Summary: A few years after their rescue, Claire ponders the daunting task of telling her husband that she is carrying his baby. This is a one-shot of fluff and CC romance. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: Own the plot and that's it! Everything else is ABC's.
A/N: I don't know. I just felt like writing a sweet CC one-shot. Even though they ARE "found" in this bit, I won't refer to the rescue because I just can't see any of them being rescued right now. You all use your imaginations to fill in the blanks.
I'm still working on Someone to Answer My Cries and if you like CC, go check it out. I'm trying to get that story finished before August 3rd, which will be incredibly difficult. I just needed a new change of scene, which inspired this…
Dirty dishes frosted with the remainders of spaghetti lay stacked along the marble counter. The chairs twisted oddly as though a child had jumped out of his seat, carelessly leaving the chair behind. Napkins crumpled into odd shapes littered the remaining places along the table, drips of marinara sauce marking where Aaron had sat.
Yes, Claire was supposed to be cleaning while Charlie put the boy to sleep, but she couldn't bring herself to it. Instead, she immediately occupied the bathroom, curling into a ball on the lidded toilet seat to cry. Brushing her hair back from her face, Claire noticed the regular sparkle of her wedding ring and smiled. It was beautiful and classy, a simple gold band with a diamond in the center, but the amazing unity that it symbolized meant more to her than she could have ever imagined. Married: who would've thought that Claire would end up this way? Certainly not the young Fish 'N Fry employee who had doubted anyone could fall in love with a poor, single mother. But Charlie had surprised her, breaking down any boundaries that she had previously raised by doubts and yes, falling in love with her.
Why was she so nervous to tell him, anyways? He had already proved himself more than worthy of the fatherly role. In fact, anyone on the streets would've assumed Charlie was Aaron's birth father once they watched them playing together. No DNA tests could possibly dampen his love for the boy.
New tears were forming as Claire gazed at the pink strip contrasting obviously against the pure-white of the sink, crying this time more for happiness than anything. Nearly four years ago, the scene couldn't have been more different. Of course, she was nervous, a feeling that had overlapped with both events, but that, she assured herself, was normal. This time around, however, she felt exceedingly more confident that everything would work out. And it would work because of Charlie.
Hearing footsteps over her head, Claire's stomach did a small flip. The noise would be Charlie, putting away the story he was reading (undoubtedly "Goodnight Moon") and turning off the light before laying down with Aaron to coax him into dreamland. She had approximately five minutes before Charlie would descend the stairs to help her with the dishes, or maybe even pour a glass of wine. Hurrying over to the mirror in order to compose herself, Claire was greeted by a blonde woman's face, red-eyed and tearstained. She washed off, dabbed herself dry with a towel, and pushed the pink strip into the trash can, determined that she could tell Charlie without its help. With one last look in the mirror, Claire exited the bathroom, walking out into the living room.
Arranged on a small, round, oak table was a mosaic pot with a delicate branch bedded vertically within the dirt. Claire had decorated a small silver ribbon around the stick, spiraling gracefully to the top. Before they left the island, she had retrieved this branch from their tree. The tree was where they had their first real kiss… where they had carved their names into the trunk. Sometimes Claire would find herself deep in thought about the island, jogged moments later from her memories by Aaron or a phone call. Occasionally, she would just stare at the branch without being aware of doing so, as she did now…
"Claire, honey," Charlie said as he stepped down the stairs. He was still in his work clothes, a few buttons of his collar shirt undone. Claire jerked awake from her daydreams, moving over to the counter to wash up dinner. "Sorry," she apologized, "I forgot. I've just been so spacey today…"
Charlie walked up from behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist and kissing her cheek. "It's alright. I can do this later. Why don't you sit down?"
"But, you've been working all day." Claire turned on the sink water
"And you haven't?" He said, turning the water back off. "I daresay that being a mother is quite a job as well." He paused to watch her smile grow wider, "and you do a wonderful job of it." Turning her around to sit on the kitchen stool, he continued. "I have a surprise for you."
He reached into the cupboard and revealed a large glass container of champagne, Claire's favorite.
As Charlie began to pour the bubbly liquid into a few glasses, Claire spoke up. "Charlie, thank you, but… I can't."
Charlie looked curiously at her, "But, this is your favorite."
"I know. And thank you, really. It's just… I don't think I should right now."
Charlie paused, clearly disappointed, and led Claire by the hand over to the couch. Maybe she just had a bad day or something. Laying his left arm across her shoulders, he tried to sooth her into explaining what was wrong.
For a few minutes Claire sat there with her head on his shoulder, enjoying the peace and quiet. When she was around Charlie, she loved to just be. She was afraid to break the silence that currently bound them. Afraid of what responsibility would be thrown at them with this brief, yet incredibly life-changing statement.
But she was so happy at the same time and wanted to share her happiness with Charlie so badly.
When Claire raised her head from his arm, Charlie noticed that her eyes were glazed with tears. Charlie couldn't say anything but softly touch her cheek and gaze concernedly at her.
"Charlie," Her voice was wet and heavy from the tears threatening to thunder down her face. But she wanted to do this right. She had to, for Charlie. "Charlie, I'm pregnant."
Charlie was momentarily shell-shocked, these words were too amazing to be true, "W-what?"
Claire was now smiling out of pure joy, her voice confident and excited. "We're going to have a baby!"
Realization hit Charlie. He had sired a child. A tiny little human being was now growing inside of Claire, and it would be his! It would be their child, together. "A baby!"
Claire nodded and Charlie gently placed his hand on her stomach. Somewhere just beyond his fingertips was a baby. Their baby.
Charlie was falling into Claire's eyes, admiring her in present time and in memory. How beautiful she was, how incredible she was. How she helped him change. How she made the better of him on the island, and even today. Her magic was everlasting.
He traced the outer skin along her belly-button with his finger and leaned in to kiss her. "I love you so much, Claire."
"I love you too, Charlie."
And at that moment, Charlie couldn't think of anyone in the entire world that he would rather have a baby with than Claire Littleton.