Disclaimer: Don't own. Sad face. Not for profit. Double sad face :(
The bar was in a sombre mood, had been for the past week. One look across the crowded tables Gail spotted Luke Callaghan sitting on his own nursing a bottle of scotch that he seemed in the middle of finishing all by himself.
"Shouldn't someone at least go take the bottle away?" She whispered to her brother as she sat with him and a few other detectives from 15 Division. The Black Penny was 15 Division's bar and while all cops were generally welcome, you often stuck to your own local as all the divisions were very competitive with each other and this was especially true between 15 and 27 whose areas of patrol overlapped by a few blocks.
"Hm?" Steve asked, only half paying attention to his sister as he was caught up in talking to his partner about a new lead on their recent case. Finally he turned his head to the blonde sat next to him. "What?"
Gail scowled at her brother for a moment then pointed a finger across the bar. "Alcohol poisoning, aren't you supposed to be a concerned friend, or colleague?" She asked. She wasn't sure her brother had many friends besides a few of the people he went through the Academy with, but even then she doubts they saw much of each other. Everything to Steve was work related.
Steve swallowed some of his beer and as he lowered his glass he subtly glanced the way Gail was pointing at the same time knocking her hand down to stop her. That was when he saw Luke. He sighed and finished off his drink. "Want a refill?" He asked Gail as he stood.
Gail shook her head, she'd only had two but she was due back at the Academy by midnight and with 6:30am drills she was about done for the night.
The shaking of her head put a grin on Steve's face as he realised this was going to be a cheap round for him.
Gail rolled her eyes as she watched him head over to the bar. As she was watching him try out something with the barmaid she noticed a group enter rather cautiously and hover about the doorway. It peeked her interest for a few moments until she recognised a few of the faces.
"Great, that's all I need." She muttered to herself as she slid lower in her seat in the hopes of not being seen.
"Hm?" Gail turned her head and saw Callum Jones, one of the other detectives in her brother's narcotics section at 15 Division. He was a few years older than Steve but very easy going considering the work he was involved in. She gave him an unhappy look and gestured towards the entrance of the bar where the crowd still stood obviously unsure of themselves.
Callum chuckled. "Fresh meat." He said as he slapped at Gail's shoulder and got up to go introduce himself to the three or four females he could see.
Gail gave him a disgusted look but he was already halfway over to them.
"What's that look for?" Steve asked as he sat back down, placing his drink down and then tucking what looked like a napkin into his jacket pocket.
Ew. That was it. Between her brother flirting with the barmaid and the new arrivals she was over it.
She got up and shrugged on her jacket.
"You heading out?" Steve asked as he too suddenly noticed the group Callum was showing over to a nearby free table.
"Yeah." She replied as if it wasn't apparently obvious.
Steve never took his eyes off the group. "Know them?" He asked.
Gail sighed and glanced over as well. She shook her head as she noticed Jerry Barber had joined them as well. "My class." She muttered with reluctance not really wanting any association with the other recruits.
Steve smirked and took a sip of his drink. "So you didn't invite them then?"
Gail snorted. No how, no way would she have told any of her class about this place. It had been her sanctuary for a few years now and she was known to all the regulars, either because she was a Peck or because she was Steve's sister.
And now it looked like she would have to learn to share the place.
Steve gave her a look. "15's new recruits are going to be here all the time you know." He warned her. He knew she wasn't the most sociable of people, neither was he really, but she was going to have to learn to deal with her colleagues. "You get that you'll be working with some of them the whole time you're a rookie, right?"
Gail almost pouted but she turned it into a glare. "Don't remind me." She grumbled at him.
Steve chuckled as Gail took off. He watched her say something to Harry behind the bar but then pointedly ignored the group as she passed by them towards the bar entrance and disappeared out of sight.
Gail took in a deep breath once she was free from the sweat and heat of the bar. She pulled her leather jacket around her a little more to combat the wind that had picked up in speed since her arrival a few hours ago.
As she stood there contemplating stopping at a convenience store for some supplies before returning to the Police Academy, located a few mile outside of Toronto where there was a shortage of bars and stores nearby, she heard a few different giggles.
Looking towards the area of the noise Gail spotted a group of maybe seven people, most of whom were women, heading in her direction.
Or well, in the direction of the Penny entrance if you wanted to get technical about it.
When they were about 15 feet away Gail could see each face clearly and what confused her was that although this group was heading for a cop bar, she didn't recognise a single face.
Puzzled she moved slowly towards her car, zipping up her jacket as a light rain started.
As she passed by the small crowd they were so caught up in their laughing that one woman failed to see her and knocked right into Gail.
"Oh, I'm sorry." The woman said, a wide smile still adorning her features as she wiped her hand over her glasses to clear a few rain spots.
Gail automatically stopped as the woman in front of her did. She wasn't sure why though, they were both clearly headed in opposite directions. The woman could have said sorry as she kept on walking, like the rest of her friends did.
Gail glanced behind her just in time to see the door she had so recently left from close behind the rest of the group. She turned back around and gave the brunette a questioning look.
"Holly." The woman said with a grin as she held her hand out to Gail.
Not sure what to think Gail's hand moved of its own accord and suddenly they were shaking hands.
Holly chuckled at the blonde. "And you are?"
"On my way to my car." Gail replied but that only earned her an amused look from the slightly taller woman. She frowned and took her hand back to point to her Mustang. "Behind you."
Holly smirked, this blonde certainly had an attitude about her. She was confident and sure of herself. Holly liked it. "Are you a cop?"
Gail narrowed her eyes suspiciously.
Chuckling it was Holly's turn to point. "The Black Penny? It's a cop bar."
Gail made a show of glancing back towards the neon sign above the door of the bar. "And you just assumed?" She asked with a tilt of her head.
Holly was enjoying this. "Well, you do look a bit young." She teased the blonde.
Gail stiffened. She was actually a year or two older than her classmates having taken some time out after College before resigning herself to her fate. Something her mother never let her forget.
Holly's smile faded as she noticed the subtle change in the woman's demeanour. She guessed she'd just hit a nerve.
Gail saw the contrite look on Holly's face and tried her best to let her reaction to the previous comment fade. "I'm not a cop." She replied softly as she shifted her weight on her feet wondering why she was still stood here and hadn't already brushed this woman off and left by now.
Holly frowned. Her teasing aside, she would have put money on the blonde being a police officer. She did look a bit young, definitely too young to be a detective, but she had the look of a police officer, or maybe Holly was just spending too much time at work lately.
"Sorry." She said to the blonde with a small shake of her head. She really did need to get out of her lab more often. "I never meant anything by it, I work with the police force."
Gail gave the woman a once over. She didn't think she was a cop herself, not when she said she worked with the police. So maybe a lawyer, although why someone with that type of job and wage packet would come to the Penny Gail would never know, so then maybe a social worker or a therapist.
"What?" Holly asked as the blonde continued to study her.
"You're not a cop."
Holly chuckled. "I didn't say that I was."
"Or a lawyer."
Holly paused, thinking that over as the blonde waited. "I'm not sure whether or not to be insulted by that." She replied.
Gail shrugged. Lawyers weren't generally her favourite kind of people. Not when they often worked on the criminals behalf.
"But you're right, I'm not a lawyer." Holly admitted.
Just then the door to the Penny reopened and a blast of music filled the air. It made Gail wonder if someone had convinced Harry to pull out the karaoke machine out from the back room.
Which made her decision to leave when she did the right one.
"Hey Stewart! " A male voice called as a head appeared around the open door. "Stop flirting and just get her number, we've got Annie up on stage!" He informed Holly with a laugh before he returned inside out of the still falling rain.
Holly shifted nervously now that Scott had all but outed her as a lesbian in front of this stranger.
"Sorry about that, this is our third bar tonight." Holly attempted to explain although she couldn't quite meet the blonde's eyes.
Gail sighed. She really did have to get going. "Well don't let me keep you."
Holly hesitated as the blonde started walking away. She didn't know this woman and she should probably be inside out of the rain already but…
"Hey!" She called out just as the blonde was opening a car door. "I still didn't get your name."
Gail chuckled and called back, "Because I didn't give it!"
Holly shook her head and stood there watching as the younger woman got into the car and slowly drove off the lot. "Damn." She muttered as the tail lights faded from view.
"And now I'm stood out here in the rain talking to myself." She said aloud before turning on her heel and heading for the bar.
Once inside she pulled her coat off and shook the rain from her hair as she glanced around before spotting her colleagues and friends around a high table. Scott was right, Annie was up on stage signing very off key to Abba.
Which was being filmed by her other friend Thomas on his cell phone.
She snorted thinking it would be emailed to the whole of the lab by the end of the night. Well it was Annie's night. She'd live through the shame. Eventually.
"Why didn't any of you stop her?" She asked as she took an empty seat.
The group shared knowing looks before they let out a few laughs at the idea. The only person that could have stopped Annie had been the only one of them not around. The rest of them were thoroughly enjoying themselves with the entertainment being provided.
"Why don't you go next Hol?" Kelly asked with a sly grin as she watched her best friend blush.
Holly scowled at the rest of the table.
"Yeah, Hol, how better to get the interest of all the lady cops in here?" Tim offered as incentive but what he got was a blast of thrown peanuts from the three women seated around him that he had to fend off. "Okay, okay, it was just a suggestion." He said as he admitted defeat.
"Hey, guess what?" Scott said to the group as he placed a tray of drinks down on the table and started handing them out. "The barman just gave us these on the house." He said pleased with not having to pay this round.
"What?" Holly asked.
There had to be close to sixty dollars worth of drinks and shots, bars didn't just give that away.
Scott shrugged as he took his seat and to watch Annie as she started another song. He laughed as he saw her playing up to Thomas and his phone. He wondered if she knew she'd regret that by morning.
Scott drank down his beer and gave Holly a look. She had her eyebrow up. That meant she wasn't happy. He frowned and shrugged again. "Yeah, seriously Hols, it's not like I stole them." He told her then went back to watching their very drunk friend making a fool of herself.
Holly eyed the rest of her friends. But they all seemed perfectly happy with the free drinks. She however felt uneasy. With a sigh she stood up and wandered over to the bar, it didn't take long for the barman to come over to see what he could do for her.
Holly pointed to her table. "Who paid for those drinks?" She asked him.
Harry chuckled and eyed the woman. "You Holly? Yeah, I bet you are." He said as he grinned at her. "She said not to give you her name so, sorry but I can't help you."
Holly felt a ridiculous grin take over her face. Must have been the alcohol. "She?" There was only one woman she'd spoken to. "A blonde?"
Harry laughed. "Yup."
So it was the blonde from outside. She had bought Holly and her friends a round of drinks? But she wouldn't even tell Holly her name. She sighed heavily and looked at the barman.
Harry started walking away from the brunette. "Pissing her off would be more than my life's worth. But she did say that she might see you around and that you owe her a drink."
And with that he went over to serve another customer.
Holly grinned and tapped her hand on the bar top happily. If she owed the blonde a drink she'd have to find her somehow to collect.
She smiled to herself thinking that little scene outside might not be the last she sees of the woman.
Pleased she turns to go back over and join her friends only to walk right into someone. "Sorry." She said as she takes a step back out of the person's space.
"Hey hold on." The guy says, stopping her with a hand on her arm. "I'm Nick, and that was probably my fault. Tell you what, why don't I buy you a drink?" He said with a wide grin showing off his very white teeth.
Holly pushed her glasses back into position and glanced over Nick's shoulder to her friends and shot Kelly a pleading look. She then turned her attention back to the expectant look she was getting.
"So, what can I get you?" Nick says as he leans against the bar, subtly taking in the woman beside him as he tried to wave over the barmaid.
"That's okay, I'm fine."
"Please, I insist." Nick says, laying his hand on her arm briefly as he looked her in the eyes.
Just before Holly could worm her way out of the situation, Kelly came over and slung her arm around her shoulder and planted a kiss to her cheek. "Hey babe, what's keeping you, I'm getting lonely over there." She said with a pout.
Holly had to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing as Nick's jaw literally dropped, luckily Kelly pulled her away before the first giggles broke free and by the time they'd made it to their table, with Kelly's arm still around her, they were both laughing like idiots.
"What?" Scott asked as he eyed the pair wondering what the joke was.
Kelly shook her head, reaching for her drink. "Oh, just the usual, saving Holly from the horror of boys."
Holly narrowed her eyes at Kelly and slapped the back of her hand against her arm as she started laughing again. "I'm not that bad." She defended herself.
Scott snorted, nearly choking on his mouthful of beer. "Yes you are." He refuted. "For a lesbian you sure do attract a lot of male attention." He pointed out to her.
Holly pouted. That wasn't her fault.
And besides, she thought as she picked up her free drink, the blonde from earlier was definitely all female.
"Hey, don't look now but that Boy Scout is headed over." Kelly muttered as she leaned into Holly. "Want me to kiss you?" She teased.
Holly swatted at Kelly just as Nick paused beside her and placed down a beer. She looked at the drink and then at Nick, flicking her eyebrow up for him to explain.
Nick cleared his throat wondering if he was making a bigger ass of himself. "Just to say sorry. About before, I didn't know you were…uh…that," He glanced at the woman beside the brunette nervously. "You were with someone." He managed to finish feeling rather proud of himself.
"Kid, are you even old enough to be in here?" Scott asked with a frown, not happy that his friend was being pestered when both Holly and Kelly had made it pretty obvious he didn't stand a chance with Holly.
Nick kept his smile in place and apologised to Holly again before leaving and walking back to his own table that broke out into laughter after a few seconds.
Holly glanced at the group unsure what to make of the laughing. She shook her head and let it go as Kelly suddenly got up and went over to the stage, which was when she heard the start of a Spice Girls song.
As a collective, Holly and the rest of her friends at the table groaned.
"This is so bad." Holly muttered but she grinned and kept watching, and Thomas kept filming. Kelly looked like she was enjoying herself though and it was all in good fun. Not that Holly had any intension of getting up there.
She looked at the drink that had been left for her and then at the one in her grip. The one the blonde from outside had bought for her. She grinned to herself and slides the full beer over to Scott.
"It's got boy cooties on it." She told her friend as he gave her a questioning look.
Scott grinned and took it. "I like boy cooties."
Holly laughed and gave him a nod. "Maybe you should go tell Nick that. He's got a better chance with you than he ever did with me."
Scott eyed the boy at the other table. "I do like a man in uniform." He agreed before shaking his head to dismiss the idea. "But I prefer it when they don't have to call their parents to ask if they can stay out late."
Holly let out a laugh.
"Plus, Mike's about all I can handle." Scott continued mentioning his boyfriend of five years who would be waiting at home for him later. Deciding that Annie and Kelly weren't going to have all the fun he stood up and finished off his drink then gestured for Holly to do the same.
Hesitant about why Scott wanted her up, Holly swallowed the rest of her beer and took the hand that was offered to her. And then she was being pulled over to the stage.
"No, no, no." But it was too late and both Kelly and Annie had their hands on her dragging her up with them as Scott went over to the machine and suddenly the start of YMCA started pouring out of the speaker.
"We're in a cop bar!" She hissed at her friend as he joined them and got into position.
Scott rolled his eyes. What were they going to do, arrest them for having a bit of fun?
Thomas howled and cheered from his position in front of them and then Holly grinned and just went with it.
It was going to be one of those nights.
So this was going to be posted after I finished GNO but it's been sitting on my computer for a couple of weeks now and if I don't start posting what I have I'm going to end up going back and changing a lot of the plot so… here you go.
I have a couple of more chapters of this finished but I might make you guys wait.
I can be cruel like that. Go me :D
Thanks for reading!
Thanks guest number 2, I thought this was already tagged!