Summary: They're using him to hurt Jack
Spoilers: Live Together, Die Alone
Warning: Dark and fucked-up. No specific warnings because that would spoil the fic but consider yourself warned
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Note: So this is the captivity fic I thought of the day after the finale but have been avoiding writing all summer. I thought I should write it before S3, at least. This definitely won't be everyone's cup of tea, so feel free to skip. Thanks and kisses to foxxcub and zelda_zee for betaing.
It’s been hours, but he can still taste the gag. He spits until there’s nothing left to spit.
They cut their bonds, then threw him and Jack in this dirty little hut, shoving them so hard they both fell to their knees. Sawyer’s hands flew in front of him to stop his fall. He was still crouched in the dirt but Jack was up, trying to get the door open, not even bothering to yank down his gag.
Sawyer just sits, rubbing his wrists and watching Jack batter the door. The hut might be primitive, but it’s well constructed. Too solid for Jack’s assault to make any difference. A mute hero, bruising his body to get to her.
When the door doesn’t give, Jack finally remembers the gag. He pulls it down and starts to yell. He pounds against the door, demanding that they let them go, that they bring Kate. He shouts until he’s hoarse.
Sawyer lets Jack scream out his frustration until he finally falls silent. Yet still Jack stands, back bowed because of the low ceiling, his forehead pressed against the door.
“Jack...” Sawyer breaks the silence. He stands up, legs still shaky from whatever the hell was in those darts. He pulls Jack away from the door, forces him to sit. “Losin’ your voice ain’t gonna help anything.” Jack doesn’t look up, just stares at a spot on the floor, his eyes unfocused.
“She can take care of herself.” Sawyer’s voice is raspy too. He looks around for water, but there isn’t any. Kate probably doesn’t have any either. Think about something else.
“Yeah,” Jack says softly. “I know.” He rubs his forehead, that unconscious gesture he makes when he’s trying to think. Or maybe just so he can let his head drop into the palm of his hand.
They sit in frustrated silence. Sawyer stretches out his legs, even though there really isn’t room. Definitely not enough room for Jack to stretch out too.
“Bet she’s got more room ‘n us at least.”
Jack’s head jerks up. “Don’t.” His voice is sharp, angry.
“For once in your life, just stop with the fucking jokes.” For a second, he thinks Jack might hit him.
Sawyer shrugs. “Yeah, sure, Doc. I just...” There’s no point in finishing the sentence, no point in being mad at Jack, even if he is. “Look.” He draws his legs back up again and leans forward. “We can bang our heads against that door. We can yell our fucking lungs out. We can sit here worryin’ ourselves sick about her. Or we can put our heads together, come up with some kind of plan.”
“Plan?” He thinks Jack is choking at first, until he recognizes the sound as laughter. Jack’s shoulders are shaking and when he lifts his head, his eyes are bright, crazed. “I had a plan. That’s what fucking got us here. My goddamn brilliant plan.”
“Yeah, well, we got stabbed in the fuckin’ back,” Sawyer growls, stomach clenching at the thought of Michael. “So now it’s time for Plan B, right?” When Jack doesn’t answer he says it again, louder. “Right?”
Jack slumps back against one of the rough walls. “No one knows where we are, Sawyer. That’s their plan, remember? They outnumber us. They’re so confident they’ve got the upper hand, they don’t even bother to keep us tied up. What the fuck are we going to do?”
“We study them.” Sawyer drops his voice, leans in closer. “We watch them for any kind of weakness. Study their routine. Size each one of ‘em up. Hell, there might even be one of ‘em who’s on our side.”
Jack listens and nods, that look of fierce determination Sawyer knows so well coming back as Sawyer talks. That drive, the will to never give up -- that’s etched as deeply into Jack as the tattoos on his arm. Jack wouldn’t be Jack, the Superman of Craphole Island, if he ever admitted defeat.
They talk for a while longer, until Jack’s voice gives out for good. There’s no question of sleeping in the dirt, so they each stake out a spot on opposite walls and drift off. Jack falls asleep first, fighting it with tiny jerks of his head. Sawyer has a vague idea that he’ll stay awake, keep watch, but there probably isn’t any point.
He wakes to an empty hut. He didn’t even notice them take Jack out. He jumps to his feet, but he can’t get out and there’s no one to call. It’s only now that he panics. He doesn’t know if it’s because they’re dead or because he’s next. His fingers tear into the rough wood of his prison. He claws at it like a wild animal, not caring about the pain, just desperate to not die cornered like this.
He jumps when he feels a hand on his wrist.
“Sawyer!” The voice is rough and harsh, not like anyone he knows. But when he looks, it’s Jack who’s pulling him back from the wall.
Once Jack sees he’s awake, he lets go. “Bad dream?” he says in that hoarse croak.
Sawyer nods. There’s blood on his hands, but he sees with relief that he didn’t do as much damage as he thought.
“Me too.” Jack doesn’t sound like Jack but he keeps trying to talk with that ruined voice, so it must be him after all. “Aftereffect of that drug, maybe.”
“Yeah.” Because there’s no other reason for nightmares. Jack looks gray, like he hasn’t slept at all.
They both hear the footsteps at the same time and spring up. Jack points to one side of the door and then the other and Sawyer nods. They stand on either side, waiting for it to open. But being alert and ready for anything doesn’t count for much when the door opens and three rifles are pointed in their faces. The bags are yanked back down over their heads -- he can just catch Jack’s body going tense before his own vision is cut off -- and they’re hauled outside.
Sawyer’s heart is racing, just like in his dream. He thinks of firing squads, of tumbling into a pit, of shovelfuls of dirt raining down on them both, of being buried alive.
He breaks his stride, fighting to get his arm free. The butt of the rifle strikes him hard in the side and he stumbles, but keeps going. He’s sweating under the damn bag. Without a gag, the cloth sucks against his mouth with each breath, almost like a living thing. Easy now. He wonders if this, too, is a dream, or just another lovely leftover from those damned tranquilizers.
Deprived of sight, his other senses kick in. The sounds around him change and the air suddenly feels different; they’re inside a building now. Even before they take the bag off his head, he knows there’s a crowd gathered. Even a quiet crowd isn’t completely quiet.
He and Jack are standing in the middle of an arena with a dirt floor. Tiers of onlookers -- all wearing those creepy homemade rags -- are ringed around them. It looks like a set from some Roman epic. He and Jack exchange uneasy glances. There’s more of Them than they’d realized. Maybe it’s not as dramatic as a ring of torches, but the message is the same. This is our island.
The people who marched them in have retreated to block the entrance. They’re alone in the middle.
Sawyer shivers. Whatever’s coming, it won’t be good. He steals a look at Jack, his mouth set in a grim line. We’re going to die here. Sawyer feels it in his bones. And he thinks he knows how.
This whole thing is like some bad Star Trek rerun and this is the part where They turn them against each other. A fight to the death, or they’ll both be killed.
A kind of calmness settles over Sawyer. So this is how it’s gonna be. Because he’s going to put on one helluva show, but he’s going to let Jack win. He takes a deep breath and juts out his chin as he exhales. He flashes Jack a shaky smile and gets a puzzled frown in return.
Sawyer just nods, hoping to hell the pricking at the back of his eyes isn’t noticeable. He wants to say something, but he doesn’t want to tip Jack off. So he just swallows back the words. He manages to find enough saliva to spit onto the dirt floor.
“What the hell are you waitin’ for?” he yells. No point in dragging this out. He can feel the adrenaline rushing through him already.
And then everything changes when they bring her in. She’s tiny compared to her handler. There’s dirt smeared on her face and her hair is matted and it doesn’t look like she’s had any sleep either, but other than that, she looks awful damn good. Her head is up, and if her eyes are a little puffy neither one of them is going to mention it.
Jack can’t stop himself saying her name, but quietly. He takes a step toward her, and then she’s standing beside them. Jack pulls her to him and she closes her eyes as she falls against him.
She smiles at Sawyer, eyes a little bright when she opens them. He tries a grin, not sure if he succeeds. He’s the only one looking over Jack’s shoulder, so he’s the first to notice three of them approach. He nods at Jack, who turns to watch them approach. Kate instinctively moves closer to Jack but she’s held back, while they roughly pull Jack away.
Jack doesn’t go easily, and Kate makes a move to go after him, but the rifles in their faces are a good argument to stay put.
Sawyer is trying to think on his feet, follow what’s happening. Kate runs into his arms and he holds her tight, one arm encircling her, one hand cradling her head against his chest.
They’re holding Jack just below the first row, a man holding him by each arm, a third with a knife to his throat. Jack’s head is tipped back and when he swallows hard, so does Sawyer. He pulls Kate closer, turning her head away.
The man Henry called Tom is speaking, and it takes Sawyer a few seconds to turn his eyes away from Jack and to hear what he says, to let the words of his demand sink in, like a vicious punch to the gut.
Kate flinches in his arms. There are tears on her cheeks when she raises her head. She looks first to Jack, and then to him.
“We have to,” she says. “Sawyer, they’ll kill him if we don’t.”
“I can’t.” The bastards must just have a sick sense of humor. They can’t honestly want this. He has yet to look at Jack. If he looks at him, if he acknowledges that Jack’s over there, being made to watch while he fucks Kate, then they’re all as good as dead.
But he has to look. Jack is straining hard against his captors, every muscle in his arms visible from here. His eyes are dark pits, burning with fury and frustration. He lets out an involuntary gasp as the knife bites flesh. The man holding the knife grins, happy to make good the threat.
Sawyer opens his mouth to tell Jack he was ready to take a knife in the heart for him, but saying it won’t make a damn bit of difference.
So he turns away, a twisted smile on his face. “Hey, Zeke. Don’t we at least get a shower first?” he shouts.
Kate digs her fingers into his arm. “Don’t,” she whispers.
“Clothes off first,” Tom orders and when they’re too slow to comply, the man with the knife gets Jack to scream.
They undo buttons and zippers in a kind of dazed fumbling. The mere idea of Kate, naked, has gotten him hard more times than he can count, but the sight of her now, bare and trembling and trying not to cry ... he doesn’t know how he’s going to do this and doesn’t know how he can’t.
Sawyer’s already forgotten his little joke about a shower when they come at them with buckets. They throw the water on them like they’re animals. Now they’re blinded and shivering and only marginally cleaner. Kate is hunched over, hugging herself, her wet hair falling in her face and over her shoulder. It’s all she has left to hide behind.
He doesn't look up. He's already had his fill of those blank stares and hostile faces. His only way through this is to pretend Jack's not kneeling a few feet away, a knife to his throat. Imagine it's just him and Kate here. Like this is what he always wanted.
He has to start somewhere. “Come here. I’ll warm you up,” Sawyer says, pulling her to him. It’s a sad echo of the time, ages ago now, she caught him coming out of the ocean, but it’ll do. There’s a ghost of a smile as he smoothes her hair off her face. He takes her head in his hands, bending down to brush his lips with hers. That first kiss was blackmail, and so is this. But now there’s an audience and the life at stake isn’t his.
She’s trembling as his hands run down her back. He’s still not the least bit hard and he starts to despair that he ever will be again. And then her hand is on him and he responds like there weren’t 50 pairs of eyes on them. “They’re not there, there’s no one there,” she says in a quiet, shaky voice and he isn’t sure if she’s saying it for his benefit or hers.
She tastes of tears as he parts her lips and she makes a little choking noise that isn’t remotely arousal. If this were real, if this were just the two of them, he’d take his time. He’d make her moan, he’d send her out of this fucking world. But this is nothing more than necessity, so when he lays her down on the crumpled pile of their clothes, he vows to make this fast. It’s the only way he can make this better.
“Kate.” He says her name once, as an apology or a plea, and then he’s inside her. She closes her eyes, eyelids squeezing shut tight, but just as quickly, they fly open. She locks eyes with him and she’s with him, moving her hips to meet his movements.
He doesn’t want to make any noise, but he can’t help but gasp as her body tightens around him. Her legs wrap around him and she arches up to meet him in a kiss. Their bodies take over and the world mercifully falls away. He slams into her hard, as rough as a quick, meaningless fuck with some stranger in an airplane bathroom. She urges him on, nails digging into his back, somehow knowing that’ll get him there that much faster. When his breath starts to hitch, she cups his balls and says -- so low only he can hear -- “Now, Sawyer.” When he comes, she pulls his head to her breast, stifling his cry.
Her lips brush his throat, just at the pulse point, and for a few seconds, before the warm rush of his orgasm fades, he forgets where they are. A small cough, somewhere behind him, brings him back.
She’s looking at him with that familiar mix of worry and fear and sadness, like that day in the jungle when he was a captive on his knees and she so slowly knelt to join him. So he kisses her again, aching and slow, like that first time. For all he knows, it’s for the last time.
There’s no applause, thank God, just an eerie silence. The order comes to stand up and Sawyer helps Kate to her feet, feeling far more naked than before. Before, he was running on adrenaline and anger and the need to protect her. Now he wants nothing more than to find a hole somewhere and pull it in after him.
He joins Kate in looking down at their clothes, crumpled into the dirt below them. He doesn't know about Kate, but he’d rather stay buck naked than put those filthy things back on.
They both can’t help glancing over at Jack. His head is still tipped back, the knife hovering over his Adam’s apple. His cheek is purpling, like it met the butt-end of the rifle and there’s two thin lines of blood on his neck. He tried to look away. Sawyer’s stomach knots. He’s already trying to think what he’ll say to Jack, when they throw them back in that hut.
But that glimpse of a bloodied Jack is the last he gets that day. He and Kate are bundled off without him. They’re allowed to clean up and brought new clothes and then they’re dumped into another squalid little hut together.
He doesn’t expect her to fall against him like she does, needing his arms around her. She doesn’t cry anymore, and that worries him. He just cradles her, rocking slightly.
“Please don’t let them hurt him,” she says at last. “Please tell me he’s going to be okay.”
He whispers meaningless reassurances and eventually, Kate falls asleep against him, her body tucked into itself.
Sawyer doesn’t know what Their next move is going to be, but he finally finds the reassurance he couldn’t give her. They don’t mean to kill Jack, not yet. They mean to break him. That’s what today was about. Hurting Jack. And they used Sawyer to do it.
He runs his hands over her hair, breathing in her scent as she sleeps. He knows Jack won't sleep tonight and neither will he.