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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Have A Cluckity Cluck Cluck Day

Look at all these briefs lately! Yes, it's Wednesday - which means another round of Wednesday Briefs! And I hope y'all liked last week's, because here comes another JJ Abrams flavored hit. Yes, I've written another LOST fic, but this one has actual dialogue! And action! And I hear people really like that stuff! Also, it involves everyone's favorite unlucky at life lottery winner as well as everyone's favorite sassy Southern con man on a mission. Here we go!


Mean Mean Pride: LOST, Sawyer and Hugo-centric, PG-13, prompt - "stop acting like an ass, island"
Canon note: Takes place during season two of LOST, when the living was easy and the idea of time travel wasn't even a gleam in poor Desmond Hume's eye. What can I say? I have an overwhelming affection for the Swan Hatch Era, before everything went all wibbley-wobbley timey-wimey (whoops, that's from Doctor Who!) on us. Title pulled from the lyrics of a certain Rush song because come on, Sawyer. And yes, that's a Steven Universe reference in there, too!
Whoever let it slip to Sawyer that Hurley used to work in a fast food chicken shack was going to get it. They were going to wish that the polar bear had found them first.

Over the course of the day, Hurley had been addressed as the following: Chicken Boy, Frybo, Colonel Sanders, Grease Trap, a rhyme-based play on 'shack' that even made Jack blush, and what he assumed was something rude about chickens in pidgin Korean. So not only was Sawyer stepping up his nickname game, but he was picking things up from Jin to boot, who probably just thought Sawyer had an invested interest in poultry.
The last straw, funnily enough, was calling him Mr. Cluck, which would seem the most innocent nickname of the group. Unfortunately, it had come after a long afternoon of managing the hatch's food supply, getting yelled at by several of his fellow Oceanic survivors for not magically having the exact thing they wanted (as if they didn't rely on random food drops from unseen Dharma benefactors to feed them), having to rewrite the entire inventory because Charlie tried to help and messed the whole thing up, and losing a game of golf to Ana Lucia, who was not a gracious winner (her victory celebration involved a lot of shouting and shotgunning a can of Dharma brand beer, in which she was happily joined by Desmond, who had somehow lost his pants again).
So when Hurley managed to stumble out of the hatch, having escaped participating in a round of impromptu and slightly inebriated strip poker with all of his clothes intact, he just happened to bump into Sawyer. The other man must have just come from working the traps with Jin, because he had the distinct odor of sea foam and fish.
The sight of Hurley was enough to put a smirk across Sawyer's face. "Well, if it isn't Mister Cluck," he said, his Southern drawl adding extra syllables to every word. "Another eventful day in the ol' hatch?"
Hurley's brows furrowed sharply. "Dude," he said, with all the irritation he could muster up at the moment. "Come on, man."
Sawyer faked a surprised look. "What, did I hurt your feelings?"
"Man, lay off, okay?" Hurley moved past Sawyer, headed toward the shore. The sound of his sneakers crunching in the grass was soon joined by the other man's footsteps. "I'm tired."
"Oh sure, it must be so tiring handing out canned hams and elbow macaroni." Sawyer snorted loudly. "I'm sure you're just hankering for one of those Dharma food crates to come with a ten pound bucket of fried chicken, extra crispy."
Memory brought back the smell of burnt oil through Hurley's nostrils, as if he was back in the kitchens of the Shack. He spun around on his heel, sending Sawyer back several steps in surprise. They locked eyes for a long, arduous moment.
"I hate it," Hurley said, voice flat. "I hate fried chicken. I spent years doing nothing but making fried chicken. If I see another three piece combo, I'm going to throw it into the ocean. Got it?"
Sawyer put his hands up in surrender. "All right, all right. Consider your message good and received. Geez."
Hurley turned back towards the waterline in the distance. He trusted Sawyer's apologies as much as he trusted Locke's claim that he could take a bird out with one of his knives from thirty feet away. "Yeah, whatever." His shoulders slumped as he walked. He couldn't help but think that if he hadn't worked at Mr. Cluck's, then he wouldn't have needed to enter the lottery, and he wouldn't be stuck on some crazy island in the middle of nowhere. Maybe it wasn't the curse of the numbers. Maybe it was the curse of the chicken, too.
"Hey, hey!" A brief hand on his shoulder stopped Hurley from taking another step and turned him around a second time. They were close to camp; he could hear the sound of Nikki and Paulo arguing in the distance. Still, they both paused at the cusp between forest and beach. "Come on."
"Come on, what?"
"I was just kidding around, man. No need to get all bent out of shape. I mean, shit, who'd wanna eat Dharma Initiative fried chicken anyway?"
"Yeah?"
"Of course, yeah! Chicken's probably mutated with three feet or somethin', extra crispy blue skin."
"Sounds nasty, dude." Even so, Hurley could tell what Sawyer was trying to do. Sawyer trying to placate someone else's feelings was a rare occasion indeed. "So you don't want any deep fried chicken feet then?"
Sawyer made a face as if someone had waved the offending dish under his nose. "I'd rather eat Jin's sea urchin surprise."
"You mean that orange stuff he keeps pulling up?"
"No, this has spines all over it. It'll take your eye out if you let 'em." Sawyer threw one arm around Hurley's shoulders. "Come on, Hugo, let's go see what Jin's caught today."
So that was the sight that Jin saw as he stood in the surf, up to his ankles in sea water, having just recast his net for the following day. The two men looked to be laughing and joking around with each other. Jin watched them draw closer and couldn't help but wonder how long it would last.

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