Just an idea of post S5 - There are rumors she might be in Bali. And although he doesn't know whether he will find her or if he really wants to - he looks her up.
Rated M: for language and sexual content
Disclaimer: Not mine –not mine.
Indigo juncture – Another island
What the hell made her choose this place?
If she'd wanted to be stuck on an island – she should just have stayed where they were.
His stride is hurried and fretful, setting him apart from the droves of tourists sauntering by. Their faces lobster red, shoulder's burned crimson and their clothes pseudo local, gaudy batiks and hibiscus patterned sarongs tied across hefty hips. He is sorely out of place here, in his jeans and long sleeved, washed out teal coloured shirt, dragging a small black duffel bag.
What if she's not here?
He might be wrong. He'd spent the better part of the last six months trying to track her down. Unable to explain the obsession, the 'have to' that had driven him. He told him self, he'd just check in on her. See that she was alright and then he'd leave it be. Get on with his life. Start living again.
Right now; he has deep doubts about his own sanity.
Hell – she might not even want to see him. And truth is; he's not even sure he wants to see her again. Drag all those feelings up again. It's ludicrous to say the least, to go looking for something that might not have been anything to start with. But he's got to know.
It's early evening and the narrow cemented beach-path is overblown by sand – large porous grains of sand. It crunches under the soles of his heavy work shoes as he struggles onwards. He has to walk fast.
Or else he'll lose his nerve.
There is some kind of religious ceremony going on ahead of him, at the edge of the waterfront. A large crowd of locals have gathered, a solid mass of white and yellow, colorful offerings piled impossibly high on the heads of the women. The men with their white head-wraps and the women's hair arranged in a sloppy elegance. Little rice grains stuck to their temples, white little yellow hearted frangipani flowers casually tucked behind ears of male and female alike. He stops to watch as they put down their incense sticks and offerings near the water. A timeless dignity and grace unperturbed by the tackiness of tourists gawking. The sea, an eerily calm lapis lazuli blue - stained by the gold and ruby strokes of the dying sun.
The evening breeze on his face, like a caress. He feels it now – once he has stopped. He closes his eyes for just a moment, turning his face towards the sea. The sound of the gamelan audible in the background - and he lets the balmy air smooth out the tense lines across his face. He is sure now.
Yes. She'd be here.
Of course she would have chosen this place.
She'd never completely leave the island here.
He passes the row of resorts and little seaside restaurants, people sitting with their chairs sunk into the sand, sipping bear and eating food with their hands. Local hawkers trying to push their merchandise. The smiles that meet him, everywhere. He is not used to it. White against soft caramel skin, black friendly eyes that follow him as he trudges on.
"Lookie lookie mister. Look at my shop yes!" their standard invite to the clumsy westerners lumbering along in their too short shorts, their too revealing tops. He has to smile back, at the brazenness of the graceful little Balinese vendors. Giggling at him, some of them flirting in that peculiarly innocent manner - equal measures of tease and curiosity.
Yes. He can see her here. She'd fit right in.
Juliet. He'd been back to see Juliet first. Scared to death that what Jack had done would have been the end.
And it was the end – at least of them - together.
He'd found her in Miami, living with Goodwin of all people. He didn't understand how the fuck all that had worked out, but it seemed that to some extent Jacks manic idea had worked. Not for himself for sure, but Goodwin was a lucky bastard if he'd ever seen one. Time had somehow been reset and canceled out the events leading to Juliet and Goodwin ending up on the island. How on earth they'd still met up, he couldn't fathom, but playing house with Juliet definitely must trump being dead and buried in some godforsaken dirt heap out in the middle of nowhere. Lucky bastard.
He'd followed them as they exited their little house. He'd sat in his rental car parked across the street and watched the two of them. They'd been laughing, shoving at each other, jokingly. Before Goodwin opened the car door for her, he'd leaned forward and nipped at her nose. He'd not been able to breathe properly watching them. He'd grasped a paper bag off the dashboard and hyperventilated in it. It had happened a lot since he got back - the strange anxiety attacks getting the best of him. When Goodwin had steered the car out in the driving lane, Juliet had looked up and for a millisecond met his eyes. Eyes of a stranger – void of recognition. And as he drove away, feeling his heart break for the millionth time, he'd wondered if it might have been easier to get over her - had she'd died for real. And then the guilt for even thinking that and he had bit down hard on his own tongue until he could taste blood.
Before he'd left Miami, he'd called her number, heard her voice and hung up. He'd kept thinking that she'd seemed happy there outside her little house – without him -and maybe that was the best one could hope for. He had left it at that and found that as time passed, it didn't hurt so much. The circumstances that had brought them together weren't there anymore. And she was happy. He'd reminded himself that this was all that mattered.
So he'd pulled a few short cons, just to get back in the game, raise some cash. But with no real aim in sight. Then by chance, he'd run into Hurley in LA. They'd shared a beer and talked about all the others. Her name had come up and that's when it had started. Hurley's only information had been that she might be in Australia or Indonesia.
It was by pure chance that he'd gotten the latest information of her whereabouts. He'd picked it up from a few bragging backpackers in a bar that had taught English for a while, making a few extra bucks during their stay in Bali. He'd had a bit too much to drink himself and wasn't entirely sure how they'd gotten on to the topic. But here he is.
And he has no idea why.
He walks far. But the light wind from the sea is cooler now and the scent of frangipani and burning incense rouses something deep within. A memory so strong it makes his gut hurt. A memory of sand sticking to sweaty skin, lips that he could never hold on to. Never could convince to stay. Her legs wrapped around him, for a short frenzied moment, then the running, getting away from him.
She must be here. She must be.
He's waited so long.
He has walked past the upmarket hotels with their uniformed guards, the budget ones a little worse for wear The young people hanging at bars with their surfing gear piled besides them and the older couples with their colorful drinks and cheap sunglasses pushed up on top of their heads. A little temple squeezed in between hotels and a quaint local seaside market. He stops there, fishes in his pocket, lifting up the edge of his light blue cotton shirt as he does. His hair blows into his eyes and he pushes it back, impatiently eyeing the little paper slip with the address on. He shows it to an old man selling drinks from a bucket of ice. The man gives him a toothless grin and beckons him further, saying something he can't understand. The women around him titter and one of them, a middle-aged strangely tall woman snaps at the scrap of paper. She passes it around to the others and their twittering laughter grows. They look at him and shake their heads. The skinny one saying to her friends:
"Ibu guru, - bu guru…"
He realizes that they are probably amusing themselves at his expense - but he lets them have it. He flashes them a wide goofy smile and they almost split their sides laughing at him. Glimmering, clever black eyes, narrowing into half-moon slits, hands covering mouths in faux modesty. A young girl takes courage and throws out in her loud heavily accented English:
"Mister, mister. We take you!"
Ordinarily he'd not have minded being "taken" by a young thing like that, but now he can't think of a single thing to say. No witty retorts, no charming replies. He is scared out of his mind and he is man enough to admit it. He's come so far. Too far.
What if she is not here? What if she doesn't want to see him?
Even more terrifying – what if she does?
The quick-footed little slip of a thing and her plump friend seize him by his shirt sleeve and pull him towards a narrow alleyway off the beach-walk. The passageway is dark and uneven and he stumbles along with only the snickering young girls leading the way. He realizes that it might be stupid to just let them lead him off like this. But he can't stop. Can't turn around.
What if she is here?
They stop suddenly in front of an ornate wooden gate set in a high plain cement wall. He sees the white of their eyes glimmer in the faint light, the shadow of their silhouettes as they nod towards the door.
"Mister," is all the little tubby one says and then they leave him there in a rustle of fabric, their laughter tinkling as they run towards the beach.
Crap. He has no idea what this place is. He just stands there. To knock or not to knock? His fingertips rest on the door in the darkness.
Hell – he must be out of his fucking mind.
He knocks hard on the door, using the round wrought iron handle.
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