Love and Respect by Anon007
Pairing(s): Future CanAme and FrUK, maybe more to come.
AN: IMPORTANT NOTICE! This is my first story (for anyone else to read anyways so forgive the sucky portrayal). I'm also not the most punctual so don't expect quick updates and I lose inspiration at a quick-ish rate so if anyone knows any nice CanAmeCan story that isn't in my faves list point it out please? Also Reviews and Constructive Criticism are highly appreciated.
Warnings: AU, Possible yaoi later on (maybe), CanAme, FrUk...and that's all I can think of right now.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot.
Many Thank You's to my beta Willowfur and Piper
"Alfred!" an accented voice called from a corner in a small house in a practically stuck-in-the-past village in what the inhabitants of said house (mostly Alfred) liked to privately call 'Nowhereville, USA' because of its distance from any other town or city.
Sky-blue eyes looked up from the newly-made and newly-broken toy they were examining.
"Could you come here for a few minutes lad?"
"Sure thing dad!" Alfred chirped and, with a ruffle to his 'daughter's 'jet black hair and a promise to try and fix her toy later, took off to his father's sitting room. (Which really wasn't all that much of a sitting room, just a small chair and side table and a tiny bookshelf, all handmade, in a corner of the house near the window.)
Arthur Kirkland let a sigh of pure weariness escape slightly chapped lips after he called his now twenty-year-old son to his corner of the house, running his hand through his blond hair.
Bright Green eyes surveyed the slightly cramped area consisting of only a bookshelf with well-worn books, from the amount of times read to age to their being second-hand ,from The Lord of the Rings, The Time Machine and Sherlock Holmes and to more child-suited books such as The Cat In The Hat, The Lion King, Harry Potter and The Bartimaeus Trilogy , and a side table (and of course his rocking chair but he couldn't actually properly view it as he was sitting in it).
All unpainted and in need of a serious polishing and sanding. (Especially the chair he was sitting in. There were some bumps with serious splinter-potential rubbing against his back and rear). Heck their entire wooden house was unpainted and in need of fixing up never mind what was inside.
All of that was about to change, Arthur mused, licking his lips and staring at a letter in his hands.
"You called, Eyebrows?" Alfred asked, walking around the bookshelf to face his father, now termed 'Eyebrows', and subconsciously pushing his wire-framed glasses up his nose as he did so.
One of the referenced 'Eyebrows' twitched in irritation.
"How many times do I have to tell you?" Arthur asked through gritted teeth, making it sound more like a statement, "It's either 'Arthur', 'Father', 'Dad' or any variation thereof. Not. EYEBROWS." Fullstop.
In response to this Alfred laughed.
"Chill out dude! Though seriously those things are huge!" he chirped.
Taking a deep breath and mentally counting back from ten so as to at least explain his reason for calling Alfred before he throttled the child - because Alfred was still his child regardless of whether he was 12, 20 or 80 years old-, Arthur asked:
"Do you not want to know why I called you in the first place?"
"Like duh, but if you insist," here Alfred straightened his posture, tucked his hands behind his back, cleared his throat and said in his best imitation of a British Accent, "Please, Father, Proceed."
Inwardly rolling his eyes at his son's display of drama, he did as requested.
"Do you remember when I mentioned that I had managed to slip an application letter past the checkpoint?" Arthur asked.
Alfred nodded, slightly puzzled as well as a bit apprehensive. Did this mean that..?
"I got a reply this morning." was the response, which was met with a widening of blue eyes.
"They accepted it?!" Alfred exclaimed, letting his posture drop, already planning what their move was going to be once they got out and into the city.
And yet another part of him was dreading the response: What if he had been turned down? What then? Would they continue to wallow here? What if the council found out about their little secret?
And yet the thought of that 'little secret' made his heart warm for a brief moment. Despite the fact that she wasn't his, Alfred loved his (unofficially) adopted daughter, Ariana, dearly. But back on track now.
"Yes. Yes they did. They expect us within a week; I turn out three days after that time. They have a house ready for us with 'all modern amenities' fit for three. The rent for the house doesn't look that bad and it comes out of my salary so that's one less thing I have to remember to pay. Apparently I get a car too - After I retake the test to get my license renewed but the idea stands. "
"Cool!" exclaimed the blue-eyed blond.
Needless to say, Alfred hadn't expected all that. He knew they were going to get a place to stay but he thought it would be a small thing like those apartments he heard about.
Maybe he'd finally get some time for himself and Ariana. Or even get to adopt her officially! Although she'd probably be his sister or something instead of his daughter, but that was okay. Now he was really hoping he didn't have to work long hours.
A part of his mind whispered that it wasn't a good idea to get his hopes up but he ignored it for now. He didn't want to spoil the good mood. He'd think about those things later.
"When do we start packing?!" Alfred asked excitedly, jumping up and down and causing his brown/blond hair to shine under the sun's dying light.
Arthur chuckled at his son's enthusiasm.
"I believe we can start about five days from now - so we can double check the day before." he replied. It wasn't like they had much to pack. Just the essentials. And a few toys and pictures but Arthur counted those things as essentials too.
After shooing his excited son off with a warning/reminder to not let people find out about Ariana (though he doubted Alfred needed it), Arthur made himself as comfortable as he could be and double checked the contents of the letter.
'Alright so we start packing on the 9th, leave on the 10th at around noon and we should be there by 2 to 2:30 pm. I start work on the 12th, so I should probably ask about good colleges in the area for Alfred before September starts.'
Hopefully there was one with space still available. Ariana would have to stay at a day-care until Alfred picked her up. He didn't know whether or not to be thankful that the place wouldn't be as busy as New York City. He felt that would be a bit too overwhelming for the sunny young man.
Of course having Ariana around meant he had another thing to add to his list: Getting her officially adopted.
She had shown up about two months ago covered in soot, twigs and leaves and with her clothes torn. It wasn't hard to guess where she'd come from.
There had been a big fire somewhere to the west of the village and they assumed no one survived. Although Arthur couldn't go to see it himself, he had heard tell from the other villagers...well not directly as most of the people considered it a bit of a social taboo to talk to them unless it couldn't be helped. Even Arthur's in-laws had left him. And what little family he had couldn't be found, incidentally.
When she had first arrived, they were planning on turning her over to the village authorities but some screams, many tears and Alfred and Arthur being christened 'Dad' and 'Grandpa' respectively ensured that they kept their silence as the council would never allow Alfred to be a dad owing to his status as unwedded...or that would be the village head's excuse at least.
It was no secret among the 'Elite' as the richest members of the village were jokingly called, that the current head of the village, Jared Sullivan, despised Arthur and by default anyone that shared his blood as well.
What was a secret was his reason for hating Arthur. It was generally believed his hostility stemmed from Arthur's position as an 'outsider', that meaning someone who came from another location and managed to 'worm' their way into one of the village's wealthiest families (They also believed that 'God's punishment had been bestowed upon him' when his and his wife's personal fortune started dwindling. Go figure.)
The truth was that Sullivan had abused his then newfound power to secretly rob Arthur of what his wife had left him in her will and, through rumours, ensured that he had been practically abandoned by his in-laws and barely made enough to feed himself and Alfred. All while Arthur was still grieving.
And to think, Arthur seethed, he had trusted that bastard, not knowing that the man had harboured 'affections' for his dear, beautiful Elise Kirkland (nee Jones) , which had turned into a raging jealousy that he had chosen to act upon.
To make matters worse, he had made sure that neither Arthur nor Alfred could leave the village and still hope to have a financially secure future and had ensured that, should they chance their luck, they would not be welcomed back.
Arthur had, of course, been informed of all this via the bastard's gloating after he had been discredited, away from prying ears.
Contacts, who just happened to have people in most of the largest companies in the city, had seemingly made sure of Arthur's bad luck in the job market.
God knows he had tried and tried to land a job somewhere. Anywhere where he was not in danger of being killed and care for Alfred was good enough. Nevermind if he ended up having to skip a few meals for the child's sake- he was already doing that -without Alfred's knowing of course. The boy would have, for lack of better words, a bitch fit.
Luckily, not all the villagers were such gullible simpletons who believed whatever gossip they were told
A little while after Ariana showed up, Arthur had managed to slip another Application Letter out with one of the few friends he had, for a job she had said was available and best suited for him. The benefits and pay was good, he had been told, enough for the two of them and then some. The fact that she knew the owner personally also had a little something to do with Arthur's rekindled spirits.
'Now, now Arthur' he thought to himself, 'Enough focusing on the past. Time to focus on the future.'
First things first though. Making sure Alfred cooked actual food for dinner tonight and not ramen or those artery-clogging, heart attacks on buns he called burgers or other things in that category. Even if, as Alfred somewhat rightfully protested, the latter 'were cheaper and it's not like we're feeding it to Ariana as well.'
If there was one thing they made sure of, it was that she, at least, got proper meals when they could afford it
But tonight, he figured it was high time for a small treat.