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Fans of Life On Mars
Fic, Keep Taking The Tablets, Blue Cortina, by DorsetGirl 
29th-May-2008 02:15 am

Title: Keep Taking the Tablets

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:  Um, Blue Cortina for non-graphic attempted suicide

Warnings: Angst; attempted suicide.

Pairing: Sam/Gene

Word Count:  1006

Summary: Sam gets “confused” about taking his tablets.

A/N: This is part of the Survival series, and takes place on the day Sam comes out of hospital to begin his convalescence at Gene’s house. Not beta’d.

 

Previously posted: Body & Soul / Watching / Breaking Through / Keep Taking the  Tablets / Useless /  Out to Lunch / Fighting to Survive

 

 

 

Keep Taking the Tablets

 

 

Gene pushed the Cortina hard, throwing it round corners with a disregard for his own safety that owed less to his usual insouciance than to sheer blind terror.

 

He’d known as soon as Skelton had said it - “might do himself in.” The vision had formed in Gene’s mind as clear as moonlight, and it had taken all the strength and detachment learned in twenty-five years on the job to stop himself running out of the door there and then. He’d managed a whole five minutes before the terrifying certainty had propelled him down to the car.

 

Arriving outside his own house, he winced as the front wheel grazed the kerb in his hurry. Breathing heavily, he sat gripping the wheel for a moment, telling himself he was being ridiculous. Even Sam, even Sam in his current fragile state, wouldn’t be so stupid.

 

Apparently he would. Following the smell, and feeling sick himself, Gene found Sam draped awkwardly over the end of the sofa. His face was blank and pale, and if the trail of vomit and the empty tablet container clutched in his hand were clichés, that didn’t make them any less real or frightening. Gene felt his own stomach churn as he realised Sam had opened every one of the packets they’d sent him home with.

 

Staying calm only by a major effort of will, Gene pulled Sam up and dragged him into the kitchen, cradling him tightly against one shoulder as he filled a glass with cold water. Propping Sam in a chair by the wall he flung the water in his face and watched with relief as his eyelids flickered briefly. Torn between calling the ambulance or getting the stuff out as quickly as possible, he refilled the glass, shook in some salt and held it up to Sam’s lips.

 

He stared frustratedly at the slack face and closed eyes. “Come on Sammy, drink it down for God’s sake,” he muttered. Making a decision, he forced Sam’s lower jaw down, held his head right back and poured until the water overflowed from the corners of Sam’s sick-smeared mouth. Tapping him smartly under the chin he watched anxiously until at least some of the liquid went down the right way, then ran to the phone.

 

“Ambulance, love, and make it snappy. Yes, it’s me. Well, it’s my dozy DI. Got sent home with enough pills for his own bloody chemist’s shop, and he’s eaten the lot as far as I can see. No, he’s at my house. Hurry ’em up, love, OK?”

 

He listened for a moment, glancing towards the kitchen where Sam slumped unmoving. “No, less than an hour, I’d say. Spoke to him on the phone earlier and he was all right then.”

 

Well, he had been, hadn’t he? If you counted your normally over-confident DI, your formerly assured and attentive lover, crying down the phone at you and begging you to come home because “they” were coming for him, as “all right”.

 

Which Gene didn’t especially, but he’d crossed his fingers and told Sam to piss off back to bed and grab some sleep so Gene could catch some villains and Sam could get himself strong enough to be of some use instead of sitting about twitching at shadows and crying like a girl.

 

Returning to the kitchen he managed to get another mouthful of salt water down the still-elegant throat, then gently mopped up as much sick as he could from Sam’s neck and shirt. “I’m sorry, Sammy” he whispered into his ear. “I wanted to get you fighting this, not giving into it. Come on, love, stay with me.” Sam still smelt of hospitals and Gene twitched his nose as the vomit stench mingled with the lingering disinfectant odour, but as he moved up to Sam’s face and delicately tongued away the tear-tracks he could still sense the underlying Sam-ness beneath the blank expression and the crusted shirt.

 

“Come on, Sammy, I know you’re in there – hold on, OK? Ambulance is on its way; soon have you sorted. You’re going to need pumping out, you stupid bugger. Just hold on though, all right? For me. ’Cos I do need you.” He pressed his lips tightly together and took a sharp breath to calm himself. “Never told you that before,“ he said, very quietly. “Always thought you knew.”

 

Hearing the siren outside, he quickly pressed kisses to Sam’s mouth and eyelids. “Hang on, Sammy, OK? I’m still here, so don’t you go away.”

 

He opened the door and gestured the stretcher-bearers through to the kitchen.

 

When they had gone, loading the slight body into the ambulance with casual efficiency, Gene looked around the empty room, reaction finally setting in, and registered for the first time the glasses Sam had been drinking from. His chest hurt as he almost choked on the next breath - their special wine tumblers, the ones Sam polished carefully every time they used them.

 

Shit, he really meant it. Anyone else, it wouldn’t signify, but Sam – he analysed everything, and if he’d used their special occasion glasses it was to make Gene think of those special occasions.

 

Thanks a lot, Sam. Remind me of our anniversary and then fuck off and leave me.

 

Gene stroked the arm of the sofa where Sam’s head had lain and contemplated a future without him. Even if he pulled through this, an openly suicidal police officer had nothing to look forward to except immediate retirement on “health grounds”. And that really would finish him off.

 

Gene shook his head emphatically. Over my dead body. Said I’d look after you, and I will. He had accepted the responsibility when he offered himself to Sam, and he wasn’t going to back away now.

 

Decision made – Sam was confused, that’s all: my fault, too many different bottles, just needs a bit of help getting organised – Gene went out to the car and headed to the hospital to save Sam’s career and reputation and keep both their lives worth living.

 

Tomorrow they’d try again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A/N: Please note that as far as I know, making people sick is no longer recommended, and doing it by giving them salt water to drink is an absolute no-no. At the time this fic is set, however, as I recall it was the usual advice, and would therefore be the first thing Gene thought to do.

 
UnhappyMan2 by Ruuger
Comments 
4th-Jun-2008 01:48 am (UTC)
Love tough guy on the outside Gene, taking care of Sam. Admitting he needed Sam just broke my heart. This is fabulous and it looks like I need to find the others and read them. (I'm fairly new to this fandom and am so thrilled there are such great authors here!)
4th-Jun-2008 06:13 am (UTC)
Hi, thanks for commenting, and welcome to the comm; I've seen you around commenting in the last week or two - I hope you have a great time here!

Admitting he needed Sam just broke my heart.

Aww, fic needs a little heartbreak now and then; I had to go back and check that he really hadn't said it anywhere else! As you may have seen from the comments, I'm posting this out of order, as ideas come to me. The full list in chronological order is at the top, with links, but most people have read it in this order:

Fighting to Survive, Body & Soul, Watching, Useless, Breaking Through, Out to Lunch, Keep Taking the Tablets.

This series is in the same universe as the Wine and Candles series and Anniversary, which are referenced occasionally but are completely different in mood from this series. (They're full-on fluff!)
6th-Jun-2008 05:35 am (UTC)
Yes, well, I'm totally addicted to LoM now and just want more! I am really amazed and thrilled that there are such talented writers in this comm and the variety of stories, the 'what if aspect', the imagination.

I still haven't read your other ones, but definitely will. Thanks for the chronology and what I guess was the order they were written. :)

Trying to keep up with the various fandoms is challenging and of course, real life gets in the way, too. I need to find time to write around it all! Haha! One of these days/weeks, I'll get around to getting up the nerve to do a LoM one.
6th-Jun-2008 06:10 am (UTC)
I'll look forward to a fic from you! New writers often bring a slightly different way of looking at things, and I think it keeps the comm fresh and gives us all a new lease of life.

And don't worry about RL - it'll go away if you ignore it long enough *g*
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