|In Another Life
Author: Jane Willow PM
Jack's plan worked. Flight 815 never crashes, but Claire can't shake the feeling the the people she runs into are somehow farmiliar to her...Rated: Fiction K - English - Claire - Words: 1,641 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 2 - Published: 05-31-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5101716
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
In Another Life.
AN: I've seen a couple of fics with this premise and really wanted to try it out. And, of course, I had to make it Claire-centric :P
Claire got off the plane and walked through the airport to find her luggage. She hadn't brought much; she wasn't planning on staying in Los Angeles long. She'd leave right after she had the baby.
She sighed to herself, irritable and tired after the long flight, as she pushed through the mass of people.
Finally, she madeit to the baggage claim and searched for her bag. It occured to her then that she doesn't have anything with her aside from maternity clothes.
What the hell am I supposed to wear home? she asked herself, angry at not thinking of this sooner. But she pushed the thought out of her mind. She didn't really want to think about going home… without the baby.
She swallowed, hard.
She focused instead on finding her bag. With her carry-on slung over her shoulder and her huge belly in the way, she wasn't sure if she could reach it.
A man saw her struggling and walked over to her. "Can I help you, Miss?" He seemed very calm and together, walking gracefully over to her. She couldn't exactly place his accent. Something Middle Eastern, she assumed.
"Oh," she smiled, "yeah. Could you reach that bag for me? It's the blue one."
The man smiled back. "Of course." He effortlessly reached out and grabbed it, handing it to her.
"No problem. Have a nice day, Miss." He turned and began walking away, his own bag in his hand.
"You, too…" she muttered as she watched him leave. An eerie feeling crept over her as the man disappeared into the mob. She ran her hand over her stomach as the baby kicked.
She looked down at her bulging belly. "So you recognized him, too?"
She was hungry. She was always hungry.
She sat down in front of a little café in the airport and ordered iced tea and a sandwich. She wanted coffee – very badly – but knew it was a bad idea.
"See the things I do for you?" she asked her baby, smiling.
An Asian couple sat down at the table next to her. The woman walked over to the counter and ordered two coffees. She was just close enough to hear her. Claire was impressed with her English, she hadn't thought either of them could speak it.
She looked back over at the man. He seemed stern and unapproachable and her first instinct was to look away, but she didn't. She wasn't intimidated by him. In fact, she was comforted.
She felt as if, in some forgotten memory or dream, a man just like him had helped her, soothed her, when she was very scared.
I'm scared now, she thought. I'm in a country I've never been to before, I don't know anyone here, and I'm about to make the biggest mistake of my life. Decision, she quickly corrected herself. The biggest decision of my life.
The man noticed she was looking at him. For a moment, their eyes met and neither of them looked away.
Then his wife came back and Claire tried to forget about it.
Claire moved out of the way as a large man pushed past her. She headed out the door, taking a slip of paper from her picket. It had the address of the hotel she was staying at.
"I guess I ought to get a cab…" she murmured to herself, looking around at the sea of people and cars. "But… how?"
In Australia, whenever she had taken a taxi (which wasn't often - taxis were expensive) she'd always called it ahead of time.
She'd never hailed one before.
She must have looked confused because a Spanish woman stepped up beside her. "Hey, you lost?"
"Oh, no… just can't figure out how to get a cab," she laughed, a little embaressed.
The woman smiled. "Australian, huh?"
"How'd you guess?" Claire teased.
The woman smiled. "Where you going? Maybe we can share one."
Claire handed the woman the paper. "You know where that is?" she asked, hopefully.
"Sure," said the woman, "I know it. Nice place. Hold on. Let me grab cab, then we'll go."
"Thanks," said Claire, following the woman. "I'm Claire, by the way."
"Ana Lucia," said the woman, extending her hand.
Claire took it a little hesitantly.
"You all right?" Ana Lucia asked.
"Yeah… déjà vu, I guess."
Ana Lucia was very good a hailing taxis. Claire decided to take a few mental notes.
The two climbed into the back seat together. "So," Ana Lucia said, "boy or girl?"
"I don't know," Claire admitted, rubbing her tummy.
Ana Lucia smiled – well, sort of. She never seemed to smile all that much.
"You have any kids?" Claire asked.
Ana lowered her eyes. "No," she said, softly.
Claire decided to drop the subject. "Why were you in Australia?"
Ana smiled again. "That's kind of a crazy story."
"I love stories."
"Well, there was this man. He called me Sara…"
'A nice couple in LA'. They were nice all right. Too nice. Too perfect. She almost resented them for it. But that was just the little bit of rebelliousness still left in her. They'd make a good home for her baby.
She went to the doctor the day after she'd gotten off the plane. St. Sebastian's was nice enough, but the wait was long. She hated free time like this – time to think.
She'd been so intent on giving up the baby for so long, but now that it really came down to it, she wasn't sure if she wanted to.
Of course she couldn't care for it herself. How could she afford it? Where it go to school? Where would they live? No. Giving up the baby was the right thing to do.
"But I'm going to miss you," she whispered, her throat tightening.
She looked up at one of the TV monitors hanging from the ceiling. She forced herself to concentrate on it.
It was the news. A story about some woman going on trail for murder. They rolled a tape of her walking up to the courtroom as she tried to cover her face, a smug cop next to her. Then showed her mug shot.
Claire's heart jumped into her throat. She knew that woman.
She was on the plane, she realized. That's it. I remember her from the plane.
But she knew that wasn't it.
A man – a doctor – had stopped and was watching the story, too.
He turned to her and gave her sad smile. "That's crazy, huh?"
Claire just nodded. The doctor kept looking at her. She studied his face. "I'm sorry," she said, cocking her head to one side, "do I know you?"
The doctor shook his head. Though he tried to hide it, she cold see the tears gathering in his eyes.
Worry swept through her. What did this man know that she didn't? Why was he so upset? Was it something about the baby?
As she was working up the courage to ask him, a nurse walked into the waiting room.
"Dr. Shepard? The need you back upstairs."
The doctor nodded. "I'll be right there." He turned back to Claire and opened his mouth to say something. But she stopped himself, shook his head, and turned away.
Before she could ask what he wanted, he was gone.
Then she realized why the doctor looked so farmiliar.
He looks just like my father.
Back at the hotel, she opened her diary.
I hate hospitals. For some reason they really scare me. Maybe I had some scary hospital experience as a kid that scarred me or something.
I don't like LA at all. The people are nice, for the most part, but I'm sure it's only because I'm pregnant. They're not nice to each other. At the airport there was this blond man with this really Southern accent and this skinny little blond girl. They were arguing for nearly fifteen minutes until some man took the girl away.
They blond guy was pretty cute, though.
Anyhow, I told the woman from the cab that I think the baby is a boy.
I'll have to remember to ask the couple (I can't even remember their names…) to sing Catch a Falling Star.
At least they're nice… eve if they're boring.
Claire put her pen down and decided to go for a walk. She felt far too cooped up staying in her hotel room all of time.
She grabbed her purse and headed out, walking aimlessly for a while, not caring where she was going, just glad to be out.
There were lots of other people out, too, enjoying the nice day. Well 'nice' for LA. She's much rather be on some beach somewhere.
Someone bumped into her.
Her eyes widened. Her heart stopped completely until she reminded herself to keep it going so that the baby would be okay.
The baby kicked and she placed her hand over her stomach.
"I know you," she whispered.
"Oh, yeah…" the man beamed. "I'm exactly who you think I am."
"Yup. From Dri-"
"From the Island."
The man looked at her for a moment. She watched as his face - the face she hadn't even known she missed - lit up with realization. He remembered.
"I missed you."
"I missed you, too."