Arthur didn't know what to expect when he opened his door one morning to head to work, and found two children - mere babies - sleeping in two carriers on his doorstep. He didn't exactly have the things people needed to take care of babies, but he wasn't about to leave them at an orphanage because he knew what it was like to grow up in a place like that. Scratching his head, Arthur picked up both carriers, one in each hand, and took the sleeping children inside before the neighbors started leaving their homes.
Standing in his living room just staring at the children, Arthur decided the first thing he needed to do was call into work, coming up with some excuse as to why he couldn't go. Of course he couldn't say he was sick, but what else was he supposed to say? He wasn't about to tell his boss that he found two kids he was going to take care of now. Arthur was scrolling through his contacts list, readying himself to call, when one of the babies started crying.
"Bloody he-" Arthur cut himself off realizing that just because they were babies, didn't mean they wouldn't learn his swearing. Arthur unbuckled the child, picking him up before he could wake up the other. He didn't know what he was doing. He didn't have any children of his own, he was an only child, so he didn't have any nieces or nephews either.
"Please stop crying... I don't know what you want!"
Arthur bit his lip, trying everything he could to calm down the crying boy. He rocked the kid, paced around with him in his arms, looked around the kitchen for anything the kid could eat, but there was nothing Arthur could do. And amidst the crying and focus on the one child, Arthur couldn't hear the other baby crying from his carrier in the other room, nor the sound of his phone ringing on the coffee table.
"Why won't you stop crying? How long to babies cry for? Doesn't that hurt your chords, boy?"
Arthur was already regretting his decision to take the boys inside, but he also felt if he didn't bring the boys inside, he would regret that even more. Arthur held the crying baby with one arm, his other hand running through his blond locks, already stressed, and it had only been twenty minutes! Didn't people just naturally fall into the habit of caring for children? Why couldn't it happen to him?
It took another five minutes for Arthur to realize just what was wrong with the boy. "Diaper. Dirty diaper. Babies cry when they have dirty diapers, right?"
Without a second thought, Arthur carried the boy down the hall, to one of the guest bedrooms. Knowing he wouldn't be having company anytime soon anyway, Arthur stripped the baby until he could reach the kid's diaper only to realize once he had the damp and heavy object in his hand that he had no spare diapers, nor any idea have how to wrap up the diaper like normal people do when they change a diaper.
Not knowing what to do, Arthur grabbed an old T-shirt and some safety pins, doing his best to keep the thing around the kid's waist. Once he clipped the fourth pin onto the shirt, Arthur leaned back and groaned. What was he supposed to do? He didn't have anyone to watch these kids while he shopped for things for them, nor did he have anyone who would do the shopping for him.
"Mon Dieu!" a voice shouted from the doorway of the guest bedroom, scaring Arthur nearly off the bed. "First you don't come into work, you don't call to say why, you don't even answer your phone when we call. I drive all the way out here to find your front door open, and this poor child crying in a carrier on your coffee table! What have you done to these children?!"
Arthur could feel his face reddening because not only did he know he didn't know what he was doing, but now Francis, Francis of all people knew it.
"Nothing! I've only just brought them inside this morning!"
"You keep your children outside?!" Francis asked, horrified.
"That's not what I meant! First off, these aren't even my children! I found them on my doorstep this morning. I didn't have the heart to send them to a bloody orphanage."
"I'm not saying you should have. You could have called me for help."
"And just why would I do that?"
"The only other person you know with a child is Tino, and his husband makes you uncomfortable."
"You don't have," Arthur started saying before he recalled many occasions in which Francis had shown him and everyone at the office the many pictures of his "Three-year-old Angel," Michelle.
Francis gave Arthur a look that said: "I do, and you don't know what you're doing."
"I don't need your help, Francis."
"Really? I think the baby that managed to pull off his diaper would say otherwise."
Arthur cursed, doing his best to put the shirt back on the boy.
"I desperately need your help, Francis."
Francis smirked, already knowing what he would do first.
"Luckily for you, I have a car seat that we can use. I will take... What this one's name?"
"Name?" Arthur asked dumbly. "I didn't even know this one's gender until I had to change his diaper," Arthur informed Francis, holding the first boy up.
"Well, wasn't there a card? Usually when someone does that, they leave a note with their names."
"This isn't a movie, Francis. No sane person would do that. They'd be caught for sure. There's no note, I don't know if that one is a boy or a girl, and I'm not sure if this is something I should really follow through with."
"I'm going to take this child with me to go shopping. I only have the one car seat, and since your boy doesn't have an actual diaper on, he stays here with you. I'll grab everything you need for you, and since I know what I'm doing, and you so clearly do not, I will help you for a few days. But I can't promise any more than that."
Arthur watched the other blond man leave, taking the other child with him.
"Names?" Arthur asked himself, looking to the boy still in his hands. He held him at an arm's length, trying to come up with a good name for the boy, but nothing came to mind. Names had to have some meaning behind them, right? Arthur always liked to imagine he was named after King Arthur, a great British ruler. "A name just as worthy as my own, I would think. Nothing less for my son." That word sounded weird coming from his mouth, but at the same time, Arthur liked the feeling he got when looking at the boy that was now his son.
"There's only one other king that I could possibly name you after. His name was Alfred the Great, and he was great indeed. I expect great things from you then, Alfred."
Arthur sat on the bed in the guest bedroom with Alfred for nearly two hours until Francis announced his arrival with Arthur's other child, and whatever Arthur would need to care for his children. "I think they're back, Alfred. What do you think?" Of course Arthur knew that Alfred couldn't really respond to it, but to the boy's credit, he smiled at Arthur, reaching up in an attempt to grab the British man's hair.
"Well, Arthur, I discovered on the way back that you have two boys. What are you going to do with that information?"
"Well, I think Alfred knew that he had a brother."
"Alfred? Is that what you've named him?"
"Of course. Alfred will become a great man like his namesake. However, I'm not sure I could think of another name for that one."
"Don't bring down his self-esteem by calling him 'that one.' How would you like it?"
"Fine. I have no idea what to name my other son. Better?"
"Much. Fortunately for you, I've named him for you. Matthieu. After the "Happiest Man on Earth" because I want him to be happy. Living with you, I'm sure that's going to be hard for him."
"Very funny. I don't appreciate you giving him a French name though. But to appease you, I shall call him Matthew."
Deciding to take the victory while he had it, Francis held out Matthew to Arthur. "You hold Matthieu, while I show you how to change a diaper."
As the day drew to a close, Francis started packing up his work things. Arthur knew that without Francis, he would still be sitting in the guest bedroom with diaperless boys, and no way to feed them.
"Just make sure, since you only have the playpen, that the boys don't hurt each other."
"How am I supposed to do that if I'm asleep?"
"Fatherly instincts," Francis responded with a wink before bidding a farewell and leaving Arthur alone with the boys.
"Fatherly instincts, huh? I don't think mine will come just overnight. Sorry boys. I'll try my best, and if that isn't good enough, then I'll do better. Anything for you boys."
Arthur figured it was only because he loved his sons more than anything, but he would literally do anything for them. He was prepared to quit his job if that's what it took to take care of his boys. However, he wouldn't let them sleep right next to each other, piling up the pillows to split the pen in half, placing Alfred and Matthew on their own sides. Nodding his head, Arthur moved to his bed just across the room, falling asleep with a smile on his face.
The following morning, Arthur had awoken to find Alfred and Matthew laying side by side over the pillow wall Arthur had made.
The first few weeks were definitely the hardest for Arthur to handle; especially at night. Arthur was in a constant state of exhaustion because if it wasn't Alfred that woke up in the middle of the night crying, it was Matthew, and when it was neither, Arthur worried something was wrong with his boys. He wasn't getting sleep, which made it even harder to care for Alfred and Matthew during the day. Francis stopped coming over as often, making Arthur more independent. He was getting the hang of taking care of the twins, but Arthur could never have guessed what the boys would be like as they grew older.