Summary: Two men, one hatch, one button, one eternity
Note: Just trying to jump-start the muse again. This one's a bit of an AU. For the fanfic100 prompt "When"
Word Count: 1368
The siren was blaring again and Jack disentangled himself from Sawyer and shuffled sleepily off to enter the numbers.
For the thousandth time, he wondered why it was set for 108 minutes, so that neither of them could ever get a full eight hours’ sleep. Like the button was a baby waking in the middle of the night and he was the designated mother, the one who got up to tend to it most of the time. Maybe it was a throwback to his days as a resident, that he was able to cope, zombielike, with the lack of sleep.
Sawyer somehow managed to keep sleeping, or pretend he was sleeping anyway. Sure, he’d lost his hearing in one ear, but that wasn’t really it. Jack was convinced that without him, Sawyer would have let the damn thing go off already. Without him, Sawyer would never have lasted this long.
Without Sawyer, neither would he.
He wanted to stop pushing it. When he dreamt, it wasn’t of being back home, or of anything before being sealed up in this hatch with a complete stranger. It was of being here, right here, only being able to get a full night’s sleep, for once, of not having to respond to the wailing, insistent call of the button.
The two of them had fallen into a routine easily enough. Check the latest shipments, enter the code, eat, shower, enter the code, sleep, enter the code, go back to sleep, wake, only to do it all over again.
It came easier to Jack, who’d always been a creature of habit; he’d been bound by a myriad duties in his working and personal life, things he couldn’t ever run away from, had never even dreamed of running out on. And then they were all gone: his job ended in disgrace, his wife left him for another man, his father dead, his mother declaring him dead to her. He’d made his choice, prison or this. In a moment of insanity or willfulness, he’d “volunteered” for this mission.
He knew it was the same with Sawyer, that he could have gone to jail and had ended up here instead. He’d never gotten all the particulars. He hadn’t asked. They didn’t talk about their pasts. No point in talking about the future. There was only now.
Sawyer only found out Jack was a doctor after he’d nearly shot his ear off. Jack said nothing, just fixed him as best he could, honored by the simple, animal-like trust that Sawyer showed him as he let him pick buckshot out of his face and his mangled ear.
He didn’t know why the guns were even here. Nothing could get in and they couldn’t get out. Not until their time was up, and that time had already come and gone long ago. He’d changed the combination to the gun room and Sawyer had tried it once and then given up.
From the expert, familiar way Sawyer had handled the guns, taking each one apart, rolling the bullets in his hand like he could read his fortune off them, he got part of his answer as to who Sawyer had been before. It was all the answer he was ever going to get.
The rest he made up, watching him day after day. Sawyer wasn’t the type who liked being cooped up. After he’d explored every inch of the hatch, probed it for a vulnerabiltity, for an opening to ... whatever was out there, he had pounded his fists bloody against the concrete walls. It was worse, because he hadn’t screamed, hadn’t cursed. He’d been completely silent and then just sat there in a broken heap, bloodied hands forgotten. Sawyer wouldn’t look at him while Jack had bandaged his hands. Jack took over his duties. Fed him. Read to him. Helped him dress and undress, with Sawyer as sullen and uncooperative as a teenager.
When Sawyer’s hands healed, he never resumed his share of the duties. Just read all the books in the library over and over until his glasses broke. Listened to the records with a faraway look. Jack wished he would talk again. He liked the sound of Sawyer’s voice, the charm of it, deep, rich and with that honeyed accent, but then again, after all this time, he’d love anyone’s voice that wasn’t his own.
At first, they had alternated sleeping shifts and traded off shower times, but they had slowly gravitated to eating at the same time, sleeping at the same time, tag-teaming use of the shower, even though that meant whoever went second had no hot water.
As he lay in bed, waiting for the next siren’s shriek, he’d hear Sawyer’s muffled moans above him, and he tried to ignore him, simultaneously aroused and saddened that they were the only sounds he made anymore. He should have just gone to the shower and jacked off in private. But instead, he reached for his own cock, training himself to breathe like Sawyer did, come when Sawyer did. He tried not to make any noise, but soon he gave up the pretense. Sawyer never let on that he heard him, never gave him a look during the day, never spied on him in the shower.
Then one night he climbed down the ladder and into Jack’s bed. He grabbed Jack roughly by the wrists, holding them over his head. He was breathing hard and Jack could see the gleam of his eyes in the dark.
His own heart was pounding, but Sawyer didn’t speak, just kept hold of his wrists with one hand, while trailing the other down Jack’s side. Jack arched up, into Sawyer’s waiting palm. He bit his tongue as Sawyer explored his body, wishing Sawyer would say something. He’d always been a little afraid of Sawyer. He was the real criminal, the hard-timer, while Jack was just a drunk who’d made a mistake. He’d imagined Sawyer shooting himself, shooting Jack. Choking, stabbing, any way Sawyer could hurt himself or Jack, Jack had thought about it.
He’d thought of this too, Sawyer grabbing him, forcing him ... except that Jack had been waiting for this, wanting it as bad as he wanted to breathe fresh air again. His head fell back and he moaned Sawyer’s name over and over, like it was a prayer, like Sawyer could deliver him from this hell.
He moaned his name again as Sawyer’s mouth came down, hot and wet and tasting so much fucking better than Jack had dreamt. Sawyer’s hand was rough but his tongue was light and teasing and Jack couldn’t hold out any longer. “’Bout time,” he gasped, right before he came, body jerking hard under Sawyer’s touch, reliving the feel of the ocean’s pull, the blinding glare of the sun. For that split second, he was free again.
Sawyer let out a low chuckle and let go of Jack’s hands and then Jack grabbed him and kissed him hard, like he might get away if he didn’t pin him up against the wall, didn’t breathe his name as he tasted his skin, as he memorized every part of him.
Sex became their new routine -- they fucked everywhere they could, every way they could think of, blotting out the hatch and the button and their fucked-up pasts that had brought them here.
Jack knew Sawyer would tire of him first. Knew Sawyer was the type to break hearts, to cut and run. Knew he’d never get a shot at someone like him back in the real world.
So he waited, for Sawyer to go back to his own bunk, or to slit his throat, or Jack’s. He’d stopped asking “why” long ago -- why him, why here, why he should keep pushing the button, why there was even a button at all. Now, it was just a question of “when.”
When Jack got back to bed, Sawyer was still asleep on his right side, the side with the good ear. He nudged him over, pulled the blanket back up over both of them. A warm bed. It was more than he had back home, he realized, and he smiled into the dark. And then he went back to sleep for another 105 minutes.