A Day Like This

Note: for , who wanted "a first time of some sort and rain." Very probably AU from the Lost season finale.

Claire had always liked the rain. The sound of raindrops on the roof struck her as soothing and peaceful, the ideal weather to curl up with a hot cup of tea and some nice music. Of course, on the island rain season was a completely different matter. Not quite so many opportunities to curl up and drink tea, and more battling of mosquitoes and drying to find one scrap of clothing that was not soaked through.

Still, there were moments in which Claire found a peace not so very different from those calm afternoons. There were days when everything seemed quiet, the Monster and the Others felt like a distant nightmare. Aaron always was quieter, too, on these days, as if he could sense the silence of the island. On days like these Claire was breathing more freely, muscles in her body loosened that she hadn't known were tense, and her smile felt more like the one from the time before.

It was on one of these days that Charlie appeared in the corner of the cave that they had claimed for themselves, smiling widely. It had not been something they talked about, but after he brought Aaron back, Charlie had started protecting them also while he slept, placing his body between Claire and the nearest exit. It touched her oddly to wake up and feel him lying there before she ever opened her eyes. On this strange little island, Charlie was the closest to a home for Claire, and she had stopped questioning his motives, although she still couldn't remember all that happened before her abduction. He never touched her except to offer comfort – and he still hadn't forgiven himself for leaving Claire with Danielle that day, that much she knew.

Although he never really talked about the darkness, the demons he fought, she could clearly feel them in him. Even when he was far away with his thoughts, in that dark place he never talked about, his eyes glazing over and his fingers strumming a nervous rhythm, Charlie was always there, always watching and protecting. Not on this day, though – this was a good day, for both of them, and Claire couldn't suppress a smile at the goofy grin on his face.

He obviously had something up his sleeve and was positively bouncing with glee at the prospect of sharing it with her. Before Claire could think twice, he had deposited Aaron in Sun's care and whisked her away, despite her half-hearted protestations that it was pouring outside. It was just impossible for her to say no to Charlie when he was so excited. And, after all, she had gotten wet before, and nothing bad could possibly happen on a day like this.

Still, as she was being pulled through the jungle by a happily rambling Charlie, she couldn't help but look around anxiously, straining her hearing to make sure nothing could sneak up on them through the sounds of Charlie's voice and the heavy rain pouring through the canopy of trees. She wasn't sure whether she'd ever be able to completely shake this fear, not after all that had happened. But all this was forgotten when they reached their destination.

It was a small bay, almost too picture-postcard pretty to be true, even with the sheets of water still falling from the sky. But what really took Claire's breath away was the sight of the sun setting on the horizon, where obviously it had stopped raining. Red and purples streaked the pale blue sky and where rain met sun, Claire could see the clearest rainbow of her life.

She gasped and clutched Charlie's hand, aware of his eyes on her even as she drank in the sight. Without thinking she moved closer to him, fitting herself into his arms. The warmth of his embrace made for an interesting contrast with the coolness of the rain still coming down on them, and Claire rested her head against his shoulder with a content sigh, feeling him tighten his arms around her without a word.

They stood like this in companionable silence until the sun had set and the rainbows disappeared. It was still raining, but Claire didn't really feel it anymore. She turned and met Charlie's clear grey eyes, which were unusually calm, as if he was completely content with whatever would happen next. And, much to her surprise, so was Claire. She wasn't sure what the future might bring, what bad things the island still had in store for them – but she knew that she wanted to face them with Charlie. It was time to put aside her hesitation, her doubts and fears.

And without giving it further thought, she leaned forward and kissed Charlie. It was a soft kiss, sweet and wet from the rain that was still falling. It didn't feel like a first kiss at all but more as if they were fulfilling a promise made a long time ago.

Just then, Charlie was hit straight in the eye by a huge raindrop and jerked back with a curse. Claire giggled and placed a soft kiss on the poor injured eye. She then proceeded to place small, playful pecks all over Charlie's face, causing him to start laughing himself. Then he grabbed her, causing her to shriek in surprise; a sound that he muffled by kissing her again, this time less cautiously.

Claire felt herself relax, even as she pressed closer to Charlie, fully accepting this change to their relationship. She could still hear the rain and feel it cool on her heated skin. She suspected that, should anyone watch, they'd see steam rising from them as the kiss went on and on. When they finally broke apart, gasping for air, Claire heard herself laugh loudly, something she hadn't done in much too long.

Nothing more would happen today – it was time to head back to the cave and Aaron, as it was getting dark quickly. But she was already looking forward to the next rainy day like this. After all, Claire had always liked the rain.