Pairing: Eventual Jack/Sawyer
Summary: Sawyer has a bad feeling about a fellow airline passenger (AU)
Note: For the fabulous gottalovev! In going over my fics from 2007 I realized she's read just about every damn fic I wrote last year! So, massive hugs and thank you, hon! You're one of the best LJ friends anyone could ever ask for! Here's a fic that came to me while traveling over the holidays. I hope you like it. Thank you to zelda_zee for the beta!
Sawyer was never much of a flier to begin with and the hassle of traveling these days, with all the delays and security searches, just about drove him right out the nearest exit.
Like this whole nonsense where you practically had to strip down to your underwear to be let on the plane. Sawyer defiantly wore his most gaudy, oversized belt buckle -- an eagle with outspread wings --that’ll give the bastards something to worry about, he thought with satisfaction as he slid it off and dropped it loudly in the plastic tray.
"That's some hardware," the guy behind him observed as he unfastened his own belt and placed it in a tray on top of his shoes.
"Why, thank you," Sawyer said, laying on his thickest drawl and working his dimples when he got a good luck at the guy: Dark, close-cropped hair with just a hint of gray, broad shoulders and slacks tailored just tight enough to suggest an ass worth obsessing over. Very nice.
Sawyer was trying to think of just the right innuendo-filled comment when the man turned to help the woman behind him with her baby. Their baby, Sawyer realized with a pang of disappointment. Figured. He'd been so busy undressing the stranger in his mind, he'd never even noticed that he was traveling with a petite blonde and a fair-haired baby, the one he was currently holding while the mother took off her shoes and bag to be X-rayed.
Sawyer sighed and moved on. He'd been wrong before and he'd be wrong again. No harm done, at least, except that his flight suddenly looked to be a lot less interesting.
The drink service couldn't start soon enough, as far as Sawyer was concerned. He always liked a beer or something stronger to take the edge off his nerves when he flew. He glanced back to see the beverage cart slowly making its way up the aisle. The man from the security line -- the one with the near-perfect ass -- was sitting just two rows behind him, on the opposite side of the aisle. He was immersed in some boring-looking paperwork, so Sawyer was free to study him for a moment without being noticed. He was surprised to see that the woman and baby weren't sitting in the same row. Perhaps they couldn't get a seat together. Or maybe Tall, Dark and Handsome was single after all...
Sawyer's discreet study was diverted by the man in the row in front of Handsome. He was a weasel-faced middle-aged guy with eyes that bugged out slightly; not worth a second glance except for the way he was drumming his fingers on his armrest. The drumming was noticeable enough for Handsome to look up from his paperwork in annoyance. He locked eyes with Sawyer, who rolled his eyes in sympathy. Handsome nodded, just a hint of a smile highlighting the attractive lines around his eyes, and then he regrettably turned his attention back to his damn paperwork.
Under pretense of watching the drink cart, Sawyer kept his eye fixed firmly on Weasel Face. There was something ‘off’ about the guy and Sawyer was sure it was more than just a simple fear of flying. Weasel Face kept crossing and uncrossing his legs, all the while keeping up the constant drumming of his short, stubby fingers.
Sawyer looked back, hoping to catch Handsome's eye again -- surely someone else had noticed they had a possible lunatic on board --- but Handsome was busy buying some booze off the cart, flashing a smile at the stewardess, a pretty brunette with a sleek bob. Sawyer revised his theory about Handsome's availability yet again.
The cart moved one row forward and the stewardess turned to the left to ask if anyone wanted anything to drink. She couldn't quite hear Weasel Face, it seemed, so she bent closer to him, straining to hear his order with a fixed smile on her face.
The stewardess let out a muffled squeak and when she turned back to face Sawyer, Weasel Face was standing behind her, a knife at her throat, his other hand digging into her upper arm. The stewardess's face was deathly pale.
"Oh, I'll cut her," Weasel Face announced loudly to a series of gasps as the passengers realized what had happened. "I'm 100 percent serious. You tell the captain to head for Fiji." There was a murmur of dismay at the mention of the destination. "When we get close enough, I'll give him the actual coordinates... my island's not on any map," he added. Surely everyone was thinking the same thing as Sawyer at this bizarre demand. This guy is crazy. He's hijacking the plane to somewhere that doesn't even exist...
The man's bug eyes were manic as he fixed Sawyer with a crazed glare, as if daring him to make a move. Sawyer sat with clenched fists, furious with himself that he hadn't acted on his instincts before now. He knew the guy was a wrong one. Trust security to harass the innocent and let a maniac with a knife through.
A tall, elderly black man got to his feet in the row ahead of Sawyer. "Now, let's just stay calm," he said, holding out his hands to show he meant no harm.
The creep whirled to confront him. "Back off or Mary here” -- he mouthed the stewardess's name in an odd, singsong fashion that sent an additional chill up Sawyer's spine -- "Mary will get her throat cut. And I really can't be responsible for that."
The hijacker's back was to Sawyer, the bent elbow of the arm with the knife hovering nearly in front of Sawyer's face. The opportunity was too good to let pass. Sawyer sprang on Weasel Face before his nerve gave out, twisting his arm back mercilessly, determined to get that knife away from him.
Just his rotten luck, a woman a few rows ahead let out a shriek when she saw Sawyer jump up. That split second was just enough for Weasel Face to turn as Sawyer grabbed his arm. Sawyer had a firm hold -- he wasn't going to let go for anything -- and it was enough to divert the creep's attention from his victim. The stewardess elbowed him hard in the gut and pushed away from him, giving Sawyer the edge as he moved in for the knife. The weasel flashed a bizarre smile through gritted teeth, which Sawyer didn't understand until he felt the knife bite into his right arm. He was more surprised than anything else -- he knew it should hurt, and it did, but the adrenaline pumping through his system didn't let him feel the full shock of it yet. Weasel Face was smirking at him, ridiculously pleased with himself even though he'd lost his weapon.
Sawyer pulled out the knife without thinking, even as he dimly heard someone yell, "No, leave it!" One second he was holding the knife, the next it was lodged in Weasel Face's neck, the blade shoved in as far as it would go. Someone screamed -- maybe the stewardess -- and there was suddenly a chaos of yelling and rapid movement all around him. Weasel Face toppled over, still with that strange smile stuck on his face and it was only then that Sawyer noticed how wet his arm was and how weak his legs were. He sank to his knees, his left arm instinctively clutching at his wounded right arm. He'd lost more blood than was good for him, Sawyer knew. He felt like he was going to be sick, but first he just needed to lie down.
A worried face -- familiar flecks of gray in his dark hair -- swam above him. "Hold still, I'm a doctor," the man was saying and Sawyer had just enough sense left in him to note the terrific irony as Handsome straddled him to examine his arm in the narrow aisle.
"What's your name?" the doctor demanded and Sawyer, for some reason, gave his real name.
"James," he murmured. He should be protesting that Handsome was tearing up his favorite shirt to get to the wound but he was mesmerized by the flecks of gold in the doctor's brown eyes as he leaned over him.
"James, I'm Jack, I’m going to help you," the doctor was saying. "I wish you hadn't taken that knife out. He hit an artery... but hang on, I'm doing what I can..." The stewardess's head bobbed into view and she handed the doctor something.
Sawyer nodded, not comprehending anything of what had been said, other than to note the name. Jack. It was a nice name. He thought he'd known a Jack once. And Mary, well, that was only ever one person to him. "My mama's name is Mary..." he said softly, picturing her as clearly as if she were the one bending over him now.
"Stay with me," a voice was saying. "James, stay with me," but Sawyer couldn't stay, just now. He closed his eyes. He was cold and it was warm where his mother was, he knew. He clung hard to her hand. He was almost there....
(TBC...) (Yes, I'm evil. But all will be okay!)