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Characters: Jack Shephard & Kate Austen
Date: 10/10/06
Senario: Based on a fic I wrote. Here. Four years have past since Kate ran from Jack.
Authors: atomic_eyes as Jack Shephard & heartisbruised as Kate Austen
Rating: R or uh NC-17, there is sex kay?

Jack: I brought the tumbler to my lips, knowing I should be drinking less but also knowing that to do this I might need a few more shots of beam. I glance at the game on the screen behind the bar and try to pretend to be interested when really all I can think about is Kate. How she'll look, what she'll say but mostly what she wants.

Kate: I can't believe I'm doing this. I'm one of those people that everyone talks about and says; "Gee, she really has a lot of nerve." That's me. I have a lot of nerve. It's been four years, and I've thought about him every single day. I wonder if he knows that, and in the back of my mind, I'm sure he doesn't. I'm sure he thinks I lost him somewhere along the highway. It's just starting to drizzle as I get out of the car and make my way across the parking lot. Jeans and heels and a camisole with a little bit of shine, just some light sequined detailing around the neckline. Outfits I used to wear all the time when we'd go out, sometimes with a blazer, depending on the weather. But it's strangely warm for October. I make my way into the bar, and I just stop and stare at the back of his head. I recognize it instantly, and I'm scared by the fact that my first thought is how I can still turn around and go. Pushing that back, I made my way to his booth before I could change my mind. Sliding in across from him, I put my handbag down next to him and looked up with a smile. "Hi," I said, unable to move my eyes.



Jack: I look up at her and I'm instantly taken aback because she looks so much the same but yet so very different. I just stare at her for long moments, unable to find any words at all in greeting. I can't even muster a good fuck you for looking so beautiful because the anger is there but its so much more than anger. It's always been more than just something with Kate. It's always just more and I hate it as much as I crave it because it's Kate and I haven't seen her in so long. I'm not sure what I'm going to say before my mouth is forming the words. "What do you want," and my voice sounds harsh but not nearly as harsh as I think it should considering the swell of emotions inside. Half of which I want to tamp down and the other half I think I should just let go. Some she'd hate, most she'd run from and none she's unfamiliar with.

Kate: My face falls. I know, because I feel it. The way my cheeks, having been high with my smile suddenly drop, and the familiar creases of my face, set in some of my more formerly permanent expressions, takes over once more. I don't know what I was expecting. I guess I'd just taken it as a good sign that he'd actually agreed to meet me here. And he'd actually showed. "I didn't think you'd come," I say, honestly. Mostly because I don't even know where to begin, or how to describe. What do I want? Why do we even have to waste time with words? We were always so much better in our silence, or in our other means.

Jack: I sigh deeply and think I should ease up on her and then I think that suddenly out of the blue she decided to contact me after four years, every single day wondering if she was safe, if she was going to make it. Wondering if she'd get caught, if I'd ever hear from her again. Wondering if she was dead on the side of the road somewhere; so really I think a large portion of my anger is justified. When she speaks I sigh again. I didn't think I would either, I'd gotten up to leave a couple hundred times already. So why had I come? I motion to the waitress to bring me another tumbler and I get a smile and wink in return. I look back at Kate, snorting softly at the honestly I'm about to impart and whether or not it was a good idea to have the previous drinks given that knowing I'm done for by saying it isn't stopping the words at all. "I'll always come."

Kate: I don't miss the smile or the wink the waitress gives him, the waitress's subtle flirtation with Jack. As if I'm not sitting here, right across from him. I also don't miss the sudden flare of anger it sparks in me. The way I want to tell her to back off, even though it's not my place. I don't have that right anymore. I pass on a drink myself. He looks like he's had a few and chances are, I'll be the one driving him home tonight. I simply get a Pepsi, and then watch his face as he clearly tries to decide his next words. They surprise me, and offset me a little. But it's not something that I don't know, deep down, if I'm really honest with myself. "I'm sorry I left," I say, looking down only as my soda is placed in front of me before I meet his eyes again. "And I understand if you don't get why I had to do it."

Jack: I chuckle softly at her words, because she has no idea what I do and do not get. "Do you know I was about three weeks away from getting you a pardon?" I ask, completely ignoring her apology because really what do those words really mean? If she'd stuck around, if she'd just played it out and trusted me things would be so different. Or maybe they wouldn't maybe I would have never been enough for her. I can barely remember where we were back then, it's been tampered by so many other things that I can't even recall if we were what you'd call together or not. But despite not being able to remember I do remember it was clear that there was something - like there always had been. I drank down the beam in one smooth swallow and tipped the glass over upside down on the table and I looked at her. "I get why you ran, I think I've had this conversation with you in my head a million times and every time it makes sense. Doesn't take away the rest of it though does it?" I'm less angry now, the bitterness is still there, always has been, like this coiling snake ready to strike at any moment. Now I just feel tired all of the sudden, just so tired of life being like this.

Kate: I looked down. I didn't know that. And I don't say anything because I can't honestly say that if I had, it would have changed anything. A pardon may have just given me even more of an excuse to run. Like a license to do it. "I didn't know that, Jack." It's all I say. It's all I can say without taking this whole thing in a direction I really don't want to go right now. "I don't think you get it. I think you want to, and I think it does make sense to you. You know me, better than anyone. So you probably do think that you get it, but I don't think that you do." I say, feeling especially brave considering he doesn't even have to be here, let alone take this from me. At least he tried. At least he tries to understand. I can't even ask for more than that. "But no, nothing takes the rest of it away. Nothing- nothing's going to make it better. I know that."

Jack: I don't know if it would have made a difference anyway, looking back, who really knows how things would have turned out. It doesn't really matter now, it's done and its over. Except she called me and she's sitting there trying to explain something I know that I can really never understand. So maybe she's right, maybe I don't get it. Does that even matter now? I forgave her reasons a long time ago but her reasons are nothing in the scheme of right here and now. Right now there's just her. If I know her so well why was I shocked when she left? Why wasn't I expecting it? I don't know if it would have been better or worse if I had. At least this way I never stooped to begging. I sigh heavily and just look at her, my finger idly sliding across the edge of my upturned glass. "So why did you call me? Why are we here?"

Kate: "I thought we discovered we're here because you'll always come?" I bite my lip, an unintentional laugh slipping past me as I realize what I just said and the different ways it could be interpreted. A blush crept up and spread across my cheeks and I waited until it passed before I looked back up at him, my face turning serious. "I miss you," I tell him, and I don't use that past tense. It's so present. It's been screaming inside me for awhile now. If I didn't see him... if I couldn't see him, I don't know what I'd have done. "I called you, and we're here because I miss you."

Jack: The simple answer takes me off guard and breaks down those walls I've spent years building back up. The walls she shattered and left behind in her wake, I've been scrambling to rebuild them but it's been hard and tedious and I'm not the same person I was five years ago, or four years ago. In some ways I've become my father, bitter and detached because functioning is easier that way now. I'm not him in other ways, tonight's the first night in a long time I've drowned my sorrows with a bottle of beam. "You miss me," I say, just repeated the words, feeling their weight slide across my tongue. I want to find humor in that, laugh it off like it means nothing but of course it means something. If it meant nothing I wouldn't be here. "So you come here and you see me and then you take off again for another four years? Maybe five this time?" I ask without anger or really anything else laced in my voice. It sounds a little flat like a statement of fact but really its a question, I need to know what to expect. I need to know if I should order another drink.

Kate: I flinch, but I know that I deserve it. "Well," I say, looking down at the table as if the answers to all his questions, all my questions, all our problems are written there, and easy to find. They're not, of course. But it doesn't keep me from looking. "I wasn't planning on that. On leaving again." Finally I take a sip of my drink, feeling suddenly thirsty. Unbearably thirsty. I glance back up at him. "But if that's what you want now, I mean, if I've burned this bridge to the ground, and that's what's easier for you then..." I shrugged slightly. "Then I'll go."

Jack: I just consider her for a long time, looking at the differences in her, the lines in her face that weren't there before. She looks a little tired but that could be from the weight of this conversation, the weight of this night on her nerves. I know a lot of things and I know this wasn't easy for her. Missing me or not. "I miss you too," I say but that's not really an answer to the question she's posing and I know its a question. She's asking me if I'll give her another chance, if there's still a place for her here. "If you think I want you to leave then you don't know me at all," I say looking at her seriously. I guess that's not exactly an answer to her question either but right this second its all I can say.

Kate: "No, I know you don't want me to leave," I reply. "You wouldn't have came if you didn't want me here, and you wouldn't still be sitting here if you wanted me gone." One step forward, two steps back, again. I feel like nothing I say is right, or maybe it's just not coming out right. Not the way I want it to. "I just wanted you to know that if you don't trust me, or if you don't want to take this chance again, I mean, set yourself up like this, then I would understand. I'm just saying that we're doing this on your terms." I took another sip. "Whatever they are."

Jack: I raised my brow and once again just considered her, "My terms." Apparently I was going to be repeating her words all night. I almost get up because I'm not sure that I can do this but I stay firm because I can't move and I have a hard time denying her anything at all. "My terms," I nod, "Okay. I know at least one of them right now." Because honestly I couldn't be expected to make them all right here and now, I was a few sheets to the wind. Drunk enough not to drive but not nearly drunk enough not to know what I'm saying. "If you run again, that's it," I say evenly, meeting her eyes over the table, "and I'll be forced to give up my entire life to chase you." Because really loosing her again? What would be left?

Kate: "Your terms," I repeat after he repeats me. He probably wasn't expecting me to make this so easy. Hell, he probably had no idea what to expect. For all he knew, I was coming here to ask him for money, or his help and then I'd just be gone again. I nod my agreement, my acceptance that if I run again, it'll be over. I'm taking my last chance. Until he finishes a sentence I thought was already over, and my eyes widen in surprise. Chase me? He would... I can't promise that I won't run. I can't promise that it won't come to that, that he won't have to chase me at some point. So I don't. "Okay," I say simply. "However you want it to be."

Jack: I shake my head, "And," I start because this isn't the Kate I know, "you have to promise to ditch the pod Kate and be you. I don't think I've ever seen you agree to something that easily or without comment." I actually manage a wry smile at that and I suddenly wonder where my anger is, I search for it inside and I find it easily, it hasn't just gone away because there is promise of something. The hurt is there, tethered to every part of me and no doubt it will come out again at inopportune moments. No doubt I'll make her want to run and I know with striking clarity that I might really have to chase her. If I'd been given half the chance before I might have but before I hadn't spent four years wondering, seeking female company because the ache got so bad and then always without fail feeling sick about it later. As though I was betraying something I didn't even have anymore. I'd stopped all together a while ago.

Kate: "Well what if I want to stay pod Kate?" I argue, just for the sake of his point. Shaking my head, I smile. "Trust me, Jack. It'll go back to being the way it was before sooner than you'll probably even like it. We'll be arguing and at each other's throats, and you'll be telling me I'm too stubborn, and I'll be laughing because we both know that you're the same way. And you'll just be wishing it was pod Kate in my place to keep you from wanting to strangle me half the time." Not that Jack ever had or ever would lay a hand on me. But we could get pretty heated. It usually ended with mind blowing make up sex that put all of that heat and energy to good use. But when we were at it, it was no holds barred, no backing down, and we really went at it. And I knew as soon as the dust settled and we were comfortable again, we'd be right back at it. It was healthy. "Anything else?" I ask, finishing my Pepsi as my amusement grow at his semi drunken state.

Jack: "I'll let you know," I say with smile and I look down at the tumblers littering the table, each one upside down and discarded. I got up wordlessly and slid out of the booth, standing next to it as I pulled some bills from my pocket. I offered her my keys, "I'm not fit to drive at the moment."

Kate: Shaking my head, I smile because I somehow knew that this would happen, just like this. I couldn't count how many times he'd called me to meet him at a bar near the apartment after one of his shifts. He'd be halfway drunk by the time I got there and at the end of the night, he'd hand me his keys and I'd drive him home. Standing, I grab my handbag, taking a $5 bill for my own drink and tip and lay it on the table, on top of us. Taking his keys with the other hand, I lead him out of the bar. His car is new, but I know right away which one is his. It's a little bit of fumbling to get him in, but eventually we're on our way. I don't know what I expect the old place to look like. I don't know if anything's changed. I just hope it'll still be home.

Jack: The ride is silent and as much as I want to look at her, study her and find all the ways that she's different I just look out the window and watch the familiar scenery pass me by. It's not long before we're in the parking garage of my building, I'd planned on getting a house years ago but that had fallen to the wayside when she left - as did everything else. What was suppose to be temporary became permanent but it was home, touched in a thousand different ways by the life we'd led and the one I hadn't led. I was pretty pathetic really when I thought about it but I thought I'd earned that right long ago. Surviving a plane crash will allow you to forgive yourself anything, surviving that island allowed me to forgive myself much more than that. Surviving her leaving, well that was merely human nature - survival can be that way. We wordlessly make our way to the elevator, up the floors and into the hallway. I gingerly take my keys from her and walk the few feet to my door, I open it, walk inside and drop the keys on the table that still has last weeks mail unopened adorning it. "Home, sweet home," I say and look back, tugging on my jacket and throwing it on the arm chair nearest to me. I didn't think it had changed much since she'd been a fixture here - she was at one time wasn't she? A fixture that is.

Kate: Everything looks the same, almost as if I'd never left. Four years have gone by, and I can still feel my own presence here. Briefly, I wonder if my clothes are still in the drawers. But I don't ask. Taking his coat, I hang it up for him, out of habit. Then I head to the kitchen, filling a glass of water and finding the Advil he keeps in the drawer right under the sink. He's sank into the couch by the time I return. "Here," I say, handing up the capsules and the glass. That taken care of, I moved to the windows, a panoramic view of Los Angeles spreading out to either side of me. First, I press my hands to the glass, just staring out at the lights. But before I know it, my forehead is pressed to the cool glass, and I'm staring, mesmerized, like I've never been here before.

Jack:I sit and drink the water dutifully, I'm a lot more sober than I should be right now, considering. But there it is, things are always different with Kate around, that's something I do remember. I feel nostalgic for life on the island, back before we were forced to reintegrate, for those few days when we found simplicity in sitting on the beach or by a fire or curled up beneath the stars. After a few minutes and entire glass of water I glance at her at the window. It takes me a moment to decide to get up, I stand behind her just watching the curve of her back and the fog I can make out on the glass, a result of her deep breaths. "I can barely remember before," I hope I don't have to get specific, "I remember the island without issue but those first months when we were back I can barely remember them," I chuckle lightly, "My therapist tells me I'm repressing because remembering what I lost would be too painful but I think maybe I didn't think I deserved the good memories, like I should have done something to keep things from turning out the way they did." I reach my hand up and just tug lightly on her hair, "All roads lead here, isn't that what John used to always say? You think he's right?" I don't really know what I'm trying to say or the point of the words, maybe I feel the need to fill the space and I can't just ask 'what now'.

Kate: He appeared behind me in my own reflection after a few minutes, after the sturdy sound of his footsteps echoed through the silence as he'd made his way over here. It was interesting, to watch his expressions change in an incorporeal form. And when he tugged my hair, I closed my eyes briefly. Too much memory wrapped up in such a small space. He brought up Locke, and I wasn't counting on that. Since when did Jack buy into John Locke's philosophies? "I think so," I reply to his reflection. "At least with you and I, it seems that way. We keep stumbling back. Even since then, since we were on the island. It's like gravity. Like no matter how far out of this orbit we go, we always gravitate right back to each other. Eventually. Somehow." I turn, pressing my back to the glass this time. Reaching forward, I grab him by his belt loops and pull him toward me. "Come here, you," I whisper softly. "Do you feel it's worth it?" I ask him. "Everything we've been through, to keep ending up here, if this is where it ultimately ends, is it worth it to you?"

Jack: I rest a hand on the glass by her head, leaning into her slightly and I rest my other hand at her hip. I can suddenly see a thousand moments like this and I don't know if they're memories or dreams or some combination of the two. I just stare at her for a long time considering her question. The question of worth catches me off guard. Would I be here if it weren't worth it? Wouldn't I have given up a long time ago, back when we were still on that island and the dance between us was so goddamn frustrating sometimes I wanted to scream? Maybe. Or Maybe not. Maybe I was a glutton for punishment and maybe by then end of all this - whatever all this was - I'd regret ever laying eyes on her. Though I doubted that. But Worth it? "Kate," I say and even I'm not sure what's coming next, but that's a theme with us, even from my own mouth. "I love you. You're past didn't change that, jealousy over Sawyer didn't, you running didn't, four years of wondering and anger and bitterness certainly didn't. And that's not just it because dammit even after all that I'm still IN love with you. It's not even a question of worth, i'll never be. It's just ... truth. And that's all I have. And I'm still angry and I'm still bitter and hurt and that's not gone but its so little in the scheme of what this could be now." I'm glad in that moment, that no one I know can hear me because I do sound pathetic and a bit on the schmoopy side with the cliche's and I blame the alcohol for making the words flow but that doesn't make them any less true.

Kate: I swallow hard. I don't know if I can take what he's saying, I don't know if I deserve it. It's everything I want to hear, it's everything any girl in my position would want to hear. But it still kind of aches in a way that I can't explain. It aches because I love him too, and I have all along. And it wasn't just him I was running from, it was me, and it was this. "I love you too, Jack." I place my hands against his chest, and try and think of the words to say, but I can't. So I kiss him, because there's more than one way to tell him everything that's running through my mind or just how much I mean it. Sliding my hands up, I wrap my arms around his neck and without a second thought I hoist myself up, wrapping my legs around his waist as he catches me. We go off balance for just a second, but then we're steady, and I'm kissing him like I won't be able to breathe if I don't breathe him. "Jack," I whisper against his lips, between smothering my own against his. "Please..."

Jack: My hands instantly go to her back to steady her and I'm surprised I didn't topple over with the alcohol coursing through my system but if there was one thing I inherited from my father it was a strong constitution. I take a step backing her up against the glass and my hands travel upwards to tangle into her hair and I'm pulling on it slightly and kissing her so hard her lips will bruise. Her plea hardens my entire body and I press against her. I abandon her hair as well as her lips as I pull down the strap of her top and bra and kissing along her neck and collar bone and rocking against her slightly. "Kate," I breath and my knees start to feel shaky so I clutch her to me tightly, move away from the window and walk towards the bedroom while attaching my lips to hers again for the duration of the walk.

Kate: Tightening my legs around his waist as we fumble through the darkened apartment, it's all I can do not to stop him in the middle of the hall and start tearing at his clothes. There have been times that I'd do that. Plenty of times we barely made it through the front door, let alone past the kitchen or living room. I raked my fingernails through the short hair at the back of his head and up and down his neck as my tongue found its way into his mouth, wrestling with his desperately. As soon as we reached the foot of the bed, I slipped backward, tumbling onto the bed's soft surface as he came down on top of me, pouring his body over mine. My hands grasped for the hem of his shirt and I had it over his head a few seconds after we'd settled onto the top of the comforter. Grabbing his face, I kissed him hard, biting his lower lip as I pulled away. And leaning up on my elbows, I pulled myself up to the top of the bed. As he crawled up to meet me, I reached down to his pants, unbuttoning them and undoing the zipper before he caught my hands, and our lips met again.

Jack: The need was flowing over us like air, pressing down against my skin in the most deliciously painful way I'd ever felt. It had been too long since I felt her this close, I couldn't even remember the last time we'd been together. I pulled her hands away from my pants and pushed them back against the bed. When I was mostly sure she'd keep them there I just looked down at her and then tugged her shirt over her head and then making quick work of her bra. I sat back for a second, not really caring that she was in a hurry here because I needed to look at her and she was going to have to deal with it. Call it one of my terms. After a minute I pulled at the button of her jeans, pulling the zipper down slowly and then pulling her jeans and panties down her hips slowly. When she was bare before me I just let my eyes rake across her body, different but the same. "Do you have any idea how beautiful you are?" I ask softly and lean down to capture her lips again.

Kate: "Jack," I protested, blushing again as he looked at me. It wasn't that I was naked. He'd seen me naked about a thousand times before in about a thousand different places. It was just the way that he didn't just look at me. He really looked at me, at every inch of skin. The way he looked at even my flaws, and touched my skin with a kind of reverence that made me weak in the pit of my stomach made me feel like he was looking right through me at the same time. As he finally kisses me again, I take this advantage to finally move my hands again, rolling us slightly onto our sides so that I'm only slightly on top and can make him just as naked as me. My lips break from his, and land on his chin, then his Adam's apple, a soft, steady trail of kisses down the chiseled center of his chest. Tossing my hair back, I tug at his jeans, pulling them down and away from his body. Placing a kiss on his hip, I rest my cheek there for a few minutes, running my fingers up and down his flesh, tracing the structure of his muscles. Turning my face, I place another kiss there, before removing his boxer briefs, taking my own turn to look at him. "Do you have any idea how handsome you are?" I ask, smiling as I move back up his body, returning my lips to his.

Jack: I don't answer her question, usually those are more rhetorical anyway, besides I'm never good with compliments. I pulled her to me and then moved over her, her thighs parting and cradling my hips perfectly. I kissed her slowly, any haze from the beam was gone and the moment started to burn itself into my memory as I experienced it. They way her skin was still as soft as I remembered and how she arched her back when I trailed my fingertips down her stomach lightly. My movements were slow and unhurried and I pressed against her, her skin setting fire to mine in every place we touched. Intensity creped up on me quickly and I pulled back, kissing along her jaw before stopping to pull open the drawer next to my bed and pull out a condom. I kissed her again and then made quick work of the condom, rolling it on my length with a slightly shaky hand. The moment was catching up to me, I held myself above her and just met her eyes with mine. Her arm stretched up and her hand grazed my face lightly, I turned my head and kissed her palm then her wrist and then I bent forward again and kissed her softly pressing into her just slightly, gasping at those first shallow movements.

Kate: If my eyes weren't heavy lidded, I'd have probably raised an eyebrow as he reached into the drawer next to him and pulled out a condom. At first I was slightly amused and touched. Had he been keeping those in there all along in case I came back? Then something else hit me. How long was the shelf life on those things? It couldn't have been... I mean, four years? So did he keep them for... other girls? I suddenly felt sick, like I'd been sucker punched in the stomach. The idea of another woman in Jack's bed made me sick. It almost made me shut down. But I didn't know for sure, and I was in no place to be making accusations. Plus, we were a little too far gone for that. Besides, I didn't have much time to think about it. I got the feeling Jack was could sense my need and was trying hard to make it fast. Even after all this time, he wasn't going to deny me. I bit my lower lip, watching his face in anticipation. When I finally felt him break the final wall between us as he began to slip inside of me, I let out a soft cry that was more of just an automatic release of all the breath that I was holding. My back instinctively arched, my hips pushing up to meet him. It took everything I had not to just wrap my arms around him and pull him down, to hurry him the rest of the way in. Instead, I let my mouth envelop his and waited for him.

Jack: I pushed myself inside her, wishing that there was no barrier between myself and her but without the time to talk about everything I wasn't going to take any chances. Who knew if she was on birth control or what her current stance was on having a family. And really I hadn't wanted to stop and have that conversation so for now I could deal with the restriction. Really though being with Kate was enough sensory overload as it was. Once I was buried to the hilt her legs wrapped around my waist and I kissed her taking a long moment to just breath and take in the feeling of being inside her. Her heat enveloping me completely, I hadn't felt like this is so long it was staggering. I finally pulled back and looked at her starting to move slowly, thrusting inside her with practiced ease, my body instinctively recognizing hers. "God," I breathed out and dropped my head to her shoulder for a moment.

Kate: A low, soft moan rolled out from my throat as he finally finished filling me completely. I closed my eyes tightly, just enjoying the feeling of him inside me again, filling the deep, hollow ache that had been eating away at me ever since the moment I'd walked out the door just several feet away from where we now lay. With my legs around his waist, heels against the firm, corded tissue of his back, I was able to feel every single inch of him. I even kept my eyes closed as he kissed me, still reveling in just the feeling, the sensations that were flooding and overwhelming me until he began to move. Then my eyes fluttered open to meet his, focusing on them intently as his body slowly rose above me and then sank back into me. His face collided into my shoulder and I reached up, holding the back of his head with both of my hands. My hips were rising rhythmically, in time with his as I leaned my head back deep into his pillow, holding his face to my neck.

Jack: I kissed her neck lightly and felt the tension in our bodies change so suddenly that I had to squeeze my eyes shut. It was mere moments before I felt myself quicken each thrust, moving against her that little bit harder. Maybe it was that I'd been missing this for so goddamn long it actually hurt or maybe the entire night was welling up inside me but the impending release, pushing its way to the surface with every thrust, felt like it was eating at me from the inside out. It coiled along my muscles as I moved above her. I raised my head and found her lips again, she taste the same, even with that slight bit of beam that had burned against my taste buds she invaded my mouth and my nose and every single inch of me. But that was okay because its exactly what I wanted. I was kissing her and nothing else mattered but her lips and tongue and the slid of her body against mine - the pressure of her heals against my back. Her own movements mirroring mine; this was a singular kind of perfection - making love to Kate and as my body moved faster and harder of its own accord I couldn't stop kissing her, pausing only for the brief intake of air.

Kate: "Harder, Jack," I whispered, somewhere in between a moan and a deep sense of breathlessness that I seemed to be vacillitating between. Everything from that moment in the window had seemed so desperate, so rushed. I looked at myself, my own eyes captured in Jack's reflection. And for the first time in years, I really saw myself. And I saw him, the broken man I'd left behind who'd only been fractured because of me, because I had always been fractured all along. Part of my wanted to heal him, to use my body like a salve to smooth over all the wounds I had inflicted. And part of me just missed this, missed him. Nothing in my life had ever been easy, but nothing in my life had ever been anything like this either. It was the closest to happy I'd ever been. The way things had started out, despite the minor frustration of getting from the living room to here, the slowness we had taken was nice. It was the way things should have been, after so long. But right now, I just needed to feel him. Right now, I needed him hard and deep inside of me, and moving me right along with him into a height I'd only really ever known with him. I wanted to feel myself obliterate on the surface of his skin and then capsize on the waves that followed. And each moment, each thrust from him or match from me only brought us closer. Until my breath was hitching in my throat each time our lips parted and I could feel the unrelenting tension that wired my whole body. The way it became so much that if it didn't break, if I didn't find release I was sure I was going to die or go crazy. Like all the oxygen had left my body, and I was upside down, with all the blood rushing to my head. I needed to breathe again. "Jack," I gasped, biting his lip slightly with a little bit of frustration. God, I was so close. Digging my nails into the flesh of his shoulders, I focused on his face, staring intently down at mine, and I let go.

Jack: Her breath against my face and desperately whispered words shot through me, adding to the coiling thing that was moving across my insides, it grew, feeling like this creature that was so ready to burst forth it was clawing at my insides. I pressed inside her harder, her muscles pulling me in and releasing me with every single thrust. It was something akin to perfection, that feeling of wholeness that most would relate with pending orgasm but really had nothing to do with it. It had everything to do with the way her eyes slid across my features as though I could feel her touching me and the way they closed as she let go, her body arching up into mine, muscles clamping down on me so tightly I couldn't suppress a groan. One, two more thrusts and I was pulsing inside her riding out the wave of this things that had built inside me. My body continued to move, slowing down, every shock was slipping into my skin easily. Finally I collapsed on top of her, trying to keep my weight from crushing her. It took me long moments to get my breathing under control, I panted into her shoulder as her hands ran across my back and into my hair and then I pulled back and looked at her. I smiled, a true smile that came from a place deep inside me that hadn't been allowed out in nearly four years and I kissed her. "I love you."

Kate: The years seemed to melt away and disappear on Jack's skin, and in the sounds exchanged as it all came crashing down, dragging us from the tidal force that we'd built back into calmer waters. I felt my heart, pounding in my chest, like it was trying to break out. And for several minutes, as we lay there in silence, just remembering how to breathe, I forgot that anything else in the world existed beyond what was inside this room. Sometimes I felt like I needed to know that there was nothing but an entire world outside of whatever four walls were enclosing me. So on the rare occasion that I was actually okay with not wanting anything besides what was right here, made me realize a lot more than I even had before we got here. I smiled up at him, running the pad of my thumb over his cheek, tracing the strong structure of his face after I kissed him back. "I love you, too," I said, my voice still slightly strained. And if this was where my life was meant to be, if this was where my road was going to keep leading back to, I could only be grateful that one thing in my life had finally gone right.

Jack: It's another long moment of silence before I'm moving away, mourning the loss of her heat instantly, disposing of the condom and then pulling her against my chest as I run my hand through her hair and along her arm, repeating the process of touching her as her head rests lightly against my chest. I need to keep touching her, ground myself in this moment because everything is threatening to bubble over and take me under. There is nothing I'd dreamed about more than this. Making love to Kate yes, but just being with her, holding her and feeling her heart beat against my chest was all I'd ever really need. If she left again, if she found herself taken over with the need to run there's no doubt that I would chase her. I'd chase her back to that godforsaken island if I had to, to the ends of the earth and as corny as that sounded in my head I knew it was true. I closed my eyes and rested my cheek against her hair. This was it, the reason I kept up the charade for so long - that hope that had been buried so deep inside that someday she'd come back - this was it and that was fine with me.

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