Title: An Hourglass (Shattered)

Author: Tinkerbell99

Rating: T

Disclaimer: The characters are not my creation, they belong to someone else.

Spoilers: Do No Harm, flashbacks for Abandoned

Summary: They're telling her he died a hero, but all she sees is blood, and glass, and sand. She's shattered, and there's no one left to sweep away the pieces. (Shoone)

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When Shannon was a little girl, she owned an hourglass. She doesn't remember when or how it came to be in her possession, only that it served as one last relic, as one last constant in a life where so much was to be left behind.

The hourglass itself was beautiful in its simplicity. Fine white sand held in place by smooth glass, surrounded by gently arching wood. Ever careful, ever reverent, Shannon cherished the hourglass.

Until, one day, time slipped away.

There's glass in his hair. It glitters darkly as she steps forward to take his hand, too pale against her shaking fingers. This isn't her father. He should have been stronger than this. Stronger than the accident, stronger than the crush of metal and glass. Stronger than the blood that stains his clothes and taints the air. Somewhere, a clock ticks away the moments, and she cracks.

The hourglass slipped through the child's slender fingers, and she watched, helpless, as it fell to the floor. In her memories it is almost beautiful. She hears the sound of glass shattering, sees the sand scatter and fall to rest on the marble floor. In her memories, it is almost beautiful. She thinks now that tragedy always is.

"Boone…You came back."

Her tea set, a flask of scotch, and he mended the cracks.

Shannon picked up the pieces of the fallen hourglass one by one, and with bloodied fingers tried to put them back together. Frantically she worked as shards slid into pale skin and the sting of pain brought tears to her eyes. Her vision blurred as sand spilled over her desk and slid to the floor.

There's glass in the sand. Amidst everything else, she studies its cold shimmer. Her lungs burn for air, and she doesn't know why. Vaguely aware of death behind her, she is lost in the chaos of the beach. When he finds her, minutes later, Boone tries to quiet her. Tearing her eyes away from the shattered glass, she sees blood on his face and sand on his shirt. She didn't know she was screaming his name. She didn't know she was breaking.

Intent on her work, the child wiped away her tears without thinking, leaving only traces of sand and blood in place of tears. Sand on the table mixed with glue spilled from the bottle. Sand slid through broken glass, and glue was tinged red from the cuts on her hands. She held pieces together with both hands, but the time, the constant, slipped away. Shannon began to weep.

As much as tiny hands tried, the hourglass was broken, beyond repair.

Jack is walking toward her, and she wants to close her eyes, doesn't need to hear the words. When he speaks, she hears the hourglass shatter. She sees glass breaking against marble, feels the stick of blood and grit of sand on her fingers.

He's gone, broken in bloodstained glass and sand.

It was Boone who found her, sobbing and heartbroken, hours later. It was Boone who bandaged her hands, who dried her tears, who swept away the glass. It was Boone who gathered bits of precious sand and pressed them to her palm.

"It'll be okay, Shan. Sometimes things get broken, and you can't fix them."

They're telling her he died a hero, but all she sees is blood, and glass, and sand.

She's shattered, and there's no one left to sweep away the pieces.