Author: Crimson Coin
Disclaimer: I don't own Lost or these characters. I'm just having a bit of fun. No infringement intended.
Summary: Missing scenes from "The End" between Sawyer and Juliet. How did they get from the hospital to the church?
Inspiration: So rarely do I have specific inspirations but I feel the need to credit what is due here. I don't usually watch fan music videos but I watched this one because of a "bonus" promise at the end. Easter Egg of Juliet in the church at the finale and she is wearing a ring on her left finger. In the scene with Sun when Juliet gave her an ultrasound, she did not have a ring on. Post production error? Intentional? I have no idea. You decide. The video is on YouTube and it is entitled "You Found Me" created by DandaLaFleurMC – if anyone is interested.
Sawyer stood in Juliet's office, mind dazed as he stared at the degrees and awards posted on one wall. Every framed document read the name 'Juliet Carlson'. He liked it. Carlson was better than Burke. He glanced back over his shoulder at her. Juliet stood at her desk, eyes a mixture of confusion, pain and elation. She raked a hand through her hair again, fingers caught slightly in the sticky volumizing product.
She picked up a picture frame on the desk and stared at it. He watched her with swelling love, guilt and relief. He found her. In whatever second chance this was, he found her. Were they both in L.A. for so long? How many times had he missed her on the street? How many times had he been in this hospital for a case and she was here?
Juliet put the picture frame back on the desk, her eyes focused on the photo within its borders.
Sawyer smirked, watching her with intense fascination. "Dharma beer for yer thoughts, Blondie."
She looked up from her focus point and smiled at him. Eyes inviting, she reached for him.
He slipped his hand into hers, squeezing tightly and tugged her closer to him. With a sigh, she wrapped her arms around his neck, burying her head in his throat for easily the fifth time that evening. She inhaled deeply, absorbing the now fiercely familiar scent of him, his cologne and deodorant. "God, you smell the same." She whispered, arms tightening.
"You do too," he murmured and inhaled again before pressing a kiss to her throat. He stroked her hair, rocking her gently. "Baby, I'm so confused."
"Me too." She admitted and slowly shook her head. "I mean it feels like so much of my life has passed here and I … how long have you been here?"
"I don't know. It's all I remember is being here. Until just before when I remembered something else."
They stood in silence for endless minutes, holding each other. Juliet eased back to search his face, stroking his jaw and cheeks as if touching him could ensure to her he was real and with her. "How long has it been?"
Pain reflected in his eyes. "I got off the island."
"You did?" She smiled and cupped his cheek, her thumb brushing his lip. "Oh that's wonderful. What happened when you left?"
"I uhm … I went to Australia." He said softly then trailed off. She watched him, expecting more and he averted his eyes, unwilling to give it to her. "Why did you let go?"
Confusion flooded her expression at first but at his panged and tortured eyes, she smiled softly. "I didn't want you to die. I couldn't let you die too."
"Didn't it occur to you that I'da rather died than lost ya?"
"I know that." She said softly, eyes gentle.
His eyes narrowed and he jerked back from her, stance broad. "And ya let go anyway?"
She released a shaky breath and forced a laugh. "James, do we really have to fight about this now?"
"Yeah, we gotta fight about this now." He snapped then shook his head, pacing away a moment then back to her. "I lived thirty years. After you were gone. I actually forgot what you looked like." He growled and raked a hand through his hair, though he was obviously more upset with himself than her. "I forgot." He whispered and sat down on the nearby sofa.
"Thirty years?" She slowly sat beside him, awed at the time that passed.
Glazed, he stared across the room at the closed door, eyes narrowed in concentration. "And boy, did I have the time to think."
Resting her hand on his thigh, she tilted her head to watch him. "I'm sorry." She ducked her head away. "I felt the chains, James and they were tearing me in half. And I knew if I didn't let go, they would rip me apart." Tears brimmed in her eyes at the memory and the phantom pains in her body. "I thought that my shoulder would dislocate again and you'd be holding just my arm or the chains would rip off my legs and you'd see …" she trailed off and sighed. "And the rigging was breaking and it was hopeless, James. I wasn't going to drag you with me. I couldn't do that."
He closed his eyes and leaned back on the sofa, legs spread wide as he tried to relax. He blinked and turned his gaze to her. "I went to Australia and admitted to murdering Duckett." When her eyes widened, he looked away before continuing. "I got life. Previous record and fled the country and all that jazz."
"James," she whispered and cupped his cheek, leaning towards him and rested her head on his shoulder.
His eyes closed and he leaned into her, heaving a heavy sigh. "Did I do the right thing? Cuz I didn't do it to pay for the crimes. I did it cuz I didn't know what the hell else I could do in the real world." He chuckled softly and shook his head. "Not like I could buy Microsoft or bet on the Cowboys."
She smirked at his words and tilted her head back, lips touching his softly. "Did you regret killing Duckett?"
"If I did, never woulda been on that plane, never woulda crashed on the island, never woulda met you. Not to say I ain't sorry. Haunted me though. Cuz I was tricked and killed an innocent man."
"So you do regret it." She leaned into him again.
He sighed, wrapping an arm around her shoulders to pull her close. "I guess so. But I can't regret what happened after." Silence surrounded them again and he closed his eyes, enjoying the feel of her against his side. "So if I look at another woman again, are you going to go jumping down another well?"
Huffing she shoved away from him. When his eyes opened, he met her laughing eyes and smirk. She stood. "You know, at the time, it hurt like hell."
He stood to follow her, reaching out to touch her hip. "Hey, hold up there. You still gonna hold that against me now?"
"No, no I'm not. But will you hold something against me that I did here?"
"Why? What have I got to hold against you?"
She walked away from him and to the desk, reaching for the picture frame resting near the telephone. Willing her nerves to subside, she turned to him and presented the photograph.
Confused, Sawyer took the photo and looked down at it. Juliet stood beside a piano, a dark haired teenage boy beside her. Both smiled brightly and dressed formally. Juliet wore a blue cocktail dress while the boy wore a black suit. He moved the photo a little closer so he could see details better.
"That was taken a year ago," she said softly. "It was a competition. He didn't win, but he played well."
He paused and looked up at her, masked worry in his eyes. "Edmund?"
"No no," she quickly corrected him and smiled softly. "No Edmund here. But I was married."
Sawyer nodded slowly, eyes on the photo again. "Was he good to you? Yer husband?"
"It just didn't work out. I loved him but, we just weren't meant to be together. Plus, David and I were always second. And that wasn't fair to our son. Or to me. His work came first. Not that I can blame him, I do understand. He just never could find the balance."
She smirked and took the photograph from him to set it on the desk again. "It was Jack."
"My husband. I married Jack."
Quiet, stunned, he stared at her, jaw slackened in disbelief. He blinked once then again then turned the photo frame on the desk and looked at the boy again. "Jack."
She nodded slowly. "He was good to us for the most part but it just didn't work. We divorced and still talk. We're still friends, I suppose."
Silent again a long moment, he watched her.
She refused to show any nerves or unease. Would he turn from her now, knowing what she had with Jack?
He crossed his arm, chin out. "Was he better than me?"
Her brow furrowed in thought, uncertain what he was asking. "What?"
"Was he better than me?" He shifted from one foot to the other.
She tilted her head then her lips slowly twitched in a smile. "You mean in bed."
He widened his stance as if bracing for a blow.
She chuckled at him. "James, do we really have to compare? I can ask you if Kate was better than me."
"She wasn't," he answered without hesitation. "Your turn."
She sighed and touched his arm. "It was so different. I can't even compare it."
Juliet chuckled. "James. Really. He was good to me. And it was nice but it never felt like it did with you. I love you."
He slowly smiled at that. "I love you back."
She matched his smile and reached for his hand, squeezing it. Her eyes suddenly widened. "David! His concert!" She checked her wristwatch then sighed. "is probably over. I have to go see him."
"I'm comin' with you."
He held up a hand to silence her. "If you think for a second, I'm letting you outta my sight, yer nuts."
Her hand splayed on his cheek as she closed the distance between them and kissed him slowly. "Alright then."
Sawyer sensed her frantic need, her tension as he held her hand. They walked just outside the concert hall where her son performed that evening. Reluctantly, he released her. Her stride quickened as she raced up the steps two at a time to the door. How did she do that in those heels?
Juliet tugged on the front door and muttered a curse. Locked. She turned and nervously chewed on the pad of her thumb as she looked back down the stairs and over the grass of the reception. Large tents covered the various tables, mingling floors and bars.
"Hey," He slipped behind her, resting a hand on the small of her back. "We'll find him. I'm a cop remember?" He smirked. "I can find people. Kid's a teenager, I'm sure he can take care of himself."
Worried, she walked down the stairs, eyes scanning. "I still left him. He's here with his aunt Claire." She froze. "Oh God … Claire. It was Claire."
She swallowed hard. "Jack's sister. Claire. I didn't realize … but it's Claire."
"Claire? Like blonde pregnant Barbie, Claire. Island Claire?"
"Yes, Island Claire." She rushed out onto the grass and continued towards the various arranged tents. She searched the outskirts for either David or Claire and the panic intensified every minute her search brought no results. Turning from the tents, she looked back towards the concert hall and sighed in relief. David sat on a bench near the side gardens about fifty yards away. "David."
The boy smiled and stood at her call. He buttoned his suit jacket and picked up the small business case at his side, draping it over his shoulder. Sawyer watched her race across the grass to her son and wisely stayed back and out of earshot.
Juliet hugged him then kissed his temple. "I'm so sorry I missed it. How did it go? Where's your Aunt Claire?"
"She's alright," David answered cryptically and calmly. He peered around Juliet, spotting Sawyer standing a ways back, leaning against a lamp post, illuminated by the light.
Juliet smiled softly at David. "Come on, let's head home. Did your father make it?"
"No," he slowly shook his head then glanced up at Juliet. "No, he didn't, but he has important things to do."
She sighed and tucked the hair back behind his ear. "Your father loves you very much."
"Do you have all your music?"
David nodded and patted the soft case hanging at his hip. "It's not time to go home."
"It's not?" She frowned. "Did you want to go to the reception? We could go for a few minutes if you wanted to."
"No no," he reached out to touch her arm. "I'm going to go home. But you're not."
"You don't have to go there anymore."
Brow furrowed, she shook her head. "I don't understand. Come on, you have school in the morning."
He took her hand before she could move and squeezed. His eyes searched hers. "There is no home here. Don't you think that maybe it's time that you moved?"
"Moved? What are you talking about? Don't you like it in L.A.? My job is here and …"
"You're not listening to me." He shook her hand gently. "I mean move on … from here." At her silence, he stepped closer to her, a soft and understanding smile on his face. "Don't you think you have everything you've been waiting for now?"
Her eyes glazed in thought, focused absently on nothing as her mind swirled. She finally looked behind her at Sawyer who stood illuminated and leaning casually on the lamp post. He watched the reception, profile visible to her.
"You've been waiting here for him."
"I'm not leaving you," she responded quickly and turned to look at David. "You're my son."
He smiled sadly at that and shook his head. "I'm exactly what you needed me to be." He touched her cheek at her confused expression. "I'm everything you wanted before and couldn't have. But you don't need me anymore."
"I gave birth to you," she whispered weakly, heart clenching at David's touch. "You're my son. I remember. I breast fed you. I …" she trailed off, tears brimming in her eyes.
"You did," he confirmed. "You did do that. And you raised me here while you waited. You and Jack waited. But you don't have to wait anymore." He wrapped his arms around Juliet's waist and hugged her.
She embraced him tightly, desperate for the contact and pressed her cheek to the top of his head. "I don't understand."
"This place isn't real," he answered and eased back from her to look up into her face. "You were here, waiting. For him." He looked beyond her again to Sawyer. "And now you found him. And he's here. So you remember."
"How do you know this?" She slowly shook her head, mind spinning, confused and uncertain.
"Because I'm here just to help you wait. To give you what you were missing and needed to have."
Juliet fell quiet again and glanced behind her at Sawyer then to David again. "You are my child," she whispered weakly. "I remember. I remember and …" she trailed off.
"I came to you the way you needed me to come to you. And now you don't need me anymore." As the tears slipped from her eyes, he reached up to brush them away from her cheeks. "It's time for you to go."
"Move on," he said simply. "You'll be fine."
"I'm not leaving you."
"Yes, you are. Because I'm not finished here. And this is where I belong."
She sat roughly on the bench, a bit lost, terribly confused. "What happens now?"
David sat beside her, slipping his hand into hers. Her hand tightened in his and David smiled. "You've found what you've waited so long for. And now, you move on. Together. With him and your friends."
"Mmm hmm. Claire and Jack. Kate and Hugo and Sun. They're waiting for you. You're all ready to go now. You don't need to stay here anymore."
He shook his head. "Let go, Juliet." He stood. "You just have to let go and move on." Her hand tightened a moment then slackened slowly. He slipped his hand away. "There's a church not far from here. They're waiting for you there."
David nodded. "You know where it is."
She stood. "Will I see you again? When you're done, will I see you?"
His smile remained, calm and sure. "No. No, I was just with you for a little while. But I'm not with you forever."
A single tear slipped from her eye. "But you're my son."
He slowly shook his head. "I'm not." He cupped her cheek, thumb brushing the tear. "Let go. This … none of this was real here. It's where you came to wait until you were ready. And you're ready now. I just helped you get here. Made your journey easier. Juliet, you don't need me anymore."
She swallowed hard, holding his eyes, torn and trembling inside. "I love you."
He smiled warmly at that and wrapped his arms around her neck, hugging her. "I love you too. It'll be alright. Trust me."
"But who will take care of you?"
He chuckled at her concern and tightened his hold a moment. "Don't worry. I'll be just fine. I promise." He lingered in her arms until she finally released him and he stepped back. "I promise." He smiled and stepped away from her, walking towards Sawyer. Juliet turned to watch him but didn't follow, eyes confused, hurt and scared.
Sawyer pushed off the lamppost, eyes narrowed as David neared him. The teen approached him, slightly to the side and as he walked passed, addressed him. "Check your pocket." Then continued passed him.
Sawyer frowned and turned to watch the boy. A bright light engulfed David and Sawyer squinted, raising a hand to shield his eyes. As fast as it appeared, the light disappeared; David was gone. Sawyer took five quick steps, stopping in the area where David once was. No sign of the boy.
He turned quickly to look at Juliet who watched in confused shock. Swallowing hard, he looked at the ground again and crouched, touching the dirt. It felt normal, cool and slightly damp from the evening. Blinking, he looked up and out towards the direction David was traveling.
A soft hand on his shoulder distracted him and he looked up to see Juliet, staring out to that direction as well. Standing, he wiped his hand on his jeans and reached into his coat pocket. His once empty pockets now no longer empty as his right hand fingered cool metal and the rough setting for a stone. Frowning, he glanced to his side, pulling the ring out slightly to look at it. Juliet's engagement ring; a ring he remembered throwing into the sea.
He shoved the ring back into his pocket before Juliet saw it.
Outside the concert hall, Sawyer sat on the bench beside Juliet in silence. Hours passed as they simply sat. She seemed lost in thought, mostly unresponsive to his attempts at conversation. Eventually he gave up. He spread his legs where he sat, feet tapping every so often. He shoved his hands into the coat pockets, fingers absently twirling the ring as he watched the reception taper off.
He had absolutely no idea what she spoke about with that kid and knew he wouldn't get an answer anytime soon. So he waited patiently. He had time to kill.
As the reception slowly emptied and waiters began cleaning and clearing, Juliet finally spoke. "He said he wasn't my son."
"What?" Brow arched, he glanced to his side at her.
"David," she faced him, expression calm and collected. "He said he wasn't my son. That I'm just here to wait."
"Wait, huh? We been waitin' a couple a hours. Nothin's happening."
She smiled softly and took his hand. "No not now now. I mean in general. Everything that happened here."
"He said this wasn't real."
Sawyer leaned forward, picking a few pieces of grass then dropping them in her lap. "Feels real to me." His hand tightened. "You feel real."
"I am real, I think. And you're real."
"I hope so. Or else this is a damn weird hallucination to have my own delusions." Forehead knotting, he pursed his lips in confusion. "Did that even make sense? Can a hallucination have a delusion?"
She laughed. "I don't think you're a hallucination."
He looked to his left towards the place where David disappeared. "Where's Houdini? We can ask him."
"He said I was here waiting for you."
"I don't get it, Baby." He sighed. "What here? L.A.? I been in L.A. as long as I can remember."
"No no. Not like that. I mean I died, James."
He scowled. "Don't remind me."
"But that means if we're here. Then you died too."
He fell silent at the thought, mind racing with memories he had yet to sort out. "So we're dead. I don't remember dying."
"I'm sure you had to. I can't think of how we could be here unless you died. Try to remember."
He stared blankly at the grass as he filed and catalogued the rush of new memories that invaded his senses since touching Juliet those few hours ago. Finally, he nodded. "I remember." He whispered and closed his eyes, bringing his free hand to his head, ducking.
She released his hand to slide her fingers through his hair, resting on the back of his head. "Same thing happened to me when I remembered it. You kept me on my feet." She massaged the back of his head and his neck. "You ok?"
He nodded silently and leaned forward, resting his head in his hands, elbows balanced on his knees.
"How did you die?"
Releasing a slow and steady sigh, he peered up, staring ahead. "Got shanked. Found myself on the wrong side of a prison gang and I was sick of playin' by their rules. So I told em to go screw themselves. Course in much more colorful words." He winced as the phantom pains raced through his body and he shifted in his seat. "When it happened I remember just thinking … finally."
He nodded. "Yeah. I was just relieved. Like finally, I could die. Didn't have to live in that hell hole or with the nightmares anymore."
"James," she whispered soothingly.
He faced her at the sound of his name, searching her familiar face, her eyes. Quickly, he closed the distance between them and kissed her. Forceful, almost desperately he kissed her in an attempt to ground himself, ensure her presence. Warm, soft, real. He hummed when she returned his kiss with a gentle surrender. Her hand cupped his cheek.
His eyes closed as he pulled away, lips downturned in a scowl. "I don't know what the hell is real anymore. Which life is real?" He rubbed his forehead, soothing the tension.
She paused in reflection, staring out over the expanse of the grass and tents. "I think, the island."
Smirking, he glanced to her again. "So what was this? Pit stop?"
Chuckling she leaned into him, nudging him with her shoulder. "Guess so."
He sighed. "So where to now?"
"David suggested a church. Down the road from here. He said they'd be waiting for us."
"Waiting for us? Who?"
"Sun, Hugo, Kate … all of them."
He frowned. "You really think I wanna go anywhere with any a them after everything I been through?"
"Don't be angry, James. It's all over now. The pain. Isn't that the point? We're here because we did something right and the pain is over."
He scoffed and shook his head, pushing to his feet. "Too good to be true that I was a cop. That I didn't mess everything up."
She followed him, hand on his bicep. "You didn't. I did. I ruined our life. It's my own fault that I died. Because I was insecure."
He turned to face her. "If I didn't ask you to stay, you wouldn't a died. If I just let you go on that sub like you wanted to … I wouldn't a lost you."
She cupped his cheek. "And we wouldn't be here now … looking for each other. James, I'm glad I didn't leave. I don't regret staying. I was the weak one. I was the one with the insecurities and I was the one that couldn't trust you. I'm so sorry."
He held her eyes. "I buried you, Baby. You died in my arms and I …" he trailed off, looking away. She lifted up onto her toes, arms binding around his neck. He caved into her, clinging to her, hugging her tightly. "You feel alive. Warm. I don't want to feel you cold again, you hear me? Never."
She nuzzled his throat, burying into him, clinging. "David told me I had to let go. To move on."
"I don't know. Whatever comes next."
He nodded slowly. "So you wanna go to this church?"
She hesitated a moment then nodded as well. "Are you ready to let go?"
"Baby, I ain't holdin' on to anything but you right now. So as long as you ain't lettin' go a me – again - we can go anywhere you damn well please."
She smiled at his words and tightened her hug a moment before releasing him. "Scared?"
"Pssh," he chuckled and shook his head, tucking some hair back behind her ear. His eyes raked down her body then up again. "So you gonna move on lookin' sexy as hell in that dress? I wouldn't mind."
Rolling her eyes, she slipped her hand into his. "No. I don't live far from here. I … I think they could wait a few minutes for us. Don't you think?"
He tilted his head slowly and a wicked grin tugged at the corner of his lips. "Lead the way."
Sawyer lay nude in her bed, arms tucked behind his head and a satisfied smile on his face as he watched her folding the clothes scattered on the floor. She pulled out some clean clothes from a dresser and pulled on the panties before fastening the bra. He tilted his head, appraising appreciatively. "Yer just like I remember you, Blondie."
She flashed a broad grin, meeting his eyes through the mirror over her dresser. "So are you. Are you going to get dressed or lay there?"
"I'm pretty comfy right now."
"You look it," she turned to face him, hands on her hips and a single brow raised in expectation. "We don't want to be late."
"Late?" He laughed. "Is there even time here? How can you be late when there's no more time?"
She crossed the bedroom to him and sat on the bedside, rubbing a slow hand over his chest. "Please, James. I'm ready to go. Come with me."
He sat up, lips finding hers in a slow and searing kiss. "Like I'm lettin' you go alone. Run a comb through that nest on yer head. Or else they'll all know what sidetracked us."
She chuckled and stood. "I can say the same for you. Looks like someone was pulling on it over and over again."
He laughed and threw off the covers, getting out of the bed. "You always liked doing that."
She shrugged casually. "I like your hair." She pulled on a grey blue top and fitted black pants.
Sawyer dressed as well then shrugged into his coat. Sitting on the bed, he pulled on his socks and boots before reaching into the pocket of the coat again. He fingered the engagement ring. No sense in questioning how it got there, but since he had it, he might as well use it.
Juliet zippered a pair of heeled boots and then looked at herself in the mirror. Picking up the brush from the dresser she raked the tangles and teases from her hair.
She glanced at him in the mirror as she fixed her hair. "Hmm?" He sat with his back to her and she saw the broad expanse covered by the leather coat and long shaggy hair. She smiled at the sight.
"I love you."
Rarely had he ever admitted it first. Her smile softened. "I love you back."
He kept his back to her as he pulled the ring from his pocket and held it in front of him, looking at it. "You know back in Dharmaville, before everything went to hell, I sent away for somethin' on the sub. And it came and I held it for two months. Had it hidden in that creaky floor board in the bedroom." He smirked. "You know the one you nagged at me for months to nail back down?"
She turned to face him, eyes tender. "I thought you just weren't listening."
"I was listening. But I didn't want to nail it in there." His hand fisted the ring.
She walked to him and sat beside him on the bed. "Why wouldn't you give it to me?"
"Too chicken shit." He answered simply and turned his head to watch her. "Then it was too late and you were gone. I went back to the barracks after I buried you. Back to our house and it was still there. In the floorboard. Can you believe it? 2007 and it was still there."
He nodded slowly. "I sat out on the dock with it, where I sat with ya and convinced ya to stay. Then I threw it into the water. But here when that kid left, he walked by me and told me to look in my pocket. They were empty before and then it was just there." He fell silent and after a few seconds opened his fist to show her the ring lying in his palm.
She stared at the ring for what seemed like endless moments and his outstretch hand trembled slightly. As his fingers started to close, she reached out to pick the ring up between thumb and forefinger. She admired it quietly then tore her eyes from the ring to the man at her side. He watched her nervous, uncertain, even a little embarrassed.
Looking at the ring again, she turned it in her hands then ever so slowly slid it onto her left ring finger. It fit perfectly. Ring settled, she looked up at him again and smiled.
He matched her smile and released the breath he held. Cupping her cheek, he brought her closer and kissed her.
Once then again, she kissed him before crawling into his lap and hugging him tightly. He buried his face in her throat, arms bound around her.
Her lips pressed to his neck then his jaw and she closed her eyes as she kissed his ear. Rocking with him, she sighed contently. When he scattered kisses on her throat, she tilted her head back, sliding her fingers through his hair. The ring caught in the strands.
He chuckled at the tug and she smirked playfully, carefully disentangling his hair from her ring. She eased back, searching his eyes again. With a soft kiss, she slipped from his lap and stood before him. Gazing down at him with confidence and certainty, she reached out.
Sawyer chuckled and slipped his hand into hers, squeezing. It seemed like only yesterday this exact action was reversed and they sat in their Dharma house, she looking to him for guidance. Now he sought hers. He trusted her, wanted her and would follow her anywhere.
Author's note: Hope you liked the little one shot. If you want, I can write a sequel/epilogue about what happens after the white light in the church. But you must review me if you want it. I love to read the feedback, so send it my way. Yes, blackmail for reviews. I'm so mean, aren't I?