Summary: The day Sawyer moved in they had a fight.
Disclaimer: I don't own Lost. At all. I wish, but alas...
Author's Note: For Queen halfdutch, who asked for fights and makeups. Used for philosophy_20, prompt #9: orientation.
The day Sawyer moved in they had a fight. Sawyer started it and immediately regretted it because Jack was the one that stormed out. He grabbed a jacket, said he was going for a walk, and slammed the door behind him.
Sitting in the house, surrounded by boxes of his crap, alone, gave Sawyer time to think. Jack was making room for him in his life, why was Sawyer making it so hard for him? Sawyer wanted this, he had for months. He was tired of having to come so far across town to see Jack, of going home to an empty apartment, or having all of his stuff miles and miles away when he stayed the night at Jack’s place.
All he knew was that something in him snapped when he started to put his books on Jack’s shelves. Jack’s books were all hard cover, bound in leather, dusty. They looked like they hadn’t been touched in years. They lined up, perfectly, in a row. The spines of all of Sawyer’s books were cracked, more than a few of the covers were covered in little rips and tears. He even had one book that was in two pieces held together by a rubber band.
Standing in front of that pristine bookcase, holding his old, worn books in his hand had made him feel so small, so inadequate next to Jack and his possessions. So he had picked a fight and pushed Jack away because he hated being vulnerable.
But he hated the look on Jack’s face when he attacked him without provocation more. He hated how dejected and sad and confused Jack looked. There was no way Sawyer could explain it to him in the moment, so he just remained silent. That was when Jack had left, when Sawyer had thrown the broken book in his hand at the wall and it had split in two yet again.
Maybe this is why he had waited so long to accept Jack’s invitation to move in. Maybe some small part of him knew that he would do something like this, that he would give Jack ample reason to regret that invitation. Sawyer wasn’t sure he knew how to live with someone. It was easier when he was pretending, when he knew he had an exit.
With Jack, he didn’t have that, he didn’t want that. It complicated things, not being able to think short term. He knew that he was being silly, that it didn’t matter to Jack in the least that Sawyer’s old, worn books would be sitting next to his pristine ones. Nothing could have mattered less to Jack. But it mattered to Sawyer, and he hated that.
For as long as he could remember, he had been measuring himself against Jack. Within their relationship, that fact took on a whole new meaning. He no longer compared himself to Jack himself, but to the kind of person that Jack deserved. He felt inadequate, and he was terrified of losing Jack because he couldn’t be perfect, because he couldn’t erase what thirty years of mistrust and pain and anger had done to him.
He couldn’t give Jack a relationship where he didn’t pick a fight over a bookshelf.
Sawyer looked up and Jack was standing in the doorway, outside, staring timidly at Sawyer. It made him sigh and shake his head, but eventually smile half-heartedly and say, “Hey.”
When Jack seemed sure he wasn’t going to be drawn into another fight he didn’t understand, he walked inside, shut the door behind him, and sat next to Sawyer on the couch. He folded his hands in his lap and looked down at them. Sawyer did the same.
“So, would you mind telling me what that was about?” Jack asked. Sawyer looked over at Jack, who continued his staring contest with his hands.
“That was me, freakin’ out,” he answered. Jack nodded, slowly.
“Yeah, I noticed that,” he replied, and Sawyer smirked a little. It was nice to know that he was rubbing off on Jack just a little, that the man was actually capable of loosening up enough to be a smart ass in the middle of a serious conversation.
“Look, I know it’s stupid, but before today, I never noticed how things are around here,” Sawyer went on. Jack turns to face him, confused. “It’s like you live in a fuckin’ museum, Jack. And all my stuff is old and dirty and…it just don’t fit.”
Jack shook his head. “I don’t care about that,” he said, adamantly. Sawyer nodded.
“Yeah, I know you don’t,” he answered. “But I do. I feel like I don’t belong here, like I don’t fit here. So, I picked a fight and tried to shove you away.” Jack sighed and lowered his head again. Jack didn’t deal well with things like this. He knew there was no way he could fix this situation, that time would be the only thing that would make it better. And Sawyer knew that too. He knew that, eventually, his stuff wouldn’t stick out so much, that some day, it would feel like their house instead of Jack’s house.
The trick was getting along until then.
“I just want you to be comfortable here,” Jack told him, reaching over to hold Sawyer’s hand. “I don’t care if our books don’t match, or if your stuff looks nothing like mine. And I know, eventually, you won’t either.”
Sawyer nodded and squeezed Jack’s hand. “I hope you’re right, doc.”
“Will you just do me a favor?”
“Next time, just tell me that instead of trying to push me away.”
Sawyer smiled a kind of half-smile, full of irony. If that wasn’t just indicative of Sawyer’s whole problem. He wasn’t sure he could give Jack that, or anything else that they needed to make this thing between them work. He wasn’t sure of much, but he was sure that he meant it when he replied, “Well, I’ll sure as hell try.”