Title: Tales from a Dead End Town
Rating: PG-13/ R to be safe
Summary: AU, off-island, Kate and Sawyer one-shot. Written for fanfic100 prompt 066: Rain.
Status of fic: Completed
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Author's Notes: This theoretically could or could not have happened within the canon of the show. It's up to you to decide which way you want to read it.
Tales from a Dead End Town
The sky was black. That was the first thing she noticed, despite the overwhelming grey concrete that had sprung up around her. Inky, oppressive black. There were no stars twinkling in the sky, instead they were hidden above a rolling mass of clouds. The only light was the artificial fluorescent kind interspersed down the road and whilst she was desperate for light, the natural one had abandoned her for the night.
She had been walking for hours, down that dusty road. Miles of unending landscape. It had been disconcerting, spending all that time and seemingly getting nowhere, but now she had hit this concrete town she wished for that monotonous view of corn fields and country fences. Kate found herself in small town America, a newer one at that, judging by the industrial concrete buildings around. As she had entered the town's limits a few stray cardboard cut-out houses had cropped up higgledy-piggledy, randomly strewn through nearby fields. As the houses became more and more compact they changed into run-down blocks of apartments, seedy motels, boarded up shops with graffiti etched into their skins. Kate felt sad for this abandoned town in the middle of nowhere, no one to love it, no one to care.
An empty, screwed up beer can clattered across the road in a sudden gust of wind, bringing with it the faint peal of rowdy teenagers whooping in the distance. Kate looked up, with a hint of longing in her face as she kicked the beer can disinterestedly out of her path and stepped off the road onto the curb. A moment later a huge tanker boomed past, its wheels spinning as its horn emitted a low blare. Kate's lone figure took no notice of this, her movements perfectly in tune with the surroundings without any outside illustration of awareness. She didn't walk through the landscape, she became the landscape. She returned her eyes to the ground, her head bowed, more comfortable this way. She stared intently at her feet, wondering at the ability to walk that so many took for granted. She focused all her energy on one trail of thought; no others were allowed.
One, two, one two.
One step after another. Concrete left no footprints behind, which in her current circumstances was one blessing, but she hated the unnaturalness of it. She had left behind faint footprints for miles on that dust road. Undistinguishable from others, maybe, blending in with every other print that had graced that place, yes, but she had made a mark there, however subtle. She could make a mark on nature, but she left behind no traces on man.
She looked up sharply, blaming the wetness in her eyes on the increasingly bitter wind. She pulled her jacket closer round her, wrapping her arms around her waist in the hope of retaining warmth. As if nature was calling her on this act, the wind whipped up a notch more, teasing curls out of their resting pattern, making them fly. But only so far, returning every so often to their roots.
Something Kate could never do again. The loneliness left a bitter taste in her mouth. She wasn't supposed to think about the past. Or the future, for that matter. The past was set in stone too much, too much hurt, too much pain. There was too much future, too much uncertainty, too much possibility. So Kate lived in an endless present, where nothing mattered except the journey. She had no destination, nowhere to focus on, nowhere to look forward to.
She pulled her collar up, uncaring of whether it was the fashion to or not, huddling into herself as she walked. Her teeth started to chatter and she ground them resolutely. She would not stop in this ghost town; there was no defence in sleep. She had walked for miles upon miles, hitchhiked a hell of a lot further, only to end up here. No, not end up. There was no end to this, none at all. Even her death would not be an end, because there was no one to notice, no one to –
No. That was not the way to think. Kate narrowed her eyes against the blustering wind, looking for any signs of life. Her eyes surveyed the horizon, but everything looked shut down and dead. In a corner the wind tossed up dropped wrappers and discarded cans, regurgitating them against a decrepit wall. A lone shelter of some kind stood on the pavement, and Kate thought this would be her best bet against the harsh weather. As she got closer, a pole signified it was a bus stop. From what she had seen, she doubted whether any buses stopped here anymore, but it was a good enough place to pass a few hours until the wind died down. She approached the shelter, stopping just outside the doorway when she realised, her heart sinking slightly, it was occupied. She wasn't in the mood for small talk.
The lone resident of the shelter was apathetically lounging, one arm leaning through the window. Window was actually upgrading its status; the hole in the block of concrete would be nearer the truth. He lazily dragged a cigarette to his mouth, closing his eyes as he inhaled, before returning his hand to its apathetical position. He looked to be in his mid to late thirties, a scruffy look about him, enhanced by the three day stubble he was sporting. He looked up at Kate and smirked appreciatively, looking her slowly up and down.
"Well, sweetheart," he drawled. "What brings you to this neck of the woods?"
Kate sighed in disgust, making a move to leave. A loud rumble of thunder led a prelude with the wind. She stood there for a moment, wind blowing her hair in a thousand different directions and she tugged at it irritably.
"Just passing through. And yourself?"
"Why, cupcake, I'm here for the view."
There was something deeply sardonic in his voice, but Kate had already started to move on.
"Hey sweet cheeks!" The stranger's voice swirled into her ears as she kept walking. She stopped, and turned around, one arm placed on her hip. She looked expectantly at the man, trying not to notice the tanned glimpse of torso that escaped from his soft purple and lime green shirt. She dragged her eyes up to his mouth, noting the corded muscle of his arms on the way.
"Weather says, it's gonna rain tonight. A pretty girl like you shouldn't be getting her hair all wet. You too scared to stop and rest awhile with me? Guarantee, there's nothing else this side of the freeway for you to bunk down in."
"I passed about a dozen motels on my way here, thank you very much," she replied, a hard edge to her voice. At that moment, the air felt moister. Tiny raindrops splashed onto her skin, as if to agree with this stranger's words.
"I don't bite," he said, laughing.
Kate stood in indecision, could she really stand this smarmy Southerner for hours on end? The raindrops became larger and heavier, smacking her as they fell; what the hell, she'd stay.
She perched primly on the bench next to him, hands on knees like a pianist preparing to perform. She leaned her head back against the cold concrete wall, feeling tiny rivulets of water leaving her hair, tickling her neck. She pulled her head up again, took in every nook and cranny of the shelter, anything to keep her occupied from him.
"So, princess, you got a name?"
His words forced her to look into his eyes, and my god, they were so deep, and blue. She blinked, realising she was staring, and retorted to cover up, "Why? Would you use it? Seems like you have enough nicknames to arm an entire war effort."
"Love is a battlefield, baby."
Kate couldn't help but crinkle her nose and smile in disbelief.
"Do you know how corny that sounds?"
He shrugged, brushing a hand through his shaggy blond hair.
"Sawyer," he offered.
"That's not your real name," she scoffed. "Who the hell would be called Sawyer?"
Sawyer looked a little offended at this. "It's a nickname, sugar. Now, you going to tell me your name, or am I going to have to dig into my reserves?"
His smile was disarming, and Kate looked down.
"Well, ain't that a pretty name, Katie."
"No. Not Katie. Just Kate."
Sawyer held up his hands in a surrender gesture, before kicking his feet out and stretching, leaning back. She saw him sneaking looks, every now and then, but he said nothing, and she shared this. She fumbled in her pocket, trying to find something to occupy her itchy fingers. She pulled out her toy plane, but it caught on the material of her jeans and it flew, for a second, before it fell to the ground near Sawyer with a clatter. He reached down to pick it up the same time she lunged for it, and they were suddenly very close to each other, could feel each other's breath on their skin. It turned more ragged, as each realised that their hands lay clasped over the plane. Kate knew that if she turned her head, however imperceptibly, she'd be close enough to touch him, to kiss him. And how she wanted to.
This raw passion, it bubbles to the surface every now and then. The yearn for human touch never quite leaves, no matter how isolated you become. Intimate contact like this only serves to heighten it. For his part, he has not moved either; his head is bowed, looking at their joined hands. Finally he looked up, the same time Kate did, and their noses grazed against each other. Tentatively, she rested her forehead against his, and in return, he closes what gap there is left and captured her lips with his.
Rain tinkled down like manicured fingers tapping on ivory piano keys. From the periphery of their vision an infrequent trail of light blasted past as the odd vehicle blazed through. It reminded Kate of those images she had seen on the television of Times Square at night speeded up, searing bright lights against the ever-present black. The wind was picking up, howling and whistling, buffeting at the sides of shelter. Every so often it changed direction, jolting against the duo, but this just added to the sensations each invoked in the other. There were no words, nothing except feel and touch. Their mouths melded together as his hands covered every part of her, and she let him. They stayed that way for awhile, hungry for touch but revelling in the moment.
The fluorescent light gave one final flicker and died, plunging the duo into darkness. She didn't know this stranger, but she felt his need as keenly as he felt hers, and for once, she let herself go, trusting her body in the hands of this unknown man. No one was around to hear the moans that Kate would later deny to herself, no one to hear the rustle of Sawyer unwrapping the condom, no one to hear the ragged words he gasped.
Sawyer had had plenty of good fcks, plenty of good one night stands, but this? Was sublime. This strange and beautiful girl, head thrown back in passion, exposing deliciously smooth skin with her undone-to-the-bra shirt, had no idea of the spell she was putting Sawyer under, and he pushed harder against her, forcing her back against the wall, her legs tightening around him as he buried his face in her neck, muffling his cries. The wall was hard against her back, unyielding, everything she wasn't.
Kate lessened her grip on Sawyer slightly, after they shuddered in pleasure one last time. He slowly lifted her down, and she grabbed onto him instinctively, legs wobbling. He splayed a palm against the wall and leaned into it, controlling his ragged breathing as best he could. Kate rearranged herself, patting her hair before recognising the futility of it. She stood, unsure, when suddenly she was saved by the squeaking of tyres and the hiss of doors opening.
Two men walked past, and Kate realised a bus had stopped, right outside. She walked out of the shelter, raindrops gliding into her hair, before she stopped one last time.
It was a question from which Kate had no idea what answer she wanted. She pulled her jacket to her tighter, droplets of rain hanging onto her eyelashes. Sawyer only smiled wryly; a smile that Kate could not begin to fathom the meaning behind.
"Sorry, Freckles. I got a while to wait yet."
Kate nodded, somewhat sadly, before entering the bus and sitting heavily on the nearest available seat. She twirled the toy plane in her pocket, back safely, where it belonged, and closed her eyes, leaning her head against the window as the bus juddered to life and started moving. For a brief moment she thought she saw a lone figure looking out of the hole in the shelter, but then she blinked, and she saw nothing.