Title: it's the sound of the unlocking

Pairing: Jack/Kate

Rating: T (little bit of language)

Spoilers: The End

Summary: And it's not until that moment, the two of you on a cliff with the world falling down around you, that you understand his love and your love and the way it fits together perfectly.

Disclaimer: Not mine. Not beta-ed, so any mistakes are mine.

A/N: Finally re-watched 'The End' all the way through a few days ago for the first time since it aired, cried my little eyes out for a lot long than I'd like to admit, sat down and just wrote this thing. Title comes from 're: Stacks' by Bon Iver. Hope you enjoy! :)

it's the sound of the unlocking

and the lift away

your love with be

safe with me


You don't realize how much you love him (truly, madly, deeply, absolutely and completely love him) until that damn cliff.

Before, there was always this unspoken understanding between you — tangible and unconditional, that started with a piece of black thread — that you would die and give your life for him. And he, in return, would do the same for you. You'd always imagined that type love was the purest and deepest, that you would be so willing to give up everything you have in order for that person to go on living.

Before, there had always been time. Time for things to be said, actions to be done, years to be lived. He'd said that he was staying on the Island over and over, but there was nothing in your mind that really believed him. You simply couldn't believe it, couldn't believe that whenever you left, however you left, that he wouldn't be right there by your side. It was inconceivable because he had always been there, whether you wanted him to be or not, whether it was safe for him to be or not, whether— whether— simply always. And you knew there would be time to convince him otherwise; beg, plead, stomp your foot like a child, whatever it took. There would time for you, for him, for being together.

But then there's a knife in his side, Death literally closing in on him, and your heart stops and your finger pulls the trigger before you realize what's happening and the rain washes his blood over the edge of the cliff and ohgod, that's his blood.

It's then that you realize that there's no time for always, no time for things to be said or things to done or years to live. There's no time and yet the world slows, quiets, all the while your brain is racking itself for what to do, what would Jack do, what would, Jack, Jack, blood, so much, Jack.

You'd always thought that dying for someone was the greatest act of love there was, but right there on that cliff, as he says his goodbyes to everyone around you, you realize that instead of dying for him, you have to live for him. You have to, when all you want is to stay by his side, let both of your hands get stained with his blood and count to five and say his name (JackJackJack) and help him and simply just be. You want to fight him, yell and scream and kick, but he's just smiling at you a little, eyes roaming your face like he's memorizing it and then nine little words shatter your world (Kate, you gotta go. Get Claire on that plane.) He's looking at you like he understands, that he knows he's asking the impossible but also knows that you'll do it. You hate him a little for that, because you do do it.

You'd always wondered if maybe, wrongly, he loved you too much. You were nothing special, nothing more than a first-class fuck-up, a runner with murder, if not in your heart, then definitely in your veins and Jack looked at you like you hung the moon, like you were the best thing he'd ever seen. You'd always loved him the best you could, maybe not always the way he deserved or wanted, but the best possible way you knew how. And now that there is no time, there are a million things you wish you could say, a million things you wish you could do, and all that comes out of your mouth is a selfish little question that you already know the answer to. (Tell me I'm gonna see you again.) So Jack does what he does best, smiles and loves you and saves you as he hands over all those years he'll never get to live to you, for you. For you and Aaron and Claire and Sawyer and Hurley and billions and billions of people who will never know him, never know his face or his name, never know the way his love is absolute. They will never know that he, in short, saved the world from drowning in darkness.

And it's not until that moment, the two of you on a cliff with the world falling down around you, that you understand his love and your love and the way it fits together perfectly.

You hate him and love him and kiss him like it's the end of the world because it is, and save the words you never said enough before for last so that they are the last thing he hears you say.

You love him, more than anything you've loved in your whole life, and so you leave.

You leave without looking back and live your life. (His life and your life, they blend together so seamlessly most days.) You live and breathe and love and live and live and live. He is the first thing you think about when you wake and the last thing you think of before you go to sleep and it is his voice and his words that swim around in your dreams.

(Don't come back, Kate.)