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Like You Love Me

Guest charmed60

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Story Title: Like You Love Me

Type of story: Short/Medium Fic

Main Characters: Rachel, Tony, Leah. Mentions of Harry and Kate (Tony's ex wife)

BTTB rating: G/T

Genre: Romance, Drama, Angst.

Does story include spoilers: None at all

Any warnings: Not that I can think of

Summary: Rachel is forced to confront insecurities she never realised she had when Tony forgets her birthday and spends the day at his ex wife Kate's grave.

I've always wondered what it would be like knowing your husband had a wife before you who died and the sort of questions and emotions it would bring up, so I've used Rachel and Tony as a way of discovering my thoughts on it and I hope you like it. There's nothing you need to know prior to reading this, things are the same here as they are in the show; Jack is dead and Harry is a few months old.

I've never written a fanfiction before so please comment or I'll think you hate it haha, constructive criticism welcome and greatly appreciated!

“Morning beautiful” Tony whispered as he knelt down beside the bed, planting a kiss on Rachel’s forehead and placing a cup of tea on her bedside unit.

Rachel poked her head from under the duvet and laughed as she saw Tony balancing a tray on one hand whilst trying to reach for a pillow that Rachel could lean back on to.

“You are the most perfect husband in the whole world, what’s all this for, special occasion?” Rachel joked despite knowing full well why Tony was spoiling her. Today was her birthday and she’d been waiting for this day for the past few weeks because she knew it meant her, Tony and Harry would be spending a whole day together. Her family. Work had been totally consuming their lives lately; Tony’s employees had been letting him down a lot lately which meant he’d had to work more and on the days he had had off, Rachel had to go in to the hospital.

“Can’t a man make his wife breakfast without there having to be a special reason” Tony laughed, resting the tray on the bottom of the bed, climbing over Rachel and snuggling down next to her under the blanket.

“Of course he can” Rachel smiled, nestling her head on his shoulder and crawling her fingers along his chest. “But today is a special reason” she beamed. Rachel looked up at Tony and started stroking his cheek, watching his face crease up with confusion.

“It’s not our anniversary yet is it?” Rachel’s hand dropped onto his chest and she lifted herself up so she was leaning over him. She stared at him, watching as the corner of his lips slowly lifted to form a smile.

“Stop playing with me Mr Holden” Rachel laughed as she playfully hit his chest and resumed her position on his shoulder. Tony picked up her hand and played with her fingers.

“Rach, actually there is something I wanted to talk to you about.” Tony started hesitantly. “I know today’s important to you and weve been waiting a long time to spend some time together. It’s just, I wondered if you’d mind if I went to Kate’s grave today.” Rachel froze. She wasn’t expecting that. It’s not as if she minded, Kate was an important part of Tony’s life she knew that but, today was her birthday. Surely it wasn’t selfish to want her husband to spend the whole day with her? Tony sensed Rachel’s hesitation. “It’s only because, well, it’s her birthday in a couple of weeks and this is the only chance I’m gonna get to go.”

“Can’t you go next weekend, I’m working then” Rachel asked quickly, trying not to sound upset. Tony paused. He hadn’t thought his excuses through properly.

“Erm, well, I thought it would be easier to go today so I didn’t have to drag Harry with me” Tony breathed deeply, hoping Rachel would accept it. “I’m sorry it’s just, it’s something that Jack, Lucas and I used to do every year, it sort of became a family tradition and well, neither of them are here to do it anymore. I kind of feel like I have to go, especially for Jack.” Rachel closed her eyes. How could she get annoyed and upset when Tony was going to do something in memory of his deceased son. She faked a smile and looked up at him once again.

“You’re right, I’m sorry. You should go it’s fine, I’m just disappointed that I wont get to spend the full 24 hours with you that’s all. I’m going to jump in the shower” Rachel planted a kiss on Tony’s lips and made her way to the bathroom”

“Hang on a sec, what about your breakfast?”

“I’ll have it when I’m dressed” Rachel shouted back from the hallway. She didn’t want Tony to see her cry. It was pathetic she knew that, but she couldn’t help wondering whether Jack was really the reason Tony was going to Kate’s grave, or whether he just wanted to be with Kate. And to top it all off, it looked like he had forgotten her birthday after all. Rachel breathed in deeply, trying to stop the tears which were threatening to spill and turned the handle on the shower. As she sat on the floor Rachel felt angry at herself. She knew she was getting worked up over nothing, Tony had a right to visit his deceased wife’s grave. She just wished he hadn’t had to go today. And he’d remembered Kate’s birthday so why hadn’t he remembered hers?

Knocking on the door broke Rachel from her thoughts. “Rach, listen I’m gonna have to leave now if I want to avoid the traffic” Tony shouted through the bathroom door.

“Okay, bye.” Rachel answered shortly. She hadn’t meant to be so blunt but he’d hurt her and she was angry. “Thanks for brekkie” she answered cheerfully, hoping he hadn’t picked up on the sarcastic tone before.

“I’ll be back before lunch and we can spend the rest of the day together I promise” Tony replied, pausing and waiting for Rachel’s reaction. He couldn’t tell whether she was genuinely okay with him going to Kate’s grave and he didn’t want her to be upset. She would understand if she knew why he was going but it’s not like he could tell her why he had to go today. It would ruin all of his plans. Rachel didn’t reply, creating a silence which filled the room with fraught tension. “I’ve given Harry his bottle and he’s nodded off again so you should at least get a couple of hours to yourself” Tony laughed, hoping to lighten the mood. Still nothing. “Don’t I get a kiss before I go?” Tony enquired, hoping that would at least get a reaction out of her. “Rach?” Tony reached towards the door handle.

“Sorry, I, I had shampoo in my ears I didn’t hear a word you just said but I’ll see you later” Rachel finally answered, a reply which seemed to satisfy Tony. “I love you” he called through the crack of the door. Rachel smiled sadly.

“Love you to” she whispered to herself hearing him walk away and close the front door behind him.


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Aww thank you all so much, your comments are really valuable to me and I'm pleased you're enjoying it :) In answer to your question, Tony has genuinely forgotten her birthday but more will be explained on that in later chapters. I've tried to write it so that there are questions running all throughout, with the last one only being revealed in the final chapter. Enjoy :)

“Hey, hey, hey where’s the birthday girl?” Leah called as she poked her head around the front door looking for her best friend. Rachel entered the living room clutching Harry and laughed as she saw a huge bouquet of flowers and a pair of legs which she thought belonged to her long life friend.

“Is that my best friend hiding behind that amazing display of red tulips?” “Of course, who else would it be?” Leah replied as she moved towards Rachel to give her a hug, debating whether to pass her the flowers whilst she was trying to balance her son on her hip.

“Why don’t I put these on the side for you, are you having a good birthday so far?” Leah asked, her eyes lighting up as Harry reached out his chubby little arms for a cuddle.

“I think he wants his auntie Leah” Rachel laughed as she passed her son over to her friend and took the flowers over to the sink.

“Let’s just say I am now you’re here, thank you so much for the flowers they’re beautiful.” Leah sensed the tone of disappointment in Rachel’s voice and placed Harry in his swing before grabbing the vase that Rachel was struggling to pick up.

“Hey, what do you mean, where’s Tony?” Rachel debated whether to tell Leah or not; she’d promised herself she would try to forget about it and by bringing it up again she was doing the exact opposite. But maybe talking to somebody about it would truly help her and Leah was her best friend after all. She was desperate to get her opinion on it.

“Tony’s gone to visit Kate’s grave” Rachel blurted out sadly, unwrapping the flowers from their plastic covering and waiting for Leah’s reaction.

“What, is he gonna be gone all day?” Leah finally answered, confused as to why Tony would choose today of all days to visit the grave of his deceased first wife.

“No, no he promised he’d be back by lunch.” Rachel paused.

“Well, I have to admit it’s a little weird that he’s gone on your birthday but, I’m sure he didn’t mean anything by it. Are you upset?” Leah pressed, asking the inevitable question which deep down she knew the answer to. She watched as Rachel drew her head back and took a deep breath, her eyes becoming watery. “Okay Rach, leave the flowers, come on, sit and down and talk to me.” Leah grabbed both of Rachel’s hands, forcing her to drop the scissors and led her to the kitchen table. She paused, allowing Rachel some time to gather her thoughts.

“He forgot my birthday” Rachel finally admitted, her voice shaking.

“Oh Rach, I’m sorry.” Leah replied, resting her hand on top of Rachel’s. “But you know what men are like with things like this; do you know how many times I had to hint to Dan in the past because I knew he’d completely forgotten.”

“Oh it’s not even the fact that he forgot that I’m upset about.” Rachel admitted. It was true, she didn’t really mind, it’s easily done.

“So why are you on the verge of crying?” Leah asked sensitively. Rachel looked up at Leah, afraid to admit the true reason she was so hurt that Tony could practically choose to spend time with Kate over her.

“Because I’m jealous. How pathetic is that? I’m jealous of Tony’s dead wife. I never realised it until today Leah but, I constantly feel like I’m walking in her shadow. She might not be here but, I feel like I’ve got so much to live up to and I’m afraid that I can’t” The tears were flowing freely down Rachel’s face as she finally admitted to feeling a way she’d only just realised she felt. “When I think back to when Harry was born, I think one of the reasons I struggled so much is because constantly in the back of my mind I was thinking … I bet Tony didn’t have this much trouble with Kate when Jack and Lucas were born. I bet Kate would have been able to settle the boys and get them into a routine. I bet Kate and Tony had this amazing experience when their babies were born and she didn’t snap at him because she was tired or refuse to let him hold them because she wanted to prove that she could do it. I was so desperate to show Tony that I could be a good Mum but it’s like the more I tried, the more I failed and the more I wondered whether Tony was wishing that Kate was Harry’s Mum instead of me.” Rachel finally took a breath, sobbing with grief as all her pent up insecurities were finally revealed.

“Oh my….Rachel. What.” Leah was in shock. She couldn’t believe that Rachel honestly thought that Tony could wish Kate was here instead of her. She’d sat with Tony while Rachel was struggling and listened to him as he told her how desperately worried he was about how, how he knew she wasn’t coping but didn’t know how best to help her. “That is completely ridiculous.” Leah began. “First of all Rachel, you are being way too hard on yourself; you had postnatal depression. It wasn’t your fault that you struggled and anyway how do you know that Kate didn’t to? How do you know that her and Tony didn’t spend the first few months tearing each other’s hair out huh?”

Rachel replied immediately, “because Tony would have told me wouldn’t he? Whenever he talks about Kate, they’re always happy memories. He always mentions how strong a person she was and I’ve never heard him once talk about the things she did wrong. It seems to me like they had this perfect marriage and then here I am screwing everything up and making him unhappy to the point that he would rather spend the one day we had together as a family with her.”

“Rach” Leah began softly. “I never, ever talk about the bad things that happened in my relationship with Dan. That didn’t mean we never fought or that we had the perfect marriage. Far from it! It’s just, Dan’s not here anymore and…it seems wrong to talk about the things I didn’t like about him.”

“Who did you love more Leah, Vinnie or Dan?” Rachel’s abrupt question shocked Leah. “If you could choose to have one of them back with you, who would you pick?”

“Rach, I couldn’t choose, I loved them both.” Leah confidently answered.

“It must have been Vinnie right? He was your first love, you first husband, the man you had your first experience of being a Mum with. I know he isn’t really gone in the same way Kate is but, he’s still not here is he.” Rachel lowered her voice as she prepared to ask Leah the question she’s been desperate to ask her since she’d arrived. “Be honest with me Leah, please. If Dan was still here and there was a way you could to have Vinnie back in your life, would you have left Dan for Vinnie? ” Leah didn’t know how to answer, she’d never even considered who she loved more, all she knew was that she loved Vinnie and Dan with all her heart. She could see where Rachel was going with this though, if Leah told her she loved Vinnie more because he was her first love, she’d think that Tony loved Kate more than her; a fact which she thought was ludicrous. Leah reached out her hand to Rachel in a final attempt to reassure her friend.

“Rach, let me just explain something to you ok. I believe that in life you can have more than one soul mate, I really do. When I think about the strength of my love for Vinnie and compare it to my love for Dan; there is no question about it. I loved both Vinnie and Dan exactly the same, but for totally different reasons. It was Vinnie’s cheekiness and absolute love of life that first made me fall in love with him and with Dan; it was his mature, stable, loving personality that made me love him, I knew that I could totally depend on him for anything. Of course I was devastated when Vinnie left and I wanted him back more than anything, but then I met Dan and he made me happier than ever. Just because Kate was Tony’s first wife, it does not mean that he loved her more than he loves you. I’ve seen him when he’s around you Rach, his eyes completely light up, he thinks the world of you and loves you more than anything. You really need to believe that. He’s so proud of you and Harry, you’re his family.” Leah watched as Rachel wiped the tears which had stained her cheeks away and slowly began to smile. “I know he’s forgotten your birthday Rach and you’re disappointed he’s gone to see Kate but you can’t think that it’s a reflection of how much he loves you. If he knew that he’d missed your birthday he’d be devastated. And you know what, Kate and Tony were young when they were together and it worked back then, but who’s to say it would have worked if Kate was still alive. People change as they grow and Tony’s probably a completely different person now to who he was back then, with everything he’s gone through. And it’s that changed man that chose you to spend the rest of his life with. So you need to stop this insecurity and believe in what you and Tony have together because I know that you and Harry make him the happiest man alive. He loves you both so much.”

Rachel took a deep breath to control the new set of tears which were threatening to fall, the only difference is; these tears were of happiness. “I knew I could rely on you to put things into perspective for me Leah, thank you so much, you’re an amazing friend” Rachel smiled as she leaned forward to embrace Leah in a friendly hug. She knew she was right, just because people lose the ones they love, it doesn’t mean they can’t love somebody else just as much. And she believed that now, she believed that Tony did love her just as much as he loved Kate. When she thought back to all the amazing things he’d done for her, proposing twice, supporting her through her postnatal depression, giving her Harry; she was annoyed with herself that she’d ever doubted it.

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Thank you Danni, Suzanne and Kirsty, your comments are all so lovely :) I wouldn't be posting if it wasn't for you guys!

This next chapter focuses on Tony and his thoughts on Jack and Rachel. It's quite a short chapter sorry! I hope you enjoy!

Tony closed his eyes as he felt the breeze gently brush past him. All he could hear was the gentle trickling of the memorial fountain in the background, it was so peaceful here. He’d spent the past hour talking to Kate, he didn’t know whether she could hear him but he felt like there were things he needed to say and he couldn’t rest until he’d said them.

Now, whilst he was kneeling next to her headstone, his thoughts turned to their son, Jack. Tony missed him so much. People say that as time goes on things get easier but he didn’t believe that, he just learnt to live with the pain. He’d still have days where he’d wake up in the morning and think about going next door and asking Jack if he wanted to go for a surf. And then it would hit him. Tony couldn’t explain it but it felt like Jack had been gone forever, yet it seemed like it was only yesterday that he found his body, lying lifelessly on the ground. Alone. That’s what broke his heart the most, knowing that Jack was all by himself when he died, with no-one to hold his hand and tell him how much he was loved and how much he was going to be missed. Rachel had told him time and time again that his death would have been instant, that he wouldn’t have suffered. That brought Tony some comfort.

Thoughts of Rachel reminded him of what had happened earlier. He knew his wife more than she realised, he knew he’d upset her. He hadn’t meant to but he’d really needed to speak to Kate and today was his only chance, he knew she’d understand when she found out what he’d done for her. He thought about calling her earlier to make sure she was ok, but he knew that would only anger her more. She’s a stubborn woman. Tony laughed as he thought of all the little arguments him and Rachel had had. They would always end the same way, with Tony sleeping on the couch. He wouldn’t be there long though before Rachel would tiptoe across the room in the dark and beg him to come back to bed because she was cold and wanted a cuddle. Most of the time he’d comply but some of the time he’d make her sleep on the couch with him as punishment. Either way they’d always end up back together. Tony thought it would probably be okay to call her now, he’d missed her and was looking forward to spending the rest of the day together with her and Harry.

As he said his goodbyes to Kate with one last request to give Jack a hug from him; Tony stood up and made his way back towards the car, reaching into his pocket for his phone. As he unlocked the keypad he noticed a symbol in the corner of his screen, indicating he had a reminder. He clicked on it and a message appeared; Rach’s birthday. Tony’s face fell as he tried to make sense of the message. “What? Why’s that popped up?” Tony questioned aloud. He knew it wasn’t her birthday for another week so he didn’t understand why he’d previously written it in as today. As Tony scanned through the calendar stored in his phone, his heart suddenly sank.

He remembered now how they’d celebrated Rachel’s 30th a week later last year, as he had to go away for her birthday weekend on a business trip. It all made sense to him now why she was so upset this morning, she’d been all set to celebrate with him and he’d just abandoned her to go and visit his ex wife’s grave. He felt so stupid, he didn’t know why but the date they’d celebrated last year had just stuck in his head. Tony was frantic, he had to get home and make it up to her; he was just disappointed he wouldn’t get to carry out what he had planned for her next weekend. As Tony raced towards his car and sat into the driving seat, he realised that he could actually still carry out his surprise. But he’d need Leah’s help.


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Thank you so much Charlene, Danni and Kirsty, your comments keep me going and encourage me to keep posting!!

Rachel smiled as she watched her son guzzling from his bottle, his tiny fingers stroking her hand. “You’re so beautiful little boy, I love you so much do you know that?” she whispered kissing his forehead. Rachel watched as his little eyes locked with hers and he gave her a huge gummy smile, milk dribbling down his chubby cheeks. “Aww you’re a messy pup” Rachel laughed as she juggled holding his bottle under her neck and wiping his face with his bibbie.

“You look like you’ve got your hands full there” Leah joked, placing her mobile back into her pocket and taking a seat opposite Rachel at the table. “Yer, I think Harry’s finally starting to understand when I talk to him, I just told him I loved him and he gave me this beautiful smile.” Leah grinned watching Rachel talk so adoringly of her son, she remembered that first year or so, when you’re totally amazed seeing your child doing everyday things.

“Who was that on the phone, is everything ok? You rushed out pretty quickly” Rachel continued.

“Oh yer everything’s fine, it was a wrong number, I just didn’t wanna wake Harry that’s all; although I see he managed to do that all by yourself, didn’t you sweetheart” Leah detracted as she stroked his cheek which had accumulated more milk stains. Suddenly Rachel’s phone went off, indicating she had a text message. Seeing that Harry was slowly drifting off, Rachel removed the bottle from his mouth and looked at her phone, noticing there was a message from Tony.

“Everything ok?” Leah asked, watching Rachel’s face fall.

“Yer,” she replied sadly “it’s just a text from Tony, apparently the traffic’s really bad where he is so he wont be home until later.” Rachel smiled but Leah could tell she was forcing it. She was so desperate to just blurt everything out right there and then but she knew it wouldn’t be fair on Tony. Plus, the wait would be worth it in the end.

“Well in that case, why don’t you, me and Harry go down to the beach” Leah suggested, trying to cheer her up. “You can’t spend your birthday cooped up in the house!” Rachel was disappointed but she knew it wasn’t Tony’s fault, hopefully they’d be able to have a lovely dinner later and at least spend the night together.

“Sure I’ll go and get Harry’s hat and put some sun cream on him and then we can go” Rachel smiled, standing up from her chair with Harry still nestled and sleeping soundly in her arms. “Oh and Rach” Leah called after her, trying to be as subtle as possible. “Didn’t you buy that dress the other day to wear on your birthday? Why don’t you put that on, it seems a shame for it to go to waste”

“It’s a bit dressed up for the beach isn’t it?” Rachel asked, poking her head around the doorframe. “Not at all” Leah replied, “it’s your birthday you’re allowed to dress up and anyway, when Tony gets home and sees you wearing it, he’ll regret leaving you all day” Rachel laughed

“You are so naughty Leah, okay give me 5 minutes I wont be long”

“Take as long as you need Rach.”

Leah smiled and quickly pulled her phone from her pocket. The plan was working perfectly.


“So, do you think you’re going to talk to Tony about how you feel?” Leah asked as she wandered along the beach front, dipping her feet into the sea. She loved living here; the weather was beautiful, the scenery was breathtaking, her best friend lived here. Of course the only thing that would make it perfect would be if Vinnie and Dan were here. What Rachel had said today had got her thinking. What would she do if Vinnie and Dan could come back? She couldn’t be with both of them! But then she couldn’t choose. She imagined them both, wherever they were now. What were they doing? She laughed to herself as she thought of them both up there, arguing over who she loved more. Sadly, she’d never have to worry about who she’d choose. They weren’t coming back.

“Hey you ok Leah?” Rachel asked, trying to get Leah’s attention.

“Oh sorry I was a million miles away, what was I saying?”

“You were asking if I was going to talk to Tony about Kate.” Rachel replied carrying a dozy Harry who was resting his head on her shoulder, gazing out to sea. Whenever her and Tony brought him to the beach he would always point his hand out at the waves; they couldn’t wait to take him for his first swim. She reckoned he was going to be a water baby just like his Dad.

“I don’t think I am” Rachel started. “It wouldn’t be fair on Tony. If I tell him what I told you today, it would put him in a really awkward position. It would be like I’m forcing him to tell me he loves me more and that really wouldn’t be fair. It would bring up a lot of sadness and memories of Kate and I don’t want to put him through that. I’m happy just knowing he loves me Leah, that’s enough.”

“I’m pleased for you Rach” Leah smiled. As she turned to look at Rachel, she spotted Tony in the corner of her eye, hiding behind one of the sand dunes further up shore trying to get her attention. Trying to stifle a giggle, she knew that was her cue.

“Rach, I’ve actually got to check something in the Diner. Why don’t you wait here, I’ll only be 10 minutes.”

“Sure. Harry’s engrossed in watching that boat over there anyway, I think I’d break his heart if I pulled him away now” Rachel laughed kissing the palm of her baby’s hand.

“Okay see you in a bit.” Leah smiled as she walked up towards the Diner. Mouthing good luck to Tony and giving him a thumbs up; she fastened her pace in order to get out of the way.


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Thank you so much Danni and Zoe :D This next chapter's quite short as the next one is the last one and very long!

“Did you want to go on a boat Harry” Rachel asked, amused at her son’s total engrossment. He gurgled, waving his arms and legs about in excitement. Rachel laughed, “I take that as a yes. Well sorry sweetheart but you’re going to have to ask your Daddy about that, Mummy’s useless she doesn’t know anything about boats.”

“Ask Daddy what?” a voice echoed. As Rachel turned around to look behind her, her mouth dropped. Standing there all dressed up smartly in his white wedding shirt and black suit trousers was Tony, clutching a red rose tightly in his hand.

“What are you doing here; I thought you were stuck in traffic?” Rachel realised she was grinning like a complete idiot but she couldn’t wipe the smile off of her face.

“Well, I guess you could say that the traffic excuse was a decoy. I’m really sorry that I forgot your birthday Rach, I didn’t totally forget I just, got the wrong day. I’m such an idiot, I’ll explain later. Come here, I’ve got something to show you.” Tony smiled at Rachel, handing her the rose and reaching out his hand for her to take. Rachel couldn’t even think of the words to reply, she had no idea what was going on right now and her heart was racing at a million miles an hour. As she reached out her hand and interlocked her fingers with his she suddenly remembered Leah.

“Wait I can’t go, Leah said she’d be back in a few minutes.” Tony laughed; for someone so intelligent, Rachel could be pretty naïve.

“Rach, Leah bringing you down here, it was all part of the plan. I called her earlier and asked her to make sure you were here around sunset.” Everything suddenly fell into place.

“So that’s why Leah persuaded me that I absolutely had to wear this dress down here” Rachel realised.

“Yes it is and you look beautiful in it.” Rachel beamed and leant up to kiss him.

“Thank you, you look, very handsome” she giggled, feeling like a schoolgirl all over again.

“You ready to go birthday girl?” Tony smiled stroking Harry’s cheek she he watched him trying to eat the rose.

“Absolutely” Rachel replied as they started to walk hand in hand towards Tony’s undisclosed location along the beach, both prying the flower away from their son at regular intervals.

“I feel really guilty about missing your birthday Rach, I’m so sorry. I guess because we celebrated a week later last year I got a bit…confused. I’m a terrible husband” Tony apologised.

“You are an amazing husband” Rachel reassured him “it’s only one birthday Tony there’ll be plenty more to come. And anyway, you’re here now that’s all that matters. Plus you look hot so you’ve more than made it up to me already.” Tony laughed.

“Well, it’s not over yet, it’s just behind these rocks.” Rachel looked ahead of her as she turned the corner and gasped when she saw what he had prepared for her.


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Thank you so much Danni, Suzanne, Kirsty and Zoe. You've all wrote such long, thoughtful comments, I'm really grateful :D I've split this next chapter into two, I think it was too long otherwise! So one question will be answered (the one I think you all wanna know :P ) and there's one more left for the last chapter. Enjoy :)

In a quiet part of the beach surrounded by cliffs, Tony had laid out a blanket, lighting candles which were placed randomly around the cove. Rachel noticed a picnic basket in the corner and a bottle of champagne in the middle of the blanket with a balloon tied to it.

“Oh wow Tony, this is so beautiful.” Rachel was astounded at how much effort her husband had gone to. “It’s amazing, is this what you’ve been doing all afternoon?”

“Yer, that’s why I couldn’t come home straight away. Take a seat, I’ll get you a drink and you can open your prezzies.”

“I have presents?” Rachel questioned as she sat down on the blanket, placing a sleepy Harry on her lap. “Tony this is more than enough, you really didn’t need to buy me anything.”

“Of course I did, it’s your birthday you’re meant to be spoilt. Anyway they’re not all from me, one’s from Harry” Tony laughed as she he struggled to pull the cork from the bottle of champagne. Filling up two champagne glasses slowly, being careful not to spill any; Tony handed one over to Rachel.

“Here’s to you and me never forgetting another birthday again” Tony laughed as he raised his glass.

“I’ll drink to that” Rachel agreed teasingly.

“Happy Birthday babe, I love you” Tony smiled clinking his glass with Rachel’s and taking a sip of champagne.

“I love you to, you’ve made this the most amazing birthday I’ve ever had, thank you.” Rachel replied, leaning forward and placing a kiss on Tony’s lips.

“Good I’m glad. Anyway buddy why don’t you come to Daddy and let Mummy open her presents” Tony cooed opening his arms for Harry and lifting him onto his chest.

“Okay, here’s your first one, this is from me. I hope you like it” Tony smiled, handing over a box shaped gift.

“Wow the wrappings very nice, you can’t have done this” Rachel teased, slowly un- wrapping the gift. As she removed the paper and opened the box, she saw a beautiful diamond necklace sparkling back at her.

“Oh wow, Tony this must have cost you a fortune” Rachel declared. Something about the necklace was familiar to her but she couldn’t work it out. Tony saw her staring at the gift with fascination and knew she was trying to work out where it was from.

“I took your Mum’s ring to the jewellers that you’ve been desperate to wear to try and get it made smaller so it would fit. But the guy said that by doing that it could ruin it; something about the frame being too small for the stone; so I got him to take the diamond out and make it into a necklace for you. I hope that’s ok.” Tony explained.

“Oh my… Tony that’s more than ok, I can’t believe you did this for me” Rachel beamed, her eyes welling up at the memory of her mother. Tony knew how sentimental the ring was to her and she had been so happy when she’d found it, rifling through some old boxes. But then when she tried it on and realised it was too big, she’d been heartbroken. At least now she could always have something of her Mum with her.

“I’ll put it on when I get home, I don’t want to lose it in the sand.” Rachel explained, taking one more glance at it before closing the box and placing it in her handbag.

“Of course that’s fine. Okay and here is a little something from this little guy, do you want to give it to Mummy mate?” Tony asked, lifting a rectangular gift from the basket he’d been enclosing her presents in and placing it in Harry’s hands.

“Thank you sweetheart” Rachel giggled, watching Harry try to rip the paper himself rather than hand it over to her. Trying to prise the present from her son’s hand proved to be a failure so she allowed him to help her unwrap it. Underneath the paper, was a gorgeous oak wood frame with the first picture taken of Rachel, Tony and Harry together as a family in the centre. Either side was a clay model imprint of Harry’s tiny hands and feet with his date of birth and a little message in the corner; “Happy Birthday Mummy, I love you. Harry x” Rachel could see that Tony had held the pen with Harry as the writing was slightly shaky.

“Wow, you’re really trying to make me cry aren’t you Tony.” Rachel smiled, breathing deeply as more tears threatened to fall. “Thank you so much, I love it. I’m gonna hang it over the mantelpiece” Rachel decided giving Tony another kiss before turning her attention to Harry.

“Thank you so much sweetie, how did you manage to do that without me seeing huh?” Rachel asked as Harry lifted out his arms and she rested him on her shoulder.

“You should have seen me trying to get that stuff off his hands and feet quickly before you got home” Tony laughed, remembering how Harry wanted to touch everything but the imprint model. He ended up leaving little handprints all over the table and on Tony’s clothes which had to be furiously scrubbed before she got home. Rachel smiled, dwelling in the moment. Whilst rocking her baby and affectionately rubbing his back, she watched as Tony set about relighting the candles which the soft breeze had blown out. She felt so lucky to have such a thoughtful, attentive husband and mentally scolded herself for having doubted his love earlier that day. Feeling Harry breathing gently on her neck, she grabbed the knitted blanket which Tony had brought along for him and rested it over his body.

“I think somebody’s tired” Rachel exclaimed.

“I think he’s already asleep” Tony smiled. He loved watching Harry sleep and would sometimes sneak out of bed in the middle of the night just see him lying there. He’d always be in the same position, his head to one side, with one arm stretched in the air and the other with his hand flat against his face. He usually had his fingers in his wide open mouth to, something which amused Tony.

“Here hand him to me, I’ll put him in his bassinet” Tony offered, taking him from Rachel and wrapping the blanket tighter as Harry whimpered against the cold.

“Wow you even remembered his carry cot, I’m impressed Tony.”

“Well I live to please” he laughed, tucking the blanket around Harry’s body and readjusting his hat to make sure he was warm. Watching Tony care for their son made Rachel’s heart swell, he was such an amazing Dad she felt so lucky. As she shuffled over to Tony and put her arms around his waist, leaning on his back; Tony turned and wrapped his arm around her.

“I think it’s time for your last present” he winked.

“Another one, are you kidding me!” Rachel gasped.

“Yes, another one” Tony laughed as he turned to face Rachel, taking both of her hands in his.

“The reason I couldn’t go up to Kate’s grave next weekend is not because I didn’t want to drag Harry up there with me. It’s actually because …”

“Becaaaaause?” Rachel asked excitedly.

“I’ve booked for us to stay at the hotel where we had our first date for two nights so it’s gonna be you and me only, spending three whole days together.”

Rachel shrieked in excitement and threw her arms around Tony’s neck, knocking him to the ground.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you so much” she screamed planting a kiss firmly on his lips.

“I take it you like it” Tony chuckled, wrapping his arms around her waist and reaching in for another kiss.

“Wait” Rachel stopped, “I’m meant to be working next weekend.”

“I’ve spoken to work, they’re letting you have the weekend off its ok, it’s all sorted, you’ve just got to sit back and enjoy it. Tony smiled. Rachel placed her hands either side of Tony’s face and kissed him again.

“I can’t wait. I love it. I love you” she smiled, stroking his face.

“I love you to” Tony smiled. He was so pleased that Rachel liked everything he’d planned for her. He’d been really worried that it wouldn’t all work out but now he could relax, knowing that he’d made her happy. There was just one more thing he had to talk to her about.

“Rach” he added, sitting up and moving her onto his lap “you’re probably wondering why I went to see Kate today.”


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Thank you so much Danni, Zoe, Suzanne, Charlene and Kirsty. Your comments are all so so appreciated and I'm really grateful that you've commented with every update! It's because of you guys I've decided to start writing another long fic which I'll be posting soon, I hope you like it. This chapter is pretty much Tachel mush, I hope you enjoy :lol:

Preview of last chapter:

“I love you to” Tony smiled. He was so pleased that Rachel liked everything he’d planned for her. He’d been really worried that it wouldn’t all work out but now he could relax, knowing that he’d made her happy. There was just one more thing he had to talk to her about. “Rach” he added, sitting up and moving her onto his lap “you’re probably wondering why I went to see Kate today.”

Rachel paused. She wasn’t expecting Tony to bring it up at all, she’d just accepted that it was something he felt he had to do and she was okay with it.

“Tony, you really don’t have to explain anything to me. She was a huge part of your life I know that, she was your wife. Whatever reason you had to go up there, its ok, it’s between you and Kate. You don’t have to worry about me honestly.” Rachel was surprised herself by how much her attitude had changed from this morning. If Tony had begun talking about Kate earlier she was sure she would have been begging him to tell her what was going on, why he was going there, what he was going to say. But now; she felt secure. She knew Tony loved Kate but she knew he loved her to. And that was all that mattered.

“I’m not telling you because I’m worried about hurting your feelings Rach. I’m telling you because I want you to know.” Rachel was intrigued. As she wrapped one arm behind his back and another hand on his neck; gently caressing it, Tony began to explain everything.

“When I was going to the jewellers to get your necklace made, I drove past the cemetery where Kate’s buried. It made me realise that I hadn’t been to visit her at all since we’ve been together and that made me feel really guilty, I hadn’t even explained why to her I’d just… stopped going. I know this sounds a bit crazy Rach because I don’t even know if people’s spirits are there when you go to their grave but, I felt like in order to move on, I had to say goodbye to her, properly.”

“That doesn’t sound crazy at all Tony. But … I don’t want you to think that just because were together, you can’t go and visit her. It’s ok to be married to me and still love her.” Rachel explained. She honestly believed this now and she felt guilty that Tony might have decided to stop visiting Kate because he thought it would upset her.

“I know. It’s not that though it’s just you are my present and you are my future. Kate was my past. Of course I love her, she’s the mother of two of my children but, my life is with you now Rach. You and Harry are my family now. I felt like to move on I had to properly say goodbye.”

“As long as you did this for you, not because you think it upsets me.” Rachel started, one part of her deliriously happy at what she’d just heard Tony say and another part trying to ensure Tony was doing this for the right reasons.

“No, no I did this for me Rachel I promise. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I’ll visit her still every now and then but, I can’t commit to every birthday and Mothers Day like I did before. That was a different life. And I’ve got a new one now” he smiled tucking her hair behind her ear and stroking her face.

“As long as you’re happy” Rachel smiled back at him.

“I am, very happy. I love you.”

“Love you more” Rachel laughed, snuggling into Tony’s neck and closing her eyes, holding him close to her. As they sat there for what seemed like hours, Rachel thought back on what an emotionally charged day she’d had. Earlier that morning she’d felt like she had this huge responsibility to live up to in order to make her husband happy. But now she realised the only person who was making her feel like that was herself. Tony had proved to her without her even needing to ask that he loved her more than anything and she suddenly felt a huge weight lifted from her shoulders. She could finally be herself and just enjoy her family knowing her husband loved her for who she was, not for who she was like. And that was all she needed.


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