A/N: Who's completed her first Lost-fic? I'VE completed my first Lost-fic! And it breaks my heart to let it go, of course, but I'm still so damn proud of myself! And you reviewers are the ones who made it worthwhile, so thank you, I love you very dearly. Those who've read and haven't reviewed, sorry, but I don't love you, I just like you a whole lot. So we won't be able to be more than friends, but I hope you understand. XD Anyway, my rants aside, READ!

10: I Fought Love, And Love Won

Kate and Sawyer are in their tent. It is their tent now, and it probably was before Kate got sick, too, even though Sawyer didn't really want to admit it. But it's their tent now, because even though Kate's only slept in it for night since she got healthy, Sawyer spent that whole night holding her in a way that proved he'd never let her go, never again.

Sawyer doesn't know what to say. Neither does Kate. He's not sure if they're still looking for answers, like they always have, but it seems like them to do so. The problem is that he's not sure what the questions are.

Sawyer wraps the arm he has around Kate's waist tighter. He really doesn't know what to say, but then he feels the softness of her skin and how she puts her hands with the too long nails on his, he feels so senselessly in love that it's almost frightening and decides to just ask the first thing that comes to mind.

"Are you okay?"

Kate nods, without a second of hesitation.

"I'm definitely okay."

Sawyer glances down at her. He knows that she knows that he doesn't just mean if she feels better physically, but he still feels like he has to ask.

"I mean… Are you okay with… Living like this from now on?"

"Yeah," Kate says plainly. "Are you?"

"Yeah," Sawyer says.

Pause.

"Have you talked to Jack?" Sawyer then asks.

Kate sighs heavily. And she's quiet for so long that Sawyer first thinks she's not going to answer.

She's imagined a conversation with Jack a thousand times, a thousand different scenarios. Everything from a tearful goodbye, a raging fight, and maybe… Maybe he'd get her to change her mind. He's always been good at that.

"I don't think we have much to talk about," she finally answers quietly.

Sawyer just rakes his fingers through her hair. He knows there's a continuation to that sentence.

"Besides," Kate says with a weary chuckle, "I knew he loved me, but I still I kissed him, ran away, heard him actually say that he loved me and not bother to give him a proper answer, and then I went straight to you and didn't even give him an explanation. He's been taking care of me ever since I got sick, and I didn't even say thanks. I don't think he's that excited about talking to me at all."

Sawyer smiles briefly. He does feel bad for Jack, no matter how much he detests him. But there's still a tiny devil in him that's so happy that Kate's final choice is so obvious to both of them.

"I wouldn't say that," he says softly and runs his hand over Kate's forehead. "In case you haven't noticed, Freckles, he's not the only one you've treated like crap. And for some reason, we still keep bouncing right back to you the second you call. I guess that's what you do to a man."

Kate chuckles, but there's something really desperate about it, and she rubs her eyes with her fingertips while the chuckle turns into a whimper.

"I don't want to do that to a man," she says and grabs Sawyer's hand, hers almost disappears in his. "I don't want to put you guys through this."

She pauses. Sawyer feels her hand in his, and is once again almost paralyzed with the knowledge that he could've lost her, and feels himself holding her tighter again.

"It's just that you're both the most wonderful man I've ever met," Kate goes on. "But in completely different ways. The only reason I ever planned to settle down with Jack was that with him, it was… Easy, and fun, and safe. I didn't have to work so hard. And I knew that whatever he said, he meant it."

She quiets down again. A tiny spark of rage has flared up in Sawyer's chest, mostly out of reflex. He knows she won't go away now.

"It just wasn't meant to be, I guess," Kate finishes off. "Because there was still always something in me that just wanted to be with you."

Sawyer nods.

He's waited so long for this moment. The one where Kate more or less directly said that she's through with the drama, with the jumping around, she'll let her guard down if he does, too so they can for once just let themselves be happy. But there's still an apology in him, or just some kind of reconciliation, that belongs to Jack, and he's going to give it to him soon.

"I missed you so much, Kate," he mumbles out of nowhere, and Kate looks up at him, her eyes glittering.

"I missed you, too."

Sawyer runs his hand down her cheek. Forces himself to keep it together, it feels like he's been weeping for one reason or the other for the past week, let's have some goddamn limits. But he's not as ashamed of it as he would've been before he met her.

"When you were sick…" Sawyer says and hopes his voice doesn't sound as graveled as he thinks it does. "All I could think about was all these times when I should've told you that I… Loved you…"

God, he can still barely get it past his lips.

"…But I didn't," Sawyer goes on. "Because those were all times when I actually caught myself realizing just how much you meant to me. I actually got that for the first time in a very long time, I'd given someone else some kind of… Emotional value, or whatever the hell you call it. And it scared me like you wouldn't believe."

Kate doesn't look at him. But he knows she listens.

"And I promised myself that if you ever woke up…" those words are hard to get past his lips, too. "I'd let you know. I'd tell you every day. You deserved to know. You deserved to hear it way more times than I've told you."

Damn, those annoying tears well up again. Sawyer tries to blink them away before Kate turns around, but they just seem to get bigger, heavier, more, and when she does turn around, one of them roll down.

Sawyer wipes it away with an annoyed motion, even though he knows it's okay. Kate's eyes are damp, too, and he'd feel bad for making her cry, but her smile is wide, her happiness shining from her face in a way he's never seen her before.

"I always knew, Sawyer."

Those words are a hot, soft jolt through his heart, and Sawyer smirks tearfully at her.

"You didn't know half of it, Freckles."

The tears fall smoothly from Kate's eyelashes, too. She lightly pushes him down so he lies next to her, her head on his chest. Sawyer keeps running his fingers through her hair, again and again, and he wants it to stay this way forever, even though he's painfully learned now that it can't be that way.

He knows now that Kate won't be around forever. And that thought is so scary that he should tell her everything. How he loves her more than life itself, even the life he lives now, where he's actually happy, let alone the one he lived before, that seems like an empty, lonely nightmare. How he doesn't regret anything he's done in his life, since every mistake, every life he's ruined and every time someone's ruined his, are just the sum of events that lead him to her, and that the only thing he regrets is spending all that time pretending that he didn't need her.

But he doesn't do that.

Right now, Sawyer just wants to enjoy lying with Kate next to him, cry softly about everything that's happened, and feel, for the first time in his miserable life, like he's actually found a home.

WAH! It's finished! (Sob) Damn, I'm going to miss this… But hey, keep on the lookout for more Lost-fics from me, because damn, I loved writing this… See ya!