Disclaimer: I don't own A2A. But I take full responsibility for my weirdly written disclaimer on the first chapter. Blame my penchant for a shot or two when I'm with friends. ;)
A/N: Hello everyone! Here's the second part of this two shot, I hope you like it! Thanks to everyone who reviewed the first part, and please review again and let me know what you think! A lot of people also story alerted/favourited it as well but didn't review, and I'd love to here what you think too! :)
Chapter 2: The Legacy
It had stopped raining earlier, and for that he was thankful. That was one of the things he didn't understand about this world- it only ever seemed to rain or if not, the sky would be smothered in great, heavy clouds. He could count on one hand how many times he'd seen the sun; it was like the world was grieving.
The night was cool, the sky atypically clear; he looked up, the moon leaning in as if trying to listen to a great secret, the stars twinkling like fallen tears. His breath swirled in wisps in front of his face as his shoved his hands deeper into his pale jacket, quickly entering the side door next to Nico's restaurant- desperate to get out of the cold- the name of the previous restaurant, Luigi's, not yet painted over by the new owner.
David Burton walked up the narrow stair case, coming to a small landing with a few identical doors. He spotted the flat, a file tucked under his arm, clearing his throat as he knocked on the door.
Nothing for a few seconds, so he knocked harder, stopping only until he heard a shuffling on the other side of the door. He schooled his features, not sure how his boss would react, the shock at the older man's dishevelled appearance when he answered the door only reaching his face for a moment.
"Guv. . . I've got the files you wanted-"
"Do you know what time it is?" He barked, Burton looking down somewhat awkwardly, spotting a woman's leather jacket under his arm, and immediately thinking he may have interrupted something.
"It's, erm, quite a bit past 2am. . . Sorry sir, I just thought it seemed quite urgent earlier so I stayed behind. . ."
He saw his Guv's features change- brimming anger to tired resignation- he sighed, grumbled something and then walked back into the living room, the front door left open as David slowly crept in, clicking the door behind him and following his Guv.
He hadn't expected Hunt to live in a place like this- although apparently he didn't, Poirot just said he spent a hell of a lot of his time here- it was too. . . feminine for it to be his own was too well organised, too well thought out for his Guv to live here. Poirot had mentioned something about the previous D.I. A female D.I.; Burton presumed that must be his partner.
"So the missus isn't in then?" Burton chirped, desperately trying to lighten the mood until he saw Hunt visibly wince, a painful expression flashing across his eyes as he poured some scotch into two glasses and thrust one into the younger man's hand, Burton perching nervously on a nearby chair as his Guv slumped down on the far side of the sofa.
"No. . .no she's not here." He said, the broken tone of his voice both concerning and intriguing him in equal measure; normally you'd only see these moments of vulnerability if chance was on your side.
"Gone away?" he asked.
Burton saw him look at an open envelope on the table, suddenly cringing inside at his own tactlessness; whatever had happened, it looked like she'd gone and wasn't ever returning.
Hunt changed the subject, Burton's question clearly hitting too close to home, "Let's see these files then, you gobby shite."
Burton rolled his eyes good naturedly, the tired tone of the man's voice not carrying the 'insult' as it normally did. He leant over and handed them to him, before lifting the glass to his lips and downing the contents of his glass.
"Blimey, forgot how much of a drinker you were." Hunt remarked, not lifting his eyes off the file, "My previous D.I. was like that."
Burton knew that he meant her, but wondered if Hunt knew he'd made the link; he tested the water; "What was he like?"
"She, actually. Posh, mouthy tart." He mumbled, although he couldn't hide the soft edge of tenderness in his voice, "Turned up here making a scene like you, acting like an arrogant twat, blabbering away with her psycho-bollocks, and winding me up morning, noon and night. . . She settled down though, took a bit longer than you, she started to work with me rather than against me. Who's this tosser you've dug up here?"
"Evan Kensington, father was a Law Lord about twenty years ago, son was following in his father's footsteps before he ran off the rails about the same time his father resigned. . ." Burton mindlessly rattled off, still intrigued, "So where'd your D.I. go?"
"Off to a better place, along with three other members of my team. Never been the same without them." He replied, his eyes downcast. "Didn't want her to leave though."
"Were you two together then. . . like. . . you know?" Burton asked, raising an eyebrow, "Is that why she had to transfer?"
Gene let out a bitter laugh, running a hand through his hair, "Never thought of it like that, but maybe you're right. We were on the brink of something, me and her, or I like to believe so anyway. . . then she had to leave."
David nodded silently, the older man's words sinking in. He felt like a twat now, although waking up in 1983 after being beaten into a coma had certainly been a shock, his Guv had obviously been coming to terms with a great change in his own life too, and he'd somehow managed to keep the department running. He had a lot of respect for Hunt, putting up with his whining about his iPhone like a petulant teenager.
He'd learnt a lot from him too, how important it was to keep a team together, pull those back on board who'd fallen by the wayside. He and Hunt had slightly different operating methods, sure, but both of them had a deep rooted hatred of those purposefully trying to dismantle the department. Their jobs were difficult enough as it was without some baby faced imbecile sticking their nose in.
He'd thought about trying to get home- he'd got messages through his TV when his inevitably bludgeoned and deformed body had been found- but he knew in his heart of hearts he didn't really want to get back, or if he'd even get the chance. He'd been shoved into a boarding school aged 5, had made few friends and had never been close to his parents- he'd grown up angry and bitter with the world, become a nihilistic bastard that made him unbearable to everyone. He knew he'd changed for the better here, met more people that meant something to him in six months than he ever had in the 30 something years of his previous life. It was like his own strange little paradise.
Hunt sniffed suddenly, rubbing the bridge of his nose tiredly, "Never really spoken about the old team with anyone. . ."
"How many of them were there?"
"Well, in Manchester it was Sam, Ray, Chris and Annie. . . here it's been Alex, Ray, Chris and Shaz. . . even Viv's gone."
Burton had never seen his Guv look so utterly haunted, he looked hopelessly isolated; a man who'd been steadily crushed by grief. He wondered why all of them had left him at once, leaving him completely alone?
"Must've been hard, having them all go at once."
"Yeah. . .all of them have to spread their wings at some point. I can't hold them back forever it seems."
"Couldn't you have gone with them?"
There was a pause, Burton watching as Hunt thought something over, his gaze flicking between the leather jacket and the open envelope. The pained expression in the man's eyes was the closest Burton had ever got to really knowing what lurked behind his 'daily face'- the desperation, loss and love there making his own heart sink.
And then he turned and looked at him, really looked at him. Burton felt exposed, the older man viewing him critically, as if he were looking into his very soul.
"David." He suddenly said, the use of his first name startling the younger man, "I, err, I know this may sound a bit frank. . ."
"Ok. . . ?" he replied, his eyebrows crinkling in bemusement.
Gene rubbed his face in exhaustion, sighing heavily, "I just want you to know that I don't know how long I'm going to remain here myself- I think my time might be running out. . ."
"Running out? What do you mean?" Burton asked, his eyes widening at this speculation.
"I'm getting old, Burton. I have to leave at some point. It's just a case of when."
"But you're not that old. Surely you're not old enough to retire yet?"
"Maybe. Maybe not. But we as police officers should know it better than anyone- we cannot forever cheat death."
Burton's mouth fell open, his eyebrows furrowing, "I- I don't understand. Cheat death?"
Gene sighed, leaning on his knees and clasping his hand together, his eyes still resting on the envelope, "One day soon, when I'm truly past my best and a step behind the world, I'll get stabbed, or knocked over or gunned down. I'd rather call it a day myself then have the devil to pay when I'm lying on a cold, grey slab."
Burton merely stared at him; Gene glanced at him before continuing.
"I'll either have to resign or transfer at some point soon- I might even go without warning one day. . . and when that day comes, would you. . . would you mind if I recommended you as my replacement?"
Burton's face was a picture, leaning back on his chair slightly in surprise before he quickly masked his shock, "I'd. . . I'd be privileged, if I'm honest. I mean I was a D.C.I. before I came to. . . to London. . . but are you sure?"
"I know a good copper when I find one. The question is, are you sure?" Gene asked, his steely eyes fixing to the younger man's paler ones, "I need you to think very carefully about this. You have to know that at Fenchurch, it's not just a job Burton; it's a way of life. It could mean you're here for a while, because it's not just something you can hop off when you don't fancy it and life throws you in the shit. I know you'll keep this department strong and keep the team together, which is the most important thing, can you promise me you will always try and do that?"
Burton nodded, the look in Hunt's eyes displaying the extent of the honour, the extent of the duty he was about to inherit, "Yes. . .of course. You know how much I value this department." He heard himself say; he'd made up his mind, he was going to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.
Hunt's expression was firmly set in a pout, but his eyes seemed to clear, almost as if a great weight had been lifted from him. He seemed satisfied with his response, and Burton let out a silent sigh of relief. Hunt settled back into the sofa, a tiny, hopeful smile tugging at the corner of his lips as he closed the file and held it back for David to take.
"Thank you." He said simply, David nodding awkwardly in reply before taking the files and showing himself out of the flat, an incredible sense of responsibility washing over him.
It was less than a month later when Gene Hunt disappeared. He'd resigned a day earlier without so much as a word and left. Burton had later found a note taped to the bottom of his desk, sitting down in his new glass office and watching the "D.C.I. Hunt" sign be replaced by "D.C.I. Burton".
Sorry if this comes as a shock, didn't really want to bugger off without saying good bye, just the way it happened to turn out.
Take care of my office, and the Merc of course. I even left my gun in the bottom drawer for you to have as I don't think I'll have use for it anymore. Granted, you were always a better shot than me anyway, (and you never let me forget it!).
Remember to look out for all your team, help those that even lose their way; everyone is worth saving.
Burton smiled to himself, the sun streaming through the half open blinds as he folded the note and tucked it into his inside pocket, leaning back on the black leather chair and observing his little kingdom. The moment didn't last however, standing up immediately and moving out of his office when he saw a woman walk tentatively into CID wearing acid wash jeans and an off the shoulder top, her blonde hair curly in a high pony tail. She looked alarmed, her ice blue eyes looking up at the checkerboard ceiling.
"Can I help you?"
The woman looked uncertain, slowly pulling her badge out of her pocket and holding it up, "D.I. Vanessa Janslow. I think I put in for it?"
Nelson patted him on the shoulder, laughing as he pushed open the door, his whole body flooding with relief and happiness.
He couldn't help but grin as Sam walked up to him, grasping his hand and slapping him on the shoulder, shaking his head at how long he took.
He felt his heart beat against his ribs as he saw her from across the bar, same as ever, her eyes shining and never leaving his face; they were by each other in a second.
"Alex. . ." he whispered, cupping her face. "I'm sorry. . . I'm sorry. . ."
She smiled up at him, barely shaking her head as a single tear escaped. She interlaced her fingers with his own, pressing her soft lips to his.
"All that matters is that you came."
A/N: Hope you enjoyed it. :) This chapter was far angsty-er a couple of days ago, but I can't bare any more depression for G/A for a long time yet I think, so it's got happier. Also hope I gave D.I. iPhone a suitable bit of padding out too, because although he seemed like an absolutely insufferable moron at the end of S3E8, everyone has the potential, right? :P Please review; it means a lot.