DISCLAIMER: I do not own any rights to the television show "Lost" nor to the characters in this story. They were created by JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof and they belong to them, Touchstone, and ABC.
SPOILERS: Somewhere in the middle of season 2, set before "Fenry" (fake Henry Gale from Minnesota) showed up, so pretend that never happened. But Jack winning back the medical supplies and the food drop did happen.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
"Kate?" Ana-Lucia walked up to the fifth member of their exploration party. Blinking, she shook some raindrops off her bangs. When the other brunette didn't respond, Ana sighed. Why did she insist on going after Kate; why not leave that to Charlie or even Sayid? Worse, why did it always have to rain on this island when you were nowhere near a shelter?
She didn't even know what Jack and Kate had been fighting about but from the look on Kate's face, Jack had said something really hurtful. Without another word, the brunette had stalked off into the jungle, not thinking of the possible dangers this island could produce at will, and from the look on her face, she didn't care either.
"Come on, I'm sure he's sorry by now." Ana tried her diplomatic best, which wasn't all that much, and sighed. "He's just a guy. Don't let him get to you." Looking around, she checked their position. Ana could never shake off the feeling of being watched on this island. She had followed Kate's tracks for about ten minutes and now they were standing atop a small cliff which was above a creek that was overflowing, thanks to the heavy rain that seemed to occur every time any type of party went exploring. At least it had cooled off a bit which made it easier to breathe.
"Go away." Kate sounded tired when she stepped closer to the edge and looked down to the water ten feet below.
"What's your problem?" Patience had never been a strong virtue of Ana-Lucia's. She wondered exasperatedly why Kate didn't just kick his butt and get it over with.
"Like you would understand," Kate snorted and threw some stones down into the water as thunder rumbled through the air.
"I thought I was the bitch here and you were Miss Popular on this island." If being civil didn't get her anywhere, why not be sarcastic, Ana thought.
"You know nothing about me," she mumbled after a moment and watched as another stone hit the surface of the high water.
"That could be because you never cared to talk to me yet. You know, we joined your group around two weeks ago." Ana stepped closer.
"Just leave me alone."
"Fine, at least I tried," Ana shrugged. When she turned around to walk back to the rest of their group, lightening flashed and lightened the sky, and followed by heavy thunder, the ground beneath them gave way. With nothing to grab onto, both woman were washed down the muddy cliff along with huge amounts of sand and rocks. Ana had tried to jump away from the crumbling ground but to no avail. She crashed into the water below, seconds after Kate.
"Are you okay?" Ana freed herself from the mud that covered her shoulders and waded over to where Kate lay. She could barely make out the form of the other woman under the sand and rocks. Digging out her arm and head first, Ana had to work fast or they were both going to drown in the roaring river. "Kate!" Ana had to use all her strength to pull the other woman's upper body above the surface and keep it in a standing position. Supporting her by holding her around the waist, Ana made sure Kate was fit to stand on her own before she let go.
"You okay? Anything broken or sprained?" Ana looked at the ripped parts of the other woman's cargo pants.
"I think," Kate gasped, "I'm fine." Kate pushed some wet strands of brown hair from her face. "But we've got a problem." She pointed down the creek. About a quarter mile down, the creek disappeared and now they knew where that waterfall must be they had been hearing all along.
"Indeed." Kate followed Ana's gaze towards where the water was coming from and understood the misery. The creek was swelling and fast.
"There's no way we can climb up there, it's way too slippery." Kate frowned and looked up into the rain. "Let's check out the falls." She waded further along the creek, their soaked pants and the high water making it hard to walk.
"I don't like this." Kate stared down where the water was falling and to their feet. The water was reaching their knees now. "We're trapped. And there's only one choice if we want a chance to stay in one piece."
"You're kidding, right?" Ana looked at Kate as if she had grown two heads. "There's no way in hell I'm gonna jump down there!" she started wading away from the edge but Kate blocked her way. Standing toe to toe, they starred at each other. "It's our only chance," Kate said calmly. "If the water rises much higher, we'll be washed down anyway," she raised an eyebrow and waited for Ana to see her point.
Narrowing her eyes, and crossing her arms over her chest, Ana didn't have time to reply when they heard a crashing sound and a roaring coming towards them followed by a massive wave making its way from the creek towards the waterfall. But when Ana didn't move, Kate quickly turned her around and tried to move them to the edge but Ana used all her strength to do just the opposite. She starred wide eyed into the debt and panicked.
Kate took one last look over her shoulder and made a quick decision. Grabbing Ana around the waist, she walked them to the edge and shouted, "Jump!"
"Jump!" Kate shouted and gave Ana a good push when she still didn't move. Jumping only a moment after the dark haired woman, it felt like a lifetime passed before they hit the surface of the lake below the waterfall.
The huge amount of water coming from the top made it hard not to lose direction and it was very hard to return to the surface. Finally reaching the surface, Kate breathed deeply and filled her lungs with much needed oxygen. When she got her bearings, she started looking for Ana but couldn't find her. Kate dove underwater to search for her companion. She couldn't see much due to the waters turbulence caused by the fall crashing into the lake, and it took her three more tries until she finally located and grabbed the unconscious woman and pulled her ashore.
"Hey! Wake up!" she linked her hands under Ana's arms and pulled her out of the water. Laying her more or less gently on the grass, Kate kneeled next to her head and checked for pulse and breathing. "Damnit!" Ana had no pulse.
Tilting her head back, Kate pinched Ana's nose and covered her mouth with hers and blew until she saw her chest rise. Repeating the action without success she leaned back and positioned her hands and began chest compressions. Rainwater kept running down her face and dripped onto Ana's still form. Hearing a cracking sound Kate winced but knew she had to keep going. "Come on, don't do this to me." Kate's own breathing was hard as she started mouth to mouth again. It felt like hours but eventually, after another transfer of air, Ana spat out the water she had choked on and started coughing heavily.
Kate helped her roll onto her side and kept her from tumbling over. Ana was shaking now but the coughing lessened. "It's alright." She sat down next to Ana and stretched out her bruised legs.
Exhausted, they lay there for several moments, the only sound coming from the churning water next to them.
"I think I bruised your ribs," Kate said softly when Ana tried to move and grunted due to the pain in her chest.
"Here, let me help." She crawled the few steps over and helped Ana scoot back a little to rest her back on a tree trunk. "Can you breathe okay?" Kate asked concerned. The other woman's respiration was short and uneven.
"It hurts like hell." Ana was too exhausted to keep up her tough attitude, as tears were running down her cheeks.
Kate's eyes travelled over Ana's face with her intense dark eyes now watery. Following the raindrops, Kate's gaze lingered on her full lips until she saw something red running down behind Ana's right ear and reached her hand out. "Did you hit your head somewhere?" She retracted her hand and Ana looked at her strangely when she saw the amount of blood.
Sitting down next to Ana, Kate took a look and was amazed at how much blood could leak out of a wound that size. It wasn't big but a huge bump had already formed. Quickly weighing their options, Kate took off her wet long-sleeved shirt and ripped one arm off. Making a compression bandage out of it, she pressed it on the wound and tied it securely with the rest of the sleeve. Not without protest from Ana though.
"That hurts!" she hissed and tried to slap Kate's hands away only to be stopped from moving by the ache in her ribs.
"Stay still. This is no fun for me either," Kate replied sternly, "It'll be over in a second. See, all done," she added more softly.
"Your turn now," Ana pointed at Kate's ripped cargo pants and the wounds beneath.
Kate stretched her legs out. She hadn't felt a thing until now that the adrenalin level in her bloodstream had slowly dropped. Ripping off the other shirt sleeve, she bandaged a deep cut on her left shin and another on her right calf.
"And there I thought it was just an easy trip into the jungle to find some real food and to see if we could find boar tracks," Ana grumbled.
"Right," Kate laughed at the absurd situation they had gotten themselves into. Of all people on the island, she had to get stuck with Ana. Not that she really knew the other woman, but she didn't trust her which seemed to be likewise. Since their groups had joined, they constantly kept eyeing the other and there always was some sort of tension.
"Damn you, Jack," Kate mumbled.
"Where the hell are they anyway? They should be looking for us or what do they think we're doing out here!" Ana complained but knew well enough that the rain had washed away their tracks and no matter how loud they'd shout, the waterfall absorbed any other noise.
"Let's try to find a dry spot and make camp." Kate sighed. It wasn't her favourite activity to walk unarmed in unknown territory on the island. "I'll see what I can find and come pick you up."
Ana nodded and handed her the club that was usually tied to her belt. "Be careful" she warned and didn't need to say more. The chance of running into "The Others" was always present even though they were far away from "the line".
"Nice and cosy here, isn't it?" The two women sat under a ledge and Kate had managed to find enough dry wood to light a fire. Sparks kept popping from the centre and slowly made their way into the sky just to cool down and sail to the ground again. "At least it stopped raining, huh?"
"Lucky us." Ana leaned back against a log and drew a sharp breath. She flinched and waited for the pain in her chest and side to ease. "Thanks for, you know," Ana trailed off.
Kate first thought she was being sarcastic but when she looked into the other woman's face, she realized she was serious. "Welcome. Should I take a look at your ribs?" she asked.
Hesitating for a moment, Ana was hit by vivid memories and was suddenly back in the ambulance after she had been shot several months ago. The paramedics were trying to calm her, her partner was pacing in front of the open door and when the pain got too much, she fainted.
"Ana!" Kate was frightened by the look the other woman sported. Her face was suddenly much paler and her look was cast miles away. "Stay with me! You need to stay awake." Kate took her face in both hands and tried to keep her from losing consciousness.
"I'm," Ana started to mumble, "I'm here." Her eyes focused on Kate and they starred at each other for a long moment.
"Are you feeling dizzy? Do you want some water?"
"I'm fine." Ana shook her head to clear it and make Kate take her hands off. She was invading her personal space and Ana felt trapped.
"Bull! You're far from fine. You have a head injury and you almost drowned," Kate didn't let go and forced Ana to look at her to make her point. "Don't pretend you're fine."
Ana got angry. She didn't need anybody to baby-sit her. She bit her tongue and tried to suppress the rising anger. She didn't want to lash out at Kate. She wanted to explain but didn't know if the other woman even cared. The first time she wanted to talk and didn't know how.
"I'm sorry," Ana mumbled after a while, "I just, I've kind of been in this situation before and," she bit her lip, "it's not something I like to be reminded of."
Kate considered the reply for a moment. If anyone else had been talking to her like that, she would have probably walked off and never looked back. But for some reason she felt for Ana and wanted to hear the story behind the woman. The tone in Ana's voice and her facial expression made her anger disappear. "Let me take a look." She tried again, her voice softer and this time Ana complied. Kate leaned back and pulled up her black tank top. The skin below her left breast was bruised and greenish coloured.
"Satisfied?" Ana pulled her top back down and looked at her with a slightly pissed off expression. What Kate didn't know was that Ana wasn't pissed at her but rather herself. For following Kate in the first place, for being a chicken about heights and for not being able to admit she was hurt.
"I just want to make sure you're not gonna die on me here," Kate grumbled back. She really didn't know if she wanted to strangle or jump her. She pondered why she could get under her skin so easily and push her buttons.
They sat there starring into the flames for a long time, neither interested in pointless chit-chat nor wanting to reveal anything personal, too afraid of the other's reaction.
"How did you know that guy was one of the other's?" Kate was getting bored and she wanted to make sure Ana didn't fall asleep.
"You mean Goodwin?" Ana looked up from under her bangs, but instead of the usual suspicious look, she saw only curiosity in Kate's eyes. "Few things he said didn't make sense." She tried to explain. "And I had a gut feeling," she added and prepared herself for a snippy remark about the gut feeling she had had about the guy who was killed by Goodwin.
"And after seeing what the Others did to your group, you decided to go into the jungle with him alone?"
Ana licked her lips and decided if she should go on or not. The more she said, the more it would lead them to the topic she had avoided talking about all along. "I honestly didn't care. It was either him or me."
"Wow," Kate mumbled after a moment, "what drove you so far?"
The silence that followed was uneasy. "I don't know myself," Ana confessed. "I honestly don't know anymore." Tears started to swell in her eyes again but not from physical pain this time. Wiping them away quickly, Ana blamed the exhaustion for her weak emotional state.
"Did you want to punish him for the people who were kidnapped from your group?" Kate was bold, and given her own experiences, she slowly started to grasp who Ana-Lucia was as a person. "Or did you want to be punished for something?"
"I'm tired of running," Ana heard Kate say. Looking up, Ana watched Kate's gaze fixed somewhere in the far dark.
"I've been carrying a pack of old and unstable dynamite from a couple of weeks ago," she said barely loud enough for Ana to catch the words.
So this is some kind of show me yours I'll show you mine, Ana pondered. Locking eyes with Kate briefly, she decided the time to remain silent was over. She wasn't going to make friends on the island anyway, so why not let them see who she really was?
"The last time I had my ribs broken I was shot on the job four times in the chest with hollow point bullets by some punk. I was pregnant at that time and lost my baby in the hospital."
Ana nodded. "When they caught him, I said I couldn't identify him in a line up. His name was Jason McCormick. I tracked him down and shot him three times in the chest and once in the head."
When Kate didn't say anything, Ana looked over and saw her starring at her. "Go ahead, say it."
"Say what?" Kate shook her head and chuckled.
"Call me a freak, murderer, whatever comes to your mind first," Ana challenged.
"I almost got Michael killed for getting a spot on that stupid raft, I robbed a bank, got my best friend shot and killed the man who was my biological father. It's not my place to call you anything." Her voice sounded raspy. Haunting images made it back into her memory, images she tried to forget every single day.
Not knowing what to say, they both sat in silence again until Kate yawned and pressed her eyes shut tightly.
"You can catch some sleep, I'll stay awake," Ana fiddled with the butt of her club and the rope that was tied around the handle.
"I should keep you company and see you don't fall sleep, you're the one with the bump on the head." Kate yawned again and rubbed her face with both hands.
"I'm fine, I'll wake you later." Ana still avoided eye contact.
Ten minutes later, Kate had drifted off to sleep and Ana could now openly watch her. She still couldn't believe what Kate had confessed to. But she couldn't have made that up and why would she. The sleeping woman was a mystery to her.
"Wake up." Ana gently nudged her companion. "Sun's rising." She laid a hand on Kate's shoulder when the brunette didn't wake up.
"I slept that long?" Kate rubbed her eyes and blinked against the light.
"We should get going. I could really use some of those painkillers Jack has in the store." Ana was holding her chest with one hand and her usually dark complexion was looking pale.
"Let's get going then." Kate got to her feet and brushed some grass and leaves off her pants before she offered her hands to help Ana up.
Finally on her feet, Ana had to bend over and catch her breath first. The little movement had knocked the wind out of her and that she couldn't breathe deeply made it only worse. Carefully straightening, she kept holding her side and glanced over to where Kate was standing and watching her.
"I still don't know if I should kick your butt or be grateful," Ana mumbled loud enough for Kate and pulled up her shirt to look at the now blue, greenish bruise.
"Well, I can think of better things to do than save your sorry ass." Kate's eyes wandered from the ugly bruise to the rippling muscles on Ana's stomach.
"Like what?" Ana cleared her voice and Kate looked back up.
Kate just shook her head and they started making their way back to the hatch. On the way, they grabbed whatever fruits they could find to eat but the heat was getting to them and not having any water made the trip back even harder.
"How about some coconut?" Kate pointed at a few trees they passed. "I need fluids or I'll pass out in a while."
"I'll just call for my buddy King Kong and he can pick them for us." Ana put her hands on her hips only to put one back under her breast.
"Will you lighten up a bit?" Kate was getting annoyed by Ana's constant negative behaviour. "I'm trying to be civil here."
"I got up on the wrong foot," Ana replied, annoyed.
"Well, so did I but do I bitch around all the time?" Kate took a step closer to Ana. "We're in this together, so get over it!" She pronounced the last words separately. Their eyes on the same level now, Ana opened her mouth to reply but shut it again when her brain didn't provide her with anything to say at all.
All Ana could think was that Kate looked rather hot with her grey eyes staring into hers, her cheeks flushed.
"I'm going up there and get me some fruit," Kate could feel the tension between them change from frustrated to something else, "and if you want something, just say please," she challenged.
Ana drew a breath, one that didn't hurt too much. Looking down at the ground and up again from under her bangs she grinned, "Please?" Kate was slowly growing on her.
"See, that wasn't too hard, now, was it?" Kate smiled smugly.
"What happened to you? Where's the rest of your team?" Locke looked them up and down a little shocked when they entered the hatch. After explaining everything to him, they left him at his desk to push the button and went to the so called living room.
"The pipes smell a bit funny but the water is clean." Kate led the way to the showers after they had grabbed some towels.
"You're not feeling dizzy or anything, are you?" the brunette asked, concerned. The bump behind Ana's ear was fairly big. "Can't have you pass out."
"You got a point there. Or has it been that long that you just want to peep a bit?" Ana laughed and cursed her actions immediately.
"Very funny." Kate pushed her gently towards the bathroom. "I'll wait out here and you shout if you need help."
And that's just what Ana did moments later. Rushing into the bathroom, Kate found an almost naked Ana standing in the shower, her back turned to her with the rest of her shirt tightly wrapped around her torso and she had no chance of reaching the knot on her back.
"I can't reach it." Ana grumbled frustrated and looked over her shoulder.
"Let me," caught staring, Kate blushed a little and walked up to her.
"Please." Ana reemphasized smirking. "And while you're at it, please pull my hair down." Ana held her arms away for Kate to pull down her bandage and watch her throw it on the floor outside the shower.
"And wash your hair?" Kate asked amused.
"If you have nothing better to do, I sure won't mind." Ana started the water and closed her eyes when the warm spray hit her battered body.
Kate starred at her for a moment and then without a word, left the bathroom in a hurry.
"Where should I put them?" Locke cleared his voice when he walked up to her, dry clothes, painkillers and more bandages in hand.
"Just lay them on the couch," Kate thanked him and prayed he would leave her alone right now.
"I'll see that you have some privacy. Let me know when you're ready." Locke smiled and Kate nodded.
Sighing, she sat down on the floor next to the bathroom door after he had left. She didn't know what just happened. One moment she was helping out her fellow adventurer and the next she wanted to jump into the shower and get her hands on the fit looking, naked body. Closing her eyes, all she could see were images of a certain dark haired woman in the shower. But I don't like her nor do I trust her, Kate chided herself. But she looks damn hot, she had to admit.
Half an hour later, Ana was sitting on the couch wrapped in a cotton towel waiting for Kate to emerge from the bathroom. Looking around, she had to remind herself sometimes that they were still on the island because it was so surreal sitting in a living-room which wasn't really one.
When Kate finally joined her, Ana was already dozing off. Getting dressed quickly, Kate didn't notice two dark brown eyes watching her. When she sat on the couch next to Ana, she still appeared sleeping.
"Let me wrap your bump again and you better take these," Kate handed over the painkillers and went to the sink to get a glass of water and then prepared the antiseptic and bandages.
"I don't think this needs stitches but Jack should have a look at it when he gets back." Kate cleaned the wound behind Ana's ear properly and applied antiseptics. "You're lucky you have such a thick head, er, skull," Kate smiled.
"At least it's good for something," Ana glared at her good naturedly.
"Why don't you get dressed and then we can wrap you back up," the brunette suggested.
"I'm not looking forward to that," Ana sighed and got up. She didn't know what was worse, moving, or the pain when breathing.
"I'll be gentle," Kate offered and wondered if that had sounded ambiguous to her only.
"Yes, please," Ana grinned back. She had never heard herself before saying that word that often. Without warning she dropped her towel and started dressing with the clothes Locke had brought earlier. She didn't have to look to know Kate was watching her, she knew she was.
"You're not the shy one, are you?" Kate frowned a little but didn't complain.
Ana was starting to feel the affect of the painkillers and suddenly everything seemed so easy and funny to her. She started chuckling and winked at Kate and almost fell off the couch when she sat back down dressed in jeans and a simple button down shirt which was slightly too big for her. But Kate was quicker and caught her. "You stay put." Kate tried to look stern.
"Sorry," Ana grinned, "must be the meds."
"How many did you take?" Kate eyed her suspiciously.
"It says one on the label." Kate shook her head.
"But it doesn't hurt anymore," Ana couldn't stop grinning.
"And you're high already." Kate leaned closer and looked at Ana's pupils. Mistaking the action for something else, Ana closed her eyes and leaned in herself. When she touched her lips to Kate's she felt her freeze for a second and then she slowly respond. The kiss was tender and almost shy but quite enjoyable for both of them. All too soon, two voices talking outside made Kate pull back. Looking at how Ana slowly opened her eyes, Kate observed curiously how her pupils adjusted to the light. She didn't have time to say anything because Jack decided this was a good time to show up.
They had gotten back to the hatch just now and while Locke had asked Jack to take a look at Ana, he had asked the rest of the team to give them some peace. The two women had looked pretty beat to him and he saw it as his responsibility to watch after them while they stayed at the hatch.
The whole situation was rather awkward as Jack examined Ana. While helping her walk over to the bed and lay down, he kept glancing at Kate but she wasn't even looking at him. Though not still mad at him, she didn't want to make a truce just yet.
If the probing hadn't been so painful, Ana would have laughed at how they were behaving. It was only justice that Kate let him grill for a while. He not had made her leave the group on their trip, he had ruined a real good moment, too.
"You should stay here for tonight and maybe another night," Jack packed away his medical supply kit.
"I'm fine, I can stay in my tent," Ana yawned. The medication combined with the exhausting trip back to the hatch finally took over and she wanted nothing more than to rest.
"It's not a good idea. The painkillers prevent you from feeling too much pain and you could move too much and actually break a rib. If it punctures your lung or another organ, there's no way I can help you." Jack tried to explain though he wasn't sure Ana was even listening. Her eyes were closed already.
"We'll stay here for now." Kate leaned onto the wall next to the bed. She never once took her eyes off Ana. Jack understood that it was his queue to leave.
"Good. She can take one painkiller every four hours for now and I'll check on her again tomorrow morning."
When he was gone, Kate sat down on the bed next to the injured woman and rested her back on the wall. She must be so exhausted, Kate thought and absently brushed a strand of dark hair from Ana's cheek. While she had managed to grab a couple of hours of sleep, Ana had been awake since they had started the trip.
Pulling her legs up and stretching them out, Kate sighed and closed her tired eyes as well.
The first time the alarm beeped, Kate woke up and checked on Ana who was still out like a light next her. Scooting down from her sitting position she lay down on the small cot next to the sleeping woman. Facing Ana, she took her time to study her face. The dark hair and eyebrows, the cute little nose and the lovely lips that had been so soft and warm on her own. Sighing, Kate used her arm as a pillow and closed her eyes again.
"Why are you sitting here all alone?" Kate leaned onto a tree next to Ana's tent a few days later. She had been standing a few feet away for a moment before she approached her in the dark.
"If you haven't noticed, I'm not that popular with the gang. They look at me strangely whenever I walk up anywhere." Ana watched the flames dance in her fire pit. The other stranded survivors were not far away but far enough for the soft noises coming from them to be a constant reminder that nobody wanted to have anything to do with her. Except maybe for Jack who dropped by now and then, or Eko who made it a habit to check on her once a day since they had joined the group on the beach.
"They just don't know what to make of you," Kate offered an explanation, trying to reassure Ana.
It had been kind of awkward between them ever since the kiss. Whenever Ana had worked up the guts to speak to Kate, someone or something got in the way.
"Wanna sit?" Ana pointed at the free spot to her left on the blanket. "Sorry, I'm a little short on stuff, can't offer you a drink," she smiled and poked a stick in the fire.
"That's alright, I brought some things," Kate sat down and took some fruit out of her bag. "Want some?"
"You were an ape in your previous life, weren't you?" Ana raised an eyebrow and gratefully took what was offered. "Where did you learn climbing?"
"My dad, the man who raised me, taught me," Kate smiled warmly at the memories, "he taught me lots of things. We did lots of survival training together."
"Sounds like fun." Ana peeled a banana, broke a piece off and enjoyed the sweet taste in her mouth. When Kate didn't reply, she glanced over to the brunette.
Snapping out her trip down memory lane, Kate nodded, "He's the best. How are your ribs today?" Not wanting to go into detail, Kate changed the topic.
"Much better though Jack says it could take weeks until it's completely healed."
"Then you should take it easy."
"What else do you got there?" Ana asked curiously. She hadn't had anything decent to eat since she had left the hatch and her stomach was grumbling.
"Everything I could find." Kate handed her bag over to Ana.
"Wow, I should really keep you around." Ana chuckled and picked a star fruit from the bag. Slicing it in pieces, she offered Kate some.
While they talked some more about lighter subjects and finished off the rest of their vegetarian dinner, the unspoken tension slowly crept back up on them. It wasn't what they were talking about, but what they were not talking about. Gestures, touches while passing around the knife or the sweet fruit.
Ana had found Kate attractive since she met her the first time, she just didn't trust her. But now that she knew her better, she found herself really liking the brunette with the cute freckles. And she had the feeling that if it came down to the crunch, she could trust Kate.
"And then I wanted to bang my head into the next tree," Kate finished one of the funnier stories of their first weeks on the island. "How's your head by the way?" She laid her hand on Ana's neck and urged her to turn around some more so she could have a better look. Leaning forward, she saw the bump had receded and the wound was barely visible in the dark. Tracing it with her fingers, Ana gasped and Kate tried to pull her hand back but Ana stopped her, holding her hand in place.
"It's okay. It didn't hurt," she said, her voice barely a whisper. Closing her eyes, she tried to get her heavily beating heart back under control.
"I better be going," Kate said but didn't dare move when Ana lay her head in her hand and she started to caress her cheek with her thumb.
Ana didn't need to reply when Kate slowly leaned towards her and softly brushed her lips with her own. Burying her hand in Kate's hair, Ana willingly went along when they deepened the kiss.
Footsteps announced someone walking through the jungle towards Ana's tent startled the two women and they broke apart, scanning the dark behind them.
"Jack!" Ana sighed and wasn't too thrilled to see the doctor walk up on them.
"I wanted to check on you both before I head back to the hatch." He knelt next to them and either didn't pick up the tension or ignored it. Satisfied that neither had an infection and the cuts and bruises were healing, Jack left as fast as he had arrived.
Kate fiddled with the hem of her tank top after Jack had left. "I should go to my tent, too," Kate said after he was out of earshot and waited for a reaction from Ana but there was none. She just watched her. "I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"
"Or you could," Ana started but Kate cut her off. "No, I really should go now."
"Good Night, then." Ana nodded and Kate walked away along the beach.
"What's with the two of you?" Sawyer asked when Kate passed by him to disappeared into her tent.
"Nothing," she sighed.
"Hotlips bothering you?"
"Leave it alone, Sawyer." Kate made it clear that this conversation was over.
That night, Kate didn't sleep much. She felt as if the adrenalin still hadn't left her body. Her lips still tingled and her heartbeat picked up speed when she thought back to a few hours earlier.
When Kate arrived at Ana's tent the next morning, it was just after sunrise, but Ana was already gone. Her bedroll was neatly folded and her club and water skin were missing. Waiting a little, Kate sighed and returned to her own tent. It was a slow day and everybody had something to do except for her. She wasn't in the mood to talk to anyone and lay on her self-made cot and stared into the surf. What was she going to say to Ana anyway? Tell her she was sorry she left the previous night the way she did or maybe tell her that it had been a mistake to lead her on? Sighing, Kate put her arm behind her head and frowned. No, if she knew anything for certain, it didn't feel like a mistake to her. Remembering how Ana's lips had brushed her own, how her soft skin felt under her fingertips, it was far from a mistake.
Deciding that doing nothing wasn't her thing, she got up and stretched gracefully. Pulling her hair back and tying it, Kate walked back to the hatch. If she couldn't find Ana she could try to find something to keep her occupied and she had little doubt that there was at least something useful she could do.
"Hello, Kate," Locke greeted her in his usual friendly way, "how are you doing today?"
"I'm fine, thanks." She smiled back at the older man. "What are you doing?" she eyed the various parts of the washing machine that was scattered around him.
"It gave up on us. Could you give me a hand here?" the bald man asked hovering over the old machine. "Hand me that piece over there," he pointed at the hose.
Two hours later, the washing machine was running and Locke wiped the sweat off his forehead with a towel. "Is something bothering you?" he asked casually. "You seem a little distracted," he smiled.
"Just one of these days," Kate smiled back and hoped he would drop it.
"How's Ana doing? Is she healing okay?" Locke carefully watched Kate.
"I suppose so." Kate replied.
"Good." Locke nodded. He didn't want to push it but he wanted to let Kate know that he'd listen if she wanted to talk.
"I'll go check on her again later." Kate added and wondered herself why she felt the need to let Locke know.
Kate had had hours to think and hadn't even come up with anything by early evening when she got back to Ana's tent. Sitting down under a tree again, Kate closed her eyes until she heard footsteps approach her.
"Waiting for someone?" Ana's unmistakable voice shook her out of her reverie.
"Are you here to apologize?" Ana looked around first to see if anyone was within earshot. "Because you got me all worked up and then just left last night?"
"I am sorry I bolted," Kate sighed.
"Want to keep me company? I'm going to the lake." Ana grabbed a towel she had stashed with her few belongings and dropped the subject for now. She felt that it could get complicated if she pushed Kate.
"What were you doing all day?" Kate asked and dusted her pants off.
"Missed me?" Ana raised one eyebrow, "I've helped Eko and Sayid build some stable tents. There are still people here without decent roofs over their heads," Ana shrugged and they took off towards the lake.
"That's awful nice of you," Kate walked beside Ana, their shoulders brushing.
"Eko asked and I couldn't tell him no," Ana shrugged.
"What about your ribs? Don't they bother you anymore?" Kate looked at her strangely. A few days earlier she could barely breathe normally and now she was walking around like nothing had happened.
"I guess the doc was wrong. Good as new." Ana stopped and pulled her tank top up to reveal nothing but very fine looking abs without a sign of bruising and enjoyed the blushing effect her action was having on Kate. "Penny for your thoughts," she asked her grinning when they continued their trip.
"If this isn't Thelma and Louise," Kate and Ana turned around to see Sawyer sitting on a log. "Where are ya going?"
"I'd say that's none of your business, Brad," Kate rolled her eyes while Ana looked plain annoyed.
"If you plan on taking more clothes off, I could keep you company," Saywer smiled sweetly, too sweetly.
"I'm wondering what he's doing out here while dear Vincent tore apart his whole tent and stash," Ana said matter of factly to Kate and enjoyed Saywer's expression.
"He did what?" the Australian got up from his seat and took off his silly looking reading glasses.
"You shouldn't have stashed food there, Cowboy," Kate tried her best to look compassionately. Well, not really but Sawyer took off towards the beach anyway.
Giving Ana a high five they laughed.
"Did the poor dog really do that?" Kate asked, "And when where you at his tent?"
"Actually, yes he did. I passed the ruins when I was looking for you earlier." Ana didn't want to give away too much. After all she was supposed to be still a little mad for the previous night.
"Cute," Kate mumbled and followed close behind the other woman.
Arriving at the lake near the hatch, they were glad to see it was deserted. Everyone must have bathed in the morning - if at all. Kate wrinkled her nose thinking of a few certain people who really should bath more often.
"Let's get wet!" Ana threw off her club, bag and finally her jeans. Jumping into the lake in her underwear, she swam on her back and enjoyed a good look at Kate in her own underwear joining her. She was still kind of miffed for the way Kate had left her the night before. Swimming back and grabbing the soap she brought, Ana started scrubbing off some of the dirt and sweat she had collected all day. Passing the piece of soap back and forth they took their time to clean up and relax.
"Are you joining Locke for the boar hunt tomorrow?" she asked and swam by Kate very closely a while later.
"I'm craving for some real dinner." They kept circling each other slowly. "Of course I am! And you know what?" Kate swam closer and whispered conspiratorially.
Ana opened her mouth to ask what when Kate grabbed her and pushed her under water. Swimming away a bit, she watched Ana resurface and laughed at the look on her face.
"You looked like you needed to cool down!" Kate shouted and started swimming when Ana came after her. Reaching the surf, the brunette tried to crawl out but was held back by Ana who turned her around. Laying her with her back on the sandy ground, Ana hovered over her.
"Cool down?" She asked grinning. "Why weren't you so thoughtful last night?"
Kate tried to explain but stopped when Ana's face was only inches away from her own.
"Yes?" Ana looked her deep into her eyes and then moved her eyes to linger on Kate's mouth. Liking her lips, the black haired woman enjoyed herself. Their bodies weren't even touching, but she could feel the sparks fly.
"I think," Ana leaned her face down slowly until her lips were almost touching Kate's ear, "we should," her warm breath caused Kate to shiver, "get back to the beach," the brunette placed a lingering kiss right below Kate's ear, "and rest, it's gonna be a very hard day tomorrow."
When Kate opened her eyes, Ana was sitting next to her, her feet dangling in the water. "Let's go," Ana tried hard not to laugh when she got up and donned her clothes.
"You'll pay for this." Kate grumbled and laughed.
"I sure hope so," Ana gave her a toothy grin.
They had spread out in the jungle and strategically chased the boar group towards where Locke, Eko, Sayid and Ana-Lucia were waiting. They managed to kill two of them and now they were on their way back to the beach to prepare their dinner. Locke and Eko were carrying one of the boars while Jack and Sayid carried the second.
Letting them walk ahead, Kate trailed behind. A lecture from Jack wasn't what she needed right now.
"What was that about?" Ana joined Kate when the group was returning to the beach.
"It was nothing. I had everything under control," Kate sighed. "And this looks gross." She pointed at the blood smeared on Ana's hands and arms. Handing the other woman a water bottle she watched as Ana washed away traces from their successful hunt. "Jack really needs to drop his attitude."
"What happened then?" Ana looked at her strangely and so did the others walking with them.
"What do you want to hear?" Kate kept her voice low and pulled Ana by the arm. The colour of her cheeks showed her embarrassment. "That I was too busy watching your butt?" she mumbled.
"That would boost my ego but I doubt that was the reason you two were screaming at each other?" Ana sighed and stopped walking and let the people walking behind them, pass. She wasn't sure if she wanted to know.
"He's such a pain in the ass sometimes. He was constantly giving orders to everyone while he was clearly the one without any hunting experience. I tried to tell him we were making a mistake and never get the boars to run towards your trap but he was just so stubborn and wouldn't listen." Kate was still angry.
"So, what did you do?"
Seeing that the others had stopped and waited for them in the clearing, the two women started walking again all the while glancing at each other.
"We screamed at each other a little and that seemed to have done the trick. We startled a group of boars and you know the rest." Kate took a gulp from her water bottle.
"Glad it all worked out in the end. I'm really looking forward to this dinner." Ana nudged her on the side and they shared a smile.
"You still got some blood there," Kate pointed at the other woman's cheek but Ana just smeared it more. "Let me." They stopped again and Kate put some more water in her hands. Holding Ana's head steady with one hand she tried to free her from the blood with the other hand. She didn't even notice how close they stood until she felt Ana's warm breath on her neck which sent a shiver down her spine.
When she thought nobody was watching them anymore, Ana pulled Kate with her behind a tree. Pressing her back into the trunk, they starred at each other for a moment before Ana captured Kate's lips with her own. Pressing their bodies together, Ana wasn't sure if it was her own groan or Kate's that she heard. This wasn't like one of the kisses they had shared before. It wasn't gentle and soft, it was rough and passionate. One of the brunette's hands caressed her neck while the other rested on her hip and then grabbed her butt while Ana's hands travelled under her tank top and set her skin on fire.
They broke apart when someone shouted their names.
"Yeah, yeah!" Ana shouted back and tried her best to hide her annoyance. Locking eyes with Kate, they grinned and shared another lingering kiss before they walked back onto the track. "We'll get back to this later." Kate grinned.
Sitting around the various camp fires at the beach, the whole group of survivors was gathered to share a fantastic dinner of grilled boar, canned vegetables from the hatch and the usual fruit. It had taken some time to skin and prepare the boars for the fire and then some more until the meat was ready but nobody had seemed to mind. The atmosphere was relaxed and everybody seemed to unwind a bit.
Ana stood with Charlie and Locke next to the grilling boars and glanced casually over to where Kate was sitting with Hurley, Libby and Claire. Jack and Sawyer were playing poker with a few other guys and the boars were almost ready. She could almost taste it. They had taken turns in rolling the boars and put some of Locke's delicious sauce on.
"I'd say fifteen more minutes and we can start." Locke smiled. "Why don't you go and get some banana leaves?" he asked no one in particular but Charlie took off first.
"He's hungry," Ana grinned knowingly while she kept turning the boar.
"Hey Ana!" Hurley was a bit nervous when Ana walked up to them "What a day, eh?"
"No kidding." She glanced at Kate and laid the leaf down in the sand for everyone to take. "Here's our first share." Hurley gratefully took a divine smelling piece and Ana sat down next to Kate in the sand. Leaning over casually she whispered "Hey Gorgeous" and crossed her legs.
"This is so good!" Libby sighed when she took the first bite.
"And it'll get even better," Kate whispered back and grinned devilishly. She wasn't concerned anybody was watching their interaction because she knew they were all too busy eating.
"Can't wait," Ana winked at her.
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