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Back Where It All Began

Guest tessalove

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Story Title: Back Where It All Began
Type of story: One Shot
Main Characters: Nicole Franklin and Geoff Campbell
Other Characters: Roman, Leah, Irene, Indi, Romeo
BTTB rating: G
Genre: Drama & Romance
Does story include spoilers: No.
Any warnings: Death of a character
Summary: Aden Jefferies brings two old lovers back to the bay, Nicole Franklin and Geoff Campbell.

I haven't written in a very long time, so I apologise as this may not be the best. But I may or may not have had someone nagging at me (Hint Tele Hint) for a long time to write something again, and well I started this and didn't really know where to take it, so I do hope you like it. It made my little Niff heart happy (after so many years there still one of my all time favourite screen couples and I miss them so much :( )
Do let me know what you's think in the comments, thank you! And hopefully I'll have another story soon!

The day I found out was a good day, everything seemed to be going well, the fabric for my new range arrived on time and my designing was going well, in one morning I felt like I'd gotten so much done, I'd collected enough stickers to get my coffee for few on my break and the radio was playing all off my favourite songs, it seemed like a good day until my phone rang and I didn't recognise the caller ID, but it's not like that was a new thing for me, when I answered and heard the familiar voice from years ago my mind became curious, why was this woman calling me now? I knew it couldn't be good news, people from the past very rarely called to give you good news "Irene" I said cautiously after she announced who was calling.

"Dawl" she said and I knew by her tone that her next sentence was going to be that what everyone always called 'Bad news' "It's Aden" she said and my heart started to race, "He passed away..." my mind went blank all words clearing from my vocabulary

"Oh" I replied as if this was something I'd heard everyday, my coffee cup falling from my hand and spilling all over the sparkly white floor, and I didn't even care, in fact I barely noticed, I also barely noticed the single tear that was falling down along my cheek, leaving a mark as it cleared my make up. "How?" I managed to ask, even though I really didn't want to know

"It was a boating accident, I thought you would want to know" she said her voice sounded caring and like she was trying to make this all sound like it was okay

I nodded my head even though she couldn't see me "His funeral is on Friday, in the bay" she said and again I nodded

"Okay" I said quietly, that day was Wednesday and no today is Friday and all I could think about was him on my way along the coastal road that lead to SummerBay, the place I met him all those years ago, the place that I tried not to think about often, but the place that owned a big part of my heart. I tried to turn on the radio, but even the songs that were on reminded me off him, this was not a good day. The scenery began to become familiar, seeing the lighthouse in the distance as I drove along the beach that I loved so much, the beach that I spent so much time on, with him and with everyone else from my past, sighing as not one of them made it my future.

I drove past a few people wearing black, not recognising them but instantly feeling sadder than I already did, it occurred to me then that since I found out I hadn't cried, apart from the one tear that escaped, I'd become so immune it seemed to feelings that I didn't cry anymore, I wouldn't let myself seem vulnerable at all, and that made me sad yes, sad but not cry.

I pulled up in the car park just outside the diner, looking at the familiar yet unfamiliar sights around me, things seemed different now from when I left all those years ago after my dad was put in prison, I stayed around for a bit after, but after everything that happened to me, losing my baby and all I decided I didn't want to be here anymore, now being back brought it all back up, especially to mourn the loss or celebrate the life, whatever way you want to look at it of Aden Jefferies, my best friend from SummerBay, this sucked. I took in a breathe of air as I got out of the car and closed the door behind me, looking nervously at the diner before taking the first few steps towards it.

I hung back at the door for a second as I looked inside seeing a small crowd of people I recognised gathered at the counter, I sighed as I walked in and Irene turned round to greet me "Nicole" she said softly "I didn't know if you would come" she said as she approached me followed by Leah and Alf

"Of course" I said almost a little defensive "Aden was my best friend" I said almost as if I was giving a reason for my being there

"I know love, sorry I didn't mean that, I just I know your life isn't here anymore" She said

I nodded my head "Yeah..." I said glancing around the diner, noticing how different it looked "But it's Aden" I said shrugging, almost wanting to correct myself and say it was Aden, it's not like he's here anymore.

I hated things like this and the meaningful conversations that came with them, I almost rolled my eyes as I chatted with Leah for seemed like hours about my shops and my clothes and my life, but I refrained deciding it would probably be very rude. I was a little relieved when I spotted Indi walking in holding hands with Romeo and walk straight over to me, "Nicole Franklin" she said pulling me into a hug, I wanted to pull away, not feeling particularly comfortable with the embrace, but I didn't I hugged her back quickly before pulling away and feeling Romeo hug me

"Hi" I said when we were stood facing each other again and Leah had walked away, spending the next load of minutes chatting with them, a little surprised with their stories of things like them getting married and opening a gym, it was nice to hear they were doing well, but all I wanted to do was get the ceremony over with and go back to my life, I felt like the more time I spent here reminiscing old memories was more time for me to become sad.

I sighed in relief when Irene started ushering people out and too the beach, where the ceremony was taking place, typical Aden even now not to be in a church. A crowd started to gather and I stayed at the edge and the back holding my hands together squeezing tightly, listening to the words of the man who was speaking about Aden, seeing a small silver urn where the last of Aden was. I tried my best to not look around, but I was curious to see who else I knew, my heart skipped a beat when I seen a tall boy with longish blonde hair standing a row in front at the other edge.

For the rest of the service I couldn't help but glance over every now and then until he turned slightly and I seen the side of his face, a little disappointed when I didn't recognise him. When the service finished I stood in the same spot and watched Aden's brother tip out the ashes over the water, that Aden was ever so found off, and I felt my eyes fill with tears, I quickly blinked them back before I turned around, walking straight into someone who's hand was stretched out as if they were about to tap my shoulder "Sorry" I said quickly regaining my composure, before I looked up to see who it was "Geoff..." I said my eyes widening a little

"Hey" he said shuffling his feet in the sand "I thought I seen you earlier... but then again I thought I was imagining it"

I shook my head a little "Nope, I'm here" I said looking out onto the water, feeling as if this was Aden disappearing for ever.

"It was pretty sad news, about Aden right? Not a good reason to bring you back to the Bay" he said to me, sighing as he did "Are you okay?" he was the first person to ask if I was okay, when I told everyone back in the city I was going to my best friends funeral they just said okay, and asked who and how I knew them, not one person asked me how I was feeling about it, if I was dealing okay with it, not even Irene or anyone else had asked since I got here.

I shrugged my shoulders, still looking out at the ocean, afraid to look up at him in case I finally felt something "I honestly don't know" I said "I've become so used to not showing my feelings that I don't know what I feel anymore"

He nodded his head "Maybe you should figure it out, it can't be good for you.." he said

I let out a huff of a laugh, if only he knew the person I was now, I was so different to the girl I was, I'd become tough and probably a little mean, just to fit in and survive in the fashion industry, and my heart had been hurt so many times over the years that I'd almost shut it down "Yeah, it's not that easy" I said glancing at him before back to the water

He put his hand on my arm, that was crossed across my chest "I can still read you Nic" he said, and my heart fluttered a little, this felt so familiar it scared me a little

"You can't" I said my defence wall rising

"I can tell your upset and afraid to let it out" he said shrugging his shoulders

"You don't know me anymore Geoff" I said turning away from him walking to the water, feeling my eyes fill up with tears again

"It's okay to be sad Nic" he said "I know how much Aden meant to you" he added and it was like something was plunging into my heart, why was he reminded me how much I loved him?

"I loved him" I said softly, my eyes focusing on the water, trying to contain the tears inside them, I felt afraid when I felt one of them fall down my face "I miss him.." I said in a whisper, I felt him nod beside me his arm moving around my shoulder when he seen the tears stream down my face "I should have spoke to him more, I should have seen him more. I wish I stayed in contact with him Geoff" I said realisation hitting me that I would never see him again. I pulled away from him "I shouldn't have done this.." I said backing away "I shouldn't have come here" I said taking off in a run.

He kicked sand behind him as he followed me, I ran for the familiar spot in the rocks at the top of the beach, perching on the edge of one, holding onto my chest as if I were trying to keep it from breaking "Geoff stop" I said when he was close to me

"Nicole" he spoke softly, his words almost soothing me "It's okay" he said "You know to cry, to feel sad" he said his own eyes glistening with tears.

I shook my head "It's not for me okay, I don't cry... anymore" I said needing to add the last bit, Geoff had seen a lot of my tears over the years.

"Well for a start that's impossible, everybody cries Nicole, it's human" he said sitting on a rock beside me

"I miss this place" I said sighing as I changed the subject

He nodded his head "Yeah, it's one of those places that you will always miss if your away from it" he said looking out to the ocean "I missed it heaps"

"Did you move back?" I asked turning to face him

He nodded his head "A few months ago yeah" he said turning to face me, our faces inches from each other, I quickly broke the gaze and looked by out at the ocean nodding my head.

"What happened to your missionary stuff?" I asked, liking the break from the other conversation, my eyes drying up again.

"I loved it, but it was tiring, I enjoyed the time I spent doing it, but I wanted to come back and settle down"

Settle down, the two words stung me a little, I thought my this stage of my life being 24 years old I would be looking to do the same thing "So... You found someone then?" I blurted out without thinking, my sixteen year old self feeling a little wounded "To settle down with?" I added

He shook his head "No.. I'm still single" he said with a bit of light laughter "I just meant to set down in one place, the travelling was fun, but I just wanted a home" he said and I nodded "What about you? Are you with anyone?"

I shook my head, holding back a laugh "No, my work if that counts" I said chuckling lightly, it's not like I hadn't had a any relationship, just none that I wanted to last, none that really meant anything.

"I've seen your stuff online" he says his lips curved into a small smile, that if I let myself would read as hopeful, I moved my gaze to his eyes, smiling softly.

"Stalking me where you?" I asked laughing a little, liking the change in mood

He nodded his head "I'm not going to lie, when I came back here I did look you up" he said with a laugh, "And I found your website, your talented" he smiled "You always have been" he added

"Thanks Geoff" I said smiling properly, I was really proud of my work, it was something I loved and for him to acknowledge it made me happy "It took me a while I guess" I said with a bit of a chuckle

"We should maybe go to the... wake" he said

I sighed when reality of why I was here hit, for a minute I felt like I was 17 again back at the beach just hanging out with Geoff "I might go" I said sadly, I didn't know if I could face anymore.

"Stay" he said taking my hand and I felt a shiver go down my spine "Please? We can go for a while and if you want to leave then you can, but it's been so long Nic, It's nice to be with you"

I nodded my head slowly "Okay" I said nervously "But stay with me? Please?" I asked, I didn't want to be left alone.

He nodded "Of course" he said as we started to walk towards Angelos "How's your dad?"

His question stung, "Truthfully..." I started, my eyes flicking away "I don't know, I haven't seen him since I left" I said and felt my eyes sting, my heart ache a little, I knew how selfish it was, and how it probably made me a bad person, but I couldn't face seeing him for a short time and having to leave him there alone, I tried it and I couldn't, I felt so sad and heartbroken every time I left, I knew Aden visited him from time to time, and now I felt even worse, because who would he have now?

"Oh" he said looking at me, trying to meet my eyes "You should visit him maybe" he said shrugging, I looked at him shrugging, it wasn't like I hadn't thought about it, of course I had.

"I can't" I said shakily

"Why not?" he asked

"Because I couldn't leave him again, and why would he want to see me after all this time?" I asked shaking my head

"Because he's your father, and your his princess" he said referring to my early days in the Bay, and then realising his mistake as he seen me flinch a little and the familiar name, Aden used to call me "Sorry" he said reaching for my arm, I shrugged it off me, nodding my head.

"It's okay" I said walking the few more steps inside Angelos, looking round and seeing the numerous people all standing around chatting, the food on the tables, waiters carrying around trays with drinks on them.

"Are you okay?" Geoff asked pulling me out of my daze, I nodded my head walking further into the room, grabbing a drink off one of the trays. Geoff followed behind me, and a part of me felt safe, but another part wanted him to go away, the memories that kept flooding back to me were getting harder.

I finished my drink and quickly grabbed another, feeling the alcohol go straight to my head as I drank it quickly "Nic" Geoff spoke, his voice soft "Maybe you shouldn't" he told me as I reached for another glass, I brushed it off shaking my head

"It's fine Geoff" I said taking it from the tray walking across the room to where the bar was, with lots of drinks on it.

About an hour later, I knew I'd had too much to drink, but I didn't care, I wanted to forget everything "Nic" I heard his voice again, breaking me out of my daze "Let's get out of here" he said his arm wrapping around me waist and moving me to the door.

"I don't want to" I said trying to wriggle out of his grip, but failing, sighing when we were outside and the cool breeze hit me. "Geoff" I said sighing "You don't have to look after me" I said my voice sounding a little annoyed.

"I want to" he said

"Why?" I said my voice raised "You don't know me anymore, we're just memories" I said tears falling down my eyes, before I knew it his lips were pressed against mine, and his arms were on the small off my back. I didn't think for a second before I kissed him back, my arms wrapping around his neck. I pulled back after a few seconds, realising what was happening "Geoff" I said quickly shaking his hands off me "We can't do this" I said

"Why not?" he asked closing the gap in between us again, his hand reaching out and grabbing mine.

"Because were not 17 anymore Geoff, things have changed, we've changed" I said sighing as I dropped his hand

He shook his head "Nicole, I've never stopped thinking about you, tonight on the beach I felt like we were back where it all began.

- 2 years later-

"We're back where it all began" I spoke a huge smile curving up my lips as I looked down the beach at the small number of people gathered on the Island, before looking up to my dad's smiling face as he looked down at me.

"It's the perfect ending to the love story" he said chuckling as we walked down the aisle marked out in the sand with little candle holders "I remember rescuing the two of you from this island" he said

I nodded my head, my curls falling into my face "That was an eventful time, and the time we went back after that, I'm hoping there's no crazy men here this time" I said giggling

"Maybe just Geoff, marrying you" he laughed, kissing the top of my head as we neared were everyone was sitting, I smiled as my dad kissed my cheek as he left me beside Geoff, I smiled over at him as I stood opposite him, my hands holding onto each other nervously.

"The couple have their own vows to say" the minister spoke, nodding at Geoff to begin.

"Nicole Franklin, soon to be Campbell" he said grinning "There was never a day that I haven't loved you, no matter if we were together or apart, I knew that the only person for me was you, I have no regrets though, because the time we spent apart shaped us into the people we are right now, perfect for one another, and this is completely and utterly soppy, but I don't care" he said grinning out at the guests "Because your the best thing that's ever happened to me, I'm glad that I took the plunge that night and didn't let you leave, but I've a feeling we would have found another way to each other. I'm so thankful for all the memories we have, and for all the memories that we get to make in the future, like little tiny Nic and Geoff" he said winking at me, I giggled and hit his arm lightly "I can't wait to spend forever in this Bay with you, our home" he finished and the minister nodded at me.

"Well" I started the smile on my growing by the second "You all know the significance of this Island, and some of you probably think we're a bit crazy for getting married here, but this is where I fell head over heels for this man in front of me" I said smiling into his eyes. "And we may have had up and downs and lost each other for a long time along the way, but well we found our way back to each other, with a little help from Aden Jefferies, even when he was gone, he always had our best interests at heart, I remember the bet I made with Aden years ago, and well I win buddy" I said with a giggle as I looked up at the sky "But yeah, Geoffery Campbell, I love you, more than anything in the world, more than my fashion and that's saying something, and I'm so glad that after all these years I get to call you my husband" I said a tear falling down my cheek, I turned round to face everyone again "I'd like to thank everyone for coming, and for the ones who came from a bit further away" I said smiling at Annie and Jai, "This day wouldn't be the same without you, and I'd also like to thank my dad, for always being there for me no matter what, and the prison services of Australia for the best wedding present ever, his freedom" I said another tear running down my cheek.

After the I do's the minister smiled at us both "You may now kiss your bride" he said to Geoff, who wasted little time, putting both hands on my cheeks and kissed me softly, the sound of clapping in the background as I closed me eyes and kissed my husband.

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