I'm Doing This for Her

James had just come off his shift. Jin and Miles had helped him with his section of the grid search, but so far, no sign of Sayid. James worried about his friend, he knew what would happen if anyone from Dharmaville found him, but also knew Sayid's fate wasn't much better if he ran into The Others. One thing was for certain, these searches were meaningless. If James knew Sayid at all, he knew that he was far away from here. "Oh well," he thought. "I did what I could, Sayid made his choices." Dirty, sweaty and hungry, he wanted nothing more than to go home for a nice shower and a quick sandwich followed up with a cold Dharma beer, but first he had to check on Ben.

He felt regret over his initial reaction to the boy--on that fateful day when Roger Linus brought his son to this godforsaken place. Upon greeting the new recruits James couldn't help but be repelled by the scrawny adolescent, but knew his reaction was just his hatred for the man he would one day become. Keeping his distance was difficult to do; Ben was shy but very curious. While on duty James would constantly find him poking about and would dutifully send him back to his father. Every time he was caught somewhere he wasn't supposed to be, Ben would give James a look that was part sorrow and part fear; James knew that Roger could be hard on the boy and couldn't help but feel for Ben, but then he'd remember exactly what he would one day be capable of. Distance was key.

Rounding the corner to the infirmary, he saw Juliet sitting on the bench just outside the door. Her face was pointed away from him, he could see the line of her jaw and the smooth skin of her cheek. The sun shone off her golden hair, and closing his eyes, he remembered just what that hair had smelled like when they had woken up this morning; that moment seemed like ages ago. He felt the defeat in the air before he saw it in her eyes. She seemed to be deep in thought, head turned the other way, but when she rounded towards him he could see something was wrong.

Reaching her side he bent on his knee and took her warm hands into his. "Juliet, what's wrong? Did something happen?"

Juliet stared at him as if she was staring through him. He moved his hands to her shoulders and shook lightly. That seemed to break her trance, she blinked and looked at him strangely, as if before that moment she hadn't realized someone was there.

"James…," it came out on a whisper of breath; with Juliet usually so sturdy and sure, it signaled that something had gone wrong.

"Juliet, what happened? Did he die?"

She shook her head. "She took him."

James' hands became more firm on her shoulders. "She took who? Ben? Who took him?"

"Kate, she took Ben…" he stared at her, not understanding why on earth Kate would take Ben; the Doc had already said he wouldn't help. He knew they had gotten close off the island but when the Doc's made up his mind, he's made up his mind. "…she took him to find Richard."

"Richard!" James exclaimed! He leapt up and swung around, thinking he might still catch sight of her, to stop Kate before it was too late. "Where in the hell would she get an idea like that?!" The illusion of control was slipping further and further away. "God Dammit!"

"James." It was the calmness in that one syllable that had him turning towards her. Her lips set in a thin line, eyes on him, her confidence back, "she took him to Richard because I told her to. It was my idea."

"What?" he stared at her, thinking for the first time in almost three years, she had done something he'd never expected her do to; to jeopardize the lives that they had built. Not that his expectations were high, not that he even had any at all. She could have left if she had wanted to, that damn sub came religiously every two weeks, but she stayed. Because of that he thought she knew how important this life--with her--had become to him, had become to them. The road with Juliet had been a messy, mixed up one, but it worked for them. He spent so many years of his life, conning, lying, being anyone but himself. But she saw through all that. He knew she had her little Dharma file that told her all about the man he truly was, but she didn't hold it against him; like so many others had. He had no idea what it was like to trust someone, but he had learned to trust her. They'd been left alone…had stayed behind. But each day that James woke up next to her was one more day of distance between him and Sawyer…one more day that convinced him this was exactly where he was supposed to be. Why would she do something like this?

Juliet proceeded to explain how Kate had come, had donated blood when Ben had needed it, and had gotten upset when Ben didn't seem to be getting any better. She told him how she had given Kate the idea, had helped her get Ben into a Dharma van and that she was headed towards the pylons. "James he's just a boy," Juliet stated matter-of-factly. She didn't plead, in fact throughout the entire time they'd known each other, she'd never pleaded--for anything. "No matter who Ben ends up being, he doesn't deserve to die, not like this." She placed her hand on his crossed arms and looked him in the eye. "Jack won't help us…we have to do something. It was all I could think of…" she tapered off knowing that he needed a minute to think things through. "James, she's going to need your help. There's no one else that can help her."

He looked at her then, REALLY looked at her hard and shook his head because he knew she was right. This wasn't about him, or her, or the damn Dharma Initiative, it was about a little boy who was getting closer to death as each minute passed. She was always right.

He nodded his head and saw her smile, it was always the smile that got him. "Alright Blondie you win. How in the hell are we gonna get ourselves outta this one?"

Juliet took his hand in hers and squeezed. "You always think of something."

Pacing back and forth James started developing a plan. He'd need to get to Kate quickly, god only knows how she thought she'd be able to get through the fences. But the cameras, what could he do? "Alright go down to the security station and tell Phil that I need him out in grid four, that my walkie is down and we think we spotted the hostile. We need to get him out of the security station for a few minutes; I don't want him to see Kate gettin' there ahead of me." He turned towards her, "The story goes, I got the idea to ask Richard for help, Kate followed after me thinkin' she could do somethin'. Before I could get her to turn around The Others found us. Got it?"

Juliet nodded her head.

No matter how uncomfortable he felt around Ben, he knew he couldn't let the boy die. Because that boy would one day become a man. And that man, no matter how evil and sinister, would end up bringing him and Juliet together. He looked deeply into her eyes and prayed to god that this would work. "You take care of yourself Jules, watch your back, ya hear?" He cupped her face in his hand and brushed his thumb over her porcelain cheek.

"James be careful…," Juliet took a step forward with unshed tears in her eyes and buried her face in his neck. "Thank you," she said as she wrapped her arms tightly around him, "you have no idea how much this means to me."

James pulled back and looked her in the eye, "but I do m'lady," he said as he gave her a lopsided grin that showed off the dimples she loved so much. Framing her face with his hands he covered her mouth with his. Juliet deepened the kiss and squeezed even tighter, knowing that if for some reason things went terribly wrong this could be the last time she'd see him. James pulled back and looked deep into her eyes, seeing the love there, and hoping that it reflected in his. "I do."

__________________________________________________________________________

Praying that Juliet had succeeded in luring Phil out of the security station, James came upon Kate standing next to the Dharma van.

Kate watched him as he stepped out of his van and walked over to punch in the code to turn the fence off, "Why are you doing this? Why are you helping me?"

James walked towards the van and looked down at Ben. "When I found out Ben was gone, and Juliet told me what y'all were up to, I asked that exact damn question: 'Why are you helping Ben?' She said no matter what he's gonna grow up to be, it's wrong to let a kid die." He reached in and gently picked up the boy. "So, that's why I'm doing this." He looked down at Ben who was bleeding through his fresh bandages then looked Kate straight in the eye. "I'm doing it for her."

He didn't see Kate's reaction because he had already turned to start walking into the jungle. "Well, here we go," he said under his breath as they started on their trek to find Richard and The Others.

__________________________________________________________________________

He looked at Kate as they walked through the jungle and wondered what he had ever seen in her. "Good old Kate, back not two days and already itchin' to go off on another jungle adventure." But then he realized three years had changed a lot, at least for him. It was Sawyer who'd always had Kate's back, not James. Sawyer who was drawn to this wounded girl; the girl who'd spent so many years running from the law she didn't think to realize she was also running from herself. But this wasn't about Kate, it was about Juliet, the most honest thing he'd ever had in his whole life. The boy in his arms deserved to live, no matter what he'd end up becoming.

Kate offered to take Ben for awhile but James shrugged her off. "Girl doesn't have but a hundred pounds on 'er, how'd she figure she'd be able to tromp through the jungle like this…with the kid on her back?" They came upon a creek and stopped to give Ben some water. Kate started talking about being off the island, going to see his daughter, seeing Cassidy again.

"Cassidy had an interesting theory on why you jumped off the chopper," Kate paused as she helped Ben drink. "She thought you were worried about what would happen if you didn't."

He thought about that moment now, how he had whispered in Kate's ear, kissed her with all his might and jumped into the great blue below. He didn't do it to be a hero. "Sawyer wasn't no hero, he was a coward." James thought, but at least he could admit that. Then he thought about all that had come of his fateful jump. He sighed and then looked her in the eyes, "You and me woulda never worked out, Kate. I wasn't any more fit to be your boyfriend that I am to be that little girl's father."

Kate started to respond but the sound of a gun cocking silenced her.

"Hands up in the air!"

__________________________________________________________________________

Once James explained the situation, The Others agreed to take the trio to see Richard. Walking towards Otherville, or wherever the hell The Others were taking them, James shifted Ben to a more comfortable position and thought back to his first encounter with Richard. Juliet had grabbed his arm as he went to walk out the door, asked if he knew what he was going to say. He had no idea what to say and he didn't have any qualms telling her that, but she'd let him go anyway. Even though she had had plenty more experience dealing with The Others, she trusted that he would say what needed to be said; no one had ever trusted him. They trusted the Doc sure--they had even trusted Locke, but never Sawyer. He was just the selfish hick who didn't give a damn about nobody. James knew at that moment, talking down Richard was his opportunity to make his mark. For Dharma, for himself and for her.

He was lucky that it worked out, and he was okay with admitting that it was purely luck. Granted with the story he told, it wasn't hard to convince Richard into taking Paul and leaving, but he could see that Horace was truly grateful. It was then that James realized that for the first time, he'd done something to help someone else. True his motivations were selfish at the time, but selfish for all of his friends, not just himself. Progress.

The sudden noise jolted him out of his revere, Richard seemed to appear out of nowhere.

"Well hello James." Richard said with a confused but interested look on his face.

"Where'd you come from?" James asked, assuming that they were headed for The Other's community.

"My people were bringing you to me and here I am."

Weary of the situation but with no other alternatives coming to mind, "We need your help."

For what seemed like the first time, Richard looked away from James and noticed the boy in his arms. "Is that Benjamin Linus?"

James was taken back by that question. "Do you two know each other?"

James could see Richard falter, even if only for a quick second.

Kate explained that Ben was hurt, he'd been shot. Richard questioned who Kate was, but James quickly brushed it off with a 'she's with me' and got back to the matter at hand. "Can you help him or not?"

Richard contemplated for a second, ""If I take him, he's not ever going be the same again." He let that sink in. "What I mean is, he'll forget this ever happened, and that…his innocence will be gone." James and Kate stared at Richard, not quite understanding what he is saying. "He will always be one of us."

James thinks back, knowing that Ben will one day be responsible for the Purge, and knowing that once Dharmaville is annihilated he'll join ranks with the hostiles. Feeling like he just got a quick kick in the gut, James came to the realization that it all happened because they took Ben to The Others to be saved. "What happened, happened," he thought while wearily shaking his head.

"Do you still want me to help him?" Richard asked, knowing that the pair had their doubts.

James looked at Kate and he could see the answer in her eyes, Kate turned to Richard and said yes.

Richard took the boy from James and walked away. Not sure what to do, James started to retreat, but one of Richard's men stopped him. "Wait here." He said pointing his gun to the ground. "Don't move until we bring him back. When we do bring him back, you'll take him straight back to your side of the line. Understood?"

Knowing that he had no other choice but to comply, James nodded.

__________________________________________________________________________

Dusk started to settle in, The Others had brought them some wood so James went about building a fire. Kate was sitting on the ground, back up against a nearby tree, slowly eating a piece of fruit. Other than bringing a few supplies, The Others had left them to themselves. James never dropped his guard, he knew that they were nearby but not in an intrusive way. James glanced over at Kate, thinking about how three years ago, he would have probably given anything to have a chance alone with her—in the woods—with nowhere to go and no one around. But now, with everything that had happened, all he felt was a slight discomfort at the situation and a longing for the woman he loved.

James sat down and pushed back against a neighboring tree, looked over at Kate, trying to think of a way to break the ice. Suddenly he thought of the last time they had been around a fire alone in the woods, "wanna play I Never?"

Kate snapped out of her daydream and was quickly transported back to that night when her and Sawyer had shared a few bottles of booze and the secrets of their past. She smiled at him, more for the fondness of the memory than for the man now in front of her, then looked down at her hands.

"Guess that was the wrong thing to say," he thought as he busied himself by taking a swig out of a water bottle. He could sense that she had something on her mind; and he figured that whatever it was had to do with him. "No sense keepin' it all bottled up, you'll give yerself a hernia." Kate laughed and brought her eyes back up to his. "Lay it on me Freckles."

Kate looked him in the eye, no pretenses, no hesitation. "Why her?"

James smiled and looked into the flames. "Well I guess one thing hasn't changed Freckles," James stalled as he took another sip. "Always did get right to the point didn't ya." Kate smiled still but said nothing. "She's not who you think she is."

"You're not really answering my question Sawyer."

It was odd for him to hear the name Sawyer; so easy and open. Sure it had spooked the hell out of him when Sayid told Horace and the others to 'ask Sawyer' about the series of events he had described, but James had quickly recovered knowing that his secret was safe. But to hear it from her, it was almost a reminder of just how much had changed in the past three years.

James contemplated how to answer her question. He knew it was necessary to tell her how it was, to tell her what had happened; the three years that had passed held a lot of history. But how do you put into words the transformation of a man, and the woman who made that transformation possible by simply accepting him for who he was, trusting him always, and loving him no matter what?

__________________________________________________________________________

Those first few weeks and months with Juliet were both terrifying and comforting--not knowing what their fate held, searching for 'crew members' that may never return, hoping that the Dharma Initiative didn't get sick of them and send them home. The story they'd concocted about their team involved James and Juliet being together. Neither actually discussed this outright, they just both knew without saying that it would be easier to adapt to their new environment if they remained close. James didn't want to admit it, but her getting his back extended way beyond dangerous altercations. They gave their team two houses; Jin, Miles and Daniel took one, and James and Juliet the other.

James thought back to that first night. He walked in after getting the security rundown from Horace, saw Juliet sitting on the couch with a book in her lap and proclaimed "Honey, I'm home!" Juliet smiled at the cliché, but her eyes remained serious.

"James we're in this together, 100% of the way, or its not going to work." He knew she was still only considering a temporary stay on the island, and this was her way of telling him that no matter what, they needed to be honest with each other always. He nodded his head, confirming that he understood her, and went into the kitchen to grab a beer.

They spent that evening reading in the living room in relative, companionable silence. Once in a while they'd discuss a particular passage; Juliet actually seemed a little surprised at James' literary knowledge. "Gotta do somethin' to pass the time Blondie," he'd proclaimed at her raised eyebrow.

That night they went to bed in separate rooms, but some time during the night James woke and found Juliet laying next to him. Her blue eyes were staring into his, silently asking him what was going to happen, how it would all work out. Her golden hair was bathed in moonlight, James tucked a loose strand behind her ear while giving her his lopsided grin. He pulled her into his embrace and brought the covers up over them. He'll never forget the smell of her hair as he buried his nose in it; sweet and fruity but somehow wholly Juliet. She wrapped her arms around his body and tucked her face into the crook of his neck. He could feel her lashes flutter against his bare skin and for the first time in over 100 days, maybe for the first time since that fateful night from his childhood, James truly felt safe. When he woke up the next morning he was alone, and that didn't surprise him. It made him feel better knowing that maybe, just maybe, Juliet needed him as much as he needed her. Every night after that she would climb into bed with him; sometimes he'd wake up, sometimes he wouldn't. They never spoke a word about it, but he always woke up alone and always could smell Juliet on his pillow.

The progression of their relationship was slow and steady. Playing house shed some of the initial pretenses, but James knew that there was something growing between them, and the last thing he wanted to do was screw it up. It surprised him at first that he could genuinely care for another person. He'd been on his own for so long, had used so many women to get where he needed to go, he'd forgotten what it was like to share his life with someone else for the right reasons. He didn't know how she managed to do it, but since sharing a home with Juliet, he couldn't seem to make one damn decision without first thinking of her.

The first time he kissed her was about seven months after they'd been in Dharmaville. Fourteen times the sub had come and gone, but Juliet had stayed; seems like they were Dharma material after all. After the first two weeks, Horace met with James and told him that if they'd like to stay, they were welcome to join the Dharma Initiative. Horace said that they could continue to look for the rest of their people, but they'd have to contribute; they'd have to earn their keep.

Juliet was firm with James that she'd seen enough pain and sorrow working as a doctor on the island, she didn't want to be anywhere near the infirmary. James agreed, pointing out that her being a doctor didn't really jive with their cover story anyway. James started working security and Juliet somehow ended up in the motor pool. At first she was overwhelmed, but then she simply compared auto repair to surgery. Guts of a car, guts of a person; parts is parts. Juliet was good at fixing things that were broken.

James knocked off work a bit early that day, over the past few months Juliet had been teaching him how to cook, and to celebrate their seven monthaversary in Dharmaville, he wanted to make her a nice meal. James was cutting up fresh veggies for a salad when Juliet walked in. She was grimy from being under the hood of a Dharma van all day and she had a smudge of grease on her cheek. He left the cutting board and met her in the hall. She smiled at him as he brought his hand up to her cheek, wiping away the grit.

"James." She said his name and gave him that knowing smile, he might have taken it as a warning instead of her usual greeting, but at that moment, he wasn't listening to her. His eyes moved from her cheek to her depthless blue stare; he moved in without thinking. He captured her mouth with his, it was quick but incredibly intoxicating. Juliet lost her breath and before her mind could catch up with her actions, found she was returning the kiss. His hand moved from her cheek to the base of her neck, he angled her head slightly, deepening their hold. She wrapped her arms tightly around him and met his urgency. Lips and tongues tangled as seven months of pent up energy all came tumbling out; but as fast as the kiss started it was over. James pushed her back as he stepped away, slightly out of breath, wondering what she was going to say.

"What was that for?" Juliet asked, instantly regretting her choice of words. Seeing the confusion and fear in his eyes she could almost hear the internal war he was waging with himself; him thinking he'd made a terrible mistake. She contemplated making him squirm a bit, but that thought was short-lived; making men squirm just wasn't her thing. She placed her hand on his arm and pulled him back towards her. The second kiss wasn't as powerful as the first, just a sweet meeting of lips, but the message was clear.

James knew from that kiss that Juliet was aware of the direction they were heading in; through the kiss she told him that she was okay with it. As she pulled back she was rewarded with his best smile, complete with the dimples she'd come to love. "Watcha cookin' LaFleur?" She drawled out in a fake southern accent as she walked with ease into the kitchen to investigate. James followed behind, smile still on his face.

So much of their relationship mirrored that night. They never had to talk about things in order to figure them out. Events occurred, and they went with it. It was amazing that he didn't need to ask her every two minutes what she wanted, or how she felt, because he already knew. He could see it in her eyes, read it in the touch of her hand to his. He never had to worry that she was hiding anything from him. Their honesty policy was the definition of their relationship. James couldn't remember the last time he'd told a lie.

It was only a few short weeks after that night when Juliet climbed into his bed. Familiar with this nightly routine, James reached out his arm with eyes still closed to pull her into his embrace. When they made contact his eyes flew open; pressed against his side was Juliet…naked. The contact of skin against skin was more than James could bare, but the last thing he wanted to do was make the wrong move. He realized in just that moment that he'd been waiting for this, for her, his entire life.

Juliet took James' hand and touched it to her side. He tentatively grazed his hand over her delicate skin while matching her unfaltering gaze, but hesitated when he reached the side of her breast. Juliet instinctively closed her eyes and pushed towards his hand, but James pulled away. He knew that their ability to communicate without words was strong, but he had no idea what she was thinking; he didn't want to risk messing this up.

"Juliet, I…" James pleaded, needing her to say something--anything.

"James, don't." Juliet quieted his protest with the most tender of kisses. Her lips slid over his as she swiftly rolled on top of him. His hands were everywhere at once, gliding over the soft, smooth skin of her back, her arms, then cupping first one breast and then the other, passing his thumbs over the rosy peaks. She helped him quickly get rid of the barrier between them, rubbed her center over him, the warm, wet spreading over his hardness. Slowly, gently she angled her hips, took him into her.

Moving in a languid rhythm, she said nothing, only stared into his eyes, letting him see the love that she so often showed in the tiniest of gestures, but never talked about. As she continued to move around him, he could see her eyes slowly clouding over. He quickly flipped her over, she laughed at the swift move, raised an eyebrow and gave him that knowing smile. He crushed his mouth against hers as their pace quickened; he could feel she was getting close. Teasing her nipples then her center with his fingertips, he could feel her tense and knew she was about to fall. A sudden gasp had her eyes slamming shut and her muscles squeezing impossibly tight around him. He grasped her hips pulling her hard against him, and with a few short thrusts joined her in that higher place, emptying himself into her.

Coming back down James rolled over once again and Juliet covered his body with hers. Chest to chest, she wrapped her arms around him and buried her face in the crook of his neck; a gesture so familiar, even in this new circumstance. He idly brushed his fingers over her impossibly smooth skin. James closed his eyes and breathed in the sweet scent that was only Juliet.

He knew there was only one thing he could say at that point, "What was that for?" he asked innocently.

He felt her chuckle, felt her lips brush the skin right below his ear, felt her lashes flutter. Her breath evened out and he thought she was sleeping, but then with barely a whisper, Juliet confirmed what in his heart he already knew. "I love you James."

He closed his eyes took a deep breath, and tightened his grip around her. "I love you Juliet."

She was there when he woke up in the morning.

__________________________________________________________________________

"Sawyer?..." The sound of his past brought him out of his revere. So many details of the life he had lived before coming to the island eluded him, but with Juliet, it was impossible to forget even a single moment.

"What?" James asked as he looked in Kate's direction. He'd gotten so caught up in the memories, he'd forgotten where he was.

"You were about to answer my question before your little detour," Kate stated matter-of-factly.

"Oh yeah...well," he didn't know quite how to start. "It really isn't something that is easy to explain. Juliet 'n me…we…she…" Putting it into words was going to be harder than he thought. "Kate, I ain't who you think I am. Who I was during those 100 days, who I'd been for the better part of my life, that man is gone, and she's the one who laid him to rest."

Kate just looked at him, not quite understanding, but noticing for the first time that, in a way, she was staring into a strangers eyes.

"Sawyer died the day I jumped from that helicopter. I passed on his last wishes, said his goodbyes and jumped. When I swam to shore and walked up on that beach, the first thing I saw was her." He went back to that moment, remembering the bottle in her hand, the utter defeat in her whole being. "The second thing I saw was the look on her face." He remembered she was drunk, but wasn't happy about it. James couldn't remember a time when he'd seen her display such raw emotion. "The third thing I saw was a pillar of smoke on the horizon."

Kate listened as he relayed the events that followed, the burning freighter, the flashes, flaming arrows, banging on the hatch door, seeing her in the woods with Claire, being held hostage, being shot at, Locke going down the rabbit hole. Charlotte dying, the bomb, the statue, Charles Widmore and Richard Alpert. Throughout his whole recount, she didn't say a word. "…despite all that we got through it, we survived, we built a life here." He really wanted her to understand how he'd become the man he was now. "In a coupla years that scrawny little creep is going to wipe this place out; you know that 'n I know that, but for now, what we have has been good…really good." He paused, knowing that even though he'd given her the history lesson, he still hadn't answered her question. "And Juliet, she's what I've been waiting for my whole life. I didn't know who I was, I was lost way before we ever landed in this frickin' place. Hatred and revenge, its all I ever knew…Juliet changed all that, she helped me to find myself." He dipped his head down, knowing he probably sounded sappy, but he didn't care. Saying it out loud for the first time didn't mean he hadn't already admitted to himself just how important Juliet really was.

Kate let out a deep breath, thinking about what he'd said. They both took some time, stared into the fire, became lost in their own thoughts, then a rustling in the trees had them fully on guard. Through the branches Richard emerged holding the boy in his arms. James noticed that Ben no longer had a bandage around his ribs, that his skin was blemish free, and that he was sleeping peacefully.

"How did you…" James didn't finish his sentence, he knew that Richard would never answer him anyway.

Richard handed Ben to James. "Now go," he ordered firmly. James turned to go. "James," Richard called. James turned towards the leader of The Others, "don't EVER put me in this position again. Understand?"

James' mouth formed a hard line, his eyes bore into Richards. He nodded, turned, and disappeared into the jungle with Kate by his side.

__________________________________________________________________________

Once free from The Others, James warned Kate to say nothing when they returned back to the barracks, that he'd do all the talking. The walk back after that was silent at first. Both James and Kate had a lot to think about. Somehow knowing that they'd crossed back over the line and that they were close to pylons, Kate wanted to finish their conversation.

"Sawyer I…"

James cut her off before she could say anything more.

"Listen Freckles, you have no idea what we've been through. Seein' you, the Doc 'n Hugo out on that bluff…after searchin' for you every day for three years…we thought we'd never see you again but then poof, there you were. I've started over, I've moved on. You have your reasons for comin' back here, just like I imagine the Doc does. I ain't gonna get in your way of that, just let me know that you ain't gonna get in mine."

They'd reached the pylons where a group led by Horace had been waiting for who knows how long. James stopped and looked Kate right in the eye, "tell me."

She resigned. "I won't get in your way James."

He nodded and they moved towards the group.

__________________________________________________________________________

After relaying the story to Horace and the rest of Dharma security, they all headed back to the infirmary where Ben would spend the night for observation. He was still sleeping when they'd arrived back, whatever Richard had given the kid was working like a charm.

Horace and James stayed behind when everyone packed it in, James knew the lecture was coming…but by the end of it he'd convinced Horace that it was the only option they'd had left. Horace reluctantly agreed but warned James not to pull another stunt like that.

Exhausted from the trying day, James walked inside the infirmary with the pretense of quickly checking on Ben, but in truth he just wanted to see if she was there. He noticed Kate sitting next to Ben's bed with Roger, the two were speaking quietly and James figured she was relaying the events that had taken place. Debra then walked in, expressed her happiness that everyone was okay and then informed James that Juliet had gone home about an hour prior. Not knowing what time it was, James looked at a clock and realized that it was almost four in the morning. He thanked Debra and quietly took his leave.

James took the familiar walk home and tried to be as quiet as possible walking into the house. He walked into their bedroom, stripped off his clothes and slid between the cool sheets.

She was there in an instant, rolling over she draped her arm across his body and snuggled her face into the crook of his neck. He pulled her close, kissed her forehead and breathed in the scent of her hair. He felt her whisper "I love you" against his cool skin, he felt her breath even out, felt the flutter of her lashes.

"Back atcha Blondie." James whispered as he tightened his grip, closed his eyes and smiled.