A/N: Here it is, short but sweet. The final chapter x

As long as they lived, Gene Hunt and Alex Drake would never forget the journey they had taken in order to get to where they really wanted to be. The ups and downs, the highs and lows, and the hard and strenuous but amazing and rewarding road of love and parenthood that had been mapped out for them by the stars. Two souls that were meant to be together would always find each other, no matter what happened or what the circumstances were.

Two years and ten months had passed since Alex and Gene finally rekindled their love. They had taken things slower this time, not rushing anything and wanting to savour each moment they had with each other.

Alex had moved back into Gene's house after two months of being together once again. Zachary, being four months old, had adjusted to the changes well and was only too happy to be around his mummy and daddy 24/7. Debbie the childminder was still on the scene when both Alex and Gene were working, but the evenings and weekends with their son made up for this lost time.

It was now April 1987, and things had changed, people had moved on and others had grown up. Ray was still very much Ray, Detective Inspector for the Metropolitan Police and playing the field with all the women that apparently couldn't resist him. However, he had been seeing this Spanish woman for about a week now, and no-one had ever known someone last this long, so maybe things were finally looking up for the northern copper.

Alex had decided not to transfer back to Fenchurch East as she began to really gel with Fenchurch West since Bill Waltham's departure. Being part-time allowed her to spend half the week with Zac, and DCI Richard Peterson was a strong character with a good heart. Married with three kids, the man made Alex feel completely at ease and there was a good bond of trust during their work. DS Vickers had transferred and James Farmer had been promoted to Detective Sergeant, so along with DC Hughes still in the same rank and one of the WPCs joining him with a promotion, it had created a well-working and relaxed environment to rival Fenchurch East.

Gene was still the DCI of Fenchurch East and still loved every minute of it. The scum of the streets gulped in fear when they heard his name and with the assistance of Ray, Chris and Shaz, the criminals were always caught and locked up at the end of a case.

Chris and Shaz had been happily married for nearly three years and were still very much working in the Metropolitan Police, but both had received promotions. Shaz had been promoted to Detective Constable last year and Chris had finally made Detective Sergeant a couple of months ago, using his brains and achieving his potential. Also, the couple had a one-year-old daughter, Emma Skelton. The spitting image of her dad but with the smile of her mother, Emma was a credit to them both and reminded people that there was some good in the world.

On the subject of good, Diana Hunt had moved back to Manchester only a couple of months ago, leaving her children down in the bright lights of London. Kieran was now a man of nineteen years old, turning twenty in May, who was living with his friends in a flat in south-east London and working in mechanical engineering. Gene often took the famous Quattro up to where his son worked to get it cleaned or touched up for a cheaper price.

Tiffany was now a blossoming young woman approaching her eighteenth birthday in the upcoming week and she was living with her boyfriend in central London. Right now, Gene's daughter was revising for her A-levels but already had a place at one of London's top drama and dance schools to start in the coming September. Gene smiled whenever he thought about it. Both his older children had achieved what they wanted, and he couldn't be prouder.

And Gene's youngest son, of course, had just turned three years old. Christened two years ago as Zachary Bryan Hunt, this little terror had a cute and giggly personality that was combined with a determined drive to get what he wanted. With his father's looks and his mother's eyes, he was going to be a right little heart-breaker when he grew up. Zac brightened up everyone's day, loved his parents and managed to make everyone smile. It was an evening to remember on the ninth of April 1987 when everyone in CID had turned up in Luigi's to celebrate the little one's third birthday.

Decorated with party accessories, lights and tables of food, Luigi's was full to the brim of people to celebrate their Guv's son's birthday. Kieran had popped in for a quick drink and gave his half-brother a toy train for his present before going off to a club with his friends, and Tiffany had stopped by with her boyfriend to give Zac a set of toy cars. Chatting merrily at the tables were the officers from CID such as Terry, Bammo and Poirot, all laughing and joking as they held back on the alcohol due to the fact they were there for a three-year-old. Ray, his girlfriend Leona, Chris, Shaz and baby Emma were all there too, smiles dancing on their faces. James Farmer and his new fiancée Helena were there as well, along with Luigi himself and the most important people of the evening – Gene, Alex and the birthday boy Zac.

"Ah, buon compleanno!" Luigi cried excitedly, wishing Gene and Alex's son a happy birthday in Italian as the 80s pop music began to blare. "Si, si, and a many happy returns!"

"Fanks Uncle Luigi!" Zac beamed gleefully. "I'm three now. Three! I'm older than I was yesterday!" he announced proudly.

Alex giggled as she helped Zac into his seat, straightening down tufts of his sandy-blond hair. "What do you say to Uncle Luigi for your present?" Alex prompted her son, smiling.

Zac grinned. "Fank you, it was very nice of you," he reeled off, looking smugly up at his dad as Gene presented him with a chocolate bar for dessert.

"Gene, that's too much chocolate," Alex scolded her partner as Zac smeared chocolate all over his face, "he's going to have to brush his teeth for an extra minute tonight."

Gene snorted. "Relax, Bolls," he winked at her, rubbing her leg, "it's the lad's birthday. Let him enjoy himself."

"Here y'are, little fella," Ray said with a grin as he gave Zac his present, "happy birthday, little lad."

"Fank you Uncle Ray!" Zac squealed. "I'm three now, Uncle Ray, did you know? That means I'm nearly old enough to be a policeman too!"

Alex choked on her drink. "Not quite old enough, Zac," she reminded him, "anyway darling, don't you want a nice, safe job? Like a doctor?"

Zac wrinkled his nose as he hugged Ray's present close to him. "No," he scoffed, "I don't like doctors, Mummy."

"Good lad," Gene nodded with a chuckle. Alex glared at him.

"Why don't you like doctors, sweetie?" she asked, genuinely confused. Zac never had any worries about getting injections or check-ups. He was actually quite interested at what they were doing.

"Because doctors fancy you, Mummy!" Zac grimaced, pulling a hideous face as Alex blushed and Ray, Chris and Shaz burst out laughing. "And I can't fancy my mummy."

"You got told, Drake," Ray winked at her as Alex flushed crimson.

"They do not fancy me!" Alex spat insistently, embarrassed.

"They do!" Zac protested, gasping indignantly. "They do! Uncle Ray said so, because all they do is look at your boobies –"

"ZACHARY HUNT!" Alex yelled as Ray's eyes widened in horror. Zac sniggered as Gene suddenly perked up, his eyes flaring.

"Who stares at yer?" Gene demanded. "When did this happen? The pervy bastard!"

"Gene!" Alex snapped.

"Ummmm! Daddy swore!" Zac laughed.

"He always does," Chris giggled from his table. Shaz laughed, cooing over her one-year-old daughter who was sitting up happily, eyes on Gene.

"Bas-tard!" she squeaked, clapping her hands together. Gene and Ray couldn't contain their laughter as they spluttered, nearly choking on their beers as Alex and Shaz looked aghast.

"Guv!" Shaz complained. "Not around Emma, please! Great, she's going to be saying that all week now…"

Zac giggled, pulling a face as Gene leant in and kissed Alex firmly on the lips. "Yuck, Daddy is kissing Mummy. I'm opening Uncle Ray's present."

Tearing the wrapping paper off excitedly, Zac's eyes widened with joy. "Toy dinosaurs!" he roared happily. "Uncle Ray, you're the best!"

"Cheers Ray," Gene nodded at his DI, a smile on his face, "appreciate it."

"Don't mention it, Guv," Ray smiled back.

"This is the best birthday ever," Zac announced, "oh, Daddy! Can I have my bandanas now?"

"Yer what, son?" Gene chuckled.

"My bandanas," Zac repeated, an exasperated tone to his voice.

"You mean your banners, sweetheart," Alex corrected him, "and you've got them darling, look! All strung up across the restaurant. Just for you, my darling."

Zac looked around madly, nearly toppling off his seat. His grin stretched from ear-to-ear as he climbed onto Alex's lap, throwing his little arms around her neck as she hugged him close.

"I love you, Mummy," Zac said happily, "you're the bestest mummy in the entire world."

Alex's eyes watered as she held on tight to her little boy. Swallowing down the waves of emotion, Alex pressed a kiss to her son's head.

"And you're the best little boy," she whispered, "I love you. I love you. Happy birthday, sweetheart."

Zac pulled back, beaming at his mum. He turned to Gene. "And Daddy is the bestest daddy!" Zac declared. "You catch all the bad guys! And save Mummy. And I help, I help don't I? When you told me and Mummy to get back last week, I did, I did, I pulled Mummy's hand and led the way. I saved Mummy like you do, Daddy!"

Gene's eyes nearly clouded over then as he squeezed his son's hand proudly. "Yeah, yer did," he nodded, "right little tough one you are."

Zac grinned smugly, hopping down from Alex's lap and going over to play with Emma. Alex wiped her tears, emotions of love and pride flowing through her.

Gene threw his arm around her, pulling her to his side and embracing her. "Love you, Bolls," Gene murmured, "never forget that."

Alex smiled up at him. "I don't think I ever will. I love you too, Gene. Our son…can you believe he's three years old already? So brave, so confident. We're going to have to watch him at school if he's anything like you, you know."

Gene kissed Alex's hair, rubbing her arms soothingly. "He'll be fine. He's done us proud, Alex. And it's only just beginning."

Alex pulled back, staring into Gene's eyes. "Yes," she breathed, "it is."

Gene couldn't wait another moment before capturing her lips with his own. Running his fingers through her hair, Alex moaned into his mouth as their tongues collided.

"Love you, Bolls," Gene said breathlessly, deepening the kiss as his fingers found their way up Alex's top, "love you…"

"Love you too," Alex moaned, her breathing becoming more irregular as Gene traced light patterns on her skin, "oh…Gene…"


Alex and Gene leapt apart, their hearts hammering in embarrassment as their cheeks flushed. Looking round, they saw Ray and Leona and Chris and Shaz smirking at them, trying to keep the laughter under control. Zac was standing facing them, hands on his hips and a grossed-out expression on his handsome little face.

"Mummy and Daddy," Zac said sternly, "will you stop BLOODY KISSING!"

Gene and Alex joined in with the laughter as Zac looked positively furious. Relaxing in Gene's embrace, Alex ruffled her son's hair as he skipped off once again. Leaning back with Gene's arms around her, Alex realised that here, she truly belonged. Luigi's, the CID team, her own division, her friends…and most importantly her family. 2008 was a distant dream, a memory…but here with Gene and Zac, her partner and son, the most important people in her life…Alex truly felt happy. Gene Hunt had also managed to find happiness and contentment in his life. It was as if the long, winding, difficult paths they both took had finally met and combined.

Alex and Gene kissed once more – tenderly, lovingly and gently. A statement of their affections for one another, as Alex Drake and Gene Hunt had both finally found what they thought they would never find.

Love. And to be loved in return.

The End

A/N2: AAAAAHHHHH OMG IT'S FINISHED! Wow. Wow, wow, wow. I would just like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to everyone who has added to favourites or alerts, read or reviewed this fic. It means so much to me, especially to the ones that have followed it from start to finish with nothing but positive comments. I truly am very grateful.

I'd also like to say a big thank you in general to anyone that has read any one of my fics. I started writing for Ashes to Ashes around October last year, so it's been an amazing year of writing all the different stories and getting all the positive feedback. Thank you.

Sadly, this will most likely be the last story from me. I'm moving away to go to drama school (AAAAH!) and will unlikely have any time to write. You may however get the odd one-shot from me at around Christmas or Easter (: but seriously, thank you to everyone, and please let me know what you thought of the final chapter or of the story as a whole. One last review would really make my day :D thank you.

Lots of love, from Roxannaaaax