Title: Lonely at Christmas (Gene)
Fandom: Life on Mars
Word Count: 500 words approx
Summary: Loneliest day of the year
A/N: This was going to be a drabble, for the Christmas Day drabble challenge, but it turned out Gene had rather more to say than that.
Lonely at Christmas (Gene)
Gene drains the glass one last time and sets it down firmly. All these years he’s imagined being on his own Christmas Day would be wonderful: drink as much as you like, eat as many chocolates as you like, before lunch - in fact, who needs lunch, send it to the starving children in Africa - and lie about on the sofa all day doing absolutely bugger all. Bloody marvellous.
Turns out it’s not quite like that.
Lie in bed till nine was a good start, of course. No-one determinedly getting up to get the turkey in, so you’re finished eating before the Queen comes on. No pretending to like yet another jumper you'll never wear.
All downhill from there though. Funny how getting no presents at all, even just another pair of nylon socks from her Aunty Hilda, makes you feel like the most worthless tosser in the world. And even if all the cards are here same as usual, “to Vera & Family from all at No 23” doesn’t have quite the same ring when you’ve worked long hours for so many years that you don’t even know who No 23 are. And being just an afterthought, an unknown “& Family” to a Vera who’s not even here any more doesn’t exactly add to the feeling of festive cheer.
Turning on the telly doesn’t help. All those bloody choirboys, looking just like the wankers at the posh school you'd secretly have liked to go to. Little white collars and smug smiles, worlds away from real people - bet they never went hungry or got into fights down the docks, nor had their dreams hit out of them night after night.
The radio’s no better: choirs and quizzes and whatnot, nothing to hold on to there. Maybe a sandwich, for something to do. Fight the whisky to cut the bread straight down, although to be fair it is easier when it’s a few days old like this. Open a jar of paste - salmon for a special occasion - and chuck it all on, nice and thick. Whole jar, no sharing. Knew there had to be something good about having the place to yourself. Pour one last glass to wash it down.
And now what? No friends, no family. No telly, no turkey. Just quiet. An awful lot of quiet, truth be told.
Gene looks at his watch and wonders what Sam’s doing now. Probably got friends round or something. Gone back to Hyde, maybe. Won’t be sitting on his own in that stupid little flat, course he won’t, so no point trying to ring him. Bound to have better things to do than talk to someone from work on Christmas Day.
Gene eats half his sandwich and looks at the phone.
It doesn’t ring.