Chapter V - Our Colliding Worlds
A/N: Oh, a bit more of a decent chapter! I apologise for any typos, I hope they're not too frequent and off-putting... But anways, the plot thickens! Lyrics (C) Nancy Sinatra.
Music played and people sang,
Just for me the churchbells rang.
Now he's gone,
I dont know why.
And till this day,
Sometimes I cry.
He didn't even say goodbye,
He didnt take the time to lie.
He shot me down
I hit the ground
That awful sound
My baby shot me down...
Gene sat awkwardly at the kitchen table of the Tyler's house, he'd never felt so bloody uncomfortable in all his life. Lucy was sat next to him, pushing the last few cornflakes around the sea of milk in her bowl. She was swinging her legs lightly, waiting on her mother getting ready to take her to school. Bowie played on the radio that was sat on one of the kitchen benches: "I'm happy, hope you're happy too..."
Sighing, Gene shot her a quick glance and fumbled in his coat pocket, looking for his cigarettes and lighter – he was desperately craving nicotine. He quickly pulled one out and threw the packet down on the table. Lucy sat watching him, but didn't raise her head. He flicked open his lighter and was about to light up when she finally looked up at him.
"Mam doesn't like people smokin' in the 'ouse..." she said quietly.
Gene paused and sighed again, putting the cigarette away with a defeated look. "You're too much like yer Dad, yer are..." he replied.
She pursed her lips at him and he gave her a small smile, "Yer remember much 'bout 'im?"
Lucy paused, "I dunno. Kinda..."
"Good bloke, the best mate yer could ask for," Gene said in a low voice.
Lucy smiled up at him shyly and put her spoon down in her bowl. She slipped off the kitchen chair and skipped out the room, looking for her mother. Gene watched her go and smiled sadly to himself – that little girl was definitely the spitting image of her father: the same quiet and calm manner and the dark eyes so full of life. He missed Sam, he always would. As he lost himself in a silent moment of nostalgia, the radio fizzled into static; he turned sharply at the sound of Alex's voice, a confused look on his face.
"I'm home... I have to be... right?" she said quietly. "... But... why can't I feel anything anymore, Gene?"
He listened and tensed when she said his name. He didn't get why he could hear her over the radio, it wasn't possible, right? She was stuck in the sodding coma he'd put her in. All the mental shite: the dream, weird things going on with the piece of broken space-shite that was his computer and the radios. Was he going mad? No he couldn't, the Gene Genie does not turn mental. No chance. Gene shook his head and frowned.
"Bolls?" he said quietly, getting up and walking over to the radio. And before he knew what he was doing, he spoke back, "Oh come on, Bolls. Yer gotta be strong...Get back to me."
He paused and added in a low voice "We're waitin' for yer, Bolly..."
The radio crackled out again and Bowie came back: "You better not mess with Major Tom..."
Gene stared hard at the radio. This was too much. This was not black and white as he very much liked. He couldn't get his head around this all; the messages, Alex's tapes full of nothing but mad ramblings and heart-felt pleas to her daughter. All of it. This just wasn't happening. Why couldn't things be simple again? Before Alex arrived, before Sam's death? Back in the seventies where life was simple, he could get the job done – no questions asked. The scum was off the streets and he ruled his kingdom without fuss. All of that was gone now. And look what he had now. And now... Now there seemed to be something bigger out there, and it to be honest... it scared him a little.
Evan took Alex and Molly home, it felt like an age since she'd been in her own house. It really had. She spent a good twenty minutes just walking from room to room, taking in each detail of where she lived. Evan set down a paper bag full of various medications the hospital had given Alex on the kitchen table and busied himself with making dinner, Molly helping chop vegetables. The reality of it all overwhelmed her and she swooned slightly, a dull ache in her forehead. As she steadied herself against the wall, Molly looked up.
"...Mum?" she frowned with concern.
"I-I'm alright sweetheart... I think I better go for a lie down..."
"Alex?" Evan hurried to her side to help steady her. "Do you want a hand up the stairs?"
"No.." she took a gulp of air, "No... I think I can manage..."
She gave Evan a weak smile and slowly shuffled out the room and headed upstairs for the bathroom. Splashing her face with cold water, the ache still loomed.
"Come on Alex... You're home..." she told herself as she gazed at her pale face in the mirror, her head still in bandages. They'd be taken off in a couple of days, "I have to be... right?"
She grimaced in pain and put her hand under the running water... she couldn't feel it. She shook her head in disbelief, how was this possible? It was as if her skin had gone numb. She reached forward, turned on the hot tap and waited for it to heat up; the steam began to cloud up the mirror. Biting down on her lip, she edged her hand under the heavy flow of water. Expecting to be scalded, she felt nothing there. She watched as he skin burned red and still she didn't feel a thing. Pulling back her hand, her mind went fuzzy, her words slurred. She found herself asking:
"... Why can't I feel anything anymore, Gene?"
Alex swooned; the pain at the back of her skull became unbearable. She saw stars in her eyes as she put a hand to the side of her head, gasping in agony. Staggering out the bathroom door through the hall way, she reached out with one hand, shoving the already ajar door of her bedroom open and fell through, landing in a heap on the floor. Her brain seared with pain, she'd never felt anything like this before. Tears were streaming down her face as she dragged herself across the floor and pulled herself onto her bed, her whole body fighting against her, becoming dead weight.
With all the effort she could muster, Alex managed to crawl onto her bed and collapsed. She curled up into a ball, her forehead glistening with sweat as screamed in agony, begging for herself to pass out and block all the pain out. Where was Evan and Molly, had they not heard her? The thought left her mind; it was one thing too much for her to think about. And as if someone had turned out a light, she blacked out. All the while, a soft tune playing in the distance: I'm happy, hope you're happy too...
"Alex... Aaaaalex..." a soft Irish accent cooed.
Her eyes opened, but the room was spinning. A mass of abstract colours; flashes of light and blurred faces. She blinked, trying to see sense of it all. The voice was so familiar, it made her blood run cold when she realised who it was. She turned over on the bed and inhaled with much difficulty, a face became clear and two cold grey-blue eyes found hers.
"No... Noooo..." she whined, clutching at her head, "No, you're dead..."
Martin Summers smiled down at her, relishing in her pain. He shook his head and sighed, the smirk still remained.
"You're not home yet, Alex..." he told her. "Your head's telling you that you are, but you're still stuck in 1982,"
"No..." Alex whined again, tears streaming down her face.
"The mind's a funny thing. But yours is just something special," he mused, "Faced with physical injury and your brain simply pushes you further into your subconscious. It fulfils your needs to comfort itself and has created a copy of the world you so desperately want to get back to..."
"No, you're lying..." Alex's words were slurred as writhed on the bed and slowly began to push her body up, trying to sit up.
"Do you really think I'd be here if this was the real 2008?" Summers sneered, stepping closer to her, "Like you said yourself: I'm dead. You're stuck in another dream-world, Alex."
Alex collapsed onto the bed and grimaced, the pain in her head becoming unbearable. Her eyes flickered closed for a brief moment, wishing him away. But when she opened her eyes again, he was still there.
"No..." she groaned, pulling a pillow over her face to block him out. "Get out, get out!"
"You better wake up Alex, before it's too late..." he warned her, "It's those pretty little pills you're taking. They're keeping you here..."
"Stop taking them, if you really want to get home..." he added before she blacked out again.
When she finally opened her eyes again, it was early morning; she could hear birdsong outside. Someone had been in her room and had tucked her up in bed. Groaning, she slowly sat up in bed and looked around her room. Had Summers really been here? Her mind still felt hazy, she didn't feel 'with it' at all. She remembered his words:
"You're not home yet, Alex... Your head's telling you that you are, but you're still stuck in 1982,"
And then she'd remembered, Summers was here in 2008 with her. She had to find him. Reaching over to her bed stand, she picked up the phone and began to punching in numbers to her office. A young woman answered the phone.
"This is DI Alex Drake. I know I'm still on leave, but I need a favour..." Alex said into the mouth piece. "I'm looking for an ex-Policeman active in the 80's and 90's..." she paused for a moment, clawing at his name with difficulty. The devil made flesh. "Martin Summers..."
"Summers?" the woman was jotting the name down. "..No problem, Ma'am. I'll phone you back later today," came the reply from the young woman after a few seconds.
"Okay, thank you... Bye-bye..." she placed the receiver back on the hook and let out a dull sigh.
Alex looked over at her bed stand and saw her medication and a glass of water staring back at her. He'd told her to stop taking the pills. Could she really believe him? Was she really home? Her mind was constantly hazy, plagued by intimate dreams of Gene Hunt – and now a deceased Summers stalked her. This place wasn't real... was it? She felt cut off, like she wasn't really here. Numb to the world. She couldn't feel anything anymore.
She blinked softly and slowly got out of bed. As soon as her feet touched the floor, she felt a sharp pain in her abdomen. She looked down at uttered a quiet shriek at a dark patch of red on the material of her shirt. Blood. Her blood.
"Oh god... Oh my god..." she squeaked and stumbled out of bed.
She headed for the bathroom, a hand pressed to her stomach as she grabbed the nearest towel next to her. Her breathing was ragged, her skin paled. As she was about to press it to her stomach, she froze and gasped.
There was nothing there.
She dropped the towel and gazed down at her now clean shirt, she even lifted it up to inspect the skin of her stomach, but there was not a single mark on her. Relief and fear over-whelmed her as she sunk to the floor and burst into a fit of silent sobs.
"Oh come on, Bolls..." she looked up at Gene's voice. "Yer gotta be strong. Get back to me..."
He was stood, leaning lazily on the door frame. Alex gaped at him with disbelieving eyes as he offered her small smile.
"We're waitin' for you, Bolly.." he said before turning and leaving, Alex frozen to the spot on the bathroom floor.