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I'll Be Back Where I Was Born To Be

Title: I'll Be Back Where I Was Born To Be
Characters: Charlie, Liam, Claire.
Pairing: Charlie/Claire
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: References to drug use. AU.
Summary: Written for yersi_fanel, who requested Charlie and alternate universes at lostsquee. In an alternate universe where Flight 815 didn't crash in the original timeline, Charlie's tour gets cancelled as Liam had refused to go. Without any of his friends from the island around, he feels forced to turn to heroin again.

As Charlie prepared to join the queue of people waiting for taxis at the airport, he wondered whether there was any point in calling Liam to see if he’d changed his mind. Probably not, he had to admit. Liam had looked pretty determined that he didn’t want to go back, that he was done with the band and all that went with it.

But Charlie didn’t know where Liam got off getting on his high horse. He was the one who’d brought drugs into the band in the first place. He was the one who’d made the choice to spend the evening of his daughter’s birth “stumbling around Dresden looking for a sodding fix”. Charlie had just been there because Liam had needed his brother to be there for him, the same way he always had been, the way Liam never had been for him. Where had Liam been when Charlie had tried to keep the band alive? Sodding Australia, living on the money he’d made from selling Charlie’s piano, that’s where. And the day of their mother’s funeral? He’d turned up high, and Charlie had been the one who’d had to put aside his own grief to keep their father from noticing the state of him. Liam was the last remaining member of Charlie’s family now, and he’d just abandoned him.

As Charlie got into the back seat of a taxi, his phone rang; it was Roderick, probably wanting to know if he’d brought Liam back with him. Charlie angrily rejected the call; he didn’t want to deal with that now. He’d explain it face to face, that would be the best thing. Besides, he didn’t know why Meat Coat had made such a big deal about having both brothers there anyway. Liam even used to admit it himself in the early days; he was just the pretty boy who’d fronted the band. They could get one of those anywhere. Charlie was the one who actually wrote the lyrics and the music, the one whose idea the band had been in the first place. They didn’t need Liam.

Charlie was determined that he’d keep telling himself that as the taxi carried him towards his destination. Maybe by the time they got there, he’d have figured out a way to convince Meat Coat of that too.

“Well, about time,” Roderick hissed, grabbing Charlie by the arm and dragging him towards the dressing room. “Jed’s going nuts out there. And where the hell’s Liam?”

“Sydney,” Charlie muttered. “He’s not coming.”

Roderick stopped, stared at him. “Please, tell me you’re kidding,” he began, but Meat Coat’s lead singer, Jed, came storming out of the dressing room before he had chance to go on.

“Listen, jackass, I took a chance on you, and you can’t even get your butt here on time? And where’s your brother?”

“He’s not here,” Charlie began, “but it doesn’t matter, does it? The rest of us are here, we don’t really need him…”

But Jed had rounded on Charlie. “What part of it’s both of you or nothing did you not understand? I made it clear, the whole band was part of the deal. Liam IS the band. And if you can’t get him here, then the deal’s off.”

“But we can work something out -” Charlie began, but Jed had turned his back and started walking away, tossing a last “Piss off!” over his shoulder as he left.

Charlie wasn’t sure where he was walking to, or how long he’d been walking for, but it felt like he’d been walking around in the rain for hours. The rest of the band hadn’t wanted to know once it had become clear that Jed wasn’t going to change his mind, and there wasn’t going to be any tour, not for them anyway. And Charlie had no intention of calling Liam this time. This whole situation was his fault. If he’d just agreed to sign up for the tour when Charlie had asked him to, they’d have been up on the stage right now.

Liam had criticised Charlie for still using. But Charlie had come to realise that heroin was all he had left to rely on.

He didn’t know where he was when he woke up, not at first. Then he became aware of Liam beside him, shaking his head. “Why did you do this, you nutter? Why didn’t you just call me? I’d have been out here like a shot!”

“Liam?” Charlie whispered. “What happened?”

“Don’t you remember?” Liam asked. “When Meat Coat told you to get stuffed, you ended up wandering the streets of LA for ages. No one was quite sure what happened, but apparently some pregnant woman found you passed out in the street. You’d managed to overdose accidentally. I’ve been here ever since, waiting for you to wake up.”

“I remember them telling us to go,” Charlie replied, closing his eyes again.

“And I’m going to get you some help,” Liam continued. “You were right, baby brother, I wasn’t there for you before. But I will be now. We’re going to take you back to Australia, Karen and me, you can stay with us for as long as you need to, we’ll check you into one of those programs I was telling you about before.”

Charlie just nodded, not feeling up to arguing.

“Oh, I almost forgot,” Liam broke off. “That woman who found you, Claire her name is, she’s been waiting out here for you to wake up as well, she wanted to make sure you were okay. She’s still outside now,” he said as he got up to beckon her in.

“You gave us quite a scare,” the woman said, greeting Charlie with a smile as she walked into the room. “But it’s good to see you awake now. I’m Claire, by the way. Claire Littleton.”

As Charlie greeted Claire, for the first time he began to think that maybe there was hope for his future after all. He’d got his brother back, Liam was going to help him get better. And he couldn’t explain how he knew, but Charlie was sure that this Claire would be there for him too.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 15th, 2010 09:27 am (UTC)
Aww, that was great! I loved it! Love how Claire was there for him too :D
Aug. 15th, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I'm glad you liked this one!
Aug. 16th, 2010 01:13 pm (UTC)
Awww! That was so perfect!

I love how you managed to turn all of Charlie's angst into the key for Liam to return and help him out this time and of course that it was Claire who actually saved him, the hints for a better future to come are there and I love them.

Thank you very much for writing this for me!
Aug. 16th, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
No problem, glad you liked this!
Aug. 16th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
I felt so sorry for charlie in this one :( wandering alone the streets and relying only on heroin....
I also like very much the way it ends :D Liam being beside Charlie and this feeling Charlie has when he meets Claire, is awesome! :)
Aug. 16th, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you, glad you liked the ending!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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