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Story Notes:
Character versions are Ted and Con from CS and then All Change universe, but no need to read anything else other than to know that Ted and Con are a couple and Ted lives at her brother's house.

This is a one off at present, but I already have a couple of other scenes that will fit here, so am setting it up as a seperate story rather than in the Short stories from All Change.
Characters are the property of the original author and no money is made from this.
" Come ON Con, come outside, please. Come and see... Just come outside will you?" pleaded Ted, almost dragging Con by the hand towards the entrance.

"What is going on, Ted? What's all the hurry ?" laughed Con, allowing the other girl to hurry her along, although not without a slightly wistful look at the table and her notebook. There were so many ideas running around her brain at the moment that she really wanted to note them all down before they ran out of her brain again.

But Ted's excited manner and pleading tone told Con that now was not a time for mooning about, mentally chatting with her characters.

Ted reached the front door and bundled her eagerness. She looked around her, wondering what had brought all of this on, why Ted was behaving so strangely.

What she saw made her characters fly away for once. A small, battered but beautiful little campervan was parked in front of her. She stepped forward and then looked back to Ted, with a question on her face.

Ted was looking uncharacteristically nervous and frowning slightly.

" Do you like it?" she said. "I can take it back if you would rather look a little longer?"

The beaming smlie from Con and the arms flung around her neck were answer enough.

" It is ours then? Can we afford it?" Con replied, still wanting to check before she let herself look around properly.

" Deposit paid, if you think it is ok, we just have to pay the rest and we are good to go" Ted said, her hands round Con's waist and the huge smile on her own face showing how relieved she was that her suprise had gone so well. She had plenty of money herself, inherited from her father's estate, but Con was fiercely independent, and wouldn't let Ted pay for much. Being one of a large family, Con was also acutely aware of the value of money, and tended to deny herself, forgetting that her own funds didn't have to be split many ways.

They began to explore the van, with many exclamations of delight at secret compartments, clever storage solutions and folding out of bed platforms.

They puzzled together how to build up the sleeping platform, and Ted made a mental note to ad some extra batons to a part that seemed less sturdy than it might need to be with regular use. After an awkward explanation to her brother about how the old pine bed in her room had come apart from its supports and broken completely one night, and some bruises for both her and Con from the collapse,Ted was taking no chances with beds now.

They set up a gas bottle and gleefully made a cup of tea, and sat down happily to drink it with the door open.Ted's brother and sister in law had to laugh at the beaming pair, when they insisted on making food out in it for them all that evening. But it was an affectionate laughter, and they joined in with the spirit of the thing, despite the food all being at different temperatures due to being done on the tiny stove with very little room for pots and pans.

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A few weeks later, with the van all paid for, and both of them free for a weekend, they packed up all the multitudes of things that they would almost certainly never need, and set off on an adventure.

Ted looked over at Con, and briefly took her hand off the steering wheel to rest it on Con's leg. Con's fingers briefly griped her own and then released, for safety, so that Ted could return to holding the wheel more securely. But the message of ' I am happy, we are together in our own space, with no responsibilities' had passed perfectly between them.

They drove initially with no fixed plan, just enjoying being together, and seeing the different view of the world that the height of the van gave them.

Spotting a roadside stall, they stopped and purchased some strawberries and little pots of cream, then carried on till they saw a good stoping point, high enough to provide a good overlook of the surrounding countryside.

Door open, settled back on the inside seats, they enjoying the fruit and cream, and then sat in amicable silence, revelling in the freedom to just be together. Ted looked around carefully, saw no one else in sight, and placed an arm around Con's shoulders and Con settled back into the crook of her arm, enjoying the chance for simple affection in a relatively public space.

They stayed like that for a while, until the noise of another vehicle slowing to turn into the overlook meant a reluctant separation. Con took some of the sting out of it by rummaging for the map, as if the movement apart had had a purpose related to their holiday, rather than a need for safety and discretion.

They worked out where they were, and Ted chuckled as Con added Good strawberries and cream here to the location of the roadside stall, and Good place to eat strawberries, yum. to their current position on the map.

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The campsite that they had been looking for was still a little while away, so they cleared up the packages from the food, and set off again, this time with the radio gently playing.

Eventually they came to a steep hill overlooking the sea, and turned into a farm track that led to the campsite.

Everything was new and exciting, from setting up the van on chocks to make it level, to deciding where to put their windbreak and chairs outside of the van.

Another campervan was already parked nearby, and there were several tents. A friendly lady came over to say hello, and offered her sons to help set up the posts for the windbreak

"After all there is no need for young girls like yourselves to be using a mallet when there are young strong men like my George and Eddie around." she said cheerily.

Ted winced as she saw young Eddie smash a mallet down onto the poles of his own windbreak, causing one to splinter with the impact. She thanked the lady politely and said that they were fine without any help, they didn't have much to set up, and they were both Guides anyway.

"Well if you are sure." said the lady doubtfully. " But if there is anything you need help with, you ask, I know they will be glad to help"

They thanked her again, and she left them to continue setting up.

Once everything was as they liked it, they wandered down to a nearby beach. Both of them enjoyed the feel of the late afternoon sun as they walked along idly chatting.

A return to the van saw them cooking a meal and realizing that they had forgotten any drinks at all, a fact that was so reminiscent of expeditions at school that they spent a full half an hour laughing at themselves for doing it. Luckily the campsite was next to a working farm, so they were able to get some milk from there, and there was plenty of water.

While Con cleared away the remains of the meal, Ted wrestled with the boards and cushions, and managed to make the bed, albeit with a certain amount of un chalet school approved vocabulary.

They started to shut off the curtains and get ready for bed, both looking forward to creating their own little den, with no relatives nearby and no worries about getting up for work in the morning.

Pulling the door shut behind her, Con entered the shadowed space, climbing up onto the bed platform and smiling at Ted. They were looking forward to a whole night together, with no need to think about disturbing anybody. There was no rush, and no need to sneak moments while other people were out of the house, or be quiet to avoid waking Ted's baby nephew at night.

Suddenly there was a knock on the door.

They froze, and looked at each other. It was too soon after Con had entered the van to pretend to be asleep, so grumbling under her breath, Con backed down off the bed and went to open the door.

"Surely you two aren't off to sleep yet my dears!" said their earlier visitor, then continued. "My boys are going off to the local village, why don't you join them, all youngsters together ?"

Con politely refused, making the excuse that they had been up early and had a long way to go the next day. The lady seemed determined not to take no for an answer, until finally Ted had had enough.

She slid off the bed and came along to the doorway. Putting her arm casually on Con's shoulders, she firmly said that they were off to bed now, thank you for the kindness, but they were quite happy thank you. Con tensed initially at the obvious physical contact between them, then relaxed as she realised that it was deliberate, and also that they need never see any of these people again.

As Ted leant forward and shut the door she could see the woman's mouth form an 'O' of suprise.

They locked the door and Ted made sure that they would be easily able to drive off if there were any retaliations for people realising they were a couple. Con relaxed onto the bed again, waiting for Ted to finish her checks.

As Ted clambered back up onto the bed platform, Con looked at her properly and started to giggle. Ted stopped and asked her what was so funny.

Eventually Con stammered out. " Oh Ted! No wonder that woman looked a bit shocked - your shirt was all undone, and as you bend forward you can see you are wearing your undershirt beneath! If she didn't know about us from the arm on the shoulder, seeing you in men's underwear must have given her the clue. Oh dear!!"

Ted began to laugh too. " Ah well! To be honest, unless you really are 'Ever so tired, will just drop off to sleep' as you told her, I think they would have had a clue before the night was over anyway."

Con looked worried. " Oh that is true, we had better be quiet hadn't we" she said, a small frown starting on her forehead, since this was something she had difficulty with when she got carried away.

Ted settled down beside her and replied firmly

" No, Con, the whole point of this van is to be free, and to be us. I don't care what anyone thinks, and we will almost certainly never see them again anyway. I intend on spending the night whatever way we want"

Com smiled as Ted began to add action to her words. It still took her a while to relax again, but Ted knew her mind and body very well, and they were soon fully occupied, all thoughts of other campers forgotten.

-----------------

The next morning, they packed up their campsite and got ready to go. They were fully expecting problems, but the woman simply ignored them and her sons just stared at them.

At last they were on the road home. Apart from that little bit of awkwardness, they had had a great time. All the way home they chattered about where they might go next.

As Ted looked over at Con, who was driving the van this time, she was very glad that she had found the campervan. This smiley jokey Con was a lively sight to see, and from everything she was saying, Ted could see that she was already thinking about how she could write the holiday into her next story.

Ted was happy. Although a new story would necessarily mean losing Con to her notebook a little, seeing her this animated was worth it. She settled back into the seat and enjoyed letting the chatter from Con wash over her. Campervans are a good thing, thought Ted. A very good thing.



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