Ok, I'll warn you, this is a very strange story, but it shows a very soft side to Jack, and an insight to Kate's past. So please don't hate it because it's weird. There's going to be some Charlie/Claire, Shannon/Sayid, and in later chapters Jack/Kate, so please read :D Also, please review so that I know whether to continue or not.
Three long years.
That's how long it had been since flight 815 crashed onto the mysterious island. Friendships had formed, relationships as well. Sayid and Shannon, Charlie and Claire, but perhaps the most prestigious of all was Kate and Jack. Not only were they more or less married in the eyes of the islanders, but Kate was also expecting their first child. Jack estimated that she was only five weeks along, but it didn't stop his fears.
He was scared of becoming his father, scared of not being able to take care of a child. He was offering to take care of Aaron, now nearing three years old, a lot more so that he would usually, just for the slightest idea of how to take care of a child, but he still felt helpless with the idea that it was his own child. He was hoping that the best way to learn to care for your own child is to learn to care for someone elses. Obviously not. He doubted that there was nothing up until the day of the birth when he held his child in his arms that would help him.
But the island works in mysterious ways...
"Jack, Jack are you here?"
Jack looked up from where he was filling the water bottles and saw Sayid running up to him. He looked out of breath and tired, also really sweaty. "What's the matter?" He asked, straightening up.
"Kate." Sayid said breathlessly.
Jack didn't wait for him to elaborate on that statement. "What's happened? Is she hurt? Sick? Where is she?"
Sayid got his breath back and then turned to Jack. "We don't know." He said.
Jack frowned. "What do you mean?"
"She's gone. Vanished."
"Sayid, people don't just vanish here." Jack said, walking back to the main camp and scanning through the people. "She was here ten minutes ago."
"Yes, she was." Sayid commented as he followed Jack into the camp. "She went onto the path towards the beach. Alone. I followed her, on my way there myself, and a few minutes into it she left the path."
"Left the path? Why would she do that?" Jack asked frantically, knowing the increased danger that lurked off the path now. Kate knew about it, why would she leave and put her and the baby in danger?
"It looked like she heard something, like she was following a voice, or someone she saw, and when I followed her, she was gone." Sayid explained.
Jack shook his head. "No, she wouldn't have left the path." He said stubbornly. He ran through the caves. "Kate? Has anyone seen Kate?" After asking everyone, refusing to believe that Kate had strayed off the path and disappeared, he finally got an answer other than a "no", but it wasn't the one he was looking for.
"Yeah, she went down towards the beach."
By now, Jack was making everyone paranoid with asking where she was in such a panicked way, that others had come over to find out whats going on. Sawyer, Locke and Charlie were suddenly asking what had happened all over again. Sayid explained it, and most of them said exactly what Jack had: Kate wouldn't have left the path.
"Wait, so you're saying Freckles wandered off the path, and vanished into thin air?" Sawyer asked. "Thats insane."
"No, I don't think she vanished." Sayid said, casting a worried look at Jack before continuing. "I think she was taken."
Jack was shaking his head. "Take me to where you last saw her." He instructed.
Just off the path, there was another, lesser path that they never used because it was a longer way to get to the beach. Locke was examining the area around it, making sure that it had been used recently. He stood from where he had been looking at the ground.
"Well?" Jack asked. "Anything?"
Locke nodded. "Footprints. Very recent, and from what I've seen before, definately Kate's, heading away from the main path." Jack sighed, running his finger through the stubble of his hair. "We can still catch her up." He assured.
They warily went off the path, Locke leading, and Jack following behind, the others tagging along beyond them, keeping their eyes open for any clues or sign of Kate. They walked for ages, following footprints, and Jack was getting more worried by the minute. Was Kate OK? What if she's been attacked, or worse? What if he lost her and the baby? Would he be able to go on here without them?
Suddenly, Locke pulled to a stop, and Jack nearly bumped into him. "Why are we stopping?" He asked.
Locke pulled out a peice of string that he used for measuring, and doubled back a few paces to where they had entered another path, and measured the size of the footprint. Frowning, he went to where he had been before and measured that track. "That's odd..." He muttered to himself.
"These tracks, they're obviously the same track, so we're still following Kate, but the footprints are getting...well, smaller." Locke explained.
"I'm no foot expert, but I'm pretty sure people's feet don't shrink that fast." Sawyer said sarcastically.
"No normally they don't." Locke continued. "My guess is they're going to keep getting smaller."
"Well," Jack said, after a few minutes silence and everyone tried to figure out what was going on. "What do you suggest?"
Locke stood up again, and looked from Jack to the track ahead of them. "We keep going, and find out what's going on."
Within another ten minutes, Charlie pointed out that the footprints were now smaller than Walt's shoes. Jack was trying to figure out a logical scientific explanation for this, but nothing was coming to him. Locke was about six paces ahead of him now, and Jack wanted to know what was going through his mind. He was about to ask him, but a laugh stopped him.
Everyone pulled to a hault, all having heard it. It wasn't a laugh they'd heard before, mainly because it sounded like it belonged to a little girl. There were no young girls on the island, not that they knew of.
"Who is that?" Charlie asked.
"Shh." Sayid said, listening carefully.
The laugh came again.
"It's coming from that direction." Jack said, pointing to their left, and running off the path.
"Jack, wait!" The others called, but he didn't stop. He heard them start to follow him, but he didn't care. He just had to find the owner of that laugh. Somehow, he felt that this would lead him to Kate.
He stopped when he reached a clearing, and saw the shape of the girl hiding behind a bush on the other side. They stared at each other for a moment, and he knew her eyes. He could have sworn he had seen them a thousand times before. The others came behind him. "Where is she?" Locke asked.
"Sh.." Jack said, pointing over to the bush, where they all saw the beady eyes poking out, watching them.
Jack got closer to her, and was halfway into the clearning before he stopped and crouched on the floor. He was the same level as the girl now, and they stared at each other like they had done before. "It's Ok. You can come out." He told her. She shifted in the bush, but didn't come out. Jack looked back to the others.
"Don't look at us." Locke said. "Let her come to you."
Jack turned back, and held out a hand. "It's all right, we're not gonna hurt you." He said, and there was more rustling in the bushes.
The little girl stepped out, and Jack smiled at the bushy haired child. "That's it. Come here." She stepped warily towards him, but then he could see that something registered in her mind and she walked quicker over to him, stopping right before his hand. She put her little hand into his, and squeezed it tight. "My name's Jack." He told her.
"I know you." She said. "I know Jack-Jack."
Jack smiled at her strange way of repeating his name as a sort of comfort name as one would do for an uncle or a family friend, but he was still confused. He had never seen this child in the three years they had been here.
"What's you're name?" He asked her.
The little girl titled her head to once side and smiled at him.
"Kate." She said, watching as the mouths of all six men dropped.