Ghosts Marching
by Hecate

Ana awakes with a start to find Shannon sitting beside her. Still wet, still bleeding and Ana stares at the girl she only knows as a corpse. "Hello." Shannon's voice is calm and almost friendly but Ana feels something behind it, an abyss she had heard before. An abyss that had cost her a child.

"Hello." Her own voice is a whisper that wants to be a scream, but Shannon only smiles again.

"I'm Shannon."

"I know."

A soft laughter with holes in it fills the too small space between them and Shannon nods. "Yes, right. You killed me."

Ana is quiet and slowly sits up, bringing herself closer to Shannon. "I only wanted to protect..."

"Hush!" A hiss through smiling lips. "Hush, girl."

Ana swallows slowly, she can feel the abyss getting larger and she longs for her gun.

"You should have protected me as well, Ana."

"I'm sorry."

Shannon stands up slowly, no reaction visible on her face. "But I'm not the first you failed to protect. Right, Ana? Not the first one. Not the last one."

Shannon stretches her arms out and Ana sees something bloody in Shannon's hands. A disgusting thing; blood and flesh and gore; and Ana feels bile rising in her throat.

"Did it already have a name, Ana?"

That's when Ana finally starts to scream.


"She said she saw Shannon," Sayid's voice is dry as fallen leaves, as if life was sucked out of it and all that is left is dead and old.

Jack looks at Sayid - really looks at him - something he hasn't done since Shannon's funeral. Sayid looks like his voice sounds - broken - and it tears at something inside Jack. The part of Jack that swore to protect them all; to do everything he could to get them all through this; to fix things...but with Shannon, another one is down and Sayid and Ana look like they might follow.

Jack can take care of many things, but a bullet to the heart or the soul are beyond his skills.

"She dreamed, Sayid."

"I know. It's just..."

Words hang between them and Jack squeezes Sayid's shoulder. "It's ok."

Sayid shakes his head then, his whole body going rigid with the motion. "No, it isn't. Nothing is ok." With that, Sayid leaves.

Jack almost follows him but he doesn't, because this isn't anything he can make better. Not now. Maybe never. He turns and looks over to Eko sitting beside Ana, talking to her quietly. At least one of them knows how to take care of the less stable in the group. His bedside manner always sucked.

Jack sees Locke hovering in the background, sighs, and walks over. It's better to get this done. "So, what do you think, John?"

"A nightmare."

Jack raises an eyebrow. "Not a message from fate?"

Locke grins at him, shaking his head slightly. "Don't think so. I would hope fate has a better way to contact us."

"Plane crashes, for example?"

"For example." Locke smiles when he says these words and Jack fights the familiar urge to punch him.

"It was so real," says Ana's voice from behind them, and Jack turns to her. "I just...It creeped me out." There is embarrassment in her voice and she stands up with a sheepish smile on her face. "I'm sorry I bothered you guys." Unsteady steps lead her out of the hatch and Eko is right behind her.

Jack looks after them, a frown on his face. "You think she'll be ok?"

Locke shrugs beside him. "One would hope so."

Jack savours the feeling of turning around and leaving Locke behind.


The night is almost quiet around Kate; just the ocean talking to her and the softened sounds of the jungle in the distance. She looks into the black void in front of her, feet covered with sand, her back to the camp some way behind her.

The black should scare her, but it doesn't. It's nothing to fear; it's a promise, their only way out, and she clings to the hope that one day rescue will come out of the grey and blue and black of the ocean. Or out of the sky. One day. She tells herself that she has to keep watching, has to keep looking for it or it will pass them. Two ships in the night without signal light. A rhyme in her head, a poem of terror, and she will not let this happen.

Sometimes Kate wonders if she's the only one still looking out. Sayid used to do it as well, before he forgot about rescue in Shannon's arms. And now.... Since they talked at Shannon's grave she has only seen glimpses of him; a shadow slipping in and out of their group, silent and dark.

Jack is much too busy with keeping them alive now, and she's grateful for it, even if she doesn't agree every time. He's trying too hard, but she is scared of the moment he will not try enough, so she rarely protests. She leaves him to his own devices, because Kate wants to be alive for their rescue.

Locke never cared much for rescue. She doesn't really know what he cares for, he seems to live on the island already while they are still trying to survive on it. The rest...the rest care about other things, about each other, about their children, about safety. Sawyer, she thinks, still looks out for rescue.

Kate hears steps behind her and she turns with a half smile, expecting Sawyer or Jack, because it's always one of them who comes to her at the beach, looking for assistance or wanting to trade a few verbal blows; anything to make life more bearable on this hell hole.

It's neither of them.

Tom looks at her, his eyes like steel, his mouth a sharp slash in his face. There's blood on his shirt. There is blood on his face, too, and she remembers it; the smell and feel of it, but Kate doesn't scream. She didn't back then; she won't now. He's not really there, after all. Just a dream...or a vision; a second black horse, but she doubts that she will get the same feeling of freedom from him.

She stands up slowly and steps forward, meeting him half way. Tom looks at her with alien eyes and when he starts to smile, she can't fight the shivers crawling up and down her spine.

"Hello Katie."

She nods her greeting and doesn't speak; just watches and waits, her legs poised to bring her away from here in a sudden sprint.

"I see you haven't changed much. Still ready to run away."

He always knew her better than anybody else, even when he didn't know her at all and groped for answers in her face. And now, even in death and dream, he still knows her.

"You should have changed. You killed me."

A sharp intake of breath and now she backs away from him. He watches her, with these gleaming eyes she has never noticed before and she wants to run. She wants to, but she can't, because he looks at her like this. She can't speak either; can't tell him how many times she cried for him until she felt hollow. She can't tell him what she did to honour him; to get his little plane. Or how many times her mind flew away on its plastic wings to a land of memories and soft kisses in a dark car accompanied by children's voices.

"You killed me and left me in this car. Like I'm worthless. Am I worthless, Katie?"

She shakes her head fast. No, no, he isn't; has never been. He was her everything and then he was her motivation, and now it seems like he is her nightmare. Still, he's not worthless.

"Then why are you still alive?" A raised eyebrow, a dark smile and Tom turns around and leaves her behind, striding quietly into the jungle. Kate wants to follow him, but she doesn't: there is a voice screaming inside of her head that tells her to stay and the voice is louder than her urge to follow him. Kate's legs give in when Tom is swallowed by the darkness of the jungle and her knees hit the ground heavily. She stays still for a moment before she finally lies down and stares up into the sky. Rescue will come and she has to watch for it.


Jack finds Kate at the beach staring into the sky above her and he drops down at her side.

"They say they make no sense here. The stars. Locke and Sayid they say make no sense." Kate nods at Jack's words, but stays silent and Jack can't ignore the urge to break the silence.

"You know, Pluto might not be a planet."

She looks at him then, raising an eyebrow and he can almost see the question mark forming behind her eyes, so he starts to speak again.

"Well, there are nine planets, right?"

Kate shrugs and Jack has to smile slightly.

"Nine planets and Pluto is supposed to be the ninth. But maybe he isn't. He might just be an asteroid or something. A comet or a distanced part of some weird star belt, because he's too small and some other things that are too different to the rest of the planets."

"A misfit," Kate says and Jack nods after a moment.


"So, even space objects can be lonely."

Jack frowns; he only wanted to break the silence and now they're talking about loneliness. "Guess so."

She looks up at the sky again and he follows her eyes, tracing the stars above them. There are so many and if even they can be lonely...Jack shudders and moves closer to Kate. She looks at him then and he suddenly notices that something is very wrong with her. Kate is scared.

"You ok?"

She nods, of course, and he carefully moves a bit closer again.


Another nod and Jack knows she won't talk about it. "Ok."

He looks up at the stars again and thinks briefly of eternity and space before he breaks free of his thoughts. "At least we're on a mysterious and creepy island and not scattered across the universe."

Finally Kate laughs beside him and Jack smiles at her before he lies down; the sand cool and solid beneath him.


When he sees Liam, Charlie knows he's dreaming again. He expects the rest of his family to appear, or Aaron to scream, but nothing like this happens. Just Liam sitting at the fire Charlie made for himself, staring into the flames. Charlie approaches him slowly and sits down beside him, their arms almost touching, and looks into the flames as well. It's a familiar picture, the fire has been his TV since Claire sent him away and he'd gone slightly nuts.

Liam chuckles quietly beside him at some private joke, and suddenly it turns into full blown laughter - the hysterical kind. Charlie turns to him and looks at him closely, and damn, Liam looks like he's high and Charlie feels a cold hand ripping into his chest and tearing at his heart.

"I thought you were dead, Charlie. I thought you were dead."


"The plane crash. I thought you were dead."

Charlie blinks at that, thinking of the real Liam back home. The one he has left behind with an angry stride and suddenly he's scared. He pushes it back violently, looking back at the brother that sits beside him.

"I didn't use for such a long time. I was over it, you know. For my wife. For my daughter. But you died."

Charlie feels cold fear creeping up at him again and he thinks of his brother; how he must feel now. He imagines grief and guilt, and hopes that Liam doesn't feel those, that it's only Charlie who would feel like this if the situation were reversed. He hopes his brother is happy. And alive.

God, let him be alive.

"I need to be awake," he says to his brother and Liam tilts his head, looking at him with dark eyes, red hollows around them.

"But are awake."

He stands up slowly and he thinks of what he has done to Claire; what he has almost done to Aaron. This is just another dream and he needs to keep it together so Claire will take him back. He has to pass this test and Claire will take him back.

Charlie turns away from the fire and from his brother and starts to walk into the darkness of the night.


Some days after Shannon's death, Ana drops down beside Sayid and stretches her long legs before she speaks. "Tell me about her."

He doesn't need to ask who she means. He doesn't know if he wants to tell her.

She keeps quiet and looks out on the ocean, her body tensed and still strangely calm. He can see the cop in her, the woman who patrolled the streets in order to serve and protect. Until she died.

It is a familiar picture; he sees it every time he looks into the mirror and it's a bitter feeling to see himself in Shannon's murderer. Shannon, who had pushed this image to the edge for a while. Shannon.

He always thought that nothing could surprise him anymore, but then she came along and he had to learn that he had been very wrong about that. She was the biggest surprise of his life and so much more.

"She was...more than people thought she was."

He has to stop there already, the wound of loss still too deep, and he takes a deep breath before he continues. When he does, it feels like blood flowing.

He talks quietly and fast, and he talks without a pause. Words follow each other in tight chains and to his own ears it sounds as if he's praying.

Ana keeps quiet beside him and if she were anybody else, he would be grateful, but she isn't anybody else and so he simply keeps talking. She keeps listening. He remembers Shannon, her bright and open smile and her bitter tears. The way her voice changed when she was flirting and the way it sounded when she was finally honest. Her body, her hands. He talks and he's bleeding dry and, God, he misses her so much that pain isn't a strong enough word to describe it. This feeling can't be caught in letters and words, it can't be exorcised. It's just too much.

He knows he will break any second now, he will shatter if he doesn't stop. But he can't stop talking. He can't.

Then there are voices - loud voices - and his soldier instincts rip him out of his prayer. He can see Jack and Locke carrying Charlie between them and he's on his feet before he knows it. Ana follows him and he can see Kate running to them from the corner of his eye.

"I found him in the water. Away from his fire and the camp," Jack says when he sees them coming.

"What was he doing there?" The question leaves his mouth before he can stop it, he knows Jack can't answer it.

"No idea. We have to get him to the hatch. We need to get him warm and dry."

Sayid nods and follows them, the two woman beside him.

They make their way to the hatch as fast as possible, the distance suddenly farer than before. Jack curses in front of him when they have trouble getting Charlie through the door.

"Jack?" That's Charlie's voice and Sayid sees relief flooding over Jack's face.


"What's going on?"

"I found you in the water. You were unconscious. Can you walk?"

Sayid sees Charlie nodding and then he stumbles through the door with Jack supporting him and Locke behind him.

Soon Charlie is secure on the bed and Jack helps him get out of the wet clothes. Kate and Ana back off then, Kate walking over to the computer, checking the time. Ana just hovers near the wall, her eyes on Sayid. He looks away and leans against the doorway, his eyes on Charlie and Jack.

"What happened?" Jack asks. He covers Charlie with a blanket and Sayid can see the tremors running through Charlie.

"I don't know. I had a bad dream about my brother."

"And then?"

"I think I sleepwalked again. I mean, I dreamed that I stood up and walked away. But I didn't really, right? I mean, Liam wasn't really there."

Jack nods at that and gets up slowly. "Sleep a bit. You should be ok." With a brief smile Jacks walks out of the room and Locke follows him. The women see them and they step forward, a circle forming.

"He dreamed of his brother and then went into the ocean."

Sayid can almost hear the frown in Jack's voice when he speaks and the confusion and frustration only gets more obvious when Jack asks what everybody wonders: "Is he using again?"

Sayid can only shrug; he isn't especially close to Charlie - no one is right now. "Maybe he really sleepwalked. He's out of it right now."

"I had a pretty real dream last night as well," said a voice behind them and when Sayid turns, he sees one of the girls that Shannon used to talk to standing at the door, some clothes in her arm. Washing day. "About my little brother. He died..."

"So?" Jack's voice is strained the way it usually gets when people are hurt and things stop making sense.

"I was thinking ghosts." There's a pause then, the girl looking at Jack with tired eyes. "But then I thought, 'there are no ghosts'. That's what I've been telling myself the whole day already." She sighs then and shrugs. "A lot of people seem to be having nightmares right now; people they have lost talking to them."

Jack stares blankly at her and Sayid wishes he would remember her name. Something with N he thinks.

She smiles at him when he notices his stare. "Gotta go. People get pissed if they don't get fresh underwear, ghosts or no ghosts." A slightly insane smile follows; the smile Sayid sees now on all of them sometimes. The island smile, he calls it. She turns and leaves and for a moment everybody looks after her, the silence pregnant with disbelief and a potential for something else.

"Ghosts," Locke already sounds far into his own headspace where he usually gets his weird ideas from, and Sayid can see Jack's face contorting with protest. Jack already knows what's coming. "Makes sense."

"Ghosts make sense? Excuse me, since when do ghosts make sense ?" Before the island, the polar bears, Others, and the monster Sayid would have joined the protest, but now? Why the hell not? Ghosts? What the fuck ever.

A moment passes before he knows that it's not himself talking inside of his head, it's Shannon's loss; it had its own voice ever since he lay her body down on the ground.

Jack and Locke are facing off again, a repetition of their own little ritual, and Sayid forces himself to concentrate. This is important.

"Listen, Jack. Something is going on. So many people dreaming about the same thing? About the people they lost?" Locke's voice is as calm as ever, even now that he's speaking of ghosts.

"It's normal. People dream crazy stuff in extreme situations." There's an edge to Jack's voice, as familiar to Sayid now as Locke's calm tone.


"Liam isn't dead." Charlie's voice is disoriented and weak, a very small sound coming from the next room. "He isn't."

Jack and Locke share a look before Locke ushers them away from the doorway while Jack walks over to Charlie again. "Sleep, Charlie. We'll talk later."

Then he joins the group again, his eyes on Locke. He's waiting, like the rest of them. "He might have died in the last weeks." Locke's voice is calm and it makes sense. Ghosts make sense. Shannon...

"So you think our ghosts are marching against us? That's bullshit, John." Annoyance and frustration have overtaken Jack's voice and the man looks almost as tired as he had after Boone's death.

"I dreamed of someone, too."

Jack looks at Kate as if she had betrayed him, but she steps forward anyway.

"And well...he wasn't too friendly."

"Good God, you are all serious. I can't believe it." Jack looks at the whole group, shaking his head.


"I'll need to get some water for Charlie."

Sayid knows what Jack really means is: 'I need to get away from you, because you're fucking crazy,' but nobody stops him. They all just look at each other, faces carefully blank, and the quietness is dangerous. It's too close to screaming; to losing control. He has heard it before - during the war.

Sayid turns and walks away, his feet heavy; his footsteps loud. Ghosts, he thinks. Ghosts.


He has to find her.



Boone comes to Jack in the afternoon while Jack hacks wood with the concentration and determination island life gives to the simplest acts. Bottles of water lie on the ground beside him; he knows that he has to go to Charlie soon, but not yet. He can't face Charlie now; can't face the idea of ghosts.

Fucking ghosts.

Jack doesn't notice Boone at first, just hacks away until he hears a small amused cough behind him and turns around.

Boone smiles at him, easy and unconcerned, as if he isn't dead. As if there isn't blood seeping through the fabric of his pants. "Hi Jack."

The axe drops out of Jack's grasp and falls to the ground with a quiet thud, the ground almost soft beneath it. Jack stares at Boone; stares at the smiling face and backs of slowly.

Boone cocks his head to one side, watching his retreat, amusement still on his face. "Are you running away from me Jack?"

"You're not real." Jack's throat is dry and it suddenly hurts to speak, but he had to say these words. This is not real. Boone isn't really here. Boone is dead.

"Of course I'm not real. I'm a ghost. We're not made of reality." Boone chuckles softly and Jack thinks he never heard this sound from Boone.

"I'm dead, Jack. Your fault. You didn't save me."

"You're not real."

"You mentioned this before." A grin spreads over Boone's face and Jack backs off some more. "But it doesn't matter. I'm dead. Thanks to you."


The ghost stares at him, his face made of stone and Jack remembers Boone, his eagerness. His need to help. He remembers Boone and he remembers him in the cave, bleeding to death under his hands.

"You told me to let you go."

Bitter laughter comes out of the ghost's mouth and it shakes its head. "Do you always let people die just because they tell you to? The last time I checked that was illegal."

"But...I wanted to help you." More laughter from the ghost and Jack wants to run again, wants to get away.

"Yeah, sure."

"You're not real."

"Oh Jack, didn't we talk about this already? Stop the bullshit and face what you have done."

"You're not real." His protest is already a bit weaker now and the look Boone gives him is full with hunger and something is very wrong here. "You're not real." He can't stop repeating himself, as if his mind is a broken record, as if his words would become reality if only they were strong enough.

Jack can't look away from Boone; can't look away from the blood; and his mind replays Boone's death again and again. He remembers blood warm and slippery and a body going cold so damn fast. "You're not real." His voice is only a whisper now and Jack can feel his legs collapsing under him, not being able to carry the weight of his guilt any longer.

"You're not Boone," says a new voice, strong and calm and when Jack turns Locke is standing not far away, looking at Boone.

"Hello John," the ghosts greets him. There's no change in Locke's face and when he walks over to Jack he doesn't even look at Boone.

"I've been thinking of a way to build up a perimeter around the hatch just so we know if any of the Others come close to the camp there. " He offers Jack his hand, still looking at him only.

Jack takes it slowly, letting himself be pulled up.

"I also talked with Charlie and Ana about their visions. I think I was wrong. That..." Locke points in the direction of Boone, "isn't a ghost; at least not a ghost of the people it looks like. It's an impostor."

Jack blinks and looks from Locke to Boone, his eyes only briefly on the ghost. "Huh?"

"It pretends to be one of the people we lost. Those who died and whom we believe we failed and it tries to use our guilt against us." Jack can only stare at Locke.

"You sure about that John?" Boone's voice is closer now but Jack doesn't dare to turn around and look at him.

Locke smiles, but not at him. He smiles over Jack's shoulder where the ghost has to be. "Yes. That's why you didn't come to me, isn't it? You knew I would see through you. You knew that I knew Boone better than the rest of us and there is no other ghost in my life you could have used. Now you won't be able to use anybody else's."

Locke looks at Jack again then, and his smile looks much realer to Jack now. "I already told Ana and Sayid about it; I don't want to tell Charlie just yet. It was bad enough telling Sayid that's it not Shannon out there. I don't want to tell Charlie that his brother is probably dead." There's a pause and Jack can see the deep breath Locke has to take just then.

"I think we need to tell them all. Who knows who the thing has been talking to?"

Jack can only nod and when Locke walks away he falls into step with him. They walk side by side through the jungle, telling everybody they meet to come to the caves.

It's strange to work with John again, but in a way things suddenly feel a bit safer, as if there was a piece missing and he hadn't noticed the hole before. The piece still doesn't fit completely again. But it will. Jack knows it will.

When he sees Sawyer and Kate coming through the jungle he remembers the Others and the guns, and Jack feels insanity knocking on the door of his mind again. He pushes it away and it's suddenly already a little bit easier to do so. He has no idea what to do about the Others or the guns, but he might be able to fix this new thing.

"We really should ask that thing if it could go and visit Sawyer."

Beside him, John smiles.


There's a long moment when Ana can't remember why she came; if there were too many reasons or no reason at all and she almost turns to leave. Then she remembers the way Shannon's body has lain on the ground, pale, wet and bloody. Ana remembers how Sayid had talked about Shannon and Ana thinks of that thing that pretends to be Shannon.

But isn't her.

Finally, Ana speaks. "Hey girl. Sorry it took me so long to come by." She drops down in front of the grave, still not looking at it. Instead she looks to the other graves close to it. "That's your brother's grave, right? Boone." She tries to remember the few things she knows about Boone; things Jack told her - the freak accident; his failure to save Boone.

"For what's worth, I'm sorry for your loss." Ana nearly chokes on forced down laughter then. She's talking to the girl she killed about the very girl's dead brother. Something is definitely wrong with her.

"I'm sorry for killing you." So, there, she said it. Ana finally looks at the grave; the cross; and wonders for a moment if Shannon was religious at all. If she would have cared for the wooden things towering over the sand that covered her body now. Probably not, considering what Sayid told her about Shannon. But graves have never been for the dead, so maybe it was ok. Maybe Shannon wouldn't mind.

"I didn't mean to. I just wanted to protect my people. They had just taken Cindy and..." Ana stops there; there's nothing to add. A part of her tells her that she reacted the right way, that it could have been an Other after all and if it had been an Other, any hesitation would have been the end of them. But still...Shannon is dead and that wasn't the way it was supposed to go.

Things haven't gone the way they were supposed to for a long time now. Everything went wrong after she died and lost her child and her control through a rebirth Ana could have lived without

"Sayid misses you, but I guess you know that. The others...I don't know. They don't talk about you when I'm around. They don't talk much to me anyway. No surprise there."

Ana pauses and thinks of the rest of the survivors; this band of fucked up people. She wonders how long they will survive; how long they have until the Others attack here like they have attacked them on Ana's part of the island. She still has the gun; she made her camp at a place where she can watch the jungle and it seems as if there are more people who know how to fight in this group. It should make her feel safer, but it doesn't.

"I'm scared it will happen again. That I shoot to protect and I kill the wrong person." Ana hasn't admitted this to herself until now, but she's with Shannon here and the girl deserves her honesty.

"Of course it will happen again." The voice behind her sounds faintly amused and Ana doesn't need to turn around to know that it's not-Shannon. "You're just trigger happy like that, Ana. A loose cannon."

"You're not Shannon."

The thing laughs, a clear and oh-so-happy sound, and starts clapping its hands excitedly. "Oh, aren't you a smart bunch?"

Ana swallows and slowly gets to her feet. She realizes, suddenly, that she stands between the thing and Shannon's grave and she can't stand the thought to let it closer to the grave, so she can't run. She has to stay. She couldn't protect Shannon in life, but she will guard her in death.

"There's nothing for you here," her voice is weak; a whisper only; and she knows that she can't impress Shannon's impostor like this, but there's no other weapon for her.

"You know, Ana, it doesn't matter if I'm Shannon or not. I'm still saying the truth. You're dangerous to your silly group. So very dangerous. You should have left them."

The urge to run away grows stronger, but her legs grow weaker as Ana hears her own fear and guilt out of the thing's red mouth.

"You could still run away, Ana. Leave them and you won't hurt them. Come on, you're a bright girl. You know that this is the only way. You aren't good enough to protect them. You aren't good enough to protect anybody."

It reaches out at her and there's that thing in its hands again. No, not a thing - her child; her baby, and God, there's so much blood that she can't take it anymore, she can't, she can't, she can't...

"Ana?" Sayid's calm voice behind her sends a sudden and violent strength into her legs and back and she straightens herself.

Shannon; no, not Shannon; the thing that stole Shannon's face, looks past her now and at the approaching figure, a brilliant smile playing around her lips. "Hello Sayid"

Sayid doesn't answer, he just wraps his hand around Ana's arm, his eyes focused on the ghost.

"I miss you, Sayid."

His fingers turn into steel and Ana winces, forcing herself to keep quiet. "Do you miss me?"

"Come on, Ana. Jack wants everybody to come to the caves." He pulls her with him and Ana follows with shaky strides. If he can leave Shannon's grave to that thing, so can she, because he carries Shannon inside of him and that thing can't hurt her there.

"Sayid!" The ghost's voice cries, breaking like glass behind them. "Sayid! Don't leave me!"

Sayid speeds up beside Ana, his face made of stone.

"You're choosing her over me, Sayid? She killed me!"

Sayid stops then and Ana wants to scream; wants to run, but she can't. Not as long as Sayid isn't moving. He turns his head slightly to her and looks at her, searching and judging and Ana feels bullets in her body all over again.

"No," Sayid says and his voice is so very clear, like a summer sky, and it's bright enough to be its sun. "I choose Shannon."

He walks on then and Ana walks beside him, marching to the caves and their people, their eyes focused on the way ahead of them. She can hear voices in the jungle, so very unlike the thing left at the graves. They are so exited and so human, and for the first time after so long she feels that it's worth following them. Maybe she will reach them after all.


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