The Best Days Of Her Life by Kittenmommy [Reviews - 3] |
British Airways does not belong to me. I have never had the privilege of flying BA, so I hope I haven't gotten anything wrong. Yes, I did look up what drinks are served aboard their flights. If I'm wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me!
Doctor Who belongs to the BBC and I'm not making any money from this.
This fic takes place immediately after the events of "Into The Dalek".
Additional notes at the end!
The announcement comes over the intercom: “Flight attendants, doors to arrival, crosscheck and all-call.”
Tegan Jovanka slowly makes her way up the aisle of the darkened first class cabin, checking that everyone’s tray tables are in the full upright and locked position.
”Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are now on our final approach to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.”
Tegan stops and leans over, her brown bob swinging under her blue British Airways uniform cap. “Sir, please turn off and stow away your iPad.”
The man in the business suit scowls up at her but does as he’s told.
She makes her way back to her jumpseat and straps herself in for landing.
The plane jostles as the wheels touch down. For a moment, they seem to be going impossibly fast on the ground, but then the plane jerks to a stop.
”Flight attendants, doors to arrival and crosscheck.”
As the plane begins to taxi toward the gate, Tegan hears a commotion from back in the coach class cabin: An angry male voice querulously demanding… something. She can’t quite make out the words, but she gets the impression of a Scottish accent.
”Ladies and gentlemen, we are now taxiing your aircraft to your gate, which will be Gate A-19. That’s Gate Alpha One-Niner. If you have a connecting flight, a British Airways gate agent will be at the top of the jetway to assist you. On behalf of myself and my first officer, as well as my flight crew, thank you for choosing British Airways and we hope you have a pleasant stay here in Atlanta or wherever your final destination may be.”
As soon as the “fasten seatbelt” sign winks off and the main cabin lights flicker on, the sound of seatbelts clicking open fills the cabin as the plane finally taxis to a stop. Passengers immediately begin to gather their belongings and jump to their feet. Small screens light up as electronic devices are activated.
“I need my box!” a male voice shouts from back in coach. It’s irate — oh yeah — and definitely Scottish-accented, and it sounds more than a little inebriated.
Tegan sighs and rolls her eyes.
Another one, she thinks as she unbuckles her seatbelt and stands. She makes her way into the tiny first class galley to begin inventory.
“Going for drinks?” Connie asks as she sidles up to Tegan.
“Too right!” Tegan agrees with enthusiasm.
“You hitting the bar or off loading?”
Tegan glances down at the small bottles of airplane booze and laughs. “Hitting the bar, I think.”
Slowly, the passengers begin to deplane. Bill, one of the younger flight attendants, has moved to the front of the plane and is wishing them well on behalf of British Airways as they exit the aircraft.
“I need it! You’ve got to give it to me!” the loud Scotsman from coach insists angrily. Tegan can hear another flight attendant — Jessica, she thinks — speaking quietly, trying to placate him.
“There’s one on every flight,” Connie murmurs to Tegan, who laughs.
“Yeah. Just glad that one was in steerage!”
Finally, Jessica and Paul appear from the coach class cabin, dragging the irate, alcohol-marinated Scotsman between them.
For a moment, Tegan can’t look away.
He’s tall, with greying hair. His very aggressive-looking eyebrows are furrowed above piercing blue eyes that seem to peer into her very soul. He’s dressed in a white shirt that’s buttoned up to his chin, black trousers, and a long black coat lined in red.
He’s clutching a half-empty bottle of very nice scotch in one hand and Tegan briefly wonders where he got it; British Airways doesn’t serve Glenlivet.
How on Earth did he get that aboard? she wonders. Then she shrugs: Oh well, not my problem, she thinks, and turns away.
Suddenly — lightning-quick! — he’s shrugged off his two bewildered minders and he’s there, right there, all up in Tegan’s personal space and breathing his cool Glenlivet-breath down on her.
“You!” He yells, pointing an accusing finger right in her face.
Tegan flinches back, eyes wide.
“I dinna mean ta do it,” he tells her with what sounds like utter sincerity and real regret. “You’ve got ta believe me! It wasn’t supposed ta happen like that! It was supposed ta fix them! It wasn’t supposed ta kill them all!”
Tegan is speechless in the face of this absolute insanity.
Thankfully, Paul finds his voice:
“All right, come on you,” he says, and grabs the man’s arm again. Jessica takes his other arm and for a moment, the drunken passenger appears to be willing to be led away, unresisting.
But then he turns back and pins Tegan with his icy blue gaze.
“Am I a good man, Tegan Jovanka?” he demands, and the intensity of his stare is unnerving.
Her mouth drops open.
“I… I don’t know, sir,” she finally manages to stammer out. And since she feels like she should say something else, she smiles and adds: “Thank you for flying British Airways. I hope you had a pleasant fight.”
He stares at her like she’s suddenly grown a second head.
“A pleasant flight?” he repeats dubiously. “A pleasant flight? You’ve no bloody idea, have ya?”
He breaks into laughter that Tegan thinks sounds a bit crazed, and finally allows Paul and Jessica to lead him away.
“Wooo,” Connie breathes out as they watch the man being hustled off. “What a nutter!”
“Drunk wanker,” Tegan agrees, and turns back to her work of inventorying and organizing the galley.
“Hey,” Paul says, taking a seat next to Tegan at the bar. The A-Bar is packed tonight, but she and Connie have saved Paul and Jessica seats.
“Got that drunk wanker all sorted?” she asked, taking a sip of her screwdriver.
“Yeah. You should’ve seen him at U.S. Customs, raving about his checked luggage like some kind of mental case. I left him to their tender mercies!”
“There’s one nutter who’ll never fly British Airways again!” Connie says, nodding sagely.
“We can hope,” Jessica agrees, settling on the bar stool next to Paul. She leans over and catches the bartender’s attention. “Jameson’s, neat.”
Some idiotic pop song about booming and clapping comes to an end. “Thank God. I can finally hear myself think!” Tegan says, and finishes her screwdriver.
“Kept yelling about his box,” Paul says. The bartender sets Jessica’s drink down and gives Paul a questioning look. “Red wine, please. Whatever you’ve got.”
The bartender nods and wanders off.
Bryan Adams begins to sing about how he bought his first real six string at the five-and-dime.
“Oh, you should’ve heard him!” Jessica says, laughing.
“Oh, when I look back now,
That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice,
Yeah, I’d always wanna be there.
Those were the best days of my life.”
“What?” Tegan asks, distracted.
“Have ya lost it?” Jessica demands, putting on a fairly good Scottish accent. “I need my blue box!”
Before this remark can register, Connie asks, “Tegan, how did he know your name?”
Tegan laughs. “He read my nametag, of course!”
“No,” Paul suddenly says. “He called you Tegan Jovanka.” He points at her nametag.
It reads Tegan. No last name, just like all of their nametags.
Suddenly, it all comes together in Tegan’s head.
“Oh my God,” she whispers, her brown eyes huge.
“Hey, are you all right?” Connie asks, concerned. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“You’ve no idea,” she says.
She jumps to her feet, fumbles in her purse and tosses some bills down on the bar without looking at the amount or even what kind of currency it is. She reaches down and grabs the handle of her rolling suitcase.
“Sorry, must dash!” she exclaims over her shoulder as she takes off down the concourse in the direction of U.S. Customs.
“What was that all about?” Paul wonders, sipping his wine.
”You told me that it'd last forever
Oh and when you held my hand,
I knew that it was now or never
Those were the best days of my life.”
“Dunno,” Connie says, shrugging. “She’s aways been a bit of an odd duck, that one.”
As Tegan fairly flies into the U.S. Customs area, panting and out of breath, she hears a distinctive wheezing, groaning sound followed by American-accented exclamations of disbelief.
She collapses bonelessly to the floor. She puts her arms around her rolling bag, resting her forehead against it and breathing heavily. People pulling suitcases and carrying luggage move past her, swerving to avoid her without really seeing her. This is the busiest airport in the world, after all, and they have places to be.
It is a very long time before she gets up and moves on.
ADDITIONAL: I don't know why, but I can totally see Twelve dropping Clara off for her date and then just completely and utterly falling apart. Hmm. YMMV, of course.
"Boom, Clap" belongs to Charli XCX. When I first stuck it in there, it was just a stupid pop song I'd heard on the radio this morning. Now, having listened more carefully to it, I'm struck by how well it actually fits.
"Summer of '69" belongs to Bryan Adams.