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18 April 2008 @ 04:40 pm
Prison Break - Between the Lines  
Title: Between the Lines
Author: clair_de_lune
Characters: Michael/Sara/Tattoo
Genres: Het, romance, fluff
Rating: PG-13
Word count: ~ 1695
Disclaimer: Not mine. Just borrowing them for a while.
Summary: To each their obsession, and Sara is in no position to blame him.
Notes: Thanks to recycledfaery for the beta. Title/prompt by alohomoraa.

He wakes up slowly, smoothly, as if in a cocoon, and for a little while, he stays motionless, his eyes closed enjoying the feeling. The distant murmur of the undertow on the beach, the softness and warmness of the sheets on his skin, the subtly salt-scented breeze coming through the opened window, the thousand and one faint, happy sounds in the old house, full of guests – friends and family.

Perfect. Or near perfect.

It would be perfect if the mattress on the other side of the bed wasn’t that even and fresh: it seems to miss a weight, some heat, someone next to him. And, indeed, when he opens his eyes and blinks in the iridescent morning light, he can’t see her next to him.

She’s here, though. He would have woken up earlier if she hadn’t been here. He can feel her, sense her.

He can’t see her, and he smiles in the pillow. He knows exactly where she is.


She always wakes up a little earlier and faster than him – maybe a reminder of her resident years at the hospital – and it’s an indisputable advantage. Because he likes to control the situation, all situations as she’s discovered with the passing months, and when he controls the situation, he won’t let her do... that, because that usually leads to him losing control. QED. But when he’s already asleep or not quite yet conscious? He told her once that she was abusing him and his weakness.

It didn’t sound like a reproach, however.

She pushes her hair back and carefully tucks it behind her ears so that it won’t get in the way, and she puts away the blanket. She allows herself a couple of seconds to relish the gripping contrast between dark ink and white sheets, and then kneels on the bed.

He doesn’t move, his breathing slow and steady, barely rising his shoulders. He sleeps, and he keeps sleeping when she straddles his back. She’s still surprised and happy to observe how deep he can sleep when he feels safe.

If he’s actually sleeping because... it really didn’t sound like a reproach.

She lays a hand on the nape of his neck and lingers on the short thick hair that never really has time to grow back, then slides her fingers down, across the shoulder and the shoulder blade, on the tormented gothic patterns. The skin beneath hers is still warm from the sleep and maybe, she thinks with a hint of mischief, from the excessive exposure to the sun, yesterday. He turned a deaf ear on Lincoln’s advice to “Put on a t-shirt, Michael...” which was understandable – “Months, months with long sleeve shirts, Linc.” – but a bit adventurous.

The outcome is quite interesting. Innovative. Between the complicated, grey blue patterns, the skin took on a pinkish shade. As a doctor, she obviously should remind him to be cautious, and definitely not tease him about his new double color all the while savoring the idea to rub an ointment into the burning. She should. But rubbing an ointment is still a medical act, isn’t it? Or at least a therapeutic one.

The rhythm of his breathing changes in an almost imperceptible way and she can tell that he’s waking up. A flutter of eye lashes, a blink of eyelids and he’s watching right in front of him; then he smiles and turns his head, looking for something. Someone. With the gesture, the muscles of his back roll slightly, the symbols and images shift, and she lets slip a disapproving “Tsk!”

“Obsessive...,” he murmurs, his voice muffled by the pillow.

He can talk...

She settles a bit more comfortably, her knees digging into the mattress, and draws with her forefinger the outline of the small gargoyle on his left side. She likes the gargoyle, it’s just threatening enough to guard the rest of the tattoo, but not really scary or grotesque. Michael mumbles something, a protest, an approbation or a mixture of both, and she leans forward to kiss the gargoyle. Then goes up a bit, toward the angel putting the demon to the sword. The mumbling goes on, more openly approving now.

“The things you’re doing to this angel...” His words become clear, but his voice is still rough with sleep. “... there are divine laws prohibiting it, you know.”

Lazily, he moves an arm, wriggles to try and put his hand on her knee, and she slaps it away and hisses another “Tsk!” No such fancies during an explorative session of the tattoo, it denotes a total lack of good manners.

“I think you actually love me for my tattoo,” he lets drop, feigning annoyance.

She kisses the angel’s fist and licks up his arm, thoroughly thinking about Michael’s statement.

She likes the tattoo.

She likes the images and allegories because they are, despite their apparent brutality, so perfectly characteristic of Michael – tormented and methodical, precise and elegant, intense and well thought-out. She likes their coherence, the way they fit together.

She likes the patch of burnt skin on his shoulder, where it won’t ever quite heal, because Michael doesn’t flinch, doesn’t protest, doesn’t recoil when she caresses and kisses him here. She likes the total and blind trust that it implies.

“Honestly, Sara... you’re going straight to Hell if you keep that up.”

And she likes the curves of virgin skin because they reveal Michael by contrast. The drawings display what he has accomplished and wants to show; what’s between the lines is way more subtle and can’t be seized and understood by anybody. It requires effort and patience.

When she explores the tattoo? She almost doesn’t touch the lines, curves and expanse of dark ink, she follows what’s between the lines. The hesitations and the beliefs, the little confessions and the half-admitted declarations, the secrets just for a few chosen ones.

She asked him once if he liked the tattoo and had ever thought about getting it removed.

He doesn’t like having to put up with buttoned collars and long sleeves when it’s hot and he wants to keep his head down, that’s for sure.

But one doesn’t wonder if they like something that allowed them to save someone they love more than anything, or if they would abandon tiny parts of them. He doesn’t like the tattoo, he doesn’t hate it, he just wears it and wouldn’t consider having it removed more than he would think about cutting an ear or a finger and... “OK, bad example,” he admitted with a knowing, sarcastic smile.

“Have you ever thought how it will look like when I’m seventy-five?” he asks and, to punish him, she presses and digs a fingernail in the angel’s sword. He jerks, objects against so much cruelty when his skin is already burning, and she kisses the angel again to apologize. Apologize to the angel evidently, but not to Michael who deserves no apology when he exhibits this kind of attitude.

“I really think you love me because of my tattoo,” he insists.

“I love the tattoo because it’s you.”

He suddenly moves under her, turns over, and she’s rudely dislodged, caught and restrained. She shrieks her protest, then laughs when he rolls her over in quite a flippant way. She’s vaguely aware that the pretty pink and white tank top she’s been wearing is removed, flies through the bedroom and lands on the small dresser at the foot of the bed.

He’s good, she barely has the time to realize what’s happening. She lands on her back and he heavily settles on top of her. There’s an awful squeak of the old bed, a bang of the headboard against the wall, and a boom against the shutters of their bedroom.

“There are kids in this house!” someone yells from the garden.

Michael stills and looks at her, totally dumbfounded. “What the heck does he mean?”

She lifts an eyebrow. “Well, psychologically speaking, Lincoln...”

“... can’t be more than ten,” he agrees.

She lays her hands on his collarbones and lets her fingertips trace the lines here.

He bends his head and kisses her neck. “Obsessive... Besotted... Compulsive...” each accusation punctuated by a kiss, each kiss delivered lower than the previous one, and...

Maybe there aren’t any kids in this house, but there are people in the garden. Some of them, as she had the opportunity to experience, more curious than others.

“Michael? Go and close the shutters.”


Sara’s talking to him, something about the shutters, but her voice slides over him. He can appreciate the sound without actually paying attention to the words. He has her skin, hot and smooth, luscious, beneath his hands and his mouth... To each their obsession, and Sara is in no position to blame him: he can feel her fingers on the angel’s wings on his back, and on the gothic keystones on his hip.

“Michael...” Once again she does this thing with her fingernail, biting his flesh, and he feebly complains. “Close the shutters. Please.” She lowers her eyes, looking at her bare breasts. “Or maybe you prefer that I take care of it?”

He’s on his feet before she can actually finish her sentence. Right. No kids in the house, but there are beyond doubt two, maybe three, people in the garden who would shamelessly watch. He bends over the window, grips and closes the shutters, disdainfully ignoring the comments. It’s done in a blink of an eye. He’s totally awake now.

He whirls around and stops in his tracks, standing in front of the window. He gazes at Sara and smiles, his eyes half closed with appreciation.

“What?” she asks.

The soft morning sun spills trough the shutters; the small trees by the windows sway slowly under the wind, the moving of their branches sporadically cutting and filtering the sunrays; light and shade play on Sara’s skin, delicate and shifting.

“Nothing,” he answers, still smiling.

He’s starting to really appreciate her fascination for light, shade and the way they move, for lines and what lies between them.

He won’t admit that to her, though. He has faith in the idea that she’ll get it by herself soon enough.


End notes: Wrote it in French a while ago, translated it recently.
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
eight8toes on April 18th, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC)
I loved it back then, in French i mean, and I still love it now. :)
Clair de Luneclair_de_lune on April 18th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm glad (and a bit relieved) you enjoyed both versions because I wasn't sure the translation worked that well.
Thanks for your comment :-)
The depressed optimist: MiSa Cranelizparker6 on April 18th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
Hey..very nice. Liked it.
Two favourite lines -

She lifts an eyebrow. “Well, psychologically speaking, Lincoln...”
“... can’t be more than ten,” he agrees.

“Close the shutters. Please.” She lowers her eyes, looking at her bare breasts. « Or maybe you prefer that I take care of it?” He’s on his feet before she can actually finish her sentence.

Clair de Luneclair_de_lune on April 19th, 2008 12:32 pm (UTC)

She sure knows how to make him react and act :-p

Thanks a lot for reading and commenting :)
mara: pb [Sara] gilamarap on April 18th, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC)
Beautiful piece. I absolutely loved it, well done!
Clair de Luneclair_de_lune on April 19th, 2008 12:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed it.
jendilljendill on April 23rd, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)
Clair de Lune: pb - michael sara 2clair_de_lune on April 25th, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks a lot :)
jesterlady: Misarealjesterlady on June 7th, 2008 08:02 am (UTC)
This is really well done. I love the introspection over the tattoo and what it means for each of their characters. Good humor and romance and realistic quality in it.
Clair de Lune: pb - michael saraclair_de_lune on June 8th, 2008 12:06 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you found this to your liking. Thanks a lot for the nice comment :)
i want this to last foreverlinzi20 on September 8th, 2008 01:29 am (UTC)
Oh, this is just gorgeous! *dances*

Clair de Lune: pb - michael saraclair_de_lune on September 8th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks a lot *sniffles a bit*
splvsplv on August 16th, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
The nice thing about finding a new fandom much later its like the show never ended. So much wonderful material to immerse myself in. You have the characters down perfectly-like this line-it just describes Michael so beautifully.
"She likes the images and allegories because they are, despite their apparent brutality, so perfectly characteristic of Michael – tormented and methodical, precise and elegant, intense and well thought-out"
Clair de Lune: pb - michael5clair_de_lune on August 17th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
Welcome to the party, then. Enjoy the food and the music ;)

Oh, this was my "tattoo fic"... The tattoo was so characteristic of Michael. I'm happy you liked this one :)

Edited at 2010-08-17 03:25 pm (UTC)