Author's Note: This is my first story that I've posted (ever, I think) that wasn't One Tree Hill based. How ridiculous is that? Well, I've been on a Lost high, so I thought I'd write a one-shot about it. It was fun. I want to write more, maybe. But um, I hope that you enjoy, and I really, really hope that you review, because I'd like to know if I'm cut out for writing stuff other than One Tree Hill.
Also: I didn't add in any of the being-captured-by-the-Others storyline, because as of right now, we have no idea where that's going.
Summary: As they load themselves onto the rescue boat, they promise to exchange numbers, and then chuckle, because none of them have telephone numbers anymore. One-shot. Post rescue.
At The Bottom of Everything
The day that they are finally rescued comes as a shock to everyone.
Weeks, months, and possibly even years have gone by. They've lost count, because time doesn't really matter when you're stuck on an island. And in all honesty, they've begun to like the island, despite all its forced them to lose. Despite all the insanity, with the hatch, and the deaths, and the imaginary horses, and the overwhelming fear of The Others, they've grown to feel at home.
It is Hurley who sees the rescue boat first. He believes at first that he has finally completed the process of going insane, and he is hesitant to shout out. After all, he's lost hope of being rescued long before. After much debate (well, as much as you can do in twenty-five seconds), he throws his arms up in the air, attracting attention from all over.
Everyone stares in shock, and then grins themselves, proclaiming that they'd known it all along.
As they load themselves onto the rescue boat, they promise to exchange numbers, and then chuckle, because none of them have telephone numbers anymore. They know that despite everything they've been through together, they'll most likely lose contact, because it's time to return to normal again.
Charlie doesn't remember normal being so terrible.
Strangely enough, before the island, he'd been a drug addict D-list celebrity, and yet, after he returns home, sober and a sudden star, he can't seem to shake the feeling that life on the island was much more pleasant.
Because on the island was Claire.
He misses Claire. She is a distant memory now, with her wide, innocent eyes and their peanut-butter inside jokes.
He remembers her now as one of the unfortunate ones. One of ones that didn't make it off the island. He remembers holding her hand, and kissing her, and making love to her, even after they knew she was sick. And he remembers how unfair it was. The island healed Bernard, yet it made Claire sick. He remembers not letting her go, despite everyone telling him to, crying and staring into her eyes, which were now glazed over and had lost their pure blue shade.
He sits in his flat in London, and he writes songs and poems, mostly about her. He stops himself from relapsing with drugs, faintly remembering that quitting was a bitch.
All he wants to do is forget that Claire Littleton ever existed.
But that fact that he stares into Aaron Littleton's eyes every day won't allow him. As the young boy grows as his son, he becomes more and more haunted by the familiar wide, innocent eyes.
Sawyer throws away his letter to the real Sawyer.
Not before reading it once more, of course.
He comes away from the island thinking that there is a reason his plane crashed. And the fact that he survived it means something. He wants to start over.
He moves to New York City, and becomes a novelist. He laughs to himself about the strange life he's lived, and he plans one day to write an auto-biography that will blow everyone's mind. He'll have someone publish it for him when he's dead. Just for effect.
One day, he meets a man named Sawyer, and he knows instantly it is his Sawyer. The Sawyer he'd wanted dead for years upon years. He stares into the eyes of the man that ruined his life. He watches as the man's young daughter runs up, skipping into his arms.
And he does nothing.
He leads a relatively normal life, and when people ask him if he's "that guy that was stranded on an island for two years", he shakes his head 'no' and laughs, "I get that a lot."
He never sees the girl he once affectionately called 'Freckles' ever again.
But he wishes he would.
Locke can still walk.
He fears that once he returns home, the island's gift to him will go away. He is happily proved wrong. So, as if nothing were ever wrong with him, he picks up his suitcase filled with knives, and he waves good-bye to the people that were once his family.
He finds that he no longer craves adventure; maybe he's had his fair share.
He meets a woman named Kirsten, and even though he's an older man than he used to be, and she is beautiful and thirty-four, she still finds him adorable. He'll never understand why.
They marry hastily after months of dating, and they'll never divorce.
When she asks him to talk about the island, he cannot lie. He does not tell her about the hell they went through with the hatch and those magical numbers. He does not tell her about the strange Dharma videos. He does not tell her about Boone's death, and how he caused it.
He tells her that despite everything, the island saved him.
The island, to John Lock, is nothing more than a miracle.
Jin and Sun move to Canada, of all places.
Their daughter, Vivian, is barely one years old.
They plan to never speak to Sun's father again. Maybe to him, they are still dead on the island; two less people he'll have control over.
Sun teaches Jin English, telling him that it is necessary that he learn if he plans on living in a primarily English speaking country. He does, because he loves her, and if she wants it, he'll do it for her.
Jin stares at his beautiful wife as she sleeps, and he thinks of all he's ever done. And how he did it all for her. He regrets nothing, because all of it led him to here; this moment right now.
They grow old together, and they watch Vivian grow. Sun smiles proudly, and she leans into Jin as their daughter performs in a school play.
Vivian is beautiful, with Sun's hair and cheekbones. But her color is unmistakably darker than her heritage should allow her to be.
And although he says nothing, Sun knows he knows.
And although she pretends not to, Sun knows that the father of her daughter is somewhere out there with a son of his own, and the brutal memories of the people he had to kill to get him.
Sayid visits Shannon and Boone's parents.
He tells them of Boone's heroic efforts, and Shannon's kind heart. They cry and thank him for being so kind, and he leaves them with a smile on his face.
When he gets to the airport and the person at the desk asks him where he'll be going, he doesn't hesitate when he says, "Washington."
All through the flight, he stares at the picture that's kept him alive for as long as he can remember.
When he lands in Washington and arrives at the address, he waits outside for hours before getting enough courage to actually knock on the door.
Nadia opens and she's just like he remembered her. Her eyes widen in surprise, and she hugs him, and he feels okay for the first time in two years.
When she opens the door wider, this feeling is shattered.
He sees her wedding picture happily showing itself off, and as she talks to him about her life, and how wonderful it has been since he saved her, he feels his heart break in to tinier fragments.
She talks of how in love she is with her husband, and he realizes that to her, he was a guardian angel, not the love of her life.
Not even close.
Hurley donates all his money to charity.
He won't take any chances.
His mother tsks, and condescendingly says, "Hugo, you're making a mistake."
But he knows that she is wrong and he is right when his luck instantly becomes better.
He meets a girl who treats him like Libby treated him.
He gets treated with respect from everyone he meets.
He loses seventeen pounds, which isn't exactly noticeable on a guy his size, but he's definitely dropped a couple belt notches.
As soon as their boat docks, Kate remembers her place in life.
And she runs, runs, runs.
She doesn't look back, because she can't. She can't bear to see his face, disappointed in her like she feared he always was.
She doesn't know where she's going, or when she'll get there exactly, but the entire train ride there, she holds her little airplane to her heart tightly, squeezing her eyes shut.
And she cries, cries, cries.
She can't help but think that life was much better on the island. She'd do it all over again if she could. She'd never leave if she had the choice.
But fate is cruel, and it was never Kate Austin's destiny to be happy.
Jack rapidly becomes the "hero" from the whole ordeal.
When the press ask him, he looks down and says, "It was everyone else. It was Sayid. And Locke. Eko and Sun. I wasn't - no, I wasn't the hero at all."
The public disagrees.
So he gives them what they want. He smiles and attends charity events.
He returns to his medical practice, and becomes a legend for the procedures he did on the island, despite his lack of tools. He teaches his staff things that Sun taught him, and he fixes more and more people, but it never satisfies him.
Even when Sarah comes back to him, he pushes her away. She hugs him, tells him that she missed him, that she was wrong. He shakes his head, "No. You were right. I was the one that was wrong. I needed to fix you, but I don't anymore."
He spends his time when he's not working (and sometimes when he is) thinking of Kate. Oh, how he misses her. With her long, dark hair, and her cute nose, and her rebellious streak.
He remembers watching her run away, and he still feels the lump in his throat grow at the thought of her. He can still see the fear in her eyes, and the quickness in her step. He knew the second the boat stopped that she'd run again. He had wanted to run after her. He thinks now that if he had, he could have stopped her. He thinks that he could have saved her. But it is too late now, and thinking about it just makes his heart ache.
One day he goes to the beach, and he stares out at the ocean. If he closes his eyes and breathes in, he can make himself think that he is on the island, and Kate is right beside him, sinking into the sand.
When he opens his eyes, he sees a stray of dark hair, and he knows instantly that it's her, that she's there. He turns to face her.
She's changed in ways he doesn't know, but she's still Kate. His Kate.
She smiles faintly. "This is, ironically enough, the first time I've ever been to a beach since the rescue."
He finds that he desperately wants to kiss her, but is immediately afterwards filled with rage. "Why did you run?"
"Because that's what I do, Jack. I run."
He shakes his head. "You didn't have to. I would have helped you clear your name."
She laughs bitterly. "What? Have you added 'lawyer' to your long list of achievements now?"
"Why won't you ever let me in?"
"Why won't you?" She retorts, tears filling her eyes, and her voice rising.
They are both stubborn.
He doesn't know why, but he smiles.
She doesn't know why either, but she smiles.
They simply stare at each other for what seems like forever.
Maybe it is.