HIIII! Just want to say, I don't own any of the characters! The credit for them goes to Hidekaz Himaruya. Please, leave a review to let me know what you think!
It had been approximately 12 years since Arthur Kirkland had last seen his best friend, Alfred F. Jones. How is this possible, you ask? Because the last time the pair had seen each other, they'd both been five.
They'd met each other during preschool, each of them almost four years old. Arthur had been sitting in the back corner, coloring a picture of a unicorn and a flying blue bunny. He could not seem to find the right color for the bunny's wings and was digging impatiently through the box of crayons when he'd noticed the crying blond through the doorway.
He was having trouble saying goodbye to his mother, just as most children do. Especially on their first day. He wrapped his arms around her slender leg, tying his grubby hands together at the back and falling to the floor, screaming and crying for her not to go.
The mother had seemed to be crying herself as she pried her son off of her and handed him over to the nearest caretaker. The caretaker pinned the sobbing child down as his mother walked away, waving solemnly at her child.
As soon as she left, the boy stood up, looking confused. He then marched into the playroom, and announced, at what appeared to be the top of his lungs, "Hi! I'm Alfred!"
The caretaker seemed satisfied and walked away, leaving Alfred to wander around and spark conversations with the other kids. He'd talked to at least ten kids by the time he made his way to Arthur.
"Hi! I'm Alfred!" He announced.
"I know. You are loud. I'm Arthur," the timid boy whispered, barely audible. Alfred seemed to hear him though. He picked up a bouncy ball that was resting near his feet.
"I like your eye hairs. And your talkin'," Alfred responded, still loud. He, of course, was talking about the boy's thick eyebrows. And his English accent. After all, the boy had been born in the UK, and his mother was raised there. Alfred then peeked over at Arthur's coloring book. "That's a unicorn. And a rabbit. I like unicorns and rabbits."
Arthur barely smiled back. He'd had no idea what to think of the cheerful boy before him, with his loud voice and bold personality. He was the exact opposite of Arthur, who often threw temper tantrums for no reason, and tended to enjoy his time at home more than his time at school.
"I like dem, too. I th-"
Before Arthur could finish speaking, Alfred proceeded to throw the bouncy ball in his face, hitting him square between his eyes. It bounced off of his face and slapped the crayon box, which tipped over. Then, it bounced some more and ruined a kid's tower of blocks before rolling away.
Needless to say, Arthur was not pleased. He screamed at the top of his lungs, then hit and kicked Alfred, causing Alfred to back away in fear. Only the crayon on the ground caught his eye and stopped him from actually injuring the boy. It had been the one crayon to fall out of the box when it crashed to the ground, and it was the exact shade of blue that Arthur needed to finish his picture. Alfred noticed his interest in the crayon, bent down to pick it up, and handed it over to the artist. "He' ya go."
It was the beginning of a marvelous friendship indeed.
However, after two years of friendship between the two, Arthur's mother learned that his grandmother was very sick. She had quite a few years ahead of her, but she could not function on her own. Somebody needed to live with her and take care of her, and that person was to be her one and only daughter. And her one and only grandchild.
So, the mother and son moved from a small town in New England to original England and left behind all of the friends and family they'd made for themselves in the States to go back home, to where Mrs. Kirkland's journey had started in the first place.
Arthur stayed there with his family until the age of seventeen, when his grandmother finally passed away. He and his mother were struggling, trying to cope with the grief they felt for his lost family member.
Mrs. Kirkland decided that her home country was too painful now that her mother was gone. Her mother was what had made her home beautiful, and she saw her in every strand of grass or drop of rain that lived before her eyes. So, she decided that what would be best for her son and herself would be if the duo moved back to the small suburbs of Hasiera Waters, Massachusetts.
In other words, they were moving back to the states.
Arthur's car slowed to a stop in front of a small white house with a brick bottom. It had a red door and black window panes, with only one story.
His mother had told him that this house was the obvious choice, not only because it was affordable, but because their old best friends lived only three houses down.
He doubted whoever this boy was that he would be better than his friends from home. They'd all been devastated to learn he was moving back to the United States, and some had even offered to let Arthur sleep in his guest room! Though Arthur would never tell his mom this, he truly wanted to accept their offers. He couldn't do that to her, though. She was still. . . fragile.
His mother opened the drivers-side door, then went around to open her son's. "Isn't it beautiful, poppet?"
He nodded, then swung his suitcase out of the car and followed closely behind his mother up the front walkway. He dragged it up to the front door, careful not to trip on the uneven sidewalk when he saw two boys walking down the street toward him.
They were very, very similar in appearance, their biggest difference being their hair and eyes. One had longer, lighter hair, that reached to a little under his chin. It had a sweeping curl that seemed to float away from the rest of his hair, too. His eyes were a purple-blue, and he wore red-rimmed circular glasses.
The other brother had shorter hair, that was very bright and the color of gold. He had an obvious cowlick, and it was bouncing along with the rest of him while he walked. It was quite mesmerizing. He also had bright blue eyes, the color of ocean waves during summer when the light hits them the right way. His glasses were rectangular with silver frames, and he was wearing what appeared to be a bomber jacket.
He figured the brothers would probably just pass him by, so continued walking, when suddenly he heard-
"Hey! You must be Arthur Kirkland right?"
He turned and almost dropped the box when he saw the boy in the brown bomber jacket waving his hand and smiling at him. He pulled his luggage to a stop and tucked his bangs behind his ear momentarily so he could see, and responded, "Yes, that's me. And you are?"
The boy's eyes brightened. "Whoa, sick British accent, dude! I'm Alfred F. Jones, by the way. Didn't recognize me since I'm taller than two feet, right?"
Suddenly, Arthur felt his chest expand. His friend! In preschool! At least there was one person his age here that he was somewhat familiar with. He'd have to play nice, see if he could rebuild a friendship that hadn't been tended to in over a decade. But, the words slipped from his mouth before he could stop them, and he feared he ruined the only friendship he might begin to have here. "We prefer English if you don't mind."
Alfred cocked his head like a puppy. "What?"
At that, his brother jumped in. "They prefer to be called English, not British, Al. We talked aboot this earlier. Don't you remember?"
More words slipped involuntarily out of Arthur's mouth. "You're Canadian?"
The boy smiled timidly, then said, "It was the 'aboot' that gave me away, wasn't it? Yes, I'm from Canada. My name is Mathieu, by the way. I'm Alfred's brother."
"I couldn't tell," Arthur smirked, then realized that sarcasm would most likely earn him more enemies than friends this early in a relationship. He decided to keep the conversation going. "Though, bollocks, I'm confused. I hate to say this Mathieu, but I don't remember Alfred having a brother last time I was here. And, how is one of you Canadian and the other purely American?"
Alfred chimed in again, this time taking off his glasses and wiping them as he spoke. Just then, he noticed Alfred carrying some sort of steaming dish, and it seemed to be fogging the spectacles up. Nevertheless, his grin never left his face. "Oh, don't be worried about not remembering Mattie. You've never met him before! He lived in Canada with our dad at the time you and I met. Our mom and I have lived down here forever. Then, our parents got in this huge fight about us being together more often than the occasional visit, so now he stays up here with me during the school year, and I go up to Canada with him for Summer."
His brother tightened. "Did you have to call me Mattie…?"
Mathieu sighed, then pointed at the dish in Alfred's hands and seemed to have an entire conversation with Alfred using only his eyes. Twins thought Arthur.
Alfred stepped closer to Arthur then, bouncing with each step. He stopped only feet away. "So, my mom made this lasagna for you guys as a 'welcome back' gift or something. I'd just drop it and leave, but she gave me strict instructions to not let it out of sight until it was in the fridge or on the counter. And you seem to have your hands full anyway. So, dude, where should I put this thing?"
Alfred looked very awkward standing there, tipping the lasagna around dangerously in one hand and shoving the other deep into his pockets. Arthur couldn't help but smile. He wasn't the only one feeling awkward about this whole thing.
"Honestly, I haven't yet been in the house myself, mate. But, you can still follow me inside and help me find a good place for it. Anybody can spot a kitchen, right?"
Alfred grinned again, then opened the door for Arthur so he could step inside. The inside of the house had creamy tan walls and hardwood floors, giving it a very natural yet modern feeling. The windows seemed much bigger from the outside, and warm sunlight settled on the dusty ground around him. The house also creaked, and with its pure emptiness, each sound echoed rudely.
They found the kitchen quickly, and as the fridge wasn't set up yet Alfred just set the lasagna on the counter. With another glowing smile, he offered to escort himself out and left down the way they came. But not before writing his address and phone number on the back of the Brit's hand. "In case you need help finding your way around or something, you know?" Alfred waved his hands around as he spoke. "I'm always happy to show somebody in need how to get around!"
After Alfred had returned to his brother, Arthur found himself missing the distraction the two had caused. It had only been a few minutes he was with them, but the served as a beautiful distraction from his settling dread.
With his distraction gone he forced himself to take a deep breath and look around his house. The air tasted stale and suffocating, and everything around him seemed to leer. He heard nothing, no electric humming or cars speeding past. The only sound was that of birds and frogs, so unlike his home in the city. And the neighbor's sprinkler. It smelt-
Well, it smelt like lasagna, and as the scent filled his nose he realized his distraction had not yet fully disappeared. He pulled the lasagna closer the edge of the counter and leaned over it, taking the hot steam to his face and sighing as he thought of everything but the situation at hand.
Suddenly, a hand settled on his shoulder. He jumped, then turned to find his mom chuckling at her son. She somehow had gotten a cup of tea and sipped from it while handing one over to her son. "I was only going to ask who dropped the lasagna off, dear, don't worry." She smiled, and Arthur sipped his tea before smiling weakly back.
"It was Alfred and his mother. Turns out he has a brother, mum. From Canada. They said it was a welcome gift of sorts."
His mother smiled again, her teeth showing this time. "I must admit, I'm very excited to see the Jones family! It's been far too long." She rubbed a hand up and down her son's back, finally resting and squeezing his shoulder. "Have you seen your new room yet? I can't wait to see your reaction. I do hope you like it, poppet."
"I haven't seen it yet, mum. But, I can't wait to. I love this house already!" He cringes internally at how much effort it takes to say those three short sentences and tries to put a convincing smile on his face.
His mother cups his face with her hand, a tear rolling down her cheek. With a sniffle, she said, "Your grandmother would be so proud of you."
He nodded, smiled, and carefully slipped her hand from his face. "Let's go see that room now, mum."