A/N: Takes place during the season four finale.
"Nice day for a swim," Sawyer told Juliet, her being the first thing he saw, climbing out of the ocean, exhausted. More than anything, he wanted a cold shower to get the salt water off him. Juliet, however, would not care about cold showers, as she looked morose, with a bottle of rum in her hand, sitting on the sandy beach.
"What are you doing here?" she asked.
"Decided to go for a dip," quipped Sawyer. At least Freckles and the baby are okay. "Whatchoo celebratin'?" he asked, nodding at the rum. He flopped down on the sand.
"I'm not celebrating," she said, slowly. She looked past him, out onto the horizon. Wondering what she was looking at, Sawyer turned, and, gazing past the water dripping into his eyes, saw what she had been breaking her spirits for a while now.
A dark band of smoke came from the horizon, black and bilious. With it came new fears for Sawyer – what about the others, on the helicopter? Aaron and Kate? Freckles…
"That our boat?" he asked, turning back to Juliet, hoping it was something else, but not knowing what else it could be. He wanted to beg her to tell him it wasn't. Anything other than the boat or the helicopter. Kate had to be alive, she had to be. She and the baby had to be fine. That was all there was to it.
But Juliet's words made him realize that that was probably not true, that Kate and Aaron – and all the others – were dead.
"It was," she said, still in the same, slow, matter-of-fact tone, looking past him at the plume of smoke.
Dead. The word echoed in his mind. Of course they were. The helicopter had to land on the boat, and if the boat was gone, well… Sawyer's mind didn't finish the thought, moving on, instead, to another one. If they hadn't landed on the boat – wouldn't they have already flown back? If they'd had enough fuel…
Either way, no way around it, Sawyer knew that Kate had to be dead. Oh, Freckles.
"I'm sorry, James," said Juliet, still gazing out at the horizon. "I don't think we're ever going home."
As if he cared, anymore. Kate…
Freckles, why'd it hafta be you?