Well this is the final installment. I hope it does justice to a storyline that never took place on the show. Reviews are appreciated. Special thanks to Luckdog for reviewing.

"Brax….."

Fear surrounded Charlie, in every element of her body. Her hand had not let go of Joey's despite Brax's presence. She was afraid to let go of her soul mate, having lost Joey once before Charlie had always wished her to come back. She wanted to make things right between them but despite searching far and wide, Joey had never returned her letters or sms's. Yet here she was standing beside her, where just moments before the declaration of love had been made.

Joey sensed the fear in Charlie's body, she had grabbed onto Joey's hand tighter than she had ever done before. Looking to Brax and back to Charlie, she knew they needed some time alone. Slowly releasing her hand from Charlie's she leant into her ear whispering "I'll be right outside ok?"

Charlie nodded cautiously as she let go completely of Joey. Gently kissing her on the cheek, Joey smiled and made her way to the door, but not before shooting a staring glare in Brax's direction. He didn't flinch.

Joey had barely shut the door when Brax lay into Charlie, his voice rising for everyone outside to hear.

"How many lies and secrets you still holding Charlie? Everything you just said about moving to the city, that was our plan. You left the force for me…. For us….. How could you assume that anyone else could possibly want you back? You're with me now and there is no way I'm letting her get in the way " Brax was standing in front of her now, breathing heavily, anger had consumed him. His nostrils were flaring, the jealousy and rage within at its peak. Nothing Charlie said now could make him change his mind or mellow.

Charlie looked into Brax's eyes; thoughts of past and present engulfed her mind. Everything Brax had said was true. She had lost her way in pursuing Brax. Everything she stood for as a cop flew out the window. So many times she had bent things to suit Brax that she could no longer look in the mirror. It was then that she made the decision to leave the force. Looking out to the window where she could see Joey with Ruby, she realized she was at a crossroad. On the one hand there was Brax, a River boy and known criminal who had literally turned her world upside down. Along the way she had fallen in love but was it really? Could he really offer her everything she desired? Joey on the other hand had burst into her life just as quickly as she left. United by events that had steered their lives into a collision neither had ever imagined. Charlie had struggled in 2009 to accept their relationship and to make it public. For a short period of time it was perfect relationship bliss until Joey's brother Brett made allegations against Charlie which led her to make the terrible mistake of sleeping with Hugo. When Joey found out she left Summer Bay on a trawler, she told her she would return after 3 months but never did. Now 3 years later, here they were back together in the same room. Charlie kept thinking to herself, would Joey ever give her a second chance? Could they make it work this time?

Charlie's thoughts were broken when she heard the wall get thumped, a massive hole in the gyprock.

"Damn it Charlie, you can't even give me an answer!" Brax yelled.

Joey came running in at the sound of the wall being hit, her main concern was Charlie. She ran into the room where she shielded Charlie from Brax.

"Get out!" she yelled "you're attacking a woman who you claim you love she only just came out of surgery, get out!"

Brax was seething. As he looked to Charlie he realized she had made a decision, it was written all over her face. As Joey stood firm, he clenched his teeth. "What makes you honestly think she'll stick with you? You don't stand a chance. It will only be good until another guy comes along and sweeps her off her feet. She'll dump your ass like a sack of potatoes!"

Joey didn't move- "No! She's going to dump your no good backside for something that can only come once in a life time. She deserves to be happy and your manipulation ends here".

Brax had no reply. His only reaction was a backhanded slap directly to Joey's face followed by a simple "You can have her and all her damaged goods!" he spat out.

Charlie couldn't move, her surgery disallowed her to get up and come to Joey's aide. She hated Brax for hitting her. She hated Brax for the man he was and that she had given up so much for him. She hated him for losing her way.

"Brax" she called out as he reached the door. Brax turned to see her deliver the final blow.
"It's over, don't come near me or my family or I swear, you'll get what's coming to you!"

Brax slammed the door on his way out, every explicative swear word possible being heard through the corridor.

Joey was shocked and as she sat down the full force of the slap hit her. Her face was throbbing but looking to Charlie, the anguish was written all over her face. "Charlie, it's ok, I'm ok"

"Oh no Joey, I'm so sorry" she gasped.

Reassuring Charlie that she was ok, Joey reached for her hand, sitting on the edge of the bed the two girls held each other until ruby came back with an ice pack followed shortly by Sid who assessed both girls.

"No critical damage Joey" he laughed. "You'll definitely have a bruise but that's what you get for defending the love of your life."

Both Charlie and Joey laughed as they looked at each other realizing both of them had grown since they met 3 years ago. Their time apart had given them plenty to think about but now they had what they always wanted.

"so…." Charlie asked hesitantly…."can you find it in your heart to give me another shot?"

Joey pondered the request, a questioning look growing on her face. Charlie's heart slumped.

"Charlie… I came back for you, if for nothing else but to make peace and be friends. I stand by what I said before. I do love you and I want to be with you. I want to build a life with you but honestly if you can't do that with me, then…."

No sooner had Joey attempted to finish talking, Charlie pulled her down and planted the gentlest but deepest kiss she could.

"I love you Joey, I will not leave you. I promise not to look to anyone else, to seek them in any way. I don't want to break your heart or be the bearer of pain. Your happiness is the most important thing from this day forth".

"So do you still have your uniform?" Joey asked cheekily

Charlie snorted as she laughed, realizing Joey's thought process.

"Well…. No… but I'm sure we can keep the handcuffs as a souvenir" Charlie giggled. Ruby gasped, while clutching her ears, not wanting to hear another word.

Joey was relieved, Charlie was safe, and they had both committed to giving each other another chance. Despite everything that had happened their love hadn't wavered. Now as she sat with Charlie in the hospital room taking in all of her beauty, she was content with the decision to come back and that despite the evident hurt Brax had caused, time would heal those wounds and together CJ could look forward to a future, free of secrets and emotional turmoil.

As she took Charlie's hand once more, she looked to Ruby and Charlie and said "At last, I have the family I have wanted for so long. I love you both". Ruby and Charlie smiled and all three reached in for a group hug carefully being aware of Charlie's injuries.

The end.

Hope you liked it, please review. All comments and thoughts appreciated ;)