The Dream I dream

By Pixiedust291


Once upon a time there was a cat that walked the lonely, gray, cold streets. Despite the chilly weather and his freezing paw pads he would hold his head high and walk with pride. He was different then all of the other cats in the city, for he had folded ears. Many of the other cats however, and even the humans that lived in the city, detested the cat because of the way he looked. He was different, which meant there was something wrong with him. He must be possessed, evil, deformed and misshapen. Because he was different, whenever other cats saw him they would hiss and start fights. When children saw him they would throw rocks or try to catch him to tie his feet and kick him. Adults would shoo him away or try to beat him with brooms. From the time he had been born all he had known was this unexplained hatred.

So, naturally, the cat grew used to being alone and after a while he preferred the stillness and quiet of his loneness to all else. When he would walk down the streets late at night or early in the morning twilight he would sometimes see the humans with their various pets. He never understood why those of his species and others would choose to bind themselves to humans. To him compassion and caring for anyone other than one's self was simply a waste of time.

Then one day as he was walking down the street he paused, hearing something he had never heard before. Curious he followed the sound. He went down dark allies and slippery stone steps until he reached a dilapidated building. There, sitting in the windowsill, was a man playing a guitar. Finding what had pricked his curiosity the cat turned to leave, but stopped after just a few steps when the man began to hum and sing. The cat was frozen. The words sounded so promising but yet the man's voice sounded so mournful. He closed his eyes and listened.

I dreamed a dream in time gone by

When hope was high

And life worth living

I dreamed that love would never die

I dreamed that God would be forgiving

The man's voice fell silent but the cat waited, hoping to hear more of the haunting lyrics. Then all of the sudden something was touching him and he was being lifted into the air. The cat opened its eyes and turned, seeing the face of the human from the window. The man had short honey blonde hair and bright blue eyes. He held the cat so tenderly. "Hello, little guy." The human spoke. The human's eyes took notice of his ears and after a moment said "You know we're very similar, you and I."

The cat's eyes grew wide and he began to struggle violently. He howled and clawed at the man's arms. He hissed and scratched. With one rough thrash he managed to get free. He ran as fast as he could down the dark alley of solitude. With every step the buildings blocked out the light of the sun and it grew darker and darker. He continued to run because he was use to the darkness; it was what was behind him that terrified him the most. The warmth. He had been shown kindness and affection for the first time in his life. He was unable to believe it.


That was the man's voice. The cat skidded to a halt and turned to look behind him. The human ran up, stopping to gasp and pant for breath a few feet away from him. No matter how fast he ran or how far the human had followed him. Why? Why would someone do such a stupid thing? The human regained his breath and then smiled at him. The cat looked up at him with cautious eyes.

"Sorry, I just wanted to know if maybe you wanted to have dinner with me?" The cat blinked "I had enough money today to buy a fish. I'm not going to eat it all so why don't you help me?"

The human's smile and generosity confused him. He knew he should run. It was probably a trap anyway, but when the human walked forward and lifted him back up into his arm the cat found he could do nothing but sink into the comforting warmth.

Where the man lived was not particularly clean, but it was a sturdy shelter and kept out the rain and cold. He had a fire and when they entered the cat saw a large feline with fur of cream and brown curled up in front of it. 'This cream colored cat must be the man's pet' the cat thought. Quickly the cat tried to escape again from the man's arms but the human held him tight. "America." The human called, causing the cream colored cat to lift its head. The human walked over and set him down in front of the other cat. The cat prepared himself for a fight, but oddly the cream colored cat, who apparently was called America, only looked at him with bright blue eyes. His eyes, the cat noted, looked surprisingly like his master's own blue eyes. "What do you think we should call him?" the human asked America.

The cat stilled, looking up at the human who was kneeling down beside them. He wanted to give him a name? Why? Wasn't he only here for a quick meal? Why? Something inside of him that was warm like the fire a few feet away wrapped around his chest. He had never had a name. No one had ever given him one. The human looked down at him and after a moment smiled sadly. "You remind me of someone I use to know." He whispered softly. He stroked a hand down the cat's back. "I think I'll call you England."

England. He liked the way the name sounded. The human stood up and walked away, leaving England and America alone in front of the warm fire. England looked back to America, still waiting for the cat to attack him. The fat cream colored cat just gave him a wide grin and moved over. "Come on, lay down. You look frozen." America offered. England didn't want to. He didn't want to be in such a vulnerable position, but yet his body hurt all over and the fire felt so nice. In exhaustion he flopped down. The cream colored cat laid his head on his paws "You'll like Alfred. He's really nice."

And so they lived like that for two winters.

England had not planned to stay. Yet every time he had tried to leave something, he could not explain it, pulled him back. He felt bound and anchored as if there were some kind of collar around his neck. He detested collars and at one point had asked America why he willingly wore one. America had simply replied that it did not bother him. To him it was a symbol of pride. The human had tried to put a collar on him but England had hissed and moved away.

The human he and America lived with was a writer of some sort; though England never saw him publishing anything. The human mainly spent his time playing his guitar and scratching away with a quill pen on parchment. The human's nearly daily ritual seemed to consist of getting up early, leaving the residence, and then returning late at night. England had once asked America where the human went nearly every day and he replied "He goes to make money to feed us." It had not taken long for England to realize that America adored his owner. It was more than evident considering America would always greet the man at the door and sleep curled around his head at night. How a cat could adore a human was beyond him, however, England had to admit that at least this human had never hurt him.

While the human was gone was mainly when America and England would venture out into the city. There were benefits to having a friend, England soon found out. He no longer had to watch out all the time for dogs, horse drawn carriages, or pigs. Having America with him allowed him to relax a little more and concentrate on hunting. America had also taken him up to a secluded rooftop where they did not need to worry about predators while they took their afternoon naps. It had taken some time but England had grown accustomed to America's constant presences. The other feline was a glutton, a bit scatter brained at times, and in England's opinion a little to kitten like… but he knew America meant well and was kind. Nearly every sunset they would sit atop the roof and groom one another after a good meal.

Then one night the human came home ill. He did not greet America or England, as was his usual action after arriving back home. Instead he leaned against the doorway and after a few staggering steps he collapsed to the ground. America had cried out and England could only stare in shock. America had done what he could, purring and rubbing against the man's head, licking his hands, but there was not much a cat could do. Eventually the human regained consciousness and managed to crawl himself into the bed, where he progressively got worse day after day. To help, America had taken up a permanent position circled around the human's head and every once in a while he would lick off all the sweat from his brow. He never moved from that spot and when England would try to persuade him otherwise he would hiss and remain resolute by saying "I must keep him warm." This had left England responsible for hunting all the mice, which he would do every night and bring America what he had caught.

With every passing day the man's coughs grew louder and weaker. His temperature rose and his coloring diminished. England began to notice the faint scent of death that began to seep into the room, but said nothing. Every day seemed like the slow droning tick of a grandfather clock. England was filled with a growing urgency and helplessness that he could not explain. He wanted the human to get well. He wanted America to smile and go hunting with him like they used did. With every passing second he felt as if the life he had grown to love was slowly slipping away and he was powerless to stop it. All they could do was wait.

One night the man had brokenly whispered for them to bring him the pen and parchment. England had done this, hoping it was a sign that the man was getting better. The man began to write and then after a moment set down the pen and folded the paper, setting it in front of England. "I know you two can understand me." The human whispered. "I need you two to do me one last thing." He pointed over to his desk, where a stack of papers laid "Take my story to the east, to a village called Holy Night." His head turned to look upward toward America "Take it to Arthur. He… needs to read it. Please." America licked the man's forehead, silently giving the human their promise.

That night the human died, and with his last breath England realized he had lost the only human he had ever trusted.

They set off that night. England had managed to tie the stack of parchment to America's back so that they could walk freely and not have to drag it. They left the city and had reached the countryside when America had stopped and said "He spent his life for us." He looked to England "We have you make sure it gets there." England nodded, and they began walking again.

So many questions were practically screaming in England's head. Why did the human have to die? Why were they doing this? What was this story? Why was delivering it so important to the human? England asked America but he refused to answer. Since his owner's death the rather jolly cat had grown rather distant and silent. England didn't know why, but America's depression saddened him greatly. He wanted America to show him that smile again. That smile that made him feel so happy.

With the story strapped tightly to America's back they walked through snow covered roads and through dark forests. They walked through the countryside, towns, and farms. Every time they would come across other humans they would shout at them and throw rocks, mainly at England. America would growl and hiss, protecting him. The humans would then resort to calling them names. They would shout the same names that they used to do not so long ago. Yet this time England realized they did not hurt him as much as they had. He realized, with a swell of pride that it was because what they said didn't matter. They could yell and scream whatever they wanted, but it didn't change who he was and they couldn't take away his name. The name that the kind human had given him, England. With warmth and kindness the human had named him England. Even if the humans still hated him and scorned him, his life now had meaning.

They continue on, day and night. They only stopped to rest and eat before continuing on yet again.

They finally made it to the town. They ignored the pelting rain and walked down the sidewalk as America looked for the house they were after. When they had spotted it across the street England had been so relieved that he had raced forward. The moment his paws touched the cobblestone street it seemed to him that time stopped. He heard the clattering of wheels and the loud clomping of horse hooves. He turned his head to see a carriage and its steed galloping toward him. There was no time to dodge it, no time to flee back to the safety of the sidewalk. With wide eyes he watched the carriage come closer and closer.

Then there was a vicious yowl and time went back to normal as something slammed into him and sent him flying. He tumbled head over paws across the street, smacking into the wall with a load crack. He felt and heard his front leg snap.

He yowled as pain filled his mind. When he opened his eyes his vision was blurry. His ears rung. He thought he could hear voices calling out. America? Where was he? They had to get to the house. They were so close. He rose up on his paws but his front leg gave out under him. He gritted his teeth and tried again. He rose up on his paws, shook his head to clear his vision.

He saw America lying in the road, his cream colored fur smeared with red. He stumbled forward, ignoring the busy chatter of the humans gathering around them. He managed to make it to where America was. "Why?" he mewed "America why?"

America opened his eyes, but they were bloodshot. He could not see. "Is that you England?" He sniffed "Yes, it is. Are you alright?" England didn't answer, just rubbed his head against America. "I'm glad."

"Why. Why you bloody idiot."

America was quiet and then smiled "Because I love you, and I want you to live and find what I found." Blood pooled under his head.

England's eyes began to fill with tears. He raised his head and let out a mournful howl.

Why! Dear god why!? They were so close. He turned to look at the house. It was only just a few meters away. Why!? He closed his eyes and turned back to America. He lowered his body down into the mud and curled around America's still body. He would not leave him, he would never leave him. He now understood why America had never left that human's side.

"Get these beasts out of the road!"

"Ew! That's disgusting. How revolting."

England looked around them. How dare they! They killed America and they had the audacity to complain and look down upon them. He growled. How could they be so heartless? So cruel? They weren't humans, they were monsters.

England heard the splashing of water just behind them. His head whipped around as he saw a man walking down the steps of the little white house. The man seemed to be looking at a pocket watch. He touched on the last step and then looked up, noticing the commotion. His eyes immediately fell on England.

Was this the human? Was this Arthur? England meowed. Scarlet colored his vision. He shook his head, trying to clear it away. In an instant he felt as if he were being carried. He was surrounded in warmth and pressed against something firm. That was the last he remembered as he simply relaxed and gave into despair.

The next time England awoke he was nestled on a pillow before a roaring fire. He blinking in confusion and tried to get up but his front right leg was encased in some kind of bondage.

"Oh, you are awake."

England turned to see the man from earlier. He was sitting on a couch looking over a stack of parchment. Now hearing his voice England was able to detect a slight difference in the way he spoke. It seemed very formal and proper. He gasped. America! Where was America? He tried to get up but his leg was bandaged. With only one front leg he struggled to his feet and hopped over to where the human sat. He gazed up at him and meowed.

"If you are asking about your friend I wrapped him in a sheet and buried him." He set the papers aside, leaned down, lifted England into his arms, and then walked him over to a window. He pulled back the curtain. Behind the man's house was an extensive and beautiful garden. In the middle of a garden, surrounded by what looked to be tulips, was a blossoming apple tree. England noticed the small circle of newly unturned dirt near the tree's roots. "I buried him beneath the apple tree." The human continued to say. "After all, he always had loved sleeping under that tree."

England turned to look up at the man once more. Did this man know America? Had he also known America's owner? The human sighed heavily and then came back to sit on the couch again. He allowed England to wiggle out of his arms and maneuver himself next to where he sat. The human then picked up the papers once more. England touched them with his paw and sniffed them. Yes, these were the papers he and America had brought all this way.

There was a long silence and then the asked "Do you want to know what it says?" England was shocked by the man's question. Did he know that England could understand him? Naturally all animals could understand humans; it was just humans who had lost the universal language somewhere along their evolution. England settled down into a sitting position and meowed.

The human smiled, though it didn't reach his emerald green eyes. "It's a story about two little boys and their foolish promise to always be the best of friends." The man took a steadying breath as he turned the page. "Every summer the boys would spend playing together and they would dread the days when summer ended because it meant going with their parents back to the city. They lived in different cities you see." He tuned another page "The boys would always, somehow or another, get into some kind of mischief. Mostly because the one boy, who had not a lick of common sense, would get the other boy, who just wanted to read books, into trouble." He chuckled "But he was always there to get him out of it; usually by making up these horridly impossible stories about dragons, pixies, and the like."

He turned the page "Then the time came when the boys were older and they were sent off to school. They didn't see each other again until they returned. By that time both of them were nearly men. It was their last summer before they would have to go abroad and see the world. They made the most of that summer and spent nearly every moment together. They played in the fields of wildflowers, swam in the river, and even found a stray kitten and took it in. In this constant company they slowly began to realize they preferred each other over everyone else." He sighed again "It was during this time that one of them realized he didn't need or want anyone else. He told this to the other boy, despite how dangerous he knew saying it out loud was. The other boy was absolutely scared out of his mind... and yet he was happy. They shared a kiss at sunset under the blossoming apple tree."

The man leaned back his head, taking several steadying breaths. After a moment England pawed at the man's arm "They made a promise to one another that after they were done with their education they would return and run away together. But it didn't happen as they'd hoped. At a party the more adventurous young man accidentally stumbled upon a newly engaged girl saying goodbye to her lover back behind the house. Thinking that he would tell and ruin her reputation she ran to her father and accused the young man of compromising her." The man's chuckle was as cold as ice "He had an alibi, but not one that he could use. For you see that night the two men had snuck off to kiss and give themselves to one another. He had stumbled upon the girl just after they had parted. So all he could do was protest that he had not committed any act against her. Her brother and fiancé, however ,did not believe him and challenged him to a duel."

"On a rainy fall afternoon they met in a field, chose their weapons, and walked the paces. The young man had no wish to hurt anyone. So when he turned he aimed high, but the other man shot first and it grazed his shoulder, causing him to flinch and instead of shooting high it aimed low. The other man died. The young man was disowned by his family. He left that night without a word."

He turned the page "Many years passed and the more quiet young man grew older and eventually made a name for himself. His family urged him to marry but he would have none of it. He preferred his anonymity, because his resentment of the world furthered his wish to be alone. Then one day he receives a letter containing a song... written just for him.

Because of you I'm lying awake at night
All I'm seeing is pictures of you
As I close my eyes
I fade my way into the laws of my dream world

It's a place of trust
Will you meet me there?
There's no time to spare
Come on show me you care
Here we can make anything become real

All of my dreams are all I see
Try not to wake me can't you see
All of my dreams are all I wanna see
Try not to wake me, try not to wake me

Because of you my tries to not think of you
They just end up in one million thoughts
It's way too much to mention
See what I mean, when you see my creation

It's a place of trust
I can meet you there
There's no time to spare
Come on show me you care
What you believe in will here become real

All of my dreams are all I see
Try not to wake me can't you see
All of my dreams are all I wanna see
Try not to wake me, try not to wake me

Trapped inside my own dreams
I'm not complaining
Leave behind a lie of any kind
Here it can disappear

All of my dreams are all I see
Try not to wake me

In the letter there was also a note, telling him to got to the inn of Whitefall that very night. Under the cover of darkness the man left, found the inn, and then went up to the room. There, he finds him. The adventurous young man is significantly older, but they recognize each other immediately. That night they ride off together and spend the rest of their lives in happiness."

The man turned the last page and folded his hands in his lap. England looked up at the man, wondering why he was so sad. His alarm only grew when droplets of water started dripping from the man's eyes. "You bloody idiot." He sucked in a breath and then began to cry.

In that moment England understood. He realized who America and his human were to this man and what had happened between them. England looked over to the last page. Scribbled at the bottom corner it said 'I hope this reaches you. If you get this it probably means I am dead. I want you to have it. I want us to have the life we should have had. Even if it is just another one of those silly stories you always teased me about. I'm sorry, for everything. I will and always have loved you. I'll be waiting.'

England slowly made his way back into the man's lap. This man had loved America's owner, just as he had loved America. The anguish the man was feeling the cat understood all to well. He pressed his head against the man's chest. It felt odd to him because he had never offered comfort before, but he had seen America do it plenty of times. He leaned up and licked the man's cheek. The human's arms wrapped around him. In that moment England made a vow to always be at this man's side. He now understood why America had always been so faithful to his human, because to him his owner had never been a human. There came a time when what species you were didn't matter. You loved and understood them as easily as you did yourself.

He let the man cry and hold him until he fell asleep on the couch.

The next morning the sun was high and beautiful in the sky. The garden shimmered with the morning dewdrops. England padded through the wet grass over to America's grave and gently set down a rose on the fresh soil. He sat down and after a moment he heard the human come up behind him. "You really loved him, didn't you?" England didn't answer, but then again the human hadn't expected him to. Arthur kneeled down beside him and began petting his back as he hummed.

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving

When I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

And still I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed


A/N: I wanted to try creating a fic that would invoke emotion and possibly bring a reader to tears. I do not exactly know if I have done that? This fic is rather a first for me. I usually hate sad endings and stick with more adult erotic themes. This is one of the few stories I have ever written that does not have a yaoi scene in it. This idea, or rather the idea for a sad story, has been poking around in my head for some time- ever sense I saw 'Les Miserables'. Then a friend of mine showed me the amv to the song 'K' (or Holy Knight) by Bump of the Chicken and I knew it was the perfect plot premise. I set the story during the Regency Era because I thought it would fit better and explain why Arthur and Alfred could not be together normally. I wrote it from the perspective of the cat because I wanted the reader, throughout the story, to feel just as confused, helpless, and sad as the cat. I didn't want to just give away everything at the start, but rather let the reader discover and make the connections for themself. It took a long time to complete this because I was battling midterms, studying, and trying to type with only one hand because my other arm is broken. All in all I am rather happy with the outcome. I hope you readers enjoyed! Hopefully I will have more free time to finish up my other works soon enough.

'I dreamed a dream' from Les Miserables

'Trapped' by Dead by April