Title: A Man Divided
Alternative title: The Grass On The Other Side
Word count: 3,322
Pairing: Sam/Annie, Gene
Summary: Sam's depressed and the new twist in his relationship with Annie doesn't make it easier for him.
Disclaimer: Life On Mars belongs to BBC
A MAN DIVIDED
"You sure you're alright?"
Sam was lying on the bed and watched Annie as she came back from the bathroom, looking sick and started dressing up. He reached out for her.
"Do you really have to go? Come back to bed!"
"No, Sam!" She smiled. "I have a job, you know. You should get dressed too, the Guv won't be happy if you're late." She bent down "I love you." She whispered in his ear as she kissed him on the lips, then walked out of Sam's flat.
He was just lying there, staring at the ceiling. He didn't feel like going to work. This feeling wasn't uncommon these days, but it felt strange. He always loved and enjoyed his job, it always had been his life, the thing he wanted to do since he had been a child.
He started to wonder what had happened to him, what had changed in his life. His first thought was that it was because of Annie. It might have been as simple as that; he was in love! He had something else in his life now, and it was more important than his job. It would pass, nothing to worry about.
There was only one problem with that; it wasn't true, and he knew that. The real reason was that he was afraid.
He was afraid that he had made the wrong decision when he had come back. When he had cut his finger during that meeting he couldn't feel anything but that could have been only a post-traumatic shock. He might have given it up too soon. He had killed himself, and he was now trapped in his own little world with no way out. Everything seemed so pointless. He should have been in 2006, fighting for justice, putting away the real criminals, living a real life.
In this world of his own he felt. He felt trapped, and he was scared.
He was wondering if he was really in love with Annie. She was bright, nice, her scent was always so sweet, and she felt real though he knew she wasn't. He felt good in her company, and they got along well in and out of bed. She was his girlfriend, his lover and it felt so right and so wrong at the same time.
He got out of bed and started to dress, he didn't want to lose his job, or his sanity.
When Annie walked into CID he heard Gene's voice.
"Cartwright, a word!" Annie walked into his office, while Gene sat himself down in his chair.
"Everything's ok between you and Tyler?" He asked as if he had been only starting a polite conversation.
"Excuse me, sir, but why are you interested?" She asked as politely as she could.
"I know it's none of my business until it doesn't effects your work, but now it seems to me that it does. So?"
"I don't think so. Everything's ok. Why?"
"Tyler's been acting strange lately. I thought you might know why." Gene fixed his gaze on Annie as if trying to see through her. She tried to avoid eye contact and didn't answer.
"What about you? Are you okay? You look very pale." He asked with that 'I know everything but I want to hear it from your mouth' look on his face.
Gene was worried and angry at the same time. These two wanted to try to take him for a fool. They really thought he wouldn't see the bloody obvious? He watched as Annie left his office without a word. He would have a serious chat with his DI.
Sam was late as every day for the past two weeks, but Gene was worried about something else so he called him in his office.
"So, Sam? Isn't there something you want to tell me?"
"What do you mean, Guv?"
"I mean your plans about the future, you know, marriage, kids..." He said carefully.
"What are you aiming at? Why are you so interested now?"
"I want to know if you two getting married or not. I want to know if I will lose a DC or not."
"What? You're not making sense!" Sam said pointing at his head.
"I'm not blind, Sam. Will you marry Cartwright?" Gene asked calmly, lighting a cigarette and then throwing the lighter on the table.
"I don't know, I haven't thought about it yet." Then suddenly he felt that something was wrong. "Wait a minute, you know something I don't?"
"Don't play the fool, Sam! Don't say you didn't know. Don't try my patience. This is your responsibility."
"Know what?" But he knew it immediately. He collapsed into the sofa. "Oh, my God!" How could he overlook the signs?
Gene could see that Sam didn't know about it. Something was definitely wrong with him, but he couldn't figure it out what it was if it wasn't about Annie.
"I have to go now, sorry." Sam said finally and he stormed out of the office.
Gene shook his head. These two would sooner or later drive him crazy. A loony and a bird on his team. Like he didn't have enough problems in his life without them. What had he done to deserve this?
He shut the door, dropping his keys on the floor and he fell on the bed. How could this happen to him? He wasn't prepared for this! Not that he was too young to marry; his father had been only twenty-six when he had been born. But why now?
He was lying on the bed curling himself into a fetal ball.
How could this be happening to him? Could he really be a father in this little world of his own? He had been supposed to be comfortable and satisfied in his own reality. How could something like that happen, something he didn't want?
Words like trapped, marriage, kids and responsibility echoed in his head. His tears silently started to fall.
He was angry with Annie for not telling him, with Gene for telling him, but mostly he was angry with himself. It was madness.
Hours later he heard a loud knocking on his door, he was still in his bed surrounded by darkness by then, he ducked his head under the pillow, exhausted.
"Sam, open the door!" Her voice came from the other side of the door. "It's me, Annie! Sam! Sam!"
He hesitated, he didn't know what to do. He didn't want to talk to Annie, so he pretended he wasn't at home.
"Sam! Don't be childish, I know you're there. Please, let me in! We have to talk." Then she finally gave up. "Alright, Sam, I'll come back later."
Sam heard the clicking of the heels of her shoes as she walked slowly down the stairs, stopping from time to time, hoping that Sam would make up his mind and answer the door. Then she was gone, and he was alone again in the dark.
She wiped her tears with the back of her hand before she entered the pub. She walked to the bar and ordered a beer when suddenly she felt a hand on her shoulder. Gene sat himself beside her.
"He won't answer the door." She said and tried not to cry again.
"Understandable. I can't believe you didn't tell him."
"I wanted, I just didn't know how. But did you have to do it for me?" She asked, obviously distressed.
"Hey, luv, I didn't know it was supposed to be a secret. It should have been your duty." He said trying not to sound too defensive.
"How did you know it?"
"The Gene Genie knows everything. Besides it was so obvious I'm wondering how he haven't noticed it."
She was silent for a minute. Yes, the Gene Genie, she thought. What does he know? He doesn't have to deal as woman in this world completely ruled by men, balancing between growing balls to get some acceptance at work, yet being a woman with very normal desires like having a family. His wife is lucky, Gene is a good man, though he's working and drinking a bit too much. Annie wondered why they haven't got children.
"I'm afraid he doesn't love me, Guv. He never proposed to me, and I don't think that building a marriage upon a baby is the best idea. This is all my fault." She let out a big sigh.
"Will you... keep it?" He asked sympathetically. She shook her head.
"I honestly don't know."
Sam didn't know how lucky he was, he thought. Annie was an admirable, strong-willed woman, and he was pretty sure that she would make a perfect wife and mother. Sam could have everything he always wanted; a good marriage, a child. Though he wasn't sure, that Sam would be a good father. He was too weird and unpredictable.
"Do you want me to talk to him?"
"Thanks, Guv, but no. This is my duty, as you just said."
He was still on his bed. He was wondering since how long had he been lying there. He was sick of being alone, but he couldn't face Annie or Gene. No one was there to keep him company, not even the voices, not even that creepy girl with her clown from the test card.
He was sick of 1973, of the whole place, of his life, and for moments he thought he just wanted to die.
Knocks on the door, again.
"Sam, will you open the door this time? Please, we have to talk!" It was Annie. "I'm sorry that you had to hear this from the Guv and not from me, but you can't just shut me out of your life. You have to face me someday, why not now?" She was begging.
Another voice came from afar, perhaps a neighbour complaining about the noise in the middle of the night.
"I'm sorry, Sir, but this is an important police business." She said. "Sam, please, this is ridiculous, you can't..." The door slowly opened up, Sam was standing in the doorway, looking sleepy, his eyes reddened from crying.
"Come in." He said as he stepped out of her way.
For moments she didn't know what to say. She wasn't prepared to say what she had to. Though she knew that Sam would open the door sooner or later, she never expected it to happen so soon, knowing how stubborn he was.
"You wanted to talk. I'm here. Say it!" He said impatiently, he didn't want to have this whole conversation.
"I wanted to tell you, but... anyway... now you know it." She said with a big sigh collecting a little strength.
"That you're pregnant? Yes, I know it from Gene! As if he would be pregnant with my child! At least, I suppose it's mine." He said in an accusing tone.
She knew she shouldn't be laughing but she couldn't stand it when he thought about the Guv pregnant, with big tits complaining about a terrible backache.
"It's not funny, you know!"
"Yes, I know. Sorry! It's yours of course." She said, holding her breath, trying to keep a straight face. "Sam," She started as she sat down on the bed next to him. "I know this is not easy for you, but don't think it's easy for me. I don't expect you to do something you don't want."
"I've no choice" He yelled suddenly. "Now I'll be responsible for someone for the rest of my life. Who asked me if I wanted this?" She was astonished for a moment.
"Sam, whatever you think, I'm not against you. I'm by your side, and I hope you'll be at mine too in this. Together we'll figure out what to do."
'I don't want to do anything, I don't want any of this, I want my life back' he wanted to say, but he just sat silently beside Annie, feeling defeated.
"I'm sorry, Annie, I can't think straight now. Can we continue this conversation at another time? I have to think about this." He told her, sounding tired.
"Sure." She got up and walked to the door. He could tell she was disappointed. "See you tomorrow at work." She said and she shut the door behind herself.
"I don't think so." Sam said quietly to the empty room.
The next day Sam booked off sick, and the day after that. When Annie went to his flat in the evening, he didn't open the door. He was leaning with his back against it, begging her just loud enough for her to hear him to leave him alone, to give him some more time.
Three days later the door was burst open in the middle of the night. Fine, Sam thought, the neighbours will be happy to hear everything. He didn't have to turn around to know who was standing at the doorway. It was Gene Hunt of course, no one else had that kind of dramatic sense of entering a room.
"What do you want? Go away!" Sam said without turning his head in his superior's direction.
Gene rushed to his bed, grabbed him by the collar of his pajamas and threw him through the small room into the opposite corner, then went to him, grabbed him again forcing him to stand up and pushed him into the wall.
"What's wrong with you, Tyler? I really want to know! I knew you were mad but it seems I had no idea how much." He hissed between his teeth.
"Oi, easy, Guv!" Sam said and freed himself from Gene's clench and Gene let him. Sam collected himself before he spoke again.
"I have no problems with you actually. I was just sick you know, but I feel better now and I will go to work tomorrow."
"You better. What about Annie?"
"That's none of your business, sorry." He said avoiding telling him the truth that he didn't know.
"Well, it is! I really don't understand you. You fell for her since day one, you were shagging her, you made her a detective and I thought you loved her. I never thought you're the kind of bloke who's shagging a bird then abandons her when it gets too serious." He said angrily.
"I'm not that kind!" Sam shouted. "I'm just... confused. I couldn't see this coming, that's all. I'm not sure of anything, including myself."
"Then pull yourself together, and do the right thing, instead of sitting in the darkness in your great self-pity."
"You mean I should cut my wrists?" He asked mockingly. "I don't know what's right for God's sake, I wish I knew."
"I'll help you. Ask the bird to marry you then invite us to your wedding. It's not so hard."
Easier said than done, Sam thought. Gene's life is settled and he already know what to expect of life in general. He only knows this one world, he doesn't have to deal with thoughts of reality which is far in the future, or the consequences of a life-altering decision. The thoughts that sooner or later would drive him crazy.
"I can't. I can't ruin her life, look at me! I'm just a copper with a DI's salary in a cavity I call a flat, plus she thinks I'm mad as a hatter. She is grateful for being made a detective but I'm not sure it's love."
"Don't make excuses, it's all about you, isn't it? You crap your pants because she knows what she wants and you don't, because she's stronger than you. You don't love her, you only love yourself, you arrogant bastard, you're just too scared to admit it." Gene said slightingly.
"I don't know if I love her, okay? I'm not sure."
"Yeah, you said that before. But tomorrow you will march in CID, and you'll talk to her or I'll skin you alive. Clear?" Sam remained silent. "I asked, is that clear?" Gene shouted.
"Yes, Guv!" Sam answered quietly, he knew that Gene was right.
"Okay then, see you tomorrow." Gene straightened himself and walked out plucking the door to its place.
Gene walked down the stairs and felt relieved. Job's done. Something was definitely wrong with Tyler, he thought. He could have everything and yet he was hesitating. What the hell was he playing at?
He hoped that Sam would keep his word and he would show up at work and hopefully he would propose to Annie properly like he should. Did she know how lucky she was, he wondered. She could have him. His stomach twisted at the thought, but he knew that that was the way it should be.
He really kept his fingers crossed for them, he hoped Sam would be luckier than he had been in his marriage. That Sam would be able to keep what he had lost.
He had lost his wife months earlier. No, he had lost her years ago, though they have been living together for the past years. But finally she gave up, and he couldn't blame her for that. He tried to hold himself well, but it was strange that no one was asking anything. Could it be that he hid it so well they haven't noticed?
"What do you think? Don't you think it's too fussy?" Sam asked as he carefully took a stock of the ring in his hand.
"Shit, Sam, don't start this again! It's beautiful, and she will be very happy with it." Gene was a bit impatient. He went to the shop with him to buy the ring, but he didn't know that Sam was even more of a pain in the arse when it comes to shopping. They spent three hours there, when Gene finally persuaded him to buy the one he liked at first.
"Now go to her, get down on yer knees and do it for God's sake. It's almost beer o'clock, I won't be standing here for another day waiting for you to make up your mind and neither will she." He could feel that Sam's hesitation wasn't induced by nervousness, he was insecure.
Sam looked at him for support, and then let out a big sigh knowing he can't escape this time. He could do nothing to avoid this, it was inevitable.
He gathered himself and walked into CID, directly to Annie's desk. She stood up immediately when she saw him and involuntarily dug her fingers in her hair to put it right and smiled at him. She was happy to see him that he was prepared to talk to her, but she was completely unaware of what was coming.
When Sam went down on one knee before her without a word the whole CID went loud. The chaotic sound of cheering and whistling mixed with the doubts in Sam's head united into one big cacophony, and he smiled hoping no one would see that it's fake.
"Annie! I devote my life to make you happy, if you let me. I want you to be the mother of my children, and I will love and cherish you with my heart and soul until my dying day. Will you make me the happiest man by becoming my wife?" He tried to say those well-rehearsed lines as genuinely as he could.
"What?" She was taken aback. She wasn't sure if she really heard those words from his mouth or she was only imagining it.
"Aw, please, don't me make recite this whole thing again! Will you marry me, Annie?"
"Yes, of course I will!" She wanted to scream with joy, but she just smiled as she let Sam running up the ring onto her finger. She cuddled up to him and whispered in his ear teasingly.
"I thought you'd never ask!"
He smiled at her then they both accepted the felicitations from everyone, but the insecurity in him slowly changed into something darker and deeper.