Pairing(s): Jack/Kate/Sawyer - various combos, eventually.
Rating: PG (this chapter)
Summary: Sawyer can’t help being jealous of Jack and Kate
Note: Written by request for uberaeryn. I wanted to set this up without subjecting Sawyer to another injury but ... it didn’t end up that way. ;-D
“Just a few more yards,” Sawyer muttered through gritted teeth, willing himself to go on, not admitting how far it actually was. He cradled his left arm with his right hand. Each step sent a jolt through his shoulder and he wished to God he was there already.
He could feel the blood drying stiffly on his face but he couldn’t be bothered about that. It was pitch black, probably some time after midnight. The island was eerily quiet, maybe because it was so stiflingly hot. Not even a breeze tonight.
“Almost there,” he kept repeating, until he actually saw the caves. Everyone was asleep, except him. A howl was forming somewhere deep inside in protest of the pain that he wouldn't give into, but he just set his jaw and kept walking until he walked right into Jack’s cave. And Kate’s, he amended, feeling that same sick ache in the pit of his stomach that he’d felt ever since she’d taken up with the doc.
He leaned up against the wall, too spent to speak at first. He just wanted to collapse in a heap.
“Doc,” he said urgently, for some insane reason trying to keep his voice down. “Jack,” he said, a little louder.
His eyes were still adjusting to the gloom of the cave when he realized that the pale shape he was staring at was her. He sucked in his breath when he realized she was naked, his gaze helplessly lingering on the curve of her breasts and her hip. Jack’s arm was thrown over her waist protectively, holding her close, despite the heat.
Something about seeing them curled up like that was almost worse than if he’d seen them fucking. For a second, his mind went blank, the pain suddenly not important. He instinctively turned to leave when he stumbled over something and fell to the floor, hard, jarring his shoulder.
He let out a sharp, wounded yelp. That woke them up. Jack was up in a second and by his side, hovering like a mother bird.
Jack hadn’t bothered to put on his pants, and Sawyer was torn between pointing out that obvious and inappropriate fact and just getting on with whatever painful fix the doc had in store for him.
“Fell down,” he croaked, in the understatement of the year, opting to ignore Jack’s distracting state of undress.
“Just now?” Jack said, crouching to get a better look at him. Sawyer kept his eyes on Jack’s face.
“Out there...” Speaking was suddenly the most enormous effort. Getting here had taken everything he had and now he just wanted to pass out. “Shoulder’s out,” he mumbled. “Left one.”
Jack nodded and his hands went gingerly to examine Sawyer’s shoulder. Sawyer hissed as he tentatively tried moving it.
“You’re right. It’s dislocated,” Jack said, nodding seriously. “I can get it back in but it’s going to hurt like hell. If we don’t do it now, it’ll be even worse.”
“Do it,” Sawyer’s eyes locked on Jack’s, willing the doc not to see how much it already hurt.
By now Kate had thrown on a tank top and panties and had come over. She gasped when she saw his bloodied face and torn clothes. “Oh my God, Sawyer! What happened?”
Sawyer winced and inhaled sharply as Jack’s fingers probed the cut above his eye. “Took a tumble," he said with a forced grin in her direction. He felt himself rallying, whether from some kind of perverted sense of pride or from those little jolts of pain Jack couldn't help inflicting. "Lost my step and ‘fore I knew it, I was snowballin’ down a cliff," he continued, glad to see that Kate looked properly shocked and concerned. "Tried to hang on, but just yanked the hell out of my arm. I tried to put it back in myself but guess I blacked out.”
She shook her head and frowned, waves of sympathy coming off her.
“I need your help. Hold him,” Jack said in the same clipped tone he must have used in the O.R. She knelt by Sawyer’s side and pulled him close, wrapping one arm around his waist. She felt soft and reassuringly solid at the same time.
She gave him a quick smile. “I’ve got you,” she said and he let himself sink against her. He pictured her as he’d seen her when he first came in, but with himself in Jack’s place, the image fueling the smile he gave her in return. Let her think he was just being grateful.
“OK, Sawyer, on the count of three, I’m going to push your shoulder back into the socket. Take a deep breath.”
He turned back to Jack. His face was set in grim determination and suddenly Sawyer felt a wild urge to bolt. But he just nodded and gulped in a lungful of air, looking away from Jack and at Kate’s bare thigh, pressed up against his. Kate’s breath blew in short bursts against Sawyer’s neck and he could feel her heart racing through her thin shirt. As Jack took his arm, Sawyer grabbed onto Kate’s arm tight with his right hand and braced himself.
“One. Two...” Sawyer focused on Kate’s breath and the way it stirred the hairs on the back of his neck. Just breathe, he told himself, letting her presence distract him from the pain ahead.
“THREE.” Jack pushed hard and twisted and there was a sickening noise as the bone was forced back into place. He yelled loud enough to wake everyone in the caves and maybe folks down by the beach too. It felt like some vicious bastard had swung a sledgehammer with all his might into him and for a second he thought he was going to black out again. He clutched at Kate as if she could blot out the pain and she held him tight, and then it was over.
He held as still as possible, afraid to move a muscle. Kate stroked his head, pushing his hair back from his eyes. She made little soothing noises and Sawyer melted against her, not caring that Jack was there.
“It’s going to be really sore for the next few days,” Jack said, a reassuring hand on his good shoulder. “It’s no fun, but you’ll be OK.” Sawyer nodded, feeling strangely passive now that the whole ordeal was over.
Jack got up and padded away. Sawyer had almost forgotten the doc hadn't been wearing a stitch the whole time and was now surprised to notice the doc looked fitter out of pants than in them. He wondered idly if he’d been wearing someone else’s jeans this whole time because they were clearly too damn loose.
And then he snapped back to Kate’s warm body pressed comfortably up against his and he wondered why he’d given the doc a second’s thought. Jack was pulling on his jeans -- well, someone's jeans -- and then came back with some pills and water.
“For the pain,” he told Sawyer, and he propped up his chin and tipped up the water bottle. Sawyer swallowed obediently and Jack wiped off the water that dribbled down his chin. Damn, he felt like a baby, with all this fussing over him, but he was too tired and sore to care.
Jack knelt back down and took a good look at Sawyer’s face. “None of these cuts are too deep,” he said. His voice was calm and soothing and his eyes, so close to Sawyer’s face, were dark and intent and oddly mesmerizing.
“What did you give me, doc.” It was a question, but he said it more like a statement. He started to blink. Being here, between them, felt remarkably normal. His shoulder was still throbbing, but not so badly anymore. A wave of drowsiness overtook him.
Kate laid him down, her hair brushing over his face. She slowly removed his hand from her arm, and took it between her hands, squeezing gently. Jack hovered, dabbing at his face and Sawyer found himself staring up into his eyes, trying to find the pupils in them, but it was too dark.
His own eyes were closing. They started to talk softly to each other over him, as if he were already asleep, but he could still hear them. It reminded him of when he’d lie in his bed and he could hear his parents talking, but he couldn’t hear what they were saying. Some nights. Most nights he could hear their angry shouts well enough, even with a pillow over his head.
Sawyer's hand twitched, as if he were reaching for a pillow, and Kate squeezed again.
He let her think he was already asleep. When she tried to withdraw her hand, he wouldn’t open his and she sat with him until he finally did drift off.
TBC, with smut