DISCLAIMER: Bad Girls is the property of Shed productions, this story depicts a loving/sexual relationship between women...okay, disclaimer done.
Karen sat down heavily at her desk. Max had just left after explaining what was now expected of her. There would be an officer joining from H wing on Monday to replace Jim but it meant she was a senior officer down and so had to promote one of the juniors, perhaps Di. And with Gina also gone it meant that they were going to be short over the weekend, so it looked like she would be working when this was supposed to be her weekend off. At least she wouldn’t be at home with Jim. How was she going to face him after this. For months now she had heard the whispers about him but had put it down to spite from others. Seemed she was wrong. She was going to have to deal with Jim and their relationship later though, for now she had to knuckle down and concentrate on work, especially as she had the feeling that head office were going to be swarming all over Larkhall and G wing any moment now looking for a scapegoat to blame for this mess.
Barbara entered her cell and the first thing she noticed was the absence of anything Nikki. The cell had been cleared so thoroughly that if Barbara hadn’t been 100% sure that Nikki used to share a cell with her she would have never of known that Nikki had been here. Walking over to the desk she pulled out the seat and was about to sit down when an envelope caught her eye. Picking it up she recognised Nikki’s handwriting and quickly opened it and pulled the sheet of paper from within. Sitting down in the chair she read the letter all the way through quickly, before starting it again, this time slower, trying to digest all that Nikki had said.
The atmosphere in the Officers lounge was very subdued. Di, Sylvia and Mark were all sat staring at their mugs of tea on the table in front of them.
“There has to be some mistake. I’ve known Jim Fenner since he was a grass green rookie. He’s one of the most honest officers I know” Sylvia said.
“Oh come off it Sylvia, Jim’s as bent as a three pound note. You’re just too blind to see it. I’ve seen it, Di’s seen it, hell even you’ve seen it. Just the other week when Shell Dockley was attacked ... you can’t tell me that you didn’t have your suspicions.” Mark said harshly, he was fed up of Sylvia always sticking up for Jim, even now she was still loyal.
“Of course I believed him, and I still do. He’s my friend Mark and fellow officer and you should remember that also. Nothings been proved yet. It’s innocent till proven guilty you know.”
Di could see that Sylvia was getting very flustered so shook her head at Mark to stop anything further while reaching over and squeezing Sylvia’s hand. “It’s alright Sylvia, Mark knows that, it’s just been a stressful day that's all. Come on how about another cup of tea and I think I saw some jammy dodgers in the cupboard. How about it hey, we deserve a little treat.” and smiling weakly she got up to put the kettle on.
Drinking from the bottle in the brown bag Jim sat huddled in his Prison Officers duffel coat, while brooding over what had happened. Suspended! How could he have been suspended for doing his job. Jim wasn’t in the best of moods. He had been humiliated in front of all his friends and colleagues, and it was all those bitches faults. If it took him to the end of his days he would make Helen Stewart, Michelle Dockley and Nikki Wade pay for what they had done to him.
Putting her box on the table Helen made her way into her kitchen looking for something to drink. Sat on the work surface was the bottle of Vodka she had bought last night. Reaching forward Helen grabbed the bottle round the neck and a glass from the cupboard and sat down at the table. “What a fucking day” she muttered to herself while unscrewing the top. She thought having to sit through the meeting with the G wing officers had been bad. Things had gotten much worse since. Slugging back the vodka Helen recalled the humiliation of having her office searched by Max Hart and her colleague. Recalling the moment when Max had sat down at her desk and opened the top drawer Helen pulled the small photo out of her pocket and ran her finger over the face, with tears in her eyes.
“There’s nothing here Tara, why don’t you go and help Jerry with Mr Fenner” Max had said to her colleague. As soon as Tara had left though Max had reached into the drawer removed the small file photo of Nikki and tossed it at Helen. “Better keep that safe, don’t want the wrong person to find it do we” and with that Max had left saying that she should pack up any belongings she wanted to take with her and meet them in the car park in ten minutes.
Pouring herself another drink Helen made her way through to the front room with the picture. At least there had been one moment of joy today she thought as she remembered the look on Jim Fenner’s face when he had realised that in all likely hood his assault on her had been recorded for prosperity and that there was no way he could wheedle his way out of this one, although he would definitely try. In fact his expression had almost made the day worth it.
The ringing of the phone in the hall bought her out of her reverie, standing up she was just reaching for it when the answer phone kicked in.
“Helen ... it’s me. If your there pick up .... please. I need to talk to you” Nikki’s disjointed voice came through the tinny speaker. Reaching with a shaking hand Helen’s fingers hovered over the receiver about to pick it up, but then the phone went dead as the tape ran out of message time, so instead she pressed the button to delete all messages. She really wasn’t in the mood to talk to Nikki right now, it was all still too raw and painful, so instead she leaned down and pulled the jack out of the wall and went back into the living room and to her misery.
Nikki put the phone down and turned to face the rest of the team. They were in the pub celebrating the end of a successful campaign. Everyone was enjoying themselves, except her. Gina was telling some anecdote about their time inside and the others were all laughing at it. When Gina had opened the cell door this morning she had been surprised to learn that she knew who she was and that she was actually a member of her own team. It had taken the sight of Mich next to her to realise that it was true. All those weeks she had thought she had been alone and all the time she had had back up from an unknown source, she would have to talk to Max about that later.
Walking over to the bar she ordered a diet coke and went back to her colleagues to join in the celebration, thoughts of Helen still in her mind.
Max looked over at the forlorn figure of her sister stood at the bar. Nikki had just got off the phone for the fifth time and didn’t look too happy with the way the call went. Max knew she had been trying to get into touch with Helen ever since they had left head office after a preliminary report of the investigation given to the big boss, he seemed to be happy with the whole job and was in agreement with Max that there would probably be no case brought against Helen Stewart - especially as the main witness Nikki wouldn’t want to give evidence. He was astute enough to know that even if they forced Nikki to give evidence she would probably quit the service and it wasn’t worth the lose of a fine investigator.
Glancing at her watch Max noted that it was after 4 o’clock. Gracie should be home from school by now, time to take Nikki home to her daughter. But first she would be expected to say something to the team, so standing up she took one last sip of her lager and turned to address the group.
“Guys ...” she said getting their attention. “Guys, I want to thank you all for a job well done. I know it’s been a tad longer than expected so thank you for all your hard work and patience, especially you three” inclining her drink Max saluted Mich, Nikki and Gina, while the others in the group nodded their agreement. “You all know that this hasn’t been an easy assignment with one thing and another, but I have never been more ... proud to work with anyone else as I have with working with you all over the last eight months. We’re a good team ... no we’re a good bunch of friends and long may it last that way. To friendship” Max toasted, raising her glass and smiling as everyone else followed suit. Smiling at Nikki, she was glad to see her sister finally smile herself while joining in the toast.
After waiting for everyone else to say something Max turned to Nikki “I think there is someone at home waiting for you. Lets not keep her waiting any longer eh?” and saying goodbye to the others they left.
Opening the door, Max stepped back allowing Nikki to enter first. It was strange to be back in this place that for so many years she had called home. Glancing around Nikki could almost see her sisters all milling around like they had so many times before, Terry waltzing along the hall on her way out on a date, Max leaning on the door jamb to the lounge and Alex sat on the stairs while chatting on the phone. At thoughts of Alex, Nikki felt tears start to prick at the thought that she wouldn’t ever see her youngest sister again. Seeing the house through Nikki’s eyes Max knew exactly what she was thinking and reached out to pull her into a hug.
“It’s good to have you home Nikki” she whispered into Nikki’s hair.
“It’s good to be home” Nikki whispered back, then pulling herself together she turned from Max and made her way into the lounge, from where she could hear the sounds of the TV.
Standing in the doorway she looked at the small figure of her daughter concentrating on an episode of some children’s program. Max just left them to it and went into the kitchen to phone Trish.
It took Gracie a few moments to realise that there was someone else in the room with her. Spinning around she lay there for a few more moments before bounding up and running into Nikki’s waiting arms. “Mommy, mommy I’m glad your home”
When Max came into the room after finishing her phone call mother and daughter were still both in each others arms. Leaving it a couple of seconds before interrupting them Max went back to the kitchen to see what they had in the cupboards for tea. When she came back Nikki and Gracie were sat on the couch, and Gracie was filling Nikki in on what had happened while she was away.
“How about a take away for tea? any ideas?”
Both heads swivelled towards her and at the same time answered “Chinese please” and giggling went back to hugging each other.
“Alright Chinese it is. I’ll go get it then shall I” and leaving them to each other she went out to get the take away.