DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are used without permission. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This fic is based around a 'missing scene' from Episode 3 of Series 2, and a reworking of a conversation between Rachel and Gill in Episode 5.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To filbertfox.redux[at]gmail.com
Whatever Happens in Bristol
As she slowly climbed the stairs leading up to the first floor of Oldham Police Station, Detective Constable Rachel Bailey found that she was thinking about the bright red, furious face of her third-year form teacher, 'Beetroot' Hewitt, or rather, the moment the old cow had caught her and a group of other girls smoking behind the science block. Rachel couldn't remember exactly what it was that Beetroot had said before ordering them off to the Deputy Head's office (although she was sure the phrases "never been so ashamed" and "would have expected far better" had featured prominently), but every second of the long and silent walk that followed was permanently engrained in her memory the sweaty palms, the churning stomach, the bowel-clenching terror pretty much like now, come to think about it, only this morning, she could also throw in a crippling hangover and a set of bruised and bloodied knuckles on top.
Rachel Bailey, you are such a brainless twat, she berated herself, wishing to God that she only had the Deputy Head to deal with at the end of this particular long walk of shame.
"I'm sure it'll be okay, you know," said the woman walking beside her.
Rachel looked around. DC Janet Scott was smiling sympathetically, but couldn't disguise the twinkle of amusement in her bright, blue eyes.
"Think about it. What could you have said to her that you haven't already said to her face?" Janet continued, before frowning as she realised her mistake. "Well, behind her back actually, but"
"Yeah, thanks for that, Janet," Rachel cut in, feeling her anxiety level ramp up a notch as she recalled that moment at Janet's silver anniversary party when she'd called her boss, DCI Gill Murray, an "arsehole bastard, defective Chief Inspector Godzilla bitch", before realising that the bitch in question was standing right behind her. Really, it had been the first in a long line of embarrassingly stupid, infantile mistakes where the Boss was concerned, all of which Janet knew about well, almost
Rachel darted another glance at her friend and wondered for the millionth time how she would react if told about that particular mistake of truly epic proportions she'd made in that hotel room back in Bristol. Even now, months down the line, and Rachel was still at a complete loss to even begin to explain how it had actually happened. One minute, Gill had been telling her that the CPS had decided to drop the attempted murder charge against Nick Savage and then the next, they'd been lying on top of the bed, a sweaty heap of tangled limbs and bunched up clothing. Afterwards, as Rachel lay on her back and watched the ceiling spin alarmingly above her, Gill had extricated herself without a word and had set about rearranging her clothing. Rising from the bed, she told Rachel that she'd meet her down at the car in half an hour, before leaving the room without a backwards glance. As soon as she'd heard the door click shut, Rachel had rolled over and buried her face into the nearest pillow with an anguished groan.
She'd just had sex with a woman.
Amazing, mind-blowing, right off the top of the Richter scale sex with a woman.
A woman who just so happened to be her boss.
Shit, Rach, what the fuck have you gone and done now?
The groan turned into a muffled scream.
As for the DCI, well, it hadn't been until an hour and a half later, and about a third of the way into what had become the most awkward car journey in the history of the world, that she finally deigned to acknowledge what had just taken place:
"Off the top of my head, I can think of a million and one reasons why that shouldn't have happened, and why it'll never happen again," she'd said matter-of-factly, eyes firmly trained on the road in front of her. Then she'd sighed and her eyes had briefly flickered to the left and the woman cringing in the passenger seat beside her. "Look, kid, I'm not saying that it wasn't good, because it was bloody good in actual fact, but " Another sigh. "As far as I'm concerned, whatever happens in Bristol, stays in Bristol, okay?"
Rachel had nodded. At that point, she'd wanted nothing more than to forget the whole thing. In fact, if somebody had offered her a lobotomy right there and then, she would've bitten their hand off. "Fine by me, Boss," she'd squeaked, feeling her face burn as Gill's eyes slid over her, appraising, analysing until finally, the DCI had nodded curtly and turned her attention back to the road.
And so, Rachel tried to follow the DCI's lead and pretend that nothing had happened. In the weeks that followed, she'd shagged Sean to the point of exhaustion in an attempt to prove that all was as it should be: she was 100%, honest to God straight and what had taken place in that Bristol hotel room had been nothing more than a momentary lapse of sanity. So far so good until last night and her decision to go out and get pissed.
Hit by a sudden and debilitating wave of nausea, Rachel was forced to stop in her tracks. Grabbing onto the handrail, she closed her eyes, hearing a low moan slide from between her lips.
"Rach, are you okay?" Janet asked. Concerned, she placed a hand on Rachel's back and rubbed gently. "If you're going to be sick, I'd maybe go back down to the loos and try and get it over with now."
"What, in case I throw up in Godzilla's office you mean?" Rolling her eyes, Rachel resumed her path up the stairs. "Now there's an idea. Give her something to remember me by after she kicks me back downstairs to uniform."
A few minutes later, having been relieved of her coat and bag by Janet, Rachel stood in the open doorway of Gill's office. As usual, the DCI was parked behind her desk, fingers flying over her keyboard and eyes glued to the flat-screen computer monitor in front of her. She didn't look up when Rachel knocked on the door.
"Have you got a minute?"
"Sure," Gill replied.
"Can I?" Rachel pointed to the door and then pulled it closed when the Boss nodded, eyes not moving from the screen in front of her. How does she do that? I could have been asking anything, she thought as she crossed the office and sat down in the chair closest to Gill's desk. "Er last night," Rachel began before pausing to clear her throat. "I noticed this morning, the call register on my phone erm did I?" For God's sake, Rachel, spit it out! "Me and Janet got a bit well, I got a bit "
"Pissed?" Gill deduced.
"Empty stomach. Not good. Did I?" Rachel swallowed over the urge to be sick as she glanced at the woman on the other side of the desk. "Did I ? Did I ring you last night?"
"Don't you remember?"
Rachel shook her head. A useless gesture, really, seeing as the DCI hadn't actually looked at her yet. "So what did I ? Did I say anything erm ?"
Rachel felt a lift drop thirty floors inside her stomach. "Yeah."
"Do you think you might have done?"
Rachel shrugged. Now that's a loaded question, she thought, shifting uncomfortably in her chair as she watched Gill take off her glasses. Placing them down on her desk, the DCI looked over at her for the first time.
"Do you really not remember?" Resting her elbows on the desk, Gill leaned forward, seemingly interested.
"No." Rachel shook her head and shrugged once again, wanting nothing more than for the ground to open up and swallow her.
"You said, Geoff Hastings has buried his journals in his mother's grave."
Swept away on a tsunami of sweet and blessed relief, Rachel found that she was staring at the DCI blankly. Geoff Hastings? Who the fuck is he? Oh, of course the sick twat of a serial killer banged up downstairs. "And has he?"
"Dunno, but we'll find out," Gill replied. "We need to find out where the grave is, who owns it, then find a company that does ground penetrating radar. I could apply for an exhumation order, but it'll take Teresa May a month of Sundays to sign the damn thing. And anyway, it's like you said last night, if they are there, they won't be in the coffin. There'll be where he can get access to them. Anyway, we'll find out." Reaching for her glasses, Gill slid them back on. "You should get pissed more often," she added as she turned back to her computer screen.
Taking this as her cue to leave, Rachel stood up, congratulating herself on her lucky escape as she made her way over to the door.
"Am I really the best shag you've ever had?"
The question hit Rachel like a bolt of electricity straight to the groin. For a moment, she thought she'd misheard, but then she turned around and saw that Gill had abandoned her glasses once again and was staring up at her intently. Although the expression on her face was inscrutable, there was something in her eyes that caused Rachel's breath to catch in her throat something that transported her back to a Bristol hotel room to searing kisses hands pulling at her clothes and then touching her deftly of heartbreakingly soft skin, her own fingers sliding into liquid silk and a ragged, almost incoherent whisper that begged her not to stop a mouth sliding over hers, muffling the scream that erupted from her throat as she came with bone-shattering force
"I " Rachel faltered. For a split second, she considered answering with the truth or rather, the truth as she'd just begun to understand it. But then she realised that the can of worms that had just popped open inside her head, had no business being spilt all over the floor of this office. Pausing to swallow over the acid pain that rose from her chest, she settled instead for a shrug and a frown. "With all due respect, Boss, I'm not sure if geography is usually your strong point, but Oldham Police Station's in Manchester, not Bristol."
Gill considered Rachel in silence for a moment, an approving smile flickering around the edges of her mouth. "Good job I've got a sat-nav then, otherwise I could be in serious bother." She swivelled back to face her screen, retrieving her glasses as she did so. "Can you do me a favour and send Janet in on your way out?"
Rachel nodded. She opened the door and then hesitated briefly, turning back for one last look at the infuriating, brilliant, drop-dead gorgeous woman sitting behind the desk. She sighed, resigning herself to the fact that her life had suddenly become a lot more complicated, before heading off to do Godzilla's bidding.
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