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Fire Meet Gasoline

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Kaz was confused, Harry was definitely blowing hot and cold, and she couldn’t figure out what she had done to make him act that way.  Things had been great a couple of days ago, when they had their second conjugal visit, he had been so unbelievably sweet and gentle, the complete opposite to the person she had just spoken to on the phone.  He had never once spoken to her the way he had half an hour ago, and she was pissed at him, and at herself for letting him upset her like he had.

They hadn’t discussed Bea when she saw him the other day, although discussing your ex-wife while you’re in bed with another woman really wouldn’t be the best way to make it pleasurable.  They had talked quite a bit as well, and everything was perfect, well as perfect as it could be in a prison with a guard outside the door, but the minute queen Bea’s name came up, things changed, he changed, and it was really starting to fuck her off.

She had done everything that he had asked of her, and it still wasn’t good enough.  He had claimed that he was embarrassed about what was going on.  One of the guys in his unit had found some of the photos of Bea and Allie together, and knowing the redhead was his ex-wife had been giving him shit about turning her into a lesbo.  He had shown the photos to a few others, some wanting a copy to help get themselves off during the many lonely nights behind bars.  While she sympathised with him, Bea was exactly that, his ex-wife.  They were together now, like they always should have been, she just didn’t understand why the redhead still affected him so much if he didn’t have any feelings for her.

 

 

The bar was packed, 11:11’s gig at the university had been posted online, along with details of the next venue they were playing, and people had turned up in numbers to see them, despite them only having a forty five minute slot at the end of the evening.  Of all nights, tonight was one that Allie had promised to play with them as well.  She had been writing with Ash, and they were planning on playing a few original tracks to see how they went down.  If all went well, Liz had agreed to let them play a gig the following weekend, but if the number of people in the bar was anything to go by, she would welcome them with open arms.

Debbie would be heading back to university in a few days, and Bea had booked a table at her daughter’s favourite restaurant for the following evening, telling the younger Smith to invite Shayne.  She also wanted to catch up with some of her old school friends while she was in town, and as a result, tonight would be the last night she could help out behind the bar, but Boomer was due back tomorrow, so it had worked out quite well.  Liz, Shayne and Debbie were behind the bar, and Allie was helping out between sorting out the artists, and preparing for her upcoming set.

She was a little bit apprehensive, playing in front of so many people was scary enough, without putting their own material out there, she was just glad two of the three tracks were a joint effort.  She had enjoyed spending some time with Ash, and they worked well together, finding that between them, the lyrics flowed easily.

All the gang were there, including her girlfriend, who was looking particularly hot tonight, not that she didn’t all the time.  Allie had gone back to the flat after breakfast, needing to get together with Ash for a couple of hours to go over a couple of last minute tweaks to one of the songs.  It was crazy really, they had only been apart about six hours, but she missed Bea so much, and as she watched her walk through the door, she wanted to drag her upstairs and make up for the time they had spent apart.  The redhead was like a drug, and she was well and truly addicted.  Allie had worried initially that she would be too full on for her inexperienced lover, but they longer they were together, the more Bea’s confidence had grown, and the older woman was insatiable.

She had never connected with someone like she did Bea, and the evenings they spent cuddled up on the sofa, or lying in bed chatting were some of her favourite moments.  She loved getting to see a side of the redhead that no one else did, that parts of her she saved just for Allie.  Bea was always so strong, hiding the majority of her feelings from everyone but Franky and Liz, and even they only got the edited version, but with Allie she let go completely, and she was honoured to be able to witness everything about the incredible woman who she was allowed to call her girlfriend.

Ash nudging her brought her out of her thoughts.  They were upstairs in the flat, going over one of the new songs one last time.  Allie was taking the lead vocal on this one, it was a song that she had written a while ago, and after sneaking a look at her lyrics book when she had gone to the bathroom, Ash insisted that they use it as part of their set.  She was apprehensive at first, she had written the lyrics the day after she first had breakfast with Bea, while she was trying to come off the drugs, and it felt a little too close to home to be sharing with a room full of strangers, not that most people in the room would know it was from personal experience.   Only Bea really knew what she went through, although Franky, Bridget and Debbie did to some extent.  She wasn’t sure how much Bea had shared with Liz when she initially spoke to her about renting the flat, and while the older blonde was aware she hadn’t had the best time, Allie hadn’t shared any real details with her.

Maybe she was overthinking it, even Ash had commented on her ability to identify with unfamiliar situations, and make the listeners believe she had experienced it personally.  She decided to go with it for now, but wanted to speak to Bea before making any final decisions.  The lyrics were pretty much there, they just had to work on the melody.  It was the most personal performance she had ever done and she wanted to get as much rehearsal time in as possible.  She had to cut their session short earlier in the afternoon as she was covering the early evening shift for a few hours until Liz came in, so was using every minute she could get to perfect the track.

Once they had gone through it a couple more times they headed back downstairs, Ash joining the rest of the band, while Allie went to check on the artists that were playing that evening.  There were three more before they were due on the stage so the blonde went to collect some glasses and take them back over to the bar, trying to help out as much as she could.  After serving a couple of customers she headed round the other side of the bar and over to her girlfriend, wanting to get a few minutes with her before she had to head back to the guys.

“You look good enough to eat” Allie said, as her tongue flicked gently over the redhead’s ear

Wrapping her arms around the younger woman, Bea pressed her body against Allie’s, the blonde moaning at the increased contact “Dessert…later” she said, her husky voice lower than usual as her fingers caressed the exposed skin at her lover’s hips where her shirt had risen up slightly

“I’ll hold you to that” Allie replied, rolling her hips forward slightly, causing the redhead to gasp

“There’s no way I’ll forget, I can promise you that”

“Can I talk to you about something, it won’t take long” the younger woman asked

“Of course, and I don’t care how long it takes, any time I get with you is good” Bea replied, as Allie lead them through into the back office

“Ash read some of my lyrics, the little shit went through my notebook while I was peeing.  He wants to use one of my songs but I’m not sure”

“What’s bothering you?  I know it will be incredible, you’re so talented Allie”

“Yeah and you’re biased.  I wrote it a while ago, when my life was a mess, and I’m afraid everyone will look at me differently if they hear it.  I’ve been there before, with everyone judging me, and it’s not nice.  I don’t want that again, especially from your friends”

“First of all you should be proud of how far you’ve come, I know I am.  Second, people will judge you no matter what, fuck them.  Third, ‘our’ friends would never judge you, and fourth, no one will know you actually lived it.  People take inspiration from everywhere, and for all they know, it could be exactly that”

“Would you be disappointed in me if I don’t do it?”

“I could never be disappointed in you Alliecat, ever.  Do what feels right, and there’s only you that can make that decision.  I love you, no matter what you chose to do” Bea replied, kissing the blonde on the lips quickly, knowing she had to get back to the guys.

She was looking forward to hearing the songs Allie had been working on with Ash, she knew how talented the blonde was, and she was in no doubt that they would be great.  She wasn’t sure how much input Allie had in the other new tracks, but she would know her girlfriend’s work as soon as she heard it.  After a quick trip to the bathroom, Bea grabbed another round of drinks for her friends, before dragging them closer to the stage.  Allie had said a while ago that she felt more relaxed when she could see Bea, and she wanted to be there for the younger woman in any way she could.  She hoped that the blonde would play her song, but she understood her apprehension, and didn’t want it to cause her any unnecessary stress.  All she could do was sit back and wait, and be there for Allie as and when she needed her.

 

 

They were three quarters of the way through their set, and the two original tracks they had played so far had been well received.  The crowd was buzzing, and Allie was loving it.  She was yet to take the lead vocal, one of their songs both her and Ash shared, and on the other he took the lead.  Their third original song, her song, would be the penultimate track, followed by a cover, and she was taking the lead on both of those.

After stepping forward she adjusted the mic, her eyes locking with Bea’s briefly.  One look from the redhead and she forgot how nervous she was.  Turning slightly, she nodded to the guys as Dylan set the beat on the drums, Ethan and Ash joining in straight away as Allie held the mic stand and started to sing.

 

I don't wanna be the girl who laughs the loudest

Or the girl who never wants to be alone

I don't wanna be that call at 4 o'clock in the mornin’

‘Cause I'm the only one you know in the world that won't be home

 

Ah, the sun is blindin’

I stayed up again

Oh, I am findin’

That that's not the way I want my story to end

 

I'm safe

Up high

Nothing can touch me

But why do I feel this party's over?

No pain

Inside

You're my protection

But how do I feel this good sober?

 

I don't wanna be the girl that has to fill the silence

The quiet scares me 'cause it screams the truth

Please don't tell me that we had that conversation

Cause I won't remember, save your breath, 'cause what's the use?

 

Ah, the night is callin’

And it whispers to me softly come and play

But I, I am fallin’

And If I let myself go I'm the only one to blame

 

Bea knew as soon as she heard the first couple of lines that this was the song Allie had been worrying about, and she pictured her in a small room at the shelter, writing in her book, as she tried to make sense of everything.  Her heart went out to the blonde, she had been through so much yet she was so strong, so together, and she made Bea feel so safe and secure.  It was a big step for her girlfriend, putting herself out there like this, and she was so proud of her.  She could see the pain in Allie’s eyes as the words left her lips, and she wanted nothing more than to wrap her arms around her and make it all better

 

 

I'm safe

Up high

Nothing can touch me

But why do I feel this party's over?

No pain

Inside

You're like perfection

But how do I feel this good sober?

 

Comin’ down, comin’ down, comin’ down

Spinnin’ 'round, spinnin’ 'round, spinnin’ 'round

I'm looking for myself, sober

Comin’ down, comin’ down, comin’ down

Spinnin’ 'round, spinnin’ 'round, spinnin’ 'round

Looking for myself, sober

 

Allie had never felt as exposed as she did right there on that stage.  She had almost bolted half way through the song, but the way Bea was looking at her, like she had handpicked the stars, was enough to keep her grounded.  Smiling at the redhead briefly, she continued to sing, her eyes never leaving the older woman’s.

 

 

When it's good, then it's good, it's so good 'till it goes bad

'Till you're trying to find the you that you once had

I have heard myself cry, never again

Broken down in agony just tryin' to find a friend

 

I'm safe

Up high

Nothing can touch me

But why do I feel this party's over?

No pain

Inside

You're like perfection

But how do I feel this good sober?

 

I'm safe

Up high

Nothing can touch me

But why do I feel this party's over?

No pain

Inside

You're like perfection

But how do I feel this good sober?

 

 

Bea had gravitated to the side of the stage during her girlfriend’s performance, wanting to be as close to her as possible.  As the song ended, Allie turned around slightly so she was facing Bea.  Grabbing the front of the blonde’s shirt, Bea pulled her forward slightly so she could whisper in her ear.  “You’re amazing, and I love you so much”, she said, kissing her on the cheek before heading back towards her friends to watch the rest of the set.

Her song had gone down well, as had the rest of the set.  After wrapping up on stage Allie needed a few minutes before facing everyone.  She was still feeling pretty raw from her performance, and was sure their friends would see straight through her act if she didn’t compose herself.  Letting the guys know that she would be back soon, the blonde headed upstairs to the flat, hoping to clear her head quickly, so no one realised she was gone.

 

 

Bea had spotted Allie heading into the back, but decided to give her some time to herself.  She could tell that the blonde was struggling during her song, and didn’t want to crowd her.  Fifteen minutes later there was still no sign of Allie, and the redhead was starting to get worried.  Walking over to the bar, she found Debbie, letting her know she was going to find Allie and would be back soon.  The younger Smith had received a message from one of her friends, and was planning on heading over to her house after her shift finished, and would probably stay the night, so she told her Mum to take her time.  After telling Debbie to call her if she needed a lift the following morning, she wandered through into the back, and up the stairs to the flat.  She would check on her girlfriend, then head back down to the others.  As she approached the door to the flat she could hear sniffling. Taking out her key, she let herself in, finding Allie standing over by the window, her arms wrapped around herself as she cried.

Crossing the room, Bea pulled the blonde into a hug, Allie clinging to her as she sobbed on her shoulder.  She wasn’t sure how long they stayed like that, ten minutes, maybe longer, when Allie pulled back, apologising for wetting her girlfriend’s shirt.

“I don’t care about my shirt, it’ll dry.  I’m more worried about you” the redhead said as she rubbed the blonde’s back soothingly

“I’m ok, really.  It just got me thinking about all the awful things I did, and it made me, no, makes me feel dirty.  I can barely stand to be around myself right now, how can you want to be here?”

“Because I love you, all of you, the good and the bad.  You were dealt a shit hand, and you did what you had to do to survive.  It’s what makes you who you are, and you’re beautiful to me, inside and out” Bea said, kissing away Allie’s tears

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to ruin your night.  Debbie will be finishing soon so you should probably head back down, I’ll be ok here”

“I’m not leaving you, and she’s going over to Megan’s for the night.  Do you want to sleep here or go home with me?  And I’ll be wherever you are, just so you know”

“I want to go home” the blonde replied, not realising that she had referred to Bea’s house as home.  Her words were not lost on the redhead though, and she loved that her girlfriend thought of it as her home, hopefully they could make it permanent in the not too distant future.

 

 

 

The following evening the three women headed out, climbing into the waiting taxi.  Bea had suggested that they pick Shayne up on the way, but Debbie said he was going to drive as they were planning on going somewhere else after dinner.  Shayne was already there when they arrived at the restaurant, and Allie could see how nervous he was.  She was planning on distracting Bea as much as possible to take the heat off him.  The redhead was very protective of her daughter, which was understandable given what Harry had put them both through, and although Allie found her girlfriend’s fierce streak a huge turn on, most people just found her scary and intimidating.

Once they were all seated and the food had been ordered Allie tried to keep the conversation flowing.  Bea was watching Shayne across the table, and the poor kid looked like he was going to throw up any second.  She managed to steer the conversation onto Debbie, and her studies, thinking it would be a safe ground, but the redhead took this as an opportunity to grill him on his career prospects and plans for the future.

The food arriving brought a break in the tension, and quietened Bea a little while she ate her meal.  Debbie looked like she wanted the ground to open up and swallow her.  She had expected a little bit of awkwardness but her Mum was just being difficult and she couldn’t understand why.  The waiter had just cleared the plates when Bea started grilling Shayne again, and Allie could see how much her behaviour was upsetting Debbie.  Running her foot up the inside of her girlfriend’s leg, she tried to distract her enough so they could change the subject.  When she heard the redhead catch her breath, Allie thought she had succeeded, relaxing slightly when Bea flashed her a bright smile.  Her happiness was short lived though as she went into another rant, letting Shayne know in no uncertain terms that she wasn’t happy about his relationship with her daughter.

Bea knew she was being a bitch, and she hated how upset it was making Debbie.  She liked Shayne, but she needed to know that he had substance, and that he would be strong enough to stand up for himself if challenged.  It was a trick she had learnt from her Gran, and it was extremely affective.  She knew Edith had used it on Allie when they went to visit, and that her girlfriend had passed with flying colours.  She was a little surprised that the blonde hadn’t picked up on what she was doing, but she loved how she was trying to keep everything as civil as possible.

Once dessert was finished, Allie suggested that they call it a night, knowing Debbie and Shayne were planning on catching up with some of her friends, and she didn’t want them to have to suffer Bea’s mood any longer than was necessary.  She was annoyed with her girlfriend, and thought she was acting like a child.  She didn’t want to make things worse in the restaurant, but she would be having words with her once they left.

After settling the bill, which caused yet another disagreement as to who would pay it, they left the restaurant.  Shayne had been adamant that he was paying for dinner, and knowing how much he was earning Allie wished that he hadn’t.  He was just getting settled in a new flat, and she was worried he wouldn’t be able to cover his bills, she would have to make sure he got some of it back in tips.  Debbie was upset when they got outside, laying into her Mum for being so rude.  Things got heated quickly between the Smith women, and Bea was beginning to wonder if she had played this all wrong.  When she had spoken to her Gran on the phone earlier, she had made it sound so easy, but things weren’t exactly going to plan, and she was running the risk of pushing her daughter away.  She clearly wasn’t as devious as her dear old Gran after all.

Shayne had had enough.  He had tried to stay calm, not wanting to rile his girlfriend’s Mum any more than she already was.  He could handle her attitude towards him, but Debbie was getting upset, and that wasn’t something that he was willing to tolerate.

Stepping in front of the young brunette he locked eyes with Bea.   “You don’t’ think I’m good enough for Debbie, and you’re probably right.  But I care about her, and I have no intention of hurting her.  You can say anything you want to me, but please don’t speak to Deb like that.  I know you’re her Mum, and I don’t mean to be rude, but you’re out of line”

No one spoke for what felt like an eternity, but was probably only a few seconds, until Bea surprised everyone, and burst out laughing.

“What the hell Mum?” Debbie asked, completely confused by the redhead’s sudden change in mood

“I wanted to see if he would stand up for himself, and for you.  I’m sorry, both of you, I really am.  It was your Gran’s idea, and it didn’t exactly go to plan, I’m clearly not as crazy as she is, although after tonight that’s probably debatable” Bea said, her cheeks colouring in embarrassment

“That was a shit move Mum.  We’re going, but this isn’t over” Debbie said, clearly still pissed at her Mum

“I’m sorry Shayne, I just needed to be sure, and more importantly, I need her to be safe.  We’re having a family meal on Sunday before Debbie heads back to university.  I’d like it you came over, and I promise I to behave this time” the redhead said, trying to put things right

 “Sure, I’d like that, and I understand, Debbie will too when she calms down” Shayne replied before turning and following Debbie, who had started walking towards his car

Placing her hand on Shayne’s arm as he passed Allie spoke. “I apologise for my girlfriend’s arshole-ishness, but it’s nothing personal.  They’re been through a lot together and she just worries.  Have a good night and I’ll see you at work tomorrow”

“Thanks Allie, and its ok, really.  I can see how close they are, and I’m glad Deb has someone willing to terrorise for her” he replied, smiling at the blonde before heading off to catch up with Debbie

Once Debbie and Shayne were out of sight Allie turned to face her girlfriend, the redhead suddenly finding her boots very interesting.  Taking her hand, Allie led them down the street to find a taxi, deciding it would be better to wait until they were back at the house to talk.  Bea was quiet on the journey home, she knew she had handled things badly at dinner, and she hoped that Debbie would understand why she behaved the way she did.