Title: Power Trip
Prompt: #24 - Power for 50_darkfics
Word Count: 1,923
Summary: Pre-Season Three. They kind of just fell into this. There isn't really a better way to put it.
They kind of just fell into this. There isn’t really a better way to put it.
It’s right after her dad did away with Karl, and she’s a mess. Ben won’t give her anything, won’t tell her where he is, or what they’re going to do with him. She tries Tom but he only tells her there’s nothing he can do, and that her father is only thinking of her best interests. Richard is the last ditch effort.
“You know where he is, I know you do!” She shouts, once he plays dumb and tells her he doesn’t have a clue.
“No, I don’t,” he responds, calm even against her outrage. “And even if I did there is nothing I can do about it. Talk to your dad.”
“I tried,” she snaps back, angry with him, angry with Ben, angry at the world. “You know how he is.”
“Which is exactly why there is nothing I can do about it.” He tells her, firm in his resolve. He picks his battles with her father, only fights the ones he can win, and she knows that, but that doesn’t mean she can’t try to make him see this her way. “Go home, Alex.”
“No.” She won’t let this go. He throws her a look that says she’s really trying his patience. She could care less. “I know you have some kind of hold over him. I don’t know what it is, or why, but I know it’s there.”
She doesn’t know how he can remain so expressionless all this time, so stone-faced. He doesn’t respond to her accusations, deflecting the spotlight off of him, and right back to her. “You’re his daughter; you have just as much power over him, if not more.”
“Am I?” She says. Some part of her knows that’s a lie, always has.
“Go. Back. Home.” Richard enunciates each word clearly. He apparently doesn’t hear her answer the first time.
“Please,” she pleads, voice thick with tears, a last ditch effort. She’s learned that playing the damsel in distress can get you places.
She feels the tears drop down her cheeks, hot against her skin, and she looks down and away. Anywhere but at him. He doesn’t know what to do, she can tell, and she’s not entirely sure why she chose him to cry in front of. But she is.
He places a hand on her shoulder, and it’s meant to be comforting but all she feels is crowded. She doesn’t shrug it off though because it’s still something. And it means she might be able to get him on her side.
Alex has never thought to classify herself as calculating, but she guesses they all are to some degree. She’s no different than everyone else here, as much as she wishes she was.
She doesn’t give up on him after that first time.
“Can’t you at least tell me what they’re doing to him?” She asks. It’s cold inside, rainwater dripping off the ends of her hair and down her back, chilling her when mixed with the fan that must be turned up to high.
He’s starting to show lines of wear from this line of questioning. “If I tell you, what are you going to do about it?” She doesn’t answer, merely stares hard at him. When he touches her this time it doesn’t feel so forced, so suffocating. His hands are warm, and she sucks in a breath. “Exactly why I’m not saying a word. If your father found out –“
“The hell with my father—“ she replies, and now she tries to pull away from him, but his grip just tightens on her arms.
There’s something intriguing and yet dangerous about him, and though these are not thoughts she should be thinking (thoughts that might get them both in a lot of trouble), she can’t help but wonder what would happen if she kissed him right now. What he would do.
She decides now is as good a time as ever to tempt fate, and she leans up and kisses him. He breaks it seconds after her lips touch his.
“What are you doing?”
“What does it look like?” She tries again, and this time is met with success. One of his hands comes up to cradle her face, never letting go of her arm with the other. His kiss speaks of strength, and power. Power. What she’s been after from him, since she first came to him that day two weeks ago. He has it; she doesn’t and she wants it.
Why she wants it makes her pull away. Karl. She’s in this for Karl, and yet she’s kissing another man. There’s something very wrong with that.
“Are you going to give me what I want,” she asks against his lips.
He’s not. He only confirms what she already knew in the back of her mind, the same way that she knows Ben isn’t really her father, and living on an island like this isn’t exactly classified as normal even though they tell her otherwise. He won’t help her.
There are three kinds of people: people who have power, people who don’t, and people who have it but refuse to use it, instead letting it go to waste. She thinks that last one is the worst.
It’s awkward after that. After she leaves in a fit of frustration, and regret, disappearing into her own house without anyone being the wiser about her little visits. She’ll catch him looking at her from across the camp, or he’ll brush by her on the way inside the house she shares with her father, going to see Ben.
She never noticed before. She sure as hell does now.
Except there’s one time where Ben’s not there, he’s gone to visit Mikhail, and she’s standing with Richard in an empty house, and thinking that it’s ridiculous to be this flustered over one little kiss. But she’s only ever kissed two men in her life, and there’s such a drastic difference between him and Karl.
“Do you know when he’ll be back?” He asks, a tad demanding, miffed that he’s been left out of the loop, but she can tell that’s not all of what’s getting to him.
“I’m not sure. A few hours maybe. He comes and goes when he pleases, you know that.” She can’t look him in the eye. “If it’s so urgent I’ll tell him to come see you when he gets back.”
Later, she’ll realize that it wasn’t that the matter was urgent; it wasn’t anything he couldn’t see Ben about over coffee in the morning. Later, when he’s got her pressed up against the wall, hands under her shirt, lips everywhere, her hot breath on his neck, she’ll realize that he knew Ben was gone all along.
He makes the memory of Karl start to fade, and she hates him for it.
That doesn’t mean she gives up entirely, it just makes her all the more obsessive about getting Karl back. It just makes her all the more willing to use him in order to do just that.
She moves against him in the dark, another late night visit. It makes her feel dirty and alive at the same time, and she thinks that’s why she doesn’t stop this, just give up and try elsewhere, find other avenues, other ways of getting Karl back. She likes the thrill of being anything but daddy’s little girl.
Worse, she thinks she’s starting to like him.
“They’re holding him on the other island,” Richard tells her, as she’s trying to catch her breath, coming back down. They’re in her house this time, in her bed. Ben’s been gone for a week now, “taking care of some business” Ben had told her, like that sufficed.
“They’re holding him in one of the old polar bear cages on the other island.” He pauses. There’s more going on, and he’s trying to figure out whether or not to continue. He might as well just tell her everything now. His name will never leave her lips if she gets caught. But he keeps his mouth shut.
She rolls to her side, sheets sticking to her skin as she moves. “Why are you telling me this now?”
He doesn’t look at her, he looks at the ceiling that looks blue in the moonlight that creeps in through the windows. “Because you stopped asking.”
Alex makes her way to the other island the next day. They’ve got captives, a man and a woman, and they’re doing something with rocks that looks relatively pointless, and probably is. It’s another cover up, she’s sure of it.
She gets the woman alone, and through the cover of thick brush, she asks, “Are they keeping you in cages?”
The woman nods, brown waves falling into her face. She’s wearing Alex’s dress, the flowered one Ben gave her for her fourteenth birthday. She hates that dress, always feels out of place when she’s wearing it. It’s almost too feminine.
“Did you see another guy in there with you – about my age, named Karl?”
“No. Just me and Sawyer.” The woman whispers back.
It feels like Alex’s whole world has fallen down right then and there. He lied.
“Why did you lie to me?” She’s practically screaming at him before she even gets in the door.
He shuts the door behind her, hurriedly checking to make sure no one’s around to see them before he does. No one is. “Do you want to let everyone know what’s going on?”
She ignores him, too upset, too betrayed. She stabs a finger in his direction, as she asks again, “Why did you lie to me?”
“I didn’t.” He defends.
“I went there, and they’ve got prisoners in those cages. Prisoner’s who have never even heard of Karl.” She tells him, and this is the second time she’s cried in front of him, and she could care less about how that makes her look in his eyes. “You lied to me.”
“They must have moved him.” Richard replies, barely shaken by her accusations.
She shakes her head. “I don’t believe you.”
It’s the last thing she says to him for over a week.
He shows up on her doorstep under the cover of darkness late one night.
“They’re keeping him in one of the stations there. I don’t know which one, and I don’t know why. All I know is he’s in room 23.”
She takes this in, ditching her first reaction of joy for one of disbelief. “Why should I trust you?”
“Do you have any other options?” She doesn’t. It’s cold, hard fact, and he knows it. “I went through a lot to find that out. I don’t want to have put my ass on the line for information that isn’t even going to be acted upon.”
She has no other choice but to put her faith in him once again, even if she has the sinking feeling that she’ll be disappointed.
Alex finds Karl though, in room 23, right where Richard said he would be, and when she kisses him goodbye just before he sails away with Austen and Ford she doesn’t feel the same friction between them that she used to.
She wonders if, in all her efforts to get him back, she’s learned to live without him, found something better, something stronger, something much more powerful. She wonders if it was all worth her while.