Dean/Cas Big Bang 2013 - Love Out of Chaos - Masterlist
mar_map
Love Out of Chaos

Fic: mar_map


Art: moondansr


Full Work


Chapter One


Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four


Chapter Five


Chapter Six


Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Epilogue

Collision of Worlds - 6/12
mar_map
Title: Collision of Worlds
Author: mar_map
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Arthur Kirkland finds himself in the care of Alfred F. Jones when the two meet under abnormal circumstances, are chased by the police, and find themselves at the top of the most wanted list.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to own Hetalia: Axis Powers in any way.

Queen's Quarters


"You're crazy!"

"There's nothing crazy about breaking into Buckingham Palace," Arthur answered flatly. He crossed his arms in an angry fashion and turned his back to the American. No one bothered to look over at the couple sitting in the park. It wasn't that odd of a thing really. Thankfully it was rather secluded and when they sat facing each other it was easy to watch out for anyone potentially watching them. It was really the only place they ever went to when leaving the hanger where they'd made their humble little home. "I thought you were the hero, ready for any challenge thrown at you!"

"I am ready for anything! It doesn't mean I'll do anything!"

Arthur just grumbled angrily. "We're wanted criminals, there's probably a hefty bounty on our heads for capture, our best friends - and bosses - have been kidnapped and we're the likely suspects, we have no leads, and you refuse to call the only person who could potentially give us information at this point. What other choice do we have?"

Alfred leaned forward angrily. This was the first fight they'd actually had in months. When they'd first been on the run, it had all been about danger and staying safe. They'd looked out for each other and quickly grown an attraction to one another. Arguments since then had been far and in between. Going back to the arguing routine they'd had the first day they'd met was not particularly pleasant on Arthur's part. He'd grown used to a thoughtful Alfred. He was sure he'd mellowed out quite a bit as well. The Englishman knew he'd lost his fire, but maybe that wasn't such a bad thing to have come back.

"I don't get why you even want to attempt that in the first place!"

"The White House is all closed up. There's no person that goes in or out of the place without perfect authorization. The building is swarming with officers no doubt, even after all this time. The Secret Service will have the place under perfect lock down to keep the rest of the Presidential family safe. Buckingham Palace on the other hand may be accessible."

"For what?"

"To figure out why the Queen was in America. Unless of course, you have the information and conveniently forgot to mention it to me." There was obvious bite in Arthur's words, and they only seemed to aggravate Alfred more, not that Arthur cared, of course. The American simply stared at him furiously as if daring him to say any more. Arthur almost did out of spite.

Finally Alfred gave up. He turned away himself and suddenly neither of them were watching behind the other for danger. "I have no idea why they were meeting. I was just told you were coming a couple of hours before you did. Business stuff I guess."

"Well, that was quite a conclusion. They were meeting over business things."

Alfred hissed angrily at the spite and sarcasm that was quite obvious in Arthur's tone. He was ready to make a sharp retort of his own when a child screamed nearby in the park. The both of them immediately unfolded their arms and turned to each other.

Nervous looks were passed over the other's shoulders for any signs of danger. Arthur caught the sight of a mother rushing over to her son who had fallen off a swing. He relaxed almost immediately. Nothing of real harm. Well, with the exception of the guilt. It clouded him immediately. His brows knitted together in concern, and he immediately regretted his actions.

"I'm sorry!"

"So am I, Alfred." Arthur was surprised that Alfred had rushed his apology first. They both knew they were at fault. If anything would have happened to Alfred because he hadn't been paying attention to his side of the park he would regret it forever. "I understand that you don't want to use Captain Ron's help. He did seem to dislike you. There was no reason for me to get angry."

Alfred nodded in an ashamed fashion. "I know you just want to help the Queen. She's your only friend. I want to help the President too. I shouldn't have just called you crazy. I should have actually listened." They sounded like small children who had just been told to reconcile by their parents after a fight. Arthur knew that, it didn't mean he had to care though. He was just glad to not be arguing with Alfred anymore. The kiss that followed was far from childish however. It was cut short due to both of their nerves over danger coming.

"So, are we agreed on going to Buckingham Palace?"

"How do you expect to get on a plane? We're public enemies number one and two. There's no way we're just going to be able to waltz into the airport without every FBI agent swarming at us."

"Then we find a private plane."

Alfred's lips pursed. "Can you fly a plane? We can't just hire some pilot to fly us across the Atlantic with no questions. Do you know how many strings would be attached to that? There's no chance we'd get out unscathed."

A new anger was building up within the Englishman. He didn't dare let any of that show, less he start up another argument. It was nice to be on speaking terms with the American. "What do you suggest we do then?" All right, so maybe there was a bit of annoyance in his voice, but he couldn't help that!

There was a bright smirk forming on the American's lips. "It just so happens that I can fly a plane. To make it way more awesome I happen to own a private plane."

"You could have said that earlier."

"Where's the fun in that?"

A nervous shiver ran through Arthur's form. All right, so maybe the idea had seemed good before, but now Arthur just wanted out. He hadn't considered the condition of the plane when he'd decided with Alfred that the other's plane would be their best option. He also hadn't considered at the time that Alfred probably wasn't the best option for a pilot either.

Alfred climbed up into the plane beside Arthur. He kissed the other quickly before pulling his goggles on over his eyes. "Relax, Artie," he laughed comfortingly when he noticed the other's tension. It wasn't at all comforting to the Englishman. "I've got some connections over in Wales. We'll fly there and see where that puts us."

There was no way that Arthur was going to trust himself to speak. Instead he just nodded a bit violently before cringing as Alfred started the plane. The propellers spun around violently as the wheels squeaked somewhat while the American directed the plane from the barn. No hanger, nothing of the sort. They were in a barn.

"Take a nap, Artie! We'll be there in no time!"

They were not, in fact, there in no time. In fact, it actually took a long time, and while Arthur did somehow manage to find some time to sleep during the trip it hadn't been restful. The moments had been far between, and Arthur was more than happy when they touched the ground outside of London. Arthur recognized the city immediately when they flew nearby.

He didn't bother to even correct the other irritably about his mix-up over Wales opposed to their actual landing in London. Instead he simply removed himself from the plane as quickly as he could. The Englishman was actually shaking from the trip. This was just ridiculous!

Alfred simply turned a few dials and pulled himself out. He laughed as he came around the plane to stand beside Arthur. The other still had his goggles on, and he seemed quite happy about the whole trip. Actually, he had seemed quite thrilled the entire time. The smile on his lips had never left during flight - that Arthur had seen, of course.

"That was fun? Why so shaky?" Alfred chuckled before pulling his goggles off. He took Arthur's goggles from his shaking hand and tossed both pairs into the airplane. Arthur simply glared after him though it held little conviction. At the moment he was more preoccupied with putting up a strong face. He was terrified of having to return back to America in the plane. Hopefully everything would be figured out by then and he would never have to go back.

"You do know there's a rather large difference between Cardiff and London, right?" Arthur finally snapped in an effort to cover up his shakiness. In fact, it was a much better occurrence for them to arrive in London rather than Cardiff. Arthur wasn't about to tell Alfred that, however.

The taller blond's face scrunched up dramatically. "You sure?" Arthur just sighed in irritation before making his way out of the hanger they had occupied with the plane. Even if the flight hadn't been that pleasant, Arthur couldn't say that Alfred was a terrible pilot. In fact, his landing skills had been phenomenal. Not that Arthur would ever tell that to the American's face of course. They would just boost the other's ego, and that was certainly something no one needed.

"Where are we?" It was beautiful outside. The sky was a bright colour, and it made Arthur smile immediately. Alfred watched him lovingly as he came closer. The Englishman hadn't realized just how much he'd missed the English countryside in the time he'd been gone. Six month really was a long time. It had been so long since he'd been home.

"There's a German guy who lives here," Alfred answered quietly. He hated to speak and disrupt the Englishman's serene expression. It was a face he'd never seen the other make, and he loved it. "He owes me a favor or two."

"He owns all this?"

"Yeah, he does. He built it all up from scratch. There was nothing here. His brother used to date mine, see," Alfred explained. Arthur pulled his eyes away to look over at the other. "That was a way long time ago though, like, before I met the President. The guy, Gilbert, he got really sick and they were dating long distance anyway. It was just best to cut the relationship off. The guy who owns this place built everything here for Gilbert."

Arthur allowed himself to lean against the other. "That's beautiful. It's almost like a love story." He smiled somewhat to himself. It wasn't a love story, of course. After all, the two were brothers, not lovers. The shorter of the two caught a furtive glance up at the other blond who was now looking out of the doors.

Would Alfred go to such lengths for him? Had he already with this crazy plan to travel to Buckingham Palace? Arthur already knew the consequences if either of them got caught. There was an incredibly real chance that Alfred wouldn't make it out alive.

A gentle tug made Arthur realize that Alfred had caught his staring. The American simply smiled at him endearingly as if he found the entire display adorable - and Arthur wasn't adorable in any sense of the word - and tugged a bit more. "Let's go get some sleep. It's been a long time since we last slept, and we're still on American time. We'll figure out just what we're going to do later."

Alfred led Arthur by the hand into a locked room in the back. The American had a key he'd pulled from the cockpit of the plane that easily unlocked the door. Inside was a small bed, a couch, and a small television that Arthur was pretty sure didn't work. If it did, reception had to be terrible.

"What if your German friend comes in?"

"He won't. He'll leave the plane alone and everything. He owes me some favors, remember?"

Arthur just shook his head at the other's trusting nature. After all this time, he still had it in some regards. "Go to sleep, Artie, I'm here to protect you." Arthur wanted to ask who was there to protect him if something went wrong, but he was just too tired to form the right words.

The slam of a door startled Arthur into wakefulness. He would have been on his feet if they hadn't immediately tangled themselves in the sheets on the bed. Well, this was going to be good. He was going to be arrested because he'd tripped and fallen due to sheets. It would make a good headline, he supposed. Well, not to mention his apparent lack of clothes for he was only wearing his boxers now. When had that happened?

"Refreshments?"

Arthur blinked in confusion. He heard Alfred groan. "I told you to be quiet!" he grumbled angrily. The blond in the doorway holding a tray with two cups looked somewhat ashamed of his actions. "Don't worry about it, I guess. Too late now. 'Morning, Artie, or good night, I guess. I didn't want to wake you or anything."

"I apologize for waking you," the man in the doorway said. He set the tray on the table in front of the couch where Alfred was sitting. Alfred was fully clad. Arthur was bright red and soon covering himself back up on the bed. "I'm Ludwig, I own the estate."

Before the Englishman could speak, he had to clear his throat. "I-I'm Kirkland, Arthur Kirkland. I really appreciate you allowing us to barrow your home for the time being. I promise we won't intrude for too long." It only occurred to Arthur after he'd said it that he probably shouldn't be giving this stranger his name. What if Alfred was using a fictitious name? Had Arthur just given the entire game away?

"Alfred is a friend," the German told him. "I know about the predicament the two of you are in at the moment. Alfred was telling me about your plan to break into Buckingham Palace. I think the idea is crazy myself, but I would like to help if I can. You just need to ask."

"And I told you that this was better as a two person job," Alfred told the other.

"We do appreciate the offer though. If we ever need anything we'll be sure to tell you." An almost annoyed glare was sent at Alfred who immediately balked and frowned at him.

"I understand. It is really more of a one person job, correct?" The German focused his attention on Alfred quite firmly. Arthur could still see the almost sad look in his eyes though. A sobered up look came to Alfred's face as he nodded. Arthur simply watched the display with his emerald eyes and decided that it would be best not to ask any questions. "It was quite a pleasure to see the both of you."

A gentle smile and nod was Arthur's answer to Ludwig. The German was frowning again - Arthur had the impression he did that a lot - as he left. "Alfred, why am I naked?" was the first question that came from Arthur's lips the moment that the door closed and left the two of them alone.

Alfred smirked over at him with a mixture of mischievousness and playfulness. "You look better that way." Arthur simply gawked at him. He wanted to point out that that was pretty much harassment, but he didn't have the voice to tell him out of embarrassment especially because they'd never actually seen each other like, well...like that.

Alfred stood up from his seat on the couch and came over to the bed. He crawled up to straddle the other's hips and leaned down to brush their noses. Arthur found himself reaching up to kiss gently at the other's lips. Arthur found his lips curving up into a happy smile at the same time that Alfred's did the same.

"I'm so in love with you," Alfred mumbled happily against his lips. He met them again but the moment he noticed Arthur's sudden unresponsiveness he paused. "Artie?" The moment he caught the sight of Arthur's devastated expression he smiled sadly. "You don't have to say it back yet. I just need to make sure that you know. We could die at any time. I want to make sure you know in case it's too late. I love you."

Arthur let his arms wrap around Alfred's neck. He was so ashamed with himself for not being able to say the words back to the other. Tears began to well up in his eyes unhappily. Why couldn't he say the words back to the other? This was love he felt, right? If it was love why couldn't he say that?

"Arthur, please don't cry." Gentle lips touched just under his eyes at the tears. The loving tone in the American's voice only caused Arthur's tears to come down his cheeks faster. Alfred seemed at a complete loss for what to do and searched Arthur's face for any sign of what he should do sadly. Alfred had probably never dealt with a crying lover before, especially not a male one.

He was so weak.

The Englishman allowed his fingers to lace through Alfred's straw-coloured hair and tug at the locks between his fingers. Alfred took his as a signal to kiss the other again, and he was more than happy to oblige. He wanted to do whatever would make Arthur happy again.

"What's going to happen to us after this is over, Alfred?"

"Let's just make sure we're not thrown in prison first."

"This doesn't look like much of a palace," Alfred dead-panned. He watched the activity outside Buckingham Palace skeptically. There wasn't much for the American to watch, there was very few people out at the current hour of the morning.

Arthur just sent the American a somewhat irritated look. He really had no room to talk when it came to government buildings. "Welcome to Buckingham Palace." There was plenty of windows but no chance that they would get in one of them undetected.

"We can get tickets for a tour later. It'll have to be this afternoon though. Sometime when it's crowded so we can sneak away." Arthur looked up at Alfred in surprise. When the American had sudden strokes of genius, Arthur still found himself surprised when it happened. He really shouldn't have been all that shocked anymore. As he'd found out, Alfred actually had a degree in some science field. That was more than Arthur could claim. He hadn't even graduated out of college.

"Let's just hope that because of the Queen..." Alfred nodded sympathetically in understand when Arthur trailed into silence. Arthur just returned the nod and forced himself to smile when Alfred linked their fingers. "Let's just hope that they're still having tours. Security might have closed down the building to tourists for the time being."

Alfred gave Arthur's hand a quick squeeze before releasing him. The Englishman couldn't help but feel empty when he did that. A small pout formed on his lips, a new habit he'd picked up from the American over the past couple of months.

When he seemed to notice the other's pout, he smiled apologetically. "I'll go over and get us some tickets. Sit down, you should relax. If you're all tense we won't do well later. You do know the layout of the building, right?"

"Of course I know where we're going if that's what you're asking!" Arthur crossed his arms over his chest angrily. The Englishman was far from angry, however. IT was always good to use a playful front with the taller male.

Alfred placed a gentle kiss on Arthur's forehead. He smiled lovingly. "Just making sure. I was always so high and mighty about knowing my way around the White House." Alfred glanced around the nearly deserted court secretly. He leaned down to whisper secretively in Arthur's ear. Apparently he was about to disclose some incredibly sensitive information. "I meant to be in the Oval Office that day we met. The couch in there is really comfy. I have no idea where we actually were."

"You bloody twat!" Arthur growled affectionately. He uncrossed his arms, and Alfred ducked before Arthur could swat him. It did place him in the perfect position for Arthur to ruffle Alfred's hair. The Englishman couldn't do that normally with how tall the other was. "How am I supposed to deal with you?"

"I'm perfectly easy to deal with! You on the other hand, Artie..." Alfred laughed even when the Englishman clubbed him behind the ear. "You know I love you anyway, Artie!" The tall American stood to his feel height and wrapped Arthur in a rather embracing hug.

Arthur fought his way out of the hold, hissing and spitting the entire way. Alfred just laughed and the smaller blond couldn't help but smile at him somewhat. Alfred received a gentle pat on the head from the Englishman.

When he received the smile, Alfred seemed to know he was out of danger. It wasn't that he'd been in any real danger. It was always good to be cautious with Arthur though. He could get incredibly emotional in no time at all.

"I'll go get those tickets then."

"Oh, no, you're not leaving me here alone."

"I'm not leaving you alone. I'll be over there, that's all." It seemed like pointing in the direction he was going was supposed to prove to Arthur that he would be perfectly safe.

Arthur's wasn't buying that; he latched his arm around Alfred's "I know you've seen all the good action movies. If you split up, something bad always happens." This was the real world, not an action movie, but the principals were still the same, right?

Alfred seemed to think oppositely. He chuckled slightly at the smaller Englishman. "You're adorable. You just want the hero by your side, I get it, it makes sense. Who wouldn't want this, after all?" At that exact moment Alfred began to pose heroically. Arthur couldn't help but laugh. He leaned against Alfred nuzzling against his shoulder lovingly.

The woman at the information center didn't pay too much attention to them. In fact, she seemed a little annoyed that they'd dare disturb her so early in the morning. However, when Alfred flashed his bright smile, she seemed to soften. She smiled back at him though not nearly as warmly. "What can I help you with today?" she asked delicately.

"We were wondering if there were tickets available for a tour this afternoon." He gestured to Buckingham Palace behind them as if to emphasize his point. The woman working at the counter nodded knowingly.

"What time?"

She was turning to her computer ready to get them tickets for their desired time. "Two?" Alfred asked sheepishly. Arthur just nodded to confirm the time. The Englishman nearly jumped when Alfred's hand brushed his unexpectedly. A light reddening came to his cheeks when he allowed Alfred to lace their fingers together again. He caught the American smiling at him gently.

It was startling to realize the woman was still there when she spoke. "Here you are, two tickets for the afternoon tour." She passed them over to Alfred easily. It didn't seem that she'd noticed the tender moment she had interrupted. It was probably for the best though. The more they were distracted from their goal the longer they would have to be in hiding.

"Now we wait."

"I hate waiting."

Out of the corner of his emerald eyes, Arthur was keeping a close watch on the female tour guide in the front of the group. With the way she kept switching the company's attention around the rooms, she was making it really quite impossible to sneak away.

Time was beginning to press on the Englishman's shoulders. If they didn't get out of the group soon they would lose their chance to escape into Buckingham Palace alone. He was sure the tour would be drawing to a close soon. "Now, as we continue this way," the female guide called to their rather large group.

This was it! Their opening was finally here!

Arthur gripped Alfred's arm tightly and as a majority of the group had passed around the next corner, Arthur fell against the wooden paneling. Alfred let out an incredibly unheroic squeak that Arthur quickly covered. They toppled into a mass on the ground, limbs tangled together.

The Englishman scurried to his feet to arrange the paneling they'd just come through back to its normal position. "Artie!" A heated emerald glared shushed him immediately. Arthur listened carefully but by the sounds of things, no one had noticed they'd gone missing from the group. If they were lucky, no one ever would. "Whoa, what happened to this place?"

When he deemed that they were safe for the time being, Arthur allowed himself to evaluate the room they'd entered. "They've been doing searches in here," Arthur answered calmly. A sharp pain entered his chest at the sight. Nothing was broken but all the books had been pulled from the shelves, and the shelves themselves were being torn down.

"Is this the Queen's room?"

"No," Arthur answered. He could feel more tears welling up in his eyes. "It's mine." He stepped forward to gently run his finger along the polished wood of his desk. The pictures from the top of his desk were gone and no where to be seen. They'd probably been taken for use later by the authorities. "We should go, there's not a lot of time, we could be found at any minute. The Queen's room is just through here."

There was another passage that led directly from his room to the Queen's. It was the most private of the passages. The Queen and himself were the only two who knew of its existence. Well, it was very likely that Charles knew as well. Charles always seemed to know. Where was Charles now? Was he even still alive?

"Artie..."

"Don't worry about me, Alfred. The Queen and the President are what matter. Everything in here was just a possession. Possessions can be replaced. People can't." He stepped through the newly displaced paneling to enter the Queen's chambers.

"Arthur, you act like you don't care all the time, but I can see you hurting inside. Won't you talk to me?" Alfred was practically pleading. Arthur didn't dare look back to see what he was sure was a puppy-dog expression on Alfred's face. He didn't want anyone's pity, especially not Alfred's.

Arthur shook his head while heading to the Queen's own desk. "There's nothing to talk about, Alfred. That life in there is gone now." He sat down in the Queen's chair and proceeded to open the drawers in search of any clues as to why the Queen had been traveling to America.

"It is about time the both of you arrived. It is so very nice of you to finally join us." The two looked up in fear and surprise at the sound of another voice. There as a man in the corner gun trained pointedly on Alfred - he was obviously the largest threat.

The man was unfamiliar in his stripped suit. There was a light smirk playing across his lips. It seemed he thought it a great accomplishment to have finally succeeded in finding them. Arthur couldn't help but wonder who he was. He sounded American, which explained why he wasn't at all familiar. The look on Alfred's face clearly showed that he didn't know the identity of their captor either.

"You see, I've been waiting a very long time for the two of you to finally come. Where have the two of you been hiding for the last six months? You're very good at it, though I'm sure the two of you have friends working with you. A certain Francis Bonnefoy for starters." When Arthur flinched, the man's smirk widened. "Yes, I know Mr. Bonnefoy sent you a warning. Mr. Beillschmidt gave you a place to spend the night."

"Don't touch him!" Alfred growled.

"Oh, Mr. Ludwig Beillschmidt is just fine, Mr. Jones. His brother on the other hand, Gilbert, is it? His name doesn't really matter though, does it? He may not be as fine." The unknown man cocked his gun when it was obvious Alfred meant to tackle him. "Now, now, Mr. Jones, I would reconsider if I were you. Of course, shooting you would be no fun. Mr. Kirkland on the other hand." The gun was not pointed in Arthur's direction.

The Englishman didn't dare take his eyes off of the suited man. He heard Alfred make a strangled noise of protest, but the shorter blond quieted him. "Don't give him the satisfaction of watching you squirm, Alfred." Despite his cool words he was terrified inside. He didn't want to die yet. "Would you like to inform us of your name, sir?"

"How stupid do you think I am? I'm not about to say my name aloud when others could be listening." The man sneered at Arthur, and this just seemed to set Alfred off more than he already was. Arthur let out a small hiss at him to calm himself.

"Put down the weapon!" another voice shouted. It was surprisingly female. "Put down the weapon, Hamlet!" The man growled in displeasure at the intrusion. Only the interruption of more people drew Arthur's attention away from the gun still pointed at him.

"You're not really in the position to negotiate. I'll kill him, don't think I won't." He made emphasized motions at Arthur, but while he was paying more attention to the two invading the room, he hadn't noticed Alfred come from the side. The American tackled the other to the ground, wrestling the gun from his grip.

"Alfred!"

The sound of a gunshot rang through the room.

"Run!" Ron Butcher of the Secret Service yelled at him.

Arthur hesitated. He couldn't leave without Alfred! When it was clear that Arthur didn't plan on moving, Ron let out an angry growl. He lowered his gun and swept by Arthur, taking a strong grip - though not nearly as strong as Alfred's - and pulled him out of the room.

"Alfred! No, we can't leave Alfred!" the Englishman protested. He pulled at Ron's grip on him. There was a cracking sound, and Ron released him with a hiss of pain. When he found himself free, he made a mad dash back for the Queen's chambers but more hands managed to find him and hold him back.

"Calm yourself! We must get out of here!" The voice sounded vaguely familiar, but Arthur wouldn't allow himself to process that. All that mattered was getting back to Alfred. Was he the one who had been shot? Why had he pulled such a foolish stunt? Arthur could feel tears falling fast down his cheeks. When had that happened?

More hands reached at him until they finally managed to get the upper hand with more strength and pull him down the halls of Buckingham Palace and finally into a waiting car outside. "Let me go, bloody wankers!" The doors clicked locked and pulled into motion before he could get out of them. "Alfred!"

Everything was a blur and all he could process was that he had to get back to Alfred and these people were keeping them apart. He didn't care that he was probably being sent to prison somewhere. Alfred could be dead right now. His emerald eyes were blinded by the tears.

"I'm sorry, cher." Definitely familiar.

"Francis, we have to save Alfred!"

"We cannot, cher," Francis replied apologetically. Arthur could practically hear the pain in the Frenchman's voice. Why did he have any right to be in pain? The best course of actions seemed to be to pound against Francis' chest to take away his aggression out on the other, so Arthur did just that. "They'll get him back for you, cher. There's no need to cry."

The Frenchman seemed to understand that wouldn't sooth him though. He allowed Arthur to take out his frustration and anger on him until he calmed down to simply crying weakly against his shoulder. "What if - what if he's dead, Francis?"

"I'm sure he's in the car right behind us," Francis answered, but he didn't seem at all sure of that.

Collision Of Worlds - 5/12
mar_map
Title: Collision of Worlds
Author: Mar_Map
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Arthur Kirkland finds himself in the care of Alfred F. Jones when the two meet under abnormal circumstances, are chased by the police, and find themselves at the top of the most wanted list.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to own Hetalia: Axis Powers in any way.

Black Tea

Six Months Later

"Up you come, Alfred." Arthur prodded gently at Alfred's side. The American simply groaned and pulled the covers over his exposed head. Arthur couldn't help but smile gently. Despite everything the American's attitude could be quite endearing at times. "It's nearly ten, I've made breakfast."

The covers shifted at the mention of food. Any mention of food always caught the American's attention. It didn't seem to be enough today, however, as Alfred didn't feel the need to expose his head yet. Arthur gently brushed his hand against the moth-eaten bed sheets of their flimsy mattress.

Arthur still wasn't used to it.

When he'd been discovered by the Queen, Arthur's lifestyle had changed dramatically. He'd cleaned up his personality and stripped all of the ties from his life. He'd removed all the clothes from his closet and completely replaced them with something more fitting for his new position. Extravagance had been positively lavished on him. Just a month later, and he'd been moved into a new home with new furnishings.

Now he was reverting back. Not only had he been reverted back, he was actually being downgraded. All of their belongings were things they'd picked up along the way. Their home - though Arthur refused to call it such most of the time - was an abandoned plane hanger. Temperatures dropped to below freezing at night, and the roof leaked somewhat during storms. Arthur was waiting for the entire building to come collapsing in on them.

"Alfred, it's time to get up," Arthur repeated. Arthur didn't dare mention how childish Alfred was being, despite the fact that he was acting like a complete child. Alfred didn't have the time to act like a child most of the time. At times he could be quite romantic. Most of the time he had to be a 'super-awesome-hero' as he preferred to call it.

Ever since the two of them had been considered wanted criminals for crimes against both Britain and America, Alfred had taken it upon himself to save the both of them from their predicament. He'd accepted full responsibility for their falsified crimes despite Arthur's protests that that was absolutely ridiculous.

"No," Alfred whined back his protest. "You should come back to bed." He seemed to deem that as a much better solution than getting up himself as he proceeded to grab Arthur's arm and pull him back down onto the bed. Arthur let out a gentle yelp in surprise. Alfred was quick with his motions as well as strong.

"Alfred." There was no bite left in his words from months ago. The irritated emotions had slowly left to give way to amusement and maybe a bit of affection. He'd become quite besotted with the American in their time together. When he finally saw the side of Alfred that was an actual adult, he couldn't help but find himself becoming attracted to the other.

The American nuzzled against him, and Arthur simply smiled. He patted the other's head fondly and felt the blond smile against his neck. "You smell nice," the American informed him. Arthur simply rolled his eyes. Unlike the other he'd showered and dressed already. Not to mention the fact that he'd cooked breakfast. Cooking was something they did very rarely, and he was a bit disappointed Alfred wasn't more excited for the prospect of eating a warm meal.

Alfred - and Arthur as well - was worried that if they used to much of the old hanger's facilities they might get noticed. Showers were the exception as both of them refused to discontinue the sanitation ritual though Alfred had suggested numerous times that they shower together to conserve water. Arthur turned down every offer.

"You would too if you got up to take a shower," Arthur informed the American. He pulled away despite his desire to do as the other suggested and simply go back to sleep. It sounded like a much better alternative than whatever they were going to do today, which reminded him...

"Alfred, you have to get up. We're meeting with Francis today, remember?" How could Arthur have forgotten that already? It was the entire reason he'd made the meal in the first place. Francis Bonnefoy was always hard to deal with - for him at least - he'd need something to keep his mood static for the day, and a warm meal was sure to do that.

The American finally stuck his head out from the blanket. "No good morning kiss?" he asked sadly. His lower lip stuck out in a pout that was only amusing. Arthur forced back a smile. The more he indulged the American the less he would get in return. One simple kiss wouldn't hurt though, right? Of course not.

Arthur leaned down all too happily to give the other blond a gentle kiss. Alfred didn't seem at all satisfied by the contact, but he seemed to understand it was all he was going to get this morning. There was a strong possibility he'd get luckier tomorrow. Arthur was sure that was the only thing that motivated Alfred to get up anymore. It wasn't the prospect that if he didn't, he would die, it was the fear of waking up to find Arthur dead. This...thing, between the two of them was the only thing that kept him motivated.

"So what's this Francis guy really like?" Alfred threw off the blanket covering him. The action revealed the superhero boxers underneath. It was the only article of clothing that the other was wearing. Arthur couldn't understand him. The weather was cold inside the hanger. Arthur had been shivering after leaving his warm shower.

Arthur simply scowled at the question as he followed the American into the small kitchenette they'd fashioned in the hanger. He sat down at their tiny wooden table to poke mindlessly at the toast. He finally decided that it was probably edible and picked up a piece. Alfred had heard Arthur talk about Francis plenty of times since they'd been in the entire mess. It had been more ranting than talking though really.

Still, it was clear that Francis was the man they needed to get in contact with if they wanted to know what was really going on. Francis was always where the action was. Arthur had met him at a party back before he'd met the Queen. The reporter had been in London for some petty crimes happening throughout the city. It hadn't exactly been a good news story, but Francis hadn't been the greatest reporter then either. He hadn't received his big story until he did an interview with the Queen's new assistant, Arthur Kirkland. Despite his sharp words about the reporter they always indulged each other.

Now Francis had been given leave to travel across the world in search of the best news stories. If there was something big going on in America - say the aids to both the President and Queen being on the run - Francis was sure to be there. When Arthur had finally managed to get a message to him, the other had been more than happy to set up a meeting. Francis had actually seemed worried.

"He's hard to get along with sometimes," Arthur admitted. He knew this was not the time to be laying out a rant about the man that was going to help them figure all this out. At the moment, Francis was their only chance. Any calls they tried to make to either the Queen or the President had ended in downfall. Charles didn't have a cellular device on which to reach him, and Alfred was determined not to try to contact Captain Ron despite Arthur's own protests. It was the one thing Alfred refused adamantly to do, so Arthur had finally stopped trying to push.

"I figured that one out already." There was a little smile on Alfred's lips as he began to chew on the toast that was beginning to crumble to ashes in his fingers. His tone was serious, however. Arthur was always surprised when the American brought that voice out. It was odd to hear him speak with so much commanding. It was no surprise that he worked for the President really.

"I just meant that you'll have to give him time. He might be a little flirty and head-strong at first, but you'll get used to it." That was true enough. After six month of seclusion, Arthur was finding himself missing even Francis' normality. "He likes to keep people guessing which could pose a bit of a problem, but I'm sure you can handle that."

"Did the two of you ever date?"

"Wh-what kind of question is that?" Arthur demanded with a nervous blush creeping up his cheeks. His eyes stretched a bit wide in something akin to horror at the very thought of dating the Frenchman of all people. Alfred just had to suspect that the two of them had dated, didn't he?

Alfred simply shrugged. He wasn't meeting the Englishman's eyes, and Arthur wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not. Alfred set down his only partially eaten piece of toast - that was scary enough in itself. Alfred never ate only part of his food. "It's just the way you talk about him sometimes. I just wondered if the two of you had ever dated or anything. Just wanted to know if I should be warned."

Arthur had to let out a long breath before he could speak. He really hadn't noticed he'd been holding it in. Before that moment, he'd just thought the idea was a book thing to add suspense. He'd never thought he'd find himself doing it when nervous. "I was straight before I met you, remember? We met in that kitchenette."

A fond smile appeared on Alfred's lips at the memory. "I was really awkward that day. I was trying to flirt with you but be nice at the same time. I'd never flirted with a guy in a normal environment before I met you. The rest of the guys were all just bar dates." Alfred chuckled a bit nervously as he thought back embarrassed by his actions of merely six months ago. He rubbed the back of his neck in a gesture that Arthur had become quite accustomed to.

"You were anything but nice!" Arthur exclaimed. "You called me an old man!"

"Well, you are!"

"I most certainly am not! I am only three years older than you, Alfred F. Jones!" Arthur was fuming now. There was little anger actually put behind it. "I will have you know that that most certainly was not a normal environment either! What were you thinking trying to get a date in a working environment?"

"I was just thinking about how sexy your accent was. I wanted to hear it say my name." Arthur flushed immediately. Alfred propped his head up in his hand, elbow rested on the wooden table, as he stared dreamily at Arthur with his blue eyes.

A cough pulled itself from the Englishman. "Well, that should not have been what was on your mind that day. You should have been focused on work and maybe you wouldn't have been late for our meeting. We were supposed to meet before in the conference room."

"But our meeting was way more interesting. What kind of love story starts off like it's supposed to anyway? I'm going to go take a shower." Alfred devoured the last few bites of his toast with one massive one. Arthur couldn't help but frown. Of all the things the American had given up, his appetite was surely the most shocking. Alfred now ate a tenth of what he used to in a day. It worried Arthur, but he never seemed to grow any weaker thankfully. "The offer still stands for that shower."

"I've already showered. Maybe if you would have been up earlier, I could have accepted the offer." They both knew it was a lie. Arthur never planned on accepting the offer. Arthur knew he had to figure out what their relationship really was before delving into that territory. He didn't just want it to be physical contact between two lonely men, meaningless. Alfred seemed to accept that most of the time. Not to mention that this wasn't really the best situation to be trying to figure out a love-life. They needed to concentration on finding evidence of their innocents when they weren't really even sure what their crimes were.

It didn't stop the American from making comments that always brought a blush to the other blond's cheeks, however. "Trust me, you'd need another shower after I was done with you." Alfred purred it into the Englishman's ear.

The taller blond was quick and ducked away, laughing playfully, when Arthur tried to swat him over the head. Alfred placed a quick kiss to Arthur's shaggy mess of blond hair before scurrying out of the kitchenette for the shower.

When the other left, he let out a long sigh he hadn't really realized he was holding. There he went again with the cliche breathing techniques. When had he become so predictable?

Arthur sighed and rested his head in his hands. He was so confused. After all this time, and he still became a muddled mess when it came to Alfred. The Englishman wished the Queen was there. She was always so brilliant at knowing what would be good for him.

CWCW

"What's wrong with you, grumpy?"

"I though you were taking a shower."

Alfred slipped behind him on the chair. The American wrapped his hands around the other blond. "Already did," he answered quietly. The younger of the two pressed gentle kisses along the other's neck. He had. Alfred's wet hair tickled his exposed flesh. "Arthur..."

The Englishman definitely knew that tone. Alfred didn't use it very often. He only used Arthur's full name when he was trying to make a point. That or he was feeling particularly lusting. It was actually something that occurred quite often.

"Alfred, we really don't have time for that right now. We need to leave to meet Francis soon."

"He can wait."

"But our lives can't."

A long breath tickled Arthur's neck, as Alfred breathed out against him. "I guess," he answered. Alfred twisted around to give Arthur a gentle kiss to the lips. When he pulled away, the smaller of the two saw hurt in his cerlean eyes. Guilt immediately overcame him.

"Alfred, I-"

"Didn't mean it like that?" Alfred questioned before nodding knowingly, frown on his lips. "Yeah, I know, that's what you always say."

Arthur twisted around this time to cup Alfred's cheek in his hand. "You do understand that it's true though, right, love?" It seemed when the conversation of their relationship was brought into question Alfred never seemed to quite believe what Arthur said. "After we prove figure all this out I still want you in my life."

"'Course I do." Alfred laid another gentle kiss to Arthur's lips that was over much too soon for the Englishman's liking. He frowned after the American who had risen to his feet and was retreating from the kitchenette. "We should go meet this Francis guy."

Arthur called out to him miserably. "I'm sorry, Alfred." He couldn't move from his seat. He also knew if they didn't leave now they risked detection or worse, showing up late for a rendezvous with Francis. The Frenchman would never allow him to live that down. That didn't seem so important at the moment though. No, him and Alfred were important because despite their messed up lives at the moment, sometimes their feelings and their relationship did matter more.

When Arthur didn't come to his call, Alfred went to find the distressed Englishman in the kitchenette. "Coming, Artie?" When he noticed Arthur's miserable state, he smiled kindly and came closer. "I do understand, okay?' He ruffled Arthur's already messy blond hair.

This time when Alfred kissed him, he lingered long enough to give Arthur ample time to wrap his arms around the other's neck. "I'm sorry I can't be what you want." Arthur proceeded to hide his embarrassment by burying his head into the other's neck.

This earned a chuckle from Alfred. He was rewarded with an angry glare that he couldn't see anyway due to Arthur's head being buried against his neck. Instead of just the glare, Arthur nipped sharply at the American's neck.

"Ow! Hey! That was mean!" Arthur felt Alfred bury his nose into his blond hair. "I was just going to tell you, you're exactly what I want. If we hadn't been thrown into this, I don't know if we'd ever get along."

"But we have been thrown into this mess, so we might as well try."

"Exactly."

Pulling his head from its hiding place, Arthur pressed his lips against Alfred's again. "Francis is going to be so jealous," Arthur smirked against the taller blond's lips. "Wait until he gets the sight of you. It will be brilliant."

CWCW

The laugh was absolutely tangible in the air. A couple people around the cafe glanced over at the three men at the table before going back to their own conversations. Arthur would know that laugh anywhere. He resisted the urge to scowl out of habit.

"Told you I had the right place," Arthur grumbled under his breath to Alfred.

"Ah, Arthur, ma cher, you did not tell me you would be bringing an incredibly handsome date along. If I would have known then I would have brought along one of my own. I suppose a simple call would bring plenty of my old dates in Washington flocking." Francis trailed his hand along Alfred's shoulder in his personal way of gauging a new person. "He is not quite your type though, ma cher. I on the other hand..."

"Will not be laying a hand on him!" Alfred growled.

"Ah, he's feisty, I like that." Francis took a seat across from them at the table and smirked knowingly at Alfred who was glowering angrily at him. Arthur laid his hand calmly on the other's under the table. The moment he moved, Francis switched his gaze, and his knowing smirk was quite bothersome to the Englishman. It was like he knew. He probably did. Francis could smell a relationship a mile away.

Arthur continued along quietly, calmly. For the fact that he quite disliked Francis most of the time, he had learned to know the Frenchman and the easiest ways to deal with him. "What Alfred meant to say was that I am completely uninterested, and that this really isn't the time for flirting."

Francis' expression didn't change. "Yes, quite right, cher. Who am I to stand in the way of l'amour, after all? I would never do such a thing. It would be terribly improper of me."

The Frenchman ran a hand through his articulate blond hair. It was as long as ever and just as wavy. His clothes hadn't lost their bright luster to Arthur's dismay. The display always attracted attention, and that was something the other two didn't need at the moment.

A finger reached out to run along the rim of Alfred's glass. The American seemed to take it as an offensive motion and quickly pulled the glass to him. Arthur just rolled his eyes but not without amusement. "Coffee, non?" the Frenchman asked. "I think I'll have tea though today. You are having tea, non, cher?" Francis turned questioningly to the Englishman. The Frenchman raised his brow delicately.

"Of course," Arthur answered evenly. He felt his pulse pick up, and his grip on Alfred's hand tightened immediately. "What kind will you be drinking today? Black?" Arthur felt Alfred shift to look at him with a bit of alarm. His hold had tightened dramatically now as he awaited Francis' answer like his life depended on it. Which it did at the moment.

"Isn't it always black?"

"Well, yes, but I felt the need to ask. Alfred and I should really be going." Arthur stood up immediately and pulled Alfred up after him. A sharp emerald glare caused Alfred's mouth to snap closed. "It was good to see you again, Francis."

"It's always a pleasure, cher. I wish the two of you didn't have to leave so soon. We should have scheduled for a day other than the busy one today." A question was on Alfred lips; Arthur could just tell. He squeezed the other's hand reassuringly to keep him quietly as he finished his farewell to Francis and pulled the other into the restroom of the small cafe.

"Arthur? What the hell was that! He was supposed to help us!"

The Englishman set his hand over Alfred's mouth to keep him quiet. He hoped to all that was good that Alfred didn't pull one of his childish acts and try to lick his hand. Alfred seemed to sense something was wrong though and kept quiet. "We're in trouble. Francis had people tailing him either because they're using him in the investigation or he caught them following him. Either way we need to get out of here quick."

"The window," Alfred said instantly. The moment Arthur mentioned danger he was ready for action. With the way he acted Arthur sometimes wondered if Alfred wanted to throw himself into the line of fire whether for the thrill or to prove himself. Proving himself was something Arthur personally knew he didn't need to do. "How bad is it out there?"

"Very bad," Arthur answered immediately. "The window was my thought as well, but do you think you can fit through there?" Now that the window of escape had presented itself, Arthur saw the many flaws in the escape plan.

Alfred raised a brow. "Would you rather go through the vents?" Eyes went to look up at the ventilation system. "'Cause I'd like to do what's comfortable for you."

"Enough with the sarcasm. I doesn't sit as well on you as it does on me." There was no way either of them were fitting through to the ventilation system. Arthur made his way to the window that Alfred had broken the latch of with a sharp jab using the palm of his hand.

"Doesn't sit well on you either, babe," Alfred smirked. He leaned down to boost Arthur up to the window with his hands. Arthur scowled somewhat, ignoring the other's words as he stepped on Alfred's supported hands and pulled himself out of the window.

"You're only allowed to call me 'babe' after we find the Queen, not before."

"That a threat. It sounds like a threat."

"More like an incentive."

"Heroes don't need an incentive!" Alfred exclaimed in a hurt tone. His own hands appeared on the ledge of the window as he pulled himself out. "Little help, Artie?" Arthur could hear Alfred's feet trying in vain to find a hold on the wall of the cafe's restroom.

Arthur just rolled his eyes and pretended to be nonchalant about the entire issue. Inside his pulse had quickened in worry at the thought of Alfred stuck in the cafe and captured as an American traitor. The fall for that would not be an easy one.

The moment he was within reach Alfred grabbed desperately at Arthur's arm. The Englishman let out a gasp of pain at the motion. Alfred was much too strong for his own good. Half a year later and he was still forgetting the difference in build between the two of them.

Nevertheless, the smaller male ignored the pain to help haul Alfred from the window. Keeping them both alive was more important than a few bruises. "Artie, I hurt you!" Alfred gushed when Arthur pulled away, and he was safely on solid ground.

"I'll be fine, Alfred."

"What if I did serious damage though! What if your arms don't work now!" Not even Arthur could stop himself from laughing somewhat at the American's outlandish thoughts. The worry in Alfred's wonderfully brilliant cerulean eyes stopped him.

"I'll be fine, Alfred. I'm not made of porcelain or anything. They'll go away." He motioned to his wrist absently. "It's not the first time you've given me bruises, remember? This one healed up just fine." That was true. The bruise had faded rather quickly actually, but the tenderness of the afflicted area had persisted for weeks before going away.

However, Arthur's words seemed to do nothing for the American's sadness. In all actuality what Arthur had said seemed to make the American worse. He simply got to his feet and kissed Arthur gently. "I love you," he said immediately. The words fell from his lips easily, and a disappointed look appeared on his face when he saw Arthur pale.

Which he had.

The moment the words had left Alfred's mouth, Arthur had paled. Neither of them had ever mentioned talk of love, let alone given any thought to the matter. They were in a relationship - maybe - sure. That didn't mean their relationship was anything close to intimate or even serious. Alfred had just crossed the line from casual into serious.

"I love you," he repeated.

"We should go."

Arthur immediately turned away from the American. He wasn't going to deal with the issue at any immediate time. He just wanted to get away from the other. Not more than two steps later had Alfred caught his arm. He pulled him back so they were close together. "I understand if you don't feel the same way or anything. I mean, we haven't been together for that long or anything. I just thought I should tell you, because heroes always get things off their chest like that, and I just thought-"

Alfred was easily quieted from his nervous rambling when Arthur kissed him. "We need to talk," he told the other, "but it's really dangerous here, remember? We have to get out of town as soon as we can. Then we'll talk about this. Really, it's a quite overdue conversation."

"Oh, yeah." The implications started to set in. "Artie! I don't want to go!" The exclamation was soft, but Arthur still glanced around them nervously. He grabbed Alfred's arm and began to pull him away from the scene. If what Francis had said was true, they would be found soon if they hadn't already. For all they knew they were being followed.

"I don't either, Alfred, but you heard Francis. Things are worse than we thought. We haven't been out of that hanger very often. It was only a matter of time until we were found there anyway. We need to go somewhere safe. We can't talk until all this is solved. We need to find the Queen."

"And the President," Alfred added quietly. His head was hanging somewhat. He seemed ashamed of having left the well-being of the President out of the equation. Both world leaders had been missing for six months. The chances of both of them being alive was slim, and they both knew it. Neither of them would actually admit the fact that they'd gone officially missing and that they were probably being accused of their kidnapping. Neither of them had actually seen it anywhere that they weren't perfectly fine. They both knew it was the only explanation though.

"And the President," Arthur agreed. "We've been spending all our time just trying not to get caught. It seems that time has passed. I don't want to live like this forever. It's time we actually go out and try to do something if the authorities aren't. You need to contact your Ron friend."

Alfred nearly froze but the press of time kept him going. They released their holds on each other when they reached a more populated area. They both made sure to keep their heads down and walk calmly. Anything that made them appear like they were just taking a normal walk was a good thing. Alfred's sudden tension was not one of those things.

He shook his head at the very suggestion. "I'm not calling him."

"You have to, Alfred!" Arthur made sure to keep his exclamation at a normal level. "If there's anyone who has an in when it comes to what's going on it's him. That is to say that he's in our ability to contact. The same thing that happened to Charles might have happened to him." Another painful string was pulled. So much for a vacation. No one had made it out unscathed. It was one more reason to tack up with his reasons to dislike the American country.

"I won't. Something was never quite right with him. For all we know he was in on the entire thing!" Arthur didn't quite understand Alfred's dislike for the American guard, but he decided once again not to push the issue. If Alfred didn't like the idea then fine. He was going to put up with Arthur's next one.

"Then there's only one thing left to do. We're going to break into Buckingham Palace."

Collision of Worlds - 4/12
mar_map
Title: Collision of Worlds
Author: Mar_Map
Summary: Arthur Kirkland finds himself in the care of Alfred F. Jones when the two meet under abnormal circumstances, are chased by the police, and find themselves at the top of the most wanted list.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to own Hetalia: Axis Powers in any way.


Homely Matters

"I'll be staying here then, I suppose?" Arthur asked through the door. The fact that all his things had been laid in Alfred's small living room when they'd arrived at been a fairly good give-away for that. He was using the question - though it wasn't much of a question - to fill in the slight silence.

Alfred's flat was really quite small - not to mention that he kept calling it an apartment which to Arthur was just bloody annoying. There was a small kitchenette attached to the living room with no walls in between. The master bedroom - which was the only bedroom - was through the only door. It wasn't all that large in itself. Alfred's bed took up most of the space, there was a dresser in the corner and a small vanity was connected to the top of said dresser. The only lavatory was connected to the bedroom, but Arthur hadn't been inside there yet. He was sure it wasn't any larger than the rest of the house.

What instantly caught Arthur's eye upon entering the flat was the complete lack of cleanliness. Alfred had dishes stacked up on his counter top, there was clothes strewn about every room - Arthur was sure most of them were probably dirty - and the entire place needed a good dusting. Arthur wondered if the flat had ever seen dust-repellent.

The second thing Arthur noticed was disguised until Alfred showed him into the master bedroom where he had changed his clothing for the evening. The walls were papered in posters. Most of them were of some sort of superhero or another, but Arthur couldn't help but spot posters that he himself had. Adorning the American's walls were posters of The Who and The Beatles. However, those were few. Even the American's sheets had superheroes on them.

The third feature that Arthur recognized about the flat was the complete lack of books. There were a few magazines strewn in the living room along the floor and coffee table. In the bedroom there was a small stack of comic books, but no where to be seen was a real, tangible novel. Arthur was affronted at the very idea.

Finally, Arthur found the flat to be completely Alfred.

"Yeah!" Alfred called from inside the lavatory. The American had decided that he would prepare himself there while the Englishman was free to use the master bedroom for himself. "You'll take the bed, and I'll sleep on the couch. This will be great! It'll be like a sleep-over!"

Arthur wasn't exactly sure how he felt about the idea of spending the nights he was in America in the blond's home. The Queen had stated that his accommodations weren't exactly ideal, and he now understood why. It led him to wonder, however, what had stopped her from booking him a lodge in a hotel someplace. Where exactly would she be staying? Surely not with the President!

"I couldn't impose like that," Arthur stated back. He wasn't going to not only invade upon Alfred's personal space by staying in his home on such short notice but by staying in his bed as well. He would sleep on the couch; he was sure he would feel much more comfortable on Alfred's couch. "When did you hear that I was going to be staying in your flat?"

"You mean my apartment?" Arthur completely ignored that question in favor of not getting angry with the American for his, well, Americanisms. He really did want to get along with Alfred, quite a lot actually. "When you were on the phone earlier, the President called. He asked me if it would be okay then. I really didn't mind!" Alfred stuck his head out from behind the lavatory door. It hadn't been properly closed the entire time. "You don't mind either do you?"

"Of course not," Arthur answered. It wasn't completely honest, but it was just a small lie. Arthur could easily resolve the issues he was feeling - he hoped. It was more of a nervousness that stopped him from wanting to stay in the American's home. Of course, it wasn't the most ideal conditions with how clean the place was, but it wasn't terrible conditions either.

That seemed to take a great weight off of Alfred's shoulders. Only a small portion of the American was showing through the door - the Englishman was trying to keep his eyes off the American as well; he had a strong feeling that the other blond was currently shirtless - but Arthur saw him heave downward as if the weight had physically been lifted and not just mentally. "Awesome." The American's body withdrew into the lavatory, and Arthur felt his own shoulders slump forward with a released weight.

Now that there was a quiet in the flat, Arthur couldn't help but begin to pick away at the flaws in his appearance. The Englishman raked a hand through his shaggy hair. It was definitely the most notable part of his appearance. The Englishman couldn't help but scowl at himself unhappily. He ran his fingers over his eyebrows. He took back his previous thought. They were the most notable part of his appearance, not his hair.

Arthur thought of those he knew back in England. His hair and eyebrows had always been what he'd been teased about. Arthur had been a completely different person back then though. The minute someone decided to speak even relatively hostile toward him, he was quick to make due with them.

Now as Arthur looked in the mirror before him, however, he noted his flaws with the same hostility. "Ready to go, Arthur?" Alfred asked. He was very close, and when Arthur jumped and paid attention, he saw the American smiling at him from the reflection in the mirror.

A bit nervously Arthur turned around to the American. "You look good," he told the other honestly. It occurred to Arthur as he saw the other now, just how awkward the other looked in his suit. It had suited him much better when he'd loosened his tie and undone a few buttons. Out of the suit, he looked splendid. "Very good," he noted when his eyes slipped delicately over Alfred's muscled arms. The masculinity of the other was now obvious. It was no surprise that he was strong.

"Why, thank you, Arthur," Alfred answered cordially. He smiled happily and held out his arm for Arthur to take. The other blushed and smiled back but refused to take the other's arm. He simply batted Alfred's shoulder. The other blond appeared devastated for a moment, rejection written plainly in his eyes. Mirth was written clearly underneath however, and he was soon laughing playfully. "You look very handsome too, Arthur."

"Can't you fix your hair though? Really, Alfred, don't you own a comb?" Arthur used the bite in his words to distract the other from the embarrassment that was clearly written there. Arthur immediately went after Alfred's hair and the cowlick that disobediently defied gravity.

"Hey!" Alfred called indignantly. He swatted Arthur's arms away from his hair. "You have no room to talk! Do you even know what a comb is?" Suddenly, Arthur had no qualms about taking the master bedroom for the night. A pout formed on Alfred's lips, but Arthur was going to have none of that. How could have been so foolish as to think that he could last without getting angry with the American?

The Englishman pushed roughly at Alfred's chest. "Get out!" he demanded. He pushed the other in the direction of the door. "Forget the bloody date! I'm just going to sleep!" The blond ignored the fact that it was early in the night yet. The sun hadn't set all that long ago. It was hardly close to nine o'clock.

"It's my room!" was the American's first protest.

"You're the one who offered to let me sleep in it!" Arthur growled back. He had somehow managed to push Alfred from the room completely. He had a feeling the other was too shocked by the abrupt change in plans or wasn't attempting to keep himself in place. There was no conceivable explanation for Alfred's stronger demeanor not to remain motionless against Arthur's weaker one.

Arthur managed to successfully slam the door shut behind the American. To celebrate this momentous accomplishment, he let himself collapse down on the bed. It was only then that he realized all of his belongings currently in America were actually not in the room he was currently occupying but the one he'd just locked the American into. Well, he'd deal with that at a later time.

"Artie!" Alfred called through the door apologetically. He knocked on the door vigorously. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to hurt your feelings or anything! You weren't being very nice either though!" There was a bit of an accusing tone in his voice as he said the last part.

Arthur simply scowled angrily at the door as if it were Alfred himself. "What are you, git? Five? Honestly, someone's going to think you're a bloody child the way you act!" The Englishman heard Alfred make an annoyed sound from the other side of the door.

"Artie-"

"It's Arthur! Arthur!"

"Fine then, Arthur," Alfred practically growled. "I was just trying to be nice. Just because you want to be a grumpy jerk all the time doesn't mean you have to treat everyone like crap. I'll be surprised if you have any friends at all!"

Arthur fumed furiously. He stormed from his previous seat on the bed to the door separating him from Alfred. "I'll have you know that I have loads of friends!" he shouted back. "I'm sure I have many more than a child like you has!"

It was a blatant lie that Alfred need never know the truth of. In actuality, Arthur had no friends. There was Francis Bonnefoy who made it his life's goal to annoy Arthur whenever he happened to be in Britain, but Arthur wouldn't exactly call him much of a friend. He was more of a stalker really. There was always the Queen as well, but Arthur wasn't sure exactly how he would label their friendship. A lot of the time it was more of an acquired partnership through work.

While Arthur shouted through the door at the American, he heard another door slam. It stopped him before he could gather more protests against the other blond. He paused before calling out quietly, "Alfred?" There was no answer from the other side of the door. If Arthur remembered correctly - and he was quite sure he was remembering correctly - the only other door was the one leading out of the house.

A split-second passed in which Arthur felt a bit guilty about his actions, and he felt just a tad lonely now that Alfred had so obviously stormed out of his flat. That part of him was quickly quelled however. No, it was definitely a good thing that Alfred had left. Arthur didn't want him around anyway. Not to mention, it gave him a golden opportunity to open the door and snatch his luggage into the bedroom.

Looking around, Alfred was no where to be found. He had left.

CWCW

It was burnt, all of it. There was very little that was salvageable. The blackened mass almost seemed to move on its own accord as it found its way into the trash bin nearby. An agitated sigh emitted through the room, albeit it was softly done. There was a cracking sound as the process was repeated.

Arthur was determined to get it right this time. All he was doing was trying to make scrambled eggs, but the bloody things didn't want to prepare themselves correctly. Arthur was dead determined it was the eggs doing it. There must have been something wrong with American chickens. That was the only reason it wasn't working as it was supposed to.

This was the Englishman's third attempt at the simple thing. He had already prepared scones which he was sure wouldn't taste quite correct given that Alfred hadn't properly supplied his kitchen with all the things that Arthur normally would have used to make such a recipe.

The fact that Arthur had packed his favorite tea cup and a small box of his favorite teas seemed to have come as a blessing. He was almost certain that it would come in handy to pack them at some point in their travels. Alfred's entire flat was devoid of the drink, so Arthur was more than happy to have used the room in his suitcases to pack it.

When the fire alarm went off, Arthur didn't do so much as flinch. Instead he glowered angrily at the alarm as if it had personally offended him. His emerald eyes just dared it to keep blaring. It dared. The sound seemed to jolt Alfred from his sleep however, as it should.

"Wha? My apartment's on fire!" Alfred leapt to his feet in a flurry. He was wearing the same clothes as last night was the first thing that Arthur noted about him when he was up. The clothes he had decided to dress in last night was crinkled with sleep. "Artie! Get up! The apartment's on fire!"

The American ran to the door to the master bedroom only to find it open. He hesitated before deeming that the matter was more important than their spat last night, and he stormed into the room. He found it empty - which was no surprise to Arthur who had been watching him the whole time. The Englishman resisted the urge to bury his head in his hands in exasperation.

"I'm right here, Alfred."

When the words left his mouth, Alfred was out of the bedroom in a flash. He noticed the pan in Arthur's hands, the somewhat charred mess the last batch of eggs had left behind and seemed to find the situation thoroughly amusing. He began to laugh almost immediately.

"You're the one burning down my apartment!"

"I'm doing no such thing!" Arthur could already feel his face heating up. This morning was already starting to turn out like last night. His face was turning red with anger. He'd been doing this to apologize for last night too! He had just wanted to make the American a nice breakfast to make up for his foul mood the night before.

The Englishman hadn't been able to help himself. He'd tried for hours to fall asleep, but he hadn't managed to. Guilt had ran a muck in his mind until Alfred had returned back. It had been extremely late - or early - when the American had finally come back to the flat. Arthur had heard the door close, and the American had come into the bedroom - where Arthur had been determinedly pretending to be asleep - retrieved a spare blanket from the closet, and gone to sleep on the couch. Only then had Arthur been able to sleep, and even then, he hadn't slept comfortably.

Through his chuckles Alfred stepped into the other room to call his landlord. Arthur simply glared after him before turning to the eggs he had been previously preparing. The alarm clicked off soon enough, and the flat was left in silence.

"Let me help you," Alfred chuckled in his ear. Arthur jumped and nearly lost his grip on the pan when he found the American so close to him. Alfred pressed his chest against Arthur's back when he stepped in close. He laid his hands over Arthur's own. "Relax," he whispered quietly. The humour had left his voice now.

"A-Alfred..."

"Shh." Alfred leaned forward gently, and his cheek brushed gently against Arthur's own. The red in his cheeks now was due to something completely different than anger. Despite his embarrassment - for certainly that's all it was - the contact felt utterly familiar. It was comforting. It was normal.

"Alfred..." he tried again only to be shushed a second time. "I was making breakfast," he continued anyway. He nearly winced when he heard the whine in his own voice. Arthur Kirkland most certainly didn't whine. Whining was for a child like Alfred, not the distinguished Arthur Kirkland.

Another chuckle was produced near his ear. This time Arthur felt the slight vibration through Alfred's chest against his back. "And now I'm helping. Take it as an apology about what happened last night. I'm sorry."

"That's why I was making breakfast in the first place." Arthur's blush darkened, and he stared determinedly at the frying pan on the oven. Alfred reached out to turn the temperature down a bit. "Last night was a terrible display on my part. I apologize. I have sorely taken advantage of your hospitality. I won't let it happen again. I'll vacate your room soon enough."

"I don't care that you have the bedroom. The couch isn't that bad."

"No, no, I insist. I've invaded upon your hospitality for far too long."

"We'll talk about this over breakfast, okay?" Alfred asked quietly. The American was keeping his voice surprisingly soft this morning. Well, since the rather loud incident with the fire alarm. Arthur simply nodded. This quiet Alfred was really quite compelling. Normally Arthur would have pursued the issue until he received his way. "Go watch the t.v. or something. I'll handle everything in the kitchen."

"Alfred..."

"Don't worry about it." Alfred smiled gently at him and released one of his hands. The other one removed itself rather reluctantly, Arthur noted, but did the same. Arthur left the room rather reluctantly himself to turn on the television in the other room. It was a small set, but Arthur really didn't mind. It was easy enough for him to find the local news station, and that was all that really mattered to him.

That feeling was short lived.

"Alfred?" It was a questioning when the report started. Apparently they had been talking about the issue for quite some time now, but it was a hot topic that wasn't likely to disappear any time soon. It certainly was a top story. Arthur wasn't having any of it. Even Arthur heard the quiver in his voice, and he was sure that was the only reason that Alfred left the kitchenette to come to his side.

"Artie?" Apparently he was back to using the bloody nickname, but for the first time that wasn't Arthur's top priority. "Something wrong?" Alfred was focused on Arthur for a bit before switching his attention to the television which was surprisingly displaying a picture of the two of them.

"We-we're on wanted posters."

"I see that."

"Why?"

"Uh..." the American had no good response to the fearful question. "Let me phone the President."

"I'll talk to the Queen."

Arthur was surprised he hadn't thought of that solution earlier. Upon seeing the news report it should have been his first instinct to give her a call and make sure she was all right. What was wrong with him? Was it the American air? That had to be it, it was the only explanation for the odd behavior he'd been displaying since arriving.

A knock at the door caught both their attention. The two of them glanced at the door before turning to look at each other. Alfred already had his phone pressed against his ear; a worried expression was clear on his face. "Alfred Jones, Arthur Kirkland, this is Washington police."

Arthur wasn't able to hear any more of the exact nature of their crimes because Alfred was pulling him through the fire escape in the back of the flat. Alfred yanked Arthur's cellular phone viciously from his grasp to dispose of it in the flat before they left. Arthur tried to protest, but Alfred shushed him quietly and covered his mouth with his hand.

They'd been running ever since.

Collision of Worlds - 3/12
mar_map
Title: Collision of Worlds
Author: Mar_Map
Summary: Arthur Kirkland finds himself in the care of Alfred F. Jones when the two meet under abnormal circumstances, are chased by the police, and find themselves at the top of the most wanted list.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to own Hetalia: Axis Powers in any way.


Monuments

The obelisk before them sparkled somewhat in the light. In fact, it didn't actually sparkle all that much in the light, but according to the American's claims it was supposed to. Actually, even now while it was within their sights he was still claiming that it glittered in the afternoon light.

"Just look at it!" the American exclaimed loudly. "It's practically glittering!"

"There is no way that monument is glittering, Alfred!" Arthur argued back. He looked up at the Washington monument and huffed. He was not losing this argument. If it had been anyone but Alfred speaking he might have tried to see what they spoke about but with Alfred things were different. The need to argue with the American was just too strong.

"Is too!"

"Is not, Alfred!"

A few groups of people walking by them paused to listen for a moment before giggling and continuing along. A few people gave them strange, disapproving looks before continuing along their way. Only those strange glances caused Arthur to stop the bickering. He flushed a bit in embarrassment.

"Hey, Artie, you feeling okay? You don't look so good anymore. Your cheeks are all red and stuff." Alfred was looking at him curiously, just a bit of worry in his cerulean eyes. "Look! Hot dogs!" Alfred exclaimed with little delay. The previous concern went unattended so Alfred could go obtain a hot dog from the street vendor. Arthur followed behind him quietly. Why the odd looks from the passerby? Were he and Alfred really such an odd sight? Why was he blushing so deeply anyway?

Alfred was quick to bound back to Arthur equipped with three hot dogs. "I'm really not hungry, Alfred," Arthur told him. Now honestly, Alfred had taken Arthur to an adequate little diner - at least it hadn't been bloody McDonald's - after Arthur had convinced Ron he was quite all right walking alone with Alfred. Ron hadn't been so convinced - in fact, he hadn't been at all convinced - but had left the two alone. The other had eaten like a man who had been starving for weeks.

"Mine!" Alfred hoarded the three hot dogs close to him at the very suggestion that he should give even just one to Arthur. The American plopped down on a white, wooden bench and proceeded to take a large bite from the hot dog.

"How can you still be hungry?"

"Jus' 'm."

"Don't talk with your mouth full either," Arthur commanded. The Englishman huffed. "Why must you be such a child?"

Alfred didn't seem to take well to the comment. "I'm not a child!" the American's voice was angry. "You can stop with the high and mighty act of yours now."

Arthur scoffed in indignation. He was saved having to answer by the vibration and loud 'God Save the Queen' being played loudly from his pocket. The sound made Alfred giggle, though Arthur was sure that he would never call it a giggle himself. Arthur simply sent him a glare that did nothing to silence the American. That didn't bother Arthur at all when the Queen's name shown at Arthur on the digital screen.

"Ma'am!" Arthur exclaimed with too much pleasure and relief in his voice. "I've been terribly worried about you." A sudden pang hit the Englishman's chest. He hadn't given one thought to his Queen since they'd arrived at the diner hours ago.

"There's no need for you to worry about me, Arthur," the Queen answered. "Please tell me you're being open-minded with dear Alfred." There was a gentle tone of pleading in the Queen's voice. Arthur glanced at Alfred who was walking closer to the monument with his own phone pressed to his ear.

Arthur glanced away when he realized he was staring. The last thing he saw of Alfred was the other male swallowing quickly to talk excitedly - not to mention with excessive arm motions - to whom Arthur assumed was probably the President.

"I wouldn't say open-minded exactly."

"Arthur..."

"I'm being quite civil, ma'am," Arthur defended himself. The defensiveness was clear in his voice, and the Englishman winced at how transparent he was being. "How are you doing with the President?" he asked to distract her from himself. He added quickly, "You don't need me to come down there, do you?" Was that eagerness in his voice now? Just great.

"Don't even think about it, Arthur Kirkland!" the Queen exclaimed. Her voice was stern and honest, but Arthur could hear the laughter in her voice as well. "You stay with Alfred and have some fun. I brought you to America with me for a vacation if you fail to remember. Oh, yes, and, Arthur?"

"Yes, ma'am?"

"I was getting the strangest feeling while the two of you were here that Alfred would like to very much ask you on a date while you're here. Maybe you could be so kind to as to humour him if he were to ask you." It was a simple request that made Arthur immediately flush at the very suggestion.

"Ma'am!" he exclaimed.

The Queen let out a pained sigh. The very sound caused a cringe from Arthur. "All you think about is working, Arthur. I don't believe you've ever taken a day off. You could do with a life outside of work, and a love life in particular would do you some good. Alfred himself could do you some good."

"We have nothing in common!" Arthur exclaimed. "Not to mention the fact that we're both male." The second part was practically whispered. Embarrassment flooded his voice. The Englishman glanced back up at the other who caught his gaze and smiled. Arthur flushed when he remembered how strong Alfred was.

"Opposites attract so they say," the Queen informed him, using the old cliche. "If you didn't pay attention yet, Arthur, and I'm sure you haven't noticed at all, Alfred is quite handsome. I'm sure the two of you would get along marvelously if you actually gave it a chance. Not just the relationship, but Alfred as well."

"But, ma'am..."

"Don't even think of butting me, Arthur Kirkland!"

"Sorry, ma'am..." Arthur began to apologize.

"Honestly, Arthur, do have fun, will you?" she intervened. "I didn't say you had to accept the request. I don't even know for sure that he'll ask to court you. With your current mood I'm not surprised he hasn't asked you yet. You're probably terrifying the poor fellow."

Arthur gulped audibly. "He already did."

"And I suppose you turned him down."

"Well, yes..."

"The poor boy. He's probably devastated."

A look over at Alfred showed that he was far from devastated. The American was talking loudly. His hands waved wildly in the air when he spoke. "Yes, devastated, ma'am." The Englishman tried to keep the sarcasm from his voice when he answered.

"So go talk to him. Have a wonderful night, Arthur." Before the Englishman could form an answer of protest the Queen had canceled the call from her phone to allow the dial tone to continue to drone in his ear like the annoying nuisance that it was.

"Brilliant, bloody brilliant."

"What is?"

Arthur visibly jumped when he found the American sitting back down beside him. How could he not have noticed the other man? He was quite an obvious fellow, after all. He was always being so loud as well; how was it that he'd managed to be quiet enough to sneak up on the Englishman? How long had he been sitting there beside him anyway? Not only that, but how much had he heard of the previously ended conversation?

"Trouble in paradise? What can the awesome hero do to help?" Disregarding the 'awesome hero' part the American actually sounded sincere in his want to help whatever was bothering the shorter blond. Arthur must have looked just as troubled as he felt.

The obelisk that was the Washington monument became suddenly excitingly interesting all over again. If it made the Queen pleased to know he'd at least tried to start the relationship, then he'd do what he could. "I was wondering if your offer to go courting was still available."

Arthur chanced a somewhat flushed glance over at the American. The Englishman supposed he could be handsome if seen in the right lighting. His skin was gently tanned and when he smiled Arthur could feel himself beginning to smile as well. It was addictive. The Englishman forced the smile down immediately.

"Can you try speaking American?"

"Wha-but!" Arthur asked, well, he stuttered more than anything. "Are you insulting the Queen's English?" He added quickly, "To the Queen's personal adviser?"

Alfred bit into his lower lips nervously. It seemed to be a habit when the other wasn't quite sure what else to say. "Uh, no?" he asked gently. He almost looked at Arthur with the need for approval in his eyes.

In a brooding fashion, Arthur crossed his arms over his chest. Alfred nudged Arthur's shoulder playfully. Apparently somewhere along the line he'd finished off his many hot dogs while Arthur had been paying attention elsewhere. "I was just wondering if you'd still like to take me out to dinner." He used the excuse of words to stifle his newly forming smile.

"That doesn't seem very professional now that we're working together. You seem all sticky when it comes to rules and stuff like that," Alfred said with a smirk. When Arthur became all flustered, Alfred couldn't help but laugh. "I'm just messing with you. I'd love to take you on a date. I thought you were determined to be straight though."

A sharp emerald glare was sent in Alfred's general direction. "Git. People can change their minds," Arthur mumbled halfheartedly to the American. He let the other pull his arms from their tight knot and gently cover one of his hands with his own tanned one. Arthur couldn't help but notice how much larger Alfred's were than his own. Even with the light touch Arthur could still feel the power wound up inside that he'd exerted earlier.

"You sure you're all right, Artie? Your face is all red again. It just got darker!" Alfred exclaimed in something akin to excitement. The American pressed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. He was scrutinizing Arthur carefully through his clear lenses. "You're embarrassed, aren't you!" Understanding flooded his cerulean eyes.

"A-am not!"

"I'm a hero, so I'm going to show you the most awesome night you've ever had!" Alfred proceeded to squeeze Arthur's hand underneath his own happily until he noticed the other wince. A sharp stab of pain was sent up Arthur's arm at the action. Alfred immediately pulled his own hand away when he saw the display of discomfort. "I hurt you again, didn't I! I'm such an idiot."

One of Alfred's hands met the top of his forehead painfully. Even Arthur could see the flash of pain in Alfred's eyes at his own action. He certainly hadn't meant to hurt himself so much. "Stop being so foolish, Alfred," Arthur ordered immediately. He pulled Alfred's hand away from his head with his own injured arm. Arthur was careful to watch what he did with it to avoid further pain, but he wanted Alfred to see that he was going to be fine. "You're not an idiot either. It could have happened to anyone, really."

"I'm not good at any of this. I always figured I wasn't interested in girls because I could never manage to take them on a nice date. She always ended up being so put out by me." Alfred sighed sadly, and Arthur couldn't help but note that the look was no good for the energetic American. He was supposed to be happy and bring happiness to others. He wasn't supposed to be this depressed bloke sitting on a park bench.

"Maybe you weren't interested in girls for a completely different reason." Arthur took a deep breath to prepare himself. Even back before he'd personally met the Queen, back when he used to be a rowdy teenager, Arthur had never been at all comfortable with public displays of affection. However, he was going against those feelings now. Arthur gently covered Alfred's much larger hand with his own as the other had been doing just minutes earlier.

Arthur felt Alfred lean against him gently on the bench. Alfred reached out his free hand to run his fingers over the area he'd bruised earlier that day. "It doesn't hurt anymore, does it?"

"No, it doesn't," Arthur answered honestly. When he looked down at the injury, it didn't actually look too bad. It would heal within a few days at the most. The injury hadn't actually pained him for hours. "It'll heal soon enough, Alfred."

"About that date..." Alfred seemed sheepish about continuing.

"About that date," Arthur copied. He said the phrase in a much easier than the American's own nervous tone to encourage the other to continue. He wasn't too thrilled about the whole idea yet. In just a few hours Alfred had managed to make Arthur see him in a new, better light, and he actually had been having a fine time with the American. Arthur still knew they were complete opposites and wasn't sure if a date was really the right thing for the two of them. Still, if it pleased the Queen...

"We could go get ready at my place and then go tonight?"

"Tonight?"

"Well...only if you want too."

Arthur hesitated. "I suppose..."

"Great! C'mon!" Alfred proceeded to hop to his feet with a whole new enthusiasm to his step. He pulled Arthur up after him and continued to prance across the cement to the street.

"A-Alfred!"

Proceed to Part 4 here

Collision of Worlds - 2/12
mar_map
Title: Collision of Worlds
Author: Mar_Map
Summary: Arthur Kirkland finds himself in the care of Alfred F. Jones when the two meet under abnormal circumstances, are chased by the police, and find themselves at the top of the most wanted list.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to own Hetalia: Axis Powers in any way.


Unexpected Strength

It had been an hour since their arrival in the White House. The tea on the table had long since grown cold, but it really hadn't been much of a waste. The taste hadn't been too pleasing. The unnerving atmosphere hadn't diminished much in the past minutes.

The Queen and President were speaking causally back and forth, and Arthur was starting to get the feeling that the two of them had been in contact for quite some time now. The President's knowledge of the Queen's personal life seemed to go back quite far, a few years at least. How could Arthur have not known the two of them were in contact? What else had the Queen been keeping from him?

The blond American, Alfred, was sitting across the small table from Arthur and was positively jumpy. His bright smile had long ago turned into an uncomfortable expression, and he shifted uncomfortably in his chair every few minutes. Arthur wondered if the lad ever kept still.

The President paused to smile at the two aids. "Alfred, why don't you take Arthur out for something to eat? I'm sure he could use something of that nature after his long flight. Lunch, perhaps?" The President smiled at Arthur in particular.

The Englishman didn't want to admit it, but the notion of food did sound quite tantalizing. He hadn't eaten this morning with their flight and all, and it was well past the time that he normally ate back in Britain. A normal glance at his watch reminded him that he needed to reset it to the time in America.

"Sir, it's only ten..." Alfred said. His fidgeting stopped when the President decided to turn his attention to the two of them. It was possible the talking had been unnerving the American, or maybe he wasn't used to sitting in on meetings. Arthur was used to the long conversations and staying quiet while other's spoke.

"But it's afternoon over in the United Kingdom," the President informed Alfred. "I'm sure you can still find somewhere to eat at this time. Feel no need to hurry back. Maybe you can show Arthur around the city a bit. There's no need for the two of you to return tonight. We'll just be going over uninteresting political things after all."

Political things? Uninteresting? The words only made the need to stay even stronger. Arthur wasn't about to leave the Queen here alone to go over politics alone. Well, she did have Charles, but that wasn't exactly the kind of support she would need going over politics. "Ma'am, I really must insist that I stay," the Englishman told his leader.

The Queen waved her aid off instantly. "There's no reason for you to stay, Arthur. I will see you bright and early here again in the morning. There's no reason for you to worry." She smiled at him as if the gesture was supposed to calm him down and win him over. It didn't work for a second.

"Ma'am-"

"Off you go, Arthur, I'll see you tomorrow."

"But certain-"

"Arthur," she warned. The Queen was always patient with him, but now a bit of warning was hinted in her tone. Despite wanting to stay, he knew that the Queen wouldn't allow such a thing. He could always stay outside the door until she emerged when she'd finished whatever business she had with the President, but the blond was pretty sure that the President's Secret Service wouldn't allow him to do such a thing.

Arthur had no pass or identification on him. If Alfred decided to go off on his own, Arthur would be left alone in the hall. When Secret Service came upon him, he'd be lucky to simply be removed from the building and not thrown in prison. With no way to contact anyone he'd be left there for months, possibly years. Nothing about that sounded particularly appealing.

"Call me if you need anything, ma'am," Arthur sighed, finally giving in to her request. The Queen smiled in relief that she wouldn't have to persuade him anymore. The Englishman stood from his seat to find that Alfred was already waiting for him at the door. A resigned sigh came from his lips. "Watch out for her, Charles," Arthur whispered quietly to the Royal Guard agent as he passed him by the door.

There was no perceptible notice from the other man that he had heard what the small aid had said. Arthur knew that Charles had heard, however, and he hadn't even needed to say the words. Charles was just as dedicated to the Queen as Arthur himself was. She was more important to Charles than the United Kingdom itself. The Queen was in fine hands with the guard.

"Man, I'm glad we're out of there!" Alfred exclaimed as soon as the door shut behind him. Arthur made a slight noise of agreement. He was pleased to be away from the uncomfortable room, but he didn't like being away from the Queen for too long. Not to mention, he still couldn't help but feel out of the loop of what was happening. "What's up with you, Mr. Grumpy?" Alfred felt the need to prod his shoulder when he asked the question.

Arthur scowled genuinely as he lashed out at the American's hand. "Don't touch me, git. We're just here for business, Mr. Jones, and I'd prefer you left it as such. Doesn't it bother you leaving your boss alone?" That's when it occurred to him. The Queen had Charles watching over her, but the President had allowed himself to be left alone with two high-ranking members of Britain. The President must have been a brave man, not that either the Queen or Charles would do anything to him.

"Not really," Alfred answered as he wove his way through the halls of the White House. Alfred really did know his way around. Arthur wondered how long he had been working with the President. Had it been longer than the other man's term or was Alfred an old friend? There was quite a few years between the President and Alfred - if Arthur was allowed to estimate - but there was a fair amount between himself and the Queen as well. "He can take care of himself. Anyway, Ron's around here somewhere. I don't like the guy personally, but I guess he's pretty good at what he does."

"Ron?"

"He's Captain of the Secret Service," Alfred explained. Arthur nodded to him. The Englishman knew he probably should have known that bit of information. Even though he had never expected to come to America - especially on business - he knew many things about countries that Britain had strong ties too.

"What do you want to eat then?" Alfred asked the Englishman when they exited the white, regal building. Alfred led Arthur through the lawn and toward the far gates.

Arthur followed the American always keeping a few steps behind the other. "We're not eating here?" questioned the Englishman. Truthfully it probably should have occurred to him that they wouldn't be saying in the vincity of the White House, but it still unnerved him to actually be walking further away from the Queen. The President had told them to do a bit of sight-seeing as well, which definitely should have been a cue that they would be leaving the White House property.

"I suppose we can if you want." Slowly the American came to a stop. He looked at the short man with an odd smile on his face. "Do you want to eat here?" Arthur couldn't help but finally examine the American. Even in the small kitchenette he hadn't really paid too much attention. He'd been too embarrassed in the kitchenette, and in the conference room he'd been too focused on the leaders.

The American was quite tall. Actually, now that the other blond had stopped it was quite obvious how much taller that he was than Arthur himself. His cerulean eyes were bright even behind his wire frames. Arthur couldn't help but wonder what he would look like without those frames obstructing his face. His hair was an almost straw colour. It was darker than Arthur's own bright blond hair.

"What is it?" the American asked with some concern. He had grown serious at some point during the time Arthur had been staring at him. Arthur hadn't even realized it. Why was he staring? A cough was an easy solution Arthur used to cover up his embarrassment. A smile soon cracked over the American's lips. It certainly did make him more attractive. That frown did not to wonders for the American's features. "It's because my tie is too tight, isn't it? I wondered about that."

The American immediately went about loosening his tie to an easy look. To accompany this he undid the first few bottons of his white, cotton shirt. Arthur immediately scoffed at his new appearence. Any respect that the Englishman had previously felt for the American was immediately discarded if he couldn't even deal with wearing his suit properly.

"What was that?" snapped Alfred. He stuck out his tongue childishly. "The tie is really uncomfortable. I hate wearing suits, but it kinda comes with the job, so I don't really have a choice. The President would get really mad at me if I didn't wear it. I've been trying to talk him into casual Fridays, but he hasn't really gone for that one yet..." Alfred trailed off when he noticed that Arthur was staring at him. "Like what you see?" the American smirked.

The minute the words left the other's lips, the blond Englishman tore he emerald eyes away from the dolt of an American. "Of course not. I'm hungry and tired is all. I haven't eaten a bloody thing all day." Arthur glared at the American accusingly as if it were entirely his fault that he hadn't been given the luxury of food the entire day. "Where's the closest resturant?"

"Well, I can't garentee they'll be serving lunch yet..."

"Alfred, really, I don't care," dead-panned Arthur.

"Mickey D's then!" Alfred exclaimed much too happily.

Upon hearing the chosen restuarant, Arthur continued to keep his feet planted to the White House's lucious lawn. Really, it was quite well cared for by the looks of it. Some of the money used to keep the lawn so well-kept could certainly be going toward helping with the American government's economy if it was really in as much trouble as the reports said.

"McDonald's? Really?"

Alfred stopped walking. The bounce left his step when he turned to the Englishman. "You don't like McDonald's?" A look of supreme horror covered the blond's face. He stuck his lips out in a bit of a pout, and Arthur could practically see the tears in his eyes. Arthur simply quirked one of his eyebrows and stared the American down. He had not come to America to eat at bloody McDonald's. Well, not that it had been his choice to come to America at all.

"McDonald's is hardly a respectable restuarant. Walking into the very institute is asking for a heart-attack. Going for food there it tight situations is not such a bad thing, but we are hardly in a tight situation. It is almost eleven, and we have the entire rest of the day to waste."

"Nothing about Washington is a waste! You're such a grumpy, old man, you know?" Alfred muttered the last bit under his breath, of course. Then again, muttering under his breath for Alfred really wasn't much of a matter at all. In fact, it was quite easy for Arthur to hear him speak. This, of course, was not at all pleasing for the Englishman, and he scowled angrily. "Where do you suggest we eat then?"

Arthur crossed his arms moodily across his chest. "I don't very much care," was the annoying answer that Alfred received. Of course, the Englishman cared. If he didn't care, then they would be eating at McDonald's and this discussion wouldn't even be occurring. "I don't quite know my way around Washington now, do I? That's is your job, remember?"

Now the American was glaring just as fiercely at the Englishman as the older blond was glaring at him. "I'm trying to be nice," Alfred spat, "but you're making it really hard to be nice."

"I don't need nice, I need food." Yes, if that's the game Alfred wanted to play then Arthur could easily play it back. Seven years in politics made it quite easy to make snide remarks.

"Why don't you stop being such an-"

"Mr. Jones, really. You're not aggravating one of our very important guests are you?" The voice that spoke was practically a purr. "Mr. Kirkland, is there anything I can do to help you?"

Arthur turned to the source of the voice and couldn't help but smile when he saw the glare and scowl on Alfred's face. If Alfred didn't like this person, then Arthur was sure the two of them would get along splendidly. "I'm looking for a respectable restuarant nearby, actually. If you would be so kind as to point me in the right direciton, that would be delightful."

The Englishman couldn't help but admire the man coming toward them. He was in full uniform and clearly of a high rank. Arthur wondered if this was the 'Ron' Alfred had been speaking of earlier. "Not only could I accompany you, I was be most honored to take you there myself."

"Shouldn't you be with the President?" grudingly Alfred asked.

Ron laughed easily. He smiled delicately over at the other American. "Mr. President is quite capable of taking care of himself. Mr. Kirkland on the other hand is in unchartered waters and could use a proper guide."

"I'm supposed to be his guide!"

The other American looked Alfred up and down as if seeing him for the first time. It was clear that he was not at all impressed by what he saw. "Well, Mr. Jones, it seems that you could do with a good instructor in etiquete. Now, Mr. Kirkland, I am Ronald Butcher, Captain of the President's Secret Service. You may, of course, simply call me Ron." The Captain smiled and offered his hand to the Englishman.

"It is quite a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Butcher," Arthur smiled honestly and shook the other's hand. It was quite pleasant to have someone polite to actually speak with; someone other than Alfred. It wasn't that Alfred wasn't pleasant company, the two of them simply had nothing in common.

"You must be exhausted after such a long trip, Mr. Kirkland," Ron said. The Captain stood in an almost regal fashion. His hands were clapsed neatly behind himself as he walked at an easy pace beside the Englishman. "Would you prefer if I drew us a car?"

Alfred had his arms crossed over his chest in a brooding fashion. His eyes and demenor were both pouting, as he sulked. The American was trailng along behind them like a child who had been refused a toy by his parents. Arthur would have felt somewhat bad for him if he wasn't being such a child about the whole matter. Rather, Arthur crossed his own arms and turned his entire attention back to Ron.

"Really, Mr. Butcher, I do appreciate the formality. It is certainly a relief to find that at least some Americans are polite." Arthur hadn't meant to make the phrase a snide comment toward Alfred, but the moment the words left his mouth he realized they were. Ron simply chuckled. "But certainly you can call me Arthur."

"But of course, Mr. Kirkland, but only if I can be given the same courtesy." Ron pulled an identification pass from his pocket and flashed it to the guards at the gates. "It's a precaution," Ron explained.

"I'm sure that could be arranged, Ron."

Arthur smiled over at the Secret Service agent who Arthur was surprised to find was smiling back at him. The Englishman looked away quickly followed by a bothered huff from behind. Out of the corner of his eye, Arthur saw Alfred clench his fingers into fists.

"C'mon, Arthur," Alfred stormed ahead of of the couple in front of him. He grabbed Arthur at the wrist and started pulling Arthur along faster. "Shouldn't you be getting back to the President, Mr. Butcher?"

"Alfred!" the Englishman exclaimed when he found himself being drug down the street. Alfred had strength hidden on his person that Arthur would never have expected. "Alfred, unhand me this very minute!" Arthur demnaded indignantly. The initial shock of being pulled down the land had disapaited into annoyance.

Ron Butcher simply sighed as if the very sight was painful for him to watch. It was like the Captain had expected the actions of the other American, or he had dealt with a similiar situation before. Since the two of them seemed to know each other quite well, he probably had anticipated the actions. "Really, Mr. Jones, must you be so childish? Please, release Arthur. You're setting a poor example of Americans for the unfortunate man."

The words of Ron seemed to set Alfred in even more of a fit. The American tightened his hold on the Englishman who let out an indignified squeak at the new set of force sent down upon his arm. He tried vainly to pull from the American's grasp. Really, where was he keeping all that muscel? It certainly didn't show through the suit he wore.

"Alfred, let go!" Arthur called angrily. He set his feet into the ground in the hopes of slowing the other down. He wasn't even sure where they were going. The attempt only set him stumbling after Alfred however. Angry emerald daggers were sent in the direction of the bobbing blond head ahead of him. "Release me, Mr. Jones!"

At the sound of the of the formal name, Alfred stopped dead in his tracks. He turned in surprise to look at Arthur who had lurched forward a bit at the sudden stop. Alfred managed to catch him before he fell and righten him on his feet. In the process he let go of Arthur's wrist, and the Englishman rubbed at it unconscienely. "What?"

"You're a bloody git," Arthur growled. He couldn't help but send Alfred accusing looks. Captain Ron came to the Englishman's other side and offered a gentle hand to the other. Arthur let the Secret Service agent inspect the reddening wrist.

Ron's fingers were gentle while he rubbed soothing circles against the steadily bruising flesh. "I-I didn't do that, did I?" Alfred asked sheepishly. He reached out a hand to touch Arthur apologetically before seeming to think better of the action and withdrawing his arm. Instead he nervously bit his lower lip.

"No, Mr. Jones, he just managed to find his arm injured after you had been unceremoniously pulling on him." There was obvious bite in the Captain's words when he spoke to the American.

Despite the fact that Alfred had been quite rude and violent with his actions, he did appear sorry. The young lad even managed to keep back a retort toward the man it was clear he didn't like all that much. Arthur also had a feeling that Alfred didn't mean to harm him, in fact, Arthur was certain that the incident had been purely accidental.

"I'm sorry, Arthur," Alfred mumbled. The American now had his hands shoved down deep into his pockets. He kicked a pebble on the ground, scuffing his shoe in the dirt. His blond locks of hair obscured his blue eyes due to the fact that he was looking down at the ground determindedly.

A sigh escaped Arthur's lips. "It's quite all right, Alfred. I'm sure you forget your own strength sometimes. I'm not built quite as sturdy as you are. Just be careful next time, will you?" Arthur looked at the American to see him nod obediently. He looked like a little kicked puppy and despite everything Arthur felt pity settle into his chest.

Arthur pulled away from the Captain. The Englishman smiled gently at him, but it was Alfred who held his attention. A gentle tap on the chin made Alfred look over at the other aid. "I'm sorry," he mumbled again, "you're not really hurt are you?" Alfred looked up sharply with worried cerulean eyes.

Arthur reached up to pat the top of Alfred's head. Arthur was quite surprised to find the act to be a harder feat than he'd first anticipated. Alfred was much taller than he looked. To actually reach the top of the other's head he was required to use the tips of his toes. "I'll be fine, Alfred. Now, aren't you supposed to be taking me out for lunch?"

When Alfred noticed the almost playful smirk on Arthur's lips, he flashed a bright one of his own. "So you are taking me up on that date!" the American exclaimed. He smiled happily and turned on his heels to take a bouncing pace forward.

"I-I most certainly am not!" stuttered Arthur with a light flush.

Alfred simply turned around to wink.

Proceed to Part 3 here

Collision Of Worlds - 1/12
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