Title: Gone

Author: Edith

Pairing: This is mainly Charlie, but with Charlie/Claire implied.

Rating: PG-13 for language.

Summary: "When he'd woken up, he hadn't known where he was." Charlie thoughts, post "All The Best Cowboys…"

Feedback: Oh please. 



When he'd woken up, he hadn't known where he was. All he understood was the pain- such an immense physical pain, worse than any bloody craving he'd ever had- and somewhere, far away, people crying. A woman. A man.

Hysteria, it was, bloody fucking hysteria and he just hurt.

When it started coming back to him, he couldn't comprehend it. Didn't even sodding remember most of it. Just snippets of this and that. He and Claire in the clearing. Her false labour.

I won't leave you, Claire.

He was a liar, he was. Couldn't do anything right. Couldn't tell them what they needed to know.

And what was he supposed to say? He recalled her screaming, could bring to mind the feel of her hand as it was jerked out of his, and then nothing but the pain of waking up.

When he could comprehend at all, the only thing he knew was that he'd failed. In fact, failed couldn't even begin to cover it. They all cried; looked at him with pitying frustration when he couldn't help, but they didn't know.

Couldn't possibly know how it felt to lose- to not succeed- at protecting the only person who meant anything to him on the island. In the whole damned world, really. They could worry about her non-stop and they still couldn't possibly understand how desperate she'd sounded mewling his name.

Locke was still looking for her. "If anybody can find her, Charlie, Locke can." He couldn't think of who said that. Kate, maybe. But she was wrong. Locke couldn't find her on his own. Not without Charlie. Not without his snippets of nothing.

He'd made the lady a promise and, by God, he meant to keep it.