Bex was sat on the floor, her back against the sofa watching something on TV, Jess, Harry and Karen on the sofa, Karen's mother and father in the arm chairs, everyone full from the dinner they'd just had.
"Why is there never anything good on at Christmas?" Jess complained.
"You've got a while for Eastenders yet, Jess." Bex smirked, and squealed when a cushion was slapped on her head.
"Bex, Jess, don't start." Karen smiled. "We only just got her back."
"Where did you go, Rebecca?"
Bex turned her head to her grandmother's question. "I didn't really concentrate.. I just went anywhere." she shrugged and looked back at the TV.
"But how did you survive?"
"Gran please, I don't want to talk about it.." Bex said quietly, biting her lip.
Karen looked between her mother and her daughter, but said nothing.
"Karen, have you not asked her these questions?"
"She will tell us in her own time, not before." Karen said.
"Karen's right Lynne, let that be the end of it."
Lynne looked to her husband and gave a heavy sigh. "Alright, Frank. You're back now, Rebecca and that's all that matters."
Bex smiled up at her grandparents and looked at the TV again.
"The Queen's speech will be on soon." Frank noted.
Bex, Jess and Harry barely managed to contain the impulse to roll their eyes. No doubt they would be made to stand in her honour.
"Bex I can hear your phone ringing upstairs." Karen said.
Bex looked up and she got up, walking out of the room and up the stairs to her room, picking up her phone. She looked at the name and rejected the call, switching the offending object off and she threw it down on to her bed before making her way back down the stairs in time to hear her grandfather telling everyone to stand for the Queen, as though the woman herself was in the very room. Bex rolled her eyes, walking into the living room and stood by her mother.
"Who was it?" Karen asked.
"Wrong number." Bex lied easily, smiling a little.
Karen looked at her daughter for a moment, and nodded, and everyone sat down as the Christmas speech began.
Bex looked around, smiling at her family, finally happy for the first time in a long while to be back home. She knew it was only a matter of time before that dark cloud covered her life once more... She only hoped she could hold it off for a while at least.
She got up, walked over to her grandmother and hugged her.
"What's all this for?" Lynne asked with a smile, hugging her granddaughter back.
"I.. um.. I just want to say something." Bex said, standing straighter and moving to face everyone in the room. "I know how much of a cow I was... and I wasn't really the best person to be around. And I just wanted to say I'm sorry. Really... I truly am sorry..."
Jess and Harry smiled at each other. Despite what they'd said about their older sister, anything wrong she did in her life they'd forgive her in a heartbeat. Because that's what families do.
Karen stood from her seat and hugged her.
"It's okay now love. Wherever you've been whatever you've done, you're home safe now, girl." Frank said, smiling.
"Can we carry on enjoying Christmas now?" Jess smirked.
That was all it took to get conversation flowing again, no one feeling left out of anything.