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30 July 2015 @ 04:43 pm
Prison Break - Story of Faith (7/27)  
Title: Story of Faith (7/27) - 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: ~ 2.400 (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 7

He got a Wall; a New Wall.

Sometime around the twelfth month of his official involvement with The Foundation, and with whatever name Kellerman’s gang was calling themselves, Michael walked into his office to find out that The Foundation’s employees had set up a Wall during the weekend. A wall of the electronic, tactile, writable-on kind, with which he could tag and sort and rearrange his documentation at will.

Mrs. Jamison was on his heels, that Monday. She leaned against the closed door, her arms crossed across her chest, as Michael took in the sight.

He had started to work on Krantz’ case the same way he’d worked on Lincoln’s case a few years back. Only the purposes were drastically different, the method was the same: gathering documentation, sorting it out, ordering it, ranking it, and ultimately pinning it to the bare walls of his office for easy access and visually figuring out his next moves.

The more organized the Wall was becoming, the harder Mrs. Jamison squinted at it; until the Friday evening she told Michael that he was free for the weekend.

Free weekends were a particularly sadistic form of Hell. He had nowhere to go as ‘free weekends’ didn’t mean he was free to leave The Foundation’s walls. (“At least, in Fox River, there was the yard, Mrs. Jamison.” — “I bet the food was not as tasty, Mr. Scofield, and the company far less accommodating.”) Free weekends also meant he couldn’t work on Krantz’ case since he couldn’t access all of his documentation. Ergo free weekends were nothing but a waste of time. He didn’t need them, and he didn’t need to rest, although Yoki begged to differ on that one. All he needed was completing his mission as fast as possible and going back to Sara, Michael Jr. and Lincoln.

He hated free weekends at The Foundation with the petulance his twelve year-old self hated closed libraries in summer, and with the despair of a grown man kept away from his loved ones.

But the New Wall as he walked into his office the following Monday? The large expanse of dark tactile screen hung all around the room, from floor to shoulder high? With all of his documentation scanned and carefully rearranged in the exact same way it was when he left? He had to admit that he was blown away, that the two days he’d lost in a free weekend would be compensated for by the upsides of the device. Considering the discreet but very real quirk of Mrs. Jamison’s lips, his satisfaction must have shown on his face.

She handed him a remote and offered a short explanation.

“It’s not only for your convenience, Mr. Scofield. All of your planning so easily accessible to anyone who enters this room was making us nervous.”

Her manicured nails straightened a picture that had been scanned a bit off, some handsome guy in a three-piece suit who couldn’t have looked more British if his clothes had come from Savile Row — thinking of it, they probably did — and she tilted her head appreciatively.

Not at the man nor at Michael, though.

“Moreover, Kellerman paid for that little toy and we’re keeping it when you’re done with it so... thanks, I guess?”

* * *

“Life goes on,” an old woman had told Sara at the local Sunday market, just a couple of days after she and the guys had visited Michael’s grave. Sara still didn’t know what she had done or said; if she had done or said anything, to elicit the compassionate words and soft smile. Maybe it was her wedding ring and sad eyes or... go figure.

Life did go on. She didn’t think about Michael every day anymore; she knew Lincoln didn’t either. It needed something special, a kind of reminder, a memory-enabler, and said enabler needed to be always less subtle, always more obvious. Not everything revolved around Michael and his absence anymore.

Life went on. People around her kept living and even she, after a while, kept living without having to put an every-second effort into it. That was the painful part. How did life dare fucking go on?

On Michael Jr.’s first birthday, she noticed that she could drive by a cop’s car and not tighten her hold on the steering wheel anymore out of sheer nervousness. She didn’t go as far as being able to smile through the rearview mirror at Michael who was comfortably settled in his safety seat behind her, but she managed not to coo to him so that he didn’t risk crying or babbling and draw attention to them.

It was a sensation she hadn’t experienced for over a year and that almost felt new.

It wasn’t necessarily a good thing, though. During said last year, she’d been worried about the police, rightfully so since, if Lincoln had been cleared and exonerated, she hadn’t. No exoneration or pardon for her, far from it, but she kind of suspected that with her husband dead, Kellerman running for the House of Representatives, a new administration taking over and trying to clean — or hide — the mess... with life going on and moving forward, no one really wanted to stir the pot, look for her and file for extradition.

And yet she still didn’t feel safe. She was cautious; she didn’t have a routine, she double-checked the locks on the doors, she never slept with her windows open, and she carefully assessed any stranger before engaging even in small talk. She vaguely felt guilty about it because it wasn’t a life, not the life Michael had wanted for her. But if the alternative was unnamed, fuzzy risks for herself and her son, was it even something to wonder about?

She threw a glance through the window before leaving her home, checked for cars in the rearview mirror and looked over her shoulder every now and then. She felt spied on, and if the law enforcement forces couldn’t be pegged as the reason for her uneasiness, it could only mean one thing, couldn’t it?

The Company.

The idea that The Company was still out there in one form or another slowly but surely carved its path into her mind.

Oh, fuck it, as Lincoln would have elegantly put it. The idea had always been there, never left, never stopped pestering. She had a boat berthed a few yards from her house just in case, a house that overlooked the beach allowing her to see people approaching, and small woods behind it where you could easily hide if you knew the place — and she knew it, she made sure she knew it.

Maybe that was crazy. Maybe she was becoming crazy, obsessed by an organization that almost destroyed her, and surely destroyed the man she loved. Would they even have the manpower to do... anything? Krantz’ downfall and Scylla delivered to the government had hit them hard, ran them into the ground. Small cells after cells had been exposed and destroyed after Krantz’ arrest.

The thing was, nobody talked about it anymore. It had been off the news for months. The silence, with the questioning it induced, was worse than anything.

* * *

“The Company is not watching us.”

Lincoln might not be as smart and perceptive as his brother was, but he had eyes and a brain and he could add one plus one. It had taken him a couple of weeks of observation and Sofia’s gentle prodding, but in the end, he got it. It would have been hard to miss anyway, how Sara was quiet in a bad way, excessively careful and observing everything going on around her

“The Company is not watching us, Sara. There’s no Company anymore.”

Lincoln said this softly during one of their bi-monthly dinners. Business as usual except for the subject matter. He let her digest the sentence and watched his nephew. On the other side of the room, Michael was trying to get up, stand and walk. The little buddy had been at it for a while, stuck in a never ending process of grasping the upper half of the playpen’s net and bars for stability, pushing on his chubby legs, and managing to put one foot in front of the other only a couple of times before falling back on his butt.

“He’s stubborn. He’s been doing that all week,” Sara had said a bit earlier.

She didn’t react when Lincoln smirked and sneered that it was only fair retaliation when kids took after their parents.

Sara glanced through the living room, towards the kitchen where Sofia was busy with the dessert, then looked back at Lincoln. She didn’t say anything. Not Why would I think that The Company is watching us? nor Why do you think I think The Company is watching us? She didn’t deny or argue. She was clever; she didn’t waste her time and her breath.

“Sara?” he prompted her.

She carefully folded her napkin.

“I feel spied on.”

“That’s one of the pleasures of being a fugitive.”

“Spied on, Lincoln. Not tracked or whatever the cops would do.”

And then, of course, came the question, the one why he’d avoided broaching the issue with her for the better part of the last weeks, even though she had started to look like hell (again) and he’d been wondering if she even remembered how it felt to eat something.

“How would you know about The Company, anyway?”

(There, that question.)

He fought the temptation to grab his beer and mutter his answer into the bottle.

“I spoke to Kellerman,” he said not too loud but very clear.

She didn’t startle, she didn’t protest or ask him how the hell he’d imagined contacting Paul Kellerman was the right thing to do. She just sat back in her chair and stared at him. She was going to be that kind of mother when Michael was older: just a stern look because the kid was back ten minutes after curfew, and it would be enough to convey how mad — or, worse, disappointed — she was at him.

Of course, for now, Michael could barely stand alone by his playpen, and she was mad at Lincoln.

“He said you’re not in danger. We’re not in danger.”

He could see the cogwheels of her brain working. In that instant, she reminded him of Michael — the senior version — and made him wonder how long you needed to be exposed to someone to start acting like them. Or maybe it had nothing to do with Big Michael. Maybe she was already like that before and they just matched.

“That’s not exactly the same as saying that The Company isn’t watching us. And since when do you trust Kellerman?”

“I wouldn’t if it was only my ass on the line. I do when it’s about yours.”

She flushed from the root of her hair down to the neckline of her dress, both with anger and embarrassment. She knew exactly what he was alluding to. It was hardly the first time he’d brought it up, being snarky, derisive or downright disdainful towards Kellerman, depending on his mood. She had always refused to discuss it, discuss the advantages she could get from it.

“Don’t even go there, Linc.”

Looked like she hadn’t changed her mind on the question. He couldn’t say he blamed her.

A few feet away, Michael let go of the playpen’s bars and net. Before Sara or Lincoln could react, he launched himself through the living room, arms in front of him and hands aiming for his Mom. His course was rocky and hesitant, but he did manage to land precisely where he so obviously wanted to, and he held onto Sara who’d knelt just in time to catch him.

Lincoln cheered, laid a soothing hand on Sara’s shoulder, and didn’t understand her glance — stunned, amused, and sad all at once — when he grumbled, “Life fucking goes on.”

* * *

Life fucking went on indeed. For the most part. Lincoln didn’t have it in him to think too much about the past and changes and what went wrong. He used to. He used to explain his behavior and his choices in life — the good ones, and more conveniently the bad ones — by what he’d gone through.

He stopped doing that after they’d settled in Costa Rica. His brother sacrificed himself for Lincoln to have a life: in Lincoln’s book, this was erasing pretty much anything else, beating pretty much all of the crap Lincoln faced during his youth.

(Reboot, start again, don’t mess up this time.)

He’d dreamed of Vee during the first months here — of how she felt when they made love and fought and made up, of the way she’d been killed and he never got to see her again. It was weird ‘cause it hadn’t happened before, while he, Mike and Sara were on the run. Or maybe it was everything but weird. Maybe he’d needed to settle and have some time to process the memories.

He dreamed of her, and he woke up to Sofia’s soft touch and light kisses. Nightmares versus reality; he would have to work with that to keep life fucking going on.

LJ was dreaming too. Of Jane Phillips. Of what she’d done for him, how she tried to protect him and paid the high price for it, how The Company just shot her like it was nothing and left her on the ground. He wasn’t talking much about it — or maybe he was talking to Sofia? — but Lincoln knew. Sometimes, rarely, the dreams were finding their way into reality, and LJ would let out a question or a remark about the woman, would gasp in grief or stare at the beach, lost in his thoughts.

“It’s not your fault,” Linc told him gently, because he knew how deep guilt could run in this family.

“And yet, I’m alive and she’s not.”

“You’re a kid, she was an adult. She knew what she was going against, LJ. Blame it on The Company.”

His boy winced at him.

“The Company isn’t here anymore so who’s left to blame, Dad?”

Good question.

“Nobody. You don’t blame it on anybody else. You just... Life’s going on whether you like it or not. You just do your best to live it well because there’s no better way to honor the dead.”

Life was going on.

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