Summary: Boone appears to Sawyer
Pairing: Sawyer/Boone, light Jack/Sawyer
Spoilers: Further Instructions, promo for Every Man For Himself
Note: Thank you to foxxcub and zelda_zee for holding my hand on this one and to Zelda for the fantastic beta! This is about as light as a captivity fic based on that promo can get, I think. So relatively light.
He isn’t in pain anymore, and that scares him. Underneath, just under the surface, he can feel the agony from being pushed past the breaking point again. And again. And again.
Each time he finally cries out, finally gives voice to the pain, they shoot him full of something and a haze descends on him until the screaming in his muscles is only a dull throb. It never goes away, it just gets quieter, like turning down a blaring radio. And then slowly turning it up again.
His throat is raw from screaming. As they jab the needle into his arm again, he stares at the woman who’s so impassively injecting him. “Gotta be gettin’ old by now,” he rasps. Because he can’t stand to hear the sound of his own screams anymore.
He must have passed out, because when he comes to, he’s alone. On waking, he stiffens by instinct and his muscles protest. Just a whimper this time, not a scream. Whatever drugs they pumped into him are still in his system. For now.
He’s in a small, bare room, hunched up in the corner like a boy who’s been bad. Like a bad little boy who’s trying to hide, trying to make himself as small as possible. He should get up, try the door. But he knows if he moves, this little bubble he’s in will tear, and tear hard.
So he sits quietly and tries to assess the damage without moving a muscle. He runs down his body limb by limb, taking a mental inventory. He starts to think he might live.
But when he turns his gaze outward, he’s not at all sure about that last part.
Boone is staring calmly at him, a hint of a smile on that pretty face. He looks different. His hair is longer. He’s so clean, he’s almost glowing. Angelic.
“Crap.” Sawyer’s voice is just a scrape in his throat.
“Hi, Sawyer.” Boone lays a hand on his shoulder and Sawyer jumps at his touch. The tiny movement sends tremors through his protesting muscles. Don’t. If it weren’t for the drugs, he’d be climbing these walls right about now. Except it's probably the drugs that're making him see what he's seeing.
He closes his eyes, and when he opens them again, Boone is still there. “Wish I could say I was more pleased to see you, kid.” Sawyer winces from the effort of talking. “Unless you’re here to rescue me. ‘Cept that ain’t the case, is it?”
“You look like shit,” Boone says with a smile and there’s no sting to his words. His presence is oddly soothing.
There’s a soft light around Boone and the boy looks prettier, more perfect than Sawyer can remember. Drugs or dying. “No trumpets?” Sawyer starts to cough and then finds he can’t stop.
“Oh, you’re not dead,” Boone says and Sawyer nods, because he might as well believe a hallucination as not. “Not yet.”
Sawyer sighs. “Good. Because if you’re here to escort me to some fluffy, white cloud, I’m gonna need some help walkin’.”
Boone leans forward, those spooky blue eyes rooting him to the spot even more than he already is. “Locke needed a wheelchair.”
Sawyer blinks. That not yet is sounding a lot less reassuring. “He’s dead?”
“No. I just showed him some things he needed to see.”
“Like what?” Sawyer’s left eyebrow shoots up. “You visitin’ everyone who done you wrong? Gonna take me on a tour of all my past sins?”
“You’re thinking of the Ghost of Christmas Past,” Boone smirks. “Sawyer, I’m here to help you.”
“Mighta sent your sister then.” He manages a smile but it isn’t a good joke and he feels even shittier after making it.
“Right. You think Shannon would make out with you now that she’s dead?” Boone’s voice drips with scorn and for a second, Sawyer forgets Boone’s dead and he gets that urge he always did to wring the boy’s neck. He raises his hands just the tiniest bit, and the bubble bursts. Bands of pain criss-cross his chest and he gasps, shocked as it all comes rushing back.
“Because you know she wouldn’t give you the time of day when she was alive,” Boone is saying, except now that perfect, peaceful face is clouded with concern. Or is that contempt? “Sawyer... hey.” Boone puts his hand on Sawyer’s shoulder again and like that, the pain stops.
Sawyer draws in a few shaky breaths, then dares a few deeper ones. The pain isn’t just dialed down this time. It’s gone.
“You still tryin’ to tell me you’re not an angel?”
Boone just quirks an eyebrow at him. That angelic expression is starting to really bug him.
Without fear of bringing back the unholy pain, Sawyer stabs a finger at the kid. “Look. I’m real fuckin’ tired of being messed with, tired of being lied to and manipulated and tortured for no goddamn reason, and if I’m dyin’ could you at least just fuckin’ tell me the truth? ‘Cause if you want me to go with you, I’m more ‘n’ ready. Just stop fuckin’ with me, would you?”
He waits for Boone to stand up and take him by the hand and the room to whoosh away into nothing and there to be nothing. He’s not at all prepared for Boone to lean in and for those soft lips to brush over his.
Sawyer must still be alive because the blood is rushing in his ears and his heart is racing as he opens his mouth to Boone. Since he’s free to move his hands now, they twine in Boone’s hair, that soft, pretty, perfectly styled hair, as he pulls him closer. He hears himself moan, and it’s not from pain. He tastes Boone -- not strawberries like Kate, but something darker and stronger, like red wine.
Boone’s practically in his lap now, sighing as he unbuttons Sawyer’s shirt and slips a hand inside. Sawyer grips his arms, surprised at the muscular strength under his fingertips. There’s no pain, just warmth and desire and the tingling beginnings of pleasure.
“Never had the guts to do this before,” Boone whispers. “Thought you’d beat the hell out of me.”
Sawyer shivers as Boone’s tongue traces the outline of his ear. “Thought Jack was your boy.”
Boone sits back, regards him seriously. “Sawyer, for a smart guy you can be a complete idiot sometimes.” His fingers curl in Sawyer’s hair suddenly, like he might fly away if he doesn’t hold on. “Come with me. I have something to show you.”
He holds out his hand and the second Sawyer’s palm touches his, the room falls away.
They’re on a beach: white sand, brilliant sunshine, intensely blue ocean. The sand crunches between his toes. He can feel the heat of the sun on his skin, hear the crashing of the surf.
A few yards away, and yet seemingly a world away, are Jack and Kate. Jack’s wearing swim trunks, Kate a bikini. He’s spread out on a beach towel, sitting up and smiling as she brings him a margarita. Neither one of them looks like they have a care in the world.
Sawyer looks over at Boone, who’s wearing that irritatingly smug smile again. Like being dead makes him better, somehow.
“This what you needed me to see?” Sawyer hates that prickle in the back of his throat he gets when he sees them together. Laughing, joking. Acting like no one else exists but them. He can’t quite make out what they’re saying, even though they’re close enough that he should be able to. The noise of the surf drowns their words.
In the distance, he can see other people, he’s not sure who exactly. They’re gathered around Charlie, who’s playing his guitar. It looks like a big party. One he’s not invited to.
The sound of the crashing surf is getting louder and louder. He turns to look at the waves and they’re dangerously high, but everyone on the beach is oblivious.
Jack gets up and strolls towards the water, like he’s going to take a dip. He doesn’t seem to see how high the water is. Sawyer shouts, but Jack doesn’t hear.
He starts to run toward Jack, to pull him back, but Boone grabs him by the arm. Everything freezes, even the ocean.
“Sawyer, you can’t help them now.”
“You’re tellin’ me they’re all gonna die and there’s nothin’ I can do about it?”
“No, I’m telling you this isn’t real. Not yet. You have to figure out what it means. And what you need to do.”
“Then what’s the fucking point?” Sawyer stalks off, unnerved that the imaginary sand still crunches so convincingly.
“This was so much easier with Locke. He didn’t talk,” Boone sighs, and goes after him.
“What, you kiss Locke too?”
“No.” Boone makes an exaggerated face. “Bad enough I had to see him shirtless. Look, this is what the island wanted me to show you. I don’t know what it means. But I do know if you go back, it won’t be easy. Things are just going to get worse. You’ll be in pain. And maybe you can’t save them anyway.”
”You know, if you’d been the angel who visited Jimmy Stewart, he’d have jumped right back in that river and considered himself lucky.” It takes a minute for the first word of "if you go back” to sink in.
Boone answers his question before he asks it. “You can stay here, with me. Nothing but sunshine. No more pain.” He puts his hand over the gash on Sawyer’s chest and all Sawyer feels is the warmth of his touch. “It’s up to you, Sawyer. Whatever you want. But you have to decide.”
He pulls Sawyer down with him, onto the sand, and Sawyer finds himself giving in. After so much pain, he forgot what pleasure feels like. The sand feels real and the sun feels real and Boone’s hands unbuttoning his jeans feel goddamned beautifully real. He arches up as Boone encircles him with his fist. He lets his eyes close, lets his body move and his mind still. This may not be exactly how he pictured heaven, but it’s close enough.
Boone settles on top of him, the weight and the solidity of him so real it can’t be real. His stubble scrapes his cheek and his breath is hot and cool all at once. His lips press hard against Sawyer’s and Sawyer is so close, so close now. If he just keeps his hips moving, if he just lets Boone keep doing what he’s doing...
Except Sawyer must be some kind of glutton for punishment because every time he gets close, the image of Jack blindly facing that wall of water comes rushing back. He starts to panic. Somehow, he thinks, once he gives in he’s stuck in this empty soundstage of an afterlife forever. And he’s got to get back.
“Forget it,” he says, pushing up hard, trying to dislodge Boone. There’s a rush in his ears and he hears himself gasping for air. As he gulps in a breath, what feels like his first in hours, the pain comes screaming back into every nerve.
“Sawyer, thank God.” Jack’s hovering over him, relief and exhaustion written in each line of his face.
“Doc? Were you just ... kissin’ me?”
Jack lets out an enormous laugh, one that’s threatening to dissolve into high-pitched giggles. “I had to give you mouth to mouth Sawyer. You stopped breathing.” He’s a little out of breath himself and from the sag of his shoulders and those circles under his eyes, he hasn’t exactly been sunning himself on the beach this whole time.
“Christ, I shoulda stayed ...” Sawyer grimaces, shocked at how much his body can hurt. His fingers dig into Jack’s arm. He looks around, but he doesn’t see Boone anymore.
“You had me scared,” Jack says, patting Sawyer’s hand before he gently pries it away from his arm. “I thought you were gone.”
”Nearly was. More ways ‘n’ one,” Sawyer sighs, trying to recall the bliss he felt on that imaginary beach. "So, they send you in here to make sure I'm ready for another round?"
"No, Sawyer. You're safe now. No one's going to hurt you anymore." He hands him a bottle of water and a couple pills and Sawyer swallows, unquestioningly.
“Guess I missed the cavalry ridin’ in.”
“Yeah, you sure did,” Jack’s smile turns to a frown as he gives Sawyer a cursory examination. “A little island-style ‘shock and awe.’ They didn’t know what hit them.”
Sawyer nods, trying to picture it, and then realizing it doesn’t really matter. “Hope Mr. T swung that Jesus stick hard.”
Jack is too deep in doctor mode to respond. “Does this hurt?” He tries to bend Sawyer’s wrist.
“Yes, fuck!” Sawyer protests.
“It’s not broken.” Jack nods. “You’re lucky.”
Sawyer swears under his breath as Jack sets about bandaging his various cuts and scrapes. He's at it a while. Sawyer watches him as he works, intent on his task, those rough hands as gentle as they can be.
The pain is still there, but it's slowly receding, like someone's wrapped him in cotton. Sawyer's eyes are starting to close. Just in case Jack's not there when he opens them, he better say his piece. "You’re not ... plannin’ on going swimmin’ any time soon, are you, Doc?”
“No.” Jack stops and looks at him strangely.
“'S the drugs,” Sawyer winces as Jack tapes up his chest. “Say, you know you get prettier after you’re dead? And your hair gets longer?”
Jack snorts. “No, I didn’t.”
“And you can still have sex,” Sawyer sighs wistfully.
“That’s nice,” Jack says absentmindedly as he takes Sawyer's wrist in his hand, counting off heartbeats. Jack's so solid, so real. But then again, so was Boone.
"Sure you're not an angel either?" Sawyer's tongue is thick and his eyelids are heavy. It's a struggle to keep talking.
Jack's stare is even more intent now, dark eyes narrowing as if he's trying to decide if Sawyer is serious. Finally he smiles, a little perplexed, like he's missing something. "No, Sawyer. Sorry to say, you're still stuck here with the rest of us."
"Ahh, damn." Sawyer sighs, like he's disappointed. He has to cover his smile by pretending to yawn. He pictures that stretch of beach, only this time with Jack.
"Sorry, kid," he mutters before he tumbles into sleep.