DISCLAIMER: The characters used here belong to Talkback Thames and other people.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was set after the 4/7/07 episode called 'Match Day Violence' but bears no real relation to any storylines apart from that episode!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Masking the Inappropriate
By CharmedLassie


If there was anywhere she shouldn't be it was here. It was completely inappropriate, not to mention ridiculously insensitive, but then again, sensitivity had never really been one of her strong points- it was one of the reasons her marriage broke up apparently. However, this was breaking new bounds of insensitivity. Her intentions might be good but she doubted Nikki'd see it that way.

Finally, after ten minutes of debating, she entered the hospital and searched out Doug Wright's room. The armed guard let her past after she flashed her ID and, with a steely breath, she pushed the door open.

Both occupants of the room had their eyes closed. Doug was obviously asleep, his breathing was regular and extraordinarily noisy, but Diane wasn't sure about Nikki. Eventually, she proceeded over, rested a hand on her shoulder and whispered, 'Nikki?'

Her blonde sergeant stirred easily, struggling upwards in her chair. 'What? Di, what the…'

'I'm sorry, I…'

'No,' she interrupted, getting to her feet and ushering her towards the door. 'You can't be here.'

'Yeah? Well, I am.'

Nikki glanced once towards her husband then led her out of the door, nodding curtly at the guard as they passed. They ended up in a bathroom; very apt since they'd shared their first kiss in one of those back in Sun Hill. 'What the hell are you doing here?' Nikki demanded, after checking the cubicles.

Diane sighed. 'I just wanted to know if you were alright.'

'You weren't even working today!'

'Smithy called me,' she replied. 'They need extra bodies in tomorrow.'

'Right. But I don't…'

'I just… I don't know. I'm sorry. I needed to see if you were okay, even if it was with…' She didn't think she'd ever been able to finish so few sentences in one speech.

Nikki's initial anger seemed to subside. She rested her head against the wall. 'I thought I was gonna lose him,' she said finally, her voice tight. 'And all I really knew was that I'd spent most of my time lately with… Well, you know.'

'It isn't your fault,' Di tried.

'I didn't stick it in but I haven't half twisted the knife,' Nikki muttered bitterly. 'He's my husband. I made those vows to him and I made promise to the kids and…'

'How are they?' Diane interjected, trying to stem the tide.

'Um… They're with my sister, they're okay.'

'Right. Good.'

Nikki shook her head. 'I can't believe you came here!'

Diane took hold of her shoulder. 'I wanted you to know that I'm here for you, okay? What else was I supposed to do?'

'I dunno- phone?'

She shrugged. 'Didn't think of that.'

Nikki smiled slightly and nodded. 'Fair enough.'

'Look, I'll let you get back,' Diane said quickly. 'But, um, I'm just a phone call away if you need me.'

Her sergeant leaned forward and kissed her gently. 'I must be mad.'

'Yeah,' Diane answered with a faint smile. 'You must be.'

The End

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