Gene stared dismally at the thick bandage wrapped around Alex's torso and sighed, knowing that the bullet had come from his gun; his fingers had been the ones to pull the trigger and it was his judgement that had wavered, his fault that the speeding, fatal bullet had not hit Jeanette...but rather the last woman on earth he would want to kill, or harm in any way.

The only sounds in the small hospital room was the constant quiet beeping of the drip as it kept Alex's weakened heart beating and his slow breathing, heavy compared to the shallow rise and fall of her damaged chest. After exhausting his voice on shouting at her unresponsive form, he had sank down into the hard, uncomfortable chair by the bedside, taking to begging with her, pleading for her to wake up and tell the police it wasn't his fault...

But Gene knew the odds were against him, just as they always were...his life was a constant battle against the odds, against crime, against wrong...and it seemed this was one fight he looked likely to lose, he would go down. The evidence was against him, he had threatened her and Chris, Ray and Shaz had all seen the bullet hit her, how were they to know that hurting her hadn't been his intention? If only she would wake up...

At that moment, Alex's eyes popped open with a start, darting around the room and finally resting on him. 'Gene.' She breathed, staring at him with wide, amber eyes.

'Bolly-' Gene started leaning forward, ready to tell her he sorry, that she had to tell the police he hadn't done it on purpose, but this was still assuming that after all that had happened, she was still on his side.

Alex's brow puckered into a small frown as the memories of a few hours before came flooding back to her. 'You shot me.' She stated, an edge of shock to her voice as her brow straightened out again. Slowly, she sat up part of the way, propping herself on the thin pillows as her hand traced lightly over the cast that covered most of her torso.

'I know, Bolls...I'm sorry, I didn't mean ter, I promise...you have to tell 'em I didn't mean ter hit yer...I was aiming fer that bitch.' His words came out in a rush as he grasped on to her arm, pleading with her.

She looked up at him, eyes running over his face, down the length of the scar on his chin to his tortured, sea-green eyes. 'You were aiming for Jeanette?' She asked, surprising Gene with the disbelieving manner of the question.

He nodded. 'Of course I was, Bolly. I'd never shoot yer, I'm sorry I hit yer, Bolls.'

Alex sighed, shaking her head slightly. 'What about, and I quote – 'you dare get in my way and I swear to God I will kill you' ?' She questioned sceptically, though it tore her up inside to be so harsh. She just wanted to be sure he hadn't meant to do it, when she'd saw that bullet – his bullet fly towards her, something had broken inside her. She couldn't believe he really hated her that much.

Gene ran his hand down her bare arm, sending shivers down her spine before taking her hand, squeezing it and looking into her eyes. 'Bolly, I didn't mean ter shoot yer...and I would never have killed yer, I couldn't. I'm sorry I said I would kill yer, it was just I was so angry...sorry.' He told her, head dropping in shame. He had to make her see, make her see that he didn't mean to do it, that he was sorry.

'Yeah, I do know your temper, Gene.' She sighed and took a deep breath in, pursing her lips as he looked back up again. 'I just want you to know that I was telling the truth, Gene.' She added softly, her face relaxing. She knew what was coming soon...whilst she had been unconscious, she had seen her hospital room in 2008 and she was waking up...she didn't have long here, and she had to tell him...had to tell him she was sorry.

'I know.' He whispered, so low it was barely audible, but she heard.

'You believe me?' She asked, her eyes widening.

He nodded and gave her a wry smile. 'Ter be honest, Bolly, there isn't much of a better explanation as ter why yer such a nutcase.'

A short laugh escaped from Alex's mouth as she smiled at him. 'I'm sorry I didn't tell you before, Gene...but I didn't want to be called crazy, or for you to call the men in white coats...I couldn't find the right time.' She admitted quietly while he just nodded, his thumb making reassuring circles on her hand.

Alex sighed as she looked up at him. 'And I suppose this is goodbye.' She said, jumping as his head snapped up, his eyes locking with hers.

'What?' He almost shouted, his hand tightening around hers desperately.

'My daughter's there, Gene...I'm going home, I know it...I have to go.' She explained softly, feeling the familiar sting behind her eyes, signalling the forming tears.

'I know.' He replied, squeezing her hand a little. But he didn't want her to go, didn't want her to leave him here on his own. What was he supposed to do without her input at work? Who was he going to sit in Luigi's with and get pissed every night?

Let me apologise to begin with

Let me apologise for what I'm about to say

But trying to be genuine was harder than it seemed

And somehow I got caught up in between

'I did try to be honest with you, Gene, you know that don't you?' Alex asked over the tense silence that had gripped them, one tear threatening to slip from her eyes and spill over her eyelashes, onto her cheek.

He nodded. 'I know, Bolls. It's alright.'

'It's not alright.' Alex mumbled. 'You told me about the Masons even though you didn't have to...I should have told you, then maybe-'

'Bolly, just be quiet, it's fine.' He reassured her, glancing at the heart rate monitor. It wasn't particularly noticeable, but he could see the line getting slower, just by tiny increments. Time had never been on his side, but now it seemed against him, with every tick of the clock he knew he was closer to losing her...to losing his Bolly-Knickers.

Let me apologise to begin with

Let me apologise for what I'm about to say

But trying to be someone else was harder than it seemed

And somehow I got caught up in between

'It isn't fine, Gene.' Alex insisted, stubborn for someone whose life was slowly fading with each weak heartbeat. 'I promised I would be honest with you, and I wasn't.'

'Bolly, yer were right not ter tell me, I would most likely have had yer shipped off ter the asylum, yer know me.' Gene told her. 'And then where would I have been?'

'Sober, probably.' Alex said, smiling a little.

He smiled. 'Probably, Bolls. Tell yer what; yer can sink a bottle of Luigi's house rubbish faster than myself.'

Alex's smile grew a little wider and she slowly reached out a hand to his face, resting it over his cheek. 'Promise me that's how you'll remember me...not like this.' She said, gesturing to her cast encased chest and heart rate monitor.

'What, pissed as hell and mumbling all sorts of bullocks?'

Alex nodded and withdrew her hand, placing it over the large hand that already covered her other one. 'Yeah...not like this.'

Gene smiled, trying to ignore how cold her hands were slowly growing. 'It's a promise, Bolls.'

Between my pride and my promise

Between my lies and how the truth gets in the way

The things I want to say to you get lost before they come

The only thing that's worse than one is none

'It was good though, wasn't it?' She murmured, 'between the arguments and the killers, and the wine...it was good.'

Gene nodded. 'Yeah, it was good, Bolly. Yer know, when I first found out yer were my DI, I thought oh shit, Gene...what yer gonna do with this posh bitch? But yer know what, Bolly?'

'What?'

'Yer not a bad copper, fer a bird.' He told her, smiling his rare Gene Genie smile.

Alex laughed. 'Thanks.'

'And shall I tell yer a secret?' He asked, giving her a slight wink.

'Go on then.' Alex replied with a sigh, smiling at the light banter she had become so familiar with...she would miss it, all of it. And him. She would miss him immensely.

Gene leant forward and whispered in her ear. 'I secretly quite like that bony arse of yours.'

Let me apologize to begin with

Let me apologise for what I'm about to say

But trying to regain your trust was harder than it seemed

And somehow I got caught up in between

Alex grinned as he leaned back, her spine tingling from where his warm breath had caressed the back of her neck. 'I knew it.' She said with a smirk. It soon melted into a smile though, as his thumb began tracing circles over her hand again.

'You know I thought we'd never get along...sexist, tyrannosaurus Hunt. But we did, didn't we?'

'Yeah, we did, Bolly.' Gene replied, glancing up again at the heart monitor, his own heart sinking as he saw the noticeably lower patter there. 'You alright, Bolls?'

Alex nodded. 'I'm fine, Gene. It's alright.'

'Ok, Bolls. I trust yer.'

'I know.' She said, dropping her head down onto the pillows to lie sideway, facing him with her hands still entwined with his. 'Thank you, Gene.'

'For what?'

'For sitting here, with me. I'll miss you.' She told him gently, another tear slipping from her eyes.

'I'll miss yer too, Bolls.' He said gruffly, repressing the stab of pain as he was once again reminded of how she was going soon...their light chat wouldn't last forever.

Between my pride and my promise

Between my lies and how the truth gets in the way

The things I want to say to you get lost before they come

The only thing that's worse than one is none

The only thing that's worse than one is none

After a few more minutes of calm silence, the ticking of the clock the only thing to remind them that time exists, that they were living in the real world...well, one of them to Alex anyway.

'I don't know how to say it, Gene.' Alex whispered, his thumb still making circles against her hand.

'Say what, Bolly?'

She bit her lip, shifting herself upwards so she was propped up against the pillows again. 'How sorry I am...how I wished things had happened differently...that maybe I shouldn't have been so selfish.'

Gene frowned. 'Selfish?'

Alex nodded. 'Yeah...all those night in Luigi's, I could have told you about Molly, and why I couldn't go back home...but I didn't because I was enjoying myself too much, I didn't want to ruin it.'

'You were enjoying yourself?' He asked, his thumb stopping still.

'Of course I was, Gene...I loved it, sitting with you and getting drunk till two o'clock in the morning, then we'd walk upstairs and you'd pass out on the sofa.'

Gene smiled and his thumb resumed rubbing circles on her hand. 'I liked it too, Bolly.'

And I cannot explain to you

In anything I say or do or plan

Fear is not afraid of you

Guilt's a language you can understand

'I did think about telling you, when we were doing all that stuff fitting Supermac up...but I just couldn't do it. I felt guilty because you'd let me in on all of your secrets and I was still keeping mine from you.'

'Please, Bolly, don't worry about it. I've told yer, I'd have had yer carted off to the asylum in any other circumstances but these. Now shut up about it.'

Alex smiled. 'Or you'll stamp on my pretty little head?'

'No...I wouldn't do that, Bolls.' He told her, the sincerity in his voice touching her in a way she knew it shouldn't. It was too late to think like that, to think what might have happened if this was her real time...if she had been honest with them...too late to think of how they might have felt about each other then.

I cannot explain to you

In anything I say or do

I hope the actions speak the words they can

Alex sighed, pulling herself up further and taking her hands away from his hold. Slowly she shifted herself closer to the edge of the bed and looked up at him, leaning forward.

'Sorry, Gene.' She murmured, before lightly pressing her lips to his, bringing her hands up to rest around his neck, she felt his hands tangle in her hair as he kissed her back...it was soft and gentle, both knowing that there was only so much time left to them.

For my pride and my promise

For my lies and how the truth gets in the way

The things I want to say to you get lost before they come

The only thing that's worse than one is none

Suddenly the steady beeping of the heart rate monitor grew louder and quicker, Alex pulled away, yet kept her hands on his shoulders, looking into his eyes. Her breathing was fast and shallow, betraying her weak heartbeats and fragile condition.

She fell back, her eyes fluttering to her close while the taste of Gene's lips remained on hers. And as she slipped away, a ghost of a whisper slipped from her mouth.

'I love you.'

And as the heart rate monitor fell silent, another one in 2008 picked up, as Alex opened her eyes again.

For my pride and my promise

For my lies and how the truth gets in the way

The things I want to say to you get lost before they come

The only thing that's worse than one is none