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All the Right Reasons (Jack/Juliet, PG-13)

Title: All the Right Reasons
Pairing: Jack/Juliet (yes, my first ever!)
Summary: S4 AU: Juliet stops Jack from getting on the helicopter
Word count: 1124
Notes: For lostsquee Queen elise_509, who asked for Juliet and/or Jack. This is the same idea I was going to write for your birthday, only boiled down to its bare essentials. You had asked for "something domestic," and so this idea was born. :) Title inspired by the song All the Right Reasons by The Jayhawks.


At first, Jack can't help but resent Juliet.

She's the one who made him stay behind, the one who insisted he was too weak after the surgery to go traipsing all over the island. None of them knew that whoever got on the helicopter that day would never return.

Jack doesn't ever tell her that he hopes that Kate stayed on the 'copter, that somehow it managed to fly to safety, that she wasn't at the bottom of the ocean with everyone else. He can't bear to think of her dead. They've lost too many people and surely he can hold out this one hope, for her to have lived.

The first few days, Jack really is too weak to argue with Juliet when she orders him to bedrest in one of the cottages. She moves in with him and watches him like a hawk, and even though he thinks he'd rather be dead --- bled out from the stitches or blown sky-high aboard the freighter, he does get stronger.

They settle into a kind of routine. She brings him breakfast in bed, which he grudgingly eats while she watches, sternly ordering him to finish his toast. She's worse than his mother ever was. She's his nurse and his personal chef but mostly she's his jailer all over again.

The day he's strong enough to get his own damn breakfast, he finds her in the kitchen, sobbing quietly at the kitchen sink. He backtracks to his bedroom, remembering, for the first time, that she hates being here as much as he does. Possibly more.

He sits on the bed, rubbing his forehead. He didn't mean to be this selfish, this petty. It's not Juliet's fault, she was trying to save his life, something Jack knows too well is a thankless task. Everyone wants to hurtle headlong into death and there he was, at the front of the pack. Maybe it's just that he hates being left on the sidelines, weak and helpless. And guiltridden that he's alive when so many are not.

When she comes in with his breakfast tray, she's all smiles, as usual. There's no sign she's been crying and that make Jack feel even worse. She leans over the bed to place the tray on the night stand and that's when he kisses her. She nearly drops the tray in surprise, but only the coffee ends up being spilled. He pulls back from the kiss, awaiting her reaction, looking for his moment to say he's sorry, but -- despite the fact that she was very definitely kissing him back -- she concentrates on putting the tray down. She grabs a napkin to mop up the coffee from the white sheets and he stays her hand with his.

"Juliet," he says, demanding she look at him. She raises her eyes and what he sees there isn't hope or tenderness, but dread. Her guarded expression cuts him to the quick. He's worn that look himself, he knows, not wanting to hope, not wanting to expect anything, afraid that's what given will be snatched back too soon.

"I've been an idiot," he says slowly, seriously, and he runs his fingers across her cheek, tracing the track of the tears he only heard earlier. She responds with a nervous half-smile and stiffens, as if she's about to jump up and run away from the bed, from him, from all of it.

Instead, he holds her by the arm and presses his mouth against hers. With a little sigh, she slowly yields, opening her mouth to him, her body warming under his hands There's so much he wants to tell her, but he tries to stay it all without words.

He undresses her slowly and she's got this odd little choking laugh as she helps him with her bra. He kisses her shoulders, almost reverently and she hangs her head, her hair covering her face. But when he's inside her, her eyes are open, staring deep into his. They close only when he kisses her. Her head falls back and her body arches up into him and she breathes his name in a way that kind of breaks his heart.

Afterward, she lies nestled up against his chest, her face flushed with what looks like happiness. It's a look he's never seen on her before. He cradles her against him and wonders why he waited so long to do this, to see her.

----

There are days when he still feels trapped, feels that he's just making the best of a bad situation. That every day when he wakes to her face beside him on the pillow, he's lying to himself. It's one more way for him to beat himself up: He shouldn't lead her on, he shouldn't use her like this. But then she makes him laugh or she whispers his name in that broken way, he is more glad than guilty. He is better for being with her.

He walks into the kitchen one afternoon and finds her washing dishes at the sink. She's humming to herself, completely oblivious to his presence. He's reminded of the day he discovered her crying, the day when he realized she hurt as much as he did. And then a deeper memory surfaces, of Sarah at the sink, the very last thing she was doing before she told him she was seeing someone else, that it was over, that it had been over, only he hadn't even known it. The pain of that scene floods through him, as if t were happening all over again. The shock of it was more than he could take; he didn't know his heart could break like that, in an instant.

But it's not Sarah standing there at the sink, it's Juliet, her hair wreathed in the sunlight that's streaming through the kitchen window. He stays there for a minute, just staring at her, shocked to realize that he is happier than he's ever been, here, with Juliet. Tears sting his eyes as he walks up behind her and puts his arms around her waist. He lays his head on her shoulder and she turns to look at him, puzzled. "I love you," he whispers in her ear.

She doesn't answer him for a beat or two and then she simply says, "That's nice. You want to dry?"

"Sure," he says, relinquishing his hold on her to grab the dish towel. She hasn't said the words back, but there's a light in her eyes when she hands him the first dish.

"We make a good team," she says as she hands off the second dish.

"Yeah, we do," he says with a grin and a duck of his head. "We really do."

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
halfdutch
Jul. 20th, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, sweetie! *hugs*

No, I'm not trying to kill you! And I didn't mean to make you cry! However, I am very flattered that you like my first stab at this pairing so much, and that I hit the right notes. I only became a Juliet fan this past season -- I just couldn't ship her when I didn't know where she stood! But now she's become my favorite female. I really did like her dynamic with Jack -- he and Kate do not always bring out the best in each other.

Thanks for your fb here! ♥
iorwen107
Jul. 21st, 2008 12:41 am (UTC)
Hugs you tight tight tight for finally writing some Jack/Juliet.

I loved it, loved every last word, comma, quotation mark and period.

Thank you
halfdutch
Jul. 21st, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you! You've watched me go full circle on Juliet, haven't you? :) Very glad you liked this!
inthekeyofd
Jul. 21st, 2008 05:44 am (UTC)
All I can say is my stock reply to this:

GOOD GOD YOU'RE GOOD.

You totally nail Jack in this, but you always do, but I swear you write him so you can actually FEEL what he's thinking, how he's acting, what he's going through, HOW he sees Juliet.

You're stellar and so isn't this.
halfdutch
Jul. 22nd, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
Oh wow. *blushes* Thank you, hon! You always leave such sweet fb! :) I'm very glad you liked this, esp. as it's my first time with the pairing! (But Jack is always Jack, yes? :D)
janie_tangerine
Jul. 21st, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
This was just perfect. The dynamic between them was just right, both of them were completely IC and really, what would I have given for this to happen on the show? It's a million times better than canon really. The references to Sarah and the jailing were spot on and I loved how Jack's attitude changed through the fic. I mean, it makes sense that he'd be resenting at the beginning and feeling guilty for not being on the helicopter and then that he'd realize how he got things wrong with her when he sees her crying. You could really feel how she shifted from that to happiness and wow. I loved it. The ending also was completely IC by the way, that last line had me completely smiling.

He is better for being with her.

Oh, Jack, realize this on canon. Please?

I loved this, of course ;)
halfdutch
Jul. 22nd, 2008 01:49 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you! :) I'm so happy you like the dynamic here and that it had all the right references. I really haven't read much of this pairing (say, 2 fics or so!) so I was not at all sure what had already been done.

I think Jack would be much better off with Juliet but it's not to be, looks like. Which is why I'm suddenly approving of any Sawyer/Juliet we might get! Jack, alas, doesn't seem destined to be happy with *anyone* does he?
neated
Jul. 21st, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC)
This is perfect. Nothing more and nothing less.

The two of them are totally in character. And Jack is so beautifully written. The last scene is so them. It hurts. Damn canon.

Great fic.
halfdutch
Jul. 22nd, 2008 01:49 am (UTC)
Oh wow, thank you so much! :) I'm so glad you liked it.
astra2104
Jul. 21st, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, man.

I think your fic pinpointed for me why I can't really ship Jack/Juliet - I think it will end the same way as it did with Sarah, not because she and Juliet are so alike, but because Jack behaves the same way around them, and I don't like him when he is like that.

Your fics always make me go all thinky, I love that ;)
halfdutch
Jul. 22nd, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
Hee, and here I was trying to write a pro Jack/Juliet fic! Or, at least one with a semblance of a happy ending. I actually think she might be good for him. We've seen that he can't handle being with Sarah or Kate and so maybe all his relationships are doomed to failure, he is a rather paranoid alcoholic/workaholic after all! Not the best traits to bring to any relationship, poor lad.

BUT I'm glad you liked this and that it made you think. :)
elise_509
Jul. 22nd, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)
This is amazing. I love your Juliet - she's so perfectly in character. So is Jack too, of course, but your Juliet blows me away. It's so odd that you used to dislike her so and now you seem to understand her so well! It's fantastic. I loved her reply to Jack when he says "I love you." It's not that she doesn't love him back, but that she still doesn't trust that he means what he says, thinks that he only thinks he means it. But that detail of that light in her eyes and her subtle concession that they make a good team shows that she does want to believe it, really.

That was a bit of a ramble. Sorry! Needless to say, loved this oodles. Thanks so much!!! You're the best.

(and yes, washing dishes is a domestic thing I looove Jack to be doing, despite the memories of Sarah the b*tch that are involved in it. so yayz for that! :) )
halfdutch
Jul. 22nd, 2008 04:40 am (UTC)
Yay! I'm so glad you liked it, hon! Especially since this pairing is brand new to me! The turning point, for me in becoming a Juliet fan was when she threw in her lot with Jack and co. I just was not a fan of all that ambiguity about her character before that, LOL. But now I've happily reverted to my pre-Lost love of EM since my issues with the character have been resolved!

I loved her reply to Jack when he says "I love you."

Yay! I was trying for an "I love you." "I know." kind of thing, LOL.

My thought was that she's put herself out on a limb for Jack this whole time and, despite his sleeping with her, it's been somewhat one-sided. So my take was that she's happy to leave him hanging out a limb, for once. (But not too much!)

FWIW: This was the original idea I had for your birthday, but then I thought, maybe I'd have Jack doing domestic things with Kate and Sawyer (separately) as well, in their own little cottages and well, that got kind of complicated! And then maybe there'd be more, uh, group activity, except I know better than to get Sawyer and Kate together in a fic I'm writing for you! So I rethought it all and decided maybe simpler is better. :)

Anyway, very Jack and Juliet washing dishes together made an acceptable Queenly gift!

Edited at 2008-07-22 04:40 am (UTC)
aboutbunnies
Jul. 23rd, 2008 04:10 am (UTC)
Oh, this is lovely. This is my favorite Jack!ship out of all the possibilities, and you've done it such justice. I love J/J fics that don't gloss over their mutual pasts - the references to the fact that she was his jailer were spot on, as well as his memories of Sarah. And it comes together all so nicely at the end. Great job.
halfdutch
Jul. 27th, 2008 05:12 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you! I only recently got on board the Juliet-is-awesome train, but, weirdly, I was pairing her up with everyone but Jack at first. So this is my first attempt at this pairing, so I'm very flattered you liked it! Also, I'm adding you, which I should have done ages ago. :)
aboutbunnies
Jul. 27th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
It took me a long time to get on board that train, too, and I'm not quite there, yet. But fics like this make me really, really enjoy her. And adding you back, definitely :)
siluria
Jul. 23rd, 2008 01:28 pm (UTC)
This is one of very few ships I actually like on Lost, and I really like that you went down an AU line with it, because sometimes I feel Jack would only go with Juliet as a last resort and he had no other option. What I really like is that he gets a smack up the side of the head and finally realises that he's happy. Lovely fic with perfect voices!
halfdutch
Jul. 27th, 2008 05:13 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you approve, esp. if this is a ship you like. I think they would be good for each other but, yes, I think Jack would need to get slapped up the side to see that. Thanks so much for this lovely fb! :)
alemyrddin
Jul. 28th, 2008 01:31 pm (UTC)
this is just awesome, and so in character that it almost breaks my heart.
Jack doesn't know himself most of the time, so I'm very glad that in the end he realized he had never been happier.
*happy sigh*

...but now I can't help wondering if Desmond survived the crash of the chopper, since Jack wasn't there to perform CPR on him. (Also, I suppose this means Sawyer didn't need to jump... therefore they are still the O6, but Jack and Sawyer traded places. Very intriguing, it opens a lot of new interesting possibilities... /rambling speculation
:)
halfdutch
Aug. 1st, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
Aww, thanks, hon! :) I do think Jack would fight against being happy, he's never known what that's like!

Wow, I didn't even think about what would happen if Jack wasn't around to save Desmond. I'd like to think that someone else did! And yes, then I guess Sawyer could have stayed aboard, although I don't know if he'd have better luck with Kate than Jack did! (Also, no one would know that Aaron was Jack's nephew if Jack weren't at that funeral, right?)

prettybutt
Aug. 3rd, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)
i've been on a hunt for good fic this afternoon, and i came upon this gem-this was just the fix i needed today-thank you
halfdutch
Aug. 6th, 2008 01:50 am (UTC)
Ahhh, thank you darling! So glad you approve of my handling of your OTP!
eponine119
Aug. 7th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
I really like this. There's kind of a quiet calm about it that suits them, like those last couple of lines. I really like the idea behind it too, that things happened differently. (What was the point of Jack's illness anyway? it seems to have had no impact in canon.)
halfdutch
Oct. 3rd, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, can't believe i missed this comment until now! Thanks so much for your fb. :) It took me a long time to warm up to this couple but there's something very grounding about Juliet, isn't there, that could be good for Jack. And you're right, what *was* the point of Jack's illness? Other than having a Juliet vs. Kate moment there!
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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