TITLE: The Weekend
CHARACTERS: Rachel Goldstein, Frank Holloway, David Goldstein & Helen Blakemore.
DISCLAIMER: These characters do not belong to me.
SUMMARY: Just another weekend...
"You know, you really should lock the door," Frank announced as he walked into her place, cradling a case of beer in his arms, "Anyone could wander in off the street."
"People like you, you mean?" Rachel absently asked, still focusing intently on the task at hand, a sponge in one hand and toothbrush in the other, determined to rid her windows and their frames of every last speck of dirt.
Frank frowned, putting the beer down on the coffee table and placing his hands on his hips as he tried to figure out what she was doing, "Do you always do this sort of stuff on your day off?"
"This sort of stuff?" Rachel repeated, still not turning to look at him, "Oh, that's right. You see, Francis, it's called cleaning. Um, sorry, I keep forgetting that you have no idea what that means. Cleaning is what you do when you try to make things less dirty, tidy up a bit."
"It kinda makes sense." Frank shrugged, "Still not a hundred percent clear though."
"Baby steps, Francis."
"So, are you gonna help me drink these?" Frank asked, "Or shall I drink myself stupid and pass out here on your couch?"
"And what makes you think I'd ever let that happen?"
"Thought it was worth a shot." Frank reasoned, tearing the carton open at the end and pulling two bottles of beer out. "So, what's with big frantic clean?"
"Because it needs to be done." Rachel replied, finally giving up and dropping the sponge and toothbrush into the bucket. She stood back and admired her work, sighing heavily.
"You know, if you had a good view from the window of the beach or something, then I'd understand you doing this." Frank began, "But you don't have a good view. Unless you want to look at the place across the street."
"They were dirty and needed a clean. I've done all the other windows in the place already."
"Here, you seriously need one of these. Because I don't know anyone who uses a toothbrush to clean windows." Frank said, offering her a bottle which she seemed to gratefully accept. Without waiting for an invitation, he flopped down on the couch, quickly making himself comfortable.
To his surprise, Rachel stayed completely silent, instead following his lead and sitting at the other end of the sofa, curling her legs up under her body, taking a long drink from the glass bottle.
"So, what are you doing here, Frank?"
"Oh, you know…"
"I don't need a babysitter, Frank."
"Who said I'm here babysitting? I'm just having a few drinks with my partner and best mate."
"Oh yeah, and whose idea was it that you come around for a few drinks with your best mate? Yours or Helen's?"
"Rachel, I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Whatever you reckon."
"Look, just because it's the first anniversary of what happened with Knocker doesn't mean I'm here babysitting you. I just wanted some company while I got drunk."
Rachel studied him for a long moment before she took another drink and nodded, "Okay, well, if we're gonna get drunk, I want greasy pizza to go with it."
"Woman, you know the way to my heart." Frank teased as she got up and grabbed the phone.
"I screwed up so bad, Frank." Rachel sadly muttered.
"Screwed what up?"
"With Knocker… if it had just been my life that I let him into, yeah, I can deal with that. But I let him into David's life. My little boy and I let a bastard like Knocker Harrison into his life."
"Rachel, he fooled you, he fooled everyone." Frank pointed out, his legs stretched out on the coffee table next to her, beers resting safely in their hands.
"You knew. You told me I shouldn't marry him."
"And you didn't."
"Because I shot him dead."
"Still, you realized and got him out of your life before things got too far out of control."
"Doesn't say much about my instincts though, does it?"
Frank frowned, turning to face her, "Rach…"
"I'm sorry." She quickly apologised, sighing heavily, "Listen to me rambling on with this crap. Not exactly the best company in the world, am I?"
"Look, Rachel, it's not crap, you're not rambling on and you're better company than you think. It's… normal, I guess to doubt yourself after something like that." Frank pointed out, "Hell, I'd be more worried if you didn't doubt yourself. But that was a year ago now. You've well and truly moved on."
"No one even calls you Gunner anymore." Frank quickly added, ready for any punches she might throw his way.
Instead, she laughed, throwing her head back against the back of the sofa, nearly spilling her amber ale in the process.
Frank watched on in amusement, feeling safe enough to laugh alone with her, glad to see that her dark, depressed mood had lifted at least a little.
"Oh and how I miss that." Rachel managed to get out once her laughter had died down.
"You need to laugh more often Goldie." Frank decided, shifting onto his side so he could give her his complete attention. "It's great to hear."
"Francis, with you around, there's always something to laugh about."
"Well then you should keep me around more often."
"We spend twelve hours a day together."
"I know. It's a marriage without the perks." Frank commented.
"So basically it's just a typical marriage." Rachel asked, getting more laughter out of him which in turn brought out more laughter from her.
A comfortable silence fell over them again and they sat together, staring out into the darkness of the street through the window she had thoroughly cleaned nearly a slab and two pizzas earlier.
Eventually, Frank sighed heavily, still resting on his side and spoke again, "We should do it, Rachel."
"What? Have sex?"
Frank chuckled, "Well, that too. But I was talking about getting married."
Rachel laughed yet again, finishing off her beer, expecting him to starting laughing with her. But when he remained silent, she swallowed the beer and turned to look at him, finding him staring at her with a completely straight face. "Frank…"
"Think about it for a minute, Rachel."
"Frank, you can't be serious, we would kill each other within a few hours."
"I am serious." Frank disagreed, taking his feet down off the coffee table and replacing them with the bottle he was holding before he turned back to face her. "We spend so much bloody time together, Rachel…"
"So what? We don't have time to meet anyone else, so we should give up altogether and just get married?"
"Nah, not like that." Frank groaned, "We get along really well, Rachel. And I mean really well."
"Yeah, I know we do."
"There's always been this… unspoken thing between us. We've never acted on it but… We've both had relationships but they never work, and usually they fizzle out because neither of us is prepared to give up the job and this partnership."
"I know, but this partnership means the world to me, and I'm not prepared to lose that."
"Who said we'd have to lose it?"
"Frank if we got married, Hawker would split us up within half a second."
"No, not maybe."
"Rachel, we've got to stop playing this game."
"This game of avoidance." Frank replied, "There's something between us, and it's about time we did something about it."
"Frank…" Rachel muttered, quickly trailing off when he shifted closer toward her, tentatively reaching out and carefully brushing her hair back off her face. When he moved close enough for her to feel his breath on her skin, she felt her heart rate speed up.
"Rachel." He whispered, mimicking her mutterings, his own heart beginning to pound in his chest at the mere thought of what could happen next.
He wanted it. Had wanted it for years.
And now it might actually happen.
To his complete surprise, she didn't flinch away or smack him in the mouth which only boosted his confidence. This could happen, this could work if they tried.
That much he was sure of.
If only he could convince her as well.
Carefully, gently, he pressed his lips against hers, capturing her mouth in a tender kiss that lingered into something much deeper, his hand cupping her cheek, the other arm wrapping around her slender frame.
Frank sighed contentedly, feeling utterly relaxed, his arm wrapped firmly around her body, able to smell the scent of her shampoo as her head rose and fell on his chest, trailing random patterns with her fingertip on his warm skin.
"Rach…" he began nervously.
"I don't want a one night stand, a quick roll around in the sack." Frank quietly announced, his voice soft and uncertain.
It was a reassuring fact that she was still lying in his arm and not kicking him out, but that could also have been because she was unsure what to do next, or even worse, she regretted it but didn't know what to do about it.
"Not with you." He added.
"You're going soft on me." Rachel noted, the smile on her face evident in her voice.
"You mean more to me than that."
"Likewise." Rachel softly admitted. "But this complicates things, Frank."
"Yeah, a bit." Frank agreed, "But this can be a good thing."
"It's a big step to take."
"I think we already took it."
"And you reckon I'm stubborn." Rachel scoffed, rolling out of his arms and onto the other side of the bed. She pulled the covers up higher in a bid of ward off the sudden cold and rolled onto her side to look at him.
She could see fear in his eyes, something she didn't see very often at all. And when she did there was usually a gun pointed at either her head or his.
But here he was, lying in her bed, looking as vulnerable as she had ever seen him.
"… We are going to get our arses kicked."
Frank grinned, the fear disappearing from his eyes, "Won't be anything unusual then."
"Two things though, Frank."
"You get the coffee and I drive."
"As if I'd have it any other way." He replied, shifting on the mattress and capturing her mouth in a kiss that quickly became all consuming, Rachel's arms snaking around his neck and pulling him down on top of her body.
"Gees, I really should lock that door." Rachel quipped when it opened and closed in quick succession, Frank wearing the same clothes and the same stupid grin on his face and carrying a plastic bag and a tray of takeaway coffee.
"Well I did warn you."
"Thought you'd gone." Rachel casually commented, picking up a cushion off the floor and tossing it back on the lounge.
"Only to get breakfast."
"You really are going soft on me." Rachel replied, picking up the last of the beer bottles from her coffee table and walking them over to the kitchen, carefully putting in the recycling box with the other ones she'd picked up earlier.
"Not really," Frank disagreed, "I was just starving and I couldn't be bothered to cook."
Rachel chuckled, "That makes more sense. So, what did you get?"
"Coffee, of course, and a variety of pastries." Frank replied, sliding the tray of coffee onto the kitchen bench, and carefully putting down the plastic bag next to it. He turned and smiled when she came up beside him, trying to peer into the bag.
"Wow Francis, thought you'd be a toast or cereal kinda bloke." Rachel teased, frowning when Frank pushed her hands away from the bag. When she looked at his face, she was surprised to find he was looking somewhat serious.
"This just turned awkward, Frank."
Frank sighed heavily and nodded in agreement, "Yeah, it did, didn't it?"
"So we go back to the playful banter?"
"I guess." Rachel nodded, smiling at the nervousness that suddenly seemed to be plaguing him. It was sweet, and not entirely surprising. She took a small step toward him, their bodies almost touching and leant in to kiss him gently, a move that seemed to take him aback.
Frank slipped an arm around her waist, his hand slipping underneath her t-shirt and coming to rest on the small of her back. When the kiss came to its natural end, Rachel pulled her head back and gave him the smile that made him go weak at the knees.
"You look relieved." She noted.
"I just… I thought that maybe, you know, the cold light of day and without the beer…"
"Thought I'd regret it?"
"Yeah, the thought crossed my mind."
"Look, Frank," Rachel began, knowing that she needed to remain completely honest with him if it were going to work between them, both personally and professionally, "I do still have doubts, and I am worried about what's going to happen at work, but, well, we've crossed that line now and I don't think either of us could go back even if we wanted to."
"Well I know I can't."
"Okay, so we act normal and take things slowly, yeah?"
"Sounds like a plan Agent 99."
"Yeah, righto." Rachel replied, rolling her eyes at him as she returned her attention back to the plastic bag of pastries, trying to suppress a smile when she found that he'd bought her favourites.
"So, plans for the day?" Frank asked as she bit into a croissant.
"Um, gotta pick David up after lunch and then I suppose it'll be up to him."
"You spoil him."
Rachel shrugged guiltily, "I hardly get to see him, so when I do, I like to make sure we have fun together. Jonathon doesn't bother to make much time for it."
"Ever thought of going for joint custody now?"
"Jonathon wouldn't give it to me." She pointed out, shaking her head, "It'd be a long drawn out battle and in the end, I'd probably have less access to David than I do now. It's not a risk I want to take."
Frank simply nodded in reply, reaching for his coffee and taking a sip, letting his mind wander as she continued to tear apart the croissant she held in her hand.
"I think we need ice cream next."
David looked at Frank disbelievingly, shaking his head in complete disagreement, "How can you possibly eat anything else?"
"Frank has an appetite that would amaze a pig." Rachel quipped as they emerged into the warm night air, stars shining brightly in the clear, dark sky.
"Hey, be nice!"
"Nah, I agree with Mum." David replied, "I've seen you eat before."
"I'm a growing lad." Frank explained, gesticulating with his hands, "I need all the food I can get. The same goes for you too, mate."
"I think I'll be right."
"Course you will." Rachel agreed, putting her arm around her son as they began to walk along the water, "Now, what are we going to do next?"
"Ice cream." Frank replied as if the answer were obvious.
"Maybe tomorrow if you're a good boy, Francis." Rachel replied, winking conspiratorially at David who simply grinned, enjoying the company of both his mother and her partner.
"I think we should go home." David replied, "And we can all get up early and go hire some bikes and go for a long bike ride."
Rachel's pace slowed slightly as her brain finally processed what he'd said, "We can all get up early?"
David nodded, looking between the two adults, "Yeah, the three of us."
Rachel caught Frank's gaze, who simply shrugged in return. She looked back to her son and sighed softly, unsure whether or not she was just misinterpreting what he'd said, "You want Frank to spend the day with us tomorrow as well?"
"Well he is spending the night at our place, isn't he?" David asked, a hint of cheekiness creeping into his voice. It was something his mother seemed to miss completely, but Frank realized and chuckled softly.
"And what makes you say that, hey?"
"Mum, I'm not a little kid." David argued, beginning to walk again, giving both Frank and Rachel no choice but to follow him, "I've seen the way you two have been looking at each other tonight, and… I saw you kiss at home."
"You know, David, when you get a bit older, you should join your Mum and me down at the Water Police." Frank laughed, seeing the horror on Rachel's face, which he found as equally amusing, "You'd make a great Detective."
"I've thought about joining the force." David admitted.
"No way, mate." Rachel disagreed, "It's too dangerous."
"You're a Detective."
"Yeah, well, that's different." Rachel unconvincingly replied.
"Well I don't want to be a lawyer like Dad." David shrugged. "Much rather be like you."
"He asleep?" Frank asked when Rachel reappeared in the kitchen. She simply nodded in reply, looking a little distracted. "Drink?"
"… He wants to be a cop."
"It was a compliment to you, Rachel. He doesn't want to be like his father, he wants to be like you."
"If he ever joined the force, I don't think I'd ever get another nights sleep." Rachel sighed, pulling herself up and sitting on top of the kitchen counter.
"Come on, course you would." Frank disagreed, handing her a bottle of beer which she seemed to accept gratefully.
"If you had a kid, would you be comfortable with he or she joining the force?"
"I don't have a kid." Frank pointed out.
"But if you did, would you be comfortable with it?" Rachel pressed.
"I dunno." Frank admitted, slipping into the chair adjacent to her, "I don't have a kid. I don't know what it's like to love someone that unconditionally, I guess. I can't give ya an answer to that. But what he said to you was a compliment."
"Yeah?" Rachel asked doubtfully, "Who'd wanna be like me?"
"Oh, I dunno, I reckon you're a bit of alright." Frank teased, folding his arms and leaning against the table, moving in closer to her, "Just don't tell anyone I told ya, alright?"
Rachel laughed softly, shaking her head, "Secret is safe, cross my heart."
"Good." Frank replied, kissing her softly, "Now we've got to get to bed because a certain future Detective would like to go for a bike ride at the crack of dawn."
"Yeah, that's the reason you want to go to bed, Francis."
"Hey, I'm the one with the clean mind." He insisted, kissing her again before he stood.
"Can I go play on the park, Mum?"
Rachel grinned, nodding, "Yeah, go have fun."
David cheered happily, quickly scrambling to his feet and running off to join the other kids who were all playing happily on the park.
Rachel leant back, resting on her hands, her legs stretched out on the grass, the sun beating down on her body, her skin tingling as the breeze picked up briefly.
"That kid has got so much energy." Frank remarked.
"Oh come on, Francis." Rachel scoffed, "You telling me that you weren't the same when you were his age? I bet you gave your poor mother hell."
"Yeah, but I was loveable." He pointed out, "Still am. It's one of the things that's so endearing about me."
"It worked on you."
"Pretty sure of yourself there."
"Just bein' honest, Rachel." Frank remarked, lying back on the grass, glad for the fact that he'd worn sunglasses.
"So," Rachel began, her eyes still on David who was happily running around with another boy who seemed to be his age, "Back to reality tomorrow."
"Yeah, I guess."
"We can't tell anyone about this, Frank."
"What's the worst they can do, hey?"
"Split us up within thirty seconds, Frank."
"Well, maybe that's just something that we're going to have to do."
Rachel turned to look at him, glaring behind her sunglasses, "No way, Frank."
He sighed heavily, seeing how dangerous the waters had suddenly become, even though he couldn't see her eyes. He sat up, lifting his sunglasses off his own face, "Say theoretically that this between us lasts the next twenty years, are we going to keep hiding it?"
"This," Rachel started, motioning between them both with her hand, "Began all of two days ago. For all we know it could fall apart tomorrow."
"Good to hear that you're so optimistic." Frank hissed.
"Don't start on me, Frank. I'm just being honest. Look at our track records, yeah? Neither of us are any good at relationships." Rachel explained, "One of us gets transferred out, then this falls apart and we've lost the lot."
"If this, and I did say if, if this all falls apart, then I don't think I'm going to be able to work with you anyway, Rachel."
Rachel rolled her eyes, shaking her eyes as she turned her gaze back to the park, quickly finding David in the crowd, daringly climbing up the outside of the play equipment, muttering under her breath, "This is a disaster."
"Yeah, it's turning out that way."
"Bloody hell, Rachel." Frank groaned, a knot forming in his stomach as he realized that it could already be crashing and burning around him. "You're not even giving it a chance."
"All I'm saying is that I'm not prepared to deal with a new partner yet. Even you've got to admit that one or both of us could stuff this up, Frank. Can we just give it some time before we go making any announcements?"
"I do want this to work, Frank." Rachel admitted, reaching out beside her and putting her hand over his, "But we need to be careful and take this slowly or we will lose everything."
"Yeah, I don't want that either."
"So relax, yeah? We'll keep it to ourselves for the time being." Rachel replied, shifting over closer to him so she could whisper in his ear, "Sneaking around could be quite fun when you think about it."
"Gees, let me recover yeah?"
Frank grinned, burying his face in the hollow of her neck, taking the chance to calm his own breathing down. He rolled off her, flat on his back on the floor, staring at the ceiling. Rachel continued to lay beside him, toying with the mat underneath them.
"Who knew that Twister could be so bloody tiring?"
"I know, and we didn't even play strip Twister!" Frank agreed.
"Maybe one day if you're good."
"It's been a pretty good day."
"Yeah, it has." Rachel agreed, "Poor Dad isn't going to get much time with David tonight. He'll be flat out staying awake through dinner."
"Well that bike ride was huge, I didn't think I'd get there in the end."
"Getting old, hey Francis?"
"So long as I can keep up with you, I've got no problems." Frank replied, turning his head and catching her mouth in a kiss, glad when Rachel turned her body into his, throwing her leg on top of his, her hands quickly finding their way underneath his shirt and wandering across his skin.
"Morning beautiful." Frank grinned, letting the door close behind him.
Slowly, Helen looked up from the paperwork she held in her hand and frowned at him and the smirk plastered across his face. He looked so relaxed.
"Well someone is happy this morning." She warily noted.
"It's a beautiful day, I'm alive and kicking… not much more a man can ask for Helen."
"Did you win the lotto on the weekend, Frank?"
"Nah, don't waste money on that stuff."
"Right." She nodded, a little confused, quickly moving the conversation along, "Listen, how did you go with Rachel on Friday? Was she okay?"
Frank nodded in agreement, "Yeah, we had a bit of a chat, she's fine."
"Good, I'm glad. She had me a bit worried when she called in sick."
"Well she'll be in today, so I'd say that everything is good." Frank replied, the grin returning to his face, despite his best efforts for it not to.
Helen frowned yet again, not having gotten enough sleep the previous night to deal with Frank effectively when he was in this… mood, "Did you have a good weekend or something, Frank?"
"Yeah, it was pretty fantastic."
"Oh yeah? Met the woman of your dreams, hey?"
"You could say that." Frank nodded, heading for the stairs, Helen nearly laughing when he began dancing his way up to his office.
Oh yeah, he'd had a good weekend.