A/N: *TWs include: self harm, panic attacks, anxiety and mentions of sexual assault. Please do not read if reading about these topics may negatively affect you in any way.*
As you've seen, this story is a Waterloo Road/ Holby City crossover. You don't need to have watched both shows to understand and hopefully enjoy this fic, but it may be helpful to do 5 minutes of research if you've only watched one show. For example- for my WR watchers, if you can find any clips to watch from Holby City, in particular of series 21 episode 20 (The Wrong Horse) then that would help you gauge a deeper meaning of what past Chloe and Ange have. If you are a Holby viewer, I would recommend watching any episode from series 10 episodes 11-20, just so you understand the setting and characters. This is obviously not necessary, but might help! :) Also, I know the time scales to this story don't add up (Chloe would have been in secondary school in around 2006, and I'm setting this fic in Scotland Waterloo Road series 10, as Chloe and Ange are Scottish, which aired in 2014 and 2015) so I have decided to set this in 2006 and kind of pretend that's when series 10 is set, if you know what I mean! Chloe will be 14 in this fic and in S3 (year 10). She will be in Lisa and Lenny's year.
Just a note for this first chapter, I know that in 'Divine Justice' (s21 e40) of Holby, Ange mentions very briefly how she told Chloe about her conception. I wanted to write my interpretation of that conversation, so apart from what Ange says is the first thing that Chloe said after she told her, the way I have written it is probably different to the way Ange would have actually told her, if you know what I mean!
Anyway, I have droned on for far too long, let's get into it! Enjoy and please leave a review! :)
The words cut her like cleaver, and snaked around her throat threatening to choke her. She knew that growing up without a father was not easy, but nothing could have prepared her for this. All those years of wasting that Sunday which falls around June. Not going to the beach on a sunny day or a restaurant to thank her father for all the work he does. Instead she just went for sushi or a walk around town with her mum, trying not to think of what others were doing. It never really bothered her when she was younger, she was brought up by her grandmother until she was five, and didn't think anything of it. Only recently had she begun to wonder where her father was. What he was doing. Who he was. But now, on father's day 2006, she finally found out.
"I'm sorry that happened to you mum. I'm sorry."
"What for, darling? None of this was your fault. You had nothing to do with what happened to me." Shakily, unsure, Chloe nodded her head.
"Did you have a choice?"
"With what?" Ange knew perfectly well what Chloe was on about.
"You know, could you have had an abortion?" A silence filled the room.
"Okay, I won't lie to you Chloe because I love you. I love you so much my sweet girl, but no. I was too far along." Chloe's already sunken face drooped, trying to make sense of everything in her head. "But even if I did have a choice, I would have kept you in a heartbeat. I wanted you so much Chloe. You mean the world to me, don't you ever forget that okay." Ange reached over to her daughter sat next to her on the sofa and pulled her close to her side, arm wrapped around her, protective. She gently rubbed her thumb on Chloe's shoulder. She let them both sit there while Chloe digested the news. Ange suddenly felt her daughter tense up.
"Chloe, Chloe are you okay?" Chloe turned her head to look at her mother.
"I'm… I'm not meant to be here mum." She almost whispered which made Ange's heart break.
"Yes, yes you are. You may not have been conceived like other people, and like your friends from school, but trust me you are here for a reason. And that is to do great things in this world which I know you will because you have such a warm heart. You are loving and caring and so precious. You're my baby, mine, and I wouldn't change that for anything. I love you so much."
"How can you say that about me?" Tears threatened to pour out of her striking blue eyes, and roll down her pale cheeks, but she bit her lip to make sure they didn't. "How can you even look at me and not think of him?"
"Never in all my life have I thought of him when looking at you."
"But he… he ra… raped you."
"I know baby, I know. But that does not define me, and I won't have you let it define you too."
"How can it not?" Ange paused momentarily, thinking about the best way to answer this question, the best way to protect her from her past.
"Because you are strong Chloe. You are so strong. I know this is never going to go away, you can't hide from the truth, but you can try to understand it." Chloe just nodded. She felt so safe and protected in her mother's arms. The smell of her vape mixed with her floral perfume. It comforted her. Yet, she still found herself about to lie to her mother.
"I'm not going to let this define me, mum." But of course it would. She felt different. She could feel this other half of her, a monster. A repulsive, vile specimen. How on earth could her mum honestly view her any other way? There was no way she was going to be okay after this. But she had to at least pretend to be, for her mum's sake.
"My brave girl." Ange kissed Chloe on her forehead and pulled her closer for one last hug.
"It's getting late, I might just head to bed early. It's Monday tomorrow anyway." Chloe announced, abruptly.
"Alright sweetheart." Chloe began to get up off the sofa. "Chloe?"
"You can talk to me. If you want to know anything else, or just want a hug from mum, then I'll always be here, okay."
"Okay. Night mum."
Chloe headed up the carpeted stairs and took a right to her room. She felt so trapped. So enclosed in the truth. Was that better? Better knowing the truth than being kept from it. Or would it have been better if she'd never known? Everything she'd just kept inside the last few minutes finally took over her, and engulfed her in a state of utter sadness and hatred she'd never felt before. Once all of the bitter, briny tears had escaped her quivering body, she thought it would be done. That she'd be rid of all the atypical feelings, but she still felt there was more in her. More foreign bodies that she had to abolish. She started pacing up and down the length of her room, just in front of the foot of her bed, tugging on her hair with both hands as she buried her head into her chest. Why couldn't she just go to sleep calmly and wake up tomorrow morning ready for another school day?
She thought about it. She really did. Taking something, anything, to her worthless body and slicing it across. A razor perhaps. Her mind was constantly switching from rationality to irrationality and she didn't know what to do. She guessed her rational subconscious kicked in as she took a seat at her desk and turned to a new page in her polka dot diary and took black ink to the paper.
Why am I here? Why wasn't I aborted? Well mum was too far along, that's why, but she should have just been able to. Then I wouldn't be feeling like this. Like an outcast and a monster.
With that last word, 'monster', she slammed the binded book shut and dropped the biro on top of it. As quickly as humanly possible, really so she wouldn't have any chance for her brain to wander into harming territory, she took her owl pajamas from under her satin pillow and changed into them. Swiftly followed by climbing under the covers and shutting her eyes as tightly as she could. Perhaps this was to shut everything out? Or to make it so she could just sleep, lie there, calm. She pulled the duvet slightly higher, so it reached the tops of her shoulders, purposefully digging her nails into the palms of her hands as she did so. The slight pain Chloe endured whilst doing this satisfied her. It let her release everything without turning on the waterworks. She couldn't bear her mum seeing her cry, and she knew she'd be checking on her soon. Meer moments later, she fell into a deep sleep. As previously predicted, Ange came in to check on her daughter, smiling slightly when she noticed Chloe asleep. Calm.
"My baby." Ange whispered as she turned out the light, which Chloe had forgotten to do.
Ange too decided it would be best to have an early night. She was on the 8:00-19:30 shift the next day. She hated having to work shifts and long hours as she had less time with Chloe, especially as she's a single mum. She figured that Chloe's older and responsible now and won't hesitate to call her if she has any problems at school or at home when she's at work. When in her own pajamas, Ange got out her baby box. Not from Chloe, from her first child, a beautiful boy. She took a brief moment to reminisce before she gave the lid of the box a gentle kiss and put it away again. She wondered what her son was up to, how he'd spent father's day today. All of that would have to wait for another day. She couldn't tell her two big secrets she'd kept from her all of her life in one day! What would that do to her? Her precious daughter.