|Richard Book is Innocent (oxfordtweed) wrote in cabinpres_fic,|
“Oh, god,” Martin muttered.
“And what bad news befalls us today?” asked Douglas from his usual sprawl on the sofa. “Oh, don’t tell me. There’s been a change of plans and we’re going to be flying two dozen polar bears to the South Pole.”
“Change of plans, yes, but it’s good news to go along with the bad news,” Carolyn said. “Mr Jameson has cancelled on us. That’s the good news. The bad news is that at six-thirty on Christmas Eve, the chances of us picking up another contract are next to none, which means we’re out of work and off standby. And since I can’t afford to pay two pilots to lounge about doing nothing, I’m not going to.”
“Pay Douglas, you mean,” muttered Martin as he gathered up his paperwork.
“What?” asked Carolyn.
Martin cringed, having forgotten about Carolyn’s bat-like hearing. “Oh, nothing. I was just wondering if that meant I could make it home for Christmas dinner,” he tried.
“And in the unlikely event that we do pick up another contract between now and tomorrow, how am I meant to get in touch with you, since you haven’t fixed your phone yet.”
Martin bit his tongue and kept from mentioning the fact that being kept on standby meant that he wasn’t able to actually work. Not that many people needed a man with a van this time of year, but still.
“You can use mine, Skip!” Arthur offered.
Carolyn considered this for a very brief moment. “Very well,” she said. “Just make sure he doesn’t get wet and don’t let him eat after midnight.”
“Why, Carolyn. I had no idea that you birthed a Gremlin,” Douglas said.
“That’s because I don’t let him get wet and I don’t feed him after midnight,” Carolyn volleyed back. “Now, since I stopped paying you twenty minutes ago, there’s no reason for you to be here at all, is there? Be gone with you.”
As Carolyn retreated back to her office, Martin began tidying his desk, ignoring the look he knew Douglas was giving him.
“So, where will you two be going for your first Christmas together?” Douglas asked as he put on his coat.
Martin stiffened slightly. “It’s not like that,” he insisted quickly. “And it wasn’t even my idea.”
“And yet, you didn’t answer my question,” Douglas pointed out.
He and Martin had a short staring match, Martin growing more uncomfortable with each passing second.
“I go to my uncle’s house. In Wimbledon,” he answered finally. “Simon and Kaitlin have families of their own, and well, I don’t. So I go to Paul’s. It’s a bit sad, I know, but it’s better than spending the holidays alone.”
Arthur perked at this immediately. “Will your twin cousin be there?” he asked.
“He’s not my —Yes, he’ll be there,” Martin said, giving up on the argument early, before it had the chance to get away from him.