A/N: Finally! I'm back in the Prison Break vibe (all thanks to Breakout Kings)! I'm really, really, really incredibly sorry that I haven't updated in what feels like years to me! I really do apologize; a lot of stuff has been going on the last few months as my senior year draws to a close, I'm actually really nervous about that. But, fear not, this story will be done hopefully by the second week of April depending on how these next few weeks before Spring Break go! Thanks to all the new reviews/subscribers/favorites; they really do mean a lot!
Disclaimer: No. I don't own Prison Break; anything that you recognize belongs to their respected owners.
Why am I doing this? I obviously wasn't in a clear state of mind at that moment, what could I possibly gain from doing this. His head dipped lower towards mine, the tips of his slender fingers propping themselves on my jaw line, and for a man in prison, he smelled wonderful. A part of me wanted this, wanted the reassurance of my escape and wellbeing; as if this would give me either of those things. "Michael," Scofield pulled away quickly, dropping his hand from the side of my face almost as if something had burned him, or my father's ghost has come back to show him who was boss. Westmorland's voice sounded more surprised than anything as I let my eyes trail towards the floor, my ears and cheeks burning hot with embarrassment, but, not because we had been "caught", hell, we didn't even do anything, but because of what I almost did, like it would have changed anything anyway. How could I have been so stupid, so naïve; I glanced up briefly, pushing a piece of hair behind my ear as I caught Michael's starring, a small awkward smile graced my lips before I made a bee line for the opened cell door. I could feel Westmorland's confused eyes starring after me as their voices faded in the distance. How could I have been this stupid, note to self, my inner voice made a mental note of the avoided catastrophe, Thank Westmorland for his intrusion; that old man well may have saved me from a regret that would linger with me for the rest of my life, plus, I barely knew Michael, actually I'd only known him for two months. I inwardly scoffed as I lingered in the door way of Westmorland and I's cell, leaning against the cold bars I looked down at the floor, studying the cracks that I had counted countless times. There were exactly twenty-two cracks in that one spot, believe me, I knew. Two months felt a lot like two years a place like this, I wonder how much the world's changed in the last two months. Has my mom changed? Has my apartment changed? Nothing was going to be the same after we got out of this place.
I was more than elated to know that most, if not all, of the winter's snow had melted into the ground over the course of the last few days; but it was still entirely too cold for me to be outside, but, alas no inmates wheter they were supposed to be here or not; yes, I will hold a grudge against this place until the day I die, were permitted and expected to spend at least an hour of their free time outdoors. Michael had told us earlier that Sucre was supposed to be released from Ad-Seg sometime during yard, call it a reunion if you will; things between us were still stretched. I shielded the sun from my eyes as I looked back down at the ground; I couldn't afford to be on bad terms with anyone in this little group right now, especially not Michael. The feelings I had towards him were stupid and undeveloped anyway, they didn't mean anything; a princess always wants to kiss her knight in shining armor right? A part of me felt relieved that it never went that far, it could have really complicated things. "Thanks, again." I slowly looked up from the blades of grass that were sneaking through the cracks in the asphalt as the sun shined off them, the calm voice still floating though my head; I shivered, and it wasn't from the almost non existent breeze that decided to make itself known either. He wore a crocked smile on his face, his cheeks tinted pink with the cold. "We wouldn't be here right now if it wasn't for you."
I shrugged nonchalantly, trying not to make eye contact with him as the butterflies returned; I couldn't understand why I was so nervous around him lately, other than that one obvious fact. I really didn't want to believe a word he just said, he could have done this without me, and he could have done this without me having to involve Emily in any of this, I looked back down at the ground. They could trace all this back to her when the realized our escape, which they would do almost immediately. I really was stupid wasn't I? "It's nothing, really." I reassured him, looking to the side, I shivered in disgust; T-Bag was standing against the wall to my left, a baseball cap pulled over his eyes as he watched the rest of the inmates conversed amongst each other. I was stuck between two people that I didn't want to be around, well, at least one that I didn't want to be around. I shivered once again as I felt Michael's hand perch itself on my shoulder, I turned and looked at him.
"I really mean that," he said lowly, his eyes shifted towards the ground for a moment as he slowly dropped his hand from my shoulder, letting it rest of my arm. "You know that right?" I could hear it, I could really hear it; he was one of the most sincere people I'd ever met. I could feel my cheeks flush pink, but, before I could even get another word in a familiar Puerto Rican accent filled the small area that we were crowded around. Michael and I looked up at once, each of our faces mirroring each others as Sucre sauntered towards us, looking triumphant. I stayed back as he and Michael shared a hug, I smirked; it was funny how you could make friends in prison.
"Ya'll can sign each other's year books later," T-Bag announced, pushing himself from the wall; he never did like a reunion, meant that there was just one more person that couldn't stand being around him. "Where are we at?" he whined, like a little child. That was the only thing that left his mouth; variations upon variations of the most annoying question ever invented "are we there yet."
"The map is complete." Michael reassured him; his gaze rested on mine and he smiled slightly. "I got what I needed."
"Then we're ready?" T-Bag asked again, nag, nag, nag…that's all he was good for. I never participated in their "breakout" discussions, it was like I needed to battle for my civil rights among them; they were men, I was a woman…the only thing I was good for, according to T-Bag, was making sandwiches and having babies. Well, I'd hate to break it to em' but, I suck at making sandwiches; but, just because I didn't participate, didn't mean that I didn't listen.
"I know which pipes that we need to take below the Psych ward," Michael continued to explain, moving slowly, his hands shoved into his pockets as he walked around the other side of Westmorland to stare at the building that he had so cleverly gotten himself thrown into for a few days; the few days that I was on edge, the few days that I was terrified, the few days that I actually missed him. "Which means our way to the infirmary is clear." He stopped next to T-Bag, "But our new route takes us to the far side of that building. Which means we've got to walk down thirty feet of hallway to the doctor's office; our exit point." I looked down at the ground, moving to stand next to C-Note as Michael continued to update us on the progress that was being made. My attention span was beginning to falter as T-Bag bean to whine again; rolling my eyes I turned towards the mesh fence and watched beyond that gate. Those CO's were free, walking talking; laughing, conversing on their cell phones to their children, wives, parents…I wanted that. I wanted to be free, I wanted to walk and talk on my cell phone, I wanted to sleep without having to watch my back, I wanted to wake up to an alarm clock or the birds squeaking…not a buzzer. I wanted to be able to eat without having to worry about someone stabbing me with a fork…I wanted to live. The conversing civilians were blocked from my view as a tan colored bus pulled into the lot; I could just see T-Bag's face now…more prey for him. Their bright yellow jumpsuits reflected the sun in such a way they almost glowed as they stepped off the bus, the rest of the prisoners in the yard had gathered around, laughing amongst themselves.
"No," I whispered, my mind screaming something completely different as my eyes trailed up the legs of one of the "new" inmates; he was tall, stocky, a red scar extended around his neck like he had been hung by a noose and cut down just in time. I almost didn't recognize Abruzzi without his signature slicked back do'. "Oh my god," I breathed out my voice shaking as he looked in our direction. I saw him die. Maybe you didn't. But…his blood, too many things flashed though my. His blood was on my hands…stains still littered one of the old prison shirts that eventually had to be thrown away because of it…
Word spread quickly in this place; even before chow rolled around practically all the inmates and officers knew that the mod boss was back. The chow line moved slowly as old and new inmates alike strained their necks to catch a glimpse of the man, almost as if he was some rare breed of animal that was on the brink of extinction. I turned a few times as well, but, not out of curiosity. Something had changed about the cold hearted Italian; he was sitting alone…with a bible…and a rosary. I guess meeting death first hand really does change some people. Michael was waiting at the end of the chow line when I finally managed to reach it, the try holding food that looked as if it had seen better days…the last time Dr. Tancredi had weight me I had dropped down to one-fifteen, probably not a healthy weight for a woman like me. Maybe I was anxious, or maybe it was the nerves, either way, as we approached the almost vacant table that John was occupying my stomach did a series of summersaults and flips, turning itself inside out as it remembered the last time I had seen him. He was helpless the last time I'd seen him, bleeding out on a concrete floor, gasping for breath and afraid…and I had helped him; that had to have gotten me at least a few kudos…right? "Hello, John." Michael greeted him for the two of us.
"Michael," his voice was raspier than I had last remembered it, he stood slowly. I could almost see Michael tense as the mob boss wrapped his arms around the slender inmate that was standing next to me, embracing him in a hug. My jaw opened slowly as Michael gave me a sideways glance of confusion; John had done a complete three-sixty, the first time we met he looked at me as if he was going to murder me right in front of God and everybody else. Michael's eyes were still dancing with lingering questions as Abruzzi pulled away, a smile gracing his lips once again as he looked at me.
"Erica," I strained up, I wasn't aware that he even knew my name; he had always called me 'kid' from the start. His feet shuffled across the floor as he closed the small space between us; I tensed as I felt my body press against his. It was an unusual hug, not at all like the few that Michael and I had shared, but it felt more…fatherly, almost?
"Hi, John." I drawled out slowly as he pulled away, leaving me as dumbfounded as Michael had been. "How are you?" I gave Michael a sideways glance, unsure of how I was supposed to approach a normal conversation with the new John Abruzzi.
"Any day above ground is a blessing." He replied, I knitted my brows together for a moment; my mind still trying to process and get used to the new John that was standing before us. I had always thought that people completely changing their lives around due to a near death experience was just a hoax, surely a man that had killed fathers, brothers, and uncles with his bare hands without any sense of remorse whatsoever couldn't become a saint in a little under a month. In a way, the new John scared me more than the old one…what if the old one decided to come back…I wasn't entirely sure if he would be able to handle switching between the two. "Sit, sit." He said quickly, his movements rapid and disorganized as he slumped back down into his own chair. "Please?" He gestured towards the two empty seats that were accompanying his table. Michael sat first, quickly complying with the man's pleas; I stood for a moment longer, hesitating before I slowly lowered myself down into the chair next to Michael.
"A lot of rumors going around, " Michael sounded after a moment of brief silence, lowering his voice so just the three of us could understand his words; his blue eyes shifted about the room several times. My eyes were trained on Abruzzi, watching as his calloused fingers fiddled with the silver rosary as he twirled it between his fingers, a bible laid open in front of him. "We're glad you're back."
"I'm surprised you're still here," John looked up momentarily from his readings glancing at the two of us; I couldn't help but feel a trace amount of guilt as he said this. "I figured you would have been gone by now." Much to my surprised not a hint of sarcasm or anger was laced within those few statements, I mean, John had been an asset to Michael's plan since, I'm assuming, the day the blue eyed beauty convinced this idea in his head.
"Yeah, well, we had a few setbacks." He replied; my eyes continued to trace the invisible patterns into the food as the two talked. Apparently, the new Abruzzi had no problem whatsoever breaking out of prison; even though I'm sure I'd learned in Sunday school that God frowned upon actions such as these. Pushing the food away from me and into the middle of the table I looked to the right, my eyes catching the stares that T-Bag and his little followers were giving us. I bet he was surprised, he thought he had gotten rid of him, thought he had killed and him and the he wouldn't be in his way. Those two had been at each other's throats (literally) since the day T-Bag decided to join in on the excursion
"If you'll excuse me." He excused himself; I looked up and watched as John's over six foot tall frame towered over the two of us, the bible held fast in his hands and the rosary clutched between his fingers…he looked like a priest, a scary one, but a priest none the less. He mumbled something about having a blessed day before he stalked off, leaving Michael and I in the awkward silence that had been following the two of us since our 'almost' kiss in his cell the other day. Everything I thought about that day my gut twisted in a knot and the annoying and childish butterflies returned to their fluttering; both of us were just guilty about it wanting it to happen, otherwise we wouldn't have but ourselves in that situation, but, looking back on it…I'm glad it didn't happen. It would have just complicated things; as if they were complicated enough already.
"Never expected this to happen." He mumbled I turned and looked at him for a moment, a smile creeping across my lips; I knew what he was talking about. Drumming my fingers on the table I nodded my head in agreement.
"So, he's still going to help us." I asked my voice somewhat skeptical; once I noticed T-Bag starring at was across the way any and everything John had said to Michael was a jumbled mess of unidentifiable words and raspy sounds. "I mean…he didn't go all crusaders for Christ did he?" Michael snorted at the derogatory term for Christians; don't get me wrong, I had nothing against them, but, I'd met a few in my day that were a little too into the religion for it to have been healthy for them. I wasn't sure if he realized that he had an infectious smile, it seemed that whenever it spread across his face, no matter the situation, even the most hardened of criminals cracked one as well.
"He's still providing the plane." Michael replied, his eyes trailing towards the white face of the table for a few moments; I hated it when he got quiet all of a sudden, sure, I'd only known him for two months, but, after being stuck in one place when him for that long you start to notice signs of when he's about to breaking pivotal news to you. It was either that or there was another setback. "But," he looked up towards me, I inwardly scoffed; the pawn. I knew that look, that look or regret that crossed over his features every time he wanted me to do something to advance this plan; his eyes would get heavy and his voice low as if he was already preparing for an outburst…well, if he hadn't noticed already I was a bit of a pushover, never gave anyone any problems. "There's one more thing that we need." He was silent for a few more seconds, "The key to the infirmary."
"And you need me to get it?" it was more a statement than a question, biting my bottom lip I shook my head slightly, both condemning and agreeing the request all at once. Michael really needed to learn how to use his looks to get what he wanted; I'm almost more than one-hundred percent positive that Dr. Tancredi would slip the key to him as soon the request rolled of his tongue. Trying to talk to Sara, for me, was like pulling teeth; she obviously didn't think highly of me, no, it wasn't even that…she just didn't like me…and I wasn't even entirely sure why that was.
"Erica," my name rolling off his tongue was like silk, the hair on the back of my neck stood on end as I listened to him speak. "I wouldn't ask you if it wasn't absolutely necessary." He explained. I turned towards him, nodding slowly; he meant well, I knew he did; besides, wasn't I the one that was always talking about how he couldn't do this all on his own. I mean…how hard could getting a kay be?
The answer to that question was simple; nearly fucking impossible. Number one, I didn't know which key I need to get, I could vaguely remember Michael telling me it was one with a orange holder around the top but a key's color was the last thing on my mind; it buzzed more with the consequences if I got caught with the key, or better yet, if Sara saw me with it. I knew for a fact, or I at least assumed, that she wouldn't hesitate to tell the Warden all about it. No only would Michael be upset with me, but I'd have red targets splattered all over my back; mostly from "old" Abruzzi that I'm sure would return as soon as I let them know that I didn't have the key, and T-Bag, but, I'm sure his red target would never go away. Number two, she was always starring at me; her eyes were huge and they made me uneasy at times as she would watch every move I made, almost as if she was waiting for me to break the routine and do something wrong. Many a times I'd try to start a friendly conversation with her, I mean, she was important to my mother on some level wasn't she? I felt sick to my stomach every time that revelation replayed in my mind, I wasn't the jealous type, but the green monster was eating at the soul purely due to the fact that Sara seemed to be more important to her, hell, it made me wonder just how many times I might have ran across her whenever I brought my mother's dinner to her AA meetings. Failure, unfortunately, wasn't an option at this point in the game; I could see Michael starring at me from across the yard as I held the phone close to my ear, looking behind me every so often; I hated having my back to the rest of the inmates, even though I was almost sure that Michael would clamor to my aid if anything were to go wrong; the shrill ringing of the phone on the other end sounded for the third time. "Come on, Emily," my teeth tore at my bottom lip, gnawing at it as I pushed a strand of hair behind my ear; the phone rang again. "Pick up, pick up." I whispered impatiently, heart beating against my chest. The last thing I wanted to do was to get her involved in this, she didn't deserve this, oh god, Erica just hang up…
"Hello? Erica?" I closed my eyes regret filling the bottom of my stomach as I listened to her voice on the other line; I didn't deserve a friend like her. I leaned against the small phone booth like area that barely gave you enough privacy, and I prayed to god that these guards didn't tap the phone lines in this place.
"Yeah, it's me." I responded, if I didn't change my tone of voice she'd know something was wrong. "How'd you know it was me?" She chuckled on the other end of the line, an uneasy one at that. This would be the second time in a little under a week that I had called in a favor…from prison…looks like it only took me a total of two months to conform their ways.
"Well," she sighed; I could hear a few things clanging in the background. I could only guess that was making lunch, or, depending on if I had woken her up, breakfast…even though it was well into the afternoon. "You're the only one I know that has the ID 'prison' when they call." I scoffed in good taste, knowing that she meant it in a humors way. "Is everything alright?" The way she asked this question was never in its normal context, I could genuinely hear the concern in her voice the last few times she had called, but I always tell her the same thing…
"Yeah, Em." I replied, turning once again to glance in the direction of the other inmates; mainly the group that was huddled over near the fence on the opposite side of the yard, talking amongst themselves. Michael was the only one not engaging in conversation, I had noticed, his eyes were trained on me. Whether he was watching for protective reasons or making sure that I wasn't dilly-dallying with my time was beyond me. "Everything's alright." I responded quickly, I could see a few inmates walking my way now; both of them were muscular, branded with swastikas, shaved heads…and they looked meaner than hell, quickly diverting my gaze towards the ground I explained my situation to my friend quickly. "Look, there's- there's something that I need you to do, okay?" I didn't need to turn around to know that the two skinheads were standing behind me, sweat beaded upon my brows and the palms of my hands were clammy.
"Okay," the word drawled from the other side of the pone slowly, the voice laced with skepticism and it rang with uneasiness. "What-what is it?" I closed my eyes for a moment, rehearsing the question. There was nothing that I could do that was going to make this request any easier to deal with.
"You know my mom's usual schedule for lunch, right?" I inquired, scratching my chin and picking at the skin on my nails; by the time got out of this place I was going to need skin graphs just to repair the damage I was sure, it was a nervous habit that I don't believe I was ever going to break. "On Wednesdays?"
"Doesn't she have lunch with the AA attendees on Wednesdays?" Good, she remembered my mothers' never changing schedule; for as long as I could remember she would meet the AA group down at the Double Diner in Chicago, new and old attendees like. Very seldom did I ever join them, actually, I'd only ever went to one in the whole fourteen years that she'd been doings; I found the little get-togethers to be a little too depressing to sit thought most of the time, I swore my mother was a saint in the making. But, why did it matter that she had lunch with them? Sara Tancredi, that's what mattered.
"Yeah," I quickly replied, letting her know that she had guessed right, " Listen," I paused again, the sentence replying in my head like a broken record, but the words were unable to leave the confides of my mouth, like they were in a foreign language and unable to roll off my tongue. "I know- I know this is going to sound crazy- but," my heart beat against my chest with the force of a thousand tons, my palms sweat dripping down the bridge of my nose; I hadn't realized that they first half of my speech had rolled out of my mouth in a jumbled mess of labored breaths and broken words.
"Erica, is something wrong?" she questioned; yeah, I was easy to read…even through the phone. "You've been acting really strange lately-"Yeah, I'm in prison, that might be the reason why I'm acting so strange. She knew something was wrong the day I called to give her my credit card number, she knew something was wrong to the day she brought me the money, and she knew something was wrong when I wouldn't even look her in the eye. If I told her, it would be a load off my chest, and really, I did want to tell her…
"Em, I'm fine." I reassured her, I didn't want to suffer the damages of letting an "outsider" in on the escape plan; she would tell the whole world in an instant, though, I'm pretty sure that what I was asking her to do was going to tip it off anyway. "I really don't know how many times I need to explain this to you." She sighed out heavily; hurt. I knew she was just trying to be the best friend that I knew she was, friends helped friends in this type of situations. "Look, I need you to meet my mother at the diner that they always go to." I continued to explain, closing my eyes as the lump formed in the middle of my throat; I don't want her to do this. "There should be a group there, including a woman named Sara Tancredi."
"Wait," she questioned, "Did you just say Tancredi?" Sara was right; people really did overreact when they heard that last name.
"Yes," I replied quickly; turning as I watched the skinheads behind me lifted their chins towards the sky, jerking them in my direction as if to tell me that I needed to hurry up. I didn't need to be told twice, besides, I didn't have the guts to tell them that there was a free phone on the other side. "Just-"I paused again, I would never have been able to think of something as complicated as this if I was outside of prison; two months in a place like this really changes you, and I wasn't sure if it was for the good. "I need you to get a key from her, okay? But, don't ask her for it."
"You want me to take it?" it wasn't an outburst, but, it was enough to wrack my eardrums for a bit. I should have known that she was going to react like this, I mean, how would you react if someone called you…from prison…asking you to steal something for them. I agreed with her reaction on some level, this did sound a bit ridiculous coming from someone like me. "Are-are you out of your mind!"
"Once you have it," I continued, ignoring her outburst; I could still hear her protesting on the other line, a stream of 'no' and 'are you crazy' assumptions streaming though the phone and mixing in with the most important part of my conversation, "Come by visitation and ask to see Michael Scofield," she still continued to protest, her voice sill raging with 'no, I won't do it.' And 'what are you talking about' until I finally said his name, I'm sure she'd heard of his bank robbery on the news when it first happened, she was a TV junkie, that's all she ever did was watch television. "Give the key to him-"
"Erica, stop!" I immediately went rigid at the tone of her voice; she'd never gotten hostile with anyone but the teachers as the college, and even then she didn't raise her voice that much, it was the cross between a scream and a yell. "Just stop! Why are you doing this? This is nuts…this…this isn't like you." Her voice shook on the other line; I felt terrible, miserable even at this point. "You're in trouble…I know you are-"
"You said you wanted to help me?" I questioned; the only way she was going to do this was if I guilt tripped her into it. Jesus, I really was just as bad the people I had become acquainted with.
"Of course, but, Erica-"I could tell just from the tone of her voice that it was working; she was a softie despite her attitude towards some things. She wasn't one to let something important to her slid through her fingers. "Come on," the gruff voice from behind me ordered, I turned momentarily to look at the two men behind me, they way the light was hitting their broad shoulders, casting a shadow across their faces, made them look even more menacing then they actually were. "We haven't got all fucking day." I hated doing this, but obviously any attempts that were being made outside of the prison to help me were proving futile…this was my last and only option; I'm quite sure it had been like this since day one.
"Then do this." I mustered up the last bit of whatever courage was swirling around my voice box before I hung up the phone abruptly, not wanting –no- it was more of me not being able to deal with the regret that was weighing me down. Nothing I had ever done could ever make me feel like this…not even killing that man.
"Hope you all don't mind," Ms. Jones had always been the friendliest woman I'd ever met, taking anyone that needed help under her wing and watchful eye; but right now she was blind to the betrayal that was hovering next to her in the form of my rigid and astonishingly slim frame, I couldn't look anyone of those individuals in the eye as I slid into the booth next to the graying-haired woman, "But, we're going to have someone joining us today." The smile she put on for these people was a fake; she called me almost every day, sometimes I didn't pick up because I knew exactly what the conversation was going to consist of. She blamed herself for the situation that Erica was in, hell, I even blamed myself for the situation she was in, but now, now I was blaming Erica for the situation that she had put me in. "This is my daughter's best friend, Emily." She introduced me as I looked at the faces; there was an Asian woman, hair as dark and night and wearing a floral sweater. A man sat next to her, hair as white as snow, his skin looked fragile and angelic; if I even thought about touching it he could crack into a million pieces. I glanced down at the small space that was sitting between me and other woman that was making herself known as she glanced in my direction; a black sweater adorned her fragile frame, and red hair covered her head. A beige purse sat between us; it looked heavy, and if I knew one thing from reading Cosmopolitan…a heavy purse meant someone with deep seat emotional issues and a lot of baggage. I raised an eyebrow, maybe that's why she was in AA meetings in the first place. My stomach churned as the small badge that was clipped to the side of the purse let itself be known, almost as if it was dancing right in front of my face…Sara Tancredi. Doing the 'bump-and-swipe', as it's called on the streets, was a hell of a lot harder than television makes it out to be, your calculations have to be perfect and your timing precise; it was a real pain the ass, especially when I could feel my face heat with anticipation no doubt casting a light pink haze across my cheeks, quite visible enough for the rest of the table to see. It wasn't until Sara excused herself to the bathroom that I succeeded in doing what I came here to do; I hoped my shaking fingers grabbing the keys weren't noticeable to the conversing crowd as she passed.
That trip to the prison was the longest drive I've ever taken, my fingers constantly drummed against the black faux leather of the steering wheel, knuckles white as snow, and heart pounding. I stepped on the break lightly as I neared the entrance of the prison, looking at the gates that were open, welcoming me with open arms so to speak. I still didn't understand Erica's actions, and maybe I didn't want to understand them….but she sounded so desperate, like her very life depended on it. We, meaning her mother and I, needed to get her out of this place as soon as possible, we couldn't let this charade of her being in Asia drag out any longer than it already had. As if the student's hadn't started to wonder already, now they were constantly reading her Myspace accounts and sending her emails, checking on her status. One of them, oh, I could feel my blood boil already, even had to nerve to ask if she was still alive or not; if only he knew, if only…
The inside of the prison was dirtier than I had remembered it, the walls were yellowed and cracked with age, and the halls suffered from a musty smell as I walked towards the visitation room; outside the door sat a makeshift desk, accompanied by a correctional officer. My inner self whispered words of encouragement as I sauntered towards the desk, holding the purse close to me, the ring of keys that were sitting in the front pocket felt like a tons of bricks. The CO must have heard me approaching, for he looked up slowly a grim look washing over his weathered features. "Visitation?" he asked rather rudely; I cocked an eyebrow, trying to suppress the eye roll that I could feel coming about, my right eye twitched slightly. No, idiot, that's why I'm walking though a prison…, stopping at the visitation desk, for Christ sake. I nodded, nether the less, not offering him the usual smile that I would have supplied with an authority figure, like I said, I didn't care much for cops. "Name?" he started at me dumbly, shoving the clipboard towards me.
Gripping the pen that was sitting at the top I placed the tip against the whiteface of the pile of dead trees; but not without noticing how empty the log looked. Were the people in this prison that bad that people didn't want to visit their own kin? I shuddered at the thought as I watched a pool of black ink cascade from the tip of the pen, staining the paper with a dot. Name… "Do you mean the inmates or…" my sentence trailed off as he Co gave me attitude, once again, rolling his eyes and grabbing the clipboard back, mumbling something about 'what part of name don't you understand' under his breath. If he wanted to get smart with me I'd gladly get just as testy back; I was known for my sarcastic outbursts from time to time, not to mention the ability to be as equally nasty as someone else. That's the rule my mom lived by and taught me; treat others as you'd want to be treated.
"Your name?" he demanded, his voice board and lacking any enthusiasm that he may have held for his job earlier on in his life; not wanting to stand in front of him for much longer, no did I want to be in the place either, I stated my name, watching as he scribbled it down on the paper quickly. "And the inmate you're visiting…" My mind went blank for a moment, now I was the one wearing the dumbfounded look across my face; when she called I had been so caught up in trying to figure out her motive that I hadn't paid enough attention to the name if my life depended on it. Wait, something clicked, it started with and M…Micah, Merle, Mike…Michael! The CO had already begun to tap his fingers impatiently on the desk, his unattractively long nails scraped against the cheap surface of the fake hard plastic. Last name….S….
"Michael Scofield." I finally answered, my eyes shifting to either side of my vision slightly; hopefully I got his name right. How stupid would I look? Walking in here and saying the wrong name…it's like I couldn't be 'oh, sorry, wrong prison'…I mean, it's not like I called the wrong number. The CO's finger moved the slender form of the pencil over the paper slowly, his eyebrows rising as he reached under the desk, passing off a laminated 'Visitors' pass in my direction. I shifted my gaze in both directions as he looked down at the log in sheet again, scoffing and smiling at the same time…what was his problem? It was kinda making me nervous…
"Mmmm. Scofield's a popular one." He commented, I continued to stare at him as I hooked the visitor's pass onto the breast of my jacket; knitting my brows together. "You're the third person to visit him this month." He couldn't even hide the skepticism in his voice if he tried; he clearly wasn't trying to hide the fact that he was nosey. My heart jolted slightly; if I wasn't the only person visiting him he was obviously operating things outside of the prison as well. Drug ring? Bunny Ranch? Arms Dealer? I knew Erica would do what was necessary to hold out until her mother found a way to get her out…I just hope she didn't get herself involved in something dangerous…or illegal.
"Oh, well," I sighed, I hadn't even prepared myself for what this Scofield guy might be like; in looks nor in personality. "He's just an old colleague." I answered shortly, chewing on the inside of my cheek.
"It's none of my business." He shrugged, standing up from his spot at the desk he pulled a ring of keys from his back pocket, the jingle sounded eerily slowly as I watched the door open. "You've got ten minutes." It seemed that my stride had a mind of it's own as I walked towards the visitation room; they were slow and lethargic, almost like my feet were encased in cement blocks as they drug across the floor. I jumped slightly as the door closed behind me, leaving me alone in the damp room, which was surprisingly cold for it being almost spring, with a figure. That said figure was sitting at one of the many tables that were empty…I must have beat the traffic today. Taking a deep breath I began to walk towards the small table, holding the purse closer to me with each stride I took as I neared the table; before I could even pull the chair out from under the table the man turned. I paused, like a wild animal that had just been spotted, my gaze never tearing from his as I looked him over. He wore the standard prison issued clothing, his head was shaved, and features soft and smooth as butter; I could see why she agreed to help him out…this man was nothing short of gorgeous, and he didn't seem like he posed much a threat. Then again…weren't most of the world's most notorious serial killers attractive? I was going to have to restrain myself from asking what he was in here for.
"Michael Scofield." It was more of a statement than an inquiry, and my voice was barely above its normal octave as I took a seat slowly; Michael looked at me, a small smile tugging at his lips as he extended his hand across the table.
"You're Emily, then?" he asked, my eyes drifted down towards his hand; my eyes trailed over the black ink that adorned his wrist as the sleeve rode up his arm slowly. I wasn't going to associate myself with a criminal, no matter how good looking he may have been, or how safe he may have seemed. I nodded in a response, watching as he reluctantly pulled his hand back towards him. "Listen, I can't thank you enough-"
"Whatever you're doing," I interrupted him quickly, lifting my eyes from the table so I could finally look at him; his eyes were quite captivating the say the least, the bluest- blue I'd ever seen actually. "Leave her out of it." He let his eyes trail towards the table, my brows knitted together with confusion; he seemed too guilty to be doing this. Almost like he himself was being forced to be here…it didn't make any sense. "She doesn't need any trouble. Just-just leave her alone." I had to make this clear to him; even if I had to spell it out…he needed to understand that the situation she was in was complicated.
"I know," he answered slowly, his face rising to meet mine. His expression held a sense of pain to it, resentment almost. "I'm- I'm trying to help her." My breath caught in my throat as the words tumbled from his lips, but, it wasn't the words that he said that caught me by surprise…it was how sincere he sounded…almost like he cared.
Attractive and Sensitive; prison wasn't shaping out to be that bad. Shaking the thoughts from my mind I quickly reached into the side pocket of my purse, my fingers fumbling for the silver instruments haphazardly. Finally getting a hold of them I more or less flung them across the table, guilt building in the pit of my stomach as I watched his hands close around ring of keys slowly, drawing them towards himself. "Thank you." His voice was a little above a whisper, not that I could actually hear it over the sound of the metal chair scraping across the floor.
"Whatever you're doing…leave her out of it."
How could I have involved her in this? My hands ran down my face for the hundredth time the day, pulling at my skin as I wallowed in my self-pity and guilt. Was this escape really worth it? Was getting my innocent friend, and probably the only ally I had outside of these walls, really worth it? I would completely understand if Emily didn't show up for visitation, hell, I would probably even applaud of her of not falling under my impression; I could feel my bottom lip quiver again as I thought about the reciprocations that she could face because of this. They had a log; everyone had to sign it when they came to visitation. I shook my head as I sniffled again, forcing the tears that were brimming my eyes to withhold their release, to go back where they came from. Linking her to Michael once we out of this place was inevitable; then she would be hauled off to some god forsaken prison for abetting an escape. I really had no one to blame but myself for the situation that I was facing; from bow to stern this was my fault, I couldn't blame Mr. Samuels, he tried his best to talk me out of this. I couldn't blame my other, and I was starting to think that I couldn't blame Pope either…they all tried to talk me out of this, but, no. I just had to get this job at the times; I just had to make my dead father proud. "You're so stupid," I mumbled, turning my face away from the sun that had decided to let its face show for the last portion of yard, quite possibly, if this plan decided to work (and now…I secretly wished it didn't just for the sake of Emily's safety), the last yard time I'd ever see. Don't get me wrong, the thought of getting out of this place and never having the hear the sound of a buzzer or the clang of the metal gates opening ever again was an elating feeling, probably one the best I'll ever have. That didn't stop the fact that…what did that matter; that whole 'thinking I had feelings for Michael' period was over with, I wanted to be close to him, yes, I could see now that was probably a big mistake too.
I let my eyes drift across the yard slowly, looking for a familiar face; C-Note, Sucre, Westmorland, and thankfully, T-Bag were no were in sight. After Michael was called down to visitation and I was left alone with my thoughts I decided that spending my time with them would just result in threats and questions; something that I wasn't looking forward to. The figure that caught my eye was probably the last person I would have thought myself to want to be around; David sat propped up against one of the stone walls that separated the training equipment from the rest of yard, and like me, he was alone. I hadn't seen or heard much out of him since we were separated a few days ago. Granted, I hadn't tried to have a conversation with him or even attempt at any sort of communication due to the stares his new cellmate always gave me; he was big guy, in both weight and height, I swear he must have stood at least six feet tall. And he was ruthless, in both appearance and manner…definitely not someone that I wanted to piss off unintentionally. That didn't stop me from seeing it; the hurt in David's eyes, the way he tensed whenever 'Avocado', yes, what a ridiculous name, was around him…you could almost feel his fear radiating off him. Not seeing any sign of the giant ape that god decided to call a man, I stood up slowly, deciding that it couldn't hurt to be a friend right now… god only knows I needed one too.
"Hey," I greeted him, my back sliding down the face of the stone wall as I slowly settled myself down onto the grass next to him. I half expected him to light up at the sight of me, not trying to sound too high on myself or anything, maybe even throw a few jokes my way; but he did none of the sort. Instead he looked away, his fingers fiddling with the glades of grass as he plucked them up from the ground, twirling them around his finger for a few moments before he threw to the wind.
"Sup," he answered his voice distressing in a sense, on the brink of being ashamed. I knew something was wrong the minute he didn't call me 'bon-bons', though, I can't say that I missed that nickname all that much. I really didn't know how I was supposed to break passed the barrier that he'd probably surrounded himself with, having to keep his soft side under wraps in a place like this, but I could see that hardened shell of his breaking. All was silent for a few moments, nothing but the sound of the other inmates jeering and carrying on and the occasional sound of the grass snapping in the breeze filled the yard as I continued to sit next to the troubled teen. "Screw Honus Wagner," he suddenly scoffed, I had been so busy inspecting the line of ants that were crawling their way through the grassy jungle that I hadn't even noticed that he'd broken from his earlier trance and was now starring across the yard. Knitting my brows together I follow his gaze, shuddering as the realism of what he was looking at overtook me; his cellmate was laid our across the grass, his gaze transfixed on the two of us in a hard glare…great, another X added to my back. Tearing my eyes away from the sight I looked back in David's direction, our movements mirroring each others as his gaze met mine almost instantly.
"Who?" I inquired, my eyes training to slits as the sun moved across the sky again, obscuring my vision, I cupped my forehead, waiting for David to go on with his, what sounded, confession.
"This kid in my neighborhood." He sighed again, his gaze turning away from me as he leaned his head against the stone wall, looking up towards the sky and closing his eyes for a moment. Of course, I thought; David had never told me what he was incarcerated for; he only had given me the small details…the bump-and-swipe. Maybe he stole something from him… "His dad had a baseball card collection," again, his eyes trained themselves towards the ground, unable to look my way. I didn't mean to let my gaze sift towards the nasty creature that was watching us from afar, a threatening look in his eyes as he narrowed them in my direction; I was invading his space, hogging his property. Avocado had made it very clear to everyone that David belonged to him, regret settled in my heart for a moment. I'd spoken so ghastly of the teen in his first few days here, wishing that he would be taken away from my presence so I could at least have one ounce of peace in this place…but I never wanted him to have to endure that. "So, you know, I figure I'd swipe it. I could get some party cash, ya' know?" I focused my attention back on him, eyes heavy with regret, my heart still feeling the same way. "There was one card in there," he continued to explain, his voice faltering with each sentence, head weaving back and forth slight as he fiddled with his fingers, " A 1910 Honus Wagner. It doesn't mean nothing to me, you know, hoops is my sport." I genuinely hoped that what David was telling me wasn't true, at least how I was interpreting it wasn't what got him landed in this place. "This card," he bit his bottom lip, holding up a finger and shaking it violently for a moment. "It was worth three hundred-thousand dollars." He was quiet for a few moments, my hand involuntarily placing itself on his wrist. "So they slapped me with grand larceny."
He need not go any farther, I could pretty much figure out for myself that this was the reason why he was here; in a maximum security prison, a prison that was usually reserved for the worst of the worst…all because of a baseball card. I shook my head apologetically, still trying to comprehend what I had just learned. His reason for being in here didn't even compare to mine, hell, it didn't compare to any of the other crimes that had been committed to gain entrance into a place such as this. "So that's why I'm here," he continued to rant, his voice breaking with each syllable. "That's why I'm sittin' on a nickel getting' turned out like a little bitch. A baseball card." He sniffled, looking back up at me, his fingers property wiping the freshly shed tears away from his cheeks; hiding them from both me and the rest of the inmates that were walking about. He had no reason being here, granted, stealing was wrong…but a baseball card? He was a saint compared to the rest of the inmates, and dare I say it, me, that were wasting away in this place. I blinked a few times…he doesn't deserve to be here.
I had somewhat abandoned David since our conversation, not willingly, might I add; Avocado decided to let his control over the teen be known, it was more of David's idea to have me abandon my post next to him anyway. I was currently perched against the mesh fence that separated the yard from I guess what could be called the outside world, my mind swirling with thoughts of today's events; I still hadn't seen Michael, knowing that he had been called out for visitation, and then for his routine shots that he got daily. There was no way of knowing if Emily went through with what I asked her to do, my head dropped towards the ground as I studied the blades of green grass beneath my feet; her life, within the next few weeks…was going to be just as shot as mine was now, and from what I could see, in the future. David was another topic that seemed to slither into my mind from time to time since earlier today…I needed to do something to help him; but the only way I could do that was to take him with us on our excursion, and I knew Michael wouldn't allow that to happen, not to mention the rest of the group. And Michael, somehow that incident a few days ago just didn't seem to want to leave me alone. "Erica," I looked up quickly, the cool voice sending a shiver up my spine just as a cluster of clouds overhead hid the heat of the sun from my view; it if were anyone else standing before me I would have shied away from them, come to think of it, I still did with many of the inmates…even Sucre at times; but, with Michael it was different. It certainly wasn't hard to trust, he always gave off that vibe…it was hard for me to explain, and to somewhat understand. The small smirk on his face gave the good news away, correction, good news for us…bad new for Emily; lifting his hand he showed be the ring of keys, the one with the orange cap catching my eye. The regret settled in the pit of my stomach once again, churning with unsettling results.
"She-um-she came through." I questioned meekly, flashing a timid smile as I gestured towards the keys; just as quickly as they had appeared, they disappeared. I was taking advance of Emily's 'Good Samaritan' side, one that was reserved for people that she cared about and trusted.
"Yeah," Michael answered, his eyes narrowing slightly, but not menacingly so; they looked more skeptical, figures he knew something was going on with me…I was never good at hiding my emotions. "She uh-"he laughed slightly, that infectious crooked smirk sneaking upon his thin lips, "she made it very clear that she wanted me to leave you alone." I looked down at the ground for a moment, shying away from his sparkling gaze as I laughed.
"Yeah, that sounds about right." I'm glad I never took for granted what wonderful people I still had in my life, though, every time I thought of a certain one my heart fell from its place in my chest and settled in my stomach, but, when I thought of another…it grew in size and seemed to falter whenever they were around; the startling realization of loosing one of those people became more prevalent every minute of every day, and the feeling was nauseating almost. "So," everything was awkward all of a sudden and a soft breeze began to flow though the yard, chilling me to the bone. "This is gonna get us out of here?" I asked.
He nodded slowly, hands shoved in his pockets as he glanced around the yard for a few moments, eyes glancing left and right; almost like he was looking for someone, or watching for some impending doom. "If everything goes as planned." He mused, for some reason that didn't give me the solace that it was supposed to, on account that most of the plans that had been had to be alternated and reworked some several times. Everything was quiet again, leaving the two of us to relish in whatever thoughts or regrets that ere dancing within our minds at the current moment; mine were the same as they were before, though, the focus was different. I hadn't done much to contribute to this whole plan, especially the initial digging portion; but, I hadn't done a bulk of the emotionally straining work (i.e. involving people that hadn't needed to be involved)…it was only fair that Michael do something for me, though, I owed him tenfold for what he was doing for me.
"Michael," I asked quietly; he looked up quickly, almost as if he was awaiting the sound of my voice. Swallowing the lump of fear that was bubbling in my throat I looked to the side; of course I was afraid of rejection. "Can I uh- ask you something?" he shifted his weight to his other foot, nodding in my direction to continue. His eyes sparkled with undivided attention as he focused his whole being on me. "Okay," I whispered, still trying to muster up the courage that I needed. "I need- I need to ask you as favor." He knitted his brows together at this, becoming very interested now.
"What kind of favor?" he inquired, a confused look still stretched across his features. I never realized just how intimidating Michael was until this moment, his eyes boring down into mine with an instance since of questioning; my heart raced in my chest, mouth suddenly dry as the Sahara, and hands shaking, though, unnoticeably so.
"Um- I was just wondering um- since well, I was talking-" I didn't know how to ask this, the words jumbled together in a mess of tangled sentences and words as I tried to formulate the best way possible of asking this 'favor'. "Michael, you find out a way into the infirmary yet?" I didn't know wheter to be relieved or furious by the sudden interruption, the think accent belonging to none other than Sucre as he seemed to appear out of thin air; he looked from the two of us, head moving side to side. I looked down at the ground as I shuffled my feet, burrowing them in the grass, I could still feel Michael's eyes boring into me.
"We've got that under control." Michael answered the man shortly, I looked up abruptly; he was quick to change moods, usually, he was quite well under pressure. "Erica, what did you want to ask me?" Sucre looked at me shortly; he too must have realized the pinch of hostility that was held in Michael's voice at the moment.
Sucre continued to stare at the two of us, and if I couldn't feel the tension in the air before then I could definitely feel it now; I couldn't ask what I wanted to with Sucre around, I could already hear that thick accent throwing words around in both English and Spanish, protesting against adding another person to the group. I shook my head slowly, letting a nervous laugh escape my lips. "It's- it's nothing important." I reassured him, though, the look in Michael's eyes let me know that he didn't believe me. "It's nothing, really. It- it can wait."
You'd think my mood would be a little more enthuastic as watched Michael go to town on making a replica of that key that to the infirmary; in a matter of speaking, our literal key out of this place. Though, I wasn't beside myself in this matter, several times over the last few minutes Michael had asked me what was on my mind, and even though it was only us two in his cell at the moment…I still couldn't bring myself to ask him. Maybe it was immature of me to be afraid of the word no, but, the only way I could think of it was that a negative answer to my request was a matter of life and death. I saw the way David stumbled back into cell block after yard today, eyes low with fear and mouth shut tight as he took his time returning to his cell, I couldn't help but feel partially guilty for the situation he was in…maybe it I had of just tolerated him. "Whenever you're ready to tell me what's on your mind." Michael informed me from his spot on the floor, without breaking eye contact with the flame that licked at the plastic of the key that was held in his hand; I could hear the smirk in his voice, even though I couldn't see his face. As much as I tried to hide mine I couldn't, it was like he knew everything about me in a sense, and it made me feel at ease. I guess he was awaiting a real answer this time; he turned around flicking the lighter off, his eyes dragging over me for a moment before he turned back around. "Seriously, Erica, what do you need me to do? I mean, I do 'owe' you?"
Another interruption; Sucre was yet again the culprit, maybe this was a sign. "Did you hear about Avocado?" he asked, a nasty smile twisting on his face, almost in a grimace. I'm surprised I didn't get whiplash when I looked back up at Sucre my eyes wide with fear, just the name sent a shiver up my spine and my stomach into a fit. The inmate made a slicing noise as he grimaced again, throwing the blue prison issued shirt onto the top bunk as I stood up. "Got his cojones sliced."
"Ho-how?" I rather quickly; Sucre raised and eyebrow as he looked at me, mumbling something about me not having to worry about that happening to me.
"Tweener," he answered shortly; oh, David. This wasn't good for him, I'm not even sure to what extent of trouble he had just gotten himself into, but, I could only guess that it wasn't good. "But, Avocado's sayin' that it got caught on the frame when hoping down off his bunk." Sucre explained as he walked towards the sink that was positioned next to Michael, my eyes followed his movements, swirling with unresolved questions. I could see Michael watching me closely from the corner of my eye…hopefully he'd catch on.
"Why-Why did he lie?" I pressed. Sucre turned from his at the sink and shrugged before turning back around, the sound of water splashing about the sink sounded for a moment before he turned back to me, running a tanned hand over his face.
"He doesn't want Tweener to go to SHU, because he can't get him in there." He continued to explain; this situation was turning worse with every second. "All I have to say is," the sound he made was between a scoff and a laugh, "When Avocado gets out of the infirmary…Tweener's a dead man." I'm gonna kill him, Michael…I'm gonna kill him. I didn't mean what I said before, I mean, everybody says things that they don't mean every once and a while, right? I guess my composure had grown rigid throughout the course of the short conversation; though I wasn't paying much attention to Michael at the moment I could see him slowly getting to his feet from his position on the floor, and I knew exactly who he was coming for.
"Excuse me." I said rather quickly, voice shaking before I darted for the open cell door.
"What about your car?" Katie asked, the overly helpful nurse exhausting all ideas of where my keys might have gone. I shook my head as I opened a few of the cabinets in the exam room that I usually occupied, my pale slender fingers moved things to a fro as a searched for them; those were one set of keys that I couldn't afford to loose. Sighing I slammed the cabinet doors shut and continued my hunt on the desk of messy files and papers that needed to be sent to one place or another; I don't know what it was that was making my schedule so tight, usually I had all this paper work done by now. Moving the stacks of papers around I put them into a neat pile, setting pens back in their holders and markers back in their specific drawers; organized, yeah right. Moving another brown folder to the side I was greeted with the 'fake' mug-shot of Boswell, my eyes lingered for a few more moments on the photograph…she looked exactly like her mother. I shook my head as I pushed it to the side, barely listening as Katie continued to recall my steps for me, asking me if I'd checked here or there for my keys…I never misplaced those, though, I guess it could have been possible considering the state I was in. Every time I was around Miss. Jones or my father, every time my eye caught the glint of that engagement ring that my father had placed on her finger…I wanted to tell them; I wanted to tell her I knew who her daughter was, I wanted to tell her I knew she was okay…I wanted to tell my dad so he would get her out of here, but, why ruin her relationships with the inmates she had grown to call her friends. Just the thought sent a sickening shiver though my body.
"No, Katie," I replied, grabbing my purse from under the desk before I placed it onto the table, right next to the file that was still laying open on my desk. "I had it right after lunch," my hands suddenly stop their rummaging, lunch. Come to think of it, that friend of Erica's was sitting uncomfortably close to me during that hour, I initially thought it was because I was the only person there that had been acquainted with her before, but now…it took a moment for me to gather my recollections of that hour, where her hand was positioned, the awkwardness whenever she looked down when she spoke, the angle of my purse. With narrowed eyes and new sense of anger I stood up from the desk, my legs propelling me forward at a speed that I usually used in emergencies only. Hopefully I was wrong about the assumption that had just come to light; hopefully it was all just a big misunderstanding at that she was just nervous about being around people that she didn't know.
"Kevin," I called as I neared the visitation rooms, calling out to the CO that was usually on duty at the counter that required that all visitors sign in during their duration here. "I need to take a look at that visitation log." The tone of my voice and swiftness of my feet must have told him that something big was brewing, usually he would have asked me to wait a moment until he was finished discussing whatever he was with the other officers, but not this time. He promptly followed me, rushing behind the desk he handed me the log which I took from her just as quickly; my fingers tore though the stack of pages quickly, eyes roaming over the scribbles of black ink and torn paper. The first two pages were completely devoid of anything pertaining to Erica, but her friends name….it was there, starring me right in the face…and the inmate she had visited…Scofield.
I slammed the phone down onto the receiver for the hundredth time that afternoon; the total count stood at ten calls and eight messages. Emily Wiklund had a lot of explaining to do, and I hoped she understood from the last message that it as better to take it up with me…because if not…she'd be getting a visit from the authorities very soon.
The prison seemed to be getting generous with the time that they let us spend in the yard; it was nearing chow, or lunch time, when they let us back into yard; deciding to give us an extra hour because it was getting to become extremely nice out during the day, but, it was Illinois after all…for all we know it could snow tomorrow. Unfortunately, not even the nice weather could shake me out of the mood I was still in, the news that Sucre had provided me with was finally sinking in; David needed help, it was simple as that. Truthfully, Michael was the only person in this prison that could help him; the only problem was I didn't know if he even wanted to help him. My teeth tore at the cuticles of my finger nails as I sat on the bleachers, practicing my normal routine of watching the rest of the inmates mingle amongst themselves. This was the very activity that I had done on my first days here at the prison, back when this was just a one week stint to get a good article…now it was a matter of life and death. "You wanna tell me why you've been acting so strange lately?" Michael asked his voice low and soft as he took a seat next to me on the bleachers; he wasn't stupid, I had a feeling he already knew why I was acting so strange; I also had a feeling that he knew what and who my earlier question was pertaining to.
"You wanna know what I wanted to ask you?" I inquired, turning so I could look at him; the way he looked at me was strange, I'm surprised it never stuck me like this before. He examined people when he looked at them, reading their feathers, their movements, their gestures, their expressions…everything. He smiled smugly, letting me know that my assumption was correct. It took me a few moments to finally muster up the courage; God knows I've been trying to do that all day long. "It's about David." I finally revealed, I was surprised to see him nodding, almost as if he had been thinking the same thing.
"I thought so." He answered coolly, his face dropping quickly though. "But he can't come with us, Erica…we already have-"I nodded my head quickly, before looking out across the yard.
"Michael," I couldn't give up on this kid, I mean, sure, he annoyed me to no end most of the time but…he had grown to be like the little brother I never had. "Do you remember Cherry?" I turned my attention back to him as he studied my face yet again, those blue eyes piercing mine with the force of a thousand knives. "David needs your help." My voice faltered slightly, I couldn't make Michael do this, but, I didn't know that if he didn't do this he would feel regret the rest of his life…as would I. I shivered slightly as a warm cascaded up the length of my arm, fingers curling around my hand as it rested on the cold metal of the seats; call it cliché, and call me naïve and stupid, but, this felt right…that felt right, even thought it probably wasn't "Just…just think about it." I halfheartedly pleaded. He nodded slowly, and that was enough for me.
"Boswell!" my hand quickly ripped from his grasp as the bellowing of the CO entered my conscious, drawing me away from whatever, dare I say it, mushy thoughts that could, but doubly, find their way into my mind. I snapped my head in his direction as he motioned for me with a jerk of his chin, "Doc says it's time for your meds."
Be polite; I always reminded myself not to give Tancredi any lip, though, I don't think I'd ever done that anyway…I didn't want to start. The door of the exam room opened slowly, the female doctor sauntering in with a try full of Dixie cups and pill bottles; one of them probably being mine. I surprised when she looked up at me and smiled, not a real one of course, but, it was a smile nonetheless. Perhaps she was trying to take the high road as well? "Hi." She answered shortly, I wanted to roll my eyes, and the tone of her voice hadn't changed much. I responded with a smile and a nod of my head as I let my legs swing back and forth. Michael had given me the keys to return to Sara before I left the bleachers to follow the CO up here, hopefully, I had put them in a strategic enough place that it would look like they had been left there by accident; god, prison really had made me into a thieving, lying, little bitch, hadn't it? I'd need to go though months of therapy after I was out of here anyway, I'd be back to my old self in no time.
"How are you?" I asked, attempting to make conversation. The rattle of the pill bottles filled the eerily silent room as she opened the plastic containers, pouring a couple of the white tables into the Dixie cup she handed it to me. I shivered, the look on her face was one of many emotions that seemed to have perched themselves on her features today; betrayal, anger, skepticism…it was all there. I looked back at her, watching her carefully as I took the cup from her hands slowly.
"I'm fine. You?" you responded, her voice stoic and cold. I couldn't shake the feeling that she knew something was up. Whenever someone was this nice to you after having been in a hostile hate relationship with you was always a bad sign, no matter if it was a try at redemption or not. I nodded and responded with 'fine' just as unemotionally as she had. Still watching me closely she shoved a small cup of water in my direction. A few moments later, another nurse entered the room, I hadn't learned her name but she seemed nice enough. Setting a few files down on the desk she laughed to herself; the exchange between her and Sara was one of confusion as the nurse held up the 'missing' keys, informing Sara that she just didn't look hard enough for them. I swallowed the pills quickly, almost choking on the water as it splashed down my throat. Sara's eyes were already doe like and had grown to an abnormally large size as she starred at me, almost as if she was accusing me of something…the keys?
"There's a maintenance man out here. Says you want him to change the locks? You want me to call him off? " the nurse informed her; wait…I could feel the blood literally freeze in my veins as I looked up slowly, trying to keep the size of my own brown hues to their normal size…but it was proving difficult as the door opened, the dirty over-all clad man was already going to town on the door before she had even given him the okay.
"No," Sara drawled, our eyes connecting as she looked at me with hyaline eyes, completely devoid off all emotion. "Send him in." her voice was condescending and had a ring of mocking to it.
Shit, shit, shit, shit. I cannot begin to explain how hard it had been to keep the lump in my throat from exploding as I was led towards the chow room; this couldn't be happening. After all that work, all of that deceiving…how was I supposed to tell Michael. The rest of the group? I could have my answer soon enough, having lost my appetite to the fear that was coursing though my veins at the moment I skipped the chow line and made a bee line for the usually table that Michael and Sucre occupied during their time in here; there was no way I could super coat this news, nor could I dry it out. "Ay, mami, finally decided to join us." Sucre greeted me as I neared the table; I ignored his greeting and swiftly took a seat next to Michael. The lump in my throat was becoming harder to control and not to mention ignore. Obviously Sara knew something was up, the way she looked at me…she knew…that was blatantly obvious, and I had a feeling she knew more than just about the key incident… I took a few shaky breaths as Michael looked in my direction, concern immediately etched in his features as he turned his body towards mine.
"Michael," my voice shook slightly; his eyes grew more concerned, the blue hues growing in size. "Sara, she-she changed the locks." His did more than grow in size, if it wasn't for the nerves that were behind the eye holding it in place the perfect, usually sparking orbs would have fallen from their sockets at the new information. I could already hear Sucre mumbling sayings in Spanish.
"How did she know? Did you hide the key? Are you sure she's doing this?" he may have asked this questions in a calm in collected manner, but the way I perceived them, they were in a jumped sentence, each one of them overlapping the other in twisted lines laced with urgency and fear. I could feel the tears brimming my eyes, gathering at the corners as I listened to myself answer him in a disorganized manner of 'yes' and 'I don't knows' and 'yes, I'm sure.'
"What are we gonna do?" I panicked; as far as I knew this was the only other plan that Michael had, sure, he could have come up with six more backups but with being pressed for time that was high unlikely. He was quiet for a moment, Sucre still mumbling in Spanish with his head down, he only looked up a few times to return back to his earlier sayings. I wiped the tears away from my eyes quickly, biting at the inside of my cheeks as the realization smacked me in the face once more; we weren't getting out of here.
"There's only one thing that you can do, Erica…"
Me…It always boils down to me…
A/N: Theres a long one for you guys! To make up for my absence; I realize that this isn't' my best, I always have a hard time jumping back into the story, but my PB muse is slowly returning. I originally planned on having this fic done this weekend, but, with the length that these are chapters are turning out to be that seems unlikely. I will have another chapter up tomorrow night and then….SPRING BREAK STARTS ON THE 15th! So I will have plenty of time to finish it next weekend and get the sequel out by Sunday the 17th! Again, I apologize for the quality of this chapter. Oh, and EHunter82….thanks for whooping' my butt into gear!