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Trimming the Tree (Jack/Sawyer) - R

Title: Trimming the Tree
Pairing: Jack/Sawyer
Rating: R
Summary: Jack's determined to have a Merry Christmas, even if it kills him
Note: Written for gemjam for lost_hohoho. She asked for "Jack/Sawyer, post-island, decorating their first Christmas tree together." Angsty, but not overly so, I hope. I'd love to write the Sawyer birthday prompt later, if you like! ;) Enormous thanks to zelda_zee for the beta! Using fanfic100 prompt, “children."



Sawyer couldn’t even come with him to get the fucking tree. He’d just stayed sprawled on the couch, beer in hand, watching the game while Jack stood at the door, waiting for him to change his mind.

Sawyer had perfected the art of pretending Jack didn’t exist. He didn’t move a muscle, other than to bring the bottle to his lips.

Jack finally had to go by himself and he didn’t care that he slammed the door behind him. Already this Christmas, their first real Christmas together, was a failure. Which, he had to admit, made it just like every other Christmas he’d known growing up.

He flipped on the radio in the car and as luck would have it, someone -- he had no idea who since it wasn’t Elvis -- was singing, I’ll have a blue Christmas without you...With you is more like it,” he grumbled out loud and switched the radio off.

What was wrong with putting up a Christmas tree? Sawyer had already commented on Jack getting out all his mother’s decorations and setting them on the coffee table in preparation. He pointed to the neat labeling on the side of each box. “Now I know where you get it from,” he said, eyeing the boxes with distaste.

“What?” Jack didn’t like the edge in his voice, the one Sawyer kept putting there.

“Being so damn organized.” Sawyer said the word like you’d say “selfish.” Or “stupid.”

Jack hadn’t bothered to defend himself or his late mother’s neatness. There was no point, really. He’d just gone to get his coat, because if he didn’t get to the lot tonight, he’d have to wait until tomorrow and tonight was the night he’d set aside for the tree.

The lot was too brightly lit and the trees far too expensive, but he found a perfect one almost immediately, to his annoyance. He shoved $100 at the lot manager and muttered something about highway robbery and then he loaded up the tree by himself. If Sawyer didn’t like this tree, he could just go get his own.

He carried it into the house without any help from Sawyer. He already had the Christmas tree stand set up in the corner, but the bottom of the tree was too bushy to fit. He had to go to the garage -- with Sawyer looking on with a raised eyebrow at the proceedings -- and find a saw. It was only after he’d spent a good 10 minutes looking for it that he realized that since they’d never needed a saw, they’d never bought one.

He sagged against the workbench and blew out a breath. He wasn’t going to lose it. He was going to go in there and get the damn tree up somehow and they were going to have a merry Christmas, even if it killed him.

Jack walked back in to find Sawyer kneeling by the tree, a pile of branches sitting next to him. He smiled at Jack’s confusion and held up a serrated knife, the one Jack had used to cut his bagel that morning. “Gotta improvise,” he said with a flash of dimples, as if he were pleased to find that The Great Planner had fallen down in his flawless preparations.

“You’re ruining the knife,” Jack said, instantly regretting how Sawyer stiffened at not being thanked. He was finally helping, after all.

“Love you too,” Sawyer said with a shake of his head, turning back to the tree. “You’re the one who wanted the fuckin’ thing.”

Jack took over Sawyer’s place on the couch. The bottle of beer wasn’t empty, so he picked it up, playing with the label. He couldn’t explain why this was so important to him, just as he couldn’t understand why Sawyer was so opposed to the idea. Ever since the rescue, since Sawyer had moved in with him three months ago, he’d waited for the day Sawyer simply wasn’t there when he woke up, for the day he’d decide that domesticity and happy ever after and Jack weren’t for him. Jack had tried not to push. He’d resisted talking about anything farther off than next week because he didn’t want Sawyer to feel trapped. And maybe a tree with all the trimmings was a trap.

Sawyer had finished sawing and sat back on his heels to survey his handiwork. He wiped his bare hands on his jeans, ruining them, Jack could have told him, since the sap was never going to come out, but Sawyer was actually looking pleased so he didn’t say anything.

Jack felt like he’d been walking on eggshells this whole time. Like he might as well still be ten years old, trying to guess what poorly chosen word or tone of voice was going to set his father off. Or it might as well be just a few years ago, those last few months with Sarah when they’d passed the butter at the breakfast table and smiled brittle smiles at each other until he’d thought his face might crack from the effort.

”I just thought you...” Jack hesitated, picking at the edge of the beer label. He was always reluctant to make even the vaguest reference to the spectacular tragedy of Sawyer’s childhood. He cleared his throat, started over. “Just thought maybe you didn’t have one, all those years on the move.”

Sawyer laughed at that, a snort of amusement or annoyance or both. “Right. I’m Christmas tree-deprived. Worst tragedy ever.”

Jack’s chest hurt, the way it always did when he thought of what Sawyer went through growing up: being bounced from home to home, and then a life spent on the run, always looking over his shoulder, never trusting anyone, never having a home to call his own.

Sawyer had managed to get the tree into the stand, tightening the screws on each side until it was standing up straight and proud. He snatched his beer back from Jack’s halfhearted grip and drained it in one go, wiping his mouth like he’d done a hard day’s work and he’d really needed that beer. In his untucked plaid shirt and his worn jeans, he looked like some impossibly handsome construction worker, one who could stop traffic dead when he shook loose that mess of shaggy blonde hair.

Jack had never gotten used to having these intense, conflicted feelings for Sawyer: a lust so strong he sometimes couldn’t breathe, coupled with that bone-deep protectiveness that he did his best to keep hidden for fear of spooking him. Mostly, he thought, he ended up watching Sawyer, wanting him and not being quite sure whether he really had him. And not at all sure what to do to keep him.

He’d wanted so badly to create a home with Sawyer, for Sawyer. And now his insistence on having a stupid Christmas tree was going to be the last straw, the thing that finally drove Sawyer away. He took a deep breath and let it out. He was just going to do what he’d always done: pretend everything was okay.

“Hey, let’s put some music on,” he said with an enthusiasm he didn’t feel, rising from the couch toward the pile of Christmas CDs he’d put aside. “Bing? Frank?”

“Either one,” Sawyer shrugged, so Jack picked the Sinatra album.

Sawyer stood back, watching as Jack strung the lights on the tree, winding the string carefully, and only then remembering that he’d forgotten to test it first. He held his breath as he plugged it in and breathed a sigh of relief when it actually lit up.

He turned to smile at Sawyer, but he wasn’t there. He heard the water running in the kitchen -- probably Sawyer washing his hands -- and then heard the refrigerator door shut. Sawyer strolled back in, a fresh beer in his hand. He gave Jack a perfunctory nod, like a disinterested supervisor who’ll let anything short of a complete fuckup go.

Jack smiled, that false bright smile he used to be so good at, and tore into the neatly labeled Christmas boxes. Inside each box were stacks of ornaments, each neatly tucked away in their original packaging, four or six or two to a box. He held a small box in each hand, trying to decide between the colors he could see through the cellophane.

“What do you think? Red balls? White?”

“Hell, don’t matter to me. Just not blue.”

“Right, no blue balls,” Jack nodded, and then he caught Sawyer’s wicked smile and laughed, relieved to be able to defuse the tension that had been building all evening. “Of course not.” He handed Sawyer a delicate glass red ball. “Here. Why don’t you put the first one on?”

Sawyer grimaced, but he hung it up by its tiny little hook, choosing the very end of the closest branch.

“Looks good,” Jack said. “How about some white and gold?”

They worked in silence, the sounds of Frank and his J.I.N.G.L.E. bells and the scent of pine filling up the empty spaces in the room.

“What about these?” Sawyer was pitching in at last, but he’d grabbed the wrong box. He’d already opened it and had pulled out a string with a dangling misshapen clay figure that only Jack knew was supposed to be an elf.

“No! Those never go on the tree.”

“Why not?”

“Look at it! It’s crap I made as a kid. Don’t know why mom even saved them.” Jack succeeded in wresting the box from Sawyer and placing it back on the table.

Sawyer was gazing at him oddly. “Your ma never put those up?”

“No. They’re awful. Would have ruined the tree.”

Sawyer kept looking at him in that strange way until Jack could feel his face growing red. “It’s no big deal. She wanted a pretty tree.”

“Didn’t say anythin,’” Sawyer said softly. He took a swig of beer and looked away. “So you always decorate the tree with your ma?”

Jack snorted. “No, she didn’t...” He stopped, hating this strange suspicion that Sawyer was feeling sorry for him. He didn’t want to say that she hadn’t trusted him with the delicate glass ornaments. That she took her tree decorating so seriously that deciding where each ornament should go could take up to five minutes, and then sometimes she’d take them all down and start over, so how could he, as a boy, help with that?

“Didn’t help Sarah either,” he found himself saying. Sawyer had pressed the beer into his hand, so he took a swig. “I wasn’t ever home, so she just went ahead without me.”

“So this year...”

“This year I wanted to get it right.”

Sawyer was still regarding him with that look that always made him catch his breath, the one that said he was here, not a million miles away. That for once those blue eyes weren’t veiled with distant thoughts, with plans to be somewhere else.

But it never lasted. Sawyer had already turned away. His gaze was on the half-finished tree. “I always helped my mama with the tree,” he said quietly. “Never seemed any point in havin’ one, on my own.”

You’re not on your own anymore, Jack wanted to say, but that fear of pushing too hard, saying too much, stopped him. Sawyer stood stock still, transfixed by the tree, reliving memories that Jack dared not disturb.

He took a step towards him, wanting just to touch him because he didn’t know what the hell to say, but Sawyer had already turned back to him, his reverie broken.

“So hey, you finish the beer, I’ll finish the tree,” Sawyer said with a decisive nod, like they hadn’t both been tiptoeing around each other’s rawest memories.

Jack dutifully sipped the beer as he watched Sawyer methodically place one ornament after the other on the tree until the big box was nearly empty.

Sinatra’s voice suddenly broke in again, as if on cue. From now on, our troubles will be miles away. It was a melancholy song and those lyrics had always seemed wistful, as if the singer knew that they weren’t ever going to come true.

Sawyer rummaged in the box, pulling out a glittery gold star and an anemic-looking porcelain angel. “Star or angel?”

“Star,” Jack said firmly, pointing to Sawyer’s left hand. “I always hated that angel.”

Sawyer mimicked the pinched face the angel was making. “Okay, bitch, back in the box.” Star in hand, he stretched up to his full height, but he couldn't quite reach the top of the tree. The whole tree trembled as he tipped it towards him and Jack wanted to tell him to stop and get a fucking ladder, but then the star was up and the lights on the tree hadn’t even faltered. Sawyer stepped back to get a good look at the full effect.

Through the years, we all will be together, if the fates allow.

“Hang a star upon the highest bough. Just doin’ what Frank tells me,” Sawyer grinned, that wide, warm, welcoming smile that made Jack’s heart skip a beat.

It only took seconds to cross the living room to be at Sawyer’s side. He could feel the heat coming off Sawyer, and his own skin was flushed and not just from the beer.

“So what if Frank told you to kiss me?” He stepped closer, pressing his forehead against Sawyer’s. His hands went to Sawyer’s waist, fingers twining in his belt.

“Then I’d have to,” Sawyer said, voice growing husky with desire, eyes closing tightly as he leaned in to kiss him, strong and sure, just like the hands gripping Jack’s shirt. They felt like he wasn’t ever going to let go.

Sawyer’s hands still smelled strongly of pine from the tree, but Jack didn’t mind, didn’t protest when Sawyer tugged at his shirt buttons or when he pulled him down onto the living room rug.

This is what Jack lived for, when Sawyer was breathing this fast and ragged, when his hands were rough and impatient and he couldn’t get Jack naked fast enough. Jack’s slacks were around his ankles and shirt balled-up under his right arm but who could think about that with Sawyer, miraculously naked now too, lowering himself to Jack with a low, anticipatory growl?

He usually teased Jack, made him wait while he let his hands play over Jack’s body, everywhere but his cock, until Jack had to beg him. Tonight, there was no teasing, no begging, just Sawyer looking up at Jack, eyes dark and wide, as he enveloped Jack’s cock with his warm, wet mouth.

Jack tried to keep his eyes open, tried to watch Sawyer watch him, watch every little tremor he was causing with each swirl of his tongue, each spit-slicked stroke of his hand, but it was too much. He wasn’t going to be able to hold out as it was, not tonight, not with all the worry and the frustration taking him so near the edge already. He gave up, his head falling back, off the rug, hitting the slate floor beneath, but he didn’t care.

He didn’t care because he’d never felt this fucking good in his life, arching up into the intense pressure and delicious wet heat of Sawyer’s mouth. Sawyer’s right hand stretched up Jack’s chest, outspread fingers kneading him like a possessive cat.

Jack dug his hands deep into the dense nap of the rug as the room spun in a short, sharp burst and he could only gasp out Sawyer, before he was caught up in the rush.

His senses came trickling back in that strange order they always did. First the scent of sex and sweat and then the sound of his own ragged breathing, and then the comforting solid weight of another body on top of his. And then he’d opened his eyes to meet Sawyer’s, always a little afraid to let himself be this vulnerable, this exposed, and to see that reflected in Sawyer’s gaze.

Sawyer’s hand rested easily on Jack’s abdomen, charting its rapid rise and fall, looking as satisfied with his work as he did when he’d got that tree standing up right. He sat back, a wicked grin in place as he slowly wiped his mouth, tongue leisurely flicking over his fingers to taste the last trace of Jack there. Jack nearly moaned, cock already twitching back to life. Sawyer knew just what he was doing to Jack, knew that he could get Jack hard again with just a look, without even touching him.

Frank was singing that old standard, “The Christmas Song.” “Think we might have to keep doin’ what Frank says,” Sawyer murmured, tracing a finger around Jack’s right nipple, up to the fullness of his lower lip.

Jack paused, puzzled, until Sawyer repeated the line. "Many times, many ways."

“Yes,” he leaned forward. “Absolutely, we do.”

Comments

( 52 comments — Leave a comment )
inthekeyofd
Dec. 12th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
Okay, what do I have to do to get those two under MY Christmas tree. *smile*

This was just the right amount of angst, you can feel the tension in Jack of not knowing exactly what to say, almost afraid of saying something because he isn't sure of the reaction..

And then Sawyer suprises him.

Christmas plus them..it's a great equation and putting up the tree, I love that picture you paint, it's almost like they are both hesitant...and for them, it totally fits, you just get them both so well, how they would act, their feelings, their motives.

Love it all, you know I'm a huge fan of your writing, so it goes without saying that once again you have delivered one hell of a wonderful story!!
halfdutch
Dec. 14th, 2006 04:04 am (UTC)
Man, who wouldn't love to find them under their tree? (Except, I have no tree and it would be a bit awkward if they turned up at my mom's, LOL.)

And aww, you are too sweet, as always! Glad you felt I did right by our angsty boys! ;)
strifechaos
Dec. 12th, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC)
Whoa, this was amazing. You really bring the boys to life just brilliantly.

Jack's hesitancy with how to act around Sawyer and not wanting to scare him off.

Sawyer being pleased that he got the tree set up, only to have Jack point out that he's ruining the knife.

Perfect voices, I could just hear them and see them going through the motions of setting up for the holiday. *smiles* Now I feel all Christmas-y, love your work. *grins* *waves*
halfdutch
Dec. 14th, 2006 04:18 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! *beams* I'm so glad you liked this story!
isis2015
Dec. 12th, 2006 10:41 pm (UTC)
“It’s no big deal. She wanted a pretty tree.”

That makes me so sad for Jack. :( Our family hates Christmas trees like that, that have themes or are all one color. It's so impersonal. Our tree would look weird without all of our stupid ornaments we made as a kids on it. They're ugly as sin, but they're ours. Hell, our Angel, to this day, this angel I made from a styrophone cup when I was nine. *sigh* Poor Jack.

“Didn’t help Sarah either,” he found himself saying. Sawyer had pressed the beer into his hand, so he took a swig. “I wasn’t ever home, so she just went ahead without me.”

“So this year...”

“This year I wanted to get it right.”


Once again... :( I think that one hurts me more.

I love this story. There's a lot of tension there, in there relationship, which makes it feel incredibly real because there's always tension there, it's just over new things now.

I get this feeling that Sawyer has to pretend that having a tree and a real Christmas doesn't matter to him because it does, because that's how he protects himself. And it kinda sucks that once he does try to help, Jack points out how he's doing it wrong.

But, in the end, they both end up doing their part for the tree, in their own way.
halfdutch
Dec. 14th, 2006 04:25 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you hon! I'm touched that this story affected you.

My mom has a houseful of Christmas decorations but still lovingly hangs up the stuff me and my sister made as kids from toothpicks and stuff. :) From what little we've seen of Jack's mom, she seems more the type to want everything to be department-store perfect. And I figured Jack would internalize all of that, even though he wanted things to be more about love and less about appearances.

And I like to think that Sawyer's mom really loved him and that he has some good memories of her that are just as painful to relive as the bad ones.

As usual, I like to think that they end up being the best thing for each other. :)

*hugs*
fosfomifira
Dec. 12th, 2006 10:58 pm (UTC)
Aww...

I love how insecure they are of each other and themselves on this fic. It sounds like such a cruel thing to say, but it's realistic. They have layers and layers of issues. As much as they love each other - and they do -, things won't go away just like that, they won't open up to each other that easily, but they're both willing and have silently agreed to keep trying. They are so afraid of hurting each other and of showing vulnerablity.

I especially liked the detail of the Christmas ornaments Jack made that would never go on the tree, how different their lives have been and how badly they want to protect one another.

Sidenote. I worked in construction a few months ago. Can't even begin to tell you what I'd given to have Sawyer working around at a site. GUH!

halfdutch
Dec. 14th, 2006 04:29 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you hon!

I'm fascinated with how they would act around one another once they knew about each other's pasts. Sawyer already has an inkling about Jack's upbringing, having met Christian, but Jack still has no idea. So that idea really gets a lot of play in my imagination. I think Sawyer was trying to tell Jack that about himself, that they had more in common than Jack might think, before he told him about meeting Christian in Exodus.

Anyway, I'm so pleased you like the fic. They do have so many layers of issues and so many trust and intimacy issues that even putting up a tree would be too fraught with memories and expectations to be simple.

Thank you, hon! And yes, who wouldn't want to gaze on Sawyer every day?!
zelda_zee
Dec. 13th, 2006 12:28 am (UTC)
Well, you know how much I adore this fic. If I haven't squeed enough over it already, I'm here to do more. I don't know, maybe I just have a Christmas tree fetish, but this just taps into so many strong emotions for me - sadness, regret, memories of good and bad times past, love, hope, redemption - all woven together so simply in this rather basic scenario of putting up a tree. I love how they skate around each other, so many things unsaid, and then at the end they finally connect in such a meaningful, powerful way. Not like everything is suddenly going to be fine and easy, but like they both know it's worth it to keep trying.

Really, I'm in love with this fic. gemjam is a lucky girl! But so are we, to get to share the love.

This one goes in my Memories.
halfdutch
Dec. 14th, 2006 04:37 am (UTC)
I'm giddy with squee over your reception to this fic! See? This is me beaming like mad! :-)

Christmas is so heavily charged and suffocatingly symbolic even for people who didn't have the worst parents on earth. Just those expectations for everything to be perfect, and for someone like Jack, that's a recipe for disaster, LOL. And I guess the fic clicked for me once I thought of how a simple thing like putting up a Christmas tree would evoke these different memories and volatile emotions from each of them. And I always love to think that they can each help each other heal.

Memories! Aww! You honor me!
eponine119
Dec. 13th, 2006 02:26 am (UTC)
Oh, this is fabulous. They complement each other so well -- Jack getting himself worked up, Sawyer being brattily lazy.

Jack had never gotten used to having these intense, conflicted feelings for Sawyer: a lust so strong he sometimes couldn’t breathe, coupled with that bone-deep protectiveness that he did his best to keep hidden for fear of spooking him. Mostly, he thought, he ended up watching Sawyer, wanting him and not being quite sure whether he really had him. And not at all sure what to do to keep him.


I LOVE that. It's so true and so them.
halfdutch
Dec. 14th, 2006 04:43 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you, hon! I always think of the wonderfully rich future fics you write, where they dance around each other and argue in this hurtful, brittle way that nearly ends it all but somehow is just what they need to see that they really do need each other.

I could live off the angst from these two forever.

Thank you so much for the fic love! *hugs*
haldoor
Dec. 13th, 2006 02:52 am (UTC)
Wow, that was great. That seems a rather inadequate thing to say, but yeah. I love how careful Jack is being, so scared he's going to scare Sawyer away, but you can see that in reality this won't happen. As someone else mentioned, they both have layers of issues, and this captures how hrad all that is to deal with, but they're dealing. And I love the bit where Sawyer bends the tree down to get the star on and Jack's worried it will fall or something will get broken... I almost held my breath too! Excellent work! Thanks for sharing with us all! *sends good wishes your way for Christmas*
halfdutch
Dec. 14th, 2006 04:47 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you so much! You held your breath? I'm honored you were that caught up in the fic!

Thank you for the Christmas wishes! Here's to a wonderful holiday for you too! :-)

(no subject) - haldoor - Dec. 14th, 2006 07:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - halfdutch - Dec. 14th, 2006 05:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
toestastegood
Dec. 13th, 2006 09:51 am (UTC)
I read this last night, just reread it today, and I still love it. Both of them are in character, and I loved your Sawyer.

I wish I could quote a favourite moment, but they were all very poignant. Those two boys are so brokenly messed up, and you managed to catch that very well.

Lovely read.
halfdutch
Dec. 14th, 2006 04:49 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I adore how brokenly messed up they are too. I'm flattered you think I captured that! :)
gemjam
Dec. 13th, 2006 10:06 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, I absolutely love this. The tone of this is just beautiful, melancholy but so deep. There's an obvious connection between the two of them but they're both so scared of it and scared of losing it that they're kind of dancing around it the whole time.

Jack broke my heart in this, wanting Sawyer so badly, wanting to have this life with him, but being so scared of scaring Sawyer away for good that he was trying to play it cool. It was really interesting to kind of parallel that with Jack growing up with Christian and spending his whole childhood, and, let's face it, adult life too, scared to step out of line, say or do the wrong thing, not wanting to set him off. With Sawyer he's doing the same thing, being so careful about everything he does, about the way he acts around Sawyer, the things he let's Sawyer see, because Sawyer has this huge potential to hurt Jack if Jack gets it wrong, and it's a different hurt from his father but it's still so painful to think about. And the references to Sarah as well, how he tried so hard to make it work even when it was falling apart at the seams, how he's never really had any kind of relationship that he was sure about, that felt safe. And that line - He was just going to do what he’d always done: pretend everything was okay. - :( *snuggles Jack*

I love how Sawyer's so reluctant to help and get involved, holding himself back, but he tries for Jack, even though he's obviously struggling with his own issues over the tree. And that moment when he kind of admits it, when he says about decorating the tree with his mama and that after she was gone, he just never cared anymore, I just love that little give from him there, where he almost lets Jack in for a moment but Jack can't capture it fast enough and it's gone. And I love how Sawyer actually feels sorry for Jack as well, feels bad for him not being allowed to help with the tree when he was a kid, something that was obviously an important thing in Sawyer's life. I love that about Sawyer, that he went through all that shit and yet he can still feel sorry for other people that went through nothing compared to him. But I love how he doesn't come out and say anything, he just gives Jack that look but he doesn't push it.

Jack being so ridiculously organised about the whole thing, setting time aside to do it, getting everything set up in advance, that's so him. And I love how Sawyer only steps in to help when his plans go wrong, almost like he doesn't want to step on Jack's toes, and then he gets upset when, instead of thanking him, he just points out that he's not doing it right. I love how they finally get the balance right, doing it together, Sawyer taking over at the end and forcing Jack to relax with a beer.

And then when they finally come together after dancing around each other all evening, when Jack finally forces that connection in a way he knows Sawyer will be okay with, I just love that section because there's just such a deepness to both of their feelings as they finally let themselves fall into each other. And I just love the detail about Sawyer reaching up with his free hand during the blowjob, I don't know what it is about that but it's just kind of possessive and loving at once. Sawyer giving in so easily and not making Jack beg and Jack giving in so easily and just handing himself over, letting everything go, it's like everything's been built up all evening and they're finally saying what they can't say with words.

I just love this because it's real. There's so much love here but it's not perfect, they have to work at it and they both have a lot of issues to fight through, both their own and the other's, but I really have faith in them that they're going to be okay :) Thank you so much for this, it's fantastic. *hugs*

And if you ever get an idea for that Sawyer birthday fic then please write it, it's been bouncing around my head for ages but I have no idea what to do with it so I thought I'd put it out there for someone else. If you ever get a bunny then I'd love to see what you could do with it.
halfdutch
Dec. 14th, 2006 05:03 am (UTC)
*bounces*

I'm so very pleased you love your present! Hurrah! I was fully intending to write the birthday prompt but then I thought it would be too angsty for Christmas. So I started considering this, thinking it would be much fluffier but it ended up being almost as angst-ridden! (I do still have an idea for the birthday fic so I hope to get to it later on!)

And aww, you're analyzing every little moment here. *beams* I'm pleased that it all rings true, Jack being ridiculously organized and Sawyer resisting him (and mocking him) every step of the way. I was thinking of how the holidays heighten all those little tensions, especially if it's the first one you're spending together. And with these two ... of course, it brings up some of their most painful memories.

I think we all end up doing a lot of those things that we most hate in our parents, so I went with Jack wanting things to be perfect, like his mom did, and offering criticism instead of encouragement, like his father.

But of course I had to have a happy ending! I'm always in love with the idea that these two are perfect for each other because they have enough in common to connect in a way they can't with anyone else -- and enough different that they help more than they hurt. Not that it's smooth sailing, but I like to think they get there, in the end.

*sends you big smooshy Christmas hugs!*
gottalovev
Dec. 13th, 2006 02:18 pm (UTC)
wow, I'm amazed at the mix of angst and hope you were able to put in that marvelous fic. Though I am not surprised, you are a fabulous writer!

Jack's fear of driving Sawyer away is heartbreaking, so are his own problems related to christmas (the perfect tree make me cringe. I have some awful things the boys did and we do put them, it makes them so happy.)

I loved how you depicted Sawyer, stubborn-lazy not helping at first, than finally getting into it. and feeling sorry for Jack, too.

I love how you put the lyrics to support the action, how it mirrors what Jack would want or what they do. the final scene was extremely hot, but I,ll just quote one line:

Sawyer’s right hand stretched up Jack’s chest, outspread fingers kneading him like a possessive cat.

guh.

halfdutch
Dec. 14th, 2006 07:40 am (UTC)
Thank you! :) You've put a huge smile on my face! And yes, we love to make them suffer even more, don't we? But then we make them make up! And that's often the best part. (Not to discount the angst!)

And you know you had a crappy childhood if Sawyer feels sorry for you! ;)
elise_509
Dec. 13th, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC)
Jack had never gotten used to having these intense, conflicted feelings for Sawyer: a lust so strong he sometimes couldn’t breathe, coupled with that bone-deep protectiveness that he did his best to keep hidden for fear of spooking him. Mostly, he thought, he ended up watching Sawyer, wanting him and not being quite sure whether he really had him. And not at all sure what to do to keep him.

Can I marry that passage? Please? I love it so.

This was so wonderful. Jack wants to have the tree and have it be perfect for so many reasons. The fact that he's never had that and he wants it s desperately with Sawyer, but is really afraid to let that be known, scared it will drive Sawyer away...*sigh*

Margo would have totally been a tree nazi and I can't imagine how much that must have hurt a small kid who just wanted to help (You know I'm a sucker for young!Jack moments). I love how Sawyer steps in to help and at first Jack doesn't seem happy about it b/c he's unsure that it's what Sawyer wants, he just knows that he wants Sawyer to want it, but slowly but surely it becomes clear that Sawyer does want to help, making it right when Jack feels it's going wrong. Which is a big deal for their relationship.

And then christmas sex...I don't think I'll ever hear Frank again and not get a little smile on my face because of this. :)

thanks for this holiday cheer! :) you're the best.

*loves*

halfdutch
Dec. 14th, 2006 07:48 am (UTC)
Awww! Quotage! :) *mwah!*

You know how much I love young!Jack too. Guess I'm a sucker for the poor little rich boy, especially with parents like that. You just want to step back into his past and lavish hugs on him. And of course him being too caught up in the past to really connect in the present ... which is where the sex always comes in handy! I love the idea that only Sawyer can get Jack out of his brooding headspace (and vice versa) and let some of that past baggage go.

And hee, Frank with a little extra spice is extra nice! Happy Holidays, hon!


hkath
Dec. 13th, 2006 07:48 pm (UTC)
"Awwwww!" seems to be my default setting today, but I have to say it again. This is so sweet. I love the awkwardness and insecurity, and the humour despite that, and how hard they're trying to fit together. <3
halfdutch
Dec. 14th, 2006 07:56 am (UTC)
I'll take an "awww!" :) Thank you! I love these two even at their pettiest and most irritable. All part of the essential Jack/Sawyer charm. And yes, they fit together so well! *continues playing with Jack & Sawyer dolls for proof*
siluria
Dec. 13th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)
Angsty and sweet and hot and I don't even like xmas but I want a tree now :)

*very happy sigh*
halfdutch
Dec. 14th, 2006 07:57 am (UTC)
Aww, that's high praise indeed. Thank you! *snogs*
cmonkatiekatie
Dec. 14th, 2006 03:37 am (UTC)
Man alive! So my eyes are glassy, but that's only cause there's something in them. Really, I'm not teary, not at all. Know what doesn't help with the not teary? Listening to Frank while you're reading this (what? I had to!)

Guh! It's just, they're so what each other needs and it's like pulling teeth to get them there and it hurts the whole way which is why it's so good!! And you do it SO well.

Does this comment even make sense? It couldn't possibly, I loved this too much to string a coherent sentence together!
halfdutch
Dec. 14th, 2006 07:59 am (UTC)
Aww, I made you cry. Or, almost? *hands you tissues*

They DO need each other so badly. And I'm not going to let either one out of the house until they have enough sex to convince them of that fact. :-) Seriously, thank you for the extravagant praise! *mwah*
(no subject) - cmonkatiekatie - Dec. 14th, 2006 08:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - halfdutch - Dec. 14th, 2006 05:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
zenana7
Dec. 14th, 2006 06:23 am (UTC)
This is wonderful. Has been a while for me, reading fics, and so fab to read one by you. Tight, love the angst, the way Sawyer gives Jack what he needs, physically, yes, but emotionally as well. The whole tree decorating theme, the ornaments, the memories, the symbolism, so well done. I liked the dichotomy of the presence of Jack's childhood ornaments, which his mother would never actually use -- yet she saved them all, so there is a gesture in there of sorts that's important, and poignant
halfdutch
Dec. 14th, 2006 08:02 am (UTC)
Oh wow, thank you for the kind words! :) What can I say? I love the idea that they complete each other, sappy as that might be! That whole angst addict thing? Total sham! LOL. And yes, it does mean something that Jack's mother kept the ornaments he made, even if they weren't "good enough" for the tree. And as zelda_zee was hoping, I think that Sawyer snuck that misshapen little homemade ornament onto the tree later on. :)

Always glad to see you pop up again!

kataren
Dec. 14th, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC)
I'm curled up in bed, sick as a dog, & here yet again LJ, & you, have made me smile yet again. Thanks, sweetie. ^^
halfdutch
Dec. 14th, 2006 05:04 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank YOU! Happy to be of cheer when you're sick! Feel better! ;)
astra2104
Dec. 15th, 2006 10:37 pm (UTC)
Wheeee!! I nearly missed the christmas fic!!!

Oh god oh god....it's so GOOD!!!It's sad and angsty and schmoopy and heartbreakingly tender and just...AWESOME! It made me love christmas even more (and I already love it so much, it's insane) and guh...

Coherency has left this brain.

And I haven't even started my secret santa fic! *motivates herself by reading your fic again*

*loves*
halfdutch
Dec. 16th, 2006 02:23 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you, hon! :) 'Tis the season for schmoopy angst, I guess! So glad you liked it and good luck with your own fic!
gobsmackit
Dec. 16th, 2006 07:19 am (UTC)
HI

2 AM IS THE ONLY TIME I GET TO READ FIC ANYMORE

AND WHILE I'M IN A VERY RESTLESS, GRUMPY MOOD, I ABSOLUTELY ADORED THIS, BUT FIND MYSELF UNABLE TO EXPRESS HOW MUCH DUE TO SAID MOOD.

Sawyer mimicked the pinched face the angel was making. “Okay, bitch, back in the box.” Star in hand, he stretched up to his full height, but he couldn't quite reach the top of the tree. The whole tree trembled as he tipped it towards him and Jack wanted to tell him to stop and get a fucking ladder, but then the star was up and the lights on the tree hadn’t even faltered. Sawyer stepped back to get a good luck look at the full effect
IS LIKE, THE BEST, THOUGH, AND ALSO, THE PERVERSION OF THAT SONG = FABULOUS.

*decaps and departs*

LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE.
halfdutch
Dec. 16th, 2006 06:33 pm (UTC)
Hee! I'm flattered you enjoyed this despite the mood of doom. ;) And always happy to subvert perfectly wholesome Christmas songs, LOL.

*loves*
just_jawyer
Dec. 16th, 2006 01:09 pm (UTC)
OK - indeed I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry most of the time. Opted for laughing most of that time, too. :D

You’re not on your own anymore, Jack wanted to say
GOSH BLIMEY JUST SAY IT YOU !!! *lol*

Thanks for making me crave someone to decorate a Christmas tree with...
halfdutch
Dec. 16th, 2006 06:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :) Have to give Jack a push sometimes, don't we? So glad you liked it and happy holidays!
ellel
Dec. 16th, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC)
Awwwwwwwwwwww!!!Thats exactly why I love post-rescue J/S happy ending fics!Their first Christmas together...setting up and decorating the tree.AWWWWWWWW!!!:)

And there's something about Jack's mom not letting him help her decorate the tree with her that is exactly how I imagine her.Poor Jack!
halfdutch
Dec. 16th, 2006 06:38 pm (UTC)
Aww, I'm such a sucker for the happy ending myself, even if it's more of a hard-won, hopeful ending. This was going to be much fluffier but then the angst reared its head and I just had to go with that.

And yes, poor Jack. I definitely get the sense that his mother was not exactly the loving, doting type and someone who was more concerned about appearances than a little boy's feelings.

*huggles you and Jack*

foxxcub
Dec. 17th, 2006 03:42 am (UTC)
*dies with love*

Guh, I so should've read this when you first posted it, because it would've helped my crappy mood by leaps and bounds. I adore the tenderness mixed with the unspoken angst and uncertainty from both of them--they really do know how to tiptoe around the bad stuff with each other, don't they? Oh, those silly boys. ;)

This was simply wonderful, hon. I wouldn't have thought such a deceivingly fluffy prompt could bring such complex, lovely prose. Yay you. ♥
halfdutch
Dec. 17th, 2006 05:46 am (UTC)
Awww! ;) *smooches* I'm glad your week of doom is finally over!

I can't believe this turned out so full of angst either, heh! I was going to go with a far angstier prompt and then decided we could all use something a little lighter. And then I went and got super angsty anyway! But of course, with the happy ending. Because it is Christmas and all. And I'm a sap like that. (And yes, a fic with literal sap! LOL.)

Thank you for the kind words, hon! :-)

♥ ♥ ♥

alliecat8
Dec. 17th, 2006 07:37 pm (UTC)
I don't know if you want to hear from me or not, but I did read it and I did enjoy it. I just wanted to let you know.
halfdutch
Dec. 19th, 2006 04:16 am (UTC)
Aww, thanks for reading! I appreciate hearing that you liked it.
themoononastick
Dec. 29th, 2006 03:09 am (UTC)
This kind of sums up the whole spirit of Christmas as far as I am concerned. The tension and the worry and the trying to get things as perfect for other people as possible but not knowing if you've done the right thing. And it works so perfectly with the two of them - Saywer all cool and laid back, hiding his feelings under snark and the pretence of not caring, while Jack bottles all of his worry up until he convinces himself he's got it all wrong again. Perfection. *nods*

Plus they got a happy christmas in the end, which is always a good thing. ;)
halfdutch
Mar. 7th, 2007 05:53 am (UTC)
Oh wow, I never replied to this comment! Eep! Thank you so much for not only catching up with the fic, but for such kind words. Christmas can be such a tense, emotional time and with these two and all their incredibly fucked-up family issues, I can only imagine what a minefield it would be to try to slap on a happy smile and go through the motions. And yet, I always love to believe that they're the best thing for each other and that since they're together, it's all going to end up okay. Which makes me a complete sap, I'm well aware. :)

luna481516
Dec. 25th, 2007 02:28 am (UTC)
I had a little downtime amid the Christmas preparations and wanted to find a cuddly post-island Christmas fic. So we get some angst on the way to cuddly, but this was great!
Ever since the rescue, since Sawyer had moved in with him three months ago, he’d waited for the day Sawyer simply wasn’t there when he woke up, for the day he’d decide that domesticity and happy ever after and Jack weren’t for him.
That's behind everything in the mood here and the Christmas tree as a metaphor for both of their unhappy childhoods is so spot on - how it was important to Jack to get it right, here, to conquer that for both of them.

Jack had never gotten used to having these intense, conflicted feelings for Sawyer: a lust so strong he sometimes couldn’t breathe, coupled with that bone-deep protectiveness that he did his best to keep hidden for fear of spooking him. Mostly, he thought, he ended up watching Sawyer, wanting him and not being quite sure whether he really had him. And not at all sure what to do to keep him. Wow. Amazing portrait.

I loved the way you worked the Christmas songs from the radio into this all over the place, since they're in our consciousness this time of year whether we want them or not.
halfdutch
Jan. 2nd, 2008 05:51 am (UTC)
Oh yay! Thanks for catching up with this one! :)

I'm very glad you liked it! And yes, I know it was a bit heavy on the angst for a Christmas fic but I'm pleased it rang true for you. And it ended on a happy note! As I like to do, more often than not! ♥
( 52 comments — Leave a comment )

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