Fandom: Life on Mars
Rating: PG-13 for this section.
Word Count: 1,360 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.
Douglas did everything in his power to make things clear, but in the end, Gene had to leave or commit murder of his own, and Sam was left trying to piece together the information and rifle through evidence.
They didn't have much. They had what Oswald had told them and a lot of common street debris. They had very little blood, because, of course, they didn't really have the crime scene, they only had the dump-site.
Sam wandered towards the canteen, hoping to find tea and a sympathetic ear. He found the tea, but the ears were missing. The canteen was empty save for June, who smiled at Sam warmly, but rolled her mop and bucket out through the door, saying she was off now, David was expecting her.
The tea was disgusting, but better than nothing, and Sam went on another trek for someone to talk to. This someone was Annie. She looked tired and irritable, but he came to sit next to her anyway.
"How'd it go, then?" he asked. She glanced his way.
"Horribly. He's not doing well at all. Gone into complete shock. He'd managed to do okay, before, keep it together, but I think reality's just set in and he's been physically affected. We've a doctor here, he may even have to go to hospital."
"Shit." Sam bowed his head, rubbing at the lines stretching above his eyes. The headache was worse. "You're a good judge of character, Annie. Is he telling the truth?"
Annie's eyes widened and something within her seemed to snap. "Yes, Sir, he is telling the truth. If you heard him talk about coming upon that gi --- upon the body, you'd know what I mean when I say he is most definitely being truthful."
"Alright, alright, I didn't mean to suggest anything, just, you know, lots of people lie to us. Sometimes by accident. Could there have been anything he omitted, or didn't think was relevant?"
"I'm sure there were lots of things, but how am I supposed to tell? I asked him question after question, watching the blood drain from his face. Okay?"
"Yeah. You did a good job. Thank you for keeping him company. It really helps to have someone who's empathetic and has experience with psychology to talk with witnesses. You're a very calming influence."
Annie visibly relaxed. She took a deep breath and lowered in her seat. "How about you? The Guv thundered down this corridor in a manner that to me suggests you haven't found much out."
"Great observation. We haven't. It's a waiting game at this stage." Sam shuffled forward, resting his elbows on his knees. "I could tell you about the body."
"Maybe later, yeah?"
"Once you've had a stiff drink."
Annie smiled. "Or two."
"Or three." Sam shook his head. "We've gotta find something out sooner or later, and then justice can be meted out."
"Sometimes, there is no justice in this world. Sometimes, justice isn't good enough, is it, Sam?"
"I can't believe that. There is and it is. What we do, it's important. We'll never bring her back, but we can honour her memory."
"Avenge her death?"
Sam stood, knowing that despondency was contagious and Annie would need some time before she could look at this with the objectivity she needed to successfully continue her work. Not that he was managing it himself, nor anyone else, most likely. They simply reacted differently - different shades of horror with differing consequences. Annie mirrored his movements and they travelled to CID without speaking any further.
It was hushed. Geoff and Barlow were still calling other stations, county-wide. There had been a blag off Oldham road that was being investigated by Paul and Derek. It felt like everything should stop - that the criminal sector should take that holiday it sometimes took. But it didn't stop; the petty thieves and rogues were in full flight and that meant they had limited resources and manpower for the kind of case that needed concentration.
It was another two hours before a Missing Persons case matched with their victim. A young mother had only just discovered that her daughter was not with her best friend, as she had previously thought. Carolyn Roker had had a knapsack of pyjamas, a change of clothes and a couple of dolls. She had left her Hyde home with Beth and her mother, but apparently decided she was feeling queasy and wanted to go back. Beth's mother, Janet Wickham, had dropped Carolyn at the corner of her street. She had never made it home.
Patricia Roker's voice cracked when Sam explained that they had the body of a young girl matching Carolyn's description. He didn't give the full circumstances of how they found her, or what they knew to have happened. She said she would come to the station straight away and he could tell by every inflection that she was praying this wasn't her daughter they had found. He wasn't sure how he felt. On the one hand, it was better to think that there wasn't another mother out there grieving, and yet horrid to think that Patricia should have lost her only child in such a way.
Hyde. Sam tapped at his desk and willed himself not to think about it. He pulled a piece of paper from his drawer and stared at it for a while. He told himself it didn't matter. Lots of things happened in Hyde and they had no relation to him. But it did matter. The body had been found on their patch, it was their investigation, but they would have to confer with C-Division and the thought was terrifying. Glen had said there were rumours about him. 'A bit of bother.' He didn't want to know what that was. If he had wanted to know, he would have done some investigation, but it was safer, somehow, pretending it didn't exist.
If Sam had the answers to his mystery, it wouldn't be a mystery anymore --- and though he would never say it out loud, it was better to be ignorant than know the cold, hard truth, whatever that may be.
When he walked into Gene's office to deliver the news, Gene was sat talking on the telephone. He put his hand up to silence Sam and snippets of a one-sided conversation that must only be with the press hung in the air.
"Print that and I'll take my ruddy big boot and imprint something on your arse," Gene growled. Sam quirked an eyebrow. "I've given you everything you need to know. When I know more and you play your cards right, I'll give you something else, understand?"
Gene slammed the phone down and immediately lit a cigarette.
"What d'you want?"
"May have found her mother, Guv."
Gene's eyes widened and he seemed to want to say something before rising out of his chair.
Sam continued. "A young mother's been in contact with C-division and they forwarded her to us because of the details. The missing girl is the right age, right appearance. The mother's name is Patricia Roker. Says her daughter went missing last night. She'd thought she was with her best friend, but there was a miscommunication. She'll be here soon to examine the body."
"Do you think this is the one?"
"I don't know, do I?"
Gene took a long drag on his cigarette and went to stand by his Gary Cooper poster. "What's your gut telling you?"
"Could be, yeah. It's a distinct possibility. After all, how many young girls go missing overnight?"
"Too bloody many, if you ask me." Gene tensed his shoulders and started on another deep inhalation of smoke, the light at the end of his cigarette flaring brightly. "You try to protect your city, but you can't stop this kinda scum. No matter what you do, there are sick minds and sicker actions."
Sam didn't know how to respond.
The scream was heart-rending. It was a wail of raw human emotion, of shattered hopes and wrenching sorrow. And all Sam could do was stand there, as Patricia clawed at his jacket, sobbing into the leather. He looked over the top of her head at Gene, who was swallowing thickly, a twitch in his left cheek.
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