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The House Where They Lived

Guest meant2live

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Happy Christmas Louise... hope you enjoy reading your present. I have another oneshot for you that I need to finish, as soon as I do, I'll get it up, because I was going to make some graphics as well, but I haven't got a graphics programme at the moment.

Story Title: The House Where They Live

Type of story: oneshot

Main Characters: Aden and Belle

BTTB rating: G

Genre: General

Does story include spoilers: No

Any warnings: References to death and alcoholism

Summary: N/A

Letting himself into the backdoor of the house, his nostrils were filled with the scent of food cooking; making his body want to introduce the contents of his stomach to the floor, he swallowed hard to keep himself from doing just that. Staggering through the darkness across the kitchen, he held on tightly to the kitchen side, while still gripping the bottle dangling from his other hand. Why had his feet betrayed him and brought him here of all places? He’d forgotten how quiet it was at night in the house.

As he made his way out of the kitchen into the living area he stopped at a mirror on the wall. The moonlight shone through the window and let in enough light to let him see his broken reflection in the dim light, as the tinsel around the mirror twinkled. His blonde hair was all over the place. His blue eyes were bloodshot. He needed a shave. He needed a lot of things. Running his hand through his ruffled hair, he took a swig from the bottle in his hand. He used his free hand to push himself away from the mirror and wandered towards the sofa.

Falling onto the sofa he let his head hang in shame. How would he explain this? She’d know he’d been here, there was no use in leavingnow, was there? Looking around the room blearily, he noticed the Christmas tree in the corner of the room, leaving the bottle on the table he stepped towards it, swaying slightly. Seeing the angel on top of the tree, he smiled to himself. The tree had been decorated immaculately; it was beautiful, just like it always had been. Presents were wrapped and scattered under the tree. Falling to the floor he picked up a small present in blue wrapping, with a pink bow and read the label to himself.

‘To Mummy. Merry Christmas. Love Darren and Hannah xxx.’

His eyes began to well up with tears. Then he heard footsteps up above. He quickly made his way to where he knew he wouldn’t be seen. Soon small, quiet feet were making their way down the stairs. From where he was hidden, he heard a gasp come from a small child.

“Hannah... go back to sleep sweetie...”

A familiar voice whispered as he shifted position to see the petite, dark haired woman standing over the small blonde girl, they had similar features, except the child was blonde and the woman wasn’t, but they looked so alike. He sighed slightly, wanting nothing more than to reach out and hold them both. Hannah shook her head sleepily.

“It’s too early, you’ll be asleep before lunch if you get up now.”

The woman spoke softly and calmly. He watched Hannah nod at her mother, and retreat back upstairs rubbing her eyes sleepily. The woman looked around the room one last time before turning back to the stairs again... then she stopped. Something had caught her eye. She turned back around as her eyes fell on the bottle on the table. She looked up the stairs to make sure her daughter wasn’t lingering before quietly whispering.

“Why have you come?”

He felt his heart begin to race.

“Answer me... Aden.”

His breath got caught in his throat, to hear her speak his name, made him feel like his heart had stopped. Sliding out from his hiding place he slowly stood infront of her. Blinking his eyes in disbelief as she stood barely two metres away from him.

“Why are you here Aden?” She asked again, her voice slightly cracked in shock at the sight of him. He wasn’t even half the man he had been. He looked so broken and lost.

Aden ran his hands through his hair. “To be honest Belle... I don’t know.” He made his way unsteadily towards the sofa. “I’m sorry.” He looked up at her.

“You stink of alcohol.” She sat down next to him, picking up the half empty bottle that he’d left on the table earlier. “How much have you had?”

“What since you last saw me? Or today?” He breathed slowly as he flopped his head forward, drunkenly. Belle recoiled a little bit, as the smell of alcohol on Aden’s breath hit her, screwing up her nose she placed the bottle out of reach.

“You’re going to get sick.”

“My feet betrayed me Belle.” Aden stared into her dark brown eyes, with his deep blue ones, hoping to find some sort of a sign.

“You might get ill Aden, and die... do you not care?” Belle spoke through gritted teeth, her frustration that he was avoiding her question clear in her voice.

“I’m already sick Belle!” Aden spat back, finally answering her question. She jumped a little bit at his sudden outburst. Then concern filled her eyes when she the raw emotion in his eyes. He wasn’t lying.

“What?” Belle’s voice was barely audible.

“I’m sick Belle. I’m dying.” Aden sighed, tears brimming at the corner of his eyes. “So don’t give me a lecture about drinking, liver failure doesn’t bother me in the slightest, I’ve already got my death sentence. It eases the pain. It brought me here.”

“I’m sorry...” Belle breathed.

“No you’re not. You don’t care...”

“How dare you?! I do care, I always did, I always have done and always will. Remember, you were the one that walked out on us. You’re the one that stopped caring.” Belle got to her feet, keeping her voice low, but the anger and hurt was clear. Aden rolled his eyes and flung himself backwards into the sofa. Belle calmed herself down and sat back down, taking his hand in hers. “I’m sorry. I just.. I do care Aden. But... you must have known about this for some time? Why now? Why tonight? Why Christmas?”

“No time like the present, right? That’s what you used to say. That’s how we ended up with Darren and Hannah.” Aden chuckled to himself, Belle too let a small smile creep across her lips as the vivid memory of the day she told Aden he was to be a father played in their minds.

They sat in silence for a while before Aden reached out for the bottle, but Belle stopped him.

“I just want to have a family for the last few months of my life...” He whispered softly.

“Months?” Belle’s heart dropped.

“I said I was dying didn’t I?” Aden smirked.

“I need to get back to bed. Big day tomorrow. If you want to see your children, you need a good night’s rest and a shower.” Belle smiled. “You can have the spare bedroom.

Picking up the bottle Belle walked into the kitchen, leaving Aden on the sofa. Once the door had closed behind her, she sighed deeply. Tears began to fill in her eyes. It hurt so much, it felt like her heart was breaking all over again. She couldn’t breathe. Steadying herself against the counter she downed a mouthful of the substance in the bottle, grimacing slightly at the bitter taste. Her gaze shifted between the bottle and the sink.

Belle’s reasoning took over as she stepped towards the sink and watched as the brown liquid ran into the plughole. Placing the empty bottle in the recycling bin she washed her mouth out and composed herself before heading back into the living room.

“I’m sure you remember where the bathroom is. Please take a shower and go sleep it off in the spare bedroom. Oh and don’t be surprised if they don’t know who you are.” Belle looked at Aden, as he nodded and got to his feet, following her up the stairs. It had been a long time, when he had walked into the house he wasn’t even sure if she would remember him.


Aden woke to the sun shining through the window, warming his face slightly. He sat up and rubbed his eyes. He thought back to the night before as his head began to seer in pain with every movement he made. His heart sank as his senses came back to him and he remembered what he had said remembered that she now knows, about where he was. He could hear bustling downstairs, children’s voices. Smell the food cooking. Looking at his watch he realised it was coming up to lunch time. He slowly crept out of the bedroom and down the stairs. As his eyes registered the sight infront of him he stood frozen in awe.

Hannah was sitting on the floor infront of the sofa cradling a doll, while force feeding her a bottle of milk. A dark haired young boy was playing with a set of toy cars, crashing them into one another, running them along the smooth, cold surface of the ornamental fireplace; that Belle had insisted they get installed, after seeing one in a magazine and falling in love with it. Aden snapped out of his daze as Belle walked into the room from the kitchen wiping her hands on a towel. She spotted Aden straight away as their eyes met.

“Hannah, Darren... look who’s here.” Belle spoke softly as the children both turned to look at her, she held her hand out towards where Aden was standing at the bottom of the stairs. They both turned to look at him, their tiny faces etched with confusion as they looked at him. “It’s daddy.” Belle’s voice cracked as Aden bent down and opened his arms out to give his children a hug for the first time in almost two years.

Darren stepped forward first, slowly he walked towards Aden, before plucking up the courage to run open armed at his father, whereas Hannah stayed where she was, not sure what to do, looking between her mother, her twin brother and her father. Aden felt the warmth of his son’s body against his, it felt good.

“I missed you.” Aden whispered into Darren’s brown hair. “I love you so much, you and Hannah... and mummy.” Aden looked up at Belle over his sons head.

Belle felt her stomach flip as her heart sank, she dropped down onto her knees, keeping herself composed she urged her daughter to go into her father’s embrace too. Hannah did as she was told.

Belle watched as tears began to fill her eyes, raw emotion was brimming up inside of her. The tears started to fall down her cheeks as she watched Aden hold their two children as close to him as he could. Aden looked up at Belle with apologetic eyes before mouthing the word ‘sorry’. With that Belle was at his side joining in the embrace. It was as close to perfect as they were going to get.

“I’m sorry Belle. I never meant to leave you, or our family.” Aden breathed into her ear. “I’ll always love you. Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas.” Belle sobbed back. “I love you too.” How had he been able to reduce her to this state after so long, she thought she’d got him out of her system. Clearly she hadn’t, clearly she never would. Either way, this day was now perfect, the best Christmas ever. She would deal with everything else as it came, because today, ill health didn’t matter, today, was a day to celebrate. They were together... and that is all that mattered.


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