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Fanfic - Cousins - dorsetgirl
August 9th, 2007
01:24 am
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Fanfic - Cousins

Title: Cousins

Author: DorsetGirl

Fandom: This is a “Real Life” story, about a Life on Mars fanfic writer!

Disclaimer: I don’t own Sam or Gene, sadly. BBC/Kudos do. The other characters are mine, but genesreunited isn’t. Perhaps its owners will consider its appearance here a free advertisement.

Rating: PG for non-graphic slash

Pairing: Gene/Sam, of course!

Spoiler: None. Just a bit of whimsy.

Word Count: approx 1080.

Summary: Have you ever wondered who’s behind the screen name?

to jayb111 for an informative, fast and tactful beta job. Turns out I made exactly the same mistakes as last time. *headdesk*
A/N: This story was partially inspired by the fact that a number of people at TRA have mentioned that they keep family history documents and websites open and ready to switch to whenever they’re at TRA or Lifein1973, to hide from their families just how long they spend obsessing about Life on Mars or looking at pics of John and Phil. I do it myself.

You don’t need to know anything about Family History to understand this story, but it might help to know that: (a) genesreunited is a major search and contact site; (b) an Ag Lab is an Agricultural Labourer, of which most of us have many amongst our ancestors; (c) Scottish records from 1855 onwards are wonderful - far better than English and Welsh ones for the same period.


Marianne Smeet said goodnight yet again to each of the kids, and finally escaped gratefully downstairs. Only a month ago she’d have poured herself a large glass of wine at this point, but nowadays she preferred to keep a clear head until later in the evening.

Resolving to be strong for once, she avoided going straight to Lifein1973 and instead opened up the ten-page document she’d been working on for a week now, together with the email she’d received this morning from her beta, cousinhilda. How on earth did people think up these names, she wondered briefly, starting to read halfway down the story.

Gene and Sam were just waking up after their first proper night together, tangled around each other in the narrow bed. She’d had them shagging in alleys before, but this was the first time she’d brought them home, and cousinhilda had pointed out a couple of continuity errors. 

Marianne had found this section quite difficult to write. The sex had been good; sometimes it was awkward and uncomfortable, with bits in the wrong places, but this time it had just flowed, everything moving easily from start to climax. However, a hurried encounter behind the pub was one thing; bringing them home raised different questions. For example, was either of them up for another session in the morning? And was she going to let them, or was she going to hurry them both off to work unsatisfied? The former, obviously. Sam looked adorable first thing in the morning, everyone knew that, but was there another word that would convey that sleepy look and the contented little smile?

Now, ticking off items on the beta notes, she read through the relevant paragraphs again, trying to find where Gene had left his cigarettes. She worked for another half an hour, making sure everyone was happy, then dressed the lovers and sent them, bickering amiably, out to the Cortina to start another day. 

Finally, she typed that magic word “End” and filled in the header fields. “Always in the Morning, a Life on Mars fanfic by DevonLady.”

Now at last she logged onto LiveJournal and posted the story to Lifein1973. What with school holidays and computer problems, it had been a quiet couple of weeks on the comm, so it didn’t take long to catch up on the latest fics. Then she looked at the clock - only 11-30, still time for a bit of family history.

Marianne logged onto genesreunited and started ploughing through her Hot Matches. There were an astonishing number of them, as she’d been ignoring the notification emails since her family history investigations had taken a back seat to the newer obsession. She worked her way methodically down the 67 entries.

Ah – something there. Her partner Mike’s great-great-grandfather from Suffolk – unusual surname, correct birth date, right village. Gold. Marianne copied into the Message box a few brief ancestor and descendant details for the Suffolk Ag Lab who’d died in 1860, and offered to provide further details once the potential contact – someone called Karina - had confirmed they were talking about the same man. 

Last time she’d had a contact who was descended from this particular ancestor, it had turned out to be a first cousin of Mike’s father, named Sarah Martin. Sarah had sent Marianne photos of her children in the Australian sunshine, details of her parents’ dates and places of birth and - best of all – the plot number for the grave of Mike’s grandmother in the cemetery in Hackney. She’d mentioned she had a cousin also working on the family tree, who had some certificates and notebooks from the grandfather.

Possibly this Karina was the cousin that Sarah had mentioned, in which case Marianne could tell her about her ancestor’s oldest son, a soldier who had been helpful enough not only to marry a Scottish girl but to spend the rest of his life in Glasgow. In return, hopefully Karina could provide scans of the notebooks. 

Family history was a strange hobby, she mused, especially via the internet. You found yourself “talking” to people who had photos you’d never seen of your own parents, or who you remembered vaguely from school and now turned out to be your second cousin. Or, like Sarah and presumably Karina, you could tell them details of their grandparents and great-grandparents that they had never suspected. Like the fact, recently unearthed, that one of those great-grandparents, dying in 1905, had been in the Asylum for six years by then. 

That sort of thing was always a bit tricky: you knew so much about these people - their dates of birth, what they looked like, how much money their grandparents had left – but often you felt you didn’t actually know the person themselves, or – in this case - how they would react to a detailed description of an ancestor’s dying breath, clinically catalogued and preserved forever.

Marianne decided to keep that piece of information for another day. She clicked on Send, then logged off the site, wondering when she might expect a reply from “Karina”.

Finally, she sent a brief note to cousinhilda, thanking her for the beta job and pointing her to a new site she’d found with some great photos of John and Phil together. She thought cousinhilda might be in Australia, so perhaps she’d pick up the message quite quickly as it would be – presumably, she kept forgetting to check - already morning there. She didn’t know what cousinhilda did for a living, but she did know the important things, like the fact that hilda adored sleepy!Sam but in real life preferred Phil to John, and that she was a witty, articulate person who could turn round a beta in a couple of hours, had an eye for a great icon and wrote Gene better than anyone else.

After one last look for new posts on TRA, Marianne finally closed down the computer and went to bed, late as usual.

* * *

Somewhere on the other side of the world, Karina Martin had finished checking her emails. Just a notification from genesreunited that she had a message from someone called Marianne. That could wait until tomorrow; she just didn’t feel in a family history mood at the moment.

Instead, she logged on to LiveJournal - cousinhilda, just a private joke - and went straight to Lifein1973. Ah, lovely. DevonLady had posted “Always in the Morning“. Karina picked up her cup of tea and settled down to read the final version.


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