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The Third Act (Sayid/Juliet) PG-13

Title: The Third Act
Pairing: Sayid/Juliet
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Up through "The Other Woman"
Note: An AU/Future fic inspired by the TV Guide photo shoot where Naveen and Elizabeth looked like very elegant spies. And written for this quote prompt at lostsquee: We are changed souls; we don’t look at things the same way anymore. For there was once a time when we expected the worst. But then the worst happened, did it not? And so we will never be surprised again.






He had always thought she was beautiful. Now -- stepping out of the bathroom in a dark blue gown, head tilted as she absentmindedly puts in her gold-drop earrings, her thoughts obviously elsewhere -- she takes his breath away.

On the island, there was always the taste of dirt and sweat on her skin. Her face was plain, her hair wild and undone. Now, her hair is sleekly styled and subtly perfumed; makeup accents her dramatic bone structure; her lips, when stained with gloss, seem fuller. Her dress artfully wraps one shoulder, nearly exposing one breast in a daring way. Underneath, he knows, there is tape holding everything in place, a gravity-defying illusion worthy of a magician.

The gown conceals more than it reveals: the lure of bare flesh a distraction from the weapons hidden on her body.

Tonight, their mission is a joint one. He will not say ever say it aloud, but he breathes easier when she is in his sight. He knows what he does in the name of pursuing his targets; he imagines she does the same. They never talk about it. Tonight, there are no seductions, no disguise other than her gown and his tuxedo. They are just two extremely well-dressed patrons of the arts, a handsome couple who invite jealous stares as they ascend the stairs to their loge at the opera.

No one notices them slip out, no one sees Juliet dispatch their target with a knife from her bosom, as if enacting a scene from tonight's opera.

Sayid disposes of the body while she cleans up. They are both such experts at this by now, they make it back in time for the end of Act II, to see Tosca stab the villain Scarpia to death. They join in the thunderous applause for the soprano's glorious singing, for the baritone's dramatic death, for the bigger tragedy yet to come.

---

Sayid fears the worst when he sees blood on the carpet, when he hears water running but no sign of her.

He finds her crouched in the shower, still dressed in a now-ruined red gown, her head tucked under her arm. The water is cold, he discovers as he turns off the tap. The color from her dress has run, as if all the heat has drained from it as well. He wraps her in a towel and pulls her to her feet.

She does not meet his eye; her gaze is focused far away. The bruises on her neck and arm are slight now; tomorrow they will turn purple and ugly. Her lip is split, the nails on one hand are broken.

He does the only thing he can; he wraps her in his arms and leads her to the bed. She is shaking from cold or maybe delayed shock. He slowly undresses her -- she's like a doll in his arms -- and folds the covers around her, then slips off his own clothes to warm her body with his. She finally stops shaking. Her head rests against shoulder and she speaks, softly, in a flat voice that doesn't really sound like her.

"Everything is fine. I took care of it."

He buries his face in her wet hair. He knows she can take care of herself, that she knows her own limits. She will be fine and they will not talk about this again.

If he really loved her, he would not put her through this, but Sayid learned long ago that the man they answer to takes a perverse pleasure in using her this way. That she is with Sayid is beside the point; neither one belongs to themselves now, let alone to each other.

Sayid wishes that she could stop, that they could both just fucking stop. But they cannot go back to what they were, who they were. Their path is set, as surely as if it were written down long ago and they have no choice but to act out the scenes in turn, even if they surely know how it will all end.


Comments

( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
janie_tangerine
Mar. 27th, 2008 07:54 am (UTC)
Uhm, WOW.

I love this one. I'm fond of the whole concept (I was hoping you'd write it since I read the idea in the comments for that shoot) and it really worked. Apart from the fact that you went and hit my secret kink sending them to the opera and having more or less an opera scene recreated (and they'd make an hot couple to stare at, there *flails*), I loved the contrast between the two parts. The first is very straight to the matter and as detached as they are while doing their job while the second.. *sighs* Sayid being like that makes me melt, seriously. Your Sayid voice was great and I loved the final line, with the acting metaphor. Great one!
halfdutch
Mar. 28th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, thank you! :) I'm glad I was able to get to this one too. I'm also quite the opera junkie! Very glad you liked the whole thing. They do make a really attractive couple! ♥
mrslinus17
Mar. 27th, 2008 01:03 pm (UTC)
I loved the whole idea, fantastic.
halfdutch
Mar. 28th, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! :)
gottalovev
Mar. 27th, 2008 01:15 pm (UTC)
oh wow, what a great fic coming from this picture and that prompt. I love it! me too I had hoped you'd explore this, and it's really brilliant. the parallel between the opera and the killing is great, as is the subtle presence of Ben who moves them like chess pieces. fantastic!
halfdutch
Mar. 28th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you, darling! :) So glad you liked this whole thing! ♥
livefortonight
Mar. 27th, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC)
Ohh, I love this. The idea of them working together in the future is so great.

I wanted to share my favourite lines but it's just all really amazing so I'd be here all day. Thanks for sharing!
halfdutch
Mar. 28th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I love that photo shoot so much and then I was kind of disappointed that it didn't come true on the show!

Thanks for this lovely fb! ;)
hopelessfangirl
Mar. 27th, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC)
WOW, I loved this. FutureSpys!Sayid/Juliet FTW.
halfdutch
Mar. 28th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :) I'm missing both Lost and Alias, I think! ♥
(Deleted comment)
halfdutch
Mar. 28th, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! That's exactly what I was going for, so I'm glad that all came across. Merci! ♥
siluria
Mar. 27th, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I know you wanted to write something on the back of the photoshoot, but this is really very good. I really like the mix of angst and the very plausible scenario, that Ben's influence spreads wide and he sees them both as his property. Very interesting!!
halfdutch
Mar. 28th, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you! We know how crazy possessive Ben is, so I'm glad this worked! I figured if he's in control of Juliet, then he does have her. Merci! :)
bachlava
Mar. 27th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow. This wouldn't have occurred to me in a million years, even with the photo shoot as inspiration, but what a wonderful little suggestion it's given you! It would be like Ben to continue using Juliet in this way; she is capable of murder, even if it's hard for her to handle. And I can definitely see her, in this situation, trying to hide the fact that she's breaking down, and not succeeding.

even if they surely know how it will all end
With sex? *Makes sad puppy-dog eyes.*
halfdutch
Mar. 28th, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks so much, hon. This idea has been percolating away since I saw that photo shoot, very happy you liked! The shower scene is a blatant steal from the last James Bond flick, LOL. (And so not like my usual kind of shower scene!)

And yes, there is plenty of sex in this AU! (Even if I didn't write it here. ;D)

Edited at 2008-03-28 11:00 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - patch_tank - Mar. 30th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - halfdutch - Mar. 30th, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
slybrunette
Mar. 27th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
Dude...

I wanted someone to do something off of that photoshoot. And no one did, and I was starting to give up hope. But this...this is AWESOME!

This feels very Alias, right down to how carefully you described her outfit, always my favorite thing about secret spy missions (superficial I know). And that they're at an opera just adds to the feel of this.

If he really loved her, he would not put her through this, but Sayid learned long ago that the man they answer to takes a perverse pleasure in using her this way. That she is with Sayid is beside the point; neither one belongs to themselves now, let alone to each other.

That is a perfect description, especially that last line, about what Ben does to her on island, and maybe even off (as in this story)

There's so much I love about this I can't even begin, just know that this might be my favorite thing I've read all month.
halfdutch
Mar. 28th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
Yaaay! I'm so glad you cited Alias because that's exactly where my mind went! God, I miss that show. At least, when it was good!

I'm grinning ear to ear that you liked it this much! :) That photo shoot was just too damn amazing not to fic! Thanks so much, hon!
cynthia_arrow
Mar. 27th, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
God, so gorgeous and sad. Such perfect visuals, from the very first one--with Juliet not really there with him, at least not in her thoughts. Nicely done.
halfdutch
Mar. 28th, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you! So glad you liked. I've been mulling this one over since I saw that amazing photo shoot. Too good not to fic!
trainhopper
Mar. 27th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
You know, I don't think you've ever written anything that I didn't absolutely fall in love with.

I'm pretty sure I just fell in love a little with Juliet. Haha.

And fuck Ben for hurting her.
halfdutch
Mar. 28th, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, thanks so much! That's such a huge compliment! And yes, fuck that weasel, Ben!
zelda_zee
Mar. 31st, 2008 06:07 am (UTC)
I like the sad hopelessness of this. It seems just right, mixed in with the elegance and danger. Sayid and Juliet a la James Bond is too fucking cool.

They would be a rather striking couple, wouldn't they?
halfdutch
Mar. 31st, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you, hon. I found it interesting the direction the S4 fic is taking, re Ben and his post-island control of Sayid (and possibly others). I'm also enjoying those fics I've read where those besides the O6 make it back but have to keep their identities a secret. Definitely lots of food for thought, with or without James Bond kind of stuff!

Thanks for reading this one, especially since I know it's far from your favorite pairing! ♥
cleuchi
Apr. 4th, 2008 11:22 pm (UTC)
Hey, that was AWESOME! I just love that photoshoot, and your fic makes me love it even more. You wrote them so well - the situation, the imagery, I just love it :)
halfdutch
Apr. 5th, 2008 04:46 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! :) The photo shoot really was inspiring and I'm happy you like where I went with this. I had it kicking around my mind for awhile. :) Thanks for reading!
fosfomifira
Apr. 7th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry that it's taken me so long to comment on this fic. I loved it the first time I read it and I love it even more now.

It's not just that I think Sayid is Lost's best, most traditional leading man (he's such a romantic, deep down, if you ask me) and that Juliet is so capable, so efficient and so mature. The image of the two of them doing what they did at an opera, and Tosca of all things, is classic film noir, but the heartbreak, the defeat, their doomed fate is such classic Lost. It makes for a fascinating combination.

Thanks for sharing.
halfdutch
Apr. 8th, 2008 07:25 am (UTC)
Oh, thanks so much, hon! You know I love both opera and noir, so this comment makes me very happy! (They have a lot in common don't they? Like epic, doomed love! As does Lost, you're right!) And you're so incredibly sweet for coming back to leave a comment. *kisses* That photo shoot really opened up a different side of both of them, for me!
eponine119
Jan. 3rd, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
Wow, this is really good. Not a pairing I'd really considered before but this definitely showcases the things they have in common. The writing is so vivid, too.
halfdutch
Jan. 7th, 2009 06:08 am (UTC)
Thank you, dear! I never thought I'd write Juliet with anyone but this was really my year to ship her with just about everyone. Not sure why I started with Sayid but when the TV Guide photos came out, I had no choice but to write this! So glad you liked this.
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )

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