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23 August 2015 @ 04:06 pm
Prison Break - Story of Faith (17/27)  
Title: Story of Faith (17/27) - 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: ~ 1.460 (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 17

Red, red, blue, yellow, red, red, blue... Mike was piling up Lego bricks to build... something, Lincoln wasn’t sure what. There was a pattern in the piling up, and a familiar, displeased frown, when Lincoln was trying to break it.

(Fucking Legos. Fucking kid. This was taking Linc back thirty years ago to a dingy apartment in Chicago.)

“I know, you know...” Sara told him without moving from the kitchen counter where she was making a cherry pie. She wasn’t the best cook in the world — couldn’t hold a candle to Sofia — but her cherry pie was to die for, and Lincoln intended to stick around a bit.

“That he’s smart? Have you met his father? And you’re not exactly dumb either.”

“That he’s that kind of smart.”

There had been signs and hints, but the older Mike was getting, the more obvious it became.

It was quiet in the bungalow. Just Sara, Mike and him. Jane had come and gone — some assignment for her insurance company or whatever she wanted to call it — Sofia was taking care of the scuba shop this afternoon, and LJ was back at college. Maybe he would take his exams this time; or not. It was all so lazy and normal — except for Mike’s obsession with the order of his rows of Legos — and for the first times in years, Lincoln realized he wasn’t unhappy. He wouldn’t go as far as to say that it was happiness, but it definitely was not-unhappiness. They’d reached a balance, some kind of peace. Maybe this was something Sara had known before, but it was a first for him.

Or maybe it was a first for Sara too. She’d stopped the nonsense with the shooting practice thing a few months ago. Ascribe it to time passing or to nothing bad happening after all, she wasn’t feeling watched and followed anymore. Lincoln knew for a fact that the gun was still in her bedroom, secured out of Mike’s reach, and she had bullets in the house, but she hadn’t mentioned practicing with Jane in months.

“What are you going to do about it?”

She rubbed her sweaty cheek against her shoulder. No air conditioning here, and the ceiling fan wasn’t enough to help today.

“Stimulate his mind. Keep him busy and entertained. Make sure he has fun and interact with other kids.” She smiled sheepishly at Lincoln. “Try not to freak out when he starts asking questions I don’t know the answers to.”

“It will happen sooner than you think.”

“Speaking from experience?”

“Damn right.”

He didn’t confess to her what he really thought: that he’d never been able to deal with it properly when Michael was involved because he’d never had the kind of brain and smart she had and that was needed. She hated it when he belittled himself in such ways; she was very capable of throwing the cherry stones left from her pie at him in retaliation, and then he would have to leave. He didn’t want to, not before he got a slice of the damn pie.

* * *

It took a few weeks, several visits from Kellerman to The Foundation, Michael lending a hand for some aspects of the plan, and a lot of cigarettes for Mrs. Jamison, but eventually, they did get a partial copy of the content of Acero’s chip. No casualties in their ranks as a result of the operation, which was always a good thing. Less good: Smythe knew that they — someone — had access to a fair amount of his intel. Not that the man was clueless or naïve to the point of imagining that the very people who had tracked down The Company a first time four years ago weren’t on his tail now. But he knew how close they were, how advanced they were, and he started to take extra precautions, precautions he’d shed while fighting off Acero.

They lost his trail somewhere in Morocco. The subsequent string of curses and swear words falling from by Mrs. Jamison’s lips was graphic and cruder than anything Michael had ever heard from Linc. Not a small feat.

“Let’s focus on the content of the chip, okay?” he suggested quietly.

Politicians and businessmen, a couple of celebrities, churchmen and officials... It was a disparate range of supporters that Acero had put together and cultivated, as disparate as her means of pressure over them — both stick and carrot for almost all of them.

Krantz’ execution was scheduled in less than two months and, despite everything, Smythe was closer than ever. Michael could almost feel the man brushing his fingertips, smell his cologne — Burberry Classic, he knew as much because, apparently, someone had pegged the info as relevant and included it in a report — hear his very English accent and elegant delivery even in his sleep.

Closer than ever, even though wandering somewhere in Africa or Asia. Underlings starting to worry, the carrot-and-stick approach not quite enough anymore with the threat of legal action — or not so legal action, actually — factions weakened by the internal struggles from the last year.

Kellerman’s version of the carrot-and-stick approach amped up the desertion rate, ranging from a few, quite generous, plea bargains to arrests accidentally (or not) ending up with the suspects being shot down.

It was a mere race, now; a hunt. Race to reach The Company’s members and operatives, hunt to find Smythe. Within a few weeks, he went from offensive to defensive, from gathering Acero’s supporters to seeing his own base starting to defect.

“I want beefed-up protection for my family,” Michael said, and he suspected that, for several reasons, Kellerman had been passing on orders before Michael asked for it anyway.

Krantz went to the Chair a couple of weeks before the alleged anniversary of Michael’s death, and it wasn’t for Michael the big the event he’d envisioned. Sure, a mixture of relief and unease to feel that way sliced through him, remnants of hate and fear following, but nothing like the small earthquake he’d expected. He didn’t have the time anymore for Krantz and his offenses and crimes, whether they’d been committed against Linc, Sara, his mother, himself or thousands of other people. Krantz was the past, and he didn’t have the time anymore for the past: he had to focus on the future, and the future depended on his ability to neutralize Jeremy Smythe.

Everything was going fine.

(That is, if you estimated that striking deals with criminals, breaking into foreign countries, into places and homes, arresting people when you did not necessarily have police power was pertaining to the realm of things going fine.)

Everything was going fine, and everything kept going fine for a few more days.

On the fourth afternoon, they experienced a minor setback, some low-level employee changing his mind about the deal they’d came to and disappearing, and yet another one during the night. On the sixth morning, it was a higher ranked operative. Another one found dead, her throat slashed, on the seventh day.

“We have a problem,” Jamison told Kellerman over a secured line.

“No: you have a problem, Mrs. J., and you need to fix it ASAP,” Kellerman replied coldly.

Four failures of escalating importance in four days when everything had been going fine could only mean one thing: Smythe had had access to their plans and had been testing his intel. Successfully.

She indeed had a problem as no one else but Kellerman himself and some of her own people were privy to said plans. Kellerman wouldn’t have betrayed, that was pretty much established, so her options were limited.

“We have a mole,” she told Michael in the privacy of her office, room screened for bugs, doors locked, phones and computers turned off and unplugged.

He unrolled in his mind the last operations they led, the troubles they ran into, who was where when they discussed the plans. He didn’t like what he gathered from his quick check.

“Two operatives from the task forces were on several of the last missions that failed. And it could be anyone from my team: Nat, Pat, Cat, Tom, Lena—”

“Or Dr. Evergreen.”

He gave her a shocked glance.

“Yoki would never—”

“She would. We all would if they managed to find our weak point. You know their methods better than I do.”

“We must—”

“No. Not ‘we’. This is a management and logistics issue. I take care of management and logistics issues. You take care of cornering Smythe.”

On the ninth day of the Smythe’s race/hunt, while exfiltrating the head of a regional section in Southeastern Asia, a Foundation’s task force was ambushed; five men and women were killed when the safe house they’d just entered blew up.

Things were not going fine at all anymore.

TBC
--Feedback is always appreciated :)

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(Anonymous) on September 13th, 2015 12:51 am (UTC)
Reading!
I just wandered back to LJ this week to see if anyone in the PB fandom was writing and stumbled upon yours. I'm reading and enjoying!
Clair de Lune: origami - canardclair_de_lune on September 13th, 2015 10:24 am (UTC)
Re: Reading!
Well, welcome back then, and thank you :)