|The Games We Play
Author: modernxxmyth PM
Sawyer and Kate play another game of I Never, this time ending very differently. Set during season five, post-The Variable. Mostly Skate, with some Jate and Suliet. One-shot.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Kate - Words: 2,563 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 05-01-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5031572
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: My first Lost story in a few years. Mainly Skate with hints of Jate and Suliet. A little twisted. Very cool, IMO. One-shot. Post-The Variable. Season 5.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine.
The Games We Play
They played I Never again thirty years before and three years after their first game. Juliet was busy with work, Jack was likely off getting drunk, and Kate and Sawyer were left on their own together. People called him James now, but to Kate he would always remain Sawyer. She'd called him James on occasion when she knew she had to get through to him, but at the end of the day he was always Sawyer. The name was too integral a part of who he was.
Kate had to wonder what Juliet knew of his childhood. Of his adulthood, even. Did she know what happened to his parents? Did she know he was a killer? Did she understand him? She didn't doubt that Juliet was good for Sawyer – she could see how reformed he had become. Juliet was her Aaron, forcing him to become a better person. But she'd lost her Aaron, and he still had his Juliet. That was where the analogy ended, leaving Kate utterly alone.
Sawyer was sitting outside his residence, Dharma beer in hand, staring into the vast blackness in front of him. Kate approached in the resounding silence, hands in her pockets and eyes downcast.
"Hey," she whispered in greeting. She hadn't talked to him much since she'd returned to the island. There was so much to say but no words to form.
"Howdy, Freckles," his words were light but voice unexpectedly gruff.
Kate sat on the edge of his porch and stared into the dark with him.
The silence was bordering on uncomfortable – there were too many questions in the air and tales untold. Kate picked at the splitting wood of his porch steps. She was about to break the silence when Sawyer stood up with surprising abruptness and walked inside his and Juliet's house with no explanation. Kate gawked at the door. Why had he just left? But Sawyer returned only seconds later, carrying a pack of Dharma beer.
He broke the silence with a question: "You wanna take a walk?"
* * *
Somehow, someway they ended up in the same clearing they had found three years before – or was it thirty years later? – where they'd drank together the first time. They were hunting for that damn boar and spent the night together playing a silly college drinking game that Sawyer taught her. I Never.
They were both unsure how they'd ended up in this clearing together again. Their feet traveled the paths their minds were to afraid to share, and they'd ended up in this place once more. Kate took the initiative and started the fire. She was about to start rubbing two sticks together just like times passed, when Sawyer stopped her with the flick of his thumb to the Zippo he had pocketed.
"Need a light?"
Kate smiled a soft smile of remembrance – he'd asked her a similar question their first week on the island when the US Marshall was still alive and it was only giant smoke monsters they had to worry about.
"I guess that would be easier," she replied with a smile.
The fire began to blaze in same spot it had before. The area was not exactly the same – there were less trees and some of the brush had not grown in – but it was still their spot. Their personal get-away from camp or Dharma territory, or wherever the hell they were living these days.
The pair sat down opposite each other, both of them staring down the orange, glowing fire instead of making eye contact. Their looks were always too intense, and things were supposed to be light and casual between them. They were just friends after all.
Sawyer passed Kate a can of beer and opened his own. She took a sip and arched an eyebrow. It wasn't half bad.
"Thirty years earlier, and it ain't so flat and stale," Sawyer remarked, reading her thoughts.
Kate chuckled and nodded her head in agreement. She took a few more gulps, needing the soothing buzz of alcohol, knowing she was in for quite an evening.
"Don't get too hasty there, Freckles, we still got a game to play."
"Do we now?" she challenged for the sake of having something to say.
"Well, I dare say we have some catching up to do, don't you think?"
Kate eyed the ground beneath her carefully and nodded sharply. She looked up. "I never jumped off a helicopter just because I was afraid of commitment."
Sawyer rolled his eyes and chugged a large portion of his beer. "I don't know where you got that damn idea from."
"Just an old friend," Kate smiled slyly.
"An old friend? And why would this old friend know anything about me in the first place?"
"She's the mother of your child."
"You mean to say you knew Cassidy before your first time here?" Sawyer asked in shock.
Kate nodded. "We pulled a few cons together. You taught her well, Sawyer. When I showed up on her doorstep with a bundle of money, I sure wasn't expecting to see her face."
"How is she?" he asked.
"Cass? She's fine. Having Clementine cleaned up her act for the most part. They're both doing well. She's become one of my best friends. She was there when I needed her."
"Needed her?" he inquired.
"Everybody needs someone, Sawyer."
"And what about dear Jack-o? Why wasn't he there for you when you got back to the real world?"
"He was there," Kate defended him. "Sometimes," she amended. "Every once in a while."
Sawyer finally asked the question he'd been pondering since she returned. "Were you together?"
"Yes," she whispered. "We were together. For a time. It was really good for a while…and then it got bad…and then he proposed. I said yes. I don't know why I said yes, but it only got worse from there. And then it was over."
"Why was it so bad, Kate?" Sawyer questioned with an underlying intensity.
"He was obsessive. Possessive. Everything. He thought…he thought I wasn't over you and was jealous. He started drinking. He started drinking a lot. He yelled and screamed and started reminding me of Wayne a hell of a lot more than you ever did. Then he turned to the pills. It was over before it even started."
"Do you regret it?"
"I probably should," Kate laughed bitterly, "But no. I don't. He was an ass, but he was there for a while, when I needed him. And Aaron loved him. I don't think he ever truly loved Aaron, but Aaron certainly loved him."
"Did you? Love him, that is."
"I did," Kate replied earnestly. "For a while, I did." She sighed and ran a hand through her long curly locks. "But enough about that. What about you? And Juliet? How did that happen?"
"I don't know," he responded. "You don't really plan these things…it just sort of happened. But I'm glad it did."
"I'm happy for you."
"Of course I am, Sawyer. I want you to be happy."
"But are you happy for me? Don't try lying to a con, Sweetcheeks."
"I'm happy that you're happy. That an honest enough answer?"
"It'll do for now," he decided and took a drink of his beer. "What happened to our game anyways?"
"Well, I never can stick to one thing for too long," Kate replied. "You know that."
He nodded silently.
"It's your turn," Kate prodded.
"Hmm." Sawyer took a moment to think. "I never got on a plane, knowing it was going to crash, just to see an old flame."
Kate shrugged her shoulders and chugged the rest of her beer. He always had seen through her. She spoke quietly, "I had nothing left to stay for."
"What happened to Aaron, Kate? I heard what Jack said the other day…"
Kate stared into the fire, the reflection of it being caught in her dark eyes. "He wasn't mine to have anymore. He was never really mine to have." She broke off for a moment. She looked back at Sawyer. "He's with his grandmother now."
"So you just…gave him up?" Sawyer asked, puzzled.
"I had to keep him safe," she stated. "I thought they were going to take him away from me. So I gave him to his grandmother and got on a plane doomed for crashing. Turns out the only person I wanted to see was…otherwise occupied."
Sawyer looked down. "I'm sorry, Kate,"
Sawyer reached across the fire slowly and brushed a single lock of hair out of Kate's face. It was a simple gesture. One that could have been done between friends. But they weren't friends, and they never had been, and such a gesture ignited the sparks they both thought they'd let die out. Sawyer's fingertips just barely grazed Kate's cheek, but the barely-there touch sent more electricity through her than any passionate embrace of Jack's ever had.
Kate stopped his hands path with her own and gripped it tightly, bringing his rough, calloused hand in front of her face. She pressed a single, gentle kiss into the palm of his hand. Her lips were on fire. Sawyer slid closer to her and angled his head. They inched closer to one another at an achingly slow pace, and finally, lips met in the lightest of kisses. There was the spark. The electricity. The passion they had both been longing for. Lips pressed harder against lips and tongues plunged, dueling dangerously together, causing both of them to teeter at the edge of a cliff neither was ready to venture. Sawyer captured her bottom lip between his teeth, and Kate grabbed at his golden hair. The fire crackled around them, and they panted into the sweltering, stifling evening air. They broke apart, moving ever so slightly away from one another, beginning to realize their actions.
Kate touched her fingers to her swollen, tingling lips. She whispered sadly into the night, "I don't want to be that woman, James."
He replied with equal gravity, "I don't want to be that man, Kate."
Kate walked six paces behind him on the way back home.
* * *
Kate sat on her own porch step this time, can of Dharma beer in hand, silent tears streaming down her face. She brushed them away furiously. She did not want to cry. What they done – shared a simple kiss – was wrong. Because it was never just a simple kiss. It was so much more than a kiss. It was an emotion. It was a state of being. It was leaving her body and entering an entirely different realm when she kissed Sawyer. It was always more than just a simple kiss.
Jack approached her as she sat solemnly, staring into the dark as she had earlier.
"Kate?" he asked. "What's wrong?"
She could smell the alcohol on his breath.
"Nothing, Jack. Don't worry about it."
"I'm always going to worry about you, Kate."
She knew this statement wasn't true – he'd proven it a thousand times before – but she allowed herself the indulgence of believing him, if only for the moment. "Really?"
"Of course, Kate." He grabbed her hand and pulled her to a stand. "It's getting cold…don't you want to go inside?"
She allowed herself to be carried into her bedroom by Jack. She allowed herself to be kissed by him. She allowed herself to half-heartedly kiss him back. She allowed herself to be touched intimately by him in a way that would never rival the man who truly had her heart, and she allowed herself, for the moment, to believe that that was okay.
Clothes shed, and Kate felt the familiarity in their actions. It's was comforting in a way – predictability was appreciated at the moment. It meant nothing, and she knew he understood that. Jack served as the distraction she desperately needed. She kissed him on the lips hard and thought of Sawyer's chapped ones in Jack's place.
* * *
Kate felt raw the next morning from their encounter as she sat on the edge of her porch in thought. Her lower half ached slightly, a constant reminder of what she'd done. She'd slept with Jack again. She didn't just use him like she had before the plane, but this time she used him and thought of Sawyer. In her mind, it was Sawyer's lips on hers, Sawyer's touch, Sawyer's tongue. Three years later, Kate could still remember Sawyer's caress clearer than the multitudes of time she had been with Jack.
She sighed and ran a hand through her sex-mussed hair. She couldn't decide if she regretted last night. It served its purpose. It was a distraction. It was familiar. It was comfortable.
Sawyer walked out of his house, Dharma attire on, ready for work. Kate watched as he walked with purpose, muscles rippling the thin material of his jumpsuit.
Last night? It was…twisted. Wrong. Disgusting. She slept with Jack while actively thinking of Sawyer. He wasn't some passing thought. She went in with such intentions. She kissed Sawyer last night, and then she pretended to be kissing Sawyer through the whole night, when it was really Jack's hungry lips against hers.
Sawyer's eyes met hers as he crossed camp, and Kate almost cringed with shame at the contact. His intense gaze was hard to handle, but she did not want to lose it. This is what they were left with. Heart-stopping stares from across camp. No words, no actions, just looks.
Jack chose that exact moment to walk out of Kate's house, holding two cups of coffee, wearing his attire from the night prior.
Sawyer's walking slowed.
Jack handed Kate a cup of coffee. "Morning, Kate."
She broke her gaze with Sawyer and held onto the mug, knowing it was made just the way she liked it, as he remembered. That was reassuring at least.
"Morning, Jack. Thanks for making coffee."
He sat down next to her on the porch and took a long sip of his coffee. "Sawyer's looking at you."
Jack was more perceptive than she had hoped. "Oh?" was her reply.
Kate finally allowed herself to meet Sawyer's gaze once more. He stared long and hard at her for a moment, pain and betrayal in his eyes, and walked away again, looking where he was going instead of at her.
"That's it, then," Kate whispered to herself.
She had seen the betrayal in his eyes, but hadn't he gone home to Juliet, as well? It was all too hard. She loved him. But it was all too hard, too wrong, too raw, too twisted.
She whispered to herself again, "That's it then."