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Friends Reunited

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This one's been bubbling in my head for a while and I might now have time to write it! I hope you enjoy.

Story Title: Friends Reunited
Type of story: Medium-length fic
Main Characters: Ryder, Bella
BTTB rating: T/A
Genre: Friendship/Romance/Mystery
Does story include spoilers: No
Any warnings: Mild violence and sexual content if any.No bad language.
Summary: Two old friends reconnect on a cruise and shenanigans ensue.


Ryder did his best to keep a smile on his face as he mixed a cocktail for the latest set of idle rich customers.“One Summer Bay Roller!”he declared with a cheeriness he didn’t feel, not even able to muster up the enthusiasm to mention that he’d invented it.He waited until they’d charged it to their room and were safely out of the way before allowing himself to sag.

  To be fair, it wasn’t the customers’ fault.Mostly.As a rule, they were pleasant enough and probably hard-working people when they wren’t on holiday.It was just that he’d been on board the ship for two years now, worked over a dozen different tours, and couldn’t quite shake the feeling that he was pretty much doing the job he’d left behind in Summer Bay, but with a less stable floor and fewer surfers.His plan to move around the ship doing different jobs hadn’t been a complete failure but it still felt like he wasn’t quite living the life he’d dreamed off when he started there.

  He turned to the other barman, Chase.“Reckon it’s going to be a quiet one?”

  Chase shrugged.“At least we’re not going to get a sudden influx of new customers in the middle of the ocean.”He nodded behind Ryder.“Look out.”

  Ryder looked round and saw Archibald coming towards them. Archibald, who had firmly resisted Ryder’s attempts to call him Archie, was the staff manager, as well as the floor manager of the casino. “Ryder, we’re one short in the casino tonight,”he explained,“Clive’s down with food poisoning.”

  “Did he have the risotto?”Chase asked cautiously.

  “Tuna sandwich.”Archibald turned back to Ryder.“How do you feel about filling in on the blackjack table?”

  “How do I..?”Ryder did his best to contain his enthusiasm.“I would be prepared to do that, sir.”

  “I put my name down for a shift in the casino too,”Chase pointed out.

  “Sorry, Ryder’s name came up first,”Archibald replied before turning back to Ryder,“There’s something else as well.We’ve got a speedboat bringing someone aboard and for some reason there’s been a special request for you to be there to meet them.”

  “A speedboat?”Ryder’s mind raced through the possibility.“It could be a VIP.A famous rock star.”A sobering thought occurred to him.“It’s not my mum, is it?”

  “You know as much as I do.Just be up on deck in twenty minutes.”


Ryder bounced from foot to foot as the speedboat approached, trying desperately to catch a glimpse of who was on board.“Can you see them?”he asked Archibald.

  “No,”Archibald replied simply.

  The ship’s captain, a man with the unassuming name Smith, joined them up on deck.He glanced over at Ryder.“Ryder Jackson?Yes, our new staffmember requested you here.”

  “New staffmember?”Ryder checked, having more visions of Quinn turning up.

  “Well, of a kind.A contractor.The head office decided some photos of a voyage would be useful for promotional material so they’ve hired a professional photographer to join the trip and take pictures of us all.”

  Ryder did a quick mental check of what professional photographers he knew.It couldn’t be…

  Before he could complete the thought, the speedboat had come up alongside them and a crewmember was helping Bella up the ladder onto the deck.Captain Smith approached her in a formal manner. “Welcome aboard, Miss Nixon.”

  “Wow, I don’t think anyone’s ever called me that before.Keep it up.”Bella looked over those present until her gaze fell on Ryder.Smiling, she approached him.

  “Miss Nixon,”he greeted her wih a twinkle.

  Bella pouted slightly.“Aww, is that what you say to an old friend?”

  Ryder pulled her into a tighter hug than he would have given his mother, before releasing her and giving her a smile to match her own.“It is really good to see you.”

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3 hours ago, pembie said:

Are Ryder and Bella going to end up riding the Titanic? And Bella’s camera catches the last images as the boat sinks 

Ha! Well, hopefully, if that does happen, they'll manage to find a piece of wreckage big enough for two!

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22 hours ago, Zig said:

Omg finally someone writing Rella, I love them and very excited to see what's to come.

Thanks, glad you appreciate it! I always had a vague idea to do a story about them (they featured as supporting characters in one of my earlier stories) but it took me a while to come up with a storyline that fit.

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On 11/06/2024 at 06:16, Red Ranger 1 said:

Thanks, glad you appreciate it! I always had a vague idea to do a story about them (they featured as supporting characters in one of my earlier stories) but it took me a while to come up with a storyline that fit.

Be honest have you watched Titanic recently? Lol

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On 12/06/2024 at 17:19, pembie said:

Be honest have you watched Titanic recently? Lol

I'm not sure you need to have watched it...

Thank you for the comments, pembie and Zig!


Ryder had led Bella to the bar, guessing he was still meant to be off duty, and got them a table and a couple of drinks.“So, seriously,”he persisted,“of all the ships in all the world, how did you end up on this one?”

  “Right place right time,”Bella suggested,“Someone at the company knew Emmett and rang him up asking if he knew any photographers who’d do a good job on their promotional pics.”

  “And he couldn’t think of any?”Ryder asked teasingly.

  Bella gave him a mock glare.“Ha ha.So the job got passed onto me and I jumped at it.”

  “Especially when it meant you got to work alongside your favourite person in the world?”Ryder asked.

  “Oh, is Dean here?”Bella asked airily.She gave him a genuine smile.“I admit it’s not exactly a minus.”

  Ryder nodded before deciding he needed to venture into awkward territory.“Have you heard from Nikau?”

  “Last I know he was working at some luxury swimming pool complex.One advantage New York has over Summer Bay is that it’s big enough to avoid people in.”

  “I really thought if anyone had a chance of making it, it was you two.I mean, you kept on finding your way back to each other whatever happened.”

  “I guess maybe we should have thought more about why we kept breaking up instead of why we kept getting back together.Suddenly we were stuck out there on our own with no buffer and all the problems we had just got magnified.I guess that’s what comes from basing your whole life around one person.”She took a deep breath.“Anyway, what about you?Any girls been daft enough to fall for that dorky charm of yours?”

  Ryder gave an embarrassed laugh.“No, nothing.At all.I guess I’ve been too busy working.Plus, they take a dim view of us dating the guests and most of the staff kind of look on me in a maternal light.”

  “I’m sure it’s not maternal.They probably just see you as an idiot kid brother.”Bella smiled fondly and patted him on the hand.“Don’t worry, Ryder, I’m sure people will see the grown-up inside of you eventually.”

  Chase came over.“Hey, Ryder, are you working?”

  “Not at the moment?”Ryder guessed.He looked at his watch.“I’m due to start at the casino in an hour so I think I’m on break.”

  “You’re working in the casino this evening?”Bella asked,“That’s great!”

  Ryder smiled, pleased.“Thanks.”

  “It’s perfect:The casino is exactly where I’ll need to be to get the best shots and now I’ve got a model that I know!”She noticed Ryder’s disappointed look and gave him a placating smile.“Isn’t it great how what’s good for your career is good for mine?”


“How long do I have to hold this?”asked Ryder, who felt as though he’d been posing with a big grin on his face holding a card in mid-deal for at least five minutes.

  “Just another second and…there!”Bella took a shot.“I almost make you look sophisticated.”She showed him the photos she’d taken.

  Ryder flicked through them.“Can you delete the one where I’m cross-eyed?”

  “I might keep it.Gives you character.”Bella took the camera back.“I think that’ll do for now.I’ll take some action shots during the night.”

  An olive-skinned man with a shaved head, a few years older than them, appeared.Like Ryder, he was dressed in casino uniform.“You starting early, Ryder?”

  “More like she is,”Ryder replied before remembering that the pair hadn’t met,“Bella, this is Denzel, he works here.Denzel, this is Bella, an old friend of mine who’s just been hired to photograph us.”

  Denzel nodded politely at Bella.“I’m running the craps table tonight.”

  “I’m sure it’s not that bad,”Bella said placatingly.

  Ryder shot her a look.“Craps is a dice game.”Bella glared at him.“You knew that, right?”She continued glaring.

  Denzel looked at his watch.“We’d better start setting up.”

  Bella grinned.“Don’t mind me.Just act as if I’m not here.”

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I have the same problem as Ryder I think act to goofy around girls so if he manages to get somebody I think I will take notes unless he starts dating a guy Whenever I go to a nightclub guys start talking to me which is the opposite to what I think will happen 

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On 15/06/2024 at 05:22, Zig said:

Love that Nella ended, hated them together since the start tbh

Yeah, I never saw the appeal.I wasn't that keen on him as a first boyfriend for her and I've no idea why the show refused to let her date anyone else and just kept having her go back to him no matter how badly he behaved.


14 hours ago, pembie said:

I have the same problem as Ryder I think act to goofy around girls so if he manages to get somebody I think I will take notes

Ha! Yes, I think Ryder's charm with the ladies largely existed in his head at times.

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