Disclaimer: I don't own Ashes To Ashes. But if I had enough money, power and status, I'd become some sort of undercover TV overlord and sort a few things out.
A/N: Hello everyone, the Minx here, joining the somewhat military campaign to get post S3 E8 fanfics out there to sort the mess out they left for us 'Galex' fans to clear up. . . how thoughtful. I actually thought the final episode was great, save for the ending of our poor pairing's story. 'Bittersweet ending'? That's not bittersweet- that's just I-want-to-shoot-myself material. Abelard and Heloise, Romeo and Juliet. . . eat your hearts out.
Anyway, here's my quick attempt at a slightly different ending. Please R&R!
Alex Dreams Of Her World
She stood in the shadows inside the warehouse, the sun blaring down outside over London as she waited. Just a minute more.
Even if she stood in the light she couldn't be seen, but it felt wrong to just stand there, so exposed, intrude on a moment that she could never actually intrude on.
She let her back slump against the wall, her eyes fixed on herself- looking dazedly into a puddle of oil, her hands running through her unfamiliar curls. . .Markham shouting at her as he grabbed onto the cream fur. . . the red Audi spinning through the dust. . .
Alex felt a lump in her throat, her entire chest constricting as she saw him leave the car, two crocodile boots clicking on the floor as she saw herself look on in confusion.
"Today my friend, your diary entry will read: Took a prossie hostage, and was shot by three armed bastards!"
She couldn't help but smile at that, the lump in throat rising as she tried to swallow away the tears. These double emotions were killing her.
She watched him carry off her fainted form, placing her carefully in the passenger seat. She sighed softly, her heart aching as she turned away, putting the memory aside again as voices from the Railway Arms crept through.
"Another drink?" Nelson asked, smiling at her sadly as Alex sat by herself at the edge of the bar, her finger running around the rim of her empty wineglass.
"I shouldn't, Nelson, but thank you for the offer." she replied, her eyes tired as he comfortingly touched the other hand that rested on the varnished wood, before bustling off down the other end.
It was destroying her, somehow, she thought bitterly, desperate tears forming. How could something be destroying her when she was already dead? This loneliness was eating her from the inside- this darkness, engulfing her in a place where shadows seemed not to exist. She frequented into her memories too often than was healthy, tasting her previous life, hearing the echoes of what it felt like to be alive. Just to be near him, even if he couldn't see her- well, not this her. It hurt, it was a constant aching, but remembering him was all she had, all she had to live for.
She laughed through her tears, the irony of her situation hitting her, the feeling of complete isolation, complete disarray coursing through her veins in a place where she was meant to be at peace. She didn't notice her fingernails scratching away at the wood until she looked down, seeing 6-6-20 engraved on the surface. She choked back another sob, feeling nothing as her splintered flesh spilt red into the numbers.
She couldn't take this, looking at the clock to see it still ticking on, letting her whole being start to float towards another memory, feeding her addiction . . . "Bolls, don't cry. . ."
She felt a soft hand on her shoulder, dragging her back to her place on the bar stool, the woman's eyes shaded with concern as she sat next to her, covering her hands with her own.
"Alex, Alex, listen to me. You need to stop fading off like that. It's becoming harder and harder to find you. . ."
Alex shook her head, biting her lip, as she met her friend's worried gaze, "My memories are all I have left of him, Annie, please don't make me stay here. . .please. . ." she pleaded, her damp eyelashes flickering as she hid her face in her hands, away from the rest of the pub.
"Alex. . ." Annie whispered, reaching over and tucking a loose strand of her hair behind her ear, clutching onto her hand, "You're going to dissolve into nothing if you keep torturing yourself. Please, Alex. . ."
"I can't Annie, I just can't. . . I lost my daughter. . . I lost the man I love. This might be heaven, and it's wonderful, it truly is. . ." Alex whispered tearfully, trying to swallow her sorrow.
"But my heart's not here, it means nothing to me, and however much I wanted to believe that heaven would bring me peace regardless of what has happened, it can't. Our emotions, our feelings are what define a place. We are all human. I'm human, Annie!"
Annie cupped her face gently, wiping away her tears in a way that only a best friend would, the Northern lilt in her voice causing Alex's heart to stir all the more, "He'll be here Alex, he will be. . . soon."
Alex shook her head desperately, a tear hanging on her chin as Annie's hands dropped slowly away, "Time's relative here Annie, we all know that- the clock on the wall makes no sense- sometimes it feels as if I saw him only a few minute ago, sometimes it feels like years. . . and it's killing me Annie. I can't handle it, this heart break, the uncertainty. . . you came here with Sam, you're happy together. . . why did I fall in love with the only man I can't be with?"
Annie looked at her sadly, wiping the lone tear from her chin, "I know, Alex. . . I know. As much as I want you to stay here, I can't make you. I just can't bear the thought of you fading for good, because you will one day, your memories will engulf you entirely, and you'll be gone for good. Please know that I'm here whenever you need me, promise me you'll find me if you need me?"
"I won't be gone for long, I never am."
"Ok." Annie replied softly, resigned, slipping off the bar stool, "Ok. . ."
She let herself float amongst the stars, returning to one of her favourites. . . but also one of her least favourites. . . She watched him as he sat on her sofa, hand combing through his gorgeous caramel hair as his long legs lay extended out in front of him on the coffee table, the surface littered with empty beer bottles.
"So, Fenchurch East lives to fight another day."
She watched herself, her hand in her hair like his, "Everyone's rattled. . . Viv's funeral. . ."
"Chris stepped up to the mark, wasn't sure he had it in him."
"We'll be alright; we'll all be alright."
He looked at the bottle in his hand critically, choosing his words, "Will we Bolls?"
She felt her breath catch, stepping back closer to the wall as she watched the look between the two of them- hesistant, scared, a lifetime ago. . .
"Let's have a dance." she said breathily, breaking the silence as she got up.
"No, Gene Hunt does not dance."
"No- he doesn't hug Christopher Skelton either, does he?" she quipped teasingly, hiding her own nerves as she found the tape, she remembered.
She watched herself turn around slowly, managing to cover the fleeting vulnerability in her eyes before she met his, scowling at her as she stalked over to him, holding out her hand.
"Ok. Let's get the dancing out of the way."
Alex watched, tears flooding her eyes, clutching her chest as she remembered what it felt like, his strong hand on her waist, burning through her clothes, his hand locked with hers as they swayed gently, their hearts humming with contented emotion side by side, their bodies silhouetting each other perfectly. Alex let a tear leak from her eye, the horrendous feeling of knowing of how this evening would finish, what it would lead to. . .
"You got any Herb Alpert?"
She shook her head almost imperceptibly, a tiny "No. . ." leaving her lips.
She felt her heart snap again, barely beating in its hollow shell as she watched herself rest her face against his chest, her forehead tingling as he gently pressed his lips to her skin, drawing her closer.
She watched her own eyes open hazily, clouded with love as she gazed up at him, two people in love, so close. . . so close. . .
The knock at the door felt like someone had thrown a brick at her chest, it did every time, all breath stolen from her as she screamed in frustration, the illusion crashing down around her as she wept, cried for the pain in her heart.
She lifted her head off the counter, the pub empty as she hurriedly wiped at her puffy eyes, racing towards the door before she had time to think twice, yanking it open and then falling to her knees with a mournful cry when all she was faced with was stars, trapped, isolated. . . An oblivion so hauntingly beautiful, yet so utterly empty.
She felt someone pull her gently away from the door, closing it and crouching down in front of her as she wept, "Alex, Alex. . . don't cry, please. . ." the friendly voice soothed, the tinge of Caribbean in his tone giving him away.
She couldn't say anything, her body wracked with tears and hiccoughing breaths as she felt Nelson slowly pull her to her feet, gently seating her on the corner sofa, her arms folded on the table in front of her as she let her head fall into them, her sleeves muffling her endless sobs.
"This is DI Drake. . . somebody help me please. . ."
"Bolly, what's going on? Where are you?"
"Somebody please. . . help me. . ."
"DI Drake, talk to me."
"Somebody please. . ."
"Bolly! Bolly! Where are you Bolly?"
"What are you doing in this place?"
Her entire body tensed in agony, the piercing scream torn from her lips as the light above her blinded her, feeling herself slipping away.
"Guv. . ."
"Alex. . . come on wake up Alex, come on wake up. Alex, wake up!"
Her breath returned to her body, her vision blurred as he towered above her.
"Am I dead?"
"Not unless I'm Saint Peter, and I find that highly unlikely, don't you?"
She fell into an uneasy slumber, her mind reeled as she slept, every memory flying in front of her as if she was finding each one and shoving it off the shelf, each one falling on top of the next, each time their faces flashing up in a moment of emotion.
"We are the world Alex. . ."
"Why? Why am I here?"
"Your presence is required around here a little bit longer, by me. . ."
"I think you're scared, I think you're scared of change. . ."
"Didn't deserve a shallow grave, did he? Did he Alex?"
"No, no you have to have to believe me. . ."
She woke up with a jerk, her neck aching as she leant back, her cheeks sticky and her eyes sore. The room was empty, still, but the lighting had changed; everything was softer.
She felt her heart glow suddenly, and she put her hand over chest, her whole body tensing as she felt the cool weight of metal on the surface of her shirt, her heart shuddering as she traced it with her fingers, not daring herself to look down as she slowly took it off.
Her whole body shook as she looked at the silver badge in front of her, the four numbers causing her hands to shake, tears springing in her eyes.
"I'm sorry Bolls, didn't want to wake you. . ."
Her heart leapt as her eyes flicked upwards, her whole body crying out at the sound of his voice. She let out a gasping sob, seeing him slouched at the other end of the bar, his ice blue eyes piercing her own, a tiny smile gracing his lips as he walked slowly towards her, hands shoved in his pockets, like he'd never been away. . .
She slid from around the table and raced towards him, flinging her arms around his neck, as she buried her face into his neck, his arms suddenly around her back, one hand cradling her head as she felt him drop soft kisses in her hair.
"Oh god. . . Gene. . . it's you. . .it's you. . ." she whispered tearfully, clutching onto him, nuzzling his skin and breathing him in.
Her heart sighed as he cupped her chin and lifted her face, his nose brushing against her cheek as she met his eyes, both of them shining, "Oh Bolls. . . Alex. . ." he whispered, drawing her closer and kissing her desperately, tasting her tears.
"I never thought you'd come. . . I thought I'd never see you again. . . " she wept, smiling through her tears when she felt his fingers interlace with hers.
"I told you Bolly," he replied softly, kissing her eyelids and her lips again, "I go where I'm needed . . . looks like I need you too."
A/N: Well, hope that hit the spot. I'm off now to read some other alternate fics now, I suggest you do the same if you're feeling as depressed as me! *Hugs all round* Please review.