Author-y Thing: This thing pretty much type its self out awhile back. I'm finally posting it, because I want to get it out before the start of season four this Thursday!!

Anyway. This takes place immediately after Charlie drowned; Desmond's still in that room, hasn't even left yet. And what your about to read is pretty close to what I think might be running through his mind.

Disclaimer: Don't rub it in.

Another Author-y Thing! This is short, folks. But I hope you comment it at the end anyway. :)


He knew why his friend had closed that door—to save him, to save everyone…but it meant killing himself. Desmond stood there slouched against the door that had been slammed in his face, wanting to pound on it, to be able to scream at his friend to open this door now. But it was already too late save him. The tiny little room had filled with water, and filled quickly, and his friend had drowned. Charlie had drowned mere minutes ago, just the way Desmond had seen it a few days before.

And for what, exactly, did he die for? Ice-cold, but still somehow burning through his veins, the fury came, coursed through Desmond, feeding off his guilt. He died for nothing, he answered himself. Absolutely nothing. It had been Charlie's plan to die for Claire, for Aaron, for everyone on this forsaken island…so that they could get rescued, go home. Because there was a boat, coming to save them!

Oh, yes, a boat. That boat, that stupid sodding boat that wasn't looking for them, that boat that was not coming for them. That boat that wasn't going to save them, that boat that wasn't Penny's…of course. Desmond had told Charlie he was going to be a hero, their savior—and then he died…for nothing.

"I'm so sorry, Charlie," Desmond whispered, sinking to his knees and pressing both hands on the door. He closed his eyes, because the dark wasn't as accusing as the light"I was wrong." His shaggy brown hair covered his face as he bowed his head as if in prayer.

How long he sat there he didn't know; nor did he particularly care. It could have been five minutes, it could have been an hour. But he sat there on his knees as they slowly fell asleep, his head bowed, his jaw clenched; even his stomach felt sick. He lost all track of time.

And then, finally, he remembered: everybody else was up there, waiting for him and Charlie to return. Claire. Aaron. Hurley. Charlie's friends, Charlie's family. They didn't know. And he, Desmond, was going to have to be the sodding person to tell him he was dead.

"You've really done it now, brotha," he said to himself, grasping the door handle with both hands to help himself up—his knees were shaky and weak from sitting on them all this time. He found he couldn't stand on his own, let alone walk, and so he leaned against the door, catching his breath. Questions swirled around in his brain, questions he couldn't answer.

If it wasn't Penny's boat, then whose was it? Why were they searching for the island? What would they do to everyone here when they arrived? Who where they?

Those questions meant nothing, however, when compared to a whole other set of questions: questions closer to Des's heart, ones he wished he didn't even have a reason to ask himself: would Claire and the others blame him for Charlie's death? Would they be angry with him, wondering why he lived when Charlie didn't? Would they accuse him of not doing enough to save Charlie from his fate?

Oh, God, if only they knew how he had tried before today. How he would have tried again this time, if Charlie hadn't stopped him. Desmond groaned and let his head fall against the door hard enough to hurt. He had to admit, he wondered about his own answers to those questions himself. If anyone blamed him for being alive, for Charlie's death, than he assumed they were completely justified. He might even have to agree with them.

The blood had started circulating in his legs again, the tiny knife-like prickles disappearing. He could stand up again, and if he could stand, than he could swim, swim back up to the surface and leave this hell-hole called the Looking Glass…but he couldn't make himself move. Was it terrible for him to not want to leave, he wondered?

Though he knew better than to think it possible, Desmond couldn't help but feel that being here made Charlie somehow miraculously alive; and that as soon as he left, Charlie really would die. But right now, down here, it seemed like it was all just a bad dream, a terrible, sick dream that would end because in a minute Charlie would appear in front of him, soaking wet and dripping, but completely fine. If he left, who would be here to help Charlie when he walked through that door?

It was silly. Desmond knew that, but he couldn't stop those kind of thoughts; in fact, it was that same way of thinking that kept him from being able to look through the small window on the door and see him, to see Charlie floating there lifeless, never to have movement, never to have thought, never to have anything ever again. Because to look would it make it real. Leaving this place where Charlie had last been alive, that would only make it real. Going back up there to the others, telling them all what had happened, that would only make it real.

He didn't want it to be real.