Disclaimer: I own nothing. Rights go to the respected owners. Hetalia belongs to Hidekaz Himaruya. "A Hard Day's Night" is by the Beatles (which I don't own either). And of course I don't own anything else mentioned.
A/N: Full of fluff, and kitties ^_^ I felt the need to incorporate Americat and Englandcat into a story considering my pen name... Anyway, enjoy and please review! :)
"It's been a hard day's night, and I've been working like a dog"
"It's been a hard day's night, I should be sleeping like a log."
"Five more minutes…" Alfred whined to no one in particular.
Fridays were the absolute worst for the American. Theoretically he should love them, cherish the end to an extensive, hard work week, but instead, Alfred dreaded the lonely time that followed. He stretched out a long and muscular arm, hitting the snooze button once more for good measure. Excellent, now he could return to his pleasant dreams of Hamburgerland for another few golden minutes.
"Good morning LA! Thanks for tuning in here to the Golden State's golden oldies channel. It's 8:20 and coming up in just 10 minutes we'll have another commercial-free hour of hits!"
Alfred moaned at his alarm clock radio. Stupid announcer needed to shut his trap so he could just go back to slee-
The American tumbled out of bed, getting trapped in a tangle of sheets. This wasn't happening. Work didn't start at 8:30, no he was totally fine.
He ran to the bathroom, but decided there was no time for a shower.
"Improvise, Improvise, Improvise!"
The young blonde stuck his head under the sink and wet his hair. No soap, or shampoo, water would do just fine. He lifted his head up, hitting the tap.
"Dammit!" he cried as he rushed out of the bathroom, pulling down his superman pajama pants and pulling on a pair of trousers. He didn't bother to change into clean boxers; but it's not like anyone would notice, right?
Alfred grabbed his keys, coat, and briefcase, sprinting out the door. It wasn't till hours later, once he'd arrived at the office –late of course – that he realized he'd left the tap running.
"Ugh..." he moaned as his head collided with the computer keyboard, thus displaying unintelligible scrawl on the word document he had open. He'd come in late. No one had said anything, and he praised this amazing stroke of luck. Now, it was nearly 3 o'clock and Alfred was tired of work, wary from lack of (or perhaps excessive) sleep and honestly all he wanted to do was go home. That damn tap was running up the water bill…
The young American jolted his head up, to be met with the gentle yet intimidating eyes of his so-called Prussian boss. The guy was weird, that's for sure, but he was pretty chill so Alfred came to not only respect, but befriend his higher up.
"Uh Gilbert! I was just finishing up the work on… on" crap what was he supposed to be doing again?
"Dude calm yourself. It's a Friday so I really don't care."
Phew. The American ran a hand through his hair in relief. Man did he love having such a laid back boss.
"So yeah anyway Jones, just wanted to let you know there's nothing going on today. I finished my report, so I'm headin out to prepare myself for a night on the town with my lady friend," he waggled his eyebrows suggestively.
"Going to plead with Elizaveta again huh?" the American smirked.
The Prussian glared, clearly not amused.
"Shut up. Better than you anyway. When's the last time you went on a date Alfred? 2009?"
At this the younger man's face soured. It was true; Alfred hadn't had a date for quite some time now. But, but it isn't what you think! No, the young charismatic American could have any girl he wanted! Yet, that seemed to be the problem. Just a while ago he seemed to realize that it wasn't really a girl he desired.
"Look Jones, I was only kidding," Gilbert gave him a friendly pat on the back, "Nothing important today, so why don't you head out too."
Alfred focused his eyes back on intense red ones, and only then did his smile return.
"Really? Thanks Gilbert!"
"Uh-uh-uh! There's a catch!"
The American eyed him warily.
"Oh come on Gilbert…"
Alfred sighed, but eventually relented and grinned.
"Gilbert Beilschmidt is the most Awesome boss in the history of the entire world," the younger man finished as he rolled his eyes.
"There we go!"
Again, Gilbert smacked him on the back, but this time turned around and retreated toward the door.
"See ya Monday, Jones!"
The American smiled as he watched his boss exit his cubicle, and then the floor. Gilbert really was an awesome boss for letting him off early. He started to pack up his things, as he thought of everything he would have the chance to do tonight.
"I'll stop by Mickey D's and then maybe GameStop to pick up a new game… Ooh! And Friday is buy one, get one ice cream cone night, at the place down the street!"
He picked up his briefcase and grabbed his coat off the rack, but something was gnawing at the American's insides. He may have all these wonderful plans for the weekend, but he had absolutely no one to share them with…
"That just about does it for another hour of hits. We'll be right back after this commercial break."
Alfred drove to his house slowly. There was no traffic, but there was also no rush to get home. Ever since his conversation with Gilbert, just a little less than an hour ago, something in the American had snapped. He was lonely. And as much as he didn't want to admit it, that was the truth. But… how do you fix something like that? It's not like he could just snap his fingers and the perfect man would appear right in front of him, (lacking vital clothing of course) though he admitted that thought was awesome.
"Every year thousands of animals in this country wind up in shelters without a home."
Ugh. Alfred hated these pissy, sad commercials; always making him feel like he didn't do enough for the community. He reached to turn the volume down but stopped halfway, not being able to bring himself to ignore the ad.
"There are animals out there that need our help. All it takes is a little time, effort, and love. Make the choice to adopt at your local shelter. Adopt today, and gain a companion along the way."
Pft. What a cheesy slogan. But wait…
Alfred took a quick look at himself in the rearview mirror, noticing he was quite flustered. All this talk of love, and companionship and –
"Maybe I should adopt a pet."
The more he thought of it, the more the American liked the idea. He'd heard of studies, and read articles that said pets made your life more enjoyable and pleasant. And hey, while animals may not be able to talk, they were company, and that's exactly what the young man needed right now.
"This is gonna be great. I'll get a new friend, I won't be lonely, and I can still leave the toilet seat up without anyone bitchin' about it."
He smiled to himself, before quickly crossing three lanes of traffic to make it to the exit ramp. The honks were worth it though, and he quickly sped down the road to where he recalled there being a local shelter. True love could wait, but new company couldn't.
The American parked in the shelter parking lot, making some room in the back of his car. He'd stopped at a nearby pet shop to purchase some of the essentials, and realized he hadn't decided on just which type of animal he'd be adopting. A dog would be nice; bright, playful, and carefree just like the American. But on the other hand, a cat would be some nice, relaxing, quiet company that would be a bit less work. In the end he'd decided to adopt a feline, not because of the minimal effort involved, but at the realization that dogs weren't even allowed in his building.
"Uh excuse me-"Alfred started as he stood at what seemed to be the front desk of the establishment. A young brunette sat behind the reception area, and she quickly turned around to great a new prospective pet parent.
"Hi there!" she smiled brightly, rivaling the young man's own grin, and stuck out her hand in a polite gesture.
"Welcome! Can I help you with anything?"
Alfred blushed, shaking her hand, but didn't fail to notice that she was sizing him up and seemed to enjoy what she saw.
"Oh…uh," he pulled his hand back to rub at the back of his neck, "I was thinking of taking home a cat."
She gasped, and her face lit up again. The young man was fairly certain she was trying to be flirtatious as she twisted her curly locks around a finger, but he voiced nothing.
"It's so great to see a guy who's a cat person! There really should be more people like you."
"Ha…" the uneasy laugh crept out from his throat, and an awkward silence ensued.
"Yeah so… Can I look at the kitties?"
The brunette stood up and led Alfred to the right side of the room where there was a door labeled "cats". On the opposite wall of the symmetric room, was another door labeled "dogs." He felt a little stupid as he just now noticed, how blatantly obvious the location of the animals was.
"Here you go!" she held the white wooden door open for the man, "If you need any anything, Arthur in there should be able to help ya."She smiled cheekily, then lowered her voice in volume and leant closer to the American. "He can be a bit of a prick though, so if ya really need something, let me know!"
With a wink, the woman closed the door, leaving Alfred in a maze of cages. He sighed, but then thought the best of it, and started to stroll around. There were tons of cats, plenty to go around. It pained him a bit as he observed them all, knowing that none had homes, and many must be as lonely as he was.
Alfred looked to his left and found a fuzzy white fluff ball, looking at him through the bars of his cage.
"Hey there buddy!" America responded as he went over to pet the cat through the bars of its prison. The cat was long-haired, with white beautiful fur, and the American couldn't help but notice that it looked rather fancy. He looked at the ID tag on the cat's cage and read it out loud to himself.
"Pierre. 5 yrs. Strange French breed, and overly affectionate."
Alfred looked back at the cat he was caressing, and swore the thing winked at him. A bit creped out, he pulled his hand away and continued searching the sea of cages.
"That was not the one for me. Hmm… I wonder how you know which pet is the right choi-"
"YOU BLOODY CAT! Get down from there this instant!"
"HERO, YOU INSUFFRABLE FELINE! GET DOWN!"
Alright now Alfred was not only confused, but interested. A cat named 'Hero'? Now that's epic. And what was up with the British accent?
He started to pace to the end of the row of cages he was in, and his eyes landed on someone; more specifically, someone's back. The person was clad in khaki trousers, a white dress shirt and a pale green sweater vest. Alfred laughed internally; who knew the elderly were allowed to volunteer with animals?
The American then looked up and found what was causing the man such dismay. Up on top of the column of cages, a fat, ecstatic cat was milling about and ignoring orders. He was beige colored but had a brown ring of fur around his neckline, making it look like he sported a collar. He also had an adorably puffy tail, and soft blue eyes that added to the cuteness.
"Sodding excuse for a cat. I'm warning you! You better jump down right now!"
At this, Alfred couldn't help but chuckle. An angry man yelling at an endearing, harmless kitty? Admit it, that's hilarious.
"Can I help you?"
Alfred sniggered a bit more, wiped away a tear that wasn't there, and then finally opened his eyes to acknowledge the man who had motioned him. His sapphires cracked back open, and he stopped mid breath, momentarily forgetting how to breathe. Ok perhaps it wasn't that dramatic, but the American was still completely taken aback when he got a glimpse of the front side of said person.
The man in the sweater vest wasn't ancient, no in fact, he couldn't be much older than Alfred. Before he'd turned around, the American hadn't paid any attention to his looks, obviously not noticing his sandy blonde hair, which Alfred now thought looked rather soft. He had gorgeous emerald orbs, which were used for vision, yet the thing that stood out most to the American were his eyebrows. Huge, wooly, and strange, but the younger man still found them somewhat inviting.
"Ok Alfred, stop checking this guy out. He's totally hot, and yes he has an accent, but I'm pretty sure staring at someone's eyebrows is not a turn on."
By now the handsome man had placed his arms akimbo, and was looking at Alfred irritated. He didn't care though, and probably would have gone on staring were it not for an interruption.
Alfred had expected Hero to be the kitty to have spoken, stirring up a commotion, but when he looked toward the sound, he was instead met with a pair of glassy green eyes, similar to the Brit's own. The pitiful meow had come from a cat who was now rubbing up against the American's leg. He was short-haired, and for the most part had soft white fur. A couple of areas around his face and tail were splotched with orange, making it look like someone spilled paint on him.
"Aww! Hey there little fella!"
Alfred leaned over and scooped the little furry bundle into his arms. The cat instantly started to purr as the American stroked his silky fur.
"My god. H-he likes you."
Blue eyes relocated back from the cat in his arms, to the man he'd just had the hots for moments earlier.
"Oh yeah? I guess even cats appreciate my awesome."
The Brit rolled his eyes but laughed. That earlier vibe of anger now entirely gone.
"You must be something special. Crumpet is extremely picky."
Alfred snorted, and the fluff ball in his arms took a swipe at him.
"Careful, he doesn't like it when you make fun of his name."
The American smiled, trying to stay casual, and extended an arm to the other man.
"My name's Alfred F. Jones."
The other man accepted the gesture, and shook with a firm grip.
"A pleasure. My name is Arthur Kirk- hah!"
Arthur's introduction was suspended when someone else chose just that moment to make an entrance. The cat that earlier had been causing trouble for the Brit had now jumped onto the older man, digging his claws into his shoulders.
Arthur contorted himself, removing the cat from his shoulder and instead cradling it in his arms. Alfred noted that while externally the Briton had expressed anger, it was evident that he loved and cared for the cat quite a bit.
"I'm sorry. Like I was saying, I'm Arthur Kirkland. And this," he said nodding to the overweight kitten he was holding, "is Hero."
"Mrrreow!" the chubby kitty greeted him.
"Hiya!" Alfred responded, beaming at Hero, "You're a bit of a porker aren't ya?"
Arthur chuckled, as the heavyweight kitty cat rubbed his head against him.
"Quite right. Taking on the habits of most Americans!"
"Hey!" Alfred disputed half heartedly, "People from the United States of Awesome are not fat; there's just more to love."
At this, again Arthur rolled his eyes, and Alfred could have sworn that Crumpet mimicked him exactly.
"Well do forgive me, lord of the awesome Americans."
Alfred smiled as he matched eyes with the Briton. You know, at first he'd thought the guy was just good looks and grumpy, but now that was starting to change. Maybe he could gradually build up enough confidence and character to ask the guy out on a date.
"Wait what if he's not gay? Nah, slender hips, sexy accent, loves animals. I'm pretty sure he was an angel sent just for me."
"Mr. Jones are you alright? You zoned out there for a second."
Instantly the American snapped out of it, shaking his head, and brining himself back to the realm of reality.
"Ah, no I'm fine! And call me Alfred; Mr. Jones is my father," he smiled what he hoped was quite charmingly at the man across from him, "But enough about me! What about you? You're British right?"
"Yes, English actually."
"Ah." The younger man feigned understanding. There was a difference between being British and being English? "That's awesome! So do you like, volunteer here?"
"Yes. Ever since I was little I've loved animals-"
Hero meowed in agreement.
"And they seem to like me too."
"That's really cool Artie," Alfred hoped he sounded sincere, because he honestly meant that. Arthur seemed like a really swell guy, and he'd love to get to know him better.
Both men looked at Hero now who was making a fuss, and again trying to climb onto Arthur's shoulder. The Briton hushed him, and then brought him over to one of the empty cages that Alfred hadn't noticed before. As the Brit put the kitty away, Alfred thought he heard a whisper of "Yes, luv. I'll feed you soon."
Arthur walked back over to Alfred after depositing his hefty load. The American was still embracing Crumpet tightly, as the cat continued to purr like a motorboat.
"I can take him off your hands, if you'd like."
"Nah, that's ok. He's really cute." Alfred didn't realize he was staring directly at the Brit when he said that. Arthur flushed and stammered.
"A-ah well anyway. Is there anything I can help you with Alfred?"
"Oh yeah! Well I was looking to take a lucky kitty home with me," he smiled brightly.
"Excellent. I can show you around the place, tell you about all our feline friends and point out their personas and qualitie-"
"I think I already decided," the American spoke up as Crumpet dug his head into Alfred's shoulder, settling in for a nap.
Arthur seemed to smile authentically, but quickly the grin fell off his face as a thought came to him.
"Alfred, I'm sorry but I can't let you adopt just Crumpet alone. He was found on the streets alongside Hero, and since the two seem to be strongly bonded, I just can't bear to break that connection. I'm sorry."
There was a moment of silence before Alfred suddenly smiled wryly. Arthur frowned, for he knew what was coming.
"Yes, yes I know. You've already seen the way Hero acts and you couldn't possibly deal with that on a day-to-day basis."
"Actually Arthur, I was gonna say that I guess I'll just have to take them both," he said sporting a smile that displayed untold confidence even Alfred himself had not seen before. Arthur in turn just stared at him in disbelief.
"Right, right Alfred. Are you being serious? Because I won't find this prank amusing at all… As much as I try to hide it, I actually care a lot for that bird-brained cat."
"Arthur if I wasn't serious, I wouldn't have said it. Now hurry up before I change my mind," the young man teased jokingly.
Arthur didn't need to be told twice, and half an hour later all the necessary paper work was filled out. The Briton had found some old carriers in the back, and insisted he help Alfred load the massive cat that was Hero into his car. Alfred smiled, obliged, and walked out holding Crumpet's carrier. There was a kitty choir of meows as the two were loaded into the backseat of Alfred's car.
"You know the more I think about it, the more I realize I'm going to miss these two."
Alfred smiled as he stared (longingly?) at the Brit on the opposite side of his car. They'd talked the whole time through while filling out paperwork; Alfred cracking jokes and the Briton lightly nagging back at him. The feeling wasn't new, but Alfred hadn't felt it in awhile. It was a wanting to be with someone; spend more time, and learn more about them. He really wanted this with Arthur, so why not take a shot?
"W-well y-ya know you're always welcome to come and visit them," the American offered.
Arthur looked back up, from where he'd been gazing at the carriers and leveled Alfred a look. He raised a brow in a questioning manner, daring the American to fulfill that promise.
Alfred flushed and started to rub his arm nervously.
"W-well yeah! M-maybe you could come over and hang out with Hero and Crumpet and then w-we could go see a movie or have d-dinner or some-"
"How about we start with coffee?"
Arthur smiled sincerely, and Alfred brightened up instantly and returned it one hundred percent.
"That sounds great! How should I?-"
The Briton grabbed the bigger man's hand and pulled a pen from the pocket of his trousers. He turned his palm over, and wrote a phone number on the back of his hand where it wouldn't fade away.
"Call me when you'd like someone to talk to."
Alfred beamed and nodded as Arthur started to walk back to the entrance to the shelter.
"It was nice meeting you Alfred."
Alfred watched as Arthur retreated back inside the building, and then he too entered the sanctity that was his car. For a few moments he sat in the driver's seat, staring at his hand, pondering what would happen if he managed to play this right.
"I'll never be lonely again."
One year later
"It's been a hard day's night, and I've been working like a dog"
"It's been a hard day's night, I should be sleeping like a log."
Alfred grumbled as the sound from his alarm clock radio roused him from sleep. Where had he heard that song before? It sounded faintly familiar…
"But when I get home to you I find the things that you do"
"Will make me feel alright"
"Ughhh…" the American cracked open one bleary eye, to check the time.
Alfred attempted to bolt upright, but he was kept at bay by a pair of delicate arms wrapped tightly around his waist. For a mere moment his hazy mind didn't register, but he soon understood what was happening.
"Alfred…" murmured a drowsy Brit beside him, "Call in sick today. Stay, sleep… keep me company…"
The American felt the arms squeeze him tighter, keeping him chained to the bed. He smiled and turned around to face the person who had brought him back from loneliness. Arthur's hair was a mess, half flat on the pillow, half askew and sticking up in different directions. His eyes were half lidded with sleep, and a small smile was sprawled across his lips. Alfred smiled to himself at that, and leant in to kiss his lover.
"Good morning, beautiful."
"Don't call me that…" Arthur mumbled as he buried his face into Alfred's beautifully tanned chest, "Call in sick Alfred! Staaaaaaaay..."
The American grinned, wrapping his own muscular arms around the Brit. He wiped away the man's fringe and placed a kiss in the middle of his forehead.
"How can I say no to that?"
Quickly Alfred managed to unplug the alarm, and text Gilbert letting him know he'd be out today. He slipped back into bed beside Arthur squeezing him like a teddy bear. He would never be lonely again.
At the base of the bed, two cats purred softly, as they curled up together enjoying each other's company.