In advance, I apologize for the short chapter. Enjoy anyway!

Chapter 9 - Progress

Arthur was slowly, but surely, coming out of his depression. He stopped drinking-as much-and even decided to get out of the house, even for a little while. He figured he should, being that the living room was starting to reek of feet, booze and even ass. He decided to get himself cleaned up and go out for a walk.

Arthur, finally out of the house, was mindlessly walking around. He wasn't even focused on where he was going or anything going on around him. His mind was shifting from thought to thought-the last always unrelated to the former. He took a deep breath, and breathed in the fresh, crisp air. "Just relax, Arthur," he thought to himself. "You need it!"

An hour later, he found himself outside of Buckingham Palace. "Damn, have really been walking around that long?" At the time being, it seemed to be calm like normal, except for the few tourists trying as hard as they can to get the guards to-no pun intended-drop their guard. One seemed to stand out more than the rest. From a few feet away, he could see a punk-black hair, dark clothing and even darker shades-dancing crazily around one of the guards. He stopped dancing and started making ridiculous faces at him-pulling out his tongue, flipping up his eyelids, scrunching up his face in unimaginable ways. "Repugnant fool," Arthur thought. He figured to just ignore him and just go about his way.

The punk, however, momentarily looked away from the guard and noticed Arthur. He stopped all of his previous activities and walked up to Arthur instead.

"Hi, er, um, uh," the punk stammered.

"Hm, quite articulate, aren't you?" Arthur smirked and kept walking.

The 'punk' laughed nervously. "S-sorry, just, uh, flew in here a few days ago. I'm still trying to find my way around here." The 'punk'-or really Alfred-inwardly thought, "What kind of lie was that? I almost know England like the back of my hand!"

The Briton didn't want to blow him off-the option his gut was presenting to him-but he also didn't to be in anyone's company at the time. A little part of him wanted to stick around and get to know him better, but his pride would let him. Whilst he was in the middle of his deep pondering, 'Justin' noticed the far-away look in Arthur's expression. He decided to grab his atttention.

"Um, excuse me," he said just softly enough for only Arthur to hear. "Are you okay? You seem kind of lost."

"Uh, no, I'm alright. I was just, uh..." He couldn't find the words.

"You were just kinda spacing out a little there."

"Well, yes, I apologize. I'll just be on my way." He tried to quickly move past the American, that is, before he gently yet firmly grabbed his wrist.

"What the bloody hell are you doing? Get your hands off me!"

He let go. "I'm sorry, I was wondering why you were going so soon."

"I really have to go."

"Why in a hurry all of a sudden?"

"I-I just have things to do."

"Like what?"

"Nothing that concerns you."

"Ouch. That's kinda harsh, but hey, no hard feelings."

Arthur simply rolled his eyes. As he tried to get back to himself, a small raindrop landed on the tip of his nose. "Oh, bloody hell!"

"All I really wanted was to just talk to you, even for a little while," spoke 'Justin', with the upmost sincerity in the world.

Arthur stood speechless and frozen.

"You just looked like you needed someone to talk to."

Arthur was still speechless, however, he turned around to-uneasily-look 'Justin' in the eyes.

In the next few moments, the rain started to come down a little bit more, now in a drizzle.

"I should really get home. I have things to do and I don't even have an umbrella."

"That's okay, I have one in my backpack."

"No, I shouldn't impose."

"You wouldn't be, I insist."

"You shouldn't.."

"But I am!"

Arthur sighed. "Why the hell do Americans have to be so damn difficult!"

"Wow, that's very insulting there."

Arthur looked at him incredulously, then thought quickly to himself. "Did I just-"

"Yes, but I don't care. No problem."

Thunder started to roll and the rain only got heavier.

"Bloody hell!" Arthur murmured to himself.

'Justin' pulled the umbrella out of his backpack and opened it. He moved closer to Arthur and angled the umbrella over his head.

"I can help you back home, if you want."

"I don't need it, I'm perfectly capable of walking home by myself."

"You'll catch a cold out here."

"I'll manage."

"You'll get soaked!"

"I'll be okay."

"Be reasonable here! I'm willing to help you out! Why are being so stubborn?"

"I guess that's just in my nature."

That said, 'Justin' began to walk in the opposite direction of Arthur. "Well, if only you can handle yourself. Nice seeing you around."

The thunder's roar exploded like a car in a crash. Arthur yelped in surprise.

'Justin' sighed. "Come on, it'll be a lot easier getting home."

Arthur sighed. "Alright, straight home and that's it."

"Fine. Just lead the way, captain." He stopped and held out his hand. "Alf-er, I mean, uh, Justin, I'm Justin."

Arthur raised an eyebrow and hesitantly shook his head. They finally made their way towards Arthur's home.

"What the bloody hell am I getting myself into?"

Believe it or not, the moment you all have been waiting for is coming up, very soon! Give me 2 or 3 chapters to get there. I have to get everything together, but I do have the everything, up until the end of the story, already laid out in mind. Just stay tuned.

Also, just a quick side note, I started to write (even uploaded) a new story. It's called "Easy M", based on Hetalia (obviously) and "Easy A". It's a PruCan/Franada story. I hope you guys will check it out and like it!

As always, thanks for the patience and support! Please review...(if you don't, you're a terrible person...just a joke..teehee!)

Until next time, hasta la pasta!