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27 November 2007 @ 05:58 pm
Prison Break- The Time They Need (2/3)  
Title: The Time They Need (2/3)
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: Many thanks to recycledfaery for her help with the translation (French version).

Previous/next parts

Ten days.

It’s the time they need to help him get better.

He’s not an easy patient. At least, that’s what Sara said a few times, and yet “I’m used to difficult patients, Michael.” This time, she gets out of the cabin, grumbling incoherently. He can hear her footsteps on the deck – she’s stomping, up there – and a few minutes later, Linc’s head pops in.

“I’m not gonna play negotiator each time you have an argument with your gal, Michael.”

“I’m not his gal.” Sara’s voice reaches them from the stem of the boat, clear and sharp. Michael thinks this statement is not exactly true (it’s even totally wrong); Sara just doesn’t like the word.

“I didn’t have an argument with my girlfriend; I had an argument with my doctor.”

“Yeah, well, both of them are bad-tempered and you’re quite something too,” Lincoln shoots back before he leaves the cabin.

It’s not that he’s a difficult patient, or that he’s bad-tempered – even though he’ll admit these explanations are not to be excluded. But he wants to get up, help, be useful and not be told he’s more useful if he stays in bed.

He may have a few reserves about letting someone else take charge. But when ‘someone’ opens the shower curtain to check if “Everything’s all right?” because ‘someone’ considers that two minutes is too long a time in the bathroom? It’s right the moment where ‘someone’ goes too far, and it’s really time that he gets up, helps and be useful. Someone #1 points out he’s his brother; someone #2 argues she’s his doctor; both of them are right but still, this has to stop.

Someone #1 leads him to a seat on the deck and tells him: “I guess you can hold the fishing rod.”

He snorts sarcastically. “Jeez, Linc! Thank you.”

“Or if you’d rather prep the fish for tonight...,” someone #2 suggests.

Her hands are covered with various substances he’s not keen to identify, so he grabs the fishing rod Lincoln hands him. Holding the rod is not that bad, especially while sitting in the sun, with the nice breeze and the soft murmur of the sea.

“Want a beer, Mike?” Linc offers.

“Lemonade,” Sara automatically thwarts off. “You know what’s funny?” she goes on. “From all of us, I’m the only one who actually killed somebody.”

Michael flinches, slides a bit on his seat and straightens up; he almost lets go of the fishing rod, and the first fish he was about to catch for... longer than he would care to admit, escapes.


Her long knife is right in front of her, neatly lying next to the fish she was still opening and cleaning a minute ago. Her cheeks are pale under her recently acquired tan, and she keeps her eyes on her sticky and bloodied hands.

“Maybe ‘funny’ isn’t the right word,” she acknowledges.

The two of them stare at her with a mixture of distress and compassion for a few seconds, unsuccessfully looking for an appropriate answer. Michael wants to tell her that pulling the trigger didn’t transform her from doctor to murderer just like that, but she knows that as well as he does. He’d like to tell her that he’s sorry, but truth be told, he’s not – not really: he’s sorry she had to live that of course, but they had to choose between Lincoln and Kim, and that’s not a choice requiring a lot of...

She didn’t kill a man; she saved both of them, Linc and him, with a single shot. He’s not quite sure how he would have been able to survive if he had done all that just to watch his brother getting murdered in front of him.

“Yeah, thanks by the way,” Lincoln lets drop, poorly pretending to be laid back about it. He leans into Michael and murmurs in false confidence: “Sorry about before, huh. The shower. I was worried.” He gulps down his beer. “Sara, on the other hand, just wanted to get an eyeful.”

She’s still pale, and her fingers are nervously drumming on the knife, but she valiantly smiles.

Michael shakes his head. “You shouldn’t make fun of a woman whose hands are in the guts of a fish, Linc. You never know what she may get up to.”

Ten damn firecrackers that kids are letting off on the beach, a few hundred feet away.

It’s the length of time Lincoln needs to understand how much he’s unwanted. So totally, absolutely, perfectly unwanted that a new word should be created to describe the fact.

He doesn’t exactly know how many minutes it goes on, but he does know he slightly jumps with each small explosion echoing in the night. And between each small explosion, there are whispers and chuckles coming from the bed on the other side of the cabin. So annoying that he finally hisses “Shh!” and barks “For God’s sake, there’s a third bunk!” and “I don’t get how you manage to both fit on there anyway!”

And now, the small explosions are going on, but the whispers and the chuckles have stopped and been replaced with a cheerfulness that is thick enough for him to feel, almost tangible, and...

“You’re kidding me! I’m right there...”

“You’re free to go,” Michael replies.


“What Michael can’t bring himself to tell you is, grab a blanket and a beer and go sleep outside. Or in the cockpit. Or go weigh anchor. Whatever. Close the hatch on your way out,” Sara calmly enunciates.

She should be embarrassed to ask him that, shouldn’t she? She in no way sounds embarrassed, she even adds: “The iPod is in the drawer, next to the fishhooks.”

“I don’t want that thing, it has only musicals!” he protests – and then realizes he has tacitly surrendered.

“Take the iPod with you, Linc.” He gets up and does as he’s told, because his brother’s voice is laden with the same determination it had when Michael told him ‘I’m breaking you out of here’ and... well, he’s out, isn’t he? Aboard the boat from Hell, but alive and out.

“If you leave the creek, try not to run us aground,” Sara says.

“It was an accident because of the tide.”

“All three times?”

Sometimes, he really regrets he didn’t throw her overboard when he had the chance. He’s almost positive he would have succeeded to sail on his own anyway – eventually.

Sleeping in the open (because he won’t leave the creek, not if that means caustic comments on his inability to pilot the damn boat) is not that bad. Actually, when you consider that he could have never seen daylight again, sleeping in the open is fucking great. He settles against the hull and slides into his ears the first, and... yeah, the second earpiece too. The bright side of the story, he guesses, is that Michael is really getting better.

Chicago. Of course. He fumbles with the buttons of the iPod (Sara’s pink iPod) until Cell Block Tango starts to play. Sure.

The music isn’t quite loud enough to muffle the sound of the damn firecrackers the kids are still letting off on the beach.

Ten weeks.

It’s the time they need to get the Christina Rose back (the real thing, without a lousy number after her name) and take to the open sea. No doubt it’s an improvement on their living conditions, given the Christina Rose has, besides her main cabin, real bedrooms with sliding doors and queen size beds. The one he shares with Sara is at the bow, Linc’s is at the stern; moreover, “as a precaution”, his brother has downloaded “man’s music”. Until now, Michael hasn’t been aware that music had a gender, but Linc made a point of it to demonstrate that musicals are indeed chick’s music.

So Michael can’t really get why Lincoln hums Cell Block Tango each time he’s on cleaning deck duty, but he has learnt that some questions aren’t meant to be asked.

Among other definite enhancements, there’s satellite television, a shower booth with a lock, an internet connection and a deck large enough for them to lounge in the sun.

There’s also a fridge, with a bottle of champagne sitting in it. White vintage Dom Pérignon. Because today, it’s been six months since Lincoln was officially exonerated, they’re all still alive and Michael thinks that despite everything else, despite the deaths and the treasons... or maybe because of them, it should be celebrated.

When Michael comes back from the cabin with the champagne bucket, Sara is lying on the deck, wisely covered with suntan lotion, a large hat on her head; her back and legs have just the right shade. He dips his fingers into the bucket full of water and ice, lets a few drops fall on her shoulders and watches goose bumps on the smooth skin. She starts, looks at him from under her hat, lazily murmurs: “You’ll pay for that. Later.” and closes her eyes again.

He carefully lays the bucket between them, bends over her and kisses the shivers away. A different kind of shiver comes up and he smiles.

“Um,” she says, “that’s a start.”

Sometimes Linc says they won’t be able to live like that forever. Sooner or later they’ll have to go back to Chicago or at least to the States. Linc wants, wants, wants... and Michael thinks it’s interesting that his brother has so many projects, resolutions and good intentions whereas everything he desires is right within his reach. He really sees no problem living the way they do right now; he knows Linc misses LJ, but the problem could be easily solved.

When he said that you have to destroy before you can rebuild, his brother took it at face value; mostly kept the ‘rebuilding’ part and decided to rebuild in a different way. Linc has told him that, in a few quick, whispered words, because he’s not big on speeches and confessions. He has used expressions such as “appreciate what I have”, “do my best”, “I promise you” (which, by the way, means nothing: in the past Linc’s promised him lots of things lots of times) and “no more bullshits... well less bullshits anyway.” The last one has reassured Michael because a reasonable Linc is a pretty weird notion.

At some point, long ago, he rationalized things just as Linc does now: acquire, order, improve. Currently, he’s happy with what he has, and he can’t see the point to improve what’s already working – way too many risks to break something in the process.

“You gonna open this bottle or should I get the iPod before you lock yourselves away downstairs?” Linc asks bluntly.

“Do you know...” He straightens the bottle in its bucket. “... this boat has never been baptized?”

Sara rolls around, sits on her bath towel and looks at him; he knowingly winks at her.

“Really?” she asks.

“You are not going to baptize the boat with a bottle of champagne costing a few hundred dollars, Michael,” Linc says, half dubitative and half decided to prevent him from doing such a thing. “Sara...”

He appeals to her as if she was the wisest imaginable person. Wise, a woman who left her whole life behind her without a look back to trudge along with two guys, including a quasi-fugitive (Panama’s authorities have not yet quite cleared his case), in the middle of the Caribbean Sea? Typically Lincoln’s weird judgment.

She shrugs. “Not baptizing a boat is bad luck. They say the Titanic hadn’t been baptized before her inaugural trip. See what happened?”

“Use beer. Cider. Cheaper champagne,” he offers.

But she shrewdly shakes her head and plays along. “Nope, doesn’t work that way.” She grabs the bottle of champagne in its bucket and gently jiggles it over Michael’s shoulders. He flinches when a few chilly droplets fall on his skin, but he guesses he has it coming.

Lincoln watches her, with a mixture of disbelieve and worry, while she ties one end of a rope around the bottle neck, and the other end to the rail. “Really, Sara...”

She doesn’t answer and it’s only then, a second too late, that Michael understands. She slightly bends forward, her arm extending above the blue-green water lapping around the Christina Rose, and she asks: “Anything you want to say, guys?”

Michael jumps to his feet but not quick enough to stop her: she drops the bottle, pushing it towards the boat. There’s the muffled and satisfying sound of the glass bumping into the hull and then the bottle explodes into thousand small pieces. He watches the champagne running down the hull and into the sea, and what’s left of the bottle sloppily hanging at the end of the rope.

“You...,” he murmurs.

“Yeah. She did it,” Lincoln confirms with a small smile. Michael won’t bet on it, but he’s almost positive that his brother is quite happy to see him beaten at his own game.

“You do not baptize a boat with cheap wine,” Sara quietly explains. “Even less when she has your mother’s name.”

She’s already back lying on her towel, hat on her head, when they come out of their stupor and move. Lincoln cautiously drags the bottle up, unties the rope and mumbles: “Marry her.”


The Time They Need 1/3
The Time They Need 2/3
The Time They Need 3/3
Addendum: Bliss
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
i want this to last forever: Handslinzi20 on November 27th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC)
This is terrific. Wonderfully written! I loved the banter back and forth, the comfortability of Michael's and Sara's relationship. The last line was perfect!

Such a good read!
Clair de Lune: pb - brothers3clair_de_lune on November 28th, 2007 08:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks for commenting :o)
Jules: Faithdarkwriter69 on November 28th, 2007 01:20 am (UTC)
Oh, I love this. I love the banter. I love the way they are easy and comfortable with each other. I love that Sara got one up on Mike. But I especially loved that final line.
Clair de Lune: pb - brothers3clair_de_lune on November 28th, 2007 08:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
(Anonymous) on November 28th, 2007 08:35 am (UTC)
Oh, this was absolutely wonderful! You've woven your story around the concept of 'ten' so beautifully, and it's nice to see a story with a single theme clearly running through it. It's so nice to see the interaction between the three characters, especially between Linc and Sara as we never got to see this on the show.

“You do not baptize a boat with cheap wine,” Sara quietly explains. “Even less when she has your mother’s name.”

Does Sara win at life or what? And Linc--as with the last chapter--closes this one with the best line ever. :-)

You're a very good writer. Now I feel so bad that I don't know French--would love to read your other stories.

A bit sad that there's only one chapter to go, but you've packed so much into two chapters, I'd be happy to take what you give us. Update soon! Love this universe!
Clair de Lune: pb - michael sara 2clair_de_lune on November 28th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much, I'm glad you liked it.

Um, I translated some of my stories (or wrote a few of them in English) - they're here: http://clair-de-lune.livejournal.com/63537.html I'm just saying... :-p

Edited at 2012-04-26 05:14 pm (UTC)
Recycledfaery: misa - let's play docrecycledfaery on November 28th, 2007 12:20 pm (UTC)
Love this chapter. It makes me feel all happy. LOL
Clair de Luneclair_de_lune on November 28th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
Aww, thanks :D
JJ: wm13 happyjolietjones on December 1st, 2007 11:23 am (UTC)
There's so much fun in this, I love it.

I love that even though Linc finds Sara infuriating at times, he really appreciates that she is perfect for Michael.

When he says "Marry her.", well that's just perfect.

I do feel a little sorry for Linc though, all by himself...
Clair de Lune: pb - lincoln2clair_de_lune on December 1st, 2007 01:42 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid that I neglected Lincoln a bit in this story ^_^ (I do have an other "universe" where he sort of ends up with Jane, though.)

Actually, I thought I would write something Gen with underlying Michael/Sara: it was supposed to be more about their recovery - to all three of them - than about Michael and Sara. And then... I got carried away *ashamed*

I thank you for your comment. Glad you enjoyed this :-)
Maz (or foxxy!): Scylla Kisstuesdaeschild on August 25th, 2011 05:59 pm (UTC)
I'm totally with Linc! Marry her, Michael!!

The road to here was a long and arduous one but what a lovely life they had on the Christina Rose?!! Should have been S3!!
Clair de Lune: pb - michael saraclair_de_lune on August 27th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
I'm totally with Linc! Marry her, Michael!!

Smart advice, isn't? She's the one - moreover Linc knows it won't be easy to find someone who has it in her to live with Michael on a daily basis.
*dodges tomatoes*
Maz (or foxxy!): Scylla Kisstuesdaeschild on August 28th, 2011 09:24 am (UTC)
Linc knows it won't be easy to find someone who has it in her to live with Michael on a daily basis.

You can stop avoiding tomatoes because I actually agree with you! Lincoln must have had it really hard living with and taking care of his baby brother since said baby brother must have been a nightmare. But really, it's not Michael's fault he's the way he is...hence no tomato throwing! But I get the feeling that Sara would make sure Michael knew when she was annoyed with him! Loving as he is he is surely infuriating! :)

Hope going back to work on Tuesday was okay.
aqua_owlaqua_owl on April 26th, 2012 01:42 pm (UTC)
Linc listening to showtunes on the pink iPod....LOVE IT :D

Now this is the life...sunbathing all day with Mike and Linc...fishing and listening to kids playing with firecrackers on the beach...

I wish this is how things had really gone, of course I made myself forget the real version of things long ago...

On to part 3... :)
Clair de Lune: origami - canardclair_de_lune on April 26th, 2012 08:02 pm (UTC)
Musicals on a pink iPod... Nothing will be spared to poor Lincoln ;)

I wrote this a few years ago, during the hiatus between the second and third seasons. Good times, when we could still hope that there would be if not a happy ending, at least a not-unhappy one...

of course I made myself forget the real version of things long ago...
I know the feeling. I've written so many "alternate canon" post-series fics that I have to make an effort to remember that my head-canon is not the actual canon! Ignoring the real version is not so hard anyway, given how they veered off the canon established during the first seasons of the show.