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Fans of Life On Mars
Leap by Time Testudinem 
28th-May-2008 07:26 pm
 There seems to be a bunch of people posting death fic here recently.  It just so happens that I have one as well, that has been sitting on my hard drive for a few weeks, waiting to post.  It is not nearly as original as some of the other examples I have seen, but writing it in my head helped keep me calm when I was driving out to take an exam.  

Title: Leap
Author: Time Testudinem
Pairing: Sam/Gene
Warnings: If everybody dies, is it still a happy ending? I think so, but consider yourself warned. Also a 2.08 spoiler, I guess.
Rating: Green Cortina
Word Count: about 700
Disclaimer: They don’t belong to me.
Summery: A story of the beginning and the end, but they aren’t what’s important, it was the bits in between.

Sam Tyler ran. Left foot right foot, faster and faster, and as he picked up speed the blanket of numbness that had engulfed him since he woke up was torn from his body by the passing air. Slowly, bit by bit as he crossed that roof, he began to feel. The elation of it, like feeling rushing back in to limbs long asleep, it hurt in the most beautiful way. By the time he ran out of roof, he didn’t care if he was wrong, if this took him nowhere but the street below, at least he got to feel this. Sam opened his arms, smiled at the sun, and leaped into the unknown.


In the street below, a man waited. And as he watched Sam allowed himself to feel the sadness that had been absent the last time he had lived this day. Not that he could regret it. Not when it had given him so much. The better and the worse, he had lived it all, felt every bit, every moment. And he hadn‘t had to feel alone.

He had tried to say goodbye to Gene that morning, but it had been impossible to explain. Gene was an old man now. The body was weakened, the mind even beginning to fog, but the spirit was as strong as ever, and Sam knew he would have a hell of a fight on his hands if he told Gene he was leaving. So he had contented himself with an unusually tender kiss, and a warm hug that earned him an extended rant on acting like “nancy assed poofters”. But Sam was leaving, no matter what he or Gene might wish, and Sam had wanted a proper goodbye. Just like he wanted to be here to see this. And despite the fact that it meant he would never go home to the man he had left behind this morning, Sam couldn’t be sorry for the leap that the young man on the roof was about to take. That leap had given him his life.

And as the man on the roof grew closer to the edge, Sam felt a half-remembered feeling of exquisite painful joy wash though him, and he opened his arms to his younger self in greeting as he embraced the death he had dealt himself 33 years ago. With a smile on his lips, Sam took his own leap into the unknown.


Down the street, hidden from view in an antique Cortina, and old man watched with clouded green eyes. He was no longer supposed to be driving, license long taken away, but what exactly were they going to do about it, eh? Not much left to take away from him, and after today there would be nothing at all. He intended to ride out to meet this the same way he had so many other things, behind the wheel of a damn fine car.

Did the obnoxious picky-pain nancy twat think he was completely daft? That he had missed that little farewell ballet this morning. That he hadn’t suspected something by the time Luke Skywalker first pursued a princess across the silver screen. That he hadn’t been sure when Sam had bought him his first “mobile” and laid it in his hand with eyes so bright and eager and full of dreams Gene never understood. The world he knew was gone, eaten away bit by bit until there was nothing left, nothing familiar. The only thing that made this new world bearable, was that it was Sam’s world. The world that had made him, if not the world that he belonged to. Because Sam didn’t belong in this world, not really, he belonged to Gene, he belonged with Gene. And Gene had no wish to have any part of this shiny, techno obsessed, by-the-book world if it didn’t contain Sam Tyler.

So he watched, and as young met old on the street before him, Gene raised the gun from his lap. “Not leaving me behind so easy Sammy”. And with one last holler for his beautiful, stubborn, amazing, frustrating, impossible DI to just “wait for me already”. Gene leaped.

29th-May-2008 12:10 am (UTC)
That is beautiful, truly. I love 2006!Sam's hope and excitement here, and the way older!Sam feels he's had his life and it has been wonderful. And this is original. I once wrote older!Sam worrying whether he would disappear at the time of the original accident, but I don't think I've seen another fic where older!Sam has waited for 2006!Sam to jump in the expectation that they would somehow meld together and die together (have I got that right?).

And Gene - he is adorable here; knows all along what Sammy's up to and decides to be there because there's just nothing else in this world that he wants. And I love the image of Sam buying Gene a mobile with the idea that he's giving him something really special. Of course he would do that.

Your description of how Gene feels in Sam's world is heartbreaking - eyes so bright and eager and full of dreams Gene never understood. You've really captured the way they are from different ages and that although Sam has become pretty much the same age as Gene, he is from a different world and feels different in it. Perhaps being in 2006 makes older!Sam feel young again, while it makes Gene feel old and left behind.

I like that Gene makes sure they go together. That's how it should be for these two, and tying up the loops with 2006!Sam as well seems to just finish it off properly. If that makes sense.
29th-May-2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it. Yours was one of those that came to mind when I decided what the theme of this was.

You got the "die together" part right. In fact, there was going to be one more point of view showing the aftermath in my original outline, but I couldn't decide how many bodies Sam would leave. (grin) I think it works better like this anyway.
30th-May-2008 01:28 am (UTC)
I think it works better like this anyway.

Oh yes, definitely. It's very canon in its ambiguity and openness to whatever the reader wants to see, and a lovely thought-provoking take on the whole idea.
29th-May-2008 12:13 am (UTC)
Oh my GOD. Tears down my face, I love this fic, and I mean LOVE it. And are you kidding?? This is one of the most original takes I have seen, IMO, and I just can't say enough wonderful things about it.

I loved that young met old, and knowing how beautifully pained Sam felt jumping, knowing how he could feel every second of that was just incredibly moving.

But, I have to tell you honestly, really, second to last paragraph, right to the end, Gene's POV, has got to be my new favorite thing I have ever read in just about any fandom. I love Gene calling Sam a picky-pain nancy twat right till the very end. I love the farewell ballet comment and the Star Wars nod and the mobile phone bit but most of all I love that Gene only cared about this new world because it was Sam's and without him he couldn't stay. And that line, wait for me already, that is simply a killer, what a perfect ending.

Did I mention I love it???? I really do. *runs to read it again*
29th-May-2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
Glad to make you cry?

Seriously, I am very touched that you loved it so much.
29th-May-2008 06:00 am (UTC)
Beautiful and so sad. Definitely an original take on the story. The two different voices you had in this, Sam’s and Gene’s were so well done, so in character. I loved the Luke Skywalker comment. :) Gene being out of his element in 2006, with all the technology and all the changes rings so true. And Sam making the decision to be there to see his moment of decision, the moment he chose to go back to Gene, is bittersweet but I could see him doing that. I definitely have a lump in my throat. This really is superb.
30th-May-2008 12:00 am (UTC)
I loved the Skywalker bit too. I have been wanting to work that in somewhere for a while. Thanks for the comment.
29th-May-2008 07:53 am (UTC)
Did the obnoxious picky-pain nancy twat think he was completely daft? That he had missed that little farewell ballet this morning.
The sharpness of that, and the way that it was so clear to him, just made this so unbelievably Gene, it was perfect, as was the division in narration between the Sam and Gene portions.

The elation of it, like feeling rushing back in to limbs long asleep, it hurt in the most beautiful way
So often when we write about the leap, we tend to make it this great yawning maw of unknown and terror, but the way that you've described it here, as a blessed release, is just beautiful.

Gorgeous take on the situation :)
30th-May-2008 12:05 am (UTC)
I can't tell you how happy I am that you thought the Gene bit worked. Gene Hunt scares the shit out of me. I have avoided writing him at all before this, and even now I feel I cheated a little as old!Gene isn't really the same.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.
29th-May-2008 09:48 am (UTC)
That's terribly sad, but I loved Gene yelling "wait for me already" at the end. At least they wont be apart this way.

I actually think this was rather original, if you ask me. Of all the ways Sam's jump could affect the older version of him, this never crossed my mind.

Great story!
30th-May-2008 12:12 am (UTC)
Never crossed you mind? Huh. Must be just the weird way mine works. I have always thought that the final could be interpreted at least 10 different ways, but they all lead to the fact that the day in 2006 that Sam decides to jump is the day he dies. (even if the jump isn't real) So this is just about the happiest story I could tell about that day. Hence my question in the header about it being a happy ending if everyone dies.

Glad you liked it, and thanks for dropping by to say so.
(Deleted comment)
30th-May-2008 12:13 am (UTC)
Please do, you are welcome anytime.

30th-May-2008 12:36 am (UTC)
Can't say much more at the moment other than this was excellent. I didn't want to read this and then not tell you how good I thought it was.
30th-May-2008 02:32 am (UTC)
31st-May-2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
That was beautiful. While it is sad, I personally can't feel anything other than happiness that even here, at the end of it all, they're still together, that although the years have taken their toll they are still both Sam and Gene, and you can't have one without the other.

You're characterisation is spot-on, and I adore the originality of this take on the incident. I can't put it more simply than that I loved it.
1st-Jun-2008 12:30 am (UTC)
Thanks for the comment. It is very gratifying when an author who's writing you have liked as much as I have yours, gives you positive feedback. Thanks again.
31st-May-2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
The way this brings everything back together works very well. And you have shown how strong the connection is between Gene and Sam as well. Very sad and well done because of it.
7th-Jun-2008 08:55 am (UTC)
I normally steer clear of death fics, but this is superb - each segment shows us a completely different aspect, and yet each is entirely in character. I loved the description of Sam's numbness in the first part, and of course Gene's determination to be with Sam at the end. Lovely (in an achy heart sort of way).
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