Title: We Held Hands on the Last Night on Earth
Characters/Pairings: Miles/Richard, Ben
Spoilers: Through 6x13 "The Last Recruit"
Warnings: Character death. This does not have a happy ending, just so you know.
Disclaimer: I don't own LOST - and this is NOT what it would look like if I did. Title is courtesy of AFI.
Summary: In retrospect, Miles knows the smart thing would have been to go with Hurley. Used for my sacred_20 claim, prompt: fate.
A/N: This is the extreme opposite of how I want the show to end. I'm not even kidding. Also, Lostpedia tells me that we don't know Richard's number (if he even has one), so I made one up for him.
In retrospect, Miles knows the smart thing would have been to follow Hurley. The guy's rarely wrong and as unlikely as it sounds, if there's one person on the island who could actually save everyone's asses in certain-death situations such as this, it'd be Hurley.
But he's not thinking that way when the time comes for him to make the choice. The main thing running through his mind is what happened at the Temple, and he doubts the black smoke that ripped through the place has much interest in a peaceful resolution. Talking isn't going to stop that thing, so he goes with Richard.
No matter how far Richard may have fallen from the calm guy who's so in control of everything he was a week ago, Miles still firmly believes that he knows a hell of a lot more about what's going on than anyone else. And if he says they're all fucked if that thing gets off the island, Miles is inclined to go along with that
That night, when he gladly follows Richard to some random tree in the jungle of mystery – maybe for the last time – he forgets everything. He forgets that they're probably on a suicide mission and forgets that Linus is sleeping a few yards away, although at this point he doubts either of them would even care if he woke up. It was important to keep it a secret in the 70's but that shit doesn't matter anymore.
And at the moment they don't have to think about the shit that does matter and Miles wants to keep it that way as long as possible. All he has to think about his keeping quiet and appreciating the pretty fucking spectacular things a guy who's probably had two hundred years of practice can do.
They're determined not to let it end until it has to, even after they both come, and they lie together for a long time, naked and sweaty, in a tangled heap on the jungle floor. Miles accidentally falls asleep. When he wakes up it's just before dawn and finds Richard getting dressed.
“Do you think we can actually stop him?” Miles asks as they walk back to their camp.
Richard hesitates. “We might have a chance.”
It's a more hopeful answer than Miles had been expecting. Maybe they're not completely fucked yet.
The next morning they grab the C4 from Linus' old house and no one objects when Richard says he'll carry the explosives in his bag. “Must be nice being invincible,” Miles says with the best smirk he can muster.
He's not really surprised when Richard doesn't smile back, but the bitterness in his voice is enough to keep Miles quiet for a while. “Try it.”
Richard suggests a shortcut and they head out across the jungle. The silence that hovers over them makes Miles uncomfortable. But he imagines they're all thinking basically the same thing – best case scenario, they blow up destroying the only way that monster can leave the island; worst case scenario, said monster catches them, rips them to pieces, and leaves anyway, rendering their efforts completely null and void. What's the point of saying it out loud?
The silence is broken when they come upon an old lighthouse. “Why are we stopping here?” Linus asks.
“I need to see something,” Richard says as he steps through the door.
When the spiral staircase finally ends, they find a giant dial surrounded by Jack's seven-plus years of bad luck.
Jack and Hurley already told them what's on the dial. This really isn't the time or place for curiosity, but they're drawn to it like moths to a flame. Miles spots plenty of familiar names. Faraday. Ford. Reyes. Burke. Dread creeps up his spine and he keeps looking even though he knows he shouldn't.
And finally, there it is – 171 Straume, with a nice fat line through it.
It's scary, knowing that this Jacob guy knew his name and sealed his fate probably before he was even born. Miles has never believed this shit about destiny, but something like it is staring him in the face and it freaks him out as much as the fact that the other people with crossed-out names are all very dead.
He looks to his left and follows Richard's eyes to 200 Alpert. He glances at Linus to his right and judging by his expression, he's found his name as well. When Miles turns, his hand brushes Richard's arm and they both shiver.
No one says anything. Talking is even more useless now. This time Miles knows they're all thinking the same thing. After a long time they finally leave, walking toward the beach like three condemned men on their way to the gallows.
We're so fucked.
The plan is simple: Richard will sneak onto the plane while Miles and Linus keep watch for Locke or any of his people. Miles is secretly relieved when Linus volunteers to go instead. Richard argues, of course, but relents in the end. They wish Linus luck and something passes between him and Richard that Miles doesn't quite understand.
The waiting is the worst part. Miles' stomach feels like it's in the back of his throat and he can't be still. He feels Richard's hand on the small of his back. It's as comforting anything could be given the circumstances. Miles looks at him – Richard's face doesn't betray his fear even though Miles can feel it.
They hear shouts from the beach, followed by an awful silence. Then they hear gunshots.
They wait five minutes but they know Linus isn't coming back and that they'll join him if they hang around any longer.
When they're a safe (safe-ish) distance away they stop running. Richard braces himself against a tree, clearly doing everything he can to keep it together, and Miles paces, cursing to himself.
This is it – the end. Their only chance of stopping Locke is gone and there's nothing left for them to do. He's won. Game over.
“We're fucked,” Miles says without realizing he's shouting.
Richard nods in agreement.
They watch from across the island as Locke loads everyone onto the plane.
It's pretty far away but Miles can see the unmistakable figure of Hurley as he pauses at the top of the steps and looks around. Miles knows he's looking for him. He throws his binoculars to the ground and walks away, wiping angrily at his eyes. He couldn't get to the plane in time even if he tried. And what would he do when he got there? Go with them and die anyway?
He's completely powerless and it pisses him off.
The engine roars and they watch the plane slowly disappear into the horizon.
Miles opens his mouth, but Richard steals his words before he can get them out. “We're fucked.”
They wait for eight days. Miles keeps count on the side of a coconut tree.
They don't do anything else. They only leave the beach to get fruit on the rare occasions that either of them actually eat. They don't sleep much. They don't touch, they don't fuck, they barely even talk. All they do is wait.
Miles isn't sure what he expected the apocalypse to look like, but the black clouds and angry waves that show up on the eighth day seem about right. He finds Richard on the beach, facing the ocean, and goes to stand next to him.
When Richard takes Miles' hand in his they're both shaking.
“So... I guess this is it,” Miles says lamely, because he feels like he should say something. What do people say at the end of the world, exactly?
“Guess so,” Richard says.
Miles turns and Richard cups his cheek and kisses him. The ground starts to shake.
Miles forgets his usual sentiment this time. It's painfully clear anyway. He just closes his eyes, squeezes Richard's hand, and waits to go down with the ship.