DISCLAIMER: Bad Girls and its characters are the property of Shed Productions. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written as part of the 31 Aspects meme. Prompt from trancer.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author
Nikki slowly entered Helen's office. She'd been trying to gain admittance for the past several days but, ever since Sean's little display of pyrotechnics, the wing governor had been incommunicado, at least as far as her prisoners were concerned.
"Take a seat." Helen didn't look up. "I see you've requested an interview with your Open University tutor. Are you having difficulties with the course?"
"Are you okay, Helen?" Nikki sat forward, her hands resting on the desk as if waiting for permission to travel the last few inches and enfold Helen's. "I saw what Sean -"
"I'm perfectly fine." Helen snapped.
"You don't look fine."
The lighting in the office was usually drab but even that couldn't explain the pallor of Helen's skin. The once bright cheeks were drained of colour and there was a certain dullness about her lips that reminded Nikki of her own face the morning after a heavy drinking session the night before.
"Another hangover?" She tried not to be censorious. "I know things are difficult right now, but drinking -"
"I don't have a hangover." Helen's voice was rigid with disdain. "If you don't wish to discuss your degree I will have an officer return you to G-Wing."
"For God's sake, Helen, don't push me away as if I was some..."
"Prisoner?" Helen scoffed. "I know you think you're special, Nikki, but that's all you are. Another prisoner."
Helen's eyes stung with unshed tears but she refused to cry in front of Nikki. She didn't deserve the comfort she knew Nikki would provide, not after the way she'd treated Sean and Nikki. If only she could control her damn emotions!
"Tell me what's wrong?"
"Nothing." A single tear escaped and, with it, Helen lost her internal battle. "Everything."
With logistics born out of concern, Nikki managed to take Helen into her arms, the lack of resistance more worrying than the sobs wracking Helen's body.
"Is it Sean?" Nikki didn't think the tosser was worthy of tears but she knew her own perceptions were coloured by jealousy and dislike. "Has he done anything?" She thought of the flaming scarecrow. "Anything else?"
"Yes." Helen sniffed. "No."
Nikki's smile was tentative. "I'm glad we cleared that up."
"I'm sorry." Helen brushed at her tears but didn't pull away. "I don't know what's wrong with me. I've been bursting into tears for no reason whatsoever. I feel such a fool."
"Don't." Nikki searched in her pocket but couldn't find a tissue. "I think the waterlogged look is rather sexy."
A fresh set of sobs escaped Helen's throat and she buried her head in Nikki's chest.
"That was meant to be a joke," Nikki confided. "Not that I don't find you sexy," she added, "but I've learnt not to make a pass when you're crying."
Helen remembered their first kiss - their only kiss, she mentally berated herself - and her tears dried.
"I don't normally burst in to tears."
"Anything else?" Nikki thought of her post-booze pallor. "Have you been feeling sick?"
Helen again nodded confirmation. "It's not so bad if I avoid breakfast and fast food."
"So you're over emotional and you're getting sick - in the mornings?"
Nikki could have quite happily gone the rest of her life without thinking about Helen and Sean's sex life, but circumstances were rather throwing it in her face. She had no real evidence one way or the other, and it could well be wishful thinking, but she'd bet a month's spends that Helen was a randy sod and probably didn't go long without sex.
"When was the last time you slept with him?"
Helen pushed away from Nikki's embrace. "What?"
"When did you last have sex with Sean?" A pause. "Or anyone?"
Nikki quickly found herself sprawled on the floor, Helen towering over her, fury contorting her face.
"How dare you!"
"Now hold on, I was -"
"My sex life is of no concern to you! Do you understand me, Nikki?"
"I was only -"
"I don't know what this is between us but I will not allow it to go any further." Helen draped herself in the lie, confident that it would blunt Nikki's concern and leave her free to mourn her disastrous love life in peace. "You are a prisoner and nothing more."
Nikki suppressed the urge to swear. "You're pregnant."
Of all the arguments and macho crap Helen had anticipated, that was definitely something new. She opened her mouth to refute the claim but no words came out. Instead she sat there in stunned silence.
With a shake of the head, Helen dismissed the entire notion. "I can't be pregnant. It's impossible."
"Only if you've had your legs crossed for the last three months."
Helen stood up and started pacing. "This cannot be happening." She turned to point an accusing finger at Nikki. "My job's in the shit, my boyfriend's turned into a pyromaniac and I'm falling for one of my prisoners! This is not happening!"
Nikki blocked her path. "Tell that to Stewart, Junior," she said, her large hand gently covering the space where a bump would soon develop. "Besides, your job's fine, he's your ex-boyfriend and you're not falling for one of your prisoners. You've already fallen."
Helen smiled. "You're sure of yourself."
Her hand gently caressing Helen's abdomen, Nikki didn't bother to answer. "What are you going to do?"
"Do?" Helen's hands covered Nikki's. "I'm going to visit the doctor for a second opinion," she smiled. "After that I just don't know."
"I know I'm only a prisoner but if you need anything -"
"I'm sorry, Nikki, I shouldn't have called you that."
"I didn't mean -"
"You're far more than just a prisoner." Helen squeezed their joint hands. "Sometimes I wish you weren't, but there's no escaping the way you make me feel."
Nikki smiled. "You shouldn't mention the word 'escape' to a convicted criminal," she joked, her attempt to lighten the situation falling flat. "We'll get through this," she reassured.
Helen's eyes closed and she allowed herself a moment to savour their closeness. She didn't know what a baby would mean for their relationship, or even if what they had could be called a relationship, but she did know that having Nikki there with her at that moment meant everything.
"Yes, we will."
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