Tony has been reasonably sure of many things in his life - motives, friendships, his own shortcomings. He has been unsure of countless more - would Carol have stayed, if he'd been brave enough to kiss her? Would they have been able to love each other, or was their individual damage too great for their broken pieces to ever add up to a whole?

Tony has never been as sure of anything as he is right now: He is leaving this van. There is no question in his mind, as he feels the wall digging into his back. His insubstantial tie (worn bare in so many places!) coiled about his hands. He shoes scraping the floor as he struggles for purchase. He is leaving this van.

Michael lunges at him, and they connect in a sickening thud, each man grappling for superiority. Tony is out matched in size and physical strength. He doesn't care. He is leaving this van, and there is no other option. The last case he worked with Alex flickers briefly through his mind, and he marvels at the synchronisity. He fights for her, his Eve. He will be her Adam, if she'll have him. He'll battle through the awkwardness and his lack of social grace. When he leaves this van. He will not die here. Cannot die here, far away from the family he knows is waiting for him if he just has the courage to reach out and accept it.

His knee slams into the wheel-well, agony licking down his spine. But he has the tie around Michaels neck and he twists with everything he's got, because he has to leave this van. Has to live, now that he has something to live for. He is flooded with the hideous potential he has often suspected but never put to the test. He is potent, and capable, and he is leaving this van. A splash of wetness spills down his cheek as he feel michael's windpipe give way beneath the fierce determination of his hands. He doesn't savor the way the light leaves his eyes (part of him was heart-clenchingly terrified that he'd like it too much. That's he'd need it again). He kicks the body away with aching knees and his prophecy comes true: He leaves the van.

He's in shock, of course, which keeps most of the pain away. And it will do, he understands, until he can find her. He knows he should phone the station first - he doesn't. Instead he finds his way to her home and presses all his weight against her doorbell. Doesn't let up, even when she's there, opening the door. She reaches out and removes his finger from the buzzer, and that small simple touch brings him back round to his senses. He grasps her hand like a drowning man and blue eyes meet brown.

"I had to see you," he says. "I killed him, and I had to see you." She gathers him close, soft hands snaking aside his face. They look at each other a long time, before he kisses her. He is no braver now; it is only that Alex makes it clear to him that yes, he should kiss her and no, she will not leave him. The kiss does not last long. She is afraid for his well-being and won't allow passion to override sense even if she would like to. She calls to her son (Theirs he thinks. Theirs. It never occurs to him that Ben belongs to another man). The young boy puts the kettle on as Alex shepherds Tony to the kitchen table. She explains quietly that he should be taken to hospital to be checked out, and thence to the station to give his statement. He knows this is the sensible course of action but his mind is occupied with more pressing matters. He looks into her worried face, bolstered by the concern he sees coloring her gaze. He asks if he can stay with her once the things that must be done have been done.

She gives his hand a little squeeze, tells him she's not letting him out of her sight. He relaxes bodily as Ben sets a steaming mug of tea in front of him. He strokes his thumb over the back of Alex's hand.

He's never been so sure of anything in his life.

Fin.