Remix of: This Still Life, by sciosophia
Word Count: 1067
DISCLAIMER: Life on Mars is copyright Kudos and the BBC. All Rights Reserved. No copyright infringement is intended and no money is being made.
Notes: Death!fic warning. Unbetaed, all mistakes are my own.
Watching Gene as he wrapped his arms around Annie, pulling her tight into his embrace and letting her sob her heart out, Ray took out a cigarette, but just stood there, the cigarette instantly forgotten in his hand. He half reached out to comfort Chris, who looked for all the world as if he was about to cry as well, but pulled back at the last minute.
Going out on that shout, the last thing anyone expected was to see Davies pull out a shooter, and fire directly at Sam. Ray would never forget the expression on Sam’s face as he looked down at where the bullet had entered his chest, touch his hand to the wound, then slump to the ground. He closed his eyes as he remembered Gene gathering Sam in his arms, blood soaking into his pale-lemon shirt, begging Sam not to die, that they would get him to a hospital, while yelling at everyone else to get a bloody ambulance here now. He and Chris had had to hold Annie back while the life slowly ebbed out of Sam, vanishing with every spurt of blood that flowed onto the ground.
Ray continues to observe, as Gene murmurs something to Annie, trying to sooth her. After a moment, he watches Gene lead her outside, making her sit down on the bench there. Ray can’t help the half-smile, instantly clamped down on, as Gene can’t work out where to put his hand to offer her the most comfort. He wishes he could offer Annie some kind of comfort, but knows that she would slap him as soon as he went near her. It was his own fault for making the feud with Sam more than it was.
“Ray?” Chris called out to him softly. Chris was sitting on the steps outside the station, holding something in his hand, his eyes tear-filled again.
“’sup, Chris?” Ray asked, sitting next to him. Chris didn’t say anything, just handed him a bundle of Polaroids. Ray flicked through them. Photos of Chris’ birthday party. Ray smiled as he took in who was in them. So many of Sam. As time passed, he’d found that the feelings of hatred he’d once had for Sam had mellowed, and now he actually missed him. As crimes were brought to him, he automatically wanted to turn to Sam for advice on new methods. Could forensics do this? How would they find out that? Ray continued to flick through them, stunned to find one of him and Sam together, and not looking like they would kill each other. “When did you take this?” he asked.
Chris squinted at the photo. ”Actually I can’t remember, other than at the party. We were all kind of plastered at the time, Ray,” he replied, apologetically.
“It’s ok. It’s – nice to see it. Knowing it weren’t all bad,” Ray replied.
“I just wanted to look at them again,” Chris said. “Happy times.”
“That they were, Chris. That they were,” Ray replied, standing up and moving away. He could see Gene coming over, and didn’t want to be there when he saw Chris with the photos. Glancing back as he reached the top of the steps, he saw Gene flicking through them, an odd expression on his face. He paused, watching Gene silently, and was pleased when he saw Gene take one of Chris’ photos and put it in his pocket, then moved on into the station.
The day Gene announced that Ray had been promoted to DI was one of the proudest days of Ray’s life. It was the job that Ray had always wanted, and it was finally his... but he found it was tinged with sadness. Ray looked over at where Sam had sat, and, shocked even himself, vowed to do a good job in Sam’s memory.
As they were down two people, given Annie hadn’t come back to the job, Gene had brought in a new DC. DC Prior. He’d been paired him with Chris, and the two of them were getting some good results. Chris spent ages telling Ray how the pair of them had worked together interviewing suspects, checking over evidence, making sure everything was just right. The Hyde way, his brain supplied. But it worked.
Ray knew that Gene was struggling to cope with Prior being at Sam’s desk. He had been stalking round the office again, glancing over at Sam’s desk, then turning back and hiding in his office. Ray headed over to Prior, surrounded by piles of paperwork. “Son, might be worth being somewhere else for a bit,” he says quietly. Prior looks at him, then Gene’s office, and nods. He understands.
Annie’s kid has Sam’s eyes. Ray wonders how he didn’t see it before now, it’s not like the pair of them are strangers to CID. Annie is sitting with all the officers round her in a circle, watching her and Phyllis play with the toddler. Ray is holding back a bit, smiling as the men look scared to even talk to Annie. Chris bravely attempts to play with the kid, smiling when he gets a laughing response.
Suddenly, Ray senses movement behind him. The blinds of the windows in Gene’s office have twitched slightly. He sighs, knowing Gene won’t come out while they are there. Too many bad memories. His mind’s eye sees Gene sitting at his desk, pouring whisky, downing it in one while looking at that photo he had taken from Chris.
They are both significantly older now. Time catches us with us all, Ray thought. He was a DCI now, heading rapidly towards retirement. But he still spent plenty of time with Gene, though mainly driving him about now. Doctor’s. Clinic. Hospital. But today was different. Today, it was the graveyard where Sam was buried. Ray pulled up, and just looked at Gene, who merely grunted as he left the car. Ray settled back, knowing Gene wouldn’t move unless Ray would stop playing the “bloody mother hen”, as Gene called it. As soon as Gene walked on slightly unsteady feet away from the car, Ray was watching him carefully in the mirror. Gene stopped next to a grave. Sam’s grave.
Ray’s eyes sting, but he won't let the tears come. However much Gene tried to hide it, he knew that his friend was dying. Ray just hoped he could find peace before he left them.