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 11

Nikki glances up, she takes in the sight before her, and it makes her shudder. She's currently regretting telling Barbara she would come to visit. Bit late to back out now. The bricks the huge bricks, and bars that had held Nikki prisoner for three long years, and now here she is, voluntarily walking back into the very same place. Anyone would think she was insane. She feels a little insane. But part of her needs to know what's been going on since she left; she needs to know that Fenner is behaving himself. She wakes up in a cold sweat some nights thinking about what that bastard might be doing to the friends she left behind.

The side door to the prison swings open, Nikki is about to see how the other half lived, not that she had many visitors while she was inside, Trisha a couple of times, and Helen of course. She's about to get a taster of what Helen went through when she made that particular visit. She follows the rest of the queue into the dingy building. Her heart sinks when she see's Bodybag and Di Barker on visitor duty, she's almost certain Bodybag will make her step to one side for a search.

"Name, and prisoner you're here to see." Bodybag doesn't even look up from the clip board, Nikki is thankful, she looks at Di who gives her a wry smile, she knows as well Nikki does, that as soon as she confirms her name, all hell will probably break loose.

Oh well, here goes nothing. "Nikki Wade, here to see Barbara Hunt."

Bodybag's head whips up at such a speed, Nikki's surprised she hasn't done herself a serious injury. The look on her face is Golden, it's the same look she was giving Helen in the restaurant on Friday night, she looks like a kettle about to boil, Nikki's sure steam is going to start bursting out of her ears at any point. It takes everything Nikki has to not burst out laughing, but she can't help the little smirk that creeps onto her face. It appears Bodybag has lost the ability to speak. Di who is swallowing down a smirk of her own takes over.

"Lovely to see you again Nikki." Nikki tears her sight away from Hollamby to focus on Di. "Barbara's really looking forward to seeing you."

Di gestures with her head that Nikki is free to enter the visitor's room. "Thank you." She has one last look at Bodybag; she really has the most entertaining of faces, before making her way through the final barrier.

She looks around the room, she recognises it well, pasty cream walls green painted doors, some proper dodgy looking prisoners, and visitors for that matter. Then there she is, the woman who had come to mean so much to her, wearing a very fetching orange vest.

"Babs." She can't hide how excited she is. Barbara is off her feet immediately, and pulls Nikki into a hug.

"Alright sit down." Doesn't take long for Bodybag to interrupt. Nikki just rolls her eyes, and smiles at her older friend before they both slink down into the plastic chairs.

"Oh Nikki it's wonderful to see you." She really is thrilled. "I want to know all about your life since you've been out."

"I'm not sure we can fit it all into a short visit."

This has Barbara intrigued; Nikki has been out for less than a month. "Well just give me the short version."

"The short version?" Nikki grins, she could have some fun with this. "Okay, well, Trisha and I are over for good. I'm back working at the club full time. I'm loaded. I've reacquainted with Monica Lindsay. Oh and I'm living with Helen Stewart. We got back together."

Barbara has just flown through a myriad of emotions, and facial expressions, from a frown at the news that Nikki and Trisha we're over, to a smile at the Monica Lindsay news, to a full blown open mouthed 'oh my god' to the Helen Stewart Bombshell. Nikki is actually laughing out loud. It seems her first trip back to Larkhall isn't going to be as bad as first anticipated.

Helen has almost made it through her first day at Larkhall unscathed. She's just got to make it back to her temporary office, finish up some paper work, and she will be out of here, and just in time to meet Nikki at the gate after visiting too.

It appears she's had this thought a little prematurely. The one person she desperately wanted to avoid, the one person who has the power to turn her so far pleasant day, into a disaster. Jim Fenner, heading straight for her. She grips her folder and braces herself for his inevitable onslaught.

"Helen, I heard you were back." Smarmy bastard.

"Hello Jim." Helen just wants this to be over as quickly as possible, he obviously can't help but gloat.

"You know I remember the last words you ever said to me." Unfortunately so does Helen, she cringes at the thought. He continues.

"I thought you were going to drag me all the way down with you?"

Helen gives him her most confident smile. "You know Jim, I guess I just realised, that you're not worth the effort, and there's more important things in life I could be focusing my energy on."

"Ah yes, how is the dashing doctor?" This takes Helen by surprise, Fenner grins when he sees Helen falter, it was only for a second, but that's exactly the reaction he was after.

"Oh that's right; Sylvia mentioned you were out with that dyke Nikki Wade over the weekend."

Helen wants to smash his face in. "My private life's really got nothing to do with you at all has it?"

"Quite right Helen, I'm sure Area Management would very interested to know the kind of company you're keeping."

She laughs at him, talk about déjà vu is that really the best he can muster, she's going to enjoy her next sentence. "You've got no idea have you Jim." She shakes her head. "You're right, Area Management were interested. Especially when I told them that we're lovers, and we live together."

Jim thinks his brain has actually exploded. He can barely formulate a thought, never mind a sentence. Satisfied Helen saunters off, but before she can get fully away he manages to regain his speech, of course he would have to have the last word.

"Be careful Helen."

She sighs. "Likewise Jim."

With that she has definitely had enough of this conversation, she heads off again, and this time doesn't let him get the last word. Jim is furious. He knew he should have brought Helen Stewart down when he had the chance, who does she think she is coming back her, strutting around like she owns the place, flaunting her relationship with an ex con. It makes him physically sick to his stomach and one thing's for sure. He will not stand for this.

Nikki has spent the last 20 minutes filling Babs in the best she can on the goings on her life over the last month. Barbara has been engrossed, Nikki has been so animated, freedom really suits her, she can tell her friend is immensely happy with her life on the outside. But the frown when Nikki finishes her tale, is what gives her away, Barbara used to spend twenty four seven locked in a six by eight feet cell with Nikki, she can read her like a book, and she can tell something is bothering her, for some reason she's not as happy as she's making herself out to be.

"Nikki." She says it with such compassion it actually worries Nikki, she looks up a Babs and she just looks concerned. Nikki is puzzled.

"What's going on?" the sympathy never leaves Babs tone. Nikki gets rather uncomfortable and starts playing with her fingers, in the end she knows talking about it will probably be the best thing to do, but quietly, the last thing she needs is Bodybag overhearing.

She exhales loudly, before letting the words tumble from her lips. "I fucked up. Trish kissed me and I let her."

Barbara can't believe her ears, after everything Nikki has been through with Helen she can't believe that she would be so stupid. "When?"

"Saturday night."

"Oh Nikki what happened?"

"It was our first really busy night back working, and we kind of transformed back in time. Trish let her emotions get the better of her."

Nikki takes a deep breath before continuing. "She kissed me, and I've hurt her so much already with the whole Helen situation, I didn't have the heart to hurt her again. I kissed her back for like a second before I pulled away, and told her in no uncertain terms that I'm in love with Helen."

Well that's not nearly as bad as Barbara was thinking. "What did Helen say when you told her?"

The look of guilt on Nikki's face conveys to Barbara that she hasn't told Helen at all, no wonder she feels miserable.

"Nikki, you've got to tell her."

Nikki knows this; she's really not looking forward to it. "What if she doesn't forgive me?"

Barbara tries her best to reassure her friend. "Look the way you've explained it to me, you haven't actually done anything wrong. The only thing you're guilty of is trying to spare a good friends feelings."

"If Helen kissed one of her exes, no matter what the circumstances. I would lose my mind."

Barbara can't help but smirk. "Good to see a little bit of the old Nikki is left."

Nikki can't help but reciprocate the smile. Barbara gets serious again. "Nikki the worst thing that could happen, is you not telling her, and it coming out further down the line. Then it will really look like you had something to hide."

Nikki hadn't really thought about it like this. Babs was right, she needs to tell Helen. "I'll tell her tonight."

"Let me know how it goes."

"I will do I'll write."

"Right, come on, you've had your time." Bodybag's voice cuts through the air like a fog horn. Nikki rises from her chair.

"Give my love to Yvonne and the rest."

"I will do, don't be a stranger."

Nikki gives Barbara a kiss on the cheek, before heading for the exit; she's starting to feel a little claustrophobic. She heads to the main gate to wait for Helen.

The guard on the gate had recognised Nikki, and had been interested to know how she'd been getting on since she'd been released, so she'd chatted to him for a while, then been allowed to wait for Helen by her car, which is where she is currently, sitting on the bonnet. She can't help but grin when she sees Helen coming towards her, there definitely something about Helen in these surroundings, in that suit.

Helen can see the playful grin on Nikki's face and she knows exactly what's on her mind. "What are you grinning at Wade. You're not thinking about a trip to the potting shed are you?"

Helen gives Nikki her sexiest smile, Nikki can't help but giggle, she bites her bottom lip. "Now I am."

Helen pulls Nikki in and gives her a kiss, it's more than a peck, but Helen knows not to push her luck. She pulls back. "Bet you never thought you'd get to do that here did you?"

"No ma'am, I thought that kind of behaviour was strictly for the art room." Nikki wiggles her eyebrows.

"Come on, let's get home."

Nikki jumps into the passenger side, happy. Knowing it might not last when she comes clean later.

Fenner has watched the whole exchange from one of the barred windows, if his encounter in the hall with Helen made him sick, what he's just witnessed makes him extra nauseous. He can't bare it.

They had been home for about an hour, and just sat through a pleasant enough dinner. Helen's starting to think Nikki's first visit back to Larkhall has been a little harder than she's letting on. She can tell there's something on her mind, she decides to try and broach the subject.

"How was Barbara?"

Nikki can't help the smile that appears on her face, it really was good to see her old friend. "She was great. She filled me in on all the goings on."

"Anything interesting?"

"Yvonne got accused of murder, and tried to escape. Basically it seems like Yvonne been keeping the masses entertained."

Helen nearly chokes on her cup of tea. "Who got murdered?"

"Virginia O'Kane."

Nikki doesn't notice the change in Helen's demeanour. Fenner, it had to be that bastard. She's bets it wasn't coincidence that Yvonne got the blame either. It makes her sick to the stomach to think of a man like that in the prison service. She vowed internally, that she wouldn't get mixed up with him again, she's got Nikki now, that all she's really ever wanted, but that vow is proving exceptionally difficult to adhere to right now.

"Has she been charged?"

Nikki wonders why Helen is so interested, but just shrugs it off. "I dunno, Babs seems pretty sure that she's gunna prove her innocence, so hopefully it should all be okay in the end."

Helen decides to put that out of her mind, trying to nail Fenner, and her last demise at Larkhall really was one of the lowest parts of her life, one she doesn't particularly want to revisit. Judging by the smile on her lovers face, it can't have been anything Barbara said that's put her in this weird mood. She decides to just ask.

"Nikki is everything okay? You've been acting shady since we got home?"

Nikki swallows, she actually feels sick, but she remembers Barbara's words from earlier. She knows she has to do this. She's really not looking forward to Helen's response. The look on Nikki's face has Helen worried.

"I've got to tell you something. You're not gunna like it?"

The panic starts to rise in Helen. She almost wishing she hadn't pushed the subject. She was laughing a few minutes ago, and now Nikki looks on the verge of tears. She nods her head to signal for Nikki to continue.

Deep breath. Here goes nothing. "Saturday night. Trish kissed me."

She decides to get more information before she hits the roof. "Did you kiss her back?"

The guilty look on Nikki's face and the fact she hasn't offered an answer yet is pretty conclusive evidence to Helen that she did. It kills her. She actually rises from her seat, and can't help the level her volume increases when she gets her next words out.

"Well did you?"

Nikki looks Helen square in the face as she finally offers her answer. "Yes I did."

Helen can't believe her ears, a thousand questions whirring around her brain, she actually starts to pace up and down the kitchen. Nikki hates herself. One of the many questions buzzing around Helen's head finally makes it to her lips.

"Why?" She stops pacing and just stands glaring at Nikki, hands on hips. If looks could kill.

"She was crushed, when you and I got together. I crushed her by choosing you." Helen softens a little. Nikki continues. "I just didn't want to hurt her anymore."

"But it was alright to hurt me?" a tear falls from Nikki's eyes at Helen's words.

"I wasn't thinking." This doesn't sound right to Nikki. "Maybe I was thinking too much, I don't know. But before I knew it her lips were on mine, and it took a second for me to get them off."

"A second?" Helen needs Nikki to be really clear here.

"Yeah a second."

"So you didn't really kiss her back then?"

Nikki's confused. "But I didn't pull away immediately."

Helen almost laughs with relief. She had visions of a full blown pashing session. The fact that Nikki is beating herself up over something relatively little, makes Helen realise just how much Nikki must love her, and just how scared she is of losing her. Helen decides to put Nikki out of her misery.

She places a hand on either side of Nikki's face. "You idiot. I thought you'd been snogging her face off, you looked so guilty."


"Look Nikki I'm not going to pretend I'm happy about this. But you don't need to look so worried. I'm not going anywhere."

Nikki can't formulate words; she just nods her head as a boat load of happy tears stream down her face. Helen releases her, but she can't help but think they still have a massive issue on their hands. One that makes her terrified to her soul.

"Does she want you back?"

Nikki looks up. Helen looks terrified. "No. She just got caught up in the past. I told her in no uncertain terms that I don't want her. I only want you."

She tries her best to reassure her, but Helen still looks worried. She sighs. "This is so fucked up Nikki. You two have to work together. Is she going to try it again, is this something I need to be worried about?"

"Not on my part it isn't." Nikki is defiant.

"And what about on Trisha's part?" Nikki doesn't really have an answer for that. "I'm gunna have to talk to her Nikki."

"Are you sure that's wise?"

"Nikki I can't sit home every night worrying about what you're up to."

"Helen I told you, you won't have to do that. I'm not interested in Trisha."

"Yes you are Nikki." She sees that Nikki is about to protest, so she explains herself. "You said to me, Trisha is a big part of your life. Which is fine, but if she keeps trying it on with you, I'm going to kill her. If she wants to be part of your life, then I need to talk to her."

Nikki knows better than to argue with Helen when's she in this sort of mood. Why does everything have to be so difficult?

Part 12

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