Fandom: Life on Mars
Word Count: 850 words approx
Rating: White Cortina
Summary: Loneliest day of the year
A/N: This is the follow-up to Lonely at Christmas - Gene and Lonely at Christmas - Sam. Sorry it’s taken so long!
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Lonely at Christmas (The Phone Call)
When the phone does eventually ring, it makes him jump, and he almost spills his drink.
Stupid really; no reason why it would be Sam, in fact Sam is the last person it’s likely to be, but before he knows it he’s picked up the phone and said it anyway:
Wonderful. Now it sounds like he’s been sitting here just waiting for the daft ponce to phone. He curses the whisky briefly and tries to relax as he listens to the caller’s slightly uneven breathing.
Unless he’s suddenly attracting the raincoat in phone box brigade, it’s Sam all right. Down the thin wires linking them Gene can practically see the pout and the little frown, but when Sam finally speaks it sounds like he’s drunk rather too much of the surprisingly good whisky.
“Guv?” Definitely a bit of a slur there.
“Sam. You’d better not be ringing to tell me there’s scum needs beating up. I’m not going anywhere tonight.”
“No. No, er, ...not ...not that I know about, anyway. No, I just rang to, um, wish you a Happy Christmas, ’s all. So. Um, if you’re busy I’ll ... let you get back to whatever you were doing, shall I? Right, um, so I’ll, er, see you on...”
Bloody hell, more than just a slur. More like half-cut.
“Hang on, Gladys, slow down a minute. No need to go rushing off, we’ve got all... Anyway. What’s up in your little world, then, Sam? The wonders of Hyde lost their glitter? Or are you working down your list and there’s only me left to tick off? You have got a list, Sammy?”
“Er, I... no, Gene. Of course I haven’t got a list.”
Gene can almost see the eyes rolling from here. He can certainly hear the impatient sigh.
“I just drank too much and fell asleep so my dinner got burnt, that’s all.”
Shit. Gene mentally reviews his empty kitchen.
“I can hear you thinking, you know. It’s usually me that does that.”
“Oh. Right. Sorry, Sam, barking up the wrong tree there. I’ve had my dinner already. Nothing left, not a sausage. And I’ll stop thinking, shall I, seeing as you don’t like it?”
“No, I didn’t mean... Look, I just rang to make sure you were OK, that’s all, so if you’re just going to be deliberately obtuse I’ll leave you to it.”
“That’s that funny glass they put in bathroom windows. Can’t fool me, Sam. And anyway I’m not being. Obtuse, that is. Transparent as the day is long, me.”
“And it has been a very long... No, I mean ... oh, nothing. Forget I said that.”
“I’d have to understand it first. Couldn’t you find any procedures to write? Nothing in your poky little flat need cleaning?”
Sam’s struggling to remember why he started this; Gene can be bloody hard work when he wants.
“No need to take the piss, Gene. Right, that’s it, I’m hanging up.”
“No! Er, no, don’t do that, Sam. You could, er, you could come over if you want. That is ... I haven’t had my pudding yet, and there’s some whisky left. Or you could make us one of your fancy foreign things if you’re hungry. Got stuff in the cupboard.”
“No, I couldn’t do that, Guv. Don’t want to be in your way or anything, you’ve probably got plans.”
“Have it your own way, then. I’ll see you on...”
“...but I could if you want. Come over, that is?”
“Well, if you’re really that desperate...”
Sam takes a slow breath and starts counting but his frustration boils over before he gets to two. “Gene, I am not desperate. I just phoned to see... Look, if you’re going to be like that about it I’ll...”
“Sam, will you stop over-reacting like a girl and shut up a moment while I think? Look, you’ll freeze your bollocks off out there tonight, and you haven’t got any worth mentioning to start with, so get a taxi, all right?”
“I’ll walk, I’m not made of bloody money. It’ll only take half an hour.”
“You will not, you daft sod, you’ll die of exposure. I’ll pay, OK? Call it a Christmas present.”
“What, I come over and cook for you, and probably wash up after you, and that’s my present? Did you like the whisky, by the way?”
“Yes, it was better than I expected, given you chose it. There’s still a bit left. Look, Sam, you phoned me, no-one’s forcing you to do anything.”
“I know no-one’s forcing me, I just ...” Sam massages his neck; the man's being deliberately infuriating. Abruptly, he tires of the game. “All right then, you win.”
“What? Didn’t know it was a competition, Sam.”
“Always is, with you. I’ll see you in half an hour, OK?”
“I told you, get a taxi.”
“I don’t need you to tell me what to do, Gene. I could do with the walk, anyway.”
“Don’t get lost.”
“I think I can find my way, thank you. Not a complete idiot.”
“We can talk about that when you get here.”
“I’ll look forward to it.”
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