Blue is the first thing that she thinks, when she looks up at him that first time and catches the measured playfulness in his eyes, that paradoxical in between of control and seduction that she’s come to think perfectly represents Michael’s game.
Browsing through his file, in the infirmary, while he quotes Gandhi at her and charms her without trying – or so she thinks – blue is all that she can think of, the drowning depth of his gaze, the skillful design of a wailing angel peaking out of his sleeve.
It has a rather unapproachable touch to it, the presence Michael owns. Saying seemingly casual things, as if they were both on equal grounds, and they’re not. Not because he is an inmate and she is the prison doctor, or anything so obvious. There is just something beneath his charisma and singular magnetism that makes her think that he knows things she doesn’t. That there is simply a dimension to their flirt and conversation that she is not seeing.
“Cute,” Katie comments on her way in, after Michael has stepped out, and it is not the first adjective that Sara would have come up with to describe him.
“Prisoner,” she says instead of searching for a better one. Because, she tells herself, in the end, it is the only one that matters.
What is blue, also, is the prison uniform which constantly reminds her that there is a line, between her innocent, slightly flirtatious behavior and outright loss of control, one that she cannot cross.
Focusing on the small square of tattooed flesh that the needle goes in every morning provides sufficient distraction from unprofessional thoughts, most days, and she’s gotten used to losing herself in the fragment of blue ink that covers his forearm, the biblical scene reenacted, yet no matter how many times she studies the lines, an irksome something in her head tells her she is missing the big picture.
It’s just like it is with the way that he acts around her, charms her, really.
There is a secret dimension that she is missing, something cold and out of reach.
He always gives her such handsome smiles when she tells him goodbye and I’ll see you tomorrow, and she wishes he would be exactly what he appears to be and nothing more than that. She wishes that the only thing up Michael Scofield’s sleeve were truly a tattooed angel in blue ink.
There is something conflicting about him that she decides to think of as a radical opposition between fire and ice. Offering his hand through a cloud of steam to save her from a riot, the origami rose he leaves on her desk and the way he looks at her sometimes, as if being here with her, in the closed atmosphere locked between those infirmary walls, were the only thing he truly wanted – those are warm, intoxicating, intense enough that Sara is at loss for words to describe them.
Finding out that he has a wife, out of the blue, watching him shut her out with calculated coldness, when she asks the wrong questions, and how his eyes become unreadable, void of emotion, these are the coldest things Sara has ever experienced; it’s nothing that a loveless childhood and a disinterested father can compete with.
Michael Scofield is ungraspable, inexplicable. He is, on the surface, everything Sara wants for uncomplicated reasons, a man who knows her secrets without requiring her confession, who shares her values on life and who expresses them with wit, charm and elegance. At core, your guess is as good as hers – intricate lies layered one on top of the other, much like the ink on his body that she stares at, every day, when she administers his insulin.
There’s a blue angel on his forearm that she knows is more than meets the eye.
You cannot love a man that will not let you know him. The frustration that comes with his refusals to let her in strip her of her sleep and of the peace of mind she somehow managed to restore, after those excruciating months in rehab and the vacant pointlessness that followed.
Sara cannot love Michael Scofield, and his secrets are only one reason. There are answers, he told her. Not loving him is a thought that she does not even think consciously; it is trapped somewhere in that box Sara saves for denial – huge proportions, room for things you couldn’t imagine – until she leans in to give him his shot, one morning, and Michael takes advantage of the fact that her attention is riveted on his arm to steal a kiss.
Something immediate happens, pops out of Sara’s denial box, heated desire and blind attraction that make her kiss him back. For the first time in what she realizes is three years, arousal wakes up inside of her, sharp and aware, prompted by the wetness of Michael’s mouth and the touch of his hand down the nape of her neck.
Then, she does not know when it began or how, but she knows it at once. It hits her, not as something new, but something she’s always known, that she’s been carrying for weeks, somehow without seeing it.
You cannot love a man that you don’t know, but Sara does. Reason has utterly nothing to do with it. Anything could lie beneath that surface she is drawn to, those angel looks could be a mask for the most terrible depths, but somehow, with something other than logic, she knows that isn’t true.
The depths of Michael Scofield, which she is yet to discover, are what draw her most, what speak to her beyond sense, so that she almost believes there is something at the core of who Michael is that is made of the same material as hers.
And when he draws back and asks her to wait for him, Sara thinks that she was waiting, before she even knew him.
But then, she realizes soon enough, he has no intention of waiting for her.
The bluest of all things is how she breaks down, in her car, the night of the escape. It is as if the rational and careful woman she used to be before any of this still exists, past her breaking the law and having feelings for an inmate, and she tries to convince herself that those tears are not for Michael Scofield.
As the sobs hit her in waves, Sara thinks of every screwed-up thing in her life that can take the blame for it. Quitting morphine and how it felt like a sacrifice rather than salvation, thinking that she would never be happy again as she had been, with the drug coursing through her veins, a key opening every locked door in the world to discover dreams and bliss.
Sara wants to believe she is crying for her lost, drug-induced happiness, rather than for a man she has only known for weeks, a man she will never see again.
In rehab, they tell you that what you felt when you were on drugs wasn’t real, and you would look back on it like a very remote dream you had ages ago. Somehow, Sara had never seemed able to convince herself that her numb happiness had been an illusion. Just because something is a lie and surely can’t last forever, who is to say whether it is real or isn’t?
Michael only turned out to be the most alluring lie she’s ever wanted to believe, and Sara thinks she cannot go on living to find out everything she falls in love with is just a handful of fairy dust, a ridiculous trick.
When she digs a needle in her arm that night, for the first time in years, she is still half-convinced that it’s a way to choose a lesser grief. It feels like going back to an old friend rather than succumbing to a new addiction. A small mercy.
But when she closes her eyes, numb with pleasure and pain, right after she’s had time to think this is it, half a dozen times at least, blue is all that Sara sees.
That blue gaze. His convict’s uniform. The tattooed angel.
“Damned Michael Scofield,” she sighs, and goes to sleep.
It gets a little bit worse before it gets better, but by the time that happens, blue means all kinds of different things.
Blue is the color of the sheets she sleeps in, in that small boat cabin she and Michael get to call home for a few weeks. It’s in those sheets that she discovers the full extent of his tattooed body, that he discovers hers with unsurprising thoroughness – she had to have known that he would be the kind to put her pleasure first, to learn her likes and dislikes with ridiculous care that she ought to chide but doesn’t.
There are those two parallel lines that appear on the tiny screen of the BlueClear test she found in the bathroom closet of an old friend, and Sara thinks, right at that moment, that it’s ironical that that color in particular should announce her pregnancy.
One evening, when their child is grown and they have Lincoln over for dinner, Sara stands idly in front of their house, hands locked around the balustrade, staring at the beach and the ocean that rides the horizon, and she thinks that this immensity of blue is perhaps the best representation of their happy ending.
“Taking some air?” Michael joins her, at some point, looking effortlessly charming and a little bit cocky, and she thinks that she has just fallen in love with him, all over again. It’s so easy that it crosses her mind that she might have actually loved him, right from the beginning – that Gandhi quote and the handsome grin, that might have actually done her in.
“Mind if I join you?”
“Not in the least.”
He wraps his hands around hers and holds her, front to back, his cheek pressed against her forehead so he can join her in her contemplation.
“I don’t think that I’ll ever be used to it.” She admits.
“All this peace and quiet. Being here, with you, being happy. Knowing for sure that I’m not going to lose you, every time you leave my sight –”
“It’s been years.”
“I know. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. It just never got around to feeling normal, really.”
He doesn’t say anything, but in the way that he kisses the top of her head and breathes in the smell of her, she knows he agrees.
“You can go back to the house,” she says softly, “help Linc with the cooking. I’ll meet you in a second.”
And as he turns dutifully around and disappears into the house, Sara thinks of everything they’ve been through and how far they’ve come to be here. It’s been so hard at times, she still remembers the fear growing deep in her stomach, when trouble hit, and thinking that they were never going to get through this, that they would never stop running.
The sea ahead of her is unbelievably quiet, still as a picture.
Faith was worth having, she thinks to herself, and heads inside to join her family.