Fandom: Life on Mars
Rating: PG-13 for this section.
Word Count: 1,571 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.
"Boris didn't know anything," Gene said, before Sam could ask. He was signing a stack of forms at his desk, his tie lying next to his hand and his top two buttons undone. Sam couldn't stop looking at the hollow of his neck, the small expanse of skin shimmering with perspiration. Gene raised his eyes to Sam's face and caught him staring, quirking his eyebrow. "How about you?"
Sam swallowed thickly. "Uh, I've had some success. They weren't Carolyn's clothes," he said, fixating pointedly on the paper on Gene's desk. "I'm about to make those calls to ascertain where they might have come from.
"And how was Hyde? Do they have anything for us?"
Sam paused, blinking. "Haven't had time to call, yet."
"What do you mean, you haven't had time yet? It's been hours."
Sam couldn't lie and pretend he had spoken to C-Division when he hadn't. He equally couldn't face calling. He was stuck.
"I can't call them."
Gene frowned. "Why not?"
Sam sucked in a breath. "I transferred here because something happened that I couldn't control and it makes communication with Hyde difficult. I've burned my bridges, Guv. They --- they hate me."
"We hate you. It doesn't seem to stop you. Tell you what, go in person. Then they're less likely to ignore you. Who knows, you might even be able to square things away."
Sam was adamant. "I'm not going to Hyde."
"Yes, you are. In fact, we're gonna go together."
Gene rose up from behind his desk and gave Sam a challenging glare. Sam knew he was daring him to kick up a fuss, if only so that he could push him around; make an example of him. And Gene was right, they had to talk to Hyde, they had to see if there was any information they were missing. Sam just wished he didn't have to be involved.
"Fine," Sam said, gritting his teeth. He waited for Gene to do his tie back up, watching as he effortlessly made a Windsor knot, not allowing himself to feel disappointed that he was buttoned up again --- not that Gene was ever as prim and proper as Sam could be.
They set off in the Cortina, Gene well over the accepted speed limit and Sam trying hard to keep a lid on his boiling panic.
Sam had hoped he would never again be in a situation where he had to pretend he knew what he was doing, when really he had absolutely no clue. It had happened to him when he was eleven and asked to be the opening act for the school play, standing up on stage with an acoustic guitar and a whole lot of fear. It had happened when his first girlfriend Julie had wanted them to lose their virginity together, fumbling in the backseat of her father's car in clichéd abandon. It had happened when he'd first arrived in 1973. And now, Hyde; having to act like he knew everyone and knowing full well they didn't know him.
Not that they knew that. The person at the front desk smiled and treated him like a long lost best friend.
"Sam, how've you been? No offence, but it looks like they're running you down to the ground."
"Tricky case," Sam said, looking around for something to aid him in giving a name to the face in front of him. He settled upon a nameplate, half-obscured by a misshapen mug. "How about you, Fred?"
He'd got it right. Fred rocked back on his heel and scratched his chin. "Yeah, not too bad. The missus is still going to those ceramics classes, so I'm slowly but steadily collecting a load of ugly-arse pottery I've got to proudly display."
Sam nodded, feigning commiseration, unsure what his next action should be.
Fred came to his rescue. "Here on official business? I expect you'll wanna see DCI Morgan."
"Thanks, that'll be great."
They were shuffled towards the Hyde CID office, Sam looking around at everything for the first time, disconcerted by how average it all looked. This was not the horrorscape of his nightmares; dark and forbidding. It was a working station not too dissimilar to his own, with lacklustre 70s décor and the constant pulse of movement he'd come to associate with having to do routine tasks minus computerised databases.
As they walked down corridors, people Sam had never met waved to him cheerfully. A couple stepped out and asked him how he was finding it in A-Division. He may not have known them, but they certainly acted like they knew him.
"Oh yeah," Gene whispered, leaning in close with one hand on Sam's shoulder. "They could have your guts for garters."
Sam couldn't explain it and didn't bother, just shook Gene's hand off and ignored the tingle down his spine.
They made it to the CID office eventually. It was set out in much the same fashion as A-Division's in that there was a partitioned off area within the larger office bearing 'DCI Frank Morgan'. It was, however, tucked into a corner and the surrounding desks were in neat, orderly rows like that of a schoolroom.
Sam span around to find himself facing a moustachioed man with an expression of polite surprise on his face. Sam felt there was something vaguely familiar about his balding head and piercing green eyes, but couldn't place a finger on it. This worried him considerably.
Unlike the other officers in the room, this man was wearing a waistcoat and exuded an air of authority. Sam may have been wrong, but he assumed it was Morgan.
"DCI Morgan," Sam began, waiting to either be shot down or acknowledged. Morgan inclined his head forward. "I'd like to introduce you to my colleague DCI Gene Hunt."
Gene stuck out his hand and Sam watched carefully as Morgan took it.
"We've spoken on the phone," Gene said, regarding Morgan coolly. "But you never turn up to the dinner and dance."
"I have the benefit of not making a mockery of myself whilst still getting to hear all the stories," Morgan replied with a shrewd smile. Beneath the manners, Sam sensed a wave of anger rolling in his direction. Morgan confirmed this with a sharp and businesslike, "what did you need?"
"We've a couple of tricky cases that seem to have originated in Hyde," Sam said, feeling on shaky ground.
"Ah," Morgan said, extending his hand, "come into my office."
The same meticulous neatness that was present outside the partition was continued here. There were no knicknacks or personal effects. Instead, there were several filing cabinets, a large mahogany desk devoid of anything but a notebook, a telephone and three pens. There were also two standard lamps, and a coat rack. It reminded Sam of the office he had always wanted.
Gene was the one who entered into the details of Carolyn and Tina's cases, delivering the information in a concise yet well-rounded fashion that surprised Sam. He delivered all of the relevant details and refrained from making rash speculation or impassioned description of what he'd like to do to the killer.
"We'd like your help," Gene concluded, crossing his arms and leaning back in his chair.
"Certainly. It's a horrible state of affairs. In which ways may we assist you?"
"Keeping a look-out and reporting back to us, seeing if you can divine any connections? I'd like to take a look at your serious offenders list if you don't mind?"
"That all sounds like it can be arranged," Morgan said. "How about you send an officer to be a liaison with our office?"
Sam found himself immediately praying to God it wasn't going to be him.
"Would a PC be okay?" Gene queried.
"Of course. You don't want to take any important officers away from their assigned tasks, do you?"
"Right, I'll send one over first thing tomorrow morning. Good doing business with you, Morgan."
"Please, call me Frank, DCI Hunt."
Gene did not mirror the pleasantry and ask Morgan to call him Gene. He stood and immediately started powering out of the office, seemingly content his mission had been completed and thoroughly unwilling to spend another minute there.
Sam was about to follow when Morgan took him by the arm. "He's a smooth operator," Morgan said quietly. "Watch yourself."
Sam stared back at him, quashing the bile rising steadily in his throat.
Once they were back in the Cortina, Gene turned towards Sam.
"In which ways may we assist you," Gene mimicked, rolling his eyes. "No wonder you didn't wanna get back there, having a ponce like that for a boss. Bet you celebrate the day you came to work for a bloke with balls."
"I work with you, Gene, not for you," Sam said absently. "But, yeah, I cry every night, contemplating having to return to Hyde instead of getting to spend every waking hour in your glorious presence."
"I believe it."
Sam ducked his head down and didn't allow himself to admit that it was relatively true. He was too concerned trying to figure out what Morgan had meant and how everyone had acted like they'd known him for years. He'd have to go back alone and search for answers, though he felt sure they were on the surface, just waiting to picked up and examined.
But before then, he had a killer to catch, and this was his number one priority.
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