Title: Landslide

Author: Crimson Coin

Rating: T

Pairing: Sawyer/Juliet

Summary: Sawyer is injured on a patrol of the fence line and makes a startling discovery about Juliet.

Disclaimer: I don't own LOST or any of these characters. I just like to screw with them a little.

Note: Requested by 'justawritier'.


Freaking

Damn

Stupid

Island

Sawyer stood on the porch of his Dharma home staring out at Dharmaville with all the Dharma people and cursed the Dharma day ahead of him. He and the crew had been on the island for almost five months. He couldn't believe they were so easily accepted; these people were too trusting, naïve. He didn't think he'd fit into the life here. The steady job, domestic life. He was used to running not settling. And yet here he was, standing in front of the home he shared with Juliet.

Home he shared with Juliet.

He never thought that would ever happen. Six months ago, he would have throttled her, shot her, tasered her. Sawyer grinned. Yeah, he would have tasered her. Just so she knew what it felt like. Sometimes in their conned domestic life, he was tempted to find a taser. Like when she didn't shut up about wearing muddy boots in the house. Or leaving the seat up on the toilet.

He chuckled to himself. Admittedly, he did that purposefully to get a rise out of her. She was just so damn sexy when she was angry and that creepy calm exterior slipped just slightly. So now, when he was sick of the domesticity, he would piss her off just for good measure.

Only maybe he shouldn't have pissed her off today. With the monsoon and all. Well he wasn't sure if it was technically a monsoon.

Sawyer sighed and leaned against the posts of the porch, arms crossed. The rain poured, torrential. The center of ol' Dharmaville now looked like a stream, water gushing down the hill and out towards the fence. Thankfully, the place was on a slight incline, ensuring no lakes formed. At least large ones. Winds at a minimum on the third day of rain, but it didn't make his job any easier. And though everyone else could stay home and relax and sleep, security still had to work. He still had two hours til his shift and really didn't want to be standing in the rain any longer than he had to.

But of course pissing off Juliet had him kicked out of the house and so he stood on the porch, watching the rain, dreading his patrol of the fence. He knew they shouldn't take the vans, the ground would be unsteady and likely a van would get stuck. And so he had to patrol on foot.

Great

A foot patrol in a monsoon. Although as Horace had said, 'The winds have died down so the storm has passed. This is the remnants of the rain. It should be alright, just be careful for mudslides.'

What a great boss. Nice of him to think of the scenarios before sending him out to patrol. He turned back to the house, knocking on the door. "Let me in, Blondie, it's a freakin' flood zone out here."

His relationship with Juliet was a strange situation. They weren't lovers, they weren't friends. Well maybe they were friends, certainly not lovers. Not that he hadn't thought about the situation. Living with a woman for six months, he'd have to be dead not to think about sex. And she was damn fine lookin'. Different from Kate.

He knew it wasn't fair to compare Juliet to Kate. Both were completely different individuals. Kate just exuded something sensual, almost dangerous. She had raced his heart and their times together just sparked this blaze inside him, peaking with desire, a bit of anger and then shame. He couldn't control himself with Kate. It was blatant need. He called it love, claimed he loved her and now as the time passed, he wondered if it was love. It was a type of love, yes. A love built on need, desperation and something in common. Kate was a woman from the same side as Sawyer. They were so alike, as if everything between them fit.

Maybe that was the problem between them. Elementary science. Magnets. Two negatives just won't attract no matter how hard you tried. A part of him still loved Kate. Loved her because she understood, she never judged him. But he also realized that she rejected her own attraction to him. Rejected everything he stood for, he represented. She never judged him, but a part of her hated him and hated what he could do to her while the other half of her loved him and couldn't bear to let go.

She was torn between Sawyer and Jack. Sawyer knew it. And he was tired of the game. So he let go. He let go and jumped off that damn helicopter into the water. The fall nearly knocked him out but he managed to swim to shore. And crawling back up onto the beach, he saw the only damn positive left on the island.

Juliet

Juliet was the complete opposite of Kate. He easily understood Kate, what made her tic, what went on inside her head, what she wanted, when she wanted it. He didn't have a damn clue when it came to Juliet. And that was a change. The con-man who made a living out of reading women and Juliet baffled him. He would look her in the eyes, challenging her and she gave nothing away, showed no weakness and he was at a loss.

She ran circles around him. She was brilliant. But not in that mad scientist kinda way. She intrigued him, a mystery. She was funny and caring and could be gentle and then tough and of course, she was gorgeous. His attraction to Juliet differed from the attraction to Kate. With Kate it was need, pure lust and desperation. With Juliet, it was … just different. He couldn't identify how it was different. He was still thinking about that part.

Oh, and she had a great rack.

Hmmm, great rack.

He pounded on the door again. "Hey, Tits. Come on. Let me in." Then grinned. That should get a rise outta her.

He was right

The door swung open and Juliet stood just beyond, eyes narrowed and piercing. Her stance defensive, shoulders tense and she snapped. "What did you call me?"

"You heard me," he teased with a grin. "Got you to open the door."

"Yeah, after the whole damn commune heard you." She swung the door closed.

Sawyer extended a foot, catching the door then yelped as the door slammed his foot. He stumbled inside, eyes on Juliet's retreating form as she took the stairs two at a time. "Damn, Blondie, tryin' to cripple me. What the hell?"

She stopped midflight then turned and stalked back down the stairs. The fight fled from her eyes replaced by sadness, tiredness and something he couldn't pinpoint. He'd never seen so many emotions before and he frowned, reaching out. She struggled with her composure but held his eyes intensely. "Look, I get it, James. You don't like me. And you'd rather be stuck here with anybody but me. I completely get that. I get that you don't trust me, that you're putting up with me and that you have me here because you'd likely kill Miles. And you're not patient enough to try to live with Jin. I get that. But can you please … just give me a break once in a while, ok?"

His frown deepened. "Hey …" but Juliet turned from him and walked back up the stairs, raking a hand through her hair. She ignored him and he lost sight of her. He scowled and walked away at the sound of her bedroom door clicking closed.

He walked up to his bedroom and silently changed for work then returned downstairs to pull on his boots that Juliet set neatly by the door. He glanced up the stairs. "I'm headin' out, Jules. I'll see you tonight." He called and she offered no immediate response. He sighed and stepped out the front door, bringing it softly to a close behind him.

Three hours later Sawyer and Miles walked along the perimeter, drenched. Sawyer glanced up at the sky and cursed then raked the slicked hair back from his eyes.

Miles watched him then sputtered some water from his lips. "Who did we piss off?"

Sawyer shrugged. "No idea. More like new guys in town get stuck traipsin' through the jungle in a god damn monsoon."

Miles grumbled and stopped under a big tree near the fence line. He leaned against it. "I could be in a dry house right now … cozying up to Agnes."

"Agnes?" Sawyer smirked. "Really … you and Agnes?"

"Well no … but I could be! You know … over there."

"Uh huh." Sawyer laughed. "Good try though. Last I saw, Agnes completely ignored you because she was batting her eyes at me."

Miles glared. "Yeah that's cuz you had ketchup on your cheek and she was wondering what the hell you were doing to get it there."

Sawyer chuckled. "Or she wanted to lick it off. Face it. Agnes ain't interested in you."

"Yeah well she's not interested in you either. So screw you, LaFleur." Miles snapped and stalked off, continuing on the route along the fence line.

"Oh come on. Relax." Sawyer laughed and followed him. He slowed and frowned. "Shit … you see that?"

Miles frowned. "Yeah it looks like the fence gave out. Oh … damn. The post sank down the hill! What the hell! Who installed the post!"

Sawyer frowned. "I don't know. What grid are we in? Six?"

"Yeah. Call it in." He said then frowned, staring out into the jungle. "You hear that?"

Miles froze, the radio in hand as he peered into the jungle. "Yeah. Wait, LaFleur? Where you going! Don't follow the noise!"

"Shut up." He hissed back over his shoulder.

Miles clenched his teeth then followed Sawyer. "Smart, boss, smart. Let's follow the creepy whispers into the damn jungle. In the monsoon. Brilliant."

"I said shut up."

Miles grumbled and stepped carefully, following Sawyer along the sloping cliff. "In the rain … the sliding mud … and he wants to cliff dive." His foot slipped but he grabbed a nearby tree root, steadying himself. "Ya know, if you get me killed … I'm haunting you. Forever."

"And if yer yap get's me killed, I'm takin' you with me."

Miles followed Sawyer down the hillside and to the ravine. He reached out to stop Sawyer. "The water." He warned, pointing to the over flowing creek, water rushing dangerously near the edge. "I think we're in hostile territory."

Sawyer nodded. "We are. I still don't see the fence post. I wonder if it washed away." He brushed the hair from his face and frowned. "I can't tell."

Miles frowned and looked across the ravine. "D'you hear that?"

"Hear what?"

A shot rang out.

Sawyer jerked, his right shoulder hit and he fell onto his back, sliding down the ravine. Miles dropped his gun and fell to his knees, grabbing Sawyer's other hand and holding him. "LaFleur." But the momentum pulled Sawyer down the ravine and to the water. He hung off the edge, feet dangling in the gushing river. He clung to Miles.

Sawyer cried out at the pain, his right shoulder exploding with pain from the bullet. His hands clung to Miles and then he reached up to grab a few vines and rocks sticking out of the side. Miles leaned over him, grabbing the waistline of his jumper and pulled hard. Sawyer rolled onto his back on the very edge of the ravine, panting in relief.

The rain continued to fall and Sawyer remained on his back, lips parted as he panted then coughed as he choked on the rain. He tilted his head to the side. "Sonuvabitch …" he reached up with his left hand, covering the bullet wound in his right shoulder. "Why am I always getting shot on this god damn island!"

Miles fell back onto his backside and propped his arms on his bent knees, head ducked as he panted. "You need to lose some damn weight!"

Sawyer sat up and pushed slowly away from the edge then unbuttoned his Dharma jump suit, exposing the shoulder with the wound. "Where are they? Are they still here?"

Miles looked across the ravine again. "I have no idea. I dropped my gun to grab your ass."

"My gun fell into the water."

Miles cursed and tried to stand but slipped and fell back onto his backside.

"Where's your radio?"

"Saw it floating down the river when I was pulling you up."

Sawyer looked to Miles, disbelief in his expression. "Yer shittin' me."

"Do I really look like I'm yanking your chain, LaFleur. Look at my face." Miles pointed to his face, his expression angry, frustrated, tired and more than a little pissed. He waited for a response.

Sawyer quirked a brow before wincing and looking at his shoulder. "Yeah, I'm sure it just makes Agnes Coo coo for your coco puffs."

"Look you know what? Find your own damn way home." He sputtered and pushed to his feet again, looking up the ridge. He jumped, trying to grab the edge to pull himself up, but couldn't reach. He paced along the length of the edge of the ravine, trying to find a place to get up.

Sawyer cried out in pain.

Miles turned quickly, rushing back. "What?" Then frowned as he watched Sawyer digging his fingers into the bullet wound. "What the hell are you doing!"

Sawyer continued to scream in pain before finally pulling the bullet out of the wound. He stared at his muddy and bloody fingers and the bullet round he held. He grumbled and threw the bullet into the water. "I had to get the bullet out."

"What the hell, man! We could have gotten back to the camp for them to do that!"

"In case you hadn't noticed, we are stuck in a ravine without our guns or our radios. We'll be lucky if we survive and the water doesn't take away this whole damn ledge." He lay on his stomach, flat in the mud and reached into the water to cup some water in his hands. He sat back and splashed it on the wound.

"Great job. Freakin' … great." Miles shook his head and stood again, pacing the length, eyeing up the ridge.

Sawyer panted, grunting in pain as he tried to push the mud away from the wound. The blood covered his shoulder and arm, staining the mud red. "Plus … the doc ain't here remember? He's stuck at one of the other stations. The Hydra?"

Miles cursed again. "Give me a boost."

"What?"

Miles sighed. "A boost, a lift. If I can get up, maybe I can pull your ass up."

Sawyer struggled to his feet, his right arm held to his side. Both he and Miles were covered head to toe in mud, the rain washing a little off here and there. He stood near the ridge where Miles was and squatted, knees bent to offer the lift. "I only got one good arm."

Miles stepped on Sawyer's thigh then grabbed a tree root and with a lunge, managed to climb up the side of the ravine and to the more stable hillside. He turned on the ledge the reached down for Sawyer, hand extended. "Come on."

Sawyer grabbed the offered hand with his good hand and tried to pull himself up. His feet slipped on the mud and it nearly pulled Miles down the ravine. Sawyer released him and shook his head. "Go … just go. I can't get up."

"I'm not leaving you behind."

Sawyer chuckled. "Don't be so sentimental."

"I'm not," Miles snapped back. "Juliet will have my head if I leave you behind."

Sawyer sighed. "In case ya hadn't noticed, I've been shot. And if I can't get up, I'm gonna freakin' die here. And I fully plan on seeing the release of Star Wars. So go … back. And get help. Before I bleed ta damn death."

Miles watched as Sawyer sat down again and huddled against the edge, trying to shelter from the rain. "Ok, hang tight."

Miles pushed up onto his feet and slowly scaled the rest of the hill, grabbing tree roots and branches to keep from slipping.

Sawyer sighed and winced, holding a muddy hand to his wounded shoulder, pressing hard. The earth beneath him shifted. He frowned and looked down, swallowing any panic. "You have got … to be kidding." He watched as the water lapped at the edge of the small lip he called safe.

Sawyer stood. "Miles! Hurry!"

Miles glanced back and twisted, eyes widening. "LaFleur!" He slid back down the hill towards Sawyer and gripped a tree to catch himself. Feet planted, he struggled to gain some balance. By the time he stood and glanced over the side, Sawyer was gone, the entire lip covered with gushing water.

Miles moved quickly, racing as fast as he could down the side in the direction of the water, eyes on the gushing stream. "Sawyer! Jim!" He scanned the water, continuing along the water. He searched frantically. Distracted, he tripped, fell and his head struck a tree root. Miles splayed out on his stomach, unconscious from the impact.

Miles slowly stirred and moaned as consciousness slowly returned. He wiped a hand over his face then pushed up. The rain slowed, now a fine mist. "LaFleur," he whispered and glanced up at the sky. Still light, but he had no idea how much time had passed. He pushed up onto his feet then staggered and dropped to his knee, holding his head. He felt the bump on his forehead.

Muttering a curse to himself he pushed to his feet again, slowly and waited for the world to stop spinning. He continued to climb the hill, back to the fence. He debated looking for Sawyer but knew he needed help.

He lost track of the time, slowly pulling himself up the rest of the hill before rolling along the flattened top and into the grass. He laughed, victoriously. He closed his eyes and took a moment to steady the spinning of his head before rolling over onto his stomach then pushing up on his hands and knees. "Ok … ok … only a mile." Then grumbled as he stood and focused forward, walking quickly back to the barracks.

The trip back took nearly an hour and he cursed the dizziness of his head. "Hey!" He called the minute the barracks came into view. "Hey!" He yelled even louder and as he walked into the area between the homes, his eyes fluttered and he collapsed. Miles panted and pushed back up onto his feet.

Horace raced from his house, obvious worry in his expression. Amy stood in the doorway of the shared home, her head tilted, concerned and confused.

The commotion outside distracted Juliet from her reading and she closed the book then dropped it on the end table before walking to the door to look outside. "Miles …" Barefoot, she raced out into the mist to his side and dropped to her knees, splashing water everywhere from the soggy ground. Concerned, worried, she touched his back and then winced at the big welt on his head. She touched it gently when he looked at her. "Miles? What happened?" Then looked around. "Where's James?"

Miles panted and sat back on his heels. "Grid six … the fence broke. Post trailed off couldn't find it. LaFleur and I went out to look. He got shot and when he fell I reached for him and we slid down the hill to the river but it was gushing. And we got stuck."

Juliet sat back, blanched white.

Miles wiped his face and continued. "He was there and then pushed me up and I got out but I couldn't get him and the water … it swept him … downstream."

Horace looked at the pale Juliet then back to Miles. He put his arm under Miles. "Come on." And helped lift the man. "Let's get you to the infirmary."

Miles shook his head. "We have to go after LaFleur."

Horace nodded slowly. "We will. But you have to go to the infirmary." When Miles resisted, Horace continued to walk. "You're hurt. We'll find him. We will." Horace glanced to his side. "Phil, take Miles to the infirmary then come back here. We need the mobile stretcher.

Phil nodded, eyes widened as he quickly took Miles and helped the man walk to the infirmary. Juliet stood and raced back into her house. Horace watched her go then quickly organized a small search party. His brow furrowed when Juliet stormed back out with boots tied tight. "Juliet. You don't have to come. You don't want to see this." He said softly, reaching out to stop her.

She stepped right to Horace, stare intense, dead panned. "Have you given up on finding him alive so soon?"

"Juliet, if he was swept away by a current … God only knows what could have happened to him. And he was shot. If we find him and if he's alive, we have to get him back here as fast as possible."

She did not back away. "And you need him stabilized. Look …" she raked a hand through her hair and whispered. "I was a doctor … back on the main land. Please … if he's alive," she swallowed hard. "You'll need me there."

Horace watched her surprised. "A doctor? Why didn't you tell me?"

"I deliver babies. I'm not a surgeon. And I saw too much death. I didn't want to do it here. But I'm coming with you. Our doctor isn't here. Please."

Horace sighed and nodded. "Alright. Go to the infirmary and pack what you might need. We'll meet back here in ten minutes."

Juliet rushed to the infirmary and found Miles. "Miles, where was he shot?"

Miles struggled on the bed against Phil but sighed when he saw Juliet and lay back. "His right shoulder. He dug the bullet out with his fingers."

"He what?"

"He dug the bullet out with his fingers." Miles clarified. "Can't get clearer than that."

Juliet sighed and walked to Miles, touching his head. "You're probably concussed." She glanced in his eyes and waved her fingers in front of his eyes, trying to test their focus. "You have to rest. That bump on your head is pretty large."

Miles licked his lips and closed his eyes. "He's alive, Juliet. That bastard is too stubborn to die."

She smiled weakly at him and walked to a nearby cabinet. She took a rubber band and tied her hair back then fished through the cabinet for immediate supplies she could think to bring.


Sawyer gasped for air as he surfaced, blinking to clear his vision. He grunted as his body smacked into a rock and then he was under water again. Surfacing again, he cursed and kicked, using his good arm to swim to the shore. The current strong, though the river so narrow. The current pulled him under again then again and he gave up trying to protect his wounded arm.

He swam, grunting against the pain he reached out, fingers gripping a tree root. He held for a few seconds, water splashing up in his face at the resistance. His fingers slipped; he released the hold. He sputtered and turned to see the direction the current carried him. Ahead, to his immediate right, a few rocks. He muttered a curse, but saw his only hope. He swam as far to the right as he could and braced for the impact against the rocks.

He closed his eyes as his body crashed into the large looming rocks and he pressed tightly against them then nearly whooped in relief as he stayed put. He reached up onto the slippery rock with his one good hand and tried desperately to find a place to grip. He muttered to himself. Then grunted and planted his feet against the underside of the rock and lifted himself out of the water.

He laughed, rolling onto his back, finally out of the water. He stared up at the sky as the rain slowed and closed his eyes, panting. "Ya know …" he addressed the sky. "I was right this mornin'. You are one Damn freakin' stupid island." He chuckled to himself and slowly sat up, hunched over as he looked around.

Good news: He was out of the water

Bad news: He was on the opposite side of the river from the barracks.

"Sonuvabitch."

He glanced to his shoulder and winced at the torn flesh and blood. He touched the bullet hole then winced. He pushed to his feet, eyes focused on the near shoreline and he leapt from his rock to the shore. His footing slipped but he reached out with his injured arm to grab the rocks of the shore. He cried out in pain but pulled himself steady and muttered a few choice curses for the mud.

He fisted some of the mud and packed it into the bullet hole. He wasn't sure if it would kill him, but hopefully it would stop the blood. Last time he bled from a bullet wound a shark nearly ate him. He didn't want to tempt fate with some boar jonzin' for human flesh.

He sighed and looked upstream then downstream then across the river. He knew he had to get across the river. It was his only chance. He opted downstream and walked slowly and carefully along the river's edge, hoping and praying for a place to cross.

As he walked, he reached up to press a hand against the wound. His eyes fluttered against the pain and he stopped walking, eyes focused ahead at a fallen tree spanning the length of the ravine. A way to cross.

Perfect. Just perfect. He rolled his eyes and walked carefully along the shoreline to the fallen tree. He dug the heel of his boot into the trunk, testing its stability. The tree recently fallen, the wood firm. He blinked. "Yeah, not happenin'." Then sat down near the log and leaned back against the muddy cliff side. He closed his eyes and sighed. Then pain overwhelming, the flesh burned. He succumbed to the pain and blacked out.


Juliet hitched the pack of supplies higher on her shoulder as she carefully navigated the edge of the hill. She knew they were in hostile territory and the security personnel with her were nervous, fingers on triggers as they looked to the woods. Jin quickly volunteered to accompany her and she was pleased with the offer, knowing Jin would not give up until he found Sawyer. Dead or Alive.

She cleared her mind of those thoughts. She would not think of him as dead. He couldn't be dead. He was the only thing keeping her sane living in 1975. They seemed to walk forever, continuing further and further downstream and with each passing foot, her stomach clenched, knowing the further he was carried, the less likely his chance of survival.

"Look!"

Juliet shook from her thoughts at Jin's words and turned her gaze where the man pointed. Across the ravine, Sawyer lay in the mud, half against the cliff side. She rushed along the ravine. "James." She whispered and scowled then looked back at Phil. "How can we get across?"

Phil frowned. "I'm not sure. We may have to wait for the water to recede."

She shook her head. "He doesn't have that time."

Jin raced to the fallen tree and stepped out, his foot on the tree. He didn't hesitate to balance and cross the tree.

Juliet held her breath, watching as Jin balanced and slowly walked across the fallen trunk. Jin jumped down on the other side and knelt by Sawyer, feeling for a pulse. He smiled and waved to Juliet. "Alive!"

Juliet laughed and choked back a sob of relief then looked at Phil. "Can you go back up stream and around? It may be easier to cross up that way."

Phil nodded. "What are you going to do?"

She smiled weakly. "Cross the tree. Hurry, Phil. Please."

Phil nodded and turned to the few other security personnel with him and the men moved quickly back upstream. Juliet sighed and steadied her nerves as she slowly crossed the trunk. She swallowed hard, feeling the trunk sway slightly with her weight. She focused at the end, outstretched her arms and cleared to the other side.

She dropped to her knees at Sawyer's side and slid the pack off her back. "James?" She reached out to touch his chest then his cheek. "James? James, open your eyes for me."

Sawyer lay, unmoving, lips parted. His breath calm and rhythmic. Jin watched Juliet, unsure what he could do to help and then decided to stand guard a little ways to the side, watching for hostiles.

Juliet took the canteen from the sack and poured the water over the bullet wound, wiping away the mud. "James. James wake up." She leaned over his body to better see the wound.

Sawyer murmured, head lulling to the side. "Juliet."

She eased back and touched his face. "James. It's me James. Open your eyes for me."

Sawyer's eyes fluttered open and he grinned. "Damn Blondie, am I dead?"

She chuckled. "Not yet."

He reached out to her, his strong hand resting on her waist. "Damn hostile shot me. Lost my gun … Miles? Where's Miles?"

Juliet pressed a calming hand against his chest. "Miles is fine. Back at the infirmary. And we're going to get you back too, ok? I just need you to stay calm."

He smirked. "Yer bedside manner … helluvalot better than Jack-o's. Just fer the record."

She smiled and shook her head at him then leaned over again to look at the bullet hole. She pulled some alcohol from the satchel and opened the bottle then poured it over the wound.

Sawyer winced and squirmed at the pain. "I take that back. Yer bedside manner sucks."

She laughed at that and took a clean cloth from the pack to wipe out the wound. "I'm sorry, I should have warned you. Easy. It's ok. Phil's coming with the stretcher. We're going to get you out of here."

"Phil? Really, Barbie? That's yer rescue party?"

She slowly shook her head and tucked the hair back around his ear. She chewed her lip, worried as she looked at the wound again. "James, I'm not a surgeon. I … I haven't sewn up a bullet wound since my internship."

Sawyer smirked. "I trust ya, Blondie. Plus … you wanna do this. Any excuse to touch me."

She laughed, relaxing at his teasing. "To touch you. To ring your neck, is more likely."

He closed his eyes and nodded. His hand slid up and around her waist, clinging to her back. "Why … am I always gettin' shot on this god damn island?"

Juliet smirked and swallowed the amusement before pressing the cloth against the wound. "Because you are always pissing people off."

"Mmm, that mean you're gonna shoot me next?"

"If you're not careful," she teased and then smirked. "You deserve it after what you called me this mornin'."

Sawyer chuckled. "Well … I wasn't lyin'."

She quirked a brow.

"Ya got a great rack."

She laughed and shook her head, feeling his forehead for fever. "You're delirious."

"Nope. Just the truth." His hand slid along her waist under her shirt and the hand splayed on her lower back.

She eyed him incredulously. "Only you would cop a feel lying half dead in the mud. Save you're stren …" she trailed off and looked at him.

Sawyer's eyes held hers as his muddy calloused fingers traced the brand on her back. His expression confused, unsure. "Juliet?"

Juliet reached back, eyes averted as she touched his hand and pushed it away. He insisted, trying to touch again but she entwined her fingers with his and pulled his hand away then pressed his hand onto his chest.

"Juliet."

She shook her head. "Don't. Just don't."

"But …"

"James … please."

He nodded slowly then licked his lips. "Later."

She glanced up at the sound of voices and sighed in relief at the sight of Phil and the other men easing down the cliff side towards them. Her gaze returned to Sawyer's and she sighed.

"Later," he repeated and gripped her hand. "Or I'll die on ya and leave ya with the hippies."

She choked back a laugh and shook her head. "Don't you die on me. You're going to be fine. I'll disinfect the wound and sew it when we get back and x-ray your ribs and you'll be good as new."

"Promise me, later."

"James …"

"Promise," he pleaded and held her eyes. "Or I'll bug the shit outta ya until ya do." Then smirked teasingly.

She sighed, resigned. "Later. When you're better."

He nodded in agreement. "I don't hate ya."

"What?"

He coughed and winced, trying to sit up. "What you said to me this morning. I don't hate ya. I haven't hated ya for a while." He leaned forward to kiss her.

Her eyes widened at the touch and he leaned into her, wrapping his lips around hers slowly. The kiss surprised her.

He pulled away and flopped down onto his back, moaning at the discomfort. "You should kiss more often. Make them lips more pliant. They'd feel better." He smirked at her playfully. He knew he caught her off guard with the kiss. Frankly, he caught himself off guard.

She blushed just slightly and rolled her eyes at his delirium. He was obviously under the stress of the gunshot and the storm, the water. She felt his forehead again, confirming her suspicions of a slight fever. She could only hope when the fever wore off, he forgot all about this day.

Chances were, she would not be that lucky.

-END-


Author's Note: There's another one-shot. Probably not exactly what was requested, but then again, my stories aren't exactly typical. I hope you all enjoyed it. Please review me if you did, and even if you didn't. This is the end of the story, but if I get enough reviews, I might be tempted to write the next part of the conversation. However, I think it ends nicely here, no? If anyone has any more requests or ideas for fan fictions, shoot them my way and I'll do my best to write them.