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27 July 2015 @ 11:24 am
Prison Break - Story of Faith (4/27)  
Title: Story of Faith (4/27) - 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: ~ 2.750 (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 4

Once upon a time, he was ready to sacrifice life as he knew it to save another man’s life, and to lose life as he knew it and five years of freedom if he failed. Once (or twice) upon another time, he was ready to sacrifice whatever had to be sacrificed to save a woman’s life. Ultimately, he thought he had gone there and done it, the sacrifice. But maybe it wasn’t enough to redeem his sins because it didn’t feel like a sacrifice? A dying man shortening his sufferings to save those he loved? Where was the sacrifice, when you think about it?

Now he was going to give up years — God only knew how many — to make sure a man was executed and that man’s grand plan failed. The irony was not lost on him, the sacrifice, for him and unbeknown to her for Sara, either. The disgust of knowing that the better he worked, the faster that man died weighed heavy in his stomach and forced bile into his throat.

(“What if it takes twenty years to execute Krantz? Then I’m stuck in there for that long?” Michael had asked Kellerman before the man left, and Kellerman had just snickered. “It won’t. Believe me. Remember how swiftly your brother was scheduled to leave us?”)

He would have to deal with the guilt and the angst attached to his decision later, though.

He’d sat or stood through a handful of orientation days of various kinds. This one was an odd combination, somehow a mixture of a high school lecture, the quiet danger of Lechero’s threats and the smoothness of his first day at Middleton, Maxwell & Schaum.

Mrs. Jamison offered him a seat in her office, the same as a few days ago, with the difference that Kellerman was not here anymore. Agreement reached, deal made, he had left Michael in the capable hands of Mrs. Jamison.

Her speech was short and brisk, business-like. She didn’t sugar-coat things, but she didn’t taunt him the way Kellerman did.

“You stay because you want to, Mr. Scofield. You’re free to go anytime. It’s not like I could help it anyway, is it? But you pass through the main door of this facility without my knowledge, you can never get inside again and you assume the consequences for yourself and for your family. I’m here to help you achieve a mission. I’m not here to watch you and I’m certainly not here to chase you if you leave. Are we clear?”

They were. Crystal clear. He was handing himself over. Willing prisoner in the hope of saving the people he loved, fix his mistakes and right his wrongs, those he’d caused directly and the collateral damages. It seemed to be a pattern and, even in his condition and in his situation, he could admit and appreciate it.

Mrs. Jamison pointed a finger at the other side of the frosted glass doors of her office where a man in a suit was waiting for Michael.

“You need something, you ask Tom. He’ll be in charge of your security.” Her eyes softened slightly and she leaned forward, her elbows resting on her desk. “Tom is not a watchdog; his job is to protect you. But if you think that main door may become too... attractive, you can ask him to politely walk you back to your room whenever you wander too close to the exit.”

Willing prisoner indeed.

She informed him that he would have an unrestricted, although monitored, internet access. She also informed him that if he abused said access and pulled a stunt on her, she would have his balls cut and served on a plate for her breakfast.

(She didn’t sugar-coat things.)

She reached out for something behind her and handed it over to him. He found himself with a walking cane made of dark wood, its carved handle a nice piece of work.

“Dr. Evergreen thinks that your limp should improve with time, but for now, this could help.”

It was the oddest welcome gift he’d ever received, but somehow, it was symbolic — he would be able to move around on his feet, without the drawback of the wheelchair, and he was grateful for that.

* * *

He wasn’t Captain Optimism, Lincoln would admit that much. In his defense, life had never prepared him to be Captain Optimism. So, despite his best efforts and self-promises, every now and then, he sank into muddy waters and felt like he could never ever escape them. When it happened, he heard his fifteen-old self preaching faith and wanted to smack him across the mouth.

It always started with something mundane; silly. Wasn’t this always the case?

A chessboard in the window of some store. Despite what one might think, it was Lincoln who taught Michael to play chess. And according to what one might think, it took less than two months for Michael to beat the shit out of Lincoln at the damn game.

Strawberry ice-cream because it was Michael’s favorite. (“Can’t you be a grown man, Michael, and like grown man’s stuff? Strawberry ice-cream is for kids.” — “Fuck you, Linc,” and Michael was all smiles and half-closed eyes in delight.)

The account book of the scuba shop. The words account book’ alone made him yawn, and Sofia didn’t seem too eager to take on this duty. It should have been a job for Michael. His throat tightened each time he opened the damn thing.

And of course, right now, the fucking roof of the fucking bungalow of his fucking sister-in-law. He couldn’t fix it. (When he gazed into Sara’s big brown, sad eyes, he thought that he couldn’t fix her either, but for now, the roof would have been a start.)

He threw plans and tools to the floor and fled the room, leaving behind him Sucre, Sofia and LJ; and Sara. In his wake, he heard conversations and then footsteps, and fuck, because the footsteps were Sara’s. He went down the stairs and walked faster on the sand, trying to distance her, but she wouldn’t have any of this.

“Don’t you dare make me run, Lincoln!” It was followed by words that probably shouldn’t have been used when you’d got the kind of education Sara Tancredi-Scofield received.

He stopped and waited for her, hands on his hips and chin up, challenging her to challenge him.

“You’re good at it,” she attacked when she stood a mere foot from him. “But not as much as you imagine you are.”

A bit awkwardly, she sat on the sand with her legs crossed. He helped her down, just the way he would have to help her up later, and dropped beside her.

“Good at what?”

“Pretending you’re okay.”

“Like you can talk.”

“We can’t be okay. But the way you’ve been there for me... why can’t you let me be there for you? I’m not Michael.” His head whipped up, eyes dark and hurt by her bluntness. “I don’t need you to take care of me.”

He nodded at her baby bump.

“Say that again in five minutes when you can’t get up.”

“But I do need a friend,” she kept talking as if he never interrupted her. “Quid pro quo, Lincoln. It’s been rather one-way up until now, don’t you think?”

He watched the cut he gave himself with the tools. The blood was staining his jeans.

“The roof... it’s a job for Michael.”

It had been on his mind, in his heart, twisting his guts from Day One when she showed him the wreck of a bungalow she’d bought. The roof was a job for Michael; the whole bungalow was a job for Michael; being there for Sara, Sara being there for someone was supposed to be for Michael too.

“I know. A bunch of things should be a job for Michael.”

She shifted and writhed, knelt and pushed on her hands to get up. It wasn’t pretty, but she managed to do it. He sat there, watched and waited until she offered him her hand because he wasn’t as thick-skulled as you’d think and he did retain something from her little speech. He took her hand and squeezed it a bit too hard, but that was okay; she didn’t protest. She hauled him up, and he was amazed by the strength with which she pulled on his arm and lifted him up.

* * *

He got a bigger office to go with his civilian clothes and fancy cane. The room was in the same hallway as his bedroom, at its other end. People were waiting for him when he got inside for the first time, two men and a woman. By ‘waiting for him’, he meant working on computers with gigantic screens and looking up when Tom No Last Name opened the door for him.

They were his analysts, Tom explained briefly: Pat, Nat and Cat.

(Seriously?)

He would need a few days to understand that Pat, Nat and Cat were under his orders, here to accomplish whatever task he asked them to perform.

Two piles of files sat on his desk on the other side of the room, all of them orange and red; no yellow, and even less so green, folders anymore. This, he understood immediately what he was supposed to do with.

* * *

Little by little, the bungalow started looking less like a wreck and more like a house. The walls were propped up, the floor and the roof consolidated or rebuilt, the water and electricity restored. The place smelled of sawdust, fresh paint and old furniture bought here and there.

Little by little, Sara had to give up the sander machine and step ladders, paint and hammers, and become an observer of the transformation. She did reach the stage where moving was a problem.

She wasn’t ready. At all. Maybe the bungalow looked less like a wreck, but she didn’t. She hadn’t finished the transition and she’d run out of time. She had an eight-and-a-half-months old baby kicking in her stomach as a warning he was coming out anytime soon.

She’d bought and repainted an old cradle, packed up diapers and stuff, had enough baby clothes in her dresser for one year. She’d done everything she had to do. But pushing the baby out, expelling from herself a part of Michael she’d been nurturing in the most primary way?

She couldn’t do this.

“Of course you can”, Lincoln counterattacked. He kept talking, something about her being the fucking strongest person he’d ever known. Apparently, Lincoln Burrows didn’t get the difference between strength and absence of choice. “He’s not going to stay in there anyway.”

Right. That made sense.

“Will you be there?”

She’d been thinking about it for quite some time, now. It would only be fair: someone who’d known and loved Michael as she much as she had — still did — to welcome his baby into the world, someone to hold her hand, someone who could use the hope of a new life. It was a win-win situation — as much as anything in her life could be a win-win these days.

She watched Lincoln, and she could almost have laughed at him. He needed a few seconds to digest that she wasn’t meaning there in the waiting room, but there with her.

His lips twisted. He’d been there and done that once, when LJ was born. He thought the situation was bad, back then; bad, and yet bearing promises and expectations at the same time. It wasn’t so different today, just magnified ten times. He reached out, caught Sara’s eyes to ask the permission, and brushed his hand over her distended belly.

“Sure,” he grumbled. “They’ll have to kick me out of the delivery room.”

(They would probably try.)

Outside, below on the beach, Sucre and LJ were working on fixing the small pontoon. Even from here, she could hear the mish-mash of their discussions and occasional swearing, brought in by the breeze. She pressed Lincoln’s hand against her stomach and whispered a thanks.

If she wasn’t ready, the baby was, right on time; his father’s son in his precision and will to bend his mom’s plans to his own.

When it happened, when she ended up at the hospital with the midwife looking between her legs and Lincoln squeezing her shoulders — and vice-versa at some point — she felt as if she’d been ripped open; split in two. She welcomed the physical pain and held onto it. At least, this was a kind of suffering that had a purpose, something she could fight and beat and that would end.

She clutched the bed rails to steady herself, breathed and panted and pushed when she was told to, all in a surreal haze. Lincoln, and the smell of antiseptic and bodily fluids, the incredible stretch of her body and the comforting pain, and Michael, Michael, Michael who was not here, would never be here anymore. Maybe never before today had it been so obvious, hitting her in the face and the heart.

“Sara?” Lincoln was patting her hit-by-reality face and stroking her arm. Best brother-in-law ever, even though he was prone to wallow in his guilt and misery when he let himself sink. “You okay?”

She was screwed, she wanted to tell Linc. But these couldn’t be the first words her baby heard, so she didn’t say anything at all and just nodded her head. Thank God, the baby wailed, Lincoln shut up, and Sara — who’d always tended to think that those stories about wanting to laugh with relief and cry with misery at the same time were crap — indeed felt like laughing and crying.

She called the baby Michael. What else could she have called him? The name had imposed itself in her mind the day the ultrasound showed her it would be a boy.

* * *

He kept seeing Yoki on a daily basis, but she wasn’t around as much as she used to be. She didn’t sit with him all day long; she had been reassigned to some of her previous functions, whatever those were; she didn’t check on him every other hour anymore. So when she showed up at two P.M. in his office and motioned him to follow her outside, his heart leaped in his chest.

“Everything’s okay, Michael, I just have some news for you,” she reassured him as the door closed behind them. “Sara has gone into labor.” He watched her and said nothing, grateful for the cane that he could lean on. “You’re free for today, Pat will take over. Mrs. Jamison’s orders.”

He nodded, still said nothing and walked to his bedroom.

He had no regrets. Maybe in twenty-five or thirty years when he became a grandfather? Or way before that, when he showed up on Sara’s doorstep a few years from now, and she welcomed him with shock, watering eyes and a stinging slap, or possibly a punch, to his face? But today, he had no regrets. It was all for the best — hide, keep a low profile, keep them safe.

He knew right from the start that he wouldn’t be there for her, and that was okay. He made a choice — the lesser of two evils — took a decision, and he clung to it for the greater good of everybody. Plus, Linc was with her, and Linc was more awesome in those circumstances than anyone would have imagined.

It lasted. Hours and hours. Who would have thought that a child born of Sara Tancredi and Michael Scofield would have such a strong mind of his own and would get out of here when he decided it? Michael could hear Lincoln’s sarcastic comment, could see the way he leaned down towards Sara, could feel the warmth of his hand holding hers. He could imagine all that, at least, and of course, it was his punishment for not being here for her. He gladly accepted it.

For twenty-four hours, he didn’t move, didn’t sleep, hardly drank or ate. He lay on his bed, and breathed slow and deep. Projected for himself in minute details the picture of what was happening in a clinic hundreds of miles away, his own little mirror of Tantalus — a cab, a plane, a bus and he could have been over there.

He cried for the first time in seven months when a disembodied voice on the phone announced to him that he had a son.

TBC
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--Comments are always welcome and very much appreciated :)
 
 
Current Mood: depresseddepressed
 
 
 
heliokleia: LINC IC - SINFUL TEMPTATIONheliokleia on August 12th, 2015 08:42 pm (UTC)
First of all: Welcome, Baby Michael!! SMILEY - ANIM - Confetti & Hurratüten-Smiley photo SMILEY - ANIM - Confetti amp Hurratuumlten-Smiley_zpsmmzrsl3o.gif
*purr**purr*

And your description of Mr-All-Unbuttoned on the beach (and having a discussion with Sara) reminded me immediately of this picture:

DOM - on the beach YUMMMMM photo DOM - on the beach YUMMMMM_zpsanhk8mnq.jpg

*makes seal noises*

Umm... where were we? *looks as innocent as possible* - Ah yezzz... ahem... welcome back Miss Parker Mrs Jamison; now I can picture you.
*nods**nods*

But, ma chère Clair, are you sure that our handsome Mr-All-Unbuttoned is not skilled in doing handiworks at all?

04. LINC s04e03b1 - AXE - beh photo 04. LINC s04e03b1 - AXE - beh_zpsqchjtnsz.jpg

Mmhh... one formidable axe!man I daresay... SMILEY - ANIM - breitgrins photo SMILEY - ANIM - breitgrins_zpsrpoiepct.gif
*droolz*

And finally, Mikey got a day off and also got the great message, so that we can call him Papa from now on, YAY!
*applauds*

Well done, Mme Moonlight, well done.
*fistbump*
SMILEYS - ANIM - Bunte La-Ola Smileys, cute! photo SMILEYS - ANIM - Bunte La-Ola Smileys cute_zpsghoinylq.gif
Clair de Lune: pb - lincolnclair_de_lune on August 12th, 2015 09:13 pm (UTC)
That poor man obviously has an issue with buttons *g* (Long ago, I might have written a crack-fic - Suit Up - about Lincoln's issue with buttons.)

are you sure that our handsome Mr-All-Unbuttoned is not skilled in doing handiworks at all?

Ahem ahem. You might be right. To be honest, I needed/wanted it to be about fixing the bungalow because of the symbolism of Sara buying a ruin to fix it and fix herself, yada yada. Lincoln can totally do the handiworks, but the theoretical aspect is a bit more complicated for him, and it would have taken someone with specific knowledge like, I dunno... let's say a structural engineer.
To make it short: I should have explained it more clearly in the story instead of assuming the reader would figure it out merely because I mention Linc throwing the plans on the floor :-p

we can call him Papa from now

Papi is a Papa *nods* (Papi always makes smile in PB because in French, papi means grandpa *g*)