Sara hears a crash coming from her son's room, the incessant barking from their dog playing fiddle to the noise from that end of the house.
Her nerves immediately jump to her throat, the panicked cry, "Michael, what are you two doing?!" echoing through the house, her voice carrying to the room faster than her legs can move her.
They'd lived a relatively calm, normal (if that were such a thing for her) life the past couple years, settling into a house and a routine that kept her mind off the gaping emotional wound that seemed to bleed whenever she looked at her son, a reminder of the life that although brief, had wrecked her in the most beautiful form. Her focus through the years remained on the small boy who resembled her more than him, but with a quiet intelligence that suggested he was all his father.
If not for Mike, she'd have long since crawled under the covers of her bed and settled for the long haul, waiting to succumb to the grief that threatened to overtake her. Instead, she's been given a reason to get up, to carry on, a quiet strength nestled within that she'd carried for nine months, now free to roam this earth.
She finds herself outside the door, blind panic tightening its noose around her neck. Her wild eyes searching the room for her son, only to find the space empty, but his window cracked slightly open, upturned toys on the ground below, the dog barking up at the intrusion. Her hands find their way to her long hair, pulling it back in frustration, turning in circles, frantically looking for where he could be.
"Michael!" His full name is yelled into the room, until a small head pokes itself out from under the bed.
Her head falls back, a sigh of relief, before collapsing to her knees, her fingers burying themselves in his brown locks.
"What were you doing?" She asks, pulling back to stare into matching eyes of her own.
"I was just playing," he remarks, a string of toys neatly lined up underneath the bed, trailing all the way to the window, where it looks as if a few had fallen to the ground.
"I told you not to play with the window," she says with relief, the immediate danger having been alleviated, the burgeoning curiosity of her young son always finding new ways to both concern her and smile on in pride.
"I was waiting for the mail," he explains, crawling from out from under the bed, and she fully wraps him up, bringing him to sit on her lap.
"Oh yeah? Are you expecting something important?" She teases, tickling Mike with a smile. His laughter replaces the once loud barking, and the crash of his toys, causing the dog to come over, trampling the two of them, joining in on the fun.
"Yessss," he elongates his response, coming out in bursts of giggles, squirming all over, gripping her hands.
"And what might that be, mister?" She settles her hand, continuing to keep him wrapped up against her, refusing to let him go.
"A bird," he says with a level of confidence she can't even scoff at the imagination of her child.
"Hmm," she offers. "Well how about we go get this bird together when it comes?" She asks, leaning over to see him, moving the hair from his forehead to get a better look, before placing a kiss on his face.
"It already came, Mom," he reasons.
She stills at the admission, her heart rate picking up again. Mike wiggles out of her grasp and underneath the bed.
"Mike?" She says, voice tinged on the verge of panic, while remaining composed on the outside. The open window, knocked over toys, and barking dog adding up to the level of concern that was fighting its way to the surface.
"See!" He says, plopping back down in front of her. In his hand is the past coming back to haunt her in the form of a paper swan, resting on Mike's small hand.
Her breath hitches, her eyes traveling from the bird up to her son, a bird she'd seen all too often back in the day, offering her solace and comfort in her times of need, and here it was. The same bird placed in the littlest Scofield's hands.
"Where did you get this?" She almost whispers, hovering her fingers above the figure, afraid the image will crumble to dust if touched by her, along with every long since dissipated hope that maybe, somehow, it wasn't all over.
He could come back.
That's what she'd told herself for a while. The thought shrouding her like a security blanket, the blind hope seeing her through her pregnancy. Rationality eventually taking over, along with grief, acceptance, and carrying on. But the the tiny seed of possibility always remained just on the fringe of her thoughts. The idea that he could come back.
And then just like that, the cynicism washes over her, convinced this is a setup. That the past is finally coming back to haunt her, drag her and her son through the hell she'd once narrowly escaped. Their safety compromised.
She's so lost in her thoughts she doesn't hear his answer, until he's tugging on her sleeve.
"I have lots of them," he states, quickly presenting her with a bevy of swans, falling like a petals of a flower into her lap.
She hesitantly picks one up, the paper although not fragile, she handles with care. Gently bringing the wing of the bird down to expose a message written in black ink, the handwriting she knew would be there, and could recognize anywhere staring back at her.
"It won't always be like this, this room, this place."
The words spoken to her in the infirmary repeated back to her, the words no one could possibly know but the two people in that room. The same message now relayed to their son, the same sentiment present. The inability to be together ringing out over them.
She quickly picks up another, and another, each one laced with something only he could know.
"It's him," she hears, Mike's big brown eyes staring at her. It's not a question, but a statement.
"Yeah, baby, it's him," she repeats, tears springing to her eyes, a shaky hand coming to her mouth.
Michael Scofield was back in their lives, but the truth was, he'd never really left. Not really. The proof staring them back in the form of origami.