Rating: PG for language
Spoilers: Three Minutes
Note: Fic for queen alliecat8 at lostsquee, who asked for some Sawyer appreciation. This is just a tiny drop in the bucket, but by Lost standards, this would be a major event, I think!
This is what comes of revealing his stash. He’s taken inventory three times now and there’s no mistake -- his damn booze is gone. Not all of it, just the big bottle of vodka. But it’s not like he can just run down to the corner liquor store and get a new one.
Only two people knew about his stash and he’d lay odds that as fucking sneaky as Freckles could be, it wasn’t her.
Which just leaves the Doc. Because he’d been right here in his tent, loading up his guns right next to him. Talking revenge and death and not meeting each other’s eyes much. And Sawyer had gotten the bottle out, taken that huge swig right in front of him, even offered him a hit. But the Doc turned him down. Guess he was just too high and mighty to actually share the same bottle with him.
So Sawyer had wiped his mouth and put the bottle back. And now it’s gone.
He could let it go. Could use it as leverage. But hell, stealing from Sawyer isn’t a crime.
Could be Jack took it for “medicinal purposes,” the way he took back the rest of the drugs, without so much as a by-your-leave. Jack thinks he’s entitled to every damn thing on the island, including Freckles. And now the goddamn vodka.
Fucker could be in the hatch. Could be anywhere.
Sawyer decides to take a little night air anyway, clear his mind. They’re leaving in the morning, just the five of them. Sawyer goes over it again in his mind, why Hurley’s coming along and not Sayid. It’s not like anyone turns to him for advice, because if they did, their little posse would be a different one. No, he’s just along for the ride, a little extra muscle.
He strolls along the beach, past the last tent. There’s that fine line between civilization and complete fucking wilderness here. Most days, he thinks he’d rather take the wilderness.
Away from everyone else, he can pretend he’s on some tropical vacation, just enjoy the night breeze and let his toes sink in the sand.
He hears Jack before he sees him. He’s sitting a few feet off, silhouetted against the crashing surf. Not singing, exactly, more like talking to himself. It’s kind of amusing, a steady stream of cursing and self-recrimination. The Doc’s interior monologue, writ large.
He sits for a bit, listening to Jack run himself down. “Can’t trust anyone,” Jack mutters.
“Says the man who stole my vodka,” Sawyer says loudly, pleased to see Jack jump at the sound of his voice.
“Needed a drink.” Jack’s voice is slurred and Sawyer is surprised how much that alarms him. It’s like finding your Sunday School teacher drunk.
He walks over to Jack and plops down beside him on the sand, stretching out his legs. It’s too dark to really see Jack’s face, but he can smell the vodka. Again, that topsy-turvy feeling hits him. He should be crowing that he’s found Jack’s Achilles heel. Instead, he wrests the bottle from his reluctant hands. “Think you’ve had enough, Doc. Big day tomorrow.”
“I know,” Jack sighs. He rubs his hand over his face, rubbing rougher at the edges, like he can massage away all his cares. It’s a gesture Sawyer’s seen so often, if someone else on the island did it in pantomime, he’d know it for a copy of Jack.
“I been thinkin,’ somethin’ about it don’t feel right,” Sawyer says.
“Yeah?” Jack sounds combative. “It’ll be OK. It has to be.”
“You don’t sound so sure.”
Jack falls silent. He’s dropped his hand and is now worrying a pattern into his jeans.
“What did you mean, you can’t trust anyone?” Sawyer asks. “Freckles let you down again?”
Jack shakes his head. “No. No. I’m ... I’m just drunk. “ He starts to stand up, wobbling on his feet.
“Hey!” Sawyer pulls him down by the elbow. “Can’t have you wanderin’ back yet. You want everyone to see you like this?”
“What do you care?” Jack grouses. He jerks his elbow free but sits back down heavily on the sand.
“Morale’s pretty damn low as it is. You want everyone to see this is how their Fearless Leader copes with the pressure?”
Jack turns. Even though he can’t see his face, he can feel Jack scrutinizing him. “Huh,” is all Jack says. “Don’t know why you care.”
“Yeah, I know, you don’t trust anyone. Especially me,” Sawyer sighs. He takes a swig of the vodka because it’s there and he’s tired of talking. Jack’s trust ebbs and flows like the damn ocean. He doesn’t want to give Sawyer a gun to ambush Ethan, but then he just hands him one, unasked, before the raft sails. He saves Sawyer’s life for the second time, but by the time Sawyer can get around to thanking him -- or even think about it -- Jack’s brushing him off. Only Jack has noble, unselfish motives. Only Jack wants what’s best for everyone. If Sawyer wants to help, it’s only because he needs revenge for being shot.
“It’s not you,” Jack insists. “It’s ... Sawyer, you think you’ve made friends here. People you can rely on. You think we’re a community. It’s us against them. And then you find out that’s not the case. It’s every man for himself.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard that before,” Sawyer says, recalling how Michael all but spit in his face after they’d been captured by what they thought were the Others. “People don’t know what the fuck loyalty means. Or even how to show a little fuckin’ gratitude.”
“No,” Jack chimes in loudly. He’s wrapped up in his own thoughts, doesn’t bother to ask Sawyer what he’s talking about. “They don’t. You try so hard and ...” He stops, looking intently at Sawyer, or rather, the shape of Sawyer next to him in the darkness. “Did you mean that? Before?”
“About being friends?”
“Oh.” Sawyer scratches his beard. “Yeah, yeah, I did. You know, I talk a lot, sometimes, and a lot of it’s b.s. But not that.”
“OK.” Jack lets out a deep breath. “Tomorrow, we’ll look out for each other. And for Kate.”
“’Course,” Sawyer says, more than a little puzzled. “Always.”
“Good.” Jack reaches out, possibly for the bottle, but ending up patting Sawyer’s knee instead. Sawyer keeps the bottle out of his reach and he doesn’t try for it again. “Good,” Jack says again after a little while.
Eventually, he helps the Doc back to his feet. He’s practically a dead weight as he leans against him. Sawyer walks them both back to his tent. He forces a bottle of water down Jack’s throat. Jack chokes a little, then looks up at him, eyes clear through the haze of vodka. “Thanks,” he says, with a nod. “I owe you.”
“Yeah, don’t mention it.” But Jack’s already asleep. Sawyer sits and smokes until the sun comes up. Doesn’t pay for anyone to see the doc with a hangover, so he lays out the last of his Alka-Seltzer for him.
The bastard does owe him. Big.