CHAPTER THIRTY (and every breath we drew was hallelujah)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

In the waiting area of Terminal 3 of London Heathrow Airport, a young blond man in a green T-shirt that matched his eyes paced alongside a row of chairs, checking his phone between bites at his thumbnail. He'd been pacing for several minutes now – long enough that the others that were calmly sitting down had taken to ignoring him. Between glances at his phone, he stared hard at the crowd down the length of the terminal.

He was so on edge that, even though he was prepared for and expecting it, he still jumped when his phone started to play a tinny, over processed melody.

He answered it, almost snarling into the receiver, "Where the bloody fuck are you?"

"Relax, Arthur, I'm headed your way," an American-accented voice said on the other end, laughter in his tone. "I can see you now, actually."

Arthur whipped around, searching the terminal crowd frantically until he saw familiar gold hair and a leather jacket.

He didn't even notice that the smile splitting the newcomer's face was only beaten by his own. His thumb pressed the 'end' button automatically.

The American took the last few steps in giant strides, dropped his carry-on, and scooped him up in a bear hug that lifted him off his feet. They clung a little desperately and pressed a little closely. Arthur buried his nose in the American's collar, and it smelled just as he remembered it.

"God, I missed you," Arthur whispered fiercely. The American nodded against his shoulder, gave him one more squeeze, and set him down just as his other companions joined him – an older couple that had to be his parents, a brunet in a slightly crumpled suit, and a blond in a purple V-neck. The woman gave Arthur a shorter, but no less bruising, embrace while the man clapped him on the back. The other two stood awkwardly to the side, talking quietly to each other.

"Good to see you again, Arthur," he said with a smile. Arthur grinned in return.

"Come on, Uncle Leo and Aunt Jo are waiting by the baggage claim, and we don't want to get the van towed again," he said, leading them towards the exit.

The American laughed, slinging an arm around Arthur's shoulders. "Lead the way, oh wise one."

Arthur rolled his eyes and shrugged the arm off. "Gladly, oh idiotic one."

{A/N: Okay, this is gonna be a doozie. I have many things to say.

Let's start with thank you. Yes, this is to you, lurker in the corner who has never said a word to me and tells all your friends to read this anyway. I know you're there. You make me happy to be here and to be a fanfic writer, no lie. (Also to you, people who review, whether it's just once anonymously or every chapter. You make it worth it, too.)

Now that's out of the way. This is the end of this leg in the story. However, this is not the end of this universe - not by a long shot. I've kind of hinted at a sequel that would be weirdly formatted, but I'm going to use this opportunity to explain it better.

It's going to be a blog.

Yeah, I'm going to abuse another form of communication. What's going to happen is I'm going to have mostly Arthur with cameos from Alfred and Toris run a semi-daily updating LJ community thing for their trip. It will start in two weeks, roundabout July 11. The community is were_awesome – you know links are weird here, but just put that in the www of the lj URL and you'll find it. Or google it, that works too.

The transition from there to here will be tricky. What I finally decided on doing is putting a month's worth of entries in a chapter, so it'll be 'July 2008', 'August 2008', etc., and update it at the end of every month. I'll do it in realish time, so the years will be dated back, but not the days. Makes it easier for me. Also, there will be random scenes that I will want to write/think should be explained more than Arthur will, so the occasional prose bit from my own lj account (it's hotbabysitter (STOP LAUGHING DAMMIT)) will be there as well.

So that will hopefully continue for the next year. After that, I'll either continue the universe with a one-shot series of things of their futures (and 'their' includes more than Alfred and Arthur, btw) if I'm not burned out, or just have a giant 'Where are they now?' post. Because I do know. I know too much about this universe, to be honest. (IF AT ANY TIME YOU WANT TO KNOW COME TO MY TUMBLR ASK BOX MKAY)

Thank you guys again. I don't know how y'all have sat through this whole tangled mess with me, but I'm glad you did. It made everything worth it.

Cheers, loves.

~ Caroline

PS EDIT: Since I'm getting so many questions in the reviews I guess I'll put it here. The sequel is no longer in that LJ community. It's on here, under the title 'Wicked Twisted Road'. Have a nice day.}