New Father

Summary: Ben's first night with Alex with scenes taken from the season five episode "Dead is Dead." The first of Ben and Li'l Alex stories.

Benjamin Linus kept his thoughts to himself as he walked across the beach at night. ben hated any kind of night raid on the Dharma Initive or the beach where the French woman, Rousseau, was. Why Charles Widmore insisted on attacks at night was beyond Ben's thinking. Also Ben never understood why Charles or Jacob, for that matter, were so afraid of this particular woman. It wasn't like she could wreak havoc like Typhoid Mary in the history books.

Ben's foul mood was heightened by Ethan Rom. The kid was no more than 12 or 13 and already looked up to Ben like a younger brother looking up to an older brother; a fact that was increasingly annoying since Ben wasn't looking for a little brother. Especially an obnoxious brat like Ethan. And if the kid stepped on his heels on more time, Ben was going to deck him!

Ben stooped in front of the palm fronds, obscuring Rousseau's tent, wondering how he should kill her. Ben felt a prick of conscience. Amelia said he had a good heart. Maybe he could tell Rousseau to hide herself since he couldn't bring himself to kill anyone. He looked at the quiet tent, unsure of what to do, when Ethan stooped next to him. "
Do you want me to do it?" Ethan asked, his voice like a pesky fly in Ben's ear.

"Shhh!" Ben hissed, narrowing his eyes.

"I can do anything you want me to, Ben," Ethan said loyally.

Ben turned to face the boy. "Shut up and stay here, Ethan!" Ben ordered sharply.

Pulling his gun out, Ben stood and slowly made his way to the tent. He cocked the gun and entered the tent, cautiously looking around. Rousseau was sound asleep. A foreign sound then entered Ben's ear; a baby's cry!

Ben turned sharply, knocking over a music box and waking Rousseau, who reached for her rifle. "Don't! Don't do it!" Ben warned, pointing his gun at her, relieved that the shadows hid his face.

"You're the one who infected us, aren't you?" Rousseau asked in heavily-accented English. Ben watched as she rambled in a combination of French and English. It was clear,
besides the fact that she had killed her entire team, that the woman was crazy. Ben looked towards the baby. If he left the little one with her, the baby would die from neglect. The best he could do was to take the child with him. Never mind the fact that he knew absolutely nothing about babies.

Ben moved towards the baby and bent over, making it look as if he was getting a closer look at the small face. In the dark, with the moon shining on its face, Ben knew by the facial features that it was a little girl. "No! No!" Rousseau yelled at him amidst the baby's cries.

"Shhh! Shhh! It's okay," Ben said softly as he picked up the crying infant effortlessly.

"Please! Please! Don't take my Alex," Rousseau begged.

Ben looked at the crying baby and her mother. "Do you want your baby to live?" ben asked, holding the child tightly in one arm.

"Why are you taking her?" Rousseau asked angrily, moving forward as if to take the baby from Ben. Ben aimed at the sand and shot it, scaring the baby. Rousseau sat back down,
a numb and pained look on her face.

"Be grateful you're still alive. Now you listen to me. If you try to follow me or if you ever come looking for me, I'll kill you. And if you want your child to live, every time you hear whispers, you run the other way," Ben said sharply, the baby crying as he turned and ran across the sand and out of Rousseau's line of sight.

Ethan stood as Ben Came to his hiding place. Ben handed the gun to Ethan and wrapped his arms tightly around the baby. "Who's this?" Ethan asked quizzically.

"Her child. Now she's mine," Ben said cryptically, cradling the baby against his chest. He had heard one of the Dharma women say that babies lost body heat and got colder quicker. He wouldn't let this child get cold on his watch.

"What's her name?" Ethan asked.

"Alexandra. Alex. Her mother called her that. I like it," Ben said as the baby quieted and looked at him with unfocused eyes. Something in him melted as he looked at this little girl in his arms. She needed a father and if he was raising her, she would love him and know no other father, but him.

"What's Charles gonna say?" Ethan asked fretfully.

"I don't know, but she is my daughter now," Ben said firmly, kissing the girl's soft head for the first time. The baby sighed softly and curled into Ben's chest and fell asleep, her soft breathing filling him with happiness.

Ben, Ethan, and the baby entered the campground, the baby waking up after a short nap. Ben hoped Alex would be quiet so he could explain her presence to Charles. Ben gave a kiss to his new baby girl. "Daddy, needs you to be quiet, Alex. Can you be quiet for Daddy?" Ben asked softly. Alex made a soft baby sound, which Ben hoped was a yes. Ben smiled gently and cradled her against his chest as he walked into the light of the campfire.

Charles Widmore looked up from his meal arrogantly. "Well? Did you do it?" Charles asked between bites.

"We had a ...complication," Ben hesistated slightly. At that moment Alex chose to cry. Charles looked up sharply at the bundle in Ben's arms.

"I'm sorry. Is that" Charles asked as if he couldn't believe what Ben was actually holding. "Your orders were to exterminate that woman."

"Why? She's no threat to us. She's insane, Charles. Besides you didn't tell me she had a child. What was it I was supposed to do?" Ben asked guardedly. This wasn't the first time Ben had debated Charles on an order and it probably wouldn't be the last time either.

"Kill it," Charles said almost callously. Equal parts of rage and panic coursed through Ben as he held Alex tighter in his arms.

"It's not an "It." This is a child!" Ben protested and looked at Charles and all his friends. Ben knew that none of them, with the exception of Charles, would kill a baby.

Charles handed his dinner off and stood, staring Ben down as if Ben was a guilty boy who had stuck his hand in the cookie jar. You may find this difficult to believe, Benjamin,
but every decision I've made has been about protecting this island!" Charles said sharply.

"Is killing this baby what Jacob wants?" Ben shot back. A long pause followed. "Then here she is. You do it," Ben said stonily, holding the baby out to Charles. Knowing Charles like he did, he knew the man wouldn't kill Alex. Charles Widmore always had people do his killings for him and surely Charles couldn't kill the baby anymore than Ben could. Alex started crying again and it was all Ben could do not to hold her close against his chest like he'd been doing.

Charles looked down at Alex, then at Ben, before walking away without a word. Ben looked down at his baby girl and gently pulled her into his chest, supporting her neck and head with his arm. He looked up at Richard Alpert, whose eyes showed approval. Ben nodded slightly and took Alex to his tent.

Ben jiggled the baby in his arms as soon as he entered his tent to stop her crying. He then kissed her forehead. Alex cooed softly. A smile crossed Ben's lips as the baby's tiny fist hit his face. "Ben, may I come in?" Ben heard Amelia's voice ten minutes later outside his tent.

"Of course," Ben said with a smile as Amelia came into his tent, her arms full of supplies.

"I figured you'd want some diapers and bottles of milk," Amelia said with a warm smile as she put the items on Ben's cot.

"Thank. I didn't know what I was going to feed her. Do you know how to change a diaper?" Ben asked, suddenly realizing he had no clue what to do if this baby used the bathroom.

"Of course. Call me when she needs a diaper change and I'll show you how to change her. Do you have any idea on how to feed her?" Amelia asked.

"I have an idea. Just hold her and put my arm under her head and neck," Ben said.

"May I?" Amelia asked, holding her arms out. Ben placed Alex in her arms. His own arms then felt strangely empty. "Hold her at this angle and then burp her. If you don't burp her two or three times before she finishes the bottle, she'll spit up all over you," Amelia instructed. She then put Alex back in his arms.

"Thank you, Amelia. Amelia, do you think I have what it takes to be a father?" Ben asked.

"I think so. You took the baby to save her life from an insane woman. Already you care for her. Does she have a name?" Amelia asked. Ben smiled.

"Her name is Alexandra Emily Linus. Alex," ben said, the name sounding right as he said it. Especially her middle name being his mother's name.

"Sounds beautiful. How are you going to tell your father about her? That she is now his granddaughter?" Amelia asked with concern as she touched the baby's head gently.

"I don't know if I will. My father is so wrapped up in the bottle, I don't know if I should tell him I now have a daughter. I do know that I'm not going to start drinking or abusing her. That is one thing I have learned from living with my father," Ben said with finality.

"Ben, you live at the Barracks. What are you going to do with her when you go back?" Amelia asked.

"I don't know. All I know is that I will not let my father hurt my baby," Ben said almost fiercely.

"I don't think he will. All you have to do is tell him that Alex is your daughter and he's not allowed to harm her, discipline her, or even hold her without your permission,"
Amelia said.

"Good idea. I guess when I go back to the Barracks in two days, she'll come with me. Uh-oh. I think I need that diaper now," Ben said, feeling something wet on the front of his shirt. He pulled Alex away from him and handed her to Amelia. He pulled the wet fabric from his chest.

Amelia deftly removed the diaper and pulled out a clean one from the bundle she had brought with her. Ben watched the process carefully as he had never changed a diaper before. Alex was the first baby, outside of books or movies, he had ever seen.

"There! Nothing to it!" Amelia said, pining the diaper with a safety pin.

"I guess not. Is she going to cry when she needs a diaper?" Ben asked.

"Well, she didn't this time. Just check her to be sure and you might want to change your shirt," Amelia said, indicating his damp shirt as she walked out of his tent.

Ben smiled at his daughter as he put her on his cot and placed his hand on Alex's small stomach. "You really soaked me, Alex. Daddy'll make it where you don't again," Ben said, kissing her baby-soft head. Ben then removed his shirt, dried his chest and stomach with a towel and put on a dry, clean shirt. he then sat on the cot, and picking up Alex, held her to his chest, gently stroking her face and forehead. if she was going to look anything like her mother, this little girl was gonna have a headful of hair!

"So, Alex, how long is it gonna be before you smile at me or call me Daddy?" Ben asked conversationally. This conversation was one-sided, but it was the best way for Alex to know her father's voice. If he kept up one-sided conversations with the little girl, in one week she would recognize his voice in a room full of strangers.

"All right, Alex. Daddy says it's time for bed," Ben said, kissing the baby gently. That was another thing that needed to be done. Everyone called him Ben, but his daughter needed to know he was Daddy and not Ben. He also needed to show Alex every day that he loved her. That was another failure of his father's. His father had never hugged him,
kissed him, or told him that he loved him. Ben would love his new daughter and make it where Alex would love him back. Ben fell asleep, holding the baby tightly in his arms.
He was content that he had this new someone in his life. He was so content that he could forget that he had taken this baby or that she wasn't really his.

The End