Farrier’s toolbox, 1900.
For the prompt thing, could you do “Just breathe, okay?” and/or “Why are you naked?” for Collins/Farrier? (with farrier saying them both) :P
Hey! I went with the second one, bc I already write angst by default lmao, so I wanted to try my hand at something else. Thank you for requesting it, and I hope it’s not too bad!
It was quite unglamorous, the first time they met. Collins was a young Scot among a bunch of Englishmen, and just as immature as schoolboys, they had to kill time in the spare hours in between training. It was only natural that he found himself quite often being the target of their boredom. But there was a limit to everything, Collins thought.
“Come on lads!” he groans, clenching his hand around the locker handle. An empty locker, this time. And no towels around to be seen. “Alright, yes, very funny. Can I ‘ave ‘em back now?” He looks around in the empty and steamy shower-room and sees no-one.
He sits alone for a good five minutes, awkward and cloth-less, waiting for them to be done with their impractical pranks. But no-one comes back and he starts getting cold as the steam begins to fade away.
“For fuck’s sake” he curses under his breath as he stands up and makes his way to the corridor. He peeks out the empty hallway. If he makes a run for it, he’s sure he can make it to his room in a couple of minutes. Not without the possibility of slipping and breaking his neck, though. He is, after all, dripping water.
He could always just sit and wait, someone ought to need a shower soon, and a towel and clothes as well. Waiting would mean turning up late for his theoretical lesson, however, and that is something that he cannot afford to miss, this being the Royal fucking Air Force and all.
“I’ll have yer heads” he mutters, before looking left and right again and stepping out on the chill.
It’s a long corridor and three sets of stairs until his shared dormitory, and he’s lucky enough not to run into anyone for the majority of his hurried trip. He runs past a couple of opened doors and bears with mocking laughter but is starting to think that he’s out on the clear just when he reaches the last set of stairs and spots someone coming up. The triumphant smile fades away immediately, and he regrets feeling so cheery on the spot.
Never count your eggs before they hatch, his grand-father used to tell him.
He retrieves back into the corridor with a nervous gasp. Those uniform colours mean a rank high up above any of the men he’s had the opportunity to even strike a conversation with, so far. He looks back to the hall with longing, knowing there’s no way in the world he can make it out of sight before the man reaches the top of the stairs.
Fainting. He shakes his head. Ridiculous. That’s not something he can simply get away with, and even so, in the very unlikely scenario of it working, it still wouldn’t explain why he was roaming the corridors with no clothes on.
He’ll know it’s a prank, Collins decides. Hell, we’re all men here, and men are fucking stupid. Maybe he won’t see my face if I hurry down.
He shakes the thought away.
Oh, he’ll see your face alright, when he’s picking up your sorry ass after you’ve slipped and cracked your skull open on that banister.
He leans on the wall, letting out a helpless sigh and covering himself up with both hands. And that’s exactly the image that greets the other man, when he steps into the corridor. Collins almost thinks he hasn’t seen him, eyes down to his opened book, but the men does halt. And looks at him as he lowers his book with tortuous calmness.
They lock eyes, and his handsome superior raises both eyebrows as if offended by the sight. He slowly crosses his arms on his chest, and Collins can feel himself go red from head to toe. A human tomato. It doesn’t help at all that he’s pale as a corpse.
The silence goes on for too long until Collins can’t take it anymore, it feels like a painful dagger to his stomach.
“Uh…” he blurts out nervously, under the scrutinizing gaze of the man, then he looks down to himself as if searching for an explanation. He looks back up and opens his mouth to say something, anything, excuse himself in any way. His mind goes blank.
“Name and rank” a deep voice demands, and Collins can feel his soul leaving his body.
He’s opening his mouth to answer when the man lifts up a hand to stop him.
“Actually, just your name will do” he adds, with the same stoic expression and matter-of-factly manner.
Fair enough, Jack thinks, and he’s determined to look unflinching now, so he straightens up and clears his throat.
“Collins, sir, Jack.” he nods to himself, already preparing to accept whatever punishment is deemed appropriate.
“Care to explain why you are naked, Mr. Collins?”
“Aye sir, I lost my clothes sir.” Collins answers promptly, and takes a quick glance to the man’s sleeves. Three light-blue bands.
When he looks back up, he sees the blue-eyed man giving him a once-over, and he can’t help but swallow down sheepishly. He wants to move, but fights down the impulse. He’ll stay right here, like an obedient puppy, lest he add more reasons for the commander to have him sent home for good.
Insubordination. Kicked out before even finishing training. They would cross his name out of the family tree, no doubt.
“Lost your clothes” the man repeats, with a voice that denotes lack of satisfaction. It must feel like he’s mocking him, Collins realizes with alarm, and starts to panic. He can’t exactly spill the beans on his mates however, god knows what the consequences of that would be.
“Aye sir” The Wing Commander steps closer, hands still crossed on his chest as he smiles at Collins, who can’t decide if the smirk is utterly terrifying or utterly arousing, and if that’s not the most inconvenient thing that could happen right now…
“And, pray enlighten me, where exactly did you last see these clothes?”
Collins can’t take the stare, so he has to glance away.
He hesitates to answer.
“In my… locker sir”
“What’s that?” He makes a face and leans closer, and Collins realizes he’s been slowly hunching down.
“In my locker, sir” he speaks up, as he straightens up and looks forward, hands in between his legs still.
His superior nods in understanding, and takes a look at the long corridor behind him as if in deep thought. Collins is cursing him internally, because he can hear a group of men about to turn the corner and come right in front, and the staircase behind is the only viable way of avoiding them.
When the man looks back to him, Jack doesn’t give a damn anymore, he shows him the most pitiful and desperate look he can muster and hopes that he his merciful. He doesn’t make a move to leave, though, and the Wing Commander stares at him with a hint of amusement for too long.
Just ten more seconds and he’ll never live this down… Everyone gets a nickname in here.
“Better keep a closer eye on those clothes from now on, Mr. Collins.” He says, before looking him up and down again, and showing him his back. Jack watches as he opens the book again and starts walking away.
Jack blinks, stays still for a couple of seconds and scatters away, jittery and hot all over.