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Fic Commentary - Signals (3/4) - dorsetgirl
July 9th, 2008
12:11 pm
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Fic Commentary - Signals (3/4)

This is the commentary for the second half of the fic, posted as Part 1b.

And another pov change; I don’t like to swap so often, but we just had to see what Sam was thinking. The section above needed to be Gene pov to show how uncomfortable - and perceptive - Gene is, that he can see the conflict between his motives and what Sam would consider acceptable. 

I’d already decided that the sex, due to its nature and purpose, had to be Sam pov, and that in order for the reader to really see Sam as he builds up to it, the lead-up to the sex had to be Gene pov. So that meant a quick visit to Sam pov to check how he’s feeling at this point. If I were writing this now, I would probably take an overview of the entire fic and re-think the whole pov business, because there are sections which are pretty much “outsider” pov which could therefore go either way. But I was writing this during the school holidays when time was limited, and I was totally fed up with this fic by the time I got it beaten into shape.

For God’s sake, Gene was acting like something out of the dark ages. Sam sat silent for a moment; he’d worked out a long time ago that Gene needed to be the strong one, and Sam loved him enough to let him take that role, against his own natural inclination. But not any more, not if it meant that he had to be the weak one. Not if it meant Gene thought he could start telling him how to dress and how to behave. For Sam, and for me, there’s a whole lot of clear water between “letting Gene be the strong one” and “being the weak one”. It comes down to whether Sam can continue being his own person or not.

Sam knew his personality had been muted ever since he’d got here - his crazy situation, the fact that he was now only a DI, and to a fist-happy Neanderthal at that, (that would be Gene, but I do tend to see these two as having two separate relationships – DCI Neanderthal & DI Hyde Git, and Gene/Sam) and finally because Sam was sincerely committed to Gene, and he hadn’t thought Gene, as a man of the ‘70s, was ready for a relationship of equals. But this; this was...

Finally he said “I’m asking you nicely, Gene. Take us home, please.”

“But Sam... “

He exploded. “Just drive, Gene! I mean it – home, now!”

* * *

The inspiration for Sam’s voice here, strangely enough, was Elling. As you probably know, Elling is this nerdy, scrawny little creature with a repressed, squawky little voice. But, I noted in my LJ at the time, when he gets riled he uses a very deep, strong, loud voice and comes out with what I described then as huge booming shouts. Very powerful indeed, and rather surprising.

Sam’s voice was deep and dark, with extraordinary volume, like Gene had never heard him use before; his tone was one that Maya, and the rest of his 2006 subordinates, would have recognised instantly. Trouble. 

I wanted to invoke the image of Sam as a lot more than just the girly ponce that Gene likes to call him. I felt that the strength that got him to DCI must still be in there, just that for a whole load of reasons he hadn’t been showing it much around Gene.

Gene’s hands and feet had the Cortina moving out of the car park long before his brain had caught up with the fact that he was obeying his DI’s orders.

The next paragraph is a bit clumsy, but my brilliant beta, jayb111, pointed out that I hadn’t made it very clear where they were in this scene; I had in fact always intended it to be Gene’s – no, their – house, but on re-reading I had written it the layout more like Sam’s flat. Anyway, I hope it’s clear now, although I’ve never been quite sure whether they use the original master bedroom or whether Sam insisted on using a different one. I can’t see him wanting to move into the ex-marital bed! 

The moment they walked through Gene’s – no, their – front door, Sam was giving orders again. “Upstairs, Gene. We’re gonna sort this out right now.”

His anger still building, Sam slammed the bedroom door and in an extension of the movement, slammed Gene against the wall. Taken aback, Gene stood still for a moment before shoving Sam off. Unusually, Sam didn’t back off, but came forward again, still radiating power and anger. He even looked bigger than usual. I suspect it’s camera angles – especially for The Master - but I was truly astonished when I saw John in the flesh to find out just how small he is.

“How dare you patronise me, you fucking Neanderthal! I am not your fucking wife, I am a police officer, and I do not need protecting!” Sam doesn’t often use the f-word, because hardly anyone did in the office at that time, so I had him do it here because, again, he is too angry to be watching every word. Also, he’s probably subconsciously chosen the word to make Gene see just how serious this is.

He grabbed Gene’s right arm and twisted it viciously up behind his back as he turned Gene round and shoved him towards the bed. Secretly he’s always wanted to do that.

Gene wasn’t remotely frightened of Sam or anything he might do, but he was completely taken aback at this new side to his personality. Short of Sam actually pulling a knife, what’s he going to do? Gene wasn’t even that scared when Sam pulled a gun on him. Nervous and unsure, yes. But not scared.

This wasn’t his Gladys, always nagging at Gene to tidy up the paperwork and do things the Hyde way; and this certainly wasn’t the scared and tentative - but so adorable - Sam who only three months ago had needed to get Gene drunk before he dared kiss him. It was an important part of this fic that Gene had been around a bit in the gay world at the time, while for Sam it was all entirely new. That made What Do Girls Do a good fit to be the beginning of this relationship.

The man almost dislocating his shoulder wasn’t even Tyler, Gene’s favourite picky-pain DI and part-time madman. 

I had this idea for combining the actions with sentences describing various facets of Sam’s personality. That way Gene could be thinking about where the hell this version of Sam had come from, at the same time as the reader could watch the action moving inexorably towards the bed.

Although he didn’t know it, Gene was being frog-marched across the room by Detective Chief Inspector Samuel Tyler, who funnily enough hadn’t got his badge from a Lucky Bag either. And he was used to wielding authority, if never before quite as physically as this. We saw no sign in 2006 of Sam having any doubts in his professional life. In his 21st-century way he’d been even harder than Gene, before his life turned inside out. Because being that cold and cut off must make you hard. Sam’s hardness was of the mind in quite a different way from Gene’s, which has such a physical side to it.

Now he shoved Gene onto the bed, face first. “Trousers. Off. NOW!” he yelled. In keeping with what I said above, about Sam’s hardness being mental rather than physical, this is all about Sam dominating Gene by anger and general force of will. I couldn’t begin to see Sam actually forcing Gene.

There was an almost feral strength to Sam, and Gene had to think whether to go with it or challenge it. Before he could decide, (because if he actually gets the chance to decide, that takes too much power away from Sam) Sam had punched him in the right kidney; Gene was astounded at how much it actually hurt, but hearing the click of the lid on the lube tin hastened to get his trousers out of the way. Yes, I know lube tins didn’t have clicky lids, and it was more likely to be a jar of Vaseline, but I decided to cheat and go for the instantly-recognisable shorthand rather than the accurate period detail. Sam ripped open his own trousers, pushed them down and took barely a moment to coat himself and Gene’s entrance before shoving himself in hard and fast. Sam’s not even sure himself how much of this is showing Gene he wants only him, and how much is showing Gene he’s not weak or in need of protection. Either way, although this is rough and not exactly caring, it is totally focussed upon this being Gene that he’s pounding into, not just a random body to get off with or take his anger out on.

Gene could only be grateful that they had tried this before, albeit not often. Sam had always seemed happy to take it rather than give it, although he had suggested once or twice that they swap round. Gene had gone along with it, although it definitely challenged his ideas of himself as a man. It had felt all wrong to be bottoming for someone smaller and younger than himself; his junior at work for God’s sake. Looking back, I guess you could see this story as being about having respect for someone regardless of how they score on any of the scales you normally measure people by. I can’t claim to have thought of that at the time, though.

Now he concentrated on breathing steadily, pushing back to hold himself open as much as possible; trying to make himself comfortable as Sam paused for a moment. I was slightly concerned that this might come over as dubious consent, but it is not intended to be such. Given the relationship, and the relative sizes of the two parties, I think it’s clear that this is no more dub-con than any act where one party just lets the other get on with it for the sake of a bit of peace and quiet.

* * * 

Well, this section was interesting to write. It was the first time I had written penetration, and I was a bit nervous, but nothing less would fit the bill at this point. Unfortunately I simply don’t have the kind of man in my life who I could ask for a description of how sex feels for a man, nor do I know anyone else I could ask without getting their hopes up too much. But I wanted to get some suggestion in there of how it actually feels rather than just a description of the mechanics. So I sat at my computer one night and I ... thought very hard about it. Went to a very strange corner of my brain and, um, felt it. And then I calmed down and wrote it.

“Oh ... God”. 

Sam felt some of the incredible anger dissolving in Gene’s heat, replaced by the blind need to fuck, hard. He let his head fall forward as he started to move.

“Sweet Jesus, that’s so tight.” 

He hadn’t felt such incredible blessed tightness for a long time. He wasn’t going to last long; he was almost at explosion point already.

“Oh fuck, fuck, fucking hell.”

He was moving fast now, faster, forcing himself deeper and deeper, moving his hands to Gene’s back, grabbing his shirt. It’s probably the green one.

“Oh Jesus, that’s so hot”

Sam couldn’t think, couldn’t concentrate on anything except the need to push, thrust, hard. His hips moved back and forth, faster, harder. 

“Fuck, fuck, Gene, oh my God.” 

His cock was pulling him forwards, Gene’s buttocks hot against his groin, his entire consciousness cocooned tightly inside Gene, 

“I can’t... I’m gonna ...” 

and then his pelvis arched; for a long moment he couldn’t move; he was being dragged to the edge of reason, straining forwards as his cock swelled, that split second when you know it’s inevitable but it hasn’t quite started.

“Oh Christ, Gene, Gene, oh my God...”

the heat unbelievably tight around him and then something broke; he could feel each spurt, each exquisite expansion and contraction as he poured everything he had into Gene.

“... Gene!”

Sam clung onto Gene’s shirt as he came as hard as he ever had in his life, then collapsed onto Gene’s back, panting. As his cock softened, he pulled out, then rolled off Gene to lie next to him. For a few minutes there was silence apart from Sam’s heart hammering in his ears. 

Eventually, he heard Gene’s voice, deliberately calm. Gene isn’t sure quite how the relationship stands at this point. He would prefer to keep Sam calm enough for discussion, but he’s doing his best to keep things on the right track by making it clear to Sam that he expects to get off too, and Sam is going to be part of it. “So, do I get mine any time soon, Sam?” Only a slight hitch in his breathing signalled his tension.

“Shit, Gene, I’m sorry,” Sam murmured. He didn’t have the energy to move, but he reached over and touched Gene’s fingers gently, not yet ready to look at him. “Did I hurt you?” On one level Sam is aware he has been a selfish bastard, but on another he has been so shocked by Gene’s revelations and attitude that he feels his anger is entirely justified. Hence the mixed messages of touching his hand gently but being unable to meet his eye.

“Nothing I won’t get you back for later, Gla... Sam, don’t worry about that.” He felt Gene’s hand tighten on his fingers. Ooh, lots going on in this tiny paragraph. A bit of Gene banter – however much it might hurt, he’s making it clear to Sam that it isn’t going to be an issue. Also the first hint that he’s re-thinking his attitude to Sam, so he doesn’t feel sure of using the girly nickname any more. And he holds Sam’s hand, confirming that they do still have a relationship in which he wants to be close to Sam.

Sam lay for a while drifting hazily still in selfish bastard mode until he realised Gene’s breathing had changed. He was stroking himself, the tension in his body vibrating the entire bed as he gasped for breath. His grip was painful on Sam’s fingers. “Give a bloke a hand, Sam” he said raggedly “I don’t expect ... to do me own barking.” I spent quite a long time on this paragraph, particularly on the description of what Gene is doing. “Stroking” just sounds too soft and gentle; some people use “fisting”, but to me that means something entirely different. Somewhere out there is the right word. Also, there’s deliberate ambiguity here in “I don’t expect to do me own barking”. Is Gene using this phrase, implying that he’s “keeping” Sam, in the knowledge that it’s amusing because no-one would ever consider Sam his property? Or does he still have the Neanderthal mindset that because Sam is younger, smaller and junior at work, he is in some way Gene’s to own like a dog? I know which I think it is. You and Sam can choose how to interpret it.

Taking the hint, Sam gathered himself and leaned over Gene, extending his tongue delicately to tease Gene’s left nipple. Gene groaned and moved his hand back towards his cock, fingers fluttering as he fought the need to touch himself again. The author was still slightly in “feeling” mode here. His buttocks tightened as Sam smiled into his eyes then moved his attentions to the other side. “Bastard!” Gene gasped, clawing desperately at the sheets as Sam continued to tease first one nipple then the other. Yes, he is being a bastard. This is still about power.

Gene’s whole body was shuddering by the time Sam relented and took Gene’s cock in his mouth, flickering his tongue teasingly around the tip. “For fuck’s sake, Sam!” Gene said hoarsely. “Please...” I wish I could say Sammy just wants to make it good for Gene, but he is simply enjoying the power here. He feels the need to put Gene through a bit of torture, even if it is of the sort often described as “exquisite”.

At last, Sam twined his arms around Gene’s warm hips and took him as far into his mouth as he could, causing Gene to lose control completely. His yell as he came made Sam smile. And it wasn’t a nice smile, either. Sam should be ashamed of himself. Frankly, he hasn’t been very loving to Gene in this scene, although of course he really doesn’t think Gene has been very loving to him, with all this stuff going on behind his back.

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[User Picture]
Date:July 14th, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC)
I've been meaning to comment on this for a few days, so here goes:

I felt that the strength that got him to DCI must still be in there, just that for a whole load of reasons he hadn’t been showing it much around Gene

- I think this is absolutely spot-on. Because Gene tends to be more obviously intimidating, and because in canon we frequently see Sam upset, its sometimes easy to forget how tough Sam really is - and would have to have been to have reached DCI. I really like the way you show him in the raw, so to speak!

“Nothing I won’t get you back for later, Gla... Sam, don’t worry about that.” He felt Gene’s hand tighten on his fingers. Ooh, lots going on in this tiny paragraph.

- yep, and its superbly done! A great example of Gene saying one thing and doing something subtly different, which is very in character.
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