A/N: Well, here we are – the final chapter. Although I may write an epilogue if time and workload allow. Can't promise when that will be though, so I'm going to mark it as complete just in case I don't get around to it.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Your reviews have been wonderful and have really encouraged me. If you could leave one last comment that would be fantastic. Once again I apologise for the wait between some chapters but we got here in the end. Thanks for sticking with it!
Oh, and thanks to Harri83 and Gene'sGirl13 for their beta-ing duties. It's much appreciated ladies.
Alex ran to the interview room, ignoring Gene's calls. Upon reaching the door, she took a deep breath to steel herself and then entered. As the door opened the young girl looked up and Alex was met with eyes she recognised oh so well. Molly's eyes.
"Molly!" she cried, rushing over to kneel next to her daughter.
"M-mum? Is it really you?"
Alex cradled her daughter's face in her hands. "Yes, it's really me."
"But how. I saw you..." Molly trailed off as the emotions became too much for her and she flung herself at her Mum, holding on tight.
"I don't know," Alex replied honestly. "All I know is that when I was shot, I woke up here. Just like Sam Tyler."
"Sam? So this is his world?"
"He's not here anymore, but yes."
"So the 'Jean' you mentioned at the hospital was-" Molly was cut off by the sound of the interview room door being flung open. She looked round to see Gene barging in.
"Bolly! What the flamin' 'ell..." Gene stopped suddenly noticing the scene before him. It didn't take him long to work out what was going on. "You must be Molly," he remarked, stepping forward and shutting the door. Molly nodded slowly, not quite sure what to make of Gene in the flesh. He could tell she was distressed so he tried to remain calm "I'm Gene," he told her gently. "I...er...work with yer Mam. Can I borrow 'er for a minute?"
The thought of her Mum leaving her after she'd only just found her upset Molly and she gripped onto her Mum tighter. Alex rubbed a hand soothingly up and down Molly's back, "It's okay Molls. I'll just be outside. I'm not going anywhere, okay?" Molly pulled back and looked at her Mum, nodding. "Good girl."
"Don't you worry little lady," Gene continued, causing Alex to smile as she remembered him calling her younger self by the same nickname, "she'll be back before yer know it." Gene held the door for Alex and followed her out into the corridor. Alex leant against the wall, closing her eyes tightly to stop the tears. She didn't want to think what it meant that Molly had arrived her, but something bad must have happened to her in 2008.
"Alright Bolls?" Gene asked, standing in front of her.
"It's all just a bit of a shock. I never expected to see her again."
"But she's 'ere. She's back with 'er mother, where she belongs." Hearing those words from Gene's lips made the situation more real and tangible to Alex and she allowed herself a small smile. "'As she said anything, any explanation as to why she was wanderin' round the middle o' London on 'er own."
"Not yet. She's a bit upset so I've not really had chance to talk to her.
"Well take 'er 'ome, calm 'er down an' talk to 'er," Gene instructed.
Alex began to protest. "I can't. What about the police officers-"
"Don't call 'em that Bolly. They don't deserve it. They're scum!"
"They still need interviewing."
"It can wait 'til mornin'. Night in a cell might do 'em some good. Go on. Go 'ome. I...could drop round wi' a take away later, save you cooking...if you don't think Molly would mind."
"That would be nice."
"Chinese, pizza, indian? What do teenage girls eat?"
"Well, that particular teenage girl is quite partial to pizza. At least she was when I last saw her." Alex silently berated herself for focusing on the negatives. "Get pizza. Pizza's good. But no mushrooms. Molls hates them."
"Okay, right well I'll see you later then," he confirmed as she opened the door to get back to her daughter. "About 'alf six?"
"Half six," agreed Alex. "Oh, and Gene," she called as he began to walk off. He turned back. "Thanks."
Gene arrived a few minutes late at 6.35 but not enough to make Alex worried. Somehow, she knew he'd come. She had to laugh as she opened the door though, his arms were full of boxes and takeaway cartons, plus a plastic bag.
"Wow! You've got enough to feed the five thousand there Gene," she commented as she stepped back to let him in.
He placed the food on the counter and turned back to her. "Bleedin' well 'ope the five thousand ain't comin' Bolly. Can only just about cope wi' you and now I've got yer daughter too," he replied smirking. Alex resisted the urge to poke her tongue out at him; God, what was it about him that made her want to act like such a child? Alex got some plates out while Gene began to open boxes and cartons.
"What exactly have you bought?" Alex queried.
"Three pizzas; a margarita, an 'ot and spicy an' a veggie one, all wi'out mushrooms. Two garlic breads; one wi' cheese and one wi'out, some onion rings and chips. As well as..." he fished into the plastic bag, "a bottle o' wine for us and Coke for Molly."
"Well we'll certainly be well fed," she quipped. The look of hurt that flashed across Gene's face was gone almost as quickly as it came but Alex noticed it.
"Just wanted to make sure I got somethin' she'd like," he explained with a pout.
"I'm sorry," apologised Alex."I'm only joking. It's wonderful, thank you." She stretched up and pecked him on the cheek. "Besides, Molly eats like a horse so there might not even be that much left over."
As if on cue, Molly appeared in the living room, looking a lot happier than earlier, and made her way towards the kitchen, "Mmmm. Something smells good."
"'Elp yerself," Gene invited.
"Any mushrooms?" she asked
"Nope, specially ordered without," Gene assured her. Molly smiled at him and headed straight for the hot and spicy pizza, much to Gene's surprise and slight annoyance; he'd been secretly hoping that he'd get that one all to himself. She pulled a slice from the pizza, leaving a trail of cheese all over the counter, and took a bite.
"Mmm. This is great," she declared, "I'm starving. Thank you!"
"Molly!" chided Alex. "Don't talk with your mouth full...and use a plate!" Gene didn't miss Molly's roll of her eyes as she got a plate and began piling it with food, and couldn't resist a smirk. "Don't encourage her," hissed Alex, wondering what she was letting herself in for letting them get to know each other.
Molly had, as expected, eaten quite a lot, in fact they all had; there wasn't much left and the coffee table was littered with empty boxes and cartons.
"D'yer want me to throw this away Bolls?" Gene asked as he took the couple of remaining slices of pizza through to the kitchen, Molly following behind with the plates and glasses.
"Nah, keep it," Molly said, "I'll eat it for breakfast tomorrow."
"Pizza? For Breakfast?"
"Yeh. Cold pizza is great the morning after."
Gene shook his head. "I will never understand teenagers," he muttered.
"Well you'd better start," she told him teasingly before becoming serious. "So…are you sleeping with my Mum?"
"MOLLY!" Alex shouted, moving from the living room to the kitchen at lightening speed to confront her daughter.
"What?" Molly asked feigning innocence, but failing to conceal the smirk on her face. Gene didn't know what to say or where to look. It wasn't often he was left speechless, especially not by a teenage girl.
"You just can't come straight out and ask people that." Alex explained.
"Well how else am I supposed to find out?" asked the teenager.
"It's about how you ask though," explained Alex. "There are more tactful ways."
"Okay then. Are you two an 'item'?" she asked, waggling her fingers like her mother. Gene smirked, she and Bolly were so alike. But then, he supposed, that was hardly surprising considering it had just been the two of them for Molly's formative years. He wondered how, having just got her Mum back, she would react if she suddenly had to share her with him.
"We're…" he began but faltered, looking at Alex for guidance on what to say.
"…close?" suggested Alex.
"Yeh, we're close," agreed Gene, feeling Molly's eyes on him. He had a hunch that Alex was going to get the Spanish inquisition from her daughter once he'd gone.
"Right. Well that was informative," she declared sarcastically. "I think I'll go for a shower before I'm blinded by your honesty!"
"Honestly, she's too nosey for her own good sometimes," Alex remarked once molly was out of earshot.
"Oh, an' I wonder where she gets that from?" Gene said with a smile. Alex threw a tea towel at him in response. "Seriously, she's a carbon copy o' you," he said softly.
Alex sighed, the gravity of the situation suddenly occurring to her. "I'm sorry Gene. It can't be easy for you, her just turning up like this."
"I'll understand if you want to nip this," she waved her hand between them in indication, "in the bud now."
"Don't talk daft. This were always a possibility. I always knew you were a mother Alex; flamin' 'ell yer went on about getting back to 'er for long enough."
"Stop apologisin'!" I ain't goin' ter run away just because she's 'ere. Although why yer'd want me around 'er is a mystery ter me. Not exactly the greatest of life's role models."
"Oh, I don't know. Deep down, underneath that macho facade, you're a good man Gene. Kind, fair, loving-"
"Keep yer voice down; she might 'ear. Wouldn't want people thinkin' I were soft."
"Oh yeh, sorry; forgot," she smirked. "Another drink?"
"Yeh, but no more o' that paint stripper out there," he stipulated, indicating the wine. "Any o' that whiskey left?"
When Molly emerged from the shower half an hour later, she found the answer to her question. Gene and Alex were wrapped in each other's arms, sleeping softly. Not wanting to wake them, she crept across the room picked up a blue blanket from the side of the couch. She covered them gently with it, Gene stirring slightly as she did so, tightening his grip on Alex, pulling her closer.
'Oh yeah,' thought Molly with a small smile. 'Definitely an 'item'.'