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Freaky Summer Bay

Guest Red Ranger 1

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Taking me a while to get this one done because I wanted to get it.Sorry it's a bit short, let me know what you think.


Charlie woke up coughing and felt a comforting hand rubbing her back.Ruby was sitting there, a sight that would have been slightly more reassuring if she wasn’t still wearing Charlie’s body.“The doctors say you’re going to be all right.”

Charlie nodded, waiting until her breathing was back to normal before answering.“I’m glad to see you.I was afraid I’d wake up to find your two boyfriends in here.”

“I don’t have two boyfriends,”Ruby protested,“I’ve got a boyfriend and a…maybe-future-boyfriend.”She looked at Charlie hopefully.“Don’t suppose you’ve got any preference?”

“Ruby, I am not breaking up with your boyfriend for you!”Charlie gave her a companionable grin for a moment before becoming all businesslike.“What are the police saying?Is this fire linked to the other ones?”

Ruby smiled slightly.That was Charlie, trying to do her job even when she was in hospital in someone else’s body.“Don’t worry.We’ve caught the guy.He’s down at the station now, we’re pretty sure he’s going to confess.”

“We?”Charlie repeated,“You had a hand in it?”

“Well…I guess you could say I solved the case.So your reputation’s safe.”

Charlie smiled at her.“I always knew you were a bright girl.Sounds like you were quite the hero.”

“What about you?”Ruby asked,“I spoke to Mr.Bartlett and the rest of the class.They said you saved their lives.The classroom you were in downstairs was already burnt out by the time the fire brigade got you out, if you’d stayed in there…”

Charlie nodded.“I never thought I’d end up thinking it was a good job this body swap happened.”

Ruby felt affronted.“Why?Because you think I wouldn’t have handled it as well?”

Charlie shook her head.“No.Because I’d rather it was me who’d been in that fire than you.”She took her daughter’s hand.“I love you, Ruby.”

Ruby felt her eyes starting to well up.“I love you too.”She took hold of Charlie, hugging her.They held each other tightly.

And then Ruby coughed.

She released the hug and found herself looking at Charlie.Not her body with Charlie in it.Real Charlie.She was sitting in the hospital bed, in her own body.She coughed again.“What did you do to my lungs?”

“Breathe with them mostly.”

“Do you think you could maybe have stopped?”

Charlie smiled.“Well, apparently the doctors said you’re going to be all right.”

Charlie found Angelo in the reception as she came out of what was now Ruby’s hospital room.She hurried over to him and kissed him.

Angelo grinned.“Wow, what was that for?”

“Just feels like a while since I’ve done that.”

“You’re telling me.I was a bit worried when you kept stopping me kissing you.”

Charlie glanced back at Ruby’s room.“That’s nice to know.”She noticed the curious way Angelo was looking at her.“I mean…my mind’s been all over the place recently but it’s back where it should be now. Any word on the suspect?”

“Oh yeah.Full confession.Watson’s sorting out the charge sheet as we speak.”

“Well, let’s go back and I can reclaim my office.”Charlie suddenly noticed Geoff and Xavier sat nearby, neither of them looking at or talking to each other.Well, a gentle nudge wouldn’t hurt…“It’s okay, boys, you can go and see Ruby now.”

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Thanks for all your comments, last chapter, hope you like it.


They were back at the restaurant, where it had all started.Both Charlie and Ruby had shot a cautious look at the wishing well when they entered, decided that they weren’t going to make any more wishes and requested a table as far away from it as possible.

“So what are we doing back here?”Ruby asked after they’d ordered.

“Just thought it might be a form of closure,”Charlie replied,“Like we’ve come full circle.”

“Talking of closure, what’s happening with that arsonist?Any idea why he set fire to the school?”

Charlie sighed.“You were right about the first two fires, he was after revenge.But it seems it gave him a feeling of power, like he was in control, so he just kept doing it.Anyway, given that he’s already on a suspended sentence, it’s almost certain he’s going to be doing jail time.”

“Well, given that I’m only just back on solids after the smoke…you inhaled in that fire, I’m not too sorry.”

Charlie smiled.“You know, I’ve got a lot of people patting me on the back at work, saying I did a good job of working it all out.”

“I’m the same,”Ruby agreed,“Mr.Bartlett’s saying I have excellent leadership skills and trying to get me to run for school council.”

“All the same, it sounds as though you’d make a good police officer…”

Ruby held up a hand.“Don’t even go there, Charles.I may have spent a few days in your shoes but I am not going to follow in your foosteps.I’m going to be a hairdresser or a fashion model or a…zookeeper or something.Guess we’re just going to have to go on taking the credit for each other.”

“And the blame,”Charlie pointed out,“ I think as far as Maitland’s concerned, I’ve just broken even.”

“Hey, Irene thinks I got Annie drunk!”Ruby paused before asking,“Do you think we got our wish?That we understand each other better now?”

“I think so,”Charlie agreed,“I think…I never really understood what it was like to be sixteen before.When I was your age, I…well, I had a few issues to deal with that most sixteen-year-olds don’t.And I suppose because of that I always thought you had it easy.But having lived your life for a few days, it made me realise that there’s a lot more pressure on you than I thought.I’m sorry if I haven’t realised that.”

“I guess I always thought you had an easy life as well,”Ruby admitted,“But while I might have been able to busk it for a bit, I couldn’t do your job.The responsibility to the rest of the station, to the public…it’s not really something I could handle.And yet I could tell that everyone there expected you to do it.I think they all respect you, deep down.Even the ones that aren’t happy with your choice of boyfriend.And then there’s Angelo.”

“Look, Ruby, whatever happened…”

“He loves you.”

Charlie felt her breath catch in her throat.It took her a few seconds before she was able to speak again. “Well…I hope that’s true.”

“Trust me, I’ve had those big brown eyes gazing at me for the past few days.It’s true.”

Charlie smiled.“Well, I’ve had a couple of blonde-haired, blue-eyed teenage boys shooting me looks.How did the hospital visit go?”

“I…kind of stalled.”Ruby sighed.“I’ll get it sorted, I promise.”

“I know you will, Rube.So long as you’re happy, that’s all I want.”

The waiter came back with their drinks.“Two orange juices,”he announced before leaving them in peace.

Ruby shot an amused look at Charlie’s glass.“You cutting back?”

“Let’s just say I’m reassessing a few things.”

Ruby raised her drink.“So what are we going to drink to?”

“Understanding?”Charlie suggested.

Ruby clinked her glass against her mother’s.“Understanding.”


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