Hey u gaiz. So I'm feeling a bit foolish.
Remember when I said I wouldn't write fanfic in English?
SO GUESS WUT. I LIED. D:
But don't get used to it. This is only because I had this super-duper-enormous-awesome idea that I've been sitting on forever and just couldn't resist anymore. I am most certainly not going to stop writing foreign-language fics (although I may be translating my still-to-be-published Spanish-language USUK extravaganza Una Historia en tus Brazos, 'A History in your Arms' for us in the Anglo world) and this won't become a regular thing. I may write a GerIta one-shot derived from the phenomenal German writer Gunter Grass' breathtaking novel The Tin Drum (read it, it's a surreal experience) but otherwise, this really may not happen again.
However, this story will be pretty long - I plan on ten chapters and an epilogue. Also, we get lots of other characters. Francis and Elizaveta are pivotal to the story, and Antonio, Romano, Gilbert, Roderich and possibly Feliciano will all make repeat appearances. And best of all, MATTHEW IS A HIPSTER, because I happen to have a huge thing for suddenly-badass-Canada. Such as when he smokes marijuana or chugs maple syrup spiked with rum. Yes, I have seen both of these scenarios, and it's hot. So there.
THERE WILL ALSO BE LOTS OF SEXYTIEMS. LOTS. LOTS AND LOTS. And possibly-illegal loads of fluff. SO THIS SHOULD BE FUN.
Also, I do indeed speak Spanish, French and Italian – each to a different extent, but yes, all three, so when the characters use them, it is entirely legit. I am not some google-translate happy fangirl. As a linguist I daresay that is frankly disgusting.
Very Important – This story is just ever-so-slightly post-modern day, where America's hold as the lone superpower is fast crumbling (as I suspect it will). This means Hollywood's grip is crumbling too, as is exhibited by Arthur's referring towards the end of the chapter to 'the last Oscar's ceremony ever held'. An interesting idea. Also, there is a lot of my own political commentary in here, even if you don't squint. I am an American and I love America but I am not beyond criticizing her (or…him). This fic deals as much with the antique idea of the American Dream and how America is beginning to fade as a superpower as it does with the SUPER-DUPER-GAYNESS between our beloved Arthur and Alfred. I sincerely hope you enjoy or at least appreciate my poorly-concealed opinion when it glares at you from behind the innocent thoughts and actions of our two heroes.
Updates - The second chapter will be up in the next couple of days, but otherwise, updates should be about weekly - until school starts. T_T But trust that I will not leave this unfinished. That is a crime beyond imagination. xD
Oh. And I really know nothing about film. I don't even like it very much. So sorry for any inaccuracies.
Ahem. Sorry for the horrendously long author's notage.
Enjoy, and I definitely want to hear your opinion so REVIEW!
Only a country as frivolous as America could possibly run out of stereotypical Americans.
This, Arthur considered, could perhaps be easily explained. Perhaps the incessant squabbling in Washington was finally reaching the ears of her citizens, or perhaps the wearying second stumble of capitalism had finally started to ache not only in their cupboards and their mortgages but in their muscles and bones and lungs. The Golden Arches had certainly begun to gleam a little less brightly.
Then again, perhaps Arthur was giving too much merit to politics and economics; the United States had always been a country prone to obeying, often without question, the more foolish whims of the heart, after all. Therefore perhaps it had finally begun to dawn upon Americans that the gold-spun dream that they had been blindly following for the past near-century was long-since exhausted, had been lost bit by bit beginning in the humid jungles of Cuba and Vietnam, then the rubble of Ground Zero, the wastelands of the Middle East, now fading entirely into the soaring unemployment rates and the catfights in the White House, losing its pure brilliant color (nowadays existent in little more than an imagined glitter from the pavement of the streets or the ghost of the pursuit of happiness mocking from the confines of the broken-down rungs of an old white picket fence) in favor of the confused but eventually acceptable and even comforting hue of reality.
Most likely, however, Arthur thought as he accepted a cigarette from Francis and lit up tiredly, they were simply weighed down by the beginnings of the realization that their Golden Age was fading, that the superstructure of power and wealth and fast food and pop music and most importantly of all, of course, or at least in Arthur's opinion, that fantastic empire of cinema, that had sheltered them so well in the past was beginning to shake on its foundations, and while it may not crumble (there was strength and spirit in America yet) it was certainly going to shrink, and that they would greatly feel the discomfort brought on by the new accommodations.
Whichever way it was, Arthur was irritated. He had written the script, the script was good (Arthur wasn't like other artists but rather an honest cynic and knew very well when his work was good) but it couldn't be great, not without the right voice and presence behind it, and what else could have brought them back to the tumbling-down empire of Hollywood but that?
That being blue eyes, blonde hair, a smile that could be described colloquially as 'worth-a-million-bucks', an accent that would make Arthur's stomach turn, and of course, a sense of pride so indomitable it was more akin to blindness.
That should have been easy to find; they didn't even necessarily require that the qualities be paired with talent seeing as Arthur had scripted the character as clumsy anyways. And yet, much in accordance with everything the damn place had done as of late, America had yielded nothing.
His cigarette was little more than a stub now; Arthur exhaled a final cloud of smoke and dropped it, pressing it into the pavement with the toe of his shoe.
"Perhaps we should go to New York instead," Francis was musing, "scrounge the streets of the Big Apple to find Arthur's perfect little Alfred Jones." He absentmindedly formed a smoke ring with his lips as Arthur shook his head and furrowed his brow at the sidewalk.
"You know as well as I that we won't find the right Alfred there. The character – he's not a New York type. If we were really devoted we'd -"
"It seems we won't find what we're looking for anywhere," snapped Elizaveta. She was leaning up against the wall of the studio on the other side of Francis, her arms crossed just below her breasts. There was a pronounced crease between her pretty eyebrows but she waved away the cigarette Francis offered her.
"I thought America would never run out of good-looking boys…" Francis said this so forlornly that Arthur and Elizaveta had to snicker, though their expressions quickly faded back into frustration.
"It's not that they're not necessarily good-looking, they're just not Alfred," Arthur sighed. "Not like I see him, anyways."
"Mm, and how is that, mon ami?"
"I must have told you a hundred times, you're the director after all, how could I not have? And don't speak in French; you know I don't like it."
"Forgive me," said through a smoke ring, "and do refresh my memory."
Arthur sighed and stuffed his hands in his pockets, turning his face towards the sky. Thin threads of cloud wove their way through the otherwise fragile blue.
"He's a little too tall for himself, first of all. A bit of a mess, all arms and legs. No grace. Big hands," he added, at which Francis snorted, choked on his own cigarette smoke, and had to be struck on the back several times by Elizaveta. When he was recovered, Arthur shot him a glare and continued.
"As I was saying, Alfred is tall, and tan, and most certainly strong, but in the fashion that comes from working on his daddy's farm or something ridiculous like that, perhaps a cow ranch! ha! but most definitely not from a salon or a gym – that's not entirely fitting with antique American ideals, after all. He has blonde hair and blue eyes, of course, and a very white straight smile - that is indispensible; it puts men at ease and makes girls wobble a bit in their high heels, although of course Alfred has to look as though he would only pursue girls who wore sensible shoes," Arthur tapped his chin. "If he were cleaned up and standing still, the only way I can think of to describe the kind of handsome he would be is devastating – devastatingly handsome. Weak at the knees. Mouth dry. Heart racing. Devastating. That load of shit."
Arthur gestured to the sky with his hands to indicate that he was quite finished.
"You've certainly thought this through," said Elizaveta after a while. She had finally broken down and was accepting a light from Francis, speaking around the cigarette balanced between her lips.
"Of course I have. I'm the best screenwriter the world has ever seen."
"Will have ever seen," Francis corrected.
"That was implied. We still have to find what we're looking for. Then I'll be the best screenwriter the world has ever seen."
"And I'll be the best director."
"And I, the greatest actress." A long stream of smoke accompanied Elizaveta's words.
"And thus we repeat the words indubitably spoken by millions of soon-to-be failures as they smoked against the walls of this very studio."
"Aha, but Arthur, my dear cynic," Francis waggled a finger at him. "Perhaps you are right – but don't forget the handful of successes."
Tall. Wasn't that the first thing Arthur had required? Yes, tall, a little too tall to handle – all limbs, if he recalled correctly. A great, clumsy, stumbling thing. An overgrown child clobbering around in his father's shoes only to find that where they were once oversized, comically so, they were now much too small and pinched his toes and caused him to walk with an awkward gait when he wasn't tripping. Arthur smiled around the edge of his glass. Indeed, good-natured chaos was endearing. Perhaps this was why the world had enjoyed America.
So was it the alcohol that was conjuring up what he was seeing? Arthur consulted his mental list again. What was next? Ah yes, that which Francis found so hilarious – large hands. As if on queue, the boy at almost knocked over the cosmopolitan belonging to the lady next to him at the bar. He laughed, and shrugged – she was beautiful and Arthur wouldn't be surprised if he was interested in her – and made his clean white button-down shift over his shoulders and the tops of his arms and reveal a glimpse of a well-defined collarbone, an action which, to Arthur's well-trained eye, immediately revealed a subtle but obviously deep-set tan and a softly defined structure of muscles.
Arthur took a pensive sip of his gin and tonic and ignored Francis' jabbing him in the arm with a cocktail stirrer (indicating that the idiot had noticed the boy's presence at the bar as well) in favor of continuing to card through his mental criteria for Alfred Jones.
Blonde hair. That much was obvious. It was thick and not too light and he wore it combed mostly across one temple, and although a tuft of hair stuck up, unruly, from where he had parted it, this irregularity seemed to only add to his boyish charm. Alright then. Check.
The glasses were a bit of a setback – Arthur couldn't determine the color of his eyes behind the sheen of the lenses but, he reasoned, he could always force contacts on him. And his smile was flawless, clean and straight and white, cutting through the extra baby fat that still clung to his cheeks unhindered and really, altogether, he looked entirely foolish when he grinned like that but it was also entirely endearing, and the woman who received the expression was far from immune – she giggled and Arthur caught her twirling a strand of her hair around her finger and caught himself wondering if young girls in a movie theatre would exhibit the same reaction looking up at that smile on the screen.
Well. Again. Check. Anything else? Oh yes. That devastation thing. Arthur wished the boy would stop making excessively wide hand gestures or tapping his glass and just be still for a damn moment so he could successfully say they had found their star, but then again, he reminded himself, although this bar was one of the best places in the city to come and rub elbows with other people in the movie business, perhaps this boy wasn't even an actor, just the spoiled son of some big-time CEO (he couldn't be more than twenty) come to pick up women, or worse, a tourist of some sort. And even if he were an actor, he would still have to agree to be in their movie, and they weren't exactly a well-known or particularly wealthy trio…
And then Arthur somewhat lost his train of thought because the woman leaned over and whispered something in the boy's ear and he was still finally, finally, still! and she must have been saying something promiscuous because there was a faint blush on his cheeks and Arthur's knees didn't exactly buckle because he was perched high on a stool and had some semblance of pride but that boy…and the way his face was turned the lamps didn't focus on his glasses and behind the frames his eyes were endlessly blue and Arthur was suddenly terrified that the woman would drag him away from them and they would never be able to make their movie and then where would Arthur be? but when he frantically glanced to his side to garner help from Francis he saw the stool empty and realized Francis, ever the opportunist, was already on the other side of the bar, tapping the boy on the arm and saying something quietly and then the boy was nodding, he was saying goodbye to that beautiful woman and Francis was leading him over, back to their table, and Arthur desperately wished he had refrained from that second gin and tonic.
Elizaveta, seated at Arthur's left, grinned wildly at him, as if to say 'this is it!' and finished off the dregs of her Long Island iced tea. He grimaced. They hadn't come here to scout for talent; they had come here to get plastered. But really, Arthur should have known. Americans were nothing if not surprises.
Francis pulled up a fourth chair and the boy sat down, resting his elbows on the surface of the table and leaning forwards slightly. Arthur immediately extended his hand and the boy took it.
"Arthur Kirkland, screenwriter," he said crisply, "immensely pleased to make your acquaintance."
Before the boy could reply, Elizaveta was introducing herself, grinning, batting her eyelashes and leaning forwards, presumably to shove up her breasts a little higher as if extra cleavage would convince the boy to sign a contract.
"You guys all speak with accents," he said rather blatantly. Francis laughed but Arthur was rather irritated.
"I might say the same to you," he snapped before remembering that they were preparing to beg the boy to join their team. "You'd sound as ridiculous as I do to you if you were stuck in the middle of Kensington."
The boy merely grinned. "I never said you sounded ridiculous. But, is that where you're from? Funny…I didn't think many foreign crews came to Hollywood anymore, except, that is, to mock it…" His eyes darkened. "Is that what you're here for?"
Francis shook his head. "Quite the opposite, mon cher," He tapped the surface of the table with his cocktail stirrer. "We wish to commemorate the charm of the American dream before it…ah…becomes instinct entirely."
The boy blinked. "Really."
"You don't have to sound so doubtful, you know," winked Elizaveta.
"And where do I come in?"
Arthur felt his heart rate pick up. "Well…I daresay you're rather the spitting image of our hero. We've been scouring LA for weeks now looking for someone like you…and here you are."
"How do you know if I can act or not?"
"To be honest, at this point it doesn't really matter."
"Well, if that's the case…I'll have to think about it, of course."
Of course. That was only customary, but Arthur felt his heart sink nonetheless. This boy was a flawless canvas, together Arthur and Francis could paint Alfred's character onto him so beautifully, and Elizaveta would provide the perfect backdrop…his mind dared to venture that, if they were denied him, perhaps the movie was never meant to be.
But Arthur merely smiled. "Of course. Do you have a manager?"
"Yeah. Here," the boy fished around in his shirt pocket and withdrew a card. "Matthew Williams. Y'know, the indie director?"
Arthur nodded and accepted the card, intrigued.
"He's been trying to get me a start for a while now. His problem is he can't take anything too mainstream, y'know, but you might have a shot because you're all foreign and shit. He's my brother, so if I like the script I can try and butter him up."
"Your – well," his surprised expression melted into a smirk. "I had no idea Hollywood had gotten to be such a family-friendly establishment."
"Hey." The boy quirked an eyebrow. "So says the super-duper-sugar-coated-best-friends-director-screenwriter-actress-trio."
Francis threw his head back and laughed, Elizaveta let a giggle slip out, and Arthur sighed.
The boy winked. "And of course, I have to like the role too. What's the hero's name, by the way? Oh, and in regards to organizing all this, do you think we can meet for lunch tomorrow to discuss? Be sure to bring all the paperwork necessary, including the script. Matt – er, my manager, will come too. Just tell me which studio you guys are signed at and I'll pick the place."
"We work at World Series Entertainment a/n - (xD u gaiz I'm liek so brilliant)," cut in Francis before Arthur could protest against the boy's excessively self-assured attitude in spite of the fact that it fit perfectly with the role they were hoping to cast him in, "and we'll be glad to bring all the paperwork. Ah, and who said, dear boy, that we plan to cast you as the hero?"
The boy's face fell abruptly serious. "I won't do anything else. I am a hero."
Francis quirked an eyebrow. "Then you'll be relieved to hear that the specifications of the American Dream call for you to provide us with a heroism of an almost sickening breed. In theory, you would play the persistently-hopeful, indomitably-cheerful and endearingly-confused boy-next-door type, whom our lovely Arthur has decided to dub Alfred Jones, an appellation which he claims to be in accordance with a set of old neighborhood stereotypes."
A grin suddenly across the boy's face at the mention of the name. "Alfred Jones, huh? I think that's a terrific name."
"Well, mon cher, I'm glad you like it."
A few minutes more of the customary civilities and the boy was waving and grinning to them as he began to turn back towards the bar, where, miraculously, the woman whose drink he had nearly toppled was still waiting for him. He truly was very, very handsome, Arthur supposed. The boy's back was fully turned to them when, in the midst of his thoughts, Arthur remembered something very important and nearly knocked over his own gin and tonic (now the third of the evening) to snag his fingers on the edge of the boy's sleeve. Elizaveta lunged forwards to successfully rescue his cocktail from harm and the boy turned, lifting an eyebrow questioningly.
"We've been terribly rude," explained Arthur, releasing the edge of his sleeve. "Please forgive us. We never asked you - what exactly is your name?"
The boy suddenly grinned his widest of the evening, blue eyes sparkling down at them. Arthur felt his chest tighten slightly.
"Alfred," the boy smirked. "Alfred F. Jones."
The morning saw Francis rendered incoherent by a hangover brought on by the more than several celebratory rounds they had enjoyed after their encounter at the bar. Elizaveta answered neither her cellphone nor the landline in her studio apartment, thus Arthur assumed the same for her. His friends never could hold their liquor. There was only one thing to do: as much as Arthur detested the stuff, he brewed a pot of strong coffee and drank several cups, (black, he might add) along with a generous helping of aspirin, in preparation to negotiate with the coincidentally-named Alfred and Matthew alone.
He shaved, brushed his teeth several times, selected a nice blazer from his closet, gathered the paperwork and the script into a briefcase and left Francis groaning his dirge of c'est dommage! c'est dommage! on the couch of their shared apartment. Fortunately for the sake of his own rather substantial hangover, the sky was overcast, in fact faintly reminiscent of home, and he could rest his aching forehead against the cool glass of the bus window as the aspirin slowly began to take effect. He was Arthur Kirkland, soon-to-be recognized as the greatest screenwriter of all time, and a mere hangover certainly wouldn't defeat his realization of his artistic aspirations.
He was a bit late and Alfred was already standing in front of the gates of the studio when Arthur stepped down from the bus. It was evident by his clothing that they weren't going anywhere terribly fancy – he wore his dark blue jeans comfortably but not sloppily loose, and though he tucked his white shirt in and wore dress shoes he had completed the ensemble with a hoodie and stood with his hands thrust in the pockets, elbows extending to either side. Blue eyes bright behind the glasses. A grin on his face. In the clear light his hair was honey-colored, worn similarly but slightly messier, less crisply combed. Miraculously, that persistent tuft of hair still stood straight up from his part. Altogether he was still very handsome. Arthur was tempted to triumphantly paste an American flag on his forehead but opted instead to apologize for his tardiness. Alfred waved his hand dismissively.
"It's alright, dude. Hey, where are the others?"
"They're, ahm…" Arthur paused. "Well, they were rather hammered last night."
"Oh yeah," Alfred chuckled. "I saw you guys. All of you. You must have a pretty strong stomach."
"Possibly," Arthur smiled faintly, "or just a rather lot of practice."
Alfred guffawed and slung an arm briefly around Arthur's shoulders. He certainly wasn't very professional.
"Sorry that Matt – er, my manager," That made the second time he had made that mistake, Arthur noted, "isn't here yet, bro. He won't be for a while, actually…work or something," he shrugged. "So it'll be just you and me at first. Come on," he gestured for Arthur to follow. "The place isn't far away. You brought the script, right?"
Arthur tapped his briefcase in the affirmative and fell into step beside Alfred as they walked. Quickly Arthur discovered that the ability of the boy's mouth to produce seemingly-endless threads of nonsense was truly formidable – in between half-listening to a jumbled statement that managed to be both about the value of McDonalds to America's economy and Alfred's irritation that the McRib had not made a recent appearance, as, he might add, was totally implied by recent advertising campaigns, they found themselves stepping into a popular old-style diner, (smothered by vinyl and enamel and grease and sepia-tinted portraits of Elvis stunning a nation with a few thrusts of his hips and therefore classically American), and Arthur couldn't help but to smirk at the irony.
They sat down and Alfred ordered coffee and a burger. Thoroughly sick of coffee but still very much achy from his hangover, Arthur ordered several pancakes, which earned him a dubious glance from Alfred.
"Pancakes? That's hangover food."
Arthur blinked. Damn.
"It is most certainly not. P-perhaps in America, I'm not sure, but -"
Alfred smirked over the rim of his coffee mug. "Alright, then…if not for a hangover, which you most certainly," He imitated his accent with a wink, "do not have, pancakes, for lunch…it's kind of fairy food then, dontcha think?"
Arthur swallowed his tea much too abruptly and had to cough into a napkin before he flashed Alfred a watery grin that, if one squinted, could be construed as some sort of form of agreement. What the boy didn't know…well, he really was a perfect American.
Arthur pulled his briefcase onto the table as the waitress brought their food, handing Alfred a copy of the script and wincing as he immediately left fingerprints in ketchup across the front page. He ate with a disturbing speed and was soon fully immersed in his reading, which was fine because Arthur could now offer his full attention to his 'fairy food.
"So," said Alfred eventually, pushing up his glasses with one finger. Arthur looked up from his second pancake. "Essentially, I'm a naïve boy in the modern world searching for purpose. I don't know what my dreams are," he smiled faintly. "But my girlfriend –
"That's Elizaveta," added Arthur through a mouthful of pancake. Alfred nodded.
"My girlfriend knows what she wants. Of course she does, she's foreign after all. Real subtle there, Arthur," he winked. "So basically, we try to navigate the perils of high school together while gradually realizing just how crushing reality is. Lemme guess, at the end…" he thumbed one of the last pages of the script. "We gain some sort of small achievement, just enough to pacify to audience but not enough to ruin the message of the story…essentially, that the world is…" he seemed to search for the right word. "Desolate? I'm not entirely sure. I reckon that to just say 'the world sucks' doesn't really do it justice. 'Hopeless' is awfully similar to desolate and kinda…I dunno…teenage-emo cliché, which is something you're clearly trying to avoid. 'Poisoned' suggests a perpetrator, and I think you're saying that it's always been that way. Bad, I mean. Or not even bad…just sort of…what it is, which is maybe what we construe as bad because we're told so?" Alfred shrugged. "It's certainly a new perspective on a tried-and-true genre."
Arthur swallowed rather thickly. "Well…I've…you've…"
Well. I've no idea of how to describe the world myself. You've certainly proven yourself more perceptive than you appear.
"So you're a cynic, huh?" Alfred grinned too suddenly and Arthur nearly choked. "That's cool. Matt's a cynic too. Speaking of which…there he is!" He waved excessively, and would have knocked over his own half-empty coffee had Arthur's hand not shot out to rescue it. "Yo! Matt! Bro! Over he-e-re!"
Arthur turned as a young man approached their table. He was very similar to Alfred in stature, but carried himself infinitely more carefully, didn't allow his height and his long arms and legs to overwhelm him. Everything about him looked as though Alfred had been softened: creamy skin, wavy pale blonde hair, narrow violet eyes behind glasses, gentle cheekbones and a slender mouth that didn't even curve into a smile when he shook Arthur's hand; his "pleased to meet you, Mr. Williams, etcetera etcetera," was received with only the slightest nod of the head. Matthew stood with hips thrust slightly forwards, drawing attention to his colorful tribal-print skinny jeans and v-neck shirt that, among other things, displayed a bicycle, a pair of lips open in either pain or ecstasy, and a polar bear. Upon closer inspection of his face Arthur noticed that he was evidently trying to grow a soul patch…evidently, he thought to himself with a glimmer of satisfaction,without success.
Matthew gestured for Alfred to move and sat down next to him, taking the script from his hand. Without lowering himself to the level of glancing at the menu, he ordered pancakes, upon which Arthur immediately inquired as to why Matthew was not being relentlessly mocked for ordering 'fairy food'. Alfred laughed.
"Matthew's a fairy and knows it," he grinned, nudging his brother, who was emptying the entire rest of the bottle of maple syrup onto his food. "For him it's just another part of avoiding the mainstream."
Alfred's smile, which had not been reduced in the least, caused Arthur to consider the idea that he had slightly misjudged the boy's views. He took a pensive sip of his tea; if that were true it would be entirely for the best. Alfred asked to see the legal documents and they were quiet while Matthew ate and scanned the script, presumably on the lookout for clichés and the evidently-unbearable crimes so often committed by the mainstream he tried so very hard to reject.
Finally, he put down the script and leaned back, picking up a toothpick and levying it between his teeth.
"My first question," he began, "is what a bunch of foreign directors are doing in Hollywood looking to make a movie about the American dream. My second question: why on Earth you decided to make a movie production trio in today's business atmosphere. And my third: why did you go mainstream with it?"
Arthur raised an eyebrow. "Do you perhaps have any questions that might actually be about the script?"
"No," Matthew said blatantly. "But I need these answered before I can approve of Alfie's going into business with you guys."
Arthur sighed. "Firstly, Francis and Elizaveta and I have been together since boarding school in Europe, and we went to film school together. They're my best friends, but more importantly, they're both nearly as talented as I - we're inseparable and we most definitely were not going to let the business change that. We went 'mainstream' with it because of my personal belief that Indie is a perversion of intellectualism –
"That's obviously on purpose," Matthew cut in. Alfred rolled his eyes. Undeterred, Arthur continued.
"…and we're hoping to win Hollywood's last Oscar. This year, you know. The final ceremony. How the mighty have fallen, eh?" He smirked. "I've left your first question for last because my answer is rather embarrassing, seeing as I'm English and such. To be honest, ever since I was a boy I've had something of a fascination with America and all that she stands for, however, exactly, one may choose to define it."
Matthew nodded slowly, his expression unreadable. "So, Al, how do you like the role?"
Alfred beamed. "I'm totally up for it. Even though it's all about life sucking the hero is totally heroic so it's chill."
And there, Arthur thought tiredly, went that once shining glimpse of Alfred's actual intelligence. However, the boy was agreeing, and Arthur didn't very well care if he never heard another eloquent thing from that mouth as long as he could contract it into reading the lines it was so obviously born for.
Which could be possible if only Matthew would stop staring pensively at the grease stains decorating the far wall of the diner.
"Even though it's a bit mainstream," he finally said, "I feel it. So it's all good. Well then, Arthur, Al's your man. I hope you know what a lucky bitch you are."
Without further ado, Matthew Williams stood up and exited the building. Arthur blinked after him before turning his attention back to Alfred, who was grinning yet again.
"That's not the last you'll see of him," he told Arthur. "But he's going up north for a while now, so he'll be out of your hair for the time being."
"Yeah. He's a Canadian citizen. Totally lame, right?"
"A Canadian citizen? But surely you're not -"
"Hey, don't worry about your precious Alfred persona. I'm American through and through. Look, man," he added to address Arthur's questioning expression, "It's a long story." His smile faded slightly. "Hey, do you want some dessert?"
Arthur nodded mutely as Alfred spread the paperwork across the tabletop and beckoned the waitress over. He ordered two slices of cherry pie and set to work examining the documents, and when their dessert arrived he pulled his helping towards himself without even looking up.
Arthur cut into the tip of his pie with the edge of his fork.
"So…does it all look alright?"
"Just dandy," said Alfred with his mouth full. "Pen?"
Arthur took one from his breast pocket and watched him set to work jotting down initials and occasionally his full name in large, square writing. It fit what little Arthur knew of his personality. It was how the Alfred of the script would write. Frankly…it was perfect. And suddenly Arthur was so happy he could barely swallow the bite of pie he had in his mouth at that moment, but he managed to do so and maintain an even expression as Alfred finished and reorganized the stack of papers, handing them to Arthur with a smile.
"There's just one condition."
Arthur blinked. "But…you've already signed."
"I know," Alfred beamed. "I want this to be a deal between men, not between courts."
Arthur put the papers back in the briefcase uneasily. "Alright. What do you want?"
"I won't let you insult my country if you can't give me the adjective to describe how you're insulting it."
"I beg your pardon?"
"Well this script," Alfred tapped his briefcase. "My character. His girlfriend. The setting. It's all obviously just an allegory for the shambles this country is in." He said 'shambles' with a remarkable degree of affection. "I mean, for god's sake, Arthur, the title is Keep Dreaming, America. Come on. I'm not retarded. It might as well be a documentary."
He smirked while Arthur gaped.
"So. about that adjective. Remember, before Matthew came in, when I was trying to describe the message you're trying to send and couldn't come up with the right word?" Arthur nodded. "Well, since I'm American and, by my very nature, lazy," Alfred winked. "You think it up for me. I want to hear it at the movie's premier. Can you do that for me?"
Damn Alfred and those perplexing flashes of intelligence. Arthur wanted to leap across the table and slap him, wanted to shove the remains of his pie in that silly grin, wanted to hit him soundly with the briefcase he had so insolently tapped, wanted to ask him where on earth he had gotten such nerve from, ('can you do that for me?' he had said, as if Arthur honestly weren't capable of interpreting his own script! The nerve!) wanted to ask him what, exactly, Alfred would do if Arthur didn't agree, wanted to ask him how he managed to see through him so quickly, wanted….
"It's a deal."
…well, he certainly hadn't wanted that. But then Alfred smiled, beamed, sweeping a stray lock of hair from his cheek and releasing the full force of his white teeth and tan skin and gleaming blue eyes, and Arthur felt his mouth go rather dry.
"You're a brat," he snapped, because now he had Alfred's signature and could be as rude as he wanted. "Keep the script. Read over it. I hope you can at least try to act because I've decided that filming starts tomorrow. At six. In the morning. Oh, and if you're late I'll tan your hide."
Alfred laughed, gave him a facetious salute and said that signing his dear little innocent self away was totally worth seeing Arthur display his true colors, to which Arthur told him to kindly fuck off and that he wasn't sure who was paying for lunch but it certainly wouldn't be him, which only brought on more hysteria and a fond clap on the shoulder which left Arthur in moderate pain for the rest of the day.
There was no doubt to be had: Alfred was a pain in the ass but he was perfect, no, perfect was an understatement, he was practically a personification of the damn country!
A descriptor, eh?
Loud. Obnoxious. Cheeky. Overt. Foolish. Persistent. Excessive. Excitable. Surprising. Strong. Smiling. Brilliant. Capturing. American.
Arthur made a mental note to purchase a thesaurus.
Sorry for the plot-establishment chapter. The next will be much more centered on their relationship…whatever that may be…*kols*
a/n – c'est dommage means what a pity, etcetera.
Oh, and pancakes are totally hangover food, although idk about their being 'fairy food'. I just needed to bring up sexuality somewhere in the first chapter because I hate it when fangirls write AUs in which everybody takes for granted that everybody is gay. What? No. You can't do that.
If you review, you will receive either Arthur or Alfred in the mail in six to eight weeks. Yesss.
UNTIL THE NEXT INSTALLMENT, MY BELOVEDS!