"It's Tuesday." Alfred lazily turned his head to gaze at the unimpressed looking blond standing beside him. His head was lain down soundly on the desk where he had been napping only moments before.

"Yeah what about it?" A certain English man furrowed his brows at the lack of recognition in the others eyes.

"You know perfectly well why I'm whining at you." Arthur Kirkland, Alfred's boss and best friend for the past four years smashed a book down onto the younger's head, smirking at the yelp of pain.

"We got a fax in from our Toronto store asking us to confirm our stock. And today's your day to do inventory. Here's the Science Section..." Arthur slapped the list down on the table and grinned. "Have fun, Love."

Alfred blew a raspberry at the retreating back of his friend before dragging himself off the chair and lazily making his way to the shelves. He grumbled slightly as he read the list but brightened considerably as he saw the title of the first book, "'Mysteries Of The Night Sky' Ooooh, we have this one!" He gazed up at the shelf where he knew the book to be.

The slight thud of an elbow bumping into his side had the blond jumping slightly and turning his head to glance at whoever had hit him.

"Sorry... FFFF- " Alfred bit his lip to muffle his cry of surprise. 'Where the hell did he come from?' He stared in horror at the seemingly invisible teen standing beside him. The boys purple eyes were fixed on the American with an unreadable expression. The boy was at least four inches taller and had nearly identical hair to Alfred's despite the difference in the part and extra length.

"Ahhhh, sorry bro." Alfred rubbed the back of his head with a brilliant sheepish grin before he turned back to the shelf and continued his quest for the book. He bit his lip and smiled; for such an attractive kid he was unreasonably easy to miss. Not to mention the obnoxious red sweater he was wearing should have thrown him off.

He shook his head, 'hoookay Al, find the book and stop thinking about the attractive male standing only a few feet aw- FUCK IT'S ON THE TALL SHELF.' Alfred mentally let out a wail of anguish as he gazed at the book several feet above his head. The previous Science Section department worker had been an unreasonably tall Russian man with a slight obsession with Alfred. One of his main hobbies being mocking the American on their height difference, which actually was in all reality about a foot. In the Russian's mind: A god damn metre.

Point being, Ivan had been transferred to the Gardening section due to his creepy love for Sunflowers and apparently Natalia would look through the window when he was shelving the books. THUS; Alfred had been taken from the basement where he lurked the manga section with Kiku and put into the Science section which he actually enjoyed a great deal. The only problem being the shelves were still set up to cater to the Russian's abnormally tall needs.

Therefor, Alfred needed the stupid hot pink foot stool which was at one point in time sitting in Feliks's kitchen. Yet it had somehow migrated over to the book store. Much to the constant annoyance of Arthur, who tripped over it on a regular basis.

Alfred pouted up at the book before turning around to find his stool, only to stop at the clearing of a throat.

"Um, excuse me... Your book...right?" Alfred turned to the purple eyed man from earlier and nodded with wide eyes, taking the book with a smile.


"Matthew! What are you doing? Geez you always disappear. Let's get a move on!"


"Come on, come on!" A blond haired girl with narrowed green eyes was pouting in their direction before she directed her attention back to her phone.

Alfred grinned easily before tapping Matthew's shoulder. He jumped and whipped around.

"Thanks so much! It's kinda awkward when I have to use the foot stool so you getting it down is a lot less embarrassing then that." Alfred smiled. "We hope to see you again!"

Matthew blinked twice before nodding with a smile.

"Maaaatthew! We need to go okay!" The blond huffed and maneuvered over. The teen girl rolled her eyes before smashing her purse into the others butt.

Alfred watched them walk off and grinned.

"ALFRED!" Arthur stood at the end of the row looking pissed.

The American whipped around and started trudging towards the shelf, "GODDAMNIT OLD MAN! Hold your horses, I'll do it in a minute!"

"Don't yell in the book store."

"Don't set bad examples for your employees-..." Alfred turned the corner, missing the amused glance sent at his back by a certain Canadian.

When Alfred stepped outside his apartment Friday morning a rain drop had landed on his nose he had spent the entirety of his trek to work awkwardly diving under overhangs and random strangers umbrellas. He was not a rain person, disliking the feel of it pelting his skin.

When he burst into the book store three minutes early Arthur merely raised his bushy eyebrows and looked at the completely dry American with a hint of disbelief from where he sat behind the counter.

"You didn't..."

"Of course I did. I hate the rain, you know this." Alfred struck a pose. "Hero's can't get water logged."

Arthur rolled his eyes and resumed his tea drinking, slightly incredulous over the America's talent of avoiding the rain. "I don't see why you don't just buy an umbrella. Really darling, they aren't that expensive."

Alfred turned with a pout from where he was drying his precious white Doc Martens with a tissue. "Where's the fun in that? I honestly prefer diving under your umbrella and making a game out of avoiding the rain when you leave me hanging."

Arthur smiled into his tea to prevent the American from noticing. "Oh belt up."

Alfred grinned and tossed the slightly soggy tissue into the trash bin. "No you. Now I do believe it was your turn to buy me coffee this morning."

Arthur pretended to think deeply. "Really? I don't recall."

Alfred turned wide blue eyes on the English man. "Don't tell me you forgot Artie." Arthur took one look and cracked before reaching under the desk.

"Oh, here you are you whiny brat." Alfred grinned and sipped at his Latte with a expression of pure happiness. Arthur rolled his eyes.

"I will never understand your obsession with those girly drinks." Alfred stuck out his tongue and sat down beside the blond.

"Well I'll never understand your obsession with your frumpy tea."

"You sure you can survive the elements?" Arthur questioned with a grin as he pulled the key from the lock. The two had been on closing together and were just leaving the store, the cloud from earlier had stopped releasing water yet still loomed in the sky, a reminder of more yet to come.

Alfred lifted his gaze to the sky. "Agh. I suppose." He puffed out a breath, satisfied with the warm moist air and smell of wet pavement.

"Want me to accompany you home with my trusty umbrella? Just in case it starts raining."

"Mmmm, no thanks bro. The sky should hold till I get through the doors, and even so. Umbrella ducking is a lot harder at night with fewer people out. I like a challenge."

Arthur rolled his eyes and smiled. "Okay love. Whatever floats your boat."

"Night Artie!" Alfred called over his shoulder as he began his walk home.

He had made it about one block before a giant drop landed on his nose. "Oh my glob noooo." Alfred moaned out loud to no one in particular as he felt another drop land on his hand.

He quickly dove under the overhang of some ritzy clothing store and watched as the sky opened up and rivets of water came pouring down. Alfred's face was one of complete displeasure. There was little to no available hiding places and about three people walking down the street. One crazy bitch even appeared to be enjoying the rain fall.

Alfred made a face. "H'okay. Look for someone with an umbrella man. You can do it." He scanned the surrounding area for anyway in close range when his eyes caught a beautiful black umbrella bobbing down the street in his direction.

"Kay Al. Nice and quiet. Don't want them noticing you're there."

He waited patiently till the person was about three steps ahead of him before making a dive for the umbrella. A certain crack in the sidewalk had his plan failing as he tipped forward and smashed right into the persons back. The stranger stumbled a few steps and dropped his umbrella exposing both him and Alfred to the downpour.

Alfred, who had fallen to the ground during his decent looked up pitifully at the clouds which were currently soaking him.

"Nooo. Fail one for the Hero. Full awards to awful storm cloud." He pouted at the rain, contemplating scrambling back to his overhang of shame but resigned himself to a soggy fate.

"Um... I'm sorry? Are you alright?" A voice broke Alfred from his sulking and had him raising his head to gaze at the sheepish looking blond. The American brightened considerably at the sight of a familiar face.

"Heeeey. I know you!" The blond blinked before smiling in recognition.

"Yeah. From the book store." He extended his hand to Alfred and pulled him swiftly to his feet.

"Are you okay? You're all soggy from that fall." Alfred smiled sheepishly and rubbed the back of his head.

"Well it appears we're both kinda soggy now." The other blond blinked for a moment before breaking into a grin.

"Matthew." He extended his hand, Alfred grinned back.

"Alfred F. Jones. Hero extraordinaire. Part time worker at a book store." He glanced around for a moment pretending to look for other observers. "It's my cover job."

Matthew laughed as they shook hands.

"Hey, Matthew."

"Hmm?" The two stood gazing at each other for a moment in the rain. Alfred swooped down and picked up the umbrella.

"What kinda hero would I be if I didn't offer to buy you a drink?" Matthew laughed again.

"A lousy one at best."

The two burst into the cafe dripping water all over the front doormat.

"Oi! We're closing in a few min- Ugh. Alfred! You're getting the floor wet! I have to mop that up you know?"

Alfred laughed sheepishly and grinned at his Italian friend. "Sorry Lovi! We'll be quick. Looks like the sky is clearing up."

Lovino rolled his eyes and threw the bright yellow tomato patterned towel he had been using to clean the counter with over his shoulder with a slight smile and roll of his eyes.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now what do you want?"

Alfred turned to Matthew. "Well? What do you want?"

Matthew observed the menu "I don't know, whatever you think is best? I've never been here before. Order me what you're having."

"Okay! Two Cafe Lattes please Lovi. Plenty of syrup in mine!" Lovino rolled his eyes and sulked away, leaving the two blonds to themselves.

Alfred gazed out the shop window and smiled. "Looks like it was a flash rain fall. Nasty things those are. The sky's clearing up too! Great!"

He turned back to Matthew and grinned. "No need for your umbrella."

"Here! Take your drinks and leave you bastard. I need to clean up the mess you made." Lovino interrupted.

Alfred slapped the money down on the counter and grinned. "See you later Lovi. Tell Feli and Antonio I said 'hi'"


Matthew held the door open for Alfred and they were off down the street.

The two decided to cut through the park and found themselves wandering down the pathway in a content silence.

"Wanna sit?" Matthew pointed to a bench off to the side and Alfred nodded his agreement, slurping his drink noisily from a straw.

Matthew swept the sleeve of his sweater over the bench quickly to clear excess water and the two collapsed onto it.

"You know you're not supposed to drink hot drinks with straws." Alfred blinked wide eyed at Matthew before grinning and letting the chewed on straw slip from his mouth.

"Bad habbit? I dunno I like straws." Matthew rolled his eyes before leaning back on the bench angling his neck to the sky.

"Oh look. You can see the stars now."

Alfred raised his head with an excited glint in his eyes. "Kick ass! No clouds."

There was an unreasonable amount of stars for a city park in Vancouver.

"The universe is the same colour as a Cafe Latte you know?" Matthew raised his eyebrows curiously as he craned his neck to the side too look at Alfred you was gazing at the stars with an expression of content.

"The colour of a Latte? Not black and blue?"

"Yes, people have researched it. From Earth... From Earth to 3 billion light years away there are 200,000 galaxies, all filled with sparkling stars. If you peek at the with a high powered telescope you can see more wavelengths of light than the human eye, and all the light balances out in a pale beige colour." Alfred paused to take a drink of his Latte.

"Like the colour of coffee with lots of milk. They call it a Cosmic Latte. I didn't like coffee much before, but I sure did like the stars. So I kinda developed a fond liking for these silly Cafe Lattes." He grinned and faced Matthew.

"It feels like I'm drinking the Universe."

Matthew smiled too. "I really like that. The story. And the drink. I dunno. The way you tell it is neat." Alfred laughed.

"It's just science!" Matthew rolled his eyes.

"Science mixed in with a dose of coffee. Beats black coffee any day."

"Achoo!" Alfred sneezed loudly and groaned. Running a hand under his nose to remove and excess snot. Arthur looked on with a disgusted expression which he used to mask his slight worry.

"You're sick? Since when do you get sick?"

"Since I got stuck in a downpour last night." Alfred coughed into the sleeve of his arm and gratefully accepted the Kleenex handed to him by Ludwig.

"Honestly Alfred. You shouldn't even be working right now." Alfred pouted up at the German man.

"Yeah well tell that to the work Nazi over there! I tried to call in sick and he bitched me out for ten minutes for 'faking'." Arthur huffed in defence.

"Alfred this is literally the third time I've seen you sick in the entirety of our friendship. You call in sick due to hangovers on a regular basis. How was I supposed to know you were actually ill?
And since when do you get wet during rain falls?"

Alfred groaned. "I hardly get sick. And there was a mishap last night..." He diverted his gaze, not even looking as Ludwig placed the back of his hand to his forehead.

"You've got a fever. You really should go home."

"Naw bro, I'm the Hero and all the jazz. Plus I'm already here and I don't feel like walking home. At least if I stay till my shifts over I can con a ride out of Francis."

Arthur frowned along with Ludwig. "Very well. I suggest you man the counter for now. If you get too tired or feel excessively unwell you can go lay down in the back. Just make sure to call over myself or Ludwig."

"Will do bro." Alfred stumbled off to sit in Arthur spinny chair behind the counter. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and typed out a quick message to Matthew. Whose number he had acquired last night.

'Dying bro. Bring me Halls?' He placed the phone done on the table. It vibrated seconds later.

'You're sick? Jeez. Be there soonish.'

"Ahaha." Alfred grinned. After his walk around with Matthew last night the two had fallen into a quick friendship. Finding common interests and joy in each others presence.

He laid his head down on the counter and closed his eyes attempting to snooze. His sleep interrupted however by frequent bouts of sneezing. Alfred always sneezed in awkward patterns, varying from 2-6. He was mentally counting them in his mind to keep himself entertained. His record was nine.

The day passed slowly. Only about three customers approached the counter, most likely scared off by Alfred's awkward sneezing.


"Apparently it helps if you say Cucumber."

"A-GAK! Holy crap Matthew you just made me choke on my sneeze." Alfred stared up with wide eyes at the blond gazing down at him. Matthew raised his brows dubiously.

"I said stop the sneeze Al. Not choke on it." A pack of cherry Halls were placed down on the counter near Alfred's head.

"I got you these. I figured you'd like cherry cause you're such a bitch when it comes to mint." Alfred recalled the night before when Matthew had offered him a stick of gum only to watch in amusement as Alfred spit it out and immediately began wailing about how it stung his tongue.

"It's not my fault I have a sensitive tongue..."

"Uh huh. And what are you even doing at work if you're so sick?"

"I don't wanna waaalk home. Or take the bus for that matter. I require a ride."

"Ahhh, alas. I may be able to help you in that matter. Seeing as today I have my glorious friends vehicle."

Alfred turned his too wide eyes onto Matthew, ignoring the way his glasses fell down his nose.

"Would you really?"

"Yeah. Do you have to stay much later?"

Alfred snorted. "Hell to the no. I am leaving right now. I don't care what my stuffy English boss says." The America stood from the comfortable chair and made his way around to the front.

"Artie!" The blonds head popped around the corner, his gaze sliding from Alfred to Matthew


"I'm going home now."

"You've got a ride?"

"Yuppers! Rolling out now. If I'm not dead tomorrow I will for sure come in."

Arthur rolled his eyes and made his way to the counter. "It's good you're leaving anyway. Scaring off the customers with your dreadful sneezing."

Alfred purposely angled his next sneeze at the Brit's face. The cry of rage and book to the head as he ran out of the store was worth it due to the rage on Arthur's face and pure merriment in Matthew's laugh as he was dragged behind.

~For my starshine~

Oh my glob. Atomish you better appreciate this. I almost died writing this. Like, legit.

My editor is once again dead, so excuse the typos.

Inspired by Alfred's obsession with stars and the fact that I found a glorious blog about galaxies on tumblr.

"Yes, people have researched it. From Earth... From Earth to 3 billion light years away there are 200,000 galaxies, all filled with sparkling stars. If you peek at the with a high powered telescope you can see more wavelengths of light than the human eye, and all the light balances out in a pale beige colour." Alfred paused to take a drink of his Latte.

"Like the colour of coffee with lots of milk. They call it a Cosmic Latte."

-That blurb is all true.

Also Belgium is Bella. In case you didn't catch that.

Expect an update soon. Cause I actually really enjoyed writing this (ignoring the fact I almost died ;D )

ALSO. Reviews make the world go round. Also make me update faster... -hint hint nudge nudge-