They never should have come back.
Climbing into the shiny new (or is it old?) van, she feels a wave of nausea. Her knuckles whiten on the edge of the seat, and she looks in the rear view mirror at Sawyer.
He explains everything (nothing) on the way to the barracks. She almost passes out (brings new meaning to ‘jet lag’).
Sawyer stops the car, and there is life everywhere around her (but really she is surrounded by the living dead).
A photograph here, a push over there, Namaste, Namaste, good luck (when the hell are they?). Juliet saves her (hmph).
Dinner is Juliet’s idea. An open door, a record player, the smell of DHARMA pot roast (she just wants to rest).
Sawyer serves the food, a smile on his face. Jack refuses a glass of wine.
Maybe she had chosen the wrong man.
But that’s the thing; Kate didn’t choose, now did she? He chose for her and what a brilliant job he did.
Sawyer sits down by Juliet (they’d all figured it out anyway) and passes a bowl of salad.
The conversation is light (do you hear eggshells?).
She feigns a yawn (she’s tired of something, all right).
Its hours (unbearable minutes, actually) before Kate thinks of Claire. She needs to leave, find Claire (she needs to leave, get rid of the image of his hand on her waist, her hand on his thigh).
She needs to leave (because she’s always run from life to life, crime to crime, thought to thought).
“Claire.” It’s a cracked whisper from her equally cracked lips, and Jack looks away. He hadn’t thought of her either (his tears are about to fall (what else is new?) and why isn’t Sawyer calling him Nancy, or princess, or that silly crying girl from tv?).
Right. That hasn’t happened yet (she hasn’t even happened yet).
Juliet’s knuckles whiten (for him? Or herself?), and he sighs. (Right. He’s happy.)
So, no Claire. It’s nice to know some things don’t change.
She looks down. To think that about her son’s missing mother (but isn’t that her?). She needs to find Claire, to tell her she raised Aaron right, after she’d claimed him as her own (It had been the logical choice; shouldn’t that have made Jack proud?).
Jack looks down at his hands, folded uncomfortably in his lap (Had he been proud? He’d never told her). “We should get settled in.” His voice is cracked. She wets her lips. (Jack used to praise her, in the beginning. What does that tell her?)
(God, she’s so tired).
Juliet loosens her grip from Sawyer (she calls him James) and stands. An awkward hug between two former doctors (meanwhile she keeps her distance from Sawyer).
As the two embrace, she clenches her jaw (What if Juliet had been in her place? She could’ve lived with a broken shell of a man, dealt with Jack’s meltdown and raised the miracle baby (and wouldn’t that have been fitting?)).
Jack tightens his grip (only she sees it). Then again, maybe she would’ve been able to handle it (handle him). Or keep it from happening at all (keep them from happening at all).Hell, maybe the problem in LA wasn’t Jack (Juliet and Sawyer are happy, aren’t they?).
Juliet’s eyes slip closed, the smallest smile tugging at her lips as Sawyer’s hand tugs at her shirt (and her heart).
She could understand it if she’d been in her place (she had). She’d have shacked up with Sawyer, too (she had).
(Neither were a success.)
They’d welcomed them into their house (not the one she fucked Sawyer in, she recalls) and they’d offered them a meal and information and a connection to the past (not future?).
(She’s so fucking tired.)
They walked to the door as the couple (she and Jack don’t count) deals with the dishes.
Kate doesn’t know what’s worst; the comfortable life they’ve had, the delicate way he cups her hip as he passes, the easy routine they’ve made, the—
They shouldn’t have left the island (she wants to go home).