Author's note: Hello, welcome to the beginning of my first APH fanfiction. As said in the summary, it's college life AU. I'm not really absolutely familiar with the westerners' system of education but I'll try my best to keep academic related things not too stupid-sounding. Also, I think it's just fair to warn you that updates may get slow.

Disclaimer: I do not own Axis Powers Hetalia, credit goes to the genius Himaruya Hidekazu and, using Prussia's awesome words, "those annoying anime staff", without them, life would rock less and suck more.


Answer Key

By Synxailla

Prologue

Just because it doesn't happen often, doesn't mean it doesn't happen at all. And when something unusual happens, something interesting usually begins.


Alfred sat on his seat, playing idly with his favorite mechanical pencil by twirling it between his fingers. HIs eyes were drooping to a half-lidded gaze aimed at the blank white board up front of the classroom.

He would've heaved a heavy sigh of weariness, if he wasn't too tiredly bored to exert any effort besides those that kept up his habitual pen-twirling and prevented his eyelids from drifting completely close. It won't do to start his first class of the semester by sleeping it away. What would he have left to do in his History 201 class?

The other students inside the room all seemed to be unaffected by whatever virus Alfred caught to make him bored out of his mind. They were all excitable and chatting non-stop with their fellow students...sans Alfred, for he was emitting vibes that warded away anyone from coming near and striking a conversation… He was practically wearing a sign that said "Not interested, busy being bored, go away" around his neck for all his body language was suggesting.

He knew nobody in this class anyway. He was taking this course-subject with a block section, so he's pretty much a stranger to these people who have almost every class together, thus no one went out of their way talk to him. They were much too busy trying to catch up with one another since the regular semester just started, with the summer classes ending less than two weeks ago.

Alfred knew when exactly summer classes ended because obviously, unlike most of the people in the room who acted as if they hadn't seen each other in two months, he had summer classes and stayed at the dorms even during the two week classes-free time. It was definitely much better than going home…

Anywhere but there…

Alfred wondered if it wasn't too late to try and talk to the university office about transferring to another class. If he had known this time slot was occupied by a block section then he would never have enrolled himself in here.

He doesn't like being part of a block section, and he wasn't fond of being shoved into a block section he wasn't part of for that matter. He prefers being free of sections and going from one class to another not being bored by seeing the same faces over and over in each and every class. He gets bored with dull routines easily.

He decided to just block out the irritating noise from his classmates and continue on with minding his own business, namely, twirling his mechanical pencil and staring up front with half-lidded eyes… when he suddenly heard the bunch of girls to his near right go "AWW!" so loud, it was a step down from being irritating, to being very, very annoying.

"That's so sweet!" squealed one of the annoying bitc—erm, girls, annoying girls. "So Professor Anders finally worked up the courage to ask Professor Lyon to marry him?"

"Yes! My parents got invites to their wedding two days ago. My mom and Professor Lyon were apparently batch-mates, and they were close back then, if all the crocodile tears and fancy catch-up talk was anything to go by." Another girl answered.

Alfred felt one of his eyebrows arch up. So the stuffy Math professors who obviously had a thing for each other but were trying so hard to pretend to be nothing but "professional colleagues" got hitched… He never felt more proud about being the one who locked them up in that broom closet last summer.

He found himself tuned-in to the girls' conversation…

"It's no wonder they took their leave and resigned. They must have wanted time for their selves after the wedding and to start fresh on their married life."

"What? They actually went as far as resign from the university?"

"That's what I heard too," another girl spoke up, putting her two cents in, "And they say that the Head Dean encountered troubles finding replacements for them since they quit so close to the opening of regular semester."

Whoops… Maybe Alfred should've set them up on a date instead, so they could've taken things a little slower. He didn't think those two would hit it right off the bat—okay, maybe he did. It looked like the repressed sexual tension between the two professors climbed too high for them to ignore it any further… But still, resigning out of the blue and leaving multiple classes behind without Math professors was going a little bit overboard.

"Yeah, and do you know what I heard from my roommate about that?" one of the girls asked, her tone sounding like a sly tease.

A loud chorus of excited "WHAT?"s met her question. Her tone seemed to have gotten more self pleased at reaction her gossiping buddies gave.

"Well, she said that she's heard from her ex who's a lab assistant in Physics, that he's heard from the technicians working on that weekly breaking down air conditioner talking to each other about from when they were fixing the broken microwave in the professors' lounge where they heard three professors talking about welcoming a new colleague. Take note of the article "a" meaning there's only one new professor who's coming to take over Mr. and Mrs. Ander's works."

The surrounding girls all let out gasps and exaggerated noises of disbelief.

Alfred himself was a bit surprised… Equally of both the way the girl who told the story seemed as if she did so in one breath so quickly, and of the news that it contained, which she seemed so very sure of despite it not being first hand news… nor second, nor third.

"Then that would mean that the new professor would be teaching freshmen and us sophomores." Another girl mused.

"That's a lot of work." Came the reply of another girl.

Alfred silently agreed.

After that, the gossiping girls continued on with their talking and Alfred lost interest in listening further, and settled instead to entertain himself with his own thoughts. Don't laugh, he can too, use his own thoughts to settle down and entertain himself! Just because it doesn't happen often, doesn't mean it doesn't happen at all.

So the new professor is a workaholic, willingly taking up the mountain of work left by two people. Alfred thought to himself.

This time, he did heave a sigh. If the new professor turned out to be an even more of a bore than Ms. Lyon, he's going to endure a whole semester of boring math classes… Either that, or maybe he'd drop out of this class altogether. Not having been with these classmates certainly won't have been a big loss.

His blue eyes, framed by his glasses, drifted up to glance at the clock that hung above the board. It was ten past the time this class was supposed to start. It looked like the new professor was running late… He decided to take that as a good sign. A totally boring workaholic wouldn't have risked being late on the first day of class, right?

Normally, if a professor didn't show up fifteen minutes into class time, the students take off, automatically assuming that the professor wouldn't come at all… and most of the time, they don't. And since it was the first day of class for the regular semester, morning classes were cut to give way to faculty meetings as was the university's tradition. It wasn't strange for some professors to extend the suspension of classes. Maybe the new professor was one of them, having many things to sort and take care of that he (or she) had to miss class.

Five minutes worth of pen twirling later found Alfred standing up from his seat and walking over to the front door of the classroom. He'd had enough of waiting in this boring room for that new professor who didn't seem too keen on showing up to start classes. He had better things to do than sit idly and collect dust. Maybe he should visit the library to see if that hot librarian with enormous frontal assets was on duty this afternoon.

As he reached the front door, he grabbed the knob, turned it, stepped out of the room and closed the door firmly behind him. As soon as he was out of the room and into the corridor, he turned and started walking towards the main entrance of the building. Maybe he'll get off campus altogether and not bother going to any of his classes today, wouldn't hurt since he can catch up with lectures easily anyway.

With his new resolve formulated in mind, he picked up the pace of his little stroll. He was about to turn the corner when he met a blur; another person who seemed much, much more in a hurry than he was collided with him… and of course, they both stumbled down to the floor.

"Ouch" he muttered, his back ached and so did his shoulder which smashed into some part of the other person sprawled on the floor.

Speaking of the other person, Alfred recovered enough to slowly climb back onto his feet and get a better look at the blur he just ran into.

The other person was clutching his forehead, and Alfred figured it must be that which bumped hard with his shoulder. The upper half of his face was covered by the hand that clutched and gently massaged his temple, maybe in hopes of preventing any bump from showing. He had short blond hair, a lighter shade than his, which looked well kept, yet refused to stay totally tame. He looked shorter than Alfred, and of lighter build too. Maybe he was another student of the class he just left and was hurrying because he thought he was late? He was dressed a bit too formally to be a student though, what would normally be a jeans and shirt and jacket ensemble was replaced by khaki slacks, ironed button up long sleeved blue shirt, and…a red tie?. Well, there were those rich kids who thought it was fun to dress-up.

The other blond also had a brown messenger bag slung over his shoulder, this reminded Alfred that his own back pack wasn't over his own shoulder where he left it. He looked down and glanced around for a bit before spotting the blue bag near the foot of the still sprawled figure. He crouched down and reached for it, deciding to hold out a hand for the other person as well.

"Hey, are you okay there man?" he asked as he offered up his hand "Do you need to go to the clinic or something?"

The other person grumbled under his breath words that were most probably profanities if his tone of voice was anything to judge by. Among them, Alfred was able to make out something that sounded like "Ow", a hiss, "stupid frog" (?), and "bloody hell"… So the guy was British, go figure.

"You shouldn't run in the corridors you know. We're supposed to have learned that way back in elementary school" he said in a light teasing tone with a chuckle. When he received no reply from the other, he became a little worried, "Are you okay? You didn't break anything?" he asked again, his hand still held out and waiting to be able to help.

Finally, the other blond stopped his muttering and removed his hand from his forehead to glance at Alfred's hand in front of him. The first thing he noticed about the guy's face was his eyebrows, which were very eye-catching and thicker than anybody else's he'd seen before. The second thing he noticed was that, with a grumpy, ruffled and a bit of flushed look taking over his face, the guy was funnily enough, kind of cute. The third thing he noticed, as the guy's eyes traveled up from looking at his offered hand to look up at Alfred's face, strangely left him feeling breathless.

As the person looked up, Alfred was met with the most green, most clear, and most beautiful eyes that hit him with a feeling somewhat like nostalgia. He felt a tug in his chest as he held the gaze of those emerald orbs. He barely even noticed as the other grabbed his offered hand to pull himself up, but somehow he was vividly aware of the feeling of the other's hand in his own.

He watched with a kind of eerie detached interest as the other dusted off his clothes and run his hands through them, attempting to straighten out some wrinkles it got when they crashed into each other and fell. As Alfred thought, he was taller than the other and…Was it normal to have such nice-looking graceful hands for a guy?

Alfred could tell there was something wrong with him. His brain felt all muddled up and his mind seemed blurred around the edges. He couldn't think straight. Heck, he felt he couldn't think at all… Did he hit his head too but didn't notice?

He snapped out of his stupor when he realized the guy in front of him was more than just opening and closing his mouth in random intervals. He was in fact, talking to him… and Alfred didn't catch a single word that was said.

"Sorry, I spaced out. Come again?"

The person he knocked over frowned, no, more like scowled but his face was so cute it looked more like a pout. The guy's posture also tensed up, fist clenching as if trying very hard to hold himself back on using them, and eyebrows crossing together leaving creases in between them… Was it that bothersome for him to repeat himself?

"I said," the shorter blond began slowly, Alfred heard him this time, yet he was more focused on how good the other's voice sounded and how nice his accent was than what he was actually saying. He shook his head roughly to clear it, and smiled sheepishly at the other blond when clear green eyes gave him a skeptical look. The other cleared his throat before speaking again.

"I said I apologize for running blindly into you like that. My mind was elsewhere during the time. You're not badly hurt I hope?" he finished the last part sounding concerned.

Wow, that was very…polite. For some unknown reason, Alfred was expecting flailing arms, glares of daggers, and raised voices thrown at him. That was weird; his awesome instinct isn't known to fail. (Never mind that instinct has no basis). But it was nice that this guy seemed worried about his well-being… very nice.

"Nah, don't sweat it!" he replied, feeling in a better mood than when he was inside that boring classroom "I'm not injured or anything, I think… Hey, what about you? You hit your head right?"

Before he was aware he was even doing it, Alfred found his hand reaching out to touch the shorter blond's head. The man stepped away to dodge him, and it seemed totally ridiculous to have felt a pang of hurt at that… but he did.

"I'm quite fine, thank you for your concern." The green-eyed man said to him.

"T-that's good!" Alfred replied, retracting his hand and forcing on a smile. He racked his brain to find ways to change topics. "Uh, why were you running in the first place anyway?"

"Oh that… Well, I'm sort of late for class and it's my―"

"You mean Math 108 section S-3?" Alfred asked, not at all aware that he interrupted the other while talking.

Green eyes lit up with recognition and the Briton nodded his head once, "Yes that would be my class."

Alfred's smile widened. If this guy was part of that class too, then it might turn out not too much of a bore after all. He seemed interesting enough. There was just something about the shorter guy that was so, so… endearing. It'd be great if Alfred could make friends with him.

"Then you're all clear! Class hasn't begun yet." Alfred declared, and green eyes looked at him wondering.

"Of course it hasn't, that would be because I―"

"Professor hasn't showed up yet," Alfred interjected, yet again cutting the other mid-sentence, and yet again looking like he didn't know he did it. (which he probably didn't) "I was just there, but I took off since the class didn't seem like it would start anytime soon."

"Well, if you'd just go back to the classroom, class would begin shortly."

"I doubt it." Alfred said in a bored manner.

"Excuse me?"

"The professor's been late long enough to pass the message that he doesn't plan coming at all. I heard he's this new workaholic, last minute replacement professor. If you ask me, I'm glad he skipped the first day of class."

"Excuse me?" they were the same words, but Alfred failed to read the different atmosphere they were said in.

"That way, he'll have more time to settle in and we'll have more free time before boring Math classes start." Alfred explained happily "A win-win situation right?"

"Listen, Mister…?" his voice sounded strained, and his left eyebrow was having a tick that Alfred took a while to realize the other guy indirectly asked for his name.

"Oh, it's Alfred!" he said brightly "my name's Alfred F. Jones."

"Listen Mister Jones," the shorter blond started, but before he could finish, Alfred interrupted once again.

"Just call me Alfred, really, I don't mind."

"Listen. Mister. Jones." Each word, especially his last name was punctuated with a step forward. Pretty soon the guy was less than a foot in front of him and was looking up at him with a glare.

Okay, so the guy was insisting, Alfred felt like he should let him have his way, after they became proper friends they'll be beyond all that polite stuff anyway. "Uh, yes I'm listening."

"The way I am currently seeing things, you have two choices" the man leaned up and said in a low hiss "either you carry on your merry way of cutting classes…or you haul yourself back into the room you just left so you can attend class." His green eyes were alight and so unwavering that Alfred couldn't look away "But whichever one you choose, you're going to have to step out of my way, savvy?"

Without waiting for a response from Alfred, the British man walked briskly past him toward the front door of the classroom. He placed one graceful hand on the door knob but before he opened the door, he turned and looked back to the stunned American. He gave a satisfied smirk at Alfred's wide eyed look.

"But do let me tell you just one more thing Mister Jones," he said as he flashed his smug smile "Professor Arthur Kirkland isn't fond of class cutters."

With that, he turned the knob, opened the door, stepped inside the noisy classroom and let the door fall back close.

Alfred was left outside. He blinked once, twice, a hundred things racing through his mind…

That, was the new professor? He looked so young, are looks that deceiving?

He was to be Alfred's Math professor for this class?

The one he just knocked down to the floor?

And Alfred just talked to him like―like that?...

Yes, his brain answered, to all of the above

As soon as his mind placed all the facts straight, Alfred felt a smile creep its way on his face… His feet started walking back towards the door he exited a few minutes ago. He reached out for the doorknob with a new found determination and reason. He turned it and stepped inside once more, eyes automatically searching and focusing on Arthur as the professor stood on the platform in front of the class…

Nope, this class definitely wasn't too much of a bore after all… It may just prove to be quite the opposite.


tbc

Xai's Corner: well, there you have it, the prologue is up. Thank you so much for reading… What do you think? Total fail? Passable? Please drop a review. ^_^

Time check: 2:31 am. Meh, some people are morning persons, some people like to party at night. Apparently I belong somewhere in between.

*Edited- I fixed some errors I found. I feel happier now.


Next Chapter: There's always something to be said about first impressions… I'll tell you as soon as I remember.