Alex couldn’t remember the last time he had actually felt like a man.
Even less he remembered the last time he had felt like a human being.
When he had seen Michael for the first time after weeks, he remembered he had felt good like never before.
It had been a pleasant feeling, he had loved his hug, loved the spontaneity of his smile when he had seen him.
It had lasted less than a second before his mind had reminded him why he was there.
He was tired of playing that role.
When Sullins had called for him he had made him believe that…
He wouldn’t have done it under normal circumstances, and he knew perfectly that what had brought him to contact Michael went far beyond the promise of having his badge back.
At the end of the games Alex had signed for his freedom, and had found himself alone, with nothing in his hands that could help him start his life back.
And now there was this, and there was Michael trying to help Sara escaping from a prison where she would’ve ended up killed in a few days, and never like then Alex had desired not to help Scofield, to let the good doctor to face her fate, to let them kill her if it was necessary.
But that desire for death was so different from the one felt months before, when it was about his own family, and he had felt a monster for just thinking about it.
He was betraying Michael, he was giving it all away to Wheatley, exactly like Michael had betrayed him choosing a life with Sara.
Alexander remembered it perfectly, he remembered Sona and the moment they had let Michael believe the girl was dead, he remembered how the kid had thrown himself on him gripped by desperation, and how good that simple touch had made him feel, that craving he felt for him, for his body, for his attentions.
When then James had told him Sara was alive, Mahone had confirmed it and had helped him, and he had never regretted something this much.
It was night, and he was tired.
He had called Wheatley to inform him of that blind spot on the surveillance cameras, and now any time Michael rested his eyes on him he felt like he was trying to read inside of him, as if he could look at him and see the betrayal on his face.
They were the only ones left in the room, and as much as Alex kept telling himself that leaving would’ve been the wisest choice, he just couldn’t.
There was a war raging in his mind, and he was forced to stay, witness, waiting for the final decision.
He was punishing Michael for what he had done, but it was a little consolation when the woman Michael had declared his love to was risking her life.
Alex didn’t care much for her, but he was thinking about the pain Scofield would’ve felt in case she was to die for real.
He wished he could’ve learned not to give a damn.
He got closer to Michael’s chair, staying behind him, waiting for him to turn.
When he did, Alex saw his tired expression and the shadows under his eyes, and bit his lower lip to restrain himself from screaming out of frustration.
He wished he could’ve hugged him, told him that everything was going to be okay, but there was his dignity’s voice telling him that, after all, he couldn’t do that.
He sat next to him, staring in silence at the pictures on the desk.
He felt Michael’s stare on him, and he knew how much they both couldn’t ignore their past.
He wondered if it hurt Michael even a little to have him so close, but he didn’t really want to know the answer.
“Why are you helping me, Alex?” the younger one asked all of a sudden, sighing and setting aside pictures and papers, looking at him straight in the eyes when the other one raised her to look at him.
“Why shouldn’t I? After all it’s because of you that I’m a free man, isn’t it Michael?” he asked, raising an eyebrow and trying to sound convincing.
And he felt once again that the battle inside of him burned, that the war wasn’t over yet, and that the ball was now in Scofield’s court, and Alex was so damn scared of what he was going to say.
“I’m sorry, Alex. I’m sorry if what I’ve done has made you...”
“There nothing you should be sorry about.” Alex said quickly, confused by the fact that Michael had decided to engage this issue about which, he was sure, neither of them was thrilled to speak.
“Yes, I have. I’ve thought about what’s happened for a long time, I’ve thought about how I’ve felt when Lincoln has told me about Sara’s death, I’ve thought about...” he sighed, taking his head in his hands. “You’ve been there for me. Always. And I shouldn’t have put you aside, as in the end I did.”
Alex swallowed, feeling the rage growing inside him.
That wasn’t an attack and there was no war anymore, and Michael had been too anxious to wave the white flag because that was what he did, because he wasn’t able not to take responsibility for his actions.
And Alex felt even more frustrated than before, because with that sorry look on his face it was impossible for him to hate him, and it was impossible to keep betraying him for a not necessary revenge.
“I’ve missed you.” he admitted, and he didn’t have the courage to look at him anymore. “I’ve missed what we had, and I’ve kept telling myself a thousand times that it was right, that it was right for me to step aside and let you live your life, but...”
“I wanted you in my life, Alex, I truly did. But at the same time there were Sara and the baby, and I’ve thought that...” he shrugged and smiled, sad. “I don’t know what I’ve thought. Perhaps I’ve just chosen the lesser evil.”
Alex kept quiet to these words.
He didn’t care for the reason behind his choice, he never did.
He just wanted to hear him say he had made a mistake, that once Sara would’ve been free he was going to talk to her, that it could be fixed, that...
He hit the table, nervous.
Michael looked at him and didn’t say a word, sighing slightly before getting closer.
When Alex felt the younger one’s lips on his own, all of a sudden he felt better.
He didn’t care that it was wrong, he didn’t care how much of an hypocrite Michael was for kissing him, nor he cared how he was stabbing his back while he let him do it.
It was what he needed to be better, and that was it.
He kissed him back, caressing Michael’s hips, getting as close as he could and feeling his own body reacting when the other did the same, searching the naked skin under the shirt, starting to know it once again, caressing him quickly, determined, as if he had waited too long for this.
They stood up, in a rush, going toward the couch.
He felt Michael on top of him, he tried to touch any part of skin he could reach, finding out just then how much he had missed it.
It wasn’t going to last long, they both knew that, but when Alex felt him pulling back to sit next to him he couldn’t help but groan in disappointment.
They kept quiet for what felt like hours, even though it wasn’t more than a few minutes, and Alex felt he was going crazy under the weight of all he hadn’t said to him, under the weight of the thought of how much he had liked to kiss him, how much he wanted it to go on, doing nothing else for his whole life.
The war was on again, Alexander new how weak his attack was, and so he could do nothing but prepare his defence for what the younger one was going to tell him.
He was ready to give in to anything by now.
“It was me.” he whispered. “I told Wheatley about the blind spot in the surveillance cameras, that’s why I came looking for you. Sullins said that if I had helped preventing Sara’s escape they were going to give me back my badge and...” he closed his eyes, bringing his hands to his face. “I’m sorry, Michael. I truly am.”
Scofield nodded briefly and smiled to him, sad.
“I suspected as much, Alex. And I should’ve imagined that...” he bit his lip and didn’t look at him anymore. “I’ve always had to watch my back from you, yet with time I’ve learnt to trust the fact that, even though you start on the wrong path, you always end up on the right one. That’s why I trust you.”
“How can you always be so calm? How can you not hate me for selling you out to Wheatley, how can you...”
“It’s my fault, isn’t it?” Michael interrupted him. “It’s my fault for what you did. Mine for having chosen Sara without giving you a good explanation, mine that I could do nothing to prevent this. I understand, Alex, I do.”
Mahone shook his head and laughed, sarcastic.
He couldn’t believe he could be so at ease after what he had said, he couldn’t believe he wasn’t mad at him.
But he was right, somehow.
Every time Alex had tried to put himself up against him, he had ended up doing the right thing and helping him, always and anyway, which had brought them closer and had them now in this absurd situation.
He reached out a hand to his face, caressing him, and couldn’t help but smiling to him.
There was no war at all, perhaps there never had been one with Michael, because Scofield wasn’t made for fights and conflicts, because there was something terribly wrong in him that didn’t allow Alex to hate him for what he had done.
“What do we do now?” he murmured, stopping touching him and staring at a blank spot in front of him, waiting for Michael to give him a solution to all his problems, like he had always done.
“Now we go on. I just want to know if you’re willing to help or not, and I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t, Alex.”
What could he still say?
Alex was walking on the edge of his sanity, he had nothing waiting for him to make him feel better, nothing to protect him from his past and from what he had gone through before coming to this point.
And he had nothing to lose, now that even fighting had proven useless.
He nodded, standing up without daring to look Michael in the eyes.
“If you want my help, you’ll have it.” he whispered. “I’ve always helped you, didn’t I Michael?”
He didn’t give him time to answer.
He grabbed his things and fled the apartment, sure that otherwise he would’ve regretted his decision, that he would’ve changed his mind and then he wouldn’t have seen the other man again, because no matter how prone to forgiveness Michael was, he wasn’t going to keep a wolf in the herd, even though he knew he was the one who had let Alex come in in the first place.
Alex breathed in deeply, once outside.
He closed his eyes briefly, then grabber his phone and dialled Wheatley’s number for an update, aware that if he hadn’t called the agent would’ve been suspicious.
“Nothing new.” he said, dryly, to his interlocutor, trying to keep his voice steady. “Scofield has got no new plan at the moment.”
“Stay on him, Mahone.” the man replied, peremptory. “Your future at the Bureau depends on it, you know that right?”
Alex didn’t answer and hanged up.
Oh yes, he knew his future depended on it.
And he knew that with these perspective, he didn’t care much about his future anymore.
He had lost Michael.
There was nothing else he was willing to fight for.