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03 June 2009 @ 07:06 am
Prison Break - Back to Chicago (4/4)  
Title: Back to Chicago (4/4) (French version)
Author: clair_de_lune
Characters: Michael, Lincoln, Sara, LJ (Michael/Sara, LJ/OFC)
Categories: Gen, het
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine. Just borrowing them for a while.
Summary: “Do you at least remember why you’ve fallen out with each other?” (Post-series)
Author’s Note: This is the translation of a story I wrote ages ago: anything that happened post mid-season 2 is not taken into account (in other words: definitely non-canon-compliant). Many thanks to torigates for the beta.

Previous parts

Part Four

“If someone uses again the phrase ‘most beautiful day of your life’ in my face, I might go back to the bedroom and hang myself with my garter.”

Elizabeth is carrying a flute of champagne and a glass of juice. She hands the juice to Sara, of course, and collapses in the chair near her with a heavy sigh. The voluminous skirt of her dress swells and overflows, and she almost disappears in bulks of lace and silk. She seems to be quite okay with that.

“You’re actually wearing a garter?” Sara asks.

“That’s not the point. I’m twenty-six: if I’ve already lived the most beautiful day of my life, then something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

Sara soothingly pats her shoulder. Woman has a point.

They’re in the rose garden. All of them are in the rose garden: Elizabeth and her sitting aside, LJ, Lincoln and Michael stuck between the roses and the camera. Apparently, Elizabeth doesn’t mind not being on a bunch of pictures from her own wedding. The fact that, a few yards away, LJ positively beams between his father and his uncle, themselves displaying an uptight-annoyed-awkward expression, probably helps. Family pictures, the photographer announced a bit earlier. Meaning, Elizabeth’s mom and dad, her sister Patty, Lincoln and Michael, and Sara, whom Lincoln grabbed by the arm and dragged with them.

Then, LJ decided he wanted photos with his father and uncle. He seems to think that forcing them to stay two feet away from each other will lead to some sort of dialogue. Sara glances at the tense line of Lincoln’s shoulders and hopes that the dialogue, if there is any, won’t go to bad.

“This is me or it’s soppy?” Elizabeth points at the scene happening in front of them. “It’s my wedding day, I’m a woman, I’m supposed to be quite emotional today, right? And I find this soppy.”

“It is soppy”, Sara seconds. That said, who is she to judge? The asserted cynicism of her youth has softened: now she uses it more scarcely and wisely, but with more stringency too. Like now. However, given the situation, she shows a bit of optimism. “But it can work.”

If Lincoln stops acting like an obstinate fool and makes an effort. She stares at him until he can feel her eyes on him, as though she could force him to do something from her seat, and he pretends he didn’t notice anything. Not gonna be easy.

She has with her a small laptop with all the pictures the photographer has been taking since the beginning of the day. Not bothering to ask, Elizabeth snatches it – her wedding, her pictures – and starts perusing the photos. Some of the photos. She smiles, amused or sarcastic, Sara’s not sure to make the difference, or that there is a difference.

“What?” she asks her.

“Nothing. I’m almost sure I can convince the rest of the staff that those pictures are a good thing for your campaign. You know, something along the line ‘Senator Tancredi carries on her efforts to rehabilitate ex-convicts’. Of course, some of your opponents may use the same caption and will point out that the ex-convict is...

“An old friend’s brother?” she cuts her off.

“That’s a way to put it.”

They stay quiet for a while, just looking at the images on the small screen. Elizabeth pauses on one of them and waits, and Sara explains with all the dignity she can summons, “This is LJ’s wedding gift.”

“Really?” Elizabeth raises her eyebrows, totally impressed, and tilts her head as though to have a better view of the picture. For a few seconds, she plays with the idea to ask to Sara if her bodyguard isn’t supposed to do something when someone is that close to her, but she eventually settles for, “If this makes it to national press, will you let me sit with the PR staff so I can count their breakdowns?”

“The PR staff can kiss my...”

“I wonder where you picked up this kind of language,” Elizabeth interrupts her, her eyes trained on her father-in-law. “Do you really think that you...” She thinks that maybe a less direct approach will spare her a sharp comeback, and she settles for, “... that, after a few years, people can get back in touch and start again where they’d stopped things?”

Sara doesn’t answer right away, she keeps looking at the pictures on the laptop. In front of the roses, the photographer carries on his task, and Michael and Lincoln play along rather gracefully.

“Start again, sure. Where we’d stopped years ago, no. Considering how our last meeting ended, I don’t think any of us want to start again where we’d stopped things.” She hits the back button a few times, coming back on the picture that caught Elizabeth’s attention, and she has a small, smug smile. “Oh, and Michael and I had never been there.”

* *

He’s never liked having his picture taken. As a kid already, he was uncomfortable with the idea of a camera watching him, of a still image, of the attention granted to him. He liked it even less during his trial (the second one, because if the first one flew under the radar, the second one definitely didn’t).

In comparison, dancing with Sara earlier was almost easy.

He’s not comfortable. Because of the pictures, and because of Lincoln who stands so close to him but never looks him in the eye. Never when Michael is looking at him, anyway, because every now and then, he can feel his brother’s eyes on him. It’s stupid. It’s stupid, but he’s going to have to make the first move because if one thing hasn’t changed in ten years, it’s Linc’s stubbornness when he’s made his mind. He wonders if this may qualify as stubbornness, by the way, because stubbornness would imply that Linc thought about it when, actually, he’s merely sticking to his gun. It’s what made, and probably still makes, his strength. It’s what made, and still makes, Michael crazy.

Really, who he thinks he’s fooling with this kind of remark? As though he was less stubborn than Linc. It has to be genetic, actually, because in this regard, LJ is quite something too.

And speaking of LJ... does his nephew really hope that sticking the three of them before the camera is going to accomplish anything? Doesn’t he believe a bit too naively in the magical power of pretty pictures?

Because, Michael will grant him that, it is a pretty picture. The soft warmth of the evening, the tender green of the lawn, the blue sky slowly coloring with purple and gold, the various-colored roses, the happy echo of the party. At the periphery of his field of vision, Elizabeth, just adorable, and Sara so beautiful (if he had fewer good manners, he would say that Sara totally overshadows the younger woman, but the bride is supposed to be the queen of the day, right?) Next to him, LJ has flung an arm around his shoulders, and Lincoln is just a couple of feet away. (He suppresses the need to think ‘fucking Lincoln’ there because, really, it wouldn’t suit the rest of the lovely picture LJ tried to put together.)

He has to admit that deep inside he wants to add the last touch to the idyllic scene. He has to admit that saying he’s angry with his brother is easier when said brother is not standing within his reach and when he can’t feel the warmth of his arm right against his. And he’s not thinking this because he’s starting to feel ridiculous in front of the photographer or because Sara and Elizabeth look at them with a sarcastic smirk tugging their lips.

He ever so slightly shifts his arm in LJ’s back, and the top of his sleeve brushes the bottom of Lincoln’s sleeve. His brother straightens ups, clears his throat, opens his mouth and shuts back without saying a word. It figures. Eloquence has never been Linc’s strongest suit.

He can feel that LJ is elbowing his father, some sort of reminder, and Linc starts all over again – straightens up, clears his throat, breathes in before speaking. He lays his hand on LJ’s skull to push him forward and he leans backward, catching Michael’s eyes.

“So, um... you made Sara dance, Michael?”

Eloquence really isn’t Linc’s strongest suit: one would think that, after ten years of silence, he would find something a bit more meaningful to tell him.

And maybe leniency isn’t Michael’s strongest suit: one would think that after ten years of silence, he would be a bit more indulgent. He leans backward too and looks at his brother above LJ’s head.

“I think she made me dance,” he admits.

“That’s Sara.”

Linc smiles at him. A bit hesitantly at first, then knowingly.

Michael smiles back.

LJ, God bless him, decides that they probably have way more than enough pictures, now.

* *

A bit later, they’re sitting at the bar in the residence’s garden, flutes of champagne in front of them, and they chat about everything and anything – only unimportant matters. LJ and Elizabeth are monopolized by their guests. On the dance floor, Sara rocks’ n rolls with the bride’s father, her hair undone and tangled on her shoulders. One would think the Dir Com is not happy with such an excessive display of spontaneity but, actually, he keeps staring at Michael. Michael assumes he hasn’t forgiven him for the way Sara and he waltzed this afternoon, or for what followed the waltz, or for the fact that the photographer found himself compelled to immortalize the whole thing. The Dir Com should incontestably plan things better if he doesn’t want to lose control over the situation.

There’s a blank in the conversation and Linc rekindles it by asking Michael what he plans to do next Saturday.

“Is this an invitation to something?”

His brother raises his eyebrows.

“Baseball. Sara has the best seats in the state and she just doesn’t care.”

Linc thinks this is really, really, the moot point of their friendship, the fact that Sara can’t appreciate a good game and doesn’t give a damn to who win what. If he insists, she might comment on the players’ looks and figures but quite frankly, this is not something he’s very much interested in.

“It’s almost anti-patriotic,” Michael concedes. He sips on his champagne to give himself a bit of courage. He’s been doing that for several flutes and the effects are starting to show. He decides to act before he forgets why he... “Linc, aren’t we going to talk about...”

“Talk about what?” Lincoln cuts him off quietly. “You haven’t changed your mind about what you should’ve done, have you? And I haven’t changed my mind about what you should’ve done. The last time we talked about it, we stopped talking to each other altogether.”

There is some logic in Lincoln’s statement; it’s just that Michael can’t decide whether it’s a totally twisted logic or a totally sensible one. He can’t decide whether this is awful cowardice or basic wisdom.

Then, he realizes this is just neat, this is just it, this is just the way things are supposed to be. He didn’t need to plan what he would say to Lincoln, because he doesn’t need to say anything to Lincoln. God knows, if explanations had ever been required between Linc and him, they would have never stopped fighting, not a single minute.

Sara is still dancing, the neat perfection of her dress and hair long gone. The bartender fills their flutes for the fourth – or is it fifth? – time. Lincoln pushes the glass out of Michael’s reach and tells him, “You had enough for now,” and smiles at him just the way he smiled at Sara earlier today. Just the way he smiled at him years ago.

“Baseball? Next Saturday?”

Previous parts
Current Mood: crankycranky
(Deleted comment)
Clair de Lune: origami - canardclair_de_lune on June 6th, 2009 02:36 pm (UTC)
Aw, it ends on a hopeful note; that's nice. :)

I'm incurable, I can't stand to make them suffer too long. I wrote once a fic set at Sara's funeral (but she was very very old ;)) and one where Michael and Sara eventually split up, but those are exceptions.

I really like Elizabeth.

I'm glad you do. I rarely need original characters in my PB fics, but when I do, they scare me a bit. I tend to worry that they sound mary-suesque (or gary-stuesque). That being said, she was fun to write.
Blasé? Yep, I think she might be a bit ;)

I know this was a bit off since you need to ignore half of the show for it to work, but translating it was my way to cope with the finale ;) Thanks for sticking until the end. I'm happy you enjoyed it.
Jackie: Mike/Linc Hug: Executionyougottaletmego on June 3rd, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
Oh wow. I really really enjoyed this story. You did an excellent job. That was a wonderful conclusion to a wonderful story.

"God knows, if explanations had ever been required between Linc and him, they would have never stopped fighting, not a single minute."

^^So completely true.

I'm kind of speechless right now. I really loved this. Amazing job <33

Edited at 2009-06-03 05:03 pm (UTC)
Clair de Lune: pb - michael saraclair_de_lune on June 6th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
They're quite stubborn, both of them, and you have to commend Lincoln's good sense here ;)

I'm delighted you liked this. Thanks a lot for the kind feedback!
Maz (or foxxy!): M and Stuesdaeschild on June 4th, 2009 11:45 am (UTC)
A perfectly optimistic ending and I have a little faith that this is the beginning of a quiet reconcilliation for all of them! I think Michael can cross awful cowardice out and concede this is basis wisdom. Let the past stay where it is since it can perform no useful function, right? :)

LJ was awesome in this tale and I really loved Elizabeth too, since she's not your typical bride! Great character creation, sweetheart!

And I think Sara might very well continue to reform ex-convicts! I hope so, anyway, because I can think of one ex-con she needs to take under her wing! ;)

I've loved this one, my darling, and if I didn't have to run off to work very soon I would probably have written a comment double this size!!

Clair de Lune: pb - trioclair_de_lune on June 6th, 2009 02:38 pm (UTC)
Let the past stay where it is since it can perform no useful function, right? :)

*nods* I'd say that Michael and Lincoln agreed to disagree and in this case, it's probably for the best.

Sara does continue to reform ex-convicts, no worries. Well, one in particular. Some reforming has definitely been going on between the dance and the family pictures *g* (There are 'deleted scenes' for this story, silly snippets I didn't want to write in the fic to keep it a bit serious. Now, I just need to translate those snippets...)

I really loved Elizabeth too, since she's not your typical bride!

Lincoln, Sara and even LJ have... character: LJ's wife better has backbone if she doesn't want to be (very nicely) eaten alive :-p

Thank you, Foxy *hugs*
Maz (or foxxy!): Brothers huggingtuesdaeschild on June 30th, 2009 10:59 am (UTC)
Just trying to do some catching up again...*sighs*

There are 'deleted scenes' for this story, silly snippets I didn't want to write in the fic to keep it a bit serious. Now, I just need to translate those snippets...

Hmmmmm! Now I like the sound of that...you know if you need it beta'd I'm ready, willing and able, don't you?!! :)


And how lovely is that icon?!!!
Clair de Lune: divers - hugclair_de_lune on July 2nd, 2009 07:12 pm (UTC)
I'm writing Sara/Gretchen for Femslash Day 2009 right now (what I actually mean is I'm TRYING to write Sara/Gretchen) but you can can be sure I'll keep the beta offer in mind if I manage to translate those so-called deleted scenes :p

And how lovely is that icon?!!!

Yours or mine?
Oh, whatever! They're both cute *iz shameless*
Maz (or foxxy!): Sara Michaeltuesdaeschild on July 6th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
Your icon! Those are lovely pics of all three of them. Though yes, they're both cute! :)

And I should try reading your femslash. I don't normally read it but Sara/Gretchen sounds like it could be good...and kind of logical after seeing The Final Break!

Clair de Luneclair_de_lune on July 6th, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC)
I initially made said icon for 'Back to Chicago' (its French version anyway) but it also works fine for Michael/Sara/Lincoln threesome fics *g*
To be a bit more serious, Sarah Waynes Callies is so pretty in that pic.

The Sara/Gretchen fic is set post-series and is totally non-canon-compliant: I still haven't seen The Final Break, I don't even know if Gretchen has survived, and I've happily ignored the epilogue of episode 4.22. But I've seen a couple of screencaps - I assumed Gretchen kind of hit on Sara, didn't she?
I'm flattered you consider reading it. A heads-up, just in case: it's fairly graphic, probably not as much as some of my Michael/Lincoln but still quite explicit.

*hugs back*
Julesdarkwriter69 on June 5th, 2009 03:39 pm (UTC)
God knows, if explanations had ever been required between Linc and him, they would have never stopped fighting, not a single minute

Yes, this sounds just like them (or how I imagine them to be).

And I just love the ease with which Mike and Linc have returned to speaking.

“Baseball? Next Saturday?”

Perfect ending. I loved the whole mood of this piece. Thanks for sharing clair.
Clair de Lune: pb - michael3clair_de_lune on June 6th, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)
They both are quite stubborn so I guess that in some occasions, agreeing to disagree and not bringing up the issue again would be the 'less bad' option.

I wrote this so long ago, I'm pretty sure I forgot some of the references I slipped in. But the baseball thing was a shout-out to Lincoln going to games with their father :p

Thank you for reading and commenting, Jules. I'm so glad you enjoyed it :D
The depressed optimist: PB - Wedding - SARA/SUCRE gossiplizparker6 on June 6th, 2009 11:45 pm (UTC)
Nice ending hun. I think everything was said without the need to actually say it out loud. :0)

Only one think keeps nagging at my mind, lol, and its this sentence - Michael assumes he hasn’t forgiven him for the way Sara and he waltzed this afternoon, or for what followed the waltz, or for the fact that the photographer found himself compelled to immortalize the whole thing.

What exactly followed after that waltz?

*mischievous curious grin*
Clair de Lune: pb - michael3clair_de_lune on June 7th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
Oh! Come. On. Use your imagination! *g*

OK: a bit of making out. (Sara really screwed up the 'polite and phlegmatic' part ;-)) I have a companion piece for this fic but I haven't translated - yet - and it's about 7000 or 7500 words... *winces*
The depressed optimistlizparker6 on June 8th, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC)
OK: a bit of making out. (Sara really screwed up the 'polite and phlegmatic' part ;-)) I have a companion piece for this fic but I haven't translated - yet - and it's about 7000 or 7500 words... *winces*

Ugh-oh, damn! I cannot wait to read it, hope you will be able to translate it soon, I know this soulds really selfish, but what can I do? Though my imagination is pretty creative and colourfull, I still would love to read it written in your brilliant writing. :)

astreeblue on June 7th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
J'ai cru comprendre que tu parlais le français, donc je vais te laisser un comm en français! ( I am not so good at writting in english..sorry!)

ça fait quelques temps que je lis des fics écrites par toi mais j'ai jamais pris le temps de te dire que j'appréciais ce que tu écris mais c'est fait!

Notamment celle -ci, j'imagine tout à fait que ce que tu as écris aurait pu être une fin plausible..et satisfaisante pour PB!

J'espère que tu continueras à écrire parce je trouve que tu "t'approprie" très bien les personnages!

Merci d'avoir posté cette fics!
Clair de Lune: pb - michael saraclair_de_lune on June 7th, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
Je suis française : les commentaires en français sont donc les bienvenus :-p

Je n'espérais pas, ni même voulais absolument, un happy end tout rose pour la série mais au mois d'une part que certains personnages restent en vie et d'autre part, une fin permettant de garder un peu d'espoir. Dans le cas de cette fic, je trouvais que renvoyer Michael en prison pour une dizaine d'années avec tout ce que ça impliquait était assez cher payé - même si ça date du milieu de la saison 2 et qu'il y avait eu alors moins de "dégâts".

Je suis ravie que la fic t'ait plu. Merci d'avoir pris le temps de laisser un commentaire. Ca va faire trois ans que j'écris sur PB et je dois dire que l'inspiration se tarit. Du coup, les encouragements font plaisir :)