Fandom: Life on Mars
Word Count: 2200 words.
Notes: Sam/Gene slash. Set after 2.08. Another title from the Barenaked Ladies song "Wrap Your Arms Around Me", because I've decided it's my Sam/Gene anthem. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Summary: Gene looks and takes a deep breath, not knowing if it's best to say nothing and do everything or do nothing and say everything, or something in-between; a happy medium.
A lamp bathes the walls in gold, making the flat warmer than he remembers it being before. There's the smell of exotic spice in the air, various sounds of cook-top burners working under saucepans, a sizzle of something frying. Gene stands still in the doorway, only just able to make out Sam's elbow as he bends down by his ice box.
"I'm here," he says, surprised by no acknowledgement of his presence.
Sam's head pops above the white door, humorous in its sudden appearance. He smiles and gestures for Gene to come in, sit down. "D'you want a beer or some wine? I've got a really great white - not quite a 1787 Chateau d'Yquem, but it'll do. I asked Nelson to get it in specially."
"I'm fine," Gene says, taking one of his flasks out of his pocket and taking a swig for show. "What's this in aid of?"
Sam is evasive. "Dinner. It's what people have, typically in the evening, though sometimes in the middle of the day. It involves food."
"I wanted to talk to you. Away from the station."
Gene moves forward in his chair, clasping his hands together as his arms rest on his knees. "And why's that?"
"Should we just go to the Lost and Found?" Sam asks, laughing nervously. "I could probably make us up doggy bags." He gestures broadly. "It's just... if you wanna turn this into an interrogation..."
Gene shrugs and stops looking at Sam. He stares at Sam's carpet instead. "It's about Morgan," he says to the dull brown.
"I wanted to explain. You wouldn't let me at the hospital, and every time I try to talk to you at the station, you shut me out."
"Do you really blame me?"
"Gene, I need you to trust me again."
"I do trust you," Gene says. He can sense Sam coming to kneel by his side, can almost feel the heat of his hand as it hovers above his own. He looks up, into Sam's eyes. "Why else would I come here tonight?"
Sam shakes his head. Whatever's frying on the cook-top decides to make a loud, ominous bang and he stands to attend to it, presenting Gene with the expanse of his back. Gene looks and takes a deep breath, not knowing if it's best to say nothing and do everything or do nothing and say everything, or something in-between; a happy medium. Wisest to say and do nothing, in the long run, but he's not sure he can handle that.
"I trust you because you came back, Sam. You changed your mind. You turned your back on Morgan and you rescued ours."
"Not exactly enough, though, is it?" Sam asks, swivelling on his heel to look at Gene over his shoulder. "I mean, from your perspective, I'd been lying to you for months."
Gene swallows. "You want me to hate you, is that it?"
"You should," Sam says, turning his attention back to the food.
He splashes some more oil in the pan and uses an eggslice to flip something over. He stirs the contents of one of the saucepans and Gene thinks he shouldn't be so interested in what Sam's doing, but can't stop himself from watching the smooth, efficient movement.
"Alright then, sometimes I hate you. Sometimes I really hate you. I think about all the ways you've been nothing but a nuisance and I imagine you being wrung through a grinder, as I stand by the side cackling. Good enough for you?"
"And other times?"
"I know. It's those other times I wanna know about."
Gene clenches his teeth. "Other times I'm just glad I wasn't wrong about you. I'm glad you arrived here with your fancy Hyde ways, and I'm glad I succeeded in corrupting them."
There's a smile in Sam's voice as he speaks, though his face is still hidden. "So am I." He points in the general direction of the dining table. "Go get ready. I'll plate up."
Gene does as he's told, aware there's not much point grumbling for the sake of it. He hopes he's omitted enough that Sam hasn't quite figured it out, but the very fact he's been invited to dinner doesn't give him much optimism.
Sam sets his plate in front of him and he's pleasantly surprised by medium-rare steak, cut green beans and mashed potato. Sam, on the other hand, has something that looks like a donkey's lunch.
"Yakhni pulao. It's a Pakistani dish. It's basically lamb and rice, but with green chillies and cardamom and ginger." Sam shovels some onto a fork and angles it in Gene's direction. "Want some?"
Sam grins and turns the fork back his way. "Didn't think so. Maybe another day."
Gene nods to himself, realising it's more than likely. He cuts off a slice of steak and eats it, chewing in lieu of talking.
"The thing is, Gene, I used to think I knew everything," Sam says, earnestly.
Gene can't resist. "And you don't anymore?"
"You." Sam frowns, looking like he's trying to rearrange his thoughts. "Not just you. This, all of this. I used to think everything I did was for the best, that it was right, that I was. But I've made mistakes, I know that, and it seems more like I didn't actually know anything. You've taught me to believe in feelings as well as facts."
Gene raises an eyebrow. "And you've taught me to be mindful of facts as well as feelings."
Sam tilts forward. "Yeah, exactly! We need both. When I was... well, when I was in the tunnel, that's all I kept thinking about. What it'd be like to be one without the other. And I didn't like what I saw - I couldn't make sense of it."
"Not everything in life makes sense."
"No. It doesn't. But so many things make more sense when I'm with you."
Gene digs his fork into another piece of steak. "Did you also have surgery in that tunnel?" he asks. "Your balls lopped off and dumped in a bin?"
Sam rolls his eyes. "Forgive me for expressing genuine human emotion."
A muscle twitches in Gene's cheek. "You're just doing as I taught you, right?"
Sam smiles again. "Yeah."
Gene is not going to return the favour and tell Sam exactly how he feels. Instead he continues eating, doing his best to avoid looking at Sam. He couldn't tell him he doesn't know why he trusts him - that his brain constantly sends warning signals, but his gut does flips when he's around, that his body says 'yes' as his mind says 'no'. It's easier to stare at the wall as the silhouette of a moth flickers against cracked plaster.
He's aware of Sam sipping on his wine and their plates emptying as they continue eating, and wonders how he could wing his escape without Sam knowing the reason why. He could always lie and tell Sam he doesn't trust him, just wanted a free meal. He could make up an excuse of having to get back to his wife, but Sam made mention of his unironed shirts and shaving in the office three days ago and isn't likely to believe circumstances have changed. The longer he stays there's more chance he'll betray himself and something tells him this is what Sam's counting on.
"If you can't eat it all, that's alright. There's dessert too - chocolate torte."
"You'll make some man a lovely wife one day."
"Hate to shatter your illusions, but I bought it." Sam cocks his head to one side. "I would've made Caramel Pecan Cake, or Orange Soufflé, but didn't have the time."
Gene leans back, digging into his pocket to retrieve his pack of cigarettes and lighter. "You say these things just to make me uncomfortable."
"And you let them."
Gene lights up as Sam stares at him, willing himself to remain calm and collected. "So. Morgan."
"Is a git."
"Yeah, and he's left you alone. Why's that?"
Sam bites his lip. "Most of what he was doing was against the law. I wasn't authorised by the higher-ups to be spying on A division. That's what they told me at Hyde. Morgan himself has skipped town."
"Right." The nicotine and tobacco combine to make Gene relatively relaxed. "And I still call you Tyler."
Sam's jaw twitches. "I'd prefer it."
"You're lying to me."
Sam sucks in a deep breath. "I thought you trusted me?"
"I do. But not blindly. You're lying. Why?"
"Because you wouldn't believe the truth."
Gene clenches and unclenches his free fist. He shouldn't settle for that as an answer. He should tell Tyler he's a madman and order him to go make someone else's life hell.
"You'll think I'm being glib. And then you'll try and get me committed."
Gene stares and stubs his cigarette out on the table. "This is like you thinking Vic Tyler was your father."
Sam stares back. "Exactly the same."
"Probably best I don't know, then." Gene rises. "Thanks for dinner. I'll see myself out."
Sam rises too, arching forward, grasping at Gene's sleeve. "Don't go."
"I've got to, Sam."
Sam licks his lower lip and moves forward in one swift arc. His touch is light, but it keeps Gene standing still. "You don't. You've stayed overnight before."
"That was different."
"I woke up in the middle of the night and saw you staring at me."
"You make it sound downright creepy."
Sam tilts his head, moving treacherously closer. Gene holds his breath. "It kind of was. At the time. I didn't understand it. But now I do."
"I thought you didn't know everything?"
"I don't. But I do know this."
Sam brushes his hand up to the back of Gene's neck, his cheek rubbing against Gene's jaw. Gene pushes forward and wants to punch Sam off, throw him into the wall and kick him violently, but he kisses him instead, tasting spice and wine and Sam - finally, after all this time.
"I'm as insane as you are," Gene says, pulling away in order to undo Sam's shirt buttons.
"Insanity's doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result. This is something else."
"Yeah, yeah, Einstein."
Sam shrugs off his shirt and grins. His fingers are immediately busy helping Gene undo his own buttons, and then on his belt, and then sliding over his body. His attention span is short and his interests wide and varied. Gene's manoeuvred onto the cot, Sam straddling his legs and kissing down his torso.
"This was your plan, was it? Wine me, dine me and then have your way with me?"
Sam lifts his head for a brief moment. "Pretty much."
"Didn't take into account I might have other ideas?"
Gene takes hold of Sam's arms and flips him onto his back. He almost slides off the cot entirely.
"Think you'll find you're at a distinct logistical disadvantage," Sam says, lifting his hips up and grinding against Gene. "Bit hard to get the right kind of friction."
Gene groans low in his throat and lets Sam readjust them to their previous position. Sam's hand is slick as it slides up Gene's cock, and his lips are wet as they nuzzle at his neck.
Gene digs his fingers into Sam's hips, rocking him forward and moving until their cocks are aligned. "This is one of those times I hate you."
Sam's voice is thick and deep. "Know what they say. Thin line."
He twists until he has both hands around their cocks, letting Gene take his bodyweight. He's heavy, but worth it. He also strokes at an infuriatingly slow pace. Gene hisses as Sam rubs over the head of his cock and spreads precome, looking at him through lowered lashes. Sam's cock is hot against his own and he's surprised by how much it heightens the sensation.
Sam rolls his hips again and speeds up, wiry muscles in his arms moving under his skin. Gene's breath is sharp and he realises he's almost writhing beneath Sam, but can't stop himself. He clenches his teeth, watches as a bead of sweat travels down Sam's neck, and leans forward to lick it.
This is what pushes Sam over the edge. He comes all over Gene's torso and belly with a choked off growl. Gene follows him a moment later, tensing up and weakening, insensible to everything.
"What now?" Gene asks when he can, not sure he wants the answer.
Sam chuckles. "We shower, have some chocolate torte, and then I'm gonna ravish you again."
"Tomorrow, we do whatever we have to do to get by. I piss you off, you piss me off, and life continues, as normal or as non-normal as it may be."
"And you still don't know everything?"
"No. Why? What do you think'll happen?"
Gene contemplates and realises he's at a complete loss. "I don't know. But it'll be interesting to find out." He grunts. "Could you shift it, you're crushing my leg."
Sam gets up and extends his hand. Gene gives it a look and takes it.