Challenge/Prompt: 5_roses, 01. Bad Day
Summary: Claire’s feelings after Shannon’s death, but not in a depressing way.
Author’s Notes: Oh yeah, spoilers for season 2. Uh… some sentences of this are really good, and others aren’t. Such is my writing when I’m tired and stuff.
In the hours that follow Shannon’s death, Claire chews her fingernails to shreds and holds Aaron in her arms and convinces herself that he isn’t dead and she won’t, won’t let him be taken from her. She can’t lose anyone again, not this soon.
Charlie is sweet but he doesn’t understand, because she is the balm to salve some kind of wound and they both know that, and no matter what happens it’s a relationship of sheer necessity and desperation. Claire realised that months ago. She strongly doubts Charlie has quite figured that out, but then he’s English. Maybe their minds work differently. (And that thought almost makes her crack a smile. Almost.)
The thing on this island is that no one is running out of is sand. Grainy, inconvenient, forever getting itself where it isn’t wanted and Claire will not allow herself the inevitable comparisons to certain islanders, sand forever smothering them all.
(Sand on Shannon’s fingers as she cupped Claire’s face and pressed desperate kisses to her lips, like she was afraid one or both of them would realise this was a bad idea, like she was afraid that they would be caught, mouths wet against each other, like they would have to face up to something entirely unexpected.)
So it’s with sand that they remember her. Handfuls of sand sprinkled over her body, sprinkled by people who cared and didn’t care, but who are unable to really comprehend that they’ve lost someone else- another person they can’t afford to lose. Claire hugs Aaron to her chest and watches Sayid sob and clenches her fist tight until her fingernails break the skin. There should be lilies. Wreaths in the shape of her name and laid on her grave. Claire wants white roses, to throw by the handful onto the small bundle that is apparently Shannon. But it can’t be Shannon because Shannon was never that small and-
(Claire sits in the tide with water running up her legs, cool saltiness bathing her thighs, grateful for the silence that comes from leaving her newborn in Sun’s care, giving her some alone time. The world is awkward and different and she looks up at the beach to where Shannon is sitting on the sand, head on her knees, curled up small now that her brother is gone, and Claire wishes, wishes that there was something she could say.)
The way Charlie holds her hand, sandy fingers intertwined with her own, makes Claire want to pull away, but that would hurt his feelings and enough people are miserable today without Claire making it worse. She knows that people don’t care that much that Shannon is dead. They’re shocked and they all know they’ll miss her to some degree, but to be honest, Shannon didn’t make that many friends, didn’t deign to reach out to those that she looked down upon. She’s gone but the world will- and already has-moved on.
Boone would miss her but he’s dead too, crushed and bled out and buried awkwardly while Locke distracted everyone, white t-shirt soaked in enough blood to make Claire feel sick. Claire looks at the grave that is Shannon’s now and quietly but firmly resolves that if- no, when (well, maybe)- they are rescued, she will go and find Shannon and Boone’s parents and apologise to them from the bottom of her heart. Brother and sister crashed and burnt and coldly bloody in sandy graves.
(“Do you miss him?” Claire asked her awkwardly, sun-blind and tired, and Shannon nodded but her eyes were devoid of tears and Claire wondered helplessly whether Shannon really cared about anyone enough to actually notice when they were gone.)
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, sand in the wind, streaming out between Claire’s fingers. Shannon is buried and everyone is walking away to their lives, forgetting here even while they send dark looks to the end of the beach where Ana Lucia silhouettes herself against the light and carves herself out a role as evil as the one Sawyer likes to play. Claire stands for a moment, watching Sayid crumble, and turns away with her eyes stinging.