Waking up the next morning Allie took a shower before dressing slowly. She had hardly slept the previous night, all she had wanted to do was run to Bea, wrap her arms around her and never let go. She had never felt like this before, she knew she was punching above her weight, the redhead was an incredible woman, and Allie had to pinch herself every morning to remind herself that it wasn’t all just a dream. She had no idea what the older woman saw in her, I mean what could she possibly have to offer? She was living in a studio flat that she couldn’t even pay for when she moved in, she had rectified that as soon as her wages had started coming in, but she had nothing to her name and no real prospects. The only thing she could offer her was love, and what if that wasn’t enough.
She had almost slipped the previous night, the look on Bea’s face as she turned and ran was playing on her mind as she lay in bed. For the best part of two years drugs had been her saviour, her form of escape, and as she laid there in the early hours the need to check out was consuming her. She had gone as far as getting dressed and leaving the flat in search of a fix. Halfway down the stairs the redhead’s smiling face popped into her head, stopping her in her tracks. She was hurt and angry, but she had to find another way to deal with it, she couldn’t run back to drugs every time things got tough. Bea meant everything to her and she had to step up and be the best version of herself that she could be. Getting high would not help her win the redhead back, no matter how much she craved it.
“Get you’re shit together Novak, no one likes a pity party” she told herself. Grabbing her guitar and notebook as she headed out the door. It was a twenty minute walk to Bea’s but it would give her chance to plan what she was going to say. The pain she had seen in the redhead’s eyes had felt like a knife to the heart but she knew she had done the right thing. If the older woman had come at her like that the first night they met then maybe things would have been different, who was she trying to kid, she knew things would have been different. There was an instant attraction, as soon as she had set eyes on the strikingly beautiful firefighter, and she had known right then that she wanted her.
If Bea had shown her the same interest back then she would have happily taken her right there, up against the fire truck. But things were different now, not that the thought of fucking the redhead like that hadn’t crossed her mind on more than one occasion, especially if she was in full uniform but it meant so much more than that. She was totally, completely, irreversibly in love with her, and if she hadn’t put a stop to things last night she knew that everything they had built together would have been destroyed beyond repair. She just hoped that she could get her girlfriend to see things that way, if she could even call her that anymore.
Looking up, Allie realised she was outside Bea’s house, she had been so lost in her thoughts that she couldn’t remember a single second of the journey. Stopping outside the door she took a deep breath, wiping her clammy hands on her jeans, before knocking. It was now or never, and she was not about to go down without a fight. Bea was the best thing that had ever happened to her and she had no intention of letting that go.
Bea had not had a good night, she had drunk far too much for a start, and then she had gone and thrown herself at Allie. The shout had really gotten to her, she had learnt over the years to compartmentalise, tried to leave everything behind at the station, but sometimes it just wasn’t possible. There was something about the scene of this particular fire that had triggered her anxiety and fear over the safety of her daughter. She knew that Harry was no longer a threat, and that they were safe, but she couldn’t help but worry about Debbie, and she knew, deep down that she always would.
She was hurt when Allie had rejected her advances. At first the blonde’s flirting had unsettled her, but the more time they spent together the more she looked forward to the younger woman’s cheeky quips and not so subtle advances. She had fallen hard for her, despite her determination to never let anyone close enough again. Allie had come crashing into her life and had taken down her wall, one brick at a time. She wanted to take the next step in their relationship, and knew how hard the blonde was trying to respect her boundaries, but there was still a slither of doubt that once she gave herself to the younger woman completely, she would no longer want her. Allie had been unbelievably understanding, and so patient with her, and she hadn’t once given her any cause to think that, but she just couldn’t shake the feeling.
She had known last night that she’d had too much to drink, and deep down she was thankful to the blonde for stopping things when she did, but it had hurt, really fucking hurt. She was in no doubt that it had been the Dutch courage that had caused her to instigate things between them, and if she was being completely honest she knew she would have regretted it, had Allie not stopped her.
It wasn’t that she didn’t want her, that couldn’t be further from the truth, the past few weeks she had been craving the blonde’s touch more and more. She wanted to touch her, to taste her, and she knew the younger woman would stop at any point if she became uncomfortable, she had just been too scared to act on it. With the copious amount of whiskey in her system last night however, she had been a little less reserved. She had been angry, hurt and embarrassed when she had fled from Allie’s flat, blaming the blonde for everything in her drunken stupor, but now that the whiskey haze had cleared she was just plain embarrassed.
How was she ever going to look her in the eye again, the younger woman had been nothing but honourable, and she had thrown it back in her face. She already had no idea what Allie saw in her, the blonde was stunningly beautiful, utterly charming and had a heart of pure gold, what the hell would she want with someone like her. Maybe it was better this way, Allie would get bored of her eventually, and if she fell for her any more than she already had, she was pretty sure she’d never recover.
Jumping in the shower, she dressed herself before heading downstairs. She knew she should eat something but the thought of food made her feel sick, and she wasn’t sure if it was the trace of a hangover or the thought of never looking into Allie’s calming blue eyes again that was causing it. Grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge she sat down at the table, picking up her pencil she started to sketch, trying to empty her mind and calm her thoughts.
She had been drawing for about half an hour when she stopped, she had been so wrapped up in her head that she hadn’t even realised what was on the page, staring at her sketchbook she found the blonde’s beautiful face looking back at her. “Damn it Allie” she yelled out, slamming her pencil on the table before getting up. She needed to get out of her head, and running usually did the trick. Deciding that was the best course of action she turned and headed for her bedroom to get changed into her running gear, she was half way up the stairs when she heard the knock on the door.
Allie knew she was home, she could see a light on in the kitchen. Raising her hand she knocked again, hoping that Bea was just upstairs and not ignoring her. She was just reaching into her pocket to grab her phone when the door opened, a very tired looking Bea stared at her for a few seconds before the door began to close again. Launching herself forward she blocked the door, the redhead stepping back at her movement. She had worked herself up so much on the journey over here that she’d be damned if she was going back without so much as a conversation.
Bea could feel the frustration building, she needed to clear her head, and having the source of that frustration standing right in front of her really wasn’t helping. She knew that they needed to talk, but it was too soon, she needed some time.
“What do you want Allie?” she said, unable to hide the frustration in her voice
“You, I want you” the blonde replied without hesitation
“Sure, like you wanted me last night” Bea threw back as Allie walked past her. Turning around she closed the door before following the blonde into the kitchen.
“I did want you last night, I’ve wanted you ever since I heard your voice in the hospital that night. But I need you to be sure and I want you to be completely comfortable with what we’re doing. You were upset last night, and I care about you too much to take advantage of you like that, it wouldn’t have been fair. That was why I stopped things, it had nothing to do with me not wanting you, nothing”
“Sure. Are we done here?”
“What? No we’re not done, I need to explain things”
“Right, well you’ve done what you came to so, you can leave now” Bea said. She knew she was being unfair on the younger woman but right now she needed space to calm her racing mind
"I'm not leaving until we sort this out”
“What is there to sort out? Who were we trying to kid, this was never going to work. We both know how this is going to end, I’m just saving us both a whole heap of pain further down the road”
“Bullshit, you’re just scared. You’re scared and you’re pushing me away. Well guess what, I’m not going anywhere” the blonde replied, folding her arms as she stared straight at the older woman
“Please Allie, just go”
“I’m not leaving”
“Fine, I’ll go then” the redhead said, turning and storming off up the stairs, slamming her bedroom door behind her. She really hadn’t thought this through very well, she was now trapped in her room like a stroppy teenager, and she knew she was acting like one as well. None of this was Allie’s fault, she was just looking for an excuse to bail before she got in over her head, although if she was to be completely honest with herself she knew it was too late.
If she hadn’t been directly involved, she would have found this whole situation rather funny. The older woman was acting like a stroppy teenager, stamping her feet and slamming doors, berating her for trying to do the right thing. Franky had warned her that the redhead was annoyingly stubborn but she was surprised at just how hot headed she really was, and to make matters worse she had found the whole thing strangely arousing, angry Bea Smith was beyond hot. Really not helping Novak, she mentally scalded herself, it was not the time to be thinking those thoughts.
Picking her guitar up, she crept quietly up the stairs, coming to a stop beside the redhead’s closed bedroom door. Sitting down with her back against the wall she placed the strap over her shoulder, adjusting the guitar before starting to strum the chords. She had planned to come over and pour her heart out to the older woman but in the spur of the moment she thought she’d try a different tactic. This could go one of two ways, she just hoped her pissed off girlfriend would take it in the way it was intended.
Bea had heard the creak in the floorboards on the landing, alerting her to the blonde’s presence. She had expected to hear a knock on the door, so was surprised when the soft sound of Allie’s guitar floated through the air, sitting down on the edge of her bed she listened to the melody. Closing her eyes she could visualise the younger woman’s soft fingers plucking at the strings, her eyes shooting open as Allie started to sing, was she really hearing this right?
Now then mardy bum
I see your frown
And it’s like looking down the barrel of a gun
And it goes off
And out come all these words
Oh there’s a very pleasant side to you
A side I much prefer
It’s one that laughs and jokes around
Remember cuddles in the kitchen
Yeah, to get things off the ground
And it was up, up and away
Oh, but it’s right hard to remember
That on a day like today, when you’re all argumentative
And you’ve got the face on
She could hear movement from inside the redhead’s bedroom, the door opening slowly to reveal a scowling Bea, clearly unimpressed with her song choice. As their eyes locked Allie could see that the older woman’s gaze had softened slightly, and was that the trace of a smirk she could see? Deciding to push her luck she continued, her gaze never leaving her girlfriend’s
Well now then mardy bum
Oh I’m in trouble again, aren’t I
I thought as much
Cause you turned over there
Pulling that silent disappointment face
The one that I can’t bare
There it was, that bright, beautiful smile that lit up the entire room. Her gamble had paid off, Bea was walking towards her, grinning like an idiot. Removing the strap from her shoulder, she placed the guitar down before standing up, her eyes locked with the redhead’s the entire time.
“I can’t believe you came all this way to insult me via song, although I suppose I should be thankful that you didn’t write that one” Bea said, trying, unsuccessfully to sound annoyed
“I hadn’t planned on doing that, it came to me after you stormed off like an extra from Kevin and Perry Go Large”
“I did not storm off…” the redhead said, cutting herself off when she saw the smile on Allie’s face
“I did storm off, I’m sorry. I was embarrassed about last night and according to a friend or mine I have a tendency to be quite stubborn when I feel like I’m backed into a corner”
“Yeah, she did mention something along those lines when she came to lay into me last night, although I believe her exact words were that you were ‘a stubborn fucker’, but what’s a curse word or two between friends anyway”
“I’m sorry for acting like an arse, and for last night. I am grateful for what you did, even if I didn’t show it at the time” Bea said, stepping closer to the younger woman
“It’s ok…besides, you’re really sexy when you’re angry” Allie replied, kissing her girlfriend gently, her fingers tracing patterns on the older woman’s back, through her shirt.
The minute she opened the door and saw the blonde standing outside her resolve had crumbled. She had been stupid to think she could walk away, she needed Allie like she needed air. Unfortunately her stubborn streak hadn’t been so quick to surrender, resulting in her embarrassing herself again. Twice in two days, she really was making a habit of it. Of course the younger woman had taken it all in her stride, hitting the nail on the head when she had accused her of pushing her away because she was scared. She had even gone as far as making a joke of the whole situation with her little performance, diffusing the tension instantly and putting Bea at ease. And then she had kissed her, and all her fears and worries had disappeared. Wrapping her arms around the younger woman she pulled her in closer, deepening the kiss, a loud rumble from her stomach breaking them apart as the blonde smiled against her lips.
“Hungry?” Allie said laughing as the older woman’s stomach growled again
“I would say only for you but it would appear my stomach would disagree. You fancy some breakfast?”
“I fancy you…but I wouldn’t say no to breakfast” the blonde joked as Bea took her hand, leading her down the stairs and into the kitchen.
“Can I help?”
“You don’t have to”
“I know but I want to. The first night I stayed here and we cooked dinner together, I liked it. It sounds crazy but it was the first time in years that I felt like I belonged somewhere, that I mattered to someone”
“It doesn’t sound crazy at all. I felt it to you know, I just didn’t know what ‘it’ was at the time. And you do belong Allie, you’re so special to me” Bea said, tucking a strand of blonde hair behind the younger woman’s ear, “Now come on, I’m starving” she added, turning and opening the fridge.
After sitting down to a breakfast of pancakes and freshly squeezed orange juice they moved to the sofa. Allie loved being here with Bea like this, just the two of them cuddled together. Bea’s head was resting in her lap, her red curls fanned out like a halo, as the older woman held her hand, her thumb tracing patterns on the inside of her wrist.
“I’m sorry for shouting at you earlier, none of this was your fault and I shouldn’t have acted the way I did. I just get so lost in my head sometimes that I can’t see what’s right in front of me, I got so used to Harry treating me like I’m nothing and taking what he wanted from me that I expect the same from everyone. I get so anger with myself for allowing him to control my thoughts still, and sometimes I direct it at the wrong people. Thank you for what you did, for letting me rant, although I’m not sure I could have stayed as calm as you did, in fact I know I couldn’t. Do you ever get angry?”
“All the time, although for the past two years if something was bothering me I got high, and all my problems vanished, well until it wore off, then I was just angry again. I need to tell you something, I don’t want there to be any secrets between us” Allie said, her nerves kicking in as she spoke
“Ok, what is it?”
“Last night I couldn’t sleep. All I wanted to do was hold you, and it was killing me that I couldn’t make everything right between us. Franky had told me to give you some space, and I was trying but it was eating me up. I was angry at you for leaving like that and angry at myself for letting you go. My head was spinning, it was driving me insane, and for the first time in months I needed a hit, needed something to take it all away. I got dressed and left the flat, made it half way down the stairs before I turned back”
“What stopped you?”
“You did. I’m not a nice person when I’m high and I never want you to see me like that, I never want to be that person with you, to you”
“I’m glad you turned back, and I’m so sorry, it’s all my fault”
“No its not. This has nothing to do with you, it’s all on me. I’ve been so used to checking out from my problems that I’d forgotten how to deal with feeling angry, or hurt. Back then I was a different person, you’ve given me so much Bea, I actually feel like I have a purpose in the world again, so thank you. I just need to find another way to deal with those feelings when they arise”
“You do have a purpose, and you always did, please don’t ever sell yourself short again. Will you promise me something?” Bea asked, concern showing on her face
“If you feel like that again talk to me, whatever time, day or night ok. I want to be there for you while you figure this out”
“I promise, but you have to talk to me too, even if you are hot when you’re angry. What happened yesterday?” the blonde asked, her fingers playing with a lock of Bea’s hair.
“We were called to a fire at a house, it was well alight when we arrived. I went in with Franky to sweep the building, we were at the back of the building when we spotted a woman, she was badly burned but she was breathing. We went to pick her up when we noticed there was someone underneath her, it turned out to be her daughter, and she was in a bad way. I went to the hospital once my shift finished to see how they were doing but the girl didn’t make it. She was fourteen, the same age Debbie was when Harry….” Bea said, her eyes filling with tears
“Hey, it’s ok, take your time”
“I went home and tried to get some sleep but every time I closed my eyes I could see her lying there, but it wasn’t her face I could see, it was Debbie’s. After a while I decided to go for a walk, try and clear my head, the next thing I knew I was outside Fuel. I’d been there a couple of hours when you came down”
“You should have called me, I would have come straight over. I know there’s nothing I can do to take it all away but I’m here for you, I’ll always be here for you, and you don’t have to deal with this alone ok”
“Thank you, you have no idea how much that means to me” the redhead said as she sat up and cuddled into the blonde.
Half an hour later Bea had fallen asleep in the younger woman’s arms, and Allie really needed to pee, talk about bad timing. She tried to slide out from her girlfriends embrace but the older woman just held on tighter, she really didn’t want to wake her, but wetting herself really wasn’t an option. Shaking her gently until she stirred, sleepy brown eyes looked at her in confusion, as she stood up, holding her hand out to the redhead.
“Why did you move, I was comfy” Bea asked, her voice more husky than normal
“Because you need to go to bed…and I really need to pee” the blonde said, leading her girlfriend up the stairs.
Entering the bedroom she pulled back the covers as Bea got changed before climbing into bed, tucking her in, she placed a soft kiss on her forehead before heading to the bathroom. Coming back through Allie took her jeans off before slipping in behind her girlfriend, pulling her in close as they both fell asleep.
Allie woke up several hours later to the feeling of Bea’s fingers tracing patterns on her stomach where her shirt had ridden up in her sleep. Smiling as she opened her eyes, she turned to face the older woman, who was watching her intently.
“I love waking up with you” the redhead said, before kissing her gently
“I love it more” Allie replied, flipping them over so she was hovering above the older woman before she started to tickle her
“Allieee….” Bea whined, she hated being tickled, and she know that the blonde knew that too
“Say the magic word and I’ll stop”
“Never…” Bea replied, her bottom lip sticking out as she pretended to sulk
“Don’t make me sing that song again” the younger woman said, stilling her hands
“I still can’t believe you did that, it was so mean. So what was the grand plan then if it wasn’t to come over and insult me? It would be a shame for it to go to waste since you went to so much effort”
“You really want to know?”
“Yeah, I really want to know”
“Ok” Allie said, jumping off of the bed and grabbing her guitar before coming to sit beside her girlfriend, taking a deep breath she began to play, hoping she wouldn’t freak the redhead out too much.
Everybody’s sayin’ seize the day
All I hear when they say seize the day is your name
So alone with the love so tragic
One taste, I’m a full blown addict
Now I keep comin’ back, got to have it
Gotta have it, gotta have it
In jail or devil or neither
And you got me sweatin’ that fever
And when the heat is gone you make me a Bea-liever
Oh, oh, oh love you crazy
Oh, oh, oh love you crazy
Everybody’s sayin’ seize the day
Your love is a little bit crazy, my love is a little bit crazy
Cause everything that we could feel, we feel insanely
Oh, oh, oh love you crazy
Oh, oh, oh love you….
Locking eyes with the older woman as she sang the last line, her heart skipping a beat at the look her girlfriend was giving her. Placing the guitar down she crawled over the bed, straddling Bea’s legs she sat on her lap before taking her head in her hands, her eyes never leaving the redhead’s as she spoke.
“I love you Bea”
“Yeah I do, I love you. I’m so in love with you that it scares me sometimes” Allie said, her thumb brushing lightly over Bea’s bottom lip before she leaned in, kissing her softly, her fingers tangling in red curls as she felt the older woman moan against her lips. The redhead’s hands running up her back, pulling her in closer as she deepened the kiss.
“Allie I…I..” Bea stuttered as she pulled back from the kiss. She was pretty sure she loved the blonde, but couldn’t bring herself to say the words, at least not yet
“Sshh, it’s ok, you don’t have to say anything. I just needed you to know how I feel, how special you are to me. You’re my whole world Bea Smith, and right here with you is the only place I want to be” the younger woman said, sensing Bea’s hesitation.
She knew how the older woman felt about her, it was obvious to her every time their eyes locked. And the fact that she was here with her right now, like this was all the confirmation that she needed.
Could Allie be any more perfect, she had sensed her hesitation instantly, sweeping it away with a few words, putting her at ease. No one had ever been able to read her like the blonde could, it was as though she could see right into her soul, and surprisingly that didn’t scare her. How was it possible that this beautiful woman in front of her could calm her down with a touch, relax her with a look, and make her heart beat out of her chest every time she felt her lips against her own.
Allie had been working incredibly hard organizing the open mic night, she had been canvasing at the local university campuses, handing out flyers around the city, and had hired someone to help her set up a website for the bar. She had nine out of the ten slots filled up to now, and she was really hoping that it would be a success.
Bea had been unbelievably supportive, especially so a couple of nights ago when they were curled up together on the sofa, in the middle of a heated make-out session, when the blonde’s phone had rung. Apologizing to her girlfriend, she leaned over and grabbed her phone, answering the call, it had been one of the bands calling to confirm the details of their set. Ending the call she turned back to Bea, pulling her in and picking up where they had left off, only for the bloody phone to go again, another artist was wanting to change slots.
It had continued that way for most of the evening, the event was in two days and everyone was wanting to sort out the last minute details. Her girlfriend had been amazing, they hadn’t seen much of one another over the past few days, their shift patterns seemed to be working against them, and the time they did have kept getting interrupted by Allie’s phone. The redhead was on a day shift the following morning so decided to go to bed, leaving the blonde to deal with the endless stream of phone calls, what was it about musicians, could they not call at a reasonable hour. Kissing Allie on the cheek, she headed up the stairs, hoping the younger woman would be able to get some rest soon.
She had been working so hard to get everything ready on time, she just hoped it would bring in the customers, there was a lot riding on this for both Liz and Boomer, and she knew Allie was feeling the pressure, not that she would admit it. Bea wished there was more she could do to help her, but all she could do was be there when she needed her. Waking up in the middle of the night she felt Allie’s body pressed against hers, smiling to herself she snuggled in closer, glad the blonde was finally managing to get some rest.