Author's Note:Hello! Over the summer, I did dozens, upon dozens of punk!Arthur and jock!Alfred RP's. As school started back, of course I didn't have time to do as many ;-;. Anyways, the story you are about to read is based off of one of my all-time favorite RP's I did this summer. I wrote with this lovely lady for almost the entire summer, and we got quite far in the RP. Sadly, we lost communication as school and whatnot started back. Long story short, I tried to contact her and ask for her permission to use some of her ideas for Alfie (her character), but she didn't reply. So, if you are the girl that I wrote this with, feel free to contact me if you want me to either credit you, or take it down. Either's fine, I know I didn't get to talk to you for permission and whatnot!

Anyways, I have this story roughly planned out from beginning to end, and it should be around 5-6 chapters. Even though that's not much, I do usually write roughly 15-20 pages per chapter, sooo it should still sum up to be about the same as a 20 chapter story with 5 page chapters!

Warnings: Arthur goes get bullied at school, and his father is an alcoholic/abuses him as well. Not to mention their potty mouths, and there will be smut later on! So yeah, this is rated M for a little bit of everything~!

The Ups and Downs of Loving an Englishman

Chapter 1:

Bandages and Bruises

Ever since the day a person is born, they're raised to see their parents hugging and kissing each other lovingly, and they're used to watching Disney movies; which portrayed the concept of a happy ending. And even as a child grew up, going through elementary and middle school, they still watched cheesy chick-flicks and they looked up to those 'happily ever after' stories about celebrities that could be seen on the front of tabloids in the supermarket. And god damn, Arthur really hated that. Growing up in the heart of Manchester, England had been what most people would call 'living the dream'. Although it was a busy, overcrowded city with far too many rude old women who yelled at rebellious teenagers, Arthur had always found it scenic, and breath taking. The smell of fresh tea in the morning, the chilling weather that, by this time, wrapped around Arthur with warm and protecting arms.

But then he been shipped off to America, to live with his father. His mother had previously lost her job, qualifying their family to be one of the poorest in all of Manchester. They'd barely gotten by, Arthur, his mother, and three of his brothers all lived together in a cramped, two bedroom apartment that had no air conditioning in the summers. But still, he'd rather have to sleep on the floor than have to leave his beloved family, and go live with his father. Nonetheless, at the young age of fifteen, Arthur, packed his bags and flew over to live with a drunkard of an old man who he was supposed to have feelings for. But all he could ever feel was resent, and fear.

There was a reason the older man had long ago deserted his family and moved to America. He'd gone to the United States to escape a nasty debt and a gambling problem, of course that only followed him over.

At the present moment, Arthur Kirkland was walking down the halls of Jackman's High School for the Fine Arts, one of the top ranked art's schools in Florida. His head was bowed down, faded maroon backpack slung over one shoulder carelessly as he headed towards his locker. His black skinny jeans had a few tears in the knees here and there, the soft fabric hugged at his thighs and hips slightly as he walked. His dark grey shirt was sleeveless, an in depth drawing of the band album The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance on it. His black and white checkered Van's made a soft 'pit pat' on the ceramic tiling of the schools floor as he walked. Black eyeliner was drawn neatly beneath his eyes with perfection, although with the addition of a black eye painted across the fragile skin of the right side of his face, not much of the hard work could be appreciated. He had a piercing or two in each ear, nothing more than a silver stud that caught the light of the sun and reflected if it was hit right. Up his arms were dozens, upon dozens of wristbands. They were from multiple different concerts he'd snuck out to see. Maroon 5, Green Day, Mindless Self Indulgence… The list went on and on. As for his hair, it was entirely dyed a darker red color. Not a simple blond hair was showing, and he kept it that way.

Arthur finally made his way to his locker, wincing lightly as he felt a sharp pain in his stomach. No worries, he'd been hit by one of the football players on his way home yesterday, and it'd left quite an impressive bruise. The Briton brushed aside the annoying pain, unlocking his old, red locker with paint chips flaking off. There were multiple faded messy scribbling of inappropriate things on it that had been drawn in sharpie. The words 'queer' and 'faggot' had been painted onto it, although the school had done a good enough job of getting that off. Arthur honestly gave zero fucks about what people thought of him. He was gay, and the whole school knew it. And that certainly didn't help the fact of the football players hating him. Oh well, the Briton was a quite strong-minded person, he could handle it… Or at least, he kept telling himself that.

Shoving his backpack into his locker hastily, he pulled out his abused, ripped up sketch book. He'd only gotten into the Fine Art's school because of his drawing abilities, his mother back in England used to have Arthur get babysat by a friend of hers, an aspiring artist who taught the emerald eyed teen a lot about sketching and painting. He bit down on his split lower lip absentmindedly as he grabbed his overfilling, drawn on bag of Copic Markers, some of the best artist markers out there. After grabbing a few notebooks for his classes and a textbook, he closed his locker.

Arthur froze up suddenly as he heard joyous laughter bouncing off the walls of the hallways, and he groaned quietly. Not today, he already felt like crap from the day before….

"Well look who it is, our favorite little faggot!" Called out a nameless person, just another dumb-ass jock who couldn't count to ten without using his fingers. In haste, Arthur opened his locker once more and stored away his sketch book and (rather expensive) markers, then closed it again. He didn't care if his other stuff got torn up and stomped on, but sketching and drawing was one of the few things that kept him sane at night. "Yo! Don't ignore me when I'm talking to you, you queer." The same teen sneered, walking up and slamming his hand against the lockers next to Arthur's head. Slowly, the emerald-eyed teen turned around to look up to the (much taller) teenager, a frown spreading across his lips.

"Go drink bleach." Arthur replied in a cool, controlled tone. His eyes spared with a deeper, more malicious shade of jade as he spoke, signaling he refused to take any shit from them.

"Awh, well that's not very nice, is it?" The jock questioned, sneering as he leaned closer to the other. "You should talk nicer to someone who could beat you to a fuckin' pulp."

"And you should talk nicer to someone who knows you've been cheating with three other girls." Arthur replied.

"Why you little shit-!"

Arthur swung out a fist suddenly, able to hear his knuckles popping in protest as they slammed into the jaw of the assaulting teenager. He pulled back seconds later, holding in the pain that throbbed on the delicate skin of his hands, his artist hands, which he always took such good care of. He was terrified he'd break it or something.. What if one of those asshole jocks went too far and put his hand in a cast? He wouldn't be able to draw then!

"You'd better get the hell out of my way." Arthur growled, on defensive as he cradled his books close to his chest. The teen that had been towering over him, tumbled back and onto one of his friends. There was a collaboration of loud cursing and arguing, in which Arthur took the chance to try and sneak away.

"Woah, woah, woah, not so fast!" Chimed in another tone. That was when Arthur's eyes widened, and he truly felt a pang of fear bubbling up in the pit of his stomach. Alfred F. Jones. Oh fucking hell, he really resented the jock. He hated the way that the blue-eyed teen thought he was on top of the world, how he acted like he was god. But he really hated how hard he could hit. Not with his fists, but with his words.

Everyone else's comments were shallow, things Arthur could deal with. But for whatever reason, the American had a way of finding his weak point, and driving the nail deep into it. Whenever he put attention on what he was saying, Arthur always went home and hugged a pillow for the remainder of the night. The Brit didn't look back, knowing he'd be faced with a pair of bright, angry sapphire hues and a sneer that sent spikes and daggers down the Brit's very core. Nonetheless, he felt a hand ball up into a fist in the back of his shirt.

"No need to leave so fast, faggot." Alfred spat out, yanking the other back. Arthur tumbled with a quiet yelp, books spilling out onto the hard tiled floor as he himself fell. His bum contacted with the ground harshly as his head banged into the old, chipped lockers. That added to one of the dozens of dings in the lockers from his head. For a single, terror filled moment, Arthur's vision went black as his arms scrambled out to support himself. Slowly, his vision dotted back in place like puzzle pieces falling into sorts, and he hastily shoved himself up to his feet, despite the others trying to keep him down. He could feel a thick, hot liquid matting the back of his hair down, which he could only guess was blood. Goddammit. At least the red wouldn't stand out in his already-dyed hair.

"I said relax, Kirkland, enjoy your stay~" Alfred cooed, taking a step in closer to the other. To Arthur's mutual pleasure, he could hear that the guy he decked was crying quietly. Huh, what a bunch of girls.

"You'd better hurry onto class before they fail you, Alfred. I don't understand how you could have possibly gotten into such a prestigious school, but they'll kick you out soon enough once they realize you're as worthless as a bag of bloody walnuts." Arthur said in a rather calm tone, although he could already anticipate how much the punches he was sure to receive would feel. The American sneered, leaning in and holding his hand against the other's neck in a rather frightening pose, almost like he was mutely suggesting the fact he could badly injure him with a single hand.

"It's called a sports scholarship, faggot."

"Sports will only get you to the point where you've become such a dick that none of your friends want to hang out with you."

Arthur felt a knee coming into contact with his stomach before he saw it. He coughed dryly, doubling over as both of his arms flew to wrap around his body, trying to prevent further harm. Another blow was roughly delivered to his jaw before he had a second to think, and he sunk to the floor as his head banged up against the lockers once more. Arthur grimaced at the bitter, iron-like taste on his tongue, which he'd bitten down onto quite roughly. Oh shit. He could feel that he'd bitten down on the small piercing on the tip of his tongue. Fuck fuck fuck fucking shit that hurt. He fell to the floor, books long past scattered around him on the ground. Some of Alfred's teammates were having fun tearing up the pages and scattering them around the halls. Sucking on his injured tongue, he turned his head to look back up at Alfred, who no sooner brought a foot down roughly on the Brit's hand, which was sprawled on the tiled floors to keep himself upright.

The Brit yelped in pain, hearing a soft cracking sound of the bone as he tried to yank his hand back, to no avail. "Shit! Get off Jones!" He shouted, adrenaline and fear coursing through his veins. His hand! His drawing hand! The Brit tugged once more, finally freeing the only thing that kept him in this school away from the jock. Quickly, he cradled the injuries close to his chest, sparing a glare up to the other that could of killed him.

Alfred opened his mouth to speak, then paused as one of his teammates tapped him on the shoulder. He frowned, mumbling something under his breath. Finally, the American turned back to face Arthur, looking just as sinister as he had a moment ago. "Well, we can't have another tardy on our record, so we'll see ya around, cock sucker~" The American cooed, and with one last brutal kick to the Brit's thigh, he walked off with his friends.

Arthur did nothing to protest the kick, almost teary eyed as he frantically looked down at his hands. It appeared to be his pointer, and middle finger that were in the most pain. He touched one, wincing and mumbling some string of foul curses under his breath. Trying to bend them, he cried out quietly before quickly deciding it was a bad idea. He finally forced himself to stand up, slowly collecting his ruined books with one hand, tossing all of them back into his locker. He glanced to make sure his sketch pad and markers were still there, before limping to the bathroom. He'd grabbed his backpack on the way, slinging it over his shoulder.

His jaw hurt, his stomach hurt, his mouth hurt, his thigh hurt… But his hand, that was the only thing he gave a shit about. It didn't matter if he wouldn't be able to walk without a limp for the next month, but he needed to be able to draw, it was his own personal coping mechanism. Arthur nearly slammed the door to the bathroom as he entered, his bad hand hung limply at his side as the other slid along the wall to help keep himself alright. This was not okay, this was one thing in life that was not okay.

Arthur, with a shaky hand, dropped his backpack onto the sink. He unzipped the smallest pouch, pulling out a large roll of 1/2 inch wide cloth. He grabbed the medical tape as well, having bought all the supplies he could of possibly needed for bandaging wounds. Thinking back to an article he read, he tried to think about how to fix fingers. He knew that with his father, there was no way in hell the man would pay for a trip to the doctors, he'd probably end up making it worse if the Brit complained. With a deep breath, he grabbed the two injured fingers with his other hand, and after a moment of hesitating, he gave the fingers a rough, counterclockwise yank.

A loud, pain filled shout left his lips, followed by several profanities and random sentences strung together about how much he hated Alfred Fucking Jones. Still grimacing and cursing with every touch, he began to tightly wrap the cloth around the two fingers. Making sure they were outstretched and strait, he finally taped the cloth in place to help it act as a splint. For a moment he just stood there, pain coursing through his veins as he held his hand still. Emerald hues were closed tightly, his good hand gripping onto the counter to keep himself up, swaying on his feet slightly. After a moment his vision cleared and he looked up to the mirror.

His eyes were not close to what people would call 'dead' or 'devoid of life'. They were fiery, angry, in agony, and frightened. But at least there was still emotion in them, Arthur feared the day when he'd look in the mirror and see the ghost of a man who'd lost all hope for the world. But with the track he was on, he didn't doubt he'd be seeing that sooner or later.

Bandaging the other wounds weren't too hard, he'd learnt just how to handle all of them. All he could do with bruises was run cold water over it. As for his bleeding head, he made sure to clean the blood out of his hair the best he could, then apply pressure with bandages until the bleeding stopped completely. He wrapped bandages around his head, just to be safe. Once most of the wounds were taken care of, he stuck his tongue out and looked in the mirror. He winced at the sight of blood drying between his teeth, and he quickly leaned down to rinse his mouth out with the tap water that flowed from the faucet. After a moment, he looked back up. At least he hadn't bitten too hard, and the stud on his tongue seemed to be fine.

"Okay Kirkland… You're okay.." Arthur whispered, exhaling slowly and letting his body relax for a minute. "Just go back to class… It'll be the weekend before you know it…" After the small speech to himself, he collected his things and cleaned up the bloody bandages, glancing in the mirror. Arthur Kirkland, covered in bandages and bruises, was proud to say he still stood here today. After running a hand through his blood red (literally) dyed hair, and prodding at the forming bruise on his jaw (the black eye he had was colliding with the new injury), he headed out of the restroom. From the kick to his thigh, he limped slightly as he walked, yet Arthur held his head high.

After gathering up his non-destroyed books, he headed on to class, sparing his Spanish teacher a look that the man knew all too well. He was let into the classroom without a commotion, slumping down in the back seat and laying his head on the desk. He didn't know why he bothered to come, usually he ended up skipping and hanging out on the roof. But today, he didn't want to risk more injuries.

Most bullies had a theory, that their victims went home to a loving and caring family who was there to listen to their problems. They believed that, hey, what does it matter if we call this kid shit? He'll go talk it out with his mum, right? Well, that certainly wasn't the case for the punk. His father was the one person on the face of the planet who he wouldn't go to when it came to problems. His father only caused more problems.

Arthur sluggishly made his way home after school that day, hugging his backpack to his chest, having had to protect it from harm as he'd passed a few of the jock-fuckhead's just a while back. It had his markers and sketch book in it, he couldn't risk losing that. To his great displeasure, he'd discovered that drawing with his injured hand was impossible, it came out a messed up jumble of lines and crap. During fourth period, however, he'd Googled how long it took fingers to heal. Supposedly, it'd be safe to take off his homemade casts in a little over three weeks… Just three weeks, you can do it, Kirkland. Or at least, that's what he told himself.

The Brit slowly walked through the overgrown, dying grass of his front lawn. It crinkled and snapped beneath his feet quietly as he approached his 'home'. To Arthur, it was just a house; but never a place he could consider as home for himself. The Brit silently slipped in through the front door, having realized that his father was most likely at work, or buying booze.

Up the stairs and down the hall, the Brit quickly closed and locked his door behind him. Even though you would of thought with a lazy-ass father, they would of lived in a bad home; it was quite the opposite. Their house was a two story, brick, Italian styled home. They lived in a neighborhood that had five sections, each had a different style of housing from different countries. It was pretty neat, he had to admit.

Arthur quickly threw his backpack down near the bed, stepping out of his Vans and sighing, gently running a hand through his hair until the bandage stopped him from going any further. He next crawled beneath the sheets of his large, four poster bed. Up on his walls (which were painted a dark blue), were dozens upon dozens of posters of bands. Not to mention some of his best artwork had been put through a copying machine (he always kept the originals safe) and hung up on his walls. Arthur pulled the sheets over his head slowly, wincing at every movement he made. He couldn't budge his legs without his thigh hurting, he couldn't move any part of his face without being in some extreme pain.

Slowly, he hit the application for Facebook on his old, first generation iPhone.

'Hey' He typed slowly, after going to the chat box for someone he considered to be his only friend, Gilbert. To make a long story short, when Arthur had first moved to America near the end of the summer, Gilbert had been visiting his grandparents, who lived in the German styled homes just a ways away. They'd had a thing. That was about it. Two weeks of making out under an old willow tree in a park nearby, two weeks of hugging each other and watching horror movies and laughing. Two weeks of sweet, caring words to the other, something that to this day, Arthur had to think about to remind himself that he was a human being, and not some piece of trash. For a while, he waited for a response, smiling weakly as his phone buzzed.

'Arthur! Hey, I haven't talked to you in forever bro!' Came in the reply, and in perfect grammar too. And thank god for that, Arthur couldn't stand the 'text typing'.

'I know, it's been too long! How're you?' Arthur typed in reply, sighing. He wished he and Gilbert would of found a way to keep their relationship going, but even as the older, white haired teen who he'd loved earlier left, they'd both known it was just a summer fling; nothing serious. But oh, it'd been nice to have someone to care for him.

'I've been great bro! Actually, I have something to tell you!'

'What is it?'

'I got a boyfriend! His name is Vlad, he's great!'

Arthur looked at the picture attached, sighing softly. On the left was Gilbert; tall, snow white hair and gorgeous, alluring ruby eyes. He had the smile spread across his lips, as always, pearly white teeth shining. For half a moment, Arthur remembered what it felt to run his tongue along those teeth… And on the right was another boy, someone he hadn't seem before. He was dressed as if he was from a time in the past, with a small top hat sitting atop his head. And just like Gilbert, he had a pair of piercing, garnet eyes. Arthur was a bit surprised by this, he'd thought that his old lover's eyes were one of a kind. But oh well… They looked happy together, and that was something he was happy to see. Gilbert had his arm around the other, and the teen with the one, vampire-like tooth was curled up beneath his arm.

'Arthur…? Anyways, his full name is Vladimir! He's great!' Gilbert sent, sending lots of exclamation marks and emoticons to show his happiness.

'That's great! I'm happy to hear it!' He wasn't… Not truthfully, he was envious of Vlad to the tenth degree, but at the same time, he knew it was selfish to not be happy for his one, and only friend.

Arthur and Gilbert talked for a good portion of the night, about nothing in particular. They Skyped near the end, Arthur hadn't realized how beat up he looked until Gilbert practically had a panic attack over it. Nonetheless, he got to meed Vladimir, and then went off to bed.

This day really wasn't in his favor.

The rest of his week wasn't any better. He hadn't gotten bullied physically, at least, but the name calling was getting to be a bit much. Then again, twice in one day, a girl had stuck up for him against the jocks. Not that he couldn't take care of himself, but he usually just remained silent and walked by them if it was at all possible. It was slightly ironic, most of the football team liked to beat him up because their girlfriends absolutely fawned over Arthur. Over his accent, his smile, his 'Britishness', as they put it. Not that he really minded.

But then came Thursday. He'd skipped out of his math class in favor of sleeping up on the roof. It was a nice enough day out, the sun was covered by a thin layer of clouds, which casted a rather pleasant shadow down over his body. The bruises he had were well on their way to healing, but his fingers still hurt every time he tried to move them.

Arthur had been awoken by a sudden start, rather, someone slamming their foot down on his stomach. He'd woken up not able to breathe, coughing and gagging, rolling over onto his stomach to try and prevent further harm. He heard voiced, daunting laughs and puns about him being a useless human being. There was absolutely no time to think, all he could do was try and scramble away from whoever was above him. More kicks and hits to his side and back were received, but he finally gave in when someone pinned him against the wall, their hand gripping against his throat. He was bruised and bloodied, having numerous cuts on his cheeks and body from getting pressed into the cement on the roof's floor. But none of that compared to the immediate panic he felt when he realized the fucking idiot was blocking off his air supply.

He tried to gasp, to make a noise that signaled this really might kill him. "St-sto-stop it!" Curse his one hand for being useless, all it could do was grip at the ground and try to yank free. His other hand was clawing at the one holding his neck.

"Hey, bro… You might need to stop, we don't want a murder on our hands…" A nameless jock grumbled, looking around to see if their leader, Alfred, was around. The American always had a good sense of when to stop.

"Ah c'mon, he's fine… Just being a pussy.." The one choking Arthur replied with a little grin, applying even more pressure on his neck. Tears beaded up in the Brit's eyes, struggling and kicking weakly against the other, black dotting his vision at this point. His eyes finally slid closed, just as he felt the pressure be released. Without having the energy to open his eyes, he fell onto his knees, kneeling over the floor as he coughed violently, shaking and shivering. Arthur kept his eyes closed tightly, feeling the salty liquid brimming over the edges, threatening to ruin his eyeliner. Hr heard a voice, someone shouting and chasing everyone off, before he felt a hand on his shoulder.

It wasn't necessarily a kind, gentle hand. Rather one that was forcing him to look up, the fingers slipping beneath his chin and roughly guiding his head. Emerald eyes blinked open slowly, finding that the sun (which was peeking out from the clouds), was far too bright for his liking. For a moment, he was certain his eyes had deceived him, because there was no way the person who knelt in front of him was really there.

"A-Alf-Alfred?" Arthur choked out, his good hand grasping at his neck gently, wincing at the throbbing pain building up in the skin. His breathing was ragged, but at least he was breathing. The Brit glanced over the jocks shoulder, seeing that all the others were scrambling off hastily. The jock didn't look necessarily happy that he had to just claw his friends off of the punk, at the same time it was obvious he tried to force something resembling a smile on his face.

"I-… Don't except my help again, faggot." The American looked as if he had been about to say something, but cut himself off, his exterior hardening as he spat out the words. Arthur could only nod numbly, before the American was standing up and racing off, down the stairs that led to the roof as he followed after his friends.

Arthur was left on the rooftop alone, he finally resorted to crawling over to his backpack and using it as a pillow. He hid his face under his arm, shaking slightly as tears slid down his cheeks. He bit down on his lower lip, which was cracked and bleeding slightly. For a while he didn't move an inch, staying curled up on the cold, hard cement of the roof. There were little pebbles embedding themselves in whatever inch of flesh they could find, although he paid them no mind. Finally, he started to move as rain poured down from the sky. It started up in an instant, thunder booming loudly as buckets upon buckets drenched Arthur. The Brit cursed as he clumsily stood up, and cowered under the safety of the high school.

He ignored the fact he should be in class, and after leaving his sketch book in his locker (he didn't want it to get ruined), he took off for home. Long ago, Arthur had discovered a few ways to easily escape the school without getting caught, and he used the route of climbing out of an abandoned classroom's window. It was on the first level, so it was only a five or so foot drop down to the ground. Still, every step hurt worse than he could of imagined, not to mention he was still gasping for breath slightly.

Slowly, he made his way back to his house, getting soaked by the rain as he limped.

Arthur was at a loss for how he managed to pull himself out of bed the next morning. It'd taken several moments of looking through his phone at old photos of he and Gilbert, before he'd managed to throw on a Piece the Veil t-shirt and a pair of black skinny jeans. As for his usual makeup, he didn't bother. The black eye he had, and the other assorted bruises and cuts, would clearly block out any eyeliner he could put on. The only thing he did do, was coat several layers of foundation on his face and neck. He honest to god hated the stuff, but he couldn't go around with thick, finger-like bruises on his neck. People would get suspicious.

Slowly, the red-haired punk stepped down the stairs, his injured hand still swinging uselessly at his side, the bandages no longer wrapped around his head. "…Good morning." Came a voice from the kitchen table. Arthur froze instantly, tentatively turning his head to look at the man sitting down, coffee in one hand, the newspaper in the other.

"Good morning, sir." He replied calmly, quietly, as he entered the kitchen. No use to run now, he had a good hour before school began, he knew his father knew that.

"Make me breakfast." It wasn't a question, rather a demand. Arthur nodded numbly, glancing down to his useless hand, before walking over to the stove. The Brit had used to be an absolutely dreadful cook, and to this day he wasn't exactly what you'd call an amazing one… But after years of his father yelling, and hitting him for burning food, Arthur had learned a few things about something as simple as scrambled eggs and bacon. He walked throughout the kitchen silently, limping slightly as he carried the pan, eggs, and bacon in one hand. Usually, he would of tried to somehow use his other to assist in the matter of making breakfast, but whenever he tried to bend, or move it, pain shot up his arm like there was no tomorrow. Silently, he began to cook, turning on the stove as he went.

There was a good amount of fear coursing through his veins, something he didn't usually feel when around any of the jocks at school. Usually he just felt hate with them, but his father… This man could seriously hurt him, and get away with it; he knew Arthur had nowhere to turn to for help.

Thankfully, breakfast went without an issue. As quickly as possible, Arthur was speeding out the front door of his house and down the street, thankful that the rain had stopped earlier in the night. His Vans were soaked by the time he got to school from all the puddles he'd stepped in, and he sighed as he pushed open the large and heavy door of the school with his shoulder. In the school he went, trying to avoid bumping into people. He kept his gaze on the ground, blood-red hair falling down in front of his eyes. Although he wore a blank expression, pain shot up his leg with every step, and breathing brought agony to his neck.

A few teens thought it would be funny to shove him against lockers, but instead of replying with venomous words and insults, he'd just spared them an agitated look before walking on. Arthur made it through most of the day without incident, he narrowly avoided the football team in the hallways on the way to his second period, though.

Last period of the day, Science.. Right, he could handle this, no big deal… Alfred was in the class as well, sitting in the back. He currently had his tongue down his girlfriends throat, the two locked in each other's arms as they did things Arthur would say were definitely not school appropriate. He quietly took a seat, running his good hand through his hair as he pulled out his notebook. His book had been destroyed earlier on in the week, so he'd have to use one of the schools crappy copies. The bell soon rung, and the American's girlfriend went to sit in the front of the class, separating them a good ways. Arthur, on the other hand, was stuck right in front of the jock, who didn't look too happy that he hadn't got a chance to explore the blond he'd been making out with even more.

Their teacher was a lazy, older woman. All she ever gave was bookwork and assignments that required hours upon hours of going to the library for research. After a moment, she seemed to realize the bell rung and rose up to her feet slowly. "Good morn'n class…" She mumbled, pulling her thick, rather horrendous wool shawl closer around her shoulders. "Today you'll be working together with a partner. I'll be giving you five elements, and it's your job to determine which ones chemically bond based off of the number of valence electrons are in each one. Mind you, you'll have to figure out what they are first, so you'll have to preform a series of tests on them." Everyone in the class groaned, knowing it would be a tediously long task. They'd have to light the bloody things on fire, dump them in water, smash them up and see how long it takes for them to evaporate.. Crap like that. "Go find a partner, everyone."

Alfred immediately looked over to his (current) girlfriend, eyes wide and shining as if he expected a little more than for them to partner up. But the blond had already started squealing about the new One Direction release to one of her friends, it was obvious they'd already paired together. The jock looked around for someone else, but it seemed while he'd been staring at the back of his girlfriends head in class, everyone had been making silent eye contact with one another as if saying 'you are my partner and you get no choice'. Finally, his eyes landed on a head of red hair… Shit. There had to be someone else! The American looked around, seeing he and Arthur were the only ones not already at the lab stations in the back of the room. Fuckidy fuck.

"Yo… You got a partner already?" He questioned quietly as he approached the punk, running a hand through his hair irritably. Arthur seemed to jump like he'd been hit, swinging his head around to look to who was talking to him. Usually the teacher just let him work alone on things like this, and that was what he planned to do…

"…No." Arthur replied after hesitating for a moment, rising up to his feet. He kept his bad hand hidden away in the grey, Green Day hoodie he'd slipped on upon entering the class. His other hand was trying to grab all his things and shove them into his bag. For a moment, the American's eyes wandered over the other, noticing the odd lack of bruises and cuts on his face. At least, until he saw the line on the side of Arthur's face where he'd stopped putting the concealer on. And for a fraction of a second, he felt pity for the injured teen.

Without speaking another word on the topic, Alfred and Arthur made their way back to one of the lab tables, setting down their things quietly on the floor as the teacher came around, handing out elements. Every time the American attempted to speak to his partner, he realized how Arthur would flinch away slightly, and how he obviously didn't want to talk to him. The blue-eyed teen finally gave up on trying (even though he was mostly trying to insult the other), and began to chop up one of the little blocks of element his teacher had given out.

They managed to not talk to each other for half of the class, both of them silently did one thing or another and took turns writing down their results on the given paper for the answers. Arthur didn't look well, Alfred realized. Maybe it was the concealer, but he looked paler than normal, and whenever he took a step or moved at all, it was obvious the pain that flashed through his eyes. In all honesty, (even though Alfred wouldn't admit it), he thought Arthur was very.. brave, to put up with being tortured every day. And yet he still stood here, throwing a dirty glance at Alfred whenever he sneered out an insult.

The Brit was lost in thought as he turned on the flame to the burner, biting down on his split lip slightly as he worked. On one hand, he wanted to deck Alfred, just for all the confused emotions he was causing. Why would he take joy in beating the living shit out of him for three years, but then suddenly turn around and save his ass? That made absolutely no sense! But on the other hand, he kinda wanted to thank him.

"Um…" Arthur cleared his throat, frowning slightly as he turned his head to look up to the other. Emerald eyes scanned over the curve of his jaw, the way his lips were tightened to form a thin line. The way the sun from the windows hit the frame of his glasses and reflected was rather… intimidating? More like attractive.

The American turned to face Arthur as soon as he heard the noise, features twisting into a frown immediately. "What?" He questioned, setting down the tools he was using to break up the little element block. Arthur paused, realizing what he was about to say sounded way too nice to be coming from his own mouth. He didn't want to feel indebted to Alfred forever, though.

"Uh… Just-… Thanks, for on the roof yesterday…" Arthur finally managed to spit out, trying to spare a somewhat timid smile before he gave up on the whole 'being nice' thing and went back to working. He doubted Alfred would care, because whatever took over his brain yesterday, wasn't doing so today. Absentmindedly, his good hand went up to rub at his sore throat, wincing as he pressed against the bruised, tender flesh of his neck.

"Yeah, whatever." Came the quick, snappy response from Alfred, who only turned back to continue working. "… I-I don't plan on doing it again, faggot! So don't get used to it! They were just going too far…" He grumbled after a moment, feeling the need to defend himself. Alfred himself looked rather flustered after speaking, and he couldn't figure out why the word 'faggot' tasted so foul on his tongue. As if he suddenly didn't want to call the other that!

Arthur nodded quickly, keeping his eyes trained on the work in front of him. His writing, which was usually neat and perfect, was slightly sloppier than Alfred's now, considering that his writing hand was out of commission. He'd learned long ago how to use his left hand slightly, but it was still rather poor compared to his normal, calligraphy type handwriting. "Right, right… I know.." He said in response, sighing quietly. "Just… Thanks."

The air was tense between them, neither saying anything for the longest time. Finally, Alfred spoke up."You probably think I'm the most awful being out there… But really… I'm not." He shook his head "But.. I'll punch ya more if you continue screaming about how you like other dudes everywhere!" He said it, but there was a playful smile on his lips and the whole line had a humorous note to it. Arthur flinched away with the threat of being hit, even though it was obvious that Alfred seemed more relaxed. Now that was what scared him. He was used to people coming up with fists held up, ready to hit him. But when a man walked forward with his hands in his pockets and an innocent smile… That was when to panic. 'You're not the most awful person out there.. My father is.' The Brit thought as he spared the other a weary glance from his place a few feet away. It was true that he didn't hide the fact he was gay, why should he!? In Britain, being gay wasn't bad at all! It was like wearing a pair of brightly colored pants. Sure, you may get some odd looks, but most of the people would think it was pretty cool!

"Look…" At last, Alfred set down the element he was messing with and turned to face the other. "If I treat you a can of coke and a slice of pizza, will you just stop from dashing away from me each time I'm joking around?" Arthur ran a hand through his hair, sighing lightly. 'Oh yes, because you can make three years of beating the shit out of me immediately go away with an offer of your greasy American food.' Arthur thought sarcastically, glad that he'd managed to keep that to himself. Kindness could only go so far.

"Er… Sure." He mumbled quietly, "But why are you bothering? Don't you have something more important to do?" His tone was a mix of annoyance, and pure confusion. Why was Alfred even bothering with trying to be nice? Maybe because he'd gotten tired of screwing around with the other?

Alfred seemed a bit taken aback by the question, and he frowned. "Look, don't bother comin' along if ya don't want to, I was just offering… Jeez.." The blue-eyed teen's shoulders hunched slightly as he went back to the experiment.

"T-that's not what I said… I'll go, I was just wondering…" Arthur mused, wishing he could just curse the other out and things could go back to normal. This was weird.

"Okay then. We'll go after we get outa here." Alfred declared, and that was that.

Author's Note: I got really frustrated with this chapter, I don't know if y'all did! . I feel like it was slightly rushed, even though I had a few time skips in there and whatnot, it seemed too… compacted! Anyways, please do comment! I had an older FF account but I got rid of it, because most of the stories on there were written when I was like, 12, and they really sucked! XD If you feel the need to flame, then you can, (I'm probably the only person to say this), but let me yell right back. I've gotten comments in the past about how a character was rude, or ungrateful. Even though you're not critiquing me directly, you have to understand I live, sleep, and eat Hetalia, so insulting a character that I put A LOT OF EFFORT INTO can and will piss me off.

Anyways, PLEASE review, review's are my love~!