And it's slashy. That's why I'm here now. :-P
This fic isn't very good, and is probably (definitely) confusing if you've never seen the series. Hm... I think I'm just going to shut up and post it before I start saying not to read it.
Title: A Visit
Fandom: Life on Mars
Pairing: Gene/Sam, Sam/Maya
Rating: Green Cortina (PG)
Word Count: 2,239
Warnings: SPOILERS probably straight through to the end.
Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit.
Summary: DCI Sam Tyler receives a visit from some strange men.
A/N: This is my first fic in this fandom. I always thought my first LoM fic would be some type of PWP with loads of fighting, banter, and some good, old fashioned ignoring of emotions mixed in. Instead, I was bitten by this plot bunny. It seemed like an awesome idea at the time, and I hope it came out at least somewhere close to that. Anyway… fic:
ETA: I can't believe I forgot to put this in, but a huge THANK YOU to kitty_poker1 for the beta!
They weren't in the room, but Sam still saw them immediately through the partially-blinded windows. Just two elderly men, nothing out of the ordinary, but Sam couldn't draw his attention away from them.
They looked to be about 70 years old, maybe a bit younger. One was clearly heavier than the other, and that one didn't look too happy about being there. The skinnier, maybe even younger, one made eye contact with Sam and smiled. Sam frowned and tilted his head. The men looked so familiar but he just couldn't place them. Know them or not, he couldn't look away. He was drawn to them. He wanted to go over to them, talk to them. More than that. He needed to.
"... -- Sam."
His name drew him out of his unjustifiable haze. He looked up to find Maya looking at him with concern and confusion.
"Sorry," he quickly apologized, covering her hand with his. "I was on another planet. What were you saying?"
"I was asking my new Detective Chief Inspector if he wanted to head down to the pub for a celebratory drink." Maya was beaming at him, and Sam had to blink. He still wasn't used to hearing himself being called a DCI. He'd spent a long time reaching for that position, and now that he'd finally gotten it, it felt slightly awkward. Like trying on a new type of shoe. Though, this was one pair that Sam Tyler had spent his life trying to afford, and he'd be damned if he wasn't going to get used to it and make sure he deserved to wear it for as long as he bloody well could.
"DCIs don't drink on the job, Maya," Sam said, smiling at her. "Tell you what, though. Make us reservations at the nicest restaurant you can think of. We're going to celebrate the best day of my life the right way."
She leaned closer to him and spoke with a lowered voice. "And then, maybe we can go back to your flat and try to finish it with the best night of your life."
Sam's smile widened. "I so love you," he said, pulling her hand to his lips. "Now, go make those reservations. That's an order."
Maya turned from Sam's desk with a quick, "Yes, sir, Detective Chief Inspector," and went straight to her computer, no doubt looking up the fanciest and most expensive restaurants in all of Manchester.
Sam looked down at the files spread out on his desk, trying to ignore the nagging feeling inside begging him to just to glance at the window once more. He couldn't help it; he looked.
The larger man had his hand on the other's shoulder and was leaning in to whisper something in his ear. Sam couldn't explain it; the men were all the way on the other side of the office, standing outside, the office itself was just as busy and noisy as it had ever been, and yet Sam heard the whispered words, clear as day.
"We should go, Sam, before you do something stupid."
Sam frowned at the words, and so did the other man - the other Sam - from the other side of the window. Before he could stop and consider what he was doing, Sam was out of his seat and walking with considerable speed across the room. Within seconds, he was out the door and staring face-to-face with the men.
He wasn't sure what to say. What could he possibly say after rushing across a busy police office just because he was afraid of two strange old men leaving? He closed his eyes and shook his head clear. "Detective Chief Inspector Tyler," he introduced himself, extending an open hand to the larger, scowling man.
Instead of taking his hand, the man just looked at it distastefully, and then at his companion, who stepped forward and took the offered hand. "It's a pleasure, DCI Tyler. I'm so -- I mean, you're -- uh, congratulations. On the promotion. Detective Chief Inspector." The man was grinning like a madman and still hadn't stopped shaking Sam's hand. "You must be so happy."
Sam nodded and started to reply before the other man interrupted with a snort. "Yeah, well, don't let it go to your head."
Sam frowned. That wasn't the politest way to congratulate a man who'd just been promoted to DCI. "I'll try not to," he said, not exactly succeeding in keeping all the sourness from his voice.
The smaller man released Sam's hand and turned to his companion. "Christ, Gene. For once in your life try to be nice to somebody. This is -" The man cut himself off and glanced at Sam. "I mean, this is probably one of the best experiences in DCI Tyler's life. Can't you ever just be supportive of... him?"
Sam narrowed his eyes and frowned at him. So did Gene.
"I've never even pretended to be nice to you. Why the 'ell would I want to start now?"
Sam redirected his narrowed eyes and frown.
"Oh, quit pretending to be tough. If that were true, we wouldn't even be here now. Definitely not together, at least."
"Pretending to be tough! Oh, Sammy-boy, I'll show you pretending." Gene grabbed the older Sam by the collar and pushed him against the windows. "Reckon they've still got a Lost & Found I can pummel you in?"
Before Sam could interfere, the older Sam surprised him by squirming out of Gene's grasp and hitting him over the head with an open hand. "Behave," he said, as if talking to a child.
Gene practically growled at Sam before looking around and noticing the attention they'd received from the busy police station.
Sam chuckled lightly. "Can't take you anywhere," he said, albeit fondly.
"Yet you still do," Gene said, with a pointed look around the station.
"I had to come," Sam responded, quietly. "I said you didn't have to."
Gene looked at him sympathetically and seemed as if he was about to say something, but younger Sam cleared his throat, reminding him of their audience.
The older Sam smiled at him. "Look, I know you don't know us and this might seem a little strange, but do you want to join us down the pub? We'll buy you a few rounds. You know, to celebrate your promotion."
"Sam," Gene said in a warning tone.
"That's all right," younger Sam responded. "I'm on duty. A good DCI doesn't drink on the job," he said for the second time in the last five minutes.
The older Sam snorted in amusement, and Gene rolled his eyes. "Never change your song, do you?" This remark, which Sam didn't entirely follow, just caused the older Sam to laugh harder. "Let's get out of here before you start telling me that smoking will kill me."
With a frown, Sam started to protest. "Sir, with all respect, smoking at your age --"
The older Sam held a hand up. "Stop now before he punches you in the gut."
Sam saw that Gene was scowling dangerously at him, so he drew himself up. "Are you threatening to hit a police officer?"
Gene's scowl turned into a feral grin as he turned to his companion, who was shaking his head with what seemed to be long-acquired patience. "Oh, come on, Sam. He's got to get used to it some time."
Younger Sam began to tense his body, contemplating whether he could bring himself to hit an old man if he needed to. Before he was pushed to the test, older Sam put a restraining hand on Gene's shoulder. "Gene, how about you go wait for me in the car? Before you cause some serious damage."
Gene nodded, but before he turned to go, Sam was surprised, not to mention even more confused, when Gene cast what seemed to be a concerned look to his companion.
"I'll be fine," older Sam assured him.
Gene sniffed and glared at him carefully. "Just don't go changing history, yeah?" And with that ambiguous comment, he left, and the two Sams stood awkwardly looking at each other.
Sam still couldn't figure out why he'd even come out here in the first place. He should go back into his office, back to his team. He kept trying to think of a good way to excuse himself from the conversation. Anything would do. 'I've got work to do.' 'My girlfriend is probably wondering where I went.' 'You should probably go stop your friend from causing too much trouble.' Or, more realistically, 'I have to get the hell out of here because just talking to you seems wrong and I can't explain it and I can't stand things I can't explain, so excuse me as I go back to my office and pretend I never came out here in the first place.' He couldn't bring himself to say any of them. Instead, he found himself saying, "So, you and Gene. Are you two...?”
"We're together, yeah."
Sam swallowed nervously. He wasn't expecting… well, he didn't know what he was expecting. He nodded. "Excuse me for saying so, but you must be mad or the most patient man alive."
"You wouldn't believe it." Older Sam paused a second, then with an odd smile, added, "Well, I guess you would. Anyway, he's not as bad as he pretends to be."
"That's good. I guess." Sam fixed his stare on the man facing him. When older Sam smiled at him, he smiled back, though he had no idea why they were smiling. He had to ask - "Look, this might be strange, or rude, but, well, do we know each other? I mean, do I know you? It just seems like -- I, uh, I don't know."
Older Sam took a long time before answering. "Yeah. You, uh, you've probably heard of me or seen me in the records. I used to work here. DI, uh, DI Skelton."
Sam nodded. It was an explanation. His gut was telling him that Mr. Skelton wasn't exactly telling the truth, but he had no reason to doubt him, so he just accepted it. Mr. Skelton seemed ready to change the topic, anyway.
"Look, Mr. Tyler. You should be... I mean, I'm sure you are so proud of yourself for finally doing it. Detective Chief Inspector," he said with a grin. "You’ve probably wanted that for as long as you've been a copper. Longer, I bet."
"Since I was a kid," Sam said, matching Mr. Skelton's grin.
The older Sam looked down for a second, and when he raised his head again, his smile was more wistful than proud. "Gene was right; I should probably go." He looked at the younger Sam for a moment. "Take your girlfriend out somewhere nice tonight. Celebrate your promotion. Celebrate life. It might get hard for you in a few years. Being a DCI, I mean. You might feel like you've gone mad more times than you can count. But it'll all be worth it. So worth it," he said with conviction and a big smile. "You'll be fine, and you'll do great."
For some reason, these words warmed Sam more than they probably should have. He lowered his head with a grin as the older Sam reached out and patted him on the shoulder. "Thank you," he said, looking up to meet Sam's eyes.
The older Sam nodded in return and moved to leave. He took a few steps to the elevator before turning around. The younger Sam was still there, watching him, as if rooted to the spot. "I hear The Silver Spoon is a very nice restaurant," he said with a knowing grin.
With that, Sam Skelton turned and left, leaving DCI Sam Tyler staring at a closed lift. He didn't know how long or why he stood there, but, soon enough, Maya's voice brought Sam out of his reverie once more.
"Sam, are you all right?"
He turned to her and realized he was still frowning slightly in confusion. He quickly smiled. "I'm fine. Great, even. Did you book us a place for tonight?"
Maya nodded. "A new place I've never heard of before. It's called The Silver Spoon, and it's supposed to be brilliant."
Sam's head snapped up and he looked sharply at the lift. "The Silver Spoon," he repeated softly.
"Heard of it?"
Sam shook away the strange feeling that had just shot up his spine. With a reassuring smile, he turned back to Maya. "Never in my life."
When Sam returned to his office, work seemed to pick up just where it had left off. A robbery investigation had landed on his desk, along with a mountain of papers for him to read and sign. Sam welcomed the work. Within minutes he'd nearly entirely forgotten about his surreal encounter with Gene and Sam.
He never saw them again, and soon enough he did entirely forget the men.
Had Sam known where to look, he might have noticed them many times during his life. He'd have seen them at each of his graduations. He'd have noticed them on the other side of the restaurant on his first date.
Had he known to listen for it, he'd have heard the bickering just a short distance away, behind a pillar, when a speeding car came out of nowhere and threw his body forward and his mind backward thirty years.