DISCLAIMER: Bad Girls is the property of Shed productions, this story depicts a loving/sexual relationship between women. The characters that do not feature in Bad Girls are ones I have written in – They're mine, don't steal them! *grabs protectively at the characters she likes*
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is my first Bad Girls fic. I have never seen the show, but have only read A LOT of Bad Girl fics (mainly from this site I might add…). I decided to write what and where I know about, excluding the Bad Girls characters of course. I put them, Nikki and Helen, into a place I'm familiar with, my environment, a school. The sub-plot is a sort of mirror to my take of Nikki's and Helen's relationship, but a do-over, a chance to get things right. Ok, I've said too much, me shutting up now… All feedback, bar flames, is welcome. Also, thank you to my Bad Girls beta – Lisa, and my good friend Ash for putting up with my ranting.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Life Lessons



The tale is located in a medium sized town, in the state of New South Wales in Australia on the planet Earth. This town went by the name of Newcastle. Several years ago 2 friends went to a school there, one a year older than the other. They were close and one had more feelings than the other.

The eldest had to go to a uni in another town, because it offered the best for her chosen career. The youngest went to Newcastle uni, to follow her own career path. During this time they drifted apart and went on with their lives. They were both saddened by their lost friendship and had reflected on it over the years.


Part 1

Now, in a 2 bedroom house of Roisin Conner and Cassie Tyler, Nikki Wade stood in the kitchen helping Roisin prepare dinner. Cassie was bringing a friend from uni over who was also starting a new job.

Nikki finished uni 2 years ago and had been working as a drama teacher at public schools along the east coast. Now she was returning to her home town to work at the school she was taught in – Belmont High School.

"So what's Cassie's friend like?" Nikki asked while chopping up some spinach.

"All I know is that she is a vegetarian." Roisin replied. Cassie and Roisin hadn't been in a relationship for long and were still getting to know each other. They had moved in together as house mates and had an instant attraction. 3 months later they were sharing a room and letting Nikki stay in the other.

Nikki nodded. "I used to have 2 friends that were vegetarian."

Roisin nodded as both women heard the key in the door and soft voices. They both wiped their hands on a towel and went out to greet the new comer. When Nikki saw Cassie's friend she froze and went pale.

Cassie, not noticing Nikki's reaction, went on to the introductions. "This is my girlfriend Roisin and our friend Nikki. And this is Helen."

Roisin held out her hand to Helen who took it. "It's nice to meet you Helen."

"Likewise." Helen replied politely. Her attention was focused on Nikki. "Hi Nikki."

Nikki tried to speak but nothing came out. She cleared her throat and tried again. "Ah… Hi Helen."

Cassie and Roisin looked between them confused. "Hang on, do you two know each other?" Roisin finally said.

Helen and Nikki both nodded neither breaking eye contact with each other. Nikki's past was flooding back to her. "It's been a long time…"

"Too long."

Nikki nodded.

Roisin, knowing Nikki the way she did, decided it would be best to leave the two. There was something between them in the past and they needed time to sort it out, especially since they would be working together. Roisin gestured to the kitchen with her head to Cassie and the both left to finish cooking dinner.

"Um, have a seat. Do you want a drink?" Nikki thought that playing hostess would be a good shield. Little did she know…

"No thanks. I'm fine. How have you been?" Helen asked while taking a seat on the 2 seater.

Nikki looked for a way into the kitchen but saw Cassie and Roisin in a very passionate embrace. She decided that she couldn't run any longer and sat in the 1 seater furthest away from Helen.

"I've been good. What about you?"

"Good… good. I've been good."

"You said 'good' already."

Helen glared are Nikki playfully. "Are you mocking me?"

"You know as well as I do that I am. You got a problem with that?"

Helen grinned. "I suppose not."

"Good ol' times, eh?"

"Very good old times." Helen said while nodding. She remember the 'good old times' well.

Her and Nikki had been really good friends. They had talked a lot and got on like a house on fire. There was 1 year between them but that never made a difference. Helen had always known that Nikki had 'extra' feelings for her, but she hadn't felt anything in return so she had ignored it. At uni Helen sensed that Nikki was actually making an effort not to call her. She didn't know why and when Nikki, during her second year, stopped calling altogether, they lost contact. Now she was here again.

"So, I hear you've got a new job. Where are you going to be working?"

"I'm the new welfare officer at Belmont High."

"You're kidding me!" Nikki nearly choked.

"Ah, no."

"Whoa, this is weird."

"What is?"

"I'm the new drama teacher… at Belmont High."

Helen looked shocked for a moment then started laughing. This sent Nikki laughing. They both found it so amusing that they both have returned to the scene of the crime, the place where they had become friends, and the place where Nikki had fallen in love with Helen.

Cassie and Roisin entered the room to quite a sight. Nikki and Helen were in tears from laughter. They could see how them working together was funny, but surely it isn't this funny? There was something in the past of these two…

4 hours and 4 bottles of wine later they were well and truly drunk and were talking about work. Roisin had probed for info on Helen and Nikki's past but they only said they were once friends, at Belmont High, and are happy to see each other again. Nikki had talked about her other schools, Helen talked about uni and why she chose to be a welfare officer, and Cassie and Roisin chipped in here and there but mainly just listened.

By the time 2 am rolled round they were tired and ready for sleep. No one was fit to drive and Roisin had an idea. She just hoped Nikki was drunk enough to agree to it.

"Well, we're going to bed. I thought that since you two are friends then you could share a bed. The lounge isn't big enough and, well, you are friends…" Roisin thought that it sounded better in her head. Maybe she couldn't handle her alcohol as well as she used to.

Helen and Nikki looked at each other. Nikki was scared that more of the feelings she had for Helen would be brought up if she got any closer. Helen was afraid Nikki didn't want to. She wanted to become friends again. She missed the closeness they had, even if it did confuse her at times.

"I don't mind if it's ok with you." Helen spoke awkwardly.

Nikki blinked. "Um, it's fine with me."

Roisin stood from her spot on the floor and dragged Cassie up with her. She had been leaning on Cassie as they both believe the floor is safer when under the influence. "Great. Night guys!" Roisin said as her and Cassie entered their bedroom and closed the door. Cassie was too tired to even know what was happening.

When Nikki and Helen were settled in bed they lay on their backs in an awkward silence. Nikki was uncomfortable on her back so she rolled on her side, facing Helen. Helen too rolled to face Nikki, but her reason was to talk.

"How come you're living with Cass and Roisin?"

"I can't decide whether I want to buy or build a house."


Nikki decided not to tell her that she had enough money to buy and build a house. During the last year of uni she had her first book published under the alias Nina Wake. She has had 3 more books published since then. So far only her close family knows, along with Roisin.

Nikki and Roisin had met at uni and had become close friends. They were both into women but never found more than friendship in each other. Roisin had got a job at Warners Bay High school straight after uni and had moved up here, but was now working at Belmont High also.

Her sister owned this house but, since she was doing Missionary work in some third world country, had given it to Roisin to take care of. She had only recently decided to rent the other room out. That had brought Cassie to her, and now Nikki was occupying the second room.

"Thinking of getting something close to the school?"

"I was planning to stay here until I knew how work would be…"

"I'm sure it will be fine. Just think, you already have friends there!"

Nikki smiled. "I do."

The conversation changed to lighter subjects for the next hour or so. They went through likes and dislikes, the places they've seen, how friends and family are going, never really talking about themselves or how they feel. When they were both dropping to sleep they said goodnight and got comfortable.


"Yeah Helen?" Nikki replied sleepily. She was barely conscious.

"I really missed you…"

Nikki, now fairly awake, held back the tears. "I missed you too."

Nikki was released from sleep by a throbbing headache, but for some reason she didn't feel too bad. There was a hole in her that has been partly filled. If her head wasn't hurting so much she may have figured out what it was.

Nikki felt weighed down on her left side. It seemed strange because she was warm there. What could cause that? Nikki tried to open her eyes. One eyed obeyed and opened to reveal Helen half lying on top of her.

Helen's head was tucked into Nikki's neck, her arm was across Nikki's stomach, and one of her legs and comfortably placed between Nikki's. Nikki thought she was dreaming, after all, this scene wasn't unfamiliar to her unconscious visions. By only moving her eye she determined that her arm was under Helen's head and bent to hold her, her other hand was resting on Helen's upper arm, the one across her stomach. This was definitely too good to be true as far as Nikki was concerned.

As uncertainty took over, Nikki was resolute not to move in case she disturbed Helen. She didn't want to move from this place, ever. Memories and feelings from the past were flowing through her head. She loved Helen once. But that was in the past and that was where it was going to stay.


Helen's only response was to nuzzle Nikki's neck and to hold her tighter, much to Nikki's enjoyment and frustration. Nikki held Helen's shoulder and shook her lightly. "Helen, wake up."

"Wha…?" Helen mumbled as she lifted her head and took in her position on top of Nikki. She immediately got off and rolled to the other side of the bed. "I'm so sorry."

"It's ok."

"I guess I'm just used to sleeping with someone…"

"You've got a boyfriend?" Nikki felt hurt and jealous, but she knew she shouldn't have those feelings, not any more.

"Had. We broke up last month…" Helen started to get out of bed. She didn't want to tell Nikki about her relationships. That was crazy, they were friends, but for some reason she didn't want Nikki knowing.

"I'm sorry to hear that." Nikki meant it. Her first instinct was for Helen to be happy. They were friends.

"I'm not." Helen replied coldly while getting collecting her things.

"Oh?" Nikki didn't know what else to say.

"I really don't want to talk about it." Helen was about to walk through the door. "I'm going to go. I have things to get ready before school tomorrow. It was good seeing you again Nik."

"You too Helen. See you at lunch?" Nikki smirked.

Helen started to chuckle. "You'd better believe it!" And with that she was gone.

Nikki's mind was mush. She couldn't wrap her head around the fact that Helen was back in her life, which may be partly because she was hung over.


Part 2

Nikki looked at the gates, remembering the last time she walked out of them. Going back now was certainly a head turner; a lot had changed. The uniforms were more relaxed, plain blue shirts with navy blue pants or shorts or the school skirt, which hadn't changed. Seniors wore white shirts and had darker skirts; those were very new.

The buildings had changed as well. A year ago A-Block burnt down so there were many portable classrooms about the place. First thing for Nikki was to deposit her stuff in the English staff room and then go see the principal. Today was a pupil free day so the teachers had a chance to organize things before the students returned for the 10 week term.

The staffroom was cluttered and several desks were already occupied. When she entered she met with Sean Parr, the head of the English department. He showed her to her desk in the corner. It was small but Nikki new how to manage her space. She put most of her stuff in the draws neatly and her folders in a pile on her desk.

While doing this she reflected on her first impression of Sean Parr. He seemed like a nice enough bloke. He looked fairly attractive but had a hard face. Nikki thought that she would get along well professionally with him, but not to certain about a successful friendship.

When Nikki was satisfied with the order of her desk she set off towards the office. That is where the principal's office was. When waiting outside the principal's office, which was not uncommon in her youth, she looked around. The office was pretty much the same but there were some new staff here. Unfortunately one still remained - Bodybag. Sylvia Hollamby. This was not going to be pretty…

"Well, well, well. Nikki Wade has returned. Still sitting in the same seat I see." Bodybag commented rudely. This was one hell of a 'welcome back'.

"Mrs. Hollamby, what a… pleasant surprise. I'm amazed you haven't retired yet. Is Bobby not earning enough for a relaxed lifestyle?" Nikki shot back.

Bodybag would have replied if it were not for the principal coming out of his office. He looked at Nikki and smiled warmly, holding his hand out to her.

"I'm Sayid Vishnu."

Nikki took up his hand and shook it firmly. "I'm Nikki Wade."

"Welcome back."

Nikki grinned. "Thank you."

"I hear you already know one of our deputies, Roisin?" Sayid said, gesturing for Nikki to join him in his office.

"Yes. I'm actually living with her until I can find a place of my own." Nikki answered while sitting down in the cushioned chair opposite Sayid's.

There was a knock on the door and Bodybag stuck her head in. "Miss Stewart to see you."

"Excellent, send her in please."

Nikki turned to see Helen walk in. She could recognize the ill feelings towards Bodybag on Helen's face. This was a look they shared often in their teens. Helen smiled when she saw Nikki then turned to shake the hand of Sayid who was holding it out to her.

"I'm Sayid Vishnu." He said for a second time.

"Helen Stewart."

"Please take a seat. This is N…"

"…Nikki Wade. I know. We went to school together, although Nikki was a year ahead of me." Helen explained while sitting in the chair next to Nikki.

Sayid sat back in his own chair. "Ah. That would explain it. Anyway, there will be a full staff meeting at 10 o'clock in the library. You'll be able to meet more of the staff then. If you need to see the deputies Jim Fenner is down the hall a bit and Roisin is in the Student Services building. That's down the car park and to the left."

It was nearly 10 and Helen waited outside the library for Nikki. She had already checked inside for her so she knew Nikki would be coming soon. Nikki was always on time or early. As expected Helen saw Nikki walking up the stairs, with another lady. Nikki saw her and smiled.

"Yvonne, this is Helen. Helen, this is Yvonne. She is another drama teacher."

"Pleased to meet you." Helen and Yvonne shook hands.

"I've heard quite a bit about what you two used to get up to around here." Yvonne grinned.

"Is that so?" Helen peered at Nikki. "Nikki?"

"I couldn't help it!"

Helen lightly punched Nikki on the shoulder. "Yeah bloody right."

Nikki poked her tongue out at Helen and quickly leapt through the library doors. Helen and Yvonne followed Nikki in and to the left where chairs were set in rows facing a white board at the front. Nikki had found Cassie and was sitting next to her, and then it was Helen and Yvonne. They saw Roisin sitting in the front row next to a sleazy looking man. Helen and Nikki assumed that was Jim Fenner. They had both been told of his questionable character, and looks for that matter. He looked the type to ask for a 'quiet chat' in a 'private room'.

As the meeting progressed everyone was informed of the calendar for the term. There was the swimming carnival in the first week, the cross country run later in the term and the welfare officer was to develop an anti-bulling program with the help of 2 of the students who had been doing it for years with the last welfare officer.

Sayid welcomed the new staff to the school, Helen Stewart (welfare officer) and Nikki Wade (drama teacher), and to the rest of the staff. They were warmly welcome and they both felt good to be 'home'. The school was more or less the same, but now they were equal with the teachers, instead of 'children'. Well, all except Bodybag, she would always have a go at them.

After the meeting most of the other staff went back to their preparations for the new term. There were only a few who stayed behind to introduce themselves to Nikki and Helen and welcome them back to Belmont High. There people were Trisha Harris (Librarian), Dominic McAllister (history teacher), Lauren (PE teacher), and Karen Betts (art teacher).

Nikki thought she got all the right signals from Trisha and she immediately had a crash on the sassy blonde. Helen, on the other hand, thought that Dominic was very nice and she wanted to get to know him better. They both thought that Lauren was nice and that they would be good friends, and that Karen was a lovely lady and would help them if they needed it.

At 9 o'clock the next morning Nikki and Helen were standing together gazing over the hundreds of children that now were here at Belmont High. There was just a sea of blue and white shirts. The seniors sat around the outside and the juniors sat on the ground under the basketball court cover.

During the assembly Helen and Nikki were introduced to the students. Back in their day the students would have called out "Welcome Miss Stewart, welcome Miss Wade." But now they just sat their and looked them over. Helen noticed that some of the male seniors took their time looking at Nikki. She felt a twinge of jealousy but dismissed it from her mind straight away. Beside her Nikki noticed the same thing, but it was Helen they were looking at. She too was jealous but smirked to herself because she knew Helen would never get involved with a student, now would she for that matter.

After the assembly all the students, including some of the staff, were sent to their first lesson. Helen, not being an actual teacher, returned to her office and started organizing all the things she had to. One of the things she needed to work out is when to meet the two students that were to assist her in this anti-bulling program. They were both in Year 12. She decided that she would send a message for them to come see her at lunch.

In the meantime, Nikki was sitting in a circle on the floor of the drama room with her Year 12 class. There were 9 kids in there, a small class for a big school. The year 11 class she would be teaching later in the day is actually two classes combined. There was only one boy in this class and Yvonne said he was talented, in fact the whole class was.

"Good morning. I'm Miss Wade and I'll be your teacher from now on. Since I don't know your names, we'll go around in the circle saying who we are and some things about us. Who wants to go first?"

"I think you should Miss." A blonde girl chipped in.

Nikki smiled at her and went first. "Well, as I said, my name is Miss Wade. I actually went to this school and I graduated 6 years ago. It would have been the year before you came here. I went to a uni down the coast and have been teaching around the central coast since. I have always wanted to come back here and teach and here I am."

Everyone nodded as they seemed to approve of Nikki. She smiled openly at the group and looked to the person on her left. She was a girl with medium brown hair. It had been dyed a red/orange a while ago. Nikki could see the regrowth. Her hair reached just under her ears and she had bright blue eyes.

"I'm Kerry and I still go to Belmont High."

"Is that all you have to say Kerry?"

"I like TV, my favourite colour is blue, I like reading and writing, and I can't think of anything else. If there's something you want to know just ask."

"Ok then. Thank you Kerry." Nikki smiled at her then looked to the next student.

As they went through she learned the class consisted of Kerry, Nikki P, Tahlia, Danyelle, Amy, Chloe, Mary, Kate and the male was Jos. Nikki P was the girl who had spoken and suggested that Nikki speak first.

Just before the end of the lessons there was a knock at the door. At Nikki's signal the young boy entered and handed her a note. It was from the office asking that Kerry go see Miss Stewart at the start of lunch. She conveyed the message to Kerry and finished up the lesson by asking that the students get the equipment she had just finished listing.

Over in E-Block Rachel Herd sat in her economics class. Her teacher, Zandra Plackett, handed her a note. The note said for her to meet Miss Stewart in her office at the start of lunch. Rachel wondered what it was for, but accepted it anyway.

At recess Kerry and Rachel met up at where their group sat – P3. They went inside and talked about Kerry's new drama teacher as they started to eat. Kerry was eating a packet of salt and vinegar chips and Rachel was eating a salad. Kerry reached over and stole some cheese whilst Rachel wasn't looking...she knew it was too dangerous to try otherwise.

"She seems ok so far, hasn't been a drama teacher as long as Miss Atkins though, only been out of uni 2 years." Kerry went on as the rest of the group filed in.

"Oh, give her a break! That'll be you soon enough!" Rachel shot back.

"I know, that's why I'm keeping an open mind."

"Good girl."

"Anyway," Kerry continued as the group was having their own discussions. "Just before the end of the lesson I got a note to see Miss Stewart…"

Rachel cut her off. "… at the start of lunch?"

Kerry nodded.

"Me too. Let's meet outside B-Block and go in together."

"Sure. Do you think it's about the anti-bullying?"


The rest of the day till lunch ran smoothly and rather quickly. Nikki had wanted to have lunch with Helen but she knew she was busy with a student.

Rachel and Kerry met up and headed in. They didn't know what to expect from this new welfare officer. All they knew was that she was young. Helen was nervous herself. Sayid told her they were up-standing students, but she still wasn't sure how they'd receive her after they had worked with the other W/O for 5 years on the anti-bullying program.

There was a soft knock on the door and Helen looked up as the two girls entered. They looked nice enough and Helen relaxed a little. They sat down in the cushioned chairs at Helen's request and waited to be told the reason for their summons.

"Hello, I'm Miss Stewart." Helen greeted them.

"I'm Kerry." Kerry waved her hand.

"And I'm Rachel." Rachel copied Kerry's movements.

"I guess you're wondering why I called you here."

The girls nodded in response.

"I asked you here to talk about the anti-bullying program. I want to run another one soon and I'd like your help."

Rachel and Kerry outlined what they have done and what they suggested they do. They then decided that the best course of action for now would be for Helen to get some other teachers together to help because Kerry and Rachel needed to focus on their studies as well.

By the time they had finished it was the end of lunch. The girls went to class and Helen, not knowing all the staff, rang Roisin to ask who she'd recommend. Helen then went about writing up an overview of the plans and sending them out to the teachers Roisin listed. During 6th period, there were 6 periods every day except Monday and Thursday, Nikki went up to visit Helen to see how her day was. Nikki didn't have a class at the moment, and even though she could have gone home, she wanted to see Helen.

"Hey!" Nikki popped her head through Helen's open door.

"Hi Nikki!" Helen smiled.

"How's it going?" Nikki sat down in the same chair Kerry had been sitting in about 2 hours earlier.

"It's going good. I've sent out an overview of the anti-bullying program to the teachers that Roisin recommended and now I'm writing down further thoughts on it." Helen pointed to the notes in front of her.

"Need more help?"

"Would you?"

"Absolutely!" Nikki was all for stopping bullying, but really she just wanted to spend more time with Helen, even though she told herself that she wouldn't let herself fall again.

"So, what do you think?" Kerry asked in anticipation.

"I like it."

"Really?" Kerry sat up.

Ella chuckled. "Really really."

Kerry sighed in relief. "Good."

Ella lay down against the pillows on her bed. Kerry had gone to her house the Thursday afternoon of the first week back at school because she wanted Ella to read the start of her new story. Kerry also lay down again but on the other side of Ella's double bed.

"And you're going to convert this into a script for drama?"

"Yep. Miss Atkins told Miss Wade that I'm good at scriptwriting so she encouraged me to follow that up for my IP." Kerry explained.

"She's right you know."

"'Bout what?" Kerry turned her head to look at Ella.

"You're good at scriptwriting, but you're even better at writing stories."

Kerry grinned widely. She loved it when Ella thought she was good at something. Liking Ella made all the difference to those compliments. Unbeknownst to Kerry, she was more like Nikki Wade than she thought she was. They both loved drama and liked one of their best friends in the year below them. There was one difference; a difference that neither of them suspected would turn out well.

Friday morning came… and stayed. It was going to one of those days that never ended. And when they did, it seemed like a life time ago that it started. Nikki hated those days. She was just on her way to period 2 – her year 12 drama class.

When she arrived the class walked in behind her, and they sat in a circle quietly just as she had asked them too in their first lesson. Her plan today was to give them notes on Theatre of the Absurd then go straight to their Individual Projects. She gave out the notes and asked who would like to talk to her first. Kerry volunteered and almost jumped up to talk to her. She ordered the rest of the class to read through the notes in silence.

"How has your IP been going?"

"Well," Kerry said in her trade mark tone for a long speech. "Yesterday afternoon I got one of my good friends to read this story that I started writing at the end of last year. It's called 'Hidden Agenda' and is about an author that gets stalked like the character in her book. Anyway, my friend loved it and since I had her approval, I really trust her judgment, I decided to convert that story into a script for my IP. I already started on it last night and got a few pages done."

Kerry stopped talking and held out a few A4 pages to Nikki. Nikki took them and smiled to Kerry. She was impressed at how much enthusiasm this one girl had for drama. It reminded her of herself when she was in year 12 drama.

"Excellent! It looks like you're making wonderful progress. Leave this with me and I'll read it over the weekend and give it back to you on Monday, how's that?"

"That'd be great. I'll go read those notes now and give someone else a turn." Kerry stood up and returned to the circle leaving Nikki in a state of awe. The similarities between Kerry and her younger self were uncanny.

Surprisingly enough, the rest of the day flew by. During lunch Helen arranged to go out that night with Cassie, Roisin and Nikki to celebrate making it through their first week together. Nikki was really divided about going. One the one hand, she really wanted a night out with her friends and to spend time with Helen. On the other, she was scared about falling for Helen again. Although she had resolved in her mind not to, it wasn't that easy and she knew it.

Helen had organized it so they met at a pool hall called Strokers in Newcastle. Helen was there early and was sitting inside waiting when the other 3 women showed up. They strolled through the door as if they owned the place. Helen noted how stunning Nikki looked in snug fitting jeans and a sleeveless silver low-cut shirt. She mentally shook her head to focus on saying hi to her friends rather than how beautiful Nikki looked.

They hired a table for 4 hours and got set up. They were playing doubles, Helen with Nikki and Cassie with Roisin. They were well into their first round when Nikki glanced at the door and saw Kerry walk in with a few other girls about the same age. She was rather surprised to see them there but since it was her turn she had to focus on the cue and her targeted ball.

When Nikki looked up again she saw the girls being led towards them. The Strokers' employee took them to the table next to where her and her friends were playing. Kerry saw her and smiled. All of her friends greeted them as well. Nikki thought that running into 4 teachers from school on a Friday night must be annoying, but Kerry and her friends seemed ok with it. For the next hour they stayed to their table and Nikki & co to theirs.

During the hour after they started to mix and play together and soon were on a first name basis, for the night only of course. They stuck to the pairs but had teachers vs. students. Kerry was playing with a girl called Ella, who looked like a younger version of Catherine Zeta-Jones. Nikki noticed that they were playing really well together. She also noticed the chemistry between them. It wasn't obvious, but she could see it from the way Kerry acted slightly different around Ella. It was the same difference in her behaviour around Helen when they were that age. Although Ella's difference in behaviour was smaller, it was still there. Nikki took a mental note of their interactions as she took her turn and sunk the '5' ball.

On the other side, Kerry noticed Nikki's behaviour around Helen, the way Nikki seemed nervous yet couldn't help but smile when Helen talked to her. Kerry had her suspicions about her drama teacher but decided it would be best not to say anything, most certainly not here. She also noticed that Helen acted slightly different around Nikki, but she didn't think anything of it. It wasn't the kind of difference that signaled more than friendship. Kerry hoped that she was wrong. She had taken a liking to Nikki over the last few hours and was glad to have her as a teacher and, she was hoping, a friend.

On Saturday afternoon after Nikki woke up she decided to get some work done. She had some homework to read and she wanted to get it done before she went to bed tonight. She found her bag and carried it to her desk. She undid the clips and pulled all the bags contents onto the table. Sitting on top was Kerry's IP. Nikki picked in up and started reading as she sat down in the chair at her desk.

Nikki finished reading and looked over it a second time. It was really good work. She was extremely impressed with Kerry's talent with writing. Kerry's script also confirmed her guess from last night. It all fell into place and Nikki felt a new respect for Kerry. Kerry likes one of her friends in the year below her, Nikki thought, she is more like me than just having a passion for drama.


Part 3

"Miss Wade, can I speak to you for a moment please?" Kerry asked a few weeks later.

Since that night at Strokers a lot of things had happened. Helen started to get closer to Dominic and was now dating him, Kerry and Ella were virtually the same, only slightly closer than before, and Nikki was dating someone as well.

"Of course you can." Nikki waited while the rest of the drama class filed out.

"So, you have a good weekend?" Kerry grinned mischievously.

Nikki frowned then smirked when she realized what Kerry was talking about. "Yes, I did in fact. Did Ella have fun at work?"

Kerry chuckled. They had come to know each other quite well. "Not really. Her manager was being a bitch again. How was Miss Harris?"

"Lovely as ever."

"I'll bet!"

"Watch it you!"

Kerry just laughed.

"Anyway, how are things between you two?"

"Good, I think. Nothing's changed badly, so I guess everything's alright between us."

"That's good then."

"What about you and Helen?"

"What about me and Helen?" Nikki said in her most innocent tone.

"Don't play dumb with me Nikki. I can see things just as well as you can."

Nikki raised her brow, but Kerry only matched her action.

"There's nothing to tell. You know that nothing will ever happen between us. We're both seeing other people, so why ask about it?" Nikki sighed heavily.

"Because I know you still feel for her."

"But she doesn't feel for me, so it doesn't matter."

Kerry looked at Nikki sadly. She understood her pain; it was the same with her and Ella, except they weren't seeing other people. Nikki had once said that she believed Ella felt the same, but Kerry has dismissed it. She refused to hope for something impossible.

They walked out together in a silence of understanding, of each other and the pains of liking someone who would never feel the same. They walked for a few minutes, past laughing kids in the playground.

"When are you going to Strokers next?" Nikki asked.

"Dunno. I wanna go soon though, I had fun last time."

"Same. My only problem is that Helen would bring Dominic, ah, Mr. McAllister."

"And you'll bring Miss Harris. It all evens up."

They both stopped outside P2 while Nikki replied. "I guess. Trish does have a knack for distracting me."

Kerry laughed. "Noticed that! You didn't even say 'hi' yesterday when I saw you."

"Did you see what she was wearing!?"

"Yeah. No offense, but she looked like a hooker." Kerry cringed.

Nikki glared. "If it were anyone else I'd put them on detention for saying that."

"Lucky I'm me then…"


"But you know where I'm coming from?"

"Yes, I do." Nikki conceded.

"Good, then we're all good then. See ya later!" Kerry started to walk the small distance to P3.

"You too!" Nikki headed towards the English staffroom.

"Friday night, you free?"

Helen looked up from her notes into deep brown eyes. "Depends what you're offering."

Nikki blinked. "A lot of drinks and hot passionate sex."

Helen laughed. "Count me in!"

Nikki smiled on the outside but screamed 'Please!' on the inside. "Well, before or after that, wanna go to Strokers again?"

"Umm, I was going out with Dom on Friday, but I'm sure he won't mind going to Strokers."

Nikki paused. "Um, great! I'll give you more details when I have them. I gotta go, bye!"

Nikki didn't even give Helen enough time to respond. She left Helen's office, made it around the corner, and then had to make a conscious effort to breathe. That hurt more than she had expected.

She had sworn to herself that she wouldn't fall for Helen again. I guess it is true – self promises are the ones you break. All Nikki had to do was figure out how to get over Helen again. The only problem was, she realized on her way to see Roisin, she had never gotten over her younger friend.

Friday night came and all past contenders were present, including two new ones; Trish and Dominic. As the evening progressed, Nikki and Kerry shared knowing glances at the changed dynamics. Nikki was pared with Trish and Helen with Dominic. Kerry observed the four and only Nikki appeared to be uncomfortable, not that anyone else noticed, or so Kerry thought…

"Was Nikki, um Miss Wade, ok last night?" Ella asked, interrupting Kerry's ramble about drama the next day.

They had gone back to Ella's for the night and were sitting on her bed talking. They had discussed, and re-discussed, their usual topics of school, friends, likes and dislikes, as there was always something else to add.

"Ah… What makes you think she wasn't?" Kerry was unsure how much she could, or should, tell Ella.

"She looked… sad, like she was missing or longing for something."

Kerry bowed her head. She didn't know how she should respond. Her eyes instinctively shut when she felt a familiar hand push her hair back. Now faced with a new dilemma; deciding between melting at the contact and berating herself for reacting to it.

"She was missing something, but it's something she can't have, so she's trying to forget about it, but it isn't working, and last night probably made things worse, and now I'm rambling about something I shouldn't." Kerry put her hand over her mouth, only to have it taken away by Ella moments later.

"Is it what I think it is?"

"I don't know…" Kerry shrugged absently. She was focused on the fact that Ella was still holding her hand.

"Nevermind. Please continue talking about your script." Ella said as she let go of Kerry's hand to reach for her drink.

"My what?" Kerry blinked. "Oh, right, my script."

Ella laughed. "You've been talking about it for the last 15 minutes, how the hell could you forget about it that quickly?!"

"No reason… As I was saying…"


Part 4

"Miss Wade, how good to see you." Bodybag chimed sarcastically as Nikki waited outside Sayid's office.

Nikki was busting to say 'Can it, bitch!'. Instead she said, "Sylvia, still out to grab the money of randy punters I see."

Bodybag frowned in confusion. "What?"

"Nikki, do come in. Sorry to keep you waiting. Department calls, you know they never shut up."

"Sounds like someone I know." Nikki shot a glare back at Bodybag as she entered Sayid's office. She took a familiar seat and began. "The reason I've come to see you is that Sean Parr has been undermining me, and it is now starting to affect my work."

"What is he doing?" Sayid asked seriously, steeling himself for the continuation of this meeting.

"At first he said he wanted to check my marking, because I was 'new to the school'. Since he is the head teacher I let him, I didn't believe I had much of a choice."

Sayid nodded.

"And for the first term I could handle it, but it is now the end of second term and he is checking everything official I write up. It's absolutely ridiculous!" Nikki was starting to lose here temper, again. "I have been teaching for 2 and a half years, there has never been a complaint against my marking or reports and he suddenly decides I need to be checked up on, constantly."

As Nikki paused to get her breath, Sayid jumped it. "Ok, write up a written account of what's been happening and bring it to me when you've finished."

"Already done." Nikki had been anticipating this and passed over a small pile of A4 paper. "There is also written statements from other staff who have witnessed his behaviour towards me."

Sayid, awed by her readiness, nodded. "Thank you."

"If he asks to check anything else, I'm sending him to see you."

"Ok. Is there anything else I need to know?"

"Not that I can think of, no."

"Ok. I'll read through all this and take the appropriate action."

"Thank you."

With that Nikki left, needing to cool off she headed to Helen's office. She would find solace there. As she reached the B-Block doors she stopped. What was she doing? She should go see Trish. She turned and headed to the library, disappointed not to see Helen, but proud that she had at least some self control left.

Helen, just walking out of her office, saw Nikki turn and walk away. She saw that she was heading towards the library and felt a pang of jealousy. Jealousy? Pfft! I can't be jealous of Nikki being with Trisha, that's just… just… no, not going there. I'll go find Dom. He'll make me feel better. Wait, I was going to see Karen about that poster. Oh well, I'll see Nikki at, um, Dom at lunch.

Over the last 5 months or so a fair bit had gone on. Bodybag has been secretly trying to turn staff members against Nikki and Helen, but fortunately her army wasn't getting any recruits except for Sean Parr and Jim Fenner. She couldn't understand how so many people could like those two delinquents.

Helen and Dominic had grown closer, and were now having dinner, or going to a movie, on a weekly basis. He had hinted at getting closer, but Helen had ignored it for some unknown reason. Similarly, Nikki and Trisha had been getting a lot closer, although Helen refused to think about just how close that was. Nikki has been jealous as hell of Dom, but she'd never admit it to anyone, and she'd only admit it to herself long enough to try to forget about it, which never worked.

Helen too, had been feeling jealousy, but dismissed it as a friendship jealousy, as Trisha had been spending a lot of time with Nikki recently. Somewhere in Helen's mind she felt, she knew that there was something about Nikki that made her possessive of her older friend, and knew that it was more than just friendship, but the stubborn woman wouldn't let that part of her mind surface, not too often anyway.

However, the feeling of needing to be with Nikki was becoming more frequent, and upon a night of teary realizations, Helen worked out some of her true feelings for Nikki. If she had realized these things when they had first started working together here, then maybe Helen might have said something to Nikki. But that was about 6 months ago now, they had both moved on and were in steady relationships. Helen would not be the one to ruin it for Nikki. So she just pushed her feelings aside and suppressed them, as she had done for all those years since high school.

Nikki had eventually found a house, and had moved in at the end of the last holidays. Surprisingly Helen had moved into a spare room there, paying a fairly low rent as Nikki had insisted that she didn't need the money. At first they spent a fair bit of time together, reading or watching TV, but in recent times they spent more time with Dom and Trisha. Now, the only time they were there together was late at night when they were sleeping. Either they were both out, or one was.

Down in the education chain, Kerry and Ella had grown much closer. They were spending most of their free time together, even if they were both studying different subjects, they would just 'be there' together. Kerry had seen increasing signs that Nikki had been right about Ella, but Kerry being more stubborn than a large concrete slab being attempted to be moved would not get her hopes up. For some reason 'Can you warm me up please?' isn't a hint to deeper feelings.

A week and a day after Nikki's complaint about Sean held some interesting observations from Kerry and Ella. They were walking through Charlestown square, chatting away as if they were the only ones who existed, until someone bumped into Ella. Kerry, being the protective friend she was, spoke up.

"Oi, watch it!" Kerry growled.

The response was dismissive, "Shoo fly, don't bother me."

Kerry and Ella turned in surprise as Miss Trisha Harris walked away, arms linked with another teacher from their school, someone who was not Nikki. The two girls stared in shock at the retreating forms. Apparently the two adults were so wrapped up in their intimate conversation that they didn't recognize the two students. They had caught snippets of the conversation and both shivered and cringed in reaction. They looked at each other and didn't know what to say to such a disturbing encounter.

"Nikki's not going to like this…"

"No, she's not." Ella replied. "Kerry?"


"Can you please erase what I just heard?"

"I wish I could, for both our sakes."

"I'm going to have nightmares for a week." Ella instinctively took a step closer to Kerry.

"If you have a nightmare, you can call me, no matter what time it is."

Ella smiled. "I don't think your mum would like that."

"If it makes you feel better, I don't care what she likes."

Ella's smile widened into a flat out grin. "Trying to be my knight in shining armour?"

"Depends." Kerry answered as she started walking again.

Ella quickly returned to her place at Kerry's side. "On what?"

Kerry chuckled, nervously if Ella heard correctly. "Is it working?"

Ella linked her arm with Kerry's. "You'll know if you get a call tonight."

Kerry laughed and put on her dramatic face. "I'll be sleeping with the phone cradled in my arms!"

"Good, because I have no idea what I'd say to your mother when I woke her up."

"Oh, I don't know. Maybe something like 'I'm terribly sorry to wake you, but since Kerry's my knight in shining armour I just had to call her because I had a terrible nightmare and only she can make me feel better.'"

They looked at each other and both burst into laughter, which lasted all the way from Myers to Ezy DVD downstairs. Kerry tried to compose herself enough to speak.

"How does that sound?"


Again, laughter was all that could escape the mouths of either of them. Kerry was glad she turned a potentially serious and painful conversation into a good ol' laugh. However, although Ella adored Kerry's humour, she had actually wanted the serious talk.


"Hi Nikki!" Kerry smiled at Nikki as she entered the drama room, where Kerry had asked her to meet her.

"What's up?" Nikki asked before she could stop herself.

"The sky." Kerry said simply.

"Kerry, you know very well what I mean."

"Yeah, but you know very well I wont respond to that question except for my obviously annoying answer."

Nikki grumbled. "Ok… Why was my presence requested?"

"That's better." Kerry gestured towards the seat she had strategically placed near the door in anticipation of Nikki's arrival. This wasn't going to be pretty…


"I… I um…" Kerry stammered, not knowing how on earth she was going to say what she was going to. Although she had rehearsed with Ella a lovely little speech to soften the blow, all of which flew out the window once Nikki walked in. Kerry hated when a friend was hurt, and she hated even more that she had to cause it, even if it was good intentioned.

"Kerry just say it, we're all friends here." Nikki was actually worried, but thought that she'd rather just have Kerry come out and say it, she hated waiting, and she'd done it enough in her lifetime to know she did.

Kerry gulped and jumped right in. "I was at Charlestown with Ella yesterday and…"

"How'd that go?" Ok, maybe Nikki wasn't so eager to hear what it was as she had first thought.

"Um, good. But we ran into Trish…"


"So… she was with someone… someone we know…"

Nikki didn't say anything, she wasn't sure she could. "Wh…" She cleared her very dry throat. "Who was it?"

Kerry took in a deep breath, and she wasn't pausing for dramatic effect. "Mr. Parr."

Nikki was silent as she processed the information.

"There's more…" Kerry hesitated a little; this was the information that had actually given her and Ella nightmares. Although Ella didn't call, she had sent Kerry an SMS at about 3 am, to which Kerry woke to and replied. "They were talking about, well, some very sickening stuff, as in them, with Miss James, together, all at once, and they… well lets just say there was a lot of detail in a brief amount of time…"


Part 5

Kerry walked as if the life had been drained from her all the way to where Ella sits with her group. As she approached Ella saw her and jumped up to greet her.

"Are you ok?" Ella asked as she reached Kerry.

Kerry nodded. "That was not a pleasant experience."

"How'd she take it?"

"As well as can be expected, I guess. She was shocked for a while, then angry, then sad, then numb, all in about 20 minutes. I haven't seen so many emotions in one sitting before."

"Let's go for a walk." Ella suggested as a group full of boys walked past, nearly bumping them.

Kerry left her bag with Ella's friends and they both headed down past the student services building. Kerry looked as if she was deep in thought, so Ella remained quiet, enjoying the familiar comfortable silence between them.

"Do you think you should tell Helen?" Ella asked, breaking the silence and stopping just in front of the F-Block car park.

"I don't know… would it help Nikki?"

Ella shrugged. "If Helen knew she might be able to cheer Nikki up."

"But what if Nikki doesn't want Helen to know?"

"Why wouldn't she? Helen's her friend after all."

"It's not as simple as that…" Kerry sighed.

"You mean because Nikki likes Helen?"

Kerry looked at Ella in shock. She hadn't mentioned anything about Nikki's feelings for Helen. Then again, Ella was very smart and would have been able to work it out for herself.

"What should I do?"

"Well, if I was Helen I'd want to know."

"As I said before, what if Nikki doesn't want Helen to know? Helen still has Mr McAllister and Nikki doesn't have anyone anymore. Not only is she going to be jealous, but she's going to be depressed too!" Kerry took a deep breath.

"Helen's been jealous too! Couldn't you see it?"

"What? No. Helen's not jealous. She doesn't like Nikki more than a friend."

"Yes she does. Haven't you noticed the death glares she gives Trisha when she isn't looking?"

"Yeah, but I thought that was just because Trisha looks like a skank."

Ella chuckled and shook her head.

Kerry thought for a moment. "So what they say is true…"

"What's that?"

"Love is blind."

Ella chuckled. "Yeah, both Helen and Nikki can't see that the other is jealous."

"But the question still remains: Should I tell Helen?"

"I think she'd want to know, and I think that deep down Nikki would want her to know."

Kerry nodded. "It still doesn't seem right to me… this information isn't mine to tell; only Nikki should decide who knows and who doesn't."

"True. Although knowing Parr the whole faculty knows…"

"God, I hope not, for Nikki's sake."


"Alright. I know what I'm going to do." Kerry nodded with certainty.

"And what's that?"

"I'm going to tell Helen that Nikki is upset and that she will need her, but I won't tell her what happened."


"Ok." Kerry repeated.

"When are you going to tell her?"

"I was thinking now…"

"Recess is nearly over though."

"Helen will give me a note for being late."

"True. Alright… I'll see you at lunch?"

Kerry smiled. "You doubt me?"

Ella returned the smile equally. "Sometimes."

Kerry's looked as if she had just been struck a painful blow. "Ouch!"

Ella smirked. "Now get going before I say you can't go."

"Yes Ma'am!" Kerry saluted.

"Come in!" Helen responded to the knock at her closed door, hoping it was Nikki.

The door opened and Kerry stuck her head through. "Hi Helen!"

"Hi Kerry, come on in, have a seat."

"Thanks." Kerry entered the room, closing the door behind her. She took a seat and a deep breath, preparing herself for what she was about do to. She felt like she was forever having conversations that weren't pleasant.

"So, what brings you to my little corner?" Helen asked with a smile. Her smile turned into a frown as she studied Kerry's facial expressions. "What's wrong?"

"Before I say anything you have to promise not to freak and go running out," Kerry set the terms.

"I'm not going to like this am I?" Helen cringed.

"Do you promise?" Kerry said sternly.

"Yes, I promise." The bell rang but they both ignored it.

"Good." Kerry let out the breath she was holding. She took in another and began. "Something bad has happened to Nikki. But she's ok!" Kerry had to add quickly. "She's just upset. I can't tell you what happened because it isn't my place, but I know how much you care about Nikki so I thought you should know, so you can help her."

Helen was speechless. She could clearly see that Kerry cared about her drama teacher and friend, but this was more considerate than she thought most teenagers could be. She sat there for a moment just staring at Kerry. After a few moments she noticed Kerry cross her legs, obviously uncomfortable at being stared at.

"Sorry, I just… when did all this happen?"

Kerry looked at her watch and answered, "About half an hour ago."

"Do you know where she is now?"

Kerry shook her head.

"Ok. I'll find her. You should head to class. You're already late."

"Speaking of that, can you write me a note please?"

"Sure. Who's your teacher?" Helen asked as she started to write Kerry her note.

"Miss Betts, art."

"Right." Helen handed the note to Kerry after she had finished. "Thank you for coming to tell me, I really appreciate it."

"Take care of her…" With that Kerry left, heading out of B-Block and across the quad to D-Block, where the art rooms were located.

At lunch Kerry went to sit with Ella's group. Her approach was a mirror from earlier this morning.

"Are you ok?" Ella asked, repeating her earlier actions. Kerry looked pale and emotionally drained.

"Yeah. I'll be fine once I get to lie down and sleep, so I can forget everything."

"Everything?" Ella gave Kerry the look that she knew perfectly well made Kerry agree to anything.

Kerry looked at her blankly. "That's unfair."

"Please cheer up?" Ella hated seeing Kerry like this. "For me?"

"I…" Kerry was cut off by Nikki behind her.

Nikki spoke in a hushed voice, so only Kerry and Ella could hear. "What the hell do you think you were doing? What gave you the idea that I even wanted Helen to know?"

"I didn't tell her what happened!" Kerry tried to defend herself.

"Why did she come and find me then?"

"Because I said you were upset and may need her! She loves and cares about you and you feel the same for her. I can't help you with this, she can!"

Nikki closed her eyes and breathed in deeply. She knew that Kerry was only trying to help her, but she was still angry, mainly because of what Trisha did. She was sorry to have taken out her angry on Kerry. It really wasn't her fault.

"I'm sorry… I just…"

"I know… you don't have to explain it to me."

Nikki nodded slowly and took another deep breath. "I'll see you next week."

"Bye…" Kerry said, although Nikki was already well on her way towards the school gates.

"We're going for a walk." Ella stated firmly, quicker to recover than Kerry was.

"Huh?" Kerry turned to look at Ella.

"Come on, leave your bag here."

Ella led Kerry on the same path they had taken at recess. Kerry remained silent. After the last few hours she didn't know what to say or even feel anymore, she just followed Ella's lead without question. They eventually came to a stop at the bottom of E-Block, near where Ella's group used to sit. They sat with they backs up against the wall, side by side. After a couple of minutes Ella spoke.


"Can we just sit here please?" Kerry whispered, leaning towards Ella so their shoulders were touching.

"Sure." Ella knew that Kerry would talk when she was ready.

They sat there in silence until the bell went. They stood up and started to head back to their bags.

"Want to come over this afternoon?" Ella asked.

Kerry glanced at Ella. "Wasn't I coming over anyway?"

"That's not what I asked." Ella stated.

Kerry stopped and looked at Ella, who stopped as well. "Of course I do. I always do, you know that. You shouldn't need to ask…"

"I'm sorry, I just… I just had to make sure."

"Do you want me to come over?" It was Kerry's turn to 'make sure' now.

Ella smiled. "Of course I do."

Kerry sighed in relief. "Good. Meet at the gate?"

"As always."

"What do you think will happen now?" Ella asked.

They had met at the gate and walked to Ella's house talking about their afternoon lessons. When they got to Ella's house Kerry went straight to her bed and lay on what she claimed as her side. Ella had got changed and grabbed something to eat, then came to lie beside Kerry.

"I honestly don't know…" Kerry replied in a defeated tone.

"I hope they both come to their senses."

Kerry chuckled. "Not likely! It would involve Helen breaking free of her denial, or fear, or whatever, and Nikki to stop being stubborn and see that Helen actually does feel the same."

"You never know, it could happen."

"Maybe if they were in a prison…"

"Ooo, that's an idea!"

Kerry started laughing, closely followed by Ella. They just kept on laughing. It had been an emotional day and this was just what they needed. They eventually stopped laughing several minutes later, but not before they had tears streaming down their faces.

"I guess they could get together. The potential is there, they just need to see past their own fears and insecurities...."

"Like you said, love is blind."

"Yeah… it is…" Kerry sighed.

"You're blind too." Ella said gently.

Confused, Kerry responded, "What?"

"You're blind too."

"What do you mean?"

Ella smiled. Kerry could be so thick sometimes. "I know how you feel."

"What? How... when… what? Huh?" Kerry had no idea what to say. Although she hadn't been exactly subtle, she didn't say anything flat out. But then again, Ella was smart, and she had shown more signs than Nikki or Helen had, or at least she thought she did…

Ella just smiled.

Kerry frowned, "I don't think I understand…"

"We've been talking about Nikki and Helen. I know how you feel. You are blind too. Think about it."

Kerry did, and then it dawned on her. "You mean…"

Ella nodded.


"Really really."

Kerry just smiled. She didn't know what else to do. She just lay there next to Ella and smiled. Ella did the same. She knew Kerry was between shock and elation. This was going to be a long afternoon…


Part 6

The monkey aliens invaded Earth and Australia for the awesomely tasty meat pies and coke. However, upon their arrival they discovered that the fruit throwing Koalas have taken all the meat pies and are holding them in a secret underwater lair, where the psychotic Doctor Skitzo is making a giant pie eating chicken to one day rule the world. Unfortunately, he would always be stopped by Ash, the golden goddess with blonde hair flowing down to her ankles.

On a more serious note…

"Why didn't you tell me?" Helen demanded.

"Because it's none of your damned business!" Nikki yelled back at her.

Helen had arrived home that afternoon continuing her search her Nikki. She had left school at lunch and hadn't come back, she wasn't answering her mobile, and Helen was getting increasingly worried. After searching the first few rooms of the spacious house Helen found Nikki in the gym, running on the treadmill.

"I'm your friend, I care about you, and I want to help! I can't do that if you shut me out!"

"Why don't you go out with Dom, huh?" Nikki spat, stepping off the treadmill and wiping her face with a towel.

"Because I want to be here with you!"

"Pfft!" Nikki walked out. She didn't know where she was going, she just didn't want to be near Helen right now, which is ironic, because her first reaction was to curl up into Helen's lap and cry.

"Nikki!" Helen followed.

"WHAT!?!" Nikki spun around. "What could you possibly have to say that could make me feel better? What could you possibly do to make me feel better? Nothing! Abso-freaking-lutely NOTHING!"

Helen didn't have time to respond. Nikki stormed out the front door and got into her car, leaving rubber as she sped off. When Helen finally realized what had literally just happened, she ran out to her own car and headed off in the direction she thought Nikki had gone.

Nikki turned right onto the highway and headed north. 60, 70 80… Despite her bad mood she didn't want a speeding ticket. She glanced in her rearview mirror, one car a fair distance back. It looked a bit like Helen's but Nikki didn't believe she'd follow. She then glanced at the petrol gauge, nearly empty.

"Fuck! Just what I bloody need!" Nikki cursed.

Another couple of miles up the highway the red light blinked on. Nikki swore under her breath and headed towards the convenient petrol station up ahead. Pulling up to the unleaded pump, she got out, not even looking at the price. Once the tank was full she entered the building, patting her pocket to make sure her wallet was present. She got in line behind an elderly woman, a dodgy looking man behind her. As she exited, after paying of course, she looked up at her car and saw Helen in the passenger seat.

Nikki muttered under her breath, "Fine. If this is how she wants to play it, this is how it will be."

Nikki got into the car and put on her seatbelt, completely ignoring Helen. No matter how much Helen stared at her she wasn't going to acknowledge her presence. Helen was about to tell Nikki exactly how she felt because she couldn't stand Nikki being angry with her but was prevented by a man getting into the back seat behind her and holding a gun to her temple. Nikki looked at him in shock as Helen froze. It was the dodgy man behind Nikki in the line.

"Drive!" he ordered forcefully, emphasizing with a push of the barrel against Helen.

Nikki turned on the engine and pulled out of the petrol station, heading north once more. She kept on glancing at Helen, who was crying silently, eyes shut tight. She was scared, they both were; scared for themselves and each other, their earlier fight forgotten.

"What do you want?" Nikki dared to ask.

"Shut the fuck up! Do what I tell you or the bitch gets it!" the man responded.

Nikki clenched her jaw and looked over to Helen, who was already looking at her. All she wanted to do was tell Helen how much she loved her, but not at the risk of Helen's life. Nikki focused on the road again as the light up ahead went orange. She began to apply the brake.

"Don't stop!" the man Nikki had dubbed 'fucking bastard' ordered.

She took her foot off the brake and pressed down on the accelerator, making it through milliseconds before the light changed to red. Helen focused on Nikki. She thought if she stared at her long enough she could send a telepathic message, declaring her true feelings that she vowed never to hide again. A life-threatening situation was just what she needed…

Nikki frowned when she heard the distant sound of a police siren. She smirked inside and quickly glanced at Helen. The 'fucking bastard' was going to jail. Apparently his hearing was nearly as good and swore when he heard them too.

"Turn left!" Obeying the orders Nikki turned left.

After a couple of seconds down this new road Nikki turned right on command, then pulled into a driveway and an open garage. The garage shut on its own and they were left in darkness.

"Speak and it will be the last thing your friend hears." 'fucking bastard' warned.

Nikki and Helen swallowed and remained quiet; they were too scared not to obey this thug's orders. They knew, or rather felt, that he would really pull the trigger at the slightest provocation.

All three occupants of the car jumped at the sound of the unexpected ring tone. Nikki's pocket vibrated as the ringing continued, however, she made no attempt to answer it.

"Pick it up. Tell them anything and you know what happens." 'fucking bastard' ordered, once again pressing the barrel of the gun to Helen's temple, who whimpered softly in fear. Nikki complied by retrieving the phone from her pocket.

"It's Kerry," Nikki announced, mainly to Helen, before accepting the call with a cheerful sounding voice. "Hi! Are you feeling better?"

"Um, shouldn't I be asking you that?"

"I'm glad you're feeling better sweetie."

"Nikki, what are you going on about?"

"Yes, Helen's with me, but we'll be home a little late, we've been held up in traffic, so you'll have to make your own tea." Nikki said, trying to give Kerry as many clues as she could without raising suspicion.

"Something's wrong, isn't it?"


"Want me to call the cops?"

"That's a good idea. Petrol price has gone north a lot lately and Ella isn't loaded." Nikki was careful not to put too much emphasis on certain key words, but she was confident that Kerry would know her enough after 6 months to work it out.

"Keywords 'petrol', 'north' and 'loaded'?"

"Mhmm. I'm going to have to go. Make sure you feed the cat, its going to be dark soon."

"Be careful."

"Love you too sweetie."

Nikki pressed 'end' and let out a huge breath slowly. It was a risk, but she couldn't let that window of opportunity pass.

"Holy shit…" Kerry whispered softly.

"What happened?" Ella asked.

"I'm not sure, but Nikki and Helen are in trouble, and they need our help."

A second phone began ringing and 'fucking bastard' reached into his pocket and withdrew the source of the sound. He looked at the screen then, like Nikki, accepted the call.


"Is it done?" A sinister voice resounded from the phone, loud enough for Helen to hear clearly, and for Nikki to just make out the words.

"Yes. I have them."

"Excellent. My colleague will be over shortly to make sure you have the right ones. Once he's there he will give you further instructions." The voice sounded familiar but neither woman could place it. Nikki watched 'fucking bastard' put the phone back in his pocket.

"Take the keys out of the ignition and pass them to me."

Nikki did as she was told.

"Get out of the car, both of you."

Synchronously they both opened their doors and stepped out, standing and stretching carefully, as they were still in the vicinity of a brute thug with a gun. He motioned to a door in front of the car, which was now visible to them, their eyes accustomed to the darkness. Nikki turned the knob and pushed the door open, revealing a disheveled dining room. Used plates and take-away boxes were strewn across the table's surface, flies scavenging the wreckage like vultures.


Part 7


"Where?" Nikki asked.

"On the lounge. Put your mobiles on the table then sit over there." 'fucking bastard' clarified, pointing to the left where a medium dark brown lounge was situated.

Nikki took a step forward and hesitated. The smell emanating from the rubbish was painfully assaulting to Nikki's senses.

"Move it!" 'fucking bastard' pushed Helen towards Nikki and they both nearly fell onto the squalor.

Nikki and Helen cautiously made their way through the minefield of rubbish to take a seat on the threadbare lounge. They sat side-by-side, a hand each clasped tightly together. They locked eyes and tried to convey their feelings through the small amount of contact allowed.

In that moment time stopped. Nikki felt a wave of emotions bubble and boil within her. Feelings from the past flashed through her mind and heart as she relived every second she had spent with Helen. From the magical moment she first laid eyes on her, the first hug, the first night wrapped in each other arms after a friend from school was killed, the moment when Helen realized how deep Nikki's feelings were, the day Nikki said goodbye and walked away, the pain in Helen eyes as she glanced back one last time, to the more recent times at Belmont High, at pool, at lunch, at home, each memory crystal clear.

It hurt. It hurt Nikki to know that all the wonderful and painful memories she shared with Helen could be gone in a split second, a single movement of a finger on the trigger. Her heart ached with a longing that will never subside, a longing for the woman beside her.

Stuck in immeasurable time, Helen thought back to the rollercoaster path she had taken in her realization of heart. As a teenager she could have sworn it was just friendship she had felt, and compared to how she was feeling now, she supposed it was. But she had to admit that the potential was there; the potential for love and happiness. She had been so blind to her own heart. It seemed that denial wasn't a girl's best friend after all. If they ever… When they made it out of this, Helen vowed that she would not waste any more time in the world of fear and insecurity, she would jump in with both feet as she knew that love would catch her. She had never doubted the safety of Nikki's strong arms.

Helen saw in Nikki's eyes what she had always known was there; trust, devotion and, above all, love. Nikki, although not as certain, thought she saw the same reflected back at her. There was certainly trust, that was never a question, but was there love?

They were ripped back to reality as a second figure caught their eye. They should have been more surprised, but they weren't, especially Nikki. The new occupant of the room was none other than Sean Parr.

"You conceited little pri…" Nikki burst up from her seated position, only to be forced back down by a gun to her forehead.

"Sit down and shut up! You know the consequences if you don't…" 'fucking bastard' left the threat open.

"They're the ones." Parr snarled. "Wait 10 minutes after I leave then carry out Fenner's orders."

"Jim Fenner's involved in this?" Helen whispered in shock.

"Shhhh!" 'fucking bastard' hissed.

Parr laughed. It was one of those evil laughs that sent chills through your entire being, through your very soul. He didn't care at all that they were in danger, or that he and that sleaze were responsible for it. Nikki's anger rose within her and she badly wanted to wipe that fiendish grin off his face.

"How's Trish?" Nikki tried. "Does she still have that rash on her, well, you know where."

"I said…" 'fucking bastard' started to yell, but he was cut off by Parr storming over to them and towering over the Nikki.

He looked as if he was about to yell something, then stopped. Instead he sounded overly calm when he said, "It was gone as soon as she was away from you. Maybe she was allergic?"

Although this bothered Nikki she didn't show it. "Does she shiver right after she comes? Or haven't you been able to turn her on?"

Parr backhanded Nikki with enough forced to send her sideways along the lounge. She was dazed for a moment, but made an effort to sit up. Helen could see Nikki's cheek turn red before her eyes, and was sure that the bruise would be a nasty one.

"Maybe you can't even get it up?" Nikki spat.

Parr lunged at her, hands outstretched to clasp her throat. Luckily Nikki had been expecting this, and leaned to the side, pushing Helen down with her. Her leg swung out and contacted with the side of Parr's knee. It wasn't hard enough to break something, but it sure as hell hurt him, because he roared in pain and went red with fury.

Nikki acted quickly, leaping up and shouldering his stomach. The momentum threw them both backwards, Nikki landing on then rolling off Parr's winded body. Nikki was trying to get up when 'fucking bastard' rounded on her. He lifted his arm ready to pistol whip her, but was pushed back into the bench behind him as Helen plummeted into his midsection. He too roared in pain, but this was because the edge of the bench jarred into his spinal cord as Helen rammed him again.

Nikki had no time to marvel at her smaller companion, as Parr was cringing on his knees and pawing at her in an attempt to attack her. Although he looked incredibly ridiculous doing this, he was within a hair's reach so Nikki toppled into him, sending him flying again, this time onto the rim of the lounge. He was winded once more so she chanced a look in Helen's direction. She saw 'fucking bastard' hit Helen on the back of her neck with the butt of his gun.

Helen dropped to her knees as her world went black for a few moments. Her head was spinning from the impact and she retched as waves of nausea swept over her. Nikki saw red. No one can hurt her Helen. She leapt up, grabbing whatever was jutting out from beneath the lounge and lunged at 'fucking bastard'. As he bent down and wrapped his big grubby hands around Helen's neck Nikki swung hard. The empty beer bottle shattered into pieces when it slammed into the top of his skull. His body went limp and slumped down to the floor where it lay motionless.

"Find rope." Nikki said a moment before Parr tackled her legs.

She toppled down onto him and they started a deadly wrestle as Helen realized that 'fucking bastard' had put the gun on the bench behind him when he had gone to strangle her. She timidly picked it up and wielded it in her right hand. Her left hand held her wrist to try and keep the gun steady as she aimed for Parr.


Nikki looked up and saw Helen holding the gun. She elbowed Parr in the nose as he too looked up, and rolled away from him. She stood up and went to stand next to Helen.

"Go sit on the lounge." Nikki ordered with anger.

As Parr crawled over and lifted his bruised body onto the lounge Nikki took the gun from Helen and leveled it at the area of his heart. Parr sat there glaring at Nikki as Helen got Nikki's phone from the table and dialed triple 0.

"You're lucky you made it out of there alive. Mr Nathan is a contract killer from Melbourne. He's wanted for 17 hits up the coast, and is a suspect in another 6 in Sydney alone." Detective Scribbons stated.

Nikki and Helen held onto each other tighter as they were led towards the ambulance, which was waiting to take them to Belmont hospital to be checked over. They were both suspected to have concussions.

They sat on the back of the ambulance hand-in-hand as the medics gave them a quick look-over for anything fatal. They watched in silence as Sean Parr was thrown into the back of the police car, his hands cuffed behind his back. He glared at them through the window; his only comfort was that he could betray his accomplices for a lesser sentence. Fenner and Hollamby were going down with him. He would have implicated Trisha too if he knew he could prove it.

They were finally left alone after what felt like a lifetime. When they had got to the hospital they were seen to and given a joint room for the night as they both had severe concussions, Helen had gotten 2 stitches where the gun had connected with her head, and 3 Nikki where the bottle she smashed on Nathan's ('fucking bastard's) head cut her.

Nikki walked over to Helen as soon as the nurse left. Helen was sitting on the side of her bed with her legs dangling over the side. When Nikki reached Helen she took her hands into her own and squeezed in assurance.

"How do you feel?" Nikki asked with tender concern.

"I love you."

Nikki was speechless. She has suspected Helen's feelings from the look in her eyes a few hours ago on the lounge, but hearing the words spoken took it to a whole new level of reality. Helen loved her. Helen loved her not just as friend, but with a deeper love that only soul mates could know.

"Kiss me." Helen whispered.

Nikki blinked at her for a second and then took a step forward. She was now standing between Helen's legs, her own leaning against the hospital bed. She looked into Helen's eyes, trying to convey all her love for her and how much happiness they were going to share in the future.

Nikki let go of Helen's hand and brought it up to cup Helen's cheek. Her thumb softly caressed her cheekbone as she leant in slowly. She brushed her lips against Helen's lightly, and then pressed them together. This was a first for both of them. This was the first time they kissed, and the first time Helen kissed another woman. If she had known how good it felt she would have been with Nikki years ago.

Their bodies were going wild at the sensations this small action was causing. Helen let go of Nikki's other hand and wrapped her arms around Nikki's neck, effectively locking their lips together in a passionate assault of pent-up love. Nikki's arms snaked around Helen's back and pulled her forward. She held their bodies firmly pressed against each other as they continued to kiss like there was no tomorrow. This was going to be a long night.


Part 8

"We finally made it."

"Yes, we did." Nikki smiled at Kerry.

They were at the school formal. All the HSC exams were finished, all the students were signed out, and this evening marked the beginning of freedom. The formal had been great so far; everyone was dressed so nicely, they were all having fun, tea wasn't that great but good company made up for it. Fond memories were shared and laughs were had. Nikki and Helen were both there, and Kerry had sought out Nikki for a chat when her more social friends discovered the dance floor, much to her amusement.

"Pity Ella couldn't come." Nikki noted.

"Yeah. It has its pros and cons. Pro is that she can't make me dance; con is that she isn't here. I wonder which one is worse?" Kerry smirked.

"You never know, I might drag you out there!"

"Ha! You could try, but it ain't gonna work. This girl just doesn't have the moves. Yours however," Kerry indicated towards Helen busting out on the glazed wood floor amongst her group, "definitely has the moves. If I were you I'd go grab her before the maths teachers start to get ideas."

Nikki laughed. "You may be right!"

"Oh, I know I am! I can see them drooling now. See?" Kerry discreetly pointed towards the table where the teachers were seated. Only a few remained and they were the older teachers that probably couldn't dance because of numerous knee replacements.

Nikki laughed louder and Kerry joined in. They laughed for quite a few moments before they had to stop due to aching stomachs. They looked at the table once more and couldn't contain another burst of chuckles.

"How are you and Helen going, anyway?" Kerry asked once she composed herself.

"Good." Nikki smiled as her thoughts went over the few weeks that had past. "After the whole hostage situation we decided, or more she insisted, that we would not waste anymore time. I couldn't help but agree; you know how persistent she can be!"


"We're now sharing a room, and, you might not believe this, but she even asked me if I was interested in having kids!"

"You're kidding me! What did you say?"

"I said I'd like to one day."


"And she said 'good' then rolled on top of me. I'm sure you can guess the rest."

"Whoa! Too much information there! No more, never any more. Bad. Very bad." Kerry paused for a moment. "I've heard worse, I've had nightmares about worse from the worse things I've heard, but that still ain't good to hear man!"


"You'd better be! Or I might just give you too many details" Kerry frowned. "No, wait. No I won't. I would get my arse kicked and dumped. There is no way I'm stuffing up my happiness to get revenge on you for giving me bad mentages."

"Good, because if you did, I'd kick your arse."

Kerry couldn't reply because a whole bunch of people walked past, as both Nikki and Kerry had to step to one side to make enough room for the group to pass. They made funny faces at each other in mock of the passersby and laughed at the other's face, as it was the same as theirs.

"Great minds think alike, eh?" Kerry commented.

"Naturally." Nikki smiled. They really were alike, indeed.

The formal progressed nicely. Kerry's friends even managed to drag her onto the dance floor. Of course she refused to go unless Nikki went as well. So they all ended up dancing, Kerry and her friends, and Nikki and Helen, all in a moving cluster of bodies. When the night finally came to a close Nikki looked for Kerry in the sea of exiting people. When she spotted her she called her over.

"So, see you at Strokes on Friday?" Nikki grinned.

"Of course! I wouldn't miss it for the world!" Kerry winked with her response.

"Excellent. Send my best to Ella."

"And mine to Helen."

And with that they parted. They were student/teacher no more. School was over and only friendship remained. They each had happiness waiting for them at home and many good years to come.



Nikki reflected on her younger friend as she drove home with Helen. Kerry was like her second life, but she had done it right the first time. She didn't need to spend years yearning for the love she desired, or the life threatening situation to finally push things on the right track. She was glad of this. Kerry was living the life she had wanted. Although she wasn't complaining; she had Helen and they were extremely happy. There was a lot of lost time to make up for, and tonight would not be any exception. Nikki grinned mischievously as she pulled into their driveway and brought the car to a stop.

"Come on, I need to create bad mentages for Kerry."

"Huh?" Helen frowned in confusion as she got out of the car.

"Don't worry. Let's just go inside. It's quite cold and I think I need you to warm me up."

"Cold, are you?" Helen smiled seductively.

"Very." Nikki pulled Helen into her embrace. There was a lot of time to make up for.

The End

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