Sam’s half asleep, lips slack and softened, rubbing at his eyes like a tired child. Gene pokes him with the corner of his flask and puffs out his cheeks, sucking in breath and tilting his head to the side in an effort to rearrange inactive muscles. The warehouse is not made for comfort of any kind.
“How long’ve we been here?”
“Four hours. Piss weak compared to some we have to put up with.”
“Yeah, but it should be Chris and Ray here, not us.”
Gene raises his eyebrows. It’s not like Sam to pass the buck onto someone else. Usually he’s only too happy to be charging in, nancy-boy boots clattering. “Do you remember when they were meant to be taking care of me?”
“Point taken.” Sam crosses his arms, glancing at Gene briefly. “It’s cold.”
“You poor thing.”
“Aren’t you cold?”
“I don’t just wear this coat because it makes me look dashing.”
“Although it does.”
Gene looks at Sam askance, wondering just what it was that possessed him to say something like that. Sam looks back with a grin that’s bordering on licentious.
It’s become his little diversion, to rile Gene up. Small comments and glances to see how far he can push Gene, how quickly Gene will throw that punch. At first, Gene didn’t realise, he reacted exactly as Sam seemed to want him to, but lately he wasn’t giving him the satisfaction. He was not going to spend his days playing mind games with his DI, especially not ones he wasn’t in charge of.
“Come here,” Gene says. Sam’s grin widens because he thinks he’s set a new record, and he shuffles closer over the crate, ready for the slap, but that’s not it. Gene shrugs off his left sleeve and wraps it around Sam’s shoulder, pressing tight into him, winding his hand against Sam’s waist. Sam’s eyes widen.
“What’re’ya…” Sam mumbles, encased now in camelhair and Gene.
Gene pulls Sam even tighter. “Still feeling cold?”
Sam’s response is the type he might normally utter, but said in an entirely different way. He’s husky and light. “Decidedly not.”
Gene decides that this is the perfect moment to push it further, to prove to Sam that he holds the upper hand in all things. The game will come to an end, and it will be his triumph. He turns, dipping his head and pushing his lips against Sam’s. He expects Sam to reel back in shock, because, for all his tight jeans and fruity disposition, he’s shown more than once that he’s all for the birds. But Sam opens his mouth instead, letting Gene’s tongue in. At that point, Gene doesn’t know why he doesn’t stop. All he knows is that Sam’s warm and tastes like whisky, and far from being the snivelling, protesting prick from before.
And then there’s the sound of voices in the distance and they pull away from each other in haste.
“So, uh, you think City’s going to win on Saturday?” Sam croaks, flexing his arms and adjusting his jacket.
“They always win,” Gene replies. He mentally adds, ‘just like me.’
“No, they don’t, I reckon they’re going down,” Sam says and this is when Gene thinks, ‘just like you.’
The one I wrote today for liquorishflame [Gen, G];
Hush. No words. No sounds. Not the rhythmic tock of the clock. Just Sammy, sitting still, thinking clearly, about everything he's gonna do. Ivanhoe, not a purr, not a whirr, as Sammy strokes soft fur, the machine downstairs not making a racket, no voices, nor soft tread of a shoe.
Hush. No words. No sounds. Not a whistle, 'bring me sunshine', 'for he's a jolly good fellow', Roger Whittaker's through. And the blocks in his hands, and the paper crinkling, like his face as he thinks, sucking in breath 'til he can't anymore and he's blue.
Hush. No words. No sounds. Not a whine or a tear as she says, "sorry Sammy, he couldn't make it for you." He's stronger, he's smarter, he's silent, has to be, and his animals, in their lines, go two by two.
Hush. No words. No sounds. Not a song. Not yet the rush of air as the candles waver with the force that he blew. Four years old, already aged, already disappointed by life and love and everything he thought he knew.
Hush. No words. No sounds. Not at first. Just Sammy, sitting still, thinking clearly, about everything he'll never get to do. Then, gently, out of nowhere, foot on a stair, and the whistling - "I'll always be here, Sammy, this is true."