Summary: What if it were all real? If it were real, how would someone who was left behind with a certain knowledge feel? A small trip through the thoughts of Evan White right after he picks up Molly. Spoilers for eps. 1, 7, and 8.
A/N: This is a bit of an experiment, far more stream of consciousness than I usually do, but the desire to get into Evan's head in this 'what if' sort of situation was so tempting I had to follow it. Strange where the muse decides to strike, but what can I say? I hope you readers out there give this odd little story a chance (because it does get strange, I admit. Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey so to speak, in the words of another famous time traveller), and all comments are welcome. Thanks for reading!
Evan resisted the urge to discipline Molly for putting her shoe-clad feet on his brand new leather settee. Really, though, that was the last thing she needed today.
“Evan, when mum gets home do you think we could get some chocolate ice cream to go with the cake as well?” Molly asked, reaching for the television remote and bringing the high-tech flat panel screen to life.
“I don’t see why not,” he replied, pushing a painted white door open and heading into the kitchen. For a girl who had just had a traumatic experience Molly was handling it remarkably well. Or maybe she was just blocking it out. Alex was the psychologist though; he’d have to wait for her more professional opinion. He sighed heavily and got himself a glass of water – he wanted a whisky, really, but suspected it may have been a little early in the day for him to handle that.
Leyton was back, and now Evan was having one hell of a hard time shaking that feeling of foreboding from the pit of his stomach. He’d been dreading this day for twenty-seven years now, when the actions of three people in one private, darkened office would finally be brought to light. What did the bastard want from Alex so badly that he was asking for her? Money? Notoriety? Or did he just want to see them squirm?
Maybe the goal was pure revenge. Maybe he wanted to shatter the happy life that they were living in retribution for his lost empire. That was the price of keeping secrets, he supposed. After all, two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead. It felt like he’d spent half his life keeping something secret. Not releasing his grip on his water, Evan walked over to the cluttered sideboard. There was a picture there of he and Alex, taken the day she had left for university.
It wasn’t until she brought one Jonathan Drake home from uni one weekend did he connect little Alexandra Price with DI Alex Drake, the woman who had tried and ultimately failed to save Tim and Caroline. Looking back it made sense. Who wouldn’t want to try and save their parents, futile though it was?
Evan considered himself a logical man. He didn’t always make the best decisions, as his affair with Caroline could easily prove, but he was most certainly an A-to-B-to-C logical sort of person. He shouldn’t have been able to accept two different versions of Alex in the same place at once, one his goddaughter and the other the DI who was alternately asking him for help or almost mentally losing it (at least, that’s how it appeared to his eyes at the time. He suspects now that she may have been more right than everyone believed). But as he grew older and time marched on, he began to believe it more and more, and tossed yet another lock onto the mental box of secrets he was keeping.
How do you tell a child that someday she’s going to grow up and end up getting…well, lost in time for lack of a better word? For that matter, how do you tell that child that the person who planted the bomb in their car that day was none other than dear daddy himself?
You don’t. The answer was as simple as that.
Molly poked her head into the kitchen, pulling Evan out of his inadvertent trip to the past. “Evan?”
“Yes, Molly?” he replied, turning to face her and making sure that a steady smile was locked into place so as not to alarm her.
“Do you know when Mum’s coming home?” she asked, nearly breaking his heart with that hopeful look on her face. “I really don’t want to wait for that cake,” she grinned, bouncing up and down on her toes in the doorway.
“I’m sure she’ll be home at her regular time,” Evan said. “She does still have to work today, unlike you who were lucky enough to get the day off from school.”
Molly’s face fell just slightly. “I know. I miss her though.”
Evan left the glass of water on the sideboard and went over to give the little girl a hug, wrapping her tightly in his arms. “I know you do. She’ll be back soon.” But even as he said the words that sick feeling of foreshadowing rose up in his stomach again, and he swallowed roughly. “Why don’t you pick out a movie, how does that sound? We can watch movies all day until your mum gets home.”
Molly nodded against his stomach and untangled herself from his hug. “Okay. Can I pick anything?” she asked, a certain gleam coming into her eye.
“Yes, even Howl’s Moving Castle, even though you’ve seen it about, what, thirty times already?” Evan sighed, sounding appropriately put-upon.
As Molly ran back out of the kitchen, Evan’s face fell once more and he scrubbed a hand over his face. ‘You need to get back here now, Alex,’ he thought. ‘I can’t raise another little girl on my own.’
In retrospect it was a very good thing that he hadn’t been involved any deeper with Alex Drake. It would have been beyond odd. What had she said about him though, on that one night he had been for drinks at her place? His thoughts went back all those years as he leaned against the kitchen counter, trying to remember what she had said. Oh yes, that they had known each other in a past life, she was a damsel in distress and he was her knight in shining armour. If she was talking about her own past in that instance, well it was a bit of a lie then, wasn’t it? Yes, he had taken care of Alex as if she were his own daughter, but at that one crucial moment as her world was blowing up right in front of her eyes it wasn’t he who had taken her hand. Instead of the knight in shining armour it was the knight in the beat up, dented, and worn out armour, the tactless lifelong fighter who didn’t always do things lawfully but nevertheless tried to do the right thing.
Evan couldn’t help but wonder if something so big and bad was going to happen to her that she felt the need to be saved again, which is why grown up Alex Drake ended up back there at that specific time and that specific place. Maybe she hadn’t remembered the name Gene Hunt, but she remembered how he made her feel at that moment in time, that while even though things had gone suddenly black, she was still alive and safe. The feelings had just been…misplaced. Right onto him. Just another secret for the box about that day.
He snorted to himself, remembering even further. He’d seen quite clearly how Alex and Gene Hunt had looked at each other. They were two absolute and total opposites, and yet somehow they just worked, no matter how much they gave everyone else the impression that they could barely stand each other. Maybe it was different when the two of them were behind closed doors, away from the eyes and ears of everyone else and were allowed to just be themselves. For as much as they were constantly at odds in public, they always managed to have that spark of life about them. Evan had always wondered what had happened to them, to Gene especially. He hadn’t kept in touch with the police afterwards, preferring to focus on raising little Alex instead, but he’d managed to hear some rumours when he was in the courts. It was really a true mystery, why Gene had –
The phone on the sideboard rang, sending Evan’s stomach plummeting towards the region of his feet at a rapid speed, leaving an ominous feeling behind.
‘Here comes the future,’ he thought, swallowing down the lump in his throat as he reached to pick up the phone.