Disclaimer: If it were up to me, Alex and Karl would still be playing out their adorable little relationship on my screen (*IS FAINTLY BITTER*). Alas, it is not, and therefore I humbly beg thanks and permission from J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, and the ABC network to play with such brilliantly created characters. Further humble commendation towards The Killers for providing title inspiration.
Author's Note: My first Lost fic...as soon as I saw "Confirmed Dead," these missing scenes popped into my head, and despite the fact that it took me several months to finish and clean them up enough for public posting, they simply wouldn't leave me alone.
Close Your Eyes and See
And sometimes you close your eyes and see the place where you used to live
– "When You Were Young," The Killers
"It's my mess. I'll clean it up," she hears Locke say, taking the gun from Sawyer like a business transaction. Alex waits for an intervention, but the safety clicks off and only then does she realize that no one is going to step in this time. Looking in disbelief at the circle of impassive faces, pleas falling on deaf ears, it hits Alex in a panic that for the first time in her life she's powerless. Alex struggles against the hushed words meant to calm her like a nervous horse, desperate to get through to them. She's hated him and blamed him and cursed him to exhaustion, but oh, she never meant to see him die.
A few minutes later it's over, Ben's talked himself out of the situation like he always does. But her blood runs cold at the memory of almost, too close, until she makes herself sick. She pushes away from a mother who's never been more estranged and takes the first opportunity to disappear
Karl finds her crying a little ways into the woods, and his heart goes out to her. She doesn't hear him approach, or maybe she does and just doesn't respond, not even when he calls her name. He goes around in front and crouches down, reaching out to touch her in some small measure of comfort, but she slaps his hand away with sudden vehemence. "You wanted him to die," she spits. He doesn't deny it.
They're staring at each other, he looking heartbroken and her eyes blazing, everything her father's done spinning across her mind. The longer she holds her defiant gaze, the more the corners of her mouth tremble. Her hands are curled into fists, though, so he chooses his words carefully.
"He hurt you, Alex. He always hurts you." And now she's the one not denying, but her eyes are looking lost. Karl inches closer. "He tried to hurt me. He tried to have me killed. He wanted me dead." There's no trace of levity in his voice but no anger either, only raw openness and honesty. It's been a long time since he blinked. He's steady and strong and suddenly grown up - that isn't right at all, she's always taken care of him - and a crack shatters illusion.
They reach out at the same time and pull each other into an embrace. Her emotion exhales in a sob and then she's quiet, fingers pressed against the muscles of his back in solid affirmation. He settles his chin over her shoulder and lets the weight rest there. Alex relaxes into him, absent-mindedly staring at the leaves in her line of vision until memories of years past and the time before overwhelm her.
Before the plane crashed, before she knew that women were dying, before Karl became an Enemy of the State where she was concerned. When Ben was only "Dad," a man who did nothing but dote on her almost to indulgence – she remembers bedtime stories and fancy birthday cakes, a white rabbit when she turned five. She hadn't yet discovered the necessity of tempering love with hate, and life wasn't a long blur of warfare with fourteen sides, daily struggles for mere survival, with her father always impossibly at the center of it all.
"Everything's so screwed up," she croaks, and neither of them has a better assessment.
Part 2/2 shall be forthcoming shortly.