DISCLAIMER: I do not own LOST or the characters.
Author's Note: I'm not sure if I like this fic yet, so review if you want me to continue. If anyone reads my "It's Not Over" series, I am still updating, but I'm having serious writers block right now. Enjoy!
Claire Littleton normally liked the long walk from her home to the grocery store. There was plenty of nice scenery, and she got fresh air and exercise. Today, however, was a different story. It was too hot, and she was too pregnant for this. It was a bright, sunny September day in Sydney, Australia, and Claire was almost eight months pregnant. She was giving the baby up though, she couldn't even imagine being a single mother, she was only 21! In fact, in just a few days she was flying to LA to give the baby to a nice couple that a psychic had referred to her. It sounded crazy, but that was pretty much the story of her life these days. She was thinking about this, as she heard yelling a little ways away. Claire turned her head toward a nice looking house that she was standing in front of, and shifted her grocery bag to her other hand. The yelling continued, and after a minute, Claire continued on her way. Just then the door burst open and a blond man came running out. Before she had time to process what was happening, Claire was on the ground, holding her stomach as her food rolled all over the sidewalk.
"I'm sorry," The man said in an English accent, rushing to pick up her things. "Are you all right?"
"I think so," Claire said uneasily, as she pulled herself to her feet. He handed her the bag, and locked eyes with her.
"I'll replace the stuff in the bag if you want."
"Oh, no, it's probably fine."
"Come on now, you're eating for two, the baby needs the best." He grinned at her, and Claire couldn't help but smile back. "I'm Charlie by the way."
"I'm Claire Littleton," They shook hands, and Charlie reached into his pocket and pulled out some money. "No really, it's OK."
"It's not actually. I'd feel bloody awful if something is contaminated. Better safe then sorry."
"Nothing is contaminated, don't worry about it," But Claire was laughing a little now. She walks this same route every week, why had she not met this guy before?
"If you insist," Charlie said putting the money back in his pocket. "Do you live around here?"
"Yeah, two blocks away, in the expensive apartment that my ex-boyfriend left me with. Nice of him don't you think?"
"Bloody lovely. Well he's your ex for a reason right?" Claire laughed again.
"That's very true." She ran her free hand down her belly and sighed, remembering how Thomas, her ex-boyfriend had left her, pregnant and alone, three months ago. "Well I should get going, but it was good to meet you Charlie."
"Good to meet you too, Claire." Claire smiled, and thought about him the whole way home. He was sweet and funny, but maybe it was good that she hadn't gotten his phone number or any way to contact him. He probably wasn't from around here anyway, and she was pregnant. Even though she was putting the baby up for adoption, it couldn't be that much fun for him to have a pregnant girlfriend when the baby wasn't even his. She took her time walking the last two blocks home, stopping at a little ice cream shop and treating herself to a cone. When she finally got home, she was surprised when her superintendent was waiting for her.
"Miss Littleton, someone just came by and dropped this off for you a minute ago. I don't know who he was." Claire suspiciously took the large brown paper bag away from the superintendent, and looked at it. It was tied securely at the top so she couldn't see what was inside.
"Thanks Mr. Waters," Claire said, before starting up the stairs to her apartment. When she got inside, she noticed something written in the corner of the bag. In neat, block letters, 'Charlie Pace' was printed with a phone number beneath it. She felt a smile coming over her face as she untied the bag and looked inside. It was some of the food that she had just bought, obviously brand new, right from the store. He'd replaced them, just like he wanted to. It was a little cheesy, but very, very sweet. She threw away her own groceries, replacing them with the ones Charlie had bought right away.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
"So what are you doing in Australia?" Two days had passed after their initial meeting, but Claire had called him the first night to thank him. It was then that he'd asked her out for dinner. Just as friends, nothing more, which was good because Claire wasn't sure that she was ready for anything more.
"My brother lives here actually. I came to visit him. You may remember him- and me for that matter- from a band called DriveShaft?" Claire shook her head.
"DriveShaft?" She repeated, "I don't think I've heard of that."
"Oh come on, you've got to be kidding me! You all everybody! You all everybody!" He sang in a high falsetto voice. "We're staging a comeback! Or we were...until Liam bailed." Claire giggled. "Don't laugh," Charlie said, pretending to be offended. "I do back up vocals on that one. You've heard it I'm sure."
"Sorry, I don't think I have." Charlie just sighed.
"So when are you leaving then? I mean if you've got this big comeback thing going on and all." As she spoke, she half wished that he would stay in Australia, even though she was leaving in less than a week and going to LA until she had the baby.
"I'm going to Los Angeles on Wednesday. Without a lead singer, the big comeback won't get very far though. You don't sing do you?" Charlie asked, only half joking.
"No, definitely not. But you said you're leaving Wednesday? Me too. I've got to go to LA for some...business."
"In your condition? Is it even safe to fly?" Claire grew quiet at the question. She rarely discussed with anyone the fact that once the baby was born she wouldn't be keeping it.
"Special circumstances I guess. I'm giving the baby up, there's a couple in California."
"Ah," Charlie said, as if he understood. A slightly awkward silence followed, and they both looked down to their plates, like maybe they held the key to keeping the conversation going.
"I was kind of having second thoughts?" She didn't intend for this to come out like a question, but it did. This was something she'd never said out loud before, she'd barely even allowed her self to think it. There was no way she could handle a baby by herself.
"Don't do it if you aren't sure," Charlie said reasonably.
"But I can't take care of a baby. I haven't got enough money to support myself, let alone a child, and my parents, well they couldn't help me at all, my father-"
"I could help you," Charlie interrupted. "I mean what are friends for right?"
"But you're leaving soon."
"I could stay."
"Why would you do that?" Claire asked, confused. "We don't even know each other." Charlie shrugged.
"My brother lives here, I could stay with him. It might be good." Claire thought about this for only a brief second before deciding.
"I'll keep the baby. I'll call off the adoption tonight." She surprised herself by actually getting excited over this.
"And I'll cancel my flight and call my brother."
"Are you sure you want to do this?" He must be crazy, Claire thought, I'm some random pregnant girl he just met and he's already making plans to help out with the baby?
"I am if you are."