On a Mission
Barbara and Monica got up next morning, and went off on the mission that Karen had asked them to do just as they emerged from the tent. Yvonne had brewed up and she was sat with Karen and Nikki, quietly talking. The rest of the group had slowly gotten up and had been informed of the battle plan that had been decided on the night before, and everybody was in full agreement it was going to be fun! Helen was the last to emerge from the tent; she had deliberately taken her time in getting up knowing that it would give Nikki time to tell everybody about the plan.
"Morning everyone!" said Helen as she greeted them all.
Everybody jumped up and stood to attention as they smartly saluted her. Helen feigned a surprised look and saluted back. She was promptly given a mug of tea and then sat down with the others.
"So far so good," she thought.
"So Captain, what are we going to do today?" asked Nikki with an innocent look on her face.
"Well Warrant Officer Wade, I thought that we would learn how to tell poisonous berries from edible ones. That is of course if you lot can be bothered to listen," she said, reeling them all in.
"Of course we can Captain. Sorry about yesterday, must have been the hangovers," Karen said, hoping she sounded convincing.
They all milled about the camp for a while until Helen approached Nikki with a look of annoyance on her face.
"Nikki, where in God's name are Monica and Barbara? You said they knew all about escape and evasion. Well they are pretty good at it because I can't sodding well find them anywhere!" she said through gritted teeth.
"I err don't know Captain Stewart. I'm sure they are around somewhere, I think they may have mentioned something about getting some food and being less squeamish than us young 'uns and how they could do better," Nikki lied.
"Well I hope for their sakes, that's true," said Helen, walking away looking pissed off.
Helen walked away with a smirk on her face, she knew this was all part of the plan and had kept playing along.
A little while later, Monica and Barbara had returned from the local Tesco's with some fresh fish and herbs, and some berries. They had discarded the packaging and carrier bags and walked into camp looking like they had just gathered the food from the forest.
Helen looked up at them and smiled.
"Ah Monica, Barbara, well done! See I knew you would start learning to survive when you were all hungry enough!"
Nikki looked over at Helen, and wondered about what she had just said. Surely she couldn't know about the food they brought from camp? Did she have anything to do with it disappearing? Nikki decided she was being paranoid.
"Funny though, those fish are Scottish salmon. Never thought you would find them around here! Especially this far south!" exclaimed Helen who couldn't resist baiting them a little.
Nikki wondered again if Helen knew but she laughed inwardly and shrugged the feeling off. "Being paranoid again aren't we Wade," she said to herself.
Nikki looked over to where the rest of the Squadron stood, she started to feel herself melt at the sight of Helen laughing with Karen at the looks on Dominic's and Thomas's face as Monica and Barbara gutted the fish.
Later on that afternoon, they had just finished learning about all the things they could and couldn't eat in the forest. As the group broke up, Nikki, Karen and Yvonne remained standing together.
"Right Nik, so far so good. I think Stewart is falling for this plan hook line and bloody sinker!" said Yvonne excitedly.
"Well it certainly seems like it Yvonne. I think we should just carry on following orders for the moment until we are ready to put phase two into action. We have to wait until we are back on the base before we do that," said Nikki.
"Er, remind me again what phase two is?" said Karen with a baffled look on her face.
"Oh bloody ell sweetheart, we talked about this last night!" said Yvonne looking at Karen with a mixture of love but exasperation.
"I know babe, but I have had more of the camping trip from hell since then!" Karen looked back at Yvonne while giving her a sexy smile.
Nikki looked at the both of them and shook her head, they both bantered with each other all the time but it was clear to Nikki just how much they loved each other. She sometimes wondered if she would ever be lucky enough to find the same kind of love that they had.
"Basically Karen, once we have lured the Captain into a false sense of security and she thinks that she is turning us into model soldiers. We start pissing about with her plans," said Nikki hoping that it would refresh Karen's memory.
"Yeah ok but start pissing about how?" said Karen who still looked confused.
Yvonne rolled her eyes at Nikki, and Nikki inwardly sighed and started to explain it to Karen all over again.
"We start pissing around behind the scenes so to speak, remember all the memos we get from HQ and such, the ones that we never bother to read?" she asked.
"Yeah?" said Karen.
"Well what we are basically going to do, is send the Captain a few memos of our own. You know how stupid the orders from HQ are, and that they never bother to check whether they are actually carried out or not. Well that gives us the perfect opportunity to have a bit of fun! We can come up with some great ideas, eventually she will get so pissed off that she decides to come around to our way of thinking!" explained Nikki.
"Ah I see what you mean. Sorry I had forgotten about all that. Blame Yvonne cos she had me distracted last night!" elaborated Karen.
"Karen! I don't wanna know darlin' too much info!" said Nikki with a giggle.
Unbeknownst to the three women who were plotting, Helen had heard every word.
"Great! At least I know they are sticking to the plan," Helen thought. She was having so much fun teasing them.
The light of dawn was just filtering through the trees when Helen woke up; she looked over to see Nikki in a deep peaceful sleep beside her. She stared at her, thinking how beautiful she was. She once again reminded herself, that she shouldn't be thinking of another woman in that way. Helen got up and got dressed and then smiled to herself that Nikki wouldn't be sleeping peacefully for much longer, and that would go for the rest of the camp as well.
She walked across the camp and got a fire going while brewing up, and when that was done, she stood up and pulled a megaphone from a bag. Helen grinned, this megaphone had a 25 watt amplifier and she knew the sound could carry for a kilometre. She took a deep breath and got ready to wake everyone up.
"WAKEY WAKEY YOU LOT! RISE AND SHINE, UP AND AT EM! ON THE DOUBLE!" Helen shouted at the top of her voice as loud as she could.
Nikki's eyes shot open at the deafening noise of what sounded like a Scot hell bent on waking her up as quickly as possible. She fell out the tent bleary eyed with her heart hammering in her chest. She looked over at Helen who was desperately trying to keep her laughter under control. The others staggered out of the tents looking white faced and haggard at being woken so early and so rudely.
"Right you lot! get a bloody move on, it's 5am and I want you all ready to move by 6, we are going on a little walk this morning, come on smile, it might never happen!" Helen said sweetly and busied herself with getting a mug of tea.
"Oh fuck, it might never happen? I think it already sodding well has!" said Yvonne while looking at Helen as if her one wish in life was to put her up against a wall and shoot her.
Karen was having similar thoughts at being so rudely woken up and being forced to move from Yvonne's arms. Nikki on the other hand wasn't having murderous thoughts about Helen, it was something that was somewhere between admiration and lust. She had to hand it to Helen, for such a small angelic looking woman, she was quickly turning out to be the CO from hell! This was going to be a challenge!
Dominic and Thomas were sat looking shell shocked at the thought of what the day held in store for them, as was Zandra and Lucy. Monica and Barbara were sat quietly talking to each other now that the shock of Helen's early morning dulcet tones rocketing them into consciousness had worn off.
"I'm not hiking round the back of beyond all day my love, fancy pulling our normal trick, of escape and evasion?" said Monica with a slight smile at Barbara
"That sounds wonderful darling, and it also gives us oldies the chance to have a little quality time together without the young ones hanging about," said Barbara
A loud swearing echoed through the camp as Zandra struggled with getting her boots on
"Twatting army boots! Never should have joined up in the first twatting place!"
"Calm down babe it won't be long before Nikki sorts it out, and we are all back on the base and back to normal," said Lucy giving Zandra a quick kiss which seemed to calm her down
"I bloody well hope so!" she replied.
"Right, that's the plan Nikki, I'm just going to get my things together and I will leave you to brief the team," said Helen before she walked away.
"Oh that's all I bloody need!" said Nikki knowing that the latest news wasn't going to be well received.
"Right listen up you lot, oi less of the noise! Captain Stewart has just informed me that today's hike will take us on a 10 mile round trip, up the stream, up Hangman's Hill, down Deadman's Gorge and then back along the stream into camp."
"Bloody ell, we are all gonna die out here by the looks of things, why did they have to name them that?" moaned Denny
"Yeah I mean, Hangman's Hill and Deadan's Gorge, it don't bode well does it?" chipped in Shaz
"Look I didn't name them, I'm just following orders so stop pissing around and lets get sorted!" shouted Nikki, who felt her earlier feelings towards Helen rapidly dissipating and being replaced with feelings of a more evil nature. The woman totally threw her, one minute Nikki could kiss her and the next she could quite easily string her up from the next available tree.
The group were at last ready, and they formed a long line, all the couples staying together, with Nikki and Helen up front and Barbara and Monica bringing up the rear. Dom and Thomas held hands, as they marched along and then suddenly broke into song. When Nikki heard them, she exploded into fits of giggles, and Helen couldn't help laughing along.
"It's raining men, hallelujah it's raining men amen!" chorused Dom and Thomas together.
"If they start on the Abba songs then I swear to god I'm going AWOL!" giggled Nikki
"Hey if they start on Abba, I won't be far behind you Nikki!" said Helen struggling for breath and holding the stitch in her side from laughing so much.
As if on cue, the song ended and the men started up on the next one.
"Can you hear the drums Fernando!" they sang.
"Oh Jesus!" Helen almost collapsed into fits of giggles, and the tears ran down her face, she carried on laughing and couldn't stop, Nikki noticed Helen's deep dirty laugh.
"That's a really dirty belly laugh you have there Helen, I like it," said Nikki in between guffaws.
"Thank you, I could say the same about yours," Helen winked at Nikki suggestively while trying to breathe.
The group continued the sing song, and Barbara and Monica slipped away into the undergrowth unnoticed, as they marched on. An hour or so later they all stopped to rest, and sat down to have a drink.
"Captain Stewart?" said Shaz
"Can you sing? I mean we haven't heard you sing, you weren't joining in," enquired Denny
"Well I dunno, I suppose I can sing, I used to when I was little, probably badly," laughed Helen.
"Sing a song Captain Stewart please!" begged Shaz
"Not a bloody chance Shaz! I wouldn't live it down, I know what you lot are like!" said Helen
"Go on Captain Stewart give us a tune!" encouraged Dominic
Helen contemplated it and knew that if she didn't then they wouldn't give up until she gave in, she looked at Nikki who smiled back at her encouragingly. Helen took a deep breath and began to sing. Helen looked at the floor as she sang, feeling slightly uncomfortable.
Everybody was stunned into silence, Helen sang in a perfectly clear and sweet sounding voice, it sounded hauntingly beautiful as it echoed around the trees. They all sat mesmerised as Helen sang, she looked up from the ground to gain a picture of what they all thought, and she saw the look of rapt attention on their faces. She took a quick look at Nikki, who was sat with a smile on her face.
"Bloody hell, she can really sing," thought Nikki, who felt herself falling deeper in love with Helen as the seconds ticked by.
Karen and Yvonne sat holding hands as did the rest of the couples, while Helen finished the last few lines of the song. The applause was thunderous as the song ended, and everybody whistled and told her how much they had enjoyed it.
"Captain Stewart, you should be a professional singer," chimed in Denny
"Certainly should captain, that was beautiful," said Nikki, looking deep into Helen's eyes.
"Thank you," said Helen who by now was looking thoroughly embarrassed.
"Bloody fantastic wasn't she Ju?"
"Oh she was Ju," chipped in the Julies
"Why didn't you ever become a singer then?" Denny asked
"Well, I used to sing when I was little but my father always told me my voice wasn't very good," said Helen
"That's an awful thing to have told you, don't you believe him Helen, that was perfect," said Karen
"Well it's too late now, I'm already in the army!" laughed Helen
"Twatting army!" piped up Zandra with a grin.
A while later they were ready to get on the move again, when Thomas noticed that Barbara and Monica weren't with them, he mentioned it to Nikki, who just laughed and shook her head.
"Oh have the Houdini twins buggered off again?" said Helen smiling at Nikki
"Its looking like it. Houdini twins? That's brilliant, I will have to tell them they have new nicknames!" giggled Nikki.
The group made it back to camp reasonably in one piece. They shuffled into camp as if they had just been into battle, and they threw themselves down in front of the fire. Helen chucked her bag into the tent and wandered off towards the stream, Nikki decided to follow her. As she neared the stream, she saw Helen, sitting on the bank and unlacing her boots. Nikki sat down next to her and saw the pain on Helen's face.
"You ok Helen, you look as if you are in pain," said a concerned Nikki
"Yeah I'm fine," said Helen with a grimace as she loosened her boots.
"No your not, your hurt aren't you, here let me help," Nikki moved closer to Helen and reached down to loosen her boot and take it off. She took it off slowly and gasped when she saw that Helen's sock was covered in blood.
"Bloody hell Helen, why didn't you say?" asked a shocked Nikki knowing that Helen had walked about all day with her feet in this state.
"It's not that bad, it only hurts when you stop walking," said Helen unconvincingly
Nikki loosened Helen's other boot and slowly took it off to see that her other foot was in a similar state. She gently took Helen's foot and peeled the bloodstained sock off slowly to reveal a huge painful looking blister on Helen's heel. The other foot was the same.
"Here, put your feet in the water, it will help, I will be back in two minutes I promise," said Nikki helping Helen to lower her feet into the water.
Nikki ran off back to camp, and got a clean towel, the first aid kid and two mugs of hot tea, she then took them back to the stream, and sat next to Helen.
"There you go, drink this," she handed the cup to Helen
"Thanks Nikki. Not just for the tea but for everything," said Helen looking at Nikki quickly before looking away again.
"No problem, that's what friends are for, just soak your feet for a bit longer and then I will sort them out," she said giving Helen's hand a quick squeeze.
"Tell me to shut up and mind my own business if you want but, why didn't you say about your feet? We would have understood Helen, we wouldn't have thought any less of you for it," said Nikki
"Its just in my nature I suppose, I struggle on even if something hurts because that's the way I have had to live my life, I wouldn't have coped otherwise," said Helen in a quiet voice.
"Let me guess, you got little or no support from your father," said Nikki gently
"Yep, got it in one, my mum died when I was 5 and since then, I have been on my own, so I learned to cope from an early age and I like to think I'm a stronger person for it, my dad wasn't much use, he wasn't really that interested," sighed Helen.
"Sorry Helen that's awful," Nikki felt a pull on her heart strings.
"Och, it was a long time ago, I miss her but it's not as hard now," said Helen with a sad smile.
"I just wanted to say that you aren't alone now Helen, I'm here for you anytime you need me, and well the bloody rabble seem to love you! your song this afternoon had them all hooked," Nikki took hold of Helen's hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze.
"Surprised they don't hate me after the way I woke you lot up and then dragged you around the countryside!" said Helen.
"Nah, your forgiven already, they all really enjoyed it once they got started," replied Nikki.
"Oh well, looks like I'm doing something right!" said Helen with a cheeky grin.
"Come, on put your feet on my knee and I will bandage them up," Nikki placed the towel over her knee.
As Helen was being tended to by Nikki, she thought about how wonderful she was, she didn't have to follow her and see if she was ok. Most people wouldn't have bothered but then she was discovering that Nikki wade wasn't most people, and she slowly felt herself falling for her even though she tried to convince herself she couldnt be attracted to a woman.
"Yeah?" said Nikki as she looked up.
"I just wanted to say that, I really like everyone too, I'm glad I transferred," she said with a nervous smile, she had wanted to tell Nikki she really liked her and ask her if she felt the same but she didn't have the courage to do that just yet.
"See? We aren't so bad once you get know us," smiled Nikki before going back to sorting Helen's foot out.
After she had seen to Helen, Nikki told her to wait for 5 minutes that she would be back, she picked everything up and made her way back to camp to drop it off and then went back for Helen.
"I will give you a piggyback, climb on," Nikki told Helen.
"Oh god Nikki! I'm not an invalid you know, it's just a couple of blisters," said Helen laughing.
"No arguments! Jump on."
Helen jumped on to Nikki's back, and wrapped her arms and legs around Nikki. Nikki looped her arms under Helen's legs and set off toward the camp. Having Helen wrapped around her was starting to do funny things to Nikki's stomach; she loved the feel of Helen next to her. Helen was having similar thoughts as her heartbeat got faster, she hoped to god Nikki couldn't feel her heartbeat against her back. They soon got back to camp to find everybody else sitting around the fire brewing up again.
"Oh ello! It's the lone ranger and Tonto, hi ho silver!" shouted Zandra.
"Ha Ha bloody comedienne aren't ya Zan!" laughed Nikki.
Nikki gently lowered Helen on to the ground and after helping her to sit down, sat down beside her.
"How are you feeling boss?" asked Karen with a concerned look at Helen.
"I'm fine thanks Karen, bit sore but I'll live, it's only blisters," replied Helen.
"Blisters my arse! Nikki told us, your feet looked like a bloody war zone! You should have told us love," said Yvonne who had considerably softened towards Helen over the past few days despite their early morning alarm call.
"I'm ok really Yvonne, thanks for your concern though, I really do appreciate it," said Helen with a warm smile.
At that moment the Houdini twins arrived back in camp, bearing food. They had a case of lager and a Chinese takeaway.
"Don't tell me you found that lot out in the wild! Have a nice day did you?" Helen said with a giggle.
"Sorry captain, but we just didn't fancy walking all that way, and we didn't fancy going fishing again either so nipped into town and got a Chinese," said Barbara.
"We figured after the walk you lot had that you might appreciate a treat," explained Monica.
"Yeah and I suppose slipping off for a quick shag hadn't entered your heads either!" said Zandra with an evil grin.
Barbara then said something that shocked everybody and then made them laugh.
"Yeah well Zandra, you are just jealous because Monica and I spent the day shagging while you were tossing about in the wilderness!"
"Just goes to show that the picture of middle England isn't entirely as respectable as it would seem to be!" whispered Nikki to Helen, who couldn't help giggling at what Nikki had just said.
They dished out the Chinese and passed around the lager and settled down around the fire for the night. They were all talking quietly amongst themselves when Helen told them that they would be leaving and going back to camp the next morning.
"Oh that's a shame, we were all really enjoying ourselves out here," said Shaz with a frown.
"Yeah man! Pity we gotta go back, it's kinda nice out here innit," agreed Denny.
"Sorry but we can't stay out here forever, got to get back to camp, we have things to do," Helen looked around the group.
They all moved off to their respective tents a while later, Nikki and Helen lay in their sleeping bags talking quietly.
"So, tell me a little about yourself Nikki, I know almost nothing about you really."
"Well not much to tell really, my parents kicked me out when I was 16, they didn't approve of me being gay. Got a brother somewhere, he is ten years older than I am, bit of a drip just like my parents really. I joined the army when I was 18, been in the army ten years now, got shipped out to 'A Squadron' 6 months ago and here we are now."
"Oh god Nikki that's awful, it's their loss though, it's a shame they couldn't bring themselves to accept you, they have missed out on having a wonderful daughter in their lives," said Helen while gripping Nikki's arm gently.
"Thanks Helen that means a lot to me," Nikki smiled over at her.
"Have you got a partner at the moment?" Helen suddenly getting the courage to ask.
"No I haven't. Trish and I split up before I was transferred to A Squadron, she was cheating on me and I found out and ended it. Believe it or not, she was cheating with Fenner." Nikki said with a disgusted look on her face.
"Fenner! Bloody hell, what in god's name did she see in him? He is a total slime ball! You on the other hand are a very beautiful woman Nikki, she must be blind," Helen sympathised.
"I err thanks Helen," said Nikki feeling flustered after being called beautiful by Helen.
"You know not long after I transferred to HQ 3 months ago, Fenner tried it on with me in the pub, Sean was pissed as usual and didn't do a thing to stop him. I told Fenner that even if he and Sylvia Hollamby from admin were the last two people on the planet I would still climb over him to get to her, and then I poured my pint over his head," said Helen laughing at the memory.
"Oh my god! That was you? I heard about that, we were all laughing about that for weeks afterwards!" said Nikki with a look of admiration on her face.
"Yep that was me."
Helen felt the sudden urge to lean forward and kiss Nikki, before she could stop herself, she leaned forward and kissed her gently on the lips, and Nikki responded and pulled Helen closer deepening the kiss. They both came up for air a short time later.
"Jesus, Nikki I'm sorry," gasped Helen, Nikki pulled Helen into a hug.
"I'm not, don't worry about it. Come on lets get some sleep," Helen relaxed into Nikki and allowed herself to be held as she fell asleep.
Helen woke up the next morning to find herself curled around Nikki. She found that Nikki was already awake and watching her.
"Morning, how did you sleep?" said Nikki looking at Helen who was looking less tired than usual.
"I slept really well, haven't slept like that in a long time."
"Good, me neither," smiled Nikki.
"Look Nikki....about last night..." Helen faltered.
"Helen, it's fine we had a bit to drink didn't we, so no harm done eh?" said Nikki smiling at Helen. Nikki had wanted that kiss to last forever, but it now seemed to Nikki that Helen was having second thoughts judging by what she had just said.
"Yeah you're right," said Helen smiling at Nikki although she was disappointed. It left her with the feeling that Nikki didn't feel the same way about her.
"So, still friends?" asked Helen apprehensively.
"Course we are!" replied Nikki.
They all had a cuppa and then packed up the equipment before heading back to the base. They threw their bags down and settled around the table with a drink. Helen was in her office, she sat in front of the computer staring at the screen but nothing registered. She was thinking about what Nikki had said earlier, she kept going over and over it in her head but the conclusion was always the same. Nikki put the kiss down to alcohol and nothing more, and Helen's heart ached at the thought.
Nikki was also in a similar dream state, thinking about what Helen had said to her that morning. She had been so sure that Helen felt the connection between them both just like she had, but when she had brought the subject up Nikki had assumed she regretted the kiss so she offered Helen an easy way out. She was brought back to reality as Yvonne tapped her on the shoulder.
"What? Did you want something Yvonne?" Nikki asked with a blank look.
"Yeah about phase two, is that still going ahead in the morning?" Yvonne asked Nikki, noticing that she looked pre-occupied.
"Yes, absolutely. Remember what to do?" Nikki asked pulling herself together.
"Yep, I have gone over it all with Karen again and we both know the drill," Yvonne grinned at Nikki as Nikki grinned wickedly back.
The next morning Nikki was up early, she looked back over at Helen who was still snoring away quietly on her bed. Nikki had an overwhelming urge just to lie next to her and take her in her arms. Instead she shook her head as if to clear the thoughts away, and left the room.
"Morning Yvonne, you're up early," Nikki said casually as she poured some coffee.
"That's because I had to send that memo, remember?"
"Yeah sorry, I just have a lot of things on my mind," Nikki replied as Yvonne looked at her knowing exactly why Nikki had things on her mind.
"No problem. Anyway once she reads the memo we should be on to a winner," Yvonne took a sip of her coffee and leant back in her chair.
A while later, everybody except Helen had gotten up and for once they were all wearing full uniform, just as they had been told to by Nikki. The warehouse was filled with an air of anticipation at the thought that phase 2 was going ahead today; they couldn't wait to see what would happen. Yvonne had informed them that she had sent the memo, and was now sat with everybody else talking about a film they all wanted to see.
Helen was getting dressed, and when she had finished she looked into the mirror, she couldn't wait to see what the reaction would be. She was also launching phase two of her plan today. She had watched Nikki getting dressed earlier in full uniform through narrowed eyes, quickly closing them before Nikki found out she was awake. She took one last look in the mirror thinking "Not bad Stewart, not bad at all, this should have them wondering what the hell is going on!"
Helen walked out from the room she shared with Nikki, across the warehouse and towards her office.
"Morning everyone, lovely day," she said with a smile.
The entire group was gob smacked at Helen's appearance. She was wearing cut off denims, that she hadn't bothered to fasten up, and she was showing off a good deal of the black bikini bottoms she was wearing underneath them. Her outfit was finished off with a skimpy black bikini bra that matched the bottoms, and she was barefoot. Nikki felt her tongue hanging out, and her temperature rise.
Dom and Thomas were also staring at Helen although they couldn't see the attraction the rest of the women in the room did. They were just shocked at seeing their CO dressed like she was ready for a day at the beach. Helen walked into her office, and sat down in front of her computer.
"Bloody ell! Get a load of that!" said Yvonne.
"Phwoar!" was all Karen could say.
"I'm lost for twatting words!" supplied Zandra.
"Oh...my....god...." was all Nikki could manage; she was desperately trying to keep her hormones under control.
"Oh she looks gorgeous in them shorts, don't she Ju."
"Yeah in them shorts, gorgeous Ju."
They had always behaved in a similar way when Nikki wore anything skimpy but Nikki had gotten embarrassed and told them all to knock it off, so they were glad of an excuse to gawp at Helen now. They were all discussing Helen's outfit when she came out of the office and sat down next to Nikki. Denny nearly fell over herself to get Helen a cup of tea, only to be beaten to it by Shaz, who if she had been a puppy would have been wagging her tail like mad.
"You ok Nikki?" said Helen taking a sip of her tea.
"Yeah...yeah I'm fine, why do you ask?" said Nikki in a croaky voice.
"Oh no reason, you just look a little hot and bothered, must be cos it's such a warm day, and you are wearing all that uniform, why don't you take some of it off?" she said with a suggestive smile.
"Yeah I err yeah I think I will," Nikki said escaping to her room before she jumped on Helen. Yvonne and Karen looked at each other questioningly and decided to go and have a quick word with Nikki.
"Eh Nik, what's going on with Helen?" asked Karen.
"What do you mean? Going on?" Nikki asked, thinking that maybe they were referring to the fact that she had the hots for Helen.
"I mean why the hell is she dressed in her civvies, yesterday she was all army and now...." Karen trailed off.
"Yeah Karen's right, what is she up to?" Yvonne raised her eyebrows at Nikki.
"I really don't know, I mean yesterday she was normal and now today she has turned into one of us!" said Nikki looking puzzled.
"Well maybe she just fancied not wearing her uniform?" said Karen.
"Well I don't know, we just have to wait and see, but phase two is still in operation, lets just see where we end up after that," said Nikki before getting up and leaving her room closely followed by both Yvonne and Karen.
Helen was now lying on the bonnet of the jeep; she had first spotted Nikki on. She had applied some sun lotion and was now soaking up the rays. Scooby was relaxing in his paddling pool as usual. Nikki walked outside and jumped up onto the bonnet, and lay next to Helen.
"Mind if I join you?" enquired Nikki.
"Nope not at all, in fact I'm really looking forward to it," Helen said in a sultry tone hoping to be able to provoke some sort of reaction in Nikki.
"Oh Nikki by the way, I had a memo from HQ earlier on this morning, something about wanting us all to go on a training exercise to Billington, firearms it was I think they said."
"Oh right, well when are we leaving then?" said a now excited Nikki thinking that Helen had fallen for it.
"We aren't, I turned them down, it's not as if we need firearms training is it? Don't need a rifle to sunbathe," said Helen knowing exactly what Nikki was up to.
"Oh right, well yeah that's good, I mean none of us can be arsed to go down there anyway," Nikki lay back down on the bonnet, thinking "that didn't go too well."
"Yeah I know I can't be arsed going either, it's much more fun, lounging around here. What about tonight, have you all got a pissup planned?" asked Helen knowing full well they hadn't because they thought they would be going to Billington.
"Nah, we couldn't be bothered going out tonight, we decided to relax after being in the woods all week.
"Yeah not such a bad idea, we can have a few jars here tonight, still got plenty of booze hanging about."
Nikki was getting fed up, for the past couple of weeks Yvonne had sent the odd memo but Helen turned every single one of them down. They were about to give up when Karen persuaded them to try one last time, they sent another memo about going to Billington on a firearms exercise. They sat at breakfast not really thinking Helen would fall for it but they were about to be surprised.
"I received another memo this morning from Billington, they were insistent that we take part in an exercise so, pack up because we are heading down to the coast for the weekend on a firearms exercise," Helen downed the last of her coffee and walked away smiling.
"Gotcha!" she thought as slipped back onto the bonnet of the jeep and settled down to another day of sunbathing.
Nikki was now telling the others that the trip to Billington was on, and they were all overjoyed about it. Billington base was down on the southwest coast and it had plenty of gay clubs and pubs for them to visit. The reasoning behind their plan was simple, they would get Helen down there on the pretext of a training exercise and when they got there Billington wouldn't know a thing about it. Helen would be ticked off that the army was seemingly so badly organised, they would persuade her to go for a drink to calm down and before she would know what was happening, they would get her totally trolleyed. Hey presto! A weekend at the seaside.
Saturday morning came and they were all clambering onto a bus outside the warehouse, all packed and set for the off. Helen sat beside Nikki who had her nose stuck in a book; she tried to study Nikki closely, acting as if she was enjoying the view from the window.
"You know if you want to look at me Helen, just ask and I will the put the book down so you can see me properly," Nikki said casually.
"Very sure of yourself aren't you? I was in fact looking at the view from the window," Helen replied back just as casually.
"Oh really? Perhaps you would like to change seats then so you can see a little better," Nikki made Helen swap seats and tried to keep the smile from her face at seeing Helen frown because she couldn't look at her anymore.
A couple of hours later they pulled up outside the base and Helen approached the guard on the gate.
"Captain Helen Stewart of A Squadron, reporting for the firearms training exercise," Helen said as she flashed her ID to the MP on the gate.
They all stood there grinning at each other, thinking that any minute now Helen would find out they didn't have a clue what she was talking about.
"Of course Captain Stewart, welcome to Billington. The firearms training building is two hundred yards up the road on the left. The instructors will be waiting for you," The MP smiled as he handed Helen's ID back.
The group stared at each other in total horror. Something had gone desperately, seriously, shockingly wrong. They would have to actually participate in an exercise.
"Oh buggery bollocks!" Nikki said with a sinking feeling.
They were now stood in front of the firearms training officer, all lined up and listening to what he had to say.
"Right first off, we will be doing a building clearing exercise. You will be required to split up into two groups; one will take the top floor and the other the ground floor. You will be using stun grenades and live ammunition. A word of warning, the building may be booby trapped so watch out for that."
The instructor then explained the procedure to them, and they all trooped off to get kitted up.
"Are you ok Nikki? You look a little pale," Helen said as she changed into her outfit for the exercise. She tried to keep the smile off her face and had to bite down on her bottom lip.
"Yes I'm fine," Nikki replied quietly.
Helen then stood up and left the room to go in search of the instructor. The room fell silent and they all looked at Nikki.
"What? What are you looking at me like that for? It's not my bloody fault."
"You said this would work, and now look at us. Done up like bloody GI Jane, I feel like a right prat," Yvonne said in disgust.
"Well who's fault is it Yvonne? You sent the memo it was your idea," Nikki snapped back.
"I didn't exactly hear you saying you disapproved. I didn't know your girlfriend would accept it."
"She is not my girlfriend! And you wanted her to accept it anyway,"
"Yeah but how was I to know it was an actual training exercise," Yvonne moaned.
"It wasn't an actual training exercise to begin with you Muppet! She obviously phoned up and arranged one."
"How the hell......" Yvonne went to say as Karen interrupted her.
"For god sake will you two shut up! What has gotten into the pair of you?" Karen stood there with her arms folded looking back and forth between the two women.
"Dunno Karen, touch of pmt maybe?" Nikki said sarcastically.
"Right you lot, I don't know what you are arguing about but it stops now, do I make myself clear?" Helen had come back into the room knowing only too well what they had been arguing about, they weren't as quiet as they thought they had been.
"Yes captain," they all replied in unison before marching off behind Helen and into the training building.
They split up into two teams. Helen took Nikki, the Julies, Dominic and Monica. They made their way to the second floor as the exercise got under way. Helen took the lead and pointed to the first door, they had to use hand signals as they were wearing respirators. Nikki nodded and pulled a grenade off her belt before kicking the door open and lobbing the grenade inside.
There was a loud bang and a flash of light before the room filled with smoke. They ran in making sure that the room was clear before making their way to the next one. One of the Julies accidentally knocked a trip wire and there was a load thump and a flash of fire above them that disappeared as quickly as it had come. Nikki noticed Julie S' hair was on fire and hit her on the back of the head to put it out.
They carried on along the corridor of the building, clearing each room as they went. Some rooms had targets in them, and they shot at them trying to be as accurate as they possibly could.
Further along the building another booby trap went off and again Julie S' hair caught fire, Nikki nudged Helen who was closer and she quickly hit her on the back of the head to extinguish the fire. It didn't quite work though because Julie had so much hair lacquer on her head that the fire had started up again. This time both Helen and Nikki smacked her on the back of the head, and managed to put it out.
The exercise finally came to an end about ten minutes later and they all went outside and took their respirators off. It was hard to breathe while wearing one and they were all grateful to be able to suck in the fresh air.
"Ere that was good wannit Ju?"
"Oh yeah it was Ju, only one thing though Ju," Julie S said.
"Oh yeah what was that Ju?"
"I ain't 'alf got an 'eadache. Somebody kept smacking me on the back of the 'ead, I thought we were supposed to use hand signals?" said Julie S looking confused.
Nikki and Helen started to giggle at Julie's confusion.
"We are supposed to use hand signals but Helen and I were smacking you on the back of the head cos your wig caught fire," Nikki said giggling.
"Yeah that's right, your hair lacquer is a fire hazard," Helen said laughing along.
"My head was on fire?" said Julie who was still looking confused.
"Yes! Didn't you feel it?" Nikki asked looking at Julie who looked pensive.
"No I don't think so," Julie said.
"You dopey cow!" Yvonne said laughing.
They all went off for lunch, and were sat quietly eating their food. Helen noticed that nobody was talking to each other, and she decided to leave them to it. They would come round sooner or later. After lunch they broke up into two groups again and were led into a wooded area for a paintball exercise.
"I joined the army to be a soldier, not to run round in the woods with a paint ball gun like a bloody teenager!" Yvonne was moaning again.
"For god sake Yvonne why don't you just shut your trap," Nikki stood with her hands on her hips, glaring at Yvonne.
"Why don't you come over here and say that to me?" Yvonne squared up to Nikki.
"Oi! In case you hadn't noticed, this is the army not a primary school! Grow up the pair of you and save all the aggression for the exercise," Helen shouted, and they both immediately had the grace to look embarrassed.
They got ready to start the exercise and took their positions. It went well for the first twenty minutes or so, until Nikki spotted Yvonne up ahead in the trees. She took off after her to get revenge; Helen rolled her eyes and took off after Nikki. Nikki had Yvonne in her sights and fired, hitting her square on the backside.
"OW! That really hurt, what did you do that for?" Yvonne turned around only to have Nikki answer her question with a paintball fired straight at her face mask.
"Serves you right, what's the matter getting too old for all this?" Nikki stood smirking until a paintball hit her right on the head.
That was it then, world war 3 broke out. They started firing at each other almost non stop. When they got nearer to each other they both threw the guns down and toppled over on to the floor wrestling with each other. Karen and Helen stood watching them.
"Fancy a cigarette Helen?"
"Yeah, thanks Karen," Helen took the cigarette and carried on watching Nikki and Yvonne.
"Nutter," Yvonne shouted
"Arsehole," Nikki shouted while flicking Yvonne's face mask.
"Hmmm is it just me or are those two pissed off with each other?" Helen said dryly.
"If I had to put money on it, I would say they were," Karen said as she grinned at Helen.
Nikki picked up her paint gun again and starting firing it point blank at Yvonne's mask. Yvonne was shouting and trying to push her off but Nikki had her legs pinned. When the paint balls had run out, they carried on wrestling again.
"You're an escaped mental patient Nikki," Yvonne shouted as she finally managed to push Nikki over, and pin her down.
"Coming from you that's a compliment you demented mare."
"Are you two children going to carry on playing all day or what?" Karen said as she took another drag of her cigarette.
"It's all her fault; she started it by shooting me in the arse!" Yvonne pointed at Nikki as they carried on grappling.
"Don't point at holy pictures," Nikki said giggling, Yvonne suddenly stopped and started giggling as well.
"Why the hell are we fighting?" Yvonne asked through giggles.
"I don't know I've forgotten," Nikki stood up and gave Yvonne a hand.
"Now you two have stopped messing about, it's about time we went out for a drink," Helen said looking enthusiastic.
Fenner was sitting in Sean's office discussing A Squadron. Fenner had been having evil thoughts for the past few days now and decided to put an idea to Sean.
"I think I have an idea colonel," said Fenner greasily.
"Oh yes and what is this idea then."
"Well, captain Stewart seems to be doing well with A Squadron, she has them out on firearms training at the moment and I was thinking we should give them a little exercise so to speak. I mean they have quite a group there, and I think they would be perfect for a little problem that the government wants dealt with."
"You mean the Russian communications station?" said Sean.
"Exactly Sir, word has it that the Russians are up to something and the government wants to gain entry to the station and find out what it's all about, there has been increased activity in the area and we know they have been moving weapons about. With the recent tensions between our government and theirs, they think it would be a good idea to send a team in to investigate."
"So basically, we send them in, without a hope in hell of them coming out alive," said a concerned looking Colonel Parr.
"Either that sir, or you, field Marshall Stubberfield and I stand to lose out on an awful lot, we don't know how much they know about what we have been up to. So we get rid of A Squadron, and at the same time get a pat on the back from the higher ups for taking this mission on."
"Yes, yes I suppose you are right, I want you to persuade Stubberfield to take this on. I want official notice from him before we arrange anything, so nobody gets suspicious," Sean said as he tapped his pen on the desk.
"It also means with A Squadron out of the way, we will be able to carry on with our plans Colonel. Should I get in touch with General Khrushchev?"
"Yes, that's a good idea, oh and Jim, I want to see that file as well, I need to bring myself back up to date."
Sean knew that he would be throwing Helen and the rest of the group to the wolves but he would rather do that than be found out, he was only interested in saving his own skin now while hopefully making large amounts of money at the same time.
"Right sir, I will get the file and make that call. I will also have a word with Stubberfield and try and get him to accept this mission. I will keep you updated," said Fenner smarmily before leaving Sean's office.
He smiled to himself as he walked down the corridor to his own office. If he could convince Stubberfield to accept the job from the ministry then he was laughing. It would sort out that bitch Wade for one, and it would also sort out Stewart. He didn't like having his advances thrown back in his face, Helen had humiliated him in front of a crowd at the pub one night not long after her arrival and as for Wade well, and his reasons for getting back at her were entirely different. He had an old score to settle with Wade, and as far as he was concerned, he was going to come out on top.
They all went back to the barracks for a sit down and a quick cuppa before getting ready to go out. The mood had lightened and after the shock of the day's activities had worn off they were talking again.
"Great shot in the arse that Nikki," Karen said laughing as she sat on Yvonne's knee.
"Whose flippin' side are you on anyway?" Yvonne said she slapped Karen on the leg.
Helen came into the room and sat down next to Nikki. She sat there sipping her tea, and decided it was time to launch phase 3 of her plan, and as far as she knew the rest of the squadron hadn't even planned that far ahead. She was just about to speak when Zandra interrupted.
"I think I'm getting athlete's foot, it's all this running around like idiots that's doing it," She said as she inspected her feet.
"More like athletes gob Zandra, it keeps running away with you," Nikki quipped and the room broke out into howls of laughter while Zandra scowled at Nikki.
"I have been thinking. When I get back I will arrange another exercise, I enjoyed today," Helen said casually.
"What did you have in mind?" Karen asked cautiously.
"Oh not much, 60k march through the Brecon Beacons with weighted backpacks. Have a think about it, and let me know," Helen stood up and went off to iron her going out clothes.
"She knows! she has known all along. We try messing about in the forest, she confiscates the food, and she knew Babs and Monica had been to Tesco's. We start wearing full uniform and she changes into a beach bum. We tried sending fake memos to get a weekend trip away, and what happens? We get here to find it's an actual exercise that I know she arranged. Then she goes on the attack and mentions a trip to the Brecon Beacons," Nikki said as she saw the look of recognition pass from face to face.
"Canny bitch," said Yvonne shaking her head in wonder.
"So what do we do now then man?" Denny asked frowning.
"Well as regards the captain's re-training, we have been rumbled because she has been one step ahead all along and I for one want to know how. Having said that there is a way we can get our own back," Nikki said grinning wickedly as they all bowed their heads closer to hear what she had to say.
Ten minutes later the plan was all worked out and Nikki shouted for Helen to join them for a moment. Helen put down the iron and went back into the seating area.
"We surrender captain. You win. However we would like to know how you knew about what we were up to," Nikki said with a faintly amused look on her face.
"I have a slight confession to make, I heard you talking in the forest. I was curious about what you were up to and I just couldn't help playing along."
"Makes sense!" Karen said laughing.
"You're not angry are you?" Helen said looking slightly worried.
"No course we aren't, we were at it as well. You win captain; we go back to work, no more sunbathing or lounging about. From now on full army uniform will be worn," Nikki said grinning; she knew Helen was in for a big shock.
"Great! I better get back to my ironing," Helen said as she walked off wearing a dazzling smile. She had managed to win, and now she would get them back to work like proper soldiers.
"Ready?" Yvonne asked
"Yeah, meet you round the back of the barracks in five minutes," Nikki said before scooting off.
Helen finished her ironing and then hung her clothes up. She polished her shoes, and then rummaged through her bag looking for her makeup. Nikki and Yvonne were at the back of the barracks, they located exactly what they were looking for. There was a maintenance hatch a few feet away from the building, and they opened it and climbed inside. They switched on the torch and walked down the tunnel a little bit looking for the pipe that supplied water to their particular hut. Nikki then found the pipe leading to Helen's bathroom. Smiling, Nikki turned the tap cutting the water off for a minute, then opened the hatch to the filter that the water passed through. She took a box from her pocket and tipped the contents into the pipe. The powder swirled around for a moment and then dissolved.
"When she steps in the shower, she is going to get such a shock," Nikki said giggling as she explained to Yvonne what the powder was.
"Oh no! She is going to be hopping mad," Yvonne broke down laughing.
They quickly climbed out and ran back into the hut, Dominic and Thomas had finished showering so all the women went into the communal shower. They had only been in there for five minutes when they heard a shout from Helen.
They all started giggling knowing that their little prank had been a success. A couple of seconds later, Helen came flying in naked as the day she was born.
"Have you seen the state of me?" Helen asked looking pissed off. She had every right to; her hair and body were now a bright green colour.
"Oh it's the Loch Ness monster! Eh up Nessie!" Nikki giggled uncontrollably and then more or less shut up when she realised Helen was totally naked. She eyed Helen up and down lustfully, taking in all the curves of her perfect figure.
"She looks like Yoda!" Said Zandra giggling uncontrollably.
"I take it this is payback for finding out what you were up to?" Helen said as she started to pace up and down.
"Yep, couldn't let you get away with it captain. Would you like a towel?" Yvonne said laughing. Helen finally realised she was standing in front of them all starkers, her face went a darker shade of green as she blushed and then ran out while trying to cover herself.
"Bloody typical! First time I get to see her naked and I have a bloody audience," Nikki giggled and carried on showering.
A while later she had gotten dry and dressed herself and Helen still hadn't appeared. She started to worry now that maybe they had gone a bit too far. She tapped on Helen's door and heard a muffled "Come in."
"Are you ok Helen?"
"Do I look okay? I'm bright green for god sake. Does this stuff ever come off?" Helen said looking worried as she surveyed her face in the mirror.
"Yes it's only a dye. As far as I know the only thing that removes it is vinegar," Nikki tried to be helpful.
"Oh that is just brilliant! Do you know anywhere I can get enough vinegar to have a shower in?" Helen said sarcastically as she threw a pillow at Nikki.
"I can go and try to get some from the kitchens; they always have big bottles of the stuff."
"Hurry up then, I don't want to be green all night."
Nikki came back ten minutes later with two big bottles.
"Run a bath and chuck both bottles in, it should come off then,"
"Thanks," Helen said curtly and slammed the bathroom door.
The rest of the group went off at Nikki's insistence, she knew Helen wouldn't want to go out now, and her enthusiasm had certainly worn off. She sat and waited for Helen to appear which she did nearly an hour later.
"Still here I see, thought you would have gone out ages ago," Helen sat down in front of Nikki, and glared at her.
"No I told the rest to go, I wanted to stay here and see if you were ok," Nikki felt awful now, it had seemed like a funny idea at the time but seeing that it had upset Helen so much, she no longer found it funny.
"You needn't have bothered," Helen said stiffly
"I'm sorry; it was a stupid thing to do. It was only meant as a bit of fun," Nikki said apologetically and looking like a puppy that had just been caught doing something naughty.
"It's just one big joke to you isn't it? How could you even think of humiliating me in front of everybody like that?" Helen looked really downcast.
"I didn't mean to, I'm really sorry. I feel awful because I've hurt you and I didn't want that to happen," Nikki looked really sad now and Helen figured it was time to put her out of her misery.
"GOTCHA!" she said laughing as she looked at a stunned Nikki.
"Were you having me on?"
"Yes and you are soooo easy to wind up! I have to admit I was angry to begin with but then I saw the funny side. I know you didn't do it to hurt me," Helen took hold of Nikki's hand.
"That makes us even!" Nikki replied smiling as she stroked the back of Helen's hand with her thumb.
"Sorry you missed out on your night out," Helen said feeling guilty that Nikki hadn't gone out with the rest of them.
"Don't be, I would rather spend time here with you," Nikki's heart started to thump as she recognised a look of desire in Helen's eyes but it disappeared quickly.
"I smell awful," Helen sniffed her arm and pulled a face. She could still detect the smell of vinegar even though she had showered twice.
"It's not that bad, you would be lovely for eating chips on," Nikki grinned wickedly, as she flirted with Helen.
"Kinky!" Helen quickly smiled and jumped up, flirting with Nikki was getting dangerous.
"Fancy a coffee? There is a good film on in a minute," she said brightly as if nothing had happened.
"Yeah that would good," Nikki said sighing as she switched the TV on.
The next morning they all returned to the warehouse in a good mood after the night out before. Nikki and Helen were slightly quiet and hadn't talked much on the trip home. They pulled up at the warehouse and got off the bus only to find somebody had broken in while they were away.
"Oh no look, we been....."
"Broken into, ain't we Ju?"
"Oh yeah Ju, broken into," said the Julies in their usual style.
"Oh shit that's all we need," said Nikki with a face like thunder.
She followed Helen into the building, and the place was a mess, everything had been strewn about, it was obvious somebody had gone through the place with a fine toothcomb, but Nikki knew what they were looking for and she also knew there wasn't a hope in hell that they had found it. She knew Fenner must have figured out that she had been the one to take it. She smiled to herself thinking Fenner must be desperate to go to these lengths.
Fenner was pacing his office like an animal on the prowl.
"That bitch Wade is asking for it, why in god's name didn't I realise she had the file sooner?" He thought, Fenner's blood boiled.
The last time he remembered seeing the file was 6 months ago, before Nikki was shipped off to A Squadron. He had taken her into his office on the pretext that he had heard rumours of officers getting up to no good, and tried to find out exactly how much of his dirty dealings she knew about. Nikki hadn't given anything away, but Fenner was convinced that she knew something.
He remembered being called out of the office to sort a problem and by the time he got back, Nikki had disappeared. He realised she was the only one who could have taken the file then because he always kept his office locked.
Nikki had told his wife about his affair with Trish, and when he got home one night, he found that she had packed up and taken the kids with her but not before shredding all his clothes with razor blades. He immediately went to Sean and told him about Nikki and the others snooping around, and they convinced Stubberfield to create A Squadron to get them out of the way, it also gave him the chance for revenge he was looking for after Nikki had broken his marriage up.
Even now, she was still messing his life up, the contents of that file would be enough to end the careers of all those involved not to mention a jail sentence.
Fenner slammed the door to his office in temper and locked it before walking away. He was going to see Stubberfield, now was the time to convince him that they should be taking on the Russian job, and after convincing Stubberfield, he and Parr could carry out their plans. That bitch Wade was definitely going to get what was coming to her.
Nikki had checked to make sure the file was safe. She hadn't touched it in 6 months, after the anger about Trish had abated, she had more or less forgotten about the file. Maybe now was the time to do something about it? After all, Fenner wanted that file for a reason, must be a pretty big reason judging by the fact he had turned the warehouse upside down to find it. Nikki resolved to leave it for the next few days while she thought about what she was going to do.
A while later, the warehouse had been returned to its original state and they all sat down for a much needed cuppa. They discussed the break-in but couldn't figure out who was responsible and since nothing had been stolen Helen decided it probably wasn't worth reporting as the MP's wouldn't do anything about it anyway.
"Nikki are you ok? You seem a bit quiet," Helen had asked Nikki, later on that night after they had eaten dinner.
"I'm fine Helen, sorry I was miles away just thinking about something," she smiled.
"Are you sure? I haven't done anything to upset you have I?" said Helen with an apprehensive look on her face.
"No Helen, course you haven't, don't worry, we're still friends although I don't know why because I can't stand the sight of you!" she replied laughing.
"That's alright, I can't stand you either!" Helen raised her eyebrow and smiled.
They all went out to the pub for a quiet drink later on and were sat deep in conversation. Nikki went to the bar with Helen to get the drinks in, and while they were waiting, Fenner came in. He spotted them and walked over to them, not being able to resist having a go at them.
"Well look who it is. Long time no see eh Wade? Still up to your dykey tricks?" he said with a smirk.
"Piss off Fenner," Nikki looked at him with disgust.
"Has she managed to turn you into one of them yet captain Stewart?" he eyed Helen up and down slowly. He then reached out and put one of his hands on her waist.
"Don't touch what you can't afford Fenner," Helen said menacingly as she pushed him away.
"Didn't realise you had started charging for it love," He smirked.
Nikki stepped forward and aimed her fist at him, catching him on the nose. He fell onto the floor and was out cold. The blood dribbled from his nose and onto the floor.
"Nikki!" Helen said and grabbed her by the arm and dragged her outside.
"What the bloody hell are you playing at?"
"He was being an arsehole, he deserved it. Did you seriously think I would let him say something like that to you, and get away with it?" Nikki stepped closer to Helen.
"I can fight my own battles Nikki, you can't just go round punching people you don't like," Helen could feel her blood pressure rising.
"When are you ever going to let somebody help you? You don't have to always do everything on your own. Jesus Helen, you can be such a pain sometimes," Nikki was angry that Helen didn't understand why she had done it.
"I could say the same about you. If you ever pull a stunt like that again, I will report you," Helen said in such a way that Nikki knew she meant it.
"Oh do whatever you want, I don't care. Next time somebody insults you, then you can deal with it on your own," Nikki said before striding off, leaving Helen standing on her own.
"Sod you Nikki!" She shouted after her before going back into the pub.
Helen sat down next to Yvonne and started on her pint. She looked rattled and Yvonne knew it had something to do with Nikki. She got up to get some more drinks and pulled Helen along with her.
"I don't know what just happened between you and Nikki, but I think you should go and sort it out now. My old mum used to say never go to bed on an argument," Yvonne said as she lit up a cigarette and offered one to Helen who took it.
"I don't know whether I should. I just can't handle the way she behaved tonight, ok Fenner was being a prick but it didnt warrant knocking him out," Helen puffed on the cigarette and blew the smoke out towards the ceiling.
"Do you really not know why she did it?" Yvonne asked as she handed the money over.
"She said it was because he insulted me."
"That's not the only reason. Just go and talk to her, and sort things out," Yvonne took the drinks and Helen decided she was probably right.
She said goodnight to them all and made her way back to the warehouse, where she found Nikki sitting on her bed reading. Helen sat on her bed opposite, and spoke to Nikki.
"Yvonne said I should come and talk to you. I think she is right."
"Do you really? that makes it all alright then doesn't it," Nikki wasn't feeling in the mood to be nice to Helen.
"Just what the hell is your problem?" Helen exploded.
"My problem is you!" Nikki shouted as she flung the book across the room.
"Me? Why what have I done?"
"Just forget it! I'm sick of this and I'm going out, don't wait up," Nikki got up and slammed the door on her way out.
Helen lay back on the bed and began to cry. She knew what Nikki was trying to say, it was her fault. Every time Nikki got anywhere near her she backed off, she could handle the flirting to a point but as soon as she had kissed Nikki in the forest, she realised just how much she wanted her and was scared by the thought.
She had come to realise recently that Nikki did in fact have feelings for her, she could see it in her eyes whenever she looked at her. She decided that she had to sort herself out and take a chance for once otherwise she would lose Nikki and there would be no way back. She lay on the bed and waited for Nikki to come home.
Meanwhile Nikki was walking aimlessly trying to forget about Helen. She knew it was impossible, she was already so deeply in love with her that she couldnt go back now. Initially after their first kiss in the forest, she had thought Helen had regrets and didn't feel the same. She now knew differently however, because Helen had expressive eyes and Nikki had become quite proficient in being able to read them. Sighing, she turned back towards home and realised it was time to sort things out once and for all.
She crept into the warehouse, and locked the door. Being careful not to wake everybody up. She gave scooby a quick stroke and then made her way to her room. Helen lay in bed looking at the luminous dial on her watch; she had expected Nikki to be back ages ago and was worried. She heard the door opening, and pretended to be asleep as relief flooded over her that Nikki was finally back.
Nikki quietly got undressed and made her way over to Helen's bed. She lifted the covers and climbed inside. Helen's heart raced as she felt Nikki lay down beside her.
"Stop pretending Stewart, I know you aren't asleep," Nikki said with a smile in her voice.
"Are you ok?" Helen croaked.
"That's good," Helen didn't know what to say next, before she could say anything Nikki spoke.
"Do you love me Helen?" asked Nikki as she wrapped her arm round Helen's waist.
"More than you will ever know. I love you Nikki," said Helen turning over so she could face Nikki in the darkness.
"I love you too," Nikki pulled Helen into her arms and kissed her gently on the lips.
"I'm sorry Helen, I shouldn't have run away, but I just didn't know what to do."
"It's ok I understand, there is nothing to be sorry for. I know why you punched Fenner's lights out now, it was because you love me," Helen said as she kissed Nikki again.
"Yes that was exactly why," Nikki held on tight to Helen.
"I'm sorry about the way I have been messing you about, I have never felt this way before and I was scared," Helen ran her hand down Nikki's arm.
"I have never felt this way before either. You don't have to be scared sweetheart, we can take it slowly."
"Yeah dead slow," Helen giggled quietly as she passionately kissed Nikki again.
"So I take it that you don't classify yourself as being straight anymore," said Nikki with a giggle.
"Nope! Finally acknowledged the fact that I'm gay after years of subconsciously trying to deny it and here I am. In love for the first time, even though it took me bloody long enough!"
"Oooo and who is the lucky woman then?" said Nikki dodging a kick Helen had aimed at her.
"You are, so how about you shut up and kiss me while I prove how much I love you Wade!"
Yvonne got up next morning and grinned when she saw that Nikki and Helen weren't up yet, she handed a coffee to Karen.
"Well it looks like the two of them finally got it together then babe," said Karen as she entwined her fingers with Yvonne's.
"Yep! It's a wonder you didn't hear them at it!" said Yvonne laughing.
"You know me, I'm such a deep sleeper. Unlike you Atkins, I'm sure you sleep with one bloody eye open, this is the army not the mafia!" said Karen as she playfully punched Yvonne on the arm.
Everybody had assembled getting their morning brew by the time Nikki and Helen put in an appearance. They came out of their room smiling at each other while holding hands.
"Wahey! Somebody got lucky last night," shouted Denny.
"I knew it! Lucy babe, that's a tenner you owe me!" said Zandra to a pissed off looking Lucy.
"That's scandalous, they could have waited till tomorrow night, I would have won the bet then!" said Lucy with a resigned laugh.
"Oi Captain! Finally been on nighttime maneuvers with Nikki then?" quipped Shaz.
Helen burst out laughing, ordinarily this sort of thing would have embarrassed her but she didn't mind.
"Can't keep anything secret in this place, can we Warrant Officer Wade?"
"No certainly can't Captain, not with this nosy lot. Too inquisitive for their own good!" Replied Nikki.
"Well from all the noise you two were making last night it definitely ain't a secret, it's a wonder you didn't wake the whole base up!" said Yvonne looking straight at Helen and Nikki.
Nikki looked at Helen and burst out laughing at the look on her face, Helen was blushing furiously, and she quickly smiled at Nikki.
"I err....better go check on the e-mail!" she mumbled before scurrying off.
Helen settled into her chair in front of the computer, she remembered last night's lovemaking with Nikki. It totally blew her away, she hadn't expected it to be so wonderful, she had told Nikki she had never experienced anything that came even remotely close. Then Nikki had surprised her by telling her she hadn't either. She switched the pc on while still daydreaming and came across an e-mail from HQ. She read it, and her first reaction was of shock, she wholeheartedly hoped that it was a joke but she knew deep down, that it wasn't. She printed it off and walked out of her office and handed it to Nikki.
"Jesus! Helen, is this on the level?" asked a shocked Nikki.
"It has to be since you lot already gave up on sending the fake memos," said Helen with a worried look.
Nikki rubbed her hand over her forehead worriedly and passed the memo to Karen. Karen's eyebrows shot up in shock, then she wordlessly passed it to Yvonne. The whole group sat in shock at the contents of the memo. There was silence for a while before Nikki shot up out of the chair and started to pace back and forth in agitation.
"This is fucking Fenner! It has to be, I'm gonna kill him when I get my hands on him!" exploded Nikki.
"Nikki, that memo came from Stubberfield, it was orders sent down from the Ministry. How can Fenner be responsible?" she regarded Nikki quizzically.
"I really should start at the beginning, some of you know bits and bobs, but you don't know the whole story," Nikki sat down as she began.
She told them all about dropping Fenner in it with his wife after his affair with Trish, then about how she had found out little bits about Fenner's scams, she told them about the existence of the file that she had taken from his office and that's why the warehouse had been trashed.
"He was looking for that file because it must have some pretty interesting evidence in it, I haven't looked into it in too much detail, but I'm betting if we go digging a little deeper then we will find something, I know it's him messing about behind the scenes because he has been desperate to get back at me, and everybody else here for some time now, it wouldn't have been hard for him to convince Stubberfield to take the mission from the higher ups."
"You see that's one of the reasons why we were all shunted here Helen, we were all finding irregularities within our respective departments and we were gotten out of the way," said Karen in response to what Nikki had just explained to Helen.
"What sort of irregularities?" Helen asked hoping to god it wasn't what she thought it was as a picture began forming in her mind.
"Equipment and files going missing, that sort of thing, and orders that came down the chain of command weren't being carried out properly," said Yvonne.
"Right so we know Fenner is involved, what about anybody else?" said Helen, although deep down she had a pretty good idea.
"Without 100% proof then I may be wrong, but I'm certain that Colonel Parr is involved and I'm pretty certain Stubberfield is too, I mean the three of them are as thick as thieves," replied Nikki.
Helen had been thinking along the same lines.
"So what's in this file then Nik?" Helen turned round to face Nikki again.
"Usernames, passwords, that sort of thing."
"That gives us somewhere to start then, shouldn't be too difficult to find what we are after," Yvonne looking at Nikki hopefully.
"Actually no it doesn't, because this file is encrypted, I have to work out what cipher they used and then unencrypt it, it's not going to be easy, but I should be able to make some headway at least," Nikki explained.
"How do you know its usernames and passwords Nikki man?" asked a confused looking Denny.
Nikki grinned "I know that because it has password and username written next to it in plain English Den, it's only the actual info that's encrypted," said Nikki stifling a giggle.
"Denny you twat!" said Zandra with a smirk.
Helen now understood what was going on. The memo was still bothering her, they were being ordered to go on a mission to the Russian communications station, in a month's time. This would be the first time any of them had actually been put in a conflict situation and even though she was trained for it, it still unnerved her.
"Nikki, what the hell are we gonna do about the Russian mission?" the tension was evident in Helen's face.
"I don't know, we will have to put our heads together, cos I'm telling you darlin, we are being sent on a fucking suicide mission! I would bet my last fiver that Fenner has something to do with it," said Nikki who was looking murderous by this time.
They all sat down and put their heads together to try and come up with an idea of how they were going to deal with Fenner and the problem of the upcoming mission.
"Right, we set up the stuff we need and I will start trying to break the code, I have a program that will help me figure out what cipher was used, but even when we figure that out, there are thousands of permutations when it comes to the encryption," Nikki tried to explain it as simply as she could.
"Do we do Nik...." asked the Julies.
"Then we break into the computer system, and find the info using the passwords we have decrypted, that should tell us more but it will take time," replied Nikki.
"Time is one thing we are short of, we have to train in-between time because I can't see anybody offering to help us out with that, and the mission is in a month's time, we have a lot to do," Karen said looking round the room.
"Besides that, we have to figure out how to go about it, because it's going to be bloody dangerous, and HQ's plan is full of shit. If we go that route then we are asking for trouble, and I'm buggered if I'm sticking to the plan," said Helen with a sudden burst of temper.
"I'm not a tactician, but I know that dropping us in that close is bloody stupid, they will be able to pick us off like fish in a barrel. Besides they will be able to pick us up on the radar," said Zandra frowning.
"Yeah that's right, we have to be below a thousand feet so that we don't show up on their radar, but to do that we have to be quite a distance away so that they don't spot the plane, parachuting in is the only way, otherwise they would spot us a mile off," Lucy explained.
"Oh fuck!" was all Helen said, she wandered off and came back with a bottle of vodka, and they passed it round.
"Has anybody here ever parachuted before?" asked Shaz.
"I have, it's not hard to get to grips with, you don't have to worry about opening your chute or anything when you are jumping from a thousand feet, the cord is attached to the plane, and it opens the chute when you jump out. Then you land in a relatively quick time. It's dangerous because of the low altitude but not as difficult as jumping from a higher altitude." Everybody looked at Dominic as he explained.
The phone rang, and Helen went to answer it, they heard her lose her temper big style over the phone, and then she slammed it down, and joined them again muttering under her breath.
"Sweetheart, what's the matter?" Nikki asked putting her arm around her.
"Sean Parr! the bastard has just informed me that this mission is a deniable op," said Helen through clenched teeth.
"Deniable ops! The job is dangerous enough as it is," said Yvonne who was now feeling like murdering Sean.
"Yeah we get caught we are on our own, the government won't own up to us being there, this is turning out to be a really bad day!" said Nikki pulling Helen closer.
"Shit, if we get caught you can bet they are going to torture us man," said a now worried looking Denny.
"Shut it Den, things are bad enough as it is without you banging on about torture," said Thomas looking at Denny with a warning look that told her to shut up.
"I have an answer to one of our problems," said Barbara.
"Go on Babs," said Karen.
"Well I know a gentleman who has a plane, he is retired air force, and I know he will help, he will fly us in, but I know he can't pick us up again, because it would be too dangerous to land."
"Who is this bloke then, are you sure he would help us?" said Yvonne.
"Yes I'm sure, the gentleman in question is my ex husband."
"Bloody ell Babs, didn't know you swing both ways!" said Shaz with a laugh.
"I don't Shaz, it was a marriage of convenience, and anyway, I trust him, he will help us."
"Thanks Babs, if you could have a word with him and let him know the situation. We will work out how the hell we get back out afterwards, Nikki and I will tell Sean that we have worked out our own transport because I'd rather parachute in further away than getting as close as Sean wants us to," Helen said smiling thankfully at Babs.
She turned to Dom and Thomas
"Can you two gather some Int on this communications station, we need to know what we are dealing with, see if there is anywhere safe for us to parachute into, and what sort of environment we are dealing with, that way we have a better picture of how to proceed."
"Of course Captain, no problem, we will get started straightaway," said Thomas who now looked happier at having something to do, Dominic followed him.
"I better get started on decrypting this file then, there isn't much else we can do until the lads come up with the Int, when we know more we can figure out the rest," Nikki spoke quietly to Helen.
"Ok babe, seems like the best thing to do," she replied with a lost look on her face.
"How about you come and help me, this is really a two person job, it will take your mind off things," she said giving Helen a kiss on the cheek.
"You're right, besides it gives me a chance to spend time with this gorgeous code breaker I know," said Helen with a leering smile.
"Ooo pervert!" said Nikki laughing.
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