Chapter 1: Martin/Diego:
Rating: T (verging on R)
I t was true that Martin once said that any man who could imitate a Spanish squirrel helping forty-eight men mow a meadow was capable of anything, but Martin had never imagined “anything” to include - well, whatever it was that Diego was doing with his tongue. And if Martin had even half the wit of Douglas, he would have probably made some sort of witty remark to that very effect. As it was, Martin’s aspirations of snark and humour were stopped in their tracks by a particularly deft roll of Diego’s tongue against a particularly sensitive part of Martin’s - well, let’s just say that this was not something Martin thought people learnt at aircraft maintenance school.
Chapter 2: Martin's "perfect" day
He couldn’t believe it; he clutched the piece of paper as if it were his ticket to everything wonderful in the world (and really, wasn’t it?). He had finally passed his flying test, and nothing could spoil this magnificent, wonderful, perfect day.
And then his phone rang, and Martin Crieff, now officially a certified pilot, learned that he was now, officially, an orphan.
Chapter 3: Arthur finds ice cream in Toronto
Genre: General, fluff, humour
Full prompt: Arthur gets ahold of some ice cream while on a long layover in Toronto.
“Skip! Douglas!” Arthur cried as he ran toward the two pilots, bucket of ice cream and plastic spoons in hand. “You have to try this ice cream!”
Martin grabbed the spoon Arthur was brandishing wildly before the steward poked someone’s eye out (and knowing Martin’s luck, it would be his) and, after carefully inspecting the ice cream to make sure that it was indeed edible, stuck it in his mouth. The people around the group looked warily at the pilot as he made a noise that could only be classified as positively obscene.
Douglas opened his mouth to remark on the scene they were making (and maybe to throw in a jibe at Martin for good measure — after all, the captain did have a tendancy to turn an entertaining shade of red when embarassed, and Douglas was sure that he could probably beat his current record of “ripe tomato” red) when Arthur shoved a spoonful of ice cream into the First Officer’s mouth. The witty comments, Douglas decided, could wait, because this ice cream was phenomenal.
“Maple syrup ice cream!” Arthur said triumphantly, before leaning in to say in a reverent whisper, “Canadians. Are. Brilliant.”
Chapter 4: Arthur tries to bake a cake for Herc
Full prompt: Arthur tries to bake a cake for Herc to welcome him into the family
“Oh, where has that boy gone off to now?” Carolyn muttered anxiously to herself. She knew that she was supposed to be playing “hostess”, especially seeing as how it was her wedding reception after all, but she hadn’t seen Arthur since the wedding ceremony had ended and it worried her. As she walked past the kitchen, she noticed a figure huddled in front of the oven and softly sobbing. She walked in cautiously and saw her son, sitting before a vaguely-cake-shaped lump that was burnt to a crisp, his head between his knees, crying.
She enveloped him in a hug, holding him tightly as tears and snot soaked her dress and her son started babbling, “I’m sorry Mum, I just tried to bake a cake for Herc and I thought it was going well because I followed the recipe but it didn’t work and I didn’t do it right and I don’t do anything right do I Mum?” and all Carolyn Knapp-Shappey heard was the echoes of shattering plates and vicious insults from a brutish, horrible, alcoholic of a husband that had tried so hard to break Arthur’s spirit, and Carolyn just hugged her son even tighter.
“It’ll be different this time. Herc’s not like that, dear. I promise.”
Chapter 5: MJN meets one of Arthur's old schoolmates
Genre: General BAMF-ery
Douglas had seen his fair share of horrible clients during his long tenure as a sky god. There were clients that complained about everything and clients that burst into hysterics at the mere thought of flying in a large metal tube and at least one client that Douglas was convinced was a serial killer. But MJN’s newest client, one of Arthur’s old schoolmates and a supposed “friend of a friend” of Carolyn’s, took being a complete and utter ass to a whole new level. The snobbish, holier-than-thou attitude was bad enough, and the fact that their new client seemed to punctuate every remark with a sneer was even worse, but Carolyn had reminded Douglas of the importance of the business that this Anderson was bringing, and so Douglas had restrained himself. However, when Arthur rushed into the flight deck, face blotchy and tear-stained, slamming the door to try and block out the crude jeers of “Does Shappey still wear a nappy?” and “Cor, I thought you were an dolt in high school, but just look at you now!”, Douglas snapped. Storming into the cabin, he strode right up to the man, intent on punching the lights out of him. Before Douglas could make a move, however, Carolyn had stepped in front of him with a curt “Allow me,” and delivered a swift punch to Anderson’s jaw. With a sharp crack , the man slumped to the floor, unconscious. “Douglas,” Carolyn said briskly, shaking her hand out, “I fear Mr Anderson has tripped against a chair and knocked himself out. Clumsy him. We’d better not move him, just in case. Let’s just enjoy the peace and quiet, shall we?”
Chapter 6: Carolyn discovering that Arthur is a serial killer
Warning: Mild references to gore and torture
Note: This relates to a previous Cabin Pressure/Sherlock crossover ficlet I wrote involving Moriarty, Dark!Molly, and a serial-killing Arthur, but this ficlet can stand on its own.
“What- what are you doing, Arthur?” Carolyn gasped, hands clutched to her mouth as she watched in silent horror as her son slowly mutilated the corpse in front of her.
“He hurt you Mum, and that made me mad,” Arthur said with a shrug as he stuck yet another knife into the body, “so I hurt him back.”
“Oh Arthur,” Carolyn sobbed, opening her arms wide to envelop her son in an embrace, “we can get you help; I can make it stop.”
“But Mum,” Arthur said, giving Carolyn a wide grin that, for all its customary warmth and brightness, chilled her to the bone, “what if I don’t want to stop?”
Chapter 7: Martin dates Douglas's daughter
Full prompt:Years go by and Douglas's daughter grows older. Martin is dating her, only he doesn't know she's actually her. Douglas finds out about this.
“Skip, where are you going?” Arthur asked in a bright voice as the captain dashed past him into the Fitton airfield parking lot.
“Um, well, I… have a date,” Martin stuttered as he fumbled with his car keys
“And who is the unlucky girl this time?” Douglas said with an amused glance as he leaned against the hood of Martin’s car.
“Oh shut up Douglas! Her name’s Larissa, if you must know. Larissa Richardson.” Martin huffed as he finally managed to jimmy the door of his car open.
“Wow, Skip, she has the same last name as Douglas!” Arthur exclaimed in amazement.
“Huh, I never really noticed,” Martin replied absentmindedly as he checked his hair in the side mirror of the car. “It’s a common enough name, I suppose.”
“Next thing you’ll be telling me that her middle name’s Clarisse and that she has a penchant for tropical fish and tai chi.” Douglas joked.
“Actually,” Martin replied, straightening up and staring at Douglas in surprise, “she does. How did you know that?”
Douglas froze for a moment, shell-shocked, before abruptly hopping off the car and slamming Martin’s car door shut. The captain squeaked in surprise, but quickly fell silent once he saw his first officer’s murderous gaze. “Martin,” Douglas said, calm and controlled and voice filled with icy fury barely held in check, “we need to talk.”
Chapter 8: The Cabin Crew meets John Finnemore
Written for fuckyeahjohnfinnemore.
Genre: General, humour
“Wow, Skip, Douglas, have you seen our new client?” Arthur asked exuberantly as he burst into the flight deck.
“No, Arthur, I haven’t. But why are you so excited about our latest client?”
“Since when is Arthur not excited by anything that moves?” Douglas drawled archly, reclining back in his seat.
“But this one’s absolutely brilliant!” Arthur exclaimed. “He keeps writing in this little notebook and drawing all these funny pictures and the best part is, he looks just like me!”
Martin and Douglas gave each other a quizzical look and, interest piqued, followed Arthur out of the flight deck.
Chapter 9: A day in the life of Snoopadoop
Warning: references to physical abuse
Snoopadoop knew that she had one simple job: keep her human happy. The Lady has whispered the missive into her ear as they had walked out of the pet store together, and Snoopadoop had taken quickly to her job. Whenever she saw her human, she would cock her head to one side and let her tongue loll out, tail wagging as a bright smile bloomed on her human’s face. She would take every opportunity to snuggle beside her human, resting her small head on his lap as he read a book or watched television. All in all, Snoopadoop felt that, with her small size and naturally energetic disposition, she was a good fit for her job. But every once in a while, as Snoopadoop licked at the purple bruises on her human’s arms and felt his heaving sobs dampen her fur, she wished fervently that she was a great pitbull or German Shepherd who could actually protect her human and make sure that The Man never laid a hand on him again. But Snoopadoop was only a small cockapoo, and so she just buried her wet nose deeper into Arthur Shappey’s side and tried desperately to make his pain go away - after all, that was her job.
Chapter 10: Douglas: Insomnia
Douglas Richardson had gone nine years, ten months, and twenty-three days without a single drink, and most of the time it was easy to resist temptation. After all, with Martin, Arthur, and Carolyn to taunt, he just didn’t have the time to even contemplate having a drink. But every once in a while, in the dark of the night, it wasn’t so easy to maintain control. Douglas would huddle in a small, cold bed with the latest set of divorce papers on the bedside table and his eyes would track the planes flying by his window for hours at a time, always thinking “I wonder which airline that is” and “I wonder if there’s anyone I know onboard” and “I wonder what they’d think if they saw me now.” On nights like these, his fingers would itch for a bottle of whisky, something to warm him and numb him and just let him sleep . But Douglas Richardson had gone nine years without a single drink, and so he would just lie in his bed and wait until the sun came up. “Nine years, ten months, and twenty-four days,” he thought to himself as he caught a glimpse of the first rays of sunshine peeking out from behind the clouds. He tried not to think about how many nights were left.
Chapter 11: Carolyn: Hurt/Comfort
Genre: Angst, hurt/comfort
She should have gotten used to it by now. After all, fifteen years should have been plenty enough time to thicken her skin and teach herself how to ignore those vile comments. Hell, she had spent the last twelve years dealing with boorish clients and snippy requests, and all with a fake smile firmly plastered in place. Nonetheless, the fact of the matter was that talking to Ruth had hurt as much as it had fifteen years ago, if not more. And so, after they had landed back in Fitton and Arthur had gone to his bedroom to read more about Helsinki, Carolyn found herself sitting in the attic with a dusty old photo album, quietly muffling her sobs as she flipped through photographs of her and Ruth, her and Ian, Ruth and Ian and her, each photo so poised and pretty and damnably perfect and when had everything gone so horribly wrong and why why why- She threw the album to the floor and wrapped her shaking hands around her knees, burying her head in a weak effort to stop her great gasping sobs. Suddenly, she felt two warm arms wrap around her, and Arthur whispered into her ear, “I’m sorry Mum. You’re much more brilliant than Auntie Ruth though, you know. You’re more brilliant than polar bears or yellow cars or even the Northern Lights. ‘Cause you’re Mum.”
Carolyn couldn’t help but smile a little at that. She planted a gentle kiss on her son’s cheek and murmured, “Thank you Arthur. For everything.”
Chapter 12: Martin is a hooker
“The minimum number of seats for a flight attendant to become mandatory is nineteen.”
Sticky fingers trailed up his arm, and Martin tried not to think about the entire night ahead of him, dark and hopeless and all too long.
“Standard oxygen masks provide enough oxygen for thirteen minutes.”
Fat hands left bruises on his hips, and Martin tried not to think about what lame excuses he’d have to give Douglas tomorrow to explain the marks that littered his body.
“A Boeing 767 has a fuel capacity of 90770 liters.”
Teeth bit down and fingernails scratched in and a heavy body collapsed on top of his and Martin tried not to think about how far he was from the sky he loved, trapped under the spotted ceiling of a seedy motel room.
“If there’s a 20 knot wind coming in from the northeast as you approach an airfield…”
He heard the clink of bills and coins being dropped on the bedside table and the click of a door closing, and Martin tried not to cry.
Chapter 13: Winged!Arthur
Warning: allusions to physical abuse and child abuse
When Arthur was ten, he had come up with a list of questions about his wings that he wanted answers to, and he’d taken hours painstakingly writing each one down on a really fancy sheet of paper in his best penmanship. It wasn’t that it bothered him, the whole “not understanding how his wings worked” bit (there were lots of things he didn’t understand, and it would be silly to be bothered by all of them); it was just that Arthur liked having new answers almost as much as he liked having new questions. After all, now that he finally had official-looking questions written down all nice and officially, maybe he could finally get some official answers. And official things were good, weren’t they?
Twenty-three years later, and Arthur still didn’t have any answers. Not even Douglas (who was the smartest person Arthur knew) or Martin (who knew loads of stuff about planes and so should have known loads of stuff about wings) could help the steward with his questions. They kept telling him what Mum had been telling him for the last twenty-three years: his wings don’t exist because nobody can see them. Of course, this can’t be true because Arthur can see them and Arthur isn’t nobody, so there really ought to be another explanation as to why three of the smartest people he knows don’t have any answers for him. Arthur thinks he’s finally figured it out now. You see, a few weeks after ten-year-old Arthur made that list of questions, his dad came home smelling of gin. There was a lot of shouting and a lot of hitting and a lot of things that were not-really-very-brilliant-at-all, and at the end of the night, Arthur’s list was crumbling to ashes in the fireplace. So, Arthur figures, if Mum, Skip and Douglas all can’t answer his questions, he must not be asking the right questions. That’s okay though; after all, Arthur’s used to things being his fault.