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20 September 2008 @ 06:02 pm
Prison Break - In Memoriam  
Title: In Memoriam
Author: clair_de_lune
Characters: Lincoln/Veronica
Genre: Het
Rating: PG-13
Words: ~ 1960
Disclaimer: Not mine. Just borrowing them for a while.
Summary: Unfortunately, Veronica is not here anymore to slap him on the back of the head and wrap her arms around him.
Notes: Many thanks to badboy_fangirl for the beta. Any remaining mistakes are mine. (Original version)


He thought that catching Steadman would fix everything. The living proof of his innocence.

* *

The new girl next door is a brat, a real pain in the ass, and...

“Don’t talk like that about a little girl, Lincoln. Don’t talk like that about anybody, actually.”

... and causes him problems with his Mom when he speaks his perfectly valid opinion about her. It’s not so much what she does than it is her expression when she does it. Sneaking in the other kids’ games, occasionally kicking him a bit, that’s the way things go. And she’s decent enough not to cry when she gets kicked in return, which is something Lincoln can appreciate. But stealing the football from him, his favorite spot or getting in his mother’s good graces because she is – or pretends to be – nice and polite, then looks at him with a smug smile, is another story.

That being said, she has these big green eyes, this pretty nose covered with freckles, this smile when he manages to say a few kind words to her, or on the contrary, a veil of sadness in her eyes when he puts her back in her place. The new girl next door, he muses, is a pretty brat. Mom chokes on her tea, but she doesn’t say anything because he is talking to a buddy and she isn’t supposed to hear that.

Pretty or not, he has a flash of... something the day he finds her sitting in the kitchen with Mike, the two of them hovering over books and notebooks. Sneaking into his band of buddies, fine. But Mike belongs to him. Not that he spends so much time playing with the kid and, to be honest, more often than not, he’s annoyed to have him on his back, but still...

“Veronica helps me with math,” Mike grumbles with reluctance. His brother is smart, Lincoln knows that for sure, but for some reason, his grades aren’t what they should be. Something about him being confused with the teacher’s instructions.

Veronica smiles at him across the kitchen, one of her hands lingering on Mike’s shoulder. And maybe she’s a brat who’s stealing a part of his brother’s unconditional affection and admiration from him, but she’s also giving him something Lincoln can’t. He guesses this makes her a nice brat.

* *

And now there are bone shards and blood and stains of only God knows what on the wall and the floor.

* *

They’re sitting on the building’s stoop, and Michael is playing a few feet away... well, he’s doing something a few feet away. Lincoln should probably check on him – this is Mike – but all Mom asked him was to keep an eye on the boy. So he keeps an eye on the boy.

A bit distractedly, he’ll admit that, because Vee is right next to him on the stoop, and she talks, talks, talks, moving her hands with agitation. He doesn’t really know what she’s talking about, to be honest. He’s too fascinated by her hair pulled up on her head, her neck and shoulders, the large expanses of bare skin. She’s wearing nothing but a tank top and a pair of shorts. He didn’t remember that she wore... so few clothes last summer. She has black stuff on her lashes, making her eyes bigger and greener, and something pink and shiny on her lips. The sweet odor of her lipstick is heavy in the hot, moist summer air. And her voice... her voice... He smiles and lets the sound cascade over him.

“Linc?” He jumps when she lays her hand on his knee. She has pink polish on her nails, which is new too. “You think I should?”

He doesn’t have the slightest idea what she’s talking about, but he looks at her, and all he can think is, “Yes.”

Disappointment mars her face. He needs three more minutes of heated discussion to realize that he just gave her his blessing to accept Pete Donnelly’s invitation.

Shit.

And... and... well, shit! At what point exactly did she stop being the nice brat next door to be... Veronica?

Later that night, there’s something pink and shiny on Pete Donnelly’s cheeks and mouth.

But a bit later, Pete Donnelly’s nose is bleeding and there are faint traces of something pink and shiny on Linc’s knuckles. Mom frowns in discontentment. She shouts not to slam the door of his bedroom, and tells him he’s grounded for a week. Mike sneaks in, sits in front of him, his back to the bed footboard, and watches him silently for a few minutes, until Lincoln lifts the arm resting on his face, and asks, “What?”

“Moron.”

Yeah...

* *

Kellerman pinches his lips together with exasperation. Michael pales and closes his eyes in horror and despair.

* *

He watches the black, simple coffin being lowered into the ground. He squeezes Michael’s hand in his own, and can feel Mike’s fingers clutching at him, hard enough to be painful, but not painful enough that he can forget the other pain. A few people offer their condolences. The neighbors are weirdly uncomfortable and the people from foster care circle around the two of them like large birds of prey. As if he was about to grab his baby brother by the arm and run away with him.

Maybe he should.

Vee brings him back to reality with a harsh smack on the back of his head, then wraps her arms around him and holds him tight, her embrace unusually strong for someone so small and fragile. Without really paying attention, he’s noticed that today she has no black stuff on her eyelashes, no pink thing on her lips and nails, and her hair is merely braided low on her nape. But there is still her delicate perfume and, when she speaks softly in his ear, the soothing sound of her voice. He doesn’t understand everything she says, but he knows she’s not saying that everything is going to be all right. He’s barely sixteen, he has a little brother who every now and then goes totally nuts, and they’re orphans. There is not a fucking chance that everything is all right.

Kudos for Vee’s honesty.

* *

He watches coldly. A part of him regrets the mess; a part of him realizes that everything would have been way easier if they had been able to show off Steadman as irrefutable proof of his innocence.

* *

It’s their third foster family in seven months. It’s the first one he’d like to stay with, but he already knows it won’t last. Sooner or later, Michael or he (probably he, by the way) will do something stupid, and social services will come and ask questions.

Right now, they’re in the basement of the house, the three of them, listening to music – Vee and he are listening to music, Mike is reading some book – and he tries to enjoy the situation while it’s possible. He watches Veronica, standing in front of the small bookcase full of books and CDs and...

“Maybe I should ask her out,” he tells Mike. His brother barely looks up from his book and doesn’t even bother replying, but Lincoln doesn’t hold it against him. It’s not like the kid gets it anyway. At the other end of the room, Vee stands on her toes and extends her arm to get a CD on the top shelf; he thinks he should probably go and help her, except...

“Did you see how her t-shirt ripples when her boobs...,” he whispers, leaning into his brother.

“Shut up, Linc,” Mike grumbles, wrinkling his nose in disdain. Lincoln rolls his eyes. Then gazes again at Vee. Carefully.

* *

A part of him enjoys the mess; and a tiny part of him regrets that he didn’t pull the trigger himself.

* *

He comes up for air from under the sheets, slumps next to Vee and kisses her neck.

“About Pete Donnelly...,” he starts. He’s interrupted by a huff of protest, but he doesn’t let that discourage him. Most of the time he doesn’t care about what people think of him – most of the time, most of the people – but he won’t let Vee think that he’s some sort of...

“Do you really think this is right moment to talk about it?” she asks, her tone implying this is not actually a question.

“I wasn’t listening to you, that day.”

“And you’re still not listening to me.”

“I didn’t understand what you asked, and I...”

She smiles at him, granting him her full attention so he can explain what happened that day. At least, he thinks so until she moves her hand under the sheets and...

Okay, he gets what she means here, and honestly, who cares if she thinks he’d been a brute for beating the shit out of Pete Donnelly a few years ago?

* *

Because the guy watched and did nothing when Vee was murdered, it’s only justice that he ends up dead. For a few seconds, everything else can go to hell, Linc gazes at the mess with a vindictive satisfaction.

* *

He’d like to tell himself that he doesn’t know why Veronica took that scholarship in Texas rather than attending a law school in Chicago. The thing is, he knows why perfectly well. He knows he has no right to hold a grudge against her, but he usually doesn’t manage to actually act that way. Lincoln knows that Michael, who sometimes misplaces his loyalty, is almost as mad at Veronica as he is at him. And even when he starts getting angry with him, he still has a bit of resentment towards her.

* *

This is not what Veronica would have wanted, of course, that he becomes that kind of man, feels that kind of things.

* *

Sebastian is... everything Lincoln’s not. He’s polite, well behaved, he has a legal and oh so lucrative job, a normal family, a turnkey future for Veronica, the right attention at the right moment, and he won’t knock up some girl. No way. Because Sebastian thinks, which is something that Lincoln doesn’t do. Think. This is the reason why Sebastian is free and engaged, whereas Lincoln is in jail.

But one day, between two stacks of documents and papers piled up on the table of the private visitation room, he learns that Veronica and Sebastian are not engaged anymore. Lincoln knows he shouldn’t have this small inward smile because he has less than nothing to offer Veronica. But she throws him that look when telling him he could at least seem sincere when he pretends to be sorry for her, and it’s almost as pleasant as feeling Pete Donnelly’s nose cracking and bleeding under his fist.

* *

Unfortunately, Veronica is not here anymore to slap him on the back of the head and wrap her arms around him.

* *

She’s right here with him a few hours before his execution. When she demands that the guards turn on the light in his cell, she uses the same smug tone she had when she was just the new brat next door. She’s right there a few minutes before he sits in the chair, and a few minutes after the execution has been temporarily postponed. She wraps her arms around him and hugs him, and once again, he marvels that someone so small and fragile can hold him so forcefully.

He’s not there, not really there, when some anonymous agent of the Company shoots her three times.

* *

Unfortunately, as far as Veronica is concerned, he has to settle for reminiscences: he has old memories and he won’t ever be able to make new ones.

-FIN-
 
 
Current Mood: lazylazy
 
 
 
Maz (or foxxy!): Linc and Veetuesdaeschild on September 20th, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC)
As a fitting memoriam to Veronica that was outstanding, sweetheart. I was truly moved and in parts amused and tying it all together with the suicide of Terrance Steadman was perfect.

Since it also included kid!Lincoln and his oh-so-cute typically-boyhood-crush on Veronica and kid!Michael getting on so well with her too I think this qualifies as one of the most enjoyable fics I've read featuring Lincoln, Veronica and Michael, both as children and adults! The wonderful badboy_fangirl herself would be the only one who could really do this as well as you have.

Utterly enchanting and completely heart-breaking. Congratulations on creating such a wonderful story, my love.
*hugs*

And now I can proudly show off my only Linc/Vee icon! Thank you! :)
Clair de Lune: pb - veronicaclair_de_lune on September 21st, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC)
The episode where Steadman committed suicide was probably one of the very few times Lincoln mentionned Veronica, so it was the perfect opportunity to bring up those memories, I guess.
I had planned to write something more balanced between past and present, but some stories write all by themselves and don't ask for your opinion so, in the end... just tiny snippets of what happened in this episode ^_^

Thanks for your kind words *squishes you*
Genevieve: brothers by yucormsgenevieve on September 21st, 2008 09:15 am (UTC)
Oh, this is marvelous. I have a real soft spot for Linc and Vee, and you've woven together the past and present in such a heartbreaking way, it just takes my breath away.
Clair de Lune: pb - lincoln veronicaclair_de_lune on September 21st, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
I like the pairing too, even though I've never written much about it. Linc/Vee is sadly under-represented anyway ^^

Glad you enjoyed. I thank you for taking the time to comment :)
sassy, classy, and a bit smart-assy: Lincbrknhrtbadboy_fangirl on September 22nd, 2008 12:00 am (UTC)
I did really enjoy this, now both times that I've read it. There's not enough L/V out there, so it's nice to have one I didn't write that I enjoy so thoroughly.

I think your descriptions of his feelings about Steadman are spot on, especially

A part of him enjoys the mess; and a tiny part of him regrets that he didn’t pull the trigger himself.

Because while Michael and Kellerman were checking their gag reflex, Lincoln just looked grimly satisfied. I've always enjoyed Dom's performance in that entire episode--the way he's seething in the background in that hotel room, and then the way he sits on the bed after Michael talks him down from killing Steadman--the agony in his voice when he says *So many people dead, and he gets to live.*

Gah. I love him soooo much.
Clair de Lune: pb - lincoln2clair_de_lune on September 23rd, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I've provided you with a small fix of L/V ;-)
*self-pimpage warning* If you ever feel like it, there is a Michael/Vee story somehwere on my fic index - Unspoken.

Because while Michael and Kellerman were checking their gag reflex, Lincoln just looked grimly satisfied.
Exactly. Lincoln's attitude in this episode almost makes up for the fact that they had barely brought up the issue until then.
It's really what prompted the fic. I had planned to write something more balanced between the flashbacks and the situation at hands, but I guess I got caught up in his 'memories'.

Gah. I love him soooo much.
I can tell *hugs*

Thanks again for everything :)
The sanest lunatic you've ever met: prisonbreak: it's so wrong it's rightsdwolfpup on September 22nd, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
This is really fantastic. I love that you put Steadman's death as the underlying scene, instead of Linc hearing Veronica's death over the phone. Really great look into Linc and his history with Veronica.
Clair de Lune: pb - veronicaclair_de_lune on September 23rd, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
To be honest, I didn't even think of usin the scene with Lincoln and Vee on the phone. Lincoln's reaction to Steadman committing suicide is really what prompted the fic. I'm glad it worked for you :)

Thanks for your comment!
sk56sk56 on September 23rd, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC)
Very nice, in many ways. Excellent rhythm, characterizations, mix of thinking and doing. Just a great read all round.
Clair de Lune: pb - lincoln veronicaclair_de_lune on September 23rd, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
I'm happy you found it to your liking. Thanks a lot for your kind words :)
(Deleted comment)
Clair de Lune: pb - lincoln veronicaclair_de_lune on September 26th, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
Hi, newcomer! I hope you enjoy the ride as long as possible :)

Sadly, they didn't bring up Veronica's death very often. This is was one of the episodes in which it happened, and the perfect occasion to set a 'remembering' fic. I'm glad you liked it - and the other stories too.

Thanks a lot for reading and commenting :)