Summary: It starts out simple, harmless even. She laughs at jokes he makes that no one else will laugh at, not even Kate. Then she makes a few that he laughs back at.
Disclaimer: I do not own Lost. At all. I wish but alas...
Author's Note: Thanks to holycitygirl, who wrote Alex/Sawyer first and pretty much made me want to try it too. :D I didn't know how to write this pairing without feeling creepy, so can we all agree amongst ourselves that, for the purpose of such fics, Alex is a few years older than canon tells us she is? Cool. This fic also won 'Best Het Fic' in the July round of voting at lost_fic_awards.
It starts out simple, harmless even. She laughs at jokes he makes that no one else will laugh at, not even Kate. Then she makes a few that he laughs back at. It could have been respect – because nothing got that from Sawyer quicker than a challenge, than refusing to take his particular brand of crap – or even a tenuous kind of friendship.
That was how it started. Where it ended up, well, that was another place entirely. It blindsides her, because she never would have seen it coming. It was like seeing Jack with Juliet for the first time, wondering what he was doing with her of all people. Even though it was seemingly innocent, her blood had boiled. But she had been even more taken aback when she had watched, unseen, across the camp as Alex had snuck off into the jungle, and Sawyer had followed ten minutes later, looking up one side of the beach and down the other before taking off in a slight jog.
Kate didn’t know what to make of it, and she didn’t know what made her follow them, ducking behind trees and bushes as she followed their path maybe a minute or two behind. She didn’t know what she was going to see, but she just knew that she had to see it, that she had to know.
“You wanna tell me why in the hell you dragged me all the way out here?” Sawyer asked, annoyed. But it wasn’t tinged with his usual belligerence, but genuine confusion. Kate pushed a branch out of her line of vision and she could see them, standing a few hundred feet away in a clearing. Sawyer had his arms crossed over his chest, and Alex’s back was to him. Slinging her backpack off of her shoulder, she crouched down to the ground and began to rummage through it. Sawyer just watched her.
“Because I don’t want your girlfriend to beat me up,” Alex replied without looking up. Sawyer sighed and shook his head.
“She ain’t my girlfriend,” Sawyer answers, and Kate thinks there’s a bit of sadness in his voice. But it’s mostly tinged with bitterness and maybe a little bit of indignation. Thinking objectively, she realizes that none of those emotions would be unwarranted. But her first thoughts aren't irrational. They're angry and ugly and she bites back on them, telling herself that she has no right to be either.
Alex turns around and rolls her eyes. She has something in her hands. It’s square and small and Kate can’t tell exactly what it is from far away. She moves a few inches closer, carefully, and pushes a few more branches out of the way.
“What about your boyfriend? Ain’t he gonna be missin’ you?”
“So let me get this straight,” she said, crossing her arms over her chest and staring at him defiantly. “You’re angry that Kate isn’t your girlfriend and you’re jealous of Karl.”
Sawyer’s jaw tightened. “I ain’t jealous of that kid,” he says, tightly.
“Yeah, you don’t look it,” she replied disbelievingly. She sat on the ground then, with her back against a tree and looked up at him. “Are we really going to do this again?”
He sighed and shook his head, ran a hand over the back of his neck and shook his head again. “Stop tryin’ to piss me off, then,” he said, almost under his breath.
“You first,” she replied. “I figure we’ve got about an hour and a half before Karl comes looking for me, so we can keep arguing, or…” She held up whatever is in her hand and shakes it at him. He sighed, but nodded in agreement, crouching down and shoving her backpack out of the way.
Kate looked away then, and for some reason her mind flashed back six years, to the first time she had seen Tom with his wife. She had been in town, just there to check up on him and make sure that he was okay, and there they were, walking out of her mother’s diner hand-in-hand. She’d backed her car into the truck behind her before taking off for the state line as fast as she could.
She didn’t know what kept her feet rooted in place this time. Maybe it was a morbid curiosity, a faint trace of anger and jealousy that Sawyer had turned to someone else to give him things that she couldn’t. Or maybe it was that she didn’t hear what she expected to hear.
“You’ve gotta be kiddin’ me,” she heard Sawyer say, followed by a hearty, disbelieving laugh. She opened her eyes then, turned back to see Sawyer sitting in between Alex’s legs with his back against her chest. He was holding a book in his hands, and Kate guessed that was what she had seen Alex holding. He looked over his shoulder at her, looked up into her eyes with a smile as he reclined back against her. She smiled back.
“I thought it was appropriate,” she replied.
“I think I should be insulted at that,” he told her.
“Probably,” she said. “We’ll go with ‘it’s a classic’ instead. Sound good?”
He hands the book back to her with a look that is shortly belayed by a small smile. “Just read the book,” he answered. She just smirked in reply, opening the book. He leaned back against her a little bit closer, a little bit tighter.
“Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov,” she read the title page, then turned it, began reading the book to him as he tucked his head back against her shoulder and rested his hands on top of her bent knees, like she was a comfortable old chair he could easily relax into. He listened to her read intently, hung on every word that came out of her mouth, and whether that was due to the words themselves or due to Alex, she had no idea. She thought it was probably both.
She finally left somewhere after the first page. She wasn’t exactly sure when because she wasn’t paying attention anymore. She barely registered returning to the beach, didn’t know where she was going until she was standing in front of Sawyer's tent, staring at it. She sighed and shook her head, sat down in the chair outside and let her head fall into her hands.