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Family Ties

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Chapter one_ I guess that flowers aren’t just used for big apologies.

Ange stood in the locker room for AAU having left early that morning so that she avoided Chloe, she had quickly grabbed her make up and showered at the hospital. Now with a towel wrapped around her she stood and the mirror applying a little more make up than she usually would to cover the black eye. Once she was satisfied that the black eye was covered enough, she changed into her scrubs and styled her hair, more specifically her hair so that it was another layer to cover her eye. Thankfully the bruise on her ribs would be covered by her scrubs and easy to cover. She had managed to hide the marks when she was a teenager surly, she would be able to hide them again. Unknown to her Chloe had been awake and walking past her bedroom. Once she was ready, she took a deep breath built up her walls and headed out to the ward.

The scot made sure that she kept herself busy with seeing as many patients as she could and tried to avoid her colleagues as best as she could unless necessary. Had hadn’t taken a break all morning and she had barley sat down as they were rushed of their feet with a Majax and taking the ED’s slack but eventually it died down and the ward was back under control. However, Chloe had made her way down to the ward and was trying to get her mum to slow down. But as soon as Chloe seen her mother, she knew something was wrong.

“Mum you alright you left super early this morning” Asked Chloe
“Yeah sweetheart I’m fine” Ange tried to smile looking up from her computer.
“Are going out tonight and I forgot?”
“No why?”
“You’re wearing more make up than normal”
“Nope I’ll be home after work sushi tonight?”
“What’s wrong with your ribs?” Asked Chloe as she watched her mother stand up and wince her hand automatically going to them.
“Nothing I just knocked them, I’ve restocked on your snacks in my locker if you’re hungry”
“ Thanks I’ll see you later” Smiled Chloe kissing her mum’s cheek and headed for her locker to get herself a snack.

Not convinced that her mother was okay she grabbed her snack from Ange’s locker and headed to go and find Fletch. Although they had broken up during the pandemic and Ange had been seeing someone since not long after the ordeal with Cameron, she knew that they both still loved each other.

Thankfully Chloe was on her break because finding fletcher was like finding a needle in a pile of needles. But eventually she found him on keller with her big brother, even better for her because it meant after talking to him, she wouldn’t have to go and find him to retell her concerns to him. Nervously she pulled the sleeves of her long-sleeved top beneath her scrub one over her hands and timidly walked over to them. Although they didn’t make her nervous, she hated voicing her concerns as unless it was about a patient, but her anxiety always had her worried about it especially since she was still struggling with it since the Cameron incident.

“Can I speak to you two a second?” Asked Chloe quietly.
“Of course, you want to go to the break room?” Asked Dom as Chloe nodded.
“Fletch you know how you said I could always come talk to you does that still count even with everything going on with mum” Rambled Chloe
“Hey, yeah of course you can slow down and tell me what’s going on?”
“Last night I heard things from mum’s room like arguing and thumbs but then Tom was gone by the time I woke up and so was mum, I went to see her and she’s got a lot more make up on than normal and she winced when she stood up, she was holding her ribs, I’m worried about her but the arguing last night I panicked and i…..I”
“Hey Chlo it’s okay mum wouldn’t have wanted you to go in anyway, she knows how shouting and that affects you she wouldn’t have wanted to get you worked up”
“But I think he hit her , her hit mum”
“And if he did I’m gonna make sure he pays for it okay” Spoke Dom firmly.
“Dom you know that won’t help. I’ll go down and see if she’ll talk to me alright and I’ll text you”

Dom hugged his little sister tightly and gently rubbed her back to sooth her as he did so. Once they were sure that Chloe was okay, they sent Chloe back up her to her ward before Jac went on the war path and Fletch, headed down to AAU. When he got there, he seen Ange was sitting in her office with so much paperwork in front of her that he decided to take a detour and went back out of the ward to get her a cup of tea.

Now armed with a cup of tea he headed back into the ward and went straight to her office. Standing in the doorway unnoticed he took the time to just watch her in her own world as she worked away at her paperwork going between the file and her computer. The way the light from her computer was bouncing off of her face he swore he could see the slightest markings of a black eye beneath the make- up and it got his temper flaring.

“Your gawking” Spoke Ange
“Sorry, I bought you a cuppa” Smiled Fletch holding up the cup for her to see then placing it on the desk.
“Thanks, now why are you really here?”
“Busted” Smiled Fletch closing the door and sitting on her sofa “I spoke to Chloe, and she said that she heard you and Tom fighting then a few thumps. She was a little upset because she wanted to go in and make sure you were okay, but her anxiety stopped her. What happened?”
“Tom and I broke up last night” Stated Ange joining him on the couch.
“And what happened that has Chloe’s anxiety on the express train?”
“Fletch it’s nothing”
“Yeah see I’m not buying that, not with that black eye hidden beneath the make-up and Chloe said you were holding your ribs earlier.”
“Honestly we’ve not really been together properly in a while but last night he thought he would try take more so I pushed him away, slapped him but he retaliated gave me a black eye and a nasty bruise on the ribs, and now he’s coming to pick up his stuff tonight”
“I wish you would have called me last night I would have come right around”
“You have the kids to worry about and I’m fine really”
“Dom and I will be there tonight to make sure he gets his stuff and leaves quietly”
“Fletch that’s really not necessary”
“I’m not budging on this one Evie, Mikey, and Ellla all have sleepovers at friends tonight so Theo and I will be there right after work”

Knowing that there was no way that Fletcher would budge on it she reluctantly agreed and finished her tea before laying her head on his shoulder. Despite the fact that they had broken up the still often acted like a couple and they were both aware they were dancing around their feelings but neither one brave enough to make a move for the second time.

The two sat together for a while in a comfortable silence but Fletch waited until he was sure that she was completely relaxed with him before he asked to check out her ribs to make sure that nothing was broken. He did indeed confirm that nothing was broken but there was a very nasty large bruise, and he could tell that she would be laying the tiger balm on thick with it.

After a while he eventually returned to work back up the Keller ward where he was covering for the day, and he called both Dom and Chloe and explained to them everything she had told them. Both of them were beyond pissed when they were told what their mum had said had happed and of course Dom was a hundred percent on bored with going with him tonight to make sure he got his stuff and left quietly while Chloe was feeling she didn’t go into her mum’s room to see what was going on.

Ange was first home that night having been the first one to work that morning, but she was quickly followed by Chloe who was an anxious mess and become clingy to her mum as soon as she was through the door. It wasn’t long after that when Dom, Fletcher and little Theo knocked at the door and Theo was thrilled to be spending time with his batman. Ange who was sitting on the couch had Chloe leaning against her just like that night at the sark when the door went so she sent Dom to go let them in. It was barely seconds after the door opening when Theo came running into the living room but immediately went quiet seeing Chloe laying on her mum with her eyes closed.

“Well hello Robin” Smiled Ange “Hey Fletch”
“Batman Daddy said we can come here cause everyone else is at sleepover”
“He sure did, did you behave at school today”
“Yep” He grinned chucking his jacket at his dad.
“Hey I got us food chineese for us lot and Sushi for Chlo but I can go put hers in the fridge since she’s asleep?”
“I’m awake thanks Fletch”
“Thank you Fletch you really don’t have to do this”
“Ignore her” Spoke Chloe and Dom at the same time.

Chloe sat up and they sorted their food out on the coffee table and Ange sat Chloe up so that she could get up and get them all drinks and cutlery. Ange got out a tray and set everything on it and since Chloe was still in a clingy mood, she followed her mum around the kitchen helping. She got beers for the boys, wine for her and Chloe and juice for Theo.

Dinner was calm and they all enjoyed talking together almost like a family and much like they used to. Chloe had even managed to get Theo to try some sushi and he loved it but it resulted him taking some quite a bit of hers. Not that Chloe minded because she didn’t have the best apatite these days. Ange made a mental note to take her a protein shake later on once she was in bed since she only ate a few pieces. Dom on the other hand complained in his deva like ways that the smell was too much of the raw fish.

All too soon and far before she was ready there was another knock at the door telling her that Tom was there to pick up his things not that there was a lot there since their relationship had already started to fizzle out a good month or so ago. Setting down her fork she made sure to tell Chloe and Theo to stay in the living room and went to answer the door.

Neither of the two of them said anything to each other as she let him in and followed him up the stairs. Not fully trusting him she didn’t want him being in her bedroom alone, so she followed him up the stairs and stood in the doorway while he collected his stuff. Tom made a few derogatory comments as they were headed back down the stairs which she was quick to react to with her fisty whit, although when he stopped turned around and took a few stops up closer to her with a comment both Dom and Fletch who were standing in the living room doorway were quick to tell him to back off and watched as he came down the rest of the stairs and left.

“Right Dom and Chloe please clear up my kitchen table of your research I’m going to do the dishes” Smiled Ange
“I’ll Help with the Dishes” Smiled Fletch as Ange turned the kids’ channels for Theo.

In the kitchen Dom and Chloe worked together to clean up the table while they did the dishes. Both of her children had noticed Fletchers hand on her lower back and both of them leaning closer to each other than needed several times. By the time the dishes were done it was home time so with hugs from Theo for everyone and a kiss on Ange’s cheek from Fletch the bid everyone good night. Dom also bid his mother and sister goodnight with a hug for both of them and went home.

While Chloe had a shower Ange went around the house making sure that the windows were all closed and that the door was locked chained and bolted something she had always done with every door since the night that got her, her baby girl. Once that was done, she grabbed a protein shake and headed up the stairs to have her shower. By the time she was showered, and, in her pyjamas, Chloe was in her room and settled for the night. Not that she was going to stay here, Chloe always ended up getting in the bed with Ange. Knocking on her bedroom door she waited for an answer before opening it and walking in.

“Hi sweetheart” Smiled Ange sitting down on the side of the bed.
“HI Mum” She smiled looking up at her from where she lay in her bed.
“You doing okay?”
“Yeah”
“Good can you drink this please, you’ve barley eaten a thing?”
“Mum no I don’t need it.”
“Yes Chloe it’s this or I go and get you something to eat”
“Ugh fine but if I drink this then you have to tell me what’s going on with you and fletcher ”Moaned Chloe drinking the shake in two attempts.
“There’s nothing going on with us we are just friends”
“Yeah cause all friends are always touching each other and leaning over each other” Grinned Chloe with a cheeky smile.
“Shut up” Ange Laughed pulling the covers over her. “Goodnight my darling I love you” smiled Ange kissing her forehead.
“Goodnight mum I love you”.

Pulling the door closed she went into her own room and climbed into bed and plugged her phone in to charge when she noticed Fletch had text to tell her Theo said goodnight. Smiling she spent the next half an hour texting with him before setting her alarm for work and falling asleep.