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05 March 2009 @ 04:52 pm
fic, Lost: I've Been Everywhere 13/14 (Sawyer, Jack, ensemble), PG13  
Title: I've Been Everywhere 13/14
Rating: PG-13, will reach NC17 overall (-> next chapter)
Characters for this part: Sawyer, Jack, Desmond, Penny, Michael, Walt, Bernard, Rose.
Word counting: 6804 this part, 50000 ca 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 doctor from L.A. 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 song referenced in the beginning and the end is My Oklahoma Home, a traditional from the time which I only have by Springsteen and maaaybe Pete Seeger but I'm sure there are older version. The girl with whom Jack dances is the one from The Hunting Party which here is Gabriella instead of Gabriela because Gabriela in Italy does not exist. It's with two ls, dammit. The other two songs are Old Dan Tucker and Chicken Reel, which you can find done by a bunch of people and which are actually the same tunes in the dancing scene of The Grapes of Wrath, but I chose that stuff not consciously. Then I found out and had a laugh. And that'd be it. Next chapter (and last) should be out tomorrow or the day after at latest and it features the porn. Sorry for the wait. ;)

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

They spend three or four days at the gambling house before leaving; or better, Sawyer spends the time hanging with Hurley (who, Jack gets the feeling is pretty much overjoyed about finally getting rid of Linus), while Jack spends his days learning how to play backgammon with Locke and deciding that while gambling might be his thing, backgammon really isn’t. Or maybe Locke is just too good at it. Anyway, they’re not silent during the games (Jack doesn’t win once); he finds out that the boxes he used when he and Sarah moved in their house after their wedding were from the company Locke used to work for (the name was printed on one side, he remembers it just fine) and that he’s in a wheelchair because he had tried to commit suicide after the company shut down. Jack asks him whether he regrets the outcome of things and Locke shakes his head saying that maybe if he’s still here, he wants to stay. And that it made him appreciate life quite more than he had before.

Jack nods then, just a second before getting beaten at backgammon again; well, John Locke surely knows how to make good use of his time in that regard.

He feels somewhat sad when they leave, but that wouldn’t be the first time, after all.

“So, you said a camp?” he asks Sawyer while they’re illegally on another train again because it’s up north, there isn’t a direct coach and he doesn’t want to try going any other way since Sawyer is still low on blood after more than a week. It’s not like they can eat meat every day and he doesn’t want to risk him fainting out of the blue. They’re sitting in front of each other, Sawyer on the side facing the door; he always says that since Jack doesn’t mind the view, he’ll take that place and Jack doesn’t mind. He doesn’t understand what’s so special about the view anyway.

“Yeah. They’re with the Resettlement Administration though. Nice place. Maybe you already been there?”

“Negative. Why going to places where there are doctors already?”

“Pretty hard on yourself, I see.”

“Wouldn’t have made sense, right?”

“Hell, sometimes I wish there were people like you in Tennessee.”

Jack has an idea that Sawyer might have told more than he was planning.

“You were in one over there? A camp, I mean.”

Sawyer shrugs and looks at the guitar, then back at him.

“Worse place. Cotton plantation. See her? A guy who worked there gave her to me ‘fore I left. Only thing I’ve earned in three months down there. No doctors unless you could pay and... well, nothin’ else if you couldn’t pay. Y’know, I was married, too.”

Jack suddenly remembers that song of the evening they met. He slowly stands up, trying not to sway.

“Died of the fever upon the cabin floor...?” he asks then, and his voice is low. He hadn’t exactly aimed for that.

“Exactly that. Pity that my daughter went with her first. And if you’re wonderin’ why I’m tellin’ you all this now, I don’t have an idea. I never tell anyone. I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone at least half of it. Fuck, now that’s when I need a cigarette.”

“Sorry, I don’t have any.”

“Don’t worry. ‘Twas almost six years ago. I... well, deal with it.”

“I guess. It’s just...”

“What?”

“Nothing. How was she? Your wife, I mean.”

Sawyer laughs then, a raspy and deep laugh; Jack can see his hair fall in front of his eyes, bathed by the ray of light getting in through the train’s door. He takes a couple of steps in his direction before shrugging and sitting on his same side, not too near and not too far.

“Hell, greatest woman I ever met all my life. And she also put up with me four years and something straigh, which is a record. She was brought up too well to survive down there, though.”

“Why, where did you live?”

“Boston. Told you she was brought up too well.”

“Well, if it can console you, mine was brought pretty up well, too, and now she’s living with some guy she met at some charity evening for orphans. And I’m kind of sure she was already cheating on me when she asked for the divorce.”

“You aren’t serious, are you?”

“Like I’d joke about it, of course I am. Also, I... well, didn’t exactly tell the whole truth when I told you she left when the money was gone. She filed for divorce when there still was some and they ended up giving it all to her because I had been an absent husband and hadn’t fulfilled my duties.”

Sawyer just shakes his head, bringing a hand to his temple.

“What fun. You got a first class bitch, I had the most amazing girl and mine is dead and yours has your money. Ain’t this just a fun world?”

Jack has to agree on that; a lot of fun indeed. He’s just glad he and Sarah never had children. He doesn’t even know why it turned out that way, they just hadn’t. And it was better like this, if they had any he would have never seen them anyway and they’d be with her now. Of course. He doesn’t even know why is it that he feels so comfortable telling Sawyer all this; he just is. Maybe because he doubts he has been so close to someone during the last ten years of his life, whatever it might mean.

“Doc?”

“Yeah?”

“You ever regret what you did?”

“You mean leaving my safe job and losing my wife in the name of human decency?”

“Something like that.”

“No. Never. I saved too many people to regret it. And well, I understood she wasn’t the right one two months after I married her.”

“And why did you stay?”

“People don’t divorce without a reason where I come from. Not especially if they admit they made a mistake.”

“Fine enough. But did your parents force her on you?”

“No, she was a rich patient and I saved her life. Figure it out.”

“Can you ever do something that’s not related to your work?”

“Sure. I can play the piano. And I hate it.”

“If I ask you why now?”

“Not that much of a story. I didn’t like it, I was supposed to be able to play it, I had to stand it for ten years.”

“At least you didn’t get voice lessons.”

Jack laughs, even if it really isn’t a compliment. But he knows it isn’t his strong point. “They could see that I was a lost cause.”

“No one’s perfect.”

“Believe me, I know.”

Then suddenly Sawyer’s hand is on his shoulder and Jack doesn’t even think about shrugging it away; it feels good, pretty much, and he doesn’t feel up to renounce it. He surprises himself when his own hand ends up on Sawyer’s knee but he isn’t shrugged away either and he keeps it there.

They get off the train maybe three or four hours later; they don’t say anything in that frame of time even if their hands hadn’t really moved, but it’s fine enough. Jack figures that sometimes silence speaks for itself; it feels like something has shifted within them, but it’s a positive shift.

Who knows?

--

The place is indeed good, for being a camp (sure, it’s RA, so has to be better than all the places Jack had been in the last five years or so); there are tents put in nice, neat rows, the washhouses look perfectly clean, people walk around looking as fine as you can look when you live in a camp. There’s a lot of chattering and Jack can see someone putting up some kind of stage in the side opposite do the entrance where they are now.

“What’s that?”

“Is it Saturday today?”

“Yeah, why?”

“There’s usually some dance on Saturday. Come on, let’s go meetin’ the boss. If we don’t meet his wife first.”

Jack follows Sawyer up to a neat white bungalow near a sanitary; he knocks and waits for permission before he gets in and doesn’t flinch when a woman answers.

“Well, you’re meetin’ the boss and his wife. Ain’t that just grand.”

He opens the door and Jack gets in behind him; the room is small, it’s just a couple of chairs and a desk full of paperwork. Standing behind the desk is a very white man that leans more towards sixty years than fifty, dressed in a blue shirt and jeans; near him, there’s a very black woman dressed in red who gives definitely the impression of someone who knows her way around the world, same age of the man, matching bands on their anulars.

“Good God, you ain’t been ‘round here for some time,” the woman remarks blinking in Sawyer’s direction. She comes closer then and gives him a brief hug, before she feels him wincing.

“What the hell did you get yourself into?” she asks, her eyebrows raised.

“Nothin’.”

What.”

“Got shot by a crazy vigilant b... chick.”

“You what?”

Jack chuckles as he hears Sawyer trying not to swear. Suddenly the man is at his side.

“I guess they’re too busy to bother introducing us. Hi, I’m Bernard. She’s Rose, my wife. You’re with him or you’re searching for a place?”

“Oh, I’m with him. I’m Jack, nice to meet you.”

“Doctor?”

“How did you...”

“The bag. I was a dentist, once. Then I left it for this.”

“Well, I left my job to work in camps. The other kind though, not this.”

Bernard nods, obviously understanding, before he turns back to his wife and Sawyer, kind of still bickering.

“I told you, I ain’t done a thing, she did it all herself! Doc, could you tell that, too?”

“Well, she knocked me out. But unless he didn’t do something in his sleep it really was her fault. And he’ll be fine, it takes more than that to kill him.”

“Damn right.”

“This young man here knows what he’s saying?”

“Rose, he just told me he is a doctor. I’m sure he knows.”

“Well, then I might just believe you. Anyway, Bernard, is there any free place right now?”

Bernard thinks about it and then goes checking some of the paperwork, then shakes his head.

“I’m afraid not, there’s no free tent. But I’m sure that there are some with not many people staying. If you meet someone ‘round or if you patch them up for free I’m sure they’ll have you in for the night.”

“As long as I don’t have to sleep outside,” Sawyer mutters.

“Don’t brood, if we can’t find anythin’ for you, you’ll just sleep on the couch here and he’s gonna sleep on my couch. Ain’t no problem really.”

Sawyer snorts and Jack can’t help approving Rose’s attitude. He wishes he had some of it himself.

“So you ain’t even playing tonight?”

“He forbids me.”

“I never said that you can’t sing.”

“Well, you’ll find lots of folks that can back you up, so don’t brood,” Rose says, and Sawyer definitely rolls his eyes.

“I ain’t broodin’.”

“You so are.”

“Are they always like that?” Jack asks Bernard unable to hide the fact that he’s really having fun right now.

“More or less. More or less. But it’d be weird if they weren’t, I guess.”

“Yeah, I guess, too.”

--

They’re walking through the tents in direction of the stage, Sawyer said that losing time wasn’t an option, when he hears someone exclaming Sawyer? from a tent some feet away; Sawyer turns and his eyes go wide with disbelief.

“Michael?” he exclaims back as he goes towards the man that called him, a black fellow dressed in jeans and flannel; Jack can see how calloused his hands are from a distance. When he gets near, he thinks they shared a brief hug and they’re already in conversation.

“What the hell are you doing here?”

“Let’s say I was sick of pickin’ cotton. Also, my ma died and I had to take my boy back with me, so I just couldn’t stay there. Wasn’t enough money anyway.”

“So he’s here?”

“Well, yeah, he should be... Walt! Walt! Walt! Where...”

“I’m here, I’m here...”

A kid that has to be fourteen or fifteen comes their way, looking pretty annoyed at all the calling. He gets near Sawyer and looks at him all over a couple times.

“Sorry, he’s always sure I’m gonna disappear.”

“You know that..” Micheal starts, but Walt just rolls his eyes and interrupts him.

“Yeah, yeah, I know. Anyway, I’m Walt.”

“Sawyer. I was with your dad years ago in that wonderland that is Tennessee.”

“Wonderland my ass. Here it ain’t like you earn much, but at least you can live nicely. So I heard my grandpa’s guitar brought you luck. And that you kept her nice.”

Sawyer takes it off his shoulder and passes it over.

“Yeah, kind of did. Sorry to say I can’t play that tonight.”

“And why’s that?”

“Got shot in the shoulder. I hate vigilantes.”

“What?! Man, that’s just disgusting! Vigilantes. What the fuck, like we didn’t have enough trouble on our hands already. I’m sorry, real... Walt, are you here?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m here. And hey, if that guy’s with you, you could at least introduce him.”

Jack smiles as Sawyer notices him standing right there; he just goes and introduces him without remarks. Michael agrees to take them in for the night, they have enough space, when Jack hears a familiar voice behind him.

There was always somethin’ in her modest voice that seemed to touch a chord within me, answerin’ to that sound alone. It was always earnest; but when it was very earnest, as it was now, there was a thrill in it that quite subdued me. I sat looking at her as she cast her eyes down on her work; I sat seemin’ still to listen to her; and Steerforth, in spite of all my attachment to him, darkened in that tone. 'It is very bold in me,' said Agnes, lookin’ up again, 'who have lived in such seclusion, and can know so little of the world, to give you my advice so confidently, or even to have this strong opinion. But I know in what it is engendered, Trotwood, - in how true a remembrance of our havin’ grown up together, and in how true an interest in all relatin’ to you. It is that which makes me bold. I am certain that what I say is right. I am quite sure it is. I feel as if it were someone else speakin’ to you, and not I, when I caution you that you have made a dangerous friend.'”

He doesn’t even turn before asking Sawyer.

“You’re thinking what I’m thinking?”

“Mike, is the guy we’re hearin’ right now a Scottish fellow with long hair and a beard goin’ around readin’ Dickens?”

“Yeah, he arrived here a week ago or so. Was a pretty excitin’ book, too, but I lost a couple chapters ‘cause I had to work and now I’m off the loop.”

“Sawyer, I have an idea. You go talk to him, I’m making a call.”

“Why, do you...”

“She gave me her number while you were wondering whether you should have bought something on the way out. Not a word, though.”

Sawyer nods before giving Michael some explanation and Jack goes back to Bernard’s office. He asks if he can make a call; when he’s told yes, he picks the phone up, searches for the small business card Penny gave him and quickly makes the number.

“Widmore’s bookshop, how can I help you?”

“Penny? Hi, it’s Jack. You remember us, right? Well, I think you really should come to California right now. Yeah, we’re in a government camp. Sure, I’ll tell you everything.”

--

Jack has to bite his lip any second he comes near Desmond; he just can’t avoid thinking about what’s going to happen in two days or so and he just can’t help feeling like he’ll give himself away if he ends up talking to him.

Thankfully he doesn’t have to hang around the guy much since people desperately want to hear how things are going between David Copperfield and Uriah Heep, so when Bernard asks him if he can cover for their doctor who couldn’t make it there today, he says of course and spends the next three or four hours visiting people. Thankfully there’s no one who’s seriously ill and all the three pregnant girls he checks over look healthy enough.

When he’s done he decides he might as well take advantage of the clean washhouses; he takes a long, hot shower and feels good enough, but then Bernard stops him while he goes searching for Sawyer and tells him that since he did free work and his clothes would really need washing, he’ll get him some clothes that people usually earn working it out for a while in the camp, won’t do any harm.

So Jack finds himself with a new pair of jeans and a blue working shirt which feel both a bit stiff but he guesses he just needs to get used to them.

He goes checking the stage then; the part for the band already holds two trumpet players, a violinist, two guitarists (one of them is Michael), all the instruments pretty old but looks like they’re still good enough, and a small female choir. Sawyer is hanging around them and speaking with the violinist, who at one point smiles and claps him (thankfully) on the right shoulder.

Desmond is still down there, saying fine another one, but last chapter for today; Jack had personally found Dickens pretty boring when he read some book of his ages ago, but maybe it’s because he had to read it himself.

He gets near Sawyer and asks him whether he’s going to do anything stupid; Sawyer informs him that he’s just going to sing one song and that’ll be it and Jack guesses he can be as satisfied as it goes.

--

The choir sings a couple of gospels while people start to gather on the open space; the women are all dressed as nicely as one can manage here, while men are all dressed like him, more or less. He isn’t too surprised when Michael starts talking from the stage and says that they have a local celebrity who will grace them with a very, very depressing song before they can start having fun; he actually calls for his son looking from the stage and letting out a relieved sigh when he sees him just under there. From the way people chuckle, Jack thinks that if someone doesn’t know about Michael worrying for the kid, by the end of the evening everyone will.

Sawyer steps up, gets cheered upon as usual, goes through his usual idiotic introduction speech and then a soft, slow music starts and the mood becomes suddenly serious.

When they opened up the strip I was young and full of zip, I wanted some place to call my home, and so I made the race and I staked me out a place, and settled down along the Cimarron... It blowed away, it blowed away, my Oklahoma home, it blown away, well it looked so green and fair when I built my shanty there, my Oklahoma home, it blown away…

Jack can sense the now sombre atmosphere; he’s sure that at least eighty per cent of the people here come from Oklahoma indeed. And if he wasn’t sure of that, it’d only take looking into their eyes to see if they were or not.

Well I planted wheats and oats, got some chickens and some shoats, aimed to have some ham and eggs to feed my face, got a mule to pull the plow, I got an old red muley cow, and I also got a fancy mortgage on this place... well, it blowed away, it blowed away, all the crops that I've planted blown away, well you can't grow any grain if you ain't got any rain, everything except my mortgage blown away... It looked so green and fair when I built my shanty there, I figured I was all set for life, I put on my Sunday best with my fancy scalloped vest, then I went to town to pick me out a wife... She blowed away, she blowed away, my Oklahoma woman blown away, mister as I bent to kiss her, she was picked up by a twister, my Oklahoma woman blown away...”

A couple men near him are openly crying right now; Jack wishes he could, too, but the problem is that after all he doesn’t really miss Sarah. Not anymore, at least, or not so much, or maybe he does and he still hasn’t figured it out. He misses the illusion of what was between them, probably.

Well, then I was left alone just listening to the moan of the wind around the corners of my shack, so I took off down the road, yeah, when the south wind blowed, I traveled with the wind upon my back... I blowed away, I blowed away, chasin' that dust cloud up ahead, well once it looked so green and fair and now it's up in the air, my Oklahoma farm is over head... And now I'm always close to home, it don't matter where I roam, for Oklahoma dust is everywhere, makes no difference where I'm walkin', I can hear my wife a-talking in the air... It blowed away, it blowed away, yeah my Oklahoma home is blown away, but my home sir, is always near, it's up here in the atmosphere, my Oklahoma home is blown away...”

Jack suddenly wishes he was closer. Sawyer’s hair is covering pretty much all of his eyes, but he can hear the way his voice slightly breaks from time to time. He figures he can’t blame him; and even if it was a long time ago, as Sawyer says, Jack doubts things are as fine in that regard as Sawyer pretends them to be.

Well I'm a roam'n Oklahoman but I'm always close to home, and I'll never get homesick until I die, 'Cause no matter where I'm found, my home's all around, my Oklahoma home is in the sky...

At that point someone breaks into a wild applause and Sawyer smiles and nods as they keep on going.

It blowed away, it blowed away, and my farm down on Cimarron, but now all around the world wherever the dust is swirled, there is some from my Oklahoma home... It blowed away, it blowed away, yeah my Oklahoma home is blown away, yeah it's up there in the sky in that dust cloud over n' by, my Oklahoma home is blown away... yeah it's up there in the sky in that dust cloud over n' by, my Oklahoma home’s in the sky...

The applause is even louder as Sawyer finishes and steps out of the stage; it ends up with people shaking hands as usual and Jack sees him actually refusing money. Not that he thought that Sawyer was ever going to accept any in such a situation, but still, first time for everything.

And then Michael shouts that it’s time to forget the brooding and the band behind him breaks into a tune which is way happier; Jack doesn’t recognize it exactly until the new singer says something about some old Dan Tucker and people get in a circle, while Sawyer gets pushed in the middle. If the song he just went through somehow shook him before, he isn’t showing it and gracefully dances along, swinging ladies east and west according to the lyrics. Jack hasn’t heard that song in a while. Not refined enough, where he comes from. Then Sawyer moves away with the third woman as her former partner takes his place and Jack just sits there along with a few other people not dancing and the pregnant girls, all in various stages of said pregnancy, who might not dance but they do clap wildly. A couple of women try to bring him into the mess, but he refuses politely. Last time he danced it was with Sarah, not to talk about the fact that he was only taught to dance waltz and while he could do it, he had always hated it fiercely.

He manages to avoid the attention for a while. Then the mess happens.

He’s chatting with this girl sitting next to him, who might be pregnant but barely shows it; her name is Gabriella, her accent is definitely Italian, she’s a brunette with tanned skin and dark, deep eyes. She’s wearing a nice cotton dress, white with red flowers printed on (nicest I own, it was my mother’s, she brought it from Italy she had said), she blushed at least a couple of times but overall it’s a nice conversation. Nice until she asks him if he maybe would like to dance and as soon as a tune dangerously resembling Buffalo Girls starts Jack is more than ready to politely decline when suddenly someone comes just right there. Sawyer. Who currently has this other brunette holding his arm but he smiles at her for a second and turns back to them. He smiles at Gabriella, excuses himself and drags Jack a couple of feet away without giving him the chance to say a thing.

“What are you doin’ sitting there, Doc? She wants to dance, just fucking say yes.”

“I was enjoying my evening? And anyway, you shouldn’t tire yourself out.”

“My legs ain’t my arm and anyway, don’t change subject. Have some fucking fun, won’t you?”

Then Sawyer shakes his head and suddenly Jack’s wrist is taken in a grip of iron. He’s using the right hand, of course; Sawyer’s fingertips are almost painfully rough against his skin.

“Oh, no. I’m not...”

“You so are. If you got piano lessons and voice lessons you also got dancin’ lessons. And now I’m draggin’ you back there and you’re going to tell her yes and you’re going to fucking enjoy yourself for once.”

“Yeah, waltz lessons and I was pretty stiff with that, too. Please, just let me go before I make a fool of myself and...”

“Not a chance. It ain’t hard. Just do whatever feels good.”

“That’s the problem, I never felt good when dancing!”

“’Cause waltz’s for rich assholes that can’t have fun.”

Jack can’t find a remark smart enough before Sawyer tells Gabriella that it just took a bit of convincing and she practically beams as Jack awkwardly takes her hand; fuck, now that was completely unfair. He lets her kind of lead until he’s pulled among the dancing crowd, feeling like a fish out of the water, completely unable to get what the hell he should do. He always hated waltz, but at least it was easy. It was fixed steps. The music was that one.

Here everyone moves on their own accord, maybe some women know some particular dance to this music, but he doesn’t; he just doesn’t have the time to think though, since he’s busy trying not to fall down as his partner shows that she definitely is an expert in the dancing field. Damn. He turns and catches Sawyer smoothly dancing next to him with the other girl. He wishes he could just punch him along with his graceful feet and those damned hips of this that swing so easily to the rhythm, but then he realizes he just can’t keep on staying still and he tries to follow looking back at Gabriella. He feels like he can’t move an inch, like everyone is watching him, like he’s making a fool of himself and...

Suddenly Sawyer spins his partner and comes next to him and a hand is briefly on the small of his back as he whispers in Jack’s ear, low enough only for him to hear. “Doc, ain’t no one lookin’ at you. Loosen up and shake that uptight ass of yours. I danced waltz too and it ain’t half as fun as this.”

It’s not like this is exactly fun either, Jack thinks as he desperately tries to imagine that there’s no one else around him (even if Sawyer does have a point, he doubts people would be watching him of everyone); he casts a look on his left and when he sees that there are two or three couples dancing at the center of the platform with others either cheering up or doing their own thing without many attention, he feels a bit relieved. Or at least reassured that there’s no danger of people turned in their direction. He turns back to Gabriella as Sawyer leaves his side, smiles at her, tells her he isn’t really that good at this but then she answers she doesn’t mind and he resolves on just mirroring what she’s doing.

Thankfully the rhythm Michael and company have set that song at slows down, but it doesn’t last much; they break out into some frantic version of Chicken Reel and God, Jack never really liked that much but right now he ended up with his hands on her waist and her eyes are closed and he can’t run as he’s desperately wishing. And then, the fun thing is that it’s enough to make his resolution fall. He just lets her lead, tries to mirror her movements, just goes along with it; once in a while he turns and takes a look at Sawyer in order to see what he’s doing (surely not letting the girl lead, but that was a given) and he doesn’t know why his heart skips a beat as he sees Sawyer smiling a bit in approval as he turns on his side before sending his partner on some mad swinging, earning them the spot in the centre of the platform. Good for him, like hell Jack is going to try something like it. He just focuses on what he can manage and it looks like it’s enough since she looks pretty happy and isn’t complaining.

When it’s over, Sawyer just comes closer to him, his hands on his knees.

“You know, you ain’t half bad at this. As long as you don’t think ‘bout what you’re doin’.”

“Isn’t that grand. And so what?”

“So it happens that I think you should have another round. Have fun and move your uptight ass, won’t you?” he says, winking at him first and at Gabriella next, before the music starts again and he picks a new partner almost on random. What a smartass, Jack thinks as he can hear some country tune starting up; not too fast, thankfully. Jack figures there isn’t a way out of this and goes with the flow; and if once in a while he ends up looking in Sawyer’s direction instead of his partner’s, he decides it’s because he needs to see what he does, even if it mostly feels like an excuse. For what, he can’t say.

--

The morning after he’s woken up by Michael calling for Walt who was playing with some other kids around the corner and his feet are hurting. Dammit, he needs to get back at Sawyer for yesterday evening.

--

The next couple of days are pretty uneventful. Michael has some job at a farm near there and Sawyer just hangs around camp; in theory he should be keeping an eye on the kid for Michael, but it had become clear in an hour or so that Walt didn’t really need anyone to keep an eye on him and he’s pretty much always in sight anyway. So you could usually find Sawyer near Desmond’s chosen place of the day. He told Jack that while he liked Dickens alright he could do without the effort and especially without having to wear those glasses. Jack kind of hopes that Penny would be quick, though; David Copperfield is seemingly a great success and at the rate Desmond is going, he’ll be finished in three days if his voice doesn’t give out before.

Jack just does his job along with the regular doctor who is only too glad to use some help. It’s not until two days later when Rose goes to search for him saying that there’s this blonde woman from Utah that wants to talk to him, and then Sawyer thinks that things are finally starting to become exciting.

Penny is in Bernard’s office alright, dressed with a pretty suit made of a white skirt and shirt, her hair nicely combed, her cheeks flushing red and her hands kind of shaking.

“God, I don’t know why I feel like this. I just... I just feel so nervous and...”

Sawyer just comes near and puts a hand lightly on her shoulder, flashing her a small grin.

“Don’t you worry. Now we’re bringin’ you there, you’ll hear someplace near the very end of David Copperfield and there’ll be your guy. He doesn’t know anything, by the way.”

“He doesn’t?”

“’Course not. Now that’d have ruined the fun, wouldn’t it?”

Penny shakes her head as she smiles and follows them outside. And there’s the usual crowd around Desmond, who looks seemingly at some pivotal point.

'Dearest Agnes! Whom I so respect and honour - whom I so devotedly love! When I came here today, I thought that nothin’ could have wrested this confession from me. I thought I could have kept it in my bosom all our lives, till we were old. But, Agnes, if I have indeed any new-born hope that I may ever call you somethin’ more than Sister, widely different from Sister! -'

Her tears fell fast; but they were not like those she had lately shed, and I saw my hope brighten in them
.”

At that point, Sawyer thought he could feel some women cheering up and some other sniffing. He’s not exactly pleased with himself here; he has missed the last bunch of chapters so he doesn’t have an idea of what’s going on, but he can feel Penny tense behind him; he turns just a bit and sees her eyes getting teary.

'I went away, dear Agnes, lovin’ you. I stayed away, lovin’ you. I returned home, lovin’ you!'

'I am so blest, Trotwood - my heart is so overcharged - but there is one thing I must say.'

'Dearest, what?'

She laid her gentle hands upon my shoulders, and looked calmly in my face.

'Do you know, yet, what it is?'

'I am afraid to speculate on what it is. Tell me, my dear.'

'I have loved you all my life!'

O, we were happy, we were happy! Our tears were not for the trials (hers so much the greater) through which we had come to be thus, but for the rapture of being thus, never to be divided more!


“Oh, that’s it. Let me pass.”

Sawyer then grins and makes place for her and Jack does, too; she starts running towards the crowd and Sawyer sees her almost tripping once or twice, the skirt not so white anymore as her feet raise a bit of dust from the soil that soils it, but then she shouts Desmond as her voice breaks and he stops blathering about David and Agnes walking in the fields in the winter evening as the book falls from his hands over the ground and he sees her nearer and nearer among the crowd, now openly crying. Sawyer doesn’t need to see her face because he’s sure that the smile on Desmond’s mirrors hers right now.

He and Jack come closer, he figures the Doc doesn’t want to miss it just now; Desmond literally jumps down from his small platform (which consisted in just a poor number of boxes piled up one on another and consequently tumbles down raising even more dust) and comes very close to hitting the ground in the process, but then he just stands up again leaving the book laying unnoticed, for Sawyer to pick up before someone ruins it. They meet pretty much halfway; whoever was there had understood that there was something major going on and people left them space.

They stop for a couple of seconds then before even touching, both of them blinking like they really can’t believe what they’re seeing.

“Penny... is that... is that really you...? How...”

His voice is shaking with disbelief while he reaches forwards and clasps her hand in his before bringing her closer, the other arm around her waist, while her hands suddenly go to his face, touching every bit of skin she can feel beneath her fingers.

“Your... your two friends behind you. They met me in Salt Lake City, put two and two together and called me when they found you here.”

Desmond then turns to the both of them; Jack is standing there just unable to stop grinning, while Sawyer calmly turns the book into his hands.

“Whose idea was it not to tell me first?”

“His,” they reply at the same time; and it definitely makes a good part of the crowd laugh.

“Damn, they totally ruined it,” he says as he turns back to her again, his voice low again.

“And why?”

“’Cause I spent years sayin’ I’d have been the one to find you and then you’re the one findin’ me.”

Penny laughs as she still cries without being able to stop and then his tears come, too.

“Well, you’d rather not have it?”

“Are you mad?”

Then he’s picking her up and half swirling her around before he finally kisses her and she buries her hand in his hair; then the crowd breaks into a wild applause, Sawyer figures it’s also because it’s not every day that you get to witness some happy ending. They keep on kissing as he slowly lowers her back to the ground, his hands just clenching her waist and her shoulders. The kiss breaks then, but it lasts for a second before she kisses him again and again. Sawyer isn’t aware of something salty and wet falling from his eye before he tastes it. Fuck. He just hadn’t even...

“Woah, so you’re crying, too?”

“Am not...”

He stops because he has turned to look at Jack, who is desperately trying to wipe tears away as he passes his hand all over his face without being able to stop them.

“Fuck, yeah. Am, too.”

He just doesn’t bother denying it anymore. Wouldn’t do no good and hey, at least they’re two.

He realizes this is the first time he really had cried since Cassidy. He realizes that for the first time in a while he’s really feeling this hole somewhere inside him and realizes that it won’t get filled with a couple visits in a whorehouse.

He just doesn’t mind for now. He watches those two still groping and kissing and being all over each other as he tells her something like he’ll be damned if he ever lets her out of his sight again and yeah, his tears are still mostly happy ones.

Jack doesn’t really have a problem with crying in public. He doesn’t like it and he doesn’t feel comfortable when it happens, but trying to stop it because of some idiotic pride whatsoever has always ended up making him look more like a fool than else, so he just lets it be. Especially because last time he cried in front of someone was in some pub near Reno three days after Sarah left on that train and he was drunk out of his mind. It wasn’t exactly nice, not really. Now... it feels nice to watch them. And he’s aware that for a split second he felt something very close to jealousy stirring inside him because he once thought he had something similar and it lasted two months, following with eight years of disillusion and ending with his heart in pieces. But it’s gone in a second and then he’s just happy for them. He just is. He wishes he had some of that for himself again, even if he highly doubts that he will. At least, not soon.

Then he realizes that he and Sawyer are standing just next to each other and suddenly there’s an arm behind his neck and a hand on his shoulder and Jack freezes for a second as he realizes how good it feels. He doesn’t mind and asks something along the lines of well, didn’t we do a fucking good job here?, and it feels even better when the answer is fuck yes, we did.

TBC
 
 
feeling: excitedexcited
on rotation: jesus doesn't want me for a sunbeam - nirvana
 
 
 
elliotsmelliot: Sawyer dimpleselliotsmelliot on March 6th, 2009 03:42 am (UTC)
Ah sniff. This is almost over. I love what you added to this section. There is a new tenderness to their interactions that I think really works as a great reminder of where they’ve been and where their going.

They get off the train maybe three or four hours later; they don’t say anything in that frame of time even if their hands hadn’t really moved, but it’s fine enough. Jack figures that sometimes silence speaks for itself; it feels like something has shifted within them, but it’s a positive shift.

I really like this passage. It’s the type of gesture you could pretend to ignore as you are trying to figure it out.

The cries of Waaaaallllllttt never get old! And yay for the Desmond/Penny reunion. I love how she pushed her way through the crowd.

I liked the addition of Gabriella! You did a great job describing the dancing. You could just imaging all the toe tapping fun. Good luck wrapping up your edits on the last part. Congratulations on getting through this challenging chapter. Sometimes it just takes 13 parts to get to where you’re going!
the female ghost of tom joad: lost sawyer guitarjanie_tangerine on March 6th, 2009 10:48 am (UTC)
It is almost over indeed! Well, now I just need to go editing some stuff for the last one but then that's it. Ha, I'm kind of sad to see it go actually, I can't believe I've started it five months ago.

Waaaalt does never get old indeed! I don't know what is with me and Walt but lately I've been wanting him in whenever I could manage. Even if I guess that here his patience with Michael is kind of worn out already. ;) And the Des/Penny reunion was mandatory! Or at least I decided it was.

Glad that you liked the changes in there! And that one could see the dancing because I always think it's the kind of thing I can't describe for my own good. Also, Gabriella was probably the only woman that was with Jack who I kind of liked so I figured I'd go with her. Thanks so much, I'm really glad you enjoyed it! And thanks for the good wishes with the last edit, I hope to get it done this evening or tomorrow.
Janice: mattjaydblu on March 6th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
Then suddenly Sawyer’s hand is on his shoulder and Jack doesn’t even think about shrugging it away; it feels good, pretty much, and he doesn’t feel up to renounce it. He surprises himself when his own hand ends up on Sawyer’s knee but he isn’t shrugged away either and he keeps it there.
Oh, and the subtle touching begins. :)

Rose and Bernard, yay!

Desmond is still down there, saying fine another one, but last chapter for today; Jack had personally found Dickens pretty boring when he read some book of his ages ago, but maybe it’s because he had to read it himself.
Personally, Dickens bores me too, but I believe I could listen to Desmond read the whole book with no problem! I can see how people would be enthralled with someone reading to them.

LOL at Michael and Waaalt. :D

The Desmond and Penny reunion was beautiful and...epic. I could almost hear the dramatic music swirling around them in my head.

I loved the description of the dancing though, how awkward Jack was, and how he was telling himself he was watching Sawyer for technique (when we totally know better, amiright?). I have really enjoyed reading this series, and knowing the end chapter is coming is good/bad...the fact that it may be a little porny is a total bonus.
the female ghost of tom joad: lost jack **janie_tangerine on March 7th, 2009 10:57 am (UTC)
Subtle touching indeed! It will get better than subtle though, I swear! ;)

Rose and Bernard win at life, I had to have them in.

Dickens is the most boring writer ever. I started at least five of his books and the best I came was half of the Pickwick Papers, but I never could finish one. Of course if Des reads it to me I'm not complaining at all!

Waaaaaalt! ;) I just couldn't not. ;) ;)

Oh, good that the reunion had the epic feeling to it! I was kinda aiming for it so good to hear that.

Sure that we know better. Like hell he was just wanting to see the technique, I'm not writing het here! Well, okay, I'm still technically gen but it's changing in a veeery short while. I'm actually editing the porn on the last one so I definitely hope you enjoy it when I post it (which would be later today I hope), thank you so much!! ♥
faran1078: crushfaran1078 on March 11th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
"Jack doesn’t really have a problem with crying in public." NFK - It's become the standard LOST drinking game!

Love the WAAAAAAALLLLLLLT! So funny.

When Jack went for the phone I really thought you were going to have the Des/Penny phone call. Heck, you could even have skewed the timeline so that it was Christmas Eve. Though I guess that timing would have been awkward for the Sawyer/Jack part of the story as that could easily have lead to...MORE on their part.
the female ghost of tom joad: lost des/penny searcherjanie_tangerine on March 11th, 2009 08:46 pm (UTC)
LOL, Lost drinking game indeed! Even if I don't mind Jack crying. Hell, I identify most times.

Ha, I wish I could have made it on Christmas Eve! But if I wanted those other two to hook up in the spring I couldn't skip one entire year. No, I was going for the full reunion... you know, has effect. ;) Glad you liked it! And Walt is always good comic relief!
alemyrddin: Jack Sawyer hugalemyrddin on March 18th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
awww, what a beautiful reunion!
I am crying too. :)

Sawyer encouraging Jack to have fun was so sweet, too. :)
the female ghost of tom joad: lost jack/sawyer ♥janie_tangerine on March 18th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked that! I couldn't not. I mean, it was in canon, I have it too. It's a question of principle.

Ha, glad you liked that bit, thanks!