Hello everyone! So yup, here I am again, with a new Ashes story! And I'm really excited about this one. :D I've actually been writing it for a while, but have only just decided to start posting it. It's something a little different, not based around a crime plot this time, but it *is* Galex, of course. How could it not be? :P Just want to quickly say a thank you to TheFatalIllusion for reading the chapters I already have written through for me and for giving me encouragement to keep going! Anyway, I'll shut up now as I can be prone to ramble, and I'll let you read! I'm not sure when this is set, probably after series one but before series two, so in that gap between. Well, I hope it's okay, happy reading, and please remember to review at the end! :P
Disclaimer - I don't own Ashes to Ashes, any of its characters, places, themes, etc...Basically I own bugger all. :P
It was an unusually quiet day in CID. No new bodies for the slab, no-one had gone missing and there were no big, high-profile robbery or drugs cases to solve. It seemed that like many of London's residents, the criminals and scum of the city were also enjoying the unnaturally warm weather outside. Unnaturally warm, at least, for April.
"I'm sorry," Ray complained, fanning himself with a magazine, the contents of which Alex thought were best left unquestioned. "But it's the fourth of April, in bloody England; it shouldn't be this flamin' hot!"
Shaz nodded and murmured wearily in agreement, taking a long gulp of water before returning to her typewriter with a sigh. The atmosphere in CID was beyond stuffy, and every single officer was beginning to feel the heat; the air felt so thick that no-one could be bothered to move anywhere much and to top it all off, the air conditioning was broken, and it didn't look like anyone was coming to fix it anytime soon – something that had given Gene endless pleasure and prompted a ten minute tirade on the reliability of workmen 'poofters' and 'lazy good-fer-nothing layabouts'.
Feeling uncharacteristically lazy, Alex agreed with too and sighed, pushing away from her the report she'd been trying to read for the past half an hour. She slumped back in her chair and surveyed the rest of CID, fingers playing absentmindedly with a pen.
Alex had always been more of a winter person; she loved wrapping up warm in a coat, hat, scarf and gloves and walking through the rain or falling snow. With a sharp pang of homesickness, Alex remembered playing with Molly in the snow, laughing at her shrieks as they threw snowballs at each other and went sledging together... A searing pain spread through her chest as Alex was hit, not for the first time, by a desperate longing to be home, to see her little girl again. She let out another sigh.
"Are you sure we don't have any fans?" Ray asked, dropping the ineffective magazine back onto his desk and straining his neck to look round CID. "And when the hell are the Guv an' Chris getting back? We're bloody cooking like a pot roast in 'ere!"
"No, Ray," Alex told him with a short-tempered sigh, "We don't have any fans. And don't ask me to help you look for them again; we've already established that there aren't any. As for the Guv and Chris, I haven't a clue. How am I supposed to know where they are?" She only just managed to refrain from muttering something about GPS and tracking devices, both of which would be lost on him.
Her snappy tone did nothing to improve Ray's bad mood and he scowled at her before sighing again and reaching for his cigarettes and lighter. As he lit one up and held it to his lips, Alex looked at him in disbelief and shook her head.
"Oh, because that's really going to cool you down."
"Oh shut up and go get some fresh air fer a bit if all yer going t' do is get yer knickers in a twist. S'not like we're doing anything useful 'ere," Ray snapped back at her, taking a deep drag on his cigarette before blowing a long tunnel of smoke out from between his lips. He quickly pulled a face, then stubbed it out as soon as Alex wasn't looking. She was right, that just made him feel hotter and the air stuffier.
"You know what? I might just do that," Alex said, quickly pushing her chair back and standing up. She smoothed down her skirt – shorter than usual due to the warm weather – and turned to head for the doors. "Anything to get away from grumpy guts," she muttered to herself as she slipped out, relishing in the ever so slightly cooler air in the corridor outside of CID.
"Ma'am...Ma'am!" Viv exclaimed, sounding almost relieved as he moved round from his side of the desk to approach her. "Thank God you're here. Can you please tell this..." he glanced behind him indecisively, "Young lady, that she can't just waltz into a police station and start demanding to talk to people without giving a reason why."
Her curiosity piqued, Alex frowned slightly and stepped further round the corner until the 'young lady' Viv was referring to came into view. She was stood in the middle of the room with her hands on her hips, exerting teenage attitude as she scowled at both Alex and Viv, her lips set in a tight, displeased pout that Alex vaguely recognised.
Platinum blonde hair was pulled back into a messy pony tail, exposing darker roots, and Alex couldn't tell what colour the girl's eyes were, but they were surrounded by a thick black circle of eyeliner and too much mascara, clumped on her eyelashes. It wasn't too hard to tell that she was wearing thick foundation, her lips tinted with what Alex guessed was once bright pink lipstick, but had now faded slightly and gone a little flaky at the edges of her lips. For a moment, Alex just met the teenager's challenging gaze and appraised the short denim skirt, fishnet tights, ankle pixie boots, and faded leather jacket that she wearing, before she composed herself and stepped further towards the girl.
"Hello, I'm DI Alex Drake," she said, giving the teenager a small smile as Viv saw that she was more than capable of handling the situation and returned to his desk, disappearing to file some reports. "What's your name?"
After a few seconds during which she just tried to stare Alex down, the teenage girl finally replied, "Don't matter what my name is." Her eyes then flickered around the room, to the billboard filled with notices and 'MISSING' posters, to the desk, to the doors, and finally back to Alex again. She seemed restless, on edge, as though she wasn't sure what to do or say next. "I'm looking fer DCI Hunt."
The surprise was evident on Alex's face before she could suppress it; as soon as the girl had said more than a few words, the Mancunian accent was obvious, and Alex wondered how on earth she knew Gene. "DCI Hunt?" Alex asked, though she knew she hadn't heard incorrectly. "I'm sorry, I hope you don't mind my asking, but why do you need to see him? I can't just bring you through to CID without you having a reason, you see. Besides, he's not here at the moment, though he should be back soon."
The surly teenager paused for a moment and then said, frowning a little at her, "Did yer say DI Alex Drake?"
"Yes, I, um, yes I did, DI Alex Drake," Alex said, a little taken aback by the sudden change of subject. "Why?"
She shrugged, the disgruntled pout once again settling on her lips – the pout set a bell ringing in Alex's head, but she wasn't sure what exactly it reminded her of. "Just never met a female DI before, that's all. S'a bit weird...Knew a female DC once, but that's it. Now can I see DCI Hunt?"
Still feeling completely perplexed at the situation and confused by the moody teenager in front of her, who was dressed in an outfit she would have never in a million years let Molly out of the house in, Alex said again, "I'm sorry, but you're going to have to tell me why you need to see DCI Hunt; it's against regulations to just bring you through to-"
"I don't give a fuck about regulations!" The girl shouted at her suddenly, her tone vicious and demanding as she exploded. "I want t' see DCI Hunt now, and I don't care 'ow many rules yer break. No-one gives a fuck anyway, I doubt our little darkie friend is going t' be bothered! What's 'e gonna do t' me, anyway?" She gestured briefly towards the still deserted desk, and Alex's eyes widened in shock.
"Excuse me, but I am not going to tolerate that sort of language or behaviour," Alex told her sternly, her own hands going to her hips to mirror the teenager's stance as she went into 'discipline mode'. "Now I want to know your name, where you've come from and who is meant to be responsible for you. How old are you, anyway?" Quickly taking in her appearance again, Alex guessed that despite the makeup, dyed hair and short skirt, the girl in front of her was no more than sixteen years old, and certainly not of age.
"Fuckin' hell, what is this, the Spanish Inquisition?" the girl retorted, laughing spitefully at Alex. "You've got t' be taking the piss with all this posh questions bollocks; who did you sleep with t' make DI?"
Alex's eyes widened further, her mouth opening in protest, but the difficult teenage girl before her cut in before she could say anything.
"Seriously though, are you going to cut the crap, or am I going t' have to go find DCI Hunt myself?"
"That won't be necessary, seeing as I'm 'ere," a loud voice came from behind them both, and Alex turned to see Gene making his way over to them, his eyes fixed on the teenage girl she had been arguing with for the past ten minutes or so. There was a look on his face that she couldn't quite decipher – confusion, fear, shock, surprise, anger, sadness, puzzlement... It seemed to be a mixture of all of them put together.
"Question is," Gene said grimly, stopping beside Alex, his gaze still fixed intently on the mouthy teenager, "What the 'ell are you doing 'ere?"
"Oh," the girl remarked, scowling up at him as her hands went to her hips again and she drew herself up taller, as though trying to match Gene's height, though she was only a few inches shorter than Alex. And then she added, voice laced with impertinent sarcasm, "Nice to see you again too, Dad."
Dun, dun, dun! :P So that's the first chapter. I hope it was okay, and please let me know if you're interested in reading more of this story or not! Thank you for reading - reviews are, as always, very much appreciated and rewarded with cheap plonk, or cookies, depending on your preference. :D