“Ben?” Martin knocked on the door to his friend's trailer and then opened it without waiting for a reply.
Benedict was sitting in an armchair, leaning forward, staring intently at an object laying across his coffee table.
“Hey, fancy lunch?” Martin said.
“Huh?” Ben snapped to and looked up at Martin, “Oh, I'm not hungry.”
“All right, Sherlock,” Martin teased, “What are you doing?”
“Nothing much, just panicking,” Ben said with a cold laugh, running his fingers through his curls.
“What are you on about?” Martin came over to him and sat in the chair on the other side of the table.
Ben tossed him the script that was on the arm of his chair. There were passages highlighted which Martin read aloud.
“Irene raises her crop and offers Sherlock one last chance to release the phone. She delivers three direct blows to his arm until he buckles and releases the phone. (Sorry, Ben. - Mark),” Martin chuckles, “You aren't seriously worrying about this scene are you? You've done much heavier stage fighting.”
“There will be no stage fighting, Mark assured me. He just expects me to take a beating,” Ben says with bitterness in his voice, “He wrote 'sorry, Ben,' on the scene where I'm being strangled in the apartment, too, and that was about as real as it gets.”
Martin shook his head in disbelief, “Come on, she'll pull the blows,” Martin picked up the crop and Ben visibly tensed and sat further back in his chair. Martin raised his eyebrows at his cowardly friend. “You're making it very difficult for me not to have a run at you.”
“Yes, yes, I'm a sissy and a ponce, thank you, Martin,” Ben stood and put more distance between himself and Martin who was idly swinging the crop. He let it crack down onto the coffee table and Ben jumped.
“Ben!” Martin said exasperated, “You are overreacting.”
“Says you. You won't be on the receiving end of that weapon,” Benedict said the final word with an unwarranted amount of spite. Martin tried to keep the smile off his face.
“All right, have a go,” Martin stood and turned the handle towards Benedict.
Benedict shook his head, but Martin jabbed the crop towards him and Benedict took it in lieu of getting poked in the ribs.
“Come on,” Martin turned sideways so Ben had a shot at his arm, “If I can take it, you can take it.”
“I don't want to hurt you,” Ben said severely.
“Please,” Martin rolled his eyes, “I've taken a beating or two. And I've been whacked with a crop before, too,” Martin said with a devilish wink.
Ben's eyes widened a touch and he laughed lightly, “All right, but it's your funeral. Tissues on the table.”
Ben pulled back and smacked Martin on the arm with the crop without enough strength to make Martin even flinch.
“I'm broken,” Martin said sarcastically, “Come on! She is supposed to bring you to your knees, man.”
Ben pulled back again and snapped the crop harder this time, still without a reaction from Martin.
“Maybe you just have a high pain tolerance,” Ben said sheepishly.
“Maybe you swing like a girl,” Martin taunted.
Ben stood indignantly and pulled back a third time. This time he landed a solid blow across Martin's upper arm that drew a small grunt and wince from the smaller man. He rubbed his arm lightly and smiled, “There, that wasn't so bad. Your turn.”
“My turn?” Ben pointed at himself with the crop, and Martin snatched it from his hands.
“You can't let the first time you take a hit be on camera. That would be embarrassing,” Martin said, “Come on, so you'll know what to expect.”
“Christ,” Ben shook his head with his hand over his eyes, “You'll be my undoing.”
“Hey, I just want to help,” Martin said sincerely.
“All right, let me have it th-”
Before he could finish his sentence, Martin had deftly swung and landed a blow to Benedict's upper arm.
“Fuck!” Ben shrieked and grabbed his arm.
Martin chuckled, “See. You can't say fuck on camera.”
“All right,” Ben straightened, “Do it again.”
Martin swung a touch harder this time and Ben bit his lip to keep from shouting. He tried to keep his face as indifferent as possible, as Sherlock as possible, but he felt himself cringe unwillingly.
“One more,” Ben said with a touch of roughness to his voice.
Martin smiled snidely and pulled back, this time surprising Ben and hitting lower on his arm, careful to avoid his elbow or wrist. Ben hissed, but to his credit, stayed about as still and neutral as could be expected.
“See! You've got it!” Martin said and rudely clapped Ben on the still stinging arm.
“Ah!” Ben growled and shoved Martin away as the smaller man laughed, “You think you're funny?”
Ben snatched the crop from Martin.
“All right, easy, tiger,” Martin said, still laughing, and backing away from Ben slowly.
“You're lucky I've to get on set in a moment,” Ben said and Martin dropped his defensive arms.
Ben quickly swung out and smacked Martin in the thigh with the crop. Martin shrieked and jumped back while Ben had a laugh.
“Tosser,” Martin grumbled as he rubbed his leg and hobbled out of the trailer with his friend.