Angel in the Airport
Prompt | Meet at an Airport
Part 1 | Angel in the Airport
“What the fuck, man?” You spit out towards the stranger that just bumped into your shoulder. It felt more purposeful than anything else, even though you know it wasn’t. The steaming hot cup of coffee that you had just picked up was spilled all down your clothes and over the floor in small brown puddles. You felt tears threatening to spill down your face as they stung your eyes.
“Excuse me?” He laughs, scoffing. His deep, gravelly voice booms into your bones with an accusatory threatening tone after his shoulder accidentally caught your own in the bustling airport. You look over at him, his eyes dark and filled with anger. But he holds your stare for longer than you’d like, almost like he’s looking right through you.
“Why don’t you watch what you’re doing?” You question him, hatred running in your veins and out of your mouth like it should be natural, but it isn’t. You’ve just had a terrible day that keeps going from bad to worse with each task you decide to try and take on. At this point, you’re running late for your flight already.
“How about you watch where you’re going and maybe you wouldn’t end up with coffee all over your clothes in an airport.” The man pointedly says back as he gives you a good once over.
“Fine, you provide a good point.” You give up and head off toward the bathroom to look for paper towels. Soon you hear someone huffing behind you as you hear the wheels of the suitcase hitting the floor as their pace picks up. You realize once he catches up that it’s the guy that spilled coffee all over you. “Can I help you with something?” You grumble, eager to get away and take care of this mess before you miss your flight for the second time.
“No, I just wanted to apologize…you know, for how things started off with us.” He says casually to you, but his eyes do look as if he’s giving you a genuine apology.
“Thank you, I apologize, too. It seems we got off on the wrong foot. Safe travels.” You say, giving him a half-smile before continuing on towards the bathroom. He is still following you by the time you get into the bathroom to try and rub out some of the stains on your clothes.
“Where are you traveling to?” He questions, watching you intently as you try and now dab the damp paper towels to your clothes to dry them before looking over at him, your face unreadable.
“I honestly don’t know.” You mutter, looking down at your ticket. “To…Belize apparently. I just wanted a weekend trip and had the travel agent just pick a place for me for a few days. I’m just now seeing it. I had no other intention to look until you mentioned it. Why do you want to know anyway? And why are we still talking?” You smirk, heading back out of the door to where you are going to clean up the spill. You don’t necessarily have the time for small talk.
You begin to feverishly wipe over the coffee on the ground so that you can hurry for the flight, but it’s taking an extensive amount of time. Well, at least it feels that way.
You feel a warm, soft hand cover yours and you look up at the man who is squatting in front of you. God, you could really rip into that if you weren’t already late and he didn’t ruin your clothes.
“Let me get it for you, you get going for your flight. I have plenty of time.” The mysterious man says as he watches you staring at him in disbelief.
“Wait, you’re serious?” You are taken aback. You treated him like shit and yet he still repays you with nothing but kindness. He simply nods his head.
“Yeah, go on.” He says softly, his hand overlaps yours on the paper towels and you don’t want to let go just yet. “I’m Maddox, by the way. I’m traveling to Paris, actually. Just as a business trip but trying to add in some leisure in there somewhere.” Maddox says eloquently as he chuckles quietly.
“Fletcher.” You offer your hand out towards him to shake as you stare down at him on his hands and knees. “But I didn’t ask where you were going.” You watch Maddox as he laughs, shaking his head – his grip on your hand is solid and warm.
“Right, but you were going to ask, Fletcher.” Maddox states, but also, he’s right. You were going to ask. “You’d better get going.” He urges you to kick it into high gear, looking down at his watch.
“Shit.” You check your own watch, you’re late again. “Thank you, really.” You say softly, your hand displayed towards the mess on the ground. He smiles and in the same instant you are running back towards your terminal as you feel him watch you go. It feels like you’ve left something behind for some reason. When you arrive it’s empty and the gate is closed off to be able to board. “You’re fucking kidding me!” You shout out to no one in particular. You smack your forehead into one of the glass panels starting at the plane you’re supposed to be on as it’s leaving while you huff out a heavy breath.
Why you and why today?
“Looks like you missed your flight.” You hear a familiar voice behind you like an echo. You turn around and glare at him while he just smirks playfully. “Maybe it’ll crash, so it’s probably a divine intervention that you missed it.” He continues to smile at you as he shrugs his shoulders, pleased with his own answer.
“Yeah, no shit.” You grumble in his direction. He laughs at your distaste towards him.
“You should rebook to Paris. I need a date for this wedding on Sunday.” Maddox casually suggests. “I’ll pay the difference.” He nearly looks like he’s pleading with you to go. You smirk at him this time, rolling your eyes at the offer.
“You don’t even know me. I could be a serial killer for all you know.” You mutter to him and he just laughs in response to you.
“Right, I’m totally convinced.” Maddox snorts, grabbing you by the hand and dragging you toward the guest services desk. “Hello, we just need to change this flight for his to match mine. Change of plans.” Maddox smoothly says to the woman as he slides her his ticket with yours.
While Maddox talks to the guest relations you watch him as you zone out of the conversation. He eyes you carefully every once in a while as he coyly smiles. What the fuck have you gotten into. He’s probably the serial killer for all you know.
“All fixed.” Maddox warmly says as he hands you your ticket back. Your eyes jerk back up to meet his as you snap out of your thinking. You look at the new ticket and your jaw drops. You are holding a first-class ticket to Paris.
Yeah, he’s definitely sweetening you up before he takes you out of the game.
“Holy shit, Dox. I can’t accept this.” You mutter out. He laughs boisterously while flinging a bag over his shoulder. “I can Apple Pay you or something, but I can’t just take this.” You finish, staring back up at him.
“Dox?” He questions – still smirking as he was before, but it’s warmer now, more seductive than before. You can feel your face turning red hot as it burns. “Sure you can, anyway, it’s not refundable. Plus it doesn’t make sense to take a trip together and fly in separate cabins, duh. I need someone interesting to talk to and you look like you’ve got a good story.” Maddox rolls his eyes at you and pulls you with him to your new terminal. “Don’t worry, you won’t miss this flight, I made sure to have plenty of time.” He winks at you in a joking fashion.
“Sorry, that’s embarrassing. I’m a nickname kind of person. Fuck, wait. I’ll have to get a suit, I don’t have one with me. My vacation plans weren’t exactly as sophisticated as yours.” You mutter to him, looking down at your feet under his scrutiny. You really didn’t pack much, considering what you were really going there for, but he doesn’t need to know that.
“No, not embarrassing at all – I like it. It’s cute. I’ll get you a suit, don’t worry about anything like that this weekend. I asked you to come, so I’m covering the costs, and that’s the end of that. Please, it’s my pleasure.” Dox waits as his ticket is scanned and his hand lightly touches yours. You suck in a sharp breath.
“What are you, a doctor or something? You smart off and he chuckles.
“It depends, what do you call a career for yourself?” He asks, his question genuine.
“Well, definitely not anything as lucrative as a doctor. I’m a photographer. I own my own business on the side.” You say, biting at your nail in worry. You never really let anyone in and talk about yourself, let alone some stranger you just met in an airport that you agreed to travel with.
“On the side? That sounds like its own job to start with.” Maddox smiles at you as you board the plane with him. You find your seats and try to get comfortable. It’s lavish and you can hardly believe what you are doing.
“Um, I mean yeah, it’s full-time work. I’ve slowed down a lot just from working so much otherwise. I’m a crime scene photographer, I work for the FBI as a type of special agent.” You say quietly to him and his face takes on his staple smug smirk.
“No shit? Show me the proof.” Maddox laughs, putting the seatbelt on and checking the time. “That’s really interesting to get to say you do. It’s not every day you meet an agent for the FBI.” He finishes as he’s watching you. You smile shyly as you pull your badge from your bag and hand it to him. He looks it over and laughs to himself before handing it back to you in shock.
“It’s honestly…not that interesting. I know you’re bluffing.” You dryly chuckle. “So then I take that avoidance to answer the question that I was right about the whole doctor thing.” You half joke, watching his face turn a bright red.
“Fletcher, I uh, I’m actually...” Maddox starts and you blatantly interrupt him.
“A doctor.” You finish, staring him down. “You’re kidding, right?” You question him and after he hesitates for a moment he shakes his head.
“I’m a trauma surgeon, yes.” He says, as a matter of fact. Dox slides a card across the lap table and you hold it as you study it before handing it back to him.
“I thought all doctors were dicks who didn’t like to mingle with those that were under them. Or at least that’s what I’ve heard.” You tip your head to the side as you watch him while he accepts a glass of wine and hands you the other.
“I’m not all doctors. There’s just something about you. I don’t know, I felt inclined to talk to you. Status and all of that bullshit don’t interest me anyway.” He takes a long casual drink of wine before looking out the window past you. “Get comfortable, enjoy the luxury of what first class has to offer.” He suggests, smiling at you before popping in headphones and reclining back in his seat as he closes his eyes.
You try to relax and put in your own headphones as you close your eyes and listen to the music before you feel yourself easily drifting off to sleep.
You groggily pry your eyes open as you feel something prodding you in the side. You come face to face with Maddox who is staring at you while he is propped up on his lap table by one arm and the other still jammed into your ribs. You look at your watch and realize you’ve been asleep for four hours now.
“Sorry.” You grunt out as you stretch, removing your headphones and putting them back into the case. You rub your hands over your face before looking back at him. “I have to take Xanax before I fly and it looks like it got the best of me this time.” You mumble, watching him as he studies you.
“Can I ask you something, Fletcher?” He requests, his smile inviting.
“Sure, yeah.” You rub your eyes, still feeling half asleep as you prop yourself up more in your own chair to get yourself more awake.
“It’s really not any of my business, so you don’t have to answer, but it’s just been bothering me.” He begins, his curiosity spreading the length of his face. “Your ticket… when I went to change the flight she had asked if I wanted it to remain a one-way or if I wanted a round trip like mine. But you said you’re going on vacation, which means returning home after. Why?” He asks, watching you intently as you stare off to the side of him. You feel a lump grow in your throat.
“I um, well honestly, it’s kind of hard to explain.” You nearly whisper at him even though there is no one around. You’re embarrassed and ashamed all at once.
“I can see it.” Maddox looks at you and you feel his warm hand hover over yours as your fingers tremble. His body moves closer to yours and you feel like you could pass out at the proximity between the two of you now. “The sadness, it never leaves your eyes. I saw it when you first talked to me and I can see it now. The finality of it is frightening.” He whispers back to you, keeping your conversation private as someone passes by. He knows and you know that he does. “Say it.” He urges you, his stare becoming more intense as he begs you to let him in.
“Okay.” You quickly and gracefully take another medication that will hopefully suppress your growing anxiety in a reasonable time. “I was going to Belize with plans of committing suicide while I was there.” You rush out the words and you feel his hand squeeze just a little tighter on your own. He looks out of the window for a moment before he looks back at you, his eyes glued to yours.
“Why on Earth would you want to do something like that?” His tone seems frantic even though he already knew the answer that you were going to give him. You roll your eyes, your attempt at trying to keep yourself from crying in front of him. You put on a front and chuckle, but it doesn’t hold any true humor to it, just darkness.
“It’s…well it’s really complicated, I guess.” You offer, pondering all of the thoughts that you have had over the last year, and consider what you’re willing to let him know.
“Well lucky for you, we’ve got plenty of time.” He looks at his watch before letting your hand go and suddenly you feel empty again.
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