Summary: Walt and Sawyer classify the castaways
Spoilers: Up through "Do No Harm"
Archive: Only with permission. ;-)
“Damn it! Get out of there!” It was the second time Sawyer had caught the kid’s dog rooting through his stash.
He tried to shoo it away, but it wouldn’t go. It just sat, panting at him as if it expected to be petted for barging into Sawyer’s tent and tearing the place up.
“Man, why can’t you just leave me alone?” Sawyer sighed. “What makes me the goddamn animal magnet around here, anyway? Polar bears. Boars. And now you, you sorry excuse for a dog.”
Vincent. That was the dog’s name, he knew from hearing the boy call him all the damn time. Well, he wasn’t going to start calling anyone -- or anything -- by its right name, especially when it was trespassing.
“Shoo! Scat! Go home!” Sawyer threw a few more age-old phrases at the mutt, but it didn’t budge, just rubbed against him, starting the petting thing even if Sawyer wouldn’t.
“Aw, shoot,” Sawyer sat down and gave in. He started rubbing the dog behind its ears and it closed its eyes, squinting with doglike happiness. Sawyer smiled despite himself. How long had it been since he’d had a dog? He patted its sides roughly, the way a dog likes, and found himself inexplicably relaxing.
“Damn dog,” he said, but he said it with a smile.
“He likes you.”
Sawyer turned and there was Walt, standing just outside his tent.
He started guiltily, as if he’d stolen the darn mutt. “He won’t leave me alone,” Sawyer said gruffly. “Why don’t you try calling him?”
“Here, Vincent,” Walt said, and the dog bounded over happily. He flopped on to his stomach, begging for a belly rub. Walt bent down and began rubbing his stomach, and then he looked up at Sawyer.
“He doesn’t like anyone but me,” Walt said -- stating it as a matter of fact, not an accusation. “Come on,” Walt said, inviting Sawyer over.
Sawyer had every intention of telling the boy to take his dog and buzz off, but the next thing he knew, he was scritching the mutt’s belly and under his chin like he’d been doing it every day for years.
“I didn’t think you were a dog person,” Walt observed.
“No?” Sawyer said, surprised the subject had even been considered. “I’ve had a few dogs. Moved around too much to keep ‘em, though.”
“Me too,” Walt said. “But I got to keep Vincent. He was moving with us back to New York.”
They continued rubbing the dog in companionable silence until Walt spoke again. “You seem like more of a cat person.”
“Cats?” Sawyer sniffed. “Nah, not me.”
”But you’re kind of like a cat,” Walt continued. “You ever rub a cat so its fur stands up the wrong way? That’s kind of like you. You get real mad if someone rubs you the wrong way.”
Sawyer considered this, too surprised to be angry. And he didn’t want to illustrate the kid’s point for him. “So I’m a cat, huh?” he said, finding amusement in the idea.
“Yeah,” Walt nodded. “You like to lay in the sun, like a cat. And ... “
“Yeah?” Sawyer prompted.
“You’re kind of lazy,” Walt said, aware he might be going too far.
Sawyer just laughed. “And I suppose dogs don’t like to lay in the sun and they’re not lazy?”
“I don’t know,” Walt said. “Like Jack -- he’s always working. He’s like a police dog. Like a German Shepard. That’s his last name, anyway, right?”
“Good call,” Sawyer nodded, smiling at the comparison. “And those dogs can be awful high-strung. Fancy breedin', too.”
“I guess,” Walt shrugged.
“What about Kate?” Sawyer asked. “What’s she?”
“Oh, she’s a cat. She can climb a tree as quick as a cat. And she’s kind of ... slinky.”
Sawyer threw back his head and guffawed. “Slinky!”
“OK. Your Dad -- what’s he?”
“He’s a dog,” Walt sighed. “I don’t know what kind. One that barks a lot, I guess.”
By now, Vincent had righted himself and was panting to play. Walt picked up a stick and started throwing it. Vincent fetched it and was back in an instant and Walt threw it again.
Sawyer smiled. “Locke?”
“Mr. Locke? He’s like a grizzly bear,” Walt said, his eyes big. “But if he were a dog, I’d say he’s a Great Dane.”
Sawyer cocked an eyebrow and nodded. “The British guy -- Charlie?”
“He’s a dog,” Walt said quickly. “A terrier, maybe?” He threw the stick again.
Sawyer’s lips twitched at that one. “OK. Baby mama. Claire?”
“She’s a cat, one that likes to purr a lot. Or maybe a cocker spaniel. Like in Lady and the Tramp.”
“He’s real quiet and mysterious, like a panther or something,” Walt said thoughtfully. “You guys are like two cats who don’t get along most of the time and kind of hiss at each other. You ever see two cats fight?”
“Yeah,” Sawyer said. “That makes me the alley cat, I guess. Crazy ol’ tom cat, huh?”
Walt nodded and smiled, relieved that Sawyer wasn’t offended.
“Sun’s a cat too, and so’s her husband,” Walt offered. “They’re kind of mysterious too. And they like to keep to themselves, like you do.”
He handed the stick to Sawyer. “You throw it. You can throw farther than I can.” Sawyer shrugged and looked at the slobbery stick and the panting dog, who barked until he finally threw it.
”What about the big guy? Hurley?”
“Dog,” Walt said. “He’s real friendly, like a Siberian Husky or ... what’s another really big dog?”
“Search me! You’re the dog expert.”
“I like to watch the dog shows,” Walt said.
Vincent brought the stick back to Sawyer, and he threw it again, farther this time.
“We forget anyone?” Sawyer asked.
“I think Boone was a dog,” Walt said quietly. “He was really loyal. And he was always trying to help.”
Sawyer nodded as a dark mood fell over both of them. Hardly anyone ever mentioned Boone’s name anymore. He could think of a lot of things he could say about Boone, but none of them seemed exactly appropriate. “Maybe he was a beagle,” he finally decided.
“Yeah, maybe,” Walt said, brightening at the thought. “And Shannon is ... “
“That’s a hard one,” Sawyer said, stroking his beard. “Some kinda fancy Persian cat or lapdog, right?”
”Yeah, one of those,” Walt nodded. “She’s like a show dog, one of those ones that they shampoo and brush a lot.”
Sawyer laughed. “You got that right, kid.”
They fell back into an easy silence, taking turns tossing the stick for Vincent.
“WALT!” Michael’s voice carried across the beach.
“I gotta go,” Walt sighed. “My dad’s calling me.”
“What -- we didn’t decide what you are,” Sawyer said.
“I’m a dog. I usually go when I’m called,” Walt sighed. “But I’d rather not. I’d rather be a cat, like you.”
Sawyer laughed and shook his head. “Better go, kid. Or your dad will put a leash on you.”
“See you!” Walt said as he ran off. Vincent barked and followed.
Sawyer looked after them, still shaking his head. Damned if he wasn’t going to start thinking of the Doc as a German Shepard from now on. And picturing Kate like a sleek leopard or something, lying in the branches, blinking her green eyes at him.
Wait -- what kind of cat had green eyes? He’d have to ask the kid tomorrow.