An Unfortunate Incident (Water Rats)
It was a beautiful bright morning and the sun was beaming down on Sydney Harbour. The City was already buzzing with life. It was 7am and The Water Rats were getting ready for another busy day. There had already been a few arrests as Chief Inspector Hawker looked down at the front desk. Constable Taylor Johnson was busy trying to regain some control of her now crowded booking area. Jeff stood back observing his Officers. Proud to see them all hard at work. Looking at each of them it suddenly dawned on him that Senior Sargent Blakemore wasn't present. It was very unusual for her not to arrive for her shift. She would at least call to say she was running late. Walking back to his office with his mobile in his hand he spotted Rachel and decided to ask if she knew of Helen's whereabouts.
"Oh, hey Jeff".
He stood hovering in the doorway of her office which began to make her a little uncomfortable.
"What's up Chief, cause I'm Kinda' busy here".
"Yeah, right, sorry. I was just wondering if you'd heard from Helen at all this morning".
"Nope. Sorry Jeff. She's probably slept in. We were out a little late last night".
"It's just I tried calling her mobile but there was no answer".
"Then she's probably already on her way Jeff. Don't worry about it".
"Right O. Thanks Rachel".
Jeff left Rachel to her work and made his way back down to the front desk to see if Taylor knew where her Aunt was. He passed by Jack on the way down but completely blanked him.
Rachel was still reading through her reports when Jack walked through the door.
"Quick question for you. What's our Jeffery so glum about this morning. He just ignored me in the hallway".
"Oh he's worried about Helen. She hasn't shown up for her shift yet".
"Well, you two did have a bit of a late one".
"Exactly, but you know Jeff. He's prone to over- react".
"True. Anyway, what we got on today".
"Well, I dunno about you but I have two weeks of reports to catch up on, so your gonna have to amuse yourself. Sorry".
"Wonderful. I think I'll go grab a coffee".
"Grab one for me while your in there, will ya. Thanks".
"What am I. Your bloody waiter".
"You got the ass for one".
Jack left Rachel to her paperwork while he went to the Breakroom, meanwhile, Jeff was downstairs waiting for Taylor to finish booking in some petty thief before he cornered her.
"Johnson. Busy I see".
"You haven't seen Sargent Blakemore this morning, have you".
"No Chief. Having said that, Rachel and Helen did have a late night last night".
"So I believe. Thanks Johnson. You ok handling this lot".
"Fine Chief. Tommy will be back soon".
Jeff made his way around the other Water Rats to see if anyone else had seen Helen but nobody had. At this point he was becoming increasingly concerned about her. She'd had late nights before and always managed to turn up for her shift. It was just so out of character. He went to The Breakroom to grab a quick coffee before heading out to Helen's. For all he knew he could be over-reacting but he needed to be sure she was ok. Jack noticed Jeff standing by the window looking out onto The Harbour. Jack to see right away that something was troubling him.
"Jeff, you ok".
"Yeah Jack I'm fine. Sorry about before. I did see you. I just had other things on my mind".
"I'm sure she's fine".
"Oh come on Jack. This is completely out of character. Helen's never taken a day off in all the years I've known her".
"Really. Not even one".
"Not one. I'm just worried that somethings happened to her".
"Look, Rachels catching up on some reports, so why don't we go round to Helen's and check she's ok".
Jeff threw the reaminder of his coffee in the trash and made his way downstairs while Jack went to tell Rachel where they were heading. Minutes later they were on their way to Helen's. When they pulled up they noticed right away that something was up. The door looked like it has been forced.
"Shit Jack, I don't like the look of this".
"Yeah me either. Just go slow. If theres someone in there then we don't wanna scare them off".
They entered Helen's flat slowly and had a look around. Everything seemed to be in place. Jeff decided he'd just worked himself up to much but that changed quickly when he entered the kitchen. When he turned the corner, she caught his eye. She was lying on the floor clutching her side. As soon as their eyes locked, panic set in.
"Bloody hell, Helen. JACK, QUICK SHE'S IN HERE".
Jack ran into the kitchen to find Jeff kneeling beside Helen. He stood in complete shock as Jeff held her. Jeff grabbed a tea towel from the worktop and applied pressure to Helen's side.
"JACK. Call an ambulance, quickly".
"I'm on it".
Jeff began to feel his heart racing as he held Helen in his arms. He tried talking to her and keep her concious but he wasn't having much luck.
"Helen...Helen, come on love. Stay with me".
"I'm so tired Jeff".
"I know Helen but we need to keep you concious ok, just keep talking to me".
"The ambulance is on it's way Jeff". Jack said re-entering the kitchen.
"Good. Thanks Jack".
"How's she's doing".
"Not good. She's lost a hell of alot of blood".
"She's a fighter, She'll be ok. You'll see".
Minutes later the ambulance arrived and took Helen to The Hospital. Jeff went with her. Jack said he'd stay behind and wait for Rachel to arrive. Who he'd called after the ambulance. Rachel arrived 10 minutes later to find Jack sitting quietly while The Forensics team did their job.
"Hey Jack. You ok". She asked, kneeling doen beside him.
"Yeah I'm fine Rach".
"How's Helen looking".
"Not good. The ambulance just left".
"You upto talking me through what happened".
"Yeah sure. Well, when we pulled upto Helen's, we noticed the door was forced open. Everything looked to be in place until Jeff came in here".
"That's when he found Helen, yeah".
"He was yelling so I rushed through to find him holding her in his arms".
"Ok Jack. Why don't you go and wait in the car and I'll get the info I need from Forensics".
"Fine with me. I could do with some air anyway".
Rachel got what she needed and headed back to the car. When she got there she found a very quiet and pale looking Jack".
"It was so wierd, you know. Seeing Helen like that. It's so different when it's one of your own".
"We'll find the person that did this Jack".
"Bloody right we will. I won't rest till their caught".
"How did Jeff seem".
"He was pretty shook up. She was so scared Rach. Clutching on to Jeff so tightly, crying her eyes out".
"Well their good friends. I don't think he could handle the station without her".
"She'd better pull through then, hadn't she".
3 hours had passed since Helen had been brought in. Jeff was now seated at her bedside. She had been taken to surgery when she arrived and was now recovering. Jeff sat feeling completely useless. He couldn't inderstand why anyone would want to hurt Helen. A single tear fell as he began to wonder how he'd cope without her at the station. He hated to admit to himself that he needed and relied on her more than he knew. He gently took hold of her hand, observing how cold it was. Helen's blood was still covered on his shirt. He wondered if maybe he should go home and change but he didn't want to leave her alone. An hour later Taylor arrived. Walking slowly into Helen's room.
"How's she doing".
"Your Aunt's gonna be fine. The Doctor says she'll make a full recovery. She was very lucky".
"Thank god. Erm, Jack and Rachel wanted me to tell you that their interviewing witnesses as we speak".
"Good. That's good". Jeff whispered.
"Chief. Are you ok". She asked. Noticing Jeff holding Helen's hand.
"I'm fine. Look Johnson, I'm gonna go home and change".
"That's fine. I'll sit with her a while".
"Good. Oh and Taylor".
"If she wakes up while I'm gone. Call me right away".
"Yes Chief". She replied, as Jeff left the room.
At the station, Rachel was busy looking over some possible suspects when Jack came rushing into the office.
"Rach. We got a hit".
"Already. That was quick. What you got".
"Forensics found the knife the was used to stab Helen. Dumped in the neighbours garden. There was a parchel finger print left on the handle".
"It's been matched to a woman named Hayley Gibson".
"What's her form. You have checked yeah".
"OFCOURSE I BLOODY CHECKED".
"Alright. I'm sorry".
"She was sent down 5 years ago for her involvement in a drugs racket".
"Ok, and what. She blames Helen for it. How".
"No not for the arrest. She blames Helen for having her kid taken away".
"Helen couldn't get in contact with a next of kin at the time so her Daughter was taken by Child Services. Apparently Gibson swore she's get Helen back for it".
"Right, and today she did".
"Yeah. She served her full sentence and was realesed 2 months ago".
"Ok, so she's obvioulsy planned this. Tracking Helen's movements. Finding out where Helen lived".
" She must have followed her home from Cutter last night".
"It was just after 3am when we left. You and Jeff got to Helen's around 9am. She couldn't have been lying there that long because she had her uniform on. Gibson must have followed her to make sure she had the right address for her and went back in the morning to get her revenge".
"Right, so say what, 2 hours at the most".
"Yeah, about that I'd say".
"Jesus Rach, She's lucky to be alive".
"Helen's a tough woman".
"I've got Gibson's last known address. You wanna head down there".
"Your damn right I do".
They left the station and headed to Hayley's flat. Not a word was said between them. They were both too concerned about Helen. Rachel felt terrible. Helen was one of her best friends and yet Jeff was the only one who had been going out of his mind with worry about his Senior Sargent, which was how she should have reacted. "Some friend". She thought to herself.
At the Hospital, Taylor was still by her Aunt's bedside. Helen looked so pale and fragile. Certainly not the Senior Sargent that all new recruits were afraid off. Taylor remembered feeling so happy when she found out that she'd be working with her Aunt when she joined The Water Police. She felt so angry with her Parents when she had discovered the real reason Helen hadn't kept in touch. Just because she preferred the company of women, her family had disowned her. Helen had been tough on her when she first joined, not wanting anyone to know that they were related. However over the last few years the pair had become very close again and Taylor was glad that her Aunt was back in her life. She certainly didn't want to lose her now. Tears fell from her bright blue eyes as she held on tightly to Helen's hand.
A few seconds later Jeff walked back into the room and saw Taylor crying.
"Are You alright Johnson".
"Yes Chief, fine. It's just seeing her like this. All these tubes and machines".
"You looked much the same way when you were shot".
"She thought she was gonna lose you that day".
"She loves you very much Taylor".
"I love her too. Now that your back Chief, I think I'll head off. I'm in early tomorrow".
"No-one expects you in tomorrow".
"I know but I'd rather be kept busy".
"Well, if that's what you want".
"It is Chief. You'll stay with her though, won't you Chief".
"I've no intention of going anywhere. Not until I hear her say she's ok".
"You'll let me know if there's any change".
"I will. I promise".
Taylor left and Jeff was alone with Helen once more. He took hold of her hand again, just wanting to feel her touch.
"Come on Helen. You've gotta pull through this. We need you back at the station. We need our Senior Sargent back. I need you".
As he sat back in the chair he began to think about Jack and Rachel and how they were progressing with the case. If he ever found the person responsible for hurting Helen he'd kill them. For the rest of his days, he would never get the image of Helen lying there out of his mind. It was the first time he'd ever seen Helen look so afraid. The second she saw Jeff entering her Kitchen, she burst into tears knowing that now she was safe.
Jack and Rachel now had Hayley Gibson in the station and were now questioning her. All Rachel could think about was her friend lying in a hospital bed because of this woman.
"So, come on Hayley. Tell us why you did it. Feel good did it. Stabbing a cop". Jack asked.
"That bitch had it coming. I lost my kid because of her".
"Your the only one responsible for your daughter being taken into care. Sargent Blakemore was only doing her job". Rachel said, becoming severley pissed off.
"Look. It was a bloody accident. Ok".
"OH COME ON". Jack yelled.
"It's the truth. I only went round there to scare her a bit, that's all. Yeah ok, I had the knife in my hand, but it was only to frighten her. I didn't mean to stab her".
"But you did stab her Hayley. So, you wanna tell us how it happened". Jack asked, feeling slightly calmer.
"I was screaming at her. She was trying to calm me down but I wasn't having it. She was backing away from me but I kept lunging forward. Next thing I know, I trip, she's on the floor, blood everywhere. I swear to you it was an accident".
"I've heard enough of this". Rachel replied.
"Listen lady, it's the truth".
"Deliberate or not. The fact remains that you stabbed a cop. A very popular cop, well respected. Count yourself lucky we're only charging you with attempted murder. If I had my way, you'd be facing alot more". Rachel replied,leaving the room.
A few minutes later in the breakroom, Rachel was getting herself a coffee. Jack took Hayley to the cells and then went to join Rachel, who was now out on the deck.
"Everything ok Rach".
"I said so, didn't I".
"No. I'm sorry Jack. I just can't believe any of this happened".
"Well at least we have Gibson and now we can concentrate on helping Helen".
"Yeah, Helen". Rachel replied, softly.
"I'm her closest friend Jack. I should have realised something was wrong".
"You can't blame yourself Rachel".
"Yeah yeah, I know. Listen. You wanna stop by The Hospital, see how Helen's doin'. Then we could head back to my place".
"I dunno Rach".
"Jack please. I don't wanna be alone tonight".
"If your sure".
"I am ".
They got up and left to stop off and see Helen. When they arrived she was still unconcious so they went back to Rachel's flat where they stayed for the rest of the night.
It had just gone midnight and Jeff was still at The Hospital. Everyone had stopped by to check on Helen. The nurse attending to Helen told Jeffto go home and get some rest but he refused. There was nowhere else he wanted to be than by Helen's side. He wanted his face to be the first thing she saw when she woke up. The hours slowly passed by with Jeff asleep in the chair beside her bed. Slowly she began to open her eyes. She could hear the light bleeping of the heart monitor. She turned her head to see Jeff asleep beside her. His hand was still grasping her's. She wasn't used to feeling this close to him. She called his name a few times before he began to stir. He could hear someone calling his name. He just assumed it was that damn nurse again, trying her luck a second time. When he opened his eyes, he couldn't believe who was smiling back at him.
"Helen. My god your awake. I'll go get the nurse".
"No, don't. Please, I'm ok".
"Are you sure".
"Just stay with me".
"How do you feel".
"Ok I guess. Maybe a little sore".
"Helen, they got Hayley Gibson".
"Well I had our 2 best detectives on the case".
"Jack and Rachel".
"Who Else. They stopped by earlier but you were still unconcious".
"How long have you been here".
"All day. I nipped home to change but I came straight back".
"Why did you change".
"You don't remember".
"Jack and I were the ones who found you. I stayed with you while Jack called the ambulance. There was alot of blood, that's how my shirt got messed up".
"You were the one holding me. Telling me it would be ok".
"And you've been here all day".
"All day. Your the best Senior Sargent I've had. We can't afford to lose you".
"Thank You Jeff".
"No need to thank me. Now, go back to sleep. You need your rest". He replied, unconciously stroking her cheek.
"You'll stay with me".
As the weeks went by, Jeff did as he promised. He spent most of his time at The Hospital and when Helen was finally allowed home, he made sure he was the one there to collect her. The drive to Helen's was pretty quiet, she was still weak and tired. Jeff was just so relieved that she was recovering well. When he first found her lying there he really thought he'd lost her.
"Well, here we are Helen. Home at last".
There was no reply. He looked over at her and noticed how scared she looked.
"Helen, you ok". He asked, taking hold of her hand.
"It's strange being back here. Where it happened, you know".
"Jeff, look. If your going back to the station then I could come and help out a bit".
"Absolutely not. Your not well enough. Besides. Your Doctor will kill me if you have a relapse".
"Look. I'll make you a deal. I'll go and get what I need and I'll bring it back here and I may consider letting you help me. Sound fair to you".
"I'll be back soon. I promise".
Looking into her eyes and seeing how scared she still was, he quickly put his arms around her and lead her over to the couch and helped her get comfortable.
"I'll be back soon, ok". He said, leaning in and kissing her forehead.
For a few brief seconds their eyes locked and something in that small gesture he gave her seemed to change them both.
Jeff returned to the station. It was busy as always. He made his way upto his office to collect his paperwork when Rachel appeared at his door.
"Ah Rachel. What can I do for you".
"Nothing special. Weren't you picking up Helen today".
"Yeah I did. She's at home resting".
"How's she doing".
"She's still pretty tired but she's getting there. I get the feeling she doesn't want to be left alone right now".
"What gives you that idea".
"The look on her face when I left. I think she's afraid that Gibson will come back".
"Do you want me to talk to her".
"No, she'll be ok. She just needs to get back into a routine, that's all".
"No worries. Just let her know that I'm here if she needs to talk".
"I'll let her know Rachel".
"Are you heading back to Helen's".
"Yeah. I think I might stay on the couch for a few days, until she feels comfortable enough on her own again".
"I don't think she'll fight you on it some how".
"It'll mean Jack filling in for me for a few days. Think you can handle him being in charge".
"I think we'll cope. I'll let Jack know. Just go and take care of Helen".
"I will. Thanks Rachel".
Jeff left the station and headed back to Helen's. He pulled up outside her flat and picked up the boxes from his front seat and went inside. He walked through to the sittingroom and found Helen on the couch crying. He put the box down on the floor quickly and went over to her.
"Helen. What is it". He asked, putting his arms around her and pulling her towards him.
"I'm so sorry Jeff. I don't know why I'm acting like this". She replied, sniffling.
"Your still afraid, aren't you".
"I really hate feeling like this".
"I know you do, but Helen, Gibson won't be back here. Jack and Rachel made sure of that. I won't let her hurt you ever again. I promise".
Helen pulled herself from his embrace and they sat looking at one another. she wasn't used to Jeff being like this. Over the past few weeks he'd barely left her side. He spent every spare minute he had with her and now here he was again for her. For all the times they spent arguing about stupid things concerning the running of the station, at the end of the day it all meant nothing when the chips were down. Jeff could see Helen's mind ticking over. He hated to see her so afraid. He suddenly became aware that Helen was moving closer to him. Before he knew it, her lips were on his.
"Um, Helen, what are you doing".
"What does it look like".
"Helen. You date women".
"Maybe that's not what I want anymore". She whispered.
"Helen, you can't just suddenly decide your not gay anymore".
"It's not sudden Jeff. Ever since I was stabbed you've barely left my side. Your always there when I need you".
"Well ofcourse I'd be here. I care about you. I always have. Your a good friend and a bloody good Sargent. I don't want any of that ruined".
"We're grown-ups Jeff and we can handle this. This could work. We won't know unless we take a chance on us".
"I'm not sure Helen".
"Jeff, please. I need you". She whispered, gripping his hands.
Jeff looked into her beautiful brown eyes and cupped her face. He wanted this more than anything. He wanted her badly enough to risk his job. If it meant inthe future transferring to another station so he could be with her then he'd do it. He moved in and kissed her again before looking into her face.
"Ok Helen, let's do this. I do love you. When you were stabbed I realised how I felt about you. If this is what you truly want then you'll get no arguments from me".
"It's what I want Jeff. I'm sure".
"Good. Then come with me". He replied, with a big smile on his face.
He took her by the hand and led her into the bedroom where they stayed for the next 3 days.
Helen finally returned to work 2 weeks later and everyone was so glad to have her back. Jeff stood halfway down the stairs and looked over at the front desk to see it yet again packed out. Taylor was busy booking in some offenders with Tommy and Gavin attempting to help. Looking over to his left were Jack and Rachel arguing about some case they were working on. Eying up his team with such admiration, he suddenly stopped at one in particular. A medium build brunette with the most beautiful brown eyes he'd ever seen, smiling up at him. He smiled back with a happy feeling in his chest. Happy that he had his Senior Sargent back. At work and at home.