Pairings: Shannon/Claire, Ana Lucia/Claire
Challenge/Prompt: 5_roses, 03. Stupid Comments
Copyright: Title taken from “Sweet Sangria” by Tori Amos
Summary: Although she blames her for Shannon’s death, Claire finds herself being drawn to Ana Lucia.
Author’s Notes: This is very fucking strange, written more for me than for anything else (and maybe for rivers_bend, who wanted more Lost femslash- however, River, there are spoilers for the end of season two, because I forgot not to include them). Um. Everyone’s a little OOC, but these things happen. And also: the section titles are from a book on the meaning of flowers, and I’ve provided a translation at the end.
Sayid is grief-stricken and everyone gives him the time to be. Claire doesn’t have the time to be grief-stricken, because she has a child and Charlie and also she gave the impression that she and Shannon were never friends. Sayid, though, has read between the lines, and the way he looks at Claire implies that he has worked out everything. There’s betrayal and fury and bottomless hurt in his gaze, but Claire refuses to feel sorry.
It breaks on the afternoon of a day that might be a Thursday or perhaps a Tuesday or another day ending in ‘y’ (time has no meaning any more). Waves crash on the beach and Aaron is asleep in Sun’s arms and Claire and Sayid look, from a safe distance, like they’re just taking a casual walk. Friends.
Sayid, though, starts talking to her about Shannon, and it starts off with misery and turns to anger. He screams about her taking Shannon from him, how unfair it is that she’s doing this to Charlie, how Shannon could never have loved her, not really. Claire takes it anyway, because he needs to do this. She’s got Aaron to lose herself in, Charlie to keep face for. Everyone expects Sayid to be devastated, so he has to be.
“Stop blaming me!” Claire screams eventually, because there’s always a tipping point. “I didn’t bloody kill her!”
“No,” a voice drawls, “I did.”
They both turn, surprised, to see Ana Lucia watching them. She’s leaning against a tree and her expression implies that if the Dharma Initiative had been kind enough to supply them with popcorn, she would have a bag.
“This is none of your business!” Claire and Sayid shout in unison.
“Can’t help it if you stray onto my patch of the beach,” Ana points out. “If you’re having your domestic troubles in my front yard, there’s nothing I can do.”
She has a point. Claire sighs.
“I should get back before Aaron wakes up,” she says quietly. Sayid nods.
“I’ll walk you there.”
“Wow,” Ana Lucia remarks, “You two really are dangerously messed up.”
“Look who’s talking,” Claire tosses back over her shoulder.
Ana’s surprised laugh follows her as she walks away.
Trying to have a conversation with Shannon is more than a little like pulling teeth. Claire is attempting not to move, hand resting on her heavily pregnant stomach, and Shannon is lying on her stomach beside her in the tiniest of bikinis, topping up her tan. It’s too hot for everything, although Locke and Boone are still tramping about the jungle doing… whatever, and Sawyer still seems to have the energy to snap at anyone who comes close. Same old same old.
“So the plane doesn’t crash. We go to L.A.”
Claire squints at Shannon.
“That’s kind of it,” Shannon admits. “What more do you want?”
“Well, that doesn’t make for good conversation,” Claire points out. Maybe she’ll just melt into a big puddle right here, and be done with trying to socialise with Shannon. She’s too high-maintenance. Claire knows this. She wishes that it mattered.
“I don’t see why we have to talk anyway,” Shannon mumbles, sounding sulky.
“Well, we could just lie here in awkward silence,” Claire suggests. She’d tried suggesting they share one thing in their life they really wish hadn’t happened (she was never this pessimistic before they wound up trapped on an island in the middle of nowhere). That is, of course, apart from the obvious.
“Fine.” Shannon sighs. “My father doesn’t die. He funds me to go learn ballet in New York. I go. I dance. I’m not on the plane in the first place.”
Claire smiles at the mental image she has of Shannon in a tutu, and almost misses the other woman asking her for her contribution. Claire can’t say I wish I hadn’t got pregnant.
“I don’t know,” she mumbles. “I wish the plane hadn’t crashed.”
Shannon starts laughing even though nothing’s really funny, and Claire can’t help but join in.
Sun, since discovering that she’s pregnant, is always keen to look after Aaron, crooning over him, and Claire is content to take the break. Charlie is both angry and penitent, which looks sort of painful on his face, but he nearly drowned her child and Claire is in no mood to forgive him. At least, not yet.
So she takes a walk down the beach, seawater lapping at her ankles, just enjoying the silence. At least, until she hears someone splashing up to join her.
“I didn’t really want company,” Claire says, in lieu of fuck off and leave me alone.
“Why do you hate me?” Ana asks bluntly. “I mean, I can tell why some of the others don’t like me, but you’re acting like I shot your girlfriend or something.”
Claire thinks about lying. But who is Ana going to tell anyway?
“You did,” she says.
“But that Sayid guy-” Ana begins, frowning slightly.
“Yes, but it’s complicated,” Claire says. God, but it’s complicated. She’s not even sure she has the energy to try to explain.
“It sounds it,” Ana murmurs, looking amused. “Don’t tell me any more; it will only spoil it.”
The baby is kicking repeatedly; Shannon has her hand on Claire’s stomach and is counting.
“Active little thing, isn’t he?” she remarks. “Doesn’t it drive you mad?”
Claire looks at Shannon, dressed in nothing but a pale blue bikini, and then at the black, tent-like shirt she’s swathed herself in today, and feels suddenly frumpy and ugly and overwhelmed.
“Are you ok?” Shannon asks. Claire nods. She doesn’t think Shannon would ever understand, and they’re not thoughts she wants to voice aloud.
“Good.” Shannon smiles, oblivious, and Claire wonders what it would be like to be so completely and utterly selfish that the feelings of others just roll off you, completely unnoticed.
“Sorry about your boyfriend,” Ana offers.
“He’s not my boyfriend,” Claire tells her. It’s late and she should be getting back to the main camp, not clinging onto the edges where people like Ana Lucia and Sawyer live, those that don’t fit in. But Charlie has gone insane, and really, this whole thing is sheer madness.
Ana looks permanently amused by Claire, as though everything she does is a certain type of entertainment designed specifically to make Ana laugh. She hopes that isn’t true. It’s a depressing thought.
“Why are you here?” Ana asks suddenly. Claire shrugs. She doesn’t know. Ana’s lips curve into a smile. “There’s got to be a reason.”
“I don’t-” Claire begins, then gets to her feet, turning away to leave. Ana catches her arm. It’s the first time they’ve really touched. Ana’s skin is hot and soft and for a completely insane moment, Claire wonders what it would taste like. “Let go,” she orders.
“The others see you as a mother, nothing more,” Ana informs her. Claire takes a step back.
“And what do you see me as?” she asks. Ana’s smile widens.
“You don’t want to know what I see you as.”
In the half-light, Claire sees herself reflected in Ana Lucia’s eyes. It’s all too close and too confusing, and she pulls her arm free to stumble away across the sand. Whenever she glances back, Ana is still standing there, wind blowing her hair, just watching.
“Sweet fucking hell,” Sawyer announces. Shannon pulls away from Claire instantly, like she’s been shot. Claire puts a hand over her mouth, as though somehow that will hide how red and wet her lips are.
“Um,” Shannon begins, words failing her.
“Hey,” Sawyer says, holding his hands up in what is probably meant to be a placating fashion, “Ladies, I’m sure that-”
“I refuse to let you blackmail me,” Shannon announces. Claire feels faintly dizzy, and leans against the nearest tree. Sawyer looks impossibly smug and Claire doesn’t care.
“Who said anything about blackmail, sticks?” he enquires. “I’m just pleased to find out that you ain’t sleeping with your brother.”
Shannon chokes. Claire wonders if she’ll ever be able to find the words to speak again.
“Um,” she begins, “I should probably get back to camp.”
“Ain’t you gonna ask me to keep this quiet?” Sawyer enquires.
Claire summons up a withering look and leaves him and Shannon behind, waiting until she’s well away before letting her face break into a smile. It’s been a while since someone kissed her like that.
Sawyer reads Aaron to sleep again, Watership Down, and Claire pretends she isn’t getting involved with the story. When the baby is quiet, Sawyer turns to look at Claire.
“You’re spending a lot of time with Ana Lucia,” he remarks.
“It’s none of your business,” Claire retorts sleepily. It’s just too hot today and if Aaron’s sleeping, she should probably take advantage of the opportunity to get some rest herself.
“Don’t make a blind bit of difference, sweetheart,” Sawyer tells her. “Thought you were crazy in love with Shannon.”
“Who isn’t?” Claire murmurs.
“You’re really not the little girl you want everyone to think you are, are you?” Sawyer has this cold little vindictive smile on his face.
“You know nothing about me,” Claire points out.
“I know enough,” Sawyer drawls. Claire sighs.
“I doubt it,” she informs him.
“Just… take care of yourself,” Sawyer says. It’s awkward and gruff and Claire is both pleased and infuriated by the fact he seems to think she needs looking after.
And she loves that he thinks he understands her. Claire has no idea what’s going on in her head, so she really doubts that he does.
“I don’t know what any of this means,” Shannon admits. She hasn’t let go of Claire’s hand in at least half an hour.
“I’m sorry,” Claire says. It isn’t enough.
“Boone’s dead,” Shannon says. “He’s fucking dead.”
She isn’t crying. Claire wonders if maybe she ought to be, but Shannon is a complicated woman and she won’t pretend to know what makes her tick. But she’s turned to Claire for comfort, not to Sayid, which is a small victory (in the nasty part of Claire’s psyche that she has to pretend doesn’t exist).
The baby- he has no name yet- is lying in the crib that Claire and Locke made, sleeping. He’s all hers, she did that, and Claire can’t help the tiny smile that leaps onto her lips as she looks at him.
“I don’t know what to do,” Shannon says, turning her face to press into Claire’s shoulder. Claire wonders, as she wraps her arms around Shannon’s trembling frame, why Shannon thinks she knows.
“We’ll get through this,” she promises, pressing a kiss to her hair, and Shannon nods helplessly.
Ana’s hand curls over her hip and Claire can’t breathe.
“You want this,” Ana whispers, mouth intoxicatingly close to Claire’s ear.
“I don’t know what I want,” Claire says helplessly. She’s not entirely sure how this came to be happening, just that it did. She spends far too much time on this island being entirely passive, letting things happen to her. She let Charlie shut her into a little box. She let The Others kidnap her. She let Shannon crawl under her skin and kiss her and yet still manage to have a love affair with Sayid. And now she’s letting Ana Lucia press her against a tree with all the heat of her body burning into Claire’s, and she isn’t telling her to stop.
“You want this,” Ana whispers again, and her head’s tilting, and Claire’s leaning up, and they meet in a crazy, awkward kiss, deeper and angrier than anything she shared with Shannon. It’s been a long time since anyone really touched her like this, and Claire hasn’t had sex in months and months and months (maybe after Aaron was born, she and Shannon could have- but they didn’t. It wasn’t about that. Claire isn’t entirely sure what it was about).
“I-” Claire is too dizzy and too tired to work out what she wants. Ana steps back, strokes Claire’s hair away from her face with uncharacteristic gentleness.
“When you know,” she says, “Come find me.”
“I think I might be in love with you,” Shannon murmurs. Claire has Aaron asleep beside her and the sun burning her legs and it’s all a bit too hot and crazy here.
“I think I might be a little bit in love with him too,” Shannon says blithely, content from her position of the woman who really can have it all. Claire would laugh but it isn’t that sort of situation.
“Oh,” she says. If the plane hadn’t crashed, neither one of them would be here, and off the island, Shannon wouldn’t look twice at her. Now she’s declaring love at two in the afternoon, mud on her skirt, a dog panting on the sand beside her. ‘Surreal’ doesn’t even begin to cover it.
“Do you think we’ll ever get rescued?” Shannon asks, apropos of nothing, and Claire shrugs and says ‘of course’, because it’s not as though any of them can stop believing, and Claire really wants to take Aaron back to civilisation and let him grow up like a normal kid. But she can’t help but remember that if they ever do make it back to the real world, Shannon will lose all interest.
Maybe it’s a chance Claire isn’t willing to take.
“Ana Lucia is…dead,” Sawyer tells her. He’s got blood on his shirt and Claire takes a step back, unable to process this information.
“What happened?” she asks helplessly, and yes; she does have déjà vu.
“She got shot,” Sawyer replies. Claire stares at him. “You do know how to pick ‘em, don’t you, sugar?”
“Please don’t,” Claire begs quietly, feeling unable to breathe. But Sawyer looks fairly devastated too, and maybe there’s more going on here than Claire ever wants to know about, but-
She feels the first tears leak out of her eyes before she can stop them, and Sawyer looks halfway terrified, and Claire doesn’t care, and really, nothing makes sense any more.
This grief is confused and uncertain and Sayid is sympathetic but almost looks pleased because now Claire’s got someone who isn’t Shannon to mourn over, and she’d tell him it doesn’t work like that if she knew how to phrase it (which she doesn’t) and it’s almost too easy to forgive Charlie because it’s that or face being completely and utterly alone.
THE MEANING OF FLOWERS
Calla Lily- female beauty
Red Currant- you please me
Fuchsia- humble love
Columbine- determined to succeed
Lilac- first love
Pansy- you occupy my mind