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Sitting in the bench not far from the ambulance entrance of Holby City, Charlotte sips her coffee. Her toes on the ground, absently bouncing as she watches the various people coming and going around the area. She pulls her cardigan around herself a bit, the sky a light gray with a soft wind. Probably going to rain soon.

 

“Mum?”

 

Char lifts her head, smiling a little when she sees her son and mother walking in her direction. “Hey.” She slowly stands from the bench, “took the pair of you long enough.”

 

“Right. Could have just waited for Gran to get back from her run, couldn’t you?” Cole leans his head to the side, looking at his mother with widened eyes, attempting to convey to her that it was something that his grandmother is upset about.

 

“Ah, well, yes. I suppose I could have.” Charlotte nods, looking over at her mother after a moment, “I apologize, but I had her agreeing that she would go. I helped her dress and we had been taking our time. There was a momentum that I didn’t want her to lose by Maman second guessing my actions as well as her own actions.” She offers a light smile, “I truly had no ulterior motive or...anything of the sort, but...I knew I needed to act fast at the time.” Char pauses, “well, as fast as we were able to act.”

 

Bernie nods with a still hurt half smile, “I can understand your actions. I just...” She exhales softly, “a text message would have been nice.”

 

“I didn’t want you rushing home on our account.” Charlotte shakes her head slowly, “everything worked out in a way that she’s receiving the care she should have, or could have, had weeks ago.” She ends her thought, then blurts, as if in an afterthought, “I did intend to text you once she was settled, but I forgot.” Another pauses before speaking again, another afterthought, “did you have any idea that Morven was going to be working here?”

 

“Not a one...until today.” That makes Bernie feel a little better, “any word about Serena?”

 

“Um...Something about the CBC showing severe anemia, but...Morven started pressing on her belly and instantly orders an abdominal MRI and a few other blood tests.” Charlotte shrugs, “Donna still works here too. That was another relief. Morven and Donna are working closely together on this it seems.”

 

“Until Morven can’t, I’d bet.” Bernie nods, “conflict of interest, especially if she shows any sort of preferential treatment. You forget, we go much further back with Morven than just her marriage to your brother.”

 

“I do sometimes, but I’ve observed how Morven and Maman are towards one another and...it's pretty obvious.” Charlotte motions toward the ambulance entrance, “anyway, I’m sure if you spoke with Morven directly or had a look at Maman’s chart, it would explain more than anything I’m spreading forth.”

 

“Not to mention, it’s probably going to rain any second.” Cole mumbles with a sigh, “so Nan’s on AAU then?” Seeing his mother’s nod, the teen walks toward the building, imagining it as a home away from home at this point, leaving his mother and grandmother in the car park.

 

“He knows half the staff, so I’m not too worried.” Charlotte smirks to herself, amused. “Do you want a coffee or something before we head in?”

 

“N-no, I’m fine. Thank you for the offer.” Bernie looks toward the building, but doesn’t move, “tell me the truth, Char, did she get worse because I didn’t put my foot down?”

 

“Don’t know.” Char shakes her head, “but we can’t think that way. She’s receiving the treatment she needs to receive now and that’s all that matters.” Turning her head to look at the profile of her mother’s face, “Mum, everything is going to be alright.” Charlotte reaches over after a moment, cautiously taking her mother’s hand into her own, “we’ve got this all under control...and there’s no reason for you to try to bear it all on your own.”

 

Bernie nods slightly, giving Charlotte’s hand a squeeze. She doesn’t look over at her daughter, not knowing if she would be able to maintain her composure if she did. “As long as she’s receiving care...that’s all that matters.”

 

“You know, you might be able to assist Morven as well. I’m sure there’s something we’ve forgotten to mention that only you would notice...or deem as odd.” Charlotte states simply, “you’re both stubborn, Mum. Regardless of your backgrounds, regardless of your intentions, regardless of the outcome, you both did what you thought was right...and that’s all that matters.”

 

“I might have gotten my wife-”

 

“Mum.” Charlotte stops her mother’s thought process, “Dwelling on what could have been, would have been, or should have been...is just wasting time. It’s...ignoring what is happening now.”

 

Bernie swallows, listening to her daughter’s words, giving a subtle nod in response. “I don’t...I don’t like things sugar coated, Char.”

 

“I know, but...I trust Morven. She’s not going to give up...especially on Serena.” Char gently shakes the cup of coffee in her other hand, “care for a sip? Still warm.”

 

A smirk forms in the corner of Bernie’s mouth, reaching over and taking the cup from her daughter. She takes a sip, scrunching her face up in mock disgust after, “I don’t know how on Earth you can drink that. Practically dirty sugar water.” She finally looks in Charlotte’s direction, “I thought you liked your coffee black.”

 

“Usually, but...thought I’d try something different. Also, I thought I could use an energy burst from the sugar.” Char nods, taking the coffee cup back from her mother, only to realize that it’s empty, “I thought you didn’t like it!”

 

“Nothing wrong with a bit of sugar water from time to time.” Bernie mumbles playfully, walking ahead of her daughter toward the hospital, only for the younger woman to follow closely behind.

 

“Riding solo?” Donna smiles softly to Cole as he nears the nurses’ desk, accepting a hug from the teenager. “Blimey, you’ve gotten so tall.”

 

“I tried to stay short, but...you know...genetics.” Cole chuckles softly, giving her a tender squeeze before letting her go. He begins to glance around, noticing various staffers attempting to garner a peek into the sectioned off room. “I’m guessing Nan is in there?” Cole gives a subtle nod toward the room, “how is she?”

 

“Well, you know how your Nan is. Always the trooper that one.” Donna nods, returning her focus to paperwork behind the desk, “your Auntie Morven is in with her now, doing a more intense workup.”

 

“Which means she knows something is wrong, but doesn’t know exactly what it is.” Cole tilts his head to the side a little, watching Donna’s face. The woman doesn’t need to say anything, he already knows the answer. Giving a subtle nod, he chuckles a little, “at least she’s being thorough.”