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Fans of Life On Mars
Fic, Fighting to Survive, Blue(?) Cortina, by DorsetGirl 
24th-Apr-2008 02:55 pm

Title:    Fighting to Survive

Author: DorsetGirl

Fandom: Life on Mars

Disclaimer: I don’t own these characters or their universe. BBC/Kudos do. I’m not making any money out of this.

Rating: Blue? Cortina

Pairings: Sam/Gene

Word Count: 920

Summary: Sam needs to fight to survive. But he can’t stop fighting himself.

A/N: I’ve been getting stalled on everything I’ve written lately, which is getting me down, so I sat down this morning and just started scribbling, not knowing where it was going, because I so much wanted to complete something. It seems to have come out reasonably OK, but it’s not beta’d, so make with the concrit if you see anything wrong. I hope you like it.




Fighting to Survive



Fists flying, head pounding, the pressure was unbearable. He shifted his stance, trying to get comfortable on his feet. Nothing was working.


He watched in despair as the other man grinned. ”Not so much fun on the other end, is it Sammy-boy? D’you think I do this for fun? I do it for you, Dorothy. ’Cos you need smacking out of that head of yours sometimes. ’S not good for a man to live inside his own head all the time, Sam. You need to come out here with the rest of us. Come back to the land of the living.”


He lowered his gaze, chest heaving, as he tried to calm himself. It had seemed like a good idea – land one on the Guv for a change. He had a vague idea he’d tried before, but yesterday was dim in his mind. He knew he couldn’t take Gene down, not sober anyway, but he hadn’t expected him to simply laugh in his face. “That it? That the best you can manage? You’ll have to hit harder than that, Sammy boy, I’ve had tarts could hit harder than that. While they’re on the job.”


Five minutes and ten punches later, degenerating into slaps by the end, Sam was almost crying with frustration and exhaustion. He put his chin up angrily and surged forward one more time, both fists raised to blot out the sight of Gene’s taunting. The right fist landed, grazed, and slid, wrong-footing Sam as he followed it through with the left. With a sob, he watched helplessly as Gene reached up and caught his arm effortlessly, drawing him in.


“Hey,” he soothed, wrapping both arms round Sam. “Hey, you’ll get there. Already standing a bit longer each time. ’Nother few weeks, we’ll have you back at the station.”


He drew back just enough to look Sam in the eye. “It’s in your mind, Sam. Your strength, it’s in your mind. But even you can’t live just in your mind. Mens sana in corpore sano and all that bollocks. Got to get out of there, Sammy, got to get up and move and fight and come back from this.”


“Have you any idea how if feels, Guv? Do you have any idea? Lying here by myself all day, waiting for each hour so I can take another bloody tablet and do another bloody exercise? I’m going mad here, Gene! How long is it now? A week, ten days?”


“Can’t believe you were never in the Army, Sam, you’re running your recovery like a ruddy military operation! Got to loosen up, let your mind wander. Some of those cold cases you’re always on about. Or listen to the radio. Or just...” he reached down to Sam’s zip, “...let your body lead the way.”


He undid the zip and slid a hand in, fingers questing gently. “Your body knows what it’s doing, Sam, if you’ll let it. Stop bossing it about and listen to it.”


Sam groaned as Gene’s hand found a rhythm that echoed through his entire body. Weak as he was, he still felt his cock rising to the familiar fingers, his muscles clenching feebly as he arched into Gene’s hand. As Gene stroked him firmly, gently, his vision blurred and he put both arms round Gene’s neck to keep himself upright. Holding on, face pressed into Gene’s sweating neck and his entire being focussed on Gene’s purposeful hand, he was so tired he didn’t care that it was all over in a minute or two. 

He was still trying to mumble an apology as Gene tried to clean him up.


“Shut it, you silly sod, I’ll get mine when you’re better. I’d get down there and give you a proper seeing to, but you’d only fall over, so we’ll stick with this for now. Come on, daft bugger, let’s get you back to bed.”


* * *


Gene came out of the bathroom and straightened his trousers as he walked back to the bed. He stood for a moment, watching Sam bonelessly sleeping.


It was all taking a lot longer even than the doctors had said. Six weeks so far. Silly bugger wouldn’t stop thinking, and planning and fretting. Just wasn’t giving himself a chance. Always had to be on the go: even in the hospital straight afterwards he’d been nagging Gene to bring him case files and witness statements. He was burning himself out, scraping his nerves raw with tension instead of lying back and letting his body heal.


Gene smiled as he let himself out. He’d found the trick now, though, found how to harness that fighting spirit to work for Sam instead of against him.


Another two weeks should see it done. Another two weeks of slipping out of the station unobserved every lunchtime, driving to the house as quickly as he could and irritating the hell out of Tyler till he came out fighting.


Literally fighting. Get him riled up enough to forget his pansy constipated little hourly exercise sheets; get him out of that bed for a minute or two longer every day, indignation burning him up, then get him roused up and rutting Gene’s hand with just a touch more vigour every time.


Help him, spent, back into bed, to sleep until Gene came back at six. Deal with his own arousal, briefly and clinically, before heading back to the station for another long afternoon doing Sam’s work as well as his own while Sam slept and uncoiled and healed.






24th-Apr-2008 02:31 pm (UTC)
Oh damn. All my kinks catered to in this one little chapter.

If this is you working through writer's block, then yay! for writer's block because I am completely hooked and have an intense need to know more.

And I love your Gene in this. No nonsense tough love for Sam, but real and deep love for him as well.

Just wow, and thank you.

ETA: I just realized that this is probably a one off. It's just that it reads so wonderfully as a set up chapter to a longer story that my mind immediately prepared for the thought of more to come. If you ever do decide to expand on it, I will be excited to read it.

Edited at 2008-04-24 03:44 pm (UTC)
25th-Apr-2008 10:02 am (UTC)
Well, I'm pleased to serve where the kinks are concerned. And they would be...?

I admit, my heart did sink a little when I got the first notification regarding this "one little chapter". Because there's one thing I really can't do, I've decided, and that's long stuff. I should probably give up trying.

a set up chapter to a longer story

Hmm, a lot of writers would be going "aargh, the bunnies, get the bunnies off me" by this stage. I, on the other hand, am staring blankly at an empty field. There is nothing, I'm afraid, beyond what you read here. I don't know what's wrong with Sam or how he got that way. But if you've got any bunnies you think would go with this, I'll be very glad to meet them and hear what they have to say.

No nonsense tough love for Sam, but real and deep love for him as well.

Thank you - that is exactly what I saw when I wrote this!
24th-Apr-2008 03:34 pm (UTC)

That was the noise I made when I finished reading this fic. I enjoyed it very much and I think you have the pure essence of what makes Gene/Sam so very, very good - they do need each other. Brilliant, basically! :D
25th-Apr-2008 10:02 am (UTC)
Thank you very much; that's a lovely comment.
24th-Apr-2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
^All mine too :D If you could say Gene taking care of Sam was a kink, I guess. Also, this could almost be 2006, you know, if the reader wanted it to be.
25th-Apr-2008 10:11 am (UTC)
I love it beyond reason when people see things in my stuff that I didn't write. I've said this before, but it somehow makes me feel more like a "real" writer.

this could almost be 2006

Wow, that would be pretty dark, I think, if you're talking about long-way-round Sam. (Is that what you meant?) They would be 76 and 68, so the fact that Sam can't remember yesterday and is completely muddled about how long he's been there - well, let's just say in that case I wouldn't expect him to be getting better any time soon. Not my cup of tea, personally, but I'm awed that you saw something extra there. Thank you very much for commenting.
25th-Apr-2008 03:17 pm (UTC)
I was thinking about elfin's Flash of Light, which I can't read without itching for it to continue. I didn't want to say in case you thought I was comparing your fic to another writer's style or something like that, y'know, which I'm not. It's just something that popped in there.

My brain doesn't really do dark, it struggles for light even with fics that are supposed to be angsty...
24th-Apr-2008 04:40 pm (UTC)
That was so outstandingly sweet in a masculine, self-sacrificing kind of way. And I could very much see Sam making himself weaker by trying to adhere to some outrageous 'recovery plan' that everyone but him rolls eyes at. (Sam is definitely one of those wankers people who carries his 'to do' list with him to the bathroom!)

And of course I have no arguments with 'medicinal sexing' -- none at all. ESPECIALLY with Dr. Gene. *sigh*

25th-Apr-2008 10:15 am (UTC)
Hah, who needs romantic when you can have outstandingly sweet in a masculine, self-sacrificing kind of way

Doctor Gene can take my temperature any day with his special big thermometer.

Thanks for commenting!
24th-Apr-2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
LOVED IT!! (ooooh - you made me do capslock!)

Tough-love!Gene is fabulous (and very in character). Going straight into my mems. Thank you, sweetie :D
25th-Apr-2008 10:18 am (UTC)
Ooh, capslock and mems - thank you! I'm glad you think Gene is in character here; I'm always convinced he has this deep, deep love for the nancy git that would lead him to do anything for Sam, but it's always reassuring to know that I've kept him in character.
24th-Apr-2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
Your strength, it’s in your mind.
Love this line. The way that Gene is taking care of Sam and how he understands what he needs to make him strong shows a lovely connection between the two of them. This is very thought provoking and I agree with ducky that it could sit very well in a larger fic as it has managed to raise a lot of questions and I love that in a fic.
25th-Apr-2008 10:23 am (UTC)
Thank you for a lovely comment; I do always see a very strong connection there, and I'm very happy I've managed to put that over.

As I said to duckyone, I have nothing else at all for this; I'd be intrigued to know what questions this raised for you, and to hear of any bunnies that might fit. Not that I'm promising anything at all, mind you. I'm coming back to the view that I just can't write to order or plan; I have to pick up the pen to get started and just see what comes out.
25th-Apr-2008 12:02 pm (UTC)
Hm questions.

Well the primary one is how Sam got into this condition in the first place.

Others include things like:

How involved were the boys before and has this strengthened their relationship?

Would Sam start to resent being very reliant on Gene or even reliant at all?

Gene seems to know how to deal with this (leaving aside the sex for the moment) and the importance of fighting - so has he been through this sort of situation before and with who?

And if more come to me I'll let you know.
26th-Apr-2008 11:03 am (UTC)
Thanks for these, Vic! I've nearly finished a brief look at an earlier stage in this; it doesn't answer any of your questions directly, but in thinking about them and writing the earlier bit, I have now come to some ideas about what happened. That means writing plot though, which I don't enjoy!

I don't know if the bit I've written so far is going to be good enough to post - it's a bit different from my usual stuff, more poncy imagery going on which I may have to get rid of.

Anyway, I just thought I'd let you know that if I do post any more of this, it's down to your posing these questions and duckyone's giving me the idea in the first place that there could be more, so thank you!
24th-Apr-2008 10:11 pm (UTC)
This is one of those fics that makes me want to *hug* it. I don't think I've read anything where Gene cares for Sam when he's sick in 1973. (There was one in 2006, but that was an '06 and very different Gene.)

Actually this reminds me of the time Gene cooked Dinner for Sam in the first part of your "Wine and Candles". I like the way you can write caring Gene and still stay completely in character.

Hope your block on your other work lifts soon.
25th-Apr-2008 10:39 am (UTC)
I like the way you can write caring Gene and still stay completely in character.

That's a great compliment, thank you. Is this really the first "Gene looks after sick!Sam"???

Actually, it's sort of implied in Wine and Candles Part 1 that Sam is close the edge with stress and exhaustion, which is not that far removed from what's possibly going on here, so I suppose yes, there are definitely similarities; not that I'd spotted that.

And in later parts of that fic, perhaps if Gene would get his mind out of church and back into Sam's pants, I could finish him off that story.
26th-Apr-2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
Is this really the first "Gene looks after sick!Sam"???

Yes, I think so, can't remember anything else where Sam is sick although I have read a few where Sam cares for Gene.

(Deleted comment)
25th-Apr-2008 10:40 am (UTC)
Either will do, both is lovely! Thank you.
25th-Apr-2008 03:30 am (UTC)
Wow, really? What writer's block? Seriously, this is fantastic. Sweet yet utterly masculine and them through and through. Not to mention brain-meltingly hot.

Sam's frustration is very real and easy to empathize with (I think when ill I tend to be more of a Sam-type myself, lol) but it's even better to see that Gene can read that as well as find the best solution for his recovery, just the perfect balance of heartfelt care and being-a-complete-prick that makes me love Gene so much *g*

Simply lovely. Thank you!
25th-Apr-2008 10:44 am (UTC)
No, not actually writer's block; I've got lots written that I'm really very happy with, but it's finding the grit to actually finish anything that I'm having difficulty with. Hence starting afresh with something new, short and simple.

the perfect balance of heartfelt care and being-a-complete-prick that makes me love Gene so much

I love that description - thank you! I'm glad you liked this.
25th-Apr-2008 04:17 am (UTC)
Short and sweet and loved it! Gene knows what's best for Sam better than Sam does and I love the way he's taking care of him and giving him just what he needs to heal. Only the Gene Genie could do it. Thanks and glad you're over your writer's block. :)
25th-Apr-2008 10:56 am (UTC)
Thank you love; I'm glad you liked this. Gene certainly does know better than Sam what Sam needs. I wish he could come and give me what I need

It was never really writer's block; I've got lots of stuff just needs polishing, but my latest effort got trashed at beta, which requires a complete rethink. As you know, though, finishing off An Unhappy Man really burnt me out (uc wut I did thar? - comes automatically after a while!) and I'm not sure I can face it.
25th-Apr-2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
*sings* Oh sweet and lovely, do it again... :D

I happen to like sweet, lovely caring boys, particularly when it remains so very much in character.

The opening to this is great as I found myself thinking what are they fighting about this time, why isn't Gene hitting back?

Lovely! ♥

And there should be more *eyes pokey stick* Perhaps Sam recovers a little faster than expected resulting in uber snuggling? Damn, you just made me type uber snuggling! *g*
26th-Apr-2008 11:13 pm (UTC)
It's weird, I never set out to write "sweet", I really don't, but time and again that's the word people use. That feels quite odd.

I started off with three things for this: first, a determination to bloody well get something finished and posted; second, a strange adrenalin/frustrated feeling I'd been wanting to write for a while, which came from being punched and kicked and choosing to take it, for the good of the person doing the punching (my son) because he needed to get that out, and third, a particular taunting grin on Gene's face, which I have since found vickalo_999 has iconed (number 26 on this post).

I've now written an earlier scene, and also got some ideas (oh shit - plot) for what happened to Sam, although I don't know if I'll write that. I'm finding that if there's the slightest whiff of obligation about writing something, all inspiration just dies, which is why I wrote this rather than finishing one of the many half-done things I have lying around. /ramble

Hmm, nothing wrong with a bit of über-snuggling, in fact I'd really like to read some, but that doesn't seem to be where this is going. Gene is thinking more about how they got here.
29th-May-2008 08:20 am (UTC)
Absolutely gorgeous. I love the idea of Gene goading Sam into fighting him as a method of therapy - it just fits their dynamic so well, and the way that it seemed to ground Sam in this was very, very subtle and wonderfully described.

Silly bugger wouldn’t stop thinking, and planning and fretting. Just wasn’t giving himself a chance.
That fits Sam so well in every situation, it's just perfect to see it worked into this one, and to see the way that it applies to the aftermath of Sam's ordeal.

Fantastic job!
29th-May-2008 10:28 am (UTC)
I'm so happy that you're enjoying this series, and that you think I've got the characters right. I always think that there were three leading characters in LOM - Sam, Gene, Sam/Gene (slashy or not); the relationship between the two of them is a character all by itself)
27th-Jun-2008 05:05 pm (UTC)
WOW! What a ride. I read every chapter and I am just so glad i had read it. Very true to Gene's character and the dynamic between Sam and Gene. Good work.
27th-Jun-2008 05:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! It's lovely to have a new reader, and I'm glad you think it works. This was the first of the series posted even though it's currently the last, chronologically speaking.
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