lady_bols: (s2 badass)
She'd never seen him quite so focused on bringing one particular individual down.  Whatever Simon Neary had done to get on DCI Hunt's radar, it must have been particularly nasty.  Turns out Neary had his hand in any number of rackets: drugs, women, guns.  They'd tried to find a way in.  Tried very hard.  The Guv even went so far as to lend his snout a suit.  When said snout turned up draped in the barbed wire, still wearing the suit, Alex began to understand the rage she saw churning through him.

Guns were the detail she fixated on.  Getting the guns off the streets would mean Layton had never got his hands on one, and she would never have been shot in the first place.  It was a facile explanation, but nothing was moving on the Price investigation. 

And she could feel Molly slipping away from her.  It chilled her to the bone.   Hardened her resolve. 

Maybe that's why she took on this informant and this op with such a vengeance.  It didn't go as well as she'd hoped. 

She ran the informant as best she could, in the current climate.  The Guv wasn't exactly supportive or understanding, and his rampant homophobia was an utter disgrace.  And his micro-management of her investigation.  He insisted on accompanying her to the meet, along with the whole team. 

The look on the lads faces when they'd entered the gay club had been absolutely classic.

Neary was a predator, far too clever to fall for her little inside game.  And she was too focused on getting home to really think about Marcus and the way she was playing God with his life.  She'd hate herself for that later.  Right now, she just wanted to get the guns.

It had all gone to shit in the end.  Despite the way she'd dragged his heart through the mud, Marcus had agreed to wear the wire.  But he'd ended up shooting Neary himself, in self-defence.    The poor lad was devastated, and she felt responsible.  She took him home to his parents, encouraged him to talk to his family.  To keep that connection alive.

And that's when she saw the lesions on the back his neck. 

This place really was hell.
lady_bols: (s1 bunny)

Everything is significant.

She stares at the television for over an hour, waiting for a sign. Something. Anything. It isn't until she gives up and switches off the set that she gets it. Molly's reflection in the curving glass of the telly.

"I know that if I turn around, you'll disappear. I know that."

But she can't help it, and that same cold fist closes around her heart as she turns. Sure enough, she's gone.

"I'm coming back to you, Molly."

Every bone in her body fills with resolve, every cell.



She'd never look at them quite the same way again.

She sauntered away from Gene's crime scene, disgusted with the whole sordid mess. Towards the water. Away from his particular brand of insanity. Madness, she thought, watching the colourful little figurines floating away down the canal, each loaded with hundreds of pounds worth of cocaine.

And then she saw the black girl. Sitting on the dock, shaking with tears. )

[ Gene's take. ]

[*all dialogue taken from 1x03 of Ashes To Ashes]
lady_bols: (s1 working)
July 28, 1981 )Gene's take ]

*All dialogue taken from 2x02 of
Ashes to Ashes.
lady_bols: (Default)
It amazed her how easy it was to slip into this world.  Sam's world, updated to 1981. It was so real.  He was so real.  They all were.  Just like she'd read in DCI Tyler's reports.

Which gave her an advantage, didn't it?  She knew what was going on.  And regardless of that bloody white clown or the sickening lurches she felt as her real body dealt with the physical trauma of the head wound, she wasn't going to slip into madness.  No.  She knew what she had to do.  Work the case, find the connection, find her way home again.  Back to Molly and the world of the living.

Layton was behind it all, of course. If only DCI Hunt had listened to her the first time.  If only he'd listened to her at all, instead of making sexually suggestive remarks and belittling her skills as a profiler.  He was lucky she hadn't hauled off and clocked him one already.

Layton had taken WPC Granger hostage, just like that busker on the waterfront.  This was her moment.  She was supposed to confront Layton.  She was supposed to put her fear to rest and she would wake up, right? That's how it was supposed to work?  Not with the "A-Team" driving a speedboat up the canal and blasting away with machine gun fire.  He'd ruined everything.

She didn't even try to keep the razor sharp disdain from her voice.  "What was that? Back there in the speedboat. With the machine gun.  Was that you being cool?

He pulled up short, turning to face her, all righteous indignation and testosterone poisoning.  "Pardonez bloody moi, but I just saved your life!"

"You may have stopped me getting back! I was supposed to face this alone."  She wasn't about to back down from this fight, not even for a moment.  And of course, neither was he.

"Listen, Bolly Knickers.  You were seconds away from death just now.  It's a nasty, vicious messed up world out there, lady, but if you listen to me, you just might get through it."  Or was she wrong?  Did he actually have it in him to be the bigger man? "Right, 'ere goes.  You were right, okay.  About Layton.  You have a knack of knowing how folk tick. Psychiatry."

"It's psychology!"

"Same thing!"  His shout was like a punch to the face.

God, she was so angry she couldn't think straight, and here she was trying to reason with a figment of her own imagination.  "I had a plan.  I wanted to go home."

She wasn't prepared for how quickly his expression turned dark.  "Well your presence is required here just a little bit longer 'round 'ere.  By me!"  He actually poked her in the shoulder like a school yard bully to emphasize his point. 

She could only gape in astonishment as he turned and walked away from her.


Later, she'd returned to the flat over Luigi's, exhausted, mentally and physically.  She'd sat at the table, methodically testing the frequencies on her police radio, checking each one for some sign of the real world.  Something.  Anything.  The telly was on in the background.  BBC One was signing off for the day, playing God Save The Queen and she knew she should just give in and go to bed, but she couldn't let it go.

She muttered to herself, turning the radio over and over in her hands.  "It worked for him.  Why won't it work for me?"

A buzz of static and Molly's voice said sternly, "Go to sleep," shocked her so badly, she dropped the radio, staring at it.


The blue screen of the BBC logo glitched, like someone changing the channel.  The white clown appeared, speaking with Molly's voice.

"You've just been shot. A second ago."

Alex stared in utter dismay.  The camera pulled in for a tight close up of the clown's face.  Molly's voice continued, and Alex felt herself slip to the floor, crawling towards the television on her hands and knees.

"You're lying on the wet ground.  Don't fight to wake up. It'll hurt too much. 

"Molly."  She could hear the water dripping, could hear each drop echo against the hull of the boat.  Her limbs felt numb, filled with icy lead.

"You'll never make it to her party."

The blue logo returned, and Alex's heart clenched in her chest.  Tears made her voice crack.  "Please.  I'm so sorry."  

The clown returned.  "All those memories."

A film cut in.  A huge fireball of an explosion, seen from the rolling green lawn, the country manor in the background.  Her own nightmare replaying on the screen in front of her eyes.  She imagined she could feel the wash of heat on her cheeks.  "Mummy...  Dad."  Her whole body felt water logged.  She reached up a dripping wet hand to touch the cold glass of the television.

The clown continued to speak, Molly explaining in soft, matter of fact tones.  "But it doesn't have to hurt."  The visage receded into blackness and she flipped through the channels until the television went completely dark.  Alex fought back tears, reaching for the radio.  It was dead as well.

So close.

No.  She would not get emotional.  She could figure this out.  She could do this.  She picked herself up off the floor and went for her notes.  Her hands were shaking too bad.  She fumbled for her notes recorder.  Damn it, this took tapes like everything else in this backwater decade.  Didn't matter.  She fumbled for a new mini-cassette, labelled it with the date and pressed it into the machine.

She stared at her image in the mirror as she spoke.

"My name is Alex Drake.  I've just been shot and that bullet has sent me back to 1981.  I may be one second away from life or one second away from death."  She could see Molly's face across the flickering birthday candles and she struggled to maintain her composure.  "They say that as you die, your life flashes before you.  All those -- memories and mistakes that form us.  Well bring it on.  My life can flash away as much as it likes, because I am not going to die."

She clicked the tape off, still speaking softly.

"I'm coming back to you, Molly."  Tears threatened as she blew a kiss to the mirror, seeing her vibrant daughter's face as she leapt up to catch that kiss.


She put the tape and her notes in the drawer, and brushed the back of her hand across her eyes, wiping away the running mascara.   She could hear the music and laughter coming up from the restaurant below.  She had to be among the living now, even if they were her own constructs.  She touched up her makeup, but didn't bother putting on a coat.  She made her way down the stairs, seeing Chris and Shaz holed up together in a booth, and Ray with some bird she didn't recognise.

"Buona sera," Luigi greeted her, setting down a freshly polished wine glass on the bar in front of her.

Before she was even settled on her barstool, she felt Gene's weight at her shoulder.  She didn't look up, didn't want him to see the redness around her eyes.  He didn't speak, simply poured her a glass of red wine, filling it right to the brim and turning away, stalking back to his usual place in the corner.  She turned to look at him, after a moment, but his gaze was focused on lighting the fag between his fingers.

She turned back to her wine glass, bending to take a long sip without even lifting the glass

He wasn't going anywhere.  And neither, it appeared, was she.*

(*All dialogue and scenic descriptions are directly from S1E1 of Ashes To Ashes.)
lady_bols: (s1 work it out)
I'm happy, hope you're happy too*.

I can see the bullet travelling towards me, swimming through smoke and air thick as water.  So slowly I imagine I can see it spiralling as it comes.  I can see the gutted hull of the barge reflected in its surface. 

Time simply stops.

The VHS tape rewinds, the audio squealing not unlike the needle of a turn table skipping across the grooves.  I am twelve years old again, and the sky is blue.  There's not a cloud in sight.  My dad is putting a suitcase in the car.  My mum is smiling down at me.  The film jumps again. 

My heart pounds in my ears.  A red ribbon slips through my fingers as a man's hand closes around mine.  Again, the images on the film blur as it spools passed.

A voice speaks my name.  "Alex."  I see the man who shot me standing on the sidewalk.  Yes, Arthur Layton. I remember his name.  He's pointed a gun at my head and pulled the trigger.  In the reflection of his sunglasses, I see a man in white.  A clown, shouting my name.


This means nothing to me


Molly! We'll blow the candles out together.

She was safe, that much Alex knew.  After Layton had briefly taken her hostage, and then escaped, Alex had seen her daughter delivered to Evan's side, blown her a kiss, made her that promise she intended to keep.

Meanwhile, Arthur Layton, that scar faced little weasel, had slipped into the back seat of her car while she was saying goodbye.  He pointed the revolver at her head and he'd made her drive, down to the river again.  He tells someone on his mobile that he's going to tell her the truth about why her parents died.

Later, she might think it was her own curiosity about that fateful day that makes her leave the safety of the shore, and walk down that rusting steel gangway and into the belly of the barge.  He's been living here.  There's a mass of blankets and discarded bottles of booze and take away containers.  A fetid pile in the corner says he's been here awhile.  He makes her sit while he paces, ranting about his glory days as a drug dealer.  She tries to reason with him, uses her skills as a hostage negotiator and a psychological profiler, to no avail.

It means nothing to him.

He doesn't even hear her voice as he slips his shades on.  She watches as he raises the gun, thinking frantically, he's brought me this far. He must have demands.  This can still all work out.

And then he pulls the trigger.

* Ashes To Ashes by David Bowie
** Vienna by Ultravox


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