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Title: The Day the World Went Away
Pairing: Sawyer/Juliet, Sawyer/Kate
Rating: PG
Summary: Set post S4 finale
Notes: Written for slybrunette for lostsquee. I wrote this a while ago with a few songs in mind (like "Transatlanticism," by Death Cab for Cutie, for the line, "I need you so much closer,") but ultimately I went with this Nine Inch Nails song as a title. Thank you to zelda_zee for the beta.



The water rushes up at an alarming rate. One moment he’s in the helicopter, the next he’s falling through air and then, too soon, he is plunging down, down, down into the water.

His body shoots up like a cork, like the ocean is spitting him out. He gulps in air -- his lungs ache and he knows he'll be bruised from the impact of his jump, but it didn't kill him. It didn't kill him.

He cranes his neck until he can see the chopper proceeding, surely and steadily now, to the freighter. He tries to imagine the look on Kate's face when he jumped, wonders if she cried.

Nothing for it now but to swim and so he lowers his head and dips his arms in, starting a slow crawl towards the island. In the future, he thinks, ordering himself not to count the strokes of his already-tired arms, he'll tell himself she did cry.

Slowly, very slowly, the island grows from a tiny speck into something more respectably island-sized. He's going to collapse on that sandy white beach and not move for a solid hour. And then he's going to hit up the Dharma liquor store.

Funny then, that Juliet is sitting there like she's been waiting for him. Even got a bottle of rum.

And then she points out the plume of smoke behind him. His knees give way and he falls to the sand. He doesn't shout, doesn't scream. There isn't anything else left in him, after that swim. Or maybe it's that Juliet's eerie calm is catching. If she's been crying, he can't tell.

She hands him the rum; he waits until he gets his breath back and then he swigs down as much as he can stomach.

They pass the bottle back and forth without a word, still staring at the sea, at the smoke, as if simply by sitting there and staring hard and long enough, they can change the view, as if sheer will can bring them all back.

The sun is in his eyes and he has to squint. He holds up his hand as he realizes it's too bright to be the sun. The light comes closer and closer, ever brighter.

Juliet clutches at his arm and he turns to find she's pure white in the blinding glare, as if she were slowly being erased. There's a flash of blue in her eyes, before they close and then there's just her lips pressed hard against his. He pulls her in closer, devouring her mouth. The taste of salt is on her lips too -- So she did cry, he thinks, as the light becomes too bright to bear.

He squeezes his eyes shut tight and the ocean disappears, everything disappears but Juliet. Her hands dig into his upper arms; her nails feel like teeth. She's hanging onto him as if he, too, might disappear if she lets go.

She feels burning hot; like a sun that's gone supernova, she blots out everything else.

He hoped only to keep the taste of Kate on his lips just a little longer, but now the last trace of her is lost in rum and tears.

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
eponine119
Jul. 19th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
This is fantastic. Really, really good. You make the beginning feel so *real*, following him down into the water. And then the last 2 lines are so gorgeous -- the idea and the words you chose.
halfdutch
Jul. 20th, 2008 03:56 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I had written this (or most of it) right after the finale and I wasn't at all happy with it. I wanted to do something really impressionistic and I guess that's just not my style, LOL. But when I went to dust it off, I found it had kind of grown on me.

The last two sentences are really the core of the inspiration for this story -- glad you liked them!
fosfomifira
Jul. 19th, 2008 07:29 am (UTC)
What a beautifully written story. I'm really in love with the image of Juliet being this pure, blindingly white light erasing all thoughts from Sawyer's mind. I can only hope that we'll get to see some serious Juliet/Sawyer angst in the show: they both tried to do the selfless thing and help as many people escape the island, but in their minds, they only sent all those people to their deaths to save themselves. Rum and tears, indeed.
halfdutch
Jul. 20th, 2008 03:58 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you, darling! I loved that scene so much and I wasn't sure that a fic that was basically a rewrite would work, so thank you for the kind words. I couldn't get the idea of them thinking everyone else is dead out of my head, though, and where that would naturally lead. (As did everyone else who watched the finale!) I hope we get at least a hint of Sawyer/Juliet in S5. :)
(Deleted comment)
halfdutch
Jul. 20th, 2008 04:01 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you! I'm so pleased you liked this. I didn't like how this fic went at first but I am happy I came back to it. I just couldn't get the idea of the last trace of Kate (or so he thinks) disappearing from Sawyer's lips. And someday I must write a fic where Juliet is not just in a "love the one you're with" scenario!
slybrunette
Jul. 19th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
The imagery in this is great. It feels just like I'm there with him. I loved that scene in the finale and I love how you added to it, especially here:

Juliet clutches at his arm and he turns to find she's pure white in the blinding glare, as if she were slowly being erased. There's a flash of blue in her eyes, before they close and then there's just her lips pressed hard against his. He pulls her in closer, devouring her mouth. The taste of salt is on her lips too -- So she did cry, he thinks, as the light becomes too bright to bear.

Awesome! Thank you so much for writing this for me!!!
halfdutch
Jul. 20th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)
Yay! I'm so glad you liked this. I know there've been a lot of Sawyer/Juliet fics so I kind of tabled this one for a while as I wasn't sure I was adding anything significant to that scene, but I'm so glad I came back to it! My pleasure to write you fic for your day as Queen! ♥
elise_509
Jul. 20th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
Wow, this is perfect Sawyer. Just amazing. The last line is breathtaking and a punch to the stomach all in one. Wonderful work babe!
halfdutch
Jul. 20th, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you, darling! I love that you love it.

And I just posted fic for your day as Queen! :)
janie_tangerine
Jul. 21st, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
*catches up* Woah, I love the descriptions here. The title works perfectly and it feels like you're there with them. I loved how you described the moving moment, the whole kiss and the supernova bit were incredible. And the last line was a tearjerker.
halfdutch
Jul. 22nd, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you! I'm so pleased you liked it, especially since it was so close a reproduction of what we saw in the finale. I just wanted to add that little idea in the last line because it kind of broke my heart that he and Juliet must think everyone is dead. ♥
astra2104
Jul. 21st, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC)
In the future, he thinks, ordering himself not to count the strokes of his already-tired arms, he'll tell himself she did cry.

You know, the whole fic is good, but this is one of these sentences that sums up so much, Sawyer, Kate, what has happened, what will happen...it's just a perfect sentence.
Absolutely perfect *adores*
halfdutch
Jul. 22nd, 2008 01:55 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you, darling. Awww, I'll take perfection! *snuggles* :)
siluria
Jul. 22nd, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
Very atmospheric, with some great descriptives! And such a great title!!
halfdutch
Sep. 20th, 2008 12:34 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, hon! I'd missed this comment until now! My bad! :)
alemyrddin
Jul. 28th, 2008 09:29 am (UTC)
So she did cry
This hurt, a lot. Poor Sawyer, he just needs some love (he deserves it, too!)

But I loved how you wrote Sawyer's thoughts while he was swimming towards the island, and the image of Sawyer and Juliet holding each other forcefully while everything became white light.
Beautifully done.
halfdutch
Sep. 20th, 2008 12:34 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, darling! Sorry I missed this comment until now! And yes, Sawyer does need some love, doesn't he?
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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