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Fans of Life On Mars
Fic, Body and Soul, Blue Cortina, by DorsetGirl 
28th-Apr-2008 11:48 am

Title:    Body and Soul

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 for injury and angst

Pairings: Sam/Gene implied

Word Count: 378

Summary: Sam can’t keep body and soul together any longer.

A/N: A few days ago I posted a story called Fighting to Survive [info]duckyone  wondered if there was more, and then 

vicfarmerasked how Sam had come to the state described in that fic. So, in an attempt to answer at least one of Vic’s questions, this is a prequel to Fighting to Survive. There may be one or two more small chapters filling in the gaps between the two. Thanks to Ducky for the very gentle unintended pokey stick, and to  icudocfor the fast response to some medical questions. Not beta’d, so do shout if you see anything wrong. 



Body and Soul



Sam was finding it difficult to breathe. It didn’t seem to matter.


He wasn’t sure how long you could live anyway with a punctured lung; without warmth and human company.


He wondered how long you could live with voices in your head calling you home; without food and water.


He had no idea how long you could live with broken bones and slowly-dripping wounds; without help.


He didn’t know if anyone could live with this much damage; without Gene.


* * *


Despite the Summer evening, the ground was cold and wet under his face, chill damp seeping into his clothes and bones. Luckily this time they’d left him on his side; even without the fettered hands he’d given up trying to move days ago. The pain was bigger than he was; it couldn’t be borne, controlled or even isolated. It could be ignored only if he sank into it, let himself fall head-first into the black and red mire; if he made no conscious movements, shifted not a single muscle of the few still under his control.

* * *

He’d stopped feeling hunger long ago. There was only pain.


Drink this, copper. Don’t worry, they’ll find you here. A snigger. You might even still be alive by then. Did you know you can survive without food for two months? You’ve only done fifteen days so far. Plenty of time left to enjoy it.


He’d begun to despair further back than he could recall. There was only death.


Belay that, dickhead, someone’ll find him tomorrow. Listen copper, I don’t need to go down for murder. When you wake up, you can call for help. There’s an alley out there; they’ll hear you. Nice knowing you, copper.


As the footsteps faded, he lost control of his body and thrashed feebly in his bonds, vomiting bile as his muscles spasmed uncontrollably.


As the light faded he lost control of his mind, sobbing weakly for release from this place.


* * *


Pain seeped back with the rain and the daylight. The rain dripped and splashed and echoed. Somewhere drops were landing on something hollow, a lonely, eerie sound from far away or long ago.


Drip. Splash. Beep.


He’s waking up. Sam? Sam, love? Can you hear me?


Mum! I’m coming home.


* * *


Unnoticed behind the fence, the body began to cool.


* * *

UnhappyMan2 by Ruuger
28th-Apr-2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
This was harrowing. Poor Sam. And poor Gene. What must he have thought when he found Sam in this state? I figure Sam must have been near death by the time Gene found him. No wonder he's taking so long to heal. Thanks for the prequel, love. I think "Fighting to Survive" needed it.
28th-Apr-2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
I seem to have been working my way backwards through this story. Before I wrote this, I did the bit which happens after this, where Gene sees Sam in the hospital. Again it's different in mood from the other two; just experimenting really, for the sake of getting something - anything - written.

I might post the middle bit tomorrow, but I have my Remix fic to finish off as well.

Thanks for commenting, love, you're very kind.
28th-Apr-2008 03:28 pm (UTC)
I really felt for Sam here - what a horrific experience for him. This helps to explain his anger and frustration in the sequel. Also, I love the first section in particular, where you have juxstaposed Sam's specific injuries with rather more basic human needs, to great effect.
28th-Apr-2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
Also, I love the first section in particular

That bit just wrote itself, then I spent ages fiddling about with the order and the punctuation before putting it back exactly as I first wrote it!

Being totally a happy-ever-after girl, I don't think I could ever set out to write something like this deliberately. When I started to write Fighting to Survive I had no idea where it was going, and when I'd finished I had no answers to the obvious questions. I sort of worked my way back to this, which rather knackers what could have been a cliffhanger!

Thanks for commenting, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I do have a middle bit which I may post soon.
28th-Apr-2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
That was intense. Can't wait to read more.
28th-Apr-2008 07:56 pm (UTC)
I was rather aiming for desperate and intense, so thank you for that!

I don't know how much more there's going to be; I have one piece which fits in between this and Fighting to Survive, but I'm not much cop at long fics, and I'd never normally post something that wasn't complete, so we'll have to see. I might post the middle bit tomorrow if it looks any good.

Welcome again, and thanks for commenting.
28th-Apr-2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
Good grief, poor poor Sam! You have a gorgeous writing style, powerful and atmospheric, that lends itself perfectly to this kind of fic. I love how each section has a slightly different texture to it.

And the last line? Broke me.
28th-Apr-2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
Terrific choice of icon - Sam waiting to die.

You have a gorgeous writing style, powerful and atmospheric

Oh wow, that is a serious compliment - thank you. I just can't tell whether things are any good or not, so I'm very pleased indeed that you think it's OK.

each section has a slightly different texture to it

Hmm, if I were clever I would say it was written like that to represent the different ways in which Sam is reacting, mentally and physically, to internal and external stresses at different stages of his ordeal.

Sadly, as I'm not, that would simply be a self-aggrandising post-rationalisation, because I don't think I've even come across the term "texture" before in a writing context. So all I can say is that it just came out like that, and it worried me quite a lot that it was so bitty and choppy-changy. That's why I put in the asterisks, to make it look intentional.

The last line would be horrific, would it not, if I'd had the intelligence to think of this part before the end of the story. But then I would never have written it...
29th-Apr-2008 01:10 am (UTC)
You have a gorgeous writing style, powerful and atmospheric

I'm seconding BK on that description of your writing. I know know are a "Gene Girl" to the nines, but boy howdy, when you take Sam on, you bust out the layer cake of emotions and, yes, texture. Reading this just makes me ache. If it weren't for the fact that this is a prequel to an already written piece, I really would believe Sam is dead at the end. *sniff*

But dayyyamn this is an intense and brilliant little ficcie. Whoa. Just...wonderful!
29th-Apr-2008 10:44 pm (UTC)
Wow, thank you for your lovely comment! You're very kind.

It's interesting that you think this would work as a death!fic, because that leads me to question myself and my total abhorrence for the idea of writing either Sam or Gene dying (apart from in 2017 or whenever it was). Because I just did, sort of. Almost. And you're telling me if I'd labelled it death!fic (and, you know, not already posted the sequel), then people would find it believeable.

But it didn't hurt to write this, because I know that this entirely fictional rip-off of someone else's fictional character doesn't really die at the end of my little work of, yeah, fiction. So it really shouldn't matter in the slightest either way. But, you know, it does.
28th-Apr-2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
Oh. This is beautifully devastating (if that makes any sense...) I'm really pleased to see more of this, I was desperate to know what had happened after Fighting to Survive.

I do hope there is more of this little series to come.

And the last line... Oof. *wipes eyes discreetly*
28th-Apr-2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
Well, strictly speaking this is before Fighting to Survive, but I'm pleased that you liked that enough to care about what happened.

I have written a third part - Gene watching over Sam in hospital - but I'm not happy with the ending yet. Now I've finally got the room to myself I might settle down in the armchair with pen and pad to see what happens. This kind of deep-in-the-head stuff doesn't come for me with screen and keyboard, it has to be hand-written. Don't know why.

The last line was one of the first images I had for this section, and all the rest was written to build up to that, explaining how he was there and why he didn't call out. Thank you for commenting; I'm pleased you liked it.
28th-Apr-2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
You know I'm really glad these are out of order else I'd be seriously worried about Sammy boy right now! :D

That last line is particularly chilling and I really like the juxtaposition of ideas in the first part.

Thank you!
29th-Apr-2008 12:06 am (UTC)
Thank you! I wasn't entirely happy with the first part. The basic idea just came out like that, but I kept changing the order of the words and ideas around, and ended up after twenty minutes going back to what I'd scribbled down in the first place.

The story order is a little silly, but when I posted Fighting for Survival I had no plans for anything else. Thanks for commenting!
29th-Apr-2008 01:11 am (UTC)
...but when I posted Fighting for Survival I had no plans for anything else.

Yeah, well...I said the same thing about Looping. Now it's YOUR TURN!

*grins evilly*

29th-Apr-2008 10:48 pm (UTC)
*la la la la*

If I had heard what you said there, I would have to point out that I have already posted the ending.

But luckily I didn't, so I won't.
29th-Apr-2008 12:24 am (UTC)
I swear I didn't intend to pokey stick you but I am so glad it may have helped lead to this. I can see why Sam is taking so long to heal both physically and emotionally. For someone who lives to be in control, this certainly would have stripped Sam of his.

I love this and if you are planning on posting more, I can't wait to read it.
29th-Apr-2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
No worries, I didn't feel pokied; it was more that your initial assumption led me to question my own views on matters, so thank you for that.

And I'm very glad you liked this - thank you for commenting.

For someone who lives to be in control, this certainly would have stripped Sam of his.

Oooh, now that; well, that is a very interesting way of looking at things. There should be scope to do a lot with that at the recovery stage, but I have no idea what at the moment.

I have one more section almost finished, where Gene sees Sam broken and catatonic in hospital, but I can't find the right ending at the moment.
29th-Apr-2008 12:26 am (UTC)
Poor Sam indeed! I like how we can only see bits and pieces of whats happening to him, it makes it darker somehow.
29th-Apr-2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
I do know slightly more about what happened than I've put here, but not much; I don't do plot, so I don't have any views on why these people held Sam in the first place. I'm glad my laziness in the plot department works for you!
29th-Apr-2008 01:06 pm (UTC)
It's so good to see new fic from you! And such powerful fic, too. Beautifully written, just harrowing really. My internet access has been spotty the past few days, but I've managed to re-read this and "Fighting to Survive" several times. I do hope you post more in this little series, even if it's just a bit.
29th-Apr-2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
Re-reading! Wow, thank you , I am sincerely flattered. There is a Gene-centric piece to come, but I can't get the ending right and I must get my Remix fic finished first.

Dak thinks it's harrowing! Must be good! But seriously, I had no idea whether it was any good or not, so I was a bit nervous about it.
29th-Apr-2008 01:29 pm (UTC)
Well if this is what asking questions gets me I am going to do it more often.

Very harrowing and yet beautifully written. Despite the pain you have captured there is also the feeling of Sam being detached and fading away and that is very effective.

I think the first section is the one that gets to me the most - there is a real sense of despair and emotion.

Thought this was excellent and thank you for writing it.
29th-Apr-2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
the feeling of Sam being detached and fading away

Yes! You've totally nailed the salient plot point. Being Sam, he is even more detached from this reality than many people would be at this point.

Thank you very much for your questions, which were definitely the prompt that was required! And thank you for commenting; I've been thrilled with the response to this.
29th-May-2008 07:55 am (UTC)
I know that there are sequels that were written before this, having seen them in the post (I'm so far behind on the comm, it's hopeless, and I'm just starting afresh with the comm in my f-list and trying to catch-up when and where I can), so I know that Sam is still alive, but...

This was just heartbreaking. As the first bit to read, there is this sense of loss and hopelessness despite Sam's feelings that he's coming home, and the loss of control just shines through in such a frightening manner, it's really fantastically done! Great fic, if very disturbing...
29th-May-2008 10:12 am (UTC)
I quite enjoyed writing this one; I could never have written this first, as I have honestly never had any interest in writing H/C. Fighting to Survive came out of the blue and luckily this came along after to support it.

I'm sort of glad it's disturbing; I couldn't have done that on purpose, but it's obviously what the piece needs. Perhaps I should worry that I can see things from Sam's viewpoint!
1st-Jul-2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
Powerful start.
1st-Jul-2008 11:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
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