"Thunderstorms are NOT brilliant," Arthur muttered as he paced the airport's small waiting area. Stuttgart, Germany was probably a lovely place to visit, but it definitely wasn't some place the MJN crew had appreciated being diverted to en route to Zurich.
"It wasn't safe to fly any further, Arthur. We were going to run out of fuel if we continued to try and fly around the storm." Douglas put down the book he was reading. He didn't really want to deal with a bored, cranky Arthur, but Martin had disappeared to see if he could find them a room for the night. "We'll still make it to Zurich if that's what you're worried about."
"I still can't believe Carolyn told Herc to take the job with Swiss Air." Martin stood behind Douglas and rested his hands on the older man's shoulders. He began to massage Douglas' shoulders, feeling the tight muscles. It was the worst landing in MJN history. Martin may have been able to land G-ERTI after making a goose smoothie, but he knew instinctively that Douglas would be the one to get them down safely in a storm as terrible as this one was.
In spite of all his experience, Douglas barely managed. Once they had landed, Douglas turned ghostly pale and vomited in the flight deck. Even Arthur had been severely shaken. Martin, surprisingly, stayed calm until he made it to the Gentlemen's loo at the airport. Once there, away from his crew, he finally allowed himself to fall apart.
It was close, too close, and he still had no idea how Douglas managed to not kill them all.
Thankfully, it was a just a cargo flight full of Herc's belongings. Herc had opted to hire both Icarus and MJN to move his belongings from the UK to Zurich. As Martin massaged the knots out of Douglas' shoulders, the older man groaned a bit. His Captain was very good at massaging his shoulders.
Arthur heard Douglas and looked at the the two men out of the corner of his eye. Douglas placed his hands on top of Martin's and turned his head so that he could look the young man in the eye. "Thank you. Sir."
Six months ago, Arthur had overheard Martin and Douglas talking about getting together for a night of takeaway and telly. He wondered if they had actually gone through with it. They were definitely acting very differently, even for them. He had absolutely no way of knowing that the two men had finally come to an uneasy compromise with their mutual attraction, but they had become much more unguarded with each other. Enough so that even Carolyn had begun to notice the soft looks and constant touching.
"SKIP! Did you find us a place to spend the night?" Arthur launched himself away from the window and ran over to where Martin and Douglas were.
"Actually, I did find a place for us to sleep." He cleared this throat nervously. "It's, um, one room with a double bed. They don't have a cot, but they'll give us extra blankets and pillows. We can sort out the sleeping arrangements when we get there."
"There's nothing to sort out, Skip! You and Douglas can take the bed. I love sleeping on the floor. The floor is brilliant!" Arthur grabbed his suitcase. "Let's go!"
Martin and Douglas looked each other in the eyes. They would be sharing the bed, because Arthur would insist on sleeping on the floor. There was no way around it. Martin's eyes were wide with fear so Douglas grabbed one of his hands, anchoring the younger man. "It's OK. It's just for one night." He pulled his Captain close so that he could whisper, "Arthur doesn't need to know we've made it a habit to sleep in the same bed."
Martin took a deep breath. "I know. It's just weird because we're going to be doing it in front of Arthur."
"It's not like you're going to molest me in your sleep. Even though I might want you to." Douglas winked, enjoying the way the young man turned bright red. Nothing would happen between the two of them, but it didn't mean that he didn't enjoy teasing Martin from time to time.
"Douglas! Arthur's going to hear us!" He turned and practically ran to the door leading to the area where the hotel shuttles were parked. Douglas followed, enjoying the way Martin's trousers hugged his arse. It was a view he wasn't going to get tired of any time soon.
Arthur had settled down on the floor and had begun to snore before Martin could even set his flight bag down. The flight had taken a lot out of all of them, but Martin was jealous of Arthur's ability to have fallen asleep so quickly. Douglas was in the loo, so Martin took advantage of the relative privacy to change into his pyjamas. He had just taken his shirt off when Douglas entered the bedroom.
Douglas looked at his shirtless Captain and felt the familiar stirrings of desire. Martin's tattoo was on display again, and despite their constant rooming, and sleeping, together, Martin had gone back to ensuring Douglas couldn't see it. He wondered if it was the young man's way of showing Douglas what the First Officer meant to him; words he still wouldn't (couldn't?) say, despite their near-death experience.
He averted his eyes and climbed into bed. He could hear Martin sliding his shirt on and then the young man sat on the edge of the bed. Douglas lay on his back and stretched his arm out. "Come on. Get comfortable."
Martin looked down at Douglas. "Are you sure?"
Douglas sighed and looked at Martin. Instead of fighting, he lay down and rested his head on Douglas' chest. Douglas pulled him in tight, kissed the top of his head and then he nestled his nose in those unruly auburn curls he loved so much.