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dinnerladies drabbles

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“Morning!” Jean and Dolly called as they walked in.

“Hiya girls.” Bren put the bread away, “You both alright?”

“Yeah. Those roads need resurfacing! I counted twenty two potholes from Jean’s to here.” Dolly huffed.

“Oh I know. They’re getting bad eh?” Bren crossed her arms, wrapping her fleece around her.

“I’m going to phone the council. It’s beyond a joke.” Dolly replied.

“Well, do it later. I’ve had enough of your pothole chat today, Dolly Bellfield.” Jean sighed, “Where’s Tony?”

“Having a fag.” Bren replied. She turned when she heard Anita and Twinkle come in, “Morning. Oh Anita, you look tired.”

“The baby’s got a cold. Thankfully mum got up and let me sleep at three.” Anita nodded.

“Well, you can get a bit of kip later, don’t worry.” Bren smiled, “How about you, Twink? Crazy night last night?”

“No. Stayed in with me mam. We watched ‘Four Weddings and A Funeral’.” Twinkle crossed her arms.

“Awww.” Anita grinned.

“Rubbish film. Hugh Grant should’ve just told her he loved her at the start. It wouldn’t have been such a hassle.” Twinkle sighed.

“It’s a slow burn, Twink.” Dolly replied.

“Yeah, you should be used to that around here.” Jean gave Bren a wink.

“Bren and Tony are the exact reason I don’t want a slow burn. Just flipping get to the point.” Twinkle rolled her eyes.

Bren just laughed as she gave Twinkle a gentle pat on the shoulder before the five women headed into the office to get changed into their overalls. They all nattered away as Bren took off her fleece when she noticed one of the loaves of bread on the floor. She left the office and went to pick up the loaf and put back in the bread tray.

“Bren?” Anita poked her head out, “Did you bring the milk up?”

“Yeah, it’s down there.” Bren pointed to the end of the kitchen as she turned. That’s when Anita noticed something strange. There was a pinkish blemish on Bren’s neck. She hadn’t noticed it when Bren was wearing her fleece but it was now clear as day, “I’ll do us brews now.”

Anita was quiet as she watched Bren walk up the kitchen. She felt her stomach drop, trying to figure out what that mark was on her neck. She expected the worst. 

“Don’t stand in the door all day, Anita.” Dolly sighed.

“Bren’s got a bruise on her neck.” Anita turned, her eyes filling up.

“Sorry?” Dolly frowned.

“Bren’s got a bruise on her neck. I just saw it the now.” Anita rubbed her hands together.

“What’s wrong?” Jean turned with Twinkle.

“Anita’s saying Bren’s got a bruise on her neck.” Dolly turned.

“Right here.” Anita pointed to her neck, just below her ear.

“Bruise? How did she get one there?” Twinkle frowned.

“I dunno. What if she walked into something or someone hurt her?” Anita asked with a sense of panic in her voice.

“Dolly, full fat, semi skimmed?” Bren asked as she held two cartons of milk.

The four women got a good look at her then. Bren was wearing a plain t-shirt with a scoop neckline. They could see the blemish that Anita noticed. They also noticed a couple more small ones around her chest the further they looked down. It was clear they weren’t bruises.

“Semi skimmed.” Dolly just smiled and Bren went down to the boiler. Dolly turned to the women behind her, “They’re not bruises, they’re love bites!”

“You’re not wrong there!” Jean’s eyes widened, “Bren and Tony, they’ve been at it!”

“Has she not noticed them?” Twinkle asked, “They’re as clear as day to us.”

“Dunno.” Jean shrugged.

“Where is Tony?” Anita frowned.

“Fife escape.” Dolly replied.

“If he’s not a spent force on the duvet.” Jean crossed her arms.

“Jean!” Dolly tutted, “We should say something.”

The four women walked over to Bren slowly, all smirking to each other. Bren was busy with the brews that she didn’t really notice them coming over.

“So, uh, Bren? Good night last night?” Jean leaned on the counter.

“Yeah. Quiet, y’know.” Bren shrugged.

“Really?” Anita raised a brow.

“Yeah.” Bren nodded.

“You look like you had a good night.” Twinkle grinned.

“Well yeah. I did have a late night.” Bren shrugged.

“I bet you did. Just you and Tony then?” Dolly asked.

“Yeah?” Bren looked up. She could tell something was up but wanted to wait for what they had to say.

“No one else?” Anita grinned.

“No?” Bren frowned.

“Freezing outside int it?” Jean crossed her arms, “Definitely weather for scarves.”

“Oh absolutely.” Dolly nodded.

“You got a scarf with you, Bren? I think you’ll need it with your neck.” Twinkle pointed out.

“What’s going on? You’re all acting peculiar?” Bren turned to them.

“Oh nothing. It’s just you’ve got a little mark there. And there. And there. And-.” Anita started pointing at the marks on Bren’s neck.

“Eh?” Bren stepped away before going over to the mirror next to the boiler. She noticed the love bites on her neck. They were quite small and not that dark but to Bren, they looked huge and almost a violet colour. Bren’s jaw dropped, immediately covering the marks with her hands, “Flipping heck!”

“We were waiting to see how long it’d be before you noticed.” Dolly crossed her arms with a smile.

“Good night with the Sad Man then? How long did you go ‘til?” Twinkle teased.

“It’s brass monkeys out there.” Tony came in from the fire escape, “Winter better hurry up and move along.”

“Get outside. Now.” Bren rushed over to him, grabbing his arm.

“Eh?” Tony frowned.

“Going for round two, Bren?” Jean teased.

Bren pushed Tony out the fire escape before shutting the door behind her. Tony stood in front of her, his arms crossed as he shivered. 

“Why are we out here?” Tony asked, “Bren, you’re in a t-shirt. You’ll get a cold.”

“Look at my flipping neck! And my chest!” Bren pointed at the love bites, “I look like I’ve been mauled.”

“Bloody hell, Bren!” Tony’s eyes widened, “Was that me?”

“Well I flipping hope so!” Bren crossed her arms.

“Hey, it’s alright.” Tony moved over to her.

“How am I going to cover this, Tony? I haven’t got long hair? It’s so obvious, especially this one on my neck. I’m lucky I’ve got a tabard on all day so these ones are covered up.” Bren sighed. She turned away as she looked over the car park. Tony moved towards her, putting his arms around her waist. Bren sighed but she felt his lips on her neck, pressing gentle kisses on the love bites on her neck, “Tony, don’t make it worse.”

“I’m sorry, babe.” Tony whispered. He squeezed her waist, “I just get carried away, don’t I?”

“A bit too carried away.” Bren smirked.

“Can you blame me?” Tony asked, “You’re freezing.”

“You’re not.” Bren snuggled into him. She then turned in his arms, wrapping her arms around his waist, “I can’t believe I didn’t notice them this morning.”

“Other things on your mind?” Tony raised a brow.

“Yeah, work!” Bren sighed.

Tony chuckled before cupping her face. He brought her lips to his, kissing her gently. They broke off the kiss as they looked at one another.

“I wish I could stay out in the freezing cold but we’ve got to feed the faces of folk.” Bren said softly.

“Shame. I was about to leave my mark somewhere else.” Tony teased.

“Stop it.” Bren swatted his arm playfully, “Honestly, like two randy teenagers.”

“You said it, not me.” Tony shrugged.

Bren giggled then. She sighed, going on her tiptoes and kissing him once more. She wiped his lip, a little bit of lip balm left on his top lip. 

“Work.” Bren reminded him before heading.

“And no play.” Tony sighed gently, following after her.

Bren laughed, opening the fire exit door and heading in. Tony followed after her as he smiled to himself. He loved her laugh so much, he was always more than willing to tell another crap joke because he knew that would make her laugh. He rubbed his lips together then before stepping into the canteen. One last taste of her lips before going to work. He had more to look forward to later.

When the couple stepped back inside, the girls were surprisingly not taking much interest in them and actually getting ready for breakfast. The two were surprised but didn’t mind. It wasn’t as embarrassing for them coming back in.

“Hey, Bren?” Twinkle appeared behind Bren when she was in the office going to put her overall on.

“Yeah?” Bren lifted her head as she did up her buttons on her overall.

“Here.” Twinkle passed her a small tube of makeup.

“What’s this?” Bren asked.

“Concealer. For your neck.” Twinkle replied. 

“Oh. Aw, thanks, Twink.” Bren smiled and went out to the kitchen. She went over to the mirror and started applying the concealer to her neck, blending it with her fingers.

Tony went into the office as he put on his overall and hat. He walked out as he watched the women around him working and smiled to himself. He then felt a wave of tiredness hit him. Tony yawned.

“Too shagged out, Tony?” Jean teased.

“Get some flipping work done.” Tony sighed, “I’ve had enough of all your chat already.”