Taken care of
He didn't understand. She'd been doing so well. Kate was pale but she managed a smile up at Jack.
"I know you'll take care of her Jack."
Shaking his head in denial, he grabbed for her hand. A watery smile adorned his lips.
"You're going to be just fine. You and Megan are going to be fine."
Denial was what he was best at sometimes. He let it in especially when he knew someone was going to die. Not giving up on her was his only hope. His pleading eyes stared into Juliet's blue ones.
"They'll make it through this right? Megan and Kate?"
They were his family now. This island had taken so much from him, but he would give his very last breath to save the woman he loved and his little girl. Scanning Juliet's eyes, once more Jack pushed a strand of hair away from Kate's sweaty forehead.
"Jack I'm sorry. But you know how this is going to end. I know you don't believe in miracles. But Kate got 6 extra weeks of life she shouldn't have."
Jack's eyes glazed over momentarily and then determination crossed them.
"Would Kate and the baby have a better chance if we did a C-section rather than have her deliver naturally?"
Juliet's gaze softened more. She'd done everything in her power over the last 9 months to help Kate survive.
"She has less than a 5 percent chance of surviving Jack."
Jack could tell Juliet was fighting the tears that were threatening to cascade down her cheeks at any moment. Hard-set determination lined Jack's face, and he shook his head no.
"I'm not giving up on her. They both deserve a fighting chance. Now are we going to give her that epidural or not?"
Jack hadn't meant his last sentence to sound so sharp and a bit annoyed, he was just on edge and tired. They'd been at this for almost 2 days. Juliet silently nodded her head and got what she was looking for. Helping Kate sit up and pulling her into a hug, he could see she was scared.
"What's going to happen to Megan?"
His heart sunk at the sound of Kate's words. However, stubbornness and determination kept lining his features. He wasn't going to lose the two things he loved most.
"She'll be out in a minute. Everything's going to be fine."
Jack felt if he kept repeating that to himself enough everything would be fine. But he knew the cold hard facts that were in front of him; women who got pregnant on the island die. That one sentence kept running through his mind like a war drum getting louder and louder as the minutes passed. He heard Kate hiss and felt her tense slightly in his embrace. He didn't like hearing her cry like this. It absolutely tore him into a million shreds.
"I know it hurts Kate. Just keep breathing. It'll all be over soon ok?"
Heart sinking even further, Jack mentally beat himself up for his last sentence. It'll all be over soon. The outcome he wished for was for his daughter to be healthy and that Kate would get to see her, to hold her. Swallowing, he knew it would be a few minutes before the drugs took effect. It was 25 agonizingly long minutes before Kate felt no pain whatsoever. Juliet tried to give her a warm smile, but it faltered.
"How are you feeling Kate?"
Blurry-eyed she smiled tiredly up at her and then held Jack's left hand.
"Doesn't hurt anymore."
Sighing in relief, Jack was happy she wasn't in so much pain. Kissing her hand, he took a seat on a stool next to her. As Juliet did her work, she tried to make happy conversation with the couple in front of her.
"So how did you come up with the name Megan?"
Kate gave a soft and tired laugh and looked at Jack, then back to Juliet.
"I've always thought that if I had a daughter someday I would name her Megan. My mom once told me that she had picked Megan for my name, but when she saw me right after I was born, she stuck with Kate."
Juliet managed a sincere smile as wailing began to fill the room. Jack was in awe at the squirming pink and wrinkly baby in Juliet's arms. It'd been quite some time since he'd been in a room during a live birth. More than 6 years ago if he remembered correctly. They'd been on the island for 5 years now. The chance of ever being rescued was almost slim to none. Pulling some gloves on over his hands, Jack began cleaning Megan's nose and mouth. She only wailed louder. Carefully cutting the umbilical cord, he placed Megan in a blanket and into Kate's arms. Tears stung her eyes as she looked at their daughter.
"She's beautiful Jack. She looks like you."
Jack gave a chuckle and traced Megan's delicate eyebrows.
"Well, her lips might be mine, even her nose. But her eyebrows are definitely her mother's."
Kate's eyes fluttered and then they shut. He gritted his teeth at the sound of the heart monitor off to the side of the table. He'd braced himself, he knew she was gone. But just because the heart monitor began to flat line didn't mean he couldn't get her heart beating again. Denial consumed him now and he was frantically trying to fix what had already been done.
"Come on Kate; breathe. You can do this."
Juliet wrapped a hand around Jack's left wrist and shook her head at him.
"Jack there isn't anything we can do. She's gone. Her heart gave out."
He wouldn't and couldn't accept what was happening.
"No Juliet. You promised me! You promised us that she was going to be just fine! You said that you could make her better. She wouldn't die you said…"
Juliet paused and thought about what Jack said. Wringing her hands and then folding them in her lap she frowned once more.
"You misunderstood me Jack. Kate was a miracle in itself. It wasn't the island that was helping her, it was the injections. Since she has been the only woman on this island on record to reach her third trimester this is essentially uncharted waters. The last time I tested her blood, her immune system was starting to turn on itself. I didn't promise you that Kate would get better. I only said that because her condition hadn't deteriorated in her second trimester and she was healthy. But the closer she got to her third trimester the worse she got. I've never seen a mother fight so hard."
Jack's eyes stung. Megan was still cradled in Kate's arms. How was he supposed to take care of this tiny baby by himself? Jack let his head sink down on the table next to Kate's and he began to sob. He hadn't noticed Juliet had left him alone for some privacy. He stared at the ceiling and then began to yell at it.
"Are you happy? You've taken everything from me!"
He knew the island wouldn't let him die, but it wouldn't let him leave either.
One Week Later
"Come on Megan. I know you're hungry. Please eat something for daddy."
He sighed as the fussy infant continued to whine more.
"Need some help?"
A tired smile crossed his face as Juliet stood just outside his tent.
"Thank-you. I haven't been able to get her to eat a thing this morning."
Juliet stepped inside Jack's tent and took a seat next to him. Scooping Megan into her arms she gave him a warm smile. But sadness lie beneath it. Grief tinged his features, but he hid it well. He had to be brave. For his daughter. Taking a water bottle Jack had fashioned into a baby bottle she smiled down at the pink bundle. Tiny arms flailed as Juliet tried to get Megan to eat. Succeeding in getting her to take a drink, Juliet turned to Jack.
"Where did you find food for her?"
Jack shook his head and smirked slightly.
The two were interrupted by the sound of trees rustling behind Jack's tent. Jack and Juliet both stood up and looked outside the tent in time to see a confused and disheveled Kate emerge from the jungle. Her hair was still matted to her head and she was smudged with dirt.
"Jack? What happened to me?"
Jack's heart sunk. Anything was possible on this island. Maybe Kate hadn't died after all. Maybe he was getting a second chance to fix things. After all, he'd found the one person that could fix him. They fixed each other.
To Be Continued…