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Loving You

Guest princess.sparkle

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Story Title: Loving You (The Moments We Never Had)

Type of story: oneshot

Main Characters: Lily, Rachel.

BTTB rating: T

Genre: Drama, Angst

Does story include spoilers: Yes, well sort of for UK viewers.

Any warnings: No

Summary: It's Martha's birthday - she's dead, as is Jack, Lily (their daughter, raised by Rachel), misses her, her and Rachel have a heart to heart.

Brilliant sparks of orange and red streched into the sky to claim it, she had sat and watched the clouds lighten from a dark blue to a wonderful white. The sky had flared with orange and pink, and for a moment, for a moment everything had appeared golden. As if frozen for her the moment had stood still, and all around her had seemed draped in a beautiful golden shimmer. Eight years ago me and my Dad had watched this very scene together. His armed draped around my shoulder, we watched the same sun rise over the same strech of land, the same water glisten as it rose. Sat on the same patch of grass. Thought Lily as she heard the beautiful sound of a bird sing. Sing for joy, and in that song was captured a hope, fragile yet strong and full of beauty. A hope of love and laughter and life. A hope that was for a moment awakened in Lily's own heart.


A few hours later.

"Chloe! Come on, you're going to be late!" Rachel shouted for her youngest daughter, who was now precisely 15 minutes away from being late for school.

"Just a second mum!" She yelled back as she took her pink satin headband from her dresser and placed it carefull on her wavy golden mane of hair that was neatly tied back into a pony and ran out of her bedroom.

"Finally" her mum smiled as she handed her a container containing peanut butter wholemeal sandwiches - cut in triangles, never squares - an apple and a chololate crispies square. "Now, toast or cereal?"

"Oh, I'll just take a toast, I have to go meet Casey." Chloe said reffering to her best friend, who she was supposed to meet five minutes ago to walk to school together. Casey was the daughter of Rachel's best friend Leah Patterson and her first, and now third, husband Vinnie who was now safely out of witness protection and working as head lifeguard.

"Chloe, you know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you need to-"

"I know mum, but I'm late already. Tomorrow, I promise." Chloe fleeted out the door after giving her mother a kiss on the cheek and grabbing her school bag, before Rachel could respond. Her older daughter Lily, had left early that morning, she'd left a note, something about a school assignment.


"Mrs Armstrong Holden?" Spoke the woman's voice at the other end of the phone.

"Yes, speaking." Replied Rachel.

"Hello, this is Summer Bay High, just calling to inform you that Lily Holden hasn't been in school today."

"What, are you sure?"

"Yes, hasn't been in all day."

"Ok, well thank you for letting me know." Rachel was concerned about her daughter and rang her mobile. No answer. She scramble for her bag and went out the door.


"Hey, Irene have you seen Lily today?" The concern in Rachel's voice was obvious. It wasn't like Lily to just skip school and dissapear.

"No sorry Dahl. Haven't seen her all day. Everything alright?"

"The school's just called, she hasn't been in. She left early this morning and she isn't answering her phone..."

"Oh, have you checked the surf club?"

"Yeah, I spoke to Tony, he hasn't seen her."

"Don't worry dahl. I'm sure she's fine. I'll get Roman to watch this place, I'll help you look."

Just then Rachel's eyes landed on the calender on the wall of the diner kitchen. 22 June.

"You ok dahl?" Irene asked, concerned by the look on Rachel's face.

"I can't believe I forgot. I think I know where she is."


Her brilliant blue eyes stared out at the ocean that streched in front of her. The sun shone on it so that it sparkled as if covered with diamonds. Every now and then the sun would dip behind a cloud and things would seem duller, but then it returned as if having overcome a battle to have returned to its former glory. She thought of the ocean, the sun. How it was always the same. The same sun was there when her mother was alive, when her father was still here. The same see would have been in front of them, at their feet, covered them as they swam in it. It would have been no different to the ocean she herself often swam in. A tear escaped her eye as she thought of them - her parents, how they would never again swim in that ocean, how they would never again sit in the sun. How they would never again hold her.

"I thought I'd find you here." Her mum - step-mum - spoke gently sitting down beside her. Lily wiped the tears from her face hoping Rachel wouldn't notice. It was too late, she already had. Lily continued to stare out at the ocean, just like she'd done since sunrise. "I'm sorry Lil. I'm so sorry. I only just realised what day it was."

"38. She would have been 38." Lily spoke without tearing her gaze from the ocean below her. She reffered to her mother's birthday. Had Martha been alive she would have just turned 38. Rachel placed her hand over Lily's as she tried to comfort her. "I wish - just one day. Y'know, that's all, just one day." Lily finally broke her gaze from the ocean and met Rachel's as her voice began to break.

"Oh Sweetie." Rachel put her arm around her daughters shoulder and drew her towards herself. "I know sweetie, I know."

They sat there for a while, Rachel holding on to her daughter, both staring out to sea as the waves crashed at the rocks.

After a while Lily spoke, "Why?" Rachel looked at her, not understanding. "Why'd she do it? Why did she refuse treatment when she knew...?"

"Lil' your mum loved you - "

"So everyone says, but, y'know people keep saying about what a strong person she was - a fighter -why, why couldn't she fight? Why'd she just give up?"

"She did fight Lil. She fought so hard. It just - "

"No, ok, she refused treatment for the cancer until I was born, if she'd had it sooner, she'd - she'd still be here, and dad wouldn't have drunk and gotten cancer and he'd still be here too!" Her voice had risen as she'd blurted out the feelings she'd held inside for so long. She'd never quite accepted that it couldn't have been anyother way, that her mum had fought till her last breath. She was two months pregnant with Lily when she'd found out she had breast cancer, it wasn't until after Lily was born that she'd started to fight back. That was seven months she did nothing, when she could have done everything.

"No, ok, Lily that is not true. Martha made a decision, a decision to put your health and wellbeing above everything else. She loved you more than anything."

"But it didn't have to be like that! You're a doctor, she could have had both right? She could have had some sort of treatment and still had me."

"There was a chance. But she didn't want to take any risks with you. She just wanted you to have a healthy, happy life." Rachel stroked her daughters hair but Lily pushed her away.

"You were her doctor! Why didn't you stop her!?!" The fury in her voice gave way as tears streamed down her face and she broke down in Rachel's arms. A part of her had blamed herself everyday since she'd been old enough to understand. If she hadn't been preganant with her she'd have fought the cancer, she'd still be alive. Dad wouldn't have drank. He wouldn't have gotten cancer. He wouldn't have died. They'd both be alive. They'd be happy. Then other days she was angry angry at her mother. Angry that she'd given up so easily. So early. She could have fought the cancer. She could have beaten it. Didn't she love her enough to fight?


Lily and Rachel had sat there for hours afterwards. Lily lay in Rachels lap, like she had done so many times since she was old enough to remember. Rachel stroked her dark brown hair gently. "I just miss them." Lily finally spoke, a sombreness in her voice as she sat up to face Rachel. "I miss them so much." She cried.

"I know you do sweetie, I know you do." Rachel hugged her close. She'd seen her grow from a gap toothed little girl into a beautiful young woman and she truly, truly loved her like her own.

"Sometimes, I just, I feel so alone."

"You are never alone ok? Ever."

"I know, I have you, and Chloe, and Grandad Al and Tony, Auntie Colleen, and Auntie Morag, Uncle Lucas... But it's just, I'm still alone. Chloe has you, y'know? You're her mum and that's great. I just, sometimes I wish I had mine."

"Lil, I know you miss them, it's ok to miss them. But don't ever think you are anyless my daughter than Chloe ok. You're not, you're just the same." Rachels voice was kind and gentle but firm all the same.

"I love you, and I know you love me but I get that you love Chloe more, that's fine. I understand y'know, she's your daughter, your actual daughter-"

"Woah woah woah, what's all this about me loving Chloe more? You really beleive that?" Rachel looked as Lily nodded her head and was stunned to learn of her feelings. "Sweetie i know I didn't give birth to you like I did her, or carry you for nine months like I did her. I know we don't have the same DNA, but in here," Rachel put her hand on her heart, "It is just the same. You know one night, after me and your Granddad Tony broke up - you were just past you're first birthday, your dad was on a night shift and I was babysitting you." Rachels face began to light up as she continued to speak.

"I couldn't get you to sleep - you weren't cranky or anything, I guess you just weren't tired." Lily listened intently, this wasn't a childhood story she'd recalled hearing before. "You kept me up all night, I played with you, fed you, changed you. And you gave me the most beautiful smile. I fell in love with you there and then. By the time I got you to sleep it was morning and I had to get ready for work. I shoud've been tired right? But I wasn't, not one bit." Rachel smiled at her daughter through both their tears. "From that moment on there has never been a moment when I haven't been totally and utterly in love with you. When I haven't loved you like my own. Not through obligation or because I have to, bu tjust because I do. I truly, truly do."

Lily hugged her, and somewhere in her heart she truly believed her, she believed that that woman she'd called 'mum' ever since she could remember truly loved her, no more or less than her birth parents did. "I love you too, mum." Her voice came muffled from behind Rachel's shoulder as they embraced. As they clung onto eachother Lily heard the beautiful sound of birdsong, and she knew that her other mum and her dad were watching over her, just like he'd promised her all those years ago.


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