"If you could go anywhere in the world right now where it would be?"
Vanessa looks up from her book, peering at her fiance inquisitivly. The house is quiet; Moses with Ross, Johnny with Tracy and the older kids….. well who really knows. A day snuggled up next to Charity with a book and endless amounts of tea are just what the doctor had ordered.
"Here. Here is where I want to be."
Charity raises an eyebrow in response. She can see the tiredness in Vanessa's features more these days. The chemo in the small bag around her middle coursing through her body. Her facial features have become more defined, the little weight she was already carrying melting away with each round. Her long blonde hair is starting too thin, small patches showing the pinkness of her scalp.
"Obviously babe. But imagine we could go absolutely anywhere. Where would you choose?"
Vanessa takes a second to ponder the question, a smile appearing on her face. Charity already knows the answer, it's the only place she's really wanted to go over the past few weeks, casually bringing it into conversation and showing her pictures on Instagram.
"Remember the day we were supposed to go to that gastro pub? The one with the goats?"
Charity shoulders start to shake as laughter takes over her body. Vanessa sighs, pulling up the book to cover her reddening face.
"Oh babe come on! Out of anywhere and everywhere you could pick, you pick a gastro pub"
"I didn't even get to see the goats last time"
She leans more towards Charity, her lips pouting and eyes wide. Charity leans forward brushing her lips against hers. Teeth grazing at her bottom lip.
"Well it's a good job I booked a table then init."
Vanessa's smile only grows wider and she throws herself at Charity, peppering her face and neck with kisses. She drags the smaller blonde on to her lap, wrapping her arms around her middle protectively.
"I'll take that as a yes then?"
Vanessa chuckles, looping her arms around her neck, nuzzling just below her ear, Charity feels a tear slide across her collarbone. She doesn't push Vanessa to look at her, instead she softly scrapes her nails at the nape of her scalp, feeling her body relax.
"Are you sure? I probably won't eat that much and it's a lot of money to spend on a meal that won't be eaten. An people will probably stare and"
"And they'll only be staring because you're the most beautiful woman in the room. Any room for that matter''
Charity interrupts, placing a kiss to a small bald spot. The tears flow freely then, her hands balled in the fabric of the green silk shirt.
"And I don't care if you eat nothing or order the whole 've been banging on about going for weeks and you really wanted to see the goats"
Vanessa lifts her head slowly, her eyes still shining and face a little puffy. She tucks a stray hair behined her fiancées ear.
"Thank you, I love you"
"I love you too"
The Billy Goat GastroPub resided in a small village an hour away from Emmerdale. Vanessa curled up in the passenger seat of the red Peugeot 307, knees drawn up to her chest. Charity's hand rests against her thigh as she sleeps. She glances intermittently at the sleeping body next to her. Sleep is the only time when Vanessa truly relaxes these days, her body void of tension. The yellow jumper baggy around her frame, pulled down passed her fingers. On a warm day like today she still feels the cold, just another side effect on the list of many. Her matching yellow beany is pulled low over her eyes. Charity had insisted that she didn't need to wear it, that she was still the most beautiful blonde to ever walk into her life, yet she'd still pulled it on defiantly. Wanting to avoid the stares of the people outside the safety that was found inside Jacobs Fold.
The car pulls up into the small car park. Charity takes one final look at her fiancé before lifting the hat back up to her forehead, she kisses her lightly, making Vanessa staire.
"Hey sleepy head, were here"
Vanessa stretches upwards, the jumper riding to show the small bum-bag on her hip. She quickly tugs the jumper down, tears forming in the corner of her eyes. Charity reaches over, her fingers lifting up the jumper and her hand coming to rest on the rough black material.
"Remember this is our little secret. No one can see it, no one here knows and you're gonna be the most beautiful woman in that room. Okay?"
Vanessa nods, her hand resting on top of Charity's. She throws a wink towards the smaller blonde, settling her jumper back around the bag. They exit the car, Vanessa's hand quickly finds Charity's own, she squeezes it lightly, pulling her towards the door.
The pub is a typical country pub, not dissimilar to the Wool Pack Charity thinks. The dark wood of the bar is contrast to the long light wood bench style tables, the walls are adorned with green wall paper, pictures of goats and farm land litter the walls. One side of the pub is seemingly made of glass, huge floor to ceiling windows look out onto a small stream, the sun light beaming through.
A young man shows them to their table near the window, menus in hand. Vanessa doesn't want to admit she isn't hungry or that all she wants to do is be sick. Her hand reaches out across the table. Charity immediately threads her fingers through hers, playing with her engagement ring.
"Whatcha fancy babe?"
Vanessa looks down at her menu again, hoping she can find something she can stomach. Her eyes glace at the soups, her stomach rumbling at the thought of warm homemade bread to dip into it.
"I think I'll have the chicken noodle soup and the homemade bread"
"I think I'll join you and hey for desert I saw a very appealing mini cakes tower if you wanna share?"
Vanessa raises an eyebrow, a smirk playing on her lips.
"As long as I get the battenburg"
The meal had long been finished with an empty cake stand between them. Now both women sit with a mug of steaming tea, the air full of conversation and laughter. This was the first time since Vanessa had started chemo that they'd actually been alone. There had been a steady stream of visitors in an out of the house in the form of Tracey,Rhona Chas and Paddy. And then when they all left the kids needed seeing too, both younger boys had Charity eating out the palm of their hand with their requests of one more book or the promise of chocolate for breakfast.
"Thank you for today, I didn't realise how much we needed this. I love you."
Charity runs her thumb over her knuckles, bringing them up to kiss them.
"And the days not even over yet sunshine, I believe you wanted to see some goats?"
Vanessa claps her hands excitedly. Rising from the table and pulling Charity towards the back of the in a small pen were six small pygmy goats of all different colours. Vanessa rushes over to the side of the fence bending over to pet a small white goat.
There's a small card tag around its neck she assumes is his name tag. She lifts it up reading aloud to Charity who is a few steps behind.
"I really really stupidly and completely love you. Will you be my wife….again?"
Vanessa spins round to find Charity on one knee, a yellow velvet box open in her hands. She moves closer, her body shaking as she takes the item out. She holds out a small silver bracelet, decorated with charms in the shape of letters. She immediately recognises that it's one for each of their kids. With a C at one end and a V at the other.
"You already had the ring so I just thought this was a little extra and I can take it back and…."
Vanessa cuts her rambling off with a siering kiss, dragging her back up to standing.
"Of course I'll be your wife again and a million times over"