Pairing: Implied Jack/Sawyer, Charlie/Claire (yes, really!)
Summary: Why is Sawyer suddenly the center of attention?
Spoilers: Up through S2
Note: Unbetaed. Written to cheer up the very glum foxxcub and themoononastick. ;D Claiming this as a "Writer's Choice" for fanfic100
Feedback: But of course!
Sawyer strolled out onto the beach like he owned the place. Like he hadn’t just spent the last few days recovering from a gunshot wound and a fever and nearly dying.
The bastard looked good, Charlie had to give him that. He was walking a little slower, maybe, and doing his best to ignore Jack, who was hovering a relatively discreet 20 yards or so back.
Sure, he was on the pale side. Probably here to work on getting that golden tan back. His white shirt was unbuttoned and flapped gently in the breeze, like he was about to do a magazine photo shoot or pose for the cover of a romance novel or something. Wanker.
He settled -- collapsed would be too strong a word -- onto the sand, face up to the sun, squinting at the brightness.
Charlie plopped down next to him. Just being friendly. “So they finally let you out, eh?”
“Yeah.” Sawyer’s smile was slow and genuine. Charlie was reminded of how he’d smiled when he’d handed him the bottle of messages.
“Crap job of getting off the island.”
A cloud passed over Sawyer’s face for a second, and then he smiled and shook his head. “Funny, rock star. Real funny.”
Off to their right, Jack sat, making a show of gazing at his own personal section of the ocean. As Charlie glanced over, he made as if to get up and then thought better of it.
Closer to the tide line, Claire was walking, Aaron cradled against her chest. She turned and saw them and her face lit up. “Hey!” she called, and walked over. She beamed down at Sawyer, that glorious open smile Charlie hadn’t seen her wear since ... well, for a while now.
He couldn’t help frowning as she handed him Aaron and fussed over Sawyer, who gamely eased his shirt off to the side to show her his bandaged shoulder. She made an appropriately sympathetic “Owie” face, the same one she’d made when she’d seen that mess on Charlie’s forehead.
He gripped Aaron too tight and he started to cry and Claire scooped him back up with that scolding frown he was all too familiar with lately. She made her apologies and then headed for the shade, with a last brilliant smile at Sawyer.
Sawyer was grinning now, that old devil-may-care attitude back. He unfolded his legs -- fuck, he was a tall one -- and leaned on his good arm, shifting into another camera-ready pose.
“’s nothin’, kid, she likes you,” Sawyer said with a shrug.
“What? I didn’t say ...?”
“No need to. Hell, I’m interestin’ at the moment, back from death’s door and all.”
“Guess so,” Charlie agreed glumly.
“Don’t tell me there’s trouble in paradise?” Sawyer shot him an appraising glance. “Thought you were the happy little family.”
“Oh yeah, yeah, absolutely,” Charlie nodded. “It’s like Aaron’s mine too. Only...”
“Only?” Sawyer prodded. He looked over his shoulder, where Jack was, as if checking whether he were still there, and then gave his attention back to Charlie.
Charlie’s voice sunk to a whisper. “Only... it’s like a marriage, but with none of the ... benefits.”
“Oho!” Sawyer threw back his head and laughed. “So that’s how it is.”
“She was all over you, though,” Charlie sulked. “Maybe you could...”
“What? Put in a good word? Give you some pointers?” He broke into giggles, and Charlie wasn’t sure he’d ever really heard him laugh before. “You’re on your own, kid.”
As Charlie continued to pout, he added. “Hey, chicks dig scars.”
“What about this then?” Charlie nearly shouted, pointing at the ugly red stripe across his forehead. “Got this when I went to get back Aaron.”
“Ah. Very masculine,” Sawyer said, all seriousness, except for the twitching around his mouth. “That had to impress her.”
“Well, yeah, for a while,” he admitted, toeing the sand dejectedly.
“I almost died,” Sawyer added, rubbing absentmindedly at the skin at the edge of his bandage. “Guess that kinda trumps a scar.”
“But ... I did die!” Charlie couldn’t help shouting. Jack glanced over and Sawyer shook his head slightly. He lowered his voice. “I did die. Only she doesn’t know about it and what am I supposed to do, say, ‘I got killed trying to save you?’”
Sawyer pursed his lips. “Guess not. Tryin’ to save someone else’s skin doesn’t always get a thank you.”
“I was really dead,” Charlie continued heatedly. “Hung from a bloody tree.”
“I got shot.”
“Got my head split open.”
“Nearly died of infection.”
“Hello, someone who actually died here.”
“Oh please, that was ages ago.” Charlie snorted.
“Guess I’m just better lookin’ than you, then,” Sawyer poured on that insufferable smile again.
“Must be that accent. Makes the chicks go nuts, right?” Charlie suggested.
“You’ve got an accent. Must have gotten you some tail in your day, right?”
“Damn right,” Charlie nodded, caught up for the moment in pleasantly smutty memories.
“Maybe back off a bit. Flirt with someone else,” Sawyer advised.
“That work for you? You look...” He wanted to say Sawyer’s newfound peace of mind might be due to more than that brush with death. Jack and Kate had both been spending a lot of time in that hatch with him. And the acoustics in there weren’t designed with privacy in mind. “You look good,” he finally said.
“Feel pretty good,” he said, drawing in a deep breath and letting it out, like you did at the doctor’s office. “Wouldn’t recommend the near-death thing, though. As a way to get in someone’s pants.”
“Oh?” Maybe Charlie had it wrong.
“Yeah. The novelty’s kind of worn off now, dontcha think?”
“Do you honestly mean to say anyone else would be copying you? Listen, if anyone is copying anyone, you’d be copying me. Let me remind you, you stupid git, I actually died, long before you even thought of setting sail on that miserable little raft of yours.”
“Hell, this island’s nothin’ but life and death peril, son. Save her life. Or the kid’s. Or get a fever or somethin.’ Somethin’s bound to turn up.”
“Yeah, I guess,” Charlie sighed. Bastard. He was getting laid more than anyone on the island, he just knew it.
A shadow fell across them both. Sawyer covered his eyes and glanced up at Jack, who stood behind him, hands on hips. “OK, we should probably be heading back.”
“Why doc, you jealous?”
Jack just smiled. “Right. C’mon, time’s up, sunshine. Back to bed with you.”
“Well, guess I gotta go,” Sawyer grinned, wiping the sand off his hands as he stood up.
“Yeah,” Charlie ducked his head in farewell.
Jack gently pushed Sawyer up the swell of sand, hand resting lightly on his back. Sawyer batted the hand away but it came back to rest, seconds later. Charlie had a feeling they'd keep it up all the way back to the hatch.
Sawyer turned and called over his shoulder. “Hey, rock star, don’t do anythin’ I wouldn’t do.”
Prick. He was definitely getting laid. Charlie sat back, trying to think how he could possibly top him.