Fandom: Life on Mars
Rating: PG-13 for this section.
Word Count: 1205 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.
Sam had been staring blankly at his profile for half an hour straight when Annie came back up to him to tell him that the clothes were indeed store bought, as far as she could tell.
“And there was an E on the label, that’s another clue.”
“That’s good, isn’t it?” Annie asked. “It means your lead isn’t dead.”
“True, but it also means more work, and at this rate, I’m never going to have time to attempt to finish my profile. I’m not specifically trained in this, I can’t make the connections as quickly as a psychologist.”
Annie dragged Clive’s chair forward and sat next to Sam. “You were doing alright before. What was it we decided on? Not sexually motivated.”
“What about your witness reports, Annie?”
“Collated and sitting in a neat pile, with the notes on the Guv’s desk. I’ve the time, Sam. And I --- wanna be of use.”
“And the victims all follow a specific pattern. Young, blonde fatherless females. Their clothes were taken, and they were given new dresses to wear. To me that signifies that these aren’t specific targets. They embody traits of another; the one the killer’s taking their revenge on.”
“So any young, blonde, fatherless girl could be next.”
“Yeah, except, the killer’s undoubtedly been watching their victims. How else would they know about these girls only having a single parent? There’s something about this, it’s pinging something at the back of my mind.”
“Setting off memories about another case I was attached to once. I just can’t remember what it is.” Sam examined the clouds, trying to think, attempting to recall.
“Did you want me to call the clothing stores whilst you work on this? Lessen the load?”
Sam gave a grateful nod of his head. “That’d be brilliant, Annie, thank you. The list is,” he rifled beneath the folder on his desk, “Here.”
Annie looked it over as she wandered back to her own desk, sitting down and dialling the first number that hadn’t been crossed out.
Sam picked up a pen and tapped it against his forehead as he arranged his papers and tried to look at the big picture. The photographs stood out in stark contrast from the diligent handwriting and concept maps. He avoided looking at them. He was distracted by listening to Annie’s side of the conversation. She had a calm, warm tone that seemed to be getting a better reaction than he ever did. He wondered what it was about Annie that was so comforting. All he ever managed to do was set people on edge, or piss them off, but it wasn’t like he didn’t do his best to be empathetic and relatable.
The radio on Chris’ desk crackled in answer. Sam glanced at it and wasn’t surprised when the music stopped and voices began speaking.
“Sam’s increased brain activity hasn’t slowed the past five days. It’s causing a strain on his nervous system. Who knows about the untold damage? I suggest sedation, until we discover the cause.”
“I respectfully disagree. I believe this is a good sign. We monitor his vital signs, but we leave his mind to work through this on its own.”
“I have the final say.”
Sam looked from the radio to Annie, back to the radio again. She hadn’t heard anything, obviously. He looked around at the others who were working steadily, phones by their ear, or fingers scribbling. Not a twitch of recognition at the conversation. It was only him who heard radios and held conversations with girls from the Test Card. Only him who had to suffer through voices that didn’t make sense, and an existence that was impossible. And the problem was, he didn’t know what was real anymore. Shouting at the radio never garnered him anything but distressed looks.
Remembering the Test Card girl only caused Sam to tighten his fist until his knuckles were white. What was that she had said? That she had a new dress? But it had been the same as it always had. Why had she come to him? She had also previously suggested he might do something bad --- was this related to Morgan’s words about responsibility? It made Sam sick to think about it. The possibilities were beginning to make his skin crawl.
Sam jumped at Annie’s hand on his shoulder, lightly shaking. “I decided to phone all the places that began with E first, and, you wouldn’t believe it, but we’ve a possible lead.”
“How d’you mean?”
“Seven identical dresses, bought a month ago. In a place called Ellingham’s, very up-market. The dress I looked at seemed expensive; the quality of the sewing, the weight of the material. This might be it, Sam. What did you want me to ask?”
“I don’t know what I’d do without you. What do you think, should we give this a personal touch? Go there directly?”
“I don’t see why we shouldn’t.”
“You make arrangements. I’ll tell Gene.” Sam reached forward and kissed Annie on the forehead. “You’re a genius, Annie.”
Sam was about to push through Gene’s door when he came out, shirtsleeves rolled up and cigarette dangling precariously between his lips.
“Guv, we might just have good news,” Sam said, barely unable to contain his energetic anticipation. He didn’t wait for Gene’s response. “Seven identical dresses were purchased from Ellingham’s dress shop about a month ago. Annie and I are gonna go ask for any details we can get right this second.”
“Oh, you are? On who’s authority?”
Sam faltered, frowning at Gene’s acidity. “Well… mine.”
“So you’re taking one of my officers on what’s likely to be a wild goose chase without asking.”
“She’s finished the collating.”
“I had questions to ask DC Cartwright.”
“And I’ve got a lead, Gene.”
Gene smirked, and Sam was instantly wary. “You can go, Tyler. Cartwright stays with me.”
Sam didn’t understand it. He thought they had come to some sort of understanding. “No. Annie did the legwork. She deserves to be there if we make some headway.”
Gene shoved Sam roughly until the backs of his knees were at the edge of Clive’s chair. “I’m the one who gets the final say here, not you.”
Sam looked back at Annie, who was staring with lips parted, a flush creeping over her cheeks.
“Stop being an insolent prick,” Gene continued, fingers digging cruelly into Sam’s arm.
“You stop being a thick-headed idiot,” Sam yelled back.
He winced at Gene’s full-handed slap, then reared back and punched him, causing Gene to cough and wheeze.
“I don’t know what your problem is, but since, when Annie started working with us, you said she was my responsibility, that’s what I’m gonna treat her like. Come on, Annie.”
To Sam’s gratification, Annie followed him out of CID and into one of the spare, unmarked cars. Sam smacked his palms on the steering wheel.
“He’s mad,” Sam said, shaking his head. “He’s totally nuts.”
“Maybe what he had to ask me was important?”
Sam gave Annie a thin-lipped glance. “You really think so? Because to me, it just looked like a lot of grandstanding because he’s pissed off he didn’t make a break in the case.”
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