Author: alianora (aliaspiral)
Written for: wild_n_kayzie
Request: fluffy fluff fluff with Claire going into labor, Charlie not there, and missing the birth, please remember that birth doesn't happen in a blink of an eye and someone must say 'Okay, who brought the chocolate, and didn't tell me?"
Notes: So sweet, it could rot your teeth. See your dentist.
“Charlie, will you please just go?” Claire gave him her most exasperated look. Of course, it didn’t do much good from the floor, but she did her best.
Charlie kneeled beside her. “Come on, love, what if something happens?” His worried eyes dropped to her swollen belly. He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “Jack put you on bed rest because of your false labors. What if you go into real labor?” he fretted.
Claire resisted the urge to roll her eyes. This was the third time today they had had this conversation. “Charlie, sweetheart,” she tried patiently, “you are one of the few people who went to locate the front end of the plane. You know where it is. Kate is off doing something hunter worthy with Sawyer and Jack has to stay here in case this baby decides to eat me from the inside out. That leaves you.”
He shifted, and came very close to whining. “But I want to stay with you!”
“Dude,” Hurley said impatiently from the mouth of the cave. “I told you seven times already that I was going to sit with her the whole time you are gone.”
“But what if something happens?”
“Then I will call you with my Jedi powers. Now will you please get the hell out of here?” Hurley grabbed his arm and propelled him physically towards the door.
“Don’t have the baby!” Charlie called back to her.
This time she did roll her eyes. “I will do my best. Now, go away!”
Hurley delivered Charlie to where Locke and Sayid waited impatiently for him. Hurley gave Locke Charlie’s arm, and Locke tugged him off towards the forest. Charlie followed obediently, walking nearly backwards to give Claire’s cave longing glances.
When he was out of sight, and Hurley knew Charlie was not going to coming bounding back to camp, Hurley headed back to the cave.
Claire was reclining on her bed of palm leaves, looking highly disgruntled. And hot. She was sweating heavily and was uncomfortably shifting position every few seconds.
“Did he finally go?” She struggled to sit up.
Hurley gave her a hand to raise herself a few inches, but she finally gave up and flopped back down.
“Yeah, but Locke is going to need to keep him on a leash until they make it to the cockpit”
Claire snorted. She sounded very cranky.
“Hey,” Hurley eyed her worriedly. “Are you ok? ‘Cause I can go get Jack if you need him.”
“I’m fine,” she said crossly. “But it’s hot, and my back hurts, and this damn false labor is keeping me awake.”
Hurley nodded, and got her some water, which she ignored.
Hurley tried to start a conversation a couple of times, but Claire just grunted. Her expression was one of deep concentration. So he just sat and watched her, feeling uneasy.
After she began to shift position every second, and her sweating got worse, Hurley gave in and went and found Jack.
Claire didn’t seem to have even noticed he had left, as she looked at Jack sitting beside her with a slightly startled expression.
“Hi,” she said shortly. She tried to laugh, “This damn false labor!”
Jack looked worried. “Claire, I need to examine you. I’m a little concerned this might be real labor.”
She shook her head as he stepped down to her feet. “No, it’s false. Charlie isn’t here, and I promised.”
Hurley quickly stepped outside and examined the trees in great detail during Claire’s exam. There were some parts of Claire he didn’t need to see, and Charlie would attempt to hurt him for looking.
He was trying to decide if the shadowed shape inside the forest looked more like Godzilla or Mothra when Jack tapped him on the shoulder.
“She is in labor. Real labor.”
“But Charlie isn’t here,” Hurley blurted. “And she can’t have the baby without him.”
“Hurley,” Jack said firmly. “It looks like she has been in labor for a few hours already. She is already dilated pretty far. This baby is coming, whether Charlie is here or not.”
“Maybe someone could go get him?” Hurley offered.
“No, it’s already getting dark.” Jack examined the sky. “I’m sure Locke has already set up camp, and they will get here as soon as they can tomorrow.”
Needless to say, it was a long night.
Hurley paced outside the cave, looking into the forest for any hint of Charlie. Rose held Claire’s hand, and Sun sat and rubbed Claire’s belly, as the contractions got worse.
With every moan and grunt that came from the cave, Hurley got more and more anxious. He was now pacing over ten feet into the forest itself before returning to his post in front of the cave.
At the sound of a thin, high cry, Hurley rushed back to the cave.
The sun was just coming up as Claire delivered a little boy, and Charlie stumbled into camp.
He made a beeline for the cave, and got there just as Jack was handing the baby to Claire.
She looked up as he entered and gave him a tired smile. “You’re here.”
He stopped in the doorway. “Whoa.” His dirty face took in the whole scene before fixating on the tiny person in Claire’s arms. He stepped forward, but hesitated. “Can I see him? Her?”
Rose gave Claire’s hand one last squeeze, collected Sun, and left very quietly. Jack gently removed the baby from Claire’s arms as Charlie kneeled beside her.
“It’s a him,” she said, reaching her arms out to take him back after Jack had looked him over. She balanced the small boy very carefully as she unwrapped him for Charlie to see.
Charlie touched the baby’s gently. The little boy turned his head toward Charlie’s finger, and the young man smiled. “I’m so sorry, Claire.”
“What?” She tore her gaze from the baby. Charlie’s eyes were watery. “What are you sorry for?”
“I wasn’t here,” his whisper was heartbreaking.
“It wasn’t your fault,” she ran her fingers over his cheek. “I told you that yesterday. You had to go.”
“But we couldn’t even use the equipment in the cockpit. It was a waste of time.” Charlie rose to pace over to the door. “I should’ve been here. With you. And him.”
“Charlie, come here,” she commanded. When he dropped back down onto his knees beside her, she handed him the baby. “Here, hold his head.”
“What?” Charlie froze, not wanting to hurt the baby, or drop him or break him or anything.
“Just relax, and hold his head.”
“How are you so calm?” He cradled the baby awkwardly.
“I’m very tired. I don’t have the energy to panic. I’ll panic later, when I realize that palm leaves aren’t the best nappy substitute.”
Charlie looked down at what the baby was wearing. “Didn’t this blanket used to one of my shirts?”
“See, you were here.”
“When I finally admitted it was real labor, and knew there was no way you could get back, I took your shirt.”
“You took my shirt?” Charlie carefully lowered himself to sit fully on the ground. He kept a careful eye on the baby. “Why?”
“Well,” Claire looked a little embarrassed. “It smelled like you.”
Charlie looked at her from counting the baby’s toes. A shy smile broke over his face.
Claire blushed. “It wasn’t as good as you being here. But it was the best I could do.”
“So you wrapped the baby in my shirt?”
“So he would know you, and that you would protect him.” She reached out her arms for the baby, and Charlie carefully passed him over. She was looking at the baby, not Charlie, when she said, “So that he would know who his Daddy is.”
Charlie leaned forward to bury his face in her hair. He wrapped one arm around both Mama and baby and kissed her lingeringly, tasting salt on both their lips.
When he pulled back, they both grinned foolishly at each other. Charlie quickly wiped his face on the blanket that used to be his shirt.
Charlie sat with them, telling silly stories, until Claire fell asleep. He cooed softly as he lifted the baby from Claire’s arms, and headed to the mouth of the cave to give Claire a little space. And so he could talk to the tiny boy without waking her.
“Your mum loves you,” he whispered. “I love you too. And her.”
He rocked the baby, humming Catch a Falling Star and whispering any lyrics that came into mind. He told the little one all about the people who lived here, and who would love him. He talked about the plane trip that got them here, and the trip to check out the cockpit.
“Something good came out of me not being here though, little one.” Charlie looked around cautiously, and then pulled a small packet from his pocket. “I found something for your mum.”
“Oh, did you?” A drowsy voice asked.
Charlie turned to see Claire smiling at him from her makeshift bed.
“And what did you find for me?”
Charlie scooted slowly over to her, and handed her the packet.
She blinked. “Charlie, this is chocolate.”
“I know,” he smiled smugly.
“Who brought the chocolate and didn’t tell me?” She broke off a small piece. She groaned as she sucked on it. “This is the best thing I have ever eaten.”
Charlie grinned at her too obvious enjoyment. “Consider it a present for the brand new mum.”
Claire raised an eyebrow. “A baby shower present?”
“Sure, why not,” he shrugged.
“You know, other people give cradles, or pacifiers, or clothes.”
“You already had clothes.”
Claire broke into a smile as she tugged on the former shirt. “That I did.”