|Something is Wrong, A Cabin Pressure Fic
Author: LoveAlltheSherlocks PM
Something is wrong with Martin.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Friendship - Cabin Pressure - Chapters: 11 - Words: 16,169 - Reviews: 39 - Favs: 70 - Follows: 133 - Updated: 06-26-12 - Published: 12-08-11 - id: 7620113
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Something felt wrong.
I do not own Cabin Pressure or any of it's wonderful characters.
Please R+R! Thanks to the 221B Baker Tweetists for all their support and thought so far :D
Martin had already been sitting in the "Captain's" chair when Douglas arrived, but that was not surprising at all. Martin was usually early, especially when they were actually flying somewhere and not just meeting clients or going over the ruddy flight logs. Still, the cockpit had a different…air around it this morning. Martin was hunched over the logbook in his lap, pen in hand. But he wasn't writing anything. Douglas remembered his tea, compliments of Arthur of course, in the kitchen area and grabbed it. Then Douglas noticed something else. Even Arthur wasn't preparing for the flight yet. He was nowhere to be seen, in fact. And Carolyn was usually telling them to pick up the pace and get the take-off checklist moving by now. What the hell was going on anyway?
He headed back to the cockpit. He slid the door open and sat down in his first officer's chair, slightly flattened out by the constant pressure of people sitting in it. Taking one, then two sips of tea he wondered if he remembered everything for the trip. It was going to be a long one, 2 weeks in Marseille and then a short weekend trip to Chicago, followed by Malibu. This is what Douglas was looking forward to the most. Warm, sunny Malibu. No one had scheduled any trips with MJN after that for a whole month, so Douglas was sure that if Carolyn convinced everyone to find their own accommodations they could at least stay for a week before an unexpected booking came in. But by then Douglas will have gotten a slight tan but no burn, and everyone might be relaxed some. Even Martin. Speaking of Martin…
Douglas turned to his left. Martin was still hunched over and it took a moment for him to realize he was in a very unnatural position. He must have fallen asleep. He did that on the last flight, too. Actually, the number of times Martin had been falling asleep – or at least dozing- on accident before, during, or after a flight had been getting higher lately. Douglas could have sworn that Martin had been looking pretty exhausted in the past few months. And as a result he was always asking if anyone had Tylenol because he had a headache. And it wasn't just headaches either, Douglas realized. Martin's back, his legs, his neck…sometimes Martin just mumbled something about his bones hurting and he just wanted to get home and sleep.
Douglas tapped Martin on the shoulder a few times. "Sir, I do believe in order for us to fly a plane our supreme commander must be awake."
Martin didn't rouse. Douglas turned his chair slightly and kicked the bottom of Martin's with just enough force to make it jump a little.
Nothing. Martin's head just lolled to the side away from Douglas and his hand rolled off of his notebook. The pen falling to the floor seemed to make a much louder noise than usually noticed.
Douglas got up from his chair and knelt in front of Martin's. A bit of a tight squeeze between the chair and the control board but that didn't matter. Douglas heard Arthur's cheery voice faintly outside, and then Carolyn's sharp one after. Douglas hit Martin's leg, then his other one, even shook the chair-anything would have worked to get Martin up. But maybe he wasn't sleeping. Maybe he was-
Martin sucked in a short breath and opened his eyes wide. He looked around for a moment and then noticed Douglas. "What…" his voice was quiet, unstable.
"Were you sleeping?" Douglas asked, also quietly. The remaining MJN employees would be on the plane soon. Martin didn't respond, he just kept looking around and holding his fingers to his head for a moment. Another headache, maybe. He cleared his through and sat up straight. Douglas stood as well. "No, I…erm…yes. Must've dozed I guess. Sorry."
"I am so happy that you could take a nap, Captain, but unfortunately are take-off checklist isn't complete and Carolyn and Arthur are almost here." He kept looking at Martin's face. His eyes had dark circles around them, more noticeable now. His eyes were slightly bloodshot, too. "Maybe you'd like to tell Carolyn we should cancel our trip, and then you can sleep all you want?"
Douglas wasn't speaking with an attitude, but of course Martin took his statement as an insult and stood up quickly. "No! I have been waiting to go to Malibu for-"and then he fell back into the chair, eyes fluttering, hands holding his head. Douglas grabbed his shoulders to keep him steady. Martin looked up. "Look, Douglas, as much as I know you'd grab any opportunity to switch places with me and pilot this flight, I will not allow it. I have a headache is all. I haven't had my tea yet." He brushed Douglas' hands away and stood up (slowly this time.) He walked past Douglas, pushing him out of the way slightly and into the cabin.
Douglas sat down in his chair. "Well then," he muttered to himself as he took another sip of his own tea. It was almost cool now. He drank it all in 3 gulps and waited for Martin's return. Surely the take-off checklist would be done within five minutes. Too short to get up and do something, too long to just sit. So he sat and he waited.
He couldn't stop thinking about the way Martin looked-his eyes, his face-dark and sunken skin. He was too tired, that was for sure. Probably from his other job. It's tough work, being a man with a van. Moving things and fixing lights, all hours of the day. But Douglas couldn't shake the thought of Martin falling backwards into the chair. He hadn't been spinning around which would be a perfect explanation for the inner-ear balance problem. But if you were exhausted enough, you could get dizzy too. That was it then. He was just simply…tired.
But the bad feeling didn't go away. Not even when Martin came back with in his normal mood, eager to fly following all rules and regulations of being a proper pilot. "Alright then! Take-off checklist complete, Douglas. Carolyn and Arthur are settling in now. Then we are off on our flight. How long…" he searched through his notebook-
"Eight or Nine hours, I'd say." Douglas interrupted. "Depending on whenever we bloody leave."
"Eight or nine…what?" Martin looked at his book for a second time, not understanding what Douglas said. "To get to France? Surely, Douglas, it doesn't- Don't joke with me, I am not in the mood."
"Dear Sir, if I was joking there would be a long list of perfectly adequate insults and witty comments to throw at you much better than this one. It is not a joke. It will take us at least 8 hour to get to the states. Why on Earth did you say France?"
Martin squinted his eyes together and studied Douglas' face. He really was serious…the states? Then he remembered. Marseilles. Illinois. Most definitely not France. He had made a mistake. He never made silly ones like that but today he did. How stupid was he? What kind of a pilot-
Douglas noticed the realization in Martin's eyes and laughed at him. "Come on now, Martin. France? We have been talking about this trip for a month. I told you to pack warm clothes; it gets very cold in the Midwest states. I do hope you brought a coat with you." He leaned back into the chair and had a quick laugh again "Ha! France."
Martin had had enough. He slammed the notebook down on the little counter beside him, startling Douglas. Martin stood up. "Shut up, Douglas! I said I wasn't in the mood and I'm not. I could really go without your jokes for one damned flight."
"Martin, I wasn't-" Douglas sat up and looked at Martin's face. But Martin stopped him again. "No! You were too, you were. I know it. Like always Douglas. First Officer comedian 24/7, never serious, always good for a laugh. Well I'm done. I won't have it." He stormed out of the room, tossing his captain's hat on the chair before he left.
Douglas knew what happens next. Carolyn would storm in, demanding to know what happened, Douglas would explain but wouldn't be believed, etc, etc. they just go already?
A few moments passed. Douglas thought about why Martin would slip out like that, suddenly with no warning. He never did that. You always had a buildup of anger with Martin, and you always knew when to back off and get a little bit of wiggle room before Martin blew his gasket. He never just exploded like that, even at Douglas. And it was not like Douglas actually used bad jokes on him. Just a comment or two.
Arthur popped his head in the doorway. "Morning, Douglas!"
"Cheery as ever, Arthur."
"Well, no sense not being cheery on a day like this! What's up with Skip? His face was awful red…"
"Nothing, Arthur, just get some more tea or coffee on and get your mother."
Carolyn pops in next. "I do not even want to know, Douglas. Sort it out yourself, it looks like you caused it anyway." Douglas stops her. "Wait." She shuts the door. "What's wrong with him?"
Carolyn looked confused. "What do you mean?"
"Have you not been paying attention? He's tired, he's moody, he's always in pain…I could swear he passed out in this chair just 20 minutes ago. And not he's flipping out on me for no good reason."
"I hardly believe that one, Douglas, but I agree he's been a bit odd lately. We did fly a great deal in the summer, maybe it was a bit much for him and that other job he's got. No matter then, we've got a nice relaxing time in Malibu ahead of us. He can relax and he'll be in tip-top shape for the Burling trip."
"I won't hear any more, Douglas. Our client is here and we really must be going soon. Get Martin out of whatever funk he's in so he can fly us to the States." She walks out, leaving Douglas with his mouth hanging open.
*knock knock knock* Douglas raps on the door or the toilet, sure that Martin is in there.
"Just go get the plane started, Douglas; I'll be out in a minute." His voice is quiet and shaky, but he seems in a decent mood. Douglas puts everything in order, makes the announcement to the passenger, and wait for Martin, who comes into the cockpit after a moment. He looks like he's about to fall over and he may or may not have been crying a bit.
He sits down in silence and begins the take-off process. Douglas says nothing but keeps looking out of the corner of his eyes at Martin's face. It's determined but his eyes aren't focusing as well. Not as if he'd crash a plane or anything, but definitely not in tip-top shape.
Finally the plane is in autopilot and Martin and Douglas have both relaxed in their chairs. Silence has filled the room completely but just as Douglas opens his mouth Martin starts talking.
"I'm sorry, Douglas."
Douglas looks at him in surprise. "Oh?"
"I know you weren't being particularly rude to me. It was my mistake; I don't know why…anyway, I apologize. I don't know why I yelled like that. I'm not usually like that, you know…and I thought it was France, but it wasn't, and maybe I should have checked and your sarcasm out me off and I still haven't had my tea and-"
"Shut up, Martin. I don't care. You're just tired." He hands him his notebook which slid on the floor during take-off.
"Am not." Martin grabs the book and tucks it into the drawer.
"Alright then. Whatever you say…Sir."
Martin smiles and leans his head all the way back. Within minutes, he's snoring slightly and his hand is twitching. Douglas goes to wake him, but then he realized that 20 minutes with only one pilot isn't ALL that big of a deal on an 8-hour flight. So he watches the sky and listens to Martins rhythmic snoring and the echo of Arthur's cheerfulness at their guest.
He still couldn't shake that bad feeling, though. Something felt wrong.