Hanging On

Disclaimer: I did not make up this show or its characters. Lost is owned by J.J. Abrams and his crew at ABC.

Chapter 1: Nightmares

She had just been setting there by Charlie (who was snoozing every so soundly), when it happened. Claire had just about dozed off.

POW!

Gunfire? What was going on? It was close, way to close. Claire had grabbed Aaron (who burst into a sudden fit of cries) and proceeded to awaken Charlie. She shook him, but he gave no response.

"Charlie!" She yelled, "Charlie, get up. There…there was a gunshot! We have got to get Aaron out of here!"

Claire laid down her furious baby. Since Charlie often slept on his stomach, she rolled him over. He had been shot.

Claire screamed in fright, but quickly regained her composer and went for Aaron. He was gone. She had just had him. What was going on?

She heard hard steps going into the jungle. She had to get Aaron back, so she did what any good mother would do. She went after them.

Claire was lost, wondering in a shadow of trees and a misty fog. Where was Aaron? Ethan, did he take her precious baby boy? Had Rousseau stolen him again? She was in such a panic. Her breath seemed to be so constricted that heart beat stung in her ears. With each beat of her heart, she wished for Aaron. She began to run. Not only was it too dark to see anything, but her tears blurred her vision so bad that she stumbled repeatedly.

Claire looked around and wiped her eyes in an effort to clear her vision. She collapsed to her knees and cried. That is when she heard it.

"What are you going to do now? I have your baby and your boyfriend is dead!"

"Claire!" A voice that seemed far away yelled. "Claire, Love, wake up!" It was Charlie!

She opened her eyes, she was so glad to see Charlie that she basically attacked him. She was sobbing hysterically. She was trying to tell Charlie what had happened, but all he could hear was her frantic bubbling blabber. He brushed back her hair from her face.

"Claire." Charlie said calmly and Claire looked him in the eye. "Shhh, now," he said sweetly and put his finger over her lips. "It is all over now. Come on, Love, breath for me. Shhh…there we go."

Jack came running up to them. "I heard her scream." He looked at Charlie with concern.

"I am going to go talk to Jack, Love; I will be right over there. If you need me holler, okay?"

Claire only nodded.

Claire watched them walk about fifteen feet away from her. She tried to listen carefully, but Kate had arrived. She knelt down by Claire and gave her some water.

"What happened?" Jack asked.

"Another nightmare." Charlie said nonchalantly.

Jack looked concerned. "Another? That is the fifth time this week."

"Sixth." Charlie corrected. "But why to they upset her so much?"

"I am not sure." Jack said as his mind started to tick. "When did they start?"

"Well, do you remember when she had that one where she clenched her fists so tight they bleed?"

"Yeah," Jack said. "Wow that long. Does she seem overstressed?"

"No, not during the day."

"Night?"

"Only when she is about to go to bed."

"Well," Jack explained, "That is pretty explainable. How about Aaron?"

"What about him?"

Jack looked tense. "Do you think that she would hurt him?"

"Hell no!" Charlie exclaimed. "She loves that baby more than anything in this world. She would never--."

Jack cut him short, "I was just making sure that…Well you see, some new mothers, quite a bit of them actually, experience postpartum depression after they give birth. It is nothing that they can help. I am not saying Claire is one of those people, I am just trying to figure out what is wrong. What about eating habits?"

Charlie seemed to ponder for a minute. "Come to think of it she has not been eating much at all."

"Hmm." Jack grunted. "Does she ever tell you about these nightmares?"

"Yeah, most of them involve people taking Turniphead, I mean Aaron. She always wakes up in a sweat and out of breath."

"Hmm. That's interesting. Does she say who takes the baby?"

"She never knows who it is."

"Well, enough about this tonight. We will talk about it tomorrow. Let me take her blood pressure, and then I will be on my way."

They walked back up to where Kate and Claire were. Claire had heard most of their conversation and gave Charlie a 'Thank you' look. He took her hand.

"Charlie," Claire asked getting calmer. "Can you bring me Aaron?"

"Yes, Love." And Charlie got up and walked around to the other side of the fire and bent down to the cradle. A funny look crossed his face. Then fear took over.

"WHERE IS AARON?" he asked.

TBC