Title: Real Men Don’t (Part 1/4)
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: This section: NC-17 for swearing and sexual references. No torture, no horror, no Doctor Who.
Pairing: None in this section; Gene/Sam eventually
Spoiler: Part 3 has a major spoiler for Series 1 Episode 5. Nothing else.
Word Count: approx 15,650 in total. This section 4,000
Summary: It takes Gene and Sam a long time to work out what we’ve always known.
A/N: This is the first story I ever wrote, but it’s taken a long time to complete. The first story I posted, "What Do Girls Do?", started off as the sex scene for this story, but it didn’t fit. This story might be described as “Relationship Without Plot”. The district of Morton and the Red Lion are my own invention.
Thanks: Lots of thanks to Galacticowl and to Jools at TRA, who both read various scenes and provided suggestions and encouragement, so I felt it was worth finishing the job. Also to Loz who despite preparing for her new job found time be the first person to read the whole thing through and provide some very positive feedback and some useful lessons in style. And finally to the fantastic jayb111 who did a very thorough and much appreciated beta job.
Real Men Don’t
Gene Hunt looked up at the clock as he drained the whisky glass again, placing it silently on the desk. Monday night, and the week felt like a month already. Long past time to go home, but he didn’t particularly want that bastard Tyler to know he was still here when the rest of CID were well into their 3rd or 4th pint. Gene moved the blinds aside and looked out yet again to where Sam Tyler sat tensely at his desk, staring at his everlasting bits of paper. Would the bloody man ever stop hanging around like last week’s leftovers?
As Gene watched,
Not for the first time, Gene wondered why the pain in the arse stayed late night after night, filing and tidying in the deserted office. Surely he had somewhere better to go of an evening? Come to that, he thought,
OK, Gene knew that unlike the rest of the team
Resignedly, Gene let the blind fall. He really couldn’t wait any longer, and as his chances of getting out without
As Gene finally opened his office door, he saw
* * *
Sam caught the flicker of the blind out of the corner of his eye, and stifled a sob. Shit, he hadn’t realised that Hunt was still here! What had he seen? The last thing Sam needed was that bastard telling the rest of CID that Sam Tyler had nowhere to go, nothing and no-one outside of the office; that Sam Tyler sat here alone in the evenings, crying. He took a deep breath, picked up his cold coffee and started flicking casually through the Forrester file as though he’d had an idea. He kept his face calm, trying desperately to think of a good excuse in case Hunt tried to encourage him over to the pub. He couldn’t face that tonight: those endless contemptuous sneers from Carling, those doggy devoted looks from Chris.
“Oy, Tyler! Put that lot down and come for a drink or seven.”
Sam looked up, trying for a neutral smile; it didn’t feel successful. “Don’t think I will Guv, thanks anyway, I haven’t finished going through this file yet. And anyway I really don’t think it’s very professional to get drunk on a week night. You’re not half as effective the next day.”
Hunt stared at him, shocked. “For God’s sake Gladys, loosen up! Man needs a break now and then, even you. Get some beers down your neck, relax a bit, forget all this and then tomorrow you come at it again, see something you missed before.”
Sam looked at the clock as he reflected on these words of wisdom. This wasn’t the first time the man had made a surprisingly insightful point, belying the impression he often gave of being all mouth and trousers. He looked back at Hunt. “Works for you, does it Guv?”
“No. But it would for you.” Gene swept the papers Sam had been reading back into the Forrester file and swiftly closed it. “Are you coming then or what? Or are you going out pulling with your mates from Hyde?”.
“No! Er, I mean, no thanks Guv,” Sam said hurriedly. “I’ll pass. I thought I’d go to Rusholme for a curry; stay and eat it this time”. He picked up the coffee again, sipping it as he tried to look like it hadn’t been there for four hours.
“Rusholme?” scoffed Gene. “You’ll not find any birds there Sammy-boy. Oh I forgot though, you like ‘em dark don’t you? Touch of the tar-brush?”
Sam choked on the cold coffee, spluttering it over the Forrester file as Gene continued “I suppose they’ve got good moves have they, Eastern birds? Know how to do things our women don’t?” He sounded wistful for a moment.
Sam stood up and faced him. “DCI Hunt, there is no correlation whatsoever between the colour of the skin and...”
“No, well, I suppose not; all cats are grey in the night, isn’t that what they say? It’s just, I wondered like, you having experience in those areas.” Hunt smacked Sam in the chest with the Forrester file, causing Sam’s once neatly-filed notes to make a jump for it. Gene stepped back and walked towards the door, leaving Sam resignedly tidying up. He turned as he opened it and called out “Well, see you tomorrow then, enjoy your curry.”
Left alone, Sam watched the door close behind his DCI’s back and sighed; he wasn’t planning on going anywhere near Rusholme. Or out with his mates from Hyde, like he had any. He was just going home. No, just going back to that hateful lonely room by himself, as usual. Nobody needed to know that though, especially that bastard Hunt. After all this time, he’d laugh himself sick at the idea of DI Tyler drinking alone – on a week-night! - until he’d had enough to let himself sleep.
* * *
Gene left the building; looked across at the Railway Arms. He hesitated briefly, then decided to go straight home to a bottle of Scotch. He couldn’t face the pub tonight: all that male bonding and looking for the Guv’s approval from Ray; all that explaining things to Chris. And all that avoiding questions about how his wife was getting on looking after her mother, when the truth was she’d actually left him three months ago. Nobody needed to know that. Although he’d almost told
As Gene stood on the corner, trying to work up the energy to go home alone, he saw
Gene watched as Sam turned down the alley that led to his horrible little flat, and then he turned back towards the car and drove home alone.
Gene was already on his second coffee the next morning when the door to CID opened and
“Guv,” Sam muttered, running his free hand across his eyes and sitting down opposite Gene.
“You look like shit
Gene stared at him. “Well you don’t look like a man who took an early bath
“Oh for God’s sake Guv.” Sam rolled his eyes as he got up and moved towards the door.
“What was her name then?” Gene called after him. He couldn’t leave it alone for some reason. “Pretty, was she? ‘D’yer take her home with you?” He wasn’t even sure why he was asking. Any tart who would go with
Sam stopped walking, and turned back to face him. “Guv, it’s none of your business what I do at night, OK?” Gene kicked his chair back and moved towards Sam until he stood right where he had learned Sam got edgy.
“You think so? Well, it just so happens it is my business,
Gene stepped back, turning towards his desk. “OK, tell you what. You’ve got me interested in your secret night life, so I’ll show you some of mine. Only my night life is what a copper should be doing on his nights out in our fair city. Go to a few clubs, have a few drinks and check out who’s doing what to who. Who owns who. You’re still new here,
* * *
Sam forced his brain to work for a moment. Another night alone in his shitty flat. Or a “Coppers’ Night Out” with Gene. It was a close call.
“OK then Guv,” he agreed. “You’re on - clubbing. We’ll drop some E’s,” he added ironically, glad that Gene had distracted himself from finding out what Sam really had been doing last night.
Last night had been the worst yet. In all the time he had been here, he had never before felt such bleak despair, such utter loneliness. He’d even wished he had taken Gene at his word and joined him in the pub.
Normally, a few drinks would see him through, slow him down enough to sleep, but not last night. For some reason, he hadn’t been able to shake off images of the rest of the team in the pub, Gene pulling everyone together as usual, and then everyone going home to their families; Gene going home to the wife for whom he’d even listen to Roger Whittaker.
Desperate for sleep, Sam had kept pouring himself more and more scotch; drinking until he couldn’t stand up; drinking till he couldn’t focus his eyes; until he couldn’t speak, if there had been anyone to speak to. He thought he remembered trying to crawl to his bed, but when he’d woken just after 5 this morning it was to find himself huddled painfully on the floor near the television. Gene would laugh himself sick if he knew.
“Tonight then,” he confirmed resignedly, vowing to down plenty of water and orange juice beforehand.
In the fourth club of the evening, they found a table at the back of the room and sat down with yet more drinks. The room was starting to spin now; Sam’s head had never recovered from last night. At least Gene had finally stopped reciting the known associates, suspected activities and criminal record of every petty criminal that walked past them, although Sam suspected that was only because he couldn’t pronounce the words any more.
During the course of the evening they had both used drink to fill in the gaps in conversation. Sam was uncomfortable in the kind of places Gene seemed to enjoy, while Gene, unusually, seemed to be too lost in his own thoughts to make much conversation. Even more unusually, he didn’t seem to be making a good job of holding his drink.
For all his talk about relaxing over a beer and bringing a fresh eye to things the next day, it was obvious to Sam that without firm encouragement Gene himself never really relaxed. In the pub he was always the Guv, looking out for his team and keeping them all in line, making sure they were ready for the next day’s ordeals. Everywhere else, on the streets, in the clubs, in his heart, he was the Sheriff, who kept order by being the Sheriff, every minute of every day. Even now, as far gone as he was, he was watching the two lads he’d pointed out earlier as pickpockets.
Eventually, Gene seemed to feel Sam watching him and turned slowly towards him. “Wha’ re you ...lookin at...... Sam. Starin’ at ... me. People... lookin’.
Sam smiled at Gene; he really was in a hell of a state. “Just looking at you Guv. Wondering when you ever relax, stop being the Sheriff for a few hours.”
“Can’t, ‘s nobody else... jus’ me. On’y me”. Gene drained his glass again, almost missing the edge of the table when he put it back. Sam decided to get the Guv out before he lost it completely; he didn’t want Gene to let himself down by passing out in here and having to be dragged out.
“It’s not only you, Gene - you’ve got a team,” Sam reminded him. ”And you’ve got me, I’m your deputy, remember?” Sam stood up and put a hand on Gene’s shoulder, still talking quietly. “Come on, Guv, let me get you out of here before you do something daft. Don’t let these low-lifes see you in this state, OK?” He tried again, speaking gently but firmly. ”Come on, Gene, stand up now.” Gene didn’t move, just stared blankly at him. “Come on Guv, you can do this; I can’t carry you, can I?”
Sam steadied Gene as he stood up, planting him firmly on both feet, facing the door. “Big effort now Guv - there’s the door. Walk tall, walk straight. You’re the Sheriff, you can do this. I’m right behind you, OK? Don’t try to talk to anyone on the way, you’ll fall over.”
Outside the club, the cold night air half-sobered Sam, but it seemed to finish Gene off completely. He stood swaying on the pavement, staring vacantly around him and making no effort to move any further. Sam thought for a moment. His flat was only ten minutes away, and he realised he didn’t know exactly where Gene lived. And he was too pissed to drive, even in 1973. Gene argued bitterly about leaving the car behind, but eventually Sam got an arm round him and they staggered back to Sam’s flat. Sam ushered Gene towards a chair, then shut the door and put the kettle on to make some strong coffee.
He brought a cup over to Gene, but he was spark out, asleep in Sam’s tatty armchair. Sam looked at him assessingly: he didn’t look half as belligerent now he was asleep; his shirt crumpled, his hair dishevelled. He did look cold though, he’d left his coat in the club and his natty green shirt wasn’t going to keep him warm on a February night in an armchair. Sam got his only blanket off the bed, and spread it carefully over the sleeping man.
Gene stirred for a moment, and tried to push the blanket off. As Sam gathered it up again from Gene’s lap, his hand brushed against Gene’s trousers and he was astonished to realise that Gene had the beginnings of an erection. The man must be made of steel, Sam thought, after all that scotch, but at the same time Gene looked so vulnerable, so trusting, laid out unconscious in that chair. What devil woke in Sam at that moment he’d never know, but he couldn’t resist lightly stroking a hand along Gene’s erection. He’d never even thought of such a thing before; he just wanted to know what it felt like. Gene’s cock stiffened further under Sam’s gentle touch, and Sam snatched his hand away as Gene stretched out momentarily and muttered something Sam didn’t quite catch.
Sam stood watching Gene for a few more minutes, wondering why he didn’t just wake the man and send him home. At least that way he’d get his blanket back. He drank his coffee, and then decided to drink the one he’d made for Gene. With any luck the hot coffee would warm him up enough to let him sleep, to make up for the fact that his only blanket was keeping warm someone who was too drunk to appreciate it. He washed the cups and placed them neatly to drain; taking the jar of coffee from the cupboard he put it next to the kettle where Gene could find it in the morning. Finally, he climbed onto his creaky bed and curled up tight against the cold, hoping the alcohol would send him to sleep before the caffeine kicked in.
* * *
Gene shifted in the armchair. He looked around, realised where he was and, moving carefully but unsteadily, got up and went for a piss. He felt like hell, but it was 4am, and at least he was conscious now, and besides he had no desire to give
Gene could see no covers on the bed, so he looked around the room. Near the armchair he had slept in he found a blanket on the floor; he picked it up and spread it over the sleeping man. As he did so, Sam seemed to relax; he uncurled and rolled over onto his back, dislodging the blanket. Gene rescued it and spread it carefully over Sam again, smoothing it down. As he did so, Sam gasped and grabbed his hand; Gene, taken by surprise, grabbed the side of the bed with his other hand for balance, and as he did so, Sam pulled at Gene’s hand, putting it and his own together on what was definitely about to be a fair-sized stiffy. Sam smiled and murmured something Gene couldn’t make out
Surprised and embarrassed, Gene removed his hand quickly and headed for the door, where he couldn’t resist stopping for a moment, looking back to see if anything else was going to happen. It wasn’t; Sam was still smiling, but his hand had dropped back to his side and his breathing had settled again. Gene held his hand up and looked at it, and looked back at Sam. He shook his head and smiled to himself, feeling strangely protective, almost privileged. It was the closest he’d yet come to seeing the real person behind the uptight DI, and he wasn’t sure why that felt so good.
* * *
The next day, Sam found himself looking speculatively at Gene every time the Guv walked past his desk. He couldn’t stop thinking about the dream he’d had last night; it had been extremely hot and surprisingly enjoyable - but Gene Hunt? What had possessed his subconscious to invent getting it on with the Gene Genie? OK, getting hot with Maya, bring it on, it’s not like the conscious has been getting any, might as well let the subconscious have some fun.
But a hand job from the Guv? Sam laughed to himself at the sorry state his personal ambitions had come to. And then froze in horror as something Maya had once told him flashed into his mind.
It had been the morning after one of their increasingly cold and bitter discussions about the way Sam had changed. She had accused him of being distant and uncaring; she just couldn’t accept that he wasn’t like that inside, that he just had to act that way or go mad. He had tried to explain that it was – no, no, no, Sam shook his head, he wasn’t going to go there again, that was all over.
Anyway, Maya had been in a surprisingly good mood as she got ready for work, and when he’d asked why, she had laughed and stood very close as she said he’d done his “sex me” routine again in the night. “Again? Sex me?” he’d asked, confused. It wasn’t a term he’d ever used, although he’d overheard the younger women at the station using it.
“That’s just what I call it – I wake up to find you’re all turned on, and you’ve grabbed my hand and you want me to hold you and – you know. And you’re talking; you know, just a mumble, but I know what you’re saying. It just happens sometimes. Like last night.” She had smiled, embarrassed. By that time they’d stopped talking about sex, just did it occasionally when they weren’t both too tired. She smiled gently as she added “I love to see that the real Sam Tyler is still in there, even though you hide him so deep behind all that ‘I’m a DCI’ stuff”.
At the time he’d felt all warm and sexy at her words. Now he felt uncomfortable thinking about it, and fervently hoped that he hadn’t said or done anything like that last night. But, thinking about it, if he’d been asleep on the bed and the Guv had been passed out in the armchair, well then it wasn’t like he’d have been within grabbing distance. And anyway, hadn’t it been proved that when you were dreaming all your motor functions were inhibited? So the whole thing was impossible anyway. Good. Still hot though.
Getting a grip on his wandering mind, he realised that Gene had paused in front of him yet again, and he’d been staring at the front of the Guv’s trousers. He looked up to find Gene watching him, thumbs hooked in his belt. Sam blushed and tried to speak, but before he could say anything, Gene gave him one of those special Guv looks that combined a reassuring smile with an unmistakable hint of laughter and turned away without speaking.
Sam watched Gene’s back view move away. How could he find out if he’d said anything, he wondered. He could hardly ask. He wasn’t sure how he’d ever face the man again without thinking about the dream.
Continues in Part 2 soon...