Fandom: Life on Mars
Rating: PG-13 for this section.
Word Count: 1,353 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. A young girl has been murdered. Tensions are high, and there's more than one kind of tension.
Sam had stopped worrying about drinking too much precisely six hours after arriving in 1973. He hadn't looked back since. It was soothing, it ebbed away at the pain, it was a good way to attempt talking about things he ordinarily wouldn't talk about with someone who would ordinarily not listen.
His head still hurt. He'd taken a couple of aspro tablets - and yes, he did know pain medication and alcohol should not mix, and no, he didn't care. He worked at his temples as he sat next to Gene at the Arms, edging towards needing to ask Nelson for another round. He knew that he would be a little unsteady on his feet, but knowing that meant he wasn't yet completely bladdered.
"Man U are gonna win this Saturday," he said thickly.
"Dream on," Gene replied. He swirled the scotch in his glass.
Sam wished he had a sports almanac in his head, or in his hand. He could have made a mint, just by luring Gene into many and varied bets, let alone the rest of CID, or through professional channels. But he didn't actually know if Manchester United were going to win. He didn't remember who won what and when. He hoped they were going to win, but belief wasn't the same as knowledge and his form of risk-taking was always within acceptable limits.
He still hadn't gone to a match since arriving in 1973, although every time a game came around, he said he would. He was half-tempted to ask Gene, but he had a fair idea what the response would be. Sometimes that was the temptation all of its own.
"Do you have a plan for tomorrow?" Sam asked, downing the last of his drink and waiting a while before going to get another.
Gene's expression changed from mild blank indifference to mild confused belligerence. "Who plans their days in advance?"
"7.14 am, take a crap. 7.16 am, wash hands and trim nosehairs. 7.19 am, avoiding looking at or touching cock whilst showering."
"Doesn't sound like you at all."
"It wasn't, it was you."
Sam shook his head. "Hate to tell you, but I'm normally up, showered, dressed and breakfasted by then. And my cock has been too." He inwardly smirked at Gene's surprise, then crossed his arms, leather stretching against his back. "You know what I meant."
"No, I don't have a plan," Gene replied, and left it at that.
Sam turned to look at Chris, who was using his fingers as drumsticks against his table and apparently riveted by Ray's conversation, which filtered through to Sam as "massive", "bounced", "like water-filled balloons", and "slap."
In the other corner of the room, Phyllis had her head bent low towards Annie's and Sam had a strong feeling he knew what they were discussing. He should go over there later, be like a mentor, but preferably when he was a little less buzzed, and even more preferably, when he could bring himself to talk about it directly.
He decided against another round, in the end. He asked Gene to drive him home instead. He would have asked for the keys to the Cortina, but part of him still valued his life. Gene drove him wordlessly and Sam realised he had never been more glad that Gene could be reticent when the need would arise. Any other time and this might annoy him, he might try to pry and probe.
Sam didn't exactly know why he invited Gene into his flat. Or why Gene accepted. But they sat side by side at his dining table, cigarette smoke wafting into the air and Thin Lizzy playing on the reel-to-reel.
Rathbone wanted results. Rathbone was a prick, who hadn't solved a crime in over a decade and enjoyed lording it over everyone he came into contact with. Rathbone gave a speech about the terrible crime, and spoke to the press behind Gene's back, and told CID to "giddy-up".
The dartboard had a new face plastered over Litton's. The eyes went missing straight away.
It wasn't like they weren't working. Sam had personally spoken to every single one of Carolyn's friends, according to her mother's list. Some of them had cried. Some of them hadn't. He and Gene had interviewed all the residents of Carolyn's street, Gene using words and threats that were vile even by his standards. Ray and Chris were going through statements from those near the dumpsite.
Annie was acting as official liaison with Geoff and Barlow. They'd even managed to rope Derek and Paul into cutting corners on their own case so that they could cover more people over less time. It didn't matter what they did, they didn't get automatic answers. They hadn't had any answers, so far.
Sam sat down in the canteen with Steven Dobson, not to ask him any more questions, just to see how he was going. That was his pretense and he was sticking to it.
"I love these little angel cakes, me," Sam said conversationally. "I know it probably looks wrong for a grown man to be biting into them, but they're dead tasty."
Steven, who was here by choice and not coercion, nodded dully.
"I also love jaffa cakes. Have you ever dipped a jaffa cake in tea? It's like heaven."
Steven closed his eyes momentarily, dragging a hand over his forehead. "If you say so."
Sam brushed the back of his hand against his lips and went against his self-made promise. "You didn't see or hear anything before coming upon the body?"
"No." Steven frowned. "What kind of idiot killer hangs around?"
"A surprisingly large amount, especially in circumstances where the body's been deliberately placed," Sam replied. "It's the mark of an exhibitionist, someone who wants to get caught."
He was telling this to someone who didn't care one way or the other, who most likely wanted to erase the images from his mind and go back to his simple life of using a long-handled broom. Sam had tried to tell this to Gene, but, unfortunately, he was in 'Guv mode' and when he was in that mode, you either stepped to the side or you incurred wrath.
Sam would soon be incurring wrath, but he wanted to try other methods first.
As if having an innate sense of when people were thinking spiteful thoughts of him, Gene appeared. "Tyler, leave that poor sod alone." He clapped his hands together. "We've a lead."
Sam rose up so quickly, he bashed his thigh into the formica tabletop and swept a saucer to the floor. He hoped Gwen would forgive him, but couldn't fret too much. He gave Steven money for cab fare and went to stand beside Gene, his brain already processing different scenarios, different kinds of things they might now know that would help them catch their killer.
"This is not as exciting as you're hoping it is," Gene said, eventually, when they were on the road. "It's just a little possibility of intel on how the body got from one place to the next."
"Are you kidding me? That could blow the case wide open."
They stopped when a bobby asked them to, his hand splayed wide and deference shown. Sam quietly mused on the unsung heroes of the police force, always there when they needed someone to find, guard and beckon, but soon found himself distracted. A Ford Granada, with windows smashed in and hubcaps missing, was abandoned by the side of the road. Long grass swayed with the breeze as they walked over and Sam peered in, walking around the car and looking at it from every angle. It hadn't been burnt out. He felt like it should have been burnt out.
They would need a full team here again. They'd need Douglas and his razor-sharp observational skills. But Sam could already see something that piqued his interest. He wished he had tweezers, an evidence bag - if only Gene had told him what it was they were going to see, he could have been ready.
There was a strip of red material caught on the right-hand window winder. It danced up and down. It seemed to say 'you've found me'.
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