Title: I'd storm heaven for you, if I knew where it was
Series: 31_days 2009.04.20 'I'd storm heaven for you, if I knew where it was'
Pairing: USA x UK/Alfred x Arthur, cameo of Japan/Kiku
Disclaimer: If I owned Hetalia, I'd own the entire world. I don't. Heading & subheadings taken from 31_days
Summary: Arthur… I may be independent now but that doesn't change my feelings for you so why are you making it so difficult?
Spoilers: Mm?? N/A for Hetalia… Y/Y?
Warning: Human names used
This is my first try at Hetalia fic!! *panic* So yeah, I'd love to hear what you guys think, especially of any OOCness because I'm quite new to Hetalia fandom. It's vaguely inspired by 'Englishman in New York' by Sting, some part of the fic loosely related to the lyrics of the song. It was on radio and I instantly saw Alfred and Arthur but of something a lot more… amusing. But as usual, the idea changed as I was writing and came out totally depressing, orz.
Arthur being asthmatic is something I added in but asthma is common in UK so there you go. Blue inhaler mentioned is Salbutamol, the instant reliever for the asthmatics in the acute attack.
:::::I'd storm heaven for you, if I knew where it was by Kanon:::::
Rivalry of the superior and inferior
"Alfred, you know I don't drink this stuff."
"Tough, Arthur. Only thing in the house."
The green eyes glare at him but there's no change in Alfred's hard face. The tense silence lasts long enough for the cup of coffee in question to start losing its steam then Arthur breaks away first, standing up without even laying a finger on the breakfast Alfred has set out.
"Wait, you're not going to eat anything?!"
"Alfred, you know perfectly well how I have my breakfast. If I don't eat, that's because of your childish stubbornness."
The exasperation in the cold statement sparks equally cold anger in the younger man's eyes and Alfred murmurs in a voice dripping of unforgiving chill.
"Who's the one being childish, Arthur?"
Arthur looks at the enraged face in a stoic gaze then without a word, grabs his jacket and leaves the kitchen.
A history that threatens to repeat itself
Alfred wishes he can block out the worries and apprehension filling him. This is Arthur after all, and the Englishman has been to his place often enough in the past not to get lost and he's certainly old enough to take care of himself. So Alfred doesn't want to care about his ex-guardian who hasn't come back for hours and he doesn't want to wonder whether Arthur has an umbrella or not because-
-because it's pouring outside. The sky is packed with weeping clouds and the windows are playing music of their own from the hard-falling droplets. It's not too unlike the day he had been reborn with his own identity at the cost of his most precious person and Alfred sees on the window, not his own reflection, but the green-eyed man that had once been so big and strong crumpled on the ground, bloodied and dirtied, and crying over the rifle that he could not pull.
The blue eyes narrow in frustration then with a curse, Alfred rushes out of the house, grabbing two umbrellas on his way.
A little fall of rain can hardly hurt me now
It doesn't take long for Alfred to find Arthur. It never takes him a long time to find Arthur because all he has to do is trace the path that his then guardian used to take his younger self along. So it's not a surprise that Alfred finds him in the Washington Square Park of the Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village, the place that shares its name with that in England.
It's when he's a few metres away and about to call the other in aggravation that he realizes Arthur is simply standing there in the torrential downpour, the blonde hair dripping wet and the green suit too many shades darker. Alfred feels almost afraid to look at Arthur's face which is facing the sky, because seeing tears falling from those eyes that used to smile at him and comfort him is something he doesn't want to experience again.
Suddenly, Arthur lowers his gaze and looks at him, the unexpected meeting of their gaze making Alfred flinch in surprise. Arthur smiles at him, but it's not the kind of one that Alfred remembers from their old days. The faint curl of the lips speaks of nothing but disdainful cynicism and the hazy green eyes are colder than the rain.
A bench, some bushes, a few trees; those little nothing are all there are between them but Alfred feels like standing at the edge of a rift that cannot be closed short of a major tectonic movement.
"Arthur," Alfred whispers, the spare umbrella still tightly clenched in his hand, "why do you come to my place when we do nothing but argue? You're always being unreasonably difficult and everyday is spent getting angry at each other but you still come time after time."
The derisive smile on Arthur's face grows just a touch wider and Alfred almost does not catch the words that stumble out of the pale lips like the sick falling on their knees.
"Do you not know, Alfred?"
The quiet, reproachful question snaps something within Alfred and he screams over the rainfall, "Arthur, I'm not your little boy anymore! I'm-"
"-independent," Arthur finishes off, the tone calm and indifferent, and Alfred stays frozen on his feet as the older man walks past him with a ghostly pat on his shoulder, "I know."
Unfeathering hope one-handed
That evening, Kiku comes to visit. For a friendship born out of need to escape from loneliness, Arthur and Kiku stay close even as their social circle grows. Perhaps it's because they're both from countries of islands and all those proper manners are maybe something that don't grow on the continental lands. Same can be said about the eccentric that both seem to harbour behind the cover of modesty and as Arthur laughs at something Kiku has said in his garden, Alfred wonders if it means sharing a smile with his ex-guardian is no longer possible a dream.
A frown scrunches the stiff face when he sees Kiku gently laying his delicate hand on Arthur's forehead, the wide sleeves graciously held back. There's concern in the black eyes and Arthur waves his hands as if to say that it's nothing to worry about. Then Alfred see them; the red tinge on Arthur's cheeks and the laboriously heaving chest. Red alarm goes off in his head, making Alfred shoot out to the garden, and he barely registers the surprise in Kiku's widened eyes as he grabs Arthur's shoulders just as the Englishman goes into a coughing fit. The breathing grows increasingly wheezy and Alfred doesn't waste a moment in scooping up the paling man in his arms.
"Alfred-san," Kiku peeps from behind him but Alfred doesn't hear it, his strides back to the house so hurried that he's more or less running. After setting Arthur down in the couch, Alfred goes through his belongings until he finds the blue inhaler he had seen Arthur use before. How could he forget that Arthur has asthma? It had scared him to death when Arthur had had his first asthma attack in his place and he used to think that the little apparatus must be like the fairy Arthur used to tell him about because it instantly put the kind, reassuring smile back on his own angel's face.
"Arthur, you idiot," Alfred half-screams, lifting the gasping man into his arms and bringing the inhaler to his mouth, "what the hell were you thinking, walking in the rain like that?!"
But the older man is too breathless to even take proper puffs of his meds, never mind answering his angry question, and for a second, Alfred can feel the old overwhelming fright he had felt when young creeping back. No, I'm a hero, he thinks desperately to himself, and a hero does not panic. Though, if he's honest with himself, it's only when Arthur finally manages to breathe in the white smoke and the wheeze dies out that he has any chance of calming down. Just as Alfred smiles weakly out of relief, Arthur, tired and now hot with fever, collapses into his arms, only the occasional coughs shaking the limp frame.
Alfred nearly jumps out of his skin at the gentle call and looks up ruefully at the oriental face that he had momentarily forgotten about.
"Sorry, Kiku. I-"
Alfred stops just in time before saying 'I didn't see you.' It sounds so lame even to himself and he knows what he's just done is very ill-mannered, ignoring his guest like that, but damnit, he's no Arthur or Kiku; just Alfred. Nevertheless, the Japanese shakes his head, understanding softly shining in the dark eyes.
"It's okay. I'll take my leave now. I leave Arthur-san in your care. I'm sure you're an expert in the area."
Alfred's not too sure exactly what Kiku is insinuating, if any, in that simple phrase. It somehow sounds a lot more meaningful than the kind tone it has been delivered in but the groan coming from his arms makes him question no further and just nod instead.
Once Kiku leaves, Alfred takes Arthur into his arms again and brings him into his own bedroom instead of the guest room that Arthur has been staying in. The ill man seems to have fallen asleep already and Alfred tucks him into the luxurious king-sized bed of his, the careful hands betraying his long-time affection for Arthur despite the furrowed eyebrows. Arthur sinks into the plush pillow out of reflex, his breathing still somewhat ragged, and Alfred unbuttons the top fastening of the clammy shirt to free the neck he used to love to lean into. Back then, those arms had been so strong and protective, hoisting up his small body in a blink of an eye.
With a sigh, Alfred sits himself down at the edge of the bed and carefully brushes the stray locks out of the shut eyes, the whispering voice cracking with strain of all the pent-up frustration and sadness and worries and love that he cannot rid of no matter what he tells himself.
"Arthur… I may be independent now but that doesn't change my feelings for you so why are you making it so difficult?"
Take care of all our dreams
It's well into the night that Arthur finally comes around and opens his eyes. It feels like there's an elephant using his head as a trampoline and his body weighed down with lead but his throat is parched and so, he tries to push himself up to get out of the bed. When he's halfway up, he realizes that his own bad health is not the only thing that's dragging him down. Hunched over on the light blue blanket over him is Alfred, the near identical blonde hair spread out like carelessly thrown threads of gold.
A weary grin adorns Arthur's face, full of amusement and nostalgic happiness, at the sight of the obliviously sleeping American. Careful not to wake him up, Arthur gently places his hand on the sun-kissed head, threading his fingers in the silky locks.
Next to the bed is a small nightstand on which a small candle is burning silently and brightly, and a bowl of water rests atop as well; it explains the white cloth loosely clenched in Alfred's hand. Turning his attention back to his young carer, Arthur slowly, slowly bends forward so that his irritated airways won't throw him into another coughing fit.
When their heads finally meet, a lone tear rolls down Arthur's cheek and falls to Alfred's blonde tuft.
"Alfred, I'm so sorry to pain you like this. And I know you're not mine any longer but I just can't seem to stay away from you for too long."
Just then, Alfred burrows into his heat with a little content hum and Arthur jerks up in shock. But the younger man is still peacefully asleep and Arthur lets out a relieved sigh.
After a moment of silent gazing at the slumbering face sans glasses, Arthur slips his hand out and leans forward again, this time, pressing his lips lightly on Alfred's temple like he had done so many times in the past once the boy had finally fallen asleep after his eighth bedtime story of the night, but with a touch more of love that guardianship is not enough to explain.
"Take care, my little prince." Then Arthur adds with a little chuckle, swallowing a cough and maybe a sob, "My little hero."
A thousand sunsets in a box
The next morning when Alfred jerks awake from the sleep he had not intended, all that greets him is a cold, empty bed and his house just as cold and empty with no trace of Arthur.