Of Heroin and Hobbits
Rating: PG-13 for drug references
Summary: Charlie's heroin addiction is cured in a rather unusual way. Kind of LOTRxLost.
Disclaimer: In no way do I claim to have ownership over the show Lost or any of the characters. That belongs to ABC. Hobbits and all other Lord of the Rings characters, situations, settings, etc. belong to Tolkien and New Line Cinema. I make no money from this venture. Also I do not in any way advocate the use of illegal substances.
It was mid-afternoon, and the sun was glaring down on the island, sending its oppressive heat onto the island's inhabitants in waves. However, the sweat beading on Charlie's upper lip had nothing to do with the sun.
He was sitting in the shade next to a chunk of the plane with his fists clenched at his sides. Fingernails were digging into his flesh and his breathing was irregular. There was a bump in his shoe that was burning a hole in his foot, shooting fire up his leg and making him shake and tremble. He tried to ride it out and ignore it, but after ten minutes he couldn't take it anymore. After scrambling to his feet, he dashed towards the jungle until he found a small clearing where he was well hidden by trees.
The shoe came off and his hand grabbed the small bag in it. He dumped a tiny amount of powder in his hand, reminding himself how important it was to conserve his stash. His nostrils burned even before the powder was snorted into them, but they were soothed by the feeling that followed almost immediately. There was peace inside of Charlie, and beautiful things came to him. All of the answers to all of life's most important questions were open to him as he slowly floated down until he was face down in the rough sand. A smile spread across his face and his toes curled as the heroin coursed through his body, tuning him from Jell-O to pudding to water back to solid old Charlie again.
When he turned his head, his eyes caught a glimpse of something growing beside a tree. Rising to his knees, he crawled closer to investigate. His eyesight was blurry, so he had to crouch down and look at it very close-up, and once he could focus on it his eyes lit up with delight.
"Mushrooms!" he declared joyously, grabbing greedily at them and shoving them into his pockets. "I haven't had mushrooms in ages, not since Pip and I raided Farmer Maggot's field! That was way back even before the Quest and before the big War!"
Charlie paused and reconsidered his statements. He wondered why his voice had suddenly gone high and bright when it was normally low and rough. He cleared his throat a few times and muttered, "Actually, the last time I tried shrooms was on the Finland tour at that hotel. What a night that was."
Feeling odd, Charlie slowly took the mushrooms out of his pockets and left them on the ground, then backed away and fell onto his back. He contemplated the mysteries of the universe as he stared at the gathering rain clouds above until his high wore off and he forgot everything. It began to rain when he went back onto the beach, and he found cover underneath a tarp with Claire, the pregnant lady. He liked her because she actually laughed at his jokes and even though she had cause to worry more than anyone on the island, she didn't seem too fazed by everything. Charlie admired that and wished he could have the same love for life that she exuded.
The following day, the craving hit Charlie sooner and with more intensity. He half-ran, half-stumbled into the jungle and found a secluded area to feed his craving. He spilled a little more powder into his hand on that day, and for the first time since the day he'd been introduced to Big Harry, he sneezed and coughed as it was going in. Once he got it down, though, the feeling was just as wonderful as the day before. He leaned his hand against the trunk of a tree and felt it run through him, taking over everything; his nervous system, his muscles, his bones, everything from the top of his head to his toes.
Charlie slowly became aware of a heavy weight on his hand. He brought it closer to his face and examined the silver ring he wore on his right hand. It was a lovely ring, really. Almost the most beautiful thing Charlie had ever seen in his life. He took it off of his finger and cradled it in the palm of his hand, stroking the smooth, cool metal with one forefinger.
"My precious," he whispered. "My own. My precious. I wants it. It's mine, my precious."
Charlie slowly slipped on the ring and became invisible. He giggled to himself, imagining all the fun he could have with the other survivors when he was invisible. He could lift up Shannon's skirt or move Sayid's tools around or sneak up on Kate and Jack when they were having a moment and push one of them. Then suddenly Charlie remembered the Eye and remembered that if he ever put the Ring on, the Eye would see him and find him and send all the Orcs of Mordor after him. Charlie turned around quickly and tried to get the Ring off before the Eye could find him, but it was too late because the Ringwraiths were there already! Charlie gasped and backed away as one of them came forward, unsheathing his sword and poking at Charlie's shoulder. He tried to scream but the scream died in his throat as his vision faded and he blacked out.
When Charlie came to, he couldn't remembered how he had gotten into the position he was in. He sat up slowly and blinked a few times, trying to adjust his eyes to the offensively bright sunlight. One of his shoes was not on his foot but was lying a few feet away in the sand and next to the shoe was Charlie's baggie of heroin. Everything came back to him then and he quickly stuffed the bag back in his shoe and shoved the shoe onto his foot before anyone could come across him and discover his secret. As he did so, the sun glinted off his Finland tour ring. He paused and stared at it in wonder for a moment and had an urge to stroke it, which he quickly shook off. It was just a ring, after all. There was nothing special or precious about it.
Charlie couldn't sleep that night. The craving was inside of him, not very strong yet, but threatening to overwhelm him at any moment. Even though it cooled down considerably at night, Charlie was drenched in sweat. He decided to go for a swim to cool himself off. Silently he walked through the camp, careful not to disturb the others who all seemed to be sleeping peacefully. He walked down the beach a little ways, then stripped down to his boxers and waded into the cool waters of the ocean. He swam around a little bit, letting the gentle waves carry him back to shore each time. Then he sat in the water close enough to shore that when the wave rolled in his head was well above water, but far enough away that his legs stayed covered.
When the waves were out, the water was almost completely still. It reflected the full moon above, and when Charlie peered down at it, he saw his face looking back at him. He didn't look like much of a rock star anymore, with damp hair clinging to his forehead, stubble that was nowhere near sexy, and a sunburned, peeling nose. Then, just for an instant, that reflection melted away and was replaced with something else entirely. Charlie saw a different face looking at him that had remarkably similar features. The face had a cheeky smile, like him, and blue eyes, like him, but the face he saw was more youthful than his, probably because of the lack of stubble. The hair was different also, a different shade of gold, longer, and curly. Charlie gaped at the face for the full instant it was there, then shook his head, closed his eyes, and breathed deeply. Easy, Charlie, just take it easy. You can't go insane just yet. Let these people think you're at least halfway normal before you start losing your marbles, he told himself. When he opened his eyes, his face was staring at him again, and he breathed a sigh of relief. Charlie decided he didn't want to swim anymore and quickly gathered his clothes, then went to go sleep on the beach.
When Claire got sick the next day, Charlie sat in the tent with her for awhile, just because he didn't want her to feel lonely. It wasn't like he was worried or anything, because to get worried about someone to had to get attached to that person, and there was no way Charlie was going to let himself get attached to the pregnant lady who probably had a jealous boyfriend who could kick his bum all the way back to England. In any case, he didn't really have anything better to do, so he went to sit with her and talk to her. She wasn't as light-hearted that day, but he wasn't surprised. He'd be a little upset, too, if he was dehydrated and eight months pregnant and stranded on a deserted island to boot.
"Do you think Jack's all right, Charlie?" Claire asked.
Charlie hesitated, unwilling to upset her and even more unwilling to lie to her. "I'm sure he's fine. He probably found a wounded bird along the way that he had to save or something."
Claire managed a small smile and a little laugh. "He does love to help people, doesn't he? It's like he's addicted to it or something."
Charlie froze and looked hard at her. Could she know? Could she have guessed? Had Charlie been too careless? But no, the look on her face was not accusatory or suspicious. She had been trying to make a joke, and Charlie tried to laugh. "Yeah, I guess so."
They both fell silent until a distant noise attracted their attention. It was like the roar of some type of animal, accompanied by the all-too-familiar sound of crashing trees. Claire looked at Charlie fearfully. "Do you think it's that monster?"
"Nah, can't be. If it were close my sword would be glowing blue," Charlie said without thinking. Then he paused and frowned. Now where in bloody hell had that come from?!
Claire looked at him funny, then laughed a little. "Lord of the Rings, right? Too bad we don't have a sword like Sting to warn us of danger. Those were great books, don't you think?"
"Uh, yeah, I really enjoyed them," Charlie lied. He'd never heard of the Lord of the Rings books, much less read them. He wasn't sure what was going on with his mind, but he knew that these were not normal side effects of heroin. Speaking of which, he was beginning to feel antsy again. The craving was coming, he could feel it. He sat with Claire for a little longer, chatting about idle topics, until she drifted off to sleep. Charlie left quickly and went into the jungle, getting out his bag again. There was so little of it left, he could only afford to take the tiniest pinch of it to snort. Still, he felt it immediately, and he sank onto his back as the drugs took their effect on him.
He wiggled his toes, both feet being bare now, and buried them under the warm sand. His feet felt huge, and he peered at them from over his round belly. They were huge, he saw, and exceptionally hairy. That was odd, he thought, and stood up slowly to see if they still worked like normal feet. They did, and he took a few steps, stopping next to a tree. It was the same tree he had been leaning on yesterday, only this time it seemed bigger somehow. Charlie looked upward towards the top of it, which seemed very, very far away. Come to think of it, when Charlie looked down, the ground seemed very, very close, closer than it should have been.
Charlie frowned and brushed away the curls that had fallen into his face. His hand froze as he realized what he had just done. His hair was not long; it should not have fallen into his face. When he touched the top of his head, he felt long, curly hair there, and he jerked his hand back as if it had been burned. What was going on with him? As his body shrunk his hair grew and his feet mutated themselves into huge, gross things that he didn't recognize. His fear and confusion sobered him quickly, and Charlie shoved the bag into his shoe and his shoe onto his now normal-sized foot, and then ran back to the beach to check on Claire again.
Midnight found Charlie lying on the beach, sweating and tossing and turning and needing a fix. Badly. He didn't want to get up because the boars had been close by that evening. Locke had killed one but the others got away, and he certainly didn't want to meet any of them, piglets or not, in the dead of night. Shannon was lying somewhat close to Charlie, close enough to hear him if he snorted, so he resorted to taking a little bit of the heroin and rubbing it under his upper lip. His eyes rolled back in his head as ecstasy swept through him.
Suddenly Pippin was there. Lovely Pippin, his dear cousin from the Shire. He was in his Gondorian armor, and he really looked dashing in it. Frodo came next and stood beside Pippin, looking as lovely as any Elf would in Valinor. Sam came to stand beside him, and all three Hobbits looked at Merry with a mixture of sadness and pity on their faces. Merry frowned, wondering why they were looking at him in that way before realizing that he couldn't reach them. No matter how hard he ran or how far his arms reached, they were always just a few centimeters away. Merry struggled and struggled until every breath tore a gash in his lungs, but it was hopeless. His friends were all together in a wonderful place, but he was stuck alone in the dark.
Not alone, actually. Merry realized that Gollum was there. He had his long, narrow, bony fingers wrapped around Merry's wrist and was staring at him with those unnerving, orb-like eyes. Merry tried to pull away, but Gollum was stronger than he looked.
"You have the precious," Gollum said in a hoarse whisper.
"No, of course I don't have the precious. Frodo cast it into the fires of Mount Doom. Come to think of it, didn't you fall into the fires as well and perish in Mordor?" Merry asked.
"Minor detail," Gollum said. "The fact is, Meriadoc Brandybuck, I know that you have the precious."
"Well you are mistaken, Gollum, because the precious is gone," Merry argued.
Gollum touched Merry's shoe then. Merry wondered why he was wearing shoes; Hobbit feet are tough and strong and didn't need the protection of shoes. They were very odd shoes, too, rather retro and really quite funny-looking, Merry thought. Then he became aware of a bump in one of them that was pressing uncomfortably against the bottom of his foot. He pulled the shoe off and looked inside.
"There it is!" Gollum said, reaching for the bag in the shoe. He held it before Merry as if taunting him. "See, I told you! Here it is, the precious!"
"That's the precious? I must get rid of it then!" Merry gasped, seizing it from Gollum. Gollum wailed as if he had been beaten and lunged at Merry's throat, wrapping his hands around it and throttling him. Merry choked and coughed and yelled until Gollum disappeared and was replaced by something else.
"Charlie, wake up! Are you all right?" a female voice asked.
Charlie's eyes flew open and he shot into a sitting position, almost knocking whoever had been speaking in the face. "I don't want it!" he gasped.
"It's okay, Charlie, it's just water. Drink up, you'll feel better." A cup was held to Charlie's lips and he took a small sip of the liquid inside, glancing at the person offering it. When he saw it was Claire he stopped drinking.
"I'm all right. Thanks. You drink the rest of that," Charlie said, pushing it towards her.
"What happened, Charlie? You were thrashing about as if someone was trying to murder you," Claire said.
"Excuse me!" said Shannon's rude voice. "Some of us are trying to sleep around here, so can you two please keep it down?"
"Sorry," Claire hissed, smiling sheepishly at Charlie. In a quieter tone, she said, "You all right now?"
"Yeah. Yeah, I'm okay. Thanks, love," Charlie said absently. In his fist he could feel the little baggie clenched tightly, and in his heart he knew what he had to do with it. Claire was still looking at him worriedly, so he reached out with his free hand and patted her shoulder. "I'm fine. Just got to visit the little boys' room, if you'll excuse me. Be right back."
Charlie got up and walked away towards the trees. When he knew he was out of everyone's sight, he walked through the jungle until he was at a place that was far enough away from camp that no one would see his silhouette against the moonlight. He walked to the edge of the water and watched the waves lap against the shore. He lifted the hand that held the bag of heroin and held it up, letting the moon illuminate it. Slowly he turned it over so that the little powder left in it poured out and was carried away by the light breeze. Then he dropped the bag into the water and let it float away with the tide.
Charlie lifted his gaze out to the horizon. He saw a grey ship there with billowing silver sails. On the deck of the boat were three small figures. It was Sam, Frodo, and Pippin, and they were all smiling and waving at him. Charlie waved back, feeling as though he should know who those people were, then turned around and walked back towards the camp. He went back to his sleeping place, where Claire was still sitting, waiting for him. He looked at her for a moment before she saw him. He saw her round belly, her happy face, and her beautiful smile. She was barefoot, and he noticed that she had larger feet than most women, though they were not hairy.
Claire was really a beautiful woman, Charlie decided. There was just something about her that attracted him, though he couldn't quite place his finger on it. When he sank down into the sand next to her, he smiled flirtatiously at her, and she returned the gesture, albeit playfully. Charlie tentatively put his arm around her shoulders and she leaned on him comfortably. He grinned and scooted closer to her, feeling warmth from her body fill him with peace and happiness.
Being on this island isn't really so bad, Charlie thought, now that I don't have to worry about running out of my stash. Now if only I had some pipe weed…
End. Reviews and constructive criticism encouraged and appreciated.