Characters: Jack, Libby, Eko, Sawyer
Summary: Jack never thanked him
Note: Written for the lostfichallenge and for the fanfic100 prompt "Choices." Thanks to eponine119 for the beta.
Word Count: 1,069
Spoilers: Up through "What Kate Did"
Stay with Sawyer or go to Shannon’s funeral. That was Jack’s choice today.
Every day since landing here, he’d had to choose between saving people and inflicting hurt, between being a doctor and a leader. Had to choose who to trust, who to watch, and who to try to forgive.
Sawyer would live, he thought. He hoped. He didn’t even get a chance to save Shannon.
As he followed the path down to the beach, he couldn’t help playing out in his mind the hard walk he took toward her that morning after Boone died, how she’d taken a step back, and how Sayid had been there to steady her. How many days ago had that been? He didn’t even know anymore.
When he reached the grave site, everyone was already there. He was surprised to see some of the new people among the group. His eyes went to the tall, solemn Mr. Eko, who stayed toward the back of the crowd, as if out of respect. She wasn’t there, though. He had no idea what he would say to her. Didn’t know to feel about it.
Watching Sayid break down, he wanted to step in, maybe say something. Jack walked over to the grave. Everyone looked to him, as if expecting him to continue the tribute that Sayid could not.
Instead, he just took a handful of dirt and sprinkled it over her body. And then he walked away too.
“Hey. Jack, right?”
He turned and saw the 40ish blonde woman walking fast to catch up with him. He stopped and nodded.
“I’m Libby. I just wanted to say we’re all so sorry for what’s happened.” She watched him carefully, as if her existence might depend on his reaction.
“I know,” he said simply. He really didn’t want to be having this conversation right now.
“How’s Sawyer? Is he going to be OK?” She rubbed one hand over the other, a nervous tic she was probably not even aware of.
He dropped his head, picturing Sawyer as he’d looked when they first brought him back. “Yes. I think he will be. If it had been any longer though...” He met her eyes and saw she was smiling with relief.
“Good. I felt so bad for him. He was suffering but we couldn’t stop. She’d never listen to me, but thank God Eko wouldn’t hear of just leaving him to die. He saved his life, didn’t he?”
“What?” Jack couldn’t have heard her right. “What do you mean leave him to die?”
Libby bit her lip, obviously regretting her words. “You know, it didn’t look like he’d make it, and she had all of us to think about...”
“Are you saying Ana Lucia was just going to leave Sawyer behind?” He stepped in closer to Libby, towering over her. He felt his face grow red in anger.
She sucked in a breath, not sure whether to go on. “He’d given her so much trouble and she really didn’t know him and we’d always trusted her, up until then, but he really was in bad shape.” She was rambling now, words spilling over each other as if Jack were going to cut her off at any point. “Anyone could see that. It was Michael who insisted that we build him a stretcher. And then when she wanted to take it apart to tie up ... Sayid?” She said the name uncertainly, but at the anger plain on Jack’s face, she kept going. “Eko just lifted him up onto his shoulders, like he didn’t weigh anything.” Her tone was admiring, even reverent.
Jack looked past her, trying to keep his rage under control. He let out a breath. “I didn’t know.”
“That’s great he’s going to be OK,” she said quickly. An awkward silence followed, before she plunged on. “I don’t agree with what she did. I just wanted you to know that. I hated seeing her treat him like that, putting her foot on his wound...”
“She did WHAT?” Jack only thought he’d been angry before.
Libby bit her lip again. “I shouldn’t have said anything.”
He grabbed her by the arm, fingers digging in hard. “What did she do to him?”
She looked scared now, but he didn’t care. Didn’t care if he was hurting her. She swallowed hard. “He wouldn’t do what she said. Kept talking back to her. So she hit him. And when he was down, she put her foot on his shoulder and just ground it in.”
Jack dropped her arm in disgust. “I’m going to kill her.”
“No. No. Don’t do that. Look, please forget I told you. I just wanted you to know that now that we’re here, we -- Bernard and I, anyway -- we just want to help out. Do our part.”
“And what about Eko? What does he want?”
“I don’t know. I think he just wants there to be peace.”
Jack considered this. “I have to get back,” he said finally.
He left Libby standing on the path, looking after him.
When he got back to the hatch, the alarm was sounding and Sawyer was on the floor. He shouted for Kate but she didn’t answer. Where the fuck was she?
Locke came rushing in but Jack yelled at him to get the button.
He tried to lift Sawyer back into bed, but he couldn’t manage on his own. Suddenly, another pair of hands were helping him. Eko had ahold of Sawyer’s legs, and between them, they managed to get him back onto the bed.
Jack nodded a terse thanks and then he made sure Sawyer wasn’t hurt.
“How is he?” Eko asked, the deepness of his voice always catching Jack by surprise.
“He’s fine,” Jack sighed, as he took his pulse. “Well, about the same, really. He’s not quite out of the woods yet.”
Eko nodded and turned to go.
The man paused, his face watchful.
“I never thanked you for bringing him back. You saved his life.”
Eko bowed his head. “There has been too much death already.”
Jack nodded. “Yes. There has. Far too much.”
He kept an eye on Jack, waiting for what he was going to say next. Or maybe waiting to be of more help.
Jack settled in next to Sawyer, wiping his forehead and trying to get him to drink some water.
When he glanced up next, Eko was gone.