Summary: Sawyer and Jack bond over a cup of Dharma coffee
Note: For the most excellent hkath’s birthday, who requested Jack, Sawyer and coffee. Claiming for fanfic100, prompt Taste.
Two things hit Jack when he walked into the hatch -- Frank Sinatra was belting “I Get a Kick Out of You” at top volume and the whole place smelled like a Starbuck’s.
Jack stopped dead, letting the aroma of freshly brewed coffee envelop him like an old lover slipping an arm through his.
He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had coffee. Probably that morning, in Sydney. Three months ago or more. He hurried to the kitchen, unconsciously licking his lips.
He was only slightly surprised to see Sawyer leaning against the counter, looking incongruously tan in that artificial lighting, every inch the beach bum in his frayed plaid shirt and faded jeans.
By now, the song had changed to “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” and Sawyer was singing along, surprisingly well, with Frank, I’ve tried so, not to give in ...
“Damn, that smells good,” Jack interrupted.
Sawyer looked up with a ready grin. “Don’t it, though?” He raised his head and sniffed, like a dog. “Good timing, Doc. ‘s almost ready.” He tapped on the side of the battered coffee pot on the counter.
“Since when has there been coffee?” Jack demanded sharply, going from delighted to peevish that they’d all been holding out on him this whole time.
“Well, I think the ancient Africans first cultivated it ...” Sawyer began, breaking off with a laugh at Jack’s impatient grimace. “Since it fell from the sky, Jacko. Tried brewing some over my own li’l fire -- didn’t work out so well,” he sighed. “So I came to the only stovetop for the next three million miles or so.”
“So no one else knows there’s coffee?” Jack held out his hands, fingers outspread, like he was trying to get the answer to whether anyone had punched in the numbers lately.
“Well, maybe someone else snagged themselves a bag o’ Dharma Brand java from the latest drop, all I know is I got mine.” Sawyer’s eyes lit up on the word “mine.”
He opened the cabinets and got out two mugs. “How do you take yours, Doc?”
Jack had already been running over the list of goods and services he was willing to trade for a cup of that coffee, so it took him a second to reply. “There isn’t any cream, is there?”
“Nah, just some of this powdered shit,” Sawyer said, holding up a thin canister with the familiar Dharma logo. “Want some?”
“Yeah, why not?” Jack said, edging closer to the source of that sinful scent.
“No!” Jack recoiled in mild horror. “I was never a caramel frappucccino kind of guy.”
“Hey, just what you see, pal,” Sawyer jibed as he poured coffee expertly into both mugs. He stepped back so Jack could stir some of the creamer into his coffee.
Sawyer held the mug in both hands, like a little kid with a mug of cocoa, and closed his eyes as he took the first sip. “’s good,” he said, practically purring.
Jack laughed as he blew into his. “You doing a commercial?”
Sawyer leaned back against the counter and cocked one eyebrow at Jack. “What’cha waitin’ for there, Doc? Judgment day?”
“Too hot. Cream usually cools it off.” Jack sidestepped Sawyer and reached into the freezer and grabbed an ice cube, which he plopped into his mug, stirring until it melted.
Sawyer snorted in disgust. “Watery, weakass coffee with powdered crap. Don’t blame me if yours tastes like shit.”
Jack finally took that first taste. “No, it’s ...” He took a bigger sip and then started to laugh. “Sawyer, this is terrible.”
“Yeah, I know,” Sawyer said with a conspiratorial chuckle. He shrugged and took another sip. “Hell, it’s Dharma. What else did you expect?”
Jack sighed and swirled the liquid in his mug. “Well, it smelled fantastic.”
”Yeah, well Dharma ain’t got nothin’ on Folger’s.”
“Still, it’s coffee,” Jack pointed out. “And at this point I’d settle for instant.”
“I’d kill for a cigarette.” Sawyer’s fingers drummed against his mug. “Coffee and cigarettes. Nothin’ better. ‘Cept a nice cold beer and a cigarette.”
“Nothing?” Jack couldn’t help grinning.
“OK, then, Doc,” Sawyer cocked his head with a sly smile, as if Jack had just issued him a challenge. “Nothin’ like a good smoke after sex.”
“Or making someone coffee in the morning,” Jack added.
“Wakin’ up to the smell of coffee someone made for you,” Sawyer corrected him.
Jack dropped his head, conceding the point. “You know what I used to love? When you go out for a really nice dinner and they’ve cleared the table but you’re still finishing your wine-- red wine, of course -- and they’ve already brought your coffee, so you’re maybe still taking a sip of wine and then you take a sip of coffee, just those two flavors on your tongue at once...”
Sawyer raised an eyebrow, letting out an amused snort. “So that’s how you’d talk them into dessert back at your place, Doc? Two flavors on your tongue at once...” He affected a Los Angeles accent, mimicking Jack’s rapt enthusiasm.
“Yeah, so what was your line, Sawyer?”
“Let’s see ... Hello?” Sawyer smirked as he stretched out his long legs, crossing them at the ankles. He raised his mug and finished off his coffee, licking the spare drops off his lower lip.
Jack shook his head, feigning disgust, but enjoying this easy camaraderie too much to really mind Sawyer being his usual arrogant self. “God, I've missed real coffee. I still remember the best coffee I ever had -- an espresso in Venice.”
“Venice, like next to Santa Monica?”
“Venice, Italy. Just the way it hit your tongue...” Jack opened his mouth, trying to find the right spot with his pinky. “Here,” he said, dabbing approximately at the right taste bud.
He didn’t think anything of it -- he was too busy recalling the taste of that double macchiato and how he’d gone to two or three different cafés to avoid being thought strange for ordering too many in a row -- when he caught Sawyer’s odd gaze.
“You really... like your coffee,” Sawyer laughed, mouth quirked in a smile that might verge on admiration. “Thought I was fond of the stuff, but for you, man, it’s an aphrodisiac.”
Jack’s face felt warm, and not just from the coffee. “Sorry. Guess I got carried away. It’s just been so long.”
Sinatra was still singing. A trip to the moon, on gossamer wings, it was one of those things.
“Soooo, another cup?” Sawyer asked as he stood up and reached for Jack’s mug. Jack handed it over without thinking. Too hot not to cool down, Sawyer chimed in as Ol’ Blue Eyes crooned the words.
“I’ll take it black this time,” Jack added and Sawyer nodded, handing back the mug brimming full. Jack hesitated before drinking. “Maybe I shouldn’t. I’ll never sleep tonight.”
“You never sleep anyway,” Sawyer noted, as if it were common knowledge.
“True,” Jack said and tipped the mug to his lips.
“Tell you what, Doc,” Sawyer offered, slumping down again so that his body was propped up by one elbow on the counter and his boots against the opposite cabinet. “You can’t sleep, you come find me. We’ll break open some of that Dharma wine.”
“Red,” Sawyer nodded.
“Deal,” Jack grinned into his mug as he finished his coffee.