A/N: A Claire centric fic after she gets Charlie's note on his "Greatest Hits". This was written awhile back, but never posted. Please review and let me know what you think.
"What is this?" Claire looked down at the folded paper that Desmond had slipped into her hand.
Desmond just gave her a small smile, seeping with sadness before turning away and walking down the beach, leaving her alone to stare at the paper in her hand.
She turned it over, running her finger over her name penned in a familiar hand. She felt her chest beginning to tighten and the tears filling her eyes, the name on the paper blurring until it was no longer legible. She fought back the grief with everything that she had in her, because she knew that if she didn't it would overwhelm her. The grief would take her over and she wouldn't be able to function or take care of her son. She slowly unfolded the paper, hands shaking and unsure of what she was going to find.
5. The first time I heard myself on the radio.
4. Dad teaching me to swim at Butlins.
3. The Christmas Liam gave me the ring.
2. Woman outside Convent Garden calls me a hero.
1. The night I met you.
Tears were streaming down her face as her hand crumpled the paper, bringing it to her chest. She sank to her knees as she watched Desmond walk away and at that moment she knew. She knew that he'd known that he was going to die and he'd gone anyways. To save them all, he'd sacrificed himself.
Her body was shaking from the sobs that she couldn't seem to control. Her eyes raised to the heavens as her arms wrapped around herself as she tried to find a way to bring herself comfort. For just a moment her eyes locked with Desmond's and she read the pain and understanding in his. She knew that he'd tried to stop it, but there was just no way.
She slowly unfolded the paper, now wet with her tears and read it again. The man that she was just discovering that she had loved and who had apparently loved her was dead. He would never again hold her, kiss her or love her.
Wiping the tears from her face, she tried her best to pull herself together. She had to remember that Aaron needed her and now that she didn't have Charlie to fall back on anymore it was just her. She took a shaky breathe, lifting the paper and pressing her lips to it. "I love you Charlie…I'm sorry that I never told you that, but I do love you…with all of my heart." She folded the paper and slipped it into her pocket, close to her heart so that it would always be close to her.
As she stood and walked away, the tears still fell but she felt stronger for them. She would grieve for him for a long time, but that was because she loved him and because he deserved to be grieved. And she knew that whenever she made a list of her greatest moments she knew that meeting Charlie would be one of her top ones, behind only Aaron. With tears in her eyes and grief in her heart she headed back to camp.