New Beginnings

By Blue Eyes At Night

Author's Note: I promised myself time and again that I wouldn't do a Lost fanfiction because I tend to…well I tend to update very slowly. But this little plot bunny has burrowed into my computer room and won't leave so in favor of Terminex I bring you my fic: New Beginnings

Prologue: Off the Island

She shouldn't have wanted to see those helicopters on the horizon. It meant certain detection. It meant that the people on the outside, who knew Katherine Austin was on Ocean815, was either a corpse or a survivor, and they'd be looking for her.

But after going through the hell of fighting Dharma, of trying to overcome the brain child of a genuine mad scientist, even a cell looked better then the stretches of scarred beach and burnt palm trees.

Behind her someone was shuffling through the brush, loudly enough so that he wasn't intruding.

Sometimes he can be so cute…Kate thought and let herself smile.

"You can come out Sawyer, I know it's you."

"I knew you could smell blood on the wind." His drawl was even more pronounced because of the worry that tinged the words.

Sawyer strode up and stood next to her. When she shivered in the cool breeze of dusk he wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. They hadn't spoken about their situation…they certainly hadn't spoken about the new situation coming ever closer.

"I guess…I guess this is goodbye, Sawyer." Kate craned up her neck and looked at Sawyer's face. His jaw was set as if he was preparing to take a hit…a physical blow might have been far easier to take then those few words.

"I thought you weren't one for goodbye, Kate?"

She did a double take when he said her name. He never really said it often. He liked to depersonalize people by giving them nicknames, it was a way of distancing himself so he didn't get hurt. But when he used her name there was something…it was as if he pronounced it from someplace deep inside him. It gave her goosebumps and she didn't know how to react to it.

Like the best things in life that intonation both terrified and excited her.

"I don't normally say goodbye…but I can't think of anything else to say."

To her surprise Sawyer smirked, "Fresh outta new ideas about how to run?"

"My feet are tired…I think I'll sit this dance out." Kate shifted her backpack so that she could lean on Sawyer's shoulder fully and she wrapped an arm around his waist, "Thanks for the dance, though. It was worth it."

Sawyer paused. Froze.

When was the last time anyone had told him that he was worth it? Him. Not the illusion of him that he presented to his marks…but the actual man underneath the skin. How long since he had made someone happy? Since making someone happy had made him so happy?

Hell, when was the last time he had used the word 'happy' so damn much?

He let his eyes settle on Kate. The last thing he had ever expected was to find someone who met him punch for punch. Who kept up with him quip for quip.

And damned if he was going to give up without a fight.

"Hey, Freckles…if I said I had an idea what would you say?"

"I'd say remember what happens when you think too hard…your little brain gets all tuckered out." She smiled against him before looking up and seeing the glint in his eye, "Sawyer…what are you thinking?"

Grabbing Kate's hand he began pulling her towards the caves, "Come on! Keep up, girl!"

"Where are we going?" Kate could keep pace with him and even had to correct his direction when he revealed he was going to Jack, "What do you want with Jack? You gonna give him a kiss goodbye?"

"No, and neither are you." The joking tone had left Sawyer, he was still a little sore that she had kissed Jack.

He didn't say another word until they got to the caves and were face to face with Jack.

"Hey." Jack greeted them, confused by the out of breath couple, "Can I help you?"

"Yeah Doc…we need peroxide and scissors." Sawyer panted out.

Kate's eyes widened as she realized what Sawyer was aiming at.

"What for?" Jack was looking from Kate to Sawyer and back as though trying to inhale the answers.

"I'm not sure if you realize it, Doc, but on the helicopter's that are coming to get us there are probably federal agents coming for our resident Runaway."

"Yeah…." Jack was obviously not following until it dawned on him, "No…no, no. No. That's…that's illegal not to mention risky and…"

"Jack it's ok, we're not asking you to harbor a fugitive." Kate's desire to run had tripled in the few seconds since she had hopped on Sawyer's wavelength, "We're just asking you to look the other way while your peroxide and scissors go magically missing…"

"And you come back with all new short blonde hair!" Jack sat down on the rocky steps and heaved a breath, he focused his gaze hard on Kate, "What makes you think that changing that will throw them off?"

"'Cause cops can be stupid." Sawyer had regained his breath and was stepping into the role he had adopted some weeks ago, protector of Kate, "Now…are you going to help us or do I have to take it when you're on the floor bleeding?"

Jack stood up as if to face off with Sawyer, they'd been doing that a lot since his arm had fully healed, and Kate stepped between them…yet again, "Sawyer! We're not going to hurt Jack, he can help us or we can figure something else out!"

"No…you're not going to figure something else out Kate." Jack spat out, almost angrily, "You've got, what? An hour before those planes get here? If that! This is your chance to escape. To run away again."

He took a breath, "I'm going to go see how Aaron's doing with his cholic…and I'm not going to check my stuff when I get back."

Jack started to walk off towards the beach when Kate ran after him and flung her arms around his neck, "Thank you Jack….thank you."

At first he didn't know how to respond, but he eventually returned the embrace and broke it off before he was tempted to kiss her in front of Sawyer and run the risk of a broken nose.

"Take care of yourself, Kate." He kissed her forehead and then called out, "You too, Sawyer."

"Yeah, yeah…" Sawyer grunted as he pulled Kate away from Jack but he did manage to swallow his pride and say, "You're a good man, Doc…a real good man."

By the time the helicopters landed and the police were loading people onto the choppers, Jack had seen the last of the Kate he knew.

"Name, son?"

"Jack Shepard." They looked over their list for a moment before nodding.

"Name, son?"

"James Ford."

"And who's the girl?"

A slight blonde girl with choppy, filthy hair was shaking against James. When she lifted her face she was crying so hard they could scarcely make it out. She nestled into James and he rubbed her arm comfortingly.

"I'm…so….happy…" She choked out.

"Name, miss?"

"Joanna…"

"Joanna Harper?"

She nodded.

"Okay, thank you."

With that James Ford and his blonde companion walked onto the helicopter. About four hours later they had landed in Los Angeles. When role call came they were two people short.

James Ford and Joanna Harper.

About an hour after that the FBI asked that fatal question, "Anyone see Katherine Austin?"

That's really where the story begins.

TBC

Next Chapter: The Bed Is Made

Author's Note: I own NOTHING from Lost, if its not Lost it's prolly mine so bugger off!

On a personal note: YOU MUST HARASS ME ABOUT UPDATING OR I PROBABLY WON'T CAUSE I'M LAZY!

That being said hope you like it…please review!