A/N: ok, this started as a little story to explain dear Charlie's Elvish tattoo, clearly visible in "The Moth" among other episodes. It became a rather odd mass of angst, dreams, more angst, love, sillyness, and more love. . .I was trying to use as many lines from LOTR songs as I could, and theres my problem, i guess. It's an odd style, I think you have to think of it as a series of interconnecting little stories, not one big story. . .please be nice if you R&R. . .and tell me how I might improve the ending. . .The translations for elvish lyrics follow the story. ..


Here he was alone; not just emotionally, but physically. Here no one asked him what was wrong, or if he wanted to play a round of golf to take his mind off his troubles, or why he didn't talk anymore. Only the stars to keep him company here, twinkling in the black velvet sky above him and laughing at his misfortune. Mortal worries were below them.

The memory of her surrounded this place, this little glade that had become both his door to freedom and his prison cell. He could here her voice, sweet and melodious, laughing with the stars. He could see her, hand still protectively over her rounded stomach, smile still wide as the heavens. He would get up, he would try to talk to her, but she would fade then as though she had never been more than a dream. And all the while, he could not help but feel that all this madness was his fault.

Dannen le
A ú-erin le regi

He had brought her to the caves, after all. He had brought her to this so called place of safety, only to watch her leave a few days later and follow her tail like a love-stuck puppy dog. And when she needed him the most, when he finally had the chance to prove his worth, he had left her. Ethan, go get Jack. Of all people, WHY ETHAN? Perhaps he had toyed with fate too long, perhaps now fate was toying with him.

Rang ail le iestannen
Lû ail le tegin na hen.

And now she was gone, trapped in some far away hell on earth because he couldn't help her. They wouldn't find her. Jack had said many times, if Locke had no luck in the hunt, then there was no luck to be had. She's gone, Charlie. Jack always had this compulsive need to be honest; to be superman always and when superman failed, to at least help the ones his failure hurt. If superman didn't think there was hope for her, there wasn't hope.

Gwannach o innen ului
Ú lû erui, ului.

Not once had he ever told her just what she meant to him, not once had he ever let her see what he felt, because there was always this overwhelming need to protect her. To protect the only one he loved – for now he admitted that he loved her. Not once had he held her in his arms as he longed to do, not once had he felt her sweet lips against hers. Now, he would never have that chance. Not ever.

And now I'm here, he thought bitterly, this hell hole, my personal prison made of memories..


Eagles wings were like dreamers wings, blessed with the ability to carry you out of misery and into light. Dreams of light, where golden sunsets shone over oceans that were not threatening, and of days fading into nights fading into days again, never dashing hope because this was the way it was meant to me. Dreams never chased away threads of joy, dreams let you see the small things and the beauty, rather than the clock on the wall ticking slowly as your minutes on earth became fewer and fewer.

Orthannen im vi ôl
Coll e dû
Or hiriath naur
Na rovail mae sui 'waew

If you ever need to pass time, sleeping is the best way to do it. When you sleep, you dream, and when you dream, you are free at last from all the bitterness of the world. When he dreamed, she was there with him, and they were by a lake somewhere, maybe in England. Yes, in England. A little boy dressed in blue denim overalls chased a butterfly across the lake shore, tripping over rocks and not caring because he was free. Freedom is taking so much for granted, when you don't appreciate the little things that you have. He was free in his dreams, where she sat near him, smiling and laughing and genuinely loving him.

The only problem with dreaming is that eventually, you have to wake up. . .

"Charlie! CHARLIE!" he could here her screaming. He could feel her pain, even through her strained cries. His eyes flew open and he hoped that she was back – he hoped that he could save her.

Man prestant i ardhon?
Cerithar aen illiad dim úthenin?

She was on the grass in the glade, crawling towards him desperately. The child within her was gone; in its place, unsightly bloody gashes, but they weren't too deep. Her thigh was bleeding profusely, though, and a trail of red had been left on the green grass. He tore off his t-shirt and ripped in into strips, knowing from weeks watching superJack that the wound must be suppressed.


She looked up at him slowly, eyes dull and lifeless. "My. . .baby. . ." she gasped through the pain, "they. . .took my baby. . .Charlie. They killed him. He's dead." If she had had the strength to cry, she would have. He pulled her closer, if only so that she may feel human warmth in her darkest hour. He was surprised to feel hot tears running down his cheeks.

"I wanted. . .to tell them . . .I saw them hang you. . .I wanted to tell them how brave you were. . .how you told them to hang you instead of me. . .Are we dead, Charlie?. . .Is this a dream?"

Tellin men achae
Brennin men anann

"No, Claire. It's okay, we're still alive. You're alive! They said there was no hope,"

"There. . .isn't hope, Charlie. At least. . .not for me. . .they took away everything I had. . .they took away everything."

"You still have me," he said, trying to be reassuring. She attempted a smile, but it never reached her eyes.

"I hope. . .the rescue ship comes, Charlie. . .I hope. . .you see your. . .brother. . .again." He couldn't recall ever having told her about Liam, but then, perhaps it was one of the things he had mumbled to her as they were led off through the jungle, a reassurance that the outside world still went on.

"I'll introduce you, when that day comes. . .his wife is into astrology and all that, you'd probably have lots in common."

"Charlie. . .I'm not going back. . .I'm going to die here. . ."

Her words pierced his heart with such bitter coldness as he had never known before. She was going to leave him? The tears spilled down over his bare chest like dry ice, burning his skin and freezing his soul. He wouldn't let her die. He couldn't let her die.

Rago! Ú-erich leithio,
Ú-erich o nin gwanno.

"Claire. . ."

"Let me be, Charlie. It's time."

"No! You didn't come so far just to curl up in a ball and hide from the world! Bloody hell, Claire, death is not a way out any more than drugs or alcohol!"

"You don't understand, Charlie!" she cried, her pain replaced by an intense passion. "You've never had something so precious, so perfect, taken from you, to be punished for a crime they never committed." Her sudden power drained from her, she collapsed in his arms, sobbing sorrowfully. He said nothing for a moment, rubbing her death-white arms soothingly and thinking about what she said.

"Yes I have, Claire," he whispered, so quietly that she almost didn't hear him. "You. . ."

The trees are now turning from green to gold
And the sun is now fading
I wish I could hold you closer


The night grew darker, and eventually she stopped crying. He hummed a few bars of a half-remembered love ballad he had written when he was 16. Liam had always hated that song. It makes you sound like a lovesick teenager, choirboy. All heart, no heat. Leave the chivalry to the knights. He wondered dully what Claire would think of it, if she heard the words. Words, right! He couldn't even remember them!

"Charlie. . .?" she said weakly, moving in his arms so that she faced him.


"What's that on your arm? The tattoo, I mean?" He wondered why she was bringing up such a random subject after so much had happened. Probably a need to forget had come over her. He glanced at the black marking on his upper arm.

"Why, it's the Elvish symbol for the number nine, love," he said, as though it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"Elfish?" she asked, clueless.

"No, El-Vish," he corrected automatically. "You know, as in, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings and so fourth."

"I never pictured you as a fantasy fan."

"I used to be. . .before mum and dad got me a guitar for my 16th birthday."

"Ah, a closet dungeons and dragons geek?"

"Never got that bad!" he cried defensively, although he had played the fabled "geek" game once or twice.

"Right. . .but it got bad enough for you to get a tattoo?"

"It was a group thing. . .there were nine of us. . .best of friends right up until the year I turned 16. . .thus the symbol for nine."

"Did you ever see the movies?"

"What?!" he said, surprised. "What movies?"

"Did you walk around the world with your eyes closed?" she asked, astounded. He pointed at his other tattoo, Life is easy with eyes closed, and she laughed a little. "They've been all over the news for four years, Charlie! A trilogy of Lord of the Rings films! They won eleven academy awards! How could you NOT have noticed?!" He laughed to himself.

"Guess I was so permanently high by that time that I just didn't think about the world around me. Hell, I could have starred in them and never have noticed. So, how were they? Bloody brilliant, right?"

She bit her lip, unsure of how to break the news to him. "I. . .uh. . .I never actually. . .uh. . . saw them."


"I had nobody to go with! My friends hate fantasy. I would have gone, honest! Some of the actors in it were certainly of the "hunk" variety. At least, if the previews give anything away."

"Is that all you ever think about?"

She nodded, as happily as she could at that moment. He glared at her playfully, wondering briefly if she thought he was "of the hunk variety." He hoped he was.

She frowned again, and curled up closer to him, seemingly remembering all that had happened. He could feel a dampness on his skin, and knew she was crying again.

"Shh. . .it's going to be alright, Claire. . .it'll be alright. . ."

"How can it be?" she asked bitterly, looking up at him once more. Her eyes were filled with silver tears, and pain. His were filled with grief, grief for her loss, grief for the fact that she couldn't believe him. "I'm sorry, Charlie. I guess I have trust issues. With everyone. Especially now."

"Why especially now?"

"After this. . .after everything. . .now that we know our lives will end on this island. . .with Him. . .with Ethan. . ."

And suddenly, he remembered the words to that long lost love song. Elvish!? Of course! He sung them to her gently, his voice soft and sweet.

Ú i vethed nâ i onnad.

Si boe ú-dhanna.

Ae ú-esteli, esteliach nad.
Estelio han, estelio veleth.

"Charlie. . .?" she said again, still pained, but now with a strange sense of hope. "What does that mean?"

"Trust love," he answered, and kissed her forehead warmly.


She felt the loving heat of his gentle kiss flow through her veins, an elixir of hope, or of love. Even in her lifeless belly, which was sorely longing for the comforting kicks of the cold child, she began to feel warmth. It spread through her like ripples on crystal water, faint at first, but stronger and more powerful as time went on. Perhaps this was how it was meant to be all along.

"Claire. . ." he said, his voice low with passion and. . .was that lust? "I love you."

She said nothing – instead, she adjusted herself until her face was so close to his that she could feel his ragged breath. She thought of all that had happened; of Thomas, of the psychic, of the plane and Ethan, and the brutal murder of her babe. Others may have been driven to depression, would have killed themselves and not looked back, but she had endured. For this. For this feeling of rightness, of security, that she could only feel in his arms. As her lips met his, she knew that all the sorrow was worth it. A last single tear fell from her wide blue eyes. The sorrow was over.

"Do you know any love stories, Charlie?" she asked softly, then wondered why she had bothered to ask this of an ex-rock god. Surely he wouldn't. . .what was love to him? But he smiled a little and nodded.

"Just one. . .other than Romeo and Juliet of course. . ."

"So. . .what happens?" she prompted, realizing he wasn't going to go into a sappy tale of

true love and heroic sacrifice on his own.

"There's this beautiful elf princess," he said quietly after a moment of silence, "named Luthien. . .they say she was the most beautiful elf maiden ever to live. .. all the boy elves were mad about her. . .and there was a rugged man named Beren. . .and. . .uh. . .he was trying to escape the. . .the. . ."

She smiled up at him, knowing how hard it must be to remember something from so long ago. She figured he didn't normally have to tell lasses love stories to win them over.

"Ah! The dark lord, Morgoth!. . . and he was in pain, for some reason. . .wandering. . .lost, I guess you could say. . .and he found her. ..in this glade. . .and," he got a dreamy look in his eyes, and Claire knew he was either remembering the tale or relating to it, "all memory of his pain departed from him, and he fell into an enchantment, because she was so bloody beautiful. . .course he was sane, our Beren, and like any sane man he wanted her to be his. . .but that wouldn't make for much of a story, would it? So Luthien (that was the elf's name). ..her father said he couldn't have her unless he got this jewel, a sil-a silmaril, from Morgoth. . .who, if you remember, he doesn't get along to well with. . .so then. . .lots happened. . .and suddenly Beren was in Sauron's dungeons (he's the up and coming bad guy). . .and she knew she had to go and help him. . .so she did. . .then. . ." he blushed, feeling her gaze upon him as he trailed off. "I can't remember it all. . .but despite all odds and all their differences, they end up together. . .and die together. . .even though elves are immortal. . ." He glanced at her sadly, expecting to see eyes full of boredom, or loathing, for how could anyone ever love a closet- fantasy fanatic?

But those wide blue eyes that he had come to love were not filled with hate. . .but adoration. Love.

"Thomas never told me love stories like you do. . ."

"Yeah, well. . .Thomas never loved you like I do. . ." he said gently

Later that night, as she slept in his strong arms, the tears fell from her eyes again, and she sobbed in her sleep. He pulled her closer, and kissed her forehead again, hoping that would turn her grey nightmares to silver dreams.

Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see
All of your fears will pass away

Safe in my arms
You're only sleeping

"I love you, Claire. . ." he whispered gently, and her stiff body slackened. "For all eternity. . .like Beren and Luthien. . .but you're even more perfect than bloody Luthien. . .sorry, bad analogy. . .maybe I'll make a new love story. . .The Tale of the most perfect woman even to breathe, and the idiot who only knew enough to know he loved her. . ."

He liked to sound of it already. . .


Dannen le
A ú-erin le regi
Rang ail le iestannen
Lû ail le tegin na hen.
Gwannach o innen ului
Ú lû erui, ului.

You have fallen.
And I cannot reach you.
Every step I willed you on,
Every moment I lead you to this.
You never left my mind,
Not once, not ever.

Orthannen im vi ôl
Coll e dû
Or hiriath naur
Na rovail mae sui 'waew
Man prestant i ardhon?
Cerithar aen illiad dim úthenin?

In a dream I was lifted up.
Borne from the darkness
Above the rivers of fire.
On wings soft as the wind.
What's happened to the world?
Is everything sad going to come untrue?

Tellin men achae
Brennin men anann
Rago! Ú-erich leithio,
Ú-erich o nin gwanno.

We have come too far
We have held on too long.
Reach! You cannot let go,
You cannot leave me.

Ú i vethed nâ i onnad.

Si boe ú-dhanna.

Ae ú-esteli, esteliach nad.
Estelio han, estelio veleth.

This is not the end...it is the beginning.
You cannot falter now.
If you don't trust this, trust nothing else.

Trust this, trust love.

Inspired by Lord of the Rings and Cameron Duncan