Author's note: This is the first time I ever wrote anything about Life on Mars, though it's not the first fanfiction I've written. I love this series and I love Gene Hunt's and Sam Tyler's relationship (I'm a big sucker for bromance).

It takes place between LOM and Ashes to Ashes (because I prefer Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt to be working together in the seventies, I can't help it) and has obvious spoilers for Gene Hunt's role in the time Sam Tyler woke up in. But, let's face it, which Life on Mars fan hasn't yet realized there's a sequel?

Since it's my first time, I would appreciate reviews.

I don't own anything.

He's done it a countless times before, and he'll do it a countless times after, but he doesn't think anyone will ever touch him quite the way Sam Tyler does.

Maybe one of the reasons he thinks that is that Sam Tyler actually chose to be here; chose to come back, even after he'd returned to his own life.

Of course, Sam doesn't know he knows, and he prefers it that way. But the DI disappearing at such a crucial moment, and then coming back to save them all – it was clear what had happened.

It was clear Sam had chosen this life over the one he was born to.

And, if Gene Hunt knows something, it's that it doesn't matter how your life is, or what you do, but what you choose.

And Sam chose this.

Chose to reprimand him every time he did something that was considered wrong by 2006 standards; chose to teach Chris how to build radios and microphones and stuff like that; chose to live with Ray and slowly, over time, gain the respect of the DS; chose to drink in Nelson's bar when something had gone wrong and listen to the barman's philosophy lessons; chose to marry Annie and live life to the fullest, a thing he'd never have done while he was still, well... alive.

At least in 2006.

And, though it seems strange and incomprehensible, chose to befriend Gene Hunt.

He's never had a friend before, not really.

Not even before he... ended up where he is now.

And here?

Chris is scared of him; the womenfolk usually ignore him, when they can; Ray is too busy sucking up to him to tell him straight to his face when he screws up.

But Sam...

Sam tells him when he does something stupid, or wrong, or endangers his own life. Sam saves him, time and time again.

Sam, somehow, made his way into Gene's closed off heart, and it's incredibly strange.

Because he's never had a friend.

And now, somehow, he has one.

True, it's the most obnoxious, annoying, meddling, know-it-all of a friend there is in existence, but still...

It's a friend.

And Gene actually finds himself fearing the day he has to let go of all of that.

It's what he will have to do someday, he's aware; but that doesn't mean he has to do it not only before Sam is ready, but before he himself is ready.

So he joyfully shouts at Sam from out of the car when he sees Sam and Annie kissing, and knows the DI has chosen to stay.

He ignores Sam's pestering about his driving, or, even more often, he decides to answer, and they end up bantering. Soon, their pissing-matches are a legend at the station, and why shouldn't they be. Gene Hunt has finally found someone he can scream at, can punch, and who'll only scream back and punch back and still go with him for a pint afterwards.

When he has a problem with the wife, or an even bigger one – like he had when he appeared to have killed a man – he calls him. Sam understands, and if he doesn't, he tries to, other than Ray, who usually just stands around, waiting for instructions.

Sam has his own spirit, can be quite stubborn at times, and Gene respects that.

Actually, the DI rather reminds him of himself, when he was younger. Looking over his shoulder, doing the right thing, trying to better everyone and the world, while he was at it. Just like Gene Hunt when he was just a young copper.

And... when he was alive, in the "normal" sense, though he'd never tell anyone that.

He is the best man at Sam's and Annie's wedding, watching them dance, seeing their eyes glitter and sparkle as they gaze at one another, and he's rather happy, though he'd never admit it. These two deserve each other; they're both wonderful, annoying, do-the-best persons, and he wouldn't have them any other way.

They're part of his team, his family, the only family he's ever had, and he prefers to have them a while longer, thank you very much. Though he knows, of course, that he will have to let them go at some point. Doesn't mean he has to now, mind you. He might as well give them several years of happiness before allowing them to move on. And if that makes him selfish, so be it.

So he allows Sam to ramble on about fingerprints and DNA (which they still aren't able to do, no matter what his DI says) and correct procedure, and proper witness interrogation, and even then, he's rather grateful he...

Well, he wouldn't say he's glad that Sam died, obviously. That would just be impolite.

He still is grateful for it, though.

One day, the Superintendent decides to make an inspection, just when they are working the case of a prostitute who has been found dead, Jack the Ripper style, in an alleyway.

So what if Gene was rather drunk that day. He knows the Superintendent can do nothing against him.

Well, except suspend him, of course. But that's happened enough times in the last few years.

But Sam Tyler wasn't part of his team, then.

So he storms in his office, not bothering to knock.

"What's going on? Are you suspended?" he wants to know, arms flying.

"Geesh, Dorothy, what's going on? Honeymoon charged up your batteries? He just gave me a good old talk, that's what happened."

Sam, by this time, knows what he means, and his eyes widen. "So... you're suspended."

"Sure looks like it, Gladys" he answers and starts shuffling the files on his desk, not really expecting, but rather hoping the DI would leave; he can feel a headache coming on.

"Am I right when I think you're not going to leave or do anything you're supposed to do when you're suspended?"

"Give the boy a gold star" he comments, lifting his head, finding Sam actually smiling.

"Alright, then, but I'm the one giving the orders. I'm the DI, so I'm in charge when the boss isn't allowed to. Am I right, Guv?"

"You just might be, Boy wonder, doesn't mean I can't kick your ass though".

"I wouldn't expect anything different."

Of course they solve the case, and of course Gene isn't suspended anymore after they have, and of course he and Sam have a drink afterwards.

"You know, Gladys..." he says, after the third drink, hesitating.

"Yes, Guv?" Tyler raises an eyebrow.

"Thank you for... everything. And if you ever tell anyone I said that, you just might find yourself in the trunk of me car again."

Sam laughs and toasts him, and Gene toasts him back and thinks that, for the time being – it might just be enough.

He'll have this friendship as long as he can.

And it will be enough.

Author's note: Please tell me whether you liked it. I only ever wrote Sherlock fanfiction (well, talking of fanfiction; I write other stuff, too) and I have a rather distinct style, and I don't know if it's suited for Life on mars, but I had to pay my respect to this wonderful series, especially as it was one of the inspirations for one of my multi-chapter fics about Sherlock. Besides the fact that this wonderful piece of writing an acting and – sorry, I'm rambling again. Anyway, it needs more fanfiction.

Btw, all my Sherlock fans: don't worry, I haven't changed my first and foremost obsession. It's still Sherlock. There are more fics coming your way, don't worry.

I hope you enjoyed it.