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10 August 2015 @ 05:36 pm
Prison Break - Story of Faith (14/27)  
Title: Story of Faith (14/27) - 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: ~ 2.400 (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 14

“It’s not enough anymore.”

Michael was settled in a leather armchair at one end of the table, the other attendees to the meeting paying close attention as he was unraveling his argumentation and his plan. It felt comfortable, pleasant almost; he knew well the people he was working with, and he’d run dozens of meetings like this one in a previous life.

(Though... not exactly like this one: it was the first time he’d entered a meeting with plans for assassinations.)

“Finding them, arresting them and—”

He stalled, not sure what happened after The Foundation, Kellerman, the Government or go-figure-who got their hands on The Company’s operatives. It didn’t bother him as much as it should have. The question had gnawed at him a bunch of times since the beginning of his mission, but not anymore. Not after studying Dr. Bowman’s reprogramming techniques and having them stick in his mind.

“And taking the necessary course of action,” Nat provided helpfully.

“Right. This. It’s not enough. We need more chaos among them if we want to divert their attention from us and do more than merely contain them.”

They’d made quite a bit more than merely containing The Company. But it still wasn’t enough: almost three years, and if The Company wasn’t as strong as it used to be, it still was. The Hydra kept growing and nurturing its heads. Even worse, they had acquired intel about their opponent, intel that was starting to hit a tad too close to home for The Foundation’s good. They weren’t in a situation to strike back — yet: it was only a matter of time before they did, though.

They were in a meeting room next to Mrs. Jamison’s office. No windows, backlit panels on the walls, long mahogany table, comfortable armchairs, and nothing else. It was a room like The Foundation liked them. Michael had grown fond of their minimalist yet luxurious feel.

Mrs. Jamison was facing him at the other end of the table, the analysts and Yoki on the sides, Tom standing by the door. Kellerman was walking around the room, which wasn’t surprising at all. Always on the move, always elusive, Congressman Kellerman.

“So your idea of strategy is to create a mess,” Kellerman said. He was oddly not sarcastic. It was a rare frame of mind when he was in Michael’s presence. “They’d be busy eluding us and would have to fight against each other at the same time. Simple but effective. Divide and rule.”

“Divide and destroy, actually” Jamison quipped. She was smiling with satisfaction. Mercy wasn’t her main quality.

“They’re already fighting against each other,” Michael reminded them, “but Acero is trying to make a deal with Smythe. We need to stop this and take their dissensions to another level. We can do it, now. We didn’t have enough intel on the various factions to implement this approach sooner.”

“It’s fine, Michael,” Kellerman told him. “I get that.”

Pat looked up from the black file in front of him. Not that he needed to refer to it since he’d worked on it with Michael, discussed the strategy, elaborated the tactics, planned the upcoming operations.

“We already went through this, but you do realize there will be casualties, Boss? A lot more than we had with Acero. A lot.”

He knew that. He’d thought it would cause him a few sleepless nights, but so far he’d been sleeping like a baby, and he was (reasonably) sure that Yoki wasn’t slipping him any sleeping pills.

“We’ll have to deal with that aspect. Most of those people would have faced the death penalty anyway, wouldn’t they?”

Yoki straightened up in her chair at that, at how casual he was about it.

“It depends on which state or country would judge them,” she protested. “And even so! Michael, you’re still angry and—”

He didn’t spare her a look, his eyes trained on Kellerman and Jamison.

“Yes, I am, and I think I’m going to be angry for a while. But it doesn’t change the fact that we need to take that road.”

“You shouldn’t make this kind of decision in your current state of mind.”

Kellerman stopped his pacing around the room.

“Dr. Evergreen, could we agree that now isn’t the time for a therapy session, please? This isn’t Michael’s call, anyway. It’s mine. And your lovely boss’. I thought that by now you’d got how this works? He proposes, we decide.”

Michael glanced at him but said nothing.

“And I will pick up the pieces when he—”

“Thank you for your input, Dr. Evergreen,” Jamison cut her off. “Thanks to all of you,” she added, motioning at the door.

The analysts and Tom left; Yoki had to follow and exited the room after them, face closed and lips pressed in a tight line.

Michael didn’t budge from his seat. Kellerman negligently leaned against the overpriced table and tilted his head at him in expectation. Next to him, Mrs. Jamison was going through the black file, seemingly not paying attention to them. She looked approving and reluctant at the same time, but Michael knew without a shadow of a doubt which side would take in the end.

“Anything I can help you with?” Kellerman asked when it became obvious that Michael would be keeping quiet.

“That was nice of you.”

“I’m sorry, Michael. I understand that me being nice to you rocks your world off its axis.” He shrugged a phony apology. “What was nice of me, by the way?”

I propose, you decide? Way to lift the burden of that sin off me. Of course, it could also be patronizing, a little reminder of who’s the boss here. But it wasn’t like that, was it?”

“No, it wasn’t like that,” Jamison seconded without raising her eyes from the documents she was checking. “It took him a while, but finally, he’s accepted the notion that he’ll never ever bed your wife, no matter what. He can keep it in his pants, no need for a dick-measurement contest. So he might as well be nice with you. Who knows, you may even mention it to Sara one day.”

Kellerman threw Michael a can you believe her?! look that wasn’t returned. Michael could indeed believe her. He’d been around her for three years. And he’d been around Kellerman for even longer: that astonished look of his was as phony as his apology seconds ago.

(Moreover chances were she was right, which was kind of unsettling.)

“You’re a bitch,” Kellerman told her good-naturedly.

“God. I’m so insulted; I had never been called that before.” She smirked at him. “Oh, wait... Anyway. I think you have something for Mr. Scofield?”

A thick brown envelope was fished out of Kellerman’s briefcase and landed noisily in front of Michael, almost knocking his black file off the table.

“Don’t get your panties in a knot. It’s a facsimile, not the real thing, and it’s not effective yet.”

Michael pulled the documents out of the envelope with shaking fingers.

Sara’s exoneration for shooting Christina and for breaking out of Miami Dade.

Sara’s medical license.

A few more documents with Linc, Sucre and Alex’ names on them — plus a blank one for him ‘cause, yeah, God forbid he had a legal existence for now — to which he didn’t bother paying much attention for the present.

Everything was signed, no dates on it.

“It’s all set,” Kellerman explained. “The second Krantz has been executed, we have Acero and Smythe in custody — or you know, in body bags — and The Company is too fucked-up to recover, I stamp the date on those papers, and you guys can live happily ever after.”

He moved his ass off the meeting table.

“You hadn’t asked for it, but I added the paperwork for your little stunt at Miami Dade for everyone involved. Would be a pity for you to go back to jail for that one, wouldn’t it?”

Michael was still drinking in each single word on the documents when the pneumatic door swooshed closed behind Kellerman. Michael saw his figure retreat through the frosted glass doors and made a move to follow him.

“You’ll thank him next time,” Mrs. Jamison held him back. “He won’t mind. He likes you, you know.”

“Sure. It’s as plain as the nose on your face.”

“Give him a break. He isn’t used yet to liking people. He doesn’t always know how to do it.”

She tapped her fingernails on the black file.

“Back to our business. That’s harsh methods. Welcome to the dark side, Mr. Scofield.”

“Speaking of dark side, for how long have you had the intel Yoki gave me about my mother?”

He’d had the time to study the file with the appropriate thoroughness. Cat was awesome-good at her job, and Yoki had one hell of a brain, but three days for gathering this sort of intel? It bordered on genius. Or improbability.

“I don’t know what you mean.”

At least, she was looking him in the eye while lying; and she didn’t even bother lying well or pretending that she minded whether he believed it or not.

“I don’t care, you know. I get it. Whatever it takes to bring them down. Maybe I don’t deserve this anymore, but Sara and Lincoln do. My kid does. And apparently, my mother’s memory does.”

She sighed and pushed her example of the black file aside, as though to take away its content and consequences.

“You need to have faith. Just... just have some faith, Michael. Please?”

He started at the request, not sure anymore what she knew about him and what she truthfully meant — meant from the bottom of her heart — what had been scripted and what was honest words of encouragement. All of that wasn’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

“Faith?”

“Faith that in the end, things will be the way they should be.”

“It sounds like a fancy way to say that the end justifies the means. You don’t look like the kind of woman who needs such a euphemism.”

“You confuse euphemism with keeping your eyes on the goal.” She shrugged. “You don’t know whether I need this or not, but what I know is that somewhere along the road, you will — when your anger wears off, and you realize what you’ve been part of and that there was no other way. You’ll need that kind of faith, then.”

* * *

So many dates that Sara had stopped keeping track of and countless days at the beach, most of the time with Michael Jr. and often with Linc and Sofia, before she considered stepping over the last line. She felt like she was taking a plunge into the unknown.

She wasn’t feeling guilty. She had no reason to feel guilty, obviously, and yet she had expected the sensation, braced herself for it, prepared to deal with it. It didn’t show up. Not when she walked up the stairs to Rafael’s small apartment, not when she woke up in his bed the next morning, neither in-between, nor when he sat by her with a glass of juice and kissed her shoulder.

(Not as much as she’d imagined, anyway.)

She was relaxed, sated — so very sated — a bit sore in the best way, and almost not feeling guilty. It was okay. She was okay, everything would be okay. She was young and healthy and it had been more than three years and Michael wouldn’t have wanted her to be mourning him for the rest of her life and... and...

She kept running through her mind the reasons Sofia had unraveled for her months ago, the reasons she held on to, the reasons Lincoln rolled his eyes at because — duh!

The fact that she needed to remind herself of those reasons partially invalidated them, but at least here she was, almost guilt-free, relaxed and so very sated, Rafael kissing up her shoulder and neck — and then, her cheek, not her mouth.

“It was the first time, wasn’t it?” he said softly.

And with that, she realized that if the feeling of guilt wasn’t exactly pregnant, a sensation of weirdness weighed heavy on the nape of her neck, lurked in her belly. There was more intimacy in those kisses on her shoulder, in that glass of juice and gentle question than in anything they’d done last night. She was bare and exposed in a way she hadn’t been since Michael, except maybe with Linc and Sofia, but it was so very different with them: they’d known her before, witnessed the process of her transformation, gone through it with her to one extent or another. Rafael? Rafael only knew this Sara, Rafael had no link whatsoever with her old life, Rafael was one hundred percent fresh start.

Maybe she wasn’t ready to let her memories become memories.

(To let Michael become a memory.)

She laid back against the pillows, the sheets tucked around her, and quirked an eyebrow, trying to act light and okay with everything when her heart was beating into her throat.

“You know I have a kid, right? It definitely wasn’t the first time,” she joked.

He kissed her cheek again, sweet and chaste, the contact so different from last night’s — very sweet indeed, last night, but a long way from being chaste.

“You know what I mean.”

She wasn’t doing so good at her ‘build a life’ thing, it seemed. Maybe she should just have picked up some guy on a vacation and fucked him. Of course, this wouldn’t have been very compliant with her aspirations for constructiveness.

Too fast. Or maybe Raf was too nice. You didn’t want to hurt a Rafael; you didn’t want to unload your luggage and crap on him; you didn’t want to let him closer for he could see how not ready you were to keep this thing going on.

(Charade. This charade going on. She’d been silly to think she could do this.)

“I’m sorry,” she breathed out.

“I’m not. Great dates, beautiful woman, awesome night. What’s to be sorry about?” He reached for her dress that had been haphazardly thrown over a chair last night and handed it to her. “I’m not going anywhere, you know. Maybe someday—”

(Wait for me. It won’t always be like this.)

She smiled in sad amusement at the irony of it, at the way her determination to move forward had rekindled her memories.

TBC
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