Title: Bird on a Wire
Rating: I guess we'll give this part a PG-13.
Disclaimer: I don't own Lost or the characters thereof. I'm just borrowing.
Summary: Kate/Sawyer, post-rescue. Not based on Through the Looking Glass' flash forward.
AN: Last chapter. This one's for lenina20, who knows how and why I agonized over how this fic would end. Thanks for all the Sawyer (and Kate) discussions, dear.

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It's raining the day he arrives at the prison and she's not there.

They usher him into a small back room, where he's never been before, and interrogate him for almost three whole hours. He tries not to look too pleased at the news that Katherine Austen, Murderer, Arsonist, Bank Robber (they say it all as if the crimes are a part of her name), has once again escaped federal clutches.

He discovers he's been her only visitor (other than that sorry little weasel of a lawyer), and that pisses him off and he'd really just like to go find the Doc and kick his self-righteous ass, and that Korean chick's too, but he doesn't (time enough for that later) and instead sits there and lets them ask their questions.

He almost laughs a few times, wants to tell them that he's been tortured by a damned spinal surgeon and a genuine Iraqi, wants to tell them that their warnings about obstruction of justice ain't got nothin' on bamboo spines under his fingernails and a blade through his bicep – but he doesn't, just sits there and gives them his conman smile and says no, he don't know where Kate is and yeah, that's the truth.

And it is the truth, and that pisses him off, too. It's exactly like her to just up and leave and not even tell him about it.

But finally they seem satisfied that he really has no idea where Kate is, and they hand him a business card and tell him to call if he hears anything from her. He gives them another of his conman smiles and says sure, he will.

He stops for a smoke in the wet parking lot and stabs the cigarette out on the card before driving away.

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It's raining again, two weeks later, when he arrives home to his dark apartment and can just make out a figure sitting on his couch. He reaches for the gun he keeps on a high shelf and takes the two steps it is to the couch, presses the cold metal of the weapon to his intruder's temple.

A hissing intake of breath. "Sawyer."

He almost drops the gun. "Shit, Freckles."

"You're still carrying a gun around?"

"Never know when an international fugitive's gonna break in."

"I didn't break in. Bedroom window's unlocked."

"Where I come from, Bonnie, that's breakin' in." He flicks on the lamp beside the couch and they both blink in the sudden light. "Damn, girl, you look like hell." She does, she's wet and dirty and bedraggled, but even he can see it was the wrong thing to say.

"I can leave if my appearance isoffending you," she returns sharply, but he can hear something in her voice that's sad and almost broken and it scares him.

So he just shakes his head, laying the gun down on the coffee table next to the television remote. "Hungry?"

She nods once, then, "All you've got is bread and beer." (And some leftover Chinese that's got mold growing on it, but she leaves that observation out; it'd turned her stomach to look at it once.)

"You been snoopin' through my fridge?"

A shrug, but she doesn't say anything, daring him with her eyes to get angry at her for that. He returns the shrug and pulls a cell phone out of his pocket. "Whatcha like on your pizza?" At her widened eyes, "Relax, Freckles, I ain't tellin' 'em you're here."

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Two empty pizza boxes and several beers later (extra cheese pizza, it turns out, with mushrooms and black olives), he still hasn't worked up the courage to ask her how she'd escaped, how long she's staying, where she's going. Somehow he knows the answers would be lies, anyway. So instead he shows her to the bathroom, hands her a clean towel and one of his old t-shirts. She murmurs her thanks and doesn't close the door all the way before beginning to undress.

He's on the couch, turning the gun around and around in his hands, trying to ignore the sounds of the shower turning on, the swish of the curtain closing around the tub. It isn't until he hears the clunk of the soap dropping to the shower floor, her frustrated accompanying curse, that he stands up, tosses the gun so it bounces on the cushions of the couch. He pushes the bathroom door open and steps inside. "Need some help in there?" He can't exactly help the seductive drawl that comes out in his voice. Old habits.

"Sawyer, get out of here."

But he's already pulling his shirt and pants off, pushing away the curtain and stepping into the shower. He silences her protests with a long kiss and he's almost frightened at how easily she gives in, kissing him back with a desperation he's only ever felt back in the cages, back when she knew he would die.

The hot water is cascading over their heads so he can't see that she's crying when he lifts her up and pushes himself inside of her, but he hears her tears when she mumbles against him, "Don't stop."

And later, when she's sleeping in his shirt, in his bed, he can see the tearstains and finds it ironic that now, he's almost afraid to touch her.

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In the morning it's no longer raining. The sun wakes him up and beside him, the bed is empty.

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Like a bird on a wire/Like a drunk in a midnight choir/I have tried in my way to be free