Summary: Jack wasn’t wrong. Sawyer hates shopping. Especially on the day before Christmas Eve, surrounded by screaming children and pushy mothers and just way, way to many people in general.
Disclaimer: I do not own Lost. At all. I wish but alas...
Author's Note: It's been two months since I updated this fic. That fills me with shame. :( However, I have had a lot of work to do, what with the end of school, and the thousand other fics that I have in the works, so...better late than never? Lame, yes. But it's all I've got. I'm using this part for philosophy_20, prompt #20: reflection.
Previous Parts: Part One | Part Two | Part Three
Part Four: Wednesday
Jack wasn’t wrong. Sawyer hates shopping. Especially on the day before Christmas Eve, surrounded by screaming children and pushy mothers and just way, way to many people in general. He almost throws in the towel and goes home three separate times, every time telling himself that he promised Jack he’d do this, that if he didn’t, Jack would (no matter what Sawyer said to him) and Jack didn’t need this. He had enough to worry about already.
He’s got half the stuff on Jack’s list already. Charlie, Aaron, Hurley, and Sun are the only people left, and Sawyer can barely read Jack’s chickenscratch writing. He squints and looks at if from different angles, but it isn’t doing any good. He sighs, irritated, and pulls out his phone.
It rings three times before he gets an answer.
“Claire, I’m in a fuckin’ department store two days before Christmas. I’m surrounded by kids and I’m goin’ out of my mind,” Sawyer stammers. “Help me.”
Claire laughs and Sawyer can swear he hears her give him a tolerant sigh. He’s heard it before – out of Jack – and finds it’s just as annoying now. “How?”
“I don’t know what the hell I’m doing,” Sawyer confides.
“Of course you don’t, you’re in a department store two days before Christmas,” she replies, giggling a little.
“It ain’t funny,” he replies, gruffly, embarrassed.
“Come pick me up, I’ll help you,” Claire promises. Her tone sounds very much like one that a mother takes with a small child, and though Sawyer objects to that, he keeps his mouth shut.
Jack jerks awake to the sound of a ringing phone. He looks around, disoriented, and runs his palm over his face. He’s on the couch, he notices, and a moment ago he had been sleeping. He can’t remember falling asleep.
The phone is shrill and it he can’t stand the sound of it so he grabs it quickly. “Hello?” he says, his voice deep. He sounds exhausted.
“Hey dude. I wake you up?”
Jack sighs. “No,” he lies, and Hurley sort of laughs like he knows. But he doesn’t call him on it, and Jack is grateful for that. He can barely force himself to explain what he’s going through to Sawyer. Doing it with anyone else, at this point, feels like it would be impossible.
“Sure. So, how’re you doin’?”
“You called to ask me how I was doing?” Jack asks, skeptically. He leans forward on the couch and runs his hand over his face in exhaustion.
There’s a momentary pause on Hurley’s part. “I heard about your mom,” he replies. “That sucks, man, I’m sorry.”
Jack nods stiffly. “Yeah, thanks.” He doesn’t sound thankful, but he doubts that Hurley expects him too. No one expects much of him now – not his colleagues, not Sawyer – so he wonders why he can’t stop going a mile a minute and why he’s crashing so hard despite it.
“Claire and I were talkin’, and if you guys wanna cancel Christmas at your place, we all totally understand.”
“I appreciate the thought, but you guys don’t have to do that,” Jack assures. “Sawyer’s out finishing the Christmas shopping, so he’d probably be pretty pissed if everyone cancelled.”
“Sawyer’s shopping? Whoa, dude, how’d you get him to do that?” Hurley asks. “Wait. Maybe I don’t wanna know the answer to that.”
Jack laughs, his first genuine laugh in what feels like months, but is probably, in actuality, just a few days. He shakes his head and leans forward on the couch. “He offered,” Jack says.
“Oh.” Hurley sounds surprised. He doesn’t blame him. Sawyer shopping is still a foreign concept to him, even though he knows he’s out there somewhere, among all the last-minute shoppers and their screaming children, doing just that. “Well, anyway, alright then man, if you’re sure.”
Jack nods. “Yeah, I’m sure. It’ll…help.”
“Cool, then I’ll see you Friday. And tell Sawyer to childproof the outlets. Julio likes forks.”
Jack smiles. “I will,” Jack replies. “Thanks for calling, Hurley.”
“No problem, man. I’ve been there, you know?” Hurley’s voice gets far away then, and Jack understands, feels on the same page with someone, yet again. Hurley had taken his mother’s death hard. It didn’t seem fair, surviving a plane crash and being rescued as quickly as they had, only for him to come how and find that his mother had passed on while he was away. But Libby had been there to help him through it, and everyone else had tried too.
“Yeah,” Jack replied, nodding his head. “Yeah, I know.”
“See ya, dude.”
Jack had fallen asleep, again, by the time that Sawyer got home. He finds him, laying limply on the couch, the phone and a stack of papers across from him on the coffee table. Sawyer sets the bags in his hands down and flips through the stack. The flowers, the casket, everything is there. Jack had taken care of it all. Now all that needs to be done is the funeral itself. He sighed and shook his head, setting the papers back down.
Jack looks exhausted, even in his sleep. The lines in his face are deeper and more pronounced. Despite the fact that he slept in late and was two steps away from needing a good nap when Sawyer had left, it looked as though none of that had been nearly enough.
Casting a glance toward the bags he had just brought home, Sawyer thinks now is as good a time as any to get some wrapping done. He had hoped that they would be able to do it together, like the tree, but he had known, even at the time, that it wasn’t likely to happen that way. Jack would either still have work to do or be exhausted by the work he had done. And he was.
With a sigh, Sawyer starts toward the opposite end of the room. He is pulled back, gently but insistently, by a hand that was suddenly inside his. Looking down, he sees Jack, blinking slowly and smiling steadily.
“Hi,” he says.
“Hey,” Sawyer replies, sitting down on the edge of the couch as Jack makes room for him. “How’re you feelin’?”
“Tired,” Jack answers with a yawn, leaning up against the couch’s arm. “I got everything done, though.”
“Yeah, I saw,” Sawyer replies with a smile. “You should go back to sleep.”
Jack just shakes his head, looking around the living room and seeing the bags Sawyer had brought home. His smile grows and he turns it back on Sawyer. “You finished it,” he says, proudly.
Sawyer ducks his head. “Wish I could take all the credit, but I had a lotta help.”
“Your sister,” Sawyer replied. “I was goin’ outta my mind, tryin’ to do all that on my own.” He looks down at Jack and shakes his head from side to side. “I don’t know how you do this Jack.”
“Do what?” Jack questioned, sitting up a bit straighter.
“All of it. The bills, the shopping, the cleaning,” he gestures to Jack’s pile of paperwork on the coffee table. “…that. All I do is lay around the house all day, sleep, and read.”
“I don’t mind doing those things, Sawyer,” Jack replies.
“Oh, that’s BS,” Sawyer answers. “No one wants to do the bills or the laundry. They do it ‘cause they’ve got no other choice.”
Jack lets out a heavy sigh and wishes that he had kept his mouth shut. This was not what Jack needed right now. “I think you just answered your own question, Sawyer,” Jack tells him. Sawyer sighs back and nods.
“You can ask for my help, you know,” he says.
“I did yesterday, didn’t I?”
“Yeah,” Sawyer nods. “Yeah, you did.”
“Why is it,” Jack says, sitting up slowly and with a great deal of effort. “that I always get an argument from you before I get a kiss?” Sawyer smiled and shook his head.
“Just a habit, I guess,” he says, leaning forward and placing a small kiss on Jack’s lips. “So, you gonna help me wrap, or just lay there like a lazy ass?”
“Like you did with the tree?” Jack replied, smirking a bit.
“Like you could just sit back and supervise if you tried,” Sawyer replied, with a smirk of his very own. Jack supposed he should take offense, or roll his eyes, or something, but Sawyer was right, and he was too tired, so he just shrugged.
“Will you at least help me up?” Jack asked, his muscles feeling weak, aching just a little bit. Sawyer stood and held out his hand, gripping Jack’s forearm as Jack gripped his and pulled him to his feet. Jack gave a small grunt of pain and Sawyer eyed him, concerned.
“You alright?” he asked.
Jack nodded, a little too fast, but then shrugged again. “My back’s kind of stiff,” he replied. “Guess that’s what I get for falling asleep on the couch, huh?” Sawyer shrugged back, smiling a little as he kneaded Jack’s lower back with his hand and watched his head roll forward.
“Thanks,” he said.
Sawyer smiled, shrugging. “No problem. Now, you gonna help me or what?”