Why Can't I?

What if this is just the beginning?
We're already wet and we're gonna go swimming…
Why can't I breathe whenever I think about you?
Why can't I speak whenever I talk about you?

He finishes some paperwork. It's dull, tedious, and he aches for that beer Miles promised him earlier. It's only five in the evening, and he has another hour to go. He's a detective, which, although is separate from the role of police officer, often means he's stuck in the same building with them. They're often arrogant, strutting about the station like they own the place. He's seen how they treat people too, with their patronising questions and sceptical glances. When he feels like that, it's easy to understand why people dislike people in his profession.

He's infinitely glad that chapter of his life closed quite quickly, and thankful that Captain Cortez recommended him for promotion fairly early on in his career. Hence the snazzy title of Detective Ford. It has quite a ring to it, plus it is a great opening line when he's on dates, which makes him infinitely thankful that he chose to become a cop not a conman.

Yet sometimes he gets a nagging feeling inside him that maybe that isn't the way it's supposed to have played out. A little part of him, which he usually drowns out with beer or just a tremendous amount of energy, wonders what his life would've been like had he chosen the other option. Sometimes in his dreams, his brain plays it out for him, scene by scene. He even sees women, some blonde and some brunette.

One of them - the freckled, brunette with dark, pain filled eyes - is a frequent visitor to his dreams. He suspects this has been enhanced by the fact he saw the exact same woman at the airport. He tries to shake her out of his mind, tries to pretend she's never had an effect on him, but it's difficult.

Then there's the blonde. She's beautiful, rapturously so. She has a smile which could make a harder man than himself fall for her, not to mention a smoking body. When he's with her, he feels safe, but so much more than that. He feels like they always have been, and always will be. It's stupid to think women in his dreams could ever be real, but they certainly feel like they are.

"Still around, Ford?" A sarcastic voice pulls him to the present.

It's Ana-Lucia. The captain's daughter, easily the hottest woman in a mile, and someone who couldn't have been more forbidden than if she had the Adam and Eve story tattooed to her chest.

She saunters towards him, that too beautiful set of lips pulling up into a smirk. Women that hot shouldn't carry a warning label on 'em or somethin', he thinks to himself. The olive skin, the well muscled but equally slender body, the dark eyes which see all and know all…it's all just a massive turn on for him.

"You know it, Lulu," he calls back.

She grins in his direction. "How's life as detective?"

She makes no attempt to hide her contempt at the job title. From what little he knows of her, she's hates pretty much every aspect of the justice system, though for what reason he doesn't quite know. As she leans over a nearby desk to retrieve something, he can't help but check out her ass. He isn't ashamed of himself for doing it; if it gains him attention from her, it'll be worth it.

"Yo! Ford! Eyes up here," she commands, noticing where his eyes are. "What's wrong with you? You some kind of pervert, or something?"

"If that's what turns you on…" He grins, strangely proud of managing to rouse something close to passion in her.

She rolls her eyes.

"You're a chauvinistic pig," she accuses, something close to amusement in her eyes.

He wheels forward on his chair and smirks at her. They are a few other officers darted around, mostly answering the phones, but they pay no attention. He likes that about his job; no one really gives a shit what they do after hours.

"Don't you have paperwork to finish?" Ana demands, noticing his habit of following her around.

"Yeah…and?"

He moves forwards, unperturbed by the flash of annoyance across her face. If anything, it spurs him on to new heights of annoyance.

She lightly pushes him away, and that's when the strangest thing happens. As her fingers come into contact with him, the world disappears. Flashes before her eyes reveals a world she's never heard of, never even dreamed of. She can see the island in her mind, can hear the waves crashing upon the shore, can smell the salt in the air and in the wind, and can feel the wind in her hair. Most of all, all those feelings of disappointment, rejection, bitterness sweep through her and rock her backwards.

"Don't ya want my phone number?" "You tell anyone about this…and I'll kill you." "Guess that puts cuddlin' off the table!"

She reels backwards, frightened. Her breaths come out in hitches, her mind reeling from this flash which to any other would seem strange, but to her it makes sense. She remembers it all; the island, the crash, Goodwin, Jack, Sawyer, shooting Shannon…

"You alright, sunshine?" he asks, toning down the teasing when he notices her slightly confused, even frightened look.

She lightly touches his shoulder again, closes her eyes and breathes in and out, trying not to panic when another horde of memories hits her like a sack of bricks.

"I promised that little girl I would get her home to her mommy…"

"When I say move, you move. When I say stop, you stop. When I say jump, you say…?" "You first."

"I looked at him and he…I can't do this anymore."

"Ana?" His voice is troubled, even frightened.

She looks up, having not realised her head had been her hands. She briefly glances at her hands, noticing the sparkling drops on her fingers and realising with faint surprise they're tears.

"You ok?" he asks, having never seen her like this.

"Yeah," she replies gruffly. "Just got a bit of hay fever, that's all."

"What? Inside?" he scoffs, but the concerned look never leaves his eyes.

She regards him silently, realising who he is now. She never remembered him showing an ounce of kindness, though. But what she does remember is feeling a flicker or a spark of something towards him, and that spark is reignited her within her. She wants to reach out and touch him again, just to prove he's really there, but there's a more pressing truth her mind has remembered.

She's dead…but she's here.

The fact almost makes her want to cry again, except that's not her. She's not the weak willed woman who cries at almost everything, or the woman who falls for a guy just because he might be a little bit on the handsome side of things, with charm and wit to boot.

Still, the memory of being shot doesn't serve her well. Betrayal courses through her veins like blood - thick, and coated with red. She wants to punch something - hard. She wants to hit him, just because she can. She wants to demand where he was when it happened, why he couldn't save her, but then that would mean admitting she actually gave a damn about her life.

He, meanwhile, observes her with silence. She seems to be changing emotions like traffic lights; anger is present one minute, then quick as a flash it is replaced by sadness, as if a great injustice has befallen her. He finds her fascinating, like reading a great novel or something. But then there's a small part of him - the same part which doesn't agree with this life at all - which draws up the image of the blonde woman time and time again, as if punishing him for finding another woman so sexy and extremely fascinating.

Silence falls between for a brief moment. He attempts to push himself back to his desk but she prevents him from doing so, her dark eyes mulling over something, her expression one of torture and torment.

She grabs his head with her hands and gazes at him for a brief second, her expression never changing even as she leans forwards to kiss him. It's not a soft kiss either, the kind of kiss you always experience on first dates with someone new. This is the kind of kiss you give someone you've not seen for a long, long time, the kind of kiss you give someone you've missed.

Her lips moves with his with light expertise, as if she's done this before. He's taken by surprise - and not many women can boast about doing that - but soon he's caught up to her, and he grabs the back of her hair and lightly pulls him onto her lap. The kiss is fire, it's ice, it's everything. But there's an edge to it that he can't quite explain. It's almost like she's saying goodbye; it has that sort of an edge to it.

Her hands slide down his face and then she lightly pushes herself away, wondering what the hell happened for her to have let her guard dropped like that. There's this sense of peace inside her, however, which eradicates everything other emotion. It's sort of…wonderful.

It's almost a sense of letting go, of moving on. Except she knows when he remembers - and he will - he'll be moving forwards and she won't. She's not ready to feel that warmth, or be surrounded by people who were never too fond of her. No…that isn't the life she wants. She wants to stay here, maybe work on her relationship with her mother, and become someone worth remembering, someone worth missing.

"Well…" he says, gazing at her with the same cocky eyes and cocky smile she knows. "Tha' was…somethin'. Want my phone number?"

Despite herself, she smiles.

"I want your phone number, I'll get your phone number," she replies, grinning at him. "My shift's ended, so I'm off home."

Again, there's an edge to her voice that sounds almost like she's saying goodbye. He can't quite explain it, though, not even to himself so, with a shrug, he lets it drop.

"See ya, cowboy," are her parting words, before she disappears out the doors, leaving him with an inexplicable sense of loss.

That's when the phone rings.

Eager for a distraction, he picks it up and is surprised to hear Miles' voice on the other end of the line.

"Jim, it's me. I think I saw that Jarrah guy."

He frowns, momentarily confused.

"You at county lockup?"

"No, I'm at my dad's museum concert benefit thing."

"Can't be Jarrah," he replies confidently. "I just put him in a van to county an hour ago."

"Really? Because county just called, and they said it never showed up."

"What?"

"Help me out here, Jim. Jarrah popped four people in cold blood. Only one witness left the scene alive, right? Some Korean woman. Can you make sure she's okay?"

He sighs, realising that beer is probably never going to happen at this point. After assuring Miles he was on it, he stands up, still thinking about Ana and that kiss, and grabs his keys and his cell phone, trying to recall how to get to the hospital.

He drives there quite quickly, but has time to flick on the radio. The obnoxious Driveshaft hit is on the radio, but it seems to be very familiar this time around, and not quite as annoying. How odd.

Shaking his head at the series of odd events he had experienced, he clears his head as he arrives at the hospital. He walks in, leans over the desk and enquires ever so innocently about Miss Paik. That name is the one thing which hasn't struck a sense of familiarity, for which he's quite thankful.

On his way there, he crosses paths with a blonde doctor. There's an immature side of him which longs to make a joke about it but, what surprises him, is that the same small part of him which has been kicking up a fuss all day, is on red alert, as if today is a particularly significant day. Bullshit.

He really needs that beer.

When he eventually locates Miss Paik, hers and her boyfriend - is that right? He feels like it's not, somehow, but surely it would've stated on their record if they were married - they seem to be in a bubble of bliss, which he feels is strange considering the circumstances. But, unconcerned, he shrugs and leaves them to it, before deciding the call of hunger needs to be answered.

"Do you know where to get some grub around here?" he asks a suited man who walks in the opposite direction.

"The cafeteria's closed," the man recalls, looking again oddly familiar. "But there's a vending machine, down the hall."

"Thanks," he replies gratefully, pausing only to look back at the retreating figure with confusion and bewilderment.

His thoughts flicker back to that strange woman with dark curly hair, with eyes that revealed nothing one minute than everything the next. His heart beats are rapid, but he suspects it's more to the fact that male instincts are kicking in - he doesn't often have women taking him by surprise, and when it does happen, it takes a while to recover from.

As he approaches the vending machine, he puts his dollar in and watches it, not really focusing in on the somewhat dull process. The inevitable happens - it gets stuck and jams. Perfect, jus' what I need, he silently grumbles, bending down and twisting his arm inside the machine, futilely trying to reach for it.

All of a sudden, he's that he isn't alone - someone else is nearby, watching him act like a complete idiot, all for a candy bar. He slowly turns, and then freezes as he spots the blonde he'd walked past earlier staring at him with a faintly amused expression. She obviously thinks he's an idiot, and he can't really blame her at this precise moment.

"Can I help you?" she asks, her voice inexplicably making him feel better, though he can't for the life of him work out why.

"It's fine," he insists. "I, er, I'm a cop."

As if she wants to hear THAT! his brain scolds. He can't understand how those words escaped his lips, but he does know if she didn't think he was an idiot before, she certainly does now.

"Maybe you should read the machine its rights," she suggests, her lips pulling into a smirk.

At first, he thinks she's being absolutely serious. When he figures out she's not, he laughs, wondering if every single woman he interacts with today plans on outwitting him in some shape or form. With her, though, he realises it doesn't really matter, almost like he's used to it from her.

"That's funny," he mutters, with a grin.

"Do you wanna hear a secret?" she says, lowering her voice slightly.

"Please." At this point, his dignity cannot take anymore hits, so it's worth at least hearing her out.

"If you unplug the machine, then plug it back in, the candy just drops out," she murmurs conspiratorially. "And," she adds with a grin, "it's technically legal."

He grins back and decides to try her secret out. He cautiously unplugs the machine, his eyes widening as the lights go out, and then plugs it back in. The sound of the candy dropping meets his ears and he grins at this strange but helpful woman with gratitude.

She retrieves it for him, smiling as she passes it over to him.

"It worked."

Their hands touch, and that's when it happens. He sees the two of them together, and can feel the warmth of their love before he even knows what's going on. He steps back in alarm, noticing she's doing the same thing.

"Whoa," he breathes. "Did you feel that?"

She doesn't give him an answer. She doesn't need to; he can see the shock and confusion on her face. But then her face turns up and they seem to scrutinise each other carefully, as if working the other out.

"We should get some coffee some time," she says, stepping forwards.

"I would but my machine ate my dollar," he replies, feeling disappointed for some reason. "I've only got one left."

"We can go Dutch," she insists.

Those words, for whatever reason, send electric currents up and down his spine. He feels spooked and for some reason feels the need to get close to her. When they bump shoulders, he sees everything. Their life. Their love. His heartbreak. Her death. It all comes rushing back in a way he'd never have anticipated.

Suddenly he knows who she is, who she's always been, and it almost kills him to realise how much he's missed her. He wants to say so much, but the words won't come. He can see her struggling with the truth, and feels the need to gently remind her who he is.

"Juliet? It's me."

Then they're falling into each other's arms, crying and hugging as they realise what's happened, who they are and what they mean to each other.

"James, wanna kiss me?" she asks, whilst laughing and crying at the same time.

He grins, willing to oblige. "You got it, Blondie."

This kiss is unlike anything he's ever experienced. It's spectacular, it's magical, it's enticing, almost addictive. And finally, every part of his mind is satisfied. He remembers the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of the life he's almost forgotten, and that includes his strange and brief relationship with the fiery Ana.

Even in the middle of his reunion of Juliet, he feels fresh guilt and grief season into his flesh, as if he's back on the island at her funeral all over again. He now understands why she kissed him, why she seemed so fragile after she'd touched him, and he hopes she'll one day find her way into the light.

Because he knows that whilst he and Juliet have found their happy ending, Ana hasn't. She's always been a mystery to him, and that's often why he felt so drawn to her, very much like a moth to a flame. He remembers the way he felt when he was staring at her body in that makeshift grave and feels guilty he never got to know her better.

He doesn't feel guilty for kissing her now he realises he's found the love of his life again, because he knows and understands why she did it, why he didn't push away like perhaps he should've.

It was the perfect way to say goodbye, if only he'd known it at the time.

Why can't I breathe whenever I think about you?
Why can't I speak whenever I talk about you?

A/n: I love Sana! It's a lovely pairing but I also love Suliet. I think Ana and Sawyer's encounter should've happened, so consider this a missing scene from the finale. I think Sawyer would've been the one to make her remember because I genuinely believe they actually felt something for each other. They spent days together making their way back his camp, and he felt genuinely upset by her death. Call me an idealist, but I do think they felt a spark of something which should've been explored properly, but there ya go.