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07 August 2015 @ 05:20 pm
Prison Break - Story of Faith (11/27)  
Title: Story of Faith (11/27) - 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: ~ 2.480 (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 11

After making himself scarce for the first years of Michael’s stay at The Foundation, Kellerman was visiting more and more often. Files and facts to discuss face to face with Michael and Mrs. Jamison. It always was an interesting moment, seeing newly-elected Congressman Kellerman’s security detail stand at the door of Jamison’s office along with Michael’s — looked like Tom didn’t trust Kellerman’s bodyguard or something like that. Only Jamison wandered around freely during those visits, seemingly not worried, but then, Michael suspected that Jamison wandered freely with a gun tucked in a holster and might have been on the security detail’s side of the fence once upon a time.

Michael started to both look forward to and dread Kellerman’s visits.

The visits meant they were making progress, quick and important progress.

The visits meant that sooner or later, Michael would be set free — would set himself free — and go back to Sara and Lincoln; to his son. It wasn’t a distant possibility any more. It was becoming something that could and would happen in a near future, probably a span of time that counted in months.

“It would be normal to feel nervous,” Yoki told him casually one day after Kellerman had left. “It’s normal to feel nervous about changes and breaking big news to people.”

“And I have one hell of a big piece of news to break to them, haven’t I? Sara, Lincoln, how are you doing? Oh, by the way, I’m not dead,” he ironized.

It was something he’d pushed into the deepest corner of his mind after making the deal with Kellerman because he had to. He couldn’t focus on guilt and do what he had to do at the same time — same thinking as years ago when he worked on breaking Lincoln out. Back then, he knew some people would be hurt, injured, touched one way or another by his actions.

(Except that this time, the people touched by his actions were his wife, his kid, his brother.)

“You still have some time to think about it, but you knew it would happen, didn’t you?” She drummed her fingers on the small laptop she always had with her. “Maybe we should book a few appointments to talk about that.”

He tilted his head. “I’ve never understood what kind of doctor you actually are, you know? Oncologist? Neurologist? Neurosurgeon? Psychiatrist?”

“I, uh, I multitask. You’re not the only one able to do that, Michael.”

It didn’t matter, anyway. He trusted her. She had an agenda — not a hidden one, but another one than helping him get better — but it was the same as his: making sure his mind and his body were able to take down The Company.

“What if I’m like my mother?” he asked her in a whisper. “I faked my death and abandoned them just as she faked her death and abandoned Linc and me.”

“You pretend to be dead to protect them. That’s the contrary of abandoning them.”

And yet, he still wasn’t around. Sara and Lincoln had gone through the ordeal of mourning, Sara would have to keep living with the so-called murder of Christina Scofield attached to her name, and his son was growing up without him.

* * *

Administrative work, teaching math and English to the older kids, animating creative work groups for the younger ones. Staying away from the medical supplies because she wasn’t supposed to doctor anyone anymore.

(Sara sucked at the creative stuff herself, but that was hardly the point.)

Her job at the orphanage was time-consuming and energy-devouring; a physical energy in the first weeks, an emotional one after that. She had forgotten how rewarding but also how demanding it was to care for and attend to so many people at once, and kids were a new brand of their own, in that respect.

“Don’t let Lucia work you too hard,” Rafael advised her sometime around her fourth month. “She’s the most charming person and has this way to wrap you around her little finger, and before you know it, you end up doing the oddest things for her.”

Rafael, fellow volunteer, allowed to approach the medical supplies, sometimes looking at her as though he didn’t realize she could have been his older sister. Totally better than her at the creative stuff, but needing to work — hard — on his bedside manners.

(Also, cute. In a puppy kind of way.)

She liked Rafael.

She ducked her head, smiling to herself, and pretended to be extremely interested in the documents laid in front of her.

The description he just gave of Lucia was perfectly accurate. There was something about their manager — the kindness, the dedication, the fist-of-iron-in-a-velvet-glove attitude, the rare but bright smile — that made it if not impossible at least hard to say ‘no’ to her.

“I’ve known someone just like her. I can handle Lucia.”

“That’s the trap,” Rafael insisted, his eyes crinkling with laughter. “You think you can, but nobody can handle the Lucias of this world. Maybe it’s a good thing, that said. The world needs Lucias.”

(Wasn’t that true?)

Sofia lifted an interested eyebrow when Sara started mentioning Rafael. And Lucia, other employees and volunteers, but mostly Rafael. Lincoln took care not to say anything at all or to react in any way, but the half-smirk on his lips was telling heaps about what he thought.

Sara didn’t bother protesting and rolled her eyes. The kid was, well, a kid. Med student volunteering, and he was, like, twenty-three, and sweet and smart — and Sara was absolutely not interested in that kind of relationship.

For several minutes, Lincoln listened to Sofia enumerating reasons why Sara should be interested in that kind of relationship — either with Rafael or with another man — then shook his head and poured more iced tea into Sara’s glass, grumbling something about him sucking at chick talk.

“Just stop thinking, Sara.”

She started at his tone, soft and low, so brotherly that she suddenly didn’t have the strength anymore to even reach for her drink.

“How many times did you say that to Michael?”

“More than you can imagine but still not enough.” And then, because he was Lincoln: “Shit. Three years. I know how it is. How can you handle it? You know, the—”

“Thank you, honey,” Sofia cut him off, and the ‘honey’ was so not a good thing in her mouth, Sara couldn’t help laughing.

Coffee and lunch and movie and dinner and... It was odd, going through that dance again. It reminded her she never went through it with Michael. There hadn’t been any time for that. She didn’t regret it; she liked that what they shared couldn’t be compared to anything.

(Stop thinking.)

Rafael was sweet. Rafael called Lincoln ‘sir’ the first time they ran into each other at some café, and Sara choked on her drink at Lincoln’s face. Rafael held her hand on their second date and wrapped an arm around her waist at the end of the third one.

She briefly wondered if she was interested in Rafael or in the fact that he was the first man she’d allowed herself to have interest in for three years; if she wanted to be interested in him because it was part of a healing process; if...

(Stop thinking.)

She kissed Rafael on their sixth date.

* * *

Things were getting better. Not easier, not by far, but certainly better. Michael had regained control over most of his brain and body, he swam and could kind-of-run, lifted weights at the gym in a way that earned him appreciative nods from Tom, and even more appreciative look-overs from Cat. The Company investigated as best as they could but weren’t finding much about whoever was going after them, both because Kellerman and The Foundation were being cautious and because The Company hadn’t regained its former power. One by one, soldiers and then lieutenants of the New Heads — © Mrs. Jamison — were flushed out, arrested and interviewed. No killing so far, which he praised him and his team for, even though he’d rather not ask about Kellerman and Mrs. Jamison’s methods of interrogation. Necessary evil. During the last few years, he had to compromise quite a bit about necessary evil and he knew that it would haunt him for the rest of his life, but at least, so far, he had a life ahead of him.

Sara and Lincoln seemed happy — as happy as possible given the situation — and Michael Jr. was growing up beautifully. Michael dutifully ignored the twinge in his chest each time a new picture was delivered to him, a twinge made of satisfaction, relief, remorse, regret, jealousy, hope, faith...

Bitter-sweetness at its best.

Things were getting better. This was when the dreams became bad; or good in a really bad way. He’d had a bunch before, obviously, but nothing unmanageable, nothing that vivid, nothing that...

* * *

Sara is straddling him. Her thighs encase his hips, her breasts brush his chest, her hair caresses his face, and when she kisses him, he feels life being insufflated into his whole body.

Michael likes it when she’s on top. He can watch her, stroke her; she sets the rhythm that works best for her. Sure, sometimes, often, at some point, he can’t take it anymore — too good, too many stimuli, too much love. He needs to hold on to her, embrace her and hold her tight. He rolls them over and thrusts deep into her, then.

Not this time, though. Tonight, he relishes the warmth of her body and of her eyes, he basks in her touch and in her moans, he tries to give back as much as she gives him. He comes deep inside her when she leans down and whispers “I love you,” against his lips, and life, life rushes through him — he hasn’t felt that alive in years.

His head was throbbing when he woke up.

He’d come in his pajama pants. Like a horny teenager. He brushed his fingers over the damp fabric and frowned, too stunned to be embarrassed. Later, probably. For now, he stumbled into the shower — the exact place where he usually, cleanly took care of this kind of thing — and washed any traces of sticky fluid and the remains of dreams and pleasant warmth. It was odd. He hadn’t noticed before how his room was neatly air-conditioned and yet always felt cold.

It was the picture Kellerman gave him earlier today that had elicited the dream. Photos, he guessed, were taken by operatives of The Foundation and were usually rather neutral, but this one had been selected by Kellerman himself: Sara in a bathing suit, toned and lightly tanned, long red hair wet in her back, laughing at what had to be one of Lincoln’s silly jokes.

She was beautiful in a sending-stabs-of-want-to-his-guts way; stabs of love of course, but definitely of want and lust too.

Michael stared at the picture for a couple of minutes, seeing in it something that had eluded him the day before, eager that he was to drown himself into it. A smile curved his lips and he picked up the phone to call Tom. It was four in the morning, but it didn’t matter as far as Tom was concerned.

“Is Mr. Kellerman still here?” he asked. “Please let his assistant know that I want to see him before he leaves.”

They’d had a few of those meetings over the course of the last years. Quiet room, great food and tense dialogue, plans of saving the world — or, at least of preventing it from getting even shittier than it already was, Mrs. Jamison had dryly said once, killing Kellerman’s dramatic flair.

“I want Sara’s name cleared,” Michael started when the three of them were seated at a small table in Mrs. Jamison’s office.

Kellerman sighed heavily. “I’m sorry, are we three years ago again? I already told you—”

“I know what you told me.” He put down on the table the picture of Sara in her bikini. “When The Company is finished, I want her name cleared and her medical license restored. I also want her to be able to stay in Costa Rica if she feels like it. Or to settle anywhere she wants. Her and Lincoln too, obviously. I don’t want them to spend the rest of their lives in hiding, fearing some Company, Foundation or Government men. I don’t care what it takes to get that. Just make it work.”

Kellerman brushed his forefinger across the top of Sara’s bathing suit. “And I’m supposed to accomplish this small miracle because... what? you offered me a photo of your pretty wife? Something to jerk off on, maybe?”

“You’re an asshole,” Jamison said with annoyance; she always sounded annoyed when she estimated that Kellerman’s antics were making them waste their time.

“He flaunts her picture at me to get what he wants and I am the asshole? And what are you going to do if I refuse, genius? Stop cooperating and sentencing her, your kid and your brother to death?”

“There’s a misunderstanding. I’m not threatening you to do, or not to do, anything. I’m not asking you anything. I’m telling you you’re going to do it. Willingly. Happily. Not for me, for her. Given your history, I wonder where this thing you have for her comes from, Paul. But maybe it is because of your history. You have a thing for women who hold out on you, don’t you? And Sara held out on you good.”

He pointed at the picture.

“This isn’t the kind of photo of her I usually get in here. This is the kind of photo picked by a man who has some parts of his anatomy — please don’t tell me which ones — really interested in her. This is why you already helped her once, and this is why you’re going to do it again.”

He pocketed the photo. He wasn’t letting Kellerman have it, this one even less so than others.

“You’re going to do it because you have feelings for her. As you told me three years ago, you are one of the good guys now. I get that it’s not easy for someone like you, but somehow, you’ve grown a conscience. Deal with it.”

He didn’t wait for an answer, there was no point. On his way out, he caught Mrs. Jamison blowing out a cloud of blue-gray smoke and Kellerman complaining again, “And I am the asshole?”

* * *

For the first time, when they visited the grave on the anniversary of Michael’s death , Mikey let go of his mama’s hand and ran alone to the tombstone as Lincoln was setting the inevitable origami crane on the gray marble. Sara swallowed hard and felt grateful for Sucre stepping closer and slipping his hand into hers.

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--If you enjoy the fic (or if you don't, but you know... hopefully if you do ;)), please let me know :)