Rating: White Cortina with added “strong language”
Word Count/Length: 380 words approx
Summary: You know it’s all gone to fuck when you don’t know what year it is.
A/N: Lack of time and – dammit – inspiration has meant I’ve managed drabbles at best for most of this year, but driving home yesterday I was listening to Green Day and remembering the Sam I wrote in Broken Dreams. Thinking around the idea of Sam on his own led to this little fic.
A Lingering Taste of Soap
You know it’s all gone to fuck when you don’t know what year it is. Again.
For that matter, you know it’s all gone to fuck when you can use the word ‘fuck’, even just in your head, without tasting the soap your mother used to use if she heard you swear.
Sam ran his tongue reflectively round his teeth: Pears, it had been, that very last time. Auntie Heather had friends in the trade.
“Mum!” he’d protested uselessly. “Look at me. I’m fourteen.”
“Fourteen or four makes no odds to me, Sam,” she’d retorted briskly. “While you live in this house you’ll keep a decent tongue in your head.”
Small though he was, he’d seen Enter the Dragon and knew he could lay her out with one perfectly-angled hand, but instead he stood perfectly still and stared up at the ceiling as she forced the brush clumsily into his mouth. With the Autumn rain the damp stains were spreading again, but he knew she was too scared of the landlord to complain.
When it was over he trudged upstairs to start his homework. She would never believe he swore to keep in with the hard nuts who populated this grimy street they were forced to live in. She’d chosen this place – or rather, their lack of money had chosen it – because it was cheap and her best friend had lived here, twenty years ago when it was still respectable.
Safe in her adult world, Ruth never understood the terror Sam felt each time he stepped out of their battered, paint-peeling door. With his shabby too-big blazer marking him out as not only a Grammar twat, but - laughably - a poor Grammar twat, every school morning had been a battle he had to win or face the consequences on the way home.
Now as the chilly rain seeped through his shirt he looked down at his watch and wished yet again that he remembered buying it. It looked back at him unblinking, and he used his sleeve to wipe the rain delicately from the glass.
You know it’s all gone to fuck when your own watch has the face of a stranger.
And you definitely know it’s all gone to fuck when the station isn’t there and no-one has heard of Gene Hunt.