Prompt: So, Arthur is constantly belittled by Gordon, who treats him like he's the stupidest among the stupids of this world, and doesn't love him, since he's not the son he wanted, the one who could take the reins of his company. Arthur is hurt by his father's words and actions towards him, but he doesn't let it show, making everyone believe that he doesn't understand the insults and the general meanness directed at him. But one day, Gordon makes a snide, hurtful comment about Arthur while Martin is in the room. Arthur can't take it anymore, and starts crying, eliciting even more scornful comments. Martin can't bear to see Arthur cry, so he badassly (is that even a word) stands up for Arthur, defending him

AN: While this was written for another, completely separate prompt, I must confess that I did write it with my previous Martin+Arthur friendship fic in mind, as a sort of sequel/resolution to the ending.


Standing Ground


"Arthur? Arthur...? There you are, what are you doing in... Ah. Mr Shappey as well. To what do I owe the pleasure?"

"Oh, if it isn't Carolyn's failed pilot. Gracious, are you still pretending to be captain? I didn't think they were still giving epaulettes out as a gesture of pity."

"Ha ha, very funny – and while we're chatting, how are your hands, by the way? No side affects from being frozen to the console?"

"I'm going to ignore your frankly pathetic attempts at sarcasm – I still owe you and your smarmy co-pilot for that cheap trick."

"Funny, I thought it rather had a ring of retributive justice to it. Right now however, I'd much prefer to know what you've done to upset my steward. [walking over to Arthur, speaking quietly] Arthur, are you alright?"

"He's fine. Snivelling as usual, but then that's to be expected I suppose. Gets it from his mother's side of the family."

"I really wasn't talking to you. Here, Arthur, take this."

"I'm r-r-really alright Skip, I d-d-don't need your hanky."

"You aren't alright, so keep it for a while, dry your eyes. I don't mind. Whatever he said to you, he's wrong, ok? [to Gordon]. Don't you have places to be? Planes to steal?"

"Alas, not this old girl for the moment. I was just checking in on Carolyn actually, seeing if she'd come to any sense about giving me back my plane, only happened to bump into Arthur instead. We were just having a little chat when you came in."

"Yes, I can see the fall-out from your 'little chat'."

"I was only being honest... [sharper] Oh, for God's sake, Arthur, stop that damned snivelling. Man up, will you?"

"S-sorry, sorry, I'll, er [blows nose], s-s-s-sorry dad...I'll er, g-go do what I was doing. I-i-i mean, not what I was just doing, because that was talking to you, b-b-but I'll go do what I was doing before-b-b-before I started talking to you. I-i-i'll g-g-o... do that now, [sobs] Oh, sorry, again, sorry, sorry..."

"Arthur, stay here for a minute."

"S-s-skip?"

"Stay here. Please. [to Gordon] I rather think you've outstayed your welcome, Mr Shappey, so I would request that you make your goodbyes and leave. You can see the door, I trust you can make your own way out."

"Er, hold on a minute. Just who do you think you are, ordering me about? I'm the CEO of a major company..."

"Actually, at the moment, you are both a very rude man, and are upsetting my staff. Therefore I would politely request that you get out. Now. "

"Excuse me?"

"I think you should leave. Right this minute in fact. [straightens]. You have no authority over my crew, Mr Shappey, and if someone is abusing my staff, or my friends, it is my prerogative as the captain to do something about it, do I make myself clear?"

"Don't you start getting all lippy with me, sonny, Mr-seven-tries-on-the-CPL. Trying to be all hard and macho, trying to be a big man, but really just looking like a child playing pilot. Look at yourself, you're shaking, you can barely hold your hands steady. It's sadly a rather pitiful show of bravado I must say."

"Dad..."

"Shut it Arthur."

"[snarls] Don't you dare talk to him like that. You can say what you like about me because frankly I've heard it all before, and from men much more frightening than you. You don't scare me, a-and I will not stand by and let you speak to my colleague like that again, is that understood? I've met men like you before, Mr Shappey, and you are all the same, old and bitter and disappointed in their children, with nothing better to do than to pass down their miseries to their sons, belittling them, and ridiculing them, when they've done nothing to deserve it. Your son, Mr Shappey, has done nothing to deserve your treatment of him. "

"Son? Ha, Arthur's barely a Shappey as it is..."

"And he's a better man because of it. I think you've lost far more from not having him as a son than he could ever have lost not having you as a father. He's ended up kind, a-a-and decent, and a good man, whereas y-you have nothing left but to squabble over your old plane with your ex-wife, and pretending you aren't a failed father, making yourself feel bigger by bullying your son, who is ten times the man you will ever be."

"You dare tell me, you little shit..."

"Dad, stop it..."

"For God's sake Arthur, shut up."

"...No."

"What did you say?"

"N-n-no. I said, no. It's mean, talking to my friends like that, a-and I want you to stop."

"Jesus Christ, take a look at yourself, trying to be all grown up, starting to cry again, it's bloody ridiculous...If I'd known I'd get such a stupid son..."

"I'm not stupid."

"What?"

"I'm not. Not stupid I mean. I-i-i'm not as smart as you, or as good at business as you, but I-I'm not stupid. I know that a female bear is called a sow, and that an admiral's pie is different to a shepherd's, and that you fit a hundred otters in a plane by putting one in the fridge. I know loads of things, it's just that they don't matter to you, like how things like bubble baths and throwing apples make people happy, and I know that the only thing that you've ever cared about was money. A-and I know that you're not brilliant. N-n-not at all. A-a-and that I shouldn't really care whether I'm a disappointment to you, b-b-because it's my life isn't it, not yours, and I know that I have people who care about me, like mum and Skip and Douglas, and in the end, y-you'll have no-one."

"..."

"I think that that's your cue to leave, Mr Shappey, if you would be so kind."

"...Yes. Yes, I think I will...[coughs] You've made your feelings very clear Arthur. I wont be bothering myself with you anymore."

[door slams]

"Arthur. Arthur, it's alright, it's ok, there's no need to cry, come here... Shh, it's ok, don't cry... he's gone now, he's left, he can't do anything anymore."

"[hitching breath]...I-I-I'm g-getting your uniform all damp, Skip, s-s-sorry."

"No need to apologise. Captain's uniform's are specially created to deal with such instances as this, you just take all the time you need"

"Thanks Skip."

" ….Better?"

"Yeah. I'm just... I don't know really, a bit of happy and sad at the same time...Gosh, Skip, you were really brave, standing up to him like that..."

"... I-I wasn't bad was I? You weren't too shabby yourself, you know."

"Yeah, but you weren't scared of him at all."

"Oh, I was. Not him, specifically, but... he reminded... he reminded me a lot of my dad, when he got mad... and that was... well, it was... thing is, I'm not as brave as you think I am, I'm afraid. You just... didn't deserve him speaking to you like that, and someone needed to... well, say something back."

"But I thought being brave was doing something even if it frightens you? Like turning the light off at night even though you know that you have to get back into bed in the dark, or climbing trees even though they're a bit too high and you don't know quite how to get down?"

"...I suppose..."

"So I think you were really brave, telling my dad off like that."

"T-thanks Arthur. I... I appreciate it."

"..."

"Do you want me to – you know – um, let go?"

"Nah, your hugs are really nice Skip. Cuddly."

"Well... um, any time."

"Douglas will be wondering where we are wont he?"

"Probably." [pulls away] "Well, we best be getting out of here, don't you think? We've got a plane to fly after all. And I think that you, Master Shappey, should be chief in charge of in-flight games for the duration, how does that sound?"

"Oh, brilliant! We can play passenger derby again!"

"[laughs] Whatever you want Arthur. Whatever you want."