Thursday, November 4, 2010

A LOST Fanfic ~ A Light in the Dark

Title: A Light in the Dark
Rating: PG-13
Status: Work in Progress
Summary: Set after Exodus Part 1 when Jack tells Kate that he doesn't know what she is capable of. Even if you don’t watch Lost, I think you will all enjoy the story! I hope you all like and comments are pure love *smiles*


I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show "Lost". They were created by JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof and they belong to them, Touchstone, and ABC.

Chapter 1

The fire crackled as Kate sat there in a daze. She simply could not believe what had happened. Not only had Sawyer exposed her criminal ways to everyone, and then Jack had the nerve to question what she was capable of. Kate stared stoically ahead and watched as the moonlight kissed the water.

Suddenly, she felt a presence walking up and instinctively she knew it was Jack. Kate didn't acknowledge him as he took a place beside her. They both sat in silence as Jack kept glancing over at her nervously.

Jack decided it was time to break the silence. "I shouldn't have said what I did."

"But you did, and you can't take it back. I don’t want to talk about it," Kate said in a low voice as she continued to look straight ahead. A tear escapes and slides down her cheek.

Jack went on, "I know what you are capable of. You are capable of taking care of yourself, you are capable of caring, you are capable of helping...”

Kate cut him off and looked at Jack angrily. "But what I COULD be capable of scares you. You had your chance to know, Jack. I think it's best to go back to what I know best. To be a shadow in the dark, so no one can truly see me."

Jack could only sigh and shake his head a little. "Kate, I don’t want you in the dark ~ you are my light and I wish you would see that." He got up and put a hand on her back and then began walking away.

Kate could only sit in total shock that he said that and she watched him as he walked off.

"And you are mine, Jack." She said to the disappearing figure and then turned back to her fire.

Chapter 2

Three days had past since Kate, Jack, Hurley and Locke had blown the hatch. No one had gone down the hatch yet, and no one really wanted to. Everyone was living in the caves for safety reasons and Kate had spent the time being alone. She replayed in her mind Jack's gentle caress of her shoulder as he put on her backpack. She couldn't stop thinking about him making sure she had his back. Could she really be opening her heart for him? The thought alone scared her.

She finished getting ready and she headed out of the caves to begin her day of finding fruit and trying to forget that Walt, Jin, Sawyer and Michael were somewhere in the ocean trying to be rescued. She had a bad feeling about that whole situation.

"Kate!" Jack called from the entrance to the caves.

Kate stopped walking to allow Jack time to catch up to her.

"I feel like I haven't seen you in days."

Kate half smiled, "You haven't."

"I think everyone is trying to ignore the fact that there was black smoke and a hatch," Jack stated.

"Can you blame them?" Kate asked.

Locke walked by with his knife and a stone and smiled at the pair.

"Is it just me or is he acting even more odd than usual?" Kate inquired.

"He is holding onto his faith or something. He believes we are all here for a reason or something and that he knows what he needs to do. I am just not sure what that is," Jack said offering a small bit of insight.

"Do you?

"Do I what, Kate?"

"Believe we are all here for a reason?"

Jack looked out to the water and then back at Kate.

"Scientifically, no. We are all here because of a plane crash. But, lately I get the feeling that some of us seem to be here to escape, some to let go, and some to start again. And I am just not sure how we all managed to get on the same plane and find what we have been needing on this god forsaken island. So, maybe, maybe I do, but maybe I don't."

Kate noticed he stared at her a little longer when he mentioned the escape word. She couldn't help but look away as he gave his standard doctor meets science answer. She leaned down and picked up her bag.

"Well, I need to get going and get some fruit."

Jack stopped her with a touch of the shoulder.

"Can I come, you know, for old time's sake?"

Chapter 3

Kate couldn't help but smile and look down at the familiar comment.

"Let's go, for old time's sake," Kate said with that smile Jack loved to see.

They began their decent into the jungle as the other survivors bustled around them. They passed Charlie and Claire, who were arguing over what to use for a diaper for Aaron. Sun was arranging some flowers and twirling her wedding ring. Hurley, Sayid and Shannon were playing some sort of music game. There was a group off to the side just talking. Kate just sighed as she looked around. She couldn't help but feel odd that there was no Michael, Jin and Walt arguing over building the raft and that there was no sarcastic comments about her and Jack going off alone from Sawyer.

"We haven't really had any time alone since that night," Jack said interupting Kate's thoughts.

"I know. It's been .... weird." They must have been walking for a good while before Kate spoke again.

They came up on her favorite fruit tree. "This is my favorite spot. Come here, look."

Jack came closer to Kate as she pointed out to the ocean. She leaned her head against the trunk and smiled.

"Out there ... our other live's are out there somewhere. Some days I want to find that part of me again. The other part of me wants to stay missing forever."

Jack leaned against the trunk. "Our other selves are hard to let go of."

They looked at each other and Kate said, "Despite it all, I am glad I am here."

"Me too," Jack said as he reached for her shoulder.

The moment was interuppted by the sound of a chain and trees being ripped from the ground.

"RUN!" Jack yelled.

Chapter 4

The pair dashed thru the jungle as the rain suddenly began to fall. Tree branches were hitting them in the face and Kate couldn't believe this was happening again. She made the mistake of turning around to see if trees were still coming down and as she did, she tripped and fell hard on a huge fallen tree branch.

"JACK" she yelled as she was suddenly overcome with dizziness.

Jack stopped and turned around and gasped at the amount of blood pouring from Kate's head. Without hesitation, Jack picked up Kate and kept running. The rain continued to pour and they finally made it to the caves. As quickly as the sounds and the rain had come, they were gone.

"Oh my god, Jack, Kate!" Charlie said running to greet them.

"I'm fine, really," Kate interuppted.

Jack laid her down on an airline blanket that Shannon laid out quickly.

Opening the drawers of his makeshift doctor's stand, he pulled out some alcohol and some gauze strips and began cleaning her wound.

"I should know not to look back, I was so stupid," Kate said as she winced in pain.

Jack carefully cleaned her head and bandaged it up in a very delicate, loving manner.

"You are not stupid, Kate. You just were curious to know what the hell was chasing us."

Jack then handed her some asprin and water. "You need to lay down for a while since you did get dizzy."

Kate began to sit up after she took the pills. "Okay, Doc, but I am fine, so I am just going to go about my day."

As she stood, she began to sway and Jack jumped up and caught her. They shared a tender moment as their eyes met and he held her. Kate was the first to look away and then Jack laid her back down ever so carefully.

"Okay, maybe I'll rest just for a bit," Kate said with that smirk. She hated being wrong.

Jack looked down and smiled. "You are so stubborn you know that."

"Yes and I've always had to be."

Jack smiled as he took a seat beside the beauty that captivated him on a daily basis.

"Well, just so you know, I am just as stubborn," Jack said with his signature grin and glance down.

Kate smiled and realized she so enjoyed their moments together.

Charlie rushed over just then, "Is she okay, are you okay?"

Kate smiled. "I am fine, thanks to our good doctor," she said with a wink in Jack's direction.

"You guys never cease to amaze me with your inside jokes," Charlie said, "So what happened, you know, out there?"

"We were about to gather fruit when the sounds started again, and the trees were being knocked down," Jack answered.

"And the rain just came out of nowhere and I tripped and slammed my head into a fallen tree branch," Kate finished.

"Rain, what rain? It hasn't rained here for days." Charlie said.

Chapter 5

Two days had passed since Kate's fall. They had blown off the comment about no rain that Charlie had made by insisting they were just upset about what was going on and that they just thought it had rained. Kate knew otherwise. She may be a lot of things, but crazy was never on her resume'.

Life around the caves had returned to a sense of normalacy, whatever that meant here on the island of mystery. Kate was sitting alone on the beach when Jack sat next to her.

"You look deep in thought," he said as he settled into his spot.

"They have been gone for over 5 days," Kate said without shifting her gaze.

Jack looked down. He couldn't help but wonder why she was so concerned. I mean, he was, too, but not like Kate. She seemed really sad.

"I really need to ask you something. And I don't want you to take offense to it," Jack brought up the subject cautiously.

Kate glanced over at him as her curls fell into her face. Jack carefully reached over and brushed the loose hair out of her face. Kate couldn't help but smile as her eyes followed his hands.

"You seem awfully worried or sad or something about the rafters, now I know that we are all worried, but you, well you seem a different worried, I just want to know .." Jack trailed off due to the look in Kate'e eyes.

"If they make it, police are sure to decend upon this island. And me, well, I would go back to being a prisoner. If they don't make it, it means something happened, either nature taking them or the others finding them, who knows out here ... and well, then that would mean they wouldn't be returning." Kate brought her knees up to her chest. and rested her head on them.

"And what is scaring me is ...." she looked at Jack. "Is I don't want the police to come."

Jack could only put his arm around her then. It was almost instinct. To hold this fragile person, to somehow let her know it would be okay. He sat there and held her as she rested her head on his chest.

Suddenly they both jumped up ~ there was something out there. And it was coming their way.

Chapter 6
Jack put a protective arm out shielding Kate as he walked straining to hear the sound again.

"I don't hear it," Kate said walking closely behind Jack.

Jack stopped and they both strained to hear something, anything. "Nothing." Jack concluded.

Kate stopped and looked at him. "Are we going crazy, first the rain, now this?"

Jack shook his head and grinned, "We are not crazy, Kate. There WAS rain and there WAS a sound just now."

Kate crossed her hands to her chest and glanced back out to the ocean. The sun was starting to set.

"We should probably head back," Kate said.

Jack took this chance to say, "Why don't we, sit for a minute."

Kate looked questionly at him, but agreed and sat down.

"Have you ever seen the sunset, I mean really seen it, and not just glanced at it?" Jack asked.

Kate grinned and looked down, "Actually, no, I haven't."

"Didn't think so."

Kate uneasily kept looking around, "You sure it's safe to stay here after what we heard?"

"If it was hungry, it would have ate the trees," Jack laughingly said trying to keep the mood light, "We are fine, Kate. You don't relax much do you?"

"Look where we are Jack and what has happened. How can I?"

Jack decided again, it was time to take a chance. He scooted around behind Kate and began a slow massage of her shoulders.

"Ohhh my.... Okay, this could get a girl to relax," Kate said glancing back at Jack.

"Don't forget ~ look." He pointed at the sun nestling itself under the horizon. The pink sky sparkled and the remnents of the sun kissed the top of the water. Kate just sighed. What a gorgeous site with a gorgeous man with his hands on her.

"It's breathtaking ...." Kate managed to say as she fell more and more into a deep state of peace.

"So are you." Jack said as he cupped Kate's chin in his hand and turned her towards him.

Their eyes met in a stare that neither one wanted to break. Jack then leaned forward and pressed his lips against hers then took her face in his hands. Kate could only gasp as Jack began a tongue tango and she put her hands around him and the passion and desire between them was so intense. Kate was the first to pull away.

"What, was that wrong," Jack asked as he looked concerned that he had upset her.

"Oh gosh no, it was so right wrong is no longer a word," Kate said and giggled.

She turned back around and Jack took her in his arms and they watched the rest of the sunset together.

"This is amazing," she said.

Another voice broke the peace that the pair had found.

"Amazing that I made it back to this damn island Freckles."

Chapter 7

Jack and Kate jumped up in shock at the figure standing before them, obviously injured and exhausted.

"Oh my god, what happened?!" Jack asked.

"Pirate people attacked, took Walt, shot me, and blew up the damn raft." Sawyer bluntly said.

Kate gasped and put her hand over her mouth. "Where is everyone else?"

Jack just paced and then interuppted, "You were shot? Where? Let me look at you. Let's get to the caves."

"Hold on there Doctor Impatient, I don't wanna go up there 'til you guys know what is going on. I don't want to be bombarded by roving reporters just yet," Sawyer said as he sat on a near by rock clutching his shoulder.

Kate handed him her bottle of water.

"Thank you Nurse." Sawyer sarcastically said then remembered how damn beautiful she was.

Jack leaned closer to Kate at the moment he saw the eye contact Sawyer made with her. He scolded himself for feeling a pang of a jealous heart while there was an obvious crisis going on. But he couldn't help it. He finally opened up to her, and he didn't want to loose that.

"... Are you listening, Jack?" Sawyer questioned interuppting Jack's thoughts.

"I'm sorry, okay, I am listening, go on."

"As I was saying, after we saw the light we were sure we had been rescued. Then they said they would have to take the boy. I mean, come on, what kind of people do that caesar salad?!"

Kate just couldn't believe what she was hearing. Where did these people come from? And, even more scary, were there more and are they still out there?

"What did they look like?" Jack asked.

"Homeless pirates. They were obviously hygeine challenged. I took a protective stance over Walt as soon as they said that and reached for the gun you gave me." Sawyer said looking at Jack.

Kate just looked over at Jack. She didn't know the two shared any time alone before the raft set sail.

As Sawyer rattled the rest of the tale, Kate became lost in thought. She couldn't believe what she was feeling. She was so glad Jack had kissed her. And now, she thought of nothing else except to get Jack alone once again. And here was yet another crisis. So that wouldn't happen anytime soon. She was damn sick of this island and the way it seemed to toy with everyone.

"So Walt is kidnapped? And Jin and Michael are missing. And you, you said you were shot, let me see the shoulder." Jack stated after Sawyer's tale.

"It's a flesh wound, Doc, or I would have needed help as soon as you saw me."

Kate decided to ask a burning question, "Where have you been for 5 days?"

"Where do you think, Nancy Drew? Trying to swim and find you guys again....wait ~ 5 DAYS?"

"Yea, it's been 5 days since the raft set sail." Kate said.

Sawyer began to stand up and pace. "That is impossible. I mean, if it had been 5 days, wouldn't I be dead by now? I found the shore after swimming forever and laid down for just a bit. Then I woke up and felt a little disoriented, but I thought that was normal. It couldn't have been more than 2 hours from the time I woke up to the time I found you guys ...."

Kate and Jack could only look at each other.

"Am I going crazy?" Sawyer said, an echo of Jack and Kate's feelings from earlier.

"Sawyer, I think either the 3 of us are, or something very weird is going on," Jack said in a hesitant voice.

The night sky was now pitch black. Kate looked around and realized they only had the very small fire going from earlier.

"We need to get back, now." Kate said and she realized she was scared.

Sawyer went and lit some branches and handed one to Jack and took one for himself.

"Which way is camp?" Sawyer asked.

"We all are at the caves now. Straight ahead and to the left," Jack said.

"Let's go then," Sawyer said taking the lead.

Jack and Kate held back a little and for the first time, Kate grabbed his hand. Jack just looked at her and realized she had tears in her eyes. He grasped her hand a little tighter and led her long the path.

"We are not crazy, Kate."

"Walt .... gone .... Jin and Michael missing .... Sawyer back and lost some time .... What the hell is happening?" Kate then began to cry.

"Sawyer!" Jack called out. "Go on ahead, you can't miss it, we will be right there."

Sawyer looked bothered and said, "Oh, sure, the Doc and Nurse have to have a conference about the patient, I get it." With that he stormed ahead.

Jack led Kate to a nearby rock and stuck the branch in the ground so the fire would stay lit and up off the ground.

Jack took his thumb and wiped the tears away from Kate's cheek. He hated to see her upset. The only other real time he saw her cry, he was the one who caused it. At least he didn't cause this outburst now.

Kate looked at him and couldn't believe that with that one touch, that one look, Jack could make her feel better. Words were never needed between them.

"I want to be safe again, I want to know that stability is going to be mine one day. Right now, Jack, I don't know that I have that hope anymore." Again, the tears started pouring.

Jack took her in his arms and just held her. With that statement, she not only summed up her fears at the very moment caused by the island's events, but she summed up her emotions for her entire life.

He then took Kate and looked her right in the eyes. "I will do everything to make you feel safe. I want you to believe that. And I want you to see that....that hope is sitting right in front of you," Jack looked down at that statement.

Kate picked his chin up so that he was looking in her eyes. This time, it was Jack's eyes that were filled with tears. Kate leaned in and kissed Jack very lightly on the lips. Then looked at him again.

"You've been my hope since day one."

The fire suddenly went out and then the rain began falling harder. Kate and Jack began to run towards the caves

Chapter 8

Two days had now past since Sawyer returned. The mood around the caves had turned from fear to absolutely terrified and so confused. Even Locke was beginning to look more unsettled these days. Sun was in a state of shock and Sawyer was edgy and growing more and more antsy. Kate and Jack had spent the days together. With the exception of Jack making his "rounds" checking on everyone and instructing no one to go off alone, they were inseperable.

That morning they were out watching the sunrise. The hues of the sky were enough to make Kate sigh outloud and she couldn't help but wish that they were the only two on this earth. The pair were leaning against a rock that Jack had draped with a couple of blankets and they had a breakfast of mango laid out before them.

"What are you thinking?" Jack asked as Kate looked off towards the ocean.

"Do you think they are alive?"

Jack put his head down and covered Kate's hand with his own. "I would be lying if I said yes and I would be lying if I said no. All I know is that we have to have hope that they are alive."

Just then Sawyer walked up and took a spot next to them, leaning closer to Kate. "Hate to interrupt a breakfast of champions, but this sitting around, waiting, well, it's bullcaesar salad."

"And just what else do you think we should do?" Jack asked. "It would be a suicide mission to go out and find them, we don't know what they are capable of or how many might be out there."

Kate flinched at the word capable as Sawyer went on, "Look, I have already talked to Abdul, The Great White Warrior, Shannon and Sun and they are all willing to go. If we went in a larger group, we would stand a better chance."

Jack couldn't help but snicker a little.

"And what the hell is so funny about this?"

"Shannon?! You are telling me Shannon is willing to go do this?" Jack asked still finding it hard to believe.

"You people don't give her enough credit. She is a tough bitch, especially since the island claimed Boone and since she started dating an Iraqi soldier," Sawyer said matter of factly.

Kate immediately said that she would go.

Jack just looked at her. "Kate, you shouldn't, I mean ..."

"I know, but I have never been one to do what I should," she said with a wink.

Jack's cheeks flushed a little and Sawyer just grew more impatient. "Okay, if you two are done flirting and falling all over each other, can we get this show on the road?" he asked standing and looking down at the two.

"Fine. But Sun is not going. If I go, we need her here to help in case there are any medical problems while we are out."

"You tell her that Doctor Tell People What To Do," Sawyer said sarcastically. "I am heading back, and we are leaving in a half an hour," he paused, "With or without you two."

Jack grew frustrated and started to rise but Kate put a hand on him to stay. "What the hell is his problem?"

Kate answered, "Jack, it's Sawyer, if he didn't behave like that, we wouldn't know what to expect." She giggled at this and ate another bite of mango.

"Are you sure you want to go out there? Kate, we don't know what we will be looking for and we don't know what we will find. All we know is we want to find the other 3 but what else?"

"Jack, I am going. I know I can be of help ~ You know I can be of help. And I am damn sure not sitting here waiting on you to get back and not knowing if you are okay or not."

Jack scooted closer to his brunette beauty. His. He loved thinking that. He just wasn't sure if Kate was ready to hear that.

"Well, then, we go. And I guess we should go get packed," Jack said.

"Not before I say something," Kate said.

"Okay ... I am all ears."

Kate paused. She took a breath. She couldn't believe she was about to say what she was. But she had to. She had been holding it in for too long. She leaned in closer to Jack and took in his smell, his ruggedness, his eyes that pierced her soul.

"My life has been a series of disappointments, losses and betrayals. When I got here, I thought it was going to be more of the same. And the first person I meet is someone asking me for help. And someone who told me I wasn't running then," Kate paused to catch her thoughts as right now they seemed to go so fast she didn't want to miss a one of them.

"I have never been one to ask for help and never been one to show my vulnerable side. Most people betray me in the end, so why bother has been my philosophy. But you, you knew from almost the very beginning that I was a criminal of some kind. And you still trusted me to help, trusted me with a gun and trusted me with you ..... with your heart ......" Kate trailed off.

Jack just put his hand over hers again. He couldn't believe what he was hearing.

Kate looked at this man before her, and felt so safe. "I am getting so long winded here..." she looked down and did her half smile Jack loved.

Jack reached over and took her chin in his hands and said, "I love you,too."

Kate began crying and took Jack in a warm embrace and the two just held each other. Jack then looked at her and began kissing her in the most passionate kiss the two had ever felt. Kate's hands began to run under his shirt and she almost gasped at the muscles that were there. He then left her lips and began kissing her neck in a way that made her moan outloud. He then placed his hand under her shirt and kissed her again and their tongues meshed together in perfect sync. Kate broke it off abruptly.

"What, what is it," Jack said as he kissed her neck again.

"Time's up, let's go," Sawyer said, minus a sarcastic comment.

Jack and Kate hated to have to break this moment but they also knew that going to find their missing friends and Walt was more important for now.Jack just stood and took Kate's hand to help her up. Sawyer came over and handed Kate her backpack and then even handed Jack his.

"Locke packed yours," Sawyer answered the unspoken question. "And since you took so long, I informed Sun of her not going," Sawyer said with an angry tone in his voice.

Ignoring the anger and too happy to start anything, Jack just said, "Thanks."

The three began their walk back to the caves to meet Sayid, Locke and Shannon. Jack and Kate just looked at each other and smiled. Sawyer walked without a word, eyes glazed over and Kate noticed this. He didn't have a sarcastic word in him - because he was hurt.

"There you guys are," Sayid said.

Kate stopped to give Sun a hug and then to say goodbye to Charlie and Claire.

"I really can come if you guys need me," Charlie said.

"You need to be here for Claire," Jack said.

Sun came up to Kate just as she was joining the group again. "Bring them home, bring them home," she said crying.

Kate could only look at her and feel so scared. She hugged her again. "Don't you worry, we are going to find them."

The group grabbed a couple more things and they were off. Jack and Kate walked hand in hand together and both of them couldn't help but think about three things. To find Walt, Michael, and Jin alive. To not let each other get hurt in any way. And to finish what they had just started on the beach.
Chapter 9

Kate couldn’t believe she was walking hand in hand with a man who just said he loved her. She didn’t think she would ever hear those words again. Sayid led the way while Locke, Sawyer and Shannon trailed behind. Kate could only smile as she felt as if her and Jack were on their own walk. The looks Jack kept giving her made her melt inside. They weren’t even sure exactly where they were going except that Sayid had some plan worked out as to where the Others might be. Charlie and him had found the source of the black smoke and that is where they were heading for first. Where they would go from there, they wouldn’t know until they got there.

“This ain’t no damn lover’s walk, pick up the pace you two,” Sawyer said to the pair in an utter annoyance.

“Shut up Sawyer, let’s just focus on what we are out here to do,” Sayid said.

“Whatever Captain Desert Storm.”

Kate and Jack kept quiet, still in their own world. Kate kept looking at Jack, eyeing him up and down. Damn, he was sexy, she thought. Her thoughts were interrupted by an ear-piercing scream.

The group stopped and looked around.

“What the hell was that?!” Shannon asked incredulously as Sayid rushed to her side.

Jack broke away from Kate and walked forward and looked around to the right. Sawyer did the same to the left and Locke kept walking.

“Locke! Where are you going?” Kate called.

All Locke could do was turn around and hold his finger to his lips. “Shhhh.”

The group just looked at each other and followed and Locke stopped at a backpack on the ground. He lifted it and looked thru it.

“Liz Chapman. Do we know her?” he asked.

Kate spoke up. “Yes, she helps Sun and me with our garden.” She then just looked around. “What was she doing out here? And where is she now?”

“That was definitely her screaming,” Shannon said with a terrified look in her eyes.

“caesar salad! People are just wondering around screaming out here. Where the hell did our Flower Girl run to? It ain’t like there is anywhere to run to out here,” Sawyer said looking around and seeing nothing but trees.

“Okay, look. We can’t just stand here. Let’s keep moving forward, please. And now, let’s just add Liz to the list of friends we need to find okay,” Kate interjected.

“She is right, we can’t waste daylight sitting here trying to figure it out, let’s just go,” Sayid agreed.

He took Shannon’s hand and joined Locke at the forefront of the group while Sawyer strayed behind and watched as Jack took a protective spot right next to Kate. That bastard, Sawyer thought. He could only look at him with a glare that could have shot right thru him.

Suddenly the wind picked up and a huge branch fell and landed right in front of Jack and Kate causing Kate to trip and Jack to jump back. Sawyer stood there in some sort of shock and the other three ran up to help.

“What – what happened?” Kate asked as Shannon lifted her up.

Jack looked around and then ran to Kate, “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, just dazed. Where did that wind come from?” Kate asked.

Locke, Sayid and Shannon just looked at them. “There was no wind, Kate, just the branch fell,” Locke looked at her with some sort of sympathy in his eyes.

“I am not making this up!”

“She’s right O Warrior, I felt that wind, too,” Sawyer said.

“Me too,” Jack said.

The six of them just looked at each other as Sawyer, Kate and Jack all shared the same connection of wondering if they were crazy once again.

“Okay, fine, let’s just keep going please,” Locke said walking on ahead of the group.

“He’s right,” Jack said as the 5 of them huddled in a circle, “Let’s just go.”

A scream was heard as the 5 of them looked toward where Locke was standing. Only he wasn’t there, but his backpack was.

Chapter 10

“What the hell? Locke! This ain’t no damn time to be playing games!” Sawyer called out.

Shannon looked at Sayid, “Where did he go?!”

Jack walked over to Locke’s pack, and surveyed the ground. Sayid and Sawyer searched the immediate area. Nothing. Shannon began crying and Kate reached out and gave her a hug.

“Well, what do we do?” Kate asked, on the verge of tears herself.

The guys were just as perplexed and looked at each other. They shared the same thought – they didn’t want the girls to get worked up. But, they didn’t know what to do either. For the first time, they were all perplexed and at a standstill. Sawyer decided to break the silence.

“Before we go any further, we need to regroup. I mean, if our Great Warrior is at risk, we are all at risk.”

“Sawyer’s right,” Jack said surprising himself with those words, “We need to devise a better plan before we go thru with this.”

“So we head back, then, “Sayid said.

“It’s probably the best idea until we can figure out another way of defending ourselves out here. Whatever is happening, or taking us, well, we need to be ready,” Jack said.

“What do we tell everyone?” Kate said thinking of Sun’s desperation.

“Not a damn thing Freckles.”

“Oh and so when we come back without Locke, not a soul is going to question that huh?” Shannon asked in an annoyed tone.

“Sticks, I just don’t think it is right we scare the whole damn island when we don’t have explanation one as to what the hell might be going on out here,” Sawyer said defiantly.

Kate paused before saying something. She couldn’t believe that she was about to say this, “Guys, as much as we don’t want to be out here, I kind of agree with Sawyer, we can’t go back without Locke and not offer something. If we go back without Locke, we are going to scare them. I hate to say this, but we need to set up camp somewhere out here and strategize.”

Everyone just stared at her. Jack finally said, “She’s right,” and he took a spot next to Kate.

“Fine, we set up camp. We need to do so now, before it gets dark,” Sayid said.

Shannon was reluctant, but stood next to Sayid in agreement. They all then looked at Sawyer.

“While I think this is a stupid, idiotic idea, we don’t have a damn choice. But we are not going to set up here in the middle of Camp Crystal Lake. We are going to go to a cave I,” he paused, “WE found before,” he finished eyeing Kate.

Kate couldn’t believe he had brought that up. Jack looked at Kate with a look that showed his confusion, a little bit of hurt, and a whole lot of jealousy.

“What is he talking about?”

“Oh, someone didn’t tell the good doc about our little swim and discovery, huh?”

Kate turned to Jack, “Remember when I brought the case to you, it was us who found it as we were swimming. There is a cave about the water – we didn’t go in, but it’s there,” she explained hoping this would appease him.

Shannon and Sayid looked a bit uncomfortable. “Can you take us back there?” Sayid decided to ask and stop this, well, whatever this was.

“I have the path memorized,” Sawyer said with a wink at Kate.

Sawyer led the way and the group followed. Jack and Kate headed up the back and noticeable to both of them, they weren’t holding hands.

Chapter 11

After walking for what seemed like forever, the group came up on the waterfall which was so familiar to Kate. She looked over at Jack and could only see hurt in his expression.

“Cave’s this way,” Sawyer said with another wink at Kate.

Jack only rolled his eyes and walked on ahead. Sayid joined them and left Shannon and Kate behind a bit.

“I think we need to go in first and make sure it’s safe and sound before bringing the girls in.”

“Good idea,” Jack agreed.

“Abdul here has a plan. To leave you girls out here alone so that we can go in to check that the cave is safe. Now, watch for anything that might eat you and we will be back,” Sawyer said sarcastically.

“Fine, I’ll stay with them, you guys go on in,” Jack said.

Sawyer could only look at Jack in disgust as him and Sayid headed in the cave. Shannon took a seat at the water’s edge and put her feet in.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about this place sooner,” Kate said looking up at Jack with hope.

“Yea, me, too,” he looked off at the waterfall, “But, we can make our own memories.”

Kate smiled and instantly fell into a warm embrace. He was the most amazing man and had this way about him that made her feel like everything was going to be okay.

An angry voice clearing easily broke up their moment.

“If you two are done doing your thing, the cave is safe,” Sawyer said irritated he couldn’t think of something more sarcastic to say.

Shannon reluctantly got up from her spot, and the three of them headed to the cave. Once inside, their breath was caught in an instant.

“Wow,” Shannon said looking around.

“Is it just me, or does it glow in here?” Kate asked.

“There is a definite glow, not sure what it is though,” Sayid said.

Jack was speechless and Sawyer said, “Look, it’s a damn cave, there ain’t nothing pretty about anything found on this island. Can we just unpack and get situated here instead of taking inventory for the next Design on a Dime show?”

Everyone started unpacking the necessary things to make the cave a decent place to stay. Jack helped Kate pick through her things to see what she would need. The two were giggling as they did this. Shannon and Sayid were in their own world and also laughing and sharing jokes. Sawyer couldn’t help but get angry.

‘This is bullcaesar salad,’ he thought to himself. He immediately glared at Jack. Kate was supposed to be his, not Jack’s. Then Jack would be the one left out. He caught Kate’s eye as she glanced over at him.

Kate was almost taken aback at the pure hatred she saw in Sawyer’s eyes as he looked at Jack. Kate turned away to grab another blanket when a thud was heard.

“Ouch!” Jack said as he hit the ground, hard.

Kate checked his head as she lifted him up. “What happened?”

Sayid and Shannon ran over to check and Sawyer could only stand there frozen.

“It felt like someone pushed me,” Jack said dazed from both his head hurting and what had just happened.

“No one was near you, Jack, you had to have fallen,” Sayid reasoned.

Kate held Jacks’ head as she looked for something to wrap it up with. “My bag, Kate, there is some gauze in there.”

Sawyer finally came out of his trancelike state. All he could do was mumble inaudibly, “You deserved it.”

Chapter 12

Night began to fall as Sawyer was out gathering wood for the fire. Sayid and Shannon were off in their own world talking about the day’s events. And Kate and Jack were huddled together in a blanket.

“This isn’t exactly the romantic evening I had planned,” Jack said looking down at Kate.

Kate smiled and looked up. “Any evening with you is romantic.” Their eyes met as she said this and Jack just smiled and then leaned down for a kiss. Their lips met in unison and Jack’s hand took Kate’s face in his hands so he could feel more of her. Their tongues danced wildly together and they forgot they were in the company of others. Even if it were just for that moment, they were able to forget that people were missing and danger was lurking in the shadows.

A loud thud echoed throughout the cave sending both couples on a express trip back to reality.

“Wood’s here….And you are welcome,” Sawyer said as he left the pile of wood he had just made and went off into his corner of the cave.

Sayid was the first to jump up, followed by Jack. The two got the wood together in a pile as Kate glanced at Jack, silently asking permission. As Jack gave her a concerned okay, she walked back to where Sawyer sat.

“Oh no, I don’t want a pity chat, and I don’t want your damn sympathy.”

“Sawyer, look, whether we like it or not, we are in this together. ALL of us. This situation is less than ideal for us all, but we have to make it work….”

“caesar salad, you ain’t gonna give us the ‘stay together or die alone’ speech are ya? You two are sounding more and more alike as time passes, huh?”

Kate looked a little wounded by the last comment but also, somewhere inside her, she was proud. If she was sounding like Jack,that made her happy. Anything to be near to her fate. She decided that if there was anything on this island to put faith in, as Locke had stated, she was going to do just that. Her faith rested with Jack.

“Dammit, Belle of Jack’s Ball, look, you came over here to talk, and now you go spacing out, I don’t need that kind of company. Go, go be with your Knight, and leave me the hell alone.” With that, Sawyer faced the cave wall and looked as mad as ever.

“Why can’t you realize that just because some people don’t love you the way you want them do, doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have?!” Kate fumed as she stood to leave.

Sawyer jumped up and grabbed Kate’s arm, twisting her around hard. “Let go!”

Jack rushed over and glared at Sawyer. “What the hell are you doing? Let her go.”

“Fine,” Sawyer said but didn’t. “Before I let you run back off with Doctor Fixer-Upper, I want you to remember one thing. The kiss. There was more to that than getting the Princess’ inhalers back and you know it!”

Kate suddenly became limp and fell to the ground as Sawyer finally let go of her. She grasped at her chest and couldn’t breathe.

“Baby! What’s wrong?”

“So, it’s baby now? That is too much,” Sawyer said.

“Not NOW!” Jack yelled.

Shannon rushed over with Sayid. “She looks like she is having an asthma attack!”

“I ….. don’t ……. Have ………. Asthma.” Kate struggled to say.

Jack held her and rubbed her back as he asked her standard doctor’s questions but couldn’t get a response out of her. Shannon ran off and came back with the medicine Sun had given to her for her attacks.

“Give this to her,” Shannon said, offering it to Jack.

As Jack did this, he looked into her eyes and realized his heart was in her hands. If anything happened to her, he would break and no one could fix him. Kate’s breathing slowly returned to normal and she looked up at Jack and he gave her a sweet kiss and she merely said, “Thank you.”

“Thank Shannon, she diagnosed you,” Jack said.

Sayid put an arm around Shannon and took a proud stance. Kate was happy to see that.

“Can I lay down?”

Jack carried her back to their spot and laid her down and she fell right to sleep. Jack told himself he would not move the whole night to ensure nothing else happened or that she didn’t have another attack. Sayid got the fire started and Shannon situated then came over to Jack.

“What the hell was that?”

“I wish I knew,” Jack answered.

They both looked over at Sawyer to see him staring into the cave wall toying with a piece of paper.

“What I mean, well I am noticing something,” Sayid explained.

Jack inquisitively looked at Sayid prompting him to continue.

“Okay, we were in the woods, out of nowhere, a tree limb falls, causing you two to trip. Sawyer doesn’t rush over. But stands in a trance. We get to the caves. You fall, no one around, Sawyer doesn’t move. And now, Kate has an attack, keep in mind she doesn’t have asthma, and Sawyer again doesn’t move.”

“You think Sawyer had something to do with this?” Jack looked dumbfounded.

“I don’t know. But you say he had a time loss right? He was gone for days, if they got a hold of him ……”

Jack could only nod.

“Something to think about.” And with that, Sayid returned to Shannon.

Jack looked back down at Kate. Could Sawyer really be responsible? If so, then they had much bigger problems that Jack didn’t know if he could fix.

Chapter 13

Sawyer could only toss and turn in an effort to sleep, as everyone else seemed to be doing. He couldn’t turn his thoughts down. Somehow he hurt Kate. And he didn’t have a clue how. Or why. He suspected something wasn’t right when he heard he was gone five days. ‘What the hell is the place and why am I going insane.’ Sawyer finally turned over and attempted sleep.

Sayid wasn’t sleeping either. He refused to close his eyes and leave Shannon unguarded. He looked down at her. Never had he been so happy, and he wasn’t about to loose that. Glancing back at Sawyer, he couldn’t help but feel untrusting. Not that he ever truly trusted him, but now, now it seemed something had happen to him and he was even more different than ever. ‘Whatever is going on, I will never let go of Shannon. I will not loose another love in my life.’ Sayid finally laid his head down next to Shannon and held her.

Jack cradled Kate as she slept. He looked around and caught the view of the night sky perfectly through the cave entry. Breathing in Kate’s sweet scent, Jack just smiled. He was so surprised that in this place, he could find such amazing peace and such a beautiful person among such constant disarray. He glared in Sawyer’s direction. If he was responsible for Kate’s attack, then why and how did he do this? Cautiously, Jack looked around and took a deep breath. ‘My happiness and my fate lie with her now.’ Jack went to wearily lay his head down when Kate began to stir.

Kate at first felt scared until she turned and saw Jack’s face. She barely was able to focus as she was trying to wake up. “Jack?”

He smiled, “Hey, how are you feeling?”

“Worn out, okay I guess. No, wait, I’m good, yea, I’m good,” she said putting her hand on his chest.

Jack quietly laughed, “Good? How is that?”

Kate leaned up on her elbows and looked him in the eyes. “Because you are here, you are holding me, and because you make me feel so good even when things aren’t.”

Jack held her and smiled. Suddenly he had a thought.

Looking down at Kate, he shyly asked, “Wanna go make a memory?”

Kate sat straight up. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “Of course!”

The two crept out of the cave hand in hand quietly so as not to disturb anyone. The fullest, brightest moon either had ever seen greeted them and it lit up the water brilliantly. Kate began looking around nervously. “Is this safe?”

“Kate, I am not going to lie to you. I don’t know. I don’t know what might happen. But, the way things are on this island, I think eventually, you just have to go for it and take a chance.”

Kate smiled and looked down. He was right. She couldn’t let this pass by.

“Okay, let’s take a chance.”

With that single statement, she eased all of his worries. He looked at her and loved the way the moonlight lit up her eyes. Her beauty oftentimes made him speechless. Kate then reached for his face, and ran her fingers along his features, memorizing them and taking them in. As she hit the stubble of his chin, she suddenly needed him. She let out a sigh and tiptoed to reach him. Jack held her to keep her balanced and he in turned leaned down to her. She licked her lips and leaned closer to him and found her home. They fell into an instant embrace and a very sensual kiss as the need in them grew to have more. Their hands began exploring until the passion mounted to a level so high that Jack had to break the kiss.

Kate could only let out a sigh and mumble, “Wow,” as she looked at this perfect person in front of her.

“I need you, Kate.”

Their gazes simultaneously shifted to the glistening water. “Race ya?” Kate proposed already removing her pants.

“Oh, you’re on!” He quickly undressed down to his boxers and dove in. Kate, clad in her bra and panties, followed suit. Playfully, the two splashed each other and swam together. Kate couldn’t help but think how much better this was with the one you love. The moon lit their play area and the two easily forgot the world around them.

Eyeing the waterfall, Jack took Kate by the hand, “Let’s go to where it’s more shallow.”

The two found the water level to be just right that it covered just to their knees. The waterfall poured its aura down on the couple. Kate put her leg up on a rock and leaned over.

“Hey, you’re doing it again.”

“What?” Jack asked with that half grin of his she loved so much.

“Checkin’ me out.”

Jack moved closer to her and placed his hands on her hips and leaned in close.

“Yes I am,” he whispered as he began a dance with his tongue behind her ears and down her neck.

Kate leaned into him as he continued to send shivers of ecstasy up and down her spine. Suddenly, her mouth hung open attempting to suppress a scream as Jack discovered the way into her panties. She turned and they looked into each other’s eyes as he first went slowly, with just one finger carefully teasing all the right spots. As more fingers entered her, he pushed faster and faster and the desire in their eyes grew. Kate had to try very hard to not scream.

“Let go ….” Jack said as she began shivering.

After a few minutes, the look in her eyes and the sudden way she grabbed his shoulder and threw her head back told him she finally did. Breathless, Kate leaned back against Jack and let the waterfall caress them. She then kissed him so softly and he surrounded her in a warm embrace.

“I love you, Jack.”

Tears formed in Jack’s eyes as he enjoyed the words coming from her. “I love you more.”

Planning on continuing their rendezvous, they once again fell into a passionate kiss. Their moment for their memory books was suddenly interrupted. Something was at their feet.

Chapter 13

Kate jumped and Jack held her and they both peered down at the water.

“What is that?” Kate asked.

Jack reached down into the water and retrieved a mesh bag full of pill bottles.

“What the ….” The two took a seat on a nearby rock as Jack opened the back and pulled out the contents, handing some to Kate. He struggled to read them as the moon seemed to loose some of it’s light.

“Haldol. Remeron. Ultram. Penicillin.”

“What are all of these for? And for who?” Kate asked.

“That is what is so strange. These aren’t normal prescription bottles. It has the name of the drug, but no company, no name, nothing. And 2 of these are anti-psychotics and 1 is for pain, and the other, you know is an antibiotic.”

“Okay, but who’s are they? And why are they here?” Kate said looking around.

“These did not come from the luggage, Kate. First off, we would have found them. Second, they are not marked right. Wait…”

Kate only sat in a curious silence as she watched as Jack tried to get more light to read something. His chiseled arms glistened in the light and she wanted nothing more than to continue what they started. ‘Stop Kate, there is something more important going on’, she told herself as Jack looked confused.


“There is only a symbol here on the bottle. It looks like a box or something. Whatever that symbol is, that is who made this. And for some reason, I get the feeling it came from someone that was already here.”

Their minds were reeling with questions. If these did come from somewhere on this island, someone was in need of their meds. And why were they in the water? As they both thought, Kate began to shiver.

“Cold?” Jack said pulling her to him.

“Better now,” she said laying her head on his chest. “What do we do about this? Are we going to tell the others?”

Sighing, Jack said, “I think it would be better to not tell them just yet. Not until we can maybe figure out something more.”

Kate could only nod and realize she was tired of discoveries and secrets. And she was tired of not feeling safe. She looked back up at the man who held her.


“Yea, sweetie?”

“It’s going to be morning soon. As much as I don’t want to, we should head back.”

Jack knew she was right. Though, he really didn’t want this night to end. It had been a perfect evening. Leaning down, he took her lips with his and surrounded them in an embrace. She reciprocated by inviting her tongue into his mouth and putting her arms around him. They then moved to the water and close to the waterfall where their hands began an erotic exploration. This time, it was Kate’s hands that found the way into his boxers and his perfect erection. He gasped and threw his head back as she rubbed her hand up and down along his manhood. She kissed his chest and then slowly ran her tongue down to his stomach and, pushing his boxers down, she took all that he had in her mouth. Jack whimpered in pleasure as she lovingly stroked and licked him. Looking down, he saw she was looking up at him and he began rubbing her head and playing with her hair. After a few minutes, Jack’s entire body shook as he released at least 2 month’s worth of pent up pleasure. He pulled up his boxers and then pulled Kate to him and hugged her. A smile remained across Kate’s face as she was so happy to be able to bring him that much pleasure.

“Now, we should head back,” Jack said with a laugh, “I could really sleep now.”

Kate hugged him tighter, “Why Doctor Shephard, that is the first time I have heard you say you need sleep.”

He took her by the hand as they climbed up the nearby rock out of the water, “And you didn’t even have to drug me this time.”

As they got dressed, they could only smile at each other. What a difference in a relationship one night could make.

“I love you,” Kate said as she tied her shoes.

Jack leaned over and kissed her. “I love you, too Kate.”

“Oh I can feel the love,” a voice said from the bushes.

Looking around, Jack and Kate then looked at each other. “Sawyer?” Jack said.

Coming out from the darkness, Locke said, “No, not Sawyer

Chapter 15

“Oh my god, what, how?” was all Jack could muster.

Locke took a seat on a nearby rock and silently gazed up at the moon.

“I just came up here and found you. I know you were wondering how long I have been here,” Locke stated, answering both Jack and Kate’s unspoken question.

“What happened when you disappeared?” Kate asked, inching closer to Jack. She couldn’t explain it, but she was suddenly terrified.

Locke, still gazing off, answered, “Something grabbed me from underground and quickly took me under. I couldn’t scream. But I didn’t want to. I didn’t feel scared, only an unfathomable peace. I knew I was doing the island’s will and it felt great.”

Jack could only roll his eyes at Locke’s standard ‘faith’ answer. He was growing tired of that explanation.

“Did you see anything?” Jack asked in hopes of a real answer.

Locke’s eyes blinked and he looked uncomfortable at the question. “Nothing, I saw nothing.”

Jack was tired of his game at this point. “You saw nothing? Nothing from the time you were taken underground to the time you came back. Locke, you felt a peace like you haven’t felt, and you mean to tell me you couldn’t see anything?” He paused and put his hand on his hip as Kate only felt frustration. Collecting himself, he asked one more question. “Can you tell us how you got back?”

Locke was once again stuck in his stare and after a pause, finally said, “No.”

Kate had enough. “You don’t know or you won’t tell us?” she asked as she took a step towards Locke.

“I don’t remember.”

Kate grew more uncomfortable and took a place behind Jack as he protectively held out his arm in front of her. She couldn’t explain it, but she felt so scared.

“Look, daylight isn’t far away. We are going back to the cave to get some rest, you should, too and maybe that might help jog your memory,” Jack said and him and Kate turned to start walking.

“I’ll be along in a minute.” Then Locke called out, “Did you get my pack?”

“It’s at the cave with our stuff.”

Kate took Jack’s hand as they walked back. “He doesn’t seem scared.”

“I think it’s more than so-called faith,” Jack answered as he glanced back to see Locke with his eyes closed and facing the sky, “I think he knows something.”

“Why wouldn’t he tell us? Doesn’t he want to help?”

Jack could only look down as they reached the cave entrance. “Let’s sleep on it. Maybe I will be able to think more clearly.”

Kate couldn’t hold them back anymore. Tears filled her eyes as she looked up at Jack. “I’m scared.”

Jack took her in his arms. He didn’t like her feeling this way and what was worse, he didn’t know how to make it better. And, he was scared, too.

“Let’s count together.” He said as he leaned in to kiss her.

Kate felt an immediate peace wash over her as they held the kiss for 5 seconds.

“See? Fear is gone.”

Kate smiled. He had such an amazing way about him. “Let’s get some sleep.” With that, they walked in and lay down in their spot with Jack holding her. She could think of nowhere else she would rather be than in his arms. A hotel would be better than the island of doom but she was in no position to be picky. It had taken her too long to find Jack, and she wasn’t about to let location upset her. She settled in and immediately found sleep.

Sawyer stirred a bit and looked over. ‘A lover’s walk in the middle of the night, how freaking precious and stupid.’ He went to sit up only to be greeted by intense shoulder and neck pain. He looked down and realized he was shaking. ‘I must be hungry, and I am in pain because of this damn Motel Cave floor,’ he reasoned. He shifted in his spot and thought about how he hadn’t felt well since he came back. But he didn’t want to ask the Love Doctor for help. He would handle this on his own. He contemplated getting up, but said to hell with it and laid back down, wincing in agony once he got there.

A couple of hours passed as the morning sun invited itself into the cave. Jack turned around and saw Sayid sitting up stretching. He looked down at Kate and she still lay sleeping.

“Have you seen him?” Jack asked Sayid.

“Who?” Sayid responded.

“Locke is back.”


“Damned if I know. He made some speech about peace and the island’s will.”

Shannon began to move and so did Kate. “Morning,” they both said in unison. Laughing, the each sat up.

“Morning already,” Kate said as she rubbed her eyes.

Jack leaned in and kissed her cheek. “Yep, already,” he said with a wink.

Sawyer then walked thru the cave and headed outside.

“He is so pleasant in the mornings,” Sayid said.

“Just in the mornings?” Jack chimed in and they all shared a giggle.

“My medicine! The stuff Sun made me for the asthma, it’s not here!” Shannon screamed out.

“Calm down, are you sure it’s not here?” Jack said walking over to help look.

“We need that!” Kate said, standing up.

“No you don’t, not if you have faith,” Locke said from the cave entrance.

Jack stormed over to him. “Where is it? Where the hell is it?”

Sawyer came over and actually stood next to Jack. “The girls need that, what did you do with it?”

“I have something far better. It’s a pill, that will help open the airway during an attack.”

“Where in the hell did you get that? On your peaceful journey?!” Jack asked, furious.

“They are NOT going to take any pill made from the pharmaceutical company of Freddy Krueger!” Sawyer said, shoving the pills back at Locke.

“Okay, we are done arguing,” Sayid said walking over to the fight, “I don’t know about you guys, but staying out in the jungle again doesn’t not sound like the best idea. Let’s get going to find the others while we have plenty of daylight. On the way, we will get some eucalyptus; there is some nearby because I have had to get some for Shannon. We will discuss those pills later, Locke.”

Jack and Sawyer agreed and everyone gathered their stuff as Locke walked outside. They were all leaving the cave when Jack saw the pill bottle Sawyer knocked out of Locke’s hands. It had Locke's name on them. And a symbol of a box in the corner.

Chapter 16

“If we stay on this path, it should lead us to the other’s camp,” Sayid said after about 20 minutes of walking.

“I think going this way over here would be better,” Locke pointed in the opposite direction.

Feeling scared, Kate leaned closer to Jack. “I don’t think we should follow him,” she whispered.

Jack nodded in agreement as Shannon wandered off a little with Sayid right behind her. “Here it is,” she called.

Kate, Sawyer and Jack went to where they stood and Kate breathed a sigh of relief. “The eucalyptus plant.”

They all decided to take a break so Jack and Sayid could get the medicine made. Shannon went to sit down, pulling out a picture of her and Boone and she went off into her own world.

Stomping over, Locke was clearly annoyed. “Taking a break isn’t really the best idea considering your friends are out there in need of help.”

“No disrespect, but the girls need this medicine that seemed to have disappeared,” Sayid retorted.

“And I had a solution. The island gave me that power.”

Gritting his teeth, Jack tried to hold back and not say anything while Kate could only feel more apprehensive.

“Once again, no disrespect, but I wasn’t about to let them have something in which we know nothing about,” Sayid responded again.

Locke could only roll his eyes and begin pacing. Jack was unable to take it anymore.

“Look ~ if you are so hell bent on leaving now to find our friends, go. We need a break to get this medicine made and you are not helping any.”

“Fine, the island is calling, and I must go now. Sawyer, you know the way, so you lead them when you guys are done here.” And just like that, he was gone, stomping away.

All eyes focused on Sawyer as Locke disappeared.

“What? I don’t know what in the hell Baldie is talkin’ about. How would I know the way to doom?”

Kate again felt nervous. What was going on with Locke and Sawyer for that matter? Something didn’t feel right and she hated feeling so confused. She watched as Jack helped prepare the medicine and she couldn’t help but let the smile take over her face. She was pleasantly surprised at herself. After Tom, she thought she would never find love like that again or even allow herself to feel that kind of connection. And here she was, more in love than ever before with such a strong connection with Jack. He was so caring, loving and good-hearted. Not to mention incredibly sexy and good looking. She giggled a little at that thought and Jack looked over and winked at her. He was amazing. Then she noticed Sawyer was staring at her. She glanced around as to avoid his stare, and saw a mango tree just calling her name. She couldn’t resist.

“Hey, I’ll be over there. I see a mango tree.”

Jack stood up and walked over to Kate to see where the tree was. ‘Always protecting me,’ she thought with a smile.

“Okay, but don’t go anywhere else.”

“Worried ‘bout me?” she asked with a smirk.

Looking down sheepishly and getting his signature grin, he said, “Yea, I guess I am.”

Kate leaned in to meet his lips, “I won’t wander off, I promise.”

“Get a damn room,” Sawyer said as he leaned against a tree, crying out in pain as he did so.

Turning his attention from Kate’s wonderful figure as she walked away, he switched to doctor mode and attempted to focus on Sawyer.

Kate reached the tree and instantly felt better. There was something about having her own thing on this island that made her feel safer. She began her climb and as she reached near the top, she gazed out to the ocean. The sound of the waves and the smell of the salty air instantly made her smile. ‘If only we were really in paradise,’ she thought. Shaking that feeling away, she began picking fruit and enjoying her alone time.

“I told you, the shaking isn’t predictable, the neck pain is constant and my shoulder is screwed, what the hell else do you need to know, Doc?”

“Sawyer, I am trying to help you, so let me.”

“Just tell me your best guess, Doctor Way To Thorough. I ain’t in the mood for a damn physical.”

“Fine, if I had to guess …”

“You do,” Sawyer interrupted.

Annoyed, Jack answered. “Fine, I’d say you have scar tissue forming in your shoulder around your bullet wound and due to it not being treated properly when it first happened, I think you are getting an infection.”

“Got something to help me with this crap?”

Jack debated giving him the pain pill as he got out the penicillin. But, in the end, he handed him 2 pills and told him he would get him his own bottle as they returned to camp. Jack then returned to where Sayid and Shannon were working on the medicine.

Sawyer took the pills and felt relieved that there was nothing more serious wrong with him. He was, in all honesty, grateful to Jack. But he vowed to never let him know that.

“The medicine is ready, we should get going again,” Sayid said as Jack approached.

Shannon stood up and again looked at the picture of her and Boone. She couldn’t help but wish he were still there with her. She felt like a new person, and she was sure it was someone Boone would really like. She ached for him, and still didn’t know how she was going to make it without him. The tears flowed freely as she gathered her things. Sayid walked over to her, wiped her tears away and helped her with her stuff. Shannon half smiled. Could she ever really be okay with someone else? Would Boone even approve? Her thoughts never took a rest.

“Let me go get Kate,” Jack said, walking in the direction of the tree.

The sky suddenly lost its light as rain clouds blanketed every inch.

“Hurry, Jack, looks like rain is about to start,” Sayid said as they immediately started getting a shelter together.

Kate realized rain was coming and began her decent down. She was stopped in her tracks midway by strange whispering.

“She doesn’t deserve happiness.” “He’s too good for her.” “Should we take her now?” “Be quiet, don’t let her hear us.” “She is not ready.”

Kate’s eyes filled with tears as she heard these mumbles. Where the hell were they coming from and how come they were talking about her? The clouds could no longer hold it, and the rain cascaded down. Kate welcomed it. It would hide her crying.

“Kate! Kate!”

It was Jack. She looked down and instantly felt sad and confused. Who would think she isn’t good enough for Jack? Who would say these things?

“Kate, baby! Come on down, come on!”

She studied his small figure from her height. She loved him so much. But, maybe they were right. Maybe he is too good.

“Kate! The wind is picking up, let’s go!”

Suddenly snapped out of her thoughts, she realized she was up in a tree during a rainstorm in this place. She began her decent down, making Jack smile. She then saw him and smiled, too. She was being silly with her thoughts. She was just fine. Suddenly, a figure swooped down and knocked her off balance. She tried to steady herself and felt relief when she grabbed the right branches.

“I’m okay!” she called to the now worried Jack.

Continuing down, a figure came down again, this time from the opposite direction. This time Kate could not hold on.

“KATE!” Jack screamed as he helplessly watched her fall.

Chapter 17

Rapidly falling, Kate screamed for Jack and scolded herself in her mind for taking so long to listen. After what seemed like ages, but was in reality only a few seconds, her shirt was caught on a branch, stopping her freefall and jerking her hard.

Running to where he was directly under Kate, Jack realized two things. One was that she was close enough to the ground where he could safely catch her. And the second thing he noticed was that she was bleeding, and bad.

“Kate, I can catch you, you just need to release your shirt,” he had to yell loudly to make sure she heard him over the wind and the rain.

Sawyer, Sayid and Shannon ran over after hearing the yelling.

“Oh my god,” was all Sawyer could say. “Do something, Jack!” Shannon exclaimed in a panicked voice.

Suddenly, the all to familiar and unwelcome roar rang thru the trees.

“Oh hell no! Kate, come on!” Sawyer screamed.

Kate looked out and saw what she feared. The trees were disappearing. Quickly, she forgot her fear and reached up to loosen her shirt that was already ripping.

“Jack, don’t let me go!” she called as her shirt finally came loose. On the way down, her head slammed into a larger branch, causing her head to gash open. She landed safe in Jack’s arms with a force so strong, it knocked Jack to his knees.

Kate tried to stand up and couldn’t as a wave of dizziness overtook her.

“I got ya,” Jack said picking her back up.

“Run, NOW!” Sayid said grabbing Shannon’s hand.

The others were able to run much faster as Jack and Kate lagged behind. Jack stopped and looked around as he couldn’t see anyone and all he did see was the tree they just ran from, gone.

“Doc! In here!” Sawyer called from outside a small cave.

Entering the cave breathless, Jack struggled to remain standing. Sawyer leaned forward and took Kate as Jack crumbled to his knees.

“Thanks,” he said in strained breaths.

Shannon and Sayid pulled a blanket out from their bags and quickly laid it out for Kate where Sawyer very carefully laid her down. He then ran to the cave entrance and peered out to see if the sounds were gone. Sayid called out for Jack as he rushed to Kate’s side. She was sitting up, grasping her side. Shannon then called for Sayid, so he went to her, leaving Kate and Jack alone.

“You didn’t let go,” she said as Jack took his place beside her.

“Never,” Jack reassuringly said, although it was with a worried smile. “You are covered in blood, Kate, I need to take a look.”

Kate was so dazed; she hadn’t even noticed the blood pouring from both her head and side. She felt so weird, and somewhat confused. She was trying to remember if the whispers she heard were real.

“I think that, well, whatever it is, is gone. But the rain sure isn’t. In fact, it is coming down harder, looks like we will be here for a while,” Sayid called out as he took a seat next to Shannon who was focusing on Kate.

After looking over Kate’s wounds, Jack reluctantly reached for his bag. “Sweetie, these are pretty bad, you are going to need stitches.”

Sawyer joined the two with a concerned look. “Anything I can do to help?” His gaze was fixed on Kate’s injuries.

“You know, I think I got it, but thanks.” Jack began looking for a rag.

“Need something, Doc?” Sawyer smirked.

Jack and Kate each smiled as he admitted he could use a rag and some water. Sawyer took a couple of empty water bottles and held it outside to collect some rain.

“I feel dizzy,” Kate said, leaning back.

Jack eased her down, watching her very carefully. He could not stand the fact that she was hurt at all. “You hit your head pretty hard, so this is normal.” He tried to sound convincing so that she wouldn’t become alarmed. In fact, he felt she might have a concussion.

“And I’m cold.”

“Kate, I will get a fire going, don’t worry,” Sayid said looking around for a spot to start one. As he found a sunken in part of the cave’s floor, he began the task of gathering some twigs and branches he saw scattered about. Shannon glanced and realized now was a good time to get out her picture that she treasured and retreat once again.

Sawyer came up to Jack with two bottles of water and one of his shirts from his bag. Answering Jack’s questioning look, Sawyer retorted, “What? Is it not good enough for you?”

“It’s fine. You need to understand not every statement is meant to attack you,” Jack explained, gratefully taking the supplies.

Kate suddenly grabbed Jack’s hand, pulling him down to her face. “Am I okay?”

With his other hand, he softly touched her cheek. “Of course you are, after you are cleaned and stitched up, you will be good as new.”

“No,” she whispered as tears filled her eyes, “Am I okay enough for you?”

Sawyer took that statement as his cue to go help Sayid. ‘She just needs to be happy, one way or another,’ he thought, taking one more glance at her.

Jack wiped away Kate’s tears and felt his heart crumble at her question. Taking the wet shirt, Jack began cleaning her wounds as he thought about the love he felt in his heart for her.

Looking at her as he cleaned her head, he started talking. “Kate, you are more than okay for me, you are my everything. You are the missing piece of me I didn’t even know I missed. And from the beginning, when everyone needed me to fix them, you were the one who fixed me. And in more ways than one.” Tears now filled his eyes as he began cleaning up her side.

Kate reached up and grazed his cheek. He was all she needed and the reason she had been running. She never knew her destination when she ran. Now it was suddenly crystal clear.

“I love you.”

“I love you. Okay, the wounds are cleaned up. I need to start stitching you up so you don’t loose anymore blood. You are going to need a lot, Kate, so I need you to be prepared.”

Kate looked away wearing concerned wrinkles on her forehead. She needed to be strong. She could do that. She felt she could do anything now with Jack’s heart safe in her possession.

“Worry lines never looked so good,” Jack said attempting a bit of humor to make her smile. And she did. “Okay, do you have a color preference?”

Kate couldn’t help but giggle at the familiar comment.

“Let’s go red, I am daring,” she said with a wink.

“Red for the daring beauty it is,” he said smiling.

Suddenly, the entire cave began shaking violently, knocking rocks down.

“Oh my god, there are EARTHQUAKES on this damn island?” Sawyer said, getting in the doorway of the cave, dragging Shannon and Sayid with him.

Jack quickly sprang into action as rocks started falling around them. He lifted Kate and his supplies. “Get out of here, we will be trapped, go!”

Sayid ran back in to get their packs and they all headed out into the rain.

“The ditch!” Jack yelled spying a ditch not too far off.

As the 5 threw themselves in, Kate’s wounds oozed blood and she was crying into Jack’s shoulder. Shannon started screaming, as the shaking became more violent, sending debris flying. Jack threw himself over Kate and Sawyer threw himself over both of them as Sayid sheltered Shannon. As the shaking continued, the familiar roar started up once again. This time, they couldn’t get up and run.

Chapter 18

Jack started running ideas of what they could all do when the shaking and noises suddenly stopped. Even the rain stopped.

“Is it over?” Kate asked from Jack’s arms.

Sawyer was the first to stand up to survey what had happened. Debris was scattered about and there were several missing trees.

“I think it’s safe,” he said as he reached down and pulled Jack and Kate up out of the ditch.

“Thanks,” Jack started, “You know, for….”

Not one to take compliments, Sawyer cut him off. “Welcome. Now, does someone wanna tell me what in the hell just happened?”

“I don’t think we know,” Sayid said as he climbed out of the ditch, pulling Shannon up with him.

“Jack, I don’t feel so good,” Kate said as she struggled to remain upright.

Jack helped her stay balanced as he looked down and realized how much she was bleeding. “We need to get her somewhere so I can stitch her up.”

“Let’s just go back to the cave, assuming it’s still accessible,” Sayid said as he led the way.

As they walked back, Kate insisted on trying to walk even though Jack told her he would carry her. She did lean on him for support. She was tired of feeling helpless. And she was tired of feeling confused by every damn thing on this island. Her thoughts instantly became a jumbled mess, and then, darkness.

“Kate!” Jack screamed as they reached the cave. She fell completely limp as Jack lifted her up. She looked so angelic and way too peaceful. He knew she was loosing way too much blood from her side. “We gotta do this now. She isn’t okay.”

Everyone sprang into action getting a place ready for Kate to lie and Shannon took Jack’s bag and opened it for him. Sawyer took take and laid her down. Jack took a deep breath as he realized the full effect of the situation. And he wasn’t feeling too good himself, as he hadn’t had too much sleep. Sighing he headed over to where Kate lay waiting, unconscious. He was so scared. Taking his 5 seconds as he sat beside her, he let the fear out and he began his work, grabbing the red string.

An hour passed and Jack finished stitching her up and was even more exhausted. She hadn’t regained consciousness, so Jack remained at her side, stroking her hair. “Don’t do this to me, I need you. Please wake up,” he whispered in her ear. He wasn’t sure that he stitched her in time.

Night fell and the group settled in for the night. The fire blazed thanks to Sayid and water bottles were full again thanks to Sawyer. After taking his meds, Sawyer sat near to Kate and kept watching her. Shannon and Sayid glanced over often as well. All of them just wanted her to wake up.

Sayid approached the now worried and exhausted Jack. “You should get some rest. We can watch her.”

“No, I’m fine,” Jack argued. Sayid knew to back off because he would be the same way if it were Shannon.

Breaking the tense silence, Sawyer asked, “Now can we talk about what the hell happened earlier? I didn’t know Smurfin’ islands had earthquakes!”

“Somehow, I still think it has to do with the cable I found the day I met Danielle,” Sayid said.

“How?” Jack said without taking his eyes off Kate.

“Generators. When I was gathering wood, I saw zero evidence of damage to the ground. What if ….. “ Sayid trailed off.

“What if we are sitting on top of a whole society?” Shannon spoke up.

The question coming from her quite literally stunned everyone. And it scared them. That single question couldn’t have sounded more right.

“CRAP!” Sawyer screamed out grabbing his neck. “Thought you said those pills would work, Doctor Wrong!”

“I hoped they would. You wouldn’t let me finish examining you.”

“Fine Doc Theory. Can you just look at my neck again?” Sawyer asked, surprising himself but he was in too much pain to remain humble.

Reluctantly, Jack sat up and pulled himself away from Kate’s face. He asked Sawyer to come to him because he wanted to be the first thing she saw should she wake up.

“How long has it been this red?”

“How the hell should I know? I don’t keep a mirror handy.”

Jack ran his fingers along the irritated spot and immediately felt a bump. “Ow! Damn Doc, go easy. What the hell is it?” Sawyer began to feel a little scared, but wouldn’t let that be known.

“Jack?” Kate whispered. Jack immediately leaned back down to see her.

“Hey – how do you feel?”

“Thirsty and sore,” she answered reaching for her side.

Jack asked Shannon for some water and couldn’t stop looking at Kate. She was awake. He thanked everything he could that she was awake. He didn’t know how long she might feel like this, but the important thing is, she was awake.

“You scared me. I am just so happy you are awake …. “

At this, Kate smiled as much as she could. “You can’s get rid of me that easily.”

“I never want to.”

Shannon brought over some water and helped Kate sit up so she could take a drink. She winced in pain. Jack reached over and got her some pills.

“Here, it should help with the pain and prevent infection.”

“Thank you,” she said swallowing the pills. Their eyes met and though they didn’t say anything, they both smiled. They had that uncanny knack of saying it all with a look. Her gaze drifted to Sawyer who was in front of her and staring.

“Hey Freckles. Enjoy your beauty sleep?”

“Always joking, huh Sawyer?” she asked smirking. That is when she noticed it. Sawyer’s neck was very red and swollen. “Oh my god, are you okay?”

“I’m trying to find out,” Jack said, leaning in for a kiss, which Kate gladly gave him.

“Cute,” Sawyer said.

Sayid came over to say hi to Kate and Shannon steadied her so she could still sit up. “I’m glad you are okay,” Shannon said smiling.

“Something is in here,” Jack said breaking up their conversation.

“Something like what?” Sawyer incredulously asked.

“Something blinking.”
Chapter 19

Kate leaned over as much as she was able to get a closer look. “Oh my god.” There it was, something faintly blinking thru his skin.

Sawyer jumped up and began pacing the cave. “What? How? Something freaking blinkin?”

Jack was at a loss. Never once in his medical career had he ever come across anything like this. As Sawyer paced, Sayid went over to him, leaving Jack with a moment for Kate.

“I’m dizzy,” she said as Shannon eased her back down.

“It’s normal since you lost consciousness for quite some time,” Jack said as he laid down and faced her.

Shannon quickly began feeling like a third wheel so she got up and retreated to her bag where she pulled out one of Boone’s shirts and their picture. She was more afraid than ever with this newest mystery and all she wanted was to be in Boone’s arms.

“Jack, this is all getting too weird,” Kate whispered.

Taking her hand and squeezing tightly, Jack answered, “I know, but we will get to the bottom of this. And I won’t let anything weird happen to you.” He looked her over and realized his slight oversight. “Okay, nothing else weird.” The two shared a giggle over that statement.

“At least you can still laugh,” he said, leaning in to kiss her forehead.

Approaching the pair, Sayid asked to speak to Jack.

“I will be right back,” he said to Kate. “Shannon, could you keep an eye on her?” After receiving a confirming nod from her, he kissed Kate and went with Sayid.

“In the Republican Guard, I saw a lot of things. After just taking a look at Sawyer, well, I recognize the idea I believe. One of the things my higher authorities were testing had to do with implants.”

Jack looked around to see the concerned eyes glued to him. “And what were these implants for, Sayid?”

Pausing, Sayid looked over at Sawyer. Leaning in to Jack, he whispered, “They were trying to perfect mind control, Jack. No one could, however. No one yet, that is.”

“How would Sawyer have been implanted?” Jack had a hard time digesting this information.

“Well, all I have been able to come up with is the time span after the raft incident. He came to us after five days, but he was completely unaware of the differences in perceptions.”

Jack was having an incredibly difficult time accepting this theory, although it was plausible. “Why Sawyer?”

“Why not Sawyer? Think about it, Jack. He was the perfect target. He was injured and alone and defenseless.”

“What are you saying, Sayid? That is the reason they are trying to take us? Like, like human guinea pigs?”

“That’s exactly what I am saying.”

Jack didn’t know what to do. Most things he could handle and find a way of fixing. This was something he didn’t know how he could. He walked outside of the cave for some fresh air. Sawyer tried to follow when Sayid grabbed his arm.

“Let him go, he needs some time.”

“Time for what Abdul? I am a freaking Christmas tree and HE is the one who needs some time? He needs to get his ass back in here.”

“Give him just a little while, Sawyer.”

Silent understanding washed over Sawyer as he went and took a seat. Kate tried to sit up to go after Jack. Instead of her being able to as she had planned, she screamed in pain and was forced to sit back down. Sawyer rushed over first with Sayid and Shannon not far behind.

“Where did Jack go?” Kate ignored her pain and still made another attempt to stand up.

“Kate, I wouldn’t advise getting up just yet,” Sayid said attempting to calm her down.

Reluctantly, she went to lay back down with Shannon’s help but kept her eyes peeled at the cave’s opening. Sawyer sat down right beside her as the other two retreated.

“You okay, Sassy?”

Kate rolled her eyes. “I’m fine. Anything you want Sawyer?”

“Nothin’ at all SweetCheeks. Your boyfriend seems to be cracking under the pressure, though. When you decide you need a real man, you know where I am,” he smirked.

“Sawyer, I am really not in the mood for your smart ass statements,” she said, grabbing her side, “And besides, I already have a real man.”

“Always quick on the defense, Freckles.”

“You’re one to talk.”

Across the way, Sayid stood up from his place beside Shannon. “I am going to go check on him.”

Kate saw Sayid move to the exit and she felt relieved. She felt very unsafe with Jack close to her. She was also feeling worse as she felt chilled and clammy. She wanted and needed Jack.
“You alright?” Sawyer asked, inching closer to her.

“I’m fine,” she replied in a very unsteady voice.

“No you’re obviously not, Freckles. What do you need? Let me help.”

Glaring at him, she said, “I need Jack.”

This frustrated Sawyer to no end. ‘Doc Do Right isn’t the only one that is worth a damn around here.’ He glared at Kate and their eyes met in a stare that scared them both. Suddenly, Kate’s eyes widened.

“I… can’t … breathe.”

Sawyer ran over to get the medicine from Shannon, who attempted to get up and help.

“No, I got it,” Sawyer said to her in such a way that made Shannon feel as if she were in a trance and she sat back down.

Sawyer ran back to Kate where he applied the medicine to her chest. Kate looked up at him as her breathing slowly returned to normal. He continued rubbing her as he leaned down to her and whispered, “See, I CAN give you what you need.”

Jack and Sayid came running in after Shannon went to get them.

“What the hell are you doing?” Jack yelled pushing Sawyer away from Kate.

“Hold up there, Tex, she was having another attack and I didn’t see you anywhere around!”

Deciding Kate was more important, he ignored Sawyer and sat next to her. “Are you okay?” he asked as he stroked her face.

Still breathless and a little frightened, she could only nod and take Jack’s hand.

Jack turned back to face Sawyer, grasping Kate’s hand tight. “Stay away from her!”

“Jack,” Kate whispered.

“Yes, Kate. I’m here.”

“Hold me.”

The two lying together signaled time to rest. Sayid and Shannon settled in for the night and Sawyer went to his corner of the cave and was a little shaken up about what had happened. The light of day was their hope that answers would come and bring them all more clarity

Chapter 20

Intense pain woke Kate up before sunrise. She looked beside her and saw Jack sleeping very soundly and peacefully. She decided she wasn’t going to wake him. She could do this, she thought, as she attempted to get up on her own. She slowly moved Jack’s arm off of her and used the large rock next to her to assist her in her quest for the upright position. Silently, she winced in the small amount of pain she was in as she managed to make it to her feet. Grabbing a water bottle, her medicine and her bag, she inched her way out of the cave. Greeting her were millions of stars and she smiled. To her, even though physically she didn’t feel the best, emotionally she felt alive. She was always one to go off on her own, and not being able to the last 24 hours really got to her. As she slowly got ready for the day, she couldn’t help but smile that she had Jack to care about her and look after her. As independent as she was, she really had grown to love and depend on that man.

“Kate!” Jack called from back at the cave. In her trip into her thoughts, she hadn’t even realized just how far she had wondered off.

“Over here,” she called.

“How did you get all the way out here?” Jack asked as he caught up with her.

Kate could only smirk and look around. “Very carefully.”

Jack could only smile and wrap her in an embrace that made her toes tingle. “I’m so glad to see you up and about, though I wish you would have let me know and let me help you.” He then looked around as he pulled away to look at her face. “And waited until it was light out.”

Catching the sparkle of the stars in his eyes, she smiled. “Well, you should have known nothing could keep me down long.”

“Oh I know that much,” Jack replied giggling. “How are you feeling?”

“Not as chilled and just mostly very, very sore.”

“Good, it’s best if you rest as much as possible, though.”

“Okay, Doctor,” she said sarcastically. Then she became more somber. “So, what is going on? I mean, with Sawyer’s neck, I know Sayid was talking to you about something.”

Jack looked at the beauty standing before him. He wanted to tell her because he wanted to tell her everything in his head at all times. But, he also didn’t want her scared.

“Why don’t we wait until we get back to the caves so that we can all hear at once and Sayid can do most of the explaining, because, quite frankly, I don’t even understand it all.”

“Well, I guess that is best,” Kate agreed, “But first, come here.”

Kate pulled him close where she kissed him with such intensity; it was enough to give them each chills. His hands slid down her and he gently pulled her closer so that he could feel her body against his. Their kiss deepened and they each could feel the growing passion between them. Jack pulled away and ran his tongue to her ear, then to her neck, sucking, licking and kissing every inch. Letting out a moan, Kate threw her head back and savored this moment. She then looked at him with determination in her eyes.

“I want more.”

“But what about your injuries?” Jack asked, in between the kisses he was planting all over her face.

Again, she looked very determined. “Be very gentle,” she said with a wink. Then she kissed him again, this time they each allowed their hands to explore.

Jack pulled away even though no part of him wanted to. “Not like this.”

Kate wanted him so bad, but he was right, not in the dark, unprepared, where anyone could come up looking for them. “OK.”

After one more kiss, they reluctantly headed back to the cave. Daybreak walked with them and Jack sighed. He had to attempt to make some sort of sense of what Said had told him. And then they both had to find a way to let the others know what was going on. He looked over at Kate as he helped her walk along. Her smile lit up his world. The other thought he was having had to do with planning the perfect romantic moment for them. He didn’t know how that could happen in the god-awful place they were in, but he was going to find a way. Kate deserves some happiness in the midst of all the darkness. Reaching the cave, the two shared another kiss.

“You feeling ok?” Jack asked.

“In some pain, but I’ll live,” she smirked.

“Oh great, a lover’s meeting at dawn,” Sawyer called from inside the cave.

Kate and Jack went in, shooting Sawyer a sideways glance, while noticing that Sayid and Shannon were already awake.

“You’re back,” said Sayid, “Can we talk?”

“We’ll be right back,” Jack said with a wink to Kate.

As they headed outside, Shannon and Sawyer both went to sit by Kate.

“So are we about to be told what is going on?” Shannon asked.

Wincing in pain, Kate checked her bandages and rolled her eyes. “Your guess is as good as mine.”

“Ah hell, if Yoko don’t even know, you know it’s bad,” Sawyer replied sarcastically.

“Funny,” Kate shot back, barely missing him with a towel.

Just then, Jack and Sayid returned to the cave, forcing all eyes on them.

“We need to talk,” Jack stoically said.

Chapter 21

Jack took a spot next to Kate. "How are you doing?"

"Making it, I suppose," Kate said with a smirk.

"Alright, Soldier, tell me what the hell you are going to do about my neck!" Sawyer broke the solemn mood of the cave fast.

As Sayid proceeded to tell everyone about his mind control theory, Sawyer's face dropped a little and Shannon looked absolutely petrified. Kate inched closer to Jack as Sayid continued.

"I don't know where, or how, but somehow, I feel this is a testing place of some sort and the device in your neck is proof that I am not too far off base."

"You sure about this?" Sawyer stoically asked.

"We have talked a lot about this," Jack cut in,"And this is the most logical theory we can come up with."

"So, what are we supposed to do?" Shannon asked.

"Well, if it is mind control, then we have to watch ourselves around Sawyer. They could be programming him to do certain things, things we have seen happen already," Sayid said thinking of Kate's sudden onset of asthma.

"And we found some pills, we don't know what they are, but something tells me they have to do with this whole mess," Jack continued.

Sawyer immediately stood up and began his pacing. "So I am supposed to wander around out here and be viewed as the enemy by you people. That ain't gonna fly with me."

"You have a better suggestion?" Jack asked, standing up.

"Take it out."

Jack was taken aback by this and he just looked over at Kate.

"Sawyer, this isn't exactly an operating room," Jack said.

"You stitched her up! What the hell is the difference? Or is it because I don't have a manipulative hold over you, so you won't help me?"

Jack grabbed Sawyer by the arm roughly. "Do not EVER talk about her like that again. For all I care, we can leave your ass behind if that is what you want."

Kate sat, mouth agape. Did Jack just stand up for her? No man had ever stood up for her like that. No man since Tom. Kate motioned for Shannon to help her and she stood up.

"First off, Jack is trying to help. Secondly, he is right. We could just leave you behind to protect ourselves. And next, my 'surgery' was slightly different than removing something from inside your NECK. And last," and with this she inched her way closer to Sawyer, "Don't you ever call me manipulative again."

Shannon broke the hard glares Kate and Sawyer were giving each other by grabbing Kate and easing her back down to her seat. "You need to rest."

Jack took his place beside Kate as well and kissed her on the forehead.

"So, what is it gonna be, Doc, you gonna operate or what?"

Jack looked at the faces that were so desperate for him to know the answers and be able to fix everything all the time. He knew that he couldn't fix it all, but he had to try.

"We operate."

Chapter 22

As Jack prepped Sawyer for the surgery, Kate couldn’t stop pacing. She remained in pain from her wound, but she was too restless to sit still. Shannon stood up from Sayid’s protective hold he had of her, and walked over to Kate.
“You really should be sitting down.”

Kate stopped in mid-stride. “Look at this, at what is about to happen. Sawyer might not make it.”

“Do you really care?”

Taken a bit back by the question, Kate glanced over at the two again and realized something. “I do actually. Not just about Sawyer, but about Jack. He couldn’t handle another death at his hands,” Kate stopped realizing Shannon’s tears.

“I am so sorry,” she said, touching Shannon’s shoulder, “You want to sit outside for a bit?” Kate asked as she noticed Jack and Sawyer still talking. She wondered what all they were talking about. Sayid walked up, causing Shannon to quickly wipe her face.

“I need to go for some more wood before the light is gone,” he said, touching Shannon lightly on the back.

“Okay,” she said barely meeting his eyes, “Kate and I were just going to sit outside. We could both use a break from the cave.”

“Just right outside, don’t wander off. We still don’t know what could be out there,” Sayid authoritatively said.

Shannon rolled her eyes in such a way only Kate could see. “We’ll just be right here by the water,” Kate said, as she glanced back at Jack and Sawyer again.

“Yes I’m sure, Doc. Question is, are you sure and why are doing going through with this?”

“I am sure and I’m not doing it for you,” Jack said as his eyes went to Kate.

“Now ain’t that just the picture of a perfect romance?”

Jack began getting things together to remove the device and handed Sawyer some pills.

“What are these?”

“Antibiotics and sleeping pills. I don’t think you will want to be awake for the procedure.”

“Which are the antibiotics?”

Jack only rolled his eyes and pointed to the 2 pills.

“Then take these back,” Sawyer defiantly said as he swallowed the antibiotics.

“Sawyer, you don’t understand, I am not giving you these just so you aren’t awake, I am giving you these because being awake during this could be dangerous for you.”

“I am not taking them, Doc,” Sawyer smugly said as he laid down in the makeshift operating room Jack set up.

“Fine, suit yourself, I’ll be right back,” as he saw the others head outside.

“How is it going in there?” Kate said leaning in a little closer to Jack.

“He’s refusing to take the sleeping pills. That means not only is he going to feel every single thing I do, but also he could go into shock or worse. Being anywhere near here would not be a good idea right now,” Jack said looking around and also then back into Kate’s eyes.

“Why would he refuse medicine? Does he not know it will hurt?” Sayid asked.

“I’m sure he does,” Shannon said, noticeably taking a step back from Sayid.

Kate was in quiet contemplation as they continued to talk. She knew what she was about to say might possibly hurt Jack and she debating saying it. Finally, she decided she had to say something; she couldn’t let Sawyer be at too great a risk, for Jack’s sake.

“Let me talk to him,” she finally said to Jack.

“What? Are you serious?” Jack asked dumbfounded. “Don’t tell me there is still a connection.”

Shannon and Sayid inched a little further away sensing Jack and Kate’s need to speak in private.

“Jack, there is no connection,” Kate said touching his arm, “I just don’t want to hear him in pain or have him so bad off that you can’t save him. Let’s face it, we need him,” she then reached up and touched Jack’s face in a way that made him blush.

Taking her hand, he kissed it and said, “Okay. Talk to him. Maybe you are right. Maybe he will listen to you.” With that, they shared a kiss and Kate headed alone into the cave, leave Jack feeling pensive and alone.

Chapter 23

Kate entered the cave knowing Jack wasn’t thrilled with the idea. But, she couldn’t let there be any room for complications. Jack couldn’t take that.

“Nurse Kate to the rescue, huh?” Sawyer said as she neared him.

Kate half smiled and took a seat beside him. Looking at him, she said, “You are going to be find, you know?”

Sawyer smirked and glanced down. “That supposed to be a pep talk, Freckles?”

Kate’s eyes shifted to Jack, who was watching her, and doing a poor job of covering it up.

“He needs you to be okay.”

Sawyer seemed touched by the comment at first but quickly resorted back to sarcasm. “For what, so he can have an arch enemy to his hero like in all the great movies?”

Kate grew more intense and touched Sawyer’s arm. Catching his gaze, she said, “He can’t have anything else go wrong. He needs you to be okay,” she paused for a minute, looked at Jack, then finished, “We all need you.”

She removed her hand and glanced away. Sawyer then suddenly leaned across her and grabbed the previously unwanted pills. Before returning to his seat, he lingered over her for a moment that seemed to stop time.

“This isn’t exactly how I’d hoped the next time I topped you would be,” he said with a wink as he swallowed the pills and sat back down.
Kate rose to her feet, “Thank you,” she said as she walked off with Sawyer’s eyes intently on her the whole time.

Meeting Kate at the entrance to the cave, Jack stopped her, “Well?”

“He took the pills.”

Jack smirked, rolled his eyes and looked away. “And now what do you owe him?”

“Nothing!” Kate said in a defensive tone.

“I’m sorry, it’s just that ….. “ Jack trailed off.

“I know,” Kate said with a reassuring touch of Jack’s hand.

“I’d better get in there as the medicine takes effect. Wouldn’t want him waking up before I am done.”

Kate let him go and sat next to the water. She retreated into her thoughts as she often did. She sometimes wondered if she would ever stop sabotaging her happiness. It started so long ago with her father first left. And then there was the Wayne incident. She couldn’t even stay for Tom, no matter how much she wanted to or how much she loved him.

“I’m often inside my head, too,” Shannon said, shattering Kate’s silence.

Kate managed a half-smile as she looked in on Jack.

“He really loves you, ya know?”

Kate smiled and looked at Shannon, “O yea?”

“Yea, he looks at you the way Boone used to look at me,” Shannon said reflectively.

Kate immediately felt the pain Shannon had of loosing her love. Boone was her constant, her stability and her steady hand. Just like Tom was. It felt so long ago.

“I’m sorry he’s gone, Shannon, I really am,” Kate offered as she put her hand on her shoulder.

“Thanks. I am a little, no a lot lost without him and Sayid isn’t making it as easy as he is trying to. I need to just grieve and miss Boone and be allowed without feeling like I have to impress someone else around me.” With that, Shannon’s escaping tears flowed down her cheeks. Kate hugged her and then Shannon stood up, wiping her cheeks.

“Will you be fine here? I think I am going to find Sayid and help him and maybe talk to him.”

Kate knew Shannon had more to say, but let her go mumbling that she’d be fine. She glanced in the cave where Sawyer was now fast asleep and Jack was beginning the procedure. She decided to go on in.

Jack immediately looked surprised as Kate took a seat behind him.

“What’s a doctor without his nurse?” Kate asked, smirking slightly.

Jack smiled back and immediately put Kate to work. Their unspoken words always seemed to break any tension and silence any problem they might be having. He was glad she came in and was grateful for the help. But, he couldn’t let it go in his heart, is what her motive was but coming in. Was it to help him or to be with Sawyer? He knew he shouldn’t feel like this, that he should trust the love they had found. But, the past has a way of haunting every move he makes and this was no different. And that question of him or Sawyer constantly plagued him when it came to Kate. He really truly was in love with her. And that scared him.

“Here, Jack? Jack?” Kate’s handing him the scalpel shook him back to reality.

“Thanks,” he said as he turned back to full-on doctor mode. His internal thoughts would have to be shelved until later.

As Jack carefully took the scalpel to Sawyer’s neck, Kate instinctively leaned in closer to Jack and then took Sawyer’s hand. Jack immediately became confused and asked for the tweezers and some gauze. Letting go of her grip she had on Sawyer, she handed the tweezers to Jack. With saying a word, or even making eye contact, Jack took the instrument and began the task of removing the device, which could now clearly be seen. The red blinking light began to blink faster and a small siren seemed to go off.

“What the hell?” Jack asked, still trying to get a hold of the device.

On the other end, two people watched as they could see Kate and Jack peering into Sawyer’s neck.

“They’ve discovered it,” was all that was said on the other end

Chapter 24

After removing the device and stitching Sawyer up, Jack carefully cleaned off the still flashing objected and laid it down in front of him.

“What is it?” Kate asked, looking up from her task of cleaning the surgical materials.

Jack shook his head. “I have never seen anything like it, and I have no idea. I’m going to have Sayid look at it whenever he decides to come back.

On this other end, two voices whispered. “They can’t know, not yet.” The Iraqi is too smart.” “Take him out?” “Not yet. Patience.”

Kate eased back and said, “Did you just hear that, that, whispering?” She moved further away from the device. “It’s giving me the creeps.”

Jack sat next to her and placed a protective arm around her. “How are you feeling?”

“Pretty good. I had a great doctor,” she replied with a sly wink.

Yawning, Jack rubbed his eyes. The procedure on Sawyer seemed like it took only minutes but it was in reality, 3 hours later. Darkness was beginning to blanket the island.

“Why aren’t Sayid and Shannon back yet?” Jack said, realizing they were still gone.

“I know Shannon wanted to talk, they probably just want some alone time.”

“Like I want with you,” Jack said, nuzzling his face in Kate’s neck.

Smiling and rolling her eyes in enjoyment, Kate then cupped his chin and kissed him deeply with much passion. His heart skipped a beat, just like the very first time he saw her, and how she makes him feel every time thereafter. Moments like this, he wondered how he could ever even doubt their unison.

Sayid and Shannon entered the cave just then with huge grins and tons of firewood pulled behind them in a net Sayid found.

Jack went over to help with the wood. “We were starting to worry about you two,” he said as he placed the firewood in the corner.

Shannon only blushed and Sayid winked at her. Kate went to help Shannon with the fruit she had gathered. “Had a good ‘talk’ I see?”

Shannon blushed again and said, “And lots more,” with a wink at Kate. They continued to get the fruit put away as Sayid and Jack headed towards Sawyer after unloading the wood. “How is he?” Sayid asked as they stood beside him.

“He’s fine. He will probably sleep at least another 10 to 12 hours, he took a heavy dose of sedatives and I have been dissolving the antibiotics under his tongue. I just have to keep an eye on him to watch for fever or signs of infection.”

“I can help so you aren’t up the entire night,” Sayid offered.

“Thanks,” Jack gratefully replied, as all he wanted to do now was sleep.

“And the device?”

Jack took him to where he left it, where Sayid picked it up and began his examination.

“This is quite a bit larger than I imagined,” he said as the first glance.

Jack agreed. “I am really surprised that Sawyer didn’t complain about his neck sooner.”

While Sayid continued a more detail examination, Jack stepped outside to wash off and get some fresh air. The moon shone bright and Jack took some time to just sit and think. Sometimes he still found it hard to believe where they were ‘living’. And the fact that every single person on this island were his ‘patients’ who had all grown to depend totally on him. He still didn’t know if he could handle all of this. His father had told him all of his life he couldn’t. Why would that change now? Jack just wished like hell he could let the thoughts his father burned into him go.

Kate walked up then, causing a grateful break from the thoughts he was having. She took her place beside him.

“Hey, you okay?”

Jack looked down, “As okay as I can be right now.”

Kate only nodded in return and knew this place and the events that have happened were getting to him. She just hoped she wasn’t part of his troubles.

“Anything I can do?”

Jack took her in a warm embrace and laid his head on her shoulder. It caught Kate off guard because Jack didn’t seem like the cuddly type. She held him close and realized he was crying.

“It’s okay,” she whispered and kept hold him, almost in a slow rocking motion.

Sayid ran out just then. “O I am sorry to interrupt, …. “ he trailed off.

Jack sat up, wiped his eyes, and grabbed Kate’s hand, “No it’s okay. What is it?”

“I think you should come take a look.”

Kate and Jack followed Sayid back to the device and Sawyer. Picking it up, Sayid began explaining how the device was used and its purpose.

Kate sat next to Sawyer and Shannon while Jack remained standing. Kate glanced over to make sure Sawyer’s breathing was normal, and Jack looked over just then, and felt hurt. Even if she was doing something that needed to be done, did it have to be with THAT look?

“Jack, you listening?”

“Yea, sorry,” focusing his attention away from Kate.

“These wires here seem to inject medicine, that is being controlled by whoever put this in Sawyer. Not only that, but this right here is a camera, a special sort that can see straight thru anything, even human skin.”

“So someone is watching us?” Jack asked incredulously.

Kate and Shannon were both wide eyed and scared.

“Yes, someone is, and has not only been watching us, but they have been able to use mind control thru the medicine on whoever has one of these things inside them. Meaning, anyone, ANYONE, who was missing for a while, or, ….. or Claire.” Sayid finished explaining.

On the other end, once again, the whispering began. “They look like they have it figured out.” “He’s too damn smart.” “They are easier targets.” “But he is a large threat.” “Leave it alone.”
“For now.”

Jack grabbed the device, threw it on the ground and stomped on it.

“No one watches us and gets away with it, and this mind control medicine, this is too much,” Jack said. “Not only that, but they probably know what we have discovered and are going to find us. We need to move.”

“We can’t, Jack, not with Sawyer this way,” Kate said.

“She is right. What we are going to have to do is set up a blockade at the cave entrance and no one leaves alone,” Sayid said.

Jack calmed down and agreed and him and Sayid began the task of figuring out what to do with the entrance. “At least we have insight as to what we are dealing with,” Sayid said in an attempt to appease Jack. Jack only nodded then quickly shushed everyone.

“Did you hear that?”

“I did,” Kate said, inching her way to Jack.

“What was it?” Shannon asked, going to Sayid.

“I am not sure, we need to get these rocks and this blockade quickly put together,” Sayid said with a sense of urgency.
As they heard the noise again, this time Sayid and Jack both reached for their guns and were prepared to go outside when a figure appeared in the entrance.


Chapter 25

Michael fell to the ground as Jack and Sayid rushed to his side. As Michael sobbed uncontrollably, Kate and Shannon ran over with water.

Kate noticed Michael was saying something, but she couldn’t make it out. “What is he saying?”

A flurry of activity followed as Jack tried to get Michael to look at him. “He is dehydrated and delirious. Let’s get him over there next to Sawyer,” Jack said as Sayid helped lift him up. Shannon quickly made up another ‘bed’ beside Sawyer, where Michael was carefully placed.

As everyone else tended to him, Kate stayed at the entrance. She sighed and felt overwhelmed. Looking around, she took in the sights of yet another patient under Jack’s care and then around her feet, she saw the materials that were to be used for a makeshift door. Was it too much to ask for a moment’s peace? She literally felt like she was going crazy. The stars shone down and she wished they could shed some light in her dark mind.

“They took him, they took him …” Michael kept repeating as Jack tried to get some water in him.

“We know. That is why we are out here, to find you all,” Jack said in his best reassuring voice.

Sayid rose just then. “They are still going to be looking for us. I am going to work on the entrance.”

“Good idea,” Jack said. “Shannon can help here.”

Shannon was getting a washcloth wet to rub on Michael’s head. “Yea, I’m fine here.”

Sayid headed back to the entrance and began digging around in his bag for tools to construct a blockade. Suddenly, it hit him.

“Where’s Kate?” Sayid called back around to Jack.

Nearly dropping the water in his hands, Jack jumped up. “What do you mean where’s Kate?” A sense of panic suddenly washed over him.

“Exactly that,” Sayid said as Jack reached him. “I thought she was right here.”

Jack ran out of the cave and looked back and forth. “Kate! Kate!”

Sayid grabbed his arm and ushered him back inside. “Screaming like that into the dead of night is not such a good idea. It could lead them right to us.”

As frantic as Jack was, he calmed down enough to realize Sayid was right. “I’m going to look for her,” Jack said with intensity.

“Are you sure that is a good idea, seeing as how we have 2 ‘patients’ who need you?”

“She needs me. You would do the same if it were Shannon.”

A silent understanding washed over Sayid. “You are right, you need to be careful, though. We don’t know who or what is out there.”

Jack grabbed his pack and loaded it with water, his gun and plenty of ammunition. Then Jack headed over to Shannon and began giving her instructions.

“What? Me? Where are you going?” Shannon asked incredulously.

“To find Kate. Shannon, you can do this, I know you can.”

Shannon’s eyes filled with tears as no one had said those words to her since Boone.

“Shannon,” Jack said, holding her shoulders, “You can do this, right?”

Shaking her head, Shannon said an almost inaudible, “Yes.”

Jack replied with, “Thank you. I will be back soon,” and then he headed for the entrance.

“We’ll be fine,” Sayid said with a reassuring squeeze on Jack’s shoulder, “Just find her.”

Chapter 26

Thoughts filled Jack’s head as he began his search for Kate. Was she taken? Or did she wander off? She would know better than to wander off, at least he hoped so. All he could see was her face and he knew he had to find her. He was in love. And it scared him. Especially after what happened with Sarah, he knew he didn’t want to mess up again with Kate. After an hour of roaming silently through the dense jungle, he began to whisper her name as he came back to the outskirt areas surrounding the cave.

“Kate? Kate?” He was growing desperate. And panicked. He turned the corner prepared to utter her name again and was immediately tossed backwards to the ground by what he saw in front of him. A black stallion. In the middle of the jungle. Jack’s eyes were still widened as it ran off. He then saw Kate before him.

“You saw it, too?” she said, running to Jack and helping him back to his feet.

“Kate, what the hell are you doing out here? It’s not the smartest thing to do in this place.

“Nice to see you, too,” she said, obviously wounded.

Seeing the hurt in her eyes, Jack silently cursed himself for saying the wrong thing. He pulled her into his arms and held her in a tight embrace.

“I’m sorry, I was just so worried about you and you have been gone a long time. Where did you go?”

Pulling out of his arms, she began to look around as she paced. “Honestly, I feel like I am loosing it. I just want some peace. Then, I saw that horse, and I followed it, in some sort of hope it would prove I am not crazy.” Her eyes filled with tears as she fell into Jack’s waiting arms.

“It’s okay, it’s okay,” he said as he rocked her gently and rubbed her back.

Looking up at him, she felt a sudden peace wash over her. Jack was here. He saw that horse, too. She wasn’t crazy. Not able to fight it any more, she suddenly took his head in her hands and began a kiss in which Jack happily reciprocated. Their kiss sent chills down their spines as the passion escalated.

Reluctantly, Kate pulled away. She looked at Jack and saw a light in her life that she had longed for.

“I know, we can’t stay here, we need to get back to the cave,” Jack said, cautiously looking around.

“Are we far?” Kate asked, not even realizing that she had been walking for over an hour.

“Not too far, we should get going though.”

Kate leaned her forehead against his. “The horse, it was from my past.”

Jack stopped and looked at her. “What do you mean?”

“Nothing, I just …. Nothing.”

Jack took her in his arms once again and showed silent understanding. It was the way she said it that made him realize what she was feeling. He had felt it, too, on this island. It was when he saw his father.

“Let’s head back,” Jack said quietly as he wiped the tears from her face.

“Okay,” Kate replied, suddenly feeling better. Jack had this way about him that could make any problem disappear.

Back at the cave, Sayid had almost finished a rather complex blockade for the entrance. Complete with lights and some sounds from his old equipment, it was sure to at least notify them should anyone try and come in.

Shannon was quietly taking care of Sawyer and Michael. She was smiling inside. Jack trusted her to do this job and that made her feel good. Since Boone died, she hadn’t truly felt important. Sayid treated her more like a porcelain doll than someone who could actually help. She got their meds together and stuck one under Michael’s tongue and was about to stick one under Sawyer’s when his eyes opened.

“Watch how close you get, Sweetheart.”

Startled, Shannon pulled away. “You’re awake. How are you feeling?”

Sawyer’s eyes surveyed his surroundings and then he felt his neck, which was very sore. “As good as can be for someone who had their neck cut open on a cave floor.”

Grinning at the sarcasm, she knew he was on his way to feeling better. “It’s time for your medicine.”

“Where’s Dr. Feelgood? And I see he has roped in another beauty for his nurse,” pausing, Sawyer saw Michael beside him, “Where the hell did he come from?”

Ignoring the nurse comment, Shannon replied, “Jack went to find Kate and Michael showed up here a couple of hours ago.”

Swallowing his pills, Sawyer tried to sit up and was met with pain and dizziness.

“I wouldn’t sit up just yet,” Shannon said as she placed her hand on his back and eased him back down.

“Since when did you know so much about nursing? I know you couldn’t have learned it from Jack,” Sawyer inquired after he was comfortable again.

“There was a time where I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do in life, so I tried a little bit of a lot. Nursing was one of them.”

“Why didn’t you ever say anything?”

“Nobody asked.”

“Point taken.”

Shannon leaned over to check on Michael, who was sound asleep. Sawyer couldn’t help but appreciate the view as she did this.

“Anyone ever tell you that you have a wonderful backside, I mean bedside manner?”

Shannon couldn’t help but blush as she settled back in her spot.

“I’ve told her something similar,” Sayid said as he walked around the corner from the entrance area.

“Ah, there’s Abdul. Leave it to the Iraqi to crash the party.”

Ignoring Sawyer, Sayid turned to Shannon. “The blockade is complete.”

“Are Jack and Kate back?” Shannon questioned.

“Not yet, but we will know when they do, or when and if anyone tries to enter. The alarms will go off.”

Sayid asked Shannon about how each of the patients were doing. “I’m great, thanks for asking me,” Sawyer said.

“How’s Michael?” Sayid asked, ignoring Sawyer.

“He still has a fever, but he’s doing better,” Shannon replied. Not wanting to listen to any banter between the two, Shannon just suggested they all try and rest. Each of them knew that sleep wasn’t going to come to them, but they lay there anyway.

The alarm woke them up with a jerk as Sayid ran to grab a gun.

“It’s gone!” Sayid said, panicked.

Sawyer sat up and Shannon turned to check on Michael. He was gone.

Chapter 27

As Jack and Kate headed back to the cave, Kate couldn’t quiet her thoughts. She wondered if deep inside, Jack just looked at her is someone to take care of. She often felt less than perfect and wondered if he felt that way, too. He always seemed so superior and all knowing. Would she ever be able to measure up in his eyes?

Realizing how quiet she was, Jack took her hand in his. “You okay?”

Kate blinked her way out of her thoughts. “I’m fine.”

“That’s not very convincing,” Jack said with a smirk.

“I think I am just tired.”

“We are almost back to the cave. You can get some rest and I need to check your wound, too.”

With all that she was feeling, she had almost forgot about her wounded side. They both stopped abruptly as they suddenly were in front of Michael, who was holding a gun at them.

“Michael! What the hell is going on?” Jack asked, raising one hand to the gun, and using the free arm as a shield for Kate.

“I’m going to get my son. Step out of the way, man!” Michael snapped angrily.

“Okay, okay. Wait, and let me come with you.”

“No! I am doing this alone. I have to do this alone.”

“It’s not a good idea to go off alone, Michael.”

“And last time I checked, you aren’t my father, Jack. Now MOVE.”

Reluctantly, Jack stepped aside and watched Michael disappear into the night.

“He’s recovered quickly,” Kate said from her shocked state of mind.

“I wonder what the hell happened at the cave,” Jack said as he quickened the pace.

“Jack! Wait!” Kate screamed, struggling to keep up.

As they rounded a turn, they saw the cave, only this time it had the blockade up and alarms were sounding. Sayid was there, silencing the alarms, as Kate and Jack walked up.

“What the hell happened?” Jack demanded. Kate walked on in the cave as Jack got the story from Sayid.

“Kate! You okay?” Shannon asked.

“Yea, I’m fine,” she suddenly saw Sawyer up. “Sawyer, you’re up! Are you okay?” she asked, stepping a little closer to him.

“Thanks to my fine nurse, I sure am,” Sawyer answered with a wink at Shannon.

Kate didn’t know why, but she felt a pain in her heart seeing Sawyer wink at someone other than her. She shrugged it off, knowing it didn’t mean anything. Jack entered and sat beside Sawyer and began checking his neck.

“This is getting ridiculous. We can have our own people run off on their own. It’s idiotic and asinine,” Jack said.

Even though she knew he was talking about Michael, and possibly Locke, Kate couldn’t help but wonder if some of that was directed at her as well.

Said returned to the others just then. “The blockade is sealed again, and the alarms are set.”

“What about Michael? He wasn’t fully recovered and I didn’t get all of his antibiotics in him yet,” Shannon asked with worry starting to fill her face.

“You did all that you could, Shannon. And you did a perfect job,” Jack said as he touched her shoulder.

“I know she sure helped me a lot. Ain’t that right, Sticks?” Sawyer chimed in with a wink.

This time a twinge of jealousy took over two faces. Kate and Sayid. And Jack definitely noticed. After checking Sawyer’s bandages one more time, Jack got up and started going thru his pack for ammunition. He just wanted to be away from everyone, so he went to the entrance with his pack, a bottle of water and some fruit and sat down. He stared at the blockade and admired Sayid’s ingenuity and craftsmanship. Kate walked up just then, starling Jack from his thoughts.

“Mind if I sit down?” Kate shyly asked.

“As a matter of fact, I do.”
Kate was instantly confused and put on the defensive by that remark. “Why is that, Jack?”

Jack rose to his feet. “Do you love me, Kate?”

“What kind of question is that? You know I do!”

“Really? Then tell me why every time Sawyer looks at you, you light up a little, and if he flirts with Shannon or anyone else, you look hurt?”

“I do not! And if I did, that was in the past. He is a friend and that is all, Jack.” Kate was already growing very tired of this conversation.

“I don’t buy it.”

Furious at this point, Kate angrily said, “The problem here isn’t me, Jack, it’s you! You are constantly jealous of Sawyer and it has nothing to do with me. Since I have been with you, I am with YOU and no one else. If anything, my feelings keep growing stronger for you. And if you can’t see that, well, then that is your problem. And another thing, if any of this has to do with your past or maybe your past wife, yes Sun told me about the ring, then leave it in the past and let me make all new mistakes. I’d rather do that than be unfairly treated.” She walked away after that, leaving Jack feeling defeated.

Sitting back down, he thought about what Kate had just said. And she was right. He scolded himself for letting Sarah change him so much. Before her, he was trusting and always gave 150% in his relationships. Since she cheated on his and then left him, he felt damaged and expected the worst. He didn’t want to mess anything up with Kate. She meant the world to him. He took his pack and laid down on it. If he slept some, he was sure his head would be clearer.

Jack awoke a few hours later with a jump as the sun shone in through the blockade. He stood and washed off a little in the water basin and then walked around to the other side of the cave, where he found them all sleeping. Shannon was sleeping near Sawyer and Sayid was on the other side of her. He looked around and found Kate off to the side, alone and looking beautiful. He instantly felt bad for ever feeling jealous. He leaned down beside her and kissed her softly on the cheek. Her eyes fluttered open and a smile blanketed her face as she saw Jack. She sat up and took him in her arms. No words were needed as he laid his head in her lap, with her rubbing his head.

by Renee Furlow ... Not to be copied. And this story is not done, just wanted to post what I had up!

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