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Story Notes:
So this exceptionally resistant plot bunny has been in my head for a couple of months now and I couldn’t help but finally bring it down on virtual paper, or the bunny would bite me to death.

The thing is, what if Frank Tancredi did not die but lived? The spoilers are for the whole of seasons 1 and 2, everything up to Fin Del Camino, my plot demerges to a whole new thing from that point on. However, the plot of S1 and S2 stays in a way intact, stuff that happened to Michael, Sara, Lincoln, LJ as well as other characters stays, though of course, there have to be changes made for our new arrangements with the Governor still alive. There are things from the past that will be explained in due course, of course. Some, however, are kind of not explainable properly, so you will simply have to walk with me on this. :) Anyway, I hope you will enjoy this story. Let me know what you think.
Author's Chapter Notes:
The biggest thanks to ls_silence for the marvelous and most wonderful betta. :)
Chapter 1 – Family

“Come on! That’s unfair on so many levels!” Cried an outraged LJ in indignation when his uncle scored another hoop. “You are two adults, whereas I’ve got ‘old dodgy knees’ on my side while I am still…in development.”

“Don’t sink that low LJ! Yesterday, you were man enough to take a girl on a date in my new car and today you’re too little to play against your old uncle and his girl?” laughed Michael mockingly, giving a grinning Sara a high five while passing her underneath the hoop.

“Stop whining LJ. We are better than that duo; behaving like an old-married couple, who, by the way, only got lucky a couple of times!” Roared Lincoln taking the basketball and dribbling quickly, by-passing Sara and going straight for the hoop, if only not for…

“Hey! That was a foul, Mike! Stop playing dirty and return the ball this instant!” Shouted Lincoln, massaging his sore knee. Michael only smiled shamelessly.

“I didn’t see any foul. Did you, Sara?” Sara merely shook her head. “I’ve got no idea what he is talking about, but apparently he’s a bad looser.” She quipped.

“Good girl.” Uttered Michael under his breath, kissing Sara lightly on his way to the outer semicircle.

“Hey, I want a change of teammates!” Complained LJ all of a sudden. “Dad and his stupid old knees are no good to me, I want Sara on my team!” he finished, hands on his hips stubbornly.

“And you call yourself my son?” Cried Lincoln in mock shock and hurt. “My own flesh and blood, selling me out like that?”

“Face the facts dad, you’ve been asking for trouble since this match started. You got old and rusty and…” before LJ had the chance to finish, however, he broke into a run, his father right at his heel. “Uncle Mike, he’s trying to hurt me!” LJ cried circling around Michael, then Sara; and then over the whole playfield, Lincoln still at his heels.

“You’ve got yourself into this one, I surely won’t help you out!” Shouted Michael; redirecting his focus on the person standing next to him, grinning with sparkling eyes. A rush of blood moved down passed his stomach and Michael knew it had nothing to do with the game, nor the warm early spring sunshine.

Lincoln and LJ were still chasing each other around the field, LJ’s loud shouts for mercy slowly dying away in the rustle of far away trees. It were moments like these when Michael wondered once again if this was actually true and he wasn’t dreaming. If they were really here, playing in a non descript park like a normal, regular family, everybody that mattered to him, here whole, unharmed and happy.

As if she noticed the sudden change of mood, her features changed as well, softened and maybe even grew a bit more solemn. They were staring at each other now, slowly drawing nearer, inch by inch, as if nothing in this world could rush them anymore. Finally, their lips met in a slow, delicate kiss that, however slow at the start, grew in it’s urgency as Michael’s impatient fingers quickly found her hips, moving her closer against him, and god knew she didn’t resist him. Just the opposite as she stepped even closer into his touch, bringing her hands to his head and neck, one hand enjoying the short but growning hair of his, the other caressing the slight stubble on his jaw. She broke the kiss with a smile, murmuring a silent: “I think somebody is in a desperate need for a haircut Mr. Scofield.” Michael only smiled back.

“Are you sure?” He pretended to argue; and ran his own hand through his hair for good measure. But the smile and twinkle in his eye gave him away. “But then again you’re doctor, doctor.”

“I think we may be able to reach an agreement.” Sara said, kissing him anew. “It’s not like I haven’t cut that impossible hair of yours before.”

“Hey!” Michael scowled in offense, though his hands were, in the meanwhile, back wandering down her hips, finding what they were looking for; the gap between her sweatpants and shirt, his long fingers caressing the soft sweaty skin beneath. Michael merely grinned as a soft gasp escaped her lips. He still couldn’t quite believe such a simple caress of his could have such a deep impact on her. He was a lucky guy, he supposed.

Their private moment was suddenly interrupted however; as father and son returned crashing back, both panting hard, LJ seeking refuge behind the intertwined couple, Lincoln strategically posting himself just on the opposite side. He was eyeing his son dangerously for a couple more moments, then something in his look broke and he straightened, waving his hand in dismissal.

“Damn, have it your way then you little unthankful punk! Sooner or later, you will come begging for dinner.” At his words, LJ made a small happy dance, then directed his focus on Michael.

“So can I have Sara, now?” He gave a cheeky grin. “No.” Michael replied and mockingly returned a cheeky grin, causing LJ to frown.

“Why not?” He asked indignantly, scowling at his uncle. “Because she is mine.” Said Michael, matter of factly, which earned him a loud smack on his arm.

“I am nobody’s.” Sara said half-seriously, though a smile threatened to escape her lips. Then she turned to LJ. “But you have to understand LJ, I’ve got to look after my interests, and right now, with this little charade of yours, you’ve spent a lot of energy you could have used playing, whereas your uncle here,” she unnecessarily pointed at Michael, “used the spare time more strategically; saving his energy for later.”

“Yeah, snogging you!” pouted LJ darkly, causing Lincoln to laugh loudly.

“So to bring some truce in here, can I have Sara on my team? My son kind of sucks lately.” Lincoln said loudly, causing LJ to sulk some more.

“Sorry Lincoln, but can you remind me what I told you about borrowing stuff from me? Oh right, It’s a no-no! So the answer would be ‘no, you definitely CAN’T have Sara on your team’.” Michael finished with a smug expression that caused Sara to roll her eyes.

“You know what, Linc? I think I could kind of use a break from your brother, so yeah, we can play together. It’s not like we were much appreciated as team players either way.” Sara said a bit coldly, crossing her way to join Lincoln’s side.

“Oh but you are deeply appreciated on this team, doctor.” Michael said in a seductive voice, all too late realizing that such kind of statements in front of his brother or nephew still caused Sara to feel a bit uncomfortable. He cursed himself inwardly as he saw a deep red colouring creep onto Sara’s cheeks, but then again; he simply smiled at that lovely sight. It felt almost impossible she still behaved that shy in front of anybody but the two of them. Michael decided it was time for a sudden change. Before anybody had the time to react, he crossed the distance between himself and Sara, seizing her up by her waist and lifting her over his shoulder, taking everybody by surprise. She had time only to give a little squeal before Michael turned to face his brother and nephew, Sara still over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

“If you want her, you have to get through me first!” he exclaimed in what was supposed to be a playful nonchalant grin but failed miserably due to his inability to hold Sara properly as she was squirming in his grip; fighting to free herself.

“Michael, drop me this instant!” She commanded helplessly, as his grip tightened around her legs, hearing Lincoln and LJ roar with laughter.

“You honestly want me to drop you?” Asked Michael in pretense shock, trying not to give in as Sara used another tactic, running her fingers all over his back, now dangerously close to his buttocks.

“No no! No dropping! A gentle put-me-down will do. I know you are no gentleman, Michael.” She said, not noticing the quick change of atmosphere that occurred all of a sudden. Michael’s whole body stiffened, LJ’s and Lincoln’s laughter dying at once.

“Michael, put me down or I swear to god, I’ll pull down your pants!” Sara gave a last, desperate threat and to her surprise, Michael obliged, lowering her slowly and carefully until her feet touched the ground again. Standing safely on her feet again with her hands tightly pressed against his chest, Sara only then looked up into Michael’s face, ready to tell him off. What she saw, however, took her by surprise, for only then did she see a partly shocked expression on Michael’s face, his eyes looking over her, fixed upon something behind her. She followed his gaze turning around, only to feel her own world shift at the sight of the person standing right in front of them.

There, just mere feet away stood Frank Tancredi, her father. They were staring at each other for a moment, the look on Frank’s face clearly showing signs of disapproval at Sara’s present company. She couldn’t care less.

“Hello, Sara.” He said, ignoring her other company.

With her arms still on Michael’s chest, Sara could blurt out only one sentence in pure shock: “What do you want here?”

She couldn’t keep the anger out of her voice and Michael realized painfully, how quickly her mood changed from cheery to icy cold. It hurt because he knew that the icy cold was only a pretense of still a girl, who inwardly crumpled into pieces for the lack of her father’s appreciation.

“I want to talk.” Frank said, obviously keeping his voice as neutral as possible.

“You are almost a year late.” She said coolly without as much as blinking.

“Sara…” Michael started, but she silenced him with a single non-negotiable look.

“I admit I might have made some mistakes in the past…” Started Frank, although his tone was far from asking forgiveness, Michael noticed at once.

“Some mistakes?!” Sara turned as though stung by a jellyfish, her eyes now burning with open rage. “You let me go to prison without as much as blinking, for Christ sake!” She spat angrily, her eyes blazing. Michael tried to reach out to her, but she pulled away from him. Lincoln and LJ wished that they could disappear into thin air than witness this.

“I’ll go get the car.” Lincoln muttered and without another word made his way to the nearby parking lot with LJ quickly following behind.

“What? You expected me to get you out of that one, too?!” Asked Frank indignantly, his own temper quickly raising to match Sara’s.

“No dad…” Sara shook her head sadly, giving a lifeless smile. “…I only expected you to come to court and sit with me during the trial. Show me some support, some comfort, maybe even respect since you were the only parent I’ve got left. I guess I overestimated you on that, too.”

“Respect? Respect for what? For ruining my reputation; my career; my VP nomination; or for causing me to be the laugh of half the congress for weeks?”

“I am sorry, I forgot I’ve always been only no.2 on your list of priorities.” Sara pointed out angrily, but Michael caught the light tremor in her voice.

“You know that’s not true.” Said Frank and for a glint of a second, Michael could see a trace of honesty in the older man’s words. “But I simply can’t be responsible for you for the rest of your life.”

“I never asked you to be!”

“You don’t need to ask, it’s enough to look at your rap sheet. Or the people you keep company with lately.”

There was a moment of silence, father and daughter seizing one another carefully. Then, something inside of Sara broke.

“I don’t need to listen to this anymore.” She said quietly and with that turned on the spot walking away toward the parking lot where LJ and Lincoln were already waiting in a started car. Michael only stood there helplessly. It’s been almost a year since Sara had spoken to her father and no matter what she said or did, he knew it pressed heavily on her. Michael had hoped the first encounter between Sara and her father would lead them to sorting out of some past issues, and not end in this bitter anger. He knew how complicated Sara’s relationship with her father had been even before they’ve met. But Michael also knew he and his brother were partially responsible for the final road their relationship had been driven down.

Frank was eyeing him scornfully, but it didn’t bother Michael the least. He knew he did very little; if anything to earn this man’s trust. Michael didn’t know what to do nor say to this man, but Sara’s father finally liberated him of that task, when he finally spat an angry: “Tell her we are not finished yet.”, before he turned and stormed out of the pitch, leaving a confused Michael behind. Not finished yet meant there would be more encounters. Whether of good or bad nature; that was the crucial question here.

Chapter End Notes:
AN – Ok, so this plot bunny has been in my head for months now and I couldn’t help but get this first chapter out of my system, but I have to warn you, this story seems to be a rather long one and since I have another story going on right now, the time to write will be even shorter. Also, I have to warn you, since I tend to be a fair person – I am kind of a jerk at finishing stories and therefore, there is the possibility this story will never be finished.

However, as for now, I am fully confident to continue with this, since there are so many fascinating aspects of Sara and Franks broken relationship I somehow hope to mend in ways…but that’s a long way to go. Are you ready for the ride?