Pairing: Various implied pairings of Sawyer, Sayid, Jack and Boone
Summary: He keeps feeling the blood on his hands.
Note: An S1 ficlet with Sayid for zelda_zee. Many thanks to foxxcub and themoononastick for looking this over. Claiming for fanfic100 prompt "Earth" and tarot21 prompt "Judgement."
"Whose blood is that?" Boone's question echoes in Sayid's ears as he runs hard for the clearing, Jack's medical bag in hand. Whose blood is that?
Sawyer's blood is soaking into the jungle floor with each beat of his heart. Sayid counts off each footfall, trying to outrun his own heartbeat so that he may outrun death.
Jack keeps feeling the blood on his hands. Reliving the panic of that hot spurt, that first arterial spray.
Sawyer's jaw is clenched tight, his hands digging into the dirt. He's fighting for life, even as he begs Jack to let him die. Jack can't breathe when he looks into his eyes, so he focuses on the wound. Blood is blood. He can fix this. He has to. He's holding a man's life in his hands. It doesn't matter who he is. When Sawyer's eyelids droop, when his body goes limp, Jack finally draws breath.
Sawyer is the one lying on the ground but it's Jack who has fallen.
Boone lies awake, listening to Shannon wheezing. She doesn't sound as bad as before, but her breath is still labored, even in sleep. He listens closely, waiting for a change, a dip for the worse.
He can still feel the sting of Sawyer's fists and the balm of Jack's hands. He remembers the blind rage in Sawyer's eyes and the worry in Jack's.
He keeps seeing Sayid's shirt, splattered with blood. "It's only fair," he thinks, but he knows it wasn't done for him. It was done for Shannon.
Boone bled. Sawyer bled. Shannon nearly died, and then, so did Sawyer. He tries to work out the equation in his head. Unbelievably, it tips toward Sawyer. There was just too much blood.
He didn't realize how much until he saw the guilt in Sayid's eyes when he went to thank him.
Sayid just kept adding items to his pack, his head down. It was only when Boone saw Sayid's face that he faltered. All the satisfaction Boone felt on knowing that it was Sawyer's turn to bleed for once ebbed to nothing.
He watched Sayid hoist the pack onto his shoulder, watched him walk towards the beach and then, chastened, although Sayid didn't say a word, he went back to Shannon's side
His arm aches but it's more than his arm. It's knowing that everyone on this godforsaken scrap of land hates him. He should smile at his accomplishment, at a job well done, because he set this all in motion from the second he stepped one shaky foot out of that twisted wreckage.
They all want him dead and that is the only thing he'll ever see eye to eye with them on. He shrugs his shoulders, feeling their eyes on him like a weight. He walks toward the shore and he thinks maybe he should just keep walking.
Instead, he finds himself under a palm tree, lighter in hand, letter in the other. It doesn't matter if he burns it. He knows it by heart. The wind catches the flame; it licks at the paper. He flicks the lighter shut, hand shaking.
When he looks up, he sees Jack watching him. He toughens up his gaze, stares Jack down.
Jack's eyes are guarded, wary. He looks like he did in that grove -- pained, uncertain. Like a man who has stepped outside himself and doesn't know how to go back. He holds Sawyer's stare and, for a second, there's a flicker of shared pain there.
Sawyer drops his head, hair shielding his face, and when he looks back up, Jack is gone.
He's torn between that cocksure grin, the one masking pure hate, and those damaged fingers, wrapped around the straight razor.
Sayid is weak, too weak to defend himself, so when Sawyer grabs his throat and holds the naked razor up against it, he has no choice but to use the tactic he used to escape the French woman.
He reaches for Sawyer, takes him in hand and finds him already half-hard.
Sawyer's pupils dilate and he swallows hard, but he doesn't make a move, doesn't tell Sayid to stop. His eyelids flutter shut and then he drops his hand with the razor. He covers Sayid's hand with his own. "Don't," is all he says. When he opens his eyes, it's compassion, not disgust Sayid thinks he sees there.
Sawyer gets to his feet and drops the razor back on the cart with a clatter as he leaves the cave.
Slowly, slowly, Sayid's heartbeat returns to normal.
He can still smell the blood; he's assaulted by the salty tang of it on each ocean breeze. It's in his own come, splattering his fist as he groans alone on the dirt of the jungle floor.