Author: xrowa-chanx PM
Their lives were like oil and water - always side by side yet never really touching. But what happens when Arthur and Francis find themselves inexplicably connected by two orphaned boys? And who, or what, is ADAM? AU, FrUK, Laven. ON HIATUS.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Allen Walker & England/Britain - Chapters: 4 - Words: 13,673 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 15 - Follows: 19 - Updated: 08-27-12 - Published: 04-08-12 - id: 8004116
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hey everyone! Sorry that this update is so late – exams are finally over for me, so I can write again *heart*
Thank you to Silvereyedfreak, Geeres, Will This Night-Drag-On, CharraCharraNya, sammi117, DeathGirl-Chan, Yudanaelle, Knakx, Hibatsulova1827 0-0, Mii-Chan 24, AliasAlliance, and Summer Jonuim for reviewing/favouriting/subscribing. Seriously, I was not expecting this much love from the first chapter XD *hugs everyone*
Oh btw – I really can't edit/draw and would love to have a story header for this fic. If anyone is willing to do that for me, I will reward you with a oneshot of your choice *grins* And I can write smut, for those who want it ;3
So, here's chapter 2 – enjoy everyone! :'3
(NOTE: I wrote most of this chapter whilst listening to Futari Jikan by Kenichi Suzumura and Northern Downpour by Panic! At The Disco – hence why it is full of fluff XDXD)
DISCLAIMER: I don't own D Gray Man or Hetalia - if I did, an official crossover would exist between them already *laughs*
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Homeostasis – Chapter 2
The morning sun rose on another day in Brighton, England. Soft orange rays of light filtered through a crack in the curtains of Arthur's bedroom, slowly illuminating the slightly unkept and messy room as daylight dawned. Random items of clothing could be seen here and there on the floor; shirts, ties, trousers, boxers, socks. Beside a handsome oak wardrobe, on a small tabletop near to the bed where Arthur slept, there lay a picture frame. Arthur and another man, with short blonde hair, glasses and a huge grin, were standing side-by-side.
The frame had a crack in it.
As the sun rose, light glinted on the picture frame's surface. This light illuminated Arthur's face, making him squint and bury his face into the pillow beneath his head.
More time passed.
At around 9 o'clock, Arthur's eyes opened blearily to inquisitive silver ones staring right back at him.
Leaping backwards, and whacking his head rather hard on the wall behind him, Arthur stared with wide eyes at the boy beside his bed. It took him awhile to remember what had happened the day before.
"... Arthur?" Allen asked, looking confused and slightly afraid. The silver haired child was already dressed, wearing the same clothes as the day before, and looked as if he had been waiting for something for quite a while by the way he was sitting on the floor, back resting against the wardrobe behind him.
"Ah. Sorry. I... ah, never mind," Arthur stammered, rubbing the back of his head and sighing irritably. He looked back up at Allen. "Why are you...?"
The boy blushed a little from embarrassment.
"I-I was getting hungry b-but... I didn't want to..."
Arthur blinked a few times before sighing.
"Fine, I'll go make you some breakfast."
The blonde got out of bed, stretching as he walked into the kitchen. If this was a normal day, he'd be having a lovely hot shower and then treating himself to scones with cream and jam for breakfast.
This wasn't a normal day. In fact, Arthur doubted any day would be normal after Allen's arrival.
Yawning, Arthur opened the pantry and took out a bag of crumpets. He turned around to find Allen beside him; the boy was eyeing the crumpets like a lion would its prey.
The boy looked up as Arthur spoke and, upon seeing Arthur's slightly scared expression, blushed, apologised and walked backward a few steps. The blonde Englishman sighed.
This was going to take some getting used to.
"How many would you like?" Arthur asked, opening the bag with a knife and taking out two for himself.
"... all of them?"
Arthur blinked then turned around. Allen looked embarrassed, and awfully thin to Arthur's eyes. The blonde scowled.
"You better eat them all then," came the irritated reply.
After grumbling under his breath about children and their bottomless greedy stomachs, Arthur put four crumpets in the toaster and waited for them to be cooked. When they were done, he put four more in and buttered the cooked ones, placing them on a plate.
"Would you like jam with the-"
Arthur got no further, for Allen took the four crumpets and ate them so quickly that Arthur wondered whether the boy intended to choke himself. The silver haired child swallowed with little difficulty and gave the blonde man a smile.
"Could I have some more please?"
This was going to be a very long morning indeed.
After cooking two more bags worth of crumpets, and using nearly all of a pot of butter in the process, Allen's hunger was eventually satisfied. Arthur had only eaten two crumpets with butter and jam, and sat astounded as the boy before him ate what seemed like his body mass in food.
"A-are you done now?" Arthur asked tentatively, looking nervously at his pantry and wondering how much food he was going to have to buy from now on. Allen nodded and beamed happily.
"Yes, thank you," the boy replied politely. "I'm sorry you had to cook so much..."
"It's fine..." Arthur muttered begrudgingly. "Do you always eat that much?"
"Umm... yeah..." Allen admitted, looking embarrassed. "Sorry..."
Arthur remained silent and hoped to God that he got a bonus at work to help pay for the sheer amount of food that he was going to have to buy.
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I love you. Baby I'm not a monster ~
Francis woke with a groan, shoving his mobile off of the table beside his bed and burying his head deep into his quilt. He had never quite got round to changing his alarm tone – Im Yong Soo, a washer-upper at the restaurant where he worked, had downloaded a load of k-pop songs onto Francis's phone and insisted that the best way to wake up every morning was to Big Bang.
Francis begged to differ.
Still, he couldn't be bothered to change it. So he woke to 'Monster' every morning anyway.
Stretching with a yawn, Francis sat up and looked around his bedroom with sleepy blue eyes. His clothes were all neatly put away, for the Frenchman hated his clothes getting ruffled and wrinkled by putting them on the floor. Except if it was before having sex. Then it was fine.
Getting out of bed slowly, like a cat that's been napping for too long, Francis eventually stood up and walked into the hallway outside. The floorboards were cold, but the blonde didn't mind very much.
When he reached the kitchen, the blonde opened up a bread bin and took out a bag of croissants. Eating one cold with relish, and putting the other in the microwave for a few dozen seconds, Francis leant against the counter and sighed.
Just another morning.
Then he remembered the day before. And swore violently in French.
Having completely forgotten that he was now taking care of a mischievous ten year old boy, who was too intelligent for his age and far too obsessed with rabbits, Francis dithered for a few minutes, then groaned and made his way to the spare bedroom with a scowl.
Opening the door, Francis saw that the red headed boy was still fast asleep, one leg hanging over the bed and mouth wide open in what Francis viewed as quite idiotic.
"Bonne matin, mon petit lapin," Francis called, kicking the bed so that the boy jolted out of bed with a cry. "If you want breakfast, you have to get out of bed."
Lavi sat up blearily on the floor and blinked, yawning then rubbing his eyes.
Stumbling past the Frenchman with heavy feet, Lavi headed into the kitchen and sat down at the nearest countertop, after struggling to climb up onto a stool to sit on. Francis followed close behind, and begrudgingly gave the red head the croissant from the microwave, putting another one in to warm up for himself.
"Merci beaucoup!" Lavi said sleepily, biting into the warm pastry and closing his eyes as the delicious buttery flakes melted on his tongue. Francis rolled his eyes slightly and smiled a little.
"Il n'y a pas de quoi." [You're welcome.]
For a while they both sat in silence, Francis eating his own croissant whilst staring out of the nearby window. The sun had risen high into the sky; there were no clouds to mar the sunshine that morning. The sun's rays lit up his living room, the white leather couches almost shining as the light touched them. The television set in the corner of the room reflected the sunlight brightly, and the distant sound of seagulls and the sea made Francis smile.
It reminded the Frenchman of his arrival to England when he was a child; the warm sunshine, the sound of lapping waves against the ferry, the White Cliffs of Dover in the distance, signifying the coastline of an entirely different country, with its own rules and lifestyles and cultures and foods.
Horrible foods, but foods nonetheless.
And though Francis missed his home country, especially when the weather turned foul and pathetic sheets of rain made everything murky and miserable (which happened often, unfortunately), he did like England.
However, just because he liked the country, didn't mean he had to like the people who lived there. Englishmen annoyed Francis more than any race he had ever had to live with.
His train of thought was interrupted as Lavi got clumsily off of the stool, and placed his plate in the nearby dishwasher without being told. Francis blinked.
"I'm gonna go get dressed!" Lavi called, heading to the spare room with a skip to his step.
The blonde sighed and decided to make himself some coffee, turning around to turn on the espresso machine behind him. Soon enough, Francis had made himself a steaming mug of hot black coffee – just the way he liked it.
Just as he was finishing the remains of his drink, Lavi walked into the kitchen dressed and ready. The red head was wearing jeans, a plain white top and a black hoodie with bunny ears on the hood. Francis sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Mon dieu," he muttered. Lavi cocked his head.
Silence. Then –
"So... what are we doing today?"
Francis looked at the boy before him and frowned.
"I... don't know..."
The blonde realised that he hadn't actually thought about what he was going to do with his life, now that he had to take care of Lavi until Bookman came back. He worked every evening except Fridays and Sundays; who would watch the red head whilst he was at work? He certainly couldn't bring the boy to work with him. And didn't the kid have to go to school?
"I am killing Bookman the next time we see him, d'accord?" Francis muttered mutinously, burying his face in his hands and sighing.
First ADAM, now this. There was only so much that Francis could deal with all at once.
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"I'm going to be broke by the end of this..."
Arthur looked at the bags of clothes and food in his hands and sighed, knowing that his bank statement at the end of the month was not going to be pleasing. Allen had been brought to live with him with no spare clothes whatsoever, so Arthur had no choice but to head into the inner city with the boy and find him clothes to wear, and buy the endless supplies of food that Allen was going to need.
Allen also needed a school to go to, but Arthur wasn't quite ready to sort that out just yet.
"Why didn't Cross let you go to school?" Arthur asked, holding Allen's hand as best he could amongst all the bags he was holding. It had really bothered him at first, holding Allen's hand. But the streets were very busy, as were the pavements on which they were walking on, and Arthur knew that he couldn't let the 6 year old boy walk on his own and get lost.
"He said it wasn't safe..." Allen answered quietly, flinching a little as someone sped past on roller-skates. "So he taught me to write and read at home."
For a while Arthur was silent. Not knowing where Allen used to live, but guessing that anywhere where Cross lived couldn't be very safe for a little boy, Arthur didn't ask anymore questions.
"Well, while you're here with me, I guess you need somewhere to go..." Arthur murmured, looking left and right before crossing a road to reach the car park in front of them. "But I'll sort that out later, hopefully with some help."
Allen simply nodded, looking slightly nervous. He had noticed that the blonde man beside him was far from comfortable with taking care of him, and the fear of being abandoned by the man scared Allen greatly. But, in a way, he still trusted Arthur.
He was far better than Cross at any rate.
When the pair of them reached Arthur's navy coloured, and slightly battered, Mini Cooper, Arthur put all of the bags with some difficulty into the boot of the car, and then helped Allen into the passenger seat. Getting into the driver's seat, and turning the engine on, Arthur drove away with the radio playing quietly in the background.
Driving past the sea front, Arthur snuck a glance at the open sea to their left before concentrating on the road, smiling. He liked the sea. It brought him a sense of peace, and he had lived by the sea as a child.
As they stopped at a pair of traffic lights, Arthur looked beside him and noticed that Allen was staring at the sea with a look of awe, a bright happy smile on the boy's face. And, as the lights turned green and they started to drive away from the seafront, Allen's face fell noticeably.
Arthur sighed and looked away, trying to ignore the downtrodden expression on Allen's face. He stopped at another pair of traffic lights. And looked at Allen. Then looked away. Then looked back at him. Then looked away again.
"Oh screw it."
As the lights turned green, Arthur turned left instead of right and headed back towards the sea with a scowl. Allen blinked, eyes wide.
"D-don't expect this every time we go, brat!" Arthur snapped, looking slightly embarrassed. "I fancied a cold beer by the sea, that's all."
After a minute or two of silence, Allen smiled warmly.
Soon enough, the pair of them were at the seaside again. Finding somewhere to park took forever, but eventually Arthur and Allen were walking hand-in-hand along the cobbled beach (because Allen kept tripping on the stones as they walked, Arthur told himself vehemently), the warm afternoon sunshine warming the rocks beneath their feet. Finding a pub nearby, Arthur went inside and ordered a pint of Stella for himself, and a small carton of mango juice for Allen.
Sitting on a wall, the beach beneath them and the road behind them, Arthur and Allen enjoyed their drinks as the sun moved across the sky.
"Thank you, Arthur," Allen said quietly, smiling at the man beside him as he drank from his carton. Arthur blinked a few times then looked away, scowling a little.
"Where does this go?"
Francis turned around and looked down at Lavi, who was holding a bottle of wine with a somewhat dubious expression. They had just come back from going shopping, and the red head started obediently helping Francis put stuff away without being asked.
Lavi surprised Francis – at times, he seemed like a spoilt brat that had to be instructed just so he did something. Then, at other times, the boy would do things to help off of his own back, smiling and humming as he did so without a care in the world.
He would figure him out soon enough, Francis thought.
"It goes in the cupboard next to the fridge," Francis answered, kicking said cupboard to make sure Lavi knew which one he was referring to. The red head nodded and opened the door to the compartment, placing the bottle amongst a few others already in there before shutting the door.
"Does wine taste nice?" Lavi asked curiously, picking up a bag of bread and placing it in the bread bin on tip-toes. Francis chuckled.
"Oui, wine tastes very nice," the blonde replied, smiling. "You can try it when you're older, mon petit lapin."
Lavi pouted, but nodded and continued to help put away until there was nothing left. By the time they were done, it was coming round to mid-afternoon and the sun was high in the sky. Francis stretched then looked around, knowing that there wasn't really anything else to do.
"What now, Froggy?" Lavi asked, grinning. Francis froze.
"Huh? I said, what now Frog-"
"I AM NOT A FROG!"
The loud outcry from Francis surprised Lavi, and he stepped backwards a few steps fearfully.
Francis scowled then sighed.
"Non non, it's fine," he murmured, sighing. "There is just a very annoying man who calls me a frog and it irritates me, mon petit lapin."
"Ah, okay..." Lavi said, sitting down on the floor and stretching.
For a while the both of them were silent, lost in their thoughts. Then, standing up and smiling, Lavi pulled on the edge of Francis' shirt.
"Hey, hey, can we go to the beach?"
Francis looked down and blinked.
"... sure, why not," he replied, shrugging.
So, getting a jacket from his room, Francis opened the door to his flat, closing and locking it behind Lavi. The two of them headed downstairs.
Just as they were heading downstairs, Francis noticed a man standing outside what he knew was Arthur's apartment. The man had blonde hair but, apart from that, Francis didn't know who the man was.
"Can I help you?" Francis asked, looking at the blonde curiously. The man turned around and gave Francis a smile.
"Yeah, can you tell me when the guy who lives here comes back? He needed a favour off me about a primary school," the man replied; he had an Australian accent.
"A... primary school?" Francis echoed, scowling. The man nodded.
"Listen, I need to be somewhere right now so could you tell him that someone called Reever will be back to see him at 6 o'clock?" the man, who Francis presumed to be Reever, answered. Then, with a wave, the Australian walked past Francis and Lavi and left the two of them alone.
"Do you know the guy who lives there?" Lavi asked curiously, turning toward Francis with inquisitive eyes. Francis sighed, scowling.
"Unfortunately, yes. Yes I do," the blonde replied, looking more and more pissed off as he stared at the door before him. Pulling a notepad out of his pocket, that he kept there when he needed to collect girl's numbers when the time arose, Francis scribbled a quick note and shoved it under the door before him.
Turning away and heading down the stairs, dragging Lavi with him whilst muttering under his breath, Francis exited the apartment complex and headed to the cars parked in the lot beside the building. He unlocked his silver Audi TT, and noticed that Arthur's car was gone. He sighed.
"Get in, mon petit lapin," Francis said, feeling a headache coming on as he gestured to the passenger door. Lavi nodded and got in, buckling himself up and waiting patiently for Francis to get into the car, put his seatbelt on, and turn the engine on. Soon enough, the two of them were heading down the street towards the inner city some 20 minutes away.
"Thanks Froggy!" Lavi cried, smiling happily as they drove away from the apartment building. Francis' eyebrow twitched at the nickname, but he got the feeling that Lavi would call him it more if he told him off. So, instead, he turned towards the boy beside him and stuck his tongue out childishly.
"You're welcome, Monsieur Mismatched."
"Hey, it's not my fault that I have mismatched eyes!"
"And it's not my fault that I am French. So shut up."
The roads were quiet as Arthur drove back to his apartment, This Love by Maroon 5 playing quietly on the radio as he drove. Allen sat quietly without saying a word the whole journey back, smiling contentedly as he stared out the window.
When they reached the apartment building, Arthur parked and noticed that Francis' car was gone. Sighing and thinking that the Frenchman was out getting girls, as per usual, Arthur turned the engine off and got out of the car. Allen managed to get himself out of the car, though he couldn't shut the car door without Arthur's help, and soon the two of them were heading up the flights of stairs with their many bags to Arthur's flat.
Putting the bags down with a huff, Arthur unlocked the door in front of him, opened it and stepped inside, picking the bags back up as he went. Just as Allen was about to follow him inside, the boy noticed a small piece of paper on the floor.
"Arthur? There's a note here," Allen said quietly, picking the note up and handing it to Arthur. The blonde frowned then frowned even more when he recognised Francis' 'girly' handwriting.
To the idiotic rosbif,
Some Australian guy called Reever wanted to see you earlier about a primary school. Need to re-educate yourself, do we? He said he'd be back at six.
You smell like gone off German potato remains.
Much love, Francis Bonnefoy.
P.S. The blockage in your drainage system was because of me ;'D xxxxxxx
"I KNEW IT WAS HIM!"
Allen jumped and gave a small squeak as Arthur suddenly shouted.
The blonde started laughing evilly as he started to hatch a revenge plan; his drain had been blocked for months, meaning that his sinks flooded on a regular basis. And, now that he knew it was Francis...
Arthur stopped, however, when he realised that he was terrifying Allen, who was eyeing the front door as if he wanted to run for his life.
"Ah, sorry," Arthur apologised. "I just... the man who wrote this note is a very... annoying... man. And he's French."
"What's wrong with the French?"
"Everything is wrong with the French."
For a while the both of them were silent, Allen staring at Arthur with a somewhat concerned-for-his-sanity sort of look, whilst Arthur continued to look at the note and his sinks with an evil glint in his eye.
"C-can I help put the shopping away?" Allen asked tentatively, fiddling with the ribbon around his neck nervously. Arthur blinked a few times then nodded.
"Sure. You can put your clothes away somewhere afterwards," Arthur replied, stretching a little and trying to leave his revenge planning for when Allen wasn't around.
Soon enough, all of the food that Arthur bought was put away (with much difficulty). The blonde hoped that the food would last them awhile, but a sinking feeling in his gut told him that wasn't going to happen.
When 6 o'clock eventually arrived, and a knock on the door reverberated around the apartment, Arthur got up from the couch and opened the front door.
"Hey Reever!" Arthur said happily, giving the man before him a smile. Reever smiled in reply and walked into the apartment, shrugging his coat off.
"I was going to come round earlier, but you weren't in," the Australian murmured, sitting down on the couch with a huff. "And my daughter decided she wanted to go shopping and needed me to ferry her there. I feel like a taxi."
Arthur's eyebrow twitched; he hoped Allen didn't turn out like that.
"Whiskey?" Arthur asked. Reever nodded eagerly.
Soon enough, the two men were sitting down with the television playing in the background, enjoying their glasses of whiskey with relish. Allen was still sorting his new belongings out, so the two men were left alone.
"So, why do you need my help?" Reever asked, turning towards his friend curiously. "Doing a favour for someone else and their kid?"
"... no, actually..." Arthur replied after a while, looking awkward. "Do you remember Cross?"
"Yes I do," Reever answered, face darkening. "Wasn't he the one who set the fire alarm off at your work that time?"
Arthur nodded; that had not been a good day.
"Well... Cross left me to take care of someone..."
"A little boy."
"No... I don't think so, anyway..."
Reever sighed, slumping in his seat and downing the rest of his glass.
"You're in some fine trouble here then, aren't you."
"I really am."
Silence. Then –
"So, I'm guessing the kid's here right now then?" the Australian asked, putting his empty glass on the table before him. Arthur nodded.
"Allen!" he called loudly, putting his glass down also. After a few seconds, they heard the sound of running footsteps on carpet. Then, looking a little confused, Allen stood in the doorway to the living room and tilted his head.
"This is Reever Wenham. He's a good friend of mine," Arthur explained, smiling reassuringly as he noticed Allen's nervousness. Reever smiled also.
"Nice to meet you!" the blonde Australian said cheerfully, offering the silver haired boy a hand. Allen took it and shook it with a shy smile.
"Nice to meet you."
"What's your name?" Reever asked.
"Well then Allen, would you like to go to the school where I work?"
Allen was silent for a while before he nodded. Reever smiled and turned towards Arthur.
"I'm sure I can fit him into the Year 1 class," the man said. "Just give me a week or two, and I'll get him enrolled."
"Thank you," Arthur replied with a grateful smile. "I owe you one."
"It's fine mate," Reever answered with a laugh. "Good luck taking care of him."
The rest of the evening passed quite quickly. Since it was getting reasonably late, Reever had to leave to be back in time for dinner at home, so the blonde man left and the apartment became quiet once more.
Arthur didn't often have people round – he saw people at work, and he had a few friends from university (like Reever). But he was quite a solitary man most of the time.
At least, after Alfred he was.
Pushing thoughts of his ex away with a pained expression, Arthur set about preparing dinner for himself and Allen. Ignoring what he deemed as normal portions, he made the silver haired boy three plates full of spaghetti bolognaise.
Allen still needed to eat two whole baguettes of garlic bread afterwards before he had eaten enough.
After dinner, the two of them settled down in front of the television, mindlessly watching QI and Michael McIntyre (though Allen didn't get most, or any, of the jokes said). When 11 o'clock rolled by, Arthur put Allen to bed.
Luckily for Arthur, the boy dropped off almost the instant his head touched the pillow. They had been walking a lot that day, so it was no surprise that Allen was so tired.
Arthur himself stayed up for an hour or so more, enjoying a small glass of gin and tonic before deciding to have a shower. The hot water soothed the blonde, and memories of the day passed through his mind.
He was in no way used to being a parent. Just the morning before, he had been your regular twenty-something year old, single and recently dumped, spending nights alone getting drunk before the television and days spent either working or lazing around at home.
So, to have a child suddenly dropped on him and being expected to provide and be there for said child, was still a shock for Arthur.
Allen was shy, quiet, easily frightened but also very polite and kind-hearted. The boy probably hadn't had an easy time with Cross; Arthur knew Cross well enough to know the man was not a daddy sort of person.
But, in a way, Arthur didn't mind taking care of Allen. He was no longer going to be alone, and he had someone to occupy his time, someone to cook for, and clean for, and spend time with.
Allen filled the hole that Alfred had left behind.
To clarify – yes, this story is still a FrUK. But there's some past USUK, if you get what I mean :) This is also set in modern day, in case anyone was confused about the time period XD
Hope you liked the chapter, and stay tuned for chapter 3. Please give me some feedback, and any offers for a story header would be much appreciated.
Thanks again for the lovely feedback for the last chapter!