Martin was shaky. He was often shaky when flying the plane, whether it was nerves from strange weather or another stupid bet with Douglas, but this was different. Not nerves.
He patted down his pockets, hoping that there would be something, perhaps one of those candies left over from his moving job last week when the woman had offered him some and he'd taken a handful to be polite. Of course not. And he knew that in the back of his mind, because he'd washed his uniform and always checked the pockets before he did, so they'd be at home. Of course. "You lose some... don't you?"
And he didn't have anything else, because the moving job last week was the only one he'd had in three, and Carolyn sure hadn't started paying him since then.
There was no other option. He'd have to ask Douglas. Soon.
"Douglas," he said quietly, half hoping the man wouldn't hear him. No luck.
"Yes Martin?" he said in the obnoxiously endearing way of his.
"D'you maybe... have anything to eat?"
"Arthur's chicken twigs not doing it for you?" he smirked, gesturing to the discarded plate Arthur had brought him.
Martin grimaced. "Really not looking for food poisoning thanks." Because that's all he needed. And besides, chicken...
He shifted in his seat, trying to make it less obvious to Douglas. "So... do you?"
Douglas smirked again. "Let me check my citrus pocket," he said, patting his jacket down, then his pants. "No, nothing there," he said slowly. His face lit up. "Chewing gum?" he asked, holding the pack out to Martin.
He shook his head. "Anything... substantial? Chocolate, a bar, crisps?"
Douglas looked at Martin with false horror. "You call those substantial? You should be eating a lot better, Sir," he exclaimed.
Martin could feel himself sweating now as he shifted.
"Douglas, please, we really don't have time for this..." he trailed off as he caught wind of Douglas' expression, one of shock and real horror this time.
"Oh Martin..." he said, trailing off.
Martin's heart sank. He knows.
Douglas reached for the intercom.
"Arthur? Sugar to the flight deck, stat."
Arthur came practically flying in to the flight deck, holding a dozen packages of the sugar he'd give out to passengers to put in their coffee or tea, and even once to go on their salad.
"Are you alright Skip?" he asked breathlessly. "You look all... ugh."
"Yes Arthur, that's exactly how he looks. Now give Martin the packages of sugar."
Arthur practically threw them at Martin and he struggled to rip one open with unsure hands, finally dumped the whole pack in his mouth and letting it dissolve against his cheeks.
Martin. Now Arthur, what do we have for food?"
Arthur pondered that for a moment. "I guess if he didn't like the chicken twigs... I think there are some biscuits... and maybe..." his face lit up, "A toblerone! I have one of the white ones."
"Excellent," Douglas declared, eyeing Martin as he ate a third pack. "Both of them will do. Run along."
Arthur ran off to obey and Martin was alone with Douglas once again. He could practically feel him coming up with witty comments and jokes.
"Don't," he muttered to Douglas, swallowing another mouthful of sugar.
Douglas looked at him innocently.
Arthur returned with the white toblerone, just as he'd promised, and half a package of Martin's least favourite biscuits. It was like the fates had decided to gang up on him today.
"Thank you Arthur, that will be all," Douglas informed him.
"Are you sure? Because Skip still looks all... ugh. Like... sick and stuff." His eyes widened. "Were you going around in circles? Because you looked an awful lot like you were going to pass out like that one time when we were in-"
"Arthur," Douglas interrupted. "I believe I can hear a passenger calling."
"Right!" Arthur chirped and ran off.
Martin eyed Douglas. "It's a cargo flight."
Douglas raised an eyebrow. "Is it really? That would explain a lot. How are you feeling?"
"Fine," Martin muttered.
Douglas snorted. "I hardly think so. Where's it hiding then? It must be somewhere around here, because you'd never go anywhere without it. That's not the sort of thing Sir would do."
Martin scowled at him. Nonetheless, he muttered at him, "The locker."
"Ah! I thought so."
"No you didn't..." Martin mumbled, watching as Douglas retrieved his bag and threw it at him, much like Arthur did the sugar.
Douglas resumed control, which Martin would have argued about any other time, was he not feel terrible, much like Arthur said, all ugh.
"I'm waiting," Douglas said, not even needing to look at him.
Martin scowled at Douglas. "I'm not a child you know," he snapped, pulling his kit out.
"Of course not," Douglas smirked. "You just need someone to look after you and feed you. Entirely different."
Martin didn't reply and instead focused on his finger.
He zipped the kit back up when he was done.
"Ahem," Douglas coughed.
"Three point six," Martin snapped. "Happy?"
"By all means," Douglas said smoothly. "Eat another pack of sugar and the toblerone and choke down some biscuits. I know they're not your favourite, but I don't want you crashing before we land." He smirked. "Because then everyone would be crashing!"
Martin huffed. "It's really not amusing Douglas."
"On the contrary," he replied smoothly. "It is."
"How did you know anyway. I never told you. Or Arthur, since god knows he can't tell a lie or keep a secret to save his life."
"I studied medicine at university remember?"
Martin groaned. Of course he would have forgotten that. Conveniently. Douglas continued as though he hadn't heard. "And what does Carolyn have to say on the whole matter?"
Martin didn't make eye contact with Douglas, choosing instead to focus on his finger, squeezing it to make a tiny drop of blood ooze out.
"Oh Martin," he said for what seemed the millionth time that day. "You haven't told her?"
"Of course not!" he snapped. "What am I supposed to tell her? That I may pass out at any time and then your plane will crash to the ground in fiery bits? That she should fire me from the only job where I'd ever be the pilot, or even be hired at all? No one wants a diabetic pilot! I'd live in my attic and starve to death because I wouldn't get any moving jobs and it's a vicious circle! How about that?"
Douglas looked at Martin with disinterest. "No need to be dramatic. I was thinking more along the lines of telling her the truth."
"The truth? Right. That I can't afford to buy myself insulin and testing strips in the same month, or else I'd have no place to live, or wouldn't even be able to buy pasta and therefore the insulin would just go to waste? About how I'm still paying off bills from when I was in hospital for three days when I was diagnosed, or how I ended up there when I passed out writing my exam! Shall I really tell her any of that? Because it's all the truth," he hissed at Douglas, feeling better enough now to make sweeping arm gestures to emphasize his points.
Douglas only stared back blankly.
"Erm... chaps," a voice piped up. "I think you may be a bit confused. It's a cargo flight, remember?" Arthur paused for a moment to think, not noticing the horrified glance Martin was giving him or the bemused look from Douglas. "Either that or we lost the passengers somewhere, and Mum wouldn't like that at all." Arthur looked between the two of them. "Did I miss something?"
"Attentive as ever Arthur. You passed the test! Now go watch the flaps. I got a tip that they actually might do something this flight," Douglas whispered to Arthur conspiratorially.
"Righto!" Arthur chirped and dashed off.
Martin looked at Douglas with a sort of exhausted annoyance.
"Oh, eat your toblerone," Douglas scoffed. "I have control. And I will have control until you're back up to at least five. And don't think I won't check."
Martin scowled at Douglas, but he felt a warm sort of sensation that couldn't have had anything to do with the fact that someone was taking care of him for once, and not just abandoning him on his own. He bit off a chunk of the toblerone Arthur had lovingly provided, and thought that he just may tell Carolyn.
It was proper procedure after all.