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Ruby Tuesday

Guest LilMissSummer

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Story Title: Ruby Tuesday.

Type of Story: One-shot.

Main Characters: Charlie and Ruby.

Rating: G - General audience.

Genre: Not sure really it’s kind of an angst fic I guess.

Spoilers: For non-Australia viewers only.

Warnings: Nope.

Story Summary: I was watching the Charlie and Ruby reveal on youtube and I got to thinking … I wonder who chose Ruby’s name when she was born and this little one-shot was born.

“This miracle God gave to me, gives me strength when I am weak, I find reason to believe in my daughter’s eyes.”

For the second time in as many days Charlie found herself sat on the beach, feeling more alone than she ever had before. Picking up a handful of sand she let the tiny grains slip through her fingers. Smiling to herself she watched as the stars that littered the midnight sky reflected off the ocean’s dark surface.

Closing her eyes she found herself getting lost in a memory of what felt like another lifetime, a time when she was Ruby’s sister, her mother was alive, her father could remember who she was and she could pretend that Grant was just a monster that haunted her sleep, not a real, living, breathing monster that threatened to take away everything that mattered to her.


Sitting up in bed Charlie could hear her own screams echoing in her ears. It had been a couple of years since she had last had a nightmare about that night, but after her rude run in with Grant’s parents earlier Charlie felt like she was right back on the beach, struggling to fight him off all over again.

“Charlie,” came Ruby’s tired voice.

“Hey Rubes,” Charlie smiled, as she pulled her sister up onto the bed, her arms still shaking with the after effects of her nightmare.

Ruby looked up at her sister, her eyes full of the innocence of childhood. “I heard screaming … I was scared that you were hurted.”

“I’m fine Rubes, I was just watching a scary film on the TV,” Charlie lied.

“You shouldn’t watch scary films if they make you sad,” Ruby told her sister, her voice holding a wisdom beyond her 6 years.

Wiping at her eyes Charlie smiled through her tears. “Good point Ruby.”

“I know what,” Ruby announced, her voice squeaking as she bounced up onto her knees. “We should watch Aladdin that won’t make you scared.”

“You should be in bed,” Charlie reminded her.

Ruby seemed to consider this for a moment before turning her attention back to her sister. “I know but you could change the rules, you are in charge while mummy and daddy are away.”

“When did you get so smart?” Charlie asked, running her hand through her sister’s hair.

Ruby shrugged her shoulders. “Aladdin really is the best film when you’re feeling sad.”

“Ok,” Charlie agreed.

“So we can watch it?” Ruby asked, a grin spreading across her face.

Charlie nodded. “I’ll even make us a hot chocolate.”

“With mini marshmallows?” Ruby asked.

“With mini marshmallows and cream,” Charlie told her as she picked up her little sister and carried her down the stairs.

Sitting Ruby down on the sofa Charlie grabbed a blanket from the cupboard and handed it to the youngster before heading into the kitchen to make the hot chocolate’s she had promised Ruby.

“You can start the video if you like Rubes,” Charlie called out to Ruby as she added the pink and white marshmallows onto the drinks.

Putting the drinks down on the table Charlie sat down next to Ruby, as the little-girl pulled herself up onto her lap and cuddled into her. “I wanted to wait for you until I started it.”

Pulling the blanket around them Charlie pressed play on the remote control as she picked up Ruby’s hot chocolate and handed it to her. “Here you go Rubes.”

Taking a sip of her hot chocolate Ruby handed it back to her before turning to face her sister. “Charlie?”

“Mm?” Charlie smiled.

“Can I be a Princess like Jasmine?” Ruby asked, her silver-blue eyes wide with and full of pleading as she looked up at her older sister.

Putting down the hot chocolate Charlie wrapped her arms around her. “You already are a Princess Rubes.”

“I am?” Ruby questioned, her eyes full of wonderment.

“Of course. You’re the prettiest Princess in the world,” Charlie reassured the youngster as she placed a gentle kiss on her forehead.

Ruby smiled pleased with this new information. “Princess Ruby.”

“Princess Ruby,” Charlie echoed as a lone tear fell down her cheek.

Reaching up a Ruby wiped away the tear with her tiny fingers. “Charlie why are you sad? Aladdin isn’t a sad film, it’s a happy film.”

“I know,” Charlie whispered, biting her bottom lip to keep herself from crying. “That’s why these are happy tears.”

“I love you Charlie,” Ruby whispered as she snuggled back into her sister’s lap, her eyes once again fixated on the Disney fairytale that was playing on the screen in front of her.

Finishing her hot chocolate Charlie couldn’t help but smile as she realised that Ruby hadn’t even lasted 20 minutes into the film. “I love you too baby girl,” Charlie whispered as she ran her hand through her hair, the nightmare of earlier just a distant memory as she looked down at the sleeping child in her lap.

“Mummy loves you,” she whispered, even though she was more than happy to play the role of big sister it was in moments like this when Charlie felt the maternal feelings tug away at her.

When all it took was a smile from her little-girl or the melody of her laughter to drive away Charlie’s demons she knew that no matter how dark the past something beautiful still remained.


Standing at the edge of the sand Ruby watched as Charlie played idly with the sand, her mind obviously elsewhere. It had been hours since they had returned from the shack and as soon as they had arrived back at Leah’s an uncomfortable silence had settled in, neither of them knowing what to say to the other.

Ruby felt terrible that she hadn’t believed Charlie, that she had brought Grant back into their lives, the sound of her sister’s … her mother’s pain filled sobs as the Grant finally revealed the truth was a sound that Ruby would not forget in a hurry.

The rationale part of her brain could understand why Charlie had lied to her all of those years, but the anger was still to all consuming to allow her to let Charlie back into her life properly. So when she had heard Charlie sneak out of the house when she thought everyone was asleep she had been reluctant at first to follow, but her fear for Charlie’s mental state soon won out and she had followed her down to the beach, where she had now been stood for the past 20 minutes not knowing what to do.

As Ruby watched Charlie’s body shake with silent sobs her reluctance of just a few seconds earlier was forgotten as she made her way over to where her sister sat.

“Charlie,” Ruby called out tentatively, not wanting to startle her.

Charlie looked up, her face pale and drawn and her eyes red and swollen. “What are you doing here?” she croaked, her voice hoarse from crying.

“I heard you sneak out and I was worried, after what happened today I was-”

“There’s nothing to worry about, I don’t plan on doing anything like that again,” Charlie reassured her daughter.

Ruby nodded, sitting down next to her. “I didn’t mean it like that Charlie I just … I don’t know what I meant.”

“What happens now Rubes?” Charlie whispered.

“I don’t know,” Ruby admitted.

Charlie wiped tiredly at her eyes, she had barely had more than a few hours sleep over the past 72 hours and it was beginning to catch up with her. “I mean you’re home but for how long?”

“I don’t know,” Ruby repeated. “I’m so confused by everything that I don’t know how I feel or what I want anymore. I thought I knew who I was and now everything is upside down.”

“I’m sorry,” Charlie whispered, her voice barely audible above the sound of the ocean.

As an uncomfortable silence began to settle over them yet again Ruby felt compelled to speak. “You know tonight seeing you … seeing you broken like that it made me realise that I’m not the only one hurting in this. Ever since I found out I’ve been so consumed by what the secrets and lies have done to me that I didn’t stop to think, even when Auntie Michelle told me how you were falling apart I just …”


“Please just let me speak,” Ruby pleaded.

Charlie nodded, her eyes full of unshed tears. “Sorry.”

“And stop apologising,” she added as she followed Charlie’s gaze out across the ocean. “It’s just that ever since I can remember you’ve always been there. My big sister. It’s just through it all other people have left ss. Mum got sick and died and then dad got sick but you’ve always been there. I know I never said but I was always so proud to have you as my big sister. You were the heroine in every movie I ever watched, the conqueror in every fairy tale, you fought off the monsters in my sleep and even those I came across while I was awake. You were my sister and my best friend all in one,” Ruby cried.

As Ruby’s words hung in the air between them Charlie remained silent, scared that if she spoke now Ruby would clam up and stop opening up to her.

“And now it feels like I’ve lost my sister, I know that I should be embracing the fact that you’re my mother but I can’t because I doesn’t feel like I’ve gained a mother it just feels like I’ve lost a sister and it hurts Charlie … it really hurts because mum’s gone, dad is fading before our eyes and now I feel like I don’t know who you are anymore … who I am anymore and I just want it all to stop, I just want it all to go back to the way it was,” Ruby admitted.


Ruby shook her head. “There’s so much going on in my head and I want to talk to you about it like I normally would but I can’t because everything has changed and-”

“I never meant to hurt you,” Charlie told her.

“I know,” Ruby agreed.

For the second time a heavy silence began to settle over them as the weight of all the secrets and lies became too much to bear. Only this time it was Charlie who chose to break the silence.


Charlie’s voice trailed off as she remembered something from years ago. Something she wanted to share with Ruby. “I named you.”

“What?” Ruby questioned, turning to face her.

“When you were born I was a mess, I had to stay in hospital for 2 weeks afterwards because of the complications and they kept you in the baby unit. You were 6 days old before I was well enough to see you for the first time. Mum wheeled me up and … I was so scared Ruby, I didn’t have a clue what to do, how to hold you or what to say to you and I was convinced you knew, that you were picking up on all of my insecurities because when mum gave you to me you cried,” Charlie explained.

Charlie looked down at the sand. “The nurses kept referring to you as Baby Girl Buckton and I hated it, it sounded so cold and detached and I wanted you to be mine Rubes really I did but I just couldn’t find that bond, so I gave you back to the nurse and made mum take me back to the ward. A few days later after everyone had gone home I couldn’t sleep so I decided to go for a walk. I don’t know how but I found myself stood by your bassinet just watching you sleep. You were perfect Rubes. You had this tiny little hair of dark blonde hair but your eyelashes were dark, black almost and you had these tiny little lips that smacked together as you slept,” Charlie sobbed as recalled the memories.

“You started to wake up and I didn’t know what to do so I picked you up and you actually settled, you seemed to calm straight away and you just lay there in my arms staring at me, as if you were trying to tell me that it was all going to be alright, the nurse came over and asked me if I had a name for you yet. I hadn’t even thought about it, I know it sounds weird but until that moment it wasn’t real, you weren’t real and then all of a sudden I found myself holding you and you were real and it was in that moment that I fell in love with you,” Charlie whispered as she turned to look at Ruby for the first time since she began telling the story.

Turning Charlie wiped away the tears that fell down Ruby’s cheeks. “I sat there running my finger gently across your face, I was telling you that I was your mother and that I loved you. From you tiny toes to your ruby red lips and then it hit me. Ruby. The name just seemed to fit and when I said it out loud it sounded right. And from that minute on you were Ruby. My little Ruby.”

“What changed?” Ruby asked. “If you loved me enough to name me why did you run away and give me away to mum and dad?”

“When I got home everything changed, the nightmares started and I couldn’t sleep, you started suffering from colic and you wouldn’t settle, you just cried all the time and I thought it was me, that you hated me and I just snapped and ran away. It was never because I didn’t love you Ruby because I did it was because-”

“You hated yourself,” Ruby finished for her as she recalled her conversation with Auntie Michelle.

Charlie nodded. “I’ve always loved you Rubes. No matter what else has been going on you’ve always been the most important person in my life.”

“I know,” Ruby admitted.

“So what happens now?” Charlie asked repeating her question from earlier.

Ruby moved closer to her sister, allowing Charlie to wrap her arm around her. “I don’t know,” she admitted as she leaned her head on Charlie’s shoulder. “But I do know one thing; I can’t lose you too Charlie. Sister, mother, friend … we need to find a way to make our relationship work.”

“You don’t know how much that means to me Rubes,” Charlie cried.

“I’ve got an idea. You know what never fails to turn a frown into a smile?” Ruby asked.

Charlie found herself laughing for the first time in years. “I think we’re both a bit too old for Aladdin Rubes.”

“No not Aladdin. Hot chocolate with marshmallows,” Ruby replied as she pulled Charlie to her feet.

As they headed across the beach towards home both of them knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, that there was a lot to get past and a lifetimes worth of secrets and lies to overcome but in that moment all that mattered was that they had each other and that they had taken the first step towards a new understanding.



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