Hey everyone this is a post finale fic that I'm co-writing with CaughtInTheMoment so please check it out and review
Deep in the jungle Kate Jack and Sawyer sat in a silence that was deafening. Only the sounds of the occasional twig breaking or branch falling caused either one of them to snap from their reverie or glaring match they had with the flames. For the past two days they had trekked miles without food or water or even a few measly hours of sleep. They were lost. The only one that wouldn't admit it yet was Jack and perhaps he never would. Kate's eyes flickered with movement but only the dancing flames would allow this movement to show that she was indeed still alive after what she had witnessed. The longer she glared at the fire the more time she was able to collect her thoughts about what had happened over the past few months which only caused a dangerous amount of anger to build up at a frightening pace, an anger directed towards Jack and no one else. Sawyer was slouched against a tree seemingly struggling in his own battle of who would win this glare he had with the flames, his forehead creased as he struggled to keep his thoughts to himself. Now wasn't the time for his rude comments for Freckles and Doc and he knew that. Jack sat beside Kate, shoulders dangerously close to touching. He was also losing himself in the rising flames as he battled with his own inner demons of guilt and regret for leading Kate into whatever situation they had faced. He had no memory or recollection since he had seen her face looking pleadingly at him before that bag was roughly shoved over his head. His thoughts even traveled far enough to wonder where Hurley was. Had he made it back to the beach safe? Or was he lost just like they were now?
Jack sighed and looked around; his body ached as well as his mind. He was bruised and torn and he didn't know why. He furrowed his brow deep in concentration but still nothing came to him He had yet to tell Kate or Sawyer of his memory loss or of the angry scars, bruises, and burn marks that covered his body. He couldn't tell them because his guilt was already eating at him. Sawyer hadn't said much but Jack could tell Kate was angry with him. It threw him though because she kept looking at him like she expected him to say something but he had no idea what it was that she wanted. If he knew he'd bend heaven and hell to get it for her if it meant she'd stop looking at him like that. He glanced up and caught Sawyer's eye.
"We should move out at dawn" Jack said softly and noticed Kate tense when he spoke.
"Sounds good to me" Sawyer said quietly and uncharacteristically.
Jack sat up but rested his eyes not expecting to get much sleep, the thought of lying down made him cringe with all his wounds covering his body. Suddenly he had a flash of a memory.
"Now Jack, you can either do this the hard way or the easy way" the Other said threateningly.
"I've already told you what you need to know." Jack said. He was bloodied and tied to the chair.
With that the memory was over and it left Jack feeling even more confused. What had they wanted to know, and what had he told them?
The night passed quickly and Sawyer and Kate managed to catch some sleep but not Jack. He had kept an eye out for any signs of danger. He had also taken a few minutes to watch Kate sleep. It was getting harder and harder to look at her when he knew she would just look back at him with anger and disgust. He couldn't help but think there was more to her anger than just being trapped by the Others. There was something very personal about her anger.
They rose and gathered their very meager belongings and headed in the direction in which they thought camp was. Jack was going on pure instinct and didn't really want to lead anyway. He was tired of having to be the leader but neither Kate nor Sawyer seemed to want the job, so like everything else it fell on his shoulders.
After walking for some time they came upon a rickety old rope bride with wood planks as steps. Jack eyed the bridge warily already knowing this wasn't a good idea to go on it. While he was contemplating it Kate walked past him and began to walk across it. Jack reached out and snatched her arm.
"Let me go first" he said eyeing the weak contraption.
"Forget the chivalry let's go" Sawyer said crankily pushing through and going first. He started over the bridge. Jack sighed and followed while keeping an eye on Kate. Sawyer made it across first and Jack was almost there. Just as Jack put his foot on the ground he heard a sickening snap and to his horror one of the rope railings snapped and sent Kate and Jack tumbling. Jack managed to grip the rope and looked down to see Kate hanging on; unfortunately the rope looked frayed starting after where Jack was hanging on. Knowing that it couldn't hold Kate's weight he leaned down ignoring the screaming pain in his body and held out his hand.
"Kate, take my hand"
Kate clung to the rope drained of energy and life. They had been hiking for days with no food and very little water and here she was using her remaining strength to save her own life. She couldn't do it. It just wasn't physically possible. All rational thought had gone. She felt light headed and was beginning to see black spots appear in front of her eyes. Her entire body felt numb. In a small attempt to bring back some feeling she automatically tensed her muscles before relaxing them again and was relieved when she felt her legs again. But they felt trapped. Looking down and feeling like she was going to vomit at the drop below her she saw that her lower legs were trapped in between the small gaps that were in between the wooden planks.
"Shit! I'm stuck, my foots stuck!" Kate shouted the fear all too evident in her voice. The fear that now washed her gave her a new leash of energy as she made a grab for his hand, letting go of the rope.
"Just hold on to my hand, Sawyer get the rope, hurry!" He yelled tightening his grip on Kate's hand as he felt it slowly start to slip. His heart was literally rising in his chest. He had no energy and here he was holding on to Kate's weight and his own as he clung to the rope which was slowly becoming only a strand of thin material. He momentarily shut his eyes in fear as he heard the rope creak and then snap. In the same moment all Kate could think about was the security his rough calloused hands gave her in order to hold on to her sanity and not just her life.
"I'm on it just hold on!" Sawyer shouted. Grabbing the remaining rope that was once holding the bridge up from underneath he tied it in a tight thick knot to a nearby tree before running back and laying flat on his stomach as he reached a hand over the cliff to grab Jacks. With a struggle he manages to get both Jack and Kate safe on solid ground with one swift pull. They now all lay on the side of the cliff panting and struggling to get their breath back.
"You okay?" Jack asked breathlessly. Kate just meekly nodded in response as she struggled to catch her breath. Do you actually give a shit? She spat bitterly in her own mind. She was so mentally exhausted she actually wondered if she has said it aloud by mistake as he turned his back on her and proceeded to walk away on the opposite direction, shoulders hunched.
"Well that should go in the Craphole Island Theme Park. We could make a lot of money off a ride like that." Sawyer said still lying on the ground and trying to catch his breath. Kate shot him a look and got to her feet. She saw Jack standing a little way down the trail and she decided to go and try to talk to him. She noticed he was leaning to the side slightly as if in pain. She wondered if he had hurt himself pulling her up off the bridge. She walked up quietly behind him so conflicted. She wanted to rail at him for abandoning her and at the same time she wanted fold herself in his embrace and just forget about reality for awhile. She gently placed her hand on his shoulder to get his attention.
Jack winced at her gentle touch. If only she new it was because of the hidden scars and burns hidden under his shirt and buried deep in his mind. She stepped back removing her hand quickly swallowing the lump that was steadily rising in her throat. This ever growing distance that was tearing them apart emotionally and physically was getting too much to bare. She wanted to know what he was thinking, what he was feeling. She new he was hiding something from her, perhaps his feelings, he was bottling them up and shutting her out was the only way to do that. She silently laughed bitterly to herself remembering him previously saying that that was her area of expertise. She had always hated it when he was right.
"We should keep moving" he said his voice weary. Kate bit her lip hard and nodded. Sawyer had managed to get up off the ground and the three wearily moved down the trail. Jack could hear water and realized they were coming out from the jungle onto the beach. This gave him a bit of relief. At least now they could just follow the coastline until they reached home.
They walked in the sand for awhile staying close to the trees to catch any shade they could. Soon it became dark and they realized they'd have to make camp soon. As they came around a slight bend their eyes fell on a white boat that looked just like Desmond's. After close inspection Jack realized it wasn't but it looked like it was in good use.
"Think we can use it?" Sawyer asked.
"Hard to tell in the dark, it looks ok though. We'll be able to see more in the morning." Jack said hoping for once something would go their way. The three set up a fire and tried to get ready for bed. Kate heard a strange noise coming a few feet into the jungle she peeked through the bushes and saw a fresh water stream. She dropped to her knees and drank greedily forcing herself to slow down though because she knew she'd get sick. She washed her face and let he cool water sooth her skin. She got up and came back to the fire.
"You ok?" Jack asked looking at her carefully.
"There's fresh water on the other side of those bushes" Kate said pointing it out. Jack nodded
"I think I'll go get something to drink" he lied. He got up and painfully made his way to the stream. Though it was true he would drink the main reason he came was he needed to clean out some of his wounds. He set up some rocks to make a damn in the water slightly down the way and the water pooled for him. He figured he could contaminate less water this way. He painfully stripped his shirt off and the pain was so unbelievable he thought he might pass out. He looked down at his chest and saw they angry welts and burns that covered him. His shoulders and back also bore the same marks. Jack sat back on his heels frustrated that he could have such painful and pronounced wounds and not remember how he got them. All he had was that slight memory. The Others must have tortured him but why. Did they do the same to Sawyer and Kate? He had seen Kate's tank top ride up when he held her on the bridge and hadn't seen any marks. He painfully tried to rinse and clean his wounds but had problems focusing with the pain becoming almost out of control.
"What the hell happened to you" Jack jumped slightly when he heard Sawyer's voice come from behind him. Jack turned to see Sawyer looking at him incredulously as the moonlight shone enough on his back for Sawyer to see his wounds.
"I take it you don't have these?" Jack asked cringing as he cleaned another wound.
"Uh that would be a no. Seriously Doc what did they do to you?" Sawyer almost sounded concerned.
Jack sighed and rubbed his head, perhaps it was time to let Sawyer in on his secret perhaps talking about it would help bring the memories back. Sawyer sat on the ground next to Jack. Jack sat back and looked at the water.
"I don't remember" Jack said with a frown.
"You don't remember that?" Sawyer asked pointing to the wounds.
"Sawyer I don't remember anything from the time we were on the docks and they put the hoods on us until you came into my cell and got me out" Jack said with a sigh.
"You mean you have amnesia?" Sawyer asked contemplating everything.
"I don't know, guessing by my wounds it's only fair to say I was probably tortured. I could have shut my mind off to the pain and ended up blocking the entire memory of my time there. Or perhaps they gave me something to make me forget," Jack said rubbing his fingers over the needle marks that ran all over his arm.
"Freckles doesn't know this does she?" Sawyer said looking back towards the camp where Kate was.
"No I didn't tell her because she has enough on her plate to deal with" Jack said quietly.
"Look it's not my business but I can tell you this, they took you out and we didn't see you much after that. In that time Kate and I had a lot of time to talk. I think it's very important that you tell Kate you have amnesia, I think her anger towards you might knock down a notch" Sawyer said trying not to give too much away.
Jack sighed, "It's not a big secret you can tell her if you want, she's not really talking to me anyways. I'm going to try to clean out some more of these wounds."
Sawyer nodded and walked back towards the spot where Kate was.
Kate sat staring at the fire trying to find some balance in her teetering world. Perhaps this time with the Others was all a hallucination. A dream she had conjured up. Her stomach fell as she thought of Jack, how could he pretend like everything was ok? How could he not acknowledge what had happened, she had admitted her feelings to him when she had been the most vulnerable and in return he acts as if nothing happened. She was pulled from her revelry and saw Sawyer approaching. Out of habit her eyes went passed him to see Jack but he wasn't there. Sawyer sat down across the fire and gave her a thoughtful look.
"What?" she asked somewhat annoyed.
"Oh I just have something to tell you and I'm just wondering how you're going to take it. You might have to stop being mad a Jack and everything." Sawyer said with a smirk.
"I'm not mad a Jack" Kate said quickly trying not to show too much emotion.
"Yes you are, you think he's ignoring you and pretending nothing happened." Sawyer said.
"Well isn't he?" Kate asked bitterly.
"No he's not" Sawyer said simply and that gained Kate's attention and she nodded at him to go on. "It seems the good doctor has amnesia. He doesn't remember anything from when we were on the dock until we got him out."
Kate froze for a second stunned, "You mean he doesn't remember anything that happened while we were there?" Kate asked unbelieving.
"Nope not a thing, kind of takes the wind out of your sails doesn't it. Can't be too mad at the guy for having a medical ailment now can you?" Sawyer said.
Kate chewed hard on her lip and was sure she drew blood but didn't care.
"So you gonna tell him?" Sawyer asked.
"I don't know how" Kate said shaking her head in disbelief.
"Tell him the same way you told me, except maybe without the hysterical fits of sobbing." Sawyer said.
"It was different telling you Sawyer, I mean they took him away from me and I thought I'd never see him again I was in the moment. Now I have to just tell him. This whole time I've been angry and hurt because I thought he was blowing me off. Sawyer how am I supposed to tell Jack that he and I made love back there?"
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