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Author's Chapter 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.