Fandom: Life on Mars
Rating: PG-13 for this section.
Word Count: 1,230 words this section.
Notes: Sam/Gene slash.
Warnings: There is extreme violence and darkness in this story.
Summary: It starts out like any ordinary day - as ordinary as it gets in 1973. And then they have a case. Tensions are high, and there's more than one kind of tension.
"Did you get that?" Gene asked, eyes intent on Sam still scribbling away. He shifted from foot to foot, clearly uneasy.
"Yeah, thanks for that. I especially liked it when you called her a stupid bint. It's not all that easy trying to figure out how to spell 'scrotectomy' when laughing."
"You write everything down?"
"Sure. Never know what's gonna be important, do you? Gotta be wide-reaching, exact, thorough."
"Bastard on a biscuit, you ever thought about using your brain?"
Sam gave a small smile and put the lid back on his pen. "Have you?"
Gene ignored him and knocked solidly on the green door in front of them. It was opened after a while by a woman in a hairnet, her demeanour less than welcoming upon two badges being shown.
"Hi, love. Mind if we ask a couple of questions?"
She did seem to mind, but she stepped to the side anyway. They were ushered through the hallway into a lounge. Sam cast a quick gaze around, but wasn't all that interested. It was typical orange and chintz, little cat ornaments on the mantel, the kind of place he was always visiting with his mum when he was just starting school, which shouldn't really have been a surprise.
Gene tapped Sam's elbow, arresting his attention, then looked back at the house-owner. "You seen anything out of the ordinary today, Mrs...?"
Sam steadied his pen and looked enquiringly.
"Miss Gray to you, and I woke up an 'alf hour ago."
"See anything last night?"
"People running down the street?"
Sam steeled himself against her belligerence. "Maybe you've heard something?"
"Just him next door, stupid prick. Never stops."
Sam grabbed at that. "Really? What doesn't he stop?"
"Drumming. All hours of the day and night, drives you batty."
"So. If I were to say there's been a murder not five hundred yards from here, your reaction would be what?"
Sam was reminded of why he liked paperwork so very much. Why he didn't, actually, complain when Gene went speeding down streets at break-neck speed. One was easy to negotiate, control --- the other was fun. This was neither.
"A little girl's been killed," Gene said, his voice low. His expression was stony and Sam could sense waves of anger rolling off him.
Her attitude didn't alter. "Can't help you," is all she said. Wouldn't, even if I could, echoed unspoken around the room.
"Maybe the others have information?" Sam suggested as they stepped back out into a sunny day. Seventeen interviews and they had the sum total of nothing.
"Maybe!" Gene said with false brightness. "Maybe they've already solved it! Maybe our murder victim's just asleep and all that nasty red stuff was tomato sauce. Maybe we're all gonna sit down and have a lovely laugh about it, as Diane Keen does a striptease. Here, I'll give you a tenner in preparation."
"Haven't had your morning coffee, have you?"
"No, Sam. When I was about to have my morning coffee, I was informed that an innocent little chick-a-dee had had her head stoved in with a brick. That her clothes were ripped to shreds and she'd something shoved up her fanny." The last word was a shout and Sam jerked his head around to check no one was looking, before settling his gaze back on Gene, who was heaving with barely kept rage.
Sam spoke slowly, quietly. "You didn't tell me."
"Shouldn't've had to. You're the one always banging on about professionalism."
Sam sucked his cheeks in and nodded, admitting his fault. He glanced at his watch. "It's almost one. Oswald'll have something for us by now."
"Yeah, well, he better."
They went back to the Cortina to find Ray and Chris there.
"Annie and PC Mallows've taken the street cleaner, uh, Steven Dobson, back to the station," Chris said helpfully upon their arrival.
"How'd you define luck?" Ray asked.
"Anything useful connected to the case."
"Then no. No luck."
"Lots of names and addresses, though. Phone numbers. I did 'em as we met everyone, but I'll put them in alphabetical order later, Boss," Chris said, showing Sam his notes. Sam was impressed with Chris' work. He had written the information methodically, clearly delineated from one to the other - which was more than he'd ever achieved when Sam had first met him.
"Good boy, Christopher," Gene said for Sam, pushing him abruptly through the open car door. Chris frowned worriedly, Ray rolled his eyes, and Sam glared.
The drive to the station was thick with silence. Sam was a mixture of annoyed and sympathetic. Ray and Chris were apparently being unusually tactful. Gene was driving like he had the ability to chew up the road and spit it back out.
"You two stay here," Gene said before taking hold of Sam's arm and propelling him through the doors to the morgue.
The tiles gleamed with cleanliness. The smell was disinfectant and death. Oswald looked up with the air of a troubled man.
"Ahh, Detective Chief Inspector."
"What can you tell me, Oswald?"
"Nothing good, I'm afraid. There were no indicators of identification on her, which is what you expect with children, I suppose. We'll be waiting a while on the dental records."
"We'll probably have someone come in for Missing Persons before then. In fact, shouldn't we already?" Sam interjected.
"I've got Barlow making enquiries at other stations," Gene answered. He returned his attention to Oswald.
"How much do you know about the arrangement of the body?" Oswald asked.
"Everything," Gene replied; clipped, precise.
"The blow to the head killed her," Oswald said, not sugar-coating it. "It would have to have been forceful, brutal. Judging by the lack of bruising, the scissors would have to have been inserted into her vagina after death, blades first. No signs of rape other than the object insertion. Fibres between the blades of the scissors suggest that it was the implement used to cut her clothes into horizontal strips."
Sam's stomach churned. He had seen and heard of horrible things in his life on the force, but he had been completely unprepared for this - even with Gene's earlier outburst.
"I judge time of death as some time in the early morning," Oswald continued. "No later than 5 am, what with body temperature. It could, perhaps, have occurred very late last night, but most likely not before 11 pm. I'm inclined to say death was quick, but the treatment of the body afterwards slow and methodical. You should go and talk to the forensics team straight away. They mentioned that they felt the body was placed at the crime scene after the fact and because of various scrapes on the underside of the legs, I would agree with that assessment."
"How old would you say the victim was, exactly?" Gene asked, rasped and low.
"It's hard to judge. She's certainly pre-pubescent. I would make a guess of 7 - 9 years of age."
"Not more than a baby." Sam heard a cracking noise and glanced down to see Gene's knuckles whiten as he clenched his fists.
"Thanks, Oswald," Sam said, attempting warm sincerity and achieving a monotone.
Oswald was uncharacteristically serious, which, for a man who spent his life dissecting human bodies, said a lot about his character. "Anything to help, DI Tyler. Anyone who could commit this sort of crime deserves to be locked away for life."
Sam agreed. "We'll do our best."
"We'll do more than that," Gene said menacingly, and strode from the room.
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16