A/N: Wow, I'm sorry again for not updating last week. Anyway, I'm working on a PruCan one-shot as well as these two fics, because an idea randomly occurred to me and I couldn't just leave it there. So expect it to be posted here as well.
And yeah, from this chapter on is where plot really starts to thicken hahahah. Enjoy!
CHAPTER TWO: The Universe is Never So Lazy
"I'm sorry" he said, picking the books from the floor, hoping the other wouldn't notice the way his cheeks had turned bright red.. "That has been pretty embarrassing"
But Francis, at that, just flashed that wonderful smile that made his knees go weak.
"I thought it was pretty cute, actually. And I got to know your book taste, and I must say, I'm impressed. I'd love to discuss books with you."
And Arthur fell in love instantly.
So, out of all the crappy first impressions Arthur had made in his entire life, little would be able to top "Fallin-because-of-a-heart-shaped-plastic-arrow" in the embarrassing pole. And he would actually feel embarrassed, if not for two reasons:
a) It was not his first impression on the guy
b) The first one had been even more embarrassing.
"Are you okay?" Francis asked, "That thing hit you in the head pretty hard."
And he made a move to grab Arthur's wrist, but the Brit visibly flinched.
"Get out of here!" he whispered, because no matter how angry he was, he wasn't about to make a scene.
"Hey. Why should I? I am invited to this party just as much as you are. In fact, I believe I've been here far longer than you."
"Invited my ass. You've been following me!"
"Yeah, sure, because I honestly have nothing better to do than to stalk someone I bumped into two weeks ago, just so I can… what? Watch him fall to the ground one more time? No offence, cher, but there are way better YouTube videos for that."
Now that he put it that way, it didn't even make sense to Arthur. Not that he was going to admit that out loud.
It was a coincidence. Just a coincidence. Coincidences existed.
It-it wasn't like it was some kind of fate, or anything.
"Listen. I don't know who you are, or why you are here, and I honestly couldn't care less, but I would be a lot happier if you could stop running into me, because you are starting to make me believe the Universe hates me, and I've been enjoying telling my friend 'I told you so' way too much to recognize my defeat now."
The French sighed, just the bare hints of a smile on his lips.
"You tell me. I was just about to prove a point by not meeting anyone on that corner when suddenly… I meet you. You made me look like a complete idiot. Good thing it was just a coincidence, and I didn't see you ever aga… oh shit." and the look of dawning comprehension, followed by utter annoyance, matched exactly that of Arthur's just minutes ago.
"Yeah. That's the word. And let me guess, the point had something to do with coincidences, fate, the Universe or something like that?" he asked, smirking.
The other seemed genuinely surprised at that.
"Yeah, how did you now?"
He rolled his eyes, not bothering to hide the smile that gave it all away.
And they both burst out laughing.
"But don't tell them that, otherwise they'd think it's another proof we're made for each other or something like that" the French commented.
"'So how did you meet the love of your life?' 'Well, you see, I was insulting the Universe when I bumped into him and we both fell to the ground'. Bet it'd make a great movie."
"I just made you lose your balance. Will you marry me?" Francis asked, barely containing his laughter.
Okay, so the guy was funny. And attractive, too. And shared his views on life, love, and how big of a bullshit it all was. Honestly, had he met him in any other circumstances, he would be all over him now. But, things being as they were, it would mean to sacrifice his 'I told you it was just a coincidence and we would never meet each other ever again' chant he had been giving everybody for the last two weeks.
Stupid Alfred, with his stupid talks about love.
Besides, losing his status of "argument winner" wasn't worth a one-night-stand. N-not that he wanted anything else with the guy, really.
"Okay, so here's the thing. You're funny and all, but we weren't supposed to meet." he began.
"No offense, but I don't want to risk my moral superiority of having been right just for a conversation with you here." the French added.
"None taken, because my thoughts exactly. So, what about we part ways, and never ever ever ever see each other again?"
Francis nodded, and smiled.
"Sounds fine to me. And I hope you find someone else to complain about love with, one that doesn't happen to be your decisive proof of it not existing."
"Same. It's a pity, you sounded like a nice guy."
"O...kay. So maybe it's time to go." Francis stated, but made no attempt to move.
"Yeah, that would be the right thing to do." Arthur agreed, but didn't move an inch.
And they just stood there, awkwardly, looking at each other. After a bit of reluctance, though, they parted ways.
And that was it. Really.
Yeah, it could be said that after that, Arthur had a great time and enjoyed himself. That he drank a bit too much, danced, talked and laughed. That he stayed the night at his friend's sofa (a bad decision, especially taking into account Alfred's boyfriend had just come back from his two-week business trip and the main bedroom and the living room shared the same wall), that the morning after he refused to meet any of them in the eye, but helped out cleaning anyway, and then took the subway to his first day at his new job, on the other side of the city and for which he had had to rent a new flat, with a fresh start, any traces of the conversation long since forgotten.
But that, of course, would be lying.
After all, reality is just an awesome story someone has decided to ruin with the truth.
So, really, what happened was that Arthur spent the rest of the night trying to avoid the other blonde. And when his American friend yelled 'hello!' at him while he was looking the other way, he jumped so high he nearly spilled his drink.
And several other people's in the process.
"God, you scared me!" he whispered.
"Why? And I haven't seen you in the whole night, dude, were you hiding?"
Yes, I was, thank you for asking.
"No, of course I wasn't! Wh-what gave you that idea?" he asked, and tried to laugh it off. If it came out as a nervous laughter rather than a noncommittal one… well, that will be left for debate.
"Nothing really. It was a joke. Wow, a bit jumpy, aren't we?"
"Anyway, I was looking for you to tell you… have you seen…"
Oh please you have seen him too, haven't you? Some part of me was actually hoping it would all be some kind of big joke or hallucinations or something…
And while he was panicking he must have missed some part of the speech, because the next thing that came out of Alfred's mouth went along the lines of:
"...because I told him I wouldn't do anything until all our guests went home and we were alone, and he started kicking people out. And I mean literally. Some of my co-workers save sent me a message saying 'Sorry, I didn't know I was cockblocking you'"
By the context, the Brit was relieved to find he was talking about his boyfriend. But that raised a lot of questions, the biggest of them being…
"But you do remember I was supposed to sleep here, my new flat not being entirely ready and having to help you with the clean-up and all that…"
And, by the way Alfred blushed heavily, he feared the worst.
"Yeeeeeeeahh…. About thaaaaaaaaaat… I was planning to tell him that you are a really really heavy sleeper, and you wouldn't notice…"
"YOU WERE PLANNING TO HAVE SEX WITH ME IN THE HOUSE?"
"Maybe. Kind of. Sort of. Yes."
"You're the worst friend ever. When have I done that to you? When have I had sex with people when I knew you could hear it and be mentally scarred for life?"
"Okay, about that, I think the right question to ask would be 'when have I had sex?' period."
"Yeah, sure, joke around all you want, but I'm not helping you clean all this. And I am definitely not staying the night."
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry. But, you now, he has just come home and…" After that, Alfred started giving some sloppy excuses, which Arthur paid no attention to because, actually, that was a pretty good excuse to run away from the clean-up. And if he also ran away from Francis in the process, well, all the better.
"I don't want to hear anything else. Too much information. Too much information. Besides, I don't want to start my new job with the looks of someone who has seen hell. 'So, tell us about your self, Arthur' 'I've seen things you people wouldn't believe'. No thanks. I'm going home." and he began looking for his coat.
Just as he was opening the door, he heard his friend shout from the other side of the room.
"Call me tomorrow! We can go celebrate if the job's any good, or have a complaining party if it isn't!"
He tried to answer, but the music was too loud for his voice to be heard, so he made the phone sign with his hands and nodded.
He really, really wished it was the former.
But, because karma was a bitch, it ended up being the latter.
Okay, don't get Arthur wrong, the job itself was pretty nice. The office was big,the tasks easy and the paycheck nice. Even his boss didn't seem like the arrogant type (much), although his thick German accent sometimes made it difficult to understand him.
No, no, no, all that was nearly perfect. And Arthur was actually beginning to feel confident about the whole deal, relaxing a bit when he was guided to his new workspace. He even allowed himself to think that it could even go well, after all.
But then it all went to hell.
"Did you just put my stuff in jello again?" someone shouted, followed by a shriek of laughter that sounded strangely closer to a 'kesesese' than a normal laughter should.
He turned around just in time to see a plate full of yellow jello with a stapler floating in the middle, and didn't even have time to ask when a voice behind his back sighed audibly, and just murmured:
"Forgive him. He's my...uhhh… Bruder, and co-founder. Whereas I work hard to keep this business growing, he, well… you can see. One of your new co-workers, Roderich, and him, are not… quite on the best terms. Apart from that, we're a really serious company, I assure you, and such behavior will not be tolerated."
He could have been content with that, office pranks he could handle. But then the real ruiner came, as the person on the desk next to his spoke:
"Oh come on, don't scare him off. You, the new one, what's your favorite jello flavor?" he asked, and Arthur swore he could recognize that voice anywhere.
"Francis?" he asked.
At that, the German interrupted them:
"Do you know each other?" He asked, to which both Francis and Arthur answered without missing a beat:
At Ludwig's stare, they looked at each other in the eye, and answered:
Their boss, to that, just shrugged and left, while saying:
"Francis, since you know each other, why don't you show him the rest of the office?"
After they both made sure he had left, Arthur hissed:
"Okay, this is just pissing me off now."
"Oh, it's pissing you off? Who's the stalker now?"
"I hate you."
"I hate you more."
They both briefly wondered if things could get worse. By now, one could hope they had learnt their lesson and stopped tempting fate. But, since they didn't, a roaring 'kesesese' echoed behind them, followed by a shout:
"Oh God, Francis, isn't that the guy you made the bet about?"
To Be Continued...
A/N: So, yeah, I've been watching a bit too many episodes of The Office lately hahaha.
Anyway, as usual, review if you enjoyed it :)