Fandom: Life on Mars
Word Count: 2000 words.
Notes: Buddy-cop gen. Also, this story is clearly indebted to bistokids’ A Perfect Saturday Night (go read --- it is awesome. And, um, then come back.)
Summary: It can’t get any better than seeing your partner get dragged off by an idiot who resembles the Jolly Green Giant in all ways except being jolly and, er, green.
It starts with Gene getting information from his snout Larry the Lam. Larry says there’s a warehouse in the textiles district that’s going to be receiving a shipment of stolen goods --- radios he thinks --- which doesn’t sound all that exciting, but is apparently just the right level of interesting for Gene to want to investigate himself. And it’s become old-hat that whatever Gene wants to investigate, Sam investigates.
“Tell me again why I’m not allowed to continue with the Marsden enquiry?” Sam asks, as he steps into line with Gene, tugging on his cuffs and straightening out his back.
“’Cause I’ll probably need a coat rack at some point. It’s bloody hot today.”
“That’s me, Sammy-boy; locked and loaded.”
Sam looks longingly back at his desk and concludes that no productive work will be done today, so he may as well give up and go with the flow. All he was doing was collating witness statements. Ray could do that.
Still, he can’t help but feel a keen sense of foreboding --- the kind he always feels when he’s about to get into the Cortina with Gene. So, about every forty-five minutes or so.
It doesn’t end with the warehouse. They don’t even get to the warehouse, when all’s told. What happens is this: there’s a roadblock in the alleyway adjacent to where they need to be. Sam finally convinces Gene to slow the hell down and not crash through the barrier. They step out of the vehicle. Five men appear, surrounding them and the car, armed with a rifle, a sawn-off shotgun, a pistol, and two menacing-looking sticks of wood.
No. The other one. Hard.
Sam isn’t sure who to be more angry at; Gene for getting them into this mess in the first place, or himself for not querying if Gene had double-checked that Larry didn’t owe anyone other than himself any favours. He settles for being angry at the tall, well-muscled bastards with the weaponry --- it seems the safest bet.
“I think this is the bit when we walk slowly away from the car and let them do what they want,” Sam says quietly, about two seconds away from knocking his head into the bonnet of the Cortina just for a little relief.
Gene raises his voice. “So, you bunch of arse-waving bum-bandits, you wanna mess with the Gene Genie, is that it?”
Sam does not sigh. But he comes close. “Yes. Exactly like that. Good job.”
The tallest and most aggressive looking of the group speaks up. “You’re coming with us.”
It can’t get any better than seeing your partner get dragged off by an idiot who resembles the Jolly Green Giant in all ways except being jolly and, er, green. Sam thinks all of his carefully kept wishes must have come true.
And then he’s grabbed by his shoulders and set into motion. Oh, right. It can get worse.
“It’s a fine mess you’ve gotten us into, Tyler,” Gene barks, handcuffed to a loom sitting in the middle of McCrossin’s textiles factory.
Sam, trying very hard not to kick Gene with his free leg, responds with a snarl. “Me? This was not me.”
They’re placed in such a position that Sam can’t get his hands free, cuffed as they are behind him; Gene can’t get his hands free --- cuffed as they are, to the loom. Sam tries, unsuccessfully, to separate his body from Gene’s, but their legs are tied together and no matter how hard he pulls, there’s little he can do.
“If you’d just let me drive through those boxes…”
“I love your perfect 20/20 hindsight. Tell me, what other great catastrophes have you avoided retroactively? The Andrea Doria? The sinking in the Suez canal? The battle of the Bulge?”
“There are no battles when it comes to my bulge, Samantha,” Gene says with a wolfish grin. “I’m perfectly content in an all-out offensive.”
“That’s because you’re an offensive arsehole.”
“Yeah, yeah. Now be quiet whilst I formulate a plan.”
Sam doesn’t bother to respond. He looks around himself, trying to determine if there’s anything he could do. If he could reach that metal spike, he could maybe get it between his teeth, pass it onto Gene, who could then work at twisting and unlocking his cuffs --- no, too improbable. Shit. He should have spent more of his training watching MacGyver instead of reading those articles on criminal psychology. Oh, for a ball of wool, some chewing gum, a bristle-less comb and two ball bearings. He could create the world’s smallest operational trebuchet.
Gene cuts into much needed consideration time. “What’re you doing?”
“Right.” Gene blinks a couple of times and looks up at the ceiling. “Nice factory, this. Don’t know why it’s closed.”
“There’s an odd smell, so it’s probably being fumigated or something. We’re most likely breathing in toxic vapours as we speak.”
“You are a cheery lad, aren’t you?”
“I try.” Sam squints, gazing at Gene. “What happened to your plan?”
“I remembered I’m more of a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ kind of bloke. Plans rarely ever succeed anyway.”
“How do you do it?”
“Manage to sound condemning with a single sound. You are, without a doubt, the most negative and sorriest sod I’ve ever met.”
Sam scowls. “I’m not negative, I’m a realist.”
“Ventriloquist, by any chance? We could use a decoy.”
Gene waggles his eyebrows and it takes Sam time and patience to keep his composure from sliding into a smile. But he’s fortunate, because his attention is arrested by the sound of their captors returning. As it turns out, they’ve more than halved and aren’t holding weapons of any sort. Their estimation seems to be that Sam and Gene are harmless. They might not be wrong.
“What do you think, do we beat up on the scrawny one or the butch one first?” The Hulk asks, baring his teeth as he looks at Sam and Gene.
His shorter but bulky companion responds with a gravelled baritone. “The small fry. Get the easy one out of the way before we have to expend some energy.”
Sam is about to be uncuffed and untied and isn’t sure whether he’s happy or miserable about that. He settles for a nice and steady indifferent.
“Don’t try anything funny,” the Hulk says, poised at the restraints.
Gene interjects. “Wouldn’t worry about that, if I were you. Terminally devoid of humour, our Sam. Last time he cracked a joke, Walpole was in power.”
“Meanwhile, my partner here’s a court bloody jester, with all the bells and whistles,” Sam says, only just managing to lift his foot to dig his heel into Gene’s loafer.
The Hulk does not look impressed. He bends down to undo the rope around Sam and Gene’s legs, before stretching back up and taking Sam’s hands in a vice-like grip.
“We’re not gonna kill you,” he says, conversationally. “I wanted to, but Larry said it’d be a bad idea.”
“Larry’s here?” Gene yells, almost bursting Sam’s eardrum.
“Oh, yeah. His idea, this. See --- we keep getting told you’re not on the take anymore, Hunt. Makes us sad, that does. So we thought we’d teach you a lesson.”
“Not much of a lesson,” Gene says. “Where’s the blackboard, where’s the chalk? Those dusters can be vicious when hurled at high speed.”
“Don’t worry, that’s all yet to come.”
Sam surveys his surroundings. The three blokes with guns are nowhere to be seen and he hopes that means they’re out of hearing distance. It’s only the Hulk and the one Sam’s mentally dubbed ‘Porky’.
It’s time for gratuitous risk-taking.
The Hulk is still holding him tightly, but he’s also unlocking his handcuffs. Sam gains Gene’s attention and winks. Gene offers no response, which is just as well. Sam sucks in a slow, deep breath and readies himself for attack. He balances his body weight, clenches his teeth and tucks his inhibitions into a little corner of his mind.
Sam kicks himself back, shoving all of his weight into the Hulk by pushing his feet against the loom in front of him. He hears a grunt and can feel the other man crashing to the ground. He scrabbles to turn around and, seeing Porky surging forward, uses all of his upper body strength to hurl both clenched fists into his face, whilst simultaneously stomping on the Hulk’s balls. Porky drops like a sack of potatoes, blood gushing from his nose, just as the Hulk flails wildly, trying to grab Sam’s legs.
Sam thinks he’s home free, but the Hulk manages to connect with the back of Sam’s knee and send him sprawling into an uncomfortable and dangerous position --- legs akimbo, knees against the concrete, and head ready for the punching. Not really wanting to have to eat his dinner through a straw, Sam takes evasive action. He does a karate chop to the Hulk’s windpipe and then uses his ears as handles to knock his head into the ground. Porky’s about to retaliate, but Sam is too quick for him, sucker punching him in the gut.
As soon as he can, Sam cuffs Porky and the Hulk together, kicking their heads, just to the drive the point home. His breathing is laboured, he thinks he might throw up, but he’s grinning from ear to ear.
“Now, you two stay there like good little boys,” he says, patting the Hulk on the cheek.
The noise and commotion were sure to have alerted the others, so Sam moves as quickly as he can to uncuff Gene, and they use those cuffs to attach Porky and the Hulk to the loom, before moving rapidly towards the exit on the opposite side of where their other assailants disappeared. So far, so good.
“Where’d you learn to do all that?” Gene asks, looking and sounding slightly in awe.
“Sixth form,” Sam says. “Tommy Miller thought it’d be really funny to see how long I could breathe underwater and I decided to see how long he could stand having my heel on his nuts. Schoolboy stuff, you know.”
“You don’t have much technique, but you make up for it in ferocity,” Gene agrees. “Like a terrier,” he adds, peering carefully around the corner. Sam follows his line of sight and is glad there’s no one around. What there is is the Cortina. And Gene shows Sam that their attackers weren’t nearly as clever as they thought they were --- they didn’t think to take his keys.
“If I’m a terrier, then what are you?”
“Rottweiler, of course. The most intelligent, fearless and brutal of all dogs. Bloody handsome, too.”
“Also the one most tightly restrained and often forced into wearing a muzzle,” Sam responds, cocking his head to the side as they near the Cortina to check if he can hear anything that sounds suspiciously like trouble.
“Oh, it’s like that, is it? You’re gonna get all cocky?”
Sam nods as they slide into the Cortina. “It is my default setting.”
Gene lifts the radio, calling Phyllis for help. He then shifts about in his seat, wriggling around. Sam looks on, perplexed.
“What’re you doing?”
Before long, it becomes apparent. Gene shrugs off one sleeve, then the other, finally balling his coat into a heap. He thrusts it in Sam’s direction. “Here, take this.”
Sam is about to grouse and grizzle when three men with guns, two men with bats and furious expressions, and Larry the Lam come marching down the alley.
“I sorted the other problem,” Sam says. “Now it’s your turn.”
“Oi! You’re meant to be the hero.”
“No. No way. This is a two person job.”
It ends with Gene looking from Sam back to the murderous-looking men, quirking an eyebrow and starting the motor. Sam grabs onto the handle tight. And together, they go roaring into the sunset. Mowing down villainous bastards on the way.