Summary: Sawyer watches her for three days. He watches her fish with Jin and laugh with Kate and look after Aaron for Claire. The first day, he wonders why he’s doing it, swears at himself inside of his mind to stop it. He doesn’t sleep that night.
Disclaimer: I don't own Lost. At all. I wish, but alas...
Author's Note: For zelda_zee, who’s interest in reading this scenario renewed my interest in writing it, and also inthekeyofd, with whom I had a conversation many weeks ago that ended up influencing this fic quite a lot. Used for psych_30, prompt #28: Free Association.
Previous Part: Part One
Sawyer watches her for three days. He watches her fish with Jin and laugh with Kate and look after Aaron for Claire. The first day, he wonders why he’s doing it, swears at himself inside of his mind to stop it. He doesn’t sleep that night.
The second day, he realizes that he’s obsessing, that he’s watching Sun because he’s working up the nerve to look at her, really look at her, and think about what he had done, what he wants to do next. He doesn’t sleep that night either.
Halfway through the third day, he thinks that it’s the right time, that he can actually look her in the eyes and say it. It wouldn’t be easy, but he could do it. But she was never alone. There was never a good time, when she was off by herself and he could have her attention.
So he waits, and he watches, and he tries to make the nauseous feeling in his gut subside. In his mind, all he can see now is himself carrying Sun, bloody and unconscious, back toward camp. He replays that day over and over in his mind and wonders if the speed at which he had run was a conscious decision on his part. He guesses not. He didn't even remember that he had done it until he had actually stopped and thought about that day.
Contrary to what some people tended to think, it wasn’t something that Sawyer looked back on with any pride. He didn’t want the guns, but he needed them. And that need, that selfishness on his part, had brought him to this place, struggling to find the simple words that would go so far in making amends to the woman that he had wronged.
He doesn’t sleep the third night either, and it puts him on edge, certainly not an edge he’d like to be on, seeing as, on the fourth day, Sun leaves on the path to her garden, alone.
But it’s the right time, and he has to go. He has to follow her, and he has to say it, because if he waits any longer, he probably won’t. He wonders how it has come to this, why he’s making his way across the jungle right this minute when this set of circumstances has given him the perfect opportunity to push Sun’s friendship away, to make her think the worst of him like he has done so many before her. But he wants to apologize, he wants to repair the damage that he had done, and it’s an altogether unfamiliar feeling.
Standing on the edge of Sun’s garden, pretty well hidden behind a row of bushes, he curses at himself to keep moving, to get it over with, like ripping off a band aid. But he can’t move, and his gut is twisting in knots. He peeks over the shrubbery a few times, watching her sit on a patch of fresh dirt and begin to make small holes in the earth.
He admires the balls it took for her to come back to this place, and the smile on her face while she works makes it clear that his actions, Charlie’s actions, haven’t tainted the place forever. She still enjoys being in her garden, and that’s good. It’s good that she hasn’t let what happened to her change the person that she is, or the things that bring her joy. He envies that.
With a sigh, he pushes his way through the bushes. She glances up, gives him a small smile, then returns her attention to her work, as if he’s any other passer by come to check on her or the garden.
“Hey,” he says, awkwardly, after a long silence.
“Hello,” she replies, pleasantly but distractedly as well. He sighs and looks down at the top of her head. Even here, he doesn’t have her attention. So, he sits down, grabs himself a patch of dirt and faces her, watches her until she looks up, until her hands stop moving and she sits back as well.
“It wasn’t about the guns, you know,” he tells her, looking away. He finds a patch of dirt and focuses on it. He hasn’t told anyone this, and finds it ironic that she’s the one he’s going to make his confession to. It makes sense, he thinks. It feels right. “Just like it wasn’t about you.”
“The guns made sense, as I made sense?” she questions.
“It ain’t that,” he says, with a shake of his head. “It ain’t that I wanted them. But if you’ve got what people need, they need you.”
“You wanted to be needed?” she asks. He looks up at her, and finds her face soft, questioning. There isn’t judgment there, or pity, just a need to understand, to have things clear. He hates saying this words, hates thinking these things, but he started this, with her, and he means to finish it.
“Hatin’ me kept them back, made ‘em think I was dangerous,” he explains. “Which was good. You can’t get attached to people if they hate your guts. But if they need you…they gotta talk to you, be around you. That’s what it was about. I didn’t have my stash, so…I needed to make a new one.”
“I was an afterthought, wasn’t I?” she says, and he looks away again. His face falls, and he feels like she’s just slapped him again. It might have been less painful if she had. “The fear I lived in all that time, the danger I believed I was in, we all were in…you didn’t think of any of that, did you?”
He takes a deep breath. “Not at the time, no,” he tells her. “I ain’t defendin’ what I did.”
“And I am not trying to hurt you,” she replies. He looks up again. She doesn’t look angry, or upset. Her face is still soft even though her words are sharp. “I only mean for you to understand what your actions have done to me. No matter what you had done, I never believed you would harm me, and I never distrusted you. My physical wounds have healed, and mean very little to me. But betrayal…I am finding harder to deal with.”
“Can’t you just hit me again?” Sawyer asks her, practically begs. He's almost desperate for it.
“ ‘Cause it’d be a whole hell of a lot easier to deal with than this.”
“I would worry if this were easy for you, Sawyer,” she tells him. “I do not believe that it is supposed to be. I think that, up until this point, you have been able to run from the things you have done, that you have been able to put them out of your mind. Something is stopping you from doing that now, and that should show you the kind of person that you are.” He shakes his head and rests it in his hands. She sighs back. “Do you know why I allowed you the time you asked for?”
“No,” Sawyer admits.
“Because I believed that we would be sitting here, having this conversation. I believed you were being honest with me when we spoke in your tent four days ago, just as I believe you are being honest with me now.”
“That’s a pretty damn good way to get disappointed,” he tells her.
“I suppose,” she replies. “But the fact that you are here, beginning to make amends for the last time you disappointed me speaks for itself.”
He looks up then, finds her eyes, still as soft as ever, and he lets out a long sigh. “I’m sorry, Sun,” he tells her. “I am.”
She nods. “And I believe that as well.”
Not knowing what to say, he keeps his mouth shut. Sun’s faith in him, in his word, unnerves him. He doesn’t know how to process it, what to do with the knowledge, but it doesn’t seem as though he has much other choice than to accept it. If anyone believed in him, he would want it to be her.
“So…” he says, after a long while. “Are we okay?”
She shrugs. “No. But we will be.”
“Yeah,” he replies, nodding, understanding. Sun wasn't the type to hold a grudge if she didn't have to, but she was far from an idiot, and while his apology was a start, it erased nothing. Only time would do that. “What happens now?”
She smiles. “Hand me one of those bulbs?” she asks. He looks around himself, trying to find what she was look for and coming up empty. She laughs. “To your left.” He finds them, laying right by his left thigh, and hands one to her. She puts it into one of the holes in front of her and covers it over with a pile of dirt.
He hands her another and another, until the sun is setting. They watch it for a while before she says, “I apologize as well.”
His head jerks to the side. “What the hell for?” he asks.
“What I said to you, about the diamonds,” she tells him. “I said because I was angry. I said what I said to hurt you.” He screws up his face at her, and she goes on. “I had my suspicions, about your stash, about your reasons for being so protective of it. I said what I said to you because I wanted you to feel as though the things you had to offer were worthless, like those diamonds.” He turns back to the sunset and lets out a sigh.
“I do not believe that,” she tells him. “But I knew that you would.”
“You don’t gotta apologize for that,” he tells her. “You had every right to be pissed at me, to say whatever the hell you wanted. The two, they don’t even compare.”
“You’re wrong,” she says. “I exploited your view of yourself the way that you exploited my physical weakness. I reinforced it. It was not fair, and I accepted your apology, so please accept mine.”
Sawyer sighs, but nods. “Yeah. Yeah, okay,” he replies.
She nods back. “See. That wasn’t too painful, was it?”
“Depends on who you’re talkin’ to,” he replies, almost under his breath. She shakes her head at him, in a way that says that though she is gained some understanding of him this evening, there are still things about him that she will never be able to wrap her mind around. He thinks there's a odd sort of comfort in that.
“It’s getting dark,” she tells him. “We should return to the beach.”
“Yeah,” he replies, standing and holding out his hand for her. She looks up at him for a second before taking hold of his forearm and letting him pull her to her feet. “We ain’t okay now, but we’re gonna be.” She blinks at him a few times. “Right?”
She smiles, and marvels at how small he looks to her now, how vulnerable. He was not the kind of man that she would expect to ask for reassurance. Then again, he was not the kind of man she would have expected to respect her opinions or desire her friendship. He wasn’t the kind of man that anyone thought he was, or the kind of man he believed himself to be, at all.
“Yes,” she tells him, assures him. “We will be.”
He nods back, with a slight smile, before he ducks his head and pulls back a few of the bushes that obscure the path back to the beach from view. She smiles and walks past him, slowing down when she notices that he’s trying to walk behind her. She forces him to stand at her side, even though it’s clear to her that he doesn’t think he should, and when they return to the beach, she stops beside his tent and says goodnight before going on up the beach to where Jin is sitting, waiting for her. She feels his eyes on her back all the way.
“Are you alright?” Jin asks her when he sees her. She looks down at him, sitting in front of their tent, and smiles, nods.
“Yes,” she tells him, sitting down between his legs and leaning back against his chest. He wraps his arms around her waist and rests his chin on her shoulder. She looks up the beach to where Sawyer sits outside his tent, pulling his glasses on and opening up his book. She nods again. “Yes.”