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16 March 2006 @ 09:44 pm
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.

x-x-x-x-x

Grieve
“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.

Linger
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.

Mirror
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.

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

Forest
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.

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

Bribe
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.”

Touch
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.

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

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

Fresh
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.

Rope
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.

Speak
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.

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

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

Perfect
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.

Fate
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.

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

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

Crossroads
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.

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

Spoon
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.

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

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

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

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

Illuminance
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.

Memory
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.

Chocolate
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.

Pulse
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.

Rose
"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.

Balloon
"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.

Appetite
"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."

Vapor
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.

Need
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.

Moth
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.

Summer
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.

Shine
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.

Smoke
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.

Vine
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.

Belief
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.

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

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

Butterfly
"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.

Remain
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.

Archway
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.

Cold
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!”

Refrain
“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 --------
 
 
 
aspensnowaspensnow on March 17th, 2006 07:02 am (UTC)
Ohhh I loved these.

I really like that you didn't focus a lot of these on her relationship/non-realtionship with Michael. I like seeing who she is other than a part of his plan.

I loved Speak for its indifference, Summer for its undeniable nostalgia, and Belief for its sweet sadness.

Great job!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on March 17th, 2006 07:28 am (UTC)
I really like that you didn't focus a lot of these on her relationship/non-realtionship with Michael. I like seeing who she is other than a part of his plan.

I really can't, because I'm an ANTI-shipper. But I like Sara as a person (and all of her huge potential) apart from the fangirl thing the writers are doing to her.

So I threatened to make her real beyond the dreams or dread of Fox TV writers, and here... I think she really came to life.

So glad you liked these. There is so much variety to be had with these prompts, and some were sure easier than others.
BEWARE OF JENMAR.: PB - Animals - Riotersclex_monkie89 on March 17th, 2006 07:05 am (UTC)
I love this and it's not fair because I'm not supposed to like Sara but you make me like her.

FOr some reason "Rope" sticks with me most from this one. I think it's because it seems like a near-death experience that actually has nothing to do with the prison at all.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 17th, 2006 07:33 am (UTC)
I love this and it's not fair because I'm not supposed to like Sara but you make me like her.

But I told you I would! Sara, all by herself, is great. fangirl!Sara who exists only to fawn over Michael and be a plot accessory for him is a travesting of television writing that must be overcome.

thelana thought I was desperate or kidding when I went for 'Sara' on the challenge, but no. I want to make her who she should be, not who the writing has boxed her in to be lately.

"Rope" was one of the last to be written, because I was waiting for inspiration on what the heck to do with that one. The result turned out pretty well, I think.

I like some of the more emotional ones, like "Grieve" and "Mirror." "Linger" was the first one to be written (would have been "Honey" if I'd picked a different prompt table). I also think "Summer" turned out well, and "Moth", and I cannot help myself for liking "Chocolate" because everyone hates Bellick. ;)
(no subject) - clex_monkie89 on March 17th, 2006 07:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on March 17th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - clex_monkie89 on March 17th, 2006 11:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelana on March 17th, 2006 09:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on March 17th, 2006 03:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelana on March 17th, 2006 03:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
The Good, The Bad and The Lana: happy sarathelana on March 17th, 2006 09:54 am (UTC)
"Can I have a cookie?" she'd ask (and three was what she meant),

Awww, so cute.

I love these. They are wonderful. I think my favorite one is Ornament for some reason.

Grin, it amuses me how the "Bellick wants Sara" fanon makes the rounds ;D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 17th, 2006 03:29 pm (UTC)
I love these. They are wonderful. I think my favorite one is Ornament for some reason.
"Ornament" is so short, but it says so much about her mother and her past and how much she misses her.

Grin, it amuses me how the "Bellick wants Sara" fanon makes the rounds ;D
It doesn't have to be that, necessarily. He wants to intimidate her and make her uncomfortable, and gets off on the power of sexual harassment. You know he's that type of jerk, after stomping on Michael's foot right after !toes! were brutally removed just days ago.
(no subject) - thelana on March 17th, 2006 03:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
alienmomalienmom on March 17th, 2006 11:45 am (UTC)
all of them were brilliant! i love how you purposly set out to make us all see sara for so much more.

the ones that really got ot me were: error, gloves, fate, and archway
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 17th, 2006 03:32 pm (UTC)
all of them were brilliant! i love how you purposly set out to make us all see sara for so much more.
And she is, and should be. Just with the choices she's made, and that uneasy relationship she has with her father and her missing mother, you know there is a whole wealth of substance behind her that is being ignored.

"Fate" and "Archway" are both about her strength as a person, and her ability to follow her convictions despite feeling threatened or intimidated. Her strength is one of the things I like about her (aside from the fangirl direction the writers sent her in during the last 3-4 episodes).

Love your username, BTW ;)
(no subject) - alienmom on March 17th, 2006 10:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
wentworth801 on March 17th, 2006 11:26 pm (UTC)
Absolutely LOVED this! Too many lines to mention but I really liked learning more about Sara.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 18th, 2006 01:07 am (UTC)
Absolutely LOVED this!

Thank you! It's mostly invented background for her, from the few hints the show has given us.

The inspiration for how she looks in "Perfect" pretty much comes from the photo that's in your icon, except I dressed her up moreso. :)
thenewradicalthenewradical on March 17th, 2006 11:50 pm (UTC)
Very interesting concept. I liked Coup de foudre (Unforseen event) and Tea, since I think they showed the best contrast between all the sentences.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 18th, 2006 01:09 am (UTC)
The 50-sentence thing is a great idea, although I probably would have been more comfortable with about 25-30 prompts. 50 is a lot!

And ordering them is part of the challenge, too-- so that they evolve nicely from one to the next, without too much jarring and without overtaxing the reader on any one theme.
liayso: Sara holding the flashlightliayso on March 19th, 2006 03:06 am (UTC)
Wow. I just love this! Each and every little sentence! Really, it's nice to have more back story on Sara's character and you provided a lot in each sentence. Wonderful job!

It looks like you're in the group of people that think Sara's mother is dead. (I think most people are.) Do you think you could possibly write a fic with Sara and her mother? Pretty please?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 19th, 2006 06:02 am (UTC)
Wow. I just love this! Each and every little sentence!
Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

It looks like you're in the group of people that think Sara's mother is dead. (I think most people are.)
Yes, I had to check with clex_monkie89 while writing this-- she keeps the factoids straight for us. I had the impression from the show that her mother is dead, and Clex says that Sara's mother is "gone" and the surrounding sadness of the discussion implies that she died rather than ran out on them. So I went with that interpretation, though we don't know for sure. I would hate to think of her being abandoned by her mother, and then left with her disinterested father to raise her. :( But she has so much strength of character (in my mind, not so much the show's :0) that I tend to think she was very thoroughly loved by her mother, and has the resilience to move beyond her father's shortcomings. She doesn't show the neuroses of a 'doubly-unloved' child, let us say. And some DO survive that, but it's rare.

Do you think you could possibly write a fic with Sara and her mother? Pretty please?
This is a lovely idea. I will put it in my private plotBunny file for Prison Break and see if something comes out. Thank you for the suggestion. :)
(no subject) - liayso on March 19th, 2006 02:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
dr. henry killinger: dean boobsliberateourtime on March 19th, 2006 03:32 am (UTC)
*wibble* Oh, I love these. Especially this one:

"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.

I'm not really much of a Sara fan, but these really made me want to give her a second look! Thank you for writing!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 19th, 2006 06:07 am (UTC)
Oh, I like that you loved the one that is essentially about cherishing in both directions. That her mother adored her, and that she knows how very much she lost.

I'm not really much of a Sara fan, but these really made me want to give her a second look! Thank you for writing!
I covered her in a shorter story months ago, "Why She Stays," because I see the seeds of who she ought to be on the show (given her background and the choices she made), and it is so much more interesting and strong than most of what we've seen of her recently. The woman who chose this position-- and stays in it-- and who was fierce and level-headed enough to be ready to protect herself during that riot is a strong and interesting person. Someone ought to write her that way, which is why I snapped her up for this challenge.

I'm sure you know how challenging writing all 50 of these are. I had to come back to it over several days, doing a few at a time. 50 is a LOT. I'm working on another 50 for 1sentence, where I claimed (!) Jensen/Jared RPS as a pairing. That is much more challenging for me, and Sara wasn't easy. ;)
Kimberleylampshade_days on March 22nd, 2006 02:25 am (UTC)
I don't know how I missed this. These are beautiful, and they flow so well in this order and fit together perfectly.

Rose
"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.


Awww. *sniffles*

Thank you for writing such a lovely fic about this fascinating character. ♥
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on March 22nd, 2006 03:27 am (UTC)
These are beautiful, and they flow so well in this order and fit together perfectly.
Oh, thank you :) The order and flow is one of the hardest things about this, when you have 50 separate things going on. How do you bring tension/release happy/thoughtful/angry/sad in a way that works for the reader, instead of just throwing them out in a bunch?

I thought the "Rose" one was rather bittersweet too.

So glad you enjoyed these, Kim. There is so much that COULD be done with Sara, and if the PB writers aren't going to do it then I will certainly rise to the challenge once in awhile. :)
Are we back to hos over bros?: Saralissa_bear on March 26th, 2006 05:24 pm (UTC)
I know I'm late, but I'm finally trying to go back and catch up on stuff that I've missed.

These are lovely. I particularly love the pain in the sentences about her relationship with her father.

I'm curious. How do you do these? Do you start from the beginning of the list and work your way down or do you pick and choose and do the ones that come easiest to you first?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 26th, 2006 06:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you-- glad you caught up with this one. :)

Her relationship with her father... I hit that one in my other Sara fic, too, "Why She Stays." Even in that one scene during the riot, you can just see that things are off between them. He doesn't appear to respect or understand who she is-- he loves her symbolism more than Sara herself. :(

Do you start from the beginning of the list and work your way down or do you pick and choose and do the ones that come easiest to you first?
I went with them in order of inspiration while writing them, and re-ordered the results as I went. They don't have to be in the order of the table-- just have to have all 50 together in the final community post (you can do them in chunks for other venus). And I've read at least one set where re-ordering them worked better.

For the J-squared one I did, I wrote most of them by inspiration too, except that "Potatoes" (the clunker in that really romantic set) was so awful as a prompt that I did it early to get it out of the way. Kind of like "Orange" in the fanfic100 table, which I made into "Paradise." That was partly because Orange? WTF? What am I going to do with that one? Many of the others I *cough* write the fic first and then marry it to a prompt. But not always-- sometimes it comes out of the prompt.
(no subject) - lissa_bear on March 26th, 2006 06:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
tyrical: AP_aJolietyrical on April 14th, 2006 03:30 am (UTC)
Sometimes I forget that the women characters are for more than window dressing. I loved how this showed Sara as a whole person. I the unforseen event is going to be so perfect when it really happens.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on April 16th, 2006 05:49 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I forget that the women characters are for more than window dressing.
They SHOULD be more. The show (up until that last "reveal") has not shown much background or possibility for the female characters. Or really-- much of ANY of the characters. We have glimpses of "is" but not much view of "was" or "why."

Wish canon was following more along these lines with Sara, rather than heading over the Sara/Michael cliff of fangirl fawning. :(