Title - A Fear of Feeling
Author - the depressed Julesmonster
Date - 30/6/00
Summery - A horrible loss causes Rachel to lose all hope of living.
Disclaimer - I can dream can't I ?
Authors Note - After losing my job and seeing the horrible amount of bills that have come in,
I've been a little depressed as of late. This little number is depressing.... well most of it
is anyways, so you've been warned!
Dedication - to the Ratpak, Goldie, Ivory, Frank, and Rat the Cat (otherwise known as Feral)
you lot are sometimes my reason to live.


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Rachel Goldstein stared out the window, taking in the bleak Sydney winterscape. It
somehow felt right to be this lonely, this depressed, after all that had happened recently. Frank
had been shot, the bullet striking fatally near his heart, Jack had been reassigned, David had
been killed in a car accident, and she was left by herself. She took a deep breath, watching the
steam of her breath vanish as the cold dark room threatened to take her as well. It required too
much effort to move across the room and switch on the heater, to much effort to go and get
herself a blanket. No. She needed to suffer. To bleed. To grieve.
Ever since the day Frank had died she'd felt numb. Her fear of feeling everything slowly
turning into her fear of feeling anything. Was she still capable of love, of hurt, or pain? Or was
her life destined to be a numbness, a sameness that had weaved its way through the past month.
The month from hell. She stared out the window again, her eyes looking but not seeing.
She stared at nothing in particular for what seemed like hours on end, too scared to hope,
too hurt to dream, too sad to love.
Hours later a knock errupted from her door, almost startling her out of her reverie. She
willed the person to leave, hoping that they would give up after a while and leave her alone. She
begged with her mind, pleaded with her heart, and willed with her eyes, but still the person did
not leave. Instead she heard a key in the lock, the cylinders turning, the wood shifting. Footsteps
in the hall, the rustle of clothing. A shaft of light pierced the black room, hurting Rachel's eyes
and forcing her to close them to the invasion.
" Rachel? " the voice murmered, full of pity, full of loss. Helen looked at the shell of her friend,
huddled in dirty clothes in the darkest corner of the room, staring out the window, same as
yesterday, same as the day before. Every day Helen visited, making sure Rachel was at least fed
and washed, trying to comfort her friend when she knew it was hopeless. The grief that she was
going through must have been tremendous. To lose a partner, then a lover, then a son, all within
a month. It had been the month from hell.
Picking her friend up Helen headed for the bathroom, running a steaming hot bath before
helping her wash. It hurt Helen terribly to see her friend, once so strong and vibrant, now just a
shell of her former self. No-one could have forseen the effect that the times would take on her,
no-one could have known how her world would crumble. Now, little by little, Helen was
attempting to rebuild that world. A day at a time.
As the days passed Helen grew more and more worried, as did the remaining crew back
at the Sydney Water Police Headquarters where Rachel had been stationed. There had been no
words, no sounds, and more importantly, no tears. It was as if she was afraid to grieve, afraid
that if she let anything in, the emotion would overwhelm her. Little did they know that piece by
piece, it was destroying her.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Anything?" Tayler asked as Helen trudged through the doors of the office the next day. Wearily
she shook her head. Nothing had changed. Tayler hung her head, of all the people at the Water
Police Headquaters, herself & Helen were amoung Rachel's closest friends. The whole station
had felt it, the days seemed to drag, there was no vibrance in steps, no laughter in the offices,
just solemn faces. It was as if someone else had died, except this was much much worse.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Another day passed, and still she stared out the window, still she was afraid. Days turned into
weeks until something changed, a small vehicle of hope, in the form of a kitten. Cold and hungry
it pitifully meowed, its cry ringing through the bleakest of winter nights. Something seem to leap
up and grab her heart, forcing to at least stop someone else's suffering, if not her own. Muscles
protested and joints creaked from lack of use as she made her way through the once familiar halls.
Her numb fingers slipped on the doorlock, unwilling to straighten after so long. After a time she
managed to open the latch and step into the night, following the pitiful cry to their source. Bending
down she picked up the kitten, its fur frozen and stiff with frost, its weak breath faintly misting
in the pale moonlight. She pulled off her cardigen and wrapped the small animal in it, huddling
it to her before making her way back across the yard and into the dark house.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A knock at the door again, the same as always, except this time she was almost tempted
to answer it. Like a frightened child she clutched the kitten to her chest, willing it to stay alive,
willing it not to give up on her. She'd tried the cupboards and fridge the night before looking for
something to feed the tiny creature, instead finding only the essentials of human life. Bread, cereal,
a little milk, butter and water. Helen brought her food every day, home cooked goodness that
had so far kept her alive, yet there was nothing to feed the kitten. Nothing to keep it alive.
Helen opened the door and knew at once something was different. The door wasn't
locked. Every day when she left she locked the door behind her, fearful that a burgler might come
and take advantage of her friends situation, yet today it was unlocked. Filing the information
away for future reference Helen stepped quietly into the house, cautious as to what she might find.
Rounding the corner she saw a sight that would stay with her for many years to come. Rachel's
eyes, they were looking at her. In the weeks that had passed Rachel had never made eye contact
with anyone, yet now those burning blue eyes were aimed at her once again.
" Oh my Rachel " she stuttered, her eyes picking up the tiny creature covered in cardigens and
other clothes wrapped in the depths of her friends arms. Crossing the room she sat next to Rachel,
trying to get a better look at this latest life seemingly thrust into her care. It was tiny, yet now dry
and warm, its yellow eyes peering through the hollows of its skull. Starved.
" Oh Rachel " she said again, her voice different this time, hopefully questioning "wherever did
you find him? "
Rachel looked out the window and pointed with an elbow, yet still not uttering so much as a
syllable. Still, it was a start. Helen's mind formed a plan.
" Rachel, I'm going to go and buy some things for your new friend, is that okay? I'll be back soon
I promise" she said, carefully scanning her friends face as she stood. To her amazement Rachel
nodded, a stiff awkward movement, but a nod nonetheless. Hope renewed Helen darted for the
door, whipping out her mobile as she went, eager to tell of the news.

Half an hour later the key turned in the lock again, Helen trying desperately not to drop
anything as she made her way through the narrow hallway and up the stairs. Reaching the kitchen
she found Rachel waiting for her, still clutching the kitten. Helen unpacked the bags. Kitten food,
special kitten milk formula, an eyedropper to feed it with, a basket, hotwater bottle, and blanket
for it to sleep with, kitty litter and a litter tray, bowls, cat biscuits and carriers. Anything a kitten
could ever want or need was right there on the bench.
" Now " Helen stated " Lets give this little tyke a feed shall we? " She grabbed the formula tin
and read the back before grabbing a bottle and adding the mixture and water. Shaking the bottle
she zapped it in the microwave for a few seconds to warm it before turning once again back to
Rachel.
" Would you like to try and feed him? " she asked, handing an eyedropper full of the warmed
fluid to her friend. Rachel looked at her before extending a hand. Smiling Helen placed the
dropper in it before leading her over to a chair.
An hour later the kitten was sound asleep in Rachel's arms, its belly now full of formula.
Helen returned to the kitchen and boiled some water for the hotwater bottle. Setting up a little
enclosure, she placed the bottle under several blankets and returned to her friend.
" Rachel, I think we should put the kitten to bed, he might be more comfy in a proper kitty bed,
don't you think so?" Rachel nodded in return and walked slowly and stiffly over to the enclosure,
ever so carefully setting the kitten down on the warm blankets before straightening and looking
over to Helen who stood and crossed the room.
" Would you like a hot shower now? But we can't leave the kitten alone, so how about I stay
here and look after him, and you go and have a nice hot shower ?" Helen prodded. To her
internal delight Rachel nodded, the movement not as stiff and awkward as before.
" Well why don't you stay here a minute and look over him while I run your shower and grab you
some nice warm clothes. " Helen scampered towards the bathroom, grabbing a warm jumper,
trackpants and underwear from Rachel's bedroom on her way. Minutes later she returned to the
kitchen and found Rachel diligently watching over the sleeping kitten.
" Rachel, you shower is ready. I'll look after the kitten now, off you go and have a shower. "
Rachel stood and headed for the bathroom, stealing glances back at the sleeping kitten as she left.
Once in the shower Rachel felt a small pang of something in her heart. Was it hope? She
didn't think she was capable of feeling anything anymore, it seemed like months she'd gone
without feelings, without mourning, without loving, without hoping. There seemed a reason to
live, a reason to do something. Stepping out of the steaming shower she dressed, ran a comb
through her feral hair, and brushed her teeth before heading out to the kitchen. There was hope in
her eyes, a little spring in her step, and a reason to live in her heart. Helen stood as Rachel
entered the room and opened her arms, welcoming her friend back to the world of the living.
Rachel stepped out of the hug and looked Helen in the eyes, her fierce gaze searching her friends'
heart.
" Thank you" She whispered, the words so soft and croaky having not been used for so long.
Helen's heart leapt up into her throat.
" oh Rachel " she simply said, other words failing her. She pulled her friend into another hug,
happy to know that from now on things would be alright. Things would improve. She had a
reason to live.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
2 months later

" Hey guys! Ya miss me?" A clear sharp voice resounded through the Water Police Headquarters.
Rachel Goldstein flounced through the doors, happy to be living once again. She was greated
with an array of hugs, kisses and "Hell Yes!" from all those who were present. Yes it was good
to live again.


End... are ya scared yet?