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Breaking Through

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Disclaimer: I do not own Rookie Blue or any of the characters etc.

'I'm sure it's perfect. You've gone over it enough times', Frankie sighed, 'Anyway most people will go to the session on weapons so you'll just be speaking to a couple of forensic nerds'.

Gail looked up from her iPad with a doleful expression. She didn't want to tell Frankie about her fear of public speaking. While both her parents no longer spoke to her, their exPecktations were so ingrained that Gail couldn't completely suppress her doubts about her presentation or anxiety that once on stage her nerves would get the better of her.

'Anyway, Rodney's co-presenting so just let him do the nerd speak and you'll be right', Frankie said, undeterred by Gail's expression. 'You know Peck, conferences are meant to be fun. Time away from work, drinking, hooks up with people you don't ever have to see again. Not this boring serious shit'. Frankie waved her hand dismissively.

As Gail rolled her eyes, Frankie stood. 'I'm going to get more coffee', she said, 'Want some?'

Gail shook her head. She was jittery enough without caffeine. God knew why she'd agreed to give this presentation. Newly promoted to detective, she and Rodney, who was now a fully-fledged forensic pathologist, had been given a cold case to dig over. The victim was the niece of the freshly appointed police minister and no one held out much hope that the murder would be solved, which was why the case was shunted to the two newbies. However, a combination of painstaking police work and advances in forensics had led them to the killer. The case had made a splash in the media and impressed Gail's superiors, which was why she and Rodney were asked to present a session at the Crime Scene Investigation Conference in Chicago.

Gail sighed loudly. She had no idea how she had allowed herself to be convinced this was a good idea. Really she hadn't been given a choice, and with her brother in prison for corruption and her father suspended for trying to get her to lie on the stand for Steve, Gail felt like she needed to toe the line, which was something that didn't really come easily to her. Doing her best to ignore the other conference attendees crowding the hotel coffee shop to get breakfast before the morning sessions started, she returned her attention to her notes.

'You are definitely missing out Peck. I think every second woman at this conference is gay'. Gail looked up to see Frankie returning to their table, coffee in hand. As she exaggeratedly rolled her eyes, she heard Frankie say, 'So you've decided to join me'.

'Uhh, actually I was hoping to speak to Gail', said a voice Gail had not heard for nearly two years but would recognise anywhere.

'Holly', she croaked.