Scribbled in a notebook over coffee - lengthened a little as I typed it up, but mostly it fell out the way I wanted it to. I haven't written for Lost before, but it's fun! I expect more bunnies will begin to breed in my head soon.
Title: Girls On Film
Genre: Kindasorta romance
Rating: R for language and incredibly vague sex
Comments: Set quite soon after the crash; don't ask me to name episodes. Shannon is a darling bitch. Boone is...complicated. The fic itself decided to get absurdly meta in places. And the characterisation made me a bit nervous, so feedback adored :)
Girls on Film
Boone has long been aware that theirs is a situation of books and movies and any other media that care to broadcast the whole damn twisted message.
He remembers sitting through Cruel Intentions with the family, listening to Shannon’s blithe and scornful appraisal of the characters and their parents’ murmurs of noncommittal attention. Shoving his hands in his pockets, then sitting on them, then playing with the remote until the little panel holding the batteries in snapped off in his hands, sudden and sharp across the taut soundtrack of the film. Wanting to get out. Sitting in his room afterwards, jerking off feverishly to blurred memories of Shannon’s tongue and the pretty actors on screen who had the luxury of knowing how their story would end.
Wondering which of them it would be to be crushed by the sins and the karma, in the end.
He regrets bringing it up, but she’s still talking to him and still sounding vaguely interested, so the regret is not strong.
“We could be just like them, you know.” Shannon props her elbow in the sand and looks at him through the darkness. “Well. Ryan Phillippe is much better looking than you. But we could run our own little racket, right here. Les liasons dangereuses.”
The French is soft and honey-fluid from her mouth. Boone lies on his back and looks up at her, feeling the familiar knot of self-hatred in his stomach give a quick twist.
“I’m sure I could have Sawyer with a smile and an offer. I’d have to make him think he was getting something out of it, though. That’d be easy enough.” She starts to draw patterns with one finger, idly, though he can’t make them out in the firelight. “Who would you fancy, Boone? Claire’s blonde, you know, very pretty. Shame about the pregnancy. Kate’s skinny as all hell but probably not bulimic, she was probably born that way, eats whatever she wants...”
“You’re a bitch, Shannon,” he says, voice dull. Familiar ground.
“There are plenty of other girls who survived. I’m sure some of them have blonde hair and spend their time lying around being ornamental, like every other fucking Paris Hilton lookalike in the damn country…”
She starts to cry, silent and angry.
She only ever cried in front of him, which nobody seemed to notice. Their parents thought her too happy with her perfect socialite life, and most others put her down as a stone-hearted bitch who’d never shed a tear in her life. He’d made the mistake of pointing it out, once, early in junior year. Furious at all the boys who talked about her like she wasn’t even a person at all, just a machine made out of fake tan and nailpolish. He’d thought about the faint smell of vomit in their bathroom, but all he could think to say was it’s not like that, I’ve seen her cry.
Which in retrospect was a really dumb fucking idea, Boone Carlyle, because all it got him was a hard shove, gasping as his shoulderblade hit the locker behind him, and so, you make her cry, do you…
Shannon was furious when she found out, like he’d shown them her diary or something. She locked herself in her room and spent a day painting her nails. Boone did her chores, quietly. Their parents didn’t notice.
And they weren’t the type to notice anything, really – Shannon’s sob story to Brian might have reeked of cheap melodrama, but the reality was almost as bad, in a way. Just horribly, sickeningly normal. Shannon hated it, he knew that much, because she probably could have coped with a stolen inheritance; gone and made her own way in the world and tricked or wheedled or fucked the money out of some unsuspecting guy, just as she ended up doing. She coped just fine. But she could never stand to be denied attention, and the grey indifference that hung over their house like a shroud was enough to drive them both, slowly but surely, insane.
Indifference was a disease. Shannon didn’t care enough about anything but her French to try for good grades, even though she could have been a straight-A student with a bit of effort. “It’s not an asset,” she’d say of math or history or physics, tossing her head. “I’m going to go and get my legs waxed, Boone, have you got ten bucks?”
Of course he did.
And he didn’t try as hard as he could have, either, carefully keeping his grades and Shannon’s at almost the same level so that he wouldn’t be the one to shine.
After a little while Shannon lifts her head and swipes at her eyes and shrugs off Boone’s hand. She turns to him and rolls back one shoulder, doing a passable imitation of Sarah Michelle Gellar, looking wanton and affected. There is a smudge of dirt on her cheek.
Boone’s eyes are adjusting to the light. He rolls away from her, suddenly sick to his stomach.
“Go to sleep, Shan.”
Which is entirely the wrong thing or maybe the right thing to do, because she could never stand to be ignored.
“I’m not sleepy.”
She slides on top of him, her mouth is slick and her hand wraps around him and he’s gone. He despises her in that moment.
“You’re so fucking cheap, Shannon.” His voice breaks in the middle. “Look at yourself.”
“Cheap?” Her smile has no humour in it. “You couldn’t afford me, Boone.”
He gasps and kicks at the sand and pulls her lips against his so hard that their teeth clash, and he knows that it’s true. She is a gift.
They were quiet at the airport, tense and snappish when they did speak. Boone sat with his shoulders hunched into his jacket, trying to be angry with her. He was too used to forgiving her everything, to taking her side, to maintain the levels of hurt fury that had kept him from falling apart ever since the words – get dressed, Boone, a bored death sentence – fell from her mouth.
“I’m just going to go to the Duty Free –”
“They’re going to call the flight in a moment, Shannon. You don’t need any more nailpolish.”
“You suck.” She jutted her legs out and sulked
“At least I don’t swallow.” It was a ridiculous response, automatic, immature, but the moment it was out of his mouth he regretted it.
Shannon went an unattractive shade of pink. Her voice was a hiss. “Fuck you, Boone. And don’t even think about making a joke about that. I mean it. I wish the world would just fuck you over and swallow you up.”
Her face was so angry that he didn’t even try and say that he wouldn’t joke about that, not with her, not after…
When he climbed onto the plane he almost wished that the ocean would open up and obey her words, swallow him and his guilt and their whole fucked existence.
He thought of that, when the plane first started to shake, and wondered if it was his fault.
He doesn’t really want to know where she got the condoms from, but the next day Sawyer walks around smirking impartially at a suspicious Sayid and a Jack who probably doesn’t even notice, as though he can’t quite make up his mind who to mock.
So Boone has a pretty good fucking idea, and he wonders what Sawyer thought he was getting out of the deal. It wouldn’t have been anything solid. He knows Shannon better than that. Her prices are always ephemeral and relative. Jam yesterday and jam tomorrow.
He finds her balancing on a log across a large, shallow rockpool, swaying and waving her arms and enjoying the fact that Jin is trying not to stare at her ridiculously small bikini.
“Sur la pont d’Avignon…” One foot wobbles alarmingly.
He was going to tell her not to be stupid, but the soft melody crawls under his collar and rests above his heart. Singing, she almost looks innocent.
“On y danse, on y – whoooooa!” Her impromptu dance leads to a stubbed toe and a wild flailing of limbs.
“Shannon.” He smiles.
“What do you want?” Kick, kick, bend.
“You look like a gymnast.”
“I was a gymnast, idiot.” She rolls her eyes and does an experimental hop. “Years ago. Surprised you don’t remember.”
Oh, that’s right.
She quit because she fell from the bars in a competition; not hurt, just flushing and snapping with an eleven-year-old’s agony at being humiliated. Or so her parents said, talking over the tops of their heads and imagining that they couldn’t hear. Probably for the best. Shannon sniffed and nodded and let them believe that she quit because the others had laughed.
Boone knew it was because she lost.
“We’re trying to find anything that could be used as bait. Do you want to…” Bad choice of words. “Will you help?”
“I’m dancing, Boone.”
He sighs. “Come on, Shannon, you’ve been eating the food and using the shelter that other people have pulled together. You should at least make en effort to give something back.”
“It’s not my fault they choose to work. I’m waiting to be rescued. Dance with me.”
Her hands are outstretched commandingly, a faint quirk of a smile that says she knows she’s won this one and he won’t make her help.
The log creaks as he steps up and takes her hands, hesitantly. Boone is not good with balance.
“All right.” She puts her hands on his shoulders. “One, two three –”
The first swing of her hips pushes their centre of gravity off the log, and Boone is distracted by the way the beads of the bikini bounce against her thigh and doesn’t have the presence of mind to readjust.
“Shit.” She screeches like a harpy and falls, her nails digging into his shoulders and pulling him down too. They crash into the pool shrieking like maniacs, like children.
She sits up while he’s still spluttering, using him as leverage and pushing him back into the sand.
“Now, if this were a movie,” she says, looking down at her top, “my bikini would have fallen off.”
“And been eaten by an octopus,” he agrees, grinning, suddenly happy beyond words.
She splashes him, and he splashes back, and they laugh until they cry saltwater into the ocean that swallowed their past.