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Remembering In His Own Way

Title: Remembering In His Own Way
Characters: Desmond, Penny. Mentions of Charlie, Sayid and Nadia.
Pairings: Desmond/Penny, implied Desmond/Sayid if you squint.
Rating: PG
Warnings: Spoilers all the way up through S5. Mentions of character death.
Summary: For jenthegypsy, who requested Desmond. The day Desmond learns Penny is pregnant, he learns of Sayid's marriage. The week of Charlie's birth, he learns of Nadia's death.

Charlie Hume entered the world in the same week that Nadia Jarrah departed it.

The day Desmond heard the news, he’d immediately thought back to a time not long after he and the Oceanic Six had been rescued by Penny. They’d headed for Australia after dropping off the Oceanic Six with their life raft in the Indian Ocean, leaving Frank in Sydney where he was to decide whether he wanted to go back to his old life in the Bahamas or follow Desmond and Penny’s example and start afresh.

“You know, he’ll try and find you, too,” Desmond had warned Frank just before they parted. “He’s going to want to know what’s happened, why he sent a whole freighter of people out to the Pacific and only you came back.”

But Frank had brushed this off. “I’ll be fine.”

Desmond had shaken his hand. “Good luck, brother.”

At the time, he and Penny had thought it would be easier to find some big city where they could get lost in the crowd for a while, somewhere Widmore would never think of looking for them.

But with hindsight, Desmond acknowledged that Sydney may not have been the best starting point.

He’d first realised this when he and Penny had found themselves in a pub not long after arriving. “See this?” some man had asked Desmond, gesturing towards the television. “This has been on the television all week. Amazing story, huh?”

Desmond had glanced up with a start to see Sayid’s face staring at him from the screen. “Aye, brother. Amazing,” he’d choked out, feeling as if he’d been punched in the stomach.

“Took off from right here in Sydney,” his new friend continued. “Oceanic Flight 815. There’s been a lot of interest in this story here.”

Desmond nodded again, watching the screen where Jack was now describing the supposed events of the crash. He still couldn’t quite believe they’d all actually done it. They’d managed to convince the outside world that their story was true.

He ordered another beer, trying not to listen to any more of the news coverage. He’d heard them all going over the cover story so many times that he had it pretty much memorised anyway. Besides, it was difficult for Desmond to listen to Jack talking about Charlie having supposedly drowned a few weeks before rescue.

“That guy he’s talking about now?” another man butted in, as though reading Desmond’s thoughts. “He used to be in a band. They were quite well known at one time. Can’t say I thought much of their music, though.”

Abandoning his half-drunk pint, Desmond had immediately mumbled something and left, Penny hastily apologising in his wake.

“Des?” she’d begun as soon as they were outside in the fresh air, placing a hand on his arm.

“He saved us all, Penny.” Desmond had replied. “Charlie was a hero. He died so we could all get off that bloody island. Surely he deserves more than people saying they don’t think much to his music?”

“I understand why you’re upset, Desmond,” Penny had said. “But you know what we all agreed on the boat. We all have to stick to the story.”

“You can’t understand, Penny,” Desmond had snapped, shaking her hand off his arm. “You weren’t there. You didn’t know Charlie. But he deserves to be remembered for a lot more than people not liking his bloody band.”

“I know, Desmond.” Penny had replied. “And we will remember him, in our own way.”

It had been a few weeks after that when Desmond had spotted a familiar face smiling at him from a newspaper.

OCEANIC SURVIVOR WEDS CHILDHOOD SWEETHEART, screamed the headline accompanying the picture of Sayid and the woman named Nadia, before going on to tell the story of how they had become separated in Iraq in 1997 and how Sayid had searched for her in the years leading up to the crash of Flight 815.

“Their story’s a bit like ours,” Penny had commented to Desmond as she’d read the article.

More true than you know, Penny, Desmond had thought, remembering the night on the freighter when he’d talked to Sayid about Charlie’s death and Sayid had confided his own story about his friendship with a man named Essam. But he wasn’t going to tell Penny that; it wasn’t his secret to tell.

Looking at the picture again, Desmond said “I kind of wish I could get in touch with him, you know? To congratulate him, tell him I hope he and Nadia will be as happy together as we are.”

“I know,” Penny had sighed. “But you know we all agreed, we wouldn’t get in contact again. My father probably has them all watched. If you get in contact with Sayid -”

She didn’t have to finish her sentence.

“Aye, you’re right. It’s not a good idea.” Desmond admitted. And if he was honest with himself, he also had to admit that had it been anyone else, he probably wouldn’t have considered it. The island, the Oceanic Six and those they had left behind were part of Desmond’s past now, a past he never wanted to revisit again. Penny was his present and his future, just as this Nadia was to Sayid.

And yet Desmond knew he could never truly explain to Penny about the bond he had shared with Sayid during their time on the freighter, explain what he felt as he looked at the picture of Sayid with his bride.

“Besides,” Penny continued, “I have some good news of my own for you.”

Desmond looked up. “What’s that?”

Penny smiled. “We’re going to have a baby.”

“You think of a name?” the Filipino nurse asked Desmond and Penny in the hospital where Dr. Salonga had insisted they take their baby to be checked over.

“We hadn’t really -” Penny began, but Desmond interrupted “Actually, Pen, I’ve been thinking about that, and I was wondering…What do you think about Charlie?”

Penny frowned for a moment, confused.

“Oh, not after your father!” Desmond exclaimed, suddenly realising what she was thinking. “I meant after my friend Charlie. Remember what we talked about back in Sydney? It would be a great way to remember him.”

Penny smiled.

“And it was because of him that we were rescued,” Desmond continued. “So it’s really thanks to Charlie that this little one’s here at all.”

Penny nodded. “Then Charlie it is.”

“The doctor need to check you over,” the Fliipino nurse interrupted in her broken English. “I must ask you wait.”

Desmond nodded, getting to his feet. “I’ll be outside if you need me.”

Alone in the waiting room, Desmond picked up an English language newspaper and opened it to a random page, where his attention was immediately drawn to a headline: OCEANIC SIX SURVIVOR’S WIFE KILLED IN HIT AND RUN.

With growing horror, Desmond read on, to discover that Nadia Jarrah had been knocked down and killed earlier that week as she and Sayid walked through the streets of Santa Monica.

“Sayid,” he breathed. “Hell.”

“You say something?”

Desmond glanced up to see a man he didn’t know had walked in. “Tragic business, this,” he mumbled vaguely, gesturing towards the paper.

The stranger nodded, clearly not understanding a word, and walked out again.

Desmond read on to discover that a description of the car had been issued, but that the driver had not been traced, and that police were particularly keen to speak to a man who had stopped Sayid to ask for directions before the accident, but who seemed to have disappeared without trace too.

On the face of it, this appeared to be just a hit and run. But Desmond had to wonder just for a moment whether his father-in-law could be involved, whether this really had been an accident after all.

He thought again about whether he should try to contact Sayid, let him know that he was thinking of him (as indeed he had done so often since leaving the island, more than he would ever admit). And yet part of him didn’t even know what he would say anyway, as he felt the undeniable relief that it wasn’t his Penny.

He wasn’t going to tell Penny what had happened. She barely knew Sayid, and she hadn’t known Nadia at all. But he was determined that as soon as she was well enough, they’d get out of the Philippines, move somewhere else so that her father and Linus wouldn’t find them.

He’d do whatever it took to keep them safe. All three of them.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 8th, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
There's a sad echo between Sayid's loss and Desmond's happiness, and it's sad that Des has to hear about it through TV. Nice story!
Aug. 9th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I wish Desmond had been able to be there for Sayid - it makes me wonder whether, if he had been there, Sayid would ever have turned to Ben at all? (There's an AU in there somewhere, but I still owe luau fics and won't be able to think of that until I'm done!)
Aug. 8th, 2009 10:35 pm (UTC)
But he deserves to be remembered for a lot more than people not liking his bloody band.”
Yes! He does!!

This was an interesting look into parts of Desmond's life, like they may well have happened.
Aug. 9th, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
Of course he deserves to be remembered for more!

I'm convinced myself that these things could have happened, I wish we'd seen more of this time in Desmond's life!
Aug. 9th, 2009 03:41 am (UTC)
This is a wonderful "missing piece" and is a nice insight into Desmond, for whom the bonds of friendship weren't always that well developed on the show. I can see him feeling all these things about Charlie and Sayid. Well done!
Aug. 9th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I miss the Desmond and Sayid interaction, glad you liked this!
Aug. 9th, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC)
This was a really interesting story. I like the tragic parallels you drew between Nadia and Charlie Jr. And it always nice when we make Desmond remember Charlie Sr.
Aug. 9th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'd love to have seen more like this - in fact, I wish we'd seen more of Desmond in S5 anyway instead of more stupid DHARMA!
Aug. 9th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
I love the parallels here -- it seems so fitting that Sayid and Desmond's lives who echo each other in such a tragic way. The moments between Penny and Des are fantastically written, too.
Aug. 10th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you - they really do have similar stories, don't they? Glad you liked this!
Aug. 14th, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
I never thought about this connection between Des and Sayid before, but this is so true. Great job! :)

(I'd say do a flip side where Sayid is wondering about Des, but how would he get news? :p)
Aug. 14th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
Tell you what, when I've completed all my luau contributions (even though I passed the 4 queens mark a while back, I still have some gifts I want to give) I might have another think about a flip side for Sayid!

(Not at all trying to distract myself from series about the kids that's threatening to become an epic. Not at all!)

But anyway, glad you liked this - they should have had more interaction in S5 definitely and I hope they do again (stuff the silly reset which would mean they never met!)
Aug. 17th, 2009 01:55 am (UTC)
Oh Thank you so much!

I'm sorry to be so late in my acceptance of this marvelous gift! Being a Former Queen has it's responsibilities, you know, and they are quite taxing at times! That, and I've been away. Please accept my apologies, as well as my squee!thanks for such a great, though heart-string-tugging look at what could possibly have occurred.

TPTB should have dealt with Charlie's noble death in a better way - like dealing with it at all - and of course Desmond would recognize the depth of Charlie's sacrifice.

Thank you again for this most worthy of gifts! I shall treasure it. :)
Aug. 17th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
My pleasure, I enjoyed writing this one and I just wish we'd got to see something like this instead of more stupid DHARMA!

And don't worry about being late in replying, I know how it is when you go away!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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