AUTHOR'S NOTE: I have a tumblr now! Yes, I've been using tumblr for quite some time to get my doujin and ask blog fixes but I finally decided to actually make one and I am quite addicted. If anyone is interested in it, it's a much faster way to bug me if you want updates (seeing as I rarely ever check my PM box here and find stuff months after the fact -/-). So if you wanna stop by, see if there's anything you haven't seen before, drop me a note or something, my tumblr is under the name southeastapple. You can also drop me an ask at any time to see if I've got anything in my private stash of porn fanfics/fanart/doujin that fits your needs. I'm planning on keeping most of my fanfiction updates/journal entries there and maybe even post some future previews. (:O)

Also, a fanfic I've recently got into is the blindchild!AU fanfic by fishwrites and abhauen. I don't know if you've seen it before, but it's pretty fucking fantastic and I'll post that on my tumblr too later today. You can find it through abhauen's tumblr or go to A Photograph of the Artist as a Young Man on FFN. There's also an artverse that goes along with it and it's really, really awesome. Seriously, I've been living and breathing it the past two weeks. So if you get the chance, if you like models, blind Arthurs, USUK, and sassy Francises, go check it out, favourite it, send it to everyone you know, have its children, I don't know, I'm not gonna judge, BUT SERIOUSLY guys, it's the cats meow and you've all gotta read it because I need friends to ramble about the shit that goes down in it.

And a final note, a warning for this chapter, there is lots of implied sexy times.

Now that I'm done rambling, on with the show~!

Notes: (1) You said you hate me. (Huzzah being in German TuT I can make Gil say things.)

(2) Jun Wang- My name for Hong Kong, China's son.

Chapter 9: In Contrast with this Nightmare

December 18th, 2007

10:28:53 AM EST

The Kirkland Apartment

Manhattan, New York

Arthur awoke to soft lips on his skin.

Soft. Everything was soft. From the morning light, to the lips on his skin, the to calloused hands on his back. Even the air that filled his lungs felt lighter.

The hands, not sensing his awakening yet, continued to trail up his back lovingly, stopping right around the middle of his shoulder blades and then turning south once again. He could hear the gentle thrum of life as his love breathed, the velvety sound as his lungs inflated. Arthur could feel the vibrations of his love's diaphragm as he hummed an old Beatles song quietly.

He lifted his head, just slightly (for he was just so comfortable), to look into those handsome sky blue pools. They were so pure, so completely and totally belonging to him that it made his heart squeeze with glee. Sifting his hand through his beautiful boy's hair, he mumbled softly, "Hi…"

Alfred's eyes sparkled at the sound, and he wrapped his arms around Arthur's waist more snugly, as if they could possibly be any closer. "Good morning…" He whispered back.

Arthur reached up, tangling his fingers in Alfred's wheatgrass hair. "Did you sleep well, poppet?"

Alfred leaned into the touch, a content pink dusting his freckly cheeks, and he nodded. "But of course I did…" He cast his eyes to the side, blushing more. "You were really awesome…"

Arthur chuckled. The boy really was too cute. "As were you." And then he tutted with another chuckle. "'Awesome,' that is."

The American bit his lip in embarrassment. "No I wasn't…I even cried…"

Another tug on those heartstrings. Boy, Arthur was going soft. "No, no, poppet…you've got it all wrong. It was only a little, and I did, too, my first time." He pressed a kiss to his forehead. "Besides, once we got past that bit, I happened to enjoy myself immensely."

That cute little blush returned, and Alfred puffed his cheeks out. "You kinky bastard…"

Arthur laughed. "Insufferable git."

"Tight-ass grammar Nazi."

"Low class cholesterol junkie."

Alfred's lips were so close now, close enough that Arthur could feel each syllable caress his own. "I hate you."

"I hate you more."

Their lips collided, loving, yet needy and hungry at the same time. Oh, Alfred was so asking for it, not even knowing how irresistible he was. And Arthur would've given it to him right then, had he not known how exhausted Alfred must've been. So instead he broke away to press a few soft kisses along the edge of Alfred's jaw.

"Mm…I love you…" Alfred sighed happily. Arthur smiled.

"As do I…" He pushed himself up onto his elbows. "Wwhy don't we get dressed and have some breakfast? You must be hungry, always stuffing yoru face like you do."

"Well, I am quite hungry…" But then he mumbled under his breath, "But I'd rather not get up…" It was barely coherent.

Arthur blinked. "What was that, sweetheart?"

Alfred rolled over, pushing Arthur off of him unintentionally, and buried his faced in the pillows. "Nevermind. You'll just laugh at me."

"Laugh?" Arthur frowned. "Dearest, why do you think I would laugh at you? Come on now, out with it."

"Mffr bhhtrrf hrrts…"

"Huh?"

Alfred looked up with a weak glare. "My bottom hurts. My hips and ass are so sore that it hurts even to shift around."

"Oh…" That was all? Arthur chuckled. "It's nothing to be embarrassed about, love. Over time it will get easier. You can take some Advil and we can just have a lazy day, today, if you'd like. I'll make some pancakes and we can watch a movie~"

Alfred paled, for everyone (at least everyone with working taste buds, for Arthur surely had none) knew that Arthur Kirkland's cooking was notoriously poisonous. Emphasis on the bloody fucking poison.

"Er…perhaps some doughnuts! After all, 'America runs on Dunkin!'" Alfred tried to sit up in protest, but ended up moving too fast, yelping in pain as his sore-

SLAM.

Well now he had yet another ache. "Owowowowowowowow! Arthur, you and your big head!"

"Me and my big head? What about you and yours? You're the one who headbutted me!"

"It was an accident!"

"A bloody accident!"

"Yeah!"

Arthur sighed, rubbing his temples. "I suppose I am being a right prick about this all, aren't I? I apologize, pumpkin, I haven't had my morning tea yet."

"S'okay hun." Alfred was smiling so purely again, his anger completely gone with just that simple apology. "Soooo…" Alfred kissed Arthur softly, tracing circles on the Brit's bare chest. "Coffee Roll, Large Hazelnut Coffee, and two Chocolate Chip Muffins~? Please~?"

"Mmm…but I had so wanted to make you breakfast in bed…ngh…Alfred, don't nip there…alright, alright." Arthur pushed Alfred away before he could defile him again. "I'll get you your bloody Dunkin Donuts."

"Huzzah!" Alfred cheered. "The Hero wins again!"

Arthur rolled his eyes, standing up and throwing a pair of Captain America boxers at his childish lover. "Find a movie On Demand and I'll be back in fifteen minutes or so." He pulled on his own boxers and pants, then set off to find a shirt that would cover the dark marks Alfred had left on him the night before. "Can you handle such an important task, Mr. Clark Kent?"

"You can count on me!"


The Present

Remember that French doctor?

Come on.

Think back.

Harder.

Yeah. There you go.

You 'member.

You see, Dr. Bonnefoy, ahem, I mean Francis, since he's off work, was very, very, very bored will his dull life. He didn't like being a doctor very much, in all honesty. He didn't know if it was the white, monotonous walls, or the never wavering smell of sanitizer and chemicals, or the depressing beeping of heart rate monitors and machines day after day. To him, being a doctor meant watching people die, being able to save some and not others, watching people like Mr. Arthur Kirkland-Jones drag their sorry asses into the Hospital day after day with no results. Perhaps at one time he had enjoyed saving lives, but years at the Hospital had drained the once colourful Frenchman of all his life, leaving him utterly grey in both hue and tone.

It was at times like these that Francis lamented what life would've been like had he gone to art school and designed fashion instead. Perhaps he wouldn't have been stuck in this drab and colourless world. Instead, he would've been following his dreams, staying up late into the dead of night working off of the buzz of coffee, booze, and sheer will, just like back in his college days. Instead he would've been fitting dozens of magnifique young men with his various creations, sending them off to the runway to shock and awe.

But alas…it was never meant to be. And Francis' wings were ripped from his back, torn like his dreams into itty bitty pieces.

Still, every day Francis watched the sky.


August 23rd, 2009

11:48:21 PM EST

Rockwell's

Manhattan, New York

Why had he come here again? It seemed he had forgotten.

The musky smell of smoke and lust wafted through the air, riding on the backs of sweet, sweet notes erupting from the piano. Antonio would've been fond of the jazz they played here. Of that he was sure.

"Fantastico!" He would cry, rolling his tongue with glee. "Dance with me, Francis!"

At one time, he would've. But today the jazz did not resonate so sassily and passionately through the air. Today the notes hung heavier than normal, drooping and coming to a whining halt. He wondered, just to himself, how the little runt was doing.

"Um, a small scotch, c'il vous plait." Francis said to the bartender quietly.

"Right away, sir."

Francis had been a frequenter of this club (if the small, family owned place could be called such) ever since '93. It was much the same ever since he had first stepped into it. Unlike most raunchy, grossly loud dance clubs filled to the brim with barely legal, overly-horny college kids, this place was quieter and more classy. It was the kind of place he came to think, to sit by himself and sketch and wallow without judgement.

"Well, hallo, mein Freund. I never thought I would see you here again." There was something positively devious in his voice. "After all…du gesagt du hasst mich." (1)

Well, there went the quiet. Francis refused to look at the man. "I refuse to speak to such a common whore as you, Monsieur Beilschmidt."

A light chuckle. "Oh? So this is about that?"

"That and the fact that that terrible language you are so intent to spout makes me want to wretch." Francis sipped his drink sharply with a frown.

Beilschmidt sat, leaning closer to Francis and earning a displeased 'hmph.' "C'mon, Bonnefoy, let me at least buy you a drink."

No. He couldn't. Because he just knew, 'let me buy you a drink' translated to 'let me have you tonight.' And he would not, absolutely not, wind up at the will of Gilbert Beilschmidt again.

Or at least, that's what he told himself every time he woke up alone.


Earlier, The Same Day

3:10:09 PM EST

On the Turnpike

"Arthur, you jerk, why can't you tell me where we're going?" Peter whined.

Arthur, who had only begun to drive about three minutes ago, had already dealt with two minutes and fifty eight seconds of brutal whining and general bitchery from Peter, and was just about to put his head through the windshield, push the fucking brat out of the passenger seat, and then run his pathetic ass over. "And why can't you just shut the bloody hell up?"

"Arthurrrrr-"

It's illegal to commit homicide. It's illegal to commit homicide. It's illegal to commit homicide. It's illegal to commit homicide!

Eventually, Peter begun to realize that just repeating his brother's name over and over was not doing anything to get his attention. So, instead, he switched to a completely new kind of mindfuckery. "You know, I'm missing my game for this, so it better be bloody good. I was totally about to start having fun with Repulsion Gel! Yong Soo told me all about it and said it was like, the best. freaking. level. ever. And Cave! I'm missing out on Cave Johnson! All this time wondering what he was like and I'll never know!"

"…how tragic."

Well, that, was certainly not the reaction we, I mean, he had wanted. Come on Peter! You can do better than that!

A change in tactics. "Yong Soo's nice. I think you'd like him. Only he's dating Jun (2) right now. And Jun's okay, don't get me wrong, but like, his Mom is insane. His Mom doesn't like that he's dating a boy either, but I think that's because Jun's a totallllll bottom. And that Yong Soo's a perv, but like still, who wants their kid to be a bottom? Talk about all that manliness just being flushed right down the toilet! It reminds me of this other boy-"

"Shut up!" Arthur finally snapped, stopping far too abruptly and causing Peter's face to come thisclose to making friends with the dashboard. "We're going to Hollister, if that's bloody alright with you!"

Peter quieted, trying to process what was just said (*cough* yelled *cough*). "…Hollister?"

At this, Arthur reddened. "W-well, it's one of the only teen clothing stores I know of…a-and it's not as if we won't see other stores at the mall as well. You didn't bring much with you after all."

Peter didn't respond.

"…Huh?" When Arthur glanced over, he saw that Peter was frowning slightly, looking down at the hands in his lap. "Peter?"

Silence. And then, a mumbled, "…Do I have to?"

Arthur blinked. He couldn't possibly figure out what he might've said to upset the thing. "Well, I mean if you want to be treated like a gentleman, you have to dress like one-"

Peter's eyes shot up.

"-. None of this jerseys and ripped trousers' look. Honestly! Who would want to wear trousers that were ripped! A real man would go and fix those trousers!"

"Arthur!" Peter interjected.

"Oh, yes, was there something you wanted to say, poppet?"

Peter fumbled with what he was thinking for a moment, then just spoke. "You're taking me…to buy boy's clothes?"

Arthur gave him a funny look as if he did not understand what Peter was getting at. "Well yes…what's that supposed to mean? Do you expect me to buy brassieres and panty hose for my little brother? Now wouldn't that be a sight."

Peter sat and stared for a moment. It was strange to him; Arthur acting as if this is how it has always been, as if he had no idea that Peter was biologically a girl. As if that fact simply didn't…exist.

But at the same time, as strange as it was…it was not entirely…bad. In contrast to reality, this was like sitting on a cloud, watching from afar the nightmare of reality in bliss, as if to them, it was just a funny illusion.

And Peter smiled softly, thinking to himself, I wish I could stay in this happy dream forever, never to face a nightmare again.