Just a short one today. Not that great and I apologise (and may later go back and edit this) but I am injured and on a cocktail of pain killers at the moment, so everythings a little hazy.

Once We Were Young

Chapter 20

"Gracie did you leave your phone at Josh's or something?" Leisha asked as Grace walked past her room. "I just got out of the shower and there's two missed calls on my phone from him."
"Yeah I must have" she mumbled walking past.
Leisha got up following her into her room. "Hey, what's up?"
"Nothing. I'm fine, go away."
"You're not fine…. What's happened?"
"Leisha I said I'm fine."
"Did you have a fight with Josh? Is that why he's ringing me?"
"We broke up ok. Happy? Can you leave me alone now?"
"Whoa broke up? What the hell happened? You two are basically inseparable!"
Grace shook her head bursting into tears. "Just go Leisha! Please I want to be left alone."
Leisha pulled her into a hug. "It'll be ok Gracie."
"Go away" she sobbed hugging her sister tightly. "I've never seen him so angry…I've stuffed up Leish."
"Shhhh" she soothed rubbing her back. "It'll be ok. Whatever's happened he loves you and he's not going to hold anything against you for long."
"He told me to piss off. He's never going to want to talk to me again."
"Gracie calm down. He's called my phone twice, he obviously wants to talk to you. Do you want to call him back."
She shook her head still crying. "I don't want to talk to him."
"Grace…don't do this. If you talk to him now you can sort this out."
"No… I don't want to."
Leisha shook her head dialling Josh's number anyway.
"Leisha I said NO" Grace cried hearing Josh answer on the other end.
"Hello?" Josh asked a second time, "Gracie?"
Grace shook her head sobbing louder as Leisha thrust the phone at her.
"No it's Leisha" she replied. "Look I don't know what's happened Josh but my sister is here sobbing her heart out right now."
"Is she ok?" he asked worried.
"She doesn't want to talk to you. Seriously Josh if you've done something to hurt her you're in the shit, you know that right. The twins will kill you."
Grace snatched the phone out of Leisha's hands. "Leisha shut up! Get out! You're not helping!" she yelled at her.
Leisha threw her hands up in the air walking out of the room leaving Grace with the phone, smiling to herself once she turned the corner knowing at least her sister now had the phone in her hands.
Grace bit her lip putting the phone back to her ear. "I'm fine" she managed, her voice shaking.
"No you're not."
"I'm fine. You've made your thoughts perfectly clear Josh…. " she sniffed.
"I just don't see why you didn't tell me you were doing it Grace. Or why you felt the need to do it at all."
"I don't want to talk about it. I don't even want to talk to you right now."
"That's bullshit Grace. You can't just not talk about it."
"Why not Josh? It's what you do isn't it? You never even mention Matty, or your parents. It's like they died too! I'm sorry if you think I've interfered but they've been worried sick about you. All I've done is let them know that you're alright, and that I'm looking after you."
"You're looking after me?" he laughed obnoxiously. "Grace I can look after myself. I don't need you to survive."
Grace stayed silent for a few seconds before she spoke again. "Why are you being such a jerk?" she said softly, holding back a sob.
"Because you're interfering in my life Grace! You're doing what you whinge that your mother does. You're butting in to things that aren't your business, just like she does. It's my decision if I want to have contact with my parents or not."
"And it's my decision if I want to have contact with them as well" she surmised. "If I'm so interfering and annoying maybe you're right. Maybe I should just piss off and leave you alone."
"Maybe!" he shot back.
"Alright fine. Have a nice life Josh" she snapped as she hung up before bursting into tears.

Josh got up to a knock on the door at two am two days later, opening the door in simple black shorts with no shirt, his hair ruffled, in a similar state to the blonde standing on the mat in front of him, a clear indicator of a similar restless night. "Gracie?" he looked around for a car. "What the hell! What are you doing here? How did you get here?"
"I couldn't sleep" she whispered, a fresh load of tears running down her cheeks as he pulled her into his arms, embracing her tightly. "I hate fighting with you Josh…I'm sorry. I don't want to break up with you…I really don't. I'm so sorry." She whimpered, wearing pyjama pants and a singlet shivering in the cool night air.
He kissed the top of her head softly, rubbing her arms. "I know…I'm sorry too Gracie. " he soothed holding his girlfriend as close to him as he had done on the day he'd lost his brother.

"How did you get here?" he asked a few moments later, after he'd ushered her inside and out of the weather, still keeping an arm around her to keep her close, as he shut and locked the door behind them.
"I walked…."
"You walked to my place in the middle of the night? Alone? Grace anything could have happened to you! Why the hell didn't you call me! I could have come over…I could have come and got you."
She shrugged, still slightly spaced out, "I didn't think….I'm sorry…I know it's the middle of the night but I just wanted to see you…are we going to be ok?"
Josh nodded, "Of course we are. It was just a fight baby…you think I'm going to let you go that easily? Just try and calm down, you'll make yourself sick. C'mon" he took her hand gently leading her to his room where he grabbed his discarded shirt, helping her put it on over her singlet before sitting down on his bed with her, pulling her back into his arms. "You ok?" he checked gently, brushing her hair off her face with his fingers.
She cuddled into his side, her own arms wrapping around his upper torso, shaking her head as she did so. "Not really. Josh, I love you and I'm so so sorry I interfered but let me make it up to you. I really don't want to break up with you…I don't want to lose you. You might not need me but I need you, I do" she sobbed.
"We're not breaking up Gracie. Shhhh it's going to be ok. I'm the one who should be sorry Grace. I said some really horrible things to you and I didn't mean any of them. You weren't interfering….you were worried about me and worried about my parents and I shouldn't have yelled at you for that…and I lied; Gracie I need you. I need you in my life more than anything else in the world. I don't know how I would have got through the last ten months without you. If anyone's got any making up to do baby it's me. I'm sorry Grace. Please…don't cry." Josh rubbed her back in a small circular motion, nuzzling his chin into her hair. "I don't want to lose you either."
"You won't" she whispered, still crying softly, but no longer shaking with sobs. "I love you."
"I love you too. Always."

Half an hour later and Grace's tears had finally subsided, the two now leaning back into the pillows on the bed, Grace's head resting on Josh's chest, playing with her birthday necklace as she battled against sleep as the clock approached three in the morning. With a small, forced sigh Grace forced herself to sit up in an effort to remain awake. "I better go" she reasoned.
"Stay" he whispered, reaching for her to pull her back into his side.
"I'm working in the morning."
He nodded, sitting up with her. "I'll drive you home then."
"…I want to stay with you" she whispered, leaning her head on his shoulder.
"You sure?" he double checked.
"Mmmmm. Hang on," she reached for her phone, still sitting on Josh's bedside table, quickly typing a text to her sister.
"What did you say?" he asked, brushing her hair back.
"To tell Mum and Dad that I got up early to meet you for a run and that you'd drop me at work."
He nodded, pulling the covers back, helping her under them, being unusually gentle with her. "Get some sleep."
She nodded, curling back into his side once he was settled beside her. "I'm sorry" she whispered again.
"Shhh just go to sleep now Baby. You're exhausted."
"Night" she whispered, not needing anymore encouragement.

Ideas, thoughts etc are most welcome :) I've got a bit of a story map going at the moment and I'm starting to wrap things up, but it's never too late for a bit of input (or for future story ideas!).

Thanks (and again, sorry for the length of this chapter!)