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19 September 2015 @ 04:45 pm
Prison Break - Story of Faith (25/27)  
Title: Story of Faith (25/27) - 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: ~ 2,230 (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 25

They flew back to Costa Rica and resumed the course of their lives. School and scuba shop and orphanage, shopping for groceries and tidying the home, which was very much a necessity given they’d left in a hurry.

They kind of resumed the course of their lives. The notion that Michael was alive and out there and soon would be here with them permeated all the usual and mundane activities, infused them with a mixture of yearning and worry, of what-if and how-to.

Sara talked to Michael Jr. about his dad. She’d postponed the conversation while in Canada and in the plane and during the first couple of days after they’d landed back in Costa Rica. She needed time to think of the proper way to explain it, she needed Mikey as quiet and focused as he could be, which he could be only after life had somewhat returned to normal.

She kept it simple, explained there had been a huge mistake — yes, way, way worse than when Uncle Fernando had tried to help Auntie Maricruz cutting her hair — and Daddy would be back soon. Mikey remembered how Daddy had been in an accident, right? Well, the accident had made him forget everything and doctors had been working on fixing this. No, absolutely no, people who were dead usually did not come back some day like Daddy.

(“That’s Jesus who does that. Or zombies,” Lincoln had offered very unhelpfully from the side of the room where he followed the conversation.)

Michael nodded his head, decided that Mommy’s story added up and that it was “yay!” Totally not flabbergasted, shocked, overwhelmed and the dozens of emotions Sara, Linc and LJ went through at Kellerman’s reveal. Very four-year-old-ish in his acceptance of the extraordinary, and Sara smiled at his ability to be happy and excited about meeting Daddy without wondering, almost dreading, certain aspects of his return.

She bought two sets of brand new white cotton sheets, and made the beds with them in her bedroom and in the guest room. It was symbolic — cleaning, new sheets, starting fresh.

Lincoln raised an eyebrow when she mentioned having spent the day preparing the guest room and making it as welcoming as possible.

She shrugged. “We haven’t seen each other in four years. Maybe he’ll be more comfortable having his own bed.” She smiled a bit. “At first.”

Lincoln opened his mouth, about to say something like If I hadn’t seen my wife in four years, the guest room would be the last place I’d want to sleep in, looked at her face, and settled for hugging her tight and assuring her that “Everything’s gonna be okay.”

Wishful thinking, and he knew it. Everything would not be okay, not at first at least. There would be bumps and issues and long talks. Eventually, one way or another, she had faith that they would get there, though. They hadn’t gone through all those trials and tribulations to lose everything and each other in the end. One step at a time. It was how she’d made it during the worst moments, when Linc and she had first set foot in Costa Rica. She could and would do it again, this time with a much happier perspective.

They were smiling again. For real. Actual smiles, that reached their eyes even when their lips weren’t curving. It hit her how different Lincoln and LJ’s smiles looked. They had found peace and even a certain happiness, just as Sara had, but peace and a certain happiness couldn’t be compared with the impossibility to not laugh without a reason, the need to breathe as deeply as possible, the impulse to scream at the top of their lungs because the glee rising inside of them felt like it would burst anytime soon.

Sara started to wait. Jane hadn’t said anything about when Michael would be here, so Sara started to wait. It was a new experience; she had never had to wait since they arrived here, not for something she longed for and dreaded at the same time, something that would have her heart beat a tattoo and make her head dizzy and... She hadn’t had to wait-hope.

Lincoln was pretending he wasn’t as nervous and eager as she was, but he did spend an awful lot of time making sure he got the finest beers he could get his hands on and, in a very different perspective, to check that the scuba shop books were properly balanced.

Fresh sheets and a hammock on the back deck, beers and properly balanced books for a well-run shop. Little things. Michael had to know he was eagerly expected and would be welcome, but it was the little things that would make him feel at home.

“Get your ass off that hammock, Sara,” Lincoln demanded, “and come to the shop. Stop waiting. I need some help and Michael doesn’t need to come home to a place where life has paused.”

* * *

Michael set foot in Costa Rica eight days after Sara and Lincoln had returned.

Everything was warm and bright.

It was gray and raining when he’d got out of The Foundation’s building to never go back. He’d enjoyed the rain. He’d followed Lena to the car, and then to the jet that took them to the St. Catherine Hospital in Georgia. They were thorough, whoever had put together his white file and planned a tour of the hospital before Lena was allowed to let him go.

On Mrs. Jamison’s orders, she offered him The Foundation’s jet to travel to Costa Rica.

Undoubtedly against Mrs. Jamison express orders, before nodding her head and wishing him the best, Lena whispered, “Tom apologizes for what he did and says good bye, Sir. The Company, they—”

“I know, Lena.”

He didn’t know how they’d got Tom, but he was aware enough of the ways and means they’d used to acknowledge in what kind of web his former bodyguard had been caught — between a rock and a hard place didn’t begin to describe it. Michael couldn’t forgive, but he could understand.

“Is he okay?”

“He will be, Sir.”

He thanked her, asked her to thank Mrs. Jamison on his behalf for the jet, and declined the offer.

He couldn’t go back to his family using a jet belonging to a shady organization with shady goals, shady people and capital letters in its name. He needed to clean a bit before kissing Sara, meeting his son and hugging his brother. The rain beating on him as he was walking to the car and dodging Lena’s insistent umbrella had been a start. The hours spent in airports and planes helped too. That was why he didn’t call home — home was an odd word for something he’d only seen in pictures but it didn’t matter. As corny as it sounded, home was wherever his family lived.

Anyway, he didn’t call home because he needed to wash away The Foundation and The Company’s stench before talking to Sara and Linc. He needed a clean break, old life and future life colliding as little as possible.

He also needed to reconnect with the light, the noise, the smell, the agitation of life, life outside of The Foundation’s walls. So many stimuli after so much secluded time that he had to spend a couple of hours locked in a hotel room merely to recover from the drive between Albany and Atlanta. That was something else he couldn’t unload on Sara and Lincoln, his inadaptation to real life.

In Atlanta, he boarded the first plane to Costa Rica. He had some money — “We deposited your paycheck for the last four years in that account, Mr. Scofield. It won’t make you rich, but provided you don’t wallow in luxury, it should be enough for the rest of your life.” The last minute plane ticket to Costa Rica was expensive and unfitting the definition of not wallowing in luxury, but worth every single cent as it brought him closer to his family three days earlier than the second and more economical option.

He had lingered up until now, partly out of obligation and partly out of fear, but now, now he’d taken his decision and he was a flight away from them? He couldn’t move fast enough, be there quickly enough.

Yes, Costa Rica was warm and bright, everything the landscape around The Foundation wasn’t, two different worlds. That was perfect for someone aiming to severe ties between his old life and his future life.

(His new life. His new life. It wasn’t going to happen someday anymore, it was happening right now.)

He booked a room in a small hotel, where he stayed for the afternoon after getting off the plane. He needed to shower and shave, change clothes and try to steady his heartbeat. They were a few miles from him. He couldn’t just happen to Sara looking disheveled and stinking of his previous life and of his plane flight — Sara never smelled bad, never looked more beautiful than when disheveled, and he was planning to kiss her, and do other things, that would be a lot more pleasant if he was presentable.

He still didn’t call home or he scuba shop. He could have, he had everything he needed, the addresses, the maps, the phone numbers — landlines and cell phones — the emails. Cat had gathered all he would need to find his way home, and she’d been Cat-efficient. He didn’t call because it sounded tacky. A phone call after rising from the dead and four years of Hell, who did that?

He didn’t call. At this hour of the day, they were at the scuba shop or at Sara’s.

He literally tossed a coin to pick his destination.

Bungalow, odds said.

* * *

He took a cab to the beach and asked the driver to leave him a few miles from home.

(Home was such a strange and wonderful word. He couldn't help thinking it every other minute.)

Accessing the bungalow by the beach was his best option, if the maps were accurate. The other way was a long meandering road through a thick forest. He’d used long meandering paths through dark places enough for a lifetime. Moreover, he didn’t want to approach it — approach them — undercover. Broad daylight was a better choice, especially when you’d hidden so many things already, even though it was despite yourself, and you should have been a ghost.

He was out of shape. Or maybe the walk was overwhelming because of what awaited him at the end of it? Anyway, his workout sessions at The Foundation, closely monitored by Yoki, were nothing like taking a one mile long walk down the beach, and his cane didn’t help. He felt like running and needed to slow down. It didn’t matter that much, slowing down now, did it? A mere matter of minutes.

No amount of mere minutes could have got him ready for the sight of the bungalow that appeared after a curve in the beach. White and light brown, overlooking the ocean and giving access to a pontoon at the end of which Sara’s small boat was berthed. Nice and simple and refurbished with style and love. His memories of this time were a bit fuzzy, but he remembered Yoki telling him that everybody, from Lincoln to Sucre to Mahone, had worked on it.

There was no one — no one important to him — around the house or on the back deck. He walked up the steps, knocked on the back door and waited. Still no one. The door was locked. He could have picked the lock in his sleep, but beside the fact that break-ins and break-outs were something else he’d had enough of for a lifetime, it would have been highly inappropriate.

He looked around him. It was the end of the afternoon, almost the beginning of evening, and Sara would be here soon. There were little bits of her on the back deck, truth be told. An obviously brand new hammock, which made him smile. A blue jacket draped over the arm of the porch swing. A forgotten mug on the garden table and an empty beer bottle that had to be Lincoln’s.

He sat down on the porch swing. He was relieved, almost happy, that they weren’t here to welcome him. He’d made them wait for days since Kellerman had told them the truth, it was about right he was the one waiting for them now, wasn’t it? It was a happy wait.

No. Not happy: joyful and serene. The joy and the serenity of knowing that he was at the end of a hard trip and at the start of another one — maybe it would be bumpy, but it would be fulfilling no matter what.

The jacket smelled like Sara. He resisted for about twenty seconds before bringing it to his face and breathing in it, inhaling her scent and filling himself with it.

Heavy. Everything was heavy: his eyelids, his limbs, his mind filled with too many thoughts and feelings, the odd frenzy of the last days finally catching up with his whole body.

The sun was nice, now, after having been taxing during his walk on the beach. It bathed everything in a golden radiance, mellowed his muscles and his last concerns about being here after so much time.

He drifted off.

--Feedback is always welcome and appreciated.

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