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 14

After a few seconds of being stuck to the spot through sheer shock, suddenly both Neil Grayling and Sylvia Hollamby spring into life, they both sprint over to Jim's lifeless body at base of the building, Helen watches them almost in a daze, she hears a distant cry from Grayling.

"He's got a pulse call an ambulance."

Followed by Sylvia screaming instructions down her radio, her voice panic ridden. Helen's main concern is Karen, she runs as fast as her legs will carry her, to the entrance of the building and up numerous flights of stairs to the roof.

It feels like an eternity before she gets there in reality its only about 5 minutes, by the time she pushes the roof door open she can hear the whirring of the ambulance sirens below, she frantically runs towards Karen, who looks an absolute mess. She hasn't moved since the fall, she's still leant against the roof tiles, staring up into the sky, still sobbing.

Helen slowly makes her way towards the older woman. Karen snaps out of her trance when Helen comes into her line of sight.

"Is he dead?" Pure panic.

"I don't know." It's all Helen can manage. "Come on let's get you off of this roof."

Helen holds her hand out, Karen grabs it and pulls herself to her feet, she feels dizzy, like a head rush, almost as it she's stood up too fast. She steadies herself, and slowly follows Helen off the roof. This was not how she envisaged her day going. Fenner really does have a screw loose.

Helen had watched Fenner get rushed into an ambulance, before scrambling into a second vehicle with Karen. She was not in a good way, she had been beaten to within an inch of her life before Fenner tried to unceremoniously thrown her off the slates at Larkhall. She must have been running on adrenaline when Helen had spoken to her on the roof, she crashed in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, and had been rushed straight into surgery when they arrived. Helen was frightened.

That's how she remained, scared and confused, until Nikki had come running into the hospital waiting room, and rescued her. Christ she needed rescuing, and the tall former lifer didn't disappoint, she dropped everything at the club and, made her way to the hospital in record speed. When she arrived Helen was slumped in a chair, coat over her shoulders, hugging herself. She was on the verge of tears, and emotional oblivion by the looks of things. Nikki just slumped down beside her, and enveloped her into a hug. The tears flowed, Nikki's heart breaks, she's never seen Helen this upset.

They stayed here like this, hugging as if there life depended on it for an unidentified amount of time. Praying for Karen, confused over Fenner, not knowing if he was alive or dead. I mean he must be dead, surely? No one could survive a fall from that height, could they? They both realise that if anyone could it would definitely be Fenner, they're sure he's sold his soul to the devil at some point in the past.

They are pulled from their thoughts by the sound of someone clearing their throats, they are both equally astonished when they see Sylvia Hollamby lowering herself onto a seat nearby, she had accompanied Fenner in his ambulance. She looks rather uncomfortable, Helen can't decide if that's because she and Nikki are still clinging to each other, or if it's down to the fact that Bodybag has finally seen Fenner in his true light. They may be about to find out.

"I never knew Jim could be like that." Sylvia seems genuinely gutted.

"How is he?" Helen surprises herself and the other two women, by asking the question.

After getting over her initial shock Sylvia answers. "It's a miracle he survived the fall. He's in surgery."

Nikki is surprised at how sick she feels at the prospect of Fenner surviving. Before the conversation can continue any further a doctor waltzes over to the three of them, he's studying the chart in his hand way more than he's concentrating on the women in front of him.

"Helen Stewart?" He finally looks up. Helen nods to confirm she is who he's looking for. She swallows, her throat dry, he obviously has an update on Karen.

Again he is so pre occupied he doesn't appear to notice just how on edge the young Scot is. "Karen Betts has asked me to update you."

He smiles, as does Helen, Karen must be okay. Nikki lets go a huge sigh of relief. "She's out of surgery. She's going to be fine. She's a bit battered and bruised, but she'll be fine."

"Thank you. Can we see her?" Helen stands and shakes the doctor's hand has she speaks.

"Of course. She's in room 214." And just like that he disappears again. Helen moves to go in the direction of the aforementioned room with Nikki in close proximity. She turns back to face Sylvia, the woman really does looks battered.

"Will you be alright?"

Sylvia looks up at her former boss, and nods. She watches the former wing governor, stroll in the opposite direction hand in hand with a former prisoner of her care, once she is sure they are far enough away, she slumps back into the chair, and dissolves into tears.

Karen was a mess; Nikki could feel the rage building inside her as she looked over the cuts and bruises all over her former jailor's face, arms, and legs. The older woman seemed to be in good spirits, but both Helen and Nikki could tell she's putting on the bravest of brave faces. They are worried about their new friend.

They had to leave shortly after seeing Karen, it was getting late, and she was being kept in for a few days at least. They had tiredly made their way home, but found when they got there; sleep was the last thing on their minds. So they had cracked open a bottle of wine, and now here they are sprawled on the sofa a million thoughts racing through both their minds. The main one is Fenner, when they had left the hospital he had still been in surgery, so they still have no idea if he's alive or dead.

"What an awful day." The words seem to fall out of Helen's mouth.

Nikki reaches over and grabs her lover's hand. "Yeah well it's over now. Karen's gunna be okay." She tries her best to reassure her.

"What if he survives?" Helen needs to verbalise what is fast becoming her biggest fear.

"Look we don't know what's going to happen." Nikki pales at the thought, she knows as well as Helen does that if he survives they will be his first port of call for revenge. But she can't let her girlfriend see her fear; she knows this is exactly what Helen was worrying about before they got involved with him again.

"There's no use worrying about it right now." Nikki smiles trying her best to reassure her. She frowns as she sees Helen revert back into her mind. She decides to try and chance the subject.

"It seems so long ago now, what with all that's happened. But you never did tell me how you got on with Trisha?"

Helen looks over at Nikki grateful that she's trying to take her mind off Fenner. "In fact I don't think I've heard from Trisha since you went round? You didn't do anything drastic did you?"

Nikki smirks, and her heart leaps when Helen returns her smile. "We've come to an understanding."

"That sounds ominous."

"Nah, I spent the afternoon with her. I actually kinda like her."

"And by the time you left, did she kinda like you too?"

"Absolutely, we're gunna have a night out. Apparently she's got lots of amazing stories about you." Helen wiggles her eyebrows, the playfulness has returned to her eyes, for a split second she has forgotten the trauma that is currently happening in their lives, and she loves Nikki for being able to make her forget, even if it is only momentarily.

Nikki cringes at Helen's words. "You know, maybe you two being friends isn't such a good idea after all."

Helen laughs out loud, it's the first time she's felt like laughing for a while, and she enjoys it. But it's not long before her mind wanders back to the present day, and the laughter stops. "I can't wait for all of this to be over."

"I know." Nikki pulls her closer, and kisses her on top of the head. "Me too."

After a fitful night's sleep, if you could even call it sleep, Nikki and Helen had headed straight back to the hospital, they've just stepped into Karen's room, and pulled up a couple of chairs. Karen watches them intently as they do so.

"Wow. You two look like shit."

Karen bursts out laughing, and after the initial shock the other two women can't help but join in. Slightly worried however that Karen might have cracked up a little bit, not that she would blame her, Helen's feeling a little crazy herself.

"Let me tell you, your no oil painting yourself." Helen manages to speak through her giggles.

When the laughter eventually dies down, Karen has only one question in mind. "Do we know what's happened to Jim?"

Helen nods, suddenly feeling nauseous. Nikki feels the air seep out of the room, and the tension descends. She decides that they need to know, none of them are going to be able to relax, until they know how the land lies.

"I'll go and see what I can find out."

The skinny brunette lumbers out of the room, if she honest she's scared about what she will find out. She's scared, he's still alive.

Nikki meanders down the corridor, towards the nurses' station, she's really not sure how much they'll be able to tell her, it's not like she's family or that she even likes the man. She's essentially wanting to know if he's dead. This thought makes her feel very uncomfortable. Something catches her eye before she makes it to the station. Bodybag. Again Nikki feels bad at thought of her less than attractive nickname.

She switches her course towards the older woman, and the closer she gets the more she can tell just how dismayed Sylvia actually is. Nikki approaches her with caution; they're not exactly the best of friends.

"Mrs Hollamby, hi." It sounds weird as it comes from her lips. She's spoken softly and with comfort and compassion to her tone. In a million years she never thought she would ever speak to Bodybag like this, let alone refer to her as 'Mrs Hollamby'. She's glad she has though, when Sylvia looks up to the source of the voice, her face is a mess, tear stained, and contorted in pain. Nikki Wade, one of the last people she wanted to see. She can't speak.

"How's Mr Fenner?" Nikki braces herself, not really sure how Bodybag will react to her question, not really sure how she'll react to the answer.

"He didn't make it through the surgery. He's dead." Sylvia feels the depression that's engulfed her all morning take her in a vice like grip again. Nikki just feels pure relief. He's gone; he's finally out of Larkhall, away from her friends.

"I'm sorry to hear that."

Bodybags head whips up, incredulous. "You're not sorry." Sylvia is getting more and more worked up, the tears are coming in waves now, falling faster and faster.

"You hated him."

"I would never have wished him dead." Even as she says the words out loud, she's not entirely sure she's telling the truth.

"Nonsense you're a murderer." Nikki lets that one slide, as she watches the older woman work herself into more and more of a state, Nikki's not sure where her next actions come from, she sits in the chair next to Bodybag, and puts her arms around her, she fights at first, slamming her hands into Nikki's chest, she struggles against her, until finally Sylvia relents and leans into Nikki, sobbing. Nikki just rubs the old ladies back, and tries her best to sooth her. If the girls at Larkhall could see her now, she'd never live it down.

After Sylvia had calmed down, they descended into an awkward silence. Nikki edged away from the older lady; she knows she doesn't really like 'her kind'. Nikki had offered to give Bodybag a lift home, but she explained that 'her Bobby' was already on his way. Sylvia decided she would go and wait outside, she upped and left, she got a few strides down the corridor before turning back.

"Thank you Nikki."

Nikki just smiled and nodded, no words needed to be spoken. Sylvia smiled back before turning and continuing on her way.

After her encounter with Sylvia Nikki headed straight back to Karen's room, to tell them the 'good news.' Again it doesn't sit well with her, that she can consider a man's death to be good news, but this is Jim Fenner she's talking about after all. She wanders into the room, Karen and Helen were deep in conversation, but that came to an abrupt end as soon as they caught sight of the former prisoner.

"How did you get on?" Helen can't help the speed at which she asks the question, her desire to know the answer is immense.

Nikki takes a deep breath. "He's dead."

She looks at them both in quiet contemplation. Karen can't help the small crocodile tears that fall from her eyes. She had loved this man at one point in time, and ultimately had been the cause of his death, although that had truly never been her intention, she just wanted him out of Larkhall, away from those vulnerable women. But fundamentally it came down to her life or his, and luckily she found the strength to save herself.

Helen feels hollow. All she can think is, this is over, this is really over. She can't get past that thought, she doesn't feel happy or sad. Just numb. Fenner is out of her life for good, he can't get to her, or to Nikki, or anyone else for that matter. Inexplicably she just bursts into tears, she doesn't know why; they're not happy or sad tears. She just feels like she's been holding her breath since Karen Betts re-entered their lives, holding the emotions in, and now, like a dam bursting, all the emotions just pour out of her. It's taken both Nikki and Karen by surprise, but Nikki wastes no time in comforting the woman she loves.

Part 15

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