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I'll Be Here For You

Guest Danni02

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Type of story: Long fic

Main Characters: Charlie and Ruby [Angelo and Ava]

Other Characters: Rachel, Morag, Martha, Xavier, Jack

BTTB rating: G

Genre: General/Drama

Does story include spoilers: The Charlie/Ruby one

Any warnings: Nope

Summary:Charlie and Angelo are newlyweds when Angelo gets sent to prision for manslaughter. Charlie and Ruby are finally sorting their relationship.

Chapter 1

"Angelo Rosetta, I"am sentencing you to 6 years imprisonment for the manslaughter of Grant Bledcoe."

Charlie still heard the words as she slept. They had only been married a few months when it happened. It was an accident, he didn't mean to kill him, he was only trying to protect his wife and step-daughter. But Angelo made a mistake and he needed to deal with the consequences. She woke from her dream and got out of bed, and headed for the shower. She stood there letting the hot water fall over her. A single tear fell down her cheek when she thought of her husband locked away for something she should have stopped herself. She got out of the shower and made herself some breakfast before heading to work. After a long day at work, she headed to the supermarket to get a few things. She walked around knowing which section she actually needed, but she tried to avoid it for as long as she could. She wasn't ready to confirm what she deep down already knew. Eventually she found herself walking down the aisle and picking up a pregnancy test. She went home and headed straight for the bathroom. She was sitting on the edge of the bathtub looking at two strong blue lines staring back at her. She never even noticed her standing there.

"Oh my god, are you pregnant?" Ruby asked "What are you going to do? With well, you know, the Angelo situation" She continued

"Ruby hey, I didn't see you there, how was your day?" Charlie asked avoiding her daughter's questions.

"Charlie" Ruby said

"I don"t know what I'm going to do Rubes; I'm hardly in the right place to have a baby right now. My husband's in jail and won't even see me, you and I are hardly in a good place right now and quite honestly I just don't know if I feel ready to have a baby."

"Well we are getting there Charlie, and theres still time before the baby will be born. I'll come over here to help you all the time and Morag lives about 5 minutes away, and there's Leah and Rachel and Martha and Irene to help too." Ruby said.

"Yes, I guess, but what about Angelo, Ruby he needs to know he going to be a dad"

"Well keep trying to see him, or write him a letter or something"

Ruby went over and hugged her mother and assured her everything would be fine.

"So why did you come over anyways?" Charlie asked

"Just to say hey, see how you were doing"

"Well you can stay for dinner if you want? Charlie asked

"Only if you make Spag bol." Ruby joked

Charlie laughed. "Anything you want Rubes."

"I will just go phone Irene, tell her I wont be home for dinner" Ruby said, as she walked out of the bathroom. Charlie got up from where she was sitting and went into the kitchen and made a start on dinner. Ruby came back into the kitchen and helped Charlie with the cooking.

"I remember when I was about 10, you taught me how to make this" Ruby said.

"Yep and that was a mistake" Charlie replied.

"What? Why was it a mistake?" Ruby asked

"Well you insisted on making it everynight for the next week" Charlie replied.

They both laughed, then sat down to eat. After dinner Charlie dropped Ruby off at Irene's and then drove to the jail and tried to see her husband.

"I'm sorry Charlie, but without a visiting order, you can't come in" The officer told her.

"Please, he is my husband, I have to see him, I have to tell him something, it's important" Charlie said.

"You know the rules, I'm sorry but I will have to ask you to leave."

Charlie let out a sigh and headed back to the car. She got in but she didn't turn on the engine. She just sat there and remembered their last conversation.

"I love you so much Charlie, you know that don't you?"

"Yes, of course I know that Angelo, you know I how much I love you too?"

"Yes, I know, that's why I can't see you, when I go inside"

"No, Angelo, please don't stop me from seeing you, how can I live for 6 years without seeing the man I love? It'll be too hard. "

"It'll be harder to see you.....not be able to touch you, to kiss you, to make love to you. Charlie please promise you won't try to visit me"

"Well if you won't let me I don't really have a choice do I?"

"I love you babe" Angelo said, and he pulled her close for one last kiss.

"I love you too Angelo. Goodbye"

"No.....it's not goodbye. It's see you later."

"See you later, Mr Rosetta" Charlie said, through floods of tears

"See you later, Mrs Rosetta" Angelo said, as he was led away by the officers.

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Aww, thank you so much for the lovely comments! :D

Chapter 2

Charlie scrunched up the piece of paper and threw it in the bin. It was the 5th time she’d done that. She was trying to find the right words to use but nothing sounded right. Eventually she wrote something, she kept it plain and simple, she wasn’t even sure if he would read it anyways. She put it in an envelope and rushed out to post it before she changed her mind. Then she made her way to the hospital for her appointment.

“Hey, Charlie if you want to come through now, I’m ready for you” Rachel said. It was Rachel’s first day back at work since having the baby six months earlier.

Charlie stood up and followed Rachel to the room. She lay on the bed and lifted up her top.

Rachel squeezed some gel onto her stomach as Charlie let out a small gasp.

“Man that stuffs cold”

Rachel let out a small laugh.

“Now, let’s see if we can see your baby” She said.

“There it is.” Rachel said as she pointed to the screen. “Congratulations, your 10 weeks pregnant”

Just then Ruby came into the room.

“Hey Charlie, I thought I was going to come with you today, why didn’t come for me?”

Charlie wiped the gel from her stomach and sat up.

“Sorry, Rubes, I did come round for you but you were still asleep and Irene said you hadn’t been sleeping well lately, so I thought it was best to just leave you.”

“But I told you to wake me; I really wanted to come with you.”

“Relax Ruby, there’s plenty more scans you can come with Charlie too. Then there’s the sleepless nights and dirty nappies, which I’m sure she will be more than happy to get help with.” Rachel said.

“Good.” Ruby said.

Charlie and Ruby then left the hospital and went to the diner for their lunch. When they walked in they saw Martha and Morag ordering lunch and Morag shouted them over to join them.

“So are you going to tell them about the baby?” Ruby asked as they were walking across the diner to where Martha and Morag were sitting, unaware that Colleen was right behind them.

“Oh my, that’s some news constable” Colleen yelled, making sure she was heard by all.

Martha, Leah and Morag looked up at Colleen and then to Charlie.

“What this news then Charlie?” Morag asked

“Oh nothi-” Charlie started to speak

“She’s expecting a baby” Colleen butted in

“Colleen!” Leah yelled. “I don’t think that’s your business to say”

“Its fine” Charlie said taking a seat.

“No Charlie, it’s not” Ruby said “You should be the one telling people”

“Well, it’s happened now. Nothing I can do about it” Charlie muttered.

“Excuse me for saying constable, but do you think it’s the best time to be having a baby, I mean especially with Constable Risotto, eh I mean your husband away in the jail.”

“That’s enough Colleen” Morag snapped at her

“Get back in the kitchen now” Leah yelled.

“Well excuse me for being concerned about the lady” Colleen said as she walked back to the kitchen.

Charlie let out a sigh and put her head in her hands. Leah apologised for Colleen’s behaviour and then they all congratulated Charlie. She thanked them all and ordered herself a coffee and a burger. Ruby also ordered a burger, but she ordered a strawberry milkshake instead of a coffee. After they’d eaten Ruby went round to see Xavier and Morag went back to Martha’s house to see the baby. Charlie walked out of the diner and along the sand dunes to the spot where Angelo proposed. She played with her wedding ring while looking out into the ocean. It had only been 6 weeks since Angelo went to jail but for her it felt like years, she missed him so much. She thought of how he ended up there, how it was all her fault she wished she could turn back time, handled things differently back then when was she was 14 and it happened, but it was all too late for that. There was nothing she could do now. Her husband was in jail and she was waiting for him, waiting for 6 years. She put her hand over her stomach and smiled. She may not be able to have her husband by her side, but she did have his baby. Something that was part of him.

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Chapter 3

Ruby and Xavier walked to the bus stop and sat on the bench waiting for the bus to the City to arrive. They only had to wait about 10 minutes for it to come. They paid the driver and then walked down the aisle and found a seat.

“So what are you planning on buying today then?” Xavier asked

“Well I have to look for a dress for the school dance, then I will need to get shoes and bag to go with the dress then I will need to find some accessories.” Ruby told him

Xavier groaned. “I hate shopping with girls” he said “They try so many clothes on in so many different shops and most of the time they end up choosing the first one they tried on” he continued.

Ruby laughed then hit his arm.

“Hey! What was that for?” He asked

“Well you haven’t experienced shopping with me yet” she told him.

“Let’s hope you mean you are nothing like I just explained” Xavier said

“You will just have to wait and see” Ruby told him and she pulled him in for a kiss.

They had arrived in the City and Ruby marched off to the first shop.

“Hey Rubes, slow down” He yelled as he had to run to catch up with her. “We have all day, you know.”

Xavier caught up with her and took hold of her hand and they walked in to the first shop. Ruby looked around then she spotted a red dress tucked away at the back of a rack, almost out of site. She pulled it out and it was in her size.

“That’s it” She said

“What just like that? The first one you see” Xavier asked

“Yup this is the dress.” She told him.

Ruby tried the dress on just to make sure then she paid for it. They walked out of the shop and made their way down the street to a shoe shop. Within 10 minutes they were in and out with Ruby choosing a simple pair of silver heels.

“I wish every girl was this easy to shop with” Xavier joked

“Ruby hit him over the arm again

“Oi, what was that for now?” he asked

“You don’t need to think about shopping with any other girls. I’m the only girl you will be shopping with” She told him.

Xavier laughed. “Yea I guess you are right he said” and he kissed her softly.

Xavier bought them some lunch at a nice little restaurant and then they went to do more shopping.

She found a little vintage shop down a side street and picked out a silver clutch bag and then picked out some silver dangly ear-rings and a necklace to match.

“There that’s everything I need” Ruby told Xavier, with a grin on her face.

“Great, well there’s a bus to the bay coming in 30 mins if you want to head back now? He asked her

“I don’t mind, what do you want to do? I’ve dragged you around shops this morning so why don’t you decide?” She told him.

“Well there’s a youth cafe across there. We could go play some pool? Xavier asked her.

“Sure, If you don’t mind getting beat by a girl” she teased him.

Xavier laughed and they walked across the road to the cafe. Ruby bought some drinks while Xavier went to set up a game.

“I’ll let you break shall I?” he asked her “Ladies first, and all that” he continued.

Ruby chalked the cue and took her shot. She got a ball in.

“Okay, so that was just luck” Xavier said.

“Yea right, I’m just better than you” Ruby laughed.

After losing 3 games of pool in a row Xavier decided he wanted to do something else.

“Sure whatever you want Xav, I will just beat you again” She told him

“Yea we will see” he said as they made their way over to the air hockey table.

“Ok, so is there anything you aren’t great at?” he asked her after losing to her 7-3.

“Nope nothing” Ruby laughed as she pulled him in for a kiss.

They walked to the bus stop and checked the bus times.

“They come every half hour.” Xavier told her “So we will still have time to go for dinner if you wanted to?”

“Yea sure, why not? We may as well make a day of it since we are here” She replied.

They found a nice restaurant not too far from where they needed to get the bus.

“So how are things with you and Charlie?” Xavier asked her

“Ok really, we are getting there” Ruby told him

“That’s great” Xavier said

“Yea it is, you know I’ve actually missed living with her. Sometimes we would sit up late at night and just talk about stuff”

“You know she would be more than happy if you wanted to go live her” Xavier told her

“Yea I know and I would love to live with her again but I just don’t think we are there yet” She told him.

“Well hopefully one day you will be” he told her and he paid for the dinner.

“Yea me too, I think I will go round and see her when we get back. Talk some more about everything” She told him.

“Great, I’m sure she will be pleased to see you.” Xavier told her.

They left the restaurant and walked around the corner and along to the bus stop. Just as they got there they saw a bus going around the corner.

“Uhm....Xav” Ruby said. “That was the last bus”

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Chapter 4

Charlie had had a long hard day at work. All she wanted to do was go home get some dinner, have a nice long bath then get an early night. Before she’d even left the station her phone started to ring. When she noticed it was Rachel she thought twice about answering it. Ever since Rachel found out Charlie was pregnant, she’d taken to calling her every time the baby did something new. She thought it was sweet really, but she just couldn’t be bothered on that evening.

“Hello Rachel” Charlie said, while yawning

“Charlie, there’s been an accident, you need to get to the hospital right away”

“What do you mean an accident? Is it Ruby? Rachel what’s happened”

“Just come down to the hospital and I will explain.” Rachel told her.

Charlie flipped her phone down and ran to her car. She drove to the hospital as fast as she could.

She ran along the corridor and saw Xavier sitting with a cast on his arm and Martha had a few cuts on her face.

“Where’s Ruby, what’s happened” Charlie yelled

“Sorry Charlie it was an accident, I couldn’t stop” Martha said, staring directly in front of her, not looking at Charlie.”

“Will someone please just tell me what’s happened to my daughter” Charlie yelled

“There was a car crash, Charlie” Rachel told her

“The other car, just came out of nowhere Charlie, there was no way Martha could stop in time.” Xavier said.

“I don’t understand. Why were Ruby and Xavier in the car with you? They were in the City shopping, they were getting the bus.” Charlie said, confusingly.

“We missed the last bus home, so we phoned Martha and she said would come pick us up.” Xavier told her.

“Where’s Ruby? Can I see her?” Charlie asked Rachel.

“Sure, right this way.” Rachel said as she led Charlie along the corridor.

“Charlie, Ruby is unconscious, she had a bad bang to the head.” Rachel said, as they were walking into her room.

“But she is going to pull through, tell me she is going to be okay” Charlie said.

“She suffered quite bad injuries Charlie, I’m sorry but I can’t confirm something I don’t know.” Rachel said as she stroked her friend on the back. Charlie sat on the seat and took her daughters hand. A single tear stared to trickle down her face.

“I will leave you alone” Rachel said.

Charlie looked at Ruby and the tears started to stream down her face as she saw all the cuts on her arms and face. She just sat there for ages, staring at her.

“You know, they said talking to them helps” Martha said as she walked into the room.

Charlie looked up at her friend then back at Ruby. She got up and walked over to Martha and hugged her tight.

“I’m so sorry Charlie, if she doesn’t make it I will never forgive myself” Martha cried

“Hey, c’mon, you said it wasn’t your fault, you’re not a bad driver Martha and there are so many idiots on the roads these days.”

“But she was in my car, I was responsible for her”

“She’s a strong girl, she’s a fighter, she will pull through I know she will.” Charlie said, hopingly. Rachel walked into the room and told her visiting time was over. She walked over and kissed her daughter’s forehead and promised her she would be right there beside her first thing in the morning. Charlie went home and went straight to bed. She didn’t feel like eating anymore. She lay there thinking about Ruby lying all alone in a hospital bed and started to cry, she couldn’t lose her, she meant too much to her. She moved her hand over her stomach and stroked it gently.

“You’re going to have the best big sister in the world” she told her baby. Then she closed her eyes to sleep.

For the next week Charlie’s daily routine was eating, sleeping and sitting with Ruby. Talking to her about her childhood, what they were going to do in the future, reading to her from magazines and telling her what was happening in her favourite TV shows. Anything she could think off to try to get a response from her, but so far, nothing seemed to make a difference. Even Xavier, Martha and Morag tried so hard to get a response but still, nothing. On the 8th day Charlie, Martha, Xavier and Morag were all having some lunch in the hospital canteen when Rachel came running in.

“Charlie, Charlie” she shouted across the room. “It’s Ruby”

Everyone at the table looked up at Rachel and Charlie rose to her feet.

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Chapter 5

Charlie got out of bed and headed for the shower then she had some breakfast and made her way to the hospital. It had been almost 2 weeks since Ruby woke up and she allowed to come home. She made her way along the corridor and into Ruby’s room.

“Hey Rubes, how are you today?” She asked as she leaned over to hug her.

“Will be great once I get out of this place” she replied

Charlie laughed. “Well it’s a good job I’ve come to take you home”

Before Charlie realised it a small tear was trickling down her cheek.

“Hey, what’s that for? Ruby asked, taking hold of Charlie’s hand

“I thought I was going to lose you Ruby, I was so scared”

“Stop being silly, you know me, I was going to pull through, you can’t get rid of me that easily” Ruby laughed.

Charlie let out an awkward laugh and kissed Ruby on the forehead.

“I love you Charlie. I’m so sorry for everything that I said and did the past few months”

“It’s okay Ruby, really it must have been a huge shock for you and I don’t blame you for anything that’s happened.”

“But it’s my fault that Angelo is in jail. If I never contacted Gra- him then he would never have found where we lived and wouldn’t have done what he did.”

“Rubes, it wasn’t your fault, please don’t blame yourself.”

Ruby let out a sigh. “Ok, if you insist” Ruby said as she leaned over and hugged her mother.

“Now, let’s get me home” Ruby said

“Irene is expecting you back anytime now” Charlie told her

“No, I mean I want to go home.” Ruby said

Charlie gave Ruby a puzzled look.

“What you mean you want to come home, to my house and live with me?” She asked

“Of course that’s what I mean. Well if that’s ok” Ruby said

“Of course it is” Charlie yelled with excitement and embraced her daughter once more.

Charlie drove to Irene’s house and went in with Ruby to help her with her things. She thanked Irene for all her help over the last few months and then loaded the car with Ruby’s things. Just as they were about to drive away Irene called for Charlie. She got out of the car and walked over to her.

“I just wanted to tell you, I was a little concerned about Ruby after all that drama with Grant happened. I could hear her shouting in the night, but whenever I asked her about it she denied it, said she was fine.”

“And how long has this been going on” Charlie asked

“Well ever since he attacked ya really. I’m not talking every night, just on the odd occasion”

“Right, well thanks for letting me know Irene”

“No bother, maybe she will talk to you about it.”

“Yea, maybe.” Charlie said. “Well thanks for letting her stay Irene”

“Oh she was no problem darl, anytime. She was a pleasure, really.”

Charlie smiled and got back in the car and drove home. She took Ruby’s stuff into her room and let her get settled. She was making a start on the dinner as Ruby walked into the kitchen.

“Hey, you want any help with that?”

“No, it’s ok. Just go watch some TV or something, I will call you when it’s ready”

“Ok, If your sure” Ruby said as she walked out of the kitchen.

After dinner Charlie and Ruby went into the living room and started watching TV. After a while Ruby got up and headed to her bedroom and re-appeared a few minutes later. She stuck a DVD into the player and then went into the kitchen and came back through with some drinks and some popcorn. Charlie looked at Ruby and smiled. They sat in silence as they watched the DVD.

“I have my twenty week scan tomorrow” Charlie said as she switched the DVD off. “You can come with me if you want”

“Yeah, I would love to” Ruby said as she let out a yawn.

“Great well it’s at 10am” Charlie told her.

“Ok. I’m going to go to bed, night Charlie”

“Night Rubes”

Charlie took the empty glasses and bowl into the kitchen and set them on the work top. She was about to fill the sink to wash them when she felt the baby kick for the first time. Before she realised what she was doing she ran through to Ruby’s room.

“Ruby, Ruby, the baby is kicking” She yelled excitedly.

“That’s great Charlie, can I feel?” She asked

“Yea sure” Charlie said as she placed Ruby’s hand on her stomach.

“Wow, that’s cool Charlie” Ruby said.

“Yea, anyways sorry, I’ll let you get back to sleep” Charlie said as she was leaving the room.

“Charlie” Ruby said and Charlie turned back around. “I love you.”

Charlie smiled. “Love you to Rubes.

Charlie went back to the kitchen and did the dishes then went to bed. Just as she was drifting off to sleep she heard a scream coming for Ruby’s room.

“No leave her alone, get off her”

Charlie ran to Ruby’s room and held her daughter.

“Shhh shh its okay, it’s okay”

“He had you Charlie, he was back. He pushed you against the wall started yelling that you ruined his family that his wife had left him and took the kids and it was your fault for bringing up the past. He was hurting you, I tried to get him off you but he was too strong he pushed me and I fell into the table and banged my head and then Angelo came in and he couldn’t get him off you either and then he....he.....he grabbed the table leg, he didn’t mean to hit him as hard it was an accident. It was all an accident.”

“Shh, it’s ok Ruby, he’s gone, it’s over”

“Will you stay with me tonight, please?”

“Of course I will Rubes” Charlie said as she slid under the covers and held her daughter until she fell back asleep.

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Chapter 6

Charlie woke up and turned too looked at Ruby who was still sleeping. She smiled softly then went for a shower and then made herself some breakfast.

“Morning” Ruby said as she walked into the kitchen

“Morning Rubes, can I get you any breakfast?” Charlie asked

“I’ll make myself some toast, thanks anyways”

They sat together and ate breakfast then Ruby went for a quick shower before heading off the hospital.

“So are you going to find out the sex?” Ruby asked Charlie as she was parking the car.

“No I’m not, I want it to be a surprise” Charlie told her.

“Aww ok” Ruby said sounding a bit disappointed.

“Ruby, about last night...” Charlie started to speak

“I’m fine it was only a bad dream, I don’t want to talk about it” Ruby cut her off

“Ruby, Irene said you’ve had a few of them”

“Charlie please, I don’t want to talk about it”

Charlie let out a sigh “Alright, fine.” She said as they walked into the hospital.

Rachel led her through to the room and squeezed the gel onto her stomach.

“So do you want to know what you are having?”

“No I don’t” Charlie told her.

“Yea, it’s nice to get a surprise” Rachel said.

“Charlie look, there’s your baby” Ruby said excitedly

“Yea, I see it” Charlie replied.

“That is so cool” Ruby said. As Rachel and Charlie laughed.

Charlie wiped the gel from her stomach and sat up on the bed.

“Hey Rubes, can you give us a minute please” Charlie asked her.

“Yea ok, I’ll go wait in the car” Ruby said.

“Ok, I won’t be long” Charlie said as she handed Ruby the car keys.

“Is everything ok?” Rachel asked her

“I’m worried about Ruby, she keeps having these dreams. About the night Grant was killed. I’ve tried to talk to her about it but she said she was fine and didn’t want to speak about it. I was wondering if maybe you could try to speak to her” Charlie said.

“Yea sure, I will give it a try” Rachel said.

“Thanks Rachel” Charlie said, as she left the room.

Charlie and Ruby walked into the shop and started too looked around. They picked out a cot, a moses basket, a changing table, a chest of drawers and a wardrobe. Then they bought bottles, bibs, baby-grows and a pram. Ruby couldn’t resist buying a little dress and matching sun hat.

“Someone hoping for a little sister?” Charlie asked as Ruby showed her the dress.

“I just thought it was cute” Ruby told her

“Well as long as you don’t expect me to dress a son in that I have to admit it is pretty cute” Charlie said.

Ruby laughed.

“Hey can I paint the nursery for you?” She asked

“Sure, if you really want to” Charlie told her.

“Yes, I do. Leave it to me” she replied.

They packed most of the stuff in the car, apart from the cot, wardrobe, and chest of drawers which was going to be delivered in a couple of day’s time. They took the stuff into the house and put it in what would eventually be the baby’s room. Then Charlie made a start on the lunch.

“How about Zack” Ruby said as she walked into the kitchen

“Excuse me?” Charlie asked

“As a name for the baby” Ruby told her

“A few hours ago you bought a dress and now you are thinking of boys names” Charlie said confusingly

“Well how about Sarah then?” Ruby said.

“Definitely a no to Zack, Sarah is ok, but it wouldn’t be my first choice.” Charlie replied.

“Well what names have you thought of then? Ruby asked

“Nothing yet” Charlie said

“Oh right” Ruby said “Don’t you think you should start thinking?” she continues

“Not really, still got plenty of time before its due.” Charlie told her.

“Fair enough I suppose” Ruby said.

Later on that night Rachel went round to Charlie and Ruby’s house.

“Hey, Rach come in” Ruby told her as she answered the door. “Charlie’s not in at the moment but she should be back soon” she continued.

“It’s actually you I’ve came to see Ruby” Rachel told her.

“Great, I guess Charlie told you about my dreams” Ruby replied.

“She’s worried about you Ruby.” Rachel told her. “She is only trying to help” she continued.

“I can’t speak to her about it Rachel. I want to but I can’t. I don’t want to bring back all the memories. I just can’t do that to her.”

“That’s sweet Ruby, but there’s plenty other people you can speak to.” Rachel replied. “Including me” she added

“I keep seeing it happen” Ruby told her.

“Seeing what Ruby?” Rachel asked her.

“That whole night. Him coming into the house and grabbing Charlie, Yelling at her, pushing me away then Angelo striking him. He was just lying there, blood dripping from his ear. I want it to stop Rachel, I don’t want to see it anymore, how do I make it stop.” Ruby started to cry. Rachel leaned over and hugged her.

“It’s alright, let it all out Ruby” Rachel said.

“I can’t stop thinking about it”

“C’mon Ruby, you are a strong girl, you can get past this. You need to forget all about Grant and the past and look to the future. You need stay strong for Charlie’s sake, she needs you to be strong for her Ruby, she will need you to be here for her and help her when the baby is born. Can you do that for her Ruby?”

Ruby wiped the tears from her eyes and sniffed. Rachel reached into her bag and handed her a pack of tissues.

“Thanks Rach” Ruby said as she wiped the tears away.

“It’s alright Ruby, can you promise me you will be strong, for Charlie’s sake?”

“Yes, I will try” Ruby replied.

The two hugged once more as Charlie walked into room.

“Hey everything alright?” Charlie asked

“Yes everything’s fine” Ruby Replied.

Rachel smiled at Ruby then got up to leave.

“Bye Ruby” Rachel said as she was walking away.

“Bye Rachel” Ruby replied. “And Thank you” she continued.

Charlie followed Rachel across the living room through the kitchen and to the front door.

“Is she really alright?” Charlie asked

“Oh I think she’s going to be just fine” Rachel replied

“Thanks Rach” Charlie said as she hugged her friend goodbye.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Chapter 7

Ruby opened the tin of paint and poured it into two different trays. She handed one to Jai and Annie and the other was for Xavier and herself. She had decided that by asking her friends to help her decorate the nursery, she would be able to get it done a lot quicker. She has chosen a pale yellow colour for the walls and a border with little giraffes on it.

“Why does everyone assume that yellow is gender neutral?” Xavier asked. “I wouldn’t want to have a yellow bedroom” he continued

Jai let out a small laugh.

“It is a neutral colour” Ruby said

“Would it not be easier to find out what it is going to be then it would be easy to pick a colour. Pink for a girl, blue for a boy.” Xavier said.

Annie laughed. “Charlie doesn’t want to know and besides pink for a girl, blue for a boy I find rather boring, it’s nice to be different.”

“Ok whatever, I still don’t think yellow is a neutral colour” Xavier said.

“Well its good job we aren’t painting your bedroom yellow” Jai said.

After a good while of painting they had all four walls done. They put down their brushes and went into the kitchen and Ruby made a start to some lunch. They decided after lunch to do a second coat of paint then that would be it for the day. The next day they put the border and curtains up and Jai and Xavier built up the cot as Ruby and Annie folded away all the clothes then added photo frames onto the top of the chest of drawers. Xavier then hung a few pictures on the wall and Ruby added the covers and some teddies into the cot.

“So how long until the baby is due now?” Annie asked Ruby

“Eight weeks. I’m so excited” Ruby told her.

The teens then walked back towards the door and admired their work. Then they left the room and settled in front of the TV.

Charlie left the station and let out a sigh of relief. It had been a hard day and she was glad to be taking her maternity leave. She looked back at the station and let out another sigh. She loved her job, but she was also really glad that she didn’t have to go back for a good while. She went into the diner and ordered a milkshake and muffin and took a seat. Martha came into the diner and sat with her friend.

“Hey how are you today?” She said as she was talking her seat.

“Yea, I’m good thanks” Charlie replied. “How about you”

“I’m alright” Martha said, while yawning. “Someone thought it would be fun to cry all night, so I haven’t had a great sleep” she continued.

“Oh, Jack looked awfully perky at work today, you would never be able tell that he was up with a crying baby all night”

“That’s because Jack wasn’t up with a crying baby all night. That guy could sleep through a tornado” Martha replied. Charlie laughed as Morag walked into the diner with the baby.

“Hey auntie Morag” Martha said and she looked down at her sleeping daughter. “How are you?”

“I’m ok now that this one has decided to fall asleep” Morag said.

“Oh you love babysitting really” Martha said.

“Well yes I do but not when they are teething” Morag replied.

“I’ll take that as a hint shall I?” Charlie laughed.

“Please do” Morag said, as she pulled over a seat to join them.

“Oh Charlie, I’ve had a call from Ruby about an hour ago and she wants me to come round to the house tonight, something she wants to show me apparently. She sounded very excited about it, whatever it is. You have any ideas?” Morag asked

Charlie looked slightly confused. “Oh….yes, she has been decorating the baby’s room for me. She said she would be finished today so I can only assume that’s what it’s about” Charlie told her.

“Oh alright then, what time should I come round?” She asked

“You can just come now if you wish, you can even stay for dinner if you like.”

“Yes, that would be lovely thank you” Morag told her.

“Oh Auntie Morag, can you watch Olivia for me on Wednesday. It’ll only be for a few hours, Jack and I both have work.

“Well I was thinking about going into the city tomorrow to see Ross and staying there for a few weeks.” Morag told her

“Oh ok, no problem, I’m sure granddad will swap my shift for me.

“Why don’t you ask Tony, I’m sure he would be happy to look after his granddaughter” Morag said.

“Well I suppose I could, but they are both off work for a week’s holiday so they will probably have their hands full with their two. Martha said.

“I could watch her for you Martha” Charlie said.

“Ah thank you Charlie, that would be great, I will drop her round at about 10.” Martha said.

“Ok, no problem” Charlie said.

Charlie and Morag walked into the house to find Ruby waiting in the kitchen.

“Where have you been? I thought you finished work at 4?” she asked.

“Sorry, I went to the diner after work.”

“Well I have finished the nursery. I have been dying for you to get home so you can see it. That’s what I wanted you to come and see too, Morag”

“Great, well let’s go see it then” Charlie said.

Ruby led Charlie and Morag through the kitchen, into the living room, then up the stairs and along the hall to the baby’s room. She told them to close their eyes, but it took a few attempts to get Morag to do so. She led them into the room and then told them to open their eyes.

“Oh Ruby, its lovely.” Said Charlie and she walked around the room. She walked over to the cot and picked up one of the teddies. She then walked over to the chest of drawers and looked at the two photos that had been placed on top. One was of Ruby and the other was of Charlie and Angelo. Charlie picked up the photo and let out a sigh. A single tear ran down her cheek and Ruby went over and hugged her mother.

“I just want to know if he knows about the baby.” Charlie said. “If he read my letter”

“Honestly darling, I think he would have wanted to see if you he knew about the baby” Morag said as walked across the room and stroked her step-daughter on the back.

“That’s what’s been in the back of my mind” Charlie said, but part of me was hoping that he did read it, but still found it too hard to see me” Charlie said

“I think that could be possible” Ruby said.

“Well I guess we will never know if he has read the letter or not. Well at least not until he finally gets out” Charlie said.

Ruby hugged her once more and Charlie told her again what a great job she had done with the room and Morag agreed. Then they went down the stairs and Charlie made a start on the dinner.

“Oh I’m going to go into the City to see Ross for a few weeks, if you two would like to come with me” Morag said

“Ehm..I’m just going to stay here, sort out the last few things for the baby.” Charlie said.

“Charlie, you have to go see him sometime.” Ruby said.

“I know and I will. Sometime, but just not now.” She said.

“Ruby is right you know, you need to go see him” Morag said

“I know I do, but I’m just not ready to just now.” Charlie said

“What about you, Ruby?” Morag said

“Ehm....no it’s ok, you go see him yourself. I will go the next time” She said.

“Ok If you are both sure” Morag said.

“Yes. I am.” Charlie replied.

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Chapter 8

Charlie pushed the buggy along the pavement and into the diner.

“Using my daughter for practise I see” Jack said, as he walked into the diner to get the coffee’s in.

Charlie let out a small laugh.

“If my baby is half as good as this one, then it’ll be a breeze” Charlie replied.

Jack smiled and knelt down and looked at his daughter. She let out a little squeal of delight at seeing her dad. Jack laughed.

“Now, Olivia, I hope you are being a good girl for Auntie Charlie” The baby let out another little squeal and Jack gave her a kiss and then said he had to get back to the station. Just as he was about to leave Charlie let of a gasp of pain.

“Whoa, are you alright?” Jack asked her.

“Yea, I’m fine” Charlie told him

“Are you sure” he asked

“Yes, honestly, I’m fine. Get back to work” Charlie told him

Jack gave Olivia another kiss then headed back to the station. Charlie took a seat and ordered a strawberry milkshake and a muffin, which had became daily ritual during the last few months of her pregnancy. A few minutes later Martha walked in. Olivia’s eyes lit up and she squealed and started clapping her hands. Martha lifted her daughter out of the buggy and placed her in her lap. She ordered a coffee and a piece of chocolate cake.

“Thanks for looking after her this morning Charlie”

“Oh she was no bother” Charlie replied.

“Matha, Matha” Harry shouted as he ran into the diner.

“Hey little man, how are you today?”

“I be 4 today Matha” he said.

“Yea you are Happy Birthday mate” she said “I’ve got a present for you”

“Yey mummy mummy Matha has a pwesent for me” He said excitedly as Rachel was walking into the diner followed by Tony who was carrying baby Emily.

“Wow, more presents, you are a lucky little boy” She said to her son.

“Oh Charlie, you are getting big now, how long have you got to go?” Tony asked

“7 weeks” Charlie replied.

“Know if it’s a boy or a girl?” He asked her

“No, I don’t, I want it to be a surprise” Charlie replied.

“Yea, we found out about Harry, but we didn’t know Emily was going to be a girl.” Rachel said

“I don’t know how you can’t find out” Martha added “As soon as we were able to know, I wanted to find out.”

“I just want it to be a surprise, you know, after all we have to go through, it will be nice to get a surprise at the end” Charlie replied

Rachel and Martha laughed as Ruby walked into the diner with Xavier.

“Xaivee it’s my birthday today” Harry yelled as he ran to greet his cousin. “I gots a football and lots of clothes and a bike”

“Wow that’s lots of cool stuff, I’m jealous”

“I will share with you Xaivee with my football you can play footie with me and daddy”

“Ah cool will play anytime mate” Xavier said as he ruffled Harry’s hair.

Charlie let out another gasp of pain and grabbed her stomach. Rachel rushed over to her side.

“Are you okay?” She asked, stroking her back

“Yes, I’m fine, I’m going to go home and-” Charlie let out another gasp.

“Right, Charlie I think you need the hospital, come on.”

“What, now, but it’s too early” Charlie moaned

“Come on, everything goings to be fine Charlie” Ruby said as she rushed to Charlie’s side and grabbed her hand helping her to Rachel’s car.

“No its not. It’s too early. Ruby, I want Angelo.”

“I’m sorry Charlie but you know he can’t be here for you. You’re going to have to be strong do this without him.” Ruby told her.

“But I need him. He should be here to see his child being born. He shouldn’t even be in jail.” Charlie cried.

“Charlie it’s all my fault, I should never have pressured you for the truth or tried to contact that stupid man after I knew what he’d done to you, I’m sorry I ever doubted you. I love you so much and I’m sorry for shutting you out of my life for a few months”

“Rubes, it wasn’t your fault. We should never have kept it from you for so long”

“It’s ok. I understand now why you did it.”

Charlie began to speak but before she could she let out another gasp.

“I’m going to be here for you, mum” Ruby said and she took hold of her hand.

Charlie smiled when she realised that Ruby had called her mum for the first time. She leaned and gave her a big hug. Rachel pulled up outside the hospital and helped Charlie out of the car. They walked along the corridor and got Charlie settled on the bed.

“Ruby, I’m scared” Charlie said grabbing hold of her hand.

“Don’t worry, you will be fine. I’ll be here for you.” She said as she placed a kiss on her mother’s forehead.

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Chapter 9

Charlie woke up and looked around the room. She slid herself up the bed and rearranged her pillows till she felt comfy. She took a drink of the water sitting at the side of her bed and started looking at the ‘congratulations’ cards as Rachel walked in.

“Morning Charlie, how are you feeling?” Rachel asked

“Fine thanks, still pretty tired though. Where’s Ruby?” Charlie replied

“Sitting with her little sister, never left her side” Rachel told her

Charlie smiled. “Can I go see her please?

“Of course you can Charlie. She’s your daughter you don’t need to ask”

Charlie got out of bed and walked along the corridor to the neonatal intensive care unit. She walked over to the incubator and looked at her daughter. She was so tiny, and hooked up to so many machines. Tears began to trickle down her face.

“She gorgeous Charlie” Rachel said

“She is going to be ok, isn’t she?” Charlie asked

“Well she’s not breathing on her own yet, but I’m sure she’ll be fighter, just like her sister” Rachel replied.

Charlie smiled then thought back to when Ruby was lying unconscious on the hospital bed, only months earlier.

“Yea, I’m sure she will be.” Charlie said as she walked over and hugged Ruby.

“I just need to get something, I will be back in a minute” Rachel said as she left the room.

“So have you got a name for her yet?” Ruby asked

“Ehm....nope, how about you Rubes? You got any ideas? Charlie asked as she moved Ruby’s hair from in front of her face.

“I like Ava and Sofia” Ruby said

“Ava Sofia Rosetta” Charlie tested out

“I like it” Charlie replied.

“Me too” Said Ruby, looking down at her baby sister as Rachel came back into the room.

“Hey Rach, come meet Ava Sofia Rosetta” Ruby said.

“Aww Charlie, that’s a lovely name.”

“It was all down to Ruby, she choose it.”

Rachel looked at the baby and smiled.

“I wish you were allowed to hold her Charlie but unfortunately she’s not strong enough to come out of the incubator just yet.” Rachel told her.

Charlie put her hand through the hole in the side of the incubator and stoked her daughter’s tiny hand.

“This’ll do fine for now” She replied keeping her eyes firmly on her daughter. “She looks so much like her dad. I wish he wasn’t missing out on this part of her life”

“You’ll just have to take plenty of pictures” Ruby said from behind her.

“It’s not the same, Rubes.” Charlie replied.

Ruby and Charlie walked out of the NNICU and back into Charlie’s room. Ruby let out a yawn.

“Go home Rubes, get some sleep.” Charlie told her.

“No, I want to stay with you, I promised you I would”

“Go home Rubes, get some sleep, go see Xavier or Nicole or something, I’m only going to be sleeping anyways”

Ruby gave her mother a kiss and a hug then left. Charlie lay her head on the pillows and immediately fell asleep.

It was almost a week later and Charlie was beginning to feel herself like a prisoner stuck in the hospital. She took a drink of water and was about the head to the NNICU to see Ava when Rachel came into her room.

“Hey Charlie, how you feeling today?

“Like I’m going to go insane if I’m stuck in here any longer” She replied

Rachel laughed.

“Well it’s a good job I came in here to tell you that you can go home then.” She told her.

“Ah great, when can I leave?” Charlie asked

“As soon as I fill out the discharge papers” Rachel laughed.

Ruby came into the room just as Charlie was packing away all her cards and things.

“Hey, are you getting to come home today?” She asked

“Yes, eventually” Charlie smiled.

“What even Ava? She’s coming home too? Ruby asked

“No Ruby, Ava’s still not strong enough or breathing on her own yet, but she was seven weeks early, so give her some time.” Rachel replied.

“Sorry, I just really want to hold her and give her a big hug” Ruby said.

“Yea, you and me both” Charlie replied.

Charlie and Ruby went to the NNICU and sat with Ava for hours. They just sat there staring. Not saying anything.

“Charlie, you’ve got a visitor.” Rachel said as she walked into the room.

“Hello darling, I’ve come to see my granddaughter” Morag said and she walked across the room and hugged Charlie.

“Oh Charlie, she is gorgeous.”

“Of course she is, have you seen her parents” Ruby replied.

“So how’s dad” Charlie asked Morag

“As good as he can be I guess.” Morag replied. “You know he asked after you Charlie. You have to go see him sometime. You know he probably doesn’t remember what was said after the whole Ruby thing came out”

“Maybe he has forgotten, but I haven’t. It just brought all that anger back from back then and I felt let down by him all over again.”

“Well everything’s sorted itself out now with us and I’m sure you can go and fix things with Ross before it’s too late.” Ruby said.

“He loves you very much Charlie, back then he was doing what he thought was right.” Morag said.

“Yes, I know that now. And I promise as soon as Ava is well enough to get out of here, we will go see him.”

“Great, he would love to see Ava.” Morag said as Rachel walked into the room.

“Hey, sorry guys, but visiting time is over. I’m going to have to ask you to leave”

Morag and Ruby rose to their feet and made their way to the door.

“Uhm Charlie that means you to” Rachel said.

“Yea sorry, can I just have 5 minutes alone, please Rachel”

“Alright, 5 minutes but that’s all.”

“Thanks Rach” Charlie said as Rachel left the room.

Charlie just stood there staring at her tiny baby. She stroked her tiny hand and felt a tear trickle down her face. Ruby walked back into the room.

“C’mon, we have to go” Charlie looked up and smiled at her other daughter.

“Ok, just a sec” Charlie said and she looked back at her tiny baby. “Please get strong for mummy Ava.” She said as she walked away.

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Chapter 10

After two weeks of being in the incubator, Ava was beginning to get stronger and Charlie was finally allowed to hold her baby daughter for the first time. She was only allowed to be out of the incubator for 2 hours a day, but just being able to hold her for the first time was enough for Charlie. She just sat there staring at Ava, with her big green eyes staring back up at her.

“She has her dad’s eyes” Rachel said as she walked into her room and looked at the baby. Charlie smiled at Rachel and looked back down at her daughter.

“Today is our one year wedding anniversary” Charlie told Rachel. “I don’t think I can stand not being with him much longer, and it’s only been 6 months” Charlie said. “What am I supposed to do without him for so long?”

“Well, you have Ava now Charlie, she needs you. And Ruby still needs you. They will help you to get through it.” Rachel said.

“Yes, I guess.” Charlie replied as Ruby walked into the room.

“Hey” Ruby said as she walked over to where Charlie was sitting and looked down at her baby sister.”Can I have a hold, please” she asked as she took a seat.

“Yea, sure” Charlie said as she handed Ruby the baby. “Be careful with the cords, she still attached to machines” Charlie continued.

“Aww, she still so tiny.” Ruby said looking down at her sister.

“She still shouldn’t even be born yet” Rachel told her. “But she is improving fast and getting stronger by the day, if she keeps going at this rate, she will be home in no time”

“Aw that’s great” Ruby said “I can’t wait till she comes home”

“Well mummy do you want to give your daughter one last hug before she goes back into the incubator” Rachel asked Charlie.

“Yes I do” Charlie said and Ruby handed Ava back to her. She gave her daughter a big hug before handing her back to Rachel. Ruby and Charlie then went to the diner for some lunch.

“Hey, Charlie, how’s Ava doing?” Leah asked

“Good yea, she is getting stronger every day. I was allowed to hold her today as well” Charlie said, with a huge smile on her face.

“Ah Charlie that’s great news”

“Yea it is. I just hope I can bring her home soon.” Charlie said.

“Aww, I’m sure she will be home before you know it” Leah said. “Anyways, as much as I would love to stand and chat all day, I best get back in the kitchen”

Ava was now 5 weeks old and she was well enough to go home. Charlie and Ruby arrived at the hospital excitedly and rushed over to Ava’s cot. Charlie picked up her daughter for the first time without her having any machines hooked up to her.

“I bet it feels great to finally be able to get a proper hug” Rachel said

“It’s amazing” Charlie replied.

“Well everything’s sorted here so you are free to go” Rachel told her

“Thanks Rach” Charlie said.

They walked out of the hospital and drove back to the house. Charlie carried Ava up the stairs and into the nursery and placed her in the cot for the first time. She looked down at her sleeping baby and tears of happiness fell down her cheek. Ruby came into the room and gave her mother a hug.

“I thought she was going be in your room with you for the first few months” Ruby asked

“Yea she will be I just wanted to see her in the room really”

“Oh alright then” Ruby said. She looked into the cot and watched her little sister sleeping. I’m going to go make some lunch, would you like anything? Ruby asked.

“Uhm...yea please” Charlie replied.

Ruby walked out of the nursery and down the stairs to the kitchen to make the lunch. Charlie stayed in the nursery and watched Ava sleep until she heard Ruby calling her for lunch. She kissed Ava gently on her forehead and then set up the baby monitor before going down the stairs. Just as Charlie was about to start eating her lunch, Ava started to cry. She walked back up the stairs and she tried to soothe her baby, but nothing she did seemed to work. She tried to feed her, she changed her, she sang to her, she played the music from the mobile hanging above the cot and she rocked her gently but nothing would settle her. Ruby even tried to settle her but nothing would work.

“What do I do?” Charlie asked Ruby desperately

“I don’t know how babies work” Ruby replied

“It’s been hours and she won’t stop crying” Charlie told Ruby

“Yea I know I have ears” Ruby replied

Charlie sighed and put Ava back down in the cot and walked out the room.

“What are you doing, you can’t just leave her lying there” Ruby said as she followed Charlie out of the room.

“I’m well aware of that Rubes, I’m going to have to call Rachel or someone for help”

About 10 minutes later and Rachel appeared at the door. Ruby let her in and showed her to the nursery. Charlie was on the rocking chair swinging gently when she looked up at Rachel in exasperation.

“Please Rachel you have to help me, what do I do. It’s been hours and she won’t stop crying. I’ve tried everything, I’ve sang to her, changed her, tried feeding her, rocking her, nothing will work.”

Rachel walked across to where Charlie was sitting and knelt down beside her.

“Speak to her, Charlie.”

Charlie looked at Rachel and then to Ruby then back at Ava.

“Hey Ava, I’m your mummy. Can you please stop all that crying it’s awfully loud and you are really annoying your big sister” Charlie said, without much luck as Ava was still screaming. She looked up at Rachel.

“Keep going” she said to her.

“Ruby was very excited to be a sister and she even decorated this room all for you.” Charlie stopped speaking to the baby and looked at Rachel again. “It’s not working”

“Just keep talking to her. She’s needs to recognise your voice.”

“But I’ve been speaking to her for weeks when she was in the hospital, surely she should know me by now” Charlie said, sounding desperate.

“You are new at this Charlie, It’ll just take him.” Rachel said.

“Yea but I shouldn’t be” Charlie said looking up at Ruby.

Ruby walked over to her and gave her a hug. She took Ava from her and started walking around the room. She walked over to the chest of drawers and looked at the photo frames.

“You see this man here Ava, he is your daddy. He is a very good man and makes mummy very happy. His is name is Angelo and he is a policeman but he’s away at the moment so won’t be around for a while....”

Ruby stopped talking and looked at Charlie and Rachel. “Did she stop crying when I think she did?” Ruby asked.

“Yes, I think she did” Rachel and Charlie replied at the same time. Charlie got up from the chair and walked over to where Ruby was standing. She took her daughter in her arms and lay her back in the cot. She walked back over to the photo of her and Angelo and picked it up.

“Even when he’s not here, he can still stop his baby from crying” Charlie said.

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