Rating: Brown Cortina (over all, Brown Cortina for this part) (across both parts, we have: established relationship, Gene's a Christmas grouch, a dash of casefic and then Christmas fluff and smut)
Pairings/Characters: Sam/Gene // Sam, Gene, OCs aplenty, Gene's mum
Word Count: 5k in this part (12.5k total)
Notes: From the moment I started this story, I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do with it and I pretty much think I nailed it. It was fun to write, and I'm pretty dang pleased with how it turned out, and I hope if you read it that you enjoy it, that it imparts a bit of holiday joy <3<3<3
Endless thanks go to lozenger8 for the wonderful beta, as well as all the hand-holding in general, and all of her picky-pain dedication ;) ♥
Summary: It's supposed to be no big deal, what they do on Christmas.
It's the worst possible thing that could happen, and on Christmas day of all things. But his mam, being herself, smiles when she opens the door, thought the uncertainty of it all runs like ice down Gene's spine; the thing is, he hates disappointing her, and it's too bloody easy to do just that, because he's his father's son, because he's a copper, because all the world's out to get him, at times. 'Gene,' she says, opening her arms wide. 'So good to see you, you do need to try and stop by more often – Merry Christmas.' He always forget what good hugs she gives until he's getting one again, and he folds his arms about her, careful yet tight. He visited her more when things were going down the drain with his missus, both of them seeking the solace of their mother's homes when they'd been unable to face each other. He kisses her wrinkled cheek, and her eyes light up as he steps back, turning to look at Sam.
'And you must be Samuel.'
'Sam,' he says, with a wry twitch of his lips. 'It's very good to meet you, Mrs Hunt – Merry Christmas.'
'Oh, now, lad, I'll have none of that,' and she pulls Sam into a hug – his eyes go a little wide, but he gives into the embrace, wrapping his arms about her in return; and that's a very good start, because Sam's not always the most huggable bloke. 'You call me Emma, and I can call you Sam. Merry Christmas.'
She lets him go, though Sam's the one who seems to linger, looks much happier than he normally does, though it's tinged with a sort of bittersweet sadness. No big surprise, that, what with his own lack of a relation with his mum, and Gene's heart skips a bit. 'Come in, my lads, come in – now, I've just got to check on dinner, Gene, you know where to find the glasses – mind your self and wash your hands first, though. Oh, my goodness – you've not been fighting, have you?'
'Mam – ' Gene groans, running a hand across his face, because she's frowning at him now, and it's not even his fault.
There's a chuckle to his right. 'I got punched in the face earlier today while I was in the process of apprehending a suspect.' Sam smiles as he says it, and Gene's mam tuts sharply, takes him by the arm and pulls him inside. He leaves out the part about them being shot at, and Gene appreciates that bit – he'll have to thank him for it later, they'd never hear the end of it. He closes the door, starts to unbutton his coat.
'Alright then – Gene, glasses. Sam, you get comfortable, I'll not be long.' She smiles, warm and sweetly, and Sam smiles back at her as she turns about, goes down the hall towards the kitchen.
'I wasn't really... expecting such a pleasant greeting, really,' Sam says, voice a bit tight, a glimmer of something wet about his eyes. He coughs, clears his throat, reaches up to dash a hand across his face. He nudges Gene with an elbow, smile going wider. 'She's aggressively charming, I see where you get it from.'
'Sarkiness will get you nowhere,' Gene grunts in reply, rolling his eyes. But Sam's shaking his head, looks as sincere as could be.
'I mean it, Gene. Now, you go get the glasses.' He smirks, fingers brushing against the back of Gene's hand. 'I've been told to go get comfortable, I'd best get to it.'
'I'm sorry I've not been visiting.' He leans down, kisses his mam on the cheek. 'Do you forgive me?'
'You brought your Inspector over, finally.' She smiles back at him, pats his hand. 'I'll forgive you most anything, you know that. Oh, can you fetch the cranberry sauce from the fridge? And set the pies out, that too.'
'He's half alright, I guess,' Gene replies, first dealing with the assortment of mince pies (and knowing his mam, there's Christmas pudding, to boot) before turning towards the fridge. As he turns back to her, bowl of cranberry sauce in hands, his mother gives him a look, the magical sort that most of them seem to have; honestly, though, the only one that's ever mattered has been hers. 'Just glad you seem to like him more than you ever did Helen.'
She laughs, bends down to check on the oven. 'Well, she never did make you smile; it's not that I didn't like her, just...' She shrugs, but there's no sign of flippancy in her voice, just the hard truth. 'Since you've arrived, you've done nothing but.' She straightens up, pats her hands down her apron. 'You think I don't see it, but I do.' And he doesn't, really, want to know exactly what she means. 'It was hard on the both of you, the marriage – but that's just how it goes sometimes, isn't it?' They've had this talk before, well, most of it – sometimes, you marry because you think it's love, only the love's not enough. 'Maybe I didn't make it easy for her either, but I wanted my lad's happiness more than anything else, so...' Because she's lost so much, made so many bad choices of her own, said goodbye to her husband and her older son within the span of just one year. 'This must be much easier on you, having such a good friend as your deputy.'
He blushes, a little, fidgets with his top button. 'Mam – '
'Cause you're the sheriff, aren't you, my lad? And I know you.'
He smiles, and she gives his cheek a pat. 'Now, could you be a dear, go and make sure the table is set?' She could get him to do most anything, really, giving him that look, asking him in that way. 'And Sam, check in on him, make sure he's got plenty to drink.'
He chuckles, feeling better than he'd expected to, but he'd really meant it when he'd told Sam he'd get his fill of holiday here – whether or not it was wanted, that really had nothing to do with it. 'Yes, mam.'
'Oi,' Gene growls, but his tone is teasing. He's carrying two glasses along with him as he enters the lounge. 'Me mam told you to get comfortable, just what do you think you're up to? Lounging about, when you ought to be relaxing.'
'I'm pretty sure those two things actually mean the same thing, but whatever. I've just been admiring the tree.' Sam grins, holds both his hands up, and there's just no denying it, he's got no shame. He'd been standing by the tree, it and its neat, shining baubles, the brightly glowing lights. 'What, have I done something wrong? Don't tell me, does this mean I'm going onto your naughty list, Guv?'
'Right you are, Sammy-boy. No sweets for you, just a few lumps of coal and a lovely new birch switch to tan your naughty hide.'
'I like it here,' he says, gesturing about the room, ignoring Gene's statement with as great a deal of aplomb as he usually reserves for work-related issues. 'Your mum's got a good eye for the decorations, and it helps that the walls aren't an abysmal shade of green and orange and brown. Just, look at the tree.' His smile stretches wider, a bit of childish delight shining out brightly. 'It's beautiful.'
'What you mean to say by that is, she knows not to put too many red baubles all in one clump?' He thinks about setting their glasses down on the coffee table, but goes over to Sam instead, handing him the one and keeping the other for himself. 'Cheers,' he says, the tink of glass against glass. Sam smiles, lashes fluttering as he takes a drink of his wine.
His cheeks burn with colour as the alcohol runs through him. 'Ah, that's nice.'
'Glad you approve.'
'Once we get home, we've still got plenty of Christmastime to look forward to.'
'Plenty. Presents. A nice lie-in. All sorts of lovely things that don't involve going to work, or having some nutter punch me in the face.' Sam chuckles, rolls his eyes to the ceiling, shaking his head in wonder. 'Your mum, though.'
Sam shrugs. 'She really does have an eye for the decorations, that's all – even you have to be able to see it. It's...' He bites at his lip, slowly gazes about the room, from the tree to the mantel, the sofa and all the little knick-knacks and the record player that's probably older than the two of them combined, it belonged to his grandmother. 'It's very warm and homey here. It makes me think of...' Of home, of his own mum, and the sorrow that flickers through his expression lasts only a moment, Sam shrugging and letting it roll away. 'You don't visit enough, do you? Why's that?'
Gene shrugs, trying not to go on the defensive, but the atmosphere is warm and soothing, and really, Sam's not attacking him with the question. 'Get busy, is all. It's not that I don't love me mam, she knows I do. Just... you know, being a copper. It's a full-time job.'
'Isn't it though? Cause it's not like we had to work on Christmas day, or anything like that?' Sam smirks as he says it, and Gene touches his hand lightly, smiles right back at him. He doesn't want to stop there, wants to touch Sam's cheek, trace his finger along the dark smudge of the new bruise, touch his lips, too, kiss him. He has another drink of his wine, instead, and so does Sam.
'But it's not all bad, is it?' He probably doesn't mean to say it so quietly, something ragged in his voice. But he's done it, and it's not like he can take it back.
Sam's eyebrows go up in a show of soft amusement. 'The amount of paperwork we've got to deal with tomorrow begs differently, and we've dodged the interviews for now. But... yeah, you know, even when we have to roll about in the gutters with the rest of the scum, I wouldn't have it any other way.'
'Yeah,' Gene says, knowing they're going to have their good days, the bad, the bloody worst ones ever – but, knowing that Sam's his partner, that Sam's in his world, that makes it much better than, by any rights, it should. 'Yeah, me too.'
She talks and talks and talks, notes when Sam shies away from one subject and moves on to another – she'd brought up his family, and he wouldn't open up about it, not even for her – but his mam knew when to move on. She had him smiling in a flash, having asked him what it was like, working with Gene – and Gene's blushing brightly as she adds, 'you must have a heart of gold and the patience of a saint, dealing with him day in and day out.'
'He's been a good influence, for the most part. I've taught him a few things, myself.'
His mam laughs at that, gestures to Gene. 'He's enjoying the wine, son, you make sure to keep it topped off.'
He does, with a nod, not just because she's told him to, but because Sam's nodded as well, saying 'please do', though Gene's being careful of how much he drinks, and how quickly, dreading the day he wakes up and is told he's just like his father was, a monster and a brute. 'He's a good man, my Gene,' says his mam, and his heart tightens, so does his throat.
'Mam – '
'It's the truth. You can't hide it from me, I know you too well.'
The spread is delightful (he'd been right about the Christmas pudding, of course) – she always does go all out, and it warms him, inside and out – but, more than anything, he's enjoying just how bloody much Sam is enjoying it, and Gene's reminded, yet again, about what a sodding poor liar Sam is. He should have got the memo that morning, what with how Sam had been hinting at it – and with their close call that day, he's not angry at him for lying about it, even for such a sodding simple thing. And anyhow, it's not like Sam couldn't have chosen to stay angry with him, what for how he acted that morning. Gene had his excuses, they were plentiful, but if he could take it all back, redo it all, oh, he'd have kept Sam in bed just as long as he possibly could.
His mam, much to Gene's delight, makes sure Sam's plate stays full, commenting – with an eye that's mostly critical, but also loving, in that way that only a mother can accomplish – that he's got too little meat on him, he really does need to do as Gene does more often. Sam blushes harder, cheeks likely aching as he grins and grins and grins.
Gene slants a smirk at him, and Sam huffs out a laugh as he loads up his fork, almost always so good at doing as he'd been told.
Sam drinks a little more than he should have, he ends up saying, what with the adrenaline rush from earlier in the day; they're in the lounge, Gene's mam having commented saying she wished they'd been there in time for the Queen's speech, and Sam finishing off another glass of wine. He's giggling by half-six, snoring on Gene's shoulder fifteen minutes later, paper crown from the Christmas crackers tilted to a dangerous angle on his head; Gene's mam gives him a sharp look, one that's edged with something knowing – but it wasn't like Gene was looking at Sam any more or less fondly than he ever did, that he'd said scathing things along with the kind, that his mother doesn't know him better than most other people in the city, let alone the room.
'I'm sad to say, I've had to turn the spare room into storage space – after the new year, you and your lad, you ought to come by and help with the cleaning, there's plenty I want to send out to charity.' Gene's blood goes cold, then hot, but his mother smiles. 'But the bed in your room is plenty big, if you don't mind sharing it – that should be no problem, should it? Otherwise, you'll have to sleep on the couch.'
'Mam – '
'Cause it wouldn't be right, would it? Letting your guest sleep on the ruddy thing, today of all days.' Her eyes twinkle at him, and Gene forces a smile – really though, since it's his mam he's gifting it to, it's not that hard to give.
Sam yawns, blinks up at him. He's woke up some, though not completely, and he's sagging into the sheets, almost melting into the bed-covers. 'Gene.' He smiles, not that Gene's got any reason why, but it's Sam, and he's been smiling more lately than he's ever done before, so he'll put up with that, for that.
'Got your boots off before I got you into bed. You feel like taking off more of your kit, you're going to have to deal with it yourself.'
He nods, snuggles his face down into the pillow, yawns again as he stretches. 'Guess we're staying the night?'
'Sharp as a tack, that you are.' Gene smiles down at him, really can't stop himself. He tosses his shirt onto the back of the bedside chair, pulls his vest off next. Sam's rolled onto his back, unbuttoning his shirt and wriggling out of it, doing the same with his vest beneath. Gene throws the rest of his kit onto the seat of the chair, sliding into bed in just his pants.
'This your room?' Sam asks, giving up on undressing now that he's got to his trousers. Gene nods, quirks an eyebrow at him.
'Yeah? You got a problem with that?'
Sam peers at him from the other stack of pillows, shrugs with one shoulder. It's plainly decorated, but Gene's always been a no-frills sort of bloke, even when he'd just been a child. At that time, he'd shared the room with Stu – and no, no, that's not a line of memories he feels like revisiting, not tonight. 'Don't think so. Should I?'
'Nope. Now, get some ruddy sleep, Tyler – it's back to work in the morning, I hope you've not forgotten.'
'How could I ever, with you here to remind me?' Gene goes and pulls the duvet up over him, but Sam's smiling at him like he's got some sort of great revelation at hand. Gene punches the pillow to plump it off, peers back at Sam.
'You're happy, that's all. S'nice.' He closes his eyes, gives a soft little sigh, nuzzling down into the blankets. 'Didn't think you liked Christmas, but... I think your mum brings out the best in you.'
'Thought that was supposed to be your job, Gladys?'
Sam's expression sours, though not so badly as to be a frown. 'That's the worst, but somehow, we manage.'
'Yeah, well, s'Christmas day and all,' Gene mumbles, gives the pillow another half-hearted punch. 'I wouldn't want to upset me mam.' He pauses just a moment, because he knows just what to say, and Sam's seemingly aware of the moment, lashes lowering. 'Or you, for that matter. You don't have to act like it's no big deal, you liking the holidays. We can go all out, next year, if you'd like.' He thinks, in his own way, that's his was of saying that he's sorry.
And Sam, being himself, well, he eats it right up. Sam blinks his eyes open in surprise, pushes up on one arm. 'Gene... do you really mean that?' He's looking so hopeful, and Gene smirks, reaches out and tweaks a finger across his lips, slow as anything.
'See, I knew you were hiding something. Secrets between us are unbecoming, you should know that by now.'
'Yeah, but it didn't seem like such a big deal, I didn't think there'd be much of a problem.' Sam scoots over, presses his lips to Gene before quickly pulling back, hot spots of colour on his cheeks. He strokes his hand over Gene's, but Gene quickly slip away from him. He brings Sam's hand up to his mouth, shuts his eyes and presses his lips to the back of it, Sam's hand warm and smooth to the touch. He's smiling once Gene opens his eyes again, practically beaming, and Gene gives a roll of his eyes as he smirks.
'Once we get home, well, we'll try to make the best of it, yeah? But next year... we can go all out, if you'd like.'
'I'd like that, yeah.' He starts to yawn, lifts a hand up to cover his mouth. 'Let's get some sleep already, I'm knackered.' Sam flops back down onto the pillow, snuggles in, drawing that one arm in tight, but letting Gene keep hold of the other. 'Sweet dreams, Guv.' Gene gazes at him all the while, his breathing softening, his forehead relaxing. His breathing settles into a low, steady pattern, and that's it – Sam's asleep. All that's left for Gene is to follow, so, he sets off to do just that.
Gene wakes with a soft snuffle, a louder groan. Sam's twisting about beside him, caught up in the throes of a nightmare, gnashing his teeth as he moans. He'd scooted closer in his sleep, mostly draped over Gene's chest as he twists about. It's bloody uncomfortable, Sam jabbing him with one of his bony elbows and kicking him in the leg. 'No, no – please, no.' Gene sits up enough to grab Sam's shoulder, pulling him up with him, giving him a shake.
'Wake up, Daphne,' he growls out, voice rough with sleep, 'you're having a nightmare.'
Sam jerks away right away, bolts up and then back away from him, not sure of where he is. His eyes are round and dark as bottomless pits, his cheeks paler in the gloom of early morning; he blinks a few times, remembering a few very essential things, then he's looking at Gene, and most of that panic washes away. 'Sorry,' he mutters, rubbing a hand across his eyes. He reaches up to where Gene's hand is still latched onto him, gives it a squeeze. 'Kiss me,' he says, just as softly, and it's no order now, no command, just his Sam, tired and pained. 'That should help chase the dark stuff away.'
Only, there's the slightest twitch at the corner of his lips, like he knows he's taking advantage of the situation, but Gene's glad to be taken advantage of, it's happened plenty of times before; he supposes he could see it as all being too much, of Sam not even giving him a break while he sleeps. But it feels good, being wanted. Being needed.
And touch, right now, is important, something akin to reaffirmation. He sits up fully, and Sam does too, scooting over with a soft sigh and wrapping one arm about him. Their noses brush, first, and then Sam tilts his head just so, and Gene presses their mouths together. It goes deep, fast, only that's when the speed changes, slow, slow, slow. Sam hums into his mouth, free hand splayed low against Gene's belly, fingers twitching against bare skin. Gene moans into it, his morning wood making itself known, and he tugs Sam closer with one arm, runs his fingers across Sam's denim-clad thigh.
'Don't stop touching me, please. Only, let's not make a mess, alright?' That's Sam, prim and prissy as anything but – and he knows it isn't an oxymoron, but maybe it's something close – since it's this new Sam that shares beds with him, who touches him the way a lover would, who kisses him and never holds back, he also loves taking risks. Because of where they are, and who does the linen round the house, it seems like the bloody best idea, ever.
'Well, that's a good idea, for once.' He breaks away, gives Sam a gentle push downwards, and Sam's eyes widen a bit as he goes down, mouth softening as he smiles. His hair is endlessly dark against the pastel floral print of the pillowcase, the flush of his cheeks heightened by the pink of his lips.
'I owe you for yesterday, don't I?' And Gene smirks, Sam's lashes are a smudge of colour against his skin now that he's closed his eyes. He's brimming with anticipation, it's full up in the air, and he shifts his hips up as Gene deals with his trousers, tugs them down. 'Why didn't you take these off last night?'
Sam smirks up at him, not that he's opened his eyes. 'Couldn't do all the work for you, now could I?'
'Like you knew we'd be doing this.' Gene huffs, lightly runs his palm over the bulge in Sam's pants, and Sam hisses, jerking up into it, and Gene pets him again, pets him until he's moaning softly and thrashing about, but this time in pleasure. He lets one arm flop across his face, obscuring his eyes, and he grabs at the rung of the headboard with the other, and a jolt of intense arousal runs down Gene's spine, pools in the pit of his stomach. 'Just, don't make too much of a fuss. Okay?'
Sam nods, thrusting against Gene's hand, sucking at his lower lip. 'Shift up again, won't you?' He does, and Gene tugs his boxers down, lets his palm glide across the silken hard heat of Sam's hard cock with the other. 'God,' he murmurs, though he's not completely sure of the reason why, other than having his hand on Sam, watching as Sam reacts, well, there's not much better than that, is there? He wraps his hand round and Sam groans softly, so softly, biting hard at his mouth not to make too much too much sound. Gene strokes his thumb from base to tip, smearing around the mess of moisture that had beaded at the top, before stroking back down again.
Sam does make a sound, a choked little gasp, as Gene bends down low, hair brushing at Sam's bare stomach, tonguing at the slit before taking Sam's prick into his mouth. 'Gene,' he says, this time softer. One of his hands takes hold of Gene's hair, but he doesn't tug, simply keeps a hold on it; he doesn't tug, because Gene's not too fond of it, and he is always, always aware. Sam thrusts up gently, so gently, and Gene takes in all of him that he can, his gag-reflex protesting but Gene forcing himself, holding it as long as he can. Sam blows his breath out raggedly, and Gene slides back upwards, both his hands braced against the bed. Truth be told, it's Sam who enjoys the giving of head – well, that's what Gene's been led to believe – and Gene's never managed half of Sam's enthusiasm. Oh, he's tried, and today, he tries harder. For all the things Sam does for him, all the little compromises that he's sure he doesn't deserve, and as Sam's breath quickens, as his hand in Gene's hair tightens, Gene can only hope he's feeling a fraction of what Sam makes him feel, his mouth driving him wild.
He pulls back completely, wraps his hand round slippery flesh. 'You okay?' he asks, roughly, blows his breath out through his nose. Sam moans, nodding frantically, though it doesn't seem he trusts himself to speak. Gene gazes up the length of him, nearly struck down by the look of frank adoration – open love, and longing – in Sam's eyes, painted onto his face. Love. They've used the word, the moments had always seemed light, frivolous enough, but there's no denying the truth of it, right now, shining so darkly in Sam's eyes.
Gene swallows hard, not sure of what to do with that look, with those feelings, and then lowers himself back to his task, Sam's salty taste on his tongue, Sam heavy in his mouth. And Sam, not saying a thing, not thrusting into it, begins to shake as Gene sucks him, hollowing his mouth about him. The tremors are faint at first, growing in strength as Gene keeps his space steady. He looks sideways as he works, smiles round Sam's flesh in his mouth – Sam's eyes, shut tightly, his mouth, open as he silently gasps – and he whispers Gene's names roughly as he shakes harder, comes, and Gene swallows it all down.
A spark of fresh lust runs through Gene, and he grasps his own hard cock with a hold that's close to throttling, needing to stop himself, not wanting to come all over the sheets. He draws back, slowly, licking at his lips and wiping at his mouth. Sam, eyes gone wide again, cheeks dark with lust, sits up in a rush and pushes him down, yanking at the cloth that's in his way. 'Fuuuuck,' Gene hisses, low but meaning it, grasping at the back of Sam's head as he thrusts up, his range of his motions somewhat limited. Sam slides his hand over Gene's, pulls it away, takes him all the way down, sucking hard as he takes him in deeply, trembling, overeager. Gene closes his eyes, sees stars bursting in the darkness, blood pumping harder, the pleasure of it close to too much. Sam's clever mouth is hot and wet and tight, intense, and it's making short work of him – what with how hard he'd been from his turn at sucking Sam, how ready. Gene slaps a hand over his mouth so as not to ruin the moment as he comes, groaning into the heat of his palm.
Sam strokes his thigh, his belly, kisses his way upwards, Gene's salty taste on his tongue as they kiss. Gene tugs Sam into his lap, and Sam wraps his arms around him, holds on tight. He is lucky, and he knows – even, if, only by a look, by all the teasing times it's been said without it being meant – that he is loved. He caresses Sam's back, unwilling to let him go. There are some things in life that are too bloody good to be true, and Sam Tyler – for all his persnickety, picky-pain ways – is clearly amongst the best.
Gene wakes first. He sits up in bed, but he can't smoke, can't drink, all he can do is be a bloody sap and watch as Sam sleeping turns into Sam slowly waking up. He scrunches his nose up as he yawns, rubs a hand across his face and peers up curiously. 'Were you watching me sleep?'
Gene shrugs, leans his head back and closes his eyes. 'Might have been.'
Sam chuckles, and Gene stretches.
'Come on, I can smell brekkie,' Gene continues. 'We've got to get a move on, soon as we can – there's work to be done, and once we get home, there's presents for us to unwrap.'
Sam sits up quickly, eyes bright, leaning close to kiss him on the cheek. 'I bet you I can get dressed quicker than you can. I don't suppose you've got a spare toothbrush I can use, this 'spending the night at your mum's' thing really wasn't in any of my plans.'
And that sets Gene to laughing, warm and loud, contemplating the best way to distract Sam so he can get a head start on putting on his clothes – but the way Sam's looking at him, he's likely thinking the same thing. 'You and your bloody plans!'