a/n: Sorry for the super slow update. I got back from a vacation in July, and I was really worn out from that (it was more like a conference). I'll try to update again this week!
Again, thank you so much for the reviews. I appreciate every one of them. Please keep them up!
Disclaimer: Unfamiliar; mine. Familiar; not mine.
"So, what are we going to find first, Mr. Sawyer?" Walt asked, trotting along beside the red-neck.
"I don't know..." Sawyer knocked on a tree four times, his head tilted to the side thoughtfully. "Oh yeah; five paces..."
"I think we should find the candy bar last," Walt continued undauntedly. "It'll get all melty out in this heat."
"Listen." Sawyer put out an arm, stopping Walt from walking forward. "We're going to go to a very secret place. I don't want you to tell anyone how to get here."
"Don't worry, I won't." The kid put his hand over his heart. "I'm so good at keeping secrets. Once Billie Bob Jones beat me up because he wanted me to tell him a secret about my best-friend, but I didn't tell him 'cause I'm so good at keeping secrets. And then-"
Sawyer interrupted him. "Good, because if you tell anyone, I'll make sure you won't be sharing any more of my secrets."
Walt smiled. "Okay, Mr. Sawyer! Now where is it that we're going?"
Sawyer grinned. "My Secret Stash, son." They had stopped in front of a large rock that sat upon a conspicuous looking make-shift board (Walt suspected that Sawyer had nailed together planks of wood that were, for some reason, on the plane). Sawyer pushed the rock aside and pulled open the board. They were faced with a metal safe. Sawyer mumbled under his breath as he spun the lock, sighing when he heard a satisfying click. He pulled open the door.
Walt gasped. "Wow Mr. Sawyer! We have everything here that we need! Passports, candy, hats, shoes..." He frowned. "It's too bad that the passport and shoe can't belong to us."
"Passports ain't mine, kiddo." Sawyer flipped through one with a reluctant scowl. "Hate to give this one up, but oh well. It isn't like there aren't more where this came from." He shoved it in his pocket.
"We can't use those shoes, Mr. Sawyer."
Sawyer shot him a glare. "And why not?"
"Because the shoe can't belong to us." Walt crossed his arms.
"Like I said, Snoopy, the shoe doesn't belong to me, it doesn't belong to you. I found it on the beach when we got here." He picked up the ratty loafer. "This one will do just fine."
"No. It belongs to you now, so we can't use it."
Sawyer stood, towering over Walt. "We're going to use thi-"
But before he could finish, the shoe burst into flame.
"Holy Mother of- Gracious!" He dropped it, standing back.
Walt's eyes narrowed cryptically. "I told you," he growled in a low voice, "we're not using that shoe."
Sawyer nodded. "Uh- sure, yeah, whatever you want. Let me grab the candy and hat while we're here..."
Meanwhile, back in Forever Land...
"Yay!" Michael Jack's Son clapped his hands. "I win! Want to play again?"
"Er- not really." Sayid pretended to look thoughtful, then snapped his fingers. "I have an idea Michael! An idea for a really fun game."
"Come on, dude, spill!"
Sayid leaned forward. "Have you ever heard of a game called Simon Says?"
"Of course. I used to play it with my polar bear, Janet, God bless her, all the time. It was her favorite game." He dabbed at his eyes with his lacey fuchsia handkerchief. "Anyway, continue."
"Well, I was thinking that we could play this for a while."
"Sure! How about I be Simon first?"
Sayid grimaced. "Um, I was thinking that I could go first-"
"All right, cool. Now..." Michael stood. "Simon says, get out of your chair."
"Simon says-- do jumping jacks!"
Sayid started jumping.
"Simon says- stop!"
Sayid stopped with a sigh.
"Simon says-- pull on your ears."
Sayid couldn't help but think that another plan had failed.
Meanwhile, back on the beach...
"Here, this is a good spot." Charlie set his towel down in the shade, Claire, Hurley, Sun, and Shannon following suit. "Pretty soon the contestants will be out here, scavengering!"
Claire clapped her hands. "Oh, it's so exciting, isn't it, Sun? Oh wait- you don't know English." She winked.
"Look!" Shannon pointed. "Here they come!"
At that moment, Boone, Michael and Jack appeared over the horizon. Jack had a backpack slung over his shoulder, Michael walking beside him.
"Hey." Jack stopped beside them, smiling. "How's it going?"
"Dude, you so deserved extra points during the first task." Hurley shook his head. "You were robbed."
"Well, that's life." His eyes rested on Charlie. "Listen, would you mind doing me a favor?"
Charlie smiled, feeling important. "Sure, anything to help!"
"Can I have your hat?"
His face fell. He put one hand on his head protectively. "Actually, I can do anything but that..."
Michael ran over. "Charlie, am I glad to see you! Hey, can we borrow your hat?"
Charlie frowned. "I was just telling Jack that my hat is not for borrowing..."
Shannon scowled. "Just give them the hat. Maybe they'll even autograph it for us."
"No one is getting my hat!"
While they all debated, Hurley merely plucked the hat off of Charlie's head and handed it to Michael.
They all fell silent.
Jack snorted. "Um, Charlie- your, your hair..."
Charlie pulled the hood of his jacket up over his head. "Yeah, I know, I'm bald. Now get back to your search. You're running out of time."
Michael squinted at him, pulling the hood down. "How did that happen?"
Claire gasped. "Oh, did that lotion make your hair fall out?"
Hurley struggled not to laugh. "What lotion?"
"For dry skin," Claire happily informed him. "Did you know that 75 percent of a man's dry skin is on his scalp?"
Jack scratched his head. "I don't remember hearing that at med school..."
"It's a fairly new statistic," Charlie grumbled. He stood. "I'll be right back..."
He wandered off in the jungle, muttering about 'baldness' and 'receding hairlines', when he felt someone tap him on the back.
It was Boone. "I couldn't help noticing your hair problem."
"What do you want?" Charlie sneered.
Boone smiled wryly. "What would you say if I could help you get your hair back?"
"I'm not in to those get-hair-quick-schemes," Charlie explained patiently. "My Uncle tried that once. His whole head was blue. It still is. So I'll just wait for it to grow back on its own, thank you very much."
"No, for real." Boone glanced about him, then reached into his pocket. "What if I could help it grow back by magic?"
Charlie chewed on the inside of his cheek for a moment. "Are you insane?"
"No, really." Boone put the pebble in the palm of his hand. "I want to have an ice cream cone, for free."
An ice cream appeared in his hand. In a cone, by the way.
"Goodness! Are you saying that could help my hair grow back!"
"Exactly. But there's something I want you to do for me first..."