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Title: Everything There is to Know
Pairing: Light Jack/Sawyer, smidgeon of Sawyer/Kate
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Sawyer reads the file on Jack
Note: Sticks to canon up through "I Do" and then departs sharply, with Kate and Sawyer being recaptured. Thanks so much to foxxcub and zelda_zee for betaing! :)

Sawyer wakes to eerie green lighting, and the unfamiliar realization that he is inside.

The ceiling must be 15 feet, but it feels low, like some kind of bunker. He’s sure they’re underground, farther even than the hatch that had come to seem like home after days spent regathering his strength in that tiny bunk bed.

He sits up slowly, taking in his new surroundings. The cage was like a haven of freedom compared to this gloomy, airless cell of concrete and glass. He’s lying on a metal slab, suspended from the ceiling by four heavy chains. There’s another chain around his ankle, leading to a depressingly solid-looking metal bolt in the wall. He’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Escaping the first time had only got him dragged right back to the same cage; this time sterner measures were clearly in order. They’d been ready to put a bullet through his brain but for some reason now he’s been given a reprieve. He half expects them to barge in, threatening him with some kind of new punishment, but he’s alone, except for a tiny camera mounted high up on the wall. Figures.

His neck stings and he rubs it, which probably isn’t wise. He and Kate hadn’t gotten very far when those damn tranquilizer darts had taken them down again. Didn’t even have time to squeeze his finger on the trigger of the rifle.

He stifles the nagging doubt that she’s anywhere but safe in an adjoining cell. She might have gotten away -- he hopes she did -- but she wouldn’t just leave him. She had her chance before, and she didn’t take it. And like before, there was nowhere to go.

His throat is dry and he has a killer headache, same as last time. There’s a tray thoughtfully laid out with a pitcher of water -- plastic, unfortunately -- and a tumbler, also plastic. He ignores the tumbler and drinks straight from the pitcher, tipping it back, not caring how much is running down his shirt front.

It’s only then that he notices the neatly bound piles of paper next to the tray. He picks up the first one. There’s a cover sheet, like a school book report. His heart skips a beat when he reads the title: “Katherine Austen.” Sure enough, the one underneath reads, “Jack Shephard.” The hair on the back of his neck rises, knowing that his captors are watching him right now.

He pauses, ignoring that heavy feeling of unease, and then puts down the file on Kate, flipping instead through Jack’s life. He’s just skimming, but he can see it’s insanely thorough -- a broken arm at age 9, piano lessons at age 12, lifeguard certification at 15. A list of girlfriends is surprisingly short.

He pictures Kate and Jack in separate cells, poring over the details of his sad little life and the thought makes him sick. He throws the reports down. He’ll be damned if he’s going to play into their hands and read them.

He holds out for maybe half an hour. He gives the camera an annoyed glance and then starts in on Jack. He learns all the details of the miracle surgery and the short-lived marriage that followed. It doesn’t take a genius to see it was based on gratitude and obligation. Predictably enough, she left him.

Sawyer doesn’t feel like a voyeur, like a vulture feasting on the ruins of Jack’s life, until he gets to the part about Jack’s father. His stomach twists to read of the betrayal, the grievous falling-out. Sawyer rubs his fingers over the words, not seeing them anymore, instead seeing the bitter, burnt-out drunk he met in Sydney, and Jack’s face that day in the jungle, crumbling like a little boy’s to hear that his father didn’t hate him after all.

There’s only a few more pages and Sawyer doesn’t have the heart to read them just now. Fate's a funny thing, putting him in a position to deliver a father’s dying words of forgiveness to his son. His throat feels tight, wondering if Jack is sitting nearby, feeling sorry for him. If he ever sees Jack again, he’ll know the instant he looks at him, be able to spot that welling up of pity for the scared, small boy under the bed. Once someone knew, they never looked at him the same again. He’s spent his whole life running away from that look.

He doesn’t know how long he sits there before he remembers he hasn’t read the file on Kate yet. He blows out a breath and picks it up. Her life starts out ordinarily enough. Small town girl. 4H Club and an obsession with horses. Perfectly normal. Sure, there’s a lousy stepfather but Sawyer knows in his bones that her story won’t have the same ending as his. Because it just can’t. He would have known.

His head is starting to throb from reading too much, but he doesn’t put the file down. Even though it reads like a poorly plotted novel; the setup seems too involved, the twist too long in coming. But when he gets there, he goes back and rereads it from the beginning, seeing everything the report didn’t say. Wayne. He thinks he remembers now that’s what Kate called him that time in the hatch, and her look of disgust. That’s all Kate’s ever felt for him, he realizes with a twisted smile. Pity for what had happened to him, disgust for who he reminded her of.

He’s still hunched over the report in his lap when he hears his name.

His head jerks up and he has to squint to make sure it’s really Jack leaning against the glass partition and that he’s not just having some kind of migraine-induced hallucination. “Doc?”

“Yeah, guilty,” Jack says, with an awkward smile and there’s a hushed quality to his voice that Sawyer doesn’t recall. It doesn’t take his telltale glance toward Sawyer’s reading material for Sawyer to know that he knows.

Sawyer lets the first dozen questions that spring to mind go unsaid. He just nods, getting up slowly. “Good to see you,” he says finally, surprised by how fucking sincere he sounds. He walks to the glass wall, the loud drag of the chain around his ankle marking each step.

“Yeah, you too,” Jack says, taking in the chain without comment. Neither one speaks for a moment and then Jack looks away, eyes raking over the whole cell, as if seeing if anything’s changed. “This is where they were keeping me.”

“Yeah? Well, you can have it back.” Sawyer manages a laugh at last and Jack answers with the faintest of smiles.

“They put me in your cage.”

“Well. Ain’t that ... tidy?”

He’s going to ask Jack how he knows it was his cage, but instead follows Jack’s gaze to the camera mounted on the wall.

“They’re always watching us,” Jack says, dropping his voice, all trace of amusement gone. “Always.” The look he gives Sawyer is significant enough -- even before his eyes dart away -- that Sawyer gets it. Jack’s expression is more sorrowful than accusing but the hurt is plainly written there in the instant before he drops his gaze.

“Oh. Ah. Yeah.” Sawyer shakes his head, rubbing at the back of his neck. Why does he feel like he’s been caught fucking someone’s wife? He shrugs off pinpricks of guilt. She doesn’t belong to Jack. Certainly not to him, even if that’s what Jack must think now.

“She didn’t want to leave you.” Sawyer’s chin goes up. “That’s how they caught us both. She’d rather die than leave you.” He leaves out the part about how Kate could have run, could have left him behind but maybe Jack saw and heard all of that too.

“And you?” Jack’s arms are crossed as he waits for the answer.

“Happy to leave your sorry ass here.” Sawyer waves his hand to include the cell that’s held them both. “Sure, Doc. No point in us all goin’ down, right?”

Jack nods, as if he can’t find any fault in Sawyer’s words. And then something flickers in his eyes. “I did the surgery,” Jack grits, that vein in his neck starting to throb. “For you. And her.”

“Why?” Sawyer shouts, slapping the glass with an open palm so hard that the glass shakes. Jack winces. “For fuck’s sake, Jack, I thought you were smarter than that.”

“They were going to kill you,” Jack states coldly, eyes narrowing like he can’t believe what he’s hearing.

”So what, you think you’re makin’ a sacrifice in the name of true love or somethin’? Because last I heard, you didn’t give a fuck about whether I lived or died.”

Jack laughs, the maniacal laugh of a man who’s too frustrated to do anything else. “So, what, either I’m an idiot for doing the surgery or I’m an asshole for not doing it. Which is it?”

“Both,” Sawyer’s smiling but his eyes are prickling. He sits down, his back to Jack. “Look...” His voice trails off and there’s nothing but silence.

It’s several minutes before Jack speaks, the words coming out wobbly. ”Did you know about Kate? Before this?”

”You mean, did she tell me she blew up her Daddy one night? No, somehow she never got around to mentioning that.”

“But she knew... about you?”

Sawyer couldn’t be having this conversation if he was facing Jack. He shrugs, finding a spot to rub on his jeans. “She guessed most of it. Not in 100-page-report detail but...”

“Close enough.”

Sawyer nods mutely.

“I... I never guessed it was anything like that. With her. I mean, there were times I hated my father. Really hated him. Don’t most kids probably think it at one time or another? But who actually ...?” He stops, maybe aware that he’s treading in dangerous territory with Sawyer now. Jack hasn’t said he’s sorry about Sawyer’s parents and that fills him with a kind of fierce relief. He’s never known what to say to “Sorry.”

Sawyer’s throat feels raw when he finally speaks. “Figure sometimes it’s him or you.”

He looks up at last to see Jack’s eyes burning like coal through the glass. They’re dark and bright at the same time, Jack’s whole face sagging in sorrow. Jack sniffs, wiping at his nose, and glances away.

A buzzer sounds and the door to the cell swings open. Jack regards it warily.

“Guess they want you to come inside.” Sawyer stands, the chain clanking as he walks towards the open door.

Jack glances towards the door that let him in here, and then back to the one leading into the cell where Sawyer stands, watching him. He walks towards Sawyer. The door swings shut behind him as he steps inside the glass tank.

“Shit, Jack. You do everything they want you to now?”

Jack shrugs. He doesn’t bother to explain himself. He’s subdued in a way that Sawyer doesn’t like. He reminds him of some of the kids he’d see in foster care who had learned to somehow go dormant, rather than call attention to themselves. His eyes are just a little vacant, his shoulders just a little hunched over. The Jack he knows has given up.

But as Jack steps closer, those dark eyes spark to life again as they scan Sawyer’s face, noting each cut and bruise. “What did they do to you?” he asks, reaching out to brush his fingertips over his ravaged cheek.

Sawyer waves his hand away. “Nothin.’” He wants to ask Jack the same thing. Even though there isn’t a mark on him, they got to him and the realization doesn’t sit well with Sawyer.

Jack’s fierce glare isn’t letting up, so Sawyer sighs and answers the question. “Sonny Liston out there needed a punchin’ bag after his woman didn’t make it.”

Jack starts guiltily, hands clenching as if he’s resisting reaching out to Sawyer again. “You mean Colleen?” He drops his head. “I couldn’t save her. I ... didn’t know they would take it out on you.”

“Hell, I don’t care,” he lies. “I was hopin’ she’d die. About time we got one of them for a change.”

Jack’s gaze falls on the still-healing incision on Sawyer’s chest. “And what’s that?” He jabs his finger at the telltale line.

Sawyer pulls his tattered shirt over the wound. “Just a cut. They were just tryin’ to scare me.” He’ll be damned if he’s going to tell Jack about how he fell for their stupid con.

Jack is still looking at him thoughtfully, with sympathy that’s bordering a little too close to pity for Sawyer’s liking. “That was, what, four or five days ago? I think I heard you.” He turns to point to a box on the far side of the cell. “You were screaming. I thought they were going to kill you.” His voice is quiet but his eyes are dark, haunted.

“Yeah, I kinda thought so too,” Sawyer says after a few beats. He turns and abruptly sits down, grateful for the distracting noise of the chain that follows his every movement. He can feel the sympathy flowing towards him like a tide from Jack and it bothers him more than the quiet, closed-off Jack of a few moments ago. Just like with Kate, he never knows where he stands with Jack. Might as well be standing at the ocean’s edge, trying to stand still while the tide rolls out, as figure those two out. Even with all the answers, all their secrets spelled out in neat, black type, he can’t get a handle on either one of them.

“There’s more to people than what it says there,” he points vaguely at the reports.

Jack nods, not bothered by the sudden change of topic. “I know. They tried to use mine against me. They still are.” He shrugs. “They knew Juliet looks like my ex-wife.”

“Shit, Jack,” Sawyer stares at him, trying to picture him with someone like that taser-toting blonde bitch. “You really like the ball busters, dontcha?”

Jack lets out a startled laugh. “No, no, Sarah was nothing like her. She was...” He stops and blows out a breath. “I don’t want to talk about her.”

They seem to have run out of things to say to each other. Jack has settled down on a concrete slab facing him, but he’s lost in thought, not even looking at Sawyer anymore.

Sawyer’s figured out their whole game until now. They needed Jack to do the surgery and they needed him and Kate to have someone to rough up if Jack said no. The reports, though, they make no sense. They probably used Jack’s to wear him down, maybe tried at first to get him to fall for someone who could be a ringer for the wife who left him, the one he clearly never got over.

But showing each other their reports... Sawyer didn’t know what that was supposed to accomplish. Show them they really didn’t know each other at all, maybe. Show Jack there’s no point in remaining loyal to two worthless career criminals. Or force some kind of showdown over Kate.

If that’s what they expected, they’re going to be sorely disappointed. There’s no fireworks, no fight. Maybe this is what they wanted then, to prove that there’s nothing between them, not friendship, not rivalry, just… nothing.

He’s watching Jack from under his eyelashes, waiting for the Jack of old to pound at the walls, yell into the camera, demand some kind of response. But Jack’s retreated inside his own mind again, as surely as if he were in a separate cell on the other side of this island.

Sawyer’s head hurts. He rubs at his temples, wishing for a soft bed and complete darkness and about 10 years to sleep it off.


Jack is watching him, brow wrinkled in concern when he looks up.

“Been worse,” he shrugs.

“Told you not to read without your glasses,” Jack says with a half smile and sits down next to Sawyer. He takes Sawyer’s hand in his and Sawyer is too surprised to resist. Jack holds Sawyer’s palm out flat and pinches the flesh between thumb and forefinger. “Acupressure. Should help,” he says and Sawyer nods.

Jack keeps up the pressure and, slowly, Sawyer can feel some of the tension drain out. Next to him, Jack seems more like his old self as he concentrates on his task. He wonders if this treatment is maybe more for Jack’s good.

“We’re underwater, you know,” Jack says, suddenly, looking up at the ceiling, as if he can see the ocean through it.

Sawyer isn’t too surprised. “Kinda looks like an old aquarium,” he says. “We’re on another island.”

Jack cocks his head, forehead wrinkled in confusion. “What?”

“Yeah. A whole fucking second island. So there ain’t anywhere to go, without a boat.”

“Huh.” Jack takes Sawyer’s other palm in his hands and applies the same pressure. “Guess we’re pretty screwed.” But he doesn’t sound particularly upset.

They’ve just established how fucking hopeless their situation is, and yet Sawyer doesn’t feel hopeless. He feels raw and exposed and confused and he still hasn’t figured out what the hell they did to Jack, but with the expert pressure of Jack’s hands slowly easing his headache away, he feels almost as connected to Jack as he did to Kate when he held her afterwards. It’s a temporary illusion, just touch, just warmth. It doesn’t mean anything, but that quiet ease deep in his body tells him otherwise.

He wants to thank Jack for saving his life, for not laying into him about Kate. For this, just a simple touch that proves that, no matter who Sawyer is, no matter what he’s done, Jack doesn’t hate him.

Whatever their plan was, he thinks, it’s fucking backfired.

Eventually, they both sleep, Sawyer on the slightly swaying metal shelf, Jack on the concrete slab next to him.

When Sawyer wakes, he’s alone. He looks up at the camera and away again. He doesn’t want them to record his reaction.

He finds a fresh tray with water and dry bread, which he wolfs down even though he isn’t hungry. He paces as far as the chain will let him, and then he gives in and picks up Jack’s file again. He hadn’t read those last few pages.

Nearly every detail of what’s happened on the island is there and his stomach aches to think that they’ve been watched this whole time. Jack never mentioned he found -- and destroyed -- his father’s coffin. Jack never mentioned a lot of things.

Sawyer reads the report from the beginning and then he reads it again. Now he knows everything they know about Jack. All his secrets laid bare. But Jack isn’t in these pages, anymore than he’s here in this room.

They might know where Jack got his tattoos and what those Chinese letters mean, but they don’t know him. It takes more than a cold recitation of facts and events to tell you who a person is.

Sawyer puts the bundle of paper down and rubs his right hand, pressing the spot between thumb and index finger.

He knows just about everything there is to know about Jack, except when he’ll see him again.


( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 4th, 2007 11:05 am (UTC)
You are incredible!

He knows just about everything there is to know about Jack, except when he'll see him again
When I read stories like yours I want them to go on, and on, and on... but there is nothing to write here anymore, is there? Maybe a sort of sequel would be possible later?
Apr. 5th, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you! :) I think this does have a natural ending here but I will definitely revisit these two again soon, I'm sure!
Apr. 4th, 2007 01:22 pm (UTC)
As soon as I've read this I started thinking that they really wasted the possible scenarios involving the captivity.
I'm quite happy with Lost now, but the potential was so much higher, especially given the fact that Ben declared out loud that they captured Kate and Sawyer for leverage towards Jack.

I really love this Captivity!fic.
Loved Sawyer's hesitation, his trying to stay away from the files, and only after giving in to his curiosity, his trying to "con" the cameras at the beginning and at the end, when he wakes up alone.

“There’s more to people than what it says there,” he points vaguely at the reports
You captured that "more" in their dialogue, that implied a lot of feelings, not necessarily love but definitely something, with their embarrassment, and guilt, and angst at the same time.
And in the way Jack kept touching Sawyer, maybe under a doctoral disguise, but really just to know he's ok, to comfort him.

I love how they communicate, telling each other about the cage, the aquarium, the second island...
I really think that knowing the truth about each other could help them ... a lot of problems came from miscommunication.

I wish in their reunion on show they would be so sincere with each other, but I try not to get my hopes up.

Any thoughts about continuing this? I'd love to see another part.
Apr. 5th, 2007 01:47 am (UTC)
Thank you! I've been missing them having scenes together too and of course they used the captivity to drive them apart instead, alas.

I wish in their reunion on show they would be so sincere with each other, but I try not to get my hopes up.

I know just what you mean. I had to write this to satisfy that longing because I sincerely doubt it'll play out anything like this. It seems like that scene in "Exodus, Part 1" is the closest they'll ever be (that and the scene in your icon!) and that makes me sad. Seasons 2 and 3 have been all about them drifting farther apart. Heck, I was just noticing that in S2 they were back together by episode 8. Here we are at ep 15 and nothing yet. (I assume anyway, based on the promos for tonight.)

Anyway, I'm so glad you liked this. The idea of them finding out the details of each other's pasts really intrigued me and this seemed like the ideal way to have that come out. I don't know where I'd take this if I continued it but of course I hope I'll always have more to explore with these two!
Apr. 4th, 2007 01:30 pm (UTC)
You know what? You always seem to capture the "more" that is these characters. I wish the writers of the show could manage to do it more often.

If they wrote them like you do, I would care about Jack (and Kate) a lot more. And even though I love him...I'd probably like Sawyer more, too.

Good to see you back :)
Apr. 4th, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you! :) I've been having a bit of a problem with the characters lately because we don't see enough why they're acting the way they are. So, hey, fic! I wish we could see more about Sawyer feeling bad about leaving Jack behind and not just him pining over Kate. There definitely is more to them than we see.

(And yeah, I just couldn't stay away, LOL!)
Apr. 4th, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
Aww, what I love most about this is it makes me love not just the boys all over again, but canon itself. :)
Apr. 4th, 2007 06:49 pm (UTC)
♥ Oh, that makes me so happy to hear! It was therapeutic for me too.
Apr. 4th, 2007 06:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow. You have them spot on, and I love the accupressure thing (I use it too, butdammit Jack's never around when I need him!)! Can just see them doing all this, though I have no idea what the Others would gain from it.

That last line... oh boy. *cries*
Apr. 4th, 2007 06:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :) I'm glad you liked this. I wouldn't mind having Jack around for headache therapy either!

(I didn't get into it here but I was thinking that this was actually Jack's idea to see Sawyer here, like it was to see Kate. But the sharing of reports was The Others' idea, for the reasons Sawyer thinks, if that makes sense. But mostly I just wanted to get them together again!)
(no subject) - haldoor - Apr. 6th, 2007 09:35 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 4th, 2007 08:21 pm (UTC)
Very atmospheric, I really like the responses of the boys to the contents of the report, and that Sawyer realises that those report doesn't tell anyone who Jack is, only what he's done. That last line is fantastic.
Apr. 5th, 2007 02:00 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad you liked this. I'm dying to see them find out more about each other one day - and have some excuse to connect again - but I don't think that's on the show's agenda. And yes, even though Jack and Sawyer don't know much about each other I like to think they know each other pretty damn well after what they've been through, especially Sawyer, who is so good at reading people.
Apr. 4th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry sweetie, I had to erase blank comments! *facepalm* *kicks LJ*

oh, you are so right with this whole fic

Just like with Kate, he never knows where he stands with Jack. Might as well be standing at the ocean’s edge, trying to stand still while the tide rolls out, as figure those two out. Even with all the answers, all their secrets spelled out in neat, black type, he can’t get a handle on either one of them.

they may think they are clever, but they only have observations, they have NO IDEA who they really are. that was magnificent sweetie. I just loved it.
Apr. 5th, 2007 02:56 am (UTC)
Stupid LJ! *kicks again for you*

Thanks for the kind words, hon! I agree, the Others really don't know them at all. (And damn, I was hoping that the captivity wouldn't drive them so far apart! Oh well, we clearly have different agendas than the writers!)
Apr. 4th, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC)
This is just so pitch perfect, the characterisation, the plot, the atmosphere, everything about this is so true to the show. I love that the Others give them the files now, that they try and break them, even after Jack's done the surgery and there barely seems a point to it. And the fact that Jack's already broken here, long before they handed over the files, it hurts but it works and it fits perfectly with what's going on in the show right now. You made perfect use of canon, not just with what you did with Jack and Sawyer in this room, but with everything we know about them, everything the three of them have ever done. You've taken tiny moments and big moments and kind of brought them all together here.

I love Sawyer's kind of slow realisation that what he's reading in the pages is worthless. I love that he still wins and the Others still lose, even in this situation. Because he knows Jack and he knows Kate, and I think that's something that the Others can never really have. He's spent time with them, he's seen the real them. Like he says, there's so much more to a person than that things they've done. It's how you react to those things that counts. That's who you are. I love that he can tell the difference, and I love that he can take some comfort in that.

It must be so hard for Sawyer to know that they were reading his file, because he works so hard on keeping up the walls, keeping everyone out, keeping that little boy in the past and under the bed and never, ever letting him out, and so for them to see it written there in black and white, they'll undoubtedly have an emotional reaction to that, and they'll think they know him, that they have some kind of right to be let in, and that must terrify Sawyer. When he says he's been running away from those sympathetic looks his whole life, I really believe him. And this line - He’s never known what to say to “Sorry.” - just breaks me. It's so sad that he doesn't know how to accept someone feeling bad for him. He doesn't understand empathy. I don't mean that he can't feel empathy, I mean that he can't accept it from others. He's very developmentally stunted emotionally, I think.

The whole scene with Jack, that was so painful and tense, and yet so heartwarming at the same time. It was awkward as hell, for both of them, but I think they have this connection that they maybe don't understand, but that they simply can't fight. I love how they kind of talk around things, I love how Jack goes about admitting that he saw Sawyer and Kate together and the way Sawyer reacts to that.

But then the concern that Jack feels for him, that that's the only real time he comes out of himself, when he sees all the ways that they hurt Sawyer, the only other time being when he talks about his hatred for his father. It's very telling that those are the only two things that draw him out - his relationship with his father and his doctorly duties - I think that says a lot about who he is and what his base level is, what's most deeply embedded in him. And I love that Sawyer notes that maybe Jack helping Sawyer with his headache actually helps Jack as much as it helps Sawyer. It gives him a role and a focus and it's familiar. I think that's good for both of them.

There's so much in this, it all works so well, you did a really great job with it, and I just love this scenario so much. Fantastic job, I love it.
Apr. 5th, 2007 03:09 am (UTC)
Oh wow, you've totally blown me away!

I really loved the idea that a person is so much more than the facts of their life and that Sawyer knows them better than the Others do, even if he had little or no idea about their pasts.

It's so sad that he doesn't know how to accept someone feeling bad for him. He doesn't understand empathy. I don't mean that he can't feel empathy, I mean that he can't accept it from others. He's very developmentally stunted emotionally, I think.

*nods* I've always seen Sawyer that way. He just doesn't know how to handle getting close to someone -- especially if they know what happened to him. And he has to go and fall for a woman who's even more emotionally stunted and prone to run than he is. Poor guy. :-(

I'm so glad that they way they reacted to these revelations about other worked for you. I was worried that it was too subdued so it means a lot to hear that it played out in a way that rang true.

But then the concern that Jack feels for him, that that's the only real time he comes out of himself, when he sees all the ways that they hurt Sawyer, the only other time being when he talks about his hatred for his father. It's very telling that those are the only two things that draw him out - his relationship with his father and his doctorly duties.

And wow, I hadn't thought it through quite as deeply as what you've said here, that what Jack mentions after reading Kate's report is his own hatred of his father, but I love what you said, that he's reverting to familiar roles and familiar hurts. I think he's a bit lost and trying to find a way to understand Kate and to still connect with Sawyer. My whole idea here, besides them finding out more about each other, was that no matter what kind of wedge the Others try to drive between them, no matter what sins they've committed and what happened between Kate and Sawyer, they still have a connection. And yeah, that connection is probably mostly in our minds at this point, but dammit, I'm going to keep reading that in as long as I can.

Thank you so much for this wonderful feedback! :) This season has been really hard on Jack/Sawyer and it's so nice to still be able to write them, but for it to resonate so much with you and others makes me want to keep watching and reading and writing them. ♥

Apr. 4th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC)
This was such a great fic! It's so powerful and well-written and the moments between Jack and Sawyer here are heartbreaking but also heartwarming, if things can be both at the same time. The small details really are great, though, the things like Sawyer looking away from the camera when he wakes up so the camera can't record his reaction...just perfect.

*loves you*
Apr. 5th, 2007 03:11 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, hon! It's seemed harder and harder to write Jack and Sawyer when it's not an AU (and even when it is) given how far apart they've been, both physically and emotionally this season. I'm so glad this idea sparked and caught fire if this is the kind of reaction I'm getting. *mwah* I would love to see something similar on the show but well ... not holding my breath!
Apr. 4th, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC)
That last line broke me. Actually, make this those last lines, because I love the idea of Sawyer thinking that he knows Jack in the only way that matters.

*sniffles and wants them together ASAP*

“Good to see you,” he says finally, surprised by how fucking sincere he sounds.

I'm joining the chorus of people who want a sequel.
Apr. 5th, 2007 03:13 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you, hon. I love the idea that Sawyer knows him better than they do, even if they do have all the facts and figures.

And damn, I'm both anxiously awaiting and dreading their real reunion on the show. I know it's not going to go anything like this.

Sequel, eh? :) We'll have to see, hon, but thank you so much for the kind words!
Apr. 4th, 2007 09:37 pm (UTC)
Yay, and welcome home to your J/S muse! :D

I like the scenarios you dream up way better than I like canon. What would it have hurt them to give us some Jack/Sawyer interaction while they were in captivity? I would give anything to see something like this in canon. But since they decided to be stingy, I'm so happy that you've filled in a missing scene. I love how Jack just can't stop doctoring, can't stop caring, no matter how broken he is. This line was so rich and telling, He reminds him of some of the kids he’d see in foster care who had learned to somehow go dormant, rather than call attention to themselves. But he comes back to himself when he sees that Sawyer needs him. I'm glad that Jack didn't seem to judge Sawyer, and he didn't tell him he was sorry. It's like he instinctively understood that it wouldn't help anything. I love how they both seem to be so familiar with each other here, knowing without knowing, understanding so much more than the facts. Of course Sawyer would tell himself that there's nothing between him and Jack, but it's clear that he's wrong. The wistful feel of the last line is poignant and perfect. Thank you for this; I loved it.
Apr. 5th, 2007 03:21 am (UTC)
Yay, it's good to be back and to have the muse cooperating again! It feels like a lot of acrobatics to get these two together anymore, and even if this is a tad gratuitous, I couldn't resist.

I would have loved to see something like this too - anything! I really thought that captivity was going to be about them realizing they barely know anything about each other - and finding out more - but that's just been pushed to the side.

I'm glad that Jack didn't seem to judge Sawyer, and he didn't tell him he was sorry. It's like he instinctively understood that it wouldn't help anything.

Thank you. I didn't want that to seem heartless or Jack just not knowing what to say (although that's certainly part of it) but that he does know Sawyer well enough to know that it would make things worse. And I guess that's the theme of this, that they do know each other well enough to tiptoe around the worst stuff and still find a way to connect. And I guess that's what I'm always doing with them, in one way or another.

Of course Sawyer would tell himself that there's nothing between him and Jack, but it's clear that he's wrong. The wistful feel of the last line is poignant and perfect.

I didn't really include Kate's dumping of Sawyer here but I think he knows that she wasn't going to stand by him, and knowing her past now, he can see that even more clearly. So I think he's both more cautious with Jack and more open to the connection that is there, even if neither one of them admits it.

I'm so happy you liked this. And that we can still find ways to get these two together, after all this time apart! And that, well, there's still life in the OTP, for me and for others. :)

Apr. 5th, 2007 12:25 am (UTC)
I do love this fic! It has something to say, you know, about the characters, their relationship - but more than that, about people in general. It's very powerful, and beautifully written, with perfect voices and characterization. Quite extraordinary work.

Sometimes it's when we think we're all played out that something wonderful and original comes unexpectedly, and I think that's what happened here. I'm so glad you were moved to write this.
Apr. 5th, 2007 03:28 am (UTC)
Oh, you've put an enormous grin on my face! Thank you, hon! ♥ Maybe it does take being frustrated and out of ideas before a new angle comes. It often seems like we've done all we can with the two of them if they're not really giving us anything new but then there's still so many things I'd love to see happen that we will probably never see on the show.

And I hadn't thought of this being a kind of universal fic, but of course, that is true. You can do all the research and still never really know someone. That takes a real connection. :)

Apr. 5th, 2007 02:27 am (UTC)
Wow. This is a truly magnificent piece of writing, the pacing and the characterisation is perfect and the atmosphere of it is spell-binding. Absolutely wonderful.
Apr. 5th, 2007 03:31 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you, hon! It's good to be writing again and I'm so pleased you liked this. I guess there's still a lot of scenarios I'd like to see so I'm not quite done playing with them yet. :)
Apr. 5th, 2007 03:52 am (UTC)
Man, I had a nice all articulate comment, and then LJ decided to be a spastic bitch. SIGH.

Okay, well, I officially like your Lost-universe better than the canon one. Especially after tonight's episode. *shudders*

I think what I love the best is all the little nuances you put in here, the tiny motions and thoughts and actions and reactions that really make them Jack and Sawyer. It's extraordinary.
Apr. 5th, 2007 10:10 pm (UTC)
*kicks LJ for you*

Oh, thank you so much! Yeah, it kind of sucks when they have the characters doing stuff we know they would never do -- not without a whole lot more explanation, at the very least! Glad you liked this. Glad I could go back to the J/S well one more time!
Apr. 5th, 2007 05:07 am (UTC)
Oh man, I love this. I love the idea of them knowing more about each other than anyone has the right to, but even more I love that you address that that's not everything there is to know. The contrast between them - and the way you highlighted the different ways they've been gotten to. And swithing their places? OMG genius.

And the way it unfilds, I ca't quite explain it, the pacing is perfect and never rushed and sort of quiet. I'm going to stop talking now because clearly I'm gushing to an embarrasing degree.
Apr. 5th, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you, hon! :) I was worried this was too subdued, so it's wonderful to hear that you like it being quiet and unrushed. And hey, it's canon now, that Juliet is sure she knows Jack better because she's read his report and Kate hasn't! I still say the Others don't really know them at all!
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