Title: This Feeling Won't Go
Rating: Brown Cortina
Pairing: Sam/Gene, Gene/Missus, Gene/OFC(s)
Warnings: themes of homophobia, adultery, suicide, voyeurism; unreliable narrators; bastard!Gene
Summary: Ever since his wife left Gene's been going after women like he gets through cigarettes.
Notes: Written for fightingthecage
with the prompt Gene/the missus, Gene/other people, Sam jealousy. Dark theme.
I didn't manage to squeeze in the Gene!whump, though I really wanted to. :)
This Feeling Won't Go
Sam adjusts his scratchy collar for the fifth time. God, he's missing his leather jacket already. Across the narrow corridor, Gene nods subtly to indicate it's time. Sam nods resignedly in return, stops leaning quite so heavily against the wall. Then Gene holds up three fingers and silently counts down. On cue they both head for the door. Gene's longer strides carry him there just before Sam, but he holds the door and waits for Sam to enter in front of him, which is how Sam knows he's in-character now. Somewhere deep down Sam is disappointed they couldn't burst into the room together, in sync like the good old days.
Still. Work to be done. He summons up a polite smile from somewhere and shakes the hand proffered to him by their host for the evening.
"Frank! Glad you could make it!" Oliver Harris beams, patting Sam on the shoulder before passing him off to the girl who's supposed to lead Sam to his table. Behind him Gene gets much the same treatment, but he's directed to the other side of the room. The idea is they'll glean more information sitting at different tables. Sam hates that idea, never mind that it was his. He's so busy taking note of Gene's position, he almost trips over a chair leg. Bloody hell. His waitress chuckles and grabs his arm. He rights himself and looks at her properly for the first time. There's a bright red curl breaking free from her ponytail, a relaxed smile lighting up her eyes, 'Amy' written large on the nametag pinned to her shirt. Her brief touch manages to calm him, somewhat. He makes it to his seat with no further incident, focusing on engaging in the pleasantries being shared around the large circular table, as five or six people take their places. Seeing some of them, Sam feels pathetically underdressed in his rented tux. Only a DI, not actually a businessman of any repute. (Gene, amazingly, had dug his out of his wardrobe, citing regular theatre trips with the wife, laughing at the shocked expression on Sam's face.)
Harris stands at the front and gives a speech, and then they bring the food out. Sam realises he can't remember the last time he had a proper sit-down meal rather than greasy takeaways on stakeout. He tucks in gratefully and the others don't ask him too many questions on account of his mouth frequently being full. It means he's able to listen attentively to them. Mr and Mrs Jenkins are having their kitchen renovated, Mr Parker's quite proud of his son's O Level results, Miss Wragg can't believe the success of her homemade gift card business. With a full stomach Sam would be almost content, if it weren't for his frustration at the lack of progress, and the sound of Gene laughing uproariously with his newfound friends on the other side of the restaurant. Seems Hunt got the witty table. Great, just great.
"What do people think of Harris, then?" Sam ventures. If Gene's not going to do this properly, at least Sam isn't wasting all their time.
"Good bloke, of course," says Mr Perkins. "Don't get too many people what appreciate enterprise in times like these." There's a general murmur of assent before the dessert gets handed out and Miss Wragg spends twenty minutes describing all her favourite flavours of ice cream.
Harris spends a few minutes at the end describing the weekend's workshop itinerary and then people start to trickle out back to their rooms. By this point Sam's will to live is not the strongest it's ever been. Not that he has much choice about it these days, having killed himself. Nevertheless, Miss Wragg's frail legs nearly give out when she gets up from the table, so good citizen that he is, Sam helps her slowly to her room. This done he heads back downstairs to the bar, planning on getting as pissed as possible.
The first person he sees there is Gene. Sitting next to him is his waitress from earlier, having changed out of her uniform into a long flowing dress. She's leaning right into Gene's space, and as Sam looks on from the doorway Gene moves even closer to whisper something in her ear. Sam scrunches up his face and sucks at his front teeth. This again.
Ever since his wife left Gene's been going after women like he gets through cigarettes. Sam can sort of understand it, reasserting his masculinity and all that, but still, Sam is right here, damnit. Ok, there's the slight difference in gender, but Gene's been calling him a girl since the start. Calling him a friend, sometimes. And this is just...He knows Gene's opinions about gay men, at least half of his contempt for Warren wasn't based on corruption. So Sam is really bloody stupid here, for wishing and praying otherwise.
But Sam had also dared to dream that Gene might have a well-hidden core of true values in him. Gene's the sort of man, Sam knows, for whom loyalty is one of the most important things in life. He'd rather assumed that if Gene's marriage failed he'd stay single from then on, and Sam could have respected that. Those first couple of times, when Sam had spotted Gene with women and suspected him of cheating, before finally confronting him...it was a relief, of sorts, to be told that Gene's wife was no longer around, even as it killed him to realise that Gene hadn't confided in him sooner.
Certainly sharing nothing with him now, gazing predatorily into the eyes of this young woman, totally oblivious to Sam. If Gene has found out anything to do with the case, it'll have to wait until the morning.
Upstairs in his own hotel room, Sam realises that Gene's is just along the corridor. Next door, in fact. He manages to grab his overnight bag, change into his pyjamas, drink down a couple of miniatures and sprawl miserably in the middle of the huge and - compared to the one in his flat - obscenely comfortable bed, before he hears the sound of voices beyond the wall to his left. Not disembodied and spooky for once, though that might actually have been preferable to Gene's hoarse intonation of "Get over here."
Sam stills. It shouldn't be a surprise. He's already seen the tail-end of kisses, watching from the shadows, already fantasised a thousand times about what sex with Gene would be like. None of it compares to the sound of Gene's voice, commanding and unmistakeably aroused. There's a softer cadence then, followed by a small thump. Sam lets his eyes shut, pictures the two of them landing on the bed, hurriedly glares at the ceiling, furiously blinking away the mental images. He swings his feet onto the floor, wrenches back the bedcovers and gets in, draws the blankets up to his chest, tucks them under his armpits, folds his hands on his stomach, fingers knotted together so tight it turns his knuckles white. A little further down the bed his cock's making a tent out of the cloth. His hand drifts down to palm his erection through the sheet...No! He has to sleep here tonight! He's not leaving a mess for room service to find once he checks out tomorrow.
Gene apparently has no such qualms. Sam hears more low rumbling speech and the girl giggling. An "Oh!", a grunt, a belt hitting the floor... and why the hell do these walls have to be so bloody thin? Sam is not listening extra closely, he doesn't need to. Especially when the disjointed noises coalesce into something more rhythmic.
At which point Sam gives up pretence altogether. Hobbles into the bathroom...sink...god, no, someone has to clean that...he'd quite like to wash his face in clean water tomorrow...shower, likewise, toilet...he fumbles to lift the lid and seat up, but his hands are shaking so much that he drops it the first time. It makes an awful clacking noise and for a terrible moment the voices next door pause. Sam freezes, shaking, until they resume. He roughly tugs his pants open, braces himself with one hand on the cistern, leans over the bowl, wets his other hand in the sink, strokes himself to completion as Gene finishes with the girl in the other room.
Afterwards, heart pounding, Sam flushes away the evidence and avoids looking in the mirror.
He flops face down onto the bed and covers his head with a pillow, pressing it tight over his ears. He should have done that before, shouldn't he. God. He's almost smothering himself, but he manages to let out a shuddering breath. His chest hurts. He can feel the thud of blood in his veins. Sam focuses on it for a while, allows it to amplify, to block out everything else.
Until, like a hammer blow, there's a knock on his door.
Sam lets go of one corner of the pillow and peers up at it through a bleary eye.
"Sam? Sam?" Sam throws the pillow away and glares at the wood, wishes Gene could feel the scorching laser beams like in all the films he's never seen yet.
"Sam, are you in there?"
Apparently Gene has clean forgotten that they're meant to be undercover, for heaven's sake. Reluctantly Sam sits up, passing a hand over his tousled hair and double-checking that he is safely tucked away.
"My name's Frank, remember?" He hisses, eyes meeting Gene's for the first time since they stood in the corridor and Gene counted down to one.
He looks drunk. And miserable. Sam wishes he could be the former, and knows far too much about the latter.
Gene slurs his words a little, hand in the doorframe to prop himself up. "Yeah, I know, as in Frank Morgan. You planning on betraying me again, Sammy-boy?"
Too incensed to reply to this, Sam spits out "What the fuck was that?"
"Well, if you don't know by now..."
Sam drops his gaze and presses his fingers to his temples. There's the mother of all headaches brewing there. He attempts reason. "Gene. She looks half your age."
"At least I wasn't walking around with an old biddy on my arm."
For a moment, Sam stares blankly at him, before he remembers Mrs Wragg. He falls back on old arguments because there's nothing else he can say. "You have a responsibility, as a police officer. We are here to do a job. We can't abuse that power."
Now Gene's tone is affronted. "I didn't seduce her, she came willingly!"
"So I heard."
"It's not my fault you're not getting any, Judy."
Yes, it really, really is, Sam thinks, but has just enough sense left not to blurt out. "I'm checking out tomorrow. I don't think we'll get the evidence we need from this."
Gene nods. "Fine."
Sam blinks. "What, no 'I'm not letting you walk away from this investigation, it was your idea' stuff?"
Hesitantly, "Why not?"
"I want you" - Sam's heart plummets about fifty feet and yes he does know what that feels like - "out of my hair, Tyler. I don't care how."
"I may have mentioned this before, but my DI's a trifle insane." Gene begins.
Katie laughs. "I should think so, having to take orders from you all day, love."
Gene strokes the armrest of his favourite chair with his thumb. "Thing is, it's a bit more than that."
She looks up at him sharply. "What, did he try to jump off the roof again?"
"No, but...it's career suicide, either way."
Crouching down in front of him, elbows on his knees. "Gene?"
And Gene has to roll his eyes, because what he's about to say is so thoroughly ridiculous, but he has exhausted every possible lead, been as thorough as the Picky Pain himself, and they all point back to..."The stupid bugger fancies me."
A grin. "That's not stupid. I think you're very fanciable."
Gene reaches up to tuck a lock of hair behind her ear, pinching her cheek affectionately. "I know I am." And then, more serious: "But this is...a problem, Kate."
Gene sighs. "It messes up all kinds of things. God knows he's never obeyed my orders the whole time he's been here, but now it's worse. I'm not supposed to show favouritism between my men, and yet he demands it of me every day. He's not subtle about it, either. I'm not in the least surprised he turned out to be a flaming poof, he might as well have been wearing a sign the first day he flounced in. And the truth is, I don't care. I don't think any less of him for it. It's legal now, so good for him. But the higher-ups are hypocrites and if he keeps exciting rumours...he's a good copper. I don't want that for him. But I need him to get over this. I need him to start being my friend and DI again."
"Then might I make a suggestion?"
"Please do! I need your brains on this."
"Well, first of all, you need to make absolutely sure that he does feel that way. So...make it look like you're available. See how his behaviour changes once he knows that. Sow a few wild oats."
Gene splutters. "What?"
Katie shakes her head at his consternation. "You don't really have to do anything, silly. Pay a couple of girls to put on a good show."
"But that'll just drive him up the wall even more!"
"Eventually he'll start to see that it's not going to happen. If you need to ward him off without confronting him directly, it's best to let him make the decision to give it up for himself."
Gene frowns. "He's a nutter, remember. And like a dog with a bone. You can't measure the way his mind works against anybody else. Plus, it means lying to him over an extended period of time..."
"Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind."
He can see the wisdom in that, even if it's not ideal. But he can't let it go on like this, and he's not firing Sam, not after everything he's been through, not when the city is safe because Sam Tyler pays attention to all the little details. And for his part, Gene knows who he belongs to.
"Any other wife'd be kicking me out on my arse right now. How are you so calm about this sort of revelation?"
Katie straightens up and strokes her hand through his hair, proprietary. "I trust you. The very fact that you told me this proves I can trust you." She lets go and walks over to the table to grab her bag. Gene checks the clock - she'll be late for school at this rate. And it's Friday, she'll have that nursery class pulling at her hair and generally trying her patience. Patience of a saint, this one. "Oh, also? My brother's gay."
He knocks on Sam's door. When it opens, the flat is a mess and Sam looks exhausted. But when he sees who his visitor is, his face lights up like all his Christmases have come at once. Gene's insides clench with worry at the sight.
"What are you looking so happy about?" He barks.
Sam shrugs. "Nothing. Just smiling."
"Well, don't. It's disturbing."
The smile slides off Sam's face. "...Right. Look, is there something you wanted?"
"Oh. Erm, yeah. I need to borrow a tie."
There's a little sarcasm returning to Sam's tone now. "Ah, for a date with your latest conquest?"
Gene taps his thighs with his palms. He should never have done it this way. "It's for the Missus, actually."
"You're getting back together?" Gene can't tell whether that's a glint of happiness or moisture in Sam's eye.
"Yeah," he admits, sheepish. Then he looks deep into Sam's mad, mad eyes and tries to make him understand. "It's for the best, Sam."