Numbers

Disclaimer: Still don't own Lost.

Summary: The numbers mean different things to different people. Kate/Sawyer.

A/N: Only seen season 1 so (hopefully) the numbers will correspond to things only in that season.


It had been 4 years, 8 months, 15 days, 16 hours and almost 23 minutes since they had crashed onto the island. Hurley had planted himself firmly on the beach, away from everyone, until the hour was up. The numbers had never done him any favours before, and he wasn't about to tempt fate. No matter how bored he got without his music, he would never be that bored.

In the early days of their habitation of the island Hurley had enjoyed the evenings, conserving his batteries for those moments where he could select a song and just step back from the action. In those first few days, the songs were never random. They were favourites; they were ones that meant something. Because Hurley hadn't been an optimistic since he won the lottery, and he knew his batteries would die out long before help came.

So he listened. He even listened to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" because…well, you can't be stranded on a desert island with jungles and monsters and not. It was the sheer comedy value, something he could use to initiate conversation one day if people needed a little light relief.

Since his music was no longer available to him, Hurley had to make his own entertainment. Charlie had his guitar, Hurley had his voice (although ever since Aaron cried at his rendition of "Wild Thing" Hurley was a little insecure about it, not that he'd say) and Walt was turning into a promising rapper (although Hurley kept that quiet too because even though Walt was 14 now he didn't think Mike would approve of Hurley teaching him "Baby Got Back"). Claire was also good with the vocals. Hurley was seriously thinking of forming a proper band/group, but what to call it? The possibilities were endless, and Hurley didn't want to form a half-assed plan. People could be mean. They'd knock you down if you didn't have all the details.

So whilst Hurley was good at organising little impromptu sing-a-longs, it was nothing compared to the music he knew was stored on his walkman.

He could still hear them, in minute detail, in his head. So now, in the evenings, he would pick songs in his head and sit back, surveying the scene in front of him. This evening, Sawyer and Kate were immersed in their usual banter, Claire and Charlie were fussing over Aaron, and Jack and Locke were pouring over plans for some new construction. Hurley watched them call Michael over, who pulled Jin along with him. They truly had become a community.

4 years, 8 months, 15 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes.

4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42.

Hurley wondered if the numbers meant anything to anyone else, or whether it was just him who was doomed by those numbers. Numbers which had caused him nothing but heartache. But Hurley could not say hand on heart that nothing good had come of it. True, those numbers had put him on the plane. Those numbers had put him on the plane that crashed. But those numbers had put him on the plane that crashed and he had survived. It was mind-blowing stuff to think about. And now he was part of this community. This close knit group of people that pulled together to survive, and Hurley was a part of it. Even though he would love to talk to his mom, to listen to his music, he felt that for the first time, he was part of something, part of something that mattered. It was definitely a "duuude" moment.

So maybe the numbers were both a curse and a blessing.

Take Kate, for example. Still a little bit wary of her due to her criminal past, but she'd been cool to Hurley. She'd pulled in a reluctant Sawyer into the group; she'd helped Sun to integrate into their society and helped her the only way she knew how. As she shot a reproachful look mixed with amusement that she wore often when it came to Sawyer, Hurley wondered what the numbers meant to Kate.


Kate

It had been 4 years, 8 months, 15 days, 16 hours and almost 23 minutes since they had crashed onto the island.

There had been 4 guns in the marshal's case. Guns that had since been long discarded, for lack of ammo. But Kate still knew where they were, tucked away in the Halliburton, a distinct reminder of her past. It had been years and she had hardly thought about them, but today she had convinced Sawyer to give his hoard somewhat of a spring clean. Sawyer had retaliated by telling her if she wanted it done she should move in and look after it herself. It was a none too subtle nudge to get Kate to abandon her little living area and live in Sawyer's camp. It was definitely tempting, he did have the best camp of the lot, and everyone had expected her to ever since she and Sawyer had become a couple. But their relationship was a fiery one, and Kate still (and probably would always) need some space to herself, somewhere she could escape to. She knew rationally she could just disappear in the jungle, but she valued her little plot.

Maybe one day.

8, 15. 815. Number of the box in the bank she robbed, all for that little plane that even now lay nestled in her back pocket. The harsh silver gleam of the Halliburton reminded Kate with a pang of that day, of the people she shot, whose names she doesn't even remember, doesn't remember if she ever knew them, of Jason, who she used most of all, then shot. She can remember feeling sorry for him, but inside her there was a smugness that she could manipulate people in this way. She wasn't proud of it, but the feelings were there. But now, most of all, looking back on it she always smiles at the absurdity of robbing a bank for a toy plane.

Sawyer caught her smile. She was leaning over the top of the bamboo sticks that had been worked at to provide a wall against the unpredictable harsher weather (and to have some privacy for sex, although in Hurley's opinion, unless they could get soundproof walls they might as well just charge for the full show). Kate's hand's gripped the top loosely and she rested her chin against them. Her hair fluttered in the light breeze, curls framing freckles. Sawyer stretched slowly and deliberately, up from his crouched position, making sure Kate got a good view of his topless bronzed figure. Kate rolled her eyes and grinned, but skirted around the bamboo and leaned against the other side, drawing Sawyer towards her and into a passionate kiss. There was many a "dude" at the kiss, especially at the prominence of tongues. It hadn't taken the pair too long to get over their shyness, even more so since Jack had shacked up with Ana-Lucia.

Jack, Kate, and Charlie found the pilot 16 hours after the crash, and it was in those first 16 hours on the island that Kate had finally allowed herself to contemplate that she could stop running here. It didn't mean that she would, or if she even could, but the thought was there and Kate remembers it like it was yesterday. She thinks that maybe she'll be running from some things forever, but in the literal sense, she's stayed in the same place for 4 years and she thinks that she's finally relaxed her guard. If they got rescued it would be another game of course, however, for now? Kate feels safe in a way she hasn't since she was little.

$23,000 was how much she meant to the police a few years ago. Sometimes Kate briefly wonders if the farmer ever saw it. Because technically, he held up his end of the deal and whilst Kate's a criminal, it's not who she is and doesn't want to make anyone else suffer (who doesn't deserve it).

42 months. That's how long it's been since Kate gave up on ever being rescued. And she's much happier this way. Living under the constant of fear was tiring and stressful, and it was hard to break. Kate was fearful of being caught, but in a way, she was also fearful of being rescued. What did she have to look forward to back in the real world? A life on the run? Spending the rest of her days rotting in prison? Kate had done things she wasn't proud of, but she didn't want to be locked up. And here, she had a fresh start, one that she had grabbed with both hands. It hadn't always worked out, you couldn't completely escape your past, but she felt accepted for the first time in years, and she felt loved. Yes, loved. Not only by Sawyer, in all his overtly sexual, secretly romantic, overwhelming, needy love, but also in a platonic way. She could confide things to Claire, talk to her for hours over anything that took their fancy. She commanded an element of respect, and if this were a project her teacher would say she had thrived in this environment. Kate felt like she belonged.


Hurley chanced a glance back over at Sawyer and Kate, and was relieved to find out that they had moved onto bickering over, well Hurley couldn't see it from the distance but Kate was referring to it as " a piece of crap" which could be anything in Sawyer's tent. Sawyer intrigued him, and also scared him. Hurley wasn't afraid to admit it, he wouldn't want to run into him in the dark of the jungle, but Sawyer did have all the books, and occasionally he would gather up the resolve to strike a conversation with him about borrowing the odd book, or discussing it. Sawyer was surprisingly astute regarding the books, and he was truly Jedi-like with his knowledge of science fiction and fantasy novels (although he had been threatened bodily harm if it was mentioned to anyone). Hurley nodded. All in all, despite his rough exterior, Sawyer was one cool dude (if a little bit terrifying). Kate and Sawyer were a good match. At first Hurley was waiting for Jack to get together with the brunette, but when Sawyer made the first move, and viewing the cat and mouse games both seemed to revel in, Hurley knew they fit so much better. Sawyer was now waving the "piece of crap" in the air and Hurley could make out that it was a McDonald's Happy Meal Darth Vader toy.

"Dude! That's mine!"


Sawyer

4 years, 8 months, 15 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes.

Sawyer remembers when they first got on the island telling Freckles it had been 4 years since he had made that particular birthday wish. And it had taken a while, but eventually he had got the girl. And for the first time in his life, it actually mattered to him. Not to his scam, but to him. He wasn't an angel, but neither was she (although sometimes in the firelight she looked just like one to him), and he could honestly say that he loved her. He loved her so much it scared him. He would piss her off, make her cry, make her storm away, make her curl her lips in disgust, but that was just who he was. He enjoyed getting a rise out of her, he enjoyed making her squirm. But he loved making her gasp, making her moan his name. He loved the way she would tell him things that mattered, trusting him with this sacred information that no on else knew. Yes, 4 years before he came on the island he had made a birthday wish. And 8 years later, he knew he had finally got it.

815. He sees that number everywhere. Oceanic Flight 815. The flight that changed his life. Sawyer wouldn't say he's a better person now and he still has many a demon, but it's hard to con people when you're stuck on a desert island. Doesn't mean Sawyer doesn't try (when Kate's not looking at least), but it's not so fun when you get to really know and maybe even care for the people you live with (not that he would admit it).

Sometimes, in his head, Sawyer refers to Kate as "my girlfriend, the bank robber". He had to admit, it was definitely a classic. He'd had dreams of them robbing banks together, pulling it off, with his experience as a con man, and her experience in not getting caught (although as he told Kate, she had got caught. This was responded to with a smack on his chest, and had led to some unexpected but passionate kisses which had led to…not much because at that moment Aaron had decided to go see his Uncle Sawyer for a story and when Kate looked at him with those puppy dog eyes he had given in quickly.).

Sawyer wonders how much money they could get, if they scammed together. $160,000 would be nothing with the two of them. It was a lot when he almost scammed it off that married lady, back in the day. That one he thought would go off without a hitch, but one look at their little boy and he couldn't do it. He didn't want the vicious circle to continue. He didn't want that little boy to grow up to be another Sawyer. Two were enough. And anyway, it's not like it would happen. The chances of them getting off the island lessened dramatically by the day, and even if they did who was to say they would not be in jail? Sawyer wasn't a fool, he knew something like this would be all over the news and the press were sure to dig for any scrap of dirt they could find on the missing. Besides, Sawyer was starting to settle in. He missed alcohol and cigarettes, but everything else? Not so bothered about it. There were little things that annoyed him, but he had come to realize he was quite a simple man, and he liked things on the island the way they were.

Jack had once told him it took 23 seconds for blood to circulate throughout the entire human body. After all the blood he's lost over the years, he feels lucky to be alive. A few years ago, he didn't care if he lived or died. Now he has something to live for. Someone to live for. Blood's a funny thing. Used to be he didn't want children, didn't want to blemish their bloodlines with someone like him, but now, watching Aaron, watching Kate with Aaron, he thinks someday, when the time comes, it'll be the best thing that will ever happen to him.

42. Life, the universe, and everything. The answer. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". One of the few books that Sawyer doesn't share out on the island. This book is his. Despite his reputation, he doesn't deny anybody of anything (mostly); it's not his fault he likes to have fun with people before giving it to them, or asking for something in return. He reads the book to Aaron, sitting cross-legged against a sturdy tree trunk, Kate between his legs resting against his broad chest and cradling Aaron in her arms. Sawyer's arms encircle them both, holding the book in front of them all, resting his chin on top of Kate's unruly hair, wearing his Harry Potter glasses.

Sawyer feels that, finally, he belongs.


4 years, 8 months, 15 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes and 42 seconds.

Hurley looked at his watch. Time seemed to slow to a grinding halt, the second hand ticking ever so slowly. Hurley shook his wrist and tapped the watch, until he realised that the second hand kept skipping between the 42nd and 43rd second.

Hurley glanced at it in disbelief. His watch had stopped.

4 years, 8 months, 15 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes and 42 seconds since they had crashed here.