An Irresistible Love
Summary: Sometimes, despite all the drama life throws their way, some bonds between two people are irresistible; love being one. Joey/Lauren.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, just the plot
Chapter 1: Unexpected
Lauren Branning's behaviour and drinking was spiralling out of control. It had been a month since her cousin, and love of her life, Joey Branning had broken her heart. She, for the first time, had fallen in love with someone and the person she wanted to be with now wanted nothing to do with her.
As was becoming a standard daily routine, Lauren waited for her parents to go to work and her siblings to leave for school before waking up mid morning and heading out to the Queen Vic. Today, it was lunchtime by the time she'd gotten up, showered and got ready to go out so she knew the Vic would be open by now. Every day she would start in the Vic, spending most of the day there, in hope she would see Joey at some point (the alcohol an added bonus to help numb the hurt) but if she didn't, later on she would head to R&R knowing he would be working. She knew her behaviour was desperate but she was holding on to the smallest glint of hope that Joey would stop ignoring her and they might be able to sort this horrible mess out.
However, today was different. As she reached the Vic, an overwhelming feeling came over her. She tried to ignore it, putting it down to not having eaten anything yet today as she felt too sick and hung-over to consume any food. Reaching the bar, she noticed Joey talking to his sister Alice at a table on the opposite side of the bar. Waiting for Alfie to come over to get her order, she suddenly gripped the edge of the bar before everything went black.
Alice was still trying to get me to change my mind about spending Christmas with her and Derek. But there was no way in hell I would be changing my mind. I noticed Lauren walk in and go straight to the bar. I sighed and tuned Alice out. I hated hurting her but I had to protect her. I wouldn't let her go to prison nor would I give Derek his satisfaction of being the doting son. I noted she didn't quite look so good today. It took all my strength to not go up to her, wrap my arms around her, take her home and tell her I still love her. I kept my focus on her; too concerned about how she looked knowing how much she had been drinking lately.
"Joey, are you listening?" Alice waved her hand in front of my face.
"Yes, Al. My answers still no to Christmas." Glancing at Lauren I saw her grip the bar before she collapsed.
I quickly got to my feet and ran over to her, Alice following behind me as Alfie out with Roxy from behind the bar. Bending down, I gripped her hand and checked her pulse.
"Lauren? Lauren, grip my hand if you can hear me?" Nothing. I found her pulse, a small amount of relief coming over me. Alice was on the phone, most presumably to the emergency services.
"Joey, they said they will be here in a few minutes." She informed me as I ran my hand over Lauren's head, feeling something wet in her hair.
"Alfie, pass a towel; her heads bleeding." I could see the blood under her head and knew I needed to stop it. I could hear Alice crying behind me as Roxy tried to calm her down. I pressed the cloth to her cut on the back of her head, my hand never leaving hers.
It felt like ages before the paramedics arrived but in reality was probably only a few minutes as they had told Alice.
"What happened?" The paramedic asked, bending down next to Lauren as I moved to behind her head.
"I don't know. I just saw her collapse; she gripped the bar just before so I would guess she didn't feel right." I explained trying to stay calm but scared for Lauren. If anything happened to her I would never forgive myself.
"What's her name?" The other paramedic asked me as they assessed Lauren who was still out of it.
"Lauren Branning. She's eighteen." I informed them.
"And you are?"
"Joey Branning. I'm her cousin." They nodded.
A short while later they loaded Lauren onto the trolley bed.
"Do you want to come with her? You can as you're family." I nodded and looked back at Alice who was still being comforted by Roxy; she always got emotional over things, especially though when it came to family.
"Don't worry, you just look after Lauren; I'll go find Uncle Max and Tanya." I smiled at Alice before climbing into the back of the ambulance with Lauren.
A few minutes from the hospital Lauren started to come around.
"Lauren, my names Sarah. You passed out so we're taking you to the hospital to check you over." The paramedic informed her, trying to stop her from panicking as her eyes darted around the ambulance from her lying down position. "Your cousin Joey is here with you."
The paramedic moved aside allowing me to get closer to her. I took her hand in mine once more; our eyes connecting allowing me to see the obvious fear in her eyes.
"Hey, it's ok, I'm here and I'm not going anywhere." I told her, bringing her hand to my lips.
The paramedic turned back to Lauren and spoke again. "Does anything particular hurt a lot, Lauren?"
"My head." She answered after a few seconds.
The paramedic I noticed smiled at her. "Yeah, you banged your head when you fell so I'm not surprised by that one. Anywhere else?" Lauren shook her head as best as she could. I felt the ambulance stop and the paramedic went to open the back doors.
"Shh, don't worry. I won't leave you." I placed a kiss on her forehead unable to stop myself knowing she needed comfort. I noticed as I leaned back up a small smile has formed on her luscious red lips I was desperate to feel again against my own. I shook my head to rid the thoughts knowing I now wasn't the time nor could I allow myself to feel like that because in the end it would only make it harder.
Lauren was unloaded from the ambulance and taken straight through for them to check over her head injury; the nurse telling me to wait just outside the room and someone would get me when I could go in to her. All I could do was wait and hope Lauren would be ok.
End Joey's P.O.V.
The doctors examined Lauren's head injury and took some initial blood tests to try and work out why she had collapsed. They also assessed her to check she hadn't hurt herself anywhere else when she fell but Lauren didn't pay too much attention to what they were doing, her mind preoccupied with the person outside her room.
"Do you want me to fetch your cousin in?" The middle aged nurse asked as she finished bandaging Lauren's head.
Although Lauren was confused by Joey's actions she was scared by the way she felt and needed him. "Yes please."
Joey entered the room seconds later. Lauren held out her hand to him, letting him know she wanted him.
"Hey, how are you feeling?" He brushed his hand gently over her head.
"Got a headache." Joey smiled.
"Not surprising with the fall you took. Although, you would have thought that that big head of yours would be a bit stronger and harder." She stuck her tongue out at him, both staring at each other. Joey pulled back, breaking the contact, as he remembered that this couldn't happen because of Derek. Lauren looked down at her hands knowing this, today, wasn't going to change things between herself and Joey after her pulled away.
"Lauren, I was so scared when Alice told us. Are you ok, darling?" Her mum, Tanya cried, breaking the silence in the room as she entered. Lauren's dad Max and Alice followed Tanya into the room.
"I'm fine, Mum."
Tanya who also knew of Lauren's previous relationship with Joey, and was also caught up in Derek's manipulation of the couple, turned to him. "Thank you."
Joey nodded as Alive moved to hug her brother. Max just stayed silent, watching Tanya comfort Lauren and Joey who was on the other side of Lauren's bed; he was still unaware of the truth about the crash a couple of weeks ago and blamed Joey for risking his daughter's life. He was taking the stance that right now Lauren didn't need another argument.
"Someone's popular." The doctor commented as she entered the room with a cream coloured folder in her hands. She picked up a clipboard from the end of Lauren's bed, glancing at the papers attached to it.
"Yes she is. We're Mum and Dad." Tanya pointed to herself and Max. "And that's her other cousin." She explained.
The doctor smiled. "I need to discuss some results with you." Lauren picked up she wasn't sure whether to speak in front of the family or not.
"It's fine. You can say it in front of these. They will all want to know anyway." Lauren told the doctor.
Joey who had moved to the other side of the bed to allow Tanya to get close felt Lauren grab his hand again. He gave her hand a reassuring squeeze but Tanya gave him a warning look but he ignored it right now, allowing Lauren to use him for support.
"Ok, well, firstly your head is ok, no major worries there. I do want to keep you in just for precaution though as we need to monitor head injuries for twenty four hours. You will probably have a constant headache for a few days but hopefully nothing more and they will settle down. Now, your blood test results; you have an exceptionally high level of alcohol in your system which isn't good, even potentially harmful, for someone in your condition." Lauren looked down ashamed at first but then felt confused.
"Sorry? What condition?"
"Being pregnant. Thankfully, everything else is ok with the baby."
A/N: I know the pregnancy storyline might have already been done before but I've got this all written up so I thought I would post this story anyway and hopefully it's a new twist on it. I would love to hear any thoughts. Thanks and Enjoy :)