My first Lost fanfiction, and I hope it's a good one. Shannon/Sayid, rated for quite a bit of profanity, as well as violence. All the Lost I write will probably be for this pair, just because I love them so much.
Sometimes, she had nightmares.
Nightmares that scared her. Nightmares that violently rattled her bones until it felt as if her entire body would collapse into millions of pieces. Nightmares that haunted her long after she had broken free of their elusive grip.
Normally, she wouldn't be worried. When she was a little girl, an assortment of various subjects had terrified her, including spiders, clowns, and for some odd reason, sports mascots, which Boone never failed to tease her about.
Thunderstorms would always be her true kryptonite, though. When dark clouds began to gather in the sky and abrupt booms trembled overhead, she was as helpless as a newborn puppy, whimpering and burying her head into the nearest person's warm chest. Dreams would always plague her on those terrifying nights, dreams of standing all alone in an empty field, desperate tears drowning her as bolts of lightning sharply descended to the ground before her, traveling closer and closer until finally hovering directly overhead. A blinding flash of yellow, screams of terror, searing pain...and she would spring up in bed, eyes wide with a stunning panic.
It was different this time, though. Those instances in her childhood consisted of a numb pain, fear only managing to survive for a few fleeting moments before she found herself swept up in a comforting sleep once again. By the time morning came, the nightmares were but distant memories, an insignificant dot hidden within a clean sheet of notebook paper.
The ones she experienced now didn't go away. They nestled themselves under her skin during the day, refusing to rest, to leave her in peace, even for a single moment.
She struggled, fought to stay awake every night, the constant threat of living through yet another terrifying ordeal constantly looming over her, a thick cloud of fear and worry. But somehow, sleep, with its eerily comforting essence and tantalizing fingertips, always claimed her in the end.
Needless to say, it bothered her.
They had began the night after she had almost killed Locke. The night she tore away from any and all who struggled to help her. The night that she had to finally accept...that Boone wasn't coming back.
After that, she started to spend her long days low on the beach, allowing the waves to rush over her bare legs, the faint hope that maybe they would carry her problems away into the ocean echoing within every breath she took. All the while, she was forced to wonder...had she finally cracked?
She was always reminded of what one of the other survivors had told her, though. Having been growing desperate, she relayed her problem to many of the people she met along the beach, hoping for some kind of solution or remedy for her troubles. She knew it must have been pretty pathetic, begging for help from others that she had never even wasted a glance on before, but that was just how bad the situation was getting. Enough to strip away her self-respect in exchange for a comforting word.
One woman had said something that had stuck with her, though. The one that always hung around Jack. She had been there when it happened. Kate, was it? Yes, that sounded right.
Kate had actually approached her rather than the other way around. One day, while she spent yet another afternoon overlooking the endless blue before her, still struggling to grasp with the new, cold reality that had been given to her, the woman had taken a seat beside her. She had wanted to know how she was doing.
Of course, the stuff about the nightmares had to come out in the conversation. She always managed to leave the actual content of them to the side, though. It was nobody's business what or who she was dreaming about.
Kate seemed to figure it out anyway, though. A knowing smile rippled across her face, and she placed a friendly hand on her shoulder.
You're not crazy...just guilty.
That was what she said before leaving her. So few words, but such a deep meaning within them.
It took many a moment for her to ponder the statement, even though deep within the infinite recesses of her mind, she had to reluctantly admit that she already knew what it meant.
She was supposed to hate him now. He was the one who stopped her from killing Locke. He was the one who lied and said he would help her, and then joined the enemy's side when he should have rightfully taken hers. He had ruined her ideal revenge.
She was supposed to hate him now.
But she didn't.
There was no denying it. Even though she struggled to remain cold and distant towards him, blatantly ignored him every chance she got, refused to utter even a single word in his direction...
Her heart was a different subject entirely. Each time he walked past her, it began to beat just a little bit faster, betraying numerous thoughts of anger and hate with its unbridled emotion. Her veins pulsed with a longing to hold him once again, to feel his lips against hers in that tender way that made her body melt.
She had never wanted anything more in her entire life.
Every day, she silently asked herself why she kept on, why she chose to keep torturing herself, as well as him. The glaze of stifled hurt residing in his eyes as he stole a glance in her direction from time to time deeply stung her, and she angrily berated herself for not jumping up and throwing herself into his arms without hesitation.
Of course, her stubborn personality wouldn't allow it. To admit that she had been wrong...it was something she would never do. Never in a million, billion years.
Maybe that was the reason, she realized one day. Maybe that was why the nightmares plagued her.
Nightmares of his death right before her eyes.
She desperately tried to direct her thoughts elsewhere as she lay among battered sheets in her shelter, to images of happiness, joy, peace. Images of the wonderful day when she would finally reconcile with him, wrap her arms around him in a way that she could only dream of at the moment. The thought always caused a weak smile to dance across her face.
It never worked, though. Her dreams were always filled with the same vibrant scene. He would die, his limp body painfully held within her eyes. Sometimes it would be quick and painless, other times slow and filled with torture. But it was always the same. He always met his end...
And she was always the one who killed him.
Only one bold word echoed through her head as she rose from her makeshift bed every night, thin walls of the shelter closing in as she uttered heavy, thick breaths, her entire body trembling fiercely.
The question that couldn't be answered.
Was it because she was giving him the cold shoulder? Sure, she was still somewhat angered over the whole 'Locke' ordeal...but not enough to want to kill him!
But then...what could the reason be? She knew she had to find out soon, or the nightmares would never stop haunting her, taunting her with their disturbing images and horrific screams, always leaving her with the remnants of a lethal threat that promised to return.
One night, though, amidst an incredible miracle, she managed to escape them. Her dream was surprisingly one of wonderful warmth and comfort. She watched from the beach as an entire team of planes set down on the island, people spewing out of the doors and immediately ushering the survivors into them, video cameras and reporters as far as the eye could see. They had finally been rescued, and God, it felt so good.
She was able to return to her comforting home, her life of friends and laughter and real food. It was different this time around, though; he had chosen to come with her. Entering the room, she tossed the few salvageable possessions she had brought with her from the island onto the bed, still unmade, just like she had left it when she went to Sydney. A voice sifted in through the open door, causing her to turn around. There he was in the doorway, a few boxes held in his arms. He smiled, made a joke about how he wasn't used to living in big cities and that it was going to take some getting used to. She echoed the expression happily, only for her eyes to narrow as she held the items he had brought within her gaze, confused.
Two were filled with his own possessions; clothes, equipment, personal belongings. Nothing too exciting. But the last..light danced within his eyes as he slowly lifted the lid so that she could see, and a startled gasp slipped past her lips at the sight.
The shoes he had given her. They were still as clean and beautiful as the day he had first approached her on the beach and presented them, a special present for her help with the translations.
How could she have forgotten them? After all, they had quickly grown to be one of her most cherished belongings. She had never allowed her feet to grace them during their entire ordeal, not because she thought them unacceptable, but because she was afraid that somehow, she would step in wet sand or mud and inadvertently ruin them.
Gently, she sat them down on her dresser, softly running her fingers along their soft surface affectionately before turning back towards him, allowing herself to be lost in a thick onslaught of passionate kisses and embraces...
And then she had awoken, bright sunlight of the early morning splaying over her shelter and directly into disoriented eyes, causing her to groan. She had prayed the dream would last forever, wrap her within its tender walls of love and passion, promising never to let go.
But of course, that was not the case.
As she washed a few articles of clothing at the caves, the thought that maybe her terrifying ordeal had finally allowed her leave skittered through her body. If she could go one night without having them, couldn't she go two? Or three? Couldn't she just abandon them and get on with her life?
It wasn't that easy, though. That day, while hanging up one of her bikinis to dry in the sun, he appeared beside her, obviously doing the same thing with his clothes. She couldn't help but hold her breath, wondering if he would speak to her, steal a glance in her direction, anything. The memories of her wonderful dream still remained as vibrant as ever, images of his smiling face and tender embrace spilling over her relentlessly until it felt as though fresh air was too far away to grasp. But the man she saw before her looked nothing like him; his face emotionless, posture unnaturally rigid.
She couldn't blame him.
He suddenly spoke up, causing her to flinch, the notion that a silence would remain between them having settled comfortably. He asked her how she was doing, considering the past events. She couldn't help but hear a sincere concern laced among his words, and she felt warm because of it. He really did care, despite what her mind led her to believe.
It was her chance. Her chance to make things right. To finally heal the wounds she had inflicted upon him. All she had to do was open her mouth and utter a few words of kindness, of forgiveness. That's all it would take, and then they could be happy again.
But of course, she would never do that. Instead, a cold tone echoed, one that she swore couldn't be hers. Her words were unkind, hateful, as she coldly reprimanded him for thinking of her. She didn't need anyone's sympathy, especially not his.
The expression that drifted onto his face hurt so deeply that she had to turn away, hurriedly gathering her other shirts and undergarments into trembling arms. He walked away after that, even though her heart begged him not to go. She could still be happy with only his presence, the mere feel of him near her..but now she was alone. She had nothing.
Another nightmare visited her that night, the most terrifying of them all.
She had somehow gone back in time. In the forest, the familiar gun held tightly within her grip, its point aimed at the culprit of her brother's death. But instead of Locke standing before her, it was him. Eyes wide with an unmistakable fear, he shook his head, silently begging her not to shoot.
But she wouldn't hear it. She WANTED him to die. No one was around to stop her, after all. .
Not a scrap of emotion resided within her body as she fluidly pulled the trigger. Cold eyes watched, a cruel smirk dancing across her face as his body sharply recoiled from the hit, collapsing into a lifeless heap on the ground right before her.
Violent rain poured.
The smirk was lost.
And then realization hit.
She hadn't done it. It was a hallucination, a damn HALLUCINATION! She wouldn't, couldn't...Oh God, it wasn't real!
But it was as real as the haunting touch of thick blood meshed with dirt against her ankles, causing her entire body to violently tremble as it stuck to her skin, covering her in death.
A cry of pain fled her lips.
The gun dropped from her limp hand.
She ran towards him, desperate tears running down her face, joining the rain in a terrific onslaught of water. Knees painfully dug into cold dirt as she dropped, gathering his cold, wet body in her arms.
She screamed as loud as was possible, desperate pleas for help. Her voice echoed all through the forest as she prayed someone would come to aid her.
There was no one to hear. No one to care that he was fading fast, the warmth of his body growing cooler and cooler against her skin.
But she cared! There was no way in hell that she would let him die! Not like this! NO!
He weakly shifted his head over so as to look upon her distraught face, eyes filled with a bitter emptiness as he struggled to form words.
How could you...?
His body went limp in her arms, causing her to cry out, clutching his bloody chest against her own, thick tears dripping onto his head.
This wasn't supposed to happen, she desperately thought, blood pouring over her hands, coating them with a guilt that pulsed through her every vein, stained her every recognizable thought.
THIS WASN'T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN!
And then she woke up.
Sheets flew to the floor as her disheveled figure shot straight up to meet the darkness of the night, a tortured scream tearing away from her mouth.
It was only after a few panicked moments had passed that she came to realize it had only been a dream, another horrible nightmare. She tenderly ran her hand over her eyes, only to feel damp skin there. Had she been crying in her sleep...?
She couldn't close them once again, the tempting black of sleep filled with his broken body cradled in her arms. She couldn't hug her shoulders so as to regain warmth, hands vibrating with the blood that had flowed over them. She couldn't try and listen for the comforting sounds of others around her, snoring and shifting in their sleep, ears overrun with his last words, drenched in a pain that punctured her very soul.
How could you...?
It all had felt so incredibly real.
What if it HAD been real?
The newly arrived thought suddenly made itself known within her mind, filling her body to the brim with a fresh spasm of panic.
Maybe...maybe she had been sleepwalking. She had watched television shows back home about people who did the craziest things when they walked in their sleep...including kill.
She knew quite a few places where she could get a gun. She knew exactly where he slept. What if she had...?
At any other time, she probably would have found the fear completely absurd. For one thing, the shot of the gun would have without a doubt woken everybody up, and right then, there would be frantic screams and hurried footsteps everywhere. Her body would have been covered in warm blood, and she seriously doubted that she would have had enough time to run all the way back to her shelter without anyone spotting her.
But this wasn't one of those times. Her mind still heavy with fragmented sleep, she rose to her feet, panicked breathing flowing from her mouth as a single thought echoed through her body.
What if he was dead?
And then she was running. The warm night air rushed past her body, bare feet kicking up loose sand as she sprinted in the direction of his tent. She was barely covered in a skimpy nightdress, one that she had inadvertently discovered while poking through some bags after the crash, but it didn't matter. None of it mattered anymore...Her anger, hatred, grudges, sadness...
She only cared if he was alright. She had to know if he was okay before she even thought of doing anything else.
There was his tent, coming up in front of her. Letting forth a cry of relief, she dove to her knees and practically tore back the loose flaps of the opening, revealing...
A peacefully sleeping figure. Untouched, unharmed. Completely fine in every way.
She felt her heart calm as she watched his chest slowly rise and fall in perfect rhythm, light snores echoing through the tent. A flashlight, still on, sat in the corner, its light overlooking assorted scraps of paper and maps. He must have slipped into sleep among all the numbers and equations.
Okay. He was okay.
She smiled, the first real smile she had allowed to grace her face in the longest time. At that moment, she wanted nothing more to embrace him, beautiful laughter filling the tent.
The smile abruptly left her face as she realized that wasn't possible, though. He was still mad at her. She was still mad at him.
Or at least, supposedly.
She forced her expression to a brittle one as her body turned towards the opening, planning to leave in favor for her own shelter. She had done what she had needed to do; made sure he was alright. Now that she had completed that task, there was no other reason for her to stay in his tent...
But as she weakly lifted the flaps open, a cool wind overrun her barely-covered form, and she trembled, instinctively wrapping her free arm around herself so as to retain warmth. It was so dark, so quiet outside the tent...and her own shelter was but a mere dot on the faint horizon. Did she really want to make the trip all the way back only to have another nightmare?
Did she really want to leave him...?
She turned back, teeth gently gnawing on her bottom lip as she beheld his sleeping figure once again. Even though the wind continued to beat against her skin, she felt warm inside just by the sight of him.
But she couldn't...
Her grip on the tent flap slightly loosened.
But she could...
No one would have to know. She just had to make sure she was gone before anyone woke up, and...
It was too late. Her mind had already made the decision, and her hand immediately released the piece of cloth as a result, allowing it to block off any and all remnants of the dark night and the violent dreams it held within its shadows. She was now left with the only things she truly wanted; a beautiful blanket of warmth, and his breathing echoing through her ears, an ever-present reminder of the fact that despite the images she had witnessed, he was alive.
In a single, fluid motion, she swept all the papers into the corner of the tent, her actions quick and precise, praying that she wouldn't awaken him by accident and have a new embarrassing moment to add to her already lengthy list. She definitely did NOT want him to wake up to her hovering over him in a skimpy nightdress.
If that didn't give the wrong impression, she didn't know what would.
When the huge mass of maps, papers, and translations had finally been cast aside, she laid down beside him as carefully as possible, hoping that he wasn't a light sleeper. Thankfully, she managed to make herself comfortable without so much as a single shift in his position, which cast a delicate smile across her face. She really did have good luck, despite what Boone had always said when they were kids.
This, she thought as she propped her head up with her elbow, was how she wished she could spend every night. Not stuck in her pathetic shelter with only the whispers of the wind to keep her company, but instead here, watching him sleep, her body warmth intertwining so deeply with his that it felt as though the sun had risen early. Somehow, the experience was managing to calm her nerves, still somewhat frayed by the nightmare.
His body suddenly tensed, though, causing her to immediately withdraw, dragging her body across the dirt floor over to the other side of the tent. In a hopeless display of sudden faith, she prayed to somehow be able to transform into a chameleon and blend in perfectly with the dark green color of the walls.
It took her a few moments to realize that he hadn't woken. His eyes were still clamped shut, chest still rising and falling in the natural pattern of sleep. Tentatively, she edged back over to him, holding her breath just in case he was teetering on the brink of consciousness.
Something was wrong.
He was still held in a apparently deep sleep...but his expression had abruptly changed from one of relative peace and comfort to one of worry, sadness. She could only watch as he uttered a low groan, body shifting repeatedly in different directions.
He must be having a dream, she noted. But what of...?
The answer to that question was provided rather quickly.
Her entire body felt as though it had just been thrown into the ocean.
Why...why had he said her name?
Though she desperately pondered the question, there was a sinking suspicion within her bones that she already knew its answer.
Hollow eyes watched as his figure continued to tense and jerk, vibrant with a selfish glint that she wished she could get rid of, but somehow...it remained an impossible task.
He shouldn't have stopped her from killing Locke.
He should have taken her side.
He should have been more understanding to how she was feeling.
He shouldn't have agreed with the enemy.
He should have this, he shouldn't have that...she couldn't stop them. Her brain was overrun, drowned in a pool of false justification and attempted self-comfort. This wasn't her fault, this WASN'T her fault...
But somehow, somewhere deep inside of her, where even the strongest rays of light couldn't hope to grasp...a single thought rose to the surface, powerful and overbearing, casting an endless shadow over all other meaningless blame and anger...
I'm such a bitch.
It was true.
She didn't care about what he was feeling, how he was doing, just what was going on inside that head of his as she shamelessly stomped his heart into the ground without any sort of hesitation. All she cared about was herself...and she had been perfectly fine with living that way for as long as she could remember.
Things were different now, though. Back home, she had used many a boy for her own pleasure and satisfaction, and when she grew bored of her plaything, disposed of him as though he was a used wad of tissue paper. Not a person, not a living creature with thoughts, dreams, and feelings...but an object to be conquered and manipulated, nothing more. She had become hopelessly addicted to that sort of life, a life of intoxicating passion and heat, and it was not something she could give up with the simple snap of her fingers.
But...she liked him. She really liked him. For once in her life, she had found herself conquered by emotions that for once did not focus on herself, but instead represented the true feelings of another. She truly cared, and it had felt so good while it had lasted.
But after the incident, after Boone's unexpected death, she had slipped back into her dark, unforgiving place. A place where she was the only one of any importance, and anyone who got in her way was merely someone to step on, an insignificant bug beneath the sharp heel of her boot.
He had inadvertently become that bug the moment he threw himself at her as she fired the gun.
It didn't matter how he felt about the situation. It didn't matter that he had done what he had to do to stop another death from taking place, and she would have easily understood and probably even praised him if the person being avenged was anyone but Boone.
All that mattered was that she was angry with him, and if she was unhappy, there was no possible way she was going to let him escape unscathed. He deserved it, after all.
But that was the whole damn point. He DIDN'T deserve it.
A sudden rush of cold grazed its haunting fingertips against her spine.
That was it.
Kate had been right. She WAS guilty. Guilty of being a stupid bitch who could care less if the man she loved was unhappy...as long as she was managing to get all of her anger out.
That was why she had them.
Even though she always somehow justified her actions with half-hearted excuses and brittle reassurance, she still knew deep inside of her...that she was, and had always been wrong. Yet, the behavior kept on, and she knew that it hurt him. Even though he hardly ever showed it, she always managed to catch glimpses; fleeting looks thrown across the beach, tentative anger pushed forward in the most irrelevant of times.
She was, in a sense, killing him.
She felt like one of those old, ugly men who always got cast in the gaudy mysteries her step-mother had forced her to watch when she was a kid. At the end of the movie when he and his equally-hideous love interest were very close to solving to case, there would always be some moment of abrupt realization when the solution to everything dawned on the guy.
Even though she had always found those times to be painfully stupid, it seemed as though one was happening to her. The answers were becoming clear, or at least somewhat less blurry...she knew what she was doing to him, but yet still she refused to alter her behavior. It was...almost like the nightmares were teaching her a lesson, really. She had never bothered to believe in all that dream-analyzation crap her friends had tried to push on her in the seventh grade, about how if you dreamed about your crush, he must be in love with you, and if you dreamed about an angel, you were guilty for something...stupid stuff that made no sense to her. But maybe they had been on to something.
One question still remained prominent, though.
Why did she have the one good dream?
The rescue, the bed, the shoes...it had definitely been a night's sleep she wouldn't be forgetting any time soon. But what had caused it...? Just what the hell had gone on that day?
And then she remembered.
She had been sitting alone on the beach, as usual. No one had come around her lately, probably afraid she would bite their head off if so much as a word was uttered in her direction. The sun was just beginning to disappear under the ocean when the tell-tale shadow of a person dragged across the sand at her feet. She knew who it was before they even spoke.
He had brought her some food for dinner, a strange fruit and a small cut of meat. She had silently taken it from him, mind still spinning with a stubborn defiance that she refused to overcome. Out of the corner of her eye, she watched as his lips slowly curved down right before he turned away. He hoped that she would enjoy the food, and then began back across the sand to the others, sitting around the fire.
She couldn't explain why she did what she did. Maybe she felt bad. Maybe she was weak from all the crying and anger she had been expressing recently. Maybe it just came spewing out of her mouth before she could control it...
They was just two measly words. It wasn't like she was begging forgiveness or demanding apology. Two words that were almost offered as a lame form of pity.
But then he turned to look back at her...and he smiled, a smile that made her feel warm all over her body, from matted, unruly hair down to filthy toes. A smile that made her feel beautiful, even though she knew she wasn't, as countless reflections in the ocean water reminded her.
A smile that for the first time in quite a while, awakened a faint happiness within her.
Her dreams must have decided to provide a reward for the decision she had made.
Of course, then she had decided to go and stupidly ruin it all the next day.
A sudden flash from the corner of the tent caused her to abruptly stiffen, turning her head only to see that his hand had nudged the flashlight she had neglected to turn off. It had sent the beam of light splaying against the other side of the tent wildly in response. Somewhat annoyed, she snatched up the object and immediately shut it off, filling the tent with a new, complete darkness.
So that's it.
She knew now. Why the nightmares plagued her. Why she kept killing him.
And at that moment...she hated herself for it. How she had acted towards him, how she had punished him for only doing what was right, how she had remained cold and emotionless while still basked in his unconditional warmth and love...she hated herself for all of it so fricking much.
Tenderly, she reached forward and caressed his face with her trembling hand, wanting nothing more than to gently shake him into a bold consciousness and apologize for everything, everything she had ever done to him, right then and there, cramped in a makeshift tent.
...but then why wouldn't she? She KNEW she wanted to. She could feel the longing pulsing through her every vein, a fiery passion that was getting harder and harder to ignore. But she had to accept the facts...that wasn't something Shannon Rutherford would do. Boone would have laughed his head off if he knew she actually wanted to APOLOGIZE for something, and how could she blame him?
But it was like Locke had told her before he become a crazy, stepbrother-killing psychopath. Everyone gets a new life on Craphole Island. She definitely didn't want to be the same selfish soul that had inhabited her body before the entire incident, going through a boy every week with no emotional baggage whatsoever. She wanted to be one of those people who really CARED about others. She wanted to have the ability to forgive.
She wanted to make her new relationship work.
It would take time. She had to accept that. It was something to be learned, something to head towards. 'The light at the end of the tunnel', her father always said. It wouldn't be easy, and it wouldn't be fun...
But she still found herself painfully determined. One day, she would walk up to him and apologize. One day she would speak the words 'please forgive me' and would mean it, really MEAN it. She wouldn't say it because she wanted sex or money. She wouldn't say it because Boone blackmailed her into apologizing to some guy she had screwed over.
She would say it because she sincerely, truly, definitely...meant it.
Feeling content with her decision, she allowed her mind to finally fall into a tentative rest, tired eyes watching him as he continued to sleep. His expression still remained one of uneasiness, though, causing her brow to furrow hopelessly.
She could make it stop by waking him...but then she would have some very complicated explaining to do about why she was in his tent wearing lingerie, and...yeah, not something she really wanted to deal with at that moment.
So instead, she did what she could.
Tucking loose strands of tangled blond hair behind her ear so as not to let them get in the way, she leaned down and captured his lips in a kiss, a soft, lingering kiss that felt absolutely heavenly. She couldn't even remember the last time she had kissed him. Before Boone's death, she was pretty sure. God, just how long had it been?
She quickly made a mental note to sneak into his tent at night and kiss him while he was asleep more often.
Her body lowered fluidly to the ground beside him, mouth shifting to his ear, forming three delicate words that he couldn't even hear, which somewhat comforted her uneasiness with speaking them.
I forgive you.
It felt so...ALIEN. When had she last forgiven someone? That time in middle school when Boone ruined the science project she had been working on for weeks with his stupid tennis ball? Or maybe when that senior had stood her up for prom because he caught the flu and made it up by sending her a huge bouquet of flowers the very next day?
But those had been trivial times, times that held no real value to the rest of her life. This, this was vibrant, bold...this was strange and new and all right and all wrong at the same time and she had no idea what the hell she was doing...
And then, amidst her disheveled thoughts...something happened.
His body began to settle, strange movements becoming less and less noticeable right before her eyes. Slender hands withdrew, wary that if she tried to touch him, it would start up again. Instead, she watched as he swiftly reached a complete stillness, tense face softening into one of peace and comfort again, much to her relief.
And for a moment...no, not a minute, not one of those seconds that annoyingly lingered long after its time had passed, but just for a moment...
She could have sworn she saw him smile.
It just didn't matter after that. It didn't matter that she had done so many horrible things when she was growing up. It didn't matter that she had flirted with each and every guy she came across, that she first had sex when she was fourteen with an innocent neighbor boy she had seduced. It didn't matter that she had extorted money from her stepmother every chance she got and that she had gambled in Vegas with a fake ID for two years. It didn't matter that she had shamelessly tricked Boone by using his love for her as an advantage, and then slept with him, thinking nothing of it. It didn't matter that she had forced him to move their flight to Los Angeles back a day so she wouldn't have to rush to pack, back to the flight that had supposedly ruined their lives by crashing into Craphole island.
None of it mattered...because she knew she must have done something right to end up where she was now, sitting there in his tent, watching him sleep, filled with an inexplicable warmth that powerfully drowned her soul and lingered on her bare skin.
...or maybe the expression was just her imagination. Maybe she WAS going crazy.
Whatever the case, it made her feel wonderful inside. She knew her forgiveness had helped himShe knew she had done something GOOD for once. Not selfish, not suspicious...but sincerely good.
She hoped Boone was watching her from wherever he was, marveling at how much she was changing. She could just hear his condescending voice now, faintly echoing from a cloud among the heavens...
That can't be Shannon. There's no way. The sister I grew up with was a complete bitch.
If he had said that while still alive, she would have probably thrown his favorite shirt straight into the fire for that little comment. But instead, she glanced up, thin walls just transparent enough so that she could grasp the endless black of the night sky through them, and she smiled.
A yawn abruptly came from her mouth, having been held back for so long by the never-ending string of thoughts that had plagued her mind. Her body slowly lowered backwards, coming to rest against the skin of his arm as gently as possible. She buried her nose into his long, dark hair, taking in his tantalizing smell of determination and hard work as deeply as she could manage. She longed to be covered in it, feel it intertwining with her body until she could notice the scent echoing against her as well.
You have to be gone by morning, she sternly reminded herself with a bitter tinge of reluctance, beginning to feel her consciousness slip away amidst the beautiful heat of his skin against hers and the scent swirling relentlessly through her bones.
You have to be gone by morning...
When he awoke the next day, the maps and papers were still sprawled out messily along the dirt floor. The flashlight in the corner was still on in the corner, its bright beam of light easily meshing with the morning sunthat poked through the flaps. Nothing had been disturbed; nothing had been touched. He shut the object off before leaving his shelter.
She was outside, comfortably situated under a tree as she read a book, distanced from the other survivors as they performed various chores. She glanced up at the sudden movement, cold eyes focusing straight on him for a lingering moment.
He offered a smile in her direction as he walked past, obviously heading elsewhere, probably to speak with Jack or someone else important.
She didn't echo the expression, brittle face refusing to shift as his lanky shadow drifted across her skin, on the way into the maze of trees.
It wasn't until she had watched his figure completely disappear into the thick foliage that a secretive smile was allowed to glimmer across her face.
He hadn't suspected a thing.
She closed the book and laid it down beside her, never actually having been reading it. She had just wanted to look busy when he caught sight of her so that he wouldn't think she had just been waiting for him. There was no way in hell she was going to let herself look desperate.
Bare arms wrapped themselves around her legs, gently shoving into her chest. She longed to produce memories of the night before, memories of the unconditional warmth she had felt, the smell that had drowned her body, and how wonderful it had felt to kiss him once again.
One day, she would learn.
One day, she would be able to walk right up to him and ask for his forgiveness as though it was the easiest thing in the world.
One day, she would accept that what had happened, had happened, and it couldn't be altered or changed.
And one day, she would openly love him once again, and he would love her back. They could finally be happy. Not alone, but together.
She sighed, her voice thick with impatience. That day seemed so incredibly far away, it was painful.
But until then, she could always look forward to a peaceful sleep in her shelter when the sun disappeared behind the horizon. For some reason, she was pretty sure the nightmares that haunted her for so long...had finally been put to rest.
This piece took me almost six days to complete, so reviews are very much appreciated!