Title: Please Don't Cry, Babe
Prequel to Smile for Me, Babe.
Rating: R-18 as a whole (PG-13 for this chapter)
Warnings: Brother!AU, incest, young!Alfred, character death.
This prequel is, for the most part, just a way to instill some more plot into Smile for Me, Babe and to answer some questions that some reviewers/commenters have expressed.
Note: To anyone that has never been unfortunate enough to follow any of my other chapter stories...you should probably know that I am a notoriously slow updater. It's very difficult to write when I'm not feeling particularly inspired (as may be true for many writers), so it could be awhile before I get the next chapter out.
I apologize for the wait, however long it may end up being.
He could hear the wind rustling the leaves and feel it tousle his hair as he sat on the stiff bench, glancing out over the school's playground.
He watched intently as a young boy climbed up the slide, ignoring the stairs up to the top entirely and making his way up the plastic curve. A large grin spread over his slightly pudgy cheeks, blue eyes twinkling in excitement, and golden locks glistening in the bright sunlight. His eyes roamed over the boy, taking in his eyes, his smile, and the way that his shorts rose up his thighs as he climbed up the park slide.
He groaned at the realization of where his eyes had wondered and swiftly looked away, burying his face in his hands, digging the heel of his palms into the offending organs. He felt dirty, wicked, disgusting. There was absolutely nothing right with the way that he was feeling.
"Arthur!" he could hear his name being called but refused to lift his head, mortified by his sinful thoughts. It wasn't until two small hands rested themselves on his knees did he finally look up to a pair of worried azure irises. "What's wrong, Arthur? Are you sick?"
He felt himself choke a little, guilt washing over him and clenching at his heart, "No, no. I'm just fine, Alfred. It's only a headache," he lightly pat the boy's head, ruffling his hair, an affectionate smile gracing his lips as Alfred giggled and hugged him around his leg. "Come on, lad. Say goodbye to your mates and we'll head home."
Blond bangs bobbed over his forehead as he nodded, waving back at his classmates before grasping Arthur's hand, taking comfort in the feel of the larger fingers wrapping over his own. As the two leisurely walked home, enjoying the pleasant spring weather, Alfred babbled on about his day. How he did in his classes, how he got a gold star, and ran the fastest in gym, how he played with his friends, and how he had missed Arthur.
Arthur's heart swelled, his grip tightening on the small hand nestled in his own. He couldn't deny it. His feelings towards Alfred had always been 'abnormal.'
For a long time, he was sure that there must be something wrong with him. He must be confused, he must be desperate, it'll all be better once he gets a girlfriend, maybe what he really needs is a boyfriend, or maybe he really is just a pedophile. He tried his best to rationalize his feelings in different ways throughout the years, but they all had a fatal flaw. He didn't want a woman, he didn't want a man, and he didn't want any children, he wanted Alfred. Only Alfred. Since the day the boy was born, he'd never had any interest in anyone else. He loved Alfred. But it wasn't the sort of lover that a man should have for a boy, that a big brother should have for his little brother. It wasn't the sort of love that a 22 year old should have for an 11 year old.
It was sick, demented…sinful.
His strange attachment for his little brother only worsened after their parent's passed away three years ago. When they were around, they acted as a sort of sheath or a shield. He and his desires were kept in check by their presence. If they became too overwhelming, he could escape to his room or out with his friends (and on occasion, with his 'special friends'). Escape became significantly more difficult when things changed and he began raising Alfred in his parent's place, in fact, it was damn near impossible! Who knew kids needed so much supervision?
Arthur felt the muscle in his hand twitch as Alfred's grip tightened, he glanced down too see the boy gazing up at the sky, a worried glaze coating his features.
"Hey, Arthur?" he watched as his little brother's gaze shifted from the sky to Arthur's face.
"Yes, Alfred?" he tried to give Alfred what he hoped was an encouraging smile.
"Am I weird?" Arthur's eyebrows rose at the question, 'weird'? Alfred was by far one of the most normal boys that he'd ever known. Energetic, sport loving, friendly…a little ADD, but that seemed normal enough for a child his age. However, as ridiculous as the question sounded to Arthur's ears, the crease on Alfred's own brows and the down turn of his lips clearly said that this was a very serious matter.
"Of course not, why in the world would you think that?" he watched as blue eyes shifted once more, now gazing at the sidewalk they were walking on.
"Because the guys at school say I am since I've never had a girlfriend, I told them I don't want one, but they said that's even weirder!"
Arthur blanched; this wasn't what he had been expecting at all. Honestly, he wasn't sure what he had been expecting…but it definitely wasn't this. "Alfred, that's normal. You're only eleven. A lot of boys your age have little interest in the opposite sex. I sure didn't have any interest." He wisely chose not to mention that he never did develop that particular interest, "give it a few more years, you'll probably want a girlfriend then." Arthur stared straight ahead as they walked, occasionally glancing down at Alfred, looking at his down turned face and forehead creased in thought.
"But," Alfred started, turning his gaze back on Arthur as they approached the door to their two-bedroom apartment, "they say it's weird that I've never kissed before and that I don't know what I'm missing out on…" he watched as Arthur dug around in his pockets for the key to their home, "…Arthur, what does kissing feel like?"
Arthur nearly dropped the keys, he fumbled with them as he tried to fit the right one in the lock and open the door, "A-Alfred, you're a little young for that," he mumbled, a flush starting to color his cheeks.
As they entered the doorway and Arthur closed the door behind him, Alfred turned on him again, "will you show me?"
Arthur choked and took a deep breath, trying to compose himself before kneeling down and looking straight at Alfred. "L-listen, Al. That isn't the sort of thing that you should be doing with me. That's the sort of thing that you do with someone that you like, with a girl."
"But I've seen some of the kids at school kiss their parents. Kissing family isn't weird, right?"
Arthur could feel his chest clench at the look that his little brother was giving him. He sighed, forcing back sinful thoughts, and took Alfred's face in his hands, trying to ignore the smooth feel of his skin, "Al, we can't. I know you're curious, but it really is better to just wait until you're older, until you're with the girl that you like."
Alfred tried not to focus too much on his brother's emerald eyes, averting his own to the side, "what if I never find a girl I like?"
Feeling quite awkward and clearing his throat, Arthur responded, "W-well, you know that I'll love you no matter what. I mean, b-because you're my little brother! But, you have to understand that the rest of the world won't think the same way. Now, "he gave Alfred a shaky smile, "you're filthy from playing in the park before. So go hop in the bath. I'll have dinner ready for you once you're done," he stood up, ruffling the boy's blond locks as he did so.
He watched as his little brother regarded him with a look of sad confusion and reluctantly nodded before sauntering out of the room.
Arthur turned and slowly made his way to the kitchen, pausing and leaning his forehead against the wall. He groaned, trying desperately not to think of Alfred's questions, how his hair had felt like silk or how his bangs had smoothly fell back over his eyes when he had pulled his hand away. He tried not to think about his soft skin or pink lips.
The more he thought, the worse he felt. He was in a constant battle against himself. A clash of the titans raged within him, a battle against his desires and his morals…his morals? No, society's morals.
He knew from experience just how cruel people could be. He knew how it felt to be ridiculed and hurt just for being different. How it felt to have classmates and friends turn on him (though, the few friends that did stay by his side were actually the ones that he wouldn't have minded losing, damn frog). He lost a lot of people and had been beat up just for being homosexual, what would happen to him if people knew about his filthy sinful desires? What would happen to Alfred? Even if he left, even if he went half way around the world, there's still a chance that the people there would know. That they had heard some news report, or had a relative that gossiped to them, about the poor little boy that was defiled by his own bloody brother. Alfred never did anything wrong, but he would still be secretly looked down on, pitied, and ostracized as a result of Arthur's abnormal feelings.
He didn't want, would never want, Alfred to have to suffer the same things that he had. Being treated like an outcast even by his 'friends'. Alfred didn't deserve that, no one deserved that.
Arthur swallowed, trying to get rid of the lump forming in his throat as he pushed away from the wall. He took a breath and shook his head, as though trying to clear it, and walked toward the cabinet to start preparing what was sure to be another 'nutritious' charcoal-esque meal for himself and his little brother.