Alfred chewed his lip nervously, twirling the pen in one hand, gripping his hair in frustration with the other. The English paper just continued to stare up at him mockingly. He swore he would burn all of his notes as soon as he got home, never to even glance at their ashes again.
But for he moment, he was a bit more concerned with passing the exam. He hated to admit it, but he was sort of going to miss the K. Despite how much she got on his nerves, and vice versa, she'd been a good teacher, and made sure that they were all ready for this exam. Too bad he'd rather ignore her lessons.
He dared to glance up at the clock. They were already ten minutes in.
Maybe now would be a good time to write his name.
"How'd you do Mattie?" He asked as soon as he was out. His brother was waiting for him by their lockers, along with Ly and Ivan.
"I thought I did pretty well. Better than the math exam at least."
"Aw, and Artie worked so hard to make sure you did well at that one."
"Yeah well, not that I care. I got into a fantastic University where I'll never need to concern myself with math ever again, because I'll be a film major."
"Oh shush you. I'll bet my acceptance letters will be waiting in the mailbox as soon as we get home." When Ly snorted in disbelief, he turned his stubborn puppy-eyed face to her. "Oh yeah? Let's see your acceptance letters missy."
Now it was her turn to look away, embarrassed. "They're probably just stuck in the mail or something."
"Who's up for brunch at Denny's?" Matt interrupted before they could actually start arguing. "After all, this was our last exam of the semester. The year is halfway done, this is reason to celebrate!"
"Sounds wonderful." Ivan agreed, getting to his feet.
There was a still pause in which everyone turned to look at Alfred, who looked torn between wanting to yell at them for mocking his lack of an acceptance letter, and being really, really hungry.
"Al? You coming?"
There was a moment's pause, before he turned to his brother with a huge grin plastered to his face. "Hells yes!"
"Sho… I wush thinkin'…"
"Chew first Alfred, then swallow, and then talk."
Tossing his brother an irritated glance, he forced the mass of waffles he'd just inhaled down his throat. "As I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted…" He ignored Matthew rolling his eyes. "I was thinking that once my acceptance letter comes in, we should have a party."
"Why not wait until it's warmer then?" Ly asked. "You could open up your pool, and we'll have it outside."
Matthew nodded in agreement. "And then the neighbours will probably be out of town already, so you can turn up your music and they won't call the cops."
An odd smile spread across the American's face. "Ah, good times. The Smiths called them on us for the first time in grade nine. And then there was that time in grade ten when you actually had to pay bail for me and Gilbert."
"I'm glad you'll choose memories like that to cherish of our high school years."
"…Shut up and eat your pancakes."
The four continued chatting away aimlessly, mostly about not being able to wait for summer, and college the next year. "You have to be on msn every night, okay bro?" Alfred demanded. "Just because you're going away to be all Canadian and stuff doesn't mean you get to forget about me."
"God knows I couldn't forget you if I tried."
Al didn't stop pestering, even getting Ly to join in the chanting of 'please, please, please…' until the younger twin caved, and agreed to the demands.
It was pretty typical of Alfred to be making plans for his college years when he wasn't even sure that he was even going.
That afternoon, an acceptance letter was sitting in the mailbox for Alfred, leading to about an hour of running around the house, laughing, and shoving it in Matthew's face. (Take that you non-believer you!) After which he promptly called Ly to tell her the good news.
"Congrats. Guess you're not completely retarded."
"You take that back." He pouted.
"Yeah, yeah I- hang on a sec." There was a muffled 'What?' followed by what sounded like Mei talking quickly. After about a minute, Ly pulled the phone back, and continued. "Mei and Carol want to have you over to celebrate with dinner. Wanna come?"
"Well I'd have to leave my baby brother to fend for himself, and I don't think I could ever bring myself to do that…"
"I'm right here, you know." Matthew called from the living room.
"Sure. I'd love to. Get me the hell out of this house."
"Again, I am right here."
"Nobody cares Mattie. Okay, so when should I come?"
"I'unno, now, I guess. Unless you want cold burgers."
He froze comically. "Carol's making burgers?"
"Carol's making burgers." She confirmed, sounding almost as serious as he was. Alfred had been over for dinner before, and Carol, made the world's greatest burgers. Hand-made, hand-seasoned, the works. Even the buns were made from scratch.
"YES!" He cheered, jumping excitedly. "Be right over! Don't you move a single beautiful pattie from the platter until I'm there." He hung up, cutting off Ly's laughter, and grabbing his coat and sneakers. "See ya bro! I'm having the most amazing burgers ever with my new favourite family. If you're good, maybe I'll bring you one for lunch tomorrow."
"Oh I just can't wait." He muttered sarcastically, flipping channels halfway between a Huggie's ad, to some movie channel that was playing Second-hand Lions. "Have fun."
"I will!" He replied in a singsong voice, already halfway out the door.
When he arrived at the house, he could already smell the burgers cooking on the barbeque in the backyard. All the neighbours must've been so jealous.
Alfred was greeted without a word. Instead, a sheet of paper was shoved in his face. Scanning it quickly, he saw it was an acceptance letter with Ly's name on it. He only missed a beat before speaking. "Well hello there, rejection letter. It's so nice of you to come see me instead of Ly."
"Wanna get your eyes checked dumbass? Or are you just in denial?"
Grinning, he brushed past the paper, and picked Ly up by her waist, planting a light kiss on her lips as he did. "Congrats are in order, then."
"You too. It's the same school, right?"
He glanced at the logo in the corner, and nodded. "Yep!"
"Good. I'd hate to have you whining to me on the phone every other night."
"You know I wouldn't do that. If anything, it'd be every other hour."
"True. Now come on, the burgers should be done in a minute. Do you want cheese on yours?"
"Is the Pope Catholic?"
"No, it's a conspiracy. He's really a Protestant, they just claim he's Catholic to get the world to shut up."
"Well-played. But I will have cheese."
"They all have cheese anyway. Everyone likes cheese."
He grinned, still carrying her over towards the dining room. "Have I ever told you how much I love you?"
"So much so that it's awkward, yes."
"Good. Awkwardness is a true sign of love."
"Well said." Carol declared, opening the screen door from the back patio with her foot as she carried in a tray of patties, all coated in cheese. "Ly, could you call your sister?"
As the brunette disappeared up the stairs, Carol turned back to Alfred. "Go get the buns from the counter, would you, Romeo?"
"If it means I get first pick of the burgers, yes ma'am!" He cheered, snapping a quick salute. As he returned, Ly and Mei were pattering down the stairs eagerly, and David was walking in from his office with a yawn.
As everyone sat down, Mei held up her glass with a grin. "To Ly and Alfred! Turns out they're not complete morons after all!"
Carol turned to reprimand the younger teen, but the two in question had already held theirs up high as well. "I'll drink to that!" Alfred agreed. And everyone's laughter quickly melted into comfortable conversation, and Al's muffled moans of appreciation at the taste of the burgers.
Once everything was cleared away, and the plates were in the dishwasher, somehow the rest of the family disappeared into the house, leaving Al and Ly alone in the living room, watching movies.
"Y'know, this time last year, we were both feeling like complete and utter morons." Alfred noted with an almost contented sigh.
"This time last year and a few months ago, you were using, 'were you named after your grandfather?' as a pick up line."
"…That was one of my favourites too."
"So are you excited for college next year?"
"It's too far away. Doesn't feel real just yet."
"Sure. Hey, Samyan says that we can stay with him and Yong Soo if we want. They're like a three minute drive from the campus."
"My mom would freak if she found out I'd be living with my girlfriend. I can just hear her now. 'They'll be married at nineteen, and she'll get pregnant, and then they'll drop out and we'll never hear from them again!'" He wailed in an actually very good imitation of his mother's voice.
"Right. Didn't think about that."
"Mhm. I want our first kid to be a little more special than that." He whispered, and then shifted his focus back to the TV as if nothing had happened.
Ly blinked in surprise, and then stared at him in confusion for a moment before deciding that she'd been imagining things. Either way, she figured she'd never quite understand the loudmouthed American who was capable of the most breathtaking moments of sweetness she'd ever seen in a guy.
Thanks for reading~!
-Sings- It's done! It's done, it's done, it's done! Why is it that I'm so happy to say goodbye to this one? Because I found it to be more trouble than it's worth, and now I only have three stories to work on! I feel so accomplished! Just ignore my massive to-do list over there in the corner!
Well, I hope you enjoyed the ride, please make sure you do not leave any personal belongings behind. Do leave a review, and have a nice day!