I've been meaning to post this for a few months, even though I'm not in the mood for LOST at the moment. (A certain Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann are occupying my interest right now.) Sawyer and Kate are not mine.

In Their Minds It Rained

In his mind, the rain poured down upon them all, drenching their hair and clothing until the water rain in narrow rivers into the sea. In his mind, they were garbed in suits and gowns of black and grey, a dark mass gathered in mourning around the open graves. And yet, if in his mind the world truly was then, she would not have been dead; she would have been standing there beside him, too proud to hold his hand but all the while promising silently of things that would come. Good things that only she could have provided for him. As he stared at the shrouded body at the bottom of the gaping hole in the sand, Sawyer felt as though he was sinking after her.

The reality of the world, of the island at the time, was that the tropical sun shone brightly from a nearly cloudless sky. It was like nothing had happened, nothing at all was wrong. At a distance, he figured, you couldn't eve tell that two of their number were missing. For an unknown reason, this infuriated him, though he did not show it and merely kept his eyes cast downward onto the sand. He cursed the sunlight then, fo rit seemed that it had appeared simply to spite them and the somber mood that funerals always had.

He hated funerals, as people often did. He hated the finality in them, the way they obliterated any hope and denial he might have felt, and the way they forced him to say goodbye. To let go. In the past, he had avoided attending them. All around him, people had died, and the idea of death had become much more apparent. Yet the people had not been those he had been familiar with, not in a long time.

As he stood there, his shoulders limp, his thoughts began to grow more distant. The gentle crashing of waves upon the shore slowly faded away into hollow silence, and he was transported into another time and place. He could feel floorboards beneath his arms, and could see the narrow crack of light just under the door reflecting upon them. The springs of the bed pressed against his back when he shifted so as to hide deeper in the shadows.

When he heard his mother's screams, he was suddenly jerked into the present. The sound of a gunshot still reverberated in his mind, so loudly that for a moment he wondered if it could be heard by anyone else. Yet no one moved. Their gazes were all trained upon the ground or distances before them.

Though he did not look up, he heard a shuffling of feet and moments later the choked words of Hurley as he attempted to speak of Libby before her death. It seemed almost ironic, how it would be he who received all condolences and looks of sympathy and understanding, while upon Sawyer they would look as they always did. Always an outcast he would be, accepting fate because it was too late to change. Ana Lucia had only enhanced who he was simply by being herself, and she had been resented for it just as he was. This was what had made her so attractive to him. Instantly, they had known just what to test to push the other to the edge, yet neither one had fallen or jumped.

And now she was gone.

Kate watched his sullen figure, sensing the sadness in it. He was different, the way he stood with an aura of vulnerability about him, how he seemed to respect the lives that had been taken. She wondered at this sudden change, yet at the same time could guess why it had come upon him, and it felt as if she was rapidly sinking into the sand to be buried forever more.

She felt sympathetic for his loss, though was angered that Ana Lucia had been a loss to him at all. And even though her envy and hurt were not as apparent as his despair, they burned within her, confusing her to no end as funerals often had.

She hated funerals, though she had not attended many as a child, and by the time she had grown into adulthood she never lingered in one place long enough to make a habit of it. It was the mixture of emotions she had never understood, the way some guests were exuberant as they recalled memories of the departed, yet others were huddled in shadows of their sorrow. Were funerals a joyous occasion, or a despondent one? From what she could remember, they had always found themselves in between as though caught in the medium of two worlds.

She had not been present for Tom's funeral, and the guilt weighed upon her now, haunting her. Far away she had been before it had even been held. Her father's funeral, she had reasoned, was not something she had been obligated to even look in on. Kate would not have risked her arrest to witness that which she had been the cause of. No remorse had been felt then, but Tom's death had been an accident for which she was still to blame.

She stole another glance at Sawyer, remembering how simple things had been just after the crash, in comparison to the constant worried lives which they now lived. He had called her Freckles, and still did, yet ever since Ana Lucia had come, the meaning behind the name had been hollow. It had become something automatic, and she knew she had not imagined the emotion that it had once been saturated with. Once it had seemed they could be understood by no one else but each other. But he had understood Ana better than he had understood her, it seemed.

And now he was gone.

He could feel her watching him, knowing she had every damn right to do so. And for a reason he did not know, his insides began to twist more deeply into a knot than they had been before. She had come to a conclusion, and he knew that if she had not guessed already what he and Ana had done, then it would not require much more time.

Kate had never given in to him, and he respected that about her. It had caused her to become even more desirable. And yet, as exhilarating as it had been, there was a point he knew he could never cross with her, a point which the one who lay dead before him had leapt over, knowing what they both had desired. Their unspoken bargain hadn't had a better end to it. Even if she had used him, she had known exactly how to do so, and he concluded this as an understanding.

Suddenly, he had changed once more into the frightened child he had once been, or it seemed as if such a thing had occurred. He was lost and confused, and instead of his mother's screams sending him into a state of terror, they had been transformed into Ana Lucia's; a noise he had never really heard but sounded so convincingly real that his stoic air was for a moment broken, and he sniffed unsteadily, his brow furrowed in anger and almost fear. His thoughts were muddled; however, in a moment, he could distinguish a figure approaching him in the haze of uncertainty.

In her mind, it was raining, and she was running until it soaked through her clothing to her skin beneath and her hair was plastered to her face. In her mind, her feet carried her not to him, but away, where she would feel safely and his lure would not be so strong. And yet, if in her mind the world truly was then, she would have been wearing white, a color which signified that no deaths had taken place, and she did not mourn one she knew she should resent, but could not bring herself to do so entirely.

Kate paused a moment, standing just so near to him that he would realize he was not alone. She ran her tongue along her lips, her voice lost for what seemed like centuries. And when he glanced up and acknowledged her presence, she did not speak, though it was by choice. Then she sniffed and drew a shuddering breath, her eyes beginning to blur.

"I'm sorry, Sawyer," the told him as steadily as she could.

And then she was gone.