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 8

Helen smiled all the way home, her face hurts a little. It's only when she pulls up in front of her flat, and realises that she now has to break the news to Nikki, that Larkhall is firmly back on the agenda, that her grin turns into a frown, and a dull ache pounds at her temples. She exhales and makes her way into the flat.

She throws her keys onto the cabinet as she ushers into the living space. "Hiya babe." She shouts out, hoping her call will locate Nikki.

Nikki comes sauntering out of the kitchen, tea towel in hand, chewing on some form of foodstuff. She leans in and kisses Helen, who apparently can't get over the shock of seeing Nikki in a domestic situation.

"Are you cooking?" There's a high pitched squeal in her voice, showing her surprise. Nikki half laughs and is half offended at Helen's shock.

"I'll have you know, I'm a bloody good cook."

"I'm not surprised that you're cooking, I'm surprised you found any food in there!" This makes Nikki laugh out loud. She makes a quick confession.

"Well, I had to nip to the shop first. Otherwise we'd be having beans on toast. And the breads off, so we woulda struggled with that."

Now it's Helen's turn to laugh. She loves this. "So what are we having then?"

Nikki still in a playful mood. "Well I took inspiration from your vast array of takeaway menus, and deduced that you seem to like Indian food. So we're having a curry."

This earns her a slap on the arm from Helen. Nikki smiles. "I also bought a bottle of your favourite wine."

"I knew I loved you for a reason." Helen slips her hand into Nikki's as they make their way into the kitchen.

"The reason you really love me, is because I actually bought two bottles" Nikki winks at her lover, and gently positions her onto a stool in the kitchen, so she can keep her entertained whilst she's cooking. She pours a glass of wine and passes it to Helen, the smile still hasn't dropped from her face, she wants to pinch herself, everyday from now on will be like this. Well not exactly like this, but everyday will involve Nikki Wade.

She's pulled from her thoughts, by Nikki's next words, crashing back down to reality. "So how did the meeting go?"

Nikki looks up from the pan; the expression on Helen's face is difficult to read she immediately assumes it didn't go too well.

"They offered me the job." Well that was unexpected; Helen's face isn't matching her words.

"Well that's great Helen, why the sad face?" Nikki is genuinely puzzled.

"It just means bringing Larkhall back into our life, a bit sooner than either of us probably wants to."

"You won't be based there though will you?"

"Well no. But I'll still have to go there."

"Will you be okay with Fenner?" This is the thing that worries Nikki the most, he's one slimly bastard that can get away with, well, practically anything truth be told. The thought of what he did to Helen, abusing her like that, makes her blood boil.

Helen oblivious to Nikki's brooding rage. "They brought me in this afternoon, to tell me that I should never have to see him."

Now Nikki's surprised. "What they brought you in to tell you that?"

"Yeah." She nods. "They wanted to reassure me."

"Maybe his lucks running out."

"Let's hope so."

"Sounds like they really want you for the job too."

Helen smiles. "Yeah. I accepted it." Her eyes are on Nikki immediately. Worried.

"That's great Helen." Her smile is genuine.

"So you're okay about me going back into Larkhall?"

"Yeah, like you say it won't be all the time. As long as you don't cross paths with Fenner, I don't see an issue at all. Do you think you'll be okay with it?"

"I think with you to come home to every night, I can cope with anything."

"Soppy sod." Helen knows Nikki's teasing, and feigns hurt, but can't help the smirk that spreads on her face.

Nikki wants to broach what may be a slightly more tense subject. "Will you be okay working with Thomas?"

"Well I heard on the grapevine that he resigned, not long after me." Nikki can't help the relief that she feels, she knows she has absolutely no reason to be worried, and she trusts Helen implicitly, but she's happier knowing the dashing doctor won't be around.

That particular subject ends there, both feeling the awkwardness, Nikki decides to change the subject.

"Speaking of Larkhall, you're not the only one who's been having a little trip down memory lane."

"Oh?" Helen takes a sip from her glass of wine.

"I called Monica Lindsay while you were out. I'm having lunch with her tomorrow, if you fancy it?"

"Oh Nikki, I would love that."

Nikki's grin his less happy, more mischievous. Helen absolutely has to question it.

"What is that face about Wade?"

"Well I'm just happy that you're on board." Helen isn't buying it. "That, and Monica doesn't know a thing about me and you, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the look on her face when we rock up together."

They both laugh, and then get back to enjoying their evening. Excited for what tomorrow may bring.

Nikki had arranged to meet Monica at a pub on the outskirts of London, near to where her halfway house was situated. It's a lovely day sun shining. Nikki has gone in search of Monica, and left Helen at the bar getting some drinks.

She heads straight out of the back door into the beer garden, the weather really is sublime, she assumes Monica will be out here somewhere, and she isn't disappointed.

"Nikki." She hears Monica's resonance above the rest of the clamour, and instantly turns to where the voice has come from. A smile instantly hits her face, and she hurriedly makes her way over to her old companion. The two women collapse into a hug.

When they pull back, they both realise they have tears on their cheeks. "What a pair we are." Nikki smiles.

"Oh Nikki it's so wonderful to see you. I was so happy when I saw you released on the news."

"Not as happy as I was."

"Well go and get yourself a drink, and we can catch up properly."

"My drinks on its way actually."

Right on cue, Helen walks out of the back door, Nikki's eyes are immediately on her, there's that smile again. Monica follows Nikki's gaze and is absolutely astounded when she sees Helen Stewart.

Helen eventually makes her way over to the two women, Nikki is looking at her with immense pride, love affection, a million emotions being conveyed, she loves it when she looks at her like this. When she glances at Monica's expression it takes her all not to burst out laughing in the older woman's face.

She looks well and truly flabbergasted. She just looks from Nikki to Helen, then back to Nikki again, who decides to put her out of her misery.

"You've met my girlfriend Helen before haven't you Monica?"Helen can't help the smile that bursts onto her face, when Nikki refers to her as her 'girlfriend.' It's the first time she's heard it, and she loves it. Nikki says it as if it's no big deal; she of course knows it is, Monica makes a noise a bit like a rocket going off.

"I don't know what to say. I always knew you two liked each other, but never in a million years." Monica doesn't have the mental capacity to complete her sentence, she just looks at Nikki and Helen, and the adoring looks they're giving each other, she can tell her great friend and her old wing governor are deeply in love.

Monica shakes her head; it's almost as if the physical motion helps clear the mental cobwebs. "Right then ladies, grab a seat, it seems we've got a lot of catching up to do.

Monica heads back to the table; Helen wiggles her eyebrows at Nikki, before they join their companion at the table.

Catch up they certainly did. They spent the whole afternoon reminiscing, joking, laughing, and bringing Monica fully up to speed with what's happened since she left Larkhall, and how on earth the two of them came to be living together.

If was wonderful, and another step in the right direction for their relationship. It's been a good couple of days for Helen and Nikki. Although it seems their next big test will come next week. Nikki divulged over lunch, that since Helen would be starting work next week, and since she's hopefully overcome her anxiety about the office at the club, that she too will start back properly at work.

Helen is happy that their lives will be getting some structure and some normality to them, but she can't help but wonder if in light of their relationship so far, it might all be a little too normal for them.

Time will tell she supposes, right now she is just so unbelievably happy, and if their afternoon spent with Monica is anything to go by, Nikki feels exactly the same.

Part 9

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