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Life on Mars fic - Starting Again - dorsetgirl
September 22nd, 2007
11:58 am
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Life on Mars fic - Starting Again

Title:                Starting Again

Author:             DorsetGirl

Fandom:          Life on Mars

Disclaimer:      The story is mine, the characters sadly are not. No money being made, no harm meant.

Rating:             Blue Cortina for suggested slash.

Spoilers:          None, I don’t know when it’s set and I don’t think it matters much.

Word Count:   1350

Summary:       It's in the title
Pairing:           Gene/Sam. No action in this one, sorry.

A/N:                This was going to be the final scene of something longer. But that keeps getting pushed back down the pile by new ideas, and I’m not sure it’s really within my area of competence anyway. Anyway, this suddenly demanded to be written, so here it is. I’m not posting to <lj comm=lifein1973> because it may be superseded by the full version at some point.


Starting Again


“OK people, give the man some space.” Seeing Gene sway slightly, Sam stood up quickly and moved towards him, motioning everyone else back to work.


“Time you were out of here, Guv. I’ll drive you home. First day back, you don’t want to overtire yourself.” Sam collected the keys to an unmarked car as Gene said a subdued goodbye to the rest of the team, then he led the way down to the yard. There was no sign of the Cortina.


“What, I come back after three months in hospital and I don’t even get to go home in me own car? What have you done with it, Tyler? If you’ve smashed it up, you can take over my bloody hospital bed. They’ll have changed the sheets by now.”


“How could I smash it up? I’ve not been near it, have I?” Sam retorted. Fucking Carling saw to that, he thought. Gene had been taken away in the ambulance, and Ray had insisted on following in the Cortina to sign him in. And then – nothing. Not a word from Gene. Only the occasional casual feedback from Ray, who in the absence of a next of kin had still been Gene’s listed “contact in emergency”.


It had been far too early to talk about changing that sort of thing. They’d only just started; had barely been together a month before the accident. Still working things out, learning how open they could be with each other. It went without saying that no-one else could know.


As they reached the car, Sam striding across the concrete and Gene following more slowly, Sam turned to watch Gene. Waiting for him to catch up, Sam had to clench his jaw and fists against all sorts of urges: to fuss, to help, to kiss. To turn away and tear his own heart out. As Gene tried to make himself comfortable in the passenger seat, Sam occupied himself instead with putting the bags and stick in the boot.


Gene was uncharacteristically silent on the drive to his house, looking blankly ahead. Sam’s mind was straining with the effort of not saying all the things Gene wouldn’t want to hear, with the result that by the time Sam walked round and opened Gene’s door, they had exchanged no more than a few words.


“I’m OK Tyler. Not a complete invalid.”


“I can see that. Just trying to help.” Watching Gene’s face whiten as he stood up, Sam said “I’ll carry your bags in Guv, see you inside. You’re only out of bed two days.”


“I said I’m OK”. Gene was getting angry now. “Just leave me alone, can’t you.” He turned away. “You’re good at that,” he said more quietly as he picked up his bags, gritting his teeth against the pain.


Sam flinched and bit his lip. “Look, I er ... I just wanted to say ...I’m sorry, Guv.”


Gene turned towards the house. “Yeah? Sorry for what? For never coming to see me? Forget it. When I need nancy boys at me bedside I’ll call Larry Grayson.” The words floated over his shoulder as he limped away, leaving Sam abandoned at the gate.


“No, I mean I’m sorry I...  I shouldn’t have... Look, forget it. That’s best. If that’s what you want.” Sam watched as Gene slowed and stopped.


“What I want?” Gene turned to face Sam. He dropped the bags and walked painfully back towards Sam, eyes never wavering from Sam’s face.  “Are you joking? When did you start caring what I want? If you cared one little bit about what I want, you might have dragged your arse to the hospital once in a while. Three months I was in there and you never came to see me. Not once, Sam.”


Gene was openly trembling now with the effort of remaining calm, his voice low and bitter. “If all you’ve got to say is sorry – ‘sorry I’m not interested, sorry I don’t care any more’ - then just don’t bother. I don’t need your pity. Piss off.”


“For... hold on. Not ... What the bloody hell makes you think I’m not...?” Sam kept his voice down with an effort, mindful of the quiet street. “Oh, I get it. Ray. Bastard. Didn’t he tell you I wanted to come and see you? I kept saying. I asked him to tell you.” As Gene staggered slightly, Sam shot out an arm to steady him. Gene shrugged him off angrily so instead he picked up the bags and carried them to the door. Gene followed carefully, agony evident in every step.


“He told me you’d offered,” said Gene, catching his breath with difficulty. “He also told me you didn’t really have the time – well that was obvious, Acting DCI and no DI - but he said he’d try to get you to come in if I really wanted.” Gene met his eye briefly. “Wasn’t getting into that game, Sam. Not if you weren’t interested.”


“Not interested?” Sam laughed harshly, not looking at Gene. “He didn’t tell you how much I wanted to come and see you, did he? ‘Cos he doesn’t know. No-one knows.” He turned suddenly, moving closer. “Not even you apparently. When did that happen?”


“When you never came, Sam. Three months ago. Three bloody long months ago.” Gene’s eyes were shadowed as he looked at Sam. Their eyes were on a level for once, Gene hunching over against the pain. “When you didn’t come on the first day after the operation - I waited all afternoon for you. Then I reckoned you thought it was all a big mistake - us, I mean - just too embarrassing; too compromising. With your high professional standards and all.“ He ran a hand over his eyes, exhausted. “So I thought - while I was away, you were just going to let it fade away, forget it.” He rested his forehead on the door. “I can’t... Sam, I’ve got to sit down, I...”


Sam got the door open as quickly as he could, and helped Gene gently inside. Moving straight through to the sitting room he arranged cushions and steadied Gene as he sat down, then sat down himself, perched at the far end of the sofa. He watched Gene shifting to get comfortable and putting his head back against the sofa, eyes closed, face haggard and drawn.


“Gene, if you knew...” he started. “You have no idea how many times I rearranged things, cancelled things. Every time Ray said you might be allowed more visitors, I was ready. And every time he said it was too much, you were still too tired, it was like... ” He swallowed, remembering just how much it had hurt, a new wound every time. He moved closer, putting a hand tentatively to Gene’s face. “I missed you so much, Gene. I’ve been here waiting for you ever since you went in there. I thought you... I thought the same as you did. That you wanted to let it go.”


“Well, I’m here now.” Gene said faintly, eyes still closed. “Not that I’m much use to anyone at the moment.”


“Yeah, you’re here now. We’re here now. We can start again, Gene.” Sam leaned forward, dropping a gentle kiss on Gene’s mouth, unable to resist extending his tongue just enough to place it between Gene’s lips for a moment.


“Yeah, well, only if we skip over the first six months where I had to keep shoving you up against the filing cabinet ‘cos that’s the only way I could touch you.” Gene opened his eyes for a moment as he spoke with unexpected strength. “I’m not going through all that again.”


Sam smiled. “Time enough for all that tomorrow Gene. For now, I want you to go to sleep. I’ll hold you.”


Gene was almost asleep already. The intensity of the exchange had tired him as much as the persistent pain of his injuries. Sam knelt on the sofa next to him, wrapping his arms around Gene and burying his face in Gene’s hair, breathing in the familiar scent as Gene relaxed against him.





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(9 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:September 23rd, 2007 09:54 pm (UTC)
this may surprise you, but I love kissing and holding fics, even more than snogging and shagging ones (sometimes). This was beautiful, so full of misplaced anger, fear and love. I felt for both of them, three months apart must have been intolerable. And nasty Ray for trying to keep them apart. But they sort out their differences in the end and that's what's important. Yay. *hugs*
[User Picture]
Date:September 23rd, 2007 10:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading this, and for commenting; I'm glad you liked it. And yes, I'm with you on the holding; I see these two as always holding each other: before, during and after, and - as here - instead of, where necessary.

The longer fic is about the three months while Gene is in hospital, and Ray just doesn't want the Guv bothered with that twat Tyler. I've got a fair amount of it done, but my original plan was to show Sam almost disintegrating under the various work and personal strains, and I don't think I have the weight of experience to tackle that. I'm just at the fluff stage really. Maybe one day. Thanks again for taking the trouble to read this.
[User Picture]
Date:September 23rd, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)
absolutely no trouble to read it, it was a pleasure. I know what you mean about writing the angsty stuff, it feels too heavy. Oddly enough I don't tend to get that feeling whilst I'm writing it, just when I read it which is why I don't like re-reading my stuff. Hopefully, one day you can write the whole fic, the pain only makes the pleasure sweeter.

thanks for pointing me to this. It was a fantastic read, really powerful. :)
[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2007 07:25 am (UTC)
Oooh - I really liked this; the way that the two of them dance around their emotions is absolutely perfect, and the holding - I'm in the same boat as beautybecks - love it; not really a kink, but definitely that I see this pair doing, all the time.

I love the way that you write Gene in this - so on edge, and such a perfect mixture of brutal honesty and that emotion-hiding-tough-guy-facade - it's just wonderful.

Hoping to see the whole fic some day, because this was great! :)
[User Picture]
Date:September 24th, 2007 08:33 am (UTC)
Thank you!. I really felt I'd understood Gene in this, almost more than Sam, which is unusual for me. Perhaps it was because he's more vulnerable than usual.

I got the notification this morning that you'd friended me; I don't really understand all the friends stuff, but if it gets me comments like this from people whose writing I am in awe of, then I'm all for it!
[User Picture]
Date:September 25th, 2007 04:51 pm (UTC)
Hee; I'm not sure about the proper protocols for friending, either; I just went through and added a bunch of people from the comm, trying to catch fics that I would have otherwise missed - I'm glad that I did, too, because this was a really wonderful piece!
[User Picture]
Date:September 25th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:September 1st, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)

belated commenting...

Brilliant :) Love the dialogue. Both Sam and Gene are written so perfectly. I love how the angst is all centered around miscommunication and misunderstandings and you've even given it a happy resolution. What more could a girl ask for? ;)

[User Picture]
Date:September 1st, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)

Re: belated commenting...

I will always give these two a happy resolution (well, eventually!). Thanks for commenting - it's lovely to get a surprise comment for an older fic - and I'm pleased you enjoyed it!
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