|kat_scratches (kat_scratches) wrote in ficbits,|
@ 2008-03-16 21:25:00
Lost fic! "Among All The Unfamiliar"
So. Haven't been writing much. Still, msblatherskite poked & pushed & prodded until I finally broke down & wrote her a Faraday ficlet. And so, um. Here it is.
Among All The Unfamiliar
PG, maybe PG 13 for minor nudity.
Very minor season 4 spoilers, mainly for character names.
summary? um. No, but you apparently shouldn't leave Daniel Faraday alone for 5 minutes, let alone 30.
Dan-centric, with some peripheral Charlotte.
And thanks muchly to zelda_zee for the instant beta!
Among All The Unfamiliar
“Just stay, alright? And I’ll be back soon.”
Dan frowned. “How soon?”
“Thirty minutes at the most,” Charlotte said, shouldering her pack. “But you’ve got to stay here – in this clearing. Or I might not find you later.”
As she disappeared into the jungle, Dan squinted up at the leafy canopy overhead. The trees here grew so thick and close that they all but blotted out the sky, and what sunlight filtered through had a greenish sort of tint. It was ungodly hot here, in this place, on this island. What on earth had possessed him to wear a long-sleeved shirt and tie here, of all places? But he hadn’t known, had he? He hadn’t really understood, really gotten that it was real, this island, this elsewhere – that all this sand and jungle and rock was all real. So he’d worn what felt right to him, but how was he to know? It’s not like he’d spent much time vacationing on tropical islands.
Well. There was that conference in Greenland a year ago, though while Greenland most assuredly was an island, it could hardly be called tropical…
Dan tugged idly at his tie. It had loosened considerably over the last day or so, and Charlotte had told him at least twice that he was ridiculously overdressed for the jungle. Still, he couldn’t imagine being here without it, this little bit of the familiar among all the unfamiliar.
If only it weren’t so mind-numbingly hot…
And quiet. You’d think that a place so lush with such riotous vegetation would be rife with animals, birds, insects – anything! But no, not here; the only sound that wasn’t swallowed up by the jungle was that of his own breathing.
Really, really somewhere else then, he mused. Somewhen else.
But it wasn’t totally quiet, was it? There, just there he could make out a faint whispery gurgle of water over rocks. Behind those trees, maybe…
Stay here, she’d said, or I might not find you.
But oh, wouldn’t it be lovely, just a sip, one sip, of fresh cool water? Assuming it was potable of course. It would have to be, though, wouldn’t it? Those survivors – god, were they really from flight 815? – hadn’t been living on air. Of course the water would be potable. It had to be.
He edged toward the trees. The trickling sound was louder here, a stream by the sound of it. He could even smell it, a maddeningly cool and mossy scent. And then there it was, right at his feet almost, not so much a trickling but a rushing that had been muffled by the dense jungle. This was no mere stream, but a river that raced and hurtled over the rocks, a feral thing, alive.
Dan knelt at the edge of the wild river, trailing one hand into the water. Immediately it sucked at him, swirling around his hand and wrist, dampening the cuff of his shirt.
Well. That wasn’t going to do. Swiftly he unbuttoned the shirt, tossing both it and his tie awkwardly over a nearby bush. Still kneeling, he leaned over the cool rushing river, splashing the cool water over his naked arms and chest. It felt wonderful in this oppressive humidity, better than wonderful, better than anything. He scooped up a handful of the water and sucked it greedily from his palm; delicious.
What he really wanted –
-- oh, but suppose there were piranhas or crocodiles or some kind of crazy prehistoric shark?
But there wouldn’t be, no, not here, not in this verdant place so curiously devoid of life. And it really was so terribly, inhumanly hot…
He hurriedly wrestled out of his remaining clothes, dumping them in a haphazard heap just out barely out of the water’s reach.
It was colder than he’d first thought, as he gingerly stepped into the rushing water, but oh, so refreshing. Cautiously he waded further in – it was glacial, almost, and how could water here have gotten so cold? – until his knees were covered, almost to his thighs, and –
And then his feet shot out from under him, the water eagerly closing over his head. He came up a moment later, spluttering, feet scrabbling at the smooth, slippery rocks as the current dragged him mercilessly downstream.
Stay here -–
(and oh, he should have)
-- or I might not find you.
He got it now. This wasn’t a place where you could throw caution to the wind. This wasn’t a place where you kept control. This place, this anomalous corner of the world, this island – this island played for keeps.
Then a tree root smacked hard against his back, nearly knocking him under again, and Dan slung an arm around its slick, mossy length, gulping air into his protesting lungs before hauling himself up and out of the turbulent water. He stood shakily, gasping, water streaming from his hair and limbs.
Air had never tasted so good.
And his clothes were easily a hundred feet upstream.
“I’m, um, I’ll be right there,” he croaked.
“But where are you?” Her voice was impossibly close. Damn and damn.
He coughed, shivering now despite the humidity, pushing his way steadily through the resistant undergrowth. There, at last, his clothes, just where he’d left them – shoes, pants, shirt…
And his tie, dangling from Charlotte’s outstretched hand.
“I thought,” she said, raking him over with an amused glint in her eyes, “that I told you to stay in that clearing.”
“I did, uh, I did at first,” he managed. Wasn’t there somewhere, anywhere else she could look? “And then, um, it’s hot, isn’t it? And then I kind of fell in the river.”
Charlotte rolled her eyes. “Naked?”
“Well,” she added, as Dan struggled back into his clothes, “at least it got you out of that ridiculous tie for a few minutes.”
Feedback is, as always, adored. And maybe fed cookies.