Hello sweeties! I finally finished it. It took me far longer than I thought it would but I am happy with what I created. Now for the conclusion of The Lemon Is In Play! I am trying to finish a prompt for Goldfish which should hopefully be done tomorrow. If not it will be done on Friday and I will be working on a few more prompts for Joanna and Mycroft on Friday and this weekend. I am going out on Saturday put I'll be writing prompts to enter into the computer on Sunday because I don't have anymore written. I have some to write before JoCroft is brought up to date with season three so just hang in there. Now, without further ado, those magnificent men and their flying machines!
Chapter Two: Assassins, Fizz Buzz, Drugs Bust, and Silly Hats
John and Douglas walked forward and helped Lexi pry the unyielding door of GERT-I open. The door groaned in protest but under both men's combined efforts, Douglas helping a bit less due to his injured arm, and brute strength, along with Lexi making some joke that was obviously a reference to one of their previous cases, they finally managed to get it open. Lexi poked her head around the door and looked out at the grey sky above them which was threatening rain and the damage on the ground below the that GERT-I had caused upon landing. Martin nervously peeked out next to her, holding on to the door tightly when he noticed that they were still a good five or six feet above the ground and he also came to realise that he had a previously undiscovered fear of heights, though that might have stemmed from the time when Carolyn had forced him the climb a tree and he had fallen out of it due to a swarm of rather angry bees. The height begged the question of how exactly where they going to get out of GERT-I.
"Well Martin," Lexi said and the captain realised that he had actually voiced his thoughts aloud. "See that grassy little patch right there?" Lexi asked him as she pointed out a patch of grass that was a good three or four feet from the door of GERT-I. It was the only place in the surrounding area of their crash that was not covered in mud and lake weeds. "Watch me and do exactly as I do," Lexi told him as she took a few steps back from the doorway and planted her feet firmly as she bent her knees slightly.
"What are you going to do?" Carolyn asked her in a mothering tone and Martin and Douglas both turned to look at her in surprise.
Carolyn Knapp-Shappey was a woman notoriously known for hating people, especially passengers. Her sudden mothering and worrying about the younger woman was unnerving to both her captain and her first officer who had no idea that Carolyn had grown very fond of her already in just the short amount of time she had spoken with her. Any woman who would voluntarily talk with Arthur was alright in her books and Lexi was the sweetest young woman she had ever met before. Sherlock, she still didn't know what to think about either him or that army doctor since neither man had spoken to her much, but Lexi seemed to be full of praises about the both of them and Dr. Watson had seen to Arthur's wrist and taken control of keeping him calm while they were crashing. Sherlock had been injured while getting up to go to the cabin to get Lexi until John had pulled him back to his seat. Whatever Carolyn could say about him, she could tell that the man loved the Irish girl and it was nice to see that sort of thing. She might not be known for being caring but these three passengers had grown on her since first boarding her aeroplane. Whatever the girl was planning on doing, John seemed to known exactly what she was thinking and he was fixing her with a stern gaze while Sherlock just smirked at her.
"Lexi no," John told the Irish detective firmly and she looked over at him and rolled her eyes as she huffed slightly. "No, I know exactly what you are thinking and it is not happening," John told her as Martin, Douglas, Carolyn, and Arthur watched them curiously.
"Oh come on John," Lexi said as she threw her hands in the air in exasperation. "This is easier than the Blind Banker and it has a distinctive lack of Chinese assassins sent from a smuggler's Tong attempting to murder the three of us in a circus. It's perfectly safe," Lexi assured the army doctor before she looked over at Martin who had his eyebrows furrowed as he picked up some of her words such as Chinese assassins, smugglers, Tong, murder, and circus. What exactly did his cousin and these people do? "Now just watch me," Lexi directed Martin and he nodded numbly at her, still unable to find his voice. He was finding all this a little overwhelming and he was still feeling a bit shaken up from the crash.
"What exactly is ma'am going to...," Douglas began to say before Lexi took off with a running start towards the open door of GERT-I. She front flipped out of the aeroplane before landing in a roll on the small grassy patch that she had pointed out to him. She sprang quickly up to her feet with barely a hair out of place and Douglas stared at her through the open doorway with his mouth hanging open while John gritted his teeth in irritation and Sherlock chuckled at her brilliant smile and bright laugh of amusement. Martin let out a squeak, the sound catching in the back of his throat as he hung on to the doorway of GERT-I tighter until his knuckles started turning white.
"That was BRILLIANT!" Arthur cheered from the back of the plane, his nose nearly pressed completely up against the window as he looked out at Lexi.
"Is she alright?" Carolyn asked them, her voice laced with concern as Lexi ran a hand through her hair and Sherlock limped over to the doorway.
"She's fine, yeah," John told her as he sniffed in deeply in agitation and Sherlock smirked at that and looked over at John with a look that Martin only knew too well as one of Holmes' pride and superiority.
"Obviously she is John. This is Lexi we're talking about. She took down several CIA trained assassins in our flat rescuing Mrs. Hudson along with the countless criminals that she has otherwise incapacitated with rubbish bin lids, tackled, or punched in the face," Sherlock said as Douglas' eyebrows shot up towards his hairline with each passing remark made by the consulting detective about the Irish woman.
"The trick is just to roll when you fall to avoid injury," Lexi called back up to Martin and he turned back to her, his throat making little squeaking noises.
"You...you want me...to...jump," Martin managed to stutter out and she nodded at him in confirmation as she waited for him on the ground below. "Out...out of GERT-I?" He clarified ad she nodded at him again.
"I believe that is what the lady has said Sir," Douglas told him as he smiled slyly at him, obviously enjoying Martin's anxiety and discomfort at having been the one chosen to go out there into the unknown and cold, Martin could already feel the air biting at his cheeks, and try to find them help in the middle of nowhere. Oh yes, he was definitely enjoying this. He would probably tease him about this for weeks too, that was if they got out of this. He never heard of people dying in the middle of God knows where Germany due to a plane crash, normally that would happen on deserted islands, but stranger things had happened to MJN Air. OH God, what if no one knew they were out here?!What if they couldn't find help? What if they all died out here?
"Martin, you'll be fine," Lexi suddenly called up to him, her voice calm and Martin was pulled out of his thoughts of dying terribly and being forced to think about cannibalism in order to survive. Of course he would be eaten first. He was too weak to defend himself even against Arthur. Martin looked down at the Irish girl who just had this calming personality and aura around her that instantly set him at ease. She nodded at him encouragingly and Martin managed to pry his fingers off of the doorway, realizing that he had lost all feeling in them already. He felt sharp pains in them as feeling started to slowly creep back into them. They were also slightly numb from the cold outside that was coming through the door way. He was grateful that Lexi had asked for Sherlock's coat for him and more so that his cousin had actually given it to him. "Just take a deep breath and do exactly as I did," Lexi told him, her light Irish brogue lulling him into a sense of ease.
"I...I don't think I can," Martin told her, still feeling unsure about jumping out of GERT-I. He looked back at Sherlock who was watching him closely and felt even more self- conscious. Sherlock wouldn't have been whining, he would have already been out there with her, not wasting time they didn't have. "Maybe I should just...," Martin tried to tell her before he found himself tumbling forward through the open door. He cried out in surprise and tucked in on himself in an attempt to shield his body as he fell towards the ground. He did manage to fall in a roll but not exactly on the grassy area and instead took a tumble through the mud and lake weeds. A second later he came to a stop and then he felt a small pair of hands helping him to his feet with surprising strength. He finally pried his eyes open when he was standing and found himself looking up in the hazel eyes of Lexi as she looked at him in concern. His whole body ached now if it didn't before and he groaned in pain before the groan turned to one of annoyance and nervousness as he realized that he had gotten mud and weeds all over Sherlock's coat. Lexi brushed it off of him, oddly not leaving any staining which led Martin to believe his coat was made specifically to hold up to his line of work and then she checked him over for injury as Martin looked up at her, still slightly dazed and confused. The last thing she did was place his head back on his head. She turned back and looked up at the open door of the plane, her eyebrows furrowed as she crossed her arms over her chest.
"Was that really necessary?" She asked, her tone irritated as Martin turned around and saw that she was looking up at Douglas with that look of annoyance. It suddenly dawned upon Martin that right before he fell, he felt a hand on his back which shoved him rather roughly forward.
"You pushed me!?" Martin shouted in indignation and shock up at Douglas who shrugged his shoulders as he leaned against the open doorway. Sherlock was frowning over his shoulder as he threw looks over at Lexi and Lexi suddenly nodded her head and then made a face which Sherlock responded by also making a face too. If Martin didn't know any better he would say that they were having a silent conversation but that was impossible unless they were reading each other's minds.
"I would have gotten him to jump on his own after another minute," Lexi told Douglas as she looked back over at the smarmy first officer and then sighed heavily as she uncrossed her arms, looking over Martin as if she was studying him under a microscope again.
"Ma'am underestimates Sir's ability to resist when frightened," Douglas said with a smirk and Martin felt his cheeks and neck heat up despite the cold that was nipping at them. "I was simply doing you both a favour," Douglas called down to them.
"Yes, thank you," Lexi told him with a sarcastic smile and a roll of her eyes before she looked at Martin. "You alright?" She asked him and Martin nodded at her quickly.
"Yeah, yes...sure I'm good...all good, fine, really fine...just fine," Martin told her as he bobbed his head up and down, feeling a bit giddy inside due to the adrenaline leaving his system and everything else catching up with him.
"Sir is always fine when he repeats himself," Douglas said and Lexi's head shot up to look at him.
"Yes, thank you for your input," She told him before she put a steadying hand on Martin's shoulder. "We're going to be alright. I promise Martin. I've gotten the boys out of worse situations, way worse, and besides I'm Irish. I'm stubborn and I refuse to give up," Lexi told him as she smiled at him brightly and Martin nodded at her slightly, instantly feeling calm again.
"Is Martin alright?" Martin heard Carolyn call from the plane and this shocked him.
"Oh yes, everything seems all tickityboo-boo out there," Douglas called back to her as Lexi breathed in deeply, steadying herself as she looked up at Sherlock and John.
"Alright, we're going to head out. We'll be back soon. Sherlock...," Lexi said and the detective nodded at her, his expression unreadable to even Martin who had known him for a long time.
"I know," Sherlock told her and she nodded before Lexi turned to Martin and she nodded at him before they both started to silently walk away from GERT-I and across the rough and rugged landscape of somewhere in Germany.
"So what do we do now?" Arthur asked as soon as Martin and Lexi disappeared out in the distance and everyone had settled back down in their seats, Douglas sighing heavily as he cradled his still aching shoulder to his chest. Opening the door hadn't helped any, even if Lexi had fixed his shoulder with a sickening crack for him.
"Now Arthur, we wait," Douglas told the younger man who was sitting by his mother once again. The first officer looked over at the army doctor who was sitting beside Martin's cousin. Douglas still couldn't get over the fact that both men looked nearly identical. Martin however was at least ten inches shorter than his cousin and had ginger curls instead of black along with a vast amount of freckles. Unlike Martin, Sherlock walked and spoke with an air of confidence and even superiority. The two men could not be more different if they tried.
So far, Douglas Richardson was having issues coming to terms with the events of the last half hour. Yes, it had in fact only been half an hour since they crash landed in God only knows where Germany and only about two hours since they had taken off from Fitton. In that amount of time Douglas had discovered the following things. Firstly was that their passengers who were supposed to be big wig government officials actually turned out to be Martin's cousin, the man's girlfriend as she was quite obviously, and their army doctor friend. The Irish woman and Martin's cousin claimed to be Consulting Detective's, a made up profession if Douglas had ever heard of one before and Arthur was of course enthralled by them. In his attempt to embarrass Martin who quite clearly had a crush on the fair lady Lexi as he did on most women who boarded GERT-I Douglas had tried to introduce him as a French pilot only to have that not work and then later to have Martin, in a fit of anger, throw the lemon about the cabin of the plane. Then Lexi came to the flight deck baring gifts like the Romans and noticed that their hydraulic pressure was dropping. Then they were crashing. It was all very touch and go for the first officer after that. He vaguely remembered someone moving him and then hearing a lot of talking and either Martin or Lexi calling out MAYDAY into the radio or going on about the controls.
When he had awoken to see a passenger sitting in his seat he had been greatly alarmed. What would have ever induced Martin to have a passenger take over control? Surely he hadn't lost his senses that much and let someone without any flight experience take over the controls of a crashing plane. Lexi however was both wearing his hat and his aviation head seat. He was even more shocked, scared, and horrified when the Irish girl revealed that she currently had control of the plane, not Martin which meant they had taken her off of auto pilot. Douglas was almost sure that Martin was trying to kill the then. Watching the woman though he could see that she was quite comfortable with the controls of the plane and even appeared to know what she was doing. For a second time that day, Douglas was shocked at Martin's out of character attitude when both he and Lexi shouted at him to shut up. Douglas, who wasn't a very religious man, started praying when they got closer and closer to the ground and even started begging with whatever higher power existed when Lexi relinquished control to Martin. Somehow the passenger with no flight knowledge seemed better than trusting Martin...Martin, to land them in that instance.
Of course once they landed she had made the announcement that she was their emergency first officer and they had all gone back to the cabin to find out that both Arthur and Sherlock were mildly injured. He seemed to have fared the worst in the crash and of course he knew it was because he hadn't put his seat belt back on when he returned from hiding the lemon. He now had a feeling that the Irish woman had helped Martin find it. He had thought she was too wrapped up in her book as she hadn't even paid him an attention at all but apparently she noticed more than he thought. He noticed how both her gaze and Sherlock's was almost like being under a microscopes. Of course Douglas had been floored to discover that the Irish woman actually had her CPL. On top of that she was also a doctor. He himself had flunked out of medical school but here was a woman who was both a pilot like he was, and also a doctor, and apparently a detective. Martin of course was horrified and claimed she was like him and Douglas could see some similarities. They both were sarcastic and self- confident, but he seemed to be pissing her off, especially the more he teased Captain Crieff which was why he kept on Martin after he realised this. Douglas had absolutely no confidence that they would return with help. Martin was not known for his helpful abilities. With Lexi however they might have half a chance. The first officer really didn't believe everything he was hearing such as Chinese assassins or attempted murders, tackling criminals, or taking them out with the lids of rubbish bins. CIA trained killers sounded farfetched too. The entire consulting detective job seemed fanciful and quite frankly made up. Douglas was drawn from his thoughts as Arthur spoke once more.
"So what do we do? Just sit around and wait?" Arthur asked them and Douglas sighed, wishing for some peace and quiet.
"That's rather the thought yes," Douglas told him as he closed his eyes and reclined in his chair, not even caring that Sherlock was watching him closely. The man could watch him all he liked.
"Well that's rather boring isn't it," Arthur complained.
"Arthur, light of my life do please shut up," Carolyn requested of Arthur.
"Everyone just sit calmly and try and relax. Martin and Lexi will be back with help soon and we can get out of here," John spoke up as he settled back in his own seat.
"Sir has such high confidence in them," Douglas drawled out lazily as he opened one of his eyes to find that the consulting detective was now lying in a half draped angle in his chair, all lanky limbs, with his hands folded in a prayer position under his chin and his eyes closed.
"Well yeah you have to in Lexi. You've never seen her hack into someone's records just for curiosities sake or throw her shoes at a murderer just to protect us. Not to mention she did break into Buckingham Palace once," John said and the first officer's eye shot open at this.
"What... brilliant!" Arthur breathed excitedly. "She didn't tell me about that. She told me all about the pink lady and the cabbie and the pink case and that gigantic hound though," The younger man said and Douglas could see there was a story in this.
"Ah yes, "A Study in Pink," John said with a nostalgic look on his face and Sherlock huffed irritably beside him. "You're still on about that then?" John asked as he looked over at the detective who lazily opened one eye to look at him.
"I find your amazement over my lack of knowledge of the solar astounding John. To this day I still fail to see the importance," Sherlock drawled out in his deep baritone and Douglas snorted at that.
"It's the solar system Sherlock! It's primary school knowledge which would have helped you solve the case with Moriarty," John argued back at him as Carolyn and Douglas watched the two men argue, not knowing whether to stop them or not. It was the strangest argument they had ever seen before.
"Well it hardly helped you," Sherlock quipped and John nodded at him.
"Yeah but I'm not supposed to be one of the only two consulting detective's in the world no am I?" John asked him and before Sherlock could respond Douglas decided to cut in.
"If I might interrupt you, while we are on the subject. What exactly does a consulting detective do?" Douglas asked and he was rewarded by being fixed with a lazy stare from Sherlock.
"When the police are out of their depths which is always they come to Lexi and me. Of course most of Lestrade's cases are dull," Sherlock said petulantly and John sighed heavily as if he was used to hearing this type of complaining.
"I told you Sherlock, not every case can be a murder," John told the consulting detective who huffed loudly before he drew his legs up to his chest. It reminded Douglas of when Martin had one of his tantrums just on a much larger scale.
"Out of their depth?" Douglas asked the pair in confusion, not understanding quite what they meant by that and not exactly wanting to know what he meant by most cases being dull and not all cases being able to be murders.
"Yes, they always are, especially Anderson. The man practically lowers the IQ of anyone who is unfortunate enough to be in the same room as him as he speaks," Sherlock drawled out and Douglas snorted in amusement at the young man. Sherlock was far different than Martin. Martin stuttered and was over polite and bumbling whereas Sherlock was rude, arrogant, and proud and spoke with confidence. John sighed as Carolyn studied the lanky detective with pursed lips.
"And what is it exactly that Sir does?" Douglas asked him and John groaned loudly and rubbed his face with his hands as if this wasn't a good question to ask him.
"I make deductions," Sherlock answered him simply, closing his eyes again and adopting his prayer pose once more.
"Deductions?" Carolyn asked him and John shook his head at her in despair and groaned again.
"Don't ask him that...just don't," John told her but Sherlock suddenly sprang up in his seat, turning to sit properly as he rested both of his hands on his arm rests and opened his eyes. He looked over at Douglas and the first officer suddenly got that strange feeling of being under a microscope once more that he had earlier when Lexi was watching him and when he first had met the consulting detective.
"You've been married three times before," Sherlock started off and the first officer's eyebrows shot up towards his hairline in surprise as the detective continued on. "You have a daughter by your first wife. That marriage lasted longer, I would say ten years or so, and then you met wife number two. You have a second daughter with this wife. It was supposed to be a one night fling but let to marriage. The third wife has divorced you recently to get better acquainted with her karate instructor...no Twi kwon do instructor," Sherlock said as he narrowed his eyes at Douglas, studying him closely and the first officer felt a wave of shock hit him. "You went to medical school or you attempted to. When that failed you decided to become a pilot, equally worthy profession and one you thought would also impress women. A soldier was never an option for you. You've been subconsciously eyeing John ever since you found out that he was both a doctor and soldier and the same with Lexi since you found out she is both a doctor and has her CPL. That took you by surprise. Now you used to work for a larger airline, probably Air England or the like but you were fired after they found out about your lucrative smuggling business. Not as well set up as the Black Lotus...," Sherlock said, smirking as if this was some inside joke before he continued. "...but you've made a side business of it. Nothing illegal of course. Carolyn only had the position of first officer available at MJN Air when you came looking for a job and while it meant a substantial pay cut and a demotion you took it as you knew no other airline would hire you. You didn't like the last pilot. You thought when the position opened that you would take a step up by Carolyn said no and hired Martin who recently acquired his CPL. I should know, I heard about it...three years ago now. You were bitter at first because a younger man came and took a position you thought you deserved, but you soon found that he was better than the last pilot. Martin naturally needs control, but he is also unsure of himself. It's why you tease him constantly, but lately your teasing has been for a far different reason. You care about him, in face you love him. You only began teasing him and attempting to embarrass him when Lexi was being nice to him and Martin showed some mild interest in her. You've discovered since your last failed marriage that you've taken a fancy to my cousin. I highly approve so long as you treat him right. So do tell me, did I get anything wrong?" Sherlock finished as he drummed his fingers impatiently on the arm rest after revealing that the first officer fancied his captain.
"Martin told you all of that," Douglas said after a moment of silence when he finally found the use of his voice again. There was no way this man could have known all of that. Martin had to have told him all of that so that this man could say al that to fool them all. Martin had...he trusted Martin with that information.
"Hmm no," Sherlock drawled out slowly as he closed his eyes and John turned to look at the consulting detective.
"Did you have to do that Sherlock? Did you have to show of you MASSIVE INTELLECT!?" John asked the detective, stating the last words more loudly.
"Well it was the only way he was going to believe us. He's been thinking that all of this is some trick or ploy, possibly that Martin set up the whole thing though not even my cousin could come up with a plan like that," Sherlock said, sniffing deeply as he slumped down lazily in his chair once again.
"Then how the hell do you know all that?!" Douglas demanded to know. He was specifically interested in how he could have known that he had feelings for Martin, ones even he wasn't completely sure about yet.
"I don't know, I saw the same way I can tell you are an airline pilot by observing your left thumb, that Carolyn had two previous marriages, that Arthur is half Australian, and that they own a small dog, a cockapoo I think," Sherlock said as he spared another glance over at Arthur. "I deduce. I make deductions and so does Lexi. It's why the police come to us when they are out of their depths," Sherlock finished before falling silent which was a good thing because the first officer was left stunned and unable to speak.
"Wow...you're brilliant!" Arthur said, breaking the silence as he smiled brilliant at Sherlock and Sherlock flicked his gaze over to him and smirked slightly.
"Thank you Arthur," Sherlock said and John turned to look at him, his mouth opening and closing like fish. "John do close your mouth. You look like you are attempting to perform an impression of Anderson," Sherlock said as he closed his eyes and resumed his prayer position.
"Did you just thank him?" John asked Sherlock in shock as he closed his mouth and Sherlock went to answer him but Douglas did it for him as he found his voice again, a smirk on his face.
"I believe that is what Sir said," Douglas said and John looked over at him and shook his head as Sherlock peeked one eye open and smirked at him, the first officer and the consulting detective having formed some type of friendship for now.
"What I don't get is how this deduction thing works," Carolyn said, finally speaking up from the back of the plane. "I was speaking with Lexi earlier and she didn't say anything about me," She added and John looked back at her and shook his head.
"That's Lexi. She'll deduce you but she keeps it to herself. 'cept for bets. When I first met her our mutual friend bet that she couldn't deduce me. Of course she could. Asked me Afghanistan or Iraq. She knew that I was an army doctor recently invalided home from just looking at me. Well then we met Sherlock and he decided to share the deductions he made about me. Lexi made all the same ones but she keeps them to herself. Lexi silently uses her deductions to solve our cases, normally she'll notice things neither of us don't. She's well...she's Lexi," John told them simply and Sherlock smiled in a way that told the first officer that he was completely smitten with the Irish lass.
"She's brilliant!" Arthur said and Carolyn looked over at her son and patted her arm.
"Yes, I think she is," Sherlock said and Douglas smiled at him.
"As we can tell my lad," Douglas teased him and Sherlock raised his eyebrow at him, throwing him a look that, even though their faces were identical, would never have appeared on Martin's face before.
"You said she broke into Buckingham Palace?" Carolyn asked, ending the staring contest and they all looked over at her to see her raising her eyebrow questioningly and the army doctor and detective shared a look before John started to launch into the story of what Sherlock said was Lexi's proudest moment.
Martin and I trudged through the cold and tough landscape, stumbling every so often and helping to catch one another as we started off in any random direction away from GERT-I. We had been walking for a good half an hour now and so far we hadn't found anything. We had walked in general silence as it was cold out and well...there wasn't much to talk about. Thankfully for us I could keep track of where we came from my eidetic memory and my good sense of direction. I was mapping out where we had come from in my mind like I would have the streets of London. I stole looks over at Martin every so often and he did the same to me as we trudged along together side by side. He did look so much like Sherlock though I had deduced several things about him like the fact that he was so thin, thinner than Sherlock because he hadn't been eating well recently, he also hadn't been sleeping well, and he looked slightly ill like he had been in the cold for too long. This wasn't really going to help him but we didn't have a choice. Martin worked for MJN as a pilot but I deduced that he wasn't getting paid for his position, something Sherlock and I had a silent conversation about when he noticed it too. There was something definitely wrong with his cousin, but Martin hadn't said anything. Sherlock knew he wouldn't either. He might be Crieff but both sides of the family were proud.
Sherlock had told me he hadn't seen Martin in the last three years, since Martin first came to work for MJN. Apparently a lot had changed for the ginger man since then. I couldn't help but feel some sort of connection to him. He was Sherlock's cousin for one and looked nearly identical to him, but he also reminded me a bit of myself and a bit like John and Sherlock. I was a carer. John always told me that I cared too much and he was right, I did. It was why I cared about Soo Lin, the old woman we lost, everyone. I protected people. That was sort of my job, well my second job. My third today if you counted the fact that I was also a pilot today. I still couldn't believe I had helped Martin land GERT-I. I had only ever used flight simulators and done a few flights to get my CPL. Joanna had wanted me to get it, I was bored so I said yes. I had no clue how much it would come in handy to have flight experience or to cram over six hundred pages of flight manuals into my head. Joanna would be getting a gift when we made it home and also I would be looking into a way to help Martin out with her help. There had to be some part of his life I could make better. He just looked sad.
"So, um... you and Sherlock? I don't remember him mentioning you the last time I saw him," Martin said suddenly, breaking the silence that had fallen over us before he flushed and started spluttering. "Oh God...not that there wasn't anything to mention...or...or that...that you know he didn't want to mention you...," Martin stuttered before I cut him off quickly as I could see that he was nervous enough.
"Martin it's fine, really. You haven't said anything wrong," I assured the ginger man as I reached over and put a hand on his arm to calm him down. "He probably wouldn't have mentioned us because the three of us only met about eighteen months ago so he couldn't have," I told Martin and he looked a little surprised by this information.
"How did you three actually meet? Oh God...don't answer that! I mean unless you want to, but...I mean you don't have to. It's just Sherlock doesn't really have colleagues or...or friends. Oh no! That's not what I meant. I didn't mean you aren't friends because you obviously are...more than friends in fact...," Martin stuttered out and I caught him as he tripped and stumbled forward.
"Martin, relax honestly," I told him as I pulled him to a stop. "You aren't going to say the wrong thing and you can ask me questions. I really don't mind," I assured him and he took a deep breath and exhaled loudly.
"Um...thank you," Martin told me as I sent him an encouraging smile. "So um how did the three of you meet then?" He asked me as we started walking again.
"Well, I was out with a friend of mine Mike Stamford for lunch when we ran into John who studied with Mike at Bart's hospital. John had recently been invalided home from Afghanistan. He was shot in the left shoulder but he had a psychosomatic limp. Well, it came out that we both were looking for a flatmate and Mike knew another person who was looking for the same thing so he introduced us to Sherlock. Of course Sherlock and I tried to deduce each other immediately upon meeting each other but we both found that we were oddly unable to do so. So we settled on just deducing John instead which got him wondering about us, or more like Sherlock since I tend to hide my deductions for a while. The three of us met the next day at 221b Baker Street and we met Mrs. Hudson the landlady and within a short period of time Detective Inspector Lestrade came by to give Sherlock a case. I used to work for Lestrade before I had stopped working cases for a period of time. Bit of a run in with a serial killer and I needed a break from it, which was in all fairness quite stupid of me because I should have never given it up. Anyway it was the case of those serial suicides. We ended up the three of us working the case and well Sherlock and I couldn't resist taking John with us. We chased a cab throughout London and discovered in the end that the killer was really a cab driver named Jeff Hope. John actually rescued us only after knowing us for a few hours. We've been best mates ever since, solving cases together. Sherlock was assured we would take the flat with him after John joined us and after I agreed to work the case with him. John even met Mycroft who gave him the third degree. Warehouse and all and mysterious black cars and impressive phone demonstrations. I think it was only after knowing us for a total of three hours. Ironically I actually met Mycroft before Sherlock though it is debatable. You see I technically met Sherlock first when I moved from London to Dublin as we sat on the plane together but I was formally introduced to Mycroft first when I broke into Buckingham Palace. I never got Sherlock's name before so we don't know if it counts. It seems my involvement with the Holmes family has always been inevitable. Sherlock and I met on a total of five occasions before we were officially introduced to one another," I explained to Martin and he listened to me with interest as I noticed the landscape starting to flatten a bit up ahead and there seemed to be a bit of something up ahead in the distance which could be promising.
"You met Mycroft first then?" Martin asked me and I laughed brightly at this.
"Yes, but enough about me and the boys. What about you? You must know your cousins, they hardly talk about their family if they can help it," I asked Martin and he blushed fiercely as he popped the collar of Sherlock's coat against the cold wind and I smiled slightly at the Sherlock like gesture.
"There's not really much to tell," Martin told me with a shrug as he looked away from me and wrapped his arms around himself for warmth.
"Oh, I'm sure there has to be something. I mean you are the same age as Sherlock and you are the Captain of an airline. That's impressive," I told him, trying to encourage him since he probably didn't hear it often. Sherlock mentioned that he did have two other cousins on the Crieff side of his family, Caitlin and Simon who were Martin's older siblings. Like Sherlock, Martin had a bit of rivalry with his older siblings and his family weren't all that supportive or encouraging about him becoming a pilot.
"It's really not impressive," Martin told me and I frowned at him as I looked over at him, surprised by the way he put himself down.
"It is though, I mean...," I tried to say before Martin cut me off, pulling up short and forcing me to stop as well.
"Oh yes, it's all so impressive that it took me seven goes to get my CPL! Or...or that I am only a Captain because I agreed to work for Carolyn for free. I'm not even the Captain of an airline! It's an airdot! You can't put one aeroplane in a line. It didn't matter that all I ever wanted to be was a pilot. My dad never thought I could do it, in fact when he died he left money to my brother and sister but not to me. No he left me his van because he thought I would waste the money on trying to become a pilot. I live in an attic in a student house that has a leak in the roof and I freeze my backside off every night! I live off of dry toast and pasta. Sometimes for a treat I have a baked potato! I only get paid for humping boxes into the back of my van which I don't even get paid that much to do because the van is constantly breaking down and I am constantly out working jobs for Carolyn. The only person who ever believed I could be a pilot was Sherlock and...," Martin said, half shouting parts of it before he lost his fire and trailed off completely.
"Martin!" I said, getting his attention as he breathed heavily and he looked over at me. "Sweetie, calm down," I told him as I gripped his shoulders, the shorter man drawing in shaky breaths. He got just as worked up as Sherlock did when he was upset if not more so. Martin drew in some deep breaths as he calmed himself down slightly. "Look, for what it's worth, I believe in you too. And you know what? You proved them all wrong Martin. My dad didn't want me to be a detective. In fact he wanted me to marry someone of class and political power and I told him no. I am a detective now and you are a Captain and guess what, neither of us get paid for it," I told Martin, laughing slightly. "Sherlock and I don't get paid for solving cases. Sherlock plays online poker and I fix peoples computers for them. We all have second jobs. There's nothing to be ashamed of Martin. And don't listen to them. To Douglas or to Carolyn or to anyone else that tries to tell you otherwise. They don't matter. What matters is you," I told Martin before I pulled him in for a tight hug. He stiffened slightly, almost lie Sherlock did at first, unused to human contact. He relaxed after a moment and hugged me back until we pulled away from the hug.
"Lexi...thank you," Martin told me and I smiled at him.
"What are friends for?" I asked him and he frowned at me in confusion.
"Friends?" He asked me and I nodded at him.
"Well I became friends with John and Sherlock after running over the roof tops of London with them chasing after a cab. I think we could be considered friends after landing a crashing plane together," I told him as we started walking again, this time walking slightly closer together.
"I think so too," Martin told me with a genuine smile and I grinned back at him. "So did you really break into Buckingham Palace?' He asked me with a quizzical look and I nodded at him.
"Well...yes," I told him with a bright grin before I launched into the story as we continued on, the peaks of rooftops out in the distance.
The current inhabitants of GERT-I, who had finally given up flickering her lights and settled with just leaving them on, had somehow, since discovering that Sherlock was indeed a detective, fallen into a sort of companionship of sorts that was brought on possibly by the fact that they were all trapped inside a small metal box until Martin and Lexi returned with help and possibly out of the bonding experience of having survived a plane crash that was likewise piloted by Martin and Lexi. After John and Sherlock had went on a long tangent about Lexi breaking into Buckingham Palace and some of their other finer exploits, Sherlock's favourite being when they forgot their clothes in the palace, Carolyn, Douglas and Arthur recounted their own tales of misadventure. They recounted for the detective and his blogger the story of the cat in the hold they had needed to divert for, the refresher SEP in Ipswich to which Arthur informed them that this is where he had taken his course on understanding people, the trip to Qikiqtarjuaq and the polar bears who were decidedly brilliant along with the rules of the traveling lemon, and how Timbuktu Timbuktu was not actually Timbuktu. Arthur also filled them in on Birling day and the Talisker wars. John said how Lexi would have had several more devious methods for stealing the Talisker and that it was a good thing that she wasn't here to hear this while Douglas made a mental note to ask the Irish lass for ideas later on. After their discussion they lapsed into boredom which is when Sherlock vocally complained about this to John. John commented that they were luck that Sherlock was not in possession of a gun or a wall to shoot at to which Sherlock replied that, "The wall had it coming." Arthur suggested that they play a game which was what they were currently doing. One person would start it off by saying a word and the next person would have to say the first word that came to mind upon hearing the word the last person had said.
"Fizz, "Carolyn said, starting off the chain again and Douglas smiled as he was reminded of the flight when they were forced to sleep in GERT-I with only baby food to eat and Martin smelling tantalizingly of bacon.
"Buzz," He said in reply and Carolyn grinned at him ruefully.
"Have a banana!" Arthur cheered and Sherlock and John eyed them quizzically when they all laughed at the inside joke.
"Only one word Arthur," Douglas reminded the younger man who nodded at him/
"Oh right, yeah. Banana then," Arthur told them with a slight nod before looking over at Sherlock whose turn was next. It had taken them a bit to encourage the consulting detective to play but they had finally managed it. Getting the army doctor to play had been a far easier accomplishment.
"Division," Sherlock drawled out as he lolled his head to the side and John whipped his head round to look at him with a look of exasperation in his face.
"Division? How does the word banana make you think of division?" John asked him as the trio from MJN watched one of their odd arguments again.
"Anderson is much like a primate or a Homohabilis discovering the use of his opposable thumbs. He works in a division, monkeys apparently are partial to bananas, thus banana division," Sherlock explained and John snorted in amusement as Douglas and Carolyn erupted into loud chuckles. Sherlock looked amused and highly pleased with himself as John rolled his eyes at him.
"Fine then...erm headquarters," John said, taking his turn and it was Sherlock's turn to look at him quizzically. "I was a soldier," John reminded him and Sherlock shrugged.
"Fair enough," He said before their game continued on.
A town. Martin couldn't believe they had actually done it. They had actually found a small town about an hour and a half from where GERT-I had crash landed into her field. The people all sent them odd looks as they walked down the cobbled street together and Martin stuck close to Lexi's side and pulled his cousin's coat more tightly around himself, knowing how ridiculous he looked in the oversized coat with its popped collar, but he was feeling too cold at present to care. They found a small pub and Lexi pulled him inside behind her. Martin instantly sighed at the warmth they found inside and Lexi grinned back at him, her nose and cheeks raw and pink from the cold, but she was still in bright spirits despite their situation. Her enthusiasm was definitely catching and thus Martin was trying not to panic and worry too much about their predicament. Lexi led him over to the counter and had him sit up on the bar stool next to her which he was ashamed to say was a bit of a climb and he blushed slightly at the fact that Lexi was six inches taller than him. The pub owner came over and Martin started to nervously play with the ends of the sleeves of Sherlock's coat as the man started to speak in German. Oh God, he didn't know German. How were they going to get help? Martin was amazed therefore when Lexi responded to the man in fluent German down to her very accent, having forgotten that she mentioned that she knew German. The man listened to her closely before nodding and responding with "Ja," and walking away from them.
"What did he say?" Martin asked Lexi as soon as the man had walked off and went into the back of the pub, walking out of their line of sight and going into the kitchen presumably.
"We're actually not that far from a small airfield. Problem is where we landed the transmission cut off due to GERT-I's system failures so no one even knows that we are out there. He's going to let me use his phone and I can call Joanna. She can then send someone out to us from the air field who can hopefully fix GERT-I or at least get the others out here so we can get back to London," Lexi explained to him as the man returned with two steaming bowls which he set down in front of them along with a loaf of bread that was freshly baked before he moved off and came back with two pints of bitter. Martin's stomach growled as he realized just how hungry he actually was, his piece of toast from this morning nearly nonexistent after his hike in the cold. Lexi giggled slightly at the large growl his stomach gave and Martin blushed as she handed over some bills to the man and then they exchanged a few more words. "He said we can use the phone once we're done eating," Lexi explained to him once the German man moved away again.
"Thank you," Martin thanked her gratefully as he picked up his spoon which was stuck in his bowl and took his first mouthful of the hot stew which he found was some sort of beef and vegetable mix. It was heavenly smiling and the taste exploded onto his taste buds nearly making him whimper. It was better than anything he had ever tasted while on a trip before and it certainly was better than the inflight food that Arthur heated up in the microwave. Have congealed Shepard's Pie wasn't even appealing to the starving captain.
"You don't have to thank me Martin," Lexi told him as she picked up her own spoon and started eating, brushing all over her hair over one shoulder and Martin looked over at her as she laughed, having dribbled a bit of stew down her chin.
"I sort of do. You've been awfully nice to me," Martin told her sheepishly as he took a small slice of bread, not wanting to look greedy. Lexi wiped her chin dainty and Martin was once again drawn to her face and how beautiful she actually was. She was like a guardian angel for both him and his cousin certainly.
"Friends Martin," She reminded him with a chastising tone, but a friendly smile and Martin nodded at her. "You know, you're a lot like Sherlock. You are just as awkward with people. I think it is a Holmes thing though and I guess a Crieff thing too. Possibly a MacKenna thing as well," Lexi told him with a laugh.
"You're Irish," Martin said before realizing how stupid he sounded. Of course she was Irish. He knew she was Irish. That's not exactly what he meant.
"Aye, what gave it away?" She asked him with a teasing laugh and a bright smile.
"I meant that you're Irish but you live in London. As a detective…surely you could have been a detective just as easily in Ireland," Martin said and she nodded at him.
"I could have, yes, and I was but then I needed a change and after all, London and England in general is a lot nicer."
"I've been to Ireland before," Martin said suddenly before he could stop himself. "Kilkenny," He added before he could shut himself up.
"Oh and what did you think of my Emerald Isle?" Lexi asked him and Martin groaned slightly at the memory.
"Would you hate me if I said I didn't like it?" Martin asked her and she shook her head at him. "Not that it isn't beautiful. I tis and I'm sure I would love it if I got to do some actual sight-seeing or…or if you showed me around. Not that you would want to do that or anything but you might…," Martin rambled on before he took a deep breath to calm his stuttering as Lexi listened to his patiently and with a quizzical look on her face. "It's just when we went, Carolyn made us stop in Kilkenny to go to Uskerty because she wanted to buy a birthday present for Herc who is not her boyfriend but a man she knows," Martin explained to Lexi and the Irish woman nodded at him in understanding which Martin was glad for because even he didn't understand it. "She bought him a stuffed sheep because he hates them. Don't ask," Martin told her when she frowned at him questioningly. "Well she insulted the cab driver who didn't want the sheep in her cab in the first place so she threw us out of her cab and into the rain and Carolyn wouldn't let me just drop the damn sheep and she forced me to carry it as we walked back to the airport. Then she made me climb a tree so we could try and call Douglas who was no help. I got chased out of the tree by a swarm of angry bees and sprained my wrist. She finally let me hide behind a tree so we could stop a passing truck and then she made me sit in the back with a bunch of angry geese, one of which who attacked me and ate my Dad's signet ring. I was soaked, covered in goose droppings, injured, covering a dead, stuffed sheep and Douglas had to go and start in on me like he always does when we finally got back to the airport. I had to use the metal detector in the airport to x ray all of the geese to find which one ate my Dad's ring. Carolyn was nice enough to buy it for me and let me take it on GERT-I but I had to clean up after it once we got back to Fitton," Martin finished before Lexi started giggling, hiding her mouth with her hand. "It's not funny!" Martin told her and she shook her head at him and coughed slightly as she tried to stop laughing.
"Just a bit, you have to admit," Lexi told him as she held up two fingers to show how much and now that Martin really thought about it, it was kind of funny. He smirked slightly as Lexi grinned at him. "Sounds like some of our cases actually. John and Sherlock once dressed up in spandex suits and fought comic book villains in Soho, while I filmed them all for a case," Lexi told him and Martin burst out laughing as he thought about his cousin. He just couldn't picture John or Sherlock wearing anything like that but he could imagine Lexi filming the entire thing. "I'll send you a copy once we get back," Lexi promised him and Martin nodded at her, a large grin still on his face. They made small talk as they finished off their food. Martin did notice that Lexi left most of the bread for him but he didn't comment on it and just accepted it gratefully. After they were done eating and the pub owner cleared their dishes away, their pints left untouched as Lexi eyed them and decided that a clear head was better in this situation, he showed them over to the phone which was on the wall, in sight of the door. Lexi called Joanna and waited several seconds for her to pick up as Martin shifted nervously beside the Irish detective.
"British Security Services. Now, sound really scared because you should be. I don't know how you got this number but once I find out you will wish that you…," A woman on the other line said in a dangerous and threatening tone that had Martin blinking in shock before he recognized the voice as the woman who had stolen the phone from his cousin, the woman having introduced herself as Joanna to him. So this was Joanna. Lexi quickly cut her off before she could continue any further with whatever threat she was about to make with a bright smile on her face.
"Joanie, it's Lexi," Lexi told her as the woman stopped talking immediately.
"Oh…," She said in surprise. "Well this is slightly awkward now. I had an entire speech worked up to," Joanna sighed slightly and Martin looked at Lexi in surprise at how Joanna acted. And she was supposed to be in charge of the British Government with Mycroft? "Why are you calling me from some random number in the middle of God knows where Germany?" Joanna asked her before continuing on without waiting for a response. "You're supposed to be in Minsk. Oh God please, please tell me you did not have to divert because Sherlock decided to do something stupid like make a bomb threat or bring a gun onto the plane," Joanna groaned and Lexi laughed nervously.
"Well…we did sort of divert if you could call it that," Lexi told her as she looked sidelong at Martin. "It certainly wasn't by choice though. You see we might have sort of…crashed slightly into a field," Lexi informed Joanna before she pulled the phone away from her ear as Joanna loudly shouted at her.
"WHAT?!" Joanna asked her before she growled slightly under her breath. "Oh my God! I am going to kill bloody Mycroft," She said as Martin could hear her getting up and moving around quickly like she was tearing the room she was in apart. "Are you alright? Are you all alright?" Joanna asked her anxiously.
"We're fine, we're all okay. I've got Martin with me actually. Sherlock got a bit of a twisted ankle, the first officer has a mild concussion and a dislocated shoulder, and the steward has a broken wrist. Martin and I left them with John and Carolyn back in the plane and we went to go find help, but we are all okay. You're mandatory flight training actually came in handy," Lexi told Joanna as she looked back towards the door when it opened and three men walked inside. Martin immediately got a bad feeling. They were three extremely larger men, bulky, with harden faces. They looked slightly out of place almost like they did but Martin just got a really bad feeling. He looked over at Lexi and saw that she was looking at the three of them in turn, scanning them from head to toe and she got that look on her face that Sherlock often did when he was deducing. Martin could tell that whatever she found out it wasn't good. "Joanie, I need you to listen really carefully to what I am about to say," Lexi said as the men scanned the pub and then their eyes landed on them and they pointed at them and started to talk to each other in German.
"Lexi? I don't like that tone of voice. That is your shit is about to go down voice. What is happening?' Joanna asked her as Lexi slid her free hand into Martin's surprising the captain momentarily.
"Vatican Cameos," Lexi said, hanging up the phone and Martin just about heard Joanna swear before Lexi pulled him sideways, flipping a table over at the same time and pulling him down behind it just as two shots rang out and hit the wall right behind where they had been standing just seconds before. Martin could hear the men yelling in German as he heard ringing in his ears and felt his blood pumping like iron through his veins. He caught words like "MacKenna" and "Sherlock Holmes" as Lexi popped her head up around the edge of the table, only to get immediately shot at again as the three other pub goers ran screaming from the pub through the back door.
"What's going on?!" Martin whispered frantically to Lexi as she kicked a chair out from behind the table they were hiding behind. The leg got shot off cleanly and she nodded and made a humming noise.
"Umm…well I think that there are three assassins currently trying to kill the both of us and it is safe to say that they have really good aim," Lexi told him and Martin cowered closer to her as they were fired at again.
"Why are they trying to kill me?" Martin asked her in a panicked sob as Lexi suddenly pulled a gun out of her inner coat pocket and held it to her chest, breathing heavily as she leaned her head back against the table, listening to the men talking.
"You look like Sherlock. They think that you're him," Lexi told him before she let out a deep breath. "Stay down," She told him and before Martin could ask her what she meant by that she popped over the top of the table and returned fire on the assassins. She suddenly shot down and rolled off to the side as they were shot at again and a bullet tore through the table near Martin's elbow where Lexi had just been seconds before. She sprang up, kicking herself to her feet and Martin peeked around the edge of the table as Lexi started shooting again, ducking around and using tables and walls as cover. She shot one in the shoulder before she threw herself forward and rolled, springing up and shooting another one in the leg. She then advanced on the last one and just as he was about to shoot her she kicked him in the knee, grabbed his hand that had the gun in it, twisted his wrist until it made sickening crack and he dropped the gun and then she pulled him up and over her back so that he landed behind her on the floor. She had moved so quickly that he hadn't even been able to get one counter move in. The pub owner came out from the back then and Martin noticed that he sort of looked surprised that they were alive.
"I should have known," Lexi said before she shot towards him and he tried to fend her off with the frying pan he was carrying but she ducked under it and discombobulated him before she palm struck him in the nose, breaking it and sending him to his knees. "Way too helpful and somewhat shady. He's got ties to a few pro-Nazi groups here in Germany. He called them in," Lexi said as she nodded her head towards the three men near the front door to the pub who were all groaning in pain. She quickly moved over to Martin and hauled the man to his feet as he was still in shock. "Are you alright Martin?" She asked him quickly as she looked him over. "Martin are you alright?" She asked him more firmly when he didn't answer her and he nodded at her numbly. "Let's get out of here then before they get back up again. We should get back to GERT-I and the others. We need to get out of here in case there are more of them that could find the plane," Lexi told him and Martin, still not able to process what had just actually happened, let Lexi lead him out through the back door. They quickly left through the town and started trudging back the way they had come over the rugged landscape towards GERT-I, Lexi looking around and watching closely for anyone that could be following them just as it started to rain.
Back on GERT-I, the passengers of the crashed plane had moved on to playing "Books that sound better without the last letter." Douglas found that John and especially Sherlock were actually quite good at the game, coming up with some rather interesting and previously unthought of titles. The game was infinitely better than it normally was and Douglas had to admit that Sherlock was a lot better at it than Martin was. The lad just didn't have much luck with playing these sorts of games.
"Loser Takes Al," Carolyn offered up as Arthur watched them, not playing himself as he didn't think it would be something he would be good at and it was actually a rather good idea that he wasn't playing.
"Um Riders of the Purple Sag," John offered up and Sherlock snorted in amusement. "Er…Peter Rabbi?" John asked them and Douglas inclined his head at the army doctor with a smirk.
"Well done John," He praised the army doctor who seemed to preen under his praise. "Oh I don't know. Stephen King's The Last Stan," Douglas said, taking his own turn and Sherlock let out a deep baritone chuckle. "What about you Sherlock, have you got one?" Douglas asked the consulting detective.
"Death of the Pengui," Sherlock said only it didn't come out penguin put penlin. Douglas started and blinked at him as Carolyn coughed. John turned round to look at him in surprise, his eyebrow hitching up towards his hairline.
"Bless you," Arthur told the detective as Sherlock frowned and furrowed his eyebrows.
"Sherlock, were you trying to say penguin? John asked Sherlock in surprise.
"What? Of course I was," Sherlock snapped defensively. "That's exactly what I said," Sherlock huffed irritably.
"Um no Sherlock, it's not," John told him as Douglas nodded in agreement.
"He's right, my lad. Why don't you try to say it again?" Douglas offered and the man huffed in agitation.
"Penwing," Sherlock said and then he frowned deeply. "Penling? Penging? Penwin? Penglin? Pengwine?" He said, trying to get his mouth around the word and John, Douglas, Carolyn, and Arthur suddenly burst out laughing. "Shut up," Sherlock told them as he crossed his arms of his chest and pouted like a child.
"Oh come on Sherlock. It's a bit funny," John said as he continued to giggle, Douglas' laughter turning into little coughs.
"No, it isn't!" Sherlock said as he curled up in his seat and turned his back on them.
"Aww Skip. We weren't laughing at you. We're laughing 'cos it sounds funny," Arthur told Sherlock as he got up and walked over to Sherlock who flicked a look over at the younger man. "Come on Skip. We can help you learn how to say it," Arthur offered and Sherlock sighed and looked at him before uncurling from himself. Carolyn sighed, wondering if this could be as bad as teaching Arthur his times tables while Douglas was amazed by the fact that Arthur was calling the detective Skip. Both men did look an awful lot alike though and Martin was a lot more like Sherlock than Douglas originally thought.
Martin and Lexi trudged through the rain, the two of them soaking themselves to the bone within a matter of minutes. It was worse than Ireland to be far the only difference was that Martin was not being forced to carry a stuffed sheep. Lexi still had her gun out and held down to her side as they crossed over the uneven ground back towards GERT-I. The captain then registered what had happened and what Lexi had done, including the fact that she was holding a gun and had brought one onto GERT-I getting one past security. Of course he shouldn't have been that surprised as if she was anything at all like Sherlock or worse as he seemed to think with her breaking into Buckingham Palace she would have found a way to sneak it in. He looked over at her, rain pouring down his face and dripping off of his curls and he finally lost it.
"Is this just normal for you, assassins trying to kill you?" Martin asked Lexi and the Irish woman looked over at him, raising her eyebrow slightly as a bead of water rolled down her face. "Is this what you and my cousin do? Carry guns around? Shoot at people? How did you even get that on GERT-I?!" Martin demanded and Lexi huffed slightly as she put the gun away in her inner pocket.
"No, this doesn't happen all the time. It's sort of new. It's only started happening since Sherlock and I got a bit more popular. So far we've only had the assassin in our flat during the Blind Banker case because we refused to take their case, the Chinese warriors from the Black Lotus smugglers tong who thought we had the jade pin, Moriarty which is just a given and for future reference Semtex is not lovely and don't meet psychopaths at pools, and well CIA trained killers but they really were after Irene Adler, not us. Come to think about it that's sort of a lot," Lexi explained as she frowned at him and stopped walking. "This is sort of what we do though. Our jobs are kind of dangerous. We catch serial killers and murderers Martin. Sometimes terrorist, angels of mercy, assassins, and psychopaths even. We're detectives. And I always carry a gun on me now. Ever since we faced Moriarty I've been more careful. I have my methods," Lexi told him as she started walking again.
"Who is Moriarty?" Martin asked her, curious now that Lexi had mentioned the name more than once.
"Sort of Sherlock and my arch-enemy. He's a psychopath. You must have heard about the explosions in London, the one on Baker Street and the one that took out the block of flats in Central London?" Lexi asked him and Martin nodded that he had. Carolyn had kept Arthur away from the news for several days after finding out about the deaths. "Well the first at Baker Street was across from our flat. It was to get our attention. The only thing left standing was a safe with an envelope addressed to Sherlock and me inside it. That's what started a huge game, the Great Game. His name is James Moriarty. His a psychopath hell bent on burning and destroying Sherlock and I and he tried. He's already tried once. So we're extra careful now. But this is what we do," Lexi told him as Martin looked at her in shock.
"And you're just okay with that?" Martin asked her and she nodded at him and shrugged.
"I'm sort of used to it by now, just like you would be to something always going wrong on one of your flights," Lexi told him and Martin nodded at her before he hummed slightly.
"You know that that all sounds ridiculous right?" Martin asked her and she grinned at him, her hair plastered to her face as she reached up and ran her hand through it to pull it back.
"I know, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. Like you diverting for a cat in the hold or landing the plane on one engine? Or the Talisker wars? It all is ridiculous just like Mycroft and Sherlock's feud has always been. It's what happens though. Lestrade calls us, we solve a murder, and sometimes we have clients. We also play Cluedo, conduct experiments, play the violin or viola at all hours, and well...we live our frankly ridiculous lives, but it's amazing and I certainly wouldn't give it up for anything. I mean look at today, boring day that Mycroft sends us off to Belarus for a case and we've so far crash landed in Germany, trudged through the wilderness, been shot at by assassins who mistook you for Sherlock, and now we are walking back through the rain to GERT-I. It's crazy and no one else would believe us if we told them half the stuff we do, but it's all true, "Lexi told him and Martin realized she was right. He could never tell anyone an actual story of what went on with him working as a captain as they would never believe him. It was mental, but it was his life and quite honestly, he didn't know what it would be without it. Martin was still considering the job he got offered with Swiss Airways and he had yet to make a final decision but Lexi presented him with a new look on it. What would he do if he didn't work at MJN Air? What would is life be like without Carolyn, Arthur, and Douglas in it. Sure, he would be paid a lot better in the other job and actually paid for one, but he would lose the friends he had come to find along with lose the life he had come to know. All these crazy things happened to him here at MJN Air and yes, not all of them were good, but they were well sort of amazing.
"You're right," Martin told the Irish girl quietly and she laughed brightly, throwing her head back slightly in amusement.
"Aye that I am. Are you just catching on now?" She asked him and Martin groaned slightly.
"You're just like him," Martin told her and she looked over at him and raised her eyebrow at him in a way that made Martin start calling it her eyebrow of doom.
"Douglas?" She asked him and Martin shook his head at her.
"Sherlock," He clarified. "I couldn't see it at first. I've always known him to be well...a bit of a jerk. He's not normally the nicest of people and he doesn't do well with others but he and you just sort of work. Even with John he's different," Martin said and Lexi nodded with a fond smile on her face.
"When I met John he was very out of sorts with the world and greatly in need of a friend. Sherlock too. We sort of all needed someone and I...I understand them and I don't let Sherlock walk all over me or John. I put him into his place and he does listen to me now. It took him realising I could work cases too for him to start listening to me. But we all sort of work together. We have our ups and downs. Sherlock and John fight like cats and dogs sometimes and Mrs. Hudson our landlady wants to tear her hair out over it, but we can't stay mad at each other for long. It's sort of like you all at MJN. You're all family and no matter how much you fight or aggravate each other, at the end of the day you have each other and that's important. Sure, Douglas made you angry earlier and sure you might still be mad at him, but you're still going to be flying with him and you still care about him. You're still friends. That's us, the detectives and their blogger. We'd be lost without John. We've sort of saved each other from ourselves. There's no Baker Street without John Watson, or Sherlock Holmes, or I guess even me," Lexi told him as she smiled ruefully and shrugged at him. "Just like there is no MJN Air without Arthur or Carolyn or Douglas or even Captain Martin Crieff," Lexi told him as she gave him a knowing look and Martin nodded at her slowly, catching on to what she was trying to say. "What I am trying to say Martin is that you put yourself down, you think so often that what you do is unimportant. You hear it a lot and Sherlock did tell me that he was the only one who thought you could become a pilot. But you are a Captain and you are doing what you love and so what, you don't get paid for what you do. You have to make a living off of being a man with a van, but you still get to fly, see amazing places. Sherlock and I, sometimes we get the occasional paying client, but when we work for Scotland Yard, which is what we mostly do, we don't get paid for it. That doesn't mean we give it up because we love doing it. You love flying we love solving cases and sometimes it isn't about the money, it's about the people you do it with. Solving cases really isn't the same for me without John or Sherlock. I couldn't imagine doing it without either of them now. We're a team the three of us, the Baker Street Irregulars. And yes, I know about the job offer, or I deduced it," Lexi told him with a little laugh.
"Shouldn't be surprised, what gave it away? Mud on my shoes?" Martin teased her and she shook her head at him and elbowed him in the arm playfully.
"No, actually you're easy to read. Easier to read than Sherlock at least. Earlier when Douglas was teasing you, you just sort of got this look on your face. I deduced you had a second job offer, one you have yet to make a decision on. You've been subconsciously wondering if it would be better to just leave," Lexi said and Martin nodded at her as they stopped again, the rain letting up slightly.
"I only took the job with Carolyn because she was the only one that was willing to hire me. I could be Captain but I was so pathetic that I didn't even get paid for it," Martin told her as he shook his head and Lexi put her hand on his arm.
"That's not pathetic Martin. It's living out a dream. When I got started working as a consulting detective I worked in Dublin and I lived above a pub," Lexi said as she smirked and laughed lightly. "It was shit. It was dirty and cold and wet and terrible, but the rent was affordable for what little I made from the few paying clients I had. I worked with the police most of the time so I lived off of potatoes, they were cheap. I think the boys have discovered that I can make potatoes about fifty different ways now. The point is, whatever you do, if it makes you happy doing it, it doesn't matter. Yes, it was shit the way I was living, but I loved it and I still do. I was solving cases and I always wanted to be a detective since I was a little girl. So sometimes we make sacrifices, but sometimes it is worth it. Now this new job could be better. You could be happier, I won't tell you, you won't be, but ask yourself if flying would be the same without Carolyn or Arthur or Douglas. Cos if I didn't have Sherlock or John now, I wouldn't want to be a detective any more," Lexi told him and Martin frowned as he thought about it. Flying was more fun with Douglas and flights weren't the same when Douglas wasn't there or when Arthur stayed behind and Carolyn took his place. When it was the four of them was the best. Lexi was right, flying wouldn't really be the same without them. Lexi smiled at him knowingly as they started back off towards GERT-I, the rain clearing up and the sun starting to shine a bit through the cloud cover.
Back at GERT-I, the merry crew were all playing a round of Rhyming Journeys as they waited for Martin and Lexi to return, Arthur once again sitting out of it. Douglas found another game that John and Sherlock excelled at, the detective and blogger rather good at the game to which Sherlock said it was due to them traveling and taking international cases. John of course said that Dartmoor really didn't count as an international case even if they did have to travel for it.
"Bangalore to Singapore," Douglas said and Carolyn smiled at him and nodded and Douglas grinned under her silent praise.
"Savannah to Havana," Carolyn said next and John snorted at that.
"Erm… Perth to Fort Worth?" John asked them and Douglas nodded at him.
"Well done John, I think you've gotten the hang of it now," Douglas told the army doctor as he turned to look at the consulting detective who had been in his 'Mind Palace' as the army doctor called it. Apparently it was some sort of memory device, a memory technique – a sort of mental map as John explained it to them. You plotted a map with a location – it didn't have to be a real place – and then you deposited memories there that ... theoretically, you could never forget anything; all you had to do was find your way back to it. Both Sherlock and Lexi supposedly had Mind Palaces and apparently it was hard to get their attention if they were using them, except if you were a curvaceous, Irish redhead. "What about you Sherlock have you got one?" Douglas asked the consulting detective, not expecting the detective to answer as he had his eyes closed and a hand on his arm.
"Nome to Rome," The detective said suddenly as he opened his eyes, sighing as he pressed his hand into his forearm. His eyes were a little out of focus and Douglas watched him curiously as John turned to him and suddenly got a stern expression on his face.
"How many?" John asked him with an angry tone of voice before he reached over and pulled up the sleeve of Sherlock's shirt as the younger man had taken off his suit jacket a while ago. This revealed three patches near Sherlock's elbow. "Three?! How did you even get them on without me noticing?" John asked him in exasperation as Sherlock pulled his arm back from the army doctor. "I thought we agreed, cold turkey, you and Lexi, not even the patches," John scolded him and Sherlock sighed and rolled his eyes.
"It's a three patch problem John," Sherlock told him and the army doctor shook his head at him.
"It really isn't…," John said before he was cut off.
"Actually it sort of is," The voice of Lexi suddenly called up through the still open door of GERT-I. They had left it open just a tad so that they could hear when Martin and Lexi returned but not enough that they would freeze as the heating really wasn't working with the engines off. "Give us a hand here," She called and Douglas and John hurried to get up and went over to the door, pulling it open to find a dishevlled looking Martin and Lexi staring up at them, both of them partially soaked.
"Dear Lord what happened to the two of you?" Douglas asked them as Martin shivered and looked up at him. "Martin you look like…," Douglas said before he was cut off by his captain.
"Yes, yes I know can we save the jokes for later?" Martin asked him before he turned and looked at Lexi. "How are we going to get back inside?" He asked her and she grinned at him.
"Well Martin," Lexi said before she bent down and laced her fingers together. "I'm going to give you a boost and John is going to pull you in and then I am going to do something brilliant as Arthur would say," Lexi directed him and Martin nodded, catching hold of her shoulder to steady himself as he trusted her and put his foot in her laced fingers, letting her give him a leg up as John reached down and caught ahold of him and pulled him up and into GERT-I. Douglas caught him as he stumbled and righted him as Lexi retreated a few steps and then ran right at the door, jumping up and catching hold of the lip of the doorway before she hauled herself up and inside, John hurriedly reaching down to help pull her inside. Sherlock hurried up from his seat and hobbled over to her, catching her in a tight hug. "Ugh I'm all wet love," Lexi complained and he only chuckled and pulled her in tighter.
"What happened to you two?" Carolyn asked them as Lexi and Sherlock pulled back from their hug and Sherlock wrapped his arm around Lexi's waist. Martin and Lexi shared a long look before Lexi sighed heavily.
"Vatican Cameos," They said in unison and Sherlock and John stiffened as Carolyn and Douglas blinked at them in confusion.
"What does that mean?" Carolyn asked them and John looked over at her as Sherlock started checking her over for injury before looking over at his cousin and finding him unharmed.
"Danger. It's our duress code. Now our way of warning each other if there is about to be a murder or danger or someone is about to get shot at," John told Carolyn who looked at Martin and Lexi in alarm as Douglas' eyes widened and he looked over at his captain in concern as Arthur frowned.
"What happened?!" Carolyn asked them both in alarm as Douglas led the wet and drowned rat looking Martin over to a seat.
"Well we found a town…," Martin started out and Arthur grinned excitedly.
"Oh brilliant Skip!" Arthur cheered and Martin nodded at him.
"Yes, very brilliant Arthur," Lexi told him, also nodding. "But we also found three assassins. Apparently the pub owner who was all too willing to help us also had ties to a pro-Nazi group and he called them. They mistook Martin for Sherlock unfortunately and we had a bit of a fight in the pub. Now I did get to call Joanna and tell her we crashed but that was as far as I got before we were so rudely interrupted. Martin and I did find out there is a small airfield close to here though but they never got our transmission so John, it is a three patch problem. We have a broken plane, more assassins that might know where we are, and no one knows where we are and we aren't getting any help," Lexi summarized before John turned to her and Sherlock.
"Mind Palace," He told them and Lexi raised her eyebrow at him.
"Pardon?" She asked him.
"Mind Palace. Use your Mind Palaces. You have to have something hidden away up there that can solve this," John said and Lexi hummed slightly and titled her head to the side as Sherlock furrowed his eyebrows in confusion at him.
"We don't just have 'how to fix a plane' hidden away up here!" Sherlock protested loudly and Lexi bit her lip before turning to look up at Sherlock.
"Actually we might. It's like you always say, once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable must be the truth…," Lexi said before Douglas started laughing and pointed at the two detectives.
"So that is where you got it Martin!" He said jovially. "That is a bit more snappily put," Douglas said and Martin nodded, blushing slightly.
"I did sort of say the same exact thing I mean we've taken away all the things that can possibly have happened, so I suppose the only thing that's left, even though it seems really weird, must be the thing that did happen, in fact," Martin said and Lexi looked over at him and giggled slightly.
"You've got it Martin," She told him with a nod and Martin blushed again but smiled slightly back at her.
"Yes, Martin got to be a detective himself when Carolyn appointed him Detective Inspector Crieff of the Yard on Birling day. I of course still stole the Talisker from him," Douglas said proudly.
"Hmm he was telling me about that but back to GERT-I. I might just have how to fix a plane tucked away up here or close to it," Lexi said, getting them back on track. "You've got here a Lockheed McDonnell 312 which isn't much different than the plane I flew to get my CPL on," Lexi said surprising the MJN crew once again with her flight knowledge and she smiled brightly back at them. "Now it could be a number of problems that went wrong with GERT-I that caused her engine failure, but technical is most likely. So once we have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains no matter how improbable it seems, must be the truth. We might just be able to fix GERT-I. She's beat up, but if we can get her to the airfield we can do just about anything…," Lexi said before she looked over at Martin. "Captain Crieff. You know the flight manuals inside and out. How about the plane?" She asked him and Martin nodded at her as he got to his feet.
"I studied over the blueprints for GERT-I," Martin informed her and she smiled brightly.
"Alright, so where would the control panel be located that goes to the engines? We can start there. I might have never fixed a plane before but I've hacked into Baskerville and into other places and I fix computers so, let's fix GERT-I," Lexi said and Martin nodded at her as Arthur smiled excitedly.
"BRILLIANT!" He cheered as Douglas looked at Martin and Lexi who retreated up into the flight deck.
"You know Arthur I think you are right. It is rather brilliant," Douglas agreed with him as he went to join them in case he could offer them any help.
Martin showed me back into the flight deck and we got down to work as I took my coat off and draped it over the back of his seat to dry, now only in my mildly damp jumper and jeans. I grabbed a hair elastic from my back pocket and quickly pulled my long, wet hair up into a messy bun as Martin removed Sherlock's coat and scarf and threw them over the back of his chair with mine. This was the day that Martin was the hero. We could fix GERT-I. Together we could do practically anything and I was assured of this fact. I had in the past solved some nearly unsolvable cases with John and Sherlock, now it was time for me to put some of my other skills to the test. Douglas trailed in after us and was standing in the doorway as we looked around at the controls, trying to get a semblance of where to start. Best place to start would be with the control panel. Wires were the worst things in planes like this. It was sort of like a car with your spark plugs. GERT-I was old, constantly breaking down or bits of her falling off as Martin had told me. Sometimes they got warnings for things they really didn't need a warning for. That told me that the wiring was off. GERT-I was a bit like the TARDIS, held together by love and a lot of electrical tape. Like the Doctor, they probably often fixed things that went wrong with a mallet which meant that she was a bit temperamental. Well, this tough, dependable Sexy was going to get some work done on her.
"Douglas can you get my glasses and my leather case from my messenger bag for me? It still should be somewhere about the cabin though I don't know where it got tossed to in the crash," I told Douglas and the first officer nodded at me before going off to do as I asked him too. "Now, Martin, direct me to where the control panel would be," I told the ginger haired man with a bright smile.
"Oh um, here. The control panel is just under this bit of the console," Martin told me as he pointed out a bit of the console that was over the first officer's seat.
"Let's get started then," I told him as I took a deep breath and then got down on my knees and crawled over to the side of Douglas' chair. I twisted my body around it and managed to get myself on my back so that I was laying on the floor of the plane and looking up at the control panel. What I was not expecting to see was the control panel already open and several unconnected wires hanging out of it. I also was not expecting to see a lemon near my head that I almost laid my head on when I scooted under the console to get to the control panel. "Um Martin?" I asked the ginger haired man and he hummed questioningly as I carefully sat up with the lemon in hand. "Could you tell me what a lemon is doing under here?" I asked him and his eyes suddenly widened in surprise.
"Oh God," Martin said in shock. "Oh God!" He repeated in a squeak as his knees wobbled slightly and he fell into his chair.
"Martin, what is it?" I asked the man in concern as he raised his head to meet my eyes.
"I…we… I never thought…," Martin stuttered nervously as Douglas suddenly returned and we both looked round to him, Martin jumping roughly. Whatever happened I knew he didn't want Douglas to know.
"I found them. Your bag rolled under one of the seats but Arthur managed to find it and extract it for us…. Is everything alright in here?" Douglas asked us as he noticed Martin's face and my concerned expression.
"Douglas I…," Martin said sadly before I cut him off.
"He thinks he might be coming down with a cold from our walk in the rain. It's possible, but I was just telling him that a bit of tea and some warm blankets should make him feel back to normal in a few days," I lied and Martin shot a look at me as Douglas nodded and handed me my glasses and tool kit as I shoved the lemon out of sight behind me. "Thank you Douglas. What don't you go back and sit with the boys? We might be working for a while," I told him and he nodded at me again.
"If you're sure that everything is alright…," Douglas said, trailing off as he looked over Martin again and I nodded at him firmly. I did deduce the reason behind Douglas' concern however and smiled at the older man.
"We are quite alright. I saved him from assassins who thought he was Sherlock. I think GERT-I will give us far less troubles," I told him with a bright smile and he snorted at me.
"Ma'am understates GERT-I's ability to be stubborn when one needs her to be reliable," Douglas told me and I nodded at him.
"I'll take my chances. Besides the old girl is sort of growing on me," I told him and he grinned at me.
"You know I sort of think she's growing on me too," Douglas told me and I laughed brightly at that. "I'll leave you two to it then," Douglas told us before he looked over Martin one more time and then left us.
"Why didn't you tell him it was me? That it was my fault?" Martin asked me as soon as Douglas was gone and out of ear shot and I turned back to him and frowned at him in confusion as I slipped my reading glasses on.
"How is it your fault?" I asked Martin, not able to process how GERT-I crashing could even possibly be Martin's fault. The ginger man sighed heavily and put his face in his hands, rubbing his face tiredly before he looked up at me as he wrung his hands nervously.
"Douglas was insisting on playing the traveling lemon. I didn't want to play. I got angry and threw the lemon while we were flying. It must have hit the console and knocked the panel loose…I don't know…messed up the wires somehow and the engines cut out. It's my fault we crashed," Martin told me in despair, nearly sobbing and I shushed up as I got up and rubbed his back and arm soothingly.
"It isn't your fault honey. Look the wires were already coming loose. It was a disaster waiting to happen. The lemon might have finally locked them loose so they finally fell completely apart from one another but you actually sort of did something right…," I told Martin and he looked up at me with a disbelieving look on his face. "Look Martin, this was going to happen at some point, if not during this flight than during another further on down the road. You managed to find that there was a problem now and instead of crashing later on you crashed now when there was a way to land safely. Everyone is alive, Arthur, Douglas, and Sherlock only got minor injuries…GERT-I could have been destroyed far worse. You might have actually saved everyone's lives. You wouldn't have wanted this crash when you were going over and ocean or going over land where you didn't have a convent lake to glide in for a water landing to break some of your fall," I told Martin, realizing just how lucky everyone truly was that the crash had happened now.
"And I wouldn't have had you," Martin pointed out and I smiled at him slightly.
"Well that is true," I told him as I hugged him tightly. "You saved everyone Martin. You and a traveling lemon," I told him and he smiled widely.
"I did, didn't I?" He asked me nervously and I nodded at him in confirmation before he grinned widely at me. "So what do we do now?' He asked me as he looked back over at the control panel and I smiled at him.
"Now we reconnect the wires. It's actually a fairly simple fix for what happened. That'll get the engines back on but GERT-I will still need some repairs when we get into the air field. She sustained some damage in the crash that will need to get fixed, but we should be able to fly her as far as the nearest airfield," I told Martin and he nodded at me as I got back down on the floor of GERT-I and scooted back under the console. I opened my tool kit and grabbed out my wire cutters and started working on reattaching the wires and getting them properly back into place. "That's probably why the navigation system and transponder went out, some of these wires probably go to them," I commented as I got them back into place and all of a sudden we heard the turbines start back up again as GERT-I turned back on.
"You did it!" Martin said excitedly as I grinned and shimmied out from under the control panel as Douglas returned.
"You actually managed to fix her," Douglas said in surprise as he looked between me and Martin.
"Out of place wiring. That's all it takes. So first officer Richardson are we ready to bring us into the nearest airfield and then get us back to London? I think we're already to call this trip quits and just head home," I said and he smiled at me warmly.
"I think our emergency first officer had better take this one," Douglas told me as he walked forward and took off his hat, dropping it on top of my head before he handed me his aviation headset and I laughed brightly at that. "No, I think I'll sit this one out."
"Really Douglas?" Martin asked him in surprise.
"I know, I surprised even myself," Douglas told me as he looked down at his feet and then looked back up again. "Still not feeling up to par to fly really. Besides, I think Ms. MacKenna would be delighted to take this flight. This old sky god can afford to go and sit in the lap of luxury that is Carolyn realizing that after this she'll have to be especially nice to me if she wants me to keep coming into work. We did survive a crash in her plane after all that was due to her plane's faulty mechanics," Douglas said with a bit of a knowing look shot at Martin which he missed and I raised my eyebrow at him.
"Well then, you had better go and sit and advise everyone to buckle up. I think this take off is going to be a bit rough," I told Douglas as I looked over at Martin and Douglas nodded at me. "Ready to get out of here Captain Crieff?" I asked Martin and he smiled at me.
"Oh God yes," He said and I laughed as I removed Douglas' hat and put the aviation head set on before putting the hat back on and Martin and I pulled ourselves into our seats. I flicked on a few of the systems and checked over a few of the controls which all seemed to be working normally now. The engines were running again and just by listening to them they seemed to be in working order. I nodded at Martin and then we started taxing the plane out of the mud and lake debris that we landed in, building up speed for our take off. I flicked the seat belt sign on and then I grabbed the com unit, knowing that Joanna would be listening for any and all transmissions that came through.
"Lady Liberty this is Gulf Tango India. Agent Lexington here. Vatican Cameo diverted…," I said as Martin and I started pulling up on the controls and GERT-I started lifting off of the ground, groaning loudly and pitching slightly in a way that scared me just a bit. Martin looked over at me and I nodded at him to tell him to keep going and we both maneuvered GERT-I upwards until she was climbing in altitude. "And we are airborne!" I cheered into the com once GERT-I was once again in the air. "I repeated Gulf Tango India is airborne," I told Joanna, knowing she would get the transmission this time round. Despite the terrible groaning and well… shaking, rocking, and warning sounds, lights, and other noises GERT-I made to let us be aware of the fact that she was protesting us flying her greatly, we finally made it into the air zone around the airfield and we were able to radio into the Tower. I was worried that GERT-I was going to fall apart at any second and that we were going to crash for a second time, this time to all of our deaths, but she managed to splutter along, not liking our treatment of her and definitely in need of major repairs after our crash but still for the most part airworthy. When we got closer to the airfield I had Martin radio into the Tower that we needed to make an emergency landing.
"This is Gulf Echo Romeo Tango India. We're requesting an emergency diversion. Our engines are malfunctioning and we have sustained heavy damages in an unscheduled water landing," Martin radioed in as he looked over at me with a sheepish look and I nodded at him and hummed slightly. That was one explanation for it.
"Gulf Tango India you are cleared for an emergency landing. Runway two eight left is clear for you to land. Emergency ground crew will be waiting for you upon landing," The Tower informed us.
"Thank you Tower," Martin told them before he looked over at me and he blew out a sharp breath. "Lexi can you take the landing?" He asked me and I looked over at him in surprise.
"Me?" I asked him and he nodded at me. "Martin, this is the second time I've flown a plane," I admitted to him and he looked at me in surprise, his eyebrows shooting up to his hairline.
"What?!" He asked me and I nodded at him.
"I haven't really flown in years. Since before I met Sherlock and John in fact so over eight years now. This is only the second time I've flown," I told Martin and he blinked at me in shock.
"And you are only telling me this now?" He asked me and I shrugged at him.
"Did you want to know earlier when I was helping you land a crashing plane?" I asked him and he shook his head at me. "No well I thought so…," I told him and he bit his lip nervously. "I can take the landing though if you want me too. I might not fly often, but I know what to do. You can land her though. You've landed her on only one engine before and you were the one who landed her earlier on no engines, this should be a piece of cake," I assured him and he breathed out a deep breath.
"I have control," Martin informed me and I smiled at him.
"You have control," I acknowledged as we got closer to the runway. Martin and I got the landing checks ready as we got in closer to landing. As we got closer to the ground, GERT-I started shaking terribly and rocking us around as a warning alarm came on.
"Um…the landing gear didn't deploy," Martin told me as he looked over at me in a panic. "The elevators aren't responding again either," He told me as we got closer and closer into landing and GERT-I started rocking more violently as she made a loud groaning noise.
"Okay so…we might be crashing again," I said with a deep sigh as I grabbed the intercom. "Hello this is Lexi your emergency first officer. Turns out we're going to crash again so everyone brace!" I informed everyone as Martin and I pulled back on the controls. "Martin," I said as I looked over at the ginger haired man.
"Yes," He asked me frantically.
"Let's try not to go for a third time," I told him as the ground proximity warning started going off.
"PULL UP, PULL UP, PULL UP," An automated female voice told us and I snorted at that and rolled my eyes.
"Aye we never would have thought of that," I said as we suddenly hit the runway with a violent jolt and GERT-I made a loud crunching sound as she slid forward and I saw sparks flying off of her as her metal frame slid across the tarmac. Martin and I tried to control GERT-I but she was out of our control and we slid forward at her own whims. The lights flickered in GERT-I as she jolted, groaned, rocked, shook, and threw us around the cabin of the plane. I held onto the controls tightly, trying to stay in my seat. We finally came skidding to a stop near the end of the run way, completely turned around and I could see parts of GERT-I scattered all the way down the runway as we suddenly started smelling smoke in the cabin. "Umm, I think I smell smoke," I said as GERT-I let out one final groan and then jolted once more before settling.
"I definitely smell smoke," Martin said and we hurriedly unbuckled and stood up as we heard a fire engine somewhere in the distance, coming towards us down the runway along with a group of emergency ground crews. We hurried into the back of the cabin and found Arthur, Carolyn, and Douglas already standing up as a bit of smoke haze filled the fuselage.
"Okay, something is on fire this time round," I said as John helped Sherlock to his feet. "Is everyone okay?" I asked and they all nodded as the oxygen masks suddenly dropped down from the ceiling and we all looked up at them.
"Well…nice to know those actually work," Carolyn said as we heard the ground crew come and I helped Martin get GERT-I's door open with Douglas' help. I saw a fire raging in one of the engines as the fire crews started to try and put it out and the ground crew quickly got a set of stairs over to us so we could get down. The seven of us got down from GERT-I and stepped back several paces as the fire crews got the fire under control and the ground crews worked to get GERT-I under control. She was…well she was destroyed. Parts of GERT-I were missing, the engines were in desperate need of repairs. We were ushered into a departure lounge and a first aid kit was brought round for us when John noticed that I had a long cut on my forehead.
We got the bad news in and it was bad news, extremely bad news. To replace just one engine was a quarter of a million pounds. Both engines needed replacing however and several hundred thousand more pounds worth of damages needed to be repaired. Carolyn had no insurance so she informed Douglas, Martin, and Arthur that this was it, then end of MJN Air. With GERT-I in this condition Carolyn was afraid of being able to sell GERT-I to get even a little bit of money back to pay off her debts. I looked over at Sherlock and John and I shared a long look with them. Martin could conceivably take his second job offer so he would be alright but Carolyn had debts she wouldn't be able to pay off without GERT-I, Arthur couldn't get a job anywhere else, and Douglas was going to be out of a job. Without telling any of them what I was doing I left them as Arthur sadly asked if this was one of those times that Douglas would figure out a way to fix things to which both Carolyn and Douglas told him it wasn't. Martin moved to sit over by Sherlock and John looking upset as I got up and left to stand outside, calling one number to ask a rather large favor. Once placing that call, I made a second call to ask for another favor. With a bright smile I returned to the group who were all frowning and moping around.
"Alright all, get those looks off your faces," I told them as I burst through the door with my mobile in my hand. Everyone looked up at me and Douglas raised his eyebrow at me as Arthur looked at me in confusion. Sherlock looked at me and smiled bright, deducing what I had done as John furrowed his brow.
"Ma'am seems to have something to share with us," Douglas said and I smiled and nodded at him.
"Okay so I might not be Douglas but I might have fixed things," I told them and Arthur perked up and grinned at me excitedly.
"BRILLIANT!" He cheered as Carolyn and Douglas looked at me in confusion.
"How?" Carolyn asked me and I shrugged at her slightly.
"Well, I might have called Mycroft who is Martin's cousin and Sherlock's brother and he does love me best," I told them and Sherlock grimaced at this while Martin looked surprised by this news. "I explained to him what happened including the fact that MJN was going to have to shut down and I got him to offer up the money to fix GERT-I," I informed them and Martin's eyes widened in surprise as Carolyn gasped.
"How?! Mycroft doesn't do things like that," Martin said and I nodded at him and hummed slightly.
"True but I can be rather persuasive. He is going to fly out his own mechanic crew to work on GERT-I and they are going to fly her back to Fitton for you once she is fixed. He's booked us on a flight back to London that leaves in half an hour," I informed them and Arthur smiled at me brightly.
"Ma'am is a woman of many talents," Douglas said and I laughed brightly at that as I looked over at Sherlock and John.
"Boys, we're headed home," I told them as my eyes landed on Martin. "Oh Martin, can I borrow you for a second?" I asked him and Sherlock raised his eyebrow at me and I shared a look with him, filling him in to what I had done and he nodded at me, smiling softly.
"Um…sure," Martin told me as he nervously got up to the looks of Douglas, Carolyn, and Arthur and he followed me just outside the door. "What did you need me for?" Martin asked me once we were alone together.
"I didn't just call Mycroft and I may have done something for you. It's entirely up to you but I've found a way that you could stay on with MJN Air," I told Martin and his eyes widened in surprise as his mouth fell open slightly.
"What…how?" He squeaked and I smiled at him.
"I called Joanna. She has a lot of people who owe her favors. Normally she doesn't collect on them but she's decided to collect on a few of them now. Firstly, getting your van fixed so that you can work jobs with a dependable means of transportation. You could charge more per job and you'd have a way of getting to and from the airfield. Secondly, a new place to live. Joanna knows a man who owes her a favor and he's agreed to give her a rent free flat in Fitton that is near the airfield. It's a nice place, two bedrooms. There's also me. A small advance. I have money I don't need that is just sitting there for now. It'll get you on your feet until you can get some van jobs. Joanna helped me get started with my consulting business, I'm helping you get started now. Joanna helped me get the money to move over here to London and I will be forever grateful to her for that so if you want it, it is there for you," I told him and he bit his lip as he frowned slightly.
"I…I wouldn't have to live in the attic?" Martin asked me and I smiled and nodded at him.
"No, no more attics or student housing," I told him and he suddenly smiled at me before pulling me into a tight hug.
"Please…could you…would you? If it isn't too much…," Martin asked me and I nodded at him brightly laughing slightly.
"I wouldn't have offered if it was. I'll call Joanna and have her set it all up for you," I told him and he smiled at me brilliantly. "I think my work here is done," I said and I grinned at him before we returned to the departure lounge and collected the group and our belongings which we got to collect off of GERT-I.
We all were loaded onto a plane back to London and I curled up into Sherlock's side, John on my other side and I looked over at Martin who was glowing with happiness during the entire flight as he sat next to Douglas. Douglas made a few comments about how Martin looked happier than usual and Martin told him that it was because he was. Arthur and Carolyn noticed it too and Carolyn shot a questioning look over to me which I just shrugged at. Our flight back to London was smooth and we landed without a problem. Martin was bundled up in Sherlock's coat and scarf when we landed since he hadn't made him give it back yet. Mycroft sent a car round to collect us and we all loaded into the back of it, Douglas looking chummy next to Martin. I deduced that within a few more months they would be a thing. Allen drove us over to St. Bart's so that Sherlock, Douglas, and Arthur could get checked out. While we were at the hospital we ran into Molly who was of course surprised and shocked when she saw Martin and Sherlock next to one another. She was even more awkward with him than she was with Sherlock and Douglas got more protective of Martin with Molly there until she seemed to realize why and back off slightly. We returned back to Baker Street after Arthur got put in a cast, Douglas got a sling, and Sherlock got a boot for his foot. On the way, Arthur taught us how to play yellow car. Apparently you were always playing yellow car and there wasn't a force on the planet that could get him to stop playing according to Carolyn. We opened the door to Baker Street and piled inside as Mrs. Hudson came out of 221A to greet us.
"Sherlock, Lexi, John…I didn't think you would be back so quickly," She said before she looked up and noticed that we weren't alone. "Oh…hello dears," Mrs. Hudson said as she especially smiled at Douglas and Sherlock and I shared a side long look as Martin shuffled closer to his first officer subconsciously.
"Mrs. Hudson, might I introduce Captain Martin Crieff," I said as I gestured to Martin. "First officer Douglas Richardson," I said as I gestured over to Douglas. "The CEO of MJN Air Carolyn Knapp-Shappey and her son and steward Arthur Shappy," I said as I gestured back to Carolyn and Arthur. "Martin is Sherlock's cousin," I added when I say Mrs. Hudson eyeing both men.
"Hello there, come inside," Mrs. Hudson told us. "Oh dears…that Detective Inspector fellow is up in your flat. He didn't say exactly what he wanted," Mrs. Hudson told us as we suddenly heard a crash upstairs and Sherlock swore under his breath before the both of us tore up the stairs with John closely following behind us. Martin and the rest of the MJN crew taking up the rear. Sherlock and I burst through the door to 221B to find our flat crawling with people from the Yard and Lestrade sitting on our couch with his arms out on either side of him as he reclined. Anderson and Donovan were going through our stuff in the living room and the crash had most likely come from the kitchen where a few of the younger Yarders were working.
"What the hell is this?" Sherlock demanded as Lestrade turned to look at us.
"Drugs bust!" Lestrade told us with a grin.
"Drugs, really, again?" Martin asked as he walked into our flat behind John and looked up at Sherlock. The entire room quieted as Lestrade's mouth fell open in shock and Anderson dropped the book he was holding so it fell open on the rug.
"Hmm no actually. Lestrade just likes to bully us and conduct mock drugs bust when he thinks we are withholding evidence from him," I told him and he hummed.
"But drugs?" Carolyn asked from behind us and I turned to look back at her as Sherlock huffed loudly and crossed into the room, pushing through Donovan and Anderson and going to sit in his chair, angrily curling in on himself.
"Old habits die hard. Things of the past," I said as I opened my messenger bag and pulled open the cold case files I had stolen from Lestrade earlier. "I believe you are looking for these," I said as I held them out to Lestrade, ignoring the rest of the frozen Yard members who were staring between Sherlock and Martin.
"There's two of them?" Lestrade finally choked out and I sighed and rolled my eyes.
"Lestrade, Martin Crieff. Martin, Detective Inspector Gregory Lestrade. Martin is Sherlock's cousin and an airline Captain. Now Greg, I just helped land a crashing plane twice today," I said as Lestrade and the rest of the Yard members seemed to finally notice the boot on Sherlock's foot as well as the sling on Douglas' arm and the cast on Arthur's wrist along with the three stitches I had been forced to get for the head wound I had received in the second crash. "Not to be rude but get out of my flat," I told him and he looked over at John and Douglas who were giving him looks and he nodded before standing up.
"Well you heard her. We're all done here. Clear out," Lestrade told everyone and the people in the kitchen started clearing out of our flat as Anderson and Donovan continued to stare at Martin who was still wearing Sherlock's coat and scarf. "You two as well," Lestrade told them, nodding towards the door and Carolyn raised her eyebrow at them. "Anderson, Donovan…," Lestrade added and Martin frowned.
"Wait Anderson and Donovan?" Martin asked as he looked over at Sherlock. "So that's them then," He said as he looked them over and they blinked at him as Lestrade looked at him in confusion. "Huh, I sort of see what you meant," Martin said and I laughed brilliantly.
"Wait hang on the freaks told you about us?" Donovan asked Martin with a sneer as Anderson made a face at Sherlock and me. In the next minute all hell broke loose which basically meant Carolyn stepped further into the room and closer to the both of them.
"Let me tell the both of you something. This woman helped land a crashing plane in God knows where Germany today and saved all our lives and he is the most…," Carolyn said before Arthur cut in.
"Brilliant! He's brilliant and so is Lexi," Arthur said with a bright smile before he actually turned and angry look at Donovan and Anderson which surprised me because I didn't even known that Arthur could get angry. "You're not brilliant," Arthur told Anderson and Donovan and John looked over at me in surprise and I shrugged at him, not knowing exactly what was going on.
"Exactly right Arthur. Our detectives here and their army doctor are in fact brilliant and Lexi was a brilliant emergency first officer, taking a landing with a double engine failure as if it was nothing," Douglas praised me as Lestrade's mouth fell open in shock along with Anderson and Donovan's.
"And she fought three assassins in a pub who mistook me for Sherlock and were trying to kill us both," Martin added and I hummed slightly as Arthur bounced excitedly on the balls of his feet.
"And she saved GERT-I!" Arthur cheered.
"And she convinced me to stay on with MJN," Martin said and Douglas, Arthur, and Carolyn turned to look at him in surprise.
"What do you mean?" Carolyn asked him weakly as Douglas' face dropped.
"Remember when I told you that Swiss Airways was going to let me know about the job?" Martin asked them and they all nodded at him. "I lied. They actually offered me the job right away but I said I would need some time to let them know my decision," Martin informed them.
"Why would you do that?" Carolyn asked him in surprise.
"Well…I didn't want to leave MJN. I mean…you all are my family and…and I didn't really want to move to Switzerland and be the reason that MJN had to fold," Martin told them and then he looked over at me. "Lexi showed me exactly why I wanted to stay and she made it possible for me to," Martin told them and I smiled brilliantly at them as Douglas looked over at me and raised his eyebrow.
"How ever did you manage that?" Douglas asked me and I raised my eyebrow back at him and smirked.
"Sir underestimates my powers of persuasion," I told him and Douglas threw back his head and chuckled loudly. "Lestrade," I said as I turned to the D.I. "Care to stay round for dinner?" I asked him before I looked over at Donovan and Anderson. "Not you two, I'd like to spend the least amount of time with you as necessary," I told them and they nodded before they sneered at us and walked out of our flat through the kitchen to the dirty looks of Carolyn and Douglas.
"Erm no actually…I think I've seen enough," Lestrade told me and he nodded at us before nodding over at the crew of MJN. "I'll uh…see you I guess," He said before he left our flat and I shrugged at him before I walked over to Sherlock and giggled when he pulled me down onto his lap. John walked over to his chair and sat in it and Carolyn and Douglas forced Martin to sit in the middle of the couch as Arthur happily sat on the floor.
Mrs. Hudson brought us up a tea tray and a plate of biscuits and we laughed and drank tea before I kissed Sherlock's cheek and got up to start making dinner for us so we could celebrate the Baker Street way. Douglas, despite his injury, joined me in the kitchen and the "sky god" and I walked around the kitchen cooking for the seven of us and laughing as we shared our culinary tricks and tips. Douglas and I made Cornish Pasties from scratch, Irish Soda bread, Chicken and Leek pie, and my famous Colcannon Bake that Alistair loved so much. Mrs. Hudson joined us, making the party a total of eight and we had a grand old time swapping stories about our cases and their travels as we shared food and teas and I broke out my whiskey which wasn't twenty-five year old Talisker but was quite nice, along with a bottle of wine which I was able to tempt Carolyn and Martin with. We ended the night like any case ended here in Baker Street, or any night the ended in this sort of manner. Sherlock and I pulled out our violin and viola and started playing songs for everyone, starting with an Irish melody before Sherlock took over playing a bright tune that was light and reminded me of London and the rain when it fell over our city, cab chases, and consulting detectives in funny hats. (A/N Opening Theme Sherlock)
"Oh that's really nice," Arthur commented as Sherlock finished playing it.
"Obviously, I composed it," Sherlock said with a slight smirk as he started lowering his violin.
"Can you do Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machine next?" Arthur asked us and I looked over at him and smiled brightly before looking over at Sherlock and raising his eyebrow. He shrugged at me before lifting his violin back to his shoulder and I raised my bow back to my viola strings.
"Care to help?" I asked the crew from MJN and Martin and Douglas grinned back at me as Arthur bounced excitedly and Carolyn smiled at us fondly as our army doctor got up and moved so he was standing in between Sherlock and me.
"Up, down, flying around!" Douglas and I sang, starting us off as Sherlock and I started playing the tune.
"Looping the loop and defying the ground," Sherlock and Martin sang in unison next and I grinned widely at the two men.
"They're all …" Douglas and I sang before we looked over at Arthur and John. "Arthur!" Douglas called while I called, "John!"
"… frightfully keen!" Arthur and John sang together as I nudged our army doctor in the ribs slightly.
"Those magnificent men …," Martin and Sherlock sang and I grinned brightly at them as Carolyn shook her head at us, not joining in herself.
"Those magnificent men …," Douglas and John sang together and I walked over to Arthur and Martin and Douglas as we all grouped together and looked at each other.
"Those magnificent men in their flying machines!" We all sang in unison, even Carolyn joining us for the last verse and we all laughed as we finished before we looked round to the door as Mrs. Hudson clapped for us and I set down my viola and caught Martin and Sherlock up in a hug, kissing Sherlock soundly before pressing a kiss to Martin's cheek which made him blush. The Baker Street family and the MJN family would be friends for a while to come, especially with those magnificent men and their flying machines.