the birds began to singFandom: Ashes to AshesRating:
Sam/Gene. Spoilers for A2A 3.08. I apparently couldn't resist this twist either.
He watched as Alex left, not allowing himself to feel sorrow for a conclusion well-earned. She'd fought him and she'd stood by him, and she'd lost everything she'd ever wanted. She deserved peace. This was right. He'd suffer on in silence. And anyway, he might forget again, if he was lucky. It was easier that way, he realised, shutting it all up into a little part of himself, the one that raged and raged and raged.
Keats had given up the pretence of humanity, all snarling teeth and bared claws. "All alone. No one to care. Awww, diddums."
Gene despised him in that moment, but acceded the point. He was. Alone. No longer the Guv to anyone but his own mind. For a time, at the very least. And maybe that was right too, the way it should be. Just him and the devil, dancing round together in some morbid tango of life and love.
"He's not, actually," a voice said. Gene daren't turn around. He felt rather than saw Sam's presence stand next to him; sensed the disingenuous body-heat, heard his artificial breaths of air.
"You're dead," Keats snarled, no longer looking at Gene. Any menacing note he'd previously held was muted.
"So are you," Sam replied, voice smooth and calm. Gene risked a glance. Sam was poised like a coiled spring, hands surprisingly still, shoulders set.
"I thought you were thirsty, Sam?" Gene finally asked. "All those years ago?"
"Unlike you, Gene, when times get tough, I don't always resort to drink."
"When the time really calls for it, yeah."
"Oh, aren't you sweet?" Keats sneered.
Gene dragged Keats forward by his lapels, giving his own animalistic grimace, and shoved him back. "Yes we are, now run along."
With a growl, a skip, and a hop, Keats began to walk away, but he spun on his heel at the corner of the street and screamed. "We'll meet again."
Gene was too distracted to care. He faced Sam, at last. Faced him and revelled in him and regretted Sam hadn't gone to the Arms like he'd deserved so many years before.
His voice was soft and rasped as he spoke to Sam. Felt stupid to be this affected, but he'd thought all his friends in this world had left him, and he figured he was allowed a moment of weakness. "Where were you?"
"Trying to keep Keats off your back."
"You balls that one up, didn't you?"
Sam's eyebrows shot up high into his hairline, and Gene had forgotten how much he enjoyed that expression. "Hey! I think you'll find I didn't do a bad job. Took him a while to come to you, didn't it?"
"If that's how you wanna look at it, be my guest."
Gene glanced at the Railway Arms and back at Sam. "You should've gone. You knew the truth, didn't you? All along, you knew. You should've taken your chance to leave for good. What's the point of being stuck here?"
"The point?" Sam asked, clasping Gene's wrists tight. He gave a soft snort. "You know, a wise man once told me you can't change this world, only learn how to survive in it. I didn't know what he meant at the time. I thought it was a choice. Either give up, or fight. But it's both, isn't it? Intertwined. Accept that there are things you can't alter, but struggle for the freedom of others to give it a shot. You help people get by, Gene. You help them sort out their problems. You didn't even realise you were doing it. I wanna be here to support you. In any way you need."
"What kind of idiot would want to do a fool thing like that, eh?"
"I came back here for you once," Sam replied, simply. "You really thought I wouldn't come back again?"
Gene shrugged. "You didn't tell me the truth."
"I trusted you to trust me. 'Cause sometimes that's all we have, Gene. Faith."
Gene took a deep, steadying breath. Curled his hand at the back of Sam's head, gently stroking. Dragged him closer, inhaling his familiar scent. "And you're my faithful companion."
Sam laughed against his cheek, then kissed him. He pulled back slightly so they were staring into each other's eyes. "And you're mine."