Rating: Green Cortina
Word Count/Length: 1,060 approx
Pairing: Implied Gene/Sam
Warning: None needed except: Spoiler for Ashes to Ashes 3.05 trailer
Summary: Alex challenges Gene to tell her the truth
Cross-posted to lifein1973 and ashes2life
Alex tapped on Gene’s door and stepped inside without waiting for a reply. Time to have this out.
She shut the door and waited, but Gene only glanced at her briefly before turning back to his paperwork.
“Gene?” She kept her voice down, but moved close to the desk. Give him half a chance and he’d pretend he hadn’t heard her. She didn’t want that; this had to be brought into the open so she could see how it fitted into whatever game Keats thought he was playing.
Gene looked up. “What is it now, Bolly? I’m busy.”
“Why didn’t you tell me about you and Sam?”
He went utterly still for a moment, then put his pen down and leaned back in his chair.
“There was no ‘me and Sam’. Coffee, two sugars. Send Shaz in with it.”
“Gene, you don’t take sugar. I’m not leaving until...”
“And I don’t take having to listen to my DI getting her rocks off at the thought of me and Sam Tyler...”
“You and Sam Tyler what, Gene?”
“Nothing. He was my DI, that’s all.”
“Last week you said he was your friend.”
“None of your business what he was. So he was my friend. Doesn’t mean anything.”
“That’s not how I heard it from DI Bevan.”
“Yes, well, he’s one of Litton’s lot, they’re only here to make trouble. Noncy-arsed fairy boys, the lot of them.”
This was going to be even harder than she'd expected. Time to provoke him.
“And you’re not?”
He slammed both hands hard on the desk, making her jump. “No, I most emphatically am not! I am a police officer! A DCI! I am not a limp-wristed bloody gay boy, is that clear, DI Drake?”
She watched him for a moment, taking in the whitened knuckles on the edge of the desk and the faint hint of what almost looked like fear in his eyes.
She spoke again.
“Gene, I know. And not from DI Bevan and co, either. Sam told me himself that you and he...”
“Drake, this is not one of your psychiatrists’ conventions. Whatever you think you’re going to trick me into admitting, ain’t gonna happen.”
He leaned forward and looked her straight in the eye. He spoke intensely.
“Look, I don’t give a monkey’s left bollock what DI Bevan told you, it’s not true, OK? Sam and I were just... What we had was...”
He dried up and looked down at his desk for a moment, shuffling his papers angrily.
“I am not a poofter, Drake. I’m fighting for my professional life here, in case you hadn’t noticed, and this isn’t exactly the right moment for me to start admitting to being a friend of Dorothy. Not that I am admitting it, is that clear? I am not a fairy, not a fudge-packer...”
“Oh, so Sam did the fudge-packing?” she asked innocently. “I had wondered; he was always a little ... non-committal on that aspect of things. I think he felt I might be embarrassed.”
Their eyes met and she saw the tiniest smile twitch at his lips.
“He didn’t know you very well then, did he, Bolly?”
“Probably not. But you understand, don’t you Gene, that any experienced psychologist has heard it all ten times before. In this line of work you hear people’s innermost thoughts, their deepest fears. And do you know what Sam’s was? His deepest fear?”
Gene’s eyes went blank. “Enlighten me.”
“That he would never see you again. I don’t think he even realised himself until he said it. And then he ... he buried his face in his hands, that poor misplaced man.”
She sighed, remembering the way Sam had moved his hands away, wiping his face clear of emotion as he looked at her.
“I think he was frightened too, in a different way. About what people would think of him, a modern DCI, falling for the man he used to call a Neanderthal. In fact he...”
“Are we done?”
“Sorry, Guv, not with you?”
“That’s been obvious for the last ten minutes. Away with the bloody fairies is where you’ve been.”
He stood up abruptly.
“It may have escaped your attention, Drake, but we are in the middle of a murder investigation here. And I don’t think dragging up the sorry story of DI Tyler’s winning ways with a wank is exactly helping to collar the vicious bastard that did it! So get your over-tight arse in gear, DI Drake, and bring me some scum to interrogate. I feel in need of hitting someone. Hard.”
She moved to the door and paused with her fingers on the handle. Turning back to him she smiled and said quietly,
“He denied it too, at first. But he couldn’t keep up the pretence. In the end his need to talk to someone who might understand was simply deeper than his wish to keep it secret.”
“Police force isn’t ready for that sort of stuff, Bolly. Why d’you think I haven’t promoted Granger yet? Not because she doesn’t deserve it, but because she doesn’t know when to keep her mouth shut!”
“And you do?”
“I do. I‘ve kept my mouth shut on the subject of Sam Tyler for seven long years, and you are not going to psycho-analyse me into telling you anything that’s not in those reports you think I don’t know you’re reading. Just leave it alone, Bolly. The man is gone, it’s over.”
Alex walked back to the desk and spoke very clearly.
“Sam Tyler loved you, Gene. I think he regretted never having told you while he had the chance, but he loved you with all his heart. In fact I don’t think it’s putting it too strongly to say you were the love of his life.”
She turned and left the office quickly, not wanting to stay and watch his reaction. Behind her the door closed, and as she sat down at her desk she heard the sharp rattle of the blind coming down.
She wondered briefly if she’d done the right thing in raising the subject, but the time for hiding was past. What was needed now was a strategy.
Through the door she heard the unmistakable creak of the filing cabinet drawer and the clink of bottle on glass.
So, just her then. Working out how to save Gene while he buried his head in the sand. Or the bottle.
She sighed, and reached into the right-hand drawer of her desk.
~ ~ ~