Disclaimer: I'm just borrowing them for a short time, I'm in no way claiming ownership (although that would be nice). Fox can totally have them back when I'm done.
Summary: It isn't until Michael is older that he realizes he cannot marry his brother
Word Count: 1,585
Chapters: 1/?, I'm not really sure where to go from here
When you’re young, the world will forgive you everything. You can mercilessly tease the incredibly smart kid who always has the answer simply because you lack it, you can break mom’s precious vase that is her only heirloom from grandma because you didn’t know better, you can talk about blood and guts and guns guns guns because that’s what little boys do, you can skip out on homework, kill your pets with neglect, spill paint on the upholstery, fart loudly at the table—whatever crimes and transgressions little kids are prone to commit. The world will forgive you, because you’re young, and you don’t know better. And even if you do, well they’ll never know it.
The world is not the same for adults though, now that his mother is gone, Michael is sure of it. Lincoln, who was never a terribly troublesome child by any account, although always more energetically opposed to the rules than Michael was, has stopped these little sins altogether. He has become an adult, crime-free, and Michael is not sure he finds this comforting. To be slapped with so much change and then to realize that a part of his brother is gone too is disconcerting. He wants to be able to laugh with Lincoln again, to steal junk food out of the cupboards under mom’s nose, to sneak out of his bed after 10 o’clock and play secret agent without Lincoln interrupting him to send him back to bed. He wants his elder, more-experienced, partner to help him in these tasks again. But Lincoln has become an adult and the world doesn’t forgive adults the way it forgives children.
That part of Lincoln never really comes back. He works too hard protecting Michael and himself, putting food on the table, and throwing away his dreams every time he takes out the trash.
When he was little Michael was very aware of how society was run. One grew up, took a job, and got married. Everyone did this, even the dentist, although Michael was never quite sure who’d be crazy enough to marry him. In pre-school when the girls suckered the boys into playing house Michael didn’t mind so much. He liked the concept of being married: sharing a house and creating a new life together. If he could marry anyone he’d marry Lincoln. He told mom that once, she’d laughed so hard her sides had nearly split, and Michael was left feeling very put out.
“Why’s that, sweetie?” mom asked as she’d wiped tears out of her eyes, still giggling occasionally.
“He makes me happy!” Michael had protested loudly, arms crossed, and lower-lip jutting out in the trade-mark Michael pout.
His mother dissolved into laughter again. “Yes, sweetheart, that’s a very good reason, indeed.”
Michael wasn’t quite sure why his mother found his revelation so hilarious so he decided not to share it with Lincoln. If it provoked laughter from Mom, it might provoke something far worse from Lincoln, who was derisive as only older brothers can be.
Michael had chosen Lincoln firstly because Lincoln was fun and also because he was that ever elusive cool. Michael, still unaware that one was not supposed to be shallow, thought Lincoln a good catch because he wasn’t too shabby looking either. He’s wasn’t tubby like Sam Freidman’s older brother or acne-covered like Dominic Fish’s sister. He was also unaware that one does not, according to the dictates of society, ordinarily marry boys or, for that matter, family members.
Lincoln is fun. Thus he is eligible material.
Somewhere around graduating junior kindergarten for real kindergarten, Michael realized that the world would not forgive him these thoughts, no matter how young he was, and so he buried them. It was far better, and less embarrassing one might add, to think of Lincoln, as he now does, as a partner, a partner who’d, unfortunately, gone missing in action, after the death of their mother, forever. Body, as of yet, un-recovered.
Michael could live with this though, because he didn’t know what else to do. Lincoln still loved him, was still nice to him, still protected him from the bullies at school, perhaps even more so now, but he was not the same. Michael felt this with every minute that passed between them. Lincoln never used to let Michael crawl into bed with him after he’d had a nightmare. He’d always shouted for mom, and then passed him off for her to comfort. Now, Lincoln holds the covers up with a sigh, and welcomes Michael into his bed. When Michael apologizes, Lincoln says it’s all right, even though Michael knows it isn’t. He hasn’t asked, but he’s positive Dominic Fish does not get into bed with his sister.
Lincoln continues to let him sleep in the same bed, even though it must be awkward. Michael hears him, sometimes, dreaming about the girls that go to the high school with Lincoln. He knows it must be a sex thing, mostly because he is hyper-aware of society and also because he looked it up in the encyclopedia when he overheard Lincoln and his friends talking about it around the time they were thirteen. The time he went over to Dominic Fish’s house and there was nothing to do but watch Jerry Springer was also edifying.
He doesn’t ask Lincoln about it, because he is sure Lincoln knows way more about sex than he does, after all Lincoln talks about it fairly frequently with his friends, and Michael hates revealing that there are gaps in his knowledge.
He does wonder what it feels like to be Lincoln in those moments. He wonders why Lincoln makes those near pain-filled moans, a lot like the ones his mother made when he was much younger and she would ask him to walk on her back. He’d understood from his embarrassing bout with the encyclopedia that sex was something that people did because it produced babies, a formerly unknown fact for a then 8-year-old Michael who’d always assumed they’d just appeared, and also because it felt good. He wasn’t sure if good meant good like eating ice cream or good like Christmas. But he suspected from all the moaning that his brother did that it was more of the ice-cream variety.
Lincoln and Michael never talk about sharing a bed, after awhile it had become a fixture in their relationship, despite Michael having his own room with a perfectly serviceable bed of his own in it. Lincoln is resignedly accepting of it as he is of all of Michael’s quirks. Michael never mentions Lincoln’s nocturnal activities either, he is quite positive that Lincoln is unaware of them himself, and besides, it’s a sex thing, and that’s embarrassing enough.
When Sal Hemmings and the other queen bees of the fifth grade want to make the boys go away, all they do is say, ‘we’re talking about sex’ and suddenly the area is y-chromosome free. Talking about a sex thing with Lincoln in all his infinite sexual wisdom seems like a bad idea, his older brother has not completely lost his derisive tendencies now that he has joined the elite club of “adulthood”.
When Michael is twelve, nearly a full year after sharing the bed with Lincoln became routine, he is awoken by Lincoln shifting against him. It is a hot night and he isn’t wearing a shirt, Lincoln’s finger brush absently up his spine, and suddenly, for reasons Michael cannot explain no matter how desperately he tries, he gets his first hard-on. He is appalled that it’s Lincoln with his errant hand that has caused this and suddenly all memories of wanting to marry Lincoln are dredged up in his mind. He extricates himself from the bed immediately and returns to his own room, embarrassed beyond belief.
It was just a silly flight of fancy when he was little, he justifies to himself, as he trudges uncomfortably to his own room. Mr. De Frenza, the P.E teacher, said that the bus going by can cause these kinds of the things to happen during the sex ed lesson that was inflicted upon the entire fifth grade. However, Michael has a sick feeling that if Sal Hemmings had ran her fingers up his back he would have simply looked at her funny. This bothers Michael because he is supposed to like Sal. Most of his friends, Dominic included, think she’s the best thing since The Terminator came out.
The next morning when he walks into the kitchen for breakfast his brother has a knowing look on his face. Michael understands that it’s because he’s gotten his first hard-on and not because Lincoln knows he was the one responsible for it, and for that he is glad. He is also amazingly thankful that Lincoln does not want to have ‘the talk’. He’s seen enough TV, spent enough time in school, been around enough of Lincoln’s friends to have quite an array of knowledge in this subject, certainly more than enough for his comfort.
He is also afraid that such a conversation will segue into Lincoln’s conquests, which would be gravely disturbing. Mostly because he knows they exist, and that knowledge is disgusting enough, but also because he doesn’t like sharing his ‘fiancé’ cum partner-in-crime cum crazy adult person with anybody else. This was not a sex thing, despite wandering hands and hard-ons. Michael had no one but his brother, and that was that. He swears to himself that the whole hard-on thing is a new development.
So tell me, should I continue? Or end it there.