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[picture you're the queen of everything.]

The thing she misses most, she decides on the second day, is her sunscreen.

She's going to be the oldest twenty year old on the planet, if they aren't rescued soon from this godforsaken island, with wrinkles stretching across miles of skin, and this? just sucks. That pregnant chick looks like she's twenty too, all big blue eyes and soft blonde hair, but hello, pregnant, it's not like anyone's going to be looking at her ever again.

The expensive sunscreen that she'd packed so carefully, prolonging the wait, till Boone was practically hopping from one foot to another, convinced they were going to miss their flight, but unable to say anything to her after they'd slept together, is now at the bottom of the ocean somewhere. That slut, Cara, from her high school who'd called her a whore, without the slightest inkling of the irony, and with almost monotonous regularity, would probably call this karmic retribution, using up all her big-ticket S.A.T. words, like she didn't spread her legs for any guy with a big enough hole in his pocket.

Which, you know, whatever.

She wears her skimpiest bikini to compensate, because seriously, if she only has a couple of days left of flawless skin, she's damn well going to make the most of them.

And if Boone's eyes linger too long on the eyes of the other men lingering on the curve of her half-exposed breasts, then, well, bonus.




.




[you're so ambitious for a juvenile.]

Boone runs around the island, playing Mr. Nice Guy, the lamest superhero ever, like it's his calling, without so much as a two-bit synthetic cape or a by-your-leave. This is his default setting, she knows. When he's not damning himself to hell fucking his stepsister, he's making the world a better place.

"You could help, you know," he snaps, his eyes are skittish, they never rest in one place too long, and he doesn't look at her ever.

It would be kind of amusing if it wasn't so pathetic.

"I could." she says, agreeably, flipping over; just because she's eventually going to get crow-eyes to rival Superbitch Sabrina's, doesn't mean she also has to get an uneven tan alongside.

He visibly clenches his jaw, "this isn't a vacation, Shannon. There are people looking for food. Water sources. People are hurt, they need attending to."

"God, what is up with the riot act, do I look like a nurse? Your costume-induced fantasies haven't actually literally altered your reality, Boone."

His head snaps up, like he can't believe she went. there. and, hello, has he met her?

He can't get away from her fast enough after that, but at least he isn't harping anymore on helping, and if this is her life now, it isn't all that awful. She can think of things that could be more. Like being at the bottom of the ocean herself.




.




[if you stay gone a little longer, your keys won't work.]

The thing is, there is stuff you inevitably learn about someone while living in the same house, because he's your brother.

Like, she knows what Boone looks like in the morning, in his boxers, rubbing sleep from his eyes, hair sticking out. She knows the kind of coffee he likes in the morning (black, sugarless, unexpectedly enough), his favorite cereal (cap'n crunch— lame), his mood music ("How Deep Is Your Love"— lamer), that sound he makes at the back of his throat when he comes. (Okay, maybe the last one's not something you inevitably learn by being someone's sister, but she knows it anyway, so.)

So yeah, she knows stuff, and she knows that part of this martyr act is overcompensation. Not all of it, because he actually is that much of a Nice Guy. But some of it. An apology to the universe, or something. Sorry I'm in love with my sister, here, you can have my balls.

And she's not. She's not sorry, because, she came, right? Because he's in love with her and he tried so hard, till she'd wanted to crawl out of her skin; and okay, she'd always known he was in love with her, but in that moment she could feel it, and that was a whole different deal. With his mouth between her legs and that single-minded determination that she'd always hated otherwise.

She's not apologizing for that.




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[knife-edge cold promotionals won't move her to a flight.]

He fawns after Claire Littleton like he's the fucking father-to-be, running around and getting her water, and searching high and low for peanut butter, and it's so fucking stupid. Just, get a room already. And Shannon has this feeling that the girl isn't even acting with the whole wide-eyed-innocence, damsel-in-distress, come-save-me-from-the-dragon-already appeal thing she has going on, which may actually be even more sad than if the contrary were true.

She hasn't— hasn't thought of it before, and she doesn't want to think of it now, but maybe—

—maybe it's not that Boone needs her, so much as he just— needs to be needed. And she's always been the one to need him the most— screwing up her life, every which way, and he's been her personal unfavorite brand of Fix It, so maybe— it wasn't about her at all. All those times, across countries and oceans and everything, it wasn't about her at all.

He wants her, but he doesn't need her, he's never needed her, and she, she needs him, definitely, and Jesus, maybe she even—

So if she's making a linear equation in two variables, the kind she had in ninth grade, and solving for 'x' and 'y', then he's kind ofwinning here. Somehow.

Then he looks across at her, and his smile drops, and he's in love with her, so it's kind of a good thing she slept all through ninth grade math anyway.




.




[an interesting detachment, a listless poem of love sincere.]

She's going to die, she's going to die, she's going to die, she survived a freaking plane crash, and she's going to die of an asthma attack, and it won't even be tragic, it'll just be ridiculous. Dammit, she doesn't want to die.

"Shh," Boone says, his arms are tight around her and she can't breathe, oh god, she can't breathe. "Shan— Shan, listen, I won't let anything happen to you, I promise. I swear. Shan, please, stay with me, all right? You're going to be okay. Listen to me, baby, you're going to be okay."

He can't promise that, because he won't be able to do anything, and if she dies, he's going to spend all of his life on white pills, because that's who he is. This isn't his fault, goddammit, he is not responsible for everything that happens in the world.

He's responsible for so many things anyway, like being a moron, and believing her when she plays at being the abused girlfriend, and then being disappointed when he flies continents and discovers the truth. Like he expects her to be better than that, or something, and she's not, she's really, really not. She's not better than that. She's selfish and she's a bitch, and just, why hasn't he figured that out by now?

"I love you," he's whispering into her hair, and she can feel herself sinking into him, his weight supporting hers, "I love you so goddamn much, Shan, don't you dare die on me. Don't you dare."

She wants to say something cutting like whoopie-fucking-do, all you need is love. She might be dying here, on a creepy, haunted island in the middle of fucking nowhere, but hey, at least Boone will have loved and lost, which is apparently better than not having loved at all. Good for him.

But, as messed up as that is, it comforts her. Boone is not only the sucker she cheated out of his money, not only the lover she fucked in a dingy motel in Sydney, he's also her big brother.

I'm here, Shan. Anything you need. Anything. Always.

He doesn't manage to save the day, eventually, because of course he doesn't, Sun steals his thunder there, with this weird Asian healing thing, and he just stand by her, not helping at all, but she doesn't let go of his hand anyway.




.




[i found god on the corner of 1st and amistad.]

She crawls into his tent in the middle of the night. She doesn't know what night, they're all the same now. They're going to get rescued, they are, and it wouldn't matter then, what night this is.

Boone glares at her with that part-angry, part-frustrated look every time she mentions the rescue boat, and she can tell he wants to shake her and tell her to face the facts or whatever, but he won't, because he doesn't want to destroy her hope, and it's all so sweet and Disney, she might just throw up.

"Shannon," Boone's voice is sleep-soft, his defences down. That's what his superhero armor is made of, "what's wrong?"

In response, she slips her hand down his loose cotton pants.

He let's out a low hiss through his teeth, "Shannon."

Jack stirs, on the other side of the tent, and Boone lapses into silence, eyes wide, teeth clenched.

She straddles him, hand still moving up and down in a rhythm she's been familiar since the age of fifteen. She's not so much into the giving thing, she's the taking kind, but she can't walk up to him and tell him she wants him, even if she does, because that's vulnerability. So all she can do is hope he maxes the good-guy platinum credit-card, and quid pro quos this arrangement, because she doesn't have an exact count of days since he last touched her, but it's been way too fucking long, she knows that.

This is more than a little bit about Sayid for him, she can tell. She's not blind, she's seen the death glares, and she'd heard enough about the pissing contest confrontation, and she could've punched them both, hard, because this isn't hot, this is moronic. She doesn't get off on boys fighting over her— okay, maybe just a little bit— but Christ, she is not a prepubescent, twelve-year-old, who has no idea what the hell she wants.

He comes all over her hand, and she wipes it off on his pants.

"See, now you're getting exactly what I'm giving Sayid, so you don't need to threaten him to lay off your toys. Didn't Supermom Sabrina teach you sharing is caring? What about your new BFF Locke? Doesn't he have a few senile pearls of philosophical wisdom on the matter?" She's a bitch, ask her how.

He doesn't answer, falling on his back from where he'd half-arched when his orgasm hit. And then, unexpectedly, he laughs, long and low, with an undercurrent that makes her heat up, "you're fucking insane." It's almost affectionate.

She doesn't have an adequate reply to that, so she doesn't give one, and she's more than a little startled, when his hand slides up her thigh, resting against the material of her shorts.

"What are you doing?" stupid question. She could not sound more of a virgin if she tried.

"Quid pro quo," he says, like he read her mind or something, and he's leaving her speechless, and this is not okay.

Until, even though Jack is like three feet away, he kneels between her spread knees, with a slow, lazy grin, and it kind of is.




.




[lather, rinse, repeat; you'll build and then you'll break.]

Weirdly enough, it's Sawyer who finds her. Not that she's hidden, exactly, considering she's right there, but it's possible no one else was looking. If she were the Teen Angst type, she'd have said something melodramatic about how there's nobody to look for her anymore, but she's not a John Hughes movie (she hated those, but Boone loved them, all the constructed youth revolt thing he didn't have an ounce of), so she doesn't.

"Here," he says, shoving something in her direction, and his voice is this curious mixture of emotions, like it can't quite decide whether it wants to go for regular nonchalant or special pitying, and just settled on gruff. If Rebel Cowboy Central is pitying her, she's officially in the Hall of Fame of Just Plain Sad.

She looks down to the object in his hand. It's her sunscreen.

"Washed up on the shore," he tells her unnecessarily, carefully watching her, like she can't tell, "thought you might need this, sticks, since you been whinin' about it till kingdom come. You're just Lady Luck, aren't you, sweetheart."

Her stepbrother died and they think she cares about a stupid bottle of sunscreen? Which probably means the fact that she does, the fact that she still somehow does makes her an awful, horrific, selfish person. Which, how is that news anyway?

She takes it from him. Lamest superhero ever, so like Saint Boone to survive a plane crash and then go die falling twenty feet from the air, playing Savior of The World. It isn't even tragic, it's just ridiculous. And he fucking died on her after all telling her she couldn't, and this isn't fair at all. She hates him, hates him. And she never even told him she loved him, has always, always loved him, and now he's dead and fuck him, okay, fuck him.

She's shivering, and she can’t really feel the sun anymore, but she can see it, so yeah, it's there. Boone may be some three feet under the sand, in a shallow grave because they couldn't dig deeper, but at least she won't be old before her time.

She lathers on the cream, and lies back on the sand. She'll count the half hour under her breath, second by second, and remember to turn over after.