Smoke and Broken Promises
America and England
A/N: This isn't a Yaoi One-shot. I promise. I'm technically not allowed to do Yaoi on here. This is a one-shot about how America and England are BROTHERS. Gah, just read it.
Alfred pushed his glasses up, his eyes darted around wildly, in search of someone. Where was he? Alfred tapped his foot impatiently and looked up at the sky. The clouds were dark gray and seemed to utter a promise of a stormy afternoon. He sighed and kicked a pebble across the road. “Looks like it’s gonna rain soon,” he muttered softly to himself.
He leaned against the brick wall and continued to wait, crossing his legs at his ankles, using his shoulders to hold him up against the wall. He watched people moving by him, ignoring his presence. A woman passed by, speaking quickly to herself, or so it seemed. He noticed a Bluetooth earpiece, as she passed by.
A couple passed by, as well, their hands grasped tightly together, swinging in between them, in unison as they walked. The girl laughed at some joke and poked the boy’s shoulder playfully with her free hand. The boy laughed, as well. Alfred watched them silently, wondering if he’d ever find someone to hold hands and laugh with like that.
He bit his lip and shook the foolish thoughts from his head. It wasn’t like he really liked anybody. And considering that he wasn’t exactly human, love was a rather complicated subject for him. He watched more people. Two friends, drunk already, even though it was only one in the afternoon, shoved each other around and laughed. Alfred sighed, wishing for a friendship like theirs, as well, and continued to wait.
He waited for an hour.
At the end of the hour, he checked his phone. There were no new messages. “Where the hell is he?” Alfred mumbled to himself, agitated from standing for so long. He decided to walk around and see if maybe he could find him.
He pushed himself off the wall, and slowly, he strolled along the sidewalk, watching cars pass by. He shoved his hands in his pockets and shivered, his teeth clacking together. It wasn’t even October and already the cold was setting in. He suddenly wished his jacket was a little bit thicker.
He walked until he got to the edge of town, marked by the pier. The pier was deserted. Most people were working, or at school, or simply too lazy to want to go out. A familiar figure waited at the end of the pier, hunched over and staring out into the broad expanse of ocean before him.
“Iggy!” Alfred called out, smiling slightly. He broke into a run, rushing toward him. The man didn’t even turn around. He continued staring out into the ocean, as if looking for something he had lost. Alfred frowned, stopping abruptly at about a foot away from the man, wondering what was wrong with his friend. “Iggs..?” He asked gently as he approached.
The man didn’t turn around, continuing to ignore him. Alfred poked his shoulder with unnecessary roughness. “Arthur..?” The man sighed and finally answered. “What is it, Alfred?” Alfred smiled slightly again. “Nothin’. I just thought you said to meet at the Café.”
Even though he wasn’t looking directly at Arthur’s face, he knew the Brit was rolling his eyes. “I told you the pier, git.” Alfred sighed and rolled his own cerulean orbs. “You said the Café, Iggs.” Arthur growled. “Don’t call me that.”
Alfred smirked. “I’ll call you what I want, Iggy!” Arthur growled again and turned slightly toward Alfred. “Call me that again, and I’ll shove a rake up your-“
“Jeez, Arthur. No need to get violent. I was just teasin’ ya.” Alfred smiled mischievously. Arthur rolled his eyes again and turned his attention, once more, to the gray and sapphire sea, churning and bubbling underneath the angry sky.
Alfred’s mouth flattened into a straight line and he became serious. “Why’d you want to meet up today anyway, Arthur?” Arthur shrugged and seemed to lift something to his mouth. Alfred’s angle didn’t allow him to see any of Arthur’s face, nor what he was holding. “I was lonely, I guess,” He mumbled.
Alfred raised an eyebrow. “That’s not like you, to admit that you’re lonely.” Alfred chuckled uneasily. “What happened to being ‘the United bloody Kingdom’?” Alfred asked, mocking Arthur’s accent as he said ‘United bloody Kingdom’.
Arthur didn’t say anything, though. He just shrugged and lifted whatever was in his hand to his mouth again. Alfred stood next to him, only a few inches away, watching him. He noticed he was clutching whatever the object was, but still couldn’t see it.
Arthur breathed and a cloud of gray, smoky air was exhaled out of his mouth. Once more, he lifted the object to his mouth, and Alfred finally saw what it was.
It was a cigarette.
“Arthur! What the hell are you doing?!” Alfred grabbed his wrist, causing Arthur to freeze in the middle of his inhalation of smoke from the cigarette. Arthur glared, irritated at Alfred. He shut his eyes, not wanting to look directly at Alfred. “I’m smoking. What else do you think I’m doing?”
Alfred shook his head, suddenly furious. “I thought you quit, Arthur! You said you wouldn’t smoke anymore! You said your days of smoking these… these stupid cancer sticks were over!” Arthur shook Alfred’s hand off his wrist and turned away from Alfred.
“Leave me the bloody hell alone! What the hell do you care if I die or not!?” Alfred clenched his fists and grabbed Arthur by the shoulder, spinning him around to face him. Alfred was frowning and Arthur felt his heart ache slightly at such a serious expression on the normally playful boy’s face. “I do care, Arthur. I’d be pretty damn sad if you died.” Arthur laughed bitterly, ignoring the ache inside him. “Pretty damn sad?! Is that all?! Maybe I should throw myself off this bloody pier! Then I’ll see what you mean by pretty damn sad!”
Arthur moved to climb up the wooden railing but Alfred grabbed his arm and pulled him down. Alfred ground his teeth against each other. “I said I’d care, you idiot! Don’t die! It’s not like you can, anyway!” Arthur froze and was silent for a moment. Then, in a soft whisper, he said, “That’s right. I can’t die. I can’t die at all.”
He laughed loudly all of a sudden, making Alfred jolt in surprise. “I can’t die!” He shouted, seemingly light hearted, but only for a moment. His eyes became a watery emerald sea. “I can’t die…” He wanted to fall down and cry. “Arthur, what’s wrong? You’re smoking, and if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you’ve been drinking.”
Arthur stared at the floor guiltily, staring at the wood as if it were the most important thing in the world. Alfred’s eyes widened in realization. “You’re drunk, then? I thought you weren’t going to drink either!”
“Well, promises were made to be broken, Alfred!” Arthur yelled, fed up with being lectured. A tear rolled down his cheek. “I can’t keep all the promises I make, you know! I’m not perfect! I promised not to smoke! I promised not to drink! I promised not to cry anymore, ever again! I promised to never, ever miss you!”
Arthur was shouting at the top of his lungs. Everything he had kept bottled up for what seemed like eternity was being let go of in his shouting. “I promised never to think about how much you hate me! I promised to get you back! I promised to make us a family again! I promised to never fail you again!”
Arthur sniffled and chuckled bitterly, shaking his head. He looked up at Alfred, rage and melancholy in his jade colored orbs. “And do you know what all those bloody promises have in common, Alfred?! Do you?! I broke all of them! ALL OF THEM!” Arthur was hoarse with yelling. His sobbing began, then, uncontrollable, hot, messy, and stinging his eyes.
Alfred watched him, his eyes wide with depression-filled awe and his mouth agape with shock.
“A-Arthur… I…” He reached out to touch Arthur’s shoulder but Arthur shrugged him off. “Leave me alone, America! You stupid git! It’s not like you’ve been there for me! All these years and now you suddenly care!” Arthur spat his accusations harshly between his angry sobs, his heart feeling torn and mended all at once. He sank to his knees, the effort of standing upright suddenly too much for him.
Alfred couldn’t hold back any more. Suddenly, his frustrations’ cage tore at the seams. “Suddenly?! I didn’t just suddenly care, Arthur! I’ve cared all this time! You think I really liked being on my own!? You think I really liked adjusting to doing it all myself?! Because I didn’t! You were my brother, Arthur. You still are! And that’s something you just don’t seem to understand, no matter how hard I try to tell you.”
Alfred’s voice softened at the end of his statement. “You never told me! You never tried! You liar!” Arthur spat again, crying angrily still. But Alfred felt calm all of sudden. Years of frustration had been released in a short burst of yelling, for him. “Yes I did, England. I really, really tried. You just never noticed. Sometimes you need to pay attention, England, before you shut out what someone’s trying to say.”
Arthur sniffled again and looked down. A tear cascaded down his stained cheeks, down to the pier’s wooden walkway. “You’re my brother, England. You raised me. I know you want us to be a family, but we never really were. We were just two siblings, fighting and having to go our own separate ways. If we can’t be siblings, can we at least be friends? Can we at least get along without missing each other, even though we’re right next to each other?”
Arthur shrugged. “I don’t know,” He muttered. Alfred sighed and bent down to Arthur’s level. “Let’s try, Arthur. Let’s try. We’re countries. We have a long, long time to get this right.” Alfred gave Arthur a sad smile and Arthur sniffled again. He rubbed his eyes and took a deep breath. Then, with a small, sad smile, he looked up into Alfred’s eyes and nodded.
“Let’s try, then. You are my little brother,” Arthur said with a chuckle. Alfred rolled his eyes. “Yeah. Sure. Little.” Arthur and Alfred laughed. Alfred helped him up. The two began to walk away, laughing and talking and joking like friends—and brothers—normally did.
Neither noticed that Arthur’s used cigarette had fallen into the sea, extinguished by the foamy waves, and that the pack of cigarettes that had been in Arthur’s pocket had fallen out, crushed by their footsteps as they walked away from the pier.
I DO NOT OWN HETALIA OR ANY HETALIA PICTURES USED.