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The Reunion


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Story Title: The Reunion

Type of story: Ongoing, unsure of length at present

Main Characters: Darryl Braxton, Ricky Sharpe, O/C

BTTB Rating: T

Genre: Family/Romance, Hurt/Comfort, Drama

Does story include spoilers: Based loosely on Brax's exit storyline

Any warnings: No

Summary: Brax & Ricky have been torn apart in the most tragic of circumstances. Will they find their way back to one another?

Chapter 1

Brax had just woken up from a fitful sleep. He lay on the bed in his dingy motel room, thinking about the life he had left behind, the woman he loved and his baby son. His heart ached with sadness that he would miss out on his son's life – he'd already missed out on enough precious moments. And he could never go back for they all thought he was dead. For one thing, if the authorities found out, he'd be heading straight back behind bars. Secondly, for his family, prison was one thing, but the idea of their beloved Brax faking his own death would be entirely another. It seemed things were broken beyond repair.

And then Brax's thoughts turned to Ricky. She would never forgive him for what he had done, he knew that. Yet he loved her so much that it hurt. He would always love her – Erica Sharpe would never be far from Darryl Braxton's thoughts. She had well and truly captured his heart. Then there was the baby – their beautiful little Casey, named in memory of Brax's departed brother, the Uncle he would never meet. It broke Brax to know that he wouldn't get to be a father to his son and that Casey would grow up without his Daddy's love. He could only hope that one day when his son was old enough, that his Mum would sit him down and tell him how wanted and loved a baby he was by his Dad. Brax looked at the one photo he had – Ricky and newborn Casey at the hospital – with deep sadness. He stroked his thumb over their faces and knew he would always carry them in his heart.

On top of all the emotions following the accident and its aftermath, Brax ached physically too. His ribs were at the very least bruised and at the worst, possibly even broken. And there was nothing he could do – no way could he go to a hospital; it was just far too dangerous.

Feeling like he needed to move, Brax decided to get up and have a shower, hoping that the warm water might relax his body. He walked into the small bathroom and carefully stripped off his clothes. Having set the water running, he examined his body in the mirror whilst he waited for it to come warm. Aside from the pain he felt in his ribs, Brax saw that his body was now covered in bruises that had come up since he'd said goodbye to Ash the previous morning. It was fair to say that he was feeling pretty rough. Brax gingerly pressed a hand to one of the bruises and winced. He knew he'd need to rest here for a few days before moving on to the next unknown place. That was the reality of his life now.

Brax stepped into the shower and let the water cascade over his body as he turned his face upwards towards the ceiling. But rather than relaxing, he could feel himself becoming tearful. There was a lump in his throat, he was unsure if he could live a life like this, where he was constantly looking over his shoulder, and without the family he loved so much. Brax slid down the tiled wall as his tears flowed, mixing with the shower water, and his body shook with sobs. It was then as he cried that he felt a sudden and sharp pain in his chest. He knew then that one of his ribs was most definitely broken and that without medical help he would be in serious trouble. Struggling to breathe, Brax managed to stand, turn off the shower and wrap a towel around his waist before heading to find the pre-paid phone that he had in his possession. There was only one person he could call, one person who knew he was alive. And that person was Ash.

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Chapter 2

At the flat she had shared with Brax, Ricky was bathing Casey and thinking, as she did so, how like his father he was. For a start he was loving the water, gurgling with pleasure as his Mum washed his little body. And it was already obvious that little Casey had inherited Brax's good looks. As her baby dropped off to sleep on her arm, the warm water having completely relaxed him, Ricky was also reminded that the noises Casey made in his sleep were the same as the ones that Brax had used to make when he was fast asleep.

Tears welled in Ricky's eyes. She still couldn't believe that the man she had loved since she was a teenager was gone. She missed him so much that her heart ached with sadness. And she would love him forever – he would always have her heart. No one else would ever come close. Ricky wiped her tears with her free hand and lifted Casey out of the baby bath, wrapping him in a towel and cuddling him close to her. It broke her heart that she would raise Casey alone. Sure she would have plenty of help from Kyle, who had made a promise to Brax to look after Ricky and the baby once Brax went inside. But it wasn't the same as raising him with Brax, together, the way it should have been. Ricky could only hope that Brax would've been proud of the boy and man Casey was yet to become. She would do her best, she would shower him with the love of two parents. She would teach him to surf when he was old enough, though that in itself made her feel sad. That should have been Brax's job, Daddy teaching their boy to surf. But it just wasn't meant to be.

Having dressed Casey in a clean nappy and baby-grow, Ricky placed her fast asleep son into his cot before slipping in to bed herself. The bed she had shared with Brax, where she still felt his smell and his presence even though he hadn't slept in it, next to her, for months now. She hugged one of Brax's checked shirts to her and drifted off to sleep, dreaming of the man she had adored in life and the man she still adored in death. By the time Ash was on the phone talking to Brax in hushed tones in the main house next door, Ricky was deeply asleep. She didn't hear a thing until, hours later, Casey's crying woke her for his night time feed.

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