Sayid had just finished covering up the scene of the crime when he heard the door hinge squeak. His hand immediately flew to his hip where his gun lay, and looked up. A man stood above him with a gun pointed at his head and a no-negotiation expression fixed on his stony Russian face.
After two years of killing people for Ben, Sayid had finally been cornered. He watched, frozen, as the man cocked the pistol. He closed his eyes, waiting for the end that he deserved.
It was almost a relief at this point.
A shot rang out, and Sayid braced, but nothing hit him. Opening one eye, he watched the man stiffen. Blood seeped out of a new hole in his forehead.
As the man crumpled to the ground, Kate's tiny form was revealed in the doorway behind him, her gun still in her hands. Sayid avoided her flashing eyes. Looking into those eyes would have been like looking into a mirror, and Sayid had avoided doing that for the past couple of years.
"What are you doing here, Kate?"
"I followed you." Sayid could tell she was furious, but together, and without need for discussion, the two of them began the task of making it look like the two victims had killed one another in quick succession. Sayid wiped Kate's prints off her gun and put it in the hand of the man he'd murdered minutes before.
"You followed me from LA?" Sayid had stopped by for a brief visit less than a week before. Just because he spent most of his time these days protecting his friends from mysterious foes halfway around the world didn't mean that he neglected the possibility of dangers closer to home. It had been a brief yet necessary visit, and as much as he'd told himself that it was for Kate's protection, Sayid knew deep down that it was for his own sanity. A few days of normalcy, with a trusted friend and an innocent child, reminded him that he was doing this for a purpose, and not just because---as he sometimes feared during moments of self-reflection---he had nothing else to do with his life.
"Yeah, from LA. You disappear for two years, show up at my house acting all depressed and secretive, and you don't expect me to worry? This… this is what you've been doing?"
Sayid had successfully finished removing all traces of his identity from the body, so he stood up. "I thought your movements were restricted to the state of California for the next few years."
"I have another passport, for emergencies. Just goes to show how worried I was---I jumped parole for you. Now, answer the question, Sayid. What are you doing, killing people in Russia, of all places?" She crossed her arms and glared at him. She was standing between him and door and he knew she wouldn't let him out until he had satisfied her. However, he knew that someone might come at any minute. They needed to get out of there.
"If you come with me now, I'll tell you everything. I swear. Please, Kate."
"Alright, but this had better be good."
Sayid took Kate by the hand and together they ran out of the apartment building. They heard police cars approaching (doubtless because while Sayid's gun had a silencer, Kate's did not, and a neighbor had alerted them) and ducked into an alleyway. The presence of officials forced them to run the long way back to Sayid's hotel. Once inside his small room, they bent down to catch their breath.
"Thank you," he said once he'd caught his breath.
"Anytime," she panted. Kate flopped onto the bed. "Alright. Out with it."
Sayid knew that he had no moral high ground, so he at least tried to maintain a positional one. Standing above her, Sayid explained everything he'd done with Ben over the past two years. It killed him to see how her face twisted into her signature look of shocked disbelief.
"This is crazy."
After having been forced to actually tell the story, Sayid had to agree. He sat down next to her and let her take his hand and draw it into her lap.
"I was trying to keep you and Aaron safe."
"Yeah, but working for Ben isn't the way." She patted his hair and mused, "You didn't look like this last week. Since when did you start using a flat-iron?"
He granted her a grim smile for her efforts. "It depends on the mission."
Sayid was being quite literal, but he still had half an expectation to hear her laugh. It was the kind of serious statement she sometimes found funny coming from him. He'd always assumed it was something about his accent... At any rate, he was surprised to feel her lips on his. "Kate, what are you doing?" he asked as she climbed on top of him and pushed him down onto the bed. Instead of answering, she began tugging his jacket off.
It was too easy to kiss her, and too comforting. He didn't know if this was about pity for him, or if it was about working out the issues he knew she'd been having with Jack, or if it was just something that had been pent up between them for years finally coming out. All he knew was that it was exactly what he needed right at that moment.
But Sayid didn't deserve anything he needed.
"This… this isn't healthy…." he stammered, fingers nevertheless fingering the button of her jeans.
"It's sure as hell healthier than what you've been doing all this time," she replied, letting him roll her over and work her sneakers off.
Sayid couldn't argue with that.