Hello and welcome to chapter one of my Sherlock/Cabin Pressure crossover for The Resident Sociopaths of 221B. The second chapter should be posted some time this week. It's almost finished but it is taking slightly longer than I planned on it taking. Hope you enjoy this first installment. ALLONS-Y!
Chapter One: Detectives, Traveling Lemons, Brilliant!, Obviously
Third Person POV
The portacabin door opened and Martin and Douglas walked in with Arthur trailing behind them, all arguing over something terribly unimportant after their last flight to Brussels. Carolyn looked up when they entered and smiled pleasantly at them, actually glad to see them for once. She had some rather good news which was odd to come by at MJN Air. Their little cargo airline, more like airdot since you couldn't put one aeroplane in a line, very rarely ever had good news. In fact they so often had bad news that Carolyn wasn't even sure why she came to the airfield some mornings.
"Ah, gentlemen," Carolyn said and the three men instantly quieted and turned to her, ending their argument sufficiently which was good because she really didn't care what they were carrying on about. Douglas and Martin had identical looks of horror on their faces but Arthur kept his usual excited look.
"Hi mum!" Arthur said cheerfully as always and he waved at her.
"Yes, hello Arthur," Carolyn told him with an exasperated sigh as Douglas and Martin shared a look.
"Oh dear," Douglas said and Carolyn eyed him questioningly, raising her eyebrow a tad.
"It's always trouble when we're 'gentlemen'. I prefer it when we're 'imbeciles'," Martin commented and Douglas nodded slightly in agreement.
"Or 'dolts'," Douglas added and Martin smiled brightly.
"'Dolts' is good, yes," Martin said, pointing at Douglas and nodding exuberantly.
"No! This is good news! I have another job for you," Carolyn told them and Douglas and Martin groaned while Arthur cheered excitedly. At least she could always be assured of Arthur's excitement. "None of that. This is a very important flight and quite possibly one that will put MJN Air in competition with other airlines," Carolyn scolded them and Douglas sent her a despairing look.
"Oh and who do we have the delight of flying on this trip, the Queen?" Douglas asked her cynically and Carolyn pursed her lips.
"As a matter of fact, yes, or as close to the Queen as possible I am told. We've been hired by the government to fly three officials out to Belarus," Carolyn told her staff. "And I want the three of you on your best behaviour. And Arthur this is a very important flight so we'll be giving them our very best customer service."
"Oh right! I'll pull out all the stops!" Arthur answered her excitedly.
"No Arthur, our very best customer service," Carolyn corrected him and Arthur made and "Oh" sound and nodded.
"Oh yeah right! I'll hide in the galley then and just let you do everything," Arthur told his mother before Martin stepped in.
"Of course Carolyn, everyone will be professional for this flight," Martin assured her. "As captain I will make sure that the flight runs smoothly," Martin told her as he smoothed out his uniform and fixed his hat.
"Good and as me I will make sure that you are not you," Carolyn told them. "I will be accompanying you three on this flight," Carolyn informed them. She would not be letting them go off on their own with three very important people. Arthur, bless him, was very dear to her but the boy just didn't know when he was being too helpful sometimes. MJN needed this if they were going to stay in the air.
"Oh, that important are they? And when shall we have the pleasure of flying the Queen and her merry guards?" Douglas asked Carolyn with a slight sneer.
"Tomorrow. They're taking a car here from London and then we are flying on to Minsk," Carolyn told them not at all amused with Douglas' cynicism. This was a big deal for them. In truth the government official that had called her had been as she called him a furious posh man. The call had then been taken over by a nice young woman who had promptly told off the first man and finished arranging the flight details herself. "And Douglas I would be very careful how you behave. The man who called sounded rather posh and also rather furious and as the woman put it he was the epitome of the British government. I would ever so hate to see you get arrested for insulting a government official," Carolyn remarked, not sounding sorry at all, and Martin suddenly perked up at Carolyn's description of the man who had made the flight arrangements.
"Did…did you get a name, for the passengers I mean or…or the man who called to make the arrangements in the first place?" Martin asked her curiously and Carolyn looked at him strangely, wondering why this would have anything to do with their flight. In truth it had everything to do with it for currently Martin was wondering if the man who had called Carolyn just might be his older cousin Mycroft Holmes.
Martin rarely ever saw his older cousin Mycroft, but he knew that he worked in the British government, pretty high up in the government actually, and whenever he saw him, his cousin Sherlock who was the same age as him and Mycroft's younger brother would always say that Mycroft was the British government when he wasn't too busy being the British Secret Service or the CIA on a freelance basis. Martin actually got on pretty well with his cousins but generally any extended period of time spent with them generally ended in arguments. The only person he could conceivably think of that could terrify Carolyn into wanting everything to be perfect and would arrange such a flight would be Mycroft. So three government officials, most likely Mycroft had chosen MJN Air because of him. Great he would expect him to take care of his government buddies. Oh no this was perfect. It wasn't as if his week wasn't going terrible enough as it was. There was a leak in his attic bedroom again and it had been raining heavily so there was a constant stream of water coming in right over his bed. He had also run out of money and didn't have another job with his van for a few more days so he had to make his last little bit of bread and pasta last until he could get paid again.
On top of all that the students he lived with had been partying lately which had been keeping him up at nights. This group was far wilder than the last. Of course they didn't care about the soon to be middle aged pilot who lived in the attic. His van was also broken once again and he didn't have time to fix it with all these flights they had been going on. If he was lucky he might be able to go back to his attic, get a few hours of sleep in the cold and hope it didn't start raining on him, eat a meager portion of bread, and then walk the three miles to the airfield the next morning since he didn't have a ride. He managed to get a ride from Arthur home tonight but he couldn't always ask for rides. Oh God. This was why he didn't see his cousins much. Mycroft was so bloody posh and the Holmes side of the family had always been rich because they had come into some money because they were chalk full of geniuses. Sherlock and Mycroft had always been a bit odd with that deduction thing they did, not that Martin ever minded it. In fact, he had tried to learn himself but just wasn't cut out for the whole detective thing. Sherlock was more normal, well as normal as you could ask for really. He claimed he was a high functioning sociopath. Martin had tried to use one of Sherlock's lines once on Douglas but he had botched it up rather badly and Douglas had only laughed at him for it.
"Shirley something or other and some other two people," Carolyn told him, waving him off and Martin snorted at his cousin's butchered name. Wait so Mycroft was booking Sherlock on one of his flights. Why? And who were these other two people? Strange. Oh wait, they were all looking at him, especially Douglas. He didn't want them to know that Sherlock was actually his cousin. All Douglas would do is try to embarrass him and show him up the entire flight. Sherlock never exactly looked down on him for what he did, Mycroft made a few comments here or there, but Sherlock actually had in a roundabout manner actually encouraged him when he wanted to become a pilot, even after he failed. Maybe it was because they both wanted something when everyone else told them they were going to fail or tried to get them to do something else. Sherlock technically was the only person who ever believed he could be a pilot.
"Oh…just curious," Martin said nonchalantly and they all looked at him for a moment longer before looking away. Martin wasn't sure if they really bought it or not but they seemed to for now so he let out a sigh of relief. Well it would be nice to see Sherlock again in any case. He hadn't seen him since the last family reunion three years ago. Last he heard Sherlock was back to working his consulting business up there in London. Carolyn gave him one more long look before dismissing the three of them. If this flight went alright, maybe MJN Air could get more than just cargo flights and the occasional millionaire who wanted to see a rugby match and Martin might just be able to prove to Douglas that he did actually have family members that believed he could be a pilot.
John stomped down the stairs of 221B with a bag under each arm, Lexi following along behind him on her mobile. Sherlock was already waiting for them in the car Mycroft had sent round for them and as to be expected, he was rather sullen this morning and had entered into "the great sulk" as the army doctor liked to call it. Mycroft had finally collected on their promise of taking a case for him in exchange for him having gotten them back into Baskerville and as Lexi had expected, Sherlock was now pitching a fit about it. They were shipping out to Belarus for the next few days and there was nothing they could say to get them out of it. Not even Lexi could get Sherlock out of his current mood and therefore Sherlock was making everyone else's lives difficult just because of his childish feud with his brother. Lexi mentioned to John that she thought this case was retaliation for her having brought up Joanna to Sherlock's parents and how the intelligence agent and Mycroft had gotten closer lately and John couldn't agree more.
"Don't make that face," Lexi told Sherlock as he pouted and Sherlock turned his head slightly towards her, his expression dark. She leaned forward and kissed his cheek and Sherlock sighed before pulling her into his side. He continued on in his bad mood, causing no less than six arguments between him and John on the hour long car ride to Fitton airfield. This was going to be a very long flight and hopefully the aircrew wouldn't mind him strangling Sherlock at some point if he got out of hand.
Martin arrived into work feeling tired and hungry with sore feet from his long walk to the air field. He immediately set about getting the weather report for Belarus and the current atmospheric conditions for Fitton before he set up a flight plan, contacted the tower and got that set up, and then went to wait in the cockpit to just sit and rest for a few blissful moments. He sighed as he slumped down in his seat, thankful that the flight deck was Douglas free at the moment. For a brief moment he had almost forgotten that his cousin would be flying with him today, then he remembered the call he had gotten in the night before when he had been huddled upstairs in his attic munching on a piece of dry toast.
Martin had just taken a bite of his dry toast which instantly made his throat close up and his stomach clench tightly as he realized just how hungry he was when his mobile rang. Maybe he could have two pieces of toast tonight and only one tomorrow? Yes, that could work. He sighed as he hurriedly swallowed down the bite he had just taken which was a bit difficult as it was rough and scratched his throat going down. He grimaced as he answered his phone, making a few faces at the taste in his mouth…butter what he wouldn't give for just a thin spread of butter.
"Hello?" Martin answered, more like a question as he hadn't recognized the number that had come up on the phone. In fact the number had been blocked.
"Hello cousin mine," A man said on the other line and Martin sighed as he heard the voice of his older cousin Mycroft. He should have expected him to call.
"Hello Mycroft," Martin answered him tiredly. "I expect you're calling about the flight tomorrow," Martin said as he placed his toast down on his plate, looking at it hungrily and hoping this wouldn't take long.
"Yes, as ever I must act as my brother's keeper," Mycroft said and Martin could hear the smirk in Mycroft's tone of voice. "I've given Sherlock a case, one he isn't too happy to accept. I expect that you will make sure that he gets on that plane. You would do well to listen to me," Mycroft told him, more like threatened him and Martin sighed.
"Mycroft I don't think…well I don't think I can get Sherlock on the plane if he doesn't want to actually go," Martin told his cousin meekly. He had never done well for standing up for himself. Why should he be the one who has to make sure his cousin got on a plane? It wasn't his case! He didn't work for the government. He was just related to them by chance.
"You will do so…," Mycroft said before Martin heard a loud noise as the phone was taken away from him.
"Sweetie, just try your best. Besides he'll have John and Lexi with him and Lexi will get his pale, skinny ass on that plane even if she has to kick it on there," A woman said and Martin pulled his phone back in surprise. The woman had an American accent and it sounded like she was fighting to keep the phone. "Oi crazy posh man sit and keep your suit on," The woman said which answered that thought.
"Um…hello?" Martin said, unsure exactly who he was talking to now. Last he knew Mycroft didn't have a girlfriend. Actually so far as he knew neither did Sherlock. It seemed that was where the cousins were similar. They all had bad luck with women.
"Ah yes introductions!" The woman said as it sounded like she was moving about whatever room they were in and Martin could just about hear his cousin saying something in the background about her giving him back his phone. "I'm Joanna. I work with your cousin. I'm his friend, sort of, and I'm throwing you back to the furious posh man now," The woman, Joanna, told him before he was talking to Mycroft again.
"Get Sherlock on the plane, whatever you have to do," Mycroft told him shortly, not giving him a chance to protest before he hung up on him. Martin whimpered as he put his face in his hands and then put his head down on the table, banging his head on it repeatedly as he rocked back and forth. Why? Why him? And who were John and Lexi? Last he knew Sherlock worked alone….
End of Flashback
Martin closed his eyes and rubbed his face tiredly before the flight deck door opened and Douglas came in. Martin hurriedly sat up, straightening out his uniform and his hat.
"Ah look at that bright and shining face," Douglas remarked as he came in and sat and Martin sighed in exasperation as Douglas started in at him already.
"Good morning Douglas," Martin said tiredly.
"Ready to greet the Queen?" Douglas asked him with a jovial, sarcastic grin.
"They're really not as important as Carolyn made them out to be," Martin told Douglas, knowing that his first officer would only go out of his way to be over the top in his "respect" if he thought they were really important government officials.
"Oh, know them personally do you?" Douglas asked him and he continued speaking over Martin as Martin tried to speak up. "I had no idea sir was such an important person! Do we have tea regularly with the Queen?" Douglas asked him and Martin finally managed to get a few words in.
"No Douglas… they're…," He said before Douglas cut him off again.
"Does the captain go to regular government parties?" Douglas asked him as Carolyn opened the door to the flight deck, thankfully cutting off the conversation.
"Ah gentleman. Well rested? Ready for our flight?" Carolyn asked them and Martin nodded. "Good! Our passengers should be arriving within the next few minutes and then we'll be heading off just as soon as they're boarded," Carolyn told them and Martin tried to speak up once again.
"Carolyn as I was trying to tell Douglas, they're not as important as you thought they were. I happen to know that they are…," Martin said before Arthur came bounding in right behind his mother interrupting him once again.
"Um…Mum?" Arthur asked and Carolyn turned back to look at him.
"Yes Arthur what is it?" Carolyn asked him while Arthur looked rather excited and bounced on the balls of his feet.
"Didn't you say that our passengers would be here soon?" Arthur asked him and Carolyn nodded at him. "Well I think that they might be here. A car just pulled up and some people are getting out," Arthur informed them and Carolyn paled slightly.
"Why didn't you say so sooner!?" Carolyn shouted at him in exasperation.
"I just did!" Arthur shouted back at her, slightly upset. Douglas got up quickly and the three of them headed out first before Martin hurriedly followed them out, hoping that they wouldn't be well…themselves. The door to the aeroplane was open and within a few moments a young woman appeared in the door way with a bright grin on her face. Martin's mouth went a bit dry upon seeing her and he cleared his throat slightly as Douglas looked at him and shot him a sly look. The woman was tall, taller them him, more about Douglas' height. She was pale but not overly so and had a splattering of freckles across her cheeks and nose. She was slim but more muscularly built. Her hair fell to her waist in long copper curls that were gorgeous and her hazel eyes were framed by long thick lashes. She was beautiful which only made things worse because Martin couldn't talk to women and Douglas knew that.
"Hello and welcome aboard MJN Air!" Carolyn said graciously as she greeted the woman who smiled brighter as she pulled her large messenger bag further up on her shoulder.
"Hello you must Carolyn Knapp-Shappey. Mycroft Holmes, the man who set up our flight plans with you told me that we could just come right on board when we arrived," The woman said in a thick Irish brogue. "I'm Lexi MacKenna," She said as she held out her hand to Carolyn and the two women shook hands.
"Pleased to meet you Miss MacKenna. Ah and this is Arthur our steward," Carolyn said as she gestured to Arthur who she had to introduce as he had come out instead of hiding in the galley like he was supposed to, a fact Carolyn was pursing her lips at. Arthur waved at the woman and she smiled at him and nodded before Carolyn gestured to Douglas. "And our first officer Douglas Richardson," She said before Douglas reached forward and took Lexi's hand, kissing the back of it.
"Enchante mademoiselle," Douglas said grandly as the woman raised her eyebrow at him. "Might I introduce to you our captain, Captain Martin duCref," Douglas said, adopting a fake French accent as he gestured to Martin who had yet to speak. Martin's face paled as Douglas once again used that name. "He's a French pilot from France, recently came to us from Air France," Douglas said, putting emphasis on the words France repeatedly as Martin glared at him. Douglas was only trying to embarrass him because he had slipped and shown even the slightest interest in Lexi. That was all it took.
"Oh is he now?" Lexi asked with a sly smile as she tilted her head to the side and studied him and Martin suddenly felt like he was under a microscope. It was odd as he only got that sort of feeling when his cousins were looking at him.
"Ah 'allo," Martin said weakly in an appallingly bad French accent. "It is mah pleasure to be today your pilot on this journey most exciting," Martin told her, wanting to go crawl up in the flight deck and die of embarrassment.
"Le plaisir est pour moi le Capitaine duCref," [The pleasure is mine Captain duCref. ] Lexi responded back to him in prefect French and Douglas' smile grew larger and more triumphant. Oh God! She knew French. She expected him to know French. This was just going to make him look like more of an idiot in front of her and without Douglas even having to try.
"Eh…you…you speak my language?" Martin stuttered, continuing with his horrible accent as Carolyn shot them both murderous looks as she kept up a fake pleasant smile. It's not like it was his fault! It was all Douglas.
"Yes. I learnt once when I was very bored…well Mycroft thought it would keep me busy and not cause him a lot of paperwork," Lexi said and Martin suddenly realized that this had to be the woman that Mycroft had referenced before at a family meeting that Sherlock had skipped out on. He said that this woman, an Alexandria, had gotten hit with a cab and he was forced to run off to go see how she was. Lexi was a nickname for Alexandria and Martin knew that she worked with Mycroft before. That was how she knew his cousins. "I'll warn you in advance that Sherlock is in one of his moods again so he might be a bit difficult," Lexi told them as she frowned. Apparently this was something she had been dealing with all morning. Martin was well aware of his cousin's moods and was already expecting this due to Mycroft's call the night before but the warning was welcomed. Lexi was looking specifically at him when she said this. Did she know who he was, that he was Sherlock's cousin? Maybe she did actually know if Sherlock had mentioned anything about him, but why would he? The five of them suddenly heard a loud shout from outside just behind her and then sounds of scuffling and she sighed heavily and closed her eyes in exasperation.
"Everything all tickityboo?" Douglas asked her and she opened her eyes and nodded slightly.
"Possibly. Hang on a tick. If I'm not back in a minute it's because I'm murdering the both of them," She said before she turned around and stomped away back out of the plane. As soon as she was gone Martin turned to Douglas.
"Douglas!" Martin hissed as Carolyn also turned to her first officer.
"I told you that we would be affording them our highest customer service. This is not a time to be mucking about!" Carolyn yelled at Douglas as Arthur played with the sleeves of his jacket, not liking the fighting.
"Oh I was only having a bit of fun," Douglas told her and Martin gestured around wildly in hysterics.
"Fun? Fun?! You call that fun? Now she thinks I'm a French pilot!" Martin shouted at Douglas in exasperation and hysterics.
"Doesn't she just," Douglas said with a grin. "And the best part is that she actually speaks French," Douglas told him as his grin only widened. "Like her do we my lad?" Douglas asked him before they heard a loud smack from outside the plane, having missed the sounds of the arguing outside due to their arguing inside.
"Woman!" They heard a deep baritone shout outside the plane and they all stopped fighting to listen. "Will you stop that!?" The person asked and then they heard Lexi reply, her accent not nearly as thick as before and with a more British lilt to it. Martin registered that the baritone was the voice of his cousin.
"No!" Lexi shouted back at the person, Sherlock. "Will you two stop acting like children!?" Lexi shouted at the two other people who were travelling with her, one of which he knew was his cousin and was obviously the person she had smacked by the sound of it. "We agreed to take this case for Mycroft in return for him helping us get into Baskerville. Now the both of you will get your arses on that plane or so help me I will call Mummy and then I will call Mrs. Hudson and the both of them will scold you," Lexi shouted before there was more grumbling and an exchange of looks between the cabin crew. Martin was surprised as he had never heard anyone speak to his cousin like that before and live. In a few more seconds a blonde haired man arrived at the top of the stairs carrying two carryon luggage bags under his arms. He was wearing jeans and an oatmeal jumper and had a kind face, a few lines on it which showed he was older than Lexi. Lexi appeared behind him, dragging behind her a taller man. He wore a long black coat and navy blue scarf and he was pale with high cheekbones. He had perfect cupid's bow lips and blue grey eyes as well as curly black hair. The cabin crew let out a collective gasp as soon as they saw this second man, as did the blonde man when he saw Martin.
"Martin you didn't tell us you had a twin brother," Douglas said in surprise as the cabin crew looked between him and his cousin. Both men looked alike expect for the fact that Martin was a lot shorter than his cousin and had auburn hair like Mycroft instead. Facial feature wise they were identical.
"He's not my brother. As I was trying to tell you earlier, you didn't need to worry about them being government officials. This is my cousin, Sherlock Holmes," Martin said as he gestured to Sherlock who held a hand out to him.
"Martin," He greeted him and Martin shook his hand.
"Sherlock," He answered his cousin pleasantly as they shook hands. Lexi grinned at him and Martin realized that she had been playing with him earlier. She knew that he was Sherlock's cousin.
"Oh and this is John, Dr. John Watson, previously Captain John Watson of the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers," Lexi said, speaking up as she introduced the blonde man who apparently was a doctor and used to be a solider. A high ranking soldier too if he was a captain.
"So…so you're not government officials?" Carolyn asked them in confusion and Sherlock and Lexi looked up at each other, exchanging a long look before looking back at her.
"Hmm no…obviously," Sherlock drawled out and Martin sighed, knowing that if Sherlock was himself Carolyn would want to kill him before the flight was over.
"We're consulting detectives," Lexi explained to Carolyn which surprised Martin. Ah, that explained the look earlier. Wait was she like Sherlock? Could she do that deduction thing too? Oh God! What had she deduced from him? She probably thought he was pathetic.
"Only two in the world," Sherlock added with a proud smirk.
"So you're just like Miss Marple?" Arthur asked them, speaking up for the first time. Sherlock fixed his gaze on him and the intense stare didn't even faze the younger man as Arthur just continued to grin.
"Sort of I guess," Lexi told him with a bit of a laugh as Sherlock said "We're nothing like that," and then turned and glared down at Lexi. John turned to them and raised his eyebrow in an expression of amusement. "We're consulting detectives, it's not the same thing!" Sherlock protested and Lexi raised her eyebrow at him.
"We solve cases for the police when they are out of the depth. It's about the same thing actually, but fine, we're more impressive," Lexi told him and Sherlock grinned at her.
"Of course I am," Sherlock told her and she shook her head at him and snorted.
"Your massive intellect is showing again," She told him before she turned back to them. "So are we all ready to head out?" Lexi asked Carolyn who nodded at her, speechless by their odd banter which even Martin found to be strange as he had never seen his cousin act like that before.
"Yes…yes we are. Why don't you take your seats while we get ready for takeoff," Carolyn told them and Lexi grinned before she led the boys over to the seats. Douglas and Martin retreated back to the flight deck, Carolyn and Arthur trailing with them. "Why didn't you say he was your cousin?" Carolyn hissed angrily as they entered the flight deck and Martin walked to his seat and sat down.
"I tried to," Sherlock hissed at her. "I would have if you didn't keep interrupting me or Douglas didn't keep trying to talk over me," Martin told her as Douglas also took his seat. "Sherlock is my cousin. I haven't seen him in a few years though. My cousin Mycroft his older brother thought I might be able to get him on the plane since he really doesn't want to go on this trip," Martin explained to them.
"Well, apparently we don't have to pull out all of the stops," Carolyn said as she looked over at Martin. "I'm sure your cousin won't mind and neither will his colleagues," She quipped before Arthur spoke up again.
"If he is Skip's cousin does that mean I don't have to hide in the Galley?" Arthur asked Carolyn who waved her hands at him as she pulled her face.
"Oh I don't care what you do. Let's just get this trip over with," Carolyn told him, no longer in the mood since her hopes of this flight putting MJN Air in competition with other airlines obviously was no longer going to happen. The only reason they had been chosen was because Martin was Sherlock's cousin after all. Arthur and Carolyn left, leaving Martin alone with Douglas and both men sat in silence for several long minutes before Douglas broke it.
"Well…," He said and Martin sighed in exasperation.
"Not now Douglas," Martin told him tiredly, not wanting to get into it with him now. He was still tired, still hungry, and now he could feel a headache coming on from all of this.
"Alright then Captain…," Douglas said before he reached over and flicked a few switches in front of himself. "Preflight checks then?" He asked and Martin nodded as they got to work. Flying, a nice bit of flying would clear his head. That was all he needed right now.
"Air con?" Douglas asked him and Martin leaned over and checked it.
"Anti-collision light?" Douglas asked next and Martin checked that next.
"Fuel pump switches?" Douglas asked and Martin nodded and hummed.
"On," Martin told him. "Alright looks like we're ready to go," Martin told him and Douglas radioed in to Fitton Air Traffic Control to get them a position in the queue to take off. Martin flicked the seat belt sign on and once they were cleared to take off, Martin and Douglas got them into the air. This was going to be a long flight…a very, very long flight.
Sherlock was being a right pain in the arse which could only be expected since he really didn't want to go on this trip so I told him that was more than alright and I grabbed my messenger bag and went to sit in the first row of seats and sat with my bag two seats over from me and pulled my book out. John put our bags in the overhead compartments. I gave Sherlock the option of sitting beside me but he decided to sit in the very back row of the plane which was the darkest and sulk. John took the middle rows and promptly decided to get comfortable and I figured it was best for all of us if we tried not to start arguing on this flight. Several minutes after the cabin crew disappeared to the flight deck Carolyn and Arthur returned and Carolyn had us watch a safety video of Douglas and his "twin" brother before we took off. We were then informed that our seat belts were to remain fastened until the seat belt signs went off, our trays were to be folded into the upright position during takeoff and landing, and that there was no smoking of any kind allowed on board especially "not after last time" whatever that meant. I was more than well used to it. Carolyn and Arthur then went to take the seats in the back of the plane and she kept him entertained as John started to take his nap and Sherlock began to sulk in his chair with his arms crossed. I sighed and opened my book to the first page…this was going to be a long flight.
The intercom binged and I looked up from my book as I listened to it. "Hallo. My name is First Officer Douglas Richardson. On behalf of the captain and myself, a warm welcome aboard this MJN flight to Belarus. Just to let you know we will be flying out from Fitton today, roughly "North by Northwest" at the "Vertigo"-inducing height of twenty thousand feet, way above "The Birds". You will already have met your purser today, Carolyn "Rebecca" "Topaz", but now, as "The Lady Vanishes" behind the "Torn Curtain" into the galley, the steward will hold you "Spellbound" with his "Notorious" demonstration of "The Thirty-Nine Steps" to a safe evacuation, though these basically boil down to three: pull the "Rope", inflate the "Lifeboat" and escape through the "Rear Window". Just to let you know we're now making our final preparations to 'fly you to the moon'. While we're airborne I do hope you'll take advantage of the opportunity to 'play among the stars'. Those of you sitting on the left-hand side of the aircraft should have an excellent view of 'what spring is like on Jupiter'; and on the right-hand side, 'Mars'. 'In other words, hold my hand. In other words, baby, kiss me.' Cabin doors to automatic," Douglas said before the intercom clicked off and I giggled slightly and shook my head at his antics as I heard Carolyn let out an exclamation of exasperation in the back of the cabin.
"Oh can he do those magnificent men and their flying machine next Mum?" I heard Arthur ask as I went back to my book and I smiled as I listened to the little MJN family.
"No Arthur… and they'll be lucky if they are doing anything else later," Carolyn told him in in irritated voice as the plane started taxing onto the runway.
"Oh we don't mind," I called back to her and I turned in my seat and smiled at her as she looked at me in surprise. "I guess we're not your normal sort of passengers," I told her and she nodded at me.
"That's true, you're not," She told me as she studied me and I turned back around and went back to my book as the plane took off. When the seat belt sign went off I looked back at Sherlock who was staring at the ceiling and I sighed, feeling pity for him as I knew he was bored already. Arthur was making a bit of fuss too as Carolyn pulled out some puzzle books for him to do. I reached over to my bag and pulled put some cold case files I brought for Sherlock and then I unstrapped my belt and made my way over to my consulting detective. "Lock?" I asked him and he looked down at me as I sat beside him and held the case files up with a grin and a bright smile grew on his face. "I nabbed these off of Lestrade before we left," I told them as I handed them over.
"Oooh are those real crime cases?" Arthur asked me as he saw me hand the files over to Sherlock.
"Yes," I answered him as I looked over to him.
"Can I see?" He asked me excitedly and I looked over at Carolyn and she raised her eyebrow at me. They were mostly murders and the pictures weren't exactly something she would want Arthur to be seeing. But he seemed excited so I didn't want to hurt his feelings.
"Well they're a bit confidential. Let's see," I said as I stood up. "How about we see if you can finish your puzzles faster than Sherlock can solve his cases," I offered him as I gestured to the puzzle books Carolyn had brought him. I didn't need her to tell me that Arthur was her son. MJN was a small company, only four people in it and they were all like family. It was sort of like our Baker Street crew. Carolyn looked at me gratefully as Arthur excitedly agreed and I patted him on the shoulder before I returned to me seat to let them both get to it. After sitting for a bit Arthur made his way down to me and stood beside me until I dog eared my page and looked up at him. I looked back at Sherlock to see he was still deep in thought as he worked over his case files.
"Lexi…," Arthur asked me nervously as his mother watched him cautiously. "I was just wondering, since you're a consulting detective…what do consulting detectives do?" Arthur asked me and I grinned at him as John snored loudly from his seat.
"Would you like me to tell you?" I asked him and he nodded excitedly.
"Oh yes please!" He said and I smiled brightly as I got up again and set my book on top of my bag "Alright then," I said as I gestured for him to take the seat across from me and then I started in to telling him the whole story about how John, Sherlock, and I met and our first case together.
"So you figured out it was the cabbie just because the ladies case was pink?" Arthur asked me after I got done explaining the first case and his face was lit up with excitement.
"Yes and John of course had to rescue us because we were both being a bit stupid, but that's how it works," I told him and he nodded.
"Sort of how like Douglas always figures out how to fix things when things go wrong," Arthur up and I nodded at him in agreement.
"Sort of like that yeah," I told him before I launched into the story of The Blind Banker. I cut of the whole bit about Moriarty and Irene, knowing that both cases would be a bit too much for him. I told him about the Hound however, cleaning it up a bit for him. He was excited about all of it and I glanced back at Carolyn several times to see her looking at me gratefully as I kept Arthur entertained. My own charge had retreated back into his Mind Palace and John was asleep so for now, all was well with the world. When Arthur was satisfied he went back over to his Mum and I went back to my book. I really liked MJN Air. They were a family as much as my boys were my family and everyone had their place exactly like everyone had their place with the Baker Street Irregulars. Sherlock solved cases, John saved lives, and I rescued the both of them.
Martin's eyebrows hitched up towards his hair line and he spluttered over his controls before he turned to his first officer with a look offence on his face. "Excuse me?" Martin asked Douglas nearly putting his cousin's contemptuous tone to shame.
"Brian Cox," Douglas clarified with a mocking tone of exasperation and sarcasm.
"Oh…," Martin said, looking back over at his controls as his momentary flash of anger subsided.
"And what did Sir think I meant?"
"Nothing Douglas," Martin sighed out in irritation. "And we're not playing that today. In fact, let's try and keep this flight professional shall we?" Martin asked his first officer, immediately regretting opening his mouth as soon as he spoke.
"Afraid that you'll lose sir? Or are we more afraid of not impressing the fair Lady Lexi who sits over yonder?" Douglas asked him and Martin turned and glared at him as Douglas smirked at him wolfishly.
"I don't know what you're talking about Douglas," Martin told his first officer angrily.
"Oh then Sir was not dumbstruck upon seeing the young lady?" Douglas asked him with a sly grin. "We have a long enough flight my lad. You could always try to talk to her if her merry men are no longer guarding her. Your cousin seems to be a real dragon and we both know how well you slay those," Douglas said and Martin gritted his teeth.
"I was simply surprised is all and I am not interested in her like that," Martin told Douglas defensively. Yes he did think she was rather beautiful and he did…like her she was nice, but he had no chance with her any way. Besides she seemed to be rather close to his cousin. "Now can we just try to be professional?" Martin asked Douglas loudly.
"Ah… Sir was surprised by her beauty, her charm even?" Douglas asked him, not letting the subject drop and Martin finally lost it.
"Alright yes, I was surprised!" Martin shouted at him. "You would be too if you happened to know that my cousins normally don't like people and normally don't get on well with women. I didn't expect him to even have colleagues. I haven't seen him in three years but so far he's been the only person in my family who's even believed I could be a pilot!" Martin shouted at Douglas before sitting back in his seat.
"Well…," Douglas said as he looked over at Martin. "I can see where Sir gets his bad luck with women. It seems to run in the family," Douglas said with a grin. "Though Sir's cousin seems to be doing nicely for himself. Oh, that's it. That's why you want to be all professional all of a sudden…," Douglas said as he got a bright look on his face which made Martin cringe in his seat. "You want your dear old cousin to be proud of you and you want to impress the Irish lass. Kill two birds with one stone as they would call it," Douglas said and Martin felt himself sinking deeper into the hole he had dug for himself.
"Douglas could you please just stop," Martin told him as he looked over at his first officer. "Just stop alright?" He asked him nicely. "I don't want to talk about my cousin, I don't want to talk about Lexi. Can we just fly the plane?" Martin asked Douglas as he let out a large breath of air and readjusted his hands on the controls.
"Certainly…Sir," Douglas said and Martin gritted his teeth in irritation and the jibe Douglas had used, knowing he hated to be called sir. The flight deck lapsed back into silence for several minutes and Martin started to feel a bit better as he cooled off, drumming his fingers on the controls in front of him tunelessly. Lexi…yes, he liked it when she smiled at him. How could he not? She was just bright and cheerful and definitely a better sight than Douglas, Arthur, and Carolyn today and certainly better than his grumpy cousin and his colleague who was bickering with him. She was friendly and even her accent was adorable. Apparently the quiet couldn't remain quiet for too long and Douglas couldn't just fly the plane like they were supposed to be doing. "Martin…" Douglas said, breaking the silence that had fallen over the flight deck.
"What?" Martin snapped as he bit his inner cheek and Douglas produced a lemon from his coat pocket and held in up at eye level.
"The lemon is in play," Douglas told him before he unbuckled his restraints and set the plane so only Martin was controlling it as he got up.
"What Douglas no!" Martin shouted angrily as his first officer walked over to the cabin doors.
"Bye," Douglas told him with a grin and a wave and Martin let out a frustrated noise as Douglas left him and disappeared back into the main cabin of the plane.
Ugh! Why did Douglas have to try to ruin everything like he always did? Whenever Martin asked him to be the least bit professional he had to try and act as unprofessional as possible just so that he could then go and place all the blame on him when the passengers came asking questions. He already had been embarrassed when Douglas had introduced him to Lexi as being a French pilot but she had gone along with it like it was nothing. Lexi seemed to actually like him. She was nice and Martin quite liked her in return. Douglas returned several minutes later and Martin knew that if he didn't just play his game he would only berate him and continue to harass him until he did. With a heavy sigh Martin unclipped his belt once he was assured that Douglas was in control of GERT-I again and he got up and entered the cabin to search for the bloody lemon. The first thing he did however was reach up and check his hat. He didn't know how he wouldn't have noticed that but he was taking no chances. The lemon wasn't there so he continued through the galley and made a thorough inspection of it before deciding that Douglas hadn't hidden it there. He had most likely hidden it somewhere on or around his cousin or Lexi. John he had most likely left out of it as the army doctor had so far escape Douglas' notice.
Sherlock seemed to have finally given up being a pain in the arse and had drifted off into his Mind Palace as he often called it. That or he was sleeping liked John was currently doing. The detective's eyes were closed and his hands were folded in a prayer position in front of his lips which were slightly parted. Martin was used to seeing his cousin in such a state and it was generally hard to break him out of it unless for something important. He was sitting in the very back of the cabin to the right side and the army doctor sat a few rows in front of him, snoring loudly. Lexi however sat right in front of him in the first row with her messenger bag two seats over from her. She was still strapped in even though the seat belt signs were off and she was reading. Agatha Christie. A battered copy of one of her novels. She had a pair of thick framed reading glasses on and her hair was now pulled back into a messy bun. Martin stopped staring at her and started his search through the cabin, checking under seats and around Sherlock and John first. Sherlock of course noticed nothing due to the fact that he wouldn't even notice turbulence given his lack of hearing or caring while in his Mind Palace and from the complexity of John's snoring the doctor wasn't waking up any time soon. Lexi seemed invested in her book so she seemed to not be paying him any mind either.
"Ah, the traveling lemon," Carolyn said from the back of the plane where Arthur was curled up in the seat next to her going through a puzzle book with a happy grin on his face that only Arthur's could have. "I thought I saw Douglas hiding it," Carolyn remarked as Arthur looked up at him and then frowned suddenly.
"Are you alright Skip?" Arthur asked him in concern. "You look a bit…sad," Arthur said after searching around for the right word for a moment.
"I'm fine Arthur, thank you," Martin told him before he took a deep breath and walked down the opposite aisle. He heard someone clear their throat when he reached the end of the aisle and he turned to find Lexi, still reading her book, but she had a slight smirk playing about her lips and her finger was pointing slightly to her right. Martin turned and saw the lemon hidden inside her bag, within plain view, but in such a position that he could have never found it without her help.
"Thank you," Martin whispered to her quietly as he scooped it up and she lowered her book slightly and raised her eyebrow as if to say, "What are you talking about?" before she buried her nose back into her book and went back to reading. It appeared that she had been paying more attention than Douglas thought she was when he hid it and thankfully she was on his side and willing to help him. Martin brought the lemon with him back to the flight deck, glad that he hadn't spent as much time as last time searching for it. "There you are Douglas, one lemon. Now no more games," Martin told Douglas as he reentered the flight deck and Douglas looked at him in surprise over the fact that he had returned so quickly.
"Oh, be a good sport Martin," Douglas quipped, trying to goad him into it. "Unless you're afraid of losing. Given your record…," Douglas said before Martin cut him off.
"Yes, thank you Douglas. I just thought that maybe now that you've had your fun we can try and act a little professional for once," Martin told his first officer as he took his seat again and clipped his seat belt back on, noting that Douglas hadn't done the same with his own when he had come back to the cabin.
"Oh professional? You mean like how I am paid and you are not?" Douglas asked him, hitting below the belt. "Or are we talking about how many times you failed your exams? That sort of professionalism?" Douglas asked him and Martin gritted his teeth as his blood began to boil, the Holmes and the Crieff families had always had hot tempers and he had to control his now. He didn't want to fight with Douglas about this and he knew that Douglas was only saying this to get a response out of him. Martin had had it though. Since this flight had started Douglas had done nothing but make jibes at him because Lexi liked him more than she liked him and because Sherlock was his cousin. "Now how about we…," Douglas said, picking up the lemon and Martin snatched it out of his hand and threw it across the flight deck. It hit the control panel in front of them forcefully which induced a loud thump before it fell to the ground and rolled out of sight.
"Douglas enough!" Martin shouted and for once Douglas actually listened to him and fell silent as Martin breathed heavily, trying to reign in his anger.
"Well…," Douglas said after a minute of silence and Martin turned to glare at him sharply. "I never knew you had it in you Martin," Douglas said quietly before the flight deck revert into an awkward silence. The only sounds came from the controls in front of them and the wind outside the jet. And neither Martin nor Douglas noticed the wires that had come loose and had started to spark slightly from the panel that had fallen open a bit underneath the console.
"Umm…Lexi," Arthur said as he suddenly appeared in my left and I smiled as I looked up from my book at him. "I was about to make some tea for the chaps. Would you like some as well?" Arthur asked me as he gestured back to the sleeping John and Sherlock who was in his Mind Palace.
"That would be brilliant Arthur. Would you like a hand?" I asked him as I dog eared my page and he looked at me in excitement.
"Wow! Really? Brilliant!" He exclaimed with a large grin. "No one helps me make the tea. Well Mum does sometimes actually," He said as he frowned thoughtfully. "That's only because I forget how too on occasion but I remember now," He assured me as I smiled up at him in amusement and nodded at him.
"Sherlock forgets that the Earth goes around the Sun," I told him with a little laugh as John snored loudly. "He also forgets we have a Queen and Prime Minister so I remind him. He likes to delete things," I told Arthur as I unbuckled my seat belt and stood up, assuring the boy that it was okay to forget things.
"Oh yeah. I forget that sometimes too," Arthur told me as he nodded thoughtfully and I smiled at him. He really was a sweet boy.
"Well, let's go make some tea for the chaps and your mum. Maybe it'll put the boys in a better mood too," I told Arthur and he smiled at me widely before he skipped off to the Galley. I looked back at Carolyn who was watching him with concern. "Don't worry. I've got him. He's sort of like Lock," I told her as I gestured at my fiancée. My sometimes childlike fiancée.
"He's really a good boy but…," Carolyn told me as I walked down to her and sat down next to her, the both of us able to see Arthur in the Galley from the open curtain so we could be assured that he was alright as he looked through the cupboards and put the kettle on.
"He can be a handful?" I asked her and she nodded at me and hummed in agreement. "Sherlock can be too. Lord knows that," I said as I smiled fondly at my consulting detective and sighed.
"Mines twenty nine," Carolyn told me and I chuckled.
"Mines thirty four. He would forget to eat or sleep if I didn't remind him too. He'd rather rush off on cases that take care of himself," I told her, shaking my head ruefully. "I don't know if I'm more his mother or his girlfriend some days," I told her and she smiled at me softly.
"Ah so you are together. I thought so," She said and I nodded at her.
"We're engaged actually. Five days ago he asked. John doesn't know yet. We'll tell him…when there's a good time too. Right now there's a case on that makes it a little unsafe to but…we will when we can," I told her and she patted my hand.
"Well you two are very well suited together it seems. Not like my husbands and me," She told me and I shook my head at her.
"We almost lost each other once. It took that to figure out we didn't want to lose each other ever. None of that depressing stuff though. I'll go check on Arthur for you," I told her and as I got up she touched my arm and she smiled up at me as I patted her shoulder and moved down the row of seats. As I got to Sherlock I leaned over and pressed a kiss to the top of his head and I smiled at him fondly when his eye cracked open and he looked up at me lazily before I moved off to the Galley.
"I found some biscuits!" Arthur told me excitedly as I pushed the curtain aside and joined him and he held the biscuit tin up victoriously.
"Good work Arthur! We'll have tea like proper Brits," I told him with a bright laugh and he puffed out his chest proudly at my praise.
"Well we will," Arthur said before he pointed at me. "You'll have to have tea like a proper…Irit?" Arthur said trailing off as I giggled slightly. "'Cos you're Irish," Arthur added and I nodded at him in confirmation.
"Aye, that I am Arthur," I said as the kettle popped off. I helped him fix up all of the mugs, Arthur making coffee for Douglas since he generally preferred it, and then he stood there staring at them. I frowned at him and raised my eyebrows in concern. "What's wrong Arthur?" I asked the younger man.
"It's just…normally I don't make this much tea," Arthur told me, looking conflicted. "We don't normally have this many passengers. Normally I'd bring the chaps their tea and Douglas' coffee first, but Mum doesn't like cold tea and passengers should get their tea first…," Arthur said looking worried about making the wrong decision about this and I put a hand on his arm.
"Well why don't you bring your Mum her tea, I'm sure she would appreciate that, and you can bring John his tea as well. That should walk him up, usually does any way. Then you can come back and get yours. I can bring the chaps their tea and on my way back I can grab my tea and Sherlock's. It'll take a few minutes for me to coax him out of his Mind Palace anyway," I told Arthur and he nodded at me brightly.
"That's brilliant!" Why didn't I think of that?" Arthur asked me excitedly before he frowned. "Wait hang on, that won't work. Passengers aren't allowed up on the flight deck. Protocols or something or at least that's what Mum and Skip told me...I really don't understand it much. I really don't understand a lot of things," Arthur told me sheepishly and I patted his arm comfortingly.
"It's alright sweetie. Look, I'm a pilot too, like Martin," I told Arthur as I pulled my small wallet out of my pocket which only held my few cards and my flying license in it and showed it to him. I always took it with me on cases in case the need ever arose. You never knew when you might need to commandeer an aircraft.
"Wow! You're a pilot too?" Arthur asked me excitedly and I nodded at him before shrugging.
"My friend Joanna seemed to think it was a good idea for me to get my CPL at one point. It never comes up in detective work mind you but hey, in case I was ever in a plane crash I could hypothetically take over control of it," I mused as I put my wallet away. "So permission to take the chaps their tea?" I asked Arthur and he nodded at me excitedly.
"Yeah! You're just like Skip. This is brilliant!" Arthur told me as I picked up Martin and Douglas' mugs which had their names specially on them.
"Bring that onto your Mum, she'll appreciate it," I told Arthur and he nodded at me, a soft smile lighting his face at my mention of his Mum before he took two of the tea mugs back to the cabin. I stopped and smiled for a moment before stepping forward and walking to the cabin doors that led to the flight deck I stopped and stared for a moment at the note tapped to the doors and raised an eyebrow at it. Written in bold black and red were the following words:
IN CASE OF FIRE IN THE CABIN
1. CAPTIN WRITES CAPATIN ON FOREHEAD WITH LIPSTICK
2. IN UNLIKELY EVENT OF CAPTAIN NONRECOGNITION:
CAPTAIN DOFFS CAP
-GESTURES TO LIPSTICK INSCRIPTION
I frowned for a moment and tilted my head to the side thoughtfully before shaking my head and using my elbow to carefully open the door, knocking on it with my foot to give the boys some warning that I was coming in. "Hello boys. I come like the Romans bearing gifts," I said as I walked into the flight deck and the boys turned about in their seats in alarm, possibly at having a woman other than Carolyn in their flight deck.
"Lexi…um what are you doing? You can't be up here," Martin said and I grinned at him as I held up the mugs of warm beverages.
"I brought you your tea Martin and your coffee Douglas from Arthur," I told them as I set their mugs down in their specially designed holders.
"Oh well… thank you. Arthur shouldn't have let you up here, but thank you," Martin told me as Douglas watched us and before I could tell him that Arthur didn't do anything wrong by letting me come up to the flight deck, the plane suddenly jolted violently and I instinctively grabbed the back of Martin's seat and held on tightly to it.
"What was that? Turbulence?" I asked them as I looked over the controls and Martin and Douglas glanced back at me briefly in surprise. Yes, I knew a thing or two about planes. I sort of had to. Not that either of them exactly knew that.
"Shouldn't be. Weather was perfect. No conditions to cause any sort of turbulence there or back again," Martin said as the cabin was suddenly rocked violently again and I gripped the back of Martin's seat tighter, bracing myself as my hands slid onto his shoulders and he jumped slightly.
"It appears Sir was wrong," Douglas stated as we were thrown forward with another jolt and Douglas grabbed the intercom. "We're experiencing just a bit of turbulence Carolyn. Nothing to worry about," Douglas said, letting them know what was going on and I figured that by now the rocking about would have woken John up and knocked Sherlock out of his Mind Palace. I checked over the controls and noticed that the hydraulic pressure was dropping.
"That's not turbulence Douglas. We're losing hydraulic pressure," I pointed out to them quickly and both men looked at the gauges before Martin started panicking.
"Ah…AH….AH… Douglas! What do we do?!" Martin asked him frantically as I held onto Martin tightly.
"The first thing to do in this situation is not to panic," Douglas directed Martin who nodded as Douglas looked over at me. "Miss MacKenna, I would advise that you strap yourself in," Douglas directed me and I nodded as he continued, looking over at the jump seat which wasn't too far away behind his seat. If I could time it to one of the jolts I could conceivably make it there without injuring myself. "Let me try to stabilize her Martin," Douglas told his captain while I went to lift my hands from Martin's shoulders to do as Douglas directed. Suddenly the cabin was jolted more violently than before and I let out a cry of surprise and clung more tightly to Martin and his chair as Douglas was thrown sideways into the wall as he wasn't wearing his seatbelt. As it was my shoulder came crashing into the wall and I grunted in pain before I managed to kick off of the wall and right myself as Joanna taught me too, immediately treating this as a hostile situation and thus calming my heart rate and keeping my fear under control despite the terror I felt.
"We've lost the engines!" Martin shouted loudly as the entire cabin shook dangerously and we struggled to remain airborne as we listened to the turbines failing. "Douglas! Douglas we're crashing!" Martin shouted in a panic before he looked over to his first officer who was knocked out cold and slumped over in his seat. "DOUGLAS!" Martin shouted frantically and I snapped out of my stupor as the cabin continued to shake and alert us to the fact that we were making a plunge groundward. I let go of the back of Martin's chair and threw myself forward, grabbing Douglas' chair as soon as I reached it. I carefully hauled the heavier man out of his seat and he hit the floor with a thump as I dragged him a bit behind his chair. It wasn't the best idea in the world but it was the only one I currently had. I put on his aviation headset, donned his cap, forwent writing anything on my forehead in lipstick, and pulled myself into his vacant seat. "What are you doing?!" Martin shouted at me in alarm, making little noises in the back of his throat due to the stress we were both currently under.
"Helping you fly a crashing plane!" I shouted back to him, wanting to add in an "Obviously!" but now really wasn't the time. I flicked the controls, trying to get the engines to start again, but we were met only with the sounds of them spluttering as a response.
"You can't!" Martin shouted at me in a panic as I pulled back on the wheel in front of me.
"I'm a pilot! I have my CPL! Joanna thought it might be useful someday and it appears she was bloody well right!" I shouted back to him. "This is nothing like the bloody manuals!" I yelled in frustration as we lost more altitude according to the altimeters, one of the engines still managing to splutter along, but the other one completely dead.
"What do we do?! WHAT DO WE DO?!" Martin asked me frantically.
"STAY CALM!" I shouted back at him, realizing how ironic it was that I was shouting at him while trying to tell him to stay calm. Now was not the time for my amusing inner dialogue. I reached over and shut off the autopilot which was doing absolutely nothing for us and an alarm went off as it was disengaged.
"Martin, I have control!" I informed him and my heart beat faster than it did even when I faced down Moriarty at the pool. I held our lives in my hands.
"You have control," Martin acknowledged, giving over control to me easily in his panicked state as I gave him orders. Hell, I hardly knew what I was doing. I got my CPL by memorizing all the manuals due to my eidetic memory and by doing enough flight simulators that I was able to go out and do the real thing. Joanna of course made sure that I got through. This was my second actual time flying a real plane. "What do we do now?!" Martin asked me and I took a deep breath to calm myself. Okay Lexi. Second time flying a plane but you catch killers for a living. Nothing compared to that. Only thing is the plane is not really flying…it's falling. Same difference.
"Radio in a MAYDAY. I don't know where we are, but Martin we are crashing. This plane is going to crash, but we are going to be fine," I assured him and he flailed around frantically.
"Douglas normally is the one who takes care of things when things go wrong!" Martin shouted at me and I remembered back to what Arthur told me and his tone as well as seemingly blinding faith in this fact. Douglas was the person who normally calmed them both down in instances like this. Martin was terrified, Arthur probably too, but he was back in the cabin and he didn't know Douglas was passed out. He was certain that Douglas was up here and was going to get them out of this. Martin didn't have that luxury.
"Martin, right now Douglas is passed out on the floor of this aeroplane. I need your help with this," I told Martin as I briefly looked over to him and saw his terrified face. "You are the Captain. You know what you are doing. Now, I am going to help you land this plane safely, but I need you to stay calm. Radio in a MAYDAY and then we'll do this together," I shouted over to Martin and he nodded at me, his hands tightening on the wheel in front of him.
"Right…," Martin said before he nodded again with more confidence and he picked up the radio. "MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY! This is Gulf Echo Romeo Tango India. Our engines are failing. Our first officer is incapiciated. We are crashing! We're crashing over a field…no runway close by to make an emergency landing…," Martin said, taking a deep breath and exhaling before he let his fear get to him. "Repeat. MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY! This is Gulf Echo Romeo Tango India. Our engines are failing, our first officer is incapiciated, and we are crashing!" Martin radioed in and there was a garbled reply before the transmission cut out. "What now? Did it even go through?" Martin asked me which was the bigger question and I grabbed the radio from him an pressed a few controls to run the radio transponder through every radio frequency. "What are you doing?" Martin asked me as I raised the radio to my lips.
"Hopefully getting us help," I answered him before I hit the button. "MAYDAY! This is Gulf Echo Romeo Tango India. We are crashing. Double engine failure and one of the pilots has been knocked out. We're crashing over a field with no runway close by to make an emergency landing. I repeat, this is not a test. MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY! This is Gulf Echo Romeo Tango India. Our engines have failed and we are crashing. This is Agent Lexington, unknown last coordinates. Lady Liberty to receive the following message, MAYDAY Gulf Tango India!" I said before I cut off the transmission.
"What was that?" Martin asked me in confusion, wondering about the last bit.
"With any luck, help!" I shouted to him as the engines gave out completely and we both cried out as the cabin shook violently and we started to do a nose dive.
"What do we do!?" Martin shouted at me
"Land GERT-I!" I shouted back to him as I pulled back on the wheel in front of me.
"How?!" Martin shouted at me frantically.
"Completely not by the book!" I shouted back to him as we fell from the sky at an alarmingly fast rate. "GERONIMO!" I shouted before I checked the systems. "Alight, talk to me Martin. What's going on?" I asked him and he looked over the controls.
"Hydraulic pressure is falling. So is our altitude…no surprise there," Martin said with a nervous laugh. "Minimal response to the elevators," He informed me and I nodded as I tried to keep GERT-I's nose level. Martin started running through a checklist of everything he could think of that we could do to possibly fix GERT-I and I smiled when I saw that he wasn't using the Quick Reference Handbook. Trust Sherlock's cousin to be just as brilliant as he was. There was no one I would rather be trying to land a crashing plane with than Martin Creiff. I threw out suggestions to him and he turned and looked at me in surprise. "How do you know all this stuff?" He asked me as we pulled up hard on the wheels.
"Eidetic memory! I can't delete things like Sherlock can. I read all the manuals to study for my CPL one day when I was bored, now I can't forget any of it," I shouted to him before I grabbed the intercom. "Sherlock, John... this is the flight deck. If you haven't deduced already, we're crashing!" I informed them to at least give them some sort of warning. "Lock whatever happens…I love you," I told him as Martin looked over at me and Douglas groaned on the floor behind us. "Brace yourselves," I told them before I cut off the come and Douglas groaned again starting to wake up.
"You two?" Martin asked me curiously, despite the situation and I nodded and reached up to pat my engagement ring which was hidden under my jumper.
"About five days ago he proposed actually. John doesn't know yet. Not a good time to tell him really. Bit of a bad case on," I told him as Douglas sat up a bit and blinked before he realized what was going on. He looked up at me in alarm and horror as the plane jolted and he braced himself against the back of his, well my, chair. "Ah Douglas, good to see you awake again. You've missed some of this but not all of it," I commented as he looked around the depressurizing cabin in alarm. I could feel my ears popping as the air pressure changed rapidly. "No it's not turbulence actually and yes, we're crashing," I confirmed.
"Hey chief! I might be wrong…," Douglas started right before GERT-I shook dangerously.
"Shut up Douglas!" Martin and I shouted in unison and I swore as we struggled to keep control of GERT-I.
"She keeps pitching up. She's threatening to stall on us," Martin shouted at me and I nodded in agreement, able to feel it under my hands as GERT-I kept jerking.
"I think it's time to let the pilot take over then," Douglas said and without looking down I spoke to him as I kept my eyes peeled on the ground that was coming closer and closer to us.
"Well, since we've disengaged autopilot and I'm currently in control, switching out is a bad idea. Plus I am a bloody pilot!" I shouted at Douglas before I calmed down. "Alright so… Martin!" I said as I addressed the ginger haired man and he nodded, his mouth set in a grim line as Douglas sat there quietly now and braced himself on the floor. "Large field, but hey look, there is conveniently a large lake in the middle of it. How does it sound to you about aiming for the lake? Nice water landing," I rambled on and he nodded again as we lost more control of GERT-I.
"Stick-shaker!" Martin called out suddenly as a mechanical voice declared repeated. "STALL, STALL, STALL." "We're in an uncontrolled dive. Lexi, there's no way," Martin shouted at me as I looked over at him and Douglas looked up at us and in that moment I knew he had lost hope and believed we were all going to die, the seven of us in some horrible fiery death. Well not today Martin Creiff. I still hadn't married Sherlock Holmes yet, not to mention, dying wasn't on my agenda for today. I laughed, yes, I laughed.
"That's what I said when I face Moriarty and Irene Adler and you know what?" I asked Martin and he shook his head at me. "It wasn't the end!" I shouted back to him before I grabbed the com unit. "Everyone brace position!" I shouted before I saw the ground coming closer and closer and I pulled up hard on the wheel, Sherlock's blue grey eyes flashing through my mind as my knuckles turned white. "Martin you have control!" I shouted and the frightened captain hesitated for a moment before listening to me.
"I have control," He confirmed before taking it over from me.
As we crashed we screamed loudly and I could hear Sherlock and John from the cabin along with Arthur and Carolyn. The plane slammed down with enough force to knock me forward into the wheel in front of me and I hit my chest roughly into it and was thrown around a bit but I managed to stay in my seat. Douglas however smashed his shoulder into the wall and let out a pained groan. We gild however into the lake instead of dying in a fiery explosion on the ground, the force of our landing driving us up ten feet from the lake bed and leaving a trail of mud and lake weeds behind us. We were all thrown backwards into our seats and my head hit the headrest roughly as GERT-I gave one final jolt before everything stilled except for the large grain and sounds coming from GERT-I along with the flickering lights. The three of us sat there in silence for several long moments, blinking slowly as we realized that we were all still alive and once enough time had elapsed I decided to break the silence.
"Well…at least nothing is on fire," I said and Martin turned to look at me slowly as Douglas frowned and held his shoulder, looking up at me incredulously. "Don't give me those looks. We just landed a crashing plane! And brilliantly too!" I told them both before I laughed breathlessly and I unbuckled myself from the seat and sat back, picking up Douglas' mug and saluting the men with it before drinking down the small sip of coffee that managed to stay in the cup and hadn't sloshed out onto the floor or the first officer. I laughed breathlessly again before I picked up the intercom. "Hello lady and gents. This is Lexi your emergency First Officer speaking from the pointy end. I'm joined here by the brilliant Captain Creiff and First Officer Richardson who has finally come to. How are things back there?" I asked, trying to keep my tone light hearted and not panicked. I didn't know if I could move just yet but I needed to know if everyone was alright.
"John here," John said a moment latter, coming on the returning com system and his voice came through shaky, but otherwise he sounded alright and I sighed in relief.
"Lexi?!" I heard Sherlock say both in the com and loudly enough to hear him inside the cabin and I laughed brightly at that as I put Douglas' coffee mug down.
"Ah, hello love," I said as Douglas carefully pulled himself to his feet, wincing a bit as he used the back of his chair to help himself up and I likewise pulled myself up from the chair. He eyed the fact I was wearing his hat with aggravation.
"Martin? Douglas?" Carolyn asked as I passed the com speaker onto Martin who stood up from his chair.
"Carolyn? Everyone alright back there?" Martin asked her as Douglas put a hand on the side of his head and I frowned. I noticed that his pupils were blown wide and I shook my head slightly. Great…not good. From the way he was holding his shoulder too I would say he dislocated it. I got a bit banged up in the crash but I had been wearing my belt like Martin. I might get a few bumps and bruises but I was reasonably alright. Douglas had a concussion.
"All fine," Carolyn assure us. "Arthur's broken his wrist and Sherlock's turned his ankle a bit, but nothing horribly wrong," Carolyn told us and I looked up in surprise. Sherlock was hurt? "What happened?" Carolyn asked us and I looked over at Martin.
"I think we should come in there," I told her and Martin nodded as she agreed and Martin went out first, helping Douglas out before I followed behind them back into the main cabin. Sherlock limped over to me immediately and threw his arms around me tightly, burying his face in my hair which had come out of its bun during the initial jolting, nearly knocking Douglas' hat off which I was still wearing. "I'm alright love," I assured him soothingly before I led him over to one of the seat and made him sit down before I kneeled down in front of him and took my scarf off. I eased his shoe off and saw that his ankle was already swelling badly. It wasn't just a minor sprain. Martin helped Douglas sit, John already seeing to Arthur's wrist as I wrapped Sherlock's foot up tightly in my scarf to at least relieve some of his pain and reduce some of the swelling. John looked over at me and I nodded at him as Arthur complained slightly, Carolyn sitting next to him and looking a bit pale but otherwise unhurt. She was holding Arthur's hand as John wrapped a piece of cloth around his wrist that he had probably ripped from one of his undershirts, ever the doctor. I got up from Sherlock and shared a wordless look with him before moving over to Douglas to check him out while John was otherwise engaged. "So," I said as I crouched down in front of Douglas whom Martin was sitting next to. I still felt a bit jittery, but I knew that would go away as soon as the adrenaline high crashed. "Looks like you might have a dislocated shoulder and a mild concussion," I said as I checked Douglas over.
"Is there anything that ma'am can't do?" Douglas asked me, raising his eyebrow and I straightened up and tilted my head to the side, pulling a thoughtful expression. "Well?" He asked me after a moment and I made a humming noise.
"I'm thinking about it. I mean sure I guess there are things I've never tried before," I said as I looked back at John and Sherlock. "Boys? What do you think?" I asked them and Sherlock shrugged at me.
"I've learnt not to doubt you at this point. You already shocked me with the four doctorates," John shot back and I nodded as I turned back to Douglas who had has mouth hanging open slightly in surprise.
"Well there you go," I told the first officer before I noticed Martin's horrified expression.
"Oh God you're just like him," Martin said as he gestured to Douglas before hiding his face in his hands.
"Well not exactly. Though I do have the hat," I told Martin with a cheeky grin.
"Yes, my hat," Douglas said and I stuck my tongue out at him like a child.
"It's mine now," I told him before Carolyn interrupted us.
"Yes thank you. I don't care whose hat it is. What I would like to know is why a plane that was flying properly and was in all working condition when we left Fitton a little over an hour ago decided to suddenly drop out of the sky!" Carolyn said as John sat back on his heels, finished with Arthur's wrist.
"I don't know," Martin said quietly and I looked over at Sherlock before moving back over to him and sitting beside him. He grabbed my hand and pulled my closer into his side, rubbing his fingers over the strands of my hair as he assured himself that I was alright. "She was working fine until we hit what we thought was turbulence," Martin told Carolyn who didn't look happy by this explanations.
"Yes but what happened!? And why did Lexi say she was our emergency first officer?" Carolyn demanded and Martin shrank in on himself, obviously over stressed out from having just landed a crashing plane and not really needing Carolyn shouting at him right now. We were all alive. He had done an amazing job, in fact he had taken control from me and landed us as I knew I wouldn't have been able to do it.
"Well Douglas thought we hit turbulence but I noticed the hydraulic pressure was dropping. He tried to stabilize GERT-I but before he could we got rocked around again and he hit the wall and got knocked unconscious because he wasn't wearing his seat belt. I took his headset and donned his hat and took over his controls," I explained to Carolyn and everyone turned and looked at me except for Martin and Douglas who already knew what happened.
"You were flying the plane?" John asked me in shock and I nodded as Sherlock studied me wordlessly.
"Helping," I told our army doctor.
"More imporatantly you can fly a plane?" Carolyn asked me and I nodded again, about to answer her but Arthur spoke up.
"Yeah Mum! She's like Skip. She had her CPL and everything," Arthur said excitedly as he grinned at me and I sent a small smile over to him as Douglas looked alarmed.
"What are you talking about idiot child?" Carolyn asked her son in confusion as Arthur continued to beam excitedly.
"Told you I was an actual pilot," I told Douglas with a cheeky grin and Sherlock chuckled beside me, holding my hand tightly. He was a little more anxious now that he knew I was one of the people who had landed us. "And Arthur is right. I do have my CPL," I told them as I got it out and showed it to them.
"But how I thought you said you were a detective person?" Carolyn asked me, waving her hands about widely.
"I am. I am a consulting detective, but my friend Joanna thought it would be best if I knew how to fly as well. Never comes up in consulting work, but apparently it did today,' I told her with a slight shrug. I was going to have to thank Joanie later on.
"Joanna? Who is she?" Martin asked me and I smiled at him.
"Lady Liberty," I told him and he perked up and looked at me wide eyed.
"That was who you radioed into?" Martin asked me and I nodded at him as Douglas looked at him in confusion.
"Care to explain to us mere mortals?" Douglas asked us and I grinned at him.
"Well since you asked so nicely sure," I told him, trying his sarcasm right back at him. "Joanna is an intelligence agent who works with Sherlock's brother Mycroft. She's sort of a freelancer. She doesn't have any ties to any known government…," I said and everyone except John and Sherlock blinked back at me blankly. "Basically whatever she wants to do she can do it. She's created this system that scans each radio frequency for any transmission, even air ones. So since we didn't know if our MAYDAY made it into the Tower, I sent out a second one to all radio frequencies. Now, both might not have gone through. We also seemed to have a communications malfunction so people might already know where we are and that we need help or it's possible no one knows at all. Now if Joanna did get the message it would take her a few hours to get a team together and then it would take them several hours to get here. Again that's only if the transmission got out. Right now as we're looking at it, GERT-I is in no means of the word flightworthy and three of you are injured. There's no way to get a signal out and consequently my mobile is out too so no help from there, we need to think about going to look for help," I finished and they nodded at me, knowing I was right.
"What I still don't get is how we crashed!" Carolyn said and we all sat there for a moment.
"Well GERT-I is always having mechanical errors. Let's just be thankful that if we crashed it was with the great Captain Crieff and MacKenna at the wheel," Douglas said sarcastically and I narrowed my eyes at him.
"From what I could tell the engines just stopped working without warning. The pressure started falling and we lost altitude before they gave out altogether. Without a thorough check of the plane it would be hard to tell what exactly went wrong but Martin and I already went through everything we could have done to fix it and none of that worked," I told them as John got to his feet.
"You mentioned going for help?" John asked me and I nodded as I stood up as well.
"Yes, we need to find a way to get a message to Mycroft and Joanna. They can send help out here with less hassle," I told him and Douglas cut in then.
"Plane crashes due tend to have their own protocols," He told me and I looked over at him and nodded.
"Yes and we forget protocols when working with the British Government and British Security Services," I told him before looking at Carolyn. "Mycroft will handle anything that needs to be taken care of for you. Right now though it is imperative that we contact him. Martin, where was our last location before the navigation system stopped working properly?" I asked Martin and he looked a bit flustered as I started asking him questions.
"Um…Germany. We just entered Germany so I guess we landed in some field in…Germany," He told us and I nodded at him with a thankful smile.
"Captain does always have such a way with words," Douglas said and I shot him a look before I looked down at Sherlock and he looked up at me as we had our silent conversation. He wasn't happy with what I had in mind but it was the only thing I could think of now.
"Alright, so we are somewhere in Germany. Thankfully I speak German," I said and John snorted and rolled his eyes at me.
"What don't you speak?" He asked me and I tilted my head and thought about it for a second.
"Portuguese," I told him simply and he smiled, thinking he had found something I finally couldn't do. "At least not fluently yet," I added and he frowned again. "Martin and I will go and look for help then while you lot stay here," I said and I was instantly met with consternation.
"What? No! We're not sending Martin to look for help," Douglas protested.
"Have you seen him, he can barely parallel park!" Carolyn said as Arthur looked between the four of us.
"Not to mention you get hurt constantly," John said, pointing at me accusingly.
"Okay, one Martin was the one that landed GERT-I safely so I trust him to go with me and two I don't always get hurt. I didn't get hurt once at Baskerville and before that the CIA assassins were not my fault," I told John, pointing at him as I raised my eyebrow and Martin, Douglas, Arthur, and Carolyn all shot odd looks at the three of us.
"You two pushed him out of a window!" John retorted and Sherlock rolled his eyes and sighed.
"Are you still going on about that John?" Sherlock asked him as Martin raised his hand and I signaled for him to wait a moment.
"Greg might have let you two off but…," John said before Sherlock cut him off.
"Greg, whose Greg?" Sherlock asked John in confusion as he pulled a face and then winced as he had tried to put pressure on his foot as he moved to right himself in his chair.
"Lestrade! You know the man you've worked with for the last few bloody years," John told him and I raised my hand as this was getting out of hand now.
"John!" I called and the army doctor snapped his head round to me. "Thank you. Now the reason Martin and I will be going is because out of the seven of us, we are the only two who are fit to walk for long periods of time and aren't injured. Sherlock I already know how you feel about this and I am sorry love but you do not get a say," I told him and he looked up at me and shook his head.
"Not at all. I already know you can handle yourself," He told me and I smiled down at him, grateful that at least he understood.
"I can walk…," John told me as he looked at me indignantly.
"And are you implying that I am an old lady and thus cannot walkover the rugged landscape?" Carolyn asked me and Douglas looked almost gleeful as if he was expecting some large argument to start from this.
"John you have a psychosomatic limp. It still acts up sometimes, but besides that you are the only other trained doctor here besides me and I need you to stay behind to look after Sherlock, Arthur, and Douglas. Douglas needs to stay quiet so as not to excite his head injury. Carolyn, I'm not implying anything but we don't know how far it is until the nearest town if there even is one and it is cold out there. Besides, John is going to need some help. That leaves just Martin and I," I said as I gestured between the Captain and myself, noticing that Martin looked slightly pale.
"Well there is a firm sort of logic behind it," Douglas said after a minute and Sherlock nodded at him.
"That is why Lexi generally comes up with the plans. She's…," Sherlock said before Arthur cut him off.
"Brilliant!" Arthur said with a bright smile and I laughed at that as I looked over at him.
"Thank you Arthur," I told him and he grinned at me wider. "So Martin, up for a little field trip?" I asked him and he looked up at me as everyone turned their attention to him.
"I…I don't know if that really is a good idea," Martin stammered and I could tell that he lacked the confidence in himself. He thought that he would fail and everyone would blame him and thus hate him and resent him. Well, today was the day that Martin saved the day if I had any say in the matter. So far he had been the one to land GERT-I when things went wrong, not Douglas. He could find help with me too.
"None sense. Where's your sense of adventure?" I asked him as I smiled brightly at him. "We're not exactly searching for a hound but…," I told him as I shrugged slightly and he drew in a deep breath before standing.
"Are you sure? I mean are you sure you wouldn't rather take someone else with you?" Martin asked me as he looked over at John and I shook my head as the army doctor's eyebrows raised and I nodded at him as he caught on to what I was doing.
"Er…no. Besides, gives me more time to get to know you. I'm sure you have plenty of stories to tell me about Croft and Lock," I told him with a bright grin and he frowned at me in confusion of the nicknames I had for his cousins before I turned back to Sherlock. "Speaking of your cousin, Sherlock, I need your coat and scarf," I told him and he frowned up at me in confusion, Martin's face and his identical now.
"Why?" He asked me and I sighed.
"Because Martin is just in his uniform and it is cold out there and we have to go hiking," I told Sherlock and he looked up at me for a moment before nodding. I helped him stand and he removed his coat and scarf, leaving him in his typical suit. I leaned up on tip toes and pressed a kiss to his lips as he handed me over what I requested and then I turned back to Martin and held them out to him. He looked at them dubiously before taking the coat from me and slipping it on. It was huge on him, going all the way down to his ankles instead of where it rested just below Sherlock's knees as Martin stood at about 5'4 instead of six feet like Sherlock. He put the scarf on like Sherlock had and all in all, he looked very nearly exactly like Sherlock with it all on. Both men were incredibly skinny, Martin somehow more so than Sherlock, and the only difference between them was in height and hair colour and of course Martin's freckles. I grinned as I took his hat off and ruffled his hair slightly before stepping back. "You do look nearly identical," I used as I looked between him and Sherlock and Sherlock huffed and rolled his eyes.
"Hardly," He told me and I shook my head at him fondly as I put Martin's hat back on his head before taking off the hat I had stolen from Douglas and plopping it back on his head rather unceremoniously. I grinned at him before putting the wireless aviation headset down beside him on the seat Martin had vacated.
"Alright, we're off," I told them as I kissed Sherlock once more. "Don't know when we'll be back exactly but we will be back," I assured them as John came forward and gave me a hug.
"Be careful Skip!" Arthur said and Martin nodded at him as Douglas and Carolyn also looked at Martin in concern.
"Yes, do try to be careful Martin," Carolyn told him, sounding more mothering and then she looked at me. "And you too," She added and I nodded at her before gesturing to my boys.
"I've gotten these two out of more dangerous situations than you can imagine. Don't worry. We'll both be fine," I told her before I looked back over at Martin and grinned at the man who looked utterly terrified. "Well Captain Crieff. I believe the game is as they would say afoot," I said and Sherlock and I exchanged a look before laughing together and everyone looked at us like we had gone mad. It was time that I proved to Martin Crieff that he was an excellent captain for one thing and for another that he was better than what he made himself out to be.