DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are used without permission. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Okay, so I don't really actually watch Home and Away, but I was on YouTube browsing other videos when I came across the Charlie Joey Love Story, and got engrossed, and watched the whole thing. I literally lost my whole evening. Anyway I was so taken with the story I decided to write my own. As I say I don't really watch the show, so I have no idea what has happened since well I know Joey didn't come back, and I know Charlie got hit by Brett's car, and possibly died later on at some point. But needless to say my story won't be following the reality of the show because I really have no idea what that is!! Sooooo let me know what you think.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To debrafitzakerley[at]yahoo.co.uk
One More Chance
Joey is still on a high from the day's events. She had good banter with the guys back at the garage all afternoon, all pleasant. They have all fully embraced her sexuality, and been more than accepting of it. It's not something she's used to, but she could certainly get used to it. Not only the general good reaction, but Charlie's actions, Joey can see she really has changed. She's still a little dubious not 100% certain she can trust Charlie, or that Charlie is definitely sure that this is what she wants, but this afternoon went a long way to convincing her.
She's finished her first day at work, and it's been excellent. She's just skipped through the door of the diner, she waves at Leah, who although as usual she's rushed off her feet smiles and waves back, genuinely happy to see Joey, she really hopes her and Charlie can work things out this time. Then Joey spies her 'date', Lily, she had arranged to meet her to discuss all things first day at work related. She hurries over to the table and plonks herself down opposite her housemate. The smile that has been plastered all over her face since lunch is showing no sign of moving, and Lily instantly picks up on it.
"First day went well then did it?" Lily can't help but laugh as she speaks.
"Well as first days go, I'd say it was probably the best on record." Joey beams.
"Really, now I'm intrigued. Do tell."
Joey likes this, she likes having a girlfriend, in the sense of a friend that she can 'girly chat' with, she's never really had this before, Brett certainly wasn't into it, and most of her other friends had been from the boats and trawlers, like Aden, good fun, but not really the type you could gush to about your latest love interest.
"Charlie surprised me with lunch."
Lily smiles and shakes her head. "I should have known that even a grease monkey like you couldn't have been that excited purely down to engines and oil."
Joey smirks sheepishly. Lily is looking at her expectantly. "Well come on then spill? Not even the best sarnies in the world could produce a smile that wide."
Lily's not buying. "So, you guys have kissed before?" She knows there's more to it.
"In front of the whole workforce of the garage. She didn't freak out, and even better than that, neither did they."
Lily is confused at the last part of Joey's sentence, she must convey as much because Joey picks up on it straight away. "I've not really had that many people be okay with my sexuality."
Lily just nods to show she understands, but now she wants to get into the nitty gritty. "So she didn't freak out huh?"
The grin is firmly back on Lily's face, and Joey can't help but match it. "Nope. If anything I freaked out at her not freaking out."
Time to get serious. "Do you really think she can change Joey?"
She exhales loudly. "I really hope she can. And I really believe that she hopes she can too."
"Just be careful." Lily reaches over and grabs Joey's hand as a show of support. She'll be here for Joey no matter what, even if it is to help her pick up the pieces of her broken heart again, at least she won't have to do it by herself this time.
It's all getting a bit deep for Lily, so she decides to change the subject. "Anyway, I have some news too."
"Really. Dad's got his date for his next long haul." Lily wiggles her eyebrows.
"That's great. When?"
"That soon?" Joey is quite shocked.
"Yep. Three months again too. We'll have the place to ourselves the whole time. Its gunna be excellent. I used to get kinda lonely before." Lily really is excited that she won't be a lone ranger this time, she are Joey are going to have the best time.
"It is gunna be amazing." Joey mirrors Lily's enthusiasm.
Then her face drops, Lily see's it right away. "What's the matter? What is it?"
Joey currently has knots tearing up her stomach. The cause of her anxiety, the cause of all her pain three months ago. Hugo. She hasn't had to see him since she's been back. But he's just walked into the diner. All those awful feelings from three and a half months ago have come rushing back. She can't quite put her finger on why, hell Charlie's been in a relationship with Angelo since then, but he really does signify one of the lowest times in her life.
Joey decides to put Lily, who is still opened mouthed on the edge of her seat, out of her misery. She manages one solitary word. "Hugo."
Lily of course knows the 'Hugo' story. One of the many late night chats she and Joey had enjoyed over the last couple of weeks. She spins round more in curiosity than anything else; she wants to see what this Hugo looks like.
"Uh." She's not sure what she was expecting, but she was definitely disappointed. She turns up her nose as she looks back round at Joey. "He's got nothing on you Jo."
Joey smiles, but it doesn't last long. It appears Hugo has seen her. He wouldn't come over would he? Of course he would.
"He's coming over, he's coming over." It can only be described as a frantic whisper, Lily barley makes out what Joey is saying, in fact by the time she's deciphered it Hugo is standing at the edge of their table. Lily looks defiant ready to pounce; she can't quite believe he's had the nerve to come over. Joey just looks like she'd rather be anywhere but here. He speaks.
"Hey Joey I heard you were back in the bay."
Joey can't bring herself to speak. Luckily Lily steps in. "Can we help you?"
Hugo tears his eyes from Joey, to look at the owner of the voice, he realises he doesn't know this woman. "Hi I'm Hugo."
He holds his hand out to Lily who just looks at it rather unimpressed, before returning her gaze back to meet his. "I know who you are."
Hugo realises fairly quickly that neither of these women are his biggest fan. He decides to do what he came to do and then run for it. He turns back to Joey.
"Look Joey, I just wanted to say I'm sorry."
Charlie strides into the Diner, feeling pretty pleased with herself; she has had a wonderful day. That is until she sees the scene before her. Hugo chatting to Joey and Lily, that can't be right surely? The panic rises in her immediately. She heads straight over to the unlikely trio.
"What's going on?" No time for pleasantries.
Hugo's face drops, he knows this awkward situation is about to get a whole lot more tense. He's beginning to wish he'd just grabbed his sandwich and left.
"I was just trying to apologise to Joey."
"She doesn't need your apology." She gives Hugo her best evils, before looking down lovingly at Joey, who can't help but smile. "I'm the one who fucked up that night not you. And I'll be the one who makes it up to her. Because I'm in love with her."
She looks Hugo straight in the eyes as she says it. Joey feels like her heart has just exploded, she actually thinks she forgot to breathe for a second there. Charlie is on a roll.
"So really there's no reason for you to be here at all." Lily is impressed, she smiles over at Joey to show her as much, it appears Hugo isn't as taken by Charlie's words.
He sniggers. "Really you're in love with a chick?"
Charlie doesn't flinch. "Yes." Defiant.
"If you were so in love with Joey, what was that night with me all about?"
Charlie decides she really has no interest in continuing this conversation, so she starts to speak a little louder than perhaps she should, so the other patrons in the diner can hear.
"Tell me Hugo, what kind of man takes advantage of a vulnerable, confused, not to mention hammered woman, who's alone and crying on the beach?"
Now it's Hugo that decides he's had enough of this conversation. Not to mention his current location, he's getting some really dodgy looks from the other customers, not to mention some icy glares from Leah and Coleen amongst others.
"Whatever Charlie." He runs. That was embarrassing.
Now that's dealt with, Charlie's main concern is Joey, she turns to her so quickly she's a little worried she's given herself whiplash.
"Are you okay?"
To be honest Joey is in awe. She was kinda in a trance watching Charlie going to work on Hugo, she snaps out of it seeing the current level of worry etched on her face. She smiles.
"Charlie, I'm fine." Charlie visibly relaxes. "Join us?"
Charlie happily sits down next to Joey, and just like that the three of them forget that Hugo had even been there, and relax into their afternoon, laughing and joking.
They stayed and had a drink with Lily before she had to rush off to start her shift at the hospital. Joey and Charlie have decided to head back to Charlie's place for dinner. They are strolling along the beach. Joey is lost in her thoughts, all she keeps replaying in her mind, is Charlie telling Hugo that she was in love with her. She can't help the smirk that hits her face every time she hears those words again in her head.
They have been walking in a comfortable silence so far. Charlie can tell Joey is preoccupied elsewhere; she's looking out over the ocean as she walks, and has the cutest smile on her face. Charlie takes in Joey's beauty as they meander along the beach, this woman has the ability to make her happier than she ever thought possible. She reaches out and takes Joey's hand into her own, entwining their fingers as they continue in their journey.
Joey is shocked by Charlie's gesture, but delighted in equal measure. She squeezes Charlie's hand in her own; she loves the feel of their fingers intertwined. She decides to let Charlie enter the little world she's been living in for the last twenty minutes or so, and voice what she's been thinking about.
"Did you mean what you said to Hugo?" She asks it sheepishly, almost embarrassed. Charlie can't help but play with her a little.
"Which part?" She beams as she says it. Joey can tell she's in a playful mood.
"The part where you told him you were in love with me?" She would love to be playful back, but she needs to know.
Charlie stops walking for a second; she needs Joey to really hear this. "I meant every word. I am head over heels in love with you."
Joey smiles. She kinda always knew that was the case, but it was nice to hear Charlie finally admit it out loud, and sound completely confident about it, and not only to Joey, but to Hugo, to Lily, to anyone else who might have overheard in the diner. Amazing. Joey pulls on Charlie's hand and they continue to walk along the beach. Charlie's a little put out that Joey didn't tell her she loves her back. Joey can tell instantly there's something wrong, her demeanour changes, is she sulking? Surely not. Its takes Joey about three seconds to figure out why. She decides to put her put of her misery. She squeezes her hand again.
"Oh, you know I'm completely in love with you too right?"
The relief pours from Charlie. She can't help the happy smile that explodes onto her face. Joey can't help but add a little realism to the situation; she still needs to be careful.
"But love really wasn't ever our problem. Was it?"
There it was a huge reality shaped smack in the face for Charlie. Oh well she thinks, you keep throwing em Joey, and I'll keep taking them in my stride. I will prove to you that you can trust me. Charlie is a little down hearted, but more determined than ever. They continue their journey in silence, although it's not as comfortable as it was previously.
Joey had had a great evening, playing cards with VJ, laughing and joking with Ruby and Leah. They had all eaten together. Charlie had been quiet, too quiet. Joey knew exactly why, she hurt her with her words on the beach.
Ruby and Leah had noticed Charlie's strange behaviour; they were secretly praying that the two girls hadn't managed to mess this up again already. Charlie had escaped to the shower pretty quickly after dinner, and the three woman have just heard her exit the bathroom, and go straight into her bedroom, the three friends sitting at the kitchen table look at each other knowingly, Joey sighs loudly, she needs to make this better, she gives Leah and Ruby a wry smile before sliding off her chair and heading in the direction of Charlie's bedroom.
She braces herself as she lets herself into the older Buckton's bedroom. She finds the love of her life wrapped in a towel, lying on the bed, staring at the ceiling. She doesn't look particularly happy. She hears the door open and glances over at her visitor, before looking back up at the ceiling.
Joey sits on the end of the bed, she needs to explain.
"I'm sorry." Charlie sits up; she wasn't expecting Joey to apologise. Joey carries on, she needs to explain.
"I love you Charlie. But part of me can't help but want to punish you for the past." Joey starts to get quite emotional; she can feel the tears forming in her eyes. Charlie just watches her in admiration.
"I just couldn't help it; I wanted to hurt you with that comment. And I don't know why." The tears are now spilling over.
"You're trying so hard. I need to do the same. I need to get rid of this spitefulness inside of me."
"Joey, I won't lie, your little dig earlier was like a knife through the heart." Charlie is close to tears herself.
"But I put that spite there in the first place, so I can take it, until you're ready to fully forgive me. But you're wrong about one thing."
Joey looks at Charlie not really knowing what Charlie is referring to. "I'm not trying hard. I don't need to. Loving you is the most natural thing I have ever done."
Joey is really crying now, she pulls Charlie into a hug, and just holds her.
It's some time later, they are still laying together on the bed, Charlie still wrapped in her towel, Joey clinging onto her, Charlie is running her hands through Joey's hair.
"Stay with me tonight." The words are out of Charlie's mouth before she realises she's spoken.
Joey doesn't even need to think about. "Of course."
Charlie smiles, she's feeling rather brave. "Do you have any plans Friday night?"
"Well I was wondering if I could take you on a date?"
This gets Joey's full attention; she looks up at Charlie who is looking down at her with pure adulation.
Charlie just nods her head.
"I'd love to."
Relief. "I was thinking maybe dinner and drinks?"
"Sounds Perfect." Joey snuggles back into Charlie.
"Right well if you're staying jump in the shower and I'll get out of this towel, and into some clothes."
Joey removes herself from Charlie's arms, and gently places small kisses on her lips, Charlie gladly accepts. Joey begins to talk between kisses.
"Well I like the idea of you getting out of this towel."
Charlie smiles into the kisses. Before playfully pushing Joey away, as much as she would love to take this further, Joey's actions today proved if nothing else that they're not ready to take that next step.
"Maybe you should make that shower a cold one."
Joey nods in agreement. Then suddenly remember something she needs to tell Charlie.
"Oh I forgot to mention, Mitchell is going on another long haul on Thursday, so he wants you round at ours for dinner Wednesday, if you're free?"
"Absolutely. I can't wait."
Joey smiles. Charlie has a few questions. "How longs he away for?"
"Three months. Lily and I are going to have the best time, with the house to ourselves."
Charlie's change of posture doesn't go unnoticed by Joey. "And you of course."
Charlie plasters an obviously fake smile on her face. She doesn't know why it bothers her so much, but the thought of Lily and Joey together in that house, alone for three months, makes her feel uncomfortable. They get on so well.
Not fully convinced. "Right, well I'll hit the shower then."
So close, they had come so close to dispelling the weirdness for the evening. Charlie curses herself for being so obviously jealous about the other woman in Joey's life. She decides it because she doesn't know Lily that well yet, so she's weary of her. She resolves she's going to put that right at dinner on Wednesday night. Satisfied with her plan, she starts hunting for clothes.
Charlie has thrown some scruffs on, and joined Leah and Ruby in the kitchen. They're all currently nursing piping hot mugs of tea. Charlie hasn't really spoken, both Leah and Ruby, are dying to find out what's going on with her and Joey. They look at each other before Leah decides she will break the ice, she's been meaning to ask Charlie about this since she got home.
"Is everything Okay, after what happened in the diner earlier?"
Charlie looks up at Leah, but before she even has a chance to contemplate answering her question, Ruby has spoken.
"Why what happened in the diner?"
The look of confusion on Ruby's face makes Charlie want to laugh out loud. If she didn't feel so down, she might have done, instead she decides to answer Ruby's question, and then Leah's.
"Hugo made a bit of a scene with Joey." She turns her attention to Leah. "Everything was fine after the Hugo thing."
'Was fine.' Leah knows there must be more to it. "Okay, so what's happened since then that's put you in such a terrible mood."
"I guess it's just harder than I thought it would be." She exhales loudly. "Joey won't let me forget the past, and I'm starting to get insanely jealous. It's like in my mind, Joey could cheat on me, and I'd have to forgive her, because she forgave me."
Ruby feels so bad for her sister; she moves chairs and puts her arm around her as a show of comfort.
"You two can't go on like this you know." The Buckton sisters look up at Leah. Charlie nods to show she agrees with Leah.
"We need to find a way through it; I just have no idea how."
"You both wanna make it work don't you?" Charlie just nods at Leah's words again. "Then don't give up."
Charlie smiles, she knows this isn't going to be easy, for lots of different reasons, one of the main one's being her fault. But she knows it will be worth it in the end.
Charlie is feeling good again after her chat with Leah and Ruby, but she decides that she and Joey need to be honest with each other. Painfully honest. When she hears her come out of the shower, she gives it five minutes before heading into her bedroom, she finds Joey dressed in her pyjamas towel drying her hair. Charlie almost forgets what she's come to the room to do, so distracting is the vision before her.
She shakes her head. Concentrate Buckton. Joey looks up at Charlie amused, but also wondering why she looks so serious. She waits for Charlie to speak. She does eventually.
"I think if we're going to work, we need to be brutally honest with each other." Charlie declares.
"I agree." Joey wonders where this is going.
Charlie nods her head, and then sits on the end of the bed next to Joey; she struggles with her next words.
That was unexpected. "Jealous of who?"
"Aden. Lily. Basically anyone that you look remotely comfortable with." Charlie is embarrassed but she knows they need to do this.
"Why?" Joey is genuinely confused.
"I just feel like you've got one over on me." Charlie really is going to need to explain a little better, because Joey is none the wiser.
"I feel like because I made such a stupid mistake with Hugo, you could potentially do the same thing to me."
Charlie can't bring herself to look at Joey, who to be honest doesn't know whether to laugh at how ludicrous she's being or cry at how heartbroken she looks right now.
She puts a hand on either side of Charlie's face, and pulls it up so they're looking each other in the eyes.
"I love you." She says it with a determination so that Charlie will know she means it. "Brutally honest though, yeah?"
Charlie nods, her whole being fills with dread. "The pain I felt when I found out about you and Hugo was incredible. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. Never mind the woman I'm in love with. I will never hurt you like that, I promise."
Charlie blinks, and a couple of tears spill over, she hates that she ever hurt Joey that much, but she believes her when she says she would never do it to her. Joey carries on speaking.
"And I know I've still got anger inside of me. Keep having little digs that I know will hurt you. I'm sorry; I promise from now on I will think before I speak."
"I don't want you to have to think before you speak. I don't want you to be angry anymore."
Joey smiles. "I'm working on it."
"Thank you." Charlie leans in and kisses Joey. Everything seems a whole lot better when Joey's lips are on her own. But more than that, she feels like they've really made progress today. It's been a tough day, but ultimately worth it.
Return to Miscellaneous Fiction
Return to Main Page