It's Wednesday which can only mean one thing: another Wednesday Brief! For now, this will be the last part of Constants and Variables that will be posted on this blog. I'll be taking some time to finish the whole beastie, edit it as one piece, and eventually link to it off-site. Look forward to the conclusion, and in the meanwhile, enjoy the newest island adventure of Desmond Hume!
Constants and Variables (Part 7): LOST, Desmond Hume-centric, PG-13, prompt - “The world is a circle without a beginning, running out of time”
Canon note: AU take on seasons five and six, with an emphasis on Desmond Hume and Daniel Faraday. Endgame ships: Desmond/Daniel, Juliet/Sawyer, Jack/Kate. Turns AU during the events of "316". Spoilers for the entire series of LOST, mainly the last two seasons. In these recent chapters, events will run concurrent with the events of "Whatever Happened, Happened" and "Dead Is Dead" in season five.
Plus: Eloise Hawking gets a scene in this one! Namaste!
Desmond turns over the blond man's body onto its back, hoping to find a sign of life. He wonders how badly he's just possibly screwed all possibilities of getting to the radio station and to finding Daniel.
Jacob's eyes are closed and he looks like he's taking a nap, a long nap from which he doesn't plan to wake. Desmond checks for a pulse, but the body is unresponsive to his touch. He's reaching the limits of his medical education. Should he do CPR? Does he have time?
He decides that yes, he has time. Desmond places his hands in position where Jacob's heart is located. "Come on, brotha, don't leave just yet," he breathes. He locks his arms, ready to begin resuscitation.
Before Desmond can even make a move, Jacob's eyes open. "Surprise." For a microscopic second that feels like eternity, his skin is the color of the sun and life itself and his breath is the dust of time escaping his lungs.
Jacob blinks, the moment passes, and Desmond falls back onto his ass, eyes as wide as the stones they were only moments ago chucking at the barrier between civilization and jungle. "Bloody hell!" he sputters. "You—you were dead. Right?"
"Wrong." Jacob stands, dusting himself off from the fall before helping Desmond to his feet. "To be honest, you were the only one in danger from being hurt from that fence coming on."
"Not dead, but intense electric shock will knock me out for a few seconds." Jacob shrugs. "It just can't kill me."
"Are you a god?" Desmond asks.
Jacob smiles. "I'll tell you when I figure it out."
Back at the Lamp Post, Eloise Hawking is watching the Foucault pendulum swing back and forth in its respective chamber. Her face is calm but her thoughts are troubled.
In another universe, a parallel world to her own, Eloise would be visiting Hume and the Widmore daughter in the hospital. She would be getting into a fight with Widmore himself, getting upset over her own son—their son, Daniel.
But that universe is not this universe. And in this universe, Eloise is thinking about the variable known as Desmond Hume who days ago crossed through time with Jack Shepard and the others on Ajira Flight 316. She is thinking about the day years ago, when she told a very confused Hume that pushing the execute button in the Swan hatch would end up being the most important thing he would ever do.
As Eloise watches the pendulum swing, she knows that her words back then were a lie. It's something she learned from Charles Widmore, lying so perfectly. But she could never tell Desmond that his greatest act on the island wouldn't come until thirty years ago—or that it would involve saving the life of her son.
The universe has a way of course correcting, Eloise thinks, and death cannot be avoided. But the courses of Daniel Faraday and Desmond Hume were now beyond the scope of what the universe expects. The constants had become the most dangerous variables in the world.
Unfortunately for Hurley, his map does not come into much usage once Jacob joins the party. He has a clear understanding of where everything man-made or not is located on the island, and that includes the Dharma Initiative's radio tower. A few hours of walking later, they are well on their way to the tower, evading the Others' traps on the way.
Jacob doesn't talk much. And when he does, he speaks in vague, sweeping statements. When he's asked where he came from, he says that "I've always been here. The island is my starting and ending point." His explanation for surviving certain death? He does not believe in death.
"Then how do you know how everything is going to end up?" Desmond argues. "You make it sound like you're some kind of psychic."
Jacob passes under a low-hanging branch with annoying ease. It nearly smacks Desmond in the chest. "Because I'm clever and time is meaningless."
"Say that to people who sell clocks," Desmond grumbles. "How can time be meaningless?" He's tempted to mention his own experiences with time, but figures it isn't the appropriate occasion to do so.
Jacob spares a glance over his shoulder at his companion. "Because whatever happens will always happen. Life is a series of patterns and everything has a beginning and an end, except for myself."
Desmond stops. "So, you can't die."
"My life is a circle without beginning or end." Jacob shrugs. "So yes, I can't die. Ish."
"Yes, ish." Jacob smirks, and even Desmond has to admit it becomes him. "Richard taught me that one. The path to the radio tower is up ahead."
Jacob is right. Desmond vaguely recognizes the path from when he watched Jack plan the survivors' trip to the tower, thirty years in the future. It was the same time period in which he would lose Charlie and find Penny again. Technically, it has not yet happened, but the memories of Charlie's hand pressed against the Looking Glass window and the sound of Penny's voice from across the sea is enough to make him feel like it is already taking place.
"I'll leave you here." Jacob's voice jolts Desmond out of his melancholy reverie of events to come. "I shouldn't have come this far anyway."
"But first," Jacob says, "I'll leave you something to remember me by."
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