Pairing: Sawyer/Juliet (with past Sawyer/Kate)
Spoilers: Set post-S4 finale, although no specific spoilers.
Word count: 1446
Note: This is not the fic I planned to write next but here it is, inspired by this scene from "I Do." Started out as a Sawyer/Kate fic, and then it morphed into something else. Thank you to zelda_zee for the beta!
Juliet can't get the noise of the chopper out of her head, a bone-shaking roar that seemed to go on forever. They stood and watched as it became a tiny speck in the sky, until they couldn't even hear it anymore. Until it was really gone.
And then they turned back to their homes, their eyes wet, their voices hoarse from shouting over the motor. It didn't feel real. Jack, Kate, all of them, gone. Just... gone.
She's not sure if she's the one who gets out the bottles of wine or if it's Sawyer, but they end up on her couch, too spent to do anything but drink in moody silence. She squints at the painting of a sailboat on her living room wall. She's going to have to look at that same stupid painting every day of the rest of her life. She's never getting off this goddamned island.
She turns away from the image of the boat and the waves -- why couldn't it be a forest scene, or a still life of rotten fruit or something?
She barely registers Sawyer's being there, even though his hand is on her knee. His quiet presence is reassuring. At least she's not completely alone.
She finds herself comparing his hands -- the one gripping the nearly empty bottle and the one lying loosely on her leg, just where the denim's been ripped. She doesn't realize he's drunk until he starts to trace the rip in her jeans with his fingertips; his hand is warm and surprisingly soft and she must be kind of drunk too because she leans into him, blanking out everything but the shivery feel of his hand on her skin.
She should right herself and send him back to his own little house. But she doesn't. There's something comforting about the lazy way he leans into her; she can't help but feel relaxed.
No, relaxed isn't the right word. More like weary. It's only been a few hours since the chopper left, but already it seems like they were never here. Sawyer must be thinking of Kate, as she is of Jack. It's too much to wrap her mind around, and so she sits here, getting drunk with Sawyer because she doesn't know what else to do and he doesn't either.
Neither has spoken a word in she doesn't know how long when he says something in a slow, rumbling drawl, his voice raspy. "I woulda died for her."
She nods against his shoulder. "I know," she says softly.
"I was down on my knees. I was ready for it. I could hear the trigger click... feel the bullet... And she was cryin', beggin' him not to do it.... she was cryin' for me." He's just speaking his thoughts aloud; she doesn't need to respond, but she does anyway.
"But you didn't die," she says and she's sure he's disappointed that he didn't die then, when everything was simple and clear-cut and Kate loved him. And now Kate's gone.
"She did the same for you," she says, remembering the moment when Kate stepped in front of Sawyer, protecting his body with her own, when Juliet could so easily have shot them both. "She thought I was going to shoot you."
Sawyer shrugs. "She knew you wouldn't."
"Really? I had just shot Pickett."
"Yeah, well.... thanks for that..." He takes a swig from the bottle and hands it to her -- they dispensed with glasses long ago -- and their fingers brush, just for a moment, sending another shiver down her spine.
She should argue that Kate was just as willing to die for him as he was for her, but she can't quite put it into words. Kate was sure Juliet wouldn't shoot, while Sawyer was just as sure that Pickett would.
"You expected to die," she says, settling against him with a sigh. The sentence isn't complete.... she knows his life story, knows he's always been expecting to die, even gone so far as to invite it on occasion.
"We're all gonna die someday." He takes the bottle back and downs it, the last few drops of Dharma wine trickling down his chin and neck, staining his T-shirt with red. "Looks like you and I are gonna die here."
He turns to look at her, really look at her, and then he's falling against her, pinning her to the couch with the fierce crush of his mouth. His lips taste of salt and the tang of wine, and god help her, but she wants this, wants him.
He doesn't ask, just pulls her jeans down and then she's helping him ease his past his hips and then, fuck, he's inside her and he's hard and whole and here. Everything about him is rough -- his tongue, the scrape of his stubble, the brush of his ragged nails as they dig into her hips, and God, it's just what she needs. I'm here, he's here. We're alive, the words chase themselves in her head, repeating as he thrusts deeper, as if he were telling himself the very same thing. I'm here.... but she's gone...
She wraps her legs tight 'round him, her hands pull at his hair, telling him everything she needs without words... him, here, in me....
He comes with a muffled cry against her neck, his body damp and dead-heavy on top of her. She doesn’t come, but it doesn’t really matter, not this time. She thinks he's probably passed out before he slips out of her and she follows him down, into something like sleep.
At some point in the night, she's not sure when, she wakes, her bare legs too cold to ignore, even with Sawyer as her blanket.
She must have led him to her bed, because when she wakes in the morning, he's tangled up in the sheets next to her, fast asleep.
He looks younger, somehow, his face slack and untroubled, his mouth slightly open like a little boy's, one fist clutching the pillow tightly. But as she looks closer, the sunlight reveals fine lines around his eyes she'd never noticed before. Funny that a man who seems so eager to die has laugh lines etched so clearly on his face.
She draws the sheet up around her bare arms, her head on her knees as she watches him sleep. Goodwin died because of her, because she loved him. It's not the same thing, she knows, but she feels the same stab of grief at the thought of Sawyer lying dead in a field somewhere. She reaches out to touch his arm with her fingertips, just where the sun has warmed his skin. He stirs slightly, making a mild noise of complaint, but doesn't wake.
She wonders if he ever really loved Kate -- how Kate felt is anyone's guess -- or if he was maybe just in love with the idea of dying for her.
His mouth twitches in sleep and she finds it hard to believe that this man, this handsome, brave man, would want to die.
She doesn't know what to do with a man who's in love with death. They aren't dead, either of them, and everyone who was out to kill them is gone. For all she knows, they'll live on here for years. The thought isn't necessarily reassuring. Maybe a little bit of Sawyer's pessimism is rubbing off on her.
Her head hurts and she feels sick to her stomach. Dharma wine always gives the worst hangovers. She gets up and drinks some water and takes a few aspirin and she feels a little better. She sets a glass of water and the pill bottle on the nightstand next to Sawyer. He wakes then, looking only mildly surprised to be staring up at her.
"Hey," he says, a hand going to his eyes to shield them from the light as he sits up.
"Hey," she answers, handing him the glass of water.
He swallows it down greedily, not caring how much of it washes down his chin. He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and eyes her curiously. "Guess we tied one on."
"Yeah, we did," she says with a laugh because it's funny, somehow.
He's grinning at her but his smile fades as he leans forward, taking her head in his hands. He just stares at her for a moment before he kisses her.
She closes her eyes. There's just him, just here, just now. There never was anything else.