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Title: Explanations
Prompt: Day 14 - 'Collision of Worlds'
Genre: romance/angst
Pairing(s): USUK
Word Count: 1023
Rating/Warnings: G
Summary: Alfred is sick of not knowing where Arthur is.
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



Surprisingly enough, seeing each other at school the next Monday wasn’t at all awkward. Alfred subtly greeted his boyfriend with a small smile and a wave, but continued to make his way down the corridor, surrounded by his footballer friends.

Arthur, though slightly disappointed, understood what was at risk for the American. They couldn’t suddenly out themselves to the entire school, after all.

“Hey, Artie.”

The sudden whisper in his ear made him jump. Arthur whirled around, arms already rising defensively, but was faced with his grinning beau.

“What do you want, idiot?” he said, crossing his arms over his chest in an attempt to hide the movement.

Alfred easily saw it though, and frowned. “Arthur, what—”

“It’s nothing.” Arthur began to turn away. “Just… you know.” He glanced around cautiously, and gave a squeak as Alfred gripped him by the upper arm. “Alfred, I really don’t enjoy being manhandled like this—”

Wordlessly, Alfred tugged him into the nearest empty classroom and locked the door behind them.

“Alfred, really. Morning tea is almost over, and I haven’t even switched my books yet. What on earth are you up to?” Arthur frowned up at the other boy, but made no effort to leave the room.

“I just… wanted to see you.” Alfred wrapped his arms around the other boy and pulled him close. “I hate not being able to touch you.”

“You know perfectly well why you can’t.” The Briton sighed but returned the embrace, relaxing against Alfred’s chest. “It would damage your reputation, perhaps irreparably.”

“I hate it when you say it like that.”

“Like what?”

“Like I’m better than you, like you’re… I dunno, dragging me down or something. ‘Cause it’s not like that.” He leaned down, his expression sad. “D’ya think… um, can I kiss you?”

“I… suppose so,” Arthur breathed, already leaning up and closing his eyes.

---

Gradually, though, Alfred found that they began to see each other less and less. Arthur would be missing from the Occults Club classroom after school on some days, and he wouldn’t answer any calls or text messages. When they saw each other next, he wouldn’t even bother to explain himself. It bothered Alfred, but he figured that he had to give Arthur space.

Too much space was a bad thing though, and he could already feel them drifting apart.

---

They’d arranged to meet in the Occults Club classroom and maybe go out for dinner somewhere, but when Alfred arrived there was no sign of Arthur. Really, he shouldn’t have been surprised. Arthur had been skipping out on so many of their meetings lately, it was surprising that they were even still together at all.

Hey Art. Gonna go home. C U 2morow.

As usual, there was no reply. There was nothing for him to do but go home and try to control how hurt he felt.

---

“Arthur. We need to talk.”

Alfred kept his tone as even as possible, even though he was angrier than he could ever remember being. They were supposed to be boyfriends. They were supposed to be able to talk to each other about anything, but Arthur wasn’t even making an effort. The Englishman even had the audacity to look confused and slightly scared, but Alfred didn’t let that distract him.

He all but shoved his boyfriend into the Occults Club room. “Where the hell have you been?”

“Excuse me?” Arthur brushed himself off and straightened his uniform up indignantly. “Just because we are… dating, doesn’t mean that you are able to treat me in such a manner!”

“Yeah, and what about me? Are you allowed to treat me like this?” Alfred’s voice rose until he was shouting. He’d never fully raised his voice at Arthur before, and it felt liberating to finally voice his thoughts. “You’re such a fucking hypocrite, Arthur!”

“What on earth are you talking about?”

“Stop it!” He gripped Arthur by the shoulders and shook him once. “You know exactly what I’m talking about. You never want to see me anymore. You’re always off doing stuff, avoiding me… and then you think you can just stand there and say that we’re still dating?”

“Well—aren’t we?” Arthur’s forehead was creased as he frowned, making no effort to remove himself from Alfred’s slightly painful grip.

“Fucking Christ! You’re not even listening to what I’m saying! Arthur, didn’t you hear all the other stuff I said? Aren’t you going to explain yourself?”

They stood still, staring into each other’s eyes as Alfred breathed heavily. Finally, Arthur averted his eyes guiltily.

“It’s… I can’t tell you.” His shoulders hunched and he seemed to shrink into himself. “Honestly, I… can’t.”

“Yeah, well you know what?” Alfred let go suddenly, causing the other boy to stumble backwards a few steps. “Fuck this. I can’t deal with this right now.” He turned around and headed back towards the door, only to be stopped by a grip on his wrist.

“Wait,” Arthur pleaded. “Alfred, I’m… I was helping someone.”

“That’s not a good enough explanation.” He waited though, standing still in case Arthur decided to explain himself further. “It’s not good enough.”

“I’m…” Arthur let go and took a few steps away from him, facing the opposite direction. “I… was helping someone who had passed away.”

“Like a ghost or something?” His sceptical tone of voice was obvious. “I’m not a fucking idiot, even if I am a jock.”

“I didn’t say you were.” Arthur stubbornly continued to face away, even when Alfred turned around. “But yes. A ghost, or something.”

“Arthur, seriously, I’m not gonna believe something like—”

“I can see ghosts, all right?” Arthur’s voice was loud, but he wasn’t shouting. He just sounded tired. “I see spirits. They’re everywhere. They ask for help, and I can’t refuse them. They’re always around, talking and talking and talking. Always. I can’t be rid of them. I have to help them.” His voice trailed off as he spoke, until he was barely whispering. “I have to.”

He didn’t even turn around, even when he heard Alfred finally storm out of the room and slam the door behind him.



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August 2012

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