"We've got a 406, A."
Alfred Foster Jones, or A, as he was renamed roughly three years ago, groaned in irritation. "Another 406? This is seriously like, the hundredth one this week!"
"Ninety third," L, A's stoic, German partner corrected. A still wasn't sure what L's real, full name was, but for the last two and a half years, he had kind of made it his own personal mission to find out.
"Close enough, eh…..Lawrence?" he asked with a questioning wince. L shook his head. "Ah, damnit."
"Lawrence was a terrible guess."
A shrugged. "Still better than yesterday's guess of Ludwig. Anyway, where we off to?"
L clicked open the garage connected to their office in the department of extraterrestrial motor vehicles, and unlocked the sleek, black Volkswagen A hated so, so much. "Your favorite," L replied, slipping into the driver's seat. "The airport."
A immediately perked up. "Air traffic control?" he asked excitedly.
A rare, small smile crossed L's lips. "Air traffic control."
Arthur Kirkland like to think of himself as a sane, fully functioning member of society.
Sure, he had a habit of hitting the bottle, but it was never until he was off work! And okay, there was that seeing fairies and unicorns thing, but that only happened on super rare occasions when he was low on sleep! It was nothing like seeing...seeing...
Oh bloody hell, he had seen an UFO.
The speaker near the elevator buzzed, and one of Arthur's coworkers quickly rushed to it. "Yes?" he asked, checking over his shoulder periodically to assess his well-being.
"This is Doctor Black and Mister White from Human Resources, we got a call-"
"Dude, what the hell? Why do you get the medical degree?"
"Shush! Ahem. We were called about an incident involving a Mister Kirkland?"
Arthur raised an eyebrow. He didn't remember any of the HR representatives having a German accent, but in light of the circumstances, he brushed it off for now. His coworker buzzed the men in and quickly returned to his post in the window, and Arthur took a deep breath, trying to calm himself lest he come off even crazier than he sounded already.
Two blond men in suits walked through the door. The serious looking one gestured to the aloof looking one behind him, who rolled his eyes and nodded before walking over in his direction across the room.
"Excuse me," Dr. Serious bellowed (and Arthur wasn't surprised to note he was the German), gaining everyone's attention. "I'm going to need to speak with all of you for a moment."
Arthur pulled his attention away and focused it back on the (hmm...actually rather attractive) man approaching him, a big, out of place for the situation, smile spread across his face. Arthur's nose crinkled as he studied the man's handsome, boyish features. Maybe he was going crazy after all, because he could almost swear he'd seen that smile someplace before.
Arthur Kirkland had been A's not-so-secret crush for the better part of the last three years. Working in air traffic control, the poor man had seen more UFO's than even A or L, and had been a very reliable source of information for many of their cases.
A liked to think that he had gotten to know Arthur fairly well over the years, having worked together on so many occasions. He knew, for example, that he was born in England, had four brothers (three older, one younger), and owned a Scottish Fold named Crumpet. He knew that he was easily flustered, would never back down from a fight, and had a pierced lip, though he took out the ring five years ago in hopes that it would close.
The only problem? Every single time A and Arthur had ever worked together had been completely wiped from his memory.
It was required procedure to wipe the memory of every civilian that happened across any extraterrestrial activity, in order to keep the public calm and ignorant to what was going on behind the scenes. As such, the MIB standard issue Neuralizer had quickly become A's least favorite gadget ever.
While there were a few times A had been more than happy to wipe the man's memory (the time Arthur had nearly broken his nose when he accidentally grabbed his ass stood out in his mind), there were more than enough times it was almost painful to do so.
Every once and a while, Arthur would flirt back, and on one occasion, A even manage to snag his number! This did no good as he couldn't call it, obviously, but just think of all the potential they could have if Arthur was only allowed to remember him.
A took a deep breath and smiled as comfortingly as he could down at the frazzled man as he approached. Arthur was never very good at coming to terms with the extraterrestrial.
"Good evening, Mr. Kirkland!" he chirped, pulling up a chair across from his. "My name is A—I mean Mr. White. I just wanted to ask you a few questions about what you saw tonight, okay?"
"Fire away, I suppose," Arthur mumbled, rubbing his temples.
A smiled sympathetically. "Around what time did you see the, uh, unidentifiable object?" he knew better than to outright say "UFO" to Arthur at this point.
"About ten o'clock."
"And could you describe it for me?"
Arthur nodded, scrunching up his nose in that adorable way he did when he was thinking. "It was large. Almost double the size of a normal jet. And it, it was the strangest thing, but it was round. Like a saucer. I couldn't for the life of me figure as to where the engine was located." He paused, letting out a breathy sigh. "You must think me positively daft."
A shook his head. "Not at all Arth- I mean Mr. Kirkland! We've actually had quite a few similar sightings this week," he lied. He hated lying, but seeing Arthur so distressed made him want to do anything to make it better.
Thankfully, Arthur did seem to find comfort in this. His shoulder's relaxed and a small, barely there smile snuck onto his lips. "That is comforting."
A big flash behind him distracted them for a moment, and A felt a surge of panic as Arthur leaned to the right to get a better look at what was going on with L and his coworkers. "What was that?" he asked, rising an eyebrow.
"Nothing!" A exclaimed. "Back to the questions! Uh, did you happen to see any windows or doors on the craft?" he spat out frantically. Thankfully, Arthur took the bait, as he settled back onto his chair and pursed his lips.
"I don't recall any," he mused to himself. "Perhaps one or two windows. There may have been a few, but there was this very bright blue light above where they may have been, so it was difficult to see clearly."
A's eyes widened. "Blue light?" he asked. "Now when you say blue, do you mean a deep, dark blue, or a bright, almost white blue?"
"Almost white," Arthur replied mater-of-factually. "It was very bright. Almost blinded me for a moment, in fact."
A groaned internally. A saucered UFO without any visible windows and a bright, bluish white light? It could only mean one thing.
Arthur blinked. "Excuse me?"
"L, we got a PC," A called over his shoulder.
L moaned. "Scheiße. Okay, get Kirkland neuralized and let's go."
Arthur, understandably, looked completely flustered and confused. "L? Polysci September, what?" he exclaimed. "What the blazes is going on here?"
A glanced at him sadly out of the corner of his eye. Another successful Arthur interaction down the hole. "Sorry Arthur," he sighed, slipping on his sunglasses and pulling the Neuralizer out from his coat pocket. "Until next time."
"Hey there, Feli!" A called, waving to the perky little Italian behind the counter.
Feliciano beamed, waving back at A and L happily. "Ciao!" he sang, "I will get your menus in uno minuti!"
L flushed. "Take your time."
After reporting their findings to HQ, A and L decided to visit the premier ET hang out spot in the city, a small Italian restaurant run by the Vargas brothers, Lovino and Feliciano. The brothers were, of course, completely unaware that ninety percent of their customers were not of this earth, but Pasta Partito had become such a valuable place to gather information, as well as lunch, that they kept that information to themselves.
They sat down in their usual booth in the front window, and sighed in contentment at being able to rest their feet. After the trip back to headquarters and all that paperwork, it was nearly eleven in the morning, and neither had gotten any sleep.
A yawned, opening up his menu as Feliciano skipped by and dropped them off. Finally, after a few moments, he cleared his throat. L looked up at him expectantly.
"So, I've been thinking, L," he drawled.
L raised an eyebrow. "That is never gut."
"Shut up." He pouted. "It's just... Doesn't this all seem kinda pointless? Running to the airport every time a UFO is spotted?"
"What else would we do?"
A shrugged. "I dunno... Cut out the middle man?"
"I'm serious!" he insisted. "Why not, instead of sending the info down the line like a freaking telegram, we recruit Arthur to the agency? He could work under cover!" His eyes lit up as the idea formed more and more in his head. "Arthur sees the UFO, Arthur reports to HQ about the UFO, we spend our time doing the actual hands-on field work we both signed up for!"
L sighed. "A..."
"L," A interrupted, "Arthur as seen more UFOs in the last three years than we have. He would be such a great resource if we would just stop erasing everything he sees."
They paused their conversation as Feliciano arrived back at the table to take their order. A couldn't help but smile as he watched L and Feliciano. They couldn't keep their eyes off each other.
"You wouldn't understand, dude," A said once Feliciano left. "You've never had to neuralize Feli." He fiddled with the straw in his Coke and looked out the window, wistfully. "But try to imagine how I feel. I mean, what's gonna happen the day a fight breaks out here, and the two guys in the Hawaiian shirts over there reveal themselves to be Zeta Reticuli from the Zeta Reticulan star system." He smiled sadly. "And you'll have to erase his memory of everything that happened. A whole chunk of his memory, gone."
L was quiet for a long time, and despite himself, his eyes continued to find Feliciano throughout the room. Finally, after taking a deep breath, he sighed, "You'll have to talk to the boss. He's very strict about hiring new agents."
That was all A needed to hear.
"I'm gonna do it, guys! I'm gonna ask the boss to make Arthur an agent!"
G and Tony blinked away from their video game just long enough to shoot each other a look before turning back. "Air traffic control Arthur?" G asked, pressing buttons furiously.
"Fucking bitch." Tony grumbled.
"Yep!" A rubbed his hands together in anticipation. "I've got a meeting with Y in twenty to talk about it."
G pumped his fist into the air in victory having thrown Tony over the side of the map. "Well, if you think he'll go for it," he said, sitting back down with a shrug. "Four to one, by the way Tony. Fuck yeah, I'm awesome!"
"Of course he'll go for it," A insisted. "He's in the perfect position to gather information, he's super smart, and everyone likes him! Right Tony?"
Tony, A's small, Gray, alien friend, and reason he was asked to join the MIB in the first place, gave him a 'you gotta be shitting me' look over his shoulder.
It was painfully obvious to everyone but A himself that Tony was not the biggest fan of Arthur. It was because of Tony randomly showing up out of nowhere whenever A tried contacting him out of work that Arthur still always ended up neuralized anyway, successfully thwarting any and all of A's attempts.
A, of course, saw this as Tony's way of saying he wanted to get to know Arthur better, and never figured out that he was really trying to keep them apart.
"Well, best of luck buddy," G chirped. "Knock 'em dead!"
Chief Agent Y was a small man from China who ran the MIB with an iron fist. He was, essentially, the perfect boss, strict, but not unreasonable, intimidating, but approachable, intelligent, but modest. He had been the one to notice the unregistered Gray living in young Alfred's college dorm room, and after seeing the connection between the two (as well as Alfred's skill at flying Tony's UFO), offered them both a position with the agency.
A knocked on the heavy, silver door twice before Y's accented voice ushered him in with a "Yes, yes, come in."
Y sat at his desk, flipping through files and taking notes. He glanced up as A walked in and pushed the paperwork aside, motioning him in with his hand. "Hello Agent A, please have a seat," he said with a nod. A nodded back and took a seat on the circular chair in front of the desk. "What was it you wanted to talk to me about?" Y asked.
A fidgeted with his hands. "Well, it's more of a...proposition."
Y narrowed his eyes. "I'm listening."
"Well, you see," A began, "there is this guy who works at the airport, over in air traffic control and-"
"Arthur Kirkland," Y interrupted, typing something into his computer. With an exaggerated click of the enter key, the screen was projected onto the east wall of the office, showing page after page of information on Arthur. His birth certificate, his driver's license, W2 forms, retirement plans, diplomas, and so on.
Y smirked at the shocked look on A's face. "You and L have used him as a references for many cases," he explained with a smirk. "You can't expect me not to do my research."
A laughed a little nervously, feeling a bit hot under the collar with Arthur's driver's license picture leering over his shoulder. "R-right. Yeah, Arthur Kirkland." He coughed. "Well, ya see, I think Kirkland would be a really good addition to the agency," he explained, leaning forward enthusiastically. "He's seen and identified countless UFOs, he's super smart and very professional, and I just-"
"-it would cut out os much time if we—What?"
Y smiled. "You have my permission to offer Kirkland a position at this agency."
A's grin was a mile wide. "You wont regret this sir! I promise!" he jumped up and shook Y's hand energetically. Y laughed.
"I am sure I wont. Make sure you approach the topic with him delicately, though," he warned. "There is a very good chance he will think you're crazy."
"I knew I wasn't crazy!" Arthur exclaimed, slamming his fist onto the table, and successfully attracting the attention of most of the other diners. Alfred laughed weakly and waved off the stares. He knew he should have taken him to Pasta Partito, weird things were much more normal there.
"I don't get it," A said, shaking his head. "We erased your memory! How do you remember seeing UFOs?"
Arthur scoffed. "As if I would report every single solitary time I saw something strange. I would be locked up in an instant!" He smiled to himself, jittery and excited, like he had just proved something he had been striving to prove for years (and, A realized, maybe he was). "This changes everything!" he breathed. "All these years...It all makes so much sense!"
A smiled, feeling all warm and fuzzy for making Arthur so happy. "I can't believe how well you're taking this! I just about freaked the fuck out when I found out."
Arthur shrugged, sipping at his tea. "If you've spent your entire bloody career thinking you've lost it, only to find out that all the saucers and spacemen and men in suits you've seen are real, you would be right jolly yourself."
"Men in suits?" A gulped.
Arthur grinned, smugly. "One should probably learn to erase someone's memory from a second before they walk in a room, rather than after. You've been flashing through my memory for years now, lad."
A didn't care if he was reading too far into it, but that sounded an awful lot like flirting to him. Flirting he could definitely get used to.
It didn't take long to Arthur to make it through training. It turned out the Englishman was quite handy with a gun (big pirate fanatic and historian, apparently), and thanks to all of his encounters that he kept secret, he could identify almost all of the UFOs he was shown on his first try. Soon all that was left was signing the paperwork, and surrendering his old identity.
Y stood rigidly behind his desk, his eyes set on Arthur and his mouth a thin, serious line. "Arthur Kirkland, are you ready to accept the responsibilities held by the MIB special services?" he asked.
"Yes I am," Arthur replied.
"You'll dress only in attire specially sanctioned by MiB special services," Y remarked. "You'll conform to the identity we give you, eat where we tell you, live where we tell you. From now on you'll have no identifying marks of any kind. You'll not stand out in any way. Your entire image is crafted to leave no lasting memory with anyone you encounter. You're a rumor, recognizable only as deja vu and dismissed just as quickly. You don't exist; you were never even born. Anonymity is your name. Silence your native tongue."
Arthur nodded. "I understand, sir."
Y let slip a small smile and turned his head to Agents A and E at his side. "E," he said, nodding at the young woman. "If you would accompany Mr. Kirkland to the final stage? G should be there waiting for you."
"You bet, sir." She winked at A before grabbing onto Arthur's arm and pulling him from the room. "Say goodbye to your old life, Artie!"
Once they were out, A let out the breath he had been holding and relaxed his shoulders. "Can't believe this is actually happening!" he sighed.
"The only thing left is to figure out his new name," Y mused, taking his seat at his computer and opening up Arthur's file. "A is already taken obviously."
A bit his lip. "I was actually thinking maybe Ar? Like A-R? Sounds like R, but still works. We kinda did that with Em, remember?"
Y nodded in agreement, and deleted Arthur's entire name from the system, save for the A and R. "Ar he is." He peaked at A over the the screen. "I think he will make a fine partner for you."
A froze. "Partner?" he asked. "But what about L?"
Y furrowed his brow. "A, he quit almost three days ago."
"What?" he exclaimed. "Why didn't anyone tell me? Why didn't he tell me?"
"You have been busy supervising Ar's training." Y explained. "And... well, you know him. I'm sure he figured that if he told you, you would have tried to stop him."
"Damn right I would have tried to stop him!" A cried. "Where is he?"
"G neuralized him, A, he wont-"
"Just tell me where he is!"
Y sighed. "Where else would he be?"
"Ciao, Mr. Rogers, Mr. Stark!" Feliciano called. "I will have your menus in uno minuti!"
"Sounds good, Feli!" A called back with a grin. "Take your time!"
A and Ar took their seats at their usual spot in the window, as Ar scoffed. "What ridiculous names," he groaned. "Honestly. You couldn't have picked something, I don't know, more mature?"
A chuckled. "Hey now rookie, when you've been working as long as I have, you can pick the names."
They chatted to themselves, reviewing their cases for the rest of the day, until the waiter arrived with their menus. "Here you are," he grunted, handing one out to each of them.
"Ludwig!" Feli called from behind the counter. "Don't forget to smile!"
The poor waiter looked back at him, obviously weary, but sighed and forced out a (kind of frightening) smile anyway. "Have a good meal," he bit out, trying to be a cheery as possible, before shuffling awkwardly away.
Ar chuckled. "Glad to see things are going well for him," he remarked, smiling at A from under his eyelashes.
A nodded. "The liar." He smirked. "I totally guessed Ludwig."
MIB AU! Not entirely sure where this came from, I just really like Men in Black, okay? XD Hope you enjoyed!