|LAST RITES -- RATED G
||[Dec. 11th, 2005|05:21 pm]
TITLE: Last Rites
WORD COUNT: 710
WARNINGS/NOTES: An alternate ending to Boone's life. This time, Shannon gets to say goodbye.
Blinded by tears, deafened by grief, completely oblivious to the shouts from the two men she has just left behind, she pushes through the jungle. Quite possibly for the first time in her life, she does not care about the way she looks. Her hair is a mess, tangled and full of leaves. She's left two or three nails behind as she claws her way through the trees and brush. Twice now she's fallen, muddying her clothes. Her tears are cutting tracks through the dried dirt on her face.
Shannon, Jack had said, approaching her as she and Sayid made their way along the beach to rejoin the other survivors. Listen, I need to talk to you. Something's happened. It's Boone.
Her world had started to shift out of focus then, colors running, sounds warping. The only thing she could comprehend was that Boone was hurt, Boone was dying. May already be dead. But if she hurried, maybe she could get there before...
She won't even allow herself to finish the thought. She has to reach him. There is no choice in the matter. No other outcome. He can't die. Not before she gets there. Not before she talks to him.
She reaches the caves and finds him lying inside the doctor's tent. She doesn't even register that Sun is there, keeping watch over him. The sight of his broken body, his bruised face, the blood--oh, dear God, the blood!--makes her ill. It is all she can do not to vomit there on the spot. But she swallows the gorge rising in her throat and kneels beside his bed.
He's still breathing. Not well. Not regularly. But he's breathing. His eyes are open. She looks into them, hoping to see something she recognizes there. But nothing of the Boone she knew seems to be there. All she sees in those eyes is pain.
Forcing back her tears, she grasps Boone's hand. His eyes widen, and he draws in a sudden, high gasp of pain. She quickly lets go, and contents herself with pushing a stray strand of hair off his forehead.
"Boone," she whispers. "Boone. Can you hear me?"
His eyes move, looking at her, and he slowly raises his other hand. She takes it, and a small smile appears on his face. Or maybe she just imagines it.
"Shan--" he gasps. "I'm--hunh--sor--sorry..."
She forces a smile onto her face. "Sorry?" she says through the tears springing once more to her eyes. "Sorry for what?"
"Mom...me..." he says weakly. "After...your fa--died. We...pricks...treated...badly..."
"Shhh," she says, wiping his forehead with a scrap of cloth she's picked up off a nearby crate. "Don't worry about it," she says. "It's all in the past."
He knits his brows. "For...give...me?" he asks.
"Yes," she nods. "Yes, you big dummy. I forgive you." She holds back a sob. "I'm the one who should be sorry," she says. "All the crap I pulled, trying to con you guys out of your money. You wouldn't even have been on that plane...neither of us would...if I hadn't..." She can't go on, but she has to try.
But he has let go of her hand, and has placed two fingers on her lips. He shakes his head slowly, and this time she knows she's not imagining his smile. "I...forgive...too," he says weakly.
She holds his hand and kisses it once, then smiles back at him. There's so much she wants to tell him, so much to say, but in the end, it all boils down to one short sentence. "I love you," she says.
"Love...you..." Boone says, just before his eyes go glassy and his gaze fixes on something a million miles behind her left shoulder.
"Boone?" she says. But there is no response. With trembling lips, she blindly lowers his hand to his chest. She reaches out and slowly shuts his eyes. After kissing him once on the forehead, she sits back, and, gazing at his face, finally gives her grief full vent. This time, when the tears come, she makes no effort to stop them.
Comments, criticism always more than welcome!