Spoilers: Pre-"What Kate Did"
Summary: Written for bohemian21 for lost_hohoho and the prompt was: "Jack/Kate, sharing memories of their lives before the crash turns into something more. Must be a mention of Jack's tattoos and Kate's toy airplane". So Merry Christmas, I hope it was what you wanted! :)
The morning air is cool and damp, and when Kate breathes in she feels a burn at the back of her throat. She loves the quiet, the feeling of calm that would disappear once everyone woke up, and that paranoia regained its place back in the pit of the stomach. The waves are crashing on the beach already, and Kate stretches as she beings to make her way towards the hatch.
There is a noise and Kate feels her heart quicken and ohmygodtheothers and it’s just Jack stumbling toward her, t-shirt halfway on and eyes bleary. He grins and Kate feels herself calm down. He sits down next to her on the fallen log that’s on the edge of camp.
“Aren’t you supposed to be with Sawyer?” Kate asks, picking at a piece of bark that has begun to peel off.
“Sun took over for a bit, she said I needed to get some fresh air.” Jack smiles again, blinking in the early bits of sunlight that are beginning to pour onto them. “I used to get up at the crack of dawn every morning to go jogging. Been a while since I’ve done that.”
“I can beat that,” Kate says, her tone lighthearted. “I used to get up at 5:30 to catch the school bus. I remember waiting in the dark, there was no one else that lived nearby so sometimes my mom would wait with me.” She pauses a little. She remembers the strong woman who had sat beside her on that concrete stoop, with early morning dew staining her blue jeans. She was far from the sickly woman on the hospital bed, screaming murder. “So what about you, Jack? Did you have your own fancy car that you drove to school? Or did you take the bus?”
Jack grins, ducking his head in that way that he does, that Kate finds so endearingly Jack. “Nah. My dad took me to school up until I turned sixteen when he bought me a car. Wasn’t fancy, but it was something to show off on dates.” Kate laughs and punchs him in the arm. “Hey it was a used car. My dad said if I wanted something fancy I would have to work for it.”
“Well did you ever get it?” Kate asked.
“When I graduated medical school, I bought a Ferrari. Went over a hundred on the freeway and got my first speeding ticket.” Jack shrugs. “Ended up selling the car a couple months later. Never had much time to drive it anyway.” Kate thinks that she catches a glint of regret in Jack’s eyes, but it’s gone and he’s smiling again. “So when did you buy your first car?”
“After I graduated high school, I bought a used station wagon. Got a new paint job, some new wheels, a new engine, and that car was mine. I remembering pulling out of our driveway and there was this feeling that passed through me, it was so intense I remember shivering a bit though it must’ve been hot because it was June. But I felt more free than I’d ever felt, I wanted to just keep driving until I ran out of gas.”
“I know that feeling,” Jack says, his voice tightening. “When I got my first tattoo, I remember I felt so independent, like no one could stop me now. Not my father, not anyone. I felt like I was giving a big ‘fuck you’ to everyone who had ever told me how to act.”
“So was your dad mad when he found out?”
“Never found out.” Kate can’t tell if Jack was relieved or ashamed that his dad didn’t know about the tattoos. She hopes she’s ashamed; she’s never been a fan of that type of quiet defiance. Kate wants people to know that she is provoking them, that she is deliberately pissing them off. “So what’s your rebellious moment?”
“Don’t have one.” Kate chuckles, and Jack raises an eyebrow.
“I find that hard to believe. Come on. You had to have done something bad in your youth to piss off your parents.”
“Okay, okay,” Kate sighs. “Once in 9th grade, I cut first period math to go smoke with a boy I liked. I wasn’t even a smoker, but I had it so bad for that boy. And he never gave me a second glance. I knew that he smoked under the football stands during first period, so I followed him there. He didn’t even look at me, I was so disappointed. And I ended up getting in trouble for skipping. Got grounded for a week.” Kate laughs a little uneasily. Her story with that boy didn’t end there, but Kate doesn’t say anything. “You ever skip?”
“Once. A couple times. I went through a brief rebellious period in 8th grade. Didn’t last long. My dad put a stop to it.” Jack chuckles, but there’s no humor and Kate has the sudden image of Jack’s father – whatever he looked like – with his arm raised and little Jack crying and don’thurtme and Kate’s sharp intake of breath must’ve worried Jack because he has his hand on her shoulder. “You alright there?”
“I’m fine.” She said. Her brain feels a little mushy, like she’d just been spinning around in circles. Jack’s hand is still on her shoulder, and suddenly his lips are on hers and Kate’s head won’t stop whirling. Kissing Jack is like skydiving, not that Kate’s ever been. But kissing Jack feels like falling and falling and waiting for that parachute to open and when it does the relief is intoxicating and you just fall.
Kate can feel Jack’s hand snaking up her neck and into her hair, and she kind of sighs a little, and she can feel Jack’s hand tighten. Jack makes a noise that sounds a bit like a growl and Kate thinks it may be the sexiest thing she’s ever heard. Kate thinks she could go on kissing Jack forever. His hand is still in her tangled hair, rubbing through it as though it is the last thing he’ll ever touch. The other hand is on her waist, and when he moves it she feels her skin searing with the electricity of his touch.
Jack finally pulls away, and Kate can feel her mouth burning from where Jack’s lips had been. She can still taste him in that mouth, the mixture of sweet and sour on the tip of her tongue. He’s grinning that half grin, and Kate can feel the corners of her mouth curving upward in a smile. Jack stands up, and she hears a twig snap under his feet and suddenly she is very aware of her surroundings. The sun is up now, bright and hot in the sky. She can hear people stirring and waking up at the campsite.
Jack gives her another smile before heading back to the campsite. There are people to be tended too; a good shepherd never leaves his flock for too long. She turns to follow him back, and Jack takes her hand gently and squeezes it before releasing it. Kate opens her mouth to say something, but they’re back near the tents now and she’s walking to where her stuff is because she knows what she has to do.
She finds it, the miniature airplane at the bottom of her bag. It’s lost the shine that it once had. She can feel Jack watching her, his eyes drilling holes at the back of her head. She clutches the airplane in her hand and feels the sharp edges digging into her skin. She hopes there will be a mark.
Kate walks further down the beach, away from Jack and the rest. She keeps walking, and she hopes so much that Jack isn’t following her because this is something she needs to do on her own, and she’s shaking a little because she isn’t sure if it’s a good idea. But she looks back and Jack isn’t there and she knows its right.
She wades into the water. It’s cold, colder than she remembers it being. The waves are crashing and she doesn’t really care that her pants are getting wet, or that she’s going to get wet. She’s almost waist deep before she takes a deep breath and flings out the airplane. It soars; it does a beautiful ark before diving headfirst into the water. It makes a plonk noise and Kate’s heart jumps a little.
Before she can decide to dive in after it, she’s backing out of the water, and she can feel goose bumps rising on her legs as they hit the cool morning air. She feels lighter now, likeIcouldfly and Jack’s walking towards her and maybeIlovehim and Kate tilts back her head and spins.