Rating: White Cortina
Word count: 865
Notes: Fluff. Established relationship. AU post 2x01. Possessive!Gene ahoy.
“I saved your rotten skin today, Tyler, and don’t you forget it!”
He’s barely through the front door when Gene starts on him. The shouting continues from the kitchen as Gene begins opening cupboards and slamming them shut again, clanking pots and pans about as though he’s going to start making dinner, as though they haven’t just been out for a meal, as though he’s ever cooked more than the world’s greasiest fry-up in his life.
Sam stays in the hall, sinks down onto the bottom step of the staircase. He pushes his fingers down over closed eyelids, trying to quell the lingering headache. It’s somewhat futile, though, because Gene storms out of the kitchen again and towers over Sam instead; still barking out reprimands that Sam is only half listening to.
“…What the hell were you thinking, anyway? Giving me grief over Tony bloody Crane all day and then having the downright stupidity to go and open your big fat gob! Anyone’d think you want to be sectioned, way you carry on…”
When Sam eventually moves his hands and forces his aching eyes open, Gene has toed off his shoes and shrugged out of his coat, hanging the latter off the banister. Sam gazes at him blearily, at which point Gene pauses in his tirade to inform Sam that he looks like shit.
“Thanks a lot,” Sam replies, going for sarcasm but ending up at weary. His head won’t stop swimming; he wonders when the effects of the day will start to fade.
Mercifully when Gene speaks again he has lowered his voice to a more manageable level. “Come on, I know what you need.” He gets an arm around Sam’s back and all but drags him up the stairs. When they reach the landing Gene shoves him into the bathroom and orders him to get changed.
“Wait…what are you doing?” Gene’s like a whirlwind, turning taps on full blast and chucking towels at Sam.
“Looking after your sorry arse, as per usual.”
Sam drops all but one of the towels and frowns at him. “I’ve got a headache, I don’t need a bath.”
“Get in, or I’m throwing you in.”
“Alright, fine!” Sam backs away in self-defence, putting the last towel down on the floor before starting to unbutton his shirt.
Gene nods tersely and heads for the door, shutting it behind him. “Come and join me downstairs when you’re done.”
When Sam re-emerges a little while later, clad in comfortable jogging bottoms and one of Gene’s old shirts, he privately admits he’s feeling a little better. The post-almost-dying stress headache has faded to a dull throb. As he cautiously enters the living room Sam finds that Gene has calmed down a bit too, having removed his suit jacket and tie, long legs stretched out on the sofa and a tumbler of scotch balanced on his chest. His expression is far from contented, though, and this wipes the beginnings of an affectionate smile off Sam’s face.
Gene inclines his head in Sam’s direction, acknowledging his presence in the room. While Sam sits down in the chair opposite him, he takes a long sip of his drink. “Not good enough.”
“What do you want me to say?”
“That you’re not from the ruddy future, for starters.”
“That I’m not trying to protect you from things I’ll never understand, that you didn’t decide to give your prospective murderer the idea in the first place by telling him all about it, that you didn’t announce in front of the whole flipping station that you’re as cracked as a basket of eggs before turning it upside down at the last second and looking at me like I’m supposed to know what to do with you.”
“But you did it, we got out of it.”
“Only just. If it hadn’t been up to me, if I hadn’t been there…”
“It’s not like you to fret about what-ifs,” Sam points out. “That’s usually my job.”
“And it’s mine to make sure my DI doesn’t end up dead in a ditch, or strangled in his bed, or locked away in a lunatic asylum.”
Sam can’t help it, he grins. “I can’t believe you’re actually worrying about me!”
“Don’t flatter yourself, Gladys. You’re a liability half the time.”
“What about the other half?” He’s being cheeky; emboldened by the admissions he’s managing to drag out of Gene tonight. He doesn’t expect a proper answer, and certainly not for Gene to look away as if in pain, finish his drink in one go and then sit up straight, facing Sam with an intense gaze.
“The rest of the time, you’re mine,” he says, not softly, but with unshakeable certainty.
Sam’s glad he’s already seated, because otherwise he might have fallen over. He’s fairly sure that’s a flush creeping up his neck while the rest of his blood directs itself south.
The kiss lasts until Gene pushes Sam back by his shoulders, staring into his eyes. “How’s the head?” He asks.
Balanced precariously on Gene’s lap, Sam holds on tighter until he finds his breath. “Much better, now.”
“Good.” Gene manoeuvres them both to standing. “Back upstairs with you.”