Remix of: Lovers Walk by jantalaimon
Word Count: 1,490
Notes: Yeah. I know it's an odd choice, but I've never pretended not to be weird. Gene grabbed me, as usual, and wanted to tell his side of the story. Thanks to lozenger8 for the quick beta (look at me, Ma! I'm all grown up and getting my story betaed). Sam/Gene, crossover with Who. Assume spoilers for the whole series.
Summary: Everyone has their side of the story.
The Crane kid – Danny? Dougie? No - Elton, that was it, was fascinated by Sam. Gene didn't know what to make of it, though he understood that the kid had had some kind of weird experience of his own and he knew that he wasn't confused by Sam's time travelling.
It stirred up a lot of things, a lot of memories Gene had thought forgotten, listening to Sam telling Elton, who looked so much like his Dad, about that time, about who they were. Sometimes Gene couldn't believe that Sam had stayed when he asked him to, couldn't understand why he didn't try to go back there, why he would want old Gene as much as young Gene.
* * * * *
Sam was sitting on the floor, back against the wall, when Gene barged drunkenly into his apartment. Sam raised a lazy arm in greeting as Gene flopped down on the floor next to him. Sam had clearly been drinking for a while, judging by the smell, and Gene didn't blame him, it'd been a bad day. Gene had been up to his ears in Nelson's finest for hours. And around the the point of no return Gene realised that this wasn't actually one of those times he wanted to drink alone, as he had told Sam when he shrugged him off at the Arms, and he didn't want to examine too closely why that realisation had lead him straight to Sam.
"No, really," Sam said belatedly. "Make yourself comfortable"
"Just waitin' for the floor to stop moving, Gladys," Gene said, patting the part of Sam he could reach without too much effort. A knee by the feel of it.
The floor undulated gently beneath Gene as he contemplated drinking from his whiskey bottle upside down. He gave it up for a bad idea after a moment, realising that he'd probably spill more than he drank and that would be a criminal waste. He'd have to lock himself up. Gene laughed quietly to himself then shook his head. God he was drunk.
"Do you want to know where I really come from?" Sam asked suddenly. Gene chuckled as he stared up at Sam's watermarked ceiling.
"If I had just 5p for every time you've asked me that question, I could retire happily in the morning," Gene said. This was new for him, this not caring, this happy melancholy. He thought he might be getting to like it.
"I'm from the future," Sam persisted and Gene sighed. What the hell.
"Do you think I don't know that," he asked, pushing himself up on his elbows to look at Sam, part serious, part mocking. To say Sam was shocked would be putting it lightly. Gene paused to appreciate the slight gape of Sam's lips, the wideness about his eyes, before continuing.
"I've tried every angle in my head," Gene said. "Which, despite what you may think, I happen to use quite often. It's the only thing that makes any sense, much as it pains me to think that my city all end up like you."
Gene flopped back down and thought about the lie. Because, if refreshing honesty was going to be the way of the evening, he wasn't all that worried about a future full of Sam's. Sam may have been an uptight, tight arsed, United supporting, obsessive nutter but he was a damn good copper. It struck Gene that he should probably tell Sam that one day. The good copper bit, not the tight arsed bit, because, really, how would Gene know that?
Sam shifted and the floor shifted and Gene dimly realised that it was actually moving this time. Sam's face appeared above his own and Gene tilted his head to focus on it better. There was still confusion there but also something else, something that made Gene's insides tense.
"Gene," Sam said, staring down at him. "Why are you here?"
"Didn't fancy," Gene waved a hand carelessly. "Drinking alone"
"No, it's more than that," Sam said, resting a hot hand on Gene's shoulder. "You're preaching too much honesty."
"Tired of," Gene searched for the right words in the face of Sam's intense eyes. "Not lies. Falseness. Tired of pretending I don't know who you are, that you don't know who I am. Tired of the whole thing, Sam."
With the flood of words Gene felt a flood of tension easing from his body. Oh. He raised a hand and pressed it against Sam's cheek and for a brief moment they hung between here and there, Sam's wide eyes looking for something in Gene's, and, finding it, Sam closed his eyes and tilted his head into Gene's touch.
"Tired of pretending I don't care," Gene said softly. Sam's eyes snapped open again and this time Gene knew what was in them. Knew what was making his heart thrum in his chest. How he'd missed it before and how he'd managed to deny it in himself was a mystery. But, then again, Gene was a master of self denial – it was the only way he could get through a day.
"Gene," Sam said, voice low with drink. Gene cupped his hand more, sliding it around Sam's neck, and pulled Sam down so that their foreheads pressed together. He could feel his breath mixing with Sam's as Sam's breath quickened in his chest.
"Want," Sam said, laying a hand alongside Gene's cheek and Gene could feel him shifting his whole body down to Gene's level at the same time. "Want to -"
Gene cut Sam off with a kiss. Not a brilliant kiss. Not the sort that blazes fire up and down your spine. Just a kiss, a press of whiskey flavoured lips to whiskey flavoured lips, chaste and wholesome. But so much more than that and everything Gene thought Sam might want to say and he might want to say back.
Sam pulled away and looked down into Gene's eyes again, half a smile hovering around his mouth, and nodded. Gene read it as 'that's what I want' and Sam seemed happy to have it read that way. And it might have proved to be the stupidest thing that either of them had done since Sam walked into Gene's nick acting like the king of the mountain, but Gene didn't care.
Gene pulled Sam's head down again and pressed a harder kiss to his lips. Sam's mouth opened beneath his pressure and Gene dipped his tongue into the warmth of that mouth, a soft growl rumbling through his chest. Sam draped his body over Gene's, sliding between his legs like he was made to be there, and sighed into the kiss.
* * * * *
Elton asked Gene, quietly and uncertainly, what it had been like to wait for Sam all those years. Gene got the impression that the kid had done his fair share of waiting for someone important and thought that, maybe, he might be able to understand.
"It were shite," Gene said, simply, and Elton nodded. "I'd come to rely on Sam more than I'd realised. More than I ever thought I'd rely on any man outside of the National Service. And, kid, I'm not ashamed to admit that I missed him. His stupid smug smile, his outrageous suggestions, his persistence in supporting the Reds, his stubborn streak. Missed it all and more."
"I don't know what I'd do without Ursula," Elton said quietly with real pain and Gene didn't care that Elton was inferring something that he'd rather he didn't. For a moment he thought of reaching out and gripping the kid's shoulder, to try and reassure him. Gene snorted at himself and shook his head. He'd gone soft in his old age.
"Point being," Gene said, elaborating further, "That seeing him on that rooftop – I knew there was only one thing I had to do. Had to stop him. Because I knew he didn't come back, you see, and I couldn't lose him again. Not like that."
Elton looked at Gene with eyes full of emotion and Gene couldn't imagine what being that young and free was like. He'd been guarding his emotions for so long that he'd almost forgotten that he had them when Sam marched into his life in '73. Elton patted him on the shoulder, not afraid to make the reassuring gesture that Gene hadn't been able to.
"Kid," Gene said as Elton began to stand, "Elton – don't...don't tell him what I said, will you? He doesn't need to know just how soft I've gone."
Elton smiled, a big cheeky grin, and for a moment the elder Crane was in the room, only with softer edges.
"I think he already knows," Elton said, shaking his head, "Why'd you think he stayed?"
And the Crane kid walked out of Gene's life again, leaving him with memories and realisations he'd forgotten about. Walked into the sunset like he hadn't just reminded Gene of everything Sam was to him.