[music| I Lost It - Kenny Chesney]
Pairing: James "Sawyer" Ford x Shannon Rutherford
Theme set: Beta
Rating: PG-13; is dark and angsty and angry and basically Sawyer/Shannon, yo.
Summary: Not your Harlequin love story, from beginning to end. Fifty sentences about Sawyer/Shannon for 1sentence
Notes: Is very strongly AU, and the themes are rearranged to be in roughly chronological order, and did I mention dark? But I enjoyed it.
He would never, ever tell Doctor Hero and Captain Falafel that he was at least as worried about poor Sticks as they were.
He watched her from behind orange-tinted sunglasses; she was laughing with Mohammed again, and he wished things could be different.
When she took Vincent for a walk down the beach, she saw him sprawled in front of his tent; he gave her a lascivious look and she pulled her shawl tighter around her shoulders and walked faster.
He dropped a book on her towel, saying, "You should always work on expanding your horizon, Sticks," and walked off; when she picked it up to look at it, it was a battered copy of Wicked: The Life And Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.
Walt found a package of party balloons in somebody's suitcase and coaxed Shannon into blowing them up with him; they played catch on the beach and Sawyer pretended not to watch them.
She found a chocolate bar placed carefully on top of her bags—not cheap airline chocolate, but the good stuff, dark and rich and sweet—and spent the rest of the night wondering why he'd give her something when he insisted on bartering with everyone else, because who else would have good chocolate?
Before the crash, she never would have pegged him as a bibliophile; he'd never have guessed that she cursed in French when she was genuinely pissed.
He was flirting with Kate again, and Shannon pretended she wasn't at all jealous, but thought to herself what a waste it was.
He jumped off the cliff into the lake and reveled in the shock of going from hot to icy cold; it killed all the thoughts that persisted in making him wonder if he'd developed an obsessive disorder.
It felt like a betrayal when she elected to stay neutral in the war against Jack for authority.
08. Whiskey and rum
"I know you've got alcohol, Sawyer," she said, standing in his light so he couldn't read, "And I'll trade you a kiss for a bottle."
A tall, angry blonde bitching him out and then kissing him fiercely; hell, minus the polar bears, it was a birthday wish come true.
Shannon had learned at an early age that if you were sarcastic enough, nobody knew you were hurting but you; but Sawyer saw right through her defenses.
"Your virtues do not include good morals, Princess," he mocked her, ignoring the way her face fell a little bit more, "You're a con artist just like me."
She'd snarked at Jack for almost an hour about having been assigned hatch duty with Sawyer the Ass, but now he put on music and asked her to dance, and somehow she found herself agreeing.
They didn't agree on much, except for the fact that if they weren't stranded in the middle of nowhere, they wouldn't give each other a second look (or at least, not a third one).
He didn't daydream about marriage to her or kids with her or Life After The Island with her or any of that shit, he wasn't even sure he even knew what any of that meant.
Maybe it was a little sordid, maybe it was a little dirty, but Shannon was past caring because at least sex was something real and tangible.
Even when she was just repainting her nails and bitching at him, he thought it felt good to have her nearby.
"Sawyer, do you think I'm pretty?" she asked, and he said, "Sweetcheeks, you're the prettiest jewel on this godforsaken lump of rock."
On Craphole Island, there were no balconies, no long-stemmed roses, no fine wine, no aromatic candles; a romance novel it wasn't, and sometimes Shannon resented him for that.
"Princess, if you wanted somebody to sing you a love song, you should've gone after the VH-1 reject."
He wanted to be hated, and maybe that's why he bothered trying to keep her around, why he went so far as to share himself with her.
"Sticks and me don't need your freaking blessing, kid," he snarled, and stalked off, ignoring Boone's angry sputtering behind him.
It wasn't comfortable, it wasn't natural, it wasn't safe or fluffy or happy or affectionate or any of those other things Shannon had always vaguely associated with love, but it was them, and it worked—for the moment.
When he was mad at her, which was often, he called her a pest and a bitch and the bane of his existence; she kicked sand at him and went off to flirt with Jack or Sayid or Michael, all big eyes and sweet laughs.
He'd spent his whole damn life alone, so why did it hurt when she was avoiding him?
Sticks wasn't the best lay he ever had—although she was pretty damn good—but he wasn't sure he'd ever met anyone better at verbal jousting than her.
She learned how to tell how angry he was from the way he turned pages.
Sometimes she just wanted to hit him until he lost that stupid smirk.
Sun's eucalyptus wouldn't work because she couldn't calm down, so Sawyer knelt beside her and let her squeeze his hand 'til it might break until she could force herself to breathe again.
She cried when her favorite pink shawl got ripped and he didn't understand why, it was just a flimsy piece of cloth, and he told her that, but he coaxed Sunshine into mending it for her anyway.
"Do you wish I loved you?" she asked, and he answered, "Princess, even if I could have it I wouldn't want it."
Six months in he figured out that his Southern accent was working against him with her.
When Mamacita brokenly told him that Sticks was gone, that there was already a search party out looking for her but nobody had much hope, he stalked around the beach camp and broke everything he could find to break so that at least he wouldn't break himself.
It all-out hurt to know that she was out there somewhere in the Others' hands, maybe hurt, maybe dead, and why couldn't they understand that he just wanted to be alone?
He wasn't crying; his face was hard and angry and cold as he loaded a gun and told Doctor Hero, "They're gonna pay for taking Sticks."
When They asked her what belief was keeping her going, she stubbornly told Them that she believed that Sawyer would rescue her; it was a lie, and she figured They probably knew that, but she lied anyway.
They couldn't make the hike back to the beach before dark, so they elected to camp out in the jungle instead; Sawyer held Shannon tight, possessive, and watched the Others' camp burn.
She was silent for a week after they brought her back from the hostiles.
He hiked into the Heart of Darkness to bring her back, and all it got him was a broken, battered, silent Sticks who wouldn't banter with him or bitch at him.
"A hero, you're not," she said meanly, digging her toes into the ground; "Why don't you leave the rescuing of damsels in distress to Jack?"
She was maid of honor at Claire's makeshift wedding; Sawyer skipped it to sit in his shelter and sulk instead, and she spent the whole night fuming at him.
Three years on and their fights were still the stuff of Island legends, the monthly (or weekly or daily) entertainment.
"Don't you ever call me stupid or useless again, you self-righteous son of a bitch, or it's over for good and I will freaking castrate you—I don't care if you're screwing Kate, or if you're screwing Jack, or if you're stealing from me, or whatever, but don't you dare call me useless again."
Stay-Puft came over to offer his condolences on the break-up, or something, so Sawyer laid on the sarcasm and abuse as much as he could so that the Island Jester would leave him the hell alone.
She looked small and defenseless, sitting on his makeshift bed with her long legs drawn up to her chest, as she stared at him and asked if he'd really kissed Kate again; when he didn't deny it, she unfolded herself, said, "Then I quit," and walked out of the tent.
He decided that it had definitely been stupidity that made him kiss Freckles again and lose the best thing he ever had going for him.
She walks out of his tent and for the first time feels like she's really won, and she's really gone.
He watches her walk out of his tent and for the first time feels like he's really lost, and she's really gone.
- FIC: Liars (LOST)