This was written for the usxuk livejournal community's 2010 Secret Santa...that I forgot to post here during Christmas. orz
It only mentions the holidays at the end as a plot device, so all good? :D?
Characters for this part: America, England, Canada, France. Mentions of Prussia, Austria/Hungary.
Arthur Kirkland led a fairly average life. He lived in an average apartment in an average part of London. Every morning he'd wake up at an average time and eat an average breakfast, drive his average British car to his average office job from 9-5 (with a break for an average lunch and tea time, of course), went back to his average home alone (not that he cared; most people were a nuisance anyway), ate an average dinner, and read an average book or watched some average telly if he didn't have some other average task to do that night before he went to bed and had some average dreams. Wake up the next morning, rinse, and repeat.
So when Arthur's phone rang towards the end of the work day one day, he had no reason to expect anything out of the ordinary about it. Of course, he was wrong.
"Arthur Kirkland speaking," he answered his phone as he normally did.
"Mattie where the hell were you last night?" a rather loud and obnoxious voice with a god-awful accent that Arthur couldn't place shouted at him. "You left me stranded there! Not cool!"
"Don't give me that! You knowingly left me at that bar with Gilbert and Elizaveta and that's just…that's just low dude. I know you're still mad about the snake thing, but-"
"As much as I loathe interrupting your pointless drivel, I must inform you that you have the wrong number."
"What? Matt what's wrong with your voice? You sound all British and stuff."
"You haven't heard a word I've said, have you?"
"Well it's hard to understand when you're talking in an accent!"
Oh, his accent was American. That explained a lot, "Really Child, you must know that you're the one with the accent around here."
"The hell are you talking about? Everyone in New York talks like this! … And I'm not a child!"
"Then stop acting like one," He'd called from New York? Arthur had just assumed he was on holiday or studying abroad in England, not an ocean away, "I must say I'm impressed that you managed to get your friend's number so wrong that you called London, but you do indeed have the wrong number."
"London? Matt, what are you doing in London?"
This boy was starting to try Arthur's limited patience, and he didn't even know who he was, "You have the wrong bloody number! My name is Arthur, as I told you at the beginning of this conversation, a fact you seem content to ignore!"
"Arthur?" Arthur sighed in relief, it seem the information was finally sinking in, "Oh, so, if you're Arthur, where's Mattie?"
"I honestly have no idea, as I have never met either of you before in my life, nor do I plan to."
"Haha, that's a good one Arthur," was it just him or could he actually hear the boy smile through the phone? "Everyone wants to meet me; most of them just don't know it yet. So what are you doing?"
"As in right now?"
"Hanging up." And he proceeded to do just that.
Arthur Kirkland put his phone back in his briefcase and continued with his average day, the strange phone call from America far from his mind.
Alfred F. Jones hated the typical. As soon as he graduated high school he packed his bags and left his no-name small town in the middle of Connecticut and moved to New York City, started studying physics at NYU so he could learn how to save the world, and spent the rest of his time seeking out adventure whenever life handed it to him.
He didn't expect an adventure of sorts to happen simply by calling his half-brother, but you take what you get.
"You have the wrong bloody number!" the voice that was starting to sound less and less like Matt shouted at him, "My name is Arthur, as I told you at the beginning of this conversation, a fact you seem content to ignore!"
"Arthur?" Matt must have stolen his phone at some point and changed his number around. Jerk, the snake thing wasn't that bad, "Oh, so if you're Arthur, where's Mattie?"
"I honestly have no idea, as I've never met either of you before, nor do I plan to."
That didn't sit well with Alfred, as he had every intention on meeting this Arthur guy. Wrong number or not, Matt had put this number in his phone for a reason, and he was determined to find out what that reason was, "Haha, that's a good one Arthur. Everyone wants to meet me; most of them just don't know it yet. So what are you doing?"
"As in right now?"
Alfred stared at his tone in disbelief as Arthur followed through with his words, "Well that was pretty rude of him."
He was ready to dial him back when he spotted Matthew entering the student center too, "Matt!" Alfred shouted over to his half brother, "Where the hell were you last night and why did you change your number on my phone?"
Matthew squeaked and jumped before he realized it was just Alfred. Instead he sighed and took a seat across from him, "What are you talking about Alfred?"
"You were supposed to meet Gilbert, Elizaveta, and me at that bar last night but you never showed," Alfred crossed his arms and pouted, "You know what they're like ever since Liz started seeing that musician guy."
"Sorry about that," he actually did look sorry, which he should be, "I was cleaning my apartment and I got a bit distracted."
"You found that old stuffed bear and ended up staring at it for hours again didn't you?" Matt blushed and adverted his gaze, and suddenly Alfred couldn't find the heart to stay mad at him, "You're pretty absentminded you know?"
"Look who's talking," Matt muttered.
"But that still doesn't explain why you gave me some Arthur-guy's number."
"I did what now?"
Alfred flipped open his phone and started shifting through his contacts, "I tried to call you this morning and I got some British guy. Who is he and why did you give me his number?"
"After that prank you pulled with the snakes I went into your phone and changed my number," he shrugged.
"It was mostly Gil's idea," Alfred pouted, "And it wasn't that bad."
"Yes it was, and I already took care of Gilbert. Anyway, I didn't mean to give you anyone's specific number; I just did it at random."
"Huh," Alfred slid his phone across the table to Matt, "Well, you should put it back in my phone just in case I do something stupid and need you to bail me out."
"Fine," Matthew snatched up the phone from the table and started pressing the buttons, "But can you try to be a little more grateful this time?"
"Yeah sure whatever," Alfred had lost interest in the conversation and was looking at the other people in the student center instead, "Hey, Braginski's sister's here."
"Which one?" Matt asked, not looking up.
"The cute one with the huge boobs that you have a crush on," Matt's cheeks turned pink as he continued staring intently at the phone, "You should go say hi."
Matt's face turned a shade darker as he continued looking through Alfred's phone, "W-who's Arthur?"
"In your contacts, you have an Arthur, but you don't know an…wait did you say the guy you accidentally called was-"
"I didn't accidentally call him, you gave me his number."
"I didn't give you his number! And that's no reason to keep it in your phone!"
"Oh hey look at the time," Alfred snatched the phone away from his brother as he stood up, "I need to get to class now. Catch you later Mattie!"
"Al wait-" but his protests were in vain, as Alfred was already out the door.
Arthur was having a rough morning. His annoying French coworker was back from his trip to France and insisted on being all French in Arthur's personal space to make up for the week he couldn't. This morning he discovered he was out of tea, and he hadn't been able to stop and get any before work, or during any of his breaks, so he was running on no tea, and his boss just informed him that the project he'd handed to him yesterday was due tomorrow and he still hadn't had any tea and –
Arthur's cell started ringing, interrupting his inner tirade. "Arthur Kirkland speaking," he answered, trying his best to keep his frustration out of his voice.
"Hey Artie!" Arthur winced and held the phone away from his ear, "Remember me? I called you yesterday."
As if his life wasn't terrible enough, that stupid American from the other day had called him back. Just brilliant, "Oh god, not you again…"
"Haha! You remember me!" the fact that this clown seemed so happy only worsened Arthur's mood, "The name's Alfred, by the way. I don't think I told you it yesterday."
"Frankly Alfred, I don't give a damn," Arthur rested his elbows on his desk and pinched the bridge of his nose, "I'm not in the mood to deal with you right now."
"Mood to deal with what, pray tell?" Francis asked as he popped his head over the wall their cubicles shared, "Do I sense a lover's spat? You have indeed been busy in my absence, Mr. Kirkland."
"Piss off Francis," Arthur growled as he kicked at the wall to dislodge Francis, "I really don't need you right now."
"Oh, so cruel! You'll always be a hooligan at heart, won't you?" Francis shouted over the wall. He would still listen to Arthur's conversation, but at least he didn't have to see his froggy little face while he did so.
"Who's Francis?" That's right he still had this Alfred character to deal with.
"No one of any importance to you. Now did you call for a reason or just to piss me off further?"
"You sound stressed."
"No shit Sherlock. Thank you for that brilliant deduction of yours."
"Happy to help," if he hadn't been on another continent, Arthur would go find the brat and strangle him, "But what's wrong?"
"What's wrong? Other than annoying coworkers invading my personal space, over demanding bosses, and a surprising lack of tea? Well I have this American that won't stop calling me."
"He's American?" Francis asked over the wall, "My my Mr. Kirkland, you sure do get around!"
"Belt up!" Arthur kicked the wall, but all that seemed to do was make Francis laugh harder.
"Sounds rough over there," Alfred went on, "Kinda makes me feel a bit better, actually. Haha!"
He glared, not that the boy on the receiving end of that glare could see him, "Glad my misery was able to brighten your day."
"That's schadenfreude for you, I guess."
"I'm surprised a child like you knows such a big word."
"Hey! I'm 19! I'm not a child!"
"19 huh?" Arthur smirked, "Still a child after all."
"I'm not a child!" Alfred insisted, "I'm an adult! I'm paying my own way through school and everything."
"You're still in school?"
"Yup! I'm studying physics at NYU."
"That's in New York, I presume."
"Yeah, it's great! I love being in the city."
"I take it then that you're not from the city?" Arthur wasn't really interested in what he had to say, it was just Alfred was a welcome distraction right from the rest of his life now.
"Haha, no I'm from Connecticut, born and raised, but I like the city better."
"Connecticut? It's in America."
Arthur rolled his eyes, "I realize that git, where in America?"
"It's by New York and Massachusetts. You know where that is right?"
"O-of course! That's the one with the, uh, Boston in it..." United States geography was not one of the subjects he took the time to study carefully.
"Yup that's the one! Connecticut was nice, but I like New York better. Have you ever been here?"
"No, I live in London. I can't just hop on a train and be in America the next day."
"Just wondering," Alfred laughed again and Arthur felt his own mouth form a small smile as well, "Oh shit, is that the time? Sorry Artie, I've gotta go. I'll call you tomorrow!"
It was then that Arthur remembered he was supposed to be mad at this nuisance, "Don't bother."
"No it's cool; I still got your number. Bye!"
Arthur could only stare at his phone and wonder just what had happened over the last few minutes. For some reason, he felt more relaxed than he did before he picked up the phone.
"Oh, did lover boy have to go?" he kicked the wall again for good measure, but there was less force behind it.
Moments later, one of the interns turned up at his cubicle with a cup of tea. Arthur's day was already looking better.