Fandom: Life on Mars
Word Count: 2000 words.
Notes: This is cracky buddy cop gen.
Sam awoke and was happy. He didn’t know why, couldn’t peg the flutters of delight surging through him, but he wasn’t about to start complaining about it. He got dressed and walked to the station, greeting passers-by with a cheerful grin and ready waves.
It all went to shit when Sam walked into CID. Chris was pouting, tapping a pen against his desk. Ray was glaring, cigarette poised. And Annie was walking around looking flustered. Other members of CID went about their business with what appeared to be a quiet sort of desire to remain unnoticed.
“What’s going on?” Sam asked, crossing his arms against his chest as an automatic shield.
Ray answered him, flicking the butt of his cigarette into a nearby bin. “The Guv’s disappeared.”
“Disappeared? What’re you talking about? He can’t disappear.”
“He has,” Chris responded, rubbing his lower lip. “His wife’s up in Newcastle, so she’s no help, but we called round his place and there’s neither head nor tail of him.”
“He’s probably slumped in a pool of his own sick in the alley behind the Arms,” Sam said, rolling his eyes.
“No, Boss, he never turned up last night,” Ray replied. “I talked to Nelson and he didn’t see him either.”
“I’ve been contacting his informants,” Annie continued, “but so far, none of them have seen him. It’s not right, Sam. The Guv’s usually always here by now, or he’d have said where he was going.”
Sam rubbed at his eyes. “Right. I’ll join the rescue party.”
Sam strode into Gene’s office and went straight for the files on the desk. They seemed his best bet as to a clue on Gene’s whereabouts. He was mortified when a crisp rasher of bacon dropped from between two manila folders and joined the grime of the floor below.
“Disgusting,” he muttered, bending down to pick it up and put it in the rubbish. As he was there he thought he caught sight of some movement and peered into the gloom under Gene’s desk.
It was around three inches tall, with a rumpled suit, and a furious expression. Sam gaped, his mouth wide and his eyes fixed.
“Who else would it sodding be, Vera Lynn?” the small figure asked, voice high pitched. “Get me up from here. I very nearly got murdered by breakfast a second ago. And have you seen the size of these dust balls? The cleaner’s are gonna have a good talking to.”
Sam frowned. “You want me to pick you up?”
“Do I have to spell it out for you? P I C-”
Gene was stopped by Sam’s hand along his length, lifting him up into the air and then settling him back down on the desk. He paced between cigarette ash, his lighter, and a copy of Jugs.
“How the hell’d this happen?”
“How am I supposed to know? I woke up after a particularly brutal drinking session and I was like this. I’ve been shouting for hours.” He stamped his feet for emphasis.
Sam’s face broke into an almighty grin. “Oh. Oh, this is truly the stuff of dreams, this. The great Gene Hunt’s become tiny-winey, eency-weency. The legend, belittled, quite literally.”
Gene glared. “It’s not funny.”
“Yeah it is, it’s perfect.” Sam sucked in a deep breath and exhaled it back onto Gene, ruffling his hair and camel hair coat. “The things I could do,” Sam said, eyes glittering. “Paying you back for all the times you punched me in the guts and called me a wimp.” Sam pressed him lightly in the chest.
Gene lunged forward, attempting to bite Sam’s finger, but Sam was too quick.
“What you’re gonna do is sort this mess out.”
“How do you expect me to do that?”
“Take me to that old bat’s.”
“Which old bat’s?”
Gene shrieked. Actually, it was probably more like a shout, but it sounded exceedingly shrill from Sam’s vantage point. “Remember, last week? You must. Celia Klein. She said she was gonna curse me.”
“There’s no such thing as cursing people.”
“There’s no such thing as losing 98 percent of your bodyweight either, you great big tosser.”
“Special attention on the great and big, my little friend,” Sam insisted teasingly. He raised Gene up again. “You can come in my pocket, then.”
“Don’t let those in CID know.”
“I wasn’t gonna.”
“Because if you do, I’ll gnaw through your knackers.”
“Firstly, you’re not going in my jeans pocket, I’m not that perverted. And second, behave yourself, or I’ll set the rodents on you.”
“What’re you doing with rodents in your pockets?”
“Never know when you might need a Clanger.”
Sam placed Gene carefully within the leather of his jacket pocket and made his way out the door.
“This is the very worst thing that could’ve happened to you, innit?” Sam asked, glancing at Gene sellotaped to the dashboard.
It was difficult to hear Gene above the roar of the Cortina’s engine, but Sam just about managed it. “No, the worst thing would be if a smarmy, pretentious, know-it-all poofter DI transferred in from some poncy place like Hyde. Oh, wait…”
“I’d be nicer, if I were you,” Sam said, stopping the car and prizing Gene up to be put back into a safe place as he travelled on foot. When he got to Celia’s door, he retrieved him and held him in front of his face.
“Why?” Gene asked, resuming the conversation and managing superiority despite his size.
“Well, who knows what might happen, Teeny Genie.” Sam grinned again. “You could be like this for life.”
“I better not be. Knock on the door, for Christ’s sake.”
Sam stepped forward and did as he was told. Celia answered and didn’t look at all surprised to find Sam on her doorstep. She ushered him in and offered him tea.
Celia had large coke-bottle glasses that Sam would find disconcerting if he wasn’t so sure they were completely fake. She bustled off to the kitchen whilst Sam placed Gene on the coffee table and settled on the settee in the living room.
“Thought I’d be seeing you again,” she said cheerfully, setting the cups down. She purposefully hovered one of the cups above Gene’s head.
“You bleeding cursed me!” Gene yelled, hopping up and down.
“Serves you right,” Celia returned. “Should never have tried to arrest me, especially when I was being helpful by telling you how that robbery was committed.”
“You said you knew because you’d had visions. How was I to know you weren’t, actually, barking mad?”
“Oh, I don’t know, maybe if you’d opened up your mind and realised I couldn’t possibly commit those crimes with my arthritis. Or, at the very least, been a damn sight more polite.”
“He doesn’t do polite,” Sam interjected. “It gives him a rash.”
Celia put a cube of sugar in Sam’s tea. “You’ll be pleased to know that the cure, DCI Hunt, is very simple.”
“Brilliant. What do I do?”
Celia quirked an eyebrow. “First, you apologise.”
“If anyone should be doing any apologising around here, it’s you, you old witch,” Gene shouted.
Sam tutted and tapped him on the back, sending him flying. “Do it.”
Gene crossed his arms. “Fine. I’m sorry.”
“Thank you. Apology accepted.” Celia took another minute sipping her tea. “Second, you must make yourself humble.”
“My cock’s the size of a pin, how much more humble d’you want me to be?”
Sam sniggered. “I can’t believe you’re bothering to exaggerate in these circumstances.”
“You must admit your faults,” Celia explained.
“Right then, I’m a bastard. I admit it. I do bastardy things, sometimes to people, who, through no fault of my own, turn out to be innocent.”
“Close enough, I suppose. Third, you have to tell the person you care most about in this world how you feel.”
“Is that it? Perfect,” Gene said. He signalled to Sam. “Time to go home. Get your roll of tape and fire up the Cortina.”
Sam raised his eyebrows, but started moving.
“Thanks Celia,” Sam said, smiling warmly. “And, uh, try to refrain from cursing members of the force from now on? It’s a real drain on taxpayers.”
“Remind members of the force not to meddle in things that don’t concern them,” Celia returned, and closed the door.
Sam pulled up outside Gene’s house. Gene explained that there was a spare key hidden behind part of the drainpipe and Sam was soon letting them both in. He put Gene on his shoulder and Gene held onto his ear.
“I’m dying of thirst,” Gene grumbled. “None of my flasks were miniaturised with me. Nor my cigs. Bloody pain in the arse.”
“Are you gonna call her?” Sam asked, placing Gene carefully on the carpet. He went to Gene’s liquor cabinet and got out the single malt, then set about finding a suitable receptacle. He settled on a biro lid with masking tape on the bottom and handed it to Gene.
Gene clutched at the lid awkwardly and had a gulp before responding. “Who?”
“No need. My wife left me months ago, Tyler. The one person I care most about in this world is me. Just didn’t want the biddy knowing that. She’d probably dunk me in the teapot or something.”
Gene finished the whisky, tossed the lid aside and set his feet apart. “Gene Hunt, you are the very epitome of man,” he stated, puffing out his chest. “You’re funny, you’re smart, you lock away the scum. Never a finer specimen walked down the road than you. I love you, you magnificent bastard.”
He threw his arms out wide. Nothing happened.
“Guess it’s not you, then,” Sam said, smirking. “Does this mean we’re gonna have to start a stalking campaign on Liz Fraser?”
Gene was quiet, contemplative, kicking his foot against the strands of carpet that ruffled around his ankles. He pushed out his lips and glared at a particular spot of brown plush for a while.
“Sam, you’re the best DI I’ve ever worked with,” he said eventually.
Sam interrupted before he could start on the next sentence. “I’m doing my best. I don’t know how much more I can do.”
“Just shut it and listen, will you?” Gene cracked his knuckles. “I trust you. God knows I regret it, but I take your advice. When you get the pole out of your arse you’re a good bloke to be around. I especially like beating you at darts. And if I had to take a bullet for anyone, it’d be for you.”
Sam’s expression mirrored the one he had worn when he first discovered Gene under his desk.
“I’m the person you care most about in this world?”
“Yeah. Unless this doesn’t do anything and then I’m fucked.”
As Gene finished speaking, Sam noticed his legs shimmering, and then his arms. A great white light came from Gene’s body and radiated out. Sam had to squint from the glare of it, his eyes watering profusely. Thirty seconds later he opened them again to find Gene very much back to normal size and glowering at him.
Gene punched him square in the stomach. “If you tell anyone - and I do mean anyone, Tyler, even the voices in your head - about this, I will personally push you piece by piece through a pencil sharpener and whittle you down to size. Got it?”
Gene scowled again and brought his hand up to Sam’s face, causing him to recoil, but Gene just placed the hand on Sam’s shoulder. “I need a stiff drink of considerably large proportions that match my own.”
“Gene,” Sam said, handing the keys over and following him out of the house.
“I’d’ve taken care of you, if it hadn’t worked. Acted as DCI and done everything you told me to.”
“No, I mean it,” Sam continued, strapping himself into the Cortina. “Got you some new clothes and everything.” He smiled again. “Bought you your own little house and set it up in the corner. Given you some sweet wooden dolls to be friends with.”
“You’ve a sick mind. There was no way in hell I’d’ve resorted to being your pet.”
“Oh, but you love me,” Sam said, grinning widely now. “You couldn’t bear for us to be apart and you certainly couldn’t take care of yourself.”
Gene hurtled around the corner and crashed into some rubbish bins, swerving to a halt outside a stationery shop.