Title: "All My Fault."
Date Written: 24th February 2004.
Theme: Nostalgia, hero worship, lost love.
Series (Based On): Fireman Sam.
Mini Description: Fireman Sam is busy cleaning Jupiter when he gets an unexpected visit from one of his old friends.
Alerts: Not based on the '3 Vale Road' fandom! This is a re-write - Original can be found here: .net/s/2278547/1/All_My_Fault

It was a bright and sunny day in Pontypandy. The birds were chirping and the sound of happy whistling filled the air. The whistling belonged to Fireman Sam, who was busy cleaning the fire engine, Jupiter. He seemed very content with himself, even though he was having to work on such a beautiful day.

"Now then Jupiter, my lovely. I'll soon have you gleaming! It doesn't take much to get you to shine."

He pressed the wet sponge he had in his hand onto Jupiter's bright red paintwork and began the task of cleaning off all the dirt and debris the vehicle had collected over the course of the past month. Soil, grass, twigs. Even a piece of paper had managed to weld itself firmly onto the windscreen.

"Oh daro. I think I'm going to need hotter water to shift that!"

Sam was just about to head inside to get some more water, when suddenly, he heard a voice from behind him, which made him stop in his tracks. That voice... It sounded so familiar. He sharply turned to face the owner and came face to face with a young woman. Purple hair, broad smile, amazing blue eyes. It didn't take him long to recognise her.

"Great fires of London", he whispered, "I haven't seen you since you were... Were..."

"Small? Yes, I know."

The woman smiled and swept back some of her hair that was trailing in front of her eyes. Her smile seemed to grow wider as she watched Sam look at her from head to toe, blushing slightly as he reached certain areas. He was always so innocent and it seemed he hadn't changed one bit.

"Well now… You HAVE grown up haven't you."

She let him stare at her a little while longer. She didn't mind, as she was doing the same thing. He hadn't changed physically at all. He still had that warm, loving stare she remembered as a young girl. Those kind, blue eyes that seemed to hold some sort of magic. Able to instantly comfort her as soon as she looked into them. Her childhood hero was still the same and she thanked everything for it.

"…You are the one who made me what I am today", she said finally speaking.

Sam widened his eyes at the sound of her voice.

"And what is that?"

"I'm a bloomin' fan girl!"

The pair errupted in gales of laugher, which was followed by a serene silence as the pair stared at each other once again. Blushing even redder, Sam stepped forward and took her in his arms. A tight, secure hug that had such a different meaning to the ones he used to give her in the past.

"I missed you… Rachel."

She held on tighter and pressed her head harder onto his chest. Indeed, the simple gesture had a different meaning for her too now that she had grown up. She would be the first to admit to having a crush on Sam as a young girl, but everything felt different now. Sam was the same as he'd always been, but she had changed and it seemed that her feelings had matured along with her.

"Me too, Sam."

There was a long pause where the two just simply held on as tight as they could, until finally she raised her head to look at him.

Her eyes said it all...

Sam released his grip on her and tilted his head. "You're going... Aren't you?" He swallowed the lump in his throat and looked at her with an expression of dread. "Yes, I have to." Sam's eyes lowered as he tried to push back tears. It was strange. He hadn't seen her in years, but he felt as if he should never be parted from her again. She was so familiar to him suddenly.

"I'm sorry, Sam. I wish I could stay. I really do, but..."

He placed a finger to her lips and hushed her gently. He knew she couldn't stay. He knew she had her own life now. He knew that... He could never ask her.

They said their goodbyes without a single word, their looks saying everything they needed to say. And so she was off, vanishing into the horizon. Sam picked his cleaning cloth back up and absent-mindedly started rubbing Jupiter's cold exterior. He laughed as he thought about what she had said, recalling old memories. Memories of how she used to follow him everywhere, of how she used to idolize him.

"My fault she was a fangirl..." He chuckled to himself while wiping a tear from his eye. "Ha ha, yes… My fault indeed…"