Rating: Green cortina
Word count: 1400-ish
Notes: Written for ficathon 2012 on lifein1973 for thesmallhobbit
Prompt: Sam/Gene, established relationship, something from one of their pasts comes between them.
Summary: In the end it didn't matter that Sam wasn't who Gene thought he was. It didn't matter that Sam was a man or that he was Gene's DI, or that he had killed a man. In the end all that mattered to Gene was Sam.
Ray: Yeah, but can you hit anything?
Sam: You should see my Playstation scores.
Moonlight snuck in through the chink in the ratty curtains and danced along the blankets as the breeze blew gently in, uninvited but not unwelcome.
"We can't bring Reynolds in for questioning again until we have more evidence," Sam murmured. "Solid evidence. And don't send Ray in to get him or we'll end up with a gang war outside C&A."
Gene tightened his arm around Sam. "Do me a favour and switch it off for a minute," he grumbled. "I've just had my brains shafted out here and you want me to think?"
He felt Sam's smile along his bare shoulder. "No, I'll do the thinking, I'm better at it than you."
"In your dreams." Gene closed his eyes. "Did you set the alarm?"
Sam murmured an affirmative and shifted, tangling his leg with Gene's. It felt comforting, not that Gene would ever admit that out loud. He was the comfort-giver; he didn't need constant reassurances from Sam about anything.
Still. It felt nice.
"We should get a warrant to search the house," Sam said, rubbing his foot along Gene's shin.
"He's got that huge cellar. What's he hiding in it?"
"Dancing girls," Gene suggested.
The shin rubbing stopped, then started up again.
"Human trafficking isn't his style. I was thinking… arms. Drugs. Stolen antiquities."
"Coffee maker, cuddly toy."
Sam sighed. "How the hell did you make DCI?"
"I slept with one and he taught me all he knew."
"Feel free to pass on that knowledge any time."
"I'd love to, but you keep talking about work. Give me ten minutes."
He heard a chuckle and drifted off, comforted by the sound of Sam's voice and the warmth of the body wrapped around him.
CID weren't busy but Gene let the phone ring five times before picking it up. There was no need to advertise the fact.
"DCI Hunt, DCI Morgan here. How's Sam doing?"
"Happy as a nympho in a dildo factory," Gene answered, closing his newspaper with one hand. He didn't like speaking to Sam's former DCI, but sometimes the man had something worth listening to.
"Good. Good. No sign of unsettledness? How is he coping? It's a very different way of policing in your department."
"As I said, Frank, he's fine. Is there any point to this call? Only, we've got paint drying in the canteen and I really want to go and watch it."
There was a pained silence at the other end. "Our boy is getting stressed," Morgan said, eventually. "You're working on the Reynolds case, aren't you? Suspected arms dealer."
Gene was silent. Let Morgan get to the point. Gene had seen the signs too.
"We both know what happens when Sam falls apart. Don't let him near the guns, Gene," Morgan said, his voice low and serious.
"That's my decision as his senior officer. He's authorised and he's handled them before."
"He shot a senior officer before."
"We've all felt like that at some point. I'm sure he had good reason."
"Oh, he did. The DI was about to file a complaint about Sam's competence. You know how touchy he gets about that. So he shot him. In the back."
Gene gripped the telephone receiver hard. There it was. "That would have made headline news."
"Oh no. Blue-eyed boy. They thought Sam would go far. He was on course for the top man's job. He could still have it, if he came back to me."
"I'll be sure to pass it on."
"You do that. And I'll pass his file along to you. It makes for interesting reading."
Gene watched Sam. It was no hardship, he did it most days. This time he was looking for something: signs of Sam cracking, actions a bit off, a conversation that rang warning bells in his head.
He found all of those and more. It was quite reassuring. Living with Sam was an endless round of unpredictability, but if Gene was certain of one thing it was that Sam would always have the ability to surprise him.
He trusted Sam with his life, but there were other officers beneath him and he had to consider their safety and well-being too.
"Is there anything you want to tell me, Sam?" he asked, when it was just the two of them in his office discussing the finer points of the case.
"Anything you might have done that could jeopardise this investigation?"
"In your distant and fuzzy past? Anything at all?"
Sam shook his head slowly. "Still no."
"I've got your file here. From Hyde."
Sam swallowed; the look in his eyes wasn't quite panic… not yet. "That's… not mine, he's Sam Williams. He's not me, Gene… I'm not him."
Gene leaned forward. "I couldn't give a rat's arse what you want to call yourself, Sam, but I won't be lied to."
Sam spread his arms wide in surrender. "I haven't lied."
Gene opened the file. "DI Neil White. Shot in the back by a gun that had been signed out to you."
Sam paled. "That's… not possible," he whispered, arms falling by his sides.
Gene suddenly felt sick. He'd been expecting denial, arguments, shouting even. But not this quiet disbelief. Not Sam standing speechless and looking stunned. He watched as Sam dragged a shaky hand over his face and shook his head again.
"Gene, that's not even possible. How can it be…?"
"You tell me."
There was a crash from outside the office door, but neither man moved. Ray swore at someone - Chris, probably - and then Phyllis was pushing the door open, briskly informing Gene of a robbery in progress at the Midland Bank in King Street.
"Yes, thank you, Sergeant!" Gene barked and swept Sam's file in his drawer. "We'll talk later, DI Tyler," he promised and strode out to rally the troops.
It had been four days since Gene had confronted Sam. Four days since the robbery, and they'd been busy with paperwork, legwork, all the kinds of work that go with attempted robberies and stolen guns. Four days of speaking only about work, about the case and of saying goodbye at the end of the day. Four nights of a cold bed, of waking up without Sam in his arms, of not fighting over the bathroom and of making his own breakfast without Sam nagging.
The frying pan mocked him. It was little compensation for a man used to having his conscience living in.
Gene broke first. It was the fifth night of Sam not turning up in the pub after work and Gene was sick of it. He wasn't going to spend the weekend waiting by the phone like a lovesick teenager in case Sam decided to call him. He left the pub and made his way to Sam's bedsit, the cool air helping to unscramble his thoughts.
Two raps brought Sam to the door. He didn't even have to threaten or raise his voice.
"Tell me about DI White, Sam," he said, taking off his jacket and tie and reaching for the Scotch.
He listened as Sam told him about his time as a DS, about the incompetent DI who'd led an unauthorised raid on illegal workers in a sweat shop that doubled up as a drop-off point for knocked-off guns. The police were under-manned and outclassed, and Sam had lost his gun early on when a group of Romanian women fled past him all at once in their haste to avoid arrest and possible deportation. It had been found later, three bullets lighter, one of which was lodged in the late DI White's back.
"I didn't kill him -- I was nowhere near him, but there were doubts raised and I had to jump through a number of psychiatrists' hoops before I was allowed to handle firearms again," Sam finished, draining his glass and setting it down with a quiet thud.
"It didn't hurt that you were highly thought of upstairs."
Sam shrugged and Gene leant in, close enough to smell the whisky on Sam's breath, to see the evening stubble on Sam's jaw. "If you ever shoot me in the back, Sammy boy, make sure it's a good one," he warned. "You won't get a second chance."
Sam nodded mutely and turned his head, moving the extra inch or so forward to press his lips against Gene's. It was the merest touch - a brush, a tingle - but there was a promise of more and Gene wasn't about to turn it down.
In the end all that mattered to Sam was Gene.