Thanks for the great reviews for the whole of this story. This really is the final part – hope you enjoy.
Disclaimers: All characters belong to BBC and Kudos.
Summary: The end is nigh!
(Might not be a logical conclusion - everyone can make their own minds up as to what might be happening)
I've nothing much to offer
There's nothing much to take
I'm an absolute beginner
And I'm absolutely sane
As long as we're together
The rest can go to hell
I absolutely love you
But we're absolute beginners
With eyes completely open
But nervous all the same
(Absolute Beginners, David Bowie)
He was falling, falling, falling quickly and softly into oblivion. At least, that's where he presumed he was falling to. If this was it, if he was finally dying, it actually didn't hurt very much. He wondered if it would hurt when he hit the bottom. He let himself relax into the fall - it was quite a nice sensation really. With a soft thump, he realised he had reached the bottom of – well, wherever it was. 'Well, that wasn't so bad' he thought. He took a moment to adjust to his surroundings. Hmm, felt like he was in bed, so warm, so comfortable, maybe he should just stay here. He became aware of a stirring next to him and he threw back the duvet cover. Alex, his Alex - right next to him!
Just as he had processed that information he felt a sharp pain in his chest. Christ that hurt. And then again, and again. He was ripped from the bed and he felt himself rising in the air, faster and faster with nothing to hold onto and no place to land. He flailed about helplessly waiting for the nightmare to end.
His eyes crashed open and he tried to take a breath but found that he couldn't. It was quiet in the room but he could see Alex next to his bed.
"Its all right Mr Hunt, you're in hospital, you're quite safe now" said a doctor.
Alex gripped his hand tightly as he focused on her.
"Thank God" she whispered quietly "Gene, I'm here, it's going to be fine. You were shot – do you remember?
He went to speak but there was some sort of tube in his mouth so he just nodded and gestured towards the tube. The doctor moved forward, checked monitors and charts and finally moved to take out the tube.
"Don't try to talk too much Mr Hunt, don't tire yourself"
"I'm okay" he spluttered finally. "I'm alive?"
"Very much so Mr Hunt, though it was a close run thing at times". The doctor smiled. "I'll let you have a few minutes alone" and he discretely left the room.
He gripped Alex's hand tightly, unwilling to let go. "Ow long 'ave I been 'ere then love?
She smiled, so glad to see him conscious and talking. "Only about two days" she said
He looked at her in amazement. Two days? Two days? It had only seemed like five minutes to him.
"It was a close thing, darling" she rubbed his thumb with hers. "I really thought I was going to lose you" her voice cracked with emotion. Gene reached over to her, bringing her closer to him.
"Never, Bols, never. Unbreakable remember? You'll never get rid of me now" he said smiling into her face, trying to reassure her. Alex smiled back into his eyes and lost herself there. There was a discreet cough at the door.
"Shall I come back later then? said Sam. Gene and Alex both turned to the door laughing in embarrassment.
"Blimey, Tyler, you trying to get me back to work already then?
"Course not Guv" Sam smiled with relief. "Just making sure you weren't creating 'avoc in the wards"
"Sam saved my life Gene" she told him. "If it wasn't for him I would be dead now, we both would". Gene looked from Alex to Sam and then gestured for him to move closer. Sam leaned towards him as Gene roughly grabbed him by the neck and planted a quick kiss on his cheek.
"Thanks Sam, I owe ya one" Gene cleared his throat. "Bloody 'ell that morphine must be good stuff eh". Sam shook his head – typical Gene.
"I need to get back to the station" Sam said, "They'll all want to know you're awake".
"Ay, you tell 'em I won't be here long so they'd better make the most of it" but smiled as he said it.
"Will do Guv"
"You ever tell anybody I kissed yer – I'll have your balls on a plate for breakfast!"
Sam just shook his head and left Gene and Alex alone.
Later that evening Gene awoke again to find Alex still in a chair beside him, but eyes closed in slumber. He gently reached out to her.
"Alex" he said, stroking her hand. She started awake but then relaxed when she saw him awake.
"You should go 'ome luv, get some proper sleep"
"I'm fine honestly, Gene. I don't want to leave you, not tonight" 'Not ever', she thought. She was tired but she'd be damned if she was leaving him alone. She looked around and then kicked off her shoes and looked at Gene. He picked up her meaning immediately and made room for her on the bed, carefully putting aside the drip he was still attached to. She carefully snuggled into his chest, relieved to hear the strong heartbeat there. She didn't know what had really happened to her and she didn't really care, they were together and that was all that mattered. 2008 or 1981 or any other year, it didn't really matter.
Gene held her close, breathing in the scent of her, feeling the warmth of her body and thought 'We're both where we should be, that's all that matters'
"Hmm" she answered sleepily
He didn't know if she could still hear him but somehow it didn't matter. "Last few seconds on Earth – I'd spend them with you, like this" and kissed the top of her head. They both smiled to themselves, and fell asleep.