The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors (halfshellvenus) wrote,
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors

PrisonBreak Fanfiction: 1character (50 Sentences on Sara Tancredi)

Title: A History Behind The Smile
Author: HalfshellVenus
Category: Sara’s POV (Genfic—50 sentences challenge)
Rating: PG-13
Summary: 50 one-sentence descriptions of Sara and her life.
Author’s Notes: Written for the 1character challenge, where I claimed Sara Tancredi for Prison Break. These are based on the “Alpha” set of prompts.


“We have to go on with our lives,” her father told her, but she thinks he’d already done that by the time they left the graveyard.

The words “Mornin’ Doc,” flow across her with Southern Charm, but his lingering gaze makes her feel dirty-- like he’s already touching her the way she knows he wants to.

She lost a piece of innocence when she made that crude glass dagger, but at home that night the bathroom mirror revealed a glow of self-respect.

Her name whispered through the trees once when she was lonely, and she knew her mother watched her even then.

A spirit worn to nothing by fatigue and routine was revived by a three-week stint in Doctors Without Borders, and there in the jungles of the Amazon, she found she could not wait to begin her contribution to what the world could someday be.

Jeffrey Sterling was her first, and he could have been her Only, but her father’s pitiless scrutiny guaranteed it would be over.

One of the worst fights she’d had with her father had ended with these words: “Don’t pretend to be interested in my life, and I’ll go along with pretending that you are.”

The softness of brushstrokes in her hair and the feeling of comfort surrounding her whole are the marks of a mother whose love was given with every breath.

They keep her safe from bacteria and disease, but nothing shields her heart from her patients’ pain and hopeless lives.

She watched the mail for weeks on end, and read the acceptance letter thirty times on the day it finally came.

Her obstetrics rotation as an Intern brought her first chance to deliver a baby, and that tiny life—so eagerly awaited by its parents—made her yearn to be a mother like the one who had loved her so.

The towline pulled her car up out of the ditch that wintry Sunday, but she barely saw it for the visions behind her eyes of So Close and what might have been.

Sometimes his voice is lying, or maybe it’s really his eyes, but it’s what she’s used to after years of losing hope.

She is a good girl by nature and necessity, and someone should want that and not wait for her to be more.

He got her interested, despite her reservations, and then the wife he’d never mentioned made her remember why she didn’t do this.

Her gown is satin and her hair is beaded as she descends the staircase for the Governor’s Ball; she smiles for the crowd as her father beams proudly—on display once again as his princess.

Ways and Means
There are charities and social programs for the forgotten and needy, but giving yourself can make the difference that no funding will ever touch.

Examining the condemned is her darkest duty, next to the threat she has avoided having to respond to: the job of confirming the wrath of Vengeance and declaring that Justice has now been done.

Once in awhile, when only friends are looking, it’s really okay to finally let yourself go.

She spoons the pretend elixir into the mouth of her favorite doll, and wonders if anyone has a pill for a broken heart.

Prestige and wealth were familiar and obvious, but when the time came to choose her first position it was nobility that spoke to her soul.

Three dolls, a bear and a bunny were the honored guests at her very last tea-party when she was six.

She doesn't miss Wayne anymore, after he left for Germany all those years ago, but sometimes at night she misses the comfort and completion of having someone curled up all around her.

Billy Thompson gave her a Tootsie Pop to see her underwear, and to this day she’s never told anyone it wasn’t enough.

The glass angel with the broken wing belonged to her mother; every year she buys a tree to give it a home.

It might be innocence hiding evil, or even hardness hiding pain, but something’s wrong beneath the surface of the man who wears it.

“This is my daughter (my mother/my wife),” the inmates tell her, and even now she wonders why that isn’t enough.

In college, out from under her father’s eye, she dated freely for up to months at a time, and it was that second boy (with the lips and hands, and eyes like weekend getaways) who led her to discover that good sex was like riding up above the stars.

When she was seven they went fishing for a weekend, and she's not sure which she remembers most: the quiet sparkling of the lake rocking underneath them, the nine-inch trout she finally caught, or the way she felt back then when she still mattered.

She hates the way his fat face gets so smug when his words become 'polite' and patronizing, the way he leans with false sincerity, and the implication that she chose this job because she was naive; they skirt this battle every week, but last Tuesday Bellick drove her to hit the vending machine before 10 a.m.

His eyes are unfocused and blood is pouring out of the wound in his neck (oh god, how did it happen?), but she wills her determination into him as they rush off to the helicopter-- because in this moment hangs the balance and he is not dead just yet.

"Mama, what's your favorite flower?" she asked once, and "You are," her mother replied, and Sara remembers that as she holds this rose that is so soft and gentle and soothing, so perfectly everything like the mother she lost too soon.

"You’ll love it," and he was right: the feeling of soaring up into the air over everything that was real, as they lifted higher and higher until they became the wind-- it was the most stunning and romantic date she'd ever had.

"Can I have a cookie?" she'd ask (and three was what she meant), and her mother's smile was all indulgence those many times, as though she lived to tell her "Yes."

Near the end they were always at her bedside, and no-one dared to leave her alone; but nothing could have prepared Sara for the price of gazing out the window as her mother escaped while she wasn’t looking-- her soul already flown and the whole room empty… all in the time it took to turn around.

There are always those who work for the money or for the fame their position can bring; in her interview with Warden Pope, she finds he shares her purpose-- shares the need to make the world better through what they do.

Coup de foudre (Unforseen event)
She will never see it coming, but when Michael's escape plan takes effect she'll understand everything in one blinding, unforgiving instant.

She rented "Silence of the Lambs" once on video, her body backing up the sofa during the worst parts, and after an endlessly twisting, sleepless night of prison cells and gray bodies and the hissing cadence of Clarice, she gave up trying and called in sick the following morning.

She was with her best friend at the Lake, lazing on the shorefront on a hot summer day, and he was cute (really cute) and funny and interested, and after they'd talked all day he'd kissed her once all sharp and sweet, leaving her breathless and dancing inside and thinking that it was just like everyone had ever said.

Walking across the stage toward the podium, decked in her gown and tasseled hat and reaching for her Medical School diploma, she realized she had done it-- all by herself-- and had done it well.

When she was little, she went into the noisy room where her father and a bunch of other men were talking and laughing, and through the haze thrown out by cigarettes and cigars she heard her father's voice floating over to her: "What are you doing here, Sara? You know better," and she knew right then that she would never be important enough for him.

It climbs out of a planter and twines up and around the wrought-iron edges of her balcony; coaxed for years into its lush green glory, the ivy surrounds her on those evenings and weekends when she brings a book and a glass of wine out into the good weather to relax and feel at peace in her own bounded jungle.

Her best friend Wendy says "You'll find somebody" like it's Truth, because someone as pretty and kind as Sara cannot go unnoticed if the universe is just.

Are two people enough to make a family when one of them stops really caring and then the other one gives up trying?

"I didn't raise you to minister to scum!" he shouted, and it was the final proof that he would never understand her.

"Oh Mama-- it's so beautiful!" she cried, as the silvery blue wings floated up and down against the yellow honeysuckle cascading across the sunny corner of the garden.

A few dresses, some photographs, and childhood birthday cards with her delicate script are all she has of her mother now-- the woman who bore her and loved her and (she often tells herself) would have been proud of her.

With the first day she walked through those doors-- dark, foreboding and carved with an artistry that belied their location-- she felt the shedding of who she was expected to be for the person she actually wanted to become.

She’d left dinner at her father’s with a stomach-ache that night: “By the time it gets to that, they’ve got to be guilty of something—granting clemency is for suckers and the faint of heart!”

“Be the change you want to see,” and the more she says it the more she’s convinced that her choice makes a difference.

--------FIN --------

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