Hello everyone! Decided to take a stab at a Cabin Pressure Fic, if only because I need to stop moping over my Sherlockian feels for a bit and try to focus on my studies and such. Have been enjoying the new season of CP soooo much, and am absolutely smitten with Martin and his adorable awkward-well-meaning-ness. Brilliant. Yet, as per my usual style, I will express my love through severe angst and suffering on Martin's behalf, all in the name of personal amusement. But never fear- all will end well. I could never not have Martin be saved in the end.
All characters/plot references go to John Finnemore, and of course the brilliance of the characters themselves is credited to their respective actors. I own nothing, do not sue me. Reviews always appreciated.
*Note: the story will be broken into three-parts, with each section consisting of three "scenes" as it were. Thus the numbering. Carry on!
The van door slams with a clunk. There's the sound of something breaking- like a piece of door handle has fallen off onto the pavement, but right now Martin is entirely too exhausted and cold to care. He trudges up the steps to the house, fumbling with his keys with numb hands that have turned a rather disturbing shade of white in the February cold. A thin sheet of rain is falling on the city, leaving everything in a seemingly permanent state of grey. Everything is damp and depressing looking, and the slight headache gnawing at Martin's temples is doing nothing to help matters. He swallows and discovers that his throat hurts too.
Trust him to catch cold just from a little rain.
The prospect of illness makes everything seem infinitely worse, but as Martin reads the square of paper tacked to the door, he realizes that illness is just the tip of his iceberg of misery.
Heater broken- will be fixed by Monday.
Martin's heart sinks. Perfect, just perfect. Bracing himself for the cold, empty, dark building that is going to consume him for the weekend, Martin unlocks the door and stumbles inside, happy to be anywhere slightly warmer than the frigid outdoors. The house is downright freezing, but Martin ignores it and simply moves upstairs to his room. He toes off his shoes and manages to collapse onto the bed in a mostly-lying-down position, yanking the blankets around him. The blood rushes to his head and everything feels fuzzy and thick and sort of stuffy. The exertion of the week sinks in, and Martin crumples under the duvet, groaning.
Five flights, six deliveries, and it's not even Friday yet. Carolyn has neglected to pay him (again), and he's two months behind on rent as it is, not to mention the nearly empty cupboard and thread-bare closet that sorely need to be addressed. The throbbing in his head cranks up a bit, and he sits up to try and relive some of the pressure. He's starting to really not feel very well, but there's nothing he can do about it here, and there's no extra money to run to the store. Martin shivers, and briefly imagines the list of things he could really use. A hot bath and some soup sound extremely tempting, not to mention the tylenol his body needs desperately. Yet logic informs him that this is all impossible, simply because he can't afford luxuries like solid foods or medication, and he's just going to have to wait it out. As usual.
Exhaustion suddenly hits like a freight train, and Martin curls up The heat won't be back on for another three and a half days, so he might as well make do with body-heat for warmth. The clock has barley struck 4:30, but Martin falls asleep without another thought.
He wakes up about 11:00pm to the unpleasant sense of being extremely nauseous and sweaty. The sweaty aspect is coupled with a feverish ache that has consumed his whole body with a merciless intensity, but the chill from the fever temporarily overwhelms the need to puke. Martin shrinks into a tighter ball, breathing slowly through his mouth to try to ward off the nausea. In... out... He swallows tightly, but is eventually able to breathe a sigh of relief as his stomach settles. The achiness sets back in, but down to a dull throbbing around his temples that seems more manageable. Glancing over at the clock, Martin realizes he's been asleep for roughly six and half hours, and yet it's not even midnight. Odd. His room has most definitely gotten colder in that time (or maybe that's just the fever) but he decides that tea is probably a good idea. Something warm to defrost his body. He's pretty sure that there's at least one tea bag in the kitchen, if only he can find the willpower to actually get up.
Slowly, he climbs out of bed, limbs stiff and weak in the cold air. Martin drags the comforter with him downstairs, flicking on the light as he goes. He coughs in the stairwell- deep and barking and definitely a bit not good for someone stuck in a building that will probably drop below freezing in the next few hours- and tugs the lukewarm fabric tighter around himself. He must look pathetic. The film of sweat covering his body has essentially glued his clothing to his skin, and he finds that shivering is almost impossible to stop. Trembling as his feet hit the icy kitchen floor, Martin prods open the pantry and glances around. There is mercifully a single tea bag stowed on the top shelf, and Martin smiles vaguely at it and he deposits it into an empty mug. Filling up the kettle, he settles it onto the stove and turns the dial on the gas stove.
The stove remains stoic and silent, and Martin's stomach seems to churn in despair. No heat, no gas. No gas, no stove, which means that he will literally have no food for the next three days unless he goes out (with money he really doesn't have) and buys something warm. The tears are childish, he knows they are, but somehow the realization that he can't even have something as simple as tea, when he feels so awful and so cold and so alone- makes him want to scream. Turning away from the lifeless stove, he settles for a glass of tap water and a piece of bread and makes his way back upstairs. The coughing returns on the eighth step, and he clutches the wall in order to keep himself upright. Some of the water spills, and he gasps as it seeps into his t-shirt, sending goosebumps over every inch of inch body. Part of him wants to just curl up on the stairs and go back to sleep. Never in his life has he been so tired, and really it's probably warmer down here than it will be up in his attic anyway and he just hurts all over... Clumsily he drops down onto the carpeted step and nestles into his blanket. His body burns and his shirt is still unpleasantly damp with sweat and water, but he's really too exhausted to care. Choking back more tears, Martin curls into a ball and falls into a tenuous slumber.
He doesn't remember much about being ill when he was younger.
Frankly he doesn't remember much about his childhood period.
There are bits and pieces of it, birthday parties and school assignments and petty arguments with his siblings, but really they all end the same way. Disappointment. Failure. Rejection. He remembers in the fourth grade when they learned about probability- about luck- and how he'd always wished that someday his chances could work out the way he wanted them to, for once.
They never really did.
Certainly, he had MJN, and Douglas and Carolyn and Arthur, and so he had partially gotten his dream of being a pilot, but that was really it. He'd never had a real girlfriend, never been a part of his family the way he wished he could be. He'd always been a little too awkward, a little too looked-over.
Well he certainly was now- laying on the floor in an empty house with no where better to go and no one to call because there was no one to call. His mother was out of town, Simon was on vacation, and Caitlyn was always too preoccupied with her own life. Her own family. Anyway, it's not as though he would bother any of them anyway- it would just reinforce the idea that he was a burden. He was this great weight on the family, the failure of a son who couldn't take care of himself so he had to go and bleed everyone else dry, take everything from everyone. He briefly thinks of calling Douglas or Carolyn, but his mouth goes dry at the thought of explaining himself over the phone. He's already the helpless child, the butt of their jokes, and he doesn't need to lower himself any further by begging for help. Besides, he's just an employee. A co-worker. No one special.
The lump in Martin's throat expands, but he blames it all on the fever. It's all just because he's sick- overly sentimental. It doesn't really matter, anyways. Any of it. His shallow breathing turns to coughing, so fierce that he sees stars when it's over, leaving him clinging to the hand rail, breathless. When he cries, it is silent, and the house remains soundless aside from Martin's raspy breathing.
I feel seriously horrible about doing this to Martin, but I promise it will get better in the next chapter! Always love to hear feedback! I will work to update in the next few days. Thanks for reading. XOX Audrey