Martin sprinted through Heathrow Airport desperately, clutching his hat to his head and praying that he would make it to the gate in time after waking up far too late thanks to the faulty alarm clock in the shabby hotel Carolyn had found for them at the cheapest price possible.
His frantic dash was cut short however by the sudden introduction of hot coffee to his face when he ran headlong into a woman fumbling with her bag, and he stopped short with a gasp of pain and surprise and startled indignation as his only wearable uniform was soaked through with dark brown liquid that he knew would never come out in the wash.
But somehow he could not find it in himself to stay angry when he looked into the horrified eyes that widened in shock and surprise as they met his own, and he found that all his pain had disappeared in an instant as she asked with genuine concern “Oh my God I’m so sorry, are you alright Captain?”
Three sentence fill for the request "Martin finally works up the courage to ask Molly for coffee".
Martin stared at his feet, swallowing hard and trying desperately to control the frantic thumping of his heart as his mind raced about in terrified circles, repeating Oh god I shouldn’t she’ll just say no, but I want to ask her, but she’ll say no, oh god oh god oh god what do I say oh GOD WHAT DO I SAY?
The silence grew as Molly looked at him with a puzzled smile on her face and absolutely no clue why the cute pilot was struggling for words - she personally felt like she would explode from excited anxiety just looking at him, but surely there was no reason for him to be nervous talking to boring old her.
Finally though Martin looked her in the face and with wide, panicked eyes and a voice that squeaked only slightly blurted out “Wannahavecoffeewithme?”, and when Molly eventually deciphered his rushed words she nearly passed out from shock before she could squeak out a happy “Yes”.
Fill for the request "The Cabin Crew crashes Martin and Molly's first date".
“Skip!” The excited shout rang through the evening air, and Martin sank into his chair with a groan. He would know that voice anywhere - God knows he had spent enough time listening to it while trapped in a tiny flight deck flying around the world. He had no idea how Arthur had managed to find him on his first date with the young woman he had met in the airport who was far too pretty for him, but he knew that this could only end in disaster.
Right on cue, Arthur bounced over to Martin and Molly’s table outside the restaurant that was going to cost Martin at least a month of extra van jobs. He was grinning from ear to ear, although truth be told that was not actually all that unusual an occurrence as “bright and happy smile” seemed to be his default expression. To his growing horror Martin saw that Carolyn and Douglas were trailing after Arthur at a more sedate pace, and a mischievous grin that made Martin sick to his stomach was growing on Douglas’ face at an alarming rate. Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no.
“Fancy seeing you here Skip!” Arthur chirped, apparently completely oblivious to the fact that he was clearly crashing a date. “And you’re here with a lady. Hi Skip’s lady!” Martin groaned quietly, wishing he could bury his head in his hands or sink into the floor or just disappear off the face of the earth. Unfortunately he could do none of those things, being forced to instead shrink into his chair as Douglas and Carolyn strolled over to the table and Arthur beamed at Molly without a care in the world.
“Yes Martin, fancy seeing you here indeed” Douglas drawled, obviously enjoying himself far too much for Martin’s well being. “I could be wrong, but I do believe you said you would be spending your twelve hours off “relaxing and sleeping”, or something along those lines.” His eyes flashed over to Molly, eyebrows darting up in surprise as he looked at her. That would at least be a bright spot in this disaster of an evening, Martin thought gloomily. They may have managed to ruin this date, but at least Douglas thinks she’s pretty.
But before Martin could hastily interject and try to save himself from further embarrassment, Molly smiled nervously at the three strangers standing around the table. “Um, hello, you must be the cabin crew that Martin was telling me about over dinner. My name’s Molly Hooper, it’s a pleasure to meet you all.” Martin was shocked. He had expected her to glare at him in frosty silence, to flounce away from the table, to do any of the other things that his other dates had done when he managed to embarrass himself. But instead she was taking it in stride, and smiling as she did so, even if her smile was the tiniest bit uncertain.
Maybe this evening won’t be a total disaster.
Three sentence fill for the request "Martin meets Molly's cat Toby".
“Are you ok?” Molly asked with concern as she watched Martin turn steadily more and more red in the face while Toby rubbed his body affectionately against his neck and face and purred like a tiny freight train.
Martin shifted uncomfortably on the couch, leaning away from Toby as if he were made of some horrendously hazardous material who’s very touch would destroy him - an assumption that would soon be proven correct if the swelling in his face was anything to go by.
Martin looked at Molly guiltily as he pushed Toby away with a gentle shove, answering with a voice that had gone even higher and more squeaky than usual “Well, um, I’m afraid that I may have forgotten to mention that I am slightly, well more than slightly, perhaps a lot allergic to cats.”
Fill for the request "Martin stands up to Sherlock for Molly".
“Yes Molly, thank you for that incredibly helpful suggestion but if you don’t mind I’d like to keep this discussion to the intelligent people in the room. Or as I like to think of it, me.”
Stunned silence filled the lab, deafening in its enormity. Even John seemed taken aback by Sherlock’s comment, staring at him with an open mouth as if he could not quite believe that Sherlock had gone that far. Tears began to well in Molly’s eyes and her lower lip trembled as she tried to keep control of her emotions in front of the man she had been trying so hard to impress. She had hoped that Martin would enjoy the tour of the hospital, would think she was wonderful and brilliant and accomplished just like she thought he was. But instead they had run into Sherlock and John working in the lab, and her hopeful and happy date had come to this. And once again Sherlock had been able to reduce her to a quivering mess with a single, careless comment.
But even before she could truly begin to cry, or form a pathetic response, or do anything to defend herself, Martin spoke quietly. “Apologize to her right now.” She looked over at him, startled out of her tears. Of all the things she had expected, this was not it. As much as she admired Martin, she knew that he was not a combative man and that confrontation was not something he excelled at. But here he was, puffing up his chest and flushing a dark angry red as he stared up at Sherlock with a frown on his face.
Sherlock looked just as startled as the rest of them, staring at Martin with wide eyes as if he were seeing him for the first time. Perhaps he was, since he had dismissed Martin with his usual disdain for anyone who was neither a dead body nor a criminal mastermind. But he certainly saw Martin now, there was no denying that. He looked at Martin for many long moments before nodding slightly. He turned back to Molly, and his words were quiet but sincere.
“I’m sorry, Molly. I didn’t mean it.”
Filled for the request "Martin and Molly go ice skating".
“Molly, I know you think this will be fun but I really don’t think that this is a very good idea. You know how I am.” Martin fumbled with the laces of his skates nervously, fingers even clumsier than usual in the frosty winter air as he tried to force the ice skates on without falling off the bench he was so precariously perched on.
Molly only giggled and gave him a quick peck on the cheek, her skates already neatly laced. She was flushed prettily pink from the cold, her cheeks practically glowing as she smiled at Martin as though she could not contain her happiness. She had been pestering him to go ice skating for weeks now, ignoring his vehement protests that it would only end in disaster by telling him that if five year olds could learn to skate, so could he. Martin definitely still had his doubts, but he had never been able to resist her pleading smiles for long and had finally relented. Which was how he had found himself at an outdoor skating rink in the middle of London, eyeing the ice as though it would devour him whole and praying that he would not embarrass himself too badly.
As it turns out, he did.
Twenty minutes and countless falls later, Martin felt like he had been transformed into one gigantic bruise. He had fallen nearly every time he tried to move forward, slipping and sliding on the ice with absolutely no control over his flailing limbs and unruly feet. Molly had been a trooper through the whole ordeal, trying her best to show him how to stay upright and even holding him up when he started to fall. He had pulled her down with him many times into a pile of confused and terrified limbs, and she had simply laughed through it all and helped him back to his feet. They were walking away from the rink now, Martin rubbing one of his many bruises and hoping that he wasn’t being laughed at too badly by the children who had watched him fall again and again.
“It’s alright Martin, everyone falls their fist time.” Molly reassured him, giving his hand a quick squeeze and a tender smile. Martin smiled back, the pain in his muscles melting away as he felt the warmth of her love washing over him. He had no idea how he could have possibly been so lucky to find her, to end up with such an amazing, kind, and loving woman who accepted him for all of his faults and all of his failings. She smiled again and leaned in close to his ear, her warm breath ghosting over his skin and making him shiver in the frosty air.
“Now let’s get you home so I can warm you up and make you forget about all those bruises.”
Maybe ice skating wasn’t so bad after all.
Three sentence fill for the request "Martin and Molly meet at a Baker Street Christmas party".
Martin trudged up the seventeen steps to the flat at 221B Baker Street full of the normal fear and trepidation and reluctance he usually experienced when entering an unknown social situation, this time doubled by the fact that Douglas was trailing on his heels to meet his half-brother Sherlock and all of his friends for Christmas drinks.
The flat was full of people happily drinking and chatting with each other, despite the obvious frostiness between Sherlock and Mycroft as usual, but even with the attention turned on him as he entered the room Martin found that he could not drag his eyes away from the woman flushed pink with the wine and he heat of the fireplace talking and laughing with Mrs. Hudson on the couch.
Her eyes sparkled in the flickering light as they darted over to Martin again and again, and he discovered as he he stared at her in open-mouthed amazement that even the worrying friendship that seemed to have sprung up between Sherlock and Douglas could not distract him from the warmth of her eyes or the flush in her cheeks or the gentle curve of the shy smile she sent in his direction over her glass of wine.
Three sentence fill for the request "Molly is the newest addition to the Cabin Crew".
“Oh, sorry, did I end up in the wrong place again?” Molly asked nervously, shifting uneasily from foot to foot as she stood in the aisle of GERTI and fiddled with her ill-fitting uniform with her eyes fixed on the floor.
Martin gaped at her, his face flushing a bright crimson to match his hair as he stared at the unexpectedly pretty woman standing in in his plane and struggled to find the words he so desperately wanted to say to her.
“Um, no, I, um I think you’re in exactly the right place miss - I’m uh Captain, er, Martin, er, Captain Crieff and it’s very nice to, um, meet you.”
Three sentence fill for the request "Kid!Martin and kid!Molly Hogwarts AU".
As if being shipped off to a new school with absolutely no friends and nothing familiar besides her fluffy cat Toby to keep her company wasn’t bad enough, Molly was now being forced to walk up to a rickety stool with reluctant steps in front of the entire school and have her mind read by a sentient hat that would soon decide the course of her entire life.
Her hands shook with fear as she sat on the stool and felt the too-large hat descend over her eyes, praying desperately and without the slightest hope of success that she would be placed in a house, any house, where she could make at least one real friend that would stick by her side and keep her safe from the dangers of this strange, intimidating new world.
When the hat shouted “RAVENCLAW!” with a smug tone and was lifted from her head, the first thing she saw in a Great Hall packed with excited children was the delighted grin of the skinny, red-haired boy she had waved shyly at on the train who had been sorted into the same house earlier that evening, and she thought that for once her wish might have just come true.
Written for the request "Martin and Molly, on their first Christmas together".
The flat was full of warmth, and laughter, and the rustle of wrapping paper being played with and pounced on by a large, fluffy, excited cat. Toby was having the time of his life batting around the scraps of paper and flutters of ribbon that were littered on the floor, and Martin and Molly were having just as good a time watching him as they sat together on the couch, curled up under a blanket and tangled together in a happy pile of limbs. The blanket was technically unnecessary thanks to the flickering warmth provided by the fire, but there was something about Christmas Eve that demanded cuddling under a blanket. It was probably a rule, somewhere.
The fact that the fire was even lit in the first place was something of a minor miracle, and one that Martin was immensely proud of. He had never lit a fire before - well, he had never successfully lit a fire before, and the one currently going had very nearly been nothing more than a pile of wood surrounded by crumpled paper and many spent matches. But by some skill he had not know he possessed the fire had roared into life just as he had been ready to give up, very nearly burning off his eyebrows in the process. But thankfully no airline pilots had been harmed in the making of the fire, and they had been able to open up their presents in the flickering light like two excited children.
The pile of presents under the somewhat shabby tree had not been especially large, of course. This Christmas was just for the two of them, and neither of them was able to afford much in the way of gifts. Martin had been scrimping and saving for months to be able to afford anything for Molly, but the lack of meals and extra van jobs had all been worth it to see the smile on her face as she opened the silver necklace with the tiny, anatomically correct heart charm. She had gotten him a gorgeously illustrated and hardbound book on vintage aeroplanes that he had very excited plans for reading later, as well as a new captain’s hat to replace his decidedly worn and battered one. She had giggled happily at his approving noises when he saw the amount of gold braid on the hat, and giggled even harder when he had perched it on her head with a kiss.
But now the evening was almost over, and all the presents were opened. All but one, that is. Martin had been saving this present for just the right moment, and this one with a happy and sleepy Molly curled in his arms could not have been more perfect. He nudged her gently with his elbow and told her quietly “I’ve got a surprise for you, Molls.”
She blinked in surprise, her confusion growing as he reached into the couch to pull out an envelope that he had hidden there earlier in the evening. Martin’s heart was thumping with nerves and excitement as she opened it, praying that his plan would go as he had envisioned. That hope faltered slightly as she looked at what was in the envelope with a slight frown. “It’s…a plane ticket?”
“Yes, it’s a plane ticket. For GERTI, for wherever you want to go.” She blinked in surprise, evidently still puzzled by the gift. “You’ve never been on GERTI before, and well I thought that, if you want, I could, you know, fly you somewhere. Anywhere. I asked Carolyn, with lots of begging and agreements to do horrible jobs for her of course, and she said I can take GERTI out by myself and take you with me. We’ll have the plane to ourselves, and you can sit in the flight deck with me, and pray that the CAA never finds out since that’ll break all kinds of laws, and well, we can even bring a picnic on the plane or something. If you want of course, I don’t know if that’s something that sounds fun to you but I thought that it might be a nice present - mmmph!”
The increasingly nervous babble was cut off by an elated kiss. It was indeed a very, very nice present.
Written for the request "Molly turns Martin on to the wonders that is Nutella and they spend a day making a game out of finding new and exciting things to pair it with!"
“What?” Molly absolutely could not believe what she was hearing. “How can you possibly have never had Nutella before?”
Martin shrugged slightly, looking decidedly less than impressed as he examined the jar sitting innocently on Molly’s kitchen counter. “I don’t know, I just haven’t. I don’t like chocolate that much, so I never bothered. Besides, it doesn’t exactly fit into the rice and bread budget. What’s so special about it anyway?”
Molly stared at him in disbelief. What was so special about Nutella? What was so special about breathing, or kittens, or rainbows? This faulty thinking needed to be fixed, and it needed to be fixed now. With a determined set to her shoulders she marched over to the drawer and pulled out a spoon, then whirled around to shove a spoonful of Nutella in his face. Martin leaned back slightly in surprise, looking down at the spoon dubiously.
“Try it.” Molly commanded, her voice brooking no argument. Martin hesitated, still thinking that the brown paste looked rather disgusting, actually, but Molly gestured with the spoon again and with a resigned sigh he stuck out his tongue and took the tiniest taste possible.
Thirty minutes later, the previously full jar of Nutella was over half empty and still disappearing fast. A small competition had developed between the two of them as they tried to find the best flavor combinations possible with the spare food Molly had lying around her kitchen. Molly was currently winning with strawberries, chocolate biscuits, and bananas, but Martin was close on her heels thanks to the ingenious mixture of peanut butter and Nutella swirled together on toast. He cast about on the counter desperately, looking for something else that would taste good with chocolate and hazlenuts and coming up empty. Just as he was considering the relative merits of hazelnutty chocolate spread on celery, a glimpse of Molly’s cheeks creased into a happy smile gave him a sudden, brilliant idea.
Moving quickly, he dipped his finger into the now nearly empty jar of Nutella and drew a line with it down Molly’s cheek. Her eyes widened in shock and her mouth fell open in startled indignation, but before she could speak he leaned over and licked the chocolate off, earning a soft “Oh!” in the process. He ran his tongue slowly across her skin, savoring the sweet taste of chocolate and the smoothness of her face and the delicate, comforting, wonderful scent that spoke of home, and happiness, and Molly. When he finally pulled away her cheeks had flushed a happy pink, and he grinned as he said thoughtfully “Hmm, Nutella and Molly - I think I win.”
She smiled at him in return, her grin edging from happy into wicked as she leaned in close to smear chocolate across his lips with her thumb and murmur “I think we’re going to need lots, lots more Nutella.”
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
"Pull up, pull up!"
"I can't, it's not working!"
"You're not doing it right! You have to pull up, or it's going to hit the ground!"
"Eek I can't I can't! Here, you take control!"
The plane stabilized, pulling up at the last possible moment and narrowly missing a fiery and catastrophic demise by mere seconds. Martin breathed a sigh of relief as he piloted the tiny plane back up to a safe and comfortable height, letting his heart beat slow back down to a normal rate and finally looking over at Molly with a smile. Her eyes were wide with amazement, and she was looking at him like he had just managed to stand on his head while reciting Shakespeare. It was nothing that complicated of course, just flying a plane.
"How did you do that?" she asked in awe, watching him closely in an attempt to understand what he was doing.
He shrugged, keeping one eye on the controls. "It's just practice, really. Hours and hours of practice, and anything becomes easy." Despite the careful nonchalance of his words, Martin's chest puffed up in pride to hear the amazed tone of Molly's voice. It felt good, more than good really, to have someone finally admire his skills as a pilot instead of mocking them, and the fact that it was Molly admiring him made it even better. A fierce glow of pride lit up in his chest as it usually did when he thought about Molly, and he smiled again at the slight flutter of happiness and excitement that bubbled up in him when she leaned in close.
"Could I try again?" Molly asked, her eyes determined. "I think I might do better this time."
"Of course love, you'll get the hang of the Flight Simulator eventually."
Written for the request "Martin and Molly play the Microsoft Flight Simulator".
Written for the request "The Cabin Crew crashes Martin and Molly's date". I may have gone a bit off track.
Is that...no. It can't be.
Douglas stopped dead in the middle of the sidewalk, his attention immediately stolen from the toy shop window he had been perusing for possible birthday presents by the impossible thing he was seeing. Because as important as finding just the right present for his daughter was, it was far less interesting than the scene currently going on at a table just inside the window of a cafe across the road. Douglas blinked twice, trying to clear his vision or his head or whatever it was that was making him hallucinate this, but the fact remained that Martin Crieff was sitting at a cafe table with a pretty young woman on what was unmistakably a date.
The woman really was quite pretty, in an unassuming sort of way. It would be easy for the casual passerby to overlook her, writing her off as plain or boring, but Douglas could tell with the long practice of a man who had loved many women that there was more to her than met the eye. His assumption was proved correct when she smiled and her whole face transformed, lighting up and nearly glowing with her happiness. She had the sort of smile that could melt a man's heart, and it was clear that Martin was already utterly lost. He was staring at her as though she hung the moon on a string, like he was the luckiest man on the planet, like he could not possibly believe that this was happening - in fact he kept glancing down at where their hands were tangled together on the table as if he needed reassurance that it wasn't just in his head.
Perhaps the strangest thing of all though was not the fact that Martin had somehow managed to trick a woman into going on a date with him, but the way this woman was acting. She did not look bored, or scornful, or even just politely interested in whatever Martin was saying. One look at her face and the shy, uncertain glances she was sending Martin's way, and Douglas could tell that she felt exactly the same as he did. And that was happily, giddily, stupidly in love.
Despite himself, Douglas felt a smile spread across his face as he watched the two of them giggle and smile at each other. This was possibly the most nauseating display of affection he had ever witnessed, the sugary sweetness of it all so thick that he felt like his teeth would fall out of his head if he watched much longer. But when the woman laughed at something Martin had said and his smile lit up the room, Douglas couldn't help but feel a warm glow in his chest that managed to melt even his cold, cynical heart just a bit. He remembered that feeling of dizzying young love, the headlong joy of finding someone who was perfect in every way and felt the same about you. It had been like that for him, once. Long ago, before fights and divorces and betrayal had dimmed the memories to the point of fading away. But if Martin, Martin, could find that sort of happiness then perhaps all was not lost. Even for a jaded old bastard like him.
Even as he stood smiling on the sidewalk like a fool, with a sudden glance out the window Martin spotted him. The grin slid right off Martin's face like water, immediately replaced by a look of growing horror as hours of endless teasing flashed through his brain. Douglas could see the terror in Martin's eyes, but although the possibilities for flustering and embarrassing the man on his date were truly delicious he did not walk over to the cafe. There would be another time to torment Martin, in fact there would never not be another time to torment Martin, so perhaps it was best to let this one lie. Douglas shook his head slightly with a small smile, then raised an eloquent eyebrow at the woman who had not yet noticed Martin's distraction. He gave a quick thumbs up, chuckling at Martin's confusion, and turned on his heel to walk briskly down the street singing quietly under his breath.
"When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie..."
Written for the request "Martin comforting an upset Molly".
The second the door opened, Martin knew something was wrong. He may not have been the best at reading facial expressions, or understanding how people were feeling, or dealing with complicated emotions in general, but even he could tell as he looked at Molly that something was very much not alright. Everything about her, from the slumped shoulders to the red eyes to the slight sniffle that served as his greeting told him that she was decidedly not ok.
The question was, of course, how to handle it. Crying women had never exactly been his strong suit, especially considering the fact that he had frequently been the cause of that crying with some horrendously awkward or unintentionally horrible thing he had said. A momentary flashback rooted him frozen to the spot, hysterical crying and yelling echoing in his mind as he tried to babble an apology and just make things right again. But the memory was gone again as soon as it arrived, still leaving Martin with no idea how to comfort his sniffly, upset girlfriend.
"Hi" Molly said quietly, keeping her eyes fixed on the ground and trembling slightly with the effort of not bursting into tears. Martin's chest hurt to see her like this, to see his perfect, wonderful Molly on the verge of crumbling when she should be smiling and happy. She continued to stare at the floor, here voice sinking down to a whisper. "Do you want to come in?"
"Um, sure. Hi." Martin edged into the flat, tiptoeing around Molly as though she were made of glass and would shatter at the slightest touch. That actually didn't look far off from the truth, but not knowing what on earth else to do he reached out an awkward hand to touch her shoulder. "Molls, are you ok? What's wrong?"
And with that simple question, the floodgates broke. Tears began to roll down her cheeks and her shoulders shook with sobs as she began to cry in earnest, burying her face in her hands as she stood helpless with her tears. Martin could not stand it, could not stand seeing her like this and feeling utterly powerless to help in any way. He grabbed her into a huge hug, wrapping her shaking body into his arms and allowing her to press her face into his shoulder and sob. She clung to him desperately as though he were the only thing keeping her standing, the only thing still solid in a world that had fallen apart. His jacket was nearly soaked through by the time her sobs began to subside and her shaking stilled, and she was still shaking when she pulled away from him.
"Sorry" she mumbled, wiping at her eyes with the sleeve of her jumper and refusing to look him in the eye.
"Don't be sorry, it's fine." He shifted uncomfortably, unsure how to proceed. "Do you, I don't know, do you want to talk about it?"
She shook her head quickly, her face flushing slightly. "It's silly, really, I'm sure you don't want to hear about it."
"Of course I do, tell me."
A long pause followed, and when she finally spoke it was with obvious reluctance. "It was just...just something Sherlock said today."
The very mention of that man's name was enough to put Martin on edge, and his whole body tensed as he asked quietly "What did he say?"
"He...he said," she paused, taking a deep breath and then rushing on in one hurried breath "he said that with the weight I've put on and the way I talk to people he was amazed I was even able to speak to a man, much less convince one to date me."
Silence fell, and Martin saw red. Rage more consuming than anything he had ever known flashed through him hot and strong, making his heart pound and his hands shake with its ferocity. "That, that bastard. How dare he speak to you like that, who the hell he think he is?" He practically spat out the last words, so angry that he could hardly see straight. "Why do you let him treat you like that Molly?"
She pulled away from him, saying in a tiny voice "I know I shouldn't let him get to me like that, and it wasn't even that big a deal, don't worry about it. I've made you angry acting so silly like this, I'm sorry -"
But before she could get any further Martin interrupted her in a voice more heated than any he had used in a long time. "No, I'm angry that he made you feel like that because it's absolutely not true. You are...God you are so wonderful and you don't even have any idea. You're smart, and you're kind, and you're so beautiful it makes me dizzy when I look at you, and you don't see any of that. You're the best thing to ever happen to me in my entire ridiculous life. God knows I don't have much - I don't have a nice car, or a nice house, or a nice job, but none of that matters. Because I have you. You're worth so much more than any of those things, and you are definitely worth more than what some sodding arsehole detective thinks of you. You are the only thing that really matters to me, and the only thing that I've ever been certain of in my entire life is that I love you."
The words fell out of his mouth before he even realized what he was saying, but there was no taking them back. The flat seemed to echo with the enormity of what he had just said, silence growing between them as Martin gaped in horror. He had meant it, of course. Every word had been true, as true as anything he had ever known in his entire life, but he had not wanted to say it for the first time like this. He had wanted to wait, wanted it to be sweet and perfect and at just the right moment. But before he could stammer out a retraction or apology, Molly launched herself at him to wrap him in an enormous hug.
"I love you too Martin" she whispered, tears rolling down her cheeks once more. As he kissed those happy tears away, Martin thought that he had never been more relieved to see a woman cry in his entire life.
Written for the request "Molly and Martin on a double date with Carolyn and Herc".
"Come out to the opera with us", Herc had said.
"Molly will love to see you in a suit", Herc had said.
"It will be fun", Herc had said.
Well, that just went to show how much Herc knew about anything. The man might be a successful, wealthy, handsome pilot with a long and illustrious career with women, but he obviously knew nothing about dates. Because if he did, he would never have suggested that Martin and Molly accompany him and Carolyn to the opera. The very idea of spending time with all those posh people in their fancy, expensive clothes and their obvious success was enough to send him into a blind panic. But one look at the excited smile on Molly's face and the happy gleam in her eyes at the mere mention of a night at the opera, and Martin had been lost. He could never say no to her when she was that happy, when her smile lit up the room and washed over him like warm sunshine to wash away his protests. So with a reluctant sigh he had agreed, resolutely trying to ignore the creeping feeling of dread that was building with every minute that brought him closer to the dreaded opera.
Getting dressed for the evening had been a disaster. He did not own a single jacket nice enough to be worn out of the house, much less seen by the type of people who would frequent the opera. After frantically digging through his closet for the third time and still coming up empty, he had been forced to resort to awkwardly knocking on the doors of the students downstairs to see if they had any clothes he could borrow. It was humiliating, really, to realize that a bunch of 20 year old students had nicer things than he did, but what else could he do? Finally, running late and wearing clothes that belonged to three different people, Martin ran out the door to pick Molly up.
He had known all along that she would look beautiful. Of course she would - she always looked beautiful, even when she was in her lab coat and smelling of formaldehyde and other chemicals that Martin couldn't begin to name. Even when Molly was adamant that she looked terrible, that she felt disgusting, that all she wanted was to sit around in her pyjamas and watch telly, Martin still thought she was beautiful. So by all rights he should have been prepared for the sight of her all dressed up for the opera, he really should have.
She was stunning. Absolutely stunning. Her floor-length dress hugged her gorgeous curves in ways that made Martin's pulse skyrocket, the dark purple complimenting her skin perfectly and making her nearly glow in the evening light. It was clear that she had spent hours on her hair, curling it and pinning it perfectly into place so that it fell in soft waves around her face and shoulders. Martin felt like he was going to faint, like he could barely breathe as he looked at the gorgeous creature he was lucky enough to call his girlfriend. She smiled cheekily at him and posed sarcastically with her hands on her hips. "So, what do you think? Am I fit to be seen in public?" she asked mischievously, clearly expecting a teasing reply.
"You're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen." It was probably not the most eloquent thing he could have said, or the most appropriate for the situation. But it was true, and it was certainly all he could manage when it felt like she had stolen his breath away. Judging from the blindingly happy smile that bloomed on her face however, it had probably been the correct thing to say.
The enthusiastic kiss that followed bore out that assumption entirely.
Written for the prompt "Carolyn gives Molly the "hurt him and I'll break you" speech".
"Miss Hooper, may I speak with you in private for a moment?" Carolyn's voice brooked no arguments, so after throwing a nervous look over at Martin and receiving a reassuring hand-squeeze in return, Molly squared her shoulders and followed the owner of MJN Airways into her office.
Carolyn indicated that Molly should sit in the somewhat rickety chair in front her desk with an imperious wave of her hand and eyed her coolly for several long moments, seemingly cataloging and weighing every nervous shift and movement that Molly made. Finally, when Molly felt like she would die from the awkwardness of the silent room, she spoke. "I know that you and Martin have not been together long, but I believe that these conversations are best had early on so everyone knows where they stand. Tell me, do you care for Martin?"
Molly stared at her in stunned silence with absolutely no idea how to respond. Of all the possible questions she could have gotten from the famed Carolyn Knapp-Shappey, this was the absolute last one she had been expecting. Why on earth did Carolyn care? From what Martin had told her, Carolyn cared about precisely two things: saving money by whatever means possible, and keeping GERTI in the air with bits of tape and string. But the older woman was staring at her expectantly, brows raised, so Molly cleared her throat nervously and answered "Um, yes, I suppose I do. I care for him a great deal, actually. Why do you ask?"
If Carolyn's voice had been hard before, when she spoke now it sounded tougher than iron. "Normally, I wouldn't care one fig what Martin does in his personal life - he is my employee and nothing more, and what he does when not on the clock is none of my business. But unfortunately his happiness seems to affect his job performance a great deal, and ever since he started seeing you, Miss Hooper, he has become, to all of our great surprise, happy. And that means he is flying better, dealing with passengers better, and all around being a better captain for me. I would naturally like this to continue, which means I must against my better judgement involve myself in his relationship with you." She paused, and when she spoke again her voice was deadly calm, and deadly serious. "So I must tell you now that if you hurt him in any way, I will break you. If you think I am kidding, ask my husband what happened to him after the last time he got drunk and yelled at Arthur when we were still married. Martin has become very important to me, and if anything happens to that boy, I will personally make sure that your life is a living hell. Do you understand?"
Molly had been sinking further and further into her seat as Carolyn's speech went on, until by the end she was nearly curled into a ball of absolute terror. She did not doubt the truth of Carolyn's words for one second, not after some of the stories Martin had told her about unruly passengers and the unfortunate consequences they had endured. With a terrified squeak she nodded, praying that was enough. Carolyn smiled at her, reminding Molly a great deal of a shark that had successfully cornered its helpless prey.
"Good!" she exclaimed happily, her voice bright and cheery once more. "Now, I do believe I stole you away from a tour of the airfield. Run along dear, I'm sure Martin is waiting for you outside."
Molly left the office as quickly as she could manage, hoping that it didn't look too much like she was running for her life.
The ring box was a solid weight in his pocket, a constant and pressing reminder of the absolutely insane thing that he was about to do. It had been sitting there for hours now, weighing him down with the enormity of its presence and its significance. Martin touched his pocket again for the thousandth time, a quick brush of fingers against the lump of the ring box just to check that yes, it was still there and yes, this was really happening. He really was about to propose to Molly, and he felt like he was going to pass out.
His distraction had been showing all evening, so much so that Molly had finally noticed and was beginning to look suspicious. This date wasn't going well at all, not with the way he kept fidgeting and forgetting what he was saying in the middle of the conversation because of the nerves that threatened to swallow him whole. Even this walk through the park after dinner wasn't going as planned thanks to his sweaty hands and distracted stammering as they talked. Finally though he spotted the rose bush he had scouted out the day before, and his heart began to pound in earnest as he slowed them to a stop. It was now, or never.
Nothing for it then. With trembling fingers he reached into his pocket and pulled out the ring that he had saved up for over six months to afford, a ring that was not nearly as elegant or beautiful or impressive as he had wished. He had wanted to buy Molly a ring as gorgeous as she was, one that she could show the world with pride and joy. But this was all he could afford, so it would have to do. He sank slowly down onto one knee, holding the box up with hands that shook only slightly with terror.
"Molly, I know that things haven't always been easy for us. I'm not the ideal man for you, I'm not even the idea man for anyone really, but I love you. I love you more than anything in the whole world, more than flying, or aeroplanes, or...anything. I can't promise you much, hell I can't even buy you a ring as nice as you deserve because you deserve the most beautiful ring in the entire world and all I could get you was this. But I can promise that I will love you for the rest of my life, with all of my being. If you'll have me that is. Will you? Marry me, I mean?"
The speech he had practiced a thousand times in front of the mirror came out all in a jumbled rush, and his face was burning with shame by the time he finished. This wasn't right at all - this was nothing like he had imagined or dreamed or planned, and she was certainly not going to say yes now. Not with a terrible proposal like that, not with a horrible ring like that, not to a man who couldn't even string together the most important question of his entire life. Now you've done it Martin, that was terrible, absolutely terrible, there's no way she'll say yes now especially with the awful ring you bought why would she ever want to marry a clot like you? She deserves better, so much better than what you can give her why on earth did you ever think this was a good idea?
Molly was staring at him with her mouth hanging open and eyes wider than he had ever seen them, frozen still in shock. Or perhaps horror, Martin could not tell. But just as it felt like his heart would explode from terror and disappointment and crushing defeat, he saw it. He saw the sparkle of tears in her eyes, the disbelieving smile slowly spreading over her face, the shaking of her hands as she stared at the ring he was still holding up with trembling hands of his own. She wasn't horrified. She was happy.
"Martin, I" she whispered, her voice quavering with the tears that were beginning to spill down her cheeks. She clapped her hands over her mouth, overcome by emotion and unable to continue. "I..." she began again, only to trail off once more in tears.
"Molly?" His heart was thumping erratically and painfully in his chest, and it felt like the whole world was standing still as he waited for her reply. "Your answer, is it, is it - " But she interrupted him with a laugh full of tears and disbelief and delirious joy.
"Yes. Of course it's yes, why would it be anything but yes?"
As he slid the ring onto her finger with hands shaking with happiness and relief and a hundred other emotions he could not name, he felt tears of his own spring to his eyes and for once he was not ashamed. And when he pulled his beautiful fiancee into his arms and kissed her under a star-filled sky, for the first time (but certainly not the last) he thought that yes, he was absolutely the luckiest man in the entire world.
Three sentence fill for the prompt "Molly telling Martin she's pregnant".
"Martin?" Molly whispered as they lay tangled together in the early morning light, soaking up each other's presence and reveling in the peace of quiet togetherness before the demands of the day tore them apart once more.
"Yes love?" he asked quietly in response, drawing lazy circles on his wife's arm with his finger and watching the dappled light of the sun that filtered through the trees out side slide slowly across the skin of her stomach, turning it to glowing gold.
When she did not respond right away he looked up at her face, catching the sparkle of tears in her eyes and the happy smile spreading across her face like the rising sun filling their bedroom as she said with a voice trembling with happiness "We're going to have a baby."
Written for the prompt "Martin finding out Molly helped Sherlock fake his death".
Martin did his best not to mention Sherlock Holmes around Molly. It was a delicate subject to say the least, and one that he was not keen to bring up lest she be reminded of every unpleasant thing that had happened with the man. It had taken her nearly three months of dating until she had been comfortable enough to tell him about her past feelings for Sherlock, and not long after came the scandal that revealed the great detective to be nothing more than an elaborate fraud. Martin had done his best to leave the topic alone, carefully avoiding the topic of Sherlock's suicide and the fact that the man she had adored for so long was not at all what he had seemed. They hadn't been dating very long, after all, and the last thing he wanted was to mess it up now.
That was why when the news had started discussing the ongoing investigation into Sherlock and his elaborate scheme as they sat together on the couch, Martin began to shift uncomfortably and throw nervous glances sideways glance over at Molly. He considered reaching for the remote to change the channel, but that seemed too obvious. Should I say something? he wondered frantically to himself as the news report droned on and Molly stayed silent, his pulse increasing exponentially with every moment that passed. What if I say something and she doesn't want to talk about it? Or what if she thinks I'm jealous and gets mad? What if I am jealous? Am I a bad boyfriend? Oh god the silence is getting really awkward now I don't know what to say oh god oh god oh god.
"Um, Molly? Is this ok?" he asked quietly, dancing around the subject as if it were a bomb primed and ready to explode. Molly looked at him in confusion and he swallowed heavily. "The news I mean, is it ok? Do you want me to, I don't know, change the channel?"
Her face remained blank as she stared at him, until finally she blinked as though she had just understood what he was getting at. "Oh, you mean because of the thing about Sherlock?" He pulled back slightly at the mention of his name, expecting tears, or yelling, or anything really, and instead getting nothing. This was...odd to say the least. "No, I'm fine. Thank you though." The last bit was added as an apparent afterthought, and she patted his knee encouragingly with a smile.
What? "Oh, ok. Sorry." He could feel his face flushing in embarrassment for even bringing it up in the first place, but confusion and curiosity soon won out over shame. "Sorry, but why aren't you upset? I mean, I don't want you to be upset of course, that'd be terrible, I just thought that, you know, you would be. Upset. About, well," he gestured at the television with one hand in hopes that it would suffice, "that."
After several moments of silence so deafening Martin felt like his head would explode, Molly slowly reached over to the remote and turned off the television. When she finally looked at him again, her eyes were full of worry and anxiety that made his stomach fall somewhere into the vicinity of his shoes. The delicate hand she placed over his and the hushed tone of her voice didn't exactly help him feel much better either. "Martin, I have something to tell you, and I really don't think you're going to like it."
Part 2 of "Martin finds out Molly helped Sherlock fake his death".
Martin felt like he’d been punched in the chest. Not that he’d ever actually been punched in the chest, mind you. He had done his level best as a child to avoid people who were bigger and stronger than him (or as he liked to think of it, everyone), and he had done a very good job of keeping out of the way of anyone who would be so inclined to punch him (or as he liked to think of it, most everyone). But he imagined that what he was feeling right now was very much like having a fist connect with his ribcage and knock all the air straight out of his lungs. He simply could not believe what he was hearing. It didn’t make sense, but Molly was telling him this and Molly never lied.
Or apparently, as it turns out, she did.
“You…you helped Sherlock Holmes fake his death?” he asked in a daze for what was probably the fifth time. But he felt that he had every right to be this confused, because this was probably the strangest and most unnerving conversation he’d had in his entire life. Molly, his Molly, his sweet, innocent, loving Molly that loved cats and fluffy jumpers and got flustered when speaking to someone she didn’t know - she had helped create a conspiracy to fake the death of Sherlock Holmes?
She shifted uncomfortably on the couch, refusing to look him in the eye. “Yes.”
“But, but, but how? And why?” It felt like his brain was stuck on repeat, stuttering again and again over the same few questions.
“Because he needed me.” She said it like it was the simplest, most obvious thing in the world, like there was no other possible answer to that question. When she finally looked up to meet his eyes, her face was open and pleading, begging him to understand. “He was all alone, Martin, and he was so afraid.Sherlock was afraid. He needed someone to help him, so I did. How could I not?”
Of course. In all the time that Martin had known her, Molly had not once turned down a request for help from someone who needed it, not even when it cost her more than it should. Not even when it involved undoubtedly breaking several laws and lying to the world, it seemed.
Something was still bothering him though - actually several things were still bothering him, but one thing was in the forefront of his mind and making him deeply uncomfortable as he considered it. “But Molly,” he began slowly, unsure how to phrase this properly, “what about, you know, what all the papers said? How do you know that he was, um, telling you the truth? There was all that stuff about him being a fraud, and making up the cases, and that Richard Brooke he hired -“
Molly interrupted him suddenly, eyes blazing with a fierceness he had never seen from her before. “No. Listen, all of that stuff the papers said, all of it, was utter rubbish. I know Sherlock, I’ve seen him work and deduce and do all the stuff he does, and he’s real. 100% real. And Richard Brooke doesn’t even exist. Moriarty was real, I met him. I even dated him for a little while, and the person he was pretending to be then was just as fake as Richard Brooke.”
If before Martin had felt like he’d been punched in the stomach, he now felt like he’d also been kicked in the face and left on the ground to roll around in pain and utter disbelief. Molly had dated James Moriarty? The man who, if she was correct in her assertions, was undoubtedly the most dangerous criminal mastermind in the world? He could feel that his mouth was hanging open in shock as he stared at a girlfriend he suddenly felt like he hardly knew, but he couldn’t think of a single thing to say. Before he could regain his equilibrium however Molly had reached over to put a hand on his knee and was looking at him once more with pleading eyes.
“Martin, you can’t tell this to anyone. No one else knows that Sherlock’s alive, not his brother, not John, no one. So you can’t tell a single soul, do you understand? It would ruin everything, it would put him in so much danger and I wouldn’t be able to bear that.”
Martin swallowed heavily, at a complete loss for what to say. The idea of holding such a monumental secret terrified him, but what could he do? He couldn’t say no to Molly, not when she was looking at him like that and practically begging him to trust her and help her. Reluctantly, he nodded. “Alright. I still don’t understand, but I won’t tell anyone. I promise.” She threw her arms around him with a happy squeak, and as he hugged her back Martin couldn’t help but wonder what the hell he had just gotten himself mixed up in.
Written for the prompt "First snowfall".
The first snow of the year drifted peacefully from the blackened sky down to earth, coating the ground with a delicate layer of fresh powder and blanketing the city in muffled silence. It was as though London had ground to a halt, ceasing to bustle and hum with life for just a moment to stop and look in shared wonder at the flakes floating gently down and transforming the familiar world into something new and wonderful.
Martin hated it. He glared at the snow falling outside the window of Molly’s flat as though it had deliberately wronged him, as though it were a direct reproach on his entire life and a personal insult directed solely at him. The first snow of the year always put him in the foulest of moods, a distemper that nothing could break until the weather warmed up once more. He always blamed it on the travel conditions, on the fact that flying was made infinitely more difficult by the snow flurries that seemed to spring out of nowhere to strand him in foreign countries with no way to get home, but deep down he knew those were just excuses. In reality, he hated the snow because he could never, ever get warm.
He certainly was never warm at home. His little attic flat had about as much insulation as you would expect in a space that was never designed for someone to live in, and the drafts that roared through there in the night were enough to freeze him to the bone. Even the little space heater he had scrimped and saved to afford could not keep him from shivering uncontrollably as he huddled in his bed under every blanket in his possession, watching his breath puff out in front of him and hating every second of it. He fled the attic at every opportunity, taking extra van jobs and staying late at the airfield just so he could be somewhere with efficient heating. Carolyn probably suspected, of course. But what else could he do? It was either suffer the humiliation of Carolyn’s pity, or freeze.
This year’s first snowfall had proven to be a bit better so far at least. This year, he was not stuck in his drafty attic wearing every coat and jumper he owned in an attempt to retain body heat and not shiver so hard it rattled his very bones. This year, he was lucky enough to be snug and warm inside his girlfriend’s flat, watching the snow fall down outside a window that was warmly insulated and not allowing every breeze and gust to blow in. But still, even in this cozy environment, he could not shake his discontent. The remembered cold, the memory of countless winter nights spent alone and freezing, kept him angry and unhappy as he glared out the window.
“Martin, are you coming to bed?” Molly called softly from where she lay curled up in a nest of blankets, half asleep already and perfectly content as she dozed. She of course had no such instinctual dislike of the snow, viewing the first snowfall of the year as something to be celebrated instead of anticipated with sickening dread. She had tried to convince him to go out for a walk when the first flakes had started falling, utterly unable to see why he wanted nothing to do with snowmen or hot chocolate or anything at all to do with the cold.
“On my way, love” he answered quietly, casting one last glace out the frosted window to a world that had turned white before his eyes. One last shiver ran through him, a remnant of years past spent in frozen misery. But as he crawled into a bed warmed by a sleepy and loving woman that welcomed him with open arms, he found that the memories of cold and desperation began to melt away like the spring thaw he so looked forward to every year. What did it matter if the snow piled up outside the walls of this flat? He was safe, he was warm, and he was loved by Molly Hooper. Winter held no threat for him now.
Written for the request "Martin coming home to Molly after St. Petersburg".
The last two days had been some of the longest of Molly’s entire life. Nothing made the time pass more slowly than constantly casting glances at a mobile for new messages or watching every single tick of the clock, and yet she could not stop herself from doing just that. It was like a compulsion, one she could not possibly fight as she sat in her empty flat and fidgeted and waited for Martin to finally come back home.
She had thought that she was used to the long trips by now, or at least as used to them as she was ever going to be. It was never going to be fun to have her boyfriend off in other countries more often than he was home, but at least the flights were usually only one or two days at the most. She could handle that. But this journey to St. Petersburg had already been scheduled to be longer than most even before the birdstrike that had stranded the crew halfway around the world. Two days later, and Martin was still not home, leaving Molly nervous and anxious and sitting here checking the clock every minute as though it would speed the passage of time along. The hurried and entirely uninformative text she had received from Martin saying they were on their way home had not helped matters in the slightest, and the lack of information was driving her mad.
Finally though, just when she was nearly ready to drive down to the Fitton airfield herself and start demanding answers about the fate of the aircraft, the sound of a key in the front door made her nearly jump out of her skin. She whirled around just in time to see Martin stride through the door with a jaunty spring in his step, a pair of brand new Aviators perched on his head, and a smile so big it threatened to crack his face in two. Before she could greet him, or express her surprise to see him, or do anything at all, he had dropped his flight bag in the hall and rushed over to sweep her into an enormous hug.
A squeak of surprise escaped her as he wrapped his arms around her, squeezing tight and lifting her off the ground with his enthusiasm. "I'm so glad to see you, love" he murmured quietly in her ear as he held her close, his breath warm on her cheek and his body pressed tight to hers. The tension she had not even realized she was holding began to drain from her body the moment Martin hugged her, and she closed her eyes to savor his presence. With a sudden movement though his lips were on hers, and before long she was losing herself in a kiss more passionate than any she had shared with him before. It left her delirious and dizzy with sensation, but far sooner than she liked he was pulling away with a huffed out laugh and a smile.
"What on earth has gotten into you?" she asked with a laugh, breathless from kisses and the overwhelming joy that was spilling out of him. She had never seen him like this before, so full of confidence and happiness and pride that he nearly glowed as he beamed a huge smile at her.
He grinned and tweaked her nose gently, chuckling at her indignant mewl of protest. "I don't know, I guess I'm just feeling confident today," he answered teasingly. He leaned over for another quick kiss, and when he pulled away Molly could see that his smile had turned mischievous and his eyes were lit with promise. "Now Miss Hooper," he said in a voice like she had never heard from him before that made her tremble with sudden desire, "I have so much to tell you about my trip to St. Petersburg, but first there is the rather more pressing issue of just how much I missed you. What do you think we can do about that?"
Whatever had happened to keep him in St. Petersburg, it would have to wait until later. But when she did find out what it was that put Martin in this mood, Molly was certainly going to make sure that it happened again. Frequently.
(art by lexieken)
Three sentence fill for the request "One teaching the other to play an instrument".
"No, you have to keep your fingers curled like this, and your wrists straight like this" Molly repeated as she laid her hands over Martin's in an attempt to keep them in the proper position on the keys of the old and battered upright piano she had shoved into a corner of her flat.
The attempt to teach Martin how to play even the most basic song on the piano had been hopeless so far, his fingers getting constantly tangled up in each other and losing their positions on the keys time and time again as he banged away without any discernible rhythm, style, or grace.
"Listen Molly, I really don't think I'm going to get the hang of this" he sighed as pathetically as he could manage, doing his best not to smile at the happy warmth that filled him as she put her arms around him again to cover his hands with hers once more.
(art by lexieken)
Written for the request "Martin and Molly fooling around in the lab".
"But what if someone finds us?"
"Don't be silly, no one is ever here this late. Trust me."
"Martin, just shut up and kiss me."
Any further protests were swallowed up by frantic, hurried kisses in the darkness of the empty lab. Martin absolutely could not believe that Molly had convinced him to do this - being caught snogging in a public place was not on his list of things he ever wanted to do, and yet here he was being pushed up against against a table by his girlfriend and kissing her in the dark like a guilty teenager. Every noise made him jump and start in fear, and he was convinced that at any second now a doctor or some other very impressive person would come into the lab and catch them. But it was becoming increasingly difficult to concentrate on his worries as Molly's lips slid over his, and her hands roamed hungrily across his back, and her soft body pressed against him with eager excitement. In fact, the longer they kissed and the more heated their movements became, the more likely it was that they were going to move on from simply snogging like teenagers into something far more embarrassing.
But before things could progress any further, the worst happened. The door of the lab banged open with a deafening slam and the lights were thrown on, causing Molly to jump back like a frightened rabbit and Martin to blink in confusion and horror. Because of all the people who could have possibly walked into the lab at that moment, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson were absolutely the last people he wanted to see right now. He could feel the blood rushing to his face with dizzying speed as Sherlock's impassive eyes swept across the two of them, taking in every piece of rumpled clothing and mussed hair that could only lead to one conclusion.
Oh, no, no no no.
Even John was smirking as he looked at the two of them, and Martin felt like he was going to melt into a puddle of mortification and shame. He tried to think of something, anything to say to break the awkward tension, but words simply would not come and he was left gaping and horrified with a face as red as his hair. Finally, after a moment of utter silence that felt as though it would last a lifetime, Sherlock simply rolled his eyes and turned on his heel to leave the room. As Martin continued to gape, John flashed him a quick wink and a thumbs up before turning to follow Sherlock. Before he left the room completely however, he paused and stuck his head back through the door.
"You know, you might want to try the conference room down the hall. Sherlock and I have found that no one ever uses it after five."
(art by lexieken)
Written for the request "Molly standing up to Douglas for Martin".
"Yes Martin, we all know what a wonderfully talented and successful pilot you are as you have managed to become the only captain in the skies who flies for free because you can't convince anyone to pay you. Now as I was saying, I have control of the plane for the landing because I will manage to land her in one piece."
The silence in the flight deck was so absolute and so deafening that even the faint noises made by Arthur as he banged around the back of the plane were loud and clear over the hum of the engines. No one moved, no one spoke, no one even breathed in the tiny cockpit of the plane as they all reeled from the caustic derision in Douglas' words. Martin could not believe what he'd just heard. Douglas, the man he had called his friend and trusted with one of the most shameful facts about his entire life, had just spilled out the truth in the most hurtful manner possible in front of his new girlfriend Molly. The one he had been so very in awe of the fact that he was a pilot, the one who had begged to come on a flight with him even if it was somewhere boring. The one he had been trying to impress by not only bringing her along on a flight, but by sneaking her into the flight deck despite every law and regulation screaming in his brain that he could not. And now it was all ruined, thanks to Douglas.
Martin had been able to tell the moment he got to work that Douglas was not in a good mood today. His First Officer's biting sense of humor was normally tempered with an even-handed charm that came from a mild temper and a profound ability to not give a damn, but today was different. Today was the day that his divorce from Helena had been finalized, and that meant that all bets were off. Douglas had been sniping cruelly at everything and everyone within reach, even Arthur, which had earned him a stern talking-to from Carolyn and a warning to just shut up and fly the plane already. But when Martin, in a bout of rare self-confidence and eagerness to show off for Molly had insisted on landing the plane himself despite the tricky weather conditions, Douglas had snapped. And now Martin felt like he wanted to melt through the floorboards of the plane and disappear forever out of the sight of the woman he had wanted to impress more than anything and now certainly never would.
But before Martin could stammer out a protest or half-formed rebuttal, Molly spoke in a quiet voice that cut through the tension and anger of the cockpit like a knife. "Douglas, how dare you speak to Martin like that."
For the second time that day, and perhaps only the second time ever, shocked silence filled the flight deck. Both men turned to gape at Molly where she sat in Arthur's usual seat, arms crossed defiantly and brows knitted in frustration and anger. She was not happy.
"I beg your pardon?" Douglas asked smoothly, the evenness of his voice obviously hard-won against the surprise of having a woman he barely knew reprimand him for how he spoke to Martin.
But when Molly spoke again, her words were firm and it was clear that she was not going to back down any time soon. "You had no reason to say that, and no reason to be that cruel. I don't care what kind of bad day you're having, there's no call for that. Martin is a wonderful pilot and you know it, so apologize to him right now."
Martin's jaw felt like it was going to make a permanent home for itself on the floor as he stared at Molly, unable to believe what he was hearing. He had thought that she would laugh at him, would be disgusted by how pathetic he was for not being paid to fly, would possibly even join in with Douglas in mocking him. But as he looked at her now, glaring at Douglas defiantly and expectantly, he knew with absolute certainty that he had been horrendously wrong in his estimation of her. Molly Hooper was not a woman who would ever do such a thing, and a glow of pride and happiness so intense it nearly knocked him flat exploded in his chest as he realized just what a lucky man he truly was.
Douglas blinked slowly, clearly weighing his options and debating whether or not it was worth the trouble of continuing this argument. But after only a moment of hesitation he turned to Martin and said with genuine sounding remorse, "I'm sorry, Martin. That was quite rude and uncalled for, and I apologize."
Martin could only gape some more with a mouth that seemed permanently stuck in the wide open position, but Molly simply clapped her hands together and said briskly, "Good. Now, I think I heard my boyfriend say he was going to land the plane? That sounds like something I'd love to see, if you wouldn't mind too much."
Three sentence fill for the prompt "Tickling"
There were a few days that Martin would always remember as the happiest and most fortunate of his entire life: the day he had finally passed the CPL exam, the afternoon when he was hired at MJN Air, the night Molly had first kissed him on her doorstop, and most recently, the afternoon he had discovered that Molly was ticklish.
Upon first consideration that particular moment did not seem to fit in with the others of course - learning that you could make your girlfriend double over with laughter whenever you wanted did not have quite the same gravitas or emotional significance as a first kiss or finally passing the most important test of your entire life.
But at moments like this, when he had Molly curled up in his arms on the couch in a ball of breathless, happy, helpless laughter as he danced his fingers under her ribs and joined her in laughter that erased all troubles and worries and problems, he couldn't help but think that there really was something to be said for the joy brought by quiet moments and simple pleasures like this.
Three sentence fill for the prompt "Dancing".
"I really, really don't think this is a good idea" Martin shouted over the thumping of the bass and the noise of the crowd, leaning in close to Molly both to make himself heard and out necessity to avoid being knocked over as he was pushed and jostled every which way by people moving on and off the dance floor.
She simply smiled at him in reply and grabbed his wrist to pull him into the crowd of moving bodies, pulling him along until they finally reached a space clear enough for her to slide alongside him, wrap her arms around her shoulders, and begin to dance in time with the pounding, humming, throbbing beat of the music.
And in that instant all his worries about humiliating himself in front of a crowd of people he didn't know, about making a fool of himself in front of Molly, about feeling so radically out of place in this bar that it was as though he had a neon sign over his head vanished in an instant and were replaced with only the feel of her body against his, the swaying movement of the beat, and the fervent thought that they were definitely going to need to come dancing more often.
There were a few things that Martin Crieff knew with absolute certainty to be true about himself. For one thing, he knew that he had been put on this earth to fly aeroplanes for a living. For another, he knew that he was not very good at it, and that he would never, ever give up. And he knew with a conviction that came from years of hard-won experience and endless crippling embarrassment that he was one of the least photogenic people on the planet.
School photos had always been a disaster, and family photographs just as bad. His mother had long ago despaired of ever obtaining a decent picture of him, instead settling for the one in which his hair was the least out of control, he was only squinting rather than blinking, and he looked the least panicked to have a camera shoved in his face. Every single time he had tried to change something or make himself even a tiny bit presentable for a picture had resulted in a disappointed sigh and a murmured "Well, it'll do", leaving Martin with a strong aversion to cameras and absolutely no desire to humiliate himself by means of photograph once more.
So when Arthur whipped out his camera to commemorate MJN Air's first ever pub night, Martin had nearly thrown himself off of his chair to avoid being caught in the crosshairs. The last thing he wanted was to have Douglas or Carolyn see one of the ridiculous faces he always managed to pull in a picture, thereby giving them a means of blackmail and torment he would never, ever be able to take back. Molly shot him a look that clearly asked "What on earth are you doing?" as he tried frantically to scoot away without looking like he was hiding, an effort he was failing at tremendously. She was handling this whole "night out" affair much better than he was, fitting into the group with surprising ease as she told Arthur silly stories about Toby, fired quips back at Douglas, and commiserated with Herc about the difficulties of dragging your partner out to events they didn't want to attend. But to his absolute horror, every eye was now fixed on him as he tried to shy away from the camera like a frightened animal.
"Come on Skip, don't you want to take a picture?" Arthur asked, completely oblivious as usual to Martin's distress. He waved the camera slightly, grinning broadly as though he could not possibly imagine why anyone wouldn't want to be in a picture - although to be fair that was probably true.
"No, er, I don't really like having my picture taken" he mumbled, praying that Arthur would just drop it and move on, and absolutely certain that he could never be so lucky.
Douglas was looking at him with that gleam in his eye that always spelled trouble, and he asked in perfect innocence that Martin knew was an utter lie "What, a dashing young Captain like you doesn't want a picture with his pretty girlfriend? Perish the thought."
Blood rushing to his face with alarming speed, Martin looked around desperately for any way out of this situation. But he was stuck. There was no way he could excuse himself from the table now, and everyone was watching him expectantly with expressions ranging from puzzled to amused. He cast one last look at Molly for help, and knew he was doomed. Because Molly was simply smiling at him in that particular way she had that warmed him through and reassured him and made him breathless with happiness all at once. She wouldn't force him to take the picture if he didn't want to, but he could tell just by looking at her just how badly she wanted a picture with him and how much it would mean to her for him to try. With sinking heart and growing dread, he sighed heavily and succumbed. "Oh, fine. It'll be terrible though."
Molly smiled happily and pecked him on the cheek, then leaned over close to press up against him. The feeling of her warmth against his side gave him a sudden idea that had the potential to make this whole picture fiasco at least a little bit worth it, and with an uncharacteristic burst of spontaneity he snaked his arms around Molly's waist to pull her into his lap. If he was going to be humiliated in front of all his friends, he might as well have something to cling to for support and Molly was better than anything when he needed comfort. Molly squeaked in surprise and threw her arms around his neck for balance, giggling happily as she steadied herself and snuggled in close. Before Martin had a chance to worry about the impending picture the camera flashed, and it was over.
Arthur checked the display of the camera and said cheerily, "Let's see - oh Skip, it's brilliant! You look great!" He passed the camera over, and Martin braced himself to see a picture that was definitely going to be far less than brilliant. But when he saw the screen, his breath caught.
He looked good. No, he didn't just look good. He looked happy, practically glowing with it as he held Molly and smiled like he was the luckiest man in the entire world. Like many of his other pictures he wasn't looking at the camera, but this time he was looking at Molly while she glanced over at the camera for the both of them with a happy grin on her face, and the effect was positively charming. The picture practically radiated joy, and contended togetherness, and love. Martin could feel his mouth hanging open as he stared at the picture, and he swallowed hurriedly to try and regain some composure. "I, uh, wow. That is a nice picture. Wow." Molly giggled at his stammers and leaned over to leave a delicate kiss on his rapidly reddening cheek. She didn't seem in any hurry to leave his lap, and as Martin handed the camera back over to Arthur he made a mental note to get an appropriately nice frame for the only good picture he had ever taken.
(Story inspired by the fabulous artwork of lexieken)
Written for the request of Sherlock giving Martin the "hurt her and we'll kill you" speech.
This hospital seemed to go on forever with its endless corridors and stairwells, and at this point Martin was fairly sure that he would die in here long before he ever found Molly or her mysterious office. She had given him very explicit instructions on how to get there, but somewhere around the fourth left turn and the fifth second door on the right he had completely lost all concept of where he was or whether or not he was even still in St. Barts at all. It was a cruel irony that a pilot would have such a terrible sense of direction when not in an aeroplane, but after all "cruel irony" really was the best way to describe his life so there wasn't much surprise there.
But with a sudden flash of recognition Martin realized that he in fact knew where he was, even if it was only vaguely. But a vague hope was better than no hope, and perhaps he would be able to find someone who could finally point him in the right direction. But when he poked his head into what turned out to be a scientific laboratory that Molly had shown him on their brief tour of the hospital a few weeks ago, he was disappointed to see that his missing girlfriend was nowhere to be found. The lab was occupied however, and the two men sitting at the desk inside looked up at him sharply with an intensity that made him draw back slightly.
"Oh, um, sorry." The burning concentration in the gaze of the tall, pale man sitting at the microscope was enough to make him want to back right out of the room into the hallway again, but as that would only keep him lost and away from Molly he steeled himself to enter the room fully. With a nervous cough he looked over at the shorter man who seemed to be the less intimidating of the two and asked timidly "I just - sorry but do you know someone named Molly Hooper? I've been looking for her office but I think I've gotten rather lost and now I'm not sure where it is."
The blond man smiled warmly at Martin from where he stood next to the dark haired one who was still staring with unnerving concentration, but even as he opened his mouth to answer he was interrupted by a deep, musical voice. "You're Martin Crieff." It was not a question, just a quietly stated fact accompanied by a barely-there smile from this strange man.
Martin gaped, unable to process what he had just heard. "I - yes. How did you know?"
The small smile grew into a satisfied smirk, and the blond man in the jumper rolled his eyes slightly as though he could tell exactly what was about to happen and was not pleased about it. "Please, it's obvious. A young man with no Barts affiliation comes wandering through the research areas of the hospital, clearly lost and yet with a definite destination in mind." His eyes flicked down rapidly to where Martin's left hand was bunching nervously in his trousers, and then over to the man standing next to him with distinctly smug satisfaction. "And with the unmistakable left thumb of an airline captain I can say with nearly absolute certainty that you must be the illustrious Martin Crieff, airline pilot and brand new boyfriend of Molly Hooper of whom we have heard so much over the last several weeks."
Feeling rather like he had been hit upside the head, Martin realized with a much delayed mental leap that these men could be no one else besides the famous Sherlock Holmes and John Watson Molly had told him so much about. Molly had been reluctant to introduce him to the pair despite his curiosity, and Martin was fairly sure he could now see exactly why. Through his shock and confusion he could only stammer a faint "Oh, yes. Um yes, that's me." He smiled weakly in an attempt to lessen the awkwardness of the situation, but he could still feel the blood rushing to his face all the same.
John smiled once more and opened his mouth as though to speak, but Sherlock interrupted him smoothly again. The sarcastic smile slid off his face like it had never been, leaving him cold and formidable as he narrowed his eyes to glare at Martin. “In that case I need you to listen to me carefully, Captain Crieff. Miss Hooper has saved my life in more ways than you can imagine, and I owe her a great deal. So let me tell you this now, and do not for one second think that I am joking. If you hurt her in any way, and I mean any way at all, they will never find your body.”
The smile died on Martin's lips. He had no doubt that Sherlock was deadly serious, and the dangerous rumble of the detective's voice made his knees tremble slightly with its promised threat. Swallowing heavily he tried to speak, but found that he could only stammer “I, I, I would never hurt her. Ever.” He swallowed again and thought of Molly to give himself courage before continuing with borrowed bravery "I care about Molly, more than I can possibly say. I would never do anything to hurt her."
Sherlock looked at him for a long moment with measuring eyes, weighing and examining him with an intensity that left Martin feeling laid bare in a way he had never felt before. But just when Martin was afraid that his courage would fail him entirely, Sherlock nodded to himself as though satisfied with what he saw and flashed a brief smile that did not quite reach his eyes. “Good. In that case, I can tell you that her office is three doors down the hall on the left.” He turned back to his microscope. “Have a lovely evening, Captain Crieff.”
Martin turned tail and fled. As the doors closed behind his running footsteps he could faintly make out a furious hiss from John that echoed in the empty hallway. “Sherlock, what did I say about making death threats towards people you just met?”
Written for the prompt "Martin and Molly's first hug".
It happened suddenly, when Martin hadn't even been prepared for it. It was probably better that way because it meant that he did not have time to become nervous or shaky, but still. One liked to have a bit of notice when something like this was about to happen. But there had been no notice at all, no signal, no warning of any kind before Molly had leaned forward to throw her arms happily around Martin's neck.
It was only their second date, when they were still dancing awkwardly and uncertainly around each other like frightened rabbits who didn't want to make any sudden movements lest the other bolt away from them. They were getting coffee again - not the most exciting date, nor the most original considering it was what they had done the first time, but Martin had not been able to think of anything else and Molly seemed pleased enough by it. Something about Martin buying her coffee made Molly smile in a way he did not quite understand, but liked very much and wanted to see as much as possible. It was not often he got a woman to smile at him, even less often that the smile was not curved in cruel mockery or derision.
As the date went on and no major disasters occurred, Martin found himself becoming less and less tense and more comfortable in Molly's presence. That was strange enough in itself, as normally he could not even fully relax in the company of the people he spent hours at a time stuck with in a tiny flight deck. But something about Molly put him at ease, and made his worries of humiliating himself in front of a woman he hardly knew vanish as if they had never been. And so when the date was winding down and they were standing to gather their things and go for a walk through the park, he didn't even think twice before telling Molly that the reason he liked to make her laugh was because her smile was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. She stared at him in amazement, and as Martin realized what exactly he had just said he could feel his face flushing in horrified embarrassment. He began to stammer out an apology, but before he could get two words out she leaned over to give him a quick, fierce hug.
"Thank you" she murmured quietly in his ear, then pulled away to flash him a quick smile and gently take his hand. Martin gaped, but didn't let go of Molly's hand. Their first hug. At least he had accidentally made it a good one.
Written for the prompt "Martin and Molly's first kiss".
Three dates. They had been on three dates together, and nothing catastrophic had happened. That small feat in itself was nearly a miracle, but the fact that Martin had been able to get through a dinner date with Molly without embarrassing himself was enough to make him surreptitiously pinch his leg to check if he was dreaming. But the sharp pinch that elicited a tiny "Ow!" from him and a curious look from Molly told him that he was awake, and that this really was happening. Somehow. He wasn't going to question it too much lest everything fall apart.
But despite the success of dinner and the quiet, pleasant walk back to Molly's flat afterwards, a small but persistent worry was beginning to worm its way into Martin's mind as they drew ever closer to her front door. It had been three dates, three successful dates, and the furthest they had gotten with physical interaction had been a quick hug. It had been a lovely hug, to be sure, and Martin was certainly not going to complain about it considering the appalling lack of hugs in his life until that point. But didn't most people do more than hug by their third date? Was Molly expecting more from him and slowly becoming more and more disappointed and disgusted with him as he failed to deliver? Or would she be even more put off if he tried something?
For all of Martin's worries though she certainly didn't seem upset or disgusted with him as they walked down the street together, and almost as though she could read his thoughts she gently reached out and took his hand with a shy smile and a quick blush. He nearly stopped dead in his tracks in shock, but thankfully he somehow managed to keep walking as though this were a perfectly normal situation for him and his heart wasn't beating so hard it felt like it was going to jump out of his mouth. After an admirably short period of stunned and slightly panicked indecision, he sent a shy smile back in return and squeezed her hand gently. She drew in closer to him, and every brush of her arm against his sent a shock of electricity and nerves and disbelieving joy jolting through him.
All too soon however, they reached the door that led into her flat. They had both been walking as slowly as they could manage, trying to drag out the walk and keep this evening going for as long as possible. But here they were at last, and Martin had no idea what to do. The last time had been in this position he had been 18 years old, and the young woman had simply strode into her flat without a backwards glance after the disastrous date she had been forced to endure. But Molly was still here, lingering hesitantly on her step as she held his hand and looked awkwardly at the ground in an obvious attempt to buy more time. Only the fact that she looked just as nervous as he felt gave him the courage to clear his throat and break the silence.
"Um, thanks. For tonight, I mean. It was lovely." He nearly kicked himself for how pathetic and cliched the words sounded, but apparently they worked to some degree as they resulted in Molly looking up at him with a smile.
"Yes, it was. Lovely. I had a great time." She paused, and appeared to consider something for a moment before continuing "Um, would you want to, I don't know, do this again? Dinner? Or just coffee if you don't want to do dinner, I don't want to assume anything..."
"No, dinner sounds great!" he interrupted hastily, not wanting to let this opportunity slip by him. "I'd love to see you again."
Her smile grew, making Martin's breath catch in his throat with its brilliance. "Great! That's great." She paused again, and this time her hesitation seemed to stretch for an eternity. Finally however, she muttered to herself "Oh, sod it" and reached up her free hand to pull him down into a very surprised kiss.
Martin felt like he was about to faint. He had never expected this, never planned for it, never even thought about it really, since it had never occurred to him that Molly would want to kiss him. But now, with her hand cradling his face and her warm lips pressed gently against his, he found that he could not possibly imagine anything feeling more right. Without even thinking about it he brought his arms around her to pull her in close, one hand resting delicately on her back as though she were a precious object that would break at the slightest touch. She of course wanted nothing to do with such nonsense, pressing herself close against him and keeping his face close against hers. It was not a perfect kiss, far from it. But Martin Crieff was kissing Molly Hooper, and as far as he was concerned that was as perfect as life could be.
(art by with-cherry-on-top, prompt by noottersontheflightdeck)
Martin sighed slightly as he reached into the closet for his uniform jacket, running through every single way this day could go wrong for what felt like the hundredth time. There were the obvious things of course. The things he always worried about when he was going to fly a plane - mechanical malfunction, bad weather, another bit dropping off of GERTI and leaving them stranded somewhere. Again. But now there were so many new things to worry about, things he had never even thought of before but that he now couldn't chase out of his brain as they circled round and round and filled him with nervous panic.
Almost as though she could sense his growing trepidation, Molly walked into the bedroom with a cup of coffee in one hand and a warm smile on her face. She knew just how nervous he was for today, and just how much it meant for him as well. In fact, Martin suspected that his wife had even had something to do with it, but of course she would never, ever admit it. No, Molly would remain sweet and innocent in her denials and reassurances even as she grinned at him wickedly with a knowing gleam in her eye. That was his Molly, and he wouldn't have her any other way.
"Just about ready, dear?" she asked lightly, pressing the mug of coffee into his hand with a reassuring squeeze. She was ready for her day at work as well, labcoat folded over one arm and badge tucked into her pocket, looking every bit the professional and competent pathologist. Martin couldn't help but smile to see her, but that was nothing new. He always smiled when he saw her.
"Yes, I'm almost ready love." He brushed at his jacket one last time, flicking away an invisible speck of lint and nervously checking that everything was still where it should be. "It's just..." he started, then rushed on ahead in a jumble, "what if something happens? Something bad? I'll never forgive myself, I should never have agreed to this -"
She silenced him with finger placed over his lips, a signal they had created years ago when his babbling was about to spiral out of control. The feeling of her warm finger pressed gently against his lips steadied and centered him, and almost always brought him down from whatever panic he was working himself up into. It had even worked on their wedding day, when he had veered wildly off track in the middle of his vows and nearly broken down into a stuttering wreck. The "awww" her gentle touch and reassuring smile had earned from the guests at the wedding had even made his embarrassment worth it. "Hush, you. You know it's going to be fine, it's always fine. Nothing will happen." She smiled again, then leaned over to replace the tip of her finger with a gentle kiss. "Now come on, she's waiting for you."
Steadied as always by Molly's quiet confidence, Martin took a deep breath and straightened his jacket one more time. But he stopped short when he patted his breast pocket and realized something was missing. "Um, Molls? Have you seen my Aviators?"
But before she could answer, a thunderous clatter coming down the hallway warned them that they would not be alone in their room much longer. With a bang, the door sprang open and a three foot tall blur of energy, limbs, and absurdly curly red hair flew into the room. Ellie had apparently decided that she'd had quite enough of being left alone before her big day, and had decided to come find her parents herself. She beamed up at them, eyes far larger than they had any right to be gleaming with excitement out of her freckled face. The hair that Molly spent so many hours trying to comb into place had flown out of its pins again, creating a fuzzy halo of fiery red that seemed to take on a life of its own. But those things were not what stopped Martin in his tracks as he stared at his daughter, or what made his heart feel like it was about to explode with pride and joy.
She was wearing a tiny leather bomber jacket with a flight pin affixed proudly to the front, and clutching his Aviators as though she never wanted to let them go. She looked every inch the miniature pilot, ready to hop into a plane and take off just like her dad. Tears burned suddenly in his eyes as he looked at her, bouncing on her toes and ready to finally go like she had always wanted. He cleared his throat, and said a bit roughly "Oh there you are, little bean. And look, you found my glasses!" He bent over to put the absurdly oversized glasses on her button nose, chuckling at how they dominated her round face. "Ready to go, Ellie?"
"Ready, captain!" she piped, throwing herself into his arms and clutching at his lapels for dear life as he swung her into the air. She squealed in excitement, then gave him a messy kiss on the cheek before snuggling happily into his arms. "Let's go fly a plane!"
Maybe Take Your Daughter to Work Day wouldn't be so scary after all.
(art by with-cherry-on-top)
There are two unstoppable forces in this world that cannot be mitigated by any power in heaven or earth: the inexorable, onward march of time, and the restless energy found in a five year old who has had too much sugar right before bed and forgotten what sleep is like. And unfortunately for her poor father who had unwittingly given her more sugar than her tiny body could handle, Ellie Crieff was currently smack in the middle of the second category.
It had all started as just fun and games as Martin chased Ellie around her room laughing and pretending to be a monster that was going to eat her up, but it had not stayed that way for long. As the evening progressed and Ellie showed absolutely no signs of becoming tired despite her ever-approaching bedtime, a niggle of worry began to work its way into Martin’s brain to whisper that this was not going to be an easy evening. It was about the time that she had begun jumping on the bed like it was a giant trampoline and shouting “Brilliant!” on every bounce that Martin realized two things: first, that he had been absolutely correct, and second, that he was never going to forgive Arthur for teaching Ellie the word “brilliant” or Molly for finding it adorable and not putting a stop to it.
“Little bean?” he called from where he was hovering anxiously next to the bed lest she fall and hurt herself. “Come on sweetheart, it’s time for bed.” She ignored him completely in the way that only a hyperactive five year old can, continuing to jump and squeal on every bounce. Her already unruly hair was flying absolutely out of control from all the jumping, making her look more like a blur of curls and flailing limbs than a little girl. “Ellie,” he said, more sternly this time. This accomplished absolutely nothing except earning a giggle and another bounce. “Ellie Crieff, you stop bouncing and get ready for bed this instant!”
The serious tone of his voice finally got her to stop jumping, but instead of getting down from the bed she simply planted her hands on her hips and glared at him defiantly. At moments like these she looked so like Molly it was almost startling, with big, determined eyes and mouth set in a mischievous grin that was a perfect match for the one his wife sent him on a regular basis. It took all of his willpower not to lose his authority by smiling at this tiny terror, a task that was made no easier when she said primly “You can’t make me go to bed because I’m an aeroplane and aeroplanes don’t go to bed!” And with that declaration she jumped straight off the bed and began to zoom around her bedroom with outstretched arms and manic determination.
Martin was struck dumb for a moment by the realization that a desire to be an aeroplane was apparently inherent in the Crieff genetic code, but parenting instincts took over as Ellie zoomed by him one more time. He reached down to snatch her up, pulling her into his arms and earning himself a squeal and a kick in the stomach as her legs continued to flail after leaving the ground. After giving her a moment to settle he looked her in the eye and prayed to himself that what he was about to try would work. Because if it didn’t, well he didn’t really have any other ideas. “I happen to have it on very good authority that aeroplanes do go to bed, since I have to put GERTI to bed every single night when we’re done flying her. And she is much nicer and better about it than you’re being right now. So come on, little plane. It’s bedtime."
She pulled a pouty face at him, and said with a whine “But I’m not tiiiiired.” But every inch of her tiny body said otherwise, including the eyes that were finally beginning to droop and the limbs that were starting to sag with tiredness.
Martin repressed another smile, forcing his face to stay as thoughtful and serious as he could manage. “Tell you what, I’ll get you in your jammies and put you in bed and tell you three stories, and if you can stay awake through all three, then you can come on another plane flight with me. Does that sound good?” She nodded happily, obviously confident in her abilities to stay awake through three silly stories. Soon she was tucked up snugly in bed in the aeroplane pyjamas that were her absolute favorite (and were secretly Martin’s favorites as well, even more than the pink ones that Molly loved so much). Martin crawled into the tiny bed with her, folding his limbs around her to fit as he did so, glad to take any excuse he could get to cuddle with his daughter. She snuggled into his side, already settling down and beginning to doze off against him. With a smile and a quick kiss on the top of her head he began quietly “Once upon a time, I was flying an aeroplane to Boston with your Uncle Douglas and your Uncle Arthur and your Aunt Carolyn. It was a boring old flight where nothing at all happened, until all of a sudden GERTI let me know that there was a big nasty dragon hiding in the toilet…”
It wasn’t until Molly realized that she had not heard any noise from Ellie’s room for nearly half an hour that she began to worry slightly. Just looking at the amount of candy her daughter had been able to wheedle out of Martin before she had stepped in, she had been able to tell that this would be a rough night for bedtime and had accorded the duty to Martin accordingly. If he was enough of a pushover to let a five year old manipulate him like that, even a five year old as cute as Ellie, he would just have to deal with the consequences. The squeals and yelling coming from her room had been enough to make her heartily glad that getting Ellie to sleep was not her job tonight, but the silence now was either very promising, or very ominous. Padding down the hallway quietly she saw that light was still streaming out from under the door of Ellie’s room, causing her eyebrows to rise slightly. But when she stuck her head through the door to make sure that everyone was still alive and in one piece, the sight that greeted her was enough to melt her heart. Ellie was passed out asleep, utterly dead to the world after coming down off of her sugar high. She slept with the same enthusiasm that she used for everything else, so deeply asleep that Molly was sure she could pick the girl up and she would continue to slumber undisturbed. But more heartwarming by far was the sight of her husband lying awkwardly into Ellie’s tiny bed, still fully dressed and curled into a protective ball around her as he snored gently. He held her cradled tightly in his arms, face buried in her hair, a small smile on his face that smoothed out so many of his ever-present stress and worry lines even as he slept. Molly felt as though her heart would burst as she watched the two most important people in her entire life slumber on oblivious to her presence, and with a small smile she reached over to turn off the light and shut the door gently. There was no reason to wake them when they looked so happy together.
(art by the fabulous with-cherry-on-top)
First in a series for Martin and Molly's wedding.
Cufflinks weren’t the easiest things to manage on the best of days – the fiddly little clasps and tiny button holes were devilishly hard to manage with only one hand, even more so when you were cursed with perpetually clumsy fingers. But today, when nerves and excitement and anticipation were making his hands shake so badly he could hardly hold the cufflinks much less fasten them, every attempt had ended up a disaster. The tiny airplanes that had been an early gift from Molly may have been an adorably appropriate present, but there were proving impossible to manage and were currently driving Martin absolutely insane.
“Damn!” A link tumbled to the floor for what felt like the fiftieth time, sending his blood pressure one notch higher and pushing him one step closer to a nervous breakdown. The last two weeks had been nothing but a blur of planning and stress and worry, all leading up to today when everything would either come perfectly together or fall disastrously apart. And right now it felt like it was going to be the latter. He retrieved the fallen link with a shaking hand as he muttered frantically to himself, “Damn, damn, damn, this is going to be a disaster, oh God what am I doing, damn –“
Sensing his impending breakdown with ease borne of hundreds of flights and nearly as many catastrophes, Douglas stepped quickly over next to Martin and halted him with a gentle hand on the shoulder. “Martin,” he said quietly, keeping his voice even and calm as a counter to the oncoming panic, “breathe. It’s going to be fine.” His soothing words seemed to have at least some effect as Martin took a deep shuddering breath in a visible attempt to calm and center himself. When it at last looked like he wasn’t going to pass out at any given second, Douglas took the cufflinks from his unresisting fingers and began to fasten them with competent and practiced movements. “You know, I think I was almost as nervous as you before my wedding – well the first one at least. I was so nervous in fact that I forgot what I was saying halfway through my vows; I just froze up and couldn’t even begin to remember what I was going to say next. Thank God I’d written everything down on little notecards the night before, or I would have been left gaping there like a big fish with nothing to do. Oh my friends didn’t let me live that one down for quite some time, but it all worked out in the end.”
As Douglas was speaking, Martin could feel himself calming and steadying with every word – just as Douglas had intended, of course. The distraction of hearing about Douglas’ wedding was exactly what he needed to get out of his own head and relax, even if it was only a tiny bit. With a flourish, Douglas fastened the last cufflink in place and gave the lapels of his suit a quick brush to banish any lingering creases or lint. Martin sighed, slightly less shakily this time, and said with genuine gratitude “Thank you, Douglas. I couldn’t do this without you.”
Douglas simply smirked in response and said in his driest voice “Of course you couldn’t. Why do you think I agreed to be your Best Man in the first place? If it weren’t for me, this whole wedding would have fallen apart before it had even gotten started.”
Martin grinned in return, nerves temporarily forgotten. “Oh God, don’t remind me. I honestly have no idea what I was thinking when I put Arthur in charge of the bachelor party.”
“Oh, I don’t know, I found the whole thing rather charming actually. Although letting him decide what to put inside the piñata was perhaps not the best idea you’ve ever had.”
Just the thought of the smiley face piñata that Arthur had somehow managed to fill with ice cream was enough to set them chuckling, the absurdity of the memory tempered at least by the fact that it had been Arthur himself who had caught the brunt of the soupy mess. With the perfect timing that only he could manage, Arthur popped his head into the dressing room as they were still laughing at the memory of the ice cream piñata disaster. “Gents? They sent me to come fetch you, so I think it’s just about to get started.” He looked over at Martin and his eyes went wide, an enormous smile blooming on his face. “Oh wow Skip! I hardly even recognized you in that suit! You look, well, brilliant!”
All at once reminded of just what was about to happen, Martin looked over at the mirror in a panic fully expecting his suit to have suddenly turned purple or a gigantic hole to have appeared in his trousers. But thankfully no such disaster had occurred, and even in his state of frantic worry Martin did have to admit that he looked rather sharp. The black suit that Douglas had helped him pick out along with scathing but surprisingly helpful commentary from Sherlock fit him like a glove, managing to somehow make him look both taller and more substantial with its simple elegance. Molly had ingeniously chosen dark blue and gold as the colors for the event, and his dark blue tie and gold pocket square cleverly called back to his Captain’s uniform without any of the ostentation that he would have chosen. Even his hair had chosen to cooperate today, although that had far more to do with the expert application of some mysterious hair product by Sherlock at John’s insistence than anything else. He had never looked better in his entire life.
Douglas came to stand behind him and laid a comforting hand on his shoulder in a gesture of quiet commiseration and support. He looked dignified and stately as he always did, wring his suit with an easy confidence that Martin envied. With a quirked eyebrow and a small smile he asked quietly “Ready?” Martin could only nod jerkily, tongue glued to the roof of his mouth and hearth thumping so hard it threatened to shake him apart. “Alright then, Captain. Let’s make an honest man out of you.” Martin swallowed heavily, moving towards the door with limbs made of lead. This was it. All the planning, all the worries, a whole lifetime had led him to this moment. Today was the biggest, most wonderful, most terrifying day of his entire life, because today was the day he was going to marry Molly Hooper.
(art by the amazing lexieken, story inspired by a post by askforthemoon)
Part 2 of Martin and Molly's wedding.
For the life of him, Martin would never be able to remember how he got down the aisle without collapsing, falling flat on his face, or doing something else far more embarrassing altogether. All of his concentration was focused on putting one foot squarely in front of the other with eyes fixed on the flower-covered arch where the priest was standing. Halfway down the aisle he remembered with a guilty start that he should really be smiling or looking at the guests or doing anything besides staring straight ahead, but it was too late now. Finally, by some miracle he did not understand and did not want to think on too heavily, he made it to the priest in one piece and turned to face the audience as he had been repeatedly instructed in order to watch the rest of the processional. Even though he had been given explicit directions to do so, looking out over the audience seated in delicate white chairs in the summer sunshine only served to make his nerves skyrocket. The quiet murmuring that had been filtering into the building from the garden had died out when he began his walk down the aisle, and now all eyes were fixed on him with quick glances back towards the door.
Molly’s side of the audience was decidedly more full than his, as it seemed like half of Scotland Yard was currently seated around Greg Lestrade who had a flower pinned to his lapel and a grin on his face that threatened to split it in two. John was sitting proudly in the front row next to Molly’s mother, and upon catching Martin’s nervous gaze he sent him a reassuring smile and a wink.Martin’s side was far from full, although truth be told many more people had showed up for him than he had ever expected. Carolyn was up front next to Martin’s already crying mother, and Martin could have sworn he caught a brief flash of handkerchief going up to Carolyn’s eyes as well. From the smirk and gentle pat on the arm that Herc gave her and the irritated glare she sent right back, it was even possible that he had been right.
But before Martin could spare any more attention for the guests Douglas had begun leading Molly’s sister and Maid of Honor Kathy down the aisle, smiling warmly at everyone present and radiating easy confidence as though he were the one getting married today. Then again he did have rather more practice at this whole business than Martin did, so that was only to be expected. He gave Martin a quick squeeze on the arm as he took his position next to him, and was soon followed by Simon who had escorted Molly’s best friend Lisa and Arthur, who had miraculously managed to get Molly’s cousin down the aisle in one piece and with no disasters. Then, as everyone quietly shuffled themselves into place, the string quartet that had been Herc’s gracious wedding gift changed the music and every eye turned towards the door. Every breath was held in excited anticipation – none more so than Martin’s. But after an eternity of breathless waiting, when Molly finally came through the door into the bright sunshine, Martin found that he couldn’t breathe even if he wanted to.
She was being led slowly down the aisle by Sherlock, and they looked magnificent. Sherlock looked elegant and dignified as usual as he gazed impassively at the guests, the addition of a royal blue tie his only grudging concession to the occasion. Molly had asked him to lead her down the aisle in place of her father with little hope that he would accept, but to both their very great surprise he had not even paused to consider before agreeing. Even John had seemed surprised that Sherlock wanted anything to do with the wedding, but the ecstatically happy look on Molly’s face when he had accepted was enough to make even Sherlock smile slightly. But despite the extremely rare chance to see Sherlock Holmes in a tie serenely walking down an aisle, Martin only had eyes for the woman clinging to his arm with trembling hands.
She looked radiant. There was no other word for it, no other way to capture the joy that was spilling out of her to touch everyone nearby. The dress she had categorically refused to tell him about turned out to be a gorgeous, simple sheath covered in delicate lace and crossed with a sash the same blue as Martin’s tie that ran all the way down the slight train. It was so perfectly Molly that Martin could not imagine anything else, but even as he gazed at her he found that the dress didn’t matter at all. He felt tears burn in his eyes and his throat close tight, and for the first time in his life he did not care. He was utterly overwhelmed, blown away by the sight of the woman he could not believe he was about to marry.
Only the fact that Molly had locked eyes with him as she walked slowly down the aisle was enough to keep him standing through the shakes that had suddenly taken hold of his body. He felt as though he were going to faint, like he couldn’t catch his breath around the pounding of his heart and the tears that threatened to spill out of him at any moment. But Molly smiled, her eyes shining brightly to match his own, and he knew that he could do this. Nothing else mattered, not the dozens of eyes that were fixed on him, not the fact that he was expected to give a speech in front of them all, not even the fact that his life was about to be changed forever. None of that was important. If Molly was at his side, he could do anything.
It seemed to take Molly and Sherlock an eternity to make their way down the aisle, but finally they reached the end. Sherlock leaned down to brush a quick kiss on Molly’s cheek before he took his seat, earning a teary smile from her and a collective, hushed “aww” from the audience. At last, Molly took a fortifying breath and walked over to Martin alone. He could see from the tremble of her hands as she clutched her bouquet that she was just as terrified as he was, and in a spur of the moment decision that flew in the face of all the practicing and careful planning they had done he reached out to take her hand in his own. Her eyes widened in surprise, but the grateful squeeze and happy smile he earned were enough to tell him that it had been the right decision. They locked eyes one last time, and with a deep breath drawn as one they turned to the priest to begin the ceremony.
(Art by the wonderful artbylexie)
Written for the request "Cupcakes!"
It had seemed like such a good idea at the time. How hard could it be to bake a few cupcakes, after all? Kids managed it all the time - five year olds were able to bake cupcakes for heaven's sake, so shouldn't he be able to throw a few ingredients together and make something resembling tiny cakes? That thought had occurred to him three hour ago, and he was still no closer to accomplishing his goal than when he'd set out with the honorable intention of surprising Molly with a batch of cupcakes in her flat after a long shift at the hospital.
In fact, the only thing he had accomplished was to make an enormous mess on the counter, break several eggs, and spill what seemed like half a bag of flour all over the floor and mostly himself. Three batches of batter later he had made one that was so thin as to be nearly water, one so thick he could hardly get it out of the bowl, and this third one that was lumpy enough to stand a spoon up in. It was terrible, but Molly was going to be home soon and he was running out of time so it would have to do. He had slipped the sad, lumpy cupcakes into the oven with a prayer that they would at least turn out edible, but just looking at them now as they sat burned and pathetic on cooling rack he knew that it was hopeless.
Even the sound of the key turning in the lock of Molly's front door wasn't enough to stir him out of his misery as he sat staring at his failed attempt at baking. How sad was he, that he couldn't manage to do something so simple even when he was following explicit directions? The soft, familiar tread of Molly's footsteps drew nearer, then stopped as she entered the kitchen and saw the devastation before her. "Martin, what..." she trailed off quietly, confusion filling her hushed question.
He looked up to meet her startled gaze, and when he finally found his voice even he could hear how small and pathetic it sounded. "I tried to bake you cupcakes because I know how much you like them and that you'd be tired after your day, but I did something wrong and now...and now...I'm sorry."
He expected anger, or shouting, or perhaps even just annoyance from Molly at the sight of her kitchen covered in the remains of a failed baking experiment. He was annoyed with himself for how badly he had done, so why shouldn't Molly be as well?
But there was no anger that crossed Molly's face as she looked at him, only surprise that was quickly followed by a soft, gentle smile. She crossed the kitchen to meet him, picking her way around the pile of flour to drop her bag on the only clean spot left on the counter and stand in front of a drooping and dejected Martin. With a sigh and a shake of her head she reached out to brush a dusting of flour off his cheek and knock a clump of sugar out of his tangled hair, fingers lingering tenderly on his skin. "Oh, Martin." Her voice was quiet, and filled with love. "Thank you for the cupcakes darling. I love them."
Looking down at the burned little lumps sitting on the counter, he frowned and asked in a voice full of frustration and defeat "Even though they're terrible?"
She giggled, dimpling prettily before leaning over to peck a kiss on his flour-dusted cheek. "Yes, even though they're terrible. You made them, of course I love them."
(Picture drawn by the wondeful artbylexie)
Of all the things that Martin had expected upon walking up to the door of Molly’s flat, hearing thumping bass that was loud enough to shake the doorframe was definitely not one of them.
Martin stood outside the door in confusion, key frozen halfway to the lock as he listened curiously to the beat that was steadily thumping its way out of the flat. A hundred possibilities flashed through his mind as to why there would be music playing this loudly, each more absurd than the last until he was wondering whether or not Molly had moved out without telling him and been replaced by rowdy college students like the ones that lived beneath him. After standing and staring at the door for a long minute in the vain hope that it would give him an answer as to why there was music blaring out of Molly’s flat at two in the afternoon, he braced himself, unlocked the door, and swung it open to be assaulted by a wall of sound. He walked into the flat slowly, poking his head curiously into the sitting room to see what on earth could possibly warrant music being blasted at such incredible volume. Things looked normal enough, at first glance. There wasn’t a party happening without him, as he had quietly feared – in fact there didn’t appear to be anyone in the sitting room at all. That is, there wasn’t anyone in the room until Molly danced her way through the doorway that led to her bedroom and nearly gave Martin a heart attack.
She was wearing his Captain’s uniform. No, that didn’t capture the enormity of the situation. She was in fact wearing his Captain’s uniform, his jacket and hat to be precise, and absolutely nothing else. The too-long jacket hung on her in much the same way a dress would, if that dress were one that left bare a truly heart-stopping amount of gorgeous legs and gave tantalizing glimpses of lacy underthings every time it opened. Molly’s eyes were closed as she danced with wild abandon, hips swaying and shaking in time with the music and head bobbing happily. She looked like she was having the time of her life dancing alone in her flat, and just looking at her like this was enough to make Martin feel like he was going to pass out.
I – oh – GOD. Any semblance of coherent thought was absolutely gone. Hell, any semblance of regular breathing was gone, along with a normal pulse and vision that hadn’t blurred with how fast blood had rushed to his face and…other parts. The room spun slightly, and for a moment Martin feared that he actually would faint at the sight of his girlfriend in his uniform. He hadn’t even known until this moment that Molly wearing his uniform would be something that excited him this much, but as of now he could not possibly imagine anything being more arousing. Thankfully before he could turn any redder or feel any more uncomfortably dizzy, an enthusiastic spin and booty wiggle from Molly spun her around to face Martin and as she laughed her eyes flew open to meet his.
Sadly, this was not the first time a woman had jumped and screamed at the sight of him. It was Molly’s first time however, and the sight of her shrieking and leaping away from him was definitely not going to be one of his fondest memories. She recovered admirably quickly though, face flushing an even deeper red than his as her hands flew to her mouth to cover her horrified gasp. “Martin!” she squeaked, eyes wide. “What are you doing here?”
Finding words was nearly impossible right now, but after a few frantic swallows he managed to croak “I, um, the job, the van job finished early. What, what, um, what are you doing?”
Her face somehow managed to turn an even more fluorescent shade of red than it had been previously, and when she finally answered her voice was tiny and ashamed. “Um. Well. I, um, I saw your jacket in the closet when I was getting dressed after my shower, and, well, I wondered what it would look like on me so I tried it on and then well there was music playing and I started dancing and oh God you’re not mad are you?”
It took a few moments for him to decipher the jumbled rush of her words, but when he did an answer flew to his lips without any conscious thought. “Mad? The only reason I'll be mad is if the jacket stays on you for more than a minute before it hits the floor of the bedroom.”
Oh my God, did I really just say that? The fact that such a pathetically cheesy line had just left his mouth was enough to make him want to die of shame. Molly would certainly laugh at him, or at the very least be appalled that he had said something so absurd. But she did not laugh, like his frantic brained had warned that she certainly would. In fact, she stared at him for a second, mouth hanging open in surprise before she snapped it shut and turned on her heel to walk into the bedroom.
And if the look she threw him over her shoulder was anything to go by, it was going to be much less than a minute before the jacket became a brand new tenant of the bedroom floor.
(Art by the wonderful with-cherry-on-top)
It shouldn't hurt this much. Words shouldn't have the power to wound like that, shouldn't be able to cut straight to his core and leave him broken and shaking and ready to fall completely apart. But they did hurt, and they did cut, and they had torn him down into pieces that would never be assembled again.
It had been hours since the shouting had started, hours since hurtful words had been thrown like knives, hours since she had stormed out of the flat in tears and left him more alone than he had ever felt in his entire lonely life. He couldn't even remember what the fight had been about now, couldn't remember what stupid little thing had started them bickering, and then arguing, and then shouting until all semblance of sense was lost. All he knew now was that it felt like a chunk had been carved out of his heart, like he was hollow and empty with Molly gone, like he couldn't even breathe after all the air had been sucked from the room as she left him. It was impossible, that she should have left. But she had. She had left, and he had no idea if she was coming back.
He was too numb for tears now, too numb to do anything but sit and stare into empty nothingness. They had never fought before this, not really. There had been plenty of spats, lots of those little arguments that came naturally with sharing your life with another person, and plenty of little disagreements that they had worked through with careful diligence. It had never even occurred to Martin that they would have an actual fight, or that they would ever shout at each other, or that he would ever feel that angry at the one person who mattered most. He wished that he could go back and change it in some way, perhaps by diverting the conversation away from the way Carolyn pushed him around or how Sherlock did the same to her. But there was nothing he could do, nothing to change the hurtful things he had said, and heard, and now could never erase.
After an hour, or a week, or a year, he was not sure which, there was a soft slow fall of footsteps outside the door of the flat. He had not bothered to lock it after the walls had rattled with her tearful exit, and now the door swung open silently to let in a gentle stream of light from the hallway outside into the darkened flat. Molly walked in slowly, head cast down and shoulders slumped as she clutched her bag in hands that trembled from how hard she was gripping it. Her eyes were red still, puffy and swollen from the tears that she had not been able to stop and that had torn Martin apart as he watched her cry and known that it was all his fault. "Martin?" Her voice was hoarse, uncertain, shaky. She had never spoken his name like that before, like she was afraid of how she would be answered. Her eyes found him sitting on the couch in the dark, staring into nothing with a deadened stare and empty face. "Are we..." she trailed off, words dying on her lips as though she had no idea how to go on.
He certainly had no idea how to continue. He had no idea what to do, how to act, what to say. It was plain as day that she was asking if they were alright, if they were somehow still ok after what had happened. And as much as he wanted to tell her yes, of course, he couldn't do it. He looked over at her, and the sight of her standing tiny and defeated in the doorway was enough to break his heart all over again. "I don't know Molly. I have no idea if we're ok. Do you?"
Silence answered him, broken only by a quiet sniffle and a sigh that rang louder than any shout ever could.
"Sometimes I really, really hate this job."
Most days, Molly loved being a pathologist. True, it wasn't a job that most people would consider glamorous, or lovely, or even particularly worthwhile, but Molly loved it all the same. She couldn't imagine doing anything else with her life than giving the dead the respect and dignity they deserved with her work, and even if most people thought she was strange for what she chose to do she would never regret it. Let them look at her askance whenever she told stories about work, she would continue to do her job with pride and dignity. Even if that did mean she occasionally found herself alone in a morgue talking to the body she was currently working on.
But there were some days when even the love of her job was not enough to keep her happy. Days like today, when a sick coworker and a distressing rush of work that needed to be finished meant that she was stuck in the hospital long after she should have been home. No, not home. Long after she should have been on a long-awaited date with her much-missed boyfriend who had been gone for four days on an especially grueling round of flights. Cancelling on Martin at the last minute had been the most difficult thing she had done in months, especially when she had been able to hear his dejection as clear as day over the phone and envision the sad resignation on his face as she spoke to him.
"It's just not fair," she said quietly to Mr. Lathrop as he lay on her table. "I do so much for this hospital, you'd think I'd be able to get one night off to finally see my boyfriend. But no, I'm still here after everybody else has gone home. Why is that fair?" Mr. Lathrop had no answer, and Molly sighed in frustration. "Why am I asking you? You don't know. You don't care. You're dead. God, I'm sitting here talking to a dead body, how pathetic is that?" Thankfully Mr. Lathrop didn't answer that question either, but Molly had a few ideas just how pathetic she was right now. It wasn't exactly difficult to imagine what someone would say if they were to walk in and see her bent over the body of a middle aged man, asking him for rhetorical life advice.
Unfortunately for her, and her image as a sane and rational person, someone did walk in at just that moment. The sound of the door to the exam room swinging open made her nearly jump out of her skin, and she whirled around in panic to see who could possibly be in the hospital at this ridiculous hour. But for the first time ever, her late night morgue visitor was neither a potentially sociopathic detective she previously fancied nor a definitely psychopathic murderer using her to get close to said sociopath, but instead an exhausted and happy looking airline captain bearing a bouquet of flowers and a radiant smile.
"Martin!" she squeaked, running over to him and throwing her arms around him in a crushing hug. He staggered back with a slight oof of surprise to be suddenly covered in happy Molly, but he regained his balance quickly and returned the hug as best he could manage with hands full of flowers. Molly clung to him for many long moments, drinking in everything she had so missed about him while he was gone: his quiet solidity, his comforting warmth, even his smell that lingered still on her pillows and made sleeping alone that much more empty. He held her in return, obviously just as glad to finally be with her again as he pressed his face into her neck and sighed with deep content.
Finally, when the desperate edge of separation had been softened slightly, they pulled apart just far enough to grin at each other like fools and then dive in for a happy kiss. The kiss was more of a hello than any words could be, a "welcome home", an "I missed you so much", and an "I'm sorry I was away so long" all at the same time. It was frantic, and desperate, and full of promises, and over far too soon. But there would be more to come, and that was a fact that left their eyes sparkling even after the kiss had ended.
"What are you doing here?" Molly asked when she had regained her breath, still dazed that Martin had showed up even after she had been forced to cancel their date. She had assumed that she wouldn't be able to see him until tomorrow at the earliest, but here he was grinning away at her with his arms wrapped around her and lips still red from kissing not moments ago.
He smiled again and leaned over to peck a kiss on the tip of her nose, earning a happy giggle in response. "You didn't expect me to wait, did you? It's been nearly five days since I've last seen you, of course I'm here. And besides, I had to give you these." He presented the momentarily forgotten bouquet with a flourish, and Molly gasped. They were gorgeous, whatever they were, delicate, white, bell shaped blossoms tinged with pink ranging from a pale blush to a deep near-purple at the stem. Molly had never seen flowers so beautiful.
"Oh Martin, they're gorgeous! Where on earth did you get them?"
"In India, actually, which is the last place we flew out of. They're called Sinoi lilies, and apparently they only grow in that part of India during May and June. They made me think of you, do you like them?" All at once he sounded uncertain, as if there were the slightest possibility that she wouldn't. She laughed, and buried her face deep in the blossoms to breathe in their delicate scent.
"Of course I like them, they're the most beautiful things I've ever seen." She beamed up at him, gratified to see the happy flush spreading over his face. There was nothing quite so satisfying as being able to make Martin blush, especially when she wasn't even touching him. That particular blush would be saved for later.
"Oh good, because if you hadn't I would have had to kick Douglas in the arse for convincing me to buy them and I'm pretty sure he could kill me if he wanted to." They both giggled at the image of Martin trying to fight Douglas, and Martin reached down to grab Molly by the hand. "Come on, I'm breaking you out of here. We have a date to go on."
She laughed again, resisting the tug of his hand despite how very badly she wanted to be pulled along with him out the door. "No, darling, I can't. I have to finish up here, I really do." He pulled his most absurd pouty face at her, resembling nothing so much as a sad puppy who had been told that he can't go out to play. "I'm sorry, love, but I really do have to finish this. I'll be done soon though, ok?"
He nodded, still pouting. "Fine, if you must. I'll simply waste away here, bereft of my darling and pining away for her in horrid loneliness..."
This earned another giggle and a gentle swat on the top of his head before she turned and went back to finish up with Mr. Lathrop. She was determined to finish this autopsy faster than any autopsy had every been completed in the history of St. Barts, but things were rather complicated by the lonely pilot who trailed behind her. Martin obviously did not want to be separated from her for long, but as she approached the table with the dead body resting on it he froze in his tracks.
"Is that...is that...a dead body?" he whispered, voice suddenly no longer amused in the slightest. Molly turned to look at him, and saw that he had turned white as a sheet. Oh god, this is the first time he's been in the morgue when there's a body out...
"Martin -" she started, hoping to cut him off or turn him around or do something to stop the inevitable. But it was too late. With a whimper, he fainted.
Molly sighed into the empty silence that had filled the morgue once more. "You know Mr. Lathrop, sometimes I really hate this job."
Written for the prompt "Molly dealing with a fear of heights on a Ferris Wheel".
And to think, this had seemed like such a good idea at the time.
It really had seemed like a good solution to their problem. Molly was afraid of heights, deathly afraid in fact, so afraid that even getting her on anything taller than a step stool usually resulted in her shaking and upset for a solid half an hour afterwards. This shouldn't have been an issue at all considering how well Molly managed to avoid , except for the tiny problem that Molly wanted to one day come on a flight with Martin despite the fact that even thinking about an aeroplane made her nearly hyperventilate.
But Martin had come up with a potential solution, and it had certainly seemed like an elegant one at the time. Having some experience with overcoming fears himself, he had convinced Molly that the only way to approach this was to gradually work her way up to confronting the problem until she got over it. It had even been working as they practiced on small ladders and the outcropping of rocks in the park, and even when they had gone out on the third story balcony that Martin had been sure would make her panic at least a little but that she had ended up facing with remarkable bravery. In fact, it had gone so well that Martin was sure she'd be able to handle this with barely any worries at all. Oh, how very wrong he had been, and now it was too late to go back. There was no stopping the London Eye once you were on board, after all.
Molly had her face buried in his shoulder, and even through his jacket he could feel how she was trembling like a leaf in a gale. Her whole body was shaking as she clung to him, alternating between uncontrollable shivering and the shallow gasps that were the only breaths she could manage. From the very moment they had stepped into the glass pod that would carry them upwards her face had begun draining of color, and the first hint of motion had affixed her firmly to his side with no signs of her taking so much of a peek at the outside world. Martin honestly felt like the worst person in the entire world for doing this to her, but if she was ever going to face her fear this was certainly the perfect opportunity for her to do so. And after this experience, it was highly unlikely another such opportunity would ever present itself.
"Molly, darling?" he murmured, hoping that she could hear him through her panicked breathing and the blood that was undoubtedly pounding in her ears. There was no response besides a tightened grip on his arm, but he plunged ahead anyway. "We're moving so slowly you can hardly tell right now if you want to look for a second. It'll be ok, I promise." She shook her head as frantically as she could manage with it smashed against his shoulder, squeaking slightly and holding his arm so tightly now it felt like his hand would fall off. "Come on sweetheart, I know you can do it. It's just like when we were on that balcony, and you were so brave then. I believe in you, and I'll be here for you the whole time. Will you try, just for me? Please?"
Many long moments of silent trembling passed. Martin's heart was in his throat as he prayed that Molly would be able to look, even if it was just for a quick peek. A short look would be better than nothing, and it might even be enough to start her down the path towards getting over this fear. Or it might send her into a full-blown panic attack, but that was a bridge he'd cross when they came to it. Finally, she turned her face just enough to peek over his shoulder out of the glass capsule and down onto the city below. She froze. From the wide staring of her eyes and the death grip she had on him, he could tell that she was terrified. But she wasn't panicking, not yet at least. After a long minute of staring she buried her face in his shoulder once more, but even though she was no longer looking Martin could feel that she was no longer shaking quite so badly and that her breathing had slowed down and evened out considerably.
Well, it was a start.
Written for the prompt "Arthur babysitting".
"Are you sure this is a good idea?"
Molly sighed as she adjusted her dress, obviously tired of answering the same question for the fifth time. "Yes, Martin, I'm sure. Everything is going to be perfectly fine, I promise."
But despite the exasperation in her voice, Martin couldn't help but continue thinking this was a terrible idea. Something about this whole plan was rubbing him the wrong way no matter how many times Molly reassured him or reasoned with him, and even now as they were on their way out the door he felt the need to bring it up again. "I know it'll probably work out, but it's Arthur -"
As if by some magic, the doorbell rung at that exact moment. With a sigh Martin trudged over to the door and opened it slowly to reveal a beaming and excited Arthur bouncing on the balls of his feet and holding more stuffed animals than any grown man should ever be seen carrying.
"Hi Skip!" he chirped happily over the teetering pile of plush animals, the panda bear that was perched on top wobbling dangerously and threatening to make an escape attempt towards the ground. "I'm not too late, am I?"
Martin groaned to himself as quietly as he could manage and grabbed at the panda before it finally gave up and took a nose dive for the floor. "No Arthur you're not late, but I told you not to bring any more stuffed animals, she has plenty already...oh damn."
"Uncle Arthur Uncle Arthur Uncle Arthur!" The pounding clatter of tiny feet came thundering down the hallway, and mere moments later Ellie skidded around the corner in a flurry of pyjama-clad limbs and sliding feet. Her eyes lit up the moment she saw Arthur standing in the doorway, and promptly grew as big as saucers as soon as she took in the pyramid of stuffed animals he was holding. "PRESENTS!" She threw herself at Arthur's leg with a happy shriek, nearly toppling him over backwards as she glued herself to him.
Well, it's too late now. There would be no taking the stuffed animals from Ellie now that she had seen them, never mind the fact that she already had a veritable army of them threatening to take over her room courtesy of her beloved Uncle Arthur. No matter how many times Martin tried telling Arthur that Ellie in no way needed any more plushies, he always came bearing at least one animal that became her new best friend until another arrived to take its place. This time, it looked like she would have an entire posse of friends for the foreseeable future.
Molly came briskly out of the back of the house, coat on and ready to leave. She looked lovely of course, all dressed up and ready to finally get out of the house even if it was just for one evening. They hardly ever got the opportunity to go out like this, and so even though Martin could not shake the feeling that some disaster would occur, there was no way at all he could say no. Molly swooped down to pick up Ellie into an enormous hug and drop a kiss into her messy curls before smiling happily at Arthur. "Oh good, you're here just in time! We have to leave now if we're going to make our dinner reservations. Thanks again for doing this Arthur, we really appreciate it."
Arthur grinned even wider in response, looking for all the world like he could imagine nothing better to do on a Friday night than babysit a five year old girl. Although really, that was probably actually quite true. "Oh no worries at all! I'm glad to do it - we're going to have loads of fun together, aren't we Ellie?"
She nodded happily, obviously impatient to start playing with her Uncle and the presents he had brought her. With a deft wiggle she maneuvered herself out of Molly's arms and grabbed a stuffed rabbit that had dropped to the floor before bolting off into the sitting room. "I want to build a fort!" she squealed, and Arthur's eyes lit up as he trotted after her.
"Oh brilliant, I love forts! I'll get the blankets!"
Even as Molly pulled him out the door so they could have any chance of making to the restaurant on time, Martin could not shake the feeling that leaving his hyperactive five year old daughter alone with Arthur was probably not the best idea. In fact, if they had any house at all left by the time they got home, it would be a bloody miracle.
(Art by the fantastic with-cherry-on-top)