Lady Paperclip (paperclipbitch) wrote,
Lady Paperclip

"An All-Time Low", Ashes To Ashes, Gene/Alex

Title: An All-Time Low
Fandom: Ashes To Ashes
Pairing: Gene/Alex
Present For/Prompt: elyssadc | smoking gun
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1000
Genre: Het
Summary: She succumbs to boredom in the end.
Author’s Notes: More kind of fragmented A2A fic, because crazy!Alex is always fun to write. Not entirely sure what I was trying to achieve, but *shrugs*


She succumbs to boredom in the end.

Not apathy, because there’s far too much at stake for that, but… things just stop interesting her. Things stop really mattering. After all; although she’s in a world created by her own subconscious to entertain her through a coma (and possibly out the other side into death, though it’s simpler not to consider that), it’s just… the world. No superheroes, no magic; just people, and the same old routine. Wake up in the morning, brush your hair, apply your mascara, eat toast, don’t eat toast, go to work. Nothing new.

So: boredom.


It’s not so much that there’s a nice guy hiding deep inside Gene Hunt, because years of wandering around in people’s brains have taught Alex that there isn’t a nice guy hiding inside anyone, but she wants to think that there’s more to him than what she’s been shown so far. Well, there are those occasional drunken flashes of a man who isn’t entirely different but who has other qualities that he would never show to anyone but her, and that gives her hope. Really, though, any dimensions his character might have are entirely up to her, or maybe Sam Tyler, and Alex should probably stop crediting them to Gene himself.

There’s no guarantee that this is Sam’s Gene Hunt anyway, as Alex has told herself a dozen times. Sam’s Gene Hunt could have been an entirely different man, though the idea that there are at least two of them running about in the dark little ids in the back of police officers’ heads is rather scary.

“Bolly,” he says, with a jerk of his head, “Come on.”

Alex considers telling him the nickname wasn’t funny to begin with and has staled rather more with each new use, considers telling Gene he’s a puerile little man, considers just sitting there and watching what happens to this world when she refuses to follow her script.

All she does is roll her eyes, get up, and follow him.


She still dreams about clowns.


When she gets back from drinking an instant coffee that doesn’t taste any better for being imaginary, Alex discovers Gene has beaten up a suspect in a subtle but nevertheless painful way, has got some results, and is being very cheerful about the whole thing.

She declines to comment on anything about the situation because there isn’t a whole lot to say, and nothing at all that will be listened to. It’s a time for self-congratulation, for the smug curls of smiles, and Alex is exhausted. Bored of it all.

Gene’s eyes linger on her and she ignores him, plucking her lower lip between her teeth, pushing paperwork into heaps that might resemble ordered. Something about this ought to be.


The girl has been shot in the head, which does not make Alex feel at all happy, and she suspects that tonight on the television she’s going to be shown luridly coloured pictures of herself bleeding out by the Thames with her face all caved in and red everywhere, because her subconscious is not exactly subtle.

Gene calls it self-inflicted, kicking a foot at the gun on the floor and the carefully positioned suicide note on a desk, and Alex is instantly suspicious because the whole thing is clean-cut and simple and apparently her brain doesn’t go in for that sort of thing. Synaptic obstacle course and all that.

“Oh, so now you’re Miss sodding Marple, are you?” Gene asks, mouth curved in a way Alex doesn’t like. Then again, there’s a lot about Gene Hunt that Alex doesn’t like, which is what makes this whole thing horribly embarrassing and something she will not talk about to anyone if she ever gets out of here.

“If you’re about to say either ‘spinster’ or ‘shagging cats’ I’m walking,” Alex warns mildly.

Gene shrugs. “Miss Marple had higher standards than you Bolly, which is to say she had them in the first place. Want to tell me why you’re going to hold up this whole thing and stop me from going home on time?”

If Alex really is, you know, Queen Of All That She Surveys, she’d kind of like to be able to win an argument once in a while.


The felt-tip squeaks on the paper as she crosses off yet another day of eat toast, don’t eat toast, go to work, and she sighs.

Possibly this is forever now.


“You’re more irritating than usual, Bolly,” Gene informs her, after a few glasses of something that was cheap and bitter-tasting but definitely potent.

Alex’s mascara is smudged and she’s still fighting her corner because she’s sure there’s more to this case and anyway, if she doesn’t get herself interested in something soon she’s possibly doomed.

“Thanks,” she mutters, fingers sliding a circle in spilt drink on the table. Considers this. “What do you care, anyway?”

Gene’s expression doesn’t flicker. “I don’t care. But when something in your life’s buggered up then you come to work and you bugger up my life and that; that I do care about.”

Alex sighs. “Sod off, Gene.”

He leaves her to it without saying anything; Alex entertains the possibility that he’s bored too.


It’s her damn world; she ought to be able to control it better than this.


“No fingerprints on the gun,” Gene offers, tossing a careless file onto her desk and sending paper cascading to the floor. “Not even hers.”

Alex gives him a smirk that’s too smug by half. “Told you so.”

Gene doesn’t give her the satisfaction. “Tell me to sod off again, Bolly, and, well, you’ll really wish you hadn’t.”

“What, you won’t?”

It’s childish, and beneath her, but she’s got to keep herself connected to something or she’ll never get out of here.

“Right,” she says, uncapping a whiteboard marker. “So we’ve got a gun. And a dead girl. Any thoughts, anyone…”

Gene doesn’t smile, but his mouth doesn’t look as tight as usual.

Tags: character: alex drake, character: gene hunt, pairing: gene/alex, tv show: ashes to ashes, type: het, xmas 2008

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