Jack adjusted the sling around his arm and absentmindedly patted down the area of his head that was covered with gauze. He stood on a makeshift stage he had created- which was really just a small crate- and looked out at the crowd before him. He cleared his throat.
"First and foremost, I want to thank you all for coming."
"You brought us here!" A voice shouted from his unwillingly captive audience.
Yes, Jack had personally gathered all 41 survivors to hear his impending speech, but he had hoped they'd all forgotten that fact. Apparently not.
"This'll only take a minute," he went on. "Now, I'm sure you all know why you're here."
"You mind telling us?" Another anonymous voice yelled.
"Well, because of what happened today," Jack answered, simply. "With me and Hurley. I had to save his life and he fell on me. You're all probably a little worried about my well-being."
"How's Hurley?" Someone in the crowd asked.
"I'm fine," Jack went on. "Being that Hurley fell asleep while still on top of me, it took about an hour to get him off. It probably would've been less, but nobody stayed behind to help. Some even ran off laughing." He paused and scrutinized one particular person in the crowd. "Yes, I'm talking to you, Sawyer."
"In any event," Jack continued. "I'm fine...or a I will be. I've only got a few scrapes and bruises. And a concussion. And I can't see out of my right eye, but I'm sure–"
"Can we go now?" Someone else called out.
Jack opened his mouth to speak again but he was pushed off the crate by Sayid, who took his place on the small "stage."
"A lot of you have been worried about Charlie's thumb," he began. His few words managed to garner everyone's full attention immediately.
"Since we have no hope of getting off this island, I took all of the electronic devices that would otherwise have helped us and put them to use for a new thumb for Charlie. And yes, it is posable."
With his strongly-accented English, Sayid proceeded to show the crowd Charlie's new thumb. Everyone was deeply immersed in everything he said, and even a few sporadic "ooos" and "ahhhhs" could be heard.
Sawyer and Kate, however, were more interested in their bet. Or at least Kate was. She was eager to see Sawyer carry out his punishment. He looked like he was trying to avoid her at all costs, but she wouldn't let him out of her sight.
"I think now's as good a time as any," she whispered to him so as not to disrupt Sayid's speech.
Sawyer scowled and looked in Jack's direction briefly. He had retreated to the sidelines and was now watching Sayid speak from afar, careful not to stand under any trees.
"Well?" Kate asked, expectantly.
Although it was the last thing he wanted to do, Sawyer just wanted to get the whole thing over with. Kate was right- it was as good a time as any, since the crowd was so engrossed in Sayid's demonstration and no one would see him.
"Let's make this quick," he muttered.
Kate and Sawyer backed away from the crowd just as Shannon shoved Sayid out of the way and took his place. With a blood-curdling scream that was full of brattiness and self-importance she yelled, "Goddamn it, I'm Shannon Rutherford!" She took a moment to compose herself and then just as quickly as she'd taken the stage, she left it.
"You got a second, doc?" Sawyer asked as he approached Jack, his head bent low in shame.
Jack eyed him and Kate, who was at his side, suspiciously. "What is it?"
Sawyer sighed deeply, remembering the bet and how stupid he was for accepting them terms. "It's just that," he began, mustering the courage to look Jack in th eye. "I think it's really great that you saved Hurley."
Jack's suspicion was immediately heightened as soon as those words left Sawyer's lips. But then his overwhelming pride kicked in and he it made him forget that it was completely out of character for Sawyer to say any of that.
"You really think so, huh?" Jack beamed. Sawyer simply nodded, reluctantly. "Me too," Jack went on.
Sawyer wished this whole thing was over, but sadly, he knew it wasn't. And with Kate standing so close it made it even more difficult.
"When you saved him it made me realize that–"
He was cut off by Kate's overt coughing. He turned to see her and she tilted her head, obviously motioning for him to use his hand, like they'd discussed.
Sawyer's attitude worsened and he suddenly looked like he had a bad taste in his mouth. He very carefully took a step forward and reached for Jack's hand, holding it limply. Jack, surprisingly didn't pull back. He was apparently so stunned by the maneuver that he wanted to see the reasoning behind it.
Sawyer swallowed hard. "When you saved him it made me realize that...I...love you."
The words sounded so strange that it stunned the three of them to hear Sawyer say that. Sawyer dropped his hand quickly and turned around. He put his hand to his eyes in an attempt to hide how glassy they'd become because of the utter turmoil he was feeling inside. He turned to look at Kate who stayed silent but was obviously enjoying this way too much. Her lips were pressed together so tightly in an effort to keep her laughter from spilling out but her arched eyes betrayed her.
"You happy now?" Sawyer asked in a menacing tone that was enough to push Kate over the edge. She brought her hand to her mouth but it wasn't enough to keep her laughter sustained.
She couldn't catch her breath fast enough buts he still managed to mouth the word "yes," though it came out as more giggles.
Jack was confused but more than that, he was horrified. He knew he had a lot of admirers on the island but he never guessed one of them to be Sawyer. Mistaking the tears in his eyes for tears of love, Jack coughed to get both Kate and Sawyer's attention.
"Sawyer," he exclaimed, slowly. "I'm...shocked. And flattered."
Sawyer rolled his eyes, which had begun to clear up by now. His torment was nearly wiped away by the anger he felt at Kate's laughter.
"Really, I am," Jack continued. Sawyer was a good looking guy but he had to set things straight. "But if you love me because I saved Hurley's life, then you ought to know that I didn't save him."
Sawyer's ears perked up and Jack could visibly see the surprise on his face, though he mistook it for something else. "I know, I'd be the last person to admit I didn't save someone, but I assure you, I didn't. I just happened to break his fall."
Kate, who's overzealous laughter had caused her to double over and fall to her knees, suddenly stopped. She stood up, wiping the tears from her face and looked at Sawyer seriously. He looked as if he'd heard the best news of his life.
"You hear that, Freckles? Doctor Who here admits he didn't save the fat bastard after all!"
This was very good news for him. The bet was that if he lost- if Jack did indeed save Hurley's life- he'd have to take his hand, look him in the eye and tell him he loved him. If Kate lost, and Jack ididn't/I save him, Kate had to do the same thing to Sawyer, all in front of Jack.
"I heard," Kate grumbled through a clenched jaw. She had lost. Yet again. And now she had to pay the consequences. She walked over and grudgingly took Sawyer's hand in her own. Sawyer smiled and turned to look at Jack. "Listen to this," he said, before turning back to face Kate.
She inhaled deeply and looked him in the eye, almost taken aback by how intently he looked back.
"Sawyer," she began, her eyes unwavering. "You're the hottest guy on this island." The words were scripted, curtesy of Sawyer himself, yet he still looked pleasantly surprised hearing them. Especially since Kate was saying them so seriously.
"Much hotter than Jack," she went on. Both Sawyer and Kate were too in tuned to themselves to even notice how disheartened Jack had become. "Your dimples make me feel all hot and tingly inside and your nicknames are the most clever nicknames anyone can think of," she paused to take a breath. "And I love you."
Even though Kate had finished with her consequence and was now free to go as she pleased, she remained in front of Sawyer, seemingly mesmerized by his gaze.
"Your nicknames really are hot," Kate whispered, breathlessly.
"Yeah, they are," he replied through a smirk. "C'mere Pinocchio!" He pulled her swiftly into to a passionate kiss, breaking it only to announce to no one in particular, "because she's a pathological liar and I love her for it!" He went back to kissing her and Jack watched as they ravished each other, running their hands up and down their bodies and making wet squishy noises with their mouths.
Jack was stunned by the sudden turn of events and he couldn't just stand by as Sawyer made out with Kate. His Kate.
"Uh, you guys," he began, but it would take a lot more than that to get their attention.
"On the topic of 'I love yous'" he stammered, "Guess what Kate, I love you!"
"I've been in love with you since the moment I saw you!"
"For the love of G-d!" he shouted. "Will you two stop? I'm standing right here!"
A big bucket-o-nothing. It was time to pull out the big guns.
"SAWYER, I LOVE YOU!"
This abruptly cut the make out session short. In fact, this little outburst had caught everyone on the beach's attention. Jack was a little embarrassed but still delighted that they'd stopped making out. Unfortunately this lasted only several seconds since it didn't take long for Sawyer and Kate to get drawn to each other again.
She hooked her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist and he carried her off without breaking their kiss.
Jack could only stand back and watch, heartbroken, as his love went off with some other guy and the early whispers of his " bourgeoning homosexuality" started to fill the air.
Night befell the beach and all was quiet. The only sound that could be heard on this part of the sandy land was that of Kate's footsteps as she approached Jack. He was standing under a coconut tree, looking out at the dark ocean.
"Hi," she said, timidly. "How's it going?"
Jack looked at her out of the corner of his eye. "Everything's just peachy," he said bitterly. "You ran off with Sawyer right in front of me and the whole island thinks I'm gay."
"Jack," she said sympathetically. "There's nothing wrong with being gay."
"I'm not gay!" he spat back.
An awkward lull fell upon them until Kate spoke again. "Why don't you come join the rest of us by the fire? We're having boar. It's really good."
"I thought you were a vegetarian."
Kate froze. "I am."
"You've got a piece of meat on your chin."
Kate quickly wiped it away with the back of her hand and giggled weakly. "Ha ha. You got me."
Although seeing Kate so nervous and embarrassed usually lifted his spirits cuz it made her look vulnerable, like a damsel in distress, he still felt horrible.
"I'm not going anywhere," Jack said. "Not till this coconut falls on my head."
"Coconut?" Kate asked, looking up into the tree. She was surprised to see a single coconut dangling from it. "I thought we got them all."
"I let this one stay," Jack replied. "Just incase."
Kate looked at him in bewilderment. Jack's theory about coconuts were that they were tree bullets, liable to kill anyone who stood beneath them. She suddenly understood what he was doing there.
"Are you trying to kill yourself?" she asked, shocked.
"Yep," he replied frankly. "And don't try to talk me out of it, either."
Jack waited for her to try and talk him out of it. When she didn't, he continued talking.
"I'm not just gonna sit around and watch you and Sawyer make out."
"You don't have to worry about us."
He looked at her, hopeful. "So you two aren't together?"
"Oh, no, we totally just had sex," she explained. "but I mean, we won't do it in front of you or anything."
"Oh." Was that supposed to make him feel better? Because it didn't. Finally, with now that he didn't have a shred of dignity left, he asked, "Is there anything I can do to win you back?"
"Let me rephrase that. Is there anything I can do to stop you from having sex with Sawyer?"
"Probably not. Unless he suddenly goes impotent...or you cut off his tongue. You're not going to cut off his tongue, are you?"
She looked at him seriously, half-expecting that he just might cut off Sawyer's tongue. Jack decided not to answer her, half-planning to do just that.
"Jack, come on," she pleaded with him. "Step away from the tree." She tried to sound concerned but knew a coconut wouldn't so much as leave a dent on his forehead. "I know what would make you feel better."
"Sex with you?"
"Well, yeah, but this is almost as good," Kate answered. "Saving a life."
To Jack, that did sound better than sex.
"Does someone need saving?"
Her words resonated with him and he suddenly knew what he had to do. Looking up into the tree and seeing the coconut dangle dangerously, he lunged forth and landed face down on the sand. It felt good saving people, but it felt even better saving himself.
He stood up and wiped away the sand on his clothes, feeling that special superhero air about him that he hadn't experienced in a long time.
"I'm ready to go back now," he announced. He was ready to take on the world- and save it.
"Hopefully someone will choke."
"Hopefully," Kate responded.