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  5. Great chapter some Good news for Carly. Donovan and Roo again? Nice ending with that chapter Update again soon
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  6. Some rare good news for Carly as everyone prepares for Christmas...
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  7. Okay, I feel as though I need to give some background here. My mind has been going all over the place during this pandemic, and it couldn't help but go back to H&A in 2016, and one particular storyline that I had... strong feelings about. I hated with a passion that Josh was the killer in the Who-Shot-Charlotte saga. It felt like a cheap conclusion for a an already drawn out story, and I personally still feel as if it ruined his character. However, regardless of my opinions on Josh (I really did like him), what I hated most about it was that Evie, despite knowing that her fiance had killed someone (Regardless of that person's actions) and let her uncle be thrown in jail for it by a corrupt detective, still covered for Josh and believed that somehow they could still have a future together, something she still thought about for months. That was just bad. I do give her some slack, more than I would give other characters, given her emotional trauma, but it still annoyed me to see her still accepting it, which wasn't realistic. It's even more jarring for me because it was during this time when I found myself becoming very emotionally invested regarding Evie and her emotional state and wellbeing, and I feel as though this cover-up really set back any development for her, especially since the fallout of the explosion meant a variety of opportunities for her. So a thought came to me, and it kept bugging me, so I decided to get it in words. So, four years too late, this is my attempt of dealing with all the anxiety lately by writing the fallout with giving Evie more respect as a character. Apologies to all the more loyal Josh fans out there, but I'm really not going to be friendly with him here. I hate that that's the road I'm taking, but I feel this has to be said, regardless of how long it's been . This is going to be hurtful to write, so I'm just going to write it before I change my mind, leave it, and see what you all think of it. Hope you guys will be okay with it and I'd appreciate feedback. I'm also sorry for how depressing it'll probably be. Here goes... Title: Even Love's got to have it's Limits: Type of Fic: One-Shot. Ratings: T Main Characters: Evie, Josh, mentions of other main characters Genre: Angst. Does it contain Spoilers: No. Warnings: Mentions of Violence, Character Death and Depression. If you feel uncomfortable with this, you may want to avoid this story. Summary: This is after Evie finds out that Josh killed Charlotte, but when he goes to the Stewart house to comfort her, he gets a different reception than what he's hoping for... The cup shook in her hands from the moment she picked it up. She had to use both in case she had dropped it, but it still shook. She was still grateful it was warm though, for the rest of her was reeling from the freezing numbness that was sparkling through her mind, and her heart. Yet Evie still couldn't bring it on herself to drink it, and simply put the cup down before wiping at her eyes. She loved Josh. He was the man she was so sure before of spending the rest of her life with. The man she said not long ago that as long as she had him, everything would be okay. But she didn't, because he was a murderer. And that's what she couldn't reconcile with the man who gave her that ring on her finger, the man who saved her from Tank, who gave her a chance after all their troubles, after what she did with Andy (She couldn't even think about that right now). She couldn't have gotten her head around that on a normal year, but this year? This year felt like a thunderstorm threatening to surround her with engulfing waves and shatter her, and Josh's revelation was just another wave breaking against her, and she was fighting it, but she wasn't sure if she could stop it from toppling her over. Evie took a shuddering breath. She didn't know where Josh was right now, and frankly, she wasn't sure if she wanted to know. He could still be at the caravan park, or at home... or at the station. If he had, Evie wasn't sure what she would feel. The fact that he killed someone, regardless of who that person was or what they did, and stood by, willingly or otherwise, and let Zac go to prison, let Matt get humiliated, let all of them be harassed and suspect made her want to puke. That Josh thought he could just tell her and expected her not to freak out about it, made her stomach turn. Evie felt her feelings for him were real, the love they shared for one another was real, but should she let that be more important? Because now a thought was lurking in the forefront of her mind, and she hated it, but she was listening to it more and more. That thought was that a curtain had been pulled away, that she may have been seeing Josh for who he was for the first time. As if she didn't know him at all. And that was most terrifying. And even if she did still knew him, is she suppose to cover for him?! Because she may be grief-stricken but she knows where that road ends at least. Evie couldn't believe that only within a matter of weeks, nearly everything she knew and loved has been completely destroyed, one way or another. Oscar, Denny and Hannah are dead, Maddy is gone, Zac, Matt, Chris and Roo are all heartbroken, and Josh... The sound of the door creaking made her turn towards the door. She was alone in the house, that she knew. Leah and Zac have gone out, all knew neither had an opportunity to have done so in a while, VJ went to bed early, still overwhelmed by the news from Billie, and Alf was looking after Roo at the Pier. She slowly walked towards the door, hoping beyond hope that it was just Mr Stewart, he was returning home... But then again, it was Summer Bay, when did anyone had that kind of luck? Josh stood in the doorway, lingering awkwardly just outside the house, his face uncertain and almost afraid. "Hi." Just the look of him made Evie want to cross straight past that room and hugged him tightly and never let him go. Then everything came rushing back to her memory and stopped her in her tracks. She nodded instead, not trusting herself if she responded verbally, and crossed her arms around her chest, hugging herself closer. Josh rocked back and forwards twice on the heels of his feet before talking again. "I didn't want to end things back there badly." Evie's pain paved way at that to give Josh a look of blank disbelief before pinching the end of her nose and turning away. She didn't know exactly what he hoped to accomplish there, but there wasn't any chance for it to have ended any other way than badly. "Evie, I was trying-" "If you're going to say you were trying to protect me, I'm going to either throw up or throw something." Josh winced, clearly getting how bad that would have sounded, but he wouldn't give up, not now. Kat made it clear she was coming after him. Andy wanted him to run, and while Josh kept it from his brother, he knew he had to turn himself in. This has gone on long enough, too many people had been hurt, and he wasn't going to let Evie or Andy pay anymore for his mistake. But he couldn't do it without making things right with Evie. "That sounded bad, I'm sorry, but please understand-" "But I can't. I can't understand any of it, I want to, but it's all wrong, it doesn't make sense, any of it!" Evie couldn't help herself. She wasn't shouting yet, but the words were tumbling out of her with such haste that she was struggling to keep up with them. Even then though, she knew she meant every word of it. She sighed and leaned down against the table, her head in her hands so Josh couldn't see how much she was keeping her face straight, to make sure no tears escaped her eyes as her mind struggled to find what exactly understanding the whole thing would accomplish. Or if how she could understand it without going insane. Once she felt she could face him again, Evie looked up at him. "I love you Josh, you're a good man, and that's why I can't reconcile with what you did to anything else I know. Why did you do it? And how could you have done it? I mean, you were blind, there was no way-" Josh ran his hand through his hair, knowing how dubious his answer's going to be. "I was blind, but... it was just after Zac and Leah got married... everyone left the house and..." Josh stopped himself from saying how Andy left the house to go find Charlotte. He knew even then that Evie wouldn't appreciate mentions of Andy during this conversation, and he didn't want to reveal what Andy was really up to. "...I was left alone. I woke up, and... I could suddenly see!" He got more excited as he explained, feeling as though he was getting a weight of his shoulders by explaining how truly relieving it felt to see again. Yet, the look Evie kept giving him was mixed with confusion and suspicion. Josh couldn't exactly blame her though. He still considered it strange that he just suddenly regained his sight after months of just darkness. Sounded something out of a soap opera! "So you just got your eyesight back, just like that?" Evie asked with scepticism. She couldn't really think she could believe that? Like, what were the odds? That thought that was turning more into a voice, lurking and taunting her, took hold of her, asking "He lied about murder, how do you know he's being honest now? Shaking her head, Evie continue to ask. "And what, you thought you would go off and confront Charlotte?" "It wasn't like that," Josh insisted, his voice losing it's enthusiasm as he recalled the rest of the night. And with that, everything came out. He told her everything, how he need to get out of the house, how he saw Charlotte, how for some reason he couldn't really explain, he followed her, confronted Charlotte, she pulled a gun, they struggled and before Josh knew it, there was shot, and Charlotte was dead. He panicked, went back home and pretended to be blind for a few more days. As if it was that simple. Evie just slipped into a chair and put her head in her hands again, her fingers twisting against the dark strands of her hair. She now knew the full story, and she has less of an idea of what to do than before. What did it change though? Josh still covered it up, which led to all the drama that came with it. Charlotte, the woman who killed her sister, would never be forced to account for what she did. Those who knew Denny and loved her would never get any closure, no justice. And all of it Josh was keeping up a facade, a face of honesty and love while all the time he hid from her, from all of them, a murder of all things. "You... it was an accident, I can... I can accept that... then why wouldn't you come forward? She pulled a gun on you first, it was an accident, they would have surely understood..." "I should have, I know," Josh nodded, his face filled with guilt. "I was just afraid, I didn't mean for any of this to happen. I'm ashamed of myself for what I let happen to Zac, to everyone. But I'm going to try and make things right... I'm going to turn myself in." He almost jumped at how fast Evie's head went up, looking... not shocked, but more confused. Evie had no idea what to do with this, her heart was screaming at her You can't let this happen, you love each other! Yet deep down, there was little she could think of to explain how keeping it quiet would make things better. Not with something like this, something that is more than just about them. Yet all that did was make the unbearable ache in her heart larger. "Is that what you want?" "It's not. It's the right thing to do, but I hate that I'm leaving you like this. I just wanted to make sure that what we have isn't... isn't gone..." "Well what else can we do?" Evie walked around, her head spinning and she knew she couldn't even look at him, not right now. What he said was what she was questioning herself about the whole time, and she wasn't sure if she'll like the answer, whatever it is. "Deep down, I know it's the right thing to do, we can't force ourselves to pretend everything would be okay if we just kept it hidden, but... what would it mean for us? Am I suppose to just wait, and see where we can pick up? I mean, were you ever going to tell me? Were you going to marry me with this hanging over our heads?" Evie's voice couldn't help but betray both suspicion and accusation. She couldn't help it, but she also couldn't ignore that growing desire to question him, because what else did he expect? "I wanted to tell you," Josh insisted, his eyes pleading with shame in spite of the sadness and bitterness on her face before she turned away from him again. "I wanted to be honest with you truly, it's just... you just had so much going on. I don't know what I was telling myself to reassure myself, but I have to be honest with you now, Kat said that she was only giving me today-" "Wait, Kat?" Evie's eyes widened with shock, her voice rising. "Kat knew?!" Josh closed his eyes in embarrassment. "She found out that I killed Charlotte. She found... my watch wrist from the murder scene, of all things, and confronted me, but I convinced her to keep quiet about it. You were in a bad state, you were so grief-stricken, I couldn't let that happen to you, not then, and she-" "When did you two decide to cover it up?" Her voice was so quiet, Josh almost didn't hear it. It was then he was closely looking at Evie. She was looking at him with eyes such full of pain and rage, her hands were shaking, one clutching her hair, the other scraping against her other arm. Josh realised then how badly he's messed up, that was not something she really wanted to know. "Evie-" "You said you wanted to be honest," Evie said, her voice still dangerously low as she approached him. Evie was already internally begging that he didn't mean what she thought he meant, thought it was clear he did. That was far worse than she could ever expect, and that was saying a lot. "So you tell me, when did you and Kat decide to keep quiet about killing Charlotte?" Josh stared at her, his eyes conceding defeat, but still showing the dread of what he had to tell her. "She confronted me the day.... the day after the explosion. Just before... just before we found out about Hannah..." Evie went silent. They just stared at each other for minutes, as if either were silently begging each other to talk. The rage in her eyes was turning into something Josh didn't recognise, but felt it was something worse than her rage. And then bizarrely enough, as if her emotional brain didn't have enough power to comprehend any of it, Evie just laughed. Short, bitter laughs were escaping out of her mouth before Josh's confused look, and then she had to turn away from him so Josh wouldn't see the tears that now arrived and were dripping down her face, and she brought her fist to her mouth and bit on it to hide how the laugh turned into a sob while her hand was pulling at her own hair, and all of this seemed to happen at once because she couldn't process any of it. What was wrong with her? What was wrong with him? Josh stayed where he was, despite wanting to pull Evie into his arms, hold her close, provide her comfort and to show how so, so sorry he was. "Evie, it's not what you think. After what happened with Oscar and Hannah, I didn't want to cause you more pain." "Well, I'm sure what happened was very convenient for you to persuade Kat to keep quiet!" Evie turned back at him, sarcasm mingled in something that sounded a mix between a sob and a snarl, showing him the hurt on her face, showing him just how much he hurt her. She really did feel like throwing something now. Josh blinked now at her, disbelief coming down on his face. "What, you thought I was just using their deaths to keep me out of jail?! I'm willing to go to jail now, doesn't that mean anything?" Josh stepped forward, trying to block out that small voice in his head that was asking him if he was sure that was what he was hoping for, when he convinced Kat to give him time. "Evie, I was trying to be there for you, you have to believe that!" "Oh must I, now?!" Evie then shouted at him. Josh stared at her shocked, but this time, Evie couldn't find it in herself to care. If he was shocked by her outburst, then fine, that was his problem. She just didn't care anymore. "Why should I believe anything you say, ever, about what you apparently feel for me, or if you want to turn yourself in? You killed someone and lied about! You've been lying to us all of this time, acting like nothing's changed! Like you haven't changed! You were there for me, playing the 'good boyfriend' when Zac, a good man, was sent to jail, knowing damn well he was innocent and said nothing! You used what happened to Oscar and Hannah, people you knew, and used it as a bargaining chip, that's what it feels like! I can't believe anything else you've told me!" Tears were freely running down her face, dropping to the ground and she hated it, she hated that Josh was seeing this, he no longer deserved to see her like this. Josh looked completely lost. He hated that he did this to her, absolutely hated to see her in pain because of her. "Evie... I am so sorry... but you do know me... it's going to be okay." "No it's not!" Evie sobbed, looking up at him now feeling more furious and heartbroken than she thought she could. "Don't you get that? Nothing about this is okay! I don't even know who you are anymore. I'm not just going to pretend it's so just so you can feel better. This year... I have never felt more alone in my entire life, I'm never gonna feel better about it! You ruined what we have, and I cannot forgive that!" Despite his overwhelming shame and guilt, Josh also experienced a surge of anger rising. He screwed up bad, he understood that in the first place, but he also felt as though he need to bring some defence. "I screwed up big time, I know that, but you have too. I forgave you for kissing Andy, I forgave you for what happened with Tank, why couldn't you-" "Don't you dare!" Evie snarled at him through her tears. "Don't you dare try and make it look as if I owe you! I hate myself for what I did, for hurting you! I should have known better, and I have been trying to make up for it every day. But I am not taking responsibility for what Tank did to you, and don't you dare make whatever I did anywhere near as worse as what you did!" "Evie, Charlotte was dangerous-" "What, and you don't think I know that? You don't think any of us knew that?! Charlotte killed Denny, my sister, and pretended to be her for months! I would never forgive her, but that has nothing to do with what you did! What do you think will happen now, that I should wait for you? That I put my life-" "I don't know!!" Josh suddenly screamed. Didn't she think he didn't know what this could mean? How hopeless it could all be? But what they had remained probably the most important thing he still had, he couldn't let that go, even if he was going away for a long time. Evie took a step back, her rage frozen by shock at the anger in his face. She suddenly felt something that made her freeze over inside, the same thing she felt at her father before he died, what she felt at Tank. She was actually frightened to be around him. The reminder that he has actually killed someone forced itself back into her mind, and suddenly she felt like she wanted to run, actually flee from her fiance. How did it come to this? Josh must have noticed because he tried again, the determination on his face remaining though. "I don't know, okay? I don't know what I'm hoping for. But I wanted to make things better before... I just want to fix it, please tell me how, I'll do anything! I love you Evie, this doesn't have to..." The rest of his words became distant, as if he was trying to speak to her through a bad radio. Everything became disconnected and her vision was turning red. She could barely hear the faint rasps of her breathing whistling hollowly as she recognised something. Right now, all past thoughts of love put aside, Evie couldn't stand being in the same room as Josh, someone who was so insistent on a future together, despite prison, that he couldn't see why it couldn't. Why she couldn't. She felt such a fury towards him she didn't know was possible, she wanted to throw something at him, to hit him, to show her just a glimpse of all the pain and rage and grief he had thrusted upon her- But it wouldn't change anything. It wouldn't take back anything they said, it wouldn't make Josh not a killer, it wouldn't make any of this disappear, it wouldn't make Oscar walk through those doors to ask what the hell was going on, it wouldn't bring Hannah or Denny back, or give Maddy her arm back, or make Evie feel anything other than this heartbreak and just so damn tired; of him, of herself, of this house, of everything. It wouldn't make her not love him, and that broke her the most. "I can't do this," Evie murmured, the fury whipped from her voice and replaced with a voice that sounded so exhausted as she walked towards the kitchen. Josh stopped and stared at her, his fear apparent. His fear that this could be it. "You know, I never saw it. I knew that neither of us often made it easy sometimes, the way we started was horrible... but I never thought it could have become something that feels so wrong. I never could have looked at you all these years, and thought: this was someone who could kill, and lie to me about it, and still thought that there could be a future made on lies. I don't know what that makes me, but I can't deal with whatever it is that makes this relationship, or what it makes you. I thought we were moving beyond better than what we were, I really did." Evie wrung her hands, very much aware of the tears falling upon them. She didn't want to lose Josh, she never did, but she knew this had to end. Their relationship wouldn't work with jail, or what came after, and now, she wasn't sure if she even wanted it to. And she felt as though Josh, who was beginning to cry himself, knew this too. "Evie please-" "I loved you, so much, I was holding onto to us for dear life, and I knew you were too. It's not enough to fix any of this, and I think you know that. Marriage... it has to be built on trust, and loyalty and respect for each other... and... I can't see that with us anymore. I hate it, I would have done anything to make it so, but you didn't respect me. If you had, you would have been honest a long time ago, and would have known better than to have done all of it. I can't stand by you, not with how much... hate I have for what you did, maybe that's selfish of me, but I just can't." There, she said it. Evie's breaths were becoming more deep and more slowly, but it didn't do anything to remove the anxiety, the grief and the growing emptiness. Two years of a relationship, a very bumpy yet filled with love relationship, and it ends like this. That was not fair, but it wasn't fair for either of them to pretend that it could continue. Josh looked at her heartbroken (and even then the fury inside her growled at that), then nodded, tears streaking from his eyes. He knew just as much as Evie did that it wouldn't make things better by arguing further. "This is it, Evie? You're just giving it up? I loved you, and I know you love me. That's not something that we can just throw away." "But where would that leave us, Josh?" Evie threw back at him, her defiance more resigned than the anger she's shown before. "Because I look at any possible future in my head of us getting past this, and it is... agonizing, because all I can see is just this despairing black hole of us being miserable of each other because we don't trust each other, and if we keep continuing to ignore it, the more we'll just hate it and each other. I don't know what's my life going to be now, but whatever it is, I'm not putting on hold for you." Evie looked up at him, hoping he could take a hint at the sadness in his eyes and just leave. Leave before anything else becomes ruined. Josh nodded slowly, tears running freely as he finally accepted the inevitable. He knew that he didn't deserve the right to ask anything of her, not anymore. He turned to leave, but before, he knew he had to say one final thing before he walked out that door. He knew he wouldn't be able to live with himself if he didn't. He reached out and grabbed her hand quickly, before she could pull away. "There's nothing I can make you change your mind, I get that, but I will say this. The day I met you was the best day of my life. I loved you so much, and you're right, it's why this can't work. I'm so sorry about everything, but... you... you are the strongest person I know, way more than you give credit for. You'll get through this, I don't know how or when, but I know you will." All this got him was a mirthless laugh from Evie, who still looked sad despite the bitterness in her voice. "I don't know if that's true, but frankly Josh, that's not your problem anymore. Just go." With that, Josh turned around and walked away. Just at the door he turned his head, as if he wanted to say one final thing, but decided better. And with that, with no more words, and not even a kiss (though that would probably be another breaking point), he walked out the door, and out of her life. Now finally alone, Evie walked as fast as she could towards the back door, rested against the wall, and slide down just as she felt herself erupting into sobs. She felt herself finally toppling over, the weight of everything that has happened, everything that she felt she could do nothing against it, crushing her. Even now, when she made the decision to end this for the right reasons, it still didn't mean it didn't wound her deeply in her heart, as if it was ultimately shattered beyond repair. She sobbed into one hand while the other hand clutched at her forehead, as if trying to will herself to stop, to forget all of it. She sobbed for Josh, she sobbed for the hate she felt towards him for both what he did and didn't do, she sobbed for the hate she felt for herself, because maybe she too played some unwilling part to cause all of this, that she hated the part of her that wanted him to stay and the part that let him go, she sobbed for Oscar and Hannah and Denny and everyone else, and finally, she sobbed for the future. Because she doesn't know what lies ahead, but she doesn't know if she'll be able to stand for it. Okay, well..... I've done it now. This one-shot is going to be the prequel of sorts of a story I plan to write in the near future based on the opportunities I felt, and continue to feel, they should have took Evie's story back in 2016. This was rather nerve-wracking to write, partly because while I don't have much experience in writing, I didn't think before I would write something as emotionally exhausting as this, partly because I'm uncertain about the reaction to this, partly because at times I remember that writing dialogue is still not my strongest suit (so apologies for the atrocious moments of dialogue here), and mainly because I hate that I'm putting Evie, and Josh (but especially Evie), characters I really loved, through all of this, but while I maintain that both deserved better than the show had given them, I also believe that Evie deserved a scene where she decides enough was enough with Josh at right then and now, not months later when he wasn't even around anymore. She deserved better than to stick by him. There's only so much love can withstand, and these two have passed it, and here at least she knows that. She's in a hard place at the end here, and I really hate that I have put her here (though no more than the show did), but in my later story, while things start rough, things will gradually get better for her, she will prove how strong she is and get her happy ending, I promise. So, I hope you were all able to make sense out of all this, and hopefully it didn't make anyone feel uncomfortable. I'm very sorry if anyone didn't like the directions in which I took, but I felt it was important, and more deserving than what we got. Would very much appreciate feedback regarding this. And I hope everyone's staying safe and well during these unpredictable times. Thank you.
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