Fandom: Life on Mars
Word Count: 1500 words.
Notes: Sam/Gene, written for chamekke as part of help_haiti.
Summary: He has a bone-chilling and heart-rending feeling that the simple fact he thinks about Sam so much proves all of his worst fears.
This is what Gene thinks about Sam --- that he’s a whiny, over opinionated, conceited, girlish, useless waste of space.
This is not what Gene thinks about Sam --- that he’s a clever, underappreciated, endearingly picky waste of space that has more real insight than the rest of CID combined.
And if, in fact, one of these turns out to be a lie, well... it’s the one that’s least incriminating.
Sam has a horrible habit of constantly getting in Gene’s way just as he’s having these mental musings. And he’s always saying or doing something that either confirms or denies one or other of them. Like, at the moment, Sam’s standing in Gene’s office, brandishing a file like it’s a sword, his eyebrows comically arched, blathering on about the necessity for regulating whether people put crosses or ticks in various boxes on standard reports (over opinionated and whiny all at once.) But he’s also making a fine job of the argument, citing evidence of past confusions and the disasters they’ve led to, speaking with utter eloquence and conviction (clever and endearingly picky.) And he’s breathing in deeply, a pink flush to his cheeks and top two buttons undone exposing miles of taut and elegant neck, which leads Gene to:
This is absolutely not, under any circumstances, what Gene thinks about Sam ever --- that he’d look best pressed flat against the top of his desk, trousers around his ankles and Gene’s hands gripping his hips.
Gene’s never made a habit of lying to himself before. He’s always been honest in his own confused mixture of self-loathing and self-aggrandizement. He’s accepted that he’s an imperfect specimen of humanity, but ultimately concluded he’s not the only one, so it’s all right. But this. He’s worried he’s been fooling himself for too long when it comes to Sam. He has a bone-chilling and heart-rending feeling that the simple fact he thinks about Sam so much proves all of his worst fears.
“Have you been listening to a single word I’ve said?” Sam asks, and he couldn’t be more indignant if, instead of merely ignoring him, Gene had accused him of murder. (Conceited.)
“Afraid not. You wanna fritter away more time rattling on or should we go down the pub?”
“It’s one in the afternoon.”
Sam sighs as if he’s never sighed before --- a deep, shuddering breath that reverberates throughout his entire frame (not that Gene’s looking that closely, oh no.)
“I give up!” he declares, and storms out of the office, which Gene’s disappointed about at first, until Sam returns with his jacket. “You’re buying,” he says, with an accusatory point, then narrows his eyes like he’s waiting for Gene to sign an affidavit.
This is what Gene thinks about Sam when he’s had one too many drinks on an almost empty stomach and Sam’s sitting across from him with a joyous smile on his face as he talks about how good it felt to catch Goliath the Gobshite, even if he did nearly break two of his fingers in the process --- that his life would lose a whole lot of meaning without Sam in it and he hopes that doesn’t happen any time soon.
It’s entirely possible Gene’s in a spot of bother.
“You’ve tuned out again,” Sam says, stating, not asking. “You’ve been doing that a lot lately. You may want to get that seen to. For all you know, you’ve a tumour in that monstrous head of yours.” (Girlish.)
“I’ve been listening to every word, more fool me,” Gene returns, stealing one of Sam’s chips and eating it with relish (and ketchup.)
“Okay, repeat the last word I said.”
Sam gives a wry smirk. “Ten points to you.” He slaps Gene’s hand away from his penultimate chip and picks it up with the last one, shoving them both in his mouth. “You realise,” Sam says through a mouth full of potato, “this is war.”
This is what Gene tries not to think about Sam, for fear of his ogling being too obvious --- that his lips are sinfully luscious and would no doubt feel incredible wrapped around his cock.
Perhaps not just a spot, but more of a splodge. It’s highly likely Gene’s in a splodge of bother.
Three weeks go by of Gene thinking, denying thinking and refusing to think. Three weeks of incessant navel-gazing that he thinks may make his brain explode. Myriad ‘what if’s, ‘maybe I should’s and ‘remember that time’s fill the space between his ears. Adolescent wonderings of ‘does he feel the same way?’ echo against the backs of his eyes. His mind wasn’t made for this, he realises. He may as well be trying to disprove the theory of relativity, or write a Shakespearean sonnet. He’s not meant to spend so much time in his head. It’s a terrifying place, with memories he’d soon as best forget and self-realisations that no one has the courage to admit to.
It has to stop.
This is what Gene thinks he has to do about Sam --- get him alone, preferably somewhere far away from the station, and find out what he thinks about Gene.
Not the eye-rolling, melodramatic disapproval. He knows that well enough. He’s mocked it and deliberately provoked it well enough. But those thoughts that flicker behind heated gazes and suggestive smirks.
He invites himself around Sam’s flat. Doesn’t go so far as the embossed card and gilt lettering, but does go down the butchers and get a couple of thick, juicy steaks. He buys some beer, even asks Nelson for a suggestion of the wine (‘for the wife, like’ he says --- conveniently forgetting to mention the part where the wife now lives in Scarborough.) And he knocks on the door like a gentleman, because that’s what he’s gonna be; the perfect gentleman, all evening. Unless Sam asks him to be otherwise.
Sam stares at him initially with distrust, then with confusion, before settling on hunger. It’s the final expression that confounds Gene the most. Is it lust for the meat, or lust for his flesh? And then he realises he’s been ushered into the room already and Sam’s poured him a beer, and he’s meant to be listening to Sam talking about the fact he’s been on a strictly involuntary vegetarian diet due to lack of funds, how he’d been craving something with blood not cooked within an inch of its life for a while, and how Gene always seems to know exactly what he needs, even before Sam realises what he wants.
The last comment is said with an intent gaze that Gene might call a leer on some blokes; kind of assessing and approving all at once, and Gene reflexively rubs his palms against his thighs and avoids looking cagey.
“But you don’t wanna hear all this,” Sam says. “You want me to start grilling.” (Insightful.)
Gene watches the taut line of Sam’s back as he bends over to collect various items he needs, imagines wrapping his arms around his slender waist. Every thought he has or hasn’t had comes crashing over him in wave after wave of obnoxiously vivid technicolour. A slideshow that also includes scent and sound, if not the textured sensation of touch. Seems stupid, actually being here, and not doing a thing, still relying upon his imagination to fill in the spaces and chasms between what he wants and what he’s afraid of wanting.
He stands, prowls close, places his hand on the kitchenette counter next to Sam’s. Sam glances at him, line between his eyebrows deepening and lower lip puckering. (Endearing. Not even picky this time. Just endearing.) Gene takes a salt shaker away from the clasp of Sam’s fingers and twines his own between instead.
“I’m good with words, but I’m better with actions,” he confesses.
This is the moment he’s puzzled through many of the nights he’d rather be sleeping. In his over-used and exhausted mind, it always ends a different way. Sam laughs and tightens his grip, hard and bony, telling him to stop being a prick. Or he falters, steps back, says he’s flattered, really. The happier nights Sam quirks an eyebrow and asks Gene to show him more.
This time, the mercifully real time, Sam steps closer, cradles his jaw with his free hand and kisses him.
And this is what Gene thinks about Sam --- that he’s a whiny, clever, over opinionated, underappreciated, conceited, endearingly picky, girlish, gloriously fantastic kisser that has more real insight than the rest of CID combined.