Reading Between the Lines

by Dreamality

Genre: Mainly angst, some hinted romance, and a lot of "general"

Rating: G for the most part, maybe PG in certain parts.

Summary: A collection of vignettes dealing with what was going through the characters' minds during certain parts of Confidence Man. All very brief.

Disclaimer: Lost and all related characters, settings, plots, etc. belong to J.J. Abrams and ABC. I claim no ownership and make no money from this venture.

Author's Note: My plot bunnies went rabid during this episode. Seriously, it was like a hundred of the rabbits from Monty Python all on speed decided to attack me and started throwing stories at me as if I were a wide receiver during a Superbowl and they were all Hail Mary passes. Whatever that means, I'm not a sports buff. Anyway, this is the result of me going crazy during Confidence Man and staying up until about three in the morning writing little drabbles about various lines that struck me. (Which was practically every line in the episode!!!) Vignettes are not in any certain order. For the most part it's chronological, but some quotes will be out of order.

Extreme Spoiler Warning: Do not read this if you have not seen Confidence Man and do not wish to know what happened.


Misunderstanding (Charlie, Claire POV)

"For when we get rescued."

"When we get rescued. Right."

Claire hated the condescending way Charlie said that. She hated that he had suddenly taken on a superior tone just when she thought she'd found the one who wouldn't look down on her. It hurt her, and even though she tried not to show it, Charlie saw her face fall as she looked out at the ocean, perhaps thinking she might she a rescue boat and have the chance to prove Charlie wrong. There was nothing there, of course, and Claire looked down so she wouldn't have to look at Charlie and see him judging her, see her writing her off as a little girl who didn't know what she was talking about.

What Claire missed as she intently studied the grains of sand was that Charlie had not meant to belittle her. The words had come out wrong. He hadn't meant to dampen her spirits; he wanted to raise her up. More than anything Charlie wanted to pretend, just for one little second, that he were half as tough as Claire. She had the strength to hold on to hope, whereas Charlie's hope had slipped through his fingers even as the plane was going down.

Charlie wanted her strength. Claire just wanted his respect.


Savagery (Kate POV)

"We're not savages, Kate. Not yet."

It was the "not yet" that frightened Kate the most. In those two seemingly simple words she found a myriad of responses. While there was truth to them, the fear that the truth inspired led Kate immediately to denial. No, they were not savages, and they would never be savages, because even though there were bad seeds giving root to malicious plants, the good far outweighed the bad.

Didn't it?

Later, when Jack was gone, his words did not leave Kate's mind. Denial was giving a feeble struggle against acceptance, and the more she contemplated the words the weaker it became. They were not savages –yet. They were mostly good people –for now. How long would it be until civilized behavior gave way to natural, base, carnal instinct? How long before the need to survive became the excuse for arguing, fighting, even killing? Maybe when the herd of piglets became harder to find? Maybe when medicine ran low or when an injury occurred that went beyond Jack's expertise? Maybe when people realized that they were to be stuck on this island for quite some time and might never have to answer for any inappropriate behavior?

Already, so soon after crashing, animosity was developing that, if left unchecked could develop into true savagery. Sawyer had fought with… how many people? Jack was considering reverting to torture. Jin had already proven his willingness to use violence as an answer.

Kate was worried. No, more than that.

Kate was downright scared.

Should the rescuers she so desperately hoped for ever arrive, how many people would they find, and how many carcasses?


Fulfilled Prediction (Kate POV)

"If you do this…"

Jack never heard the end of this sentence for two reasons. Firstly because he was too focused on Shannon and how to get her the help she so needed to listen to anyone else and secondly because the end of the sentence never came.

Kate couldn't say it. There were too many possibilities for her to choose just one to voice. If Jack did this, if he used brute force against Sawyer, what was stopping the rest of the survivors? Should one person think another was getting more than his fair share, what was stopping him from attacking the other man? After all, if Jack, the good doctor who everyone seemed to look to for guidance, did it, why shouldn't everyone else?

If Jack did this, it would bring to life a prediction Kate had hoped wouldn't come true. He had spoken the words only hours ago, and the addendum "not yet" had made Kate feel safe. Now the safety net was unraveling too fast. Savages, not yet. But close. Too close for comfort. Kate watched Jack and Sayid drag Sawyer to the edge of the jungle. They disappeared into the trees and she walked away to sit by herself on the shore. Some time later, she hoped the screams of anguish coming from a distant place were only her imagination.


To Be Continued…

Reviews and critiques encouraged. This is pretty much the first time I've strayed away from Charlie/Claire fics, so if you have any suggestions on my characterization, I would really appreciate it.