DISCLAIMER: Lost and its characters are the property of JJ Abrams, Bad Robot Productions, Touchstone Television, ABC and Disney. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: 3x15 Left Behind, 5x17 The Incident.

Fall To Pieces
By gilligankane


The chain comes up, like a living thing; like a snake weaving through the air, cutting into her without mercy. It wraps around her waist, clinging to her belt buckle first, sliding its way down her body and casing her legs, tightening painfully.

Then she feels it pull.

And she screams.

"Juliet!" Kate is moving away from Jack and towards her, scrambling in the gravel to grab the chain, to pull her back.

Juliet can't help but find it ironic that it takes the threat of her slipping down a dark tunnel – inevitably, to her death – to get Kate to forgot Jack for just one minute; to focus on her.

Then again, her entire life, she's finding out, has been one big irony-fest.

And Kate, Kate is just another pawn in the mess of her life.

"I hope you're not dragging me all the way back there for him," Juliet says warningly. Her eyes are hard – they stopped shining when Ben stopped promising her she could go home – and they look upon Kate without an ounce of pity.

Kate's face – to her credit – hardens quickly. "Excuse me?"

"I hope you're not going back for Jack. Because I was standing right there when he told you not to come back! And now that you've ruined his chance to get off the island…"

Kate's fist is surprisingly hard and accurate. Juliet fights back and before she even realizes what's happening, she's knee deep in mud that's worked its way over her entire body and there's a blinding pain coming from her shoulder, seeping into the rest of her body.

Kate looks appropriately sympathetic.

But there isn't time, because that thing is moving towards them, screeching something high-pitched and ugly and Juliet, in all of her 'Others' glory is frightened out of her mind, because Ben used to protect them.

But he left her here, handcuffed to Kate Austen.


She's dimly aware that Kate is apologizing for yanking her shoulder out, but it hurts so much she can't be forgiving. "Don't flatter yourself. It's just the fourth time it's been dislocated."

And Kate almost looks offended, but Juliet looks away and looks back, she thinks she sees a little bit of a grin on Kate's face.

Her next thought is that Kate should smile more.

Sawyer is screaming for Kate to climb down and rescue her, because Kate can actually do things like that. She's small and lithe and bendy and if anyone can get through the spider web of doom that's suddenly surrounded her, it sure as hell isn't Sawyer.

He's brute strength.

Kate is finesse.

So it makes sense that Sawyer would grasp her hand and hold tightly, like some romance movie gone wrong while Kate tries her best to wiggle through the death trap and free of the chains.

It makes sense that Kate should watch her fall.

What doesn't make sense is that Kate isn't the one who pushed her.

"I heard you're getting off the island," Juliet mutters, nonchalantly.

Kate, startled by Juliet's almost silent approach, stares at her for a few moments before nodding slowly, going back to loading her backpack with water bottles.

Juliet wants to say she'll miss Kate; that she'll miss being able to have someone other than the boys to talk to. She wants to, but she keeps her mouth shut and waits.

She thinks that maybe Kate will say it first.

"I'm supposed to be back at the camp."

"But you're here," Juliet supplies.

Kate nods. "Yeah, I'm here." There's a pause and Juliet can just tell Kate wants to keep speaking, so she makes herself busy: grabs an empty water bottle and forces it into the running river. "I'm supposed to want to go back, right?"

Now Juliet nods. "Why wouldn't you?"

"I have nothing to run from here," Kate shrugs. "Well, except for that snake monster. And Ben's band of merry firearm carriers. And Locke." She cocks her head to the side. "I guess I end up running wherever I am."

"You're not running now" Juliet points out and she's rewarded with a slow smile.

"Yeah, I guess you're right."

"I love you," she says, her words a watery mix of tears and blood. Her gaze flicks to Kate and the brunette pauses – stops trying to reach her through the metal bars separating them. Kate stops and just stares at her, because Juliet, even as she's dangling above a giant black hole, is stronger than Kate will ever be.

Because Juliet said it. She didn't add a name and, looking at Sawyer, Kate thinks maybe Juliet was talking to him, but Juliet's blue eyes – her ice blue eyes that are stained at the edges with red – are cutting Kate to the core.

And she knows it was meant for her.

"I love you James." It's true too. She does love him, but she's not in love with him.

It sounds cliché, but that's the Island for her; that's the Island's sick sense of humor. Give her someone she can love and then take it away. Bring it back and now she's going to die.

It's a merry-go-round of irony.

Sawyer is screaming at her to not let go, but Juliet knows that this thing will kill her and the only choice she has is to die alone, or bring down Kate and Sawyer with her.

She knows the way this is supposed to end, and maybe she can change everything.

If she survives the fall, she can set off the bomb. She can set off the bomb and it'll fix everything.

She'll be back on the Island, sure, but she'll never have to meet Kate or Sawyer or Jack and she'll never be pulled into the giant triangle of messiness they've created between themselves.

Goodwin will never die.

She can try to be happy.

She looks at Kate one last time, sees the pleading in the brunette's eyes for her to just hang. She sees Kate reach out one more time, to try and grab her wrist.

And she let's go.

The End

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