Fandom: Life on Mars
Rating: PG-13 for this section.
Word Count: 1,011 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.
Gene came bursting into Lost and Found just as Sam had finished pretending to cut Annie's shirt. His eyes were wide and wild as he gazed at Sam with scissors poised, standing above the supine form of the WDC.
"What the fuck are you doing?" he yelled, nothing but anger and incredulity in his stance and expression.
Sam didn't have any words. He wasn't entirely sure himself. He placed the scissors on the table, bent down with his hand outstretched to help Annie up, and noticed the tears edging out of the corners of her eyes.
Before he knew what was happening, he was slammed into a shelf, Gene's hand around his throat.
"Guv, stop it," Annie said. "We were creating a psychological profile."
Sam looked at her from behind Gene's hulking presence, swallowing hard as Gene's fingers eased and brushed lightly against his neck. Gene was still looking at him as if he had never been more disgusted, but Sam could deal with that. Lack of oxygen was considerably trickier to get out of.
Gene had a point. A point he hadn't even said and yet Sam agreed with. Sam didn't know how he'd let their discussion and enactment go so far, but it had. He was still trying to process what it had told him.
"There's another missing girl," Gene said eventually, looking from Sam back to Annie. "Tina Harper. If we've any luck, it's completely irrelevant, but we can't make that assumption straight away."
Sam nodded. His instinct was telling him something he didn't want to hear. It would fit, if there was another victim. Soon, they would have another body for Oswald to examine. Another family torn apart.
What elements would remain the same? Would their new victim also be fatherless? Close to home? Would she be as young? It would tell him more, help him build upon his carefully constructed foundation.
He didn't even know the gender of the killer, yet. Gene had seemed to assume male, and given certain aspects of the case, Sam was inclined to agree, but there was nothing concrete. Annie had been as uneasy to label, but that's what they had to do. They had to give themselves parameters so that they could ask specific questions. It was no good expecting people to offer valuable help without guidelines. Ask someone if they saw anything, they'd shrug and go about their day. Ask if they saw a tall, middle-aged man and they might consider the question, even if they hadn't seen a thing.
Gene hovered, as if he didn't know where to put himself. Sam looked at him, judging whether he could say what he wanted to without endangering his life.
"It's not sexual," Sam said, carefully pacing the syllables as they rolled off his tongue. Gene's shoulders hunched and he kept talking. "It's provocative, but I don't think our killer derives any kind of erotic thrill. It's about power, humiliation."
"How could you know that?" Gene snarled, animalistic and confused.
For once, Sam realised that being condescending at this moment in time would be a very bad idea. He changed position, sitting down at the table, stroking his fingers against the edge - and signalled for Annie and Gene to sit with him. Annie set next to him awkwardly. She had wiped away the evidence of her emotional investment and was ready to help Sam with his explanation. Gene perched towards the front of his chair, looking at the indentations in the wood.
"The placement of the body," Sam said, indicating to pictures turned face down by his hand. "The fact she was dead first. The lack of evidence of further exploitation. I would say her clothes were cut after she'd been killed too. I'd say that was to set her as an example."
"It's all guesswork."
"That's what you do every day," Sam asserted, forcing Gene to look at him by dint of will alone.
"It makes sense, from a psychological point of view," Annie added, sounding hollow and like she thought her opinion would be ignored. It wasn't. Not entirely. Gene avoided looking at Sam by looking at Annie. He nodded, once, seemingly turning her words over in his mind.
"I want you taking care of my officers, Tyler," he said coarsely, eyes boring holes into Annie's shoulder, then stood up and left the room. Sam realised he had been holding onto most of his breath since Gene appeared and let it out now in a long, low whistle.
"That wasn't less confronting," he stated, not referring to Gene, but to what Gene had walked in on. He could tell by Annie's raised eyebrows that she knew exactly what he meant. "I thought it would be, but it wasn't. I'm sorry, Annie."
"S'okay," she said. "We've more idea what we're looking for now, right? We can make informed decisions." She rose, looking down at Sam with a coldness he was unaccustomed to. "If you don't mind, I'm gonna go."
Sam sat in the empty room and stared at the shadows splayed across the wall.
The telephone rang and Sam waited for someone to answer. He was writing down his observations - first as a concept map, then as detailed notes. He was using different coloured pencils he'd cribbed from Phyllis, who always kept some incase of children bring brought into the foyer. But no one answered the phone, the shrill peal started to annoy him, and he reached over to grab the receiver.
"Sam Tyler speaking."
"You're still there, Sam."
"Yeah, who's speaking?"
"Can't talk now. Wanted to check everything was according to plan."
Sam twisted the telephone cord around his arm. "What plan?"
"It's good to know we have our best on the job."
"Is this Hyde?"
The phone clicked to silence. Sam pulled the receiver from his ear and frowned at it, a lump in his throat. A tremor snaked up his spine and he returned to his notes with the sensation of a small voice buzzing at the back of his mind.
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