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dark Dean

The Longest Journey (LoM fic)

Posted on 2007.04.15 at 14:49
Current Location: sitting in the sun
Current Mood: happyhappy
Tags: ,
I was reading a rant in <a href=http://jamie-dakin.livejournal.com/44842.html>jamie_dakin's LJ</a> about the last ep of Life on Mars, and in particular what was missing from it.  The slash!  Or, more accurately, the reinforcement of the bond of trust between Sam and Gene.  Even before I read it, and especially since, I had it in mind to write a Sam/Gene scene to slot into the ep.  

The idea was to have a short snippet with plenty of meaningful glances and a bit of physical stuff.  As usual, it got out of control.  Incidentally, about half way through I had a bit of a change of heart.  I decided that, in fact, the writers have put a lot of time and effort into Sam and Gene's relationship, culminating in an entirely trust-based ep in 2.07.  I guess they would think they'd given us enough that we could take this as read without having to be forcefed yet again.  Which is true.  I just like watching Sam and Gene manhandling each other!

(Oh, and I've just got my dispatch confirmation from Amazon - series 2, and the soundtrack, and the Companion book, AND Clocking off, all on the way!  So that explains my mood!)

So:

Words:  1355
Rating: 15 - some bad language.
Spoilers:  Absolutely.  For ep 2.08
Pairing:  gen

"You know what?" Sam sat back, exasperated with himself, with Gene, with the whole ludicrous set-up. "Just – forget I said anything."

Gene paused, and Sam tensed again, uncertain of how the Guv would take this. But the office was packed with their own personal audience. Peripherally, Sam could see the beginnings of a sneer on Ray’s face, a vicarious and unshakeable confidence in the all-round superiority of the DCI.

Aware of the scrutiny, Gene chose to let the challenge pass, offering in response merely a curt, "Thank you. I will," as he turned his back and disappeared into the sanctuary of his office.

Minutes later, a large scotch having been despatched with the consummate ease of long practice, Gene was finding that he couldn’t just forget it. The burn of the whisky hadn’t dispelled the chilled, prickling conviction that something was deeply wrong. Even more wrong than usual, and that was saying something.

He gazed thoughtfully through the blinds into the outer office. There was something unmistakably furtive about Sam, hunched over his desk, apparently fiddling with that infernal tape player. He couldn’t put his finger on what the difference was, but his instincts were screaming at him that something fundamental had changed, and he trusted his instincts before anything.

Trust. Gene bent his head, closed his eyes in near-pain. It had taken him a long time, a number of close shaves, endless days and nights on dreary stakeouts or drunken sessions at the Arms. But somewhere along the way, he’d come to trust this quirky riddle of a DI he’d had shoved on him against his will. Until finally, when his own future had been placed on the line, he had handed it over, without reservation, and had been proved right.

Sod this. Gene stood, mentally giving himself a good shake. He was buggered if he was going to slouch about like a jessie, getting all over-complicated and examining his own navel. That’s what he kept Sam around for.

He wrenched open the office door, causing several heads to snap up in alarm. Sam seemed oblivious, however, scribbling so frantically into a notebook that Gene wouldn’t have been surprised to see steam rising.

"Oi, Tyler." Sam froze, pen still poised, looked up defensively. "What?"

"A word." Gene gestured with a single nod into his office, turned on his heel and disappeared without waiting for a response.

Sam hesitated, sorely tempted to ignore the summons and continue writing the all-important notes, his passport to reality. In what way was a confrontation with a figment of his imagination preferable to completing his journey home in the shortest possible time? His mind automatically shied away from the question, bringing as it did avenues of uncertainty that he wasn’t prepared to pursue.

But it refused to go away. A sleeping lion, gently breathing, so peaceful, so much potential for destruction. Since the phone call that morning, he’d been avoiding Gene, literally and emotionally. If he were to achieve his goal, to attain what he’d craved for so long, he absolutely could not afford to think of Gene as a man, a friend, anything but a cancer.

He sighed, threw his pen haphazardly down on the desk, following it with his eyes as it rolled over the edge and clattered to the floor. Stood, one hand running abstractedly over face and head. Walked towards the DCI’s office, steps ponderous and reluctant like a man facing execution. Which wasn’t all that far from the mark.

Entering the smaller room, Sam was momentarily taken aback to find himself facing an empty desk. Then the door crashed shut behind him, and he whirled round, suddenly inches away from the blazing depths of Gene’s most formidable glare. Rough hands grasped Sam’s collar, propelling him involuntarily back a couple of steps.

"Right then," Gene snarled. "Let’s hear it. What the bloody hell is eating you this time?"

Sam struggled to muster up the righteous indignation he usually reserved for such occasions, finding to his chagrin that, instead, his cheeks began to burn. He forced himself to meet Gene’s eyes, saw the anger there transform to bewilderment as the DCI’s grip loosened, arms dropping to his sides.

He did his best. "Look, Guv, a man died. A man who’d come to you for – for help, for protection."

"Don’t you think I know that?" Good, the response Sam had hoped for, hostilities safely restored. "All the more reason, I’d have thought, to pull out all the stops to catch this bastard before this goes any further."

"Maybe so. But antagonising and threatening perfectly innocent witnesses, just because they don’t happen to know what you want them to know, hardly seems a professional way of going about it."

"Oh, don’t give me that bollocks, Tyler." Gene was warming now to his theme. "I’ve seen how you work. Time was, you could have stood there all high-and-mighty, preaching your little heart out about how my methods don’t conform to your unparalleled C-Division standards." His voice grew softer, more menacing. "Those days are gone, Sammy-boy. You crossed that line a long time ago. You want examples? I can give you a list."

"No." A whisper, a plea. God, no. Everything Sam had been trying so hard not to think about, laid stark and bare in front of them. He closed his eyes, an instinctive and fruitless defence. Forced himself to breathe evenly, deeply. This isn’t real. It’s a tumour, a cancer. Be strong.

Gene’s voice, soft and deliberate, sliced through the mist permeating his mind, each word dripping into his consciousness like acid, eroding his soul.

"I need you on my side here, Sam. God help me, but it’s true. There’s a major job about to go off, our only lead just ended up decorating the pavement." Gene turned away, an ineffective attempt to make the plea less heartfelt. "I need your help."

Sam could cheerfully have hit him. At the very moment he really didn’t need it, finally the unreserved, unconditional acceptance and respect he’d sought for so long.

"Why, Guv?" The question forced its way out, demanded to be heard. "Why now?"

Gene misunderstood – how could he not? "What on earth are you on about? Sometimes I wonder what planet you’re from. Look, I’ll say this once. We work best together. I need your pickiness, your irritating bloody certainty that you’re always right. Your stupid girly gay-boy details."

He paused, thinking. Leaned closer to Sam, an uncharacteristic openness in the piercing eyes. "I trust you, Sam. I need you with me, because I trust you."

Oh shit. Sam fought a suffocating panic. Tried to tear his eyes away from this unwelcome honesty, found himself paralysed. Now, so close to the end, so little to do to bring about his yearned-for escape from this bizarre imaginary existence. Now, this man, this aspect of his subconscious, this – cancer, decides to let the barriers down. The irony of the situation suddenly overpowered him, and automatically, unthinkingly, he responded.

He laughed.

Stopped himself in horror almost before the laugh had begun, but too late, irrevocably, terminally late. Before him, he saw Gene shut down, the honesty transmuting through hurt betrayal to defensive cynicism, and something between them withered and died.

Rationally, Sam knew deep down that this separation was necessary. Still, he couldn’t help himself. "No, look guv, listen…"

But Gene was past listening. "Piss off, Tyler," he said, no anger in the words, just a bone-deep weariness. He moved away, opened the door, held it wide. "Go on, get out of my sight."

Sam held his gaze for a moment that stretched out of time, could find nothing but the neutral dislike he recognised from their earliest days together. Be strong, he reminded himself. This had to happen. This isn’t real. He closed his eyes, forcing to the surface an image of Frank Morgan, DCI, surgeon, urging into him the strength to get through this traumatic operation. Keep your eye on the prize, Sam.

Opening his eyes, Sam took a deep breath, and counted the steps to his desk. Retrieving the discarded pen from the floor, he began to write.


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