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Ariane DeVere
Cabin Pressure fic: Lockheed/McDonnell 
6th-Nov-2011 04:48 pm
CP - I can bloody well fly
Title: Lockheed/McDonnell
Author: Ariane DeVere
Word count: 1295
Rating: PG
Genre: Pre-slash, romance
Characters: Douglas, Martin

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the first (and probably last) Cabin Pressure GERTI fic. What’s a GERTI fic? Well, you know how Sherlock fandom has the 221B – a self-contained story told in 221 words and the last word has to begin with ‘b’? I thought to myself, “There must be a similar concept which could be applied to Cabin Pressure fic.” Unfortunately there’s no specific number that immediately comes to mind when you think of the series – and I asked several fans of the show and we all came up with different numbers, including 100 (otters), 400 (quiches), 312 (Gerti’s model number) but nothing really striking.

So, in the end, I decided to make it simply a GERTI – a fic which ends with five words which consecutively start with the letters ... well, see if you can work it out for yourself ... (!)

This story takes place after Ottery St Mary.

“I don’t need help getting up the stairs, thank you, Douglas,” Martin protested.

“Of course you don’t,” Douglas replied mildly. “But clearly nobody else is home and I’m just making sure that Sir makes it up to his room safely. We wouldn’t want Sir to only reach the first landing and then get stuck there, would we?”

Martin glowered at him – at least, that seemed to be the look he was aiming for but his face was too full of pain to have any spare capacity for other expressions. Since the adrenalin rush of delivering the piano on time had worn off, he had been limping more and more badly on his sprained ankle and he had now reached the end of his strength. He turned and hobbled into the house, heading straight for the stairs.

“It’s not like I’m offering to tuck you up in bed and read you a story once we get up there,” Douglas continued as he stepped into the hall and closed the front door. “Besides, the only books you read are flight manuals and they would put me to sleep long before you nodded off.”

Martin’s snort turned into a yelp of pain as he stepped up the first of the stairs and put his weight onto his damaged ankle. Bracing his right hand on the banisters and his left on the wall, he hopped up onto the next step, another whine escaping his mouth as he did so. Douglas watched him as he progressed up the next few steps, putting as little pressure onto his bad foot as possible but still unable to silence a pained whimper each time it touched the floor. He had only progressed up six more stairs when Douglas couldn’t stand it any longer and stormed up the steps behind him. Martin half turned at the sound, which made it easier for Douglas to wrap his left arm around Martin’s waist and use his other arm to scoop Martin’s legs from under him. Martin squeaked in shock but even as he started to stammer out a protest and struggled to get free, his arms automatically wrapped around Douglas’ neck to support himself. The shiver of pleasure that went through Douglas’ body wasn’t as much of a surprise as he might have expected, but he concentrated on taking the first step upwards while making his voice stern.

“Stop wriggling, or you’re going to make me lose my balance and we’ll both fall.”

Martin’s indignant babbling stopped immediately and he clung tighter around Douglas’ neck and buried his head onto his shoulder as he took the next step up. Douglas tried to keep his mind on the task of getting them both to the landing without him overbalancing but he couldn’t help musing on how unexpectedly easy the job was. After landing back at Fitton Douglas had agreed to drive Arthur and Martin home in the van but they had stopped off for dinner at a “little gang of shops” en route and Douglas had offered to pay for everyone’s meals, still embarrassed about accusing Arthur of losing the car keys. Despite the fact that Martin had tucked away so much food that even Arthur had been impressed, right now he felt painfully light in Douglas’ arms.

“Good lord, Captain, do you ever eat properly?” he grumbled as he reached the landing and carried Martin towards the second flight of stairs. He was relieved that there actually was a flight of stairs – he had half imagined that Martin had to climb up a loft ladder to reach his attic room. “It’s about time you got yourself a nice young man to look after you.”

He grinned as Martin produced his trademark indignant squeak again. “Sorry, Sir of Sirs,” he continued. “I just assumed that girlfriends aren’t really your area.”

“They’re not,” Martin mumbled into his shoulder as Douglas began to trudge slowly up the stairs again.

“So why don’t you get yourself a young man?” he asked, not entirely surprised at the stab of jealousy that struck him at the mere thought of Martin dating someone. “Even you could get yourself a date if you really put your mind to it.” Gritting his teeth a little, he added, “I’ll even help you if you like.”

“I’m not interested in young men,” Martin said softly as they reached the top of the stairs. Confused, Douglas wanted to ask more but right now he needed to get Martin into the room and out of his arms before he revealed too much of his own feelings.

“Keys,” he demanded and wouldn’t you know it, Martin straightened up a little and started to ferret through his right-hand pocket, the one closer to Douglas’ body. The sensation of Martin’s fingers wriggling against his stomach, even separated by a shirt and jeans, was way too pleasant and could almost have distracted him from Martin’s next words ... except that Martin’s next words momentarily knocked Douglas’ world off its axis.

Pulling the keys from his pocket, Martin transferred them to his other hand and reached out to unlock the door to his flat. As he did so, and with his face turned away from Douglas, he said quietly, “I’ve only been interested in one man for ages, and he’s quite a bit older than me.”

He pushed the door open but Douglas was unable to move. Right at this moment he wasn’t sure that his feet were ever going to move again. The object of his desire for far too long had just said a sequence of words that he couldn’t have dreamed of hearing in a thousand years, and consequently the mighty sky god’s brain wasn’t functioning properly. Embarrassed by the motionless silence, Martin slumped in his arms and lowered his head, keeping it turned away.

“Forget I said that,” he mumbled. “I’m tired and my ankle hurts – I didn’t mean to say it out loud. Blame it on the painkillers. Ignore me.”

He started to wriggle awkwardly, trying to get Douglas to put him down. Douglas finally got his mind back online and tightened his grip around Martin’s body to hold him in place before stepping forward into the attic. He glanced around momentarily, realising that it really was as tiny and awful as he had imagined and making a mental note that he needed to get Martin out of there as soon as possible, and on a permanent basis. But right now there were more important things to attend to.

Pausing only to kick the door carefully closed behind him, he gently lowered Martin’s legs to the floor, still bracing him with his left arm. Martin tried to step back but his bad ankle gave out and he clung to Douglas’ shoulders as he caught his balance. Douglas’ other hand automatically reached out and took hold of Martin’s waist ... and then Martin raised his head and his face was oh so close and his eyes went wide as Douglas lowered his gaze to look at Martin’s lips. For a long moment Martin’s expression became full of hope and previously-hidden longing, then he snorted nervously as he tried to step away again.

“You don’t mean it.”

Gently Douglas pulled him closer again.

“Martin, I think we’re way beyond the point of not meaning anything. Besides, I’ve just carried you across the threshold, and you must know what that means. It means we’re as good as married, and therefore I absolutely must kiss you.” He leaned closer, his mouth almost brushing Martin’s. The younger man’s lips parted and a needy whimper drifted out. Douglas smiled gently, and softly delivered one last sentence before finally closing the gap between them.

“In fact, right now I think I’ve got every right to insist.”


Author’s Note: Anybody else fancy writing a GERTI?!

In the Newcastle episode Gerti was identified as a Lockheed McDonnell. Such a plane doesn’t really exist and the name is a mixture of two real-life company names connected with aviation – but then someone, probably on the Cabin Pressure comm, discovered that there are Lockheed Martin aircraft and there are McDonnell Douglas aircraft, which is why clever John Finnemore gave the two pilots those names in the first place. So when I decided to make this fic almost-slash, I came up with this title. Cryptic much?!

Thanks to verityburns, who came up with part of the storyline, especially in relation to the actual confession.

Now translated into Danish and German - both translations done by the brilliant teejod, who persevered beyond the call of duty to find suitable translations of the all-essential last five words.

6th-Nov-2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
First of all, leave it to you to invent a Whole. New. Type. Of. Fic. How creative is that? When you explained it in email, I thought, "That GERTI restriction is going to be hard to pull off, linguistically. That's not for amateurs." And then you sweep on to the last sentence in your fic and it's not only perfectly in character but simultaneously elegant and charming. Plus it fits so naturally into the fic that I forgot all about the restriction until I went to reread it. You're amazing.

And now, some favorite lines:

“It’s not like I’m offering to tuck you up in bed and read you a story once we get up there." Ooooh. Please change your mind about this, Douglas.

Why do I love it so much that Douglas calls Martin "Sir" in your fic? Is it that it's show canon? Is it Douglas's wry self-awareness? Is it the sexual overtones when taken out of context? No idea, but it *works.*

I love that Douglas picks Martin up bridal-style. Well, with all those wives, he's had practice.

“It’s about time you got yourself a nice young man to look after you.” All right! It's ON.

"I’m not interested in young men.” Excuse me, did I say it was on, previously? I was mistaken. NOW it's on. *fans self*

Oh, God, Martin is so sweet and bumbling and vulnerable and romantic. “You don’t mean it.” Heart-breaking. He's so used to rejection.

This is a triumph. I hope Martin got his bedtime story, plus anything else he was up for.
12th-Nov-2011 05:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you, sweetie! Even I was starting to think that the idea would never work and, although I had the last five words, I couldn't come up with the rest of the story to go with them for ages, so I'm relieved that it was worth persevering with it.

Heaven knows whether I'll ever be inspired to come up with another GERTI, though!
6th-Nov-2011 06:56 pm (UTC)
Gosh! Everything really ties in to canon in that. So clever. And so sweet.

Would like to see Douglas reading Martin flight manuals to get him to sleep though!
12th-Nov-2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

With a voice like Douglas', I think that even if he was reading flight manuals to me, I would not be thinking about sleeping!
6th-Nov-2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
Aaaaah, this is a very lovely fic ; I love this moment when the UST is at last, er, resolved. You make it both sweet and funny, and Douglas and Martin are quite IC.

The girlfriends aren’t really your area and the touching the other through his clothes while looking for something he asked for things remind me of something vaguely but I can't put my finger on it ; oh well, it's probably something you never heard about anyway.

And oh my God you've invented a new writing concept, you clever girl. Can we hope you'll write another GERTI ? I know you said this one is probably the last one, but I think I've got every reason to inquire. Ha ! Did you see what I just did ? *looks very smug* Oh wait, wait. But of course you've got every right to idle. *blows up with smugness. Yeah, I know, pathetic*
12th-Nov-2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I think that the reason it took me so long to get this story off the ground (did you see the aviation joke I did there ...?!! *Ahem* Never mind ...) was because I was rather worried about whether I could channel Douglas enough to make him believable, so I'm glad that it seems to have worked.

You're cleverer than me - either that, or you're seeing things that aren't there. I genuinely did not intend the 'fingers moving through the clothes' bit to be a rip-off of a certain Sherlock episode ... though now I come to think of it, I really should have realised that I was plagiarising someone else's work!
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12th-Nov-2011 05:40 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you. I'm chuffed to bits that I managed to keep the boys in-character, cos that was what I was most worried about.
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6th-Nov-2011 10:18 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this! SUCH a clever notion - the GERTI - too! Excellent ficcery!
12th-Nov-2011 05:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
7th-Nov-2011 10:27 am (UTC)
I do love your cleverness, and a GERTI just takes the biscuit - as mirith said, writing a fic is one thing, creating a whole new type is something else again :D

Douglas picking Martin up was brilliant, the 'Sir of Sirs' perfection, and the whole relationship between them beautiful. I love the description of Martin's expression being 'full of hope and previously-hidden longing', that's wonderfully poignant.

I hope that other people write a GERTI, but I fear you may have set the bar too high!
12th-Nov-2011 05:42 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure that I will be writing another GERTI - I suspect that I may have suffered from immediate burn-out! It would be fun if the idea took off, though, wouldn't it? (*inserts gratuitous and unintentional aviation metaphor*)
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12th-Nov-2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
Aww, that is really nice of you to say that! Thanks so much.

And my apologies for confusing your husband!
11th-Nov-2011 03:06 am (UTC)
That was wonderful! Love the situation you devised to bring the two together. The carrying image was fun and sweet and a good metaphor to boot. And I loved loved loved your ending, Martin's confession and Douglass' creative excuse for a kiss.
12th-Nov-2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
12th-Nov-2011 07:55 pm (UTC)
I'm going to have to listen to the canon for this series sometime very soon, because the fic is dragging me in.

This was lovely. But boy, the requirements for a GERTI are quite... er... wow. And you did it!
12th-Nov-2011 09:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And you really must listen to the series, because it's adorably funny and the characters are wonderful!
12th-Nov-2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
I had to laugh as soon as I saw the title. My father worked for each company back in the 50s before any of the mergers- I don't know what he'd make of slash [probably be amused, he was a psychologist and worked in the same department as Kinsey for a while] but he'd've enjoyed the idea of the names.

And then, I like the fic! well done, you!
12th-Nov-2011 10:55 pm (UTC)
This is absolutely glorious! I'm grinning like a lunatic right now :-D
12th-Jan-2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
I've just started hearing Cabin Pressure on YouTube this past month. I loved this fic, it's very nicely done. And the last words, wow. You're a genius.
23rd-Jan-2012 07:00 am (UTC)
You... you... have "Cabin Pressure" fic?!
I might never leave your site!

*lights incense on her newly-erected Ariane DeVere shrine*
6th-Feb-2012 03:55 pm (UTC)
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