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10 June 2009 @ 11:17 pm
no amount of crying  

Sometimes, mainly when he’s like this, she hates this nickname. It’s so strangely intimate, so uniquely hers, something no one else can give her. He’s branded her as his own in his own subtle and probably inadvertent way, and when he says it, like this, while he’s pretending she’s meaningless to him, it seems so wrong and vile, even. He says it like an insult, like she’s a curse he can’t shake. Like she’s haunting him.   lost  kate drabble  pairing: kate/sawyer  spoilers for most of season 5


Just a little insight from Kate during this past season while she and the others are living with the rest of the Dharma crew.

It’s never quiet in the Dharma village. That’s the first thing that Kate adjusts to, the first truth she comes to learn. Someone is always doing something and the creaking of floorboards and whispering outside of her window is somehow more unsettling than her memories of snapped twigs, brushed branches, or faint crying. She’s in a strange territory with strange people, and even the familiar ones are all wrong.

Three months on an abandoned island, a year running from the cops, and a childhood full of cruelty, and yet it is here, in her warm bed, safer than she’s felt in decades, that she feels the unsympathetic tug of despair. She’s so lost.

She tries not to think of Jack, alone in his own home, the strange look in his eyes when she told him not to stay the night; when she told him she just needed to think. He didn’t understand her hesitation, her confusion. He just didn’t understand her anymore.

She tries not to think of Aaron, safe and happy, she hopes, in the arms of a complete stranger, whether related or not. The thought of Aaron coerces tears to come out from hiding, and summons the unpleasant image of Claire, causing her to despise herself again. She tells herself, like she’s done so many times before, that she wants to find Claire. She really does. She owes it to her son – to AaronClaire’s son. The very thought of the words make her sick. Accidental mother or not, Aaron feels so much like her own. The thought of surrendering him to anyone kills her. The thought of finding Claire pains her. The thought of not trying haunts her even more.

She rolls onto her side, and the faint light of the house next door catches her eye. Her frown deepens and she tries not to think of Sawyer, alone, reading a book most likely, sleep pulling at his eyes, his will too stubborn to succumb to bodily needs. The picture brings a surprising smile to her face. This is exactly how she would like to picture him, always, a book in hand and a light left on, just in case.

Just in case what? Just in case he was waiting for her? Sometimes, her brief spells of romanticism amaze her.

She turns her back to the window, huffing loudly into the still air. Juliet’s probably curled up on the couch next to him, head in his lap, strands of blonde hair occasionally mesmerizing him, distracting him from his reading. Bile rises in her throat. She thinks she’s made herself sick.

On the way to the bathroom, her head taunts her, insinuating other possible scenarios. Maybe Sawyer was too distracted by Juliet to remember to turn the light off. They’re both in the bedroom, naked and coiled around each other, warm and happy...happy to not be thinking of you. Or, maybe they’re having sex right now, right in the living room, right in plain sight, right in front of the window.

It’s pathetic and immature, but she has to know. She needs to know what he’s doing. Everything always means something with Sawyer, and somehow, what he’s doing right now, right at the very moment when she’s sleepless, means something to her. There’s a significance there, and she needs to figure out what it is.

She gets sick in an instant, brown hair wrapping fiercely around the bowl of the toilet, hands frantic and trying wildly to pull her hair back. She rests a few minutes, cheek on the coolness of the tiled floor, heart slowing to regular beats, head too dizzy to continue driving her insane.

She washes her face without thinking about it, brushing her teeth and pulling her hair up in a sloppy bun as she begins to feel better. The need is still there, overwhelming her, and she can’t go back to bed. Not without knowing.

She’s quiet as she exits the house, slipping through the backdoor. The sounds of nearby neighbors outside fill her ears, and she swears she hears Hurley and Jack talking from the window of Hurley’s house behind hers. It would be so easy to knock on the door, let herself in, and relax with the two of them, free to be herself. They may not understand her, but they knew her. It seemed so much of the same thing, and yet, it wasn’t. There was a world of difference.

She doesn’t want to settle for someone just knowing her.

She’s careful not to alert anyone else who may be outside, guards or other neighbors, perhaps as plagued by sleep deprivation as she is. As the size of the light from the window grows larger and larger, her feet creep slower and slower, until she’s as unsure about her footsteps as she is her future. She’s not in control of her destiny, and now she can’t even control her damn feet. The weakness of the realization makes her tremble slightly, as she nears the window.

He’s not reading. A half-finished book sits nearby on a table, an empty glass cradled in his hands. The condensation is mixing with his body heat, tediously dripping from one finger to the next, until at last it slips to the floor, quiet and unnoticed by Sawyer.

He’s leaning forward in his chair, hair dangling slightly, framing his course face. He’s not freshly shaved, and this, this is how Kate likes him best, rugged and raw, lost in thought, eyes pinched tightly like it hurts too much to let anything in...because sometimes, sometimes it does.

Her finger slips, barely, from the windowsill and she freezes as her nail chips away a tiny fleck of paint, her eyes glued to the scene, not even able to recall placing her hand on the framing. Not even an animal would have noticed the slight, hardly audible noise, but he does, and of course he does, because she remembers that he always notices everything.

When he catches sight of her, his lip curls up into that usual scowl of his, almost canine-like, fierce and terrifying perhaps to the unknowing culprit, but Kate’s been on the receiving end of that look so many times before that it’s hard for her to be afraid when she knows him all too well. It’s for other reasons that she’s worried.

He’s outside swifter than she thinks is possible, his hand tight on her shoulder as he pushes her forward, farther from his house, farther from the light, farther from Juliet. She follows his lead soundlessly, halting when he spins her around roughly, forcing her to face him. His eyes aren’t happy, but she’s not sure that they ever really were anyway.

“What the hell are you doing?” His voice is quiet and discreet, but still powerful and accusing at the same time. He looks more wild than she’s remembered, and she wonders if he doesn’t really belong out here, in this pseudo-world, living his fake life with his fake girlfriend, pretending to belong. For all she knows, he really does belong, and who the hell was she to try to rip that away from him?

She tells him the truth, the vulnerability apparent only in her voice as her face hardens to match his remorseless expression. She may be breaking down, but she wasn’t about to look like a basket-case. Not in front of him. Not when he's like this.

“I couldn’t sleep.”

His eyes roll, showing no concern for her feelings, no regard for the trauma she’s been forced to undergo. He doesn’t know, she reminds herself, lump forming in her throat. It’s been three years and he doesn’t know what you’ve endured. What you’ve suffered. What you’re going to lose.

“You better not be playing some sort of game with me, Freckles,” he mutters, swearing lightly under his breath as he rubs his temple and sighs, face hanging downward.

Sometimes, mainly when he’s like this, she hates the nickname. It’s so strangely intimate, so uniquely hers, something no one else can give her. He’s branded her as his in his own subtle and probably inadvertent way, and when he says it, like this, while he’s pretending she’s meaningless to him, it seems so wrong and vile, even. He says it like an insult, like she’s a curse he can’t shake. Like she’s haunting him.

“No game,” she says firmly, crossing her arms in an effort to dive even further into herself. She wishes she’d stayed inside. She wishes she’d stayed in bed. Hell, she wishes she’s stayed in California.

“Then what the hell are you doing out here?” he snaps, neck twisting towards his house. “You want Juliet to think something’s going on? Is that what you’re trying to do?”

Kate sighs, losing her patience, head still hazy with insomnia. “I’m not trying to do anything!” she hisses, clamping a hand over her mouth, surprised by her volume. Sawyer shakes his head, cursing loudly, hand running through his untamed hair in exasperation.

“You’ve got some nerve,” he mutters, eyes bearing into hers.

Her eyes are wide and flicker with anger. “Some nerve?” she repeats, but never finishes her thought, because she knows, yelling at him will get her nowhere. She’d like to scream at him, to pull at his hair, and pound on his chest. She’d like to push him to the ground, to hit him, to hurt him, to make him feel a semblance of the shock and pain she felt when she saw Juliet brush her bony hand through his hair. She wants him to apologize, or just to feel bad. She wants him, at the very least, to know what he’s doing to her...what he’s done to her. She has to fight the urge to tear him to shreds every time she sees him, sufficing with digging her nails into her palms instead.

She bites her cheek until she tastes blood, throwing her head back slightly as she inhales deeply. Her eyes meet his again, and she hates this, this unfamiliar resentment between them, the implications of both of their former actions colliding into a thick air of betrayal and uncertainty and unprecedented rage that she can neither explain nor cage.

“I just wanted to talk,” she says after several moments of just staring at him. She shrugs lightly, wanting to cry from all the frustration. He used to know her so well.

“You got Jack for that,” he remarks, and the part that smarts, the bit that stings so bitterly is the fact that there’s more honestly and less bitterness in his tone. It’s his twisted way of saying that he expects her to be with Jack, to want Jack, to get over whatever it is he did to her. It’s his way of releasing her when she never asked to be freed. This is what breaks her heart, what she finds so devastating; his nonchalance, his brutal eye contact, his half-hearted attempt at conversation. It’s killing her.

She trying to explain, really trying, and he’s not connecting the dots, not listening to the desperation in her voice, not even attempting to dissect a single word out of her mouth. He’s just not.

There are tears now and there’s no way of hiding them. She rubs her eyes forcefully, deluding them, rubbing them into her skin, spreading her sadness all over. She wishes she didn’t cry in front of him, of all people.

“Damn it,” she spits, cursing more at her emotional instability than his lack of compassion. Green eyes flicker up to his, and she furrows her eyebrows, baffled with this new, unrecognizable version of him. She wants to tell him he’s full of shit, but she knows how that one will play out. He’ll laugh at her bravado and label her jealous, then call it a night.

“Look, if...”

“No, damn it, Sawyer!” she remarks, whispering loudly, not bothering to hide her anger any longer. She casts an accusatory look at him as her arms fall down to her sides, blood awakened with her newfound surge of power. Her jaw stiffens. “I’m stuck back in this damn joke of a place with these people who have no idea what’s really going on! I have to follow your damn orders and your idea of what you think is right, meanwhile, Claire could be dying, and Aaron is....”

“Claire is dead,” he says soundly, and it’s not cruel, in fact, it’s as gentle as his voice has been around her since she’s arrived.

She hangs her head. “I have to know,” she tries to explain, shaking her head bitterly at him. “Why don’t you people get it? Why does no one understand anyone anymore? Hurley thinks he’s seeing ghosts, Jack’s as despondent as ever, and you’re here standing two feet in front of me, telling me you’d rather play house with Juliet than get off of this nightmare of an island! It’s insane, Sawyer! Everyone’s gone insane and either no one’s noticed, or no one cares!”

She flinches, ready to recoil from his barking response, but he doesn’t say anything. He just scratches the back of his neck slowly, noticeably lost in thought.

Kate gasps to keep from crying, head hanging down as her hair spills out from the loose pile she gathered earlier, collecting around her face and sticking to the trails of tears across her cheekbones. She sucks in breath of air roughly, pulling the strands of curls out of her face.

This is exactly what I mean!” she remarks, staring at him wildly. “Say something! Do something! Tell me I’m crazy! Tell me I’m ruining your night or your life or god, just say something!

“Jesus Freckles, you can’t just expect me to...” He catches himself here, right here, before he dares to spill out anymore words. He inhales slowly, re-composing his face. “Talk to Jack.”

“You’re not listening,” she replies slowly, more calm than before. “He’s been near me for three years and he still doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand. We don’t know each other anymore. But you, you do know me. I can talk to you. I can always talk to you. This isn’t about Juliet or Jack. This is about me needing to talk to my friend, James.”

Her eyes are desperate and she’s clinging to the connection their faces are making, uncharacteristically optimistic that she can somehow convince him to just relax around her again.

He blinks twice and then looks away, looking tired and worn. “I can’t be seen talking to you.”

Kate crumbles, fighting with every muscle in her body to keep her sobs from coming out. She succeeds, just barely, her breathing shallow and painful. “You really won’t talk to me because of her?” she remarks, hurt and angry, her voice more steady than her shaking legs.

He can’t look at her. Or he won’t. All she knows is that he doesn’t.

“This isn’t about her,” he says, clenching his fists tightly. “You shouldn’t have come here Kate.”

And he’s gone, in an instant, leaving her to dissolve into a pile on the dirt, leaves poking at her bare arms, soil seeping into her shoes, her clothes, her hair.

It’d be easier, maybe, if he’d just told her it was about Juliet, that he’d changed and that she couldn’t be a part of his new life. It would still sting, but she would accept his decision and keep to herself. Instead, he had to tell her that his reactions had nothing to do with Juliet, nothing to do with his new life, everything to do with her. Everything to do with him, with them.

He was running again, but this time, he was squeezing into a role that he barely recognized, let alone understood. Maybe he was punishing himself. Maybe he didn’t want to hurt Juliet. Maybe he just really didn’t know what he was doing. But she mattered to him. She was affecting him. She was getting to him.

He’d all but admitted that much. He was blocking her out because it was easier, not because he wanted to.

She knows this, because she knows him. She knows what it’s like to run, to change her identity, to try to pretend her way through life. She knows how freeing it can be to become another person, how hopeful it seems at first, and how quickly the freedom becomes stifled and suffocated, until she’s left alone and unknown, a stranger to people she once saw as friends.

And he had to call her Kate, to prove a point, or to try to anyway. He wants her hurt. He wants her to hate him. He wants her to leave.

She’s pretty sure she would if she could. But she can’t, and oddly enough, he’s the one preventing her, them, Jack and the others, from going, and she wonders if pointing this out would elicit any type of emotional response from him.

She crawls back to bed, peeling off her sodden clothes, pulling the sheets tight around her bare skin. She wants to go home, where nothing makes sense, but all of the pain and anger subside when she sees her baby’s (Claire’s baby, she keeps forgetting) face. She needs his memory at the very least.

But she’s can’t remember what he looks like or what he sounds like and she’s choking as she realizes that the only eyes that she can conjure are blue and unwavering, terrorizing her dreams.

Current Location: on the floor
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: my cat's purring