Jump to content

Christmas Eve In Summer Bay

Guest Tulip

Recommended Posts

I haven't posted a fanfic before so hope this is OK!

It stars most of the characters in th UK at the moment, plus a couple of other guest characters.

I haven't named it yet but it's basically Christmas Eve in Summer Bay but of course, being Home and Away, it all goes horribly wrong...

Here's the first part, hope you like it. :D

Scene 1: The Hunter House

“Only two more days till Christmas,†Robbie sang. Beth sighed.

“Give it a rest, will you? You’re only reminding me how much I’ve still got to do!â€

“Ah, don’t worry Beth,†reassured Tasha. “Christmas will still be great even if everything’s not prepared. As long as I’ve got my wonderful boyfriend I’ll be deliriously happy.â€

“Ah, thanks Tash.†He kissed her to the delight, admiration and disgust of his family. Matilda awkwardly looked on, remembering her last kiss. Beth smiled as she thought back over the year’s events and Scott stood pretending to look at the new photo of him on the cabinet, but everyone knew what, or who, was on his mind.

“Ugh. Give it a rest will you, guys.†Miserable Henry stalked off to his room, his family secretly glad that the awakward moment was over.

“Anyway, I’ll see you tomorrow Rob.†Robbie did a mock salute.

“8:00am sharp for the party preparations.†Tasha laughed at her cheery boyfriend and said goodnight to the Hunters.

“And I might go to bed too. I’m really tired. I’ll see you guys in the morning.â€

“Night Robbie!†Robbie wandered off to his room and shut his door. Glancing round the room, his gaze fell on his wardrobe. He opened the door and took out the precious, silver box. Opening it, he took out the beautiful object and smiled.

Scene 2: The beach

The beautiful sun gleamed down, bringing to light the sparkling sea water, a spotlight on the busy town below.

Scene 3: Leah’s house

Leah hastily chopped up some strawberries and sprinkled them on her cereal. There were only two left and she needed some more for the preparations later on.

“Dan, did you get any more strawberries when you went to Yabbie Creek?†Leah called. Dan emerged from the living room with a guilty look.

“Er, no sorry. Completely slipped my mind.†Leah sighed.

“Never mind. I’ll get some on the way to the Diner. Have you heared anything from Amanda yet?†Dan looked confused.

“No. Why?†Leah rolled her eyes, the sharp chopping knife still in her hand.

“About your son. Coming over. For Christmas.†Even slow speed wasn’t quite slow enough for Dan. Suddenly he realised.

“Oh!†The shrill ring of the phone interupted their conversation. From the kitchen, Dan heard the short replies from Leah.

“Yep. OK. No, don’t worry. Yeah, bye then.†As she returned to the kitchen, Dan asked, “Who was that?â€

“Amanda. Ryan’s coming this eveing. He’s being dropped off here by a friend at six. So we’d better get his room ready.â€


“And don’t forget.†Leah menacing waved the knife at him and Dan scurried off.

Scene 4: Police station

Peter sat at his desk, tiredly flipping through case notes. Tipping his coffee cup sideways, he found he had none left. He sighed, exhausted from a hard night’s work catching an arsonist. The stalker case had been bad enough, but now a serial arsonist had been on the loose but had been caught after a long night search. A knock on the door broke his thoughts. Not bothering to look round he called, “Come in.†The door opened and someone stood behind him. “Merry Christmas.â€

Peter looked round. “Clare!†She laughed and kissed him. It had been over a month since he’d last seen her and her entrance was most certainly welcome. “What are you doing here?â€

“I could ask you the same question!†Clare exclaimed, as she saw his cluttered desk, mountains of paperwork and numerous empty mugs. “Didn’t they give you time off? You deserve it after all you did in the stalker case.†Peter sighed.

“Yeah, I’ve got Christmas Day and a couple of days after that. Anyway, you haven’t answered my question.â€

“Ah, I wanted to spend Christmas with my wonderful boyfriend. Hopefully this one will be better than the last Christmas we spent together.†Peter laughed.

“Yeah, when was that? Oh yes, Christmas 1995.†They both laughed as they remembered a funny incident at the police academy. Clare took another look at the untidy room. “You look like you need a break. Do you want to get a drink or something?â€

“Yeah, that’d be good. Just give me a minute to clear some of this up.†Clare grabbed his arm and pulled him out of his chair.

“No, you’re coming now. I know you, you’ll innocently start clearing up but you’ll find something you have to do and then you’ll never get out of here. So come on, we’re going now.†Peter reluctantly gave in and she dragged him out of the station.

Scene 5: Noah’s Bar

Alf stood at the counter, wiping down the surface. He smiled sadly as he watched the happy couples drinking juice at the tables nearby. Another Christmas without Ailsa. Even after five years, it was still painful having to spend the day alone. But he remembered this year he had Morag and Ric and Martha. And the Christmas party would certainly cheer him up. He looked up as he heard laughing at the doorway.

“Stone the flaming crows. Clare, what are you doing back?â€

“Nice to see you again Alf. I’m back in the Bay for Christmas then I’ve got to go back to the City again. I’ve left things in the hands of the other detectives so I’ll have to go back and clear up the mess they’ll have made of it.†Alf laughed.

“What can I get you two? On the house, just don’t tell Beth or Hayley!â€

“Oh thank you. In that case I’ll have an orange juice. Peter?â€

“Yeah, the same thanks.â€

“I’ll bring it over.†The pair walked over the sofa but before they sat down Leah and Dan entered.

“Hey, Clare!†Leah and Clare hugged and the four talked for a while.

“Are you coming to the party this evening?†asked Leah.

“Um, yeah, OK!†Clare looked uncertainly at Peter. “What party’s this?â€

“Oh, it’s a Christmas do oragnized by the Diner. Everyone’s helping prepare this afternoon and figners crossed it’ll be brilliant,†Leah explained.

“I’m sure it will be and I’ll definitely be there.†After a moment’s silence, Dan had an idea.

“Hey, why don’t you come over on Christmas Day?†he said, changing the subject. “Ryan’s coming over so we could all spend the day together…unless you’ve got other plans.â€

“No, that sounds fine,†said Peter and Clare nodded in agreement.

“Great,†said Leah. “It’ll be a Baker Christmas to remember.â€

Scene 6: The Beach House

“Barry, I’m off to the Diner. I’ll see you later.†Barry rushed down to stairs to say goodbye to Irene and he gave her a kiss.

“I’ll make sure I’m there on time. When does it start?†Irene quickly checked her diary.

“Leah thinks that half six should be early enough. But if you could be there a bit earlier I need help with lifting a few tables.â€

“Sure.†Irene looked at Barry’s glum face.

“Smile Barry, it’ll be fun. There’s gonna be mistletoe!†With that, Irene left the house leaving Barry with a frown on his face.

Hayley emerged from the bathroom and picked her bag off the table.

“Barry was that Irene just leaving?†Barry woke from his blank stare. “Sorry?â€

Hayley repeated her question.

“Um, yes. Yes it was.†Hayley continued to look at Barry.

“Barry, are you OK? Only you seem kind of distracted.â€

“Yeah, I’m fine. It’s just Christmas, it reminds me of…â€

“Go on.â€

“No, it doesn’t matter. Really.†Hayley frowned.

“Barry, I know there’s something worrying you. What is it?â€

“I don’t want to dampen everyone’s Christmas. It’s my first Christmas with Irene, I don’t want it to be gloomy.†But Hayley just looked at him. Finally, he cracked.

“My first wife, Christine. She died on Christmas Eve. This time of year just brings back all the memories.†Hayley looked sympathetically, kind of wishing that she hadn’t pushed him.

“I was just thinking how this year is different. For the first time in over 15 years I have someone to spend Christmas with.â€

“How does Kim feel?†Hayley asked carefully. Barry sighed.

“Kim didn’t know his mother evry well. He was only 3 when she died. He still gets upset that he didn’t get a chance to know his mother, but I think it’s easier for him that way.†Hayley nodded knowingly.

“I know what you mean. Christmas always brings back memories of my dad and I know it does for Irene too. I’m not denying that she doesn’t feel anythinjg for him anymore; she was going to marry him! But she’s let go of the past and although she still misses him, she’s moved on and she focuses her energy on making Christmas happy for us all.†Barry smiled.

“I know, Irene is an amazing woman.â€

“Yeah. I don’t know, but why don’t you focus all your energy on making sure your first Christmas together is a happy one. We’ve all lost someone we love: I’ve lost my dad, Tasha’s lost her mum and her adoptive parents, Kim’s lost his mum too. Just think about it. We’ll all be thinking about them so you’re not alone.†Barry thought about this for a minute, then smiled.

“Thank you Hayley. You’ve really put things into perspective.â€

“Any time. But right now I’ve got to be at the Diner.â€

“Yes of course. Don’t let me hold you up.â€

“I’ll see you later.â€

Scene 7: The Diner

The Diner was a hive of activity. Tables were being moved, food being prepared, decorations being put up; all to the encouragaing sound of festive music.

“I can’t wait till this evening, it’s gonna be awesome,†Robbie said.

“Yes, but if you don’t hurry up, that music system will never be ready. Less hcatting more…well, whatever you’re doing, hurry up!†Beth walked over to the kitchen, leaving Robbie and Tasha alone.

“Hey Rob, you know last year we spent Christmas with your family?†Robbie nodded, not looking up from his work.

“Well,†Tasha continued. “How would you mind coming over to Irene’s this Christmas? Only Scott’s gonna be there with Hayley so I’m sure she won’t mind you being there with me.†Robbie looked up.

“Tash, Christmas is meant to be with your family. It’s the one time of year when we’re all together. And Kit’s coming over too.â€

“Yeah, I know. But you’re my family now, remember.†Robbie thought back to their beautiful ceremony in the woods. Now they were husband and wife. Sort of.

“Even so..â€

“Look, if you don’t want to come, that’s fine.â€

“Hey, I do. It’s just I like spending time with my family. Last Christmas was perfect, everyone was there, including you.â€

“Well, if it’s your family you’re worried about, why don’t you all come over?†Robbie pondered this for a moment.

“I’m sure Kit would love to spend some time with Irene and so would Beth,†Tasha continued. “Henry and Maddie will just have to put up with it.â€

“I don’t know how they’d feel about spending Christmas with their headteacher.â€

“Aw come on Rob,†Tasha protested. Robbie sighed.

“OK, I’ll ask mum.†Tasha smiled. “But don’t get your hopes up. You know what mum’s like.â€

Over on the other side of the Diner, Martha and Kim were pinning up a sign. Martha’s side fell down. Kim sighed.

“Aw come on Martha. That’s the third time now.â€

“Keep your hair on Kim,†Martha replied crossly. “Christmas is meant to be a time of happiness and goodwill. And here you are shouting at me every two minutes!â€

“Well if you pinned the sign up properly I wouldn’t have to keep shouting at you!†Martha turned her back. “Why don’t we just use the staple gun, it’ll be a lot easier.â€

“Yeah, why not. That’s the first good idea you’ve had all day.†Kim got down from his chair and Martha stuck her tongue out. Colleen noticed.

“Come on you too. You’re supposed to be working in peace and harmony. I thought you two were friends.â€

“Yeah, well we’re not,†Kim retorted, returning with the staple gun.

“Well at least try and get along please. Ah, Dr. Saunders.†Colleen shuffled off and Kim held out the staple gun.

“Here you go your highness.â€

“Oh, get over yourself.†Martha stapled furiously, the staples flying out everywhere.

“Careful Martha.†She put her finger to hold it up but unfortunately released a staple

at the same time.

“OW!†Martha tried to climb off chair and Kim took her hand.

“Hey, are you OK?†But Kim’s grip was too tight and she fell off her chair, pulling Kim with her. The pair landed in a heap on the floor.

“Have you hurt yourself Martha?†asked Kim worriedly, trying to sit up.

“Yeah.†Martha eased herself up off the floor. “I stapled myself.†Kim tried his hardest not to laugh but failed.

“It’s not funny!†Martha protested, hitting Kim at the same time.

“I’m sorry. Let’s have a look.†He took her hand. The staple had come out in the commotion but there was a bit of blood. Martha watched as Kim mopped it up. As he looked up, the pair’s eyes met.

“Yeah, that’ll do Kim.†She stood up. “We’d better fix this sign.†They both looked at the sign which had fallen down and ripped. They both laughed at the state it was in and rescued the staple gun from the floor.

“Hey Cass, could you pass me the tape please?â€

“Yeah sure.†Ric leant over to pick up the tape but Matilda got there first.

“Oh sorry Ric,†she apologised, handing it over.

“No you have it. I’ll use Martha’s.†Cassie sighed in impatience.

“Guys, it’s only a roll of sellotape. Look, Ric if we’re gonna get these tables covered in time we’re gonna have to hurry up. Colleen and Beth have nearly finished the sandwiches.â€

“Yep OK.†Ric took the sellotape and started taping down the cloths. He glanced over his shoulder at Maddie.

“Ric!†He turned round.

“Can you hold your side still. This is the third time I’ve tried to tape it down.†Ric smiled apologetically.

“Yeah sorry. I was…â€

“Distracted?†Cassie finished his sentence for him.

“Look Ric, you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to. Tasha could help me, she’s not doing anything.â€

“No, no. I’ll concentrate more. Sorry.†Ric taped down his side of the cloth as Cassie looked on worriedly.

By 3 o’clock the preparations were almost finished and the Diner looked spectacular. Hayley and Scott had covered the ceiling in pink material and hanging from it were Christmas baubles. Sally and Flynn had erected a huge Christmas tree in one corner and decorated it beautifully. There was enough food to feed an army and everyone had donated something, be it food, money, time or energy and it had been worth it. Everyone stood back to admire their work before heading back home to get ready for the party.

I'll post the second (final) part in the next few days, probably tomorrow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 44
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Here is the second (final) part. Hope you enjoy it!

Scene 11: The Diner

At the Diner the party was in full swing. Robbie’s music system had been succesfully put together and the music was getting people in a Christmas mood.

“Wow, you’ve down a lot of work Leah,†complimented Sally.

“Thanks. It’s just pretty basic stuff but with a few variations!†The pair laughed.

“So we could find a couple of sprout sandwiches and parsnip ice-cream?†chimed in Peter, joining in the conversation.

“Ugh, that makes me feel sick just thinking about it!†remarked Clare. Ryan came to the door with Dan behind.

“Uncle Peter!†Ryan jumped up to give his uncle a hug, not noticing the drink in his hand.

“Ryan, look at the mess you’ve made,†Dan cried.

“Oops!†Ryan looked at his dad apologetically and put on a guilty look which made his uncle laugh.

“Never mind. How’s my favourite nephew?â€

“You’ve only got one nephew!â€

“No I haven’t. VJ’s kind of my nephew now.â€

“Oh yeah!â€

Martha came up to the group with some mistletoe in her hand.

“Any romance I can encourage over here?†she laughed. Dan and Leah kissed to Ryan’s disgust. Martha held the mistletoe above Peter and Clare, and they kissed too.

“I didn’t know you had a girlfriend,†said Ryan.

“Well, you do now. Ryan, meet your Aunty Clare.â€

“Oh, don’t call me that. It makes me sound old.†Ryan laughed and Dan put his arms round Leah.

“I’m so glad Ryan’s made friends now.†Leah looked as Ryan and Clare started a conversation.

“Yeah, he’s a lovely kid when he’s not trying to destroy our wedding!â€

“Hey grandad.†Martha walked over to Alf with a drink.

“Thanks love.â€

“Are you OK?†Alf smiled at his caring granddaughter.

“Yeah love. I was just thinking about Ailsa.†Martha was quiet was a minute.

“I would’ve liked to have known her.â€

“Yeah. It’s a shame you never got to meet her. She would’ve loved you.†Martha thought about this, then decided to change the subject.

“Where’s Auntie Morag? Isn’t she coming?â€

“Oh I thought she was. Maybe she got held up in Yabbie Creek.â€

The outisde of the Diner looked just as great as the inside. Candles had been put on huge candlesticks and the building was covered in lights and signs. Small cuttings of holly were placed around some of the light bulbs. Morag pulled up in her car outside and hurried out. As she entered the Diner, she took not notice of the decorations. The first person she saw as she came in was Leah.

“Leah, where’s Irene?†Morag asked, her face wearing a look of concern.

“She’s over with Scott and Hayley. Why? Is something wrong?â€

“Um, I’ll explain later.†Morag hurried over to Irene, who was talking and laughing with Hayley and Scott.

“Um, Irene.†Morag spoke quietly and uneasily and Irene turned round.

“Oh g’day darl.†But her smile faded when she saw Morag’s frown.

“Can I have a word in private please?â€

“Yeah sure.†Irene gave her plate of food to Scott and Morag led her to a quiet corner of the Diner. “What’s wrong?†Morag got straight to the point.

“I was in Yabbie Creek today and I heard from a reliable source that there’s been a sighting of Kirsty and Kane.†Irene’s face went white and she fell silent as Morag continued. “I don’t want to get your hopes up because it was only a passer-by who saw a couple resembling a picture of Kirsty and Kane shown on the news. It could be that it was just a coincidence and they just happened to look like them.â€

“Where were they seen?†Although Irene seemed to have ignored everything she had just said, Morag let it go.

“The sighting was made about 20 miles from Melbourne. And the couple were in a car, the woman holding what looked like a baby.†Irene gave a brief smile but still didn’t speak. As Morag saw Alf coming over to them, she spoke quickly the Irene.

“I’d appreciate if you didn’t share this news with anyone else. As I said it was only a passer-by who saw a couple in a car. Yes, you can tell Barry but nobody else, Irene.â€

“Yes, of course. But you’ll let me know if there’s another sighting.†Morag nodded.

“G’day Morag,†said Alf. “I was wondering where you’d got to.â€

“Yes, I just had some business in Yabbie Creek but I’m here now.†Then she walked off to avoid Martha and the mistletoe.

“Morag and Christmas parties don’t go well,†Alf joked.

Ric and Cassie stood in a corner talking with Maddie and Henry.

“So how’s boarding school?†Cassie asked.

“It’s great. I always liked it more than Summer Bay High and I’ve found all my old friends.â€

“So you don’t miss us then?†Ric joked. Henry laughed.

“No, sometimes I wish you guys were there because it’s great there, you’d love it there Cassie.â€

“Oh well if I ever get bored here in Summer Bay, I know where I’m wanted.â€

“Does anyone want a drink?†asked Henry, changing the subject. They all wanted a drink so Cassie went with Henry to help. Ric and Maddie stood alone. Ric looked nervously at the floor. Maddie avoided his gaze.

“Look, I’m sorry about this morning,†apologized Ric. Maddie spoke quietly.

“For goodness sake, it was only a roll of sellotape.â€

“Yeah, but-†He ran out of things to say so he kept quiet until Henry and Cassie returned.

“There you go.†They passed round the drinks and Maddie took hers from Cassie.

“I’m just gonna go and talk to Tasha.†She walked over to Tasha, followed by an odd look from Cassie and a frown from Henry.

“Is Maddie OK?†she asked Ric, who shrugged.

“How should I know.â€

Barry walked over to Irene, who was standing by the window.

“Irene?†She turned round.

“Oh hi darl.†She quickly wiped tears from her eyes. Barry looked at her worriedly.

“Are you OK?†He put his hand on her shoulder.

“Yeah, it’s just- You mustn’t tell anyone else, not even Kim.†Barry looked at her encouragingly and she continued.

“Morag told me that there was a possible sighting of Kirsty and Kane.†Barry put his arms round Irene as more tears fell from her face.

“She said they were seen near Melbourne and had a baby with them.†Barry didn’t know what to say but his hug comforted Irene more than any words.

“So, what have you got me for Christmas?†Tasha asked. Robbie looked shocked.

“I’m not gonna tell you before the big day.†Tasha laughed impatiently.

“Aw, please.†Beth came over to join the conversation.

“I don’t know what you’re protesting about but you sound just like Robbie.â€

“Not a bad thing I hope,†said Robbie and he kissed Tasha.

“Ugh, do you have to do that all the time?â€

“What?†Robbie said.

“I know you two are in love but do you have to kiss each other right in front of my face?â€

“We are married now, mum.†Beth sighed but was rescued from the situation by Alf.

“Got the microphone ready for the speeches, Robbie?â€

“Ah yes,†she replied, putting her drink down on a nearby table.

Alf stepped up to the front of the Diner.

“Uh, everyone, can I have your attention please.†Everyone in the Diner turned to look at Alf and he began.

“Now this party didn’t organize itself. From the moment is was suggested people have been planning and oragnizing it and I think you’ll all agree that so far it has been a great success.†A ripple of murmuring in agreement followed.

“There are a couple of people that need to be thanked. Firstly, thank you to all who came this morning to help with the preparations. Martha MacKenzie, Kim Hyde, Scott Hunter, Hayley Lawson for the decorations. Robbie Hunter for the music system. Beth Hunter, Colleen Smart, Irene Roberts and Leah Patterson for the food and drink. And thank you to Leah and Irene for letting us use the Diner and for hosting the party. So, uh, will Leah come up and say a few words.â€

Leah stepped forward.

“Um, well, Alf has said everything that needs to be said really. All I want to add is thank you to everyone who helped and I hope you’ve enjoyed the night. Thank you all for coming and merry Christmas.†Everyone clapped and cheered and the music came back on as everyone mingled in the crowd.

Flynn put his drink down and took Sally’s arm.

“Flynn, what are you doing?†she laughed.

“Come with me.†Sally put her drink down as Flynn led her outisde.

“Flynn, tell me what you’re doing!†Flynn stopped by a tree outside and Sally stood still.

“I was going to give this to you tomorrow but I didn’t think I’d get a chance with the others around.†Flynn fished something out of his pocket.

“Flynn, what is this?†Flynn held up an envelope. Sally looked tentatively at it.

“Open it.†Sally obeyed and her expression turned from uncertainty to delight as she read the note inside.

“Flynn, how on earth – I can’t believe it.†Flynn smiled broadly.

“A trip round Australia stopping at Pippa’s house for a week and a few other surprises along the way.†Sally gasped and hugged her husband.

“Flynn, you are amazing.†Flynn laughed.

“I phoned Pippa and she said it’s fine. You can see Sophie and Blake again too and Don. I’ve arranged for Ric and Cassie to stay with Alf while we’re gone so it’ll be just you and me and Pippa.†Sally smiled in disbelief and hugged him again.

Irene stood alone by the fence, looking over the inky black waters. The cool breeze washed gently against her face and the leaves in the trees nearby rustled quietly, as if they not not to disturb her. Her face was streaked with tears, each tear a distant memory of Kirsty and Kane. How she missed, how she longed that they could have the freedom to call her or come home. She not only wanted to see them, but their baby. They had a baby. She heard light footsteps behind her. She could still feel Barry’s warm hand on her shoulder, his tender, caring hug. Nothing comforted her more. The footsteps stopped. Barry stood behind her and there was silence for a moment before he spoke.

“I was worried when I couldn’t see you in there.†Irene wiped away another tear.

“I just needed some fresh air.†Barry put his hands on her shoulders.

“Irene.†He sounded like he was about to say something important. “I know you miss Kirsty and Kane and the only thing you want is for them to bring their baby home.†Irene closed her eyes, trying to stop any more tears falling. “I didn’t know them

very well but I know what it feels like to lose someone you love. I know how much it hurts.†Irene put her hand on his, to show that she empathized with what he was saying.

“But you don’t have to be alone. I’m here for you. All the time. And I want to be with you forever.†This startled Irene and she turned around, understanding but not quite believing what he was saying.

“Irene, I love you. And I don’t want to spend another day without you. I’ve been thinking of everything I’ve shared with you and every day I spend with you if wonderful. When you were upset, all I wanted to do was hold you and let you know that you weren’t alone, that I was sharing your pain. And it was then that I realised how much I love you.†Irene looked at him, tears tumbling down her face. He knelt down on the ground, only one knee on the grass.

“Irene, will you marry me?â€

Irene was stunned. She put her hand to her mouth and it seemed to stop any words coming out.


“Yes,†she finally replied. “Yes I’ll marry you.†Barry got up and hugged her. She didn’t even bother to try and stop the tears. Sally and Flynn looked over from where they were standing.

“I wonder what they’re so happy about.â€

Irene and Barry returned to the Diner and headed over to where Kim and Hayley were standing with Tasha.

“You look happy Irene,†complimented Hayley. Irene could do nothing but smile so Barry spoke.

“We’ve got something to tell you.†Kim looked on questioningly and Hayley and Tasha looked at each other, confused.

“Go on,†prompted Hayley.

“Outside I proposed to Irene and she accepted.†Hayley gasped.

“Oh wow, that’s fantastic!†She hugged Irene aand Kim shook his dad’s hand.

“Congratualtions Dad.†Tasha hugged Irene and soon others came over to hear the good news.

Over by the music system, Robbie took something out of his bag. He opened the box and looked inside one more time. Then Tasha came over. He quickly hid it under one of the speakers.

“Do you want to dance, Robbie?†she asked hopefully. Robbie nodded.

“Just let me do this.â€

“No, come on.†Tasha dragged him to the dancefloor as Robbie tried to take his headphones off. He look nervously back at the speaker but relaxed as he danced with Tasha.

“Any more romance over here?†laughed Martha, holding the mistletoe above the group standing by the tables.

“Stone the flaming lizards Martha. D’you have to keep waving that about over everyone’s heads? Some of us are trying to have a conversation here.†complained Alf. Martha looked disappointed.

“Sorry Grandad.†Kim came over to join them.

“Hey Alf. Is Mistletoe Martha here bothering you again?†he joked.

“Yes I am. So far I’ve only got couples to kiss. I want to spread the romance.†Kim smiled behind her and Morag tried to contain a laugh.

“Well, has anyone kissed you yet Martha?†asked Kim. Martha’s face looked even more glum.

“No. There’s no-one here that’s not taken, apart from grandad.â€

“Well, uh, I’m not taken.†Martha’s face lit up.

“Is that so?†she asked, holding the mistletoe above their heads. “We’ll have to do something about that.†Martha leant in and kissed Kim. Just at that moment, a not very tall, red-haired girl walked into the Diner, bearing a large box. Robbie looked over and saw her.


Kim heard the noise and pulled away from Kit, who had seen them.

“Hey Kit, welcome back!†greeted Robbie, taking the box from her and putting it on a nearby table.

“Hey Robbie. Is everyone here?â€

“Yep, including Henry.†Then Tasha saw her friend too and came over.

“Kit, aw it’s so good to see you!†The two girls hugged and Kim looked over to Kit, who smiled nervously back.

Outside, Matilda stood alone. Ric saw her and ran over.

“Maddie, are you alright? I was worried when I couldn’t see you.†Maddie glanced round.

“Yeah sorry, it was getting a bit hot in there. I didn’t mean to worry you.â€

“No, don’t worry.†Ric sighed. “Maddie, are you sure there’s nothing bothering you.â€

“Maddie looked out at the gentle waves lapping on the shore.

“I just get a bit lonely. Everyone seems to have someone and I don’t.â€

“You’ve got me,†Ric replied. Maddie smiled in gratitude.

“Yes, but I mean a boyfriend. I know the right person is just around the corner but it’s times like this when I feel really lonely. Even Henry’s found someone at boarding school.†Ric didn’t know what to say so he looked out to sea as well.

“It’s a beautiful night isn’t it?†Maddie stayed silent. After a while Ric spoke again.

“I’d better go back in. Cassie’s probably finished talking to Colleen now.†But as he turned to go back in he stopped.

“Cheer up Maddie. You’ll find somebody, I know you will.†Ric leant in to give her a kiss on the cheek and as Maddie turned round to thank Ric, their lips brushed. They both wanted to walk away but they couldn’t. Something wouldn’t let them and they kissed. From the door to the Diner, Cassie stood, about to call for Ric. There were two figures by the fence. Maybe one of them was Ric. But they were kissing so it couldn’t be- But wasn’t the other person…

“Maddie?†she called questioningly. Maddie heard her name and turned round to see Cassie staring at her, a horrified look on her face.

“Oh my gosh.†Maddie pulled back. Ric looked at her, confused.

“What?†Maddie turned her eyes and Ric followed them until he saw Cassie.

“Oh man.†Cassie started to walk off. Ric tried to follow her.

“Cassie, wait.†He turned to Maddie as he heard her crying.

“I’m so sorry,†she sniffed.

“No.†Ric tried to protest but he ran after Cassie instead.

Cassie ran the length of the Diner and down the gravelly path to the beach.

“Cassie, wait!†Ric called after her, trying to keep up. Eventually he overtook her and stood in front of her. He took her hands in his.

“Cassie, please.†She tried to fight him off but she couldn’t.

“Cassie. Look at me.†She looked up, her face streaked with tears. There was a moment of silence.

“Cassie. I didn’t mean for it to happen, OK.â€

“Two people don’t just kiss by accident.â€

“Maddie was feeling sad.â€

“SO?†she screamed. “How is that an excuse for kissing her? Why don’t you give up fighting Ric? Admit it, you love her.â€

“No I don’t.â€

“Then why? Why, after everything we’ve shared, would you do this?†Ric couldn’t answer and Cassie cried harder.

“I went to a lot of trouble today. I found a beautiful dress, I dressed up especially and for once in my life, I thought that everything was perfect. I had a family, friends, a loving boyfriend. How wrong I was.â€

“No, Cassie.†She started to walk down towards the beach.

“Ric, just leave it. I know you’ve had feelings for Matilda for a long time and don’t try to deny it.â€

“I wasn’t going to do anything about it,†he proteste.

“But you did. And you lied to me.†He tried to protest further but Cassie interupted.

“Save your excuses Ric. It’s over.â€

Peter and Clare stood talking to Leah and Dan.

“It’s amazing in the City. It’s a lot busier than Summer Bay but I love it.†The others listened and Peter couldn’t stop smiling the whole time. Leah noticed it.

“What are you grinning about Peter? I don’t think that smile’s faded for about 3 hours.†Clare looked up.

“I was going to tell you tomorrow Clare, when we were alone, but we’d have to tell them eventually.â€

“What?†Peter looked up cautiously, then continued.

“I got a phone call earlier on and my transferral has been approved. I can move to the City in a few weeks.†Clare gasped.

“Ow that’s fantastic.†She hugged Peter and Leah smiled.

“So does that mean we’re gonna lose our fantastic cop?†Dan asked.

“I suppose so. There’ll be anotehr detective coming to fill my shoes.â€

“They’d have to be a pretty amazing cop to fill your shoes Pete,†said Leah. Peter smiled and Ryan came over to them.

“Here’s your sandwich dad.†He handed Dan a plate.

“Aw, thanks mate.†But Ryan handed it to him a little too quickly and dropped it.

“I’ll get it,†said Peter and he bent to pick it up. But as he did so something fell out of his pocket. A small box, about the size of a matchbox, but more cube shaped. Peter tried to pick it up but Clare got there first. She eyed it suspiciously and Peter sighed with disappointment.

“What’s this?†she said calmly. Leah and Dan tried to contain their excitement as they realised what it was. Clare opened the box and Peter put his hand to his head. Inside, Clare saw a small ring with three diamond stones in it. She gasped.

“Oh my- Peter, is this…†As she looked at him, he bent down on one knee and suddenly the whole room went quiet. But neither of them seemed to notice.

“Clare Brody, would you do the honour of becoming my wife?†Everyone in the room was looking at them, and Leah and Dan were smiling so broadly and Dan put his arm round Ryan so he wouldn’t ruin the moment. As the whole room held their breaths, Clare answered.

“Yes.†The whole room was filled with the sound of cheering and Clare unwillingly started crying. Peter hugged her and put the ring on her finger. Clare admired it and kissed him. “I love you,†she whispered, even though no-one else would have heard from all the talking and cheering.

Kim stood in a corner with Martha and Kit came over to them.

“Wow, I wasn’t expecting that tonight.†Kim smiled.

“Second engagement of the night, it’s not bad for a Christmas party.â€

“And I suppose I should be congratulating you too. For getting together. I’m really pleased for you.†Martha smiled too, but she sensed they needed to talk alone.

“Uh, Kim do you want another drink?â€

“Yeah thanks. Just a juice though.†She took his glass and went over to the drinks table. When Kit was sure Martha wasn’t listening, she turned to face Kim.

“She seems nice.†Kim was surprised.

“Yeah. She’s Alf’s granddaughter.†Kit was careful with her next question.

“Have you been out with anyone since we broke up?â€

“Yeah. Uh, one other person. It didn’t work out though.†He spoke vaguely to avoid any questioning about Zoe.

“You moved on quickly.â€

“Why? Haven’t you been out with anyone since?†Kit looked to the floor. Kim tried to change the subject.

“What was in that big box?†Kit looked up again.

“Chocolate cake. Your favourite,†she added. Their eyes met.

“Kim, I didn’t just come back to spend Christmas with my family.†She hoped Kim would twig.

“I came back for you.†Neither knew what to saw for a minute, but then Kim spoke.

“Well, I’ve moved on.â€

“I was kind of hoping you hadn’t.â€

“Kit, you left me. All I had from you was a note.†Kit looked at the floor again, ashamed.

“I was the one who wanted to spend more time with you. I was ready for a relationship. When I found out that you wanted to stay in Paris I was gutted. You don’t know how much I wanted you to come back or how much I would have given just to see you again.†Kit didn’t know what to say. Her eyes were filled with tears.

“When I finally realized you weren’t coming back I moved on. And now you come back, a year later, and expect me to still have feelings for you, to still love you, to take you back after you left me with a note. I’m sorry Kit, I can’t. If you’d have asked a few months agao, then maybe I would feel differnetly but not now. I’m sorry.†At that he walked off.

Outside, Kim stood alone. Ric walked past.

“You OK Kim?†Kim nodded.

“Hey, if you see Cassie, can you tell her I’ve gone home?†Kim nodded again.

“Yeah, will do.†Kim heard footsteps behind him. He turned to se who it was.

“Are you OK?†It was Martha.

“Yeah. Sorry I didn’t mean to walk out, I just needed some fresh air.â€

“That didn’t sound too goo back there, with Kit. Is everything OK?†Kim turned round.

“Yeah. She just needs time. I think.†Martha approached her next comment cautiously.

“Kim, if you need more time, I’m happy to wait.â€

“No. You’re different and I want to spend more time with you. Kit will have to get used to it.†Martha smiled and Kim leant in to kiss her. Suddenly Martha pulled back.

“What?†Kim asked worriedly.

“Can you smell smoke?†They looked around. There was nothing, just the usual gentle sound of the waves and a little rustling from the trees. Then Martha saw it.

“Oh my gosh. That tree’s on fire.†Kim looked over to where she was pointing.

“And the next one,†added Kim, as he saw the flames leaping from the first tree to the next. Suddenly, a great gust of wind blew right across the Bay, spreading the flames across all the trees that encircled the Diner.

“We’ve got to get them all out of there.†Martha started to sprint back to the Diner, with Kim following close behind. They were out of breath as they reached the door and inside, everyone was oblivious to the immediate danger surrounding them.

“Everyone out!†they bellowed. Everyone turned to look at them.

“Everyone out, the trees are on fire!†Everyone started moving, not quite knowing what they were talking about. Suddenly, a window pane smashed, showering the guests with splinters of glass. The flames seeped through the gaping hole where the window had been and started burning the wooden window sill. Quickly, the fire spread therough the Diner as they ran out of the building. Once outside, they could see the stunning devastation. Every tree surrounding the Diner was on fire, and the candles were blazing furiously as dropping pine needles and leaves fell into their flames. Families kept close and the men held their partners. Beth was shouting for her children.

“Robbie, Matilda!†Irene was calling for Barry and he rushed over with Hayley who had inhaled a bit of smoke and was coughing. Tasha hugged Robbie close and they held a crying Matilda. Alf joined Irene and Barry, looking round to see if everyone was outside safely. Kim hugged Martha and kept alert for Kit. He saw her with her family and gave a weak smile. She turned her head and put her arm round Beth. From the shore, Cassie saw the commotion and rushed up the beach. She gasped at the huge flames erupting from the Diner and looked around wildly for Ric.

“Where’s Ric?†She shook Matilda. “Where is he?â€

“I don’t know,†Matilda wailed. Cassie ran through the crowd, frantically calling for Ric. She bumped into Kim.

“Have you seen Ric?†she cried. Kim remembered.

“Yeah, he’s gone home.†Cassie breathed a sigh of relief and went to Sally and Flynn. Flynn hugged her as his wife looked on, remembering the burning warehouse.

Everyone seemed to be out and Alf called for the fire brigade. Windows were breaking every minute and trees were blazing furiously. Dan and Leah were the last to come out and joined Peter and Clare.

“Hey,†said Dan. “Where’s Ryan?†Peter looked confused.

“I thought he was with you.†Dan started to get worried.

“No, he said he was going to go over and speak to you.â€

“Well he didn’t.†The four of them shared worried looks.

“Well where is he?†As Dan realised that his son was missing, he frantically scanned the crowd and yelled Ryan’s name again and again. When there was no reply, he started to run.

“Where are you going?†called Leah desperately.

“I’m going back in.†Peter grabbed his brother’s hand.

“You can’t go back in. Look at it.†He nodded towards the Diner, where the floor was burning and flames were attacking the building at every angle.

“Well I can’t just leave him in there.†Dan pulled away from his brother’s grasp but Peter pulled him back.

“Let me. I’ve done this before.†Dan reluctantly let Peter go in, thinking it was safer to let him go than to waste time arguing. Clare caught Peter’s glance as he proceeded towards the Diner.

“Peter, it’s not safe.†Peter stopped and looked back. Clare’s eyes pleaded with him not to go in. “Ryan’s probably just trying to find Leah and Dan. He’ll be around here somewhere.†Peter paused to look at Clare and Dan looked on impatiently.

“Peter, Ryan’s in there. Hurry up.†Peter started towards the Diner.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be back in a minute.†He gave Clare a kiss and rubbed her cheek. A worried tear ran down her face and Leah comforted her.

The Diner was burning rapidly. Peter covered his mouth and called Ryan’s name.

“Ryan! Ryan!†He coughed as he inhaled a mouthful of fumes. There was no reply. He edged further in, trying to see through the thick smoke and being wary of the falling debris that was crashing around him. He called again.

“Ryan!†From the other side of the Diner, he heard a faint wail. The smoke was becoming thicker and he saw the flames eating a table leg, creeping up to the tablecloth and the food on top. Still no sign of Ryan. He took his hand away from his mouth.

“Ryan.†The thick smoke made him cough even more as he inhaled all it’s dangerous fumes. Then, a glimmer of hope.

“Over here.†This was followed by coughing and Peter frantically searched through the smoke, his eyes stinging and his throat burning more than ever.

“Ryan! Shout again!†Ryan shouted and coughed. Peter tried to see through the thick smoke and as he steered clear of another burning table, he found Ryan lying on the floor. He was next to the drinks table and the spilt drinks had evidently prevented the fire advancing towards him. Peter took his hand away from his mouth and lifted his nephew up. From the door he heard more shouting.

“Peter, Ryan!†It was Dan’s voice. Peter gritted his teeth in annoyance.

“Dan, get-†He coughed. “Get out of here.†When Dan saw Peter with Ryan in his arms he ran out and called for Flynn. As uncle and nephew made their way out of the Diner, more items fell as tables burned. The speakers crashed to the floor and something shone on the table where the speakers had stood. Finally, Peter emerged from the doorway with Ryan in his arms.

“Flynn, they need some help.†Dan shouted to where Flynn was standing with Sally. Flynn ran over and took Ryan from Peter, who promptly collapsed on the floor. He coughed as Clare ran over to him. She put his hand on his head.

“Peter. Peter, can you hear me?â€

Flynn stood beside Ryan, who was coughing and crying. His clothes were blackened and he lay in shock and fear. Dan sat him up and hugged him.

“It’s OK Ryan. It’s dad. You’re OK.†Clare tore her gaze from Peter and saw Flynn get up after treating Ryan.

“Flynn, over here!†she yelled. Flynn rushed over and knelt down beside. He put his ear to Peter’s mouth.

“He’s not breathing.†Flynn frantically tried to fish things out of his bag.

“Feel his pulse Clare.†She tried to control her trembling finers as she put them on Peter’s wrist. Her ring touched his hand and she frantically tried to feel his pulse.

“I can’t find it.†Flynn went to Peter’s other hand and put his fingers on his wrist. Leah put her arms round Clare, who kept her hand on Peter’s head. There was a moment’s silence before Flynn spoke.

“I can’t feel his pulse.†Clare broke down and held on to Peter.

On the other side of the Diner, Robbie stood holding Tasha and Matilda. As he watched the Diner burn, he remembered his gift under the speaker. Tasha sensed something was wrong.

“It’s OK, Rob.â€

Robbie sighed, knowing he would never get it back.

“I know.†He kissed Tasha, so glad that although his precious gift for her was still inside, he was thankful beyond words that she was safe.

Alf stood with Barry and Irene. He looked on as the Diner burned wildly and the glow was ironicly beautiful. Sirens screamed behind him and there was another moment of commotion as Peter was carried into the ambulance. Firemen rushed round and moved people back, dragging with them their long hoses. But it was pointless; nothing could save the Diner now. As the fire crews drenched the place in water, everything seemed a blur, except that one image that would haunt him forever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.