The next day he woke up early, much earlier than he had wanted to. Sawyer sighed heavily; once again she had filled his dreams. The ever mounting worry was why he never really let himself fall in love ... Cassidy had been the exception and he’d even screwed her over. He shook his head slightly, and though the image of her shuddered, it didn’t go away.
Juliet was still fast asleep when he went into the front room. He didn’t open the curtains in case he woke her. Silently, he moved over to the kitchen, being careful not to make a sound as he went about his usual morning routine.
“What time is it?” Sawyer turned quickly. Juliet was rubbing her eyes as she sat up. He sighed to himself.
“Sorry I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“You didn’t.” He looked at her sceptically. “Okay ... you did but I don’t mind.” She smiled, but he didn’t return it, and went about making coffee for them both. Juliet frowned. “Are you okay?” She asked it loudly enough but got no answer. “James?” She said, but still nothing. His back was turned towards her as he waited for the kettle to boil. “Sawyer?” She said, with more force this time.
“I’m fine.” He sighed. She thought better than to press his already temperamental mood, so just nodded and got up from the sofa. She watched him carefully as she went about making their breakfast. It had become a silent routine of theirs, him making their coffee and her making their breakfast each morning. It was only when they sat down at the table did he finally speak.
“Do you think they’re dead?” The question caught her off guard, and all of a sudden it was obvious to her this question was meant about Kate. It had clearly been on his mind all night.
“Honestly?” He nodded after a short pause. Did he really, truly want to know what she thought? “Honestly ... I don’t know.” Juliet knew it wasn’t the answer he had wanted. “What do you think?” She threw the question back. He looked up from his toast.
“I don’t know either. I hope not.” Again, Sawyer let his eyes meet the untouched toast before him.
“I believe that ... if you love someone you have a sense about them ... a connection, a feeling.” Juliet started, knowing this would be the only way to make him feel better, even if it did mean putting herself out there. “So if they’re dead ... the connection would break. I think you’d know it. Maybe the fact either of us are questioning logic is a good thing. It means the connection hasn’t broken.” Juliet wasn’t looking at him, and instead playing with her food. Sawyer knew she was probably only saying it for his benefit, but it had made him feel better all the same. “I guess the question isn’t if you think she’s dead ... but if you can still feel her?” She didn’t expect him to answer, but she was surprised with what he did say.
“Can you still feel Jack?” His voice was quiet, and he didn’t meet her eyes.
Juliet felt her eyes soften a little. She nodded before she spoke, almost unable to get the words out. “Yeah ...” She cleared her throat. “... yeah I can.” She didn’t quite know if she believed it herself, but somewhere inside her head told her that James needed her to say what she had.
Juliet snapped her head up as the front door opened. “James?” She called, to no answer. She frowned slightly and pulled the rubber gloves she was wearing off. Miles came around the corner as she began to get up off the floor. Juliet sighed. “Oh ... it’s you.”
“What are you doing?” He asked, frowning.
“I live with 4 boys, Miles. My hope you’d all help with the cleaning wore off a week ago.” She replied, her eye brow raised. He looked quite ashamed all of a sudden.
“It’s okay ... where is everyone?”
“Getting enrolled ...” A look was exchanged between them as she brushed past him into the kitchen, putting the cleaning things back under the skin. “I think we all thought you would come ...”
“Why would I come, Miles? I’m going home in 2 days.”
“Are you?” Juliet turned to look at him, her back leaning against the counter. “You’re not gonna be going back to whatever you left in the first place ... it’s 1974!” He said, a little force in his voice.
“Why do people keep telling me that? I know that it’s 1974! And you don’t have to keep reminding me that I’m not going home because I’ve made my peace with the fact that I’m never going home, Miles!” She looked towards the ground, and it was only then that Juliet realised she had made the distance between them smaller. She stepped back. “It’s not about going home anymore.”
“Then what’s it about?”
“I have been trying to get off this island for three years ... I don’t care where I’m going ... it’s enough that it’ll take me as far away from here as possible.”
“I don’t get it, Juliet. The reason you hate this place so much is because it kept you from getting home, right?” She said nothing. “So if you know now that there isn’t a home to go to ... why are you gonna leave?! Staying here is the only way you’re ever gonna get home!”
“Did Sawyer put you up to this?” Miles frowned at her question.
“You heard me. You haven’t given the fact that I’m leaving two thoughts up until today. James is the one who asked me to stay. Why all of a sudden are you so interested?!” Miles went quiet and looked towards the floor. Juliet relaxed her weight back onto one leg. “Unbelievable. Where is he?” Miles sighed.
“In the processing room.” Juliet didn’t wait for the rest of Miles sentence as she stormed out of the house. Who the hell did he think he was? Getting Miles to talk to her when he’d already made her stay an extra two weeks?! She yanked the door open to the processing room, it slammed behind her with a loud bang, causing Horace, Jin, Daniel and finally Sawyer all to whip round. They all looked confused, except for James, who didn’t meet her eyes.
“Sorry to interrupt. James ... can I talk to you in private for a few minutes?” She said in a cold voice. He sighed as Horace nodded, and got up slowly. They were both silent until they were back outside. The sun was strong, and warmed the back of Juliet’s neck. They carried on walking along the path until finally she turned on him. “Why do you want me to stay?” She asked a force in her voice.
“Why do you want me to stay? I’ve been going over it and over it in my head for days now, James, and I can’t for the life of me think why you want me to stay on this island! What possible reason must you have?” She stopped talking as someone walked passed them in earshot. She threw her head around, making sure no one else could hear. “And to bring Miles into it?! What do I have to do to get it through your head that I am not staying in this place a second longer than I have to?! I can’t do it anymore, I can’t be here anymore. I don’t want to be and it’s not fair you for to ask me to stay ... not when you don’t have a good reason to.” The tears she had managed to hold back came to the rim of her eyes, but still she didn’t let them fall.
“Are you done?” He growled. She nodded slightly. All he could do was look at her, a deep frown on his face. She was trying to search his eyes, but couldn’t figure out what he was thinking. He turned on his heel and walked back to the processing room. She closed her eyes, begging inside to pull herself together.
Tension filled the house over the next two days. Both Juliet and Sawyer were perfectly polite to one another ... but only if they had to be. If neither was required to talk to the other, they wouldn’t. It was something Miles, Jin and Daniel all picked up on, but knew if they attempted to talk about the situation at hand they’d get yelled at.
Sawyer still didn’t want her to go, but he couldn’t tell her why. He couldn’t bring himself to say the three words he knew he needed to if she actually were to stay on this rock: I need you.
The morning that the sub was to set off again, Juliet woke early. She had packed all the clothes Horace had given her the night before, in a little suitcase and left it stood up by the door. She went about the house in silence, washing up the mug she had drank her coffee from and the plate she had eaten her toast off. She folded the blankets she slept in carefully, and placed them gently back on the couch. On top, she smoothed out the creases left in the tee shirt and boxers Daniel had given her. When she looked around, it was almost as if she hadn’t even been there in the first place.
A door creaked open, Juliet looked up to see Jin coming out of his and Sawyer’s room. She smiled at him in a sad sort of way. “Morning ...”
“Good morning ... are you ... going?” He said slowly. She nodded.
“Yeah ... the sub leaves in half an hour.” She pointed towards the clock, and where its hands would be in half an hour’s time. He nodded, showing her he understood.
“I shall ... wake Sawyer?”
“No.” Juliet said without hesitation, causing Jin to frown. She smiled quickly. “No ... It’s okay ... he ... we err ... we said goodbye. Already.” An awkward sort of silence fell between the pair. Juliet moved towards the window to see Olivia and Horace walking towards the dock. She sighed sadly. “Okay ... I’d better get going.” She smiled back at Jin as she took hold of the handle of her suitcase. She was surprised when Jin pulled her into a friendly hug.
“Thank you ... for helping ... Sun.” He smiled warmly at her and held the door open.
“Bye Jin ... good luck here ...” It was a strange exchange of words for the two people to have, but Juliet was glad she had managed to say goodbye to at least one of them. Though maybe it was better this way, she wandered, dragging her suitcase behind her through the barracks as she made her way towards the dock. It was early but already the sun was high in the sky.
“Hey Juliet ... you decided on leaving then ...” Horace said as he greeted her. Juliet looked towards the sub uncertainly, but then nodded at him. He reached down for her suitcase but let go of the handle when someone called his name from inside the submarine.
“Hey Horace! We got a problem!” A worrying feeling bubbled up in Juliet’s stomach at the man’s words. Horace hurried down into the sub. Juliet edged towards the water, almost daring herself to look down to see what was happening. “Well how in the hell did that happen?!” She heard Horace shout in an angry voice as he came back up the ladder. He brushed passed her quickly, followed by the same man who had noticed whatever problem it was they appeared to have.
“Horace ... what’s going on?” She asked. He stopped and turned back to her, shooting a quick glance at the man just behind him.
“Nothing, Juliet. Everything’s fine ... we just have a bit of a situation.” With that, he turned from her, looking towards the group of people to whom it was obvious something was wrong. “Can somebody call Radzinsky? Tell him we’re at condition 6 ... NOW!”
It was as if a switch had been flipped. The cheerfulness in which these people felt most days had gone; it had been replaced with something Juliet could only pinpoint as determination. She looked around, utterly bewildered as people dropped their luggage and jetted off in all directions. Some moved straight down into the sub, other ran off back in the direction of the barracks. It was pure pandemonium, and nothing but confusion filled Juliet. Olivia ran towards the submarine; Juliet caught hold of her arm.
“What the hell is going on?!” She demanded. Olivia looked desperately at the sub and almost tugged her arm from Juliet. She didn’t, and instead sighed.
“We’re at condition 6 Juliet ... something’s wrong with the submarine ...”
“What? What’s wrong with it?”
“We don’t know yet ... please, I have to get on it ...” Olivia begged. Juliet gripped her arm tighter.
“Horace called for someone called Radzinsky ... who’s that?”
“He works in the Flame. The communications station Juliet ... if we can’t get the sub working Radzinsky needs to know so he can call in Ann Arbor.”
“I don’t get it, why are you all so panicked?”
Olivia hesitated once more before talking. “Because ... if we don’t get that sub working ... we’re stuck here.”
An hour had gone by, and it seemed the panic had started to calm. Juliet had long since resigned herself to the fact she couldn’t help ... and so she had sat on the dock propped up by her elbows, and had waited.
Apparently James had yet to hear about what had happened ... either that or he really was too stubborn to come down and say goodbye to her. People had been coming by the sub all morning, many of which Juliet had never seen before, and would never see again.
If she got on the sub.
She sighed, once again questioning whether or not to stay on the island. Something Ben had said to her once swirled around her brain for what seemed like the thousandth time.
If the island doesn’t want you to leave ... it won’t let you.
Maybe this was what had caused condition 6? Juliet almost snorted at the idea she was actually contemplating that an island had caused a submarine to stop working so that it could keep her here. But, she argued, they were in 1974. So maybe the island wanting anything was as absurd as it sounded. There was a small voice in her head saying if she just didn’t get on the sub everyone who wanted to go home to the mainland would be able to ... perhaps it really was her who was keeping Olivia from getting on with her life? She shook her head slightly, hoping maybe if she did her thoughts would disappear. They didn’t.
She sat for a short while, weighing up the pros and cons of staying ... she’d be on the island ... con, she grimaced. She’d be able to help find the rest of the camp ... pro. She’d be here if Locke ever came back ... pro. She’d be here if they ever found a way to get back to 2004 ... definite pro. Juliet looked hesitantly over to the submarine, and it was as though something in her mind just switched.
“Juliet?!” Horace called, suddenly. She looked up to see him smiling, standing half in the submarine on the ladder. “You ready to go home?!”
She very nearly laughed at the situation. She shook her head. “Horace?” She called, he frowned and climbed out of the sub, making his way towards her.
“Can I stay?” She said, not beating about the bush. He looked surprised, but didn’t question her.
“Yes, of course you can stay, if that’s what you really want.” All Juliet could do was nod. Was it what she really wanted? She had no idea. But in that moment, she knew she couldn’t leave. Even if she tried, the island wouldn’t let her, and she had no right to keep the people who had the chance of getting on a sub that would work perfectly well without her on it, from going home if they could.
It was the first time in their two weeks in Dharmaville that Sawyer woke from a dreamless sleep. One which hadn’t been plagued by images of Kate flashing through his mind, and he had to say, he felt better for it. The sun was seeping through the curtains in his room, which he sat alone in. Jin must already be awake, he thought. He went out into the lounge. Everybody was sitting around the table; Sawyer could sense something wasn’t right. His eyes shot towards the couch, where they were met with the folded blankets and pyjama’s Juliet had left there early that morning. It was only then that it hit him today was the morning that the sub would leave. He snapped his head towards the others.
“Where is she?!”
“She’s gone, man. You missed her. We all did.” Miles answered.
“She told me ... not to wake you.” Jin said. Sawyer stood back. She had gone ... she had gone and she hadn’t said goodbye to him. He glanced up at the clock. It was nearly noon ... she would be long gone by now. It was so odd to him ... to feel a great loss for something he couldn’t say he had in the first place. He certainly didn’t know her ... not really. And if someone had said to him 4 weeks ago he would one day call her a friend, he would have laughed in their face.
He went about the rest of his usual morning routine in silence; and without her. It was mid afternoon when he finally emerged from their house, and Sawyer let himself wander down to the docks.
It was deserted. He threw his head back and sighed. Had he really expected the sub to still be here? His hands immediately went to his hips as she shook his head, looking down towards his feet. “When did you leave?” He said to himself quietly.
“The sub left about an hour ago.” A voice startled him. His head shot to his left, where none other than Juliet was leaning back on her elbows staring out into the water which her feet were dangling in. How could he have even missed her sitting there? He wondered. He felt a sure smile spring onto his face as nothing but relief filled his chest.
“Thought you weren’t gonna stay in this place a second longer than you had to?” He smirked as he joined her, taking off his boots and socks and dropping his legs into the water with hers. Her head tilted to its side as she squinted in the sunlight. She reasoned for a second.
“Yeah well ... who’d make your breakfast if I left?” She smiled then, splashing her feet about the water. Sawyer let out a laugh.
“Well I did just fine this morning on my own ...” As he said it his stomach gave a loud growl. He fixed his eyes just to his left and kept them there for a moment before he let himself laugh slightly. He closed his eyes and shook his head, but the smile didn’t leave his face. “... obviously not.”
It was at that Juliet let herself laugh. She sat up and bumped her shoulder against his.
“I’m glad you didn’t go, Juliet.” He said, still smiling slightly. She gave him a warm smile back.
“Me too, James.”