It felt so wrong being there. Being safe and secure in his home when he knew across the sea the nation he had come to see not only as his ally, but as his best friend and only love, was suffering a most horrible fate. Arthur stared out the clear window that was taller than himself; adorned with red velvet curtains and golden tassels. He pressed a pale palm to the glass and looked out over the grassy and green front yard of Buckingham Palace. Like still lawn ornaments made of stone Royal Guards stood in perfectly straight lines along this gassy lawn; instruments in hand. He high fences and gates made of towering stones and winding iron we climbed and leaned on by people of all ages who were trying to catch a glimpse of the guards and the action they were about to perform. Men's faces somber and stoic while women's were blotchy, red, and streak with tears. Everyone gazed with blood shot eyes from the sting of salty tears including Arthur himself. Clenching his hand into a fist against the glass he turned to the old women dressed in elaborate clothes who sat on the sofa, a cup of tea trembling in her old knobby hands. The areas under her eyes were puffy and at the corners new tears were forming and getting ready to spill to her wrinkled cheeks. "Your majesty…" Arthur mumbled comfortingly to her though he did not move. She placed her tea cup on the table quickly and reached into the pocket of her dress; pulling out a white handkerchief embroidered with flowers he had done himself.
"Please forgive me." She whimpered slightly as she dabbed at her puffy eyes with the cloth. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath as she held the handkerchief to her mouth. "It's just such a horrible tragedy…" She cried softly as he small shoulders shook with quiet sobs.
"Yes…it was…" He said as he tried to keep his voice from choking and cracking from the fact he too wanted to sob along with her. But gentlemen didn't cry and especially not in front of their queens. "I thank you for doing this your majesty. Truly you don't know how much this means to me."
"Oh Sir Kirkland please…" she laughed a little as she tried to bring up the mood. "It is no trouble at all. America is our brother country after all and we ought to let him know that he is in our hearts and in our prayers." She said as she gracefully lifted herself off the couch and walked over to the window where he stood. What a wonderful woman his queen was; truly she was.
The repeated beat of a snare drum signaled the start. With pin point percussion and perfect synchronization all the guards lifted their respected instruments and began to play. The queen watched with sorrowful eyes as she softly sang the words. "Oh say can you see by the dawns early light…" Arthur couldn't help, but join her in singing the words he knew so well.
"What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?"
"Arthur look! Isn't the sunset beautiful?" Alfred exclaimed as he threw his arms high up into the air as if he intended to touch the sky. "There's nothing like a sunset when seen from your own beautiful country!"
"Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming,"
"God I just love stars Iggy! They're just like on my flag!" Alfred exclaimed as he lay in a grassy field abundant in wild flowers shadowed by the night time sky and light gently by the moon's soft light. "Hey Arthur could you imagine if all those stars represented states in America?" He questioned as he raised his hand up to try and touch the gleaming orbs of light that were scattered across the sky. "I need one freakin' huge flag to fit them all!" He laughed a laugh that could make even the coldest of hearts grow warm.
"And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,"
"Yeah! Happy birthday to me!" Alfred exclaimed pumping as fist in the air. "Happy fourth of July and in tribute to my greatness I'm putting on a fireworks display!" He loved fireworks; they were his favorite. That's why on the fourth of July there was always a gigantic fireworks display put on in his honor. "Just look at all those colors! Colors I could never even dream of! Aren't they beautiful Arthur?!"
"Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there."
"It was still there Arthur. When I went to Pearl Harbor after the attack it was still there. My flag, tattered and torn, but still waving proudly in the breeze. I'll never give up Arthur, never! As long as my flag still waves proudly then I will too stand up and be proud!"
"Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave," By this point tears were freely flowing down Arthur cheeks and staining his clean pressed suit. His queen there sobbing right beside him; just barely managing to choke out the rest of the song through her sorrowful cries. This was for you America, this was for you Alfred.
"For the land of the free and the home of the brave."
"I will never give up, I will never surrender. I will protect this country and these people until the day I die. As long as I still breathe, as long as I have the wide grassy plains under my feet, the bright blue sky above my head, and my people proudly standing I will never ever give up! I am America! We are Americans! We are the people of freedom and bravery! We are the heroes!"
Arthur could feel not only his own sorrow, but the sorrow of his people as well as they wailed and cried for the devastating blow to their brother country. They are with you America, in heart, in mind, in soul, and in spirit. "You are the Hero America… you always have been and you always will be…"
Thousands of miles away, in a New York hospital, a familiar blonde smiled in his unconscious state. His internal being knowing that out there, there were people who would always have his back.
I have to admit I wrote this in like 30 minutes, but that entire 30 minutes I was practically bawling my eyes out. I wrote this for the USUK Kink Meme and the person who made the request said that after 9/11 at Buckingham Palace in England the Royal Guards played America's national anthem to honnor them.
"The British Royal Guards playing the "Star Spangled Banner" in Buckingham Palance the day after the September 11 attacks. If nations are people and anthems are their lullabies, then here was Mother England singing to her grieving American child."
I was still fairly young when 9/11 happened so I didn't understand back then, but now that I've grown up I can see everything. As a faithful American citizen my heart still goes out there to everyone who lost their lives of lost loved ones to this horrible tragedy. May all of them rest in peace.