Warnings for : USUK
Alfred was nervously pacing in a circle near the languages rooms. Mumbling quietly "You can do this, Alfred, you can do this" over and over again with his arms tightly crossed on his chest. He let his eyes shyly direct themselves towards the end of the hallway where Arthur had been the previous day. It wasn't a big deal, he just had to walk by and talk to Arthur. He could do this.
Alfred groaned, ruffling his hair furiously. No, he couldn't do it!
Even though, Alfred knew he was being ridiculous and that he couldn't possibly wait for the English boy to initiate all of their meetings and conversations, his tendency to over-think everything made it all too difficult. What if Arthur had changed his mind and didn't want to talk to him after all? Or maybe he preferred to eat alone. Maybe it was a choice. He started burying his face in his hands, letting out a pitiful whine of frustration, anxiety and despair. What was he supposed to do! Yes, he wanted a friend, but he had never imagined that doing small things like saying hello to someone would turn out to be such a nightmare. He uneasily moved apart two of the fingers covering both of his eyes, allowing them to peek at the end of the hallway.
Alfred F. Jones you can do this, you can-
The dirty blonde let out a surprised yelp before turning violently on his heels, his hands still half-covering his eyes. He quickly shoved them into his pockets though at the sight of an inquisitive Arthur, standing in the hallway with a sandwich in his hand.
"A-Ah, hi, hum." He stammered, scratching the back of his head uncomfortably and looking at the ground. Alfred, you're the king of good impressions, he thought sarcastically to himself, trying hard not to roll his eyes.
"What are you doing here?" He asked, raising one of his bushy brows, the corners of his mouth slightly twitching downwards in the process. Alfred's wide blue orbs found Arthur's green ones and even he started to wonder why he was here. Pondering if he should just mumble an apology and go away as fast as the wind or make up some lie, his mouth reacted before his brain did and he blurted out in a non-coherent fashion, fidgeting and playing with his jacket's zipper : " I- Well, y'know, just- huh, passing by, and, heh, and you, well, ya know-" His index got caught in the zipper and he quickly brought his cut finger to his mouth with a loud : "Damn it!"
You're the king of good impressions and smoothness, Alfred, yes you are.
Arthur had stood still the entire time, the same inquisitive raised eyebrow and crossed arms facing the flustered dirty blonde boy. His mouth fell open slightly as his brows furrowed together, only to clasp shut again, sheer perplexity written all over his face.
"Okay..." He answered slowly, his eyes slightly narrowed at Alfred. Alfred chuckled nervously, not knowing what to answer to that. God, he hated himself right now. This time, Arthur would surely be the one to run away. He was so stupid!
"Do you want to eat with me?"
Alfred's eyes shot open. What? The question was asked so shyly and quietly that Alfred almost thought he had dreamed it, but there was Arthur, staring intensely at him, a tint of red on both cheeks, and very obviously waiting for an answer. After all this time spent worrying about how to ask him that question, Arthur was the one to offer to eat their lunch together! A large innocent smile crept onto Alfred's face and he nodded energetically.
"Yeah! Yeah, of course!" He said a bit too enthusiastically, his whole face lighting up in the matter of seconds. Arthur's eyes widened a bit at the American's reaction, obviously not expecting this sort of excitement to burst out of the boy who was always talking so shyly. Alfred bit the inside of his cheek worryingly and dropped his head, noticing the excess of enthusiasm in his voice. He was just so fucking smooth.
"W-Well, good then." Arthur practically mumbled, storming past Alfred, his gaze fixed on the ground, and from where he stood, Alfred could see that the tip of his ears were red. It sort of comforted him to know that the Brit had a hard time doing this as well, as sadistic as it may sound, but it almost made him feel kind of pathetic for letting Arthur do everything for him. After all, the punk was the one who had initiated their conversation in the bathroom, he was the one who had offered him a ride back home, he was the one who had asked about Star Trek and now he was the one who had offered to eat their lunch together. He really needed to get better at this social thing.
Suddenly feeling terrible for letting Arthur do all the hard work, he spun on his heels to follow the Briton.
"H-Hey, Arthur!" He called a bit shyly, taking advantage of this brief moment of bravery. He could already feel his cheeks heating up a bit.
The Briton stopped and turned his head at him, the light reddish color of his cheeks now visible to the dirty blonde.
"We could watch those Star Trek episodes this week-end."
Arthur's eyes went wide as he turned towards him completely, obviously shocked at the American's initiative. Alfred sent him a sheepish little smile that he hoped didn't make him look too foolish. He really didn't want to think of Arthur rejecting his offer, it would hurt whatever was left of his pride greatly.
"I... Yes." He finally said after a long, shocked silence, making Alfred beam in joy. Relief passed through his body as his tense shoulders dropped and he stopped playing nervously with his fingers. Alfred always had this habit of torturing the skin around his nails when he was stressed.
"Great!" He answered with a contented sigh. "Y-You could come to my place. Y'know, since you know the way, and stuff..." He added softly, rubbing the back of his neck and sending a shy and hopeful smile to the Briton.
"Okay." Arthur let out with a breath he hadn't know he was holding, an embarrassed and stunned expression on his face. "Saturday at your place it is then."
"Yeah!" The American replied with a huge grin, radiating happiness, and Arthur found that he could only shy away from the boy with a blush and mumbled words.
Fuck this irresistible smile. Fuck it, Arthur thought with a growl, angrily triturating a slice of chicken in his sandwich.
Why did the shy and awkward blonde he was used to discuss with have to go all happy and smiling on him, making him lose his composure completely! Arthur hadn't expected the usually stuttering geeky teen to show such enthusiasm at Arthur's positive answer. Why did the prospect of watching Star Trek, with him of all people, made him so happy anyway?
And that bloody smile! Arthur thought, ripping apart the slice of chicken, not noticing the worried looks Alfred had been giving him for a couple of minutes now.
It just looked so genuine and innocent, and it was so bloody adorable, and-! He angrily tossed the mutilated slice of chicken on his sandwich. Oh, fuck Alfred and his smile! It was their fault that he couldn't keep his composure and kept mumbling incoherent things! Curse them both!
"H-Hum, Arthur? If you're not going to eat your chicken, can I have it?" The dirty blonde asked with a light blush and Arthur found himself unable to say no to the boy again.
"Yeah." He said quietly, shoving, a bit too roughly, the slice of chicken in Alfred's hand who shot him another one of his large contented smile, his eyes instantly lighting up, and mumbling a happy 'thanks'.
Not that smile again! Arthur thought, scowling and glancing away from the baby blue-eyed boy with a light blush.
"How did you get that?" He heard Alfred ask while taking a bite of Arthur's chicken, making him frown. How did he get what?
In front of Arthur's puzzled look, the dirty blond gestured towards Arthur's hand. Still at loss, the Briton moved said hand closer to his face to examine it, finally noticing the scratch his cat had given him the previous day. Oh, that.
"My cat." Arthur nonchalantly answered before turning his attention towards his sandwich again.
"You have a cat?" The American asked, his interest apparently peaked by the new subject of conversation. Arthur scowled with a nod, his gaze not leaving his sandwich as he took the tomatoes one by one to throw them away. Screw Scott for always forgetting that he didn't like tomatoes. He was sure that the redhead did it on purpose. "What's his name?" Alfred asked with a smile.
At first, Arthur hadn't noticed the sudden silence, too busy plucking each little bit of tomatoes off his sandwich, but after a minute without a word being spoken, Arthur looked up worryingly at Alfred, only to find the American looking at him in awe, his eyes sparkling in amazement.
"What is it?" Arthur questioned, taken aback by the boy's reaction.
"You named your cat Loki?" He mumbled, almost in a whisper, an astonished look on his face. Arthur frowned, wondering what was wrong with the teen for him to make such a stunned expression. Arthur could have told him that he was Willy Wonka and have earned the same reaction.
"What's wrong with that na-" He was cut off by Alfred's outburst.
"That's so cool!" The American exclaimed, practically bouncing in excitement, a large grin going from ear to ear growing on his face. "Man, I love him too!"
"You... You do?" He asked in stupefaction. He hadn't thought Alfred to be the type to know about Scandinavian myths, but first impressions could be wrong.
"Yeah, he's an awesome villain!"
"Well, yes, he's a villainous god but I wouldn't really put it that w-"
"He was really cool in The Avengers! Well, he was great in Thor too but I kind of prefer The Avengers, y'know." Alfred ranted, glancing at Arthur from time to time with a look that said 'you know what I mean' except that, no, Arthur did not see what he meant at all. "I named my cat Captain America. But it's too long so I just call him 'Captain' or 'Americat', because, y'know, calling him 'America' is weird and he is a cat, so 'Americat', but, seriously, naming your cat Loki is so c-"
"What the bloody hell is The Avengers or Captain America?" Arthur asked in an irritated tone, a scowl on his face.
And now it was Alfred's turn to be stupefied by the other boy's statement.
"You... Don't know what The Avengers or Captain America is?" The American asked, looking at Arthur like he had just told him that he was a Martian ambassador.
"No, why? Should I?"
"Wow. You named your cat Loki without knowing about the Marvel villain? Did you name him 'Loki' only because of the Scandinavian myth?"
"Of course!" The Briton answered with a huff, crossing his arms on his chest defensively. "That cat is a pest so I thought about calling him Lucifer first, but my mother thought it was too harsh and that is why I named him 'Loki' instead." In front of Alfred's giggles, Arthur felt the need to justify himself. "What! That cat really is a pest, he ripped apart all of my sheets and emptied the entire fridge on the floor during his first night! Do you know how hard it is to remove cereals stuck under a bloody fridge! It's a nightmare! He is nothing like our former cat Gandalf, that one was a darling." He stated in a matter-of-fact way, nodding to himself.
"You also had a cat named Gandalf?" Alfred asked, trying to stop giggling at the punk's rant about his cats.
"What? Are you going to tell me that he's a Marvel villain too?" Arthur answered in a sarcastic tone, rolling his eyes at Alfred who did not stop smiling.
"No, rewriting Gandalf would be a crime." The dirty blonde said, a childish laugh escaping his mouth. "I just think it's really cool to name your cats 'Gandalf' and 'Loki'." He added, shooting the Brit the same genuine smile than before, making the green-eyed boy blush and look away.
"Belt up and eat your chicken." He mumbled, turning his head away to hide the cherry red color of his cheeks. He grumbled.
Carol hummed, watching the beef in the oven and, with a quick check of her watch, smiled before slightly nodding in contentment. It would be perfect in exactly 4 minutes. She untied her apron and peeked at the potatoes and the beans. Also perfect. She neatly folded her apron before putting it on the counter and directed herself towards her calendar. She traced with a French manicured nail the different dates before stopping on 'Wednesday 22nd February' with a pleased "Ah!", checking her planning for this week. Tomorrow she had book club at Jane's house. She would have to remember to bring some food. Muffins perhaps. You couldn't go wrong with muffins.
Her concentration was broken when she spotted the tip of an orange bag peeking out from behind the fruit basket. What on Earth was that thing? She didn't remember buying anything that looked like this. She headed towards the object, her heels rattling the tilled floor loudly, and harshly removed it from its hiding place, only to sigh at the sight of Cheetos. Alfred again, she thought with a scowl, throwing violently the bag in the bin. She really had to teach that kid how to eat properly and healthily.
A glance at the clock reminded her to get the beef out of the oven and she swiftly grabbed it with gloves, careful not to burn herself, before putting it on the counter. She admired with a satisfied smile the result of her hard work and, after checking the time, let out a "hmpf" of satisfaction. It was all ready for 8 o'clock sharp, as she had planned.
"Boys! Dinner is ready!" She shouted in her little singing voice before adjusting the napkins on the table. There, now everything was perfect.
She listened to the footsteps cascading down the stairs. Heavy, steady and slow, John. Light and irregular, Matthew.
Heavy, clumsy and disorganized, Alfred, she thought with a scowl and a sigh, and when the boy entered the dining room, she hit the back of his head with a spoon, earning a "ouch" from her son.
"Alfred, watch your elephant steps! You could wake up the dead with all the noise you make when you walk!" She scolded him, her hands placed on her hips.
"Sorry..." The boy grumbled without looking at his mother, heading straight to his seat.
"Do something about the way you walk instead of being sorry." Carol added, sighing in frustration, not even noticing a boy with soft features and purple eyes passing in front of her. "Where is Matthew anyway?"
"I'm here, mom." The same boy answered with a soft voice.
"Ah!" She said with a smile, clasping her hands together. The smile quickly faded though as she seemed to notice something on her son's face, squinting her eyes at him in deep concentration. "Dear, do something about this cowlick of yours." She added, trying to tame the wild curl of hair.
"It has always been there, Carol, you won't make it go away by tugging on it." His husband flatly responded, already serving himself food, only to have the spoon yanked away from his hand by an angry wife.
"Wait before everyone is sitting at the table, John." She scolded him, flattening her dress in order not to crease it before sitting elegantly. Her husband let out a bored sigh, watching Matthew take a seat. His son gave him a shy and grateful nod that he returned with a lazy smile.
"So!" Carol exclaimed joyfully, clasping her hands together and smiling. "How was school today, boys?"
"It was fine, mom." Matthew answered, timidly glancing at her.
"Your answers are always so elaborated." The blonde woman replied sarcastically, rolling her eyes and proceeding to serve beef to everyone. Matthew dropped his head and started toying with his knife. "Did you have any good grades?"
"I had a B+ in Geography." Matthew almost whispered, his eyes not leaving his plate.
"Well, that's better than before, keep up the good work and maybe next time you'll have an A!" She complimented her son, a small smile forming on her lips, though it seemed like her smile was more instinctive than genuine. She turned her head towards her other son. "Alfred?"
"I had an A+ in Advanced Algebra." He mumbled, shoving a fork full of food into his mouth. His mother frowned.
"That's wonderful Alfred, but please stop talking with your mouth full."
Alfred muttered a 'sorry' before swallowing his food and putting down his fork. Nobody wanted to start an argument with Carol, it was like trying to reason an overly dramatic poodle.
"John, how was work?" She inquired with a small smile, tearing her eyes away from Alfred to rest them on her husband.
" 't was fine." John barely articulated, too busy eating. Carol's face creased, and you could tell that she was trying hard not to tell her husband to articulate.
"Great." She ended up saying, finally proceeding to eat her food and the room fell silent. Carol was the one to keep the conversation going most of the time, so when she stopped talking, silence usually followed.
Alfred thought about lunch. It had been very nice, for Alfred at least. He could get used to eat with Arthur quite easily, but that was for Arthur to decide. It would be sort of rude to come eat with him every day, without asking if it was all right. As nervous as he was, he kind of looked forward to this weekend. A small smile graced his lips as he took another bite of the beef.
Yes, he kind of like the idea of being friends with Arthur.
"Mom?" He asked unsurely, sending her a hopeful look.
"Can I invite a friend over this weekend?" He blurted out a bit too quickly, a light blush blossoming on his cheeks. It felt a bit weird to call Arthur a friend, he hadn't had a friend since elementary school, but he couldn't find another word to describe him to his mother.
Shocked faces glanced up from their plates to look at the dirty blonde boy. Even Matthew had a surprised look on his face. Alfred grumbled and looked away in embarrassment, it wasn't because he never invited people that they had to look at him like he had just admitted to be the Messiah! The shock on Carol's face quickly disappeared to turn into an enthusiastic expression.
"Of course!" She exclaimed, beaming in joy, proud that her son was finally seeing people. "What's his name? Oh, or her. You know, maybe it's a girl." She asked, all too curious about her son's friend. Alfred blushed and groaned, obviously embarrassed.
"His name's Arthur, mom..." He muttered, shoving more food into his mouth, hoping that his mother would take a hint and drop the subject. Of course, he had no such luck as she hummed contentedly and started ranting again.
"Do you need anything special? Oh, I could make you a cake if you want! Would you like that?"
"Mom!" His head shot up, now bright red. "Geez, just... Don't do anything, it's fine." He groaned, dropping his gaze back to his plate.
"All right, all right." She said in defeat, her hands up in surrender and her eyebrows shooting upwards. "I was just trying to be nice and welcoming, that's all."
"I appreciate, but there's no need for all that... stuff." He finished with a brief, circular motion of his hand. "We'll be doing just fine."
The only sound left to hear was the rattle of Carol's fork on the porcelain plate, and everyone's gazes returned to their plate. Alfred bit the inside of his cheek. Any conversation with his mother always ended up that way, and he couldn't but feel guilty. Maybe he shouldn't have rejected her offer so vehemently, after all, she was only trying to help. But he really didn't want her to start making cakes or anything out of the ordinary for Arthur, that would probably embarrass both him and the Brit. Hell, her mother would be capable of putting "Welcome to our house, Arthur!" banners if he didn't stop her. Carol seemed to forget about the little incident quickly though as she picked up the plate full of meat at the center of the table.
"More beef, anyone?"
Alfred rushed to his room, ungracefully plopping on his bed before opening his laptop. He opened skype and grinned when he saw that Kiku was online. With a double click on his name and a few seconds of wait, he saw the Japanese's face appear on the screen. He was wearing glasses, which probably meant that he had been reading or drawing before Alfred called.
How they became friends, well "cyber friends" but Alfred hoped it counted as a real friend, was something that even the American ignored. It just sort of happened, two years ago. Kiku was a very secretive, calm and quiet Japanese boy that he had met on an online game. They quickly went from online game, to forum and from forum to skype. He liked to talk to him, he would always listen, smile, nod and give useful advices, even though some of them were a bit too mystical and confusing for him.
Kiku gave him a polite nod with a smile.
"Hello, Alfred-kun." He said with a bit of an accent. At the beginning, Kiku's English was bad, he would mix Japanese words and English words or not use the right tense or not finding the right words to express himself all the time. Alfred had even learned a bit of Japanese to communicate more easily, but it didn't take long for the dark-haired boy to improve and now his English was nearing perfection.
"Hello, Kiku!" Alfred exclaimed, trying to find a good position on his bed. "Were you drawing?"
"Ah, yes. Indeed, I was." He answered before grabbing something next to him. "It was just a sketch though, nothing too fancy."
"Can I see it?" Alfred asked with a smile, finally finding a good lying position.
"All right." Kiku said before showing a sketch of a woman riding a dragon, and, just like everything the boy ever drew, it was magnificent. Even for a sketch.
"I don't know how you do that, you're so talented." Alfred let out with a sigh, an admiring look on his face. The Japanese boy blushed slightly, fidgeting slightly on his seat.
"Ah, you are exaggerating as always, Alfred-kun. It is just a sketch."
"It's still pretty epic. Hey! Will you draw something for me again one day?" The dirty blonde questioned, sending a broad smile to the other boy, prepared to pull off the puppy eyes card if he had to. Kiku sometimes drew things for him and Alfred loved every single one of his drawings. He had never seen someone draw as well as the Japanese boy.
"If you want." Kiku gracefully nodded, his lips curving into a small smile. The dirty blonde didn't know how his friend could always look so elegant while he looked like a mess most of the time. It had to be another one of these Asian powers, like never aging and being a genius.
"Alfred?" A soft voice called and he turned around to see his brother Matthew standing on his doorstep.
"Did you take my iPod?" He asked, tilting his head slightly.
"Ah, yeah! Sorry 'bout that, I was too lazy to search for mine. It's on the desk!" He replied, motioning towards the white furniture with his right hand. His twin nodded with a smile and Alfred quickly drifted back to Kiku.
"So! How is life?"
"Today was just fine, Alfred-kun. A girl in my class cried though. We are not very close therefore, I did not ask what was upsetting her but I did hear something about her grandmother being in the hospital." He stated with a frown, looking at his lap. Alfred knew how to recognize Kiku's "I'm bothered by it but I won't show it" and it looked exactly like the face he was making now.
"Oh man, that's awful! Why is her grandmother in the hospital?"
"I do not know. I think it has something to do with a domestic accident but I am not sure." He answered.
"Is she going to be okay?" Matthew asked, looking at the screen above his twin's shoulder.
"Ah, hello Matthew-san." The Japanese boy responded with a courteous nod.
"Hello, Kiku." Matthew's soft-spoken voice replied, a warm smile gracing his lips.
"I would not be able to answer you, but I hope she will get better soon." Kiku continued in a firm voice, nodding to himself.
"Eh, I hope too. But anyway, I will leave you two alone." Alfred's twin answered, waving goodbye to Kiku with a smile, before leaving the room.
Matthew and Kiku got along fairly well for the little amount of time they had spent talking together. When he had first started talking to the Japanese boy, his parents disapproved it, especially Carol. She kept saying that Alfred should go outside to meet people that lived nearby and not at the other end of the globe or that it worsened his addiction to his computer, but she quickly stopped when she saw that her words had no impact on her son. He still didn't talk about Kiku with her. It was like stepping on a mine field.
"By the way, I met a guy called Arthur this week." Alfred's stated, his voice growing more shy at the mere mention of the punk boy. Kiku's eyebrows rose slightly, his expression shifting into a pleasantly surprised one.
"Is that so?" He simply inquired, a simple smile gracing his lips. The other nodded energetically, the same sheepish look glued on his face. It made Kiku want to chuckle, Alfred always looked so childish and innocent.
"You wouldn't believe how we met!" The honey blonde added, laughing at the memory. "It was so embarrassing! I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of class period because my pen had exploded in my mouth and-" The American started blushing at the sight of Kiku raising an amused eyebrow at him. "B-But, let's just skip that moment and go to the main event!" He huffed, laughing nervously and blushing profusely. "Anyway." He coughed in his fist. "As I was saying." He insisted, emphasizing every word. "I had to go to the bathroom." After eyeing his friend suspiciously to check if he was still giggling, Alfred considered Kiku's amused face safe enough to carry on. "And I found Arthur there, trying to put makeup on." At this, Kiku's giggles doubled, only this time, he was accompanied by his blue-eyed friend. "Yeah, and he wasn't really good at it neither."
"Oh?" The Japanese asked with a crystal-like laugh. Alfred nodded.
"Yeah, he was so bad that I ended up doing it instead. It wasn't brilliant but it was still better than what he was doing."
"When did you learn how to put on makeup?" He grinned.
"I learned some things by watching Mattie do it all the time." The other answered with an amused smile.
"Well, from what I have gathered, it seems that this Arthur person is a rather... unique individual." The Japanese tilted his head slightly, smiling gently. Alfred nodded.
"He always curses and he's a bit grumpy, but he is actually very nice. Y'know, if you look past all the insults." He chuckled softly. "We even ate our lunch together today."
"How did it go?" The Asian boy asked.
"It was cool! He has a cat named Loki and he doesn't even know what The Avengers or Thor is." Kiku's eyes widened a bit, he and Alfred had a mutual love for Marvel comics.
"He did not know of the Marvel villain?"
"Nope!" The blonde replied with a laugh. "He also had a cat named Gandalf."
"Did he know about the Lord of the Rings?" Kiku asked with a very serious face, his eyebrows knitting together. Alfred just kept laughing.
"Dude, everyone knows about the Lord of the Rings, especially someone who named his cat 'Gandalf'." The American immediately saw his friend relax on the screen.
"Good." The Japanese only added, his elegant smile returning on his face.
Kiku really liked the Lord of the Rings.
And so did Alfred, but Kiku was a bit more... passionate about the things he liked. The first time he had had what Alfred liked to call "a fanboy outburst", the honey blonde had been very surprised.
"Anyway, you're totally drawing me something tonight!" Alfred exclaimed, bringing his hands to his chin for support.
"Ah, but I do not know what to draw." Kiku confessed, looking around him as if he was searching for an idea.
"I don't care! Anything you do is awesome, so, just do whatever the heck you want." The dark-haired boy blushed lightly. "And don't even think about disagreeing with me." Alfred warned, pointing his finger at the screen with a laugh, putting on a fake threatening look. Kiku smiled.
"All right. I will draw for you."
Alfred cheered, nearly making the laptop fall before saving it from crushing on the ground with a loud "fuck!".
Alfred has a friend, woohoo~! *shake pom-poms* (I love Kiku!)
I'm not even going to apologize for updating late anymore because I will just sound like a hypocrite and I'm sorry I'm such an awful person who updates once every century. *sob*
Sometimes I get so nervous about if my English is good enough or not and then I look at my old fics and I scream in terror and I think "Okay maybe this chapter isn't so bad after all". Seriously. My old fics were SO BAD, I'm so angry at myself for ever posting this sh*t haha! I should really think of deleting them...
Anyway, hope you enjoyed! Thank you very much for reading this, I love you all! 3