Title: Violets In Bloom
Summary: “Charlie? Will you be with me when the time comes?”
Notes: The title doesn’t really have anything to do with anything–it was just the song that was playing when I decided to write.
A sixty-minute fic.
It surprises neither of them when they wake up wrapped around each other. It’s natural progression from the walks and the long conversations and the way she smiles at him when he sits next to her by the fire.
What does surprise Charlie s that Sawyer is staring at them as if he’d caught them doing something unnatural. Claire, as far as Charlie can tell, is still sleeping; and rather then getting defensive or moving away Charlie just returns Sawyer’s gaze coolly. He’s known a lot of men like Sawyer in his life, who mistake toughness for strength, and frankly he’s tired of Sawyer’s swagger and noise and hate-filled mouth.
And he doesn’t want him to wake Claire.
“You realize she’s gonna die here, don’t you, boy?” Sawyer says finally, lighting a cigarette. He points at her belly. “No way that kid is coming out without a struggle and Doc Hero just doesn’t have the tools. No way she’s gonna survive.”
Charlie has had this thought often enough himself–she’s so little and the baby is so big–but he doesn’t answer except for kissing the top of her head. “You shouldn’t smoke around a pregnant woman,” he says in his calmest tone.
Sawyer snorts something he probably thinks is a laugh and says, “And pregnant women shouldn’t fly, so what was she doing on the plane? Ever asked yourself what she was running from?”
“No,” Charlie says, which has only been true since Claire told him why she left–but damned if Sawyer would understand that.
Sawyer snorts again and wanders off finally, probably to hurl more stereotypes at Sayid. Charlie exhales the tension out of his body. He doesn’t think Sawyer will really hurt anyone–he’s a lot of bluster, really–but it’s a fine line between bully and brute. It would not surprise Charlie if Sawyer were the first to cross it.
He twitches in surprise when Claire takes his hand and presses it to her belly. He’s felt the baby move before but lying on the blanket together like this makes the moment incredibly intimate, as if he had a right to be here and share this with her.
He says softly, “Sorry to wake you.”
She shakes her head and stretches a moment before settling sleepily back against him. Despite their living conditions she smells of something sweet and cool–violets in the morning, Charlie thinks, and smiles to himself.
“Did you hear what he said? He’s wrong, you know. Completely wrong. You’re going to be fine. Jack’s a good doctor and he–“
“I’m not afraid of dying in childbirth,” she says calmly. “I’m more afraid of raising a child here. It’ll be like raising a wolf-cub.”
Charlie chuckles, his hand absently stroking her belly.
Again Claire stretches, then says, “Charlie? Will you be with me when the time comes?”
Charlie’s heart hammers in his chest. “Don’t you want Jack–“
“Jack will take care of the birth. I–I’d like you there for me.” A pause. “I want someone to be smiling at me.”
Charlie exhales again. “Oh. Yes. Of course.”
“Thank you.” She takes his hand again and slides it around her belly, following the baby’s movements beneath her skin.
Charlie wants to tell her not to be too grateful yet, his reliability track record is very poor–but instead he lies there with his lips against her hair, feeling her baby dance.
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