Title: Mother's Intuition
Disclaimer: If I owned the show: naked Sawyer. All the time.
Notes: This follows the same story and timeline as my other stories, but I don't think it's essential to read them first. And I need to thank Mara from the lost thread over on RottenTomatoes for giving me the plot bunny. Sorry I couldn't fathom writing your first one.
Summary: She'd rather her children be happy than right.
Boone and Shannon's mother had caught them kissing the summer their father died. Her children had sprung apart, looking guilty. She just smiled tightly and told them dinner was ready. And she let it drop.
It wasn't that she wasn't concerned, she was. But their father had just died. Children act strangely in high-stress situations. They came to the dinner table that night and she smiled at them like nothing had happened at all. She was expecting them to act guilty or shameful, or to show some sign that they knew what they were doing was wrong. They didn't.
Their mother thought it was a phase they would grow out of. But all through that summer she could sense what was going on in her house and she because nervous whenever Shannon and Boone disappeared together. But they were never gone for long, so she didn't worry much about the kissing being anything but that.
That winter she started working later hours. That winter was a blur, and she wasn't sure if what happened happened because she was gone so much, or if she was gone so much because of what happened.
A mother can tell when something isn't right with her children. And she became distinctly aware that winter that Boone and Shannon weren't just kissing anymore. Perhaps it was because Shannon's bed went unslept in night after night. Or maybe it was because of the muffled noises she wasn't quite sure she heard most nights. But it didn't matter how she knew, just that she knew. And it drove her crazy.
At first she tried to stop it. She pulled transferred Shannon to a different school and sent Boone to summer camp, but the siblings proved that absence really does make the heart grow fonder, and the problem just seemed to get bigger and bigger, until it was completely out of her hands.
To make matters worse, they knew that she knew. And she knew that they knew that, and that made it even worse for her, because they never looked at her with a hint of guilt. They seemed to think it was okay. And the problem became to much for her to bear. So she ignored it.
But eventually something happened, she wasn't exactly sure what. Maybe Boone got bored, or maybe he realized how disgusting it was, but there was suddenly a shift in the mood of their home. She could tell both of her children were miserable. Boone was in failed relationship after failed relationship, and Shannon was drinking herself to sleep every night. At first their mother was happy. Her children were normal, and for a brief time she was happy. Eventually, though, seeing her children in so much pain practically killed her. She almost wanted to go up to Boone and say, "It's okay, I don't mind as long as you two are happy." But the thing had never been acknowledged, and no matter how much she wanted to she couldn't bring herself to do it.
And then her baby girl ran away. As much as she missed her and worried about Shannon, things seemed lighter with her away. Boone's source of temptation was gone, and he was visibly happier. But even with Boone happy, she couldn't stop worrying about her youngest child.
When she received the credit card bill which told her Shannon was in Australia she struggled with what to do. She considered sitting on it, not saying anything. The happy life she and Boone had created in Shannon's absence was almost worth never finding Shannon. She did keep it a secret for a few days, before she found a crumpled picture of Shannon in Boone's laundry. After that, she did a terrible thing that no mother should do. She searched her son's room. She wasn't sure what she was looking for, but she felt an undeniable need to see if he was hiding anything about Shannon. What she found shocked her and saddened her more than she had ever been before.
There were at least 2 dozen unsent letters that Boone had written to Shannon. He obviously couldn't send them because they had no idea where she was, but he had written them anyway. In them he wrote how much he loved her, how much he needed her, and if she'd only come back her would make everything right, and that he wouldn't let them ever feel ashamed. She sat on the floor of Boone's bedroom for an hour crying over the letters. When Boone came home that night, she told him about the credit card bill, and sent her son to go save his sister, who also happened to be the love of his life.
Because she'd rather her children be happy than right.