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Living Loz
Drinking Just to Get Drunk was a Waste of Precious Booze 
22nd-Aug-2010 06:25 pm
Life on Mars (Sam & Gene are amusing)
Title: Drinking Just to Get Drunk was a Waste of Precious Booze
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 885 words.
Notes: Sam/Gene, written for the 'sober challenge' over at 1973flashfic. Title from the song ‘Alcohol’ by Barenaked Ladies.
Summary: A snapshot of a night Sam doesn’t exactly remember.



There are things he doesn’t remember about the night. Everything’s disjointed and time has elided and he has no fucking idea what he said and did during several hours of his life. This is the worst part. He finds it hard enough to self-censor when he’s completely compos mentis, let alone when he’s cut. Some days it takes all his willpower not to scream with frustration over how slow everything is, how much he misses modern technology. They’re gonna know he’s mad.

He shouldn’t care about that, but for some reason, he does.

He’s aware he’s lying in dampness and hopes it isn’t his own vomit, though he guesses it’d be small mercy that he didn’t choke to death. When he looks, eyes stinging with movement, he realises it’s water. There’s a glass on the shelf above him that’s tipped to the side. He wonders, briefly, if he poured that, or if ---

Some things don’t make sense, in his head. A hand, large, and warm, and reassuring, stroking down his back as he sicks up all over the pavement. A low, gruff voice telling him he’d be alright if he’d get up off the ground.

“Trying, Guv. I’m really trying.”

“Try harder, you div.”

His brain does a somersault as he actively tries to recall. His bones feel heavy and there are small cuts over his right hand's knuckles, and he thinks he may not be entirely sober yet, possibly even dying from alcohol poisoning, because he’s never been more nauseated in his life, and fuckajesus, this was a terrible idea, why would anyone do this to themselves?

A cheek against his, stubble grazing, lips against his temple.

His mind’s mixing reality and fantasy.

Sam struggles in the covers, legs getting more tangled and back aching with the sheer effort of it all. Eventually he just about manages to sit up straight. Then immediately regrets he did so. He flails for his glass, stumbles to his sink, pretending there’s no such thing as dizziness, and takes long, slow sips when he finally gets water where he wants it.

The image of Gene’s face, brow creased with concern, lips a thin, straight line, floats to the surface of his consciousness. Fingers tilting up his chin. The other hand bracing his shoulder.

He spoke a lot of shit about social justice and morality. He remembers that much. Went on and on and on about the ‘right’ thing, about balance, and order, and sticking by the rules. And he believes it, every word, but he’s embarrassed by how naive he sounded. Can’t be as articulate and convincing as you’d like when words longer than three syllables feel like another language. Plus, he has a feeling he was saying all of it to an audience of one who doesn’t agree with anything he says nor most of what he does.

A lunge, a childish, greedy lunge, all hinged on one goal: want. Being pushed back, firmly, the words “not like this.” Disappointment and anger and confusion and rejection, all mingling together through the fog of his senses.

And then, being dragged along the corridor, shrugged out of his leather jacket. Other stuff. He’s sure other stuff. Checking his watch and it being 1 am, then 2.34 am, then 3 am. All the while, a rub over his shoulder blades, and someone to listen, and want, want, want, but can’t have.

“I need to go.”

“Stay. You won’t go ‘cause you need to stay, ‘cause I may well die and I’m your responda – repsonda --- I’m your DI.”

Fuck, he’s never been this hung over in his life. He’s not sure it’s physically possible to consume enough water to fix this.

There’s a knock at the door. Sam stares at it distrustfully and walks over.

His voice is cracked and dry as he speaks. “Hello?”

“Still alive, then?”

Sam opens the door. Gazes at Gene. He’s holding a brown paper bag. It occurs to Sam he hasn’t been home, just gone to the corner shop down the road. The light hurts and holding the door open isn’t a barrel of laughs, and there’s a horrible, twisting churn of shame and humiliation in the pit of his stomach.

“No, I’m a hologram.”

“Alive and as witty as ever,” Gene says, pushing through. He casts a glance over the whole of Sam. Sam’s pretty positive it isn’t a pretty picture. “You need a bath. I’ll go run it, you start frying.”

“Can’t fry. Not unless you want your food coated in a soupçon of Sam Tyler saliva and regurgitated bile. Don’t think I could manage a vomit entrée, but that much, at least, would be yours.”

“You really are completely useless.”

Tasting of tobacco and whisky and a leg pushing between his, bricks cool against his back and this overwhelming sense of --- of being --- of safe.

Sam presses the palms of his hands to his eyes. He shouldn’t have done that. “How about I run the bath and you fry?”

“Compromises,” Gene says mock-seriously. “They’re what make the world a better place.”

And this is perfect, it’s so good, everything he never knew he wanted, and he’s going to regret it in the morning, because he can already feel the ill effects, but he needed the courage, and now he has it. He has Gene.
Comments 
22nd-Aug-2010 10:00 am (UTC)
Oh Loz.

A lunge, a childish, greedy lunge, all hinged on one goal: want. Being pushed back, firmly, the words “not like this.” Disappointment and anger and confusion and rejection, all mingling together through the fog of his senses.

-and-

Checking his watch and it being 1 am, then 2.34 am, then 3 am. All the while, a rub over his shoulder blades, and someone to listen, and want, want, want, but can’t have.

-and-

And this is perfect, it’s so good, everything he never knew he wanted, and he’s going to regret it in the morning, because he can already feel the ill effects, but he needed the courage, and now he has it. He has Gene.

How lovely. How painful.

I can't begin to articulate how touching this was.

Oh Loz.
22nd-Aug-2010 10:54 am (UTC)
Thank you!

In my heart of hearts, very shortly there is:

"You stayed with me all night. That was... kind, for you."

"You were at risk, you've no idea the danger you put yourself in."

"Lying in a gutter?"

"No, Sam. Not that."

"I'm sorry. Sorry I put you in that position."

"Don't be --- just, next time ---"

"What?"

"Don't be cross-eyed either."

"How about now?"

"No."

"So you still don't ---"

"I've seen four separate rounds of your stomach contents. I think we need to wait a good long while before anything like what you're thinking occurs."

"Oh. How long?"

"Three hours, minimum."

"... I could probably manage that."
22nd-Aug-2010 10:48 am (UTC)
I'm on my fifth read of this bundle of gorgeousness this morning and I still can't find the words to tell you how beautiful it is or how much I love it. Poor Sam! I've been there, oh I've been there, but sadly never to get through to the other side and find the Guv waiting for me. Lucky Sam! Really like how despite the disjointed memories, we (and Sam) still get a wonderful impression of how much Gene cares, that he's there for Sam - and always will be. This - The image of Gene’s face, brow creased with concern, lips a thin straight line, floats to the surface of his consciousness. Fingers tilting up his chin. The other hand bracing his shoulder is just perfect. Thank you so much for putting such a massive grin on my face!
22nd-Aug-2010 10:56 am (UTC)
I like to think that beneath that crude, crass magnificent bastard exterior there is a slightly less crude, crass gentleman. :D

Thanks, Faws.
(Deleted comment)
22nd-Aug-2010 12:29 pm (UTC)
Yes, a little. :p

Thank you!
22nd-Aug-2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
What a way to start the day - with a little slice of Sam 'n' Gene. And I can totally imagine Sam getting so shit-faced in 1973, with the nightly stint at the pub and the nonstop pints and whiskey, and OF COURSE Gene is always there with him, and of course there is the want - the need that we all see is there. And of course Sam is a frustrated, thinky drunk, all trying to express things that he can't quite get into words.
Ah, I love caring Gene. I love that he's caring in a way so true to himself - it's about the touching and the support, but not the words.
"No, I'm a hologram." Brilliant. Also, been there, been cared for; it's so true.
23rd-Aug-2010 01:15 am (UTC)
Thank you :)

I take it as absolute canon that Sam's had at least a couple of nights where he's drunk enough to fell an ox. I take it as wish-fulfillment fanon that on one of those nights, Gene was there for him.
22nd-Aug-2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
Having just had quite a 'busy' w/e in that direction myself (but not, thankfully, to quite Sam's degree, lol), this really did raise a smile from me! I can absolutely see this happening!! Lovely, thanx for sharing.
23rd-Aug-2010 01:16 am (UTC)
I am so not a fan of alcohol after Friday night.

Thank you :D
22nd-Aug-2010 05:14 pm (UTC)
This is wonderfully sweet. Very drunk Sam and loving Gene. I've been that drunk once and I know how Sam feels. It's good just to have a nice strong presence there while you feel like dieing.
23rd-Aug-2010 01:17 am (UTC)
I hope never, ever to be that drunk, ever again. It is the worst.

Thank you :D
22nd-Aug-2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
*clings to fic* ♥

A hand, large, and warm, and reassuring, stroking down his back as he sicks up all over the pavement. A low, gruff voice telling him he’d be alright if he’d get up off the ground.

Tasting of tobacco and whisky and a leg pushing between his, bricks cool against his back and this overwhelming sense of --- of being --- of safe.

Are my favourite parts. Thanks so much for writing this. :)
23rd-Aug-2010 01:18 am (UTC)
:D ♥ Oh, Sam.

Thanks, Sky!
22nd-Aug-2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
Just wonderful, the feelings and swirl of emotions really leap through here and as always your writing is extremely evocative. And the ending is just right. Thank you ♥
23rd-Aug-2010 01:30 am (UTC)
Thanks, Vic :D

Now if only we all had a Gene in moments like these.
22nd-Aug-2010 08:40 pm (UTC)

There's a feeling here that's really lovely, a gentleness and consideration in Gene revealed through Sam's incomplete drunken memories.

Thanks, petal. ♥
23rd-Aug-2010 01:31 am (UTC)
It's pretty obvious that one of my major kinks is protective!Gene. :D

Thank you! ♥
22nd-Aug-2010 10:30 pm (UTC)
Awwww, that was pure brilliance. I'm going to read it again right now, and probably several times straight after that. The dialogue is wonderful, and just..... OH <3!!!
23rd-Aug-2010 01:35 am (UTC)
Thank you :)

I love writing dialogue, omg, :D
23rd-Aug-2010 07:07 am (UTC)
If only all hangovers were treated so well. My favorite part was in the opening when Sam uses "compos mentis". It's such a small thing, but it's such a Sam thing, to be sprouting Latin when he's barely conscious. I like the paragraph about his drunk ramblings on morals for the same reason. It just screams Sam.

I love the slipping between the drunken past and the pained present, the way the morning's told through full, complete, proper (and cranky) sentences while the night's all fragments and run-ons and a sense of "who's doing what?" The two styles really helped me keep track of what's going on.

I thought this was fantastic. I mean, you could probably tell, but I felt weird not saying it explicitly.
23rd-Aug-2010 12:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much :D I'm really glad this worked for you.
23rd-Aug-2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
I love the ways where the affection they have for each other only shows up through the broken, painful, dingy, bad decision parts. It suits them beautifully.
23rd-Aug-2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!

There's a little bit of affection at the end, with Gene going to run Sam a bath (until Sam says he'll do it, I mean.) That's really very sweet, for Gene. ;)

Edited at 2010-08-23 03:41 pm (UTC)
25th-Aug-2010 02:33 am (UTC)
This is lovely. So vivid and visceral and at the same time hazy and disjointed - the style is effective and evocative.

I particularly like this bit:

He spoke a lot of shit about social justice and morality. He remembers that much. Went on and on and on about the ‘right’ thing, about balance, and order, and sticking by the rules. And he believes it, every word, but he’s embarrassed by how naive he sounded. Can’t be as articulate and convincing as you’d like when words longer than three syllables feel like another language.

Especially the line I've bolded. Oh, Sam.
25th-Aug-2010 02:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! ♥
30th-Aug-2010 10:34 am (UTC)
This is great stuff, from the horribly accurate descriptions of extreme drunkeness (I, for one, can confirm both the horribleness and the accuracy!) to the lovely glimpses of gruffly caring Gene. And I love the disjointed retelling as it captures so well that sense of memories fragmented from too much booze. Poor old Sam - and lucky old Sam, as it turns out :D
30th-Aug-2010 11:31 am (UTC)
♥ Thank you!
9th-Sep-2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
Awwwww! Love poor, drunken, confused ANGSTY Sam, especially his knowledge that whatever he thinks he might get from Gene is only temporary and tinged with danger. (At least that's how my filter reads it, if not what you actually intended.)
20th-Sep-2010 08:22 am (UTC)
Thank you :D
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