Thank you so much for all the lovely reviews, as I've said before I'm kind of new at this so really appreciate the feedback.
Apologies for rating of last chapter, I changed it to T when I upload chapter 2 but forgot to press save changes . duhh... Thanks to Mage of the Heart for pointing this out to me, should be corrected by now.
Anyway here it is, the final chapter.
One Last Round – Chapter Three
The sunset gently filtered through Alex's blinds. It was early, about five and already the warmth of the summer's day was gathering energy.
Alex lay grinning like a Cheshire cat, she couldn't help it. Her body hummed after various sessions of coupling, Gene made light, idle patterns over skin, she could hear birdsong.
This might not be heaven but it was good enough for her.
She stretched a little and moved to look at Gene, still enveloped in his arms. His eyes were closed but she knew he wasn't sleeping. He looked content. Peaceful.
"I was thinking..."
"Oh shit. Should I be worried?"
Alex hit him playfully as he opened his eyes. Stark blue. She'd never appreciated how beautiful they were before. They changed depending on his mood and right now they were deep like the ocean on a calm day, washing over her face as if it were sand.
He interrupted her musing.
"Go on then, enlighten me."
"Must be lonely, doing what you do."
Gene tried to dodge the question. Why did women always want to talk about feelings after sex? Why couldn't he sit there and just appreciate her, bask in his own glory a little bit.
Three years he'd waited and although worth the wait, he thought with a cocky smirk, it needed savouring.
Not with Alex Drake though.
She'd bring up 'psychiatry' in a minute.
"It doesn't have to be." She whispered, sounding unsure. "I'll stay. Forever, if you ask me too."
Gene sighed. She was never going to make it easy. But such blatant temptation, utter one word: stay and she was his forever. All he ever wanted.
It would be unfair. Once you know the truth this world in unbearable to live in. He wished for the ignorance that his decayed memory brought. Forgetting was the only antidote and it had been ripped from him. Like a drug addict, he was going cold turkey.
"You can't." He finally whispered. "You have to move on."
"Why? Why do I have to if you don't?"
"You're never going to leave here are you? There's always going to be people... new souls to save. Always a job to do."
"Doesn't mean I 'ave to be the one to do it. There are others that can... take over."
"No, I dunno really. I was bullshitting."
Alex reached up and gave him a long and lazy kiss.
"Hmm, what was that for?"
"Just realised I love you, that's all."
She rested her head back on his chest. Gene froze. He couldn't reply in the way he knew she wanted him to, he just couldn't. He didn't even know what love was, let alone if he felt it for Alex.
He'd never uttered the words in his life and he wasn't going to start in the afterlife.
Alex smiled into his chest. She wasn't disappointed in his lack of response, she hadn't expected one. But she needed him to know though. Whatever happened when they left this bed, she wanted him to know.
Gene began to softly run his fingers soflty through her hair. His words were lodged in his throat, trying desperately to get through but something inexplicable was stopping them. An invisible dam.
"I care for ya Bolls."
He silent cursed himself. He'd made it sound like she was a dog or something.
"Please don't make me say it."
Alex moved to look at him once more, eyebrows knitted together in confusion.
"No, I wasn't expecting..."
"I... I just can't..."
Her voice was soothing as she ran the back of her hand against his stubbly cheek, stroking his face and smiling.
"I err... only ever 'eard it once in my life... from my dad, although he was beating ten shits into me at the time so I don't think it counts."
"I'm sorry." Alex whispered sincerely as she continued to comfort his weary features.
She tried to prompt him without speaking, afraid he'd close up again. The shutters slamming down immediately. Alex knew it was hard for him, to talk like this but she wanted to know more, to understand him.
Gene Hunt the enigma was sexy as hell. But infuriating.
She just wanted Gene Hunt – the man. Weaknesses and all.
"I was twelve. Done somethin' or other I shouldn't. Pissed 'im off. He got his belt and 'it me and again... and just didn't stop. Threw his belt aside, continued with his fists. It...it err weren't the first time but it was the most brutal. Cracked three ribs... and in the middle of it he yells... err roars right in ma face that he loves me."
Alex felt the tears build behind her eyes. She gently kissed his shoulder and neck, unsure of what to say. How to make it better. As if she could simply kiss all the memories away.
When she met his dazzling gaze there was an unreadable emotion deep behind it.
"If that's love, I don't ever wanna feel it."
"No, that's not love Gene. Love is just caring, giving a shit about someone else more than you give a shit for yourself. It's about wanting to be with them, you know like all the crap in the day is worth just to see them at the end. The person that makes you feel the safest but at the same time it feels dangerous. Love is..."
"Giving up paradise to slum it in limbo." Gene interrupted, she smiled and nodded. "I wanna be able to tell you back... I will."
"Don't tell me. Show me."
Gene flipped her onto her back and she squealed in surprise.
Show her. Now that he could do.