Summary: Sawyer always knew that there would be drawbacks when Jack accepted the Chief of Surgery position. He was barely home as it was, and with his new job, Sawyer knew he would be home even less.
Disclaimer: I do not own Lost. At all. I wish but alas...
Author's Note: Used for philosophy_20, prompt #7: both sides.
Sawyer always knew that there would be drawbacks when Jack accepted the Chief of Surgery position. He was barely home as it was, and with his new job, Sawyer knew he would be home even less. But his prepared arguments had died a quick death when he had seen how excited Jack was. So, he plastered on a fake smile, gave Jack a hug, and pretended to be happy for him.
He was, really, deep down, underneath the loneliness and the boredom. It was a great opportunity for Jack, one he had worked hard for, and Sawyer was happy for him. But he had to admit, when he woke up alone more often than not, when nothing on television managed to grab his attention, when he wished to God that he had someone to talk to, he missed Jack enough to bring it up, all of it.
After a few weeks of going back and forth inside of his mind, Sawyer finally managed to think of a suitable compromise. When Jack came home – late – that night, Sawyer laid it out for him.
“Jack,” he snapped. The man in question looked up, startled. Sawyer scowled at him. “You ain’t listenin’ to a word I’m sayin’, are you?”
“I’m listening to you, Sawyer,” Jack assured. Sawyer rolled his eyes and grabbed Jack’s paperwork right out from under him, crushing and crinkling it more than a little in his fist. Jack made no move to grab it back, but glared petulantly at Sawyer nonetheless.
“Then you won’t mind if I take this,” Sawyer said, holding up the crumpled paper before tossing it onto the coffee table behind him. “In case you haven’t noticed, this ain’t the hospital.”
“You have my undivided attention, Sawyer, okay?” Jack held up his hands in surrender, trying to deflect Sawyer’s (confusing) anger by ignoring it outright. Sawyer sighed and ran a hand through his hair, sitting on the couch and folding his hands.
“You’ve been workin’ a lot,” Sawyer began. Jack’s stomach clenched involuntarily and his body tensed. He couldn’t count the number of time that Sarah had said those very words to him. He had brushed her off and it had cost him dearly. He couldn’t imagine the pain he would feel if he repeated the pattern with Sawyer, if his neglect drove Sawyer into someone else’s arms the way it had Sarah. He had just barely survived the first time, but he loved Sawyer in a way he could never have loved Sarah, and that was what made him sure that losing him was not something that he would be able to get over.
“And I ain’t been handlin’ it too well,” Sawyer went on, and Jack shook himself out of his reverie. He wanted to pay close attention to every word that Sawyer was saying. “I get bored and restless,” he went on, with a sigh. “I miss you, alright? I’m tired of never seein’ you.”
“Sawyer-” Jack tried to interrupt, but he was nearly instantly shut down.
“Don’t, Jack. I get you love your job. You’re fuckin’ amazing at it. I ain’t mad at you for it, I just miss havin’ you around. So, I came up with an idea.” Jack nodded, slowly, a little confused, but more than willing to follow Sawyer’s train of thought where ever it went.
“I’m thinkin’, once or twice a week, you could make use of that lunch hour of yours and all your new disposable income, and take me out to lunch,” Sawyer suggested. A smile was almost instantly on Jack’s face, and it spread steadily. He ran a hand over the back of his neck and leaned forward.
“You mean a date?” he joked, grinning.
He had expected a protest out of Sawyer, but it never came. Instead, he just shrugged. “Sure,” he replied. “Ain’t exactly like I’ve got other plans lined up. And you can’t tell me you like leavin’ at the ass crack of dawn and comin’ home after I’m asleep.”
Jack sighed and shook his head. “No,” he said. “I can’t.”
“Well, then, what do you say? Can you spared a couple of hours a week for me?”
The reply in Jack’s head was far too trite, to sappy to force out of his mouth, so he smiled, crossed the room, and sat next to Sawyer on the couch. “My lunch hour is two hours long,” he told Sawyer. “You free tomorrow?”
“Well, I’ll have to pencil you in between sittin’ on my ass and watchin’ whatever crap’s on TV, but I think I can make it,” Sawyer replied.
“I understand you’re busy,” Jack joked, smirking and he felt Sawyer’s hand on his knee.
“I’m ain’t ever too busy for you,” Sawyer replied, leaning forward and pressing his lips to Jack’s in a short, wet kiss.
“Sawyer?” Jack said, holding onto the hand on his knee tightly. Sawyer looked up at him and raised an eyebrow. “Neither am I.”
The corner of Sawyer’s lip quirked up in a second-long smirk, before he ducked his head and nodded. When he looked back up, his eyes found the piece of paper he had made a mess of. He sighed.
“You need to be gettin’ back to that?” he asked, preparing himself for Jack to break the contact, to burry himself in his work once more, and crawl out from under it sometime around two. It had happened many a time before.
But Jack shook his had and smiled back at Sawyer. “In case you haven’t noticed,” he said. “This isn’t the hospital.”
Sawyer smiled back and looked around at their living room in faux amazement. “Well, would you look at that.”
Ever since then, they’ve had a standing lunch date at a Chinese restaurant that they both loved about a block away from the hospital. Jack took long lunches some days, often coming back to work late, and was amazed to find that he really didn’t care.
It started out as two days a week, then three, until it was every day. Jack gossiped about annoying interns and confided whatever nonconfidential information he could about various interesting patients. Sawyer talked about a new bookstore he found or the way he made the telemarketer who woke him up at noon cry.
The lunches, Jack found, rescued him from the mundane or the chaotic. They gave him time to see Sawyer, to hear about his day, no matter how boring. They reconnected them, allowed them to fall in love all over again.
It was never like this with Sarah. He had never put forth the effort and neither had she. She had never suggested they spent his lunch hours together. She’d never brought him a picnic dinner in his office at one in the morning because he couldn't get away and she knew he hadn't eaten all day.
That had been his job. He was the one that should have done the work, tried to bridge the gap, fixed the relationship through grit and determination and all on his own. Sarah wanted a hero, to pick her up rather than help her stand on her own. She wanted him to give her the perfect marriage, the perfect relationship, and when he couldn’t, she ran away.
Sawyer didn’t want a hero. He wanted a partner. He wanted someone who knew when to help and when to back off, and Jack had learned, over time mind you, how to be that someone. He hadn’t fixed the rift in their relationship alone, and Sawyer had never expected him to. They had done it together. It was better, Jack thought. It was much better this way.
“What’s yours say?” Sawyer asked. Jack looked up, confused, and Sawyer gestured to his fortune cookie. He’d forgotten all about it. Leaning forward, he grabbed the cookie in his hand, quickly breaking it in half. The slip of paper caught on the cookie and ripped a bit, but Jack eventually got it free, relatively undamaged. He unfolded it and smiled, shaking his head.
“What?” Sawyer chuckled. Jack shook his head again and handed the slip of paper to Sawyer.
You will find good fortune in love.
“Huh,” Sawyer replied, with a small smile, and tossed the paper onto the table, taking a drink of his beer. “How much time you got left?”
Jack checked his watch. “Forty five minutes.”
“Dessert?” Sawyer offered.
Jack smiled. “I’d love to.”