lindes: Sam and Gene with the Cortina (LoM: Sam and Gene are love)
[personal profile] lindes
Title: Vulnerable
Author: [ profile] lindest
Fandom: Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: ~800
Characters and pairings: Sam/Gene, Sam/Annie and Gene/Alex implied
Warnings: language
Spoilers: for A2A 2x06 and 3x02
Disclaimer: Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes are the intellectual property of the BBC. No infringement on that right is meant by this fan work.
Author's Note: For [ profile] talkingtothesky, who wanted a ghost or hallucination of Sam after Gene's beating in 2x06.
Summary: Gene sees more than just a ghost of the past.

“Gene,” he says, voice sounding as though through a tunnel. “Guv!” It’s coming in to focus. “Guv, you’ve got to get up.”

“Tyler?” It’s finally happened. He’s finally gotten his brains knocked clean out of his head, and he’s either crazy or snuffed it. “You’re not supposed to be here,” he says thinly.

Sam gives him a concerned look. “Where do you expect me to go?” He rattles the handcuffs which have quite effectively bound him to the headboard. Gene suddenly can see just how naked Sam Tyler is.

“Am I dead?” he asks honestly, but Sam’s face twists into relief shadowed by annoyance.

“You tripped on a shoe and knocked yourself out. Daft—” He cuts himself off, grinning affectionately. “Get me out of these cuffs. I’ve been trying to wake you for ten minutes.”

Gene rubs at his forehead. There’s a swollen lump but oddly no pain. Alex, he thinks, I have to… And then, Who’s Alex? Dismissing the sensation, he finds the tube of lubricant at his fingertips and climbs back up on the bed. It creaks familiarly under his weight as he moves to straddle his DI. “No way, Sammy, not when I’ve got you just where I want you.” He kisses him possessively, like it’s been forever since they last touched.

Words he never spoke, will speak, has spoken:

When are we most vulnerable?

He dreams about driving a gorgeous red car, and feels guilty, spending extra time each morning stroking the Cortina’s dash and murmuring his undying affection.

The first two times he wakes up next to the Missus, he lets out a very manly yelp and falls out of his side of the bed.

Sometimes he finds himself addressing Tyler as “Bolly” and adds this to his litany of girls names, after Gladys and before Melissa.

Once, he swears by Princess Diana’s royal sheets.

Something is wrong with him, but Gene can’t put his finger on it. He finds himself singing a song in his shower that he’s never heard before. He instinctively orders procedures that Tyler has long since given up enforcing.

Sam’s eyes follow him across the room.

There’s something wrong with Manchester. His craving for Italian won’t go away, and he finds himself ordering a nice burgundy from Nelson when they’re alone in the Railway Arms. The clothes are wrong. He buys himself a pair of cowboy boots and leather gloves, wearing them under his camel coat.

A woman haunts his dreams, dark eyes and pale lips with a mass of curls. She creeps into his thoughts in the day, distracts him to the point that he believes he’s genuinely gone ‘round the bend, until only Sam’s mouth on his cock can bring him peace. He can’t confide in Sam about the fantasy.

(The memory…?)

Their clandestine couplings grow more infrequent and more frantic, tearing the clothes off each other. Fighting for breath. Fighting for…

And then it’s 1980. That means something. Sam spends more time with Annie while Gene suffers through a divorce. (Again?) It’s not supposed to feel like a punch in the gut every evening when Sam goes home with her, casting a sad, sympathetic look in Gene’s direction. She’s almost cottoned on, you see; got to be more careful.

When are we most vulnerable?

“When we're in love?”

The screaming, the screaming in his head. Everything is glass, everything shatters into— Sam. Where’s Sam? There’s water and the car is— What’s that sound—

When are we most vulnerable?

“When we're in love?”

When we're just out of love, Bolly. When we're feeling scared and we think we're going to spend the rest of our lives on our own.

He wakes up on the wet earth, head aching and body on fire with pain, instantaneous agony. He's beginning to remember now: men in black masks, the baseball bat, the blows which rained down on him. It seems like that was such a long time ago, but the pain is fresh.

“Gene,” Sam says, voice sounding as though through a tunnel. “Guv!” It’s coming in to focus. “Guv, you’ve got to get up.”

Just words, just echoes. The face floating in the corner of his eye, and the voice which cuts him to the quick. The ghost of Sam Tyler follows him home.

There will be no peace; neither of them can rest. He crawls into a holding cell, trying to pretend that he can't see Tyler's steps in sync with his, the impression of his hand burning against his skin.

Eventually, he almost gets used to it.

Eventually, he rips down Sam’s picture from the bulletin board. It doesn't matter, because Sam is still standing beside him.

"Sam Tyler was my friend. Sam Tyler died," doesn't even begin to tell the story.
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July 2010

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