When Arthur woke up, the world was tilted at a very odd angle. Then he realized that he was laying under his desk. He pulled himself up, holding his head in pain as he sat back in his chair. What had just happened?
The computer had fallen asleep while he had been on the floor, so he jiggled the mouse. The computer creaked back to life.
Arthur reached out for his cup of cocoa, taking a sip of the cold chocolate. He turned back to the screen, jaw dropping.
ENGLISH BUS ACCIDENT: VIRGINIA ROCKWELL IN CRITICAL CONDITION.
The events of earlier came back to him, and he grimaced.
"When did this happen?" He asked sadly, brow furrowing. He scrolled up and down until he found the date. One month ago, just about the time that his letter should have arrived.
Arthur stared sadly at the screen, his insides feeling like they had been filled with ice. He scrolled down the article again, this time actually reading it.
"...She was carrying stamps and letter at the time, addressed to an Arthur- WHAT?" Arthur shouted, reading on in horror. "The letter was addressed to the North Pole, and the victim, should she survive, will be questioned regarding her mental health. The victim remains in critical care at the Evelyn Mary hospital."
Arthur sat back in his chair in shock. She had been hit by a bus while trying to mail her letter back to him.
It was all his fault.
He had to get to England, immediately.
Arthur stood up, momentarily dazzled by the light his slippers made in his slightly darkened office. He slipped them off, groping under the desk for a pair of dusty tennis shoes that he had left under there when he had gotten his slippers.
Once he finished tying his laces, Arthur began walking down the hall, opening and closing doors as he went. He stopped at his bedroom and went in quickly, grabbing a backpack from the closet and filling it with an extra set of clothes.
He caught sight of himself in the mirror, noticing his gaudy christmas tree sweater. That wouldn't do for walking around England in April. He slipped the sweater off and pulled out a dress shirt and jacket he'd never worn. It didn't really suit his personality, but he had to look right if he was going to rejoin civilization for a time.
Arthur finished packing then reached under his bed, pulling out a little wood box. He opened it. Inside was a silver chain with a small teardrop pendant on it. He had made it himself, making the pendant out of a rare shiny stone that only existed at the North Pole. It shimmered like the Aurora Borealis, in the same colors.
He secured the box in the front pocket of his backpack, zipped his black jacket, and exited the room, flicking off the lights and shutting the door behind him.
He walked two doors down to Steve's room and knocked. After a minute it opened.
"Arthur?" Steve asked incredulously. Without the ugly christmas sweater and slippers, Arthur looked completely normal. Steve stuck his head out into the hallway and looked both ways. All the doors were closed.
"Are you feeling all right?" Steve asked, big brother instincts kicking in. Arthur looked worried.
"Steve, I need to go to England." He said solemnly. "Remember that girl I told you about? Well, she's had an accident. Hell, I don't even know if she's still alive."
It was all too much for Steve. He fainted.
When he woke up, Arthur was kneeling over him. At first he thought it was just a dream, then he saw the tennis shoes and normal clothes.
"What is going on, Arthur? Y-you used a swear word!" Steve stuttered.
"I guess I'm growing up a little, Steve!" Arthur said, brow creasing. "I want to go to England to see Virginia, and I'll be damned if you'll stop me!"
Two swearwords. Steve almost fainted again, but Arthur grabbed his face and shook it.
"You will find a way to get me to England, Steve, or I will swim there." He said seriously.
"Well then. I guess I have something to show you... Steve said sheepishly. "Merry Christmas?" Arthur stood, opening the door for Steve, who hauled himself to his feet and straightened his hat.
"Come to the hangar." Steve said, leading the way. Arthur closed the door behind him.