lincoln had probably gone to the lake. Alex couldn’t think of anything else to do around here. Christ, he hoped Lincoln hadn’t drowned in it as tired as he had looked.

Alex walked slowly because his body still felt a bit cramped. He tried to take in as much as he could around him. He was free. Free of the fucking drug. That specter no longer had him in its grip. The only thing now was to remain free. He owed Lincoln more than he liked to admit.
The lake came up when he rounded a few trees. He didn’t see Lincoln right away because he was watching the water.

A soft sound to his right made him turn his head around.
Lincoln stood in front of a tree. Shirtless and his back still dripping wet, droplets sliding down the waistband of his jeans. His left hand was positioned against the trunk, arm straight and he was leaning forward. His right hand was, well, there was no doubt in what he was doing with that one. So much for drowning.

Alex wanted to leave right away, but his feet didn’t move. He felt uncomfortable, intruding, yet his trousers became tight. He couldn’t believe his own reactions. This was so improper, so wrong. Lincoln had earned his right to have some private moments. He didn’t need Alex standing around like some…

Just as Alex willed his feet to move Lincoln said in a low voice, oddly breaking, “you want to join me?”

He shouldn’t. He could make a long list why he shouldn’t, so many reasons why this was a bad idea. Still, he moved forward instead of back. Lincoln’s hand had stilled as if he was waiting for Alex. Alex came to a stop to Lincoln’s right and looked him straight in the eyes. Then, his eyes roamed downwards to Lincoln’s exposed cock.

It was large. He knew it wasn’t true that big men had big cocks, but Lincoln *was* big in every way. Alex could match him. So good… stiff, engorged… leaking. Lincoln turned his front a bit, towards Alex. His chest heaved, eyes darker than Alex had ever seen. Alex closed his eyes; God, could he get any more turned on by this?

Lincoln moved. His hand was on Alex’s trousers, tugging on his shirt. He then pulled down the zipper on Alex’s pants and deftly reached inside. He didn’t hesitate, just went for his goal. A moan escaped Alex’s lips when he felt the warm, slick hand close around his cock. Lincoln didn’t move, but just held him. Alex still didn’t open his eyes. He listened to the sound of their breathing, perfectly in sync. He could imagine Lincoln watching his face. He did it so often after all, to gauge Alex’s reaction.

Then, Lincoln’s left hand grabbed Alex’s and pulled it toward his mouth. The moment Lincoln’s tongue hit the palm of Alex’s hand his eyes shot open and stared right into Lincoln’s. There was no smile, no ridicule. Although he seemed particularly horny he also had an uncompromising look in his eyes. Alex had no other word for it.

He held Lincoln’s gaze as he continued to lick Alex’s palm and started to move his hand on Alex’s cock. Alex swallowed. This shouldn’t feel so good, not when… he wanted to close his eyes again, but somehow it felt wrong to do to that to Lincoln. His mind was plummeting and he couldn’t help but look to his groin where his cock slid back and forth in Lincoln Burrows’ fist.

In a haze of lust he felt a pull on his left hand again. Down, to Lincoln’s… Lincoln’s hand put Alex’s on his own dick, closed his hand around Alex’s who shifted his eyes from his cock to Lincoln’s. It was fucking great. He started moving his hand in the same rhythm that Lincoln had set. He reveled in the feeling of such a foreign cock in his hand, but it didn’t feel awkward. It was like watching live porn. After a while, he couldn’t take it anymore and his eyes searched out Lincoln’s face again.

He didn’t know who started to come first; he didn’t care. White hot pleasure blinded him like a cocaine hit.

Lincoln closed his eyes when he shot his cum over Alex’s hand and against the tree, not making a sound even though his mouth was partly open. Alex hummed low and long as he did the same. When it was over, the only sound that was left was their breathing.

He came back to earth, finding his hand was still on Lincoln’s softening cock. Lincoln’s was still on Alex’s. He pulled away and Lincoln copied the gesture. The remnants of their seed were mixed on the tree bark, dribbling down onto the ground. Lincoln turned and walked to the water, washing his hands and as was becoming a logical occurrence between them, Alex did the same.

They sat there, side by side with wet hands. “So this is an example of prison life?” Alex softly said. Lincoln shot him a glance. His eyes had a spark in them. His lips curled up and he stood. He started laughing loudly as he walked away.

“Take a dip, Alex. I’ll bring you some towels; I’m sure you forgot.” Alex smiled.
Chapter 12 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
As always, beta by the Fab Fox:-)
The sizzle is about to be 'upped':D
Alex took off his clothes and folded them neatly on a nearby log. The water was cold, but Alex didn’t really care about that. It was more of a luxury than he had had in Sona. A bath was a bath, even if it wasn’t that warm. He lost himself swimming, still feeling very relaxed after his… whatever it was he had just experienced with Lincoln Burrows. He supposed he could call it sex.

Lincoln probably called it scratching an itch. God, he was insane.

He swam to the middle of the lake and back. Making a few tracks from left to right until he felt his left arm beginning to smart. He was still a bit sore from just about everything he’d experienced these past few days. Not to mention tired as hell. He should get out of the water and do what he was here for. He looked at the shore and found Lincoln sitting next to Alex’s clothes. He’d brought the towel he’d promised, but hadn’t left. He was watching Alex.

It would be extremely awkward if Alex waited in the water and Lincoln made no move to leave. Alex snorted to himself. Whatever Lincoln’s game was Alex wasn’t playing. Aside from... earlier. He slowly swam to the shore and walked out without batting an eyelid.

Lincoln appeared to be looking at him, but wasn’t, not really. When Alex came closer and had a chance to examine Lincoln’s expression it wasn’t a lecherous one. Lincoln seemed absentminded, not really there. Alex doubted he realized that Alex Mahone was standing next him, naked.

Alex didn’t wait long for a response and grabbed the towel from Lincoln’s hands. That got a reaction. Lincoln almost jumped out of his skin; he really had been day dreaming, although from the look on his face it wasn’t a nice one. Then Lincoln looked at Alex, really looked at him and an expression of shock, and something else that Alex couldn’t quite place, crossed his face.

“I’m-” Lincoln didn’t continue, but let his eyes roam Alex’s body up and down before he stood and walked to the water. He shoved his hands in his pockets and gave Alex some privacy. The towel was large, an emblem from the ‘Tamalpais hotel’ sewn on it. Had Lincoln stolen hotel towels now? Alex shook his head in disapproval, while letting the towel do its work, drying off his chest and arms first.

“Michael reacted badly to Sara’s death,” Lincoln suddenly said.

Alex didn’t know what to say to that. He didn’t have to think long though. Lincoln wasn’t finished.

“He said that I withheld her death from him to make sure he would still break out.”

Suddenly Lincoln seemed very small. He hung his head and pulled his right hand out of his pocket. He seemed to pluck at his shirt, but Alex wasn’t sure. “He’s... upset that I tried to manipulate him for LJ. He thinks I thought he wouldn’t do it for LJ alone.”

Alex dried himself absentmindedly, his mind on the man by the water. “Did you?” He threw the towel aside and picked up a pair of clean boxers that lay on top of his clothes. That hadn’t been there before. Lincoln, probably. He wouldn’t have done something as small as that if he still-


“I… I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. Everything’s going to hell.”

Lincoln sounded positively at his wits end. Only a few days ago their roles had been reversed. Alex stood still for a moment, feeling awkward. He wasn’t the right person for this, but-

He walked up to Lincoln and paused next to him, following his gaze. “You still have a son, Lincoln. So have I. We *can’t* let it go to hell for their sakes.” Alex looked sideways; Lincoln’s face was naked, stripped of all defenses, all emotions laid bare for all to see. Alex felt as if he was intruding.

He briefly clasped Lincoln’s right shoulder, giving him a soft pat on the back. He was about to turn to his clothes when Lincoln inclined his head, his eyes burning right into Alex’s. He nodded ever so slightly, but it was his gaze that was Alex’s undoing. He cursed the day he’d ever heard of Lincoln Burrows, broke their eye contact and quickly dressed. There was work to be done.

~~~~~~

Alex had made some coffee and was working on his notes in the shack when Lincoln returned from his walk near the lake. As was common now, he opened the door and waited there for a couple of ticks before he moved further into the cabin.

“I’m going to Sona,” Lincoln said. He still sounded lost, not in control.

Alex put his pencil down and left his chair. “Lincoln, you need to shake whatever it is that you’re feeling. We need to be sharp now.” ‘Nothing can cloud our thoughts’ he wanted to add, but didn’t for some reason.

Lincoln looked down at his hands, wringing them together as if he stood next to a fire and needed to warm himself, even though it was hot outside. “I know; you don’t need to tell me. What is it you need?” Lincoln shot back, some fire in his words. That was good.

“Study the jeeps outside Sona. Write down every color and detail. After that, drive to every scrap yard you can find and get us a jeep or truck, though I prefer a jeep. Talk to Michael about the power cut he wants. Tell him to find out which company they use. We’ll take care of the rest when he gives us the time of the breakout and…
propose this.” Alex handed Lincoln a piece of paper on which he had scrawled a formula he remembered from basic training. Michael should be able to find all the components around Sona easily. He could make a simple bomb with this if he needed a distraction or protection…

Lincoln grabbed the note, but didn’t put it away. Instead he closed his hand around Alex’s. The gesture, the feeling, forced Alex to look Lincoln in the eye again. “Thank you,” Lincoln said and Alex’s hand slipped free. Then Lincoln was gone.

Alex was left with a distinct, familiar feeling. It was like twenty years ago all over again. Before Pam… But Lincoln Burrows wasn’t his tactics professor from Fort Benning and Alex wasn’t that fresh faced cadet anymore. He wasn’t starved of somebody kind and gentle. Loving touches, evenings by a fire, just to be held… Even if he was, it was..was...

With a sigh, he put his past out of his mind and made another cup of coffee. Back to the wall. A car, house, passports. What else would they need after the escape attempt? He’d get it. Together with Lincoln.

And when Lincoln Junior was safe and sound, the company wasn’t going to be. Alex still knew how to use a gun.
~~~~~~

He had been working steadily for hours, but found his mind kept drifting to Lincoln. He didn’t want to analyze why, but it made him feel uncomfortable and yet comfortable at the same time. There was somebody, somebody who-. He dropped his hand and rubbed his leg. Damn it, he almost felt as if he had another dependency. His situation was unhealthy and so was any attachment to Lincoln Burrows. He couldn’t allow it. Any psychiatrist would tell them the same.

He pinned a note on the wall and saw his hand shaking a bit. Great, just what he needed. The car breached the sound of silence and Alex tore his eyes away from his shakes. His heart was beating faster and he wondered why.

“Great going, Mahone. If Pam could see you now.” He mumbled to himself and closed his eyes as he thought of Pam. ‘God honey, I’m so sorry’. He leaned against the wall like Lincoln had leaned against that tree earlier. He didn’t know what had screwed him up more. The entire debacle with the killings and the company, Pam…his sweet Pam, the uncertainty of his son’s condition, the drugs and… or…

A warm hand squeezed his shoulder. “Alex? Are you all right?”

A flash of that hand squeezing him somewhere else came to mind. Alex took a deep breath and exhaled. He opened his eyes and turned around, facing Lincoln. “Yes, just a temporary setback.”

Lincoln’s eyes shifted downwards, to Alex’s hand. He nodded. “You’ll be feeling those for some time, man. You’ll deal.” He sounded confident. No trace of his earlier melancholy and sadness. Lincoln walked over to the table and put a small brown bag down.

“I brought a few beers and hot food. One beer should be okay for you, probably be best if you steered clear of more than that a day. Had them pack the food in one of those special thermos boxes. It’s hot in more ways than one.” Alex raised an eyebrow in question and Lincoln barked out a laugh, “Yeah, I’ve worked on your orders as well. Sit down and I’ll tell you about it.”

That Lincoln had gone out of his way to get him hot food oddly pleased Alex. He rubbed his neck with his right hand before he went to the table. While Lincoln was outside getting more supplies from the car Alex opened the brown bag and took out two beers. Cold. It seemed that Lincoln put a cool box in his car as well. He opened both bottles on the table edge and took a swig.

Lincoln chose that moment to enter and closed the door with his foot. “Good?”

Alex nodded and looked at the beer label. “Some sort of cheap local brew?”

Lincoln smirked and shrugged.

They unpacked the food box together. It was Chinese, complete with chopsticks which Lincoln threw aside right away. Five minutes later they were eating with forks and Alex’s stomach growled with satisfaction.

“So, I’ve found you a jeep,” Lincoln said halfway through dinner.

Alex looked up. “Is it in working order? Can you get it here?”

Lincoln chewed a piece of chicken, or at least, Alex thought that’s what they were eating. The amount of chili pepper made it hard to discern.

“Yeah, it’s working, but barely. I can probably tweak it a bit when I get it here. I’ve made arrangements with the owner to pick it up tomorrow afternoon. I’ve also found a paint shop, but I don’t know; should I buy all the paint at one shop?”

Alex pushed his empty plate away and folded his arms, watching Lincoln eat a second helping. “Good thinking; no, that wouldn’t be smart. Make Sucre buy half. Two different men won’t stir up suspicion. And Lincoln-”

Lincoln stopped eating, fork midair; it almost made Alex smile. “How capable is that Susan of yours?”

The question made Lincoln swallow, his lips forming a grimace. Alex thought he might have spit out the food if he didn’t like it so much. “She kills, taunts and tortures people. She cut off Sara’s head. I don’t know if that’s what you’re looking for.” Lincoln spoke and locked his jaw after that. He was seriously annoyed, probably just from the mention of her name.

“Could she get us cash?” Alex asked.

Lincoln raised an eyebrow. “Why?” His annoyance was already fading.

Alex sighed, inclining his head sideways to gaze at Lincoln who had stopped eating. “We have to think past the escape. We need to get our hands on some fake passports on the street; I want to buy some plane tickets to a location far away from here to throw people off. A car here and there, some rentals- all of that needs cash.”

Lincoln held Alex’s gaze a little bit too long before he answered. “I don’t know why she would give us money for that. I could whip up a story about the escape, but maybe-” He tore his eyes from Alex’s and stared at a spot on the wall. He was probably none too happy about having to deal with Susan again. He dragged his hand across his scalp, soft hair growing back. Alex wondered if Lincoln was going to let it grow. “I might get us some fake IDs. I know a guy in the States who owes me a favor. Could let him send it to a village nearby.”

Alex nodded and grabbed the dirty dishes. They were done with eating and he needed to do something. “All right, can you contact him as soon as you can? The break is only a few days away.”

Lincoln clenched his jaw and then unclenched it. “I know man; you don’t have to remind me.”

Of course not. Alex put the dishes in the sink next to the rickety toilet. Lincoln rasped in his throat, “I won’t be staying here tonight.” Alex’s head whipped up at that and he found himself staring into Lincoln’s green eyes again. “Susan wants to meet and I might… I could.”
Lincoln grimaced and swallowed as if there was bile in his throat. “She’s been wanting to get into my pants since day one. Maybe she would… if it could persuade her to give me the money-”

Alex understood what Lincoln was trying to say. He didn’t like it, but he might be right. Buttering up this Susan wouldn’t be a bad idea and she would know that Lincoln didn’t want to do it. To a woman like her that would be a power kick. “That will be hard on you, Lincoln. Beyond the call of-”

Lincoln smiled a smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “We’ve all done things these past few months-”

Alex looked away. Yes, they had. “Do you need me to... Do you need any physical-”

It wasn’t needed. She’d already seen the hickeys, noticed Lincoln’s gait. No more *evidence* for Lincoln’s *supposed* love for cock was needed. Alex felt stupid for even asking.

“Yeah. My neck, maybe graze… graze my chest.” Lincoln spoke softly.

Alex blinked. They were pushing boundaries. This wasn’t necessary. Alex tried to get his mind to work to resist this farce, but all he could think of was a warm body in his arms. He walked up to Lincoln and unbuttoned the last few buttons of his shirt. Their eyes locked during that time and Alex dragged it out. He took too long and slowly pushed the shirt off Lincoln’s shoulders. It wasn’t mechanical, it shouldn’t be an act of... Their breaths mixed and Alex’s hand roamed Lincoln’s side, feeling, feeling his…

Caught in the lie, but still wanting to pretend, Alex turned Lincoln around so he could plaster himself against his back. His arms reached around the warm body, one up the muscled chest, the other over Lincoln’s belly. Slowly caressing, exploring the wide expanse of flesh. A sigh escaped Alex’s mouth. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
His mouth found its way to Lincoln’s shoulders, his neck. Alex kissed every bit of exposed skin he could put his lips on. Sucking a bit, licking, biting… marking. Lincoln grabbed one of Alex’s hands and sucked a finger into his mouth. Alex groaned against Lincoln’s skin. His free hand got to Lincoln’s left nipple. He grazed it at first and then used his nails to make a trail around it. Digging deep and then just skimming. It would leave a mark.

Lincoln shuddered, or maybe Alex did when Lincoln’s tongue treated his finger as if it was his cock. Lincoln’s other hand moved downwards and Alex could imagine what Lincoln wanted to do with that. Alex closed his eyes, lost in the sensation of tasting Lincoln’s skin and feeling him tremble. Alex’s cock pressing against his pants, he wanted to grind against Lincoln. Lincoln’s…

His eyes shot open. Christ what were they doing! Alex hesitated for a moment. Lincoln stopped working on his finger. It was silent save for their breathing. Alex concentrated on it. They were in perfect harmony as Lincoln released Alex’s finger and panted in a whisper, “Will she know?”

Alex nodded, dragging his lips softly over Lincoln’s right shoulder, his hands falling away from Lincoln’s chest. “She’ll know.”

They stood like that, catching their breath, not quite touching and willing down raging hearts, among other things, before Lincoln walked out of the door. The car didn’t leave for another ten minutes. Alex couldn’t find the strength to work on the wall for another hour.
Chapter 13 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
Beta by Foxriverinmate
Alex worked on as long as he could. He didn’t want to go to sleep because being alone left him oddly bereft and being alone reminded him too much of his first night in the shack. He wished Lincoln was here, a feeling he hated and yet…

He pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to relieve a headache that was threatening to blossom. Final bits of plan swirled around in his mind, competing with his continuous thoughts about what he had gotten into with Lincoln. He couldn’t explain it and what was worse; he couldn’t guarantee he wouldn’t fall into that trap again.

Pam. That’s who he had to focus on. Even though their
last conversation together hadn’t been… he’d blown her off again. Done exactly what had ended their marriage and now ended her life. He wasn’t fit for anything. He couldn’t afford to have any emotional connection to anyone but his boy and even that wasn’t...

He slowly walked to the table and grabbed a lukewarm bottle of water. His makeshift bed lay to the right. Lincoln’s, closer to the table, was unruly, unmade. His own was impeccably made up. Not even a crease in the pillow. He smiled. What would Tom have said?

Bed, that’s what he needed. A good night’s rest without thinking of past lovers, plans and dependencies. He quickly brushed his teeth and got ready. He’d almost forgotten to put out the candles, but did that too.

Still, somehow his thoughts wandered. As he tried to fall asleep he wondered what Lincoln was doing and who he was doing it with

~~~~~~

He woke up early in the morning and blinked to get used to the rays of light shining through the cracks. It seemed lighter somehow. Why was the door open?

“Good morning.”

Alex’s head shot to the right as his whole body tensed.

“Relax man, it’s just me.”

Lincoln sat on the chair, arms resting on his knees and looking quite bad. He wore the clothes he had worn yesterday as if he had slept in them and the bags under his eyes showed that the other man hadn’t slept much if at all. Why and how long had he been sitting there? Staring at what?

“How did it go?” was all that Alex could think of saying.
Lincoln didn’t answer.

“Lincoln?”

The other man moved and twisted his body to grab a bag from the table. “I brought breakfast. It’s fresh. I found this bagel bar. They had coffee in a Thermos too.” He gave it to Alex, avoiding Alex’s stare. “We got the money.” The look on his face said it all.

“Have you contacted your… friend about the passports?”

Alex took the bag from Lincoln’s hands and got up to get cups for the coffee. He didn’t care that he was half naked. After everything he’d been through with Lincoln Burrows, it would be beyond ridiculous to feel apprehensive about his state of undress.

Lincoln nodded as Alex took plates and mugs. An innocent ritual of breakfast if you didn’t take the surroundings, situation and people involved into consideration.

“She just laughed at me,” Lincoln said and Alex focused on the sound of his voice and body language to gauge what he didn’t say. Alex poured the coffee, which was steaming hot, into their mugs, and handed one to Lincoln. “I couldn’t get it up.”

Alex raised his eyebrows. He hadn’t expected that. He left the bagels where they were for the moment and waited. Lincoln obviously needed to say it, whatever it was, so he didn’t ask.

“She said I really was a faggot. That she hadn’t really believed it till then. I don’t give a flying fuck what she thinks. I like women but she… She makes my skin crawl, man. I never hit women, but…” Lincoln rubbed his right hand on his pants, his left clutching his coffee mug hard. Alex feared it would break. “I told her I’d rather be a fag than have to stick my dick in her. Maybe… I lost my temper. What if I hurt LJ with this? She could-”

Alex knew where this was going and stopped Lincoln’s hand with his own. “Listen to me, Lincoln; she gave you the money. She laughed at you. Sounds to me like she enjoyed making you look and feel bad. Did she say anything else?”

Lincoln still refused to look Alex in the eye, which was kind of annoying. “Just the usual things, you know. That she wondered what kind of cock I liked up my ass. I just-” he stopped at that.

Alex had a feeling that taking a cock up his ass was not something Lincoln did. It sounded so petty it almost made him laugh. “She won’t do anything. She would have gotten angry and let you know if she planned anything. She can’t afford to be stupid when we’re so close to the deadline.” Alex took a sip from his coffee. “Are you okay?” what he really wanted to ask was if Lincoln could do what needed to be done.

Lincoln nodded sharply and finally looked at Alex. They stared at each other and then moved to the bagels, which were pretty good if a bit greasy. Alex had a feeling he was going to regret that grease for the rest of the day.

~~~~~~

After breakfast, Lincoln had gone for a swim. It probably had something to do with Susan. Alex made his last notes, stuck them on the wall and went over the final part of his plans. It all depended on Lincoln’s contacts now and that irked him somewhat; again that dependency. He needed to take action, not wait for other people to come through. He dragged his hand through his hair looking, from door to wall. No, he wasn’t going to go after Lincoln. Not this time. He got another cup of coffee instead.
~~~~~~

“I’ll leave some of it here.” Lincoln put a big wad of cash on the table. Something Alex didn’t enjoy.

“Couldn’t you have put some of it in a safety deposit box? What if something happens? We can’t take risks like that.” Alex groused.

Lincoln shrugged. “Nothing will. It’s only a couple of thousand. I come cheap.” It was a bad pun, but Alex couldn’t stop his lips curving into a smile. Lincoln saw it and realized what he had said. “Fuck you, Mahone.” And he smiled as well.

“All right, I’ll put it somewhere safe. What about the passports. What’s the name of the contact? Where-”

Lincoln interrupted him. “No dice. My contact? I’m not about to rat him out to a fed,” Lincoln said quite forcefully.

Alex snorted. Ex-fed, that was him, as if he would turn in a small time crook selling fake passports. Still, loyalty was hard to come by these days so he should admire Lincoln for that.

“Now, I’ve bought the paint. I put it outside the shack this morning. Set something up for the jeep, all right? I’m going to get it now. It’s not far, about five miles. I should be back within two hours or so.”

“Lucky to have found it that near. Planned the distance so you wouldn’t have to walk far?” Alex asked feeling strangely playful.

Lincoln smirked and picked up a lukewarm beer from the small stash he’d brought in yesterday. “Can’t hurt, right? Just make sure you’ve got everything set up. I want to finish the car tomorrow. Last test run and then we get my boy and my brother out of the shit they’re in the day after. Right?” He seemed to need confirmation.

Alex reached out for Lincoln’s arm before he knew what he was doing. Lincoln’s arm was warm, his flesh soft. Alex was glad that the other man wore short sleeves though he didn’t want to examine why. “And then?” he asked, his tone deadly serious.

Lincoln set his jaw and looked from the hand on his arm to Alex’s face. “I know what I promised. You scratch my back, I scratch yours.” Alex nodded and let Lincoln go. “I’ll be back soon, make sure-”

“-That everything is ready. You don’t have to tell me,” Alex finished for him. Lincoln waited a few more seconds and then left. Off to get that jeep.

~~~~~~

Alex hauled in the paint and went over his plans again. There was nothing more he could do and after thirty minutes, he got bored. He didn’t want to go out for a swim and he’d cleaned the cabin as much as he wanted too.

Slowly going stir-crazy, he decided the best course of action was sleep. Catching some zees might give him an edge later when he would need every ounce of energy.
He lay down on his bed, feeling sleep seeping into his bones before it reached his brain. Just an hour or so. Until Lincoln got back.

He woke to darkness and cold. It took him a moment to get his bearings, which wasn’t good. There was a time in the past when he was up and about in seconds. Not to mention that something was off. It was dark and…why wasn’t Lincoln here?

Alex veered up in alarm. This wasn’t good. Lincoln wouldn’t just leave him like this. Not when he’d been so adamant about time and the paint. Or had he just been playing him?

Alex was wide awake within seconds. He had no idea what to do. It wasn’t as if he’d discussed this with Lincoln. Damn it, he should have made some sort of… He glanced at the phone. It was there for a reason. He took a step closer to the table, hating the feeling. He picked up the phone, slid it open and pressed the only phone number that was programmed into the phonebook. It rang and rang but there was no answer.

“God damn it, Burrows, where are you?” He opened the shack door and went outside. Lincoln’s car was still there. Nothing had changed to show him that he had been here while Alex was asleep. Although it had rained. There were actually puddles around the cabin now, which made it easier to see if there were footprints.

Maybe Susan had followed them and… That didn’t make sense. She wanted Whistler out. Even if she should find them she wouldn’t do something to Lincoln unless she was pissed off about last night and Alex didn’t think she was. It wasn’t her style. Not in her profile.

What had Lincoln said? About five miles down the road. That’s where he was going to get the jeep. Alex took another glance at the car. It sat there, mocking him.

Would he screw it up with Lincoln, this tenuous alliance if he…? Why should he care; this was business. Their kids were at stake. Lincoln would just have to accept this.

Alex leaned into the car and saw that Lincoln had left the key in the ignition. He went back to close the shack door and got into the car. It was strange to sit behind a wheel again. It seemed like years ago. He turned the key and the motor started humming. Ready to go. Alex took a deep breath and pressed the gas. He had to find his partner in crime.

~~~~~~

He had driven to the west first, but after 8 miles he hadn’t seen any sign of life and no house of any kind. He turned around again and almost got stuck in the mud. The clock was ticking and Alex got annoyed with every minute. Why the hell didn’t Lincoln call back on the damn phone?

Why had he given it to him in the first place? He had to get a hold of himself. He wasn’t supposed to have those thoughts at all. It was just business. Besides, he wasn’t really worried; why would he?

He passed their shack again and found that the road to the east was a lot worse than the one to the west. The mud tugged the wheels of the car down, but it was do-able on the main road. In the distance he saw a small clearing in the midst of the jungle and he slowed down a bit. Peering around didn’t help; it was too dark to see anything.

When he came closer he saw that it was a small creek. It didn’t seem like it was normal that it was this broad or this deep, because the road disappeared totally. It might have been the rain he’d slept through. Damn it must have been a monsoon.

He stopped the car, unsure if he should take the risk of driving through. He didn’t want to get stuck in the mud on top of everything else. He got out to check if the creek was too deep to drive through and saw something to the left, not far away from the edge of the creek. It looked like-

Alex started running. The water splashed when he continued through it and soaked his pants.

“Help.” A weak voice called. It was Lincoln’s.

Alex rounded the jeep. He saw that it was stuck in the mud and had shifted a bit. Underneath lay Lincoln, legs and abdomen swallowed by water and mud. His upper chest and head were dripping wet and he was shivering.

“Lincoln?” Alex closed in, hunching near to Lincoln’s head. Lord, he’d thought Lincoln had looked bad this morning.

“Alex, fuck, I’m glad you’re here.” Lincoln rasped and Alex grabbed his shoulder.

He looked at the jeep and could just about see what had happened. Lincoln had driven through, probably wanting to get to the shack to get working, but it had got stuck. He must have tried to push it out. Alex thought he might actually be strong enough to do it, but the ground was treacherous now it had rained. The wheels had suddenly sunk and Lincoln must have slipped. Damn how much bad luck was that? “How long have you been here?”

Lincoln tried to shake his head but grimaced. Alex didn’t want to think what kind of injuries he might have. “Don’t know. Hours? It rained when I made the purchase. Made good time-”

Yeah until now. Alex looked around again. He had the car. Maybe there might be rope in the back. He could pull the jeep to his side of the creek, but how was he going to do it without ripping Lincoln apart?

“Do you have any idea if you’re hurt?” Alex asked. Maybe Lincoln would be strong enough to crawl out himself although when Alex should actually try to be a realist…

“I’m freezing, man; can’t feel my balls or anything below or above.”

It made Alex smile; Lincoln tried too.

Alex let go of Lincoln’s shoulder and wiped some mud from his face before he stood. “Don’t make light of this.
We’ll get you out. It will be just fine. You’ll see.”

Lincoln didn’t answer, but Alex could hear him thinking. Well, Alex wasn’t going to fail. He hadn’t come this close to freedom and revenge to just… He was almost out of the creek when he looked back at the jeep. Lincoln was trapped. If he died nobody would know and Alex could…

He turned back to the car. Pam, his son, revenge… it was his recurring theme. Behind him was dependency, something twisted. The man who had seen him at his worst, beaten him… understood him… what the hell was he supposed to do now? His instincts pulled him to the car. His insides screamed. He felt sick. His son had waited much too long for his father to come home and if he did this, LJ would wait as long until Susan killed him.

Alex closed his eyes and saw images he didn’t want to see. His heart warred with his mind and he didn’t know which one he wanted to win most. He threw up in the bushes.
Chapter 14 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
Beta by Foxriverinmate
Alex took a moment as he made his decision and then walked to the car. He opened the door and sat down in the driver’s seat. The steering wheel stared back at him, the car keys still hanging in the ignition. It was cold in the water. They said that dying by hypothermia wasn’t that bad.

Alex swallowed, a rancid taste still in his mouth. He closed his eyes, reached out his hand and turned the key. The car started humming. Alex had to be strong. He had a son who counted on him. His foot on the gas did the rest.
The car jerked. He still had the brakes on and released them, then turned the car carefully on the sandy road. He didn’t want to think about what Lincoln felt now, hearing the car. He didn’t want to think about his hands on his cock or how it felt to hold him close. He didn’t want to think how easily they talked about private matters or how Lincoln had shown him so much trust even though Alex had shot his father.

He hardly gave it any gas and the car rolled slowly, putting distance between it and the water, and then Alex knew why he couldn’t do what he should. He hit the steering wheel with his fist. *Lincoln* had come back for him. Lincoln had come back for Alex. Damn it. He took his foot off the brakes and drove back in the reverse, bringing the car’s bumper close to the edge of the river.

Alex jumped out, opened the trunk and rummaged around for anything that could help. There, sheer luck of the Gods, was a rope in the back. Alex grabbed it, silently thanking Lincoln for putting basic survival items in his car, and ran back to the man in question.

Lincoln’s eyes were closed and for a moment Alex feared he’d died while Alex was contemplating letting him do just that. He reached out, but before he could touch Lincoln, Lincoln’s eyes opened. His expression pierced Alex and then Lincoln coughed, “Thank you for coming back for me.”

Alex took a few seconds before he answered. “You did the same.” Lincoln tried to nod, but Alex could see it caused him some difficulty. He didn’t know why, he wasn’t a doctor, but he’d cross that bridge when they got there.

“I found some rope in the car and turned it. That’s why it took me a moment to get back.” It was only partly a lie; it was comfortable. He wasn’t sure if Lincoln would go along with it, but… “If I tie it to the bumper of your car and the jeep's I might be able to give it the pull it needs. The problem however-”

Lincoln’s hand shot out. Wet, dripping with mud and extremely cold. He grabbed Alex’s forearm, fingers snaking around him, urgent. A flash of pain flickered in his eyes and then it disappeared. Lincoln’s voice rasped in his throat, “If you go slow, but I don’t know if I can...”

Alex glanced back at the car. He couldn’t drive it and pull Lincoln out. He could do a little distance and then run back to see if Lincoln gained a bit of freedom to move. It was risky, though, because if he pulled too much the wheels would run over Lincoln’s legs. “Do you want to risk it?” He assumed Lincoln would understand what he was talking about.

Lincoln grimaced. “I don’t see any other choice.”

Alex squeezed Lincoln’s shoulder again and got to work. He tied the rope to the bumper of the car and to the jeep’s. He hoped it would hold and that his knot was good enough. The next thing was taking the brake off the jeep. It didn’t roll back, thank God. Alex didn’t think he could deal with a Lincoln whose legs were run over by a jeep on top of everything else.

He walked back to Lincoln again and sat behind him. “I’m going to try and position you a little bit better,” he said while he used a blanket he’d found in the car to spread out underneath Lincoln. “Are you ready?” Lincoln didn’t answer but nodded. Alex put his arms around Lincoln’s chest and gently pulled him backwards. Lincoln groaned in pain. It sounded like he bit his tongue too.

“No dice, Alex,” Lincoln almost whispered, pain and exhaustion evident in his voice.

Alex crawled around to his side, so he could look Lincoln in the eyes. “Are you sure about this? Once I start, I won’t be able to stop. Are you strong enough to-”

Lincoln stopped him, a muddy, cold and weak hand on his arm. “Just do it, man. My risk.”

Alex nodded and left Lincoln. He’d better crawl out from under that car. No matter if his legs were broken. Alex was not going to deal with a dying man out here, which is exactly what would happen if he pulled the jeep over Lincoln’s legs.

He quickly made his way over to the car and had his hand on the door when he just had to look back at the scene again. It just didn’t stop did it? It was crazy enough without all of this, but it just had to go beyond insane. These things weren’t supposed to happen in real life. He wanted it to stop. He closed his eyes and thought of his son. He would get Cameron out and then… something. Maybe Lincoln knew where he could go. Michael must have thought about a place to go after…

Jeep first. Alex got in and after a moment of hesitation turned the key. Just like before the motor hummed softly. Then, it started raining again. *Fuck*. This was not good. Alex looked behind him through the window. It was now or never. He pressed the gas pedal and slowly moved forward, looking back and forth between road and what was happening in the river. The rope pulled taunt within seconds. The car hitched; it had to pull for real now.

Alex gave a little bit extra gas, but was careful with that small amount. It was agonizing because he was not sure if the rope would snap, if the jeep would move and if, if Lincoln would…

His heart hammered in his throat, the palms of his hands sweating and gliding on the steering wheel. He wished he could talk to Lincoln. Then, the jeep moved. Ever so slightly; it moved. That was good, no jerking, just… and then it did. It jerked much too fast, at least a foot forward as it rolled free. “Fuck!” Alex stopped the car straight away and raced out. Back into the water, afraid of what he would find.

“Lincoln!” He didn’t hear a scream. He heard nothing, but the splashing of the water until he rounded the jeep and... where the hell was he? He fell to his knees in the water and found Lincoln about a meter away from his earlier position. He was out cold, but free from the car.

Alex could only discern he had passed out after pulling free, but that meant he had been under water for a bit.
He had to wakeup. Especially with hypothermia added to the mix. “Lincoln, Lincoln, come on, wake up.” He pulled Lincoln closer to his chest, almost cradling the heavy man. “Lincoln Burrows, open your eyes. Damn it!” Still no response. Alex steeled his nerves and hit out, slapping his hand against Lincoln’s right cheek. “Lincoln!” Another slap, harder this time. It worked. Lincoln’s eyes didn’t open yet, but he spluttered, coughed, some water dribbling out of his mouth.

Alex didn’t rest after that. He stood and hoisted Lincoln up by putting his arms under Lincoln’s armpits, his hands coming together on Lincoln’s chest. Then the dragging began. He had to get Lincoln out of the water now. He could stay here to take in what kind of injuries he had sustained, but that wouldn’t really help.

“Lincoln, try to say something. You need to stay awake,” he puffed. Lincoln really wasn’t a lightweight man. “Lincoln.” He kept trying as he neared the car.

“Alex…” Lincoln finally answered in a thin voice. Alex wondered if he was still lucid. At least they were out of the water, but if his legs really were injured, dragging him across the ground wouldn’t be fun. It was then that he saw the extent of Lincoln’s ordeal. His entire lower body, from stomach to toes was covered in mud. Alex was going to have to clean that and he wasn’t looking forward to what he might find underneath.

He eased Lincoln onto the ground, his arms quivering with the effort. His back ached and he was positive he could feel every muscle in his body but for now he had to forget about that. He glanced at the jeep. It hadn’t sunk again; it just stood there waiting to be pulled further out of the muck. Alex sighed. What a day to get out of the shack. He closed his eyes for a second, tilted his face to the sky and felt the rain gently falling down. He had forgotten it was raining but now that he was aware of it again...

Alex wiped his hand across his face and opened a door of the car. He crouched next to Lincoln after that. It almost looked as if he had fallen asleep, but his eyelids moved and his mouth was half open. “Lincoln, are you still with me?”

Lincoln’s hand moved and clumsily tried to grab Alex’s. Alex helped him and bowed his fingers to tighten the grip. “Yeah, yeah… it’s cold.”

“I know, it’s raining and-” Alex looked up again. Lincoln knew this already, but hypothermia had probably set in in full force. Alex needed to get him to the shack.

“I’m going to pull you into the backseat of the car, but it’s going to hurt.”

Lincoln gave Alex’s hand a little squeeze, as far as that was still possible, and he opened his eyes a bit. As Alex suspected, Lincoln didn’t look like he was quite there. “I can take it,” Lincoln rasped.

He would have to. Alex let go of Lincoln’s hand and pulled him into an upright position, with his back to the opened car door. Then he walked around to the other side, opened that one too and crawled onto the back seat. He didn’t worry about the mud and water he got on it. “Are you ready?” he asked and Lincoln coughed as an answer. “All right, here we go.” Without wasting more time, Alex retook his earlier position when he’d pulled Lincoln out of the water and tugged, hoisted and wrestled Lincoln onto the backseat. It was agony for them both, but Lincoln did try to help with his arms.

He was finally in after what seemed like hours of struggling and then Lincoln promptly fainted. This wasn’t good. “Lincoln, you can’t-” Alex wiped Lincoln’s face and cupped his cheek. “Lincoln?” he rubbed Lincoln’s chest.

He didn’t want to hit him again. Somehow the small movements worked. Maybe it was the warmth. With a shudder Lincoln came to and moaned. Alex bowed over him, his face close to Lincoln’s. “Stay with me now. I don’t care what you do. Do algebra or something.”

Alex started to back away out of the car when Lincoln let out a short bark of a laugh and said in a rough whisper, “Michael’s the one who did algebra. I did car radios.” Alex couldn’t help but let out a hysterical laugh as well. This was beyond anything that…

Alex closed the doors and checked the rope. He would pull the jeep to the side of the road, take out the key and leave it for the next day. He just hoped the jeep would still be there then.

The task was done within a few minutes. The mud gave way easily, the jeep jerking to dry land and Alex suspected Lincoln had just been very unlucky and probably had gotten stuck in some sort of muddy hole. He locked the jeep, took the key and got into the front seat of the car. One last glance at Lincoln told him his partner was still doing his best to stay awake, but not by much. Alex drove to the shack as fast as he could.

~~~~~~

The moment the car came to a halt in front of the shack, Alex jumped out. He opened the door of the shack first, ran in and put his mattress underneath Lincoln’s, shoving all but one of the blankets to the side. He would use his to try and warm Lincoln up and Lincoln’s would cover them both. From basic training, he remembered the signs of hypothermia and knew Lincoln needed a hospital. Then again, so did people who kicked drug habits apparently.
Alex was done in less than a minute and hurried back to the car. Lincoln was plucking at his clothes and had rolled up into himself.

“Lincoln, stop.” Alex said loudly, batting Lincoln’s hands away from his half-open shirt. This wasn’t good. Lincoln was still shivering, but when victims started to try and shed their clothes there were nearing a shitload of trouble. “Here we go, Linc.” Alex muttered as he pulled Lincoln out of the car and over the ground. He stopped for a second when he realized that he hadn’t said *Lincoln*, but didn’t want to think about that right now.

Hauling Lincoln through the mud had been hard, but at least Lincoln had been still. Now that he *was* moving it wasn’t helping Alex at all. “Damn it, Lincoln, I’m trying to help you.”

Lincoln slurred, “is hot.”

Alex fixed his arms tighter around Lincoln’s chest, hunched closer and whispered in his ear. “No it’s not.”

Lincoln shuddered again, went slack and Alex used that lapse to pull him the last meter. They finally ended up on the mattress. Alex was glad he’d left that single blanket on the mattresses. It wouldn’t help if the cold seeped through from the ground up. “All right, Linc, I’ll be right back.”

Alex ran back to the car, closed the door, then the shack door and cursed the lack of central heating or even a fireplace. He filled up the electric boiler with water and hoped it would come to a boil fast. He turned and got down on his knees next to Lincoln who was trying to roll up again. “Lincoln, listen to me. I’m going to get you out of your clothes really fast and then roll you in the blankets all right? I need you to work with me, don’t fight it.”

Surprisingly, Lincoln gave him a shaky nod and Alex undid the buttons on Lincoln’s shirt. Leaning Lincoln forward he got it off fast and rolled it in a bundle to rub some mud off. He rubbed hard, the friction creating heat. Then the water was done so he threw Lincoln’s shirt in a corner and he grabbed a towel. He doused the towel with hot water and rubbed more of Lincoln’s chest. Cleaning it fast and providing enough friction to heat him up a bit, or so Alex hoped. He couldn’t let Lincoln lie around with a bare chest too long. Alex put the blankets over Lincoln’s chest and pulled on Lincoln’s shoes, socks, pants and underwear and in two swift moves, they were off. A stray thought of Tom entered Alex’s mind; he’d learned the ability to undress fast in very different circumstances.

Lincoln’s legs and groin were already drying with the mud and the towel was getting beyond cleaning so he grabbed another one and only did what was necessary. Lincoln’s legs were turning up red and bruised underneath the mud, but Alex couldn’t feel any breaks, which was good.
His heart constricted as he was working on Lincoln’s lower area, not knowing why. Alex pulled the blankets down across Lincoln’s body then, put more water in the boiler and then made a cocoon around Lincoln with the blankets, digging underneath his back, legs and ass.

“Lincoln, can you say something?” Alex tried, seeing if he was still with him.

Lincoln let out a shuddering groan that sounded like a sigh and whispered thinly, his eyes finding Alex’s, looking a strange bright green “thank, you for coming back for me.”

Alex swallowed; his throat and face felt tight. He patted Lincoln’s padded chest and got the boiling water to make two mugs of instant soup. A bit of warmth inside would help as well, both for him and Lincoln.

Alex stood in front of Lincoln who had closed his eyes, with the two mugs in his hand. Alex was hovering over him, aware of his own wet clothes. He let out the breath he was holding and put the mugs near the wall. He quickly pulled off all his clothes, got a third towel to rub off some mud and dry himself up and rolled Lincoln onto his side. Lincoln went willingly, not resisting one bit. Alex pulled on the blankets and even though he hadn’t planned on going skin on skin, it was probably the best course of action. He crawled next to Lincoln and tucked the
blankets behind his own back.

They needed to be upright to drink the hot soup, so Alex had to shimmy them both into position, Lincoln hardly responding at all. It took Alex a moment to work it out, but before long he was plastered against Lincoln’s naked back, leaning partly upwards against the wall and urging Lincoln to drink a bit of the warm soup.

He thought back to when he had first seen Lincoln’s picture on that wall in Chicago. It hadn’t done Lincoln justice and boy, Alex hadn’t expected to end up with him like this. Alex wished they weren't and yet…

Lincoln drank half of the soup and Alex took some as well. He pulled Lincoln with him as he tried to lie down, burrowing into Lincoln, a leg between his and his hands rubbing Lincoln’s cold chest. He started murmuring into Lincoln’s ear even though he wasn’t really aware of what he was saying, puffing warm breath onto his neck.

They just had to get warm first. It would be okay.
Chapter 15 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
As always, beta by Foxriverinmate:D
Alex continued like that for a long time, taking care that Lincoln didn’t drift off and getting him warm. It started to become hard though. Alex was incredibly tired himself and now that things had gotten cozy and warm like this it was almost unbearable.

“Lincoln? Are you still with me?” Alex spoke, his lips almost touching Lincoln’s ear. The man in his arms did feel warmer. He hoped Lincoln hadn’t succumbed to the same problem Alex battled and actually fallen asleep. “Lincoln?”

A soft cough rattled Lincoln’s body. “Yeah.”

That sounded more coherent than it had before. Encouraged, Alex stopped his motions on Lincoln’s chest. He had been doing it on automatic but now that he’d stopped, his hand actually felt numb. He reached for Lincoln’s hand with his left hand; the one without the pins and needles. It still felt cold, but not as much as it had before. He checked for Lincoln’s pulse. It was still a bit erratic, but acceptable.

“I’ll quickly hop out to heat you some warm water,” Alex said as he retreated and silently mourned the lack of Lincoln Burrows against his chest. He shook it off, took a blanket and wrapped himself up in it. He made sure Lincoln’s back was covered with blankets and walked over to the table to once again work with the boiler.

He soon remembered that they were running out of bottles of water and needed groceries. They had worries around every turn it seemed.

When the water was in the boiler, he turned to look at Lincoln. His eyes were closed, eyelashes quivering a bit. He had pulled the blankets up to his chin, part of his hand visibly clenching them.

Alex felt a rush of something he hadn’t felt it in a long time. He just, he… he didn’t regret that he’d chosen to save Lincoln. Not one bit. He’d made a decision for which he felt no regret. It was a novelty in his life and looking at Lincoln he just… just.

The water was boiling. Alex looked for the mugs and found them near their bed. He had forgotten he’d made soup before, but it was cold now. He threw Lincoln’s half away, rinsed the mug with some water and dried it with a paper towel then poured hot water into it. He briefly contemplated giving it to Lincoln like this, but decided against it. Maybe a small taste of coffee would help. He put one spoon of instant coffee in the mug, stirred it and stepped closer to his charge.

Alex put the mug down next to Lincoln to let it cool a bit and then went to look for clean socks. He found a couple of pairs in one of the brown bags. New. He pulled on a pair himself, which felt incredibly good, and then went back to Lincoln. Alex pulled a little bit of the blankets away uncovering Lincoln’s feet. Both were still freezing cold and Alex quickly put the socks on them. He then started to rub them, hoping to bring circulation back.

Lincoln let go of a sound that sounded a bit like a moan. At least it was a sign he was still aware on some level what happened to his body. That was good.

After a few minutes, Alex put the blankets back and moved to Lincoln’s head. He kneeled on the floor, his left hand cupping Lincoln’s head.

Lincoln’s eyes fluttered open at the touch. ”You need to drink a bit more, Lincoln,” Alex said softly. Lincoln feebly shook his head a bit, but Alex crouched closer, pushing and pulling him against his body. “Come on.” Alex put the mug against Lincoln’s lips and made him drink a little. Lincoln did, but slowly and sluggishly.

Alex put the mug away again and maneuvered Lincoln back so he could lie down. He then aligned himself to Lincoln’s body. His front this time, chest to chest and groin to icy groin. Alex pressed against Lincoln as much as he could and shivered. His arms snaked around the body in his arms; one on Lincoln’s back and one… He cupped Lincoln’s right buttock without really understanding why.

“Roll on top of me a bit, Linc.” He whispered as he felt Lincoln’s face burrow into his neck. Alex wiggled until he was partly on his back with Lincoln draped over him. All the blankets covered Lincoln’s back and Alex hoped this would warm him up to the degree he needed.

Alex realized again that he hadn’t said Lincoln, but Linc. Cursing himself he tried to stay awake.

Unfortunately, his body got to him. He still was not well with his cravings hounding him and his recently battered limbs not sorted out yet. After what had to be hours, he started to fall. The sun was rising, its beams caressing through the wood as both Alex and Lincoln fell asleep.
~~~~~~

Alex awoke with a start. He heard the rise and fall of somebody breathing; Lincoln. A warm body in his arms; Lincoln’s. A meaty piece of flesh against his groin; Lincoln’s. Alex opened his eyes and came face to face with Lincoln’s face. He’d obviously fallen back a bit, head on their shared pillow, but not too far away since Alex was still holding him trapped against his body, blankets helping him. Alex stared at Lincoln’s face. He had been dreaming. Thank god it was just a dream. He was here.

He let his hands roam. Lincoln felt warm. Very nicely warm and his body noticed. “Good morning to you too,” Lincoln said, his voice muffled because his mouth was partly hidden in the pillow and yet so very close to Alex’s mouth. Alex could see his lips curving into a smile and then Lincoln’s eyes opened. “Why are we sharing a bed, naked?”

Alex couldn’t help but answer Lincoln’s smile and answered in a husky voice he couldn’t stop, “glad that it was so memorable.”

Lincoln’s brow furrowed as if he was thinking and then something changed in his eyes. The smile disappeared too. “I got fucked up,” Lincoln stated.

Alex nodded, becoming increasingly aware he was still holding Lincoln close and was half-hard. “That you did,” Alex confirmed, still not letting go. He wanted to see what Lincoln would do.

Lincoln’s eyes shifted to something behind Alex then downwards to the semi-erection he couldn’t see because of the blankets and then back to Alex’s face. His tongue darted out, wetting his lips, almost touching Alex’s mouth and Alex suddenly feared what else Lincoln had remembered. “Why didn’t you let me die?”

It was like a cold shower and Alex backed off, let go of Lincoln’s body and climbed to his feet. He didn’t care he was naked. It wasn’t as if Lincoln didn’t know what a naked man looked like. He needed coffee. That’s what it was.

“Alex?” Lincoln rumbled behind him.

Alex didn’t want to have this conversation, damn the man. He poured the last bottle of water into the boiler and pressed the button.

“We’re going to need groceries and that jeep needs to be driven here,” Alex said before he turned and looked at Lincoln. Lincoln was propped up on an elbow; the blankets had fallen down, revealing his muscled chest. Lord, he looked like some porn model. It was criminal how the man was able to look this good when he’d almost frozen to death half a day earlier.

Alex dragged a hand across his face and finally answered. “I wanted to.”

If Lincoln thought anything about that he didn’t show it. “But you didn’t,” Lincoln said roughly.

Alex sighed, nodded and looked down at his hands. “But I didn’t.” He stood still. The boiler was the only sound in the shack save their breathing. He wondered what Lincoln would say or do.

Lincoln stood, naked as well obviously, and walked up to Alex. “I guess that means I’ll have to adjust my opinion of you again,” Lincoln said his voice rough and low. “Alex…” he added and coughed a little, which made Alex look up at his face.

His eyes were a bit watery. God knows what had been in that water. For all they knew Lincoln could have picked up a virus or some bacteria. Alex swallowed when Lincoln’s hand shot out and came to rest on his right bicep and stroked him a little. “Alex…”

Then Lincoln hugged him, just a close and fierce hug. Alex couldn’t remember when he’d had one of those.

“Thank you for not dying,” He found himself saying as he became conscious again of the hard-on that wouldn’t go away.

A soft rumble vibrated through Lincoln’s body and so touched Alex. “Thank you for not letting me.” He let go and they backed off. Lincoln was smiling again and the boiler added some water music. It was every bit as farcical as their situation and Alex smiled too.

“Coffee?” Alex asked, trying to sound nonchalant.
Lincoln nodded, scratching his groin. “Yeah, I’ll get dressed and get that jeep then.”

Alex glanced at the watch on the table, still partly covered with mud. “One day left so we’d better start working hard.” When he got no answer, but knew that Lincoln hadn’t moved, he let the hot water where it was and turned back to his companion to see what the holdup was.

Lincoln’s gaze had travelled from Alex’s face to his groin and his smile had gotten even bigger. “Yeah we should,” Lincoln finally said and he closed in, plastered himself to Alex’s right side and took Alex’s erection in his hand.

Alex was caught off guard so much he didn’t know if he should breathe or hold it in. Lincoln’s fist fit perfectly, just like it had down at the lake, his entire body felt like a glove against his back, his hip, everything.

Lincoln tugged relentlessly, giving Alex no chance to regain his composure and then started to suck on Alex’s neck. Alex let out a helpless keen; Lincoln’s tongue caressed him, his other hand gripping Alex’s hip tightly. This started to go beyond a friendly romp. Fuck it was -
He came hard against Lincoln’s leg within a minute and sagged. Lincoln helped him sit down on a chair as Alex’s come dribbled down his skin.

“Seemed like you needed that,” Lincoln said with a self-satisfied smirk. Alex couldn’t help but look at Lincoln’s cock, which hadn’t risen to the occasion at all.

Lincoln shrugged. “It’s okay. Cold water does me in sometimes. I’ll take a rain check.” He turned and strolled to the corner were their fresh clothes were as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. Alex wanted to curse. A life and death situation, sleeping naked with a man, something he hadn’t done in ages and now… he had to get that coffee made.
~~~~~~

They’d quickly eaten half of a bagel each, the only one that was left from yesterday’s batch, and downed it with coffee. Alex cleaned up as Lincoln went out to get the jeep. Although it worried Alex he held it in. It had to be done anyway and he was losing time with all these emotional outbursts. His son needed him and he was still hanging around in Panama. He contemplated if it had something to do with withdrawal symptoms, but he didn’t want to ask Lincoln.

Before long, Lincoln arrived with the jeep, looking quite sober and serious. He jumped out and walked to the car. “I don’t know what came over me. We don’t have the time for this shit.” He leaned against the car; head bowed and hitting the roof twice with his fist. “I’ll get those groceries and swing by… Susan. Can you get started with the jeep?”

Alex left the door opening. “Yes, but-”

Lincoln opened the door. “Good, I’ll get those passports too, don’t worry. I’ll be back as soon as I can.” He practically jumped in the car and drove off before the car door had even closed.

Alex was stunned for a moment and then looked at the jeep. It was covered with mud on one side. That meant he had to clean it before painting it.
He turned and went inside to get the materials needed for that wonderful job.
~~~~~~

Alex was almost finished; his back hurt like a bitch on speed and night was falling when the car came into view. He dotted the last spot of paint in the twilight and was glad to be done with it. Paint always got him high, for lack of a better word.

Lincoln got out and from the look on his face Alex surmised he hadn’t had a happy trip. His eyes looked watery still and he coughed twice when he closed the door after getting out their groceries. He stalked inside, dumped the bags on the table, turned and headed towards Alex.

For the second time that day, Lincoln totally surprised him when he slammed him against the wall, looked at him with an unreadable expression in his eyes and kissed him; hard. Alex grabbed Lincoln’s biceps, still deciding if he should push him away or not, but then Lincoln’s tongue pried his lips open, seeking entry.

Alex capitulated when he felt Lincoln’s probing and soon his tongue was battling an invader. It was messy, hasty and rough. Alex didn’t have time to think, especially not when Lincoln pulled back, eyes dark, and asked, “Have you ever been fucked before?”

Alex mouth went dry and this time he did push against Lincoln’s biceps. Lincoln let him, his forehead resting against Alex’s, closing his eyes. “Please, Alex.”

Alex’s brain was screaming now, saying that this was *not* a rain check. Hell, Lincoln should be grateful and offer, not *take*, but other areas of Alex’s body had a different opinion. Lincoln’s hand went down, massaging Alex through his trousers, manipulating ever so slightly. “I brought condoms and lube,” Lincoln said in a low, half whisper.

Alex puffed out something that sounded like a soft laugh. “Fuck you, Burrows.”

Lincoln smiled and took Alex’s lower lip in his mouth, sucking on it and then letting go. “No, not this time.”

He turned Alex around and Alex let him. He undid his fly and pushed down Alex’s pants and Alex let him. Alex almost clenched his buttocks when he felt Lincoln’s big and calloused fingers in areas nobody had touched since Tom. Still, he let him do it.

When Lincoln pulled back his fingers he pushed Alex’s head against the shack wall and angled his ass so he was standing partly bowed for deeper penetration, Alex finally started to realize what they were doing, but he still let Lincoln do it. Then, when Lincoln’s cock pushed between Alex’s ass cheeks and beyond, Alex had to bite the inside of his cheek and Lincoln stilled. That cock was much bigger than Tom’s had been and Alex had trouble adjusting.

Lincoln brought his mouth to Alex’s ear and licked it. “You’re tight, Alex. You’re so fucking tight. You’re cutting off my dick. Try to relax,” Lincoln husked.

Alex shuddered and tried to control his breathing to something less harsh. He couldn’t control his heartbeat though. “You’d better suck me later,” he groaned out, letting go of some of the tension, and Lincoln laughed softly, rumbling again. It was a sound Alex was getting used to and liked a little too much.

Lincoln grabbed one of Alex’s hands and held it against Alex’s chest as his other one grabbed Alex’s hip. “I will and I’ll make this good too.” He slid in all the way with one sharp move and it hurt, it fucking burned only to burst out into stars seconds later. It slammed the breath out of Alex's lungs before they'd really begun.

Lincoln started moving, in and out, like Alex had fucked others so many times before, but never against the wall of a dingy shack wall. Never with somebody he had chased all over the country. Never with somebody who knew so many of his dirty secrets and had helped him with his withdrawal. Only once with somebody else who he’d –

It was getting dark outside. Lincoln was grunting against his back. Alex’s cock was leaking onto the ground. Pam was with them and Alex really didn’t want her to be.
Chapter 16 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
Beta by Foxriverinmate
Alex was biting his lip, holding in his breathing and trying to deal with the overload of pleasure and pain. He couldn’t remember it being like this with Tom. Maybe it was the situation or maybe it was just the man pumping inside of him, plundering his ass with his big dick, but –

“I’m going to come,” Lincoln breathed out with a moan. He let go of Alex’s hand and drifted down to Alex’s crotch. He grabbed Alex’s weeping cock and for a moment Alex wanted to choke out that Lincoln had promised him a blowjob. He couldn’t really begin to care though. Not when he felt so good, so alive, so full. Lincoln’s mouth had found Alex’s shoulder again and was sucking on his flesh, wet, messy.

Lincoln tried to match his movements inside Alex’s ass with his hand on Alex’s cock. Alex had enough presence of mind left to feel that, but they were both too far gone in that well of pleasure. Finally and yet unexpectedly, they came hard and within seconds of each other. One shot his seed into a condom and the other on wood and ground. They slid down on the sand together; sand mixed with Alex’s come.

Alex slowly came down to earth. His breathing was loud in his ears, but it was surpassed by Lincoln’s who leaned back against the wall and pulled Alex into his arms. It appeared Lincoln was a maudlin cuddler after sex. Maybe he hadn’t gotten his brain to work yet or he would surely start thinking about who he had in his arms.

Alex started to feel uncomfortable. He was sore, his legs were tangled in his pants and he felt dirty. What would Pam think? What would she say? She had known about Tom, but he never had other men. It had been a onetime thing, or so he thought. What the hell was he doing with Lincoln Burrows? Not to mention that he let him fuck him.

“Alex,” Lincoln said softly against Alex’s neck and he coughed. “I’m sorry.”

Sorry? Alex couldn’t hide his surprise and turned around to face Lincoln, making Lincoln drop his arms to his sides. “What for?”

“I forced you. I normally… I don’t,” Lincoln muttered, almost babbled, and Alex was glad he did. It was just what he needed to let go of the tension.

Alex laughed as he tried to get up, pulling his pants back on again. “Lincoln, you didn’t force me. You surprised me, but if I really didn’t want to do this you would have known.” He looked down, seeing Lincoln sitting a bit forlornly, pants down to his knees, a used condom tossed aside and limp cock nestled against his legs. Alex held out his hand to help him up. “Come on, we’ll quickly wash the dirt off in the lake and then we’ll warm up. You still have to be careful that you don’t cool down.”
That made Lincoln smirk although his eyes still looked sad. Alex wondered what had set him off earlier. Susan probably. Most definitely worry for his son. “All right, you’re the boss,” Lincoln said and he took Alex’s hand as he pulled up his pants with the other. Soon they were off to the lake and Alex was afraid to look beyond today. What if they couldn’t crawl out of the hole they were digging for themselves?

~~~~~~

They spent the night together. No sex, just lying together, staying warm. They had gone to bed early so they would have a head start in the morning. In reality, Alex knew that they would both be awake for a large part of the night. Adrenaline, fear, anxiety all warring inside of them. Tomorrow everything would change when they left the shack for good. He didn’t want to think about it and yet he did the whole night with not a thought spared for the breakout.

~~~~~~

That morning came fast. They cleaned up their things clinically and without words. The atmosphere between them had already changed. Hearts racing; thoughts all over the place. Alex threw as many of their possessions onto the fire outside as he could. Anything that could point to their presence or their plans needed to be snuffed out. Lincoln had gone to drive the car they’d used into the lake. When he’d returned he had gone back inside again to change.

Alex was burning the last pieces of newspaper when Lincoln exited the shack, dressed in a guard’s uniform matching Alex’s. Alex couldn’t hide a smile when he saw the first two buttons undone.

“What?” Lincoln spoke for the first time since they’d woken up.

Alex pointed to his chest. “Your shirt. Guards don’t unbutton it.”

Lincoln let out some curses under his breath as he buttoned up. Clearly he didn’t like to be confined in a shirt, but his clothing habits had already told Alex that.

When everything was ash, he put the fire out with sand. It was easy and fast. “Do you have everything?” he asked, kicking sand on the smoldering pile. Lincoln nodded, stuffing his hands into his pockets, epitome of masculine toughness. Another bad cough racked Lincoln’s body. Alex didn’t like it. “How bad do you feel?”

Lincoln wiped a hand over his face and shrugged. “Nothing I can’t handle. It’s just a cold or something.”

Alex sighed, turning his body towards him. “It’s not about what you think you can handle. Are you certain you can go through with the plan? Maybe we should swap places.” He knew it was stupid to suggest it the moment the words left his mouth. That’s what you got when you didn’t keep your distance.

He cursed his own stupidity again when Lincoln smiled grimly and coughed again. “You know that Michael won’t respond well to seeing you instead of me,” Lincoln ground out as if it was difficult for him.

Maybe it was nerves or maybe just worry, but Alex blurted it out without thought. “So what is Michael going to say? About you fucking the man who killed your father?”

Lincoln’s face darkened, his fists clenched and Alex expected to be decked. Lincoln unclenched them again however and answered in a low tone. “He certainly wouldn’t ask if it was good… He’s not going to know.”

Alex let out a bark of a laugh. So that’s how it was going to be. “All part of a few days in the shack, right?” He sounded cynical to his own ears. The thought of being nothing more than a warm body irked him more than it should. Lincoln didn’t answer and looked away towards the shack. Alex snorted. “As long as you keep your promise, Lincoln.”

Finally Lincoln gave some sort of a response and nodded. “After LJ is safe.”

He walked to the jeep and opened one door and then walked around to open the driver’s side to get in. The open door was beckoning Alex. He looked down at the sandy hill he’d created. Nothing was burning or smoldering anymore and even if it was the sand would choke the life out of it anyway. He made his way to the jeep and got in. Off to Sona.

~~~~~~

About two miles away from Sona, Lincoln stopped the jeep. Alex swallowed the bile he felt coming up and glanced sideways, noticing that Lincoln was stoically looking at the road. This was Alex’s stop. It had been his own plan. He sighed and tentatively let his left hand enclose Lincoln’s right on the steering wheel. He held it for a few seconds and then released it to get out.

Just before he closed the jeep door he heard Lincoln swallow and say roughly, “don’t get caught or-” He didn’t finish the sentence and Alex closed the door.

Alex mirrored Lincoln’s words in his mind and walked away.

~~~~~~

Alex had to walk a short distance to the spot where he would meet the boy’s father. What was his name? McGrady or something; the sports fan. Why Michael was bringing him as well was beyond Alex. More people meant bigger risks. On the other hand, maybe Michael had needed the extra pair of hands inside. Lord knows Alex would have done his share of work if he’d been in Sona instead of out.

Nearing the bend in the road he saw a small truck waiting. A man was leaning against it. He might just be old enough to be the boy’s father, but Alex still wasn’t sure. He had to be on his guard.

The man looked uneasy too and suddenly Alex realized it must be the guard uniform. “Ola,” Alex said as he sauntered closer, trying to look uncaring. The man nodded and mumbled a reply. “What are you doing out here?” Alex asked, just testing the water a bit.

The man stood, pushing out his chest and meeting him head on. “I am waiting for a fishing buddy.”

The accent was thick, but the words were right. Alex looked around one more time. No signs of an ambush or something bad waiting for him so he held out his hand.

“So am I,” he said as McGrady senior shook hands. A smile now adorned his face. Alex felt the sweat running down his back. It just had to be a damn hot today, didn’t it? His throat was dry and he wished this day was over. “Do you have some water?”

The man hurried to backseat and got what Alex asked for.

As Alex unscrewed the cap McGrady senior continued to look at him eagerly. “Thank you so much for helping me rescue my son, senior. He is innocent. He’s a boy with a future, but they won’t listen. No judge helps.”

For a moment he thought he saw Lincoln in front of him, saying those exact words in a different tone of voice. He shook himself.

“It’s all right. Just let’s get it done fast.” Alex dismissed the man and took one last sip of the wonderful water and walked to the car. He was riding shotgun again it seemed.

It was just a short drive to the power box. They could have decided to disconnect the power by cutting a line somewhere or even knocking a pole over, but Alex liked to do things a little bit more refined. If Susan had done what he had relayed to her through Lincoln, this would work better and be more devastating anyway.

She would cut the power near the power plant on the other side of Sona and the town. He would take this end to make the blow more crippling. Making two cuts meant it would take longer to get all the secondary generators working again. More time was good.

He glanced at his watch; Lincoln would still be standing outside. Alex hoped nobody would get suspicious.

Just five more minutes now.

Sweat beads ran down his face, falling on the watch so Alex used his thumb to wipe the watch clean again. He needed to be absolutely precise; 30 seconds. Susan would have cut her part now. He started counting, whispering out loud. “5…4…3…2…1…” then he cut the wires. He heard whirring and there was no doubt it had worked. He let out a sigh of relief and almost jumped out of his skin when McGrady Senior clapped him on the back.

The man must have felt Alex’s tension because he backed off right away.

“The boat now, yes?” he asked with some apprehension.

Alex wondered what expression the man had seen on Alex’s face and he nodded. He didn’t trust his voice and jumped in the car again, hating the heat that greeted him in the tin can oven.

~~~~~~

Naturally, his luck wouldn’t hold. In his mind he saw Lincoln running towards Michael. Leading them to the jeep and then driving to the beach, straight into the water. One of them would have gotten out to get rid of tire tracks and then they would have donned their flask to breathe.

The jeep would have given them a head start. No need to run when you can drive, but he had expected to be at the boat by now. Not driving around in circles because they couldn’t get to the harbor due to fucking roadblocks! He should have realized this. He should have kept McGrady Senior near the harbor. He hit the car door with his fist. It made him think of Lincoln even more.

“One more road I can try. It’s not really a road. Floods a lot.” McGrady Senior said, but Alex barely heard him. He saw Lincoln in the water, hanging onto a buoy, coughing and probably cursing him. Damn it.

He watched silently as the old man maneuvered through the jungle, driving down that road of his. It seemed to work even though it felt like a long way round.

Thirty minutes later than scheduled, they arrived at the marina. Alex jumped out of the car and raced to the boat. He had to force his hand to stay away from the gas stick before McGrady Senior got in as well. Then he sped away.

Another 20 minutes and he saw the buoy. He steered the boat closer, holding back gas when he saw four heads. His heart plummeted from his throat to back where it was supposed to be and he rushed to the side. He could hear coughing already.

“Linc? Take my hand.” He hadn’t even said the last word before he felt Lincoln’s big, wet and cold hand in his. He pulled and saw McGrady Senior from the corner of his eye doing the same thing for his son. Lincoln was heavy and heaving badly. “How are you feeling?” Alex asked, but Lincoln shook his head pointing behind him.

“Michael,” he wheezed and Alex gritted his teeth. He let Lincoln sit down on his own and went to the side again to hold out his hand. It wasn’t Michael who grabbed it though, but Whistler.

“Am I glad to see you guys. We thought you wouldn’t show.” The Australian accent cut through the pregnant air like a knife. McGrady Senior leaned forward to help Michael and Alex took a moment to look their way. Michael looked straight at him. His eyes shone with something that Alex had seen in the mirror a lot these past few years.

He focused on Whistler again. “We ran into some trouble getting to the marina. How long were you in?” His muscles were already straining from pulling Lincoln in. Whistler wasn’t helping much.

“Too long, mate; almost gave up.”

Alex almost wanted to say something cutting, but realized that wouldn’t help. When the man was on the boat, he turned and went back to Lincoln who was still breathing heavily. Alex looked around for the towels they’d brought, took a few paces, grabbed a bundle and was back with his charge within seconds.

Michael arrived about the same time, staring from Alex to Lincoln. “What’s wrong? He wouldn’t tell me.”

It sounded like a demand to Alex’s ears and seeing that this was Michael it probably was. He avoided Michael’s eyes and helped Lincoln out of his upper uniform. He had to get dry, again. “He had an accident two days ago. He shouldn’t have been in the water this long.”

Michael’s hand joined Alex’s to help him with Lincoln who was showing some signs of sulking combined with utter exhaustion. He probably didn’t like the attention or the truth. Maybe both.

“You could have avoided that, couldn’t you, Alex?” Michael said in a level voice, but Alex knew what his eyes looked like. He continued to watch Lincoln, almost caressing Lincoln’s chest as he dried him off. His own chest felt strange looking at Lincoln like this. It was like two days ago all over again. He cursed. He was not climbing out of that hole he dug. He had to try harder.

Alex quickly turned his face away from Lincoln and found Michael’s eyes. It wasn’t an improvement to look at and he forced his hand to move faster drying Lincoln off. Michael’s eyes narrowed and Alex bit back. “I told you we had to deal with some difficulties. Roadblocks.”

Michael’s jaw locked. “You could have switched places.”

He sounded stubborn. Alex knew how he probably felt.

“No we couldn’t have. Would you have followed me out?” Alex answered in the most neutral tone he could muster. Michael’s eyes stayed on him for a few more seconds before he turned and grabbed some towels for himself.

Michael started to dry himself off, but didn’t stop looking at his brother. “That bomb design you gave me looked like it worked. I decided not to use it though.”

Alex didn’t like the baiting. He never should have looked at Michael in the first place.

A cough beside him made him whip his head around. “Why are you drying off me like I’m some baby?” Lincoln rasped, stared into his eyes and added, “I’m fine.” Their hands touched for a moment and Alex’s left Lincoln’s body as soon as he felt Lincoln taking charge himself.

Alex wanted to say something to the contrary, but thought the better of it. “All right. Want to get your son?”

Lincoln smiled and the world lit up. Whistler whined in the distance, “You’re going for the thirty pieces of silver this fast? I’m impressed.”

Michael came closer again and Lincoln seemed a lot more lucid now. He pulled him into an embrace. “Happy that you’re back, little brother,” he said in that low voice that Alex knew so well. He was being dismissed; he knew that and backed off to sit against the railing. To his right father and son were hugging and talking with great love and affection as they were working the boat. To his left Lincoln was smiling; even Michael’s eyes had changed now he was free and with his brother.

“Welcome to my world, Mahone. Still think you’re doing the right thing?” Whistler was suddenly next to him and Alex had to look up to look him in the eye.

Alex snorted. “I haven’t the faintest idea what you’re talking about. I am not in your world and I never will be.”

Whistler sat on his haunches, almost at eye level with Alex now. His thumb wiped his nose as if he was going to tell a secret.

He leaned forward a bit and then whispered, “I know about you two. She told me. You honestly think you two could screw around in that hut without her knowing about it? She’s a smart and dangerous woman. Your man shouldn’t have stayed away from the hotel that much.” There was a smile in Whistler’s eyes and a smug look on his face and Alex wanted to hit him.

“Again, I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Alex ground out. Maybe the guy would take a hint.

He didn’t. “I know guys like that, mate; when they’re in a corner they behave like they’re in prison. Using conduits, some sort of outlet. It’s either violence or sex, but it doesn’t mean anything. He’s just using you. Help me and I’ll help you free yourself from whatever shit he’s holding over your head.”

It sickened Alex that this man thought that…and maybe he was… Alex closed his eyes and then opened them again. “His son is being held by that woman you don’t want to go to. His teenage son. What makes you think I’d rather save you than a young boy?”

Whistler smiled a bigger smile now and looked at the two brothers before he continued his talk. “You threw the son in prison before, didn’t you? Almost sent him to the sharks in gen pop and adult jail time. There is at least one Bagwell in every prison, mate. Guess who would have been on little Lincoln junior as fast as flies on shit?”

Alex swallowed. He was not going to deal in might have beens. “This isn’t the same.”

Whistler patted Alex’s leg as he got up. “Of course it isn’t, mate. This time you have a real choice.” Whistler held out his hands, left and right, as if he was weighing something. “On one side a kid you’ve already condemned or the other side, a man who can help with a lot of things. Like names and… addresses of... certain people.” Whistler winked, as if he was sharing a joke. “Think about it, you know where to find me.”

Whistler sauntered away. Alex indivertibly looked at Lincoln who looked back. There was a question in his eyes, a question Alex couldn’t, didn’t want to answer. Lincoln looked away, focusing on his brother once more, but Alex kept watching him, imagining Pam’s eyes who held a totally different question that Alex *did* know the answer to.
Chapter 17 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
Beta by the amazing Foxy!
It took them some time to get to land again; to the safe haven that was the harbor. Lincoln got increasingly antsy and Alex couldn’t blame him. If they weren’t on time, LJ would be toast. He couldn’t shake Whistler’s words though and heard the voice in his head every time he looked at Lincoln, who was flanked by his brother every step of the way. There simply wasn’t room for Alex even though he wanted to make sure Lincoln was all right every time he coughed and more.

They said their goodbyes to the McGradys, but Alex kept his distance. He hardly knew the kid anyway and frankly didn’t really care. He noticed Lincoln doing the same and stealing a glance Alex’s way. Alex didn’t know how to interpret it. Had Michael said anything? Was he influencing Lincoln already? Lincoln had made a promise to Alex and that meant something. Didn’t it?

When the McGradys left with the truck the rest of the group made their way over to the second hand car that Lincoln had parked days in advance. Naturally, Lincoln got in the driver’s seat and Michael got in next to him. That left the back seat for Whistler and Alex. It made Alex feel as if he was an outcast; someone with a scary disease.

Lincoln stepped on the gas and the car jerked. Alex felt more uncomfortable by the minute; Whistler was watching him from the left and Michael’s eyes were on him through the mirror. He missed the shed already. He had more freedom there.

Then Whistler moved his hand and touched Alex’s. He pulled back just as fast. Whistler gave him a note, a small note. Alex couldn’t take the chance to look. Not with Michael staring in the mirror.

~~~~~~~

Alex guessed they were about half a mile from the meeting point when Lincoln stopped the car. It was silent for a moment and Alex feared Whistler would take his chance and jump out and run forcing Alex to make a decision, but he didn’t.

“Alex, can you go with Michael and-” Lincoln said, not looking at him. Michael, however, still did. “She might expect something, but you’re a, a good shot.”

Alex snorted. “We’ve already discussed this, Lincoln. She will expect it and most definitely have a goon or two stashed away, probably near your son.”

Michael turned around in the car. His eyes didn’t even give Whistler a second glance; so much for bonding in prison. “Then we’ll have to give them a reason to get out of their hiding place, won’t we, Alex?” Michael hated his guts, Alex was sure of that and going anywhere with Michael should give him shivers down his spine. However, he still had faith that Michael was who he was; a pacifist down to the core, not a killer.

Alex nodded and opened his door. “All right, but you stick to the plan.”

Michael followed his example. “Meaning that you’ll lead and I’ll follow?” he stated more than asked.

Alex cocked his head and looked at Lincoln. He was finally looking back and nodded with encouragement. Alex wanted to give Lincoln a final hug, to give him strength, but a look was all he could give him. Lincoln seemed to get it though. His eyes softened for a moment, his eyes going down before he started the car again. Then he left Alex and Michael standing on the road.

“Follow me. We’ll have to run. I have studied the maps and there’s a short cut,” Alex said, not bothering to shoot Michael a glance to see if he was following. When he heard the footsteps behind him, he didn’t need to check anyway.

~~~~~~

He could hear a woman’s voice pierce the forest’s atmosphere when Michael and he sneaked up to the clearing. Lincoln stood in front of the car, Whistler next to him, a gun trained on both.

“Don’t tell me that you didn’t bring Michael. He escaped with you, after all. Do you think I’m stupid?” A woman dressed in black leather or something like it stood in front of him, short cropped black hair finishing the look. Lincoln remained still, stoically not moving, although Alex could see a degree of hatred in his eyes he had never seen before.

Lincoln clenched one fist. Alex prayed he wouldn’t let himself be goaded into anything. “Michael was hurt; I left him with the kid and his father.”

Alex cringed. Lincoln really was a terrible liar.

The woman laughed. “And what about Mr. Mahone? You left him behind as well?”

Alex could see shock flicker across Lincoln’s face. Damn it, he should have warned him that she knew. “Don’t tell me he was hurt or was that part of your sex games?”

Alex shot a glance next to him. Michael’s face didn’t betray any of his thoughts; his eyes though… they shifted from Alex to Lincoln and Alex knew that he was trying to add things up. She walked closer to Lincoln and trailed a finger across his chest. Alex almost rushed out, but stayed back. Surprisingly, a hand on his chest, Michael’s hand, helped him focus as well.

“I’m curious, Lincoln. That night you came to me limping; did he take you hard against the shack door or was that just an act? Because I know that you two have a liking for fucking against shack walls.” She stopped her finger and leaned towards Lincoln ear, still speaking loud enough for Alex to hear. “You make such a hot pair. I should have taken pictures.”

She walked back to her original spot, smiling while Lincoln looked positively disturbed. Alex knew the feeling. How did she know? Had she followed Lincoln before? Visited them from time to time? God, what else had she seen? Laughing at them as they tried to fool her. Maybe she had reported more than what was necessary to whomever she worked for. He squeezed the trigger of his gun. “Not yet,” Michael whispered, keeping Alex grounded for the second time. He didn’t need it though. He never rushed into something like that. He never –

“Where’s LJ?” Lincoln managed to ask, his temper in check but clearly boiling beneath the surface, though it was quite obvious where LJ was. The van behind Susan was hard to miss.

Alex hoped the van was soundproof.

Susan kept on smiling; Alex suspected she was really enjoying this, knowing Michael heard as well. “What was it, Lincoln, that made you screw that junkie? Or was it just that? You picked him up in an alley and brought him home with you? Gutter animal finds mate in the sewer? Really romantic when you’re into that sort of stuff.”

Lincoln clenched and unclenched his fists again, his jaw setting and unlocking. “I want my son. Whistler is right here.”

Susan looked away, right in their direction. “Not until Michael gets out of the-”

Whistler took that moment to try and make a break for it and Susan started shooting at him. At his feet to be exact, making him stop before he got far.

“Stay here,” Michael shot at Alex as he ran into the foliage to their right.

Alex bit back a curse, unsure of where his focus should be; Michael, Susan or Whistler.

Susan knocked on the van as she had Whistler on the ground. As suspected the van door opened to reveal a goon, LJ bound and gagged behind him.

“LJ!” Lincoln shouted and walked all of two paces in the direction of his son.

Susan shot into the ground in front of his feet, stopping his advance, before aiming for Whistler again. Alex cursed this time. Where the hell had Michael gone? Why couldn’t everybody stay calm for once!

“Get rid of them now.” Susan said to her goon. “Save sonny boy for last. I’m sure he’ll enjoy seeing daddy die.” She laughed out loud and Alex felt his palms sweat. He aimed; he couldn’t afford to miss and tried to calm his shaking hand. What a time to miss his pills.

“Would you miss the man or his cock, Alex?” She shouted, still enjoying herself.

Alex began to think she was insane. The goon leveled his gun at Lincoln’s head. Alex wished he could count on Michael; there was no way he could shoot fast enough if Susan –

He had to do it now. He couldn’t wait much longer. Taking deep breaths, Alex squeezed the trigger. The bullet left his gun and slammed right into the goon’s left temple. Presumably, he was dead on impact and thank God he hadn’t used his last breath to shoot. As he suspected however, Susan twirled like a professional killer ready to shoot Lincoln instead. Alex took a shot at her. Lincoln dove aside and thus Susan missed. So did Alex, however.

“Lincoln!” He shouted and revealed himself fully, with his hands in the air, hoping to divert her attention.

Lincoln shook his head at him, but she took the bait if only for a few seconds.

She sneered. “I knew it. Your *lover* is here, Lincoln. How nauseating?” She put her heel into the back of Lincoln’s knee, making him grunt in pain, and aimed for his neck. Alex closed his eyes, knowing he couldn’t stop her from killing Lincoln. A shot rang out, then another and another.

She would only have needed one bullet for Lincoln and Alex was still alive. Alex’s eyes flew open again and saw Susan lying on the ground, face turned towards his direction, dead eyes looking at him. Michael stood behind her, a proverbial smoking gun pointed at her unmoving back. It was shocking to say the least; had Sara meant more to Michael than Alex was led to believe?

Lincoln had already gotten up and hurried over to LJ, untying his son while talking to him in hurried whispers. The moment the boy was loose they embraced and Alex couldn’t help but think of Cameron. It tightened his chest and he turned away from the scene.

Whistler was watching him and Alex nodded just a little, but enough for the man to understand. Apparently, he didn’t need to be told any other way and he ran. It took Michael a few seconds to realize Whistler was escaping and he shouted, “Whistler!” Whistler didn’t listen. Lincoln jumped up, but that was about all. Their prisoner was gone.

Michael walked up to Alex; he seemed oddly tired all of a sudden, the killer all but gone. “You let him go.”

Alex contemplated lying, but he just didn’t care anymore. “He was of no further use to us.”

Michael looked back at Lincoln and LJ before turning to Alex again. “You’re not that stupid; you know exactly what kind of value he could have had,” Michael hissed.

Alex looked over Michael’s shoulder. Father and son were talking; LJ was barely containing his tears. Alex didn’t belong here. He was a fool to have hoped for anything more.

Alex started to walk. “Take care of your brother, Michael.” He said so softly only Michael would hear.

Michael didn’t take the way out though. He stood and said in a level voice. “You can’t just leave, Alex.”

Alex was aware that Lincoln and LJ had stopped talking. His feet had stopped of their own accord. All eyes were probably on him, but he had to be strong. He couldn’t look any of them in the eye; not now. “I have to do for my wife what you did for Sara, Michael,” Alex almost whispered. It was so hard to acknowledge Pam’s gruesome death out loud.

“Alex.” Low, rough, that was Lincoln’s voice. It surprised Alex. “We had a deal.” And the voice came closer. Alex stuffed his hand in his pocket. He couldn’t… he couldn’t. “Alex.”

Lincoln was close now and his presence made Alex’s heart jump flip flops. It was wrong, so wrong to fall for this man.

“It’s all right, Lincoln. You don’t have to. I won’t hold you to it.” Alex managed to grind out. He had to get out of here. He didn’t really care what Michael or the kid knew, but all of this, it was a death trap.

He could hear the leaves on the ground crack underneath Lincoln’s boot. “Thank you for saving me, again. Just give me a little time with my son. We’ll get everything sorted out. Sucre will have that house in Costa Rica ready for Mike and LJ and I’ve got those passports.” Lincoln let out a puff of air, partly sighing, partly exhaling or maybe just letting go of tension and annoyance. “You don’t have to go. You’re not alone in this.”

Alex closed his eyes. He choked out a laugh that sounded more like a sob. “Lincoln-”

“A few more hours, man, that’s not too much to ask is it?” Lincoln started to sound a bit ticked off now and it made Alex smiled for real. He shook his head. Lincoln coughed behind him and cut Alex’s amusement short. Worry crept into Alex’s heart again.

“All right. I’ll wait,” he answered.

He could imagine Lincoln nodding his head in satisfaction and then walking back to LJ. Alex felt it was safe to turn now. Somebody had to do something about Susan anyway.

He was wrong; it wasn’t safe. Michael stood right there, arms folded in front of his chest, eyes boring into him. Michael, brilliant Michael Scofield who’d sacrificed his life to save his older brother from death. Alex wasn’t going to be stared down by this man though. Not after everything that had happened. He had paid a part of his dues, at least to this family.

“How much of what she said was true?” Michael asked.

The air seemed too still and yet the answer was so simple. “Everything,” Alex said and walked to Susan’s corpse.

~~~~~~

Alex worked fast to put the bodies in the van and Michael started helping him right after Alex started to drag Susan away. She was heavier than she looked, but with Michael’s help the chore was done with ease. Lincoln had taken LJ to their car, giving him something to drink and a snack to eat, continuing to talk and cajole LJ into talking to him. Alex watched them from the corner of his eye and saw the kid do the same. The past events alone would be enough to screw with his head, not to mention the added bonus of a mental picture of his dad with the guy who was responsible for his imprisonment.

When both the goon and Susan were in the van, Alex took out his matches, but rethought his action. He offered them to Michael. They locked eyes and Alex cleared his throat. “It might help.”

Michael hesitated, but he took them. Alex turned towards the car, happy to be done with it and leaving it all behind them. He hoped against all odds that Michael would be able to get past Sara’s death now that he had killed and burnt the woman responsible; but then again, he probably would not be.

LJ looked up at him. “I suppose I have to thank you now, right?” He didn’t sound very enthusiastic, his face betraying a great amount of distrust and dislike. Alex wondered if he had asked his father about Susan’s comments.

Alex shot a look at the van. “No you don’t. Just stay out of trouble this time.” Then he focused on Lincoln, ignoring the indignant splutter and flash of annoyance on LJ’s face. “Lincoln, we have to get out of here now. If the gunshots didn’t warn anybody, this fire certainly will.”

Lincoln had put his hand on his son’s shoulder, tried to keep in another a cough and nodded at Alex. He stood. “Mike! Come on!” he hollered to his brother and Alex winced. The man was so damned loud. But his voice; it made him think of another time when his voice didn’t have that kind of strength at all.

Alex grabbed Lincoln’s arm before he knew it, needing to touch, to feel. Lincoln’s heat shot right through him. “Linc, you’re still coughing. How do you feel?” He stared into Lincoln’s eyes, his face so close. Alex’s heart beat a bit faster.

“I’m fine Alex, it’s just a bug.” Lincoln didn’t sound angry at Alex’s show of worry and affection. He didn’t shrug out of Alex’s touch either. It was just them for a moment, a roaring fire behind them, the smell of burning flesh in the air. Lincoln’s arm in Alex’s hand was not enough, but at least they touched if only for a moment. Then Michael passed them and cleared his throat, making them aware of the fact that there were people watching. Alex let go of Lincoln and Lincoln backed away to the driver’s seat as if nothing strange was going on.

A minute later, Alex found himself on the backseat, next to Michael Scofield. LJ was looking at him through the mirror and Michael looked at him from the left. Alex stifled a bark of a laugh and dragged his hand across his face. What a farce.
Chapter 18 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
As always, beta by Foxriverinmate;-)
Just like he had coming to Panama, apparently, Lincoln had arranged transport on a cargo ship to Costa Rica. Once they were there, Michael and LJ would go to join Sucre near some hippie paradise on the west coast while Alex and Lincoln would get on another freighter to San Francisco. Alex had had to stifle a laugh when Lincoln had given him that destination; Frisco.

Michael and LJ had been less than enthusiastic about the plan and even tried to talk Lincoln out of it. Alex had stayed silent through the entire argument, but had listened carefully to what was said. It wasn’t as if they had waited until he was gone. They didn’t try to hide their dislike, so Alex wasn’t about to pretend he didn’t know. He did wonder when the issue that Susan had brought up would bubble to the surface though.

Lincoln had defended his promise to both Michael and LJ, but Alex had a suspicion he was wavering. He didn’t know for sure though and the argument was cut short when they arrived at the docks. Lincoln stomped out, seemingly somewhat angry and Alex found two sets of eyes on him again. Again, they were blaming him.

“If there is something you want to say to me, Michael, please do it,” he snapped with annoyance. He’d had it with the innuendo and vengeful looks.

Michael opened the door, got out and then opened Alex’s. Alex didn’t get out, but just inclined his head. “Linc isn’t well,” Michael ground out and Alex thought he probably even didn’t want to say that. Having a conversation at all with Alex must have been revolting to him. “What really happened? Why he is he so loyal to you?”

Alex could hear the unspoken question, ‘is it the sex’ or maybe… Alex got out now, passing Michael and heading straight to the dock where Lincoln was waiting, but he stopped for a moment, his eyes finding a spot on the ground. “I already told you he had an accident. He... was bad off for a while. He got better, but I think there might be some leftover problem he’s hiding.” Alex stuffed his right hand in his pocket. “As for his *loyalty*, I think you overestimate that. We made a deal, that’s it. If you want to know more I suggest you ask him.”

Alex stalked over to Lincoln who was staring into the water. Alex could hear him hold a cough in. It sounded bad. He also noticed that he held his chest. His annoyance flew right out of the window and he couldn’t stop himself from laying his hand on Lincoln’s lower back. “Hey, you okay?” he asked.

Another cough rattled Lincoln’s body. “Yeah, just a bad - must be something in the air.”

Alex saw him lie, but let him get away with it for now. Lincoln turned to look at Alex, causing Alex’s hand to slip to Lincoln’s hip and Alex experienced a rush of fear. Lincoln’s eyes were red-rimmed and teary, presumably from coughing.

“LJ and Mike coming?” he asked, pretending nothing was wrong.

“Yeah, we’re right here.” LJ’s voice cut through the air. Alex ignored them, but let his hand slip from Lincoln’s hip all the same.

Lincoln nodded and moved up the ramps, his son hot on his trail. “He looks worse every minute,” Alex mumbled more to himself than to Michael.

Michael answered anyway. “And yet you want to take him on some revenge trip.” He passed Alex without looking at him.

Well shit, what was he supposed to do now?

~~~~~~
They left Panama behind them within an hour and the ship got to the ocean quite fast. Alex leaned against the railing, watching the coast disappear when a cough behind him warned him of Lincoln’s approach. “Alex?”

Alex continued to look at Panama. This was quite a moment, being rid of that hell hole of a country. “Yes?”

Lincoln came to stand beside him and leaned against the railing as well, both arms resting on the metal separating the deck from a plunge into the water. “The captain got us two cabins. Michael and LJ don’t want to bunk with you. They have this idea we can take a cabin with the three of us, but I don’t want to deprive them of a good bed. Would you mind?”

Alex frowned; what the hell was he asking now? “You’re asking me if I would be okay with you sleeping in the same cabin as I sleep in?”

He could see Lincoln shrug from the corner of his eye. “Just thought I’d give you a choice.”

Alex let out a bark of a laugh. “You had your cock up my ass a day ago, Linc; we shared the same mattress, the same cabin for days. Why ask me this now?”

Lincoln didn’t answer. Seagulls flew by, making their strange squawks in an attempt to get fed. They stood side by side, no more land in sight, birds flying above them and a soft sea breeze ruffling their hair. It would be romantic if only - “Alex, the sex… it was all about the cabin, you know that right?”

So that’s what it was. Susan’s comments bugged Lincoln after all and now his son and brother knew. Was this damage control of some sort? Why the hell didn’t he cut Alex loose and break his promise? It would be so much easier for him.

“It was a place, Lincoln, not a prison. Things aren’t different out here.” Alex husked, not able to shake the images and the memories of their moments together.

Alex turned and let his hand close over Lincoln’s who was now gripping the railing. “Don’t... don’t” Lincoln whispered roughly as he looked at their joined hands.

Alex didn’t care. “What? Call it what it was? That you enjoy having sex with a guy?”

Lincoln let out a sound that sounded like laughter, but was too short to be called just that. “I don’t care about that, man, it’s good, but-” Lincoln stopped and finally dragged his eyes from their joined hands to Alex’s face.

Alex understood all too well. “It’s me-”

Lincoln cringed and looked somewhat disturbed. “Makes me sound like an asshole doesn’t it?”
Alex sighed and tried to smile. It felt bitter. “Maybe just a little. I get that things have happened, but what I did before doesn’t compare-”

Lincoln’s hand turned under Alex’s and two of their fingers laced together just like that. Alex’s breath hitched and Lincoln took that moment to interrupt him. “For what you did after? You saved my life more than once, helped with my son’s. Should be a good trade in for my father’s life…”

It always seemed to come to that, didn’t it? Alex looked away to the ocean again. If he didn’t have Cameron waiting he could, maybe he would- “Linc, it wasn’t just the cabin. I really enjoyed having sex with you and I wouldn’t mind more. I *wanted* to save you and I don’t want you to get hurt. However, I want my son back and I want to give him a life. The life he deserves. If your feelings or hang-ups get in the way of that well-”

Suddenly Lincoln coughed. It sounded painful. Lincoln coughed again and again and he didn’t stop. Within seconds, he was bending over and Alex was holding his side until the fit was over. “I’m sorry,” Lincoln wheezed.

Alex tightened his hold on him before he let go. “I killed your father. You saw me do it and that’s not going to change. He shot at me and I shot back. I was just the better shot. You need to deal with that before we set foot in Frisco,” Alex said softly, fighting the urge to comfort Lincoln who was still heaving. When no answer came forth it was Alex’s cue to leave.

He took three steps and realized he had no idea where he was going. Lincoln ground out, “second deck, past the offices, cabin A-34/8.” Alex nodded even though Lincoln probably wasn’t watching and left. He wondered if cargo ships served food. He hadn’t eaten since this morning and he started to feel it.

~~~~~

When he’d finally found the cabin, which turned out wasn’t on the second deck, but third, he felt his aching bones in every body part. There was one bed inside, barely big enough to hold two people, let alone three. He scoffed at the thought of LJ, Michael and Lincoln sharing one of these and was glad that Lincoln had some sense left.

He took off his shoes and his shirt and lay down. The mattress was softer, so much softer than what he had slept on for the past few weeks. More if you counted the hours in his car and on airplanes. It felt amazing; comfortable. He fell asleep in no time.

~~~~~~

“Alex?” somebody shook his shoulder and the smell of soup drifted to his nostrils. He opened his eyes to Lincoln leaning over him. He involuntarily smiled. Lincoln smirked. “I’ve brought you some food. Come on.”

Alex sat up and noticed a big bowl of bean soup, bread and potatoes sitting next to him on the small table. Lincoln sat down in the only chair in the cabin, his knees still almost touching Alex’s for the cabin wasn’t exactly large. Besides the nice bed the cabin was a step down from their shed.

“It looks great Linc, where-”Alex wanted to ask, but stopped himself when he sounded too eager to his own ears. He grabbed the spoon and started on the soup.

Lincoln shrugged. “We’re not the only ones who need food. Chef was cooking for the crew and they had some extras for us. LJ and Michael ate downstairs. They’re off to bed now. We should be at our destination tomorrow around ten.”

Alex saw Lincoln’s eyes drift to Alex’s chest before shifting to the port window as Alex swallowed another deliciously peppered spoon full of soup. It was richly flavored; that chef knew how to cook. Then he noticed two spoons, knives and forks lying on the table. The amount of garlic bread and potatoes were pretty massive as well. “I’ll assume you told them you were eating with me?”

Lincoln ducked his head. “Yeah well-”

Alex dropped his spoon in the half-empty bowl. “Then why aren’t you eating?”

“I’m not really hungry, man.” Lincoln rubbed the back of his head, avoiding Alex’s stare like a guilty schoolboy.

Alex sighed. “Linc I get it that you aren’t very hungry with everything that has been going on and you’re not feeling well, but you need to eat. At least try the soup and some bread. Come on.” Alex pushed the bowl towards Lincoln, picked up the clean spoon and offered it to him. Lincoln took it from Alex, fingers touching Alex’s hand, eliciting a shiver. Alex really needed to clamp down on his libido. It wasn’t helpful that his body remembered Lincoln’s touches in a very improper manner.

As he went on to eat the potatoes with pieces of bread to go with it, he kept an eye on Lincoln who was dipping some bread in his soup and ate without enthusiasm. It only made Alex worry more.

They were done within ten minutes and Alex felt full and satisfied, rubbing his belly.

“You know,” Lincoln broke the silence, “I still owe you a blowjob.”

Alex thought he hadn’t heard right. “What?”

Lincoln stood up and took off his shirt, revealing his muscular chest in all its glory. ”When we fucked, I made a promise.” It sounded lewd and yet the remark went straight to Alex’s cock. “Come on,” Lincoln murmured as he pulled Alex up and worked on his trousers. Alex was too confused to do anything about it and then Lincoln was already fisting him up and down, trying to get his half-mast to a full-blown erection.

Alex tried to swallow a moan because Lincoln was succeeding and then Lincoln let himself fall on his knees, his face right in front of Alex’s groin. Their eyes locked and Lincoln winked, opened his mouth and closed his lips around Alex’s fevered flesh.

Lincoln’s hands went up to Alex’s hips, then his ass, gripping him tightly and forcing him down Lincoln’s throat. For a moment Alex couldn’t help but see that Fox River 8 picture superimpose itself over Lincoln’s face. He never could have imagined; God, this wasn’t in Burrow’s profile –

Lincoln leaned back, mouth letting go of Alex’s cock, his tongue darting out to lap up some pre-come. Their eyes kept up the contact and Lincoln’s left hand went to the base of Alex’s cock, his other going from his sack to between Alex’s legs. Alex shifted a bit to accommodate the probing fingers. “Linc-” he choked out as he moaned. Lincoln smiled and brought Alex’s cock to his lips again, swallowing him whole. Alex continued to heave and breathe deeply as he could feel and see Lincoln Burrows suck him hard and fast. He didn’t like the unexpected, but this was… God!

His hands went to Lincoln’s head and he pushed him closer to his groin. Lincoln went willingly, not trying to get out of anything. His lips touched Alex’s pubic hair and then two fingers went up Alex’s ass and Alex was starting to see stars. “If... if you don’t want to…to…oh-” Alex couldn’t finish, but let go of Lincoln’s head so he could pull back. He did, but he kept finger-fucking Alex and now used his other hand to take Alex over the edge.

The sight of Lincoln Burrows kneeling in front of him, lips swollen and his hands touching Alex so thoroughly got Alex to the finish. His eyes almost rolled back in his head, but he could control that urge right at the last minute. He came hard and all over Lincoln’s chest. He didn’t know if Lincoln had had that in mind, but he only glanced at it once, not showing any displeasure about it.

Alex fell back on the bed, totally spent and Lincoln rose to his feet. He picked up a used towel to dry himself off and Alex watched him with hooded eyes. He was drowsy and felt good. Lincoln grabbed a glass of water, took a few sips and then leaned over to Alex, covering him, kissing him as thoroughly on the mouth as he had just done his cock. Alex was sold all over again and even though he knew he should scream, push Lincoln off and run away, he didn’t.

“Linc, do you want-” he didn’t finish the sentence, because when his hand found Lincoln’s crotch he found no sign of an erection at all. “Lincoln-” Alex was worried now. Hadn’t this excited him at all? What was it, some way to pay Alex back? That got his blood pumping in a bad way.

Lincoln rested his forehead against Alex’s and closed his eyes. “I’m just tired I guess. I don’t know, that never happened to me before.” It was the voice of a man who truly was tired, even if he used a clichéd sentence. Alex let his rush of anger go and pulled Lincoln down beside him, changing their positions in no time.

“You need sleep. You’re not well, you shouldn’t have-” ‘Blown me’, he wanted to say, but still, he couldn’t deny that he was very pleased that Lincoln had.

Lincoln smiled a tired smile. “Nah, it was good. You’re pretty hot when you’re losing it you know that?” A yawn came right after that and Alex’s feelings of discomfort were put to rest.

“Yeah?” he asked, secretly happy at Lincoln’s words, but worried that Lincoln showed no discomfort about not being able to get it up. It confused him a little.

Lincoln nodded, eyes drooping. “Yeah.”

Alex got his brain to work and shifted so that he could get Lincoln out of his pants before he slept, leaving him only in his boxers. He got rid of his own within a minute and crawled back into the bed. It was strange that he didn’t have to kneel down to get into it; he was so used to the bloody mattress in the shed. He smiled to himself and pulled Lincoln to his chest, his hand caressing his back of its own accord.

Lincoln let out a soft cough before he murmured; “this is nice” and Alex pulled the sheet over them both. A snore followed his words about five minutes later.
Chapter 19 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
Beta by the lovely Foxriverinmate.
Lincoln slept soundly through the night except for the few times he woke coughing, waking up Alex in the process. Alex handed him water every time after which they both went to sleep again. Or at least, Lincoln did. Alex had some trouble following his example; worry about Cameron and Lincoln warred inside his head. His tired body, the stress and the wonderful bed did their best to drag Alex under though and he went eventually.

The next morning, Alex awoke without Lincoln in his arms. He turned and noticed that Lincoln was up, dressed and ready to go.

“You’re awake,” Lincoln grumbled, looking over his shoulder as he buttoned up his shirt. He was flushed but looked better than he had the day before.

Alex pushed himself up on one arm. “Apparently so. It’s still early.” It was in fact 7 A.M. Not that early, but they still had time before they’d hit Costa Rica.

“I want to find LJ and Mikey. Have my time with them before-”

Before Alex would drag Lincoln away from them. Lincoln let it hang in the air between them and Alex snorted. What a way to wake-up. Lincoln really had a gift to lift Alex up and kick him in the nuts.

“We still have some time in Costa Rica as well, don’t we?” Alex tried, not liking how guilty the entire dirty business of revenge and promises made him feel.

Lincoln nodded and let his hands fall from his white shirt as he stifled a cough. “A day before the other freighter arrives. I’m thinking of asking them to stay for a night. We could crash on the beach, no need to go to a hotel and arouse suspicion.”

Alex winced. He didn’t look forward to a night on hard sand on the beach. Not to mention the awkward presence of two people who hated his guts. “I don’t think that’s wise with your cough, Linc.”

Lincoln waved his objections away with his left hand and made for the door. “It’s nothing, really, just a bug. I’ll see you on the deck at 10?”

In other words, please stay away from us until it’s time to disembark. Alex pinched the bridge of his nose. This was becoming more difficult and frustrating than it had been in the shed. He’d never imagined that could happen.

“Yeah all right; enjoy breakfast.” He couldn’t manage to say anything else.

Lincoln left then and Alex’s stomach made a protesting sound. Well, he wasn’t really welcome outside the cabin. He glanced sideways. The half-eaten garlic bread beckoned and since it was his only choice, he decided that was the way it was going to be. He swung his legs over the bed, took a sip of water and broke off a piece of dry, hard bread. God, he wanted coffee, but freighters usually didn’t have room service.

~~~~~~

Alex was on the deck at 10 AM sharp and ready to get off the ship. Just as he was about to wonder where Lincoln and his family were, they came around the corner laughing, undoubtedly about something one of them had said. As soon as they saw him however, their laughter died. He was right back to feeling like a diseased person nobody wanted to be around.

“Alex.” Lincoln said curtly nodding at him, both hands stuffed in his pockets.

“Lincoln.” He copied the gesture, nodding and pretending they were two correct adults being very proper, but Michael set his jaw as if he could see right through their act, whilst not betraying any of his feelings.

LJ was easier to read. Like his old man was sometimes, LJ’s face was an open book. He looked down as if he wanted to make sure what he was about to do was all right, and then held out his hand. He ducked his head a bit, but looked at Alex just the same, digging his other hand deeper into his pants. “Hey listen, I’m willing to... you know, you helped my Dad and all. The rest… you were just doing your job, right?”

Alex was amazed once more by how mature the kid actually was, within reason, despite his resemblance to Lincoln in both looks and personality. Lincoln placed a hand on his son’s shoulder and Alex took LJ’s offered one. “Indeed; I was just doing my job,” he lied because he couldn’t say anything else, “LJ, but I am also sorry about everything that has happened to you and your family.”

Alex hoped it sounded neutral enough and apparently it did. LJ didn’t make their handshake last any longer than was necessary though and moved down the ramp as they docked.

“Yeah, so am I,” were his parting words.

Lincoln stared at his son with worry and Alex could understand that. There was no telling what kind of effect the events would have on a teenager.

“So Linc tells me you’re leaving tomorrow,” Michael cut in.

Alex’s eyes left LJ’s retreating back as soon as he heard the steel voice. He looked at him the same way as he had yesterday so whatever Lincoln might or might not have said to his family Alex doubted it had much impact on Michael.

“Yes, Lincoln arranged for a freighter to go to San Francisco.” Alex carefully weighed his words. With Michael he had to be on his guard. Lincoln watched them like a hawk, frowning, presumably because he knew Michael wasn’t exactly warming up to Alex or his decisions.

Michael crossed his arms across his chest. “And you’re in a hurry.”

The statement sounded accusing without it actually being so; Michael was a master at playing with emotions. Alex would have walked away if it wasn’t for Lincoln.

He nodded and glanced sideways to LJ. “I have a son, as you know. I can’t leave him any longer than is necessary.” He kept his voice as neutral as he had with LJ, but somehow he was afraid that Michael was too good and would pick up on anything Alex wanted to stay hidden. The man had been like that before with Pam, coming to his house, digging –

“Yes, I know; he’s younger than LJ so it must be hard without his parents around, like it would be for LJ. He would like to have his Dad around too.”

“Michael!” Lincoln’s shocked voice cut in.

Alex let his fingers touch Lincoln’s chest softly, but barely, just enough to get him to back off. “It’s all right.” He let out a short laugh and smiled cynically. “Michael, as you might remember I was willing to walk away yesterday. If you have a problem with your brother’s choices I suggest you take it up with him.” Alex dropped his hand to his side and wished he had something to hold onto. He wasn’t going to end up with his hand in his pocket like the Burrows’. “Now if you’ll excuse me,” He said as politely as he could and walked away, down the ramp onto the soil of a new country. Somehow, Michael’s frost was a lot less appealing than LJ’s blatant dislike.

~~~~~~

Alex waited at the ramp for twenty minutes. LJ was about five feet away from him. They didn’t really look at each other or try to have a conversation; it would be forced and fake anyway. Alex didn’t mind the silence. It was interesting and somewhat relaxing to see the dockworkers work; ropes, grease and random shouts of rough men doing their daily jobs. The smell of the sea combined well with fish from the fisherman’s boats that docked further down the docks. Palm trees, warmth and the fact that all those workers were bare-chested added an exotic feel to the mix. Now that they were in a different country Alex would have felt a bit freer were it not for the weight of his general life and companions pulling him under.

He put his hand in his pocket, despite himself, and swayed along with the breeze as he closed his eyes. He wanted to enjoy the sounds; this moment of… his hand came into contact with a piece of paper. Alex opened his eyes again as he pulled it out. He hated cluttered pockets. The moment he saw it he recognized it; it was the piece of paper Whistler had pushed into his hands just before he ran. Alex opened it up, half debating whether to throw it away and yet-

“How about a cold beer?” Lincoln rumbled behind him, a partly swallowed cough following the sentence, and Alex forced himself not to turn and look. He put the paper back in his pocket without looking at it. It wasn’t as if he should feel guilty about having the note –

The kid turned and look at his father, face lightning up the moment he saw him. Alex wondered if Cameron would have the same response to him. Would he even recognize his father? “Where’s Uncle Mike?” LJ asked and this time Alex couldn’t help but turn. Indeed, Michael was nowhere to be seen.

Lincoln frowned, looking a bit sad. “He took a walk around the ship to clear his head he said. He should be back soon.”

Ah, so the brothers didn’t have a talk at all as Alex had hoped. That wasn’t very promising. “Is that wise?”He found himself saying. Lincoln looked him in the eyes and Alex’s heart beat just a little bit faster.

“Don’t tell me you’re worried about me, Alex.” Michael’s voice drifted up to them as the man in question approached with stealth.

Alex wiped a hand across his face. He had promised himself not to get into this. “It was just a question, Michael. I hope you had a good walk.” Civilized conversation; Alex assumed Michael could do that.

“Yes I had a very good walk.” Michael looked him square in the eyes and Alex felt as if the bell for the boxing match was about to ring. The ramp moved, the sound breaking the tension if only just a bit.

Lincoln went to Alex’s side, gently pulling on his arm before he let him go again. LJ pulled his Uncle with him in a similar way, coming into step next to Lincoln. The two Burrows’ made an effective barrier between Alex and Michael. Alex let out a snort and he could see Lincoln look at him from the corner of his eye, but a cough broke any sternness he might have tried to communicate. Their feet hit the docks, Costa Rican soil, and the feeling that Alex had before returned; freedom. “How about that beer, Lincoln?” He asked, feeling his lips curve up in a smile of their own accord.

Lincoln answered with his own blinding smile, an unguarded moment of pure Lincoln. “Yeah, yeah, we should get that beer.”

~~~~~~

Near the docks was a small cantina serving refreshments to sailors. They weren’t allowed to serve alcohol to the dockworkers, but it didn’t take much convincing to make them understand that Alex and his companions were anything but. Ten minutes later, they all had a local beer in hand. Even LJ had gotten permission from his father to have one. That illegal act was the least of their problems.

Alex watched the seagulls fly above the water. The hustle and bustle of the docks was relaxing. Once again he let himself be taken away by otherworldly sounds and the smell of seawater. Even the breeze was wonderful. He brought the beer to his lips.

“Should you be drinking that? I mean, with your history?” Michael’s voice pierced his thoughts and Alex halted his glass mid air.

Alex looked Michael straight in the eye and wondered why Michael was still so angry and so filled with rancor obviously aimed at him. Michael had been like that in Sona yes, but surely after everything… “It’s not a problem,” he said, careful to keep emotion out if his voice. He wasn’t going to be baited. Alex took a big swallow of beer just to demonstrate and Lincoln sighed very audibly.

“You look forward to the beach, bro?” Lincoln intervened and Michael’s eyes searched out his brother’s.

The expression on his face softened a bit, but the intelligence that shone from his eyes did not dim. His love for his family only succeeded in brightening them. “You know I do. I still have hopes for that surf shop you know,” Michael said with a lighter sound to his voice.

Lincoln laughed. This was probably something new. A surf shop? So they really had plans to stay here for a long time. “Hey man, you got me out of that chair. You want a surf shop; we’ll get a surf shop. Don’t know if LJ will be able to keep up with his old man though.” Lincoln playfully ruffled LJ’s hair.

LJ smiled as well now. “I can surf, I’m telling you!”

Lincoln winked at Michael before turning to his son. “And where in Chicago did you learn?”

LJ got into it now and playfully hit his Dad against the chest, causing Lincoln to cough again. LJ’s face fell because of it, guilt on his features, but Lincoln had become so well-versed in covering up that he did it like a pro now as well. LJ was back on his high within seconds and came back with, “same place as you did, I think.”

Touché. Michael didn’t smile much; Alex suspected it had something to do with Alex’s presence, but the corner of his eyes showed some lines of merriment and worry. They disappeared as soon as he realized Alex was watching him though.

“So Alex, what are you going to do when you leave?” Michael asked quite casually, but Alex felt the pressure coming back full force right away. Everybody else must have felt it too, because any sound of laughter had stopped.

“You know what I am going to do, Michael,” Alex said as normally as he could, keeping both his hands on the beer glass, careful not to break it.

He was more conscious of the sounds directly around him than what was happening on the docks now. Lincoln’s breathing, a bit hitched, LJ fidgeting in his chair, scraping the floor. Michael was poised to lure him in and make Lincoln see... what exactly? The cutting voice went on, “find your son and what, take revenge? You know who did it? Are you going to kill them or is Linc?”

So that was it. This was a different route to show Lincoln what a wrong decision this was. What if all of Michael’s reasons combined together should work? What if Lincoln started to feel as Michael did? A short stab of fear froze Alex’s heart. He didn’t want to go on alone, but things were beginning to look like that more and more. God, he was so used to Lincoln’s presence now.

He kept his face smooth. Not a hint of emotion was supposed to come through. “I don’t know, Michael. Are you truly interested or is this some judgmental question? I seem to recall your meeting with Susan didn’t end well either.”

Michael’s eyes flashed a little, but he too had mastered the look of indifference. “So that’s a yes then. You’re planning to go out and kill a man, maybe more than one, together with my brother.” Michael took a sip of his beer. A reminder of Alex’s move just minutes ago and then he continued, “That’s hardly the same thing as what happened yesterday. Susan tried to kill Linc and my nephew. I did what I could to protect them.”

Alex let out a bark of a laugh. He sounded sarcastic now; he had to try to reign himself in. He used to be so controlled, damn it. The palm of his right hand started to sweat and he forced himself not to breathe too deeply. “You’re pleading self defense now? Don’t tell me that you haven’t dreamt of murdering the woman who killed Sara. With six bullets, I might add.”

Michael seemed to have difficulty keeping a straight, neutral face now as well. His mouth was flat, a thin line which started to have a faint sneering quality about it. “Like you do? Have you planned it yet? Nice and bloody, make the person suffer? And then what, you’re going to plant some evidence to show that Linc did it so you can run away with your kid?” Michael leaned forward, closer to Alex. “You can’t live in the States anymore, can you? Now that you’re a wanted murderer and drug dealer, I mean.”

Lincoln jumped up, his chair clattering over the floor behind him; his beer still largely untouched. “That’s it, if you two want to measure dicks, do it without me. I’m out of here.” He looked sideways to LJ. “You coming? Going to see how we can get you to Guanacaste.”

LJ nodded, shooting one glance at his Uncle before standing.

Lincoln looked at Michael and Alex again. He looked positively angry. “You two get through whatever issue you’re having. I already told you both what the deal is. I’m not going to-” Lincoln started coughing. It sounded like a bad fit at first, but when he didn’t stop, it seemed he couldn’t and Michael and Alex stood as one and moved towards him. Worry slammed back in full force and cut off any other emotion. Lincoln held a hand out, trying to tell them it was okay, but then he actually doubled over, his neck and face turning red and his left hand pressing against his chest. This wasn’t good at all.

“Get a doctor,” Alex said to nobody in particular as he hurried to Lincoln’s side and slid an arm around Lincoln’s waist to keep him steady. He shot a look at Michael. “Get a doctor, Michael!”

It took him a few seconds at most before Michael was off. Now was not the time to wallow in hate. His brother was in real trouble, shaking and... Alex felt Lincoln’s neck and then his face. He was burning up. For the tenth time in twenty-four hours, he cursed himself again. He should have checked better, taking care of Lincoln after that night...

“Lincoln; Linc, can you hear me?” he tried. His let his left hand cup Lincoln’s shuddering cheek as he tried to keep him upright with his other. LJ had moved to the other side, trying to help. “We need to move you to a chair, Linc.” Alex spoke as clearly as he could, a bit louder than he’d liked just so Lincoln could hear him over the coughing and heaving.

Lincoln’s hand came up feebly, trying to grasp Alex’s or LJ’s, Alex didn’t know, but then it dropped and Lincoln’s body went limp. “Shit.” Alex exclaimed as he went down with the heavy man, who’d stopped coughing altogether.

Michael came running towards them. “What the hell happened?!” Alex barely heard him, his worry slowly changing into a full-blown panic attack. He bent over to put his ear on Lincoln’s chest and heard a feint gurgling sound.

LJ sat next to his father on his knees and answered his Uncle. “He collapsed; he just collapsed.” He sounded lost, afraid.

“There isn’t a doctor around and we can’t call an ambulance,” Michael said hurriedly, fear coming through his voice ever so slightly. “I asked one of the ships if they… a man’s coming. We need to take him some place comfortable.”

Alex wanted to say something cutting, but he couldn’t. He just wanted to hold Lincoln and not let go. He started to whisper in Lincoln’s ear. He could hear Michael talk to LJ and then leave again. Two other men joined them and Michael was by his side trying to lift Lincoln. It took all four of them to do so and then they brought him to a car. Within minutes it drove them away to some sort of a hotel nearby. He had a vague recollection of Michael saying they needed two rooms, but then they moved Lincoln to one and the ship’s *doctor* went to work. Alex heard the man say something in a thick accent; ‘pneumonia’ and ‘he needs a hospital’, but other than that all events of the world flew by.

The fear was so all consuming that Alex focused on one thing only. His hand on Lincoln’s while the doctor worked. Alex wouldn’t let go. He was aware of Lincoln’s tremors and labored breathing and for a moment he felt utterly helpless. He couldn’t go through this again. Not that soon after Pam. Maybe never.
Chapter 20 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
Beta by Foxriverinmate
Alex was beyond tired. He had kept himself from nodding off for the past 24 hours as he sat by Lincoln’s bed, using a moist cloth to keep Lincoln’s face, neck and chest a little bit cool. It was odd that he should finally have the chance to caress Lincoln’s firm muscled chest like this, outline the contours of his face... Alex should have done it sooner when Lincoln actually would have had the time to appreciate it. He had become an expert at wasting a good thing and he had done it yet again, not making Lincoln understand... What an idiot he was.

Michael sat on the other side most of the time, probably mirroring Alex’s feelings. Michael didn’t just worry for his brother, Alex was sure of that. LJ was having a rough time with his father’s sudden illness and Michael had to divide his attention between his nephew outside and Lincoln inside the room. Michael had left Lincoln’s side an hour ago when LJ had run out in an unexpected outburst of emotion.

Alex’s stomach grumbled, but he didn’t pay it much attention. He took out the washing cloth again and tried to let some water trickle between Lincoln’s lips. The fever hadn’t gone down much and was truly assaulting his body in a terrible manner. According to the doctor they had to sit it out while the antibiotics did their job. Lincoln was a strong man and had a good chance of fighting it; still, there was always the risk and with their luck... Alex couldn’t do much except worry like hell.

Alex couldn’t tell the doctor of Lincoln’s earlier illness, the stress he’d been under, the gunshot wound to his leg he’d received only weeks before due to yours truly’s actions... “Get well Linc.” He whispered as he brought his face closer to Lincoln’s and kissed his warm forehead.

“You’re probably as hungry as I am.” Michael’s voice sounded loud, cutting through the silence.

Alex startled and jumped back. He hadn’t heard the man come in at all. He straightened; feeling caught doing something nobody was supposed to see and he looked at Michael with defiance.

“No thank you, I’m fine.” His stomach grumbled again and Michael raised an eyebrow. He didn’t say a word though and put a Styrofoam box and bottle of water next to him on Lincoln’s nightstand. Michael went back to his usual spot on the other side of the bed then and opened a box identical to Alex’s. He ripped off paper from a package that contained chopsticks, Alex noticed there was one next to his food as well. Michael tucked in all the while keeping an eye on Alex and Lincoln. It was a peace offering if Alex had ever seen one, although he had no idea why; unless the food was poisoned.

Seeing Michael eat the noodles, dripping with sauce, egg and vegetables, made Alex realize how silly it would be not to touch it. Michael was right and he knew it too. Alex’s eyes left Michael’s face and searched out the box. He hesitated once more, thinking about the fact that Michael had brought it to him, but then shrugged off that bout of paranoia. A minute later, warm food slid down his throat. It was heavenly and he couldn’t help but close his eyes for just a few seconds. He was aware of nothing more but the wonderful taste, just how hungry he really was and Lincoln’s labored breathing. It felt wrong to enjoy food so much when… he sobered quickly and opened his eyes again.

He looked at Lincoln’s face and silently wished him to wake up from his sleep. He’d been fevered the few times he had come back to them, but that was better than not hearing his voice at all. Alex missed it. He shot a glance at Michael who had finished his Chinese delicacy and was now drinking from his bottle of water, his eyes still on Alex.

Michael looked at him as if he wanted to dissect Alex, but it wasn’t the look of hatred and loathing Alex remembered. It was one of puzzlement and wonder. Alex didn’t have the energy to try and understand Michael’s actions, motives and mood swings though and chalked them up to worry for Lincoln. He picked up another healthy bite of noodles and vegetables and fleetingly thought of Pam; she had taught him how to use chopsticks with an amazing amount of patience. The memory should make him smile, but he couldn’t. He found his fingers itching to touch Lincoln’s face again, just to see if he felt a little bit cooler.

“You’re in love with him.” Michael suddenly said.

Alex swallowed his food, almost choked, and the room suddenly seemed too small and stuffy.

“What?” he croaked, eyes shifting from Lincoln to Michael.

Michael stared at him with that same expression he’d had before.

Michael crossed his arms and leaned back. “I couldn’t figure out why you hung onto Linc as you did. Even if you wanted to frame him for anything at all, it seemed too elaborate and, frankly, not very efficient. You don’t like inefficient plans and actions.”

Alex couldn’t speak; he felt very hot, enclosed. He craved his pills for a heartbeat and involuntarily looked at Lincoln again as if he would help him.

“You have absolutely no reason to want to try and keep Lincoln around, or stay around yourself. It all adds up, especially seeing you here with him.” Michael didn’t let up.

Alex shook his head and would have stood up if he’d had the strength, but his legs wouldn’t obey. The small box of food almost fell out of his hand, but he caught it just in time.

Michael seemed to gauge Alex’s emotional limbo, but still lumbered on. “Does he know?” Michael asked, simply and without pretense.

Alex didn’t know what to do. He felt like a rabbit caught by a pack of hunting dogs. He couldn’t run and he couldn’t lie, but he didn’t… he didn’t…

“Alex?” Alex dragged his eyes up again to stare right back into Michael’s blue ones. He swallowed and shook his head. “Do you?” Michael added softly, which was highly uncharacteristic of him.

“I don’t know,” Alex rasped and grabbed the bottle of water, unscrewed the cap and quickly took a large swallow. He almost coughed it out again, but calmed himself just in time. “He… it wasn’t supposed to be like this,” he whispered, wanting to bite his tongue to stop talking, especially to this man. He needed a way out, something to take the heat off him. “How’s LJ,” he added, still not thinking clearly but it was the best he could do.

Michael didn’t answer at first and narrowed his eyes just a fraction. “About the same as you are; confused and afraid. Get out of this room, Alex. I mean it. Take a walk and clear your head. It works and you need it. Linc will still be here when you get back. I… promise.”

It wasn’t a threat. It wasn’t ‘get the fuck out of our lives’; it was an honest suggestion that could help him. Alex didn’t understand. He didn’t understand any of it. He felt his fist almost breaking the water bottle in two and realized he was squeezing it.

He looked at Lincoln again. Still and white as the sheet that clung around his chest. A chest that was still going up and down, precious oxygen, even though it sounded painful and harsh, was still being pulled into congested lungs. Alex didn’t want to leave him, but if he really felt that way then… he shot a glance at Michael again; Michael who was watching him patiently as if he knew every sordid little secret in the world. Alex hated it. He had to prove that Michael was wrong. He could walk out and…

It took all of his will power to stand and walk to the door. It took even more not to look at Lincoln as he opened the door and really walked out. He needed a minute to calm his rapidly beating heart after he’d closed the room’s door and taken his hand from the door knob.

~~~~~~

Alex had found a small bench near the motel’s front yard. It was quiet here, hardly any cars drove past and he was alone except for the motel owner’s pet parrot walking up to him now and then, yanking at his trousers. Alex assumed the animal wanted cookies or something, but since he didn’t have any he didn’t respond to the green feathered bird at all. After a few tries, the thing gave up, squawking as it ambled away instead of flying like it should. Alex tried to think. Was he really that attached to Lincoln? What would he feel if Lincoln, if he should-

He closed his eyes to bar that unbidden thought from his mind and held back the moisture he felt welling up behind his eyes. He didn’t like this feeling of helplessness. Nothing in this situation made sense. He had been hunting this man only weeks ago. Lincoln had hated him and Alex didn’t care; he’d just done his job. It was just as a convict and agent relationship should be, but somehow that relationship was the least of what they had. They’d had sex, very good sex, sure, but sex wasn’t love. How was it, then, that Lincoln stirred more than just his dick?

He’d fallen into this trap years ago with Tom. Had sex and then developed an infatuation with him. He was unceremoniously dumped when Tom found out. Was this the same as it was back then?

“Hey.”

Alex turned around to see LJ standing to his right, hands deep in his pockets, looking very lost. “Mind if I sit here?” LJ asked.

Alex motioned to the spot next to him and scooted over to give the kid some room. “How are you holding up?” he asked after LJ sat down.

LJ shrugged and looked at his hands. “I don’t know how this could have happened. Uncle Mike said that he had an accident preparing for the escape and then during the escape he was in water again, but still, my Dad’s tough you know? This isn’t like him.” The kid sounded positively scared and angry at the same time.

Alex felt a surge of fatherly feelings. It was inappropriate. “I agree it’s not, but during that accident he spent hours in dirty water. God knows what was in it.” He tried to comfort the boy with words. He wasn’t very good at it.

“Yeah, I guess-” LJ said and sighed. A flock of wild parrots flew by, squawking loudly but different from the pet parrot that was still around the motel somewhere. “You know I hadn’t seen my Dad for a long time, before I got sent to see him. You know, in prison.” LJ suddenly said when the birds had flown away.

Alex looked to his left to study the boy’s face. “Yes I’ve read about it in… you didn’t have a good relationship with him.”

LJ returned his gaze and shook his head.

“No, we drifted apart for a couple of years, just when you don’t see family much... He was in jail and I thought he was a deadbeat and a drunk. Mom said so and-” LJ dropped his gaze to the ground again.

Alex put his hands together and rested them on his knees, leaning forward a bit. “Your Mother might have been a bit mad because things didn’t work out between them. Parents are usually like that in a divorce; things get messy.”

LJ smiled a bit. It was a sad smile and it didn’t reach his eyes. Alex kicked himself mentally for not diverting the conversation from the boy’s Mother. Her murder must still be raw and now his Father was in danger of… dying too.

“Was it like that with you and your son?” LJ asked.

Alex didn’t want to talk about it, but he guessed he owed it to Lincoln to try and help his son. “No, my… ex-wife always tried to get me together with my son. I just let work get between us too often. I didn’t prioritize well.”

LJ turned, looking at him again. “My Dad used to come over in the beginning, when he and Mom were divorced, and we’d play ball. That was cool. We’d talk and I really thought he got me, you know? Like he knew everything? He’d bake the most awesome pancakes too, with berries and stuff because he said I had to eat fruit… But then sometimes he was away for months because ‘he had things to do’, but I know he was just back in jail then. I found out later and I hated him for it, and I thought he was a stupid…but now I know that-”

Alex risked it and put his left hand on LJ’s shoulder. “He’s a good man?”

LJ didn’t shrug off his hand, but Alex felt the tension leave him just a little bit.

“Yeah. He’s got a temper, you know.” LJ’s lips turned into a lopsided grin, even though his eyes were a little bit too bright, and Alex found himself returning the smile. “And he makes a mean breakfast with blueberry pancakes.”

Alex squeezed LJ’s shoulder and let go again. His eyes wandered to the jungle on the other side of the dirt road. This really was a nice place and he found he was more relaxed than before.

“Did he ever make one for you? Back in Panama?” LJ asked then and Alex whipped his head back to him a little bit faster than he wanted to. LJ shrugged again, so like his Father. “It’s not exactly rocket science seeing what’s going on between you two.”

Alex didn’t believe this. First Michael and now- “And what is going on between us?” Alex asked carefully.

LJ let out a short laugh. “Are you kidding me? The way you look at him and how he keeps defending you all the time? I don’t care that my Dad likes men once in a while, you know. I never saw one he’d been with, so it was easy. It’s not like he brought them home-”

Alex let out a strangled sound. He had no idea where it had come from, but he squelched the feeling he’d had back in Lincoln’s room.

“Brought them home?” he asked as if he was that green parrot. Why was it that he was tongue tied when anyone got on to this subject?

LJ looked down at the dirt; the pet parrot was back. LJ fished in his pocket for a piece of... was that bread? The parrot almost bit LJ’s fingers and LJ laughed at it. It was a genuine laugh and Alex could imagine him with Lincoln in this place; free, open and warm. “He mostly just scratched an itch in prison, I think. I know because Uncle Mike once made him go to this clinic because of his drinking. Man, that was one hell of a fight, but sometimes he had these moments, we all knew about it, but… I don’t really like you that much and I really don’t want to know what you guys have been doing but...” LJ rambled now; it seemed talking about this with the guy your Father slept with wasn’t that easy after all. “But you’re here and he asked you to stay, so-” LJ shrugged and stood, the parrot dancing at his heels, “it’s cool man, it’s just going to take some time to get used to it.” He avoided Alex’s eyes now, which was fine by him.

“He’s going to be fine, LJ,” Alex said a bit more roughly than he intended and LJ nodded before he walked away, throwing small bits of bread at the parrot who seemed to adore him with every feather in its small, annoying little body.

Alex took another swallow from his water bottle and returned to staring at the jungle. It truly wasn’t just sex. What was he going to do? What was Lincoln going to do and even if… there was Cameron and it wasn’t like they could… he sighed. He had a knack for getting in the most difficult situations. He really couldn’t imagine BBQ-filled evenings in the back yard of their white picket-fenced house. He sat there for a long time, thinking about everything, trying to find a solution for it all. When the bottle was empty he got up to throw it away and slowly walked back to Lincoln’s motel room.

~~~~~~

He opened the door and was assaulted by just how hot it was inside and how much it smelled; it was damp and sweaty, the air thick with ‘illness’. He went straight for the window and opened it a little, just to get some air in. He would make sure it wouldn’t disturb Lincoln; wind or even a small breeze might not be good.

He was aware that the man who basically chased him out was still present and he knew Michael’s eyes were on him. He expected an answer, Alex was sure of it, or at least *something*. It was still more than difficult and he took a breath, didn’t look at Michael and said, “you were right.”

“Right? Alex?” a soft rasping voice that wasn’t Michael’s answered. Alex turned on the heels of his feet so fast that he thought he would continue to spin. Lincoln looked at him through fever-bright eyes, but with a little lucidity as well. Michael was up and went for water, presumably so Lincoln’s throat wouldn’t be so parched.

Alex didn’t know what to say for the third time that day, but thank God Michael saved him. “Nothing Linc; don’t you worry about it.”

Alex felt his lips curve into a smile and he swallowed the lump in his throat at Lincoln’s expression as he looked at Michael and then at Alex. Alex took the steps needed to get back to his chair. He grabbed Lincoln’s hand and softly squeezed it.

“How are you feeling?” he asked, letting his thumb draw circles on the back of Lincoln’s hand while Michael got some water into him.

Lincoln coughed a little and tried to get up. Michael and Alex moved as one to push the extremely weak man down. “Let me up, we have to…the jeep and Susan… Alex you need to relax, I’ll do it.” He babbled, obviously in a different world.

Alex leaned close to his face. “Lincoln, look, Michael’s right here and I’m just fine. LJ’s outside feeding a parrot. We’re just waiting for you to get well and then we can go to that house Sucre got you.”

Lincoln looked at him with eyes that really were too bright for his own good. “I’m sorry about your wife and son.”

Alex squeezed Lincoln’s hand a bit too hard and let up immediately. “It’s okay, Linc, it’s not your fault. My son’s… my son’s fine.”

Lincoln got a little bit antsy again and shook his head. “No, we have to get there. They’ll kill him if we don’t get Whistler out.” For a moment, Alex’s heart had started to beat very fast, but Lincoln was fevered and mixing things up; everything was fine.

“Linc, do you trust me?” Alex asked the sick man, his lover, his… whatever they were together.

Lincoln gazed at him, eyes too glassy for comfort, coughing and wheezing softly. He nodded. “You fought for it, you earned it.” He sounded well aware of what he was saying.

Alex smiled, encouraged, and he felt... something at those words. “Then trust me, you just need to get well. We’re okay, all of us.”

Lincoln shook his head again. “No I promised you. Your son, we need to get your son. Michael’s upset with me.” He sounded distressed, but he had stopped moving.

A few drops of sweat ran down Lincoln’s forehead. Alex let his other hand wipe them away. He deplored the lack of his washing cloth, but he needed to feel how Lincoln’s skin really felt. It was still clammy. “I’ll get my son; you don’t have to. You can stay here on the beach, with the… the pretty women and your family.” He swallowed the lump away, but he had to say it not so much for Lincoln’s benefit but for Michael’s.

“No… no.” Lincoln said, not accepting anything Alex was saying.

This time Michael swooped in and took Lincoln’s other hand. The door opened and LJ entered. LJ put a few bottles of water on the nightstand and sat down on the bed, close to his Uncle and Father. Alex saw LJ and Michael exchange a glance before they focused on Lincoln again.

“We’ll all go and get Alex’s son, Linc. We’ll go together. Don’t worry,” Michael said in a steady tone of voice that brooked no argument and gladdened Alex’s heart.

Once again the room seemed small to Alex and he grabbed onto Lincoln a little tighter. It felt like he was on probation, but that didn’t matter. He was allowed to stay. He was allowed to stay a little bit longer with Lincoln; maybe he had a right to something more than misery.
Chapter 21 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
Beta by Foxriverinmate
They’d sat in silence after Michael’s statement. Lincoln had fallen into another fitful sleep and Alex had a feeling his fever was going up again. Evening was slowly falling, though later than in Chicago, and Michael turned on the only two shady lights in the room.

“I’m going to get us something to eat. What do you guys want?” He heard LJ say. Michael moved to his nephew without much of a sound and whispered something in his ear. Michael had that way about him. He talked without raising his voice at all and now with Lincoln ill, he all but whispered around his brother.

“Alex, pizza, a hamburger or Chinese again?” Michael asked, suddenly quite close to him.

Alex startled, partly turned and shook his head. “I don’t really care. Pick one.”

LJ shrugged like only a teenager could and disappeared after one look at his father. Thinking Lincoln looked more than flushed, Alex leaned over for the first time in an hour to feel his forehead and was shocked by the heat he felt there.

“Shit, Michael,” Alex said, a tremor lightly penetrating his voice. “He’s burning up again.”

Michael rushed to the other side and checked Lincoln’s forehead, neck and pulse with rapid movements. “He was getting better; this isn’t supposed to be happening.”

Alex got up and pulled blankets off Lincoln’s hot body. “Sometimes fever can spike back with a situation like this. I have seen it in Iraq and… we can get him in the tub and cool him off.”

Michael looked at him for about two seconds, clearly rapidly contemplating what Alex had said, before he started to help him. They hoisted Lincoln up by the arms, but he was so unresponsive it felt like carrying over two hundred pounds of sand.

“Hold him, we’ll use the blanket,” Michael said, leaving Lincoln in Alex’s arms as he yanked a sheet from the other, unused, bed and put it on the ground.

Lord, they were going to have to drag Lincoln to the bathroom. Alex didn’t want to hurt him, but it clearly was their only option.

“Here,” Michael hurried as he took Lincoln’s left arm again.

Alex moved to Michael’s side now and positioned himself next to Lincoln’s right as they turned him around on the bed. The fact that the jarring didn’t wake Lincoln at all worried Alex no end. The sheets fell off completely now, revealing Lincoln’s taut belly, his strong legs… he only wore boxers and it made him look vulnerable in this state. Alex felt strangely protective of him.

“If you want to stay outside while-” Alex asked raggedly as he labored with Michael as they pulled and dragging Lincoln to the bathroom. He felt his cheeks redden as he said it. “I mean if you feel uncomfortable with-”

Michael’s breathing sounded harsher now as well, but he still managed to raise one eyebrow. “If I am uncomfortable seeing my brother naked? Trust me, nothing new there.”

Alex thought that statement was somewhat odd and it must have shown on his face because Michael clarified as they propped Lincoln on the cold titles as the bath water was running. “We lived together for some time. Lincoln doesn’t have an ounce of shame. He certainly isn’t embarrassed about his body, not to mention every time I had to clean up after him after he drank too much.”

A subtle shift in Michael’s eyes and mouth gave Alex the notion that it was information he hadn’t wanted to give. It was a sign that Michael was as stressed out with this whole situation as Alex was; he slipped up as well.

The bath was half-full within two minutes and they went back to work, pulling Lincoln up to the edge of the bath. It was no use though; there was no way they could do this without letting him drop. Alex sighed; “I have an idea. Wait and hold on to him.” Alex let Lincoln go the moment he believed Michael had him and pulled off his shirt and then his socks and shoes. Michael didn’t betray an inch of his true feelings, but Alex could imagine. Then Alex stepped into the bathtub, shivering at the cold temperature, and sat behind Lincoln. “Slowly let him fall into my arms.” Alex instructed and Michael obeyed. A minute later, they had Lincoln lying against Alex’s chest, cold water cooling his fevered body.

“You need to get out, Alex,” Michael stated as if Alex didn’t know. Still, it was hard to do it, to leave Lincoln lying in the water again, alone. After a moment’s hesitation, Alex shifted, moving to the side and gently laid Lincoln’s head against the cold bathtub. Michael helped to keep Lincoln upright so Alex could step out, dripping wet.

He grabbed a towel, his eyes only leaving Lincoln’s frame for a few seconds, and dried his chest. His jeans already started to tighten and he regretted that he hadn’t taken them off as well. “Make sure he doesn’t slide under,” he groused, annoyed with himself. Michael made a non-committal sound; probably as irritable as Alex was feeling. Lack of sleep and the constant fear of losing Lincoln weren’t good for their tentative and new understanding. “Is he getting any colder?” Alex asked, throwing the towel in the corner and padding over to Michael’s side.

“I don’t know it’s too soon. I don’t know if this is smart with his pneumonia.” Michael sounded conflicted.

Alex sighed, he didn’t either, but still. “If we don’t the fever could kill him unless we get him to a hospital and then-”

Michael didn’t leave much room for Alex to help with Lincoln, so he didn’t try. “I know; if we get him to a hospital we’ll all be in trouble, wide open for the Company to take revenge and he’ll be back on death row.” Michael’s fingers dug into Lincoln’s shoulders. It looked like it was taking him some effort to hold Lincoln up. “Can you try and change the sheets on his bed?” Michael asked after a while, sounding tired.

Alex nodded and realized Michael couldn’t see him. “I could, but we can put him in the other bed. Clean sheets there. I’ll get the other bed stripped down for the housekeeper to take away.”

Michael mumbled something like ‘thank you’ and Alex went to do as he said. On the way out, he grabbed his socks and an old, but clean motel bathrobe and put them on before he went to work. It wouldn’t exactly help if developed a cough of his own, after all. He pulled off the sheets and worked almost mechanically, feeling oddly numb; he was operating on automatic, hoping against all odds that Lincoln would pull through. He was tough; he just had to, right?

Half an hour later, Lincoln lay in the other bed and his skin felt a little bit cooler. Alex eyed the stripped bed and took a deep breath. “One of us should take that and try to get some sleep.”

“I agree; you go first, I’ll wake you in a couple of hours.”

Alex wanted to protest, but realized he’d walked right into that. He was too tired to argue or think, however, and sat on the bare mattress. He could smell Lincoln on it and somehow it felt comforting. He didn’t remember when his head hit the mattress or when he fell asleep.

~~~~~~

Alex awoke when the sunlight was shining on his face. His back hurt, but as he opened his eyes, he looked straight at Lincoln who was still breathing. LJ sat next to him. “Hey,” the boy said drolly.

Alex sat up, feeling a lot less tired than he was before and very peeved. “Why didn’t Michael wake me?” He tried to gauge Lincoln’s condition and felt his forehead after he stood and then sat down again on the other bed. Lincoln felt cooler; thank God.

“Uncle Mike said you needed the rest. I think he was right. He went to sleep about 4 hours ago.” Alex didn’t comment, but studied Lincoln’s features. The lines of suffering were a bit softer and his breathing seemed a bit easier, but maybe he just saw things that weren’t there.

A knock on the door shook him from that reverie and he automatically reached for the gun he didn’t have. LJ opened the door before Alex could say a word. It was the doctor. “How is he?” the man asked without looking at his patient, putting a scruffy looking leather bag on the nightstand.

LJ answered, “I think he’s a bit better. His fever was down yesterday but then it went up again in the evening.”

The doctor nodded. “And what did you do?” He impatiently tapped his bag with his left hand, a big ring making the sound more pronounced.

Alex felt LJ looking at him for help and answered for him. “We gave him a cold bath. It seemed to help,” Alex stated as businesslike as he could. Doctor’s, like feds, needed facts, not emotions.

The doctor harrumphed. “Risky, but then again, that’s your business. Now I am going to need payment in advance just like last time.”

Alex felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise. ‘Whatever happened to helping sick people, you bastard.’ Was what he wanted to say. Instead, he remained silent, hoping LJ knew about this from Michael.

LJ was already digging around in his pocket and took out a crumpled envelope. “My Uncle said you agreed on this amount. He also put in the cash for the other half of antibiotics. I’m going to get him now.”

The doctor took the envelope from LJ, ripped it open and started to count the money. LJ shot Alex a warning look as if Alex was going to beat the man up, but Alex shook his head. He had some restraint left.

“I’ll be right back,” LJ said, more for Alex’s benefit than the doctor’s and raced out, door almost banging, but leaving both Lincoln and the doctor unperturbed. When the doctor was finally done with his money he looked at Lincoln.

He harrumphed again and pulled out his stethoscope. “Has he been awake at all?” the man asked, almost sounding uninterested in the answer he had yet to receive.

Alex gritted his teeth and pushed his temper down, although with difficulty. “He has; three times. The last time was late yesterday afternoon. He was fevered, but had a few bouts of lucidity.”

The doctor didn’t answer that and pulled back the sheets that covered Lincoln. He felt up Lincoln’s chest, front and side, and made some noises in his throat. He then put the device in his ears and listened to what Alex gauged were his heartbeat and lungs. After what seemed like a minute he let up.

He peered at Alex over the brim of his glasses. “Roll him over please; I need to listen to his lungs via his back.”

As if Lincoln was some piece of meat. Alex did it though, not arguing, but rolling Lincoln over to face him as gently as he could. It took another minute or so and then Michael entered with LJ in tow. He looked disheveled, probably because he’d just woken up from sleep and Alex briefly wondered if he’d rented another room.

“Quiet please,” the doctor bit back without looking at the visitors.

They all waited, not wanting to antagonize the one doctor they had. The doctor gave Alex the order to let Lincoln fall back, but Alex didn’t comply. He did it slowly, carefully, softly letting Lincoln roll back. The doctor checked more of Lincoln’s vital signs and Alex bit his tongue to refrain from speaking, forcing himself to let Michael do the talking when the time came. He wondered where the money had come from. It was probably Lincoln’s, what he had gotten from Susan; leftovers. Perhaps he had given part of it to Michael or even all of it. It seemed like something he would do.

“Well, he seems to be hanging on. Just keep him on antibiotics and ride it out. There isn’t much more I can do and my ship’s sailing today. Good day.” The doctor packed up and spoke as he did so.

Alex felt his blood boiling again; he was very happy he hadn’t really heard what the man had said the first time he was here.

Michael took a step closer. “When do we know that he’s going to pull through?”

Another harrumph as the doctor folded his glasses and put them in his breast pocket. “If he’s still breathing in a day or three and the fever doesn’t pitch again he should. Or you could take him to a hospital and be sure. Now if you’ll excuse me.” He shoved a package of pills in Michael’s hands and exited without another word.

“You actually paid that quack for this, this-” Alex started, staring angrily at Michael brimming with the impotence of not being able to do anything about the casual behavior of the medic.

Michael leveled his gaze and walked to Lincoln, pulling the sheets up again, something Alex had forgotten since he was focused on the doctor so much. “It was that or nothing. I’d rather take something and he gave us antibiotics.” Alex exhaled, trying to nod or show that Michael was right, but still. “Go get some air, cool down, Alex.” Michael added. Alex nearly bristled again, but forced himself to calm down. He couldn’t jeopardize anything now; Michael wasn’t the enemy.

“I’ll get some breakfast. I’ll get you some too.” LJ tried to defuse the situation that wasn’t a situation with his innocent remark. It reminded Alex of that moment when Lincoln had collapsed; Alex had been brimming with anger and worry back then as well. He sighed, shot a look at Lincoln, who hadn’t moved a muscled since yesterday, and left.

~~~~~~

He sat on the bench outside again, stretching his back, his hands in his pockets. He closed his eyes and enjoyed the morning sun. It was warm despite it being morning and the peaceful sound of the jungle, the birds, was calming. It would be complete if he could hear a waterfall of some sort, or maybe the sea. He could imagine that; swimming with Lincoln, enjoying each other in the surf.

He dug his hands into his pocket some more until his fingers touched a piece of paper. He was reminded of Whistler once more. He pulled it out and finally opened the folded note; it was an email address. He almost put it back, but then looked at it again. What the hell was he supposed to do with an email address?

He shoved the note back into his pocket. He didn’t want to think and he didn’t want to plan, but if Lincoln survived, was he really going to go to the US with that entire family in tow like some trip to Disneyland? What if Whistler knew something? Maybe he could help?

Alex didn’t want to think and tried to stop. It didn’t work.

~~~~~~

The next two days were about the same; sleeping, eating and nothing else. They hardly talked except for when they discussed Lincoln and basic necessities. It was strained and highly uncomfortable. Especially since both LJ and Michael seemed to do their best not to leave him alone with Lincoln too long or maybe that was just his imagination.

On the third day, Lincoln’s fever broke. And few hours later he woke up asking for a drink and even some food. Alex couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so elated.

“I could eat a horse,” Lincoln whispered, sounding hoarse and weak, but alive.

Michael smiled, leaning forward from one side, as Alex did the same from the other. LJ stood at the end of the bed almost jumping up and down. “You gave us quite a scare, Linc. You almost died on us,” Michael said gently, hand lying on Lincoln’s right arm. Lincoln kept staring at his brother after shooting quick glances at LJ and Alex.

“I don’t die that easily; ask the governor,” he exclaimed, his lips trying to form a lopsided grin that didn’t completely work. Michael squeezed his brother’s arm and looked at LJ who understood his uncle completely.

“I’ll get you some food, Dad. I found some really cool places around here. Stay awake!” LJ bounced, babbled and left almost as if the relief was too much for him to handle.

Michael reached behind him and pulled the chair closer to the bed. His hand never left Lincoln’s arm, but still Michael sat down with grace as if he did this every day.

“How do you feel, Lincoln?” Alex said, afraid he overstepped his boundaries now that Lincoln was awake. He so wanted to touch him, kiss him softly, hold him...

Lincoln turned his head towards Alex and rumbled a soft cough. “Like shit. You were right, weren’t you, something in that water?”

It was such an innocent question, but Alex felt the heat in his neck rise. It felt intimate discussing anything that had happened in and around the cabin, because it was theirs, their secret world. Something they had for themselves. Nobody had touched it, nobody ever could. Alex felt his lips curve into a small smile and he inclined his head. “If you hadn’t been so stubborn and just listened to me-”

Lincoln tried to shrug and grimaced, Alex shot out his hand to... well, there was nothing he could do, but the reflex made him finally touch Lincoln’s hand. To feel his skin under the palm of his hand. Warm, alive, bare… “I did listen; it just wasn’t … what’s the word?” Lincoln rasped.

Michael cut in, “convenient?”

Lincoln nodded, looking amused even though he still looked sick. Maybe it was the fact that both he and Michael were present, but Alex didn’t really know. His thumb started to move on Lincoln’s arm; he needed to do something, caress him, show how he felt, but he was afraid Lincoln would rebuke him especially with Michael nearby. Why were things always this complicated?

Then, the door flew open and LJ burst in, a radio in his hand, chattering loudly. “Guys, you have to listen to this. Listen!” He put the radio down and turned up the volume. It was some sort of infomercial.

Michael raised an eyebrow. “That’s interesting, LJ-”

LJ waved the comment away, excited, barely restraining himself. “No, listen, wait. The news, they said something before the commercials, listen!”

The news began and then all hell broke loose; Kellerman and Sara alive and working with the UN… Michael, LJ and Lincoln totally exonerated of any crimes… Wyatt, murderer of Pam Mahone, caught and shot down during the chase… some man named Kranz arrested for complicity in extortion, murder, blackmail… It was too amazing to believe, like some fairytale coming true.

When the radio announcer stopped and the rollercoaster was over, Michael and LJ had hugged each other fiercely. Michael looked more in shock about Sara than anything, which Alex could understand; the self-proclaimed pacifist, Michael Scofield, had taken revenge for something that hadn’t happened. Did it mean he would rush off to the States now? To be with his lady? However, through all the cheering, Alex felt numb. He was happy for them, or at least he tried to be, but he, he didn’t...

Lincoln turned his head and found Alex's eyes. They stared at each other and slowly understanding dawned in those green eyes of his. The atmosphere of elation slowly dried up when LJ and Michael stopped talking too. Lincoln cleared his throat. “You’re still wanted. You’re still wanted by the feds.”
Chapter 22 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
Beta by Foxriverinmate
When Lincoln had said the words, Michael and LJ stopped talking; realization hit them as well.

“We’ll talk to somebody, maybe-” Lincoln continued, but Alex motioned him to stop.

He shook his head and smiled bitterly. “I killed people, Lincoln; I am not innocent.”

Lincoln looked at Michael and then back at Alex. “Michael and I did a lot as well, they just need to listen.”

Alex felt increasingly sad, but Lincoln’s refusal to acknowledge the truth also made him feel wanted, at least to some degree. He needed to deal with this on his own terms, however, and patted Lincoln’s blanketed leg. “I’m going outside for a bit.”

He couldn’t bear being around the family, to be honest, and fled more than walked out of the room. Nobody followed.

~~~~~~~

He strolled around aimlessly, not really knowing what he should feel. He shouldn’t be surprised about any of this; nothing had changed and yet it had. Positive things were happening and Lincoln seemed to be getting better. Everything should be more than well, but… With a sigh he looked at the small, greenish administrative office where the motel owner spent a lot of his waking hours and came to a decision. Decisive steps took him to the door as his hand fished out the small paper in his pocket.

“Ola, senor,” the owner said the moment Alex opened the door. He wasn’t even in yet. The parrot squawked his approval and Alex noticed it was sitting on the owner’s shoulder.

“Good day. I was wondering... May I use your computer for a moment? I need to send an e-mail.”

The owner smiled cheerfully, his large, black moustache moving as the man spoke. “Naturally; come, come, have a seat.” The man motioned for Alex sit down at the light wooden desk. The computer screen was flickering a bit so the owner hit the monitor and it was back on. “Go, you type, I go out and have a smoke.” The man smiled again as if his entire life was heaven. For all Alex knew, it was. Not everybody’s life could be a shitty as his now could it?

Now that he took a seat behind the computer he had no idea what to do. Perhaps he could just make an account at one of those free email services and send a small message. He dragged his hand through his hair, feeling the sweat sticking some of it to his neck. It wasn’t the heat; a fan was creating a gentle breeze but… he sighed and put two fingers to the task. He made an account and then sent a message. He kept it short, no details, but Whistler would know; if Whistler read it that was, maybe he could help, although Alex wasn’t certain yet what he expected the man to do.

He rose from the chair after he’d deleted his activities on the computer and exited the surprisingly cool building. As he had said he would be, the owner sat outside, enjoying the sun and his taste of tobacco. “I’m done, thank you. Put the use on my bill,” Alex said as he inclined his head in gratitude.

The owner waved it away. “No charge.”

Alex tried to fake his most genuine smile. “Thank you, sir,” he said and walked away, digging his hands into his pockets. Sending that email hadn’t helped to calm his nerves and worries at all and he still fought the urge to run for the hills and throw up. He found the bench he’d used before and finally sat down until the sun set and LJ came to look for him. Apparently Lincoln had asked his son to find him, wanting to know where Alex was. Alex refused to go for one second; he didn’t want to be some eager puppy, but he also knew he had next to no will of his own where Lincoln was concerned.

~~~~~~

Lincoln was propped up against his pillow, the sheets fallen down to reveal his muscular chest. He was drinking something, presumably water, and his eyelids were at half-mast. This was not the image a man who’d almost died was supposed to make; sexy and undeniably handsome. Alex suppressed an audible sigh and closed the door. The window was partly open and the curtain moved a little, either from the wind or from Alex’s entry. He could hear the toilet flush and then Michael appeared. Of course, he thought cynically; there was no way they would leave him alone with Lincoln.

“Michael,” Lincoln husked.

Michael’s eyes took on a hard look as if he was to argue a point, and Alex braced himself for words that never came. Michael didn’t say anything, but left, just like that.

“Convinced him I wasn’t going to kill or fuck you?” Alex asked crudely as he came closer to the bed, grabbing a chair just to have something in his hands.

Lincoln put his drink on the nightstand. “Something like that. Alex-”

Alex sat down and waited. It seemed Lincoln was trying to find the right words.

“Michael doesn’t want to go back; LJ doesn’t either,” he finally stated rather bluntly.

Alex felt his lips curve up in something that must have looked like a sardonic smile. “What a surprise.”

Lincoln tried to sit up a bit straighter, coming closer to Alex, but a grimace and cough told them both his body wasn’t ready for that.

“Here, come on.” Alex murmured as he put an arm around Lincoln’s chest, to support his movement. He tried hard to squelch any response his body had to the closeness of Lincoln Burrows, but a shudder slipped out just the same. He sat down on the bed, as close to Lincoln as he’d been back on the ship and looked him in the eye.

“We aren’t backing out on our promise. We are going to get your son, but things have changed.” Lincoln breathed heavily from the exertions, but didn’t take time to catch his breath. “We can get in easier now, but with the news there might be press.”

Alex knew what he was trying to say and a bitter taste flooded his mouth. “I am not going to wait for the attention to die down. My son just lost his mother. He’s in the care of strangers. God knows what-”

Lincoln let his hand rest on Alex’s bare arm. “I know, Alex. I am not suggesting we wait. Just give me a day to get… better.” Lincoln looked into Alex’s eyes with such sincerity that Alex couldn’t help himself. He leaned closer, he needed to…

“Michael and LJ still want to come. For me, basically, but I told them to stay here and prepare the house,” Lincoln whispered, his mouth inches away from Alex’s now.

Their breaths mingled and Alex smelled Lincoln; pure Lincoln mixed with medication and sweat.

“*You* don’t want them to come with us,” he answered and then he pressed his lips to Lincoln’s. It was soft at first, tentative. Alex didn’t know if Lincoln would accept a more passive role, but he did. He didn’t pull away, much to Alex’s relief. Slowly Alex sucked on Lincoln’s lower lip, opening his mouth and dipping his tongue into Lincoln’s. He found Lincoln’s tongue eagerly waiting and deepened the kiss. It went on much too long and yet was over much too soon and Alex started to feel dizzy, lightheaded, his cock hard and throbbing between his legs…

Somebody rasped in their throat and Alex jerked away from Lincoln, faster than he’d thought he ever could. Lincoln’s lips were a bit swollen, his eyes dark. “LJ and I are going to get some food, thought you might want us to bring you something… Alex.” Michael’s voice cut through the atmosphere in the room like a knife through butter.

Alex turned to look at him. Neither his eyes nor his face betrayed anything of what he felt, but it was obvious in his voice. They had found a common ground, but he knew it would take some time before Michael would totally accept him and accept himself. Michael had killed, for Sara, and that was bound to mess with his head. “Thank you. Whatever you’re bringing Linc, that’s fine for me.”

Michael’s eyes shifted from Alex to Lincoln and back again. He nodded. “We’ll probably be back in about an hour.” He kept his gaze fixed on Alex for a few seconds longer and then he left once more.

“Michael is a little bit protective. Knowing we’ve fucked is different from seeing some sort of proof,” Lincoln sighed, leaning back against his pillow and effectively creating distance between them.

Alex snorted. “He seems to think giving us an hour is magnanimous.”

Lincoln grinned. “He has faith in my healing abilities.” Then he grew serious once more. “I didn’t want to get sidetracked. This is about your kid, not about sex. I owe you one, Alex. I want to repay that debt.”

Alex backed off, recoiling as if slapped, despite knowing Lincoln didn’t mean it like that. “I don’t need charity, Lincoln.”

For some reason, that pissed Lincoln off for he narrowed his eyes and his jaw set. They didn’t speak for at least a minute. “I don’t recall ever giving you charity when we were… together,” Lincoln said in a low and measured voice, obviously controlling his more passionate urges.

Alex let out a mock laugh, stood, looked to his right and then locked horns with Lincoln again. “When we were *together*? What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

Lincoln reached for his water and took a sip, prolonging the pregnant silence. “You know what I mean; back in the cabin. I already told you before it’s different now. You know this. You helped me with Michael and I promised to help you with your kid. That’s all there is to it.” Lincoln coughed softly, and Alex had to remind himself that he had been at death’s door, less than a day ago.

Alex pressed his fingers against his neck, massaging the beginnings of a headache away. “That’s all there is to it!” He exclaimed with a sigh. “I’m sorry; I didn’t want to upset you.” It sounded lame to his own ears.

Lincoln shrugged though, obviously willing to let it go.

“I shouldn’t have kissed you, my fault,” Alex snorted and shook his head.

He had kissed Lincoln first, but it seemed Mr. Burrows glossed over that fact. “Will you wait for me? One day?” Lincoln asked, his eyes changing within seconds.

Alex nodded his mind still on something else. There was a spot on the wall. It looked old and faded like something nobody had been able to clean and nobody had bothered to paint away. “Lincoln, I want to know where we stand,” he heard himself saying. He sounded far away. It wasn’t the right place or the right time, but he wanted to know. He couldn’t stand this… this… whatever it was.

“Alex-” Lincoln partly sighed.

Alex whipped around, turning his body to Lincoln; towering over the other man gave him a better feeling. Some grip on the situation. “Lincoln, I am not some deflowered virgin, but one moment you’re hot and the next you’re cold… I *need* to know.”

Lincoln studied him, his eyes as piercing as his brother’s, but more subtle, less blazing. Where Michael’s were a fierce, sharp spear, Lincoln’s were a blunt, hot object, smoldering and taking you apart inch by inch. “It was the cabin-” Lincoln started and Alex wanted shout back what he thought about that argument, but Lincoln held up his hand. “Just hear me out.” Alex nodded briskly, not trusting his voice. “It was the cabin at first. It was contained, different, but… All of this, it happened because we both needed it.”

Alex couldn’t help himself. “And now you don’t? Like using men in jail, huh?” He sounded bitter.

Lincoln averted his eyes, chewing his lower lip for about a second. “Yes and no, I don’t know, okay, it’s not like that. I… I still want to fuck you senseless and yet I don’t.”

Alex felt some hope spring to life. He tried to kill it before it could come to full bloom. “Then why won’t you give this a chance?”

Lincoln shook his head. “I want a normal life, man, not this… thing we have.”

This time Alex barked out a laugh, his heart constricting. “And what we have isn’t normal?”

Lincoln looked at him again. “You know it isn’t. The entire situation… I want a shot at a woman, Alex; maybe marriage, another kid. We can’t have that. I don’t want to have to fight a label and lose that chance. Even if we tried our history-”

Alex held up his hand this time. He didn’t want to hear it. “But you still want me?”

Lincoln dropped his gaze, his hands on his legs, covered by the thin sheet. “Yeah, I want you.” He sounded hoarse.

A car drove passed and a flock of parrots squawked as they flew by. Alex walked to the corner of the room to turn on the small light. He hadn’t realized just how dark it had become. The light gave the room an eerie gloom, fitting to this… relationship. Alex remained standing beside the light, not wanting to say what he was going to say, but he needed it so badly. If-

He sighed. “Then maybe we should continue having each other until you find that woman or if I… nobody needs to know.”

Lincoln breathed heavily behind Alex, the sound of a bad lung problem still mixing with the sound breaths. “I only... in prison-” Lincoln all but spluttered and Alex turned, inclining his head and stalking towards him.

“But you *want* me and we’re not in prison,” he mercilessly spat out.

Lincoln craned his neck so he could look Alex in the eye, hovering above him. “No, we’re not.”

Alex leaned closer. “Then why not have me?” he whispered and Lincoln made a soft keening sound, reaching out for him and pulling him down. They kissed again, harder this time, aggressively, until Lincoln pulled away, sounding quite out of breathe. “I’m sorry.” Alex said. “You’re not well yet so I’ll stop assaulting you.”

Lincoln waved it away, not able to speak yet, laboring to get his equilibrium back.

“As long as Michael doesn’t know,” Lincoln finally wheezed. Alex took a moment to understand what he’d said and then they both burst out into laughter.

~~~~~~

When Michael had returned he brought LJ too. Once more the atmosphere changed completely, but Alex hung tight and ate together with Lincoln as LJ chattered on about trivial things, his father humoring him with questions and comments.

Michael cut everything short the moment Lincoln had finished his food, exclaiming Lincoln looked very tired and he needed his rest. Michael was right of course; he always was. He didn’t give Lincoln any room for protest and helped him lay down. So Alex got up, unsure where he was going to sleep since the other room naturally was out of the question. Maybe the motel owner had a spare room left. Lincoln’s hand shot out, grabbing his wrist. “Stay.” He croaked out.

Alex couldn’t help but look at Michael instead of Lincoln. “I thought- your brother would stay here.”

“Michael and LJ need... stay; you can have the other bed,” Lincoln said softly, quite ready for sleep.

Michael nodded. “Go to sleep, Alex. LJ and I will be next door if you need us,” Michael said, picking up the trash and herding his nephew out.

“Night, Dad… Alex.” LJ managed to say before Michael opened the door and walked out.

“Night, guys.” Lincoln said, yawning at the same time.

Alex pulled his shirt off and laid his hand on Lincoln’s chest, softly grazing a nipple. “Good night, Lincoln.” And he kissed him softly. Lincoln’s eyelids flickered and then they closed, but Lincoln smiled and everything was all right for just a while.

~~~~~~

The next morning came fast. Alex slept like a log on diazepam and only woke up because LJ bounced in with breakfast. The kid got even more excited when he saw Alex lying in another bed, covered by sheets. “Got you guys some bread and jelly. Sorry there’s nothing else, they’re not big on breakfast around here.”

Alex groaned; his back hurt like hell and he had no idea why.

“Thanks, LJ. You already ate?” Lincoln rumbled next to him.

LJ shook his head. “Wanted to wait for you, you know, so we could hang out.”

Alex smiled. The kid adored his father more than both of them probably knew. “I’ll go and take a shower,” he said, but the boy hardly paid attention. Lincoln did though and shot him a glance. There was a smile in his eye, saved just for him. His heart grew a little bit bigger and Alex had to keep from smiling like a lovesick fool. He took his time in the bathroom. The water felt great and shaving off the three-day stubble he’d created during the past hell turned him into a man again. He cleaned and pampered just about every part of his body he could think off and then got dressed. He had worn the same pair of pants yesterday, but when Lincoln was put in this room, Alex had wisely put what little possessions he had in the cabinet. He now had clean underwear and socks, even a t-shirt to wear. He looked presentable again and not too bad to look at. He took a deep breath, ready for the world again, and went back into the room. He hoped he had given father and son enough time even though he hadn’t heard that much talk coming from the room.

The first thing he saw was Michael looking awfully pale. Then he noticed Sullins and Lang, standing alongside Lincoln’s bed, badges prominently hung from their belts.

“Hello, Mahone,” Sullins smiled hatefully. “Such a pleasure to finally catch up with you.”

Alex felt his heart sink again. He was fucked in a bad way.
Chapter 23 by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
Beta by Foxriverinmate
“Sullins.” Alex managed to grind out. He quickly scanned for guns, cuffs, anything on Lincoln or the others. There was nothing. Sullins did grant him a glimpse of the heat he packed though; a thinly disguised threat. The man was good at that. Lang just stared at him with disappointment. She didn’t try to hide a damn thing and somehow that was worse. “You shouldn’t have come just to throw me back into Sona. I am sure the police could have handled it,” Alex said with thinly veiled sarcasm, trying to get a rise out of Sullins because he could.

Sullins didn’t respond as Alex expected. He just smiled as if he knew he was the winner here and Alex was only struggling in his death throes. “Oh we’ve worked something out. This time, you’re coming with us straight away.”

Alex felt chills going down his spine; this couldn’t be happening, not now. “There is no extradition-” he started, but Michael interrupted him.

“Alex isn’t guilty of drug smuggling. The Company framed him. A man named Kim. He died in a gun accident here in Panama.” The lie dropped off Michael’s tongue like oil. Alex marveled at the ease with which the master did it.

Sullins didn’t seem to be impressed though. “The investigation into the drugs… situation and Kim’s death has been deemed failing due to the involvement of the Company. While they sort it out in Panama, *Alex* has… issues to deal with in the United States.” Sullins didn’t deem Michael worthy of a glance. He just kept staring at Alex, contempt smoldering, because this time he really had something on Alex, due to Alex’s own stupidity. “The Costa Rican authorities will be informed, eventually. You’re familiar with short cuts like that, Mahone.”

“How did you find me?” Alex asked. He felt defeated, empty.

Sullins reached into his jacket and brought out handcuffs. From the corner of his eye Alex saw Lincoln tense. It surprised him that Lincoln had stayed quiet so far or maybe Alex was just hoping again for something that wasn’t there.

Sullins didn’t make a move to put the cuffs on; he just… dangled them, as if he wanted to savor the moment. Knowing Sullins, he probably did. “Your friend. Whistler,” he said with glee.

“Whistler isn’t his friend. He’s nobody’s friend,” Lincoln rumbled, almost growling, finally entering the conversation. “He’s slime.”

Sullins broke eye contact with Alex now, glancing at the man in the bed. “Mr. Burrows, I advise you once more to stay out of this.”

Ah, so that was it; Sullins had given them instructions while Alex was cleaning up in the bathroom. It irked him that Sullins spoke to Lincoln that way, but he bit his tongue; it wouldn’t do to make matters worse.

“What are you taking him in for?” Michael again and if the situation wasn’t so serious, it would have warmed Alex a bit.

Alex could see Sullin’s jaw lock before he let go again. The man didn’t like to be questioned, especially when his prey was standing right in from of him. In that they were alike.

“Mr. Mahone’s *arrests* of Mr. Abruzzi and Mr. Apolskis are in question. There is some new… information about their suspicious deaths.”

Alex waited for more. Patoshik, they couldn’t pin that one on him, but surely Shales would be the biggest…

“Before Mr. Whistler died he-”

“Whistler’s dead? How?” Alex interrupted him.

Sullins locked his jaw for real now and took a step closer and then another one, yanking Alex’s hand towards him. The metal slid around Alex’s wrist and he felt his heart beating louder, faster.

“Is that really needed?” Lang cut in; maybe because she had a bit of compassion left.

Alex liked to think she had. Lincoln balled his hands into fists and for the first time Alex felt real fear. He looked at Lincoln, trying to implore him to stay calm; he didn’t want this on his head too. Lincoln returned the gaze, but didn’t relax in the slightest.

“After that stunt he pulled in that hotel, it is necessary, you know that,” Sullins grumbled.

Lang sighed, the only sign of any emotion, and then started to tell him the truth. “Mr. Whistler was shot during an undercover operation he set up with Mr. Kellerman. A lot of people went down. He was taken to a hospital and was able to give some information and statements before he died. Among other things he gave us the email address you used and a message for you personally,” Lang told him, sounding all business as she always did, but there was something in her eyes. It could be imagination, or she really could be wanting to defuse the situation.

“What message?” Alex replied hoarsely, feeling caged now that he was cuffed and yanked along by Sullins.

“Something about your garden. That he’d taken care of your lawn in your absence and removed some ornaments. He said you’d appreciate the joke and was sorry he couldn’t be there,” Lang told him.

Alex let out a breath of air; Whistler had thanked him for doing nothing, in a way. He supposed he should be grateful, but he was still in a lot of trouble as a Fed gone bad. Dirty cops weren’t particularly loved by anyone, no matter the reason why.

Sullins yanked on the cuffs again, making them chafe, a small smile adorning his lips. Alex swallowed, knowing he would be taken away and there was nothing he could do without causing trouble for Lincoln. Alex whipped his head towards him, away from Sullins, and to the warmth he needed so much, the urgency of the situation weighing him down. He needed to tell Lincoln so many things. He saw Lincoln was struggling to get out of bed, Michael and LJ beside him, trying to push him back. It looked feeble, but Alex got the message anyway.

“Linc… Lincoln, please-” his voice cracked and Lincoln stopped fighting. His eyes looked angry and bright, the corners of his mouth quivering. “My boy, make sure he’s all right?” Alex whispered though it sounded like begging to his ears and he hoped that Lincoln understood everything that he didn’t say.

Michael stood straight, voice level and sure. “We will, Alex. You’re not alone in this now.”

Alex nodded sharply and then Sullins opened the door. “Enough of this. If I’d known you’d gotten this close with cons, Mahone, I’d have put you away long ago.” Sullins pushed Alex out and just like that, Lincoln was out of range, out of sight.

~~~~~~

Sullins hadn’t been lying. Once out of the room, they were in the car and off to San Jose airport in no time. It was a drive that lasted quite a few hours and Lang didn’t utter a word. Sullins gave short, sharp orders, made two phone calls and glared at him through the mirror, but that was about as much attention as Alex got. He tried to keep his mind busy thinking about the inane fact that Sullins had gotten a black rental car very similar to an FBI vehicle, or how pretty Costa Rica really was. It helped for a short time, but his mind kept going back to Cameron and Lincoln. He loved his son. He hadn’t shown it enough and he had been a stupid asshole but he loved him. Cameron was his flesh and blood, the only good thing he had left. And Lincoln, Lincoln... he couldn’t imagine living without him, but Lincoln said he could. Still, if he could have him, just now and then… he shuddered, trying to push dreams and possibilities away. He was on his way to court, possibly a crucifixion now that the FBI couldn’t have Scofield and Burrows. He was going to be lamb, sacrificial or not; a bloodthirsty crowd usually wanted to see blood and gore to satisfy something and if they were going to put him away, all his dreams would be moot anyway.

Within a few hours he sat on the plane, Sullins to his right, Lang to his left. Sullins had humiliated him even further by cuffing him to the seat. There wasn’t a person on the plane who hadn’t already seen the shiny metal around his wrists and Alex knew Sullins delighted in it.

“How about telling me what’s waiting for me?” Alex asked Lang as soon as Sullins was talking to a flight attendant, hoping to gain some insight.

She still wouldn’t look at him, but when he nudged her, just a little, she whipped around, something akin to sadness in her eyes.

“Dishonorable discharge, loss of pension, things like that for messing up with Abruzzi, but Apolskis… Did you gun him down without reason?” Alex swallowed and this time *he* looked away. “Alex, you owe me that much.”

“Things were complicated; they still are.” It was a bad answer, but the best he had to offer.

Lang snorted beside him, quite obviously not satisfied with his *best*.

Sullins pulled out a tray, putting a glass of water in front of him and handing Lang some bottled drink. “You try anything, anything at all and I’ll shoot you, Mahone. I won’t aim for non-lethal areas.” Sullins’ voice was cold and grating like gravel; the man had always disliked him and when people like that finally got the upper hand they got nasty. Alex could understand that. Yet he couldn’t help but feel a spark of ridicule. No matter how hard he tried, Sullins could never get the frightening Fed routine down. In the end, he was still a backstabbing desk-jockey. Scum to any lawman, except of course, the dirty kind.

“Richard, I’m starting to think you don’t like me anymore,” he needled just a little.

It got the response he expected. “Drink your damned water and shut up.” Sullins went on mumbling about Alex being a disgrace, but it was something he’d heard before. Whatever Sullins was going to say, Alex had already said it to himself a thousand times.

~~~~~~

“Now your ex-wife’s murder, that’s been cleared up. Your son might have been confused after the murder. That is probably the reason why he was calling out for you, not accusing you. A psychiatrist made that clear two days after it had happened. As you know, the people behind the Burrows’ case were found guilty of it all. Mr. Kellerman got to them before this thing was blown to greater proportions, but-”

Alex tried to focus, but all he could think of was Kellerman exacting revenge for him, killing this Wyatt guy. He had been told about it, but it didn’t sit right. He was supposed to have done this for Pam, not the slime he’d worked with. He sighed and let his lawyer ramble on.

“Even though you have served in Iraq with bravery and your record as an FBI agent is exemplary nobody will ignore the implications concerning David Apolskis death. I am certain a judge and jury won’t let you off the hook. Take the deal; you’re quite lucky they offered you one at all.” His lawyer spoke quickly and precisely, a mixture of passion for his job and already giving up on this one; the crooked cop.

Alex had been in Chicago for over three weeks now. There had been some meetings with the D.A, a lot of interviews with Sullins and his buddies and, most noticeably, a visit from Paul Kellerman. He was quite sure it had been Kellerman who had orchestrated the deal he was offered. There was no need for his testimony when Michael and Lincoln could tell their story, not to mention Whistler’s deathbed gurgles and Kellerman’s intel.

They’d put him in prison blue, but separate from gen pop. He was grateful for that. No matter how physically fit he prided himself to be, he wasn’t going to survive that as an ex-Fed. One who had hunted inmates at that.

“Give me a bit to mull it over,” he finally answered.

“Fine, you do that, I’ll drop by tomorrow and we’ll plot our strategy, if one is needed.” Wilson, that was his lawyer’s name, said as he packed up his files in a black leather briefcase.

Alex didn’t say anything else. He just wanted to know about his son and Lincoln. He hated the restrictions, not being able to talk to anyone else but the law. No newspapers, no TV, he was aching for something, something to help him to get through it all. Sometimes at night he would imagine having Lincoln in his arms, other times he replayed days with Cameron, just playing with him or reading stories. He remembered some of them, but trying to re-tell them out loud only made him hurt more, so he stayed silent and used his memories like old video cassettes and picture books. Used them over and over again.

When Wilson left Alex knew the door would open and he would be escorted back to his cell. He was lucky to have the small, bare office for meetings like this at all. Small favors for lawmen, although the downside was the death sentence hanging over your head from the other inmates. The door opened and Alex stood, ready to be led back. It wasn’t a guard though. “Lincoln!” he all but gasped.

“Hi, Alex; sorry it took so long to get back.”

The grin on Lincoln’s face lit up Alex’s world. He jumped to his feet and almost rushed closer, but the cuffs around his wrists were in the way and Lincoln knew exactly what that was like for he hugged Alex close to his chest. Alex fought to keep his emotions in check, but to finally see a friendly face, to be able to feel this again... “Are you okay?” Lincoln said after a moment. “‘Cause I brought somebody else.”

Alex pulled back, trusting his voice to work steady and clear. “You did? Who?”

Lincoln smiled again and Alex was reminded of a naughty boy. He took a step back when Lincoln walked to the door and knocked. It opened and this time Alex choked up for real. “Cameron!” His voice sounded foreign to his ears. He was faintly aware of Lang standing behind his son when he fell to his knees and had his crying child’s arms around his neck.

“Daddy, I missed you so much!” was what he heard first then everything faded away and it was just him and Cameron. He tried to stroke his son’s hair, murmured into his ear and rocked him as best he could.

He heard Lincoln talking in the background saying something that wasn’t directed to him. “You’d think they’d show some heart and un-cuff him for this.” It sounded gruff, annoyed.

“Daddy!” Cameron said again and started crying. Alex lifted his eyes up to Lincoln who looked right at them, face impassive, but his eyes… he walked closer and squatted next to Cameron.

“Cameron and I got to know each other these past few weeks. We’ve both had a rough time and Cameron helped me through it, didn’t you buddy?” Lincoln talked slowly and softly.

Cameron nodded his head, even though his face was buried in Alex’s neck. The small body was shivering with grief, but Alex could feel him easing up again.

“That’s great, Cam, you helping Lincoln like that,” Alex whispered.

Another nod against his neck. “Uncle Linc said you helped him too.”

Alex looked Lincoln straight in the eyes and saw an answering commitment there. It would be all right; whatever happened, Lincoln was here to help. “He helped me too, Cam; we helped each other.” He peeled his son off him so he could look at him. The tears had wetted his boy’s face, etching out sadness in its most basic form. “Are you going to let him help you?” He could see so many problems, so much pain in his son’s eyes it hurt him to look at his child, but he did, because he was responsible and he loved him. God, how he loved him.

“I want you,” Cameron whispered innocently as only a child could. Alex started to wipe the tears away, mindful of keeping the chain of his cuffs from Cameron’s face. “Why are you wearing bracelets, Daddy?” The boy immediately asked. Now that Cameron had calmed down somewhat, he showed his inquisitive side. Alex would have been proud if not for the fact he didn’t know what to say.

“That’s for his job, Cameron. You see, he’s undercover and he’s doing some really brave things, remember? I told you about all the people he saved,” Lincoln cut in and Cameron briefly turned to look at him.

Cameron nodded, looked back at Alex and smiled a little. He attacked Alex’s neck again and Alex held him. Maybe he could talk to him when Cameron was a bit less emotional. Matter of fact, just like he should be. He mouthed ‘thank you’ to Lincoln and he got a wink in return. He sat like that, crouching, Lincoln close to him and Cameron in his arms, for at least five more minutes.

Then Lang cut in. “We have to go, Alex. Burrows can stay a few more minutes, but Cameron… the judge won’t have-” Alex got the hint. They’d had to pull some strings to get Cameron here at all and if he ever wanted to see his son again…

“You have to let go, Cam, I have to go back to… work,” he lied, choking up as he tried to keep the cracks out of his voice.

“But I don’t want you to go. You’re always working!” Cameron let go, but tears were starting to stream again. He was as upset as Alex was.

Alex grabbed Cameron by the arm. “I know, but I will be with you real soon and Lincoln will be-”

Cameron wriggled free. “I don’t want Lincoln, I want you! Why can’t you go with me now? Mommy she… Mommy-”

Alex couldn’t keep his tears from flowing. “Cameron, I promise, I will do everything, everything to be with you soon, but I can’t now. A bad… a bad man keeps me from-” his voice cracked and he couldn’t say anymore. Least of all since the bad man was he. He’d been worse than bad.

“Cameron, come on, this nice lady will take you for some ice-cream and I’ll be right there, all right?” Lincoln saved the day as he picked Cameron up and brought him to Lang. Alex could just imagine what Lang had to say about that idea, but she had no time to respond when Lincoln gave her Cameron to carry. “We’ll watch Happy Feet together and I’ll bake pancakes; what do you say?”

Cameron sniffled and didn’t respond, but Alex trusted in Lincoln’s ability with children. He had to for his own sanity.

Alex stood, wobbly and a bit stiff from sitting on the ground for so long, and looked at his son… “I love you, Cam,” he said seriously, too emotional for his own good.

Cameron turned his face towards Alex, cheeks wet again, but talking. “I love you too, Daddy.”

Lang left, probably averse to more outbursts of emotions. She was right, because Alex broke down right there and then. All these weeks alone with uncertainty, longing and fear his only companions, Lincoln pulled him close and held him as he cried. They didn’t speak, didn’t do anything but hold on to each other.

After quite some time a knock on the door shook Alex out of his post-emotional outburst. “Five more minutes max,” the guard groused outside and Alex pulled away from Lincoln, already mourning the loss of contact.

“I have no way to thank you for this,” he rasped and Lincoln walked to the table to pour a glass of water. Alex took it when Lincoln offered it to him.

“You already have. I promised, remember?” Lincoln spoke almost tenderly and Alex wondered if he did so because he deemed Alex emotionally unstable. Hell, he probably was. Lincoln pushed him to a chair and sat on the edge of the table himself. “It took some doing to get Cameron out of that house. They’d put him with a foster family with twelve kids, good people, but not what he needs. Your friend Lang helped there; you owe her.”

Alex nodded, filing it away for later use. He’d really thought she would hate his guts by now. It showed how much he knew about women. “They offered me a deal,” he said, asking so much more.

Lincoln looked serious. He looked at his hands, putting them together before he gazed at Alex again. “I know; eighteen months is a long time.”

Alex let out a shuddering sigh. “Twenty five years is even longer. I’ll have a rap sheet, no future in law enforcement,” he answered.

Lincoln took the glass out of Alex’s hands and took a gulp of water himself. “Michael and LJ are in Costa Rica.” A statement; Lincoln’s dilemma was quite clear. “They were here a week ago, but I made them go back. Michael will return for the trial to testify against the Company, but he’s not coming back to live here.”

Alex had expected that. After all, he hadn’t believed he would see Lincoln this soon at all. His mind raced. He knew what he wanted wouldn’t be the same as what would be good for Cameron, but he’d have to… “Can you take my son with you? If I have any rights left at all - I can sign forms, I could-” He still rasped. The water hadn’t helped, it seemed.

Lincoln leaned forward and kissed him softly on the lips, cutting off what he had said. “I said I’d help, Alex. I’ll try to do my best with Cameron. If you take the deal we’ll stay in touch and we’ll visit.” Lincoln kept his face close to Alex, his face between his large hands, wiping away tears with his thumbs as Alex had done with Cameron minutes ago.

“Will you take him with you to Costa Rica?” Alex whispered.

Lincoln kissed his forehead and then the door swung open to reveal the guard. Lincoln reluctantly pulled back and Alex knew the guard had already drawn his own conclusion from what he’d seen when he spoke.

“Visiting hours are over; back to the pen, Mahone.”

Alex got up and looked at Lincoln again.

Lincoln smiled. “We won’t forget you, Alex.”

It helped a little as he shuffled back to his cell, still reeling from the emotions, the love and sudden absence of it. Eighteen months; could he survive that? Would there still be anyone waiting for him if he was out? And like anyone in his position he felt a cold fear that Cameron would forget him; take on Lincoln as a surrogate father. Somebody who would be there the entire day, teach him things, would go out surfing, play…

“We won’t forget you, Alex,” Lincoln’s voice sounded in his head again and Alex closed his eyes, resting his head on his ratty pillow in an eight by twelve-prison cell. He tried to recall the smell of Costa Rica’s sea, the sea gulls and the sun, the sound of Lincoln’s laughter and Cameron’s arms around his neck. He had to have faith, but in the past that had always been Pam’s department.

~~~~~~

The next day he told Wilson he was going to take the deal. As expected the law was there within hours, shuffling papers around him to sign and all kinds of restrictions to agree upon. Sullins peeked in from time to time and Lang visited again. The small area had been so busy with people that he hadn’t been able to thank her though. He hoped that she knew anyway.

Lincoln and Cameron visited a week later. Cameron looked better and less emotional than he had been. Alex knew, he just knew Lincoln would be as good for his son as he was for Alex and he tried to hold on to hope.

The hearing came soon and he testified. Told everything he knew and more with the exception of the fact that he actually murdered people. When the D.A was happy, he was shipped off and this time his sentence truly began and he started counting. He’d never felt this alone when the bars of his cell door shut with a clang, shutting the outside world out in a quite effective way. His mind wandered to the cabin again. He lay on his bunk and grabbed one of his two blankets, rolled it up and held it between his arms. If he closed his eyes really tight he could imagine he was back there, and Lincoln was in his arms.
Epilogue by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
There are two epilogues that bring the story to a conclusion. We start with the official version. This one is part of In Deep canon. Should you want something darker you can 'enjoy' the second epilogue. Be warned though, that version is EXTREMELY dark. Thank to all readers and many cuddles to Foxy for beta and constant support.
The sun was shining when Alex got out. Birds were chirping and the smell of spring was in the air. Normally things like wouldn’t have touched Alex like that, but the situation called for it. It was strange to be free after months in close confinement. The gate shut behind him with a big bang, almost startling him and making him jump into defense mode. He had become a bit jittery inside, constantly on the lookout for other inmates to jump him after they moved him to gen pop. A parting gift from Sullins no doubt. He survived it though, even though a cut from a dirty knife had almost killed him five months ago.

He had a small bag with him that contained his meager possessions, but nothing was as important as the card and envelope he had in his hand. The message on it gave him a reason to enjoy the warm sun shining on his face, the ticket a reason to sit and wait. He walked to the side of the street and sat down, just enjoying the fact that he could do so because he wanted it, and waited. He didn’t know how long it took since his watch had been stolen during his stint in jail. He tried his phone but the battery had long since died, not to mention that his subscription was no longer valid. Disconnected from life for a damn long time, but now he was ready to go at it again. However, the car he expected to take him away to second chances didn’t live up to expectations.

It was a black sedan, instead of a rental, that stopped in front of him and the window rolled down. “Welcome to the outside. Get in, Alex. Lincoln asked me to take you to the airport. Something about delays. I hung up the phone when he tried to color his explanation with street vocabulary.”

Alex had to grin, rose to his feet and got in the car. Lincoln was here, right? Just not *here*.

He looked at the driver and had a momentary lapse into sappiness. “Thank you for being here for me.” Lang shrugged, but Alex could see a small twinkle in her eye. The one she only showed when she was pleased. ”Lincoln is at the airport though? With Cameron?”

Her hand on the steering wheel tensed for a moment when he saw her hesitate and turn serious again. “You do realize he has a girlfriend?” she asked sternly and straightforwardly.

Alex inclined his head and smiled. “Yes, I know.”

She nodded, apparently satisfied, and started the car. “Good.”


~~~~~~

- Five years later -

“Dad! I’m off to Juan’s,” Cameron shouted, shaking Alex out of his reverie. He put the newspaper he wasn’t reading away and took his glasses off as he looked at his son. Thirteen years old, Cameron had his hair, but the rest was all Pam. Well, perhaps he had Alex’s knack for reading people and situations too. There were signs of that already both inside and outside school. He secretly hoped Cameron would follow in his footsteps into law, although if it was up to Alex, Cameron could forgo on the military track before that.

“Dad, you’re zoning out again.”

Alex chuckled. “I’m just thinking.”

Cameron rolled his eyes and grabbed the duffle bag that sat on the rocking chair. Juan was a boy in Cameron’s class who also happened to have a father who owned a ranch not far from San Jose. Coffee beans were big business here and they grew like coleslaw in the surrounding mountains. Cameron didn’t go for the coffee though. The ranchero had horses and great trails leading into the unspoiled mountains. Everything was positively littered with waterfalls, amazing forests and jungles, squawking birds and other wildlife too amazing to believe. Sometimes it was hard to imagine not living in this paradise and Alex certainly wouldn’t trade it for a life in Chicago. San Jose’s schools and nightlife were less than an hour’s drive away, while nature and health provided so much around them.

Their apartment was small, but it was enough. He had chosen the wooden cottage because it made him feel like he was home. He doubted he could live in a large house anyway, not after prison and those intense days in that Panamanian shack. Not that he was here much anyway; between driving Cameron to school, keeping his vegetable garden and his health top notch and working as a postman he didn’t have much time to just stay at home. When he was at home, however, he cleaned and cooked with Cameron, sharing chores, but mostly he waited.

“You weren’t thinking, you were dreaming; big difference when it comes to you,” Cameron said with a quirky smile around his mouth. “Oh, almost forgot to tell you. LJ said that Uncle Lincoln will drop by tonight.”

Alex’s heart skipped a beat. “He broke up with Manuela?” he asked as neutrally as he could. LJ always brought Cameron back from school. The boys had gotten quite close, almost like brothers reminiscent of Lincoln and Michael.

Cameron sighed and shook his head with great theatrics. “As if you don’t know. Can he keep anyone longer than three months? You want me to stay at Juan’s while you guys catch up?”

Alex stood, having a sudden urge to clean up the apartment and himself should Lincoln come early. “Of course not, you-”

Cameron held up his hand. “Dad, I actually don’t want to be here during the catching up, okay? It wasn’t really an offer.” Alex raised his eyebrow. “Some things I do not want to see or hear, all right?”

Alex snorted. “Fine, you go to Juan’s but do *not* go out riding in the dark on some fool trip.”

Cameron bounced towards the door. “I won’t,” he said in a voice that suggested otherwise.

“I mean it Cam! I am not going to get into some frantic search party again because you guys think Arenal volcano is an awesome place to visit at night!” He didn’t want to remember that nightmare. Cameron had gone missing together with Juan. They had taken horses and had decided to ride north to Arenal. Not only did they end up travelling in the dark, Arenal was one of the most active volcanoes one could find. He’d almost lost Cameron in a landslide; his son had been eleven at the time. Alex was lucky LJ and Lincoln had joined in the search, because it had been LJ’s quick thinking and Lincoln’s coolheaded strength that had saved both boys. Lincoln had lived near the beach for only a year before moving to a house near San Jose, not far from his, because of LJ’s university education. Michael, Sara and Sucre and their families still lived on the coast though.

“I am leaving; you’re getting that spacey look again,” Cameron declared. “Dad, we had dinner with them last week and he hasn’t changed since then, trust me,” Cameron teased as he opened the heavy wooden door to the terrace.

“Just you wait till you bring home your first girlfriend.” Alex pointed his finger at his son, but all he got was laughter in return.

“Fat chance. Have fun, Dad!” Cameron closed the door and bounced down the steps leading down from the terrace.

Alex felt lucky. He took a look around his apartment and wondered if he should shower first or clean the kitchen. Lincoln loved food, so perhaps he should try to cook something for him? It would probably be smart to take a shower just before Lincoln arrived so he wouldn’t be sweaty. He wanted everything to be perfect, for as long as Lincoln was between relationships and gave Alex his attention, it was.

Life was good and Alex was more than grateful for the second chance he had gotten with Cameron, but he lived for those moments in the year when it was more than that good. A couple of weeks a year he had days of perfection in his two-bedroom apartment shack. A couple of weeks a year he was back in Panama taking, and receiving, what he wanted so badly. A couple of weeks a year, he was truly at home.

The End
Alternate Epilogue by Twocrazywriters
Author's Notes:
Warning: VERY dark

This picks up after chapter 22.
When Lincoln had said the words, Michael and LJ stopped talking, realization hitting them as well. Alex wasn’t free; he was still wanted by the police.

“We’ll talk to somebody, maybe-” Lincoln continued, but Alex motioned him to stop.

He shook his head and smiled bitterly. “I killed people, Lincoln, I am not innocent.”

Lincoln looked at Michael and then back at Alex, determination on his face. “Michael and I did a lot as well, they just need to listen.”

Alex felt increasingly sad, but Lincoln tried to make him feel wanted, at least to some degree. He wanted to deal with this on his own terms, however, and patted Lincoln’s blanketed leg. “I’m going outside for a bit.”

He couldn’t bear being around the family any longer, to be honest, and fled more than walked out of the room. Nobody followed.


~~~~~~~


He strolled around aimlessly, not really knowing what he should feel. He shouldn’t be surprised about any of this. Nothing had changed and yet, it had. Positive things were happening and Lincoln seemed to be getting better. Everything should be more than good, but - With a sigh he looked at the small, greenish administrative office were the motel owner spent a lot of his waking hours, and made a decision. Decisive steps took him to the door as his hand fished out the small piece of paper in his pocket.

“Hello, Senor,” the owner said the moment Alex opened the door, even before he’d entered. The parrot squawked his approval and Alex noticed it was sitting on the owner’s shoulder.

“Good day, I was wondering... May I use your computer for a moment? I need to send an e-mail.”

The owner smiled cheerfully, his big moustache moving as the man spoke. “Naturally, come, come, have a seat.” The man motioned for Alex sit down at the light wooden desk. The computer screen was flickering a bit so the owner hit the monitor and it was back on. “Go, you type, I go out and have a smoke.” The man smiled again as if his entire life was heavenly.

For all Alex knew, it probably was. Not everybody’s life could be a shitty as his, now could it?

Now that he was sat at a computer, he had no idea what to do. Maybe just set-up an account at one of those free email services and send a small message. He dragged his hand through his hair, feeling the sweaty hair sticking to his neck. It wasn’t the heat; a fan was creating a gentle breeze, but the sweat continued to pour. Strangely enough, his eyes felt dry and he blinked to read what was on his computer screen. He couldn’t see it. He rubbed his eyes, hurting his fingers, which felt like thin pencils. He coughed, his body agonized and he found it hard to breathe. Was he having the mother of all anxiety attacks? He looked at the screen again and the image swam in front of him. It churned, changed and then morphed into a horrible figure of a man. So thin, so dirty and frighteningly ill that Alex jumped back from his chair, except... he couldn’t. The office around him fell away, tumbling, vanishing and turning into the bare, wooden walls of the cabin he’d shared with Lincoln. Confused, he turned to his left and right, but there was no evidence of his moments with Lincoln. In fact, there wasn’t a sigh of any life at all. Nobody had lived here for years.

“What?” he tried to say but only a gush of air came out. Looking down he realized he sat on the chair, the horrible chair Lincoln had tied him to on the first day they’d come here. He’d broken that chair, fed a fire with it, made love to Lincoln alongside of it, how was it possible that… his…

Beneath and a little on the chair, lay a pool of waste; dark, smelly, buzzing with flies and other insects. And then, then he noticed his arms. He hardly recognized them; thin, fragile, like a skeleton’s and realization slowly started to hit. A wail formed in his throat, tears he no longer had fell in his imagination and he finally raised his head to look straight ahead again, where the ‘computer screen’ had been. A cracked mirror lay fallen on its side and from it horror stared back at him. His face was hardly a face anymore, a skull, with wisps of hair, cracked skin and an ugly rash that contorted any signs of humanity. “Lincoln!” he cried without a voice. “No!”

He tried to get loose from the chair, lifting his arms only they didn’t move. He couldn’t kick with his feet because they didn’t either. He noticed a view insects crawling onto his feet, his legs and he shook his head in denial. “No, no! Lincoln came back! Lincoln came back!” the screeches were pathetic, a mixture of heartache and the throes of death in its final hour.

~~~~~~

Almost twenty years later, a young man bought a neglected plot of land that many people thought was cursed. There had been rumors about the place, but he took no heed. He had stumbled upon it when he’d taken a wrong turn and knew it would be a great spot for a romantic getaway. He would start to build soon, a love nest for him and his wife. He just had to break down the ruin that seemed to have been a small cottage. The wood had rotted, the windows darkened by dirt and sludge; ancient cobwebs made by spiders long dead decorated every nook and cranny. It looked like it would crumble at any moment and yet…

He tried to open the door but it was stuck so he kicked it in. It felt sturdy even though it didn’t look like much. It took him a moment to get used to the dark and then horror pierced his very being. Staring back at him was a skeleton, dressed in the tattered remains of trousers and shirt. It had been a man; only a small tuft of hair remained on his head, skeletal hands curled around the armrest in agony. But the one thing that made the man run out, convinced that indeed the place was cursed, was the man’s skull; the mouth was open as if he’d died screaming, screaming for something that wasn’t there.

THE END
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