Summary: Hurley has a scheme to get Sawyer and Kate back together
Spoilers: Set after "Stranger in a Strange Land" and partly inspired by promo photos for Lost 3.10
Note: A little bird told me it's philomel's birthday, so here's a few of the things I think she likes best. Skate, Hurley, a dash of Charlie, a hint of Sayid, seasoned with mild crack.
Maybe he shouldn’t have hugged him quite so long and so hard, but when Hurley saw Sawyer emerging from the woods like nothing had happened, looking whole and healthy and, well, so much like Sawyer, he couldn’t help himself.
He’d wrapped Sawyer in a bear hug before the man even had a chance to say howdy. After a moment’s hesitation, Sawyer’s arms went around him and he hugged Hurley back, good and hard, like he was glad to see him too.
“Hey man, save me some oxygen," Sawyer groused, just his usual sarcastic self. But when he finally stepped back, there was a huge smile on his face and not a hint of that trademark scowl. Just blinding dimples and teeth and blue eyes lit up like the Fourth of July. He looked thinner and kind of banged-up but then hardly a day passed on the island without someone beating Sawyer up.
“Man, I never thought I’d see any of you guys again! You were gone forever.”
“Settle down, it was just two weeks.” Sawyer scoffed.
“Really? I could have sworn it was a lot longer.”
“Hell, we’ve only been on this rock for three months or so.”
Hurley thought back. It had only been a few months, even though it seemed like a lifetime since he’d tussled with Sawyer over those peanuts.
“So hey, how did you get away? Is Jack okay? And Kate?”
The smile faded from Sawyer’s face. “She’s fine. She’s on the beach, I think. Jacko, well, he stayed behind.”
Sawyer sighed and looked away. “That damn hero complex of his. They needed him and he cut a deal. Got ‘em to let the two of us go.”
“So that’s it? You’re just gonna leave him there?”
Sawyer’s expression turned downright sour. “Ain’t up to me. The whole thing was the Doc’s idea. And you know I always follow doctor’s orders.”
Hurley snorted at the idea. “Since when?”
Sawyer made a noise that sounded suspiciously like “humph.” “Well, Freckles won’t hear of leavin' him be, so she’s gettin’ The A-Team together down on the beach for a rescue mission. They’re all gonna get themselves killed, but hey, not like they’ll listen to me.”
“And you’re not going?”
Sawyer looked him square in the eye. “She didn’t exactly ask me.”
“Oh. But I thought you two...”
”Nah. It ain’t like that,” Sawyer shrugged. “Y’know, when the chips are down, she might be in my corner, but now it’s the Doc who needs her and, well ... there you go.”
“Yeah, women,” Hurley said, nodding along, mirroring Sawyer’s dejected posture.
It didn’t take a genius to read between the lines and Hurley knew a lovelorn Romeo when he saw one. Whatever had happened since they’d all been captured had undoubtedly brought Sawyer and Kate closer together. Until now.
“Maybe it’s a good idea if you leave it to Sayid and Locke. They’re good at that James Bond kind of stuff.”
“Yeah.” Sawyer looked crestfallen. He always got huffy whenever someone didn’t invite him along on a trek into enemy camp.
A plan hatched in Hurley’s brain. Not the plan, which was going to take a lot more serious thinking and a consultation with Charlie and probably some chocolate, but for now his mission was clear. The first part was to get Sawyer’s mind off of his troubles with Kate.
“But hey, you guys are back! Which is awesome! This calls for a celebration! The hatch might be gone, but there’s still tons of Dharma food and ...”
“The hatch is gone? What do you mean gone?”
Hurley took in a deep breath. “Oh man, you missed a lot. Well, there was this big explosion and it’s just kind of gone. As in ‘gaping hole in the earth where it used to be’ gone.”
“No shit? So no more showers? No more bunk beds?”
“No more music,” Hurley sighed sadly. “No more kitchen. It sucks. It really sucks. There’s another hatch but it doesn’t have anything like that. So we can’t throw the same kickass party we could have had in the hatch, but I’ve got you covered. C’mon.”
“This looks awfully familiar,” Sawyer groused when he realized Hurley had led him to his own tent. “You been messin with my stuff?”
“Kinda,” Hurley winced.
Fortunately, Sawyer chose that moment to glance farther down the beach. Kate was talking with Sayid, Locke and Jin, their heads close together as they pored over a map. Sawyer made a face and ducked into the tent.
Just as Hurley had feared, Sawyer was furious to see that his stash had been raided once again. “What the fuck, man?” He held up a random magazine with a not-quite-nude blonde on the front. “You been touchin’ my porn?”
“You weren’t using it!” Hurley protested, adding quickly, “It was Charlie’s idea!”
Sawyer muttered something about midgets and murder. Hurley distracted him by holding up a bag of Dharma cookies. “Dude, Oreos! Or, you know, the next best thing.”
Sawyer reluctantly took one and popped it in his mouth without even tasting it. He allowed himself to be coaxed into sitting down, his expression black and threatening as he shoved in another cookie, chewing bitterly.
“Well, if it’s a party, we need some booze, right? I was savin’ a whole bottle of whiskey...”
“Uh, wine’s good,” Hurley broke in hastily. He knew Sawyer was going to miss that bottle of McCutcheon’s.
Sawyer grunted and nodded and produced a bottle of wine instead. “To freedom,” he said, taking a large swig and then handing the bottle to Hurley.
“Freedom,” Hurley echoed unhappily and took a modest sip.
In no time at all, they’d drained it, so Sawyer, after loudly wondering where the hell his whiskey had gone to, opened another bottle of Dharma red. It wasn’t long before they were both tipsy.
Operation Cheer Sawyer Up was going exactly according to plan, so far. Now Hurley just had to get to the bottom of the trouble between Kate and Sawyer. But this required a delicate touch. Discretion, above all, was key.
“So, what happened between you and Kate anyway?”
Sawyer frowned. “Since when is that your business, Staypuff?”
”Since you get all mopey when I just mention her name. Hey, I get it. She’s upset about leaving Jack behind. But she likes you. Right?”
“Nah, not really. Just felt sorry for me cuz she thought they were gonna kill me. ‘s the only reason she ... Awww, it was just a pity fuck.” Sawyer sighed and took another hefty swig of wine.
Hurley let out a low whistle and earned a hostile glare. “Dude, if she’d had sex with me, then that would be out of pity. But you, man, have you ever looked in a mirror? No one needs to be holding a gun to anyone’s head to get you laid.”
Sawyer nodded sadly. “Used to be the case, maybe. Not here. Not her.”
“Well then she’s fucking blind.” Sawyer’s mouth fell open, seemingly shocked to hear Hurley swear. “She is! I’m sorry, but it’s true.”
“Ah, well, I got it all figured out,” Sawyer was seriously slurring his words now. “Gonna go in there, rescue the Doc all by myself. Get him back here, then she’ll have to fuck my brains out in gratitude. Or, you know, go fuck his brains out first. But I can’t compete with that jerk when he’s not even here.”
“But you said it yourself, it’s too dangerous! Why don’t you just, you know, give her some cookies? And some wine? Girls like that. And we could pick some flowers and you could tell her how pretty she looks...”
Sawyer snorted. “Yeah, right. The only thing this girl responds to is people willin’ to die for her. Cookies ain’t exactly gonna cut it.”
“Hmmm.” Hurley scratched his chin. “That is a toughie. But don’t worry, you just leave it up to me.”
“Yeah, sure,” Sawyer chuckled. “I’ll just sit here and hold my breath, shall I?”
“Dude, I’m just trying to help you out. I owe you.”
Hurley let out a heavy sigh. “You helped me when I was too shy to talk to Libby. And if I never had, well ... at least I had that before she died. And it was all because of you.”
Sawyer ducked his head and looked almost embarrassed. “Yeah, well ... what’re friends for?”
“Exactly!” Hurley nodded emphatically. “Well, I gotta get going. You just sit tight. And don’t do anything stupid.”
“Humph.” Sawyer couldn’t talk. His mouth was full of cookies.
Hurley made his way over to Kate. She was frowning in concentration but when she saw Hurley she stepped away from Sayid’s side and gave him a big hug. “Oh my god, it’s so good to see you,” she said, squeezing him just as hard as Sawyer had.
“Yeah, glad you’re okay. So, Sawyer tells me you’re planning a big rescue mission to get Jack back.”
Kate nodded, all seriousness. “Jack told me not to, of course, but we can’t leave him behind.”
Just like Kate to never do what she was told. Hurley decided against bringing up that whole thing where she tagged along that one time and got herself captured by Tom and his crew and pissed off Jack so much he didn’t speak to her for a whole day. And after all, getting captured and gagged and then made to walk home all by yourself could happen to anyone.
“’Course not,” was all he said. “It’s just ... Sawyer’s planning on going in there by himself and he’s going to get himself killed.”
Kate’s frown deepened. “He must have been joking, Hurley. Sawyer doesn’t care what happens to Jack.”
Hurley couldn’t help what happened next. He took Kate by the shoulders and shook her. “Are you kidding me? Jack’s his best friend! And will you wake up? Sawyer’s crazy in love with you and he’s going to be dead before you realize that you love him too.”
Kate stared at him in shocked silence, so Hurley plunged on, oblivious to the stares from Sayid and Locke and Jin, whose mouth was gaping open. “You’ve got your pick of Jack and Sawyer and you just leave them both hanging. Do you know how friggin’ lucky you are to have two guys like them fighting over you all the time? And then as soon as you get one, you decide you want the one you can’t have. As soon as Jack gets rescued, you’ll be deciding you like Sawyer best after all. MAKE UP YOUR MIND, WOMAN.”
She could do nothing but blink those big green eyes, clearly shocked to her core to have anyone ever speak to her like that. And then finally she let out a pained little laugh. “I don’t see how that’s any of your business, Hurley.”
“If you get my friend killed, it is,” he huffed, giving her another shake. “So you go rescue Jack, but you leave Sawyer out of it.”
“What the hell are you doin’?” Strong hands were prying Kate out of Hurley’s grasp. “Kate, did he hurt you?” Sawyer wrapped Kate in his arms and backed away from Hurley, glaring daggers at him.
“No, no,” she said, still visibly shaken. “He’s just upset. We’re all upset. But we just need to focus on getting Jack back and then everything will be okay.” She shrugged out of Sawyer’s embrace and walked back over to Sayid, who was concentrating extra hard on the map just then.
“Yeah, well, I’m sure he’ll be back with a way off the island and a cure for cancer and then we can all go hold hands and sing “Kumbayah.” Sawyer stalked off, a little thundercloud following each angry footstep.
“No cure for cancer, sorry.” Everyone turned to see Jack, standing behind them, straight and proud, head held up high. A little the worse for wear, maybe, but solid and real and looking just as heroic as ever.
“Jack!” Kate squealed and ran over to him, throwing herself into his arms. He bore the brunt of her assault with a little smile, patting her gently on the back.
Sawyer stopped in mid-stalk at the sight, his face fallen somewhere about sand level. “Well, great. Happy ending for all,” he sighed bitterly and kept going up over the rise of the sand.
“Easy there,” came a gruff voice. Tom was tapping Kate on the shoulder. “How about some thanks for the guy who brought Jack back?”
“What?” came the chorus of the onlookers.
“That’s right,” Jack said, disentangling himself from Kate and smiling bashfully in Tom’s direction. “I wouldn’t be here without him.”
“Wait...” Kate’s forehead wrinkled in confusion. “Why would you help Jack?”
Tom cleared his throat and looked embarrassed. “A guy need a reason for helping out another guy?”
Kate eyed him suspiciously, particularly the way Tom’s hand lingered familiarly on Jack’s shoulder. “What about Ben? And Juliet? And the rest of them? Won’t they be coming back here?”
“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about them,” Tom said with a broad grin. “Last I saw, they were taking a slow boat to China. Or somewhere.”
“So they’re just gone?”
“Yep, that’s about the size of it.”
“But why? How?”
“Does it really matter?” Tom asked. Everyone exchanged glances and finally shrugged. It really didn’t matter, as long as Jack was back.
“Dude, they had a boat? And you let them take it? We could have used that to reach civilization!”
Jack held up his hands. “There are more of us than them. Anyway, the important thing is they’re gone. And we’re all together again.” He squeezed Tom’s hand and Kate let out a startled laugh.
A high-pitched giggle emanated from somewhere up the beach, but it was quickly stifled.
“Duuuuude,” Hurley said, pulling Kate aside. “I guess your choice just got a whole lot easier. “
“No, it didn’t,” she said firmly, unable to tear her gaze away from Jack and Tom’s happy smiles. “It may take a while, but I’ll get to the bottom of this. It has to be that room.”
“What room? You mean, as in those two need to get one?”
“No!” she snapped. “We found Carl in this room being bombarded by all these images and lights and sound. He was being brainwashed. That’s what they must have done to Jack.”
Hurley’s mouth twitched. “So, just because he likes someone else now, he must’ve been Clockwork Oranged against his will?”
Kate crossed her arms, scowling in Tom’s direction. “There is something not right about that. You can’t tell me it makes sense for him to be all googly-eyed over Tom. TOM!”
Hurley frowned. “So, big goofy guys don’t deserve to be loved? Is that what you’re saying?”
“No! Of course not, Hurley.” Kate had the good grace to blush at least. “I’m just saying ... I’m going to dig a little deeper.” And off she strode to her own tent, to brood and hatch a scheme, just as Sawyer was surely doing at this very moment.
Hurley’s own plans, in the meantime, had crumbled into dust. He needed to find Charlie. Now.
It took a good 10 minutes for Charlie to stop laughing about the scene on the beach and finally start listening to Hurley.
“I’m telling you, this is what needs to happen.”
“But you could simply leave things alone.”
“No, no, this way no one is happy at all. Except maybe Jack and yeah, I kinda agree with Kate that no way in hell would Jack be that nauseatingly crushed-out, no matter who it was. And dude -- the PDA! He’s wandering around with his shirt off and... Just for the general welfare, we need to put a stop to that.”
“So you think we need to take care of Sawyer first? Maybe we should do Jack first. What if he’s too brainwashed to be a good doctor anymore?”
“Dude, it’s in his DNA. He could doctor underwater.”
“Okay, so ... what’s the plan?”
Hurley pulled out the map. Sayid wasn’t the only cat on the island who could plan an ambush.
Sawyer never knew what hit him. Literally. One minute he was walking and cursing under his breath in the jungle, the next he was down and out.
“We didn’t hit him too hard, did we?” Charlie asked, a little panicked at the sight of Sawyer, unconscious, with a little trickle of blood on his forehead, as perfect as if some makeup artist had painted it there.
“No, this is good,” Hurley said after checking to make sure they hadn’t, in fact, killed Sawyer. “Now we just tell Kate that Sawyer is hurt and voila: She’ll forget all about trying to deprogram Jack.”
He started towards the beach and Charlie followed.
“I don’t know,” Charlie said, with a backwards glance, suddenly antsy. “What if she goes to get Jack and then they bond over taking care of Sawyer and then we’re back to square one?”
“Trust me,” Hurley said firmly. “Sawyer being hurt and helpless will be far too powerful an aphrodisiac for Kate to resist. She won’t even notice if Jack is there.”
“Unless Jack also manages to get hurt...”
Hurley snorted. “Right, if there’s someone on the island who’s dead set on those two getting together and is plotting against us.”
“Well, if there is, things could really out of hand,” Charlie said seriously. “There’ll be someone lying in wait with a coconut behind every tree!”
“Not unless you switch sides on me,” Hurley glowered, daring Charlie to admit that he was secretly rooting for Kate to end up with Jack.
“No, no, mate. I’m with you. Sawyer and Kate belong together. So Jack...”
“Leave Jack to me.”
They both jumped a foot as Sayid fell into step with them.
“Jesus, way to give a bloke a heart attack! You ever think you might be taking this ex-soldier thing a bit far?”
Sayid merely smiled that enigmatic Mona Lisa smile of his. “I have had some experience with, ah, conditioning people’s minds, and I believe I can help Jack come to his senses.”
Behind Sayid’s back, Charlie made a rude gesture in his direction and winked broadly at Hurley.
“Uh, right, dude,” Hurley said, trying to nod at Sayid while glaring at Charlie. “Well, I’m sure he’ll be in good hands. Er, company. Er, he’ll be good.”
Sayid’s smile threatened to grow wider, but he managed to keep himself in check. “Then I wish you luck in your endeavor as well. Although, I must say, if Kate doesn’t see what she has in Sawyer, he is sure to look elsewhere eventually.” And with a quirk of his eyebrow, he was gone.
Sure enough, when they told Kate that Sawyer was lying in the jungle, inexplicably felled by a wayward coconut, her hand flew to her mouth. She demanded they show her where he was this instant.
When they reached the clearing, Sawyer was thankfully still out. She knelt down to inspect his head and his eyes flickered open at just that moment. Hurley grinned. The dude’s timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
“What’s goin’ on?” Sawyer mumbled groggily.
“You hit your head, but you’re going to be okay,” Kate said, cradling his head in her lap and tenderly brushing the hair out of his eyes.
“Great. And who’re you?”
Hurley and Charlie gasped. “I told you, too hard,” Charlie whispered, chewing on his nails.
Kate, however, seemed unfazed. “I’m Kate. And you’re Sawyer. Well, actually, your name is James.”
“Uh huh. So why’m I called Sawyer?”
She smiled at him fondly. “You really like nicknames.”
“I see. And I like you too?”
“Yes, you do,” she said. “And I like you.” And she kissed him by way of proof.
“That’s our cue to exit, dude,” Hurley said, pulling Charlie away.
All in all, things hadn’t gone too badly. The Others were gone for good. Jack was back and Sayid was going to make sure he was his old bossy, uptight self again, and Kate and Sawyer seemed well on the road to romantic bliss. Why, right now, she was probably checking to make sure that the rest of him was in the same working order as his mouth.
“So, where to?” Charlie asked as they strolled away from the increasingly loud groans coming from the clearing.
“I think Sawyer’s going to be busy for a little while, so...”
“Porn stash,” Hurley agreed happily.