Dark Coda by Estraven
I’m going to get right to the point. I thoroughly enjoyed this fic. I hadn’t read any Bad Girls fics in a good long time. And I miss my girls. Helen and Nikki were the reason I got into fan fiction in the first place. The best part about Bad Girls is that their relationship wasn’t subtext, it was main text. It was there for us all to see. We were with them through it all. Well, until Nikki got out. Then they went away and we had to imagine how it was for them.
Estraven gives us a look at how it could have turned out. And it’s an original look. Not the same old thing, not this time. This time Nikki ends up killing Jim Fenner a month after being released from prison on her first conviction. As happy as I was at Fenner’s untimely demise, I was sad that Nikki and Helen wouldn’t have that happy ending that we’d all hoped for.
Now, don’t get me wrong, while this story has some intensly emotional parts and bits that made me shake my head at the injustice of it all, it wasn’t really that angsty sort of writing that we see so much of in this fandom. There were sad parts and small victories and some parts when I wanted to shake either Helen or Nikki or both of them at the same time, but I don’t know that I ever felt like the author was deliberately trying to manipulate my emotions. The characters were true to the spirit of the originals so I didn’t stop and think, “whoa, Nikki would talk to Helen about that and not just go off half-cocked.” But we all know that Nikki did go off half-cocked all the time. It was part of her personality. And Estraven did justice to her strong, but vulnerable, personality. She also nailed Helen’s strong moral code and loyalty.
All of the characters in this piece were done well. After I finished the story, I went back to the site I got it from and read some of the comments – I didn’t want to do that before I had read it, I hate having the surprise spoiled. Anyway, I found that other readers had the same reactions that I had. I was just going to copy and paste the response from stealthgirl regarding the author’s characters because she said it perfectly. All the characters felt very true to life. There were many from the show – Thomas (who I automatically cringe when seeing – it’s rarely good for our girls), Monica, Barbara, Trisha, Claire, and even Karen Betts and Sally Anne Howe show up. The original characters were fantastic as well and you feel the appropriate emotions toward them.
This is the first work from Estraven that I’ve read and I look forward to reading more. Thanks to stealthgirl for the recommendation!