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17 November 2005 @ 01:23 pm
PrisonBreak Fanfiction: Why She Stays  
Author: HalfshellVenus
Category: Sara (Genfic)
Rating: PG
Archive: Ask first
Feedback: I live for it

Disclaimer: Prison Break and its intriguing characters belong to Fox and no-one else.

Author’s Note: Never thought I’d be writing a Sara fic. I’m shocked! But she needs better understanding than PB is giving her right now. This is for the lovely Thelana.

x-x-x-x-x

On her worst days, Sara wonders why she is still working at Fox River Prison.

Her job runs to extremes. For the most part, it consists of mundane maintenance care on a few regular patients. Yet almost daily, she finds herself running combat-level triage on an inmate who got on someone’s bad side, even for just the few seconds it took to inflict a significant injury.

She has given more tetanus shots than anyone outside of Doctors Without Borders, she is sure, because the weapons here are crude and filthy and hacked up out of pieces of old plastic, wood and metal.

A certain level of wariness and distrust is required to survive in here, to keep from getting suckered into the charms and scheming that most convicts work like an innate gift. She wonders sometimes if she has spoiled herself forever by being here, by relying too much on cynicism and watchfulness. But then she remembers the father who loves her so shallowly, who adores the idea of her but never takes the time or care she needs to feel noticed. Perhaps, when she came here, it was already too late to be someone else.

She thinks about getting a kitten sometimes, to fill the empty space in her apartment and her heart. Something to love without reservation, and something that would give love in return. Still, she knows what it’s like to wait for happiness to arrive, and she thinks of that kitten home alone all day living for her return. She can’t bring herself to be that selfish.

But on a rare day, when she treats someone who is incarcerated despite their better nature, her choices are not in question. Sometimes it is Westmoreland, always the gentleman and with his crime so far behind him, or Michael, with his soft voice and coaxing manner and his mysterious lack of priors. She thinks of Warden Pope, of his ideals, of the good he tries to do through his policies and example. And she finds hope in the idea that the two of them are working to improve the world, from this darkest of origins, through the art of persuasion and respect. On those days, she understands why it is important for someone, anyone, to try to do what she does.

Even here, kindness matters. And she still has enough of that to go around.

 
 
 
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on November 17th, 2005 09:38 pm (UTC)
Omg, I inspired a Sara fic, where did I go wrong?

LOL, just kidding, this was very lovely. Wheee, kittens. Now I'll always imagine the mental image of Sara with a kitten. Too bad she never got any scenes with Marilyn.

Darn, why can't we get some Sara/Warden interaction. They could talk about their moral POVs, prison funding and Sara needs a warmer father figure anyway.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 17th, 2005 09:43 pm (UTC)
You read this in mere seconds, it seems. You must have superpowers of your own!

It was a two-part inspiration. First, a discussion you had with Jules1013 about non-shippers writing M/S. I don't want to write M/S. But, I can certainly write them separately. I don't have to dislike Sara-- I have powers of creativity. I can remold her into someone inspiring instead of insipid!

And second... weeks ago, you reminded me that I have a "Who", "What" and "Where" fic. Now I've added a "Why". I just have When to go. Someday...
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 17th, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC)
and Sara needs a warmer father figure anyway.

Cr*p. I meant to include that as part of the fic, but I was typing it out at work trying to set a landspeed record.

May update it later :-)
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on November 17th, 2005 09:56 pm (UTC)
weeks ago, you reminded me that I have a "Who", "What" and "Where" fic. Now I've added a "Why". I just have When to go.

I know! It's so neat. I know it's girly, but I love having such themes with the titles.

You read this in mere seconds, it seems. You must have superpowers of your own!

Always been a quick reader. :D

february song: PB | Sara | Believepsychme on November 17th, 2005 11:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, this was beautifully done. I love the Sara that you revealed here. I especially adore this line:

But then she remembers the father who loves her so shallowly, who adores the idea of her but never takes the time or care she needs to feel noticed.

Thank you.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 18th, 2005 03:49 am (UTC)
You're welcome! I thought she needed some filling out, after these last two episodes. She's stopped being a person and become a Waiting Female Archetype. Bleh.

At the end of The Riot, you see that her father is as sincere as he can be, and very concerned, but it still isn't enough. Occasional interest just can't replace truly caring.
aspensnowaspensnow on November 18th, 2005 06:52 am (UTC)
Ohhhh I LOVED this. Seriously, Sara is starting to bore me on the show a little (ok maybe a lot) and I love the complexity you infused into her character here. And I think that despite her claims of being a realist, she still wants to, perhaps naively, make a difference and she still is just a woman who wants some kind of love.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 18th, 2005 07:02 am (UTC)
Thanks for the comments!

I really hated her in that last episode ("I'm not a jealous woman, Michael"), because she has no basis to be having that kind of conversation with him. Plus, it is out of character for how guarded she is.

I wanted to bring more to who she should be, and to delve into what it's like to live with her choice... and whether she still thinks it's the right one.

I tell you, if the show ever remotely hints that she's working at Fox River just to get a rise out of her Dad... I will plotz. There had better be more to her than that.
It's funnier in Enochian: PrisonBreak_MichaelFencemona1347 on November 18th, 2005 06:18 pm (UTC)
the father who loves her so shallowly, who adores the idea of her but never takes the time or care she needs to feel noticed.

What a keen insight into Sara's character made up from just the tiny flashes we've gotten of her relationship with her father. Well done!
Elizabeth @ LiveJournalelizabethb on December 8th, 2005 09:05 pm (UTC)
Yes, well done!
she said mysteriously: kitty playresounding_echo on December 27th, 2005 04:01 pm (UTC)
I've got a kitten for Sara
::gasp:: I cannot believe it, a Sara fic from our dear slash-fiendish halfshellvenus! You know, I really liked this. A lot. Sara's great, when kept from swooning at the advances of our Pretty. I doubt it, but any chance of you writing her again? ::big eyes::

I loved the progression of this fic, and the natural transition of tone. Sara's interesting because she can at times be wholly cynical, but at her core, she's not. She wouldn't be here if she was.

She wonders sometimes if she has spoiled herself forever by being here, by relying too much on cynicism and watchfulness. But then she remembers the father who loves her so shallowly, who adores the idea of her but never takes the time or care she needs to feel noticed. Perhaps, when she came here, it was already too late to be someone else.

I just fell in love with this passage. Especially the line about her father. Wonderful insight and sentence construction. It just got me.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on December 31st, 2005 07:34 pm (UTC)
Re: I've got a kitten for Sara
Thank you so much!

When you read this, you can see why I felt compelled to write it. There is a deeper purpose, a drive, that has to be pushing her to keep the job she has. Because it is such an awful, depressing place, with the worst in human nature thrown in her face every day. This fic answers those questions of why, of who she is deep down.

The line, Perhaps, when she came here, it was already too late to be someone else. shows how her father has so strongly already affected who she is-- what damage his lack of deeper love has already caused.

doubt it, but any chance of you writing her again? ::big eyes::

Heh. Never say never. I didn't think I would write her the first time, so there's always the possibility of more. Just saying. No promises :-)
Kimberleylampshade_days on March 22nd, 2006 02:48 am (UTC)
*applauds* This is a wonderful, insightful little fic. I don't know that even the PB writers could do a better job of getting into Sara's head than you have here. Love what you've done with her and her side of the story. :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on March 22nd, 2006 03:32 am (UTC)
This was my first Sara fic (back in November), and these were the important parts of her that really stuck out to me. Wish the PB writers would take their own damn background that they invented for her, and run with it, instead of... you know. :(

Love what you've done with her and her side of the story. :)
Thank you very much! I love her potential... but on the show, not how it has been realized. Yet? (I hope?). :D
tyrical: AP_aJolietyrical on April 14th, 2006 03:23 am (UTC)
Whoa! I really like this. Especially based on the idea of not knowing her past. That this something that geniune and true that shines from her.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on April 16th, 2006 05:46 pm (UTC)
Especially based on the idea of not knowing her past.
The little of her past we now know was a real shocker. But part of it is hinted at but not confirmed. The estrangement with her father was clear just from the one scene during the riot-- the way they spoke about each other, to other people.

That this something that geniune and true that shines from her.
This was my earliest guess (before canon sideswiped me): that part of why she doesn't get along with her father isn't rebellion-- it's a completely different value set. Hers is more genuine and altruistic than his, and they must (and do, even now) butt heads about it constantly.

Canon shows us that to some degree, she IS rebelling in fact-- against her own mistakes.