Pairing/s/Characters: (in this chapter) USxUK (main), PrussiaxCanada (yes, I said 'PrussiaxCanada')
Rating/Warnings: Eventual NC-17/R. This chapter, PG-13 for implied sex (nothing graphic, doesn't really warrant an M rating).
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. ~
****The next day Alfred sat by the phone, feeling like some love-sick teenager waiting for his sweetheart to call. When the phone rang the first time, he answered it feeling like his stomach, heart and various other parts of his insides had just evaporated, only to hear Ivan’s voice on the end of the line. Not in the mood to listen to the ‘one with Russia’ speech, he snapped out several choice phrases about his opinion on Ivan’s personality, dress sense, and the Cold War before slamming the phone down.
The second time, Alfred didn’t realise how short he was being with his boss until the man pulled him up on it.
He made himself a cup of tea. The smell of it reminded him of Arthur.
Finally, in the late afternoon the phone rang a third time and Alfred practically pounced on it, almost dropping it in his haste. Cursing quietly he dropped back into his chair and cleared his throat, trying to keep his tone calm.
“Alfred Jones. Who’s this?”
“Haven’t I told you about your phone manner before?”
“Arthur!” He couldn’t say why he was so elated just to hear the man’s voice. There was something about waiting all day for a phone call that could really set a guy’s nerves on edge. Relaxing into the chair he shut his eyes briefly, and glanced at the clock. It had to be late in England... What had Arthur been doing?
“I know I’m cutting it a little fine, but I did say I’d call.”
“That’s alright, Arthur,” Alfred murmured, making himself comfortable. “It’s not like I’ve been waiting by the phone all day or anything.”
“Haha, of course not.”
No... Of course not... Alfred didn’t do ‘sweet and vulnerable’ and he didn’t sit about moping because he wasn’t getting a phone call that he’d been expecting all day. He most certainly did not let himself be kept awake by worry only to wake up late and panic that he’d missed said phone call.
“Mm... So... How was your day?”
“Oh, it’s been fantastic. I never knew that Adelgonde was so interested in my history. I took her to see St. Paul’s. It’s a shame she couldn’t see the old one. You probably don’t remember it, you were only small when I took you and I think you were bored.”
“I wasn’t!” Alfred protested, needing a moment to actually remember the trip at all. A vague memory of a huge, gothic cathedral rose in his mind. It had, he conceded, been quite magnificent and it had been a shame that the Great Fire had finally finished the building off. “The newer one isn’t a patch on the one I remember,” he offered, hearing Arthur chuckle.
“I always had a soft spot for the Gothic style,” he said. “Wren did a good job but Baroque never appealed to me. I suppose I’m just old fashioned.”
“Nothing of the sort,” the younger nation shot back.
“... Are you alright, Alfred? You’re always telling me that I’m old fashioned.” He sounded surprised, and Alfred hesitated. Arthur was right, naturally and for a moment he struggled before finally speaking.
“Yeah... I know... but... I don’t mean it.”
Another long pause. Alfred would have thought that the line had gone dead if he couldn’t hear Arthur’s quiet breathing and the soft sound as he sipped what was no doubt a cup of tea.
“I see,” he replied, finally, and he sounded... touched? Alfred was about as good at reading Arthur’s emotions as he was at expressing his own. “I took her out to dinner after that, and we went to see Les Misérables.”
“Mm. It’s been a long day.”
“I’ll leave you to get some sleep, in that case.”
“Alfred, don’t be like-”
“Good night.” Alfred put the phone down. His hands were shaking again, and he rubbed them distractedly over his thighs before picking the phone up again, and dialling. He had to speak to someone, and if anybody could give him a calm, rational view on this entire situation (and no doubt tell him how ridiculous he was being and to pull himself together) then it was his brother Matthew. The phone rang for well over a minute before it was picked up, and Alfred found himself puzzled by the noises from the other end of the line. Finally, someone spoke, but the voice was most definitely not his brother.
“The awesomeness that is. That you, Alfie?”
“Uh... yeah. What are you doing there? Where’s Matthew?” He felt an ice cube slip down into his stomach as Gilbert chuckled.
“Matt is a little... shall we say... tied up at the moment. If you really want to speak to him I can put him on the phone.”
America hesitated. If he knew Prussia, and everyone knew Prussia, the phrase ‘tied up’ was one to be taken quite literally. Still, he needed to speak to Matthew. Frowning, he steeled his voice and leaned back as he replied with an air of feigned nonchalance.
“Yeah, sure, put him on.”
There was a scuffle, and for several seconds all Alfred could hear was a soft panting, and then finally his brother’s voice broke through, wobbly and weak and almost plaintive.
“What do you want, Alfred?”
“... Are you alright?”
“Oh God... Alfred, what do you want? Hurry up, please, for heaven’s sake.”
“Are you actually-... Nevermind. I need you to tell me if you know anything about Arthur and Adelgonde.” He twirled the telephone cord around his fingers absently, though stopped as the fidgeting almost pulled the telephone from the table. There was a long pause, and Alfred didn’t want to imagine the kinds of things that Gilbert was doing to make Matthew produce those low, near-painful sounds that he was obviously trying to stifle.
“Ah... Adelgonde? Belgium, eh? Uh... he saved her in the war, didn’t he? They’ve been good friends since then.”
He could hear his brother struggling to keep his concentration, and he took his glasses off, setting them beside the telephone so he could rub one hand over his face.
“Yeah, I know that, Matthew. But I'm sure he’s never had her at his house before. He hung up on me!”
“A-Alfred... are you telling me that you’re getting yourself all worked up... because Arthur has a visitor?”
“You don’t understand, Matthew. I-”
“I’m afraid Matt can’t come to the phone right now.” Gilbert’s voice cut through the beginning of Alfred’s explanation. “But I’ll tell you what, Alfie. I’ll-“ He cut off and hissed, and Alfred flinched at the desperate moan that could have only come from his brother. “I’ll come over myself. You and I can go a-peeking at Arthur and his lady friend. What do you say?”
It was hard to think through the mortification of knowing that you were talking to somebody on the telephone while they were metaphorically rocking your little brother’s world. He could hear Matthew reduced to babbling French in the background. Alfred mulled over his options. Gilbert had offered his help, and really, he was the only nation (if he could really be called that anymore... he was really just leeching off Ludwig) that Alfred could rely on not to poke too much fun at him. Naturally, his original choice would have been Matthew, but that didn’t seem to be an option anymore, and Gilbert would most certainly not leave him alone now that he knew what was going on.
“Alright, Beilschmidt,” he muttered with no small measure of reluctance. “Get over here as soon as you can. Try not to break my brother.”
“Oh, I have no intentions of breaking him. You should hear the sounds he makes when I-”
Alfred hung up quickly, squeezing his eyes shut. That was something he didn’t need to hear. Gilbert had way too much time on his hands these days.
<| Chapter One | Chapter Three |>
A/N: Note on St. Paul's Cathedral. 'Old St. Paul's' is now a name used to refer to the gothic cathedral built between 1087 and 1314. At its peak it was the third longest cathedral in Europe, with one of the tallest spires, and some of the finest European stained glass. It stood until the Great Fire of London in 1666, which destroyed the already heavily declined building. In 1668, Christopher Wren was commissioned to design a replacement, and a new St. Paul's was erected, and consecrated in 1708. The cathedral took thirty years to build, and still stands today.