A/N: I never thought I'd write about any other show besides 24 but apparently my inspiration proved me otherwise! So this is my first attempt at a Lost fanfic, be merciful! (and review please, I won't get better without it!)

It hurts, so bad. It's like I'm acutely aware of every inch of my body, in the worst possible way. The throbbing of my head, the sting of each cut, the waves of pain coming from my leg, all is melting into an unbearable mix of feelings. It floods my mind and senses, leaving me breathless and nauseous.

Sometimes the pain subdues long enough for me to notice my surroundings. I am in the caves. I vaguely notice Jack, Sun and the others around me but they are merely faces hovering above me. They keep trying to shush me when I want to speak. It seems to annoy me but deep down I don't really care. I'm not even sure what it is I want to say. Words are forming in my head, I start to build sentences and then they fade away. I can't keep track of what I'm thinking, so I cling to the raw sensations, the only things that are tangible and constant inside of me. For instance the burning of the "needle" that was just now firmly inserted in my arm. Through the thin red veil that seems to cover everything I look at, I can see Jack sitting next to me and a flexible tube that connects us. The strangeness of a blood transfusion made in our conditions doesn't even surprise me, I don't have the awareness necessary for such a reaction.

Surprisingly I can now sort trough the random things in my head, my mind is clearer. Must be the painkillers and the transfusion Jack gave me. Somehow they found a way to numb my messed-up and broken body. I welcome this relieving break with gratitude and let my mind wander while I'm able to. Immediately and predictably, it goes to her, Shannon.

I have pronounced that name in so many different ways. The angry shouted one, when she would have pushed me to the limit. The timid murmured one, that fateful day she was introduced to me, the exasperated sighed one when I would have learned another time that she was in trouble. Lastly, the one I wish to forget resurfaces. That breathy whisper I let out in the hotel room will forever haunt me. Everything was in that word. The love, the hate, the shame, the desire, the anger, I confirmed it all with it.

I try to think of something else but there's no escape. Shannon makes every memory about her. A glimpse about the vacation we took in Tuscany will only lead to the image of her, radiant in a tight blue sundress, answering my stare with an ironic smile. Since I know for a fact that it will only continue, I give in. I reminisce about the times we had.

It wasn't always the way it is now between us. We used to be pals, long ago, before she would grow up to become an egomaniac. We would stay up late, making fun of our snob parents and their friends, eating the candies hidden under our beds and forming exotic and adventurous plans for our future. That was all changed and forgotten when we hit our teen years. She transformed into this astonishing woman, both cunning and gorgeous. But she then also realized her power over men in general and me in particular. I guess I led her to this self-centered and abusive behavior, since I have always been eager to please her in any way. It put an end to any form of friendship and started the years of dominance. I can tell myself any lie I want, the truth was obvious right from the start. She knew about it, even before I did. She knew and that's what was driving her. It was too good a weakness to be wasted. She exploited it and I can't blame her for it. I let her go away with it each time, because it was the only way for me to have a part of her. Otherwise she would have ignored me and that's something I couldn't stand.

It all comes back to the night in Sydney. Even if it hurts, I recall every bit of it. How she stumbled into the room, drunk but with her usual scheming look in her eyes. Her cold hand against my neck as she whispered in my ear. Her soft, cherry-tasting lips on my mouth and the rush of adrenalin that it triggered. My conscience, screaming to stop, and me, ignoring it as I laid her on the bed. The burning trail that her fingers left behind them as they ran across my back. I skip the rest, but I can't run from what happened after, those words she said when we had finished. I had foolishly let myself believe that it would be the start of something great, that she might even love me back someday. She crushed me there, and it is still worse than what I'm physically feeling now, as the medication is wearing off.

The pain is slowly gaining on my thoughts and I'm not so sure it's a bad thing. It's almost back full force when I feel I'm being moved and I hear that weird noise. I force my eyes to open a little, enough to see what Jack is about to do. The idea, no, the certainty, that I won't make it hits me. Then this is my last chance to make it right. It makes my thoughts race fast.

Long after we crashed on the island, I kept hoping Shannon would return those feelings I had for her. I didn't know at the time that I was being maybe more egocentric that she is. It was about me and what I wanted, that's it. In my mind I was the only one who could love her that much and be there for her. Besides, who could or would bear her personality? I never thought that this accident would change her over the time. But it did. She became more open and less bitchy. I was still under the impression that she would never find anyone to look at her the way I did. One time that I saw her with Sayid, not only did I notice that yes, there was someone else who could, I also saw her first genuine and honest smile. Not a single spark of malice in her eyes or a trace of condescension on her lips. She truly cared. I had never seen that from her, least of all for me. That was the slap I needed to let it go. I wanted her to be happy and there she was. I had nothing to do with it. It was useless to hope so I stopped. That's not what I feel guilty about.

The remorse I have is because I made her believe I was still angry at her. I wasn't, no matter how I was behaving with her. She had no longer any hold on me and everything she did to me wasn't important, since she had found the one thing she really needed. It had made her someone better and I knew she was truly sorry for the hurt she had caused me in the past. But my pride prevented me from putting her mind at ease.

I come around again, just in time to stop Jack.

- Wait. Wait.

- I have to, if I don't...

- I'm all mashed up inside. You know it.

- This is our best chance.

- There's no chance. Really. I mean, look where we are.

- I'm not going to let you give up.

- I know you made a promise. I'm letting you off the hook. Let me go, Jack.

- I'm sorry.

- Don't be.

He puts me back down on the makeshift bed and I can feel it coming, the end. All the different kinds of pain melt down again, this time into a calming drowsiness. I want to give up, put it all behind me and enter this realm of peace I can sense ahead. but one last thing needs to be voiced. Not just now, I must tell her…

- Tell Shannon… Tell Shannon… tell…

Tell her I forgive her.