Title: "Smile"
Author: Janine
Pairing: Kate/Claire
Fandom: Lost
Rating: G (pre-slash)
Words: 1,273
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Kate, Claire, or anyone else mentioned in this story, nor do I own the haunted island (I am scared of it though!).

Kate carefully crouched down beside Claire's drowsing form, her body half in the shade and half in the sun as she leaned closer to the blonde who was lying under a large umbrella to protect her from the sun. One hand carefully hidden behind her back, Kate reached out slowly with the other, placing her hand on Claire's shoulder gently. The Aussie stirred under her and Kate froze for a moment, her hand simply resting on Claire's shoulder feeling the warm heat of the smooth flesh beneath. However, after a moment she snapped herself out of her contemplation of Claire's skin and shook her shoulder lightly. The movement reminded her of the day before when they had worried that they might have lost her to heat exhaustion and a frown came to Kate's beautiful lips, as her heart seized. That wasn't a memory she wanted to dwell on. However, the frown turned into a shy smile as Claire began to wake up, blinking up at Kate's face, her eyes squinting as she tried to make out who was leaning above her.

"It's me. Kate," Kate said noticing Claire's slight agitation and wanting to put her at ease.

Claire smiled at that, though she was still blinking, and relaxed slightly, willing to allow her eyes to adjust naturally now that she knew who was beside her. "Sorry I … was suppose to be resting my eyes," Claire said looking in Kate's general direction, her eyes finally able to focus on the other woman as she spoke.

"Sleep's been difficult to come by out here. You should take it when you can," Kate replied, sitting back on her heels as Claire's sky blue eyes were finally looking at her carefully. "I didn't mean to disturb you, I'm just … going on the water walk and wanted to give this to you before I left," she continued bringing the hand that had been behind her back in view to reveal a sturdy looking, if not particularly fancy, hair brush.

"Oh my god, where did you find that?" Claire asked, her voice animated and excited as she sat up a little, staring at the coveted item in Kate's hand.

"Over there," Kate responded, a bit surprised by the enthusiastic response, but also charmed by it, a small and somewhat self-depreciating smile coming to her face as she realized that her answer was completely useless.

Looking back over at Claire, Kate noticed that the blonde was simply staring at the brush with a dreamy expression on her face and her smile widened.

"Here," Kate said gently reaching over towards Claire with the hand the brush was in. "You can take it, it's for you," she continued as Claire looked over at her. "Yesterday you said that …"

"Thank you," Claire replied, cutting off Kate's explanation for gift. "Really," Claire went on smiling beatifically over at the brunette. "I just talk so much that I figure nobody remembers what I say five minutes later."

"I doubt that happens a lot," Kate heard herself respond though that wasn't at all what she had intended to say. It was the truth though, she'd found their little sorting pow-wow the other afternoon to be highly enjoyable and entertaining, and while Claire did talk quite a bit, and quite fast at that, Kate found it charming rather than annoying, which would have been her usual response. She figured that it might have had something to do with interacting with someone who had a naturally sunny disposition, or that conversation was so rare amongst the survivors that any type of communication was welcome, but really she was certain it had a lot to do with Claire herself. The Aussie was just plain likeable.

"You're sweet for a Gemini," Claire responded smiling teasingly over at Kate, their joke from the other day drawing Kate out of her thoughts and bringing a small smile to her face as well. She was quite certain that she had smiled more with Claire in an hour or so the day before than she had in the previous five days.

"Or maybe I just appear sweet," Kate replied as Claire played with the brush she had just been given, twirling it around in her hands. The brunette tried not to think too much about what she had just said and how true it was in relation to … other matters.

"Spoken like a true Gemini," Claire replied grinning. "I suppose I'll have to keep an eye on you from now on, wit and cunning can be a deadly combination. We wouldn't want anyone to get hurt."

Kate struggled to try and keep her expression neutral as Claire's words washed over her. She knew they were spoken innocently, Claire didn't know about the circumstances that led her to be on the flight, and her words had been light and teasing, but she couldn't help the heavy weight that settled upon her chest upon hearing them. She tried so hard, but …

"Hey, I was only kidding. I really do think you're sweet. And I love the hairbrush. Also, you're very dashing with all of the hiking and boar hunting … the latter of which proves you're not very deadly at all," Claire began, reaching out and placing a friendly hand on Kate's shoulder. She was babbling a little bit and she knew it, but Kate hadn't seemed to mind the other day, and really she couldn't help it. Kate and Charlie were the only people that didn't treat her like she was invisible or made of glass and she didn't want to alienate one of them with an off the cuff astrological joke.

"Funny," Kate commented catching the last part of what Claire had said and actually smiling. "Those pigs are surprising light on their feet," she continued laughing lightly as Claire looked at her somewhat skeptically. "Luckily for me I climb trees well," she continued certain the blonde would find the comment amusing, and wanting to make her smile for some reason.

Almost as soon as the words were out of her mouth, she found herself on the receiving end of one of the most beautiful smiles she had ever seen her in her 25 years of life, and once again found herself returning it. She wondered if maybe she was suffering from heat stroke too, given her previous and current situations there was no reason she should be smiling so much, and feeling so damn chipper.

Her name being called out from behind her drew her out of the happy little haze that had been surrounding her and Claire a few moments later however. Turning her head around, she saw Jack, Sayid, Charlie and a few other standing near the tree line waiting looking over at her, waiting.

"I gotta," Kate started jerking her thumb in the direction the others were in. "Water run," she further explained a second later realizing that sentences were her friend. "I'll see you later," she continued as she stood up, the words sounding incredibly lame to her own ears. She tried not to wince at the awkwardness of it.

Claire smiled up at her softly, squinting again as Kate reentered the light, lifting her hand up to wave as she drawled, "latta gata".

Kate smirked at that, then turned around and began to jog over to where to the water party was waiting for her, throwing one last look over her shoulder to where Claire was seated. She expected to see the blonde engrossed with the hairbrush, but to her surprise found Claire watching her exit.

For some reason that made her smile.