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Fans of Life On Mars
Fic, Not Just a Cry for Help, Red Cortina, by DorsetGirl 
9th-Jun-2008 01:56 pm

Title: Not Just a Cry For Help
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:  Red Cortina for attempted suicide (by tablets – no blood or injury)

Warnings: Suicidal thoughts.

Pairings: Sam/Gene

Word Count:  2,277

Summary: Sam’s so useless, Gene doesn’t even want him any more.

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. I got dragged quite deep into this but I want to move on from this event, so I’m posting now rather than leaving it to settle in my mind for a few days as I probably should. Not beta’d.


Previously posted: Body & Soul / Watching / Breaking Through / Not Just a Cry For Help / Keep Taking the Tablets / Useless /  Out to Lunch / Fighting to Survive




Not Just a Cry For Help



Sam shivered as the door finally closed behind Gene. He hadn’t been alone  - not that he could remember, anyway - for more than a few minutes at a time since the day they’d found him. He’d been alone then all right, starved and broken, abandoned in a dank garden for the dogs to sniff at.


In the hospital, Gene had made sure he was rarely left, giving up all his spare time day after day to sit with Sam after he woke up. Before, too, the nurses said with puzzled frowns. Sam had smiled weakly and murmured “He’s my Guv. Thinks this is all his fault.” 


“Of course,” they had said, exchanging glances.


But it wasn’t Gene’s fault, it was Sam’s, all of it. The doctors had told him not to think about it, to concentrate on getting better, but that was a lot easier said than done.


He lay still, listening to the silence of the empty house. All he’d done today was wake up, refuse breakfast and sit in Gene’s car for the journey home, but he was already shattered. Gene had insisted on carrying him in and settling him on the sofa in Gene’s front room, where the radio and telephone were close at hand so he didn’t have to get up. Sam closed his eyes just for a moment, trying to get used to being back.


When he had turned from the monstrous pain towards the false light, he had crossed a bridge out of the real world into that terrifying place he had inhabited before Gene, and now he seemed marooned there. He could see Gene on the far bank, calling him, standing solid and calm and strong for him, but he couldn’t find the way back. Nothing seemed real any more and most of his mind was still lost in that place. He couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t see clearly, couldn’t feel anything except pain.


Sam woke, shaking. He’d dreamt he was back there. In that cold, dusty room with the hole in the floorboards. He had heard them jeering as they took turns to circle and taunt him, aiming their kicks at his head, his ribs, his groin. There had been one in particular who had taken great pleasure from the way Sam tried to pretend he didn’t care, that he could take whatever they cared to dish out. He couldn’t, of course, but the pretence was all he had.


Gene had said to stop going on about it, anyone would have been the same, but it wasn’t that simple. A better man could have talked his way out of the situation. A stronger man would have fought his way out. Sam had done neither, simply curled up for protection and allowed them to dominate him and damage him until he was no use to anyone and probably never would be again.


A sudden creak from the hall made him jump. The house was full of strange noises, and he’d been away so long he couldn’t remember which stairs creaked and what each door sounded like as it moved or shut. He concentrated hard – if anyone got in he would need to know where they were.  The creak sounded again from the hall. Or was it the stairs? That was it, only the stairs. Lonely and scared, desperate for a friendly voice, Sam switched the radio on and let the familiar tones of Johnnie Walker wash over him. He needed to go to the toilet, but wasn’t sure he had the strength to get there. Perhaps in a while.


Next time he woke he was cold. Gene had covered him with a blanket before leaving – like an invalid, he thought bitterly – and it had slipped off. He couldn’t remember falling asleep again but the clock had moved, so he must have done. Rain coursed down the window and he wondered if Gene was out in it. Through the unrelenting noise of the downpour he strained to listen for voices in the street outside. At some point he must have switched the radio off, but he couldn’t remember doing it. He’d get up in a minute, he decided. Check all the doors were locked. No need to lie about on the sofa all day like he was ill. Just a few more minutes, then he’d go and get something to eat. That would be after a piss, he realised; his bladder was now straining to bursting point.


Sam woke gradually, cock throbbing and erect for the first time since he could remember; pity Gene wasn’t here to see it, he’d said the doctors had told him it could be months yet. Sometimes Sam could still feel the tube he’d had for ... oh, fuck. In his momentary pleasure he’d relaxed too far and the toilet situation was now desperate. He lay still for a moment, thinking it through. No way could he make it up the stairs by himself; it would have to be Gene’s old outdoor toilet. At least it was clean nowadays. He sat up carefully, and waited for the dizziness to subside. Pushing down with both hands he got himself to a standing position, but his right knee buckled immediately and he sat down again, missing the edge of the sofa and ending up on the floor.


OK, crawl then. Fine specimen of a man you are.


He shifted carefully until he was on his hands and knees. Even that was exhausting; tears of weakness welled up and he brushed them away. It was a mistake; he’d automatically used his right hand, and he shouted in sudden agony as pain shot up inside the cast on his left arm. Rolling to his right to relieve the pressure on the smashed wrist and elbow, he lay curled on the floor sobbing angrily as his overstretched bladder spilled over, soaking his trousers and the new shirt Gene had bought him to come home in. He grimaced in disgust as he clutched the fallen blanket to his groin in an effort to avoid soaking the carpet. Gene was going to be livid - first day home and he’d caused all this extra work, and now he smelt like a tramp. He lay still as his injured left arm shrieked in pain and the reeking warmth in his clothes grew cold.


Sam woke suddenly, in terror. He’d heard voices. Someone at the back door. Someone on the stairs. A footstep in the kitchen, coming nearer. Sam lay silent, listening as hard as he could, fingers tangled in the sodden blanket. What would he do if they came for him? He couldn’t fight, he could barely stand. He sweated as he strained to hear and locate every sound. The wet trousers stuck to him, the smell rising as he moved.


Sam thrashed and twisted in his sleep and woke sobbing with fear and pain and exhaustion. There were sounds, noises, voices, coming from the stairs and the kitchen and the hall, from the back door and the front door and the window of the room where he lay huddled on the floor helpless and alone, and he clutched at the phone, fingers trembling and slipping in his urgency.


He held it together while he waited to be put through, but as soon as he heard the beloved whisky tones he fell apart, babbling frantically to make Gene understand before he could put the phone down on him.


“Gene, I’m scared. They’re here, I can hear them. Please Gene, they’re going to get me, come home, Gene, please?” His voice rose in panic. “I’m so frightened, Gene, please don’t leave me here by myself. I can’t fight them on my own, come home, please, Gene.” He was crying now. “Please, I’m so scared.”


There was a silence. Eventually, Gene spoke.


“Sam, there’s no-one there. They’re on remand, you know that; they’re all going down.” His voice softened. “Really, Sam, there’s no-one there. It’s just your imagination.”


“They’re here, Gene, please, I can’t get up, I can’t cope on my own. Come home, I need you, please Gene?” Begging now, no pride left.


“Of course you can, you daft bugger. You’re just tired, that’s all. Get some sleep, you’ll feel better when you wake up.”


“Gene, don’t leave me here by myself, I’m so frightened. Gene, please come home.” It was a mistake; he could hear the impatient sigh.


“Sam, I can’t. I’ve got a city to run here. Just piss off and let me get on with it for God’s sake; some of us have got work to do - scum to catch - while you’re sitting about twitching at shadows and crying like a girl. Get some sleep, and get yourself better. I’ll see you later, OK?”


Sam put the phone down, shaking.


Even Gene doesn’t want you now, you twat. That’s it. Nothing left. Only the pain; the endless pain and the guilt; the pills and the fear and the shame.




He couldn’t stay here now; couldn’t be here, pathetic whining little shit that he was, when Gene got home. Can’t let him see me in this state. He started to stand up, then realised if he fell again he might damage his left arm even further. It hardly seemed to matter, but he still couldn’t bring himself to risk it. It was probably time to take some of the many tablets; perhaps a glass of whisky would wash them down and help him sleep through the lonely day.


Tablets. Whisky.


He couldn’t remember getting to the kitchen, but he knew it hurt. There was no one there; never had been, of course. Just him being stupid. He couldn’t bear to think what Gene would say when he came home. He’d probably say Sam was a useless bloody nancy who couldn’t be left alone for one day without making a drama out of it.


Gene had left all the tablets in a bag on the table. “Bloody hell,” he’d said. "You’ll rattle like a chemist’s shop, Gladys.” The memory made Sam smile briefly. Gene deserved better, someone who was whole. He sat at the table and looked at the packets. All of them. Biggest first? By colour? What do they taste like? Who gives a shit? At least it wouldn’t hurt any more. He pulled the bag from the table and followed it clumsily to the floor.


He tried to stand up – one last walk for Christ’s sake, can’t you even do that? – but between the knee that wouldn’t bend and the one that couldn’t take his weight it seemed he’d had his last walk some time ago and he hadn’t even noticed. He looped the bag round his arm and set out for the sofa.


Halfway there he realised he’d forgotten the whisky. That might be better, let Gene think it was an accident, confusion. Not Gene’s fault. Never Gene’s fault.


Oh God, Gene.


Reaching the sofa at last he let the bag slide from his arm and sat on the floor getting his breath back. The wet trousers had chafed his legs and every bone in his body hurt. Every joint and every sore, every stitch and bruise clamoured as he forced himself to breathe evenly. Controlled to the end. Bonus points, Tyler. Well done, like anyone cares.


He’d need water. Gene had left him a jug on the table, but they’d forgotten about a glass. He’d been awake about an hour this time, must be a record. Concentrate for fuck’s sake. Sam Tyler, the man who forgot to off himself because he was thinking. Glasses, stupid. More crawling. More like dragging by now, what with only one arm to lean on and the buggered knee. Both of them. Oh for fuck’s sake, get a grip.


Glasses. In Gene’s oak sideboard with the carvings round the doors. It had been his mum’s, he just kept it because it was handy “so the place is tidy, Dorothy, since that’s so important to you. Everything tucked away out of sight, out of mind. Just how you like it.” God almighty, focus, damn it. Glasses. Loads of them. Wedding present crystal, Woolworth’s best, wine tumblers. Special wine tumblers. Anniversary glasses.


Special tumblers for special occasions.


So you know I love you. Always.


When was it, anyway, their anniversary? Been awake, what, two weeks now? So it was... dunno. What’s the date today? Monday? Too tired to get the diary. World’s better without. Back to the sofa, last journey now. Fill both glasses. Special glasses, Gene, look. Mind’s gone, can’t remember anything, but I remember this. I remember us, when I was still me. Raise a glass to us.


Don’t spill the water, you fucking idiot. Put the glass down. Crawl up onto the sofa. Sit down. Right. Packets, open. Bottles, lids off. Start swallowing. Surprisingly easy. Bit dry. Drink water. Not too much, no more pissing now. End here. Gene. Three more, pink ones. I’m sorry. Blue ones, six to a strip. I love you. That bomb. Ray. My fault, stupid arrogant bastard. Orange ones, bigger than the rest. Hard to get down. More water. Glen, should have helped him more. Good copper. ’Nother bottle, white ones. Twenty at once. June. My fault again. Useless. Sick now, bit of dribble on the shirt. Useless. Sam? Can you hear me, love? Keep going. Force them down. Mum? More white ones, that’s boring.


Cortina, loved that. Front seat. Sex. Oh Gene, please. Blue ones, yellow ones. Three more, slower, can’t ‘member colours names more. No, no, NO. Dark. Cold. More white ones. Useless. Love you. Can’t see, feel sick now. Like drunk. Sick on the shirt. Liked this one. Gene, please. Fuck. Gene, wait, I






UnhappyMan2 by Ruuger
9th-Jun-2008 01:36 pm (UTC)
heartbreaking :(

I'm glad that you wrote it from Sam's view as well though because the different perspective added a completely new dimension. (for example Sam's motives for using the special tumblers vs. Gene's interpretation).
This was some really beautifully written angst.

9th-Jun-2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
I guessed you'd be first in, as you usually seem to be when I post around lunchtime, and I was so relieved to learn that you liked it. I hope heartbreaking is good! Thank for commenting.
9th-Jun-2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
Hah! I knew he didn't use the special glasses to hurt Gene!

This is heartbreaking, which means I love it, of course. I feel so bad for Sam, and Gene did come off as rather harsh, if you didn't know he was only trying to make him strong again. *tussles my favorite little emo's hair*
Aww, Sam, you shouldn't kill yourself but I do like watching you try.
9th-Jun-2008 05:20 pm (UTC)
Aww, you were one of the few who really saw Sam's point of view in Keep Taking the Tablets, and thank you for that!

Poor Gene took a gamble; he had his fingers crossed so hard it hurt but he had underestimated Sammy's capacity for self-loathing. Thanks for your lovely comment, I'm very pleased indeed that you liked this.
9th-Jun-2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
Good God woman. Just when I think my angst-resistance is building, you go and pull this out of the bag. I can honestly say this is the first fic I've read here that's properly made me cry. Not just a bit of sniffling and watery eyes - proper, full-on, get-me-shares-in-Kleenex bawling. AND all this when I know from the later installments that he's going to be OK!

I hope you're proud of yourself. You should be - this is fabulous and my heartstrings may never be the same. If you want me, I'll be over in the corner looking for my dignity ♥
9th-Jun-2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness! *hands norfolkdumpling dignity, tissues and shares in Kleenex*

I wasn't at all sure whether this had worked; as you might imagine I found it quite difficult to read it objectively, so I'm very happy at your comment. Mmm, I think perhaps I am just a little bit proud of myself. This series is so far out of my normal territory it's ridiculous; I don't even like h/c as a concept (doesn't appear to stop me reading it and enjoying it though - or writing it). Thank you for a lovely comment.
9th-Jun-2008 04:52 pm (UTC)
Okay, so I just went back and read Keep Taking The Tablets and my comments to it and to be honest my reaction is even worse than I'd expected it to be. I knew I'd be angry with myself for not being able to see Sam's point of view (which at the time when I received your reply, I just could not do) and I knew I'd instantly want to apologise to Sam for judging him so harshly. I didn't know I'd be sat frozen staring at the screen unable to form rational thought for several minutes. This absolutely terrified me.

I'm not sure why exactly. I've read lots of fics in which Sam's tries to/succeeds at committing suicide, by some excellent writers and you are no exception. (By this I mean that you are also bloody excellent.) I'm trying to figure out why this fic in particular has caused me to freak out when very few of the others have caused such a visceral reaction.

Before when I said I liked your writing, I meant it, because I always have. In particular I love the way you write Gene; in that fic his reactions and voice feel very real and powerful. In this one, with Sam...I think it's so well written and so powerful that some of his self-hate and desperation have bled through the screen and jumped down my throat. And that's gripping to read. So when the sentence cuts off abruptly at the end I'm left floundering a bit. (Also, I keep hearing Gene's voice in some of the lines Sam's thinking. "Fine specimen of a man you are." is one of them.)

Just a couple of lines in particular that jumped out and hit me in the gut:
Can’t let him see me in this state.
Controlled to the end. Bonus points, Tyler. Well done, like anyone cares.
Sam Tyler, the man who forgot to off himself because he was thinking. - Which made me snort and then despise myself half a second later for finding it remotely funny.

So, um, there you have it. It's taken me 60 minutes to compose this comment, whereas last time I avoided commenting for 15 minutes and then wrote a comment in five. I think that tells you just how much these two fics have affected me. Which, in writing terms, is phenomenal. And now I think I'll stop rambling on. :P Sorry.
9th-Jun-2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
some of his self-hate and desperation have bled through the screen and jumped down my throat

Oh my goodness, I am so sorry; I feel really bad now. I can only imagine it’s because I’ve focussed slightly more on some of the physical details than people generally do, therefore grounding it in reality more?

I knew I'd instantly want to apologise to Sam for judging him so harshly

This made feel very good though; to know that I’d written it well enough that you wanted to apologise to a fictional character. To be honest, when I read some of the comments on Keep Taking the Tablets - although I didn’t mind them in the slightest – it was my hope that people would want to apologise to Sammy when they’d read his side of the story.

Sam Tyler, the man who forgot to off himself because he was thinking.

Don’t worry, love, Sam found it quite funny as well, and so did I. He’s almost in two places at once, subjectively feeling all this and objectively watching himself doing it.

Thank you so very much for taking so much time to write me such a thoughtful and honest comment; I am sincerely honoured. I was very happy to get an honest comment on the other story too, even though your interpretation was quite different from how I had seen things. (But then I had the advantage of having been in Sam’s head writing this before I finished off the other one. They had to work together.)

And there's absolutely no need to apologise; I'm very happy that you've shared your thoughts with me on this.
9th-Jun-2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
Everything tucked away out of sight, out of mind. Just how you like it.

I love the way that you have Gene saying that to Sam, and yet the feeling is left that Gene's trying to keep everything that way for himself, trying to ignore exactly what happened in the past, to push it all away, just as he did with all of the other hard situations in his life...

And Sam's anguish in this is just so real, so painful... That might be better, let Gene think it was an accident, confusion. Not Gene’s fault. Never Gene’s fault.

I love the fact that Sam was thinking about protecting Gene to the end, even after Gene snapped at him on the phone..

And even though I've read what comes next, the idea of Gene finding Sam, of trying to deal with the situation after what he said on the phone - it's just so painful! And, of course, there's always the parallel between Sam wanting to keep Gene safe by making him think it wasn't his fault, and Gene telling everyone that it was an accident to protect Sam...

Gorgeous, and brilliantly done!
9th-Jun-2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
Gene just doesn't know how to cope with all this; he's from a generation that saw some terrible things but just got on with it - house burnt down, family all dead, still got to go to work the next day because it was essential to the war effort.

Yeah, Sam isn't really thinking very much here, but two things which are constant are that he loves Gene, and he doesn't want Gene to feel bad about this. Oh Sam...

I liked the way they were both trying to protect each other, and I'm glad that worked for you. Thanks for a lovely comment.
9th-Jun-2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
This is extraordinarily visceral, and Sam's stream of consciousness is truly terrifying, especially the cut-off final sentence.

I'm not surprised you got dragged deep into writing this one (hope you pulled yourself out again!), I found it painful enough to read - I can't imagine getting my head into a place to write it. For what its worth, I think posting it right away was probably the right decision as it has a (very effective) rawness which is best left unrefined.

And now I'm off to re-read 'Anniversary' as a sort of angst-antidote!
9th-Jun-2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
Even though the last sentence wasn't finalised until this morning, the idea of it being cut off has been there for a couple of weeks, since before I posted Keep Taking the Tablets.

I'm glad this worked for you; I posted it today because I really couldn't see what else I could do with it. Obviously, leaving it for a few days might have helped that, but I just thought - what if it doesn't? What if I don't like it any more and decide not to post? So I just went ahead, and it seems to have been the right decision!

Yes, I think I've got my head out of this now - although it must say something about my head that this stuff just spills out so readily! Thanks very much for commenting.
9th-Jun-2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
Well that just about ripped my heart out and stomped all over it wearing high-heeled shoes.

That was an extremely vivid desciption of PTSD and they wouldn't they probably wouldn't have help in place for him 1973. Sam is on his own until Gene figures out what he needs. And you have given us glimpses that Gene will know what he needs even if he doesn't know why.

Thank you for updating this. I think it is perfect like it is, no reason to think it wasn't ready.
9th-Jun-2008 07:53 pm (UTC)

I suppose it is PTSD - it probably sounds daft, but I hadn't really thought of it like that: it's just Sam being Sam in a bad place. I'm a bit worried now, because I don't actually know the treatment for PTSD!

I think, to be honest, I'm going with Gene on that one, which is just to work from my knowledge of Sammy. I don't know how much more of this series there will be; there are still plenty of gaps, but I'd hate to flog it to death so people got bored with it.

At the moment I've got a fair amount of a probable ending story, although I haven't decided how it actually ends (probably in bed if we're lucky!) plus a little snippet that came up this afternoon. We'll just have to see how much longer the muse wants to play ball. Thank you very much for commenting!
9th-Jun-2008 08:44 pm (UTC)
You just made me feel guilty about getting up and walking to the AC! Good job! (No sarcasm here, dear. Seriously, good job. That takes a bit of effort.)

Angst!butterflies are happy!
10th-Jun-2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much; there's a lot we never think about until we have to, and neither Gene nor Sam gave any thought to whether he'd be able to get to the toilet!

Thanks for commenting, and welcome to the comm!
9th-Jun-2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
Guh. Absolutely...guh. Which is definitely a very, good thing. I've read it about three times now, and each time my heart just gets ripped out of my chest. Which is also a good thing. What I absolutely love is the slow build up to Sam's terror and his decision to take the pills. Even though we know Sam is safe at the house, the way he convinces himself he hears the footsteps and voices of his captors terrifies me as well.

the new shirt Gene had bought him to come home in
That bit also sucker punched me as well. It's almost like the fresh shirt was supposed to be a sort of fresh start for Sam, because Gene could have brought him one of his old, clean ones, and when Sam soils it, it's like he's ruining his fresh start. Or maybe I'm reading too much into that.

And I love the gradual disconnect of Sam's thoughts as he takes more and more pills, moving from sentences to just fragments of thought, before he can't think at all. Cutting off in the middle of the sentence was a brilliant stroke.

I really do hope that the muse for this story stays with you because I absolutely adore this series and would love to read more of it.
10th-Jun-2008 05:38 pm (UTC)

Job done!

Thank you very much for a lovely, detailed comment. This hasn't changed much since the first draft, but I wasn't at all sure I'd captured the build-up effectively. I guess I did!

I have no idea why Gene bought Sam a new shirt. That was one of the bits that was just there on the screen one day, and I don't tend to argue with those - I let them stand unless there's good reason not to - but yes, I agree with your interpretation, or rather, I think Sam would.

I'm glad the chaos of Sam's thought processes came over properly; that was obviously pretty important to the fic. I should possibly be worried about how easy that kind of stuff is to write.

Knowing what a master of angst you are, I love that you're enjoying this series. There probably will be more, but I would guess this one is the nadir for Sam. Pity, I'm getting a taste for writing angst.
10th-Jun-2008 12:36 am (UTC)
Add me to the list of people who are crying. I mean really, wiping the tears away from my eyes. This is the most powerful part to the story yet, and the change into Sam's view is so effective and so gut wrenching.

The glasses, all the memories, the shirt, particularly the last part with all the memories, it is all so powerful. The bit that did me in though was the glasses, I think I told you before how much I loved that connection to a happier moment, Sam just thinking back to it, trying to remember the day or the date....I just love this so much.
10th-Jun-2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you for a fantastic comment; this is probably the lowest point for Sam, and I'm glad people think I've done it justice.

I've got such a clear view in my mind of those glasses, and they're nothing spectacular, but they were mentioned in Wine and Candles Part 1, and I think their significance started from the fact that they were effectively Sam and Gene's very first joint possessions. I didn't link Anniversary into this universe until just before I wrote these two pieces, and I have to say, I'm glad I did. It's certainly added some depth, especially with the two very different points of view on the glasses.

Thanks again for commenting; I'm glad this series is keeping you interested.
10th-Jun-2008 02:55 am (UTC)
Oh, god was that a rough ride. I can't join the list of people crying over this one, because frankly I never cry over fic, but I am tearing up here and I don't cry over fic. Really. *wipes at eyes in fierce denial*

Stream of consciousness is a shockingly hard thing to manage well, and I'm in awe at how well you've done it here, right up to that utterly brilliant tactic of ending mid-sentence. The constant refrain of Sam's impulsive evocations of Gene during this story, more frequent the further he goes, is simply gorgeous and heartbreaking (notgoingtocry) and that phone conversation is nothing short of devastating after reading the previous installment and realizing just how wrongly Gene has read Sam's situation, even with the best of intentions.

I've been trying to hammer together an intelligent comment on account of how wonderfully done this was, but let's face it, I'm just overcome by it, so let's just say I love it. Thank you.
10th-Jun-2008 10:49 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm glad to hear you didn't cry over this, because I wouldn't want to upset anyone. *g*. Actually, I do mean that, because I'm not sitting here thinking "what can I do to break Sam or Gene next?"; I'm just writing what happened, if that makes sense, almost as if I'm remembering various bits at various times and just writing them down.

I'm glad Sam's rambling worked for you; I do find him disturbingly easy to write in that mode, although of course it's very difficult to judge whether it's any good, so I'm pleased to have your reassurance on that. It's a little strange how he can spend so much of his last minutes thinking about Gene and how special he is, but apparently doesn't wonder what this will do to Gene. And Gene hasn't begun to process it all yet...
10th-Jun-2008 05:06 am (UTC)

It's painful just reading this as Sam's body won't cooperate and then his mind betrays him too.

And then there's Gene's calmly rational lines in the midst of this, just hammering it home all the more.

Thank you! ♥
10th-Jun-2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure it's nice of me to be pleased that people found this painful to read, but it certainly means that the fic worked, and this therefore counts as praise, which is good to have.

Gene's spent a long time being the stolid counterweight to emo!Sam, and I think it comes naturally to him, both from that and from his wartime childhood, to play things down and be very calm and strong. It wasn't the right response here, but I think it's what's going to get them through in the end.

Thank you for commenting.
10th-Jun-2008 05:31 am (UTC)
Finally, read the ones leading up to this (had read Keep Taking the Tablets already) and yah, very angsty all. This one though, from Sam's pov was a kicker right in the gut. I loved it, the out and out despair that Sam was feeling, his useless body, his f'd up mind. Great to see it from Sam's head though, giving a view of why he did it. I loved the last few paragraphs, the disjointed flow of his thoughts. So effective and really, tears were flowing. Amazing writing! Now on to the others!
10th-Jun-2008 11:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much for taking the trouble to read the earlier ones; I haven't read them back in order yet, so I hope they actually work in that order!

I got the idea for Gene's pov first, and it was only when that was almost ready to post that I thought 'what if I did Sam's as well?' The "special wine glasses" were the catalyst for that, as they were an obvious link. I'm very pleased the fic worked for you, and thank you for commenting.
10th-Jun-2008 11:44 am (UTC)
I knew this was going to be bad, but poor Sam. He's in such a terrible state both mentally and physically and Gene thinks that Sam can just pull himself together just like that; that it's only physical like it was with Ray in the episode with the bomb under the car. He loves Sam but he doesn't realize the amount of sheer mental agony that Sam's in. You made it all so real it was heartbreaking. Really top notch writing.
10th-Jun-2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
Poor Gene doesn't have a clue; he wouldn't hurt Sammy for the world, but he spent his formative years in a period where you just kept smiling through and doing your bit (unless you went mad with the strain of course) and I think that must do something to your empathy levels. You just couldn't afford to dwell.

Thank you for a great comment, love, I'm really pleased you're still enjoying this.
10th-Jun-2008 12:17 pm (UTC)
I wanted to cry when I read this. I needed to cry when I read this – unfortunately I was at work and I couldn’t cry when I read it.

I was working at the goods receiving department today where a supplier arrives like every ten minutes so there is always some time in between to read some awesome LoM fics.^^

When I had finished reading the new part of your brilliant story I had to explain to 8(!) suppliers that showed up within 15 minutes why I was all teary eyed. (I told them it was because of my allergy, which I don’t have)

So yeah. You did a really good job with this part. It was never so hard to control my feelings over a piece of written words.

Sam’s feelings, this battle with himself, everything was so realistic my poor heart broke.

It’s really interesting how Sam can’t manage to gather the strength to go to the bathroom, but brings up all this energy to collect all the things he’ll need (the pills, the glasses) to end his life.

If only he put his will power to better use…
10th-Jun-2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
It was never so hard to control my feelings over a piece of written words.

Wow, thank you very much indeed. That is very good to know. And I'm sorry you were embarrassed in front of all those drivers!

Sam can’t manage to gather the strength to go to the bathroom

Well, that's a very good point, and one which Sam I hadn't thought about. I think the outside toilet is further away than the kitchen, and probably up and down a few steps, plus of course the physical weakness is only part of the story - the last straw if you like. Sam is already beset with pain, victim's guilt, general questioning of himself as a man and an officer, and now, he thinks, the centre of his whole world just put up the barriers. The business of pissing himself is just a standard humiliation tactic, probably used by his kidnappers, and that will have added a few layers of self-disgust and inadequacy.

He probably could have got there if it had been the only thing on his mind, but we know Sammy's mind doesn't work like that...
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