Fandom/Claim: Lost - Charlie/Sawyer (side pairings of Ana/Michael, Jin/Sun, Claire/Charlie)
Prompt: 1. Apocalypse
Warnings: Slash, multiple character death
‘The human population is: One-Two-Four-Two-Three-Eight. Please remember to locate your breeding partner as soon as possible. The curfew is in one-oh-eight minutes, please be in your sectors by this time.’
This place was drab, pointless, and grey. Not to mention cold. Always cold. Sawyer could feel himself shivering inside the multiple layers of clothes he was wearing, as he fiddled with a stray green thread from a hole in his jumper.
He stole the garment from one of the bodies.
Felt dirty doing it, but you do what you have to. Not much choice. Do or die.
And Sawyer felt guilty, but whatever. Better guilty than dead, like the stone-cold corpse that this sweater had originally belonged to. Sawyer hoped it gave him better luck than its previous owner.
There was a huge crowd milling around in the big grey box, and Sawyer milled with them. Not much else to do, these days. Just had to hang around and hope that it didn’t get you next.
This was one of the only remaining safe havens, according to the government.
Nothing about this place felt safe. Sawyer didn’t know exactly what ‘haven’ meant, but he could bet that an emotionless underground bunker - a sprawling indoor city and rumoured to have once housed the same number of people as Boston had before the Virus - wasn’t the correct definition.
You couldn’t smoke in here either. Fascist bastards.
He had a small and well-worn leather bag in his hands, carrying his tiny amount of food rations. He wasn’t even sure what they were, wrapped in airtight silver packages. When he first saw the rations, years ago when the virus had first broken out and the survivors had taken refuge here, he’d been highly amused because they looked like something the astronauts would have taken up into space with them.
Then he’d tasted the shit and cursed the idea that this was what he was going to be eating for the rest of his pitifully short life.
He weaved out of the way of a couple of doctors dressed in white, both of them chatting loudly and animatedly and not rushing to any emergencies. That was a good sign, wasn’t it? Sawyer wasn’t sure any more. Down here, in the artificial air, things weren’t as clear-cut as they were up in the real world, where all he had to do was sleep with pretty girls and steal their husband’s money for a living.
There was no money to steal down here.
Not many pretty girls either.
Just the over-whelming stench of too many people packed too tightly together, and the deafening sounds of them all talking at once.
And a guitar.
He could hear it now, real faint but still there, just present enough. A guitar. He hadn’t heard one of those in years.
He took a quick left, barging through the crowds and having to cling onto his bag so that he didn’t lose it. That’d screw up the rest of his day. People were generally smart enough not to steal from someone that looked like Sawyer, when there were other, weaker, targets to be found.
He kept moving, and was hit by a Korean couple that he’d seen around before; they lived in his sector. In this place, every person had an identical cubicle to live in. Bed. Pillow. Blankets. Chair. Table, if you were lucky. Sawyer wasn’t.
The queue for the communal showers was a bitch.
The queue for the toilet was even worse.
“The human population is: One-Two-Four-Two-Oh-One. Please remember to locate your breeding partner as soon as possible. The curfew is in one-hour, please be in your sectors by this time,” a robotic voice hissed from the ceiling. No one looked up. No one noticed.
Sawyer half-smiled to himself, even though those voices and the idea of ‘curfew’ pissed the hell out of him.
He smiled because he’d found the guitar.
He’d found the source of the gentle music.
Small guy. Blonde. Dirty, just like everyone else here. Layers of clothing, but Sawyer would bet that they hadn’t been stolen from dead bodies. The kid looked like he was too good for that.
He was sat on the floor, with a thin – but everyone here was thin, weren’t they? – blonde girl sitting beside him, swaying in time with the music. It was pretty stuff. Not the country music Sawyer listened to before the virus. Not the rock that everyone had been fascinated with. Soft. Sweet. Sad.
The guy’s fingers seemed to move effortlessly, caressing the guitar instead of just playing it. Sawyer glanced around, and the kid was gathering a slight crowd. Hardly surprising, in a place where electricity was a valued commodity, used on lighting and not a lot else. You couldn’t just stick a CD on and listen to it.
But there was this kid – not a kid, Sawyer realised as he stared, older than that, probably in his late twenties but looking a lot younger – and his guitar and that music, so there was still life in the world.
Sawyer stayed and watched those fingers moving for almost an hour, until the speaker started insistently whining that it was almost curfew and the blonde man yawned. The man and woman stood up, gathered up the guitar and the toddler that had been there with them and started heading into Sector Fifteen.
Sawyer took a note of where they’d been playing, before heading off into his own Sector.
He went back the next day.
And the next.
And the next.
And the next.
And then he lost track of how many ‘and the nexts’ there had been; he only knew that it had been more than two weeks and less than two months.
He even developed a small routine. He’d queue for the bathroom, which took about forty minutes. He’d consult with Ana and Michael, to make sure their kid was okay, and then get chased away by Michael when he started to flirt with Ana, all of which took roughly ten minutes. He’d collect his rations, another forty minutes. He’d push through the crowds and find the corner just along from the gate into Section Fifteen, five minutes.
Then he’d sit down, hidden around the corner, and he’d eat his rations while listening to that playing.
He knew their names by now; the guitarist was Charlie, the blonde chick was Claire, they had a baby called Aaron who sometimes appeared but he didn’t know who the parents were, there was a wannabe-surfer with insane hair who sometimes appeared and joked with them all. Sawyer didn’t like it when he was there, because Charlie was too busy laughing to play properly.
He knew their clothes. Charlie had a stripy hoodie that Sawyer liked, apart from when he put the hood up because then he couldn’t see his face. He also had a thread-bare black sweater, similar to Sawyer’s green one, that Sawyer didn’t like so much, because it was loose and it had lots of holes and he was sure that Charlie was going to freeze himself to death in that thing.
It made him want to go over to him and offer him one of his shirts, even though he only had two, in circulation.
Then he’d catch himself and he’d just sit there and listen, foul-tasting food in hand.
He was there now - ‘The human population is: One-Two-Two-Nine-Two-Five. Please remember to locate your breeding partner as soon as possible. The curfew is in two-six-oh minutes, please be in your sectors by this time.’ - and Charlie was in a good mood today because the music was especially lively and especially random. On his sad days, the music was depressing. On his normal days, it was a mix. On his hyper days, he’d sing along and the lyrics would be filled with man-eating smoke and island paradises and polar bears and rafts. Claire would laugh and push at him, and if Hurley was there he’d roll on the floor, giggling.
Sawyer only ever smiled, a little.
He had his eyes closed and was breathing deeply, music playing and the crowds seemed to die around him. He’d missed music – he used to play it really loud whenever he drove anywhere. He’d had a nice car. Damn pretty.
He wondered if Charlie would have liked that car.
Nah, probably not. Charlie seemed like he wouldn’t know the front of the car from the back, the right seat from the left. Then again, what’d that matter now? Not as if cars were any use in a place like this.
No spare fuel to run them with, anyway.
So maybe it was fine that he had no car and that Charlie wouldn’t like it anyway.
“Curfew is in ten minutes.” Damn, he hadn’t noticed the time passing. Sawyer opened his eyes and lifted his head from where he’d had it leaning back against the grey wall behind him.
Two sets of blue eyes were staring at him, Claire’s questioning and Charlie’s vaguely amused. The toddler in between them was giggling, pointing a little.
Yeah, ‘fuck’ just about covered it.
Charlie grinned and offered a wave, but Sawyer glared and stalked off through the crowds.
He didn’t go back for a day or two, but it was difficult to avoid them. He’d be sitting in his room, cramped in there talking to Kate or Ana, and he’d hear that guitar playing in his head.
It was driving him nuts.
So after the third day of avoiding that Sector – which caused him to take a long and winding route back to his ‘home’ in Sector Four just to get home from collecting his rations – he was drawn back to his corner.
With the people dressed in dull colours and warm clothes, he could still hear the soft guitar playing before he’d arrived.
But Claire wasn’t there.
Neither was the kid.
Neither was Hurley.
Neither was that doctor that was sometimes hanging around.
Just Charlie, focused on his guitar and playing it carefully. The notes were stuttered today, repeated as he slowly worked towards a new song. Focused as always, so Sawyer sat down on the floor, sat back and listened.
“Hey,” Charlie’s voice called out across the corridor, through the people rushing past them. The playing stopped and Sawyer’s eyes snapped open.
Two seconds later, and there was a warm and alive man sitting beside him, guitar being resettled in his lap, before he had a sunny grin thrown at him. Urgh.
“I’m Charlie.” It was announced triumphantly, but Sawyer looked away to the side, wondering if just ignoring him would get him to go away.
“Charlie Pace?” There was a vaguely curious tone in Charlie’s voice, as if Sawyer should have recognised that name from somewhere. He didn’t, no where apart from when Claire had gotten pissed off at him once and called him ‘Charles Lawrence Pace’ before ranting at him about how he had to watch Aaron more closely.
Shit. Why wasn’t Charlie disappearing? Sawyer’s heart was racing too much for him to even think up a cutting reply, to think of anything to say and even though he was trying to stubbornly look away his gaze kept flicking back to that guitar, and therefore Charlie’s crotch, and whether Sawyer’d admit it to anyone, even Kate, he’d been imagining those nimble fingers caressing more than just the guitar strings and, fuck, why was he here talking to him when he was supposed to be over there playing?
Awkward silence. Damn it. Say something.
But his mind had frozen, so it was Charlie that rescued them. That wasn’t fair. Words were the one thing that Sawyer was supposed to be good with. “You’ve been watching me.”
The vague accusation, almost shy, made Sawyer’s fiercely defensive side spring to life. “So? What it to you, Rock Star?”
Snapped, and it should have made Charlie back off. Instead it made him smile, and Sawyer wanted to do that again. He’d snap at Charlie constantly if the dumb brat would just keep up that delighted smile.
Oh. It was the nickname. That figured. “Yeah. You prefer something else, princess?”
“No,” Charlie said quickly, and now it was Sawyer’s turn to smile even though he really didn’t want to. “No, no, no. Rock Star’s a great name. Bloody admirable.”
Sawyer wondered where that accent came from. The UK, presumably. Only city Sawyer knew of there was London. Made him wonder how some British guitarist ended up in the sanctuary of a bunker in the US. He wondered if Charlie would tell him if he asked.
He wouldn’t try it.
Instead he shrugged, “yeah,” even though he kind of wanted to call Charlie ‘princess’ from now on, just to see that reaction again.
“So what about you?” Charlie elbowed him lightly, jokingly, and if anyone, even his ‘friends’ tried that he’d usually rip their arms off. From Charlie, he found that he didn’t mind it.
That didn’t stop him from snapping, though, and his hand was playing with one of the frayed strings from a hole on his sweater again. “What about me?”
Charlie smiled indulgently again, and how could he do that? That guitar had to have magical calming powers. Sawyer was used to pissing people off. With Charlie, it wasn’t working. “Your name, dumbass.” Holy shit. He’d just insulted him. A pretty little blonde guy had just insulted him. While smiling. And Sawyer wasn’t about to wring his neck. “Or are we only going by nick-names?”
Sawyer paused for a few seconds, and crossed his arms over his chest. “Yeah. Nick-names only.”
“Fine.” Charlie sounded slightly annoyed, which Sawyer felt guilty for. Maybe the guitar wasn’t the ultimate protection after all. “I need some time to come up with yours.”
Sawyer snorted. “No you don’t.” That earned him another elbow in the ribs from Charlie, and he wondered if Charlie would hit him around the head with that guitar if he pissed him off too much. He didn’t want to risk finding out, in case the instrument got damaged and the music died. “Come on. First thing that comes to mind.”
Charlie shook his head confidently, as if he knew perfectly well that Sawyer would try to talk him into it, and also knew perfectly well that he could keep refusing until Sawyer gave up. “Sorry, mate,” he said. “I’m not nearly as quick as you – I’ll think about it over night, yeah?”
‘The human population is: One-Two-One-Eight-Nine-Four. Please remember to locate your breeding partner as soon as possible. The curfew is in ten minutes, please be in your sectors by this time.’
Sawyer grunted. Charlie smiled. “Same time tomorrow?”
Another grunt, but this time Sawyer was having to fight to stop himself from smiling. “You wish.”
Charlie rolled his eyes and got to his feet, and Sawyer wasn’t sure whether to be annoyed that he’d missed out on listening to the music today, or relieved that they’d finally spoken for the first time.
Instead, he just nodded when Charlie said, “see you then,” before disappearing into the crowd, clutching the guitar carefully.
Charlie was late.
Charlie was fucking late.
He’d said ‘same time tomorrow’, hadn’t he? So Sawyer had gone through his routine and then shown up here.
And the wall that Charlie usually sat at was empty. What the hell was that?
Had he been stood up? He was getting the feeling that he had been. Made sense, didn’t it? Charlie had probably just been politely investigating him yesterday. Considering how distant and moody he’d been, Sawyer must have scared him off. Shit.
“Stalker,” that British accent accused from to his right. Sawyer’s head whipped around quickly to see him, Charlie leaning against the wall beside him with his arms crossed and a smile on his face, as always. He must’ve crept up – it wasn’t hard, with the sound of thousands of people moving around them – when Sawyer wasn’t looking.
“Me and Claire were thinking about it last night.” Charlie was still smiling, and he moved so that he pushed himself away from the wall, and gestured towards where he always sat. It took Sawyer a while to work out that he was being invited to sit over there with him.
He could see the guitar in Charlie’s right hand, Aaron balanced against the opposite hip, so he followed with only a few second thoughts. “We think your nickname’s Stalker.” Charlie nodded decisively as he sat down, guitar to the side and Aaron on his lap.
Sawyer sat down awkwardly beside him, feeling odd. “Yeah? Why’s that?”
“’cause you’re stalking us,” Charlie replied easily, without even looking up at him. Instead he was smiling down at the toddler, and Sawyer wanted so badly to ask if he and Claire were a couple, if Aaron was theirs, what happened, how’d they meet, why were they here, were there any other kids, why not, did they die, was Charlie still sad, did Charlie need someone to comfort him, would Claire object to Sawyer taking him back to his room and comforting him there, how would Charlie feel about being comforted with a good solid fuck, and what about stripping naked for him?
Luckily, Charlie spoke again and cut off his interior tangent before he could start imagining how Charlie would look while stripping. “But we’re kinda curious – is it me, Claire or this little guy you’re after?” He raised Aaron an inch or two to indicate him, and Sawyer had to smile.
“Well…” he said, as if thinking about it.
Charlie raised an eyebrow. “Say Aaron and I’ll punch your bloody lights out.”
Sawyer had to admit that that sounded almost tempting, just to feel the contact between them and he could feel it as they sat next to each other, the heat from Charlie’s body passing between the thin gap between them.
“Alright, calm down Rock Star.” The slight twitch of a smile occurred again, and he wanted to call Charlie that again and again and again from now on. He wondered if he’d still get that smile if he called them that while they were having sex, or if it would be a different one, or if Charlie would insist, his voice strained and panting for breath, that he called him by his real name, not his nickname.
Sawyer so desperately wanted to find out.
“It ain’t him. Ain’t any of you.” Well, that was a lie. Sawyer didn’t even feel guilty. “Mostly, it’s your guitar.”
Charlie glanced over at where the guitar was propped against the wall next to him, and shifted Aaron slightly as the kid started to reach for it. “You mean Lucy?”
“You named your guitar?”
“Yeah.” Charlie said it so lightly that Sawyer felt like he was the dumb one for even thinking that was odd. Maybe everyone named their instruments. It wasn’t like there were that many musicians left to ask. “Obviously.”
“Figures,” he replied, with a snort of air out his nose and crossing his arms over his chest.
That gesture was quickly stopped when Aaron was plopped in his lap. There was the warm feel of another person touching him, something that he hadn’t felt apart from in the crowds in months. In the crowds, it was pushing and shoving and painful.
Aaron was soft and light and fun, playfully reaching up to push at the side of his cheek.
There was the gentle sound of Charlie checking the tuning on his guitar, and Sawyer just relaxed back against the wall and closed his eyes, all of the tension fading from his body. Yeah. So what if there was a damn kid in his lap? So what if he hated kids? So what if there was a crowd moving around them and so what if he didn’t care about any of these people or even Aaron and just wanted to pin Charlie underneath him there and then?
So what? There was a guitar playing.
He opened his eyes and Charlie was watching him. His heart skipped a beat. Oh, shit. Oh, shit. Oh, shit. Blue eyes, even as intense as that, weren’t supposed to make his insides go gooey. He was a James ‘Sawyer’ Ford. He was a badass. And he was currently falling for real, for the person, not just for that guitar.
He didn’t like it.
It made him kind of want to punch Charlie on the nose for making him feel that way.
And he was ninety nine percent sure that he’d just caught Charlie glancing down at his lips.
Alright. That was nice, so he made sure to run his tongue slowly over his bottom lip, like he’d been constantly imagining doing to various places on Charlie’s body, and the sound of the guitar tuning faded for just a second.
Then Aaron prodded his cheek again and the whole effect was completely ruined. It was hard to look seductive when there was a toddler playing with your face. Damn.
Charlie looked down at his guitar, hiding a smile and something had definitely happened there, hadn’t it? It wasn’t just Sawyer hallucinating? ‘course it wasn’t.
But then Charlie spoke and everything was back to normal. “Claire’s just coming,” Charlie said, fingers pausing on the strings of his guitar. “In the meantime, any requests?”
Yeah, sure. Plenty.
‘Bend over and let me fuck you.’
‘Get on your knees and suck me off.’
‘Let me watch you touch yourself.’
For once, Sawyer had tact and knew that wasn’t what Charlie was asking. But he swept his gaze over Charlie’s body anyway, suggestive as he could, and felt a rush of adrenaline when he saw a blush colouring Charlie’s cheeks. “Well now,” he paused and when on earth did he start wanting this so badly? “Ain’t that a question.”
Charlie looked down and mumbled and looked embarrassed, so Sawyer decided to take pity on him. “You know any Bob Marley?”
Charlie perked up and the blush faded, even if Sawyer found that he sort of missed it. “Sure, who doesn’t?” There was a brush of guitar strings and then Charlie’s fingers started moving. Sawyer could pick out the distinctive tune quickly. He was just getting relaxed when he heard, “you have to sing, though?”
He reached out to elbow Charlie just as Charlie had been elbowing him before, and the contact spread through him, dizzying.
So he sat and he sang, and halfway through Claire turned up and sat with them and she sang too (and, though Sawyer wouldn’t admit it, she sang a lot better than he did) and then they had to go because of - ‘the human population is: One-Two-One-Five-Nine-Eight. Please remember to locate your breeding partner as soon as possible. The curfew is in ten minutes, please be in your sectors by this time.’ - curfew but Sawyer was invited back tomorrow.
He remained aloof and said that he might come along, if he didn’t have anything else planned.
But, hey, this was the fucking extinction of the human race, person by person. What else did he have to do?
There was a cluster of white uniforms outside Ana and Michael’s cubicle as Sawyer moved slowly towards it. He hadn’t seen either of them in over a week, seeing as he’d been spending all of his time with Charlie, with Claire, with Aaron, with Hurley, with Jack, with Lucy the guitar.
He’d decided he didn’t like Jack.
Apart from the obvious fact that the guy was a doctor – which meant that he was one of those white uniforms, he was one of those who diagnosed patients with the Virus, who condemned them to die – he touched Charlie too much. More than that, Charlie had allowed him to touch Lucy.
Sawyer really wanted the asshole to die, most of the time. That translated to them constantly bitching at each other while the others sat around laughing at them.
Now he could see Jack in that mass of white coats, with a mask over his mouth, and his first thought was ‘who died?’
Someone had. These days, the doctors didn’t turn up to cure you. They appeared to take away the bodies.
But Ana and Michael weren’t sick, were they? They hadn’t been when he’d last spoken to them. That was a week ago. They were fine.
See, there was Ana. Leaning against the wall half way down the corridor, with Walt slumped there next to her. She had her hair tied tightly back, as always, with her midriff showing despite the freezing cold around them.
She was fine.
Walt was fine.
Where the fuck was Michael?
He could have gone to Jack and asked. He didn’t. Instead he shifted down the corridor towards Ana and Walt. The hallway was empty, for probably the first time in history, with no one crowding around to get past. Sawyer didn’t like it. With only the white coats swarming, and Ana and Walt down here, the place felt like a ghost town, like something from a sci-fi film.
“Damn,” he said as he walked over to them, and Walt looked towards him, dazed. There was no arrogant look in the kid’s eyes, no silent challenge, no headstrong confidence. Shit, no. Michael? Mike? “What the hell happened?” Their sector was supposed to be clean.
Ana shook her head, arms crossed over her chest. She didn’t look up, and just kicked at the ground. “The Virus. They think it got in here somehow.” Sawyer almost wanted to stop breathing, because he couldn’t let himself get infected. He couldn’t let himself end up like Michael. “But no one’s telling us what’s going on. It’s messed up.”
That was right. “You need to stay at mine tonight?” he suggested, because there was no way that the doctors would let them back into their cubicle for a while, if ever. They had a habit of just demolishing anywhere that someone got sick.
Sawyer could remember what had happened in Sector Two, when they’d had a break out a year or so ago. The whole place had been ‘quarantined’. Nobody in, nobody out. No food in either. Nothing. There were rumours that more people had died from starvation than from the damn Virus.
Ana just shook her head, and pushed away from the wall. “Nah. We’re good. We’ll find something.”
Sawyer nodded, because he hadn’t really been looking forwards to sharing his space with them, when it was so small that he barely fitted into it anyway. So he didn’t push the issue, and let Ana walk off before the black body bag was taken out of their room.
He nodded to show his respect, knowing he’d miss Michael even if the guy had been a jerk to him, and then moved on.
“Friend of mine died yesterday.”
Not something that you could just slip into the conversation, but Sawyer tried anyway. He didn’t want to make a big deal of it. He just needed to tell someone.
He hadn’t seen Ana or Walt since they’d walked off last night.
Charlie stopped playing and glanced up. Sawyer could tell with a sinking feeling in his stomach that he was going to make a big deal about this. Maybe that was what he wanted. Maybe he wanted Charlie to kiss him and make him feel better, and tell him that it was okay to have a reaction to this.
It was just him and Charlie today; Claire and Aaron had stayed home, and thankfully Jack and Hurley hadn’t shown up yet.
“You serious?” Charlie asked, and Sawyer just wanted the music back.
But Charlie wouldn’t continue playing until they’d spoken about this and dealt with it, and why the hell had Sawyer brought it up in the first place?
He nodded. “Yeah. Him and girlfriend lived a few cubes down from me. Had a kid, too.”
It wasn’t the first time he’d heard Charlie swear – he did it a lot – but it was always unexpected, and it always felt almost wrong.
“Yeah.” He shrugged. No big. Except it was. Except Michael was dead.
Charlie glanced down. “How’re you dealing?” He hadn’t even asked what had happened. That should have been the first question that came to mind, for anyone in this bunker. He was such an idiot.
Sawyer stared at the guitar. Calming guitar. Nice guitar. “Badly.”
There was a pause, and then Charlie slipped his arm around Sawyer’s shoulders. He froze and stopped breathing for a few seconds, trying to work out if he wanted to shove Charlie away or not.
He eventually settled on ‘not’, and instead leaned against Charlie, head going to his shoulder. The soft scent there was almost overpowering, and he wanted to shift his head to lick Charlie’s neck and discover if he tasted the same way that he smelled.
So inappropriate. So wrong. So intense.
Charlie stroked a hand over his bicep, murmuring things – it’s okay, it’s alright, you can cry, just let it out – while Sawyer tried to ignore the fact that the gentle touches from Charlie were starting to get him hard, real hard, too hard, and don’t do this, please Charlie, you’re just trying to comfort me but it’s not working and it’s just turning me on and stop, please stop I can’t…
“I should go.” His voice was too hoarse, sounding like he was close to crying. He didn’t mind Charlie thinking that, for once, because if Charlie knew that he was actually thinking then he’d send him away and demand that he never came near him again.
Charlie kept his arm around him, still stroking, still soft, still tempting. “No you shouldn’t.”
“Yeah - ” There was anger in his voice, and that was enough to make Charlie recoil. Good. “-I should.”
He stood up and Charlie stood up too, leaving his guitar on the ground and then they were close. Inches between them, breath mingling, Charlie looking up at him with eyes that were angry and hurt and concerned. One half inch forwards and their lips would be touching, he’d be able to steal a kiss and he could almost feel it already, skin tingling with want.
But he took a step backwards and glared at Charlie because no one, no one, had the right to make him feel like that. He walked off without another word and didn’t look back.
There was a frantic knocking on his door that night. Harsh and loud and scared and it cut straight into Sawyer’s dreams. He woke up with a low groan and pushed himself upright.
“Alright, alright, I’m coming,” he grumbled as he got out of bed. He flinched as his bare feet touched the freezing ground, and he was only getting out of bed at all in case it was Ana and Walt.
Anyone else would get punched for waking him up at this time.
But when he opened the door Charlie was standing there, tears on his cheeks and shaking with cold because he’d only been wearing one layer, one thin t-shirt. He could catch hypothermia and die, but before Sawyer could follow through with that thought Charlie was there.
There with his lips and his small shaking body pressed against Sawyer’s, lifting his legs up to link around Sawyer’s waist and Sawyer only just has the presence of mind to move his arms to hold him up and—
His hands were on Charlie’s ass.
Sawyer stopped trying to work out what circumstances could have chased Charlie to his door and instead kicked it shut. It closed with a bang that would bother the neighbours but he didn’t give a shit. Screw them. They’d be slamming doors too if Charlie turned up like this, needy and desperate with his fingers tangling in their hair and his tongue teasing, and then rubbing against them as they tried to navigate through the confined space without falling over or banging into anything.
He threw Charlie down on the mattress that always felt like it was made of wood, too hard to be comfortable, and climbed on top of him, so hard already and this wasn’t fair. Charlie was crying.
He should have stopped because of that. He wasn’t going to.
He wasn’t going to because he’d waited so long for this that his body burned for it, that his mind swirled and he was no longer even thinking about Charlie, or about those skilled fingers, or about his music. He was beyond that, focused on the want and not on what it was he wanted.
He wasn’t taking his time with this, groping handfuls of skin and biting that neck, pale neck, perfect neck, biting and nipping and sucking and there were going to be marks there, noticeable ones, if he could manage it.
But he didn’t have the focus because he needed everything, needed to touch everything and Charlie’s hands were on him too, shaking from the cold and possibly something else too. Sawyer didn’t know. He didn’t think he cared.
“Turn over.” It was the first time he’d spoken since Charlie showed up, and those shouldn’t have been the words. He should have been finding out if Charlie was okay, and asking what had happened.
Instead he grabbed Charlie’s hips and flipped him over when Charlie didn’t move fast enough, and he was racing through this. He didn’t want Charlie to come to his senses or change his mind. That made him a bad man. He knew that. He’d come to terms with the fact that he was never going to be classed a saint a long time ago. Now he was just enjoying that slope down to hell.
He pulled Charlie’s hips up, undid the button on his pants, pulled down the zipper, tugged them down just enough to expose a pale ass. After that he got distracted, running his hand over the skin, scraping his nails along it.
Charlie wasn’t really moving any more, wasn’t making any sounds, but Sawyer moved his hands to his own jeans anyway, slipping them off and dumping them on the ground, glad that his shoes were gone and didn’t catch on them. He was still wearing the shirt he wore to bed, but he couldn’t navigate buttons any more, not with his head so crowded and Charlie before him like this.
No lube – they handed out food rations but not real essentials like that – so this was going to hurt for Charlie. Just spit and Sawyer knew from experience that that didn’t ease things along nearly enough.
Tonight, that wasn’t his problem.
He spat on his hand, coated his fingers, then in. Two fingers, harsh and blunt and despite the fact that Charlie hadn’t done or said anything since they’d reached the bed, there was a painful hiss of breath. He moved, mechanical, and he wasn’t interested in this right now when he usually would have taken his time with it, would have been slow and careful and would have made sure that Charlie was okay and he enjoyed it.
But he didn’t have the time. He’d waited months for this. Usually, he’d picked the person he was interested in up in less than an hour. Maybe just minutes. This had been months. The urgency in him now was too much.
He twisted his fingers and he wasn’t even searching out Charlie’s prostate, he was just doing this because it was required, it was expected.
Then he pulled his fingers out sharply, spat on his hand once more, and rubbed it over his dick. There. That’d do. It’d better, because that was all that he could do right now, with his mind clogging up with lust. He used his hand to line himself up by Charlie’s hole, moved his other hand to Charlie’s hip to holding him steady, and—
They were about to have sex and Charlie sobbed.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
Sawyer was tempted to push in anyway. Charlie wasn’t voicing any objections, was he? Let him sob. Let him weep. Let him cry. Just also let Sawyer enjoy himself, okay?
But he couldn’t, because the conscience he’d developed that only seemed to involve Charlie and his friends was insisting that he stopped, that he asked. “Charlie?” No response. His grip on Charlie’s hip tightened and he needed this. He needed it. “Charlie, speak to me.” Asshole. One word. One fucking word. That wasn’t asking for much. “Do you want me to stop, Charlie?”
A pause, a struggled attempt to control his sobs, but Charlie shook his head.
Thank. Fucking. God.
“Can I keep going?” Say yes, say yes, say yes, say yes, say- there. A nod. Barely noticeable, and Sawyer was glad he couldn’t see Charlie face because that would probably guilt him, when he had all the consent that he needed in that one nod.
So he pushed forwards, a rough jerk of his hips.
And, fuck, that was tight, almost too tight, almost painful but at the same time good, so good, so perfect, so Charlie, so please don’t stop keep going harder.
He didn’t give Charlie any time to adjust, because that would have involved stopping and that was something he definitely couldn’t do. So he kept going, both hands on Charlie’s hips, fucking him as roughly as he could.
It wasn’t how he’d imagined it would be, because he wasn’t letting it be.
It wasn’t soft.
It wasn’t gentle.
It wasn’t loving.
But it was good.
Good until he slowed down, until his brain came down from the initial I’minCharlieI’minCharlieI’minCharlie high and realised that Charlie wasn’t enjoying this. He’d been expecting… something. Maybe a moan or two. Maybe a full out porn star ‘god, baby, fuck me harder’. Maybe something somewhere between the two.
Instead there was just “Fuck. Sawyer. Stop. Sawyer, it hurts. It. Ow. God, get out of me you wanker. Stop.” And Charlie wasn’t thrusting back against him like he’d thought, he was wriggling and thrashing and trying to pull away from the too-tight grip of his hands.
He stilled his movements but didn’t pull out yet, and some of the franticness in Charlie’s voice faded but he was still talking, still saying how much it hurt and Sawyer wanted to punch the back of his head and tell him to stop being such a baby.
Then he saw the blood by Charlie’s ass, and he really should have prepped him better, prepped him properly, prepped him for more than two seconds in a rush. He’d screwed up. He’d screwed up. He’d screwed up.
And yet he didn’t want to pull out. And yet he wanted to continue.
“Hey, shush. Charlie. Calm down. It’s alright. Calm down,” he whispered by Charlie’s ear, leaning down to reach it. He tried not to think of how this was exactly how Charlie had tried to comfort him after Michael, how they’d so nearly almost kissed, how different things would have been if he’d just let them.
Now it was him murmuring into Charlie’s ear, but this time the situation had still changed. He moved his hand to Charlie’s cock, stroking it once, slowly, softly, until he heard Charlie gasping and involuntarily clenching around him.
Damn, that was distracting.
But he moved his hand down again, hand finding a rhythm of just the right speed, and he was able to make Charlie twist and moan underneath him, something that felt damn good to him too.
He still needed more. God, it was killing him to be inside Charlie, to have that tight warmth around him and yet not being allowed to move.
He grabbed one of Charlie’s hands, moved it to his cock so that they were both stroking it in unison. He needed to be careful now or Charlie was going to come and leave him behind.
His hands shifted back to Charlie’s hips, leaving him to take care of himself, and this had to be done right. It had to. If he hurt Charlie again, Charlie was going to demand that they stopped and he didn’t want to do that.
He wasn’t sure if he could.
It had been so long since he’d done this, since he’d cared if the other person enjoyed it or not, but it came back to him. Like riding a bike, right? Only a lot hotter. Pull out slowly, feel guilt for the vague wince from Charlie, angle your hips right, then thrust.
And Charlie gasped in pain, free hand clenching in the thin cover of the bed, before Sawyer hit the one spot he’d been aiming for and Charlie just… freaked. His back arched and that low moan, caught between pain and pleasure, sent shivers down his spine.
But he had to ask again. “Is this okay, Charlie?”
This time Charlie didn’t answer because he was gasping and moaning and absolutely writhing underneath Sawyer. So hot, how could someone so goofy and good-natured be so damn hot? It didn’t make sense.
His hand snapped away from Charlie’s hip and buried in his hair instead, tugging his head back at a painful angle. “Charlie.” He didn’t mean to be violent. He just wasn’t able to help it these days. “Is. This. Okay?” He knew it was, otherwise Charlie would be telling him to stop and not making those low-down so-good noises in his throat, but he wanted to hear it.
At first, he just received more moans and that was a whimper, that was a mother-fucking whimper, before, “yes.”
“What’s that?” Too quiet, and he wanted to hear it again, wanted to hear Charlie yelling it just to prove to himself that he hadn’t crossed the line, that he hadn’t broken the fragile strands of friendship that they’d had.
“Yes. Fuck yes.”
He watched Charlie’s Adam’s apple bob once, and his tongue flick over his lips, then he roughly let go of Charlie’s hair, pushed him down against the mattress again and fucked him.
He didn’t think anything else had ever felt so pure and dirty and wrong and right.
Once they’d gathered their senses and their breath and their clothes, they sat there awkwardly.
“You can’t tell Claire,” Charlie said quietly, looking up at him desperately, and Sawyer felt something in himself break. There were marks on Charlie’s neck that he wouldn’t be able to explain to Claire, and his eyes were still red-rimmed with tears.
Sawyer got the feeling that his ass was still bleeding, and that it had to be painful to sit on the end of the bed like they were currently doing, but Charlie hadn’t mentioned it and Sawyer wasn’t going to bring it up.
“Yeah. Sure.” He wanted to tug Charlie onto his lap, and tell him to stay here instead of going back to Claire and Aaron and his responsibilities, to just go back to his cube to pick up his guitar and then move in permanently, but Charlie would only kiss him on the cheek patronisingly then say he didn’t understand.
He didn’t. He couldn’t help it.
“You gonna tell me why you came here?” And he didn’t mean the sex. That was easy to explain – he was hot. Charlie was hot. It made sense for them to be hot together, didn’t it? No, he meant the tears and why Charlie had been wearing so little; Sawyer had given him his green sweater, because Charlie had started to shiver again once they’d both cooled down.
Charlie shrugged. “Aaron has a cold.”
Sawyer felt his blood freeze, but he shrugged. “And?”
“And Claire wanted to call the doctors in.”
“And you didn’t?”
Charlie nodded. “They might pull a Sector Two on us. It’s just a cold. I know it is. It’s no big deal. But… the doctors overreact. I can’t have that happening to them. Aaron’ll get over it.”
Sawyer nodded, but now he definitely didn’t want to let Charlie leave to go back to his own sector. No way in hell.
They fell silent and sat there for a little longer, before Charlie sighed. “I should get back.”
“It’s past curfew.”
“I know. I’ll be fine.”
“You know what the wardens do if they find you out in the corridors.” You didn’t hear the gunfire at night any more. People had picked up on the idea that when you were told not to go out after curfew, you didn’t go out. You stayed inside and tried to hide.
Charlie didn’t seem to have learnt that yet, because he nodded and stood up anyway. Stupid kid. “Yeah. Don’t worry about it.” Charlie obviously wasn’t worrying. If Sawyer had been braver, he would have offered to walk Charlie back home.
Instead he nodded and watched Charlie walking out awkwardly, with his legs and ass obviously aching, which Sawyer knew to feel guilty for. He lay back in bed, slipped under the covers, and listened out to try and make sure that there were no gunshots.
The corridor was filled with shadows and hushed voices when he turned up for Charlie’s guitar session the next day. He’d never seen the place so quiet. For the first time in months, there was no music filling the hallway, no gentle guitar strumming. Instead people were rushing by as quickly as possible, trying not to look at the closed-off Sector Fifteen.
With two armed guards, dressed in black uniform, standing outside the door.
Oh, fuck. That wasn’t good. He could remember it now, Sector Two closed off like that, guards everywhere, and the hushed don’t-mention-it tone that had filled the bunker for days.
Claire and Charlie and Aaron were in there.
Shit, shit, shit, shit. Fuck. Bloody hell (he’d had Charlie invading his thoughts ever since he’d met him and picked up that distinctive smiling voice).
He grabbed someone’s arm – Korean, Sun, lived in his Sector, had a crazy husband; he remembered her – and held it tightly, because he needed to know.
She looked up at him in alarm, and he wondered if he looked like a crazy person. He felt like one. He definitely felt like one. “What happened in there?”
A skittish look towards the closed doors, and she shook her head. When he eventually spoke, her voice was so accented that his panicked mind barely understood it. “There was an outbreak. They had to quarantine the area.”
Charlie was in there. That didn’t make sense. He’d been there in his bed last night – Sawyer hadn’t bothered queuing for the showers this morning, so he could still smell Charlie on him, could probably still taste Charlie’s come on his hands if he wanted, and he’d definitely be able to smell it in his bed when he went back there. The neighbours had been giving him embarrassed looks all morning. He hadn’t cared, a swagger back in his steps.
Now that had deflated.
Because Charlie was quarantined, and… gone. That guitar was gone.
It didn’t add up, and Sawyer stared uselessly at the doors for a long time, until the speaker interrupted him.
‘The human population is: Nine-Oh-Eight-Two-Three. Please remember to locate your breeding partner as soon as possible. The curfew is in five hours and thirty six minutes. Please be in your sectors by this time.’