**Spoiler mention. Bad Girls Season 5 and Season 6**
Tara had heard the doctor's arrival on the ship but had not felt ready to face someone else. However she knew she couldn't hide within the small cabin forever. She listened carefully at the door until she was sure the woman opposite had fallen asleep. Leaving the cabin, she walked towards the bridge of the ship with quiet steps. It was surprising, she thought, how normal it felt naming the different sections of the ship. All those hours watching sci-fi with Willow, she assumed. She tried hard to ignore the band of pain in her chest at her name.
Reaching the bridge she saw that the room wasn't empty. Seated with her feet on the console in front of her was Tay. Her back was turned and she seemed to be humming to herself quietly as she gazed out of the window. Tara rubbed her arm nervously trying to get the courage to interrupt Tay's thoughts. A steady purr suddenly reached her ears and she frowned confused.
“You have a cat?” She said in astonishment. Tay's whole body tensed with the realisation that she wasn't alone.
“Yes,” she replied turning her head to look at Tara. “Fascinating creatures. Cats always want to live. The nine lives and all that.” She sounded wistful when she spoke. She turned her chair slightly. A small black and white head lifted from her lap and gazed across the room. It seemed somehow familiar to her, Tara thought.
“Miss Kitty Fantastico?” She whispered in disbelief. “But how?”
Tay released the cat, who jumped down and wandered sedately towards Tara's feet.
“Crossbow bolt, but you knew that.” She smiled slightly. “Easier to fake than some things I could mention.”
“Why rescue her? Surely you can't believe she can help you?”
“I never had a cat when I grew up. I happen to like cats.” She shrugged unable to completely explain the impulse. “Besides I thought you might like to have her around.”
Tara looked down at Miss Kitty who was rubbing her head against her leg. She knelt taking the cat into her arms before seating herself on the metal floor.
“The other woman?” She said carefully. “Who is she?”
“She should really tell you that herself.” Tay stated. “Hungry?” The change of topic surprised Tara momentarily. Her stomach quickly answered for her.
“A little.” She admitted. Tay nodded and touched a small button on the console.
“Janet.” The name was uttered gently, Tay not really wanting to disturb her. “I'm serving some food now. And,” she paused glancing briefly at Tara. “There is someone I'd like you to meet.”
A few moments later Tay had conjured up a table from somewhere and went about placing out chairs around it whilst Tara continued to cuddle the cat. She was the first to notice Janet standing in the doorway. Looking resigned Janet moved forward to take one of the chairs as her own.
“Janet, this is Tara.” Tay said calling the red-head's attention to the girl seated on the floor. The two looked at each other and saw similar lines of pain etched into their faces.
“So young.” Janet whispered. There was some curiosity in her eyes but she couldn't bring herself to ask. Tara blushed slightly and rose to her feet, taking a seat opposite Janet. Tay placed the last chair by the table then moved to a slot in the wall.
“Any preferences?” Tay asked politely though she was already aware of what they were.
“None thank you.” Janet said then looked carefully at the number of chairs around the table. “Are you expecting someone else?” She asked turning her eyes on Tay. Tara followed suit. Tay sighed, grimacing slightly.
“I have another to fetch. She will be very hungry when she gets here.”
“Where from?” Tara asked her curiosity getting the better of her.
“Prison.” Tay said matter-of-factly. “Britain.” She didn't wait for their reactions instead moving past them and off the bridge altogether.
Tay didn't really like closed in dark spaces. There was too many empathic echoes hanging in the air waiting for those who could hear them. She especially didn't like enclosed spaces which lead to hanging cells. The fear in the air was almost palatable. In her mind she could hear the inner cries of the prisoners and, loudly above them, all the angry cries of the last prisoner to come down here.
Tay hunched and tried to shrug it off with little success. At least the chance of running into anyone down here would be minimal to say the least. Three months it would be until someone next walked these halls. She reached the hanging cell and listened carefully at the door. There was no sound. Placing a hand carefully on the wood she pressed gently. The phasing belt tingled as it allowed her to slip through the molecules of the door. The darkness suddenly became oppressive and Tay wondered what had possessed her to come at night. She slowly lit a small torch and surveyed the room. A hand lay just outside the halo of light and Tay cringed as she saw the bloody fingernails, the skin broken where they had been scratching at the door. She moved closer examining the pallid skin and drawn features before her. The woman's face was harsh and held many lines for all the hardships she had faced, dyed blond hair lay matted against her head. She barely seemed to be moving.
"Yvonne" Tay whispered gently not wanting to startle her. The woman didn't move. Tay leaned forward carefully. Yvonne's breathing was really shallow. "Yvonne." She tried again. She leaned forward and pulled the woman into a sitting position. "Damn I hope I'm not too late. I'm sure I timed it right." She took Yvonne's head between her hands and tried to open her eyelids. "Don't die on me!" Tay shouted at her.
"Whose bloody dying?" Yvonne mumbled after a while though in truth all Tay actually heard was "wh, e bldd yy ihng."
Tay reached for a small bottle at her belt and put it to Yvonne's lips.
"Careful now, not too fast." She said as Yvonne grasped the bottle feebly to urge the liquid in. Yvonne coughed and moved the bottle aside
"h hh." She attempted then pushed out her tongue to try to wet dry lips before trying again. "Who are you? A screw?" She scrunched her eyes together and took in Tay's appearance in the half light of the torch. "Don't look like any screw I've ever seen." She looked past her to the door that was still closed. "Door's still closed." She muttered surprised.
"It's locked. There is no escape that way." Tay said quietly. Yvonne gave her a suspicious look.
"Then how did you get in here?" She put a hand to her face. "Damn I'm hallucinating again." Tay shrugged slightly.
"Can't say whether you are or not. You aren't in good shape that is for certain. I have a proposition for you."
"Sell my soul and get a shiny new car?" Yvonne said wryly her heart not quite in it.
"No. Keep the soul and your life. But help me to fight." The sideways glance was all Tay needed to realise she had her attention.
"What's the catch?" Yvonne asked her, her years married to a mobster telling her there was always a catch.
"It's not on earth. Here you will be dead. You will leave here and never come back." Yvonne was silent a long while before replying.
"Not on earth. Now I know I'm hallucinating.” She shook her head slightly. “Didn't think it would end this way.”
Tay put her head to the side contemplating her next action.
“Would you trust the word of a hallucination that this is a true offer?”
Yvonne laughed briefly.
“What bloody choice do I have?” Tay bent down and looked Yvonne in the eye.
“The battle lines are drawn
,” she stated in an eery voice her eyes glowing green.
“Then show me who I have to fight,” Yvonne smiled ferally reaching out a hand for support. “I just have one question though. What about Fenner?”
Tay’s smile as she replied was truly malicious.
“Don’t worry about him. You are going to haunt him for the rest of his life forever calling to him and killing him in his dreams. Your ghost will torture the sanity from him.”
“Sounds good to me. Pity I’ll miss it.” She sighed at the image in her mind.
“And the best bit.” Tay added taking Yvonne's weight on her shoulders. “Is that he will get what's coming to him in the end.” Tay pressed a button and watched a small light appear as if from the end of a tunnel. She started towards it leading Yvonne's steps.
“Any food where we're going?”
“Yes,” Tay replied. “And a doctor.”
“They better be more useful than Doctor No No.”
“Do you really think your hallucination would get you a second rate doctor?” Tay teased ignoring the sound behind her of a large weight settling gently.
“Not a prison doctor then?”
“No. Military.” Tay smiled. “By the way I kind of told them you were in prison. I didn't mention why so you could pretend to be a prison officer if you wanted.”
Yvonne snorted derisively
“Pretend to be one of them bastards. Not on your life.”