by Lar

Strange how often they meet up, the two of them, no matter how big the island really is.

Sawyer goes to fill his supply of water bottles and Jack is there. "Twenty four hours in a day, doc, you need to be here right now?" Sawyer asks him, shaking his hair out of his face.

"Do you?" Jack replies, not bothering to look.

"Next time I'll book an appointment," Sawyer says, standing up and hefting the bag of full bottles to his good shoulder.

"There's an opening in May."

He's not sure, but he thinks the doc is laughing at him.


Sawyer shows up at the lean-to that covers the community fruit pile. Seems like some folks can't contain their need to grab up enough to share. Makes life easier for people like Sawyer who are free of that burden. He picks up some of the softer ones, ready to eat, then reaches for a few of the harder, greener pieces to put away for later. Always be prepared, that's what the Boy Scouts say. Sawyer might not have a single badge to his name but he recognizes the sense in some things.

He's putting the last piece into his sack when he hears the voice behind him. "That's for everyone."

"Brilliant observation. I can see why you got voted president." Sawyer turns around, fingers closed around the softest piece, cupping it in his palm. "News bulletin, doc. I'm part of everyone."

"You're part," Jack says, leaning over to look at the sack of fruit Sawyer clutches. He stares, stands up, close enough for Sawyer to count the sleep-wrinkles still on the side of Jack's face. They run up to his eye, down to his ear. Sawyer wonders if Jack slept with his hand there, then shakes the thought away as Jack continues to stare at him with that broody expression on his face. "That's a lot of fruit for one person."

"You see a line? They givin' out numbers?" Sawyer gestures to all the empty sand behind him, behind Jack. Far back, along the line of surf that breaks on the beach, Jin is walking with the fishing nets in his hand. "You want me to share with you?" he adds, smirking and making the deep dimple in his cheek flash.

Jack's expression flickers, eyes widening just enough for Sawyer to see the moment of openly telegraphed something there before it's gone again. The mask was barely raised for the space of an eye-blink but the stare is back with a new degree of intensity. Sawyer's smile edges up, his tongue licks over his bottom lip as he watches Jack watch him right back.

"No," Jack says slowly after far too long a pause. "I don't want you to share with me. Could drop some off to Claire though, since you're headed that way."

Sawyer holds Jack's gaze as long as the man will let him, but Jack looks away, hand rubbed over the back of his neck as he does it. Sawyer chuckles, pulls out the piece of fruit that's warmed to his hand, presses it against Jack's chest as he leans in close enough to almost whisper in Jack's ear.

"You and me oughta play poker some time, doc. Because you can't bluff for shit."

Jack's hand catches the fruit as Sawyer lets go of it, his head swiveling to follow Sawyer's progress back down to the beach. Sawyer doesn't look back, but he knows Jack's watching. He grins to himself, takes his time, lets the doc have himself a good long stare.


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