Prompt: Day 3 - 'I See the Light'
Word Count: 1266
Rating/Warnings: K? A tiny bit of swearing.
Summary: Arthur follows the voices. It's a bad idea.
Notes: I'm attempting to write a one-shot for each day that eventually connects up into an entire story. Because it was too difficult to make it in order according to prompts, the stories will be out of chronological order ;u;
Hike | How to Make Friends | The Fight | Crush | Lights | Coffee | Date | Explanations | Talk | Those Three Words | Make You Better | Marigolds | Think of Me | Promises
Arthur Kirkland was definitely not crazy.
That didn’t change the fact that most people thought he was crazy, though. Apparently mumbling to oneself and seeing things that weren’t actually there were signs of insanity, according to his peers. Arthur would have loved to say that he didn’t care about their opinions, but in the end… he did.
Or at least, he cared about the opinion of one particular classmate.
He and Alfred had been acquainted for a few months, and he couldn’t shake the worry that he would scare away the American. He still didn’t understand just how Alfred had taken to visiting him in the Occults Club classroom after school, but if he was to be honest… he rather enjoyed their meetings.
Alfred usually turned up with whatever had been stolen from Arthur’s bag that day, as well as a burger or two that he’d offer to share. Even though Arthur acted annoyed, he was actually glad for the company.
Focussing on Alfred helped him to ignore the voices.
“I wonder where he is today,” a small voice piped up. “I wonder if he’s forgotten you already, Arthur.”
“Of course he hasn’t forgotten me,” Arthur scoffed. He had nothing better to do while waiting for Alfred to arrive, so he took out his maths homework and began looking through his notes.
“Are you sure?”
“Where is he then?”
“Mayhap he went home already.”
“He hasn’t gone home!” Arthur pressed his pencil to his book so hard that the tip snapped. “His practice most likely ran late.”
“It’s raining though.”
“Practice was probably cancelled.”
“He’s not coming, is he?”
Arthur sharpened his pencil with a scowl, twisting the pencil in the sharpener with more force than was necessary. “It doesn’t even matter if he comes, anyway.”
“It matters to you, though.”
“But it’s all right.”
“You’ll always have us, Arthur.”
He hated the way that his name was said in that melodious, sickeningly sweet voice. Arthur tossed his sharpener back into his backpack carelessly and attempted to ignore the strange, glowing things that had followed him around for as long as he could remember.
“Arthur, don’t ignore us.”
“Arthur, you’re hurting our feelings.”
“Bloody hell, what?” he snapped, slamming his book shut. “He’s become bored of me—so what? I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. When did I ever say I wanted to be his friend anyway? Alfred’s just some dumb jock who wants to take pity on the freak. He’s annoying and loud and I… wish he’d just leave me alone!”
He hated how attached to Alfred he’d become in such a short amount of time. The thought of Alfred no longer coming to the classroom after school made him feel strangely hollow inside, and he hated that. Arthur knew that it was dangerous to allow himself to become close to someone. He wasn’t like other people. Maybe he really was crazy, and no one deserved to be forced to deal with someone like him. Especially not Alfred.
“Gee, I didn’t know I was annoying you that much, Arthur.”
Arthur whirled around and caught sight of Alfred standing in the doorway. The American’s posture was relaxed and casual, but it was impossible to miss the hurt in his eyes. Arthur gaped at him wordlessly.
“You know, you could have just said it to my face. If you want to be left alone so bad, I’ll just go. I brought something for you though. Thought you’d like it. That’s why I was late.” Alfred strode over and deposited a plastic bag in front of Arthur, pointedly not looking at the Briton. He quickly left, shutting the door behind him quietly.
Arthur continued to stare at the door. Had he just… lost Alfred? He tried to glare at the faeries—for he assumed that was what the glowing things were—but they were suddenly nowhere to be found. It was his own fault. He knew that. He couldn’t even be honest to himself.
It was lonely, leaving the school by himself. Arthur wrapped his scarf more tightly around his neck and shivered as he made his way towards the bus station.
“No, not this way.”
“Let’s walk, Arthur!”
“It’s so pretty.”
All his life, he had been listening to the voices. It was only recently that he’d tried to argue against them. It was only after he’d become friends with Alfred that he’d had any desire to argue against them. But now Alfred was angry at him, and with good reason. He shrugged helplessly but obeyed.
“Where are we going?” he tried to ask. “I should be getting home soon.”
“Let’s go for a walk,” the chiming voices insisted, and Arthur made his way past the bus station obediently.
It wasn’t quite cold enough to snow yet, but it was definitely more than a little bit chilly out on the streets. Arthur suddenly wished that he’d remembered his pullover that morning instead of just wearing his blazer over his uniform. There were very few people on the streets but Arthur quickened his pace and kept under the street lights just to be safe.
“Will you tell me when to stop walking?” he asked plaintively. He was cold, and his nose felt like it was getting frostbitten. The faeries giggled but Arthur found the sound ominous more than anything else. He was sure that they meant well, but it was still rather disconcerting to have them laugh at him.
“If Alfred was here it would be nice, right?”
He shook his head. “He’s not here. He’s angry with me, remember?”
“He’s not angry.”
“He’s embarrassed! Now that you know he’s just pitying you…”
“We’re the only ones who care about you, Arthur.”
“I know that,” he sighed. “I know.” No matter how much his parents loved him, they would never understand. They would never accept him as he was, instead of mentioning psychiatrists and doctors whenever they talked about him. His brothers just thought he was plain insane, and now Alfred…
Well, Alfred probably just thought that he was a bastard. Rightly so, too, if taken from Alfred’s point of view.
“Just a little further, Arthur.”
“There’s someone who wants to meet you.”
Arthur sped up a bit, wanting to get this over and done with. The sooner he finished here, the sooner he could go home. He shoved his hands deep into his blazer pockets but continued to shiver.
“You can stop now, Arthur.”
The faeries’ giggles began to grow louder and louder until they were deafening him. Arthur clamped his hands on his ears, frozen on the spot. “What are you doing?” he gasped, tears springing to his eyes as the giggles grew to a painful pitch. “Who am I supposed to be meeting?”
Suddenly the giggles stopped, only to be replaced with a loud beep. Arthur stood, transfixed by the bright lights that were rushing towards him. He drew in a breath, and let it out, still not comprehending the situation. The lights were closer, closer, and oh so bright…
He was suddenly yanked backwards by the back of his blazer. He tripped, landing heavily and staring up with wide eyes.
“What the hell, Arthur?”
Blue. So much blue. Where were the faeries? What had happened? … Where did the light go?
“What the fuck were you doing? Are you fucking insane?”
The lights… blue… the faeries were gone, the faeries had left, and the light was nowhere to be seen. He gazed up blankly, still uncomprehending. Blue, so blue. He was drowning in blue.
“Arthur, you fucking asshole, say something!”