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Ellin [userpic]
by Ellin (sapphire_child)
at January 30th, 2007 (03:21 pm)

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Title: The Other – 06 – The Other
Original post date: 8th May 2006
Spoilers: set from about episode 14 of the new season, from there its just spec and my muse having some fun
Summary: Charlie, unable to cope with Claire’s estrangement any longer, sets off into the jungle alone. But after a month of pain and hardships, he stumbles across something he wasn’t ever expecting to find out there…
Disclaimer: Isn’t mine, never has been, never will be and I promise I’m not making any money – writing fanfiction is simply for my own self-satisfaction. The lyrics in the cut are from “At That Particular Time” by Alanis Morissette
~*~

It was almost midday and Grace was still asleep, exhausted. Hayley however, seemed loathe to sleep, and Charlie had gently peeled the fussing infant off her mothers chest and taken it upon himself to watch her for a while so that Grace could get some well needed rest. He hadn’t realised that “a while” would turn out to be half the day.

But Hayley was asleep now, warm and snug in the crook of his arm as he poured Grace a bowl of cereal one handed. Sneaking back down the corridor, he poked his head around the door.

‘Grace!’ he hissed. ‘Grace!’

Her eyes blinked open almost immediately. Charlie held up the bowl and gestured it towards her. ‘You want something to eat?’

Grace pushed herself up slowly and held her hands out. Charlie obligingly came into the room and went to hand her the bowl but instead, Grace contrarily reached for her daughter.

Charlie frowned. ‘Come on Grace, I just got her to go to sleep. How about you eat something first? And then you can hold her.’

‘I want to hold her now.’ Grace’s outstretched fingertips brushed Hayley’s blanket feebly. ‘Give her to me Charlie.’

‘She’s been awake all morning,’ Charlie firmly pressed the bowl of cereal into her hands and grudgingly, Grace took it and began to pick at its contents. ‘And so have I for that matter, so we’re going to go have a kip in the other room. When you’ve finished eating you can come and wake me up and then you can take her if you really want to.’

‘What if she needs feeding?’ Grace said around a mouthful of cereal.

‘Then she’ll wake me up by crying,’ Charlie said exasperatedly. ‘Look, Grace, I’m completely stuffed okay? I’m taking Hayley for a nap.’

Grace didn’t respond, her mouth full of cereal and Charlie took this as his cue to leave.

His feet felt as heavy as lead as he trod down the corridor, through the kitchen and then finally into the living area. Settling down in one of the chairs, he made sure his arms were secure around the bundle in his arms before shutting his eyes with a long sigh. The sound seemed to fill the room and echo around the corners of the doorway…

He was sitting on the beach, just down and away from the camp, guitar in his hands as he strummed it idly, his head bobbing as chords stumbled into the empty air. Before him, the ocean sparkled a peculiar, misty blue.

Overhead he heard gulls calling – an unusual phenomenon here on the island – but he ignored them and their screeching calls, focusing instead on the swell of the ocean in front of him. Several waves broke against the shore as he watched and then he turned his head to look behind him.

Claire was sitting a little further up the beach and a little closer to the jungle than he was; her legs were long and pale, her feet constantly shifting against the gritty sand as he watched her readjust the blue swaddle of cloth in her arms – Aaron. Charlie paused to watch her for a moment before turning his eyes back to the ocean.

‘You don’t have to worry about her anymore,’ said Locke’s scornful voice. Charlie turned around perplexedly and saw Grace sitting next to him – only her voice was Locke’s. ‘She’s fine without you.’ Grace continued. ‘You have me now – and Hayley.’

Charlie looked down at his guitar only it had turned into Hayley.

‘Doesn’t Claire miss me at all?’

‘Of course she doesn’t,’ Grace said, still in Locke’s voice. ‘She’d have come looking for you – she’d have found you by now if she missed you enough.’

‘Grace…’

But Charlie never got to say anything else because Grace’s mouth opened wide and her voice was making the ear blistering sound of metal scraping on metal…


‘Grace?’

Charlie looked around, confused for a moment before realising where he was.

Hayley was still sleeping peacefully on, apparently oblivious to the sharp jerk Charlie had given as he woke up. Hearing the distant thus of footsteps in the main corridor, Charlie grudgingly stood up and crept into the kitchen. Grace obviously wanted Hayley.

But as he was about to walk into the kitchen Charlie paused to listen to the footfalls a little more carefully. He frowned heavily – there was no way Grace made that much noise when she was walking. Hardly even realising that he still had Hayley in his arms, Charlie peeked around the edge of the kitchen door and nearly had a heart attack.

There was a man, tall and thickset with his hand on the door to the sleeping quarters. As Charlie watched, he pushed the door open and stepped inside. There was a muffled scream from inside and Charlie’s insides tightened painfully as Grace’s panicked voice echoed out of the room and into the corridor.

‘Who are you?’

‘Who are you?’ a gruff, carrying voice answered. ‘I was told that my predecessor was a male.’

‘Your…your predecessor?’

‘Rainier? Edward Rainier?’

‘Edward? I-I don’t know any Edward…’

‘You’re lying to me.’

‘I-I-I…’

‘Where is Edward Rainier?’

‘I…don’t…’

‘You crashed here didn’t you? You’re not one of us.’

‘I don’t know what you’re…’

‘How many of you are there?’

‘J-just me.’

‘Are you sure?’

‘Y-yes, just me. I’m alone. I’ve been alone for a long time now…’

‘How did you find this place?’

‘I-I-I…’

Grace seemed to be losing composure by the second. Heart thundering in his chest, Charlie crept back away from the door and then bolted into the living area. Hands fumbling, he tucked Hayley safely into a corner of the couch and then frantically upended his bag. Once he had found what he was looking for, he crept back out into the corridor.

Trying not to feel foolish – he pressed himself against the wall and slid along it, both eyes on the open door through which he could hear the man still drilling Grace and her hesitant, terrified answers.

‘Why are you lying down? You look sick.’

‘I-I just had a baby.’

If Charlie hadn’t been so terrified, he would have rolled his eyes. Of all the things to say…

‘A baby?’

‘Yes.’

‘Well where is it?’

‘I-I…it – well you see…’

‘I’m growing tired of your games girl.’

‘It…it died.’

Charlie let out a long slow exhalation of breath, wondering what the man would ask now.

‘I’m sorry,’

‘Thank you.’

‘How did you get pregnant? And so young…’

‘I…’

Steeling himself, Charlie waited for Grace to answer. The moment stretched longer and longer – something had to give…

‘I…see…’ the man said delicately.

Charlie heard him take a slow, ominous step and then Grace began to gabble madly.

‘No. No-no-no-no…see here…I…’

Charlie took several quick steps down the corridor slammed the door open. Feeling more than little foolish raised his gun and said, in as threatening a voice as he could muster, ‘If you take one more step, I’ll blow your head off.’

‘Charlie!’ Grace gasped. Charlie ignored her as the man before her whirled around, his eyes bulging.

‘Who the hell are you?’

‘Funny, I was about to ask you the same question,’ Charlie said grimly, taking in the mans attire – as normal as his own. ‘What are you doing here?’

‘I’m here to take over the research project,’ the man said bluntly. ‘From Edward Rainier, who I’m guessing is…’ he glanced at the gun in Charlie’s hands. ‘…Indisposed?’

‘I don’t know who Edward Rainier is,’ Charlie said truthfully. ‘But I do know that whoever you are, you are not going anywhere near Grace. She’s been through one helluva time and…’

‘She just told me that she was alone here,’ the man said, sounding almost bored with the conversation. ‘And then here you are, pointing a gun at me.’ Grace and Charlie shared a look. ‘She just told me that she recently had a baby and that it died. Under the previous trend, that should mean that there really is a baby somewhere in this facility.’

‘There’s no baby,’ Charlie said firmly. ‘And there’s no Rainier here either. You’re going to have to leave.’

‘Leave?’ the mans eyebrows puzzled dangerously. ‘Oh no, I think not. It is you who will be leaving.’

‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ Charlie said aggressively. ‘In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s two of us and only of you and – oh yeah, by the way? I’m pointing a gun at you.’

‘First off,’ the man held up a hand to count off on his fingers, still looking supremely bored. ‘I don’t think this one – ’ he jerked his head at Grace. ‘ – Is in any fit state to help you fight me. Secondly, for all I know, that gun of yours is either fake or empty…’

Charlie pointed the gun at one of the spare mattresses and squeezed the trigger. There was an explosion of foam and stuffing and the man stared at the ruined mattress for a moment before turning back to Charlie. ‘Well there’s that question answered. Thirdly…’

‘Thirdly, I don’t have time for this kind of bull,’ Charlie took a step closer. ‘So unless you have something productive to say to me I suggest you shut up, get out and never come back.’

‘Thirdly,’ the man glared. Charlie rolled his eyes. ‘I suggest that you take your own advice by shutting up, getting out and never coming back and I suggest you do it now, before the rest of my comrades arrive. They will not allow you to live – not after seeing this place.’

Charlie’s mouth went as dry as the Sahara.

‘You’re bluffing,’

‘Am I?’ the man inspected his fingernails intently, as bored as ever. ‘I guess you’re either going to be very right or very wrong in about…oh an hour or so I’d say. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to go and see if I can find something to eat – I’m guessing the store room is still well stocked?’

Charlie felt his tongue tie itself into a knot. He raised the gun a little higher, his hands shaking. The man raised an eyebrow and laughed coldly. ‘Oh really. You think you’re going to shoot me? You’ve probably never even held a gun before.’ He glanced carelessly at Grace, still cowering in the corner of her bed and then smirked back at Charlie. ‘Can I hazard a guess that it was you who got her pregnant?’

Something exploded in Charlie’s brain – all of the tension that had been building up between him and the other occupants of this room gave a sudden, explosive crescendo and he’d pulled the trigger before he’d even registered what he’d done.

The man took a stumbling step backwards and then crumpled to the floor. Grace stared at him for a long moment and then looked up to Charlie, who was still staring at the body on the floor, completely shocked.

‘I do not know if he was lying or telling the truth,’ she said after a moment, her voice soft. ‘But if he’s telling the truth then we need to move. Now.’