I started writing this a few weeks back, it's a work in progress lol, I posted it on fanfiction.net but Sahour95 asked me to post it here too :-) I'll post each chapter every few days or so ... Hope you all enjoy it!
She woke up early, not really caring if she’d been asleep or not. It felt like she hadn’t. The sun was just creeping through the curtains in the front room of the house they had been told they could live in for two weeks. She felt out of place, and walked awkwardly around the room, not knowing what to do with herself. She had almost laughed at the irony last night, when she and James had walked back to the barracks, only to find that the house they had been given to live in was previously owned ... or rather, would be owned in thirty years by Goodwin and Harper. She couldn’t decide which decade she hated it more in ... the one which represented her ability to be the other woman, or the one which represented her inability to say no to a smooth southern accent and dimples.
She looked up at the clock, which told her there would be many hours of prowling about by herself until any of the boys woke up and so she spent most of the early morning doing the obvious things, like folding away the sofa bed she’d slept on and showering. The shower ... it had been something Juliet had sorely missed when she went back to the survivors with Jack ... she made a mental note whilst shampooing her hair to never once take a shower for granted again.
She wrapped a fluffy white towel around herself and padded back through the house, pulling her clothes out of the dryer. They were still warm when she put them on, which made her smile. She noticed a small book shelf sitting by the sofa as she pulled her hair into a pony tail and found herself grinning when she noticed a brand new edition of Carrie inside. Juliet relaxed back on the sofa, smiling still, and feeling like finally there was something normal in her life. She reached for the book, which was so new it creaked slightly as she opened it, and got lost in the story once again.
He almost forgot it ever happened. There was one brief second, in the time between dreaming and reality that he forgot where they were, and even as he became more conscious, more aware, there was a small part of him that prayed he would wake up and she would be right next to him. But when he opened his eyes, there was nothing, it was 1974 and Kate was ... Kate was somewhere he would probably never get to. Sawyer couldn’t help but feel disappointed. The living room was silent as he walked towards it, and he figured Juliet was probably still asleep.
“Hey ...” She said quietly from the sofa, catching his attention. She looked ... better, was the only word he could think of. The pony tail she was wearing was letting half of her long hair fall out her one shoulder, her vest and pants were back to their original colour and her skin looked fresher. A book was sitting in her lap. “Did you sleep okay?” She smiled.
He nodded. “Yeah ... okay ... nice to sleep in a bed again ...” She chuckled. “What you reading?” He asked, moving over to sit on the chair beside her. Juliet lifted the book so he could see. “Carrie? What is that anyway? About a chick that kills all her damn high school friends just cause she got laughed at, at prom?”
“In a nutshell? Erm ... yeah ... that’s it.” She laughed, closing the book and putting it back.
“How long you been awake?” He asked, getting up to make coffee.
“A couple of hours ... I didn’t sleep very well.” She admitted.
“You didn’t? Was it the couch? I told you I’d take that ...”
“No ... no it wasn’t the couch, James.”
She hesitated. “It was ... me. Questioning my choice to stay ...” she looked into her lap as her voice quietened, “questioning my entire life ...”
He heard her last comment, though Sawyer was unsure whether to address it or not. Instead, he stayed silent until he was back in the chair with a coffee for both of them. She muttered a word of thanks and sank back into the sofa. “You did the right thing, Jules.” She looked at him, eyebrow raised. “By staying, I mean. Now you ... now you have a chance to get back to ... whatever it is you have back home in our time.” He strung his sentence together as best he could, only then realising he knew absolutely nothing about her. A small, hopeless sort of smile appeared on her face.
“Whatever I have back home in our time I gave up thinking I’d get back to a long time ago.” The smile had gone from her face, and Sawyer looked at her intensely. He was so curious about her ...
A knock at the door stopped him from asking her about what she had back home. “Good morning ... Juliet, isn’t it?” Horace asked as Juliet opened the door for him to come in.
“Yeah ... morning, Horace.”
“Jim ...” Horace nodded towards Sawyer.
“I have some clothes for you all here ...” he passed a box over to Juliet, “did you sleep okay?”
“Yeah, fine ...” All three looked in the direction of the bedrooms when a loud snore came out of nowhere. Juliet laughed. “Except for Miles excessive snoring, we slept fine.” Horace smiled.
“I just wanted to come and ask you a bit about your crew ... the more we know, who they are, what they look like ... the easier it’ll be to find them ... and then if any of us are out of the compound without you, we should know who to look out for.” Juliet shot a sharp look at Sawyer, who suddenly looked far more awake than he had done thirty seconds ago. “I’ve ordered all of my people not to kill anybody they might find. Instead, they’ll be shocked and brought down here into our security station. Obviously, we don’t want to hurt any of your crew but ... the hostiles ... we can’t take any chances, especially not when it comes to strangers. Hence the way Amy got you into the Barracks.”
“How is she?” Juliet asked suddenly, trying any way possible to stall Horace from his inevitable questions. “Amy ... I mean.”
“She’s ...” Horace hesitated, “... she’s okay, all things considered, I guess.”
“Look, Horace ... could we wait ‘til later today to talk about all this? I want the others to know what’s goin’ on with the situation ...” Sawyer nodded towards the bedrooms as he stood up.
“Sure man, we can do it later ...” Horace smiled warmly and moved towards the door.
“Thanks ... for the clothes and ... everything.” Sawyer said politely, his voice growling. He moved around the back of Juliet to open the door, placing his hand on the small of her back as he did. If she reacted he didn’t notice, but it was his way of silently letting her know it would be okay.
Juliet and Sawyer spent the rest of the morning figuring out their entire story; so much so that by the time Miles and Jin woke up they almost believed the con themselves. They had decided on names, places, reasons, back stories ... Juliet had asked him why he was putting so much into it all, and he had answered with a simple, “It’s all in the detail, Jules.” Sawyer was going over everything with Miles and attempting to tell Jin as Juliet made them all some lunch.
“Is Daniel awake?” She asked Miles, who had been sleeping in the same room.
“I don’t know ... I don’t think he slept at all to be honest.” Juliet nodded and proceeded down to their bedroom with some food. She knocked slowly.
“Daniel?” The door creaked as she pushed it open. Daniel was lying on his back, staring up at the ceiling, his eyes wet with tears. “Hey ... I brought you some lunch ...” She sat on the edge of the bed with the plate in her hands.
“Thanks Juliet.” He said quietly, not taking his eyes from the ceiling.
“How are you feeling?”
“Do you want to talk about it? About her?” Daniel shook his head in response, but a fresh load of tears welled up in his eyes. Juliet was so sorry for him. “You really need to eat something ... I’m not a bad cook ... I promise.” She smiled a small smile as she lifted the plate higher. Daniel looked at her, sitting up slowly, he took the plate from her. “Horace brought by some clothes for us all earlier ... they’re in the front room if you want to change?” She suggested, trying to find a way she could take his mind off Charlotte, impossible as it seemed.
“Thanks.” He muttered, biting into the sandwich she had made.
“Sawyer and I have been working on our story all morning ... he’s just telling Miles and Jin now ... we can fill you in later though, if you don’t feel up to coming out.”
Again, Daniel did nothing but nod in response. “I’m so sorry, Daniel.” She said finally, tears threatening in her own eyes.
“Why are you sorry?” He asked quietly, suddenly looking up at her.
“Because ... I know how it feels to lose someone that you love.” She got up and moved towards to the door. “You should come out when you’re ready ...” She closed the door behind her with a click and took a short pause to compose herself before going back into the front room.
The following few days seemed to go by without any hitches. Juliet tried to keep Daniel occupied and found he was happiest when he talked about anything to do with science, so she often asked him questions about his work. Sawyer and Miles were out everyday looking for the rest of their camp, accompanied by some of the dharma security, and Jin just kept himself to himself. Juliet often caught him looking down at the hand his wedding ring had once laid.
On their fifth night in Dharmaville, as Sawyer had branded it, all five of them were surrounding the coffee table in the front room playing a friendly game of poker. Juliet and Jin had made the dinner, Miles had gotten the beer and Sawyer had managed to drag Daniel out of his room for more than an hour to play with them. It became apparent to all of them as the night wore on that this had been the most fun they’d had in weeks.
“She’s bluffing, man.” Miles said, smirking at Juliet as Jin appeared unsure whether to bow out of the game or not. She smirked back, raising her perfectly plucked eyebrow.
“Am I?” Sawyer bit back a bark of laughter at her reaction, Miles faltered slightly.
“I’m out.” Jin said finally, throwing his cards down. Juliet chuckled as Miles groaned.
“So ... Miles, you willing to waste another buck?” Miles pressed his lips together, glancing between Juliet and the cards in his hands. He sighed heavily and threw them down at the table as Juliet’s face lit up with a happy smile. “Wow,” she said catching what his cards were, “you should have stayed in ... ‘cause you were right, you know. I did have crappy cards.”
They started to laugh at Miles who seemed close to tearing his hair out. Juliet hadn’t been beaten all night and Sawyer couldn’t do anything to pretend he wasn’t impressed. “Are we playin’ again or not?”
“Yes! I’m not stopping until I win one of these.” Miles said, causing Sawyer to sigh at Juliet.
“It’s gonna be a loooong night.” She returned his grin as she dealt the cards.
He had been right. It was a long night. It was now pushing 1AM and everyone bar Sawyer and Juliet had retired to bed. She was washing up as he brought through the plates and glasses, placing them on the counter quietly.
“You’re a con man ...” She stated rather suddenly, causing him to frown slightly.
“So ... how is it you suck at poker?” She smirked, but he never got time to answer.
The front door opened suddenly. Out of instinct, Sawyer turned his body to guard Juliet from whoever was barging in. It was Horace, followed by three men neither had met before.
“Jim ... I’m sorry I know it’s late but ... we think we’ve found one of your people.”
She was trying to catch his eye, but every time she looked over at him his eyes were fixed to the window of the van they were sitting in. Everyone was silent. Horace was taking them to where they had found a man’s body in the jungle; he had told them that they thought the hostiles may have found him before his men had. She waited only a few more minutes but eventually she couldn’t take it anymore. She had to know what he was going to do, and so she looked over at the two security men sitting in front of her with guns by their sides and smiled slightly, sliding over the seat towards him. He looked at her then, confused as to what she was doing as she bumped her shoulder against his. She threw a quick glance at the men and took hold of his hand. Again, he frowned down at her, looking at their hands intertwined, Sawyer was utterly confused as to what she was doing, but she looked visibly upset, so he didn’t take his hand away.
Juliet squeezed his hand, trying to find a way of saying something to him without looking strange. She made herself look upset, thinking maybe if she did he would hug her for comfort.
“It’ll be okay, Jules.” He growled, still frowning at her. She could tell he was confused, but was glad when he pulled her into a hug. She took the moment to whisper in his ear.
“Don’t let go of me.” She started, forcefully, “What if it’s Locke?”
It hit Sawyer then what she had been trying to do. He held onto her, throwing a hard stare at the men in the van. He turned his head slightly; to anyone but the two of them he was simply burying his face in her hair. “Stick to the plan ... just leave it to me, I’ll think of something to say.” He let go as they slowed down, giving her a reassuring nod. She still looked upset, but Sawyer knew it was all an act. If he didn’t know any better he’d say she was just as good a liar as he was. But he was a con man, and as good as her poker face was, he was better at pulling the lies from thin air.
But it wasn’t Locke. Sawyer sighed heavily when Horace finally revealed the body to them. “Yeah ... yeah he’s one of us ... his name’s Sc-”
“Steve.” Juliet injected quickly, knowing he was about to call him Scott. “His name was Steve.” Sawyer frowned slightly but then realised she was right. He nodded. They had later concluded that the rest of their camp had to be in the 70’s with them, or else how would Steve had got to where he had? Juliet looked over at James, almost willing him to say anything, but he didn’t. Instead she watched as the look in his eyes changed slightly. She knew he was vowing never to give up on them, never to lose faith or hope ... and it was in that moment she suddenly felt guilty for nearly leaving.