So I was watching "Watchmen" the other day. And while I didn't like the movie, I do like superheroes. :3 And I have yet to write hero!Alfred. Though, this fic is less "Superman" and more "Kick-Ass". XD
Warnings: slash, descriptions of violence, language, OOCness, potential fail, and did I mention AU?
Disclaimer: Be glad I don't own Hetalia.
Matthew Williams first meets Alfred F. Jones on a sweltering Tuesday, at twilight, on his way home from hockey practice.
Of course, prior to that, Matthew had no idea who this Alfred F. Jones was or even why his existence mattered to Matthew who was too busy worrying about whether or not he had enough for a bottle of red Gatorade or if he had to settle for a cheap water bottle. Oh the difference a dime actually makes.
Also, Matthew doesn't realize that he's meeting Alfred for the first time. He is too stunned to even ask the stranger's name and, frankly, no one would blame the poor guy.
Most people would be too stunned for niceties and pleasantries if a stranger decked out in red, white and blue spandex and worn Nikes suddenly roundhouse-kicked a would-be mugger in the head and sent the grizzly, built-like-a-fucking-brick house man stumbling to the ground, dazed.
The owner of the dingy bodega is just as stunned as Matthew and doesn't know if he should point his ancient shotgun (which he had pulled out the moment the robber turned on Matthew and right before the costumed man burst in like a whirlwind) at the criminal or the flamboyant stranger.
Struggling for his voice, the blond teenager finally licks his lips and says, still shocked. "I think you should call the cops now." He stares, violet eyes wide, as the costumed stranger uses the unconscious man's belt to tie him to the candy rack before whirling on the pair.
His face is covered by a facemask, brilliant blue eyes left uncovered by the stretchy fabric. Matthew can see the fabric around the mouth stretch and he realizes the stranger is smiling widely and it's almost comforting except he's not yet convinced of this guy's sanity.
But he did save Matthew from getting his pretty face carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey because the wannabe thief had pressed the glinting edge of his switchblade towards the teenager when he turned the corner from the shelves and walked right in the middle of a robbery.
The newcomer now held the knife loosely and studied it with great interest. He had swiftly caught it in midair when the robber had dropped it the moment the stranger's sneaker collided with the side of his head.
"This thing is so cool." The costumed man murmured, now closing the knife and flicking it open. He laughed brightly, like a kid on Christmas morning.
It was rather endearing.
Then the stranger, perhaps a bit recklessly, flipped the knife a bit and the blade sliced through Lycra and his finger neatly, earning a curse and a "oh hey, that's actually really sharp" as he stared down at the blossoming blood before sticking the finger in his mouth childishly. Matthew stared at the man and even the bodega owner seemed to be giving the guy a strange look even as he spoke with the 911-dispatcher.
"I could've gotten really hurt." Costumed guy laughed again, pulling out his finger with a wet pop, switching the knife closed and looking at Matthew, as though he was sharing a secret with the teenager.
This guy just saved him?
Then he tosses the knife onto the counter and gives a little salute. "And my work here is done. Have a good night, law-abiding citizens!" He shouts over his shoulder, jogging out the door.
Matthew and the bodega owner watch the mass of red, white and blue stumble over a crack in the movement before straightening, looking around to see if anyone saw, and then dashing off into the now night.
"What the fuck just happened?" Matthew asked, still not quite at terms with the last five minutes of his life.
"I've lived in this city fifty-five years, boy." The bodega owner begins, sounding tired. "And fuck if I know. Just take your Gatorade and get out." He gestures with his shotgun and Matthew just grabs his drink and books it out of there.
Alfred F. Jones is new to the city. The reason he is new to the city is because his parents packed up everything and decided that maybe their son would get along better in the hustle and bustle of city life and be too busy (or at least sufficiently distracted) to continue masquerading as a crime fighter.
You see, in the little town Alfred used to live in, vigilantism was specifically outlawed and punished harshly. In fact, the specific law was passed because of Alfred. It was for his own good. Really. The boy was well meaning and had a strong, unshakable code of ethics. At first it was adorable. He would dress up in a colorful outfit and save cats from trees and little kids from older bullies.
Then, he started putting himself in danger. His hometown, unfortunately, was a prime target for bank robberies for some reason no one ever figured out.
Alfred attempted to stop one and ended up in the hospital. The town immediately passed the anti-vigilante law. Of course, Alfred was stubborn and didn't heed it so whenever he was caught, the sheriff just threw the boy into a cell for the night and let him go the next morning with enough time to run home and get ready for school.
Anyways, Alfred's parents moved him to the city when it became clear that their son would not stop his attempt at crime fighting.
In retrospect, bringing their son to a city rife with crime and ample opportunity to get shot, stabbed, raped, and murdered (on just a Monday even) was a stupid idea. But, in their defense, they were just tired of their son being in prison every other night.
Yeah, I think that's a pretty shitty defense too.
If anything, being in the city pushed Alfred to be more secretive and serious about his crime fighting. He was a natural athlete, despite his lack of interest in sports. He picked up martial arts the way Francis picked up women.
You don't know Francis, yet. But he has a way with women. They fall at his feet. Well, at least until they get to know him. Then they turn the other way and regret that they fell victim to his charms. Even though he is really good with his hands. And tongue.
But don't tell Arthur. Even though you haven't met him yet, either, you don't need a formal meeting to understand that he did not like Francis and liked the other's prowess with women even less.
But I digress. As I was saying, Alfred was already physically inclined to kick ass. He also had that boyish, boy scout-y heroism and indomitable idealism that a wannabe superhero needs to want to go out and get his ass handed to him by gang members and crooks who don't play fair and fight with broken bottles and rusty pipes and brass knuckles and other equally unpleasant things. Alfred F. Jones genuinely wanted to make the world a better place.
He had very good intentions. But he still rubbed people the wrong way.
He came off a little strong, like a tornado, and could be very abrasive and overzealous. People liked him enough (it was hard not to) but preferred him when he wasn't around.
This changed after he met Matthew Williams.
Matthew, for all his heavy sighs and lecture-rants and disappointed frowns, liked Alfred's company.
And Alfred just liked Matthew.
And, judging by the way Matthew smiled at Alfred and kissed his bandaged scrapes (even though a kiss isn't as effective as antiseptic and a handful of Ibuprofen), he liked the wannabe superhero too.
Of course, all this comes later. I just gave you a taste of the future.
"Oh, sorry, I thought this room was empty." Matthew apologizes quickly, already turning on his heel before the other blond turns away from the punching bag and calls him back.
"Hey wait, its cool!" The blond says cheerfully.
Matthew pauses, looking back. The other student looks to be about his height, perhaps with more muscle mass, and is sweaty. His blond hair is plastered to his skull, a strange cowlick drooping just so. He's wearing a red and grey shirt and basketball shorts and his knees and hands are wrapped in white bandages. A healing, greenish-yellow bruise stains his right cheekbone and Matthew winces because it must've been nasty a few days ago.
"Alfred F. Jones." The blond continues breezily, hands on his hips, head tilted cockily. Then he adds, "I didn't realize they let girls use the guys' training room."
Matthew feels his right eye twitch and his fingers curl into fists.
Alfred has an equally nasty shiner for the next few weeks.
"This is why you should cut your hair." Arthur says with a shrug, leisurely turning the page of his latest Shakespeare play "The Tempest". "But do you ever listen? No, no you don't." His green eyes flick across the rows of text. "Wanker."
"I think you look beautiful." Francis says comfortingly, patting Matthew's hand and letting his thumb linger for a moment too long on the other's wrist.
Arthur swats the other with his book. "Hands on the table." He hisses, already bristling at the slight molestation of his cousin.
Matthew proceeds to tune out the following argument and instead tugs at his hair with a frown. Maybe he could use a trim.
"Hey, someone sitting here?" and without waiting for a response, Alfred slipped into the seat, face solemn with his chin propped in his palm. "Hey."
Arthur looks surprised at the blond's audacity to just swagger over to the Student Council Lunch Table and plop down without so much as a 'good day' and immediately takes offense to the lack of respect. Francis looks amused and a little predatory, but that's not really new or surprising.
Matthew, on the other hand, relishes his handiwork because punching Alfred had been extremely gratifying.
"So, I realize now that you don't have boobs." Alfred says conversationally, ignoring Arthur's indignant sputter. "Even though you look like you would—" He doesn't notice the way Matthew's expression darkens. "—I'm sorry. Sometimes I just say shit and people take it bad." He laughs, looks sheepish. "We cool?"
"That was the worst apology I've ever heard." Matthew says, bemused and a little insulted.
"Yeah, well, I don't really apologize often." Alfred retorts, almost pouting, before his expression turns vaguely flirtatious. "But I'd hate to have someone as hot as you hating me." And then he winked.
Matthew's lips curve into a scowl and Alfred's face is acquainted with the Canadian's bowl of chili.
"Jolly good." Arthur says approvingly, opening his book again.
Francis is just shaking his head. "So many things I would've done differently."
Matthew storms off, Alfred looking up blearily and blinking chunks of meat and bean out of his eyes as he watches the other keenly.
Alfred, for all his charm and infectious energy, never had many friends. Not because he couldn't make them because he could (people often found themselves dragged into his orbit easily and unwillingly), but because he had some very old school ideas about superheroes.
It came down to this: don't let people get too close otherwise they'll be used against you and they'll get hurt. Superman had kryptonite and Lois Lane. Spiderman had Mary Jane. All the leading ladies of comic books were always in some trouble or another and had to be saved by the hero who also had to choose between a bus full of babies and cats or something. Also, dealing with the inevitable fallout from dozens of missed dates and unexplained absences and nagging wasn't worth the sex or company.
So friends and girlfriends were out.
It was okay though. He had a dog named Bandit and Bandit was pretty good company.
So Alfred spent most of his time training or watching old action movies. Sometimes he read the American Journal of Physics or the Annals of Mathematics and he had memorized most of John Locke's philosophy.
Of course, he much preferred his old comic books to that elitist nonsense.
He was fairly smart, you know. Not that you would know because he rarely used his head. Also, he ran around in spandex.
Because he was so unsocial, his social skills (which had never been spectacular to begin with) diminished and that little voice in your head—the one that tells you to shut up when you're saying stupid shit—seemed to have moved out of Alfred's common sense. As a result, he wasn't a people-person.
Which is why he managed to be so repulsive to Matthew. It wasn't his intention, but it happened nonetheless and Alfred—who thought Matthew looked nice, despite owning a dick instead of tits and was getting a little lonely (because Bandit had been run over a few days ago)—was unhappy.
And when he was unhappy, he made sure other people were unhappy.
"I'd like to see you steal some other poor lady's person with two broken hands." Alfred said cheerfully, grinding his heel down onto the mangled mess of skin and bone that had been the thief's hand.
The man gurgled incomprehensibly, blood dribbling out the corner of his mouth from where his tooth had cut his lip, his hand having been bashed into the corner of the dumpster just moments before Alfred punched him in the kidney and idly mentioned that the man would be pissing blood for a while.
Stepping back, the costumed blond stared disdainfully at the beaten man. The woman who he had been helping had fled the moment Alfred tossed her the expensive Gucci purse and missed the ensuing carnage. With a bored sigh, the teenager rolled his shoulders and winced when he heard his back pop. Then, surreptitiously tugging the Lycra from where it was digging into his genitals, he said, "I hope you've learned your lesson."
"Look, I'm really, really sorry." Alfred rushed out, shoving a perspiring bottle of red Gatorade into Matthew's face. "Can we just be friends?"
"If I say yes, will you stop creeping on me?" Matthew asked cautiously, shouldering his hockey bag.
"No." Alfred replied seriously. "But it's okay because friends can creep on each other right? I mean, I inferred it from the books I've read."
Matthew stared at him uncertainly, suddenly wishing he had left with Berwald and Tino when he had the chance.
The other teenager looked nervous, then. "Please?" He wiggled the drink hoping bribery would work.
"Okay…" the hockey player took the drink, smiling a bit when Alfred grinned.
Weirdest olive branch of friendship ever, but no one had ever wanted to be Matthew's friend so badly that they attempted to bribe him.
It was kind of cool…in a weird way.
Three years later, the boys are in their senior year of school. Alfred is still playing hero and is quite the local celebrity and isn't even thinking of college (even though word on the street is that MIT is salivating for him). Matthew is captain of the hockey team and is torn between McGill and Harvard.
The boys are inseparable, much to Arthur's distress (he finds the "Yank", as he refers to Alfred, brutish and uncouth and wonders just what Matthew sees in him) and Francis's interest (he's waiting for the inevitable burst of sexual tension that he claims is there but no one else seems to notice. Or care).
Matthew has not seen that costumed weirdo again in real life. Though he sees grainy pictures of him on his Facebook fan page and cell phone videos of the vigilante on the news and Internet. Apparently the man has been calling himself BAMF (short for BadAss MotherFucker—yes, Alfred was quite modest) and has made quite a few enemies on both sides of the law.
"If he wasn't actually doing something about the crime problem, I'd say he's just an attention seeker." Matthew said off-handedly, frowning when he came across another mention of the masked hero. "I met him once."
"Really?" Alfred asked, sprawled out on the couch in the student commons. His psychology textbook is open and resting on his chest. There is a healing cut under his eye from where a butterfly knife's blade had gotten dangerously close to blinding him.
He told Matthew that he tripped. Matthew didn't believe him, but he also knew that Alfred had the tendency to get into fights when standing up for others so he just patched up the other blond from time to time.
"Yeah." Matthew snorted, tilting his head just so in memory of that day. His eyes fluttered shut. "He cut himself playing with the mugger's switchblade."
Alfred's lips twitched upwards and he protested. "Hey, cut the guy a break. He's gotten better."
The other blond looked over at him, tucking a curling strand of hair behind his ear. "I suppose." He conceded, almost boredly, already switching the webpage on his laptop. "Wanna catch a movie tonight?"
"Can't." Alfred sighed.
Matthew frowned. "Work again?"
Alfred smiled tightly. Yeah, he knew he was breaking his cardinal rule (Let no one close) but, hey, every hero knew their liabilities and accepted them (though not without some drama and other nonsense, but whatever) as a part of the job hazards.
Also, he liked Matthew and the blond was worth the risk.
"Yeah, working overtime tonight."
Alfred grit his teeth as he barely managed to stop the other's fist with his wrist, feeling the other man's knuckles hit bone. Ducking low, he briefly shifted on the balls of his feet, before surging forward and head-butting his opponent in the chest, sending them both hurtling to the ground. The other was winded and Alfred took the opportunity to grasp the other by his salt-and-pepper hair and delivering a series of right-hooks to the man's face, his expression not even softening even as the crack of bone and squelch of blood became audible, the smack of flesh echoing in the dark alley. Breathing heavily, the teenager straightened his fingers and winced when his knuckles throbbed. The criminal's face was a mess, tears and blood and drool mixing and dripping down a slack cheek.
Then, rising to his feet and ignoring the tremble in his knees, the blond rubbed his bruised wrist absently and walked away.
"BAMF: Hero or sociopath?" Matthew read aloud. He looked upset, Alfred noted, turning his face towards the other as he draped himself over the other's shoulders.
"What is this garbage?" The American asked, blue eyes narrowed behind his glasses.
"He beat this man into a coma." The other read, ignoring the invasion of his space. "How awful."
"He was a criminal." Alfred said quietly, expression stormy.
"Still a person." Matthew pointed out, equally quiet. Then he clicked out of the browser.
"But…" The other blond paused. "He's still a good guy."
Alfred chewed his lip thoughtfully, fingers deftly skimming over the smooth fabric of his costume as Pacific blue eyes searched for any holes or tears.
It was nearing 3 am and he had just gotten in from patrol, climbing up the fire escape and back into his room without his parents even noticing he was gone. Of course, they thought he was at Matthew's so they didn't really question him coming in late.
"I don't understand how you can be so clumsy." Matthew murmured, swiping at the worrying scrape on Alfred's elbow. After he was satisfied with the wound, having cleaned all the gravel and soot, he put on a generic Band-Aid.
"Kiss it." Alfred demanded, a childish grin on his face.
Matthew, who usually ignored such requests, looked up at Alfred, perched on the ratty couch, from where he was kneeling in front of the sofa. There was the red mottling of an early bruise at his hairline and the other blond looked exhausted and something in Matthew stretched and twisted painfully.
And he pressed his lips to the Band-Aid, pursing them briefly before pulling back, a blush already on his face.
Alfred was staring down at him, eyes wide and a matching blush on his cheeks.
Then he said, "I think my lip is cut too."
With a laugh, Matthew pushed upwards and Alfred dragged the willing blond into a kiss.
If this was why Spiderman was willing to put up with so much drama just for Mary Jane, then Alfred could understand why.
First of all, I know I skipped over a lot of relationship-building. I did that on purpose. Also, sometimes feelings grow on their own and no one can explain how but it is just right. Use your imaginations as to how Alfred and Matt became Alfred/Matthew. :)
Secondly, this is either complete or not. I haven't decided, though I could be convinced. ;) -shot-
Also, Alfred is a bit of a socially-retarded dick in the beginning. He gets better but he's still kinda a dick. XD Also, he has no superpowers.
Thirdly, this is humor and drama and romance. It'll be angsty in some parts. This was originally going to be just humor and romance, but I thought 'nah. lets save that for a rainy day"~
So...how was it?