There’s a woman, someone I care about. She’s in a lot of trouble and I have to help her. And you’re going to find out some really bad things about me. But, Kristine, whatever I’ve done, whatever happens, I want you to know that I tried to make it right…I tried to be the brother you remember.
I love you.
He kills the call, relieved that he got her voicemail.
There’s a woman.
There’s always a woman.
~ * ~ * ~
She watches him as he sits beside Bruce Bennet in the public gallery. There’s something of the cocky, arrogant air of the man who abducted her at gunpoint outside the motel in Gila.
“Sara,” Kellerman greets, smiling pleasantly, his tone almost flirtatious. “You’re staring.”
“I…” Her mouth moves, silently, and she looks away, to break the spell of him, to hide her surprise.
He’d be lying if he said a part of him doesn’t enjoy her reaction. It’s something to catch Sara Tancredi off her guard. “You thought I'd be a no-show.” His eyes, framed by soft dark lashes, are gently accusing.
“If I was facing life in prison, I might have stayed away.”
“No, you wouldn’t.” His certainty scares her. It’s like he knows her better than she knows herself.
“Why are you doing this?”
He has a blue-eyed all-American speech prepared for the jury; something about country, loyalty, the honor of falling on one’s sword. It’s all bullshit. It’s all a lot more self-serving than that. He’s doing this for Sara. Because of his feelings for her.
And it could be Caroline Reynolds all over again. Except that the woman he’s testifying for today has shown him more empathy and compassion in the last fifteen days than Caroline showed him in the last fifteen fucking years.
“This was always going to end badly for me, Sara.” On the business end of a bullet–a hail of them. He shrugs into the tailored suit with fatalistic acceptance. At least, this way, he gets to be her knight, her wildcard hero. “Not for you.”
Her mind reels with the implications of what he’s doing here, today. He’s going to out the Company and their evil conspiracy. Lincoln will be exonerated. And Michael. She can’t think about Michael right now.
“If they take you into custody...when you’re arraigned, Bruce–” She catches his eye– “can arrange for your bail.”
“I think we both know that’s not gonna happen. Not when every skeleton in my closet has a bullet hole in the back of the head. Anyway, I don’t want you to worry about that.”
She nods: fine, whatever. Kellerman likes how she keeps her cool, that lovely wide-eyed poker face. But he’s been trained to read the micro-expressions that give her away. “About what happened on the train…”
Sara is conscious of the carpented bar between them, of Bruce, of her defense counsel. Yet no space is suddenly more intimate–more insulated from the rest of the courtroom–than the space between her and Kellerman. Like the narrow, cramped corridor after the stolen looks in the train car; trapped with Not-Lance, not Michael. Not trapped at all. She could’ve gotten away, kneed him in the groin, headbutted him in the nose (the one Terrence Steadman broke, the one she set and iced). But she didn’t. What does that mean? What was that? A momentary weakness? Some delayed symptom of PTSD or Stockholm syndrome? “Paul–”
“I have no regrets. None.”
Then the bailiff is calling the judge and they’re rising in a cacophony of rustling suits, skirts and murmurs.
She realizes that she’s not sorry either. The guilt she feels over Michael is even a little comforting.
~ * ~ * ~
His testimony sets her free and the peace officers take him into custody. As he’s ushered past her, Kellerman smiles, unapologetic for what he’s about to say; like a man with nothing left to lose.
“I love you, Sara. I hope you find your happiness.”
She watches the back of him disappear through the DO NOT EXIT door.
It’s the last time Sara sees him.
Until the next time.