Title: For My Soul
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.
Word Count: 1,000
Pairing: Sam/Gene; just a bit of fluff really.
Spoiler: Series 1, Episode 6
Author’s Note: I was listening to a song today from many years ago, and one of the lines really struck me as being all about Gene. Then I realised that I could make the rest of the song about Gene as well.
What I wanted to try was to make the story make sense without the words of the song. But I also wanted to show the story with the song words, which is why it’s basically posted twice.
For My Soul
Gene had been quiet and depressed all day; Sam wasn’t sure what was wrong, but knew he’d find out in the end. In the meantime, he got Gene another drink, and sat down again next to him. When Gene didn’t speak, Sam settled back on the sofa and leaned closer to Gene, his head on Gene’s shoulder, their bodies touching softly from shoulder to hip to knee to ankle. They’d been together long enough now to be warm and relaxed like this, but Sam still felt a thrill of homecoming every time they touched. Gene half turned, and kissed the top of his head. Sam reached out and took Gene’s hand, waiting quietly for Gene to speak. When he did, it wasn’t - as Sam had half-expected - about the job.
By still waters I lay down with the lambs
”I used to go to church when I was a kiddie. Me mam used to take us, just to get away from the old man for an hour. ‘Blessed are the meek’ she used to say. Well, I was meek all right; had to be if I didn’t want a thump. Didn’t always work though, still got at least one round the ear most days”.
In pastures green I made peace with my soul
”Sometimes after church we’d go fishing, me and my brother. It was all fields round where we lived then; there was a little stream with a few fish in it, just minnows really, but it was enough for us kids.”
And I cared not for the night
”We stayed out there overnight once, in the Summer holidays. I didn’t want to go; I thought I’d be a bit scared about being out there in the dark, but me grannie told me something she said her grannie had told her, to stop her being scared in the dark.”
While my guiding star shone bright
”She said her grannie had told her that if you were scared, you should look up at the stars, and find your one. She said that every one has their own special star, and you just have to look up and it’s there, waiting for you.”
By still waters I lay down
”Well, I was only a young lad, and I wasn’t worried after that; we put our little tent next to the stream and cooked our supper over a few sticks.”
I lay down.
”Then when it got dark, we each found our special star, up there in the darkness. We each watched our own star for a while, our own little white light in all that black. Then we got in our shabby old tent and went to sleep.” Gene fell silent for a moment, then continued.
At the roadside I took toll of my times
”Was only a few years after that I got called up for my National Service. While I was doing that I had plenty of time to think what I was going to do with my life after. I decided on the police; it was that or go wrong I think, with an old man like mine.”
In dirty streets I found peace for my soul
”Funny thing, I found it more peaceful out on those streets than it was at home. Lots of stuff going on, but I could put it right. Makes you feel good, that. Out there on the beat, and then later, running things in CID, made me feel I’d done my bit. Helped make the world a better place.”
May the merciful be right, Are you ready for the night
”Don’t mind about the night now of course. Some nights out on the beat I used to look up there and see my special star, and think about that little tent.”
At the roadside I lay down; I lay down
”But it’s getting harder now Sam; I’ve been so lonely these past few years, until you of course. I thought about giving up more than once. I love this city, but it’s too big now, too much for one man.”
In deep sorrow I took flight with the sun
”I almost did give up once, I ran away from it all. I was ashamed of myself after, mind, but I took sick leave for three weeks after I shot that lad. I never felt guilty about it, don’t get me wrong, I knew I’d had to make a decision and I did it, but I never felt good about it, don’t ever think that.”
From mountains high I gained strength for my soul
”Thing about this job, Sam, it’s like climbing a mountain to get anywhere. You can’t afford to stop; can’t look back; just keep moving onwards, hoping you’re going in the right direction. You’ve always just got to keep your mind on where you’ve got to and how you’re going to make the next step up. And if you’re good enough, you’ll be strong enough to get there.”
I proved stronger than the test
”Well, I made it I suppose; DCI, that’s not so bad is it. It was hard, but I was always a determined bastard, I wasn’t going to let anyone beat me. It’s still not easy though, always having to be the biggest bastard around.”
When my spirit came to rest
”But now there’s no more mountains for me to climb, Sam. I’m not going any further, I know that. Wouldn’t want to, mind, all that paperwork, it’s not what I joined the Force for. I’m happy to stay a DCI, specially now I’ve got you as my DI, and my – what are we? Partners?”
In deep sorrow I lay down
”We are, aren’t we? Partners? But I do wonder how long for, Sam. How long it’ll take you to get fed up with of a, what was it, overweight, over the hill, nicotine-stained, borderline alcoholic homophobe with a superiority complex and an unhealthy obsession with male bonding. Nothing much there to stay for I wouldn’t have thought. And I don’t think I could cope with things alone again, not now I know how it can be. With you I mean.”
I lay down.
Gene turned to Sam and tried to smile. ”Sorry Sam, take no notice of me, bit melancholic tonight. Thinking too much; that’s your game not mine”.
...Lay down, I lay me down
There was silence for a moment, as Sam thought through everything Gene had said, and it only made him love the man even more. Finally, he spoke, quietly.
For my soul.
”Gene. I’ll never get fed up with you. Being with you, it’s where I was always meant to be, I just didn’t know it for a long time. All that, what I said, that was before I knew you, knew who you really were. Are. You’re everything to me. You don’t have to face things all alone, you’ll never have to again. I will be here for you, with you, Gene, for as long as you want me. Always.”
Song is "Lay Down" written by Dave Cousins, performed by The Strawbs on the "Bursting at the Seams" album.