Title: A Good Plan
Fandom: Prison Break
Timeline/Spoilers: Takes place just after 3.1 'Orientacion'
Disclaimer: Not mine. We all know that.
Notes/Warnings: D/s vibes. Unbetaed -- nitpicks & crit all welcome.
Summary: If he's going to survive Sona, Michael needs a plan.
Paranoia is as deep-soaked into the soil of Sona as blood and sweat; it's as natural and constant a part of the place as the heat. And Michael's still new here, still not fully known. Or tested. But even allowing for all that, the watchful, speculative looks being aimed his way are starting to make his skin crawl.
He sees McGrady cross the courtyard and beckons him over. The kid scratches his ear and looks away, pretending he hasn't seen. Michael moves forward, into his path. McGrady stops, with obvious reluctance. 'Aw, bro. You sure you should be doing this?'
Michael frowns. 'Doing what?'
McGrady tucks his ever-present basketball under one arm and gives a little shrug. 'Being out here, you know, on your own.'
'What are you talking about?'
The kid still won't meet Michael's eyes. He's watching a group of five men standing by the wall; shaven-headed and stripped to waist, showing off muscles and scars in equal proportion. Michael's classified them as mid-level bullies, more show than malice. As he registers the intensity of their stares, he wonders if he was wrong.
He leans towards McGrady, lowers his voice. 'What's going on? If you know something, tell me.'
McGrady shuffles his feet. 'Word went out, man, Lechero don't like you. Some guys in here, they think maybe they hurt someone that Lechero don't like, it make him like them better. You should, you know --' he waves his hand at the ground. 'Stay low, if he's not around.'
'If Lechero's not around?'
'No, no, not Lechero. The American, the one that came in with you.' The muscle gang push themselves off from the wall and start walking towards Michael and McGrady. The kid shoots them a nervous glance and starts to back away. 'Look, bro, I got to go, okay?'
The gang are close now. One steps out in front, a stocky Puerto Rican with tattoos that almost rival Michael's own. Then one of the others taps his arm and gestures with his chin towards something behind where Michael and McGrady are standing. The Puerto Rican stops moving.
Michael turns his head and looks around, to where the gang's focus has shifted. The yard directly behind them is empty. But leaning against the nearest pillar, posture deceptively casual, is Mahone. One leg is bent, the dusty booted foot pressed back against the concrete. There's a dark stain on the leather. It looks like blood.
When Michael turns back, he finds T-Bag at McGrady's side. T-Bag flips his fake hand onto the kid's shoulder, making him cringe. 'Boy, why don't you run along now,' he says. 'It's time for the grown ups to talk.'
McGrady ducks out from under his hand and scoots away without looking back. T-Bag surveys the yard, then gives Michael a sideways look under half-lowered lashes. 'You can thank me any time you like, you know.'
'Thank you for what?'
'For spreading all those rumours that you're Mahone's bitch, of course. That was some mighty fine creative work there, if I do say so myself.'
Michael stares at him. 'I'm supposed to thank you for that?'
T-Bag gives him an amused smile. 'You surely are, pretty. Because you see, these guys in here, they don't know and appreciate you like I do. When they look at you, what they see is a sweet little plum all ripe for picking. Picking, eating and then spitting out like an offering at Lechero's feet.' He flicks his gaze to Mahone. 'Our Special Agent there, on the other hand, makes them a little nervous. Crazy-eyed wild men who can kill with their bare hands will do that. So if they think they've got to go through Mahone to get to you, they'll think on it again before they make a move. So, like I say, you can show your gratitude any time.'
'I'm not kicking your ass into the dirt right now,' Michael says. 'That's as much gratitude as you're going to get.'
T-bag laughs, shaking his head. 'Well now, it's not that I don't approve of the hard man act, it's cute as all hell. But you need to work on those crazed killer eyes, pretty. Maybe you should get Mahone to show you how it's done, hmm?'
Michael watches Mahone watch the yard. To the left, near the water tap, a few inmates have started a soccer game that's more of an excuse for a scuffle than anything else. The tattooed thug and his gang drift towards it. There's a slight relaxing of the tense line of Mahone's shoulders but his hands stay curled into fists. His gaze takes in the rest of the yard then slowly, inexorably, swings back to Michael.
Michael drags his sleeve over his forehead. The sensation of dryness lasts maybe three seconds. 'Even assuming I were to buy your altruistic spin on this, Theodore, why do you care what happens to me? What's any of this to you?'
T-Bag raises his good hand to his temple in a mock salute towards Mahone. 'These savages, they don't know you like I do. They don't appreciate your unique talents. But I know that if there's any way out of here, any way at all, you're the one that'll find it. So as far as I'm concerned, keeping you safe is an investment in my future.'
Michael looks up as Mahone strides towards them, his eyes fixed on T-Bag. 'Do we have some kind of a problem here?'
T-bag steps back, hands held out and head bowed. 'I was just leaving, Special Agent Mahone, sir. Just on my way right now.' He grins at Michael. 'I've done my part, pretty, set up the pitch. Now it's your turn. You still got to sell it. Don't let me down now.'
He strolls away, Mahone watching his back until he disappears inside. 'What was that about, Michael?'
Michael glances at the muscle gang, on the edge of the soccer game, still watching. 'That was Theodore's grand plan. He seems to think that I'm going to break out and take him with me, and for that he has to keep me from becoming one of those guys' chew toy. And for that, we all have to make them think that I'm your... well... ' He hesitates, then finishes: 'Property.'
Mahone's silent for a while, then he says, 'Oh.'
Michael risks a glance at him. 'That's all you have to say? Oh?'
Finally, Mahone turns round and locks that stare on Michael. And while Michael wouldn't call it crazy, not exactly, he wouldn't entirely argue with wild. Before he can quite process what's happening he's yanked forward, hard against Mahone's body. For a moment he flinches, half-expecting a hand to close around his throat, but it doesn't come. Instead, Mahone drops his mouth to Michael's neck. There's a brief touch of lips and hot breath, then Mahone's voice, low and uneven in his ear. 'It's a good plan,' he says.
Michael opens his mouth to reply but then Mahone's tongue trails a wet line down his neck and his teeth close over the skin. The pressure increases until it forces an involuntary sound of pain from Michael's lips. At least, part of his brain is telling him it's pain. He's shocked to realise that his cock has a different interpretation.
Then the bite is loosened, and Mahone's tongue laps against the skin that his teeth had just held. It feels both rough and smooth at the same time, soothing and inflaming. Michael closes his eyes, trying to concentrate, to get control over the sense of doubling, of polarity, that this man always evokes in him. He tries to remember who he is, who Mahone is, but his thoughts are scattered and out of reach. Someone in the depths of the building behind him is drumming, using upturned metal containers to pound out a raw, ragged rhythm. The tempo increases, snatching up Michael's heartrate and forcing it to keep pace until his breath begins to whistle in his throat.
Michael isn't a physical person. He's always taken care to look after his body the way he does any valuable piece of equipment, but he's never totally lived in it. His mind, that constantly ticking machine, frequently makes him feel more like observer than inhabitant. But right now all detachment, all distance, has fled his grasp. Right now the physical is all he knows, all he has, all he is.
He grasps for memories of Sara, but although they're sweet they're also fleeting and fuzzy, overlaid with a gauzy film that instantly burns up in the heat coming off Mahone's skin. He feels dizzy, disoriented, his veins filled with fire and his mind filled with the drums and the sound of Mahone's breathing. Sweat slides down his forehead into his eyes, blurring his vision. The few senses he still has are shutting down, leaving him conscious of little more than a primal, overwhelming awareness of need.
Mahone pushes their lower bodies together, forcing his hardness against Michael's thigh. His hand snakes around the back of Michael's neck, where it trembles briefly until the grip hardens. He pulls his head back a little, creating a few inches of space so that he can look into Michael's eyes. Michael has no idea what he sees there, but it seems to satisfy him. He drops his hand, letting Michael go and stepping away. Suddenly set free, Michael almost stumbles. His legs are shaking, barely able to hold him up.
'Come on,' Mahone says. 'Let's go.'
'Go where?' Michael asks. His voice comes out barely above a whisper. He's vaguely surprised it still works, that he's capable of forming even a two-word sentence.
Mahone's lips quirk in a half-smile. 'Property doesn't ask questions, Michael. It goes where it's put.'
Maybe it's heatstroke, maybe it's some kind of parasite he's ingested along with the filthy water, but something is wrong with his mind. It has to be, because instead of being angry or offended at Mahone's words, instead of punching him or at the very, very least turning and walking away, Michael finds himself following Mahone into the cell block.
Mahone strides ahead, seemingly oblivious to the stinking, squalid conditions around him. He could be walking down a corridor in Quantico, not Sona. Judging from the looks and obscene cat-calls that accompany them, T-Bag's storytelling skills have clearly been appreciated in this quarter. Mahone ignores them all, and Michael does his best to do the same.
He quickens his pace to stay close behind Mahone. Stay alive: that's always been Plan A, throughout all of it. Stay alive, and the rest can follow. He can't do anything if he's served up to Lechero like some kind of big game trophy. T-Bag was right. He needs to do what it takes to stay in the game.
They're inside Mahone's cell before he realises they're even close to it -- his sense of time and space is as shot as everything else. The door slams behind him with a clang that echoes through his head. Mahone throws a grey, stained sheet over the bars, blocking the view from outside. A mocking cheer goes up, then the noise level returns to the usual up-and-down rumble of Sona life: shouts, laughs and groans; questions being asked, deals and threats being made.
Mahone turns around. 'You'll have to stay here a while,' he says. 'It has to look real.'
It's a measure of how off-balance Michael is that it takes him a couple of seconds to process that, to understand that Mahone's actions have just been for show. He nods, waiting for the relief to kick in.
When it does, it feels oddly like disappointment.
His cock is still hard, chafing against the stiff, unwashed denim of his jeans. He shifts uncomfortably, but Mahone doesn't seem to notice. He's leaning against the bars and running a hand through his dishevelled hair. Michael sees that tremor again, the fingers twitching. Mahone quickly brings his hand back down, shoves it behind his back.
Michael remembers what withdrawal looks like. He's seen Linc through it more than once, before now. He also remembers the one thing that was guaranteed to get Lincoln on his feet and functioning again: having to be the big brother, to get them out of trouble. Having to be in charge.
A good planner uses whatever tools, whatever assets, are available. If this is going to work, Michael needs Mahone's acting skills to sell the idea that Mahone is his lover, his master, whatever. His protector. Plan A: stay alive. If he gets to move on to Plan B -- get the hell out of here -- he's going to need the rest of Mahone's skills. He's going to need him on his feet and functioning.
'You're right, Alex,' he says, taking a cautious step towards him. 'This does need to look real. And you know when something looks the most real? When it is.'
Mahone looks at him through narrowed eyes, and Michael suppresses a smile. He recognises that look -- that sudden confusion -- very well.
He breathes out slowly. 'I'm your property, Alex, I go where I'm put. That's what you said. So put me where you want me.'
Mahone doesn't move. 'Michael? What is this?'
'You tell me, Alex. You're the boss, remember? I just do what I'm told. I --'
He's forgotten how fast Mahone can move. The words are slammed out of him along with the rest of the air in his lungs as he hits the cell wall. Once again, Mahone's body is pressed against his and Mahone's breath is hot on his skin. But this time, although Mahone's voice is still low, it's cold enough to chill the sweat on Michael's skin.
'Is this some kind of a game, Michael?'
Mahone is close, as close as he was in the yard, but his hands stay on the wall either side of Michael's head.
Michael forces his voice to be steady. 'It is a kind of game, Alex, yes. One we're playing for our lives. I'm trying to play my part, and I need you to play yours.'
Mahone looks at him, saying nothing, for a long, long time. After Michael feels himself getting dizzy again, he remembers to breathe.
Eventually, Mahone steps back. 'I see,' he says, nodding slowly. 'Well, then.' He folds his arms. 'Take off your shirt.'
His tone is still cold, but the edge of uncertainty is gone. It's the tone of a man used to giving orders.
Michael hesitates, but only for a second. This is a test, and one he asked to be given. He pulls the filthy grey shirt over his head and drops it onto the floor. Sweat runs down his back, but it doesn't feel chilled any more.
Mahone's gaze traces the lines of the tattoo slowly, carefully. 'Turn around,' he says. Michael turns in a slow circle, displaying himself. When he faces front again Mahone hasn't moved. His face is impassive but his eyes, when they finally raise to meet Michael's, are as alive as Michael has ever seen them. The wildness there now is of a different kind.
'Come here,' he says. The coldness has left his voice but not the tone of command. Michael obeys, tucking his hands in the pockets of his jeans to hide the fact that they're shaking. Mahone's are loose and relaxed by his sides.
When he finally puts those hands on Michael's body, Mahone's breath catches in his throat. His fingers move lightly, almost reverently, over the inked skin. 'Photographs can't do it justice,' he says softly, almost wonderingly. 'I have... wanted... for so long, I...' he stops, breathes out heavily, and trails his index finger down Michael's chest to his stomach, to the waistband of his jeans. The trembling in Michael's hands spreads to his whole body and he shivers violently, unable to suppress it.
'Alex,' he says.
Mahone meets his eyes again. 'Take off the rest of your clothes.'
Michael fumbles with the zip, his hands clumsy, but eventually makes it work. He steps out of his jeans and shorts, kicks them aside and returns himself to Mahone's scrutiny. This time Michael stands still while Mahone circles him, the intensity of his attention almost physically tangible. For all that Mahone is fully clothed and there's two feet of air between them, it's one of the most erotic experiences of Michael's life. His body has never felt so energised, so primed and ready -- so desperate -- for sensation.
Mahone is calm now, his serenity seeming to increase in direct proportion to Michael's agitation. 'Michael,' he says. 'Do you want this?'
Michael knows he should still be thinking, planning, factoring this into the equations, but he has no agenda left now. All he has is the feel of the air over his skin, the painful hardness of his cock. He can't think of anything beyond the most simple truth of the moment. 'Yes,' he says, without hesitation.
Mahone closes his eyes briefly, then goes to sit on the edge of the bunk. 'Show me,' he says. 'Touch yourself.'
It's not exactly what Michael wants, but he's starting to realise that obedience has its own thrill. It's liberating, not having to work out the next move, not having to make all the decisions. Not having to think.
Michael keeps his eyes locked on Mahone's while he lowers his hand to his swollen cock, working it in smooth efficient strokes. Mahone stays on the bed, his hands on his knees, but his gaze roams over Michael's body. Michael wants to make this last, wants to give a performance worthy of that ferocious absorption, but it's beyond his power to slow his hand, to ease himself back down from the edge. His breath becomes faster and faster, becomes ragged, and he loses the rhythm as his knees begin to give way. He sees Mahone's lips form his name and that's it, that's as much as he can take. His cock gives a final spasmic jerk, spilling hot and fast over his hand as he drops, panting and spent, to the cell floor.
When he can move again he looks up at Mahone, a question in his eyes. He starts to reach out, but Mahone shakes his head. 'You should go now,' he says. 'We've been in here long enough. This is supposed to be a transaction, not a tryst. You use the things you own, you don't spend time enjoying their company.'
'Alex. Alex, I --'
Mahone stands up. 'Do as you're told, Michael.' His eyes flash. 'That's how the game works, remember?'
Michael gets to his feet and dresses quickly, regretting the feel of the unwashed clothing against his still-sensitive skin. His cock may have quieted but the craving hasn't. Not at all.
Mahone yanks the sheet off the cell bars and pulls opens the door. Michael looks at it but doesn't move. He wants more. He wants to see Mahone, all of him, the way Mahone saw him, wants to examine the tight, corded muscles that move under the worn black t-shirt, wants to trace his hands over the dirt and the scars he knows must cover the skin there. He wants to use his hands, his tongue, his teeth.
His hand hovers an inch from Mahone's arm but he doesn't close the distance. He waits for instructions.
Mahone gestures towards the door. 'Go.'
'Is that really what you want me to do, Alex?'
'Yes,' he says. 'Get out of here.'
Michael moves forward, but then a hand grips his arm. 'But be ready,' Mahone says. 'Because when I call, I'm going to expect you to come running. And then we'll discuss what else I want you to do.'
Michael looks at Mahone's hand. Imagines how that grip will feel on other parts of his body. 'Sounds like a plan,' he whispers.