|trio (trio) wrote in cabinpres_fic,|
"I still can't believe you roped me into this," Martin murmured, shaking his head at Janet. She tossed her brunette hair out of her face and grinned back at him, unrepentant pearly teeth twinkling in the sunshine.
"I told you, everyone said we needed a ginger to round out the options, and you're the only ginger I know. Besides, you know it's for a good cause," she added pointedly, and Martin sighed, because he knew exactly that. When Janet had first cornered him on the stairs, staying in his way while she had her say about CRY and the good it did, he'd been late and had agreed without question, just to get Janet out of his way before Carolyn killed him. He hadn't given it another thought until they'd arrived back in Fitton the next day and he'd had a chance to go to the library and look up exactly what CRY was on the aging and truculent computer. What he'd read had left him a little shaken, and when he trudged back to his attic that night, he'd made a wholly secret promise to himself, deep within his heart, that half of the next fee he made with his van would be sent to the organization. He'd cornered Janet the next afternoon to find out exactly what she'd been on about, and by that night, he'd been hopeful about helping to earn money in the amateur carnival, even if it was at a kissing booth.
And then he'd made the mistake of mentioning CRY to Carolyn, and the carnival to Arthur, and the next thing he knew, all of MJN had promised to come support the cause. He'd been grateful, at the time, that they hadn't known about the kissing booth, and he hadn't felt particularly awkward when Carolyn and Arthur had shown up, because any amusement Carolyn took at his plight was derailed by Arthur's rambling monologue about the games and rides and food and drink, all of it punctuated repeatedly with 'brilliant' until even Stephen was fighting laughter. The battle was lost the moment Arthur realized where they were and declared that the kissing booth was even "Brillianter!" and Carolyn handed over two tickets, for which she recieved a cheerful, chaste kiss on the lips from the raven-haired Stephen, and Arthur was treated to a blonde peck from Karen. Martin had frowned a bit at her, but she shrugged, because Arthur was already telling Martin goodbye. After all, the darts game next booth had a stuffed polar bear to win.
The encounter had left Martin with a smile on his face, and he joshed with the students, turned to face them rather than look out at the crowd. That, he later decided, was exactly why he hadn't had the good sense to run when Douglas had approached. "Well, hello there. A kissing booth? I had no idea... Sir," Douglas noted, voice winding lazily through the chatter to coil around Martin's heart and squeeze. "One ticket? I do believe I have some to spare, young lady," he added to Janet. "Must I pick, because I've always rather liked surprises."
Martin couldn't quite hear Janet's response over the blood rushing up to fill his cheeks and ears, but seeing Douglas lean forward eyes closed and lips settled into an oddly-comfortable medium between smirk and pucker, he could sort out what the response had been. What he hadn't expected was for Janet to reach out and curl her hand around his elbow, jerking him over to stand in front of Douglas and giving him a pointed look that said, clearer than words ever might've, 'You haven't given enough kisses.' Martin froze, swallowing as he stared at Douglas' lips for a long, silent moment. It would be so easy to lean in and get it over with, but what then? He had to work with the man after this! And even if that weren't reason enough, could he possibly lean in for a kiss that gave nothing away about how his heart pounded near Douglas, or the way he had to fight to keep his breathing from going funny or his mind from wandering over ways to get Douglas' shirt off?
In the end, Martin reached out in turn and grabbed Karen. When she scowled at him, he hissed in her ear, "You owe me. You totally blew off Arthur's kiss!" Her glare, as he straightened, was blacker than pitch.
But Karen didn't skimp on Douglas' kiss. And Douglas didn't return for another one.