Disclaimer: I don't own Ashes or Gene Hunt or Alex Drake or anything related for that matter! I only own the characters I made up- including little Tommy. :)

A/N: Hello everyone! This is my first ever fanfic so I hope it's ok! I had a sudden urge to get something down, as I've got so many ideas charging around my head and I had a pretty hefty exam this morning and felt I needed to chill out a bit!

This could be absolutely attrocious but I thought I'd give it a whirl- so any comments are much appreciated! :D

I'm also on TRA under a different name- can you guess who I am?

Chapter 1: If Only

It was another hectic day in CID and everyone was up and about, Shaz was darting around with arms full of paperwork, Ray was getting bulshy with a mugger and even Chris looked like he was doing something relatively useful. Gene and Alex had been deep in conversation over a recent robbery for a good 10 minutes, Alex perched on his desk gesticulating wildly with her hands in vain trying to make her point, Gene leaning back in his chair half-listening to her with a pout firmly set on his face, glittering eyes rather enjoying the view.

"-and I'm telling you it can't be him." Alex said, her voice raising slightly in frustration.

"Well why bloody not?" Gene retorted.

"It's not his M.O. is it? We've been over his profile a hundred times and it just can't be him!"

"Come on Drake you can't be bloody convinced by his alibi are you? How many of London's finest scumbags go to see family on a Saturday night? He's more likely to be popping pills than popping to his Aunt's! Even I'm not into all your psycho-crap but I can tell a ruddy great robber when I see one!"

He had to admit he did like winding her up, even now that their working relationship had calmed down some what over the last few months- once she'd dragged herself out of a hole after the Price's death- it didn't mean that he didn't enjoyed it when they debated like they used to; he sometimes liked to do it even when he knew she was right. He relished it when she leaned in closer- so damn close he could smell her gorgeous, feminine scent off her hair and throat- her eyes blazing, the flames of her smouldering brown ones boring into his piercing ice blue pair .

He'd be lying if he said he didn't think about her, because he did- all the time. He hated the idea of personal relationships affecting how he did the job, he'd laid into Chris once when he'd right hooked some bastard in one of the interview rooms for bad mouthing Shaz. But he cringed at how everywhere he went he'd always have one eye on Alex, just because he liked being with her, watching how well she did her job, and the fact he liked to keep her safe. He tried desperately to forget about her, but he'd figured it was easier to have her close rather than pushing her away, because he always wanted to bring her back.

The thing was, he actually cared about her now. Really, really cared about her. He didn't understand where these feelings had come from, or how on earth Gene Hunt had acquired them, but he wanted to be with her- hopelessly and completely- and he'd worried himself at how much time he thought about her. Them. Together. Pouring hours of his life away thinking about her as he poured litres of scotch down his neck at the same time. He wasn't sure how much longer he'd last at being with her but not being with her, because he was slowly but surely going mad with it.

Alex let out a short, sharp sigh and closed her eyes slowly, lowering her voice "All I'm saying is that there are more options we need to explore-"

A hasty rap on the door brought them crashing down from their heated debate as Viv stuck his head round the door, "Errr Guv, just had a call in- cleaner's at a house where she's reported to have found an abused child, she seemed pretty distraught so you may wanna move."

"Alright thanks Skip" Gene sighed as he started to move around his desk , both sad at hearing this news and the fact his debate with Alex had come to a close "Come on Bolls, grab your coat."

Gene pulled the Quattro up to 17 Hazel Grove- and no sooner had they got out of the car, a pale and frightened looking woman had flung the front door open and run down to the pavement to retrieve the two officers.

"He's up here. . . Mr Brown told me not to go in there, but I could hear someone crying so I bashed the door down with the hoover. . . "

Gene glanced back at Alex who was looking a little nervous herself- he wanted nothing more than to take her hand and let her know it'd be ok, but he immediately thought against it and turned back round to follow the cleaner.

They climbed their way up the narrow stairs and immediately saw the door flat on the floor, Gene stepped over it widely and felt his stomach coil at what sight he saw in the room.

A weeping boy, no more than five or six, was curled up in the foetal position on his side with a great, bulging gash across his forehead, blood soaking into the white sheets, his ankles blue from bruising at the rope that had tied him roughly to the bed. The boy's body was racking with hard sobs, each of his exhausted little limbs flicking and flinching erratically from the undoubted pain and fear which clutched onto him.

Alex was by his side at an instant, untying the knots and talking to him, urging to get a response. She turned around briefly "Gene, we need to get him out of here now." her big, brown eyes flashing urgently. It broke Gene to see a child like this, and tore him in two seeing Alex so desperate and utterly frantic. He hated it when she got upset, more than anything on this god forsaken planet.

Gene turned to the woman next to him, her shoulders now shaking from the tears that were falling from own her eyes too.

"What's your name love?" Gene asked gruffly.

"Margaret Beckman- I'm the cleaner. . . " she replied tearfully.

"Who's house is this?" Gene asked angrily, his eyes glaring with fire.

"Carl Brown's- this is his boy, Tommy" she sobbed, nodding her head over to the boy with her eyes clamped shut and her hand clasped across her mouth, trying to stop tearful gasps escaping from her mouth "He lives with his mum, but he comes to stay sometimes. . . I don't know if this has happened before. . . I don't know. . ."

"Does anyone else live here?"

She shook her head "No, I come here twice a week but it's only him that lives here- Tommy's normally with his mother, but she's been away the past week. . . so I guess he's been here at least a few days. . . "

Gene considered this for a moment, his brow furrowed, "We need you to come back with us to give us a statement. Do you know where this bastard Brown is now? I think me and my team need to have a word with him. . ."

"Yes of course- he works down at the docks, does mechanic work on the boats." she said

Gene brought his walkie talkie to his lips and directed commands quickly into it, "Viv! Get plod down to the docks pronto to collect a Mr Carl Brown- nice and quick thank you very much- under no circumstances bring him past the squad room without my say so first, I've got a very scared lad here who'll be in there with me and DI Drake. . . I want no contact between the two, d'you hear?"

The walkie talkie muffled before Viv replied "Sure Guv. We're on it."

Gene moved swiftly over to the boy who was now clutching out almost blindly for a soft human touch, "Move Alex." he whispered gently, as he slowly lifted the boy into his arms, Alex watching Gene with a swelling heart and watery eyes.

Gene let Alex drive as he sat in the back holding the boy in his arms, who although was significantly calmer than when they'd found him. His great red-rimmed blue eyes were empty, and he looked completely alone. Gene gently brushed the boy's fringe from his wound, a gesture that didn't go unnoticed by Alex as she glanced into the rear view mirror.

Gene's attention switched to the front of the car, where Margaret had one hand on her head and Alex was, he had to admit, expertly driving the Quattro back to CID. He continued to look at her for a few seconds, admiring the way her loose, glossy waves swayed from side to side as her head turned frantically from left to right as she looked either way at the junction. . . God how he'd love to runs his fingers. . .

His train of thought was broken when he heard Alex open her car door, and had lifted the seat up for him to manoeuvre himself and Tommy out, careful not to hit his bruised ankles on the edge of the car. Both of them stormed into the station, Gene bellowing commands as he passed reception with Alex following him anxiously "Chris! Take Margaret to the interview room to give her statement, I want it on my desk as soon as possible, mush!"

With a lack of free hands, Gene kicked the doors to CID open and everyone's eyes immediately drew to the three of them at the door. A little gasp from Shaz didn't go amiss as her eyes briefly settled on the bundle in his arms, but Gene overlooked it and continued with his orders "Right, plod have gone down to get a rather unsavoury Mr Brown who'll be arriving any minute now, he'll be in interview room 1 by reception- and under no circumstances bring him in here."

"Yes Guv." the group chorused gruffly, as they began to move around the room once more.

"I think I can stand up now." a timid voice said suddenly, both Alex's and Gene's eyes dropping to the boy he held, surprised to hear from him the state he was in not ten minutes earlier.

"Are you sure that's a good idea Tommy?" Alex inquired softly."It's just my head" he said fairly brightly. "I'll be ok. . . "

Alex and Gene passed a knowing look between them, one of those looks that could mean 1001 different things depending on the situation- often when words weren't quite enough.

"Ok Tommy. . ." Gene murmured as he placed him down on the floor. The tips of his little black shoes nearly touching Gene's crocodile boots.

"Is he coming here?" Tommy asked bravely, his quivering lip and wavering voice giving him away slightly.

Alex smiled warmly "Yes, but he won't come near you- I promise."

Gene desperately wanted to kiss her at that very moment; her eyes glistening and the corners of her lips turned up slightly into a soft smile- it made his heart spin.

Tommy smiled slightly, only for his eyes suddenly to widen in fear when he saw his greasy, stocky father - the very opposite to the slim boy- being escorted down the corridor of CID. His father reared his head slightly, his yellowy eyes locking onto his, in some sort of silent, foreboding threat.

"No no noooo!" the little boy wailed, grabbing onto Gene's trousers as he scampered to hide behind his legs, "Make him go away!" he screeched, tears now rolling unbidden down his face.

Gene subconsciously placed his hand protectively on back of the boy's head, "RAY! Get that roach out of here, NOW!" Gene shouted furiously at the moustached man now made a quick exit with Chris scampering after him.

Alex crouched behind Gene gently plying Tommy's hands off his trousers, hushing him softly, picking him up and resting him on her hip, gently stroking the back of his head as he sobbed into her neck. Gene turned around to face Alex, looking on the brink of explosion "I swear to god I'm going to bloody kill whoever let that sick bastard walk past 'ere when I damn well told everyone that he was going to be in here!" shouted Gene, nodding his head towards Tommy, who was soaking the neck of Alex's shirt with warm tears.

"Well we can't do anything about it now, apart from keep Tommy safe, Gene." Alex said softly.

Gene sighed, rubbing his forehead, trying to push some of the throbbing that had made its presence known to one side- nothing a scotch won't solve, he thought.

"I'm going to get him some milk and a biscuit. . . " Alex whispered, both the adult's eyes flicking to the boy's blood matted hair, whose face was still safely nestled in the crook of Alex's neck, his crying starting to subside and was now softly hiccupping. "Back in a minute."

Gene watched her carry Tommy off to the kitchenette, the gentle tap tap of her heels elevating the thump thump of his heart. He sighed once more, dejectedly moving towards his office to slump into his chair and quickly pour himself a scotch, intently watching the amber liquid dribble from the bottle. God he felt old. Day in day out wading through the knee deep swamp of scum in this dingy city- it was enough to make anyone crack eventually.

Every single bloody day dragging in another perv, crimmo or killer was just downright depressing for any officer- how the bloody hell did some people live with themselves? Attacking innocent people for not other reason than to satisfy their own sick, twisted desires, children like Tommy? Women like Alex?

He shifted in his seat, groaning slightly; it always came back to her-"Women like Alex?" who was he kidding. . . there was no one on this planet like her. A bloody inexplicable pain in the arse and an invaluable miracle- Grade A fruitcake, grain weevil, smart, brave, utterly beautiful, completely desirable, infinity-legs-Bolly-Keks. . . His Alex.

He loved saying her name. . . Alex. . . passing it around his brain like it was a diamond to be marvelled at, but never possessed. He loved it even more when she said his name, whispered it even. . . "Gene". . . it always made his stomach flip and his ears prick up. . . and another thing prick up too. . . he wanted nothing more than to gather her up, take her away and have her all to himself. . . A delicious shiver slid its way through him.

God, if only. Surely she'd noticed? The fact he'd never even tried to be with another woman? That he only had eyes for her? He'd sometimes dip his toe in the water, casually hinting when he was at his bravest- trying to make her respect him, open up to him, maybe even want him too? After that embarrassing mess of a date last year , he'd tried to keep his remaining pride in tact and the rest of his cards close to his chest. He'd thought about it often enough though- wondering if he could somehow muster the courage to ask her again. He always saw the right moment miles after it had ran off, those times when she looked at him with those big brown doe-eyes he could do nothing but look right back into them, his body stuck rigid, enchanted by her gaze as all the air was stolen from his lungs.

Shame she was either yelling or nagging at him most of the time- the unmarried married couple of CID- she constantly chewing off his ear and he groaning at her constant flow of speculation, theories and psycho-bollocks. He suddenly broke from his reverie and lifted his head slightly when he heard her voice float from the kitchenette as she quietly fussed over Tommy, gazing at her as she wondered back into the room and placed him on the edge of her desk, holding his hands in her own and speaking to him comfortingly as he nibbled on a pink wafer.

God, she looked good with a child he thought, reflecting on how at ease Tommy had wrapped himself around her earlier. Safe. Having children had never really been top of the Gene Genie's agenda, and he didn't think he'd ever felt anything close to "broody" in his life until Alex bloody Drake sauntered into his world. . . Shut up you stupid, stupid man he grumbled to himself, grimacing as he chucked the scotch down his throat, Gene Hunt does not get broody he thought harshly.

Christ he embarrassed himself on occasion, all these thoughts about Alex and being with her, relentlessly flooding into his brain, mentally lapping it all up like a parched man finding an oasis, his own private haven stored to one side for the next time she'd casually rebuff one of his offers, unsubtly disguised as a Gene-Genie wisecrack. What was he to her, really? Nothing. DCI Tyrannosaurus Hunt, a museum piece to be admired for a few seconds before turning back to her work- whilst he mentally pawed at the glass that separated their desks, wishing for her to watch him some more. . . just to look at him with those eyes.

He noticed her pat Tommy gently on the leg and stride towards his office, opening the door and speaking quietly, "I'm just going to pop down to the hospital with Tommy- he's calmed down now. . . but I think he's going to need to some stitches on his forehead, and I want to get the bruising on his shoulder blade checked out too, just in case. . . I'll be back in a while."

"I'll come with you." Gene grunted, starting to rise from his chair.

"No no it's fine, don't worry Gene. . . I'll get Viv to drop us there." she replied tiredly, "I'll be back soon, promise."

His heart sank, as he watched her walk out with Tommy clutching onto her hand, who turned round and waved at him, forcing a half-smile in return. He strained his ears to hear their conversation as they made their way down the corridor, "Is that nice man coming with us?" he heard Tommy ask chirpily. . . "No, not today Tommy. . ." he heard her reply, her voice fading, then stopping abruptly when the door swung close.

God he had no chance did he really. In his mind, he and Alex had already got together, been married for twenty years and settled down with kids and grown old together. . . Oh god, if only she knew what a battered, love forlorn old thing he really was.

If only she knew.

A/N: Thanks everyone for reading- to be honest, this could stay as a one-shot, a two-shot or could be a multi chapter fic as I've got bigger ideas in my mind. I guess that will depend on if people enjoy it or not! If I do decide to continue it- it won't be for at least two weeks after my exams!

Who am I? Keep guessing- but here's a clue! I'm one of the members of the Quattroll crew on TRA (if you know who us nutters are . . . !)