Summary: Kate Shepherd refuses to admit what her husband is doing to her. She refuses to admit how he's changed since they were rescued. Then one fateful day, she bumps into her destiny…
A/N: This is my second Lost story. They were saved after the tail section joined the camp on the beach. So anyway, hope you like it. Reviews are loved.
She wouldn't let the tears fall. Tears were signs of weakness. Empty shells don't cry anyway and that was what she was after all. There was nothing behind her glassy stare, there were no feelings, no emotions. She didn't even feel like herself anymore, she couldn't even run. Running was what she did, what always got her out of her messes, but this time was different, this time she couldn't.
It had been almost six months since she cried last, since she died inside. He didn't deserve to make her cry, just as she didn't deserve that arrogant smirk that crossed his face when he looked down on her from his pedestal.
She looked at her own eyes in the mirror and saw nothing. There wasn't even the shadow of the woman she used to be. She had been strong, confident, independent, but that all changed.
She ran her hands through her hair and tied it up away from her face so she could examine the damage. She reached to pick up her concealer and her hand faltered. "Damn it Kate, get it together." She muttered to herself. She brought the stick up to her face and rubbed it gently on her purpled cheek, wincing when she rubbed it in.
This she wasn't used to doing, he was usually smarter, kept away from her face. She had angered him something fierce this time though. But even that was only a reason, not an excuse.
She couldn't even tell anyone because that would mean that she would have to give up everything. Not just her, but so many other people as well. People she spent two months with on a deserted island. She really missed that island. Things were different on the island. Things were better.
A sigh escaped her lips, she was thinking back to those happy times. She was free there, she had made a name for herself that wasn't followed by the words 'a wanted fugitive'. She missed that, just being Kate Austin, but she would never have that again. Kate Austin no longer existed. She was Victoria Shepherd now, wife of miracle-working spinal surgeon Jack Shepherd.
Kate noticed her eyes narrow in the mirror as his name went through her head. It left a bitter taste in her mouth.
She glanced at the clock hanging on the bathroom wall, it was quarter to one in the afternoon and she had to be at Claire's apartment at one. She would never make it. She would have if she hadn't had to cover a bruise, but now she was destined to be late.
Claire and her son Aaron were the only two Kate saw from the island anymore. Claire was the only other one who lived in Los Angelus. She didn't have contact with any of the others, she wasn't sure she wanted to. The things they all went through together was too painful and most of it didn't need to be remembered. But as she sat in the Littletons living room she felt compelled to ask Claire about some of the others. They had made a solemn vow not to talk about it, but she felt a need to break it.
The room was comfy and cozy. Everything was white, the walls, the floor, even the plush sofa Kate sat on as she waited for Claire to come out of the kitchen with the offered coffee. She could never imagine having an all white apartment with a five year old son. She covered any stains well though, they were almost undetectable. The only reason Kate knew they existed was because she was a witness for a few of them. She smiled slightly at the memory of a little two year old Aaron getting mad because he didn't want to take a nap and throwing a jar of paint onto the sofa to spite his mother. Needless to say he never finger-painted again.
"What are you smiling about?" Claire walked in carrying two cups of coffee. "Not that it's a bad thing to see, it's just so rare now." She continued in her thick Australian accent.
"Just remembering things." This was as good a time as any Kate decided as Claire handed her a cup and sat down across from her on a rocking chair. "Talking about remembering things…" She hesitated.
"Yes?" Claire prompted. "What is it?"
Kate cleared her throat and tried again. "I've been thinking about, well, you know, the island lately."
"Oh, Kate, why?" Claire asked, voice a little disappointed. "The island doesn't matter. Yes, it served a purpose in all of our lives. It made me keep my Aaron, it made you and Jack find true love, cured Charlie's drug addiction and so much else. But it doesn't matter anymore."
Love? Kate thought, inwardly disgusted. The only problem was that she did love him and she felt the need to push through this rough time in their lives together. "I know Claire. It's not so much the island I want to talk about as the other survivors. Do you still talk to any of them?"
Claire sighed. "Yes, you know I do. Honestly Kate, they're all a little hurt that you want nothing to do with them, both you and Jack."
Kate closed her eyes for a second. She wished Claire hadn't said that, she wished the others hadn't cared.
"John Locke was by last week you know." Claire told her before taking a sip of her coffee.
"How is he?" Kate asked, Claire hadn't told her anything about the other survivors before now. This was at Kate's request.
"He's good. He's the same John that we knew, walking and all." Claire told her, smiling. She had a special place in her heart for John.
"So the island didn't take away his present when we left?" Kate asked.
"No, he stayed healed." Claire's smile disappeared as she thought of how to word something. "I'm sure Jack told you about Sayid." At the other woman's confused look she continued. "Sayid, he's…he's very sick, you know." She glanced away quickly.
Kate's eyebrows lifted in surprise. "Really? I didn't know. What's wrong with him and how would Jack know?"
Claire chose her words carefully. "He has cancer, there's a tumour on his spine." She chuckled nervously. "Seems to be a common theme with survivors on that island."
"Wow…" Was all Kate could muster.
"Yes, I thought Jack would have told you though. Sayid came here just to have Jack operate on him. It's scheduled for two days from now." Claire told her, looking everywhere but in Kate's eyes. The topic of sickness always made her uncomfortable.
"No, I hadn't…he didn't tell me anything." Kate got out in a voice barely louder then a whisper. They never talked anymore. He was barely ever home.
"Some of the others are coming here too. Jack told me, Sayid and John last week that-"
"Jack talked to you all?" Kate cut in, feeling some anger raise. "He didn't tell me, he didn't even ask me if I would like to see them. He didn't even tell me about Sayid."
"Well, to be fair, you didn't really want anything to do with them after the rescue." Claire told her quietly.
"That's not the point. He still should have told me in the very least." Kate crossed her arms over her chest and sat back in the sofa, trying to calm herself.
"Back to what I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted." Kate sent her an apologetic smile before Claire continued. "He told us that he didn't think it would do any good. He doesn't think he can get it all, that it's too far along. Sayid is going to die with a month, this is his last chance, even though this is probably what's going to kill him. He said it's better to have tried and failed, then never tried. He wants to be buried here, where his Nadia is buried. They others, they're all coming for the funeral that we're sure will follow the operation." Claire closed her eyes tightly, feeling tears well up.
Kate let her friend have a couple minutes to regain her composure before asking. "Who's coming?"
"Well, Charlie, John, Hurley and Libby, Ana Lucia," Claire paused to think if she had named everyone, "And oh yeah, Sawyer."