A/N: Rewritten. Previously known as Memories. Another Charlie going to the Looking Glass oneshot, this one not with as much of a happy ending. The song is Memories by Within Temptation. Just pretend Charlie wrote it.

Disclaimer: I don't own Lost or any of its characters.

Words: 1749

Rated: K+

Featuring: Charlie, Desmond, Claire, and mentions of Jack, Aaron, and Sun.


All my Memories Keep You Near:

Charlie flips through his music journal, whispering a few verses of Like a Rolling Stone under his breath. He realizes for the first time that his music journal, the lyrics to his favourite songs and ones he himself wrote, is just as private and special to him as Claire's diary is to her.

Today he's trying not to think about Claire and the baby. The fact that he'll never see her again, that he hasn't got enough time to sum up exactly the right words to describe how much he loves his Claire is enough to make him want to break down in tears. And Aaron. Is God really so cruel that he would take Aaron away from him? Charlie likes to think that Aaron refers to him as a father-but the kid's two months old, so who knows?

Charlie's selfish; it's what needs to happen to keep them safe, but he doesn't want to go to the Looking Glass Station to die. He thinks about refusing to go after he already said he would, but knows that he doesn't want to be thought of as a coward and that, when it comes down to it, he would do anything to protect the people he loves.

So Charlie takes his guitar-the guitar he'll never play again-and walks down the beach until he's far away from everyone else. Then he opens his music journal and plays every song written down, then composing a new one. It's not hard; he has enough inspiration.

"Never heard that one before," comments a familiar voice, lightly (though Charlie doesn't understand how Desmond can be in such a good mood). "What's it called?" The Scotsman sits down beside him and pulls the journal toward him to read. Charlie fights back the urge to snatch it away.

"Haven't found a name for it yet," he replies dryly, not making eye contact. If he did he would see easily through the facade Desmond is wearing of forced cheerfulness. Because he doesn't, though, the ex-rock star continues to ponder if he will be missed at all. The two of them aren't that close, he knows, but had Desmond not been the one seeing the very visions portraying his death, Charlie is sure they could have been friends.

"So ye wrote it then?"

Charlie blinks and simply nods, still glaring at the horizon. "When are we leaving?" He asks.

"Soon," Desmond responds. "Ye best make time with ye're girl while ye can." At the depressing words Charlie scowls,shudders, and has bite back the urge to howl with misery. He stands, takes the journal and his guitar with him, and sets off for the tent he shares with Claire. Soon it will only belong to her. Or will it? Will Claire replace him after he is gone? Will she let another man sleep in her bed and take care of Aaron? Charlie pales at the thought.

When he enters the tent Claire is packing her things. She scoops up a random pile of clothing, stuffs it in her bag rather angrily, and continues on to the next pile.

"Claire?" Asks Charlie timidly, entering the tent. Claire glares up at him.

"Yes, what is it?" Demands Claire sharply.

"Is something the matter?"

Claire abruptly stops packing and turns to look at him. "Now why would anything be the matter?" She hisses sarcastically. "You're leaving Aaron and I to go on a mission that could very well get you killed, but no, nothing's the matter!" Her voice cracks and before he knows it, Charlie has her enveloped in his arms. "Nothing's the matter!"

"Claire, you know I'll be fine," He tells her, and tries his best to keep his voice from shaking. "Desmond will be with me. You know he won't let me be harmed."

He feels Claire nod into the crook of his neck and holds her closer, trying to memorize this moment, the warmth of her small body against his, the softness of her hair as he strokes it. "I just don't want Aaron to lose another father," she whispers. Then, "And you know I don't want you to go, either."

A deep ache in his throat constricting his speech, Charlie simply squeezes her tighter. Maybe if he holds her close enough she'll melt into him and they will be able to be together forever.

It hurts to let her go, but Charlie knows Desmond is waiting for him. So he turns to Claire and kisses her. He is a bit disappointed with the result but tells himself that it is the best he will get and that kissing Claire at all is a privilege. He was hoping she would confess her undying love to him and snog him senseless, but the kiss is nervous and awkward, though with an undertone of tenderness. Maybe it's better this way; it would probably hurt if she told him yet he still had to leave, wouldn't it? But something inside Charlie wants her last words to him to be I love you.

They separate and Claire looks deeply into his eyes. "You'll be alright," she says, but it sounds more like she's convincing herself. "Be careful, won't you?" Charlie nods, still unable to speak. She tucks a strand of hair behind his ear and smiles that stunning smile that he loves. "You're an incredible man, Charlie Pace. There aren't many people in the world who would risk their lives to get us rescued."

Charlie smiles weakly and replies, his voice hoarse, "It's nothing."

Charlie holds her to him one last time, his heart breaking when he forces himself to pull away. He kneels in front of Aaron's cradle, beaming down at the gurgling baby. "See you," he murmurs so that Claire can't hear. Charlie allows the infant to wrap his tiny hand around his finger. "You be good to your mum now, and stay out of trouble. When you're older, if your mum feels up to it, maybe she'll tell you about me. And you'll know how much I love you."

Aaron beams up at him and Charlie leans forward and kisses the baby on the forehead. Then, pretending to reach his hand out to pat the baby gently on the shoulder one last time, he drops his long possessed Drive-Shaft ring into the cradle and rises to leave.

"Bye, Charlie," Claire calls to him, smiling at him through quivering lips.

"See you later." Charlie nods and forces himself to walk away, down the beach to where Desmond is standing.

"Ready?" Desmond asks.

No, says Charlie to himself. I don't think I'll ever be ready. Tiredly, he replies, "Yes," anyway.

They climb into the little boat and Desmond starts to row. So Charlie helps him. "Ye're a great man for doing this," Desmond tells him. Charlie doesn't respond at first.

Finally he says, "A greater man would find some way to overcome this, to beat the bad guy without having to give up everything he loves." At the words Desmond becomes overcome with guilt.

The rest of the way they are silent. When they arrive the two men grasp hands and shake. Desmond can feel Charlie's trembling in his.

"You're scared," he states. It's not a question.

"Why don't you try leaving everything you love most forever and see how you feel," Charlie snarls in response. "I'm not a very good swimmer, either."

Desmond closes his eyes and sighs. "It must be done, Charlie. I don't want it to happen, but you've got to die."

Charlie nods, not making eye contact. "I know."

And then they arrive and he does what needs to be done.

Back at the beach Claire is making sure she's packed all of her necessities. She looks around the almost empty tent to make sure she hasn't missed anything and sees a white notebook that wasn't there earlier. She opens it and immediately recognizes it. It's Charlie's journal! She closes it, not wanting to invade his privacy and decides to bring it with her so that it isn't harmed in the trap the castaways have set for the Others. After changing Aaron's nappy she is ready to leave and follows Jack and the rest of her friends as they hike toward the Radio Tower.

They are halfway there when suddenly her belongings spill out of her bag. The zipper is broken. Irritated, she hands Aaron to Sun to hold and commences stuffing her things back into it, coming across Charlie's open note book in the process. This time she opens it, no longer able to hold in her curiosity, flips through the pages. On the very last page is a song she does not know but is somehow sure he wrote himself.

In this world you tried,
Leaving me alone behind.
There's no other way,
I pray to the gods let him stay.
The memories cease the pain inside,
Now I know why..
All of my memories keep you near.
In silent whispers, silent tears.
Imagine you'd here.
All of my memories keep you near,
In silent whispers, silent tears.

All of my memories keep you near.
In silent moments,
Imagine you'd be here.
All of my memories keep you near,
In silent whispers, silent tears

Made me promise I'd try,
To find my way back in this life.
Hope there is a way,
To give me a sign you're okay.
Reminds me again it's worth it all,
So I can go home.

All of my memories keep you near.
In silent moments,
Imagine you'd be here

Together in all these memories,
I see your smile.
All of the memories I hold dear.
Darling you know I'll love you,
Until the end of time.

All of my memories keep you near
In silent moments,

All of my memories...

Claire doesn't understand the meaning of the song. Why did Charlie write and what was it about? Did it have anything to do with her and Aaron's relationship with Charlie? It's beautiful, of that much the Aussie is certain. Unaware that as she reads the song Charlie is dying, she finishes re-packing up her bag, rushed on by Jack who is telling her they have to hurry, stuffing the journal in and taking her son back from Sun.

The hidden meaning in the song evades and is confusing her, but for now that's okay. She'll just have to confess to having read his music and ask him about this particular piece and the inspiration behind it when he gets back.


A/N: I hope everyone enjoyed that and didn't think it was too rushed or broke off abruptly at the end! I rewrote from how I first did a few years ago because I was re-reading it and noticed some mistakes. I like this subtly changed version better = ) Thanks for reading, please take the time to review and tell me what you think !

xox Sacha