Hey guys! This is my first story since last year. It's rubbish, but let's blame that on the lack of beta and not my writing skill.
The pub was quiet tonight, save for the team and the odd punter here and there. Rachel Bailey sat at the back of the room, letting the noise consume her. She was sat between Janet and Mitch, but the only person who mattered stood at the bar, her new boyfriend looking over her adoringly.
"Rachel, are you even listening to me?" asked Janet, following her line of vision to her boss and friend of 20 years. She looked over Rachel in confusion.
"Do you fancy Chris Latham or something?"
She shook her head, "He's a bit scrawny for me."
Gill looked plain daft with him. She didn't think the age difference was a massive deal (she had done much worse). But his height compared with her's. His suits, clearly very cheap. His hair messy, probably on purpose. He just wasn't what she had envisioned her type to be.
She had imagined Gill with someone like Julie Dodson, equally as pristine and terrifying.
"Gill?" Asked Janet. Rachel looked up from her glass, eyebrows raised in false confusion.
"What about her?"
Janet smirked, "Don't act daft, Rach. You know what I'm asking you."
She turned to Mitch, and with ease, she found herself slipping into a comparatively mundane discussion on their most recent case. Fingerprints, witness statements, his opinion on who had killed the most recent victim; but she could see Janet in her peripheral watching over her. Thinking. Wondering if she had drawn the right conclusions.
Rachel was embarrassed to say that Janet had hit the nail right on the head, and she wanted nothing more than to move on immediately.
Gill Murray was unavailable. That was sketchy turf to find yourself on, because she seemed far from happy with Chris Latham, but Rachel knew she couldn't offer the woman much better. She was Rachel Bailey; dragged up from the streets of Middleton by two alcoholics, with her pushy sister, Alison, and Dominic, her brother, who was a black sheep in a family of black sheep.
Gill couldn't possibly want her.
Across the bar, Gill threw her head back in laughter. Whatever Chris had said, she wasn't actually listening, had caused Pete to chuckle and she knew she had better follow suit.
Gill couldn't take her eyes away from Rachel.
Her eyes were dark from a tough day at work and her dark hair tied back into a low ponytail. She didn't particularly care about her appearance, but that was what Gill loved about Rachel; how she was still absolutely beautiful in spite of the dark circles under her eyes and her frizzy hair.
She had started her second bottle of wine, and yet barely struggled in her heels. Gill watched as she walked past and out the door with a curt nod and a packet of cigarettes in hand. She dreaded to know how the poor girl's body was suffering from years of alcohol and tobacco abuse.
Rachel was an idiot, but not at all a bad person. She had her moments of being selfish and weeks of being reckless - but she was a fantastic police officer and friend. Gill knew that Rachel had it in her to be a great DCI one day and part of Gill could admit she was going crazy for the young woman too.
She wouldn't admit it aloud, mind you. But quietly, perhaps to Julie Dodson, she could say those words;
I love Rachel Bailey.
But she knew it was impossible to love someone as reckless as DC Rachel Bailey. She was a shagger. She was a drinker. She was a mess and she was her subordinate. Besides, Rachel looked up to her, was inspired by her. How on Earth could she let herself take advantage of Rachel like that? How could she love Rachel without questions from above; "Is that why you let her away with bloody murder? Is it because she's good in bed?"
She shook her head at her own vulgarity. No, she considered, they were both so much more discrete than that. Rachel had learned her lesson where relationships were concerned. The young woman must understand the importance of some privacy in relationships, and so, she trusted her to keep things quiet.
Fuck it, she thought. Pushing her chair back, she announced she was "dying for a fag" and left the bar in search of Rachel. She'd keep it simple. She wouldn't scare her off. There would be no talk of a date, instead, "would you like to go for drinks sometime?". They never just went out for drinks without Janet or the team, but Gill had realized how much she would love to be alone with Rachel Bailey. To cut past the bullshit and cut straight to the core of the young woman.
And then she saw her, stood in a cloud of smoke and relying on the wall of the pub to hold her up straight. She wasn't drunk, for Gill had seen drunk Rachel many a times and this wasn't it. But on top of the young woman's apparent fatigue, she assumed the wine had been enough to tip her over into total exhaustion.
She took a half-hearted drag of her cigarette, and dropping her arm to her side, she exhaled a puff of toxins into the air. Leaning against the wall for support she shut her eyes.
Gill couldn't comprehend how beautiful she was. Far from the most feminine of women she had ever met, Gill couldn't recall someone quite as breathtaking as her constable. Her piercing dark brown eyes, piles of equally dark waves; but mostly, the lines she could trace on her jawline. Her legs toned from running and her frame long and thin, Gill would almost mistake her for a woman of perfect health. Only she lived off of chocolate mousse, and she smoked and drank alcohol every single day, and sometimes (Janet said), she completely forwent any food in favor of "coffee and a fag".
So she wasn't perfect, but she was so incredibly intelligent (when she wasn't being an idiot) and so driven towards what she wanted. She was simply amazing and Gill wanted to tell her so. In the very least, to ask her to take her head out of her arse.
A punter smashed a glass, pulling Rachel from her rest. She jumped away from the wall and her eyes met Gill's.
"Hey, kid," Gill spoke, moving towards her. "Thought you'd fallen asleep on me."
"I didn't know you were there," she replied simply, the need for sleep evident in her voice. She extended the cigarette packet out towards Gill, then lit it for her as the older woman held it between her lips.
"Thanks. I wanted to speak to you about something, but it might be better if you're not so tired."
Rachel shook her head with a smile, "Nah. Don't worry about it, besides, I'm not likely to get much sleep anytime soon anyway."
"Is everything okay?" she asked, hardly bothering to remove the cigarette from her mouth. Rachel laughed sardonically, lighting another cigarette for herself and shrugged.
"I'm madly in love with someone, but they're unavailable and it's killing me a little."
Gill's heart dropped, "Oh Rachel, I'm sorry."
Panic flashed through Rachel's eyes, but Gill didn't know why. Could she be talking about her? No, why would Rachel Bailey be madly in love with her? For all she knew, she was straight.
"Do I know them?"
She nodded, "Very well. See, she's got this toyboy and she likes to show him off. But she's this great woman, small, but pretty scary."
"No, I don't want to hear it," she almost snapped. Gill narrowed her eyes.
"That it's inappropriate. That you love Chris. That you want to kick me down to directing motorway traffic. That you'll transfer me to Julie's syndicate or to a syndicate in the Scottish Highlands. Gill, I don't want to hear that I'm not good enough for you or that you don't want me. I'd rather you say nothing."
Gill couldn't help but laugh, "If you let me say what I wanted to-"
"Sorry," she mumbled, choking on her cigarette. Gill looked over her, amused.
"Rachel, would you like to go out for drinks sometime?"
Please review, thanks! CW x