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LOST: Carols Drowned (various, gen)

eponine119 organized lost_hohoho (master list). I was assigned alliecat8. I kind of conflated a couple of her requests, to show who on the island wouldn't celebrate Christmas, and how they might react to the ones who really, really do. Also, Sawyer being the Grinch, and Claire being Cindy Lou Who.

Title: Carols Drowned
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Lost
Characters: Various
Rating: G
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: And wild and sweet the words repeat.
Notes: Futurefic, no spoilers



i. old familiar carols play

The days on the island are long and, when they're lucky, uneventful. But Claire's been keeping track, as best she can, and she knows when Christmas comes.

Nobody's talked about having any real celebrations, because doing that would be admitting something everybody already knows.

This will be Aaron's first Christmas, though, and she wouldn't be any kind of mother if she didn't make sure it was special.

So she picks him up, pastes her cheeriest smile onto her face, and has a talk with all the survivors, one by one.

As she walks from shelter to shelter, she croons underneath her breath, snippets of "Jingle Bells," and "Deck the Halls," and "Joy to the World."

Whenever she manages a high note, Aaron laughs.


ii. the world revolved from night to day

Jack stopped believing in Christmas a long time ago.

It wasn't anything so cliché as science versus religion, or disgust with the commercialization of what used to be a meaningful holiday. It wasn't even disaffection with familial celebrations.

He just, at some point, stopped caring. Simple as that.

So when Claire trundles up with her baby, humming the chorus to "We Three Kings," he leans back on his elbows and stares.

She stops short when she sees him, and he raises his eyebrows. "Hey, Claire. How's Aaron?"

"Fine." She hitches him higher on her hip. "And I was thinking...it's going to be Christmas soon, and since it's Aaron's first--"

"You wanted to do something to celebrate." Jack sighs. "If you want to, fine."

Claire frowns at his tone, and takes a deep breath.

Jack digs his elbows further into the sand.


iii. rolled along the unbroken song

Sawyer watches the ensuing passive-agressive conflict and takes another swig of water.

"What are we supposed to do?" he asks Kate, "hang shrapnel from the tree branches?"

Kate's idly carving a piece of driftwood with a pocketknife, and she scores three lines across the top before she answers him.

"I don't know." She scratches a triangle into the wood. "Sing songs or something. Exchange gifts."

Sawyer laughs. "Yeah, I'll just head on over to the shopping mall."

"You of all people?" Kate points her knife at him. "You could probably dig up something for everybody."

Sawyer rolls his eyes. "Because I'm such a caring and giving person."

Kate smiles, just barely. "One of the two, anyway."

"Right." Sawyer crosses his arms. "And Santa Claus is gonna fly on by and rescue us."

Kate watches him for a minute, and he manages not to look back at her.

"You know," she finally begins, and then her voice trails off.

He fidgets. "What?"

The silence hangs heavy, and he snaps, glances over at her.

"What?"

She smirks. "You and Jack are a lot alike."

A dozen things race through Sawyer's head, but he settles for a half-hearted grumble.

"That and a million will buy you a Merry Christmas."

It doesn't make much sense, he knows, but he's done with the conversation.


iv. in despair I bowed my head

Rose is stringing a braid of rope along the eaves of her shelter, and hanging from the center is a mango, ripened to a dusky red.

On his way to the caves for a ration of water, Charlie pauses to admire her handiwork.

"I like it," he compliments. "Festive. Sort of."

"You think so?" Rose adjusts the knots of the rope, steps back. "I thought I should do something, you know."

"Claire thinks so, too." Charlie tugs on the strap of his knapsack, listens to the jumble of plastic bottles within. "Baby's first Christmas and all."

Rose smiles. "There's a lot to be thankful for."

"Yeah." Charlie reaches up, taps the mango and watches it swing. "My mum used to hang ornaments on our tree. Red ones. Kind of like that." He looks away, clears his throat.

Rose puts a hand on his shoulder, squeezes gently. "I'm sure it's beautiful."

"Thanks." He smiles at her. "So's yours."


v. the households born of peace

Hurley drops an armload of coconuts, watches helplessly as the roll over the stone floor of the caves. One of them makes it as far as the water, and falls over the edge with a splish.

"Hurley?" Sun emerges from the makeshift infirmary, a pestle in her hand. "Is everything all right?"

He sits on one of the flat boulders, stares at the spinning coconuts. "Claire wanted to have, like, a special dessert for Christmas dinner." Another coconut rolls into the water. "I told her we could crack open some coconuts."

Sun smiles. "That's a good idea." She retreats for a second, then reappears again, dusting her hands against her legs. "Do you need help?"

Hurley grins. "Yeah, thanks."

So they gather the coconuts together, and Sun finds a tray to use as a platter. And for a while, they sit in silence, cracking open the coconuts and slicing the meat inside. When Hurley mentions the boar Locke dragged in this morning, Sun decides they should save the milk and make a stew, somehow.

Hurley grabs a smaller slice and munches on it, offers another to Sun.

She takes it, and he remarks, "What did you used to do at Christmas?"

"I didn't." Sun shakes her head, then clarifies. "We didn't celebrate Christmas. We're not--"

"Oh," Hurley says. "Sorry."

Sun laughs.


vi. rent the hearth-stones of a continent

Sawyer watches the commotion from underneath his shelter, as Claire's grand plans come into play.

Someone sets up a couple of poles, strings them with rope and mangoes. There's a fuss about digging a hole, and putting stones into the bonfire, and Sawyer's glad he was never a boy scout. And they roast most of the boar, and there's fruit of all kinds, and every damn person is looking merry as they can possibly be.

Even Jack's been dragged into the party, and Sawyer laughs at the uncomfortable expression on his face.

"You're the only one not out there," Claire says, and Sawyer flinches, hides his bottle of whiskey. "Are you going to join us?"

Sawyer eyes her, and the baby, warily. "I'm not much for parties."

"It's Christmas," she says.

Sawyer shrugs, and ignores her pout.

Finally, she steps forward, and Sawyer's got the baby cradled in his arms before he realizes what's happened.

"Hey!" he yelps. "I'm not a da--" He bites off a word. "I'm not a babysitter."

Claire straightens, grins. "Then come on," she says, and walks away, to the revelry.

"But--" Sawyer grunts. Holds the baby up and scowls. "Your mama doesn't play fair."

Aaron gurgles, a happy laugh.

Sawyer tries to stare him down, but the baby doesn't blink.

"Fine," he snaps, finally, and carefully rises to his feet.

When he gets to the party, he hands Aaron off, rolls his eyes at the greetings he receives.

And if Claire grins when he doesn't walk away, he doesn't notice at all. Not a bit.


###

A/N: Title, summary, and headings adapted from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Christmas Bells.

Originally linked here and linked on lost_hohoho.

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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
eponine119
Dec. 27th, 2005 02:41 am (UTC)
This was just lovely. It's wonderful how you set the scenes and the characters with so few words, yet nothing is left out. Everyone seems so perfectly in character, too.
voleuse
Jan. 1st, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it. And thanks for organizing the challenge, as well. *g*
alliecat8
Dec. 28th, 2005 12:10 am (UTC)
Oh, I love it!

Those were some of the best characterizations I've ever read. Of course Claire would insist on celebrating Aaron's first Christmas, and of course Jack would be bemused by it all and Sawyer would be a Grinch. ;)

This was my favorite part:

She smirks. "You and Jack are a lot alike."

A dozen things race through Sawyer's head, but he settles for a half-hearted grumble.

"That and a million will buy you a Merry Christmas."

It doesn't make much sense, he knows, but he's done with the conversation.


Perfect, perfect Sawyer.

I loved the quotes from Christmas Bells. It gave the whole piece such a lyrical tone.

Beautiful job. Just perfect. I'm going to rec this in my journal, and save it in my memories. Thank you so much!
voleuse
Jan. 1st, 2006 12:19 am (UTC)
Yay! I am thrilled you liked it.
stgreyhounds
Dec. 29th, 2005 05:57 pm (UTC)
I really like this. The only thing that could possibly be added would be Vincent with a stick tied to his head -- what's "Grinch" without a rein-dog? :)
voleuse
Jan. 1st, 2006 12:19 am (UTC)
Thanks! Also, hee! That would be adorable.
kattahj
Dec. 31st, 2005 09:23 am (UTC)
I really liked this. All the scenes showed the characters so nicely: Claire's wish to do right by her baby, Jack's exasperation, Rose's serenity, Hurley and Sun bonding over coconuts - and of course Sawyer being all grumpy and biting off the word "dad". (Ouch!) If there's ever a Christmas episode on the show (and if it is, it'll probably be shown in August over here 'cause that's what Swedish TV is like) it should be like this.
voleuse
Jan. 1st, 2006 12:19 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it.
jenthegypsy
Nov. 12th, 2006 03:03 am (UTC)
Nothing like getting a review 11 months after the fact, but I just found this comm! What a delight your ficlet is - as everyone said months ago, your characterizations are perfect, and the ending is a heart-melter. I really enjoy Christmas in November!
moodfic
Nov. 26th, 2006 08:49 pm (UTC)
I am thrilled to get reviews at any time. *g* Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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