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Disclaimer: I do not own Lost

Why would I sabotage
the best thing that I have?
Well, it makes it easier to know
exactly what I want with my
hands open and my eyes open

Hands Open, Snow Patrol

Ana-Lucia. He'd fucked her then she'd died. Not from him, he hadn't managed to turn le petit mort into le grand mort just yet, but it was mind-blowing nonetheless. He was her last. And it was a mindless fuck. He didn't want to be a milestone in anyone's life. Except for maybe one person. He wanted to be her last, her next, and her everything in between. But in the end his blood hadn't rushed to his head and he had turned to the nearest available woman. Rambina had always rubbed him up the wrong way, but he had expected her and Jack to be making sweet jungle love in a matter of weeks. He hadn't expected another burial, another death.

Another one bites the dust.

The sex had released some tension, but there was no pleasure in it, just pure, animalistic need. He didn't feel any better. The tension, that dull ache, had grown even more, except now he felt a pang of guilt every time he thought of her. Kate. He didn't know why he cared, but his body betrayed him by bringing his stomach into his mouth every time he saw her.

She hadn't spoken to him since she found out. The most Sawyer had got from her was this one look, filled with pain and betrayal and disgust and disappointment. And then nothing. A blank look, which betrayed nothing and yet everything. Sawyer had always prided himself on being able to read Kate most of the time, mostly because she allowed him, however subconsciously, but now she made every effort to avoid him, or act like he didn't exist.

It was stupid, because neither of them had labelled the other girlfriend or boyfriend, there was no lover, no mine. Yet they were inextricably linked, and the distance pained Sawyer more than he was willing to admit. He didn't need her. He didn't. But it didn't stop the longing looks he sent her, the silent apologies. Others in the camp had noticed the chilly change in their relationship, some knew why; others assumed Sawyer had fucked it up again, like he always did.

He knew he should be sad about Top Gun's death, but the only thing he was grieving for was her.

Look at me, he silently commanded, watching Kate wander along the shore, her head bowed. As if sensing him, she looked up, noticed him, before pointedly turned her head back to the sand.

This had gone on too long. He had acted like he hadn't cared, like nothing was wrong, but he missed her presence too much. Even her snapping at him was better than this accusatory silence. He jogged over to her and fell in pace with her.

"Nice day for a stroll, don't you think, Freckles?"

"Leave me alone Sawyer." Her perfectly controlled tone hinted at a buried anger, which Sawyer immediately latched onto. Anger, he could use. Blank silence, he could not.

"Be pissed off at me all you like, sugar, but at least talk to me. I got nothing to go on."

"Really? What a shame. I'm so sorry I didn't consider your feelings." The sarcastic tang in her voice hit Sawyer hard, out of nowhere. He wasn't used to things meaning anything to him, they usually reflected and bounced off. She took him out of his depth, into new, deeper ones that had the potential to be better than anything he had ever dreamed of but was turning out to puncture his hardened heart.

"It hurts you, doesn't it?"

"Stop it."

"Stop what?"

"Stop pretending like you know me Sawyer. I don't give a flying-"

Sawyer grabbed her arm roughly towards him, bringing her close enough to feel his breath on the top of her head.

"I know you better than you think Freckles. I know that look on your face, that one where you think no-one's going to notice that you're about to die inside. I saw that look after you told me you killed a man, I see that look every night while you play with that damn plane and I'm seeing it now." His voice had become gravely, low and intense, and he held eye contact with Kate, staring into the mossy green depths, daring her to look away.

"Don't," she whispered throatily. It was a plea, but for what she wasn't quite sure. Not when those hypnotic blue eyes were boring a hole in her soul.

He was leaning in closer, too close, and she couldn't take it anymore. She took a step back, but Sawyer moved with her, bringing his other arm around her waist as if to prohibit further movement. So she did the only thing she could, she balled her fist up and punched him in the face as hard as she could.

He bent over from the blow, cradling his cheek. A little blood pooled in the corner of his mouth, but all Sawyer did was pant, and rose slowly to face her again.

"Ok," he started warily, "Can't say I didn't earn that, but…"

Kate noticed the crowd starting to form around them, the whispers between the survivors, and stepped back again.

"Just leave me alone, Sawyer," she pleaded wearily.

She turned to leave, but he grabbed her arm again, gentler this time.

"No." He looked around, before saying, "Come with me. I think a little privacy would be a damn good thing right now."

Kate pursed her lips, letting a hiss of air out. She stalked ahead into the jungle, and Sawyer followed her, his eyes gazing down her body, drinking in the way it swayed, lapping up every detail of her back, from the curve of her neck, down to the curve of her hip, and down further to her shapely legs. He was addicted, she was his drug, and he couldn't throw her away, couldn't give her up, not for anyone, not even for her.

He followed her meekly into the jungle, letting her lead the way, letting her take a modicum of control in this. Sawyer felt like he should have his metaphorical tail between his legs. He never followed women, never apologised to them, never made out that he was in the wrong. He'd wait for them to come begging back to him, or to disappear out of his life so he could find the next one night stand. There had never been anyone he'd cared about enough to stay, let alone to win back. He looked at Kate, and a deep, primeval longing ached in his gut. She should be his, however possessive and animalistic that sounded. He needed her, needed her to make everything alright, needed her to love him, needed her to be able to love.

She stopped and he started.

"I never meant to hurt you, Kate."

As always, saying her real name got her to look up. She was resisting with all her strength, because she was falling in love with him, but she hated him, hated him for this, and couldn't forgive him, not now, not ever. As she thought this she doubted it, one look at him and she wanted to run into his arms. She stubbornly dug her toes into the ground and stared wistfully into the distance.

"You never mean anything, James."

"I mean this. It just…happened. It didn't mean anything."

"Yes it does. You had sex with her, that means something."

"What, like all the other one night stands I've had have meant something? All it meant was that I needed a good hard fuck and she was the only one who would."

This wasn't coming out quite right, and Sawyer could feel himself getting more and more irate.

"I didn't mean – you think if I'd have come to you anything would have happened? That sort of thing has only happened in my dreams and this isn't supposed to sound sappy so don't you dare think it is. You ever wonder why I'm so ratty in the mornings? You know how frustrating it is to be with you, to be around you, but not be with you? Every second, of every day, that I don't spend thinking of you is not worth mentioning. I think of you on the ground, up against the tree, legs wrapped around me, the whole shebang. But I can't work out whether one fuck with you would be worth the relationship I have with you, whatever that may be."

"Our relationship? What relationship? If we ever had one, it's certainly gone now. All you had to do was choose Sawyer, but you couldn't. You strung me along, and I fell for it. You conned me, you used me for your own ends, but you could never make your mind up one way or another. And then you did choose. You chose her. You chose ten minutes of sexual gratification with Ana over anything you could have had with me. And you could have had everything with me Sawyer. I don't know if you realise that, but you could. But you chose her. And now it's too late. This thing we had…it's done. It's over. You can't say you choose me now because she's dead and no one else will put out for you and I can't believe that you really mean it. I can't trust you Sawyer. I thought I could, but I was a fool. You think I wouldn't have "put out" for you? How the hell do you know? What, do you think I'm waiting for Jack to serenade me, woo me with candlelit dinners? You think that anyone else on this damn island makes me feel the way you do? You…you…"

Kate's voice had been steadily rising and as she ran out of words she panted. Her eyes were crinkled up with pain, her hair was dishevelled, and she was looking more and more beautiful. Devestatingly beautiful.

"I would walk to the end of the world for you." Sawyer's voice had become low and intense, and he shook slightly as the words sunk in, because they were true, and although he had known it he hadn't consciously known it.

"Then why couldn't you walk the extra mile to me?" Kate whispered, bringing a hand to her brow.

"I want you, Kate. Not just your body. I want every last bit of you, and tell me I'm selfish, tell me I'm a bastard, tell me I have no control over my dick, because it's true, it's all true, but it doesn't change the way I feel about you." He was breaking; he had thought he was already broken, but this was what it felt like to truly break, he could feel her slipping out of his reach, irretrievably, and this was his one last attempt to hold on. He was frantic, he was desperate, and only she could make things right.

"You had your chance-"

"No. Don't say that. Don't say that."

"I want you Sawyer, so badly, but I can't be with you if I can't trust you. Every time I think of Ana I think of you, you and her, until all I can see is you. You're tearing me up inside and I don't know how to fix it other than to-"

"To run away?"

Kate was openly sobbing now, her hands had become useless tissues and she gave up on trying to brush the tears away.

"To leave this. To leave you."

Sawyer turned away, because she was breaking his heart and he could feel the almost alien emotion of pure grief about to spill from his eyes.

"I've fallen in love with you," he said after a moments silence, the tears turning to grit in his throat.

"Don't."

He turned back around at that.

"Why not? You think I have anything left to lose? This may be the only time I can say it, so I'm saying it now."

"Why do you have to make this so hard?"

"You think I'm gunna make this easy for you when it's so hard for me? You are the one thing I've ever truly wanted, ever cared about, and I've fucked up again, I know, but I want to make it right, and I'll do that any damn way I can."

Something snapped in Kate and the sobs turned into full blown wails, and she slid down the tree trunk, burying her head in her drawn up knees. Sawyer knelt next to her, and lifted her head up.

"Tell me this isn't worth it. Tell me this isn't worth fighting for."

He brought his lips to hers, and held her hands so she couldn't push him away. He kissed her hard, desperately until she started to kiss him back, equally desperately. She wriggle a hand out of his grasp and brought it to his cheek, dragging her nails down to his throat as she fought to get closer to him. Her tears kept on falling, and she beat her hand against his chest as she sobbed, realising the futility of pushing him away, realising the price of this union. Sawyer kissed her cheek, her cheekbone, her neck, before planting soft kisses on her brow.

"Tell me this isn't worth fighting for," he repeated breathlessly, intently.

Kate paused, looking straight into his eyes. This was her last escape, her last attempt at freedom.

"I can't."