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Blame (Jack/Sawyer) - R

Title: Blame
Pairing: Jack/Sawyer
Summary: Pain was punishment for failing
Rating: R
Spoilers: Season 2 finale, “Live Together, Die Alone”

He was being made to pay. The pain was punishment for failing.

They didn’t ask any questions. Just drove the bamboo under his fingernails a little deeper each time. Each time, he told himself he wouldn’t scream. He could still hear Sawyer’s howls of pain echo in his head, could still see Sayid bent on his grim task. The one he’d sanctioned.

The Others knew all about him, they’d been watching him this whole time -- all of the survivors. This was payback for what he’d done to Sawyer, revisiting that dark, private place, that line Jack should never have crossed.

They knew.

His hands were tied behind his back and two of them held him down while another administered the torture. The bamboo -- or something just as sharp and cruel -- bit into the tender flesh under his fingernail again. He writhed, trying to wrench free, but there was nowhere to go.

He’d never known pain like this -- sharp, shocking, inhuman -- not even when he’d gotten his tattoos. He’d gritted his teeth then, through the two separate three-hour sessions. He’d paid for the needle to sink into his skin, for his blood to be drawn. He’d been drunk and drowning in sorrow and the buzz of the needle had almost felt good. Like it was clearing his head. Purifying him. Making him stronger. Marking him so that he wouldn’t ever again be that same man, the one who had fucked everything up. He’d be made new. He’d be different.

And he hadn’t made a sound then.

The bamboo pushed deeper, and a scream ripped itself from his throat. He’d lost.


Even though his his ankles weren’t bound, they didn’t let him walk, instead jerking him roughly along. They shoved him into one of those crude round huts and left. He was alone.

He hadn’t seen Sawyer or Kate since the day before yesterday. Or maybe longer. But he’d heard Sawyer’s screams. He’d never forget the sound of them. He heard nothing that might be Kate. He prayed it meant they wouldn’t hurt a woman.

His knees hurt but if he laid down, he wouldn’t be able to get back up again. Not with his wrists still bound tightly behind his back. He leaned against the rough wall of the hut, letting his mind wander not to how he would get out of this, or to what they were doing to Kate and Sawyer, but to how they had built these huts, and with what. He rammed into the wall with his head and shoulder as hard as he could, but it didn’t give. He stopped before he hurt himself more. It was no use.

He must have blacked out or slept; when they opened the door and threw Sawyer in, he blinked at the bright glare of the sun. It might have been days since he’d seen the sun. They slammed the door shut before he could make a move.

Sawyer was a mess. His hair was plastered to his head, blood caked along his forehead and down one side of his face. Having fallen on his knees, he sagged forward, swaying. He looked, to Jack’s horror, almost exactly as he’d looked that day in the jungle. They knew.

“Sawyer,” he rasped, slowly inching over to him on his knees. He badly needed water, but had been given none. “You all right?” It was a ridiculous question. It killed him that with his hands bound, he couldn’t even properly examine Sawyer.

“Here, let me try...” they turned back to back to fumble with each other’s binds, but he couldn’t make his injured fingers work properly. The were bound with leather straps, tied insanely tight and the pain of trying to pick at the knots was so excruciating, he had to stop after only a minute or so. “Gah, I can’t,” he finally said after several minutes. “I’m sorry.”

“s OK, doc,” Sawyer said wearily as they both leaned heavily against the wall, utterly spent. Unbelievably, a sly smile crept over his face as he turned to face Jack. “You know, they didn’t even ask me any questions,” he said wonderingly.

Jack was too confused to do anything but smile back. “Why ...?" And then he realized Sawyer was quoting. “Han Solo,” he said with a short, bitter laugh. Good for him. Good for Sawyer for keeping a sense of humor. He felt a short, quick thrill of pride, glad beyond measure that Sawyer was here with him.

The feeling was followed quickly but that stab of guilt. When Sawyer had been hit with that dart, he’d run. He’d seen him fall, seen him start to convulse and his first instinct had been to yell “Run!” He’d had to protect them all, he told himself. He couldn’t have done anything. And in the end, he’d failed to protect any of them.

“It’s all my fault,” he said bitterly. “I should have told you the truth. I should have...” He stopped, shaking his head as he ran over it again in his head. What they could have done differently. What he could have done differently.

Sawyer managed to shrug, despite his bound arms. “Way I see it, we were gonna get it either way. Either us three or the whole camp. Better just us, I figure.”

Jack nodded. The thought was small consolation.

“”Sides,” Sawyer continued, one eyebrow arching up, “Wasn’t you who sold us out. Not mad at you. You’re not a no-good murderin’ sonofabitch who’d sell his friends out to these motherfuckers.”

“No,” Jack insisted. “I should have known. I should have known better.”

“How could you?” Sawyer sighed, leaning slightly toward him so that now their shoulders were touching. “Even I didn’t think that piece of slime had it in him. And to think I saved his sorry hide. Should have let the bastard drown.” He spit into the dirt floor.

At Jack’s look of confusion, he reluctantly elaborated. “After the raft blew up, Mikey was drownin’. So I pulled him up, gave him CPR -- all this after I’d been shot, mind you, and the bastard not only never thanked me, he blamed me for the whole fuckin’ fiasco. Like it was my fault those fuckers took Walt. Jackass doesn’t have a loyal bone in his body. Nothin’ but ‘my boy, my boy.” Sawyer pitched his voice higher, scowling as he mocked Michael. “Hope he and the brat fuckin’ drown,” he muttered.

“I didn’t know,” was all Jack said, picturing Sawyer grunting through the pain to save Michael, and then the hurt on his face when he got no thanks for it.

Sawyer was right. Michael had only ever been in this for himself. He’d only built the raft to save himself. Saving anyone else was beside the point. And now he was gone and on his way to hell, for all Jack cared. He’d never felt hate like this for anyone before in his life. He thought he’d hated his father. He thought he’d hated Sawyer. But this well of rage in him, this black tide threatening to swamp him was like nothing he’d ever known before. “If he was here, I’d kill him,” Jack said, not realizing he was speaking out loud. “With my bare hands. I’d tear his fucking heart out.”

He looked up to find Sawyer staring at him with that same look of raw vulnerability he’d the other day. When he told Jack he was the only friend he had here. “I’m sorry,” Jack said, voice breaking. Tears stung his eyes but he’d be damned if he’d let Sawyer see him cry.

Jack had always wondered why Sawyer had goaded them into tying him to a tree and torturing him for no reason at all. How he could hate himself that much. And now he knew. Jack deserved all this and more. He’d brought this all on himself. He’d fucked up every step of the way. That day with Sawyer. Boone. Now Michael.

“I’m sorry,” he said brokenly. “It’s all my fault. I was an idiot to lead us right into that ambush. And I .... I saw you get hit with that dart and I .. I just ran. I went to help Kate...”

Sawyer winced, the friendliness fading from his face. He shrugged his shoulder away so that it was no longer touching Jack’s. But all he said was, “Kate.” They both fell silent.

“Haven’t heard her. I heard you ... screaming,” Jack said after a few minutes. “So maybe that’s a good sign?”

“Yeah,” Sawyer sighed. “Maybe. Heard you too, doc. Thought they were killin’ you in there,” He brought his head up, eyes burning with rage and something more. “If I had my hands free, I’d kill every fuckin’ one of ‘em.”

“I know,” Jack said softly. His hands had thankfully gone almost numb behind his back. But right now, if he had them free, he’d reach out to Sawyer. Pat him on the shoulder. Put his arm around him and lie to him that everything would be OK. Instead, all he could do was lean closer, press their foreheads together.

Sawyer sighed as Jack brushed his cheek against his forehead. “Jack,” he whispered and turned his face, his lips grazing Jack’s chin. And then Sawyer’s mouth opened to him. His lips were rough and he tasted of blood and tears but his mouth was warm and soft and the shock of the kiss, the heat of it, spread through Jack like a short, sharp pain.

Sawyer’s eyelashes fluttered against his cheek and they felt wet, but that might have been Jack’s fault too.

Jack wanted to take Sawyer’s head in his hands. Wanted to hold him and take away his pain and make up for all the ways he had failed him. But his bloodied hands were still behind his back and so he poured all his frustration and hate and fear into kissing Sawyer. He kissed him like he might never have another chance in this life, hard and desperate and aching and if the world ended right then around them, he might not have noticed.

Finally, they broke apart. Sawyer’s face was just an inch or two from his and though he looked at him long and hard, there was no blame in those clear blue eyes.

“They can’t break us. I won’t let them,” Jack said, hope flooding back. He let his head fall on Sawyer’s shoulder. They could be strong together. “Gonna get us out of here.”

“How?” Sawyer asked quietly.

“I don’t know. But I will. I’ve got to.”


( 48 comments — Leave a comment )
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May. 25th, 2006 11:41 pm (UTC)
Ah, blessed fic. I need more of this to get me through the summer. *sigh* Michael is such an asshole.

Well done dear. Dark and terribly disturbing.
May. 26th, 2006 05:59 am (UTC)
Thank you, love. Who knows, The Others may not harm them in any way but so far, not at all reassuring! It's going to be an interesting summer!
May. 26th, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
You beat me to it! It crossed my mind earlier that one thing that might make me feel a little bit better was if the Others tortured Jack like Jack and Sayid tortured Sawyer. Heh, you saved me the work of flogging my muse to write it. ;)

Okay, okay, /bloodthirstiness, lol. This was wonderful. I'm glad Jack can appreciate Sawyer in fic, if not in canon. That's what fic is for, right, to undo the damage that the so-called "real" writers inflict on the characters we love. Canon Jack has NOT been a friend to Sawyer lately (I keep hearing the contempt in his voice when he said "him" last week), so it's nice to see him trying to make up for it here. Thanks so much for this!

May. 26th, 2006 06:03 am (UTC)
;-) Awww, I'm glad fic is helping you over your fandom slump a little!

You can thank insomnia and a day of light RL duties for me getting fic out so early! And the Lost muse is definitely back!

It does make me sad that all the effort is on Sawyer's side in S2. Jack just gave up on Sawyer. He seemed fond enough of him when Sawyer was sick and unconscious, but whatever foundation for friendship was formed at the end of S1 seemed to have vanished. It's weird Jack is still so hostile to Sawyer on the show -- I don't really get that myself. But now they have to work together! ;-)

And we have all summer to make things right!
May. 26th, 2006 12:41 am (UTC)
This was just lovely - and so possible. I loved Jack's guilt, and the way that they turn to each other in desperation. Fic like yours is going to make the summer fantastic.
May. 26th, 2006 06:05 am (UTC)
Oh thank you! Jack does like to beat himself up so I imagine there would be a lot of self-flagellation going on over their being captured. Except maybe his anger at Michael and the need to escape would cancel that out.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Yes, I think it's going to be a great summer!
May. 26th, 2006 12:48 am (UTC)
There now, you see, this is what I was saying to alliecat8 in her journal earlier tonight - it is up to us to undo the damage done to Sawyer, Jack and all the rest by the "real" writers this season. Fic like this will go a long way to mend the hearts and minds of this intrepid band over the summer.

I have long been a fan of yours, and I just wanted to thank you for getting the ball rolling so quickly. And pardon me for stopping mid-review, but extremely severe weather has just hit like a ton of bricks....
May. 26th, 2006 06:07 am (UTC)
Oh, you are too sweet! ;-) I think most of us got into fic to either explore a situation or a character a little more deeply or to "fix" something that was bothering us. And for the porn, of course! Fic always makes it better!

Glad i could get on the ball so fast too! ;-) And hope you're safe and sound! Take care!
May. 26th, 2006 01:26 am (UTC)

But his bloodied hands were still behind his back and so he poured all his frustration and hate and fear into kissing Sawyer.

May. 26th, 2006 06:34 am (UTC)
Thank god for insomnia, eh? ;) And for our boys in bondage.

It's good to be a fangirl again!

May. 26th, 2006 01:30 am (UTC)
I find that it's very difficult for some writers to pull off a realistic romantic, sweet and emotional relationship between Sawyer and Jack, simply because of how much emphasis the show puts on their clashing personalities, but you make it so believable. This was beautiful. ♥
May. 26th, 2006 06:35 am (UTC)
Oh wow, I'm honored! Thank you so much! ;-)
May. 26th, 2006 02:23 am (UTC)
Oh, darling!!!! How incredibly lovely this is, dark and somewhat bleak but somewhat hopeful, too. You write them so naturally together, I just love it.
May. 26th, 2006 06:36 am (UTC)

Aww, yay! ;) That makes me so happy we're both feeling the Lost love again! Now it's your turn!

*tags you and runs away*
May. 26th, 2006 03:51 am (UTC)
This was fantastically dark and admirably restrained (both because of the binds and in spite of them). A whole summer of this? I could do with that!! :D
May. 26th, 2006 06:40 am (UTC)
Thank you hon! This one didn't want to be full-on pr0n.

And yeah, I think it's going to be an awesome summer! ;-)

May. 26th, 2006 04:04 am (UTC)
*sigh* now that's what I needed after last night. *hugs* thank yoouu.

*bookmarks* poor broken Jack and Sawyer, and Michael! I hope your boat blows up, stupid fucking asshat! Hah.
May. 26th, 2006 06:42 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you! Happy to hit the J/S spot for you! ;-D

MIchael still needs to get his, but if he's gone for good, well, that'll work too. More screentime for Jack and Sawyer, for one thing!
May. 26th, 2006 04:17 am (UTC)
And the summer of torture!porn begins! I liked this a lot, especially that note of "Fuck you" at the end.
May. 26th, 2006 06:47 am (UTC)
Yes! It begins! ;-)

*pumps fangirl fists*
May. 26th, 2006 04:48 am (UTC)
Oh, the first of hopefully many many "broken, but still working" Jack/Sawyer fics!
And how much do I love you for that Star Wars reference? Sawyer is Han, Jack is Leia....oh, well,Kate can be Chewbacca.
Now go and write a sequel! *tends to get a bit pushy after a good fic* :-)
May. 26th, 2006 06:51 am (UTC)
Yes, I have a feeling there'll be one or two more fics of Jack and Sawyer in captivity. LOL.

I was actually thinking Jack is Chewbacca since he gets to hug Sawyer and growl a lot! *points to icon*

And eee, sequel? Then I'd have to come up with some kind of escape plan! We'll see! ;-)

May. 26th, 2006 05:30 am (UTC)
Simply awesome.
May. 26th, 2006 06:52 am (UTC)
Thank you! ;-)
May. 26th, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC)
I love you for this!!!! Oh the glorious summer fics have begun..THANK YOU..and Sawyer quotes Han Solo..and then JACK DOES TOO..the "I know" have to love that.

But damn, damn I swear you can almost feel that bamboo..and Sawyer's right, he shouldn't have saved Michael..Sawyer really is Han, the reluctant hero trying to come off as tough and brash when all the time, he's one big damn hero with a heart!!!!
May. 27th, 2006 08:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, hon! Of course Sawyer couldn't let Michael drown. He is a big damn hero, whether anyone else realizes it or not! Let's hope he gets the chance to be the hero again in S3!
May. 26th, 2006 05:47 pm (UTC)
Gorgeous kiss.
And creepy Others, They knew.

You capture the mood, the dynamic between them so perfectly. And equally perfectly summed up the scum that is Michael. Liked Sawyer telling Jack about him saving M from drowning.

Is this a tbc? Last line sure sounded like it.
May. 27th, 2006 08:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I don't really have a follow-up fic in mind, I just wanted them coming together to give Jack some hope. But I'm sure I'll be revisiting this scenario again very soon. It's too ripe with possibilities not to!
(Deleted comment)
May. 27th, 2006 08:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you! I do think Jack is very hard on himself, although in this situation, I think his anger might be stronger than any self-pity. We'll have to see! I'm sure we'll all be examining this from every angle over the summer! ;-)
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