DISCLAIMER: Bad Girls and its characters are the property of Shed Productions. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Ralst for posting and anybody taking the time to read it - much appreciated.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Kate


Nikki dumped the black bag containing her belongings in the hallway. She heard the taxi pull away and the door close.

She stood for a moment and remembered the last time she was here. Banging on the front door, yelling at Helen to open it. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.


Nikki opened her eyes and saw Helen's worried frown, as she stroked her cheek. "Yes. Hard to believe I'm here."

"I know sweetheart. But you'll get used to it. This is home now."

Nikki pulled Helen against her. "Are you sure? About me staying here? I can stay with friends until we get used…."

Helen interrupted her. "We can take things slowly from here. And I want you where I can keep an eye on you." she smiled and kissed Nikki gently.

"I just want to get this right, this time. It's not exactly been easy for us. There was a lot of stuff…"

Helen placed her fingers against Nikki's lips. "That's behind us now."

Nikki knew it really wasn't. And that Helen knew it too. There were things that needed airing.

"Are you hungry?" Helen asked. "Do you want anything to drink?"

"Actually, I could murder a cup of tea. Pardon the expression."

Helen laughed. "Okay, I'll put the kettle on. You should eat something on top of all that beer at the club. Did you have any breakfast this morning before going to court?"

"No. My stomach was a mess. I couldn't face it. Just tea for now will be fine."

Helen drew back and Nikki leant towards her and kissed her before letting her go.

"I won't be a minute. I need a pee." Nikki said.

"I assume you remember where the bathroom is?" Helen arched an eyebrow.

"Its location does spring to mind. Along with the lounge and the bedroom."

Nikki washed her hands and looked around the bathroom. Assorted bottles of perfume sat on a set of shelves and various shower gels on the edge of the bathtub. She smiled as she spotted a Bic lady razor and an open box of tampons. She picked up a shower gel and flicked open the top and inhaled the fragrance. It was a familiar one. She'd smelled it before many times, on Helen when she'd been in her cell or when Nikki had been in her office. Her senses became heightened in Larkhall and not just her sense of smell, but her hearing and sight also. She knew the sound of Helen's walk, could pick out her voice easily on the other side of the wing.

Nikki took up one of the bottles of perfume and sniffed it, then tried another and immediately reacted to it. It was the same one Helen had worn that day in the potting shed, the time Helen kissed her in her cell and the night she escaped.

Nikki's hand started to shake and she made a fist of it and put it to her mouth forcing back her emotion. She turned quickly and knelt in front of the toilet and vomited.

Helen poured hot water over the tea bag in the cup and realised she had no idea if Nikki took milk and sugar with her tea. She smiled at the realisation that they had a lot of small things to discover about each other. She prodded at the bag with a spoon and wondered why Nikki was taking so long. She had the sudden urge to check she was alright.

Helen walked to the bathroom and as she neared the door, she heard Nikki retching and hurried her step.

"Nikki?" Helen pushed the door open and was alarmed to see her kneeling in front of the toilet. "Sweetheart, are you ok?" she knelt beside her.

Nikki nodded her head and vomited again. Helen stood and wetted a face cloth and held it against Nikki's forehead.

"Oh sweetheart," Helen murmured. Of all the reactions her body could have given Nikki over her release, it chose a violent one. She rubbed Nikki's back and held her hand and saw she was bringing up nothing but bile and fluid.

Nikki sat back and Helen cradled her. "I'm sorry," Nikki said. "It just hit me."

"Shush. It's okay."

"I should be happy and I am. And Christ knows it could have been worse. But three sodding years of shit! Dealing with that place day after day. Losing Trish. The stress of the appeal. Not knowing when I stood up in court a few hours ago, whether they were going to send me back. Losing you, watching you walk away."

Nikki wiped the tears from her face.

"It's over now." Helen said.

"Is it?" Nikki stared at her then stood abruptly. She flushed the toilet then rinsed her mouth out from the sink tap.

"What do you mean?" Helen touched her arm.

"It's not that easy to let it go." Nikki left the bathroom and removed her jacket and threw it on the couch as she entered the lounge. She faced the window and hugged her body.

Helen stood behind her. "What can't you let go?" she asked quietly.

"Some of it. None of it." Nikki sighed. "It's just been overwhelming emotionally. I mean, how much more could we take?"

Helen walked over to her and turned Nikki to face her. "I know. But we survived it, didn't we?"

"Two days ago, Helen, you walked out of Larkhall with a new life ahead of you and someone else in it. What changed your mind about me?"

Helen hesitated and took a deep breath. "Thomas figured it out about us. He told me I wasn't being honest with myself in thinking I could walk away."

"Oh," Nikki half laughed. "So, if he'd been happy to ignore it, hadn't said anything, you'd still be with him?"

Helen closed her eyes. "No. That's not what I meant," she said calmly. "I told you, I wanted you."

"How can you be sure? How can I be sure? I don't know what you had with him, how good it was!"

"You'll just have to trust me, Nikki."

"Why? The whole time, one minute you wanted me, the next minute you didn't. Do you know what that's like? Somebody else always calling the shots. Able to control everything? Able to walk away from it? I mean, I know a part of it was your job, but Jesus!"

Helen lost her temper. "And you're surprised? What did you expect? That I'd find it funny when you turned up on my bloody door step? 'oh hi Nikki, what a lovely surprise, come on in'. One of us had to be in control and it obviously wasn't going to be you. Why should I have trusted any of your motives, when I never knew what stunt you might pull off next?"

"You were always in control. You never let me see you. Half the time I didn't know what to do. The only time you really allowed me in, was on that couch and in your bed." Nikki shouted. "And you wonder why I did it? It was worth it to see you finally give in and lose it. Then I knew for sure. But sod me, that bloody wall of yours came up again and you bottled it. You ripped it right out from under us. What were you so bloody afraid of?"

"You didn't see what I saw in Dockley's cell that night. I knew she and Fenner were…You're right. I lost it. I wondered how long it would be, before that was you and me. Losing control completely. Scoring a quick shag in your cell or my office, or the art room," Helen put her hand to her mouth and took a deep breath to calm her temper. "It would have been an abuse of my position. An abuse of you. It would have been wrong and we deserved better. And if we couldn't have better in that place, then I didn't want it for us at all. Only with us on equal footing, could I see a future."

"Did you sleep with him?" Nikki accused.

"What?" Helen looked puzzled at the question

"Thomas. Did you sleep with him?"

"What does that matter?"

Nikki stared at her and waited for an answer.

"Yes, I did. It wasn't…"

"Were you keeping your options open on what kind of future?" Nikki said and saw Helen's eyes flare with anger.

"What about you? You didn't waste anytime finding yourself a new playmate!"

"We were over according to you. Plus, I didn't find Caroline. She came onto me. It was nice, having somebody that wanted to be with me, wasn't worried about it. Of course I was flattered. Until I found out why she was so bloody interested. She knew I was your pet, had your ear. Thought by sticking with me, she'd be safe from the rest."

"You seemed to be more than flattered from what I saw."

Nikki narrowed her eyes. "What d'you think you saw?"

"You were all over her in the library as I recall." Helen straightened up.

"I kissed her, so?"

"And you seemed very interested in showing her your seedlings in the shed!"

Nikki laughed incredulously. "You thought we were having sex? In the shed? Give me more credit. In my younger days that may have seemed romantic."

"So you're saying you never had sex with her?"

"God knows I wanted to. I thought I could wipe you away if I did. And I'll admit she was up for it, but I couldn't," Nikki lowered her eyes. "She wasn't you," she said softly. "You could have told me about her. What she was in for."

"I couldn't do that. I told you to be careful, that's all I could do. I couldn't give you that information."

"Why not for Christsakes? This was me, Helen," Nikki beat her chest with her fist. "I didn't have a right to know, because I went back to just being another con to you? We shared a night together," she moved until she stood in front of Helen. "We made love to each other. I tasted you and you did the same or had you forgotten? I heard you cry out my name that night. And you couldn't bloody tell me because of your precious principles and job? What was I, chopped liver?" she said angrily and turned away.

"I wanted to tell you. But I thought if you were happy, I shouldn't take that away from you. You'd been through enough."

"Is that the real reason? Or were you relieved that I wouldn't be harassing you, if I'd got someone else?" Nikki faced Helen again.

Helen hesitated. "Both," she admitted.

"Now admit you were jealous." Nikki said softly.

Helen looked her directly in the eye. "Yes, I was. I hated it. The thought of you together."

Nikki pulled Helen roughly against her. "Was he good?" she stroked Helen's hair.

"He wasn't you." Helen sank into Nikki's body.

"Now tell me you love me."

"I love you."

"D'you know how gorgeous you look, when you're this pissed off?" Nikki kissed Helen's cheek. "Okay, we've got all that out of the way. Now it's behind us."

Helen combed her fingers through Nikki's hair. "Will we always fight like this?"

"Probably. There's two much passion between us. And you're just starting to be more open emotionally. Our arguments in future could be quite spectacular. But the good thing is we're now free to make up properly. And when we do, it will be just as ferocious and as passionate." Nikki smiled.

"You promise?" Helen raised her eyebrows.

Nikki laughed. "I do," she kissed Helen's mouth leisurely and heard her moan. "What happened to my cup of tea?"

"It's probably cold. I'll make you another one." Helen drew away and Nikki captured her hand.

"Darling?" Nikki said. Helen turned to face her. "It's feels wonderful to be home. Finally."

The End

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