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25 November 2007 @ 02:01 pm
Prison Break - The Time They Need (1/3)  
Title: The Time They Need (1/3)
Author: clair_de_lune
Characters: Michael/Sara, Lincoln
Genres: General, romance
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Not mine. Just borrowing them for a while.
Summary: Michael, Lincoln, Sara and a boat.
Notes: I’ll admit that I’m a bit in denial as far as Sara is concerned, but this was written a few months ago, right after the end of the second season. So canon ‘til episode 2.22 and AU after that. Initially written for pbff_echange with the prompt: Michael/Sara, Lincoln, a boat, a good bottle, and the sentence “Each of my acts is destruction.”
Many thanks to recycledfaery for her help with the translation (French version).

Previous/next parts

Ten seconds.

It’s the time Michael needs to wipe away the rain that blurs his sight, let his eyes get accustomed to the darkness of the long passageway, and realize that Fox River almost looked like a civilized place. He doesn’t know if he’ll be able to survive here. He doesn’t know if he’ll be able to get out of here. He doesn’t know in which condition he’ll be if he ever gets out of here. But he knows this is for Lincoln and Sara, and he starts walking into the shifting shadows.

Ten minutes.

It’s the time Lincoln needs to follow and catch up with the guy who is following Sara since she has left the police station downtown. The man has ‘Company’ written all over him and, without a word, without a question, Lincoln begins to hit him, first holding him against the wall, then bending over him when he slumps to the ground. He’s careful not to inflict any fatal wounds, but he strikes and punches with enough enthusiasm and determination for the other man to pass out for a while. Because this is the way he takes care of those types of problems. And because after the events of the last few days, he really needs to unwind. In circumstances like these, a Company man is almost a gift from Heaven.

Sara came back; she’s leaning against the dirty wall on the other side of the alley, slightly bent forward, hands on her knees. Once or twice, she tries to stop him with a “That’s enough, Lincoln.” But she quite lacks conviction. Lincoln assumes that she understands what he’s feeling: the anger rising, boiling and becoming blind rage with only one possible outlet. She used a hood string; he uses his fists but in both cases, the intention is the same – getting even.

He finally hears her when she tells him they’re going to draw attention. He grabs her arm and they run, as fast as possible, as far as possible from the Company guy. When they finally stop, she bends forward again and tries to catch her breath. After a few seconds, she straightens up, rummages through her purse and hands Lincoln a small bottle of water. He takes it with a bit of surprise, and then with gratitude when he realizes how thirsty he is.

“Your brother is an idiot.”

“You don’t really think that,” he says, handing back the bottle.

“Right now?”

He remembers Michael taking off his blue overalls and proudly showing off the tattoo. He imagines Michael kneeling with his hands on his head and confessing for Kim’s death. Yeah. Right now, Lincoln thinks Sara is pretty right.

“I’ll try to get the boat back and then we’ll think about a way to...,” he tells her, part question, part offer.

She merely nods her head.

Ten nights.

It’s the time Lincoln needs to stop wishing he can throw Sara overboard and weigh anchor as fast as possible.


Sara isn’t unpleasant. Efficient, patient, reliable; once or twice, she even managed to make him smile which, in this day and age, is no small victory. But sharing the tiny space aboard the Christina Rose II – he baptized the damn boat Christina Rose II – with her reminds him of the time he had to share a tiny apartment with Mike. She can be as an obsessive fusspot as his brother (prettier to look at, though, but this is something he can’t and won’t do) and moreover, she has the bad taste of being right. They’re aboard a small boat: a place for everything thing, and everything in its place. They lack information: gather it and don’t rush. They still have killers after them: keep their heads down. They can’t rely on anybody but each other: do not – do not – disappear for two hours with no warning for God’s sake.

He could go on and on.

The nights are the worst because, if the boat is anchored, they lie in beds that would make the bunks at Fox River look almost fancy. They’re on either side of the cabin, separated by nothing more than two or three feet and he can hear her breathing near him. Quiet, controlled, smooth. Not even a sigh when he rolls around for the fifteenth time in ten minutes and makes creak and squeak his narrow bunk. Just, on some nights, a question, a bit sarcastic “Want an infusion?” as if he was the kind of guy to drink such things.

Sometimes, he thinks that the only reason he hasn’t thrown her overboard and weigh anchor as fast as possible is because...

“Ah... you can sail...”

“I’m a Governor’s daughter. Was. I can ride a horse, play the piano and sail.”

“But you can’t cook. Not really.”

“No. But I can take care of you if you get sick after you ate my cooking.”

... because, yes, Michael can sail... was able to sail... will be able to sail? whereas this is – no surprise here – something Lincoln has never learnt.

But tonight, when Sara snatches a pillow, she discovers the small bag that waits for Michael, and for a few seconds, she stares at the clothes and miscellaneous essential items with as much sadness as determination. For the first time in ten nights, rather than wanting to throw her overboard, Lincoln lays a hand on her shoulder and doesn’t say a word.

A couple of hours later, he heavily rolls around on his bunk and make the springs squeak; Sara sighs noisily, sits in her bed and swears like a trooper when she hits her head.

“Will you stop doing that, please?” she asks with exasperation.

Ten hours.

It’s the time they need to find him, bring him aboard the Christina Rose II and take to the open sea after he broke out of Sona. They’re fast and swift, they’re becoming good at it and, if the situation was different, she would almost be proud of all them. But considering the situation – a wounded fugitive, a former death row convict and... her, stuck aboard a small boat in the middle of nowhere, a lethal organization hot on their trail – it’s probably wise not to gloat.

She helps his brother to get him out of the car and along the pier up to the boat. There, the space is so narrow, their movements so constricted that she’d rather step aside and let Lincoln, half dragging Michael, half carrying him, lie him on the bunk she usually sleeps in. The sun is setting quickly, the light is already bad: she can’t see everything and, to be honest, as long as possible, she tries not to notice some of the details. But very soon, he’s lying on the bed, his eyes shut, and she cannot not notice: he’s become awfully thin; the flesh under his eyes is blue and hollow; he has severe cuts and bruises over most of his arms and hands. She fears what they’ll find when they undress him and, she delays that moment for as long as possible.

In relative terms, his torso has been spared; his back is... There’s a strange noise behind Sara and she turns around to look at Lincoln. He’s livid, his eyes fixed on the contusions and lacerations, on the skin that has gone red and yellow and purple between the blue lines of the tattoos. His Adam’s apple moves up and down once or twice as he vainly tries to swallow and clear his throat.


It’s almost fascinating to watch a man, who is usually able to thrash anyone without batting an eyelid, breaking down when facing the consequences of a beating.

“Will you give me the first-aid kit, please?”

She doesn’t allow herself to think about what she’s doing, about the way the injuries have ended up there. She concentrates on the job at hand, on the fact that she saw and took care of worse wounds, on the idea that this is just another medical act to accomplish. She cleans, disinfects, lingers on the burnt patch of skin – it hadn’t yet healed and it’s bleeding again – she stitches and doesn’t pay attention to Lincoln, who is hovering behind her. Finally, he steps back and sits on the small couch, and she realizes that she has told him that he was in the way of the light and disturbed her.

“Each of my acts is destruction,” he murmurs.

She turns around with a start and meets his gaze, but she has no time to react because this is the moment Michael chooses to let them know he’s conscious. Meaning he’s aware that he’s being stitched up, even though she can only give him an analgesic with questionable effects. He hasn’t said anything, and she grits her teeth. If he wasn’t already in such a bad condition, she... she... she would definitely do something to make him regret that kind of attitude.

“I’m thirsty. Can I have a beer?”

Sara lets slip a crude sound, something between a snort of derision and a protest. “Water,” she tells Lincoln. “Or some tea.” And she doesn’t need to look at him to know he’s rolling his eyes.

When she’s finished nursing and dressing the wounds, when Michael has drunk his tea and is lying as comfortable as possible under a clean sheet, she leaves him with Lincoln and walks out onto the deck. The air is warm and moist, but the sea breeze cools it a bit and she sits on the rail enjoying it. Her eyes closed, she tries to push away the image of Michael’s wounds, disregard it, contain it in a small portion of her brain.

It doesn’t really work. The amount of information she can keep at large is limited, as well as the length of time she succeeds in doing so.

“If you fall into the water, I won’t jump in and save you,” Lincoln warns her.

“It’s okay. I’ll be fine with a rope or a lifebuoy.”

When she opens her eyes, she can see him in front of her, awkwardly shifting on his legs. A man of his height on a boat of this size... poor guy.

“Don’t you think that he would have been destroyed if they had executed you?”

She shouldn’t have to tell him that, should she?

“Or if they had locked you up for shooting that bastard,” he agrees.

But she understands the guilt. She really does. Actually, she feels it eating her and gnawing at her stomach. If Kim rose up from the dead and appeared in front of her, she would kill him again just because of the pain he caused – this time with her bare hands, so as to feel every breath leaving his body. It would be fair game.

“Doesn’t make it easier, huh?” she asks trough her teeth.


They keep their voices low. Not low enough, though. Maybe the wind carries the sounds towards the cabin, or maybe it’s because the silence of the night is only troubled by the soft lapping of the ocean, but when they come back inside, Michael half-opens his eyes and tells them in a sleepy voice: “You have to destroy before you can rebuild.”

It’s just dandy, then, because all three of them are, to various degrees, shattered into small pieces.

“Sleep, Michael,” she softly answers. “You can philosophize later.”

She lies on the sheet, next to him, crammed in the small vacant space. He turns his head towards her, buries his face in her hair and breathes like a small animal looking for a familiar and soothing scent; she lays her hand on a spared part of his arm, and a kiss on his temple. She can hear his breathing growing deeper and calmer, more even, and she smiles because she didn’t know that she had such calming faculties.

Neither her, nor Michael pay attention to Lincoln when he points out that there is a third bed, and then asks why no doctor ever prescribed him that kind of treatment.


The Time They Need 1/3
The Time They Need 2/3
The Time They Need 3/3
Addendum: Bliss
Current Mood: okayokay
Genevieve: love and sacrifice by smirky turkeymsgenevieve on November 25th, 2007 01:51 pm (UTC)
This is going to be Season Three for me, okay? Just thought I'd tell you.

Neither her, nor Michael pay attention to Lincoln when he points out that there is a third bed, and then asks why no doctor ever prescribed him that kind of treatment.

Best last line ever.
Clair de Lune: pb - michael sara 2clair_de_lune on November 25th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
This is going to be Season Three for me, okay? Just thought I'd tell you.
I like the sound of that ^__^

I'm really glad you enjoyed it, it means a lot. Thanks very much for your comment :D
Genevieve: for her by sezmsgenevieve on November 26th, 2007 12:08 pm (UTC)
I kept thinking about this story while I was at work today. *sighs* I'm going to be religiously checking for updates, you realise. Your writing has such an uncluttered beauty to it - it's so real and raw and it still reads like poetry. Thank you so much for translating it to share with us.
Clair de Lune: roseclair_de_lune on November 26th, 2007 05:24 pm (UTC)
I'm blushing - and smiling - right now ^_^
I'm really flattered that you appreciate the writing itself. Translating is a bit frustrating because I don't master English that well: I have to focus on grammar, vocabulary, etc. and I'm never sure that I get the nuances of the language or that the style doesn't suffer too badly in the process. That said, recycledfaery did a wonderful, and probably painful, job with the editing: I can focus as much as I want on grammar, it doesn't always help very much *g*
Kat: Sona-M/S hugbluebird1045 on November 25th, 2007 02:11 pm (UTC)
Beautiful...just beautiful. With fics like these, it's so easy to ignore (the real) season 3 altogether.
Clair de Lune: text - canon errorclair_de_lune on November 25th, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks a lot :-)
Rose: Good Timero89 on November 25th, 2007 02:15 pm (UTC)
I absolutely love this, already read it twice.
The last scene is perfect :)
This is how S3 should be.
Clair de Lune: pb - brothers3clair_de_lune on November 25th, 2007 10:56 pm (UTC)
Aww, it's very kind of you, thank you!
sjennez on November 25th, 2007 03:17 pm (UTC)
This is lovely, you have a way with words. Do continue, if you wish to do so of course ;)
Clair de Lune: pb - trio2clair_de_lune on November 25th, 2007 10:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much. I will: it's a three parts story, parts 2 and 3 should be up soon :-)
Recycledfaery: Misa - soulmatesrecycledfaery on November 25th, 2007 04:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, I so love this fic. LOL And from the comments so far I think I'm not the only one. *g*

Clair de Lune: s.w.calliesclair_de_lune on November 25th, 2007 11:01 pm (UTC)
You know, I won't say that I told you so but the fact is I did: nice shipper story, and with a stroke of luck not excessively fluffy *cackles*
That said, thanks again - for your help and for your comment. I'm really happy that you liked it ♥
mara: michael/sara panamamarap on November 25th, 2007 11:54 pm (UTC)
Fantastic, beautifully written! I very much enjoyed reading it and I look forward to the next part.
Clair de Lune: pb - michael saraclair_de_lune on November 26th, 2007 05:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks a lot for your kind comment :-)
Jules: It's time to say 'thankyou'darkwriter69 on November 26th, 2007 11:44 am (UTC)
Well, I'm really glad that you took the time to have this translated to english - thankyou!

Now, if only s3 went something like this...
Clair de Lune: pb - michael saraclair_de_lune on November 26th, 2007 05:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks a lot for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoed it :o)
sassy, classy, and a bit smart-assy: Thank Youbadboy_fangirl on December 1st, 2007 10:51 pm (UTC)
Here's the funny thing. Me, I'm not a shipper at all, but when authors such as yourself capture Lincoln so perfectly, it makes me enjoy the Michael/Sara parts that much more.

So I thank you.

Additionally, the fact that this is translated slays me, because the low-key humor and the sweeping beauty of your words is so wonderful in English, I suppose I'd weep if I could read and understand French.

There are a few authors in this fandom that I read because of their writing style, not because of what they write about, and you are on that list.

Just gorgeous.

I read the third part first, so now I've read the first part, and I'm off to read the second. Thanks for translating this and posting it. It's divine.
Clair de Lune: pb - lincolnclair_de_lune on December 3rd, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC)
That's a bunch of pretty nice compliments *blush*

I'm really happy that you liked Lincoln's characterization. I'm always a bit worried when the reader is particulary fond of a character - and even more when the reader is *also* a writer who has thought a lot about said character. Of course there can always be various takes on a same character but apparently... well, I worry anyway.

My writing in French is long and sometimes weird sentences that every now and then my beta-readers (when the fics are beta-read) try to make me shorten. They're not always successful *g*

Thank you very much for this kind comment :-)
Maz (or foxxy!): Kneeling Michaeltuesdaeschild on August 25th, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
This is what we should have had in Season 3!! A curse on those damn writers!! A pox on them all!!
aqua_owlaqua_owl on April 26th, 2012 01:23 pm (UTC)
Wow! This is fantastic! Thanks for reposting it - I had never read it before. Now I can't wait to read the other parts!

I caught a few of the earlier comments on this and, ohmygosh, I never realized English wasn't your primary language! Now I am really in awe, that you are able to communicate and write such nuanced emotional scenes. How the heck is that possible? Great job!

Anyway, as usual, you've captured their personalities and sense of humor so well! Love the dialogue!
Clair de Lune: pb - michael sara 2clair_de_lune on April 26th, 2012 08:01 pm (UTC)
Um. Now I'm considering doing the re-posting thing as a weekly or bi-monthly feature - as though I don't spam my flist with enough Prison Break fics already ^_^

I never realized English wasn't your primary language!
It's flattering *blushes* And comforting as I tend to feel like my replies to comments or my few personal entries are awkwardly or weirdly worded, sometimes.

I'm delighted you enjoyed this :D
aqua_owlaqua_owl on April 30th, 2012 12:29 pm (UTC)
You definitely should! I'm already planning on digging through your LJ at some point to look for older Michael/Sara fics I might not have read...Just need to find more time!

You are a master of the English language! I remember you calling cat treats "cat delicacies" a while back...but I thought that was just a cute way of saying it...I still didn't realize lol...of course "cat delicacies" still makes sense...I think I will start calling my cat's treats "delicacies" it sounds much fancier.
Clair de Luneclair_de_lune on April 30th, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, time. The 'need more time' issue is something I'm well-acquainted with!
(If you do look for older fics at some point, I have a fic index that should help, and all stories are listed in the memories with their pairings.)

I've learned English in high school, a bit in college, and then mostly by watching tv shows and movies and reading fanfics and occasionally books. So my knowledge of it is quite... empiric and I have odd gaps in my vocabulary. Google and online dictionaries help, but sometimes, something like the "cat delicacies" thing still happens; it's my ESL-ness showing rather than a deliberate choice :-p