Summary: Throughout the fever, Jack is the only constant.
Note: For Queen isis2015 who asked for Jealous!Sawyer. I hope you don't mind a return to Season 2 here. :) Using for the fanfic100 prompt "fire."
The fever shifts, mutates. It radiates through him, now hotter, now cooler, now almost gone, fleeting and random like the strange dreams that accompany it. Jack is the only constant. The rumble of his voice, low and reassuring sounds above Sawyer, like a beacon he can focus on through the fog of his fever; the soft pressure of Jack's hands soothes the burning in his shoulder, they cradle him as surely as the sturdiest ship. Jack is refuge, safety.
When he finally opens his eyes, Kate is sitting in the chair instead and he blinks, sure he’s still dreaming. He hides his disappointment and lets her lead him around this strange new shelter and then back out again into the jungle to prove they’re still here, on this accursed rock.
Jack is somewhere else, tending to more important things. Sawyer’s getting shot and nearly dying isn’t that important after all, in the scheme of things. Jack’s always needed somewhere else, that’s just how it is.
Sawyer insists on coming along on the hunt for Michael. Jack hesitates, as if he’s about to say Sawyer’s still too weak, that he doesn’t want him along, but he doesn’t. It’s Kate he tells to stay behind and Sawyer can’t resist a dismissive look in her direction. Maybe, he thinks, as he huffs behind Jack, not wanting to admit how weak he still is, Jack just wants to protect her. Sawyer's expendable, like Jack himself.
And then Kate goes and ruins everything by not staying behind. Yet, somehow, when Jack goes looking for Michael again, he takes Kate, not Sawyer. Sawyer’s the odd man out, left with only the damn dog for company.
They don’t come back until the next day and Sawyer has no trouble filling in the events of their long night spent alone in the jungle. He doesn’t want to call the knot in his stomach jealousy. It’s not like he has a claim on Jack. If by some miracle someone isn’t sick or injured, then there’s some crisis and Jack’s always in the center of it.
Sawyer is surprised, then, when Jack joins him the following night, just walks right up to his camp fire like he's answering a special invitation.
“Ain’t you wanted somewhere else?” Sawyer says drily. “Think I see the Bat Signal goin’ off.”
Jack laughs, a just-humoring-you kind of laugh, and sits down with a sigh, like he hasn’t sat all day. He stretches out his legs and gives Sawyer an appraising look. “How’s the shoulder?”
”Fine. Just peachy.” He shifts the shoulder away from Jack, away from inspection.
“And the cheek?”
His breath catches in his throat when Jack leans forward, when he brushes his fingertips over the patch of skin just below his cheekbone, where Zeke's bullet left an ugly red furrow. Sawyer closes his eyes, reliving for a moment those endless hours when Jack’s touch was so familiar, his only constant.
“Promise you won’t get shot again?” Jack asks, his voice throbbing with an emotion Sawyer can’t name.
“Guess I make a good target,” he says after a beat. He opens his eyes to find himself staring into Jack’s, dark and intent on him and only him.
“I might not always be there to save you,” Jack continues, voice dropping an octave lower, to a register that makes Sawyer shiver.
Sawyer wants to protest that he doesn’t need saving, he doesn’t need a damn thing, certainly not from Jack, but instead he hears himself say, soft and low, “But you’re here now.”
The word is an invitation and Sawyer takes it. He barely needs to lean forward for his lips to meet Jack’s, barely needs to open his mouth before Jack’s lips part to let him in.
The fire and the stars seems to swirl around them as they kiss, until Sawyer’s not sure this isn’t still a fever dream, all of this, Jack’s hand fisting in his hair, breath and heat and hardness pressed against him, a staccato pulse under his fingers.
If this is a dream, he doesn’t want to wake up. Instead, he sinks in deeper, giving himself up to this fever.