Pairing: Sawyer/Juliet, Sawyer/Kate
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.