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02 September 2015 @ 08:30 pm
Prison Break - Story of Faith (20/27)  
Title: Story of Faith (20/27) - 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: ~ 2,600 (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 20

Sara was curling by the fire with a cup of tea, wearing a fluffy sweater and thick socks for the first time in four years. Inside the two-story house, everything was blonde wood and light fabric, the rooms just large enough and quite comfortable, even more so considering the purpose of the place. Outside, it was snow and cold and crystalline blue sky, a small house in a quiet place.

(Safe house in a quiet place, so not-remarkable, which was undoubtedly the point.)

Despite what was going on — whatever it was that was going on — Sara was enjoying the frozen landscape, the snow and the peculiar light. While in Costa Rica, she hadn’t realized how much she was missing all this. As far as safe places were involved, this one wasn’t half bad, compared to those Sara had lived in.

Canada.

“Where are we going?” Lincoln had asked Jane on the plane. He got no answer and looked at Sara, maybe hoping that some super-special-secret female bonding with Jane had granted her access to information the other woman wouldn’t share with him.

Lincoln could still be incredibly naïve for an-almost forty-year old man who’d gone through so much crap and shit in his life.

“She needs to bring us to a safe place. She can’t tell us more for now,” Sara had answered.

“That’s what Pete told me too.”

“Yes. Figures, right?”

“Do you think they even know more?”

Jane had condescended to throw him an annoyed look from behind the screen of her laptop, but had provided no answer.

Canada it was.

Sara wasn’t supposed to go to Canada.

“Don’t worry,” Jane had told her as they were getting into the car at the small airdrome.

They had flown over the States, for God’s sake. Forget Canada, Sara wasn’t supposed to fly over the States, nor go near the States in any way. She was still a wanted fugitive in this part of the world. Up until now, this part of the world had been letting her live her life in Costa Rica because it was simpler for pretty much everybody, but waving the mouse in front of the cat might not be the smartest move, was it?

“Don’t worry,” Jane had repeated.

Sara closed her eyes and tried to relax in the armchair, tried not to think how less than seventy-two hours ago, she was feeling at peace (kind of) and happy (kind of too).

She’d jinxed herself.

“Sara? Wake up.”

Someone was poking her in the arm, gently but firmly. Lincoln. She had fallen asleep. Falling asleep easily wasn’t because of the survival mode she’d switched to when Jane told her they had to leave Costa Rica, not the one she’d learned as she was running away from the police and The Company and the FBI at least. It was a reminiscence of her years of internship, when the best advice she’d been given was to sleep whenever she could, wherever she could ‘cause she would need it.

“Kellerman’s here. Apparently, he knows more than Jane and her goon.”

Sara straightened in the armchair, rubbed her eyes, and pushed her hair behind her ears, going from slumber to full alertness in three seconds tops and noticing that someone had prudently removed the cup of tea from her hands. Of course Kellerman was here. Of course Kellerman knew more than Jane and had something to do with their current situation. He was a true Jack-in-the-Box: you knew he would spring in your face eventually, and yet, he still managed to catch you off guard.

She wasn’t the only one who had fallen asleep. On the large couch at the other end of the room, Sofia and LJ were shifting to sit up too, throwing worried glances at Kellerman who was standing in the doorway. Sofia had never met the man, but had heard enough about him to know that having him in the same room as Lincoln could only lead to trouble.

Paul Kellerman hadn’t changed much in four years. Longer hair, a few wrinkles. Besides that, he still was as classy as ever in his dark suit, still gave this impression of a permanent smirk curving his mouth. Or maybe the changes evaded her because she’d caught glimpses of him every now and then, on TV, on the internet, in newspapers, and witnessed the evolution from afar.

“Hello, Sara,” he said softly. “It’s nice to see again. You look good.”

She’d spent the last days hopping from boat to cars to plane and then more cars. She looked like shit and didn’t care in the slightest.

“That’s the bastard, Mama?”

Mike. Mike had that perfect-awful tempo only kids could display. He also had a very clear and rather loud voice because his Mama and his uncle had taught him that speaking clearly and audibly so that people understood him was good manners.

Lincoln, who was usually so big on Mike not using bad words, chuckled. Sara was not nearly as amused.

“Michael!” She snapped and immediately regretted her tone. “Don’t use that word. It’s a naughty word, honey.”

“But Uncle Linc—”

“And Mama is going to wash Uncle Linc’s mouth out with soap.”

Unruffled by the fresh welcome, Kellerman knelt to level his eyes with Michael’s. “Yes, that’s me, Michael, but only your Uncle Lincoln calls me that.”

That was debatable. From the top of her head, Sara could name a bunch of other people who would use the epithet, but there was no need to go there right now.

“You can call me Uncle Paul.”

“Paul will do,” Sara stepped in. Getting up from the armchair, she walked to her son and laid her hands on his shoulders, moving him away from Kellerman. “So, Paul... are you here to tell us what’s going on? Because Jane dragged us here, but won’t say anything and was waiting for someone who would explain the situation to us.”

“Yes.” Still crouching in front of Michael, he glanced at Sofia over his shoulder. “Maybe Sofia can take care of the little guy while we talk? If you don’t mind, Sofia?”

“Whatever you have to say, you can say it in front of her,” Lincoln grounded.

“Thank you for your input, Lincoln. It’s in front of your nephew that I’d rather not talk, right now. Firstly, you don’t know what kids pick up from conversations and can repeat to the first person they meet.”

To his credit, the ‘bastard’ line was hard evidence that he got this right.

“Secondly, Sara may want to speak with him later, in her own words.”

“It’s okay, Lincoln.” Sofia held out her hand. “You’re coming with me, Mike? We’re going to drink some hot cocoa.” He didn’t seem particularly eager to move. “With marshmallows.”

The last offer definitely pried him away from his mom and put him into gear. Hot cocoa with marshmallows was a novelty he’d discovered when arriving here and constituted an efficient incentive.

“He’s a nice kid,” Kellerman said after Sofia and Mike were gone. “Even if I can spot Burrows’ influence in his words choices.”

Sara sat back in the armchair and tucked her hands under her thighs to conceal their shaking, her composure starting to slide away now that answers were within reach. She’d been holding up well until now, they all had, but Kellerman standing here in his tailored suit — and probably with a gun under his tailored suit — was bringing back memories and feelings from another time.

None of this could be good. What looked very much like an exfiltration, flying them across the globe and landing so close to the US, Jane’s somber expression, the mere fact that Kellerman was involved, none of this could be good — and yet, Jane seemed anxious rather than worried, and Kellerman didn’t exactly look as if he was about to deliver bad news.

Sara ought to know that a woman like Jane had numerous reasons to be worried, but that it took something different to make her anxious. Kellerman... she wouldn’t dare dream what Kellerman pegged as good news and bad news, so that didn’t mean much. It was unnerving. Between Costa Rica and Canada, in the moments where she failed to not think about the hasty departure and the trip and Jane playing it GI Jane-style, she wondered and drew up scenarios. All of them involved The Company still being around, no surprise here, but none of them could provide her with a reason why they would be of any value to a reborn Company.

“Spill it, Kellerman.”

Lincoln too was done with the wait. He was standing by Sara, his hand on the back of the armchair, so close that she could sense the warmth and the nervousness radiating from him. He hid the nervousness well, but she’d learned to read the signals.

“You need to understand that we took the road we took because we didn’t have a choice and because it was safer for you guys.”

Still not spilling it.

Sara fidgeted, LJ squinted with exasperation, and Lincoln shuffled his feet. His knuckles were white where his hand held on to the armchair. Kellerman didn’t seem to realize, or to care, that he was about to pounce on him and smash his skull into the nearest wall. Sara certainly wouldn’t stop her brother-in-law; Sara might do her own share of pouncing and skull-smashing, especially given Michael wasn’t around to witness his Mama going physical on the bastard.

Jane unfolded her arms and elbowed Kellerman, saving him from a threat of violence he wasn’t even aware of.

“Okay.”

He went for it, enunciating slowly and clearly so that there could be no doubt about what he was saying, no misunderstanding or confusion.

“So here is the thing: Michael... the big one, not the little guy... Michael didn’t exactly die when he broke Sara out of Miami Dade.”

He paused. He didn’t look at Lincoln or at LJ, possibly because he wasn’t interested in their reaction, possibly because looking a bull in eye wasn’t a good idea. He did try to make eye contact with Sara, to make sure she was following what he was saying, but she looked through him, not seeing him, her brain trying to process the words and not quite managing to.

(Michael didn’t exactly die— She couldn’t even remember what Kellerman said after that. Didn’t exactly die. Not possible. Been there, done that herself, but didn’t they say that lightning never struck twice in the same place?)

“He didn’t die at all.”

Wasn’t Lincoln staggering beside her? Because if he collapsed onto the armchair, he would crush her.

“What do you mean, he didn’t die?” Lincoln asked.

He was definitely not processing the words, Sara thought, otherwise he wouldn’t sound as if Kellerman had just told him that his old car wasn’t irremediably broken, after all. She wasn’t doing any better; she felt as if she was experiencing the conversation and the settings from second-hand, floating in the room above everything, out of herself.

“Michael is alive,” Jane said.

Everything came to a stop. The world, the air in the living room, Sara’s heart, Lincoln’s breathing above her head. There was an antique clock on the wall in front of her, and Sara wondered how it managed to keep on ticking. It was the only things she could hear, that ticking and the blood rushing to her head and making her ears buzz. Jane seemed to add a few words or sentences, her lips moving, Kellerman’s too, but nothing reached Sara, Lincoln or LJ. They were fixated on the three little words Michael is alive and trying to determine how this was possible, trying to understand that it was possible.

And then Lincoln moved. Sara admired him for being able to move, because she certainly couldn’t, her body weighing a ton, her butt and back stuck to the armchair, her feet planted in the carpet on the floorboards. But Lincoln moved and he did pounce this time. On Jane, who was standing right in front of Kellerman, head first because this was what Lincoln always did, going in head first, jaw squared and fists clenched in anger.

It was over four years ago, but fool her once, shame on you, fool her twice etc. So not this time. This time, she swiftly stepped aside. Before anyone could do anything, Lincoln’s forehead was connecting with Kellerman’s face, and there was a loud crack, an even louder shout, and Kellerman falling into the sofa LJ and Sofia were napping on an hour ago. Jane grabbed Lincoln with both hands and pushed him back, away from her and from Kellerman who was swearing and bleeding on his white shirt and blue tie.

“I didn’t know, Lincoln! Sara...” Sara startled at her name and looked at her friend — not sure she felt like calling her a friend right now, but that was a question for another time. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”

LJ got up and tentatively laid a hand on his father’s arm, trying to guide him to a chair, but Lincoln wouldn’t budge. Muscles bunched and tight, he was struggling not to throw himself at Kellerman again, or maybe at Jane, hit and let the rage and the incomprehension flow that way. That was what the old version of Lincoln would have done; the man he’d become managed to somewhat keep it together, to breathe and think. His baby brother would have been so proud of him.

(Shit. Did this mean Michael was actually around to be proud of him?)

“It’s true, she didn’t know,” Kellerman confirmed. He wiped his bleeding nose on the back of his hand and loosened his tie. “She was told only last night.”

“Lincoln.” Lincoln turned around at Sara’s soft, soft voice. “Michael. Is. Alive.”

She realized she’d needed to utter the words to understand them, even if they didn’t totally register. Alive. Not dead. Didn’t die.

(Michael was alive. Michael was alive. Alive. Her husband, Mike’s dad, Lincoln’s little brother, LJ’s uncle. Alive.)

“I want to know why and how. Don’t you?”

He nodded. Yes. Yes, he did. Voice of reason, that woman. Even when she did some crazy shit, like helping inmates to break out of jail and going after awful people and breaking out of prison herself to raise her kid and practicing at target shooting when she shouldn’t have and... there was still more reason in her than in most people.

He did want to know. He also wanted to be happy, but the news was too big and too fresh for him to be happy. He couldn’t believe it, let alone be happy, without knowing the whys and hows. Sara was right.

Sara nodded back at him. She knew how he felt; she felt the same way: euphoria bubbling into the pit of their stomachs, heads and minds refusing to run with it.

She’d been dead to them too, once upon a time, but Michael had been able to see her, hold her, kiss her. He’d made her real for him again, back then. Today, Michael being alive was an abstraction. Words in the air, nothing more than an odd tale by an untrustworthy man. She had a thousand questions, too many to manage to ask them as they were rushing all at the same time. She would have to sit and listen to Kellerman’s explanations.

“I think King Kong here broke my nose.”

Kellerman’s voice was croaky in a way Sara hadn’t heard since she’d tried to strangle him in that train en route to Chicago. She shrugged unsympathetically.

“I’ll take a look at your nose later. Tell us about Michael.”

TBC
--Feedback is always appreciated.

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Clair de Lune: origami - canardclair_de_lune on September 11th, 2015 03:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks a lot :)