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Fans of Life On Mars
Fic, Another Day, by DorsetGirl, White Cortina 
20th-Jan-2009 10:38 pm

Title: Another Day

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: White Cortina, but it’s angsty.

Pairing: Sam/Gene

Word Count:  469

Summary: Sam has been missing for two weeks now and Gene is coming apart.

A/N: A part of the Survival series which has been awaiting final edit since before Christmas. Takes place the day after Dak’s Not The Dark, ie towards the end of Body & Soul.


Previously posted: Not The Dark (by[info]dakfinv) / Body & Soul / Another Day / Watching / Hope / In The Eye Of The Beholder  / Breaking Through / Still With Us / On The Road to Freedom / Not Just a Cry For Help / Keep Taking the Tablets Breaking Glass / UselessOut to Lunch / Still Want You / Fighting to Survive / Into the Dark / Talk to Me






Another Day



Wake up cold. Crawl off the sofa, wonder if Sam’s cold. Don’t think, just keep moving, put the kettle on. Small Scotch while it boils, got the whole day to get through. Got to be ready if the call comes. Fifteen days, don’t think, keep going.


Out to the car. Don’t look at S -  the passenger seat. Quick nip from the flask in the door pocket. Put her in gear, don’t think, just drive. Look straight ahead, watch the rain. Don’t look down the alleys, under the rubbish, in the sheds, he’s not there. He’s not behind the walls and gates and fences, they’ve looked. I’ve looked.


Just the canal now. God, not there. Don’t make me give that order.


There! Is that - ?  Don’t be stupid, he’s not going to be just -  Calm down, shouldn't stop here.




“Nothing, just ... “


“Any news yet?”


Can’t speak, don’t tremble. No.


Another nip. Don’t think, just drive. Old house yesterday was the last hope, nothing else left. Pull into the yard, fumble another drink. Flask in the coat, cross the yard. Didn’t lock the car, who cares, keep walking. Up the steps, Sam probably knows how many there - Don’t think, keep climbing. Up the top, turn left, through the doors. Don’t think.


Past Phyllis, don’t look. Up the stairs, slowly. Heart attack would hurt less. Wonder if Sam - Don’t think. Finish the first flask, open the door. Look down, ignore the eyes. Long walk across the office. Don’t think, don’t talk, keep moving.


Cold sanctuary in the corner, shut the door. Alone, always alone now. Wonder if Sam’s alone.


Deep breath, things to do, cases to solve. Look after my city, hold on to that. What cases, what things to do, can’t remember, can’t think. Can’t care. Give the order. Sam.


Quick slug, down to the cells, bloke in number three. Don’t know who he is, hit him anyway.  Cleaning up the scum. Send Ray down later. Dark waters, don’t think.


Long and weary stairs, don’t look down, wouldn’t take long to - No. Still hope. Might still turn up. Waiting for me somewhere. Got to be ready for him, always wait for him. Hold on to that.


Nearly through the day, don’t think, keep going. Another flask. Getting late, divers clocking off, don’t think. Hope the phone doesn’t ring. Hope the phone does ring.


Alone again, too much Scotch, unsteady through the empty office. Don’t touch his desk, don’t answer his phone. Wonder if he’s near a phone. Remember his smile, hold on to that.


Drive slowly, too much Scotch. Park the car, drain the last flask. Walk slowly, everything hurts. Dark, cold house, dead, empty. Wonder if Sam’s – Don’t think, stop moving. Crawl onto the sofa, drain the bottle.


Wake up cold.

UnhappyMan2 by Ruuger
20th-Jan-2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
:( Poor Gene. Nice to see his end.
29th-Jan-2009 07:33 am (UTC)
Thank you; in many ways Gene goes through as much as Sam does during this dark period, with the disadvantage that he's conscious for all of it.
20th-Jan-2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
My first thought was "yay! Another Survival fic!"
My next thought - "Oh, Gene!"

This is such a painful fic, in good way of course. You can really feel that complete and utter numbness that Gene is experiencing. And the moments where he tries not to think of Sam are just gutwrenching. Even though I know what happens later, I felt as hopeless as Gene.

Thank you for writing another fantastic fic!
29th-Jan-2009 07:36 am (UTC)
That worked then! I'm really happy about this comment, because you've mentioned exactly the things I was trying to do, the numbness, the hopelessness and always having to stop himself thinking of Sam. Thank you for a lovely comment.
21st-Jan-2009 01:03 am (UTC)
Great fic. Poor Gene, indeed!
29th-Jan-2009 07:37 am (UTC)
Thank you! Yes, he does go through a bad time here. I really must write the happy ending one day...
21st-Jan-2009 01:23 am (UTC)
Numb numb numb. Poor Gene.
29th-Jan-2009 07:38 am (UTC)
Thank you, that's definitely the feeling I was going for.
21st-Jan-2009 02:06 am (UTC)
WAAAH! Gene! Just keep hoping, Gene. You're halfway there. *is pressured to put the rest of the song here, but ignores it*

A great addition. This just keeps getting better and better!
29th-Jan-2009 07:39 am (UTC)
Thank you very much - I'm glad you're still enjoying the series.
21st-Jan-2009 04:08 am (UTC)
Oh, god. Gene's numb hopelessness in this is so palpable, you damn well nearly made me forget that they do find him after all. Seriously, it's that bleak. Excellent job :)
29th-Jan-2009 07:41 am (UTC)
Thank you - that's a brilliant comment. It's great to know that I managed to achieve exactly the mood I wanted to portray - "numb hopelessness".
21st-Jan-2009 04:16 am (UTC)
you know I love these but this was just painful to read. Nice after getting home though. Love the imagery.
29th-Jan-2009 07:43 am (UTC)
Oh dear, I'm sorry this was so painful - you need to be keeping your spirits up! Thank you for commenting.
21st-Jan-2009 08:08 am (UTC)
Wow, poor Gene. :( I love the 'hold on to that' parts, where he's trying to remember tiny little things that'll help get him through the day.

I've missed reading this series. Wonderful job, DG!
29th-Jan-2009 07:45 am (UTC)
Thank you very much; I felt that Gene wouldn't just give up, he has too much dedication to his job for that, but that it would be almost unbearably difficult for him to keep going.

Thank you for a lovely comment.
21st-Jan-2009 08:56 am (UTC)
Poor Gene! I really felt for him and the way he's trying desperately to hold on to hope. The line that really got me was "Dark, cold house, dead, empty." I had to remind myself that Sam actually does get found and things do improve for both of them. ;)
29th-Jan-2009 07:49 am (UTC)
I had to remind myself that Sam actually does get found

Yesss! I've been so pleased at how well this one worked for people. Thank you for picking out that line - I wanted to show that even going home is an ordeal, not a comfort. Thanks for commenting, and thank you again for the wonderful fic last week!
21st-Jan-2009 10:44 am (UTC)
A terribly bleak installment (thank heavens I know how it ends!) done in a tense, terse style - you've used this particular voice ('imperative' maybe? - I iz gud at grammar, me) to great effect here, and the structure and repetition (don't think) works really well. Packs a hefty emotional punch for such a short piece.
29th-Jan-2009 07:56 am (UTC)
a hefty emotional punch

Thank you - that was definitely the aim, but it can be difficult to assess whether something really works as you'd intended, so it's nice to hear it confirmed!
22nd-Jan-2009 01:36 pm (UTC)
Wow. I've read all of these now and really, well, just wow. I'm glad I know how things end up, because this is incredibly bleak and desperate and if it was a standalone I'd probably start crying!

The actual style reminds me of my own thought process when things get tough. Almost ordering yourself to do things and act normally, thinking through every action. Gene telling himself constantly to stop thinking of Sam was heartbreaking. Poor Gene.
29th-Jan-2009 07:58 am (UTC)
Wow, you read the whole thing? That's a major compliment, thank you! Thank you for a lovely comment, and I must try to write a cheerful chapter soon!
22nd-Jan-2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
This is a really heart wrenching piece, and it just captures the emotions within poor Gene's mind perfectly.

A truly excellent job!
29th-Jan-2009 08:07 am (UTC)
Thank you very much, I'm glad it worked for you. Thanks for commenting!
27th-Oct-2011 11:56 am (UTC)
Apparently I never commented on this before, but I read it, oh yes... glued to the screen. I love this series and I hope that you may add to it someday. There is certainly room for another chapter.

Meanwhile, in this one, I am gripped by Gene's internal agony. Brilliant.

Edited at 2011-10-27 11:56 am (UTC)
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