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29 August 2015 @ 08:59 pm
Prison Break - Story of Faith (19/27)  
Title: Story of Faith (19/27) - 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: ~ 2,570 (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 19

Another year, another trip to Michael’s grave. Fernando and Alex visiting. A blue shirt for Lincoln that he still couldn’t manage to button properly but made of a fancy cotton his baby brother would have approved of. An ephemeral tattoo for Mike because it was a cute way to celebrate his Dad’s memory. A new, pretty yellow dress for her, something lively and happy because Michael had paid a high enough price for her to be alive and happy.

(Kind of happy.)

Another origami crane that the wind blew off the tombstone and took far, far away. “All the way up to the sky, where Daddy is looking out for you,” Lincoln had told Mike with a wink, on their way back home. Sara had choked a little bit at that one and let Fernando wrap an arm around her shoulders — and then chuckled and writhed out of his hold when he tickled her ribs.

It was getting a bit easier every year. Four years ago, if you’d told her so, she would have bitterly laughed in your face, but there was peace in what they’d built here, in the thought that they were living the way Michael had meant them to live.

(The secret was to take one day at a time, not to think too far ahead in the future. It wasn’t an unpleasant way to live, anyway, and for a few months four years ago, she’d collected enough thrills and adventures for a lifetime. She was fine.)

Another day after another trip to Michael’s grave. A short fight with Mike who didn’t want the ephemeral tattoo to be removed, Fernando not helping at all by agreeing that the tattoo looked awesome, and Alex totally helping by reminding Mike the thing was meant to be temporary and Mommy would surely be more disposed to grant him another one for another occasion if he was a good boy.

“Not easy to convince him otherwise when he has his mind set on something, huh?” Alex noticed while finishing packing his suitcase. “I wonder from whom the little guy got this kind of attitude.”

Sara nodded her head and smiled with benevolence. “Funny guy. You can spare yourself the effort: I already have Lincoln reminding me about once a week that a combination of Michael’s genes and mine could only lead to this kind of trouble.”

Business as usual.

Nearly.

Three days after the anniversary of Michael’s death, Jane showed up at her door.

Now, that was unusual. Jane tended to give them space and time at this moment of the year, probably because seeking space and time was the way she dealt with her own losses. Yet, this year, here she was, something subtly different about her. Maybe the jeans she was wearing in place of her regular shirts or colorful dresses, maybe the tight smile she gave Sara, maybe the barely perceptible tension in her shoulders. Not something a casual observer would see, but Sara wasn’t a casual observer. She’d spent time in prison — both sides — and with Jane, and—

“There’s no easy way to do this, Sara,” Jane started. “Do you, uh, do you still keep that emergency travel bag for you and Mike? If you do, it might be a good idea to go get it. I also need you to call Lincoln and tell him to come here right now with Sofia and LJ.”

You never see these things coming, you know? You fear and worry and remain on your guard for months and years, first thought in the morning when you wake up and last one at night when you lay your head on the pillow, and yet, you never see it coming because it may be two minutes or two decades after you finally dropped you guard that reality catches up with you and bites you in the ass.

(She’d sure expected for this sort of stuff to happen since they’d arrived in Costa Rica, the notion lurking at the back of her mind, and yet she never saw it coming.)

The emergency travel bag had caused a bit of sarcasm from Lincoln. The target shooting thing had pissed him off, but the emergency travel bag? Sarcasm and irony. Sara had been well aware it was a self-defense mechanism from him and never bothered replying. But she’d kept the emergency travel bag between her mirrored armoire and the wall of her bedroom, filled with a few essential items for Mike and her.

Another thing she’d learned in both sides of prison and during the last four years? It was to assess who she could trust blindly — not so many people — and act in consequence. Jane could be trusted. Now wasn’t the time to ask questions.

(She would ask questions. Later. A lot, a lot of questions.)

She swallowed hard, turned around and walked — walked, did not run — inside the bungalow calling for her son in an even, non-alarming voice. Jane was on her heels, grabbing the cordless phone on their way to the master bedroom.

“Sara, you’re listening to me?”

“Yes. Shoot.”

It was somewhat surreal, how swiftly she switched back to the survival mode she’d known for a few months four years ago. A few months against thirty years of almost-carefree life, but it still came back to her as though it had never left. Maybe it had never quite left, she would have to think about that — much later, after she was done asking the lot of questions she had for Jane.

“You call Linc and tell him to close the scuba shop for a few days. You call Lucia at the orphanage and tell her you’re going to take a short sea trip in memory of Michael. You apologize for warning her on such short notice, but visiting Michael’s grave was hard this year and you need a break to collect your thoughts. Your family is helping you with—”

“I get it,” Sara cut her off through clenched teeth, not liking the idea at all but indeed getting the necessity of the lie.

(Not quite a lie, anyway, how hard it was to visit Michael’s grave. Never quite a lie.)

“Where are we going?”

Jane handed her a piece of paper where coordinates had been scribbled down. “You guys take your boat. I’ll meet you there in three hours.”

“Where are we going after that?”

“I need to bring you to a safe place. I can’t tell more for now.”

“So, after all, I guess you don’t work for an insurance company, right?”

It wasn’t because now wasn’t the time to ask questions that now wasn’t the time for a small barb, was it?

Lincoln was tense when he stepped out of his car, and angry by the time they stepped out of Sara’s boat one hour and thirty minutes later. Jane pointing out “You’re late,” didn’t help with his mood.

“Bite me. I’m not going anywhere if you don’t tell us where you’re taking us anyway.”

Lincoln didn’t have any emergency travel bag. He did believe it years ago when Kellerman told them they were safe. Or maybe because he didn’t want to tempt fate by keeping one. Either way, it was saying something: he wasn’t as ready as Sara was to see their little world blow up so abruptly. It was an issue: angry and unprepared Lincoln meant Lincoln being difficult and arguing about meaningless stuff when they didn’t have the time to argue at all.

Jane rolled her eyes.

“You have thirty seconds to grab whatever you brought with you.” She pointed an index finger at her partner, whom Lincoln had only seen once or twice before, but knew was even bigger and larger than him, and had quite amazing scuba-diving capabilities. “After that Pete and I knock you out and drag you into the car. Now, tell Sofia and LJ to get out of the fucking boat.”

They drove away in Jane’s plain car at regular speed while some guys took over the boat and sailed back offshore. Sara’s heart was hardly beating a tad faster than normal, Mike was flipping through some book in the backseat, Sofia and LJ were quiet, even Lincoln had shut up. This wasn’t how she’d envisioned this kind of situation. She’d remembered screeching tires, and men in dark suits, and guns, and... And instead, she had a plain gray car, no pursuers (yet), her son not even disturbed by the whole thing, and a friend behind the wheel. Sure, her boat was going go-figure-where steered by go-figure-who, but that was a minor issue, really.

They changed cars ten miles further along the road and hopped in a white van. It was in said van, en route for go-figure-where, that Sara started to freak out. On the boat, there had been a goal, a place to go, familiar tasks to accomplish, a defined length of time. That wasn’t the case anymore. They didn’t know where they were going, why they needed to leave so fast — though it didn’t take much imagination to figure this out — and how long it would take to reach their destination. She kept it together for Mike and for Sofia, who was livid under her nice tan, and because this was just what she did — keep it together under pressure. But her heart was hammering in her chest, her skin clammy with sweat, her mind filled with dozens of not good, bad, terrible, awful scenarios.

(Moreover, she left her fucking gun in her fucking dresser. What had been the fucking point of practicing target-shooting if she couldn’t even think to pick up her fucking gun before leaving?)

The van bounced on a pothole. Mike was half thrown off his seat and secured in extremis by LJ.

“I’m going to kill that bastard,” Lincoln grunted between gritted teeth.

He hadn’t said a word since Jane threatened to knock him out. It had taken Mike almost hitting his head to pull him out of his silence.

“Who?”

“Kellerman. That asshole lied to me.”

Sara rolled her eyes. “Seriously, Lincoln. It was three years ago, the situation may have changed about fifteen times since then. Moreover, it’s Kellerman. Kellerman is Kellerman.”

“Yeah. You’re the smart one. I’m a dumbass. I’m still killing the bastard.”

“Who’s the bastard?” Mike asked with curiosity.

Sara gave Linc a pointed look. “Great. Just great.”

* * *

There was a stack of tiny, accurate but useless information about The Foundation’s agents and operations in front of Michael. He’d just finished checking their innocuousness before one of Mrs. Jamison’s operatives would leak them to The Company using the communication channels Tom had been using during the last weeks. It served two purposes: Smythe didn’t know his mole had been spotted and arrested; The Foundation kept the gates open to feed Smythe fake intel if needed later.

(It had a third, though less official, purpose as Jamison obviously enjoyed playing with disinformation.)

So Tom’s communication channels were working and being used. Even though Tom was still MIA and nobody, not even Yoki, would tell Michael anything about his former bodyguard’s whereabouts.

They had lost track of Smythe in Morocco; they found him again in French Guiana and then in Suriname. Michael felt itchy, twitchy, sweaty and other unpleasant stuff while trying to figure out the man’s next move. He always felt that way when the highest Company’s operatives were wandering too close — all things being relative — to Costa Rica.

“Where are you securing my family?” he asked Mrs. Jamison.

The only and curt reply he got was, “In a safe house,” followed by an equally curt suggestion to go back to work and keep tabs on their target before they lost him again.

Well then. He guessed he should be grateful not to be snowed under with details that would have distracted him from his mission, huh? Yoki sat down with him for a couple of minutes to convince him that yes, indeed, it was for his own good, that knowing exactly where Sara and Linc were taken wouldn’t help in any way. He listened and squinted, and then...

“I do know that, Yoki. I’m amazed that your boss felt compelled to send you here just for that, that’s all. I’m not going to break under pressure. You fixed me up a long time ago, don’t worry.”

She smiled at him sweetly. “You’re a snooty jerk when you’re anxious.”

Kellerman wasn’t at his office in Washington when his face showed up on one of the screens. The bickering between Michael and Yoki had stopped, the analysts and even Jamison were working with him on tracking Smythe’s every move, and Kellerman wasn’t at his office in Washington. Moreover, he wasn’t happy; really not happy. Jamison looked up, unimpressed, and Michael didn’t look up at all, too deeply absorbed in the data.

Kellerman vaguely waved his hand at Pat, Nat and Cat. “You may want to ask the three Stooges to leave the room before we start this conversation, Mrs. J.”

“I need my analysts right now, Paul,” Michael said, still not looking up. “We’re in the middle of something in case you haven’t noticed, so can you please throw your fit as quickly as possible and let us work?”

Yoki breathed out “Snooty,” and reclined in her chair.

In Kellerman’s defense, it was fast. And brutal in this fakely smooth way of his. There were insults and name calling, questioning about Jamison’s tactical intelligence — and about her intelligence, period — as exfiltrating Sara, Lincoln and the kid was akin to admitting they had something to do with the whole situation and—

“Phillips made it look like they were taking some time away after the anniversary of Michael’s death.”

(Four years, and Michael still started when someone mentioned his death.)

— and Jane Phillips, by the way, wasn’t supposed to take orders from The Foundation, so would Mrs J. be so nice as to please ask next time, before she recruited one of his operatives.

“Sure. Last time I checked, Ms. Phillips was a fellow contractor free to strike another deal as long as it doesn’t impede your interests, but sure. Anyway, Tom hasn’t just given out some of our plans, he’s also learned a few things from his contact at The Company.”

This time, Michael looked up: this was not something she had bothered sharing with him.

“The Company has started asking the wrong questions to the wrong people. Or the right questions to the right people, depending on where you stand. It may be only a matter of time before they find out that Mr. Scofield isn’t as dead as he’s supposed to be. So yes, exfiltrating his family so that they don’t become a bargaining chip sounded like the smart thing to do. Too bad if you don’t agree with my decision.”

Kellerman processed the information, and Michael could tell that he was mentally listing the people who were a risk and needed to be taken care of. Not a long list, but still a too substantial one for Kellerman’s peace of mind, starting with the former warden and doctor of Miami Dade.

“All right, Mrs. Jamison. It was the right move.” He leaned forward, his voice lowering even though it was useless since he was on speakers and on a large screen. “Not one pertaining to the realm of your attributions, that said. We’ll need to discuss this.”

The screen went black.

TBC
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