Fandom: Life on Mars
Word Count: 710 + words
Notes: For neuralclone who said "One of your stories about Gene and the Missus - including Sam if you can manage it! - would really hit the spot with me." So, here we have Gene/The Missus and Sam… but with a bit of a twist, because apparently, I can’t quite write to specification.
Sam shrugged off his jacket, craning his neck to the side and resettling in his seat. He gazed at the eight-track.
“I think not, Sammy-boy. Don’t want to alert all and sundry to our presence, do we? No, you’ll just have to make do with sparkling conversation, think you can handle that?”
“What d’you want to talk about?”
“We’ll just get into a punch-up.”
“The glory that is the various tit sizes of the WPC?”
Sam gave a small smile but shook his head. “I’d rather not.”
“Thought not. You’re predictable, you are. Right then. Life stories it is.”
Sam frowned. “Life stories? Like what? Like anecdotes?”
“Yeah, like that touching little narrative you told about your birthday.”
“Oh. Uh. I don’t really have many more of those. Maybe you should go first.”
Gene gave Sam a pointed look before gazing out of the windscreen.
“How’d you meet your wife?”
Gene raised an eyebrow.
“What do you want to know that for?”
Sam shrugged. “I’m curious.”
Gene used a light conversational tone; the kind storytellers adopt when performing for a large crowd. “Well, when I were a lad, I weren’t all that good with people.”
Sam interjected. “That’s a shock.”
Gene ignored him. “Even though I’m now the confident, brash bastard we all know and love, back then I was quite a bit more shy, with a nervous smile and a blush.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“Would I lie to you, Sam?”
“You have done before, I don’t see why this’d be any different,” Sam replied, rolling his eyes.
“Look, do you want this story or not? ‘Cause if you don’t shut it, you’ll have nowt but stony silence from me for the next five hours.”
“Okay, okay, tell me more. I promise I’ll be quiet.”
“So, as I was saying, there was me. Useless. Absolutely bloody useless. I was seventeen, just about to turn eighteen, and I used to go to these dances. Not like now, the clubs and rock and roll, but, you know, proper girls in proper dresses and the boys givin’ them flowers and all that.
“It was spring, 1946. The war had ended. We were at one of these dances, me and the mates I’d made working at Harker’s – left school the year before, see; had to, ‘cause me dad had gone to war and never come back. The usual was going on; the girls all on one side of the room, the boys on the other, you know how it goes. And I saw her. Vision in blue, this greeny-blue that glittered with the lights. I’d never before worked up the courage to ask a girl to dance, but I did for her. At the time, it was like I had no choice. I suddenly found myself standing in front of her, hand outstretched like I were begging. And I guess in a way, I was.
“She accepted. Strangest thing. She smiled, totally radiant, and moved with me into the centre of the room. We danced through three numbers. I stood on her toes twice. She didn’t tell me off, just laughed at me. So I asked her to the movies, and she said yes, and we went the next day. In those days, the local would always show slightly older films, never anything new. I think we went to see Serenade of the West; Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette. Another week went by, and there was another dance, and we danced together all night. I was totally smitten. Well, the week after that, I turned eighteen and got called for National Service. It took a year and a half out of my life, but I came back a man. And when I came back, I discovered Clara was dating Jimmy Brownlow.”
Sam rocked forward in his seat. “So how’d you get together?”
“That’s not how it works, Gladys. You asked how I met her, not how we got married. That’s a story for another time. Right now, it’s up to you to entertain me.”
“You’re an evil man, Gene Hunt.”
“You love it. So, tell me all about your first days on the force. I’m just dying to hear about you rescuing kittens and filing nine page reports and falling over ‘cause the hat’s too heavy for your head…”