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29 January 2008 @ 02:02 pm
For Lost Riffs: "Least Favourite Character"  
Title: Bring Out Your Dead
Characters: Sarah, Jack
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Through the Looking Glass
Summary: It ends where it began.



x x x

She was never his widow, not officially, but that didn’t seem matter. People treated her like one even though she had stopped being Jack’s wife long before the word divorce hovered over them like a guillotine.

Oceanic sent her insurance forms. Reporters hassled her. Mutual friends called expressing their condolences. Marc showed up on her doorstep with a bottle of scotch and a photo album. At the funeral, Margo had embraced her, physically and emotionally, in a way she never did when she too was called Mrs. Shephard.

Sarah was not sure why the very same people who most associated her with Jack’s broken heart, privileged her connection to his broken body. She guessed it was because she was a symbol of his life and of his ability to grant new life.

Even the man whose bed she now shared made it known she could go ahead and cry, it wouldn’t bother him, he understood.

But she couldn’t cry. The more she thought of Jack dead and gone, the more detached she became. Of course, it was sad. Of course, it was a tragedy. It was just she didn’t feel that she deserved to mourn him or allow herself to remember a time when this would have shattered her. Instead of tears, cement leaks from her heart, filling every corner of her body, turning her to stone.

x x x

She was never his widow, not officially, because he was never really dead. She was the first person people thought to call when they heard the news. Isn’t it great? Isn’t it a miracle? Do you want to go see him? Sarah could barely squeak out an affirmative to all these questions.

When she finally meets with Jack, she’s not entirely sure he’s not a ghost or at least a man possessed by ghosts. Although his skin glowed from months of sun, his pallor was decidedly ashen and every move, every gesture reminded her of a man twice his age. This image is further reinforced the next time she sees him, months later in the emergency room.

He reeks of death and she is ashamed to come to him glowing with life, ironically in the very room where they first met.

She can’t get out of there fast enough. She recognizes a desperation in him that is all too familiar. He looks at her the same way she once looked at him, as a potential saviour. She knows she has neither the courage nor skills to even try to pull him out from where he is, or rather, where he was. One foot is still back on that damn island, that much she knows. Meanwhile the rest of his body is limping toward his father’s grave.

So she turns her back. Sarah knows it’s cruel but decides it would be worse to give him false hope. She would only fail him again.

x x x
 
 
Current Mood: weirdweird
 
 
 
Stephanie: Jack Shephardslybrunette on January 29th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
Isn't this pretty much everyone's least favorite character? lol.

But she couldn’t cry. The more she thought of Jack dead and gone, the more detached she became. Of course, it was sad. Of course, it was a tragedy. It was just she didn’t feel that she deserved to mourn him or allow herself to remember a time when this would have shattered her. Instead of tears, cement leaks from her heart, filling every corner of her body, turning her to stone.

That part is especially wonderful. For a character you don't like you did a good job writing her. Great fic!
elliotsmelliotelliotsmelliot on January 29th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC)
Isn't this pretty much everyone's least favorite character?

I know and she almost slipped my mind. I was like, well, Juliet and Kate annoy me but I don't hate them. Maybe something with Widmore or Jin's mom or Pickett and then I was like oh wait...Sarah.

Thanks for the nice comment!
(Deleted comment)
elliotsmelliotelliotsmelliot on January 29th, 2008 11:37 pm (UTC)
Killed with Jack and Sarah? I must have caught you in a weak moment! I agree seeing Jack through her eyes is tough because she has no context of what would put him in such a state, so it must be even worse for her than it is for us. I'm glad you thought I captured Sarah well, she was a tough woman to try to understand. Thank you so much for your super comments.
siluria: Lost_dr Jacksiluria on January 29th, 2008 08:40 pm (UTC)
Oh wow - that should be canon. That's a wonderful insight from a secondary character.
elliotsmelliotelliotsmelliot on January 29th, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Sometimes I wish she was even more secondary than she is!
mkfsdjmrslinus17 on January 29th, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC)
Meanwhile the rest of his body is limping toward his father’s grave.

Love That Line!! Well Done, A Fantastic Peice Of Writing!
elliotsmelliotelliotsmelliot on January 29th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you. It does seem like an apt description of where we last saw Jack. I'm glad you liked this.
pacejunkie: Don't Leavepacejunkie on January 29th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
I don't like Jack very much but the one person that makes me feel sorry for him is Sarah. She was a bitch to him, no matter what she blames him for and I hate her too. I respect anyone that tries to fight to save a marriage and Jack may be Mr. Fix-it but he tried where she just gave up. Cold. I love your portrayal of her here. She comes across as heartless as she appears, with just a bit of added insight that you still can't forgive but it's good to know it's there. Very well written.
elliotsmelliotelliotsmelliot on January 29th, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I didn't want to excuse her coldness because I think her behaviour, especially in the flash forward, was unnecessarily cruel. It's not "appropriate" to drive your injured (in so many ways) ex home? So I just tried to understand where her coldness might be coming from given their awkward past. I'm glad this gave you some insight into who she is. Thanks for letting me know you liked it.
alemyrddin: Jack seatalemyrddin on January 29th, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
oh that cruel bitch.

It was just she didn’t feel that she deserved to mourn him or allow herself to remember a time when this would have shattered her.
However, even if I think that she's right, here, in thinking that she doesn't deserve to mourn him, I feel more sympathetic to her that I've ever felt when she thinks that the reason she isn't able to comfort Jack in that ER (The same room where they met the first time - I love that you pointed that out) is that she fears she would only fail him again.

This makes me almost feel sorry for her, and that guilt that she must be carrying around.
Well done! :)
elliotsmelliotelliotsmelliot on January 30th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC)
I don't like to call women bitches because it has such sexist undertones, but Sarah certainly lives up to the label. Everything in their relationship was always about her. It drove me crazy! I don't think Sarah was wrong to keep her distance from Jack after they broke up, clearly they should not have been together, but man, she could have been a lot nicer about it, especially post-island! Have a heart! Anyway, enough of my rambling, I glad this helped give more insight to Sarah's coldness. I didn't set out to change opinions, just given her some layers. Thanks for commenting!
the female ghost of tom joad: OMGWTFjanie_tangerine on January 29th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
That was a pretty strong point you have. And she had some good reas...

One moment, am I actually feeling sympathetic for Sarah? Who is probably a character I hated from the first second I saw and I had to bear while already suffering during 'Do No Harm'?

... I kinda am. Okay, that's a proof you can write anyone and anything really ;) you definitely had a point here and one can at least understand why she behaves like this.

She can’t get out of there fast enough. She recognizes a desperation in him that is all too familiar. He looks at her the same way she once looked at him, as a potential saviour. She knows she has neither the courage nor skills to even try to pull him out from where he is, or rather, where he was. One foot is still back on that damn island, that much she knows. Meanwhile the rest of his body is limping toward his father’s grave.

And I think I'm in love with that paragraph.
elliotsmelliotelliotsmelliot on January 30th, 2008 12:07 am (UTC)
Damn that Sarah from stealing time away from Boone in Do No Harm. If that wasn't her biggest crime, then I don't know what was!

I set out to try to understand her, not condone her actions and it sounds like I accomplished that for you. Thanks for letting me know this worked.
the female ghost of tom joad: OMGWTFjanie_tangerine on January 30th, 2008 07:08 am (UTC)
That was damn right. Not only he's the only character who doesn't get the flashback episode when he dies, I also have to bear her while I'm busy freaking out? Sarah, Sarah, she was losing since the first second she appeared...
halfdutch: Jack by darknumbhalfdutch on January 29th, 2008 11:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's excellent. I wrote Sarah too (hate her!). I really like your take on her and that scene in the hospital.

I particularly like these lines. One foot is still back on that damn island, that much she knows. Meanwhile the rest of his body is limping toward his father’s grave. Such a vivid description of Jack in his post-island state. And I like the idea that she feels like she'd fail him ... that there is a morsel of sympathy from her there.





elliotsmelliotelliotsmelliot on January 30th, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)
Oh, I can't wait to read your take on Sarah! It doesn't surprise me that she's a popular character for this prompt. I think the Jack description ends up being the strongest part in this fic because the contrast from hero!Jack to crazy!Jack seems even more extreme through Sarah's eyes. Thanks for reading and letting me know this worked for you.
hendercatshendercats on January 30th, 2008 01:05 am (UTC)
Sarah could barely squeak out an affirmative to all these questions.
Pitch perfect.

And this
Instead of tears, cement leaks from her heart, filling every corner of her body, turning her to stone.
is an incredible image!
elliotsmelliotelliotsmelliot on January 30th, 2008 03:13 am (UTC)
Thanks! Even after I posted, I was pretty close to cutting the cement metaphor because I thought the imagery was good but the execution was messy. I'm glad to know it worked for you.
aboutbunnies: all of us are lostaboutbunnies on January 30th, 2008 01:48 am (UTC)
Sarah is the one person who can make me feel something other than annoyed irritation towards Jack, most of the time (gee, think I should write him for this challenge, or what?). You've done an amazing job with Sarah here - and you almost have me feeling for her, of all people!

One foot is still back on that damn island, that much she knows. Meanwhile the rest of his body is limping toward his father’s grave.
Great line. That's so very Jack right now.
elliotsmelliotelliotsmelliot on January 30th, 2008 03:16 am (UTC)
You should write something with Jack. I would love to see your take on him. I go back and forth between being annoyed and impressed with him. Then even since the finale, I have a new feeling for him, pity. I feel bad that hubris has come and bit him on the ass.

Thanks for the kind comment. I hope all is well.
aboutbunniesaboutbunnies on January 30th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid if I attempted to write Jack, it'd come out too heavily with my own feelings about him, which often include wanting to throw things at my television when he's onscreen :/ But it would be a great challenge for me, someday! Maybe s4 will give me something to work with.

I hope all is well with you, too :)
captain capricious: lost:jack(s)inredcynthia_arrow on January 30th, 2008 06:11 am (UTC)
Ooh. I love the parallel of the emergency room and the need for a savior. Wonderful work. :)
elliotsmelliotelliotsmelliot on January 30th, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you! The ER parallel only hit me when I as writing this.

Also, thanks for friending me. I friended you a while ago before I realized it was poor etiquette not to ask or at least introduce myself. But your Elevator Music was one of the first stories I found on LJ and it made me want to stick around.
elise: SARAH'S THE DEVILelise_509 on January 30th, 2008 07:20 am (UTC)
One foot is still back on that damn island, that much she knows. Meanwhile the rest of his body is limping toward his father’s grave.

So she turns her back. Sarah knows it’s cruel but decides it would be worse to give him false hope. She would only fail him again.


I love that, it's so aching and sad, it makes me hurt. I like that you give Sarah the self-awareness that's she being cruel and cowardly and that she knows she has failed him before. Because I still don't believe that canon Sarah blames herself for anything.

Edited at 2008-01-30 07:22 am (UTC)
elliotsmelliotelliotsmelliot on January 30th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
Perfect icon! It would have been a one word story beginning with B and ending in H if I didn't at least try to understand her coldness. Canon Sarah has no self awareness. Halfdutch captured this so well in her story. Here's it's still all me, me, me but at least she's not so impressed with herself. Thanks for reading and reviewing.
Lou: Lost - Foxy handsgottalovev on January 30th, 2008 03:39 pm (UTC)
great insight into that girl that I never quite could understand... the bit that got to me most is how she perceives Jack once back from the island, it's so powerful. at least she knows that she cannot do anything good for him.

very good!
elliotsmelliotelliotsmelliot on January 30th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Okay, so she might not be able to do any good for him but how about a lift home for god sakes? Sorry, that anger is directed at her not you. Obviously writing this did not dissolve my issues with Sarah. Nice icon. I am unfamiliar with jewellery laden Foxy.