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Cabin Pressure Fanfic: A Hundred Miles of Hostile Jungle - CaffieneKittySpace
('i' before 'e' if you're looking for me)
Cabin Pressure Fanfic: A Hundred Miles of Hostile Jungle
Title: A Hundred Miles of Hostile Jungle
Fandom: Cabin Pressure
Alternate posting:AO3
Disclaimer: I did not create, nor do I own these characters or their world.
Word Count: 1740-ish
Rating: GEN, PG-15/Teen (Dark themes)
Content/Warnings: Depression/Suicide. Discussions of a suicidal nature, depictions of depression, self-hatred, details of active suicide planning. Therapy issues, and inaccurate depictions of mental health care under the NHS system. If reading any of these subjects in a fictional context might harm you, please skip this story.
A/N under cut.

Summary: Martin has given up on himself because he thinks everyone else has too.

Notes: Title from this webcomic. Based on a prompt/reprompt on the Cabin Pressure meme. The prompt hit on something personal for me and the story veered off-prompt somewhat. I've had this mostly complete since June 2012 but I couldn't quite finish it and was afraid to post it anyway so I set it aside until now. Still very nervous about posting this. May be edited or deleted without notice. I have previously written on similar themes in this and other fandoms and again, I've tried not to treat the subject matter in this story too lightly, or too preachily. Many will consider this OOC for the characters. If you or anyone you know is suicidal, talking about it with someone you can trust is a good start.

A Hundred Miles of Hostile Jungle
by CaffieneKitty

Martin put the Boots bag down on his dresser, next to the two full pill bottles.

Jeremy had laughed. Martin had finally told him about that fight with his father, the last one, the week before his Dad's death, and Jeremy had laughed. Then he'd requested another prescription for Martin, the third he'd asked for in a span of three weeks. Martin had had an excuse ready that he'd lost the previous slip, or that bottle was confiscated and dumped by really thick airport security, but Jeremy didn't care. Wasn't even paying attention.

He'd laughed. "Don't be ridiculous, Martin, all kids fight with their dads."

Martin had swallowed, hand clenching around the third slip. "I wanted to- to ask. You said there was a group? Sort of a talking group I might be able to-"

Jeremy had laughed again. "Oh that. No no no, Martin, you'd be no good in that, it's for people with actual problems."

Martin hadn't been able to breathe. His chest and throat tightened as Jeremy continued laughing.

"I- I'm sorry then," Martin had said, not meaning asking about the group. Sorry for not being broken enough to bother fixing.

"No, no problem, just keep up your meds, take a walk now and then. Eat some fruit. You fly all over the bloody world! Enjoy it!"

Martin had mumbled something and escaped.

In his room now he opened the Boots bag, setting the third pill bottle down next to the other two. The pharmacist had queried his frequent refills, but the drug he was on wasn't something people took for fun or sold on the street, so she didn't bat an eye at Martin's scattershot tale of another bottle accidentally tipped into the toilet.

He squared the three bottles along the edge of the dresser, turning them so the labels all faced out. The physician's name was different on all of them, simply whichever GP was writing prescriptions for the therapists' office that day. The name of his therapist and the medication was the same, along with the ubiquitous, 'Martin Crieff. Thrice daily.'

Martin had looked the medication up on the internet. It wasn't one of the ones that was easy to make go wrong. Some of the medication available, even the cheese tray would make them turn toxic. However, the medication prescribed for him was comparatively innocuous; the lethal dose level for humans that was so high he'd have better luck choking himself to death on the bottles than he would poisoning himself on the pills.

Martin took a paper bag labeled in German from his carry-on, and another with Arabic writing from his top dresser drawer. Nothing illegal, just substances that were harder to find in the UK that really didn't get along with his prescription. Douglas had even helped him find the stuff he'd bought in Germany with nothing more than a pensive look. Martin had said he needed them to sleep; he just omitted to say for how long.

He pulled a small glass bottle full of a dark viscous liquid from one bag and a white plastic bottle labeled "Naturheilmittel" from the other, placing them in the row like asymmetrical bookends. He brought the final large bottle out of his flight bag - the cheapest vodka available from the Berlin duty-free - and put it behind the row. Finally, he set a small pack of anti-nausea tablets beside the lot; none of this would work if he couldn't keep it down. Martin took a step back, looked over the assembly. It almost covered the top of his small dresser. It had to be enough. He couldn't cock this up.

"Hey Martin!" came a shout from the bottom of his stairwell. Martin jumped. One of the students. He'd thought they were all out for the weekend.

Flustered, Martin shouted back. "What?"

"Bloke here to see you, on his way up." Footsteps sounded on the stairs.

God. Martin panicked, grabbed the blanket from his small bed and threw it over the assembled medication and alcohol. The sudden weight of the blanket tipped the bottles over - rattling, sloshing and rolling off the dresser - as Martin's attic door swung open.

Douglas stood in the doorway, head brushing the top of the doorframe.

"Douglas! It's not- I..." Martin trailed off, swallowing and avoiding Douglas' even gaze. The faint clatter of another pill bottle sliding out from under the blanket broke the awkward silence.

Douglas bent to pick up the vodka bottle that had rolled to his foot. "Planning a party without me, Martin?" His voice was soft and sad, rather than his usual verve.

"Douglas- I- I- I..." Martin was suddenly furious. "Get out! Just- Just get out! I see enough of your, your smug fatuous face at work, I don't need to see it here!"

Still holding the bottle, Douglas closed Martin's door and stepped further into the small room. "I rather think you do."

"Just- stay out of my business!" Martin's chest had tightened again, and tears prickled in his eyes. Don't cry, don't cry, you sodding worthless-

"You asked me which were the strongest herbal sleeping pills that wouldn't cause problems with customs." Douglas bent to pick up the still-sealed bottle labelled in German. "I saw you buy them, but you didn't take one while we were in Berlin."

"Didn't need to after all." Martin's chin ticked up defensively, his hands clenching and unclenching.

"Judging by the wrestling match you were having with the blankets in your bed, yes, you did. Then you stopped at the duty free for their biggest bottle of Zaranoff." The vodka sloshed in Douglas's hand. "Either you were planning on sedating and embalming a small elephant, or-"

"It's fine! Everything's fine, Douglas!" Martin fought to breathe past the tightness in his chest. "I just- I just-"

Douglas nudged another pill bottle with his foot, rattling the contents, and raised an eyebrow.

The breath went out of Martin in a long gust. He sat suddenly on the edge of his bed and buried his face in his hands. "Oh god, oh god, oh god."

It was worse than over now. Douglas had stopped him from ending it all, and would report the attempt. He'd tell Carolyn, who would let him go. He'd lose his pilot's license; no one wants to fly in a plane with a suicidal pilot. He'd lose everything, and still be alive, probably forced into more sessions with laughing Jeremy.

The bed dipped next to him. "Please Martin. Tell me what's wrong."

Douglas hadn't left. Of course Douglas hadn't left, he was gathering more proof of what a useless waste of a person Martin Crieff was.

"Shouldn't have stopped me," Martin muttered. "Either way, you'd've been Captain."

"You aren't making sense Martin."

Bit by bit, it came out. Feeling down, then lethargic, not enjoying things anymore, even flying. Going to his GP for an assessment, a referral and a prescription, waiting for an opening with a therapist. Thinking everything would start to get better when he was booked an appointment. Then the horrid sessions with therapist "Call Me Jeremy" Atherton laughing and proving to Martin over and over that the only problem with Martin was Martin.

As he continued speaking, he felt something lift a little, like a cloud with a freshening breeze. Something giving up, going into freefall.

Beside him, Martin felt Douglas go stiller and stiller as his recitation of pills and therapy and more pills, all the effort he'd put in really trying to get well and failing, carried on to his inevitable failure to even attempt suicide never mind commit it. Martin wound down, hunched on himself, shaking with every breath, waiting for Douglas to... well. Be Douglas. Say something hilarious and gutting to put a full stop on Martin's pathetic excuse of a life.

"Martin. This therapist." Douglas's voice was tight. "Do you have his card?"

Martin sighed, picked a bottle of pills off the floor by his feet and handed it to Douglas. "There. His name and the clinic number is on that, under the prescribing physician's. Now you can tell him directly that I'm suicidal and get me sectioned. Wonderful."

"That's not-" Douglas looked around the small room at the bottles on the floor and ran a hand over his face. "Martin, I have a therapist too."

Martin blinked. "You what?"

"A therapist. I have one. I didn't quit drinking alcohol on my own, and between one thing and another I've kept seeing her once a month. Twice for a while after Helena."

"But... you?"

"Yes, fine. I'm showing you a crack in my facade of perfection. That's all it is, Martin. That's all it is for anyone; a facade." Douglas pulled a worn card from his wallet. "Take this."

"I've got a bloody therapist," Martin snapped. "I don't need another one explaining to me how I'm worthless and over-reacting-"

"You're not! My god, Martin! If I hadn't been a paranoid busy-body, sticking my nose in, you'd be full of pills and excerably bad vodka by now! Whatever is bothering you, if it's enough to make you feel like-" Douglas's firm voice broke. "-committing suicide, it is most certainly not nothing! Any therapist worth the name, hell, any friend should know that!"

"Friends. I don't have any-"


Martin sniffed. "I don't have any of those either, or I'd've done it long ago."

"Martin. What I'm saying is that your therapist is wrong. Also bad, dangerous and possibly evil." Douglas shook the worn card at Martin again. "Call mine. I'll call her today and tell her you're a friend of mine who's looking for a new therapist. Nothing more."

"I have to go to Atherton," Martin muttered. "I've been referred. He's the only one that would have me so soon."

"Look, if you tell Adrienne what you told me about your therapist, she can work things out with NHS or IAPT and possibly even see to it that your current 'therapist' doesn't get anyone referred to him again."

"I-" Martin looked down at the card in his hand, rubbing a thumb over the fuzzed corner.

"Martin, what this fool of a therapist is doing to you is the opposite of helping. And you deserve to get help when you ask for it. You deserve better."

Unable to speak, breathing rough, Martin shook his head.

"You do." Douglas eased an arm around his Captain's shoulders. "You are a good and worthy person, not to mention someone I'd like to think of as a good friend. And I'm always right, remember?"

The warm weight of Douglas's arm and the genuine caring behind the gesture broke Martin down into shuddering sobs. Douglas wordlessly wrapped his other arm around Martin and held him until his tears stopped.

- - -
(that's all. *verrrry nervous*)

Tags: , , , ,
Current Mood: nervous nervous

15 comments or Leave a comment
shadowangele89 From: shadowangele89 Date: November 17th, 2013 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)
You have absolutly no reason to be nervous! I loved it! I would like to see how Martin goes on after Douglas knows...
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: November 17th, 2013 04:48 am (UTC) (Link)
It will be awkward now and then, but I think having Douglas aware of what's going on will give Martin a bit more stability and someone to talk to who knows.
alltoseek From: alltoseek Date: November 17th, 2013 02:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey, Douglas gave Martin a stick! Let's hope Martin doesn't use it to beat Douglas ;-)

I liked this story; I hope you leave it up. I think it is as IC as you can get with such a serious subject treated seriously, in fanfic for a show that is such a silly comedy. I thought Douglas' nosy busybodying was IC enough (he would notice) and Martin's initial reaction was spot-on.

I've met some bad therapists in my time but none so bad as Jeremy! Sheesh, he's awful :P
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: November 17th, 2013 04:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I think I'll leave it up unless it attracts wank or trolls.

Jeremy was a very bad therapist indeed, and no one ever needs to have one like him. :-/
embroiderama From: embroiderama Date: November 17th, 2013 05:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know Cabin Pressure well, beyond reading some fic, but I like this a lot and I think that you handled the subject well.

caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: November 17th, 2013 10:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, and thanks for reading it despite being unfamiliar wit the series.
random_nexus From: random_nexus Date: November 17th, 2013 06:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I, also, think you did very well with this and I hope you can leave it up. In my head-canon, Douglas does his sneaky best and gets Jeremy not only 'fired' but brought up on charges.

Well done, I very much enjoyed!
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: November 17th, 2013 10:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I'll be leaving it up unless it attracts wank or trolling. Douglas would make sure that many unpleasant things happened for Jeremy.
ciaranbochna From: ciaranbochna Date: November 17th, 2013 08:22 am (UTC) (Link)
This is wonderful, and does not sound out of character at all (made me tea up, so you know). It is a theme that bears repeating. Part of the reason I try to write about it too.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: November 17th, 2013 10:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yep. Like the quote says: "All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or
tell a story about them." :-)
ciaranbochna From: ciaranbochna Date: November 18th, 2013 02:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Indeed:) I should also refrain from posting when tired (spelling--oi!)
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: November 18th, 2013 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I like the phrase "tea up" though. It's like armoring up for mental/emotional combat or something. :-)
ciaranbochna From: ciaranbochna Date: November 18th, 2013 06:52 am (UTC) (Link)
It does sound like that...lol.
q4746 From: q4746 Date: February 8th, 2014 08:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
This was an absolute delight to read, literally crying over it, I hope you keep writing your very good at it.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: February 9th, 2014 07:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm very glad you liked it. *hands tissues*
15 comments or Leave a comment