OK, first pop at Casualty fanfic, and posting one here, but I hope you like it and will read and review.

Ruth pours out her heart on paper.

The Key

Ruth still wasn't sure if this was a good idea, but she had to do it, to try and calm the emptiness and guilt she had felt since she'd driven him away.

Dear Jay,

I told myself I wouldn't ever explain myself to you. That I'd never care enough to want to, let alone need to, but I do and that kills me, so I have to, and then just hope that you'll understand, even, if I'm lucky, find it in your heart to forgive me.

I've never had anyone care about me before, or cared about anyone as much as I do you, even though after how I behaved the other day I know you won't believe me or want to listen, but I have to tell you. I just, can't tell you to your face.

Ever since I was old enough to think, or at least since my mum died, I wanted to be Dr Ruth Winters, Surgeon, and because no one else cared enough that was what I concentrated on being. I don't know why I wanted to be a surgeon, perhaps it was about respect, because I never got any from anywhere else.

So, that was it, for most of my life All I wanted, and I thought all I needed. So, I studied, whatever happened, however much I was torn up at home about working, I kept working, until I got to where I wanted to be. Then I waited for my life to change, for me to become like everybody else. I didn't.

I didn't find people who felt the same about life as I did. No one else seemed to be so single minded as me, as tough, so I continued to live alone and pretend to be ok, pretend that striving for what I wanted was enough. It wasn't, as my reaction to that patient dying on my shift shows.

But, you know me, determined to prove that I was still fine on my own, not part of the team, not needing help. I was so sure I almost knew it. Until you, you cared, you thought I mattered and in turn, in time, probably sooner than either of us realised, you mattered to me too. You matter, you always will.

Sarah Evans just…threw me, that thing I told you about divided attention, she told me that, and I felt so lost. I wanted to tell you everything. I even knew I'd made a mistake about the pregnancy, but all I could hear were those words. The way she put it, and they way that she's been on at me for a while, that you could cost me my dream. I realise now, that staying with you helped me, made me stronger, happier, more confident, but I've never needed anyone in that way before, and it frightened me. So, I made a mistake, I listened to Sarah Evans and pushed you away, and I've never hated myself so much as when I told you to call me Dr Winters, when what I actually wanted was to crawl into your arms and cry until it all felt better. That feeling scared me too.

Now, my attention isn't divided, it's all on you, on what you're doing, on if you're OK, on if you hate me. I deserve you too, but please don't, I hurt so much I can barely breathe as it is.

So, this is me, not Dr Winters but, Ruth, saying I'm sorry, I miss you, and I love you. I know I never said it, and didn't even really act like it, but I do. I really do. It's not even that I hurt, it's that I'm numb, like something is missing in me, and it's you. I don't know how I expect you to react. I know how I want you to react, but I don't think you will. Hopefully you haven't deleted my number, or you'll send me a letter back.

Nothing much else left to say really, except, I love you Jay Fauldron, and I'm sorry.



After a moments thought, Ruth taped the errant allen key to the bottom of the letter and folded it into the envelope, before dropping it through the front door of his house, knowing he wouldn't be in because he was on shift. As she walked away, she didn't even care that anyone passing in the street could see her crying.