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Life had torn them apart.

Sometimes during the lonely hours in solitary, Lincoln remembered the soft lips of his little brother. He allowed himself to fantasize because hey, he was going to die anyway so what was the point ?

Then life brought them together again and Lincoln had wondered when he saw the tattoo on his brother’s skin. Michael’s pain threshold was quite high but even so, inking over ahalf of his body seemed rather extreme. Meaning Michael might be the most clever person he knew, he was still an idiot.

An idiot that broke him free and saved his life. Sometimes the words “until death do us part” seemed feeble compared to what they shared, their lives entangled in such ways that sometimes he wasn’t sure where one finished and where started the other.

They were different of course, very. They fought, they disagreed, they didn’t understand each other sometimes. But at the end of the day there was nothing they wouldn’t do for each other.

Nothing, except that. That which they both craved, that which drove them insane. They both had denied it for as long as they could remember and they had done so to protect the other without any regard for their own needs. Lincoln had drowned himself in women, trying to forget and never looked at another man.

Michael… who knew what Michael did to forget ? Probably plan insane break outs and forget about sex entirely if he knew him at all. One thing was certain, his very real and deep love for Sarah wasn’t quite enough to quench his longing for Link. Although now he thought about it, he wondered if anything had ever happened between Michael and Mahone.

Mahone ! Of all people ! Mahone whose sharp wits and blue eyes sometimes reminded him of Michael. Mahone… What could Michael like with the man ? He wouldn’t be infatuated by a mirrored image of himself. Was it his addict past that reminded him of Sarah ? Or had he been able to see — before anyone else —  through the layers of harsh ruthlessness to the place that was tenderness and compassion for his family ? Was Michael seeing Link’s love for LJ when he looked at him ? Anyway, whatever had been between them was gone, vanishing the minute Michael and Lincoln were together again.

And still they never dared touch each other very long, fingers separating before they really brushed, hugs cut short, patting hands withdrawn as soon as they landed on a shoulder. Each time they risked their lives for the other, they repeated the words that seemed so unfit to describe their bond and never ever acknowledge their true meaning.

"I love you Lincoln."

"I love you too Michael."