Oh my, I updated. What has this world come to? XD Life is busy. :I
I hope the length of this chapter makes up for it. (It'snotlikeanythingimportanthappensthough/coughs)
I hope you like it~
Clarification- When mentioned, Andrei is Romania and Alek is Bulgaria.
Ditching Elizabeta and Francis had actually been surprisingly easy.
Alfred had waved as Elizabeta had turned away from the group of men at the gate, muttering to herself under her breath.
Francis had split farther into the halls, heading off to a different wing of dorms.
Kiku had remained silent as the two of them walked down to their shared room. He was absorbed in thought, which was nothing new. The man seemed to always be silently contemplating things. He almost deemed it his job to just think sometimes.
Alfred scuffed his feet on the floor, causing Kiku to wince slightly. Otherwise, they walked in companionable silence. The two of them reached the door to their room, Kiku leading slightly. He grasped the doorknob and opened.
"Alfred?" He blocked the doorway with his body, preventing entry. The other man had to stop short before running into him.
"Yeah?" Alfred blinked at the smaller man.
"...nevermind," Kiku sighed as he stepped in and out of the door. He rubbed at his eyes and walked across the room, carefully stepping over a few piles of their assorted junk.
Alfred followed in and immediately flung himself onto his bed. He stared up at the ceiling as Kiku rummaged around.
His gaze began to haze over.
"Hey Kiku," Alfred began, causing the other man to pause.
"Yes?" He turned to look at his friend lying on the opposite side of the room.
"...nevermind," Alfred said as he puffed out his cheeks and turned away. Kiku raised an eyebrow, chuckling slightly.
"What?" Alfred asked, shooting Kiku a glare over is shoulder.
"Nothing," Kiku said, still stifling down laughter. "I'm just glad we're friends."
"Weird," Alfred murmured as Kiku left the room to change.
In the morning, Francis had somehow wrangled Kiku and Toris into listening to his rantings.
Kiku had left Alfred, deciding to take pity on him. However, unlike Alfred, Kiku had morning classes, and had met up with Francis and Toris on his way to art.
He waved his arms, talking with his hands, as they walked down the hall. He walked backwards, so he could still face his two friends. A smile graced his face as he went on and on about some girl. Apparently she was one of the new students.
"You're going to run into someone," Kiku observed. The man was already swaying precariously as he took one step after the other backwards.
Francis waved his hand dismissively. "There's nobody even down here anyway."
It was true, the halls remained fairly empty. It was still relatively early, and many students were still asleep- refusing to wake up until the last moment. Alfred had been one of those students this morning, and had waved Kiku out the door, promising to catch up later.
"But anyway-" Francis grinned widely. "I'll just have to introduce you to her. She is simply amazing."
Toris sighed, holding his books to his chest. "That sounds nice Francis," he said unenthusiastically.
"Aww, don't worry Toris- I'm sure you'll find someone special." The statement was said with complete innocence, but coming from Francis, it felt more like a jab at his relationship status. Toris made a face.
"Well I'm not sure," Toris grimaced. "I mean Natalia practically hates me."
Kiku and Francis exchanged glances. It was an unspoken understanding between the group of friends- all their friends, Elizabeta and Alfred included- that playing matchmaker for each other was common and expected. It was so common in fact, that most of the time the target of the teasings, whoever it might be, would simply sigh and shrug off their friends.
"Maybe Natalia isn't really meant for you then..." Francis drawled.
"Yes, besides- she has a thing for Ivan... poor man," Kiku chimed in.
"Hey, don't talk about her like that," Toris jumped to defend the woman. "Besides, she's nice."
Francis, who was still walking backward, gave him a pointed look. "I think Feliks would disagree."
Toris blinked owlishly. "Why would Feliks care?"
Kiku internally face-palmed while Francis externally sighed. "No reason Toris," Kiku said, giving the brunette a pat on the back. It was common knowledge that Feliks despised Natalia.
"Huh? But I don't-"
"Anyway-" Francis cut back in. "So this girl-"
Kiku sighed, phasing out as Francis continued on. They walked down the hall, and it wasn't until they reached a turn that Kiku's mind returned to the one-sided conversation Francis was having with them. They reached a bend in the hall, and Francis absently turned, still walking backwards.
"And her eyes are the most wonderfu- oof." Francis stumbled forward, nearly running into Kiku.
"What did I tell you?" Kiku asked as he held a hand forward, preventing Francis from falling. He quickly retracted the arm when it was obvious Francis had his balance again- Kiku had a thing with physical contact.
Francis rubbed at his arm and turned to face down the hallway.
"I'm sorry," he said to the man he had run into. "I-" he stopped.
Something about the look the blonde man was giving him rubbed him the wrong way. The man had crossed his arms and looked at him with this oh so condescending look.
When it was obvious that Francis wasn't continuing, the man glared and began to brush past the group. "It's fine," was his only response.
"Well excusez-moi!" Francis hissed. "No need to apologize or anything."
The man stopped, halfway past Francis and his friends. He turned.
"Excuse me?" He asked. "It's not like I was walking down the hallway perfectly normally or anything. Maybe you should watch where you're going."
Francis gaped at the fake, patronizing smile that graced the other man's face. "Well you were the one who could see." He snorted, crossing his own arms.
If Francis only knew that just by simply walking down the hallway he'd run into the same man that he and his friends had been so painstakingly planning to hunt down, he would have thrown a fit.
Arthur rolled his eyes. "It was a corner, git- I couldn't see around it. I was simply turning a corner when I run into some... frog."
"Frog?" Francis asked. "Why, what's wrong with France?"
"Everything," Arthur huffed. "Now if you don't mind-"
"France is an amazing country!" Francis interrupted. "Much better than anything English." It hadn't been hard to pick up on the man's obvious English accent- his vocabulary had tipped off too his origin too... not that the obvious Union Jack on his person was subtle at all either.
Francis decided to ignore the fact that they were, right now, in America- and not any sort of French country.
"Are you really-?" Arthur sighed and rolled his eyes. "Sure- whatever helps you live with yourself."
Francis scoffed. "At least when I visit France, I can eat edible food. I've been to England and-" he shivered.
This elicited an interesting reaction from the Englishman. He bristled- and it was at this point that Kiku made the connection between the scene unfolding in front of him, and cats fighting.
"My country's cooking is just fine thank you very much." The man's violent reaction made Francis smirk.
"'Whatever 'elps you live with yourself,'" Francis mimicked.
While Arthur resembled a hissing cat now, Francis seemed to be a preening one.
"Oh you little-" Arthur marched up to Francis and the two began bickering in earnest now.
Like before, Kiku zoned out- not quite paying attention to the words of the fight.
After all, he was far too busy comparing them to cats now anyway.
"Uhm- should we uh- do... something?" Toris asked, snapping Kiku out of his daydreams of Scottish Folds and Long-haired cats.
Kiku sighed. "Maybe?"
After another good minute of meaningless bickering, the English man finally caught sight of the other two men out of the corner of his eye.
"-and another thing! Hey, are you even listening to me?" Francis fumed, noticing that the other man had turned his attention away.
It almost seemed like something clicked in the man's head as he took in the trio.
"Ooh," he said.
"What?" Francis glared, but Arthur waved his hand dismissively.
"Nevermind then. Sorry... frog." Francis stared aghast as the man turned and began to walk away.
"Hey- what?" The man didn't even pause as he turned the corner that had caused the whole incident and left sight.
"That was interesting," Kiku observed. "I wonder who he was."
And stupid Calculus, and stupid American History.
Alfred had bumped into Gilbert when he finally woke up and got ready for class. The man had slept in equally late, and the pair had sort of teamed up in their early morning antics. Alfred had tossed Gilbert a protein bar when the German called from down the hall and Gilbert reminded Alfred to grab his books when he nearly walked off without them, still in a half-asleep state.
"Ugh," Gilbert had moaned. "I hate mornings."
"It's like-" Alfred yawned, interrupting his own thoughts, "-uh, 10. That's not really 'morning.'"
"Yeah, yeah," Gilbert muttered. "Lud tried to wake me up at sixish, but who would wake up that early?"
"Kiku," Alfred said. "I'm just glad he didn't make me get up today."
Gilbert laughed. "Hey, maybe we can trade. Your friend- the Japanese one?- sounds like he'd get along well with my stick-in-the-mud brother. He'd have to deal with Feli though."
"Wouldn't that be a trio?" Alfred laughed. "I think Kiku might die if he had to deal with any more than one stranger at once though."
The pair walked in silence until Alfred finally spoke up again.
"So what is your schedule? We don't have Economics today, where are you going?"
Truthfully, yesterday had been a day light of classes for Alfred. Just Computer Programing and Economics. This day held more classes, if mostly afternoon ones, and Alfred wasn't all that excited for them.
Well, it was Wednesday now- at least the week was half done.
"Oh, uh, give me a sec." Gilbert dug into his pockets fruitlessly before digging through his bag. Alfred paused in walking to allow Gilbert to rifle through his person.
"Aha!" The man pulled out a crumpled piece of paper and held it into the air in triumph. He tossed the thing at Alfred's head, which he caught without any problem.
He tried to straighten the paper against his leg before they started walking again. He stared at it, trying to work out the scribbled words all over the paper.
"What even...?" Gilbert laughed at Alfred's apparent confusion.
"That's my master list," he said. "I'm like a mama bird."
Alfred turned his stare onto Gilbert. "...you need help don't you?"
"Ha!" Gilbert burst out. "Noo, I just gotta keep track of my baby chicks y'know. Can't leave them alone. Just look- it's color coded."
Taking a closer look, Alfred was able to puzzle out what the different words said. There were numerous names jotted down on the paper, all written in different colors. All the rest of the page was written in the same colors. Alfred finally read through the scribbled words- they were all classes.
They were all Alfred's classes.
It wasn't as if he hadn't known this already, Gilbert had told him so after he had sort of stolen Alfred's phone number. Still.
Without even realizing it, his eyes drifted to the key on the corner of the page.
Okay, so Gilbert's black... Ludwig's blue...
His eyes trailed across the green words on the paper. Who knows where Gilbert found a green pen, but all the same...
Economics... Calculus... American History...
Alfred snapped his head up when he realized what he was doing.
Oh no- he was not memorizing Arthur's schedule. No way. He had just been curious about the rest of Gilbert's friends was all.
Then it struck him- those were all his classes too.
He shoved the paper back at Gilbert, getting a look. The man took the paper and folded it up, not that it mattered. As soon as it was shoved back into his bag it was sure to get crumpled again.
"So you've got Calc next?" He asked, looking over at Gilbert.
"Naw, I've got Lit- then Calc."
"Oh." Alfred wasn't about to admit that he hadn't actually been paying all that much attention to Gilbert's schedule- despite that being what he had asked about.
"Yeah. What 'bout you?"
"Calc. But I promised to meet up with Liz before..." Suddenly his eyes pierced Gilbert with a glare. "Oh yeah. About Liz."
Gilbert grinned, which was apparently his reaction to everything. "Oh, her? Yeah we had Stats together. She seems really nice, in a 'I'm going to kill you' kind of way. What else about her?"
"Uh-huh." Alfred crossed his arms.
Gilbert blinked innocently. "Whaat?" He batted his eyelashes.
"You are such a tool," Alfred muttered before turning away.
"Aww c'mon Al," Gilbert said in a sing-song voice. "I can't apologize until you tell me what's wrong."
"I hate you."
"Why? Is it something I said?" His 'innocent' smile was starting to break though as he did his best not to laugh.
"Seriously!" Alfred spun to face Gilbert. "What is it with you Europeans and screwing with me!? Can't you just be normal?"
"Us Europeans?" Gilbert asked, snickering slightly. "Are my friends... screwing with you?" At this point Gilbert couldn't help it anymore, he started laughing.
"Okay, I'm sorry! But dude- it's not a big deal. I was just talking to her."
"About me." Alfred puffed out his cheeks into a pout.
"Sorry, I was just trying to get her to talk to me." Gilbert rolled his eyes, but this contradicted with the strained smile that was holding back his laughter. "She was totally ignoring me."
"Well now I'm going to die. Are you happy? I'm going to die and it will be all your fault. You better come to my funeral. You better cry too, or else I'll be super pissed, 'kay?"
"What in the world are you talking about?" Gilbert asked. He and Alfred now stood at the intersection of a hallway- Alfred needed to turn right while Gilbert would continue straight.
"You don't know my friends," Alfred sighed, "They'll kill me in some attempt to... I don't know-"
"Then just tell them." Gilbert shrugged. "Then they won't have an opportunity to kill you."
Alfred looked at Gilbert like he had just grown another head. "Oh hell no. Then they'll definitely kill me. Liz will gut me alive while Francis and Kiku watch... Toris will probably just look the other way, tell the police he didn't see anything."
Alfred rolled his eyes. "You don't understand. Besides- It's not a big deal. They'll just make it one."
"Whatever you say," Gilbert chuckled. "I'll see you in Calc then?"
"Sure," Alfred muttered as he watched Gilbert walk away.
Alfred turned his corner and walked down to the library. He peaked in the door and searched the room in one glance. Walking in, he shot Elizabeta a smile.
"Hey Liz," he said tiredly, before sitting down. He had been hesitant to show up when Elizabeta had texted him that morning, but he was determined to not let this business mess with his life. He usually met up with some friend or another in the mornings, and hell if he was going to let anything mess with his social life.
"Hey Al," she said, tapping her fingers on the desk in front of her. "What's up?"
"Not much," he said, rubbing at his eyes.
"Nothing interesting going on?"
"...no." Alfred looked up. He almost flinched at the predatory look in her eyes.
"Seriously Liz? Don't you have work to do?" Alfred looked down at the book laid open in front of her. "Like... really?"
Elizabeta puffed out her cheeks in something similar to Alfred's usual pouts. "But Al, work is boring. It's not due until Monday anyway."
"...for Euro class?"
"Yup. I wanted Toris to be in my group- but he got paired up with some others. Francis too. And now I'm stuck with stupid Andrei and Alek! I hate those guys..." She pouted. "You think with all the new students I could actually be in a group with someone normal."
"What made you think the new students are normal?" Alfred asked bitterly. The words left his mouth before he could truly think them through, and they brought Elizabeta's attention up from her book.
"Why? Do you not like them? I thought you said you were friends with what's-his-name. Gilbert." Her pout turned into a evil smile.
"He's okay. But he'd crazy." Alfred was done with being flustered at this point, his voice remained neutral, unprovoked. He was tired, and honestly- if Liz found out and killed him, at least he could rest in piece.
"Crazy?" She asked.
Alfred leaned over and helped Elizabeta with her work. She was fuming over the fact that she had to do a project on Eastern Europe, something she said she found highly distasteful. The fact she had been paired with her self proclaimed arch-nemesis and his best friend only made her angrier.
Alfred spent most of the hour listening to her complain rather than helping her, but he didn't care. It was nice to know other people had problems too.
Walking into Calculus was one of the most painful things Alfred had done in a long time. At least with Economics he hadn't had to worry about his friends. But no.
There was Francis, and Kiku, and Toris. All sitting at their usual spot.
And then there was Gilbert, and Antonio, and Arthur on the opposite side of the room.
Alfred walked over to his friends, ignoring the other trio in the room.
"Hey," Alfred said. He wasn't sure whether he was unbelievably lucky, or extremely unlucky. The room was arranged in tables, and the only seat left at their table of four was the one facing out. While Francis and Kiku were facing the wall, Toris, and now Alfred, were forced to look at the rest of the room.
This meant that neither Francis or Kiku could see any of the other students.
But it also meant Alfred had to see them. Though he tried his best not to.
"Bonjour, mon ami," Francis said, eyes drifting up from his paper. "Now, since we came here- can we go now?"
"Unfortunately no," Toris said, smiling. "It's kind of a requirement."
"It's stupid," Alfred agreed.
The group began working on problems from their books. Francis talked for the four of them- and while Alfred would usually join in, his thoughts were otherwise occupied.
Gilbert had waved from the other side of the room, making several undecipherable hand gestures. Alfred crinkled his face in concentration at Gilbert's apparent attempt at communication.
Francis noticed, and turned to look over his shoulder. He saw Gilbert's- what was that, a seizure?- hand motions too. He then looked back at Alfred, who was unaware of the observing French man.
Kiku and Toris soon followed, all looking at the scene and an oblivious Alfred. The whole moment lasted only a few seconds.
Alfred gave up and looked back down at his paper.
"Hey, isn't that the guy you talked to before?" Toris asked.
Alfred looked over at the man in confusion before what he said clicked. Certainly Toris didn't mean to join in on his friends teasing, but he did so almost by accident more than you'd expect.
"The white-haired guy," Francis supplied. "Gilbert?"
"Oh- yeah." Alfred was still to tired to get flustered, so he just looked down at his paper instead. The numbers really didn't make much sense anymore.
"I don't approve of the company he keeps," Francis said, causing Alfred to look up again.
"We bumped into that blonde man earlier," Francis supplied, "and he seemed very rude."
Oh shit. When had that happened.
"Yeah," Alfred said. "I- uh- I haven't really met his friends." It was a lie, but hopefully they wouldn't catch it.
Luckily, even though it was noon, Calculus had dulled all of their senses. Francis and even the ever-observant Kiku didn't seem to notice his lie.
"I hope you realize you and Kiku are going to do most of this Toris," Francis said.
"Yeah, that's okay," Toris let out a half-laugh. "At least you help. This project in Euro is killing me. Not only am I doing all the work for Ravis- I have to deal with Ivan hanging over my shoulder the whole time."
"I can always help you," Francis said, sighing. "You got assigned with the Baltics right? Part of my project overlaps with that, we could help- Angelique and I."
"Yeah, thanks..." The conversation trailed off as Toris and Kiku went to work. Francis began drawing what looked like the outline of a face on his paper, and Alfred zoned out.
After a good ten minutes, his gaze trailed from his blank piece of paper to the rest of the room. A couple of Alfred's friends (he did have quite a lot, just none as close as his usual group) sat at another table, along with a mix of students Alfred didn't know. Matthias was apparently messing with a group of three new students as Berwald actually worked.
Eventually, his unfocused gaze traveled across the room to where Gilbert and his friends sat.
Gilbert and Antonio were creating various folded creations out of folded paper, obviously not actually trying to work. Gilbert laughed loudly, rivaling Matthias for volume, and Antonio was apparently trying his best not to throw one of his carefully crafted, tiny airplanes at the other man's head.
And then there was Arthur, the only one actually doing work, glaring down at his paper as if he could incinerate it with just a stare. Their table was perpendicular to the wall, as apposed to Alfred's which was parallel. He was in the edge seat, farthest away from the wall, and facing the front of the classroom.
His pencil scribbled furiously at the paper, and Alfred wondered why he didn't seem to notice the noise his friends were creating.
Alfred was unaware of the fact he was kind of staring at this point. Luckily, no one noticed.
Arthur's left elbow was propped up on the table, and his fingers were threaded through the left side of his messy blonde hair. He rested his cheekbone on said palm.
Once Alfred was done ogling his face, he took in the rest of the man's outfit. His brain was still unfocused, and said unfocused mind had no problem staring. If Alfred had realized what he was doing, he probably would have blushed.
A bandana hung from Arthur's neck in what reminded Alfred of old-school bandits from those Old West movies. Of course, the bandana hung down around his collar instead of up around his face, but all the same. It was almost not even ironic anymore that the piece of cloth was, in fact, decorated with the Union Jack.
Seriously, what was with that guy and the Union Jack? Was that even patriotic? Or just sort of conceited? Of course, Alfred ignored the fact he was wearing an American bomber jacket over his red, white, and blue tie-dyed shirt.
Arthur wore a T-shirt with the name of some band Alfred didn't recognize. All he knew was it was black, and clung to the man's skin...
Similar to the torn, dark gray skinny jeans he wore.
Alfred's head jerked away as his consciousness finally returned to him. It probably would have happened faster if his mind hadn't been clogged with Calc. While before he had remained fairly neutral to whatever words got sent his way, he became overly self-conscious now.
His cheeks grew ever so slightly pink as he directed his gaze at the paper.
Stay on the numbers dammit.
Alfred's luck only went so far though. While no one had noticed Alfred staring at Arthur, Francis had seen him flinch.
"You falling asleep Alfred?" he asked, misreading the motion.
"Huh?" Alfred looked up at Francis. "What ar- oh. Yeah."
"You okay?" Toris asked.
"Yup, I just didn't-"
"Don't say you didn't sleep well. I know for a fact you fell asleep at ten last night, and I assume you slept until Elizabeta made you get up." Kiku rolled his eyes as he wrote out a few more numbers and symbols on his paper.
"...ouch," Francis chuckled. "Did Kiku get up on the wrong side of the bed, hmm?"
"You don't have to deal with the people in my Art class," Kiku said quietly. It was that tone, while seemingly calm and pleasant, that his friends tried to avoid at all cost- it was Kiku's 'I'm going to hurt you' voice. Alfred was on the receiving end of a less serious version of said voice often, but this was full-fledged.
"Okay, we'll not talk about it then," Toris interrupted quickly. "No problem."
"You're such a push-over Toris," Francis said, easily distracted and poking at the man. "Seriously."
Francis and Toris began to argue while Kiku sighed. (Francis supplied many good arguments, but eventually clammed up when Toris threatened to never help him with his work ever again.)
"Fine, fine. Sorry," Francis sighed and peeked over at Toris' paper. Luckily, they were supposed to be working in teams.
"It's okay," he said this calmly, but inside he was bemoaning the fact that, since he was helping Francis right now, he sort of proved Francis' point right then and there.
"Oh, by the way, are you going out on Friday? I know you have that project..." Francis his best to not anger Toris further, and switched topics.
"No," he sighed. "I wish I could, but not only do I have that project with Ivan and Ravis, I also have to help Natalia with her work- and then Feliks and I are supposed to study together for the rest of the night... he'll fail if I don't help him."
Francis was obviously resisting the urge to say this proved his original point, shown by his strained, almost smug smile. "You need to lay off on the work sometimes."
"But Ravis and Ivan won't do the work, and Feliks'll fail if I don't help." Toris tapped the end of his pencil on his desk, thinking. "Plus I get to spend time with Natalia," he finished as he smiled dreamily.
"I thought we already proved she was crazy? She tried to choke Alfred." Francis raised an eyebrow.
"She's nice. I get to spend time with her and help her study for a while. It's nice." Toris pouted, indignant.
"...even though you're spending the whole night studying with Feliks too?" Francis smiled to himself, while Kiku tried his best not to.
"What is it with you and Feliks today? I don't get it."
"Nothing," Alfred cut in for his friend. While apparently none of them had any respect for his private life, recent events had caused him to give such things more thought.
This interruption brought Francis' attention to Alfred. "You're coming though? You're not ditching us for some date like last time we went out, right?"
"Of course not," Alfred said, pouting. It's not like he even had a date anymore. He'd texted Mei, and apologized for when he had left her, but hadn't asked her out again. She hadn't seemed all that surprised. In fact, Alfred had been almost surprised at how cool she had been when he said he wouldn't be able to go out with her again. He had wondered if he should have been be offended or not, but had eventually just categorized the whole thing easily into the 'friend-zoned' folder in his head.
"Good," Francis smiled.
"Wait- where are we going?" Maybe he should have asked that first before agreeing, that would have been the more intelligent thing to do.
"I found this amazing new bar last weekend- you know, when you ditched us? They have the most amazing wine there!" Francis waved his arms into the air. "Unfortunately, I couldn't drink more than one glass because I didn't want to force poor Toris and Liz to drag me home."
"Please tell me about how you can talk about getting drunk as if it is perfectly normal for a conversation." Toris said.
Meanwhile, Kiku had tuned out the rest of the world. Similarly, since he was no longer involved in the conversation, Alfred's mind drifted again.
"Because it is?" Francis looked genuinely confused. He turned his head to the man beside him. "Kiku?"
The mentioned man looked up and shook his head.
"Art," he said, in a monotone that was much more sinister than it seemed at first. "Work."
Francis pouted. "It's a good thing I have Alfred then, huh? I think I can convince Matthias to come too... maybe."
Alfred didn't even notice Francis' words. He was too busy staring at Gilbert's table again.
"Sounds fun- now if you don't mind, I can't for the life of me figure this out." Toris picked up his paper and shoved it at Francis. "You're smart too, figure it out. There's one question left."
"Alfred's the numbers guy," Francis muttered.
"Alfred's a bit preoccupied," Toris said. Alfred, hearing himself being mentioned, spun and gaped at Toris.
"What do you mean?" He asked, defensively. "I can do the work."
"Great!" Francis said, too happy about getting out of the work and shoving the paper at Alfred that he didn't quite pay attention to what Toris had said. Alfred frowned and picked up his pencil as he stared at the work.
"I can see the rest of the room too," Toris leaned over and whispered, "-and you're staring over there."
Alfred decided that the best course of action was to ignore the statement.
So much for Toris being on his side.
The rest of the class passed by relatively quickly, since Alfred had numbers to distract himself with. When he finally looked up at the clock, class was nearly over.
He passed the paper back to Toris, and the brunette quickly finished off the work Alfred had left blank.
"Great, thanks," Toris said. While Alfred had been doing the work, Kiku had pulled out a small sketchbook, Francis had been covertly texting someone under the table, and Toris had started scribbling random notes for other classes on a sheet of paper. All this left Alfred alone to do work actually for that class. He'd been a bit ticked, but had given up silently.
"No problem," Alfred said. "I know you're swamped- if you need help I'm here too." He felt bad for not offering help when Francis had.
"It's fine," Toris rubbed at the back of his head as the bell rang and the class slowly emptied. "Unless you can get Ivan off my back or convince Ravis to stop hiding every time someone speaks louder than a whisper, there's not much you can do."
"I don't know I-"
"I don't mind, really. And other than the project I'm just helping people I like when they need it..." Toris smiled fondly. "I don't care if it's stressing."
"Sure," Alfred watched as Francis dragged Kiku out of the room. He had a sudden fear for Francis' life expectancy from the look Kiku gave him. "I think you just like being stressed."
Toris laughed as the pair walked out. "I wouldn't say that. And you shouldn't be talking- remember that time you charged into my room at midnight saying you forgot to do a project and needed my help, you even made me stay up all night."
"Hey- I- you're just the go-to help guy." Alfred shrugged.
"I know," he rolled his eyes. "I'll see you later then?"
"Yeah," he waved as they split- Alfred heading left and Toris heading right.
Now he had American history- wonderful.
And again, he was left walking in alone. He glanced around the room, relieved when he saw his row already somewhat occupied- so he wouldn't have to deal with sitting alone when anyone else walked in. Alfred walked over to the woman scribbling in her book.
"Hey Angelique," he said, sitting down.
The girl looked up. "Oh, hey Alfred." Her hair swung as she turned her head, twin pigtails swishing.
That was the thing about people. Put one person, alone, in a social situation, and things become much more terrifying. Pair them up with someone they know, and things are easy. Searching a room frantically for a friendly face or an empty chair are perhaps one of the most scary things that can happen on a typical, average, daily basis- but walk in with a friend and the rest of the room doesn't seem to matter.
While Alfred might not be really friends with Angelique, she was Elizabeta's roommate, which made them acquaintances. They talked occasionally, and shared notes sometimes for this very class. Since she was there, he wasn't alone.
Which made it, if only slightly, more bearable to wait for class to start as face after face entered the room. Specifically, when one certain face entered the room.
Oh that's right, Arthur was in this class too.
He whipped his head around back to Angelique, ignoring the look she gave him.
"You okay?" Why did everyone ask that? What was not okay about him right now? Why did people think he wasn't okay? It made no sense.
"Yup," Alfred sighed.
He was relieved that apparently today was a lecture day. Usually, he hated lectures in any class- but he loved American History. He was almost sickeningly patriotic about his country.
Alfred managed to pay attention the whole time. They were talking about the Civil War, and it was all very interesting for Alfred. He listened intently as they spoke about Gettysburg, and how the North made a dramatic come-back. Apart from the few times Angelique poked him to ask to clarify a point as she wrote notes, he was fully absorbed in the conversation- something that apparently wasn't happening for the rest of the students.
Many of them didn't even come from America, and didn't really care. One student in particular had no intentions about learning about America's Civil War.
No, when the lecture ended and Alfred looked around the room, one student was most definitely looking at something that was not the speaker.
Alfred looked away as soon as his gaze had locked with Arthur's.
Crap, had Arthur been staring at him the whole time? He glanced down at his clothes and wondered how he looked. He thought about how stupid he must of looked, held in rapture by some stupid monotonous lecturer.
Of course, that was when he remembered he 'didn't care', and shoved his books into his bag violently. He 'didn't care' one bit. He continued to 'not care' as he pulled his bag over his shoulder and started to travel towards the door.
"Hey Alfred," a, distinctly English, voice called as he began leaving the room. He paused.
To walk away or not to walk away... He turned and looked at the man walking up to him. He'd promised Gilbert to be nice, so...
"Thanks," Arthur said, walking up besides Alfred. "I've been meaning to talk to you."
"Really?" Alfred asked, trying his best not to sound utterly pissed. While later he might claim to be angry at Arthur, he was really just angry with himself and the odd ways he'd been acting lately.
"Yes I-" he was cut off by loud voices in the hallway. The two of them had been standing just inside the doorway, and at the noise Arthur looked out and around the door frame.
"Oh for- what the hell is wrong with them?" Arthur glared, and Alfred peered out around the door as well, prompted by the other man's reaction.
There, walking down the hall, were two familiar figures.
"I can't even- why-?" Arthur growled as the smaller man lunged at the larger in an apparent attempt to hit him. "Give them two minutes and- You know what?"
Alfred jolted as Arthur shifted his attention back to him suddenly, spinning. "Uhm, no?"
"I'll have to get back to you, I need to do something before Lovino gets both of them expelled... or kills Antonio." Alfred turned around again, watched as said Italian began causing a scene- in an actually occupied hallway this time.
Alfred was relieved, he wasn't exactly looking forward to any sort of conversation with Arthur. The man was beyond his comprehension, and no matter what Gilbert said, he was still pissed- especially at the way the man had spoken to him earlier... Not that he had the will to bring up said 'earlier' or continue that line of discussion.
Arthur let out a sort of 'hmpf' as he watched the scene, wondering if he really needed to intervene. When Lovino started shouting curses, he decided he did.
Meanwhile, Alfred was cursing himself for bringing up that whole 'earlier discussion' in his mind. Now all he could think about was how in the hell could he have a normal conversation with this man. It was terribly awkward. While Arthur apparently had no problem with talking to him, Alfred wanted to bolt away to the nearest safe-haven every time the situation even seemed like he might have to talk to the other. How could Arthur talk to him so casually when their last, and technically only, conversation had not only been a fight, but one about- well about their other only interaction. One that still hovered in the corner of his mind, no matter how much he denied that.
Arthur sighed, finally beginning to move to stop the fight. He patted Alfred on the arm as he began to walk out, pausing as the American visibly jumped at the contact.
"Really?" he asked, raising an eyebrow and trying to hold back a chuckle as a smile pulled at his lips. "Well then, noted."
"What do you-" Alfred began, suddenly even angrier at the smug tone that had worked it's way into the British man's voice. However, Arthur had already walked out and was heading over to the fighting pair.
Alfred decided now would be the time to escape.
He certainly didn't stand there watching as Arthur began to yell at the pair- certainly didn't stare at all.
Alfred finally scurried away, quickly making his way to the dorms. He didn't have any other classes until late, and was determined to lock himself up in his room before he would be forced to interact with humanity anymore. Maybe he'd read some books, since the television was out.
Faint shouts of 'well then get over yourself' could be heard behind him- with a slightly fainter 'but come on Lovi, I want to get it for you' as a reply.
Alfred sighed as he put distance between himself and the chaos. Even though the voices were now safely hidden behind a corner, Alfred could still vaguely hear them. He winced in sympathy as Lovino's voice could be heard, obviously lashing out at the poor Spaniard who had been his target of rage.
If he didn't have to deal with anyone or anything for an hour or two, he'd be happy.
Thank you for reading!
So anyway, Alfred is oblivious as ever and his friends meet Arthur, even if they don't know it... I think that's the progress I made in 6,000 something words. Go me! XD Oh and Alfred got invited to a party thing. Uhh, Matthias made an appearance. So that's something too. Denmark...
(Oh is my LietPol showing? Gosh that's embarrassing. And the fact that Francis' mystery girl still doesn't have a name... Hahaha... That's awkward.)
Also, noting now- Gilbert is fiercely, super protective over his friends. You mess with his friends, he will not be happy. He'd probably be the worst in any situation when his friends were actually in trouble/danger. He may not seem like it, but he's really serious about his friends and anything that troubles them. (/omg'Mamabird'/dies) Gilbert, Al's right. No sane person would say that, you've been hanging around Gilbird too much.
And Arthur is a tease. Also noted...
Anyway- Thank you for all the favorites, follows, and reviews!~ I hope you enjoyed my writing, and please let me know what you think. :3