halfdutch (halfdutch) wrote,

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Night Fall, Chapter 5: Satin Doll (AU noir)

Title: Night Fall
Chapter 5: Satin Doll
Setting: 1952 Los Angeles
Summary: Sawyer's worst fears are realized when he goes to find Kate
Rating: R for language, violence
Author: halfdutch, story by foxxcub and halfdutch

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4

Sawyer took a drag on his fifth cigarette of the evening, surveying the crowded club with distaste. The big, neon bar clock read 11:45, which meant it was only 11:30. Sawyer checked his watch anyway. It was an arbitrary deadline he’d set, but one he was anxious to meet. Giving Kate 40 minutes alone in the back room of Lucky’s with that pretty boy was making his blood boil.

“Fuck it,” he said under his breath. He stubbed out his cigarette and downed his last hit of whiskey, throwing a finn on the bar. He was going back there and dragging her out now, even if she was in the middle of fucking the guy.

He had no illusions about Kate. As he pushed his way through the inebriated crowd, he forced himself to imagine her in the most compromising of positions with the blue-eyed stranger, as some kind of shock therapy.

She’s not for you, she’s not for you, he told himself over and over. Just get over her. Just get her home and safe tonight and then that’s it.

He wished this could be his last night, that he could let someone else babysit a spoiled rich girl who delighted in making his life difficult. But he couldn’t. For the first time, he wished John Locke hadn’t saved him from going to jail. He’d traded one kind of prison for another.

Since he’d given her the brush-off, Shannon had left the bar and settled in at a table on the upper level. She caught his eye as he maneuvered towards the back room. She gave him a knowing smirk and he wished he had time to go wipe it off her face. Like he needed another dame giving him a hard time tonight.

Sawyer pushed his way past the last drunken patron and there, blocking his way, was an impressively large-gutted, stone-faced bouncer, standing with legs apart, like a fucking marble statue outside the door to the back room.

“Got my client in there,” Sawyer said, too weary to make reasonable small talk. “It’s time for her to go home. With me.”

“You’re not on the list,” the bouncer sneered.

“Pal, you and I both know there’s no list.” Sawyer didn’t have time for this. “You’re gonna just be a good boy and let me in and save us both a lot of trouble.”

“I’m not gonna do nothin,’” the brute replied coolly.

Sawyer sighed, dropping his head, as if he were giving up. An old trick. His fists were in the stooge’s face before he knew what was happening. A hit to the solar plexus, and the big guy went down. Sawyer stepped over him and into the room, ignoring the growing commotion over his unorthodox way of gaining entry.

He closed the door behind him, glad to be away from the crowd. Only now his nervousness about facing Kate was hitting him as hard as he’d just hit that poor thug.

She wasn’t here. No one was. He knew the layout; she had to be in the next room -- this one was as fuckin’ deserted as if the place was already closed and locked up.

The thick carpet muffled his footsteps -- and whatever sounds the two of them might be making on the other side of that door up ahead.

A blast sounded suddenly -- loud and close. Sawyer’s heart stopped. It was a gun shot. No doubt about it.

“Kate!” he yelled, and ran to the door. It was locked. His hands slipped uselessly on the knob and finally he pulled out his gun and shot the lock off. He stepped inside, his gun still drawn.

And what he saw made him wonder if that goon outside hadn’t maybe gotten in a punch or two after all. Because he didn’t trust what his eyes were telling him.

Kate was lying motionless on the ground in a crumple of pale blue satin, her dark hair fanning out around her head like a pool of blood. Sawyer dropped to his knees at her side, afraid to touch her. There was no blood on her - but a gun lay next to the lifeless fingers of her right hand.

Sawyer dared to take her in his arms as he checked her pulse. His breath returned when he realized she was still alive. But she was as limp and unresponsive as a ragdoll. Her lipstick was smeared and her dress was torn, he noticed with a sick feeling in his gut.

It was an odd time to realize he’d never held her before ... “Kate,” he breathed, holding her cheek against his, regret and guilt gnawing at him.

He’d been worse than a fool to leave her alone with that creep. If only he’d stopped her when he had the chance and faced down those flashing green eyes...

He glanced up at the dead stranger, who was now reclining against a plush cushion with a surprised look on his pretty face. Dark red oozed out of a bullet wound delivered straight to the heart, and a trace of blood trickled down his chin.

“Fuck!” Sawyer ran his hands through his hair, trying to figure out his next move. He had to get Kate out of here. Now.

He heard voices at the main door to the club and knew the shots had been heard. “Time to go, Sweetness,” he said, scooping her up with one arm so he could keep his gun hand free. She felt far too light as he held her to his chest.

Sawyer aimed his gun at the door as it swung open and dark-suited men poured in, guns drawn, all shouting at once.

“Freeze, scumbag!” “Drop the gun!” “Let her go!”

Then Sawyer saw them all spot Boone’s body and he knew he had to talk fast, “Hold on. I didn’t...”

But he didn’t finish his sentence before the bullet tore into his right shoulder. The pain was staggering, but he didn’t have time for it. He somehow still had a firm hold on Kate - Christ, they might have shot her!

He fired a shot over their heads. “Don’t fuck with me,” he yelled as he hoisted Kate into his arms. The movement stopped them -- they couldn’t know he’d rather be trampled by rhinos than hurt Kate, but for now that worked to his advantage.

“No one follow me,” he barked out through gritted teeth as he backed out of the room. There was a side door that opened onto the alley, he knew. He fumbled with the door, praying to the God of unbelievers for it to be unlocked and thanking Christ that it was.

He pushed it open with his back, cradling Kate in his arms as he ran for the car. She was getting heavier with each step -- and each little jolt seemed to urge the bullet inside him to press a little deeper.

He made it to the car, staggering the last few steps, and slid her into the passenger seat as he climbed behind the wheel. No one had followed him -- yet -- but he wasn’t going to keep tempting fate. He gunned the motor and shot out onto the Strip, leaving the club behind like a bad dream.

Sawyer glanced over at Kate. She looked frail and tiny, slumped against the car door. He reached over and pulled her away from the door. Her torn dress weighed on his mind -- and now it was stained with his blood.

He cursed himself all the way up Laurel Canyon, praying a jumpy cop wouldn’t pull them over, praying she’d be OK.

He swallowed hard. His petty wish from earlier that evening had come true. Now he couldn’t ever see her again. Once he dropped her off, he’d disappear.

He pulled into the driveway of the big house. He didn’t have the energy to carry her in. He honked the horn, and as he waited for someone to come out, he took one last look at her. And then he kissed her once on the cheek. “I’m sorry,” he whispered.

(to be continued)

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