The Devil Wears Red
Alfred was worried about a lot of things.
First, he was worried about the strong scents of outsiders that the scouts had found on the outskirts of the city. Second, he was worried about how bold the dogs were becoming. The other day, a whole patrol of them were caught hunting on the Hellcats' territory. And finally, he was worried about Arthur. The cat had run off to the bathroom four times today, and now had locked himself in there. Alfred could hear him getting sick through the thin wooden door, and gently, Alfred knocked a few times.
"Arthur?" he murmured softly. "Hey, Arthur, are you okay?" There was a long silence on the other side of the door, before Arthur gave a shaky sigh.
"No, I'm not. Go away." Alfred felt a little hurt, but he reminded himself that it was probably just his illness speaking.
"Arthur, Sadiq needs to talk to you. He's been pacing around in circles outside for ten minutes." True, the cheetah did seem to be carrying some important, or frightening news with him. He had the manner about him of a cat who had just found out some terrifying news, something that he shouldn't have known about, but he did. He was gripping a letter in his hand like it was the last thing on Earth that he had to hold on to, and his tail was lashing furiously.
"...Sadiq?" Arthur finally poked his head out of the door, his face looking sickly and pale, his visible green eye dull and slightly lifeless. Alfred sighed in relief, happy that the mention of Arthur's adopted son had finally brought him out of the bathroom. "Bring him in. I'll...see what it is that he's got."
After Alfred had finally let the cat in, Sadiq made a beeline to the Leader, talking a mile a minute. His words and sentences were slurred together, and Arthur shook his head. It was all too much for his still ill-stricken mind to handle.
"Stop, stop, Sadiq, calm down," he told him, resting hands on the tan-skinned cat's shoulders. Sadiq let out an audible whine, and Arthur looked at him steadily. "Now, speak slowly. Tell me what's going on." Without having to be told twice, Sadiq shoved the letter into Arthur's hands, starting to shift from one foot to the other solicitously.
"Can't tell you who it's from, just read it," Sadiq whispered, his voice raising nearly an octave as he did. Staring cautiously down at the paper, Arthur opened the letter almost as if it were a live creature, something that could nip and bite him at will. Taking the paper out from the envelope and unfolding it, Alfred could see that it was written in a messy scrawl, like it had been written quickly. It was written in a thick, black ink, and only had a few words.
I'm coming back to see you. Expect me soon. ~SK
For a moment, Arthur could only stare at the letter. Suddenly, however, it slipped out of his hand and floated to the ground, like the wing to a butterfly, and Arthur fell over backwards. Alfred managed to catch him before he hit the ground, and he looked at his partner with slight fear and confusion in his eyes.
"Hey, are you okay?" He asked, the second time he'd asked in thirty minutes, and Arthur shook his head. Helping him back to his feet, Arthur kicked the letter away, his hands balling into fists.
"Seumas." He murmured softly, and Alfred tilted his head.
"Seumas. He's my oldest brother." Arthur finally pushed away from Alfred, standing on his own for a moment, legs shaking. He still didn't look well, and Alfred put a hand on his shoulder, gently rubbing the area right under his collar and bandanna.
"Whatever it is, wait until tomorrow to worry about it. You should go to bed." Arthur looked like he was going to protest, but he stopped, tightening his jaw and looking down.
"I'll...do that." The blonde then turned, gave Sadiq a goodbye hug and a kiss on his forehead, before going up the stairs and retreating into his bedroom. After he was gone, Sadiq left as well, picking up the letter from the floor and running off with it. He wondered for a moment why Sadiq had been so worried, and why Arthur had seemed so...angry. He also wondered, what with Arthur's recent illness, if it was possible that he'd...
With a little smile on his face, Alfred walked back towards the kitchen, a slight bounce in his step.
A short visit to Elizaveta a few days later confirmed Alfred's original thoughts on Arthur's illness. Arthur was indeed pregnant. While originally, his reaction was one of happiness (Alfred's was too, of course), it quickly turned to fear and anxiety.
"My brother..." was the first thing that Alfred heard about it, and he tilted his head curiously. He remembered what had happened a few days ago, and he needed to know exactly what it was about Seumas that bothered Arthur so much.
"What about him?" Alfred asked. Arthur was quiet for a moment, messing with his thumbs and sighing.
"He...he's kind of obsessively overprotective, I guess that's the best way to put it," Arthur replied. "He'll probably be furious when he finds out that I'm with you...and that I'm pregnant." He still sounded disbelieving, as if he didn't really think it was possible that he was really expecting a new life. Putting his hand down by his stomach, Arthur gripped his shirt, sighing shakily. Leaning over, Alfred hugged him tightly, grinning.
"Don't worry about it. I promised to protect you, remember?" Alfred murmured, nuzzling his neck lovingly. Arthur felt a swelling of happiness in his chest, and as Alfred pulled back, he leaned against his partner, tail twitching slightly. Then, another thought came to him, and he looked at Alfred with his one emerald green eye wide.
"Alfred...the baby...it'll have my eye," he said, with a slight tremor in his voice. The bigger cat ran his hand through Arthur's blonde hair, the smile on his face spreading.
"It'll be fine. We'll worry about it when the time comes." Alfred pulled his hand back, and Arthur looked at him almost sorrowfully, before sighing heavily.
"If you say so." Little did the two know, they were about to have a lot more problems than pregnancy and cursed eyes.
Seumas Kirkland was many things. He was a hateful, jealous person, he was uncaring, willing to step on people and kill if he had to get what he wanted. He didn't care about consequences. He enjoyed watching people suffer; he liked pain. However, there was really only a few things Seumas Kirkland wasn't. He wasn't submissive, and he wasn't a liar, and he prided himself in that. Not once in his life had he ever told a lie. He'd always been honest, and whenever he said he'd do something, he'd do it. That's why he was standing outside of Arthur's door, holding himself up high and dominant, his chin up, ears erect and twitching. He'd knocked on the door only a few seconds ago, and it finally opened, revealing the tired face of Alfred. He had good reason to be tired; it was only 10 in the morning, much earlier than he normally woke up on Sundays.
"Hello?" He muttered, and Seumas looked down at him with condescending blue eyes, ears flicking against his skull.
"I'm here to see my brother." Seumas replied, and a look of recognition crossed Alfred's face.
"Oh, you must be Seumas. One sec." He half-closed the door, looking behind him to where Arthur sat on the couch. "Hey Arthur, it's your brother." Almost immediately, Arthur stiffened, his head whipping around to face him. He could see the gleam of Seumas's cold blue eyes from behind the door, and he shivered a bit.
"Go ahead and let him in." His voice sounded flat and emotionless, but Alfred could tell that there was fear behind those words. He wondered if it would be a good idea to let the cat in, but Arthur had spoken, and technically, he was the one in charge. Opening the door fully, Seumas walked in immediately like he owned the place, looking around with scrutiny, before his eyes finally landed on Arthur.
"Arthur." A cruel smile spread across Seumas's face. He was looking quite intimidating, but Arthur didn't shake any more, his singular green eye staring into the icy blue depths of Seumas's.
"Seumas. Why are you here?" The red-head walked over to Arthur, sitting on the couch beside him and ruffling his hair. It looked affectionate, but Arthur didn't seem pleased with the action.
"I wanted to see you. It's been a long time." Arthur's gaze was still stone cold as he frowned at his brother.
"You're supposed to be dead." Seumas gave a laugh, a deep, maniacal laugh that reminded Alfred too much of Attilo.
"Brother, have you no faith in me? You really thought that simply because I branched off from your little runaway group that I died like your little partner?" Alfred saw Arthur's visible pupil get smaller with rage at the mention of Rikki, and Seumas moved closer, running his hand through the side of Arthur's hair. "Oh no, little brother, I'm very much alive." Arthur slapped Seumas's hand away quickly, narrowing his eyes at him.
"Don't touch me," he snapped, and Seumas laughed again.
"Why? You're my brother. Why don't you want me to touch you?"
"Don't touch me like that. In case you didn't know, I'm married now." He lifted up his hand to show Seumas the gold wedding band, and a flash of emotion crossed Seumas's eyes. Alfred couldn't tell exactly what it was though: anger, hatred, confusion?
"To whom?" Arthur jerked his head in Alfred's direction, and Seumas looked at Alfred, and he could tell now that his eyes were filled with hatred and jealousy. "Oh. Him." Seumas spat the word out like it was poison, a bad taste in his mouth, as though he regarded Alfred as little more than a problem in his life. Alfred's ears pinned flat against his skull at that, and the hair along his spine rose.
"He's also the father of my future child," Arthur spoke again, still calm and collected. Seumas's head whipped around to face him, his pupils narrowing into slits.
"Are you...?" He trailed off, and Arthur nodded. Seumas's body remained stiff, but his tail was going at ninety miles per hour, lashing back and forth angrily, before he turned his eyes away from Arthur and looked down at the ground.
"I suppose I should have expected as much, what with me being away for so long." Looking back at him, Seumas's eyes adopted a sinister gleam. "I hope you don't mind if I stay at your camp for a while? I probably won't join your gang, but I do need a place to stay for a while." For a moment, Arthur was quiet, before nodding.
"As long as you promise not to cause any trouble for the rest of the gang members." He looked at him seriously, and Seumas nodded at him.
Something about the cold grin that spread across Seumas's face made Alfred extremely uneasy, for a reason that he didn't understand quite yet, but would soon.
[Hey there guys. Ugh, dear Jesus I'm hating this sequel x.x It's so not as good as the first one. ANYWAY, sorry for not updating quickly. I'm busy with schoolwork and my new social life *gasp!* so I don't have much time for writing. Thanks to everyone who's reading this, though!]