Chapter one- The Dog Days Are Over

Hey there readers- I hope you like this story! It's my first sort of modern AU story, and for a fellow college student, definitely the one that's the most relatable to personal experience, and that really effected they way I wrote it. Anyway, thanks to socontagious456 on livejournal for the beta on this, as well as help from my sisters! Love you forever! This story should hopefully be updated regularly, or as regularly as I can manage.

Alfred was excited about college; so much bigger than high school, in the city. Everything was cooler in the city. His dorm was a huge tower of building, and the campus was nestled into the rest of the shops and residential building in that area. He loved the way it looked at night, out his window.

He was majoring in computer science, because tech was his favorite thing, and something people always said you could have a future in.

As a smaller town kid, the hardest part about the city was knowing where to go. He leapt to the suggestion of a coffee shop not far from campus when it was offered by a fellow computer science major as a place with a good internet connection.

He was sitting there one evening, kind of procrastinating. It wouldn't be so bad if he wasn't tired already.

Unable to focus, he caught himself staring off into space and looking around the café. Most of the inhabitants were other younger people, many working, while he scanned their faces.

There was a man, young, probably only a couple years older than him, sitting by himself reading. Alfred thought it was funny because he was there on solitary business just like plenty of the other people there, but he was just reading. No notes being taken, no pile of books and no backpack. Just a paperback and a cup of something warm looking. There was a light hung above his head and Alfred liked the way it shown on his blond hair, which was a light, pale bond, lighter than his own which was almost light brown. After a couple of moments, Alfred realized he was doing a serious kind of staring and turned back to his computer screen.

He saw him there other times. There were times that he would have a notebook and be writing in it, but not looking at anything, so Alfred had to assume it was his own thoughts he was writing. He usually had headphones in. Alfred found he had developed himself a little curiosity for this weird guy. Who just sat around and read, or wrote? Who would want to? He acted like he should be an old guy, but he wasn't. He always sat in the same spot, like he had a reservation on the chair or something. Alfred couldn't make much sense of him at all, yet he saw him often enough and practically tracked his habits into patterns.

It wasn't until halfway through January that he actually got to meet him.

Arthur rolled over from where he lay passed out on the floor and stared at the pill bottle that lay by the floor by his hand. His eyes wondered on to the stained and ripped up white carpet that would never see them getting their security deposit back. He was sore, and nauseous. And definitely about to vomit. Oh, shit.

He barely made the dash to the kitchen sink. Well. After his stomach was entirely empty, he slouched back down to the floor and leaned back against the cabinets.

"Uh- god." His head felt like it was about to split, worse that a usual hangover. Then again, this was pills and alcohol. Years ago, he would have been giddy from the excitement of what he had done, and he wouldn't have drank enough that he didn't remember what had happened to him the night before. As it was, he could muster up no more feeling than the urge to be passed out again. What would today bring? Another series of pointless events, which would culminate as the desperate attempt to feel alive, and if failing that, forget both desperation and failure.

When this first started, about a year ago, he thought that he would feel better if he went home, and perhaps it was just America that did this to him. But what was left for him in England? His family? Not worth a piss.

He hit head against the cabinet behind him, only to wince, and hold his hand to his forehead as pain shot through his brain, worse than it was before.


He had always looked at America as a fresh start, an escape from all that other rot. At first it had been. But his buoyancy had been temporary, and here he was, half naked on a filthy kitchen floor, smelling like vomit and alcohol. Brilliant.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed.

By the way, all chapter titles are taken from songs I listened to while writing the chapter. This round: The Dog Days Are Over- Florence and the Machine.