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SPOILERS: The Incident.

Keep It Precious
By Kassandra Luem


The world twists and turns and bends at the edges and suddenly nothing's like before. The ground shakes and there's a steadily intensifying drum in your ears.

She slips and falls and suddenly she is gone and the world stops turning and shaking and everything just freezes for a moment. She's gone and you're still there and this is so wrong wrong wrong that it makes you want to shout at time to turn backwards so you can undo all this craziness.

Everything around you resumes its normal pace and still you stand motionless staring into the pit that just swallowed the person that might just have been it for you. It, as in the one person that complements you in a way no one else ever could. It, as in the one person you can imagine waking up next to for the rest of your life. It, as in the one person you send away with your self-righteous reproaches and unforgiving foolishness after yet another argument.

You thought she deserved to feel every ounce of bitter anger and resentment that you threw at her. You thought she'd betrayed you, you thought she was falling for Jack and just stringing you along for good fun. She thought the same of you. And you were angry at her for even accusing you of such a thing. Because even though the two of you never really talked (you only ever spoke when you were fighting, and then you were yelling, not talking and apart from that, you always let your bodies speak for you) you thought she knew this was something special to you. That what the two of you shared had Jack fade to insignificance. You thought she felt the same way.

And you were too hurt to realize that apparently she didn't, to take her need for reassurance, her questions and her prodding for what it was. A chance to talk. A chance to come clear about whether this nothing-but-something between you was more of a nothing or more of a something to you. But you've never been big on words and neither has she and you felt like her sudden need for them was destroying this precious bubble of silence that made your relationship so precious. And you were angry at her for that. So when she asked you (after you accused her of sleeping with Jack and she accused you of the same) just what it was that you were doing here, you answered her in a hard voice that nothing, you were not doing anything.

And that was that. She looked at you once more, her expression unreadable, then bend her head down slightly in a slow, measured nod before she got up and left you sitting there, slowly realizing that you'd just destroyed the one thing that made living on this damn island bearable.

You watched her, from then on. Watched how everyone slowly came to accept her. Watched as she interacted with everyone in that calm, collected manner of hers and you hated how she didn't seem affected in the slightest by what had happened between the two of you. You watched as she did grow closer to Jack until one night, you found them kissing by the campfire. And it was only as her hard eyes met yours over the cracking flames, that you realized she didn't just prove you right. This was deliberate, not an act of love and devotion, but a performance just for your benefit. Juliet has always been hard as steel and now she proves to you that she won't be messed around with. The knife twists in your gut and you can't help but silently congratulate her. She certainly knows how to pick her fights. Well, actually, this is a fight you picked, but by letting you think you got away with it, she most certainly picked her moment well. It only occurs to you much later that she can't have been all that indifferent to you and your accusations if she went to that length just to pay you back.

Your relationship has always been on of the fiercest kind and this argument wasn't any different. You've always pushed and pulled at each other to the point of breaking, because there's beauty in losing control and there's a particular kind of intimacy in letting go of all restraints, even for just a few moments.

You were drawn to that steel in her eyes that would only melt for the tiniest of seconds when the two of you were closest. Sometimes it happened in those moments when you both had to catch your breath in between shouting matches. Sometimes it involved tangled limbs and swallowed cries. And sometimes, just sometimes, it involved waves and silence and peace and calm.

But you gave up on that, because you couldn't admit even to yourself that she'd come to mean the world to you. Couldn't even admit that she might mean anything to you. And she took your word for it and went away and never looked back. Because she's Juliet Burke and she's done being pushed around and fighting for lost causes.

And then there was that helicopter and you left and even though you were back to your old life (minus the running and the handcuffs and the murder investigation) you couldn't stop thinking about her. You even ended up with Jack, because for all the disaster he brought to your relationship (all the disaster you brought to your relationship, using him as an excuse) you somehow felt connected to her, through him.

You didn't think you'd ever see her again, back then. But here you are and you saw her and even though you never got her back it feels like you lost her all over again.

She's gone and you won't ever get a chance to make things right. And while the world is still the same, it somehow doesn't feel like it. It's like a giant brought an axe down right in front of your face and split the ground at your feet so that you're now standing on the other side of a canyon that separates you from your surroundings and reaches down to the very centre of the earth. You're just waiting for the magma to come out of it and swallow you with its red-hot breath.

And Sawyer's screaming and Jack is shouting but you don't really care. The world is still turning but at the same time it's not and you can't believe that she's gone and that you'll never get a chance to make up for your cowardice. You'll never get to tell her that you love her.

The world stops.

The End

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