-I am now.
What I love most about their relationship is the push-and-pull of it, the conflict between Jack's compulsion to redeem himself via 'fixing' everything and everyone (including Kate) and Kate's impossible emotional need to reconcile herself with her past and yet to have things (including her relationship with Jack) never, ever change. Jack's character arc might best be described as a downward spiral throughout the first three seasons, and that Kate continues to love him even as he proves himself again and again to be less than what she signed up for is a testament to the strength of their bond.
Kate has "always been with" Jack in the sense that she continually supports him even when it is difficult for her to do so. Similarly, Jack's had Kate's back even to the extent of subverting his own moral code by breaking the law for her. Jack will always come back for Kate, and likewise, Kate will always go back for Jack. They're both inflexible people, people who've invested a lot of time in trying to control their lives and the lives of those around them, people whose lives are defined by a set of strictly defined limits. But they've demonstrated over and over again that when the other is concerned, there are no limits to what they'll do. They will always leave each other, but they will always also come back.
-I love you.
-5x18, The End]
Fic Rec #1: What Do I Do with a Love that Won't Sit Still?
Why This Must Be Read: Jack does that to her. Challenges her, breaks her, hurts her, makes her cry, but he always reminds her what it’s like to feel something. That’s why she started loving him. And, much like the crying, once she started she forgot how to stop.
Fic of my heart, fic of my heart. This story captures the dysfunction as well as the beauty of Jack/Kate in a way that too few do.
Fic Rec #2 Only Fools are Enslaved by Time and Space
Rating/Warning(s): R (Character deaths)
Why This Must Be Read: “No. I’m not going to let you die like this,” she says firmly.
Jack brings a hand up to her cheek and brushes a strand of hair behind her ear. She’s crying. God, he hates to see her cry.
“And I’m not going to let you die at all,” he replies.
This is a masterful, fresh take on one of the most overdone concepts in the world of J/K fic, the 'Adam and Eve' trope. Broke my heart multiple times.
Fic Rec #3: Context
Why This Must Be Read: The sandy beaches and rocky shores have disappeared into the night and they are sailing toward the horizon. In the darkness it really makes no difference; there is no sense of direction in the close quarters of his cabin. The only distance they cover is the distance between his lips and hers.
Jack and Kate make love on the Searcher. Poignant, moving, and absolutely how it should have happened.
Fic Rec #4: They don't know nothing about redemption
Rating/Warning(s): PG (Character death)
Why This Must Be Read: I don't love you.
(It hurts less, when she says it, than the first time.)
A gorgeous AU with a to-die-for Jack pov. Captures the on-and-off quality of the relationship perfectly.
Fic Rec #5: Three
Rating/Warning(s): PG-ish (AU; character death)
Why This Must Be Read: When he leans over and kisses her, she wants to be startled and surprised and to jerk away, but the truth is... the truth is... the truth-- she forgets how she was going to protest. Her mouth opens, her eyes shut, and she returns his kiss with a small moan, not because this is destined to be, or because they're the last people left on the island, but because she wants to taste the scotch in his mouth and know that he's really there, here, next to her. Now. She doesn't understand why she needs that kind of validation, but she knows that she does. And she can feel him testing her, too.
One of the oldest Jack/Kate fics in fandom, and still one of the best. Surreal, scary, brilliant.
Fic Rec #6: rivulets stroke the silence
Why This Must Be Read: It is early September and the humidity pools on every surface of the house. They are drained and drowsy and Jack moves back in without her even having to ask. The suitcases sit in the hallway, unpacked and snagging on the edges of the carpeting. He passes by them daily and thinks of getaways and hideaways and vacations with just the two of them to anywhere but a tropical island
Juliet dies, and Kate helps Jack through the guilt. A stunning, wonderfully written AU set in the aftermath of The Incident.
Fic Rec #8: Home Safe
Why This Must Be Read: "What are you, superstitious now?"
"Maybe." He laughs a little, quiet. His voice is so familiar in the dark. She remembers the first day she met him, calm and so handsome and bleeding from his side. Please. If you wouldn't mind. "I don't know."
Her house is cool and huge and empty. Kate leans her head against the bars. "You could come over," she tells him finally. The words echo off the walls.
"Kate." Jack sighs. It's not the first time she's asked him. There's a timbre in his voice like he thinks she's out to break his heart. "I'll be there in twenty minutes."
This fic treats both Kate's relationship with Sawyer and Jack's with Juliet with a great deal of sensitivity. I love this author's Kate, so unflinching and layered. Realistic and very moving.
Fic Rec #9: Guardian
Why This Must Be Read: Jack can be so serious with Aaron, listening intently to his rambling 3-year-old prattle as if it were a speech by a Nobel Prize winner. And then, just when she thinks Jack is too serious, there comes his smile, rare on the island, more frequent now, as Aaron laughs.
A Jack/Kate/Aaron fic, written before Something Nice Back Home with eerie foresight. This fic captures the duality of Kate's character far better than canon ever did, and leaves us hoping for a happy ending.
Fic Rec #10: Gone Tomorrow
Link: http://isis2015.livejournal.com/553966.html (Link to part 8, with links to previous parts in header)
Rating/Warning(s): Varies from PG-13 to R
Why This Must Be Read: He was starting to think that he would never find Kate, resigning himself to the fact that he was going to coexist with these feelings forever. And even if he did find her, what was he going to say to her.
“Why did you abandon me?”
“Couldn’t you trust me?”
“Did you ever really care at all?”
He didn’t know what he would say. He didn’t think there was anything to say. Maybe he just needed to see her. Maybe he just needed closure. Maybe it wasn’t about Kate at all.
Who was he kidding? Of course it was about Kate. It had always been about Kate.
I've never been a fan of multi-chapter fics, but this one is an absolute gem. While the focus is on Jack's search for Kate, the ensemble is also written brilliantly, and the plot is integrated seamlessly with the characterization. I guarantee you won't be able to stop reading this once you start.