I'm sorry it took so long to post the final chapter, I got caught up in school work.
I hope you are all doing well and staying safe.
I hope you enjoyed this short fic, I certainly had fun revisiting Sara and Michael :) The story continues with Sandcastles. Thank you all for reading, and please review.
The Night That Never Left Us
The sun had long set. The heat of the night had been enriched by the burning of their skin, and they had opened the window for zephyr to remind them their touches were real. Lone cars were passing by the motel with no reason to stop and every reason to keep going; somewhere someone shut the door and someone else found something to laugh about. Farther out, someone was tending to his wounds, each pang further fueling the rage to finish what he had begun. He wasn't alone; there were others, with faces known and many still unseen, who wouldn't spare a thought before pulling a trigger. But tonight, none of it could get to them. They were in their own little world; they were lost and never before had they felt like they belonged somewhere more than they did now.
She lay so close to him that only her hair was sprawled across her side of the bed. His arms, darkened with ink yet so light on every inch of her skin, were pressing her closer to him, even though there was no space left for the heat of love between them. Their foreheads touched, and he stared into her eyes as if he saw her for the first time with every blink. And she stared back, completely incredulous. It had been fast, the way she fell for him, but she would be lying if she claimed not to have seen it coming. The flutter of her heart each time he walked into her infirmary, the ease with which her eyes found his name on a list of scheduled appointments for the day. Now she was fatherless, a fugitive, without the one thing that had kept her clean before she met him, and there were still butterflies in her stomach at the slightest movement of his body. Perhaps she was still falling, not yet in the shallows of realizing what had transpired.
"Tell me about Panama?" she said.
A sigh of content escaped his lips and a smile teased in their corner.
"Well, I have a boat ready there," he said. When, unlike him, she didn't hide a smile, he went, "What?"
"Nothing, just … I, um, I always kind of wanted to live on one," she said. The little things, the trivialities, the childish dreams, the thoughts that invade the mind when the evening is as far away as the morning; they had foregone them all, went right to the core, risked what matters most without having any foundations to rely upon. But she had opted for foundations first, a few times before, with other men, men that had nothing against them, she argued. It had still brought her here; so, really, it would be hypocritical to bemoan the speed that landed her in this bed, in a town whose existence she was ignorant of just days ago. Tonight, the self-righteousness won over any argument.
The pad of his thumb followed the curve of her lips, so gently she could barely feel it, so lovingly she could barely take it. It had never felt like this; even in her numbness to the ruins caused and found in Chicago, she felt his every touch, his want, his honesty. Her mind was clear, her heart never more alive, so unlike the times she escaped with a needle in her vein. How could this be bad for her, be inherently bad in any way? She could enumerate a dozen reasons but they were just words, words to be stomped upon like leaves in the autumn.
"Sara. I'll give you everything I possibly can. Whatever you want, we'll have it."
Possibilities. So many things she could want, so many things he could give to her. What crossed her mind first, though, what stayed and quietened everything else before she could think of it, was simple, as simple as a wish could be. A start, a new start that iterated every day, ensured every day, forever.
"So breakfasts, just the two of us?" she whispered.
He considered his words, as if unsure whether they fit. His eyes were still on her lips, resolute not to meet hers, as he spoke.
"I wouldn't mind if one day it wouldn't be just the two of us anymore."
There was doubt in his voice, as if he feared it was too much, too soon. It probably was, but they would probably be shot at when the sun was up again, chased like animals. Probably had lost its meaning to them; it was too rational a word in their irrational world.
"I guess Lincoln could show up from time to time," she teased, and she felt him smile against her collarbone. "Does he know you've asked me to come with you?"
"I haven't told him," he admitted.
The sudden pang she felt was the first reminder of the fragility, of the ephemerality of their bubble. It was a merciful one, she knew, and he knew it, too, shifting his body as if in discomfort.
"You think he'll mind?"
"Let's not think about this now. I love you, Sara."
The words, so definite so quickly, should alarm her; but Michael wasn't the first man who had slept with her and whispered love protestations that didn't survive the morning. Most of the other men she had known for more than two months and none had she met in prison. She had always known how to pick them, and Michael Scofield was just her pinnacle. Fittingly, for the first time since her teenage years, she believed the three words. Despite the lies he had told her and perhaps exactly because of them, she believed him.
No silence followed, the silence in which he would wait for her to reciprocate it. He stated it like a fact, something that came without doubts. She ran her hand over his scalp just as reassuringly, saving the words, as she would have the time to utter them a thousand times. His eyes finally met hers, and she saw that he knew without her telling him.
"You should get some sleep," she told him instead and tried to match the lightness of his fingers as she caressed his cheek. Under her touch, he closed his eyes.
"I'm not tired," he said and inhaled deeply, as if her skin still carried a scent other than the one of what they had done.
She knew he lied. He had been on a run for days, and with that agent and a plethora of others chasing him, he didn't grant himself sleep. She doubted he had slept much during his last nights in Fox River as well. But he concealed his tiredness just like he did the pain: with ease with which he gave her love.
"Liar," she whispered. It seemed impossible, but somehow he managed to move even closer to her. He draped one leg over hers, and her body tensed up again. He had to realize she was starting to agree that sleep was a bad idea, but he didn't act on it. A smile relaxed his lips, and he tangled his fingers in her hair.
"I have you here, now," he said. "We don't need to run, and there's no one pointing a gun at us. Just for now, it's just you and me. It seems sacrilegious to sleep it away."
"I'm not going anywhere," she said. "I'll be here when you wake up. I promise."
She dipped her head, just a little bit, and gently kissed his lips. They were so close to each other that the touch of their foreheads didn't break.
"I promise," she whispered again only for him to hear, and she meant so much more than what should be their first morning together.
He must have believed her, as he was asleep within seconds, giving himself over to her in his entirety. She didn't dare to move, for fear of disturbing him. So she watched his calm in the dim light, then let his breathing lull her into closing her own eyes.
It was a beautiful morning. The curtains, no matter how heavy they were, could not keep away the promise of a sunny day. The light still irritated her eyes as she opened them, as bright as the future seemed when she recalled last night, felt the arms that were still around her, as protective as they were loving.
He was still asleep.
She wanted to wake him, wanted the feel of her lips to be the first sensation of his day. She wanted more, she wanted things to be as they were last night, ignorant in their obstinance as well as in their love. The ease with which they let go of the world effortlessly deceived into thinking the world returned the favor.
Right now, they were still safe. No one knew how long it would be that way. Maybe forever; maybe hours was all they had. She didn't let herself think of minutes. What she did know, though, was that each hour, each minute that might be perilous, he would look after her, give her all the peace in his power.
So she now let him sleep, for just a bit longer.
Now that her eyes were inured to the light, she saw the bandage on his arm. Last night, amid their touches, she had let go of the world and forgot about it. Even if aching had not gone unnoticed by him as it did by her, of course he wouldn't bring it up, always so unperturbed by pain, so determined to have the night only for the two of them.
In daylight, it could no longer be hidden that the blood had stained the bandage. She would need to clean the wound and change the bandage. She glanced at the table by the window, seeing the bag of supplies they had gotten the day before. It was empty now. She scolded herself for not having had the forethought to buy more bandages. And of course, there was something else they should have gotten. But in that afternoon rush, she had still held on to indignation.
She wriggled out of his arms, careful not to wake him. The store was just across the parking lot. She should be back in minutes, she decided and put on the clothes that lay discarded on the floor. It would only take her a couple of minutes to get the bandages. She would make sure to get more this time; who knew how long it would take them to get to Panama, and most importantly, what their trip would be like. But even if everything went okay, perfectly, with no more inflictions, the wound on his arm would still need tending to. And of course, she needed to get something to undo what had been careless in their night.
She flung her purse over her shoulder. There really was no need to take away his sleep for the mere minutes it would take her. His eyes were closed, his countenance still peaceful. She thought about leaving him a note, a quick scribble that she just popped out to the store and would be back right away. The kind of note lovers leave for each other on the fridge.
But finding a piece of paper and fiddling with the pen, it would take her longer than going to the store. And she would be back in a minute, she reminded herself.
So she didn't wake him, nor left a note. She glanced at him once more, then carefully opened the door and just as quickly closed it behind her, so as not to let in any sound that could disturb him.
She wasn't there when he woke up.
It should have filled him with panic but didn't. Perhaps it was the memory of last night, the feel of her his hands had still felt, the taste of her that was still on his lips. He knew they were about to leave for Panama, he knew the dangers that awaited them, but fear didn't chill his heart and worries didn't flood his mind. It was a sensation unknown to him, one, he smiled at the thought, he would have to make it his habit.
As his eyes got used to the light, he saw that the bathroom door was partly open; however, the light inside wasn't on. It was the first puzzle that didn't make sense in the picture of this morning, the first morning that was theirs. He lifted himself up, grimaced at the sharp pain in his arm. The bandage was soaked with blood, but he barely gave it a second thought.
She wasn't in the room either.
Her purse was gone, too.
Of course. She was a doctor, after all, he smiled. She must have woken up before him, saw the mess his bandage was, and went to get new ones. She should have woken him, it wasn't safe out there, but the store was just across the parking lot. Her strength, her independence, it was something he admired in her, and it would be hypocritical for holding it against her, being herself this morning.
And besides, if someone had found them, they wouldn't have left them to their morning. So, really, the pang of worry he felt and the cold of the side of the bed where she should lie, it was just him, his mind, jumping to the worst possible contingencies.
She would be back, in no time.
So he lay back down, and waited.