DISCLAIMER: Bad Girls and its characters are the property of Shed Productions. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This starts off @ Chix straight after Nikki's release, and aims to follow them throughout their lives outside of Larkhall. Not sure how long for. Let me know what you guys think.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To debinho23[at]hotmail.co.uk

Fresh Start
By EdenAshley


Part 10

Helen had obviously forgiven Nikki for her little indiscretion last night, but there is still a weird tension between them. Nikki can tell Helen is still really annoyed at her, she can certainly understand why.

Nikki is currently sitting at one side of the kitchen table, nibbling on toast, look across at her lover who is sitting opposite, sipping on coffee. The silence between them is deafening. Nikki knows she needs to make this up to Helen, but she really has no idea how. Last time she was in the bad books and needed to make a big gesture, she escaped from prison. Well she definitely couldn't do that now. As with everything else recently, this is another thing she needs to learn how to do on 'the outside'.

"Have you got any plans for today?" Nikki decides to start tentatively; this is the first words they've said to each other since last night. Unless of course you count them crying out each other's names over and over again.

Helen looks up from her coffee, she almost laughs out loud at the look of remorse on Nikki's face, but she quickly remembers why she's narked at Nikki and decides she isn't ready to fully forgive her yet; she shakes her head to indicate she doesn't have plans, and then gets back to concentrating on her coffee.

Well that went well. Nikki decides to take a different tack.

"You know, I'm really glad, now that we're not in the confines of Larkhall, we have the time, and the inclination to really talk through our problems. Not let them linger and get worse."

Helen looks up from the coffee again, it appears Nikki hasn't finished.

"I remember back then, something would happen, usually about five minutes before lock up, then we'd get to fester on it for at least 24 hours, before we'd have a chance to talk about it, if we'd ever get that chance. Thank god we don't have that problem anymore."

Nikki can't help the smirk that appears on her face as she finishes her dramatic speech; neither can Helen stop the matching grin form on her own face.

"Alright Wade, you've made your point. You just pissed me off."

"Helen I said sorry. I thought you'd forgiven me last night?" she wiggles her eyebrows as she remembers their love making the night before.

"What would you say if I told you I haven't really forgiven you, I was just feeling incredibly horny?" Helen's eyes sparkle as she asks the question. Pure mischief.

Nikki decides to play along. "Well if you'd hadn't forgiven me before last night's shenanigans, you would have definitely forgiven me afterwards."

Helen loves this side to Nikki, so confident, so cock sure of herself, and with good reason she might add. Last night was amazing, and although she had still been annoyed at Nikki's accusation this morning, she has most definitely forgiven her.

Helen smiled, and Nikki could tell she was well and truly exonerated, and just like that the tension that had been so palpable just moments before disappeared.

"So do you have any plans for today?" Helen turns Nikki's question back onto her.

"I've got to be at the club for sixish, but other than that, no." Tonight is Nikki's first Saturday night back at the club, she's not sure if she's looking forward to it or not, Trisha will be there too, which she's grateful about.

Helen watches her with great interest, she knows Nikki's been coping really well so far back at the club, but tonight will be the next level, it will be busier and the club is always open later on a Saturday, she knows her usually uber confident girlfriend is feeling more than a little apprehensive about tonight.

"Do you think you'll be alright tonight?"

Nikki is broken form her thoughts, she smiles it appears Helen has the ability to read her mind. "I'm a bit nervous, probably like you will be when you go back to Larkhall on Monday."

This sends a shiver down Helen's spine; she's excited and nervous in equal measure. Nikki finishes what she's saying.

"But I think I'll be okay. I'll have Trish." Nikki nods her head as she says it confirming to Helen that she knows she'll be fine, because Trisha will be there for her. This makes Helen feel uncomfortable. She likes Trisha she really does, but she hates the thought of her being there for Nikki when it should be her. She needs to get rid of this jealously.

She swallows it down, for now. "Are you sure? I'm sure I could drag Claire out again tonight, and keep my eye on you from across the bar?"

Nikki laughs, she loves Helen for offering. "If you and Claire made it to the club, I doubt you'd be able to see anything through the Vodka mist."

"Are you implying I don't know when I've had enough?" Helen smiles, Nikki smiles back she leans over and kisses Helen.

"Speaking of Larkhall." Nikki decides to drop the bombshell. Helen is intrigued. "You're not the only one going back there on Monday."

Now Helen is really intrigued. "Oh?"

"Babs has sent me a VO."

"Are you sure you're ready to go back?"

"Probably about as ready as you are."

Helen lets Nikki's words wash over her, truth be told, she'd rather not be going back there this quickly, after all it was only a few weeks ago that she left the place, she hoped for good. It seems like her whole life has changed since then. But more than anything she feels strong enough to go back, because of Nikki, and she needs to verbalise this.

"I am ready to go back." Now it's Nikki's turn to be captivated. "I told you before Nikki, I know I can get through anything, because of you, because I know I've got you by my side."

Nikki grins like an idiot. "Then I was right. I am as ready as you are to go back."

The rest of the day had been wonderful, they hadn't done anything really, domestic chores, read the paper, and watched TV, normal everyday things. It wasn't lost on either of them how much they both treasured days like this, some people might consider it a waste of a day, they should go out there and seize the day. Carpe Diem and all that, but in reality, there opportunity to do this in the past, to just enjoy each other's company had been so limited, they both feel that doing anything but this would have been a real waste of the day.

They have the rest of their lives to have days out, or whatever, right now this, the way they have spent today, has been perfect. Even when Nikki left for work, and gave Helen a kiss, and told her to have a nice evening, and she'd see her in the morning, the normality of it blew both of their minds. They were actually living together, in real life; they were in a proper relationship on the outside, more than that its actually working. It's not easy, but they're getting there.

Just to make the perfect day a little more faultless, Nikki has just finished her first Saturday night back at the club, and it went smoothly, she couldn't have asked for a better night, no hiccups at all. She and Trisha had fallen back into the old routine; it was almost as if she'd gone back in time. She is also pleased to see she hasn't lost her way with the ladies; she had more than a few adoring glances, and flirtatious conversations. Obviously she had no plans to act on any of it, but it was a confidence booster, and of course, flirting with the punters is part and parcel of running a club.

Nikki and Trisha have just finished tidying the club, they are both exhausted. It's around 5am Sunday morning, but Trisha wants to celebrate. Nikki has done so well. Nikki isn't the only one who felt like they'd gone back in time, it really was like old times, like when they were a couple, Trisha was transported to life five years ago, and she liked it. She loved the comfortableness with Nikki, the flirtation. It made her realise just how much she'd missed this.

Nikki is sitting at the end of the bar, lost in her thoughts, until Trisha plonks a bottle of beer in front of her, which she gladly accepts.

"This is to you Nikki. Beating your demons, and having a successful return to the busiest night of the week."

Trisha clinks her own bottle of beer against Nikki's. Nikki thinks about Trisha's words and smiles. "To us."

This makes Trisha's heart swell. She gets lost in the euphoria of the nights events, she guesses she's probably not thinking straight, but that doesn't stop her. She places her hand on Nikki's face, and leans in and captures her lips with her own.

She takes Nikki by surprise. It's been really nice them falling back into the old routine, Nikki should have known something like this would happen she thought that maybe Trisha was still in love with her. All the time she's thinking she realises she's kissing her back, she needs to stop but she wants to do it as gently as possibly. Rather than just pull away abruptly and ask her what the hell she thinks she's doing, she moves her lips away slowly, but keeps her forehead in position. She doesn't really know what to say, so she just looks down at the floor.

Trisha allowed herself to get excited when Nikki didn't pull away immediately; she may have even kissed her back a little. When she inevitably did pull back it left Trisha feeling cold. But more than anything, Stupid. Why had she just done that, what an idiot?

"I'm sorry Nikki; I think I just got caught up in tonight, all the old memories flooding back."

Nikki takes a deep breath, she feels awful, all this time she had been thinking about the affect coming back to the club would have on her, not once did she think about how it would impact on Trisha. She feels utterly selfish.

"Are you still in love with me Trish?" She looks up as she poses the question, it was the last thing Trisha was expecting her to ask, and she can't help the stray tear that drops from her eye. She tries to catch it with her hand before Nikki sees it. Too late.

"I don't know Nikki." She tries to be as honest as possible. She really is confused.

"I had my heart set on us getting back together when you came out. I don't know if I'm just caught up in all of that, in all of this."

She's trying her best to explain it, she doesn't think she's doing a great job, but she glances at Nikki who is still listening intently, so maybe she does get what she's trying to say. She continues anyway.

"But I can't still be in love with you can I? Not after what I did to you when you were in prison."

Nikki knows she's referring to when Trisha dumped her for someone else. "Look, I don't think you can rely on anything that happened back then. Prison distorts things. That three years was so surreal, I don't think we can be sure of anything."

"But you're sure with Helen." Trisha looks up almost hopefully.

"I am now. I wasn't always in prison." Nikki sees Trisha almost deflate.

"Look Trish, I love you. I always will. But I'm not in love with you anymore. Deep down I don't think you're in love with me anymore."

Trisha nods, as Nikki continues. "I just think it's been a really emotional few weeks, and I think tonight took us back to a time before all the badness happened. And it's been amazing, but none of that's real, not anymore."

It's almost as if Nikki's words make a light go on in Trisha's brain. She was stuck in the past. She does love Nikki, but it's definitely a different kind of love now.

"When did you get so smart?"

Nikki smiles. "I've had a lot of time to think and educate myself over the last few years."

They both laugh, but Nikki needs to get serious for a second. She needs to make something perfectly clear.

"Trish, this is something we need to get past. I'm with Helen now. If this is going to be an issue going forward, then we might have to do alternate shifts or something?"

This scares Trisha to death, the thought of not having Nikki as a big part of her life makes her feel sick, she is almost panic stricken as she answers.

"No Nikki honestly, I just got caught a little down memory lane, I promise from now on I will be on my best behaviour. I'm just a little confused about how I'm feeling. You're right Nikki; I'm not in love with you. But I need you as part of my life."

Nikki's nods her head, and holds out her hand to Trisha. "Friends?"

Trisha readily accepts it. "The best of friends."

Nikki pulls her into a hug. Thank God that's sorted out. Her next Dilemma is if she should tell Helen or not, she's already pissed her off enough in the last couple of days.

Part 11

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