I do not own Hetalia okay? I don't have much else to say here other than enough of this A/N, on with the fic!
Arthur looked at his computer screen with a sigh. Normally he could plan the semester ahead with no issues. But this... this was taunting him. A blank screen. "Just what the bloody hell am I doing with myself?" Arthur moaned placing his face in his hands. The argument played still in his mind, and the judgmental looks from the rest of his family haunted his mind. He looked over at the wall and at his degree. He had been quite proud of finishing it and his colleges were quite impressed. They don't know it was all me trying to hide who I used to be. A knock was heard at the door. "Come in, I guess."
"Any luck Dad?" Matthew asked.
"None." Arthur said. "If you're here to tell me off, I already feel bad enough, thank you very much."
"No. I just get why." Matthew smiled.
"Really?" Arthur said looking at his son.
"Yeah, Papa told me of your own phase like Al's." Matthew said.
"I will have to strangle that frog..."Arthur scowled.
"Why?" Matthew asked. "I mean you were young, who cares if it looked stupid."
"That's why I didn't want Al to go out there in the first place." Arthur said, looking away from his son. "It was like fate was teasing me. And then I heard he had actually gotten an audition, much better than I had ever gotten and I was proud."
"Did you ever tell him that?" Matthew asked.
"Well maybe you should." Matthew said turning his father's chair around to face him. "You can't move on until you come to terms with your past. And you can't stop feeling guilty until you set things right." Matthew looked over at his father's schedule. "You usually have the 9th graders semester planned easily..."
"Yeah." Arthur said. "And I am still thinking of getting sick on Valentine's day though. Some of those girls look at me in ways I don't like then."
"It's the accent Dad." Matthew teased. "No one can resist the gentlemanly British accent. Especially not hormonal adolescent girls. Maybe you can get your stuff done if you go talk to Al. Papa and I already talked to him."
"Say anything good?" Arthur asked with a feeble hope that they had made him seem better than the demon that Alfred was likely to see him.
"I was just honest." Matthew said. "Papa told us about your early 20s as a way to make Alfred feel better about himself I think."
"And humiliate me." Arthur growled.
"You two do that to each other all the time." Matthew said. "Do you get off on that or what?"
"Who knows?" Arthur said growing red. "And I thought your specialty was in family therapy not sexual relationship therapy!"
Matthew smiled. He had gotten under his dad's skin. It was usually Alfred who had gotten him mad. But he knew that deep down his fathers were very sensitive people who cared deeply for their loved ones and each other, but neither one would ever show it like that. They both craved dominance and saw that the other was the one that pushed the other. "You'd be surprised how sometimes you have to know about one to do the other." With this he left his father to his own decisions.
"That boy..."Arthur said as he sighed and looked at the ceiling. Has a point... He thought as he got up and headed out of his study. Treading quietly, he headed into the living room, thinking he would see Alfred laying on the couch staring at the TV, but instead there was Francis watching the television himself. And he's mad at me too. But if maybe if I follow Matthew's apologize advice, it will maybe work with Francis?
"Oh Arthur..." Francis said calmly. Not good. He usually calls me various things in French when he sees me. "And just how are you feeling?"
"Miserable." Arthur said.
"Good." Francis smirked.
Arthur rolled his eyes. "I know I was in the wrong for how I treated Alfred. I realized that I was a lot like him at that age. I shouldn't have acted like I did."
"That's right. You shouldn't. He is one of our boys too." Francis said, hiding a note of pain in his voice. "I was proud of both of them and they both did and do very well. And while Alfred had the same failure you did, I didn't want him to give up on himself. I do remember how well things went after it happened to you. And how it affected you. How my siren went from that rebellious spirit that took nothing from anyone and spoke his mind became much like what he saw as wrong in the world and just like his own father is beyond me."
"You compared me to the Greek mythical siren? The one that sang so well it led sailors to their doom?" Arthur asked with a smile.
"Well I saw you at that bar, loved your voice." Francis laughed.
"There's still the part to leading you to your doom." Arthur replied.
"There's times I don't question if you did so to me or not." Francis said as he kissed Arthur on the cheek.
"I wanted to come down to apologize for me ruining Christmas. I've been feeling guilty because of what you and Matthew said to me and I have come to the realization of a lot of things. You were right, I acted like my father, something I never swore to become. And Matthew, well, he's good at what he does..." Arthur blushed and laughed.
"Well he convinced Alfred to come back to the house. That boy had better be good." Francis said. "Because as much as you and he will want to kill each other for thinking of it that way, you and Alfred can be more alike than you want to admit." He sighed at the lack of interesting programming on the television. "Well I will be in the kitchen, I need something to drink."
"Fine, but let me know if you need to go somewhere. You usually drink wine at times like this." Arthur said.
"It's not drunk driving if you're only drinking wine mon ami" Francis winked.
"Tell that to the police..."Arthur sighed. "Well if Alfred isn't here, where is he?"
"Did you try his bedroom?" Matthew said as he picked up the remote Francis left and changed the channel. "I assure you he hasn't left since we come back."
Arthur gave a huff, knowing that something really had to set off Matthew to have him go from the quiet son to the bossy son. But he had to make things right with his family if he was going to be at peace. And I guess I may have been wallowing in my misery for far too long and better late than never when it comes to trying to be less of a prick. I mean Alfred is my son after all. He thought as he headed to the bedroom door, feeling like he was going to be entering a lion's den.
Meanwhile, Alfred was reading over the textbooks for the next semester with mild interest. It was all general education as he hadn't been able to pick a major but at the advice of the admissions counselor signed for for a transfer to a 4 year program to find something that would stick. He had come back from Los Angles that spring and while Francis was welcoming, at this time Arthur was scolding and demanded that if Alfred had wanted to stay at home he had to get a job and go back to school for something. He had accepted the terms, if only to try and forget the betrayal, traumas and disappointments he had come home from. Francis could tell that something had happened to Alfred's spirit as it wasn't the same as when he had left or even last called the Christmas before. However, Arthur was pretty bad at reading the room and fell strict on his son. At first, Francis did want to at least let Alfred have some time to adjust and argued for that, but in the end agreed that this might help him deal with what happened. However, silent simmering tension built up until the Christmas season when Matthew had come down for a visit. Their two sons who made two different choices and got two different results in the same room on the holidays when feelings and tensions were often at their highest and it exploded. Now the pieces had to be picked up and they had to try to rebuild if they wanted to stay a family.
Alfred looked at the book, the words just appearing like a mess on the page. He knew what they were and what they were saying, but it just wouldn't stick in his mind. Ivan's offer and kindness were sticking in his mind instead. He knew hardly anything about him. He was nice and actually treated him like a human being. Like how others should treat each other. Alfred found himself looking up the basics about cyber security to get an idea of what Ivan would have to teach him or have him learn through the program he was creating. It was part of Alfred's code of conduct that if someone was showing that level kindness to him, he would pay it back. But also, he couldn't just stop thinking about him either. But as he lay back on the bed and place the textbook on his face, a knock on his door was heard. "Who is it?" Alfred moaned.
"It's me son," Arthur said, with a desperate and slightly sorrowful note.
"What do you want now?" Alfred moaned irate.
"I just want to talk." Arthur said. He's not making it easy is he? He thought as a voice like Matthew's rang in his mind in reply Well would you if you were in his shoes?
"About what?" Alfred sat up, placing the book on his nightstand.
"I want to apologize." Arthur sighed.
"Really?" Alfred got up and opened the door a crack. "You aren't going to try and demean me in a place where your lover and favorite son won't see and can't hold it against Mr. Oh-so-perfect-liar?"
"I deserved that." Arthur sighed looking at his feet. "Can we just talk. Your Papa already told you about when I was your age."
"I guess..." Alfred said as he reluctantly let his father in. If it gets bad again, I can always ask Ivan if he would mind if I just stay with him I guess. But it's too early knowing him to ask him such a thing. I don't know...He stared at Arthur with an intense gaze as he sat down on his bed. He pulled out a desk chair and rolled it to Arthur. "Sit."
"Okay, I understand why you're like this..." Arthur began, knowing he was in no position to comment.
"You'd think you'd be a little more sympathetic to me after what happened, seeing as it happened to you too." Alfred began. "Papa told me everything of your punk years in London." Alfred took a sip of a coke he had in his room. At least it isn't alcohol. Arthur thought. "You know how bad it is to have to give up your dream for something that doesn't hold your passion."
"I can't say that literature isn't exactly my passion..."Arthur began.
"I've heard you talk about some of the students last spring when I came back. What they'd love to hear their teacher say about them. Something about a bunch of drooling hormonal jerkfaces?" Alfred said. "I guess if your writing was like your insults, no wonder you were only good for Sex Pistols covers." Arthur bit his lip, wanting to scream back at Alfred for that comment, but his inner voice, one that sounded a lot like Matthew, the one that wanted to at least apologize for hurting him so much spoke up. Al is hurt, badly and if you don't roll with the punch and try to punch back you'll lose him for good. "But unlike you Dad, I don't want to look back on my career choice and let my disappointment in that consume me and turn me into you."
"I said the same thing to my father." Arthur sighed. "And I guess you are right. I let my failures consume me and I turned out just like him."
"Did Matt tell you about what all happened before I left?" Alfred said.
"He mentioned your band staying out there, kicking you out. Weren't you the one who formed it?"
"Yep." Alfred sipped more of his soda. "I also got an offer from another producer who called me a 'natural beauty' and wanted me to meet him in the San Fernando valley. Put what he really wanted for me together yourself and you'll see why I didn't take it. I have some self respect."
"You cannot be serious?" Arthur said. "My son?"
"Yep. And after that offer, after my band mates decided playing TV theme songs and backup for crappy teenage girls who think Avril Lavinge is a great inspiration and try too hard to be creative edgy to make a statement at like 17 is a better career choice, I decided that I wasn't wanted out there and came back to the only thing I knew to be true. Or I thought was that way."
"Sounds like they gave up on themselves." Arthur said.
"Talent was there but they didn't want to put the work in." Alfred said. "Look I am trying to figure out something I like besides that because I don't want to wake up in 30 years some paper pusher or some beaten down old man in a job I fucking hate. Life is too long to be passive aggressively bitter. And the hangovers suck."
"I could have drunk you under the table in my day." Arthur teased. "Us punks lived on booze." He offered a feeble smile.
"Maybe so. See how many of Gil's Thorogood Specials you can put away when you hate yourself." Alfred taunted.
"Thorogood Special?" Arthur asked.
"You know, like the George Thorogood song, 'One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.' He made that an offer at the hotel bar and it's popular."
"One bourbon, one scotch and one beer?" Arthur thought. "Which one gets drunk first? I mean the old saying is beer before liquor never been sicker, liquor before beer, you're in the clear..."
"Well the only other bad drinking advice I know is Papa's 'it's not drunk driving if you're only drinking wine.'" Alfred said.
"That's not advice that if bad would just leave you with a hangover." Arthur sighed. "Not like that man drives much anyway."
"Has he ever tried it?" Alfred asked.
"I think when we were still living in London." Arthur said. "I do believe that I owe you a huge apology. I was proud when I learned you had gotten as far as you did."
"You were?" Alfred asked dropping his coke.
"Yes. And I guess I let my dreams live on through you too much. I took your failure personally. Hell I don't even want to call it a failure on your part. Matthew also told me of your bad producer. How is he still employed?"
"Hollywood jerks man." Alfred sighed.
"Well, I was a complete bastard to my son and I want to apologize to you."
Alfred looked at his father curiously. The past 8 months had been nothing but snide remarks and implications that somehow Alfred was a total idiot and unworthy to be under the same roof. Like everything was his fault and he deserved the scorn. "You hurt me bad since I had come back Dad. Like really bad." Alfred said. "I'm going to have to see how you act towards me before I fully accept your apology. Maybe if had grown a spine this time last year I'd still have those friends. But anyway I have to put my foot down and not let myself be taken advantage of. I will thank you for your thoughts Dad," Alfred said, but I need time before I can forgive you. I saw you as such a big and impressive figure growing up. You were so smart and I wanted to make you proud. I felt like I let you all down. You know what 2500 miles alone in a beat up car is like when you have that bearing down on you? I mean I sold my guitar somewhere in Tulsa because I thought it would stop reminding me of that." Arthur looked defeated. Sensing this Alfred spoke up. "Well, how about this, apology partially accepted?"
"Really son?" Arthur asked.
"Yeah." Alfred said. "I can't act like those sitcoms where they family is complete trash at the beginning of the episode and at the end it's all sunshine and rainbows, but I'll give you another shot."
"Fair enough." Arthur sighed as he left Alfred alone.
So how was that? Good? Bad? Short? Long? Let me know in a review. I got a few ideas for other stories coming up and I don't know how fast I will get to updating this. Klondike was a rare thing what with being unemployed, and having nothing to really do for the 2 months that took. I mean some of my other stories took over a decade to finish (See Taboo and Minutes to Midnight if you like Invader Zim...) but I am planning to get better on that, with work starting up and school and such, I am trying to get better. Anyway, IRL rambling aside, remember to read, (well you just did) and review. Ciao for now,