In the End
Author's Note: Well, back for one last Fated story. Story twenty of twenty. Yep, I know, pathetic. Oh well, I've really enjoyed writing them, and trust me, this isn't the end. There'll be another off-island fic and two AU fics, and surely by then I'll have another idea. And sometime or another I have to finish my HP story, so I might have to do that before I start my AU fics. It was my New Year's resolution, believe it or not. Guess how many chapters I've written since then? (sigh)
Summary: As the survivors try to recover from recent island events, they find themselves facing a fairly new conflict: man vs. machine. But yes, I am aware of many man vs. machine happenings(for example, the crash itself), but this is like..bigger. That's the only way I can describe it. This story will(as far as I know right now) include flashbacks from all characters.
Rating Warning: This fic will be the equivalent of an R' rated movie for scary images. If you were freaked out/disturbed by War of the Worlds then I wouldn't read this.
Spoilers: Some for season one, maybe some from the premiere, I haven't decided yet. If you haven't seen all of season one, or at least up to Whatever the Case May Be you might be confused, I'm really note sure.
Series note: I'm treating this finale fic' as if you've read the entire series, or at least most of it, so if you're new, let me know and I'll either try and tell you what you need to know or give you the fics you should read to catch up. Also, I'm trying to give this fic a finale feel', so it might seem a bit different from the others.
Disclaimer: I do not own Lost, the fic title will, of course, remind you of the Lincoln Park song In the End, but it's not based off of that song. I got the idea for the fic while watching War of the Worlds, to give you some idea of what it's about.
CHARACTER DEATH WARNING: Major characters die, starting this chapter, so you've been forewarned! But, just because they've died doesn't mean that they can't show up again. In fact, at least one person who dies this chapter will.
This isn't a war, it's an extermination- War of the Worlds(the movie)
Chapter One: Broken Dreams
Jack yawned as he stepped out of his cave. It was still early, not even light out. Back in the former life, Jack would sometimes wake up this early to work out before work, or just from not being able to sleep. He soon had the early morning tv land schedule memorized, and could do a very promising impersonation of Gilligan, not that he ever admitted that to anyone. But stepping out of the caves this early was different than most. For one, others were awake, and for another, they were active, but not in a normal way.
The first thing off he notice was that Locke was in the caves, and pacing- back and forth, back and forth, covering a good two or three feet each time. Charlie was back at the caves, though he and Claire had recently moved out, and he was playing a tune on his guitar, though the tune didn't seem familiar and he wasn't singing along.
Alex was also awake, and sitting in the middle of the caves. She was wearing the same black dress she had worn when she was first found months ago, and there were no signs that she had ever been hurt. Her hair was nicely combed, and the dress wasn't even torn. Edging closer, Jack started to hear muttering, and he squinted to see Alex's lips moving slightly, repeating the same froze over and over again:
4 8 15 16 23 42
4 8 15 16 23 42
4 8 15 16 23 42
4 8 15 16 23 42
A notebook lay in her lap open, and Jack quickly recognized it as the notebook they had found in her bag with all the songs written in it. A pencil was in her hands and she was etching something onto the page to the rhythm she was speaking, and when Jack noticed that she was forming numbers, he just assumed it to be the same pattern she was reciting, but was proven wrong. The numbers she was writing was an entirely different set:
6 43 45 91 82 63
6 43 45 91 82 63
6 43 45 91 82 63
6 43 45 91 82 63
Jack frowned, confused. The numbers seemed familiar somehow, but Jack couldn't recall hearing or seeing them anywhere.
Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom.
Jack swirled to face the back of the caves at the sound of what sounded like someone hitting something with a hammer. Curious, Jack stepped closer, and as he did, the rest of the caves grew dark behind him, and a bright glow formed in front of him. An image faded into the glow, and Jack's heart stopped at the sight of his father's coffin- the very one he had crushed to bits a few days after the crash. Jack swallowed hard, and forced himself to walk towards it, moving through space in heavy steps. Soon Jack was hovering over the coffin, and he closed his eyes before looking down, expecting to see his father; but when he looked down, Kate was there instead.
Taking a step backward, Jack closed his eyes tightly ones more, determined that he was seeing things, but when he reluctantly opened them again, Kate was still there. Dead. Pale. Head turned to the side. And yet she looked so peaceful. So beautiful. Jack's hands began shaking slightly. He was so confused. What was happening? Why was Kate dead, and better yet, why was she in his father's coffin? Just then, Kate's head snapped to the other side, leaving Kate's vacant eyes look up to him. Jack stood in horror as Kate's mouth formed his name, but in concern, not in a haunting way..
someone was saying desperately. Jack, wake up!
Jack's eyes snapped open and darted around to find himself back in his own caves. A small beam of light peered through the opening, so Jack figured it had to be at least seven. Surely he hadn't slept later than that. Kate was on her knees beside him, and sat back with a sigh of relief when she saw that he was awake. Jack let the realization relax him- it was all a dream. Kate was still alive.
You had me scared there for a second, Kate admitted.
Weird dream, Jack muttered, and rolled over, getting to his feet, what time do you think it is?Eight maybe? Kate guessed, and had to hold back from laughing at Jack's reaction. Don't worry, death's managed to wait until you've woken up. Jack mumbled, thinking of his dream.
He reached over for a bottle of water, even though it was a day old. The dream had left Jack with a dry feeling in his throat, and a headache. Gulping the water down, Jack glanced over to Kate, who looked out of place.
Something wrong? Jack asked, whiping his mouth with the back of his hand.
No, it's just.. Kate trailed off, looking down to the floor, and showed no signs of continuing.
Frowning, Jack casually glanced to the floor, and Kate's blanket laying there next to his stuff got Jack thinking about their relationship. He had never seen one progress faster, but what where they supposed to do, wait around for Valentine's Day so the island fairy could grant them rings?
So how do you feel about this? Jack asked, figuring it was high time they talked about the two of them.
About what? Kate asked cluelessly.
Jack said, and looked around, us, living together.
Sawyer hasn't been giving you a hard time about it, has he? Jack asked.
Kate's attention was grabbed at the mention of Sawyer's name, which Jack found odd.
He can joke all he wants but he's only funny to himself, Kate said with a laugh.
That's the spirit, Jack muttered.
His eyes trailed to the corner where he had found the pregnancy test the night before, and realization hit him like bricks. She was pregnant. She had to be. That would explain everything, the sudden exhaustion, the clingyness, and shyness.
Are you sure you're okay? Jack asked again, now even more concern.
Was Kate afraid of how he would react to the news? Jack sighed. One of them had to bring up the subject soon before outrageous lies started about how Kate was gaining weight.
I found a pregnancy test in here last night, Jack admitted.
Something you're wanting to confess, Jack? Kate joked.
Jack's expression grew serious, and Kate immediately defended herself.
It's not mine, she said quickly, I mean, why can't it be Shannon's or..I don't know..but it's not mine.
Jack's eyes grew narrow. He had already confronted the situation, and Kate was clearly nervous about something. Why couldn't she just come forward with it. As if she could read his thoughts, Kate spoke up again.
All right, she sighed, it was mine.
Even though he had suspected this and knew it was most likely true, Jack hadn't really thought about the consequences of it being true. Raising a baby on an island, especially with what happened with Ethan and Claire's child? Jack took a deep breath. He knew this was going to be hard, but Kate needed him right now.
he said, walking over to her, no matter what happens, I'm going to be here, okay?
He placed his hands on Kate's shoulders, but his gaze only caused Kate to look down again.
It was negative, Kate said quietly, I'm not pregnant.
Jack was quiet for a few moments, taking this in. Kate fidgeted slightly underneath his hold, and he knew she was waiting for him to say something.
he finally said, and then sighed in relief, thank God.
He drew Kate into a hug, almost lifting her off her feet in delight. When he sat her back down, Jack realized how that may have come across to her.
Not that I wouldn't of been happy with a baby, Jack said quickly, I mean, really, I would've been. But here, at this place? I think it'd just be better if we waited.Waited'. Jack began thinking, was he really ready to be a father? And if they ever got off the island, what would come of him and his and Sarah's daughter? Would they ever have any kind of relationship? Would he ever even see Sarah again? After Sarah left, Jack was almost afraid of relationship, afraid of being hurt. Surely Kate would never do the same. How wrong he was.
About that.. Kate began, Jack, there's something I need to tell you.
Jack nodded, egging her on and preparing himself for whatever it was that she was going to tell him. But he could've never prepared himself for what he heard.
I slept with Sawyer, Kate confess quietly.
Jack's heart stopped, much like in his dream. He was sure any moment, the world would turn black. She was joking, she had to be. But there was no lie in Kate's eyes. Ashamed, Kate looked down to the ground once more. Jack himself turned away. He couldn't face her. The pain and betrayal he was feeling right now was unlike he had ever experienced before, topping even the worst kidnapping and fights. A knot formed in his stomach and it felt like his throat was closing up. He lowered himself to the ground, afraid if he didn't that he'd fall right over. Jack held his hand to his head to blow off the desire to throw something. The last thing he needed right now was a clean up crew.
Jack struggled to form a sentence, I don't believe this.
Part of Jack was even expecting Kate to come back with a And it was disgusting, but nothing else came from her, until..
I'm sorry, Kate whispered a few moments later.
Your..your sorry? Jack said in disbelief, standing up. No, you don't get to say sorry'. Sorry's no where near..
Jack trailed off, unable to finish. Kate just stood there, unsure of what to do or say.
I thought we really had something, Jack said, now feeling like an idiot. He looked at Kate. I guess I was wrong.I'm sorry, Kate repeated, eyes filled with tears, I..I didn't to protect you.Can't wait to hear this one, Jack said sarcastically in disbelief.
I don't deserve you, okay? Kate cried. I'm just like this..burden that your attached to! If we ever get off of here, this would never work out. I wouldn't want you to stop your life because of me.
Jack watched Kate as she stood there, shaking, believing that this justified what she did.
So then Sawyer's the perfect match? Jack said. Criminal and criminal? What, were you two going to be on the run together? Maybe hide out in a shack somewhere in Tennessee?You have a job! Kate exclaimed. A family..a kid! You think I want you to put that on hold for me?I think you should! Jack shot. I just can't..can't..after all I told you, about Sarah and everything..I'm sorry, Kate repeated desperately.
Forget it, Jack said, angry, leave me the hell alone.Jack, don't do this, Kate beg, there's gotta be an easier way we can-No Kate, that's life, Jack snapped, pain and suffering, and it's hard. It's damn hard!
He looked away, facing the wall.
My father was an alcoholic- a drunk, Jack corrected. When I was a kid I pretty much had to raise myself. I had no life- he turned back around, hands on his hips, still looking down, and then the plane crashed and I met you, and in a crazy way I thought things were really turning around- he shot Kate a cold look, until now.I'm sorry, she repeated quietly, clearly stunned by Jack's outburst.
I'm sorry too, Jack said, beginning to shake himself.
He felt himself growing angry, and began to miss being able to have a punching bag to let out his steam on. As a substitute he spun around and slammed his fist against the wall. Pain shot through his hand and up his wrist, but Jack ignored it, keeping his hand on the wall to hold himself steady as he looked down, unable to look back at Kate.
Get out, he said quietly, shaking.
I said GET OUT!Jack shouted.
His voiced echoed in the cave. Kate took one last look at him, almost looking hurt herself, and turned and fled from the cave.
A few hours later
Jack finally brought himself to leave the cave when he felt himself get so hungry he began feeling sick. Not to mention he didn't need the rumors spread about him. But when he stepped out of the cave he got the feeling that Kate wasn't the only one that heard the breakup, and he was forced to look at the ground as he walked through the caves, not wanting to meet the eyes that followed him as he walked over to get some more water. He uncapped his bottle and held it under the stream, laying his head against the wall wearily as he let the water fill it up.
said a voice behind him.
Opening his eyes, he saw that Charlie was the first to have the guts to come talk to him.
Jack replied with less enthusiasm.
I heard what happened with Kate, Charlie admitted.
Jack found himself growing angry just at the sound of her name. While alone in the caves, Jack tried to go back to sleep, as the dream had also left him feeling restless, but found himself unable to do so. Instead he did a hundredth inventory of the medical supplies, and packed and unpacked his backpack a dozen times, just to have something to busy himself with.
Don't you think you were a little harsh? Charlie finished.
Jack looked at him, incredulous.
Leave me alone, Jack said, sidestepping Charlie to walk away, afraid if he defended himself it'd result in a fight.
Just as he was about to ask Sun if she had any more of that soup, the ground began to shake. The cave walls rumbled, though it wasn't enough to bring them down. Jack held onto the wall to keep his balance, though a few around him weren't such quick thinkers and tripped to the ground. Once the shake was over, Jack turned turned back to Danielle, who was in her regular spot in the corner.
Get everyone to the beach, he ordered, tell them not to bring more than they may need for the day. Meet me there as soon as you can.
Danielle nodded, though there was a trace of fear in her eyes, and Jack got the feeling that she had overheard him shouting earlier too.
Jack said, and left.
At the beach
There wasn't even a second quake! Charlie complained, speaking out for the group of cavers that had gathered around him on the beach.
Most of the castaways were present, but Jack couldn't help to notice that neither Kate nor Sawyer were accounted for.
Dude, it wasn't a quake! Hurley spoke out. Didn't you hear that thing last night?
Jack's eyes narrowed at this new information, and whispers started up amongst the survivors.
We're all going to be fine, Jack spoke out above them, you can go back to the caves, but if there's a second quake-It wasn't a quake! Hurley argued.
Jack glared at him.
If there's a second quake, Jack went on, and sighed, realizing that he had no real solution, then we'll need to stay together.
More conversation sparked in the group, and those who were at the caves before began moving back, grumbling about the useless walk to the beach. Out of the crowd emerged Alex, who ran towards Jack, who was already preoccupied with another castaway.
I don't know what's going on, Jack repeated to the man, but I promise you that you and your wife will be safe.
The man nodded hesitantly, and walked back to his wife who was waiting for them near the jungle.
Alex called, running towards him.
he greeted, relieved to see a friendly face that didn't seem ready to get on to him for his argument with Kate.
Alex said again.
Jack noticed that she was shaking inside her sweatshirt.
I don't think we should go that way, she finally said, breathing hard.
Jack asked, raising an eyebrow.
A loud roar responded, and Jack looked over just in time to see the ground in front of the path to the cave break open, shooting dirt and sand into the air. Jack stood, both fascinated and horrified at what he was seeing, and the screams that could be heard. Alex grabbed on to him, trembling. He put put a comforting arm around her, but couldn't advert his eyes from the scene.
Author's Note: Yep, this fic's all about old thirty eyes in the jungle. He shows up a lot, but don't worry, it's not all running, there's story too. Thanks to those who reviewed the last chapter of As You Like It! You guys rock!
Coming up next, on In the End:
So, who died in that attack? You'll find out, though it's not the last time you'll see he/she/it. Other than that, I'm not really sure of what will happen, but I will tell you a little bit about the story. Sawyer will get a new love interest- that's not Kate, life and death situations will force Jack and Kate back together, and a new part of the island is discovered- or whether, rediscovered.
Until next time..