Come Josephine in my flying machine. Going up she goes, up she goes.
Alfred could hear Arthur singing. It was all he could hear. He couldn't feel anything anymore, he couldn't feel Arthur's hands in his, he couldn't feel his feet kick in that rhythmic motion, and what made his fogged brain worry the most, he couldn't even feel the cold anymore. How long had he been in the water? He couldn't remember. It seemed like a century ago.
He wanted to sleep so badly, even though some part of his mind screamed at him not to. Yet his eye lids began to droop, and his thinking entirely started to stop. Slowly, and almost unwillingly, Alfred F. Jones fell into an unconscious bliss that he would never wake up from. The last thing that he ever heard was Arthur's singing.
Come Josephine in my flying machine. Going up she goes, up she goes.
Alfred decided he really liked that song, just because Arthur was singing it.
Arthur's wet clothes froze to his skin. It froze to where he couldn't move any part of him without hearing it crack and pop. It wasn't like he wanted to move, but he wanted to see Alfred's face. Staring at the stars was boring him, and Alfred's face would let him know how the man was doing.
Alfred's eyes were closed. It was strange, but Arthur didn't linger on it. He stared at every contort and bump, every ridge and mark on Alfred's face. He stared at the icicles forming in his still golden hair, he stared at his jacket floating in the water. Arthur stared simply because Alfred wasn't opening his eyes to stare back.
"Hello! Is anyone alive out there?" It was faint, but the call made Arthur's head snap up. There, coming towards them was a lifeboat, a couple of people on board and checking every body.
"Alfred, look. It's a boat, we can live just like you said." Alfred didn't move, not even when Arthur began to shake the hand he was still holding.
"Alfred?" Arthur whispered, his voice thick with emotion.
"Alfred? Wake up, please wake up." Nothing happened. "Alfred, please wake up so we can go home."
Arthur rolled onto his stomach and detached his hand from Alfred's frozen one. He shook Alfred's shoulders as hard as he could, willing for him to come back to world of the living.
"You bloody git, you can't leave me here alone," Arthur cried out, a single tear falling out of his eye. It burned a hot track down his face, it being such a different temperature than the rest of his face.
Arthur looked up to see the lifeboat get closer and closer to where he was. Alfred wasn't coming back. Arthur did something, something that looking back on he was glad to this day that he did, he reached his frozen arms into the water and pulled on the edge of Alfred's beloved jacket. It was a lot of work, moving his numb fingers to get Alfred's arms out of the sleeves. Just as the lifeboat pulled up to him. Arthur sat up as quickly as he could, making the men in the boat jump. After they got over their shock they pulled Arthur in and wrapped him in blankets.
"Goodbye, my hero," Arthur whispered as he looked back at where he just was. It was hard to see with the lack of light and floating away, but he looked just in time to see Alfred slip beneath the water.
No matter how hard they tried, they couldn't tear Arthur from clutching onto that sopping wet bomber jacket. He would yell at everyone who tried, and everyone figured that it would be best to let him have it instead of traumatizing him more. After words, they met up with the other boat, waiting to live or waiting to die, they didn't know.
Everyone had tears in their eyes by the end of Arthur's story. Felix and Toris held each other, Peter was looking away and furiously wiping at his eyes, and all the while the tape recorder that they had set up at the beginning kept clicking on.
"I never told anyone about Alfred," Arthur said, his final thoughts coming out.
"Francis went and raised that girl he had found even though the depression almost wiped out his wealth. I found out my mother lived, but I never contacted her, letting her think that I died. Feliciano and Ludwig didn't make it either, it seemed that I was the only one who I knew that did."
"Over fifteen hundred people died, and only seven were saved saved from the water, including myself. Seven. Out of fifteen hundred."
Arthur used his cane to go back to his room, not taking help from anyone and leaving everyone there thinking that maybe there was more to the ship than they had ever thought before.
Late at night, long after anyone had gone to bed, Arthur got out of his bed. He grabbed the one thing that he meant the most to him, along with some other things that he had brought along, and went out onto the ship's deck. He had asked earlier, and according to the people here, they were right over the Titanic. Right in the waters that had claimed so many lives.
Arthur traveled to the back of the ship, where he set his items down, and unraveled his most prized possession. Alfred's bomber jacket. It was folded neatly and tightly, and he opened it until it was splayed before him. It had faded over time, and some of the seams had broken, but it still looked the same as it did back then. Arthur reached in and dug into the deep inside pocket, his fingers grasping at something solid.
"How mad would Felix be if I told him the heart of the ocean hadn't gone down with the ship..." Arthur mused aloud, the heavy stone sitting in his wrinkled palm.
They had docked in New York City, landing on Ellis Isle. The statue of Liberty stood in all its glory, a proud beacon of the nation itself. Arthur stared up at it, unable to ignore the empty space next to him that should have been filled with an arrogant American. Arthur sighed, but didn't look away from the marvelous statue, burying his hand that wasn't holding Alfred's jacked into the pocket of the coat that Francis had placed on him.
There was something hard in the pocket. Arthur slowly retracted his hand, carrying the heavy object out with it. In his hand was the heart of the ocean, the one that he knew Francis was keeping for him to wear on their wedding day. Arthur stared at it for a second before he slipped it around his neck, and then put the jacket on. The two of them weren't with him anymore, but he could always have these two things to remember them by.
"Can I get your name?" A worker for the island came up, clipboard in hand.
"Arthur...Jones. Arthur Jones."
Then the man was gone, and Arthur was left to think to himself with a heavy necklace and a warm jacket as his only company.
Arthur placed the stone back into the jacket, and put the other objects that he had brought out as well in there. They were pictures. Pictures of things that Arthur believed that he and Alfred would have done in their lives together. In one he was on a beach, another on a roller coaster, another was flying an airplane by himself, and a final one was just him, sitting on a bench on the Empire State Building when it had been built. He knew Alfred would have dragged him there.
Once they were all in the jacket, he zipped it up and held it over the edge, dangling it over the water. For a moment longer, he held it, then he dropped it into the shiny black water where it disappeared in seconds.
Arthur smiled to himself, but he felt sad to watch them go. Then he turned back and went inside, wanting to sleep in his warm bed and never wake up again.
The ship was wonderful. It looked even more majestic than he remembered. Everything was polished and shinned, so that it glimmered in the light. Arthur walked slowly, savoring each step he made, enjoying the sound that his shoes made against the hard wood. As he reached half way into the ship, he got the sudden urge to turn and see the grand staircase. It was exactly as he did, except here the doors opened on their own.
Arthur traveled in and felt tears form in his emerald eyes. Everyone was here. Ludwig and Feliciano, Yao Wang, Francis and his daughter, Gilbert and his invisible boyfriend, every person that he had ever seen on the ship, even the maid that had tended after him and his mother. The band was there, playing a piece he had never heard of.
A happy Spaniard with an unhappy Italian that looked like Feliciano smiled at him, a Belgium girl next to him as well. An intimidating Swede with a Finnish man smiled as well. Kiku Honda, the man in charge was under the arm of a tan Greek man, smiling and a cat in his arms. Two blonde siblings waved, one smiling and the other had one hand at the gun at his hip. Everyone was smiling and looked just happy to see him there at last.
At the top of the staircase, leaning against the railing though, was the man that Alfred had wanted to see the most. Arthur used all his will power not to sun straight up to him, instead he took his time to drink in the image of the American staring at the clock, looking impatient but willing to wait for whatever he was waiting for and still wearing the same clothes that Arthur had last seen him in. Just as Arthur was going to say something Alfred turned around, extending his hand out to Arthur and his thousand watt 'hero' smile on his face. Arthur beamed back as brightly as he could.
Arthur took his hand, and with a gently tug Alfred pulled Arthur into his arms. Arthur placed his hands at Alfred's neck, and Arthur could feel Alfred's hands at his waist. For a second, they didn't do anything and just stared into each other's eyes. Then Alfred lowered his head and they kissed for the first time in too long.
Everyone clapped, cheered, and screamed their delight. Almost a hundred years apart, and the lover's were together again.
I cried so hard while writing this. A huge thanks goes to:
Ancalon: For being a great motivationw ith the amazing reviews. You are a delight, my friend.
TheWeaverofWorlds: For giving me the best review that made me want to update more than anything.
I would name all of you, but I don't have the time and that would take me hours to do. I love all of you who review, and that was always my motivation to update.