Prompt: Day 6 - 'Something There'
Word Count: 1087
Summary: Alfred has a bit of a crush. Too bad he feels like a complete creeper.
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
Alfred wasn't paranoid, but he often freaked out when there was nothing there. His brother blamed it on his horror movie obsession, but... Well, whenever he was with Arthur the feeling seemed to intensify, so much that he could actually feel the hair on his arms and the back of his neck beginning to stand on end. .
There was something there, but he wasn't sure what that could be. After all, there were no such things as ghosts.
He nervously made his way into the Occults Club classroom, only to find that Arthur wasn’t there. Immediately, his anxiety increased. If ghosts did exist then they’d probably hang around somewhere like here, right? He’d often seen Arthur muttering to them (or himself) in here.
Crap, he was going to die, wasn’t he?
“Please leave me alone,” he begged the empty room. “I’m honestly trying my best to be friends with him, so please don’t kill me. I’m too young to die.”
“They say that speaking to yourself is a sign of insanity,” Arthur said, poking his head into the classroom and spotting Alfred.
“Hang on, but you—”
“I never said that they’re right, though.”
Alfred watched as the other boy slowly made his way over to his usual desk and pulled out his books. They worked in silence for a little while, before Arthur began mumbling to himself again. Normally it would have freaked Alfred out a little, but he was, surprisingly enough, becoming used to it. It was harmless, anyway, and more than a little bit endearing.
“Hey, Artie.” He half-heartedly worked his way through some mathematics problems.
“My name is Arthur,” the Briton replied, stressing his name.
“Well, Arthur,” he corrected himself, mimicking the other boy’s emphasis, “why don’t we skip the studying today? Let’s go get an ice cream or something. Why are we stuck in here when it’s so nice outside?”
The look that Arthur gave him was rather disconcerting. It was as if the English boy hadn’t ever considered the possibility that Alfred would want to have anything to do with him outside of school.
“Outside?” Arthur repeated, looking a bit dazed. “You do realise that outside, people will see you. With me, that is. You oughtn’t put yourself in that kind of situation.”
“As if I care.” Alfred began shoving his books haphazardly into his bag. “I just want ice cream with a buddy. Who cares if people think we shouldn’t be friends? I’m not ashamed of you. If you’re ashamed of me, then that’s a different story completely but that’s not the case, right?”
“Of course not,” Arthur whispered, his pale skin beginning to flush. “No, no, of course I’m not ashamed of you. I was just saying.”
“People can say whatever they want to,” he continued. “It doesn’t mean that I’m gonna listen. C’mon, let’s go. Unless you’re actually hungry, in which case we may as well go to McDonald’s or something. Are you hungry?”
“Well—I—yes?” Arthur’s eyes seemed to lose focus for a moment, looking somewhere above Alfred’s head. “Be quiet, you lot.”
Alfred refused to be thrown off by the strange words. “Let’s go, then.”
The walk to the nearest fast food outlet was quiet. Neither of them felt the need to say anything, or perhaps they couldn’t think of anything to say. Either way, they arrived at McDonald’s soon enough and each purchased their own meal.
“Fish burger, huh?” Alfred eyed Arthur’s meal from across the table. “I would’ve pegged you for a salad kind of guy, but the fish burger’s actually pretty good.”
“I enjoy this one.” Arthur nibbled daintily on the end of a chip. “You, on the other hand, ordered exactly what I would have expected you to.”
Alfred looked down at his large meal and grinned sheepishly. “Actually,” he confided, “usually I eat more than this. I’m a growing boy, you know? I gotta eat lots.”
Arthur actually looked a bit disgusted at that admission. “It’s a wonder that you’re not fat.”
“Have you been looking?” It was meant to come out in a teasing tone, but they both ended up turning bright red and looking away from each other. That had sounded kind of… gay. Not that sounding gay was a problem, or anything! Arthur was really interesting, and he was nice to look at, too. It was just that… Alfred didn’t want to scare the other boy off or anything. It probably wasn’t fair on Arthur to be sort of crushing on him when the boy didn’t have that many friends to begin with. It was kind of like… a betrayal of his trust or something, wasn’t it?
“Of course not,” came Arthur’s weak scoff. “What are you trying to imply, exactly?”
“Nothing, nothing.” The retort sounded remarkably lame to his ears, and Alfred slumped a bit. He wanted to sound super cool and stuff, but it was so hard when Arthur was taking a bite out of his burger and then eating another chip, while there was a small smear of mayonnaise on the side of his mouth… Alfred reached across with his napkin and dabbed at Arthur’s mouth gently. “You had… a bit of mayonnaise, right there,” he breathed quietly.
Arthur’s eyes were wide and his cheeks were that endearing shade of pink again. His mouth opened slightly. “Alfred, I…”
Alfred promptly elbowed his drink, causing it to spill across the table and drip down into Arthur’s lap. The English boy yelped and leapt to his feet, dabbing at the growing stain on his thigh.
“God, I’m so, so sorry!” Alfred quickly scrambled out of his chair and began dabbing at Arthur’s thigh, forgetting his earlier use of it and managing to smear a bit of mayonnaise across the coke stain. “Ah shit, I’m really sorry—”
“I-it’s quite all right!” Arthur quickly pushed the other boy’s hands away from his lap and backed away. “I’ll just—I’ll go to the restroom and clean myself up, shall I?”
“I’ll come too!” At Arthur’s horrified look, Alfred quickly retracted his offer. “On second thought, I’ll look after the food, okay?”
“Yes, you do that.”
Alfred spent the next fifteen minutes staring at his hand and trying to both remember and forget how Arthur’s thigh had felt. He felt like a creep, like he was taking advantage of his friend.
He didn’t know that Arthur had spent those same fifteen minutes staring at the patch on his thigh, remembering how warm and gentle Alfred’s hands had been.