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Unfinished (PG, gen)

Title: Unfinished
Rating: PG
Characters: Shannon, Sawyer
Summary: Shannon does the crossword puzzle in pen
Note: Written for Challenge #49, "Back to the Beginning" at lostfichallenge. This would be pre-"Confidence Man." Partly inspired by this lovely icon by isis2015.

Shannon does the crossword puzzle in pen. It’s one of the pens Boone found that first day, when he was trying to play hero and impress the doctor. Jack hadn’t even needed any of them, just sent Boone on a fool’s errand to get him out of his way. Shannon liked Jack already.

Boone had grabbed up all the pens and Sawyer had grabbed up everything else and somehow Shannon had snagged this bit of newspaper with a crossword puzzle. Someone had already filled in a few words, randomly, in pencil. Someone who clearly wasn’t confident enough to use a pen. Whoever that was, they were probably dead now, fallen in the jungle or ocean or one of the corpses rotting in the hulk of plane sitting on the beach.

But she’s far enough up the beach that she can’t see the wreckage. All she sees is ocean and beach, and, if she turns around, endless, dense jungle.

She sits with her legs drawn up, using them as a hard surface to write on. She has to keep shifting the paper as she writes. One of the clues is “Finn’s pal,” six letters. She smiles as she carefully jots down “Sawyer.” It crosses her mind to show him the puzzle, but what would be the point? He’d just take it as a come-on. And he’s probably long since stopped seeing the humor in having a name in common with a famous character.

God knows she hated it when kids would tease her with that annoying song about someone’s damn dog who ran away. Shannon is gone, I heard, she’s drifted out to sea.

She’s ended up just like that stupid dog, lost at sea. Wasn’t there even a lyric about the dog finding its own island? She could ask the guy who keeps telling her he’s a rock star, he might know. She wonders when the plane crash makes the news if the boys who used to taunt her with the song will remember her, remember the song.

The puzzle is almost finished. She knows the rest of the answers, but she doesn’t want to fill them in. She doesn’t know what she’s going to do once the puzzle is done. It’s not like there’s an endless supply here.

She stares at it for a few more minutes, then puts it down, leaving two or three clues unanswered. Boone will think she wasn’t smart enough to finish it. She doesn’t care what Boone thinks.

She folds the paper over. On the other side, there’s some celebrity gossip, a bridge column, and her horoscope. She decides to save it for tomorrow.

She walks back up the beach, back to what counts as civilization around here.

Everyone is bustling around, except for Sawyer, who half-lying, half-sitting, legs sprawled out, like he’s at a park on his lunch hour. He’s reading, some battered-looking paperback. He glances up and nods to her as she passes.

She echoes his nod without thinking, but he’s already turned his attention back to the book. Jerk. She just knows he’s not going to share, not without some kind of ridiculous trade. The puzzle isn’t worth anything, not nearly finished. Maybe she shouldn’t have done it in pen after all.


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 15th, 2007 07:32 pm (UTC)
This was a great character study of Shannon. I miss when she was like this. She was one of the funniest characters with her attitude. She got boring when she got nice.
Jun. 16th, 2007 05:04 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. I always liked Shannon and I liked seeing how she changed on the island and I'm sorry she wasn't around longer. I think when she got paired with Sayid, they made her kind of clingy and I wasn't fond of that but mostly, yeah, I miss her!
Jun. 15th, 2007 08:49 pm (UTC)
I love this! Such a wonderful study of Shannon, I really like the idea of her sitting off on her own doing something 'normal' by completing the crossword, that's such a lovely image. And it made me all nostalgic for season 1. *happy sigh*
Jun. 16th, 2007 05:08 am (UTC)
Thanks, hon. ♥ And aww, your icon = another classic Shannon crossword-puzzle-solving pose. I was intrigued that she'd be the kind of girl who would do crossword puzzles since you wouldn't expect that of Malibu Barbie. And damn, I miss Shannon and S1 too.
Jun. 15th, 2007 09:21 pm (UTC)
Nice! Especially Shannon trying to convince herself that she doesn't care whether or not Boone thinks that she's stupid, when it wouldn't occur to her at all if she really didn't care.
Jun. 16th, 2007 05:12 am (UTC)
Thank you! I think part of her was always seeking his approval, even as she was making sure he'd think the worst of her. And the way they always picked at each other -- I kind of miss that. Heck, I just miss them.
Jun. 15th, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC)
Aw, that was a really great character study. I miss Shannon.
Jun. 16th, 2007 05:12 am (UTC)
Thank you. ♥ I miss her too!
Jun. 15th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
Wow. I really love this. I love Shannon, and I love to see her layers -- how she doesn't want to finish the crossword puzzle because she doesn't know what to do next, how she's trying to convince herself it's not important and she doesn't need it, even thought it clearly is and she clearly does.

;_; I miss Shannon.
Jun. 16th, 2007 05:17 am (UTC)
Thank you! I always loved the glimpses of layers we saw in her and her doing crossword puzzles kind of summed up her contradictions for me, since she's the last person you'd expect to have that as a hobby. Your icon totally put the idea into my head. :) And I started to think that once she'd finished the puzzle, there wouldn't be any others and how reluctant she would be to face the reality of being stranded there. And damn, I miss her too!

Jun. 16th, 2007 01:42 am (UTC)
This is great. I love Shannon's attitude.

It's probably sad, but Boone and the pens always make me laugh. I like the sort of parallel though, where Boone's grabbing up pens and Sawyer's getting everything else.
Jun. 16th, 2007 05:23 am (UTC)
Thank you!

And Boone and the pens is always funny. Somehow crossword puzzle led to pens, which led to Boone running around the beach trying to be a hero. Glad you liked the parallel with Sawyer. I wanted to work him in here, with his solitary book reading so similar to her going off to do the puzzle alone.
Jun. 16th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)
I love a good quiet, understated gen. fic, and this is just that. Perfect and true. Wonderful piece. :)
Jun. 16th, 2007 05:25 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you, hon. ♥ It's been a while since I've written gen but it's good to stretch those muscles again and to revisit S1.
Jun. 16th, 2007 07:18 am (UTC)
This is such a great little gem. And such a clever idea, too. I'm impressed you can pack so much character exploration into something as simple as her doing the crossword, it's somehow perfect for her.
Jun. 16th, 2007 07:11 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you, babe! :) The idea just clicked and I realized it always was kind of incongruous for Shannon, of all people, to be doing a crossword puzzle.
Jun. 17th, 2007 12:55 am (UTC)
This is just lovely. There was always so much going on in Shannon's head that nobody would have guessed or believed. I love using her long legs as a table, and the fact that Ms. Blonde would do the crossword in pen defiantly. Jack did his crossword in pen too when he was waiting outside Sarah's school. Love how she's got Sawyer's number too.

She stares at it for a few more minutes, then puts it down, leaving two or three clues unanswered. Boone will think she wasn’t smart enough to finish it. She doesn’t care what Boone thinks. Go Shannon.
And she saves it, having come to terms with the fact that rescue is not coming.

I miss Shannon.

Jun. 17th, 2007 03:11 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! And I'd forgotten about Jack doing crosswords! I know Locke is doing one in the hatch. Hmmm. Secret island crossword club? :) And I was definitely thinking of a parallel with Sawyer and his books, how he and Shannon are both smarter than people give them credit for, which is one of the reasons I really liked that pairing. And yes, here she's putting off finishing the puzzle because she doesn't want to admit it's the last of something.

Ahh, I miss Shannon too. :-/
Jun. 17th, 2007 01:22 am (UTC)
You have such perfect characterisation - that first paragraph made me grin because it was so completely Shannon, especially that last sentence. I loved the detail you used from the show about Boone to explain how she came across those pens.
Jun. 17th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)
Thank you! :) Once I typed the word "pen," then Boone and the pens immediately came to mind. This is one of those that kind of wrote itself, or at least, that I let go where it wanted without blocking it out beforehand so I'm very pleased you liked the results.
Jun. 17th, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
i liked that alot! it was lighthearted yet angsty and a bit sad. i really felt for shannon.

i just watched the pilot yesterday and i had forgotten about boone finding all those pens for jack and he made me laugh, and now you had written a fic involving them and it was a funny coincidence. :D

and i got to mention, it felt so refreshing to read a general fic. i read and write so much shippyness that it's coming out of my head. :D
Jun. 18th, 2007 03:35 am (UTC)
Thank you! :) I've always had a soft spot for Shannon, even when she was being bitchy, it seemed like there was more to her. And that scene with Boone and the pens was such a great introduction to his character. Aww, I miss them both!

And I know what you mean about the shippiness. I haven't written a gen fic in ages, myself, so it was nice to go ship-free again. Thanks for reading!
Jul. 7th, 2007 05:57 pm (UTC)
I absolutely hate it when I think I have commented on a fic and then find I have not. Damn it!

Wonderful job on a quiet little ficlet that says so much about Shannon. Every time someone writes a powerful character sketch of her, I get angry all over again that she wasn't allowed the time to develop. I didn't particularly like Shannon on the show, but, thanks to fic like this one that explores what lies beneath that beautiful, icy exterior, I have come to think she would have been, by far, the most interesting female character in all of Seasons 1 & 2.

I'm also impressed by the complete Sawyer picture you painted with three lines. Excellent!
Jul. 15th, 2007 03:55 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. I really miss her too. She was my favorite female character, I think because they weren't actively trying to make her likable. That always seems to backfire, when they *want* us to like someone. Anyway, I was always intrigued with what was under that bitchy façade and I was looking forward to seeing more of how the island changed her but of course we never got to, so of course the title is about her unfinished life as well.

And aww, you're too sweet with the Sawyer comment. Thank you!
Jul. 15th, 2007 01:23 am (UTC)
ah, I knew I was late to read something of yours!

this was great, a gen piece like I love, with character insight. love it, Shannon thinking that people doing crosswords in pen just lack confidence =D
Jul. 15th, 2007 03:57 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad for these prompts that get me outside my usual pairing. It's nice to write gen and particularly to write about Shannon. And since I'm a crossword puzzler myself, it seemed to fit. Thanks for catching up and for the lovely fb. :)
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )


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