Never Meant to Be

Bruised, bloodied and beaten, she and James walked down the dock towards the sub; the sub that not so long ago she saw as her salvation—but now was simply their escape. She hadn't spoken much through their ordeal. Watching James being beaten was one of the most painful and terrifying experiences of her life, but she'd kept her mouth shut. She knew they'd prey on weakness; men inexperienced in interrogation would take anything they could get.

But that bastard Phil, if she could get her hands on him now she'd kill him herself. When James had first cold cocked him in their house and tied him up, she'd felt some remorse—but that was long gone. Coward was all she had ever thought of him—even before he had reduced himself to hitting a woman.

But James' reaction had given her a boost of confidence that allowed her to believe they'd get through this--together. He was always the more emotional of the two of them. While she had restrained her hurt and anger during his beating, as soon as she was touched, he relented immediately. Three years they'd waited for their 'crew to be found', and one jaw punch had him throwing all that out the window. For the first time since everyone's return, Juliet truly believed that James was choosing her.

'Sweetheart' he had called her; a term of endearment that was usually reserved for the two of them. But hearing it come from his mouth during that terrible moment, god she couldn't even describe how much she loved him then. And where that love had come from, Juliet had no idea—what she did know is that she'd do anything to preserve it. When Kate had first returned, Juliet had masked her fear well, but she wasn't a fool; she saw the way he looked at her. Part of her could understand it because she herself had felt a tiny gut punch when she saw Jack again…but then again, the relationship between her and Jack never compared to that of Kate and James.

So what does three years mean to a person? She knew what it meant to her. The three years they'd shared together on the island was a re-birth for her in a way. She'd kept herself bottled up for so long, constantly living in fear, she'd lost a big part of who she was. With James, for the first time in a long time, she was able to be herself. Juliet found that there was much about herself she didn't even know—like how after the dismal failure of relationship after relationship, she could still have the capacity for uninhibited love. During those three years she'd given her whole heart to James, and now she could see that maybe she didn't have all of his, but she had a lot of it, and she'd do what she could to keep it. She was done being second best.

Leaving the island with him was the best idea she'd heard since their friends had returned . She could think of nothing better than starting a fresh life with him—could think of nothing better than being free. Even in the current situation, she found herself smiling as he jabbered on about betting on super bowls and buying stocks. He was trying to comfort her, to let her know they'd be alright—that he'd take care of her. But she already knew that. Going anywhere with him, away from this god forsaken place, was all she needed to be alright.

She turned to look at him when he talked about his regret over stopping her from getting on the sub three years earlier. How could he be so naïve as to think that she would ever hold that against him. He would be the type to think that the speech he'd given her that night would have been the only thing that had pushed her into staying, but one look at the broken man he was back then told her that she was needed. He never came right out and said it, but he needed her then, and she knew that part of her needed him too. Juliet had spent three years on the island trying to fix things--and she had failed each and every time. James was her chance to prove to herself that she could make a difference, that she could make someone's life better. At the time she didn't realize that by fixing him, she'd be fixing herself as well. She needed him to know that she had stayed right where she was supposed to be.

Her last glance of the island was merely a back drop to his worn and tattered face. But his eyes shone bright as they stared back into hers. If it weren't for her wrists straining against cuffs, she'd bring her hand to his cheek , pass her thumb lightly over the bruises already shadowing his skin and bury her head in the crook of his neck. But she let her eyes do the talking, and she knew he understood. They were meant to be.

Below decks their captors secured them and then for the first time in what felt like forever, they had a moment alone. Juliet knew they probably didn't have much time, but she needed him to know, needed to say it. 'I love you'. The intensity of his stare as he returned her words in his strong, secure voice had her briefly imagining how the rest of their lives could be. Once in Ann Arbor, they'd be free, and they'd have all the time in the world to just be.

At the sudden commotion both James and Juliet turned to see what was going on; all Juliet had to hear was 'we found another one of them' and her hopes came crashing down just as quickly as she had built them up. That's when she knew that no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't change her destiny…how could she think that she actually had a chance at true happiness?

Juliet recognized Kate before they saw her face and berated herself for letting her imagination get carried away. As Kate climbed down the ladder, Juliet's eyes weren't on her but on James instead. She saw the surprise there yes, but also something more. As Kate's feet hit the ground, the life filled with love that had flashed before Juliet's eyes vanished. She watched James glance first at her and then at Kate. Ironic how they'd put the two of them next to each other, in front of James—she felt like she was on display and that no matter how hard she tried, she just didn't have what he was looking for.

Juliet leaned her head back against the wall and closed her eyes, wondering how it all could have been taken away so quickly. Anyone watching her would believe that she was simply resting after everything she'd been through, but in all honesty, she just didn't want to look at him, looking at her. Did he honestly think there was a choice to be made?

She braced herself as the sub dove further under the water, and wished she could just disappear.

Okay, I wanted to write a piece that involved this scene, and it didn't really turn out the way I thought it was going to. I am 100% a fan of James and Juliet and would love nothing more than a happy ending for them, but like all things on this show, we never really get what we want…and to me that means…it's highly doubtful that they are going to end up being together (Even though for the most part I'll keep writing that they do!). I fully admit I was yelling at the TV when Kate showed up…I'd much rather she took a dive with the Dharma sharks than stay with them on the sub, but the previews allude to them not being on it for very long anyway…so I guess we'll just have to wait and see how it all plays out! As always…thanks for reading!!