Title: Five Times Kate Doesn't Kiss Sawyer
Rating: Eh, PG-ish?
Disclaimer: Don't own them. Just borrowing.
Summary: Five vignettes, post-scenes, scene expansions, whatever you want to call them...Five of the reasons Kate and Sawyer don't kiss.
Spoilers: Various episodes through season 3.

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1.

You some sorta navel-gazin', no fun, mopey type?

For the first time, she thinks she might be okay with the fact that he's probably a no-good Southern pervert. And for the first time, she likes the way he looks at her, up and down, and yeah, she takes her pants off because she wants him to see her legs. (Hey, if she can look, and his abs are a hell of a lot nicer view than her legs, why shouldn't he?) And she even likes the way he calls her "girl" and how he grins at her with the water dripping off his face, his hair plastered to his forehead.

When he dunks her, she actually doesn't get the impression he's trying anything other than playful, harmless fun, and she likes that, too. So she dunks him back, and now it's a little less innocent, because she's the one who gets closer and she's the one who keeps her hand on his shoulder a bit too long before putting her whole weight on him to push him underwater.

She lets him help her up onto the rocks because she's feeling good and she might just be a little giddy from the cold water and the sunshine and the fact that it's suddenly easier to pretend they're not stranded on a mystery island with who-knows-what trying to kill them. And yeah, she lets him help her up because she likes the feeling of his hand on the back of her thigh. Maybe, like he'd said, they deserve something good.

She feels him dive back in after her, squirms and laughs, tries not to swallow water when he grabs her waist. She's pushing her hair out of her face, swimming away from him for the fun of the chase, when she figures, what the hell. She licks her lips, tasting the slightly sulfuric water, imagining his lips on hers and yeah – like he said, they do deserve something good.

But wouldn't you know it – dead bodies are one hell of a mood killer.

2.

Well, looks like we got somethin' in common after all.

She's not sure how he falls asleep so easily, but she wishes she could do the same. Talking about that night – even in the abstract, no details way they had – always leaves her sleepless and shaken and tonight is no exception. She lays on her side, glaring at him through the darkness as she listens to his even breathing. Is he really so comfortable with his sins? The look on his face, the way he'd held her gaze as he drank, had told her otherwise. So this sleeping peacefully thing, it pisses her off, to be honest.

Their fire is only embers now, and she hasn't had enough to drink to keep herself warm on her own, to grow drowsy enough to sleep. She shivers involuntarily – who would have thought she'd be cold on a tropical island, really – and pulls the sleeves of her shirt further down over her hands.

Eventually she sits up and makes more noise than she intends to, moving her blanket nearer to his. Body heat, she tells herself. Yeah, because sharing body heat and waking someone for angry comfort sex are definitely on the same page, brilliant-idea-wise. (She's slightly impressed by her own ability to think in sarcasm while she's still so out of sorts.)

And yet, she props herself up on an elbow, leaning over him so she can feel his breath on her cheek. She holds her own breath as he stirs and groans softly but doesn't awaken.

The thing is, sheknows he wouldn't push her away. She's known that ever since their kiss in the jungle, the kiss she still won't admit to herself that she'd enjoyed. If she closes her eyes (and now she does), she can still taste him, sweat and dirt and blood and something else distinctly him. Maybe this is admitting it to herself. Her hand creeps up, hovering just above his chest; now she can feel his heat.

But she drops back onto her blanket instead, and in the end, moves it further from him, cold air be damned.

Because neither of them deserves how good it would feel.

3.

There're nicer ways to wake a man up, Freckles.

Yeah, she throws a banana at him to wake him up and yeah, she's sure Freud would have something to say about that, but she really doesn't care. She's just glad he's awake at all, glad enough that his leering and his borderline inappropriate comments don't faze her in the least, these days.

When she says she's not his nurse, she's thinking of the hours she spent by his bedside in the hatch. Wiping his brow, mashing his food, helping him swallow pills. She wonders how much of that he can remember, if any, and when he asks for a hand, she's guessing not much at all. Not that she's surprised – and if she's being honest (she is), she'd rather forget most of that time, too.

So she grasps his forearm and hauls him to his feet and suddenly they're standing a bit too close. She should have seen that one coming, but yeah, she really doesn't mind. He's smirking just slightly at her and his eyes are telling her he likes what he sees, and how could she not likethat feeling?

But she just gives him a wide smile, echoing his thanks with her eyes, and turns away, towards the path to the caves. "Come on."

Jack's waiting, after all.

4.

Every now and again, there's one. One you name dumb stars with.

She stops eavesdropping then, turns and walks quietly back to where they'd made camp the night before.

No, she's not naïve enough to believe he's thinking of her when he says it; she imagines he'd have a good laugh at the thought of the both of them naming constellations together. Especially now. But still, her cheeks flush with emotion as she replays the words in her head and she wonders if, yet again, she's misjudged him.

And for a moment, even, she can imagine he is speaking of her, and she walks around their makeshift campsite, playing at packing up, even though they've been traveling with virtually nothing. She finally ends up sitting idly (she hates sitting idly, but at least she's doing so outside and not in a cage, again) on a log, waiting. Where there'd been irritation and frustration in her mind, where he's concerned, now there's a warmer feeling. It's new and unsure and scary as hell, but she thinks she might like it. One you name dumb stars with. She touches her lips where there's a hint of a smile, finally.

And then he has to come back and say he's let Karl go, and ruin it all, again.

5.

And I ain't got nothin' to be sorry for.

It's been weeks, but his words play over in her mind as she watches him hug Jack. She has no idea if he's given her even a second thought while she's been gone, but she does know that he'd been right, in a way. Yeah, he'd pissed her off, but compared to her, he doesn't have anything to be sorry for. (Compared to her, most people don't.)

She knows she'll be the first one he sees after turning from Jack, and she takes a step towards him. Can't help it. But when he turns to her, her feet stop moving. She knows she should say something. We could start again. Give each other a clean slate. But she can't, and her face feels flushed and she fumbles with the water bottle in her hands and why is he just staring at her like that?

They each decide to walk towards the other at the same time, and she drops the bottle to the sand when his arms encircle her. She wraps her own around his neck, buries her face in his shoulder, and she can feel his hand in her hair.

She can't remember the last time she's been held so tightly.

This is safety. This is forgiveness.

This is her starting again.

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fin

Note: This is probably as close to "happy" Kate/Sawyer as I'll ever get ;)