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Fic: Bumpy Landing

Title: Bumpy Landing
Author: erin_giles
Rating: PG
Characters/Pairings: The Crieff Family (Martin, Wendy, Caitlin, Simon & Dad)
Words: 1986
Summary: When Martin Crieff still wanted to be an aeroplane he experienced his first bumpy landing, much to the horror of his brother, Simon.

‘Mum!’

Wendy could hear the panic in her son’s voice from all the way up the stairs. It sounded like he was shouting from by the back door. She emerged from the bedroom, her husband’s shirt that she was supposed to be ironing still in her hand.

‘Mum!’ He was running through the house now, shouting at the top of his lungs as he reached the bottom of the stairs, his shoes trailing muddy footprints behind. He had a foot on the bottom step, still yelling, ‘Mum!’

‘What is it, Simon?’

‘It’s Martin. He’s- He’s-‘ Simon was panicking, that much anyone could see, and it sent a flutter of panic to Wendy’s own chest when he mentioned her youngest son's name. She was down the bottom of the stairs now, hanging the shirt on the banister as she drew level with Simon who she could see was starting to lose his cool, tears springing to his eyes.

‘Simon, what’s happened? Where is he?’

Simon grabbed his mother’s hand and started tugging her towards the backdoor. Wendy didn’t know what she was expecting to find when she emerged into the back garden. Her youngest son’s tiny body lying mangled on the ground with an axe-murderer looming over him? She managed to conjure another hundred awful scenarios between the hallway and kitchen door before she stepped out into the sun-drenched garden.

Martin was lying on the grass on his side, one foot in the flowerbed by the bottom of the tree their father had fixed a rope ladder to. Caitlin was sat next to him, petting his hair, presumably because that’s what she’d done when the dog next door had been suffering after it had had an operation a few months ago. Martin wasn’t crying, but then Martin was never really a crier. He was very still though, and Wendy was almost certain that he was dead as she approached close to a run.

‘Martin!’ He turned his face slightly and opened his eyes to look at his mother and Wendy felt her heart stagger slightly in relief. ‘Martin, pet, are you alright?’

She collapsed to her knees at his side as Martin managed to shake his head minutely, his cheek rubbing against the grassy lawn. She reached out a hand to touch his head, glad that he didn’t flinch, it meant he’d at the least not banged his head.

‘Martin wanted to see if he could fly.’ Simon managed to say between hiccupping sobs. Wendy wanted to comfort her crying son, but she was more concerned about the other one who was holding his arm close to his chest, his little face screwed up in pain as she helped him sit up.

‘Is it your arm, sweetheart?’ Wendy was trying to gather Martin up into her arms without hurting from him further. He nodded almost sheepishly. She glanced at the rope ladder still swinging ominously in the summer breeze.

‘Did you fall out the tree?’

Martin nodded again. ‘Sorry.’

Wendy had told her children plenty of times to be careful in the garden, but Ben had always encouraged his children to be little daredevils when it came to playing, so it was no wonder that her youngest son, egged on by Simon no doubt, had finally taken a tumble out of a tree. Poor Martin was always the one with skinned knees, trying to keep up with his older brother, who was now causing more of a fuss out of guilt no doubt. Simon was standing to the side, fidgeting slightly as he tried to stop himself from crying.

‘Oh, darling don’t be sorry, just point to where it hurts.’ Martin didn’t point, he looked afraid of letting his arm go so he just nodded down at it.

‘Arm hurts.’ He gave a little whimper as he tried to move his fingers, as if trying to show he was okay. It caused Wendy to hush him and press a kiss to his forehead.

‘Okay, Martin, okay. It’s fine. We’ll take you to the doctor and he’ll put a bandage on it and give you some medicine so it’ll feel better, okay?’ Martin nodded.

Wendy turned to her eldest then who was wiping his nose on his arm, hiccupping now that he had managed to stop himself crying quite so much. ‘Simon, I need you to go and turn the iron off at the wall in Mummy and Daddy’s room, okay? Can you do that for me, Simon?’

Simon nodded, eager to please, before he ran off. ‘Be careful!’ Wendy called after her eldest.

‘Come on, Martin.’ Wendy got to her feet holding her son to her chest, ushering Caitlin ahead of her into the kitchen. She put Martin down carefully on the work surface while she locked the back door.

‘Caitlin, darling, why don’t you go pick out a couple of colouring books and you can go and see Mrs. George next door and play with Benji?’ Caitlin seemed to perk up at the idea of spending an afternoon with next doors dog, but her eyes kept sliding to her big brother who was sitting quietly on the worktop looking sorry for himself. She tugged on his shoelace that was hanging loose a couple of times, looking up at him with wide eyes.

‘Okay?’ she asked, and Martin nodded, trying to put on a brave face for his little sister. Caitlin took that as permission to go and play with next doors dog so went off to rummage through the colouring books in the living room as Simon came thundering back down the stairs. Wendy gathered Martin back in her arms. She was worried about him and whether he had broken his arm or not, but his odd calmness was keeping her own panic at bay as he lent against her shoulder. He was really too big for her to be picking him up now, but she didn’t want to let him out of her sight for a minute. Simon came skidding back into the kitchen, looking less like he was going to burst into tears, but still panicked when his eyes fell on his little brother.

‘All done,’ he puffed as Caitlin appeared behind him, clutching an oversized colouring book and her favourite crayons to her chest. ‘Take your sister’s hand, you’re both going to go next door and stay with Mrs George while I take Martin to the hospital.’

‘But, I want to come with.’ Simon protested.

‘I need you to stay with your sister, Simon and look after her. I’ll make sure Martin is okay.’ Wendy didn’t need her other children underfoot while she took care of Martin. She knew they’d be in safe hands with Muriel. She retrieved the car keys and picked up one of Martin’s jumpers that was hanging by the front door because she could feel him shivering against her now before she shooed her other two children ahead of her and down the garden path to next door.

‘Do you mind?’ Wendy asked as she stood on Muriel’s front door a few minutes later, Simon looking furious, Caitlin crouched on the doormat stroking Benji, and Martin being painfully quiet.

‘No, no. Not at all. I’ll give Ben a call and let him know where you’ve gone too. Don’t you worry about us, we’ll be fine. You take care of young Martin.’ Muriel smiled as she put a comforting hand on Simon’s head. Caitlin was too engrossed by the dog to be much worried about Martin now. Simon however still looked both worried and annoyed that he wasn’t allowed to go with them.

‘Thank you.’ Wendy gave a brave smile before she turned to Simon. ‘We’ll be back soon, okay.’

‘I want to come with. I need to make sure Martin’s okay.’ Simon said rather gruffly, but Wendy was not in the mood now. She could feel Martin shaking in her arms, even though they were stood on the sun drenched doorstep.

‘You’ll stay here Simon to take care of your sister and call your Dad to tell him what happened.’

Wendy didn’t wait to hear Simon’s response, she was already going back next door to the driveway to put Martin into the car, draping his jumper round his shoulders to try and stop the ever present shivers wracking him now.

He didn’t say much at the hospital, only answered the Doctors’ questions with yes and no’s. Ben turned up just after Martin had his arm x-rayed and they were waiting for the results.

‘You’ve been in the wars, haven’t you, monkey?’ Martin looked up as his father appeared round the hospital curtain wearing his work clothes, a warm smile on his face. Wendy reluctantly let go of Martin as he reached out for his father with his one good hand.

‘Simon tells me you’ve been falling out of trees?’ Martin nodded as he started playing with the cuff of his father’s t-shirt while Ben and Wendy held a silent conversation in looks over Martin’s head.

Martin only cried after, when he thought both Simon and his mother couldn’t see him anymore. Wendy was putting Caitlin to bed while Martin sat on his father’s lap in the living room watching Ducktales. He was sniffling quietly into his father’s shoulder as he was rocked back and forth, his little arm in a bright blue cast, Ben talking softly to him with reassuring words.

Simon was lurking at the door into the hallway when Wendy came back down the stairs, shuffling from one foot to the other. She put a hand on Simon’s shoulder, peering over his head at Martin and Ben. Ben was drying Martin’s eyes with the hem of the jumper he had on.

‘Come on, love.’ Wendy said as she steered Simon into the kitchen, reassuring him that Martin would be fine with his father, placating him with the offer of hot chocolate as they went. Simon sat down at the kitchen table rather morosely as Wendy plucked a saucepan from the cupboard by the fridge.

‘Mum.’

Wendy didn’t turn to look at her son as she poured milk into the pan and moved to fetch the coco powder. She hummed to let him know she was listening.

‘It’s my fault Martin fell. We were playing Simon says.’ Wendy paused in measuring out the coco powder to turn to look at her eldest.

‘Oh, Simon. Just because you were playing Simon says, doesn’t mean any of this was your fault.’ She knelt down on the floor beside her son, a hand on his knee. ‘Accidents happen. You know how clumsy Martin is. He’ll be fine.’

Simon nodded sadly. ‘This isn’t your fault, Simon.’ She kissed his forehead, but he still didn’t seem convinced. ‘You could help me look after him the next few weeks. He’s still going to have the cast on when you go back to school so you can help him at school when I’m not there. Be his big brother and look out for him. How does that sound?’

It took a moment, but Simon seemed quite pleased with the idea of being Martin’s protector. He nodded quite solemnly, sitting up a little straighter as Wendy squeezed his shoulder. ‘Now, do you think Martin would like a hot chocolate as well?’

***


In the living room Martin was yawning as the last few tears fell.

‘You’ve definitely had an adventure today, Marty,’ Ben said softly as he finished dabbing at Martin’s eyes before Martin folded himself under his father’s chin, burying half his face in his father’s jumper again.

‘Was trying to be an aeroplane.’ Martin mumbled. Ben smiled, constantly amazed at his six-year-olds' single mindedness.

‘Well, if you want to fly, Marty, you could always become a pilot?’

‘Like Launchpad McQuack?’ Martin asked, looking back at the television screen to see that very character.

‘You can be just like Launchpad McQuack if you want to be, Marty.’

Comments

( 1 has written — Write to me )
musical_lottie
Mar. 25th, 2013 05:22 pm (UTC)
Aww this was adorable! Brilliant :)
( 1 has written — Write to me )

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