Disclaimer: I don't own the series 'Prison Break' or the original characters. All I own is my imagination and the plot.
A/N: I haven't had the time to properly sit down and write and when I finally did, I couldn't upload any documents. Fortunately, the problem has been dealt with and I can share with you what I've been working on these last two days. It's not as long as some of my other one parters and the plot should be taken lightly, but I'm satisfied because it's different than my other two 'Prison Break' one parters, so I hope you'll like it. :)
''I'm only human.''
Dr. Sara Tancredi undid the last buttons of her lab coat, her status symbol inside and outside the walls of Fox River State Penitentiary. It was what people looked up to her for, and, in a way, it was more valuable than her medical knowledge because it compelled immediate respect, and, to be honest, she wore the white coat with some amount of pride. It made her look good; it kept her chin up, her back straight and her confidence level up, making her feel more sure and comfortable of what she was doing, although she knew that it really didn't mean as much as she thought it did because she was a doctor with or without the white lab coat. It didn't make her any more of a good or a bad person, though she believed that she was more of the first than the latter.
She'd always liked to help people and now she was doing something that allowed her to help people not only physically, but also mentally where the first was just something she did, something she was good at without trying while the second had already cost her countless tries. It made her think that maybe she didn't have what it took to get through to people and that discouraged her sometimes. It made her think that maybe she was too cold of a person, too distant, too closed off from what really went on around her, and that maybe she was that way on purpose.
Emotions weren't her strong point and that was why she had chosen to become a doctor and was so good at what she did; it was more about the knowledge than about the people. That's what nurses were for and that's why Fox River State seemed so perfect for her with its grim environment where she had her own office, the only interaction being with the handful of other nurses during lunchtime, and where she helped many inmates, too many to remember, or so she had at first thought, but she saw most of them on daily bases and it didn't take her long to attach the names to faces. She read through their histories, personal and medical, had small talk with them and slowly got to know them, eventually even creating bonds of sorts. She cared for her patients and even had her favorites.
With a sigh she shook of her coat, clumsily doing so as she checked her watch at the same time. She had a few more minutes before her shift would end and the night shift would start. She had the night off, but wasn't looking forward to going home. It was the weather and the dark and gloomy picture it painted; the sky was too dark, the thunder too loud, the lightning too bright and the mood too somber. She didn't want to drive through it and she didn't want to be at home (all) alone while it was going on. Her house was too big, and she too small.
She leaned back against her desk, too bare for someone who had worked at the prison for as long as she had, there weren't any pictures or enough knickknacks. She placed her hands on either side of her and stared out of the barred window, dreading her life for a quiet second. Something was just off, missing, but then again, ever since she was a little girl, something had been missing. She didn't know exactly what, but it was significant enough that it made her into the cynical and at times even pessimistic person she currently was.
A knock on the door offered her a welcome distraction and she threw a glance over her shoulder, her eyes immediately setting on the inmate that trailed behind the CO. His hand was bleeding. ''What happened?'' She fully turned and looked at the CO.
The CO shrugged. ''Don't know. Bellick just told me to take him to the infirmary. I figured you might have gone home already.''
''It's the weather,'' she loosely remarked while crossing her arms.
''It's a bitch, ain't it? You know, I can drive you home, if you want? My shift ends in a few minutes and you shouldn't be driving home yourself anyway. It ain't safe.''
''I think I'll manage, Charlie, but thanks for the offer,'' Sara politely declined.
''A guy's gotta take a shot, right?'' Charlie goofily smiled at her and she managed half a smile of her own out of courtesy. ''Guess so,'' she said and waited for the CO to lead Michael into the room. She took another look at his hand as he went and sat down without her having to ask him to. ''Thanks, Charlie, I can take it from here,'' she told him, though Charlie didn't move and continued to eye her. It made her feel uncomfortable. ''What is it?''
''Well, uhm, you're supposed to wear your lab coat when you're in here,'' Charlie said, referring to the prison. ''Especially in front of inmates. It's policy.''
Sara rolled her eyes, but reached for her lab coat and quickly put it back on, not seeing the harm in her chocolate loose-fitting pants and light-blue snug fitting shirt; there was nothing suggestive or provocative about the ensemble. She doubted that she had any clothes like that in her closet; she didn't pay much attention to what she put on every morning, just as long as it was comfortable and somewhat matched.
''It needs to be buttoned,'' Charlie pointed out.
Michael slightly bowed his head and smirked as Sara buttoned up her coat at a rapid pace.
Charlie nodded at her and stepped back toward the door. ''You have a good night now.''
''I'll see you tomorrow, Charlie,'' she said and turned her back to him, her fingers already working on undoing the buttons, just because she didn't like to be told what to do.
''Someone has a problem with authority,'' Michael commented.
Sara gave him a look, but couldn't hold back an amused smile. ''So, what happened?'' she asked while gently taking a hold of his wrist and turning his palm upwards so she could take a closer look at his hand, slipping back into the role she was so good at fulfilling.
''Just an accident during some after dinner basketball. Sucre likes to play hard.''
''You play basketball?'' she asked.
''Yeah. Why?'' he only returned the question because of how surprised she seemed.
She shrugged and began to clean up his hand. ''You just don't strike me as the basketball playing type.''
He revealed a smug smile and she temporarily paused her actions, bringing her eyes to his. ''What?''
''Well, for you to have come to such a conclusion means that you've been thinking about me.''
She didn't say anything to that and lowered her eyes back down to his hand, her hair covering up her face, but not enough.
'How's my hand?'' he changed the subject, not wanting to tread into too deep of waters because he knew that he still needed an easy way out with nothing to hold him back when the time came.
''Your hand's going to be fine,'' she said, having cleaned off the blood. ''Just some scrapes.'' She turned and reached for the iodine, but seeing the flash of lightning from the corner of her eye, hesitated, knowing that the sound of thunder would soon enough follow. Michael recognized the fear in the slight tremble of her fingers and the rapid flutter of her eyelashes. ''You okay?''
She undid the cap on the bottle of iodine, poured some of it on a piece of cloth and nodded. ''Just a little jittery,'' she explained and began to softly dab at his hand, her own steady as a result of years of practice.
''Because of the lightning?''
''In combination with the thunder, and the darkness,'' Sara added. ''It's one of those things that you start being afraid of when you're younger and just sticks with you, I guess.''
''Is that the only thing you're afraid of?''
She shook her head. ''It's just up there on my list.''
''What else is on your list?'' He was more than curious. He'd always liked knowing the smaller things and he didn't really have a reason for it, other than that it felt important to him to know as much as he could about her, even though he knew that he was being unfair. He wanted to know everything there was to know about her while he tried his hardest to keep everything to himself, allowing him to get closer to her, but not allowing her to do the same with him, although she already put some dents in his hardened exterior by just being the person who was always there. She looked after him in a way that he wasn't used to because he never had anyone be so careful with him.
She traded the piece of cloth in for some bandages and shrugged. ''Just the regular things, spiders, darkness.'' She began to wrap up his hand.
''Why are you so afraid of lightning? It's just lightning,'' he logically stated, the reason why it made so much sense to him because he had never feared a thing in his life. Things had always been too trivial to fear; people talked themselves into being afraid of things such as spiders. Fear was something that started when someone was too young to fully understand exactly what they were fearing and why, not getting the concept of that thing not being able to hurt you because it was just a spider or because it was just thunder and lightning, and that fear stuck with someone while growing up, until they were too old to get over what they were afraid of. People, on the other hand, Michael did fear with their unpredictable behavior as a result of extreme emotions like love, jealousy, and eventually even, hatred. He had grown up with the belief that people were the things you needed to watch out for.
''Probably because I don't have anyone to tell me that,'' Sara confided, giving her own reasonable explanation, though it was more emotionally based than his, something that was funny to him, considering how she appeared to be someone whose choice it was to be by herself.
He didn't say anything and she finished wrapping up his hand, not having anticipated the bolt of lightning that lit up the sky or the crackle of thunder that made her gasp and instinctively lean into Michael. He smiled, but didn't laugh at her. He liked how she sought him out to feel more safe.
''I'm sorry,'' she began, putting some space between them as soon as the thunder had past. ''I-''
She nodded and started to bring her hand up to her hair, though he beat her to it and took his time brushing a lock of it aside.
''Looks like you're all set,'' Sara said and his hand fell back down to his side.
He did one last scan of her features and nodded. He waited for her to take a few steps back before getting up. ''Thanks again.''
''Any time,'' she declared with a smile.
He started on his way to the door and she started to take off her lab coat.
''Sara,'' Michael called out softly, making her raise her head and look at him. ''It is just lightning.''
And while Dr. Sara Tancredi was careful with her smile and hid it behind her hair, Michael didn't conceal his wide grin as he left the room.
Emotions might not be her strong point, but they were his, and she was slowly, but surely, opening up to them, and to him.
She was, after all, only human.
Please review? (: Well, what did you think? I really don't know what to think of this one piece, probably because the pieces don't fit as well as they should, but I think it still works in a way. I just don't know. :) Let me know if you come across any mistakes and I'll fix 'em. Thanks for reading. :)