Fandom: Life on Mars
Rating: PG-13 for this section.
Word Count: 1029 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.
There was always a guaranteed method for forgetting about current woes. It cut into his paypacket and often left him with a headache and a sense of futile despair, but Sam cherished it all the same. He obviously wasn't the only one in the Arms that night, drinking as a form of therapy; there was the usual crowd of overworked and underpaid police officers, all slightly subdued. None of them were completely bladdered, but they were over tipsy and wandering towards drunk.
"My life is a circle," Sam said, staring into the amber liquid still in his glass. "An ever decreasing circle that's getting tighter and more claustrophobic with each passing day."
"That must be horrible," Gene replied in mocking sympathy.
Sam ignored his sarcasm. "It is!"
Gene clumsily placed a hand on his arm, patting it in exaggeration. "S'gotta be better than your life being a hexagon or a dodecahedron or something."
"How do you figure?"
"Well, they've got all of those jagged little places, haven't they? Doesn't matter which way you turn, you come against a corner."
"I don't think you understood what I meant."
Sam was just drunk enough that he was uninhibited from asking the kinds of questions he usually had the good sense to avoid. "Why didn't you send a PC to Hyde in the first place? Seemed to me I wasn't necessary."
"You were. I wasn't gonna talk to that prick without you and someone with some clout needed to ask the favour. I'd've preferred if it'd just been you, but I didn't count on you being a great big wuss."
"Nice." Sam let out a long, tremulous breath. "I really didn't want to go."
"I'd noticed. Sometimes we have to do things we don't want to. I never wanted you as my DI, would've settled for Ray, but I had to take you and I did."
Sam scowled. "Thanks a lot."
Gene raised an eyebrow. "This is my 'it can all turn out for the best' example."
"Didn't sound like it."
"No you don't."
Gene stumbled up and over to the bar, looking back at Sam over his shoulder. Sam scrunched up his eyes, knowing full well he shouldn't have anything else to drink, not if he was to be up early making calls to local retailers, but really wanting it anyway.
Gene came back with two more beers and resumed the conversation as if there hadn't been a pause. "Surely you know, being as you are in a profession full of disappointments, that there are times when you're forced to do things you don't wanna do."
"Yeah, okay, I get the point."
"And surely you realise that if I think you need to be pushed, I will push you."
"Off a cliff."
"To do your job."
Sam finished his beer and stood on shaky legs. "Anyway, it's late, so, see you tomorrow."
This time, Sam didn't bother to refuse Gene's company. He pensively wondered what it must look like when they sat together and left together like this, but then realised he was wondering with a modern mind. No one would think anything that Sam was thinking of Gene. If they drank together, they were friends, and if they walked together, neither of them were stupid enough to wander Manchester streets alone at night. And that's all it was.
Except, Sam didn't think that was it. Sam's modern mind was ticking overtime, relatively positive that he wasn't imagining Gene's physical and verbal cues.
When they made it to Sam's flat, he found himself inviting Gene in again, delighted at the resultant yes. He wandered over to the kitchenette to make coffee and kept his eyes on Gene as he sat on the cot, shrugging off his coat and lighting up a cigarette.
"I don't have any milk," Sam said, holding out the coffee anyway. Gene took it, looking grateful. Sam sat on the edge of his chaise longue, keeping his head bowed down towards the floor.
He could sense Gene staring at him and had no idea how to complete the question. Gene, why do you keep doing this? Gene, why do I?
"I turned out for the best?"
"I think so."
"I can be a bit… crazy."
"And I'm constantly goading you."
"We piss each other off all the time."
"That we do."
Gene stubbed his cigarette into Sam's carpet, which at any other time would gain him a glare and remonstration, but this time garnered him merely a small downturn of Sam's mouth.
He rose up, placing the coffee on the nearest shelf, and advanced. Sam could practically feel each step thrumming through his bloodstream. His breath shuddered out of him in quiet vibration.
"The case," Sam said quickly.
"Yeah," Gene replied. He stopped in his tracks, staring intently into Sam's eyes. He let silence dangle between them, and then, "We need to focus."
"Very much so."
Gene swivelled towards the door. "Tomorrow, bright and early."
He gathered up his coat and Sam stared after him, feeling like he had successfully avoided something momentous and unwilling to examine what he thought that something might be.
An hour later, Sam was attempting to drift off to sleep, eyes determinedly shut, covers drawn tight.
"Has the big man gone, Sam?" A voice asked. Sam did not have to look to know who it was. "He's often here, but not always here," she continued. "That's a shame. He could keep a watch on you."
Sam did not give his little demon the satisfaction of response.
"I wish you'd look at me when I speak to you, you're being so very rude! I wanted to show you my new dress."
Sam cracked an eye open against his better judgement, but the Test Card Girl looked no different than normal.
"That's better. It's pretty, isn't it? I like pretty things," she said with an asinine smile. Sam watched as she glided back towards the television set. "I'm going to let you sleep. You need your sleep. You're always such a busy little boy."
Sam closed his eyes again. He was so very tired.
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