Disclaimer: LOST is the property of ABC. This was written per request in my livejournal.
Ben fingers the walkie, momentarily lost to indecision. Alex should be at the Temple by now -- she should have reached it hours ago -- and he should contact Richard. Just to make sure. Just to hear the confirmation of what must be true. And Alex probably won't appreciate it; like everything he's done recently, she'll see it as some sort of attack on her. But a good father makes sure his child's safe, and Ben has always been a good father. Whatever else he's been, is, will be, he's at least been that.
And maybe that's why he hesitates, fingers curled loosely around the walkie, ready to pick it up. Because if Richard says that Alex isn't there -- that she never reached the Temple -- Ben wonders if he'll still be able to call himself a good father. He doesn't know if he'll drop everything, do what he can, sacrifice himself for his daughter. Alex may be a necessary loss. For the island and Jacob. Not for him, not just so he can survive, no. Not that.
Ben sets the walkie aside for now. He doesn't want to know just yet.