Disclaimer: LOST is the property of ABC. This was written for LJ's Lost Fanfiction Challenge, challenge #66 - new characters.
They're wary of each other.
Four strangers who sit at a table together in the canteen and pretend to be a team. Chairs positioned to maximize the distance between themselves and the nearest body. It would be awkward, but Daniel is used to awkward.
He hadn't expected the boat to heave so much. Or maybe he just hadn't expected his stomach to heave with it. Whatever, two hours out of port and he was hanging over the railing on deck seven, staring miserably at the roiling surf.
"Well, at least you had enough sense to make it over here."
A woman -- young, pretty, English -- joined him at the rail and held out a hand. "Charlotte Lewis. And," she flashes him a cheeky grin, "I can't say the same for myself."
Naomi briefs them. There will likely be others on the island. They may be dangerous.
She'll handle it.
Sometimes she seems fed up with them. Usually she does. She is not a woman who has any patience with experiments or scholarship.
She carries a gun on the freighter.
Before she goes, she teaches them how to shoot.
Boats get small after a week. Dan and Charlotte get along, though. He thinks she likes to watch the polite bafflement on his face when she talks about the tribes she's lived with. Sometimes their rituals sound crazy, so crazy that he wonders if she's making them up. And sometimes she smirks a little as she's describing them, so that's a clue, too. And sometimes he wonders how he could have thought her merely pretty, when in fact she's beautiful.
He's very happy to see her. No question. If he quantified his actions, he would struggle to find the right equation to describe them, but hewould find it eventually, because something happens in him, sort of all over, in every atom and every quark in his body, and it makes him move towards her, put an arm around her, say that he wants to stay, and not because of the thirty-one minutes. Because of her.
It's hard to explain. He tries. They all look at him like he's insane.
Eventually, they'll understand.
They're going to be here awhile.
And at the same time, they won't be here long at all.
Everyone has something to hide.
"Rescuing you and your people...can't really say it's our primary objective."
When Miles tells them what he does, he says it like he expects one of them -- or all of them -- to whip out an ectoplasm joke. And if they do, he's going to punch them in the face.
This is not exactly hard to pick up on. So there are no mentions of the Gatekeeper.
Miles is an asshole, no doubt about it. But one day when Daniel is wandering around, trying to ward off surging seasickness, he comes upon the other man, staring out at the ocean, motionless despite the slow back-and-forth rocking of the ship. And after a second, Daniel thinks maybe he's not staring at the ocean at all, he's staring at something else, and Dan turns around and walks away before Miles notices he's there.
In the real world, with its normal laws and rules, they would never have cause to meet.
The light doesn't scatter right here. Neither does anything else.
Sometimes it's like a gravity well between them.
Daniel asks Charlotte if she knows much about physics. Attraction between masses results from those masses' warping of space-time, she surprised him by saying, then, pursing her lips, she adds, that's all I'm afraid. Never my strong subject. Too rubbish with maths.
No, that's good, he assures her. Gravity, you've got it.
It helps him to think of it this way. They are warping space-time.
"Dan," she says.
They are supposed to be sleeping. Tomorrow will be another long day.
"An event horizon -- that's what it's called when light can't escape a black hole, yeah?"
"That's what it's called when anything can't escape from a black hole," he corrects her. He has learned to limit himself in his explanations of these concepts to such brief statements. "If you're falling into one and I'm watching, it's the point that you disappear from my sight."
It's too dark to see because the moon has already set, but he can hear her turn towards him. "What happens if we're both falling?"
He says stupid things in these situations. "Well, it's not reallyfalling, exactly."
"What is it?"
Even though she tells him all the time that what he does is incomprehensible to her, she is much better at understanding physics than he is at understanding cultural anthropology.
He turns to face her, and he can see her, just barely, her hair catching the dim glow from the smoldering embers of the evening's fire, her cheeks and nose and lips outlined in a faint orange gleam.
"It's like moving forward in time and moving towards something at the same time. They're kind of the same thing once something passes the event horizon."
Charlotte is silent, and Dan wonders if she's gone to sleep. But then, quietly, she says, "That's sort of like us."
The statement surprises him. Normally he wouldn't know how to react, he'd say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing. But this is not the real world, with its normal rules and laws. So he replies, "Yeah. Sort of like us."
A/N: There's suppose to be a bibliography, but it didn't format correctly. So, for this fic, I consulted the following articles on Wikipedia extensively: Event Horizon, Introduction to General Relativity, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, Physics, and Spectral Line, all accessed on 22 February 2008.