Needless to say, I do not own Lost or any of the characters. Which kinda sucks because Jack is looking all kinds of good.

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Shannon's nail polish always gave her away.

She changed the color constantly, sometimes two or three times in one day.

The bitchy Ice Princess always thought that her emotions were expertly walled up, hidden behind a mask of sarcasm and nonchalance. She was sure that she'd built walls tall enough that no one could ever scale them.

But Boone knew better.

It wasn't knowledge that came from a lover because, let's face it, the two were never really lovers. One stupid, drunken sexual encounter of a mistake in a hotel room when she was sloshed enough to obscure the lines of their carefully crafted relationship and he was angry enough to let her didn't put them into the "lovers" category.

No.

Boone knew better because before they hated each other- and while skeptic friends always doubted the validity of that statement, it was very much a fact- Boone and Shannon loved one another.

When their plane crashed on the Godforsaken Huxlean spit of land in the middle of the Pacific they now called home, Shannon had been lucky enough to find her bags. Boone wasn't so lucky and neither were most of the survivors; they all made due with what they could find from luggage belonging to those who died.

Fate decided it would perfectly logical and sane to hand Princess Shannon all of her couture crap unscathed; shorts, blouses, hair products, make up, shoes…and nail polish. Shannon had a wicked stash of nail polish.

When Shannon was feeling happy she wore the sun. Beautiful sunshine, saffron and muted gold the exact shade of her baby-blonde hair. Whenever Shannon wore yellow, Boone was happy, too.

Shannon took the phrase "feeling blue" literally. Rich sapphires and cobalt the color of the sky above Malibu on summer nights. Shades but one step from being black. Boone would furrow his brow and give her shoulder a comforting pat before heading off to bed and hoping that when he saw her the next day, indigo would've given way to radiant yellow.

Red was ire. Shannon used red to brand her anger loud and clear. Fire engine red to ruby to cardinal, each shade represented a different level of pissed off. Boone knew to steer clear of Shannon whenever she caught a flash of rouge from her.

Pink was seductive. From coral to the innocent ballerina-blush she used to wear to her recitals, pink on Shannon screamed seduction to men around her. Pink on Shannon was sexy, no arguments about it. Whenever Boone saw her rose-colored nails, he would redden and excuse himself before Shannon could see that even though they were stepsiblings, the pink did to him the same thing it did to all those randoms she took home and fucked.

Black was rebellious. Boone remembers that the first time Shannon's nails were black was the time she convinced him to take her to TJ behind their parents' backs the weekend she turned eighteen. In the years following, Boone would see black more than a few times, and every time he had a different reaction.

Clear showcased indifference. While it could have easily stood for clarity of mind, on Shannon the clear gloss highlighted only insouciance. For most of her stay on Craphole Island Shannon's nails had been glossy and clear. There was really no one that captured her interest and those that did came with more baggage than she, something which was totally not kosher for Shannon. So clear nail polish was mostly how she felt on the island.

Shannon's reserves of nude-colored nail polish were near full. In truth, she'd only worn it twice. Whenever she wore that color, she felt vulnerable, naked, and bare for the entire world to see. It was the color she wore in mourning. When Shannon's father died, the man who loved her completely and called her princess and bent to every one of her girlish whims, when he left her all alone in the world with nothing but a harsh and unloving stepmother, Shannon wore nude for the first time. She mourned her father deeply. She wore nude for the second time after the death of her brief marriage. She knew Boone noticed; he was mourning then, too.

Boone enticed a slew of emotions from Shannon and she owned a nail polish to match every single one. From the raven she sported when she convinced Boone to drive them down to Mexico for her eighteenth, to the blush that mesmerized him when they went clubbing that first night, to the lemon of marrying him on the beach, to the scarlet she displayed upon finding out he had applied to have their nuptials annulled the following morning, to the navy she wore when she realized nothing she could do would change his mind about the matrimony, to the nude she donned when the final decree came down and she was no longer Mrs. Boone Carlyle but rather just Shannon Rutherford. Boone was every color to her.

And when Shannon came back after spending the night with Sayid far down the beach and found Claire had given birth, she thought of how she would change the color of her nails from clear to sunny yellow as soon as she reached her tent.

Then Jack came.

Boone was dead.

She rushed down the beach, leaving Jack and Sayid and Claire and the baby and yellow and sunny behind and came upon the caves where she could see Boone laid out on the floor. He was bloody and blue, full of scratches, bruises and wounds, and Shannon contemplated painting her nails blue because she was sad and red because she was angry- angry he had died; angry he had left her.

But as she kneeled beside him, caressing his pallid face and brushing back russet locks, as she stood by stoically while they buried him, Shannon knew that no other nail polish would suffice the rest of her life but the nude. And somehow, she also knew she'd packed enough.