A/N: Written for bluef0x at livejournal, for hetaliasunshine.
More Than 2 000 Miles, All The Way
When Alfred hopped in his snazzy new blue Ford Fusion that morning, he was pumped. In fact, he was probably more pumped than pumped. He was stoked. While he was lying in bed the night previous, a most fantastic, most awesome, most idea ever, had come to him. This idea, was in no way influenced by the fact that 'Route 66' by Nat King Cole was playing on the radio that he normally kept on as he tried to fall asleep.
Soon he found himself parked in front of his brother's house at six in the morning. Needless to say that he hadn't slept at all once his brilliant idea had hit him, and he was already 3 Redbulls in, completely pumped for what was coming next. He honked his car horn to get his brother's attention. Moments later, said beloved brother was stomping out onto the driveway towards him.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing, eh?" Matthew grumbled once he reached Alfred's rolled down window.
Alfred merely grinned. "Bro, earlier I was hit with the best idea ever!"
Alfred could already hear the protests and exclamations that he should just go back to bed, but Alfred interrupted him before any of those words were said.
"Just pack a bag with enough clothes for a week and hop in, okay? I got everything else sorted out and planned." He paused, and when Matthew opened his mouth, like he still wanted to protest, Alfred quickly put a finger to the Canadian's lips. "If you be a good boy, I'll even buy you some of your beloved Tim Horton's before we head outta town."
Alfred smirked as he watched the expression on Matthew's face change from annoyed to something that was a little more eager. Did he know his brother or what? He snorted to himself and continued to smirk as he watched Matthew scramble back inside the house, only to come out minutes later. He had thankfully changed out of his boxers and tee shirt and into jeans and a sweatshirt, his bag slung over his shoulder. After chucking the bag into the back seat he clambered into the passenger side and gave Alfred a small glare to which Alfred responded with one of his most charming smiles. Apparently Matthew had developed a resistance to the smiles because he hadn't melted or swooned like every other person privileged enough to be on the receiving end of such a smile.
Giving Matthew a playful punch, Alfred continued smiling. "Aww, don't be such a grump, we're going to have a great time!"
Matthew just mumbled. "Get me my Timmy's first, and then we can talk about this great idea of yours."
Already pulling out of the driveway, Alfred nodded. He knew his brother enough to know that Matthew would be in a much better mood when some of his favourite coffee was put into his system.
After making a short stop through the Tim Horton's drive-thru, Alfred noticed that Matthew's attitude had perked, considerably.
"Alright," Matthew started, "Now about this fantastic idea you had…"
Alfred was literally bouncing in his seat. He couldn't wait to share the plan.
"We're gonna road trip across Route 66!" He exclaimed, tossing Matthew an eager look which quickly fell when he was disappointed to notice that Matthew did not look as eager as he did. In fact, his only response was to blink.
"You woke me up this early just to take me on a road trip?"
Matthew looked incredulous, while Alfred looked at him like it was the most obvious thing ever.
"Duh! We have a lot of road to cover! We have to get an early start!"
Matthew just sighed and sipped on his coffee.
It had been a silent drive for about two hours, but Alfred was starting to get fidgety and they still had approximately sixteen hours left of road time before reaching their first destination. Sure Matt seemed pretty content with the silence, but Alfred was eager and the silence was driving him crazy.
"Hey Matt, how 'bout we play a game?"
Matthew gave him a look, one that he clearly inherited from Arthur.
"What sort of game?"
Without a beat of hesitation, Alfred replied, "I Spy!"
Matthew raised an eyebrow but didn't say anything, so Alfred took it as encouragement to continue.
"Okay, me first. I spy with my little eye, something that is…" Alfred hummed, looking around. "Red!" he finally shouted.
Alfred grinned when Matthew started to look around. No way he was gonna get this. He figured Matthew would go for the obvious red barn that was clearly within view.
What? How did he guess? Alfred turned his head, mouth agape, staring at his brother. Matthew looked back, grinning.
"I know you Al. You're my brother. You wanted me to guess the obvious."
Alfred mentally cursed. The downside of having a brother was being able to know each other so well; you couldn't really win at games anymore. Pouting, he focused his attention back on the road ahead.
"Okay, your turn."
"Maaaaaatt." Alfred whined. "You have to say the whole phrase! Not just the color!"
Matthew looked at him. "Why? You already know what we're playing and the premise of the game."
Alfred couldn't believe his brother! "It's in the rules of the game! It's not as fun if you don't say it!"
Raising his hands defensively, Matthew gave in. "Alright, alright. I spy with my little eye something that is blue."
Alfred grinned, satisfied. "The sky." He too knew how his brother played the game.
Matthew nodded and Alfred started his turn, "I spy with my little eye…"
They continued going back and forth for a long while, Alfred always trying to 'spy' the most inconspicuous objects while Matthew always chose the more obvious ones. But they always ended up correctly guessing anyways, so they never did have a winner to their game…
About halfway to their destination Alfred's stomach grumbled. Loudly.
"Yeah maybe a little."
"We should stop for food then, eh?"
Alfred nodded agreeing but he wasn't going to stop until…
"There's a McDonald's on your right." Matthew stated, pointing out his window.
Alfred reached out a hand and ruffled Matthew's hair.
"Such a good little bro."
Scrunching his features to try and looked annoyed, Matthew replied, "Yeah, yeah. Well I'm hungry too, so let's just grab some food."
Happily Alfred pulled into the McDonalds deciding that they'd eat in the restaurant so they could have the opportunity to stretch their legs and use the bathroom.
In Alfred's opinion, McDonald's was great road trip food. Hell, McDonald's was great any occasion food. As he happily chowed down on his third burger, he eyed Matthew who was still working on his first (and only!) burger. Alfred grinned; glad he took his brother on this trip with him. He'd probably never admit it, because he wasn't going to publicly play favorites, but Canada was probably at the top of his list, his adorable brother with his goofy hair and smile.
Once they both finished their meals, they headed back to the car, satisfied. They still had a good six hours to go. Matthew, probably fully from the meal he just had, had fallen asleep on the passenger's side, much to Alfred's chagrin because he was in the middle of telling one of his more heroic stories about how he had picked the most herotastic barbecue for next year's Memorial Day. But as Matthew mumbled in his sleep about tap dancing moose, Alfred grinned as twiddled with the radio dial. He put it on a channel that played soft rock so it wouldn't disturb Matthew but it was also something he could hum along to.
Apparently Matthew was more tired than they both realized. By the time he awoke, it was already dark and they were reaching closer to their destination. Keeping the radio on, they just talked for the rest of the drive. In soft voices Alfred finished his story about the barbecue and Matthew talked about how he played street hockey with some of the local kids and how he saw a lot of potential in all of them.
It was nice, light conversation between brothers as they drove into St. Louis. They were lucky in finding a hotel for the night, because as much as Alfred had planned for their trip, he had forgotten about booking accommodations.
Alfred wanted to catch a late night jazz show before sleeping but as soon as they got to their hotel room, he was out like a light. Matthew in the meantime settled for watching, 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' an old Gene Kelly film, and trying to drown out Alfred's snores.
The next day turned out to go rather smoothly. They woke up early enough, and started the drive towards Joplin, MO. During the ride, they played Counting Cars to keep themselves entertained. Alfred had called dibs on blue cars and Matthew counted the red cars. When they drove into Joplin, Alfred had won by a considerable amount. They found a small restaurant to eat in before they headed back out on the road, driving towards Oklahoma City.
For some odd reason that Alfred couldn't fathom, Matthew didn't want to play Counting Cars any more, so Alfred punched him in the arm instead. But before Matthew could punch him back, because Matt's reflexes were pretty sharp, Alfred quickly yelled out, "Punch buggy!"
Matthew's fist had stalled right before it had made contact with Alfred's arm. He pulled it back grumbling, settling for shoving Alfred instead.
"H-hey!" Alfred laughed.
Matthew shrugged. "It was a shove, not a punch. So I didn't break any rules."
Soon, Alfred found himself rough housing in his car but it was a battle that Alfred was fast losing. He only had one arm to defend and attack with because he needed the other to drive, though the fight did become a little more even when Alfred tugged on that one flyaway curl that Matthew had. But once Matthew cottoned on to Alfred's battle strategies, he put up a good fight protecting it, and in the end, Alfred had to finally admit defeat. He had also forgotten how hard Matthew could hit.
They had made it just in time to catch a concert in the Oklahoma City Zoological Park, but by the time the concert was over, most of the hotels had no vacancy left, which left the two of them spending a night in a dingy motel room.
While Matthew was trying to get comfortable on his mattress, Alfred was in the bathroom, but it didn't take long before he ran out screaming bloody murder.
"COCKROACH! THERE'S A COCKROACH IN THE TUB!"
It wasn't that Alfred was scared of cockroaches; he just knew they couldn't be trusted. So he spent the rest of the night clinging to Matthew's arm for protection. After all, he did have fast reflexes and could hit hard.
Needless to say, they didn't have the best sleep. But the next day they did manage to keep themselves awake by rocking out in the car to all of Alfred various CDs, as they drove to Amarillo.
In Amarillo they picked up some good ol' American BBQ, (what else do you do when you're in Texas?) before heading out to Gallup. Gallup was like all of Alfred's childhood dreams put together. They stayed at a western style hotel, one where it was rumored that John Wayne himself stayed in. And that evening Alfred even managed to drag Matthew out so they could take pictures of themselves in cowboy getup.
Their forth day on the road was a little less than exciting. Having exhausted Alfred's music collection they day previous, they sat quietly in the car watching the clouds roll by, occasionally commenting when a cloud resembled a certain shape.
Both Flagstaff and Winona weren't as exciting they had expected so they basically ended up walking around both towns, just looking around all the different shops. For being such a small town, Winona had a lot of tourists milling about and once again Matthew and Alfred were left struggling trying to find a hotel. Alfred refused to stay in another dingy motel room, in prevention of being attacked by more cockroaches so they ended up sleeping in the car.
Alfred couldn't understand why Matthew was so bitter about the whole thing; he was saving them from the evil cockroaches! And it's not like Arizona got that cold at night. So what, he only had one blanket and the only way they could share was a really uncomfortable position in the backseat? It wasn't his fault his car wasn't designed for people to sleep in, especially for two male adults.
One rough night wasn't going to deter Alfred. They had one day left, and by George, he was going to make the most of it. They drove straight through Kingman, Alfred was much more eager to get to California. To keep themselves entertained they played One Word Story, even though they never got too far with their stories. Every other word that Alfred had said would either be 'hamburger' or 'milkshake' and Matthew seemed to enjoy using the words, 'maple' and 'moose'. Nevertheless they had some pretty funny stories and by the time they reached Barstow, their ribs were aching from laughing so much.
They went into the Route 66 Museum to have a look around. As they looked, Alfred began to feel nostalgic. He was also happy to be sharing the moment with Matthew. As they walked through the building, he pointed to things, explaining all about them with the enthusiasm of a five year old. Matthew, Alfred realized, was the best. He listened, and nodded, and even asked questions, never once did he look bored while Alfred was talking.
Left on a patriotic high, they drove down the Interstate with the windows rolled down. There was an hour left in their trek and Alfred felt like he was on top of the world. Once they hit San Bernadino, it was like the effects of a sugar rush, and he was crashing. They had spent five days in a car, and they had finally reached their destination. Alfred drove until he found a suitable hotel for them to stay at.
Eagerly he headed to their room and flopped on the bed. He was already snoring by the time Matthew pulled a blanket over him and placed a kiss on his forehead.
"Thanks for taking me along."