When Frankie woke up the next morning she smiled, she felt great. She had her brother and aunt back in her life and had a really good friend. She was excited, for as long as she could remember she'd felt like her parents death and her battle with alcohol had hung over her head like an anvil, now she felt free. To live her life. She knew that it was always going to be there, she wouldn't ever forget it but it wasn't the main focus of her life anymore. 'I can get my life on track again' she thought, she got up and went to the gym. She had started using exercise as a way to work off stress in rehab, instead of after work drinks. But, now she went because she enjoyed it, it made her feel good. After a couple of hours at the gym she was showered and ready for work.

Cameron woke up and lay there thinking. She'd thought that she would never be able to get through to Frankie, when John had first told her that she was difficult Cameron was worried. But, after what Frankie had told her she understood totally. 'If I'd had half of what she had to deal with in her life I don't think I could've gotten through it'.

She got up and had a shower, she had a cup of coffee and then went to work. When she got in Frankie wasn't there yet, so she sat at her desk checking her messages, waiting for her partner to arrive.

When Frankie walked into the squad room she smiled at her partner, Cameron's head was downcast looking at something on her desk. She walked over quietly and stood next to Cameron, after a couple of minutes Cameron looked up into the smiling face of her partner. She blinked because she hadn't even realised Frankie was standing there.


Cameron smiled. "Good morning. Did you sleep well?"

Frankie frowned, "Yeah I did. Why do you ask?"

"I was worried, talking about all that stuff last night, that it might of bought it all back."

Frankie sat down. "Actually I slept great. I think telling you was the best thing to do. It helped me deal with it all at last and...I feel great."

Cameron grinned. "Good. I want to thank you again for listening to me too."

Frankie smiled, "You are welcome. I took your advice and called Billy and Mandy last night."

"You did?! How did it go?"

"Really good. Billy was very happy, he forgives me and is glad that I have a new friend. And I'm having dinner with Mandy on Tuesday night."

"That's really good. I'm glad too."

Frankie looked puzzled, and then she realised what Cameron meant, she smiled. "Yeah?"

Cameron nodded, "Yeah."

Frankie stood up "I've got to talk to John. I won't be a minute."

"Okay. I'll get you a coffee."

Frankie nodded and went to John's office.


"Come in."

Frankie walked in, and when John looked up she gave him a big smile. "Morning John."

John smiled, "Good morning to you too. You're in a good mood this morning. "Why not? The sun's shining. Life is good." At John's confused look, Frankie sat down and explained. "After being called to that fire yesterday I told Cameron the whole story. Everything."

John was shocked and glad at the same time. "Wow. Maybe it was an inspired decision to partner you two together. I'm glad you were able to talk to her."

Frankie smiled. "Me too. Thanks John, and, I wanted to apologise to youÖThat day in the waiting roomÖI wasn't very nice. So thank you too, for sticking by me."

John smiled at her. "You are very welcome. Me and your dad had a deal, that if anything ever happened to either of us we would look out for the others family, so I was doing it for your dad as well."

"Well, I'm grateful for everything. I better go and do some work!"

John smiled. "Yeah. And thank you...for telling me."

Frankie nodded and walked out. John sat thinking 'Well Daniel. I think we've got your Frankie back'.

Frankie walked to her desk, Cameron handed her a mug of steaming hot coffee and asked, "Everything okay?"

Frankie smiled back. "Superlative!"

Cameron laughed at her friends exuberance. "What did he say?"

"You know John. He decided it was an 'inspired decision' on his part to partner us together. Because you did something people have been trying to do for five years and couldn't manage it."

"Well I'm just glad I could help."

Frankie looked at her. "I am too. Well, we had better get back to work before we get in trouble."

The look Frankie gave her made Cameron laugh. "Okay. The hospital called, we can talk to the husband at one."

"Okay. We'll write our reports up for last night, go talk to him and get a statement."


They worked on their reports until they had to leave for the hospital to question the husband.

They interviewed him, he had no remorse for any of his actions. He signed his statement and they left, they got back just as their shift ended. They got their stuff from the locker room and were having a chat.

"Hey, I know it's only Monday but are you looking forward to your weekend off?"

Cameron shook her head, "Not really. I've got to decorate my bedroom. The rest of the apartment isn't bad. I can live with it for now but, I think the last tenant was colour blind when it came to the bedroom."

"That bad huh?"

Cameron nodded. "You have no idea."

Frankie finished getting ready to go. "Tell you what. Considering I am doing absolutely nothing this weekend, I could always give you a hand if you want."

Cameron looked at her and smiled. "You sure?"

She nodded. "Absolutely. It'll be quicker with two."

"Okay you're on. I'll buy the pizza."


They left, saying their goodbyes at the door.

The next day went really quickly, before she knew it the shift was over and she had to get ready for her dinner with Mandy.

She was nervous until Cameron phoned to wish her luck. She didn't have to worry, Mandy gave her a big hug and they had a good talk.

For the rest of the week they were stacked out at work, they didn't get much time to talk.

On Friday before she said goodbye Cameron wrote her address down. "Here's where I live."

"Okay. I'll see you in the morning. Any particular time?"

"Anytime after nine. I'll have to buy paint first."

Frankie nodded and smiled at her. "Okay I'll see you after nine. Night Cameron."

"Night Frankie. I'll see you in the morning."

They went their separate ways.

Frankie woke up about seven, she got up and went for a run instead of her usual trip to the gym. About an hour later she was in the shower, when she was dressed she killed time until she was due at Cameron's. After half an hour wasting time she left, she stopped for breakfast on the way.

She pulled up at Cameron's apartment block, got out and rang the buzzer.


"It's me. I bought breakfast."

Cameron looked at her watch '9.01am' and smiled. "Come on up."

She left the door ajar and looked at the organised mess her apartment was in, she'd gotten up at about eight to make her apartment a little bit neater.

Frankie came in and Cameron smiled and said. "Hey. Good morning."

"Morning Cameron." She handed over the bag containing breakfast. "Here. Bagels and coffee, the breakfast of champions."

Cameron laughed. "Make yourself at home. I'll get some plates."

Frankie went and sat down, she had a quick look around. It was a nice place, big windows and a nice view. She was still looking around when Cameron came back in.

"Here" she said and handed Frankie a plate.


They ate and chatted about the usual stuff to pass the time while they ate their breakfast.


Frankie looked at her, a question in her eyes.

"Do you know a good store to buy paint? It's been a while since I had to shop in LA."

Frankie nodded. "Sure. You ready to go?"

"Yeah. Let's get this over with."

Frankie laughed. They went down to her car and drove to the store. When they got there Frankie asked "Have you got an idea for your colour?"

Cameron shook her head.

Frankie shook hers, "Not a clue?"

Cameron smiled and said. "Absolutely no idea whatsoever."

Frankie groaned. "Let's go. I have a feeling I might regret this."

Two hours later they were back in Cameron's apartment, after shopping for paint and accessories. They were all ready to paint.

"Okay. You ready?"

Frankie looked over at Cameron and nodded. "Let's get on with it. The sooner we start the sooner we'll be done."

Cameron had picked two shades of purple and one of blue, they sectioned off the areas for the different colours and got started.

They painted till lunchtime, stopped to grab a sandwich and then got back to work.

While they painted they talked about everything under the sun, favourite movies and music, books to food. They had a great time, and Frankie was once again very glad that she'd opened up. Because, she could not even imagine going back to the way she was before Cameron came along. It wasn't even something she wanted to or could contemplate.

About nine o'clock they were finished and completely exhausted. Cameron called for pizza and for the rest of the evening they ate their pizza, talked and watched some television.

When Cameron looked over at Frankie a few hours later she was fast asleep and she didn't have the heart to wake her up because she looked so peaceful. So, she made her more comfortable and covered her with a blanket and went to bed in her spare room. She just hoped that when Frankie woke up she didn't freak out because she wasn't at home.

Frankie woke up about three in the morning, when she realised she was asleep on a sofa she was worried, but when she remembered she'd been at Cameron's she relaxed. She went back to sleep because she knew she was safe.

She slept for a couple more hours until she heard Cameron moving about. She got up and was stretching out her back when Cameron came in.


Cameron smiled at her. "Good Morning. How did you sleep?"

"Fine. Sorry for flaking out on you, and thanks for the use of your sofa."

"You're very welcome. I just didn't have the heart to wake you up - you looked so peaceful...Breakfast?"

Frankie nodded. "That would be great. Can I use your bathroom to freshen up?"

"Sure. It's all yours."

Frankie smiled, and she went to make herself look a bit more alive, Cameron meanwhile went to put on some coffee.

They ate their breakfast. Frankie smiled, she wasn't used to talking as much as she had for the past couple of days, but she realised that she enjoyed it. And, the fact that Cameron was so easy to talk to; it made it so much easier. So, she knew that no matter what happened on the future, she wouldn't have missed it for the world. And, she knew that at her next AA meeting she would tell Lizzie all about it. Lizzie was her sponsor and had tried to get through to Frankie but hadn't succeeded, but she would be happy that Frankie had finally opened up.

Frankie was so lost in her thoughts that she didn't hear Cameron say her name.

"Frankie?" Cameron put her hand on her arm. "Are you still with me?"

She was shaken out of her reverie. "Sorry Cameron. I was thinking. What were you saying?"

Cameron smiled. "I was asking if you had anything planned for this afternoon?"

Frankie shook her head. "Nothing that can't be done at another time. What did you have in mind?"

"How about shopping, dinner and a movie? If you aren't sick of me already."

Frankie looked at Cameron and smiled. "Never. And shopping, dinner and a movie sounds good. Can we go to my place first so I can get changed?"

"Sure. I'll follow you, and then you can leave your car and we'll take mine."

"Cool, let's go."

Cameron smiled and then got up leaving Frankie staring into the space that she'd left behind.

On the drive over to Frankie's, Cameron was thinking. After Sophie died she had thought that she would never find a partner she got on with so well, let alone a friend. But she wasn't complaining, she knew that Frankie would be a great friend and she was looking forward to getting to know her better. Now that she wasn't buried under all the stuff she'd had to deal with. She knew that they would be there for each other and for that she was grateful, grateful to whatever force that brought them together. She pulled up at Frankie's apartment and walked up to Frankie's car and waited for her to get out. When they got in Frankie's apartment she went for a quick shower and got dressed while Cameron got comfy on the sofa.

About half an hour later Frankie was ready. They had decided to go to the mall because they could shop, eat and watch a movie all at the same place. They had a

great time, they window shopped and spent all their time talking and laughing about when they were young.

Over dinner they kept talking and when Frankie suddenly went quiet Cameron was worried.

"Frankie? Are you okay?"

Frankie looked up from the table. "Yeah, it's just this is the first time I've talked about my parents like this, I'll be alright in a minute."

Cameron put her hand on Frankie's arm and squeezed it . "We can talk about something else if it's upsetting you."

Frankie shook her head, grateful that Cameron didn't force her to talk about things. "No, it's okay. I want to talk about them, honestly. It does me good to remember the good times."

Cameron smiled. "As long as you're sure."

Frankie nodded. "Sure as sure can be."

Cameron was glad that Frankie was okay talking about this stuff, they talked until they had to go into the movie. It was a comedy, and it was so funny that they were crying with laughter. They had an amazing evening, when Cameron dropped Frankie home she said "Thanks for a great day. I'll see you at work tomorrow."

"You certainly will, thank you for showing me how much fun I can have if I try."

Cameron smiled, "You're welcome."

Frankie smiled. "Goodnight Cam."

Cameron grinned at the nickname, she liked it. "Goodnight Frankie."

Frankie went in smiling, but was so tired that she just flaked out, when Cameron got home she went straight to bed, looking forward to work for the first time in a very long time.

Part 5

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