Adrenaline’s a funny sort of thing, Martin decides. It is uncalculated, spontaneous and impulsive; everything he isn’t. It makes him accomplish things he never thought he could be capable of. But in reality, he shouldn’t put it down to actual skill, but by his body’s instinctual need for survival.
He considers this vaguely, an obscure thought in his static mind as they fly back to Fitton. The mood is cheery, which it rightfully should be after Carolyn’s much deserved victory. His smile, however, is strained with every passing minute. The adrenaline is fading, dissolving in his skin like sugar on your tongue, sweet at first before it leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste.
Because the fact of the matter is, and he can’t seem to shake this from his mind, no matter how hard he tries, they nearly died today.
And he saved them. At least, he thinks that’s what happened. He’s not entirely sure, things are a little blurred at the moment.
But the idea of being so close to death, touching it almost, isn’t what numbs him to his core. No, he doesn’t particularly spare a thought towards his own untimely demise. It’s the idea of losing this. MJN air.
God what if they had-
What if I couldn’t-
Snatches of half formed thoughts bubble to the surface and sink hard into his skin. Martin finds himself staring listlessly, hands clenching hard, knuckled white. They itch insistently, his palms burning but he won’t scratch them- it would mean letting go of the consol.
No- god no- he can’t do that.
And it stays this way until they land, his heart palpitating wildly in his throat as they finally hit the runway smoothly.
He makes half formed, rushed excuses to stay onboard- No it’s fine, I’ll be happy to do the hoovering. No really it’s fine Arthur, I actually like it- ignoring, or missing completely, the slightly questioning glance from Carolyn, who certainly doesn’t protest and ushers Arthur off quickly.
Finally, alone, he allows his smile to crack and with absolute calm, he strides toward the toilet, unwilling to make a scene of his complete collapse, which follows shortly.
He’s at a loss to figure out why all of a sudden the shock has hit him. He did well didn’t he? Everything’s ok now. We’re fine. God we’re ok-
He doesn’t hear the door opening. Nor does he hear the concerned proclamation, or the sharp intake of air as his knees crumble. He can’t feel anything other than the dizzying rush of vertigo clouding his senses, rendering them fuzzy. He feels like he’s going to fall, and he does fall-
Is this what it feels like to die? Falling?
But he’s caught. He’s caught in someone’s arms, hauled up against a chest, who is it god it’s Douglas no no don’t he can’t see me like this no-
He can’t even breathe let alone protest, his legs failing, his body trembling as he sobs for breath, for purchase onto reality which seems so far at the moment. So far and unreachable.
But there’s a hand in his hair, and gentle strokes across his spine as he buries his head in the crook of the other man’s neck and suffocates on panic. He realises belatedly that he shouldn’t be doing this, that he should be embarrassed, that he’s supposed to be the Captain. But he can only feel the gentle puff of breath on his cheek and the soft lips against his temple and the gentle crooning to calm down.
Standing here, pressed so close to all he could have lost but didn’t, he chokes on two words. “We’re alive.”
And god, does he know it.A/N- Hoped you liked it. <3