Loz (lozenger8) wrote,
Loz
lozenger8

Nothing Quite Like It for Cooling the Blood

Title: Nothing Quite Like It for Cooling the Blood
Rating: PG-13 for blue language.
Word Count: 1,485 words.
Notes: Written for thesmallhobbit as part of Life on Mars Ficathon 2010, with the prompts ‘buddy cop, countryside accident, happy ending’. To be honest, this came out more as ‘slash without the kissing’ than buddy cop, for which I can only apologise.
Summary: “It isn’t my fault you can’t drive,” Sam reasons; calmly, he thinks.

“Damn well is,” Gene bursts, stentorian in his rage. “If it hadn’t been for your nancy-boy direction-giving, we’d be almost home by now, ready to curl up with a mug of cocoa and a hobnob.”





Sam has always thought that were his colleagues examinations as opposed to people, Chris would be multiple choice, and the risk would always lie in choosing the right option. Annie, he thought, would be an essay question – riddled with complex reasoning and a strong, driving argument. Ray would be reading comprehension. And Gene would be an endurance test.

He’s not always sure he’d get a passing grade. For any of them. But especially Gene.

This applies doubly in moments like this, when they’re stuck in the middle of nowhere (rural Lancashire), staring a dent in the Cortina’s bumper (a bloody bastard big dent), and the bush that caused it (for ‘bush’ read ‘small tree’) is lying forlornly to the side. Gene is swearing, loudly, enough that he’s scared the nearby sheep into a hasty retreat into the next field, from which they stare at the intruders distrustfully. He’s attempting to order Sam about, but Sam’s not having any of it.

“It isn’t my fault you can’t drive,” Sam reasons; calmly, he thinks.

“Damn well is,” Gene bursts, stentorian in his rage. “If it hadn’t been for your nancy-boy direction-giving, we’d be almost home by now, ready to curl up with a mug of cocoa and a hobnob.”

Sam raises an eyebrow. It sounds suspiciously like Gene thinks they’d be doing that together. And that’s just --- no.

They haven’t been getting along lately anyway. The case that has brought them here is one of the many reasons. Sam thinks he knows what’s going on, but Gene refuses to listen, as usual. They’ve been on the chase of a gang of robbers, blokes who’ve been knocking off toy stores of all things --- most of them in the Greater Manchester area, but now there’s been one in a small Lancashire town, so they’ve come to investigate.

Well, that was the plan. They had come to investigate. They’ve found themselves in a field with angry sheep.

“I said turn left at the next intersection, Gene. Next intersection. Do you know what that looks like, or do you always take them so fast, they’re just a blur and a whirl to you?”

Gene balls his fists and slams them on his bonnet. He can’t do any more damage than there is already. It really is a mess, with deep creases in the metal, chipped off paint. Sam hadn’t realised he was so attached to the brute until he recognised he was feeling sympathy; Gene’s clearly suffering, and this almost makes Sam want to comfort him. A scary thought if ever there was one.

“Intersection my arse. You were rabbiting on about the potholes,” Gene storms. He gives his best, and most insulting, Sam impression. “Watch out for the potholes. Guv, slow down, there are potholes! Oh my, so very many potholes in this road, whatever shall we do? You’d think the Government would do something about these most worrisome potholes…”

Sam forgets to feel sympathetic. (He remembers instead exactly what led them here.)

“Yeah, well, this only serves you right for trying to stuff that glove in my mouth, doesn’t it?”

Gene grabs Sam in a headlock quicker than he can say, ‘get off’. Before Sam knows it, he’s bent low to the ground, Gene grinding his knuckles into his skull. It hurts. It hurts a lot. He takes the only recourse he can and makes a flail and grab for Gene’s knackers.

“Fucking ow,” Gene bellows.

“Let me go or I’ll make you a castrato,” Sam threatens. He squeezes, for emphasis.

“No, that’s not what you’ll be doing,” Gene says in a strained tone of voice. He sounds almost ---

Sam lets go and wrenches himself away, looking at Gene in confusion. Gene’s face is flushed, sweating, but his eyes glint with triumph.

“Works every time.”

Sam narrows his eyes. “Don’t get so cocky. How’d you know I wouldn’t have welcomed that kind of response?”

“I’ve no doubt you would,” Gene says, airily, as he goes to try the radio for the umpteenth time. “No one can resist the Hunt charm.”

“Hunt charm? That’s synonymous with ‘unicorn’, isn’t it? Completely mythical, but if it weren’t, it’d have a spiky, vicious horn.”

“Attracts all the virgins, yeah that sounds about right.” Gene yanks the radio out of the car and throws it in a nearby muddy ditch. (Sam is momentarily impressed, until he thinks about the squandered opportunity.) “That’d explain why you’re always so eager to be around.”

“Brilliant, Gene,” Sam says, abandoning the conversation, concentrating instead on the battered, discarded radio. “I might have been able to fix that. Not any more; it’s royally fucked. What do we do now?”

“We walk, Princess Pompous-Pants.”

“To where?”

“Oh, I don’t know. The nearest available phone? A petrol station? There’s bound to be a town around here somewhere. They might even have a pub!”

“If there is a pub, I’m going in, and you’re staying out. You can’t be trusted.”

“Neither can you. There might be dangerous men in there, and however could you defend yourself, with those weak babyish arms and dainty little legs?”


Sam shoves Gene to the side and watches in glee as he slides over and lands in the mud. His laughter is deep and gives him a bellyache. He actually thinks there might be a tear of joy wheedling to find its way down his cheeks. He watches as Gene struggles to stand, flailing his arms, and laughs more. Eventually, he shows mercy, and proffers his hand.

“Come here,” he says, still fighting back giggles.

Gene takes Sam’s hand and yanks. Sam stumbles and lands on top of Gene, yelling as he collapses onto the admittedly soft body of his superior officer. He doesn’t for a second think that’s the last of it. He’s right, as Gene hooks his legs behind Sam’s knees and rolls them over.

Sam’s pinned under Gene’s weight and mashed into the mud. Gene holds his wrists above his head with his left hand, and uses his right to smear more mud over his face and chest.

“You’re gonna pay for this, you fucker,” Sam snarls, thrashing in an attempt to dislodge Gene. He can’t get his knee up like he’d so dearly love to.

“No matter,” Gene says, “this would have been worth it. I’ve always wanted to get you down to my level. What’s it like being a dirty cop, eh, Sam?”

“Filthy.”

Sam finally gets his hands free, or Gene loosens hold. Either way, he’s able to pull on Gene’s hair, earning a sound more akin to a scream than a shout, and he swipes his own lot of mud over Gene’s forehead.

“There. Now you look like the Neanderthal bog-monster you pretend to be during interrogations.”

Inexplicably, Gene barks out a laugh. Sam finds he’s unable to prevent himself from joining in. They roll apart and giggle up at the sky.

“You’re ridiculous,” Sam says after a time.

“So are you.”

Sam chuckles again. Concedes the point with a nod. “Do you think people ever really grow up?”

“Nah. Bet you anything you like our toy robbers are stealing for themselves.”

“I’m not gonna make that bet. I think you’d win. Most of the merchandise taken were robots. Robots are cool.”

Gene swivels his head to look at Sam. “Come again?”

“Robots were taken in every case, in favour of closer, more expensive products. Didn’t you read the lists?”

“No, that’s your job. And you’re meant to relay any pertinent information to me,” Gene says. He gets up, attempting to dust off his coat and miserably failing. He holds out a hand for Sam, and Sam stares at it distrustfully for a second before finally snatching it and hauling himself up.

“Why’s this particularly pertinent?”

“Because, my muddy little minion, I think I know who our main perpetrator may be.”

“Well, then, we better get walking,” Sam says.

“After you,” Gene replies, kindly. (Too kindly, Sam thinks. Far too kindly.)

Sam stands his ground. He’s not stupid. He doesn’t believe anything good can come from Gene pretending to be nice. “No. After you.”

“No, really, I insist.”

“Gene, start walking, or you’re going back into the mud, propriety be damned.”

“I’d like to see you try, Samantha.”

“Oh, you asked for it.”

Sam launches himself into the trunk of Gene’s body and sends him crashing once again to the ground, whereupon he proceeds to pile as much mud on top of the writhing form beneath him as humanly possible, and Gene glints up at him with something that’s not quite menace.

Sam has always thought that were his colleagues examinations as opposed to people, Gene would be an endurance test. But, actually, now that he thinks about it, he’s more like an open book. You’re allowed to search for the answers, but unless you take detailed notes coming into the exam, you can still be horribly confused.

Tags: humour, life on mars, rated pg-13, short, writing
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