I own nothing, all rights reserved.
Plot, Boyd has some decisions to make, but is he in the right frame of mind.
Somehow she knew where he'd be, where he always was, even at this time of night. He'd wanted to be alone, to be able to think, it had been a long day, a very long day for him, and he needed to get away from all the apologetic looks and the how are you? questions. So he'd come here, he'd told no one, just slipped out of the back door, and drove quietly away.
Now here he was, alone in his office, an untouched drink on the table in front of him, and a picture of his son in his hands. The sound of his office door opening brought him sharply back to reality, and he looked to see her standing in the doorway, leaning against the door frame.
"Please don't ask me if I'm okay, I really can't stand another annoyingly polite exchange of pleasantries."
"I wasn't going to ask that."
"Okay, I was going to ask that." She replied with a cheeky grin. "What are you doing here?"
"I wanted some space, needed to get away from people pretending that they're sorry my sons dead, when most of them didn't even know him, and those who did know him thought he deserved it because he was a junkie."
"Not everyone thinks like that Boyd."
"Oh really, who doesn't think that? Who thinks he didn't deserve it? Who is there that didn't see it coming a mile off?"
Frankie stopped leaning against the door frame and walked into his office, taking a seat next to him on his office sofa. "Me."
"Me. I didn't see it coming, and I certainly didn't think he deserved it, no more than you deserved to lose him."
"One person out of an entire congregation, I suppose I should be grateful I got one."
"There were a lot of people in that church today who didn't think like that, people who care about you, and about Mary, and about Luke. Personally I didn't know Luke or Mary for that matter, but I know you, and I know that you didn't deserve this." She placed her hand gently on his back, trying to comfort him and not be too over familiar.
He smiled at her, "thanks Frankie." He held his glass up to her, "Can I get you a drink?"
"Umm, yeah go on then, one won't hurt."
He poured her a drink and handed it to her, clinking his own glass against it as he did so. "Cheers."
"To Luke." She said in response.
"Yeah to Luke." He replied. He sat back next to her and let out a long, loud breath.
"How are you Boyd? Really I mean, no polite, I'm okay, bullshit answers."
"I don't have a fucking clue how I am, I've been so busy trying to deal with all the practicalities that I really haven't had time to think about how I feel."
"Okay, well at least that's an honest answer."
"How are you? How's life back on the research front?"
"Well its okay, I mean it's not here, but then nothing will ever be here."
"You could come back you know, if you wanted."
"Nah, it would never be the same, it was never the same, not after…"
"Yeah, after Mel."
"I was sorry Frankie, I never said it, but I was."
"Sorry for what?"
"For making you tend to Mel after what happened, I know how you must have felt, I just couldn't bear the thought of anyone else touching her, I knew that you would show her the respect and the dignity she deserved. To us she was Mel, the baby of the team, bright and bubbly Mel, to anyone else she was just another body, and I couldn't bear for her to be treated like that."
"It was okay Boyd, you don't need to be sorry, it was my job."
"She was your friend, and I made you carry on like nothing had happened."
"She was your friend too, and you still carried on, you investigated her death, you spoke to her parents, done all the things expected of you, why should you be any different to the rest of us?"
"Because it's my job."
"And my job was to process the scene." Frankie sat forward and put her glass on the floor. "I don't have a problem with what I had to do Boyd."
"But you still left."
"I left because I missed her, because everything in this bloody dungeon reminded me of her. I would turn around quickly and be sure I'd seen her out of the corner of my eye, I could hear her laughing in the corridor, smell her perfume in the ladies toilets, she was everywhere Boyd, every sight, sound and smell reminded me of her and how much I missed her. I left because I couldn't cope with that, not because of you."
"I felt guilty Frankie, I felt like I should have protected her, like I could have stopped it from happening."
"It wasn't your fault; none of it was your fault." As she spoke Frankie put her hand on his face to get his attention, but it had an altogether different effect on both of them, and as their eyes locked for what seemed like an eternity, Boyd leant forward and kissed her. It was just a small kiss, but it very quickly turned into something much, much more.
Neither of them gave much thought to what was happening, they very quickly became too lost in divesting each other of their clothing, and exploring every inch of exposed flesh, they never gave a thought about where they were, or that they could quite easily be seen if someone was to come into the office. If they were being honest, it wasn't the best sex either of them had ever had, there was no emotion, just lust, and afterwards they were both a little sheepish and awkward. They turned away from each other as they redressed, almost embarrassed to see each other naked, despite the fact that they'd just had sex.
"Umm, I should go." Frankie said rather hurriedly.
"Yeah okay, I'll see you soon." He replied an embarrassed and awkward smile on his face, he wanted to say something, he wasn't sure what, but in an instant she was out the door, and he'd lost the chance.
He waited for an hour or so longer before he ventured back home, desperately trying to avoid the so called well-wishers, although he knew that one person would never leave before he got back. He closed his front door and could instantly tell she was still there, she was in his kitchen, washing up cups and tidying up.
"You're still here." He said, trying to feign a sense of surprise in his voice.
"Did you really think I'd leave before you got back?"
"Not for a minute."
"Where did you go?"
"Oh you know, here and there. I went back to the cemetery for a while, I wanted to be on my own with him, just for a little while, I wanted to say some things that I never got the chance to say before, then I went to the office, I'm sorry, I just couldn't deal with all the polite chit chat."
"Its okay, Frankie came looking for you, did she find you?"
"Yeah, she found me."
"Would you like a drink, tea, coffee, something stronger?"
"No I'm fine, thanks. Grace I'm taking some time off work…"
"That's good; I think it will do you good."
"Yeah, maybe, I've decided to go away for a while."
"I'm not sure yet, I've hired a camper van, I'm going to go travelling, it was something Luke used to talk about when he was younger."
"How long are you going for?"
"I've taken three months leave of absence from work, but I don't know how long I'll be gone, I just need to get away from everything."
"Will you stay in touch?"
"Yeah, well I'll do my best, you know me, I'm taking my laptop and phone, so I'll be able to check in now and again."
"When are you going?"
"Tomorrow, I was hoping you would keep an eye on this place for me, pick up the mail, check everything is okay, and that I haven't got squatters, that sort of thing."
"Of course I will, don't cut yourself off from everyone Boyd. People care. I care."
"I know you do, and I won't, I promise, I just need some time on my own."
"Thank you." He stepped forward and put his arms around his long-time friend and colleague, her arms reassuringly comforting to him.
Boyd spent the rest of the evening sorting out his things and packing for his trip, he had no idea where he was going, all he knew was that he was going, he'd given Grace the spare keys for his home and any information she needed, he'd collected the van and packed it, and decided to leave early the next morning.
Frankie knocked on the door several times and rang the bell, but got no reply, it was 10am, she knew he wasn't at work, and she felt a little uneasy at the lack of response from his home, after 30 minutes of banging, looking through windows and waiting she decided to take the obvious next step, when in doubt phone Grace.
"Hi Grace, I'm sorry to bother you, I'm at Boyd's, I thought I'd check if he was okay, but there's no sign of him, his car's in the garage but he's nowhere to be seen, and I was a bit worried to be honest."
"Hi Frankie, Boyd's gone away for a while, he decided to take a few months off work and go travelling."
"Oh, okay, and he's gone already has he?"
"Yeah he said he was leaving this morning."
"Okay, well thanks Grace, problem solved at least."
"Is everything okay Frankie?"
"Yeah, everything's fine, thanks Grace, I'll call you soon and we'll have lunch."
Frankie ended the call and leant back against her car, thoughts racing through her mind, she didn't know what she'd been expecting by turning up on his doorstep this morning, but she didn't want to leave things as they were, she thought that they should at least talk about it, but obviously not. Silly me, she thought to herself.
Two Months later
It was a sunny Saturday morning in London, and Grace was sat in her garden enjoying her tea and toast, whilst browsing the weekend newspaper when her morning was interrupted by the sound of her front door bell. She opened the door cautiously as she wasn't expecting anyone and it was still only 9am, Frankie stood the other side of the door looking somewhat concerned. "Frankie? Is everything okay?"
"Can I come in Grace?"
"Yeah of course, is something wrong?" Grace opened the door and ushered her through to the kitchen.
"No, nothing's wrong."
"Well, it's a little early for a passing visit."
"It's not a passing visit; I need to talk to you."
"Have you heard from Boyd?"
"Yeah, he phones about once a week, just to make sure his house is okay and see if he has any important post, is something wrong with Boyd?"
"No Grace, nothing's wrong with him, I need to speak to him, and he won't return my calls. I leave messages but he never gets back to me, and his phone is never actually switched on so I can never get through to him, I've sent emails but he doesn't answer them either."
"With all due respect Frankie, he's trying to get away from everything, he's getting over Luke's death, the last thing he needs is to be bombarded with calls and emails."
"I know, but I really need to get in touch with him."
"What's so important that it can't wait until he gets back?"
Frankie took a deep breath and released it slowly before speaking again, "I'm pregnant."
"Well what's that got to do with Boyd?" Grace paused before the realisation hit her, "oh god, please don't tell me….."
Frankie shifted uncomfortably as Grace eyed her with a disheartened expression. "By the look on your face I take it you've worked out what it has to do with him."
"You're having Boyd's baby."
"Yes, and I need to speak to him."
Grace looked at her in disbelief, "You and Boyd?"
"Yes me and Boyd." She sighed heavily, "it was just a one off, I don't even know how it happened really, it just did."
"The day of Luke's funeral."
"You slept with Boyd on the day of his son's funeral."
"For god's sake Grace is it that hard to believe, we're both adults and free agents; it wasn't like we were cheating on anyone. Oh my god, he is a free agent isn't he? You and him, you're not…..I didn't know Grace I swear I would never have done that to you."
"No Frankie, Boyd and I are just friends, there has never been anything like that between us, and never will be."
"Oh god, for a moment I thought he'd cheated on you with me."
"No we're not like that, but that doesn't mean I approve."
"Why would you disapprove?"
"Because he's been to hell and back, and this is the last thing he needs at this moment in time, he is just coming to terms with Luke's death and you're going to show up and tell him you're having his baby. For heaven's sake Frankie, it's bad enough that you slept with him whilst he was in such an emotional state, the very least you could have done was to use contraception."
"Whoa hang on a minute, it wasn't one sided, I didn't jump on him, in actual fact it was him who made the first move."
"Oh and you just couldn't say no could you."
"Maybe I didn't want to say no, maybe I wanted it as much as he did."
"He didn't know what he wanted, he was in bloody turmoil."
"He knew exactly what he wanted, and what he was doing, I didn't push him into anything he didn't want, and for the record, I have no idea why I am sat here explaining myself to you. I had a, for want of a better expression, brief encounter with Boyd, in his office, now get over it, and while we're at it get over yourself Grace, he's a big boy and he knew what he was doing."
"Boyd's life is a bloody emotional wreck, the last thing he needs right now is this."
"Well maybe he should be the one to decide what he wants, he was after all, very keen at the time."
"Which is obviously why he won't return your calls, texts or emails. Frankie you're having a bloody baby, how do you think he is going to feel about that so soon after losing Luke."
"I don't know Grace okay, I have no bloody idea, but I thought I should at least discuss it with him before I made any decisions."
"Decisions? You mean you haven't decided whether you are going to have it yet?"
"No, I haven't made any decisions yet." Frankie sat at the table and put her head in her hands. "The whole thing is one big bloody mess, we did it on the couch in his office Grace, and afterwards we were so embarrassed we couldn't even look at each, he turned away from me and got dressed and when I said I should go, he just agreed. The next morning I went round to see him, to try and talk to him about it, but he'd left, without even telling me he was going. I spent the next couple of days feeling sorry for myself, that, and angry and stupid, and in all the confusion I forgot to get the morning after pill, I never meant for this to happen."
"Oh Frankie, I'm sorry."
"I like him Grace, I really like him and I have done for some time, so when it happened I thought maybe it could be the start of something more. I know he needs love and support, but I was hoping I could be the one to give him that."
Grace tenderly put her hand on Frankie's back. "I just don't know what to say Frankie; I have no idea how he is going to react to this."
"I know, neither do I. Do you know when he'll be back?"
"Not for sure, I can ask him when he calls, but he might get suspicious as to why I'm asking him, and I'm not going to be the one to break this to him, that's for you to do."
"Could you just tell him that I've been asking after him, maybe ask why he isn't answering my emails."
"Okay, I will."
Frankie left with none of the answer's she was looking for, she needed to make decisions and she desperately wanted to talk to him before she made decisions that would ultimately effect both of them, possibly for the rest of their lives.
On his next phone call, Grace managed to gently steer the conversation around to Frankie, mentioning that she had enquired after him as he hadn't answered her emails. Boyd's reply was simple, he wasn't replying to anyone except Grace, he was travelling, and communication was off limits. She managed to suggest that he might just want to send her that in an email, to stop her worrying, obviously. He said he would if he thought of it, next time he checked his emails, but she didn't hold out much hope.
It was almost a week later when she again had an unexpected visitor, this time it wasn't Frankie, it was Boyd, he was back, and standing on her doorstep.
"Boyd, you're back." She said surprised.
"Yeah I thought it was about time I faced the real world again."
"Why didn't you say something, I could have made you dinner."
"It's fine Grace, I just thought I'd call round and see how you were."
"I'm fine, more importantly how are you?" She stood back and invited him into her home.
"I'm doing okay, I think."
"You don't sound too sure, is everything okay?"
"Yeah, I um, I've had an email from Frankie."
"You know don't you."
Grace nodded her head sheepishly at him. "Yeah I think I know what you're talking about."
"Frankie's pregnant, with my child."
"Then yes, I do know what you're talking about, she came around a couple of weeks ago, desperate to get hold of you."
"I don't know what to do Grace."
"It's a lot to take in, have you been to see her?"
"No, I couldn't face her yet; I needed to talk to the voice of reason."
"Ha, me the voice of reason, that's a first."
"I know you'll tell me straight, you won't soft soak me."
"Boyd, I can't tell you what to do; this is a decision you need to make with Frankie."
"I don't want a baby Grace, I can't face it, I can't go through all that, I've just lost my son."
"You need to talk to Frankie."
"I can't Grace, I'm scared."
"What are you scared of?"
"I'm scared she's going to want to keep it. I can't cope with this."
"Avoidance is not the answer; you can't run away from this, as difficult as it is, you need to face up to it."
"What do I do if she says she's keeping it?"
"I don't have the answers I'm afraid, just the advice."
"So what's your advice?"
"Talk to Frankie."
"And that's the only advice you have."
"I don't know what you want me to say, it isn't for me to tell either of you what to do. You're not a couple of teenagers, you need to sit down as adults and discuss your options."
Boyd stayed the afternoon at Grace's before plucking up the courage to go and see Frankie, unsure of what he was going to say or do. He stood nervously outside her apartment nervously, leaning against his vehicle and gazing at the front door, willing the problem to go away.
"Are you going to stand there all day or are you coming in?" Frankie shouted from her front door, she then turned and left the door open for him. He walked in and closed the door behind him. "You decided to come in then."
"Um, yeah I'm sorry I was just thinking about what I was going to say."
"Oh really, and did you have any thoughts about our current predicament."
"No…. not really, what about you, any thoughts."
"Just the one really, we're having a baby."
"You're keeping it?"
Frankie looked at him with an exasperated expression, "I haven't made any decisions yet, call me old fashioned, but I kind of thought it should be something we decided together, but I guess from that response I don't have to ask what you want to do."
"Frankie I can't think straight, my mind is still dealing with Luke's death, how the hell can I think rationally about this situation?"
"And what about what I want?"
"What do you want?"
"I don't know, I'm forty years old Boyd, what if this is my last chance?"
"I didn't even know you wanted kids."
"I didn't know I wanted kids, but this situation, as you call it, makes you think about things differently, I'm carrying our baby, doesn't that make you feel anything?"
"Yeah, it makes me feel sick and afraid and….."
"Is there any point in having this conversation?"
"I am not in the right frame of mind to make this decision, I just can't think straight." He stopped talking and sighed loudly whilst running his hand through his over grown hair. "Whatever you decide Frankie, I will respect that decision. If you decide to go ahead and have the baby, then I will provide for you financially, but please don't ask me to be a father, because I can't. I don't have it in me, not now, maybe not ever."
"Is that what you think I want, your money, your so called financial support. What about your moral support, what about your help and advice."
"God damn it Frankie, I have just buried my son, how the hell can I contemplate bringing another child into the world."
"I know you're scared, I know it's a shock, but…."
"You have no idea how this makes me feel. Scared? You think scared comes close to how this makes me feel, I feel sick and in absolute turmoil, my head is all over the fucking place. I know you want me to say all the right things, all the things you want to hear, but I can't. I'm sorry." Boyd got up and left, leaving Frankie alone to make all the decisions about their child, about what she would do.
Two Weeks Later
Grace knocked quietly on his front door, she knew he'd be home, he hadn't yet started back at work but had been in touch with the Met and made arrangements to start back at at the end of the month. He opened the door looking a lot more like the old Boyd than he had the last time she'd seen him, the over grown hair had now been neatly cut, and the full face beard trimmed back into a close cropped goatee.
"Grace, hi come in." He pecked her on the cheek as she walked past him. "Coffee?"
"Yeah lovely, thanks."
"So what brings you this side of the river, a social call or something else?"
"I wanted to talk to you about Frankie."
"How did I guess?"
"You haven't spoken to her recently."
"Do you not think you should?"
"She's had a miscarriage Boyd."
"Well I'm not going to pretend I'm heartbroken, I didn't want a baby Grace, and the more time I've had to think about it, the more I know I'm sure about that."
"What about what Frankie wanted?"
"She wanted something I couldn't give her."
"She wanted your support."
"She wanted me to settle down and play happy families with her, to play Daddy to a child I didn't want."
"She's in love with you, does that mean nothing to you."
"It was a quickie on my office couch, love never came into it."
"She wanted more, she came round to see you on the day you went away, but you'd left, she wanted to help you, to look after you and comfort you."
His expression changed, "I didn't know."
"You didn't ask, you were too busy looking after number one."
"Oh come off it Grace, you know that's not how it was, I'd just lost my son."
"Yeah, and now Frankie has lost her baby, maybe you could offer her what she was prepared to offer you."
She walked out before he had time to respond, leaving him to think about what she had said.
This time he didn't hover outside her door, this time he knocked the door, and waited for her to open it, not sure if it would be slammed in his face. It opened slowly, Frankie's face was tear stained and pale.
"I really don't have the energy for a row Boyd, so please just go."
He reached a hand out and gently touched her face, she closed her eyes, on the brink of crying again. "I'm sorry." He said softly.
"Oh go to hell Boyd." She replied sharply and went to slam the door, but he wedged his foot in it before she could. "What do you want?"
"To look after you."
"You expect me to believe you're sorry that I lost a baby you didn't want."
"I'm not sorry about the baby; I'm not going to pretend that has changed."
"Then why say it?"
"I'm sorry for the way I treated you, I'm sorry that you're hurting and I just want to look after you." The tears started to fall almost as soon as he'd finished saying the words, and she all but collapsed in his arms, sobbing and glad he was there to hold her, he picked her up and carried her back into her flat, where they remained, together.