|The Key to Everything
Author: Animorphgirl PM
*Skate* What if Kate had told Sawyer why she wanted the briefcase and their relationship began there? Onto chapter 13. Revised.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Kate & Sawyer - Chapters: 13 - Words: 24,982 - Reviews: 60 - Favs: 20 - Follows: 34 - Updated: 01-05-11 - Published: 03-31-09 - id: 4961828
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
His hand was still over Kate's mouth when they woke up a few hours later. Kate yawned, brush the arm aside, and stretched thoroughly before sitting up. She had slept better that night than she had in days, and felt more alert than usual. Kate knew the nightmares had been disturbing her rest but she didn't realize until now how much they had taken a toll on her. Maybe they would stop after she confessed everything to Sawyer. Wasn't that how confession was supposed to go? After you said all the bad things you did, you felt light and happy inside?
Kate had no experience with this, having been raised in some Protestant denomination. She was pretty sure she attended a Methodist church and Sunday school as a kid, but later attended Episcopalian services when she had been married to Kevin. It was all the same. She had pretty much stopped talking to God after blowing up the house and getting caught.
Not that they had been best friends before Kate became a wanted criminal. Kate had trouble believing in a loving God who was okay with husbands abusing their wives and kids.
Still, she figured there was probably something out there. It had to be, with the way things had been in her life. The way things were now. You couldn't survive a plane crash with forty plus other people and not think that life was a total accident.
She also didn't exactly believe that everything stopped once you were dead. Wayne was dead, and she'd long since felt that it was him leading the police to her ever since the fire.
Yeah, there was definitely something there out to get her. But that something had also finally killed the marshal, so maybe he or she or it was finally on Kate's side. Maybe all Kate had to do now was fess up to Sawyer—who was hardly a model figure—and then she'd be able to sleep at night. Wasn't that part of the reason she wasn't having sex with Sawyer? Punishment?
Sawyer's eyes opened and he groaned. A few weeks ago, Kate would have said he was in pain or remembering they were still on the island, or some combination. Now, she knew better. That noise—or rather, that particular variation of the noise—was just Sawyer's way of saying, "Morning…don't talk to me until I've had my coffee."
She could see herself in a small house with Sawyer. Him saying just that. Him enjoying a large mug of coffee, not diluted by milk or sugar. He's drink it black, strong. Unlike Kate, who used 2% milk and at least two packets of sugar. On the rare occasion that he woke up before she did, she'd greet him with a "hmph" and a grunt. Part mocking him, part serious. There was no coffee on the island to ease the transition from sleepiness to alertness. Just each other, and the reality that they were thousands of miles away from home. From any civilization, most likely.
"Morning, sleepyhead," she said, giving him a quick kiss.
So quick that Sawyer probably hadn't had time to register it before it was over. Kate grinned to herself. Sawyer always got more kisses from her when he was half asleep than when he was awake enough to enjoy them.
Sawyer snorted as though reading her thoughts, squeezed her shoulders. "Whatcha want to do today?"
Kate grabbed her shoes. "I was thinking a walk. Maybe go for a swim."
"Didn't we just do that?"
"Not much else to do in the way of entertainment. Unless you want to play golf?"
Sawyer shrugged. "Maybe. I don't know. We'll see." He smoothed her hair. "Ya hungry?"
Kate laughed. "Starved."
"Why don't I catch us some fish?" He paused. "We could take that walk, too."
"I'd like to do that," she replied, standing up. "You coming? The fish aren't going to catch themselves."
Sawyer stretched, reached for his shoes, and then extended an arm. "Help me up?"
Kate rolled her eyes and reached for Sawyer's arm. He grabbed her, pulling Kate into his lap, and began to tickle her along the neck.
She squirmed uncomfortably. "Let me go."
Sawyer stopped tickling her but kept his arms around her sides so she couldn't get up.
They were too close. "You keep that up and I'll have another injury," Kate complained.
"All right, get lost," Sawyer replied with a smile. Kate tried to get up, but he pulled her down again at the last minute.
"Hey!" she protested.
"What? I ain't tickling you," Sawyer replied innocently. He stood up, taking Kate with her. "You women are all so suspicious. Can't trust anyone."
Kate snorted, causing Sawyer to add, "Now, now, sweet cheeks, that ain't very ladylike."
This banter continued for a few more minutes as they walked toward the beach.
Sawyer was able to catch two fish within ten minutes while Kate went looking for fruit. By the time she returned with a few handfuls of berries, Sawyer was setting the fish in front of the fire and looking pleased with himself.
"Something smells good," Kate acknowledged with a grin.
"I am quite the provider," Sawyer replied by way of explanation. "Stick with me, Freckles, and there ain't nothing on this island that can hurt ya."
"What about that killer bee on your head?"
"Where?" Sawyer began to panic. "Get it off, get it off, get it off!" He began hopping from foot to foot and started covering his head. It only took a few seconds for him to get the joke. "There was no bee, was there?"
Kate just smirked. "You killed it with your dancing."
Sawyer scoffed but otherwise pretended not to hear the comment. A sizzling sound told him that the fish were done.
"Breakfast is done!" He gingerly removed the fish from one of the leaves and plopped it on top of another leaf on the sand. He repeated the process, a little less clumsily the second time, and handed the leaf with the larger fish to Kate. She sat down next to Sawyer and began to chew.
Sawyer kept sneaking looks at her while she ate. He finished his fish in the time it took Kate to take three bites. Finally, Kate stared at him.
"Do I have some fish stuck on my nose or something?"
Sawyer turned a little red and then moved a piece of hair from her face. "You're good."
The slimy yet warm feel of his hands on her cheeks remained with Kate and she felt a small shiver run down her. Not that it was a bad kind.
After the fish was gone, they munched on the berries and then watched the ocean. They sat closer and Kate found herself sitting in Sawyer's lap almost without intending to. Had she done that or had he?
Not that it mattered.
Still, she couldn't get comfortable. The last few nights weighed down on her, and even though she would have loved to spend the next few hours kissing Sawyer—and maybe more—her head wouldn't clear. Maybe that's why it was so hard when he surprised her like that. Kate felt like she didn't deserve it. She shifted her weight so that she was looking directly at Sawyer, sitting across his legs and peering into his face.
"Enjoying the view?" Sawyer asked, smiling.
"Maybe." Kate smiled back, but her heart wasn't in it.
It bugged Kate that Sawyer knew. She was used to being able to keep everything to herself. She was proud of the fact that people couldn't read her.
Well, most people.
Maybe it was because Sawyer lied for a living. One liar had to be able to recognize another liar. Kate wasn't innocent, and something about that knowledge showed itself in her. Was it her face or the way she walked or something she did with her hands? She didn't know. She had practiced looking a certain way for years, and it made her uneasy that someone like Sawyer could just look at her and see through her. He lied for a living but she had based her living free on a lie.
The more she thought about it, the more her face would betray her, and the more Sawyer would know. She had to tell him before he guessed on his own.
Kate tried to remember what Sawyer had known. He knew about the marshal and knew that she had been his prisoner. Knew that the marshal had carried some kind of briefcase. Knew that the briefcase held guns. So, Sawyer could probably guess from this that Kate had been the reason behind the protection. Unless…and this was a big stretch…he thought that the guns were a safety measure and something that police used in Australia just in case someone turned out to be dangerous. How many times had people watched TV shows where the cops would appear from out of nowhere, point the gun at someone, and yell, "Come out with your hands up!"
Still, he had to know that whatever she had done—or rather, whatever people said she had done—was more than just shoplifting. It meant that she had to leave the country. That she had been a danger to people.
Kate could lie and she thought that even Sawyer might believe it.
Except…then the dreams would return and Kate would have to run. She couldn't run long on an island. Sure, she could live by herself, but what was the point of that when there were potentially dangerous other people lurking around? They had kidnapped Claire and left Charlie for dead. They had infiltrated them with Ethan, who was now killing the survivors because Jack wouldn't give them Claire. They were not nice people, whatever their motivations.
My kind of people, she thought ruefully.
No, she had to tell Sawyer the truth. The whole truth. If he rejected her, he wasn't worth it. Or so she told herself. But he was tarred too. He wasn't like Jack, the doctor who saved everyone's life. Sawyer was a con artist. Was proud of this. Being a con artist wasn't the same as killing people and yet…he'd committed outright crimes.
He may have even gone to jail.
As though reading Kate's mind, Sawyer spoke up softly. A finger played with a loose curl. At any other time, Kate would have tried to fight back, but there was something oddly comforting about this gesture. She put her face against his arm. Maybe they could sit like that for a few more minutes. Really, there was no need to tell Sawyer this instant…
"Freckles," Sawyer began tentatively.
Kate tried to force a smile. "Yeah?"
Sawyer took a deep breath, hugged her tightly, and then said, "You know…if there's anything you want to tell me…" He paused.
"I'll listen. You can talk to me," he finished.
She spoke without thinking because if she thought then she'd never say it.
"I killed my father."
To his credit, Sawyer didn't pull her away from him. As far as Kate could tell, he didn't even seem disgusted. If anything, he held her tighter. When she looked up, Kate saw that Sawyer looked…well…curious. He watched her for a minute, waiting for her to speak, but when she didn't, he did.
"Aww come on, Freckles. Ain't you gonna give me more info than that?" He smoothed another curl out of her face. "I ain't one to judge," he whispered.
Kate took a deep breath, let it out, and then took another one. "He'd been abusing my mother years. Really bad. After awhile, I just…couldn't take it."
His arms wrapped around hers, and suddenly Kate's vision blurred.
"'S all right, Kate," he murmured, hugging her fiercely. "He's gone now."
Kate was crying visibly now. "It's why the marshal was with me. He was going to take me to jail."
Sawyer snorted. "Stupid cops. Ain't they all just the same? It's not like he was there when your dad was beating your ma up."
Kate shook her head. "He wasn't my dad. Just my biological father." She gave a weak smile.
"Exactly," Sawyer agreed. "You ain't just your blood."
Kate seemed to take great solace in that. She clung to his hug, arms holding Sawyer so tightly he thought he'd have bruises the next day.
He tried to maneuver Kate into his lap. She let him hold her, rub her back, and just be there for her. Neither of them spoke for awhile. Kate finally broke the silence.
"I always thought he was my stepfather. He married my mom when I was about seven. The man who I thought was my real father, my dad, had been divorced from my mom since I was five. I found out my dad had been out of the country at the time right before I killed him." A pause. "I think that's why I did it."
"Bet your real dad didn't know what was going on. He would have stopped that jerk if he knew he was hurting you and your mom."
So Sawyer had guessed the second part. Or been close enough. Kate wouldn't tell him that part now. It was her secret.
"He knew enough. Thought it was my mom's decision to stay with him. Didn't want to interfere. I didn't even know he wasn't my real father until a few years back."
"Son of a bitch."
"I didn't want to. I had to."
Suddenly Sawyer laughed. "Too bad we can't time travel. I'd take you back to when I was seven and have you kill the son of a bitch who killed my mom." He paused, then added, "My dad."
Kate gave a low shudder. "My God…"
"Yeah well, we'll save that story for another time, okay?" Sawyer shook his head. "I just don't wanna go into it right now."
Kate just gave a quick nod without fully registering what he was saying.
"You did what you had to. You protected your ma." In a low voice, he said, "That's more'n I was able to do."
"She didn't see it like that. She couldn't wait to turn me in." Her voice was flat. "I took out an insurance policy on the house, burnt the damn thing to the ground, watched that monster die. And she just called the police and went back to waiting tables. She said I was a murderer and she couldn't help who she loved. She had a cast on from the last time he was with her and she blamed me for making it go away."
"Kate, people ain't always gonna appreciate what you do."
There was a long silence.
"Do you hate yourself for it?"
Kate stared at the water before replying. "I hate what it did to my life. I hate what people say I am. But Sawyer, he was evil. If I was gonna do it all over I might have just left home, but I might not."
"He deserved to die, Freckles."
Kate wasn't sure she could agree with that. Maybe killing him hadn't just been a dumb idea, but had been wrong. Who was she to take another person's life?
"My mom deserved for him not to hurt her," she amended. Then, "At least, that's what I thought. She didn't."
What she didn't say was that she deserved not to be hurt too.
Sawyer didn't need to ask.
A/N: Sorry for the long delay. Stupid finale ending made it hard to write Skate for awhile. Hopefully, there are still people out there reading this! Please leave a review and I promise to update faster.