Prompted by some discussions with foxxcub and yndigot about Jack and whether there's more to him than the show and some fic writers (cough*me*cough) have been giving him credit for so far. (Also, please pet my slashy new icon, courtesy of ada_farrow. Doesn't it look like they were just kissing? Or are saying, "Come kiss us both?")
Thoughts about the power situation between Jack and Sawyer:
Jack is the de facto leader. Everyone seeks his opinion and while he's certainly not a dictator, his decisions are mostly followed and respected. He defers to Locke or Sayid, both of whom he clearly respects.
He likes but is wary of Kate. He is very wary of Sawyer, has little to no respect for him (Locke came up with the idea to bring Sawyer in on the Ethan stakeout, not Jack), and has been openly hostile to him on more than one occasion. He's so serious most of the time because of the burdens of responsibility. He feels guilty if he doesn't have the answer for everything. He resents Sawyer's me-first attitude and probably envies his carefree philosophy. What does Jack want? To know that everyone is safe, to do the right thing, and to be loved are at the top of the list, I think. He hasn't had much of a chance to cut loose or do more than worry, really. His priority is the general welfare and much lower on the list is getting his rocks off, if we can judge by the whole scene where Kate asked him if he was checking her out and he proceeded to deny it and start talking about the caves instead.
Sawyer ... what does Sawyer really want? He craves and creates situations that bring him negative attention. Deep down, he must want to be loved but doesn't feel worthy of it. He resents Jack and others in authority, perhaps stemming back to his resentment over his father. Does he hate his father? Probably. Was that metaphorical boar supposed to be his father as well as the man he unjustly murdered? That altered flashback suggested so. And does that mean that Sawyer now has a measure of peace regarding his parents' death? Who knows?
Sawyer is the island outcast who has gone out of his way to incur everyone's wrath, partly because he's an ornery SOB but also because he has (or had) a burning death wish. But he seemed glad to be on the team to get Ethan. He didn't give any guff, just stepped up to the plate and played ball. Jack was the one being pissy and snide about it. So, given the opportunity and the respect, Sawyer can play nice, as seen when Hurley asked him directly for the manifest without being threatening or cute about it. But will anyone give Sawyer that opportunity? Sawyer definitely thinks the world owes him something, but then he's just as certain that maybe he doesn't deserve it. A complex guy indeed.
Can Jack be dominant? Certainly! Does he also seem the most sympathetic and vulnerable of the OT3 of Kate and Sawyer? Yes. He's also a take-charge kind of guy. He's not afraid to throw a punch or face down difficult situations or even threaten and torture someone if he thinks the occasion calls for it.
Can Sawyer be submissive? (Pardon me while I put my head back together...) I *know* he's a masochist and all but I just can't go there. So much. I know there's a lot Sawyer/Sayid stuff where Sayid's dominant, which makes sense, but still, something about that bothers me. I tend to think of someone who's sexually submissive as those authority figure guys who secretly long to be dominated. (Kinda more like Jack ...)
Sawyer seems like he's up for a good time, but he also likes to be in control of situations as much as he can. Isn't that what the whole hoarding thing is about? Making people come to him and ask for stuff? Having a degree of power over them? The same with the knowledge about Jack's dad. It makes him feel powerful to hold that secret. And running cons, back in the real world. So, no, I can't entirely go along with submissive Sawyer. But that doesn't mean *you* can't be writing those fics and convince me. Of course, what people do in bed (or on the beach or wherever), doesn't always make sense, strictly speaking. Nor can a kink always be predicted just by looking at someone, talking to them or even having sex with them a few times.
Scenarios in which Jack and Sawyer have to interact: When Sawyer was injured. When Sawyer has something Jack wants. When they have to work together for the common good. When Sawyer just feels like needling Jack about something. When their pursuit of Kate causes their paths to cross.
Scenarios in which Jack and Sawyer could be friends: When they realize how much they have in common, which would mean both of them coming to grips with their past and forgiving their fathers for all the damage they did. Not holding my breath on that one! When they realize they have a common enemy, whether it's Ethan, the island, or lyin' ass Kate.
Scenarios in which Jack and Sawyer could be more than friends: That's what all us slash writers have been pondering, with varying degrees of convincingness. There's drunken abandon, deciding to share Kate rather than not have her at all, a near-death experience, violence leading to sex, mystical influences (yes, that's an Angel shout-out). And then there's the always popular: Just because I say so.
Anyway, that's me rehashing some familiar ground. Ultimately, good writing makes characters work even when they're acting kind of *out* of character. Smutwise, if someone tries something new on another character, and that character goes along with it just for that once maybe, well, hallelujah. I'm not going to analyze it to death. If it feels good, do it, right? ;-> And yes, this is all because of the mind-blowing fic that is foxxcub's "Quid Pro Quo" fic. (Why do I hear Hannibal Lecter hissing in my ear now? XD)
And on a slightly more mundane note:
Because of the following post, I was pondering the whole situation where Sawyer knows about Jack's dad but Jack doesn't know he knows. Here's this food for thought about what *could* happen if Jack believes that Sawyer *killed* his father. http://www.livejournal.com/community/lost_tv/539548.html
I actually think Jack's dad died of natural causes and Sawyer couldn't have caused it. This was discussed quite a lot over at TWoP. Also, Sawyer's arrest had to be for something very minor if he was joking around and being treated so dismissively by the police. We still don't know the whole story about Jack's dad, but I don't think Sawyer killed him. I imagine there's a scenario where Jack could *think* Sawyer did, but since he's a doctor himself and his dad was a longterm alcoholic, and there was no mention of foul play so far, I don't think Jack would jump to the conclusion.
Instead, I think the tension between them is that it's one more thing for Sawyer to be jealous about that Jack had and he didn't -- a father who loved him. Probably Sawyer thinks his father would have killed him too if he hadn't hidden under the bed that night.
I saw an interview on E! where Josh Holloway said that his knowledge about Jack's dad is the "trump card" he holds over Jack. How will he choose to use that information, if at all? It would help Jack more than hurt him, so if he tells Jack, he loses that feeling of being one-up on him. I don't think he can tell him until they are on a more equal or at least friendly footing and god knows when that will be, if ever.