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Making Memories

Guest princess.sparkle

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Story Title: **Story title** - If you can't think of a name, just call it anything. If you would like it changed at a alter stage you can contact a librarian.

Type of story: oneshot - prequel to A Moment in Time.

Main Characters: Jack, Rachel, Luc, Lily, Chloe.

BTTB rating: T

Genre: General.

Does story include spoilers: Yes, slight UK spoilers.

Summary: Jack and Rachel visit Luc in the city, makes sense if read with A Moment In Time.

They looked so happy, running around, building sandcastles, squelling with delight as Rachel and Luc laughed with them. Jack sat a few metres away, watching his family have a wonderful time. He could almost be looking at a picture in a few months or years time. A picture he wouldn't be in.

It was the school holidays and he and Rachel had decided to take a trip to visit Luc in the city, it was Tony's idea actually. Ever since he'd found out he'd been a rock for them both, helping to cook and clean, babysitting the kids, just being there.

He began to think about the future. He'd never see his daughters grow up. He wouldn't grow old with his wife. wouldn't be around for his dad's 60th. He wouldn't watch Luc get married. He'd never be an uncle. When Lily or Chloe had a sports day or were the star of the school play, he wouldn't be around to tell them how pround he was or to cheer them on. When they fell over at school, he wouldn't be around to kiss it better, to hug them or tell them it'd be ok. When they blew out their candles on their birthday's he wouldn't be there. He'd never walk them down the aisle, or be a grandfather. When they graduated, he wouldn't be the proudest face in the crowd.

A tear trickled down his face as he thought of all the moments he'd never have, of all the moments he'd thrown away through his own stupidity, his own stubbornness.

It broke his heart to know that by the time the next school holidays came around he wouldn't be there. He wouldn't be there to take his daughters to the beach, to watch them build sand castles, to smother them in sun block or to buy them ice cream - choc chip for Chloe, strawberry for Lily - or to carry them on his shoulders as he ran into the water. He wouldn't be there full stop. This holiday, this day with his family, it could be his last. He wiped a tear from his eye as he felt Rachel's hand on his.

"It's ok." Rachel soothed as her fingers weaved through Jack's.

"How do we tell them Rach? How do we tell them their daddy won't be around for long?" Saying those words, it just, it felt so final, so real.

"Together. We'll find a way to tell them together." Rachel brought her husbands hand to her lips and kissed it gently, as they both looked at their daughters covering their Uncle Luc in sand.

"Next school hols I might not be around. Y'know watching them play, watching them laugh, they have no idea Rach. How - how could I do this to them?" Jack weeped, his voice weak and full of sadness.

"Hey, listen to me ok?" Rachel spoke gently but her voice was firm as she looked into Jack's eyes. "None of this is your fault ok? None of it." She'd told him this a thousand times but she knew that a part of him still blamed himself. He blamed himself for the drinking, for the drinking that had preceded their happiness.

"I love you Rach, you know I really love you." Jack sighed.

"Don't do this Jack" spoke a teary Rachel.

"I know we weren't in love when we first got together." Jack recalled their one night of lonliness combined. When in their own way they'd each saved the other a little. "But, I don't know when or how it happened but I love you. Somewhere along the line I fell in love with you Rach. I know we've both loved and lost before. I know we're not the one and only for each other but I love you. I really do." Jack spoke sincerly and honestly, he truly did love her. "It's real isn't it?"

"It's real Jack. I love you too." Rachel whispered through her tears as she wrapped her arms around Jack and let him hold her. They sat there for a while, Rachel fitted perfectly in Jack's arms as they watched their daughters play with their Uncle Luc.

Just then Jack and Rachel saw that Chloe had scraped her knee and was crying. Jack got up and went over, he took his daughter in his arms and comforted her. "It's ok sweetie, it's just a little scratch. But you're a strong girl aren't you?"

"But it hurts daddy." Chloe cried as Jack dabbed antiseptic cream onto her knee.

"I know it sweetheart, but you're the strongest little girl I know."


"Really, so can you do something for me?" Jack asked as Chloe nodded her little head and her golden pigtails swinged from side to side. "Can you be strong for me?" Jack asked her as her carefully placed a plaster on her knee and Chloe nodded her head again and wiped away her tears.


"Yes sweetie?"

"Can we have ice-cream?"

Jack looked at his little girl, smiling up at him, her face full of hope that his answer would be a 'yes'. "Yes" Jack smiled back at her, as he lifted her up and swung her around and watched her laugh and scream in delight. He looked over and saw lily standing there. Her chocolate hair blowing gently in the breeze. She looked just like her mother. As he put Chloe down on the sand he went over her, lifted her up and spun her around in the air too.

"Dad, put me down. I'm way too old for this." Lily insisted to no avail. Jack continued to twirl her around to Chloe's amusment, and soon the laughter and screams of delight came. Jack took both his daughters by the hand as they walked up the beach to the ice cream shop. Choc chip for his youngest and strawberry for his oldest.


It was the late afternoon and Rachel had taken the girls to the bathroom, it was time to get showered and changed after a day being covered in sand, ice cream and sea water. Jack and his brother sat side by side, looking out to sea.

"So when is the next great Australian novel out then?" Jack teased his brother.

"I'm still working on it" Smiled Luc.

"I'm proud of you, you know that?" Jack spoke more seriously.

"Jack," It broke Luc's heart to think he might lose his brother, this day was not supposed to be for mourning what would soon be, but for enjoying and celebrating what today was.

"No Luc, let me say this k? I am so proud of you, every day. I want you to know that I am the proudest brother in Australia. I love ya mate." Jack smiled poignantly as he ruffled his little brother's hair. Luc nodded knowingly, as the two brothers embraced.


Jack walked along the coast with his family as the sun began to set. His daughters had each been holding a hand of his each but had let go to chase each other along the shallow water. Rachel looked at him and smiled. "I love you Mr Holden."

"I love you too Mrs Holden." Jack smiled back. He may not be here soon, this day may be his very last for all he knew. But if it was it shouldn't be spent mourning the days after, it should be spent like this, thought Jack. It should be spent being with and loving the people that mean the most to me. It shouldn't be spent mourning memories I'll never have. It should be spent making memories that will last long after I've gone, he thought. As he took Rachel's hand and kissed it. He saw Luc walking beside him and the two shared a smile.

"Daddy! Come play with us!" Chloe laughed as she turned to run towards him. Lily smiled at them and ran ahead in the distance, asing to be caught up to as the sun began to dip behind the ocean and Jack ran towards his daughters and heard them laugh.


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