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Title: Like a Virgin
Author: [livejournal.com profile] mrstater
Fandom: LOST
Pairing: Sayid/Shannon
Rating & Warnings: PG-13 for sexual innuendo
Format & Word Count: ficlet, 825 words
Summary: Shannon surprises Sayid with a personal question that leads him to an even more unexpected answer. [1x20, "Do No Harm"]
Author's Notes: I have not written LOST fanfic since November of 2005, but the other day I was listening to Dido's No Angel album, which I listened to a lot back in my days in the LOST fandom, and it took me right back in time. This little dialogue popped into my head, so I had to write it down. Hope any of you Shayiders who are still out there enjoy!



Like a Virgin


"You're not, like, a virgin, are you?"

Shannon's question--actually, more a statement of an observation than a question--stops Sayid poking at their campfire.

"I beg your pardon?" His own voice lilts, in part with amusement, but also with exasperation that her tactlessness--which is, of course, one of the idiosyncrasies he inexplicably likes about her--has well and truly broken the sweetly intimate mood that pervaded their "date" up until now.

Just as well, he thinks with a sigh, as Shannon's request to take things slowly hadn't quite reached a certain bit of his anatomy that is far removed from his brain.

He turns to her with slightly raised eyebrows; her head darts downward, strands of her hair falling down from the elastic tie to hide her face.

"Nothing," she mumbles. "Never mind."

"No."

Sayid wants desperately to follow up with why does she want to know, but to do so would embarrass her further. So he does his best to keep the laughter out of his smile as he resumes his place on the picnic blanket--well, the airplane blanket currently serving that purpose--noting as he stretches out beside her that her legs must be longer than his by half, which doesn't exactly help with his resolve to let Shannon set the pace of their physical relationship.

Nor does he entirely manage not to sound teasing when he asks, "Do you know many men over thirty-five who are?"

He watches her fingers as they play with a sprig that has fallen from bouquet of wildflowers he gathered for her. Even more of her face is obscured from view as she tucks her chin further in.

"It's not the age," she says. "I've never dated a…"

"Muslim."

She meets his gaze, and for a moment he imagines that gratitude flickers across her features that he spared her having to say something uncomfortable, then something else flares in her dark eyes, the characteristic defiance that she's more intelligent than people give her credit for.

"I was going to say religious guy."

"I am not particularly religious," Sayid replies. "At least not at the moment."

He's been only too happy to eat the wild boar they've been lucky enough to hunt, and he definitely hasn't kept up the daily prayers. But, if he is honest, keeping Allah's commands as not been a priority since before the plane crash.

"Good. All of a sudden I worried that you'd brought me out here because it was your first time, and then I went and told you not tonight."

Sayid chuckles, but Shannon isn't laughing with him. She leans over her knee to pick at her cracked toenail polish, her hair once more obscuring her face.

"Shannon?" Instinctively his fingers move to brush her hair out of her face, but at the last instant he draws them back, no longer certain of the acceptable boundaries between them.

Her head snaps up. "About that whole Muslim thing--Call me an ignorant American, okay, but do you guys have like a double standard?"

"We have many, I am sure. To which do you refer?"

"I'm guessing Muslim women don't get seventy virgin men in paradise?"

Sayid blinks. Is she joking , or being serious? He settles on a dry reply that could be interpreted either way. "I was Republican Guard, not a Jihadist."

It's a poor joke, but he realizes that is not why Shannon regards him quietly, her eyes pleading with him to understand the deep insecurities she can't bear to voice. Though he is uncertain how, he thinks it is connected with her earlier admission about her step-brother's feelings for her. Whatever it is, it doesn't matter, for in her roundabout way, cloaked by her sharp wit and her revealing clothes that flaunt her perfect body--though it's been weeks since he saw her in a bikini, he realizes, the blouse she wears now concealing so much as might be considered modest--she's telling him she doesn't think she's good enough. For him.

Dear God, if only she knew…

Taking a chance, he brushes the loose strands of hair, glowing gold in the firelight, back from her face. "I cannot imagine a more perfect Paradise than the one I have found here, with you."

Shannon's face is a study as she watches the fire, but after a moment she relaxes against his chest, allows his arms to slip around her. And she jokes: "They let saps like you in the Republican Guard?"

As Sayid's laughter rumbles out of him, something loosens inside him. Whatever it is he was, or fears he was, Shannon doesn't see it now. She sees only the man he is now, just as he sees only the woman she is now.

His lips bless her hair. "Perhaps that is why I left," he says, and then they are silent, listening to the crackle of the fire and the waves lapping at the shore.

Fin
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