A/N: Okay, so this is absolutely not what I planned to write this weekend. I should really, reeeeeally be updating Shut Up And Take My Hand, which has been on hiatus... forever, but this idea struck me and I needed to get it out of my mind. I haven't even given the idea time to settle down, which I usually do, so this has come up right off the top of my head, and I apologize if it doesn't even make sense. If it does to you, well then congratulations, you have a new fic on your hands!

I just hope you like making fun of overused clichés as much as I do, because guys, this is about to go serious.

PROLOGUE: "A teenage vow in a parking lot"

It was a clear night, unusually so. One of those nights when the sky revealed its true beauty, when the Universe was shown in all its glory. Or, at least, that's what Arthur thought, looking from the car's window; body glistening with sweat, ragged breathing and heartbeat uneven.

He felt hot air tickling his neck, and it send shivers down his spine. It was short-lived, though, as he felt arms enveloping his body and a voice, no more than a whisper, in his ear:

"Forever?" it asked.

"Forever" he said

He felt butterfly kisses along his neck, to his shoulder, and then all the way up. When they stopped, the voice came back:

"Always?" it asked

"Always" he said

And, in that moment, Arthur Kirkland thought that maybe, maybe, happy endings were real after all.

"You know", Arthur said, "Happy endings are bullshit"

Alfred, in return, just glared at him

"Dude, you could have said that before we got the fucking tickets!"

"I did tell you" the Brit said, although he knew it was a blatant lie.

They had just gotten out of an overly long line in the only theater that dared to do a marathon of the most clichéd, overrated, hideous romantic dramas ever made. And on Valentine's, of all days.

The room was full of horny teenagers and yet here they were, two grown-up men, one of them even in a committed relationship, waiting for Moulin Rouge to start.

Yes, one could wonder how they had ended up there. The answer, of course, was pretty much disappointing.

"No, you didn't. You called me all like 'hey, they're doing a chick flick marathon!' and I, being the great friend that I am, drove both our asses down to this theater, like who does that anymore? We've both got Netflix, for God's sake!, and I pay for the tickets while you eat popcorn (which I also paid for) and complain about love, life, or whatever the hell is your topic of choice now. So tell me, out of all the things you claim to hate, why should I have known romantic movies were the ones you actually hate?"

Arthur merely shrugged, checking the tickets to know which room they needed to enter.

"I don't hate them, I just said they were bullshit. And don't even get me started on those that are 'based on a true story'. Yeah, sure, so is Batman." he huffed.

"Whatever, man. We're seeing them anyway, we are already here."

They got into the room and found their seats, just about the first commercials started showing.

"And if you think they're bullshit, why are we here again?"

"A mixture of masochism and a secret inner grumpy old man who prefers doing things he hates just to complain about then rather than things he actually likes doing?"

Arthur looked around quickly at the room, surprised by the huge amount of teenagers inside. Just a quick glance at any of them was enough to know who'd dragged who and who was there just for the 0,00001% chance of getting laid.

"You know, I have long since stopped wondering why you do the things you do. And actually, now that I think about it, you kinda look like that grumpy old man from that old book all the TV shows plagiarise every Christmas"

It took him a minute to translate that to English.

"Scrooge" he said.

Alfred looked at him, confused.


He rolled his eyes, trying his best not to feel physical pain at that.

"Ebenezer Scrooge. The name of the man. And the 'old book' you're looking for is 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens"

"Oh excuse me, Mr. English Major."

"Don't apologize to me, apologize to English Literature. No, wait, to World Literature. Scratch that, you should issue a formal apology to World Culture in general."

"Why do I even put up with you?"

"Because I put up with you, obviously."

His friend elbowed him lightly, signaling the film had already started. As the initial scene began, Arthur smirked.

Oh, this was going to be good.

And in the end, it actually was, if Alfred's roaring laughter two hours later was anything to go by.

"Duuuuude, you make complaining about stuff an art" the American said, as they were leaving their seats. And, besides the fact that his friend's snarky comments were hilarious, he also had the lingering feeling that they had managed to ruin the mood for more than one teenager couple… and the knowledge that someone, somewhere, was getting cockblocked just made it a thousand times funnier.

Arthur smiled.

"Yeah, actually that's what I wanted my college degree to be. But there were no professors available"

"I highly doubt there would be someone better than you at that, let alone an entire department. Besides, if there were any they would all possibly be the kind of grumpy old men you refuse to identify with"

"I told you I'm not old! I'm only 24" Arthur complained. It was really hard for Alfred not to remember his age, specially taking into account they were both born on the same year.

"And the fact that you didn't try to deny the grumpy part speaks volumes, buddy"

He had a point there, in fact. Not that Arthur was ever going to tell him that.

"Still, my main focus is not that the films were clichéd and poorly acted… the main fault of them is the fact that they're based on the belief that love exists, which is foolish at best, and bloody stupid at worst"

Alfred just sighed and threw the now empty bottles into the trash can, just before going outside. It was a chilly night, and wind messed both their hairs as they fumbled to put their jackets.

"You know, you weren't always like this. Man, how time flies… One day, your parents tell you you got a basketball summer camp scholarship on the other side of the country, and when you come back the first day of school, you discover that your best friend, the one that sighed, swooned and dreamed with Romeo and Juliet has suddenly become the kind of guy that believes love is just a chemical reaction."

"Actually, you know love is just a mixture between three hormones, based on the biological need to mate so that the species does not go extinct. And you do realize Romeo and Juliet lasted three days and 6 people died, so maybe it is not the best of examples of 'happily ever after' kind of stories in which you claim I used to believe in?"

"But I got my point across, didn't I?"

"Fair point."

They started walking along the nearly deserted street, in search for the parking lot where Alfred's car was.

"Matter is, you need to tell me someday what the hell happened that summer"

"I just… grew up. Discovered that real life was not a fairy tale. And maybe, maybe, I came back to reality face-first." Arthur refused to meet the other's curious gaze.

"Oh come on! Of course life is not a fairy tale, it doesn't take a genius to realize that. But sometimes, love exists. Look at Ivan and me. We're not the perfect couple- hell, he isn't even in the country on Valentine's day with me! And we have our problems, too. But we carry on. And it's pretty strange of you to be skeptical of love when you've always been willing to believe in magic."

This time, he looked at his friend dead in the eye, and whispered:

"Don't even go there."

"I won't. But you need to promise me to believe, a little bit, in fate" Alfred smiled, and Arthur cracked at that.

"Fate is not real." he stated, which only got him a smile in return:

"It is if you believe in it."

He wanted fate, right? He'd give him fate.

"Okay. Okay. So, you're trying to tell me that there is Destiny, fate, the Universe, Cupid, or someone out there that gives even a fraction of a crap about my love life? Well, then I dare them to practice on me the most infamous of all romantic clichés. 'Love is just around the corner', they say. Great, so just as we turn around that corner, the one just before the parking lot, I'll suddenly and oh-so-conveniently crash against some random stranger who just happens to be the love of my life. Come on, guys, I dare you!"

And because he was feeling extra poetic that night, he looked at the sky, unusually clear, and shouted:

"Make me believe in love! May my Prince Charming be on that corner!"

And, laughing at his own joke, he turned said corner, only to bump against someone he really, really hoped was Alfred pulling a prank on him. They both fell to the ground, much to his friend's surprise, whose voice sounded a bit too far to be coming from the body on the floor with him.

In hindsight, and for all the genre savvy he claimed he was, he really should have seen that one coming.

To be continued...

A/N: So yeah, once again, sorry for the OOC, the nonsense and all the faults this chapter might have. And I've actually learnt from my mistakes this time, and I'm typing ahead of what I'm uploading so this doesn't become another Shut Up And... kind of thing that I get stressed about updating but never do. If you wonder what I am up to between not-updating my stories, feel free to check my Tumblr (link on my profile page)

And even though this story will be mainly FrUk, my OTP is my OTP, and ooops, my fingers slipped. So PruCan will make (more than) a guest appearence now and then.

Anyway, reviews make me go all 'squeee' on public places. My friends are starting to suspect. Give them reasons to :))