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“It was humiliating, Douglas. I was a stranger at my own brother’s funeral!”
Douglas looked up from hefting the luggage into the cargo hold, for once not complaining about Martin not doing his share (which seems to usually be Douglas’ share too). “Well, at least your first flight back will be a nice peaceful trip. Nothing interesting ever happens in Switzerland.”
Martin nodded, distracted before suddenly scrambling to do his part in the lifting. But with one passenger it was mostly just their bags. “What’s the name of…”
“Sigerson, I think. It was all a bit last minute, wasn’t it?”
“Mmm…Douglas, do you mind if I, uh…wait in the flight deck? I mean, not wait, I will do being some,ah, preliminary checks and the like, you know…pilot…pilot stuff.”
“Of course, Martin, take all the time you need.”
Martin made it up the steps before turning back. “Douglas? Could you stop being so…”
“…being, sir? I’m not being anything at all.”
“NICE, Douglas, you’re being nice. It’s….odd. I think it will be easier if we just do things the usual way. Get back into the swing of things. Return to life as normal. All right?”
“…..if that’s what you want, sir.”
“It is. I think. Thank you. Call me out when he gets here, I’ll come greet him.”
“All right. Oh, and Martin? Tissues in the locker.”
“…….thank you, Douglas.”
“Skip! Passenger’s here, come out to greet him?” Arthur popped his head into the flight deck.
Martin looked up and hastily wiped his face. Arthur had the grace to say nothing as he followed Martin down the steps.
The man approaching them wore a wide brimmed hat, dark glasses and a tight lipped expression. He limped with a cane, black and decorated, leaning heavily on it in a way that spoke of pain. His stride was long and quick despite this. He looked over the plane with disinterest, which wasn’t the usual customer response. Douglas strode beside and slightly behind, no doubt being very clever. However, it didn’t seem that the guest was very interested in what Douglas had to say.
Martin sighed. Sherlock, no doubt, would have an awful lot to say about this man. Probably some anecdote about his shoe still or something.
“Ah, here we are,” Douglas said as they approached. “Arthur Shappey, steward, and Martin Crieff, Captain. And this of course, is Mr. Sigerson, passenger.”
Sigerson nodded and extended a hand. “Captain.”
Martin reached out and punched the man straight across the face, sending glasses and hat flying.
Martin didn’t OFTEN hit people. Simon had always been the bully that way, and he hadn’t been in a physically fight with Sherlock since they were both barely pubescent. He’d never seen Mycroft hit anybody. Mummy-Holmes wouldn’t have approved. She was very French that way. But Martin had been in a few fights since. He tended to reach the end of his rope and then snap. He’d hit that boy in Helsinki, he’d taken a swing at Douglas once, and now he’d punched a dead man.
He looked down at him, fist raised as though to hit him again. But his fury was already fading into a shaking fear.
“I suppose I deserved that,” Sherlock cast his eyes away, rubbing his red cheek. Martin was too distracted to notice how genuinely upset his half-brother was.
“What….What the bloody hell…”
“No, NO, Sherlock, you’ve been dead for WEEKS and then you show up here like—! Just expect me to take you to Switzerland without so much as a-!” Martin shook, his fist his shoulders and his head. “No! No no no you can’t treat me like this! I won’t, I can’t, NO, Sherlock!”
Martin turned on his heel and started away, back towards the plane. Douglas and Arthur stared unashamedly, quite frozen in place. Sherlock however scrambled forward.
Sherlock had not called Martin “Sherry” since before he left for university. At least, not in a tone that was anything short of mocking. Sherringford was a bit of a mouthful, after all, especially for a young boy with a lisp. So come summer, Martin was Sherry. And Sherlock was…
“…I-I…I need your help, Sherry. Please.”
Martin regarded him seriously. With a sigh he started up the steps again. “All right, Sherly, come on. You can tell me on the way. No doubt Mycroft is expecting you in Switzerland.”
((This is the script I wrote for a comic, but decided I didn’t want to draw so much angst))