Summary: Alfred was just another average man, married, adopted kid, and the number one lawyer in the entire state of New York. But what will he do when his own family is put in danger? USUK.

I'm seriously just posting this for the sake of posting. I DON'T plan on making a second chapter, so if you KNOW you will ask for or want a second chapter- don't bother yourself with this story. Just saying. I'm obligated to warn you.

This was very poorly written, I know. It barely reflects my normal writing style.

Joey said to 'leave them wanting more' when I told her my qualms of posting this on this site. Which included giving people false hopes for a second chapter.

So, again, in bold:


AND BY THE WAY THE REST OF MY STORIES ARE ON HIATUS. DERP. Mostly just the SasuNaru one. Not my Princess one, cuz I'm actually working on that. ALRIGHT WHATEVER YOU CAN READ NOW.

The 24th Hour

Chapter 1: Running up That Hill

"...your bad romance. I want your love and I want your revenge, you and me could write a bad romance! Oh wu oh wu oh~"

Alfred groaned blearily into his pillow, casting an arm to the side and searching blindly for the 'Sleep' button on his annoyingly loud alarm clock.

"Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah~ Roma~ Roma-ma~"

He felt the cold plastic of the alarm clock graze his pinky finger, and slammed his fist down on the snooze button as hard as he could- right as Lady Gaga finished spewing her random imaginary words. Alfred laid there silently for a few moments, contemplating skipping work today, before he groaned once more and pushed himself up onto his knees. He dug the heels of his hands into his eyes, trying to rub the sleep out of them, before he stood up on the bed and jumped onto the floor, making the dresser and the nightstand shake.

Alfred yawned, stretched, and scratched his buttox, making a beeline for the bathroom. However, as he passed the staircase, he caught a whiff of something delicious, and quickly changed direction. He trotted down the stairwell in his boxers and socks, jumping off the last two steps before heading toward the swinging kitchen door, behind which he could hear a string of accented curses being shot off randomly.

"Good morning!" he called, as he burst through the swinging door.

"You bloody fool!" reprimanded a blonde-haired Briton. "What have I told you about jumping off the bed in the morning?"

Alfred sat himself down in a chair around the dining room table, giving his husband an irritatingly cheeky grin, and said, "what? You actually deserved it that time! You changed the radio station! And do you still get scared by that?"

"Of course you bloody scared me! You know how much I hate loud noises in a quiet morning!" ranted the irate blonde, turning his back on Alfred to pick up a steaming mug of coffee. "For goodness sakes, you probably woke Peter up again!"

As if on cue, an equally blonde boy burst through the kitchen door, much like his father, and skipped over to plop down in a chair next to his father.

"What's for breakfast, mom?" he queried perkily, scooting his chair over enough so that he could peak at the newspaper his dad was reading.

"Pancakes, eggs, and bacon," said 'mom,' with a bit of an edge, shooting an angry glare at Alfred.

"I'll just take-"

"The eggs and bacon, I know," he interrupted Alfred, shoving the mug in front of his face and nearly spilling it on the lawyer's lap.

"Sheesh, what's wrong with mom?" whispered Peter to his father. Alfred shook his head sadly, and glanced at Peter.

"That time of the month, you know?" he answered- Peter nodded solemnly.

"I can hear you two, you know," seethed the Brit savagely, slamming the microwave shut and busying himself with making up the plates.

Alfred rolled his eyes at Peter, who smiled and continued reading the paper. Soon after, a frown creased his child-like features.

"So that psycho is still on the lose, huh?"

"Looks like it," Alfred intoned quietly, sipping his coffee.

"Dad, do you think the police will catch him soon? Before he can hurt anyone else?" queried Peter, looking up at his dead inquiringly.

Alfred sniffed. "Probably, his murders are pretty sloppy from what I've heard. They've already got a picture and everything. It won't be long."

Peter sighed, and they relapsed into silence.

Both jumped when two plates were slammed down in front of them.

"Breakfast." The Briton said stiffly. "And don't talk to Peter about stuff like that, he's only eight, for pity's sake!"

Peter snorted. "You should hear what they talk about in school."

The older blonde frowned, the same way Peter had earlier, and sat down across from the pair with a plate of his own and a cup of tea. "Yes, what do they talk about?"

His son shrugged and began to work on his breakfast before it got the chance to run away again. "Mostly about this serial killer, actually."

"Speaking of, you should be extra careful walking to school from now on," the Brit said, picking up the remote. "In fact, I'll start driving you."

Peter groaned as his mom flipped on the television. Being taken to school by a parent at his age was so embarrassing, especially when that parent fussed over his child as much as his mom, Arthur, did. And the pat on the back he received from his father with a grunt of 'just go with it, son' wasn't helpful in the least.

Arthur switched to the news station, where a pretty reporter was once again, warning everyone to be extra cautious until the serial killer was caught.

"Mom, can't I watch cartoons? This is on every morning!" Peter whined.

"No! Now pay attention, if you see that guy, what do you do?"

"Run to the nearest safe location, hide, and phone the police," Peter stated boredly, with a roll of his eyes.

"Good," nodded Arthur.

Alfred, meanwhile, was engrossed in an article on the recent Yankees game, only catching snippets of what the woman on the screen was saying.

"...kills in..."


Alfred set down his mug and started munching on a piece of burnt bacon.

" one has..."


Out of nowhere, Arthur gasped loudly.

"Alfred, look at the time!"

"Huh?" Alfred looked up and at the clock on the oven, before dropping the newspaper and propelling himself out of his seat as fast as he could.

"SHIT SHIT SHIT!" he bellowed as he launched up the steps two at a time.

"Don't use that language with Peter in the house!" Arthur screamed after him. Peter took this chance to take the remote and turn on Spongebob.

Seven minutes later, Alfred tore down the hall at breakneck speed, sliding down the banister by the stairs to save time- receiving a disapproving look from Arthur, who was standing at the base of the stairs with his briefcase.

Alfred snatched said briefcase from Arthur and quickly pecked him on the cheek, shoving his feet in brown work shoes.

"Have a good day and please be careful! That psycho is out there!" Arthur warned as he watched Alfred grab his suit jacket and hop on one foot trying to get his foot completely in the shoe.

The Brit rolled his eyes, seeing the awful state of Alfred's tie, it was barely straight enough to be considered business-appropriate. "Here, let me fix that," he said stepping forward and reaching for the tie.

Alfred slapped his hands away hurriedly, and threw the door open, "no time for that, I'll fix it in the car! See ya at dinner, Arty!"

Alfred slammed the door, and Arthur glared at it.

"Yeah, love you, too." He grumbled, tightening his pink apron and stalking back to the kitchen.

Alfred was sprinting toward the Red Pontiac parked by the curb in front of his house. He set down his briefcase once he reached it, and fumbled with his keys to get the passenger side door open. Once that was accomplished, he threw his briefcase inside, manually unlocked the driver door, and slammed the passenger door shut again, before sliding across the hood of the car and throwing the other door open. Alfred shut the door behind him, and all but shoved the key into the ignition.

He put the car into reverse, backed up a bit, put it in drive and pressed down on the gas pedal so hard that the inevitable lurch almost caused an accident between he and another car. The driver could be seen flipping him off in the rear view mirror, but Alfred could care less- stopping at a red light.

He was late- and the New York traffic hour was not helping him at all. He squeezed the wheel roughly in frustration, as he waited for the light to turn green. He was still about 12 blocks away from work, and at this rate it would take him half an hour to get to the parking lot in front of his building.

Alfred glanced at the time, then looked straight back at the red light. He had about twenty-five minutes before he had to get to the meeting- an extremely important meeting that would quite possibly change his career forever.

Yellow. He revved up his engine.

Green. Alfred floored it and swerved between lanes, passing and cutting off anyone in his way. Sadly, he only managed 2 blocks this way before the next red light.

'It's gonna be a looong morning,' Alfred thought bitterly, beating his head repeatedly against the steering wheel.

Alfred pushed his way into an over-crowded elevator, making sure the 15th floor was already lit. The doors slid shut, and the elevator rose shakily toward the first lit floor- the 2nd. After each stop, Alfred checked his watch. Admittedly, he had made good time getting here. But now, he only had about three minutes before that meeting. And they were only on the 6th floor.

He tapped his foot on the floor in irritation, shocked that he even had room to tap with this many people inside.

The lawyer's eye twitched just as the doors were opening on the 7th floor- his watch was beeping, meaning he was late.

He elbowed people out of the way, trying to get to the doors before they closed again- earning quite a few angry curse words from those people. Once Alfred had made it into the hallway, he took off toward the nearest door for the staircases.

It could be said that the lawyer was very much in shape, so in about six minutes he was up to the 15th floor- diving for the door to the conference room. He threw it open harshly once he got a hold of the sleek door handle- earning quite a few looks of disdain from the conference attendees. Alfred smiled easily at them, still panting slightly from the run, and took a seat next to a cheerful Asian woman near the end of the table.

All eyes were on him- and the growing awkwardness of his arrival caused Alfred to squirm a little in his hard seat.

"Sorry I'm late," Alfred said, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly.

The man at the head of the table- a sleek blonde man with gelled hair and piercing blue eyes- merely grunted in acknowledgment, and looked back down at the papers before him, attempting to find the place where he'd left off.

Alfred, meanwhile, tried to fix his appearance, seeing as he was still slightly disheveled from the run. After fiddling with his tie for a few seconds, the woman next to him took pity and reached over quickly to straighten his tie and fix his collar. She sat back in her seat and winked at him with a kindly smile- which he returned gratefully- just as the blonde man at the end of the table began to speak. From what his secretary had told him yesterday, Alfred knew his name was Ludwig.

"We'll have to pick up the pace a bit because of the delay, so please bear with me..." started Ludwig with a thick German accent.

Quite a few glares were sent Alfred's way at the mention of the delay, but he ignored them, and steeled himself for the presentation he was to give to the intimidating German man at the head of the table.

'It's going to be a looooong meeting,' Alfred thought bitterly, wishing he had something to bang his head against.

Alfred sighed happily as he finally left the conference room two long hours later, he was very pleased with the reaction from his presentation- and Ludwig had even taken time to shake his hand at the end.

All in all- the American was ready to celebrate. Just as he was about to head toward the elevators, he saw the kind Asian woman at the snack machine, staring at its contents in concentration- Alfred made his way over to her.

"Thanks for earlier," he said happily, and she jumped a little at his sudden appearance. "Sorry, didn't mean to startle you!"

"No, no it's quite alright," she said, waving a dismissive hand and smiling. "And it's no problem, you must have been nervous- we've all had to do presentations before, and I know how you felt. By the way, your presentation was excellent!"

"Oh!" Alfred said, flattered by the compliment. "Thank you!" It was then he noticed that she still hadn't decided what to get, and without a second thought, he asked, "why don't you and I go out for lunch? I was just about to go celebrate anyway, and it's better to celebrate with a friend."

Her smile broadened, and she nodded as she said, "I'd love to!"

"Great! Meet me at Panera bread? I have to go tell my secretary that I'm going out to lunch."

"Oh you take your time. As you can see, I'm a bit slow at ordering anyway," she gestured to the machine beside her, chuckling.

Alfred laughed as well, liking this woman already and wondering why he hadn't seen her around before. He turned his back on her, still smiling, and waved over his shoulder as he called, "see you there!"

He was still beaming cheerfully as he made his way to his secretary's desk near his office. He could see she was taking a call at the moment, and she looked abnormally serious compared to her usual demeanor.

"Elizaveta," he whispered as he got there, she looked at him with wide eyes- putting a finger to her lips, obviously saying that he should be quiet. He shook his head, glancing at the clock on the wall behind him, indicating he had no time. "I'm going out to lunch now, take messages from the important callers as always."

She was shaking her head frantically at him, before she spoke in the receiver. "Yes, yes I have him right here. I think it's better if you'd talk to him about this."

It was Alfred's turn to shake his head, pushing away the receiver she offered him and striding toward the exit. "I said, take a message!"

"Alfred, no! It's important!" Alfred ignored her calls, though they were notably frantic, it had already been five minutes since he'd talked to the pretty Asian woman. "It's the police!"

Alfred halted, frowned, and turned on his heel. He took the phone out of Elizaveta's hands, she was standing now and looked like she was about to cry- and once the phone had left her hands, she sunk into her office chair and put her head in her arms.

"Yes, what is it? And could you make it quick, I have an appointme-"

"Sir," the police man cut him off. Alfred fell silent because of the seriousness of his tone. "We got a call earlier from someone walking past your house walking their dog, they reported gas leaking from open windows. When we came to investigate, we found out that this was done by smoke grenades."

Alfred stood up a little straighter, "and my family? Where are they?"

"Well, sir, we couldn't find them. The car is still here, but your family is nowhere in the building."

"Shouldn't you be searching for them then?" screamed Alfred angrily, his hands shaking.

"We have every available police officer doing just that, sir. But we need to bring you to the police station for questioning."


"I know, sir! But we need to find out as much as we can about your family and why someone would choose to abduct your famil-"

"ABDUCT? YOU JUST SAID THEY WEREN'T THERE YOU SAID NOTHING ABOUT ABDUCTION!" Alfred vaguely heard muffled cries from the woman below him, but was too angry to care.

"Sir, haven't you been watching the news?" asked the officer tentatively after a brief silence. "The smoke grenades most likely mean that the serial killer we've been dealing with has taken them. I'm sorry but the thing you could do to help them the most right now is go the police sta-"

Alfred had long since tuned out- remembering suddenly the words of the reporter from this morning. His jaw was slack, and he heard nothing but white noise. He slid to the ground, as his knees shook with the effort of holding his weight up, and he dropped the off-white standard office phone- not even hearing the sound it made when it hit the cold floor.

The only noises he was aware of was the sobbing of the woman beside him, his own ragged breathing, and the constant ticking of the clock on the wall.

But alone in his head, he only heard the report from this morning reverberating constantly, saying over and over...

"The suspect kills in twos, after he sneaks into their houses and knocks them out with smoke grenades. You should also be aware and conscious of the fact- no one has lived past the 24th hour."


Hurrrhurrr. Sorry I hate myself for writing this. Posting it. And not continuing it.

By the way it's 5 in the morning, and I have my Japanese mid-term today.


Anyway, I hope you enjoyed. Remember, don't get your hopes up for a second chapter. SINCE THERE PROBABLY WON'T BE ONE.

I'd also like to apologize for my absence. Lack of inspiration can do that.