I don't own any of the characters of Ashes to Ashes

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The first can of hairspray was invented in the 1940s.

It was first sold in the 1950s.

It was for the rich, the well-established and the beautiful.

It was a chemical mix that somehow became revolutionary.

By the 1980s, all women were using it.

And why wouldn't they? It was a find like no other, wasn't it? A mist that held your hair in place while you ran about your day's business without even having to try... just a spray can... just one little spray, and yet it changed the beauty industry for ever.

A little pressure on the nozzle and suddenly you were safe to step outside for the day...

Naturally it had its negatives; brittle hair, split ends, dry scalp... But it was innovative and brilliant; so who cared about having to get a haircut every so often because your hair was a little dead?

Alex Drake used hairspray most days.

Alex Drake used hairspray, and she thought of Gene.

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They said that love was intoxicating, that all it needed was a little spark from a match and suddenly you were caught up in a forest fire of warmth and fear and heat and passion... Hairspray held a warning to prevent such fires, but it didn't matter; he was that fire himself.

A selling point for Alex Drakes first bottle of hairspray was the strawberry smell... and for her, Gene Hunt smelt just as sweet, even if it was of cigarettes, booze and some underlying aftershave she'd never been able to clarify.

Beauty experts always told Alex to shake the can up before spraying, because it worked better... she enjoyed shaking Gene up at the office, so that when she got him home later that night, he could show her just how well he worked.

Hairspray put a protective film around the hair to prevent flyaway strands and to keep it from breaking style... Gene Hunt put his arms around her and she'd know once and for all she would never break as long as he was with her.

Hairspray held hairs together so that they were stronger against the elements... Gene could pull her to him and fix all the broken pieces back together so she would never crumple again.

They removed most of the ethanol from hairspray once they realised it was harmful to the environment... even though Gene was practically a toxin in his own right, Alex could never remove him from the recipe of her life.

Some hairsprays made Alex's head itch, and on those days she'd end up dislodging the hair from its style even with its inclusion. Gene was like a nagging irritation at the back of her mind some days, and it felt like she was going to lose her mind when he was around.

Hair spray built up on curlers and sometimes it couldn't be removed... he'd manifested himself into her life and built himself up in her heart; she couldn't bear it if that part of her was removed.

A little pressure on the nozzle and the day was bearable because she didn't look a complete mess... a little bullet in the head, and suddenly her outlook on life and love had changed. A little nudge from Gene, and she could do anything.

A mist in the morning and she could weather the rain and the wind and the snow and the sun... a gruff and faint whisper in her ear in the mornings, and nothing could stand in her way.

Her hairdresser told her not to use it every day because it made her hair difficult and rebellious... going a day without Gene made her cranky, angry and unbearable.

It amazed her how many links she could make between the rugged man who slept beside her and the beauty products he professed to hate. She wondered sometimes if he realized how much his love helped to hold her in place, how great a role he played in the makeup of her day. Like the day before she ran out of hairspray, she panicked about the day he might decide he wanted more than her. Like the mornings she woke up and her hair wouldn't do anything she wanted, she feared the day they'd wake up in an argument that sent them both into disarray. Like the coolness of the aerosol can on her fingers, she treasured the warmth of his skin against hers. And like the end of the day when she left the shower and the hairspray was gone, she feared the night she'd go to bed without his arms holding her safe to his chest.

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Ok, I have a feeling I may need a few more days to think up some more ideas, but I'm really enjoying A2A fanfiction. Thanks for all the reviews everyone, and I hope you enjoyed this one. I wrote 'Alcohol' and wanted to do one for Alex as well...

I'll try and get a few more stories up, and maybe start an actual full-length one, soon.

Mage of the Heart