Try a Little Tenderness (9/?)Fandom: Life on MarsRating:
PG-13 for this section.Word Count:
971 words this section.Notes:
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.
He lay on his cot, contemplating the ceiling, doing everything in his power not to replay the day. Better yet to not replay the past three days. Better yet to not replay the past several months.
He should have called. There were lots of things Sam should have been doing and saying that he wasn't. But this was the top of the list. He should have dug into his drawer and pulled out the little scrap of paper that bore the numbers he tried not to twist over and over again in his mind during waking hours.
Plans he didn't know about. People he didn't know. In Hyde.
He needed a distraction. He wanted to forget. He stretched his legs out and closed his eyes, telling himself that if there was a will there was a way and his will wanted sleep. He thought about Gene's disgust, feeling vaguely uncomfortable that Gene should feel that way towards him. Sam had seen a genuine aversion - it manifested itself in his expressions and body language, in the things he had said and the things he'd avoided saying. He was being narrow-minded, reactionary. Sam couldn't honestly fault him for it. Sam's mind flew to standing in the pub, with Gene warm and solid behind his back, voice sweeping quietly across his ear.
No. It wouldn't do.
Sam rolled onto his stomach, clutching his hands into the sheet, burying his head in the pillow. Fifteen minutes later he rolled back over again, groaning. His vest had rucked up and his hand idly glided over the soft curve of his abdomen, lightly tickling. There was one thing he could do that would guarantee sleep.
First, he had to clear his mind completely. No half-remembered images of anything in his life to date, just a clean, white room that could act as tableau for his fantasy. No voices, especially not voices tinged with anger and sorrow and fear.
Sam found it difficult to arouse himself without someone to think about, though, so he conjured up an image of a generic buxom bombshell. She was curved in all the right places, extremely enthusiastic. He dragged his hand down, under the waistband, and wrapped it around his cock, starting to stroke. The fantasy girl was fantastic, touching herself and acting in a way that Sam normally considered obscenely hot. She gyrated and moaned, perfect lips glistening in an 'O'. She said his name and offered herself to him, parting silky thighs with slick fingers. It didn't work. He remained disappointingly disinterested.
He let go and gazed at the ceiling once again, aware that things were really bad if he couldn't even wank himself off. He imagined Gene mocking that, thought about Gene's fists slamming into him, the gravel in his voice as he condemned Sam and told him what he thought of him. He meandered back to the scene in the pub, Gene's presence behind him, so close, closer than most people got, closer than Sam preferred them to be.
He didn't know why. Blood rushed south, but he ignored it and tipped himself out of bed, going to make something warm and relaxing.
The television crackled. It popped. It zinged. Sam slowly opened his eyes, wondering how. He hadn't turned the television on, he knew he hadn't, because he'd had an internal debate about it. One part of him had said something droning must be on that would aid in much needed sleep. Another had reminded him of the radio. He remembered when technology used to be a friend.
Opening his eyes completely, Sam looked at the television screen, from which a bright glow emanated. A circle with a picture of noughts and crosses inset was on the screen and Sam's stomach flipped as he realised what this signified.
"You've been a very naughty boy, Sam," the girl from the Test Card said, standing directly by Sam's elbow. He jumped, couldn't help himself, edging towards the other side of the bed.
"I'm not gonna talk to you," he said, lamely.
"I don't mind, you don't have to. You can listen." The Test Card girl smiled, the look horrifying amongst features that were supposed to be innocent. Sam closed his eyes, hoping she'd disappear, but when he opened them again, she was still standing there, eyes oddly intense and lips fixed in a manic grin. He refused to think of her as a child. She was a demon in child's clothing.
"Leave me alone. I'm warning you."
"You're too considerate. I wonder if you show other people that consideration?" She tilted her head. It jutted at an odd angle. Sam felt bile rising up his throat. "How's your head, Sam? Does it still hurt? You should take something for the pain. Who knows what you might do?"
Sam frowned at her, unable to do anything else, breath caught at the top of his windpipe as if blocked off by a rag. He could almost feel it rasping against the muscles in his neck.
There was a high-pitched peal and Sam fell off the bed, knocking his head against the mirror. It took several moments for Sam to collect himself and realise that the noise was the telephone ringing. The Test Card girl was back on the television screen. With shaky hands he reached forward and lifted the receiver, confusion combining with dread.
"Make sure you're dressed, Tyler," Gene's voice said. "Our missing girl's been found. I'm coming to collect you."
The tone of his voice told Sam that his fervent wish that she had been found alive and well was false optimism. Sam struggled into his clothes and was pulling on his left boot when Gene appeared at the open door. Sam was nauseous and his head felt like it had been split open with a corkscrew, and Gene looked much the same. 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