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Frozen in Time

Guest Claire_Blake

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Hey guys this is my first fanfiction so thought I'd give it a go. Let me know what you think. All comments are welcome :)

Story Title:- Frozen in Time

Type of story: Medium/ Long Fic

Main Characters: Charlie/Brax and others.

BTTB rating: A (Suitable for adults)

Genre: Drama/ Angst

Does story include spoilers: Contains some Aussie spoilers

Any warnings: May include violence, language and sexual content at times. Will warn as and when a chapter appears.

Summary: When Brax goes back to his old ways, what does this mean for him and Charlier? Not willing to jeapordise her job for him she is forced to make a difficult choice. Him or her career?


Charlie sat at the table in the kitchen staring aimlessly in front of her as the early morning sun shone blindingly through the window forcing her to readjust her position. Looking across to the clock hanging above the door it read 8.45. She sighed. Half an hour and she would have to leave for work. Ruby had already left. Despite her protestations to stay away from Mangrove River she had decided to act on the contrary - grabbed some breakfast, kissed her on the cheek and took pride in informing her that she was taking a detour with Casey on her way to school. Normally she would have argued with her until she was blue in the face but with Leah and Miles still in the peak of their pregnancy glow and combined with being draped lovingly over the sideboard and rushing around trying to locate VJ’s textbook it had seemed futile. Futile because she knew regardless of her reasoning she’d go anyway and, in all honesty, she didn’t have the energy for another confrontation.

She'd spent the last couple of weeks since Jake Pirovic’s release and subsequent re-arrest trying to explain that being associated with the Braxton’s at the moment was not something that she wanted her daughter to actively promote. He had already proven that he had no reservations or boundaries when it came to settling scores and, now with Heath’s prosecution deal and subsequent release, she had pre-empted trouble. The one thing you couldn’t accuse the Pirovic’s of was a lack of loyalty. If they deemed one of their own to have been targeted or sold out they wouldn’t hesitate to react. And reaction was what she’d seen of late. With Hammer rallying his troops in the belief that Heath had sold his brother down the river a full scale war had broken out in Summer Bay. Brax and Heath had seemingly put aside their differences with regard to Heath’s recent impromptu arrival at Angelo’s -for the time being at least - and the River boys were now itching for any excuse for a punch up. Brax had been welcomed back into the fold. Threats of arrest, pleas to let the relevant authorities deal with the situation had fallen on uninterested ears and Charlie had been forced to arrest every single one of them upon John Palmer being caught in the crossfire at the Surf Club. She grimaced thinking about it and attempted to push it to the back of her mind.

It had been humiliating. Not just because charging Darryl Braxton with affray and bringing him in just as Inspector Joyce happened to be coming out of a meeting with the Borough Commander had silently embarrassed her beyond reasonable calculation, but because she felt like a fool. He didn’t even say anything. He didn’t have to. Just for him to have witnessed her leading him in, handcuffed, had instantly reinforced his opinion of Darryl Braxton. She’d lain so much on the line only to have it thrown back in her face. Watson had sat in on the interview with her. Despite attempts at excuses and an endeavour to palm him off to another colleague and replace him with Heath, Joyce’s assertive glare had instantly told her that she was the arresting officer and therefore, regardless of their relationship, he would not allow her to pass the buck on this one. He seemed to enjoy it. This was her due for forming an inappropriate relationship with a person of police interest. She would have to sit in a room with him for half an hour whilst he irritatingly reeled off endless no comment’s at Watson all the time refusing to meet her gaze. Once his lawyer had arrived it was agreed that he would make a plea deal to the charge of affray in place of the more serious indictment of assault and he would pay a fine. He knew the system inside out. She couldn’t prove who had instigated the fight nor had she seen him throw a punch. She didn’t have a leg to stand on. Upon signing his release papers he had thanked his lawyer, accused Watson of police harassment and she’d dignified him with nothing more than a look of disgust from her reports and a demand for him to get out. That night she’d contemplated texting him to reiterate that it was well and truly over. He had crossed the line this time. She decided against bothering. Daryl Braxton could be accused of a lot of things but lacking intelligence was not one of them. Regardless she was pretty sure that slapping a pair of handcuffs on him in full view of the mocking eyes of his brother and her superiors had humiliated him beyond belief. He wouldn’t want to know.

So far she’d managed to avoid coming into contact with him. It had been nearly three weeks and she’d found that avoiding Angelo’s, the Surf Club and the beach at all costs had proven effective. She knew Ruby had seen him. She’d attempted to bring up the subject the previous week to which Charlie had cut her off almost instantaneously. She didn’t want to know. She didn’t want to talk about it and she didn’t want his name mentioned in this house. Ruby of course had tried to pursue it, proclaiming that Casey was worried about him, he’d made strides in distancing himself from the River Boys and now he was set on a collision course with anyone that came across his path and seemed intent upon self destruction. She was the only one he would listen to Ruby had pleaded. But she wasn’t interested. It’s no longer my problem she had argued.He was old enough to take responsibility for his own stupid actions. She wasn’t his mother. Ruby had stood there defiantly and glared at her. Almost as if she was trying to work out whether she was really being sincere or not. What conclusion she came to Charlie did not know. She’d made up her mind. She’d given up trying to defend him. He’d lost her respect when he’d stood back and watched one of his boys knock John Palmer for six. That’s without mentioning his implication that she was being wholly unreasonable by refusing to quit her job to be with him. He’d made it into a choice. A choice she wasn’t willing to make. Leah on the other hand had kept wholly silent upon the issue. Even upon VJ coming home and making a song and dance out of seeing Daryl Braxton having a punch up with his brother on the beach, Leah knew Charlie well enough to know that if she hadn’t asked, she didn’t want to know.

She knew he’d been arrested since the Surf Club incident. Watson had taken great pleasure in meriting her arrest of the leader of the River Boys. Something to do with causing criminal damage in a bust up with a rival gang near Wilson’s. She didn’t know. She had managed to tune Watson’s voice out and concentrate solely on the black letters of a half finished report staring back at her from her desk. He was in custody now and did she want to conduct the interview? Feigning nausea Charlie had declined and let Watson revel in her shining glory. The truth was not only did she not care for seeing him she wasn’t able to guarantee how she would react upon setting foot in front of him. Sitting opposite him with the risk of witnessing a repeat performance of last time made her anxious that she might reach across the table and slap him hard across the face. That was the Darryl Braxton she’d heard so much about; hard, unashamed and spiteful. A long way from the Daryl Braxton that quietly tied a necklace round her neck on her birthday whilst pleading for her to come back to bed with him.

She sighed. Looking up at the clock she realised she wasn’t going to be late, running her fingers through her hair and pushing it back off her face she stood up grabbing her bag and phone from the table. Fishing for her keys inside the bag she made her way to the door and opened it, stopping to lock it behind her before hurriedly making her way to the station.

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Thanks for all the lovely comments. Here goes the next chapter...


“We’re closed.”

Brax looked over towards the entrance to Angelo’s as he continued to stack the chairs upon the tables. It was gone twelve and he was tired. Tired and irritable. He wanted to get back to the motel as soon as possible and crash. Casey ignored his brother’s declaration, walked past him and propped himself up at the bar. Brax heaved a sigh before continuing to sort out the remainder of the restaurant as Casey watched him intently. He wasn’t in the mood for an argument. ‘What happened to you?” Even from where he was sitting Casey could see his brother’s bruised knuckles. That was without mentioning the shiner currently developing on the left side of his temple and his split lip. Brax finished rearranging the chairs before striding over to the opposite side of the bar and set about emptying the glass washer. “Mind your own Case.” Casey readjusted his position on the stool in order to face him.

“You seen Heath today?” Casey asked. He’d decided to change the subject. He could see Brax was tense and what with his short temper of late he could forsee the conversation turning into a full scale screaming match between the two. He’d been in school all day and spent the evening at Ruby’s and combined with Ruby’s stress over impending HSC’s and Charlie’s blatant bad mood he’d made his excuses and made a quick escape. He’d decided on his way home to check in at Angelo’s on the off chance of getting a free takeout for tea under the impression that Brax would not be here. He’d been off all week. Left the staff to manage themselves on the basis that he had stuff he needed to do. Although looking over at the state of his brother now Casey agreed that it was probably a good call. Looking like you’d been in a round with Mike Tyson wasn’t good for business and the rate Brax and the boys were going with pissing off the local residents, he needed all the custom he could get.

“Nah, he went to check in on Darcy but I haven’t spoken to him since”. Casey was well aware that he was making small talk. He knew exactly where Heath was. Mum had called him whilst he was at Ruby’s screaming down the phone that Heath had taken the car to go down to the National Forest with the boys for a spot of shooting and she couldn’t get hold of his brother. Where the hell is he? Cheryl had screamed. Casey fobbed her off by telling her to ring Tegan before putting the phone down and turning it off so she couldn’t ring back. He knew Tegan wouldn’t have a clue where Brax was. He hadn’t seen her since their confrontation over Darcy and he had no desire to. She was poison as far as he was concerned and he couldn’t trust her as far as he could throw her. If nothing else the River Boys had to be able to trust each other. Casey knew that given half the opportunity Tegan would sell Brax down the river as soon as she could if she thought it might benefit her. He was pretty sure Brax knew it too.

“What you doing here anyway? Didn’t think looking like you’ve been hit by a baseball bat was good for business?” Brax looked up from what he was doing and stared over before snapping at him already irritated. “Look, what do you want Case? cos I’m really not in the mood for this right now.” Casey studied Brax’s face. He wasn’t kidding. He looked edgy and uptight and Casey suddenly contemplated throwing in the towel and heading home. The conversation had started now so, as he saw it, now was as good a time as any to persevere with this.

“Brax. I’m worried about you”

Casey had said it. He’d spent the last couple of weeks watching the River Boys frothing at the mouth every time the Pirovic’s set foot in the Bay or Mangrove River. They loved a good fight. Heath had been in the thick of it as ever, getting his boot in and stirring up trouble between the rival gangs. Brax, meanwhile had seemed to revert back to his old self. He seemed to lose it every time somebody looked at him the wrong way and even Heath had jokingly commented upon how he would be scared of him if he were part of the Pirovic crew. Casey didn’t know what to do anymore. Talking to Brax was a waste of time. He’d tried. His brother didn’t want to listen. His mother seemed more proud of Brax getting arrested twice than his mock HSE results as the former she could use as an excuse to slag off the Pigs. His last resort had been trying to get Ruby to talk to Charlie but even that had appeared fruitless. Charlie wouldn’t get involved, Ruby had said. She won’t admit it but he hurt her and whilst he’s busy acting like an idiot she won’t have anything to with him.

Looking at Brax now, Casey didn’t blame her. He questioned how much one person could take. Admittedly he’d slept with Tegan after Charlie had finished it between the two but as Ruby had reminded him for weeks after - she’d lied to everyone she knew to be with him and he’d done this to her. Even after taking him back Brax had left her with no choice but to arrest him following the Surf Club fracas weeks before. Casey had tried to talk to Brax about it after. He’d turned up at the Motel the night he’d been released to talk to him. All he could get out of him was that she could go to hell. She’d made the choice between her job and him and therefore he’d moved on. Casey, meanwhile, had seen through the façade. Brax was angry. Sure, he had a right to be. His girlfriend has just arrested him in front of everyone he knew but he was blind to the bigger picture. Charlie was a bloody cop at the end of the day. She was never going to just give up her job in order to make it work for them. It was naïve of Brax to think that she would. She wanted him to go straight. That was the only way in her eyes this was ever going to work for them. By reigniting the war with the Pirovic’s, Brax had done the opposite. That was it. Nothing more, nothing less. Brax had hit the nail on the head weeks earlier: it was no longer about Charlie ignoring the obvious it was about her not looking stupid. And Brax at this precise moment in time was making her look like an idiot. A leopard never changes their spots, Charlie had said to Ruby when she thought he was out of earshot the week before. Brax had changed his spots and then decided to revert back to his original ones.

Brax finished what he was doing and put his glass up to the optic helping himself to a large Jamesons. “Concentrate on your HSC and state out of this eh Case. I’m fine.” Casey watched his brother down the contents of the glass grimacing and shaking his head slightly as the liquid seemingly burnt the back of his throat. Casey smiled mockingly. “Jesus Brax look at the state of you. What happened to going straight and making a name for yourself round here.” Brax helped himself to another whiskey as Casey continued what he’d started. “You’ve been arrested twice in two weeks, you’re letting this place go down the pan and Charlie can’t bear the sight of you. Wake up and look around you. You’re not even fighting a cause any more Brax you’re just fighting for the sake of smashing someone’s face in to make you feel better.”

At the mention of Charlie’s name Brax had thrown back the contents of the glass before slamming it down forcefully on the bar next to him. “I know what I’m doing Casey so back off. I’m in control.

At Brax’s words Casey let his head roll backwards slightly and he laughed in defiance, “You’re in control Brax? Look in the mirror. You lost control weeks ago! The only control you’ve got is whose face your fist flies into. You made a name for yourself round here and you’re throwing it down the pan.” Brax walked past his brother, turning the music system off before making his way towards the light switches to shut the place down. Casey continued to fly at him at an accelerated rate. “Listen to Charlie when she says that you’re going to wind up in prison. Either that or you’re going to end up dead! It’s not worth it. Whatever this feud Heath has with Jake it’s not your problem Brax. The only way Heath will back down is if you do.”

Casey stood up sharply as Brax started to turn the lights off and plunge the place into relative darkness. “You finished?” Brax asked as he stared across at him, impatiently refusing to relinquish his gaze. Casey nodded slightly all the while continuing the look over at his brother. He looked tired. Tired and defeated. Whilst Casey was lost in his thoughts Brax had flicked the last switch before starting to make his way towards the exit and launching the keys in Casey’s direction.

“Good because I’m heading. Go home Case.”

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