Oh, The Places You'll Go

The Thing About Women

Notes: This started life as comment-fic for lordessrenegade but it got a little big. She wanted Sam/Gene, booze and women.


"The thing about women," declares Gene, slamming a heavy-bottomed glass tumbler down on the table. Empty. Again.

"Oh, here we go," Sam leans his head back on the nicotine-stained wall and rolls his eyes.

"Here we go what, Tyler?"

"The great Gene Hunt and his pearls of wisdom about the human race. Do go on, Guv, I'm all ears."

Not all ears, thinks Gene, eyes slipping accidentally downwards over Sam's crossed, corduroy-clad legs and possibly, just possibly, lingering slightly over the bulge at the top of Sam's thighs which may have been caused by the bunched up material, maybe not. Train of thought has left the station. Gene blinks and shakes his head dragging his eyes up to meet Sam's amused gaze.

"Where was I?"

"You were about to get in another round."

"Oh, yeah. Nelson! Two more!" yells Gene before he realises he's been had. He glares at Sam. "Nice move, Gladys. Were you wanting to take on the Moore case? Disappearing vermin right up your alley, eh?"

Sam doesn't bother replying. He just grins the open grin that tells Gene he's had just about enough to loosen up and stop being a tight-arse and not quite enough to need steering home and a soothing hand on the back of his neck as his chicken and chips meet the bog from the wrong end. Gene is fond of this Sam. If for fond you mean like to shove your tongue down his throat, hands down his pants, dick in his-

"Are you alright, Gene?" asks Nelson, hair swinging around a face of concern as he put fresh, full glasses down and removes numerous empties. "You look ... distracted."

Gene blusters something about work and confidentiality and pretends not to notice as Sam leans forward, hands on knees and laughs just this side of hysterically. Nelson glances between them and shrugs his shoulders.

"I don't think I want to know," he says. "Oh look, customer."

"What's so funny, Sammy-boy?" growls Gene as soon as they are alone again.

"You, you great idiot. You're supposed to be giving me your worldly wisdom about women — and I'm not going to be able to say that again after a couple more glasses of Scotch — and you're thinking about ..." Sam looks swiftly around the pub. Gene follows his gaze. Ray and Chris throwing darts, the Nameless Ones taking over two or three tables, smoking fiercely and occasionally breaking out a smile. Phyllis at the bar complaining about her Campari and soda. Not really the place to discuss things Best Left Unsaid. So Gene is happy when Sam finishes with "Not. That," and leaves it there.

Gene leans back against the wall, staring straight ahead.

"The thing about women," he says, as if he hadn't been interrupted in the first place, "is that they want everything. Your money, your soul, your time, your blood, your, you know, your Sergeant Major, or in my case the little General. There's nothing that they don't want. And you can either give it all to them and lose yourself or you can try and keep something back, something that's just you and then they'll not be happy. You lose either way."

He turns to find Sam watching him, serious now, with that furrow between his brows that means there is either far too much thinking going on in there or he's about to have one of his funny turns. Funny how the turns aren't ever. Funny, that is.

"What?"

"You really believe that?"

Gene does a quick mental recap of what he's just said. He's inclined to talk bollocks when pissed — always best to make sure. No. All seems fine.

"Yeah. I do."

"That's really cynical, Gene."

"Yeah?" Gene shrugs. "Tell me it's not true, Dorothy." There's no response. Gene isn't really expecting one. "There you go."

Sam takes a slow sip of his drink.

"Why're you married, then?"

"You ever heard of learning by experience?"

"Oh. Right."

They drink in silence for a few minutes, Gene fully aware that Sam is fermenting something in that little brain of his. There's such a thing as too many brain cells, though Gene's done his best to help Sam kill some off through excessive alcohol consumption.

"You call me girls' names," says Sam eventually, swirling the ends of his Scotch around in the glass and not meeting Gene's eyes.

"I do at that, Gladys. And your point is what?"

Sam speaks so quietly that Gene can barely hear it.

"D'you think I'm like that? I want that? For you? From you? Because you think I'm a girl?"

Gene stares. Well, of all the ... Where the hell did that come from anyway? He's doing his best to warn Sam off Cartwright for completely selfish purposes and Sam manages to twist his words around and use 'em to put himself down. Now that is like a woman. Gene knows better than to say that, mind.

"Tyler," he says instead, shaking his head. "Samuel, Sammy, Sam, Sam, Sam. What am I going to do with you?"

Sam raises his head, meets Gene's eyes and there's a smile pulling at the corner of his lips. The one that reminds Gene of a very. Naughty. Boy.

"I can think of a few things," Sam says. "But we may need to be a bit MacGyver about it."

"Ma-who?" says Gene, not giving a stuff because he knows an invitation when he hears it. He stands up. "Get your coat, Gladys. Sorry. Sam."

Sam gets his coat.


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