Operation Pointblank was the code name for the Allied Combined Bomber Offensive, the official term for the air assault on Nazi Germany which took place from June 14th, 1943 until April 19th, 1944. During the attack, countless allied servicemen unleashed tons upon tons of explosives onto enemy towns and cities in a massive effort to destroy German aircraft industry and injure citizen morale. Although the Allies eventually came out ahead, much of the operation was ineffectual, in part due to the fierceness of the Luftwaffe but also by fault of poor planning and stubbornness on part of both Britain and the United States. As a result of this clumsiness and bickering amongst leaders in the Anglo-American alliance, the Allied aircraft industry and reserves suffered greatly, and many young pilots lost their lives. However, despite its staggering cost, without the eventual success of the operation, it is possible that victory would not have gone to the Allies.

-Love strikes us pointblank, right between the eyes, in the most inconvenient of places.-

-The battlefield is no exception.-

Airman First Class Matthew Williams was down for the count.

They brought him in scarcely conscious, lying broken across a stretcher, glasses clinging to his face with crumpled and half-melted frames. His uniform was torn, stiff with dried blood in places, and his arm was obviously broken, fastened to his chest at an odd angle by a makeshift linen sling. He was filthy, covered in mud and soot and bruises, with his head clumsily bandaged. Missing in action for months, the paramedics told Arthur. He was a miracle. Well, Arthur replied sardonically, he was certainly bad, but not the worst he had seen since the war began, and he could tell by the fitful but persistent rise and fall of his chest and the pained but defiant curl of his lower lip and the angry flush in his cheeks that he would be fine, perhaps even better off in the end, because those wounds would keep him out of the air for a good long time.

Further inspection revealed that the Matthew's leg was broken too, and hadn't received proper care. Arthur gingerly peeled away his uniform trousers and pressed his fingertips against the purple bruises that bloomed beneath the pale skin of his knee like the wild violets that littered the fields of Germany and France in the springtime, striking a startling juxtaposition with the dead who called the same soil home. Elizaveta, having bustled over with her arms overflowing with antiseptics and bandages, finished undressing the poor boy and immediately began to dab ointment on the impressive burns that stretched over his back and shoulders, sighing at the sight of the angry new scar tissue that twisted his skin almost all the way to his navel, still broken and bleeding in places.

Arthur grit his teeth and snapped the boy's leg back into place with one swift motion of his hands, letting out a hiss between his teeth as if to apologize for the crack and low groan that followed. Elizaveta winced, but quickly hardened her expression and kept treating the burns, carefully winding long snowy strips of gauze around Matthew's back and shoulders.

"He's scarcely nineteen," she murmured, having come across his dog tags. "Canadian. Drafted just two years ago. He's a hero."

Arthur wiped the sweat from his brow as he began to splint the broken leg, glad that Matthew had since fallen unconscious and would be spared the pain.

"We don't know that," he muttered, "he's very likely just some poor fool caught up in this mess."

Elizaveta rolled her eyes as she tied off the fresh gauze and reached up to remove the old, bloodstained bandages from around Matthew's head.

"Aren't we all?" She frowned at the gash that stretched between his temples. "It's infected," she sighed, "he'll be here a long time, poor thing."

"Lucky thing," Arthur corrected, finishing the splint and going to Matthew's elbow. "He's got a nasty break here as well. And those burns," he glanced at his chest, where the edges of the mass of scar tissue peeked from beneath the new bandages. "No, he won't be seeing combat anytime soon. He should count his blessings."

"I suppose so," Elizaveta brought a bowl of water and a towel, beginning to rinse the ash from the boy's hair. "He's blond," she murmured at one point, pressing a damp rag against his forehead and wiping away the drops that curved down his cheeks. "He must have been handsome."

"He will be again," Arthur muttered, "bet he's got a girl back somewhere, waiting for him. They all do."

"Probably," Elizaveta stiffened as Matthew shifted beneath her hands, a rattling sigh escaping his lips. "Dr. Kirkland, he's waking up. Can I give him some morphine?"

To Elizaveta, asking permission was merely a courtesy, and she was already off to the cabinet, heels clicking briskly against the tile floors. Arthur leaned back and told her not too much, the boy would have to learn to deal with a lot of pain and it was best that he start early, and then returned to his work with a roll of his eyes. She was too tenderhearted to be a war nurse, really, as much as she tried to hide it.

He slipped the makeshift sling from around Matthew's neck and got down to dealing with the fracture properly, hoping that clumsy hands and time hadn't ruined the arm beyond repair. After a long interval of tense work, Elizaveta returned and gave Matthew a dose of painkiller before she set herself to making him more comfortable, fluffing his pillow and sponging the dirt from his face and forcing him take a little water before she allowed him to drowse as the drugs kicked in.

The boy had just slipped completely into unconsciousness and Arthur was tying off his new sling when an enormous crash came from the hallway. This was immediately followed by a flurry of raised voices and footsteps before someone could be heard shouting and the door to the infirmary snapped open.

"That's right, whether you like it or not! Hell, I don't care if you've got some shitty degree, he's my little brother and I have to see him! No, I'll report you to the authorities! Oh, like you're really going to have me dismissed – you need every last one of us yanks and you know it! Look, I really don't give a sweet damn about what you say, I'm going in!"

And a moment later a young man was bolting across the infirmary, pursued by a handful of flustered-looking doctors and nurses and set on what seemed a collision course with Matthew's bed. Before Arthur could react, he had tripped to a stop and was gripping the metal railing, jarring the bed and the new splints rather badly and immediately causing Matthew to groan and open his eyes, blinking blearily up at the intruder.

"Alfred?" he smiled faintly, "it can't be…"

The intruder - Alfred - exploded into a grin. "I might say the same thing, you asshole! You had me worried sick, you know? Boy, when rumor got around that you were here I just couldn't believe it. For a second I thought those damn krauts had really got you."

Matthew closed his eyes again and shook his head.

"Never, Al."

"Course not, you're my baby brother, after all," Alfred grinned. "A real hero." And he actually made to reach out and grip Matthew's splinted leg, at which point Arthur snapped from his shock just in time to lunge forwards and latch onto his wrist.

"And just what do you think you're doing?" he grabbed onto Alfred's collar and yanked him to his feet, veering so close that their noses nearly touched. "Do you have any idea of how much pain that boy is in right now?"

Alfred blinked down at him; he was covered in soot and smelled like motor oil and cigarette smoke.

"A lot?" he asked uncertainly, as if anyone had actually been expecting an answer. Arthur was still for a moment, then let out a hiss of disgust and let go of the Alfred's collar, wiping his hand on the back of his medical coat because the soot that covered the boy from head to toe had smudged onto his fingertips.

"This one probably won't see combat ever again," Arthur spat, glaring and gesturing back at Matthew, "and certainly not if you're allowed within three feet of him. Who are you, anyways?"

Alfred picked himself up and straightened his glasses, meeting Arthur's acrid gaze without the slightest trace of remorse.

"Alfred F. Jones," he announced, planting his hands on his hips, "bomber pilot. We're based right across from here, you know," he added, seeming to grow a little more uncertain, "news travels fast."

Arthur raised an eyebrow. "So it would seem." He turned back to Matthew, straightening the blankets across his chest and checking to see that Alfred had done no serious damage; fortunately, it seemed that his display had succeeded in causing a great deal of alarm and nothing more.

"And who're you?"

Arthur glanced over his shoulder, surprised; he thought the boy would have had the good sense to leave by then.

"Arthur Kirkland, volunteer doctor," he snapped, "but you needn't bother to remember it, seeing as I never want to see your face around here again, Mr. Jones. Frankly, you're a hazard, and I can't have you in this hospital."

Alfred gaped for a moment before anger crackled to life behind the lopsided frames of his glasses.

"You can't do that!" he cried, taking a step forwards. "He's my baby brother, I have to make sure he's alright!"

Arthur shot him a cold look, unimpressed by the little break in his voice.

"I'm afraid that's my job, Mr. Jones," he said crisply, snapping the lapels of his medical coat for emphasis. "It would be best that you didn't interfere."

Alfred's eyebrows drew up at the corners and he straightened his glasses as if correcting the angle of the lenses would change Arthur's mind.

"Come on…"

"I'm rather adamant in my decisions, I fear."

"Please? I won't mess around again, I promise."

"The answer is no, Mr. Jones."

"I'll only come for an hour a day, really! I won't get in your hair at all, I swear."

"Absolutely not."

Alfred opened his mouth, but Arthur lifted his hand.

"Out of my sight, Mr. Jones. This is your final warning. I do hope you understand the kind of authority I enjoy around this place."

Alfred bit down on his lower lip, wringing his hands and looking very conflicted before he finally seemed to deflate, running a hand through his hair in defeat.

"So no second chances, huh?"

Arthur sighed in relief and shook his head.

"Never. After all," he lifted his chin into the air, gazing down at Alfred past the slope of his nose. "I happen to have a reputation to uphold."

"So how is he?

Arthur turned from the sink to find a young man bending over Matthew's bed with a concerned expression on his face, hands tucked into the pockets of a battered American leather bomber jacket. He was wearing the standard uniform of the pilots that belonged to the neighboring allied airbase, so Arthur supposed he might be an old friend of the patient or something of the like. He dried his hands and joined the young man at the side of the bed, finding Matthew to be fast asleep. He reached down to ruffle his hair fondly.

"He's a strong one," he answered honestly. "It's only been a few days since he's come in and he's already showing signs of improvement. Not to mention," he smirked, running a hand through his hair rather self-importantly. "He's got the finest doctor Britain has to offer."

To his surprise, the young man snorted, though he tried to muffle the sound against the crook of his elbow, and turned his face away. Raising an eyebrow, Arthur leaned out further over the bed, craning his neck to try to get a proper glimpse of the young man's face.

"And what, exactly, is so funny?"

The boy turned to face him and Arthur swallowed heavily. He was difficult to recognize without the thick coating of soot and grease disguising the fine gold of his hair and the strong square line of his jawbone, with his glasses perched clean and straight across the bridge of his nose instead of jarred lopsidedly across his face, but there was no mistaking that cheeky grin, the boyish petulance, that sharp self-assured crackle in those high blue eyes.

Elizaveta returned from filing some documents just as Arthur was straining to push a struggling Alfred into the hallway, ramming his shoulder against his back only to have him cling more tightly to the doorframe, flailing his legs and swinging his head from side to side and shouting that he wouldn't go through that damn door, not even if it killed him! She stepped to the side, raising an eyebrow and tucking her clipboard beneath her arm, allowing the spectacle to drag on a few moments more.

"I keep telling you, he's my baby brother!" Alfred was shouting over his shoulder. "I can't just leave him here!'

"This is a bloody hospital, Mr. Jones, therefore I can assure you that he will be in excellent hands!" Arthur made another attempt at forcing Alfred through the door and only ended up jarring his shoulder rather painfully. He swore loudly and drew back a step to actually grip at his hair in frustration.

"It's my duty to make sure he's alright!" Alfred insisted, still clinging to the doorframe with all his might, though he had stopped thrashing his legs. "I won't move no matter how much you try!"

"Fucking yank, stubborn as a mule," Arthur growled under his breath, rolling up the sleeve of his medical coat. "Well, we'll just have to see about that, won't we, eh?"

However, before he could make his final attempt at banishing Alfred to the hallway once and for all, Elizaveta had unlatched his other hand from the back of the boy's jacket and was shaking her head with a mixture of exasperation, disdain, and amusement.

"Oh, lighten up, won't you?" she shrugged. "It is his little brother, after all."

Arthur gaped as she went to help Alfred down from the doorway (where he had become rather stuck), accepted his enthusiastic gratitude with a smile, and allowed him to scamper back to Matthew's beside unhindered. She grabbed onto Arthur's collar when he tried to pursue his escaped felon, and they struggled for a moment before Arthur swore under his breath and turned, extending an accusing finger at his captor.

"Even you would betray me, for that simpering idiot?"

Elizaveta rolled her eyes, putting a hand on his shoulder.

"Come on, doctor. He doesn't seem like such a bad guy," she shrugged. "Give him another chance."

Arthur batted her hand away, glowering. "I do not give second chances."

"Yes, yes, I know," she patted his shoulder. "You have a reputation to uphold. Well," she shot him a wink, eyes sparkling. "I say even the oldest of dogs can be taught some new tricks."

Alfred was obviously a creature of habit. He returned to the hospital every day at the exact same time, this being just at dusk, when training was over and the doctors were winding down from the day anyways. His hair was always slightly damp, so Arthur suspected that he hurried over right after he took his evening shower, probably so as not to be covered in soot from working with his plane all day. Even so, he was always asked to wash his hands before he was allowed anywhere near a patient, and after he had done so he was always instructed to sit quietly at the side of the bed and do neither anything bothersome nor potentially damaging.

Alfred was able to comply with almost all of these demands. The only one that seemed to give him trouble was the concept of being quiet, and by the end of one week, Arthur wasn't sure if the fool even registered that he made a scene whenever he opened his mouth. It seemed more that Alfred was simply always on the brink of explosion, that he overflowed with excitement even at the least exciting things, and couldn't help but express this to anyone and everyone unfortunate enough to be nearby. Elizaveta thought it was endearing and often took a brief break to have a chat about the day's trials or Alfred's childhood or the specific mechanics of a bomber jet or whatever other topic happened to be on hand. Contrarily, it gave Arthur a headache, and yet for all he avoided conversation he seemed to be the one most often victimized by Alfred's mindless anecdotes and massive armada of mediocre jokes and subsequent booming laughter.

Of course, when Matthew was awake, they were all spared the trauma, but Elizaveta was heavy-handed with the morphine and this was rarely the case. Sometimes, Alfred would flit from patient to patient and try to strike up conversations with them, but Arthur tended to shoo him away in these scenarios (somewhat counter-intuitively, he might admit), so he quickly lost interest and stopped trying. Thus, through this imperfect system of overhearing and nonreciprocal conversation, Arthur and Alfred began to get to know each other inadvertently and much to Arthur's initial distaste.

Nearly two weeks had passed since they had brought Matthew in and he was almost well enough to stay awake for hours at a time during the morning and mid-afternoon. Therefore, it wasn't long before Alfred was complaining about how terribly bored he must be and voicing the thought they should get a wheelchair and take him out for strolls in the garden.

Arthur glanced up from his clipboard with an amused quirk of the brow.

"And what gardens are these, Mr. Jones?"

Alfred blinked, seeming surprised that Arthur had actually been listening.

"I dunno. Must be something out there," he shrugged. "You can't just let him rot here."

Arthur glanced skeptically at the peacefully sleeping Matthew. His burns had started to peel away to be replaced by tender new skin, and the gash across his face was nothing more than a long pink seam of scar tissue. He was still in some pain, but when he was awake there was a glitter of life in his eyes that promised a full recovery.

"Come now, I'd hardly say he's rotting."

Alfred rolled his eyes. "I didn't mean it literally."

"Look, Mr. Jones," Arthur had returned to his paperwork and he punctuated each syllable with the scratch of his pen. "There's nothing but mud and grass out there until we reach your base, and I don't suppose you boys have been particularly occupied with botany, mm?"

Alfred frowned and crossed his arms over his chest. "You could at least let him roll around the hospital."

Arthur sighed. "As soon as he's well enough."

"I say he already is."

"Well, I say he isn't, and unfortunately for you, I'm the doctor. And a very good one at that, if I dare say so myself. I don't know if you realize, Mr. Jones, but I -"

"Have a reputation to uphold, yeah, yeah." Alfred had returned to glumly fiddling with the edge of Matthew's sheets, his cheek rested in the palm of his hand, jarring his glasses up at an odd angle. "So you say."

"So I do say."

They were quiet for a moment, the whispering of Arthur's pen and the soft sounds of the hospital filling the space between them.

"Hey, doc," Arthur could see from the corner of his eye that Alfred was gazing straight at him now, one eyebrow cocked challengingly. "What gives you the right to such an ego, anyways?"

Arthur glanced up sharply. "Do you have any idea how old I am, Mr. Jones? I'll have you know - " His words broke off into a muttered swear as he realized that, in his surprise at being asked such an impudent question, he had made a wild mark across the paper. He rubbed at it frantically as Alfred shook his head, no, he didn't know how old Arthur was.

"Twenty-six," Arthur hissed, satisfied that he was able to pass off the mistake. "Do you know when I went to medical school?"

Alfred gave another negative.

"When I was nineteen. That's at least two years early, if you're unaware. Do you know who my employer was before I volunteered at this sodding establishment?"

Alfred tilted his head to one side and the light slanted off the frames of his glasses. Arthur smirked.

"Cambridge. As in, the university. As in, not exactly your standard mum-and-pop clinic. As in, I'm rather a prodigy. Therefore," he made the last mark on the paperwork with a satisfied flourish, folding the documents back into place and setting the clipboard on the nearby counter. "I believe I'm somewhat entitled to a bit of an ego, wouldn't you agree?"

Alfred seemed to consider this for a moment before he finally shrugged.

"Guess so. But I still don't see what this has to do with not letting Matt outside."

Despite himself, Arthur couldn't help but feel a little irked. Usually when he rattled off his list of accomplishments, eyes widened and mouths fell slightly open and a stream of gushing and compliments ensued. Men were surprised and raised their hackles. Women melted. Professors and socialites shook his hand with a firm if not grudging respect. But Alfred had merely shrugged, been vaguely rude, and returned to fiddling with the blankets. Arthur wanted to scold him, but that would be undignified and potentially damaging to his reputation, so he merely sniffed and got up to go organize some medicines.

"Hey, doc."

Arthur glanced over his shoulder to find Alfred scrutinizing him, one hand straightening his glasses, a faint crease between his brows.

"Yes, Mr. Jones?"

"You don't seem to like me very much."

Arthur raised an eyebrow. "I say, how very astute of you."

Alfred chuckled. "So have you got a reason?"

Arthur snorted, uncapping an empty bottle of antiseptic so that he could refill it. "Oh, Mr. Jones. An entire list, of that I can assure you."

To his credit, Alfred echoed his laugh good-naturedly; he leaned back in his chair and smiled lazily up at the ceiling, drumming his fingers on the railing of Matthew's bed.

"Anything I can do to change your mind?"

Arthur cast him a doubtful look. "I suppose you could try."

Alfred sat upright again with a dangerous grin, folding his arms over his chest and lifting his chin in the air as if he were looking at Arthur for the first time. A moment more of this and Arthur set down the bottle of antiseptic he had been refilling and turned all the way around with a glare.

"Mr. Jones, if whatever you are thinking of has even the slightest possibility of causing any sort of disruption whatsoever, let me tell you that you have been warned."

Alfred dipped his chin in affirmation, his grin deepening, and drew his legs up to his chest so that he could spin around in his chair. His silence was unnerving and Arthur swallowed, turning back to organizing the medicines and muttering about not knowing what he had gotten himself into.

"I bet you'll come around in no time," Alfred finally said, more of singing the challenge while still spinning in his chair like some ridiculous overgrown child playing soldier. "Even you can't be that stubborn."

Relieved that he wasn't being so dangerously quiet anymore, Arthur glanced over his shoulder with a little smirk.

"Ah, but remember, Mr. Jones," he winked despite himself. "I am an Englishman."

Alfred laughed aloud, tilting his head so far back that Arthur could see his Adam's apple bob beneath the thin skin of his throat.

"Well played," he chuckled, snapping back upright, eyes dancing. "But remember, Dr. Kirkland, I am an American."

Arthur snorted, turning his nose into the air. "I'm afraid I fail to see your point."

A smirk toyed with the corners of Alfred's mouth.

"Don't you get it? You guys are nothing but stubborn and we're nothing but persistent," the smirk was fully present now, stretching up almost to the frames of his glasses, but his eyes sparkled and there was a touch of warmth to his expression that caught Arthur off-guard. "Seems we were made to push and pull with each other."

Arthur blinked, then coughed into his fist.

"And get nowhere in the process," he muttered.

Alfred shrugged, giving his chair another whirl and gripping onto the sides as he spun.

"You can't say that for sure," he chirped as his momentum slowed. "We'll win this war yet."

Arthur smiled faintly. "That wasn't what I was referring to. And stop worrying that chair."

Alfred stuck out his tongue but set his feet back on the floor without complaint. His curiosity had evidently won out over any protests he might have attempted: the next words from his mouth inquired as to what Arthur had meant if he wasn't talking about the war. At this, Arthur paused, irritably realizing that he wasn't really sure, and violently shoved the medicines back in the cabinet, shutting the doors and straightening the lapels of his medical coat with a sigh.

"Nothing, I suppose. Sorry, I was being vague," he glanced at the clock. Late; Alfred would usually have been gone by then, but he was still nestled quite snugly in his chair at Matthew's bedside, eyes flitting between his younger brother and Arthur intermittently.

"Oy, shouldn't you be going?"

Alfred followed his gaze to the clock and swallowed, straightening his glasses.

"Shit, is that really the time?"

"I'm afraid so."

And with that Alfred was stumbling from the room with his bomber jacket flapping out wildly behind him, nearly tripping over himself as he hastily told Matthew goodbye and skidded towards the door, startling an incoming nurse on his way. However, despite all his hurry, he still caught himself on the doorframe so that he could shout that he would change Arthur's mind if it was the last thing he did, that was a promise!

Arthur sighed and asked himself what a yank's promise was really worth anyways.

When Alfred returned the following day, Matthew was awake, and the two chattered on (or Alfred chattered on while Matthew listened and occasionally interjected a thought of his own) until Matthew was entirely exhausted and drifted off in the middle of Alfred's recount of how that evening he had slipped and fallen in the shower and how everyone had laughed and how it had been just so embarrassing, at which point Arthur took it upon himself to bring the stream of talk to a halt.

It took Alfred a moment to realize that his brother had fallen asleep, but once he was aware of this he blushed, bringing his hand up to the back of his neck sheepishly.

"Aw geez…" he sighed. "I guess I wore him out, didn't I…"

"He's not your first victim," Arthur rolled his eyes. "But you needn't look so guilty; he'll sleep quite well after that. Come to think of it, you've probably done him a favor."

Alfred nodded, but didn't smile or look up or try to make a comeback, merely rested his elbows on the bedrail. Arthur left him to go check up on a few of the other patients, and to his surprise, he didn't hear anyone trying to strike up a conversation with a passing nurse or doctor during the entire interval. In fact, when he returned the boy was still bent over the bed, following the steady rise and fall of Matthew's chest with his gaze.


Alfred didn't move.

"Mr. Jones."

Still nothing; he appeared to be quite transfixed by the rhythm of his brother's breathing.

"Christ, boy, what's gotten into you?"

Alfred finally came upright with a jolt, blinking up at Arthur almost irritably before he seemed to recall his surroundings. He let out a sigh, resting his cheek in the palm of his hand, and Arthur frowned.

"Are you feeling alright?"

Alfred nodded and glanced back at his brother, a crease appearing between his brows.

"Say, doc," he paused. "He…uh…well," he bit down on his lower lip for a moment. "He will get better, won't he?"

Arthur blinked. "Of course he will."

Alfred glanced up at him over the frames of his glasses, seeming unconvinced, and Arthur swallowed at his expression. Sadness and uncertainty fitted him so poorly, pinching at the corners of his mouth and eyes like an ill-tailored suit might pinch at the shoulders and waist, and Arthur was surprised to realize that he found this even more irritating than the fool's usual attitude.

"Oh, stop that," he hissed, and found himself reaching out to push at Alfred's shoulder. "Moping is certainly not going to change anything. Your brother will be good as new before you know it. He's in excellent hands, or have you forgotten, Alfred?"

Alfred blinked, and was quiet for a very long moment.

"The best of hands," he said eventually, as if he were testing the shape of the words with the tip of his tongue.

Arthur gripped his shoulder firmly, satisfied. "So there's no call for worrying. Chin up. Unhappiness doesn't suit you."

Alfred nodded slowly, peering at Arthur over the frames of his glasses, again as if he were seeing him for the first time. After a moment of silence and staring Arthur decided that he was simply being strange and chose to ignore him as per usual, going to fetch his trusty clipboard and settling down on a nearby stool to finish out the day's paperwork.

They were quiet for nearly ten minutes, Arthur reckoned, again filling the space between them with the sound of scribbling and the muffled background noises of the hospital, the chatter of heels against tile and the rustle of sheets and the murmur of hushed voices.

"Hey, doc."

Arthur looked up to find that Alfred was still surveying him, though this time around there was the suggestion of a smile at the corners of his mouth, and quirked a brow questioningly.

"Something amusing?"

"Not really," Alfred leaned back and looked as if he were about to start spinning his chair again before he seemed to remember himself. "Just seems like I'm already getting to you."

"I beg your pardon?"

"You finally called me Alfred."

Arthur blinked, opened his mouth, and shut it again. Alfred was full-on grinning by then.

"What," Arthur raised an eyebrow. "Are you under the impression that I'm starting to warm up to you just because I finally used a familiar proper noun as a means of address?"

Alfred nodded. Arthur snorted and said that he was quite a piece of work and probably wasn't even sure what a familiar proper noun was, to which Alfred replied that as far as he was concerned it was a term of endearment. This prompted Arthur to chuck his pen at him and then wake Matthew up trying to get it back. One of the other doctors shot him an odd look and of course he immediately remembered his reputation and grew very flustered and angrily banished Alfred from the room.

But still, when the fool was safely sent away, Arthur turned back to his clipboard, set the tip of his retrieved pen to the page, and smiled.

Hi everyone, and welcome to my new USUK AU! The fic will run for about fifteen chapters and I am absolutely beside myself with excitement, so I hope you will enjoy reading this story as much as I am sure to enjoy writing it. In addition, please note the rating,which will come into effect later. :3

Briefly: Our story begins in early December, 1943, and is set in a fictional allied base and neighboring war hospital somewhere near Cambridge University. Franada will be an eventual side-pairing. Updates will be weekly, with warning in advance for irregularities.

HUGE thanks to the lovely Trumpet-Geek, my friend and the official history consultant for this project. Do not doubt that without her WWII expertise and willingness to research where I am too lazy to do so, the plot of this story would be nothing but a string of historical blasphemies. See, TG, there is a use for your history degree out there somewhere! XD

This being said, I will gladly field any questions regarding setting, rank, timeline, combat, etcetera, seeing as I am actually trying to absorb this information myself, lololol. And my parents say fandom is a waste of time…

Thank you so much for reading, and I would be thrilled to hear your thoughts. ^^

Until the next chapter!