28

Hi...

Um, where do I start?

Well, my name's Alfred, Alfred jones.

I guess it all started when I moved to England. My parents got a divorce, my mom taking my brother, my dad taking me. He wanted a fresh start, so we moved out of America and into England. I didn't though, I had everything I needed. Popularity, friends, family. I cried for the whole plane ride.

Our house was rather big, and just for my dad and I. He felt bad, so he got me a Chocolate lab puppy. We named her Ala. My backyard was rather big, and we lived not too far from London.

I started high school on the second year, I was thirteen. Everybody thought it was cool I came from America, and the girls loved my so called 'accent'. When really they were the ones with the accent, I think.

Then that one day. Such a small thing sparked so much. Opening my locker, I kneeled in to get my bag to head home. And without thought, I accidently knocked my head on the top of the locker. It hurt, but the laughs hurt more. It really wasn't that funny, I have no idea why they thought it was so funny. After this, I was 'klutz' and 'freakishly tall'. Which were both actually true, but that didn't give me the right to call me names. Since my body was much too big for me, I was normally bumping into people. The only kid who was taller than me was Ivan, but he was a grade ahead of me. Then I started being called 'nerd' because I got along with the teachers. At this point, everybody hated me. I never fought back, I had been taught not to fight. At first it was anger, which soon turned into self-hate. I never went outside, and my tan skin quickly turned pale. Food and art was my only relief, even though I didn't eat too much. Art was something I loved, and took great pride in. I did it in secret now, after school. I didn't want people to see because I was afraid they'd make fun of me, and it was the only thing that hadn't been torn to pieces yet. Art was the only thing keeping me going. And afterschool when I drew, there was also the quiet sound of singing and guitar from the music room. That was nice too.

But despite art keeping me somewhat healthy, I quickly started cutting when the whole school found out I was gay.

I hid the scars from everyone, and anyone who saw I blamed my dog. Even my dad had no idea what was going on. Because of my new love of sweatshirts, I was called emo a lot. Looking back at that, I really did look like a stereotypical emo. I had lost basically all my muscle, got pretty pale, and the only thing that remained from my childhood was my blue eyes which sadly added to the look more. I surprisingly didn't cry too much, I was just really quiet most of the time. I knew there were a few people in school who liked me a little, the art group i think wanted me to join. We exchanged hellos now and then. But I didn't want to bring the bullies upon them, and I think they knew it too.

"Look at how he squirms!" Was the last thing I heard before my hearing blurred, until I could only make out certain words. The pressure on my throat was unbearable, the sensitive muscle being pushed down onto my windpipe, the rough fingers of my attacker burning the skin. I tried gasping every small ounce of air that came in, resulting in quiet whimpers. I tried to get him off, my hands prying at his fingers, but no use. I was no longer the strong eleven-year-old I once was.

"Chris, I think you're killing him," The boy next to him said quietly, who was a bit smaller in comparison, "I think you've done enough, we don't want a murder on our hands."

"Why not? No one would even notice if he was gone! Isn't that right, Jones?" Chris said harshly. I didn't take hurt to his words like I normally did; my human instincts had kicked in to franticly scramble to survive. I pulled my neck up, just a little bit, allowing a small amount of air to circulate through my body, in return a small whimper escaping my lips.

"Chris! You're going to kill him!" The other boy snapped, yanking his shoulder. Chris's hands fell off my neck, and my whole body expanded to hungrily gulp in the air. My brain focusing on restoring air to it, my legs buckled almost immediately.

"G-God-," I said airily, just above a whisper, and began rubbing my throat. That was easily the worst pain I had ever felt, the pressure even had felt like it was squeezing my brain.

"Alfred, haven't we taught you well enough," Chris' rough hand slipped over my mouth, "don't talk, don't cry. You'll get us in trouble."

I nodded quickly. I did not want to go through that again, and obedience meant less pain for the most part.

"Now Alfred, don't want that again, do you?" Chris sunk down to my level, his hand returning to him. I shook my head no quickly, the brunette smiling in return, "Okay, well, I know how much you love skipping class. So how about you stay in the locker room for a few periods, okay?" He took the collar of my sweater to prove he would hurt me if I left.

"O-okay," I whispered quietly, pushing myself as far as I could against the stall.

He smiled. "You gonna cry, faggot?"

That's when I realized that I was on the brink of tears from the mix of pain and fear. My cheeks tugging at my lips to form a frown. "No."

"Chris we're going to be late, stop picking on him," The other boy said in a hiss, his brown eyes narrowing. I shot a quick look at the other, his kid-like features standing out. Once his eyes found mine I quickly looked away.

The two boys left, slamming the door. I shakily had gotten up, pushing on the toilet to stand. The cold white material felt good on my fingers, and then I remembered that this was a toilet. I sat on one of the benches outside of the stall, still in the changing room, my light grey binder greeting me. Thank god they didn't take it, my art was in there. I quickly filed through the heavy thing making sure nothing was taken, which I was relieved to see nothing was. A small smile fell upon my face. I quickly rushed it into my locker in case they came back. Feeling gingerly over my now unstable neck, I felt the indents were Chris' thick fingers once were. I cringed, disgusting images filling my head. Did he really push down that hard? Damn, maybe he was going to kill me one of these days. But as long as I complied with his wishes, I'd be fine for the most part.

My eyes dropped. I was exhausted from my brain working so hard and fighting back. I slid down to the floor against the lockers, small strips of metal from the lockers poking at my back as I did so. Tucking my legs into my chest, I rested my arms and head on them.

Quiet.

It was nice. I liked being alone. Even the pressure of any crowd bothered me, the constant fear I'd trip over my own feet and get laughed at. But alone I could do anything and no one would see. I smiled against my jeans, the cozy warmth of my sweater comforting me further once I put on the dark red hood. Even though, a friend would be nice. Like my dog, I love being around her because she doesn't care what I do and if I mess up. She loves me anyways. I want someone like that.

I began to very quietly whisper to myself, since I felt truly alone, "You're okay, Alfred, they're gone. They won't hurt you as long as you stay here. You're good." I sighed, pushing up my left sleeve and tapping on the scars up and down my arm.

"Damnit, wish I brought it…" I frowned, pushing down my sleeve again, the fantasies of my razor filling my head, regretting not bringing it to school. My brain seeking another way of comfort even though I told it to shut up, it presented to me the option of jerking off, which I immediately grimaced at, "Where the hell did that come from? Alfred you are one sick fuck," I quietly laughed. My fingers came up to my bangs to twirl the soft blonde hair around it, the smooth feeling plus the gentle yanking felt good, but I knew I was going to mess up my hair so I stopped shortly after.

That's when I heard the door creak open.

Shit. No. Don't come in. Please.

As soon as I heard the door open my legs stretched out to push myself further against the locker. Please, please don't be Chris. Don't be anyone but a teacher.

But to my displeasure, it wasn't an adult. It was another male, but it was too short to be Chris. I immediately thought to hide in a stall, but I wouldn't make it.

A green-haired, pale, black t-shirt wearing boy walked in. He was a tad bit shorter then Chris, but a bit taller than Chris' friend he was with earlier. At first he had what looked like a cigar, but upon inspection I stupidly realized it was a lollipop. He didn't notice me at first, and upon sitting down on a bench his opened up his eyes with the 'I'm too cool for you' look. He looked less emo, and more punk cool kid. I recognized him though somewhat. Upon opening his eyes though, he probably had the prettiest eyes I had ever seen. Well, pretty to an artist. His eyes were a mess of greens, which formed to make it look like a bright green, even though the base color of his eyes were a dull green. I stared at them for a while, for a future reference. He began searching through a folder with a small music note on it. But his eyes expanded, his pupil meeting mine.

"Oh hey, didn't see you there," The other softly murmured, turning his attention back toward the folder. I rested my chin on my legs again, not responding to his comment. "Oh, hey, your that Alfred kid right?" The other took the lollipop out of his mouth, a small trail of spit still clinging to his lips. He grimaced and cut it with his finger.

"Uh, oh, yeah," I responded quietly.

"The, uh, jumpy student from America, eh?" He said with a quiet laugh, "Surprised you haven't run away yet."

"Chris said he'd beat me up if I left, sorry if I'm bothering you-," I smacked my hands on my mouth once I realized what information I leaked.

"He's an asshole, isn't he?" Arthur said, the stick in his mouth spinning slightly. I nodded quietly, feeling some sort of connection between me and this other male. He wasn't hurting me, so that was a start.

"I can get you out of here if you want, Chris respects me, and so it shouldn't be too much trouble."

My eyes widened at the comment, "Really?"

"Yeah, might need to pay me next time," I expected him to laugh but he didn't, "if there is a next time. I don't do favors very often."

"Thank you!" I said quietly. The other stared at me after getting up, his green eyes making my artist heart flutter.

"Well come on, get up," He said in a frustrated huff, rolling his eyes, "damn, you are one of the most nervous people I have ever met," He then said quietly to himself as I got up, I taking no offense to it. I dusted off my pants as a way to get my nervous energy off and quickly unlocked the locker behind me. Bending down I reached inside of it to grab my binder.

Once meeting up with the other, he gave his lollipop another twirl in his mouth. The thought of him being able to French kiss well popped into my mind, since not just any tongue could spin a lollipop that fast. He took my wrist forcefully, my cuts from two nights ago that hadn't fully healed stinging under his grip. Damn, he was fast too. It was like he was in some big hurry, even though he still had that 'I don't care' thing going for him, not even shooting a look at me. He pushed me out of the changing room with him, walking out into the busy gymnasium, and the smell of puberty extremely prominent. I grimaced; did any of these boys' even shower?

"Hey, Jones-!" Chris rocketed off of one of the bleachers once I saw him, our eyes meeting at the same time. I pulled away from the other male, who was saving my skin in an attempt to run away, but he stumbled back once and then his grip got firmer.

"Calm down, would you?" He hissed quietly, narrowing his eyes. I swallowed and nodded.

Chris meeting eyes with me smiled, but it faded once meeting eyes with the other. "A-Arthur!" He stopped in his tracks. I thought for a moment, guessing Arthur was my savior's name. I did recognize the name, and I think he was part of that group of 'I don't care' kids. If I remember correctly, they all had died hair besides the female in the group.

"Hey, Chris, what's your fucking deal?" Arthur suddenly yelled, dropping my wrist as he stepped forward to interrogate the brunette. My arm went to my chest, the other petting it to soothe the burning coming from the cuts.

"Arthur, your friends with this guy? I had no idea!" Chris said, putting his hands up to his face. Arthur grabbed them and pushed them back down.

"I'm not, but doesn't give you the right to treat him like rubbish!" Chris backed up from the shouting shorter male, which was actually really amusing. I mean, I'm huge, and Arthur's so tiny, and Chris was terrified of him. Arthur didn't even look that strong as a matter of fact, but his shouting was kind of scary, but not really. I probably smiled at that point, but I really don't remember.

"Anyone for that matter! You're not the boss here!"

"Arthur, dude-!"

"Do not call me that! I am not your friend, hear me?"

"Y-yes sir!"

"I swear to god, if I find you picking on him, I will get a hold of Liz!" With that, Chris' expression turned from nervous to fear. Liz was a girl's name, and the only girl I remember seeing Arthur with was the one in his group. But, what did he even mean? That girl didn't look that strong or threatening at all. He had to mean someone else.

"Got it Arthur, you won't see me at all with this guy anymore!" I knew that was a lie, and I frowned, but I'm pretty sure he was finished for the day, which was a good thing for me. Even though others tripped me through the hall and laughed sometimes, Chris was defiantly the worst. It's not like I get chocked every day, and he's really the only one who 'beats' me.

Arthur forcefully grabbed my wrist again, the stringing greeting me. He dragged me throughout the gym, finally getting me out of the horrid smelling place. Even though I was a good thirty minutes late to math, I'm so happy that that was over.

"Hey, now you don't go running off just quite yet," Arthur quietly mumbled, "Look, I'm not gonna hurt you, but I just wanted to try this."

I cocked my head to the side in confusion, but as Arthur's hand came up to smack me against the face, my arms tightened and my fingers extending. Arthur stopped inches from my face, but still I kept my eyes closed shut until he spoke again.

Arthur laughed quietly, aggravating me a little, "Wow, you really are jumpy." Well, yeah, I don't like being hit like anyone else, so I try to defend myself. Whoa, I had no idea I was human.

I nodded quietly instead of adding sarcastic comments. Maybe he really would smack me if I did; he seemed like that kind of person.

"Okay, well, don't think I'll ever do that again," Arthur said, "Your very lucky I'm in a good mood today, blah, blah, we're not friends, I'm just doing a favor," With every 'blah' Arthur simulated a mouth with his hand like a child.

I nodded, "T-thank you!" I sprinted off to math class. The teacher didn't mind that I was late, and despite my hate for math I still did okay in it, so he let me go with a warning. He asked me where I was, and I told him I had tripped last period. Wrong thing to say, I heard a few people laugh.

The next day, I stayed home. My dad would flip if he found out, but I didn't care at this point. I had my mom's old fleece blanket wrapped tightly around my shoulders, warmth hugging my shirtless body. I really liked being warm, and in the summer I usually spent all my time outside. Which never happened this year. So I turned into a fucking vampire. The smell of chocolate from the kitchen signaled my hot chocolate was done in the microwave (Yeah I microwave hot chocolate, I'm so cool), and beckoned me towards it. Taking the mug out, I realized it was smoking hot, but it was too late for that. I already made my way back to the living room, balancing the mug in my fingertips, swiftly walking to get my fingers to stop burning but being careful not to spill it. Placing it on the table finally, I searched through the cabinet for a horror movie to watch to ease boredom. My fingers fumbled through the DVDS and I paused at 'Carrie'.

"What if I end up like Carrie? Kill everybody with magic," I laughed quietly at myself, and countuied through the boxes. I settled for Blair Witch Project, afraid that I would want my hot chocolate with a slasher flick that I had worked so hard to get into the living room. Sitting back down as the movie started, my dog quietly sleeping on the other side of the couch.

Getting up at six was hard for me. It was hard to escape the warmth and comfort of my bed to take another shot at the world ahead. Today especially, because it was raining. I had eaten breakfast and took off, my black hoodie almost shielding me completely. Dad took the umbrella. I knew I was going to get mocked for my hoodie today, for the back of it had the American flag on it. Which was kind of disrespectful, but people in America wore British flags all the time. Whatever, screw it. I like America more. I didn't even consider this damp place home; I hated it here, even though I lived here for at least two years already. I wish I was back home with Mattie and my parents were happy in Washington again. I want my friends back, I want my popularity back, and I hate this. I hate myself, I hate rain, I hate Britain, I hate Chris, I hate looking at the scars on my arm, and I hate school. Screw it all. Why can't I just sleep all day? That would be great. Sleep, chocolate, America, and a sketchbook. That's so simple, that's all I really want, why can't I just have it? Why can't the world just ignore me and let me be?

With a heavy heave the front doors opened, and my soaking wet carcass slipping through them. I coughed, shivering, the hair that wasn't covered dripping wet. My soaking wet hoodie clinging to my arms. I pushed my hoodie down, I starting walking awkwardly towards my locker, my wet jeans rubbing together causing extreme discomfort to my legs. Nobody was around really, so I could do my awkward waddle to avoid friction from my wet pants. At least they were completely soaked and not just wet around my groin now that would be really damn embarrassing. I had after school drawing today with a few kids from the art group.

A girl walked by my locker as I put my stuff away, I heard her giggle behind me. "Got a little wet, hm?"

I turned. It didn't sound like she was teasing me. Well, she was, but a friendly tease. I met her big brown puppy eyes as she smiled at me kindly, "You got an undershirt under that sweater? If not I can let you borrow one of my boyfriends, it might be kind of small on you though."

She had a few clips in her hair, and I really didn't feel threatened by her presence at all, "No, I'm okay, I really only wear long sleeves. Thanks for the offer though."

"Picked up on that," She quietly laughed, walking up to my locker. Her accent was anything but British, sounded more German but a little different. Maybe if German and British accents had a baby it would be her, because it had somewhat of a Brit's bounciness by the way she talked. I smiled faintly. "Hey, aren't you the guy Arthur heroically saved yesterday?"

I laughed, "Yep, that's me."

"Surprised he didn't rip your head off, he might act cool but he'll explode like a time bomb if you push him the tiniest bit," The girl laughed, "He's like a grumpy old man." We both laughed.

"Hey, by any chance," I paused, thinking back to yesterday and Arthur's screaming, "Aren't you Liz?"

She nodded, "Well, my full name is Elizabeta, but people only really call me Liz," Liz said, "I come from Hungary, and it's a common name there. But Liz makes me fit in a bit better here."

"That's the accent," I smiled, "Glad to hear I'm not the only student from a straight different country," I tapped the metal on my locker.

"My boyfriend came from Germany, and he has a younger brother too I think," Liz said, and then she leaned closer to me in a whisper, "He's kind of a jackass!" We both laughed quietly, even though I didn't even know the guy.

"Hey, are the rumors true that you're gay?" Liz said straight out, the sudden comment taking me back a little.

I nodded, "Yeah, I'm gay." We both ended sitting on the floor in front of my locker, the cold white floor adding to my discomfort. I did like talking to Liz though, "Why, you interested?" Liz stuck her tongue out and I smiled.

"Just wondering, Arthur's gay too, maybe you guys can be a little married couple of the grumpy old man and the shy American," It was my turn to make a disgusted face as the Hungarian snickered, "Wait, I still don't have your name."

"Oh, Alfred," I said quickly, "Feel free to call me Al though." I began bouncing my left leg gently with that.

"How about Alfie?" My eyes widened at the comment, for I hadn't heard that nickname in forever. Mom used to call me it, so did Matthew. My dad thinks I'm too old for the name now, but I kind of like the name.

"Well, really my family only calls me that, but sure," I shrugged lightly.

"You're not as jittery as Arthur said you were," Liz bit her lip, "Well then again we are talking about Arthur."

"Some people just intimidate me, and I guess I was in a situation where I couldn't get out of it," I shrugged again, "Oh well, everybody things I'm jittery."

"Well duh," Liz grunted, "Your hit like every day in the halls, no wonder."

"Thank you!" I sighed, "Someone gets it!" I spread out my hands, "He really hurt my wrists too when he was dragging me out."

"Really? Arthur's so small, and you so-," Liz to a moment to refer to my length.

"I have sensitive wrists," I shrugged, hiding the fact that I cut like I always do. Really wasn't that much of a big deal, I cut for relief, it's not like I murder people or smoke weed. Liz glared at me in thought, but then snapped out of it, "Oh, yeah, thanks for talking to me. I really don't socialize much; I needed it today I guess."

"No problem, hun, your fun to talk to," Liz smiled, "Hey; maybe wanna get ice-cream with me and my boyfriend after school?"

Cancel art plans, this was once in a life time opportunity! And ice cream, damn I loved that stuff. I nodded quickly in response to Liz, a really big smile across my face.

"I invited Arthur, but he had 'band practice', which translates into English from snobby British into 'im going to go play my guitar in complete darkness instead of socializing'". Liz already had me laughing at 'from snobby British-'.

"Yo, Liz!" The loud yell from down the hall scared us both a bit, our attention turning to the opposite side of the hall of the one I came in.

"Oh great," Liz murmured, A boy about as big as she was clumsily stamping down the hall. He had clean, snow white hair. This wasn't old hair, it was pure white. He was also paler then I, the vampire, and he had pinkish eyes. Albinism was the first thought. He wore a sweatshirt like me and skinny jeans.

"Goodmorn- Oh hey who's this?" The white haired male chirped, the large eagle on his sweater distracting me. His accent was thick, clearly German, 'this' was pronounced like 'vhis'. He bent down to our level on the floor, invading my precious personal space as I pushed myself against the locker.

"Stop it Gil, your scaring him," Liz said, her hands curling around my shoulder. Damn, I felt so invaded right now. Uneasiness creeping over me, that thick British accent comforted me from behind.

"C'mon you guys, are you that blind? The boy obviously doesn't want to be touched." Gilbert backing up from my face, Arthur crept up from behind them.

"Oh yay! Jackass fest!" Liz screamed, throwing her hands in the air and clapping. I laughed until I noticed the glare Arthur shot at me and I sunk against the locker. The other guy, I was guessing was Gil just looked really confused.

"Enough with the bloody sarcastic comments Liz," Arthur snorted, rolling his eyes at the girls immature.

"Oh bloody hell! Im Arthur Kirkland and I am an old man trapped inside a teen boy's body who really likes lollipops!" Liz said, mocking Arthur's accent, which was funny as hell. I tried not to burst out laughing, but the smile on my face was clearly visible.

"She's kind of right," Gil said with a laugh. Arthur grimaced.

"Why am I even friends with you guys?" The brit snorted, tapping his foot.

"Damn, you really need a boyfriend again, you're getting grumpy," Gil laughed, poking Arthur's chest. Arthur gritted his teeth and pushed away the pale hands.

"I'm actually working on it!" Arthur said proudly. That's when I realized the whole time I had been eyeing Arthur since he came over. I swallowed, thinking what the hell was wrong with me, and pushed aside the thoughts.

"Is it Alfred?" Liz cooed, "The shy American and the lollipop sucking Brit, we should make a show out of that!"

"Very funny, Liz," Arthur huffed, but we were all quietly snickering. Even Arthur at this point had a smile on his face, "Oh, speaking of lollies, I have a few if anyone wants one-." Lollies, that's a cute way to say it. British words sounded childish to me.

"When don't you have lollipops, Arthur?" Gil laughed, "What's your deal with the things anyways?" The German began searching through Arthur's bag as the Brit motioned to take some.

"I like to suck on them, gives me something to do. The taste stays longer then gum," Arthur said once Gilbert pulled a strawberry one out, taking off the wrapper and letting it drop to the floor.

"Also like to suck on-!" Liz said loudly, Arthur cutting her off.

"Shut up Liz!" The brit angrily yelled. I literally felt invisible now; I wish it was just Liz and I again. Just I again, like always. I tucked my knees to my chest and rested my head on them as the three quarreled on. I just wanted to be alone now. It was fun, but now im invisible. But now that Arthur was distracted, I took a few moments to really look at his face at an artistic point of view. I took mental notes of him having a soft look to his face, and that his eyebrows looked much thicker than they were because they didn't match his hair. He must have black hair, but then again the roots of his hair which I could still see were a blonde. He really was a piece of art, and the urge to draw quickly grew stronger.

"So, Al, you're going with these guys?" The sentence snapped me back into reality, Arthur speaking my nickname drawing my attention.

"Oh, u-uh, yeah," I said quickly, without thinking letting out a small stutter.

"Well, maybe I'll go then," Arthur smiled faintly; I could just see the white of his teeth. Gil and Liz both started cooing 'oo' at the same time. Arthur rolled his eyes, "Just so maybe I can have someone to talk to when you guys get to dumb." That sentence bothered me deeply, like I was just a toy to him. I mean, I wasn't expecting him to be like 'oh I love Alfred he's so cool' but I couldn't help but feel the cruelness leaking from the comment. I bit my lip.

"Oh, hey, the bell's going to ring soon," Gil said quietly, "People will start pouring in, we'd be lucky if we survived."

We all quietly laughed, "Okay, let's meet after school at the usual place." I cocked my head to the side and shot a confused look at Liz, "Oh! Alfred, um, Arthur can show you- but it's that shack outside of the gymnasium, we meet in front of that a lot."

I nodded, "Sounds good, what about money?"

"It's okay Al, I've got it covered," Arthur said quietly. It looks like he's decided to call me Al now; it aggravated me he didn't ask. I mean, I hardly know him. All I know about his personality is he tries to act cool, is grumpy, and likes lollipops. I have hardly talked to him, like, at all.

"Okay, well, bye Alfred! Nice talking to you," Liz laughed, getting up and dusting herself off, she then offered a hand and I took it, and surprisingly she pulled me up with little effort. The sudden rush surprised me a bit.

"Alright, bye," I said, "See you after school." Liz waved as she joined Gil walking hand and hand.

"Meet me at your homeroom after school," Arthur said, turning to walk away with lollipop still in his mouth, muffling his talking somewhat.

"Uh, bye," I said, loud enough so he could hear me. Arthur didn't turn around, just continued down the hall.

"He is grumpy," I whispered, walking to homeroom, "Jeez, doesn't even have enough decency to say bye back."

Ice cream with Liz, and Gilbert (which I soon found out was his full name) was fun. I wasn't so sure about Arthur though, he kept making those 'cool' remarks at us, he really cared about his popularity, and it seemed like he cared about control as well, just in his tone served rudeness on a platter. I tried to ignore it for the most part and talk to Liz and Gilbert, they were nice. Despite Gilbert's and I's awkward meeting, he was pretty cool. And he was a jackass, but a funny one at that.

I went home after and tried to sleep for the rest of the day, relieved that that day was alright and went by quicker than I thought. I was pretty damn relaxed; the only thing still bothering me was Arthur. I probably thought about him for hours, sitting in that damn bed just thinking of how pissed I was at him. I just didn't like him, his character, the way dismissed everything, the 'cooler then you' thing, and it seemed like he was holding everything back. He didn't want to seem like someone with feelings, but I could pick up on that easily. His stupid little act didn't fool me. His face was a piece of art though. I wonder what he would be like if he didn't hide it all, someone like me, maybe. Someone like me who was weak and scared of the world ahead. I hated him; I absolutely hated that damn brit, his smile and those stupid British words, the way he held in his smiles, the way he didn't care.

Oh what am I saying?

I am hopelessly in love with Arthur Kirkland.

"Hey Alfred, come sit with us at lunch today!" Gilbert called down the hall, the last period before lunch. I had responded with an 'okay!'

It was nice having people who cared about me somewhat. I met a few other people who were in the little posy of punk kids, and I actually fit in pretty well. Well, my looks at least. It did appear the Arthur was the leader, which pissed me off but I admired at the same time. I usually bailed on afterschool and went with Liz and Gilbert places. We went shopping this one time, which was fun. Gil and I pretended to be stereotypical gays, and went around screaming at every dress we saw. Liz found it extremely entertaining. I had friends. I finally had friends.

Getting lunch, Liz stood in line next to me. "Hey, you know Arthur really likes you, right?" She said quietly, getting two milk cartoons, one strawberry and the other regular. I picked up the chocolate, and turned my head towards the Hungarian to get more food.

"Really? He acts like he hates me," I said, getting some salad in the tweezer-spoon thing, dumping the greens onto the light blue trey.

"That's how you know," Liz said with a giggle, "The more he likes you the more stuck up he acts, it's weird." I nodded as I poured the Italian dressing all of my salad. Really, the stuff here was crap, so I never got the meat or anything. Man I could really go for a burger, though.

"You don't like him very much, do you?" I almost burst out laughing. I liked what I saw of him so far, and I've had five crushes before, and constantly I drew them. This is what's happening with Arthur. I want to draw him, but I tell myself not too, that's weird. Imagine he found a big pile of drawings of him in my room that would be awkward.

"No, he's okay," I said with a shrug. Turning to Liz, she has an evil smile spread across her lips.

"What? Oh, no! No, no, no!" I put my hands up in defense, "I do not have a crush on Arthur!" I said it somewhat hushed so Arthur couldn't hear, but even if I screamed it I bet he still couldn't hear me.

"You do, don't you?" Liz cooed, we begun to walk back to our table.

"Nu uh!" I shook my head, "Gross."

"Oh my god!" Liz exclaimed, her face turning bright red in a smile, "You're totally crushing on him!"

"Am not, Liz!" I hissed under my breath, avoiding her gaze.

"Aw, you're even blushing!" Liz chirped, I groaning in response and pushing my hood up. Pulling on the string it sealed around my face, "That's how you spill your lunch." Liz then said, pushing the hood back open with her hands.

"I am not in love with Arthur!" I proclaimed again, this time more stern, "I am not in love with him, and I never will be!" My words were invading my thoughts, truly making me think I wasn't in love with him. Well, sorta, I still knew I was.

"Oh, Alfie, you know you are!" Liz cooed, pinching my cheek, balancing her tray in one hand, "His house is really close to yours, too!"

"It is?" I said confused.

"Yeah! Number fifteen, duh. Even says Kirkland on the mail box," Liz said like it was well known information.

"If you have forgotten I really only go out with you and Liz, maybe we went somewhere together with Arthur once! Not like I stalk the bastard."

"Oh god you're still blushing!"

"Liz, cut it out!" I groaned again, shuffling my feet against the floor. We both went quiet for a while.

"Okay, fine, I'm in love with Arthur," I muttered quietly, the pressure of silence eating away at my brain, "Or, at least I think I am!" I said quickly before Liz could speak.

"Aww!" Just what I thought, "That's so sweet! It's like a movie!"

"Not really," I murmured, "People have crushes all the time, they go away eventually."

"Oh no, Jones! You are not ignoring this; you need to get on the love train with Arthur before it leaves the station for good!" Liz poked me in the chest, hard.

"I don't know Liz; I don't even like talking to him. He makes me feel awkward, and anyways he'd never date a guy like me. He's too punk rock to ever like me," My own words started to eat away at the little torn fragments of my heart. I swallowed. That's its Alfred; Arthur would never love you, cut it out.

"Aw, don't be like that Alfie," Liz said quietly, looking up at me sadly.

"I'm not trashing myself! I'm just saying, well, you know, I don't think I'm his type," My shoulders dropped, I knew I was trashing myself. What am I kidding; I really didn't even like myself that much.

"Trust me, Arthur's easy to please! Me and Gil can help," Liz said quietly. I shook my head.

"No, its fine, thanks though," I said softly.

"Okay, if you insist Alfie, but if you need me ever, don't be afraid to ask." We had finally reached my table after what seemed like hours. I sat across from Arthur, and Liz sat next to me, gently elbowing me in the rib.

"Hey, Al, want a lollie?" Arthur said quietly, "I have a few."

"Uh, sure, got any of the root beer ones?" I asked, tapping my fingers on the table. Arthur slid over the brown packaging with the stick pointing outwards. I popped it in my mouth, "Don't you get in trouble for having these damn things all the time?"

"Sometimes," Arthur said with a shrug, "depends on the teacher." Liz elbowed me again, a soft smile on her face.

"Cut it out," I muttered with a smile, Liz giggling quietly in return.

"Oh, hey guys, I was wondering-," Arthur said, Liz, Gilbert, a few of the other males and I drawing attention towards the brit, "You guys, maybe wanna have a party at my place on Friday? Like, sleep over and stuff you know."

"Of course, dude!" Gilbert said loudly, Liz nodding in response. A few of the others nodded.

"Alright, it's settled, sleep over at my place, and get there at five," Arthur slid the lollipop out of his mouth.

"Alfred can come, right?" Liz said loudly, hugging me close. I felt her breasts on my shoulder and swallowed down the urge to whimper.

"'course," Arthur said, turning. Liz and I smiled at each other.

"Why don't you ever hug me like that?" Gilbert laughed, Liz gawking and hitting him across the face. I laughed quietly.

"Dad!" I shouted upon getting home, he had the day off, and his truck was there.

"Hey Al," my father said from the kitchen. I dropped my bag on the floor and quickly hurried to the noise.

"How was school?" My dad asked, not taking any attention to me.

"Cool I guess," I said with a shrug, "But, dad, I got invited to a sleep over on Friday! Can I go?"

"You? Sleep over? Wow, I thought maybe you'd wanna stay home on Friday and eat nutella," My dad laughed at his comment while I frowned, "Sure Alfred, go knock yourself out."

"Yes!" I whispered to myself. Hope I don't embarrass myself. I don't think I will, the group of kids are extremely friendly towards me, so I think I should be fine. I headed up stairs. With a sigh, I plopped on my bed and called Liz.

"Hello?"

"Oh, hi Liz."

"Alfred! Hey, did your dad say yes?"

"Yeah, he said I can. Arthur doesn't have any drugs at his parties, right?"

"No, it's a boring party; we just drink iced tea and watch movies."

"Chocolate?" I laughed asking, Liz making a kiss noise with her lips.

"Hey maybe you can bring those big jars of nutella there, you'll be there hero of the party," Liz and I chuckled, "Hey, I can give you a dating tip if you want too!"

"Liz!" I groaned, "I'm fine!"

"Well I'm just gonna say Arthur really likes the band Sex pistols, you should buy it for the man," I then heard Liz squeak and a loud thump on the phone. It hurt my ears, and Liz's voice quickly returned.

"Sorry, dropped my phone!" Liz nervously giggled, "Hey, Al, I gotta go. Don't forget, Nutella and sex pistols."

"Got it Liz, over and out!"

"Roger that!" Liz hung up the phone. The radiation had turned my ear warm but disappeared quickly.

I was pumped for Friday. I walked to one of those storage stores, where they sold everything in packs, and was able to easily locate the large bottle of chocolaty spread between the concrete floors. I looked through the CD's for Arthur, finding a Coldplay album and wanting to buy it. I didn't, though, and instead I countuied to look for the band. I finally found the CD for Sex pistols, which I paused to look at and study the plastic case. It really did look like an Arthur kind of band. I bought the two items, the two objects being so different I felt weird buying them.

I had been getting ready for the party. My dad knew I was going, but he was gone for the day at work. I should still leave him a note. I wasn't going to pack much, but I had a pillow, a night shirt, hairbrush (I like keeping my hair beautiful) and an extra pair of boxers. Plus the nutella and the CD I bought for Arthur, which was now neatly wrapped. The night had already gotten cold, since winter was slowly creeping up. God, I hated winter, please don't snow. The nutella jar was really heavy too. But, I was fairly strong so it didn't bother me too much.

Yup, Liz was right; the mailbox did read 'Kirkland'. My doubts about this being his house disappeared as I walked up the stone trail to his porch. He had a pretty large house from the outside. Not too big, but it looked like it still took a decent amount of money to purchase.

I knocked on the door, the wood creaking from under my fist. I waited a few moments before the door unlocked and opened. One green eye met mine through the space in the door.

"Oh, Al, you're early," Arthur opened the door the rest of the way open, a kind smile on his face. His eyes fluttered down to the giant nutella jug as he exclaimed a "Holy shit!"

"Oh, uh, Liz told me to pick some up," I said quietly, "Can I come in?"

"Course, Should I take that?" Arthur asked, pointing to the nutella jar.

"Nah, it's okay, I got it, where should I put it?" My knuckles had turned white from carrying it for so long, but it really wasn't that heavy. I followed Arthur into his kitchen after shutting the door behind me with my foot. I set the tub on the kitchen table.

"Don't worry about not finishing, I can easily swallow like half of that in five minutes," I said with a quiet laugh.

"Oh, hey, I need your help on something," Arthur said, grabbing my wrist and pulling me into his living room. The carpet was a light brown, the chairs and sofas also being lightly colored. Looked cozy in here, and it was pretty big. A large TV sat against a wall, it resting on a stand with a large cabinet in it. Arthur sat cross-legged in front of it, patting the space next to him motioning me to sit down. I did, and as I did, the Brit opened the cabinets.

"I need help on picking a movie," He said quietly, "I've heard back in America everybody's really into movies, unless I'm just stereotyping you."

"Nah, I know a good few things on movies, unless there all British movies I've never heard of," Arthur laughed at that even though I wasn't joking. I continued talking, "Got any horror movies?"

"Oh yeah, I've got the shuttered room, a few others I think," Arthur said pawing at the packages.

"No, no! I mean like, Nightmare on elm street, Friday the thirteenth," Arthur stared blankly at me, "Okay, even if you live in England you must be living under a fucking rock because those movies are big time." I laughed.

"How about, uh, Carrie? Blair Witch Project? Haunting in Connecticut?" Arthur shook his head, "C'mon! I'm running out of movie ideas!"

"Well, how about this, it looks American-y," Arthur muttered, his brow knitting together. He slid a movie case out of the cabinet. He presented it to me.

"Now we're talking!" I shouted, taking the movie in my hands, "The woman in black, perfect!"

"You've seen it?" Arthur asked, cocking his head to the side. I shook my head.

"I've heard its good though, and look, Harry Potter," I smiled pointing to the main actor on the cover. Arthur laughed, "It's no nightmare on Elm Street, but it'll do."

"Okay, so you wanna watch this?" Arthur said, taking the DVD back and placing it on top of the stand.

"Do you?" I said, redirecting the question towards him again.

"I don't mind, whatever you want," Arthur shrugged, placing his hand on my shoulder, "Jeez you're warm."

"Anyone tell you? I need to stay warm because I'm cold blooded, look how pale I am!" We both laughed, "Either that or a vampire." I stood up, helping the Brit to his feet soon after.

"You're not that pale," Arthur said, "I think you've been getting some more sunlight since you met Liz and Gilbert."

"And you," I added.

"And me, and look, feel," Arthur started pinching at my biceps, "They've gotten harder since I first met you. But that wasn't too long ago."

"Yeah, I guess they have," I muttered, "I used to be pretty strong."

"What happened, then?" Arthur said. I glared at him, and then his eyes widened "Oh, yeah, that. Sorry."

I followed Arthur awkwardly into the kitchen, "I'm surprised you didn't throw yourself with trying to improve once they started bullying you," Arthur said, opening the fridge and taking out a few drinks, looking back at me he softly murmured, "I feel like you're the kind of person who tries to prove people wrong."

"I was, I guess," I sighed, "Just after moving, I was already upset, and the bullies pushed me further. Plus I was taught not to fight back, so I mean-."

"No, Alfred, not like that, like, mentally challenge them," Arthur said quietly. I shrugged.

"Don't worry about it, Arthur."

"Well I'm going to," Arthur muttered, "I'm afraid they're going to hurt you, badly." He took my arms.

"I don't ever remember you caring," I muttered. Arthur frowned.

"I care," He said, "I've cared since I met you. I just act like that because it's me." Arthur narrowed his eyes as mine fluttered away.

"Well, sorry," I mumbled, pulling away.

"Don't be," Arthur grunted quietly, and then leaned forward and gave me an extremely awkward hug. My insides exploded. Even though I was much larger then he was, it almost felt as if Arthur was holding me. His touch was very gentle, gentle to what I'm used to, but yet matched his personality with the smoothness.

"Thanks I guess, nobody has hugged me in a while," I rubbed my elbow carelessly. Arthur nodded.

"Felt the need to do it, you seem broken," Arthur sighed, pushing his hair back and turning back towards the counter. His words hit me directly in the heart. I almost cried, but of course I never did. I had demanded the hot tears to hold back before they even reached the brim of my eye. Because he was right, even though I had some things going for me, I was broken. No duct tape could fix that, no amount of attention could fix it, I was permanently messed up.

"You can go sit down if you want, I'll join you in a minute," Arthur said, snapping me out of my sad trance.

"Oh, oh yeah," I swallowed, "Thanks." I walked back into the living room, taking off my boots by the door. I sat on the couch, tucking in my legs to the side. It was comfy, all I need is a blanket and I would be happy. But I was at someone else's home, so that wasn't happening. Arthur plopped on the couch next to me moments later. That's when I remembered the CD I got him.

"Oh, hey, I got you, uh, something," I said quietly, Arthur's attention turning toward me. I slipped my bag off my shoulder, digging through it for the CD. My fingers fumbled over the smooth plastic as I got a grip on it and pulled it out.

"Liz said you liked Sex pistol, so I thought maybe I should get a CD for you," I said, holding out the square object. Arthur shot me a look, as if he was saying 'I can have that?' Arthur gently took it from my hands, opening it to take a look at the CD and read the songs on the back. He looked like a hungry animal stalking an animal, the way he slowly looked it over. Then Arthur smiled extremely wide, a sigh of relief escaping my throat.

"Alfred! This is awesome! Thank you!" He held the case to his chest, "I've wanted one of their CD's for so long, this is great!" Arthur's eyes lit up like a child, and too my pleasure he hugged me again, tighter this time. After he calmed down, looking at the back, he frowned.

"Nineteen dollars?" He asked, "You didn't need to spend that much money on me."

I shrugged, "Well I did."

"Thank you, again," Arthur smiled with that, "I'm gonna go put it away so I don't damage it."

"Sounds good," I said as Arthur ran off to put the CD away. The hurry of feet up the stairs was heard through the entire house. I sighed. That was one of the best feelings ever, seeing grumpy old Arthur smile like that.

Then a knock at the door and quiet giggling. I knew it was Liz; her laugh was extremely recognizable at this point. I'm sure Arthur didn't mind if I answered the door.

Creaking the door ajar, to my surprise nobody was there. Opening the door further, I stepped outside. Was I just hearing things? I swore I heard Liz…

"Boo!" The sudden scream scared me as I tumbled back, "Got ya Alfred!" I rolled my eyes with a laugh.

"Very funny Liz."

"Gilbert would have scared you too but he's off cue," Her foot went back into one of the bushes as I heard a loud 'Ow!' and an injured Gilbert crawl out of the bushes.

"How's it going Gil?" I said plainly, the German giving me thumbs up. Looking down the street, two other boys, who if I remember correctly were named Archie and Thom, waved hi to me. I waved back immediately.

"C'mon you guys you're going to let the bugs in!" I said pushing Liz inside, Gilbert soon following. The other two started a sprint and got inside before I shut the door.

"Oh hey look the party bus arrived," Arthur laughed, walking down the stairs.

"You bring the nutella?" Liz whispered to me quietly for some unknown reason.

"How could I forget," I whispered back, "P.S. just gave the CD to Arthur, over and out," I then made a 'Pssht' with my lips signaling the fuzz on a walkie-talkie.

"Okay, well, Al and I already picked out a movie, you know the deal, shits in the kitchen," Arthur said with a laugh, directing to the white room with his hands.

As the group hurried into the kitchen, Liz blurted out, "Holy fucking Nutella, Alfred!" I laughed and walked after them.

Arthur thankfully had a root beer waiting for me in the fridge for the movie. He said he figured I liked root beer because whenever he asked if I wanted a lollipop I always said root beer. Arthur and I were special; we were the only two with bottled drinks, mine being root beer and his an orange soda. Once we were finished with getting our drinks Arthur and Gilbert collected blankets and pillows from upstairs, making the living room even cozier. Arthur slipped the DVD into the player and fiddled with the television a bit before the movie started, and Gilbert switched off the lights. Wrapping himself in a blanket along with Liz, Gilbert and Liz cuddled for a moment to get situated and then went still. Arthur plopped down next to me.

"Do you mind?" He whispered, taking the edge of the blanket that was on my shoulders indicating that we could share. I felt a smile coming on but I resisted the urge, and Arthur took the other side of it, wrapping it around his shoulders. I started getting over confident in thoughts, thinking that he may be liked me back. The idea made me smirk. Turning to Liz, she was doing sexual things at me with her hands. I laughed silently at her.

The movie started. It was kind of boring at first, but I amused myself for the most part with the 'harry potter' thing. Once the main character, who was ironically named Arthur (Arthur and I had shared giggles previously) enter the house where the ghost was supposed to live, I felt fear creeping up on me, but the feeling washed over once Arthur's fingers sealed around my arm tightly. Oh shit, he's depending on me sorta, damn that's cute. But once the jump scare came up we all jumped with a quiet 'oh!' Arthur clinging to me for a few moments before letting go. One part during the movie Archie screamed; "Harry! Take out your wand!" By the end of the film we were all crying. Spoiler alert, harry dies. The screen faded to black for a few moments, and then I heard Liz scream: "What the hell kind of ending was that?"

We quietly discussed the movie afterwards, and even though the ending sucked the movie it was okay.

"It wasn't that scary, in my opinion," Arthur said bluntly, I burst out laughing.

"Says the man who was clinging to me!"

"Shut it you!"

Afterward we all hurried upstairs to Arthur's room. Not much to my surprise, his room was sparkling clean, but posters littered the walls from different bands. I recognized a few, Sex Pistol, The Beatles, and to my surprise he even had a Coldplay poster. His room smelt faintly like honey tea. The carpet being a light blue.

"Okay, don't yell to loud we might wake up my parents. Alright, anyone need blankets?" Arthur asked, taking the blankets off his bed, "I have like, three, but there pretty big and I think we can share.

"I need one," I said quietly, Gilbert also saying he needed one.

"Alright so we need two, counting me," Arthur smiled, "Glad you guys have learned to bring sleeping bags. Well, besides you Gil." Gilbert glared at him. I put my pillow on the floor closest to Arthur's bed, since I wanted to stay as warm as possible. Arthur laid down on his stomach next to me.

"How goes it?" Arthur said in a joking tone, his legs swinging behind him.

"Pretty good," I said, "Is it okay if I sleep with my shirt off? I mean..!"

"Yeah, it's fine, we're all guys here," Arthur said with a shrug, "Well, and I'm not sure what Liz is anymore." I heard the Hungarian huff and throw a pillow forcefully down on Arthur's face.

Taking off the pillow, I held back laughter as Arthur evilly glared back up at Liz. "You wanna play that way?"

The two ended up in a full blown pillow fight, the rest of us cheering them on. It was fun to say that Liz totally owned Arthur. She had already knocked him down and sat on top of him, giving him a full beating with the pillow. Dropping the pillow, I thought Liz was done.

"Oh ho, Arthur I've gotten you to surrender, but I know your weakness!" Liz said, smiling. We all fell silent.

"Oh yeah? Well, what is it-," Arthur suddenly froze, his eyes widening, "Oh no Liz! No, no, no!"

"It's tickle time, Artie!" Liz cooed evilly. Arthur begged with her some more, but no use; she already had Arthur cracking up on the floor. He screamed a few stop's and no's, but Liz didn't give out. It looked like she was chocking him, but with less coughing and more smiling. I wanted to jump in and save him, but yet at the same time it was really funny. We all laughed, but Arthur's laughter was easily louder than ours.

"Okay, old man, I'm done!" Liz laughed, putting up her hands, "but give me a lollipop."

"D-Downstairs, kitchen," Arthur gasped, breathing heavily, "Get off."

"Got it sir Kirkland," Liz saluted and got off of Arthur and marched down the stairs.

"Wow, didn't know you were ticklish, Arthur," Gilbert teased in a sing-song-voice as Arthur came to sit down again.

"She's just, good at tickling," Arthur hissed, crossing his arms and huffing. He impatiently tapped his foot to signify his frustration.

"Yeah right, Arthur," Archie laughed. Arthur's nostrils flared, just like an angry dog's, and gritted his teeth together. The two mocking teens started to piss me off as well.

"Hey man, its fine, I'm pretty ticklish too," I said quietly, patting his shoulder, trying to reassure the pissed Brit. Arthur sighed heavily and shrugged.

After Liz came back up with a lollipop in her mouth, I very carefully took off my shirt, and pushed up the blanket I had been given to cover my body, keeping my wrists glued to my sides. I think Arthur sensed my unease, and frowned at me.

"Really, Alfred?" Arthur grunted, rolling his eyes.

"Hm, what?"

Arthur angrily huffed. My mind tracing over his original sentence, I then realized Arthur had trouble saying my name like I did because of his accent. He always took too long of a pause to say 'al'. I smirked at him once the thought popped into my head that he had trouble saying it, and had to force himself to say my name correctly.

"You say my name funny," I muttered with a laugh.

Arthur's eyes widened, "Excuse me?"

"You say my name weird," I repeated, "like you have trouble saying Al or something."

"Oh um, I sorta do," Arthur said with a shrug, "I've been working on it though."

"What would my name sound like if you said it without trying so hard?"

Arthur said my name without hesitation like he normally did, but instead this time the A in my name was more guttural, more like a U. Basically, he said 'Ulfred' but still a hint of the A. I held back a smile as Arthur frowned. Goddamnit, that was adorable! And funny, but pretty damn cute. He can't even say my name because of that accent, and he had been trying so hard to say it, and when he said it naturally it just sounded cute.

"See? Sounds weird," Arthur said, rubbing his knees together, "I'm working on it, don't worry."

"No way dude, don't force yourself to say my name, you can call me whatever really," I said simply, like it was no big deal. It wasn't, really. Arthur's accent just adorably affected the way he said my name.

"But it's your name," Arthur said, "Names are special."

"Your technically saying my name, just your accent effects it," I muttered.

"My accent? Your accent! You're in Britain!" Arthur said loudly, but then quieted down, "So you really don't mind if I say it like that?"

"S'fine," I said with a shrug. Suddenly, coldness chilled my bare chest, the blanket no longer wrapped around it. I whimpered in surprise, Arthur dropping the blanket to the side.

"Don't be so shy," Arthur growled. Then his eyes met with my chest, "Holy shit, have you ever considered waxing that?" My eyes widened at the comment, as I quickly looked down at my chest. The small, curly strands of hair stuck out of my chest, but since they were so blonde they really didn't stick out well.

"Uh, well, doesn't that hurt?" I swallowed, "You can't really see them, either…"

And in no time Liz was holding a roll of duct tape and Arthur was flattening the silver thing over my chest, the stickiness already bothering the skin underneath it. The other five had crowded around me.

"Um, is it possible that my nipple could be ripped off?" I said quietly, shaking slightly.

"Don't think so," Arthur murmured, flattening out the spaces.

Thom ignored Arthur's attempt to reassure me, "I saw this video clip on TV that one guy got his nipple ripped of by the same thing!"

"Are we even supposed to do this with duct tape?" I asked nervously.

Ignoring my comment, Gilbert added; "I wonder if nipples can grow back."

"Why do boys even have nipples?" Liz said in a huff, "They don't really need them!"

"Now Liz honey, we all know why men need nipples," Arthur said quietly, turning towards her, "So just in case there gay they can turn there partner on." Arthur smirked.

"Oh well that's not good for me," I said with a nervous giggle.

"Okay, think its good," Arthur said, "This may hurt a little, you can squeeze my arm if you want," Arthur held up his arm close to mine afterwards.

"Do it Artie!" Gilbert screamed, as Arthur shot a terrible look at him. Arthur's fingers fumbled for an edge of the duct tape that wasn't too attached to my skin, and upon finding it pinching the edge. Arthur sighed as I could get his nervous energy colliding with mine.

"Oh c'mon Arthur, I know you don't want to hurt him but-," Then the worst stinging quickly ripped over my skin. Intense burning squeezing tears out of my eyes, clenching Arthur's wrist as tight as possible. The pain burned from my skin onto my chest, causing complete agony throughout my whole upper body. I screamed pretty loud, a low, guttural scream, the pain bubbling from my throat.

"Alfred?" Arthur said quietly once the pain subsided into a tingling pain, and only burnt in certain areas at certain moments.

"Well his nipple's still there," Archie said quietly.

"Sorry Alfred," Liz murmured, "Should we continue, shouldn't we do the other si-?"

To my surprise, Arthur answered her before I could, even cutting her off, "No!"

We all stared at him, even me who had uncontrollable tears falling down.

"Not, not that I care, or anything!" Arthur huffed, crossing his arms, "Well I do, but, uh..."

"C'mon, Al, let's go put something on that," Liz said like a mom trying to comfort there child. I got up slowly and followed her into Arthur's bathroom.

She sat me down on the toilet seat. "Okay, let's see, what does Arthur have for burns?" Liz muttered quietly, sliding the two doors on the mirror above the sink aside. She searched through the cabinets as I looked down at my chest; the area where the duct tape had been was beet red.

"Okay, well I guess this works," Liz said, "This should make it feel better." She stepped towards me, shaking the short bottle. It read 'burn spray' which the pain I felt did feel much like a burn, so I guess maybe it would work. Taking off the cap, she bent down and sprayed up and down the area. The stuff was cold, and I could feel it bubbling over the sensitive skin. It felt nice, the cold quickly concurring the heat, relief spreading through my body.

"Oh, that feels better," I sighed, my back relaxing and I slouched over slightly. Liz smiled.

"That's good," She laughed, "Sorry I ripped it off early."

"It was coming off one way or another," I laughed, whipping away a few old tears from my face.

"Oh, hey, what's that?" Liz said gently, reaching out for my arm.

"Hm?" I said, looking at her. That's when it hit me, she noticed my scars. Panic shot through my body, "No!" I screamed afterward, taking my wrist and holding it close it my chest. Liz was shocked by my sudden action, and since she really hadn't seen me be anything but gentle with things.

"Alfred?" She said quietly, "You alright?"

"Just, just don't touch my arms, okay?" I muttered, regretting my decision to yell, feeling bad for her, even though from what I've heard she was extremely tough.

"Alfred, honey, let me see," Liz muttered, reaching out very softly, coaxing my arm out into hers. She slowly took my arm, staring at my wrists for a moment, until gasping softly. "Alfred!" She shocked me with a tight hug, wrapping her arms tightly around my neck. I very cautiously hugged her back, my arms pushing her closer.

"I know, you're going to tell everyone, right?" I murmured the regret of even taking my shirt off in the first place setting in. With that my dad would know, and then he'd yell at me for doing it and take away my razor. Just making me want to cut more and have nothing to go too. Jesus Christ, Alfred, why do you have to be such a damn idiot? You should have known better, I mean, there was nothing between the scars to block them out. Now everyone was going to get nosy and into it all. I wish people didn't get to into my life, not this much.

"No," Liz muttered quietly. Oh, well then, Liz gets it, "I won't tell, that's your job to do," Liz corrected it so I was looking her in the eyes, "But you need help, honey. And they'll find out one way or another."

I swallowed. She was right. Hiding it would do for now, but they'd find out, and I bet they wouldn't be very happy with me for lying to them. I was cornered. There was no easy way out of this one, either take A chance and hide or tell them. But, Liz handled it okay, so why couldn't they? I'd just wait a little longer.

"You hang in there, okay?" Liz muttered softly, patting my head, "It must be hard, I should have known." I nodded briefly, unable to respond. I was relieved that she understood, like she was looking deep into my thoughts. She knew I hated people in my business. She knew not to yell at me. She knew to try and help me without telling someone. I liked that. I liked her; she was probably my best friend out of the group. Which I wish Arthur could be, but I was with Liz more because I was afraid to ask Arthur to go places with me. The one time we had alone together being friends, was earlier today.

We walked back. On the way back she patted my shoulder. "You good?"

"I'm good," I responded with a smile, feeling a bit better. Liz understood me well, and I felt like I finally had someone that would listen to my problems without telling and spreading it around. She smiled.

"Hun, if you need anything, just come to me, alright?" Liz said quietly before entering the room, "I'm already Arthur's stalker trying to get information to give to you."

I laughed quietly, "Thanks. But you don't have to stalk Ar-."

"Nope! I have to! I'm getting you two together! I'm your wingman with boobs!"

"Hey guys," Liz said as she walked in, me quickly following. Once getting back in the room, I dived for my bag, quickly pulling out the sweater I had on previously and pulled it on. The fabric brushed against my chest, irritating it. I leaned up against Arthur's bed afterwards. The boys were quietly talking in the other corner of the room.

Liz leaned against the bed next to me. She shot a look at me. "Oh, I'm not taking any chances," I said, "Plus I like it being warm."

"Oh." I think Liz understood that it was that people would notice the scars and the fear of getting duct tape ripped off my body again threatened me.

"Hey," Arthur muttered, walking into Liz's and I's short conversation, "You, eh, put your hoodie back on, sorry."

"Sorry?"

"For getting the idea to rip off your chest hair."

"Well, it's mostly gone now, so thanks," I said with a shrug, "I can just shave off the rest."

"Yeah, but that hurt pretty damn bad, didn't it?" Arthur said with a soft chuckle, sitting down on the other side of me.

"No duh Arthur," Liz said, her voice deepening. Arthur shot her an improving look. It was funny; whenever Arthur looked at anyone whenever he was annoyed by them you could clearly see the pure irritation in his expression, mixed with an immaturity. It seemed that Arthur's anger came from his immaturity; he wanted to have that 'old man' attitude because it was expected from him, and had gotten funny as it went on. At first you would think it's him being a jackass, but to him, Liz, Gilbert, and now me, it was all a small inside joke.

I knew I wasn't close with Arthur, more so Liz and even Gilbert, because whenever I was around him we had that awkward politeness while talking. Since we got along very well, even though we were still awkward, Arthur and I had the potential of being best friends, or, possibly boyfriends, which I still wanted really badly. I wasn't one to show most feelings, since I hardly ever cried, it was easy to hold back for now. For now. That echoed in my head. How long could I keep this up? Hopefully Arthur and I would get closer, and then he'd get more comfortable with me. How would I hold back then? What would I do then? Well, I do deal with complete assholes almost every day and hold back screaming at them, that must be harder than falling in love.

Right?

It must be, how hard could loving someone really be?

Man I ask some loser questions, I really got to get more social.

I woke up that morning feeling like shit. I was incredibly drowsy, but not the first one up. Cold air surrounded me once taking off the blanket, the blanket releasing my body heat it had been storing all night. I shuttered, quietly making my way across the room, Thom and Gilbert still being asleep. I didn't see Arthur, Liz, or Archie, so I got confused on what to do. Not that confused though, because my brain was still tired and wasn't thinking properly. I snuck out of Arthur's room, looked around quickly, and then figured they would be downstairs. My thoughts were right, as Arthur and Liz sat on the couch.

"Good morning," I said, taking a seat next to Arthur.

"Good morning," He said back, "What time did you tell your dad you'd be back? It's already twelve."

"Twelve?" I gasped, "Oh dear god, I have to go! Dad's gonna freak!" I quickly sprinted upstairs not waiting for a response, snapping out of drowsiness. Dad hated it when I was late, and my awesome night was not going to be spoiled by that. Not even being careful not to wake the others, I grabbed my bag and quickly went back downstairs.

"Uh, Alfred?" Liz softly murmured crossing her legs.

"Sorry, I really have to go, bye guys," I said, sitting down and slipping on my boots, "Tell the others I said bye."

"Bye, we gotta do this again!" Arthur said in a small laugh, Liz waving. And with that, I took off out of Arthur's house and down the street, not even bothering to tie my boot laces.

"Alfred, you're late," Was the first thing my dad said to me upon opening the door.

"Sorry, I overslept; I rushed here as fast as possible, though!"

"Al, you have to get better sleeping habits, that's all you do all day," My dad said in a mutter, "and eat chocolate, cut it out."

"You don't even seem happy that I have friends," I muttered under my breath, about to go upstairs, leaving my father sitting on the couch, "Finally happy and you don't give a fuck."

"Excuse me?" My dad said harshly from the living room. How the hell did he even hear me? I ignored him, irritation filling my head. I quickly went into my room and locked the door.

"May I remind you why I broke up with your mother, Alfred?" He screamed from down stairs. I sighed, sitting on my bed. I do remember, he flipped out because mom had been late so many times, plus he was drunk, so my mom fought back like a respectful person would. But, I'm mad at her kind of, I'm not even sure if she felt bad for me going with my dad. Oh well, she was still fun. We had this family reunion every year; I missed last year because my dad didn't want me to go. And this family reunion was probably the highlight of my life. I got to see everybody who mattered to me, and we went to Italy for a week and stayed in this really nice hotel. But, it's in the summer, which sucks because winter just started.

My dad must be drunk, too. He's usually sarcastic with me, but today he was stricter. Either he's really mad, or just had something to drink. I curled up in my bed. Great, the rest of the weekend would be pretty damn boring. I gave consideration to cut, but I really didn't feel to upset, and I really should only save it for that.

I guess I'll draw, then. Maybe test out ways to make Arthur's eyes- wait, my colored pencils were downstairs, shit.

Ah shit, of course it ended up looking like Arthur.

I sighed. This is why people bully me. I'm a freaky weird stalker kid. There was something though, that no matter how many times I denied it, I could not get something about Arthur out of my head. This wasn't a healthy crush, I actually loved him. Not that I thought about him directly, more that I wasn't aware that I was. It had been a constant thought that maybe Arthur liked me back, not like I liked him, less obsessive like I was. He did sit next to me every time we were together, and he saved me from getting that duct tape ripped off my skin again, and the way he clung to me while we were watching the movie. Ah, who knows, maybe he does? Maybe I have a chance? At least a tiny chance. Who knows, maybe I could do something right for once.

My phone buzzing distracted me from my thoughts. I picked it up off my nightstand. Text from Gilbert.

Hey, Liz told me u have a crush on the grumpy Brit! ;) 3 3 3

Liz, are you kidding.

My fingers danced against the touchscreen surface, typing the quick message; She told u? Don't tell Arthur or I'll kill you!

Bzzt

Don't worry dude, I won't. Maybe I can help ya though, you can have two wingmen!

I guess it wouldn't be that bad; Okay, cool. Thanks Gil, but I got it under control.

I swear I heard Gilbert's laughing, But you're gonna need backup! Arthur's been extra grumpy since his breakup with his last boyfriend, and you're just the right guy for him. We need it as much as you, man.

I rolled my eyes. Yeah right.

K, thanks Gil, I gotta go. Text ya later.

Bzzt, Oh, here's the guy's phone number! Stop being so lonely and eating chocolate, get to know him! Maybe sext with him a little. Gilbert sent a bunch of wink faces and hearts with that, along with Arthur's phone number. I laughed a bit. I guess now I could talk to him, like I had the guts to it. I plugged my headphones in soon after, turning on some music.

Authors Note_

Look, a fanfiction! Okay, this is the first (very long) chapter of my USUk human AU! Thing. I'm not a very good writer, but I've planned pretty well for this so it should be an okay story! Not all the chapters will be this long, though. It's also rated M for sensitive material, cussing and yES, SMUT. If you feel too pressured reading this much shit, this is on my dA (goldenlab2000) is cut up into two.

Well, Alfred's POV, and he's a nerd. Hopefully I don't fall into big plot holes. Might be awhile until the next.

Also, this isn't one of those one-sided fan fiction things, those hurt me too much to keep up for too long.

Well thanks for reading, since this is my first posting, I'm a bit scared .-.