Superfail! (aliaspiral) wrote,

Lost fic: The Ones Who Watch (PG13)

Title: The Ones Who Watch
Author: alianora (aliaspiral)
Fandom(s): Lost
Rating: PG13
Warnings: none
Recipient: florahart
Request: it becomes clear the island *is* what's left of their world. Focus on Sawyer if you can.
Summary: apocalyptothon entry

“They’re all dead,” was all he said. “We’re all that’s left.” He didn’t smirk, he didn’t look at her, he didn’t move.

To no one’s surprise, the trouble started with Sawyer.

Kate saw him standing knee deep in the water one day, looking out. Not unusual, really, but something about the look in his eyes gave her the shivers.

“They’re all dead,” was all he said. “We’re all that’s left.” He didn’t smirk, he didn’t look at her, he didn’t move.

She laughed it off, or tried to. Told Jack about it later.

Jack just shook his head in annoyance, and told her to ignore Sawyer. The man just liked to cause trouble.

But the next day, Sawyer stood there again, in water a little deeper, and Hurley and Charlie stood beside him, looking out. Water brushed the bottom of Hurley’s untucked shirt, but he didn’t seem to notice. Or care.

“We’re all that’s left,” they said, when asked. They tracked the sun as it moved, always keeping it over their left shoulders. “Someone has to watch.”

Jack tried to talk to them. Claire touched Charlie’s face. Locke stood behind them all and smiled.

And they didn’t move. For hours, they stood there in the blistering sun, watching. Looking at something the others couldn’t see. At some signal, Sawyer turned, and Hurley and Charlie turned with him, and went back to shore.

“We’re all that’s left,” Charlie explained earnestly to Scott. Or Steve. Charlie didn’t even blink at the sunburn spreading hotly across his back. “It needs to be done.”

“What does?” Jack tried to ask. But Charlie didn’t even hear him.

The next day was worse. Sawyer had taken another step deeper, and Charlie and Hurley followed, with Claire standing beside them, holding the baby and crying as she looked out. “Oh, Thomas,” she whispered. The water was up to her waist.

She was smaller than the men.

Behind them stood four others. Silently watching the water. Or something else.

Sun stood behind them on the shore, and she sounded like she was praying as she looked beyond the ones looking out. Korean is a tricky language.

A week passed. People paced on the shore. People watched the ones in the water. Michael had to keep wading out to reclaim Walt from where he was standing beside Sun, who had water touching her ankles.

Walt just shrugged when his father asked what they were looking at. “We’re watching it end,” he said. Then he called Vincent, and they went back to the shallows.

Some of the others couldn’t help it. They waded out there and turned to look.

Some stopped, eyes wide and frightened, gaze held by whatever it was they could see. Those were the ones who stayed.

Others glanced, but winced and looked away. Those were the ones who haunted the shore, bringing offerings to the ones who stood and watched. Water that was barely touched, fruit that was cut and shared, but not eaten. These were the ones who waded out daily, but always turned away.

The last ones were the ones who looked and looked, but never saw anything.

Kate couldn’t see. Jack couldn’t see. Locke just smiled. The baby cried, low and flat, but Claire didn’t seem to notice.

And every day, the ones who watched stepped a little deeper. The ones on the shore watched the water creep up Claire’s chest, each small wave almost enough to knock her off her feet. The baby coughed, but she didn’t move.

When Jack went and took the child from her, she didn’t seem to notice. Just turned her face to him, although her eyes didn’t move from where they were fixed on the horizon. “We’re all that’s left,” she whispered in horror. “They’re all dead.”

Day by day, and the water got deeper, and Claire and then Charlie were treading water. Walt and Sun were farther and farther, and not even Vincent could convince Walt to come in anymore.

Except at the end of the day, when they all turned and came back to shore. They didn’t seem to notice hunger, although they all had a few slices of fruit.

“Please,” one woman whispered, one who stood on the shore behind and brought her offerings. “Please, what are we to do?”

Sawyer looked down at her. His eyes were hard to read. “Watch.”

Kate shivered again.

The ones who didn’t watch, and the ones who didn’t wait were very few by now.

Kate, Jack, Sayid, and strangely, Locke, and a couple of others were all that was left. None of them could see, and so they stood close by and watched the watchers.

The first week, Jack had gotten fed up with it, and tried to drag Sawyer back to shore. Sayid had agreed to help, but when he looked in Sawyer’s eyes, Sayid backed away.

“No,” he had said. “No, this is on your head, not mine.”

Jack had threatened and swore and punched Sawyer in the face, but all that happened was some of the ones who waited held Jack under water until he stopped fighting.

When he staggered back onto the beach, he could taste blood and salt. It wasn’t until he was wiping off his face that he realized that he wasn’t bleeding.

Since that time, Jack had forbidden the ones who would listen from interfering. “Let them die,” he had spat. “If that’s what they want, then they can stand there until they die.”

“They aren’t dying,” Locke had pointed out to him, still smiling faintly. “They have found the only way off the island.”

“They’re all going to drown,” Jack whispered to Kate later. “And I don’t know how to stop it.”

Kate’s eyes were turned towards the shore, towards Sawyer and the ones who were waiting, and she didn’t answer.

She took her first step into the water the next day.

The number of people who were going to watch was shrinking. Jack felt a small stab of hope before realizing what had happened.

Claire and Hurley hadn’t come back out of the water. Then Charlie, then Sun. Michael haunted the shore with the others who waited, endlessly looking for Walt, who probably wasn’t coming back.

But Sawyer still came back at the end of every day.

His face was burned and he was covered in salt, but Sawyer remained.

And maybe it was because he was the first to see, or maybe it was because he was taller and more in shape than the others who followed him.

But when Jack finally stepped into the water behind Sawyer, the last but for Locke, who laughed on the shore behind them, Sawyer just smiled. “Can you see it now?”

Jack turned and opened his eyes, tired and sore and exhausted from fighting to keep anyone else from going.

And the world exploded in front of him.

Tags: lost fic

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