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FIC: Backstage (LOST) (4/6)
[mood| grumpy]
[music| 3'44" - John Cage]

Title: Backstage (4/6)
Authors: chicafrom3 and riviyan_questa
Rating: PG-13, drug use and drinking, sex, the whole rockstar bit
Disclaimer: We do not own Charlie, Liam, Karen, or Megan. They belong to JJ Abrams or someone else not us. We also do not own Sinjin, Patrick, Melissa, or Zap. They belong to the lovelies over at Second Tour of Finland (www.driveshaftband.com). We do own Catherine, James, Mrs. Murphy, Naomi, Zap’s family, and the poor desk clerk in Dresden.
Summary: The story of a British rocker, an Australian girl, drugs, and a baby. The untold story of Karen and Liam Pace.
Note: The majority of this story was written before Fire+Water aired, and as such is slightly AU. Apologies for the delay in updating; blame my schedule.

(Chapter One)
(Chapter Two)
(Chapter Three)


“Well, Ms...” Dr. Orestes flipped the folder open, “Murphy, everything seems to be fine.”

Karen relaxed her grip on Liam’s hand and let out her breath. Liam didn’t understand why Karen was so worried. The last visit she had been fine, too.

“I’ll see you here again in another month.” Dr. Orestes closed the folder and started toward the door to her office. “I’ll let you get dressed.” She went into her office and closed the door.

Liam left and stood in the hall outside. Things were moving so fast. This wasn’t even supposed to happen in the first place, but it did, and now, here he was, almost five months later and things were just getting further and further out of his control.

At first, of course, he’d been quite upset. It was a surprise, and a rather big one. Then there had been all sorts of things that needed to be done for Karen to live in England, and the rest of the tour, but now things were starting to settle down. Karen seemed to be settling in fine, she got on well with his parents, and she, for the most part, didn’t seem to completely hate him.

She wasn’t as distant as she had been after finding out about the baby, back in Australia. The news had had time to sink in and both of them had, if not gotten used to it, at least accepted that it was real and that they had to deal with it. She’d been more affectionate and they were now more... how could this be explained? More like a couple. Doing couple-y things. Going out for dinner, watching films together, those sorts of things. Aside from a few dates here and there in secondary school, this was completely different from any of Liam’s relationships.

Of course, there was the baby. Liam had tried not to think about that, as much as possible. He didn’t have much of a choice though, with these doctor visits, Karen’s odd cravings, and the fact that neither of his parents had really said much to him in the past couple of months. Christmas had been very tense, and there weren’t even the scores of relatives flocking around. It had been a small family Christmas. At least, that’s what the relatives were told. ‘We’ve decided to have a small Christmas this year, with only the immediate family.’

The baby was due on May 14th, in about five months. Five months that would no doubt go far too fast. Karen had tried to find a job, but had had no luck. Not many employers were jumping at hiring a pregnant woman. An unmarried pregnant woman, even. Karen had felt guilty about not being to find a job, she was uneasy with letting Mr. and Mrs. Pace pay for everything she needed.

Karen emerged from the doctor’s examination room, and she and Liam left the clinic.

Karen hummed quietly as the cashier rung through her few groceries. She looked around absentmindedly. Her gaze fell on the magazine rack, the one with all the tabloids with the outrageous headlines. She’d always enjoyed flipping through them to see the ridiculous stories that went with the headlines.

Her heart nearly stopped as her eyes landed on one of the celebrity gossip ones. She was on it! Well, her and Liam, leaving a restaurant. She remembered that restaurant, the food was pretty good. The headline read ‘Has DriveShaft wild child Liam finally settled down?’ Karen picked up the magazine and took a closer look at it.

“Would you like that, also, miss?” the cashier asked.

Karen looked up. “Uh, yeah.” She put the magazine down for the cashier to scan, and then shoved it in her purse.

When she got on the bus, she pulled out the magazine again. She stared at the cover again for a moment, before flipping it open to the right page.

‘The self-professed lifelong bachelor has been spotted with Karen Murphy, one of the many women that accompany Liam on his nights out. Has Liam found the Ms. Right or yet another Ms. Right Now?’ Karen didn’t bother reading all of it and looked at the rest of the pictures. They were mostly of them from that night, and a few from other times. On the bus, in the café.

People started looking at her and so she shoved the magazine back into her purse.

Yup. Her life was officially out of control.

“My life is officially out of control!” Liam shouted, letting the door slam shut behind him.

Charlie blinked up at him. “Well, that didn’t come out of nowhere...”

Pat laughed. “The baby thing getting to you?”

“No. The baby thing got to me long ago. That would not be news.”

“Then what’s the new problem?” Sinjin asked.

Liam reached into his jacket and produced a tabloid magazine. For a moment his band mates were absolutely blank, and then almost in synchronization they cracked up.

“It’s not funny!” Liam shouted. “Karen’s freaking out about this!”

“Yes,” Pat choked out through peals of laughter. “Yes, no, we know, it’s completely serious, no laughing matter...”


But they just kept laughing.

When Sinjin managed to suck in enough air to speak coherently again, he said, “So, ‘wild child’, how’s it feel to be all settled down!”


It was hopeless.

Karen rolled over in bed to face Liam’s back. He was sound asleep. This didn’t so much matter to Karen, she had a craving for a Marmite sandwich, and nothing was going to stop her from getting one. Karen glared at Liam, hoping he’d wake up on his own. Sensing her need for food, or something. He didn’t.

Karen sighed and put her hand on Liam’s shoulder. He didn’t react at all, so Karen shook his shoulder. “Liam!” she hissed. No reaction. She shook him again, more urgently this time. He could sleep through anything, which didn’t really help Karen at this point.

She was obviously getting nowhere. She sighed again and climbed out of bed, and felt her way over to the door. She shut her eyes tight and covered them, and flicked on the light.

Liam woke up and screamed. He covered his eyes. “What do you want?” he snapped.

“A Marmite sandwich.”

Liam groaned and covered his head with the pillow. “Make yourself one.”

“I can’t. There isn’t any Marmite left. I ate it earlier.”

Liam was silent for a minute, as though he was deciding what to say. “Well, what do you want me to do then?”

Karen smiled.

Twenty minutes later, give or take, Liam was standing in the line at the all night grocery down the block, clutching the itty bitty jar of Marmite. The clock behind the counter read 3:25.

Karen had woken him up, rather unpleasantly, not so much demanding Marmite, but subtly hinting that she would not hesitate to kill him if he didn’t get her some. He’d dealt with her weird cravings before, but until now they had restrained themselves to decent hours. Namely, ones with sunlight and not while he was sleeping.

But here he was, not because he liked being woken up at 3 AM, but because he would never have let himself get away with ignoring Karen. Aside from the fact that in this situation, it was nearly impossible to ignore her, given that she had turned the light on, he would have felt guilty.

It was all a moot point anyway, now, since he was already up and only two people away from paying for the Marmite.

The two people went through quickly. A young guy with a box of condoms, and an older guy with a bag of crisps. Liam paid for the Marmite, and went home, where he found Karen in the kitchen, waiting.

She snatched the bag and made her sandwiches faster than Liam had seen any person ever make a sandwich.

“You don’t have to wait for me, you can go back to bed if ya want,” Karen said before biting into the first sandwich.

So Liam did. He was really tired, and besides, she said he could.

“No, you’re coming, too,” Karen said in her and-that’s-that voice and flung open the door. She was surprised to find Zap standing there.

“Hi,” Zap said.

“Wha-what are you doing here?” Karen stammered. Liam hung back, taking his time putting on his shoes.

“Thanks a lot. I’m taking you baby shopping.” Zap turned around and started toward his car. He stopped about halfway and turned around. “Are you coming?”

Karen still stood in the doorway. “I thought we were meeting Catherine.” She was still slightly in shock.

“Change of plans.” Zap got into the car.

Karen followed, dragging Liam out the door with her.

While in the car, Zap tried to explain. “Catherine rang me fifteen minutes ago. She was held up at work. And besides, no offense to her, but she’s only done this twice. I’ve helped raise- and shop for- five Quinnell bratlings, so I do have more experience.”

“Really, five?” Karen asked.

“My parents were ambitious. I’m not the oldest, either. But enough about me, how are you feeling?”

Zap and Karen chatted while Liam pouted in the backseat. He hadn’t wanted to go baby shopping in the first place- it added a sort of finality to the whole situation- and definitely not with his mother, but this was much, much worse. At least with his mother, he could complain and stuff, she was his mother, but Zap, he was doing this out of the goodness of his heart. He’d dropped whatever plans he’d made, to baby shop, fifteen minutes ago.

And of course, this all had to be done today, the only Saturday left before the band left on tour, and while Liam would prefer not to be along for this, his mother insisted it was necessary.

The baby shop was one of those buildings that looked smaller on the outside, and Karen and Zap, with Liam in tow, walked inside. The lights were bright and there were aisles and aisles of baby things. Karen gawked a little at it. Zap whipped out a piece of paper and got right to work.

“Big things first, do you need a crib?” Zap asked.

Karen looked unsure. “Erm, I think we’re just going to use Liam and Charlie’s. Catherine said but I don’t remember.”

Zap marked something on the paper with his pen and said, “We’ll leave it. Ask Catherine and come back and order one if you need one.”

And so it began. Zap led them up and down the aisles, grabbing things he deemed necessary and marking them off on the list. Karen followed, giving input when asked. Liam followed, apathetically picking things up and putting them back down, not even bothering to seem the slightest bit interested.

Zap stopped abruptly and Karen nearly bumped into him. He was holding two boxes of baby wipes, each a different brand.

“My mum always complained about one of these brands but I can’t remember which. I’m pretty sure it was this one,” he shook one box, “or maybe this one.” Zap shook the other box. “No, this...” Zap trailed off. “I’ll call my mum.”

Zap took out his mobile phone and stepped aside to make the call. The phone rang. It rang again, and it was picked up.

“Quinnell residence, what do you want?” Zap’s sister, Beth, answered.

“You’re lucky it’s me and not some poor innocent person,” Zap said, smiling.

“Julian! Hi. Now, what do you want? I’m in the middle of something.”

“Then why did you answer the phone? Never mind. I need to talk to Mum.”

“Why?” Beth was clearly just trying to annoy her brother now, all previous plans forgotten.

“Just let me talk to her.”

“Not until you tell me what you want.”

Zap sighed. “I don’t remember which kind of baby wipes Mum complained about.”

“Why do you need to know that?”

“Because I need to know.”

Beth was quiet for a moment, and then yelled to someone else, “Julian got some girl pregnant!”

Zap could hear the commotion in the background and started to tell his sister that he did not, but didn’t get the chance, as his mother took the phone then.

“You got a girl pregnant?” she questioned.

“No, I didn’t. My friend is pregnant, not with my child. I’m just helping with the baby shopping.”

“You better not be lying to me.”

“I’m not! I just need to know what baby wipes you didn’t like.” Zap felt this was going nowhere.

“Good, because if you are—“ His mother started off on a rant, and Zap tried to interject, with little luck.

“Okay, Mum, I’ll just pick one. Okay, bye.” He ended the call and turned back to Karen, who was trying not to giggle, and Liam, who looked in his direction with slight interest.

“Right. Now, just pick one, I’m sure they’re all the same.”

“I can’t believe you’re leaving,” Karen said in her best how-dare-you voice.

Liam resisted the urge to growl. “You’ve known about this tour for months.”

“I can’t believe you’re leaving me.”

“I’m not leaving you! I’m just going on tour for a couple months—”

Four months.” She scowled. “You won’t be back until the baby’s almost born.”

He shifted his weight uncomfortably. “Karen, I—”

Karen, I what?”

“Mum’ll be here for ya. And Melissa said she’d stop and check in on you as often as she could. And I’ll be in contact with you. Call every day, promise, I—”

“Yeah. Right.”

He sighed. “Karen, what do you want from me? I can’t cancel the tour, not now—”

She glared at him. “It’s fine,” she said angrily, turned, and stomped away.

Liam groaned aloud. Pat walked up and poked him in the ribs. “Go after her or you’re a bloody idiot, Liam,” he advised.

So Liam gave chase, but before he could catch up with her, she was in his mother’s car, and they were gone.

Liam kicked a tire and swore.

God, he needed a hit.