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
It's now Wednesday evening, Joey, Lily and Mitchell are all mooching around the kitchen, preparing dinner. Joey loves this. Mitchell and Lily have really accepted her into the family, and as much as she's going to love spending time with Lily over the next three months, she's really going to miss Mitchell.
"Right girls." Mitchell is satisfied with his casserole which he has just placed into the oven; it seems he's got something to say.
"A few ground rules." Lily and Joey smirk at each other. Mitchell grabs three beers out of the fridge, and hands one to each of the young women, who both gladly accept.
"I would like to come back to a house."
Lily chuckles. "Dad really, how many times have you been away on a long haul? And how many times have you come back to house anything less than pristine?"
"Well I've never left you with Joey before."
Joey nearly chokes on her beer causing Mitchell to laugh. "Nothing against you Jo. I just know what the two of you are like when you get together."
Joey and Lily look at each other knowingly, Lily starts to speak. "Come on then dad, you said ground rules. What else have you got for us?"
"No parties." He says it with a deadly serious look on his face.
"Dad we're not 15." Lily is about to continue with her protest, when she sees the smile creep onto her father's face, he's joking.
"And finally." Mitchell gets ready to lay down his final rule, he looks squarely at Joey. "I want you to still be living here when I get back."
This surprises Joey. Mitchell explains himself. "I know I said this was just temporary until you get back on your feet, and you'll be well on your feet in three months time. But truthfully I love having you here, and I know Lily does."
Lily nods to show she agrees. "So I want you to think of this place as your permanent home. You can stay here as long as you like."
Joey really has been on an emotional rollercoaster since she's been back in the bay. She can feel the tears forming in her eyes. Happy tears of course. "I don't know what to say."
Mitchell can feel the emotion in the room, but he's a proper Aussie bloke, and as always the last thing he wants is a crying female in his kitchen.
"You don't need to say anything. Just know that you're family now. And you're welcome here always."
Joey nods, and tries frantically to swallow the lump in her throat, she knows Mitchell well enough to know he would not be pleased if she burst into tears.
Lily pulls Joey into a hug, and winks at her dad. She can't echo his sentiments enough. Joey is actually the sister she never had.
The 'Carters' are pulled from their emotional five minutes by a knock at the door. Joey runs to answer it, knowing it will be Charlie.
Charlie is surprised to find that she's a little nervous, as she waits patiently at the Carter's front door. She's clutching a bottle of wine. She is so determined to make a good impression on these people who in such a short space of time have become such a big part of Joey's life. She calms slightly when the door swigs open and she's greeted by Joey wearing a beautiful brilliant smile.
"Hey Charlie. Come on in."
Charlie walks into the house, and is immediately impressed. She knew Mitchell was a business owner, but she never really thought about how wealthy that may have made him, but if this house is anything to go by, he must have a few bob, it's stunning.
Joey watches Charlie as she takes in her surroundings in awe.
"It's a nice place isn't it?" Joey smiles as Charlie is pulled from her thoughts, and looks at her ex lover.
"It's amazing." Charlie realises that she has been so taken by the house she hasn't actually greeted Joey; she puts that right straight away.
"Hey you." She pulls her in a gives her a quick kiss.
Joey can tell she's nervous, and decides the best way to make her feel better, is to tease her about it.
"They don't bite you know." She says it with a twinkle in her eyes. Charlie laughs; Joey really makes her feel at ease, she feels better already.
"I know. I just know how important they are to you. I want to make a good impression."
"You will don't worry."
Joey grabs Charlie's hand and pulls her through to the kitchen where Mitchell and Lily are still laughing and joking. Mitchell stops when he sees the two younger women walk through the door, he smiles.
"Mitchell, Lily, you remember Charlie."
Charlie hands over the wine to Mitchell before greeting him and his daughter with a kiss. "Hi guys nice to see you both again."
"Right, well dinner will be a little while yet, I thought we could all congregate outside."
They head out through the patio doors, onto the decking once again the home takes Charlie's breathe away. The back garden backs onto the beach, no wonder Joey loves it here.
Mitchell hand's Charlie a beer as she's taking a seat.
She politely declines. "I can't I'm driving."
"You can stay over." Joey speaks before thinking. She looks at Mitchell hoping she hasn't overstepped a mark. "I mean if that's okay Mitch?"
Mitchell smiles at how worried Joey looks right now. He puts her at ease right away. "Of course it is Joey, I told you, this is your home now."
Charlie smiles and accepts the beer that Mitchell is still holding out to her.
Then the decking descends in a comfortable silence. It's a really warm pleasant evening, and still light out. Mitchell could tell just by looking at Charlie how nervous she was, it must be hard for her to come into this situation knowing that he and Lily love Joey like their own, and knowing that they both know how much Charlie has hurt her in the past.
But Mitchell is looking at Charlie now, and he knows that she's alright, even that she's the one for Joey. Joey is currently staring out at the ocean, no surprise there, it is one of her great loves, but it's the look of pure adoration on Charlie's face while she's staring at Joey, that convinces Mitchell, that he has nothing to worry about when contemplating whether or not to embrace the local copper into their family, the same way they did Joey. She's in. Mitchell vows from this moment, to make her feel as welcome as he possible can.
"So Charlie, how's work been recently?"
Charlie pulls her gaze away from Joey, to answer Mitch's question.
"It's been pretty quiet this week actually. Last week was mental."
Lily joins in at this point. "Yeah I've not seen Joey half as much this week."She smirks to show she's teasing.
"Sorry, have I been stealing a little too much of her time?"
Now it's Joey's turn to butt in, and she can't help the laughter in her voice. "It's not me she's missing."
Charlie's intrigued; Joey has a sparkle in her eyes as she wiggles her eyebrows at Lily, who has turned a light shade of crimson.
"Well who then?" Charlie's a little confused.
"Well that week you were rammed at work, me and Lily were hanging out a lot with, um, Aden."
Now she's gone full blown crimson. Joey can't help but burst out laughing. Charlie tries her best to contain her own amusement.
Lily decides to take it in her stride. "Alright I confess, he is super hot. I'm mean like really really hot." She may be being a little too emphatic; Joey still can't get her laughter under control, causing Lily to throw her napkin at her.
"I wouldn't expect you guys to understand." Now it's Lily's turn to wiggle her eyebrows.
Mitchell doesn't really want to hear about how his little girl has been drooling all over the local stud, Aden's a nice enough guy, but this is his little girl.
"Alright guys, can we change the subject?" Mitchell is deadly serious, three sets of eyes, slowly turn to face him. They can't help but burst into uncontrollable laughter. Mitchell just shakes his head; he can't think what he's done to deserve being surrounded by women all the time. Get him back out on that boat.
"Actually Lily, I was going to ask you if you know Rachel Armstrong? She's a Doctor at the hospital." Charlie takes pity on Mitch and decides to change the subject.
"Yeah Rachel's really nice, I haven't worked with her much, but what I have seen of her I like. Is she a friend of yours?"
Joey loves that the conversation is flowing naturally, and these two, two of the most important people in her life look like they're going to get on. She's delighted.
"Yeah she's a good friend of mine." The conversation continues.
Just like that, any nervousness was dispelled; the Carters, Joey and Charlie had a wonderful evening together. They achieved what was the goal for the evening, they all got to know each other a lot better, and what's more they all got on. Charlie is so happy she seems to have made a good impression on Mitchell and Lily, and what's more than that, Lily seems to be man mad, which has certainly put an end to Charlie's ridiculous jealousy, in Lily's case anyway.
They'd ended up having a fair few drinks last night, so Charlie's decision to stay over turned out to be a good one. Again though they hadn't made love, the sexual frustration is starting to get to her a little, she keeps reminding herself that Joey is worth it. It's currently 6am, and Charlie has just snuck out of Joey's bed being careful not to wake her, she hates leaving before Joey wakes up, but she has to be in work in an hour, and she's gotta head home and get ready, she leans down and kisses Joey on the cheek, before slipping out of the bedroom.
She bumps into Mitchell in the kitchen, he's leaving shortly himself, he needs to get down to the docks.
"Charlie, would you like a coffee?"
"I'm sorry Mitchell, I really don't have time."
"What about time for a short chat?" He looks so serious, Charlie daren't say no.
She nods. "Uh yeah sure." She takes a seat at the centre Island opposite Mitchell.
Mitchell likes Charlie, he really does, but he loves Joey, and he's not going to be around in the immediate future, so he feels it's his duty to have a little talk with Charlie. She braces herself, not really sure where this is going.
"I like you Charlie." He wants to get that in there first. Charlie smiles, but she knows he's far from finished, so she doesn't speak.
"But." There's the 'but' she was expecting. "I was with Joey in the immediate aftermath of what happened between the two of you."
Charlie immediately knows he means the boat she ran away on. "She was a broken woman when she stepped onto that boat Charlie, and she's not fixed yet."
Charlie just feels sad. She had thought they had all gotten on so well last night, but maybe Mitchell isn't as keen on her as he seems.
He sees Charlie visibly deflate. He needs to reassure her. "All I'm saying is be careful with her. I can tell how much you love her, and how much she loves you for that matter."
Charlie finds her voice. "Mitchell, I made a stupid, stupid mistake. I will spend as long as takes to try and make that up to her. But I can tell you with complete certainty that I will never do anything that stupid again."
Mitchell smiles at Charlie's defiance. "I believe you. I know how special Joey is. She really is like a second daughter to me now. I worry about her, the way I worry about Lily."
"I think you'll probably have to worry more about Lily and Aden, than you will about me and Joey."
The look of horror on Mitchell's face makes Charlie laugh out loud. "Don't remind me." He joins Charlie in laughter.
"Truthfully though Charlie. I really want you to still be around when I get back in three months."
Charlie feels a lump forming in her throat. "Me too."
Mitchell pulls her into a hug, before they both say their goodbyes. All in all, it's been a successful trip to the Carters. Charlie makes her way to work, feeling really positive about the future.
Well the night has finally arrived. Friday night means date night, but more than that it means first date night for Charlie and Joey; they have both been excited all day. Joey is surprised that she's also really nervous. Butterflies in her stomach. She's currently at home just putting the finishing touches to her outfit. She waltzes into the front room and finds Lily sprawled on the couch, Joey looks at her expectantly.
"Joey you look amazing. Charlie won't know what's hit her."
Joey can't help the grin that erupts onto her face, Lily rolls her eyes. They are interrupted by a knock at the door. Joey skips to answer it, Charlie, and wow does she look amazing.
"You look. . ." Joey doesn't have the brain power to complete the sentence; she just takes in the older woman's beauty. To be fair, Charlie is doing the same, Joey looks simply divine.
"So do you." Charlie finally formulates an almost sentence.
"We'll just go and say goodbye to Lily."
Charlie nods and follows Joey into the front room. Lily looks at them both, they look absolutely stunning. They really are a beautiful couple.
"Hiya Charlie, nice to see you again." The smile is genuine, from both women.
"So what have you two got planned for this evening then ladies?"
"I've got us reservations at that fancy Italian in town." Joey gets butterflies again at Charlie's words; she still can't quite believe that she's going on a date, an actual real public date with Charlie Buckton.
They are all pulled from their thoughts when there's another knock at the door. Joey and Charlie look at each other whilst wracking their brains, trying to figure out who it could be. Lily looks a little guilty. It appears whoever it is, is a little more comfortable at the house than Charlie, as they have let themselves in.
Joey recognises the voice immediately, and just looks at Lily with a huge grin. Before she whips her head back round to the door just in time to see Aden stride through the door with a stack of DVD's in one hand and a bag of goodies in the other hand. He looks up to be confronted by two smirking women, and one wearing a wry smile.
"Wow guys, you look hot."
"Aden. Lily hadn't mentioned that you were coming over." She can't hide the playfulness from her tone.
"She mentioned that she'd be home alone tonight, so I thought I'd come and keep her company."
"Ever the gentlemen." Aden is now wearing a matching wry grin to Lily's. Joey is teasing. Charlie decides to take pity on her friends.
"Come on you, we better get going." She grabs Joey's arm, who's a little upset at having her fun spoiled, but she's got more fun to come now. "Have a good night you two."
Aden and Lily just nod at Charlie's words, Joey can't help but have one last friendly dig.
"Don't do anything I wouldn't do."
Charlie pulls Joey out of the front door before she can tease them anymore.
They had a wonderful meal. They had chatted happily, and Joey was surprised that Charlie had been quite affectionate with her, not overly so, but stoking her hand here, gazing into her eyes there. It wasn't overt, but if anyone had been paying attention they would have been able to tell that these two women were most definitely on a date.
Because of this Joey has really calmed down, it's probably the first time since she's been back that she can really see a future for them. Charlie can tell that so far tonight has been an amazing success. It's been like before the whole Hugo episode happened; they were chatting and joking, and just a lot more comfortable with each other than they have been.
After the meal they headed to Noah's, Joey has tensed a little, okay the restaurant was amazing, but that was on the outskirts of town, here they are smack bang in the middle of Summer Bay, of their community, surrounded by all their peers. Joey is worried about how Charlie will act here, luckily Charlie doesn't seemed to have noticed. Joey hates herself for not being over this particular issue yet, hopefully this evening will go a long way to resolving that.
Charlie has been at the bar, and returns to the table with some extravagant looking cocktails, umbrellas, sparklers the works.
"You are really spoiling me." Charlie had insisted on paying for dinner, her reasoning being that she asked Joey out.
"You're worth it." Charlie reaches over and grabs Joey's hand as she speaks, and continues to hold it across the table, the smile never moves from her face. Joey's mind, officially blown.
She had scanned the room when she walked in there were a couple of familiar faces. Hugo and Martha, and a few others Joey recognised as being local. It's starting to occur to her that this problem Charlie has with them being seen together is actually not Charlie's problem at all, but hers.
"I've had a brilliant night. Thank you." Joey smiles.
Charlie can't believe just how wonderful an evening they've had. It's been just like old times. She's stroking Joey's hand across the table, and it amazes her that this beautiful woman could ever find it in her heart to forgive her.
"It's been my pleasure."
Joey needs to get something off of her chest, she's been thinking about it for a while. But tonight has been so perfect she can't keep it in any longer. Her need to get it out is so great she just ends up blurting it out.
"Charlie I want you to be my girlfriend again."
Charlie is shocked and delighted in equal measure; the smile that erupts onto her face at Joey's words makes an exact copy appear on the other woman's.
"Are you serious?"
Joey just nods to confirm she is in fact deadly serious. Charlie is round the table in seconds.
"I would love nothing more." She places a kiss on Joey's lips. Joey is most definitely taken aback by this public display of affection. A few heads turn in the bar, but for the most part the patrons look for a second and then get back to their drinks.
Joey hasn't finished there. When Charlie pulls back from the kiss, Joey starts to chat again, but a little more sheepishly this time.
"If you want to. I'd really like it if you'd stay with me tonight."
Charlie can't understand why Joey looks so coy. They've spent the night together, a few times since she's been back.
"Of course I want too. You know I love waking up with you."
Joey can tell Charlie hasn't really understood what she's saying. She thinks she's asking her to have another sleepover, sleep being the operative word. Joey takes a deep breath and tries to explain a little better.
"Charlie I mean I want you to spend the night with me."
She looks her deep in the eyes, Joey conveys so much feeling through her eyes, and Charlie instantly knows what she means. She can help the almost lecherous grin that spreads across her features. "I can't wait to make love to you again. If tonight's the night, I am definitely in."
Charlie's heart soars, not only at the fact that she and Joey are finally moving forward, and taking the next step in their relationship, but also that this must mean that Joey trusts her again. She cannot wait to get home now.
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