Summary: Mexico is not so different from the island
Note: More whiteshirtpr0n for inthekeyofd. Except not very prony! This isn’t the birthday fic I originally planned for you but I hope it will do -- and for your day as queen! *toasts you* I couldn't fit in anything silly but here is something rather schmoopy. :-) And since there's a fanfic100 prompt for "White" ...
Everything in Mexico is brightly colored: riotous fuchsia and red bougainvillea climbing heavenward over buildings painted a vivid orange or yellow, all contrasting with the intense azure sky and the emerald ocean that glitters all around them.
They’ve retreated here, to this small coastal village, as far away from the bustle of the tourist spots as they can get. Here there are just a fishermen, a small farmer’s market and a series of houses dotting the hills, along with the odd cantina.
Their house -- white stucco with a blaze of bougainvillea nearly consuming it -- is near the top of the hill, giving them a breathtaking view of the sea. They wake to the sound of the sea, and the ringing of the bells on the chapel on the top of the hill. They sleep with the ocean breeze on their face and they walk in the surf and they eat fish every day and there’s nothing at all to do but stare at the ocean and nap away the afternoon sun and fall asleep in each other’s arms at night.
Living here is not so very different.
Their island was beautiful, but so demure in contrast, verdant greens and tranquil blues and white sandy beaches. Jack didn’t even realize how starved for color he was.
So it perplexes him that Sawyer insists on wearing white all the time. Not that he can complain. Sawyer in a form-fitting V-neck T-shirt stops his breath every time he looks at him.
Sawyer’s regular outfit consists of a few gleaming white T-shirts -- seemingly chosen just to set off the golden brown of his skin -- loose-fitting off-white board shorts and leather flip-flops. At the market, he keeps going back to the same cart, the one with intricately woven leather bracelets and necklaces. He eventually settles on a dark leather cuff and medallions of saints strung on leather straps. Despite the pristine white of his clothes, Sawyer looks like some kind of bohemian painter, Jack decides. Like someone -- a rock star or a millionaire maybe -- who’s happy to leave all the trappings of fame and wealth aside for now, but who has a whole other life to get back to, if he so chose. It's not so far from the truth.
As they walk the steep streets, he smiles to see the eyes of everyone they pass light on Sawyer. Not that Jack blends in, exactly, but Sawyer’s golden skin and his mane of blonde hair always turn heads. Even so casually dressed, Sawyer attracts attention.
He smiles easily, even with strangers, laughing as he stumbles over his rudimentary Spanish. Jack speaks the language better, but Sawyer’s charm, especially one flash of those dimples, is all the communication they need.
There’s always an extra round of drinks or an extra helping when Sawyer orders their food. And the prices at the market always end up much lower when Sawyer negotiates.
Sawyer is the one who’s more comfortable talking to strangers, negotiating this strange thing called civilization. Jack just hangs back and lets Sawyer be his emissary.
On their return to Los Angeles, they immediately holed up in the most luxurious hotel they could afford with their payout. They’d splurged on clothes, chocolate and liquor, and more food than they could ever eat.
They treated themselves to an orgy of sensory overload, savoring things they hadn’t tasted in years -- strawberries, steak, ice cream, cold beer. Everything was intoxicating, the feel of the cold marble tub, the scent of leather, the plush pillows, the nap of the carpet, the music on the radio, roses and lilies and all kinds of perfectly ordinary, domestic flowers.
But Jack began to miss the simplicity of their life before. He didn’t need six pairs of shoes. He didn’t need three kinds of shampoo. He just needed Sawyer.
One day, he let Sawyer hit the shops alone and buried himself in one of the many books Sawyer had bought. And there, in a book by John Steinbeck, he came across the answer. They would go back to the sea. A different sea but one that was quiet, tranquil. Somewhere they could breathe.
Sawyer found him lying on the bed, looking up at the ceiling, the book laying open on his stomach. Sawyer threw his packages down and fell on the bed next to Jack. He trailed a finger down his chest, stopping at the book.
He read the title out loud. “The Sea of Cortez. Readin’ or makin’ travel plans?”
“Bit of both.” Jack held his breath, not knowing what he’d do if Sawyer hadn’t tired yet of the city.
“Mexico, huh?” Sawyer said with an enigmatic smile, like he’d been about to suggest the same thing. “Great idea.” And he carefully closed the book and laid it aside, kissing Jack’s stomach where it had lain.
So they left Los Angeles without having set foot in a single museum or nightclub. They hadn’t even taken all their purchases -- some still unopened -- with them.
Jack never gives them a second thought, until the doorbell rings one day and a small child, breathless from the climb, stands there smiling, two brown parcels in his hands. Sawyer rushes to intercept them, tipping the boy extravagantly.
“What’s in the packages?” Jack asks but Sawyer just smiles and won’t answer.
He’s had something up his sleeve all day.
Around sunset, the time they usually sit on the patio and sip something strong and cool, he comes out of the kitchen, humming and carrying a pitcher of sangria. Gone are his usual T-shirt and shorts. Instead, he’s wearing an open-necked cream linen shirt, stunning in its simplicity, and a pair of matching linen pants. He looks like he might be a saint on one of the medallions around his neck. Except the way those clothes fall on him, accenting strong shoulders and slim hips, are giving Jack all kinds of blasphemous thoughts.
“Wow.” Is all Jack can say. “What’s the occasion?” They’re both out of the habit of consulting a watch or calendar.
“Coupla things,” Sawyer says, pouring sangria into the chunky, handblown blue glasses on the table. “Been here two months. And met you ... just about three years ago. So I figure some kind of celebration is in order.”
Jack lifts his glass in a toast and Sawyer clinks his against it. He can barely take a sip before he has to put it down, careful not to spill it on Sawyer’s shirt as Sawyer moves in for a kiss. “Got a present for you,” Sawyer says low, lips brushing his ear and Jack couldn’t care less what’s in those brown bags, he just wants to ease that shirt up over Sawyer’s arms and those pants down and have his way with him right here on the patio, under the stars that are slowly coming out.
“Later,” he mumbles, slipping a hand under Sawyer’s shirt, tongue swiping possessively over Sawyer’s lips. The sangria only make Sawyer taste sweeter, but it’s not the wine making him feel drunk.
But Sawyer puts a hand over his, stopping him. “Hold up there, hot stuff.” He steps away, that familiar, dimpled smile in place, eyes dark and mysterious. He holds out the first package, bowing as he hands it over.
Jack tears at the brown paper, revealing an exquisitely embroidered white shirt. He holds it up. It’s expensive, woven from some very high-end cotton. The stitching along the sleeves and the yoke is beautiful. “Sawyer,” Jack says slowly, looking from Sawyer’s expectant face back to the shirt. “This is gorgeous. I hate to think how much you spent on this.”
“’s nothing,” Sawyer says, but he can’t wait to get Jack out of his purple T-shirt and into this piece of finery. He helps Jack with the few, tiny buttons, and steps back to admire him. “Fits like a glove,” he nods approvingly.
“It’s beautiful,” Jack says, holding out his arms to admire the cut of the sleeves. “But Sawyer ... this is the kind of shirt men wear here to get married.”
“I know,” Sawyer says with a smirk. “Why you think I bought it?”
Jack’s throat gets tight. “Sawyer, we can’t ... we’re in Mexico. We’re lucky that the people here don’t care if we live together, but we can’t march into that chapel and just ... I ... did you just ask me to marry you?”
Sawyer’s eyes are laughing, but he’s not. “No chapel. Had something else in mind.”
“Yeah?” Jack fingers the edge of his cuff nervously. This is not something he ever expected from Sawyer.
“Yeah,” is all Sawyer says. He opens the other package and in it are a pair of white linen pants, a white ribbon stitched into the seam.
“Oh, I get the fancy outfit,” Jack says, a little breathless as Sawyer finishes dressing him.
“Cuz you’re so pretty.” Sawyer kisses him and leads him by the hand. They walk out of the house, down the steps cut into the cliff. The moon is full and so bright that they don’t really need the lit candle Sawyer is carrying. Jack gets an inkling that Sawyer has chosen this evening in particular based more on when the moon would be full than around any anniversary.
They walk down the hill, still hand in hand, two white shapes against the blackening sky. They reach the shore and Jack looks around. The beach is empty. There’s no singing musicians, no flowers, no bonfire. He lets go of Sawyer’s hand and turns to ask him what’s going on.
“Come with me,” is all Sawyer says, holding out both hands as he puts the candle down in the sand, its flame guttering in the ocean breeze, and walks straight into the surf.
“Sawyer, you just gave these to me. I don’t want to ruin them!”
“Trust me,” Sawyer says and Jack relents. They step into the ocean, the warmth of the water always coming as a shock, even after all this time. The water swirls around their feet, lifting them up slightly, as they wade in up to their waists.
Jack braces himself against Sawyer as a wave hits, soaking them both. He can’t breathe for a second or two, caught up in the rush of the water. He’s exhilarated, his skin electrified, the hair on his arms and the back of his neck standing on end. It feels like he’s been asleep his whole life until now.
He has to plant his feet in the sand to fight the pull of the outgoing tide, as does Sawyer, whose arms are firmly around his waist.
The ocean is nearly black at night, but in the moonlight, he can still see the blue of Sawyer’s eyes.
Sawyer runs his hands over Jack’s chest. The white shirt is now sheer, clinging to Jack like a second skin. Sawyer traces his finger over the white stitching, now visible against the dark hair showing through the wet cloth. Jack’s breath comes faster when Sawyer runs his index finger over a nipple. From Sawyer’s face, he can see this is what he was picturing when he bought it for him.
Sawyer steps closer, pressing against him until Jack can feel his warmth, his hardness, through his wet clothing “This is what I wanted,” Sawyer says softly, placing one hand on Jack’s face and one on his heart. “This is you and me. This is forever.”
“Yes,” Jack says, a throb in his voice as he pulls Sawyer to him.
There are no witnesses but the moon and the stars and the ocean, swirling around them as they kiss.