Wow, it's been a while, I'm not even sure if there's anyone left out there reading! I'm back, for now anyway, and apologise for taking so long to continue this. I don't know how often I'm going to be able to update or even if I've still got the bug but I would love to try so here I am again.
Disclaimer: Anything you recognise belongs to the BBC/Kudos. Anything else, including mistakes are mine!
Big thanks to warbs1981 for beta duties.
(Prompt – How)
Monday 19th April 1982 - Morning
Blinking slowly, Alex rolled over in bed, smiling to herself as she reached out her arm. The smile faded as she came into contact with nothing but a tangle of pillows and the duvet, still warm. She lifted her head, listening for any sounds from the rest of the flat that might indicate where the man who should have still been lying next to her asleep was. Hearing nothing, she flopped back and gazed at the ceiling, her mind drifting to the weekend just gone, and thinking about him.
She tried to stifle a giggle but failed, which made her giggle harder. The word 'boyfriend' was the last word that she would have ever put in the same sentence as the word 'Gene' but there it was. She was now in a romantic or rather, sexual relationship with Gene Hunt and she was happy, really happy for the first time since... Well, she couldn't really remember since when, as her memories of the days before she joined Fenchurch East were becoming more and more of a blur to her.
Since their return from the hotel on Friday the days had been filled with him. Gene had gone straight over to check on the station, while Alex unpacked her things, then she made her way over only to find that Gene had been called into a meeting all afternoon.
She'd bypassed Luigi's after work, going straight upstairs to her flat, wondering if he would come to her and he had, not fifteen minutes later. After that they'd barely left, choosing to spend a rare weekend off, together.
Alex's smile grew once more as she thought back to the past two days and she stretched languidly, ignoring her protesting muscles and focusing on the reason why she ached so much.
With a sigh she dragged herself out of bed, pulling her robe on as she half-heartedly made the bed for the first time in days. That was when she saw the note propped on the dressing table. For a moment her heart began to pound, instantly fearing the worst as anyone in a new relationship, at least such a volatile one would do, but she took a deep breath and picked it up.
I'm starving and there's nothing to eat in your flat. If you're going to continue to abuse my body every chance you get, then buy some bloody food!
I'm going down the café; meet me there if you're up in time.
Her whole body relaxed as she read the note again, with a grin. She felt like a school girl who'd just been sent a note from the rebellious bad boy, and knew that she had to get herself under control. Folding the note up and slipping it into her dressing gown pocket she headed for the shower, humming under her breath.
"Bacon, sausage, egg, beans, mushrooms, black pudding, two slices and a mug of coffee, please, Mary," said Gene, putting the menu down and lighting a cigar.
"Coming right up lovey," replied the waitress, heading back to the counter and shouting his order out.
He was absolutely starving and blamed it entirely on Alex, who had basically held him prisoner all weekend, of course he hadn't really tried to get away very hard. He caught sight of his reflection in the mirrored wall and wondered how long he'd been wearing the smug expression he had now.
Stretching out his legs under the table, he covered a yawn, thanking Mary as she put the mug of coffee down in front of him. "You look like you've had a rough weekend, Mr Hunt, that place is working you too hard!"
"If only you knew," he said under his breath, reaching for the sugar and pouring a hefty amount into his mug.
He couldn't remember a time when he'd been happier, and although that would probably begin to concern him soon, at the moment he was content just to bask in it. The weekend he had just spent with Alex had been like a dream, one he never wanted to wake up from, as long as he got some food inside him.
Taking a long drag on the cigar and sipping the coffee, Gene let the combination of stimulants wake him up properly, bringing him almost all the way back to his usual self. Today was an important one, even though nothing was actually happening. Today he and Alex would be facing CID for the first time since getting together and staying together, and as much as he would deny it, he was a tiny bit worried about what would happen.
Should they just come out with it and let the team just gossip it out, or should they hide it, keep it a secret, something just between them?
He needed to speak to Alex about it, he knew that but their relationship was so fragile, so new that he didn't know what she would want and if his history with women was anything to go by then asking her was bound to be the wrong thing to do and possibly spark an argument.
This was his first real relationship since his divorce and if he was honest, the most important one he'd ever had. A relationship that was just for him, not done out of any sense of duty, but because it was what they both wanted, needed. He would not mess it up.
He could feel a headache brewing at the base of his skull and looked at his watch, it was only 8 o' clock, far too early to be stressed, especially after the weekend he'd just had. He resolutely put it out of his mind, thinking that nothing good had ever been decided on an empty stomach and took another sip of his coffee.
The door opened and he glanced up, the smug look returning to his face as he saw all the other men in the café looking in the direction of the striking woman walking toward him, her eyes only for him, not even noticing the attention she was getting.
She flopped down in the chair opposite him, returning his smirk before grabbing the mug and taking a sip, pulling a face as she pushed it back to him. "I don't know why I always do that; no normal person could handle drinking one of your coffees!"
"Well that's one good reason for me to carry on drinking them then, isn't it?" Gene replied with a smile, handing her a menu. "You need to eat something, Bolly, you've hardly had anything all weekend."
Alex smiled as she took the menu. "I think you'll find that I've 'had' quite a lot this weekend," she replied, scanning the page. Looking up at Gene and seeing his raised eyebrow she laughed. "Sorry, I just need to get all the innuendos out of my system before we get to the station, I suggest you do the same!"
"I'm sure I can contain myself, Bols, or not, but the rest of the station expect it from me so it's not a problem," he replied, sitting back as Mary brought over his breakfast. The older woman looked between the couple and gave Gene a knowing look before asking Alex if she would like anything.
"I suppose a decaf latte and a croissant are out of the question," she muttered, wrinkling her nose as she looked at Gene's plate and trying to remember for a moment where she'd ever had either of those things. "I'll have a mug of tea and scrambled eggs on toast, please," she said, giving Mary a smile as the older woman walked away.
She watched as Gene began to eat, looking her fill of him and still trying to get her head around the fact that he was hers now, all hers. It seemed that the honeymoon period was well under way and she felt amazing because of it, like they could do anything.
"So, today," she said, sipping the tea that had just arrived in front of her. "Is Monday, Bols, the same as it is every seventh day," replied Gene without looking up. Maybe if he let her bring it up then a row could be averted.
She thanked Mary as her breakfast arrived and they ate in companionable silence, Alex trying to think of how best to approach the subject. She waited until their plates had been cleared away and their drinks replenished before speaking.
"Gene, you know what I mean," she said, looking down into her mug. "I have no problem with everyone knowing, as long as you don't, but I understand if you want to keep it under wraps for now."
Lighting a cigar, he looked over at her through a haze of smoke, a thrill running through him that she was his, that she was leaving no one in any doubt of the fact by the way she was looking at him. He wondered if he had the same look on his face and found that he didn't care, not here anyway.
"Well, Bolly, personally I don't care who knows, I'll go and shout it from the roof if you like, but it's going to be a lot harder for you than it is for me, you know what our lot are like, and that's without what the senior brass will have to say about it."
He saw the sudden uncertain look on her face and sighed, reaching across the table and covering her hand with his own. "Listen, Bols, we're in this together, you and me, remember? This is serious, not some casual fling, at least it is for me…"
"For me too," she replied quietly, turning her hand over to lace her fingers through his. "I just, well I never really thought through the consequences, or how everyone else would react. I don't care," she said hurriedly, feeling him begin to pull away.
"God, we're bad at this," she said with a shake of her head, giving him a small smile.
"Oh I don't know, Bolly, judging on the weekend we've just had, I'd say we're pretty good at this!" He smiled as she laughed and squeezed her hand.
"Okay, this is what we're going to do; we're going to go to work, because if we don't the three muska-tarts will be sending out a search party, we're going to do our jobs, because I doubt very much whether the criminal element of London will take a day off to celebrate the fact that we finally got it together, then we're going to go to Luigi's, eat something appalling, drink far too much and then I'll let you take me upstairs and ravish me and if people notice, they notice, and if they don't, then they don't. How does that sound?"
Alex's smile was so big that her cheeks were aching. She thought that right then, sitting in a workman's café in Fenchurch, looking over at Gene, she could have told him, could have said the three little words that meant so much to some and nothing to others.
But she didn't. She just nodded, leaning across the table and kissing him softly. "That sounds perfect, Gene, thank you."
He threw some money down on the table and stood up, pulling her up with him. He gave her arse a quick pat before moving away and heading to the door.
Alex smirked and followed him out. "You're right," she said quietly, "we are pretty good at this."