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 4

It has been a week since Nikki Wade left Larkhall for good. Seven solitary days. After almost four years inside, she was now completely free, and more than that, she had the woman of her dreams, Helen Stewart. Things this good just don't happen to her, or at least they hadn't seemed to in recent history. It was certainly taking some getting used to.

She can't get used to it. She is lying staring at the ceiling, in Helen's bed, their bed. She can hear the rise and fall of her lover's chest beside her; it's a sound she could listen to for all eternity. She pulls the cover round her, snug, warm, comforting. Complete opposite to the damp cold stale air she had occupied.

But she can't get used to it, she feels restless. She looks over at the clock, 12.25am, she glances towards the window, the curtains slightly open, it is of course dark, but the light from the street lamps is illuminating the shadowy bedroom. She sneaks out of the bed trying not to disturb Helen, and heads for the window and looks out, over into the park at the other side of the road. It wasn't much, a few trees, green grass, but compared to the car park chic on view from her cell in Larkhall, it was like looking into a Monet Landscape.

Helen had been woken by the draft of cold air that had crept into the bed, when Nikki departed. She watched as her lover tentatively made her way over to the window, and watched her face illuminate as she takes in the scene before her. Helen quietly slips out of bed, and creeps up behind Nikki, placing her arms around her waist and her chin on her shoulder, and joins her in taking in the view. She chuckles when Nikki is startled by her touch, and her heart rate escalating under her touch, makes her feel alive.

"Do you want to go out?"

Nikki is taken aback, firstly that Helen has spoken at all, and secondly at her actual words. She's confused.

"What, now?" The quizzical look on her face almost makes Helen laugh out loud.

"Yeah. Why not, there's nothing stopping us, is there?"

Nikki smiles as she gets the importance of Helen's words, it still comes as a surprise to her that she can do whatever she wants, whenever she wants, within reason of course. And right now, she would love nothing more than to stroll round this very park, outside this very window, with this very wonderful woman in tow.


Helen loves this, she loves that she's here to share all of this with Nikki, she grins and quickly starts hunting for some warm clothes, Nikki watches her intently for a moment, with pure love, and then quickly joins her in the scramble for clothes.

It was a little chillier than expected, but they had equipped themselves well with hats, scarf's and gloves, they had essentially played in the park, walking joking, laughing, simply enjoying each other's company. There had been no heavy relationship talk, no worries about the future, just them, Helen and Nikki.

They did a lap of the park, then Nikki, spotted a play park, and ran over like an over excited child, Helen rolls her eyes playfully, but runs over to the park just as quickly as Nikki had just moments before. When she gets over to her, Nikki has already sat herself in one of the swings. Helen starts to push her, and they get lost in the moment, it's like they've suddenly become embroiled in a competition, to see just how high she can go.

After getting to quite an altitude, with Helen's help as chief pusher, they had both burst into fits of giggles. Life is good. Is past one in the morning, and they are playing on park swings, it blows Nikki's mind, and she loves it, and she loves Helen for being a part of it. For accommodating her every whim, and for understanding how big, these 'small' things are to her.

Helen moves round to the front of the swing and steadies herself by putting a hand on each of the chains, she catches the thoughtful look on Nikki's faces, and raises her eyebrow, quizzically.

"What are you thinking Wade?"

Nikki loves it when Helen is playful with her, which she is clearly being now; the use of her surname is evidence of that. She snaps out of her thoughts and feels her face break into a massive smile, one which is instantly replicated on Helen's face.

"I was just thinking how unbelievably lucky I am."

If possible this makes Helen's smile even wider, she can't help but play a little more, she tries to suppress her smile a little, but fails miserably, but tries her best to look serious, like what she's about to say is a legitimate question.

"Oh yeah? Whys that then?"

Nikki just smirks back, and decides not to dignify that with an answer. Instead she lifts slightly from the seat of the swing and takes Helen's lips in her own, and they stand there like that, lost in the moment, kissing like teenagers. It's only the great British weather that stops them, as large orbs of rain start to descend onto their heads. Helen can feel Nikki smiling into her lips, she reluctantly pulls back, they both look up to the heavens and burst out laughing, before instantly running like school children as fast as they can back into the flat.

Last night had been amazing, possibly Nikki's favourite night since she obtained freedom, simply because it signified her freedom so well. Life has been good in the last few days, Nikki and Helen both seem to embrace the 'live now, worry later' philosophy in life. They had been shopping for clothes, browsing for a new car, and generally just living life, but they had been very careful to make it just them. It was as if nobody else existed. They had enjoyed living in their bubble, but they're both adult to realise that real life would soon be back with a vengeance.

That day seems to be approaching, they had woken up that morning, to a letter confirming that Helen had in fact gotten an interview for one of the jobs she'd applied for, they were both pretty astounded, as it was a job in Area Management. Helen liked the look of the job, and it's something she knows she would really be able to get her teeth into, but after the covert way she left Larkhall, with no so much as an explanation as to why she was resigning, and of course the small matter of a sexual abuse allegation against Jim Fenner, she never realistically thought she would ever get an interview. But she was definitely excited about it.

Another slap round the face reality wise was an answer phone message from Trisha, informing Nikki that they needed to talk, she has apparently had the house valued, and now for the first time in 4 years, Nikki has an adult decision to make. It seems after the last few days of just enjoying life in a child like manner; Nikki and Helen, for that matter are going to have quite a few adult decisions to make.

Nikki has decided to bite the bullet, she has left Helen at home preparing for her interview which is the day after tomorrow, and has just walked through the door of the house she shared with Trisha, she finds the diminutive blonde in her favourite place, the kitchen, perched at the island, flicking through a magazine. She looks up and a genuine smile appears on her face as Nikki enters the kitchen.

"Alright Nik. You got my message then?"

"Yeah I thought I'd come and get the good news in person."

Trisha can barely contain her excitement, she practically squeals, Nikki can't help but grin at her enthusiasm, obviously something has her animated, she nearly falls off of her chair as she gushes;

"Oh Nik, its great news." Nikki can't help but smile, it seems Trish is so excited, she's actually forgotten to share what the 'great news' is.

"Are you gunna keep me in suspense all morning?"

"Seven Million."

"Excuse me?" Nikki really has no idea what she is on about.

"That's what the agent thinks we should put this place on the market for, reckons we should get about six and half for it."

Nikki sits down on the nearest stool, she has to, a gust of wind could have knocked her over there and then.

"I can't believe it." It's barely a whisper, she is genuinely in shock.

"Well it took me a long time to get my head round it too."

Nikki can't help but voice the first concern that comes into her mind, her mind which is still fuzzy with confusion.

"Helen's going to have a fit."

The smile quickly disappears from Trisha's face. "What? What are you on about?"

"You know how she was with money before."

"Have you two not sorted that out? I've not seen you for a week Nik, I just assumed, you two had been talking?" Trish is concerned for her friend now, when she heard the valuation, all she could think about was the next property she was going to buy interior design and paint samples. It worries her that Nikki's first concern is what detrimental effect it might have on her relationship.

"We've been doing the exact opposite. Hiding. Living life in the moment."

Nikki has gone into a kind of trance now, she starts to worry. She and Helen have had the most amazing few days, but now it seems reality will be back to bite them, full force. What with Nikki's windfall from the house, Helen going back to work, Nikki going back to work even. Not for the first time since her release, Nikki's mouth goes dry with panic. Can their relationship survive in the real world, because truthfully, that's something that it's never had to do in the past?

Part 5

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