Summary: AU where Sawyer meets Jack, not Christian, in that bar in Sydney
Note: Written for uberaeryn, who wanted grrr! J/S sex. This isn't quite what you had in mind, so if not, I'll try again! Thanks to foxxcub and eponine119 for extremely valuable concrit. And to rex_the_hamster for some key Australian dialogue. ;-D
Unbelievably, he still hadn’t completely decided to do it. He sat there, pouring liquid courage into himself, watching the line creep lower in the bottle, feeling his fingers go a little numb.
Even though the place was nearly deserted, he didn’t notice the guy at the other end of the bar at first. He might have been there when he came in, he might have come later. He didn’t notice him until he had his wallet out all over the counter, the desperation on his face clear even without the words.
“It’s got to be here somewhere,” the guy was saying, getting more and more flustered as cash or credit cards or whatever he was looking for didn’t turn up.
It wasn’t this frantic display that got Sawyer’s attention. It was the accent. American. Hearing it again was like a slap in the face.
He took a hard look at the guy. Yuppie. Good looking. Suit but no tie, slightly rumpled, probably from a night of drinking already. Close-cropped, dark hair. Stubble. And a look in those red-rimmed eyes like he was about to blow. Probably got dumped earlier tonight.
That guy, Sawyer thought grimly, has no idea what pain is. He was just visiting the neighborhood, like he was slumming in this bar, totally out of his element.
“LOOK.” And here the guy took on that tone that meant he was trying to be reasonable even though it looked like a vein in his neck was about to pop. “I’ve just had maybe the worst night of my life, OK? I just came from the morgue to i.d. my father’s body. So can you please just let it slide and give me another drink?”
The bartender glowered for another minute across the counter while the yuppie held that awful fixed smile that made Sawyer’s stomach ache. It was one of those smiles people wear as a last resort to using their fists.
“Hey,” Sawyer heard himself saying. “’s on me.”
He held up a folded twenty and dropped it on the bar. The guy looked over at him in surprise. “Thanks,” he said, blinking as if he hadn’t even registered Sawyer’s presence before. The bartender grunted and filled up another glass, then turned his back on them both.
Sawyer nodded, turning back to stare into his own glass. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the yuppie sliding down towards him. “Fuck,” he muttered, not caring if the guy could hear him.
“Thanks,” the guy said. “I really ‘preciate it.” The “sh” sound in the last word was slurred. “Don’t know what I did with my money.”
“No problem,” Sawyer shrugged. “Just wanted to shut you up, really.” He stubbed out his cigarette and reached for a new one.
Surprisingly, the guy just laughed and then dropped onto the barstool next to him. “So if I ask you for a cigarette now, you’re going to tell me to fuck off, right?”
Sawyer paused, then handed over the one he was holding. He tapped out another one for himself and lit his first. He turned to the guy and held up the lighter.
The yuppie’s hand was shaking hard, so he grabbed it with his other hand and held it steady. Sawyer expertly flicked the lighter under the tip of the cigarette. The guy inhaled, the end glowing red as the flame caught. He took a deep drag, like it was water in the desert, eyes closed in pleasure as he exhaled. Sawyer’s hand lingered for a few more seconds than necessary and those dark eyes swept over him, sizing him up through the cloud of smoke between them.
He withdrew his hand, dropping it to his thigh, where he absentmindedly rubbed at the fabric of of his jeans. “Rough day, huh?” Sawyer said. He was suddenly glad for the distraction, glad not to think about his own shaking hands earlier today, how he had to walk away.
“Yeah, “ the guy said again. He seemed lost in thought for the new few minutes, staring intently at the smoke curling from the cigarette he held cupped in his hand. “I only do this when I drink.”
“What? Smoke or talk to strange men?” He cocked an eyebrow, smiling in that way that he knew best showed off his dimples.
The guy laughed again, a boyish smile taking the years off now, and Sawyer revised his opinion of him. He was like an open book -- hurt, anger, amusement, all there for anyone to read. The trusting type. Under other circumstances, Sawyer would have laid out his line by now and reeled him in. Despite having lost his cash somehow, the guy clearly had money. And this setup was perfect. Get him in his debt and he’d be all too eager to repay him.
“Smoke.” The guy was still smiling but the amusement in his eyes died out all too quickly. His eyes followed Sawyer’s as he raised the glass to his lips again. “So you’re American too? You sound Southern.”
Sawyer nodded. “Tennessee,” he offered. He didn’t know why he told him the truth. Didn’t matter either way, did it?
“L.A.,” the guy said, breathing out heavily , as if the mere thought of home pained him. “Catching a flight home tomorrow. Came here to bring my father back. Didn’t know it would be in a coffin.” He rested his head in his hand, the smoke from his forgotten cigarette wreathing his head, as he lost himself in grief.
Sawyer didn’t say anything. There didn’t seem to be anything to say. He didn’t look straight at the guy, didn’t want to see the pain playing over his face like rain splattering over a car hood. That’s the image that came to him instead, a car driving fast and reckless in the dark, not heeding the curves.
“Drank himself to death,” the man kept talking, something odd and detached about the words spilling out of his mouth now. Like he was talking about someone else suddenly. “Last place he came was this bar.”
A drunken laugh sounded loudly from the other side of the room, startling them both. The guy looked around and shook his head in disgust. He held up his glass, staring at its contents for a beat and then knocked the liquor back.
“Two years’ sobriety, down the hatch,” he laughed hollowly.
Sawyer winced. “You tryin’ to join your old man?” he finally said, knowing the effect his words would have.
The guy’s head jerked around, his eyes blazing with hatred. “What did you say?” He demanded, thrusting his face right into Sawyer’s. Those hands were clenching and unclenching and Sawyer debated odds whether the guy would actually hit him.
“You hated him,” he said and saw the man go white.
“Say that again.” He was shaking with rage now, a dangerous light in his coal-dark eyes.
“You’re mad. At him. At me, now. At the bartender. At the world, right? Bein’ angry’s better ‘n’ feelin’ sorry for yourself, ain’t it?” Liar.
Something passed over the guy’s face. The tension ebbed and he backed off. “I’m not mad at you. I don’t even know you.” He shook his head, laughing again, that same bitter sound. “It’s really all my fault. If I hadn’t ...” He trailed off, shoulders slumping. “Or if I’d just gotten down here a few days sooner.” He turned to glare at the heavyset man behind the bar. “I bet he served him his last drink. He should have cut him off. He should have ...”
The man was dangerously close to crying now.
“Don’t think a drink one way or the other would’ve made much difference,” Sawyer pointed out, deciding that if the guy did start blubbering, it would be his cue to leave.
The guy nodded, choking back the tears before they came. “Guess I’ll have another then,” he said with a twisted smile. He indicated Sawyer’s personal bottle of whiskey and Sawyer shrugged. The guy took it and filled his glass to the rim. “Cheers,” he said bitterly and drained the glass, losing much of the alcohol as it dribbled down his chin.
Sawyer looked at his watch. Was it too late now tonight? Did he want to spend another day in this agony of indecision? He itched to get out there, get it over with.
His new drinking partner was back to staring at the bartender. “That guy,” he muttered, “killed my father.”
Sawyer stared, not sure he’d heard him right, not sure he hadn’t picked the words out of his own thoughts.
The guy was really drunk now, mind working like a needle on a scratched record, back to his irrational hatred of the bar man. He stood up now, leaning over the counter. “HEY!” he shouted, so loudly that everyone else in the bar turned to look at him. “YOU!” he jabbed his finger at the bartender. “You remember another American in here three nights ago? Silver hair?”
“Tell your buddy to settle down,” the bartender said gruffly to Sawyer. “Or I’m tossin’ him out.”
“Not my buddy,” Sawyer muttered, sitting back to watch the guy go, now that he was warmed up.
“YOU KILLED MY FATHER,” the guy yelled, lunging across the bar, hands outstretched to grab at the bartender.
Sawyer jumped to his feet, lunging to pull him back, but a huge bouncer was all over the suicidal idiot first, dragging him off the bar and slamming him hard into the opposite wall and delivering a swift punch to his gut.
The guy doubled over, fury fading into pain and surprise. He was flailing out now, trying to hit back, but he was no match for the heft and soberness of the Aussie bruiser.
The bouncer pulled back and laid another punch into the guy’s jaw and then watched him sink to the floor. “Listen mate, if you don't get the fuck out of here in the next 60 seconds, I'll have the bloody cops drag your ass out of here!”
Sawyer ducked in, stepping between them. “He’s leavin’, “ he said firmly, pulling the damn fool up by his arm and getting socked in the jaw for his trouble. “Hey!” he yelled, not letting go of him. “I’m tryin’ to help you, you idiot.”
He wrestled him out the door, letting go only when they were outside. The guy came at him again, head down, fists flailing wildly, and he grabbed him by the ears, tilting his head back as he maneuvered him against the wall of the bar.
“Listen, you pathetic...” Sawyer didn’t finish his sentence as the other man crumbled in front of his eyes.
Tears were running down his face now, whether from grief or pain or both. He finally stopped fighting, just stopped, chest heaving. “I’m sorry,” he said, voice tight with emotion. He moved to shove past Sawyer, but his fingers stopped when they hit the gun in his pocket. He jerked his head out of Sawyer’s grasp and then stared darkly into his eyes. A glimmer of fear danced across the stranger’s face and then it was gone and he was moving forward, mouth on Sawyer’s and Sawyer was too surprised to pull away and then, as the heat surged through him, he didn’t want to.
He tasted like salt and whiskey and cigarettes and he kissed Sawyer like his life depended on it, desperate and sad and angry all at once. He poured himself into the kiss, into Sawyer, holding him tight by his hair now, thumbs running over the groove of his cheekbones.
“You’re a dark horse,” Sawyer muttered when Jack’s mouth finally left his, even as he was thinking This is crazy, not least because anyone from the bar was likely to come out at anytime.
He didn’t know this guy, didn’t know why he felt this connection to him. It wasn’t just that blind, indeterminate lust that came when you’d had too much to drink or that they were both the only Americans in earshot. It was his pain that spoke to him. Looking at him was almost like looking in a mirror. It made him feel oddly protective, like he had to make sure the idiot didn’t fuck up the way he had.
The guy withdrew, breathing hard, eyes bright. He flinched, as if he expected to get hit again. When Sawyer didn’t move, didn’t call him a fag and beat him senseless, he leaned forward again, groaning into Sawyer’s mouth, pulling him closer by grabbing at his leather jacket. his eyes closed tight and he sought Sawyer again, hands moving now to his belt buckle. Sawyer stopped him. “Hey, maybe we should take this somewhere a little more private.”
The man’s head fell back and he nodded, eyes too dark to read now. It had started to rain and he shivered miserably, like a lost, wet dog.
The rain brought Sawyer back to his senses. He pulled back, closed his eyes, forced himself to think. He couldn’t just blow tonight with some drunken one-night stand. It was too important. He’d come all the way to Australia for just one reason and here he was, letting his opportunity slip away with each passing second.
But if he’d been serious, if he was really going to do it, he would have done it already. He had to face the truth. He didn’t have what it took. The realization hit him like a kick in the stomach. He put a hand out to lean against the wall, feeling almost sick.
The guy put a hand up to his face. He’d almost forgotten he was there. He wasn’t in the mood anymore, but he couldn’t just leave the poor sap here. He’d go back in there and get his ass kicked or he’d try to drive and get himself killed.
“Where you stayin’?” Sawyer asked with a sigh, rubbing his face.
“Some hotel,” the guy mumbled, reaching for his wallet and drawing out a keycard. It was blank.
“Yeah, which hotel?”
He was met with a blank look. The guy was starting to fade on him, eyes closing of their own accord. If Sawyer didn’t have him pinned to the wall, he’d likely be sprawled on the ground about now.
He grabbed the wallet and looked through the rest of it, but there were no receipts, nothing to indicate where he was staying. He read the name on the driver’s license.
“OK, Jack, guess you’re comin’ with me.” He steered him to his car, one arm around his waist, practically dragging him there. He poured Jack into the passenger seat and belted him in.
The drive back to his hotel only took about 20 minutes and in that time, Jack seemed to have dozed off, head lolling to the side, like an overtired child. Sawyer snuck a few sidelong glances at him, watching as the streetlights washed over his face.
Sawyer never had trouble picking up strangers in bars, women or men. He’d stopped questioning it, stopped having to even work at it long ago. But this guy Jack didn’t add up for some reason. Something told him this guy was off, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.
He shrugged, making the turn towards the hotel. The guy was drunk. So was he, really, a bit drunker than he should be to drive. Suddenly he was regretting his Good Samaritan act. Sure Jack was all but passed out now, but he was still a wild card. And Sawyer usually preferred a sure thing, someone he could read, someone he could play.
What the hell was he doing, he thought as he pulled into the parking garage. He’d let his confidence be shaken, let the sight of that man today get to him. He wanted to be alone now, but he couldn’t just leave Jack in his car. Good thing his room had another bed, he thought. He’d dump Jack on it and send him on his way in the morning. No harm, no foul, with the rare good deed under his belt.
Jack stirred finally at the sound of Sawyer’s door slamming shut. He was groggy but able to walk with him. He didn’t ask any questions, just let Sawyer lead him to his room, with each step leaning more heavily on Sawyer until he was practically carrying him.
Once inside, he heaved his burden down onto the bed but was jerked off his feet as Jack pulled him down hard.
“Fuck,” Sawyer just had time to mutter before Jack’s hands were in his hair and his mouth sloppily covering his.
Jack dug his fingers hard into Sawyer’s head, not letting him up for air. He was bucking his hips up against him now, a low growl deep in his throat. “What’s your name?” he breathed in his ear.
“Bill,” Sawyer lied, indifference and suspicion melting away after that kiss. He needed this now. Wanted it. He pulled up Jack’s shirt, fumbling at the buttons in the dark. Jack reached up blindly, trying to help him out of his jacket, but Sawyer, mindful of the gun, held him off. “Hang on.” He eased it off, and his shirt too, while he was at it, and laid them both carefully on the floor.
Jack followed him, leaning over, hands on his waist, not wanting to lose contact. The second Sawyer had his shirt off, Jack was kissing him again, swaying a little against him, clutching at Sawyer’s hair for support.
“Never ... done this ... before,” he said breathily.
Fuck. That was it. That was what was off. Well, he was here now, ready to go. “So, you just walkin’ on the wild side tonight?” Sawyer said softly, running his hands down Jack’s bare chest, feeling him shiver.
Jack didn’t answer him, just leaned in to kiss him again. The guy was a helluva kisser, at least. “Just ... just do whatever you want with me,” he said, his voice shaky.
“Well fuck me,” Sawyer grinned in the dark, Jack’s words going straight to his cock with a fierce throb. He ran over various scenarios in his mind, but even in the dark, he could picture the naked vulnerability on Jack’s face. No, this is what was wrong. Jack’s reaction to his gun, and now this. He wanted something from him, something Sawyer wasn’t ready to give.
“You want me to hurt you?” he said quietly and he heard the sharp intake of breath, felt Jack’s heart race under his hands.
“Whatever you want,” he said again.
“OK. You’re OK,” Sawyer said. “Here.” He pulled his pants off, and then Jack’s. He reached for Jack’s cock, pleased that it was half-hard already. “I’m not going to hurt you,” he whispered in his ear as he started to move his hand. “You don’t need any more pain.”
“Please,” Jack begged as he hung onto him, hands kneading Sawyer’s thighs as he stroked him. He was fully hard now and groaning, breath coming in agonized shudders.
“Please,” he said again, digging his fingernails into Sawyer’s thighs. Sawyer inched toward him, knee shoving his legs apart so he could get even closer.
“Alright” he breathed. “Alright.” He licked along Jack’s neck and then bit down. Jack clutched at him desperately but he felt him sigh, felt something unclench inside him.
He worried and sucked at the skin until Jack whimpered underneath him, but he didn’t tell him to stop. His breath came faster and his body tensed. He was close now, clinging to Sawyer’s back, swearing a steady, incoherent stream that was more like sobbing. He scratched up and down Sawyer’s back, urging him without words to do more damage, to be merciless.
Sawyer bit again, hard enough to break the skin and Jack cried out. He moved down his body now, biting along the way, tugging hard at a nipple, and the tender skin of his thighs and then he took his cock in his mouth, feeling the delicious tremor that ran through Jack. “Oh my God,” he gasped over and over, as Sawyer took him in deep, sending wave after wave of pleasure through Jack. He jerked and twisted under him, coming in Sawyer’s mouth with a helpless, long moan. Sawyer let him slip out and then nipped along the sensitized skin with his teeth. Jack twitched and swore, hitting out, punching the same spot on the wall over and over, but he didn’t ask him to stop.
Finally, Sawyer did stop. Jack’s hands covered his face, but he wasn’t asleep yet. Little tremors were still running through him as he gasped for breath.
“Give me your hand,” Sawyer said. He took it in his, spit in the palm, and then placed it on his own cock, straining now at Jack’s touch.
He wished he could see Jack’s face. He reached over and switched on the bedside light and Jack blinked in surprise at the sudden brightness. “It’s OK,” he said, “It’s better if you can see. And I want to watch you.”
Jack nodded seriously. His entire upper body was still flushed pink, so if he was blushing now, Sawyer couldn’t tell. His neck was marked up and down with sore, red marks where Sawyer had bitten or sucked the skin raw. A bruise was already forming on his jaw.
“Here,” he said, moving Jack’s hand under his own. “Like that ... yeah,” he sighed, letting his eyes close for a second at the feel of those fingers around his cock. He squeezed, letting Jack know he should tighten his grip. He pulled Jack closer to him now, moving his other hand to his ass, grasping it hard in the same rhythm. “Like that,” he said again, watching Jack’s face as he saw the effect he was having on him. Through the haze of drink, he was getting it, getting turned on, and seeing that made Sawyer that much harder. “Good, oh, so fuckin’ good,” he sighed, as Jack’s strokes became more sure.
Jack shifted forward now, draping his leg over Sawyer’s and then he was kissing him, hard, biting at his lip. He drew back, gazing darkly into Sawyer’s eyes, and then he licked the blood off his own lips. His head fell heavily to the pillow, eyes never leaving Sawyer’s.
Sawyer’s blood began to pound in his ears now, the rush coming from somewhere far off, catching him up in a fierce whirl. His eyelids fluttered as the orgasm hit, and Jack’s face flickered opposite him, intent and breathless as his touch wracked Sawyer’s body.
Jack kissed him, then drew back, mouth hovering over his, breathing through his last few shudders with him, tongue darting out to tease his lips. Sawyer grabbed his head roughly, taking control of the kiss, taking his lip between his teeth and tugging until he could feel it swelling, until he broke the skin. He didn’t know whose blood was whose now.
Finally, they pulled apart and he collapsed on Jack’s chest, pulling idly at the dense hair, and worrying a tender nipple between his teeth until Jack put up a protective hand. “OK,” he sighed. “OK now.”
“Alright,” Sawyer yawned, patting his side. “You’re alright, Jack.”
He wasn’t sure if Jack had heard him. He’d finally passed out or fallen asleep. Sawyer didn’t turn out the light right away. He watched Jack sleep, feeling, in his drowsy, post-coital state, like his goddamned guardian angel.
He didn’t believe in fate. But he was glad he happened to go to that particular bar.
Instead of taking a life tonight, he felt like maybe he'd saved one.