Title: Retribution

Author: Girl Who Writes

Rating: PG

Pairing: Shannon/Boone

Spoilers: Up to and including "The Greater Good".

Summary: Boone Carlisle was not a name synonymous with religious or spiritual insight. But then he died.

Notes: A fic written for lostfichallenge at livejournal - the fic had to include the statement "I love you, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it" but allowed us to change the wording or tense to suit the character as long as the meaning stayed the same. I hope you enjoy it, reviews are beloved, and I'll be back writing Lost fic as soon as I've finished my NanoWrimo (20k to go!)

Boone Carlisle was not a name synonymous with religious or spiritual insight. He'd been a lucrative business man who believed in equality for everyone, who went to the gym and signed petitions, marched in protests, and only ever bought organic vegetables. He'd been in a Church twice that he could remember – once for his mother's wedding to Shannon's father, and once for the death of his stepfather.

So, when he told Jack to let him go, he didn't look to a higher power or wonder what awaited him in the afterlife. He just hoped Jack had understood what he was saying about the radio, and that there was still peroxide and medication for the other, luckier survivors. And for a moment he wished that Shannon was next to him so, just once, he could pretend he was loved in return.

But he died.

He wasn't sure if it was the island or the afterlife, but he saw them, still – he was still there. He saw Shannon cry hysterically over his prone body, he saw Jack go off in a murderous rage after John, he saw Shannon holding a gun aimed at John – that had been the only time he had even tried to interfere. If Sayid hadn't interfered too, he was sure John would've been joining him. Whether he was a spirit, in a coma, dead, a ghost or cursed, he couldn't help or explain. He could just stand by and watch as Shannon tried to justify to herself everything that had ever happened.

He remembered when they were children, and she got the chickenpox – he'd had it when he was an infant, and everyone assumed he wouldn't get it again. He'd sat next to her on the giant pink bed and kept her company – he helped her bead little bracelets, he played Barbies with her, he read aloud from her books and ran down to rent her movies and buy her ice blocks when his mother was at work.

And when he caught it, the house was quiet. Sabrina went to work and Shannon went off to her friends' houses for slumber parties – the whole three weeks he was in bed, with old comic books and midday television, she was not at home. She told him Sabrina made her stay at friends' houses and he believed her because he wanted to believe she wanted to be running eight blocks in the summer heat for boys' videos and cherry flavoured ice cream, when they both knew Shannon insisted she leave the house.

She always made up beautiful lies for him, and he'd believed them his entire life. And the second Hurley and Jack put his body in the hole, and he saw Shannon's face – an expression of pain and guilt that he knew so well – it was like he'd woken up from a long dream.

She spent the days after the whole Locke debacle crying her eyes out at his grave, her face white and grey, her eyes swollen red. Everyone left her alone and he was glad in a childish, selfish way.

"I'm so sorry," she gasped, burying her face in her hands. "Boone, I'm so sorry for everything."

He stood behind his cross, knowing no one could see him, and that maybe he was kept back for this moment. He had loved her like he'd never loved anyone else; and he'd hated them both for it. She'd rejected and humiliated him so many times, most spectacularly in Sydney before this island fiasco, and he'd always forgiven her. Never once had he truly condemned her for her actions, justifying his forgiveness to himself a dozen times each day through amazing manipulations of truth and logic.

And now, here he was, and she was martyring herself for his death, the guilt she carried spilling out. She wasn't looking for peace and she wasn't grieving for him; she was looking for away not feel such regret, such guilt, from all the years of tormenting him.

He'd always love her – she was Shannon and he was Boone – but he could leave her behind this once with the knowledge that she had hurt him over and over again and never once said she was sorry, and never could ever again.

"I loved you, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it now," he said clearly to her shaking form.

He'd see her again, one day, when she died – and he hoped it would be ninety years from now, when she was old and beautiful, and he'd forgive her on sight. But now, he could walk away, back into whatever existence he currently had, whatever road he was walking, back into the heart of the island knowing that Shannon was hurting because of him, but that she would be okay. And that whenever she alone from now until she died, she could think of him and know that for all their arguments, he had truly loved her and died trying to save her from the island.