Hello all! So, I'm back amongst the WR fandom again because its addition to iPlayer sparked off not only a desire to rewatch, but also a desire to pick my pen up again and write for my Waterloo Road OTP.
This story may be familiar to some of you, as it is a rewrite of one I started and left unfinished maybe ten years ago. I have used my creative licence to change a few things so some events differ from what happened in the actual series. Having become thoroughly confused by the timing of the school terms at Waterloo Road during planning, I've decided that this story starts about two weeks before the end of the summer term (for all I know, that might be where we're meant to assume Series Four, Spring Term ends, but I'm not taking any chances there) so everything aside from the split and Rachel and Eddie going public has already happened. I've only changed one thing from the series itself, which will become apparent in the opening paragraph.
Also, I probably don't need to say this but I will do anyway. I do not own the majority of the characters I intend to write about in this story. I'm merely borrowing them because I have a habit of playing with things that don't belong to me!
Hope you all enjoy and finally, this is for the Reddie stans on Twitter, you know who you are :)
Love's A Beautiful Battlefield
Summary: Rachel and Eddie have overcome more obstacles than most to get to the current standing point in their relationship. However, when they face the biggest one of all, Rachel wants out. Will Eddie succeed in convincing her that their love is worth fighting for?
Chapter One: The Greatest Gift
For five minutes, Rachel Mason paced the tiled floor of her en-suite before picking up the pregnancy test she'd abandoned after doing it. As suspected, the word pregnant blinked up at her. Rachel's first thought was of Eddie and breaking the news to him. With their relationship still being comparatively new, she wondered whether they were ready for such a big step. It had only been six weeks since they'd first slept together, after all. Eddie had done it all before but this was a massive deal for her; with every year that passed, Rachel resigned herself more and more to never having a child of her own. Now she was pregnant, she wanted the baby and planned on seeing the pregnancy through, with or without Eddie's support.
Rachel hid the completed test in her bathroom cabinet before taking a glass from the shelf and filling it with water. She drank half then tipped the rest down the sink. As Rachel glanced at her reflection in the mirror, she pondered the current situation; she'd thought they'd taken precautions each time, but there had obviously been a slip-up somewhere for this to have happened. Then, it came to her, their first night together after bowling. That night, they'd both gotten swept up in an avalanche of passion, not giving a second thought to the potential repercussions. Her out-of-character actions had however, yielded the ultimate gift, something she wouldn't throw away now.
Rachel returned to her bedroom a few moments later, pulling on the blazer that hung on the wardrobe door. Her thoughts returned to Eddie as she wondered how to broach the subject with him, Rachel would figure it out, he wasn't back until that evening. On that note, her phone rang out from the bedside table; upon retrieving it, she smiled as her partner's name flashed up on screen.
Rachel didn't get to utter a greeting before Eddie spoke. "If this is your elaborate way of telling me you wanted rid, you only needed to say, instead of sending me on this damn course."
She laughed as, for the time being, Eddie's words eased her internal worries about the pregnancy. "I don't like these courses anymore than you do Eddie," she replied, placating him. "Anyway, at least it gave you a chance to see Michael and catch up with Alison. How did dinner go?"
Eddie's course didn't start until later that morning but Alison rang earlier in the week, asking if they could meet for dinner sometime. He'd been reluctant to go but Rachel's encouragement convinced him it was the right thing to do.
Eddie's non-committal grunt didn't bode well, "that bad, huh?"
"Yes and no, I mean, it was nice to see Michael again but Alison's latest bombshell took the shine off it somewhat though."
Rachel rolled her eyes in response as a sense of foreboding crept over her, "what's happened now?"
Eddie paused before responding, Rachel heard tannoy noises in the background. "I'll tell you tonight Rach, my stop's next. Just wanted to catch you before school, I wanted to hear your voice."
At his words, a soft smile creased Rachel's face, her response took her by surprise, "I miss you,"
In the short space of time they'd been together, Eddie had changed so much in Rachel's life, not least her ability to admit to her weaknesses. She didn't have many friends, so it was Eddie she confided in the most, and he returned the favour. Within those first few weeks, he'd told her about Michael and his deceased son, Stephen later on, Rachel allowed him to help get Stuart Hordley off her back. Rachel hated keeping secrets from Eddie, so keeping the pregnancy quiet felt excruciating, but necessary, for she wished to tell him face-to-face.
"Same here, I'll see you tonight," Eddie responded.
"Looking forward to it,"
"Have a good day,"
"You too, see you later,"
At that moment, Rachel ended the call. She started dwelling upon Eddie's words and how unsettled he seemed about Alison's latest bombshell. Whatever it was, he'd appeared unwilling to share on the phone, so Rachel sensed that it was bad news. Then, she realised that her pregnancy may not be the most important point of discussion that night. This all added to Rachel's unease about the day ahead, she wanted it done as soon as possible; with Eddie absent, it meant no distraction from the paperwork she'd sometimes neglect with him around. How he'd managed without her a few weeks beforehand, she didn't know and wished she'd asked before he went the previous evening. The prospect of an Eddie free school-day wasn't one she relished. Still, she would see him that night so Rachel clung to that thought as she finished readying herself for the day ahead.
"Did you want a lift into school Phillip?" Rachel called out from the living as she scooped some files from the coffee table.
"Yes please, thanks Rach," he called back from the kitchen.
"Not a problem," she said, a warm smile crossing her face as she joined Phillip in the kitchen. "Are you still out with Bolton and Paul tonight?"
Phillip nodded, he had a mouthful of cornflakes and therefore, deemed a verbal response inappropriate. "Why do you ask?" he asked after swallowing.
Silence fell as Rachel wondered whether to be honest, "me and Eddie just have some stuff we need to talk about," she responded, being deliberately vague with the details.
Phillip glanced at her, despite never being in a relationship himself, he understood that that was what someone would say at the end. "Are you guys OK?"
At that moment, Rachel's hand reached for her stomach, cradling it. "Yeah, we will be," she said, placating the other most important man in her life. "I should ask you that question, it must've been a shock, us getting together so soon after him and your mother…"
"Honestly Rach, it's fine. Mum doesn't deserve him anyway, not now."
Silence fell once more, no reply sprung to mind for Rachel, Phillip was right. Melissa looked her dead in the eye and lied about everything; not just her though, she'd lied to Eddie everyday they'd been together. Rachel hated thinking about what might have happened if Phillip hadn't come to her and forced Melissa's hand. Even in their younger years, Melissa displayed those selfish tendencies and Rachel hoped that adulthood would change her for the better, but it didn't. She didn't understand why Melissa chose not to confide in her about any of this; they'd never been close, but the gulf between them had never been this big and Rachel wasn't sure she had the energy to rebuild those bridges. She was tired of constantly picking up the pieces. For the time being though, her priorities laid elsewhere; Phillip was her priority. Melissa's sudden disappearing act affected him most out of the three of them. True, it had affected both Rachel and Eddie too but in the aftermath, they'd found each other, neither could be unhappy about that.
With breakfast over and done with, Phillip disappeared upstairs to get his books together for that's day's lessons. Without the distraction he provided, Rachel once again dwelled upon her unexpected pregnancy, and how Eddie would take the news. She wished they'd been able to discuss it before school but it wasn't to be. It would no doubt have saved her spending most of the day in a mild state of panic in case he took it badly. Deep down however, Rachel knew Eddie wasn't like that; they'd solve this, just like every obstacle they'd overcome so far. Neither had said the words, but him choosing her over Melissa was enough to make Rachel realise how he felt. It was enough, for now.
Phillip soon bounded down the stairs, shouldering his backpack and thus, pulling Rachel back to the present. "Roll on 3:15," she muttered under her breath as she gathered together her own things before following Phillip out of the door.
I'm honestly so scared stiff about posting this because I've read so much good fic in the past couple of weeks, I don't know how mine compares anymore! Let me know anyway.