Title: Wine and Candles (2/4)
Fandom: Life on Mars
Disclaimer: I don’t own these characters or their universe. BBC/Kudos do. I’m not making any money out of this.
Rating: White Cortina
Word Count: 870
Summary: Gene offers a lot more than just food.
Author’s Note: Previously posted to Lifein1973, Wine and Candles was written for the “Buddy Cops’ Candlelit Dinner” challenge set down by NeuralClone. In the midst of so much angst in the comm, I wanted to show the Gene I see much of the time: no false bravado, no tearing insecurity, just totally comfortable in his skin, big enough and strong enough for a relationship of equals. Sorry, they haven’t actually reached dessert yet, and no promises about when that might happen. Not beta’d, and it’s verging on soppy, which I didn't intend.
Wine and Candles, Part 2
“Take it as a seduction scene, Sam. Or not, if you prefer. Your choice: I’m yer senior officer, Tyler, I’m not going to force meself upon you if you’re not interested.”
They ate in silence for a few minutes, Sam too dazed with sleep and Gene’s unexpected declaration to do more than sneak occasional glances across the table.
The candlelight lent mystery to Gene’s face, adding depth and intrigue to the familiar contours. The golden lashes caught the light as Gene looked up, smiling to see Sam watching him.
“Nothing. Just... what brought this on?”
“Told yer. You look like shit, have done for days. I’ve been worried about you.” Gene waved a fork at him. “And if you tell anyone else that I’ll have yer guts for garters. Gene Hunt does not worry, I’ve got my reputation to think of.”
He reached out to pour Sam some more wine. “Here, get that down you. I think you’ll find it’ll soften that stick you keep up yer arse. Don’t want it getting in the way later.”
Sam laughed disbelievingly as he took the glass. “No, I meant – ‘seduction scene’, you said. Not that I’m complaining, mind. Looking forward to it in fact. But why now?”
“You need someone to look after you, Sam. You hardly ever eat, you’re at the station longer hours than I am, you bring work home.” He grinned. “And to my almost certain knowledge, you haven’t had a shag since you got here. Thought you might be desperate by now.”
Sam choked on his wine. “Got to hand it to you Guv, you’ve got a way with words. Such delicacy.”
Gene took a large mouthful of his own wine, swallowing it slowly before continuing, “No point in all that, Sam. I know you. You’ve got too much pride to accept help from just anyone, so I thought I’d best declare meself first, so you’d let me look after you the way you deserve.”
Sam was finally waking up now, although part of him felt he must still be dreaming. On a list of all the things he’d ever imagined Gene saying to him, “let me look after you” had to be top of the “never in a million years” section.
“So, um, how long ...?”
“How long have I fancied yer? Since that very first day. Might surprise you to learn that I don’t normally greet new members of staff by getting too close to ’em against a filing cabinet, but I couldn’t help meself. Moment I saw you I fell. Hard.” He shrugged. “Didn’t think you’d be interested of course, handsome young fella like you. Thought you probably had some bloke back in Hyde, that was why you were a bit ... well, let‘s say you didn’t exactly melt into me arms.”
“You’re very matter-of-fact about it,” said Sam, wonderingly.
“Faced my demons a long time ago, Sam,” Gene replied, raising his glass. ”Not the ideal job to be in if the way you like your loving is still illegal in most circumstances, but I get by. The job chose me, really, had to be done. I enjoy it, and I like to think I’m good at it.”
He narrowed his eyes at Sam and said “And don’t even think about having that conversation until after I’ve had me way with you.”
Gene drained his glass and turned his attention back to the food. He cleared his plate purposefully while Sam worked more slowly through his share. Oddly, he did feel rather more like eating now than he had done for days, but he was having difficulty matching Gene’s calm demeanour, feeling anything but calm on the inside.
Eventually, when Sam had eaten all he could manage, he put his cutlery down and looked across at Gene. At some point Gene had pushed his plate away and refilled his glass. He raised it and looked Sam in the eyes. “What d’you reckon, Sam? To us?”
“Sounds good to me, Guv. Gene, I mean.” Sam was getting nervous all over again, in danger of thinking himself out of the mood. He fancied Gene, obviously, who wouldn’t. And he’d thought about the two of them together more times than he could count. It was all just so unexpected - at any moment he expected to hear himself say “But Gene, this is so sudden!” Biting his lip he pushed his plate away decisively and picked up his glass. “To us.”
They drank, and then Gene appeared to gather himself for an effort. He stood up and moved round the table towards Sam, motioning him to get up.
As Sam pushed his chair away and straightened, he could feel Gene’s heat enveloping him, but he kept his hands by his sides, echoing Gene’s posture as they stood face to face.
And really, it was no different from a thousand other times Gene had stood so close he could almost feel their hearts beating together, but this time it was different. The air between them vibrated as Gene looked him straight in the eye. “Do you want this, Sam? And you know I’m not talking about just a quick shag. Will you let me look after you? And will you look after me, if I need you to?”
Sam found himself leaning in to close the gap between them.
“Yes. Yes, I want this,” he said softly. “I will”.
Continued in Part 3