Rating: PG (allusions to violence and things)
Fandom: Life on Mars
Word Count: 500 words.
Notes: A not-quite-so-cheery Sam/Gene. The title is from the Bruce Cockburn song “Night Train” because the line reminded me of Matthew Arnold’s To Marguerite: Continued.
Sam’s softer sensibilities wanted to say it was love. That’s why he didn’t push away a liquored up Gene as he shoved a tongue down his throat. Why he’d kiss him back, fisting blond hair and tasting beer mixed with whisky and smoky bacon crisps. He’d always been a romantic.
He doubted it. It didn’t feel like love. So much more often it felt like contempt.
He thought it was probably lust. But lust after what?
Did he genuinely find Gene attractive, with his pock-marked skin and pot-bellied figure? Objectively, Sam had to admit, they were startling light eyes, and when Gene smiled there was something. A spark. An animal magnetism. But if he were to go for looks, he’d have done better off with any number of people. Annie, Chris, Litton. Even the psychotic Neil was more conventionally good looking than Gene Hunt.
Perhaps it was lust for power. Gene was strong, both physically, and of will. But unless he held superpowers as yet unbeknownst to Sam, he hardly seemed to rule his fate. He went on his merry way, doing his best to bang up crims, mocking Sam and generally just being a royal pain in the arse. In more ways than one. And to counter balance his strengths, Gene was incredibly weak. Too weak to even admit he was gay to himself, let alone his wife. Of course, there was the decade and general societal reaction to consider. There was Sam once again wishing he didn’t have to worry about that quite so much.
Trysts always ended with a warning and a punch. Sometimes the punch was more affectionate than others. Often it was a deadly blow to the gut, winding Sam and leaving him in a less than agreeable state. It was what you might call an abusive relationship. But Gene kept coming back, more or less drunk, more or less inclined to kiss Sam sloppily before moving onto other actions which were clearly not accidental. And Sam kept receiving him, returning the kisses, returning the actions, occasionally even wanting to instigate the whole affair himself. Male bonding at its finest.
So Sam had figured out what Gene’s motivation was, he just had to sort out his own. Because it wasn’t love, and it didn’t appear to be lust, at least not lust for Gene and Gene only, and he really couldn’t think of any other reason.
There was every chance it was loneliness. After all, apart from Annie, and Chris, and Ray, and other people who worked at the station, well, Sam was all alone here in 1973.
There was one comforting thing about the whole situation. Sam felt it confirmed that he’d time travelled, as opposed to everything being in his mind – because if he’d had any control over this whatsoever, it simply wouldn’t be happening. At least, that’s what he kept telling himself, as he lay in bed, an arm lazily draped over him, and the taste of stale cigarettes in his mouth.