He was tired.
God, how tired he was.
Tired to keep on that complete humiliation that his life had become, just to save his skin as long as possible.
For the first time he thought about Fox River, and what he had left there.
There were kids, of course, those were always a nice gift poorly wrapped, and there was never a lack of those in Illinois’ correctional system.
There was respect, true or faked that it was, of all those recognizing him as a leader of that small family he had created, and that now he was strangely missing.
No, he couldn’t linger on those details, they would’ve only made him feel worse.
He had run from Fox River for one only reason, and he had torn himself away from that reason; and now that he was no one’s Teddy Bear, perhaps he should’ve stopped for just one minute, wondering what he was going to do with his life.
He looked disgusted at the stump, shivering while he thought back to the pain he had felt when that filthy animal John Abruzzi had cut his hand.
And he had died, that filthy animal.
He thought about Sona and Lechero, how he had enslaved himself to obtain a piece of that power that he so desperately needed, and how it had disgusted him being under that bastard’s thumb, he who lived as a king while they were nothing more than servants.
And that bastard too, in the end, had died, and nothing could compare to the satisfaction he had felt while pushing that pillow on his face, until he had felt life leaving him forever.
It had always been like that, all those that had walked his path, all those that had believed they could screw him over, had died.
What had happened to that Theodore Bagwell?
When he had first realized what was hidden in that weird bird book the Aussie owned, he had thought he could find an easy solution to keep himself out of the line of fire of those who still wanted him dead or in prison, but in the end something must’ve gone wrong.
Perhaps it was tiredness.
It was the constant weight of having to watch behind his back and run, the weight of always having to check that no one was following or screwing with him.
It was a survival instinct that had screwed him over that time, and once realized that Cole Pfeiffer didn’t have to run, something had clicked in his mind.
He had a nice desk in a nice office, he had a nice suit and a name to defend, for once, and he couldn’t remember a time he had felt so free.
Then that bitch had taken it away from him, together with those humanity rejects from whom he wasn’t able to free himself.
And now he was still in a room with them, and all he would’ve liked to do was to grab the gun that he was now caressing with his good hand, looking at them in the eyes and blow their brains out, before laughing over their bodies.
Oh, but he couldn’t.
He couldn’t do it.
Cole Pfeiffer was no killer.
Or, even if he was, he didn’t bear with himself those marks of psychosis that Theodore Bagwell had dragged along from his past, that psychosis that his crappy father had left on him.
He didn’t miss that person at all, but now he would’ve liked to have that the old T-Bag would’ve taken the gun, pointing it at that bitch, then at that ever well-dressed agent, then on the snake that had betrayed anyone he could and in the end on the big guy with that damn idiotic look on his face.
Then the old Bagwell would’ve called Scofield to tell him how the corpse of his beloved brother looked, to make him understand how useless it had been all of this, how useless had been breaking him out and trying to save him from something he couldn’t be saved from.
He laughed at himself at that thought, and barely noticed Burrow’s eyes on him.
“What are you laughing about?” he asked, raising an eyebrow and walking toward him.
Theodore shrugged, at all impressed by the attempt of that garbage to give him an attitude.
It wouldn’t have come to blows, then he had nothing to fear from a man so lacking in the brain department.
“What, now a man doesn’t have the right to smile? Where’s the good ol’ American’s democracy?” he answered, his tongue between his teeth and smiling wider, just for the sake of annoying Lincoln.
The taller man grabbed his collar, getting closer.
“If you think that being in this room authorizes you to do whatever you want, or if you think that since the General has decided you’re going to work for us we won’t...”
“You won’t do what?” Theodore hissed, pulling away from his hold. “Blow my brains out? Kill me and then pretend that nothing happened?” he raised an eyebrow. “I’m in this room because the General wanted me to, because apparently he thought I could help retrieving Scylla. And you’re here to help that pretty girl that is your brother, so I don’t think you should play too much at being the boss, right Sink?” he said, intentionally using that nickname that Burrows seemed to have forgotten, as if Fox River was years and not months in his past.
“Make just one wrong move, just give me a hint that you’re trying to screw with us...” he said, less controlled than he would’ve liked. “And I swear to God, Bagwell, that cut off hand will be the last of your problems.”
Theodore smiled again to the threat.
He smiled, while the T-Bag inside of him suffocated the presence of Cole Pfeiffer and showed him all the best scenarios where he could’ve killed the big guy, how much he would’ve liked it, how satisfied he would’ve felt for ridding the world from Lincoln Burrows.
He kept brushing the gun, putting on his innocent face, aware of how little it would’ve convinced the others.
But they went back ignoring him in a few moments and kept planning Scylla’s retrieval, making him feel the low man on the totem pole.
Oh, but he was going to rise, and they were going to see him. And they were going to regret all this.
They would’ve seen him when their heads would’ve been sold to the General, one after the other, just in exchange for a decent life, for something that Cole Pfeiffer had just lost and that Theodore Bagwell was never going to get.
T-Bag desperately wanted that life.
He wanted to shake his name off of himself, managing to be the man that had a chance to come back home every night to his Susie Q and to those beautiful children, and it didn’t matter that she knew who he was, that she despised him, that she never wanted to see him again.
Theodore wasn’t gonna go back to them, but he still wanted to be the man that could have.
He brushed the gun, again and again, seeking comfort in the coldness of the metal, trying to ignore the images his minds kept sending to him, aware that if he had lingered on them too long then that dream he wanted to become true would’ve slipped through his fingers, and he wasn’t going to save himself from his name and his reputation.
Murderer. Convict. Rapist. Pedophile.
And all of those definitions suited him the best, and he wanted to get rid of them like he had done with all the problems he had faced in his whole life.
And he would’ve hold on to what he couldn’t keep, a respectable life with a respectable job, in a world that ignored his face and had forgotten to have seen it on television, on the news, too happy to show him for what he was.
Theodore uncocked the gun, careful not to be seen from the others, and lifted it slightly.
Just a split second and his life would’ve been over, he could’ve finally stop running from himself and others, and he would’ve finally been free from all he had had to go through.
He lowered the weapon right away, putting it on the table with a sigh and joining the others, pretending to be interested in their plans.
It would’ve taken him so little to pull the trigger and be done with it, but he was never going to do it.
Not after all he had put in it, not after all the battles he had won to save his skin, and all the humiliations he had received from men and women who always thought to be smarter than him, before ending up choking on their own blood.
Cole Pfeiffer had died.
He was buried at Gate, he was buried in that nice office, tidy and cozy, he had been killed from a man who instead was never going to die.
Theodore Bagwell wasn’t going anywhere.
Not without fighting with all his strength to take with him to the grave all those that had scorned him.