This is literally just a little something I wrote at about midnight the other night when I was having Galex feels, and it sort of carries on from a tags rant I had on a post of Alex's nameplate on tumblr. :)
Disclaimer – I don't own Ashes to Ashes.
More Than That
He keeps the small, silver nameplate from her desk in his office. It's tucked away, hidden like she is, where no-one else can reach, let alone look. He keeps it because he doesn't want to forget, not this time. He can't forget. They were the ones that had a connection, he and Alex. He can't let himself forget how that felt; not for one moment.
And when he feels himself beginning to forget…when he catches himself staring at her desk and forgetting exactly how she would sit; when he realises he can't remember the shape of her amber eyes or the infuriating curve of her smirk, and when he finds that he can no longer hear her voice, like cut glass and red wine in his head… That's when he takes out her nameplate and allows the cool metal in his hands to remind him. He can't allow the ache to fade, because with it would go her memory. And he never wants to be without that; even if it means bearing the pain of missing her, he'll do it. He won't let himself forget.
His fingertips trace over the black engraved letters; they're rough against his skin and bring him back to life for a while.
DI Alex Drake.
He can't help but smile fondly as his gaze lingers on her name. It's all he has left, and it's not enough. It's nowhere near enough. But it's all he's got, so he smiles. Just ever so slightly.
She had been infuriating. Insufferable, most of the time. She always had to be right; she'd loved making him look stupid, and she was even more of a stickler for the bloody rules than Sam had been.
But she had also been intoxicating. Addictive, in many ways. He couldn't remember not being drunk on her light, her perfume, the sound of her laugh. She had always made him feel understood, somehow, like there was someone he could finally share himself – all of himself – with, after all. She'd been warm and funny and smart and so, so beautiful.
But after a few minutes, he hides her name plate away again. Because whilst he doesn't want to forget, he doesn't want to linger either. Lingering leads to dwelling, and dwelling leads to drowning. He doesn't want to drown himself in dreams; it's never done him any good. He'd like to think that that was all she had ever been – a good dream. But no. She was more than that, so much more, and he'd never ever let her be anything less than what she was.
So he sighs and tucks the cold plaque of metal back away in its hiding place, pours himself another whiskey and lights a cigarette. She isn't there to lean over, pluck it from between his fingers and snub it out with a defiant glare.
He wishes she was.
She was the woman he had let in, when he'd thought no-one else could possibly understand. She was the one who, above all the others, had nestled herself under his skin and settled there. And he had let her, because he wanted her there. She'd given him all her truth, all of her warmth and wisdom and friendship.
He trusted her.
…More than that.
…I did say I wrote it late at night when I was having feels.