A/N: I am continuing this, it's just that other projects keep getting in the way. This isn't as long as I'd like but I think it sets up the main story. Thanks for the compliments in the reviews and (DemonicAngelic) I know this is reading more like a script. I set out with good intentions but the characters seem to overtake me. I'll try harder though! Yep, a Brittas disaster is on the way as are a few relationships. All non-standard, sorry.
'Timmy?' Gavin said hesitantly.
'Promise me you won't cause... trouble this weekend.'
'Would I do that?'
'Yes.' Gavin looked back to the bus where Carole was unloading the twins under Brittas' glare. 'Any preference for first ride?'
'We'll save the big ones till later.'
'I thought you were supposed to do those in the morning, avoid accidents?'
Tim grinned. 'Remember what Julie was saying about Brittas?'
Despite himself, he smiled. 'Come on. I want to see you scream.'
'Carole, I hope you appreciate the trouble you're putting us to.'
'Yes, Mr Brittas. Sorry, Mr Brittas.'
'Leave her alone, Gordon,' Helen said irritably, throwing an exasperated glance at Laura a few metres away. 'You're wasting time talking about it.'
'Alright, my darling,' he simpered. 'I know! Why don't you go on ahead? You've got your ticket.'
The idea was appealing yet... 'What, on my own?'
'Take Laura with you!'
Helen glanced over at the deputy manager, unsure whether the prospect of walking round with her would be preferable to going with Gordon. 'No, she doesn't want to...'
'It sounds like a fantastic idea,' Laura interrupted. 'But are you sure you'll be alright on your own?'
'I won't be on my own, I've got Carole and Julie!'
Neither of them seemed particularly happy about that. Carole's face froze in one of her 'I've done something wrong' smiles, Julie was obviously biting her lip trying not to say anything. It was a miracle it worked. 'Well, Gordon, if you're sure,' Helen said.
'Of course I'm sure!'
It was unexpected, the thoughtfulness. So much so that she felt suddenly disorientated, it was only when Laura took her arm that she realised they were moving.
As soon as they were far enough away, Laura smiled. 'That was lucky.'
'Yes, it was rather.'
'Thank you, Linda, for offering to help.'
Slightly out of breath under the weight of three bags, she nodded. 'It's no trouble, Colin. Someone had to check in.'
'I know, but it does seem...' He trailed off and examined one of the bags she'd just put on the path. 'Whose bag is this?'
'Julie's, I think. Why?'
'Is that blood coming out of it, do you think?'
'Oh, have you seen that?'
'God, what now?' Julie muttered half to herself and half to Carole beside her who was pushing the Brittas' double-buggy. Brittas, ahead of them and leading Ben by the hand, had been commenting on every piece of litter, graffiti and loud behaviour since they'd entered the monorail station five minutes earlier. Fifty-six complaints was a record even for him.
'Gum on the wall, have you got that, Julie?'
'Twenty-four instances of gum. Yeah, I got it.'
'I intend to bring all this to attention before we leave.'
'Thought you might.'
As the queue progressed slowly up the platform, Brittas leaned in to check on the twins.
Carole smiled. 'He's so good with them, isn't he?'
'I suppose he's like a father to them.'
'You know, I'm so lucky, Julie.'
'Lucky? Let's see, your kids live in cupboards, one of them does anyway. And you sleep in Mr Brittas' office.'
'How do you know that?' Carole glanced over.
'You keep forgetting to put the gym mat back.'
'Oh, Julie, I'm sorry.'
'Don't be. I don't do much else do I?' She was lying. Some days she came in early to make sure Brittas didn't find the bed. Well, it was something to do at six in the morning.
'I wonder why we're not moving,' Brittas asked aloud.
It was going to be a long weekend.
'Do you hear something?'
The pair were about to board the blue monorail but Helen was hanging back. Laura listened intently to the crowd. 'Voices.'
'Maybe it's my imagination but...'
Then Laura heard it. Brittas. 'Get this line in order, it's pitiful!'
Without hesitation, she pushed Helen onto the train, tripping over the edge and sprawling into the carriage.
'Laura!' Helen helped her onto a seat. 'See? This is what happens! A few hours in and people are already throwing themselves into trains and...'
'Helen!' The door slid shut. Once the slow whoosh of movement started, Laura smiled. 'I'd say we're free, wouldn't you?'
It wasn't often a true happiness appeared on Helen Brittas' face. Of course, that was more than understandable considering what a pain in the neck her husband was. But Helen being happy was what Laura was striving towards these days. Call it her new vocation. It was certainly better than a career in leisure management.
'Can you see where it's coming from at all?'
Being careful not to touch any of the red liquid Linda examined the holdall. 'I think there's a hole underneath.'
'What would Julie be doing with a bag full of blood?'
'Well, perhaps it isn't blood!' Linda thought aloud. 'It could be tomato sauce!'
'Should we opened it, do you think?' Colin asked nervously.
'It's locked.' She fingered the steel padlock. 'Maybe we should go find Julie.'
'You're right, Linda! As always!'
'That's a baby ride!'
'Oh, I don't know,' Tim answered. 'Looks like that boy hated it.'
'Yes.' Gavin glanced sideways. 'He's ten, isn't he?'
'I don't see why we have to go on the big rides anyway.'
'You know Brittas would say. We should get his money's worth, or at least the taxpayers since this came out of centre funds.'
Ignoring the itching feeling of his boyfriend becoming a Brittas clone then planning to take over the world one leisure centre at a time, Tim folded his arms. 'I'm sure he'd want us to go on every ride.'
'Okay, okay,' Gavin relented. 'But we should go on the bigger ones later.'
'Yes, Mr Featherly.'
As Gavin reached for him, Tim grinned and headed towards the teacups.
Julie had her fingers crossed. The group was half-way to the park on the monorail and Brittas hadn't complained since they'd got on. Better than that, he hadn't said a word. If he carried on like that they might actually have some fun. She wasn't expecting too much though.
To her left, looking out of the window, was Carole. She'd been unusually quiet too. For a moment Julie thought about questioning her about it but (for once) her nosy streak kept itself in check. Instead she reached for the receptionist's hand, squeezing it tightly. She could say why she'd done it, maybe it had just felt right.
'This is great, isn't it?' Helen gazed around the park from their spot just inside the entrance.
Laura had to agree. It was a glorious day and every ray the sun beamed down seemed to strike a piece of wonder. For a child this place was truly magical. And, linking arms with the woman beside her, she figured it was more or less the same for Helen Brittas. 'Any requests?'
'Nope. Let's go.'