Summary: Can they do what needs to be done?
Spoilers: Up through "Three Minutes." Rest is pure spec and not at all likely to happen.
Rating: Let's say ... R
Note: I really don't know about this one. First of all, I'm nuts writing anything on the eve (morn?) of the finale but this morbid little bunny bit me and started chewing on my brain. I should probably stop writing fic in the middle of the night, eh?
"Hell, doc, you know you can't do it." Sawyer leaned against the steel door, eyeing Jack as he nervously paced back and forth. He snapped the barrel of the gun open and closed and then open again, his index finger running over the smooth ends of the bullets.
Jack's gaze was stony. "It has to be done," he said, voice hollow. "We can't just ..."
"You don't have what it takes," Sawyer said with deliberate cruelty and Jack blanched, reacting as if he'd been hit.
"Oh no?" He was shouting now, right in Sawyer's face. "Last time you took it on yourself to end someone's life, I had to go clean up the mess."
Sawyer blinked. "He was dyin'," he said softly. "You know I was just tryin' to help. And someone had to do somethin.'" When Jack didn't answer, he yelled back, "You weren't gonna do anything!"
Jack gave him a look of pure disgust, just as he had that night and Sawyer thought he was just inches from belting him. He met Jack's stare with his own hard gaze. "It should be me," he said, thrusting his jaw out. "I can't let you do it."
It was the only thing Sawyer could offer. He could save Jack from having to do this, from having to kill a man. They'd all voted and, in the end, they agreed that this was the only way. No one had been happy about it. But happiness wasn't exactly a thing anyone had a right to anymore.
It had been right here Michael had shot them, right here where he'd lied to them all and swore they could get Walt back without a fight. Now he'd taken the place of the prisoner he'd freed, of the man he killed for. It was just luck that more of them hadn't died because of Michael.
"It has to be me," Sawyer continued, speaking slowly even though his heart was racing so fast he was sure Jack could see it beating through his shirt. "One more black mark on my soul, don't matter much."
Jack shook his head, furious and sorrowful at once, his face wrenched with emotion. He looked up at the ceiling, and then back at Sawyer. "You were his friend too. You got shot trying to save Walt. Are you telling me you can go in there and shoot him and look Walt in the eye afterward?"
"Yeah," Sawyer lied, shrugging. "I've done worse things, doc."
"Have you?" And that flicker of doubt in Jack's eyes hurt almost worse than the disgust. Because Sawyer didn't want Jack thinking he was the kind of guy who couldn't pull the trigger. Didn't want Jack thinking there was any part of him that would lose any sleep over a thing like this.
"Yeah," he said again, this time just in a whisper, his grip tightening on the gun. "I have."
"I don't believe you." Jack's mouth was set in firm lines. "This is some kind of stupid pissing contest for you and if you win, you lose, Sawyer. I can't let you do it."
He put his hand over Sawyer's and wordlessly took the gun from him, Sawyer's hand opening to Jack of its own accord. Sawyer's head fell forward in defeat and neither moved.
They both turned, oblivious to Kate's entrance. She stood there, regarding them both with a smile half amused, half bitter. "I knew you two would be busy, each trying to be the big man, see who could be the most noble." Her eyes were bright, like she was excited. She held up a bottle of water and cocked her head to look at it.
"The same poison I gave Michael before," she said, staring at it as if she could see something besides plain water.
"So that was you!" Sawyer spat out, making a move towards her. "You little ..."
"But this is a stronger dose," she continued as if Sawyer hadn't said anything. "I'm going to walk in there. And I'm going to hand this to him. I'm going to tell him exactly what it is and that he'll be doing us all a favor if he drinks it."
"Kate..." Jack began. He walked over to her but she just gave him that hard stare.
"You can't do this, either of you," she said, glancing from him to Sawyer. "But I can," she added. "It's all right. Really."
Jack ran his hand over his face and then dropped his head. He nodded almost imperceptibly. "OK."
She motioned to Sawyer and he moved away from the door. She pulled the gun out of the back of her jeans and he opened the door for her.
"Hello, Michael," they heard her say.