The Halo Effect
I don't own Ashes to Ashes
"...saw her, he thought she was beautiful, physically attractive... and now he won't let anyone else have what he sees as his perfect girl, because he sees her as the epitome of love and perfection and happiness and..."
It was just another psychtwattery theory that had tumbled out of her bloody gorgeous gob in the heat of case discussion. It wasn't believable, if you asked him. It was just tosh.
He didn't believe any of it.
She just enjoyed acting superior and perfect and all that la-dee-daa posh-girl bollucks he'd learnt to expect from her...
He didn't believe any of it.
She was talking out of her arse again.
He didn't believe it, not for a second...
But that hadn't stopped him coming home and trawling through books of psychiatry or psychology or whatever she wanted to call it, just to find out what it meant... because it was important, according to her... and, he told himself, it helped to know what the hell she was going on about... or at least, some of the time it did. And even though he could have asked her to explain, he'd rather bore himself silly with the techno-language of bloody mental nerds than listen to one of them explaining the ins and outs of it...
Of course, when she'd been talking about it, he'd only really registered the 'physical attraction' part of her explanation, and that was really all the encouragement he needed; maybe these psychiatrists weren't so un-human after all...
But he wasn't expecting this. What had he expected? He asked himself the question several times, and each time, it transpired that he'd expected something to do with a loony traipsing in wearing a white gown with a plastic tin above his head, proclaiming himself to be Gods Holy Messenger... and that was even after he found out that it was based on physical attraction... and who knew how that fitted into the topic under discussion? But how was he to understand; he wasn't a psychiatrist, was he?
Nor was he a psychologist or psychtwatterist or whatever it was you were meant to call people who just looked at stupidly irrelevant aspects of life and made a big deal of it...
Apparently, though, 'The Halo Effect' had nothing to do with the Angel Gabriel or Gods Holy Messenger or Bishops or Popes or any other saintly beings... apparently, it was just a misconception based purely on physical attraction... and when he thought about it initially –though he'd never admit it to anyone- he thought that maybe they'd got something right.
Because the first time he'd met her, she'd looked bloody gorgeous, in a skimpy red dress, fishnets and a ginormous furry coat, he'd immediately taken her to be intelligent, funny, witty, smart, happy, charismatic, confident, attractively vulnerable, and bloody fantastic in bed... Because she looked like she was that way, even if the rational part of his mind might have disagreed had he dared to consult it. But the fact was, she was fantastic to look at, so surely, if all the laws of the universe were correct, she just had to be the same type of fantastic he imagined her to be... Because she had to be, didn't she? Because she was gorgeous.
And for most of his assumptions, he knew he'd been right, but... not completely... and to begin with, the assumptions weren't based on anything real, just his own imagination and idealism of her personality, based on the size of her tits and the way she dressed... God, he was a shallow bastard.
But he hadn't got her a hundred percent right... had he not gotten to know her, he'd have believed otherwise, but she wasn't the ideal, perfectly-wonderful-in-every-way woman he'd had her down for. She had mood swings that lasted for days, and at those times it was best to burrow himself in a pile of paperwork and ignore the rest of the world, including her pretty little arse as she shook it all about the place in a hissy-fit about some psychtwattery bollocks he couldn't begin to comprehend, nor wanted to in any way, shape or form.
And she couldn't cook either; he hadn't actually considered that fact beforehand, because, as far as he was concerned, if she had an arse like that, then why should he keep her locked up in a house cooking, when he could be flaunting her all over town? But it was important when he'd just shagged her six ways till Sunday and fancied a bacon buttie, and all she managed was a charcoal bun.
It was a flaw, but a bearable one.
She snored, too, sometimes. The complaint was a mutual one, but the fact was, he tended to fall asleep last and, with snores like hers resonating through the room, it wasn't really a surprise. She took up three quarters of the bed some nights, too, deciding she wanted to lie, not in the normal fashion, but diagonally, with her feet on one side, and her head on the other, face pressed into his pillow, forcing him to twist around to accommodate her wishes; it was a bloody pain in the arse.
Of course, she wasn't all bad... many of his misinformed suspicions had turned out to be correct; sometimes she hit the nail right on the head. She was intelligent as hell, and though it annoyed him sometimes that she was so above his level of intellect, it was rewarding to see her outsmarting fellow members of the force at parties and suchlike, particularly when this 'outsmarting' generally happened once she'd downed a bottle and a half of wine and involved her dancing on the table proclaiming to the world that all men were, to quote, 'useless, non-intelligent fuckwits, with sex on the brain'; he generally liked to end up shagging her through the night when that happened.
And shewas funny... sometimes... in her own, quirky little way that took a long while to get used to... it was difficult to know, sometimes, whether she was joking around or having a frigging mental breakdown right before his eyes; but she made him laugh, even if it was mostly at her rather than with her. And that was another thing he'd got right; if he couldn't laugh with her, or at her, then it would have been a miserable affair indeed.
And happy? Well... she had her moments, like most people. Some days she'd wake up and he just knew from the look on her face as she looked at him that she'd had one of those nights sleeps that just make everything seem horrific, the inverse of everything you wanted... but then there were the days she'd turn to him with that dazzling smile on her face... and it was those days he knew she could well be one of the happiest people he'd ever known... Like when she sat on the sofa and looked across at him, resting her head on her hand, that dazed, almost hazy smile on her face, the one that made his stomach leap and lurch like an over-excited animal... she was definitely happy.
Vulnerable, though? He'd got that one wrong... for the most part. He'd saved her a few times, but he knew that she was a hard shell to crack, that nothing got through unless she let it; so, vulnerable? He didn't really think so. She needed saving every now and then, but who didn't? Everybody did, at some point... she wasn't any more vulnerable than anyone else he'd met. She was probably less so... except if you looked hard... really hard...
He'd been right about the last one though; he'd based it on the fact she looked like she was good in bed and up for anything... but the fact remained that, once they did end up in bed together, she was good; in fact, she was better than good. She was the best he could remember and, though most of his excursions into sex since his marriage had been drunken and rather forgettable, he couldn't imagine anyone could ever have come close.
So, he thought, did he prove or disprove this particular theory? He frowned, looking across at Alex as she slept soundly on the sofa, one arm draped over the side, hair flopping into her eyes slightly, face peaceful, mouth turned up slightly at the corners, back bare as she lay with the blanket around her naked waist...
"Disproved," he said gruffly, slamming her book shut.
Because he'd always see her the way he first had; gorgeous, perfect, and a bloody good shag.
It didn't matter what some clever shit with a small prick said- Gene Hunt hadn't been wrong.
He hadn't falsely beautified her in any manner; he'd had no evidence for his judgements, but he'd known... he'd always known... he always would...
There wasn't any sort of 'halo influence' or whatever you called it; she just was that amazing.
He held true to the belief that psychiatry was a load of utter bullshit.
Hope this was ok; came across my old Psychology notes and thought it suited.
Mage of the Heart