Billy looked at her, not understanding. "What do you mean, 'you don't know if you can'?"
Frankie looked at him, "Exactly what it sounded like, Billy. I don't know if I can tell her. Because " she took a deep breath, trying not to cry, "because there are a hell of a lot of possibilities, the idea could be completely abhorrent to her. She might not like me the same way anything could happen. And, I don't want to lose her as a friend. I can handle being just really good friends, but I can't handle not having her in my life, and if me telling her that I'm helplessly in love with her, scares her away I don't think I'd be able to stay sober. And, the chance that she could feel the same is not high enough for me to risk my heart, I don't feel strong enough yet. Do you understand?"
Billy sat down gently on the edge of the bed and took her hand, "Okay. Yes, I understand. If that's what you need to do then do it, I'll be there if you need to talk about it, okay." Frankie nodded, "But, Frankie, life is too short." He stood up and said, "I'd better go before the nurse comes back in and kicks me out. I'll see you tomorrow."
Frankie nodded and hugged him goodbye. When he left she lay there thinking, could she tell Cameron how she was feeling? And, if she didn't tell her - could she keep it to herself? She wasn't sure, but she knew that she wasn't going to rush in, eyes shut. She couldn't risk her heart, she wasn't sure what would happen if she did and it went wrong.
The next morning she woke up feeling a lot better, still extremely sore but better in herself. She pulled herself up as much as her ribs would allow and sat there waiting for the nurse to come in and then her friends and family to come and visit. And, she also wanted to know when she could leave, because hospital's weren't her favourite place in the world.
Cameron woke up early, some excess energy from all the adrenalin from the day before, she lay there for a minute or two thinking. What she would have done if she'd lost her best friend in the whole world. She shook her head to clear the morose thoughts and got up, she had a shower and pottered about until, about an hour later the phone rang.
"Hello, it's Billy."
Cameron smiled, "Hey, have you got a time to pick her up?"
Billy laughed, "Yeah, we can pick her up now. I think she's causing trouble."
Cameron laughed, "Typical, okay I'll pick you up in five."
"Okay, I'll be ready."
Cameron grabbed her bag and left, five minutes later she picked Billy up. He got in and they went to the hospital, when they got near to Frankie's room they heard her voice.
Billy winced, he knew what his sister was capable of. "Oh dear."
Cameron smiled, "Why don't you go and see what papers need to be signed, and I'll go rescue the nurse from Frankie."
Billy smiled and nodded and walked up to the desk relieved to have gotten the easier job.
Cameron went to Frankie's door and peaked in to see Frankie standing by her bed and the nurse by the door.
"I told you, I'm perfectly capable of getting dressed."
The nurse sighed, "Miss O'Connor, you've got broken ribs, and a fractured wrist you need help."
Frankie looked at her, "I'm fine. Will you leave me alone."
They both turned at the sound of a throat clearing.
Frankie looked at Cameron and grinned.
"Causing trouble again I see."
Frankie shrugged and had a cheeky smile on her face, "Yeah."
Cameron shook her head, "I'll help her get dressed, she's a little independent."
The nurse shook her head, but nodded and left the room mumbling to herself. Cameron went in and said, "What am I gonna do with you?"
Frankie smiled, "Um help me get dressed. She was right my ribs and arm are killing me."
Cameron laughed at her irrepressible partner, and helped her finish getting dressed, she had to help with buttons and zips as Frankie couldn't manage them. And, by the time Billy came in she was all ready to go.
"Get me out of here." Frankie demanded. At Cameron's look, she added, "Please," with a smile.
Cameron nodded, "Alright, let's go. You know you're gonna have to go out in a chair don't you?"
Frankie grimaced but nodded, "Okay, let's get this over with."
They wheeled her out and Cameron drove them to Frankie's apartment.
Cameron helped her in and said, "Do you want to lie in bed, or do you want the sofa?"
"Sofa, please. Then I won't feel like such an invalid."
Cameron nodded, she knew that her and Billy couldn't fuss too much. "Okay, sofa it is."
They settled her on the sofa and Billy offered to go and pick up some takeaway, because they knew that Frankie would appreciate it after hospital food.
Billy left, secretly hoping that his sister would talk to Cameron about how she was feeling. But, he also knew deep down that she probably wouldn't. He understood why she didn't tell her, but he didn't know if she'd be able to keep it to herself for much longer.
Cameron sat on the end of the sofa, she looked at her friend and could tell that she was in pain. But, she knew she would have to wait till Frankie mentioned it, she didn't want to make her uncomfortable.
Frankie watched Cameron out of the corner of her eye, she really was beautiful, just the way she brushed the hair out of her face made Frankie's heartbeat faster. But, her ribs and arm were killing her, so instead of being the stubborn pain in the ass she usually was, she decided to be honest about it.
"Cameron?" When Cameron looked at her she said, "Can you get me my pain meds?"
Cameron smiled and nodded, she went and got the medication and a bottle of water. She handed Frankie the pills and then the water, "Are you okay?"
Frankie nodded, "Yeah, they're just aching. Actually I feel like I had my ass kicked."
Cameron laughed, "Nah, you would've done more damage to the other person."
Frankie laughed, and then gasped.
Cameron took her hand, "Sorry, I shouldn't make you laugh."
Frankie shook her head, "It's okay."
"No, it's not. I hate seeing you in pain."
Frankie squeezed her hand, "I'm sorry I put you through that. I promise I'll be good. But, if its not too much trouble could I have a hug."
Cameron smiled at her, and gently put her arms around her and gave her a hug, being careful not to jar her ribs.
When Billy got back they ate their takeaway and watched some TV, Frankie was just relieved she was home, and with her family.
They watched television for a couple of hours until Frankie started yawning, Cameron caught her and smiled.
"Come on you, time for bed."
Frankie looked at her and nodded, she knew she couldn't get away with much at the moment. "Okay."
Cameron helped her get ready and then went to help Billy set up the sofa, he offered to sleep out there giving Cameron the spare room. He knew it was easier for them, because he was going home the next day.
He said goodnight to Cameron, and laid there thinking. About all that had happened. After everything they had been through, finding out that your sister was a lesbian was nothing. He just hoped that when she finally told Cameron how she felt, she didn't get her heart broken.
In the morning Frankie woke up, she felt a little better and put it down to being at home, and in her own bed.
She heard movement, and relished in the thought of the two people staying with her, she liked having her own space but she did get really lonely sometimes.
After lying there for a few minutes, she decided to get up and say good morning to Cameron and Billy.
She went into the kitchen and smiled at the picture of domestic bliss, Cameron was cooking eggs and Billy was making coffee.
After watching for a second, she coughed and said, "Good morning."
Cameron looked up and said, "Morning, how are you feeling?"
"Not too bad."
Billy smiled, "Good, sit down and we can eat."
Frankie nodded and went and sat down. Cameron and Billy came in and they had a nice breakfast, they talked until Cameron had to leave for work, and she was going to take Billy to the airport on the way.
Frankie hugged her brother goodbye and made him promise to phone her when he got home, and Cameron made her promise to phone her at work if she needed anything.
Frankie nodded and said her goodbyes and decided to sort out some stuff, she'd been saving for a rainy day.
She finally felt brave enough to go through some old boxes in her closet, stuff she hadn't gone through since before her parents died. She had to be careful because of her arm and her ribs, but she felt she needed to do it. She opened the first box which held all of her photographs, because she had already moved out of home she had the only family photographs left, all of the others were destroyed in the fire. She took the box over to the sofa, and sat down before even looking in the box. She took a deep breath and pulled out a handful.
The first one she looked at was one of the whole family, smiling happily at a works picnic about six months before the fire. She smiled at the memory, remembering how much fun they had.
She looked through about half the box, reminiscing about when and where they were taken. At about two o'clock she made herself a sandwich and thought while she ate, even though it was painful looking at the photos; it wasn't difficult. She was happy, because she felt strong, and didn't want a drink. She sat there for a while just thinking about everything, she smiled to herself thinking about her life since Cameron entered it, knowing that the reasons she was so settled and feeling the best she had in years, was due to her friend. But, she also had the fact that she loved Cameron weighing heavily on her mind, still having to decide what to do about her. But, for now she placed it away and continued looking for the photos.
Cameron got to work and went to see John, "Morning."
John looked up and smiled, he had grown very fond of this woman, he knew she was the reason that Frankie was getting back to her old self. "Morning Cameron, how's the patient this morning?"
"She seemed in good spirits. She was in a little pain but we dealt with it."
"Good, I think until she's back at work I'll have you assist the others if needed. I don't want you out on your own."
Cameron smiled, "Sounds good, I can do some research and sort out all the paperwork that's built up."
John nodded, "Good."
So, Cameron spent the day just doing desk work, at about three she went out with Aidan and James to a domestic disturbance case. So that meant she had something to do until the end of her shift. When five came around she left work, picking up Chinese on her way back to Frankie's.
When she got into the apartment she called hello to Frankie and took the take away into the kitchen, she sorted it onto plates and went to find Frankie. She walked into the living room and saw Frankie on the sofa with a box beside her.
Frankie wasn't paying too much attention, so Cameron went and sat beside her, careful not to shock her.
She put her hand on Frankie's arm and quietly said, "Hey."
Frankie jumped a little, she had been engrossed in her pictures and hadn't heard Cameron come in. "Oh, hey. Sorry I was miles away."
Cameron smiled, "You okay?"
"Yeah, just looking through some photos."
Cameron nodded, "Are you hungry, I got Chinese."
Frankie grinned, "I'm starving."
Cameron laughed and handed her a plate. While they were eating Cameron told her all about her day.
When they finished Cameron cleaned up, washing the plates and getting changed out of her work clothes. When she was changed she went back in and sat on the sofa with Frankie.
"So what are the photos?"
Frankie smiled, "Family photos. After the fire and everything that happened I just put them away in my closet. I haven't looked at them since then, and I finally feel strong enough to look through them. I realised that not only did I hide them from myself, I hid them from Billy and I feel bad. So I decided to sort through them and see if I can get copies made for Billy."
Cameron smiled and said, "I think that's a great idea. Can I see?"
Frankie smiled, ever more grateful that this woman was in her life. She took out a pile of photos and started telling Cameron who all the people were.
They spent hours that night going through photos, Cameron laughing at some of the stories behind the funniest pictures, and holding Frankie when she got tearful.
They went to bed about eleven o'clock, Frankie smiling because she'd done something she never thought she would be able to. And she decided she would make a new photo album to give to Billy, because even though she knew Cameron was right, and Billy wouldn't blame her, she wanted to do it for her brother.
She went to sleep with a smile on her face and had a peaceful night sleep.
A week later Frankie was cleared to go back to work, but just to her desk. Her ribs were healing nicely and her wrist would take another few weeks, but she was able to do paperwork.
This she was glad of because she was going stir crazy at work. Cameron had gone back to her own place the night before, but was picking Frankie up because she couldn't drive.
She had just put her jacket on when she heard Cameron beep, she picked up her bag and walked down to the car.
"Morning, ready for work?"
Frankie smiled, "You bet, I think I must be crazy because I'm looking forward to paperwork."
Cameron laughed, "No, just bored with daytime TV. I for one am glad you're coming back. Because, I've heard all I want to about every sport imaginable."
Frankie grinned, "Now you know another reason I'm glad you joined our happy group."
Cameron smiled and they drove the rest of the way just listening to the CD Cameron had on in the car.
They got to the station and went their separate ways when they got to the office, Cameron to get coffee and Frankie to see John.
His door was open so she peeked in and saw him typing on his computer, because the door was open she just said, "Knock knock."
John looked up and smiled, "Hey good morning." he got up and walked over to her, and was surprised when Frankie hugged him.
"Are you feeling better?"
Frankie came in and sat down, "Yeah I feel good. I can't wait to get back on full duty, but I'm just glad to be out of the house."
John smiled and sat on the edge of his desk, "I bet. Well for the moment you'll just be doing desk work, but it'll give you a chance to finish any loose ends in your paperwork and anything else that comes up."
Frankie nodded, "Okay, I'll see you later."
John nodded, and smiled as she went to her desk and took the cup of coffee handed to her by Cameron.
Frankie took a sip of her coffee before answering, "Yeah, fine. So tell me what I've missed. Have you had any inspiration about our friend?"
Cameron shook her head, "No, and he hasn't been busy lately."
"Shame, I really want to get this guy."
Cameron smiled, "Me too."
They spent the morning doing paperwork, at about eleven Cameron went on a call with two of the other detectives Andy Marshall and Dave Lowe.
While Cameron was out Frankie tied up loose ends on a few of her previous cases, it was actually nice to get them finished.
At about two Cameron came back and her and Frankie worked the rest of the day in quiet harmony just getting stuff done.
When they were done for the day Frankie invited Cameron for dinner, "It's the least I can do."
Cameron nodded, "Okay."
They went back to Frankie's and she cooked some pasta, they ate their dinner and then cleared up.
"Can you help me sort through another of my boxes."
Cameron nodded, "Yeah, you want me to get it?"
"Yeah, it's the red one."
While Cameron was getting the box Frankie put some music on, just something so they'd have background noise.
Cameron came back in carrying a large red box, "This the right one."
Frankie looked up and nodded.
"What's in this one?"
Frankie shrugged, "I don't know, I think it's probably different stuff that mom kept of mine from school. I took it with me when I moved out. Because mom said I would probably want some of the stuff when I was old enough to appreciate the hard work I put in at school."
"Your mother was a wise woman."
Frankie nodded. She opened the box and pulled out the first thing, it was her letterman jacket.
"What did you letter in?"
"Track, I ran the sprints."
Cameron smiled, "Cool, what's next?"
Frankie pulled out a sketch pad and smiled a sad smile before she opened it. Cameron gasped when she saw the first picture, it was a pencil sketch of Frankie's mom, "That's beautiful."
Frankie had tears in her eyes, "I forgot all about this."
"How come I didn't know you could draw?"
Frankie handed her the pad, "It's like a lot of things that I stopped doing, in rehab in our sessions they used drawing as a form of therapy and I got pissed off and stopped drawing because it reminds me of that. I hate being told what to draw, always did at school and so it became a chore rather than a passion."
Cameron looked through the other pictures. There were landscapes, people and animals. Something was familiar then it hit her. "You designed your tattoo, didn't you?"
Frankie nodded and smiled, "Yeah, it just came to me, that's the only thing I've drawn since rehab. I wanted to get a tattoo but all the designs in the shop were what everyone gets, so I decided to design my own."
Cameron put the pad down, "Well. I think you should try again, you shouldn't let a talent like that go to waste."
Frankie smiled, "I know. It'll come back to me."
Cameron went to make some tea while Frankie carried on pulling things out of the box, she found something she wasn't expecting and just sat staring at it.
"Frankie do you want anything else with your tea?"
Silence from the other room, "Frankie!?"
Cameron came back in and saw Frankie was staring at a picture frame, she walked over and sat in front of her. "What's that?"
Frankie looked at her and smiled, "It's my graduation photo from the police academy, mom had it framed. I never saw this, I thought she wasn't proud of me. But she was."
Cameron smiled, "Of course she was, she was just scared and hid that behind the anger. I do the same thing."
Frankie smiled and went and put the frame on her bookshelf, she loved the picture knowing her mom had taken time over it.
They went through the rest of the box, finding more of Frankie's art work and report cards. Just the usual stuff that gets accumulated.
Frankie enjoyed looking through it, especially with Cameron there. It seemed to make it easier knowing Cameron was willing to listen to the memories that looking through the box evoked.
Cameron left and Frankie looked through her sketch pad once more before putting it down and going to bed.
In the morning Cameron was tired, but it was a good tired. Knowing that Frankie was happy, she went for a run and then showered and got ready for work. She got to work and realised Frankie wasn't there yet. Cameron had offered a lift again but Frankie being independent decided to drive herself.
Cameron went in and was making coffee when Frankie came in. "Morning."
Cameron smiled and held up a mug. Frankie nodded and said, "That would be great, thanks."
Cameron poured two cups and brought them over to the desk, she handed Frankie hers and sat down. They chatted while they drank their coffee and then got to work.
Cameron was typing and Frankie was talking on the phone, she looked up when she heard her name called.
She went to John's office and closed the door, "What's up?"
John motioned her to sit down, "Nothing, you know it's Frankie's birthday on Saturday?"
"Billy's flying in, he's going to stay with Mandy, and he wants to throw a surprise dinner and we were wondering if you could be the one that makes sure Frankie gets there."
Cameron smiled, "Of course, where and when."
While Cameron and John were working out the arrangements, Frankie was on the phone to Lizzie. They tried to talk at least once a week, Frankie was actually glad because she needed someone to talk to, so she arranged to meet her after work.
When Cameron came back, before Frankie could ask what John wanted her phone rang.
"Detective, we've had another break in."
Frankie wrote down the address, and put the phone down.
Frankie smiled, "Yeah, so much for the peace and quiet."
Cameron drove and thought about how she would get Frankie to the restaurant on Saturday. They got to the address and met up with the officers who were first on the scene, they handed Frankie the note. 'Me again, Sheriff'
"This guy is pissing me off."
Cameron smiled and spoke to the officers while Frankie went to find Mel.
Mel looked up from the table she was dusting for prints and smiled at Frankie. "Hey Detective."
"Any good news for me?"
Mel nodded, "Maybe, he's been sloppy this time. We got a sample of hair. It'll mean we have DNA but it's unlikely it'll help if he's clean."
Frankie nodded, "I know. But it's all we've got."
Mel nodded and finished up, Frankie was looking around when Cameron came in.
Frankie nodded, "They found a hair, but it might not be useful."
Cameron smiled, "How much would you love to have a partial plate number of a car spotted leaving the scene early this morning?"
Frankie looked at her, a gleam in her eye. "Tell me you're not joking."
"Serious as I can be, the guy who lives next door couldn't sleep last night and happened to look out the window when a late model Merc drove away. Managed to get the first half of the registration."
Frankie laughed, "Okay. Let's look around and then we'll go and run the partial. Hopefully he's stupid enough to be using his own car. Or we'll be lucky enough to have an eagle eye traffic cop who spots him."
Cameron nodded, feeling like maybe this time they had him.
After looking around the scene they went back to the station to run the plate, they knew they would come up with hundreds of cars, but it was a break that hopefully would help them catch him.
They got a list of four hundred cars, Frankie looked at it and laughed.
Cameron looked up, "How many?"
"Four hundred, did we get a colour." When Cameron shook her head, "Light or dark?"
Cameron smiled, "He said it was dark."
Frankie sat down, "Well that narrows it a little. Okay here," she handed Cameron half the cars and said, "Let's get started."
Cameron was only paying half attention to what she was doing, she was thinking about what to buy Frankie for her birthday, it was only when she read the same information for a third time did she start to concentrate.
When a mug appeared in front of her with fresh coffee she looked up and smiled at John, he placed one in front of Frankie, who said "Thanks, but didn't stop checking her list.
An hour later they had a list of forty possibilities, cars that matched the partial plate closest. Now they had to cross check it with the stolen cars list to see if any had been stolen in the last eight months, because that's how long Robin Hood had been playing his game.
They decided to start fresh the next day, because they were both exhausted they said goodbye at the door and went home.
Cameron went straight to bed and Frankie made herself some food and then went to bed and slept like a baby.
In the morning Frankie woke up and groaned knowing they had a long day of research to do, and if they did find something she wouldn't be able to go out and check on it. 'The sooner I get cleared for active duty the better' she thought. She had an appointment with the doctor the following Wednesday and hopeful he would clear her for duty.
Cameron woke up and felt like Frankie, knowing it was gonna be a slow day, but she knew if this lead actually meant they caught Robin Hood it would be well worth it, and she was hoping that it would.
She got dressed and made her way to work, and she met Frankie at the door and they made their way in for another day at work.
The day was pretty much total paperwork, trying to find all of the cars on their list. Frankie spent pretty much every second on the phone, Cameron went out once to check a lead but it wasn't anything. The day was long and tiresome and Frankie couldn't wait until she could go home because it was the weekend.
Cameron had spent the day thinking about what to buy Frankie for her birthday, she'd finally been inspired when she went out and decided to buy it after work. She'd call Frankie in the morning to wish her happy birthday and invite her for dinner.
They left and said their goodbyes, both too tired to do anything but go home and sleep.
Frankie woke up the next morning with a smile on her face, 'Happy Birthday to me', she got up and had a shower. At nine the phone rang she answered and heard, "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Frankie, happy birthday to you."
She laughed, "Thanks Billy."
"How are you. I have posted your present but it'll probably get there Monday."
"Thanks, I'm fine."
Billy smiled at Mandy who was trying not to laugh. "So, anything planned for today?"
"Not really, I'll probably go out with Cam tonight, but other than that a lazy day for me. What about you?"
"I've got work to do. So I'll say bye and I'll talk to you later to see what pressies you got."
Frankie smiled, "Okay, I'll talk to you later."
Frankie put the phone down, and smiled.
When Cameron woke up she got dressed and decided to phone Frankie before she made plans for the evening.
"Are you doing anything tonight?"
"No. What did you have in mind."
Cameron smiled, "I thought I'd buy you dinner, in a restaurant. How does that sound?"
"Perfect, where are we going?"
"It's a surprise, be ready for seven."
"What shall I wear, I won't know if I don't know where we're going."
Cameron laughed, "Smart casual, I'll see you at seven. Happy birthday again."
"Bye Cam, I'll see you tonight."
Cameron hung up the phone and got ready to go and get Frankie's present. She took her time choosing the different things that made up the gift, she spent about two hours in the mall and then went home to wrap it and get ready for her evening out.
When she got back there was a letter from Sophie's husband, her ex-partners husband had moved but the letter had been forwarded. He said that he was glad she'd written and told her again that he had never blamed her. And that he was glad she was doing okay. He was fine and their daughter was growing up great.
Cameron read it and smiled, she knew she'd talk to Frankie about it but she'd wait until another time because tonight was for celebrating.
Frankie was staring at the contents of her closet, she was showered she just had to decide what to wear.
'Smart casual, I wish Cameron had told me where we're going' she was celebrating for the first time in five years, and having trouble deciding on clothes. She was actually looking forward to it, she'd had a lazy day after she had talked to Billy, Mandy and Cameron in the morning.
When the buzzer went, she pressed the door release to let Cameron in and finished getting ready. She had decided on her black jeans and a black shirt, and she was putting her boots on when Cameron walked in.
"Hey birthday girl."
Frankie looked up and smiled. "Hey you."
Cameron walked over and Frankie stood up, and it was just natural for them to grab each other and hold on for a minute.
"Happy birthday Frankie."
Frankie pulled back. "Thank you. Are you gonna tell me where we are going yet."
Cameron shook her head, "Nope. But you can have your present."
Frankie smiled and Cameron went to the door to pick up the box which she'd placed there on her way in.
She handed it to Frankie and went and stood by the window, not sure how her friend would react to the gift.
Frankie didn't question her, she opened the card and smiled at what Cameron had written, 'Frankie, I hope all your wishes and dreams come true, happy birthday. Thanks for being my friend, all my love Cameron.'
She put the card on the table and opened the present, she pulled the lid off and smiled at the contents. It was full of art supplies; paper and pencils and paint and lots of other stuff, now Frankie understood why Cameron was standing at the window. She knew that Frankie might react badly to the gift. She stood up and went over to Cameron, she took her arm and turned her around. She hugged her and said, "Thank you for that not so subtle kick up the ass."
Cameron smiled sheepishly, "I told you, I hate seeing talent going to waste."
Frankie nodded, "Okay. I was going to start again. But thanks again, I know exactly what I'm gonna draw first."
Cameron couldn't help it, "What?"
"It's a secret. Now are you gonna feed me?"
Cameron looked at her watch and realised she needed to get Frankie to the restaurant. "Yep, lets go."
They got in Cameron's car, and she pulled out a scarf. "In the spirit of surprise, I'm gonna blindfold you. That okay?"
Frankie nodded, "Yeah."
Cameron blindfolded her and drove to the restaurant. When they got there she got out and helped Frankie out. They walked in and Cameron spotted where John, Mandy, Billy and Lizzie were and walked over. She mouthed one, two, three and took Frankie's blindfold off and everyone shouted 'SURPRISE!!'
Frankie was shocked, she looked at Cameron who said, "Don't look at me, I was just a decoy."
Frankie looked at her brothers grinning face and smiled. "I'll get you."
He hugged her and said, "Happy birthday sis."
"So much for my present arriving on Monday, you know you're the best present I could ask for."
She hugged him again and then hugged Mandy, John and Lizzie and they sat down to order.
"I can't believe you got this past me." She said quietly to Cameron.
Cameron shrugged, "Now you know what John wanted the other day."
Frankie smiled, "I was gonna ask, but we got distracted." To the others she said, "Thanks for this, I appreciate it."
They ordered and spent the night talking and laughing and consuming large amounts of food.
Frankie was talking to Lizzie when the light went down and she heard happy birthday start up, she looked toward the kitchen and saw the candles flickering. Everybody in the restaurant sang along and Frankie blushed, the waiter brought it to the table and she looked at Cameron and then she closed her eyes, made a wish and blew out the candles. She opened her eyes and turned to her brother, "Had to make sure there were twenty-five didn't you?"
Billy smiled, "Of course. We've got presents and things back at Mandy's. We're gonna go there for coffee and cake when we're done here."
Frankie nodded, she sat back and looked at her friends and family. She thought about her last birthday, she'd worked overtime and just watched television. And she thought that she much preferred the alternative, thankful that after everything that had happened she was here and she was loved.
Cameron looked over and saw that Frankie was away with the fairies, she touched her hand to bring her back.
"Are you okay?" she whispered in her ear.
Frankie nodded, "Yeah, just thanking my lucky stars."
Cameron smiled, "Okay, you just seemed far away."
"I'm okay." To Billy she said, "Can we get out of here?"
"Sure, let's go. You go with Cameron and we'll see you at Mandy's."
Cameron had grabbed their coats and handed Frankie hers before walking out.
Billy said, "See you in a minute."
She nodded, grabbed her stuff and followed Cameron out.
They got in the car and Cameron set off for Mandy's, "Have you had fun?"
Frankie smiled, "Yeah I have. Thanks."
"Glad I could be a part of it. Well here we are."
Frankie smiled and almost bounced out of the car she was so happy.
They waited until the others pulled up, when they did they all went inside. Mandy and Cameron made the coffee and served it before they started to give Frankie her presents.
Billy handed her something and said, "This is something I know you'll love."
Frankie took it off him, she started to open it and smiled at the content. It was a camera.
"Billy this is great." She got up and gave him a hug. "I can't believe you remembered."
"Of course I did. I just hope you can put it to good use."
Frankie smiled, "Oh I will."
"Here this is from me." Lizzie handed her an envelope.
"Thanks Lizzie." She opened it and grinned. "Wow, thank you."
She hugged Lizzie and showed the others the two tickets to see the Lakers play at their next home game.
Next, John handed her a nicely wrapped present. Frankie opened it and said, "Oh John, this is great."
It was a framed photo of her dad and John. She showed the rest of the group and kissed his cheek. "Thanks."
He nodded and sat back, smiling that it was a success.
Mandy handed her the last present, "Frankie, this is something that I had because I was the oldest, but it was meant to go to the first born daughter of either of us, on her twenty first birthday, but I didn't feel it was the right time then. But, now I think its perfect."
Frankie took it and opened it slowly. Inside was a jewellery box and she opened it and gasped. Inside were two rings, nothing showy but the platinum shone and the design was incredible. Frankie handed the box to Cameron so she could see and hugged Mandy, "Thank you for waiting. Were they grandmas?"
Mandy nodded, "Yeah, but not hers." At the confused look on her nieces face she said, "She never wore them, she said they were meant for a certain person and that person is you. She described you perfectly and said when you came along the rings belonged to you."
Frankie frowned not really understanding the origin or the reason behind the rings, but decided not to say anything and just except the beautiful gift.
After Frankie had opened all of her gifts, they just sat and talked until the early morning. They said their goodbyes and left, John dropping Lizzie off and Cameron dropping Frankie off.
Frankie leaned over and hugged Cameron. "Thank you for my present and dinner."
Cameron nodded, "You're welcome. Goodnight Frankie."
Frankie opened the door, "Night Cam."
She watched Cameron pull away and walked up to her apartment. She put all of her presents on the sofa and sat down. She picked up the camera Billy got her, she smiled still not believing he remembered her childhood wish to be a photographer when she grew up. She decided that she would go out the next day and start taking pictures, she put it on the table.
She picked up the box that Cameron had bought her and pulled out the sketch pad and a pencil, and started to draw. Little things to start because she felt rusty. She drew the window, and the coffee table and a few other things in her front room when she felt a bit more able she started to draw seriously.
She lost herself in the picture, not looking up until she was finished. When she looked at her watch it read four o'clock. She stretched her aching back and looked at the picture. It was a portrait, drawn of Cameron; from her memory. It captured her brilliantly. Frankie was proud of it and took it off the pad and took it into her room, she placed it in a drawer of her desk, because she didn't want Cameron to see it. Maybe one day she'd feel brave enough to show her the picture
She got changed and went to bed, feeling happily tired after a great day and she said a silent prayer to the fate that brought her back into her life, and thanked it for her friends and her family.
Cameron went home, glad that the night had been a success, she smiled at the look on Frankie's face when she saw her camera, but was puzzled at the frown when she opened Mandy's present. 'I'll have to ask her about that' she thought. 'And remember to tell her about the letter'. She got changed and went to bed, falling asleep instantly.
Frankie woke up the next morning full of energy, remembering the camera she got dressed and made herself some lunch and decided to go and take some pictures. She went to the mountains and walked for hours, taking pictures and just looking at the wonder of nature. She ate her lunch and took more pictures before heading home at about six.
Cameron woke up late, she cleaned her apartment before calling Frankie. When the answer machine picked up she left a message and decided to go grocery shopping as she had an empty fridge.
She got back and unpacked her groceries and spent the rest of the day sorting out her bills and mail.
When the phone rang at about half past six she picked it up, "Hello?"
"It's me, I just got your message."
Cameron smiled, "Hey Frankie. Have you had a good day?"
"Yeah, I went for a walk up in the mountains and took some pictures."
"I'm glad, sounds like you had a good day."
Frankie smiled, "What have you done today?"
"Just the usual weekend stuff, laundry, cleaning."
"I did that yesterday. Do fancy pizza and a movie at my place?"
Cameron grinned, glad she wouldn't be alone this evening. "I'll be there in ten."
Frankie laughed, "Okay, see you in a bit."
Frankie tidied some things away while she waited for Cameron, she left the sketch pad out so Cameron would know she was drawing again.
She called for pizza and then her buzzer went.
She pressed the door release, "Come on up."
Cameron came in, "Hey Frankie."
"Hi, I've ordered it should be here in twenty. Do you want a soda?"
Cameron nodded and went and sat down while Frankie got the drinks. She noticed the sketch pad and when Frankie came in she said, "Can I look?"
Frankie nodded, handing her the soda she sat down.
Cameron opened the pad and noticed the tentative first sketched, even though Frankie hadn't drawn for years they were very good.
"These are great."
Frankie smiled, "Thanks, I just did little things to start and then I went onto landscapes. That one is something I saw today."
Cameron looked at the picture Frankie was pointing at, it was beautiful. A tree, but it was the fact the sun was behind it that made it look so good.
The buzzer went and Frankie got up to sort out the pizza and Cameron looked at the other two sketches.
Frankie came back in and they chose a movie to watch. They ate their pizza and watched a comedy. They were laughing so much they had tears pouring down their faces.
Cameron went home moderately early for them, at midnight. They had work in the morning and they arranged to meet at the gym for a workout before work.
Frankie woke up late, so by the time she got to the gym Cameron was ready and waiting. They said good morning before going in different directions. Frankie wanted to take out her anger on the punch bag and Cameron wanted to run.
Cameron ran for half an hour before grabbing a drink, she went to find Frankie and see what she was doing.
Frankie strapped up her hands and started her workout on the bag, in no time she was sweating but her anger was lessening and she felt better. She smiled and carried on punching and kicking the bag. Not realising she was drawing a crowd, with one very interested watcher.
Cameron stood in the doorway, watching her friend let loose.
'I love her!' Cameron closed her eyes not believing what she was thinking, 'Oh my god. I'm in love with Frankie. When did that happen?'
She thought back over the months they had known each other, and realised she had loved Frankie since the first time she saw her, when she walked into John's office her heart was gone, she had just buried the feelings. At first because of the tension between them, then under the friendship that they had built. But, all of a sudden it was there, in the forefront of her mind; she loved Frankie.
She had to smile, it was quite funny actually, the fact that the feelings hit her as she stood there watching Frankie kick the crap out of a punch bag, Cameron thought she had never looked more beautiful, all that raw energy and power. She seemed to glow with an inner strength, something that Cameron knew was there, but had never seen it so clearly as she did now.
'But now what to do? Should she tell her how she felt, and would she be able to deal with the consequences, if Frankie was completely disgusted with her feelings.'
She thought about it long and hard and decided to just see what happened. Because, she couldn't no wouldn't think about her life without Frankie in it. She shook her head to clear her thoughts and went back to her workout. Running on the treadmill to try and clear her mind, when she finished she was exhausted but still her feelings were there - and she didn't know what to do.
An hour later they were finished, both tired but had to get showered and ready for work; and they were running late. Frankie drove feeling better after her workout, but she wondered what was wrong with her usually talkative partner. Cameron was staring out of the window, deep in concentration. Just as she was about to ask what was wrong, Cameron seemed to snap out of the mood she was in, and turned and said, "I wonder how today is going to go?"
Frankie smiled at her and said, "Depends, we'll just have to wait and see."
Cameron nodded, "I guess, hopefully we'll be busy. I've got all this nervous energy all of a sudden, and I don't know why. I need to be busy."
Frankie looked at her wanting to ask what was wrong, but after knowing her for a while, she knew the signs when Cameron didn't want to talk. And this was one.
They got to the station and didn't stop until the end of their shift, they were both exhausted and on the drive home Frankie said, "Well, you got your wish."
Cameron smiled, "Yeah, I guess I did." Silently she added, 'but it didn't help'.
Frankie dropped her at her apartment and went home, hoping that Cameron would talk to her if she needed to.
When Cameron got in she went in and sat on her sofa, not even bothering to turn on a light.
She knew that Frankie had guessed something was wrong, but she couldn't talk about it with her, even when she was the only person she wanted to talk to. She knew that she would have to pull herself out of it, she couldn't let Frankie think that something huge was wrong. She decided that she would let nature take it's course, and just hoped against hope that Frankie wouldn't stop being her friend.
She didn't really have anyone she could talk to about this, Frankie was her only family and she was the person that Cameron could talk to about anything, except this. She just sat there and decided to try and deal with it alone, and hope she could act normally around Frankie.
She went to bed but had a restless sleep, but in the morning she tried to act normal, because Frankie would ask her what was wrong and she couldn't lie to her friend.
She set off for work and walked in to see Frankie typing away on her computer, she took a deep breath and let it out slowly. She walked over and sat down.
Frankie looked up and smiled, glad to see Cameron looking happier than she had the night before. She had worried all night that something was wrong, but she knew if it was serious Cameron would talk to her, she also knew that Cameron still wasn't herself. But she decided to let her work through it and then Cameron would talk. "Morning Cameron, tell me are we wishing for slow or fast today?"
Cameron laughed, "I'm easy. Slow because we've got paperwork and fast for the same reason."
Frankie giggled, "Do you want coffee?"
Cameron nodded and watched Frankie get up to make some, she felt relieved. She knew she could hide her feelings and for that she was glad. But she also used this time to look at her partner, really look. 'She's amazing' Cameron smiled, 'I better not get caught staring'. She looked away as Frankie came back with two mugs of coffee.
She took the one offered to her and they got to work on the Robin Hood case, they'd had to neglect it over the last few days because they'd been so busy. But, both could feel they were getting close, and there was no way they were going to let him off the hook.
At about eleven o'clock Cameron jumped when Frankie shouted.
Frankie smiled, "I've got him. Steven Daniels, he's got no priors."
Cameron smiled, "Are you sure it's him?"
Frankie shook her head, "Not a hundred percent, but it's close. Let's go tell John."
Cameron followed Frankie to John's office, they went in and when John looked up they smiled.
"Well you two look like the cat that got the cream."
Frankie grinned, "We got him."
"Robin Hood?" At Cameron's nod he smiled, "Great, sit down and we'll talk about how we're gonna catch him."
They decided to have Aidan and James follow him, because of the high possibility that he knew what Frankie looked like.
Then hopefully they would catch him in the act, if that didn't come to anything then they would bring him in and search his home. But they knew they would have to have some strong evidence to get a search warrant.
John called Aidan and James in and told them the plan, Frankie gave them the address and license photo for Steven Daniels and they left straight away. They would do surveillance in shifts with two other detectives, that would mean that they were watching him twenty-four/seven.
Frankie and Cameron spent the rest of the day on a call out because they were the only available detectives, it was a store robbery and it took the rest of the day to finish the case.
They were in the locker room getting their stuff to go home, Cameron remembered that she had wanted to talk to Frankie about the letter from Sophie's husband.
"Frankie, do you want to come to mine for dinner."
Cameron smiled, "Yeah."
Frankie grinned, "Then I'm there."
"Okay, give me an hour and then make your way over."
Frankie grinned and left, thinking that this meant Cameron wanted to talk.
Cameron went to the store on her way home to get something to cook for dinner, she got vegetables to make a casserole. Something easy that she could put on and have a shower and get changed before Frankie arrived.
She got home and prepared the casserole and put it in the oven, then she jumped in the shower and got changed and tidied up a bit. Then she waited for Frankie to arrive and dinner to be ready.
Frankie went home and had a shower, she phoned her brother and spoke to him for a while to see how he was. And then she left for Cameron's, she got there an hour after leaving work. She pressed the buzzer and heard Cameron's voice.
She waited for the buzzer and then opened the door, she went up to Cameron's apartment and walked in. "Wow, something smells nice."
Cameron walked out the kitchen, "Casserole, I hope you're hungry."
Frankie smiled, "Yep, if it tastes as nice as it smells then I'm gonna enjoy this."
Cameron laughed, "Well take a seat, it's nearly ready."
Frankie sat at the table and waited for Cameron to come back in. She was miles away when Cameron did come in, it wasn't until she put the casserole on the table that she realised she wasn't alone.
"This smells great."
Cameron dished it up, "Thanks."
Frankie took a forkful and ate it. "Yep, very good."
Cameron smiled, and they ate in silence.
Frankie sensed that Cameron wanted to tell her something, but she decided to let Cameron bring it up.
Cameron cleared the table and told Frankie to go and sit while she made the coffee.
Cameron made the coffee and took it in to Frankie who was looking very comfortable on her couch, "Here you go."
Frankie took the mug and said, "Thanks."
Cameron didn't know how to start, so she just gave Frankie the letter.
Frankie took it and asked, "What's this?"
"A letter from Sophie's husband."
Frankie opened it and read it. "I told you."
Cameron nodded, "I know. I just wanted you to read it and know that I wrote to him."
"When did you get it?"
"Saturday, I didn't want to bring it up over your birthday dinner so I waited."
Frankie hugged her, "Now maybe you can forgive yourself properly, okay?"
Cameron smiled, "Yeah, thanks Frankie."
Frankie didn't have to ask for what, they had both helped each other so much since they'd become partners.
"Was that all you wanted to tell me?"
Cameron looked at her, "Yeah, I wanted you to know."
Cameron grinned at her, "Do you want to watch a movie, or are you tired."
Frankie shook her head, "No, a movie sounds good. Then I'll go because we have a long day tomorrow, hopefully Aidan and James will have some good news.
Cameron nodded and they settled down to watch a movie, it was an action film so they both got caught up in the story.
When it finished Frankie gave Cameron a big hug and said goodnight and made her way home.
Cameron cleaned up their coffee cups and went to bed, hoping they had good news the next day.
The next day Frankie and Cameron didn't get the good news they were hoping for, but Aidan and James had found out a lot. They had found that Steven Daniels was a regular guy, or that's how it seemed. He had a job and went to work every morning at the same time and came home at the same time. All his neighbours said what a nice guy he was.
Frankie laughed, "Isn't that always the story. He was a nice guy, and he turns out to be a serial killer."
Cameron smiled, "Yeah. Thanks for doing this guys. We really want to get this guy."
James smiled, "It's no problem. We want him too."
They left to take over the shift, and Frankie and Cameron got to work.
They had a quiet day, they didn't have one call out until late in the day when they got a call about a mugger. He had stolen an old ladies purse and she was hurt so Cameron and Frankie went to talk to her and got a statement and a good description. On their way back from the hospital they got a call saying that he'd been spotted and so they went to take a look. They drove to the street address they'd been told and spotted him, they got out just as he looked up, he ran into the nearest building and Frankie and Cameron followed.
It was an abandoned building and they had to be careful where they ran. He was only a young guy, but he was quick. Frankie caught up to him, thankful for running track at school, she went to grab him but didn't see the knife in his hand. He caught her on the arm and she let him go.
Cameron caught up, but before she could ask if Frankie was okay, she said, "I'm alright, go and catch that little son of a bitch."
Cameron nodded and ran after the little punk. She watched Cameron leave, and followed along slowly. Her arm was killing her, she switched her gun to the other hand and slowly followed in the direction Cameron had gone.
When she got out of the building, she walked to the car she saw Cameron had caught the mugger, and she was putting him in handcuffs, a patrol car pulled up and Cameron handed him over.
Cameron looked up and when she saw Frankie she ran over to check she was okay, she looked down and saw the blood pouring down her arm, under her shirt. She picked up her arm and Frankie winced.
Frankie looked at her, "He caught me with a blade, I thought it was a minor cut which is why I didn't say anything, but it seems to be bleeding pretty badly."
Cameron shook her head, despairing of her friend, "Come on."
She walked to the car and Frankie followed meekly, feeling bad that she had yet again scared her friend.
She got in and Cameron said, "Let me take a proper look," she pulled out her penknife and cut Frankie's sleeve off her shirt. She shook her head, "It doesn't look too bad, let's get you to the hospital, you'll have to have a tetanus shot."
Frankie grimaced, "I hate injections."
"Well maybe you should be more careful." Cameron didn't mean to sound angry, but she was scared.
Frankie didn't know what to say so she stayed quiet.
Cameron tied the sleeve around the cut, and drove them to the ER.
When they got to the ER, the doctor took Frankie off to suture her arm, and Cameron went to call John and tell him where they were. He told her to take her time and make sure Frankie was okay, and he'd talk to them when they got back.
She went and sat back down to wait.
"That should be okay Detective, you need to rest it for a couple of days. And, I'll see you then to check it."
Frankie nodded and thanked her, and then she went to find Cameron.
She saw her sitting in the waiting room, she took a deep breath and went over and stood in front of her. When Cameron didn't look up after a few seconds, Frankie sat down and picked up her hand, Cameron looked up and Frankie smiled.
Cameron nodded, "Good."
She started to stand up but Frankie wouldn't let go of her hand, she looked at her and then sat back down, waiting to see what Frankie had to say.
"I want to apologise."
Cameron looked at her, "Why?"
Frankie smiled, a tentative smile to try and ease Cameron's fear. "Because, I made you a promise and I broke it. I know I scared you and that you're upset. And, I hate the fact that it was my stupid stubbornness that made you feel like this. I should've told you he'd caught me."
Cameron shook her head. "Frankie I'm okay, honestly. I was scared, but it's our job. Everyday we put ourselves in danger. I know it wasn't your fault. But you're my best friend, so it's my privilege to worry about you. And, next time tell me when something happens, or I'll kick your ass. Okay?"
Frankie smiled glad that Cameron wasn't angry, "Yeah, okay I promise to tell you. And you know, it's my privilege too." Cameron smiled. "Come on, I've seen enough of the inside of this place to last me a lifetime."
Cameron laughed and stood, offering Frankie a hand to help her up. "Come on, let's go."
They walked out, both feeling a little better, knowing that they could handle situations like this, where they got hurt, without having huge breakdowns just small ones.
They got back to the station and spoke to John, and then they did the interview with the mugger, and then just did paperwork until it was time to go home.
Frankie didn't want to be alone so she asked Cameron if she fancied Chinese and a movie.
They picked up take out on the way back to Frankie's apartment and had a quiet evening just talking and watching a movie. It was nice, just to have the company, someone to talk to or just be with.
Cameron stayed until midnight and then went home because they both had to work in the morning.
The next morning work was hectic, they had three call outs before lunch and spent all afternoon holding interviews. Frankie arm was aching and so she went to the pharmacy to get her prescription, John let her go early because he could see she was hurting.
At the end of the day Cameron needed to let off some steam, she asked one of the officers in the locker room if the basketball court was any good.
"Actually we were about to have a game and I need an extra player."
Cameron grinned, "Cool, I'll be along in a minute."
She got changed and went to the court, she introduced herself properly to the others, most she knew by name but she'd never really spoken to them properly.
She had played basketball at college, but hadn't played for a while and she knew she'd be rusty, but she was looking forward to it.
Frankie came back from the pharmacy and had a meeting with John, when she was finished she grabbed her stuff and went down to the locker room to see if Cameron had left yet, she asked one of the officers getting changed if she'd seen her.
"I think she went out to the courts."
Frankie said thank you, and went out to find her partner.
She heard the cheering and made her way to the court to see what the noise was about. She squeezed through the people watching and gasped. Cameron was running down the court looking like she belonged to the WNBA, she took a shot and it went in. She high fived her team-mates and Frankie cheered, along with all the others watching. She decided that this would be a very nice way to spend an hour. And they were all pretty formidable when it came to playing, the game was amazing, Frankie decided she'd much rather watch them play, than to pay and watch the Lakers. This reminded her of the present Liz had got her for her birthday, she decided to ask Cameron if she would go with her.
At half time Cameron found she wasn't as tired as she thought. Her arms were aching a bit but she felt good, all the exercise she'd been doing was paying off. She looked at the crowd that were watching and found herself drawn to her green eyed partner, who was watching her. She smiled and Frankie waved, she got up and went over.
Frankie smiled, "Hey yourself. Having fun?"
Cameron smiled, excited to be playing. "Yeah, I haven't played for ages. I used to play at college but I stopped when I went into the academy."
"Why'd you stop? Anyway, you couldn't tell you hadn't played in ages. You looked good out there."
Cameron smiled, "Thanks, I stopped because it took up too much time."
Before she could say anymore they were called back for the final quarter. The team that Cameron was playing on won by ten points, Cameron was thrilled. She went to Frankie and said, "Well?"
Frankie smiled, she'd had so much fun watching her partner bounce the players off the court. "You are incredible. Do you wanna go watch the Lakers on Saturday?"
Cameron nodded, "Sure, let me go take a shower and I'll treat you to dinner."
Frankie nodded and Cameron left. Frankie sat down and smiled to herself. She thought Cameron was incredibly sexy, especially when she was all sweaty. She was in a world of her own when Cameron came back.
Frankie came back to earth, "Always ready for food."
Cameron laughed, "Come on, I'm hungry."
Frankie got up and followed Cameron to their cars, they decided on Thai and drove to the nearest restaurant.
They ate and talked, and laughed. Cameron told Frankie all about her basketball career, how much fun they used to have during road trips.
They talked until they had eaten three courses, and said their goodbyes outside the restaurant and went home.
Cameron pleasantly tired out, went straight to bed and feel asleep. Frankie went home and had the urge to draw, feeling inspired remembered the pure power of Cameron on the court. Before she went to bed an hour later she had drawn five pictures of Cameron playing basketball, hoping that one day she'd be able to show Cameron how she inspired her.
The next morning they had a meeting with John, James and Aidan. They had some news about Steven Daniels. They had followed him the night before and it looked like he was checking out a house.
Frankie took this in with a smile and when they said the address she was sure that it would be his next target. It was in the right area and they worked out a plan of action and Frankie really wanted to be there to catch him.
They decided that James and Aidan would keep watching and when he made his move, they would call Frankie and Cameron who would show up and get the collar. That would mean they'd have to be available at a moments notice, but they didn't mind. They just wanted him.
This news cheered up the day for Frankie and Cameron, both glad that they were getting somewhere with it. Because it had driven Frankie mad that she couldn't get anywhere on the case. Until Cameron arrived, another thing she had to be thankful to her partner for. She smiled to herself, falling in love with Cameron more every day.
Cameron looked up at her partner, and saw the smile. 'I wonder what that's about', she shook her head and when Frankie looked up she grinned.
Cameron laughed, "You're in a good mood."
Frankie nodded, "Yep, we're gonna get him."
"Yes we are."
The next week followed the same pattern and they hadn't really had any good news about Robin Hood, he'd been back to look at the house again but hadn't made his move.
Cameron and Frankie had a pretty quiet week until Friday when they were called to a break in at a house, but it wasn't Robin Hood. They were out until pretty much the end of their shift and both were looking forward to their weekend off.
They were on their way back to the station after the call to the break in and Cameron was driving, "I can't wait for this shift to be over, this week has been so tiring."
Frankie looked at her and smiled, "I know, I'm exhausted."
Before Cameron could say anything else, the cars in front of her started to slow down and then stop. She stopped the car and said to Frankie, "Can you see what the hold up is?"
Frankie looked, but couldn't see very far in front of them, and then she saw the smoke. "Oh shit. I think someone's crashed, do you want to call it in and I'll go see what's going on."
Cameron nodded, "Yeah, I'll be out in a sec." she picked up the radio and called in the accident, checking that someone had called the emergency services.
Frankie got out and put on her LAPD jacket thinking it might help calm people down, and then she ran between the cars in front to see if she could do anything to help.
She got to where the accident had happened and saw that it had only involved two cars, luckily the following cars had seen it in time and stopped. The driver in one car was sitting on the road being comforted by two other drivers, he looked okay. Frankie could see that the other car was on it's roof, and there wasn't any movement from inside. She ran over and accessed the situation, she would have to try and get in through the broken drivers window to see what was going on inside the car. She heard Cameron run up behind her, "Ambulance and assistance are on their way, shall we take over here?"
Frankie nodded, "Yeah, if you try and keep everyone out of the way, and try to clear the way a bit so the ambulance can get through, I'll see if I can help the people in the car."
Cameron smiled, in her head she thought 'don't get hurt I couldn't stand it' but she said, "Okay, be careful."
Frankie smiled and touched her arm. "Don't worry. I made a promise and I intend to keep it."
Cameron just nodded, smiled and went to control the scene.
She raised her voice so she could be heard, "Okay folks nothing to see here. My name is detective Cameron Taylor and I need you all to go back to your vehicles. You won't be moving for a while, but I need you out of the way when the emergency services arrive. And, some of you will have to try and move your vehicles so that the ambulance can get through to the scene."
When people started to move Cameron let out a relieved breath, knowing that people could be stubborn when they wanted. She looked up and saw flashing lights in the distance and decided to check up on Frankie.
Frankie watched Cameron for a second, then she ran over to the car. She had done a course a few years before on first aid and decided to see if she could do anything. She bent down to the drivers side window and spoke quietly to the woman hanging upside down.
"Hey, are you okay?"
"I don't know. I think I'm okay."
Frankie saw that she was only caught in her seatbelt, but she could have damaged her neck and back. "I'm not going to try and release the seatbelt, because you could have damaged your back and neck and I think it's safer to wait for the ambulance and fire crew. What's you name?"
Frankie reached in and took her hand, "Okay Terri, they shouldn't be long."
Suddenly Terri looked scared, "What about Matty?"
Frankie looked at her, "Matty?"
"My son, he was in the back. I can't hear anything, he's not talking."
'Oh shit' Frankie thought, "Okay, I'm sure he's fine. I'll just check on him. I'm only gonna leave you for a minute."
At Terri's nod of understanding Frankie moved to the back of the car and looked through the window. She could see something but it was obscured by the seat, she felt Cameron come up behind her.
"What's going on?"
Frankie turned to her and said, "Can you keep the mother occupied?" Cameron nodded, "Her name is Terri. I'm gonna try and see how her son is."
Cameron smiled, "Be careful, okay."
Frankie smiled, "Always."
When Cameron moved to the front of the car to keep Terri talking, Frankie tried to get into the back. The door was never going to open because it was crushed at the top, so Frankie smashed the glass with her hand wrapped in her jacket. She laid her jacket over the glass and crawled in to see how Matty was doing. She found him curled up on the opposite side, she couldn't see anything seriously wrong with him. She pulled herself closer and slowly touched his leg when he whimpered she said quietly, so she didn't frighten him. "Matty, my names Frankie. Are you hurt anywhere?"
Matty looked at Frankie, tears pouring down his face. "No, where's my mommy?"
Frankie smiled at him, trying to keep him calm. "Your mommy's okay. I need to get you out of here. Can you crawl over to me."
Matty nodded and crawled to Frankie, she took hold of him and slowly backed back out the broken window. She heard the paramedics arrive and Cameron behind her; guiding her out. She got up and lifted Matty up and walked him to the ambulance, and she tried to keep him occupied while the paramedic checked him over and the fire crew cut his mother out of the car.
When Terri was out Frankie let the paramedic take Matty to his mother, and Cameron and Frankie watched the ambulance take them away.
After a few minutes the uniforms came over and told them how and why the accident had happened, Cameron was pissed off. The driver of the other car was over the limit, Frankie just sat down because she felt like if she didn't she'd fall down. She was shaking with the stress of the accident and the fact that it should never have happened, and also the feeling that it could've been her, she shuddered at the thought. They could have easily been dealing with two or three deaths, Cameron finished talking to the uniform and went and crouched in front of Frankie.
Frankie looked up at her. "Yeah." At Cameron's raised eyebrow she said, "Really Cam, I'm fine. I just want to get out of here."
Cameron nodded and stood up and offered her hand to the still seated Frankie, "Come on, let's go write our reports then I'll buy you dinner."
Frankie took her hand and stood up, "Thanks Cam. But it's my turn."
"As you wish, now I'm definitely exhausted."
Frankie smiled, "Yeah, life's certainly eventful lately, huh?"
Cameron nodded and they made their way back to their car and made their way slowly back to the station, when they got there Frankie went to clean herself up, she had a few small cuts from the glass, but they'd heal.
Cameron went to phone the hospital to see how Terri and Matty were doing, knowing that they'd been very lucky.
They told her that both would be fine, Terri had a few bumps and bruises but she'd be fine. Matty was untouched. Cameron thanked them and went to find Frankie to tell her the news.
She walked into the changing room and found Frankie putting on a clean shirt, "I just spoke to the hospital, they're both going to be fine."
Frankie sat down. "They were lucky."
Cameron nodded, "Yeah, they were. You ready to eat?"
Frankie smiled. "Yes, I think food and someone to talk to is the best thing at times like these."
Cameron nodded and followed Frankie out. They went to a local diner and spent the rest of the night talking. Frankie finding if she talked to Cameron about the traumatic events they'd faced she felt the need to get drunk was insignificant. She told Cameron and she smiled.
"I'm glad I can be here to help."
Frankie nodded, "Me too."
They left the restaurant and made plans to meet up the next day and go to visit Terri and Matty at the hospital.
They said goodnight and both went home, looking forward to hitting the sack as they were both running on empty.
Cameron picked Frankie out in the morning and they made their way to the hospital. When they got there the nurse directed them to where Terri's room was. She had been kept in for observation and was being released that morning.
They got to her room and Frankie knocked on the slightly open door and went in, "Terri?"
When terry looked up she smiled.
Frankie walked in further and said, "I don't know if you remember me from last night."
Terri nodded, "I remember, you helped us at the accident."
Frankie nodded, "That's right. Let me introduce myself properly. I am detective Francesca O'Connor and this is my partner Detective Cameron Taylor."
Terri shook both hands and asked, "Why were you there."
Cameron shook her head, "Right place, wrong time. We were going home after a call out and saw the accident and decided to help."
Terri nodded, "I'm glad."
When Terri's husband Matthew and Matty arrived he thanked then for helping his family. Matty gave Frankie a hug when they left and she smiled, this was the reason she'd joined the force in the beginning, to help people.
Cameron smiled at the scene and followed Frankie out and they decided to spend the day together, just hanging out.
The weekend was lazy one for the pair, they did household stuff they both been putting off and spent time together, they went to the Lakers game and on Sunday played one on one at the park. Cameron kicking Frankie's ass, but they had a great time.
They both had their pagers with them, waiting for Robin Hood to make his move, they weren't disappointed. After a quiet Monday at work they were both at home when they got pages, Robin Hood had just entered the property he'd been checking out.
Frankie put the phone down and got dressed and drove to the address, Cameron pulled up right behind her and they went to find James and Aidan who had changed shifts to accommodate James court appearance.
They got in the back of the car and waited, they decided as soon as he came out Frankie would confront him and the others would be her backup.
Aidan had phoned John and promised to call when they had him, Cameron was getting tired of waiting, she could see that Frankie was getting impatient. Just as she was going to tell her to calm down they saw movement, Frankie saw it was their guy and as quietly as she could she opened the door and got out. She could see where his car was and she slowly trailed him, when he got to his car she stepped out of the shadows. He still hadn't noticed her, she smiled deciding to play him at his own game.
"Robin Hood I presume."
He was so startled he dropped what he'd been carrying, he spun around and his face showed the disbelief that Frankie was standing there.
"Have you been a naughty boy?" Frankie walked over to him, "What, no smart things to say? Well I have something," She grabbed him and turned him around and told him to put both hands on the car, he did as he was told and she cuffed him reading him his rights.
Cameron and the guys came over, and Frankie turned him back to face her.
Frankie smiled, "You got sloppy and I got a new partner who saw straight through your little plan."
He looked at Cameron and the back at Frankie, still not believing she'd caught him. James and Aidan took him back to the station and Frankie and Cameron stood watching their taillights. Then Frankie started to laugh and Cameron joined her.
"Oh my god, did you see the look on his face?"
Cameron nodded, "He looked so shocked that you seemed to just appear. It was so funny."
Frankie nodded, "Yeah, it was a bit of a let down. He was so easy."
Cameron nodded, "Well it's over now, we'll talk to him later and then let the DA handle it."
Frankie nodded and looked at her watch, it was five am. "Do you want to go get some more sleep, or do you wanna grab some breakfast and go to the gym?"
Cameron looked at her, and knew she wouldn't get back to sleep, there wasn't much point anyway. "Breakfast and gym sound good."
Frankie nodded and they went back to their cars and decided on the diner just down form the station and then the gym.
They got to work early after their early morning call, John was in his office and they went to see him before questioning Steven Daniels.
John saw them coming and stood up to open his door, "Morning."
Cameron smiled, "Morning John."
Frankie came in and sat down, she smiled at John and he smiled back, "You got him then?"
Frankie nodded, "Yeah, you should've been there. He really didn't know what hit him."
"Good, are you gonna question him?"
Cameron nodded, "I am, we decided that he picked on Frankie for a reason and he might not talk to her."
John nodded, "Okay, Frankie can observe and I'll sit in with you."
Cameron nodded, "Okay, let us get a coffee and we'll talk about how we're gonna do this."
Frankie nodded and they went to get coffee.
The three of them planned the interview, decided what questions to ask and if they would bring Frankie in. They decided to see if they needed to, maybe after they found out why he had focused on Frankie.
John called down to have him bought up to the interview room, he and Cameron were waiting and Frankie was in the observation room next door.
When Steven Daniels came in he didn't see Frankie, John was sitting at the table and Cameron was stood up by the window. John spoke first, "Sit down Mr. Daniels. My name is Lieutenant John Martin and this is Detective Cameron Taylor. Do you understand why you are here."
Steven sat and nodded, "Yeah I understand."
John nodded, "Good, now we have you on breaking and entering. We have proof that you have burgled seven properties in the last eighteen months and you called yourself Robin Hood. Can you tell us why?"
"Why? That bitch detective that's why."
John looked at Cameron who spoke up for the first time. "Detective O'Connor why her? You've never been in trouble before, so why?"
Steven stood up, "Ask her if she remembers the name Michael Edwards. He was my brother she arrested him three years ago for assault, he killed himself in jail and I decided to get back at her."
Cameron sat down, "Why. He must've deserved the prison sentence it isn't Detective O'Connor's fault that he went to prison. She was just doing her job. And, now you're going to go to jail, so if I were you. I would write my statement and call yourself a lawyer, because you're going to need one." With that she stood and walked out, knowing John would witness the statement.
She walked next door and wasn't surprised to see Frankie looking upset.
"Hey." When Frankie looked up she said, "Don't."
Frankie smiled "I'm not. It just annoys me. I'm doing my job and he blames me and decides to do something illegal to think he's getting back at me."
Cameron sat down and put her arm around Frankie's shoulders. "I think he thought he was clever, that this case would be the albatross around your neck. He thought that you'd be buried under it for ages, that it would drive you mad. Little did he know that I would arrive."
Frankie had to laugh, "Yeah yeah, well he's not feeling so clever now. I'm just glad we got him. Now we can concentrate on some proper police work."
Cameron nodded and they walked out meeting John in the corridor, he smiled and said, "The DA is on her way. Good job guys."
"Thanks John. Well we'd better get to work."
Frankie nodded and they went to their desks, when the DA had met with Steven Daniels and John she came and congratulated Frankie and Cameron on an air tight case. They thanked her and left for the day, Frankie feeling free of the case. They left a note for James and Aidan promising them donuts the next day.
Cameron looked at her, "You read my mind. Your place or mine?"
"Yours, it's closer."
Cameron nodded and they left, spending the evening eating and talking both glad that they didn't have to deal with Robin Hood anymore.
Frankie left at about one in the morning, she was tired but it was a good tired. She loved it when she could close a case and the Robin Hood one was her longest running case. She went in and went to bed and slept.
She slept so well that she slept through her alarm in the morning, it wasn't until her phone rang that she got up.
She shot out of bed after reading the time, "Oh shit!" She picked up the phone. "Hello?"
Frankie smiled, "I know I'll be there in ten. I slept through my alarm."
Cameron had to smiled, "Okay, I'll have coffee ready."
Frankie threw some clothes on and made her way to work, the first she saw was her partners smiling face holding out a mug of coffee, Frankie took it and sat down.
Cameron laughed, "Slept well then?"
Frankie smiled, "Yeah, I guess I was tired."
"We did have a long day yesterday. And I got donuts on the way in. James and Aidan said thanks."
Frankie grinned at her, "I'm glad. Anything happening today?"
Cameron shook her head, "Not that I know of. It's up to fate I guess."
Frankie nodded and they got down to work.
For the next two weeks Cameron and Frankie worked, and worked. Only having time to themselves on weekends. They spent lots of time together hanging out, Frankie discovered another of Cameron's passions was playing softball and so they spent some time at the batting cages. Because both were thinking about joining the precincts softball team. Cameron and Frankie both played at school and Cameron carried on at college. They had quiet an easy time at work, nothing long term had arrived on their desks, Frankie was trying to plan something for Cameron's which was in three weeks time. She decided to just have a quiet meal together, and make a day out of it. She still hadn't decided what to get her, but she still had time to look.
The following Monday the whole squad had been called to a hostage situation at a bank, they needed all the officers they could get. John was in charge and had all his squad aiming on the bank, the guy inside the bank had a list of demands as long as his arm and John was trying to placate him and organise S.W.O.T. and everybody into positions. After an hour the guy agreed to release two hostages for the food he had asked for. John got Frankie to take the food to the bank and escort the hostages back to the safety of the police command post. She did and the hostages were checked over and taken away from the scene.
After another two hours John decided on affirmative action, there were two hostages left and he decided to go in. He sent Cameron and Frankie off with James and Aidan following not far behind them. He and the other detectives went the other way.
Frankie and Cameron were running, it had started to rain so they needed to be careful, and not slip on the street. Frankie heard three shots but because of the rain, couldn't see where they had landed. But, she felt rather than saw, Cameron had stopped running, she had been able to see her out of the corner of her eye, and now she couldn't. So, she stopped running and turned around slowly, knowing in her soul that it wouldn't be a pleasant scene.
Her heart stopped, she couldn't believe what she was seeing. Aidan was down, shot through the head, James was kneeling at his side, a look of complete disbelief on his face. But, then she saw Cameron, lying in the street not moving and suddenly that was all she could see, the woman she loved lying in the street bleeding.
All the other officers were hugging the street, looking to where the shots had come from, Frankie saw some of them get up and move in. But she couldn't take it in, none of what she was seeing seemed real to her. Frankie felt frozen, she didn't move an inch and then suddenly, as if she'd awoken from a long sleep she moved, she ran to where Cameron was laying taking off her jacket at the same time, time seemed to slow, it had only been a minute since the shots were fired but it felt like hours to Frankie. She knelt down and looked at Cameron, she saw that she had been shot twice, luckily she had been wearing a vest, but he'd got her in the stomach and the shoulder.
Frankie put her jacket under her head and tried to staunch the flow of blood coming from Cameron's wounds. She looked around and saw that the guy who had shot her partner, he had been apprehended and he was being held down by three officers. She saw the hostages being helped by two other officers, she shouted for help and after what seemed like hours she saw the paramedics running, one checking on Aidan and the other running to where she was.
She leaned down and whispered in Cameron's ear. "Stay with me, stay with me Cameron. Remember you promised me that you wouldn't leave me, you promised. I love you Cameron, so much it hurts. Don't you dare leave me."
She wasn't sure if Cameron had heard her, but she had to say it, even if Cameron didn't understand or remember. Cameron was looking up at her, but Frankie knew she wasn't really there. When the paramedics got there she moved out of their way to let them do their stuff.
She looked up and saw that the guy had been cuffed but was still on the ground, the officers leaving him there.
Suddenly she felt white heat running through her body. She wanted to kill him, wanted him to suffer like Aidan and like Cameron, but she wouldn't. She walked away, hearing John shout her name, but she ignored his shout and kept walking, she needed to let out the rage that had built up inside of her.
She walked over to the nearest building and leant up against it. That's where John found her.
"Frankie?" he said cautiously.
Frankie didn't answer him, she turned to face the building and let all of her rage for everything, go. She pulled back and just punched. John winced at the crack of Frankie's bones but she didn't even whimper. She just turned and slid down the wall to sit on the street, tears pouring silently down her face.
John knew she'd just broken her hand, and if he didn't get her dry she would get sick. He crouched down so he was at eye level with her. "Come on Frankie. Let's get your hand sorted out, and you looking relatively decent. You know Cameron won't want to see you in this state."
At the mention of Cameron's name Frankie looked up. "Okay." She said in a small voice, and taking John's offered hand, let him help her stand up. Only now feeling the damage she'd done to her hand she grimaced. She looked down and saw the blood pouring from her hand.
John got her to the car and started towards the hospital. He looked at her cradling her injured hand, she looked so pale. "How is it?"
"Sore." She looked at him, knowing what he was thinking. "John, it was going to be the wall or him. And, I'm not going to give him the credit of losing my job."
John nodded not speaking knowing exactly how she was feeling, because he'd felt that way about the men that had killed Frankie's parents. They got to the hospital and had to wait for a while before a doctor came to check Frankie over. Before she went John said, "You go, I'll go check on Cameron and I'll find you when I know something okay?"
Frankie nodded, and followed the doctor.
John found a doctor who told him what was happening with Cameron. "She's in surgery. She should be fine, she lost a lot of blood but he missed her vital organs, so she was lucky."
John nodded, knowing it could be two dead officers on his watch instead of one, he thanked him and went to find Frankie. She was having her hand sutured and bandaged. As soon as he walked in she asked, "How is she?"
"She's going to be fine. They repaired the damage, she lost a lot of blood but no vital organs were damaged."
Frankie let her head fall back onto the bed. She'd been so scared, scared that she was going to lose the person she loved with all her heart and soul.
When her hand was sorted out, she followed John to recovery, the nurses knew that Cameron had no family so they let Frankie sit with her. Frankie had to sit on Cameron's right side so it was comfortable to hold her hand, because she had to use her left hand. Frankie was crying, silent tears pouring down her face, her friend looked so small and helpless with tubes and wires all over the place, it brought her back to the time with her mother in hospital. Cameron didn't look as bad, but Frankie still hated it.
She held Cameron's hand up against her cheek, trying to give her something to hold onto. She spoke quietly, "Hey Cam, I'm here. I'm not going anywhere and I'll be here when you wake up. And, when you do wake up we need to have a long talk. I need to tell you some stuff stuff that's been weighing on me for a while now. I just hope I don't lose you, because you're the most important person in my life and I don't wanna lose you."
She couldn't talk anymore, like Cameron before her, she put her head down on the bed. She was feeling so tired that she couldn't keep her head up, and watching Cameron breathing lulled her to sleep. Two hours or so later Cameron became conscious, feeling groggy she looked around realising she was in a hospital room, remembering what had happened. And she looked down and saw Frankie. She smiled and squeezed the hand holding hers, she couldn't speak because her throat was dry. Frankie slowly woke up, feeling sure she'd felt Cameron squeeze her hand, she looked up slowly not wanting to be disappointed. But when she looked up and into Cameron's beautiful blue eyes she smiled.
"Hey, welcome back to the land of the living."
Cameron smiled and motioned to the glass of water. Frankie lifted it with her good hand and put the straw in Cameron's mouth. "Sip it."
Cameron sipped a bit of water and said, "Hey yourself. What happened?"
"You don't remember?"
Cameron shook her head slowly, "Not entirely, it's a bit fuzzy around the edges."
Frankie looked at her, "You were shot. But, you are going to be fine, you needed surgery but it was a success."
Cameron looked around her, noticing that where Frankie was sitting, was where the majority of machines and other equipment were situated. "Why are you sitting there? It's got to be easier on the other side."
Frankie smiled and raised her arm. Cameron looked confused and asked, "What happened?"
Frankie smiled, "A close encounter with a brick wall." At Cameron's confused look she said, "I was angry, it was either that or punch the guy that just shot you. I wasn't angry enough to risk losing my job."
Cameron smiled a sad smile, "Oh Frankie. What am I going to do with you?"
Frankie didn't answer she just shrugged and stood up, "I'll go and tell the doctor that you're up."
Cameron nodded and heard the door shut, while she was waiting she thought back to what had happened. She vaguely remembered the feeling of getting shot, but something was niggling her. She knew she remembered Frankie's voice she just couldn't remember what she had said, and it pissed her off because she knew, in the back of her mind that it was something important. Something that would change her life.
The doctor came in and asked her some questions, she answered them all. He checked her stitches and bandages and then left. Leaving her to her thoughts.
Frankie told the doctor that Cameron was awake and went to find John to tell him the good news. She found him in the waiting room and wasn't surprised to see Billy there also. Her brother was over for a visit, and Frankie had never been so glad to see someone. He came over and gave her a hug. "How is she?"
She smiled at him and said, "She's awake, the doctors just gone in to see her. I came to find you so you could see her."
John hugged her too, "I'm glad she's okay. Let's go."
Frankie shook her head, "You two go, I'll be there in a minute. I'm going to clean myself up a bit."
She looked down at herself, still covered in blood. Hers and Cameron's.
Billy nodded, "Okay. We'll see you in a bit."
Frankie nodded and walked away.
"I think this has taken it out of her."
Billy looked at John and nodded. "I think it has. When she told Cameron everything that's happened and let us all back in - I think she thought she'd never be in that situation again. Now she is, she has to get through it in her own way. I think that's why she punched the wall. Five years ago she would have gone and got wasted."
John nodded, when they got to Cameron's room he knocked and went in.
Cameron smiled at them, "Hey guys."
Billy went over and took her hand. "How're you doing?"
Cameron was unsure, she still felt like her head was full of cotton wool, but she knew that was the anaesthetic. So, she said, "Not a hundred percent sure. But, the doc says I'm gonna be fine." She turned to Billy, "Where's your sister?"
"She's gone to clean up."
Cameron looked wary, "Okay."
Frankie went into the bathroom and washed her hand and face, she had bought a new sweatshirt from the gift shop and changed into it, she took a deep breath and stood there for a minute or too, the events of the day finally catching up to her and she started to cry, half shock and half happy that Cameron would be okay. After a while she wiped her face and made her way back to Cameron's room.
John excused himself and went to call the station to make sure everything was going okay.
When he left Cameron turned to Billy, "Billy?"
"When I was lying there after I got shot, Frankie was talking to me. Asking me not to leave her, but she also said something else. But I don't know if it's my mind playing tricks, or if she actually said it."
Billy stood up and walked to the window, "What do you think she said?" and in his head he thought 'Frankie you picked a great time'.
Cameron was unsure now whether to say or not, but she needed to know. "I think she told me that she loved me. I know she loves me as a friend, but it sounded like she loved me as more than that."
Billy smiled at his reflection, but now he had a decision to make. Say that Frankie did mean it like that or deny all knowledge. He wanted his sister to be happy. He asked a question to gauge Cameron's response. "If she did mean it that way, how would it make you feel?"
Cameron looked at him, wondering where this was heading. "It would make me happy, because I love your sister with all my heart and I'm scared if what I heard was my imagination."
Billy came over to the bed, just as he was going to say something he heard the door open, he knew it was Frankie because Cameron smiled, he leant over and whispered "Bring it up." And winked, "I'm going to get a coffee."
Frankie watched him go and went over to Cameron. "Hey."
Cameron could see she'd been crying, "Hey yourself. You okay?"
Frankie smiled tiredly. "I'm the one that's supposed to ask that."
Cameron smiled, "I know but you look like shit. And I have an apology to make."
Frankie looked confused, "Why?"
"Because this time I broke the promise."
Frankie smiled, a very tired smile. "It's okay."
"Thanks. You look like you're about to fall down. Sit here." She patted the bed. When Frankie sat down Cameron took her hand and started to talk. "When I was lying there, you were talking to me?" At Frankie's nod she carried on. "You asked me not to leave you. You said something else?"
Frankie looked anywhere but at Cameron, wondering what to do how this was going to go, she decided to go for it and said, "Yeah, I did. You remembered that?"
Cameron nodded, "Yeah, but I couldn't tell if it was real or I was dreaming. But, it made me warm. And and I want you to say it again so I can remember it properly."
Frankie looked at her then, really looked at her and saw nothing but love in her eyes, she smiled. She took a deep breath, looked Cameron in the eyes and said "I told you that you made a promise not to leave me, and that I loved you I love you Cameron Taylor. So much that my heart broke when I thought I was gonna lose you."
Cameron had tears in her eyes, she lifted the hand she held and kissed it, "I love you too. So much that I couldn't leave you."
Frankie was crying too, she hugged Cameron gently, just basking in the feeling of holding the woman she loved. When she looked up she said, "I can't believe I told you when you were nearly unconscious, but I was so scared of losing you if I told you before."
Cameron laughed, "Oh my god. You would have never lost me, I think I loved you the second I walked into John's office, but I didn't realise the true depth of my feelings until that day in the gym, you remember when I got really quiet in the car?" Frankie nodded. "Looking back, I should have realised the night of your speech, but I think my feelings got buried under everything else."
Frankie smiled, "I know what you mean, I think all the stuff I had crowding my brain buried my feelings for you until the night you came over, when I bought the bottle. Clarity is a funny thing, but then I got scared, Billy realised when I was in the hospital, and then when you got shot I couldn't not say it."
"We're quite the pair aren't we?"
Frankie nodded, she didn't speak. She just leant forward and gently kissed Cameron. Nothing really passionate, just something to confirm her feelings. Cameron's eyes closed and when Frankie pulled back she opened them she smiled. "That was nice."
Frankie grinned, leaned in and kissed her again. This time putting all her
feelings into it, when they pulled apart both were breathless.
Cameron was flushed, "Wow. I'm glad I'm lying down."
Frankie laughed. "Wow's right. I've never felt like this before. But, falling in love with my best friend is the nicest feeling in the world."
Cameron kissed her cheek and said, "Yeah, I know what you mean."
When they heard the knock at the door, Frankie sat back down on the chair, not wanting to lose contact, but knowing it may cause trouble for their jobs if it was John.
It was Billy with his cup of coffee, he smiled at them and said, "Well!"
Cameron smiled and Frankie grinned, "Well, I told her and she feels the same way. But, thinking back you probably already know that."
Billy laughed, "Yeah, but I didn't say anything. I'm very happy for you both."
Frankie looked at him, thankful that he still loved her. "Thanks Billy."
Before he could say anything else John came back in, and Billy knew enough not to talk about the change in Frankie and Cameron's relationship.
"How are you feeling Cameron?"
"Terrible, what did the guys say? Why did he start shooting?"
John sat down and said, "He hasn't given them a reason, all he's said is that he felt like it. He decided to just shoot instead of waiting for what he'd asked for, he's showing no remorse. Bastard."
Frankie stood up and went to the window, everyone could see she was fighting her demons, Cameron motioned for Billy and John to leave. They looked at Frankie then back to Cameron questioning, and she nodded, 'Go' she mouthed.
When they left Frankie still hadn't moved, and because Cameron couldn't get up to comfort her she spoke.
"Frankie, come over here because I can't come over there." When Frankie didn't move Cameron said, "Please Frankie, come over here."
Frankie took a deep breath and turned around and saw Cameron's worried face, she smiled slightly and walked over and sat on the edge of the bed. She took Cameron's hand and lifted it, placing a kiss on the palm before holding it tightly.
"Sorry, I want to be here for you when you need me, but I'm so angry."
Cameron nodded, "I know, I am too. But he isn't worth it. He'll get what he deserves and I'm alive and you're alive and we've finally admitted how we feel. I only care about that, I know that Aidan is dead, but we can't help that. All we can do is live, and we can't let that asshole ruin this for us okay?"
Frankie looked at Cameron, seeing the truth in her eyes, she nodded and said, "I know, I was just so scared. I thought I was gonna lose you."
"Well you didn't. I'm here and I'm not going anywhere."
Frankie smiled, this time one that lit up her whole face, she leaned over and kissed Cameron, just to feel.
They spent a few minutes just basking in their love, they were interrupted again by a knock at the door, this time by a nurse. Frankie excused herself to let the nurse do what she had too, and she went to find her brother and John.
She found them in the waiting room, "Hey guys."
John looked at her, "You okay?"
She nodded, "Yeah, why don't you two go home and I'll stay with Cameron until they throw me out. Go on I'm fine."
Billy took her hand, "You sure?"
"Yeah, go on. I'll see you at home later."
"Come on Billy, I'll give you a lift home."
Billy nodded hugged his sister and followed John out.
Frankie watched them go before walking back to Cameron's room, when she got there she had to smile. Cameron was fast asleep, she sat next to her for a minute, before kissing her forehead and letting her sleep. She went to ask the nurse to tell Cameron she'd be back in the morning, left her phone numbers and went to grab a cab to the station to grab her and Cameron's stuff. Because she knew Cameron would need clothes and stuff and for that she needed keys.
She got home at half past two in the morning, Billy was asleep on the couch and Frankie covered him with a blanket and kissed his cheek not wanting to wake him. She got changed and fell into bed, falling asleep straight away because she was just completely exhausted; mentally and physically.
In the morning she woke up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, she took a shower and went to find her brother. She walked into the kitchen where he was drinking coffee and reading the paper.
Billy looked up, "Hey, how are you feeling?"
Frankie sat down after pouring herself a cup of coffee. "I'm okay. I just want to go and see Cameron. John's given me time off because of my hand, so I'm gonna spend as much time with Cameron while she'd in the hospital."
Billy smiled. "Good, I'm glad you two sorted it out."
She smiled at her brother. "Thanks, it means a lot that you understand."
Billy nodded and got up, "Come on, I'll drive you to the hospital and then I'm going to see Mandy, because she'll worry when she reads the paper."
Frankie stood up and groaned. "Are we front page news?"
Billy nodded and handed her the paper. He left her to read while he went to find his shoes.
Frankie looked at the paper, the headline read 'OFFICER KILLED AND ONE INJURED AS GUNMAN OPENS FIRE DOWNTOWN'.
She read the story and threw it in the bin and followed Billy out, he drove her to the hospital and left to see Mandy.
Frankie walked in and went up to Cameron's room. She knocked on the door in case there was a nurse in the room.
She went in when she heard the okay from Cameron.
She smiled when she was that Cameron was sitting up a little, and the smile grew when she saw the look on Cameron's face. "Morning sweetheart."
Cameron smiled at the sight of Frankie and the endearment, and said, "Hey, are you a sight for a sore eyes." At Frankie's raised eyebrow, she smiled and said, "Okay, sore body, but I had to improvise."
Frankie smiled, and sat on the edge of the bed, taking Cameron's hand she leant over and kissed her gently.
"I love you."
Cameron slowly opened her eyes, "Mmm, I love you too. Every time I hear that it's fills my heart with joy."
Frankie smiled, "I love you." Cameron smiled, "I love you, more every second." She smiled at Cameron and kissed her again. "How are you feeling today?"
Cameron shrugged, "Not too bad considering. The doc said I'm doing fine. But I'll be here for a few days."
Frankie nodded, "I figured, well the good news is that I got time off due to my broken hand. So, you won't be alone. And I got your stuff from the station, so I can go to your place and get anything you need."
Cameron smiled and said, "That will be great." She thought to herself, how lucky she hand such a great girlfriend, 'girlfriend!', she smiled at that thought.
Frankie looked at her, "What's that smile for."
Cameron grinned, "I was smiling at how nice 'my girlfriend' sounds."
Frankie smiled and kissed her hand. "Yes, it does."
They smiled at each other and were interrupted by the nurse, Frankie let her do her job and went to find Cameron a present.
She went to the gift shop and bought a teddy bear and some flowers, she made her way back to Cameron's room, she got there just as the nurse was leaving. The nurse smiled at her and Frankie smiled back before going in.
She held the flowers and teddy behind her and when Cameron looked up she held them out and Cameron smiled.
She walked over and gave her the teddy and put the flowers in a vase, when she'd sorted them out she sat on the edge of the bed and gave her a hug.
"Thank you they're beautiful and so is she."
Frankie smiled, "I wanted you to have something to hug when I'm not here."
Cameron smiled and kissed her. "You're so cute."
Frankie blushed and kissed her again.
They spent the morning just talking, about their feelings and what was going to happen.
About lunch time Billy and Mandy showed up, when they came in Billy came in and gave Cameron a hug and Frankie went to her aunt.
"Is she okay."
Frankie nodded, "Yeah, go see her."
Mandy walked over and Billy went and gave his sister a hug.
Frankie nodded, "What did you say to Mandy?"
"I just told her what happened, are you gonna tell her about you two?"
Frankie nodded, "Yeah, will you stay with Cam and I'll take Mandy for a coffee."
Billy nodded, "Yeah I'll stay."
Frankie hugged him and took Mandy to get coffee.
She winked at Cameron and mouthed I love you, as she left.
Cameron looked at Billy who just shrugged, she wasn't worried but she wanted to know what her girlfriend was up too.
Frankie and Mandy went to the cafeteria and Mandy grabbed a table while Frankie got the coffee.
She handed Mandy a mug and sat down, not knowing how to start.
Mandy looked at her niece, knowing she wanted to tell her something. "What's wrong?"
Frankie looked at Mandy and smiled, "Nothings wrong, something is right and I need to tell you. But, I don't know how to tell you."
Mandy had a suspicion she knew, but she said, "Let me tell you this, nothing you can tell me will make me go away, or feel disappointment. Okay?"
Frankie nodded, "Even if I tell you I'm in love with a woman?"
Mandy took her hand, "Cameron?"
Frankie nodded and Mandy knew by the look on her face that this was the big one. She smiled at Frankie and said, "Then I'm happy for you. I kinda guessed but I wanted you to tell me."
Frankie smiled, "I'm glad. I am so happy Mandy. Happier than I've been in well forever. And it's all because of Cameron."
Mandy squeezed her hand. "Then I'm even happier. Frankie love like this comes along once in a lifetime, and if you're lucky enough to find it. Then I say keep hold of it as hard as you can and if anyone has a problem they'll have to deal with it."
Frankie smiled, glad that her family was happy for her, she wanted to get back to Cameron. She knew her partner would be wondering what was going on. They finished their drinks and went back up to Cameron's room.
They walked in and saw Cameron was alone, before Frankie could ask here Billy was Cameron said, "He's waiting for Mandy downstairs, he said that you've got plans."
Mandy smiled and said, "Yeah we do." She went over and hugged Cameron and said quietly, "Welcome to the family."
Cameron looked at her and saw nothing but acceptance in her eyes, and she knew what Frankie had wanted to talk to her about. "Thanks."
Mandy nodded, hugged Frankie and left.
Frankie watched her go and turned back to Cameron, who was holding out her hand in invitation. Frankie walked over and took it, smiling she sat down.
"Figured it out?"
Cameron smiled, "Well, considering Mandy just welcomed me to the family, it was pretty obvious."
Frankie laughed, "Sorry, I just didn't know how she'd take it. And I didn't want to be here if it went bad."
Cameron leaned forward and kissed her, "You always think of me first don't you?"
Frankie nodded, "Yep, and I always will."
Cameron smiled, "Same here."
Frankie laughed, they spent the rest of the day just talking. The nurses getting used to Frankie being there. The doctor came in and spoke to Cameron, saying she would be released in two days, but she would need someone to take care of her. Frankie said that it wouldn't be a problem, Cameron was going to stay with her and she'd care for her.
The doctor was glad about that and left.
Frankie looked at Cameron, "That's okay right?"
Cameron smiled. "I wouldn't have it any other way."
Frankie kissed her, "Good."
Frankie stayed until about nine and then went home to get some rest, at Cameron's insistence.
Frankie went home and fell into bed, she fell asleep instantly and slept through until nine in the morning. Billy woke her up and drove her to the hospital, she went to Cameron's room and ran into the nurse.
She walked in and Cameron looked up and smiled, "Hey, good morning. How'd you sleep?"
Frankie smiled. "Good, I only woke up twenty minutes ago."
Cameron laughed. "I'm glad you slept well."
"How are you?"
Cameron smiled, "Good actually. Can't wait to get out of here."
Frankie nodded, "Me too. I can't wait till I've got you all to myself."
"Me too. We actually need to talk."
Frankie sat up next to her on the bed and took her hand. "We can talk about anything you know that."
Cameron nodded, "I know, I was just thinking that neither of us have mentioned any other partners before. I was wondering if you've had any other relationships?"
Frankie smiled, "Deep thoughts then. No, before you came into my life I was alone. I've never had a relationship in my adult life. My career and then my alcoholism took over my life. And when I got sober I decided that I was better off alone. But like many things in my life, you came and changed my mind about everything. And you know something?" Cameron shook her head. "I'm glad I waited for my soul mate."
Cameron had tears in her eyes, "I'm glad I did too." Frankie looked at her and Cameron nodded, "I never found anyone before you that I could see myself spending the rest of my life with. Until the day I walked into that office and found my soul mate."
Frankie had tears in her eyes, "I love you." That was all she could say after the beautiful things that Cameron had said.
"I love you too, Frankie."
After their talk in the morning they spent all day just revelling in their feelings, Frankie feeling settled in her life and this new facet to her relationship with Cameron.
She left about nine o'clock again and got home in time to say goodbye to Billy who was leaving. She helped him finish packing and then gave him a big hug, she watched the taxi drive away and made herself a drink.
She decided to paint a picture, she took her favourite sketch of Cameron and put it onto canvas, she ended up painting till midnight and left the painting to dry by the window. She went to bed dreaming about Cameron, falling asleep with a smile on her face.
When Frankie woke up in the morning she got up and smiled, because she remembered that Cameron was going to be released, she knew she was getting released at twelve o'clock and so spent the morning tidying her apartment. She was just about to move the painting, and then had second thoughts. Deciding to leave it there for Cameron to see.
She got changed and went to pick Cameron up.
Cameron had woken up that morning glad to be going home, glad that Frankie would be there with her, for a week at least.
She couldn't wait for her to arrive, she thought about what had happened. She hated being hurt but she was glad in a small way because it made Frankie admit her feelings. And they probably wouldn't have said anything, and just kept their feelings hidden. She was so happy, and worried at the same time. They really hadn't talked much the night before, but from what was said they knew that they had never made love before. Cameron wasn't worried, she knew they'd work it out, she was just nervous but exhilarated, glad that she'd waited.
At about midday Frankie walked into Cameron's room, and Cameron's breath was taken yet again by the smile Frankie bestowed upon her. It lit up her face and unless you were blind you could see the love in her eyes.
Frankie didn't speak, she just went over and kissed Cameron. "Morning."
Cameron smiled, "Wow, I'm beginning to like this."
Frankie smiled and kissed her again. "Are you ready to get out of here?"
Cameron nodded, "Yep, I'm all set. I just have to wait for my wheels."
Frankie grinned remembering her last hospital stay, how much of a pain in the ass she'd been, and after a few minutes an orderly came in to wheel Cameron out.
They got her into Frankie's car and she drove them to her place.
On the way she said, "When we get home, I'll get you settled and then I'll go to your place to get anything you need."
Cameron looked at her, "Can't we go to my place first. Then you won't have to go out again."
Frankie looked at her and smiled, "Okay, we'll do it that way. Then there's no chance I'll forget anything."
Cameron smiled and took Frankie's hand and held it the rest of the way to her apartment.
Frankie pulled in and got out, she ran round and helped Cameron out. They walked slowly, Frankie supporting Cameron who was a bit wobbly. Cameron was tired when they got upstairs so Frankie sat her down, and at her directions got all she needed to stay at Frankie's for at least three weeks. When they were done Frankie took all the stuff to the car, and came back up to help Cameron down.
They got back to Frankie's apartment at about two o'clock and Frankie settled Cameron on the sofa before bringing her stuff in. She had an ulterior motive though, she didn't want to be there when Cameron saw the portrait.
When Frankie left Cameron looked around the apartment, then she noticed the easel, she sat up and got slowly up to look at it, thinking Frankie wouldn't have left it out if she didn't want anyone to see it. She walked around in front of it and gasped. It was so beautiful, she didn't know how anyone could make such a beautiful picture. If she'd seen it before the accident she would have been shocked, there was so much love put into it. Cameron couldn't take her eyes off it, she heard Frankie come back in and when arms came around her waist she put her hands over Frankie's.
Frankie squeezed gently, "I had a beautiful subject, it just painted itself."
Cameron turned in Frankie arms and pulled her close. They stood there, happy in each others arms. Frankie pulled away and pulled Cameron down and kissed her, they stayed there kissing until the need to breathe overtook them.
"I'm glad you like it."
Cameron smiled, "I love it and I love you."
"I love you too. Are you hungry?"
Cameron shook her head, "Nope, I just want to snuggle up to my girlfriend on the sofa."
Frankie smiled. "I think I can manage that."
They settled on the sofa, arranging it so that Cameron was comfortable. They stayed like that and fell asleep, Frankie woke up around seven, but didn't have the heart to wake Cameron so she went back to sleep.
Frankie's week at home was life affirming for both of them, they realised that they could be around each other twenty-four hours a day, and not mind. They loved just spending time together, Cameron loved watching Frankie paint. After seeing the painting of herself, Frankie had shown Cameron the sketches she done of her. She was amazed, that she could inspire Frankie like that. The pictures were now displayed in the spare room where Cameron was sleeping. She liked looking at them, because it was a visible affirmation of their love. Or at least Frankie's love for her.
She was feeling better, the wounds were healing nicely and she was getting around better, but she wasn't looking forward to Frankie going back to work the next day, but she was glad she'd be there when Frankie got home. She was looking forward to that night, they were just going to veg and watch movies. Cameron loved this even more now, because they snuggled and she loved the feeling of Frankie's arms around her.
Frankie had gone out to pick up some movies and take-out for their night in, she came back in and saw Cameron and had to smile. She really loved coming home now, seeing the expression on Cameron's face made her day.
They had a nice evening, going to bed relatively early so that Frankie wouldn't be tired in the morning.
When Frankie woke up she made sure she was quiet, because she knew Cameron needed her rest, she got dressed and went in and kissed Cameron on her forehead before leaving.
She got to work and went in to see John, she had one week with her bandaged hand, so she was on desk duty again. But she didn't mind, John was glad to see her.
"Hey, how are you?"
Frankie smiled, "I'm good. Cameron's feeling much better."
John smiled, "I'm glad, Aidan's funeral is on Saturday. Will she be alright to come."
Frankie smiled sadly, "I think she'd go if she wasn't."
John smiled, "I know. Well get to work, and say hi to Cameron for me when you go home."
Frankie nodded and said, "I will, thanks John."
He nodded and watched her leave, knowing that something was going on with them. But he also knew that it didn't matter, as long as it didn't effect their work.
For the next week Frankie was on her desk, she had her stitches out on Friday and was cleared for active duty. She'd have to take a weapons test, to make sure she could still fire her gun. On Saturday a very sombre Cameron and Frankie went to Aidan's funeral, it was a sad occasion, but Frankie couldn't help being thankful that it wasn't Cameron's funeral. But, during James' eulogy to his partner she smiled, she'd miss Aidan and was sad he was no longer with them. She held Cameron's hand, she was crying thinking no one should've been hurt. But, also she was having similar thoughts to Frankie, glad that she was okay, and feeling a little guilty. But, she knew Aidan probably would've felt the same if it was the other way around.
The next week went slowly, Frankie finally being able to answer calls, she'd finally found the perfect present for Cameron and would give it to her on Sunday. Cameron would be back at work on Monday and Frankie couldn't wait, she be on desk duty but she'd be there.
The week was quiet, Frankie was partnered with James until he was assigned a new partner and they had a couple of calls, but nothing too serious because John wanted to keep their stress levels down.
On Sunday Frankie woke up early to make Cameron a birthday breakfast, she made it and carried it into Cameron's room.
She walked in and Cameron was just waking up, she smiled at her girlfriend and said, "Happy birthday sweetheart."
Cameron smiled and said, "Thanks, do I get a birthday kiss?"
Frankie smiled, and gave her a kiss. "Hope you're hungry."
They shared the breakfast and had showers and got ready. Cameron opened her cards, happy to get cards from Mandy and Billy and one from John, she almost started crying. Frankie was saving hers for later, and now that Cameron had the all clear from the hospital they decided to go for a walk, and have a picnic. They drove to Frankie's favourite spot in the mountains and enjoyed a leisurely walk before starting on their picnic.
They ate what they could and Frankie cleared everything away and then she knelt in front of Cameron.
"Here," she handed Cameron a card.
Cameron opened it and smiled, "To my love, thank you for being in my life."
Cameron leaned forward and kissed Frankie, "It's beautiful, thank you for being in my life."
Frankie smiled, "I've got a present for you." She took out a small velvet box and Cameron felt tears falling when she saw it, recognising it from Frankie's birthday. Frankie reached forward and wiped them away. She opened the box and showed it to Cameron. "Do you remember these," when Cameron nodded she continued, "Do you remember what Mandy said?" Cameron nodded again. "Well if they were meant for me, then this one was meant for you. I love you Cameron Taylor and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I don't want to ever be without you in my life. I know it's not legal for us to get married, but I want to say here and now, I want you to be wife. I want to share everything with you and so," She got onto one knee. "Cameron Taylor will you be my wife and make me the happiest person in the world."
Cameron couldn't speak, she had tears pouring down her face. She nodded, finally saying, "Yes."
Frankie smiled and put the ring on, she kissed it and then kissed Cameron. "Thank you."
Cameron smiled, she took the box from Frankie and took out the smaller ring. They changed positions and she took Frankie's hand. "Frankie will you be my wife. From here on I will promise to love you for the rest of my life. I want to share all that life brings with you, I want to go to sleep looking into your eyes and wake up the same way. I want to feel you breathing. I never want to be without you, so Francesca O'Connor, will you be my wife?"
Frankie was crying now, she nodded and felt a connection when Cameron slipped the ring on her finger.
They kissed, and just sat there holding each other.
After a while it got cold so they made a move, "Cam?"
Cameron looked at her, "Yeah?"
Frankie looked at the ground, "Do you want to forget about dinner and have an early night?"
Cameron looked at her wife's downcast head and smiled, "Look at me." When Frankie looked up Cameron kissed her and said, "You read my mind."
She smiled, "I'm glad. I want to show you how much I love you."
Cameron smiled and they went home, when they got in Frankie put the picnic stuff away and went to find Cameron.
Cameron was standing in the window, she walked over and much like the first night in the apartment, she put her arms around Cameron and held her close.
Cameron turned in her arms and they kissed, a kiss full of promise. Cameron took Frankie's hand and looked in her eyes, asking the question. Frankie nodded and they walked into the bedroom and the rest of their lives.
Frankie looked down at her daughter Michaela, "Yes shorty, what is it?"
"You and mom went through a lot didn't you?"
Cameron came in as their daughter was asking, "Yes we did. But I wouldn't change it for the world."
Frankie looked up at her wife, and kissed her hello.
Mickey smiled, she loved the fact that her parents were still so in love after twenty years together. She was seventeen and loved hearing about their lives, she knew all about their troubles and loved them even more because they'd gotten through it.
Frankie and Cameron had adopted her at six months after her mother died, they loved her so much and she loved them.
It was their twentieth anniversary and she was taking them out for lunch, she walked over and hugged them both, "I love you two, so much."
Frankie hugged her, "Love you too short stuff', and Cameron put her arms around the two most precious things in her life and smiled. "I love you both."
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