Title: Together
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Sawyer/ Kate
Summary: Sawyer gets beat up and Kate realises she loves him.

Spoilers: 3.04.

Warnings: None
Status of fic: One-shot

Author's Notes: This story has been beta-ed by SweetRapture71. Thank you so much!

#Disclaimer#

I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show "Lost". They were created by JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof and they belong to them, Touchstone, and ABC.

Thanks for reading!

Jenn

Together

"Do you love this man?" the guy kept asking her as they kicked and punched every inch of his body.

He didn't even know why they had just barged into his cage, throwing him down to the ground and hitting him without warning.

"Do you love him?" the man asked Kate once more. Sawyer couldn't see her, too busy trying to defend himself. He could hear her, though, crying and begging them to stop. As he began to feel as though he was slipping away from reality, he wondered why they would ask her such a question. What did it matter to them? And… did she love him?

Puckett hit him once more on the side of the head and that time Sawyer knew he was going to faint. His last conscious thoughts were for Kate. Would they hurt her while he was out?

"Do you love this man?" he heard once again as he stopped moving.

"Yes, yes, I love him," she cried.

As darkness engulfed him, Sawyer smiled.

"James… James, wake up," Kate said as she stroked his cheek over and over.

They had brought him back a few minutes ago, surprisingly putting his motionless body inside her own cage. She was grateful for that, as watching him helplessly from another cage would have been just too hard on her.

As soon as the Others had left, she had kneeled down by his side. What had they done to him? He was covered with bruises and dried blood. Had it all been from the beating she had witnessed?

"James…" she repeated, feeling a tear rolling down her cheek. Why had they hurt him? Why hadn't they stopped until she had admitted she loved him? Would they later use those feelings against them?

As she tenderly brushed a strand of hair away from his face, Kate wished she could have realised sooner just how much she loved him. After they had dragged him away, earlier, she had cried desperately, fearing she would never see him again, that she would never have the chance to tell him how she felt about him. She was fairly certain he hadn't heard her then and now she was trying to wake him up to tell him so.

"James," she whispered again and, finally, his eyes fluttered open.

"Freckles…" he let out, his voice raspy and almost inaudible. "You okay?"

Tears of relief flooded Kate's eyes. He was worrying about her? She smiled and couldn't stop herself from placing a feather-light kiss on his lips.

"I'm just fine… now that you're back," she murmured. She had a million questions for him, but somehow they didn't matter right now. "Are you okay?" she only asked him, her brow furrowed with concern.

As he often did lately, Sawyer replied flippantly:

"Just great, shortcake."

The obvious effort it cost him just to speak broke Kate's heart. She wished she could do something to ease his pain. It must have shown, because Sawyer suddenly said:

"Don't worry about me, Kate. I've never felt so good my whole life."

Surprised with the use of her real name and his serious tone of voice, Kate froze, waiting for him to explain what he meant. Sawyer closed his eyes for a moment, before staring at her intently again.

"I heard your answer… You meant it, didn't you?" he asked, uncertainty lacing his voice.

Kate reached out for his hand and squeezed it gently.

"Yes… Yes, I did. I… I wish I could have told you sooner," she said, feeling more tears threatening to fall.

Sawyer seemed moved, but he replied, a naughty smile on his bruised face:

"It's okay, Freckles, you'll have plenty of time to make it up to me when we get out of here."

"Is that so?" she said in response, amused.

"Oh, yeah, I'm not letting you off the hook that easy. You're in this for your whole lifetime."

Kate grinned widely, knowing full well what he was implying. And it couldn't make her happier.

She lied down by his side, close but careful not to hurt him even more than he already was. They stayed that way, silent but still communicating through their bodies, until they fell asleep.

From then on, they were together and that made them as strong as anyone could be.

The Others had no idea what was coming their way.

THE END