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Of Absent Friends

Title: Of Absent Friends
Characters: Sayid. Mentions of Desmond, Penny, Ben, Nadia.
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Spoilers through S4
Disclaimer: I do not own Sayid. Sayid owns me.
Summary: For zelda_zee, who requested Sayid. Following the rescue of the Oceanic Six, Sayid reflects on his friendship with Desmond. Also thanks to mollivanders who gave me the idea of doing a flip side to Remembering In His Own Way - you don't have to have read that one for this to make sense though.

Nadia had spoken on their wedding day of those who could not have been there. She had mentioned Sun, who was officially too pregnant to fly (Sayid had chosen not to disillusion Nadia at the time, but believed that there was more to her refusal to attend), and Charlie, who she believed to have drowned a few weeks before Sayid’s rescue (and who, it turned out, she had actually met; after having seen some of the crash and rescue coverage, Nadia had recognised Charlie as having been the man who had rescued her from being mugged in London several years before. She had told Sayid what a hero Charlie had been; Sayid knew he could never tell her of the hero Charlie really was.)

But Nadia did not know of the one person Sayid had been thinking of at the time, and she could never know. Because he was never going to tell her any of what had really happened; it was safer for her if she did not know. And in the version that Nadia knew, Desmond Hume was never there.

Sayid wondered where Desmond was right now, whether he and Penelope were even now on the run from Penelope’s father as they had vowed just before parting company. He had known that it would be the last time that they saw each other, as Desmond departed for his new life with Penelope and Sayid for the press conference, the lie, and finally his new life with Nadia.

And at the time, both had been forced to accept this. They knew what Charles Widmore was; they knew there was a risk that the Oceanic Six would be watched. If Desmond and Sayid attempted contact with each other, Widmore would know where Desmond was.

But Sayid felt Desmond’s absence as he looked at the crowd gathered to watch him and Nadia marry, wished that the closest thing he had ever had to a friend since Essam could have been there with him that day. (Hurley had been very entertaining as he had given his best man’s speech, but Sayid could not deny the part of him that had wished it was Desmond there.)

He told himself that he must not think of this. Sayid knew that even if he tried, he would not be able to track Desmond down. It was most likely that by now, he was no longer even using that name, and he and Penny could be anywhere in the world by that time. He must forget about Desmond, who was part of his past now. The chances were that Desmond would not welcome a reminder of his time on the island anyway.

But as Sayid took his vows, he hoped for one moment that Desmond and Penny would be as happy as Sayid and Nadia were going to be.

He does not want his friends to see him now. Not the man he has become, the pawn in Benjamin Linus’s war.

He had not wanted to see them before either, not when Nadia died. He would not have wanted to look at Desmond and know that his sympathy was tinged with the relief that it had been Nadia and not Penny.

And he did not want Desmond to look at him and not recognise him, to turn from him in horror at the thought of the man he had become.

They had talked about it on the freighter, of their experiences with Nadia and Penny, and with Charlie and Essam, of how similar their lives had actually been. Now, even if they were together again, they would be as strangers to each other, neither of them able to understand the direction the other’s life had taken.

Sayid knew that he must not think of Desmond now. His path was clear: to avenge Nadia’s death and to protect his friends. And if the only way to do so was to work for Benjamin Linus, then that was what Sayid must do.

Yet he has wondered many times whether, if he had had Desmond as a friend at the time, he would have ever become involved with Benjamin Linus at all.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 18th, 2009 07:47 am (UTC)
Very nicely done! I like this portrayal of Desmond and Sayid's friendship, and Desmond's importance to Sayid. The ending poses an interesting question. I do imagine the influence of someone whose opinion Sayid respected, at that juncture in time, could have changed things for him considerably.
Aug. 19th, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It would have been interesting to see, there's probably an AU fic in there somewhere, shame I have no time right now!
Aug. 18th, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
I like the echoes between Sayid and Desmond's lives with their friend's and love's, I also really like the what-if? ending!
Aug. 19th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you, doesn't it make you think? Or it would if I had any space in my head right now!
Aug. 19th, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
LOL - I know how you feel :)
Aug. 19th, 2009 02:04 am (UTC)
He would not have wanted to look at Desmond and know that his sympathy was tinged with the relief that it had been Nadia and not Penny.

Whoa...wow. That line really got me; like a sucker-punch (in a good way!)

Poor Sayid...let's hope for better things in Season 6, aye??
Aug. 19th, 2009 09:46 pm (UTC)
Let's hope so! Thanks for reading, glad you liked!
Aug. 20th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you went ahead and wrote this! :) I especially like the end where Sayid doesn't want Desmond to know what he has become; very interesting thought process, and Yet he has wondered many times whether, if he had had Desmond as a friend at the time, he would have ever become involved with Benjamin Linus at all.

Props! :)
Aug. 21st, 2009 08:58 pm (UTC)
I have to be honest though, it will be a long time (if at all) before I ever attempt writing anything that actually explores that possibility! Glad you liked this one anyway!
Aug. 25th, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
Aw, this is terribly sad. I love the Desmond/Sayid friendship so very much, and the angst here was palpable.

But I think my absolute favorite part was that Nadia recognized Charlie. I loved that part of Greatest Hits (wah!), and it kills me to know that Sayid can't tell her that he knew Charlie.

Great story!
Aug. 26th, 2009 09:58 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean about Sayid and Nadia, in fact I did write something a year ago from Nadia's POV where she struggles to deal with post-rescue Sayid and his nightmares, comparing it with Penny and Desmond in the same boat.

Thanks for reading!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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