I don't own the characters, the show, or the lyrics... they're just taking temporary residence in my head.

Just a quick fic for XTimeGirlX's songfic competition, using All American Rejects song 'Damn Girl'. Hope you enjoy :-)


If you feel like running today
You know I'd understand
You don't, but you long

He sat in the office, just like he always did; he sat there, watching her twirl her hair around her fingers, watching her eye the telephone almost expectantly, as if waiting for it to leap from its cradle and begin sprouting love songs. She was biting her lip, glancing around, looking anywhere and everywhere except at him; he felt it like a kick in the teeth.

She smiled weakly at Ray, laughed lamely at Chris's jokes, accepted a cup of tea from Shaz whilst joking absently with the other officers as they worked, but there was no sign that she wanted to see him at all. Her hazel eyes darted in every other direction possible, and as the fog of his cigarette drifted aimlessly upwards, the red ember burning down to the base as it dangled between his fingers, he wondered if he blamed her...

He hadn't exactly tripped over himself to talk to her; a few times, he thought he worked up the courage to talk, but then she'd flick her hair, turn her face away and down her drink, and he was made to feel like shit again, as though it were all his fault that this was what they'd been reduced to.

A few months ago, everything had been dandy; he'd been curled around her tight little arse and nestled into those gorgeous tits, and, to be frank, life had been goddamned near perfect. How was he to know she planned to up and out? If he hadn't heard her talking to Shaz about not 'being here for long', he'd probably have been buried between her perfect legs right now, instead of forcing the whole team to work late based on one simple fact; she'd got a date with someone else.

He'd tried to speak to her about leaving – more than once, in fact – but each time she had brushed him off, pushing him away and putting herself to bed hours earlier than was necessary, insisting that he stay at the bar and keep the lads company. Then, finally, after a week or two of stepping around each other like little girls on a farm avoiding massive piles of cow shit, he'd followed her up the stairs and asked her straight out... And then she'd flipped.

Despite his best attempts to be understanding, to assure her of his support whatever the decision, she yelled and ranted and screamed and roared, and in half an hour the whole thing had fallen to shit, and he was out on his arse with his bag thrown after him, and an insistence that she never wanted to see him again; he'd kicked at her door, told her he'd see her at work in the morning, and then promptly gone downstairs and gotten well and truly pissed in Luigi's.

The next morning, he'd thought he could fix things, but she didn't show up; he went round her flat, and she ignored the door. He called the phone, and she let it ring itself off the hook. After a few days, he'd tried the more physical approach, earned himself a slap, and a thorough telling that the sooner she got the hell out of this place, the better.

So he'd waited for her to transfer out; he'd practically scoured his in-tray ten times a day, every day for the last few months, but there was no sign of it. It was worse than painful; the knowledge that she wasn't even leaving, but couldn't be arsed to break the barriers between them, stung like a wasp stinger to the testicles. He'd concluded that, whatever she claimed, the real thing she'd wanted to escape wasn't this place, wasn't the job, or the fact she was simply bored – she'd just decided that his time was up, and she should get out whilst she could.

It's easier to get away
When on the other hand
You know I'm not much better without you
I'm like your victim and all that you need is an alibi
Its one thing about you
I don't wanna make you cry

Because that was how it worked, wasn't it? You shagged the boss, you needed an excuse to end it, so you put in for transfer... he wanted to say it would surprise him, that he'd never expect it from her, but at the back of his mind he'd known all along that their relationship was too good to be true; how long could a grumpy DCI get away with shagging his stunning under-officer without any comeuppance? Well, he'd managed five months... five bloody good months, actually...

He took a drag on his cigarette, watching as she tapped her pen on the desk in impatience, a wistful sigh leaving his lips as he did so, remembering when it had been him she'd counted down the minutes to see... They had been five good months, he concluded; the best of his life, if it weren't too cliché a thing to admit to.

But the worst part of the whole scenario, he considered, wasn't the fact that she'd ended things - although that was a kick to the old ego for sure- the worst bit was that, in actuality, she knew only too well that he missed her. She knew, and she seemed to positively revel in it. It was impossible not to notice when, every spare chance he got, he sat staring through his open shutters watching her work. Occasionally, he knew she felt his eyes on her, knew because she shifted slightly, ruffling her hand through her hair and attempting to avoid looking... and when it got too much, when he just kept watching, his eyes more open and longing than he cared to admit, she turned and looked right back at him, her hazel eyes meeting his for a flash of a moment, before she'd turn away in disgust, as though he'd physically burned her by so much as allowing his eyes to pass over her face.

She knew he missed her; she knew, and she didn't give a damn...

But to suggest it to her? To bring it up in – admittedly drunken and uninhibited- conversation? Why, in her opinion that was positively criminal! The suggestion that she would scorn him was, apparently, beyond comprehension. Because a few weeks after their unceremonious break up, he'd sloped over to her in the bar, completely hammered and slurring with difficulty as he leant across her table, claiming, in some drunken, incoherent, lumbering assembly of phrases, that she was only ever using him to get ahead in her work.

And even through the alcohol-induced haze, he'd seen the tears form in her eyes, seen the pain and the hurt and the anger, and he'd felt even worse than before; because blokes didn't make women cry. It was the height of shittiness, and getting a bird to break down in tears was tantamount to domestic violence; it wasn't right, it wasn't done, and if you did it, you felt like utter bollucks for weeks because a moment of a birds crying was worse than five hundred repeated kicks to the balls... And to make matters worse, it was Alex; watching her cry was like watching someone yank off his right foot and start kicking it on a pissing Man United pitch. It wasn't right to feel so guilty, when he had every right to be pissed off; she had no right to sit there crying her eyes out when he'd drank away everything he'd got because she'd buggered off...

But she was crying, and a bird in tears was like a Labrador puppy pining for food; it didn't matter how shitty, or scummy, or crappy they'd behaved beforehand, for some insane, unthinkable reason, you always wanted to help, no matter how hard and macho you pretended to be... So he knew, the moment she started to tear up, that he should have stayed well and truly out of the way. He should've stuck to his corner, and drank himself into ten different types of coma; she had no right to cry, when it took every ounce of effort he possessed not to beg her to come back to him.

Damn girl
Dry your eyes
You stole my heart and then you kicked it aside
No girl you can't see
When he's inside you know there's no room for me

It wasn't fair... and he knew it wasn't fair, even as he fumbled to apologise, to make out he was wrong because she was balling out tears faster than a starved hound who'd just sniffed a sausage on speed. He wanted to hate her and scream at her, to tell her to grow a pair so he didn't have to feel so fucking useless when she turned on the taps; instead he'd started grovelling, making a flurry of pathetic excuses and admissions that, whilst true, had proved to be the clincher, and earned him a smack around the chops and a vicious, hissing fit that made him want to break something.

Amidst the flurry of his blundered compliments and hapless apologies, three words had spilled out from the havoc, and somehow they'd proven to be the only thing that broke through whatever wall she'd shoved up around her head.

"I love you!" He'd slurred, slamming his fist down on the table to accentuate the point, his blue eyes fixing on hers with desperation in their depths; he'd seen her hazel eyes flash with a familiar warmth, before suddenly, unexpectedly, it was replaced by anger so raw and unbridled that he wondered from time to time if he'd even seen the heat beneath it in the first place. Her fist had connected firmly with his jaw, followed by a vicious slap to the opposing cheek, before she'd stormed off up the stairs with tears streaming down her face.

He'd been drunk enough not to feel the sting until the next morning; he was sober enough that, as her knuckle had smacked into his mouth, he'd tasted the unmistakeable salt of her tears.

If you can take a chance
Find you that better man
A life seize from your quick disease
You're givin all my lovin away
Tell me to understand

That had been the last time he'd tried to talk; after that, she'd blanked him, ignored his declaration, and starting working her ass off in an attempt to avoid him... And then, as if by magic, she was shagging some fancy bloke and his world had crumbled to pieces.

He hadn't been surprised to learn that the new man was cleverer, richer, and far more attractive than he could ever hope to be. The first time he'd seen the smug bastard, Gene had been dragging a suspect into the cells, and he'd taken a wild, vindictive moment to fantasise about the abuse and pain he could inflict on the other man if he hadn't had his hands full.

Harry Cedar was tall, dark, rugged, handsome, and, to top it all off, Detective Superintendent of Fenchurch West. If Alex could have picked any man to piss him off, she couldn't have found a better one. He picked her up from the station and took her out to dinner every night, and Gene soon learned that the moment Alex and Cedar walked in was the moment to leave Luigi's, unless he wanted to endure the lewd, graphic comments made by the other officers. Although he knew the sensible thing would have been to avoid the little place altogether, a part of him – a horrifyingly large part of him, in fact- stuck around in the hope that, one day, they'd come back fighting and arguing, and he could be there to pick up the pieces... She'd fall into his arms, tell him she was sorry, and he could simply start right back where he belonged, instead of hanging around like a spare part every night and shooting off like a Catherine wheel.

But it never happened; every night, they'd walk in arm-in-arm, and Gene soon got used to the cursory 'good evening' that the Superintendent threw in his direction, as though aiming to rub in his newfound, and, in Gene's opinion, much more prolific, sense of status in Alex's life just that little bit more. Rather than reply, Gene took to downing his drink, watching Alex longingly for a few moments, as if hoping to catch her eye, and then leaving, avoiding the perfunctory goodnights and absenting himself in a huff.

The first night, he went and half-heartedly shagged a stripper, then took himself home and tossed off to the thought of Alex on her knees in front of him; since then, he hadn't even been able to glance at anyone else.

Every now and then, he wondered if she noticed how much it hurt him to see her that way; every now and then, he realized that she knew only too well.

Cuz you know
I'm not much better without you
Ill press your lips and I taste everyone that you've had tonight
it's one thing about you
I don't wanna taste tonight

It hadn't got any better, he realized, still seated in his office and watching her agitated features. Since the first week that he'd seen Cedar and Alex together, Gene knew that he was buggered. The fact of the matter was, he couldn't avoid her; it hurt him like a physical burning to see her with another man, but somehow the idea of not seeing her at all was up there with having his penis removed with a very blunt spoon. She'd catch him looking at her, and she'd turn away, almost guiltily, as her new fancy man draped his hands over her and whispered undoubted sweet nothings in her ear; and that was only in the few minutes that Gene could hack in Luigi's once they arrived. He'd leave with every intention of scouring his mind with bleach, whiting out all the unpleasantries of the evening with a large helping of whiskey.

It didn't matter; he could drink himself senseless, and the dreams would still be there, haunting his nights with their eerie, all too accurate impersonations of Alex. He'd be kissing her, lying over her on the sofa just like he used to, and somehow he could taste everything on her mouth; every dash of bourbon the fancy tosser had had for dinner, every posh cigar that was more air than tobacco, and every dash of mouthwash that he'd used in an attempt to spruce up for the evening. And it didn't matter how much the dream Alex washed her mouth out, or how often he kissed her, or how hard he pressed, it didn't change; the taste of her was tainted, impure, imperfect, and he felt alienated, disgusted, horrified and betrayed...

And yet, despite himself, and despite the horrors he knew awaited him, Gene spent the days longing for sleep; at least in his head, Alex still pretended to like him... even if she did taste of some fancy arsed tosser with a knob the size of a lipstick and an ego the size of a house.

Damn girl
Dry your eyes
You stole my heart and then you kicked it aside
No girl you can't see
When he's inside you know there's no room for me

He stood up from the desk, stubbing out his cigarette as he went, before pushing out of his office and coming to stand in front of her desk, waiting in aggravation for her to turn her eyes towards him.

He hated moments like this; she looked at him with a horrible, gut wrenching, stomach twisting combination of emotions burning in the depths of her hazel eyes, and he could never determine exactly what she wanted him to see there. Like now, he could swear – or he would have done two months ago – that he saw desire, warmth and love... but there was still that layer of disgust, horror, distaste and disappointment, and he couldn't fight the ache that formed in his chest, or the iron lump that clogged up his throat.

She broke contact as soon as it had been made, and her eyes fell instantly to the telephone which, as if on cue, rang out -her hand immediately darted out to scoop it up... Only Gene's hand got there first, and the ringing stopped almost instantly as he picked up and hung up in the space of a second.

"When you're quite finished phoning up your latest gigolo, DI Drake, we've got work to do. And quite frankly, I don't think phone sex is in your job description!" His eyes flashed, and his hand remained firm on the telephone; Alex stared back up at him, and her hazel eyes glistened slightly, his gut twisting as once again he was subjected to the guilt of making a woman cry.

"Yes Guv," she whispered angrily, picking a file from the heap on her desk and slamming it down dramatically, one hand lifting up to cover her face from view as she pretended to read. He went to leave, and then he heard her sniff, muttering softly under her breath; "it was never a problem when it was you on the other end!"

He turned back quickly, watching her carefully as she swiped at her eyes with the back of her hand. With a clenched jaw, he spoke back, his voice a low, angry growl as he did so, lowering himself slightly so that his face was level with hers. "Stop snivelling like a baby and do some work, Drake; just because you're shaggin' some posh-frocked fanny-Adams Superintendent doesn't mean you can ponce around like you own the place!" He slammed his fist down on the desk, and then left her there, shoving his office door closed behind him as he threw his darts at the board with a grunt of anger.

A moment later, his door opened, and his heart hammered as her scent drifted in on the breeze that came in behind her. The door slammed in her wake, even as her angered voice cut through the tension that had resided in the office for months. "Don't you ever talk to me like that again!" She hissed, stamping her foot in anger and glowering over as he turned towards her. "Who I am or am not shagging is absolutely none of your business, and if he wants to ring me while I'm at work then-!"

"None of my business?" Gene retorted, spittle leaving his mouth as an unexpected wave of anger rose up in him. "You flaunt him under my nose like you're fishing for a reaction! Of course it's my fucking business!"

"Oh please," Alex sniffed, rolling her eyes. "You leave the bar every night to go and shag whatever piece of skirt you can find, so don't even begin to act as though you give a damn! I've heard what all the lads have been saying, Gene! Did you want me to hear about the stripper you had over the car? Or was that just a convenient bonus that came with telling Ray all about it?"

"There was one girl!" Gene shouted back at her. "One girl! One night! The same night you flounced in with your fancy-man draped all over you like a fuckin' pashmina! And she definitely didn't touch my fucking car!" He bristled angrily as he rounded on her, pointing a finger at her in accusation. "Don't pretend it bothers you, Alex; you were hardly playing for subtlety when you dragged him up to your flat! In fact, you didn't give two shits what I might have been thinking, so long as you get a good seein' to from the silver spoon brigade!" He turned away from her, shaking with anger as he poured himself a half-tumbler of whiskey, throwing it down his throat in two large gulps.

"Well obviously it's my fault!" She retorted bitterly. "Never mind the fact you blanked me for weeks, never mind the fact you never made a move to make things right! Because I supposedly shagged someone else, you're in the right! I should have guessed you'd behave like some immature prick, Gene, but even for you, that's low!"

"Low?" He snapped. "Low? You know what's low, Alex? The fact that you're stood there yelling at me and accusing me of so much shit! I called you! I knocked at your door for hours! I tried to talk to you and you lamped me around the face like some psychotic bitch! So don't stand there and tell me I blanked you! You were the one-!"

"You were pissed every time, Gene!" She shouted. "When was the last time you tried to make sober, civil conversation? What did you last-?"

"How am I supposed to act, Alex?" Gene roared, lashing out with his foot at the nearby rubbish bin and sending its contents across the room. "You threw me out on my arse because I tried to talk to you! I made the effort Alex, even if I was pissed! When did you ever try and make conversation with me? You were too busy shaggin' the Superintendent to even think what I was going through!"

And I used to think that I was all you would need
There you go again
Oooh you think that you could just push me around
Yeah there you go again
You lift me up and then you throw me back down

"Of course I thought about you!" She screamed, throwing up her arms in hapless anger. "Do you really think that little of me, Gene? Do you really think I'm that much of a heartless bitch?"

"You tell me, Alex," Gene growled, stepping closer and clenching his jaw tightly. "Because that's the way it feels; one day you're telling me you love me, the next you're talking about leaving, throwing me out of the house and then pissing off with some overpaid Superintendent who went to Oxford University and probably shags like a bloody fairy!" He could smell her, could feel the heat of her body and the anger that was radiating off her as he spoke, his voice harsh and angry. "So you tell me, Alex; because from where I'm sitting, I was just some convenient shag to get you through the winter! You pushed, and you shoved, and you bossed me around, and I put up with it, because I thought you wanted me; I thought you wanted us..."

He stepped closer, not touching, but half smirking as she stepped back, her spine coming into contact with the filing cabinet as he towered over her. His eyes met hers, glittering and angry as he spoke again. "Did you, Alex?" He whispered. "Do you?" He stepped even closer, barely a half-inch away from her. "Or is this your way of rubbin' salt in the wounds? You gunna go out there and tell your fancy tosser that I'm harassing you?" His hand moved up to cup her face, fingers barely brushing the tender skin of her cheek, but causing her to breathe in sharply all the same.

"D'you feel it?" He whispered, his voice harsh and pained. "All the shit you put me through... D'you know how it feels?" His eyes burned, his heart pounding as her hazel eyes stayed steady on his. "Or am I just a game, Alex?" His hand slid down over her neck, tracking the familiar column, down to the heaving chest as she fought for breath... He felt her tremble, saw the indentation of her lip as she bit down, but he didn't move away, his eyes fixed. "I can handle being 'just a shag'," he whispered. "But you better tell me honestly this time, because I'm not coming back again..."

Damn girl
Dry your eyes
You stole my heart and then you kicked it aside
No girl you can't see
When he's inside you know there's no room for me

Her hand reached up to cover his, holding it to her heaving chest as her eyes glistened up at him. Gene held his breath, body pressing along the length of hers as his other hand brushed at the tears on her cheek. "Stop crying, Alex," he ordered, more softly than before, "and tell me honestly... because I can't sit around watching you shag some knobby git anymore... You're either mine, or you're his; I'm not sharing."

"Do you really think that little of me?" She hissed, her voice cracking slightly as she pushed at his hand, trying to move him away as quickly as she'd drawn him towards her. "I'm not a whore, Gene," she added, meeting his eyes.

He nodded, shifting closer and pushing his face to within a few inches of her own. "Good," he growled, pushing her more forcibly against the filing cabinet. "Because I don't plan on paying you!"

She slapped him then; her right hand connected firmly with his cheek, and he felt it stinging across his face as he grunted his anger, catching her hand and pushing up against her firmly as she lifted her hand yet again. "No, Alex," he hissed, eyes flashing. "Not again."

"I'm not your property, Gene!" she retorted. "You don't treat me like shit for two months and then expect me to put up with being your skanky little bitch for the next however long! I am not going to-!"

"I put up with shit from you, too, Alex," he growled, his hand sliding to her waist and gripping tightly. "You think I liked watching him fawn over you like some sort of dog? You think I liked thinking about him touching you, making you come?" He tugged her body tight against him, his mouth next to her ear as his fingers dug into her hip.

And I used to think that I was all you would need

"Was he good, Alex?" He whispered, cheek pressed firmly against hers as he spoke, voice gravelly and low. "Was he better than me?" His blue eyes were flashing dangerously, angry and resentful as he held her firmly in place.

For a moment, it looked like she might cry, and, for a few brief seconds, he half believed that he wanted her to, just so that he wouldn't feel so bloody vulnerable... Her lip was trembling, her chin wobbling slightly as her hazel eyes watered, and he forced himself to draw away, despite the constant warring that raged on in his chest, urging him to kiss her, hold her, hurt her, punish her...

If you feel like running today you know I'd understand

"Go, Alex," he whispered, pulling away completely and avoiding her eyes as guilt raged through his body. "Run... before I do something you'll regret." He made to move back around his desk, to settle himself in the chair, but her hand caught his wrist and her trembling, weak voice sounded in his ears, forcing him to turn back and look at her all over again...

"Please don't..." she whispered, her eyes leaking tears against her will. His face was dark, hurt and angry, and instantly she reached out to him, her hand coming forth to stroke down his cheek, shaking as it caressed the harsh scattering of stubble beneath her fingers. Her eyes were wet, her make-up running, but all that mattered now were her words; "I'm not running, Gene..."


Was slightly longer than I expected, but I hope it works... y'know me, couldn't leave them angry at the end...

Mage of the Heart