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cabinpres_fic ([personal profile] cabinpres_fic) wrote2011-08-10 03:16 am

Prompt Post Part II

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(updated 6 June)

Cabin Pressure Fic Prompt Post Two


Welcome everybody. How you got here I have no idea but thank you for coming and welcome again, nonetheless . As you may have gathered this is a Fic Prompting Meme dedicated solely to the hilarious and oh-so-addictive BBC Radio 4 sitcom - Cabin Pressure. I'm aiming for this to be pretty anything goes - but in order for everything to run smoothly, there are a few guidelines. Don't worry - they're not too restrictive.


FILLING GUIDELINES



As you probably all know - our meme now has it's very own database created and maintained by the great Enigel. It both catalogues each and every prompt that we post and provides links to fills. You can find it here: Google Spreadsheet

We also have a Pinboard archive which has been put in place by the lovely [personal profile] oxfordtweed in the place of our late Delicious Archive. This Archive contains a list of all the prompts this meme has to offer - you can find it here: Pinboard Archive

This is a great step forward in making our meme just a little more organised (but not too organised of course. This is Cabin Pressure) which is always a good thing.

So in order to make things easier to archive - Please nest your fills.

This can be done by either posting each part as a reply to that part's immediate predecessor, OR by replying each time to Part I OR - well you get the idea :D

It makes it simpler for Enigel and myself to link fills in a clean and clear manner. Following these guildelines will be very much appreciated guys :D

REPROMPTING



Reprompting is allowed but please include the URL of the original prompt when you do so. It will make it infinitely more easy to Archive which would make both Enigel and I very happy :)

As for everything else



  1. Be respectful to one another. Disagreements are fine, but not everything disagreeable is trolling. If you suspect someone of trolling, just ignore it. If you cannot respond to a comment without attacking or trolling someone else, keep it to yourself.

  2. No bashing prompts. It might not be your cup of tea - but obviously someone wants it enough to go to the effort of requesting it. So just scroll past it.

  3. Prompt away as much as you like guys - seriously, go wild - but please try to fill as well.

  4. NEW - If your fill includes a major element that veers from the original prompt (crossovers, established universes, kinks, et cetera), please take a few moments to check with the OP that such additions are welcome. This has caused problems in the past and it only takes a few moments of your time.
  5. Please no RPF. I'm not trying to oppress you RPF writers and enthusiasts, I would just really like to avoid any legal problems.

  6. When you post a fill (or post a new part of a WIP) please go over to the Filled Prompts Post (if it is complete) or the WIP Post (if there are still more parts to come) and, following each post's guideline's, post a link to this fill or new part.


REALLY IMPORTANT ADDENDUM



According to numerous Child Safety laws it is illegal to provide pornographic material to minors. Seeing that the majority of the stuff we have here is rather adult in nature, this Meme is consequently an 18+ zone. Failing to comply to this rule could result in the Meme getting shut down. So if you're here and you're under 18 please back button now.

+ Please do not post anything regarding minors in a sexual situation. It really doesn't matter how tasteful or crass it is, there are laws that classify that sort of thing as child pornography and as such, I'm afraid we're going to have to go with the attitude that safe is better than sorry.

It really is VERY important that these rules are upheld as the consequences are severe.

Other than that - go crazy guys. Any problems please just message me and I'll try my best to work it out.



Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Prompt Index

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[identity profile] allykat42.livejournal.com 2011-08-12 02:57 pm (UTC)(link)
They never met each other.

Carolyn never got the plane, so she started co-owning a small bookstore instead. Then Arthur started working as a primary school teacher(s assistant) when he got old enough. Douglas is writing best-selling novels off this idea that won't leave him after Air England - a small charter airline where no job is too small but many are to difficult. Martin is still working the van business and trying desperately to become a pilot /somewhere/.

How do they all meet up again?

[identity profile] maggie-umbra.livejournal.com 2011-08-22 02:13 am (UTC)(link)
Oh wow. I want to read this. Seconding. I really wish I had the skill to write this!

(Anonymous) 2011-09-02 04:26 am (UTC)(link)
I'll give it a go! Filling it now :)

Part 1/?

(Anonymous) 2011-09-02 04:56 am (UTC)(link)
“Smuggling, Douglas? Really?” The CEO of Air England raised an eyebrow as he drummed his pencil across the desk.

“Yes, well, alimony doesn’t pay for itself I’m afraid,” Douglas drawled. “Now come on, really, it was a few bottles of whiskey for a friend. Nothing to overreact about, surely? Just a minor transgression.”

“Afraid not. Too many minor transgressions on your part – there was the incident with the hostess –"

“Charming girl,” Douglas interrupted.

“ – not to mention your various in-flight entertainments, one of which involved retrieving a lemon from a young child’s rucksack –"

“Now, come on! It wasn’t as if I put it there, I was simply taking it back!”

“Her mother tried to sue us, Douglas! And now this time, you’ve broken the law. We have to let you go. I’m sorry, I really am – you’re a very talented pilot, one of the best we’ve had, but you need to find an airline which is more suited to your .... ah, work ethic. We’ll send your last paycheck by post.”

And with that, Douglas Richardson’s career goes up in smoke.

Of course, from then on it’s a steady decline. Helena took the news slightly better than Douglas thought she would, which is only to say that she didn’t divorce him immediately. She instead seemed to prefer the route of poisoning their marriage with petty arguments.

“So when exactly are you intending to get your next job? Are you even allowed to fly now that you've committed a felony?”

“Not a felony, darling, a misdemeanour. And, actually...” Douglas attempted in his most conciliatory tone.

“Don’t you dare attempt that pregnant pause with me, Douglas. It always means you’re about to come up with some awful scheme and it’s your scheming that caused this in the first place!”

“All I was going to say was, I was thinking about a change in career. I thought I might write a book.”

Instantly, Helena’s expression changed from furious to worried. “Of course, Dougie, I forgot this much be such a terrible strain on you too. I’m so sorry. Why don’t you have a nice lie down, and we can talk properly about plans in the morning.”

Douglas attempted to hold back the rising irritation he felt. “I’m not going mad, Helena, or cracking under the stress, I assure you. I mean it. I want to write a book. I’ve had an idea for a series about a small airline. And,” he noted with the air of confidence which had got him so many things (including Helena in the first place), “I think I’d be rather good at writing it.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Douglas. You think you’ll be good at everything.”

“And have I ever been wrong?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.

It turned out, Douglas wasn’t quite as good at dodging plates thrown at him as he thought he would be.

Re: Part 2/?

(Anonymous) 2011-09-02 06:01 am (UTC)(link)
The next morning, Douglas awoke to a house that was conspicuously Helena free. It was not, however, post free and he groaned as he stooped to pick up a pile of worrying looking envelopes from the doormat. Bill, bill, bill, solicitor’s letter about child support so really another bill... It had only been two weeks since his final paycheck had come through but the money was running out rather fast. Clearly, he needed another source of income – preferably a legal one this time. But all the same, he couldn’t stop thinking about his idea for a book about an airline – he found himself coming up with plot lines at night when he couldn’t sleep, incorporating some of his own experiences into the plans. And the characters! He’d decided that it would need to be a rather small airline (no point adding too many people into the mix, it’d only confuse the reader) but they’d take on all sorts of jobs because they were in danger of going bust... Much like he was, he noted wryly. No, absolutely no point in thinking like that – he was Douglas Richardson damnit, Douglas Richardson, which meant that he got the girl (and probably her friends too, whilst he was at it), got the job, got out of the seemingly impossible situation and into the good books of whoever he was attempting to charm at the time. And with these bolstering thoughts, he strode over to the computer and turned it on, ready to write.

Several thousand words later, he forced his tired fingers to a stop. It was, he reflected, a work of genius. His heroic captain had already gotten the hapless crew out of several scrapes, the stewardess was devastatingly attractive, the co-pilot was young and inexperienced and called the captain ‘skipper’ and oh, it was glorious. People would buy it at airports and read it on the flight and think it really reflected the glamour of the job. He would, of course, neglect to mention rude passengers and hours on stand-by and petty bureaucracy. No one wanted to read about that. Still though, it wouldn’t hurt to check out the competition and look through a few of those garishly coloured books that so many people seemed to delight in reading. Perhaps it was time to go and visit that new bookshop up the road – Helena had mentioned that the woman running it was delightfully rude and an amusing anecdote might even start to thaw out their frosty relationship...

*****

Douglas stepped into the small bookshop and immediately felt disappointed. The place was quaint, cosy even. Antique looking bookshelves, a smell of coffee in the air, comfortable chairs in discreet corners and an overwhelming air of calm and quiet which lingers in the best bookshops. How on earth could anyone who ran such a shop be classed as rude? A phone began to ring on the counter towards the side of the shop, next to the door marked ‘STAFF ONLY’ from which a small middle aged woman appeared and answered the phone.

“Good afternoon, Knapp-Schappey-Royston Books, how can I help you? ... By who, do you say? Kardashian Confidentials? ... With a ‘K’? My dear madam, I do believe you have phoned us by mistake. This is a book shop and as such we sell works by genuine published authors who are all heavily spell-checked and edited. Not books by people who are too stupid to understand that the word ‘confidential is spelt with a ‘c’. Could I perhaps suggest buying a copy of a magazine instead? Or we do sell dictionaries if that would be of any assistance? ... Oh, what a shame, she’s gone.” The woman replaced the phone with a flourish and almost seemed to be fighting back a smile – that is, until she saw Douglas hovering in the doorway, attempting to look as though he hadn’t been eavesdropping and unsuccessfully covering a smirk.

“Welcome to Knapp-Schappey-Royston Books. Can I help you?”

“As a matter of fact, I rather think you can.”

Re: Part 2/?

[identity profile] martinius.livejournal.com 2011-09-02 06:15 am (UTC)(link)
Hehe, no, I don't think anyone would read the book in its existing shape. Now, if he only did write about the standby and the rude passengers. And maybe change the gorgeous stewardess to a somewhat dim but very sweet steward, his mother, and oh, maybe make the inexperienced pilot captain instead....

Love this :)

(Also, one wonders who Royston is...)

Re: Part 2/?

[identity profile] sostrangechild.livejournal.com 2011-09-02 11:48 am (UTC)(link)
YES. THIS. FULL OF WIN. Go anon!

Re: Part 2/?

[identity profile] crocodile-eat-u.livejournal.com 2011-09-02 01:26 pm (UTC)(link)
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MORRE! RAWR!

*sets up camp* Marshmallows anyone?? <3

Re: Part 2/?

(Anonymous) 2011-09-02 01:58 pm (UTC)(link)
*hands you some graham crackers*

Re: Part 3/?

(Anonymous) 2011-09-02 03:30 pm (UTC)(link)
It was whilst Douglas was in the middle of explaining his mission that the bell over the door jingled again and an ecstatically happy looking brown haired man bounced in.

“Hi, Mum! Wow, a customer – brilliant! Hello, I’m Arthur!” and he held out his hand for Douglas to shake it, grinning widely.

“Captain Douglas Richardson,” he replied automatically, before mentally shaking himself.

“WOW. Are you a captain? Really?! Like the captain of a boat or the captain of a plane?”

“Well, I was. An airplane captain, I mean. I will be again soon, I don’t doubt, but right now I’m writing a book.” Douglas hated the slight note of doubt that had crept into his voice and forced himself to sound more confident. “And if I say so myself, it’s a rather good one.”

“It sounds brilliant,” said Arthur, eyes wide.

“You haven’t even heard what it’s about!” snapped his mother.

“No, but he’s a captain! I love planes.” For a second, he looked slightly sad. His mother’s expression softened.

“Yes, dear heart, I know. Now why don’t you run off and make us a cup of coffee?”

“Yes, okay, Mum! Did you want one, er, Captain?”

“Just Douglas is fine, really. And yes, if you wouldn’t mind.”

“Arthur! We are not a charitable shop, we cannot just offer coffee to every Tom, Dick and Harry who strolls in.”

“But... he’s called Douglas...”

Douglas attempted to turn his laugh into a cough. “Yes, of course, I do understand. Might I suggest though, that it would be good for business for passers-by to see the shop with customers inside enjoying your hospitality? Might entice them. And of course, we haven’t been properly introduced. Douglas Richardson,” he said, holding out his hand again.

“Carolyn Knapp-Shappey. I do apologise for being so rude, Mr Richardson, but Arthur does have a habit of collecting stray people.”

“Collecting stray people? Whatever do you mean?”

“There’s a very strange young man who comes in once a week to read all our books on aviation. He never pays for anything, just sits in a corner and reads, but Arthur seems to like him so I let him stay. Of course, Arthur likes everyone but it means he gets to talk about flying and this man does seem rather obsessed, so it saves my ears.”

“Yes, I love planes! They’re brilliant.” Arthur had reappeared, holding steaming mugs of coffee. “And Martin’s brilliant too! He’s very nearly a pilot like you are, Douglas. He just has to pass his test and he’ll be allowed to fly, isn’t that brilliant? I wish I could fly. We nearly did you know, we nearly had a plane, but –“ he faltered, looking sad again.

“But now we have a book shop,” Carolyn cut in swiftly, “And a fairly successful bookshop too. And you have a job that you enjoy and we’re doing rather well.”

Douglas couldn’t imagine a single job that Arthur would be qualified to perform and couldn’t help asking, “And what is it that you do, Arthur?”

“Oh, I work in a school! I’m a TA, it’s brilliant! We’re learning about Egypt at the moment, did you know that in ancient Egypt when people died, they took their brains out with a hoo-“

“Code red, Arthur, code red!” cried Carolyn.

“Oh right yes, okay, Mum! Bye, Douglas!” And Arthur vanished swiftly into the door marked, ‘STAFF ONLY’.

“What’s a code red? I was rather interested in hearing about ancient Egypt,” smirked Douglas.

“It means I want him to go away. And unless there is anything else I can do for you Mr Richardson, I’m afraid it’s five o’clock and we are closing. If you wanted to have a closer look at those books, you’ll have to come back another day – preferably when Arthur isn’t here. Goodbye!” Without any further attempt at politeness, she more or less shoved Douglas out of the door and set the shop sign to ‘CLOSED’ behind him. Douglas wandered home, wondering how anyone could ‘nearly’ have an airplane and what exactly it was that he’d done to upset her so much. Either way, this definitely warranted another visit.

Re: Part 4/?

(Anonymous) 2011-09-02 03:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Meanwhile, in a small and rather crumpled looking van several miles away, Martin Crieff was attempting to calculate how many more hours he had to pay before he could afford to sit his pilot’s test again. This would be his eleventh attempt and (he hoped) his final one. Sighing, he pulled the van up outside his shared house and prepared himself for a night reading through his flight manuals whilst trying not to listen to the shouts from the drunken students downstairs. He understood why they didn’t invite him of course (he would have been equally worried about the strange man living upstairs in the attic if he was an eighteen year old away from home for the first time) but that didn’t mean it didn’t hurt to listen to them all having fun without him, he thought bitterly as he climbed up the flights of stairs.

Alone in his attic, Martin took out pen and paper and laboriously did his accounts. Now that he had the van, he could at least earn some money doing removals rather than getting even deeper into debt but the snub in his father’s will had hurt all the same. No one seemed to believe that he really could be a pilot and deep down, he was beginning to feel the same. Who takes eleven goes to get their CPL? That was if he passed this time, of course. It was pathetic. Perhaps he should be an electrician and honour his dad’s last wishes. Martin sunk his head in his hands. His father had been gone almost a month, leaving Martin just his van and his tools – he may as well have written a note in enormous letters saying, “THERE IS NO HOPE IN TRYING TO BE A PILOT, MARTIN. GIVE IT UP, SON.”

It wouldn’t have been any worse than anything anyone else had said to him about being a pilot, Martin reflected. His teachers had told him he wasn’t intelligent enough to be a pilot, his family had outright laughed at the idea, his first (and only) girlfriend had dumped him when he failed his CPL the first time, friends had slowly ditched him when he found himself unable to talk about anything other than planes... In fact, Martin thought, the only person who did seem to believe that he could be a pilot was Arthur at the bookshop and he seemed to be a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Still – it was nice to have someone who had faith in him, and bolstered by the thoughts of the shouts Arthur would make when he did finally pass, Martin settled down on his bed and opened up his flight manuals before falling into an exhausted sleep a few hours later.

Re: Part 4/?

[identity profile] sostrangechild.livejournal.com 2011-09-02 04:20 pm (UTC)(link)
I have go to work tomorrow morning. It's nearing 2.30am. I HAVE NO REGRETS. IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH READING THIS.

Re: Part 5/?

(Anonymous) 2011-09-02 04:51 pm (UTC)(link)
It was several days later Douglas could find the time to return to Knapp-Schappey-Royston Books – he’d been filling the time with his writing and occasionally sending out CVs in an attempt to placate Helena. Still, the mystery of the ‘nearly’ plane somehow wormed its way into his thoughts and he spent an inordinate amount of time wondering about the bizarre mother and son who ran the shop. Eventually he could stand it no longer, and having smoothly told Helena that he was going for a walk to clear his head, he headed towards the bookshop.

Having entered, he was met with a strange sight. Arthur and another man were leaning on the counter, deep in conversation. Neither looked up when the bell above the door rang, apparently not noticing. Douglas lurked in the corner, listening in.

“But how do they stay up? No one really knows how aeroplanes stay up, do they?”

“Of course they do! There are four forces acting on an aeroplane, and if the two that push the plane up outweigh the two that push the plane down, the plane will fly. So pushing the plane down are weight and drag, and lifting the plane up are the thrust from the engines and the lift from the wings.”

“But ... how do the wings lift anything up? They’re so heavy! And they don’t even move!”

The other man smiled indulgently. “Well, Arthur – the top of the wing is curved, whilst the bottom is flat. When the air meets the wing, it splits in two and the air travelling over the top has further to go before it can rejoin with the air at the bottom and it has to go faster to keep up with the air on the bottom, so pressure at the top of the wing is reduced which gives the aeroplane lift.”

“Wow, brilliant! But ... Martin ... Why does the air have to rejoin itself? Why doesn’t it just split up?”

Watching the other man open and shut his mouth like a fish, Douglas couldn’t resist. "For the sake of the kids?” Both Arthur and the other man (Martin, Douglas noted), jumped. “I do apologise, I couldn’t help over hearing. Now, Arthur, listen carefully. The air is not passing over the wing, the wing is instead passing through the air. So the curved upper side stretches the air forced over it apart, reducing pressure, producing lift. The lift pushes up. The weight pushes down. So as long as the lift is more than the weight, up we go and that, my friend, is how an aeroplane flies.”

“Amazing! It makes sense now, thanks Douglas! Martin, this is Douglas, the captain that I told you about!” Arthur excitedly beamed from face to face.

Martin attempted to swallow down his inferiority complex at meeting a captain. “Nice to meet you – Martin Crieff.”

Douglas examined the rather red faced man in front of him, noting how tired he looked. “Douglas Richardson. Arthur tells me you’re preparing to take your CPL.”

“Oh. Yes. Well,” Martin stuttered, somehow going even more red, “Yes, in fact I am, and I’m sure it’ll go really well, I just thought I’d pop in and have a chat with Arthur before I, um, yes, well, I really should go.”

“Aw, no, Martin! And I’m sure you’ll do really well this time, much better than last time! Do you really have to go?” asked Arthur.

“Second attempt at a CPL?” Douglas looked commiserating. “Happened to some of the best pilots I know, I wouldn’t worry, when you actually start flying no one will know the difference.”

“Well … more than a second attempt really, it’s been … I mean … Oh look, Arthur, it’s your mother, I really should go, lovely to meet you Douglas, I mean Captain, I mean, goodbye Arthur!” Saying which, Martin scuttled out of the shop as fast as he could, avoiding Carolyn’s look of resignation as she came through the door.

“Sorry, Mum!” Arthur began before Carolyn had even managed to put her bag down. “It’s just that Martin’s taking his test tomorrow afternoon and he wanted to take another look at that book.”

“Yes, yes, yes, never mind. Have you fed her?”

“Mum, of course I have! I wouldn’t forget!”

“Arthur my darling, surely even you can admit that you are not the most reliable of men? Now do be a good boy and take Snoopadoop for a walk whilst I help Mr Richardson.”

Re: Part 6/?

(Anonymous) 2011-09-02 05:25 pm (UTC)(link)
After Arthur had left the shop, (“Brilliant! I love walks!”) Douglas was left wondering how to approach the mystery of the nearly-plane with Carolyn. Instead, he found himself doing something completely unexpected.

“Listen, I was wondering, since Arthur loves planes so much, I could arrange for him to go on a flight with a crew – just a cargo flight, mind you, no passengers, but he could see what it was like to be part of a flight crew.” Where had that come from, he asked himself?

Carolyn narrowed her eyes at him. “And how exactly were you intending to arrange this? Didn’t you tell Arthur that you were no longer a captain?”

“A friend of mine owes me a favour – Hercules would do it, I’m sure I could persuade him.”

She snorted with laughter. “Hercules? You have a friend called Hercules?”

“He prefers Herc – I’m sure you can understand why.”

“Who wouldn’t with a name like Hercules? No, I’m sorry Mr Richardson, it’s a very generous offer but I’ll have to decline it. I can’t stand to have Arthur disappointed again and to remind him of what could have happened seems too cruel.”

“You’re being a bit dramatic, surely?” asked Douglas, raising an eyebrow. “I can guarantee I’ll get him on a flight, so he won’t be disappointed on that score.”

“No, it’s just…” Carolyn sighed, looking down at her hands. “Arthur’s father and I got divorced a few years ago. He was ridiculously wealthy and I got a fairly generous settlement. I was also supposed to receive his private jet, but the solicitors couldn’t agree and the deal fell through at the last minute. But by this time, it seemed in the bag that I would get it and Arthur and I had made plans to run a small airline – mostly Arthur’s idea, mind you, but it seemed workable enough. Of course, when we didn’t get it, Arthur was devastated and I feel like reminding him of what we nearly had would be too cruel. I opened the bookshop, Arthur went to work and we never really talked about it again. He still talks about planes with Martin, but I won’t let him get so close to planes again without knowing that we can actually own one so that he won’t be disappointed.”

“Ah. I am sorry,” said Douglas quietly, surprised to find that he really meant it. It didn’t feel right to have someone as cheery as Arthur should be so crushed. “But you did say that your bookshop is doing rather well – couldn’t you sell it and buy an engine? A very small one, mind you, but I’m guessing Arthur would work for free as cabin crew, you just need to find a pilot.”

Carolyn laughed mirthlessly. “And where exactly would I find a pilot who would be willing to work for next to nothing? Not to mention that the shop wouldn’t sell for nearly enough to pay for an engine. I’d need an investor and no one would want to invest in such a business. No, Arthur and I will stick with the shop unless a large quantity of money drops into our laps.”

“And the mysterious Royston, too,” remarked Douglas. Carolyn seemed to go slightly pink.

“Mr Royston is something of a silent partner in the business. Now, would you care for a coffee whilst you wait for Arthur?”

By the time Arthur came back, Carolyn and Douglas were sat in the comfortable chairs, playing some word game Arthur couldn’t quite grasp but tried to join in with. Either way, it looked like they were having fun.

Re: Part 7a/?

(Anonymous) 2011-09-02 06:45 pm (UTC)(link)
The next day, Martin turned up at the shop just before closing time in a haze of excitement and holding a bottle of cheap champagne.

“Hullo, Carolyn! Is Arthur in? And possibly the customer who came the other day, Douglas?”

“Well … yes, Arthur’s at home and Douglas popped in to put in an order for another book on planes. What on earth has happened, Martin?” She ushered him in towards the corner where Douglas sat with his coffee, Arthur hanging on his every word.

Martin couldn’t hold it in any longer. “I PASSED!” he shouted, flinging his arms in the air and nearly hitting Carolyn with the champagne. “I FINALLY DID IT, I PASSED!”

Arthur and Douglas looked up at the same time. “Wow, that’s BRILLIANT, Martin! Ace! Amazing! Fantastic! Brilliant!” Arthur burbled.

“Yes, I do believe you said that one, Arthur. Still Martin, well done, you must be very pleased,” smiled Douglas. “This does rather call for a celebration.”

“That was why I brought the champagne, for you and Arthur! One of the examiners asked me about the forces acting on the wings of a plane and I could answer it perfectly thanks to you two. So now I’m finally qualified! I’m sorry it’s not much, it’s just that it’s all I can afford till I can get my first pilot’s job – god, I can’t wait!” Martin seemed to be glowing from the inside out; he looked like an entirely different person from the word and beaten looking young man Douglas had met the day before, and his joy was infectious.

“I’m sure we can help you out, Martin,” said Carolyn crisply. “Arthur, go and fetch us some glasses from the kitchen. I will go and see if there’s anything edible in the staff fridge.”

“I could cook somethi – “ Arthur began.

“NO”, shouted three voices simultaneously before bursting into laughter.

A short time later, the four of them were sat around the small table in the staff room in the back of the shop with a glass of champagne each and some biscuits Carolyn had found in the cupboard.

“Here’s to your success, Martin,” said Douglas smoothly. “Cheers!”

“Cheers!” Carolyn and Arthur echoed, raising their glasses whilst Martin blushed.

“I just … I just wanted to say that, you know, I’m very grateful. Douglas, you really helped me out with that question, and Arthur you’ve been so supportive and I just … Well, I mean, we don’t know each other well, but this feels …. Well….” Martin stammered.

“Like having friends!” grinned Arthur. “We are friends now, aren’t we, all of us? Well obviously Mum and I can’t be friends, she’s my mum, but I mean she is a friend as well and -”

“Quiet time, idiot features!” trilled Carolyn. “We’re all very happy for you, Martin.”

“As much as I’m enjoying our soiree, I would have thought you’d be with your family Martin – or a girlfriend, if you have one,” Douglas pointed out.

“No, no girlfriend,” said Martin, looking slightly put out for the first time all evening. “And my family and I haven’t been on very good terms recently… Seemed to think me trying to be a pilot was a bit of a waste of time. They weren’t happy that I kept trying, my dad didn’t even leave me any money in his will because he thought I’d spend it on flying lessons… Left me his old van instead. My brother and sister seem to think it’s some sort of insult to Dad for me to have kept trying. If only I’d passed a month earlier so Dad could have seen it…” he trailed off.

Douglas wished he could have bitten his tongue. “I am sorry, Martin. I’m sure he would have been very proud.”

Martin attempted a smile and looked for a way to change the subject. “So, Douglas. Tell us about your book.”

Re: Part 7b/?

(Anonymous) 2011-09-02 06:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Author: ARGH, anon fail D: Let's pretend that didn't happen
----------------------------------------------------


By the time they reached the end of the champagne, Carolyn popped out to get a bottle of wine and Douglas phoned for a take away. By the time the night finished, they all felt like they’d known each other for years. After that, their evenings in became something of a routine – never on the same scale as the first time, but Martin would drop in some evenings to get some encouragement from Arthur (“You’ll find a job soon, Martin, you’re brilliant!”), Douglas would arrive to tell them about the progress he was making on his book (although he tended to keep details about the plot to himself), Carolyn would make sarcastic remarks and Arthur regaled them with stories about the Victorians, the Egyptians having been left behind last term.

All in all, life continued without dramatics or major upheaval (Arthur’s cooking aside) until the morning a good year after they first met, when Douglas arrived holding a large brown envelope.

Re: Part 7b/?

(Anonymous) 2011-09-02 06:57 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm really enjoying this. Well done!

Re: Part 8/?

(Anonymous) 2011-09-02 07:53 pm (UTC)(link)
“Carolyn, good morning my favourite ray of sunshine, and how are we this morning?”

“Good morning, Douglas. You are looking like the cat that not only got the cream but also found the keys to the dairy and incriminating evidence about the dairy owner which could be successfully used for blackmail.”

“You find me in an excellent mood this morning. I have successfully proved, yet again, that I am marvelous at absolutely everything. I have just received an advance on my book. Not only that, but they want to tie me into a contract for a series.” Douglas waved the envelope in the air and grinned.

“Douglas, that is excellent news – sad news for the size of your ego, of course, but wonderful news for the rest of you. Congratulations! We’ll have to phone Martin and Arthur to celebrate this evening. Does this mean we can finally read the wretched thing?”

“Ah. Yes. Well. I dare say you can when it’s published, yes.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Douglas. It’s been an entire year, and you haven’t let the tiniest detail slip. Have you been writing smut? Are you ashamed of your book?”

“Of course not! Fine, I shall make sure that you have an advance copy – for your eyes only, you understand, and only once everything is set in motion.”
Carolyn eyed him carefully. “It is your book after all, but I don’t understand why you’re so secretive about the whole thing.”

Several months later when Carolyn received her advance copy of Mile Hijinks she understood what the secrecy was in aid of. By the time she reached Chapter 3, she was shaking with rage. By Chapter 5, she could stand it no longer and picked up the phone and left a message on Douglas’ answering machine.

“Douglas. Carolyn Knapp-Schappey here. Or should that be ‘Caroline Alec-Jones’, bitter divorcee and owner of a small private airline. You know – mother to ‘Arnold Jones’, the lovable but stupid steward. Employer of Donald Robertson, the maverick and dashing pilot and Marvin Cliff, the inexperienced co-pilot. I would appreciate it if you would phone me as quickly as possible. I’d love to tell you my thoughts about your excellent book.”

Re: Part 8/?

(Anonymous) 2011-09-02 08:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Oooh, naughty Douglas. Not that I didn't see that coming but I'm sure Carolyn's going to have plenty to say on the matter.

Re: Part 9a/9

(Anonymous) 2011-09-02 09:10 pm (UTC)(link)
The argument that followed was spectacular. It was fought out of the view of Arthur and Martin, neither of whom had read the book – Martin simply didn’t have the time to read for pleasure and Arthur didn’t read anything apart from Harry Potter – but Carolyn certainly didn’t keep her views quiet.

“It is defamation of character, Douglas, plain and simple. Possibly libel and slander too, I’ll need to check with my lawyers.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Carolyn. No one will know it’s you – “

“Apart from all the people who know me! And what about Arthur? Don’t you think that poor boy has enough to deal with without you taking petty jabs at him in print? And Martin! How do you expect Martin to get a job when you make him out to be an incompetent buffoon? This is low, Douglas, even for you. To betray your friends and use us as material for your book is beyond the pale.”

Douglas was quiet, momentarily shamed into silence. “All right, fine. I’ll make it up to them – and you. What do you want?”

Carolyn smiled a sharky smile at him. “I was hoping you’d see my point of view. Money, simply. I want money. For myself and for Arthur. And a job for Martin.”

Douglas snorted. “I’m not a miracle worker, Carolyn. I can give you and Arthur a slice of the profits if you want, but not even I can magic up a job for Martin.”

“No, you can’t. But I can – with your help. You are going to give me all the money from your book, in exchange for me not suing you, and with the money from your book and my bookshop I will buy the plane that Arthur so desperately wants and employ both you and Martin as pilots.”

Douglas felt his jaw drop. “You are joking. You want me to give you all the money from the books?”

“Well, it’s either that or you face three separate lawsuits from myself, Arthur and Martin. The books will have to be withdrawn, and then your publishers can sue you for breach of contract. So it is entirely your choice – but with my option, you will at least have a job.”

Clutching at the last straw he could see, Douglas asked, “But what about Mr Royston. Surely you need to check with him before you sell his half of the bookshop?”

“He is absolutely fine with it,” said Carolyn firmly.

“You’ve checked with him, have you?”

“I don’t need to. Mr Royston is a hamster.”

“He’s a WHAT?

“A hamster. The hamster in Arthur’s classroom to be precise. I used part of his inheritance to buy the bookshop so I told him that he would be involved as a silent partner in the business. He, of course, assumed that meant that it was a secret and that he needed a pseudonym and Royston was the first reasonable name that he came up with – the hamster that the class teacher had brought in for the children the week before.”

“But then don’t you need to check with Arthur before you sell the business?”

“Douglas – it’s a choice between books and an aeroplane. What do you think Arthur will pick?”

Re: Part 9b/9

(Anonymous) 2011-09-02 09:11 pm (UTC)(link)
After that, things moved rather quickly. The bookshop was sold to a young woman looking to start her own bakery. Douglas and Martin came with Carolyn to inspect various planes (it was decided that no one should mention anything to Arthur until all the paperwork was signed) before picking a fairly decrepit old plane with sixteen seats. Martin was overjoyed to be made captain over the more senior Douglas, which Douglas understood to be Carolyn’s final revenge. And as for Arthur … Well, Arthur was so ridiculously happy at the idea of having a plane that he didn’t sleep for three days until Carolyn eventually gave him a sleeping pill, having told him it was a multi-vitamin.

Douglas and Carolyn never spoke of the book incident again. He harbored a quiet resentment about it for a while, but, as Helena pointed out, he really was lucky not to be sued. And now since he was well known, it was entirely possible that he could have another book published. But as he sat next to Martin in the flight deck, preparing to take off, there was part of him which couldn’t help but feel happy to be back doing what he loved – admittedly for less money. And as for Martin, Martin was ecstatic to finally be flying as a real professional, and as a captain! As they prepared to take off, Martin really did think it might be the happiest day of his life.

“I’m so excited, Mum, our first flight! Where are we going again?” Arthur was practically vibrating with excitement.

Carolyn looked around the tiny plane and felt her own happiness bubble up as she smiled at her son and said, “Abu Dhabi.”

Re: Part 9b/9

[identity profile] sostrangechild.livejournal.com 2011-09-02 10:02 pm (UTC)(link)
YEAAAAAAAH! Sweet! Awesome story Nonnie! I loved how it all slotted together with the series in the end - very clever. :)

Re: Part 9b/9

[identity profile] martinius.livejournal.com 2011-09-02 10:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Abu Dhabi!!!!!

:DDD

Re: Part 9b/9

(Anonymous) 2011-09-02 11:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, yay! I love the way it all worked out in the end.

Re: Part 9b/9

(Anonymous) 2011-09-02 11:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh I LOVED it, especially the ending! Superbly done! :)

Re: Part 9b/9

(Anonymous) - 2011-09-02 23:41 (UTC) - Expand

Re: Part 9b/9

[identity profile] alextree.livejournal.com - 2011-10-20 06:32 (UTC) - Expand

Re: Part 9b/9

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Re: Part 9b/9

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