Notes: Again, my muse decided it wanted to go one direction than another originally planned, but I still like how it turned out.
Disclaimer: I do not own.
"I have a question for you," said Sam, swirling the amber liquid around in his glass. It had been an exhausting day for CID with two murder cases to be solved at one time. As usual, Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt were in perfect working order, when they got along.
"What?" said Gene, lifting his fifth scotch to his lips. He'd been waiting all day to indulge in his favorite haunt with his favorite drink given to him by his favorite bartender, and getting his favorite DI to pay for it.
"If some guy was chatting me up," said Sam, "and I didn't want him to, would you pretend to be a jealous boyfriend and tell him to get lost?"
Gene paused mid-sip, looking over the rim at Sam. He waited to see if it was a joke, but when Sam kept staring seriously at him, he smirked and put his glass down.
"Why in the bloody hell would I want to do something like that? And what would a guy be chatting you up for, Gladys?"
Sam blushed, staring into his drink. "Well, there was this pub that I hadn't seen before…"
"…And so I decided to investigate."
"And it turned out to be full of queers?"
"Don't call them that, and yes, it so happened that the pub was full of mostly gays."
Gene narrowed his eyes. "Why should I pretend to be your ruddy boyfriend?"
"You wouldn't have to kiss me or anything, just act like some possessive Silverback and tell the guy to leave me alone because I'm yours."
Gene quirked an eyebrow at him. "Silverback?"
"It's one of those really mean gorillas," Sam explained, taking a swig.
"Is that what you think of me as?"
"It's just a metaphor."
Gene sighed. "You and yer bloody metaphors."
"Gene," he pleaded.
"I'm not gay, Tyler."
"I didn't say you were, just wanted your back in case something happens."
"Why are you asking about this? Did you get felt up while you were at the queer bar?"
Sam sighed in annoyance, but allowed Gene that one slip. "No; just that this one guy wouldn't leave me alone since I walked in the pub."
"And you don't want him stalking you?"
"No, I don't."
"So," said Gene, actually remembering something Sam said before. "If it was a guy that you wanted chatting you up, then I should back off?"
Sam colored, not sure how to answer that, because he didn't expect to be 'coming out' to Gene in this way. He'd hoped that Gene would be slowly eased into the subject and maybe even not be so homophobic first, before explaining himself. Because he didn't answer Gene right away, Gene now jumped to the conclusion of what Sam wasn't telling him.
"I knew it," he said. "You ARE a fairy."
"I never said I was."
"I should have known from the start," Gene continued. "You've always been rather light on yer feet ever since I met ya."
"Gene, just…" Sam took a deep breath and tried again. "Look, I like women, okay? Now will you do this favor for me or not?"
"What, pretend to be your sugar daddy?" Gene snorted. "No."
"Please, Guv. I don't want this guy stalking me anymore. Just act like a jealous boyfriend and tell him to shove off."
"I think yer paranoid, Gladys," Gene smirked, and then drank the rest of his scotch. "It's yer round again, by the way."
Sam rolled his eyes. He was about to get up to get their drinks, but then his so-called fanboy walked in. Sam quickly sat back down and said between his teeth, "There he is."
"There who is?" said Gene, looking around the pub.
"The guy I told you about. I don't know how the bloody hell he found me."
Gene looked at the guy, and Gene could see why Sam didn't fancy the man. He wasn't exactly the best looking fruit off the queer tree. "He's a stalker, ain't he? How else do you think he found ya?" he finally said, then swigged more scotch.
"Oh God, here he comes." Sam looked away from the guy, shielding his face with a hand. "Gene, please, I'm begging you here! I don't want him hitting on me anymore, please could you just…"
"Well, what a small world this is," said the man.
Sam turned his head slowly and gave him a fake smile. "George, hello. What are you doing here?"
"Oh, just bar hopping," he said, then his eyes took on an eerie gleam. "Looking for angels. Looks like my search is over."
Gene groaned at the awful chat up line.
"Look, just go away," said Sam as kindly as he could without shouting. "I told you already that I'm not interested, and as you can see I wasn't lying to you." He waved a hand at Gene. "See? This is my boyfriend. Now please, George, leave me alone."
"That?" George laughed, pointing at Gene. "THAT'S your boyfriend?"
Gene bristled, feeling very annoyed by the arse's tone of voice (not to mention that he was a bit hurt by that comment, especially by a fairy boy), and stood up slowly. "And what's wrong with me?"
"Yeah, what's wrong with him?" Sam said.
George gestured at Gene's stature. "He's… well, he's kind of large, isn't he?"
Gene tried sucking in his gut.
Sam stood up, looking livid. "Are you insulting my boyfriend?" he said, just as Ray and Chris walked over to them. Gene groaned, rubbing his face in his hand. Ray and Chris stare at the scene with shock, and Chris almost dropped his drink.
"Well, honestly, Sam," said George. "What would a gorgeous man like you be doing with someone like… that?" he wrinkled his nose at Gene.
Sam got more into George's face. "You shut your mouth about Gene. He's twice the man you are!"
"Yeah, I can see that from here," snorted George. "Honestly, you can do way better than this gorilla."
Before anyone could move, Sam punched George in the face and knocked him out. He was about to jump on him and continue hitting him, but Gene pulled him back before he could.
"Bloody hell, boss!" said Chris. "Is it true? Are you and the Guv… involved?"
Ray was looking disgusted. Which was usually the normal look on him.
"No, it was just…" he checked to make sure George was out cold. "Pretend."
"So you two aren't…" Chris gestured with a hand.
"Hell no," said Gene.
Sam gave Gene a sideways glance before looking back at Chris and Ray. "This man," he gestured at George on the floor, "was stalking me, thinking I was interested in him, so I had Gene pose as my boyfriend. Apparently, the guy doesn't care if you're already involved with someone." Sam shook his head sadly. "Shame, really."
"I'm off," said Gene suddenly, shocking the others so much they stared dumbfounded at him. "Well," explained Gene when he saw the looks on their faces, "he put me right off me drink."
Gene grabbed his coat from the peg on the wall and quickly walked out. Sam stared after him, confused. What exactly put Gene off? Sam knew Gene pretty well, and usually it took a lot to put Gene off drinking. He hoped it wasn't because he had him pretend to be his boyfriend. Without thinking too long on it, Sam drank the rest of his scotch, grabbed his own jacket, and followed Gene out without a word to Ray or Chris. He was sure that they'd probably leave them be and just stay at the pub and drink.
Gene didn't go far; Sam found him leaning back against the Cortina, lighting up a cigarette. Sam joined him, except he didn't light any cigarette.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"Can't be 'nothing'. You wouldn't just suddenly stop drinking because of nothing."
"Leave it, Sam. Not worth getting into a fight about." Gene sucked on the end of his cigarette, and Sam turned his head just in time to see Gene inhale the smoke before it escaped out of his mouth. The smoke rolled back inside, and then Gene blew it out slowly, a far away look in his eyes.
"I know you, Gene. There's something wrong."
"Not talking about it, Sam. Quit being such a girl about it."
Sam gave up, for now. He leaned back more on the side of the car, looking up at the sky, hands in pockets. The stars were twinkling brightly, and he was suddenly mesmerized by the brilliance of them. What if there was life on other planets? What if time was infinite, and when you die you just go on living another life during another time with someone that you had a second chance with? Maybe in a past life he and Gene had something going but it somehow got ruined. They'd have had different bodies and different looks, but their souls would be the same. Sam had thought about this a few times and it always brought on more and more 'what ifs'.
Gene noticed Sam gazing up at the stars and looked up as well. His face took on a peculiar expression as he stared, a bit confused as to why Sam was looking at them for so long.
"You taking another hobby, Gladys? Didn't think you fancied stargazing."
Sam snapped out of his thoughts. "Huh? Oh, yeah. I like the stars."
"You like wearing the white hat, you like cooking, you like wearing tight trousers, and you don't smoke. What other poncy thing do you do?"
Sam rolled his eyes. "Guv, just because I like to cook, and stargaze, doesn't mean I'm gay. And for your information, a lot of gays smoke."
"Not a real man's cigarette, I'll bet."
Sam sighed. "Guv. You're being stereotypical. Not all gay men are the same. Some might like the same things, because of the circle of friends and all that, but they're not all alike."
"Oh yeah, I forget that yer not like the rest of 'em."
Sam ran his hands over his face. "Okay, you know what? It's already out in the open so I might as well tell you the truth."
Gene turned his head slowly and stared at him in a way he'd never stared at Sam before.
Sam turned so that he was leaning against the car with his shoulder and crossed his arms. His eyes didn't leave Gene's face. "I'm actually bisexual. And before you start, yes there are such things as real bisexuals."
Gene's eyebrows rose in shock. "You mean you have a cunt as well as a dick? You hid it pretty well from me, seeing how I'd even seen you naked…"
"No, no…" Sam groaned, and his sighed heavily. "It means I like women and men. I fancy both sexes. And I'm not a fence sitter, like some like to call people like me. I really do like both."
Gene continued to stare at him as if he were joking, but when he realized Sam wasn't, he burst out laughing. Sam didn't know if he was just taking the mick or if he'd finally cracked.
"What is so funny?"
"Oh, Sam, Sam, Sam… you are one mixed up copper." Gene chuckled under his breath for a while, and Sam huffed in annoyance to Gene's reaction. "I think Annie was right and you should go see a psychiatrist."
Now it was Sam's turn to be shocked. "Since when did Annie talk to you about me?"
"Since a while ago. She was afraid you might hurt yourself, and she told me about your little…" Gene smirked, clearly amused with it all, "episodes. It all makes sense now, how totally cracked you seemed and how at times you made no sense whatsoever."
"Gene, honestly, I don't need to see anyone. I'm perfectly fine. And sane."
"Yeah, that's what they all say, until they ask their best mate to pretend to be their boyfriend and then play the part so well that he blurts it out in front of a couple other co-workers."
Sam actually felt abashed to have done that, but there wasn't anything he could do about it now. "Sorry, Guv, but I didn't know that Ray and Chris would suddenly turn up like that. And I couldn't very well stop mid-sentence, because the guy would have gotten wise to me."
Speaking of which, George was coming out of the pub, obviously having woken up, and was staggering off in the opposite direction they were in. Sam thanked whatever deity was on his side tonight. If that deity was on his side.
Gene nudges him with an elbow. "Want to go after him, lover boy?"
"No!" Sam said, affronted. "He's a stalker!"
"I suppose we could have pulled him in for it," Gene slowly said, lighting up another cigarette. He took a long drag on it before blowing some smoke out. "Ah well."
Sam stared again as Gene smoked, and this time Gene noticed. He held the cigarette out for him. "Want a puff?"
"No," said Sam.
"Go on, Tyler, live a little. Yer gay, yeah?"
"Bi," Sam corrected tersely.
"And gays smoke, yeah?" Gene continued, obviously ignoring Sam's correction. "So take a puff, yeh puff."
Sam rolled his eyes. "No thanks, Gene. It blackens your lungs, gives you shortness of breath, makes you smell like an ashtray, and it's one of the leading causes of cancer."
"Oh quit yer whining." Gene pushed the butt end between Sam's lips. "Take a fucking drag already, yeh queen."
Sam didn't get a chance to turn his head in time, but by then he'd gotten some secondhand smoke into his nostrils anyway. He was about to rip the cigarette from his lips, toss it on the ground and stomp on it and tell Gene to leave him alone, but something about the way Gene was looking at him and the strange vibration he felt between them made him change his mind. Gene's fingers, which were pinching the cigarette butt, were touching Sam's lips, and that, Sam was pretty sure, was what tipped the scale.
He took the fag between two fingers, replacing Gene's, and while still looking into Gene's face, inhaled sharply. Gene watched him intently, his eyes taking on that odd look again. Sam breathed the smoke in and then blew it back out, and they were both surprised he wasn't hacking up a lung.
"You sure yer not a smoker, Sam?" Gene whispered, almost sounding in awe.
"Yeah, I'm sure," he said, handing the cigarette back. "I'm going 'ome. Good night, Gene."
Gene watched him walk off, his eyes lingering a bit too long on Sam's backside. He took a long drag on his cigarette as he considered.
The next day, when Gene finally arrived for work, he took hold of Sam's elbow and dragged him out of his chair and toward the Lost and Found room. First thing that popped into Sam's mind was that Gene had something urgent to talk about, then he thought maybe Gene was finally going to give him a good talking to about him being bisexual. And then fear gripped Sam as he thought maybe Gene was about to fire him, or demote him, all because of his sexual orientation.
Gene threw Sam against the wall the moment the door slammed shut, and he kept Sam pinned there with one strong hand. Sam didn't fight back, too worried about what was to come.
"Sam," Gene breathed, and it was then that Sam finally noticed that Gene was panting.
"Yes, Guv?" Sam made sure to keep his voice even.
"I…" Gene began, but then stopped. He seemed to be having an inward battle with himself. Then he rushed forward and kissed him. Sam stood there in shock for a minute, but then Gene's hands were cradling his face gently and he relaxed and slowly started to kiss back. It felt like hours when it was actually minutes. When Gene finally pulled back from the kiss, only a few inches, he said in a hoarse voice, "Oh, I'm gonna kiss you, by the way."
Sam chuckled, shoulders shaking, and his eyes didn't leave Gene's. "Thanks for the warning."