Characters::..Claire and Sawyer
Author’s Note::..I can’t believe that I finally returned to ConMama after God knows how long and then it ended up being platonic ConMama, what on Earth is wrong with me? Despite it breaking all of my usual ConMama rules I think I pulled out a pretty cute fic.
All of the Aussie slang I have Claire use in this fic is 100% real, as an Australian viewer of Lost I was a little disappointed that Claire didn’t get to represent us more fully, the fact that she was Australian was only a kind of passing reference. So in this fic I shine a spotlight on that aspect of her character. If you’re having any trouble understanding any of the slang just leave me a comment and I’ll be happy to explain.
Summary::..Claire tests how much Australian slang Sawyer learnt during his stay in the country.
Claire’s head was throbbing; it seemed a miniature jackhammer was bouncing around in her skull. She had never been so thirsty in her whole life. Her mouth felt as dry as the Simpson Desert. Her eyes burnt with tears whenever she attempted to open them.
As she lay in the infirmary she thought this was the worst day of her life, just as bad as the day Thomas had walked out on her. Up until today she had worked to keep optimistic. She had wanted to believe the rescue parties were on their way; surely they would be here any minute. She had determinedly maintained the mindset that they would get out of here.
But she had nearly died on the beach. With their water supplies seriously depleted she doubted she would be the last to faint. A lot of them had survived the plane crash, but how many would survive this island?
She felt so weak, keeping the faith at this point was entirely impossible. She placed her hand over her eyes, which continued to water, but not due to the sun. She didn’t want to die stranded on this island; the reality of this happening petrified her. She wanted to give her baby a good life and she wanted to see her mum again. She prayed for sleep to overcome her again, it was the only way she could get through this day comfortably.
“Knock, knock.” She looked over to where the tarp was being pulled open. After a couple of seconds her eyes adjusted, allowing her to identify her visitor. It was the Southern guy with the cute dimples. He was the last person she had expected to come see her.
He noticed the delicate moment he was intruding on, lingering outside, unsure of whether to entre. “Sorry if this is a bad time, but I heard you needed this.” He extended a full bottle of water into the tent.
She managed to sit up a little, her heart lifting. “Yes please.”
He dared to come closer, handing the bottle to her. She licked her cracked lips as she unscrewed the cap. Her mouth was blessed by the liquid, gushing down her throat. She had almost forgotten what water tasted like and she savoured every drop.
“Thank you so much.” She was breathless from her gulping. “I thought all of the water was gone, where did you get this?”
“I had it from the plane; it was with the rest of my stuff.” He replied simply.
“What? You can’t give away your water, not when there’s so little left.” She quickly replaced the lid, feeling guilty after her greedy display.
“Of course I can.” He dismissed. “You need it more than me.”
She was too parched to properly argue against his point. She was happy to keep the bottle, taking more sips. Her head was starting to feel clearer and she didn’t feel as grumpy as before. This was exactly what she had needed.
He produced a banana. “Are you hungry?”
“Yeah, actually that’d be fantastic.” She replied.
She was very grateful for him taking care of her like this. As opposed to Jack, he had no obligation to keep an eye on her. He could have walked straight by her, shrugging her off as not his responsibility. From what she had seen of his behaviour so far that would have been no surprise.
Yet here he was willing to keep her company. Maybe she (and the rest of the camp) had gotten him wrong, maybe he wasn’t such a bad guy. Being in a plane crash was enough to bring out the worst in anyone. She thought she was in no position to dismiss his help, giving him the chance to prove he was better than his past displays.
“So, another Yank, eh?” She said. “That flight was coming from Sydney and yet I’m practically the only Aussie who was on board, I’ve met maybe four others so far. The majority is Americans and you have no bloody idea what I’m talking about half the time.”
“That’s not our fault.” He defended. “I was only there for a week or so and the amount of weird shit I heard is unbelievable. You Aussies have come up with your own language and none of it makes any sense. I’ve got a better chance of understanding the Chinese couple.”
“You’re saying it wrong.” She informed him. “Aussie, pronounce the s’s as z’s.” He did as he was told and the term came out sounding far more natural. “Better, now you sound less like a wanker.”
“Thanks.” He smiled, very proud of himself. Then he paused, his brow falling into a knot. “Wait, what did you just call me?”
She giggled, not minding so much that someone couldn’t understand her native tongue at the moment. “Wanker, it’s like an idiot. Someone who says and does dumb crap.”
“Any other insults I could use?” He requested.
“Bogan.” She provided. “That’s a popular one. It’s people who don’t have a lot of class, I guess it’s the Australian version of a hillbilly. They’ve got no idea about culture or fashion. They’re still desperately hanging on to the mullet and the closest they get to religion is their favourite footy team. That’s football, by the way.”
“They sound like an interesting group.” He said sarcastically.
“Oh yeah, the pride of the country.” She agreed. She finished her last mouthful of fruit and placed the yellow peel aside. “Here’s your most important lesson: absolutely no one in Australia puts shrimp on the barbeque. They’re called prawns. You can still call a barbeque a barbie though, that’s totally fine.”
“Solve me this one Professor Claire, why do your bars have such a problem with thongs? Shouldn’t people be allowed to wear whatever underwear they want?” He inquired.
She chuckled a little, trying to control herself so she could make her point. “That’s not what those signs mean. Thongs are shoes; I believe you guys retitled them flip-flops.”
He let out a relieved sounding laugh. “Good, because it worried me. I couldn’t figure out why the bars would discriminate against chicks in G-strings. It’d be a tricky thing to monitor.”
“Can you imagine that? Bouncers asking to see women’s panties before letting them in the bar. How creepy.” She said.
“I can imagine it.” He informed her. “That’s all I could imagine. I was gonna ask where to apply for the job.”
She burst out laughing. “You’re such a perve.”
“I’m not saying it wouldn’t be a difficult job, but someone’s gotta do it.” He joked.
She couldn’t recall the last time she had laughed so hard. She was laughing so much she could barely breathe, but she didn’t mind. It felt good. After the downward slide her life had been on as of late it was a relief to just let go and have a long laugh. There weren’t many opportunities for a joke on this hopeless island and so she had to savour every moment.
She could have asked about the water situation, were they any closer to a solution? She didn’t know whether Jack was back from his random voyage into the jungle or not yet. She could have gotten useful information from Sawyer.
She decided against it, she thought his Aussie slang needed more work. This was far more fun to think about. “You said you were there for a week? Perhaps I should test how much you learnt. If I said to you trackie dacks, what does that bring to mind?”
He stared at her, clueless. “Is that a transvestite or somethin’?”
“No, it’s sweat pants.” She corrected.
“You’re makin’ that up, that can’t be true.” He said.
She had been saying these words for her whole life, accepting them as normal. It wasn’t until now that she realised how strange a lot of them were, some didn’t make any sense at all. He could hardly believe what he was hearing.
“So you’re up the duff?” He was trying out a new phrase.
“Yes.” She agreed, rubbing her swollen stomach. “And have been so for yonks.”
“I hate that I can’t check with anyone, I just have to take your word for it and all of these words sound like bullshit.” He said.
“You’ll just have to trust that I’m fair dinkum.” She commented, prompting him to groan. “Thanks for coming to sit with me and bringing me water.”
He shrugged. “No problem Mamacita.”
“No, I really appreciate it. A lot of people around here don’t really look me in the eye. I think I scare them, like I’m a ticking time bomb of responsibility just waiting to go off.” She hadn’t meant to say so much and bring the mood down like this.
He handled it with ease. “Sweetheart, the only thing scary about you is the way you talk.”
Claire was making her way down the beach, toward where Sawyer sat alone. She wasn’t moving very quickly, one arm supporting her large stomach. Her bucket hat was shielding her pale face from the glaring sun while her long hair was billowing out behind her, playing in the breeze. Despite the effort of walking across the uneven and shifting ground, she had a smile on her face, endlessly optimistic.
She was perhaps the only member of the camp to bother approaching him. The rest were wary, they thought he was a bad guy. He was fine with them regarding him in this unflattering way, it matched up with how he viewed himself.
But Claire had needed help the other day. No one else had been willing to help, they were too busy pointing fingers and blaming each other. He’d had the extra water bottle lying around and it was clear she needed it more than he did. He’d decided to do something unselfish, trading only one bottle for food for himself and giving the other to Claire. He’d made sure no one else was around to see it, not wanting them to expect too much from him.
“Good morning.” Claire greeted.
“Hey Mamacita, you look better today.” He said.
“What are you saying about how I looked yesterday?” She challenged and he paused, unsure of what to say. Then her wide smile reappeared. “I’m just kidding.”
“How‘re you feelin’?” He asked.
“Better, much better.” She replied. “And I wanted to thank you for keeping me company, I had fun. You’re good for a laugh.”
“Yeah, when you’re laughing at me.” He pointed out.
She was a sweet woman, funny without trying too hard and the kind of smile that could light up a room. She was the only member of the group of castaways who didn’t glare at him as if he had murdered their puppy; she had maintained a track record of always greeting him with a friendly smile. He was sure it was only a matter of time until he did something that made her hate him like the rest. Meanwhile he thought it was a good idea to keep an eye on her. She deserved better treatment than what she’d received from the guy who had knocked her up. He wasn’t volunteering himself to help her raise the baby, but somebody needed to be paying attention in case she got dehydrated again.
“You’re not as bad as you lead the others to believe. You’re a top bloke, actually.” She complimented.
“What the hell does that mean?” He snapped, feigning annoyance but was soon laughing loudly with her.