The Beginning of the End

Lincoln Burrows wiped the sweat from his brow with the sleeve of his blood stained shirt and peered out from the third story window of an abandoned factory building he and Michael had taken refuge in. As he watched the street below, he saw nothing alarming, but could hear sirens in the distance and knew it was only a matter of time before feds caught up to them. They knew Lincoln and Michael were in the city and every uniform in the city was out looking for them.

Backing away from the window, Lincoln leaned against the wall. As emotional and physical exhaustion overcame him, he felt his knees start to buckle and he slid down the wall until he was sitting on the floor with his knees pulled up to his chest. He placed his elbows on his knees, rested his head in his still shaking hands, and began to sob.

"Oh god. Please help me." He whispered as tears started to stream down his face. "Please help me."

Lincoln let out one more exasperated cry before wiping the tears from his face with the back of his sleeve. This was no time to lose it. Not now. He needed to hold it together and be the big brother that Michael needed. The one he should have always been. The one, he unfortunately never was.

He ran his still shaking hands over his head before glancing across the room to where Michael lay in the darkness with Lincoln's crumpled up jacket beneath his head. It was all Lincoln could offer him to make him more comfortable. There was nothing he could do for the pain… nothing he could do for the bullet wound Michael was now suffering from. And that broke his heart.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. They had been so close. They had the money and were on their way out of city when it happened. The scene kept replaying itself over and over in Lincoln's mind like a bad movie.

They had stopped into a small market on the outskirts of the city for quick bite to eat and then they planned to hop one of the outbound freight trains headed south. Lincoln recalled how they had joked about being so sick of stale nachos, lukewarm hotdogs (which Michael had always felt the need to point out, had probably been sitting on that damn warming tray for hours) and fountain sodas. "I need real food!" Michael had complained with a chuckle.

"Soon Mickey." Lincoln whispered as they entered the market. "Once we get to Baja it will be nothing but Coronas and steak tips. I promise."

Michael smiled.

"Yeah…now I'm even hungrier Linc. Thanks a lot."

Lincoln laughed and playfully punched his brother in the arm before heading toward the back of the store to get himself some of the aforementioned nachos, while Michael headed for the packaged chips and snacks at the front of the store. It was pretty late at night, so the store was nearly empty.

Nearly… but not completely.

Michael hadn't noticed the gentleman standing at the counter. Or if he had, he wasn't paying much attention to him. As usual, Michael kept his head down as he walked and avoided eye contact with anyone. Usually, that worked, but not this time. As fate would have it, the man turned out to be an off duty police officer who immediately recognized Michael as he walked by.

Lincoln, of course, saw none of this from where he stood in the back of the store. But he heard it instantly as the man's booming voice echoed throughout the store.

"Don't move! Police!" the man hollored as he pulled his service revolver from a holster that had been hidden beneath his civilian jacket and pointed it at the back of Michael's head. "Don't you dare move Scofield!"

"No problem boss." Michael replied calmly, raising his hands in the air. He still had his back to the officer, and couldn't see the officer's hands shaking ever so slightly as he kept his gun raised and pointed

"Is anyone with you?" the officer hollored at him.

"No sir." Michael replied without hesitation, hoping that Lincoln could find another way out of the store.

"Did he come in with anyone?" the officer asked the frightened store clerk who was watching the whole situation unfold with a look of terror on his face.

"I…I don't know! I didn't see him come in. I…"

"Is there anyone else in the store?" the officer demanded.

In the back of the store, Lincoln looked up and instantly spotted the surveillance camera dangling from the ceiling.

"Shit!" he muttered to himself.

In the front, the store clerk instantly turned his attention to the small black and white monitor on the counter behind him. The screen was divided into four smaller screens, each showing different areas of the store.

"Turn around. Slowly." The officer instructed Michael. As Michael complied, he heard the panicked voice of the store clerk inform the officer…

"There is a guy in the back! Near the microwaves!"

The officer stiffened, not taking his eyes off Michael. With his gun still aimed squarely at Michael, he backpedaled a few steps so he could look down the center aisle.

"Burrows! I know you're in here! Come out where I can see you!"

Lincoln felt his stomach lurch, he knew this was going to turn out badly. But he did as he was instructed and stepped out from behind one of the racks.

"Are you armed?" The officer hollored at him.

"No sir." Lincoln replied.

"Is your brother armed?" he asked turning his head briefly to address Michael then back to watch Lincoln.

"No." Michael confirmed. Of course, he thought it kind of strange the officer would even ask him. Did this officer really think if Lincoln were going to lie, he would tell him the truth?

"Alright Burrow's…"the officer began, waving a hand at Lincoln. "Walk towards me. Nice and slow."

Lincoln did as he was told and slowly started to make his way up the aisle. His mind racing as he did so. It's over. He thought to himself. After all Michael had been through…after all he had done to save Lincoln…it had come to this. They were on there way back to jail. Michael would be going back to jail. He didn't even want to think about it.

He had made his way about halfway up the aisle when there was a commotion at the front of the store. Someone had entered…there was a crash…and before Lincoln knew what was happening, he saw the officer swing his attention back toward Michael and fire his weapon. There was another crash and although he couldn't see it…Lincoln knew Michael was down.

"No!" Lincoln cried out and began charging down the aisle.

The officer quickly turned back toward Lincoln and raised his gun to fire again.

Lincoln threw himself to the ground just as the officer discharged his weapon for the second time. The bullet went whizzing over head as Lincoln slid across the tile floor, knocking the officer down like a bowling pin.

As the two struggled on the floor for the officer's gun, Michael tried desperately to get himself up so he could help his brother. He had been hit in the abdomen and it hurt like hell. But he knew he had to get up and do something before someone else got hurt.

As he struggled to get up, he realized the frightened store clerk had taken refuge behind the counter and was frantically calling for help.

"Yes! I need help! Those Fox River convicts are in my store! They're shooting!" he heard the man cry.

Well that's a lie! Michael thought to himself as he continued to struggle. We didn't shoot anyone!

Meanwhile, Lincoln continued to struggle with the officer on the ground. He managed to use his weight and pin the man down, but the officer still had still managed to grab the gun. Using all his strength Lincoln held the officer's other arm down with one had as he reached out and grabbed the hand that held the gun. He slammed the officer's hand to ground, causing him to cry out in pain and release his grip on the gun. Lincoln quickly grabbed it and using the but end of the gun, he slammed the officer in the face, knocking him out.

"Oh god!" the store clerk cried out in desperation. "He has the gun!"

Lincoln quickly stood up and whipped around to face the store clerk.

"Shut up and put the phone down!" Lincoln yelled at the man. His expression was filled with rage and fear and hands shook wildly as he pointed the gun squarely at the man's head.

"Lincoln! No!" Michael yelled at him. He had finally managed to get to his feet and staggered towards his brother.

As loudly as Michael had yelled, it didn't appear Lincoln had even heard him. He kept the gun raised as he stared the store clerk down. His teeth clenched in anger… sweat dripping from his brow.

"LINCOLN!" Michael yelled again and this time, Lincoln turned.

When he saw Michael staggering toward him, Lincoln forgot all about the store clerk. His expression instantly turned to one of concern as he reached out to his brother, managing to catch him just as Michael started to stumble.

"Michael?"

"Lincoln, come on. We gotta get out of here."

Lincoln hoisted Michael to his feet and looked down at the wound Michael was now clutching with both hands.

"Oh God Michael."

"Linc, I'm OK." Michael lied. "We gotta go. Now!"

Once again, Lincoln said nothing. His eyes were fixed on Michael's blood, that was now covering him.

"Lincoln!"

Lincoln shook his head as if doing so would make everything just go away.

"OK." Lincoln said, nodding his head. "Can you walk?"

"Forget about walking." Michael replied. "We gotta run! Come on!"

Michael and Lincoln ran for the door. They both knew the minute they left, the store clerk would be back on the phone. They had to move quickly.

They exited the store quickly, with Lincoln still clutching the officer's gun. When they got outside, Lincoln noticed a young man emerging from his car that was parked in front of the store. Before Michael could protest, Lincoln raised the gun again and ran toward the driver's side door.

"Out of the car!" he bellowed at the young man.

"Lincoln! No!" Michael yelled as he clutched his bleeding stomach. The pain was getting worse, as was the bleeding. He didn't know how much longer he was going to be able to stay on his feet. They needed to move.

Lincoln realized this as well. He knew Michael wouldn't make it far in his condition. They needed a car.

"Out of the car now!" he hollered again at the young man, emphasizing his demand by thrusting the gun toward the boys head.

"Okay man! Be cool!" the boy replied in a shakey voice as he started to exit the car. "Take it. Just…don't shoot. Alright?"

"Come on ! Come on! Move!" Lincoln demanded, grabbing the boy by his collar and pulling him from the car. The boy fell to the ground and quickly rolled to his back. He then backpedaled himself with his hands and feet away from the car. Never taking his eyes off Lincoln.

"Michael, get in!" Lincoln ordered his brother.

"Lincoln. We can't…" Michael began to protest before Lincoln cut him off.

"Mikey! The cops are on their way! Get in the fuckin' car!"

Michael gave the driver a sympathetic look before reluctantly opening the passenger door and climbing into the front seat. He dropped into the seat and quickly slammed the door. The motion sent a surge of pain throughout his body and he cried out in agony. Lincoln, who had already climbed into the driver's side and has started the vehicle, didn't even appear to notice as he quickly peeled away from the curb and sped off.

As he sped down the road, weaving in and out of traffic, Lincoln turned his attention to Michael.

"Let me see," he said, reaching across and pulling back Michael's jacket to reveal the wound.

"Lincoln, watch the road!" Michael cried out as a car pulled out in front of them.

"Shit!" Lincoln responded as he whipped the car to the right to avoid a collision.

"You need to slow down." Michael gasped between painful breaths.

"You're bleeding like crazy Mike. Put your hand on it!" Lincoln said, ignoring Michael's suggestion.

"Lincoln…" Michael began as he stared ahead at the traffic before them.

"You gotta do something to stop that bleeding." Lincoln said.

"Lincoln…" Michael tried again to get his brother's attention.

"Put pressure on it Michael!" Lincoln hollered at him.

"Lincoln!" Michael bellowed, realizing the only way to get his brother's attention was to get angry.

"WHAT?" Lincoln hollored back.

Michael took a breath. It hurt to yell. He really didn't want to do it again.

"We're going the wrong way." He said calmly.

"What?" Lincoln asked, clearly flustered.

"We are going the wrong way." Michael repeated. "We want to be going out of the city…not into it."

To be continued…