So, this is an angsty-type fic I got the idea for last night and wrote in my free today. Hope you like it, please R&R :)
Gene Hunt was not usually scared of the dark. Quite contrary, in fact, because the dark embrace of the night was the perfect cover for a copper on an undercover sting, a drunken DCI stumbling home, or, in his dreams, the perfect time to meet prospective partners, his pitted skin disguised by the soft twilight. In the same way, he was not usually scared of London by night. The great city seemed infinitely less threatening at night, when the harsh orange of the streetlamps left patches of deepest black where prime scum lurked, easy prey for an angry, intoxicated police officer with a grudge against the slumbering, festering city.
But now… he shivered in the chill air, his breath condensing in front of his face. He couldn't bring himself to light a cigarette or take a nip of the Scotch he knew was easily at hand in his top pocket. He didn't want to do anything that might remove the taste of her from his lips, the feel of her lips on his already a fading memory he would do anything to hold on to. The warmth of her hands on his cheeks was fading too, her smooth skin gentle on his scarred, worn face, a tenderness in her touch than was almost alien to him.
When she'd realised the truth… when she'd started to realise that she was really dead to the other world and that she could never go back, that she was trapped here, he'd wanted nothing more than to comfort her. As her voice broke, bordering on hysteria, he'd wanted nothing more than to take her into his embrace, hold her close to him and soothe away the pain, whisper in her ear and protect her from anything else that could possibly hurt her.
And then Keats had come out of nowhere, invading on their bubble, spoiling the moment, and she was clinging to desperate shreds of hope, her eyes alight with a yearning for this world he had yet to know, a daughter he admitted to himself – somewhat ashamedly – that he had doubted the existence of. The realisation that Keats could offer her a way back to her little girl seemed to fill her with a hopefulness and longing that he had never seen, had never been able to offer her.
It had been nothing more than a shake of his head, a warning to her, and she had slowly realised the truth, and as she understood that her initial thoughts that she was dead, the denial of the fact she could never get back began to crush her, her face crumpling, eyes clouding with tears for a life lost. He knew he had to act, and so he stepped in front of Keats, engaging in a final, defiant act of violence in front of her, punching the scumbag and driving him away from her.
He turned, then, and saw her face falling, and he felt his heart constrict with pity for her. It hadn't been like this with the others, so why was it so hard for her to let it go, accept her fate?
"My baby…" She whispered, and he understood in the way she spoke, the way a thousand memories played, unseen, behind her eyes, that this was why it was so hard to let go. Saying goodbye to a child… especially when you've been snatched from their world so cruelly with no chance to say farewell… he knew he had to comfort her.
"I know, I know, I know… way of the world, Alex." His own voice was, he was surprised to find, choked with emotion, and he realised how uncaring his words must sound. "She'll be fine." He reassured, and she nodded.
"Alright…" her voice was barely audible, and he knew she was struggling to accept that this Molly was now dead to her, never again to be a part of her life.
Then her face was burning with new hope, and she was smiling through her tears, pleading with him. "But listen…listen, listen to me… I can stay here, with, with you… you can't do this, you can't do this on your own, you need me, Gene! I can't, I can't go in there!" the desperation in her voice was so raw, the look on her face was one of such heart-breaking pain that he almost said yes. It couldn't really be so bad for her, could it? Staying with him? Was it really so selfish for him to wish for a companion in this life, someone to love and cherish, who would love him in return?
No. The rational side of him knew it could never be and he spoke the words with bitter regret, knowing he was breaking her heart by doing this. "Yes, you can." He wondered how his tone sounded so light. "They've got a saloon bar." He looked at her then, his mouth turned up at the corners in a half-hearted smile.
"Can't have you putting me off me stride, can I? I mean, I'll end up wondering if I'm not completely right all the time. Can't have that." Why was he being so flip with her? Acting like this was just another day in the office, Bolly and the Guv having another row, or simply parting for a work conference, as though she would be coming back sometime soon.
"Weren't bad though, were we?" The words had a sick finality to them, telling her that it was over for good. She wouldn't be coming back. Drake and Hunt could never be again, they would never argue again or get pissed together in Luigi's, he would never flirt with her again or ogle her arse in those jeans. He could see her thinking it too… Drake and Hunt. The dream team.
And then she was handing him the epaulette numbers, the silver glinting dimly in the twilight and streetlamps, and he was holding out his hand for them, this final reminder of both who he really was and the woman he loved. He raised his eyes from the digits to her face, and he could see a single tear rolling down her cheek, and he knew he had to break the awful silence.
"See you around, Bollykecks." The words were light, casual, like he'd say to her at the end of the day, a dismissal from the world of work to a place more her own. And then she was staring at him, silent, and he wanted nothing more than to kiss her, and tell her to never leave him, tell her she could stay, and then she was leaning towards him and her hands were on his cheek and her lips were on his and he barely had time to appreciate how she tasted or smelt or felt before she pulled away, her cheeks awash with tears, and she was whispering her final farewell.
"Goodbye Guv." The last time he would hear her voice, and she'd never said she loved him, he'd never said he loved her.
"Go." He commanded, knowing if she stayed another moment he wouldn't let her go.
And then she was pulling away and walking away, resplendent in the jeans he'd so loved – why hadn't he told her he loved them? – and she wasn't looking back… oh God, why wasn't she looking back? He prayed she'd turn, but she wasn't...
Her hand was on the door handle – turn around, please turn around – and she was walking in and she was gone.
He was left, alone, in the street, the pub fading, and just as he wanted nothing more than to stand and grieve for his lost love, there was Keats, taunting him.
"All alone. No-one to care. Ahhh, diddums." He spat, staring at Gene with his mouth twisted in a sick look of pleasure. Dealing with him was brief, and then he was gone, singing some sick song about meeting again, and Gene vowed then and there that if he ever saw the bastard again he'd shoot him where he stood.
"All alone, Gene. See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya." Keats finally hissed, turning and staggering away down the street.
The words were easy to ignore, and Gene began to walk back through the streets, barely noticing his surroundings, just walking.
Bolly was gone. He wasn't going to see her again for God knows how long, and he didn't know how he would stand it. He'd loved her, and she'd never even known... why hadn't he told her? Stupid, stupid man. He should have just said the words, asked her out, romanced her out of those expensive French knickers... maybe then he wouldn't have been able to let her go, could have convinced her to stay.
Gene Hunt never used to be scared of the dark. But now he knew that Bolly was no longer in his world, now he knew that her familiar, comforting presence was no longer there should he need her at three o'clock in the morning, he wasn't sure how he'd face the city. It suddenly seemed more threatening, more dangerous, now that she wasn't there.
Gene Hunt never used to be scared of the dark, until he lost the guiding light that was Alex Drake.