Waking up to the cold hard floor pressing into his side, without feeling the warmth that usually trickled in through their bedroom window, was enough for Sawyer to know that the events of yesterday wasn't a dream. Reality was like a slap in the face and the slap was so strong he barely felt the sting. Only a few times in his adult years had he drank in the wee hours to calm his nerves (one of them, being the day he'd had to mentally and emotionally relive in 1976, the tragic day of his parents' deaths). That had been torture, but at least Juliet had been there to help him through it, or at least be there for whatever support she could provide. But this-no, this was a true waking nightmare. Juliet was gone, and where the once seemingly endless supply of her unconditional love used to be, there was now nothing but a huge gaping hole in his chest. Staggering into the kitchen, he managed to find an old bottle of whiskey. Without even giving it a second thought he immediately poured himself a full glass and fell into the kitchen chair, staring at the useless mess he'd made the previous night, finding it amazing that he didn't have to drink at all to find himself already halfway into a stupor.
Time-traveling was an exhausting excursion but God, what he wouldn't give to go back in time again; to right all the wrongs he'd done, to have avoided talking to or even looking at Kate Austen at all costs. What had she said, those words that had been like a knife through his chest? Her reason for setting the bomb off in the first place (the stupidest thing she'd ever done, and Juliet was not a stupid woman)? Oh, yes, now he remembered her exact words: "If I never met you, then I never have to lose you." Sadly, he'd known exactly what she meant; it was why, for so many years, he hadn't let anyone in; kept everyone at arm's length (and damn them to hell if they tried). When he and Kate had first met, she was right to think him a pig, because that was how he'd been towards women-seeing them as a quick lay, and nothing more. Then Kate had somehow broken through that barrier, gotten him to care about her, and did something to him that had left him reeling. He'd tried to wait for her to come back, for a year but it was Juliet who had helped him move on. Helped him forget about Kate and everyone else who he couldn't save; who could have been dead, for all he knew. Then Kate Austen had miraculously walked back into his life-and did the exact opposite of what she'd done in the first place. She'd ruined everything: gotten Juliet to think that his heart was in the wrong place, when all it had ever been was with her.
Damn rock...if he was anything like John Locke, he would have thought that the island itself didn't want him to be happy. People like Locke and Jack seemed to think that the Island was a living, breathing thing. He almost wished it was, because then he could actually go up to whoever (or whatever) was behind all the nonsense (maybe the friggin Wizard of Oz?) and demand an explanation why he should deserve to suffer so much, when he'd already suffered so much already. (As though losing both your parents at age eight, in such a traumatic way, wasn't enough pain to endure).
So here he was, over ten years later, still hating the world and feeling sorry for himself. What had changed? Everyone he loved he lost. Every chance at happiness he tried to gain was thwarted. Why bother even trying anymore? He was done.
BANG BANG BANG! The knock at the door came with such abruptness that Sawyer nearly jumped. (What the goddamn holy hell.) "Sawyer! Open up! It's Kate and Miles."
Sonuvabitch. Of course it was Kate. She always followed him wherever she went, like a little lost puppy. What the hell did she want? All he wanted was to be left alone in his misery. Why couldn't everyone just let him be?
Instead of answering right away, he downed the whole glass of whiskey and stumbled his way to the door, his legs already turning to rubber from the night spent on the floor. He opened it up to find both Kate and Miles staring back at him expectantly, grim look worry covering both of their faces-joined with an obvious sympathy that he did not want. (It was the same kind of sympathy that the people at his parents' funeral gave him: looks of pity and doubt that he would come out of this experience ever being or feeling normal ever again.)
"Hey," said Kate, when he didn't say anything, "You okay?"
"I look it?" He knew he was being an ass but he didn't care.
"Look, Jim," said Miles (and Sawyer couldn't help but smile inwardly with bitter amusement at the uncharacteristic uncertainty in the man's voice) "We were just worried about you, man." He noticed that Miles couldn't seem to look him in the face, and he hated how the man was treating him as though he might break any second.
"Well, I'll be just fine," he snapped, trying to ignore that his tone was much harsher than he'd intended. "Shouldn't you be more worried about the guy who's dying?" he added tersely, suddenly having remembered Sayid.
"He's with Jack," said Kate softly, and while he knew he'd hurt her feelings, he wasn't about to start feeling sorry for her. "They took him to the Temple."
"Well y'all are gonna miss the big show if you don't get a move-on." With that, he simply staggered back into the house, hoping that at least Miles would get the hint, and encourage Kate to go with him.
"What are you doing here, Jim?" Apparently, Miles was still in the dark. (Sonuvabitch, he'd thought for sure Miles was smarter than that.) "You gonna drink yourself to death?"
So what if I am? He wanted to say this but that was none of their business. "Feel free to help yourselves," he announced indifferently to his obnoxiously ever-present guests. "Sorry, I wasn't expecting visitors...or I would have gotten the maid to clean house." Without warning he stopped short as he felt a sharp pang in his gut-his own words reminding him that, once upon a time, it had been Juliet who had done most of the cleaning; not a maid.
"What the-" A loud crunch brought Sawyer's attention to Miles, who had discovered the scattered shards of glass. "Did you do this, man?" he asked, appalled as he stared with baffled wonder at Sawyer.
"It's my house, ain't it?" he growled impatiently. (Why all the judgment? They should simply be glad he hadn't taken one of the shards and pierced his own heart with it.)
"Was your house," Miles declared, which immediately caused his body to stiffen.
"What the hell did you say?" He drew closer to the stout Asian man from Encino to where he was dangerously towering over him.
For the first time since they'd met, Miles looked afraid. "Was...your house?" he responded, somewhat weakly—and it was clear to Sawyr that he knew that he had crossed a line.
"You sayin' this ain't my house boy?" He was seconds away from losing it-any second, he could be beating Miles senseless.
"Jim, I just meant that the Initiative-"
"You better think real careful about what you say next," Sawyer growled, "because not thinking about it-well, that's how we make our enemies."
Finally Miles did the smart thing: he feigned ignorance. "Okay, Jim," he said with a shake of the head and a shrug. "Have it your way."
"Right," Sawyer muttered, turning away as a sickening sensation gripped his insides. "My way."
"Sawyer-we're only trying to help," Kate said, her voice soft with guilt.
"Look like I already said, I'm fine!" Before he knew it he was shouting, turning on her so fast that she jumped, looking terror-stricken, and he didn't feel bad one bit; if that's what made her go, then good. She should be terrified. "So go on your merry little way and worry about yourselves. Don't worry bout little ol' me." Instead of waiting for a response, he returned to the table and his drink.
He kept on drinking, even as Kate sniffled and Miles remained silent, watching him through crestfallen eyes.
He didn't expect what happened next. Miles strode forward, snatched the drink from his hand-as well as the bottle-marched towards the sink, and proceeded to dump the contents out of both with surprising speed.
"What the hell?" He was on his feet shouting in protest but nothing seemed to make Miles stop, as he went about rummaging through the cabinets, locating all the liquor and dumping them as well. Sawyer rushed at him, trying to grab the bottles out of his hands, but Miles was a tough little fucker and it seemed nothing could get in his way.
"I didn't let my mom do this to herself after my Dad left-and I'm sure as hell not letting you do it either," Miles said as he yanked the bottles , one by one, out of Sawyer's hands and hurled them against the far wall, where they smashed into a million pieces like all the others.
"DAMMIT! STOP IT!" Not the liquor. Not his prized collection. He and Juliet had selected them all by hand.
"Forget it, Jim," Miles shouted over his own screams of desperation. SMASH! Another bottle lost. "I'm not letting you do this." CRASH! A hundred dollars' worth, down the drain.
"Jesus-who the fuck put you in charge?" Sawyer watched helplessly as Miles shattered the last two bottles, and collapsed into the chair, feeling as though with each impact, his heart had broken just a little bit more (if this was even possible).
"Myself," Miles stated coldly, sounding strangely pleased. Feeling seconds away from puking his guts out, Sawyer couldn't bring himself to face the satisfaction on the man's face that he knew was there. Instead, he found himself staring at Kate, who was watching with wide eyes, red-rimmed from tears. She looked as though her heart was shattered too, and this moment reminded him of one of the chapters' titles in his favorite book, "Watership Down": "You can't imagine it unless you've been there".