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31 July 2015 @ 04:07 pm
Prison Break - Story of Faith (8/27)  
Title: Story of Faith (8/27) - Story index
Author: clair_de_lune
Fandom: Prison Break
Characters: Michael, Sara, Lincoln, Paul Kellerman, Sofia Lugo, Jane Phillips, Michael Jr., LJ Burrows, Original characters
Pairings: Michael/Sara, Lincoln/Sofia (background)
Categories: Gen, romance
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: ~ 1.295 (this chapter), ~ 60.500 (total)
Author’s notes: This is canon compliant and a fix-it story. In other words, I tried to take into account most of the canon, including The Final Break, and give it a different ending. See chapter one for thanks and beta-readers.

Summary: He had thought that death was black. Dark, at the very least. It was dark at first, after the fireworks he’d created had subsided and their imprints on his retinas had faded. After that, though, there were colors.
After Miami Dade, while Sara, Lincoln and Sofia settle in Costa Rica and try to build a new life, Michael awakes far away from them... (Post-series, canon compliant, fix-it story)


Chapter 8

They made progress; some days, weeks or months more than others. They managed, if not to close Krantz’ channels of communication, at least to monitor them, sometimes to use them to their profit. Considering the endgame, monitoring or using them was so much more useful than closing them anyway, Cat had pointed out on a sunny morning, her innocent face and smile a stark contrast to her blunt words and sneaky handling of the intel she was responsible for.

Some days, weeks or months were productive. Others? Less. Today belonged to the second category.

Mrs. Jamison rarely came down to Michael’s office, even less so on a weekday at 3 P.M. She trusted Michael and his analysts to do the job — it wasn’t like he didn’t have the best motivations, was it? So, when she entered the large room in the middle of the afternoon, it couldn’t be good; the tight line of her lips hinted that it was downright bad.

“John Coleman was found dead,” she announced. “The police say it was a car accident.”

She smirked in dismay because, yes, coincidences happened, but Occam’s razor and all that jazz? A car accident was not the obvious explanation in this case.

Michael held on to the edge of his desk and watched his knuckles go white. If he didn’t hold on to the edge of his desk, he was going to grip his cane and use it to sweep the files off said desk or hit the over-priced tactile wall.

It had taken them months. Infiltrating Coleman among the guards dealing with Krantz on a daily basis and earning the General’s trust — or whatever the man was capable of that bordered ever so slightly on trust — hadn’t been a walk in the park. Sure, Krantz was more reckless than he used to be; he didn’t have a choice, his options always less broad. It didn’t mean he wasn’t half-paranoid about who he talked to.

“All those months, all that work.” Michael’s throat felt raw, his tongue heavy, the words whispered and hard to get out. “Reduced to nothing just like that.”

It wasn’t just the work, his, his analysts’, whoever else’s. It was the sacrifices, the months — months made of never ending seconds — spent away from his family.

Anger, deep and red and blinding, boiled in his stomach and behind his eyes. It was the first time since he’d been there that he really was angry, but for now, he was too angry to realize it and be surprised. Later. Later he would wonder how it could have taken him so long, how he’d been able to experience pain, longing, fear, and half a dozen emotions, without anger ever coming to the foreground.

He rose to his feet, raised his arm armed with the fucking walking cane, and aimed for the nearest piece of furniture, which happened to be his computer monitor, only to be grabbed as it arced through the air, stopped and held midway by Mrs. Jamison. He struggled, either on principle or instinct, and she gripped his wrist tighter.

She didn’t tell him anything. Not that he was going to hurt himself, not that she was going to hurt him if he kept that up, not that he needed to control himself. She just moved on as if nothing had happened, as if he hadn’t been this close to smashing a computer screen.

“Let’s see the upside,” she said quietly. “At least, it means we’ve put our finger on something. Figure out what it is, Mr. Scofield. Kellerman is sending a team to take a look at Coleman’s car and apartment. I’ll let you know what they find.”

He sat down. He was squeezing his cane so tight that his hand was shaking.

“I’m sorry for Coleman.”

A man had died. A man had died trying to help them. Michael let go of his cane and heard it hit the ground. He was safe, here. He played with files and information, with people’s lives, but he didn’t risk anything. Maybe that was another kind of punishment for everything he did; for everything he was doing to Sara and Linc.

Jamison shrugged. “He knew what he was getting himself into.”

(Right. Coleman did. Sara and Linc had no idea. That scared Michael to death.)

The anger didn’t subside. He got back to work, made sure Pat, Cat and Nat got back to work, but the anger didn’t subside. Quite the contrary. He kept it tamped down and under control, but he felt it all the rest of the afternoon, all night long, and it was still there when he woke up the next morning. The next days — days that extended into a couple of weeks — it didn’t leave him alone. During their sessions, Yoki listened to him assuring her he was fine. She didn’t buy it, just as she hadn’t bought his little act when he woke up here over a year ago, and she told him that being angry was okay; it was normal and expected. Coleman’s death was only the trigger to an emotion waiting to break free.

He knew that. He also knew that anger, just like fear, determination or hope, could either undermine or boost him.

For now, it boosted him. During the day, he worked on identifying what had caused Coleman’s downfall and finding another way to approach Krantz. During the night, his brain wouldn’t stop working, the events and intel from the day finding their way into his dreams — his nightmares.

Yoki scowled at him, told him he wasn’t going to be able to follow that rhythm very long. He dismissed it and told her it worked for him. The faster he got it over with, the better.

Sometimes, in his drive to beat Krantz — to defeat him here and now, no worries of the consequences — he’d almost lost perspective on the whole chessboard. It had taken a twisted smile on Cat’s round face when she mentioned their endgame to remind him there was an endgame, a bigger one than merely having a temporary upper hand on the man.

That frame of mind never had lasted for long, though, and it didn’t this time either. He needed to think bigger, for a longer period of time. Now that they’d understood how Krantz worked his assets from inside of the prison, it was easier to take measures and recommend actions.

Maybe insiders had given all they could give. He put Pat in charge of finding an alternative to Coleman because he wasn’t quite ready yet to abandon that lead, but he started working from a different angle. It had been twenty months. They must stop considering Krantz as the focal point — he wasn't anymore — and concentrate on his potential successors. They’d made more than enough progress to get onto the next step. Nat, who’d been assigned this task since the beginning, smiled and laid the result of his research at Michael’s feet as if it was some sort of offering.

“Wondered when you would ask, Boss.”

They went through Nat’s files for days — Michael would have lived on coffee and sandwiches if Yoki hadn’t pointed out that he needed to eat, hydrate and rest properly to be efficient. In the end, they targeted three people, two men and one woman. Three possible new heads, each with their little band of followers behind them. Michael stared at the pictures and information, unhinged, flabbergasted that after the blow their little team had given to The Company by turning Scylla over to the government, The Company still had this kind of manpower within its ranks.

The Company is a Hydra, Michael. Maybe Kellerman had been wrong on this one. Right now, to Michael, The Company looked more like a deeply rooted weed.

TBC
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