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Title: Confessions of a Vodka Thief
Characters: Jack,Sawyer
Rating: PG for language
Spoilers: Three Minutes
Note: Fic for queen alliecat8 at lostsquee, who asked for some Sawyer appreciation. This is just a tiny drop in the bucket, but by Lost standards, this would be a major event, I think!



This is what comes of revealing his stash. He’s taken inventory three times now and there’s no mistake -- his damn booze is gone. Not all of it, just the big bottle of vodka. But it’s not like he can just run down to the corner liquor store and get a new one.

Only two people knew about his stash and he’d lay odds that as fucking sneaky as Freckles could be, it wasn’t her.

Which just leaves the Doc. Because he’d been right here in his tent, loading up his guns right next to him. Talking revenge and death and not meeting each other’s eyes much. And Sawyer had gotten the bottle out, taken that huge swig right in front of him, even offered him a hit. But the Doc turned him down. Guess he was just too high and mighty to actually share the same bottle with him.

So Sawyer had wiped his mouth and put the bottle back. And now it’s gone.

He could let it go. Could use it as leverage. But hell, stealing from Sawyer isn’t a crime.

Could be Jack took it for “medicinal purposes,” the way he took back the rest of the drugs, without so much as a by-your-leave. Jack thinks he’s entitled to every damn thing on the island, including Freckles. And now the goddamn vodka.

Fucker could be in the hatch. Could be anywhere.

Sawyer decides to take a little night air anyway, clear his mind. They’re leaving in the morning, just the five of them. Sawyer goes over it again in his mind, why Hurley’s coming along and not Sayid. It’s not like anyone turns to him for advice, because if they did, their little posse would be a different one. No, he’s just along for the ride, a little extra muscle.

He strolls along the beach, past the last tent. There’s that fine line between civilization and complete fucking wilderness here. Most days, he thinks he’d rather take the wilderness.

Away from everyone else, he can pretend he’s on some tropical vacation, just enjoy the night breeze and let his toes sink in the sand.

He hears Jack before he sees him. He’s sitting a few feet off, silhouetted against the crashing surf. Not singing, exactly, more like talking to himself. It’s kind of amusing, a steady stream of cursing and self-recrimination. The Doc’s interior monologue, writ large.

He sits for a bit, listening to Jack run himself down. “Can’t trust anyone,” Jack mutters.

“Says the man who stole my vodka,” Sawyer says loudly, pleased to see Jack jump at the sound of his voice.

“Needed a drink.” Jack’s voice is slurred and Sawyer is surprised how much that alarms him. It’s like finding your Sunday School teacher drunk.

He walks over to Jack and plops down beside him on the sand, stretching out his legs. It’s too dark to really see Jack’s face, but he can smell the vodka. Again, that topsy-turvy feeling hits him. He should be crowing that he’s found Jack’s Achilles heel. Instead, he wrests the bottle from his reluctant hands. “Think you’ve had enough, Doc. Big day tomorrow.”

“I know,” Jack sighs. He rubs his hand over his face, rubbing rougher at the edges, like he can massage away all his cares. It’s a gesture Sawyer’s seen so often, if someone else on the island did it in pantomime, he’d know it for a copy of Jack.

“I been thinkin,’ somethin’ about it don’t feel right,” Sawyer says.

“Yeah?” Jack sounds combative. “It’ll be OK. It has to be.”

“You don’t sound so sure.”

Jack falls silent. He’s dropped his hand and is now worrying a pattern into his jeans.

“What did you mean, you can’t trust anyone?” Sawyer asks. “Freckles let you down again?”

Jack shakes his head. “No. No. I’m ... I’m just drunk. “ He starts to stand up, wobbling on his feet.

“Hey!” Sawyer pulls him down by the elbow. “Can’t have you wanderin’ back yet. You want everyone to see you like this?”

“What do you care?” Jack grouses. He jerks his elbow free but sits back down heavily on the sand.

“Morale’s pretty damn low as it is. You want everyone to see this is how their Fearless Leader copes with the pressure?”

Jack turns. Even though he can’t see his face, he can feel Jack scrutinizing him. “Huh,” is all Jack says. “Don’t know why you care.”

“Yeah, I know, you don’t trust anyone. Especially me,” Sawyer sighs. He takes a swig of the vodka because it’s there and he’s tired of talking. Jack’s trust ebbs and flows like the damn ocean. He doesn’t want to give Sawyer a gun to ambush Ethan, but then he just hands him one, unasked, before the raft sails. He saves Sawyer’s life for the second time, but by the time Sawyer can get around to thanking him -- or even think about it -- Jack’s brushing him off. Only Jack has noble, unselfish motives. Only Jack wants what’s best for everyone. If Sawyer wants to help, it’s only because he needs revenge for being shot.

“It’s not you,” Jack insists. “It’s ... Sawyer, you think you’ve made friends here. People you can rely on. You think we’re a community. It’s us against them. And then you find out that’s not the case. It’s every man for himself.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard that before,” Sawyer says, recalling how Michael all but spit in his face after they’d been captured by what they thought were the Others. “People don’t know what the fuck loyalty means. Or even how to show a little fuckin’ gratitude.”

“No,” Jack chimes in loudly. He’s wrapped up in his own thoughts, doesn’t bother to ask Sawyer what he’s talking about. “They don’t. You try so hard and ...” He stops, looking intently at Sawyer, or rather, the shape of Sawyer next to him in the darkness. “Did you mean that? Before?”

“What?”

“About being friends?”

“Oh.” Sawyer scratches his beard. “Yeah, yeah, I did. You know, I talk a lot, sometimes, and a lot of it’s b.s. But not that.”

“OK.” Jack lets out a deep breath. “Tomorrow, we’ll look out for each other. And for Kate.”

“’Course,” Sawyer says, more than a little puzzled. “Always.”

“Good.” Jack reaches out, possibly for the bottle, but ending up patting Sawyer’s knee instead. Sawyer keeps the bottle out of his reach and he doesn’t try for it again. “Good,” Jack says again after a little while.

Eventually, he helps the Doc back to his feet. He’s practically a dead weight as he leans against him. Sawyer walks them both back to his tent. He forces a bottle of water down Jack’s throat. Jack chokes a little, then looks up at him, eyes clear through the haze of vodka. “Thanks,” he says, with a nod. “I owe you.”

“Yeah, don’t mention it.” But Jack’s already asleep. Sawyer sits and smokes until the sun comes up. Doesn’t pay for anyone to see the doc with a hangover, so he lays out the last of his Alka-Seltzer for him.

The bastard does owe him. Big.

Comments

( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
inthekeyofd
Jul. 20th, 2006 03:44 am (UTC)
God you are so FREAKIN' GOOD!!!! You know I'm a sucker for Sawyer being the caregiver..and then add in Jack being drunk (which I so think that is what he's craving) that's just a combination that equals combustion!!!!

I love how they talk to each other, the way they are with each other.

This feedback is no where near what this story deserves, but know that I love it!!!
halfdutch
Jul. 20th, 2006 06:17 am (UTC)
Big, BIG thank you, love! ;) I was just happy to get something written today! It would be nice if they had a moment of friendship on the show -- I think maybe the card game is it! *thinks hard* That and the gun loading scene, although that was pretty one-sided! I know Sawyer makes it hard on himself, but damn. I'd just love to see some more scenes like Jack being so pleased that Sawyer made the effort to join the group at the golf course. Or talking to him while he was unconscious - if only he'd have a nice friendly chat with him while they were both awake! LOL.

Anyway - we both feel the same! I'm so glad you liked this one!
eponine119
Jul. 20th, 2006 04:01 am (UTC)
Oh, god, I just love this. There are no words.

Perfect, perfect interpretation of the theme.
halfdutch
Jul. 20th, 2006 06:13 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you! ;) That's so sweet of you to say!

I liked the idea more than the fic itself but I'm also finding it refreshing to write a little more spontaneously!
foxxcub
Jul. 20th, 2006 04:04 am (UTC)
*LOVES*
halfdutch
Jul. 20th, 2006 06:11 am (UTC)
*blows you kisses*

Every day should be Sawyer Appreciation Day. (Er, it kind of already is around here isn't it? ;D)
fosfomifira
Jul. 20th, 2006 04:31 am (UTC)
Poor, poor Sawyer. All of his good actions, the precious few, have to go under the radar. It's just him and Jack. Jack won't remember a thing in the morning, nor will Sawyer mention it. It's just another secret he'll keep to himself. I love it.
halfdutch
Jul. 20th, 2006 06:10 am (UTC)
Awww! I'm thinking Jack will remember some of Sawyer's kindness. It doesn't seem like too much to ask in canon, that occasionally Sawyer gets recognized for doing a good deed, but apparently it is!

*pets underappreciated Sawyer*

But hey, righting wrongs against Sawyer is what got me into fic writing in the first place, LOL. And I guess I'll always have lots of inspiration!
alliecat8
Jul. 20th, 2006 07:52 pm (UTC)
*raises hand*

I'm right there with you, sister.

And yeah, I don' think that well will ever run dry. :/
halfdutch
Jul. 20th, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC)
I know, I know. It's sad when even Josh is getting frustrated with their treatment of the character!

Anyway, hope you liked your fic!
hkath
Jul. 20th, 2006 06:02 am (UTC)
I knew someone would get the assignment right!! This was perfect. As far as I'm concerned, this is exactly what happened the night before they set out.

Yep.

:)
halfdutch
Jul. 20th, 2006 06:07 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you! *smooches you* Well, I think you nailed a similar scenaro much more vividly -- and with kissing! ;) Therefore you I take my hat off to you!

And I also really liked themoononastick's "Hurley thanks Sawyer" fic, because that feels like canon to me. Or it should be!

I like this Sawyer appreciatin' thing!
astra2104
Jul. 20th, 2006 11:11 am (UTC)
Awww...when I'm queen tomorrow, I'm going to declare this canon! It's officially the missing scene they only cut out because the ep was running to long. *completely believes that*

That was so sweet; I love it when they're just being friends and doing "friends" things...*stupid feedback, but I'm sure you'll get it*
halfdutch
Jul. 20th, 2006 06:22 pm (UTC)
Awww, yay! ;) Glad you liked it. I haven't written just a "friendship" fic in ages!
zelda_zee
Jul. 20th, 2006 04:31 pm (UTC)
Aww, I love Sawyer being the one in control, and understanding Jack and caring for him. Makes me happy. This was lovely, you made the connection between them very vivid.
halfdutch
Jul. 20th, 2006 06:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you! ;) I would love to see something like on this show. That's not too much to ask is it?
elise_509
Jul. 20th, 2006 06:49 pm (UTC)
oh, this was beeautiful and perfect. sawyer watching out for jack, having a friendship moment...

i don't think i could love you more right now.
halfdutch
Jul. 20th, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC)
Aww! *squishes you*

Thanks! It was fun to write a friendship fic for a change. ;)
siluria
Jul. 20th, 2006 08:14 pm (UTC)
Perfect fic, just great characterisation, and I swear this is a missing scene that's going to be on the S2 boxset!
halfdutch
Jul. 20th, 2006 10:31 pm (UTC)
I wish! And thank you! ;)
alliecat8
Jul. 21st, 2006 02:34 am (UTC)
WAIT, where did my comment go???

When you replied to the first one I left but not this, I got worried and came to check, and it's gone!

I was here earlier and I left two comments, the one above where I replied to you and fosfomifira, and another rambly one where I told you I loved this so much I was saving it to memories. Where did my feedback go? I KNOW I didn't imagine it, because I just double-checked my memories, and there it is! %#&*!!! LJ!

It was a long, analytical comment, too, one that really got the wheels in my head turning. This whole part:

“It’s not you,” Jack insists. “It’s ... Sawyer, you think you’ve made friends here. People you can rely on. You think we’re a community. It’s us against them. And then you find out that’s not the case. It’s every man for himself.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard that before,” Sawyer says, recalling how Michael all but spit in his face after they’d been captured by what they thought were the Others. “People don’t know what the fuck loyalty means. Or even how to show a little fuckin’ gratitude.”

“No,” Jack chimes in loudly. He’s wrapped up in his own thoughts, doesn’t bother to ask Sawyer what he’s talking about. “They don’t. You try so hard and ...” He stops, looking intently at Sawyer, or rather, the shape of Sawyer next to him in the darkness. “Did you mean that? Before?”

“What?”

“About being friends?”

“Oh.” Sawyer scratches his beard. “Yeah, yeah, I did. You know, I talk a lot, sometimes, and a lot of it’s b.s. But not that.”

“OK.” Jack lets out a deep breath. “Tomorrow, we’ll look out for each other. And for Kate.”

“’Course,” Sawyer says, more than a little puzzled. “Always.”

“Good.” Jack reaches out, possibly for the bottle, but ending up patting Sawyer’s knee instead.


gave me chills. Tell me if I've got it wrong, but what I'm reading is that Jack realizes that Sawyer is learning to trust, and it scares him to death -- that's why he needs to drink. He knows that Sawyer's trust doesn't come easily, in fact, it's almost impossible to earn. Yet he sees that Sawyer is learning how to engage in give-and-take, in real friendship. And he either knows, or suspects, that on the island, friendship is an illusion.

It really got to me that Jack saw that Sawyer has been trying, really trying, to be a friend. To be loyal. Not always getting it right, but making the effort nonetheless. When Jack pats his knee, it's like he's both showing Sawyer his approval, and regretting the fact that he knows that the illusion will be shattered soon, and that Sawyer will probably be badly hurt. It's haunting, in light of what we know will happen the next day -- that they won't be able to take care of each other. That makes me want to cry.

I think this is a brilliant fic, and one that I won't forget. I'm SO honored that you wrote it for me. Thank you. I'm sorry you didn't get the original feedback; you must have wondered why I made that little comment up there but didn't leave anything substantial. Here are a million *GIGANTIC HUGS* to make up for it! ♥ ♥ ♥

alliecat8
Jul. 21st, 2006 02:41 am (UTC)
P.S. My Valium bottle says, "Do not drive or attempt to code while taking this medication." I should have heeded the warning. ;)


halfdutch
Jul. 21st, 2006 05:10 am (UTC)
*giggles*

Woo for drugged-out Allie! ;)
halfdutch
Jul. 21st, 2006 05:09 am (UTC)
Awww, yeah, I did wonder a bit, LOL. ;) But thank you for making the effort to comment all over again! And in such depth!

*purrs and basks in the Allie praise*

I'm so very glad this hit the mark! I had originally meant for Jack to be much more of an out-of-control drunk and Sawyer having to physically restrain him, LOL. But this ended up being much quieter and low-key.

I love your take on this! I think I had something a little different in mind, with Jack worrying about the next day and feeling devastated over Michael's betrayal. I would like to think he'd take the opportunity, in the wake of that, to take Sawyer up on his offer of friendship and trust him a little! And basically to reexamine his assumptions about who he's been trusting! (Maybe a fic from Jack's POV is in order! Although I have seen at least one along those lines.)

And they're both talking about Michael here but they don't realize it! Jack, because he doesn't feel like he can confide in Sawyer or he'd risk the mission, and Sawyer because he's too proud to talk himself up for saving Michael's life. And he's still feeling burned by Michael, whom he had considered a friend. For him to tell Jack he thought of him as a friend was such a HUGE step, I don't think canon Jack really appreciates that!

So I wanted Jack to be eaten up with guilt that he's marching them all into danger and he can't tell them the truth yet. Although, at this point, he thinks they'll all be OK. I dearly, dearly need to see him, Sawyer and Kate working together now that they're all in captivity together! They have to give us that, don't they?

But yes, I was trying to capture the moment where Jack realizes that Sawyer meant what he said and that wow, maybe he can trust him! ;)

Anyway, I'm so very glad you liked this one! Some wonderful fic resulted from your request. And you know I'm always going to be appreciating Sawyer in fic! It's why I do it, LOL!

haldoor
Jul. 23rd, 2006 10:27 pm (UTC)
Oh,. I like. See, doesn't even have to be porn... I like how you mentioned the friends thing, and the idea of Jack drunk is very interesting! Thanks!
halfdutch
Jul. 24th, 2006 05:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It was fun to write them just being friends for once. ;)
themoononastick
Jul. 24th, 2006 03:15 pm (UTC)
I really like this, it has a wonderful sense of reality to it - in that I can imagine it happening on the show. Beautifully written, hon.
halfdutch
Jul. 24th, 2006 05:07 pm (UTC)
Merci! ;) I would love to see them bonding on the show. Lord knows there's enough crises where they need to team up! They can always start bickering sexily again later!
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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