Rating: PG (a bit of language)
Note: Inspired by a post on the Sawyer thread at TWoP -- what if Sawyer took Claire’s diary and then actually gave it back to Charlie of his own free will, instead of simply hoarding as usual?
Unlike the other countless things Sawyer had taken, this one preyed on his mind. Why had he taken her diary, anyway? He was feeling uncharacteristically guilty and it was bugging him. Now Kate’s diary, that would be a hoot to read.
“Dear Diary, that Sawyer is such an ass and yet he intrigues me so. Note to self: Must tackle him again at earliest opportunity.”
Nah, her diary would be full of pinings about the great, sainted Dr. Jack. Or, hell, maybe even Sayid, although it was looking like Abdul had a new girlfriend in that blonde Barbie. Sawyer chuckled to see how steamed it made her “brother.” If those two weren’t humping on the side, he’d be mighty surprised.
But he’d taken Claire’s diary with the same impulse that made him take the wallet off that rotting body still strapped into his seat at the bottom of that lake. He was just using the instincts God had given him to look out for No. 1. Especially if the owner was now part of the heavenly choir, like the pregnant girl surely was.
Yeah, she wouldn’t miss her diary because there was about as much of chance of her coming back as a rescue ship suddenly appearing on the horizon. No one was talking about her, though, which was weird. Sawyer saw Charlie moping on the beach, moodily staring out to sea. Everyone was giving him a wide berth. In his case, misery wasn’t company, Sawyer guessed.
It seemed that Claire’s disappearance was more awkward than sad. Maybe everyone felt guilty that they hadn’t done more to protect her. Sawyer had only his gut to go on because it’s not like anyone was confiding in him. No one had even told him when she’d gone missing. He had to learn it from some bratty kid. Did anyone come ask him to help in the search? No, Sawyer wasn’t good for anything like that. He just took stuff. He was just scum, just a lowdown vulture, a scavenging rat.
So he saw her diary and he took it. Let them come looking for it or not. But now that he had, he wished he’d never taken it. He’d been tempted to read it, but he kept seeing that look on her face when he’d handed over the wallets for the memorial service. She’d just said “Thank you.” No lecture, no “How could you take these?” Just a simple thank you and a smile that made him feel she could see right through him.
He hadn’t felt guilty about taking anything else. Hell, he was doing them all a service, really, wasn’t he? Mad at himself and at all of them, he grabbed the diary and started reading. Because that’s the kind of guy he was. The kind who would rape a dead girl’s private thoughts.
He was surprised to find an entry about himself. “Sawyer’s not as bad as he wants everyone to think,” she’d written. “Why does he try so hard to be hated? It’s like he’s afraid of anyone seeing anything good in him.”
“Fuckin’ armchair psychologist,” Sawyer grunted. Maybe that’s why he’d stayed away from her. He couldn’t fool her, couldn’t play the game with her. She’d just look at him with those enormous blue eyes and he felt like a kid with his hand in the cookie jar.
As he kept reading, he had the oddest feeling that she was sitting behind him. He even looked up, but there was no one there. Damn spooky island, he muttered, shrugging off the feeling of being watched.
“I feel safe with Charlie,” he read. Well, that hack musician was sure devoted to her. Like a pathetic lapdog, really, the way he’d followed her around, making moony eyes at her. Now he sat like a dog whose owner is never coming back but still goes to the door, barking expectantly, then returns to lay with its head between its paws.
Sawyer sighed. He knew what he was going to have to do and he didn’t like it one bit. His goddamn conscience was kicking in, as much as he hated to admit he had one. Maybe he could just slip the diary into Charlie’s things, a bit of reverse thieving.
He stood up, tucking the diary into his back pocket. Charlie’s things were at the caves and if he had any luck, no one would be there. Sawyer grabbed a bottle of water as his excuse to go to the caves and strode off. When he got there, he was sorry to see that that fat guy was hanging out with the kid. No chance of sneaking the thing back.
The diary was burning a hole in his pocket. He had to get rid of the thing now. Well, he knew where to find Charlie. He had to do it the hard way. He walked over to that isolated spot on the beach the limey had claimed for himself. Charlie looked up at him suspiciously when he saw him approaching.
“What do you want?” he asked sullenly. His eyes were red and he made no attempt to hide that he’d been crying.
“Got something you might want,” Sawyer said. He held up the diary. “I ain’t got no use for this.” He tossed it to the startled kid, who caught it awkwardly.
“It’s Claire’s diary,” Charlie said, wonderingly as he thumbed through it. His eyes narrowed. “Why did you take it? Did you read it?”
“Guilty as charged,” Sawyer admitted, not blinking at the waves of hostility coming off the pint-size Brit. “Just thought you’d want to know she had some nice things to say about you.”
“How dare you?” Charlie said, standing up. He was shaking with rage. “She hasn’t been gone a week and you’re pawing through her things? That’s a new low even for you!”
Sawyer shrugged. “Not trying to earn any brownie points, bub.” He turned to go, but Charlie unexpectedly flung himself at Sawyer’s middle, knocking him down. Charlie fell on top of him, and started lashing out with his fists. He connected with Sawyer’s wounded upper arm and Sawyer let out a shout of pain.
Charlie grinned evilly and punched him again, square on the bandage. Sawyer responded with a blow that sent Charlie flying. They sat up and regarded each other with hostility.
“Read it, don’t read it,” Sawyer said, getting up and dusting the dirt off of him. “Burn it for all I care.” He paused. He wanted to say he missed her too, that he had spent time worrying about her, wondering if she was alive, until he’d decided she had to be dead, but what was the point? Only Charlie had a right to miss her or mourn for her, that’s the way things stood.
Charlie continued glaring at him as he walked away. “Well, I did it,” Sawyer sighed to Claire. “Are you gonna leave me alone now?”