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Fic: Mrs. Icarus 2/2

12th February 2012

Martin sneezed and Douglas nearly growled in annoyance. Martin had been sniffling into a handful of grotty tissues for most of the week now and looking progressively tried every day he came in to sit at his desk while they waited to fly to Cancun. The prospect of warmer climes however, didn’t stop Martin’s constant sniffling from being annoying. Not when Douglas knew for a fact it was because Martin had been sleeping in his damp attic room rather than Sophie’s rather sumptuously heated flat. He wasn’t the one to say something however, because Carolyn chose that moment to launch herself out of her office and confront Martin with the full force glare of both boss and mother figure in one.

‘Will you just swallow your pride for goodness sake, Martin, and damn well move in with the girl!’

Martin looked mortified for a moment, as always unsure what to do now that his relationship seemed to be weekly flight deck gossip. Martin sneezed again, trying to regain his composure and sniffed into an already well-used tissue. ‘It’s not that simple.’

‘She asked you to move in didn’t she?’ Carolyn was leaning over the desk, Martin looking too terrified to answer now. ‘And you want out of your damp attic before you die of pneumonia or Ebola or mad cow disease if those agricultural students are anything to go by?’

Martin nodded timidly. ‘Well, yes.’

‘Then I really don’t see how it could be anymore simple than you packing up your meagre possessions and sharing a very nice flat with the girl you love.’

‘Because, Carolyn, what she pays for her very nice flat is not something I can really afford as a man with a van with a very time consuming hobby as a pilot.’

Carolyn ignored the jibe at her having a pilot whom she paid in meals rather than actual wages. ‘Has she asked you to pay the rent?’

‘We haven’t had a chance to discuss it yet. I haven’t really seen her this week.’

Carolyn tutted in annoyance. ‘Oh, for goodness sake, Martin, talk to the poor girl! She’s asked you to move in, probably full well knowing your dire financial situation. She obviously earns more than you and can already afford to live there without you moving in. Maybe she might be happy paying the rent every month if you pay the bills, or maybe you could open a joint account together so both your earnings end up in a pool that you both take from.’

Martin sniffed and looked thoughtful for a moment. ‘I never really thought about it like that.’

Carolyn sighed, almost in relief. ‘Relationships are about a bit of give a take, Martin. Maybe if you give up your pride and take a little money things really would be that simple.’

Martin bristled slightly, but the effective glare he had been mustering was ruined slightly by him sneezing.

‘And for pity’s sake get her to make you some soup or something before you give the rest of us your horrid cold.’ Carolyn slammed the door into her partitioned office making the walls shake slightly, effectively ending the conversation.

Martin turned to Douglas. ‘Do you think-‘

‘Martin, you already know what I think, have asked me several times this week on my opinion regarding you moving in with Sophie,’ Douglas chided. ‘What I will say, now Carolyn has thrown in her Tuppence worth, is that no one ever choked to death swallowing their own pride.’

*

Martin felt awful. He was not cherishing going home to the damp attic in which he resided while the students got drunk because it was Thursday or because someone had finally thrown out the mouldy piece of cheese at the back of the fridge they’d named Pierre or any number of other mundane reasons to throw a party. He was not enthused by the notion of coaxing his van into starting and then making it the seven miles home under it’s own steam and not towed by a breakdown vehicle he didn’t have cover for.

He wanted a comfortable bed and dry socks and heating that worked and food sitting warm in his stomach. He wanted these things so much that he’d managed to drive to Sophie’s block of flats before he’d given the idea much thought and in that moment he knew Douglas and Carolyn were both right.

He stood staring at the buzzer for a moment, hand hovering between it and his pocket. In the end he fished his keys out his pocket and fought with the door for a moment before it allowed him into the building. He considered knocking on Sophie’s door, and eventually went for the compromise of letting himself in, but knocking and calling out at the same time.

‘Hello?

‘Martin?’ Sophie’s head appeared out of the spare bedroom, a smile of surprise of her face. There was a streak of blue paint across Sophie’s left cheek and in her hair. She came down the corridor towards him, blue fingers reached for a stray strand of hair and tucked it behind her ear. ‘I was going to give you a call tonight. I haven’t seen you in a week.’

‘Work. I’ve been on stand-by.’

‘You said in your texts. Look, don’t stand in the doorway, come in.’ She made a grab for his arm and stopped short when she realised she was still covered in paint. ‘Let me just de-paint.’

He stood in the hallway as she went to the bathroom. The spare bedroom door was propped open beyond and Martin could see a half finished bright blue wall. He didn’t think to take off his shoes or coat, so just stood there looking like a lemon, staring at Sophie’s work shoes.

‘I thought maybe I’d scared you off with the key,’ she shouted over the rush of water in the bathroom.

Martin gave a high-pitched laugh. ‘No. No. Not at all. No.’

‘Yes, definitely not scared.’ Sophie appeared in the doorway, drying her hands on a towel, a frown on her face. He coughed as she moved down the hall towards him.

‘Look, Sophie, I didn’t mean to come round unannounced and interrupt your decorating project. I’m sorry, I’m…’

Her hand was on his forehead, damp fingers rubbing gently at his hairline before she turned her palm away, back of her hand to his forehead before knuckles grazed his right cheek. ‘You’re sick.’

She was tugging his jacket from his shoulders now and hanging it up, steering him further into the flat and pushing him in the direction of the sofa.

‘Come on, sit down and I’ll do us some dinner and we can talk about how I’ve freaked you out by giving you a key when all I really meant to do was make a gesture.’

He picked up a cushion that was shaped like an owl before taking its place on the sofa. He stared at its patchwork feathers as he listened to Sophie banging pots and pans in the kitchen and filling the kettle.

He wriggled his toes, his feet reminding him of the puddle he'd stepped in that afternoon. He bent down, starting on the arduous task of taking his shoes off. He grasped his foot with his hand once he'd wrestled his shoe from it with a wet pop, trying to warm it as he shivered. He was pulling at the other shoe when Sophie came back into the living room and caught him shivering. She pulled her jacket from the back of the sofa and retrieved the garment underneath.

‘Here.’ Sophie handed him a jumper of his he thought he’d lost. ‘I borrowed it.’

‘Thanks.’ He struggled to pull it over his head, trying to find the right holes for his arms and realising not soon enough that he had it on back to front. ‘Sorry.’

‘Martin.’

He stopped and looked up at Sophie.

‘Stop apologising,’ she said softly before she was helping him with his jumper. When she was done she didn’t move away though. She leaned in closer, lips barely an inch from Martin’s. ‘I missed you.’ She pressed her lips firmly to his.

‘You’ll get my germs.’

‘Good. Then I’ll have a legitimate reason to stay home from work tomorrow and spend the day with you.’ She kissed him again and Martin felt his cheeks flushing with heat as she crawled onto his lap. They stayed like that for a moment, Martin’s hands on her back, Sophie’s fingers at the back of his neck and in his hair. Martin could feel a tickle building at the back of his throat, pulling away from Sophie as the kettle boiled and he coughed into the shoulder of his jumper.

‘Sorry.’ Martin shuddered and Sophie rolled her eyes as she pulled herself from him, a hand brushing back the hair from his forehead and kissing him one last time before she was going back into the kitchen to make a pot of tea. Martin pulled the sleeves of his jumper down past his hands and fisted the ends between his fingers.

It was warm in Sophie’s flat. It was always warm in Sophie’s flat. She didn’t seem to worry too much about excessive heating bills and damp creeping in during the winter months. The radiator clicked to remind him it was still there as he pulled his cold feet up onto the sofa and buried them beneath the owl cushion.

‘I’ve got some sausages in so I could do your favourite if you like?’

Martin wanted to cry with happiness. His mum was the only other person who had ever known his favourite food and how it had never changed since he was seven years old. ‘That would be wonderful, thank you. I don’t mind cooking, though.’ He was already uncurling his feet to get up.

‘Stay put!’

Martin sometimes wondered where Sophie had come from and why she felt the need to be with such a hopeless, poor, extremely ordinary man with a van who had delusions of being a pilot. He’d never dared ask her, but he’d heard Douglas offhandedly enquiring what an attractive and seemingly sane girl like Sophie saw in a boy like Martin the first time they’d met and the answer had made Martin blush right down to his stomach.

‘There’s a Toblerone in my flight bag for you. I meant to give it you last week after Pisa, but I forgot,’ he said as she came back into the living room with two cups of tea. She handed one to Martin, smiling as she kissed him on the cheek.

‘Thank you.’ She placed her own mug on the coffee table. ‘Let me just go put the oven and some potatoes on and then I’ll be back through.’

He hugged his cup of tea to his chest, closing his eyes and leaning his head on the back of the sofa, lulled by the sound of life in the next room that wasn’t raucous students getting drunk. He was almost asleep by the time the sofa dipped beside him and he blinked himself back to some form of consciousness as Sophie almost sat on his feet.

‘Jesus, Martin. Your feet are freezing.’ Sophie pulled the throw from the back of the sofa and started mummifying Martin’s legs in it.

‘It’s cold in the portakabin,’ he told her, watching her as she sat cross-legged, facing him on the sofa, blue paint still streaked across her face.

‘You have, eh,’ Martin reached out and attempted to rub the paint from Sophie’s face without much success. He licked his thumb and made a second attempt.

‘Sorry, that’s disgusting.’ He pulled back, wiping his thumb on his jumper. Sophie laughed but didn’t move to wipe the spit or the remaining paint from her face.

‘So do you want to talk about the key now?’

Martin swallowed the too hot tea that was burning his tongue before speaking. ‘Actually, I wanted to talk about moving in.’

He watched Sophie’s lips quiver as she tried to force a smile back down, bringing her mug of tea to her lips to try and hide it. ‘Oh?’

‘You know I don’t earn very much, that I struggle to pay the rent on my attic as is, but I would want to contribute to living here, because Douglas would find it too hilarious if I became your kept man.’

‘And here I was looking forward to having a house-husband.’ Sophie realised what she’d said and tried to back peddle. ‘Not that I’m saying you’re my husband. House-boyfriend I meant, not husband, because we’re not married.’ She laughed nervously. ‘But, I know what you mean, Martin. Which is why I said to you when I gave you the key we could come to an arrangement. If we live together we’re sharing everything, which means not just sharing the bills, the rent, food, etcetera, but sharing our income.’

‘But-‘

‘But, I earn more than you, yeah I know. And I know how much it will have taken you to swallow your pride and come here tonight. So, why don’t we go to the bank tomorrow and ask about opening a joint account, yeah?’

‘I’m still on stand-by. I have to be in by nine.’ Martin suddenly felt exhausted at the prospect, and yawned as if to emphasis his point. ‘But I suppose-‘

‘Shit,’ Sophie said, as there was the sound of a pan boiling over in the kitchen. ‘Hold that thought.’ Sophie was scrambling over the arm of the sofa in an attempt to get to the kitchen faster, almost falling headfirst into the bookshelf before she righted herself and tumbled on out the door.

Martin couldn’t really taste anything when they sat down to dinner. They tried to finish the serious conversation of moving in together, but Martin’s mind kept wandering and he felt so fuzzy headed by the end of the meal he wasn’t sure he could even string a sentence together.

‘Thanks for dinner, Soph,’ he said when they were finished, wiping his mouth with his napkin and making to stand up. ‘I should probably be heading home now.’

Sophie’s hand was on his, tugging at the sleeve of his jumper to make him sit back down again.

‘Martin, you’re sick, you’ve just agreed to move in with me and you’re trying to go back to a place where you have a mattress on the floor of a damp attic in a house filled with agriculture students.’ She gave him a look that broached no argument. ‘You’re staying here.’

‘But you’re painting the spare room.’

‘When have you ever slept in the spare room?’

‘I just thought, because I’m not feeling all that great…’

‘You can sleep in the same bed with me so I can make sure you don’t expire in the middle of the night? Good thinking.’

He opened his mouth to protest but everything died as a croak in his throat as Sophie started gathering the dishes up. He lurched to his feet, trying to be helpful, but she turned the tap off almost as quickly as he turned it on.

‘I’ll do them in the morning.’ She was tipping the remainder of the dishes into the sink before prising the pot that she’d made the mashed potato in out of Martin’s hands. ‘Come on, bed. Before you fall down in the kitchen.’

*

‘Soph?’

Sophie deposited a glass of water and a box of tissues on the bedside table next to Martin before dropping the bin from under her desk onto the floor.

‘Yup?’ she asked as she started getting ready for bed.

‘You know I love you, right?’

‘Course I do.’ She turned and smiled at him, halfway undressed. Martin would blame it on the fact that the sausage and mash that had been sitting comfortably in the pit of his stomach was now threatening to repeat on him, but he suddenly felt emotionally overwhelmed as he watched Sophie finishing changing into her pyjamas.

‘I love you too,’ she said, smiling shyly down at him before she crawled into her own side of the bed and turned the light out. Martin turned towards her.

‘Thank you,’ Martin said softly into the shell of Sophie’s ear. ‘For everything.’ He kissed the side of her neck, trying to ignore the churning in his stomach as his hands slid beneath her top. ‘I never… oh, God.’

Martin was sliding out the bed and stumbling towards the bathroom. He landed on his knees with a smack beside the toilet, but his groan of pain was lost to the retching heaves as his stomach emptied itself.

He could feel shame rising up in him as he shuddered on the bathroom floor, first hot then cold as he started sweating through his t-shirt. He could feel his ears going red with embarrassment as he heard Sophie’s feet on the tiled floor, a hand on his back rubbing soothing circles.

‘Sorry,’ he managed as he sat back on his heels when he was finished and took the damp flannel Sophie offered him, wiping his mouth. ‘I meant for that to be more romantic.’

‘I happen to love your brand of clumsy romance.’ Sophie smiled and even though he’d just been sick and was still sitting on the bathroom floor bathed in his own sweat, she kissed him.

7th September 2012

‘Good morning.’ Douglas smiled indulgently at Martin as he stumbled into the kitchen, blinking furiously against the onslaught of natural light coming in through the window.

‘Douglas?’

‘Last time I checked.’

‘What are you doing here?’ Martin was slowly taking in details of his surroundings. ‘Making coffee.’ He glanced at the clock on the wall. ‘At eight in the morning.’

‘I met the charming Sophie on the doorstep and she let me in before she went for her run. Told me to help myself to coffee as long as I saved a cup for you and your hangover.’

‘Did you?’ Martin was lowering himself rather gingerly onto a chair at the table.

Douglas poured out a cup and slid it over the surface towards Martin. ‘And how is Sir’s hangover?’

‘Oh God, Douglas.’ Martin lowered his head into his hands. ‘I don’t think I’ve ever been so drunk in my life.’

‘Was there a cause for such merriment?’

Martin squinted down at his coffee trying to recall why he’d gotten so drunk the previous evening. It trickled back in slowly.

‘I think, although I can’t really be sure, but I think I proposed.’

‘Are congratulations in order then?’

‘I, eh, I don’t know.’

‘You don’t know?’

‘No. I’ve only just remembered I proposed. I suppose that explains why she was a bit off with me this morning. Oh, God, what if she said no and now it’s going to be really awkward and I’ll have to move out. Douglas, I don’t have anywhere to live.’

‘Ah, well, you know how women are about these things. So fickle. What might have been a no last night was probably a yes this morning.’

‘Yes, well you would know, wouldn’t you, Douglas,’ Martin snapped, before cringing at both his word choice, and how loud the words were in his head.

‘Anyway, I hate to interrupt this happy trip down drunken lane, but I was rather hoping to be driving you to a plane that you were planning on possibly flying sometime today.’

‘Ah.’ Martin frowned as he pulled himself to his feet rather cautiously. ‘Let me just go shower and get dressed.’

‘Let us hope that today is not the day that Mr. Lewinski decides to take us off standby to fly him to Las Vegas,’ Douglas said to Martin’s retreating back.

There was an excessive amount of banging before the shower turned on and Douglas helped himself to a second cup of coffee, hoping that Sophie returned before he and Martin had to depart. Or even better, before Martin even got out the shower.

*

Sophie did indeed return before Martin was out the shower, breathing heavily and perspiring as she leaned over the sink to drink straight from the tap. The earphones to her iPod were dangling dangerously close to the water as she tried to spit stray strands of sweaty hair from her mouth.

‘Is he alive now, then?’ she asked as she wiped the back of her hand with the sleeve of her top.

‘He’s in the shower.’ Douglas’ eyes moved to Sophie’s hand. ‘I see congratulations are in order.’

‘Thank you.’ She grinned, looking down at the ring. ‘Did he tell you?’

‘Martin? No, he’s only just remembered he proposed, but he seems to be under the illusion that you may have said no.’

Sophie laughed. ‘He was so drunk, Douglas. After I’d done being angry about how drunk he was and figured out why he was so paralytic it was rather hysterical to watch him flailing around on one knee.’

The door of the bedroom opened at that moment and Martin emerged back into the kitchen, wet hair combed back and his pilot’s uniform on, minus shoes, tie and epaulets. Douglas saw Sophie putting her left hand behind her back out of the corner of his eye.

‘I hear you’ve remembered you proposed now.’

Martin’s eyes looked huge in his head for a moment. ‘Yes, sorry about the drunkenness.’

‘I don’t think you need to apologise again, Martin. You did quite enough of that as you were trying to get your trousers off last night without undoing the belt.’

Douglas snorted into his coffee.

‘Um, I have just one question, quite a big one actually. The thing is I can’t quite remember, what with clearly being preoccupied with my trousers, but I was just wondering what your answer was?’

‘After you asked me to marry you?’ Sophie looked deep in thought for a moment. ‘Well, after you’d asked me not to go gentle into that good night while I was trying to get you up off the living room floor, not sure I can actually remember.’ She frowned as Martin looked mortified. Douglas could see he was perspiring almost as much as Sophie was.

‘Maybe? I think I said maybe.’ She put her left hand to her mouth in thought, and it took Martin a moment to realise she had a ring where there wasn’t normally one. It glinted in the overhead lights of the kitchen as he blinked stupidly at the modest stone setting.

‘I said yes, you idiot.’

‘Oh, well, that’s good,’ Martin said rather dumbly. Sophie just rolled her eyes and crossed the kitchen to kiss a still rather bemused looking Martin.

‘Try and survive the day and I’ll see you, hopefully sober, for a proper proposal dinner this evening.’ She kissed him one last time before moving round him.

‘Congratulations, again.’ Douglas got to his feet and kissed Sophie on the cheek before she pulled him in for a hug. ‘I’m glad Martin’s finally found someone who can look after him and put up with him at the same time.’

Sophie laughed as she headed towards the bedroom. ‘Thanks, Douglas.’

‘Right, come on Dylan Thomas, we have to go present you to Carolyn and hope she’s lost her sense of smell,’ Douglas told Martin as he thrust Martin’s untouched cup of coffee into his hands just as Douglas' phone started ringing.

‘Speak of the devil incarnate,’ Douglas said before he picked up. ‘Hello, Carolyn.’

‘I’m getting married.’ Martin was staring at Douglas with a look of shock on his face.

‘Yes, we’re on our way now. Martin’s just having a marital crisis.’

There was a confused pause on the other end of the phone line before Carolyn spoke. ‘But Martin’s not married.’

‘She said yes, Douglas. Oh God, I’m getting married.’ Martin started hyperventilating.

*

‘Morning, Chaps!’ Arthur greeted with his usually amount of enthusiasm as Douglas steered Martin in the door of the Portakabin and shut the door behind them.

‘Morning, Arthur.’

Arthur was frowning at Martin who was stood in the middle of the room now staring down at his desk as if he’d never seen it before. ‘Is Skip alright?’

‘Martin imbibed a little too much last night.’ Douglas manoeuvred Martin into one of the office chairs. ‘Also he appears to be in some amount of shock. Pop the kettle on will you, Arthur?’

‘Shock? Why? What happened? He didn’t stick a knife in the toaster to try and get his toast out did he, because I just thought Mum was being overly cautious when she told me about that, but it really does give you a shock and makes you all sort of buzzy for the rest of the day.’

‘Not that kind of shock, Arthur. A shock in the sense that he’s just realised that he will soon be a married man.’

‘Skip’s getting married? That’s uh, that’s…’

‘Brilliant?’

‘Brilliantly brilliant!’

‘Yes, I thought it might be.’

‘Aw, wow! I’ll need to think of a brilliant present. Do you think there will be cake too?’

‘I don’t know, Arthur. Let’s ask Martin, shall we.’ Douglas swivelled in his chair to face Martin. ‘Martin, will there be cake at your wedding?’

‘Cake?’ Martin frowned, thinking about it. ‘Yes, cake. Lots of cakey type cake. Yes. Which is what she said. Yes.’

‘Are you sure Skip’s alright, Douglas?’

‘I think Martin is experiencing what we men who have been previously married have come to know as cold feet. Sadly, as with all things in life, Martin appears to be several months too early.’ Douglas took his mug of coffee from Arthur. ‘He’ll be fine in a couple of months.’

30th October 2012

‘Um, Douglas.’ They’d been in the air for an hour already and Martin had been uncharacteristically quiet for most of the time. Even Douglas’ suggestion that they play ‘Famous people who sound like swear words’ hadn’t captivated Martin long enough to distract him from whatever was bothering him.

‘Yes, oh Captain, my Captain?’

‘There was something I wanted to ask you. Quite important actually.’ Martin was purposely looking out the front of the aeroplane, intent on flying it rather than looking at Douglas.

‘Oh, yes?’

‘Well, I was wondering, since you and I are, well, I suppose we’re friends.’

‘Of a sort.’

Martin ignored Douglas. ‘Well, I was wondering if you’d be my best man? At the wedding.’

There was a lengthy pause while Douglas watched Martin perspiring nervously, waiting for an answer. Douglas was flattered to be asked, but he vaguely wondered if Martin was just winding him up. Either way, Douglas’ initial reaction was to react defensively by joking about it.

‘Am I really the right person for the job, Martin? Surely you’d much prefer Arthur?’

‘Oh, yes, with a bachelor party at McDonalds after a trip to the cinema to see the latest Disney film.’

‘Oh, now, be fair Martin. Arthur’s allowed to go and see 12A’s now as long as you or I are with him.’

‘Douglas,’ Martin warned, but there was the hint of an easy smile as he glanced Douglas’ way.

‘Are you honestly asking me to be your best man?’

‘No, Douglas, I’m asking you for a joke, of course I’m asking you to be my best man. I can’t think of anyone better to give me advice than a man who’s been married and divorced three times.’

‘Sir does flatter me so.’

Martin sighed, losing patience. ‘Douglas will you be my best man or not?’

‘Happily, Martin.’ Douglas smiled. ‘Happily.’

12th March 2013

Martin awoke with a snort, coming too to find himself entangled in someone else’s limbs. For a moment he thought Sophie had found her way home earlier than she had planned, but then he remembered the previous evening, the words STAG NIGHT looming large out of the storm of a hangover that was slowly building behind his eyes.

‘Good morning.’

Martin raised his head from the chest it was resting on to peer over the body of which he was now almost positive belonged to that of their hapless Steward, to stare at Douglas who was sitting on the sofa, a cup of tea in one hand.

‘Not one word, Douglas,’ Martin said as he extracted himself from Arthur’s limbs and stumbled upright, perusing the area around him with a frown. He and Arthur had been lying on top of a Twister mat, but Martin couldn’t actually recall playing Twister at any point during the night. If he was entirely honest, he couldn’t actually remember making it home.

He stumbled towards the kitchen and found an array of mismatched items on the kitchen table. He picked up a small inflatable sheep, frowning down at it in confusion. He tried to sort through the blur of the previous evening but nothing would come to him.

‘Shall I leave you to puzzle it out yourself or would you like me to connect the dots?’ Douglas asked from where he was leaning in the kitchen doorway.

Martin turned to look at him holding up the sheep, mouth hanging open in a gormless expression. He wondered if he really did want to know, or if he’d much rather prefer crawling into a bed with industrial strength painkillers and happily living in the land of ignorance. His eyes fell on a ticket for a show entitled ‘Ladyboys of Bangkok’ and he decide to head towards the bathroom to find some ibuprofen.

21st March 2013

Douglas pulled his tie away from his neck and undid the top button of his starchy shirt. He downed his third orange juice of the evening as he watched in almost quiet jealousy while the bride and groom shared their first dance together. Sophie’s clumsy limbs seemed to have been reigned in for the evening as Martin and she quickstepped round the dance floor.

The wedding had gone off largely without a hitch. The groom had been the one to show up late, but that had mostly been due to Arthur’s appalling sense of direction as he’d driven Martin to the church. Sophie had almost tripped over her own dress – thankfully not a meringue, but a rather simple dress that Sophie appeared to have been sown into – walking down the aisle, but her father was clearly a man who was used to his daughter’s clumsy ways and had saved the moment remarkably well.

Mr and Mrs Duffy were busy talking with Martin’s mother near to the open bar now, no doubt trading embarrassing stories about their children that they were probably looking forward to sharing with grandchildren some day. Martin’s niece and nephew were chasing Arthur round the present table, all three of them smeared in wedding cake.

Douglas was reminded of his first wedding as his eyes drifted back to the bride and groom. He could just make out Martin singing in Sophie’s ear the words to a highly appropriate song, that Douglas was grateful wasn’t a wedding cliché. Well, certainly not a wedding cliché he’d heard recently. To be honest, Douglas was just glad that Sophie and Martin seemed to have more taste than Wind Beneath My Wings.

‘It’s perfect for a flying honeymoon, they say,’ Douglas sung to himself before he noticed Carolyn and Herc joining the newly wedded couple on the dance floor, other couples following their lead. Sophie was grinning into Martin’s starched collar as they lingered by the band, Martin whispering the lyrics in Sophie’s ear like it was love poetry.

*

‘I honestly never thought I’d see this day,’ Carolyn said as she sat down beside Douglas at the top table.

‘I honestly thought I’d never see the day where Martin managed to talk to a girl without stuttering.’

Carolyn was rosy cheeked either from dancing or the champagne, Douglas couldn’t be sure. She was watching Martin and Sophie dancing in a loose waltz. Martin had Sophie’s high heels in one hand that was slung low round her back, while Sophie draped herself over his shoulders. Martin laughed loudly at something Sophie had no doubt whispered in his ear, throwing his head back in amusement.

‘It’s nice to see him so happy.’

‘It certainly makes a change, yes.’

Carolyn and Douglas spent a long moment watching the happy couple before Carolyn’s eyes shifted to Herc who was helping Arthur piece together Arthur’s present to the newly wedded Mr and Mrs Crieff. Although, Carolyn suspected the present was more for Martin than Sophie. Hercules had a long-suffering look on his face as he tried to help Arthur. ‘Any luck finding Mrs. Richardson the fourth?’

Douglas sighed, almost sadly. ‘Unfortunately no, although it’s not through lack of trying on my part.’ Douglas gave a sly smile. ‘I sometimes think I should give it all up, though. I look at Martin and Sophie and I can honestly say that a woman has never - not even my three wives - looked at me with such adoration in their eyes.’

Carolyn’s eyes moved back to Sophie and Martin who were now being parted by Sophie’s parents so Sophie could share a dance with her father. Sophie’s mother was leading Martin away by the arm, apparently intent on having a word with her son-in-law, but Martin’s face made it look like he was being marched to his death. He glanced back over his shoulder at Sophie, a pleading look on his face that soon melted into an open look of disbelief that he had somehow ended up with this beautiful woman.

Douglas sighed. ‘Likewise, I think I can safely say I have never had such a puppy dog look of love in my eye as Martin has for that girl.’

*

Sophie was stood out the back of the golf club where they’d held the reception on the stairs down to the putting green. Just beyond the light of the clubhouse she could make out three figures arguing in the light drizzle.

The rain suddenly stopped and Sophie looked up to find an umbrella blocking out the steel grey sky. At her side was Carolyn, watching her son, Sophie’s new husband and the first officer arguing.

‘Boys and their toys,’ Carolyn commented as the remote control aeroplane Arthur had bought for Sophie and Martin’s wedding lifted slightly off the ground before nose-diving into a bunker.

‘Your husband – husbands – were they ever…’

‘Grade A pillocks?’ Carolyn sighed. ‘Yes, I’m afraid you won’t be the first, and certainly not the last wife to realise you married a total and absolute idiot.’

Sophie smiled and then laughed as there was an indignant cry of Douglas! followed by a fight for the remote of the model aeroplane.

‘I think however, that unlike me, you have married a man who genuinely loves you, although I can’t guarantee he won’t try to steal your jet should you be so inclined to buy one.’

Sophie laughed. ‘Just call me Mrs. Icarus.’

They watched Martin for a moment patiently trying to teach Arthur the mechanics of a plane, no matter how small and the model did a brief loop the loop, causing Douglas to duck out the way.

‘He’ll certainly make a good father.’

Sophie’s hands drifted to her stomach without her thinking about it, smiling to herself. ‘He will.’

‘How far gone are you?’

Sophie pulled her hands away quickly, turning to look at Carolyn sharply who had a knowing smirk on her face.

‘Just a few weeks. I found out this morning.’

‘Does Martin- No, wait, let me answer that question myself. Martin obviously doesn’t know because he’s not hyperventilating into a brown paper bag somewhere or passed out in the corner.’

‘Thought it probably best to wait until after the wedding to tell him. Already enough going on today to send him into a tizz.’

‘Very wise. Might I also suggest waiting until tomorrow morning if you plan on actually having your wedding night.’

‘Thanks for the advice.’

‘You’re quite welcome.’ Carolyn turned back towards the building. ‘Oh, and Sophie?’

‘Yes?’

‘Congratulations.’

Sophie beamed brightly just as there was an indignant cry of Arthur! followed by the sound of a crashing aircraft.

Comments

( 25 have written — Write to me )
chess_ka
Nov. 20th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
*Spins this fic around in circles and loves it forever* A happy!Martin fic! A wonderful female OC! I adore this fic, it is adorable and fluffy and awkward and sweet and I just want to curl up in it.
erin_giles
Nov. 21st, 2011 10:51 pm (UTC)
As much as I love Martin!whump I thought it was time someone was (sort of) nice to him in fanfic. Really glad you like this, and Sophie. Thanks for commenting.
theimprobable1
Nov. 20th, 2011 10:06 pm (UTC)
I am trying to write a coherent comment, I really am, but...

OMG this fic! I love it, I love it, I love it! Sophie is a wonderful character and perfect for Martin and they got married and now I'm imagining baby!Crieff and it's adorable.

*melts*
erin_giles
Nov. 21st, 2011 10:52 pm (UTC)
Aw. *blushes* Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed it.
lady_t_220
Nov. 20th, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC)
I think I'm just going to take this fic and wallow in its fuzzy, adorable loveliness for the rest of the evening. I know I'm a big fan of the Martin!Whump but sometimes it's just so good to see him get something nice for a change.
erin_giles
Nov. 21st, 2011 10:53 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks. I hope you enjoyed wallowing! I'm also a big fan of Martin!whump, but I thought I'd try and give him something (sort of) happy for a change, but he really does deserve a bit of luck.
mattsloved1
Nov. 21st, 2011 12:54 am (UTC)
This is such a wonderful piece. Sophie is a great character and it was lovely to see someone see and appreciate Martin's worth. Is it awful that I wish you would write a sequel? Perhaps through the birth of their child? Even if you don't, thank you for sharing this with us. :D
erin_giles
Nov. 21st, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
I feel Martin needed it, and so glad you like Sophie too. Is it awful that my brain is already thinking of a sequel? Perhaps with baby!Crieff? And you're very welcome, thank you for reading.
mattsloved1
Nov. 21st, 2011 11:29 pm (UTC)
Awful?! Absolutely not! I think it's perfect. I am certain Martin would faint when told the news, be the perfect nervous husband during the pregnancy, absolutely falling apart when contractions start and crying when the baby is born. ;)

(Deleted comment)
erin_giles
Nov. 21st, 2011 10:55 pm (UTC)
Don't come over too melty or Arthur will hoover you up! ;) Thanks for commenting.
maybe_amanda
Nov. 21st, 2011 04:04 am (UTC)
I love when things work out for Martin. :D
erin_giles
Nov. 21st, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
So very rare these days that I thought I'd have a go at it myself. Thanks for reading.
killerweasel
Nov. 21st, 2011 04:56 am (UTC)
This was wonderful.

Loved it. :D
erin_giles
Nov. 21st, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.
jealousofthetea
Nov. 21st, 2011 08:03 am (UTC)
This is fantastic! Oh, I'm so happy for Martin :D
erin_giles
Nov. 21st, 2011 10:57 pm (UTC)
The man deserves some happiness in his life considering what the fandom do to him on a daily basis. Glad you enjoyed.
rubicks_cube
Nov. 21st, 2011 01:43 pm (UTC)
My face is doing a Martin-esque twitchy thing that I'm 99% sure is based on utter JOY! :D

That was so so so so so so sweet - and I'm a hardcore slasher, so to get me to love het this much is completely unexpected :D

Brilliant x
erin_giles
Nov. 21st, 2011 10:58 pm (UTC)
Aw, bless. I'm really glad you enjoyed this, and that is a compliment indeed. (I'm also a hardcore slasher so writing this went against all my natural instincts...) Thanks for the comments.
thecatinthetree
Nov. 21st, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
Nnngh

All the lovliest of lovelies
erin_giles
Nov. 21st, 2011 10:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
pendingprogress
Nov. 21st, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
This would be revoltingly adorable, if it weren't for the fact that it's so in-character, so you have Martin freaking out and being stupid over tiny things and all that stuff, and that is what stops it from being disgustingly over-perfect. It is totally perfect for him and your brilliant OC (the graceless dancer! I love it) and so it totally works. Loving all of this. Happy grins.

Pic
erin_giles
Nov. 21st, 2011 11:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the kind comments. And Martin wouldn't really be Martin if he wasn't freaking out over absolutely everything. Really pleased you like Sophie too. Thanks for reading.
the_first_chibi
Nov. 21st, 2011 07:29 pm (UTC)
Wow. This was brilliant and fantastic and lovely. And so in character! I'm not usually one for het when it comes to Martin, but I loved reading every bit of this!
erin_giles
Nov. 21st, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. And me neither, I'm a slasher all the way, but it was fun to make up an ideal girl for Martin.
kari77
Nov. 22nd, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is glorious!
I'm in love with Sophie, and your Martin.

Thank you for writing what felt like a very realistic relationship between two not at all perfect, but perfect for each other, people.

*squishes you and fic*
( 25 have written — Write to me )

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