Part II

Their next date was on that Tuesday night. Alfred picked Arthur up after work and drove him downtown – Italian food this time. Alfred insisted on reading out the whole menu for Arthur, who eventually decided on the gnocchi with tomato sauce. Alfred ordered two different pasta dishes and requested an extra basket of bread ("I had to take an early lunch break today, so I'm super hungry," he explained). It turned out that Alfred was a technician in a local laboratory, a start-up (Arthur was still unclear as to what its purpose was), and his job was "doing stuff with bacteria." When Arthur asked him to elaborate, he immediately regretted it.

"So . . . you make them grow?" he hazarded after Alfred had tried to explain his job to him a second time.

"Well, yeah, technically, but in specific ways. See, they like to grow in colonies. . . ."

Eventually, Alfred got tired of talking about the bacteria. "So, I guess you don't work now?" he asked around a mouthful of pasta.

Arthur winced at his lack of tact. "Yes. I had quite a bit saved up anyway, and I get a monthly payment for my disability. Sharing the rent with Francis helps a lot, and he always cooks so he always pays for the food."

"Huh. It seems like you've got a good system going on."

"Yeah, it works well for me. Though I suppose I'm a bit of a burden for him sometimes." Arthur frowned and moved the gnocchi around in his bowl with his fork.

"I don't think he minds," Alfred said honestly. "I don't see how anyone would."

Arthur paused, surprised. Had it been anyone else, he would have thought that Alfred was simply being nice – but Alfred had shown himself to be such an open and truthful person, and he sounded so honest, Arthur almost believed him. "Thank you."

"Sure."

Arthur thought for a moment, still stirring the gnocchi around pointlessly. "I know you're curious," he said finally, "so if you'd like to know how it happened, I don't mind telling you about it."

"Really? I mean, only if it's okay with you. But, yeah." There was that smile in his voice again.

"I . . . was in a car accident. I think I saw it coming and was trying to brace for the impact – I don't even really know. But when it happened, I slammed forward and my eyes hit the steering wheel. I was taken to the hospital, of course, because I had a lot of other minor injuries, but that was some pretty severe blunt trauma. Cataracts formed on my eyes, one after the other. I used to be able to see light, basic shapes, but at this point I'm blind in all senses of the word."

"I see," Alfred said quietly. "That . . . must have really sucked."

Arthur shrugged. "I'm alive, and not so bad off, really."

"Whose fault was the accident? How did it happen?"

"No one's but mine. I was driving by myself, I was distracted and not paying attention, and I ran a red light."

Then Alfred asked the question no one had ever asked before. "Why were you distracted?"

Arthur swallowed. Alfred saw his expression and backpedaled. "I'm sorry, you don't have to answer if you don't want to, of course–"

"It's fine. I . . . had this friend, Antonio." He took a deep, shuddering breath and set down his silverware. "More than a friend for a while, actually. We had a nasty breakup, but we ended up being pretty close afterwards. I was driving home from work. Francis had been trying to call me all day but I'd had my phone off, so I was sitting in the parking lot when I finally called him back. He told me Toni was dead. Got mixed up in a gunfight." He knew his hands were twisting in his lap, and he tried to still them. "I shouldn't have been driving."

"I'm sorry," Alfred whispered. "Can I . . . touch your hand?"

"Yes." Arthur set his left hand on the table. Alfred slipped his hand underneath it and squeezed. "I think that's why Francis looks after me, actually," Arthur said. He felt like he should keep talking. "He feels guilty, since he was the one who told me." As soon as Arthur said it, he knew that it was true.

"It's nice that he's there for you, though."

"Yeah, it is." Arthur was quickly becoming lost in thought, and he withdrew his hand from Alfred's. He picked up his silverware and took another bite of his food. Alfred returned to his as well, and Arthur remembered little of their conversation after that point, if they had any. Alfred drove him home and walked him up to his door. Alfred hesitated a little outside, but then he simply touched Arthur quickly on the shoulder and said goodnight. Arthur lay awake in bed for a long time afterward, thinking. He had a lot of things to think to think about.


Arthur started researching the next day, and it took another day for him to realize that yes, he really wanted to do this – needed to do this. The day after that, he was seated in his armchair when the front door opened and closed; Francis was home from work.

"Francis," he said.

Francis entered the living room. "Yes?"

"I'm moving out."

There was a moment of silence. "Who are you moving in with? Not Alfred already?"

"No, of course not," Arthur said exasperatedly. "I'm moving out. By myself."

"Arthur–"

Arthur stood up. "I've been depending on you for long enough. As much as I appreciate you putting up with me, it's high time I went back to being an independent adult. Besides, I know you. I've heard you with Mattie. I can guess how many times you've wanted to ask him to spend the night, but can't because you know I'd hear everything you were doing." He scowled in Francis's general direction and crossed his arms. "I know how important fucking him is to you. I wouldn't want to get in the way of your fun." He spat it out; he and Francis had had disagreements about this before.

"Arthur," Francis said quietly, furiously. "Matthew's here."

"What?" Arthur said quickly, startled. How could he have missed another person in the room? But now that he was looking for it, he could tell – the way the noise in the room sounded just slightly different, the slight extra rustle of cloth, the faint extra breathing. His mouth twisted unhappily and he wanted to swear. He had been so focused on telling Francis, it had never occurred to him that there might have been someone else there. He opened his mouth, but Matthew spoke first.

"Francis." Matthew did not sound pleased. "Is that what you've been thinking about? That already, eh?"

"Mattieu. . . ."

"Is that all I mean to you?"

"Mattieu, let me explain. C'est seulement–"

"Je ne le veut pas entendre!" Matthew sounded more than a little slowly backed towards the hallway.

"Tu sais que je t'aime, que je t'adore. . . ."

"Eh? C'est vrai? Parce-que c'est difficile de le croire!"

Arthur retreated quickly down the hall and closed his door, the sounds of muffled, angry French still reaching his ears.


"Alfred?"

"Hey, Artie! What's up?"

Arthur switched the phone into his other hand so he could turn on his computer. "I was wondering if you're free today."

"Today? Yeah, sure! What do you want to do, lunch again?"

"Actually, I was wondering if you'd like to come over here. I need help with something and Francis is, ah. . . ." He considered how to word it. "Not really talking to me."

"Oh, sure. What do you need help with?"

"Just sorting through some things on the computer. I'm trying to make a decision."

"Uh, okay. I'll be over in a bit."

"Great. Thanks."

"No prob. See ya."

"Bye."

Arthur hung up and hit the keyboard command to bring up his browser. Now, if only he could find the folder he had made of bookmarks of apartments in the area. . . .


Alfred showed up at Arthur's door half an hour later. He knocked and Arthur opened the door. "Hey," Alfred said with a grin.

"Hello," Arthur said. "Come in." He turned and walked back into the apartment.

Alfred obediently closed the door behind him and followed him inside. Arthur walked into the dining room and sat down at the table in front of an open laptop. Alfred glanced nervously into the living room, where Francis was reading a newspaper very, very seriously. "Uhhh, I thought you guys weren't talking."

"We're not," Arthur said. "Have a seat." He one-handedly pulled out the chair next to him, nearly ramming it into Alfred in the process. Alfred sat.

"So, what do you need help with?"

"I'm moving out, and I've narrowed it down to these apartments, but I can't see the pictures, obviously. I need you to tell me if I'm going to be moving into some run-down building with peeling paint in a horrible neighborhood."

"Woah, you're moving? Is that why Francis is mad at you?"

"No." Arthur glared at the screen.

"Er, so . . . why is he mad?"

"If you are curious, Alfred," said Francis from the other room, "Perhaps you should talk to your brother."

"My brother? Woah, Artie, did you like insult him or something? He was super pissed when he got home last night, but he just said he'd been fighting with Fran–" Francis snapped the newspaper angrily. "Er, hadn't had a good day."

Arthur bristled. "I did not insult him, exactly. It was . . . a misunderstanding."

"Alfred," said Francis. "Perhaps you should help Arthur with his search, so that he can start packing as quickly as possible."

"Anyway," said Arthur loudly, "What do you think of this one?" He tapped a key on his keyboard and the computer said: "Town place. Near park, pleasant view. Pets allowed. No parking on curb. . . ." The picture was of a pale peach building with dirty orange trim. The "garden" in front looked as though it had never seen a drop of water in its life.

"Uhh," said Alfred. "What does the inside look like?"

Two hours later, they had finally narrowed it down to three apartments within walking distance of downtown. Francis had long since departed for "the grocery store." Arthur closed his laptop with a little sigh. "Enough of that."

"Yeah. Do you want me to take you tomorrow to look at them?"

"Oh, that would be lovely. I should call ahead and check first, though."

"Ah, yeah." Alfred leaned back in his chair and watched Arthur. "So, why the sudden move? It doesn't really seem like you've been planning it for a long time."

Arthur shrugged. "Change of pace, I suppose. I mean, really. . . ." He suddenly looked tired. "I just realized that the only reason Francis has been putting up with me for so long is because he feels guilty. I don't want that. I'm tired of being pitied." He snapped out the last sentence more harshly than he had intended.

"Hey . . ." Alfred said slowly. "You don't think I'm pitying you, do you?"

"What? No." Arthur frowned at Alfred's chin.

Alfred would never tell him, because he would probably find it really, really insulting, but . . . it was really cute when Arthur thought that Alfred's face was where his earlobe was, or his collarbone, or a little too far over to the left. . . . Alfred chuckled a little.

Arthur scowled. "What?"

"Oh, nothing," Alfred said, too happily. "I'm glad." Arthur grumbled something under his breath but didn't pursue it. "So, what do you want to do now?"

"Eh, whatever," Arthur said with a sigh.

"Tired?"

"A bit."

"Then let's just sit on the couch."

Arthur looked into empty air thoughtfully. "Okay."

Alfred let Arthur position himself exactly in the center of the couch before sitting down himself. He scooted over so their legs were touching and then put an arm on the couch behind Arthur's head. Arthur was sitting up mostly straight with his hands clasped gently in his lap. "Hey," Alfred said, "If you're tired, why don't you just relax?"

"Hmm?" said Arthur, his eyes resting on Alfred's nose.

"Here," he said, and slowly put a hand on Arthur's shoulder. Arthur tensed up slightly and then relaxed. "You can rest on me." He pulled Arthur towards him so that Arthur's head was resting on his shoulder. Arthur immediately stiffened and clenched his hands tightly in his lap. Alfred noticed this, but he also noticed that Arthur didn't pull away. After a moment, he began to gently stroke Arthur's hair.

It felt nice and soothing, and Arthur gradually began to relax. Over and over, his hand went, over and over. . . . Arthur let himself lean fully against Alfred. See? he thought to himself. Not so bad. . . . He let his eyes slip closed, even though he knew there was no chance that he'd fall asleep. It was the middle of the day, after all, and he never took naps. . . .

Sometime later, Arthur was startled awake by a loud snoring sound. His head jerked, but he forced himself to remain still as he tried to figure out where he was. His head was resting against something, and there was a warmth on his right shoulder and all down his left side. He was leaning against . . . Alfred. Right. Another snore rippled through the air and he felt the vibrations through Alfred's skin. He bit his lip to keep from laughing at the strange sensation. His neck was sore and he contemplated sitting up, but he decided against it. It was . . . sweet that Alfred had fallen asleep too, and he didn't want to spoil it.

The door clicked open and heavy footsteps hit the floor of the entrance way. Francis. Arthur immediately began to work his head out from underneath Alfred's. If that git thinks I've been sitting here cuddling the whole time. . . . The door shut and the footsteps grew closer. Arthur gave up trying to be nice about it and jerked his head out from its position. He felt Alfred's head bump against his as it fell down without any support, and Alfred gave a little yelp that sounded like "Ow!" Arthur heard Francis's rich chuckle and realized too late that Alfred's arm was still draped around his shoulders.

"Jeez, Artie," Alfred said as he shifted beside Arthur, "What was that for?"

"Good to see you two relaxing," Francis said, laughter in his voice.

"Oh, hey Francis," Alfred said with a yawn, and then actually pulled Arthur closer. Arthur let out a noise of protest and squirmed. Alfred seemed to interpret that as, Please rub your nose in my hair because I am definitely not embarrassed right now in the slightest, because that was exactly what he did. Arthur jerked backwards, completely mortified, and stood up hastily.

"Arthur, I think you have been too hasty," Francis said, still sounding amused. "I know you have put a lot of work into trying to find yourself a suitable apartment, but I have just talked to the landlord and there is a free apartment on this very floor of the building. He even gave me a quote."

"Oh?" said Arthur suspiciously. "And why are you suddenly being so helpful?"

"I . . . happened . . . to meet Matthew while I was out shopping. Suffice to say you have not managed to completely ruin this relationship of mine." Francis sniffed condescendingly. Arthur snorted. "Besides, as irritating as you can be, I can't allow you to starve."

"Starve?" asked Alfred curiously.

"Indeed," said Francis. "Arthur's cooking is . . ."

"Perfectly fine," Arthur snapped.

"Hardly," Francis said, and Arthur knew he was smirking. "I will not even let you submit yourself to it. It would be cruel, especially as I seem to recall your few attempts since the accident to be even worse than before. At least if you remain in the same building I can send over some food or invite you to dinner." Arthur seethed silently. "Oh, speaking of," continued Francis, "Alfred, would you like to stay for dinner?"

"Nah. What time is it? Oh, wow, I should be going." Alfred stood up and stretched. Arthur could actually hear his spine cracking, could almost see his muscles shifting under his thin shirt. . . . Arthur turned a little pink and resisted the urge to bury his face a cushion. He settled for glaring sullenly at the floor. "Thanks for the offer, though. It was nice to see you, Arthur." Alfred patted Arthur's shoulder and then breezed past him.

"Thanks," Arthur muttered. He heard Alfred put on his shoes and then the rustling of what was probably his jacket.

"So just call me and let me know if you want to look at places tomorrow?"

"Right," Arthur replied.

"See ya," Alfred said, and then the door closed behind him.

"So," said Francis, and he was definitely grinning, no doubt about it: "I take it you two are an item now?"

Arthur picked up the nearest pillow and threw it at him. He hit Francis square in the face.


Alfred came over at two in the afternoon the next day to look at the apartment Francis had suggested. Arthur insisted that Alfred describe everything to him, from the state of the wallpaper to the color of the carpet. Then Arthur paced back and forth across every inch of the floor, "listening to his footsteps," he told Alfred; apparently it was his way of familiarizing himself with the space and deciding if it echoed too much. He had Alfred go through every cupboard in the kitchen and examine every tile of the countertop. By the time Arthur was finally satisfied, Alfred was exhausted.

"Jeez, no wonder you haven't done this before," he said as they were leaving. "That took forever."

"Well, I'm about to invest in it, and I hardly want to make a mistake," Arthur replied. There was a slight spring to his step that Alfred hadn't seen there before. "That felt quite nice, actually. I'm very glad we did it. Thank you for coming with me."

"You're welcome," Alfred said with a smile.

Arthur stopped quite suddenly. "Wait, don't move."

The smile immediately fell from Alfred's face. "What? What is it?"

Arthur reached a hand up to Alfred's face and touched his cheek. "I told you not to move, you dolt," he said. "I've been wanting to see your smile for a while now, but of course now you've gone and lost it."

"Oh, is that all?" Alfred asked, and grinned in relief. He saw a faint blush dust Arthur's cheeks and an answering smile appear on his face. He raised his other hand to Alfred's face and traced his fingers along the curve of his lips, the creases near his eyes, the slight dimples in his cheeks. Alfred was almost disappointed when Arthur's fingers fell away.

"Thank you," said Arthur, looking up at Alfred. His sightless eyes met Alfred's, and Alfred could almost trick himself into believing that Arthur could really see him.

"No problem," he replied, and gently took Arthur's hand under the pretense of leading him to the car. It was soft and cool, and he was glad that Arthur had stopped paying attention to him because he was smiling way too much.


They relaxed in Arthur and Francis's apartment for a while, and then they went to dinner. As they drove over, Arthur started stressing about what he was going to do to actually move. Almost all of the furniture in the shared apartment was Francis's, but furniture was expensive. The only important thing (in his opinion) that he could count on having was his teakettle. Yes, he supposed he wouldn't really need any pots or pans, but he would at least need a bowl and cookie sheet for baking scones – so why not go all out?

"Look," Alfred finally said with a chuckle, "I'll help you move, I'll go shopping with you, and I'm sure you'll be able to steal some of Francis's stuff. You don't need to worry about it."

"Really? You'd help me move?" That gave Arthur pause. "Thank you. I seem to be saying that a lot."

"It's really not any trouble. Besides, that's what I'm here for." Alfred grinned.

Contrary to his expectations, going to dinner actually made Arthur calmer. The restaurant wasn't particularly fancy or romantic, and it was reasonably crowded, but Alfred made it all worth it. He was so easy to talk to and so . . . wonderful, Arthur decided. That was the word he wanted.

Alfred drove him home and walked him to his door. "I had a really nice time today," Arthur said sincerely. "I really appreciated having your help."

"No problem," Alfred said easily. "It was fun."

Arthur smiled a little. "Somehow I have a hard time believing that."

"No, really. It was great to spend the whole day with you." Alfred was grinning, Arthur knew. There was a pause as Alfred shuffled his feet. "So. Third date's the charm, right?"

"Pardon?"

"This is our third date." Before Arthur had time to reply that yes, it was, but why was he asking, Alfred said, "I'm going to kiss you now, so don't freak out, okay?" Alfred put a gentle hand on the back of his head and did just that.

Arthur . . . well. He hadn't kissed anyone, or had anyone kiss him, in a very long time. And perhaps it was simply an effect of paying more attention to his other senses, but he could swear that his hearing and sense of touch had become sharper since the accident. When Alfred's lips touched his, he could feel Alfred so intensely, he forgot that he needed to breathe until Alfred's lips left his to gasp a little bit of air. "Was that okay?" Alfred asked worriedly. Was that okay? Arthur thought dumbly. Was that OKAY? He cleared his throat.

"Um, yes. That was . . . that was fine."

"Okay, cool," Alfred said, too happily. "Can I do that again?"

Arthur started to nod in agreement, but then he realized what he was doing. Since when had he become so passive? He reached out his hands and buried them in Alfred's hair. He pulled Alfred's head down to meet his. "Yes," he said throatily, and then he kissed Alfred back.

Alfred wrapped an arm around Arthur's waist and pulled him flush against him. There was so much heat. Arthur could feel everywhere they touched, and he wanted more, Oh God he wanted so much more. . . . Alfred shifted and put a hand on his jaw, tilting his head so he could let his tongue flicker into Arthur's mouth. Arthur wrapped his arms around Alfred's neck, opening his mouth and letting Alfred in. . . .

The door clicked open. "Arthur, what are you– Mon Dieu!"

"Dammit Francis," Arthur hissed, glaring at him with as much force as he could muster. He still had both arms looped tightly around Alfred's neck, though Alfred's grip on his waist had slackened somewhat. "Can't you just leave us be?"

Francis chuckled. Alfred released Arthur completely. "Uhh, maybe I should be going."

Francis's chuckle dissolved into full-out laughter. "Fine," Arthur muttered, and let his arms drop to his sides. "I'll call you later."

"Yeah, okay, great, I'll look forward to it," Alfred said very quickly. "Bye." He half walked, half ran down the hallway. Arthur turned and resumed glaring at Francis, who was having trouble breathing.

"You – you thought I was the one suffering from sexual tension?" Francis gasped out. "Of course it was all just for my benefit!"

"It was, stupid frog," Arthur returned with a scowl, and pushed past him into the apartment.

"If I'd known–!" Francis said, and his chortling followed Arthur down the hall, even after he had closed the door to his bedroom.


Arthur contacted the landlord and made all the necessary arrangements to move into the apartment. Its previous inhabitants had already relocated, so a week later Arthur started moving.

The boxes piled up quickly. At first, it seemed like he had barely anything – some clothes, his teakettle, the armchair that Francis had been dying to replace anyway. Then he got into his bookshelves. They were still full out of nostalgia, and also with some vague idea that he could impress people who came over. Of course he wasn't about to throw out all his books now. He had gradually been collecting books on tape as well, so naturally all of those had to come. The bookshelves themselves were mostly his, so they had to be disassembled and moved. When Arthur had finally finished packing, he called Alfred. Even Matthew and Francis helped bring over boxes for a while, and before long Arthur's new apartment was almost feeling like home.

Sometime in the afternoon, Arthur took a break for tea while Alfred, Francis, and Matthew moved "the big furniture." The armchair was no difficulty since Alfred practically carried it the whole way by himself, but by the time the trio had carried the bed frame to Arthur's doorway, they were all just about ready to murder Arthur, each other, and the bed frame itself.

"Merde, we have to flip it on its side again. Mattieu, are your feet safe?"

"Yes, Francis," Matthew replied tiredly.

"Alright. One, two . . . three!" There was a loud thump and Alfred swore. "Alfred!" Francis cried exasperatedly. "Did you not hear what I just said?"

"It's fine, just caught my toe – ow, that hurts. . . ."

"Suck it up, Al," Matthew muttered.

"Yeah, I know, sorry. Here. Ready? Go!" All three of them groaned as they heaved the frame off the ground.

"A little to the left," Francis said through gritted teeth. There was a thunk and Alfred made a strange hrmph-ing noise. "My left!"

"Your right," Arthur said helpfully from the armchair, where he was contentedly sipping a cup of tea.

"Shut up, Arthur," all three of them said at once.

They eventually got it into the bedroom. Alfred was the first to reappear, smacking his hands together in a pleased way. "Well Artie, if you ever want your bed in a different place, you can move it yourself," he said happily.

"I concur," Francis growled from behind him. Matthew just sighed.

After tea, coffee, and some biscuits, everyone was feeling much more amiable. "So what should we do to celebrate the move?" Alfred asked. "I guess you wouldn't be up for a real party, huh?" He sounded disappointed.

"I'd say we could just watch a movie or something, but that would hardly work very well," Matthew said tiredly.

"Aw, yeah." Alfred patted Arthur's hand gingerly. "Sorry. Maybe just eat chips and salsa and pretend we're watching a movie?"

"You're not helping," Arthur said through gritted teeth.

Suddenly Francis chuckled. "I just remembered. Arthur, do you remember when I wanted to watch a movie that one time? It was pretty soon after, and I think you'd been wanting to see it for a while. . . ."

"Oh, right. I'd forgotten about that." Arthur tilted his head thoughtfully.

"What?" Alfred demanded. "What happened?"

"I was sitting in the living room, getting ready to watch it, and as soon as Arthur heard me turn the TV on he sort of casually made his way into the room and sat down next to me. I wanted to watch it by myself, so I refused to explain what was going on but he insisted on sitting through the whole thing with me, even though he had nothing to go on but the audio. And he stole half my popcorn, too," he added.

"I did not. You offered it to me," Arthur said calmly.

"Now first of all," Francis continued, "You should know that very soon after I met Arthur I realized that watching movies with him was very unenjoyable." Arthur snorted dismissively.

"Why?" Alfred asked, clearly riveted by the story.

"Do you know how sometimes when you are watching a movie, you know what a character is going to say before they say it? Perhaps they are telling a joke with an obvious punchline, or it's a particularly cheesy scene that you've seen before."

"Sure," said Alfred.

"Arthur always knows what they're going to say next – even, as I found out, when he can't see what the hell is going on." Arthur smirked. "And the most irritating thing isn't even that sometimes he says what they're going to say next. It's when he makes this little snorting noise, because he's already starting to laugh at what hasn't even happened yet."

Alfred laughed. "I know exactly what you're talking about!"

"So," Francis said, "I propose that we do have a movie night, cher Mattieu, because then, Alfred, you will be able to recognize how amazingly annoying your boyfriend truly is."

Alfred chuckled while Arthur turned bright pink. "Can I pick the movie?" Alfred asked excitedly.

"Oh no," groaned Matthew. "Not–"

"2104 TC101 Omega: The Last True Planet!"

"This is the movie I mentioned to you," Matthew murmured.

"With the aliens, right?" Arthur murmured back.

"Aw, Matt, don't tell me you spoiled it for him!"

"Just a little," Arthur said quickly. "I just asked him what sort of science fiction movie it was."

"Wait, so you don't know anything about it except that it has aliens in it?" said Alfred hopefully. "Oh, that's fine then! See, the title's a joke because the planet is named kinda as if it's a dwarf planet, so it's not a true planet at all, but it turns out it's not even a dwarf planet! So it's metaphorical and stuff. It's really cool! You totally have to see it. Well, hear it." Alfred slung an arm around Arthur's neck.

"Er, right," said Arthur. "I'm sure I'll enjoy it."

"So, tomorrow night then?" Francis asked. "We'll have to have it at my place, of course, because Arthur does not have a TV. . . ."

"Sure! Sounds good," Alfred said.

"I thought this was supposed to be my party," Arthur mumbled.

"Oh, it is," Alfred said happily. "And it's going to be the best party ever!"

"Mattieu," Francis said pointedly, "Why don't we go back to my apartment?"

"Okay," said Matthew, taking the hint. "Bye Arthur, Alfred. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Yup. See ya," said Alfred. The door closed. "Sheesh, I thought they'd never leave."

"So did I," Arthur said with a long sigh.

"Sooo," Alfred said, tangling his fingers in Arthur's hair, "What do you say we pick up where we left off the other night?"

"Where was that, exactly?" Arthur asked with a raised eyebrow. He felt Alfred's fingers tuck underneath his chin and tilt his head upwards.

"Right here," Alfred whispered, and then kissed him sweetly.

Arthur let the sensation wash over him, filling all his senses that remained. He reached out and grasped Alfred's thin shirt gently in his hands. He could feel his skin underneath, warm and soft. Their lips parted for a moment and Arthur's hands went to Alfred's face, keeping him still. He brushed his lips across Alfred's cheek, then his forehead, feeling his hair tickle his face. He pressed kisses to his right temple, then his eyelids in turn. Alfred's eyelashes fluttered underneath him and he brushed them with his lips, too. He pressed his forehead to Alfred's contentedly. "I thought I would miss my sight when I found someone like you," he murmured, and he knew that Alfred was looking at him intently. "I almost do, sometimes, I can't deny that, but. . . ." He let his hands settle on Alfred's hips, feeling the warmth of him filtering through the fabric. "In the moments like this, somehow you make me not care."

Alfred didn't say anything, just kissed him again, but Arthur knew that he understood. He could feel it in the way Alfred put his hands on the small of Arthur's back, the way he settled his nose against Arthur's cheek and breathed him in. I love you, were the unspoken words that hung between them. I don't know how it happened so fast, but it did. Here we are, and may we never loose this feeling.


End Part II

Author's note: Edit:I added a bit to the ending. :) Hopefully it feels more complete now to you, too.

Yes, I actually looked up how to name dwarf planets. All I can really tell you is that 2104 is the year it was discovered (or named, maybe?). I added on the "Omega" just for fun, though, because since when have the titles of science fiction movies been accurate? XD To be clear, that movie doesn't exist. At all.

Translations of the French:

C'est seulement–: It's only–

Je ne le veut pas entendre!: I don't want to hear it!

Tu sais que je t'aime, que je t'adore. . . .: You know that I love you, that I adore you. . . .

Eh? C'est vrai? Parce-que c'est difficile de le croire!: Eh? That's true? Because it's difficult to believe it!

Mon Dieu: My God

Merde: Shit