Title: Playing House

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: If I owned it all, Sawyer would never look at Kate

Summary: Boone and Shannon's mother went out of town a lot when they were younger, leaving the whole house to her children for weeks at a time.

Boone and Shannon's mother went out of town a lot when they were younger, leaving the whole house to her children for weeks at a time.

They liked to pretend when she was gone. They pretended lots of things, that they were grown ups, living in their own big house that they had bought with their own money. Shannon would stay home during the summer days while Boone went to lifeguard at the pool, and she'd clean up and bake and watch soap operas just like her mother did. When Boone came home he'd yell, "Honey, I'm home!" And they'd both giggle. Shannon would make dinner. It was never very good, but she thought it was, and Boone pretended because he liked to see her happy.

Sometimes they pretended they were robbers or something like that, staying in a stranger's home. They'd look at the pictures their mother had of them when they were little and say things like, "Cute kids" and "What a lovely little family." Before their mother came home they'd clean the place up just like they'd found it, getting rid of any 'incriminating' evidence.

Most of the time, though, they just acted like they weren't brother and sister. They could stay in for whole weeks, without the prying eyes of their mother judging them. They could kiss whenever they felt like it, never having to duck into the bathroom while their mother was in the kitchen to steal a few moments together. They could sleep in the same bed, and they didn't have to worry about their mother hearing them. They could just sit on the couch, with his arm around her shoulders, her head resting on his chest, and it didn't feel wrong, and they didn't always have to keep their guard up. The truth was, the only time either of them could ever relax was when their mother was away, because they didn't have to act like something they weren't.

Shannon wished she hadn't told anyone on the island that Boone was her brother. She should have just gone the way he had, telling everyone they were family. If Shannon had kept her mouth shut they could have been anything they wanted to. Husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, best friend, enemies, anything but brother and sister. That was the thing they hated being the most.