Spero...Spero id non solvit... 20 points and kudos to whoever gets the meaning of the title. Boy, you'd get a huge spoiler. Ah well.

Eighty percent of you voted yes for a sequel to The Long and Winding Road. So sequel (it took me 4 goes to type that correctly) it is! I hope you enjoy! This is just a little fluff, but how often do I write that?

Prologue: 2002

Alex woke early. She tried to determine what had woken her. It certainly wasn't Gene snoring beside her. He may snore to wake the dead, but she'd gotten used to that over the past eighteen years. She rolled to her side, when she finally placed it.

The letter box had clanged downstairs. It was way too early for the postman. Frowning, she got out of bed and put on her dressing gown. Gene didn't stir as she walked past him out of the room, down the stairs to the front door.

She had to suppress a shudder when she saw the white envelope sitting on the floor in front of the door. The sight brought back the memory of a similar one from eighteen years previously, one that resigned her to what she believed was her doom. Of course Gene had saved her, but it didn't stop the memories from haunting her on occasion.

Alex picked up the envelope, looking at the handwriting on the front. Though she knew she was being silly, she felt a surge of relief when it didn't match the one that had been left at Mark's house. She could still remember the man's handwriting; it was burned into her brain.

Alex opened up the envelope, pulling out the sheet of paper inside.

Reply and post it back out.

Can I bring a guest?

ME

Alex grinned. "You are such a child," she murmured, as she searched for a pen. She finally found one and scribbled back a reply.

I have half a mind to open the door, find you and yell at you, but Gene won't be happy that I woke him up with you hanging around at five in the morning.

It's perfectly fine for you to bring a guest. Just the one?

AH

She posted it outside, feeling like a fool and started to walk to the kitchen to make coffee to start her day. However, as she was measuring the grounds, the letterbox clanged again. She pushed the button to brew the coffee and walked back to the front door, where only the paper was laying on the floor.

You'd never find me. I'm a master of disguise. Of course you made it bloody hard to hide in your front garden with all these sodding thorny plants. So basically, you'd never find me because I'm invisible.

Yes. It's just the one.

ME

Alex grinned and wrote back.

Ah, how I've missed your bullshit. Speaking of bullshit, I look forward to the story you're going to be telling us on Sunday.

Do you want us to get rid of the twins? It's entirely possible.

AH

She posted it again, and went to pour herself a cup of coffee. As she walked back, she heard the now expected clang.

You better be sitting comfortably. It's a bit of a long story.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE YOU TO KILL YOUR CHILDREN. That would be murder, and I'd have to report you. But if you want to send them to their friends, that's up to you.

ME

Alex snorted as she heard noise coming from upstairs. She hastily scribbled back a reply and posted it back, just as someone started down the stairs.

Mark grabbed the paper, opening it up to read it.

I'm going to slap you, you do know that? You're almost more irritating than Gene.

There was a small scribble, and the rest of her message was hardly legible.

Someone's coming downstairs now. Leave now.

AH

Mark heard her through the door, talking to someone with a deep voice, whom he suspected to be Gene. He slowly started moving to make his getaway, but before he could disappear, a piece of paper was posted through the other side of the door.

Mark.

Get your lardy arse away from this house before I grab my warrant card and arrest you for trespassing. I'll see you Sunday at six, and not a moment before. And 'you' means you, your bloody notes, and any other form of conversation you can think of.

Bloody spook.

GH

Mark snorted, standing and leaving. Sunday was going to be interesting, that was certain. He got into his car, starting to drive the quieter early-morning London streets, lost in thought, remembering back when he had 'died.' God, how his life had turned out since.

I would like to hold a moment of silence, for on this date, two years ago, we learned the truth, and Alex was sent away from Gene until he can move on too.

May Alex Drake of the present rest in peace, and Alex Drake of the past slap Gene silly for making her leave when he finally goes to the pub.

I would also like to remind my readers that one year ago today was the supposed end of the world. I was delighted, because I was in London for the end of the world, hanging out with Luigi's, and my good mate Rolephant, whom you may remember from A/N's in my early works (seriously. we were completely mad before she got old :P I LOVE YOU ROLLY P! [I'm SO calling you that now.]) The world didn't end but we had a blast anyway.

This chapter is dedicated to Rolly P, being chased around heaven, crimping down Queensway, train surfing, and Smiley Jesus.

And remember readers

SMILEY JESUS IS WATCHING YOU.

Next chap up the 26th