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Tear Stains On A Pillow

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I haven't written a fanfic in a very long time, I've barely had any time to keep up with things on here, but this idea for a one shot just popped into my head at like 1 in the morning, so I thought I'd share it with you, so let me know what you think.

Story Title: Tear Stains On A Pillow

Type of story: One Shot

Main Characters: Ruby

BTTB rating: T

Genre: Drama, AU

Does story include spoilers: No

Any warnings: Deals with Death

Summary: Having pushed everyone away, will Ruby be able to deal alone?

Walking into her bedroom Ruby, she slowly closed the door behind her before collapsing straight onto her bed. "Hmmmm..." The soft mattress felt nice underneath her, rolling over she kicked off her shoes and made her way up the bed. Stretching out infront of her she pulled her pillow towards her and hugged it underneath her arm as she curled up into a ball. The last few weeks events had been emotionally consuming and she was now feeling rather drained. Closing her eyes she tried to forget the stresses of the day and the invisible scars and the visible marks, like the tear stains on her cheeks, that they had left.

"Ruby..." Her eyes snapped open as Leah's muffled voice came from the other side of the wooden door. But she didn't reply, she didn't want to talk to anyone. She just wanted to be alone. "Ruby... I'm making pasta for dinner, do you want any?" Leah asked as Ruby shook her head, forgetting that Leah couldn't see, but quickly replied when she remembered.

"No thank you." Her voice was hoarse and cracked with the emotions of the day. "I'm not hungry."

"You need to eat sweetheart." Leah stated. Ruby knew that she was only looking out for her, but she didn't care, she didn't want her to. She could look after herself, she didn't need any body mothering her.

"I'm fine Leah. I just want to be left alone." It took all of her strength to not break down into tears.

"Okay then. Well, if you change your mind, I'll leave it in the fridge." She could hear the concern and pity in Leah's voice and it made her sick. "Look, if you want to talk, I'm here okay." Ruby didn't reply, she just stared at the door, willing for Leah to get the hint and leave, and she did. Ruby closed her eyes tight as Leah's footsteps slowly disappeared.

She was all alone, just like she wanted to be. The only sound she could hear was the ticking of her watch in her ear as she laid on her wrist. It began to distract her from her thoughts. Sitting up on her knees she looked at the watch. Charlie had given it to her for her birthday. Tears began to roll down her cheeks again as she ripped the watch from her wrist and threw it across the room angrily.

Quickly curling back up into a ball she sobbed into the pillow. She was angry, she was upset, she was hurting and she was lonely and broken hearted. But nothing anyone could do or say would make her feel any better. She'd pushed everyone away. The only person that kept on trying to reach out to her was Leah, but she could tell in her face that even she was about to give up soon too.

She had meant to push everyone away, but the pity looks in their eyes had driven her mad, so she'd driven them all away. She made her way through her days by avoiding eye contact with anyone as much as possible. If she didn't look them in the eye, if she didn't talk to them, she wouldn't see sympathy or hear the pity. She hated it. She hated them. She hated herself for hating them. They were once her friends, they were only trying to help her, but she didn't want their help.

'I can deal with this alone.' She repeated to herself over and over in her head as she listened to the beating of her own heart. It was tremendously deafening. Rolling over onto her back she looked up at the ceiling, her tears having dried up. She remembered the time that her and Annie had laid on the floor of her bedroom one night and pretended to look up at the stars. They had told each other their dreams of the future, where they wanted to be in 10 years time and what they wanted to be doing.

Tears were threatening to spill over as she fought them back thinking of the good times she had had with her best friend. But they weren't going to happen again. Nothing was ever going to be the same again. All she could do was cry. Everytime she thought that she'd finished crying, everytime she thought that she had no more tears left in her to cry, she started again. Like an endless sea of tears. But she didn't mind. They were her only company.

She closed her eyes for a second, breathing in deeply, trying to stop the sad thoughts running through her mind. By the time she opened them the sun had gone down and it was dark in her room. She shivered slightly in the chill of the evening, as she fumbled around looking for a jumper. Climbing off her bed, Ruby slowly made her way across her bedroom, as she pressed her ear up against the wooden door, she listened for voices.

Ruby was startled when she heard two muffled voices. "I can't get through to her... I was just wondering if maybe you could... you know... try talking to her. She barely says two words to me anymore." Ruby bit her lip as she heard Leah speak, she sounded fed up, she sounded like she was going to give up any second now and that this was her last hope at helping the young girl under her roof.

"I don't know if I can... I can barely help myself at the moment." The man's muffled reply came. "But I'll try." Ruby stumbled backwards towards her bed as she heard footsteps coming towards the door. She knew what was about to happen. It was confirmed when a soft knock sounded from the door. "Ruby... can I come in?" Ruby didn't reply, she just stared at the door. Hoping the if she pretended she was asleep he'd go away.

There was no such luck, the door creaked open and the tall blonde man stood infront of her. As he closed the door behind him, Ruby looked at him a little confused. He didn't look like everyone else, there was no pity in his eyes. He just looked broken. He looked like she felt. His eyes had lost the sparkle and his smile was none existent. He wasn't even half the man she remembered him to be.

"Ruby... I'm not here to say that everything's going to be okay, because it's not. I'm just here to make sure that..." He started, Ruby could tell that he didn't know where he was going, he had nothing much else to say. It had been sprung on him just as much as it had been sprung on her, and he had nothing to go on. He hadn't been able to practice what he was going to say.

"She loved you... you know that right?" Ruby finally spoke after a deafening silence. He looked up at her, startled by the sudden noise in the room. He was still leaning against the door.

"I can't do this." His voice cracked and he turned around to face the door, as he held onto the handle he leant his head against the door, before breaking down. Ruby didn't know what to do, she just stared blankly at the man infront of her before instinct took over.

"Shhhh..." Ruby cooed as she made her way towards him, as she placed her hand on his shoulder blade, he turned around to face her before sliding to the floor as his legs collapsed beneath him. "It's okay. I don't expect you to have all the answers..."

"I just... I don't know what to say."

"Me neither. I can't even say goodbye to her properly because I'm still so angry at her." Ruby leant against the door next to him, as she pulled her knees up to meet her chest, tears stinging her cold cheeks again. "I'm so angry at her for leaving me. I'm so angry that she's gone. I'm so upset and I'm so lonely and I'm so sick and tired of everyone telling me they're sorry..." Ruby felt the acid swirling around in her mouth as she spat the words she'd been longing to say to someone out.

She'd wanted to tell someone so much how angry she was, but she had kept it to herself because she didn't think it was appropriate. 'How can you be angry at someone for dying?'

"I loved her so much, I don't know what I'm going to do without her Angelo..." Ruby sobbed as Angelo placed his arm around her.

"Charlie loved you too, you were always on her mind. She wouldn't want you to be alone like this." Angelo breathed slowly, trying to calm himself and Ruby down.

"But, what if... what if I let other people in and then they go away like Charlie did? I don't think I could handle this pain again. I've already lost my mum, my dad barely remembers who I am and now I've lost Charlie, we'd only just started connecting again." Ruby was shaking as she buried her face further into Angelo's chest. She could hear his heart beat, it was loud and slow but soothing at the same time. "I feel like I'm broken... and I don't know how to fix myself. She was always the strong one, I don't know if I can survive without her."

"You are a strong girl Ruby Buxton! Don't let anyone else tell you differently! You are so much like Charlie in many ways, you'll never know just how much. I promise you will survive this, you've survived so much in your life. I'm not going to say the pain will get any easier because it won't, it'll just become more manageable with time, because you'll become stronger for it." Ruby listened to Angelo's heart beat as he spoke, his breathing stayed calm, but his heart rate soared when he mentioned Charlie. "If you ever need anything... I'm here."

"Can you take me to see her..?" Ruby asked as she wiped her tears away. "I think I'm ready to say goodbye." Angelo nodded. She could tell that he was didn't want to go, that it must be hard for him too but she needed this and she was pretty sure he needed it too.

Ruby had been in a hurry to leave, as to avoid questions from Leah. She'd been in such a hurry that she hadn't even put any shoes on. As she walked barefooted across the wet grass, she used the moonlight to find her way, with Angelo not far behind, treading cautiously.

Ruby stopped dead infront of a grey marble head stone. On it were the words she was looking for. 'Charlie Buxton 1979-2009 Loving daughter, caring sister, wonderful friend and devoted policewoman' Angelo stared mesmerized by the scene infront of him until Ruby's screams broke him out of his trance. He turned to see Ruby screaming at the headstone, he ran over to her just as she picked up a rock from the ground and hurtled it at the headstone.

"How could you leave me!?" Ruby screamed as Angelo cradled her in his arms. "I need you... I love you so much. I need you Charlie." Ruby cried, as tears began to fall down her cheeks again. Angelo began to gentle stroke her hair while rocking her back and forth, gently trying to calm her down. "I miss her so much. There's so many things I needed to say to her."

"Well then say them to her. There's no time like the present." Angelo cooed as she pulled away from his grasp and crawled closer to the head stone.

She felt stupid. Charlie was dead, what was she supposed to say to her now. Holding out her hand she touched the headstone and a wave of compassion ran through her. It was like someone was watching her. "I'm sorry..." Ruby began.

Angelo watched and listened as Ruby spilled her heart out to Charlie's gravestone, as he thought about everything he wanted to say to her too. Not wanting to interrupt Ruby, he said them silently in a pray.

Soon it had fallen silent again, Ruby delved deep into the pockets of her school dress and pulled out a marker pen, leaning forward she touched the tip of the pen to the shiny, grey marble slowly she slid it down and then up again until she had finished writing. Sitting back she admired her handy work, and smiled for the first time in three weeks she smiled.

It was like relief had washed over her, like a ton of weight had been lifted. She had loved Charlie as a sister a mother and a friend very much. From that moment on, Ruby knew that Charlie would always be looking after her.

Ruby turned to face Angelo, who at the precise moment got a clear view of what Ruby had written and his heart warmed when he read it, because he knew that Ruby was now beginning to heal. 'The perfect mother... I'll always love you.'


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