Disclaimer: The town of Ballykissangel, its residents and belongings are not mine (unfortunately) they belong to World Productions, Kieran Prendiville, the BBC and the actors who portray them.

Timeline: This fan fiction takes place two years after 'Pack Up Your Troubles'. In this story Peter doesn't return to Ballykissangel after his mother's death, instead deciding to stay in Manchester. Siobhan and Brendan's daughter has been born and the two of them are getting along well. Niamh and Ambrose are still married. The only new characters are Emma and Sean Dillon and Father Aidan O'Connell (he didn't bring Orla). In this version Sean and Niamh are just friends.

Someone To Talk To

By Lissie

A tall, dark-haired man is walking along the footpath. He is wearing jeans and a check shirt. He is carrying a large backpack. He stops outside Fitzgerald's. The camera zooms in as Peter Clifford takes a deep breath and opens the door.

Siobhan and Brendan are sitting at one end of the bar eating lunch and drinking. Assumpta is clearing a table near the door. The door opens and Peter steps through. Assumpta glances up and her eyes widen. The tray in her hands crashes to the floor.



Siobhan and Brendan look up in time to see Assumpta hurl herself into Peter's arms.

SIOBHAN: I'd say that answers the question of whether or not she's over him.


Assumpta realising what she has just done quickly steps back and Peter reluctantly lets her go. He is trying unsuccessfully to hide a grin. Siobhan and Brendan come over and Assumpta retreats back behind the bar.

BRENDAN: Peter, it's good to see you again.

They shake hands and Siobhan hugs him briefly.

SIOBHAN: So, are you here to stay or are you just passing through?

PETER: Well I'm a social worker now, and two weeks ago I was told there was a job going here in BallyK and I took it. So you're stuck with me.

They laugh.

SIOBHAN: (glancing at Assumpta who is avoiding Peter's eyes) I guess we'd better get going.

She takes Brendan's arm and pulls him towards the door.

SIOBHAN: Welcome home Peter.

They leave. Peter stands by the door for a moment and then goes over to the bar. Assumpta quickly moves away, refusing to look at him.

PETER: You want a hand?

ASSUMPTA: No, that's OK. You go out and talk to everyone. They'll be to see you again.

She goes to move past him but stops as he catches her hand.

PETER: What about you? Are you pleased to see me again?

Assumpta slowly turns to look at him.

ASSUMPTA: It'll be good to have someone to talk to again.

She holds his gaze for a moment and then turns away. Peter smiles and then walks out the door.

Peter is sitting at the kitchen table. Niamh is putting the kettle on.

NIAMH: So, you're here to stay.

PETER: Yeah looks like. It's good to be home again.

Niamh sits down opposite him.

NIAMH: How'd Assumpta react?

PETER: Sorry?

NIAMH: Oh come on, Peter! I'm not blind! She was devastated after you left! It was like she had shut down and was working on autopilot. She wouldn't talk to anyone for a week. For God's sake Peter, there's practically a bet going around as to whether she's over you or not!

PETER: Okay, okay I get the message. Everyone in the village is more observant than we are. In answer to your question when I walked in the door she threw herself at me in front of Brendan and Siobhan and then realised what she was doing and backed off. The after Siobhan dragged Brendan out, she said everyone would be glad to see me back. I asked her whether she was pleased to see me and she said it'd be nice to have someone to talk to again.

NIAMH: Hah! Padraig owes me ten quid.

PETER: Niamh!

Father Mac is sitting at his desk with Peter across from him.

FR MAC: So you are no longer a priest, hey? Does this mean Ms Fitzgerald is in with a chance?

PETER: Not you too! (he grins wryly) We'll see.

The usual suspects minus Peter are gathered at bar. Padraig is standing by the door.

PADRAIG: Here he comes!

Peter opens the door and steps in.

EVERYONE: Welcome home Peter!

There are greetings and introductions. Peter smiles as Brendan hands him a pint but he has eyes only for Assumpta.

Peter is standing on the banks of the river throwing stones into the water. Assumpta and Fion are walking across the bridge. Assumpta pauses when she sees Peter and then walks towards him.


Peter jumps, startled.


Fion goes over to greet him. Peter strokes his head.

PETER: How's it going fella? She been feeding you properly?

FION: Wuf Wuf.

PETER: I see. Assumpta he says he likes steak better than dry food.

Assumpta laughs and moves next to him. Fion bounds off after a rabbit. They both watch him go.

ASSUMPTA: You asked me before if I was glad to see you. I said it would be good to have someone to talk to. That's not what I meant to say.

PETER: You mean you're not glad to see me?

ASSUMPTA: No! I mean that's not all I meant to say. (she takes a deep breath) When Niamh told me you'd gone to Manchester I felt like I'd been punched. And then when she said your mother was sick I was relieved because it meant you were coming back, but then you didn't. (she pauses) I felt like you'd betrayed me, which is stupid because I was the one that ran off and got married. But…I…I felt so lonely. I missed you like crazy. It was only after you'd gone that I realised how much I wanted you to stay. (she is crying now) I didn't know what to do without you. I thought I'd driven you away…

Peter pulls her to him and hugs her, one hand stroking her hair.

PETER: Hey, don't cry. I'm here and I'm not going to leave you again.

After several minutes Assumpta looks up at him. This time she makes no move to step away.

ASSUMPTA: Sorry. I haven't talked to anyone properly for ages.

PETER: Yeah Niamh told me. Apparently the whole town knew how we felt and was just waiting for us to get together. I guess I kind of stuffed up their plans, huh?

ASSUMPTA: Yeah I guess you did.

Peter starts to move back but Assumpta locks her hands around his waist.

ASSUMPTA: Oh no you don't. Now that I've got you I'm not you letting go.

Peter looks a little surprised but tightens his arms around her. Assumpta moved her arms from his waist to around his neck. Tipping her face up to his.

ASSUMPTA: You know Mr Clifford, I believe you owe me a kiss, this time without Brendan, Padraig, Father Mac, two parish priests and a bishop watching.

PETER: (grinning) I believe your right Ms Fitzgerald. I'll attend to it immediately.

He lowers his head to hers and they kiss gently. After several long moments Assumpta feels Peter shaking. She draws back to see he is laughing.


PETER: (still laughing) Do you think our performance was just as convincing and incenduary as last time?

ASSUMPTA: What are you talking about? She turns and follows his gaze and starts to laugh herself.

Standing on the bridge watching them is Brendan, Padraig and Father Mac. Brendan and Father Mac are grinning. Assumpta turns back to Peter.

ASSUMPTA: I'm not sure. I think we better do it again to be certain.

Peter smiles at her and complies. This time the kiss is longer and deeper.

Brendan looks over at Padraig. He is frowning slightly.

BRENDAN: What's the matter with you?

PADRAIG: I owe Niamh ten quid.

Brendan and Father Mac look at him for a moment and then burst out laughing.