Title: The Tragedy Of Three
Author: smitha-r
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Lost
Pairing(s): Jack/Kate/Sawyer.
Summary: Kate's trapped in a cage with nothing better to do than remember what is and what was before her, Jack, and Sawyer were separated.
Notes: Takes place after episode 3x01 - A Tale Of Two Cities.

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This is what Kate came to realize; she wasn't the only one.

Every single person trapped on this goddamn island was broken or a misfit. She wrote it off as coincidence; broken people weren't hard to find. There just happened to be no happy, normal people on the island.

She hadn't realized this on her own. She remembered the moment, remembered better times, if one could call them that. It was all relative, in the end. Back on their side of the island, back in the hatch (god, she never thought she would honestly miss the comfort of the hatch), she sat with Sawyer as Jack paced around, trying to ignore them but too distracted not to. Distracted by the pallet of food, by their prisoner (she laughed bitterly, trying not to wake Sawyer in his cage nearby), by Michael's stubborn desire for vengeance, by his disagreements with Ana and Locke. Sawyer told the good doctor to calm down, Jack got defensive and angry, the two of them came close to physical blows until she ran between them, unable to take the bullshit anymore. She screamed at the men before her and their faces cringed with guilt. Their hands were on her, trying to placate her, comfort and reassuring until some sort of fire ignited the three of them, and suddenly her world spun around and she couldn't tell if she was floating or falling, between two bodies that held her close, her Jack and her Sawyer. Both of them had always been hers.

This was how they tried to become unbroken. But it was only a temporary solution.

There is another thing Kate came to realize; they took to each other differently. Kate reveled in the sensation of having them both next to her. She loves (Love? Really?) them both equally, and it brought a smile to her face to see them together, with her. Her own perverse version of 'strength in numbers', she liked to think. She knew they did it all for her, to keep her happy and laughing, and she wondered how and when and why she became the center of their respective universes. Three usually made for a chaotic system, but they seemed to manage quite well.

Sawyer, as much as he would never admit it, needed Jack just as much as he needed Kate. That was just the way the cards had been dealt. But Sawyer was decidedly uncomfortable when the three of them were together, she saw it in his eyes as they flickered back and forth between herself and Jack and then looked away, staring at the walls. He preferred spending time alone with each of them. He was playful with her, all drawl and charm and acting like he was the irresistible one when they both knew that he couldn't keep himself away from her if he tried. She saw the way he would come up to Jack's side, watched them from the corner of her eye as he talked quietly and actually tried to be helpful. Jack, in return, took the sarcastic quips that still slipped from Sawyer's mouth with good humour.

She couldn't help but sigh sadly when she thought of Jack. She doesn't know how much time had passed since she saw him last, since that bag slipped over her eyes. Jack, she knows, cares about both her and Sawyer. He couldn't help it, because Jack cares about everyone. In another life, she would have found such pathological selflessness disturbing. Despite all of this, Jack was the one who was always the first to leave, the first to break the magic spell and bring them to reality, whether it meant leaving her embrace or pushing Sawyer aside. He was constantly consumed with responsibilities and duties, trying fix everything without attempting to fix himself. Maybe his selflessness was actually selfishness. Maybe he was the only one who accepted that what they had was not going to help.

A stone's throw away, Sawyer mumbled in his sleep. She could barely see him through the darkness; there was just enough light from the moon that she could see his shadowed form lying on the ground. Her mouth tasted like fish, her clothes and skin were already dirty from shuffling around her cage, and there was a profound silence on this side of the island that chilled her. She stifled a sob and sank to the floor of her cage, realizing that she felt broken all over again.

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