Disclaimer: LOST is the property of ABC.

Who We Are

I won't do this.

This isn't why you brought me here; this has nothing to do with my research; this is something else, and you won't tell me what. "This baby is special, Juliet," you keep telling me. "Could be," I remind you, even though I've never understood what it means to be "special" here. I don't think it's possible to be a mother and be special. Certainly this mother is not, or we wouldn't keep her drugged and locked away in the Staff, waiting to see if and how she will die.

"You want to take her baby," I say, flinging the words like knives.

"Yes," you tell me, and the surprise in your voice is palpable, as if what I have just accused you of is the most obvious thing in the world, and of course that's what you're planning. Why should anyone think otherwise?

"I forgot," I say, and my voice is sharp, slicing. "You're good at stealing children."

Ben needs to learn to mask his emotions better around me, because I can see how I have hurt him, angered him, shocked him, confused him, created any number of feelings within him that I'm not supposed to see.

I can't do this.

You want me to help with the surgery because there's no one else, because Goodwin is with them. "So bring him back," I snap, even though I know you won't. You're pleased with yourself for removing Goodwin. Probably you hope he won't come back. I think about that possibility sometimes and find that I don't really care. He wanted me, had me, and understood that I was not interested in him for what he could give me, only how I could use him. But he is a surgeon, and I'm not, and it would be better for him to help Ethan than me.

A little over two years ago, to everyone's complete surprise, Rachel's cancer went into complete remission.

You don't have to say it again. I can see in your eyes that you know you don't have to say it. You know it's all I think about. You know that every time I tell you that you're asking too much, part of me is terrified that you'll take it back; make her sick again.

I am not capable of being what you want me to be.

I think what troubles me most is that I say these things, to you and myself, and yet I know in the end that I don't mean a word. Being here, being with you, has brought something out in me that I never realized was there. I suppose I should have. But I still can't forgive you for showing me who I am.

What I am.

What you are.

You are the kind of person who will dangle peoples' worst fears and deepest desires in front of them, then snatch those things back and offer them in pieces in return for some task. Blackmail, I suppose that's called, but somehow the word is not strong enough, not visceral enough, for your absolute ruthlessness.

I am the kind of person, on the other hand, who will take what you offer and do what you say. I will kick and scream and tell you I hate you, and I will rationalize each step I take towards doing your dirty work, and in the end it gets done, and by that time I have a hard time caring or feeling disgusted with myself.

You are holding the sonogram out to me, face expectant, a little curious, a little calculating, and I feel my rage burn a little colder. "I need you to do this for me," you say, never taking your eyes from me.

Shortly after she gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

I can do surgery I was never trained for.

I can take Littleton's child from her while she is too drugged to notice, or perhaps too busy bleeding out her life to care.

I will do these things.

Yes, Ben, you have taught me so much about both of us.

The problem is, I don't know which one of us is worse.