Hi, so I know everyone is writing post series 3 one-shots right now, but me, being the weirdo I am, got inspiration for a post series 2 one-shot! It's written to this really beautiful song called 'Just In Time' by There For Tomorrow. If you haven't heard it, I strongly recommend listening to it, it's a brilliant song! Hope you like it and please leave me a review at the end!

X =D

Disclaimer – I don't own Ashes to Ashes or these fabulous lyrics...


There was a stain on the ceiling. He didn't know where the hell it had come from, or what it was, but there was a stain on the ceiling. Briefly, Gene's mind flitted to the idea of Alex lying on this sofa, staring up at that stain and wondering the same thing before he pushed it away. Everything about this flat screamed her; the very essence of her seemed to linger in the dark air, like an impatient ghost. The sofa was bathed in her scent and there were various oddments and tokens of her personality scattered all around the place.

The empty wine glass on the coffee table, still bearing the faintly visible imprint of her lipstick; the tiny bottle of nail polish, left on the windowsill; the television remote, discarded on the floor; a pair of her boots, laid carelessly next to the door. They were all reminders; blaring, blinking lights that flickered and flashed before his eyes, causing the knife of guilt in his stomach to twist in further.

He didn't know what he was doing here. This was the first place they'd look for him. But looking up at the stain on the ceiling that was probably about the size of the hole he had ripped in her gut, he began to wonder if he really cared. Did he really care if they locked him away for all eternity? Did he really care if they took away his badge, and turned him out on his arse? Did he really care if they grabbed hold of his reputation, jumped on it, ran it through a paper shredder and sprinkled it across a Manchester United pitch? Not really, no, he didn't. Because he'd lost her. And it was his fault.

Letting out a long sigh, Gene fixed his eyes on the stain, not even able to bother with lighting up a cigarette, or taking a swig of whisky. He didn't know why it felt like a spear had been driven through his heart, or as though he'd lost one of his vital organs...but it did. And he wasn't particularly sure what to make of it...Gene Hunt didn't do heartbroken. Gene Hunt didn't do guilt, or grief or fear. But now, it seemed, he did.

Something wrong with me

I'm not getting along with me

My eyes pasted on the ceiling

I can't get my mind to stop working

Swallowing his self contempt, Gene heaved himself up into a sitting position and cast a weary look around the darkened flat. Dust swirled discontentedly in the musty air, seeming to be restless at the lack of the flat's usual inhabitant. It was as though it couldn't quite decide where to settle, where to go, and Gene felt the same.

With a grunt, he stabbed the button on the record player with his finger, vaguely curious to know what she had been listening to. As the music drifted out to fall on his ears, he almost smiled. Typical. Billy bloody Joel, She's Always a Woman...how fitting. Sighing, he leant back, allowing the music that seemed to embody her wash over him, as poncey as it was. Mind you, she had seemed to like this kind of stuff.

I knew all the blackest blues

I knew all your favourite tunes

This was all I had to lose

"Guv?"

He jumped, looking around the silent flat as he realised he must have drifted off to sleep. The record had stopped playing and he stood up, straining his eyes in the darkness. "What are you doing 'ere, Shaz?"

Shaz stepped out of the darkness, her eyes wide as she looked at him. It was obvious she'd been crying. "They're coming for you, Guv. Ray and Chris couldn't stop 'em...you've got to go." She told him, glancing furtively at the door. "They'll be here soon..."

Gene's mouth almost dropped open. They were...helping him? What the...? "Hold it, Shaz...I just shot DI Drake, and yer helpin' me escape?"

Shaz looked at him as though he'd just asked if the grass was still green. "Well what did you expect us to do? You didn't mean to do it, anyone could tell that."

Gene frowned. "How? How do yer know? I didn't, but how do you know?"

A soft, sad smile spread across the young woman's face. "Y'know, me and Chris always said you two were the only ones that couldn't see it. The only one that didn't see the looks she gave you was you, and it was the same way round for her an' all."

Swallowing, Gene shook his head, trying to clear it of the tangled web of thoughts that was currently churning around in his brain. "Hold it, 'old it...you want me to run?" He frowned again, stepping forward. "I shot her. It doesn't matter to them whether I meant t' do it or not, Shaz. My bullet is lodged in 'er gut and..." he trailed off, unable to continue.

Shaz sighed softly and walked up to him. "I know, Guv, and that's why you have to run, so me, Chris and Ray can come up with something to prove that you didn't mean to do it. Stay close to England for a while, maybe the Isle of Wight or Jersey or somethin', yeah?"

Gene pulled a face. "The day I go to Jersey is the day I start hoppin' around in a bright pink shirt singing Yogi the bloody bear and promoting poof's rights."

Chuckling, Shaz smiled ruefully up at him. "The Isle of Wight then. We'll keep you posted, somehow, ok? Come on, we've put the Quattro into storage, it's too conspicuous. Chris has nicked you a plod car."

Gene's eyebrows hit the roof. "He stole a car? Christopher Skelton couldn't steal a measly pencil even if yer back was turned without doin' something to make yer realise!"

Shaz rolled her eyes. "Come on, we've got to go. There'll be here soon."

With that, she gently pushed Gene out of the flat, shutting the door behind them as they hurried down the stairs. Once they reached the bottom, Gene turned to Shaz. Clearing his throat awkwardly, he glanced quickly down the dark street. "Uh...thanks, Shaz, for warnin' me and all, I know Ray and Chris are like chewing gum on the bottom of me boot, but you didn't 'ave ter..."

Shaz smiled. "That's ok. You're the Guv, like Ray says, he'd jump off Tower Bridge for you, and Chris would hold his hand..." she smiled again, "in a manly way. And you know what? I'd be leaping off not a second behind 'em."

An iron lump rose in Gene's throat as she pressed the car keys into his hand. "Good luck, Guv."

He nodded. "Thanks, Shaz." And then, before he knew it, she'd wrapped his arms around him in a comforting, caring hug. He appreciated the gesture...but it felt...wrong. She wasn't warm enough, her arms not long enough, she wasn't tall enough...She wasn't Bolly. She wasn't his Bolly-Knickers.

"See yer, Shaz."

"Bye."

And with that, he got into the stolen plod car, shoved the keys into the ignition and sped away, not giving the London street a backward glance. As he drove, Shaz's hug niggled in the back of his mind... He wished to have Alex in his arms, and in that moment, he realised. That was all he'd ever wanted, all he'd ever been trying to achieve. Her. In his arms. And now he'd ruined that chance spectacularly.

Tried out for size

To my surprise

I can't fit in anybody's arms

No more disguise

Because I realise

I can't fit in anybody's arms

Oh you, oh you, left just in time

He should have known it was coming. He should have seen this from a mile off. As soon as she waltzed into his life, all fur coat and no knickers, looking bloody gorgeous, he should have known this was waiting right around the bend. He was either going to get it right, or he was going to make an all round, spectacular mess of it.

The fact that he'd cocked it up again wasn't all that unfamiliar, he'd never been able to hold up a proper relationship with anyone since the failure of his marriage. But it wasn't an experience that he had wanted to repeat with her...she was... He would say 'different' or 'special', but that put him in danger of sounding like a poof, so instead, he settled on simply her. Which was true. Alex Drake was unlike anyone he'd ever met: frustrating, annoying, too confident for her own good, gobby, rude, cheeky and ridiculously picky. Yet at the same time, she was the most intelligent, courageous, funny, companionable, beautiful and god damn sexy woman he had ever met, with the highest tolerance for alcohol he had ever seen.

And then, he'd gone and shot her in the gut.

"Nice move, Gene," he muttered to himself as he swerved out of the way of an incoming lorry, which didn't seem to have any patience for his maniacal driving.

Should have known to turn

Get ahead of the curve, but I've learned

The failure sounds all too familiar to me

To just keep my mind to stop working

Before he knew it, he was on the motorway, heading God knows where. All he knew was that it was south, and he didn't particularly like it. It started to rain just as he was passing a lay-by, and it was when his vision was blurred, that he was forced to pull over. It wasn't the rain causing the slick, wet road to slip out of sight every so often; the wipers in the plod car worked just fine. It was the moisture that had annoyingly chosen to creep across his irises, misting over his eyes until he was in serious dangerous of crying. And Gene Hunt didn't cry.

So he pulled over, stepped out into the rain, and pulled out a lighter and cigarette. The rain pounded down onto his back and face, ice cold daggers mixing with the salty moisture on his cheeks that even at that point, he insisted to himself weren't tears.

Leaning back against the car, he took a long drag, breathing in so hard on the cigarette that the ashes crackled with delight, flickering in the pitch black night. The lay-by was empty, devoid of life as he glanced around, the roar of passing cars echoing in his ears. London had been left behind him, along with his job, the people he relied on...his security, his kingdom...his Bolly...gone.

I knew all the blackest blues

I knew all your favourite tunes

This was all I had to lose

His thoughts wandered, just like he knew they would, to Alex, laid in a hospital bed with a bleeding gut...his bullet lodged in there. It was like an object out of place, infiltrating something beautiful. His bullet should not be in her; it shouldn't have touched any single small, insignificant part of her. But now she bled relentlessly, ruined, tainted...an imperfection on her otherwise gorgeous form. And it was his fault. He didn't deserve her...deep down, he had known that all along.

Tried out for size

To my surprise

I can't fit in anybody's arms

No more disguise

Because I realise

I can't fit in anybody's arms

Oh you, oh you, left just in time

"Can I borrow that light mate?" A lorry had pulled into the lay-by, and now a large, burly man wearing a faded, reflective jacket climbed out from the cab.

Gene turned to see the man coming towards him, and his hand instinctively fished around for the lighter. "Yeah. Here yer go," he replied, handing it over.

"Thanks." He took the lighter and lit his cigarette, while Gene wished he would go away. The man was interrupting his musings, and as depressing as it was, he needed to get his head around the situation.

"What you doing driving this late at night, anyway, mate?" the man asked, tapping the excess ash from his cigarette.

Lips forming the familiar pout, Gene dropped his own source of nicotine and crunched it beneath one foot. "Entertainment," he muttered, trying but not succeeding to keep the note of bitter sarcasm from his voice.

"Sorry, mate," the man grumbled, frowning at Gene. "I only asked."

Sighing, Gene brought his gaze up to the man. "Sorry," he said, lighting up another cigarette. "It's been a tough day." It sounded like the understatement of the century as his stomach twisted and bile rose in his throat.

The man nodded, taking another drag as he glanced back towards the lorry. "Woman troubles?"

Gene pouted, his thoughts flickering back to Alex, laid lifeless in a hospital bed. Even with the unflattering hospital gown, and all those tubes hooked up to her, she probably still looked beautiful. "Yer could say that," he replied with a sigh, looking down again. He didn't want to be talking to this guy for too long; what if they'd already put a search out for him? Then he'd be screwed.

The man gave him a sympathetic grimace, before stamping out the cigarette and extending his hand. "Well thanks for the light, mate. I better get going."

Nodding, Gene took the man's hand and shook it briefly before he turned away and walked back to the lorry. He watched as it pulled away, his eyes fixed on it as the orange backlights faded into the darkness, leaving him alone once more in the darkened lay-by.

As the light

Darkens again

I lost myself within

Cause in the end

Still I'm reminded

Still I'm reminded

It was only when he was once again alone in the darkness that Gene felt the overwhelming feeling of loneliness overshadow him again, and he almost wished for the anonymous man to return. Alex. His Bolly... his personal pain in the arse... Just what had he done to her? Pushing her away was one thing, shouting at her was a regular occurrence...but shooting her? How on earth had that happened?

All he could remember was the sound of his gun going off, thundering in his ears as she fell to the floor, her eyes wide with shock and fixed on him. Crimson blood had begun to seep through her shirt, trickling through her fingers like grains of sand... And then he'd stood over her, paralysed by fear, holding the smoking gun...

In that moment, Gene knew that she was the only one who would ever feel right. She was the only one he could hold close and feel comfortable; she was the only he could ever kiss, and actually feel the emotion beneath it. She was the only one who fit in his arms, and he was the only one that fit in hers.

Tried out for size

To my surprise

I can't fit in anybody's arms

No more disguise

Because I realise

I can't fit in anybody's arms

Oh you, oh you, left just in time


Hope that was alright and I know it's a little weird that I've done a post Series 2 fic rather than Series 3, but that's me for you! Please tell me what you think of it in a review and thanks for reading!

X =D