Watching planes, in Douglas’ reliable and esteemed opinion, was not what two pilots should do on their single day off in a fortnight. But after Martin had surprised Douglas by working up the courage to ask him on a date—not a proper date, mind you, just sandwiches at the airfield, but the intention was there—and Douglas had surprised himself by saying yes, watching planes was exactly what they were doing.
Douglas had provided the sandwiches, of course, because he didn’t quite fancy Martin spending the extra money, and they were delicious sandwiches indeed. Martin had brought a picnic blanket and a carton of pineapple juice, which even Douglas had to admit was oddly romantic, and they’d whiled away the hours pointing out 747s and the occasional Lockheed McDonnell. But now it had been a good twenty minutes since they’d seen anything take off or land, and Douglas’ reservoir of plane-related word games was running dry. He turned his head to look at Martin, who was lying beside him and still scanning the sky for any hint of an aeroplane.
“Martin, did you by any chance happen to check the weather forecast for tonight?” He watched with amusement as Martin’s face went through the five stages of grief within about three seconds, starting with opening his mouth to insist that he had actually checked the weather, thank you very much, and ending with realizing that he hadn’t and there was nothing he could do about it and it was going to rain like hell.
“No,” Martin decided, eventually. “No, I didn’t.”
Douglas shook his head, trying not to chuckle, and rolled onto his side to pull out his phone and check—“Yes, as a matter of fact, we’ve got a ninety percent chance of thunderstorms in the next hour.” From his new position, he was in the perfect place to see Martin’s face crumple with disappointment. And he was having a lovely time, really. Why bother stopping now? “But I think we could stay here for just a little longer. There’s always that ten percent, and the weather does have a habit of doing nice things for Douglas Richardson.” With that, he reached carefully for Martin’s hand, running his thumb along the back of it.
The storm hit ten minutes later. There were clouds for just a moment, and then the heavens quite literally opened up, soaking the pilots and their sandwiches to the bones and the meat, respectively. Martin just sighed, pulling his hand away from Douglas’.
“This is just my luck, isn’t it?” Martin was looking up into the sky, refusing to make eye contact.
“Well, it certainly isn’t mine.” Douglas grimaced at Martin’s rain-soaked cheek. “Look at me, Martin.” When he finally did, Douglas wasn’t entirely sure whether the water in his eyes was from the rain. “If you think I’d be put off by some rain, you have severely underestimated me. Between your terrible luck and my wonderful luck, surely we can find something comfortably in the middle.”
Martin had just opened his mouth to form an undoubtedly awkward retort when he found something on his lips, something soft and wet with rainwater and tasting of sandwiches. He peeked one eye open—and when had they closed?—to see Douglas’ face just centimeters from his own, looking at him with an expression Martin had never seen before. “How’s that, then?” Douglas asked, brushing away an errant lock of hair from Martin’s brow.
Martin nodded slowly, breaking out into a grin. “That’s a fair sight better than comfortably in the middle. Now what do you say we get out of this storm?”