Hello all!

This story is really just my measly attempt on a college AU. I've always wanted to write one and now that I am in college I figured, you know, why not?

Some guidelines:

1) This is a small selective American liberal arts college in a rural setting.

2)RAs share floors because floors are huge (I don't know if this weird, but it happens at my college). RAs also function as something called Links. Links are upperclassmen students that help underclassmen students figure out where things are and adjust to the new environment.

3)This story has a large theme of grades. Are grades as important as they're made out to be? If someone has bad grades are they stupid or lazy? Etc. I just really wanted to write a story for peeps who've spent ages bashing their heads in for the right grade and get a D.

All that said, please enjoy!

Alfred Jones slams the car door with a finality that fitted the occasion. Before him a tussle of different people lug bedding sets and mini fridges up the hills of his new college campus. His dorm building, ancient and decrepit as any hall of history, slouches in all its rustic glory. Fingering his freshly given ID, Alfred turns to smile brilliantly at his mother.

"I think I forgot deodorant."

She grabs the bill of his hat and gives it a tug. "I knew you weren't ready for this. You should just get back in the car now."

"I should." Alfred agrees seriously, adjusting his university hoodie like it was a matter of pride. "I'd hate to soil the name of such a great college with my..."

"Stench." His mother fills eloquently, going around the side of the car to open the trunk. "Now, come on, you're lifting most of this stuff."

Unable to be annoyed on this awesome day, Alfred skips over to grab the tower fan and his duvet. "Let's go. I wanna see my room."

Too many flights of stairs later, they stand in the cramped quarters that will be Alfred's home base for the rest of the year. He throws his stuff on the only empty bed, contemplating what kind of a person his roommate must be to have such busty photos on the walls. His mother's overdramatic sigh prompts him to give her a sheepish smile.

They don't talk much as they unload the car. Alfred is excited enough to wet himself, decked out in university gear from his head to his toes. He lets his mother do most of the organizing, instead dedicating himself to tacking the university pendant proudly on his wall.

"You'll have to find your cousin," His mom murmurs absently as she sets up his flimsy shelving. "Do you know what dorm he's staying in?"

Alfred frowns, glancing down the hallway of packed freshman. "I think he said Stillman? I don't know, ma. I'll worry about that later. I'm sure he doesn't want a freshman tailing him all the time."

His mother rolls her eyes. "Matthew is sweet, Alfred. If you ever need help, you shouldn't hesitate to ask him."

"Okay, mom," Alfred sighs, wishing his roommate would return. He wants to meet the boy with these hot photos.

"Alfred, that was our agreement," She pushes, suddenly stern. "I'm allowing you to go so far away and you have to check up with Matthew every other week or so."

"I know, ma," Alfred rolls his eyes. "I'm 18 now. I won't starve."

She gives him a skeptical look.

"Anyway," Alfred pushes on, flopping down on his freshly made bed. "We have Link groups, remember? There's supposed to be some older student assigned to answer our questions. I'll just bug him."

"Like this Link group nonsense will be helpful."

"Hey! At least they're not just unleashing us on campus with no direction! It's just for orientation anyway, ma."

"I know," she smiles, shoving the shelves away and standing up. "What do you think?"

"Looks great," Alfred flashes her a grin. "Are you done now?"

"Alfred." She chastises. "I won't be seeing you until Christmas. At least act like you'll miss me."

Alfred's eyes soften, but he hides it by coughing into his elbow. "Right, mom. We talked about this. Keep the gushiness to a min."

She holds out her arms and he reluctantly embraces her, resting his chin on her shoulder. "I'm so proud of you," she murmurs, actually sounding sad. "I knew you could get in and you're going to do great things, Alfie."

"Thanks, ma." He clears his throat and blinks his eyes quickly. "I'll call later."

"That's my son," She chuckles, putting a quick kiss to his cheek before he could pull away. "Remember: No stupidity. Keep the junk food to a minimum. And study for god's sake."

"You think I wouldn't study?" Alfred asks her incredulously.

She smirks. "You might be surprised what'll distract you here. You won't expect it at all."

"I love you, mom."

"Love you, Al. Call later!"

And then she was gone.

Alfred turns to collapse backwards onto his mattress. It's a lot more uncomfortable than his one at home, but he'll manage. This is college after all! He has to remember to pick up his textbooks from the bookstore and they have a meeting with their Link group later this evening. He's not sure he knows where the dining hall is and he for sure doesn't know where the laundry machines are. An exhilarating rush pulses through him as he realizes that he'll have to figure it out all on his own.

He lays there for awhile just listening to the sounds of people moving in. Someone, maybe even in this dorm building, will be his best buddy. And maybe someone will be his girlfriend. Hell, maybe someone will be his wife! His heart stutters uncomfortably at that one, and he carefully designates it to the box it belongs to. There'll be plenty of time to worry about that.

His nose crinkles as he thinks of Matthew and Katsusha, being all lovey dovey on the couch the other day. Yeah, romance can wait.

Alfred smiles to himself, checking to make sure his roommate hasn't snuck in yet. "I'm in college," he murmurs, grinning like an idiot. He can't help it. He worked really hard to get here. Never in his wildest dreams could he have imagined getting accepted at an institution like this.

He swings his legs over the side of the bed, adjusting his university baseball cap in the mirror. Time to unleash himself on the world and get some bros.

"Hey, you need help with that?" He calls, darting out in the hall as he notices another guy struggling to drag along a flatscreen TV box.

"Oh, hello amigo. That would be helpful." The other guy straightens up cheerily. He has a deep tan and olive green eyes. A tight V-neck shirt clings to his lean body along with a pair of tight-fitting khakis. His heavy Spanish accent causes Alfred's eyes to go wide. He wonders how many other people that go here are foreigners.

"Sure thing," Alfred kneels to take the other end. "I'm Alfred, by the way."

"Antonio," The boy flashes him a smile. "You live on this floor?"


"Oh, then, I am your RA."

0 0 0

"I fucking hate Stillman," Arthur Kirkland complains loudly, whirling on Francis Bonnefoy with an accusing finger. "I agreed to RA a floor with you in anywhere but fucking Stillman. Were you not listening to me when I said that?"

Francis raises his eyebrows. "I don't see what you're talking about. Stillman is close to your classes and the quad. And there happens to be quite of bit of alcohol available at all times."

Arthur snorts, dragging himself up to sit on the railing of the steps. The place is mostly deserted as only a few upperclassmen are required to move in early along with the freshman. As RAs of the fifth floor of Stillman, he and Francis Bonnefoy belong to that group. "You're not just a wanker. You're an idiotic wanker." Arthur growls after reassuring himself that no one he cares to impress is around. He pulls out a cigarette waving it at Francis like a sword. "Stillman is the party dorm and we are in charge of it. Can you even begin to comprehend how much of a pain in the ass that will be?"

"Free housing is worth it in my opinion." Francis shrugs uncaringly. "Plus my Link group can have the good spot near the lake. Where are you meeting your group?"

"Library," Arthur blows out a stream of smoke as he checks something on his phone.

"Should have figured," Francis rolls his eyes.

"Well, God knows they'll need it," Arthur chuckles darkly, wiggling his cigarette up and down with his teeth. "I reckon some of them haven't even read a book."

"You mean like you hadn't?"

Arthur smirks, "I still don't bother to most of the time."

Francis rolls his eyes again, feeling that the action is the only one he can take when in his friend's company. "Just don't let the freshman on to the fact that you keep alcohol in your dorm. The others don't care, but the freshman will complain."

"They won't." Arthur retorts, swinging down from the railing suddenly. "We'll develop a mutual understanding on this point."

"And that is?"

"They can have theirs and I can have mine, but the second they make it an issue I can have theirs and I can have mine."

"How they ever let you be an RA is beyond me." Francis falls into step beside him as they head down the wooded path.

"I have a good track record," Arthur claims somewhat defensively. "What they don't know about... won't kill them."

"Right," Francis brushes his blonde hair behind his ears. "Don't look now, but the caravan has arrived."

"Ugh," Arthur took one look at the mass of cars and people, turning on his heel in the other direction. "Let's get something to eat before it gets crowded."

0 0 0

"Umm, do you know where the library is?" Alfred asks, trying not to let the tension into his voice.

Antonio blinks at him, coming back from some daydream. As soon as they'd stepped outside, he'd closed his eyes, thrown his head back and started soaking in the sun.

"The library?" Antonio stops dead in the path. "Now, my friend, I know this is a competitive school, but no one has started studying just yet."

Alfred laughs, "Ah no, man. My Link group is meeting there in like ten minutes."

"Ah, Link group," Antonio smirks knowingly. "I had forgotten about that. Who is your Link?"

"Uhh," Alfred swings his backpack off his shoulder to fish out the paper. "Kirkland? Arthur Kirkland. You know him?"

Antonio's lips twitch downwards and he looks away. "Of course, I know him. He is a friend of a friend's."

"What? You don't like him?" Alfred demands. His heart drops to his shoes. Damn, he'd been hoping for a cool senior.

"No," Antonio chuckles warmly, wrinkling his nose. "He is just fine. I only think... well, I will not say it. If you can get him to like you, you'll be right as rain. If not," Antonio shrugs. "He is not pleasant. The library is over that way, behind the English building. I will see you later, Alfred. I should probably find my Link group, now that I think about it." He delivers a hapless smile and a wave.

Alfred watches him go rather hopelessly. Why couldn't he have Antonio for a Link? Antonio is like the sunniest person he's ever met, and he doesn't like this Arthur guy. That has to say something.


Alfred draws himself up. A little rumor isn't going to crush his day.

He arrives at the library among the stragglers. There are about ten people in their group. They stand awkwardly in silence together in the lobby, uncertain of where they're supposed to go. Alfred edges his way to stand beside a short Japanese boy, texting rapidly on his cell phone. The others, he realizes, are equally occupied with their phones.

After a moment, he pulls his decrepit flip phone from his pocket and considers demonstrating its relative indestructibility to the group. He can't really afford fancy gadgets, more of a pay-as-you-go kinda guy. It doesn't help that he's more or less a grandma when it comes to Facebook and Twitter. There just isn't enough time in the day to spend figuring that stuff out. He prefers real life conversations.

"There sure are a lot of books in here," Alfred remarks, gaining himself a glare from the librarian. The other students look at him like he's an idiot. But the Japanese boy snickers. Glad to see someone has a sense of humor.

"Are you lot the first years?"

Alfred jumps, looking over his shoulder to see a short, scruffy guy who seemed to have walked right out of a Polo commercial. He wore a deep burgundy sweater vest with a neatly collared white shirt. Nice tan slacks and a pair of Sperrys. Over his shoulder was a leather satchel that bordered on looking like a purse.

"You're Kirkland?" He says first, somewhat dumbfounded because he hadn't expected this at all. He's either a horrible kind of preppy or incredibly old-fashioned, and Alfred can't decide which.

"Yes," The other man retorts shortly, sharp green eyes coming to land directly on him. "Who are you?"

"Uh, Alfred," Alfred grins uneasily. "Sorry, my RA he uh knew who you were."

Some unpleasant look crosses Arthur's face, but he says smoothly, "Did he? What was his name?"

There was no reason for Alfred to feel like he needed to withold the information. But something about this Kirkland guy was off. He dressed like a suck-up, but it was more the crafty look in his eye that led Alfred to mistrust him. It all seemed like an act, impeccably polished shoes included.

"Oh, I can't remember," he lies, feeling astonished at himself. "I'll have to get back with you on that."

"Yes," Arthur says slowly, a suspiciousness seeping into his tone. "I'd like to know." He turns to the rest of the group officially, standing up straight as a rod. "Alright, I'm Arthur Kirkland. I'm a senior this year. My accent is English and I'm originally from Manchester. I'm majoring in English and History. I think... that should answer all the usual questions. We'll just head out to the lawn now, and do a few icebreakers to get to know each other."

This time Alfred definitely wasn't imagining the distaste in Arthur's voice. He said icebreakers like anyone else would say genocide. The group bumbled out onto the grass and seated themselves in a circle. Except for Arthur, who stood at the head with his arms crossed.

He makes them go around and say where they're from, their names, their intended majors. He doesn't include any of the fun goofy stuff, but Alfred decides to throw his favorite ice cream flavor in there just for kicks. A couple of the girls giggle at him and he tips his hat.

Never has he been met with deeper disgust than when he looks up and meets Arthur's eye. Damn, he's just having a little fun.

"What's your favorite ice cream flavor, Arthur?" he poses innocently, determined to get him to loosen up. The man is a senior this year. Surely, he has a funny bone somewhere in his body.

Arthur's answering smile is so forced it's painful. "I don't much enjoy ice cream."

Alfred's mouth falls open in disbelief. He knows he's only being tolerated, and already walking a thin wire with the one man who's supposed to be his lifeline on campus, but seriously. Who doesn't like ice cream?

"You've got to be joking," Alfred interrupts him once he has his thoughts together.

Arthur had been saying something, but it pales in importance to this.

"Joking about the suicide hotline?" Arthur asks with an evil look in his eye. "Or the part about the counseling services available for troubled minorities?"

Alfred swallows, feeling everybody stare. Damn, his Link is good at turnaround. And mean. "No, sorry," he mumbles, cowed.

"Like I was saying," Arthur continues with a smugness that doesn't really befit the subject of LGBT and racial minority mistreatment. "There are counseling services available particularly for those who fit into certain contexts. These would perhaps assist them more than other forms of counseling. I, of course, am open for discussion with any who may need it."

He says it with the subtlest disdain, Alfred reckons, only because he is required to say it.

He raises his hand. The look he receives is one of intense dislike. "Yes, Alfred?"

"I have a question," Alfred murmurs somewhat vindictively. If he's going to be stuck with this guy for help all year, he'll match him with only the best.

"I believe that's why I called on you," Arthur says shortly.

Alfred grins. "Right. So have you ever had any experience with these services? Are they any good?"

"I can assure you that they are perfectly reputed sources for finding-

"But what about you?" He throws the phrase out challengingly. He's not even sure where he's going with it. He just wants to make Arthur feel uncomfortable.

"I have been trained. If you are worried about it, you can talk with my supervisor." Arthur says impatiently.

"I don't know if I'd feel comfortable talking with you."

"That is why such counseling services exist to serve you, Mr. Jones. You need never come talk to me." His tone goes invariably hard at the end.

Alfred bites his lip, wondering if he ought to back off a bit. This whole thing is capsizing. "Right, but have you ever been to them? How do I know they're good?"

"I have." Arthur says sharply, surprising him. He had expected the answer to be no. "I can assure you that they are very helpful for troubled or questioning students. Have we exhausted your questions yet?"

"Almost," Alfred stares at the ground, clenching and unclenching his fists. "I just really want to know," He looks up through his bangs meeting Arthur's eyes angrily. "How much you don't want to be here right now?"

0 0 0

Of all the impertinent...

For a second, Arthur can't speak. The challenging freshman stares back at him unrepentantly and the others whisper around him, looking both awed and uncertain. Arthur had expected to come across one or two real jackasses. This isn't really a surprise. Freshman are never grateful for freebies, and they become less grateful the more they're given.

But this... boy. He isn't the typical snotty, rich kid that makes his way by money alone. No, Alfred is unimpressive at best in his beat-up Nikes and ripped athletic shorts. Somehow he still manages to be a whiner though. Arthur feels a sudden jab of irritation. What had he expected? That college would be a magical dream world set on making his wishes come true? Just wait until he started his classes. They couldn't all be genuine.

Arthur drops his pristine posture and shoves his hands in his pockets. "Okay, I'll be honest with you. I'm an honest man, and I'm meant to guide you through this experience. I'll start with Alfred's question and then I want all of you to ask me something you would be too afraid to ask under normal conditions. I won't report you and you won't report me. You'll get the honest answers you want. And I can stop pretending."

He levels Alfred with his most unimpressed glare. "I'm getting free housing and a sizable cut off my tuition. Does that answer your question?"

Alfred's open-mouthed stare sends a coarse pleasure shooting through him. Honesty is exhilarating. "Next," he drawls, enjoying their shocked stares more than he should.

A grubby hand shoots up.

"Can you talk about alcohol rules?"

Arthur presses his lips together, trying to contain the sudden urge to smirk. Little did they realize how lucky they were that he was their Link. The questions follow that general trend, which he figures is typical of curious freshmen on the loose. Alcohol, drugs, hook-up culture, he's been around long enough to see it all. It's with some affected boredom and condescension that he takes to giving away the Campus Police hideouts and the best abandoned classroom for all myriad of multi-purpose uses.

Only when he's started in on the points system (and how to strategically avoid points while performing point-earning behavior) does he realize he's lost one of his sheep.

The honey-haired freshman with the giant mouth is sitting farther at the top of the grassy hill with his back to them. He seems like typical frat material, so Arthur is surprised that this stuff isn't of interest to him. He slips away from the others to nip any danger of being reported in the bud. He did have a very good track record and he planned on keeping it that way.

"Why aren't you joining with our discussion?" he asks, standing over Alfred with as much authority as he can muster.

Alfred looks up. Shockingly blue eyes flitter over him dismissively. Arthur feels an odd drop in his gut at that.

"I don't drink," Alfred says flatly, turning his gaze back on the trees.

"We were discussing other-

"I don't plan on sleeping around. I don't do drugs. I actually don't want points. But thanks, I'm sure your advice will really help the others."

Arthur has to resist the urge to scowl. "A little heavy on the sarcasm, aren't we? What are you interested in hearing about?"

"I don't know," Alfred begins plucking random blades of grass. "Are the academics good? Do you like your professors? How's the dining hall? Was it easy to make friends? If you could do it all again, would you choose the same university? You know, the stuff you're supposed to talk about."

"Oh, so you want the tour guide version. You'd think you'd heard enough of that."

"I've never taken a tour," Alfred mutters, crushing his handful of grass. "This is the first day I've ever set foot on campus. Excuse me for being a little bit excited." He stands, his gaze making Arthur feel strangely guilty.

"I apologize," he says stiffly, clenching and unclenching his fists. "Would you like me to address those questions?"

Alfred's expression doesn't change. Arthur gets the disconcerting feeling that Alfred can see right through him. In fact, his next words guarantee it.

"I'm not planning on reporting you," He says gruffly. "So you can stop trying."

Arthur watches him walk away with a tight jaw. He doesn't have it in him to care what a wide-eyed freshman thinks. Better he gets his dreams crushed sooner rather than later. Nonetheless, he unceremoniously yanks a cigarette from his bag and dismisses the group. He can't wait until first semester is over and he can be rid of these hopeless brats.

0 0 0

"You what?" Francis hisses in disbelief. From his spot bent over the crappy dorm desk, Arthur smirks.

"We had made an arrangement."

"Well, it seems to me that you just made an arrangement to get kicked out of the program." Francis mutters, watching Arthur finish his mixing and hold up a cocktail to his specifications in the yellow light.

Arthur rolls his eyes, swinging himself to sit on the bed by Francis. "They worship the ground I walk on for that. Any mutiny can only come from one party."

Francis raises one eyebrow. "And that party is?"

Arthur's thoughts flitter reluctantly back to the blue-eyed freshman. "Never mind. No one's going to tattle. It's not like I really did anything wrong. I just offered them some very practical advice."

"I can't trust you to handle anything," Francis removes the cocktail from Arthur's fingers and downs it himself. Arthur's expression turns particularly black.

"There's no one on this floor, but us right now."

"Exactly." Francis sets the glass on the carpet and stretches out on his back across the bed. With painful slowness, he begins to undo each of the buttons of his shirt.

Arthur feels an unusual spike of nerves, glancing uncomfortably at the ground. "Francis, I'd rather-

"Not," Francis finishes his sentence with a roll of his eyes. "I barely saw you all summer. I thought you'd at least allow it once, Master Kirkland."

Arthur scowls, getting jumpily to his feet. "I never liked the arrangement in the first place, frog. I can't help it if you fall in love with me, but I can help it if I fall in love with you."

Francis sighs. "Don't flatter yourself, mon cher. You're an outlet, nothing else. I thought this was why we agreed to RA a floor together."

"Well, then you thought entirely wrong. I'm not always open for business." Arthur crosses his arms, staring hard at the wall. He feels Francis come up behind him, slip his arms around his waist. Francis's rough cheek and feather soft hair brush against the side of his face.

"Oh really? Why is it you agreed then?"

His hands are slipping lower, resting just against Arthur's belt buckle. He doesn't stop them. Instead focusing on Francis's hot breath in his ear.

"I... wanted the free housing."

"You must have a more reasonable excuse than that, Arthur. I know how rich your parents are." Francis's fingers slip under the waistband of his slacks.

"Blast it... The time to mentor underclassmen."

Francis snorts. "That's even worse."

Arthur gasps a little when he feels Francis's hand press insistently down there. "One time. That's it."

Francis slips around in front of him, smirking. "That's what you always say."

0 0 0

"I'm glad I'm not the only one," Alfred laughs in relief, beaming at his new Japanese buddy across milkshakes. "I mean I knew I was being kind of rude to him, but he totally didn't want to be there."

"Yes, I didn't think that Arthur wanted to be there much either," Kiku agreed in a soft voice. His accent sometimes makes the words hard to understand, but Alfred appreciates his company all the same. Plus, it's wicked awesome having a friend from Japan.

"We don't actually have to talk to him that much, do we?" Alfred asks.

Kiku frowns carefully. "We have an assembly with our groups tomorrow, and then we have a sexual assault seminar too. I think we're supposed to eat lunch with our group these next two days before the other students arrive."

Alfred groans. "Eat lunch with him? No thanks."

Kiku gives a nervous sort of laugh. "There is a chance he might not show up."

"More luck to us then," Alfred retorts, sucking up a mouthful of whip cream. They fall into companionable silence. The dining hall is mostly empty at nine thirty. Only a few ecstatic freshman load up with the ice cream machine. Alfred has sadly limited himself to one dessert and he forces himself to savor it. No freshman fifteen for him.

Alfred watches the door absentmindedly, thinking that he'll probably get to meet his roommate for the first time when he gets back. The guy has been oddly vacant for the entire day. Lost in his thoughts it shocks him when a rather harried Arthur Kirkland comes charging through the door, holding out his card.

"Speak of the devil," he mutters around his straw and Kiku watches as well.

Arthur heads straight for the burger area and Alfred watches him pile fries onto a plate like he hasn't eaten in days.

"What's up with him?" he asks Kiku, who only shrugs.

A towering plate of fries and beer batter fish clutched in his hands, Arthur makes for a table in the back. He doesn't notice them, but Alfred is struck by how different his manner is as compared to before. He's not wearing his slacks anymore. Instead a ragged pair of holey skinny jeans that look near falling apart and a well worn hoodie even though it's close to 70 degrees outside. He sets the pace like he's in an eating contest. Alfred can't help but watch curiously. Does he have somewhere important to be? Dressed like that?


Alfred's mouth slips open and he completely forgets his milkshake.

"Alfred, you're staring." Kiku tugs lightly on his sleeve to get him to look away. He meets Kiku's warm brown eyes with confusion.

"Is he... crying?"

Kiku shifts in discomfort with the question, giving Alfred an incredulous look when he returns to staring.

For a minute, it seems like a mirage. But in the dim lighting, Alfred recognizes the shine of tears on his Link's face and the quick movement he uses to wipe them with his hoodie sleeve. He continues to eat at record pace, like he's trying to distract himself even.

Alfred glances at Kiku, suddenly feeling just as uncomfortable. "Should I say something to him?"

"I don't think that would be wise," Kiku warns, raising his soft voice seriously.

But Alfred is already standing up, dropping his finished milkshake in the dishes pile. "I'll be right back."

"Alfred, please don't." Kiku hisses like he's in pain. Alfred ignores him, heading first to procure himself another milkshake. What goes better with fries, after all?

Gathering his courage, he carefully approaches Arthur's table. He gets to standing right in front of him before Arthur finally notices. He looks up with a jolt and then a small gasp, rubbing his sleeve quickly across his face and swallowing with a huge gulp.

"Hey," Alfred says, shifting nervously. "I was in the neighborhood and thought I'd say hi."

"Wh-What do you want?" Arthur snaps at him, an ugly look in his eyes. He tries valiantly to hide his distress, but Alfred can see the sadness in his features.

Alfred bites his lip. "I just brought you a milkshake to go along with those fries. It's kind of a match made in heaven, you know. It'd be a mighty shame not to have them both." He carefully sets the strawberry milkshake next to Arthur's plate, giving him an embarrassed smile.

Arthur stares at it like it's a UFO and then at him like he's an alien.

"Uh, yeah, that's it." He swallows uncomfortably. "I'll see you tomorrow, I guess." He flees before Arthur has a chance to say anything else, cheeks flaming red. He drags Kiku out the door and makes the guy swear never to speak of it. "It's not been 24 hours and I'm already embarrassing myself beyond belief."

0 0 0

Arthur raises the milkshake and sniffs it carefully. He oughtn't to trust something made by a conniving freshman like Alfred, but as he tastes a little on his tongue, he can't find anything wrong with it. How odd of Alfred to come over like that. What was he trying to accomplish by it?

Did he expect to earn some kind of brownie points? Arthur frowns. Well, he can put that idea out of his mind. He's already too far out of Arthur's good graces to ever hope of entering them. Nonetheless, he finishes the whole thing and stares at his table drowsily.

A raw feeling in his belly makes him reluctant to go back to his dorm room. He knows Francis wouldn't have bothered to hang around after he got what he wanted. Yet.

Arthur touches the wet spots on his sweatshirt sleeves, biting his lips. He's being silly again. He knows it. Francis probably doesn't realize he's being so rough. Or maybe he's just gotten more sensitive over the summer. Their usual escapades never bothered him like this before.

Francis's words drift back to plague him. Don't tell me, Arthur. You're actually hoping to find a serious relationship this year? It's a bit late, don't you think? All the good ones are most certainly taken. You never minded just sleeping together before.

Arthur stares at the empty glass, feeling a sudden nausea wash over him. God, he hates college.

I just wanted to put a note at the end that my Link (I'm currently in my freshman year) is amazing! As rough as this story is starting, there's really a whole lot of good that can come of having an upperclassmen bro.

Thanks for reading!