So... this is a fanfic idea I've been mulling over for a while now. It's inspired by THAT argument in 3.8, and explores what's going on in Gene and Alex's heads during the argument... enjoy, please R&R!

As Shaz handed her the map, with a cheerful smile and a polite remark, Alex knew Gene was going to go mad. It wasn't of question of if he found out, because she could tell that despite her best attempts to smuggle it into the file she was holding, he had already seen it. It was a question of when he decided to call her into his office, and sure enough he stood there and commanded her:

"DI Drake, my office."

She tried to get out of it, tried to delay the inevitable, but he wasn't having any of it. "Now." He stated simply and she stood, walking into the enclosed space with a sense of dread in her heart. Before, in Gene's office, things had been… not easier, but clearer. She had been anticipating the row then, waiting, ready for him to explode, and when he had simply been quietly angry, uncommonly rational, she had been surprised yet still able to parry his retorts and explain herself away.

But this… this was an unknown quantity. After last night, after what he had said about Sam… he had made it clear that that was to be all that was said about the matter, made his position crystal clear. She had tried to accept what he said to be the gospel truth, but with Keats on her back, she could not help but wonder if there was something more… wonder who was buried up at Farringfield Green.

She closed the door as confidently as she could, before turning to face Gene and the rage she knew was sure to come. She steeled herself for the shouting, the accusations, the atmosphere of fear and anger that would cloud the air. When it came, it was surprisingly quiet, subdued.

"Why did Shaz bring you that map?" he asked, his tone inquisitive, almost light, like a friend would use when asking another friend how his day had been. She could answer this question calmly, she knew that much. Fight fire with fire, like with like.

"Because, erm…" she looked around for the seat she knew was there, sinking into it with relief as she composed a retort. "It's somewhere in the world I've always wanted to visit." She delivered the quip with perfect timing, a smug smile affixed to her face subconsciously. That sounded plausible, didn't it? Unlikely, but plausible… God knows, she could do with some leave, some time away from this place, much as the thought of leaving all that was familiar to her behind for even a few days filled her with fear.

Gene had been anticipating her answer, and he knew how to piss her off, get her to talk properly, frankly, with him. All he had to do was wind her up enough, and he knew she would fly off the handle. Much as he hated to do it, he knew upsetting her would work too, and despite his reluctance to make her cry, he knew that the rage and disappointment from the night before would be enough to do so unintentionally. He would go with angry, for now.

"It's just that your idea of heading north is a trip to Brent Cross. This is about bloody Tyler again." It wasn't a question, it was a statement, and Alex knew it as well as he did. As she looked downwards, avoiding his gaze, he knew enough about psychology and all the crap she spouted to know what was coming next, and he could feel the rage, incandescent and unreasonable, bubbling up inside him.

"It's nothing," she said, trying to keep her voice from shaking and fighting the tears. She knew she had to face him and so she looked up, regretting it instantly when she saw the hostility in his face. He didn't even allow her to try and make eye contact before replying, trying to quash the anger inside and keep his voice from showing how he really felt.

"Go. Just go home." He commanded, and she looked at him in surprise. Innocent, disbelieving surprise, and although he tried not to look at them too intently he could see the shock in her eyes.

"What?" she asked, and somehow it made it easier for him that she didn't understand, although he realised too late that he was losing composure. Without warning he was angry, and suddenly her confusion was the perfect way for him to tell her how he really felt. He looked past the questioning, injured look in her eyes, looked past the way her brows furrowed in the middle and her lips parted a little in confusion and tried to repress how she had looked last night. The way she had rested her head on his shoulder, trusting him. The way her hands had felt in his, soft and warm. The way she had raised her head so that their lips were mere millimetres apart and they had been so close, he could smell her hairspray and perfume and the wine she had drunk at dinner all at the same time and as their breath mingled between them, as he leaned towards her, every fibre of his being aching for her… the knock.

He all but spat the words. "If a female officer is causing disconsternation amongst her male colleagues, it is the right of the senior officer to transfer her."

It was true enough. She had ruffled enough feathers arriving here, with her modern methods and psychological bullshit, her tight, provocative clothing and that posh exterior that was both irritating and alluring, that the men of CID had been thoroughly dumbfounded. As the outfits got tighter, shorter, bolder, they had barely worked, ignoring the day to day grind of police life for the ever-shortening skirt of Alex Drake.

And he, blinded by lust – he couldn't, wouldn't, call it anything more – had watched too, with ever-increasing shock at her brazenness, yet a sizeable amount of enjoyment too. Now… she had been tormenting him. In his angry state it seemed to make sense, and he was taking power. He was her senior officer. She was just a damned irritating, gobby, posh tart. A damned irritating, gobby, posh tart with gorgeous legs and a liking for tight jeans, some corner of his brain reasoned, but he didn't care any more. He wasn't taking any more of her crap.

He could see the irritation in her eyes, see the annoyance and frustration, and he knew what she was going to say even as her mouth formed the words. "Disconsternation is not a word." She told him haughtily, tilting her head slightly to the side and eying him with a practiced stare, challenging him further. He avoided her gaze and responded passively, mechanically, trying to provoke her into an argument.

"You, a woman, are upsetting a predominantly male environment." It was half-true, he knew, even if CID had grown bored of the constant sight of their DI in indecently tight jeans and low-cut tops. Even if, he had to admit to himself, he had, instead becoming more interested in the person behind the outfits, the confident, strong, beautiful woman he knew Alex was – and the vulnerable, almost child-like side she revealed only occasionally.

"No, I'm upsetting you because I didn't sleep with you last night." She answered, her tone irritated now.

And he knew it was true. As he had held her in his arms, her lips so close to his, he had held the thought in mind, the one shining though that kept him going through dark times. Sleeping with Alex Drake. Although recently, it wasn't so much the thought of Alex in lingerie that did it for him, it was the thought that she would trust him enough to let him in her bed, trust him enough to let him kiss her, touch her, hold her in his arms and let her fall asleep there. And he had been so let down when she had left. His body ached for her, but also his soul. She was the only person who understood him, the only person who trusted him so implicitly even after everything he had done. They had both seen a side of the other that was usually well hidden, and he had thought that after everything, he might finally get to at least feel her lips on his once. But no.

"D'you know, you are the most immature man I've ever met." She continued accusingly.

The anger was getting more, fuelled by his sadness and the pathetic sideswipe she had just made at him, despite a small part of his brain telling him that his jealousy and bitterness was childish, juvenile and pathetic. Unable to admit to her that she was right, unable to take the criticism with grace in his angered state, he made an even more immature retort back.

"D'you know, I bet I'm not." He said, feeling stupid even as he said it. The confrontational side of his brain spoiled for a fight, and he tried to calm it, whilst simultaneously trying to ignore the sweeter-natured part of him that told him to go to her now and hold her gently in his arms and tell her how he felt, or just kiss her to stop her from replying.

"Yes you are." She assured him, looking up through her eyelashes in a completely different way to how she had the previous night, angrily, frustrated.

Trying to wind her up even further, he made another quick retort. "Not."

She sighed then, and he knew he had done it. Provoked her far enough for her to be angry. She rolled her head into her hands, rubbing her temples in frustration. "Oh, God give me strength." She pleaded, half to herself and he was suddenly furious. Why was she making such a fuss? She didn't even feel the same way about him, so why was she getting so pissed off about things?

Alex was pissed off. Why couldn't Gene see that last night… everything they could have had was what she had wanted too. She had wanted to trust him enough to let him in, trust him to be with her in every possible way. And then Jim Keats had ruined everything. She supposed that a small part of her wanted to sleep with Gene to gain his trust, but it was overwhelmed by the rest of her just wanting to be with him, the person… because she loved him. It had taken last night for her to admit it to herself, but she did.

When Gene spoke again, she raised her head in shock and defiance.

"D'you know, I don't think I can be in the same room as you any more, Alex."

He couldn't mean that, surely. He wouldn't transfer her, wouldn't really never see her again. She couldn't be without him, he was her constant. They needed each other, although neither would admit it. Her response was defensive, automatic. The emotion was raw, instinctive, and it was anger or tears.

"Why? 'Cos you're so angry you might do something?"

Gene's face stayed stony and impassive as he contemplated the retort. He didn't want to think about wht had happened last time he got angry with her, the last time he had suspended her. He remembered her face as she fell, mouth open in shock, hands clutching her stomach, desperately trying to stem the flow of blood. He clenched his jaw once, trying to force the images from his mind as responded, trying to keep his tone calm and composed. The anger was fading, and he wanted desperately to comfort her now, wanted to apologise for everything and tell her it didn't matter, wanted to kiss her and hold her close, but he knew that it was too late.

"This is mine, all this. Keats is about to bring it down around me and you are trying to rip my guts out. Well, I'm not going to let either of you weaken me any more." He stated selfishly, trying to convince himself it wasn't true yet knowing even as he did so that it was. He had seen her going into Keats' office, seen their quiet conversations and furtive glances.

Alex felt guilty. She knew she had betrayed his trust, knew that she was undermining him and trying to destroy him. After everything he had done for her, after everything they had been through, she did feel guilty. But she needed to know the truth about him, about this world. She needed to get home to Molly. And if finding out the truth about Sam could get her back… she would do it. Or she'd thought she would. She tried to push the thought aside, tried to think of a retort. The bitterness welled inside her, and she could feel the tears, welling in her eyes, threatening to spill out and betray her, as she spoke the words quietly.

"You know, I've wanted to believe the best in you for so long, and now... Now I just don't know what to think."

She had wanted to believe he wanted what was best for the team for so long… only now it seemed like he wanted to keep her here indefinitely. He had lied, betrayed her trust, shot her… and yet she still couldn't bring herself to hate him. Something about him… she just couldn't. He made her feel safe, made her feel like someone cared. She had wanted to believe that he cared about her, and yet… he didn't seem to any more.

Gene sat, numb. Her accusation stung. He had tried so hard, and yet… she still didn't trust him. Fine. If she was going to be like that, he could fight back, he could make her feel like this too. He knew how to get to her, he knew how to piss her off and upset her. She thought she was so high and mighty, so perfect. He couldn't look at her as he spat the words, told her what he knew was a lie but she had to believe.

"D'you know, I'm going to level with you. S'funny, but, erm, yeah, I think I was trying to impress you. But after last night, well, you're just... you're just a hindrance."

She stared him out grimly, gritting her teeth, fighting back the tears. Standing, she slammed from the room, without looking back.

She would show him.

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