I couldn't resist writing one more story before the end of Series 3 and so here it is – dedicated to the ladies of the Naughty Corner – you know who you are.
Disclaimers : These characters are not mine and never will be – more's the pity. Thanks to Kudos/Monastic/BBC etc etc
Warning: This story is based on speculation about spoilers – especially episode 7 preview clips – although I haven't stuck rigidly to those either. However I know nothing about and am entirely unspoiled about episode 8 and 'the big picture' so anything regarding that is purely speculation – very little in here about that to be honest.
This is predominantly Gene and Alex with other characters appearing only briefly.
My Own Kind of Heaven
Alex waited for a moment, the silence in the car almost deafening. She could see the grief clearly etched on his face as he stared blindly out of the window. She touched his arm gently. "Gene?"
His head jerked towards her, his eyes glazed with confusion. "What?"
"We're here." She briefly glanced towards the hearse which was now slowly pulling in front of the Quattro, slowly coming to a halt in front of the crematorium.
Gene jerked into awareness and then cleared his throat. "Course we're 'ere you dozy mare. Car didn't drive itself did it?"
She allowed herself a brief smile. "No Guv."
"Well then." He continued to stare out of the window for a moment longer. God he hated these places – crematoriums and churches had the ability to disconcert him as nothing else did. Still, he noted with satisfaction the number of people making their way into the building, the majority of whom he knew by face if not by name. He pursed his lips in determination and finally reached for the door handle. "Come on then Drakey. Better not keep the man waiting."
Alex took her place on one of hard wooden seats and smiled at Shaz.
"Oh ma'am." Shaz discreetly sniffled into her handerkerchief as Alex patted her arm in a gesture of comfort. "I can't really believe it. I just never thought…"
"Nobody did Shaz. Nobody did."
The events of the past week had been traumatic to say the very least. One of the team killed – and in such a brutal and despicable manner. No matter his faults – they were all forgotten now. Order of the Guv. Alex discreetly gazed around the packed chapel just in time to see Keats sidle in and take his place at the very rear of the congregation. He seemed uncomfortable. Alex quickly looked away before he could catch her eye. She didn't know what to think any more. And besides, today wasn't day for thinking or rivalries. It was a day to honour the fallen.
"Look," Shaz whispered, "All of his family are here. All of the station."
Alex nodded in agreement. And not just Fenchurch East by the looks of it. The whole of the Borough had turned out to honour their fallen comrade. There was also a heavy uniformed presence quite apart from CID. He had been loved and respected by many.
She was just beginning to miss Gene's comforting presence by her side when a wave of restlessness seemed to wash over the assembled congregation. Alex glanced towards the door just in time to see Gene, Ray and Chris arrive, sharing the precious burden on their shoulders with three of Viv's colleagues from uniform branch. They stood for a moment until their arrival had been noted and then everyone got to their feet. A lone figure stood out from the midst of the gospel choir and the organ began to play as the cortege made its way up the aisle. Alex shivered slightly as the sweet gospel voice rang out…
'Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found was blind but now I see….'
As the rest of the choir joined in, a tear silently rolled down her cheek as she followed the progress of Viv's casket. She couldn't help but notice Gene's expression as he passed by her with his burden. His face was a picture of grim determination, lips pressed tightly together and jaw tightly clenched, the only evidence of his grief were eyes that were veiled with unfathomable sadness. She watched with silent admiration as Gene, Ray and Chris finally reached their destination and helped to rest the coffin upon the bier.
She noticed Gene hesitate as the other pallbearers made their way back to the congregation, seemingly reluctant to abandon his Skip. Alex held her breath, but he simply patted the casket awkwardly, leaned forward to say a final word and then turned and headed towards her. She beckoned him with her eyes, hoping he would notice the unseen invitation to take his place beside her.
She shuffled over and let him take his seat next to the aisle. She immediately felt the heat from his body as his leg brushed against hers, but she didn't move. It was comforting. Evidently Gene thought so too and made no move to create any more space between them. She risked a glance at his face – still that stony expression but this time his eyes had softened, a distinct hint of moisture in their depths.
Wordlessly and out of sight of the other mourners, Alex moved her hand to cover his, still expecting such a gesture of reassurance to be brushed away instantly. But the rebuke never came. Instead his fingers wrapped around hers, clinging to the comfort they offered as though his world was coming to an end.
Alex sat at their usual table at Luigi's staring morosely into her half empty glass of wine. She tried to smile as she watched the antics of CID, what few inhibitions they had left had long since been displaced by the constant stream of alcohol they had drunk to toast their fallen comrade. Viv's family had long gone, staying only long enough to be polite, their distress still evident on all of their faces.
Alex took another sip of wine. It was all too cruel and she was reluctant to dwell on the full implications of Viv's death…but she couldn't help it. CID had lost one of its most faithful servants, a guardian, the gatekeeper to the inner sanctum. As Gene had said, it just didn't feel right when Viv wasn't at the front desk. And now he would never be there again. And that quite apart from the personal cost to his closest family and friends.
Her eyes scanned the room for the one person she hoped could restore the equilibrium so necessary to her now. She found him quickly, her eyes quickly seeking out the familiar form propped up against the bar. Alone. She stood as if to go to him but her vision of Gene was suddenly blocked by an oppressive shadow.
"Jim. I was just going…"
Keats looked over his shoulder at Gene, a faint smirk on his lips as soon as his face was turned from Alex. He turned back towards her, his expression of concern carefully schooled.
"Just a quick word."
Ale sighed but sat down again. She just didn't have the energy to fight any more.
"Sad day," Keats said. "We'll all miss him."
"You didn't know him," she said sharply.
"No. No, not as well as everyone else obviously. But he'll be missed."
She took another sip of wine and wondered what the point of this conversation actually was. "Yes he will be missed. By everyone."
Keats sighed dramatically. "I wish I could have done something…to save him I mean."
Alex arched a brow. "I thought you said he was already…gone when you found him."
"Oh he was," he said quickly, "nothing anyone could have done."
"How long Alex?"
"How long will you let this go on?" He let the question hang in the air for a minute. "How many more deaths before you finally act?"
"I don't know what you mean." Alex tried in vain to see Gene but Keats was very effectively blocking her line of sight.
"Yes you do Alex. Hunt." He calmly took a sip of water from the glass in front of him. "Only you can give me DCI Hunt Alex. You know what you have to do. Bring me Gene Hunt and all this will be over."
"Yes." He stood and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Only don't wait too long. Time's running out."
"Well this is a cosy little conflab." Gene suddenly appeared and scowled as he sat next to Alex. "What's the matter Keats? Can't take the competition? Well you know what they say? If you can't stand the heat…."
"You're the one who needs to watch out for the heat Hunt." He ignored Gene and turned to Alex. "Night Alex. Remember what I said."
"Wanker," Gene spat at Keats' retreating figure.
"Is that the best you can come up with?"
"Listen Bolly, I've 'ad best part of a bottle of Scotland's finest. I think 'wanker' is pretty good considering."
They sat in companionable silence for a few moments, each sipping from their respective glasses but without much enthusiasm.
Gene finally broke the silence.
"So. You not gonna ask me then?"
"Ask you what?"
"The elephant in the room Bolly…the thing you've got them lacy French knickers in a twist over."
Alex decided to ignore Gene's underwear fantasies and concentrate on the task in hand.
"And would you tell me? If I asked you now?" Her heart hammered against her chest as Gene leaned closer.
"Might. Christ knows I'm drunk enough not to care. Or was that the plan?"
"Plan? What plan?"
"The plan you and Jimbo were cookin' up." Gene shook his head in disgust. "You must think I'm really stupid Drake."
"I don't! I have no…"
"You don't think I know what he's up to? I'd probably do the same meself. Actually bin that because I wouldn't. I wouldn't get a woman to do my dirty work for me – and that's what he's doing Alex. You just don't know it yet." He drained his glass, stood up, and made his way towards the exit without looking back.
"Gene! Come back." She struggled to get out from behind the table and began to follow him, brushing aside the various members of CID who obstructed her path. By the time she finally made it outside Luigi's she thought he had gone but the hiss and flare of a match in the distance told her that she still had a chance. She made out his shadow leaning against the Quattro. "Gene…please come back. Talk to me." She walked towards him as he inhaled deeply from a cigarette, the rain merely completing the picture of utter bleakness.
He turned his head slowly towards her. "What's the point? You wouldn't believe me anyway." He took another drag of his cigarette, seemingly oblivious to the rain. "Go home Bolly." Without another word he opened the car door, got in and quickly drove away.
Alex watched, rain soaking her hair and dripping down her back. "I wish I could."
When Alex finally fell asleep on the sofa, it was only to lapse into a weird dreamscape, where distorted images and voices preyed on her subconscious mind. 'My name is Sam Tyler…am I mad, in a coma or back in time; 'No one knows anyone Bolly, the great lie of this life is that we pretend we do.'
"Gene…" Alex tugged the blanket closer in her restless sleep.
They were laughing at her now – all of them. Sam's face morphed into Gene's which in turned changed into Ray and then Shaz and then Chris and then Keats and then finally Gene until he too transformed, this time into the very image of the young mutilated copper who had been haunting her for months.
"No!" Alex woke and sat up sharply as the dreams receded, her heart pounding as her eyes darted around the room. After a few deep breaths her heart rate began to return to normal. "Just a bad dream." The only trouble was that the line between dreams and reality were becoming increasingly blurred. She was just about to get up and get a drink of water when she heard the unmistakable sound of knocking at her door. Switching on a side light, she squinted at the clock. "You have got to be kidding." With a sigh she pulled herself up from the sofa, attempted to tidy her sleep-mussed hair and wandered towards the door, under no illusions about who would be knocking at this hour of the morning.
The knocking grew more insistent.
"Alright. Keep your hair on!"
She threw back the bolt, removed the chain and opened the door. She gasped in shock as Gene appeared, soaking wet, half of his face covered in shadow.
"What's the matter Bols?" Gene stepped forward and Alex breathed a sigh of relief as the shadows disappeared. "Look like you've seen a ghost."
"You could say that." For a long moment they just stood and looked at each other, unspoken thoughts and words etched on their faces, but still left unsaid. "You're wet," Alex said finally. She reached out to touch Gene's coat and he shivered involuntarily.
"You should be a detective. Can I come in then?"
"What? Oh yes, come in…come in. You'll catch your death."
"Probably a bit late for that," he muttered as he swept past her.
Alex persuaded a reluctant Gene to sit down and then take off his coat and jacket while she fussed around with hot drinks and towels to dry him off.
"You're soaking," she said as draped a blanket around his shoulders. She watched as he towel-dried his hair and then handed him a whisky. "Better?" she said finally.
He nodded. "Better."
Alex moved quietly around the room as Gene began to dry out, turning the heating up slightly and then turning the radio on low, to break up the uneasy silence. Gene watched from underneath drowsy eye lids, finding simple comfort in her graceful movements, the way her black silk pyjamas concealed and yet revealed her body. Devoid of any artificial enhancements to her beauty, she was still the only woman he had ever loved. And for once in his life he didn't push the emotion away. It was too late for that.
"Sit down Alex. You're making me feel nervous."
Alex poured herself a drink and then quite deliberately sat down next to him on the sofa. She took a sip of whisky and closed her eyes for a moment, letting the the music from the radio wash over her '…and if you kissed the sun right of the sky for me, and if you told me all the lies that I deserve, and if you laid all night in the rain for me, well I couldn't love you more….'
His voice was soft with concern as she gulped away the unexpected tears and opened her eyes - only to find herself looking directly into his. "Gene…I should…" She took a deep breath and then stood up from the sofa. "I really should go…I…"
Gene stood up, the warm blanket falling away from his shoulders. They were facing each other now, shoulder to shoulder, so close that he could feel the warmth from her body. But still she didn't move. He held his breath as she moved a hairsbreadth closer, her hand coming to rest on his waist. He almost staggered with the impact, feeling the heat burn through his shirt and onto his skin. And then he moved slowly, oh so slowly until they were barely touching, their bodies swaying slightly as the music continued. His hand found its way to her waist, fingers lightly caressing the silk under his fingers, itching to touch the real silk of her skin. He could feel her breath on his skin now, her lips almost but not quite grazing his jaw and then his cheek, until finally he surrendered to the impulse that had burned in him for almost three years.
"Gene..." Alex sighed against his mouth as their lips finally met. It wasn't anything like she had imagined – and she had imagined this many many times. A helpless moan escaped her lips as he kissed her with a tenderness that she hadn't thought possible. She clung to him for balance as he tentatively deepened the kiss, tongue invading and swirling with hers, hands possessively holding her body against his own. Slowly they both came up for air, long drugging kisses finally becoming teasing and soft, but no less effective.
"Wow," Alex said finally, a soft smile playing around her lips.
Gene smirked. "You didn't expect anything less did yer Bols?"
"Of course not." She smiled and for a moment they just looked at each other, each unwilling or unable to make the next move.
Gene cleared his throat. "Err…so what happens next?"
"Next?" Alex considered for a millisecond and then took Gene's hand and led him towards the bedroom.
"Alex?" He hesitated on the threshold of the bedroom.
"Well we haven't…we haven't talked. You haven't asked me about…"
Alex walked back towards him and took his hand again. "Not now. Later. Come to bed Gene."
She was perfect. Of course he'd always known she would be, but never dreamt that he'd actually find out just how perfect she was. He'd quickly divested Alex of her pyjamas and now all he could do was stare open mouthed. Fucking gorgeous. What on earth did she want with an old toss pot like him?
"Stop it," Alex said as she kneeled down in front of him and helped him with his boots.
"Stop putting yourself down." She staggered backwards as she pulled off one boot, and then knelt between his legs and reached up to kiss his lips. "You're all I want Gene. Just you. No one else."
Gene allowed himself a rare smile. Maybe she was right. He should just give in and enjoy the moment. It wasn't like they had much time left did they? His world was ending. Oh not tonight and probably not tomorrow but it was ending and there wasn't much he could do to stop it. Why not enjoy the ride?
He watched intently as Alex struggled to remove his other boot and then he allowed her full rein over his body as she artfully removed every single item of clothing that he wore. He could feel his heart pounding fit to burst as her eyes flickered over his body and he only hoped he measured up – in all senses of the word.
"Nice," Alex whispered, as she kissed his neck and pushed him gently backwards onto the bed.
He smiled to himself as he surrendered to the magical sensation of Alex kissing her way down his body, lingering for a while as her tongue flicked over his nipples, but quickly dispensing with formalities as she kissed lower and lower. He could do this. He could let her have her way for now. No hurry was there? Seconds later he gasped as she took him into her mouth, her tongue swirling around the tip as she lovingly sucked and licked.
"Jesus Christ on a bike!" He spread his thighs to allow her greater access and held onto the mattress for dear life. Dear God on earth – she was good at this. She cupped his aching balls as her hot mouth enveloped his length, teasing the sensitive underside until he was hanging onto his sanity by a thread.
"Bolly…Alex." He dragged her protesting up and over his body, rolling her onto her back and kissing her until she was senseless.
Alex moaned and writhed under his caresses, giggled as he tickled her sides and then gasped as he worshiped her breasts with his mouth, his fingers seeking the very centre of her, until she was begging for release. He seemed to know exactly what she wanted, moving over her like water until he was positioned between her legs, looking deep into her eyes. She nodded almost imperceptibly and then felt her flesh give way to his, welcoming his body into hers with an almost unbearable pleasure. She tilted her hips and he surged deeper and deeper, coming to a halt only when he was fully embedded.
Gene chuckled and kissed the tip of her nose. "Not God love, only me."
Alex returned his laughter almost giddily happy. She'd never dreamt they would laugh together one day – and certainly not in bed. She smoothed away the hair from his brow. "You'll do."
The moved together fluidly, each wanting the same thing, each having the same shared goal. His hips alternated between long slow thrusts which made Alex cry out his name, and then short sharp bursts which made her gasp with passion. She never wanted it to end and yet she clutched him closer, grinding her hips against his as she sought her release.
"Please….please…" She wrapped her legs around his hips trapping him against her and urging him on. She was only vaguely aware of him changing position, moving his body higher and clasping both of her hands above her head with his own. She closed her eyes for a moment to savour the sensations and suddenly she could see glittering stars against an ink-black sky. Beautiful…so beautiful. They were so close she could almost touch them. And Gene was there – she could feel it.
She opened her eyes again to gaze directly into Gene's beautiful eyes, dark now with passion, but so blue, so intense. She felt the rush of pleasure wash over her body like a runaway train, a lightening flash of pleasure so intense that she cried out his name in desperation, only finally content when she felt Gene jerk and spasm as he followed her into oblivion.
Alex woke to find Gene looking at her, drinking her in as though she might disappear at any moment. He stroked her cheek gently.
"Hello Sleeping Beauty."
Alex stretched her body, yawned and then propped herself up on one elbow. "That would make you Prince Charming then?"
"Unlikely Bols as you well know."
Alex giggled and then collapsed into Gene's arms. "Okay, maybe not Prince Charming then. She planted a kiss on his chest, letting her fingers dance over his skin.
Gene took a deep breath and began the conversation he knew they had to have – before it was too late.
He cleared his throat nervously. "About Sam…"
Alex quickly put her fingers on his lips to stop him. "No," she said gently.
He took hold of her fingers and kissed them. "No? Bleedin' hell Bols. You've been nagging me for months and now when I want to tell you, you say 'no'?"
Alex smiled a little sadly. "I have my reasons."
"Care to enlighten me?"
She thought carefully before speaking. "I just want tonight to be about us - no distractions, no ulterior motives, no one else in the room. We made love tonight because I wanted it…we wanted it." She hoped he would understand.
He nodded slowly but looked a little disappointed.
"That's not to say that you can't tell me tomorrow in the cold light of day. If I ask you tomorrow will you tell me?"
He tenderly traced her jaw line with his finger. "You won't need to ask Bols."
"I love you Gene. You do know that?"
"Well I didn't until now. You too Bols."
Alex felt the tears welling in her eyes and quickly turned away, burying her face on Gene's chest. They were quiet for a while and Alex began to think that he had fallen asleep but then his fingers began to trace patterns on her skin and he spoke again.
"What d'yer think happens. When you die I mean?"
"Quite honestly I have no idea."
"No heaven or hell then?"
Alex considered the question thoughtfully. "I think everyone's idea of heaven might be different – don't you? I mean Ray's idea of a heavenly afterlife might be totally different from yours."
"I should bloody well hope so. Ray's idea of heaven would be a dozen busty blonde nurses and Man United winning the cup!"
She raised her head until she was looking at him again. "And what about you? What would you want in your own personal heaven?"
"My own personal heaven?" His eyes softened and flickered over her face and came to rest on her lips. He cupped her face with his hands and kissed her softly. "You Alex, all I want…all I need is you."
She smiled as Gene rolled her onto her back and proceeded to demonstrate exactly how much he needed her.
She woke with a start, panicking until she rolled over and bumped into the large Gene-shaped presence in her bed. It wasn't a dream. Gene Hunt was in her bed. She ached deliciously from his attentions but she would be willing to bet that her discovery of Gene, and Gene's discovery of her, wasn't quite over yet. As she gazed at him she felt a shiver of apprehension wash over her. She had no idea what was going to happen next or what he was going to tell her about Sam. But right here and right now she simply didn't care.
"My own personal heaven." She kissed him and then wrapped her arms around him and settled down to a dreamless sleep.