Clara made herself a cup of coffee later in the day. Alex was stood over the dining table where they had all of the photographs and blueprints laid out. Lincoln had told them that Sara had been working the motor pool at four o'clock after having scoped the place out. Holding onto her mug, Clara went to stand by the table next to Alex, sipping on her coffee and peering over the plans.
"So she is there every day at two?" Clara wondered.
"Think so," Lincoln responded.
"So motor pool is here," Sucre said, pointing at the image. "It is visible by two security cameras along the perimeter of the prison."
"Any other entrance?"
"No loading dock, no personnel entrance," Sucre replied.
"Fences?" Michael continued.
"About fifteen foot high and razor wire. They weren't electrified, however."
"Excellent," Michael said. "After all the retro-fits, we should be able to do something there. We just need Sara to get there. We gave Wheatley information about some blind spots, but I purposefully left out this section of the perimeter. I assume you have him specifics, Alex?"
"Yeah," Alex sad, agreeing with him. "Wheatley told me he intends to come by here tomorrow morning and see the evidence that we have so make sure you hide what we don't want him to see."
"This feels dangerous," Clara complained to them. "Besides, how do we get the message to Sara?"
"Letter," Michael said to her. "When we were on the run we became quite good at using coded messages. I will write her one tonight and have it sent for her to receive tomorrow morning."
"So what else can we do today?" Clara asked.
"Nothing," Lincoln responded. "We can only plan how we are going to get Sara away when we have her broken out of that place, but something tells me Michael is already one step ahead."
"Because Michael is," Michael said, looking between them all. "There is a boat by the harbour I have under a false alias. We go there as soon as she is out and we leave."
"Right," Alex said with a nod of his head. "So…it's that simple, huh? By tomorrow evening it should all be done."
"So long as things go to plan," Michael said. "I've got to go and do something for a few minutes. I'll be back."
"I'll go and pick some food up," Sucre said. "Pizza okay for everyone?"
There were grunts of agreement and Sucre left, grabbing the car keys on his way out of the apartment. Michael stalked off upstairs and Clara watched him go, wondering what was going on in his mind. Michael was a complex man, she knew that, but he seemed distant. He almost seemed completely lost. Then again, Clara suspected she would feel the same way if she was him. He was missing Sara. She knew all about that.
Looking to Alex, she wrapped both hands around her mug as Lincoln looked between the two of them. Moving her eyes over to him, she arched a brow. "Something interesting?" she asked from Lincoln and he shook his head.
"Just thinking of how far we've come," he said to her and she scoffed.
"We're back to working out how to break out of prisons," she said. "Seems to me that we've gone right back to the start."
"Yeah, but this time you're helping," Lincoln said. "I remember a time when you were on the other side."
"That's unfair," Clara said. "I always knew you were innocent and I helped you in Panama. Do you remember how crazy that was?"
"I remember teaching you how to fight," Lincoln said and shook his head. "And you were absolutely hopeless."
"Again, that's unfair," Clara responded. "I could fight."
"No, you can't," Alex said this time and she looked at him as he took her coffee from her and had a sip. He almost gagged on the amount of sugar in it before handing it back to her. "And what have I told you about putting too much sugar in your coffee?"
She nudged him in the ribs. "Not the point," she said. "The point is that I can fight. I just haven't had to."
"And I'd like to keep it that way," Alex said to her and Lincoln watched the way Alex watched her. His stare was protective, his eyes set fully on her. He clearly had eyes for no one but her. Lincoln found it odd. He hadn't been able to look at Mahone months ago. He had detested him and now, here he was, helping them again.
"Yeah, that would be preferable," Lincoln agreed with them. "So, tomorrow we go through with this plan. Do you think your agent friend will fall for the bait?"
Alex shrugged. "I imagine so," he replied. "I fed him it well enough. We just need to make sure he turns up and sees what we want him to see on this table," Alex pointed down to it. "He knows that he can trust me. I told him about the section of fence to secure. Besides, he knows that I'd do anything to get my old job back."
"And would you?" Lincoln wondered. He shouldn't doubt Alex. He should know that Alex wanted to help them, but he also knew how much Alex wanted his job back. He was a law man through and through. Guys inside the law struggled to give those jobs up.
"Yeah, some days I would," Alex said, not bothering to lie as Clara moved into the kitchen, finishing her coffee and placing the mug in the dishwasher. She looked at the back of Alex as he continued speaking. "Some days I feel lost without my job. Some days I think that I would do anything to have it back…but then I remember what we went through and I would never betray you guys, not after everything that happened."
Lincoln nodded, content with that response.
"Besides," Alex said, "there's someone who would kill me if I betrayed you."
Lincoln looked over to Clara as she washed her hands, drying them with the towel. He nodded his head and walked past Alex, clapping him on the back on his way. Alex looked back over the photos and Clara went to stand next to him again, hands on her hips as she too looked down at the images. "What do you think?" she asked him now that they were alone together.
He shrugged. "I think that Wheatley is smart," Alex said with a nod. "The information I gave him should keep him busy, but if he was a good agent then he would go further and look for other ways in which Sara could escape. He knows Michael. He knows what is capable of."
"So what are you saying?" Clara wondered and he dropped one of the photographs.
"I'm saying that we should have a backup plan," Alex said. "Because tomorrow's plan might fail. We need to have a backup plan."
"And what do you suggest?"
"I don't know," Alex admitted, "but I will think of something. Come on, I need some air."
Alex took hold of her by the hand, leading her outside onto the balcony. Sitting down in the chairs, they looked out over the harbour. Clara folded one leg over the other, moving her hand out and resting it on top of Alex's on the arm of the chair. She said nothing for a moment, simply enjoying the view.
"Do you regret what we have done?" Clara wondered from him, her voice earnest and she turned to look to him, raking her free hand through her hair. Alex watched her back, studying her intently. "Do you ever think of everything we have done and regret it?"
"There's a lot of things I regret," Alex admitted to her. "I made a lot of mistakes, but they're in the past. I keep trying to be the better man…being the man I always wanted to be."
"I sometimes think about it," Clara admitted and his thumb ran over her knuckles. "I think about what I did and when I lured Shales out. If I hadn't have done that then maybe you would never have got caught up in Company business."
Alex shook his head. "I'd have gotten involved somehow. The Company needed me working on the Fox River Eight case. They'd have just threatened the people I loved anyway to get the job done," he said to her. "None of it was every your fault. I got myself into this mess and I got myself out of it…with a little help."
"It's nice to know that we're all still in this together," Clara admitted. "I just keep thinking about how horrible it must be for Sara. She is pregnant and locked up for something she didn't have a choice to do. She…she had no other option."
"We'll get her out," Alex said, knowing that the two women had been close at some stage. They had talked to each other and Clara had even taken a bullet for Sara. She had protected her from T-Bag.
"I know," she said. "We are working with the master of breaking people."
"The only guy who managed to get to me," Alex chuckled. "It still makes me laugh. Michael was the only one who ever managed to best me."
"You're both too clever for your own good," Clara responded. "I might have a PhD, but I am nowhere near as clever as you two."
"I know," he said and Clara squeezed his hand while he teased her. He laughed at her and she rolled her eyes. "I'm joking," he said to her. "But I do question your intelligence when you keep on insisting on pouring so much sugar into your coffee."
"I am not changing that," she said to him. "And don't think I haven't noticed how you keep trying to put alternative…low calorie sugar…or whatever that it…in the pots at home. It doesn't taste as good as normal sugar."
"I am just looking out for your health," he defended himself. "Besides, I knew you would catch on."
"It wasn't difficult," she replied. "Can't trick me when it comes to food and drink."
"Don't I know it."
They hate ate dinner together, sitting on the sofas and discussing their plans. Alex stated how they should have a backup plan and Michael had agreed, the two men staying up late into the night to discuss a possible exit route. Sucre and Lincoln had chimed in and offered their opinions. Clara had warned them that Krantz would have other moles on the inside. They knew that Gretchen had been incarcerated with her. But they did not know if she was still in leagues with Krantz.
"Do you think she would be working with Krantz?" Clara wondered as her and Alex prepared for bed.
She was stood on one side of the bed, pulling her brush through her hair while Alex sat on the bed, removing his trousers and reaching for his sweats. He shrugged his shoulders.
"Gretchen has as much reason to hate Krantz as we do," he reminded her. "But it depends how much money he has offered her. She isn't stupid and she knows that she will get out one day…a lot of money might make her comfortable."
"Is it even worth asking him or asking her?"
"No," Alex said, standing up and tugging the pants up his hips before removing his shirt. He reached for his plain grey top and shrugged into it as Clara tossed her brush onto the top of her suitcase. "They're both notorious liars. They would say anything."
"Yeah, I know," Clara agreed with him, moving around and reaching for the zip at the back of her long dress. She fumbled with the material, trying to bunch it up and reach for the zip easier.
Alex moved towards her. "Let me," he said, moving her hands out of the way and reaching for the zip himself. Pulling it down to her waist, he watched the material part, seeing the scars on her back. Turning her head over her shoulder as he ran a hand over them, she noted how he looked at them.
"I know they're disgusting," she said to him.
"They're not disgusting," he responded, shaking his head. "But I know that ever since we started living together you won't let me anywhere near them."
"Because they're horrible," Clara said and he moved his hands up her back to her shoulders. He moved the straps from her shoulders, pulling them down her arms and pushing the dress down to her waist as he bent down, lips pressing against her neck.
"Nothing about them is horrible," he promised her. "And whatever you say, nothing is going to dissuade me or make me repulsed by them…they show that you survived all of this. You don't need to hide around me."
"I know," she said. "I think it is just me being self conscious."
"Don't be," he urged from her, moving to kiss her squarely on the mouth, his hands tugging the dress over her hips and letting it fall to the floor. She turned around in his grip, feeling his muscular arms hold her tightly, his hands pushing her back tightly against him. She did her best not to moan too loudly as she gripped his shoulders.
Pulling back from air, she smiled at him, a hand moving to his chin and running over it. "Let me grab my pyjamas and we can go to bed."
Grabbing hold of her by the wrist to stop her from moving, he tugged her back to him and toyed with her bra strap. "Why do you need pyjamas?" he dared to ask her. She arched her brow.
"Seriously?" she asked him. "You want to do it here?"
"Do it?" he echoed back. "How old are we? We're not in college."
She laughed as he bent down and kissed her once more, hands going back around her as he walked her backwards towards the bed. She collapsed on top of it and Alex fell on top of her. Pulling off of her as she ran her hands down his chest, she looked to the door. "What if someone hears?" she asked him.
"The door is locked and just try to be quiet," he responded. "I'm sure you can manage that."
"Hmm," she hummed, smiling while kissing him again. "I can try."
Returning to the apartment, they knew that Wheatley would be there. They weren't disappointed. In fact, they had seen him looking over all of the plans that they had left out. Luckily, Michael had handled the situation rather well. He had told him how there had been nothing wrong with them looking at the images, but Wheatley hadn't been convinced. Alex had gone after him about an hour later.
"So they're planning to break her out for certain?" Wheatley asked once they met down some abandoned street.
Stuffing his hands into his pockets, Alex nodded. "Yeah," he said. "Michael is trying to think of a plan, but it's gone slightly wrong…obviously since I told you about that stretch of fence."
"Yeah, thanks for that tip off," Wheatley said. "I decided to go further and tell the warden to check the rest of the fencing."
"Smart move," Alex said. He hadn't been shocked. He would have done the exact same thing. "So…what next?"
"Well, you keep spying and let me know when he comes up with a plan," Wheatley said as if it were obvious. "I did notice that you brought your girlfriend with you. Does she know that you're tipping me off?"
Alex cocked his head to the side. "Do you think she would be with me if she knew?" Alex responded. "She's loyal to them. As far as I see it, the best thing to do is to keep her in the dark."
"Good plan, Alex," Wheatley said, a teasing edge to his tone. "Every great relationship is obviously built on trust."
"I'm doing what you want," Alex said. "You don't need to get involved in our relationship."
Alex turned on his heel and began to walk away. He let out a deep breath and shook his head. Clara would be fine. They would be fine. He had promised her that there would be no secrets between them, but hell if a part of him wasn't tempted to try and get his job back. He only wished that there was a way he could return to the Bureau without having to betray to very same people who had helped him in his life. He longed for that to happen.
He returned to the apartment after a twenty minute walk and looked around. Clara was sat at the breakfast bar with Sucre, both of them playing a game of cards. Lincoln and Michael were stood on the other side of the breakfast bar, staring down at a newspaper.
"What did he say?" Michael asked as soon as Alex entered the apartment.
"He had the rest of the fence checked out," Alex said. "That means we need to find a different way out."
"Good," Michael said, "because that's not the plan anymore."
"You already had a backup plan?" Alex checked.
Michael shot him a stare. Of course he had a backup plan. Alex shouldn't be shocked.
"Forgot who I was talking to," Alex admitted and Michael smirked. "So what is this plan?"
"We need help," Michael said. "Do you know anyone who has a pilot's licence?"
Alex's brow furrowed and he nodded his head. "I probably know someone who I busted years ago who has one. You'll have to let me look into it first."
"Be quick," Michael urged from him.
"Yeah," Alex nodded. "So what is the plan once you have a plane?"
"That is the bit I am working on," Michael said. "But I have to go and see Sarah and try to communicate with her and hope the warden doesn't notice."
"Well you two are on the same wave length," Clara piped up, finally finishing her game with Sucre and beating him. He groaned and shook his head and she laughed, placing her hand onto his shoulder and standing up. "She'll know what you're telling her."
"I hope so," Michael said.
Michael began speaking to Lincoln and Sucre, asking them to play lookout that afternoon. Alex motioned for Clara to follow him onto the balcony. She moved over behind him, stepping onto it and folding her arms over herself. She stifled a yawn, hating to admit that she had hardly gotten any sleep the previous night.
"How was it?" she asked him.
"Easy," Alex admitted to her. "Lying to him came pretty easily to me."
"Well…I guess we've both had practice at lying," she said to him and he nodded, agreeing with her on that point. "So, what's going on?"
"I know that once I do this then there will be no way for me to get back into the Bureau, not really," Alex admitted to her. "So I have been thinking about what you said…about moving on and I think that might be for the best."
"Okay," Clara said, slightly glad that they were about to have this conversation. "Well that sounds like a healthy thought to have."
Alex chuckled at that, rubbing his chin and nodding. "Yeah," he agreed with her. "But then I was thinking about you on the way back here. if they find out that you were here and this plan succeeds then…well…I worry that they might try to do something, Clara."
"Well, Wheatley already has his suspicions," Alex said. "All it takes is one slip up for you to be linked to what is going on…for Lincoln…Sucre…any of us to be linked to what is going on. I have the advantage of playing both sides. You don't have that."
"What are you suggesting?" Clara asked from him.
"Listen," Alex said, moving closer to her and taking hold of her arm, holding onto it gently. She let her brow furrow and she did her best to consider what he was saying to her. "I know that you want to help them and I am fine with that, but I don't like the idea of them breaking Sara out…absconding…and then you being dragged into an interview room so that they can see what you know, especially because they know you are here. Besides, when they find out I know nothing then they won't exactly be kind with me, Clara. I can't protect you."
Clara sighed at that part. She leaned against the railing of the balcony. "So you want me to stay away?"
"I want you to stay away," Alex confirmed. "Listen to me," he urged, stepping towards her and taking hold of her arms in his grip, the motion soft. "You're the most important thing in my life, Clara. I want to keep you safe. I have to keep you safe."
"And you do," she promised him, taking hold of him by the cheeks. "Let's just see what we can do, okay? Don't worry or begin panicking."
Alex chuckled. "It's easier said than done when it comes to you," he responded and moved to tuck her hair behind her ear. He bent down, forehead pressing to hers as his lips captured hers.
A/N: Do let me know what you think!