Title: And If You're Only Dreaming
Author: Edie
Rating: PG-13, for language.
Summary: You've seen the last episode? A little follow up to that. Major spoilers for Special!
Disclaimer: Not mine! Although a girl can dream…

Yes, this is me, fic spamming you all today! :)

And If You're Only Dreaming

I realized I really like Charlie...

She likes him and that's bloody amazing.

Stretched out under the night sky, Charlie is happy for the first time in as long as he can remember. He had almost given up hope and now it dances before him as lovely and as tangible as the stars in the sky.

She's out there, he knows it. He read it, as ridiculous as it sounds, and as soon as the sun rises Charlie will be the first one up rousing the troops to head out to the Black Rock. He doesn't know what this Black Rock is but he knows he'll find Claire and the baby there.

Tomorrow at this time, he'll have his family back.

Quietly, so as not to wake the others, he turns to his side and looks at the sheet of paper Sayid had given him early. It's not much, just a torn little scrap, but on it Sayid had drawn out Danielle's mysterious triangle. With a certain reverence, he traces it with his fingernail, bitten to the quick after last week, and smiles a goofy sort of smile.

The fact that it's a triangle pleases him immensely. He has always loved that shape. It seems so much more honest than a circle, somehow. He doesn't believe that everything is connected and it's as easy as pie. The triangle is a more true representation, in his opinion. In the end, it is still joined, but there are sharp corners and stops too. The triangle is the real deal. The circle is lying load of shit.

Unlike Claire's diary.

His stupid grin is back and he is beaming at the darkness. He half thinks it'll light up the bloody jungle and point him right to her.

When he drifts off to sleep, he dreams about rocking her baby to sleep on a sea of sticky peanut butter.

There's something about him that's so adorable and sweet…

She thinks he's adorable and sweet but sometimes it's bloody hard.

He holds her by the fire as she sits and stares off at nothing. Rocking her back and forth, he can't believe she's real. Is ashamed that she found them. He can't seem to stop touching her. His hands magically find their way into her hair, down over her back, across her arms and he. Just. Can't. Stop. Fuck heroin. Claire is his new drug and he is well beyond addicted.

Claire doesn't complain. She doesn't let anybody else touch her but she seems to crave Charlie just as much as he craves her. She doesn't seem to have much to say and it's okay with him. He's been there. He's sat at the fire with too much on his mind to contemplate.

The baby is gone. Charlie can tell without having him say it that Jack thinks he's dead. It's then that he wants to send adorable and sweet straight to hell. He feels like a caveman but he wants to pummel everybody into action. "In the morning," they say, "We'll look in the morning." He wants to tell them to take their bleeding morning and shove it where the sun doesn't shine but he bites his tongue, for Claire. She's seen enough drama. He doesn't want to be the cause of more. "In the morning" doesn't seem to do it for her either. He catches her sneaking glances into the woods. She'd put up a fight to keep him. This much is obvious by the marks on her pretty face. Her arms are lined in scratches.

"He's not dead," she says so suddenly that he jumps, "I got to hold him before They took him and left me. He was breathing and he was beautiful."

Then she's crying and all he can do is hold her and murmur that he agrees. Because he does. He also doesn't think They want the baby dead and this gives him hope. It gives him time and he has a funny little feeling they're going to need it.

"Jack's a bloody wanker," he tells her, passionately, "He's out there, Claire."

She nods and swipes at her face with the sleeve of the sweatshirt she'd put on earlier. His sweatshirt. The flames flicker across her face. She moves very slightly and he ignores it. Nothing more than a shift in positions but then he feels it. A tiny hand catches his, turns, and holds on tightly. The metal on his ring heats up from the contact. He squeezes back.

Even in a scary place like this, Charlie makes me feel safe…

Claire likes him and every day it gets harder not to mention his own feelings to her.

He feels like a selfish sod even thinking about it. It's been two weeks since her return and her son is still out there. He can tell it's eating at her but every day she surprises him. She is a lot tougher than he- than anyone, really- had given her credit for. She says it's maternal instinct and he doesn't question it. He doesn't know what it is for him, but he can feel it out there too. The connection he feels to this baby, be it through Claire or through something too big to analyze, shocks him.

Claire doesn't mention how little they'd searched for her. She doesn't seem to blame anybody- out loud. He feels justified in the belief that she doesn't blame him, anyway. She won't let it be the same case for her son. Every morning she rouses everybody who will listen to her and goes out to search for her lost baby. He knows she'll go alone when the interest starts to wane. Or at least she would if he didn't plan on going with her.

They're inseparable and are tireless in their efforts. They are always the first out and the last in. He moves his things closer to her and they sleep huddled together, as though between the two of them they could keep the monsters out. She whispers to him before going to sleep and he stays awake much longer than that, just watching her.

Tonight, she calls him on it. He thinks she's sleeping already when the corners of her mouth lift in a ghost of a smile.

"I can't sleep when you're staring at me," she tells him. There's a smile in her voice.

Charlie laughs, caught and guilty as charged. "Can't help it, love. I still can't believe you're really here."

His hand goes out again. Tenderly, he runs a finger down her cheek and she sighs before capturing his hand securely in hers.

"I'm not sure any of this is real." She turns to him and traps him in a scared blue daze. "What if none of this is real, Charlie? What if I'm asleep in Australia and I've dreamt all this?"

He snuggles in closer and she buries her face in his shoulder.

"Why would you dream any of this?" He tries to laugh but it falls flat. "I mean, really. Not sure the term 'dream' even applies. More like a bloody nightmare, if you ask me."

"Charlie?" Serious now. "If this is a dream, you're the only good part of it. Thanks for… everything. I've never known anybody like you."

"That's because there isn't anybody like me, I'd reckon. Don't get too many rock star druggies stranded on an island now, do you?"

"Don't get too many rock star ex-druggies hanging out with someone like me, that's for sure. Or searching through a scary jungle for the baby of some girl he hardly even knows." Her voice breaks on the last bit and she clutches at his shirt, trying to pull him closer.

He holds her harder and says fiercely, "We'll get him back, love. And then what a strange little family we'll make."

Charlie realizes what he's said one minute too late. Claire withdraws a little and gawks at him, eyes bright with tears. He doesn't know what to expect but when she reacts he's surprised. Slowly, she leans forward and places her mouth against his. It's a chaste kiss and her lips are trembling, but she hovers and so does he.

When it's over, she wraps her arms around him and closes her eyes. In a half whisper, she adds, "Maybe we'll be like the Swiss Family Robinson. They weren't so bad."

"No," he replies, softly, "They weren't half bad at all."

She falls asleep there, nestled in his arms, and decides to ignore her complaint about watching her. He can't help it.

He likes her and soon it'll be perfect.