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11 December 2009 @ 12:41 am
devil's arcade - interlude II  
September 25th, 1943, Messina

The ship rocks under his feet and Sawyer can’t really fucking believe that it’s named Boone. The hell. Surely His Prettiness, who’s on board with mostly everyone from the infirmary even if it’s not exactly usual (but for some reason they’re with them instead of with the Red Cross ship, not that for Sawyer it changes anything), is being very smug about it. Whatever. He stands by the rail, looking at the sea beneath him; it’s such a deep and transparent blue. He figures that all the legends he’s heard about the Italian sea must be true. He takes the folded piece of paper out of his pocket and reads it again, not that he doesn’t know it by heart. It starts with dear Mr. Sawyer just as that goddamn book in his pack ends with the broken flower drooped over Ben's fist and his eyes were empty and blue and serene again as cornice and facade flowed smoothly once more from left to right, post and tree, window and doorway and signboard each in its ordered place.

“You don’t look much excited.”

“Ain’t you just fucking everywhere, Doc?” Sawyer answers, without turning to face Jack. He knows that he’ll be next to him in a minute anyway. “And nope, I ain’t. I mean, what, now we go to Naples, then we start doing our job again and if everything goes right I get to see Rome and if it goes wrong I’m bein’ shipped to Tennessee and since, as you probably gathered, my family’s pretty much dead, no one’s gonna even know that I don’t ever want to be buried there.”

Jack nods and doesn’t say anything. Sawyer is kind of thankful.

“And where would you want to be buried anyway?”

“What does make you think I’m gonna tell you?”

“Because you don’t have many other options?”

Well, that’s true. And it’s not like he and Jack are friends, far from that, but it’s also true that it’s the closest he has been to anyone in the last twenty years or so. He had forced himself to get sort of close in this last month, since it was clear that Jack knew. In the beginning it was because he wanted to make sure he wasn’t going to get arrested anytime soon, but then it just sort of stuck. Anyway, Sawyer had totally not planned on telling that to Jack of everyone. Whatever. Maybe telling someone what exactly he wants to be done with his body might not be that bad of an idea, especially because if he doesn’t then he’ll just be found out the second they check his records and if he’s lucky he’ll end with only a preacher at his funeral. Not that he thinks he’d give a damn if he was dead, but still.

“Well, I don’t even want to go back there anyway. Just pull a pyre together. Wherever is as good as any.”

He won’t tell Jack that any place is worth as much as one other because there isn’t one that has felt like where he belongs for ages, but he has already told enough.

Jack nods. Sawyer looks back at the piece of paper. He puts it back in his pocket, then thinks about it again for a second. He lets out a small huff and takes the decision. He pulls it out for the last time, rips it in a couple of pieces and throws it overboard. He leaves Jack standing there and he doesn’t see eyes following him until he disappears below the deck.

--

Desmond doesn’t need to ask Charlie why is it that he finds the whole situation funny. He hasn’t been still a second and while Desmond has been trying to at least enjoy the scenery (because the scenery is kind of worth looking at at least) he’ll just move and pace and start laughing at random and it’s becoming kind of unnerving.

“Will you get over the fact that there are at least eight counties named Boone in the bloody US?” he asks.

“And why would you inform me of that, Des?”

“Because you’re way too cheerful for someone who’s still goin’ to war and that’s the only reason you might have to be amused?”

“Mate, I think you should really loosen up a bit,” Charlie answers shrugging before leaving, and Desmond is pretty sure he’s heading towards the infirmary.

Whatever. He doesn’t even feel like standing outside anymore. He gets back to the area where the bunks are, not surprised at all to find that Sayid is the only person laying on his.

For some reason he feels relieved to see him. There’s something about the fact that Sayid is just there and doesn’t usually talk much that makes him feel comfortable. Maybe because Desmond isn’t really one for talking himself.

“It’s been a year,” he randomly says at one point after he sits on his own bunk, which is the one across Sayid’s. “Almost, at least. Well, depends.”

Sayid nods, staring in the distance before turning towards Desmond.

“It has.”

“What d’you say now? Last time we talked strategy, you got it right.”

“I cannot really say much. Last time we were about to fight, this time we’re don’t even have our orders and won’t anytime soon. Or at least that’s my feeling.”

“Well, brother, you’ve got a point. Can I ask you a question? Personal?”

Desmond doesn’t even know why he suddenly wants to know what he’s about to ask, but Sayid just shrugs and nods, his frame leaning against the rail with such grace that Desmond doesn’t speak for a handful of seconds just because he’s too busy observing.

“What’re you gonna do if you get out of this alive?”

Sayid lets out a small laugh and looks ahead.

“That’s a question. I don’t know. I really don’t. The man who recruited me told me that if I came willingly I could keep my place in this army if I wished so, or that they would help me settle wherever I chose. I have never thought about it much. Sincerely, I am alive and uninjured. It’s much more than I was hoping for. And you?”

“Same place as you are. I mean, my family’s all gone and I doubt that my town even exists anymore. What a pair, huh?”

Sayid lets out another small laugh and Desmond feels somewhat alright for maybe five seconds.

“So,” he asks after a while, “Do you know anything about Naples?”

--

“So, mate, y’know anything bout Naples?”

When Boone merely rolls his eyes, sitting on an empty infirmary bed, Charlie thinks it’s an improvement from when he rolled his eyes and told Charlie to just fuck off.

“What makes you think that I’d know anything about it?” comes for an answer, and Charlie is bloody glad that they’re on a ship without wounded people and that they’re just hanging around the place doing nothing. You don’t usually find Boone Carlyle doing nothing, and if he isn’t doing nothing he won’t let you sit down. Or at least Charlie found it out the day he was declared fit to go back to camp and since Charlie had had the great idea to ask him if he just couldn’t hang around another day, he had ended up dressing wounds. Any sane person would have fled.

Point is, Charlie kind of likes the bloke. See, it’s not like he doesn’t love his mates, he does, the ones that are still alive, of course (and he has to thank Desmond for being in that number, he figures), but he sort of needs to check out, once in a while. Mostly because he thinks that he’s not really cut for this, even if it’s not like he actually wanted to go; and not being cut for this makes him fear that if he doesn’t check out as frequently as he can (meaning, hanging out with someone who isn’t a soldier and who will talk about mundane stuff, or as mundane as it gets here, if you get the drill) it’ll really get to him and he doesn’t want it to. The only thing he wants is for it to be over and get back home for good (and not for two months or whatever; he has this idea that if he sees England in the distance he might just disappear somewhere, even some wood full of bears would do, and that’s just not something he needs to be thinking about) and if he avoids going nuts in the meanwhile, well, that’d be just the deal.

Meanwhile, point is that Des is usually sodding gloomy most of the time, Sayid doesn’t have a subject that isn’t war to talk about, Sawyer sort of scares him sometimes and while the others are just alright, if his alternative is stalking someone who will make him unload bloody plasma in order to have a random talk that doesn’t concern Hitler, strategies or how everyone misses home and their wife and their kids, well, he’ll unload plasma and dress wounds and whatever.

Also, Boone stopped being snippy with him after one month and it’s been almost a year since he woke up on a hospital bed with a wound in his side and enormous blue eyes staring down at him and saying to fucking not move, so he probably doesn’t mind him too much.

“Because you knew where bloody Francofonte was,” Charlie answers realizing that he’s totally butchering the pronounciation. Thankfully there’s no one around with enough of an Italian background to cringe.

“Point taken. Well, it’s pretty huge, probably what your Sawyer friend over there would call civilized by his standard, it’s supposed to be a sight for sore eyes but I doubt it’ll be that of everything, the food used to be excellent and the weather is usually lovely. I suppose. Satisfied?”

Boone smirks at him, full pink lips curving for a second. He looks like he’s having fun. Charlie can live with that.

“For a start, I reckon it could do. Uh, can I ask you something?”

Boone shrugs.

“You’ve been ‘round here since before Pearl Harbor, haven’t you?”

“Nope. Month after.”

“What the hell makes you do that? I mean, I guess that when they draft you they do, but...”

“Let’s say that while I am honored to serve my country in any way... I’d really rather save someone’s life than killing them. And anyway I was training for this back home. And sorry, man, I really wouldn’t wanna be at your place.”

Charlie nods, figuring it’s honest enough; it’s not like he actually wants to be at his place, too, but hey. He got drafted and that was it. And Christ, he’d have never thought that he could miss Manchester this much. He shakes his head.

“And your sister, she serves the country too?”

“Guess she does. She’s good at what she does, right? I still don’t get why did they have to complain about it. It’s not like if she ends up in Tunisia or whatever she won’t start doing that again.”

“You’re actually okay with that?”

Boone shrugs again and Charlie realizes that they’re the only two not smoking, at least around.

“Why not? I mean, she’s a ballet dancer, well, usually. She said she’d do this, well, the dancing thing and the Red Cross thing, it happened that she ended up where I am, end of story. Her choice is the same as mine. Not that anyone at home is happy with the both of us, but whatever. And if she wants to show her legs, well, her business.”

And right, fine, Boone doesn’t exactly strike Charlie as the, you know, religious fundamentalist kind, but still. It’s his sister and a month ago all of the troop has seen the whole of her legs and probably that was the least of it; but if he doesn’t mind, then Charlie won’t be the one to mind for him. And actually, he was in second row and there was something about Shannon’s legs, indeed, long and tan and...

Charlie shakes his head. Bloody hell, having only his hand for company all this time is starting to get old. Apparently. Not to mention that in theory she was with one of the Red Cross recreation units which provided mostly books and clothes and stuff; the... entertaining part wasn’t exactly included in the deal. Right, she eventually went also because someone made her understand that said entertaining part couldn’t go on for long. Oh, whatever, as soon as he gets a leave he’s asking around. He’s pretty sure he could solve the whole only-his-hand-for-company deal in Naples without much of an effort.

Right.

He tries to change topic.

“So what do you think? I mean, how long do you think we have left? Before it’s over?”

“You do realize that I’m the last person you should ask that? Charlie, my job is sewing people up when your medical officer can’t. Ask someone who knows what he’s talking about.”

“Well, I’d like to hear your opinion.”

“And the only thing that I can tell you is that in one year we’ll be right where we are. I mean. From the way things are I don’t think it’s over. Not by a long shot I mean. But that’s what I know. Right? And anyway, if we really need to stay here doing nothing, at least stop asking me questions you know I can’t answer.”

“Mate, seems to me like you don’t mind too much.”

“Yeah, you wish,” Boone mutters, but his voice is fond for maybe a second and Charlie gets a proof that Boone doesn’t really mind in the next two hours, since he never tells him to just fuck off for good.

Part IV
 
 
feeling: okayokay
 
 
 
Shonatoestastegood on December 20th, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC)
♥ Charlie and Boone are so adorable! This part makes me want to smoosh the pair of them together. I can't remember if I've mentioned it before or not, but I really like the way you've got Desmond always saving Charlie's life. It's very canon-like!
the female ghost of tom joad: lost boone/charliejanie_tangerine on December 21st, 2009 12:32 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you! :DD well, I kind of wanted to make them both adorable, they were sort of my only possible pairing because the other two are way too seriousbusiness. ;) And I think you did mention that but I'm still very glad that you liked that, thank you! :D