Summery: Before Turniphead is born, Charlie learns how to hold a baby. Almost.
Very very late makeup C/C ficathon entry, by request for thekatester.
Claire was dozing slightly, only half listening to Charlie as he strummed his guitar. She was contemplating asking Shannon to help her paint her toes later. If Shannon had any nail polish left. And if she would be willing to share it with a woman who could barely peek over her belly at her toes.
"I'm just worried, I guess."
Claire glanced up from what she could see of her feet. "Worried about what?"
"What if I drop it?"
Claire blinked, trying to get her brain more alert. "You seem to be doing fine with your guitar. Are your hands shaky?"
Charlie shook his head. "My hands, and my guitar, are fine. Barring the time that the strings decided to try and eat me."
"Then what are you talking about?" Claire fanned herself and shifted uncomfortably.
"No, it's just hot," she sighed.
"The baby is fine, I said. I'm just hot. Now, what is bothering you?" Claire pushed herself a little more upright and gave Charlie her full attention.
"The baby!" Charlie clutched his hair. "The baby is bothering me!"
Claire's eyes filled with tears. "Well, I can't exactly get up and move around easily, so if the baby and I are such a bother, you can always go fishing!"
Now, Charlie looked wildly confused. "Huh? You aren't a bother."
Claire crossed her arms and glared. "You just said that the baby was bothering you. Since where the baby goes, I go, it stands to reason that I am bothering you."
"No!" Charlie leaned forward earnestly. "You aren't bothering me at all, Claire, I promise!"
"Look," Charlie reasoned, "If you were bothering me, would I be sitting here playing lullabies to your stomach?"
"How should I know? You could just be weird!"
"I'm not weird!"
"Says the man who has been talking to my stomach for the past hour and completely ignoring me!" Claire huffed and turned away as far as she could. Which, truth to tell, was only about two inches.
Charlie reached out and touched her on the shoulder. "Can we start this conversation over?"
"Please?" He leaned forward hopefully and put on his most pathetic expression. He looked like someone had just killed his puppy.
Claire gave in anyway. There was no fighting with Charlie when he wanted to look adorable. "Fine. Now. What is bothering you?"
Claire fought the urge to roll her eyes. "We've gotten that much. What are you worried about?"
"What if I drop the baby?"
"Did you suddenly pick me up without me noticing it?"
He grinned. "No, but was your father a thief?"
She thwacked him exasperatedly. "Not that kind of pickup!"
"I know, I know! Stop hitting!" He ducked her hand before she smacked him again. "I was just kidding!"
"OK, so, you are worried that you will drop the baby."
"The baby who is not yet born and is currently kicking me in the bladder?"
Charlie shifted and looked embarrassed. "I've never held a baby before."
Her eyebrows shot up. "You said you had a niece."
"You said you met her when she was a week old."
"And you never held her?"
"Her mother wouldn't let me," he muttered. "I just made one little mention of making a forward pass, and she glared at me and told me I should never have kids!"
"A forward pass! Charlie, if you are going to make jokes about kicking the baby, I'm not going to let you hold mine either!" Claire crossed her arms protectively across her stomach.
"Not kicking! There will be no kicking!" He held his hands up in defense. "I was talking about American football!"
She blinked. "So, throwing the baby is ok?"
"No, its just..haven't you ever heard of The Football Carry?"
"The Football Carry. In school, my ex girlfriend was a nanny. She told me that the best way for a guy to learn how to hold a baby was to hold a football."
"What, like, carry it around town?"
"Is that what you have been doing with the coconut?"
"Oh, Charlie, that's so sweet!" Claire beamed up at him. "We all just thought that you were going crazy!"
"In my own defense, Hurley is the one who gave it a face. And a name." Charlie sheepishly pulled a coconut out from behind his back. "Meet Gladys."
Claire nodded seriously at the coconut. "It is very nice to meet you, Gladys. Charlie had us worried there for a while."
Charlie took Gladys back and tucked her in the crook of his arm. "She's just for practice." He looked embarrassed at the glowing smile on Claire's face. Without thinking about it, he rocked Gladys a little.
Claire rested her hands lightly on her belly and smiled down at the unborn baby beneath them. "I think its the sweetest thing I have ever
seen!" She patted her belly. "Did you hear that? You have a sister!"
Charlie looked down at Gladys in surprise. "A sister? I never thought of it that way." He studied the coconut for a moment. "I think she takes after me."
Claire laughed. "I suppose so. But she has my eyes."
Charlie raised his head to look at her. "And what lovely eyes they are too." He had been going for a joking tone, but it came out much more serious than he had intended.
Claire flushed. She managed a shy smile. "Well then, we better hope that this one has your smile."
Charlie couldn't stop grinning at the coconut in his arms. "You like my smile?"
"Its a very good smile."