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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.