Pairing/s/Characters: (in this chapter) USxUK (main), Prussia.
Rating/Warnings: Eventual NC-17/R. This chapter, PG for mild cursing.
Summary: Alfred is forced to realise his deeper feelings for Arthur when he finds himself jealous over his lover spending time with Adelgonde Peeters (Belgium - named by me for the sake of the fic). His subsequent 'investigation' puts his entire relationship in danger, and it falls to him to search inside himself and discover what it really means to be in love. ( A/N: First multi-chapter Hetalia fic! And also my tenth Hetalia fic =D I also suck at summaries. orz )
~ The spaces between your fingers were created so that another's could fill them in. ~
****Prussia knocked on the door in the early evening of the next day, and as soon as he breezed in it was as if he owned the place. With barely a hello to Alfred, who watched him mistrustfully, he walked into the front room and dropped down on the sofa, a faint smirk on his face as Alfred followed and sat on the chair a short distance away. Toeing his shoes off, Gilbert stretched out on the sofa and put one hand behind his head, watching Alfred out of the corner of his eye.
“Make yourself at home,” Alfred stated bluntly, prompting a laugh.
“I think I beat you on that one, Alfie,” said Gilbert, scuffing one hand through his pale hair. “Matthew was most displeased that I had to leave so soon.” The man pouted, as if he expected some kind of apology. Alfred simply glared at him, and he shrugged. “You look like shit, you know.”
Alfred did know. He’d noticed even over the past couple of days the bruise-like shadows under his eyes and the slight lack of colour in his cheeks. He felt as if he’d been run over by a truck, which had then reversed and ran over him again. It wasn’t the first time he had felt like this, but it was definitely the first time he had felt like this because he couldn’t stop thinking about Arthur. The paranoia that had gripped him was still present but now coupled with a burning need to know the answer to the question he hardly dared to ask himself. Arthur had seemed so oblivious on the telephone, so cheerful, so damn happy that he had somebody who shared some of his interests and showed excitement about his history...
“So, what’s the story, hm? Art getting it on with the lovely Adelgonde? I wouldn’t blame him – she’s pretty awesome... though not as awesome as me, of course.”
“You’re not helping, Gilbert,” Alfred told him, pinching the bridge of his nose firmly. “I just want to know what he’s doing... and I need you there to hold me back if he... well...”
“What?” The silver-haired nation stared at him, and Alfred felt himself blush. “Oh. Oh, this is great. You’re a couple? Alfie, you just made my night, I can’t even tell you how-”
“Shut the hell up, Gilbert!” the blonde nation snapped, half rising to his feet as if to throw a punch, though stopping when Gilbert looked sufficiently terrified.
“Alright, alright,” Gilbert said, shifting to sit up and holding one hand up peaceably. “No need to be violent. Not yet, anyway. Matt thinks you’re being irrational, but I did interrupt you...”
It all came out then. Alfred launched into a passionate tirade about how Arthur’s behaviour was so suspicious. The short phone calls, the cutting him off to spend time with that woman when he would never usually do that, the taking her to places that he would never even suggest taking Alfred, how enthusiastic he was about how interested Belgium was in him and how he had never even told Alfred that he was going to have a visitor. Gilbert sat, oddly stoic as he listened, his dark eyes sliding from left to right as Alfred paced up and down the room. When the man finally finished and sat down heavily on the sofa beside him, Gilbert ‘hmm’ed and tapped his lower lip thoughtfully, and then ‘hmm’ed again and looked at the other male.
“We are thinking of the same Arthur, aren’t we?” he asked curiously. When Alfred nodded, he frowned and narrowed his eyes slightly. “You’re being irrational.”
“How do you-”
“We’re talking about Arthur, right? Arthur Kirkland? Short, blonde, kind of irritable... enormous eyebrows?”
“I quite like his eyebrows...” Alfred murmured. Gilbert snorted but quieted when the younger male shot him a murderous look.
“And you think he’s knocking about with Belgium behind your back? Arthur always seemed the monogamous type to me. I’m not sure where he learned it. Definitely not from Francis.”
“So, you don’t think he...”
“He might be,” Gilbert said, shrugging and quirking one eyebrow. “You won’t know unless you go and find out.”
The American looked at his knees, sure that he should have worn a hole in his jeans by now with how hard he was gripping them. It was hard to think. The more he thought about the very idea of Arthur cheating on him the worse it got. Gilbert was right, though... he wouldn’t know unless he went to find out by himself, and he didn’t want to spoil the next time he was with Arthur by being suspicious of him. Alfred did enjoy being with Arthur... even though he was sometimes stuffy and boring and always tasted like tea (which Alfred didn’t really mind...), and complained at the trashy television that Alfred watched and how he ate too much fast food... but... despite all that... he could still make Alfred feel wanted. Somehow it didn’t feel the same when Arthur pointed out his faults than when any other nation did it. When Arthur told him he was making a mess and being ridiculous, Alfred would just laugh, and then smile and pull Arthur close and nuzzle against his neck and tell him ‘you love me anyway’.
“Earth to Alfie?” Gilbert flicked the side of Alfred’s head, and the younger nation looked at him, frowning a little.
“Yeah, sorry,” he muttered. “I was just thinking.”
“Don’t hurt yourself.”
“Oi.” Alfred glared at him again, but he couldn’t muster any kind of menace this time and after a couple of seconds he sighed, and pushed one hand into his hair, resting his forehead on his palm. A brief look of concern flickered over Gilbert’s face, and Alfred flinched as the silver-haired man placed a hand on his shoulder. “You think I should go over there?” the blonde asked, glancing towards his companion.
“What do I know,” the Prussian said. “If it were me, though, I’d march over there and... probably spy through his windows.” He paused, frowned, then shrugged. “Or you could knock and see if he answers the door. Whatever floats your particular boat.”
“Alright, Gilbert, we’ll do it your way,” Alfred replied after spending some minutes thinking it over. He was about willing to take any advice right now, and it did seem to make sense. “We’ll leave in the morning.”
Neither Alfred nor Gilbert were ‘morning people’ but somehow they managed to drag themselves into consciousness and to the airport, where they caught the first flight to London that they could get.
Alfred discovered that Gilbert did not deal with flying very well.
In London, Alfred flagged down a taxi and gave Arthur’s address, sitting back in the black cab and shutting his eyes, listening to Gilbert shuddering and groaning and feeling generally not very well in the seat beside him. When the taxi pulled onto a street that Alfred recognised he leaned forwards and tapped on the glass between he and the driver, and told the man to pull over.
“Why are we getting out here?” Gilbert grumbled, squinting up at the sky and stamping his feet against the English chill as Alfred paid the taxi driver.
“Because if Arthur sees a taxi draw up outside his house he’ll get suspicious,” was the response, and Alfred poked Gilbert in the back to make him start walking. He slowed as they approached the driveway of Arthur’s house, and he poked his head around the gate, his eyes narrowed on the windows. He heard Gilbert muttering something about time zones behind him, and flapped one hand to tell him to shut up as he moved around the gate and made his way towards the house. The gravel on the driveway crunched under their feet and he paused before walking down the side of the house to the back garden gate. It was unlocked, of course, and he slipped the latch up, and opened it... just as Arthur opened his back door and stepped out onto the patio.
Alfred froze, and Gilbert bumped into him, uttering a low curse that drew Arthur’s attention. For a long moment he simply stared at Alfred, and the American couldn’t help but think how cute he looked all sleep-rumpled and still in his dressing gown.
“Alfred,” he said, his gaze sliding from Alfred, to Gilbert, then back. “Why are you here? More to the point, why is Gilbert with you? Not that I’m not pleased to see you...”
“Did we interrupt something?” Gilbert quipped, gaining a cringe from Alfred.
“What do you mean by that?” The shorter blonde came towards them and folded his arms over his chest, his heavy eyebrows drawn together. “And you still haven’t answered my question, Alfred.” He poked the man’s chest, and Alfred flinched. “Why are you here?”
“He was wondering if he could say hello to the lovely Adelgonde.” Prussia to the rescue once again, though Alfred couldn’t help but roll his eyes. Arthur let out a small ‘huh’ and glanced back to the door, chafing his hands up his arms. A faint whistle could be heard inside, no doubt from the kettle.
“Adel’s not here now...” he said slowly, faint suspicion in his eyes. “She left early this morning at some God-forsaken hour. She’s gone to Iran, to see Javeed. She didn’t stop talking about him the entire time she was here.”
“Congratulations!” Gilbert enthused. “You were wrong, he isn’t cheating on you.”
“I-I...” Suddenly, Alfred didn’t know what to say. Arthur was just staring at him, his green eyes large and bright... and hurt.
“You... you thought I was cheating on you? With Adel? W-why would you...?”
“Oops,” muttered Gilbert.
“I just...” Alfred stumbled over his words, and it was difficult to get his thoughts in order with Arthur looking at him like that. “I just... You didn’t tell me about her visit... and you took her out to all those places-”
“Because you never show any interest in them, America!” Arthur snapped, his voice cracking. He pressed a hand over his mouth as his eyes welled up, and then dropped it to take a deep, steadying breath. “Is it so wrong for me to want to share my history with someone who won’t fall asleep half-way through? I... I don’t believe you. You would think that I... I would never...”
Alfred felt his stomach tie in knots at the tone in Arthur’s voice. If the shorter nation had smacked him he wouldn’t have been surprised. Actually, he wouldn’t have minded. Looking at that expression, the disbelief on his lover’s face, he definitely felt like he deserved it. When he didn’t answer for several long, torturous seconds Arthur tore his gaze away and turned his back to the other male, though not before Alfred saw his emotion betrayed by the tears that spilled over his pale cheeks.
“Arthur... I’m so-” He touched England’s shoulder and the man jerked away from him as if he’d been burned.
“Don’t touch me,” he hissed venomously. “How dare you, America.”
Arthur’s shoulders were shaking, and though he initially resisted as Alfred slipped both arms around him and pulled him back against his chest, he didn’t fight for long. He turned in Alfred’s embrace and looked up at him. His eyes were beautiful, terrifying, and Alfred felt his heart thud against his ribcage once before it rose to his throat and left him with the uncomfortable feeling that he was going to cry. How could he have ever thought such a ridiculous thing? He really was an idiot...
“I love you, Arthur...” he whispered. He had said it before, but there was something in the words, something different. He didn’t just ‘love’ Arthur, he was completely, helplessly, and irrevocably in love with him, and he realised that now. All those thoughts that had been tormenting him finally fell into place and made sense. His voice throbbed with the strength of his feelings and for a long moment Arthur stared at him, those captivating eyes filling with tears once again, though this time Alfred didn’t mind being the cause of them. Arthur let out a soft, broken sob and pitched forwards, burying his face in Alfred’s chest, and the younger nation had to hold back his sigh of relief as he brushed a kiss over the top of his lover’s head. However, his stomach dropped and he felt his skin prickle as Arthur spoke, mumbling his words into Alfred’s shirt.
“I... I don’t know if I believe you, Alfred.”
<| Chapter Two | Chapter Four |>