Relatively quick update, no? LOL! Anyway, this chapter picks up right where the previous ended interns of the present timeline and flashes back to 2008, seven months after they left the island. It's an Aaron centric chapter. I hope you enjoy it! I'm kinda in love with my Aaron, for the record, haha!
Anyway, here it is. Please drop me a review to let me know what you think.
Our Savior's Brother
declare this an emergency
come on and spread a sense of urgency
and pull us through
and pull us through
and this is the end
this is the end of the world
it's time we saw a miracle
come on it's time for something biblical
to pull us through
and pull us through
and this is the end
this is the end of the world
proclaim eternal victory
come on and change the course of history
and pull us through
and pull us through
and this is the end
this is the end of the world
Apocalypse Please - Muse
"You can do great things with it," Jack said.
They all sat back, in silence, in shock, as they tried to understand what Jack had just admitted.
"Will we be able to save the world with it?" Julie finally asked.
"What?" Jack said, his whole body jerking at what he knew was brewing in his daughter's mind.
"What're we going to do now?" Julie asked, aware of her father's anger at her at the moment.
"No, I didn't not tell you this for you to go gallivanting off to God knows where thinking you can fix this?" Jack replied.
"Then why did you tell us?" Julie asked, knowing that she was walking a fine line.
"I told you, Julie, because you deserved to know the truth, because I have been lying to you for too long," Jack explained.
"No. You told me because you had no choice. Because Jacob came to me and exposed the truth," Julie argued back.
Jack dropped his head. She had a point. If she hadn't pushed him in the corner with what Jacob told her and if Aaron hadn't confronted him about the cave in Tunisia he probably would not have admitted any of it to them. But if he was going to be honest, there was a sense of relief, a freedom that came with telling them. Jack stood up, running his hand through his hair and rubbing the back of his neck.
"You're not a little girl anymore, Julie, I can't tell you what to do or what not to do... He'll, I couldn't even tell you that when you were a little girl," he sighed with a chuckle, "but this thing... It is bigger than me, it is bigger than you, it is bigger than any of us. The island... You have no idea what it is capable of... It's not helping at a soup kitchen or dropping food palates over Tunisia. Please just..." Jack paused for a moment, this was his daughter, this was Kate's daughter, if he wanted to be sure she would do something all he had to do was tell her she wasn't allowed to do it, "please, think about what you're talking about here. I just want you to be safe."
Julie prepared herself to react, to say something in return, but Jack was quick to exit the room, not bothering to wait for her reply or anyone else's. Julie shot Aaron a quick look. For some reason she had expected him to jump in, to say something, to have her back in this. Surely, he must have the same thing in mind, she thought to herself. They had just been gifted what the entire world was looking for. A way to put an end to the incidents, to save the world, why wasn't he jumping onto this like she thought he would?
June 23, 2008
"Aaron, sweetie, come eat your dinner," Kate called from the kitchen.
It had been almost eight months since they returned from the island. It was a slow process at first, but the pieces of the puzzle were finally falling into place. Claire had finally reached a place where she was comfortable in her role as a mother to Aaron, Jack had finally recovered from his injuries and was back to work and the very pregnant Kate was taking every day at a time waiting to give birth. Aaron had had a very hard time. He was a confused little boy, and even though he seemed to be the strongest in the ordeal when they first returned, easing into the switch between calling Kate "mommy" to calling her Aunt Kate faster than anyone had expected, he seemed to have changed more in the past couple of weeks since school had ended and he was spending more time at home. Claire and Aaron continued to live with Jack and Kate during that period. They had all agreed it would be easier to Aaron than to quickly removing him from the familiar environment with all the other changes, and to help Claire slowly ease back into the real world and get back ton her feet.
"Aaron, didn't you hear Aunt Kate? Dinner's ready," Claire asked her son when he failed to reply to Kate, as he continued to play in the living room.
"What's for dinner?" he asked, not bothering to look up at her.
"Mac and Cheese," Claire smiled, "your favorite."
"Ukh, I don't want Mac and Cheese," he said, "I want chicken nuggets."
"But we had chicken nuggets last night," Claire said, preparing herself for another tantrum, "and Mac and Cheese is your favorite. Kate made it just for you, just the y you like it."
"Who told you it's my favorite? Mac and Cheese is stupid!" Aaron cried out, getting up on his feet with his Buzz Lightyear grasped tightly in his hand, just as Kate walked into the room. She shot Claire a questioning look. "Mac and Cheese is stupid! And you are stupid! And Kate is stupid!" he yelled, tossing his toy away, unaware of Kate's presence in its path. Kate hissed in pain as the toy hit her straight in the stomach.
Clair's eyes bulged in fear, rising quickly onto her feet to Kate's side. "Go to your room, right now!" she scolded her son, "RIGHT NOW!" Aaron took a step back in fear, he had not intended to hurt Kate. His lower lip quivered and he ran quickly up to his room.
"Oh my God, Kate, are you ok?" she asked as he helped the other woman sit down.
"I'm fine, I'm fine," Kate insisted, "it didn't hurt."
"Are you sure? Nothing hurts? The baby's ok?" Claire asked again in panic.
"Yes, I'm sure," Kate said with a smile, "you survived a. Plane crash when you were eight months pregnant. I think I can handle a Buzz thrown by a four year old," Kate joked to emphasize that she was indeed fine.
"I'm so sorry," Claire said, finally calming down, "I have no idea what's gotten into him lately." Claire apologized for her son's behavior.
"It's fine, Claire, it really is," Kate reassured her, "his only four, and he has been trough so much this past year, it's perfectly normal for him to act out at times."
"What the hell, Aaron?" Julie fumed after him as he left the room without saying a word.
Aaron turned around to face her, standing more than half a foot taller, his arms crossed over his chest.
Julie watched him as he stood silently for a moment, shaking her head and raising her eyebrows at him when he said and did nothing. "What? That's it? You're just gonna stand there?" she asked.
"What do you want me to say, Jules?" he finally said.
"Well, I don't know the exact words, Aaron, but I expected you to have my back in there," she said, "I thought you said you always have my back."
"I do have your back," he said plainly, "always."
"So that's what you call not supporting me in there? Having my back?" she asked angrily.
"I was having your back in there, Jules," he said, "I was stopping you from getting into a fight with your father by not jumping on this crazy idea that you have cooking in your head."
"Crazy idea... Crazy idea?" Julie huffed, shaking her head, looking more like her father than she would like to admit, "Aaron we have just been told we carry the answer to the world's problems. We can end this. And you say it's crazy?"
"Jules? Are you listening to what you're saying here?" Aaron spoke calmly, "what they said in there... I'm not saying they were lying to us... But I'm not exactly buying that this island gave us powers that can save the world. That's nonsense."
Julie looked down, staring at her feet for a moment, "we might not be superheroes, but we are the only chance this dying world has. We have to try at least," She whispered.
"Try what?" Aaron asked, "We don't even know what it is we are supposed to do or how we go about doing it. What do you propose we do?"
"I don't know… something!" Julie said.
"Jules…" Aaron said softly, laying a gentle hand on her shoulder, "what you're talking about isn't rescuing the world… it is a suicide mission."
"Aaron? You still up, buddy?" Jack asked, knocking gently on the young child's bedroom door. He heard the little boy sniff before mumbling a "yes."
Jack walked in with a tray and a plate of Mac and Cheese. "I'm grounded," Aaron stated, "I have to go to sleep without dinner."
"I know," Jack said, sitting next to Aaron on his bed, "I heard what happened earlier."
Aaron lowered his gaze, staring at the floor in front of him. "I heard you're going to the zoo tomorrow, are you excited for that?" Jack asked.
"Is Aunt Kate ok?" Aaron asked, ignoring Jack's attempt at small talk.
Jack nodded, "yeah, she's fine," he said, watching the young boy's brow scrunch.
"And the baby?" Aaron added.
"The baby is also fine," Jack said, smiling sweetly at the little boy's concern.
Aaron nodded. "I didn't mean to hit Aunt Kate… I'm sorry," he said sadly.
"I know you didn't, buddy" Jack said, resting a calming hand on his small shoulders.
"I don't think Aunt Kate is stupid," Aaron admitted, "I don't hate her," he looked up, for the first time meeting Jack's gaze, "and I don't hate the new baby," he finished.
"I know you don't, Aaron," Jack said gently, "and I understand if you feel we are focusing a lot now on getting things ready for the baby and ignoring you. I am sorry if we have been doing that."
Aaron shook his head and wiped away a tear. "But you know what, sport? I'm going to need your help when the baby comes because I won't be able to around all the time and you're going to be the man the man of the house and make sure everyone's doing well, ok?" Jack said with an encouraging smile, "you're going to be the best cousin, you know that?"
Aaron nodded, smiling proudly at the responsibility that his uncle had just bestowed upon. Jack ruffled the young boy's hair and laughed slightly.
"Uncle Jack," Aaron asked, "I also don't think Mac and Cheese is stupid," he admitted innocently.
Jack hugged him to his side and laughed, "Come on, let's have dinner down stairs."
"She's just like her," Aaron said.
He stood at the door of Jack's office, watching his uncle as he stared longingly at a picture of Kate and Julie from so many years ago.
Jack looked up, a sad smile on his lips, and nodded. Aaron walked over and sat across the desk from Jack. "Julie' just like aunt Kate, and I know that's what frightens you the most," he said matter-of-factly.
"She is… and it is," Jack agreed, the smile on his face growing wider despite himself, "she's going to try to do something about this, isn't she?" he asked, knowing that if Julie was going to confide in anyone it would be Aaron.
Aaron nodded, "yes… yes she is," he said.
Jack looked up at him, worriedly, "I have to stop her," he said.
"No you don't…" Aaron argued, "you trying to stop her will only make her more insistent on doing something… and the more you fight her the more dangerous her reaction will be."
Jack chuckled, "when did you become so smart?" Jack asked.
"I think around the time you got me to memorize the times table when I was only six," Aaron laughed.
"I won't let anything happen to her, you that uncle Jack, right?" Aaron asked seriously.
"I know," Jack replied.
"Whatever she does, I'm going to go with her… I'll keep her safe…" he said, dropping his head slightly, "it's what aunt Kate would want me to do," he said, his voice cracking at the memory of his late aunt.
They sat silently for a moment, both lost in memories of a woman that meant the world to both of them.
"But I don't know how to do it," Aaron finally admitted.
"What do you…" Jack started.
"You talked about powers and being special and the island giving us… whatever… and I'm sorry, but I just don't… I'm not really on board with that yet," Aaron said, "but Julie does, and she's gonna go try save the world in some supernatural way and I am not sure I know how to handle that."
Jack nodded, "I know what I said earlier is kinda out there," he said with a giggle, "and I can't make you believe, it's something that has to be you."
"You're weighing a lot of this on faith, I'm not big on that, to be honest," Aaron shrugged.
"I don't believe in destiny," Jack whispered, a half smile on his face as he recalled a dark night in the jungle so many years ago.
"What?" Aaron asked.
Jack just smiled and got off his seat. He walked towards Aaron and sat on the coffee table next to him. He took Aaron's hand in his and spoke quietly, "do you remember when we went to Disneyland for your tenth birthday?" he asked.
Aaron nodded, slightly shocked and quite intrigued at where Jack was going with that. "Remember when we were standing in line for Space Mountain?" Jack added.
Aaron nodded again. "Close you eyes," Jack said as he did the same, "remember how excited you were but still nervous you weren't tall enough to get on the ride?"
Just as Jack finished that question, Aaron felt himself getting pulled out of his uncle's office and revisiting that moment. It wasn't a memory anymore. He gasped as he felt he was reliving the moment, physically and mentally. He took a deep breath and looked around him. People, young and old, children laughing and running around the now gone park that once was in California. He heard the voices, the music, the laughter, he could smell all the familiar scents of childhood. He looked to his left and saw Jack, the older Jack he was just sitting in a room with in New York. Jack nodded and pointed ahead. Aaron's eyes widened in shock when he saw his ten year old self, standing in line with his uncle, jumping with excitement and talking a mile a minute. He turned back to Jack, the older Jack, and looked at him in shock. He opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. Jack nodded in understanding.
Just as it all had started, it suddenly ended when Jack pulled his hand out of Aaron's. Aaron stared at his uncle, wide-eyed and breathing heavily. "What just happened?" he asked after a moment.
"We visited that memory," Jack admitted.
"How did you do that?" Aaron asked, his chest still heaving.
"I didn't," Jack said, "you did."
"I…" Aaron said in disbelief, rubbing his hand over his hair, "I am pretty sure I had nothing to do with that!"
"It was you," Jack said. He spoke calmly, trying to scare the young man, aware of the weight of the shock this piece of information. Aaron shook his head, in disbelief and anger and pushed off the chair to leave.
"Aaron… wait," Jack said quickly, "I know this is hard to… to comprehend, to wrap your mind around… but this… this is your gift," he said.
Aaron stood there for a moment, his back to his uncle and thinking quietly. "Time travel?" he finally asked.
"Not exactly," Jack said, "we weren't physically there, we just revisited a shared memory… this part of your gift," Jack explained, but was cut off before he could finish.
"Part of my gift?" Aaron scoffed.
"It's just the tip of what you can do," Jack smiled.
Aaron shook his head, "great," he said sarcastically, "what else can I do?"
"I… I am not sure," Jack lied.
Aaron nodded, "now what?" he asked.
"It's your choice, Aaron, I cannot force you to do anything," Jack said, placing a hand on his nephew's shoulder, "this has to be your decision… but like you said, Julie won't listen to me, but she will listen to you. I just want her to be safe… I just want you both to be safe. You guys, your mom, Hugo… you're all I've got now."
Two Hours Later
"Jules?" Aaron said, searching for his cousin.
"In here," he heard her call from her room. He walked in, finding her with a backpack on her bed and going through her closet.
"What're you doing?" he asked.
"Packing," she said, not bothering to look at him.
"I can see that," he laughed slightly, "do we even have a plan?"
"We?" she asked, raising an eyebrow and finally looking at him.
"You didn't think I was gonna let you go do some crazy shit alone, were you?" he asked.
"Does that mean you believe now?" she asked excitedly.
"I'm not sure," he replied, "but I'm not gonna let you have all the fun alone."
Julie smiled and rolled her eyes at him. "So, we need a plan," she finally admitted.
"I have an idea," he said, "we need Ji Yeon. But first, we're gonna need to call Clementine."
July 1, 2008
"Knock, knock," Claire said, peeking through the cracked door of Jack's new office.
"Claire!" Jack exclaimed, looking up upon hearing her voice.
"Are you busy?" she asked promptly, still standing at the door.
"No, not really," Jack admitted, "why?"
"Then come on, big brother, I'm buying you lunch," she said excitedly.
They enjoyed a nice lunch, in a cozy restaurant a few blocks from St. Sebastian, and when the bill came, Claire was quick to snatch away from Jack, "I said I'm buying," Claire said with a smirk on her lips.
"Claire, you don't have to," Jack said.
"I know I don't, but I want to," she said, "just like you don't have to let me and my little menace live with you and not pay rent," she teased, her eyes soft as she tried to lace the teasing with genuine gratitude.
"I know I don't, but I want to," Jack smiled.
"There's something else I wanted to talk to you about," she finally admitted.
"So this wasn't just a chance to enjoy my wonderful company then, huh? There's ulterior motive to buying me lunch? I'm hurt," Jack joked.
Claire laughed, nodding mischievously, before explaining herself. "I've been looking at apartments to rent," she finally admitted.
Jack cocked his head, "Why? Claire, you don't have to do that… We want you guys to stay," he said.
"I know, and I really appreciate that… I don't know how I can ever repay you for the past months," she said, "but Kate's going to be giving birth soon. The house is going to be too crowded, and you're going to want us out of he way, especially with Aaron's temperament lately… I'm not sure how he will be when the baby actually arrives."
"No," Jack argued, "Aaron won't be a problem," he said, "and the house won't be crowded. You'll never be considered… a crowd."
"My mom's finally finished with everything in Sydney, I mean, she sold the house, she's ending all her prior commitments there, and she's moving here soon. We talked about getting a place together. She will help me with Aaron. And I'll be starting school in fall… it's time we finally… left the nest," she explained.
Jack nodded. He understood his sister's need to finally be independent, to stand on her own two feet after the ordeals of the past three years. And he was proud of her. She had come a long way since the returned from the island.
"Okay," he finally said, "I'll tell you what. You start searching for a place, but I need to stay with us a little longer, just till after Kate gives birth. I would feel a whole lot better if she wasn't at home the whole day," he said.
Claire smiled, reaching a hand out for him to shake, "deal," she said.
"You're just going to let them go?!" Claire freaked out at Jack.
"I'm not letting them do anything, Claire. They're adults, they can do whatever they want," Jack said plainly.
Claire scoffed, "since when?" she asked sarcastically, "you treat everyone around you like a child, and now suddenly our children are old enough to take their own decisions? Now when their decision is to go save the world with some imaginary super power that goddamn place bestowed upon them?"
"They'll be perfectly fine, Claire," Jack spoke tiredly. Claire wasn't over-reacting, he thought to himself, she was just a mother reacting normally to the news of her son getting ready to leave on another suicide mission.
"Oh, okay, because the island will keep them safe, right?" Claire said as she paced the width of the room.
"No, not exactly," Jack said.
"Then please, tell me how you can be so sure that they will be fine," she said.
"Because without us, they won't be able to do much," Jack explained vaguely.
"What?" Hurley asked, finally chiming in to the conversation.
"Their powers work to a certain extent individually, and the more of our children they manage to gather, the stronger the powers will be, but they won't work 100% unless we are with them," Jack clarified, "we are their link to the island, and they need that link for their powers to go into action completely."
"Then… then we're sending them less armed than they think they are?" Claire asked, her tone laced in fear.
"In a way, but they're also safer like this," Jack said, "as long as they're powers aren't working completely they won't be able to do anything dangerous, as long as they don't everyone they need to find, they won't be able to do anything… the island won't call for them," Jack said, rolling his eyes at his own words. He had thought he'd shed the role of the island protector a long time ago but here he was again using words and phrases he barely believed anymore.
"Jack…" Claire said, her voice pleading, "you're not sure. You cannot be sure of any of this… that… that they will be ok," she said.
Jack stood up, walking towards her and taking both her hands in his, "I am, Claire. You have to believe me. After everything that's happened, after what happened to Kate… You think I would send Julie out there without being 100% sure she will be ok?" Jack whispered, "I lost Kate, I am not going to lose her too."
Claire nodded, wiping at a stray tear that rolled down her cheek. "Okay," she said softly.
Hurley watched from the other corner of the room while the other two debated and argued about the safety of their children. He respected that. He understood Jack's pain, his guilt, the reason why he wouldn't want either Julie or Aaron to get hurt. But he could not believe they could sit back and do nothing, especially now, when they just found out they can do more to save the world than send medical aid and food palates to suffering countries. For years he had thought he was doing all he could do, giving everything he had to help a dying world, but he would be damned if he knew he had the power to end he suffering and just sit back because Jack didn't want other people to fight his battles.
July 8, 2008
Jack heart beamed with joy and pride, his eyes welling with happy tears as he watched the nurse of the maternity ward place the small infant into the crib of the maternity ward. He stared wide-eyed at the nametag and sighed, unabashedly allowing his tears to flow along his cheeks.
Julie Christine Shephard
He watched his daughter sleep for a few minutes, barely aware of all the nurses and doctors who passed by offering their congratulations. He finally decided it was time to rejoin Kate, who had the more tiring ordeal of the day, in her room. Kate was sitting in her bed. She was tired, exhausted, but too excited to actually sleep. Claire and Aaron had just left and she knew Jack would be back any minute. She beamed at him when he walked. He smiled back at her. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever had the privilege to lay his eyes on. He walked towards her quickly, leaning in to plant a quick kiss on her lips. She surprised him when she took a hold of his shirt collar and pulled him for a deeper, more passionate kiss than he'd anticipated. They rested their foreheads against each other when they'd finally pulled out of the kiss. Both with their eyes closed, breathing heavily, they both cried happily.
"How is she?" Kate finally asked.
"She is perfect," Jack whispered, stepping back to take the seat by her bed, and taking her hand in his.
Kate smiled, "she is, isn't she?" she said.
"She looks just like you," he replied.
"She's as stubborn as you are, though," Kate teased, "and I went through the eighteen hours of labor to prove it."
Jack just smiled, brining her hand to his lips, kissing each knuckle softly. "Are you ok? Do you need to go to sleep?" he asked sweetly.
"I'm fine… can't sleep just yet," she replied, "I just want to sit here with you for a bit, if that's ok."
Jack nodded, pulling his chair closer to the bed, which allowed him to reach over and run his fingers through her hair. "I cannot believe how lucky I am, to have you… to have Julie…" he said, bowing his head and biting his lip, "ten months ago I stood on a bridge and I was willing to just…" Jack joked, dropping his head on to the mattress by Kate's side.
"Shhh…" Kate whispered, brushing her finger, soothing over his hair, "it doesn't matter, Jack. It doesn't matter anymore. What happened before this, it doesn't matter. This is our second chance."
Chapter 5: ...And Her Sister
Guess who's showing up? Who's our savior's sister? More about the other's powers? What's Clementine's role? Ji Yeon's? And a flashback to when the Shephard household welcomed a new member to the family.