Disclaimer: Prison Break is created and written by Paul Scheuring. This fan-fiction had been written purely for entertainment purposes. No infringement was intended and no profit had been made out of this.
A/N: I've agonized for what seemed like weeks over this chapter, but I'm glad it's finally done. For those of you who didn't know about this, I had set out to finish this story before the premiere of Season 2, and that's today, 21st August 2006. But in order to do that, I had to effectively stuff two chapters into one. So yes, this is the final chapter and it's twice as long as my usual chapters.
Unexpected Repercussions – Chapter 11
The splash of frigid water on his face forced Michael to wake with a jolt. Blinking slowly to clear the water from his lashes, he looked up to find himself facing with a thin woman with dark shoulder-length hair, dressed in a black suit.
The expression on the woman's face was deceptively pleasant. Too pleasant to be genuine, Michael thought through the haze in his mind. He moved his focus from the woman to his surroundings. A large man with another one of those pleasant expressions was seated backwards in a chair not too far behind the woman, his arms leaning against the back of the chair. He was also dressed in a black suit. They were in a warehouse, Michael noted warily as he swept his eyes around the dimly lit space.
"Michael Scofield," the woman said his name out loud with a tinge of mockery in her voice.
"The man who led a team of eight inmates out of a maximum security prison," the man on the chair added, raising an eyebrow as he did so. "I have to express my admiration at your skills."
Michael remained silent as he watched them guardedly. His body ached and the back of his head felt as if it had been bludgeoned by a sledgehammer, making it hard for him to focus. But he knew he had to remain alert.
And all he wanted to know was if Lincoln, Sara and Veronica managed to get away.
Michael looked down at himself. His feet were tied together. He tried to move his arms to no avail. His wrists were tied together on the other side of what felt like a steel column.
Not wanting to give away his apprehension, he kept his face expressionless. "Who are you?"
The man gestured to the woman. "This is Samantha Brinker, and I'm Jack Davies."
Those names did not mean anything to him. And for all he knew, they might not even be real names. "What do you want?" Michael asked stonily.
"Let's just say we're looking to offer you a deal," Davies drawled slowly.
"A deal," Michael ehoed flatly, hardly believing what he was hearing. Probably his freedom in exchange for the location of the rest of the escapees. Did they think he was so gullible? "What deal?"
"Something which you will find very helpful in your current predicament."
He gave them a disinterested look. "What might that be?"
Michael laughed out loud. They had really underestimated him if they thought that he would buy that. If it was that easy to buy someone's freedom, he found have done it for Lincoln months ago.
Davies frowned disapprovingly. "I fail to see the humour in the situation, Mr Scofield."
Michael shook his head, his body shaking with laughter. "What's the catch then?"
"We want Ms Donovan."
His laughter died abruptly. Veronica. They wanted Veronica. Not Lincoln, not the rest of the escapees. But Veronica. "Why?" he asked cautiously, unsure if really he wanted to know the answer.
The mask on the other man's face went up. "I'm afraid that's confidential."
"And then I'm afraid that I'm unable to accommodate," he shot back with a shrug.
The woman, Brinker, stepped towards him, her expression threatening. "You might find that it is in your best interest to cooperate with us, Mr Scofield."
Michael aimed a level look at her. His voice was cold when he said, "I've got nothing to lose."
Davies interjected smoothly. "But you have everything to gain, Mr Scofield. Freedom for your nephew and your brother. Their names cleared. No more running and hiding. We can't offer you the same, but we can offer you a new identity. All you have to do is to tell us where is Ms Donovan."
Michael fell silent, appearing to be mulling over the offer. Then, with a straight face, he said, "Tempting. But no, thanks."
Brinker's face became pinched. "You're being deliberately difficult. You stand to gain everything and lose nothing."
"We are not looking to harm her," Davies said reassuringly.
"Then why do you need her?"
"That again, I'm afraid, is confidential."
Michael snorted in disdain. "How convenient."
Davies stood up and walked towards him. Leaning down close to Michael, the man said smoothly, "We'll give you some time to think about it. Don't take too long."
The man straightened. With a cold smile, he continued, "There's nothing stopping us from handing you over to the authorities. But we'd prefer not to go down that route. We will find Ms Donovan eventually, but with your help, it'll speed things up a little. Time, I'm afraid, is of essence at the moment."
Then they left, slamming the door behind them.
He did not know how many hours had passed or how many days even. Being shut indoors in the dark made it difficult for him to tell. All he knew was that the throbbing at the back of his head was beginning to ease, but now the gnawing hunger in his belly was demanding attention. His arms felt lifeless after hours of being restrained and he sorely needed to stretch.
But he knew that it was impossible. This was all part of the torture they were using to weaken him into submission. They had been in and out several times since he had woken up and the conversation had been the same. They were at a standstill and the frustration was beginning to show on Brinker's thin face. Davies however, remained calm.
"I fail to understand why you're reluctant to take the offer," the man asked, appearing to be genuinely baffled.
Michael shook his head wearily. Through parched lips, he said, "You see. I don't see how you could hold up your end of the deal. Our faces are all over the media. What are you going to do? Announce to everyone that we got mistakenly thrown in?"
"Not quite. But something like that," Davies replied smoothly.
Interesting, Michael thought. "Care to elaborate?"
"We will arrange for Lincoln Burrow's and his son's freedom if Ms Donovan cooperates with us. And we can help you leave the country and assume a new identity."
Michael eyes narrowed. It all sounded too simple. "You can easily back out of your end of the deal once you get Veronica."
"You'll just have to trust us on that," Brinker said coldly.
Michael laughed mirthlessly. "I'm afraid I can't do that. I guess you'll just have to do what you like with me, but I'm not helping you get to Veronica. Not unless I have some proof that you'll keep your word. A guarantee of sorts."
"There is no such thing, Mr Scofield," Brinker snapped impatiently. "You forget that you're the prisoner here. You're in no position to make demands."
Michael gave her a bored look. "Well, isn't that just too bad?"
Davies regarded him thoughtfully for a moment before turning to the woman beside him. "Samantha, a word please."
Tossing an irritated look at Michael, Brinker spun around and followed Davies to the far end of the warehouse. From their gestures, it would seem that they were having some sort of debate.
Michael strained to hear their words without success. They kept their voices low, but the tone of urgency was unmistakeable. He had no doubt that they were discussing his refusal to give Veronica up. They were probably plotting an alternative plan now. Hopefully it did not involve his death.
After a while, Michael looked up to see Brinker walking back towards him while Davies made his way to the door.
At his enquiring glance, Brinker said tightly, "You'll have something by tomorrow."
Michael's eyebrows shot up in surprise. What did she mean? Before he could say anything, she left the warehouse, leaving him alone.
The three of them sat silently around the small table around Sara's new apartment. Sounds of children playing and dogs barking in the small park in front of the block filtered through the open window, but they paid no attention to it, each of them lost in their own thoughts. The cell phone on the table had remained ominously silent since they had left Michael back in the cabin almost two days ago.
Sara had her head buried in her hands, her mind filled with images of Michael's expression the last she had seen of him. He had rather expose additional risk to himself than to put her or the other two in danger. That had not been a selfish act. There was no doubt in her mind now that he cared for her at least as much as she cared for him.
But where was he now? He had said that he would call. But they had heard nothing so far. No phone calls and nothing on the news. The television was on at that moment, mocking them with the lack of news on anything worthwhile.
She blinked her red-rimmed eyes to hold her tears at bay. No more, she promised herself sternly. All the crying had done her no good except to make herself feel even more miserable.
She slanted her eyes across to Lincoln and Veronica. They were not faring any better. The two of them wore identical grim expressions on their faces. It did not take a genius to figure out that they were thinking along the same lines as she was.
Her mind went back to what Michael had said to her in the short time they had been together in the cabin. Of what he had asked of her. She had been confused then. Everything was happening so fast that she had panicked when he had asked her.
It was funny. All it took was the thought of never seeing him again to help her make up her mind. Right now, she wished she could tell him yes. Yes, she would follow him. She would go on the run with him. What else did she have in her life which was worth hanging around for in this place for anyway? Her main focus for the last few months had been Michael. Granted, at that time it was more the case of trying not to fall for him. But it was a lost cause. Her feelings for him were not something she could control. She knew that now.
And she knew that they had to do something soon before she went mad with worry.
Inhaling deeply, she ventured uncertainly, "Linc, we need to find him. It's been too long."
His brow furrowed, Lincoln looked up from the table. "I know. But what? We don't know where he is."
"We shouldn't have left him there," Veronica muttered worriedly.
"Well, it's too late for that now!" Lincoln growled angrily, pushing the chair back to stand up. Pacing the room in agitation, he continued, his anguish clear, "I don't know what to do!"
"We can't just continue sitting here waiting," Sara exclaimed harshly. "We should-" she broke off suddenly, her attention drawn to the television. "Turn the volume up," she instructed urgently to Veronica.
Their eyes zoomed in on the flickering images on the screen as a reporter spoke live from outside a correctional facility.
"Today, new ground-breaking evidence led to the release of LJ Burrows, the teenage son of one of the escaped convicts from Fox Rivers. LJ Burrows had been arrested on suspicion of double homicide and attempted murder several weeks ago. Now, the authorities are searching for a new suspect, a man whose identity has yet to be disclosed."
Lincoln inhaled sharply. "They let him go!" he exclaimed in excitement. "LJ's free!"
Her eyes still pinned on the screen, Sara placed a hand on Lincoln's shoulder. "Shh… There's more."
"In a related news…"
The camera moved on to a wreckage site. A car was wrapped around a tree, crumpled badly and charred beyond recognition. Sara felt a terrible sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. "Please no…" she breathed out, her eyes wide with anxiety.
"The manhunt for the eight fugitives had led to this scene. The authorities had acted on a tip from a local source which resulted in a car chase across the state. The identity of the body has yet to be verified. However, the description fits one of the escapees. We have Officer Bellick here…"
The camera zoomed in on Officer Bellick's grim expression.
"The bastard," Lincoln hissed angrily as his fist hit the table.
"You've said earlier that you have identified the remains of the body in the car?"
Bellick nodded smugly. "The tip led us to believe that the man in the car is one of the escapees."
"Can you tell us who you think it is?" In the background, paramedics carefully lifted a blackened body out of the wreckage onto a stretcher.
"We cannot confirm anything until identification tests are completed, but it is likely that the man in there was Michael Scofield. He fits the description."
"No!" Sara exclaimed, shaking her head disbelievingly. She slumped back against the chair, numb with shock. No, not Michael. How could he be so careless? They should not have left him there.
Yanking his gaze from the screen, Lincoln muttered, "No. This is not right. They must have mistaken the guy for Michael."
"But where's Michael then?" Veronica asked softly, dejectedly. Her eyes were over-bright with unshed tears.
Lincoln's eyes flashed. "Maybe he's just in hiding. He'll find us."
"Michael…" Sara whispered, her eyes glazed with pain. It was too late for anything now. Too late for regrets, too late to save him. Too late. But why? Why must this happen to him? But maybe it was as Lincoln said. Maybe it was not him after all. Maybe it was someone else.
"I need to see the body," she suddenly declared.
Veronica gaped. "What!"
"To be sure," Sara mumbled, getting to her feet.
A hand on her arms stopped her. "No." It was Lincoln, his expression displaying his uncertainty.
Sara shook his hand off. "I need to know, Linc."
"The whole thing might be a trap," Veronica pointed out worriedly.
Sara sank back into the chair. Pressing the heel of her hands against her eyes, she whispered, "What are we going to do now?"
Lincoln shook his head slowly. "I don't know," he replied dejectedly. "I don't know."
Michael's eyes widened as he took in the news report. When it ended, his gaze remained fixed to the television which Brinker had brought in earlier just for this purpose. His mind whirred with the implication of what he had seen. He did not think it was possible, but they had managed to carry out at least part of what they had told him earlier.
LJ's free and he, Michael Scofield, was presumed dead.
How did they do it? Whoever they were, they had some power of the authorities. It had only been two days since he had been captured. Two days was a short time to carry out what they had just shown him.
How would Lincoln, Sara and Veronica feel when they saw it? Had they seen it already? Michael closed his eyes briefly and leaned back against the column. They must be really worried by now. Michael hoped that they would not do anything rash. He needed to speak to them, to reassure them that he was still alive, and not lying in some morgue, charred and burnt beyond recognition.
The stony-faced woman stepped between him and the television, forcing him to look at her. "Take this as a gesture of goodwill. Something to convince you that we are able to deliver on our promises."
Michael just looked at her wordlessly, unsure what he should do now. If these people could help free Lincoln, then it was possibly worth a try. But what about Veronica? He could not give up Veronica to them just like that. Who knew what they wanted to do to her?
"I need to know what you want with Veronica," he said quietly, but there was no mistaking the insistence in his voice.
Brinker's lips thinned. "We will not harm her."
"Then you shouldn't have a problem telling me what you need from her," Michael retorted immediately.
Davies walked towards them. Bending down towards Michael, he asked, "Will you give us what we want once we tell you what we need her for?"
"Depends," Michael replied coldly.
Davies straightened and exchanged a look with Brinker. Then he turned back to Michael. "We need Ms Donovan to hand us the surveillance tape she had found in Steadman's hideout."
Michael sucked in a sharp breath.
They knew. They knew that Terrence Steadman was alive. "Who are you? And how do you know he's alive?"
"Our identity is not important," Davies replied in an offhand manner.
"What are you planning to do with the tape?"
Brinker arched an eyebrow. "To prove that Steadman is alive, of course. The tape, together with other information we have, is enough to prove your brother's innocence."
Michael was sceptical. "I'm afraid I don't believe that all this is just to prove Lincoln's innocence. What do you get out of it?"
"Now that you don't need to know. Suffice to say that all we're trying to do is to bring someone to justice. The same person who set your brother up in the first place."
Michael snorted disbelievingly. "By freeing Lincoln."
"In a way, yes," Brinker said enigmatically.
Michael mind went back to the investigations he had carried out before he went into Fox Rivers and what Veronica had told them of her investigations. These people seemed to know a lot. They even knew that Lincoln had been set up. Their identity was becoming clearer to him now.
He gave her a knowing look. "You're part of that conspiracy, aren't you? You're from the Company."
"There's no conspiracy," Brinker denied, but Michael had seen the uncertain flicker in her eyes just before she masked it. "Just a mistake," she added.
Michael snorted derisively. "A mistake which was about to cost Lincoln his life."
Brinker was unperturbed. "No murder. No charges. No death-sentence. It is as simple as that. All we need is to prove that Steadman is well and alive. We need to find him, but we need Ms Donovan's help for that. We know that she had seen him. Her prints were all over the place and on the surveillance equipment."
"Why can't you just find Steadman?"
Davies replied, "He had left, or someone else got to him first before we could. We just need Ms Donovan to help track him down since she was one of the last to see him."
"Then nothing. We need the tape as evidence and we need to ask her a few questions, that'll all. After that, provided everyone keeps quiet about this, then everything will be fine. We will leave you alone. We're not after you or your brother. We have a bigger fish to fry," Brinker explained.
Davies piped in. "All we need from you is Ms Donovan, and then Lincoln Burrows will be a free man. And you will find that the corpse in the morgue will be positively identified as Michael Scofield. You will also get a new identity and your choice of country to reside in. Think about it, Mr Scofield. The offer doesn't get any better than this."
Michael fell silent. What they were proposing appeared to be feasible. However, he was not sure how far he could trust them. Their 'gesture of goodwill' of securing LJ's release and the faking of his death went a long way in convincing him that they had more than enough resources to ensure that they delivered on their promise. And Michael knew that with their resources, Lincoln had a better chance at freedom.
Now the question was, did he trust them enough to hand them one of the main evidence of Lincoln's innocence? Or to expose Veronica to more danger?
Was he prepared to live with himself if it all went wrong?
Was he prepared to live with himself if he passed up on this opportunity to secure Lincoln's freedom?
The repercussions of his past decisions came back to haunt him.
How far was he prepared to go this time?
The phone rang shrilly, breaking the silence in the apartment.
They froze, all staring transfixed at the ringing object on the table, suddenly unable to move. The first one to snap out of it was Lincoln. In a fraction of a second, he had the phone in his hand. His breath caught in his throat as he pressed a button on the phone. Could it be Michael?
"Yeah," he greeted guardedly.
Lincoln's eyes shut in relief as he released the breath he was holding. It was him. Michael was alive. "Mike? You alright?"
Sara rushed forwards to Lincoln's side, her wide eyes questioning. "Is he alright?"
Lincoln pressed a button on the cell phone to switch the call to the speakers. Michael's voice came over the loudspeaker. "I'm okay, Linc. Tell Sara not to worry."
Sara gasped at the sound of his voice. "Michael! What happened?" Sara asked anxiously. "We thought you were…The car crash…"
Michael interjected quickly. "I'm alright. I know about the crash."
"You know?" Lincoln echoed, confused. Michael had probably seen it broadcasted somewhere, but that would mean that he was near civilisation. Why had he not called earlier? "Where are you?"
"I don't know. Listen, is Veronica there?"
Veronica stepped closer to the phone. "Mike?"
"I'm with Samantha Brinker and Jack Davies. They claim to be from the Company."
Lincoln inhaled with a loud hiss. "What's going on, Mike?" Why was he asking for Veronica?
"They got me when I was running, and now they're offering a deal," Michael explained.
"Is that why LJ's free?" Sara asked cautiously.
"Yes. And the car crash was staged as well. They told me that the guy in there was already dead and they had modified my dental records to suit his," Michael explained quickly.
"So what do they want?" Lincoln asked suspiciously. It was too good to be true. Why would they help a bunch of convicts? Why would they set LJ free?
Michael replied quietly, "In exchange for your freedom, your name being cleared, they want Veronica and the surveillance tape. And our silence."
"No!" Lincoln objected vehemently. How could Michael even think of agreeing to that deal? "That's crazy, Mike. You can't believe them. Tell them to…"
"Wait!" Veronica interrupted urgently, pushing Lincoln aside. "Did they say why they need it?"
"They want Steadman."
Lincoln shook his head disbelievingly. "This is getting crazier by the second," he exclaimed. "Why? And how do they know he's alive?"
"It's a long story, Linc," Michael said wearily. "No time to go into it now."
"I'll do it," Veronica declared resolutely.
Lincoln gave her an incredulous look. "No. You can't," he objected harshly. He was not going to let her risk her life for his. If he had to be on the run for the rest of his life, so be it. He could not let her endanger herself.
Veronica laid a hand on his shoulders. "Linc, these guys set LJ free. If they can do that, they can clear your name as well."
"Not by putting you in danger!" he snapped. "No. You're not going, Veronica."
Her chin jutted out stubbornly. "It's my decision to make. Not yours." She looked away from him. "Mike?"
Michael's voice came over the speakers. "Don't feel like you need to do this, Veronica. We can find some other way."
"No. Are they there?"
A short pause followed. "Yeah," Michael affirmed.
"Good. I want to speak to them."
An unfamiliar voice came over the line. "Ms Donovan. Pleased to make your acquaintance," a male voice said silkily.
"I'll give you the surveillance tape in exchange for Michael," she stipulated coldly.
"I'm afraid we'll need more than that, Ms Donovan. We need you. We need to know everything you know about Steadman and what he had said to you."
"You'll have it. I will tell you everything you want to know. But I'm not going with you."
Silence ensued. Out of corner of her eyes, Veronica saw Lincoln exhale in relief.
Then the man said, "Then how will we know that you're telling us the truth? How would we know that you won't just run off after giving us a fake tape?"
"I want Steadman exposed as much as you do. And I want Lincoln's freedom. I owe nothing to Steadman. Why would I lie?"
Another pause followed. Then the man said levelly, "It's good to know that we're on the same side."
Veronica rolled her eyes. "Do we have a deal then?"
A moment passed before the man said, "I believe we do. We'll contact you to agree a time and place."
Then he hung up.
Michael blinked rapidly at the bright glare which greeted him as he stepped out of the warehouse. It was the first direct contact he had with sunlight in days. A black car with tinted windows was parked right outside the warehouse, surrounded by nothing by empty landscape all around. Brinker was already seated in front with her hands on the steering wheel.
At Davies's directions, he stepped in and shifted stiffly into place at the back seat of the car, his movement awkward because of his cuffed wrists.
Michael caught a glimpse of his reflection in the window as the car began to move.
His facial hair had grown out in the last four days, giving him an unkempt appearance which helped hide his features. Thankfully, they had allowed him the courtesy of washing himself in the small washroom in the warehouse before they left.
They sat in silence for a long while. Michael glanced at the landscape outside, trying to gauge their location, but nothing seemed familiar. He knew that they were heading to Ohio to meet Veronica.
He turned to Davies. "Where are we?"
"Near enough to our destination," came the cryptic reply.
Michael turned to look back out of the window. "Is my death confirmed yet?"
"Yes. It was all over the news yesterday. The manhunt will continue without you, you'll be glad to hear. But you will have to leave the country before you're spotted."
"That's my intention."
"We want nothing more than for you to disappear, Mr Scofield. It would make us…less worried."
"That's easy. Give Lincoln his freedom and you will never hear from us again," Michael said calmly. Then looking at Davies out of the corner of his eyes, he said, "Who is it you're trying to get at through Steadman?"
A cold smile passed Davies's lips. "If I tell you, I'm afraid I'd have to kill you."
Michael raised an eyebrow. He could not tell if the man was joking or being serious, but his gut feeling told him that it was the latter.
Davies took an envelope out of his briefcase. Leaning over, he slid the envelop into Michael's breast pocket.
"Your new identity. You're now a Canadian citizen. Your name's Michael Coffer. There's also a one way ticket to Mexico in there for you."
Michael nodded briefly. At least the name was similar enough to his own for him to remember. But he had no intention of leaving until he was sure of Lincoln's freedom.
They pulled up at the side of the road. Their designated meeting place was a small café in the middle of the busy town. A neutral ground which was agreed on by both parties.
Davies unlocked his cuffs. The second his hands were freed, Michael felt something cold and solid pressed against his back, under his jacket. He tossed a questioning look over his shoulders.
"As a security measure. I'm sure you'd understand," Davies explained with a cold smile. He handed a pair of sunglasses to Michael. "Put this on."
Michael did not say anything as he put the sunglasses on. The cold barrel of the gun continued to press against him, hidden under his jacket, as he stepped out of the car with Davies close behind. Brinker remained in the car.
Michael scanned their surroundings. As they crossed the busy road, he spotted Veronica sitting at a table outside a café. To his surprise, she was by herself.
Davies had obviously seen them too, and was now nudging him forward.
A niggling doubt assailed Michael. Was he doing the right thing? Was he putting all of them in danger? Was it too late to make a run for it? He shook his head inwardly. This was no time to have second thoughts. They had come too far to turn back now. If they did, none of them would live to see another day.
As they approached the table, Veronica remained seated. Despite the casualness of her facial expression, the stiff manner she was holding herself betrayed her anxiety.
"Veronica," Michael greeted.
"You okay, Mike?"
Michael nodded and sat down.
"Ms Donovan. I'm glad you turned up," Davies said with a pleasant smile, taking a seat opposite Veronica.
"I had every intention to, Mr?"
"Davies. Jack Davies. Now, shall we begin?"
"Not until you remove the gun from Michael's back."
Davies arched his brow. "In which case, I would suggest that you refrain from pointing your gun at me as well."
Michael snapped his head towards Veronica. The look on her face told him that Davies had hit the nail on the head. She must be using Nick's gun.
"Fine," Veronica said, shifting under the tablecloth.
Michael felt the gun ease off his back.
"So, shall we commence?" Davies asked, arching a questioning brow.
Veronica nodded curtly.
As they began their discussions, Michael let his eyes wander surreptitiously to their surroundings. He wanted to know if Lincoln and Sara were about. It was hard to believe that Lincoln would have allowed Veronica to turn up by herself. His guess was that Lincoln and Sara must be hiding somewhere inconspicuous.
Not finding any success with his search, he turned his attention back to the table.
Veronica was outlining the conversation she had with Steadman. From the expression on Davies's face, Michael guessed that none of the information was new to him. It made him wonder if Davies had really intended to ask for more information, or was just merely checking to see what Veronica knew of Steadman's situation.
Michael guessed it was the latter. There must be something that Davies did not want them to know; something to do with the conspiracy and the Company. At this point, Michael was not sure that he cared what it was. His priority was to ensure that Lincoln and the rest of them remained safe.
At the end of the questioning session, Davies leaned back and gave Veronica a thoughtful look. Michael exchanged a glance with her, noting that her expression gave nothing away. It must be all the training she had as a lawyer.
"Do you have the tape?" Davies finally asked.
Veronica slid a padded envelope across the table. "This is all we have."
Davies stared at the envelope. Picking it up, he opened the flap and peered inside.
"It's the real thing," Veronica assured him. "I'm not about to risk Lincoln's chance at freedom."
"Good." Holding the envelope up, Davies said, "We'll see just how useful this is. I take it you made a copy?"
Veronica hesitated for a moment, and then nodded. "As insurance," she admitted, tilting her chin up defiantly.
Davies narrowed his eyes. "Very well." He stood up to leave. After two steps, he turned to look back over his shoulders. "Don't go anywhere. We might need you as a witness if there's a trial."
Michael knew that it was a demand, not a request. "She will remain unharmed. That's part of our agreement," he emphasized.
With a brief nod, Davies spun around and headed away from them.
Michael exhaled slowly in relief, closing his eyes.
"That didn't go too bad," Veronica remarked softly.
He opened his eyes. "We'll still have to see if he manages to do what he promised." Glancing around, he pushed his chair back and stood up. "Where are Sara and Linc?"
Veronica nudged in the direction of a shop. "Back there."
He had barely taken two steps before a slender body ran right smack into him.
"Michael!" Sara exclaimed, her face buried in his chest. She looked up, her eyes running over him as if to reassure herself that it was really him. "Are you okay?"
Michael nodded, wrapping his arms tight around her as he pressed his cheek against her head. Liquid warmth spread all over him as he nuzzled against her. He was glad to see her. Then he pulled back to look at her.
His lips twitching, he teased, "If I'd known that all it takes for you to throw yourself at me is for me to get kidnapped, I would have done it sooner."
Her eyes flashed for a second before she retorted haughtily, "Well, don't get used to it."
Lincoln approached them at a more sedate pace, his expression mixed. To Michael's surprise, LJ was walking right beside his father.
"Uncle Mike," LJ greeted.
Michael gave him a brief, but heartfelt hug and then released him. Holding on to his shoulders, he asked, "You okay?"
Lincoln glanced worriedly at the direction Davies had left in. "I hope we did the right thing," he said apprehensively.
"Faith, remember? We've got to have some faith," Michael reminded him softly.
"Well, we'd better leave before we attract more attention."
It had been three weeks since they handed over the tape to the Company. Three weeks of hiding, running from one obscure town to another in the hope that no one would recognise Lincoln or Michael.
Within those three weeks, Michael had received a call from Sucre, letting them know that he had managed to stop Maricruz from getting married to Hector. They were now living in an undisclosed location.
Within those three weeks, Bellick's face had appeared more than once on the news as he gloated over his success in the capture of two of the escapees. Michael and the rest had caught sight of Haywire and Tweener on the screen as before they were hauled off back to prison.
With all these news arriving, Michael had wondered about the fate of the other three, namely Abruzzi, C-Note and T-Bag. But he had heard nothing so far.
Three weeks of waiting before they had an answer to those questions in their minds.
They were all gathered around the television in the two-bedroomed suite Sara had rented in one of the mountain resorts teeming with tourists. With the crowd coming in and out, no one had paid any attention to them. LJ and Veronica was about to leave the suite to get them some food when the news came on in the living room.
Getting from the couch, Michael walked over to turn the volume up. He kept his eyes fixed to the television as he returned to sit beside Sara.
The flickering images on the television screen displayed a furious looking President Reynolds stalking out of her home, flanked by bodyguards, as reporters thrust their microphones into her face. Her anger was palpable even through the television screen. The reporters fired question after question at her, but her response remained the same.
"Did you know that Terrence Steadman was alive all this time?"
"Did the staged death of your brother play a part in your rise to vice-presidency before you became the president?"
"Agent Kellerman is your right-hand man. How do you feel now that the evidence is pointing towards you as the main instigator of this plan?"
"Do you think you're being framed for this?"
"How do you feel about the fact that this might cost you the presidency?"
Assisted by her bodyguards, President Reynolds disappeared into her limousine. The reporters rushed forward, tapping insistently on the windows, obviously not ready to let her leave, but the limousine continued to inch forward.
The camera swung around to focus on a reporter.
"The White House is in chaos following the controversial revelation of Terrence Steadman's status last night and the subsequent investigation which implicates the President's involvement. The President's brother, who had been previously verified as deceased, was recently found to be very much alive and is now in custody of the state."
An inset picture of Lincoln came on the screen. Michael leaned closer to the television, his breath suspended in his chest. Was this it? Would Lincoln finally be exonerated from the crime he did not commit?
"Months ago, the body of a man shot dead in Terrence Steadman's car had been identified as Terrence Steadman. The case had sparked a murder investigation which resulted in Lincoln Burrows being convicted of murder and sentenced to the electric chair. Lincoln Burrows was one of the recently escaped convicts from Fox Rivers. Now, however, all charges against him had been dropped."
All of them released a collective breath. Michael leaned back against the headboard as the load finally lifted off him. His brother was finally free.
"The investigation now is being focussed instead on Paul Kellerman, also known to go by the name Owen Kravecki. At present, Mr Kellerman is wanted for questioning on the incident and several other related cases. Anyone who has information on his whereabouts is urged to contact the authorities at this number."
A number flashed across the screen before it was replaced by a shot of Vice-President Tancredi in front of the White House surrounded by reporters.
Beside Michael, Sara gasped as her fingers tightened around his hand. He gave her hand a reassuring squeeze. "It's okay, Sara," he soothed.
"Vice-President Tancredi, what are your thoughts on this? Especially considering the mess it is now causing in the White House?"
Vice President Tancredi shook his head grimly. "It is an unfortunate incident. We try our best to maintain justice, but sometime, very unfortunately, things slip through. It is worse when it happens at high level."
"I can't believe I'm hearing this," Sara muttered. "The two faced snake…"
Michael slung an arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. "Well, we got what we want, so I'm not going to complain."
"Wait! Look behind him, to the right!" Lincoln exclaimed in a disbelieving tone.
Michael turned his attention back to the television screen. His eyes widened when he saw the man and the woman standing to one side of Sara's father.
They were his captors, Samantha Brinker and Jack Davies.
"What the…" Veronica muttered in bewilderment.
"Looks like the Company is behind your father now, Sara," Michael observed quietly.
The Company's agenda suddenly became clear to him.
Michael guessed that for some reason or other, they wanted President Reynolds out of the picture. What better way to do it than to dig up all the dirt they could find? And the biggest, dirtiest secret was Terrence Steadman's so-called murder and Lincoln's very public death-sentence and his subsequent escape. The Company needed it to be very loud to make an impact, considering the power President Reynolds had.
No wonder they had no problem in securing LJ's release and providing him a new identity. Those guys were not short of power themselves, but they had a bigger problem, namely President Reynolds. To the Company, Lincoln, LJ and him were not important compared to taking the president down.
President Reynolds was the bigger fish they had wanted to fry.
And now it looked like they might have succeeded. And in the process, Lincoln, LJ and him got another chance to live freely.
As the news broadcast broke for a commercial, Michael turned to Lincoln, his face alight with satisfaction.
"You're a free man, Linc," he said with a growing grin.
Lincoln laughed as he pulled Veronica close. "Thanks to you and Veronica." Turning to Sara, he said, "And we wouldn't even make it out without you, Sara."
Then, sobering up, Lincoln added, "I'm sorry you lost your name, Mike."
Michael shrugged carelessly. "A small price to pay for your life, don't you think?"
"I feel a little left out," LJ grumbled.
Michael reached out a hand to ruffle LJ's hair just to have it brushed away indignantly. "Hey!"
"You kept me sane when I was in there," Lincoln said, placing a hand on LJ's shoulders.
LJ grinned and then his eyes lighted up. "Hey, we can go out for pizza now without being worried that you'd be arrested!"
Michael exchanged a meaningful glance with Sara. "I think I'll pass. The disguise is getting old."
Veronica laughed. "Okay, we'll bring something back for you. What about you, Sara?"
She shook her head. "I'm okay here."
Michael watched them leave. Now that Lincoln was free, Michael knew that it was time for him to focus on what he wanted.
When the door clicked shut behind them, he turned to face Sara, studying her features. He remembered the first time they had met, and how he had felt the first twinge of feelings towards her. It had been difficult then, knowing what he had to do to her. Knowing that it was inevitable that he would end up hurting her.
His eyes softened when he remembered their first kiss. It had been tentative to begin with, but after that, he could not stop himself from wanting more. It had been hard to pull away, but he had known that he had to.
"What are you thinking about?" she asked curiously, raising a hand to caress his cheeks.
He grabbed her hand and held it. "Our first kiss," he said softly as he leaned down to brush his lips against her ears.
She shivered slightly at his touch. "Hmmm? What about it?"
"Remember what I said after that?" he mumbled as his lips trailed down her jaw line.
A moment passed before she replied softly, "To wait for you and that it's not always going to be like that?"
His response to her answer was to capture her lips in a kiss. Her arms went around him, holding him close as she responded passionately, inciting a groan from him.
When they finally broke apart, he whispered, "Yeah." Then, with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes, he said, "I was getting a little sick of those insulin shots anyway."
Sara rolled her eyes. "Well, you could have come clean."
Michael arched an eyebrow. "Right."
Holding her close, he settled back onto the couch. He had wanted to broach a certain subject for the last three weeks, but the uncertainty of Lincoln's fate had held him back. Now that he knew that Lincoln was alright, it was time.
"So, how about a very long trip to Mexico, huh?" he ventured casually.
She raised her eyebrows. "Yeah? How long?" she asked, a small smile flitting across her lips.
She did not seem too surprised by the question. It was encouraging, Michael thought.
Feeling a little more confident now that he knew that she was not averse to the idea, he pretended to think. "Long enough for us to buy a house and grow a vegetable patch." He paused, and then continued with a straight face, "Maybe raise some children."
She punched him playfully. "I can't believe you've just said that."
"So, what do you think? Want to go on the run with me?" he asked, keeping his voice light.
The smile on her lips grew. "How could I say no to someone who gave me flowers that last forever?" The tender expression in her eyes told him what he wanted to know. The sincerity in her voice reinforced it.
His heart lifted. "I'll take that as a yes."
"Don't make me wait anymore, okay?"
He cupped her face in his hands as their eyes locked in an intense moment. Leaning close to her, his voice came out as a breathy whisper against her lips.
"No more waiting. We're together now."
A/N: And that's it. The end. Thank you for reading and for all your wonderful reviews. I hope that you've enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. This story is my first attempt at PB and is one that's very close to my heart for some reason! So, I'm a little sad that it has ended. But hey, now we've got the REAL Prison Break Season 2 to look forward to! Before you rush off to your tv, I'd love it if you could review one last time and tell me what you think of the story.