June 18th, 2007
A/N: This is my first stab at a Prison Break fanfic. I usually write for Jaters of the LOST fandom but after catching up on this show, I thought tackling MiSa would be interesting. I mean, after all, both ships are doctor/fugitive oriented. LOL! And as with my Lost fanfics, I do not presume to own any part of the show, the characters, the cast, etc.
He didn't need to count the springs of the top bunk to know that there were 107 small coils of aluminum suspending Fernando Sucre three feet above him. He didn't need to know because not only had he counted to that same number twenty-five times in the last half hour, he also remembered the manual he had studied for months. The counting was just to keep his mind off the pain behind his right shoulder. When he stopped, his heart took over, each pulse a dull throb where a hot drainage pipe seared through a guard's uniform and several layers of inked skin.
Sixty-two. Sixty-three. His lips moved in time with the bounce of his left hand, his extended forefinger ticking off each spring. If he thought hard enough, he could probably calculate exactly how long he'd been doing this to distract himself. Just two white pills, Michael pleaded silently, loosing his concentration when Sucre shifted restlessly. Two white pills in the bottom of a Dixie cup.
He squeezed his eyes shut and gritted his teeth as the throb in his shoulder began to intensify. With each passing second, it went from ache to itch to sting to burn to full on blaze. His lower lip caught maliciously between his teeth, it was all he could do to not scream to the brick walls of A-Block. When the fog in his mind lifted enough that he could hear Sucre humming some sort of Puerto Rican lullaby, he forced himself to breathe.
Michael sat up with a start, cursing under his breath and nearly knocking his head on the upper bunk. That was the second time she'd done that tonight. Breaking into his thoughts without warning. Disrupting his concentration when he needed to remain focused. Exasperated, he sighed and fell backwards into the pathetic excuse of a bed, wincing when his burn practically seared another hole in his grey sweatshirt. Dr. Tancredi was becoming a distraction.
Though not entirely an unwelcome one, Michael mused, as he allowed her soft voice to lead him through the simple breathing exercise and noted after several breaths, that the pain in his shoulder had seemingly dulled. She had a way of doing that to him—numbing the agony of whatever wound, emotional or physical, he suffered in this hellhole. He just hadn't gotten used to the idea that he actually might be more dependent on her than he had originally planned.
Michael blew out another breath and felt his heart clench in the emptiness left by his collapsed lungs. His thoughts drifted back to earlier that morning, when he'd been determined to sweep her off her feet with an unexpected kiss and swipe the key to the infirmary with a wayward hand. The wave of nausea he felt roil inside of him was the same horror he had felt when he actually thought he might go through with it. He hadn't expected that betrayal of trust to be so hard.
Betrayal? That was a word for two people in a grounded relationship, the kind where the myriad of attached strings eventually try to strangle the two entwined in the chaotic web. Sara… Dr. Tancredi was a means to an end and always had been. She was nothing more to him than an insulin shot and a one-way ticket across the wall.
But she wasn't just that even though she was supposed to be. She was origami roses left on filing cabinets and gentle hands on tattooed skin. She was lax around him when she felt trusting and she was flirtatious when she felt daring. She was long auburn hair, beautiful hazel eyes, soft silky skin, and fast becoming the one other thing that kept him going inside these walls. Michael growled, frustrated at himself for discovering the truth and annoyed that he wasn't really upset that he had.
"Papi?" Sucre sounded as if he'd been trying to get his attention for a while.
Michael briefly considered asking him to repeat the question he'd apparently missed, but decided against it. The one he returned surprised himself probably as much as it seemed to throw a curveball to his cellmate.
"Sucre, when did you know you were in love?"
There was a moment of stunned silence before a heavily Hispanic-accented tirade.
"I don't know," Sucre said. "What the hell kind of a question is that anyway?"
Michael rolled his eyes and shrugged despite the fact that Sucre couldn't see the gesture. His hand pulled across his face and began to rub at the oncoming headache beating against his skull.
Why was he asking for advice from a con anyway? He shouldn't have expected a heart to heart from a thief.
A smothering quiet filled the small cell and Michael wondered if counting springs would distract him from this unfamiliar ache in his chest. He almost wished the pain behind his shoulder would start up. Almost. He was about to rollover when Sucre's voice evaporated the stillness.
"Probably when I got stuck in Fox River," he said. "I knew she would be so disappointed in me. And hurt that she might have been used. That killed me the most."
Michael was starting to regret ever asking the question.
"But she wasn't, Papi." There was a smile in Sucre's voice. "Maybe at first, yes. But she forgave me."
And that was where the difference between their situations lay, Michael realized. Sucre hadn't tried to use Maricruz. He was in the process of using Sara.
Michael shook his head. "Sorry, what?"
"Why'd did you ask?" Sucre was leaning off the upper bunk, watching Michael fiddle with his hands.
"No reason," Michael lied. "Just thinking."
"Well, you better start thinking about getting that key," Sucre teased, shoving Michael playfully in the arm. "It can't be that hard, I mean, you see her every…"
Sucre trailed off, a frown replacing what Michael thought was the definition of an infectious smile. It was only for an instant and then his grin came back out full force and he shoved Michael again. "Oh my god, Fish! You didn't."
"I didn't what?" Michael eyed him suspiciously.
Sucre disappeared from view, his laugh drifting down from above. He reappeared, his eyes dancing like a little kid who just learned a secret.
"You fell for Doc?"
Michael scowled and did his best to act miffed, despite the alarms ringing dangerously in his head.
"Yeah, Sucre. That's exactly what I did." He tried his best to sound sarcastic. The look on Sucre's face told him he hadn't succeeded.
"Well, maybe you should leave her a letter," he said. "You know, like 'From your secret admirer'. Ladies fall for that all the time."
He laughed again before rolling back and fading from Michael's view once more. It was all Michael could do not to groan aloud. That definitely hadn't helped anything.
"Oh and Papi?" Sucre asked.
Michael only grunted in acknowledgment.
"Passion doesn't have a 'h'."