Title: All the Walls Have Ears
Disclaimer: Don't own them; just borrowing.
Summary: Post-reset. She's felt his gaze before, her subconscious intones, the same place the dreams come from, the guns and the bars and the trees, the smell of the ocean she can't get out of her head.
Spoilers: Through The Incident. Nothing for season 6, just unspoiled speculation.
Notes: For the lostsquee Lost Fic Battle 2010: Kate/Sawyer, I know what you did last summer. The title is from I Know About You by Dashboard Confessional.
but all the walls have ears my darling, and all bad things get known
The dreams begin four days after the plane lands in LA and she's on the run again. Swirling, vague images: hot guns and metal bars and trees, things she doesn't remember but thinks she should. She wakes shaking, in a cold sweat, and it takes her several minutes before she recalls where she is – just another cheap motel room in another no-name town.
So she stops sleeping past what's absolutely necessary, but they become waking dreams, wavering images at the edges of her consciousness. She keeps seeing people she knows but absolutely doesn't, seeing things that shouldn't be there. She wonders if being on the run for so long has finally driven her crazy. She wonders why it seems she can still smell the ocean, when she's long left the coast behind.
"Long way from home?" she hears as she sits in a diner somewhere just outside of Birmingham, and the voice is familiar, and maybe it's the dreams or maybe it's just the old paranoia of being on the run.
"Mmh," she mutters, noncommittal, and against her better judgment she looks up. He's seated two stools down from her, grinning widely, almost suggestively, from around his coffee mug. She resists the urge to roll her eyes and it takes a couple beats, but then his expression is changing as he meets her gaze. She tenses. There's familiarity there.
"Do I know you?"
She remembers what Cassidy had told her: never hesitate before the lie. "Can't say that you do," she replies, with a confidence that she doesn't feel. Her heart's beating faster and her palms are sweating and everything in her is telling her to cut and run, but she's rooted to the spot. There's a tinny taste, blood and nicotine in her mouth, and she doesn't know why. She licks her lips.
He laughs, and the sound is jarring. "Relax, puddin'. I just think I'd remember a face like that."
"I've got one of those faces," she tells him, because this is dangerous in more ways than one, the way she can't make herself leave this place and the way he's looking at her like he knows her, maybe.
"I doubt that."
He lets her alone then, though she can still feel his eyes on her as she finishes her coffee and sandwich. She's felt his gaze before, her subconscious intones, the same place the dreams come from, the guns and the bars and the trees, the smell of the ocean she can't get out of her head. (She smells it now, and she curls her fist as if she'd feel sand between her fingers.)
Finally she stands up, because she doesn't know what else to do. She pleads with her mind to return to running mode: never stay in one place for too long. She tosses a bill on the counter and walks out on weak limbs without a backwards glance, because that's the only way she'll leave.
She's not surprised when he follows her.
"Stalking me, now?" She turns on him, angry, in the dark street outside. She's said this before, and the indignant look on his face is the same, too. (She is not supposed to know this.)
His reply is simple, growled. "No." And when he reaches out and rubs a rough thumb across her cheek, she forgets to breathe.
Eyes closed, she's been here before. She feels the newly familiar vertigo of the dreams and she reaches to steady herself, a hand around his forearm. She hears it as if from far away, his voice, rough and confused, wanting. "Why do I know you?"
"Shh." She breathes it. She doesn't want to know. "Don't talk." His hand on her face, she can feel wind whipping through her hair even though it's a still night, can hear people shouting even though they're alone on this street. He pulls her once, and that terrifyingly quickly she's against him, and he tastes like blood and sweat and nicotine and dirt, everything in her dreams.
He takes her to his place, just a block's walk away (just another cheap motel room in another no-name town), and all the while she's desperate to forget what she doesn't remember. They don't talk, and that helps; she's afraid of what he might say.
He slips up once and whispers "Freckles," as his breath ghosts over the dusting on her face, and to shut him up she tightens her legs around him and flips them over, to his muffled sound of surprise. She doesn't understand this pull towards him, this sudden, jarring need to feel him anchor her. She pushes past the fear and thinks that maybe, maybe, this will finally purge the dreams.
After, he rolls over and slings a heavy arm across her middle, and she's been here, too. His breathing evens out and she fights it, but she doesn't realize she's fallen asleep until it's too late.
She's running through the jungle and there are gunshots, too many. The humidity is oppressive, and he's too close to her face, a sneer and I know girls like you. Why do you know me, she wants to ask, but then he's tied to a tree and she's kissing him and he tastes like blood and she punches him in the face. I never killed a man he says, and it's not true and he knows she's lying, too. How do you know things about me, her mind pleads, but there's no answer. Just the feeling of cold metal bars pressed into her bare back, his hands on her and more gunshots. The vines of the jungle reach out to her, grabbing and slicing and cutting as she runs, desperate and afraid. There's a helicopter and he's kissing her, and then he falls.
She wakes with a start, trembling, the helicopter still roaring in her ears. He hasn't stirred, and she wants to shake him awake. Why do you know me, she'd echo his question from before. Demand answers. Do you dream, too?
But she can't. She reminds herself: she does not want to know. She reminds herself: she is on the run and she needs to keep moving.
As she leaves, she can taste the ocean's salt on the city night's air.