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25 October 2008 @ 07:48 am
Prison Break - A Means to an End  
Title: A Means to an End
Author: clair_de_lune
Characters: Michael, Nika. Underlying Michael/Sara
Genre: Gen
Rating: PG
Word Count: ~ 985
Disclaimer: Not mine. Just borrowing them for a while.
Summary: At least he’s had the guts to bring them himself. Not that she’s ever questioned his courage, bravery or nerve – especially nerve.
Notes: Because my muse has been on vacation for a while, burntcircles kindly offered the following plot bunny: Michael and Nika. Nika gets the divorce papers and her signature is needed. May or may not be post-series, Michael and Nika face-to-face or not, throw in other characters if you want. [...] And yeah, you can also choose the POV. :) So here it is. This is also a companion piece for Nothing to Remember and will probably make more sense if you read that one first.
Thanks to torigates for the beta. Any remaining mistakes are mine.


At least he’s had the guts to bring them himself. Not that she’s ever questioned his courage, bravery or nerve – especially nerve. You really need all that to pull the kind of grand scam Michael Scofield pulled, so yes, she was pretty sure he possessed those qualities in abundance, maybe even in excess. That being said, on second thought, she has to wonder whether this is courage or mere impudence, whether he’s here out of consideration for her or because he wants to make sure she will sign the documents right here right now.

The divorce papers are laid out on the kitchen table at equidistance between the two of them like some sort of untouchable item. There are two faint damp finger imprints at the top right corner of the documents, where he held them when he got them out of his pocket. He’s sweating, which pleases her immensely even though she knows that it’s partly due to the hot, moist summer. He must be thirsty, but she didn’t offer him a glass of water and she won’t do it. It’s not that she wants to get back at him in the pettiest ways; it’s just that she wants this to be over as soon as possible. Read, sign, show him out, thanks a lot.

“You’re going to marry Sara?”

Well. So much for ending the whole thing as fast as possible.

She’s surprised how easily the name rolled off her tongue, as if she knew the woman when actually she met her once, and in a pretty questionable situation. But this was the first thought that came to her mind when she realized what the papers were about, that suddenly marriages – their own as well as his and the doc’s – have become an issue. Her assumption is a logical one, since she hasn’t heard of him for months, not directly anyway, but has known about his and the doctor’s whereabouts. She can add one and one. That’s the trick when you’re a criminal on the run, right? No more private life. And by the way, it’s also true when you’re the sham wife of a criminal on the run.

He doesn’t flinch at the question, but she detects the slightest twitch of his folded hands on the table.

“We’ve been talking about it. We’re not quite there yet,” he answers honestly.

Smart woman for making him wait. Or dumber than dumb woman for even considering marrying him. Nika can’t really make up her mind about that.

For the last few months, she went through a whole pallet of feelings, options and solutions regarding what was, clearly, an inevitable event. All things considered, they’d had a nice wedding, but it had never been a marriage and it was bound to end right from the start. She had no illusions about that. It was supposed to be an exchange of good practice – a green card for a credit card and a couple of favors. But what happened after? Whole different story. She wasn’t supposed to be stalked, threatened, kidnapped, interrogated for hours by the police and the FBI, put under surveillance and fear for her life. Damn, getting into a phony marriage was supposed to avoid her all that.

She has considered various kinds of responses to Michael predictably asking for a divorce. Refusing to sign the papers. Demanding more or less outrageous compensations regardless of their initial settlement – it’s not like he stuck to his part of the deal, huh? Requiring an annulment instead of a divorce since she was perfectly entitled to do such a thing. At some point, she thought of asking for the divorce herself and filling the papers just to get rid of him; she discarded the idea because seriously, she had no reason to make things easier for him. After all, the legal bound has never been an issue to her; obviously, it has become one to him though.

So, she has carefully considered her means of action to realize, in the end, that she’s just tired; she just wants to get out of this mess. As Michael is sitting in front of her across the table, she says, “I’m not sorry I pointed a gun at you and your brother,” but she grabs the pen he hands her nonetheless. She says, “I’d do it all over again. I wanted it to stop,” and she quickly peruses through the clauses of their official separation. She knows them already anyway because they’ve been laid out before Michael and she stepped into the judge’s chamber.

“I know,” Michael admits, looking her in the eye. “I hurt a lot of people. I hurt you too. I wanted to apologize to you for that.” He reaches out for her, his long, elegant fingers skimming over the papers, and she recoils and leans against the back of her chair, realizing that this was his actual reason to show up now. Not the divorce, but the apologies, maybe the hope of being forgiven and cleaning the plate.

“Well, at least I’m still here to hear that. I don’t think everybody can say the same.” He does flinch at that, pain flashing in his eyes, and she holds in a sigh. “Don’t be sorry. You taught me something... actually, you reminded me something I shouldn’t have forgotten.”

He’d been kind to her. Nothing more and nothing less. Kind. But kindness is a means to an end – she has been a means to an end and it’s been foolish of her to forget that. You should never ever confuse kindness with affection or even genuine interest. It was a rule she learned when she was very young, followed into adulthood and imprudently ignored because of a smart suit, a pretty dress, a stylish ring and a bogus, although nice, kiss. As she signs her name on the papers, she thinks that it’s definitely something she’ll keep mind now.

-End-


Comments are always welcome.
11-12 October 2008

Tiny unused snippet
 
 
Current Mood: calmcalm
 
 
 
The One with the Cauldronburntcircles on October 25th, 2008 06:14 am (UTC)
she recoils and leans against the back of her chair, realizing that this was his actual reason to show up now. Not the divorce, but the apologies, maybe the hope of being forgiven

I loved all of it, and most of all this. Because really, Michael didn't have to hand the divorce papers himself, and you explained why he has so accurately. This image:

he divorce papers are laid out on the kitchen table at equidistance between the two of them like some sort of untouchable item. There are two faint damp finger imprints at the top right corner of the documents, where he held them when he got them out of his pocket. He’s sweating

is nice, clair_de_lune, so vivid. The damp marks left on the paper...damn. *g* Nice touch.

And the last paragraph killed me. Send the paramedics. Guh.
Clair de Lune: origami - canardclair_de_lune on October 26th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC)
I considered writing it differently, just Nika getting the papers and reflecting upon the whole thing, but I guess Michael would face the consequences. And on a different note, maybe it wouldn't have 'balanced/mirrored' the original story.

And the last paragraph killed me. Send the paramedics. Guh.

Um. Me thinks this is a sneaky way to have Sara talk to you and take care of you ^_^
I'm glad you liked that paragraph. I had a slightly different ending, a couple of lines with Michael actually apologizing, and I cut it off because with it, the story focused too much on the apologies part and not enough on Nika.

Thank you for reading and commenting. And for the plot bunny ;)
Cath: toshstars_of_tears on October 25th, 2008 10:50 am (UTC)
I agree, last paragraph is definitely made of awesome ;)
Clair de Lune: origami - canardclair_de_lune on October 26th, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much :D
The depressed optimistlizparker6 on October 25th, 2008 11:51 am (UTC)
Very nice clair. :)I like especially the idea that the divorce papers were used as means of apology to her in person. Very nice, its seems very much like something michael would do.:)
Clair de Lune: pb - michaelclair_de_lune on October 26th, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC)
Can you imagine post-series Michael visiting all the people he caused trouble to (well, those who will be still alive) and pleading for their forgivness? Long trip *g*

Thanks a lot <3
Jules: pic#78103984darkwriter69 on October 26th, 2008 03:10 am (UTC)
Nice addition to the original fic and what a great turnaround in attitude on Nika's part.

That last paragraph? Perfect.
Clair de Lune: pb - brothersclair_de_lune on October 26th, 2008 02:31 pm (UTC)
Michael's obsession to save his brother made quite a few collateral damages, didn't it, and Nika is only one of them ^_^

Thank you :)
Zara: PB - Michael Frustratedmiss_zara on October 26th, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)
i loved how you can see Nika's changing attitude between the two fics.

But what happened after? Whole different story. She wasn’t supposed to be stalked, threatened, kidnapped, interrogated for hours by the police and the FBI, put under surveillance and fear for her life.

I always thought dumping her on the side of the road was a abrupt ending. Thanks for filling in the blanks.

:]
Clair de Lune: origami - canardclair_de_lune on October 26th, 2008 02:32 pm (UTC)
I'd say that Nika had a hard time after they left her on the side of the road, if only because the police/FBI/whatever had a few questions for her (which was something Michael had to know right from the begining, even if the escape had turned out differently). Not to mention the Bellick stunt before that. She certainly didn't sign up for that ^_^

Thanks for your comment!
gypsieegypsiee on October 26th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
I love it, I honestly havent read a lot of your writing but I'm definitely going change that. I loved that this is Nika fic especially one that explains what happened after that gun pulling fiasco....

I loved the end ...


Can I add you?
Clair de Lune: origami - canardclair_de_lune on October 29th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks a lot! I'm not really a fan of Nika, but I liked writing about her, if only to try to get a glimpse of what happened to her 'after'.

By all means, add :)