AN: So, I didn't submit a drabble for yesterday - I was kind of busy, but I'll try and upload two tomorrow to make up for it. This is an AU, with a pairing that's becoming a definite love.. enjoy!
Chapter Seven: Y is for Youth
Nothing was ever going to change. It had been raining for five days straight, though it felt like it'd been raining for months. Arthur Kirkland found himself sitting at the same desk he'd been sitting at since he was twenty-six. Eighteen years. People were saying that forty was the new thirty, but he was forty-four, so did that mean he was thirty-three, or had he missed out? Oh, it didn't matter. He felt old, worn out. Lifeless. His only joy came from going home at night to his two cats, Rum and Rupert, and a hot cup of tea these days. And that's the way he liked it.
He left work late again, despite the fact he didn't have to. It wasn't as if his boss was going to pay him overtime, and all he gained from staying late was that he didn't have to go back to his cold and uninviting apartment. He hated it, but there wasn't much of a choice, especially when one preferred to walk to work to do their bit for the environment.
As he shut down his computer and took his jacket from the back of his chair, he was startled by a cough. It was a quiet cough, but he was sure everyone'd left earlier. He looked across the room to see the pretty young man from Canada. Well, his angelic face made him look more like a boy. Arthur wished he could call him handsome, but his slightly curved nose and large violet eyes were too feminine.
Matthew Williams had arrived at The Sun not six months ago, and unlike every other young pig-headed employees, he stayed late and worked hard. He never took tea breaks, kept to himself mostly. Arthur forgot he was there most of the time. It was a shame, really; Arthur thought he should have been going out and enjoying his youth, flaunting his good looks and his bright happy personality. Well, Arthur didn't know him personally, but he guessed he'd have a wonderful personality. The older man caught himself immediately and cleared his throat, as though he'd been admitting those thoughts aloud.
"Mr. Kirkland," a soft voice called to him as he went to leave. He turned to see Matthew standing up, holding an umbrella in his hand. There was a light blush on his cheeks, and it was enough to make Arthur's heart skip a beat. He felt ridiculous, but it didn't stop his own face from colouring a little. He was such a perverted old man. "It's raining outside." At that, the Canadian's cheeks went a darker red, realising he'd said something rather stupidly obvious. Arthur smiled a little. "I-I noticed you didn't bring an umbrella," he continued, his voice still soft. Soft and so innocently silky.
Arthur looked beside his desk, under it, even at his palms. "Oh sod it, so I didn't...never mind, Matthew. I don't live far from here. Shouldn't get too wet."
"Oh." Those violet eyes looked disappointed despite his polite smile. Something inside Arthur shifted. He couldn't put his finger on what it was exactly, but he wanted to make his disappointment go away.
"I appreciate the thought, though."
"I have a spare. See you tomorrow," the younger man insisted before going to Arthur and placing it in front of him and leaving before he could be rejected. Arthur smiled to himself. It was barely there, but it felt good.
As he left, he looked out of the window and saw a drenched Matthew making his way to his car. It appeared to Arthur that he was spare umbrella-less. His smile fell, though, not only because he felt bad, but he realised his heart was racing and his face was hot.
He knew he was too old to be chasing after something that had no evidence of being there, too old to be lusting after a man twenty years younger than himself at least. He knew he wasn't attractive; he was grumpy and old, but Matthew didn't seem to mind. He would go up to Matthew during the tea break tomorrow and give him his umbrella, and perhaps from there, things would change.