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Annie's Return

Guest ish_the_angel

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Title: Annie's Return

Length: short/medium - ongoing

Main Characters: Geoff, Annie, Ruby, Irene and others to be announced.

Rating: T.

Genre: Drama.

Spoilers: May contain some for international viewers.

Any warnings: None at this stage, will warn before any come up.

Summary: Annie returns from her exchange after being gone only 2 months. What would make her return early?

Chapter 1.

Geoff and Ruby finished tidying the lounge. Irene and Annie would be home soon, and they wanted to make sure the house was ready and welcoming. Geoff had no idea why Annie had decided to end her trip early. By all accounts she'd been having a wonderful time in Japan but he figured she must have been getting pretty homesick. Irene hadn't give much away before she left for the airport that morning. All she'd told him and Ruby was that Annie would need some space when she arrived, so they should clean the house then head out for the remainder of the day.

Geoff was putting the vacuum cleaner away when he heard the car pull up in the driveway. Ruby took the cake she'd prepared and popped it on the bench.

"Hey Sis," Geoff called out from the kitchen door. He ran out to help her with her bags. Annie mumbled a return greeting and made her way into the house. The poor girl looked like she hadn't slept in weeks. She complexion was pale and dark rings had formed around her eyes.

"We've missed you, Annie. It's good to have you home," Ruby said.

Annie's lack of response surprised them all. She sat on the couch picked up a cushion, a blank look spread across her face. Geoff and Ruby looked at Irene waiting for an explanation. She shrugged her shoulder.

"She hasn't spoken a word since I picked her up." Irene looked worried.

"We might go down to the Diner," Geoff offered. "Should we pick up something for dinner?"

"Yeah. Thanks Love."

The pair chose a booth and sat down with their milkshakes.

"I wonder what's going on," Geoff said.

"Looks pretty serious, whatever it is," Ruby pondered. "Maybe something happened to her in Japan."

After a while the duo decided to go down to the beach for a swim. They spent a good few hours there splashing around and soaking up the sun. Before they knew it darkness was beginning to fall. The grabbed their gear and headed back to the Diner to grab the meal they had promised Irene.

"Dinner's here!" Geoff called out as they arrived home. They layed the parcels of Fish'n'Chips on the table and looked around for any sign of life. Irene came down the stairs and joined them at the table.

"Where's Annie," asked Ruby full of concern.

"She's just gone to sleep, I managed to find out a little of what's going on, but she's really upset about it, I think we just need to be patient".

Ruby and Geoff looked at each other, both equally puzzled.

"What's going on? Is she ok?" asked Geoff.

"Not really, but she will be. She'll tell you in her own time." Irene answered. "Now let's eat!"


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Chapter 2.

Annie stayed in her room for the rest of the evening. Irene brought up a plate of food but she couldn't eat a thing. She lay on her bed cuddling her favourite teddy bear and cried til her tear ran out. She appreciated the way Irene had sat on the end of her bed and stroked her head for a moment before pulling the covers over her. She hadn't said a word, but Annie knew Irene would listen when she was ready to talk some more.

She didn't get much sleep that night. She tossed and turned all night, and felt sick in the stomach. She was sure she's have thrown up if she'd had anything to eat.

Early next morning Annie pulled on some clothes and headed out for a walk. She chose a different part of the beach to stroll, in the hope that she would not run into anyone she knew. When she found a comfy place to sit she watched the sun rise on the horizon. It was going to be a beautiful day. Annie closed her eyes and listened to the sounds of nature. She could hear the seagulls and imagined for a moment how nice it would be to have wings and fly wherever she liked.

"Hey, I heard you were back in town," a familar voice interupted. She opened her eyes to see Romeo standing in front of her with a big smile on his face. "Did you miss me too much?"

Annie wasn't in any mood to be friendly or polite. She hadn't wanted to be disturbed, especially by Romeo who was the one who helped her go to Japan in the first place.

"Something like that," she mumbled. Without even looking at the guy she stood up and quickly walked off, leaving him standing there looking confused.

Annie went back to the house. It was bustling with her family all rushing to get their breakfast. She walked in the door just at Geoff spilt a container of Rice Bubbles on the floor. He and Ruby were laughing as they scrambled to clean up the mess.

"Hello Darl. How was your walk?" She asked.

Annie decided to make an effort to be happy and told her it was nice and that she was fine. She grabbed some bread and popped it into the toaster and stood back to watch the silly love birds fight over the broom as they made more mess than they cleaned.

Geoff and Ruby seemed a bit unsure of what to say to Annie. She figured Irene must have warned them that something was up, and she hoped that they didn't know the whole story. Annie wasn't sure what to do about her situation yet, and until she'd worked it out for herself she didn't want anyone else to know.

After breakfast Annie headed upstairs. She stood and looked in the mirror. She didn't look any different to how she was 2 months ago, but knew that she was never going to be the same again. The feeling of shame and disgust swept over her as she placed her hand over her stomach. The baby would be too small for anyone to notice for a while yet. She still had time to make her big decision.

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Chapter 3.

Geoff still had no idea what was going on with Annie, but he was relieved she looked a little happier this morning. He decided it must have been home sickness that brought her back to the bay. He loved living on the beach and could understand why some people never left the place.

Ruby gave him a quick kiss before she left to visit Charlie. They'd planned a shopping trip a couple of weeks ago and Geoff was glad the pair seemed to be getting along really well these days. He still couldn't bring himself to view Charlie as his girlfriend's mum. That was a bit too weird.

Geoff stood in the kitchen for a moment deciding what to do with his day. It was Sunday so he didn't have to work or anything. He was tossing up whether to have a shower or go back to bed when Annie came downstairs.

"Has Irene gone to work?" she asked him.

"Yeah she left about 10 minutes ago," he informed her. Geoff saw a look of sadness sweep over her face as she turned to head back up to her room.

"Wait a sec, Annie," he called after her. "I don't know what's going on with you but it's obvious you're upset about something. Is there anything I can do to help," he asked with genuine concern.

"Everything's so messed up," she began to sob. "And it's all my fault."

Geoff hated seeing his baby sister so torn up. He wished he knew how to fix things, but unless she told him what was going on there was little he could do to help. He wrapped his arms tightly around the girl as she spilt tears all over him.

They sat down on the couch together.

"What's happened, Annie," he asked her. "What happened in Japan?"

She wanted to open up to him, but wasn't sure she was ready yet. She still hadn't decided if she was keeping the baby even though the alternative went against everything she'd been brought up to believe.

"I've done something really stupid, and now I'm going to be stuck with it for the rest of my life."

Geoff had no idea what she meant but decided not to push it.

"I'm here whenever you want to talk," he told her. He kissed his sister on the forehead and went into his room.

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