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19 January 2009 @ 01:28 pm
fic, Lost: I've Been Everywhere 4/14 (Sawyer, Jack, ensemble), PG13  
Okay, I kind of left this be over the vacations but I'm back to it.

Title: I've Been Everywhere 4/14
Rating: PG-13 for this part, will reach NC17 overall
Characters/Pairings for this part: Jack, Sawyer, Desmond.
Word counting: 3130 this part, around 50000 overall.
Disclaimer: Lost is not mine and all the folk songs used here are not mine. The places really exist and I've never been there.
Summary: Sawyer is a rambling musician during the Dust Bowl, Jack a former L.A. doctor traveling with him.
Thanks to: elliotsmelliot for the great beta job for which I can't be grateful enough and to fosfomifira for the title. I'd still be searching for one otherwise.
A/N: the songs that Desmond sings here are The Bonnie Lass o' Fyvie (or Pretty Peggy-O if you know the Bob Dylan variation) and Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? aka the Depression's number one hit from what I gathered, which I think could be found sung by at least Bing Crosby and a bunch of other people. The book Desmond reads is The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens.

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII, Part IX, Part X, Part XI, Part XII, Part XIII, Part XIV

3. Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?

“And this would be Dodge City?”

“Yep, that’s it.”

“Christ, I was expecting to see at least one Earp brother threatening to shoot me. Or at least cattle.”

“Well, this ain’t time for that kinda outlaws and ain’t time for cattle, either. They ain’t had the cattle you’re thinkin’ ‘bout since before the war.”

Jack shakes his head, his disappointment obviously faked even if he had expected something living up to the name, at least. They arrived after one week, his shoes still held together nicely and as they walk their way in the city he can’t help casting looks around. He had sort of expected to at least smell cattle even if it was an irrational expectation, but Sawyer is right; the time for it is overdue. No one goes around in spurs and no one carries guns; there’s a lot of people, sure, most heading in the railway’s direction, but they’re all dressed as they are, maybe a bit better off, maybe a bit worse off. He rubs his hands above his arms; it’s still early February and Kansas weather is no better than Colorado weather. Sometimes he really misses California’s nice climate, but leaves the thought be for now.

Some of the buildings are still Old West style, though; he can’t understand whether it’s pathetic or comforting. The air is thick with dust, the sky is gray. It’s actually worse than it had been in Colorado or in any place he’s ever been up to now.

“Wonderin’ about the dust?”

Jack nods, the handerchief firm on his mouth.

“Was a dust storm April last year. They call it Black Sunday. Wind was black for that whole day and sky was black for a week after that. They’re havin’ it bad still.”

Jack doesn’t say anything for a while; he feels unable to come up with any answer. He only speaks after they have walked for another five minutes at least.

“So, what do we do now?”

Sawyer takes a look around. They’re in a pretty crowded street, where there’s a saloon that seems just out of the Civil War era; for the rest, it looks pretty normal, except for bulls appearing over the signs of every store, restaurant and inn they can see. There’s also a cinema, with a long line outside.

“Well, what ‘bout watching a movie?”

“A movie?”

“Why not? See, two dimes special each ticket. Come on, you’re dyin’ to see It Happened One Night.”

“I don’t even know what the hell it is about.”

“Well, that’s gotta be rectified.”

That’s how Jack finds himself in line at three in the afternoon, four dimes in his hand, Sawyer smirking near him and Clark Gable’s face looking down at him from the big poster that barely holds itself up on the wall, right above Doc Halliday’s. Fuck, only in Dodge City you can find a theatre called like that.


He doesn’t want to admit that he sort of liked it. Sawyer had obviously already seen it and more than once, since he had started muttering the lines at the right place after the beginning; but well, yeah, was a nice movie, even if not really his style. When they’re out, it’s dark already; Jack turns to Sawyer, who’s still looking pretty satisfied with himself.

“So what now?”

“Well, we’re goin’ to my favorite place in this sorry town.”

“One where they give you a free bed without complaining too much?”

“Somethin’ like that, yeah.”

Of course it has to be one of those Old West-like inns; Jack feels suddenly stupid knowing that he’s probably going to sleep in a place like this, but he figures he’d better stop that train of thought. Surely the beds can’t be worse than that place in Granada.

He follows Sawyer in the saloon, which he thinks is (thankfully) named after Wild Bill Hickock instead of the usual variations of bulls, cattle and similars that he has noticed up to now. Thick cigarette smoke suddenly circles them, but it’s fine. Surely better than dust. The place isn’t exactly full but there’s enough people, most of which are huddled around a stage on the right side. Jack would have expected some pretty dancer on it, but the sound that meets his ears is a masculine voice that speaks in a pretty thick Scottish accent. The guy on the stage is wearing worn out jeans, a blue shirt with ripped hems and a light blue coat; he has long, dark brown hair, his skin is pretty tanned, his beard is accurately trimmed. He’s also definitely reading from a book, his voice calm and pleasant to the ear, but definitely not flat as he speaks.

“’Twas but too true. The animal was startled by the noise, and the reins were on his back. The results may be guessed. He tore off with the four-wheeled chaise behind him, and Mr. Tupman and Mr. Snodgrass in the four-wheeled chaise. The heat was a short one. Mr. Tupman threw himself into the hedge, Mr. Snodgrass followed his example, the horse dashed the four--wheeled chaise ‘gainst a wooden bridge, separated the wheels from the body, and the bin from the perch; and finally stood stock still to gaze upon the ruin he had made. The first care of the two unspilt friends was to extricate their unfortunate companions from their bed of quickset--a process which gave ‘em the unspeakable satisfaction of discovering that they had sustained no injury, beyond sundry rents in their garments, and various lacerations from the brambles. The next thing to be done was to unharness the horse. This complicated process havin’ been effected, the party walked slowly forward, leadin’ the horse among them, and abandonin’ the chaise to its fate.”

Jack couldn’t really place what book the guy could be reading, but Sawyer’s laughter turned his attention back to his traveling companion.


“Oh, nothin’. Just, look who am I runnin’ into of everyone.”

“Why, you know him?”

“’Course I know the guy. Hey, Ivanhoe! Still haven’t found that girl of yours?”

The guy stops reading for a second and smiles warmly at Sawyer as he shakes his head; then he says later, apologizes to his audience for the interruption and starts reading again.

“Guess he’s finishin’ the chapter.”

“What? He reads books?”

“Well, exciting ones. Y’know, some people can’t or won’t go to the movies. He goes to one place, sits there for a month or somethin’, reads the whole book and they give him some money each night. Hey, it’s as legitimate as what I do is.”

“Guess it is. What were you saying about this girl?”

“You’ll learn as soon as he’s finished.”

The chapter is over fifteen minutes later or something; Jack and Sawyer are sitting at the counter with nothing ordered still as the man comes their way.

“Well, brother, wasn’t expectin’ to see you here of all places.”

“Why, same thing for me. Anyway, Doc, this is Desmond or your modern version of Romeo. Robert Burns, this is Jack, or your regular doctor with some identity crisis.”

“I don’t have any identity crisis!”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Oh, Sawyer, just shut up, yeah? Nice to meet you, brother.”

Jack shakes Desmond’s hand, wondering where does this brother thing come from. Desmond gets a free scotch (after all, he always brings costumers to the place) and turns to him.

“I’m sure you wanna know why I’m callin’ you brother and why did your mate here ask me about a girl before, aye?”

“Well... yeah. I was. How did you...”

“Evr’yone asks me that and I’ve got no problem answerin’ anyway. In Scotland I was a monk once. But ‘twas a long time ago and wasn’t really the life for me. But the brother stuck, yeah?”

“Guess it would.”

“While the girl...”

“I’ll make it short, he’d keep you up all night,” Sawyer interrupts as he orders a scotch too. “See, this guy has a girl back home. Pretty fucking nice girl, if you hear our friend here. Way richer than he was, though. So her daddy decides to go to America because he’s rich and figures it’s a way to get richer. Of course she has to go, too; and so our resident Robert Burns promises his girl he’ll come find her in a while, but as soon as he’s got the money for the ticket to America, it’s 1931 and girl’s impossible to track down since her dad lost all of his money.”

“Wait a moment, you’re searching for her still?”

“Sure, brother. You haven’t seen Penny, or you’d do that, too. It’s been five years, but still nothin’. Anyway, I’ll find her someday.”

“You seem pretty sure of it.”

“Oh, I know I will.”

Jack nods, admiring the guy’s force of will. It looks completely crazy but hey, it’s good to have some faith in what you do. He misses the feeling. He seriously does.

“Hey, brother?”

“Yeah?” Sawyer answers as he sips his drink.

“Wanna go and make the place a little more lively when you’re done, aye?”

Sawyer smiles and Jack has an idea that it includes music and that they’ve known each other for a long time.

“Sure as hell.”

Sawyer calls the bartender, who seemingly knows him well, too, and settles down for a free room for two people. Then he finishes his scotch and heads towards the stage with Desmond, the guitar under his arm. Jack is tempted to ask the bartender if there’s any need for his services, but he feels too tired. For tonight he’ll just let Sawyer pay, though just this once.

The crowd gets pretty excited under the stage; Jack can hear the wood croak under Sawyer’s boots as he takes a seat and pulls the guitar over his lap. There’s some arguing as Desmond talks to Sawyer first and then with the customers; Jack doesn’t get most of it, but they seem to settle on two songs in the end.

As Sawyer starts playing, Jack thinks he recognizes the song. He doesn’t know the title but he might have heard it in some government camp where he had worked once or twice. It’s pretty fast, but not much and as soon as he hears Desmond’s singing with that accent of his suddenly becoming even thicker as his voice gets rougher, he’s sure that it’s got to be from Scotland or wherever he comes from. He’s too good at singing it the right way.

There once was a troop of Irish dragoons, cam marching doon through Fyvie-o, and the captain's fa'en in love wi' a very bonnie lass, and her name it was cad pretty Peggy-o... O come down the stairs, Pretty Peggy, my dear, come down the stairs, Pretty Peggy-o, come down the stairs, comb back your yellow hair, it's braw, aye it's braw, a captain's lady for to be, and it's braw to be a captain's lady-o, it's braw to ride around and to follow the camp. and to ride when your captain he is ready-o...

There’s a bit of scotch left from Sawyer’s drink. Jack takes a small sip, then puts it in its place again. Someone under the stage has started to dance, Sawyer only looks at his fingers trying to speed up since Desmond is accelerating as he sings.

I never did intend a soldier's lady for to be, a soldier shall never enjoy me-o, I never did intend to gae tae a foreign land, and I never will marry a soldier-o... The colonel he cried, mount, boys, mount, boys, mount, the captain, he cried, tarry-o, o tarry yet a while, just another day or twa, til I see if the bonnie lass will marry-o...

At this point, Jack can’t even follow the words. They tumble over themselves, so fast that he just doesn’t distinguish them from one another; Sawyer is kind of sweating, but he smiles and Jack figures he’s never one to say no to a challenge. Some people still dance, even though most are still sitting at their tables. Surely all the women who were there already when Desmond was reading, not more than six though. Anyone who isn’t dancing drinks and there’s a pretty nice atmosphere, all things considered. Even if it has to be one of the saddest songs Jack has ever heard his whole life.

Twas in the early morning, when we marched awa, and o, but the captain he was sorry-o, and the band played the bonnie lass of Fyvie-o... long ere we came to the Howe of Auchterless, we had our captain to carry-o, and long ere we won into the streets of Aberdeen, we had our captain to bury-o... the captain's name was Ned and he died for a maid, he died for the bonnie lass of Fyvie-o...

A loud clap breaks the silence following. Sawyer and Desmond both stop and breathe heavily; there’s cheering up, someone pats Desmond on the back, Jack can clearly hear Sawyer saying something about Scottish motherfuckers that don’t understand that he isn’t some playing machine and then announcing the crowd that they’re going to play a song he’s sure everyone will appreciate.

As it starts, Jack can’t help laughing, thankful that no one’s attention is upon him; fuck, there couldn’t be a better one seeing who’s singing right now.

They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob, when there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job. They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead, why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

Jack knows it by heart himself; it’s hard not to, especially when you own a radio and it’s still played a lot since five years ago. Desmond’s accent sounds completely wrong here even if at least you can distinguish what he says, though, but...

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time, once I built a railroad; now it's done... Brother, can you spare a dime? Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime, once I built a tower, now it's done... Brother, can you spare a dime?

As he just sings the brother line saying it like that, there’s a cheer from the crowd and Jack stands up and comes nearer. That sounded just pretty perfect. As he’s under the stage he retreats, seeing that there’s some people trying to dance and he doesn’t dance, not really and surely not now, but stands against the wall and closes his eyes. He thinks that Sawyer’s version is more lively than the one he knew himself. He can’t really blame him if it is.

Say, don't you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time, Why don't you remember, I'm your pal? Brother, can you spare a dime? Say, don't you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time... Say, don't you remember, I'm your pal? Brother, can you spare a dime?

And it looks like in Dodge City there are dimes to spare, since when Jack is back at the counter and both Desmond and Sawyer reach him after a while, Desmond’s worn out blue hat is full of dimes.

“Woah, you make a good team ,” Jack remarks blinking his eyes.

“Oh, that’s why we always do it. Right, brother?”

“Pretty fucking yes. Okay, let’s count this thing and split up. Doc, you got that bag of yours?”

“Sure. Go ahead.”

It takes a while to count; in the end, they get three dollars each and it’s a pretty good turn out for the evening. Jack wishes he had done something, but this is just not the day.

“So, brother, where are you goin’?”

“Iowa. Though we could pass for Topeka.”

“You wanna walk?”

“Why not?”

“’Cause there’s the railroad. You’d get there in a day.”

“You know what, that’s a pretty good suggestion. I haven’t done the trains in a while, but why not?”

“Hey, what’s this trains business?” Jack asks, figuring that it’s something he won’t really like that much.

“Oh, don’t you worry. Nothin’ as bad as you think. How long you stayin’ here?”

Desmond shrugs and tucks his money away into the inner pocket of his coat.

“I’m still at chapter fourteen and I got to reach 57. But I read ‘bout four each day so I guess I’ll be done in two weeks or so.”

“Still no trace of her?”

“Not one. But I never searched for her in California. Might go there after, if I manage.”

“Well, good luck,” Jack says.

“Thanks, brother. And since I know what happens when our friend Sawyer takes a train, I guess I can safely say goodbye to you now. See you in another life if not in this one.”

Jack shakes his hand, pretty puzzled, and waits as Desmond climbs up the stairs. Sawyer’s hand is on his arm next.

“Doc? We should get some sleep, too. Tomorrow we gotta wake up early.”

“And why?”

“Oh, you’ll see.”



“Oh, come on.”

“Sawyer, I never... I never took a train without paying the ticket. I just... I can’t... and it’s six A.M, damn, it’s...”

“The hour when no one’s gonna see us as we jump on the last wagon. They’re always empty, Doc. Ain’t nothin’ you worry about, and Ivanohe’s right. We get this train, we’re in Topeka this evening. And you ain’t in the good citizen position, or so it seems to me.”


“No but, here it comes.”

Jack doesn’t have time to object further as the train arrives; when the locomotive comes just near them, taking speed as it leaves the city, he runs when Sawyer yells run figuring that at worse they’re going to get kicked out. He follows Sawyer and tries to stay as close as possible; when a wagon with a half opened door passes by, Sawyer just jumps on it, his hand closes around Jack’s arm. He yanks him forward and they fall on their sides on the hard floor of the train, among jute sacks. He takes a look at one; it’s beans. Sawyer retrieves the guitar from the corner he threw it gently in, then closes the door a few more feet.

“Why not all the way?”

“Why, ‘cause you can see the landscape.”

Jack smiles and shakes his head as adrenaline rushes through his body and he can’t understand why; Sawyer starts playing again and as his voice mutters brother, can you spare a dime?, Jack rolls his eyes, reaches into his pocket and tosses him one.

feeling: crankycranky
elliotsmelliot: sawyerelliotsmelliot on January 20th, 2009 03:52 am (UTC)
.Now I have Pretty Peggy O stuck in my head, but in Desmond's voice. Thank you for that!

I enjoyed this chapter just as much as I did the first time around. I loved the songs, but I think my favourite moment was Jack's dilemma with the trains and how Sawyer rationalized it for him. That was such a good recreation of their different morality systems, but didn't make either one of them right or wrong.

I hope more people join us on this journey. It is so worth the while. If you don't mind, maybe when the fic battle dies down, I would love to rec this.
the female ghost of tom joad: lost sawyer guitarjanie_tangerine on January 20th, 2009 09:23 am (UTC)
Ha, my pleasure! ;) Believe me, while I was writing it I only had the Bob Dylan one and imagining it with Desmond saved me. I love Bob but when you have him three hours on repeat with just the same song it gets crazy.

I loved writing the trains bit. And it's kind of fun to put Jack in dilemmas here, but I do it out of love. ;) I thought it was a good way to point out their morality differences while keeping it light enough.

And oh, sure! Rec away, I'm just honored if you do. Thanks so much! ♥
sad side of normal: Lost: Sawyer Wayward Sonfosfomifira on January 20th, 2009 06:52 am (UTC)
Yay, a new installment!

I loved how happy this chapter is. There's hardship, but mostly it's about connection and enjoying people's company and just smiling. Desmond is a star here - loved to see Sawyer calling him 'Ivanhoe' for some reason -, but mostly I was happy to see Jack getting some well-deserved rest and simply enjoying life.
the female ghost of tom joad: lost sawyer guitarjanie_tangerine on January 20th, 2009 09:25 am (UTC)
He, thanks! ;) I'll try to have more discipline from now on.

Sometimes you just need the happy chapter, don't you? I'm really glad you liked Desmond here, I had a lot of fun writing him in this setting. And Jack should enjoy life more often, shouldn't he? Glad you liked it!

Edited at 2009-01-20 09:25 am (UTC)
halfdutchhalfdutch on January 31st, 2009 05:48 am (UTC)
Oh, I love them meeting up with Desmond like this. And Jack is almost tempted to dance. Now, that's saying something.

I love the camaraderie between Sawyer & Des, you just know how fond they are of each other. The songs are so great and I'm loving all the places they're stopping. I love Jack being so law abiding, but trusting Sawyer anyway. And then literally tossing a dime Sawyer's way at the end shows Jack does have a sense of humor after all, doesn't he? It's great to see them so lively and (relatively) happy despite the fact they have nothing -- except each other.
the female ghost of tom joad: lost jack **janie_tangerine on January 31st, 2009 10:20 am (UTC)
Jack's temptations in regards of dancing are not over here, so that I have you warned. *cough*

Glad you liked Des here, I had a lot of fun writing this one. And I'm sure that Sawyer and Desmond would totally be fond of each other in canon too, if they had given them two scenes together. And ha, yes, Jack does have one, even if he might be very good at concealing it. Or at least that's my take. And yeah, they kind of are at that point by now. Thanks so much, glad you liked this, too! ♥
etpmvempetpmvemp on February 6th, 2009 12:41 pm (UTC)
Desmond! Poor guy, no matter what universe he is in, he always seems to have lost Penny...

Another thing that I like about the series, despite the interesting journey you take us through, is that "soundtrack". I even get to hear songs I didn't even know existed, and I really have to thank you for that. I particularly liked Brother, can you spare a dime by Tom Waits.
the female ghost of tom joad: lost des sleepingjanie_tangerine on February 6th, 2009 01:09 pm (UTC)
All my pleasure! I love Tom Waits' version of Brother, Can You Spare A Dime. I was actually planning on doing a major upload of everything I used here after I'm done with posting it but maybe I should do it before. I'll see to it, even if I'm pretty sure I will. Choosing the music here was fun, also because I love American folk music, so glad to hear the soundtrack works fine! ;)

And ha, poor Des indeed. I guess we need to stick with canon, do we?
a geek in such the wrong way: lost-Des-wasting awayhaldoor on February 20th, 2009 11:10 am (UTC)
Awesome! I love how well you've fitted some of the Lost canon into it! And Desmond is just perfect!

Just one tiny typo: Jack shakes Desmond’s hand, wondering where does this brother thing come from. Desmond gets a free scotch (after all, he always brings costumers to the place) I think you mean customers rather than costumers, who are completely different *g*

Oh, and the 'croak' of his boot would more likely to be a 'creak' in English, if you don't mind me pointing out.

Otherwise, very fun!
the female ghost of tom joad: lost des sleepingjanie_tangerine on February 20th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! LOL, I did fit a LOT of canon in this mess... ;)

And I never mind you pointing stuff out, thanks! And oh God, *headdesk* that's why I hate long stuff, I always miss idiotic things like that. Yep, I meant customers. ;) Thank you again!
alemyrddin: Jack Sawyer smirkalemyrddin on March 18th, 2009 03:57 pm (UTC)
oh, Desmond, too! What a lovely encounter.

I love the train jumping scene, it's probably the most carefree and -dare I say- happy I've seen them. :)
the female ghost of tom joad: lost des personal jesusjanie_tangerine on March 18th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
Desmond too indeed!

And I figured I could have them happy for once. Even if it was illegal *cough* but then again I think it was the most quoted free transport around. ;)