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Story Notes:
Disclaimer: Characters belong to JJ Abrams, etc.
Written for: quirkytaverna who requested a story about the ladies of Lost.
Settings: During season two.
Fear is the brightest of signs
The shape of the boundary you leave behind
So sing all your questions to sleep
The answers are out there in the drowning deep

"Harbor" by Vienna Teng

There is a gentleness to Sun’s garden that Ana-Lucia enjoys. She finds peaceful moments there among cultivated plants in the middle of a mad green world full of people who do evil things.

She goes to it at night, alone, and sits silent in the darkness. The tilled dirt is rich against her fingers and the plants carry a thick, heady scent. She picks nothing, leaves no trace of herself behind, but strokes the leaves and breathes in steady and slow.

Here, cradled within its pattern, she can close her eyes and be somewhere else.

Ana-Lucia doesn’t go home in these moments, her memories of her mother and her job and her womb once empty, then full, now empty again are too painful. Nor does she think of the future, because she sees no way to escape from this living nightmare.

Her imagination stretches and spreads, carrying her into the stars and deep beneath the ocean waves into worlds which likely have never existed, will never exist, but to her, in these moments, they are all she could hope for and more.

“I’m glad you like my garden,” Sun says and Ana-Lucia startles, leaping upright, one hand grabbing up the walking stick she carries as her only weapon now. She hadn’t heard her footsteps nor her movement through the trees.

She’s smiling at her, hands held loosely at her hips, palms out. It’s the sort of gesture Ana-Lucia’s used to gentle angry dogs before, animals gone half wild.

“Sit,” Sun says. “I didn’t mean to disturb you.”

She stares at her and then sits, the stick stretched across her legs.

“I come here when I can’t sleep,” Sun says, and kneels next to the smallest of the plants. “I like to watch them grow. I know I can’t actually see it, but sometimes, if I look away, out of the corner of my eye I think I see a leaf unfurl or a root deepen.”

She says nothing in return, but the silence after is only slightly thickened by stress.

#

That is how it begins. That and when Sun sits next to Ana-Lucia while they eat dinner one evening. She hasn’t been back to the garden, no matter how much she craves the peace.

Sun has noticed. “Don’t stay away on my account,” she says. Her voice is just above a whisper even though there is no one around. “Please, enjoy my garden.”

She stays away for days still and then she returns and sits in silence in the darkness.

If Sun notices, she leaves her be most nights. When she joins her, they speak infrequently, of light, inconsequential things, and Ana Lucia finds a different kind of peace.

#

“I want to show you something,” Sun says one night. Ana-Lucia drags her fingers along the stick; she’s rubbed sand on it to smooth it down and her fingers have left places slick and warm.

“Okay,” she says. Her voice is raspy because she hardly ever speaks on this side of the island. Her words have drowned so frequently in her throat. “Show me.”

Sun takes her hand. Her fingers are warm and rough. Ana-Lucia wonders if it is the island which has marked her so, if she was lotioned and smooth and soft. In the end it doesn’t matter.

They were all something else before.

The beach is empty, the water dark, and the sky clear of clouds. The stars are spread out above them, thick and bright. They spark like fires in the distance, like eyes of some horde of monsters threatening to descend.

Once, Ana-Lucia believed in the cold steel of a gun in her hands and the bright flash of her badge holding back the darkness. She believed in justice and order and the protection of the law.

Sun tucks a flower into her hair, near her ear. They sit together on the sand, just out of reach of the tide, silent in the darkness. Sun’s hands are small, but her grip is firm.

Ana-Lucia isn’t sure what she believes in these days, but maybe it’s this moment and the delicate peace curled between them and the song of the waves washing across the sand.

End


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