It was so painful.
Lying on the makeshift bed on what had been Jack’s and her tent, Ana Lucia held her abdomen and closed her eyes in pain, in denial. She’d lost him, she’d lost the one man she’d been sure would be able to stitch her fucked up life together like he did to patients during surgery. She’d lost the father of her unborn child, and once again, Ana Lucia Cortez was all alone.
Hugging her abdomen harder, her bottom lip trembled as tears made their way down her cheeks as they had been doing for the last couple of weeks ever since it’d happened.
She remembered it as if it’d happened yesterday and not a month ago…
“What was he doing with you?” Jack asked as he walked next to her, hand on the small of her back, ready to help her if she needed. She was now five months pregnant and her stomach, which had only been vaguely pouchy before was now beginning to show very much that the newest Sheppard was somehow crammed up in there.
Ana always had to laugh when she thought of her poor baby stuck up inside her, and many times she’d tell it she was sorry that it had to be in such an uncomfortable space for such a long period of time. Jack would laugh at her and tell her that the space was more than enough for the baby, and the only time it’d get a little uncomfortable would be during labor, but that Ana would probably be the one feeling the discomfort and not the baby.
“Who?” She asked, holding her stomach as she always did. Ana knew it was stupid, but sometimes she feared her stomach would drop--or she’d somehow run into something and hurt the baby.
Maybe it was because she’d lost her first child that she was overly protective with it, maybe it was just the motherly instincts she hadn’t known she had kicking in, whatever it was, Ana knew that she was going to be that horribly overprotective parent that every child complained about.
And she was looking forwards to it.
“Sawyer.” Jack announced in a strained voice, his muscles tense as they’d been of late.
Ana turned to look at him in confusion. “What?”
Jack stopped walking and turned to her, dark eyes scanning her face. “You haven’t noticed it, have you?”
Now she was confused and more than a little annoyed. “What are you talking about?”
Jack snorted and shook his head, looking up at the sky. “He’s in love with you.”
Ana couldn’t help it, she exploded in laughter.
“I don’t see what’s so funny about that.” A muscle jumped in his cheek.
Ana bit her bottom lip hard to keep from laughing since it was obviously irritating him more than he’d been all day, but she couldn’t help but find it so amusing. “You’re implying that Cowboy has the capacity of feeling something for someone other than himself—YOU—who always say how he’s such a selfish, unfeeling bastard!” She leaned in closer to Jack. “I think you’re getting the pregnancy mood-swings as well.”
“I’m not--.” He sounded annoyed yet couldn’t help but crack a smile at the truth of what she was saying. “You don’t believe me, do you?”
No, she didn’t.
Oh, she knew that Sawyer was attracted to her, she didn’t doubt that a minute, and it was most probably because on some level she’d always been attracted to him as well, but that was besides the point. He’d had his chance and hadn’t done anything, and Jack had, that was why she was pregnant with Jack’s baby, living with him, being his woman.
And Ana was happy.
Sure, Jack was a little too stuffy for her tastes sometimes, but he was a kind, gentle, wonderful man and lover who would be a wonderful father—despite his fears on the contrary. He treated her with respect, with desire, and with tenderness. He loved her; he told her and showed her it every day.
And she loved him. He was everything she’d never thought she’d have. He was from a good family, he kept her on the straight and narrow path, and they could talk about their messed up lives and how much they’d hated their fathers and wished that they could have had a better relationship with them at the same time.
He was a ‘do good’ man, and she knew that she would never get a more honest or compassionate man, couldn’t have prayed for a better man to father her child.
But sometimes she wondered why he hadn’t once mentioned marriage. It wasn’t that she was longing for the whole white dress and walk down the aisle, no, but it was a question that nagged her when she couldn’t sleep at nights.
Jack was the type of man who would want to do things right and she didn’t see him as the type to want his child to be born a bastard.
So why hadn’t he ever approached the subject?
“You don’t believe me.” Jack seemed more amused than mad now. “You don’t realize how he’s changing?”
Ana raised an eyebrow, crossing her arms over her chest. “Tex? Changing? Okay, Doctor Phil, you’ve got my attention, enlighten me
He smirked at the petname she had for him. “Well, for one, he’s annoying the HELL outta me and making my life as difficult as possible.”
Ana gave him a mock-horrified expression. “Dios mio! Sawyer bothering you? Now THAT is a strange thing!”
Jack pinched the bridge of her nose playfully for that. “Okay, let me rephrase that. Before, Sawyer used to make my life impossible just for the heck of it, now it seems personal
Ana once again raised an eyebrow at him, totally unconvinced. “Sherlock, if that is your only evidence, then your case is bust
“Well, how do you take how he’s been talking to you lately? Spending time with you?” Jack pointed out. “That’s not normal.”
“Yes, because anyone who’d want to spend time with me is insane.” Her hormones were beginning to kick in again.
“No. I’m not saying that.” Jack hurried to clear that out. “I’m saying that you and Sawyer don’t have the best history. I mean, you broke his nose and beat the crap outta him—something, I must admit I’d have paid money to see. You’ve out-muscled and out-smarted him in the past. You’re a sore spot for his ego. A man like Sawyer should want to stay as far away from you as possible, not pick you up and carry you to our tent.”
“I’d fainted. What else did you expect him to do? Leave me there?” Ana felt exasperated. What was it with Jack and his insecurities when it came to Sawyer?
“Yeah!” Jack exclaimed as if this was obvious.
Before Ana could point out that Kate obviously still liked Jack and yet Ana felt no jealousy or insecurity towards the other woman, there was a commotion, and a blonde that Ana had never seen before ran out from the jungle in front of them.
Her face was red from over exertion and her clothes were torn. “Jack!”
Juliet?” Jack hurried towards the other woman, grabbing her by arms. “What are you doing here?”
“They’re coming.” Juliet gasped, obviously frightened and trying to catch her breath. “I needed to warn you before they took her!”
Ana frowned. She’d never seen this woman before but Jack had spoken of her, she was the doctor for The Others, and yet she seemed to be more loyal to them other than her own group. “Who are they coming for?”
Juliet looked away from Jack and at her. “You.” She pulled away from Jack and limped towards Ana. “They’ve had someone watching you ever since you survived Michael’s shot. You should have died, and they thought that the island might have something to do with it.”
Ana knew that she should hate or at least distrust this woman for belonging to The Others, but apparently along with her ‘motherly instinct’ her ‘feminine intuition’ had apparently kicked in as well, and she was sure she could trust her. “The island?”
Juliet nodded, breathing stabilizing. “You’re the first woman to get pregnant while on this island. Every other woman has been infertile. They think you’re the key, and I heard Ben getting the others ready to come and take you.”
Ana’s heart sped.
Jack cursed. “Well they ain’t taking you.” And with that they hurried to the caves to tell the rest of the survivors.
The Others had attacked, as Juliet had warned, yet they’d been ready. Ana had been hidden away for protection (against her explicit desires to fight the bastards alongside Jack). She hadn’t even known of the outcome of the battle until Locke and Eko hurried a badly wounded Sawyer into the underground hatch.
She’d been horrified, trying to figure what’d happened to the unconscious blonde, and wondering why Jack wasn’t rushing in through the door to tend to him. When instead Juliet rushed inside of the infirmary and began to tear at Sawyer’s bloody clothes, trying to access the wounds beneath, did Ana realize what’d happened.
Jack was gone.
She vaguely remembered screaming and shouting and pounding against Eko as he held her close and said prayers for the deceased doctor. Eko told her that Jack had been cornered by Ben and a couple of The Others, and that Sawyer had stepped in front of the bullet Ben’d fired, getting wounded while trying to save the doctor.
Yet the next bullet had found its true target, and just like that Ana was alone again.
She’d stayed in the infirmary, looking deep into the nothingness around her long after everyone had given up trying to get her to go to bed and did so themselves. Time and time again she’d look up at Sawyer’s unconscious, bandaged body and wonder why he’d stepped in between a bullet and Jack--but she knew she’d never ask him.
The next day when Sawyer finally awoke she’d thanked him for what he’d tried to do, left the infirmary, and gone to Jack’s and her tent and hadn’t left since.
Eko, Locke, Juliet and Claire were regular visitors in her tent, bringing her food, conversation, and news of what was going on with the others. She knew she was horrible company, and that they were trying to help her, but Ana wanted them to be gone. She wanted to be alone.
But most of all, she wanted Jack back.
Which was why she was there, all alone in what had been their tent, crying like a pathetic little creature.
“Ana?” Juliet’s voice could be heard from the other side of the flap. “Can I come in?”
Sitting up rapidly, Ana ferociously wiped at her tears. “Y-yeah.” She looked up in time for the blonde to come through and smile sympathetically at her before sitting down next to her.
Juliet had defected and was now the doctor of their group, and had taken to coming and checking up on Ana to make sure she was eating and progressing well in her pregnancy. “How are you feeling, Ana? Physically? Are you taking those herbs I had Sun bring you?”
Ana nodded. Juliet reminded her of Jack, and she was comforting without trying to be.
“Ana, this is going to sound cruel, and you’ll think I’m a bitch,” Juliet cautioned. “But you’re going to have to get over it. Now.”
“I didn’t lose a puppy, Juliet.” Ana snapped, looking away, refusing to cry in front of the tough blonde.
“I know that, you lost the man you loved, the father of your child, but you didn’t lose your life and you didn’t lose your child. Not this time.”
Ana looked up, eyes wide and horrified. “How do you know about that?”
Juliet chuckled darkly, shaking her head as she sat down next to her. “Ben and the others still have internet access and contacts in the outside world. When they found out that you were pregnant they got all the information about you that they could and had me view your medicals records to see if there were biologic reasons behind why you can conceive and all the other women on the island can’t.”
It was an invasion of her privacy, yet Ana didn’t tell her that because she already knew it. “What—did you find a reason why?”
“No.” Juliet’s eyes were honest and confused. “I’m the top fertility expert and I couldn’t find one reason why you should be able to conceive. It’s like this island likes you.”
Juliet leaned forwards and placed her hand on Ana’s. “So, for the sake of your child, let Jack go.”
Ana nodded silently and gave the doctor a small, unsure smile which she returned before getting up and leaving the Latina in the tent all by herself.
She woke up screaming, as she had for the last couple of weeks since she’d first seen Jack’s dead body, and like that first night, Sawyer burst through the flap of her tent and held her close as she sobbed against his shirt.
Ana hated herself for being so weak, but she needed to cry for the life she’d had, for the baby she’d lost, for the man she’d lost...needed to cry for all the things she’d never allowed herself to cry about for so many years now.
And how ironic was it that the one who’d awoken her the first night from her nightmares was Sawyer? The man that Jack and her had been sure was emotionless and couldn’t care less about the hurts of anyone else.
She had to admit that she’d wondered what he’d been doing so close to her tent at that time of the night the first night (since his tent was far from hers), but she’d needed someone there with her who wouldn’t pity her, or feel sorry. She needed a shoulder to cry on, someone silent who’d just hold her and let her feel bad and cry and even hit his chest in impotence once in a while.
And Sawyer was that someone.
“Same one?” He asked against her hair after she finally calmed down, face buried in his shirt as she clung to him, her only anchor.
“Uh-huh.” Ana nodded against his shirt, closing her eyes tightly, remembering the look of Jack’s decaying body blaming her for his death, telling her that all those that she loved were hurt, were killed.
“You know that it’s stupid to think that you killed him, right?” Sawyer asked when she pulled away and began to frantically wipe at her wet eyes. “It’s like blaming The Others for me and Freckles having sex in the polar bear cages.”
“Must you always think about sex?” She asked with a hoarse chuckle. Sawyer had a way of being comforting even when he wasn’t even trying, just like Juliet. That was probably why Ana could only truly stand their visits. “You’re controlled by your head--and I ain’t talking about the one resting on your shoulders.”
Sawyer’s grin was wide and suggestive. “Now, I was being general about the topic, Chica, you’re the one who’s going descriptive on me here.”
She laughed softly, wiping at the remnants of the tears that stained her skin.
“You know, ever since you’ve started playing Robinson Crusoe here on your own it’s been raining cats and dogs outside.” Sawyer announced, leaning back on her bed, comfortable as if this was his tent. “It’s like you’re the island’s girl and it feels your pain and it’s crying along with you.”
“That was lame.” Yet sweet in a weird Sawyer-ish way.
“I know.” He chuckled. “I’ve been reading too much. It’s starting to show. I mean, it’s the late of night, and I’m far from the others, lying in bed with a beautiful woman and I ain’t getting laid—or head—it’s got to be the reading that’s throwing off my game.”
Ana tossed her makeshift pillow at him.
He artfully caught it and placed it underneath his head, pulling her blanket over him.
“I’m pregnant, Cowboy, or do you need glasses for that as well?” Ana asked, glad that this hadn’t changed. Sawyer and her had always had wonderful banter, and he hadn’t stopped fighting with her--or picking fights with her--just because Jack had died. “You can tell that a man ain’t getting any and his hand aint satisfying him any longer when he starts to fantasize about fat, pregnant women.”
“I don’t know, I’m starting to see the appeal of pregnant woman.” He paused. “And, see what I mean?” Sawyer asked, mock-innocence shinning in his blue eyes. “You’re the one with the perverted mind! First it was my head and now you’re analyzing my sex life and masturbatory practices? You are the dirty one, Lulu.” He grinned saucily. “I like dirty girls.”
She threw another pillow at him.
And this one hit him smack on the face.
“Sigue sonando, Vaquero.” She rolled her eyes at him as she retrieved her pillow. “Keep dreaming, Cowboy.”
“Well, now that I have your permission--.” His laugh was muffled when she once more hit him with the pillow.
Ana shook her head, a true smile on her face. Who would have thought that the person who could truly make her smile throughout such a horrible, trying time would be Sawyer? The man whose nose she’d broken? The man she’d seduced to steal his gun? The man who’d been Jack’s rival for everything? The man she didn’t even know the last name of?
To be fair ever since he’d talked to Ana the day Claire’s arm had been broken, Sawyer had been different, nicer towards her. Sure, he was still his usual arrogant self, and a sonofabitch to all those around him, especially Jack, but Ana really hadn’t anything to complain about other than his constant and annoying petnames.
They’d actually gotten to have a somewhat friendly relationship, trading malice-less insults that were nearly playful, and now Sawyer was the one here in the middle of the night, keeping her mind off of sadder things.
He was human after all.
And compassionate in his own way.
And understanding to a certain point.
Apparently asleep in her bed.
“Oye, Vaquero, despiertate.” She frowned when he wouldn’t wake up and instead turned his back to her, pulling most of the sheet with him. She was sure that he was awake and just doing this to annoy the hell outta her, and it was working. “If you don’t wake up and get out of the bed now I’m going to--.”
Ana gave a little screech when his hand reached for her and pulled her back down on the bed in the blink of an eye. She suddenly found herself lying next to him on the bed, with the man turning her so that she was lying on her side with her back to him, and wrapping her up, still remaining in the ‘bed’ with her.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?!” She cried out, trying to turn around to hit him but he’d spooned her from behind, keeping a gentle yet strong hold on her.
“Sleeping. So should you. You are pregnant you know.”
She blinked. The arrogant son of a--. “Go back to your tent!”
“Nuh, too far. This way I’ll be right here when you have the next nightmare.” His voice was muffled against her hair as his breath caressed the back of her neck. “It’s too damned dark and rainy for me to keep coming like this all night. You’re pretty, Annie-Lucy, but not pretty enough to make me keep doing that.”
“You don’t have to come.” Ana wouldn’t go down without a fight, and she continued to struggle out of his hold. “I didn’t ask for your help and I don’t need--.”
“Fuck, Ana, dammit, stop struggling.” He groaned almost painfully.
And when she felt something pressing into her butt, Ana froze, eyes wide, suddenly realizing why. He was--and--she was--but--!
“Sleep, Ana.” He ordered, voice strained, tightening his hold on her before, slowly, lowering his arm until it was resting against her rounded stomach, his fingers brushing softly against the taunt skin.
Ana closed her eyes tightly.
This was not happening!
“I’ll be back in my tent before anyone else wakes up.” He whispered against her hair. “Just wanna sleep. So shut up.”
She bit back a snap at that, and then sighed, breathing in a deep, calming breath.
“Night, hot lips.” He chuckled, obviously pleased that he’d bullied her into letting him have his way.
I’ll kill him.
Ana promised herself as she closed her eyes and drifted off into the first peaceful, dreamless sleep since Jack had been taken away from her.