One Last Play

Michael, Sara and Lincoln need to go to London to look for LJ who's gone missing after leaving a mysterious message for his dad.

Events take place after 5x9 "Behind the eyes".

The inspiration of setting this during the current pandemic crisis was taken from the series "What Hardships Bring" which can also be found on this platform. Unfortunately the platform removed the author's name when I tried to give proper credit.

Chapter 1:

Michael allowed himself to look up from his computer screen and out the window; his gaze following a cluster of white, fluffy clouds. "Dad!" his son's voice snapped him back to reality again. He noticed he was doing it more and more these days; catch himself slipping into a daydream, an echo of his days in Fox River, Sona, Ogygia. Not once would he ever have thought that he'd ever voluntarily submit himself to the torture of imprisonment ever again. But here he was, having no choice for the good of humanity, submitting to something much bigger than himself, something that seemingly had no meaning other than to perhaps remind everyone of their own mortality. He was at home, his high-risk health as a former cancer patient meant that his wife Sara adamantly refused to let him set one foot outside their home in Ithaca.

Best he could do was enjoy his garden. A real city rat Michael never anticipated that he'd yield to the leisurely pleasures of life in the suburbs. He was however adamant once he rejoined their lives that he would under no circumstances pluck his son out of the life he'd known and the friends he'd made just so he and Sara could have a fresh start somewhere far from the whispering neighbors.

"Dad! It's mom on the phone". His heart skipped a beat – Sara never rang him when she was on call at the hospital. Ever since the pandemic hit the US her text updates were always brief; their only purpose – to ease his troubled mind. He took in a breath and steadied his hand as he reached for the phone. "Sara?" he couldn't quite mask the anxiety that rose from his chest and tinged the words. "I'm okay, Michael." She sounded sincere, tired but sincere. He sighed; he didn't even realize he was holding his breath. "I'm fine, Michael. Really. I just… I just called to hear your voice." Michael blinked, trying to clear his head of the pulsing sense of dread that was beginning to consume him; after all, he didn't want to alarm his son. Never mind that Mike was no doubt clever enough himself to figure this call was out of the ordinary.

"Michael? Are you there?" A million bad thoughts raced through his head, but it was possible Sara was just cracking under the extraordinary pressure; maybe she did just want him to comfort her. "I'm here. I love you. How's your day?" He closed his eyes, focusing on the sound of her voice as she spoke, shutting out all distractions. "It's… tough, Michael. But we're pulling through. I'm not… I'm not afraid. Because you can imagine very little can be done under the spirit of fear."

His wife was out there battling a shape-shifting enemy day by day and all he could do was sit, watch and pray nothing happens to her. Michael looked over again, at his teenager who seemed consumed by what he was reading. Sara's words confused him; they sounded foreign, and somehow significant. He ran a quick Google search and sure enough the results were interesting to say the least. The quote Sara used was from Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing. It made absolute sense for his wife to quote her at this time, but something in her tone said this was a message. But who was listening?

His phone buzzed in his ear. "Sara, hold on. I have another call." It was his brother, Lincoln. He was alarmed, but again pushed the thoughts out of his head as he hit ignore. Lincoln was isolating with Sheba back in Chicago. He said he was being careful and Michael trusted Sheba to keep his bull of a brother in check. "It's Linc. I'll call him when we're done."

"Call him back, Michael. I think you should talk to him." Her tone was purposeful. What did she know that he didn't? "Sara, what's going on?" Her silence filled him with dread. "Sara, what is going on?" He demanded again. He rarely ever raised his voice at her, but he just didn't understand. And she seemed to have at least some of the answers. Mike was now looking up at him with alarm and confusion. He tried to keep it together for his sake. He ran a hand over his head, trying to think. "I'll call you at the end of my shift, Michael. I gotta go." Michael didn't want to hang up, speaking to Sara she sounded calm; it put him at ease knowing she was safe.

"Will you be ok?"

"It's just a few more hours, Michael. I'm fine. I'll be fine. I love you. Both."

She hung up.

Michael wished he could pause time and think, he felt like it was slipping away from him. He picked up his phone and locked himself in the bathroom. He ran the water, so Mike wouldn't hear him talk. Then he called his brother.