Prompt: Day 4 - 'A Whole New World'
Word Count: 1526
Rating/Warnings: T. Vivid description of effects of medical drugs/sedation.
Summary: Arthur's mother attempts to make her son normal.
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; This story comes a long while after Hike, Lights and Coffee.
This is sort of a very loose interpretation of the prompt. If you don't get the association after reading it, I'll be happy to explain my strange train of thought to you! Haha.
IMPORTANT: I'm a pharmacist-in-training, and I am absolutely not telling any of you to stop taking your medication as soon as you feel like it. If you are being prescribed something for a diagnosed condition, it's best to keep taking it because a lot of medications cause withdrawal and/or rebound effects. If you're experiencing bad side effects, you can see your doctor to talk about other possible medications that you can take instead, but please don't just simply stop taking your medication (unless of course, it's a really bad, unexpected adverse reaction or something of the sort).
Hike | How to Make Friends | The Fight | Crush | Lights | Coffee | Date | Explanations | Talk | Those Three Words | Make You Better | Marigolds | Think of Me | Promises
They were supposed to have a happy ending. They were supposed to go from high school sweethearts to lifetime lovers. They were supposed to find a flat and move in together, spending each and every day in each other’s company. Alfred had accepted him and understood him. They were supposed to be happy. But it didn’t happen.
The spirits and faeries continued to plague him, keeping him up at night and leading him off between classes. Arthur had no real control over them—except when he was with Alfred.
“Listen, darling,” his mother said, her face haggard and pale. “These will help you, honestly. You don’t have to see those things. You don’t have to be different anymore.”
Arthur reluctantly accepted the pills. He’d hurt his mother so much in the past that he couldn’t refuse her. And besides, he wasn’t crazy. The pills wouldn’t affect him at all, because his mind wasn’t the problem.
… was it?
Alfred thankfully remained relatively quiet on the issue of the medication. When Arthur had asked him about it, the American had merely said, “take ‘em if it makes you feel better. But I don’t think you need fixing.”
He hadn’t known how to react to that.
His mother organised a doctor’s appointment, and soon enough he had a shiny new bottle of rattling pills.
Alfred’s lab class had run overtime. He returned to their shared flat hurriedly, carrying a bag of Chinese takeaway. Arthur had been acting somewhat strange lately, and Alfred was becoming worried.
“Arthur!” he called out as he came through the doorway. “Are you back?”
Lately Arthur always seemed to leave after Alfred did, and returned earlier. Most of the time, Alfred returned to find his boyfriend in his pyjamas, looking ruffled and sleepy. It was strange. Arthur hadn’t even yelled at him in weeks. They usually had minor arguments at least a few times a week, but recently Arthur hadn’t been arguing at all.
“Arthur, babe, where are you?” His use of the hated pet name was bound to make Arthur respond, right? Alfred set his bag and the food down on the couch and wandered over to stick his head into the bedroom.
Arthur was curled up on top of the bed, wearing the same pyjamas that he’d been wearing that morning. He didn’t stir at all, so Alfred quickly made his way over and knelt down beside the bed.
“Artie?” He shook his boyfriend’s shoulder gently. “C’mon, are you really still sleeping?”
He leaned in to peer at the Briton, and was shocked to find the dulled green eyes half-lidded. Alfred waved his fingers slowly in front of Arthur’s face, hoping for a reaction. When that didn’t do anything, he began to panic.
“Fuck, oh fuck, I’m going to call an ambulance, just please be okay—” Alfred fumbled for his phone and had just begun to dial the emergency number when Arthur spoke.
“… Don’t need to.” His voice was flat and slightly slurred, as if it costed too much energy to try and form the words in his usual crisp accent.
“You scared the shit out of me!” Alfred quickly hung up and rushed back to the bed. He reached out to stroke Arthur’s cheek, his movements gentle despite his harsh tone of voice. “Why didn’t you say anything when I was trying to talk to you, you ass!”
Arthur shrugged and rolled over to face away from the American. He curled up more tightly and squeezed his eyes shut.
“Don’t turn away from me!” Alfred grabbed his shoulder and rolled him back over. “Arthur, sweetheart, you gotta talk to me here. What’s going on?”
Arthur opened his eyes, tearing up. It was the first sign of emotion that he’d shown since Alfred had come home. “They’re gone,” he whispered, tears overflowing and beginning to trickle down his cheeks. “I can’t see them anymore. They’re all gone.”
At the age of twenty-one, Arthur Kirkland found that he could no longer See.
As the days went on, Arthur continued to withdraw into himself. While the spirits and faeries had not always been kind, they had always been a part of him and now they were suddenly gone. He couldn’t see or hear them anymore. In fact, he could barely see or hear Alfred anymore. The world passed by in a dysphoric haze. He couldn’t think. They were gone and maybe he had been crazy after all. He couldn’t stop taking the medication, just in case everyone had been right and it was all in his head. He could handle this.
He could finally make his family less ashamed of him.
But it was scary. The world was blurred and he couldn’t feel. He couldn’t attend his classes and he couldn’t do any cooking. He couldn’t do anything. He was still as useless as ever. Arthur Kirkland was never going to be someone worth anything.
Still, he could take his pills. That was one thing he could do. And he could ignore how Alfred whispered to him and looked at him in fright. He wasn’t completely useless yet, though he was close. He was so close, so he had to continue taking them, for his sake, for his mother’s sake, he didn’t even know anymore…
One morning, Arthur woke to find his bottle of pills gone.
“Where did you put them?” he demanded croakily as soon as Alfred walked through the door. He was sitting at the table, leaning casually against the solid wood in an attempt to hide his dizziness.
“I’m not letting you take that shit anymore.” Alfred bent over to slip his shoes off and strode into the flat. “I got rid of them.”
“You can’t do that!” Arthur forced himself to his feet and wobbled towards his boyfriend furiously. It was the first real emotion that he’d felt in a while, and it scared him. What if the faeries and spirits came back? What if he became crazy again?
“Yeah?” Alfred caught him and helped him over to the couch. “Well I did. I’m serious, Arthur. I love you, and I don’t want to see you doing this to yourself.”
“They made me normal!” The world appeared to be spinning, so Arthur leaned his forehead against Alfred’s shoulder exhaustedly and closed his eyes tightly. “They made me… not crazy. Mum’ll be happy. I don’t see them anymore. I’m normal.”
Alfred gripped the shorter man’s shoulders tightly. “You were normal! There was nothing wrong with you at all! And yeah, I let you do what your mom said ‘cause she’s your mom and all, but I’ve seen what it does to you and I’m not letting you take those pills anymore!”
“I just want to be normal,” Arthur whispered plaintively.
Alfred leaned down and kissed him almost painfully hard. “You are normal—you don’t need drugs!” His voice was fierce and choked with emotion. “You’re normal and wonderful and perfect, and I love you. So what if you can see stuff the rest of us can’t? That’s called a gift. You’re supposed to take care of those and use ‘em for good and stuff, not drug yourself up until you can barely move!” He shook Arthur by the shoulders then, his grip painfully tight. “Look at yourself,” he pleaded. “This isn’t you. You used to wake super early and always go to class on time. You used to top each and every one of your subjects. You used to spend time with me. You used to do so much but now… you won’t even get out of bed and you’re going to fail your classes if you don’t start caring again!”
Arthur stared up, horrified, as tears began to trail down the American’s face. “Alfred…”
The man in question let out a tiny, choked-off sob. “That’s the first time you’ve said my name in forever,” he said. “This is the first time we’ve talked in forever.”
It was true. Arthur had no idea how much time had passed since he’d begun taking the medication, but it had been long enough that he’d begun to miss Alfred more than he missed his invisible companions.
“What am I supposed to do?” Arthur whispered. “I can’t see them anymore. They’re gone. How do you know that I’m not crazy? How do you know that they ever existed at all?”
“You’re not crazy,” Alfred said firmly. “I’ve known you for a while now. You’ve never been crazy. Stop taking the pills, please. Please, Arthur. I love you. Don’t take these anymore. Don’t hurt yourself anymore. Please.”
They gazed at each other for a long moment. Arthur was shocked to find that he’d almost forgotten how very blue Alfred’s eyes were. He’d almost forgotten Alfred.
“I’ve been awful to you, haven’t I?” he asked quietly.
“This isn’t about me. This is about you, and your health. You’re not crazy. I wish you could see that.”
“I—I’m sorry,” he murmured uselessly. “But mum—”
“I’ll talk to your mom,” Alfred promised. “I’ll make her see that you don’t need to be fixed. Because you’re perfect. You’ve always been perfect.”