'the most handsome man in england'

  • what she says: I'm fine
  • what she thinks: Philip Michael Lester, born on 30th January of 1987 in Rawtenstall, Lancashire, Northern England is one of the most beautiful people in this world. Not only is he a handsome man doing funny and creative videos on Youtube, no, he's generous, lovely and extremely nice to everyone. He's the angel humanity needs in this cruel world and if anybody tries to hurt him, for example by saying he is "the ugly one", I personally will kick this persons face. We all should be as pleasant and marvellous as Phil Lester. All I want is for him to be happy forever. Bless this man.

The most handsome man that Arthur had ever seen in real life was walking right towards him. Walking right towards him and smiling. Arthur could feel himself ‘twittering‘, as his mother would say: blinking rapidly, hands fluttering, eyes darting around, not knowing if he was supposed to be making eye contact with this man who was very obviously aiming right for him. Eventually the man drew so close that Arthur had no choice but to look up at him.

How was it possible to be that handsome outside of a TV screen? Just the right amount of tall, neat blonde hair with a handsome sweeping fringe and a little cowlick for character, clean-cut just the way Arthur liked it, blue blue eyes that would need a whole half hour on their own if Arthur was going to describe the man properly, and glasses for that little extra touch. Plus, there was that very smart black suit, clearly business attire but fitted much better than work clothes had any right to look.

The man stopped right in front of him, making them both pause on the busy London pavement.

“Excuse me, have you seen any aliens around recently?”

And with that, Arthur was furious.

How dare this man make him lose his head over someone who was clearly deranged! He’d made Arthur look foolish, and he probably knew exactly what he’d done. Arthur’s eyebrows sank into a stormy scowl.

“No,” he said, sharply. “Please excuse me.”

He tried to walk around the stranger, but the man grabbed his arm.

“Okay, well, what about not recently?” the man continued, his American accent striking Arthur now that the initial shock of the ‘alien’ comment was out of the way. “Have you ever seen any aliens? Have you ever just communicated with them? Or what about, like, government agencies or secret societies or something like that? Are you a member of any underground groups or have you had any dealings with them in the past?”

Arthur stared at the man and wondered whether he should start screaming for help, or whether the man was insane enough to let him go without a fuss.

“Sorry, no. Look, I really must be going.”

He tugged hard, yanking his arm out of the man’s grip, and started to speed-walk away.

But, naturally, because it was turning out to be one of ‘those’” days, the man followed him.

“Okay, no aliens or secret government conspiracies,” he continued. “What about…Hey, what about ‘magic.’ You believe in that, right?”

“Excuse me?!” Arthur said, quickly cursing himself for answering the man and giving him another opening. “And what makes you say that?”

“U-uh…Ah…Oh, ‘cause you’re British!”

Arthur would have whirled around to confront the man about that, but didn’t want to give him an opening to grab him again.

“I’m English,” Arthur snapped, storming along the pavement and doing his best to avoid watching the stranger in his peripheral vision. “And just because I’m English doesn’t mean I have to believe in magic.”

“But…you do, though, right?” the man persisted, and Arthur could hear the grin on his face. “Please don’t tell me you’re really as boring as your life looks.”

“And what do you know? …Have you been following me?!”

The realisation hit suddenly and Arthur felt genuinely scared for the first time since the man had approached him. Although he didn’t know why someone obsessed with aliens and magic would be following him, if the man was crazy there was probably no rhyme or reason to his actions anyway. Arthur’s eyes darted round the crowded street as he looked for the nearest police officer.

No! No! Definitely not!” the stranger exclaimed, trying to reassure him. “No, I’m just…doing a survey? Why don’t you come with me to that Starbucks over there and we can complete the questionnaire.”

“I don’t think so. Good morning” Arthur snapped, making a beeline towards the police officer on horseback at the end of the street.

“All right, I can tell you’re smarter than that. You’re right, I’m not doing a questionnaire. It’s just…you wouldn’t believe me if I told you the truth. I swear I’m not gonna hurt you and it’s really, really important! I just need, like, five minutes of your time!”

Arthur slowed down, gazing wistfully at the police officer a few yards ahead. He didn’t know why, but he felt like he should at least give the blond stranger one more chance.

He turned round and confronted the American. “I’ll give you five seconds, as long as you can show me some ID.”

The man beamed at him, and quickly dug into an inner pocket of his suit jacket to produce a small black wallet. He flipped it open and held it up for Arthur to read. “See?”

“F.B.I…” Arthur read aloud. The man glanced at the ID as if to confirm what it said, and grinned, nodding enthusiastically. “It says ‘Federal Boob Inspector,’” Arthur continued.

“What?!” the man cried, holding the ID in front of him, frowning at it and flipping it round to check the back. “This must be broken.”

“…It’s a piece of paper.”

“No, it’s actually a…Look, I’m sorry this has gone so bad. I swear, I’m totally legit.”

“Yes, you’re doing a splendid job of proving it,” said Arthur, beginning to turn away. But once more, the man grabbed his arm, and Arthur watched as the police officer trotted away to the other end of the street.

“Come on, if I were really crazy or trying to trick you or something, would I be making such a mess of it?” the American pleaded. “I’d have a proper fake F.B.I. badge and I wouldn’t be talking about aliens right off the bat.”

“So if you’re not crazy or trying to trick me, what are you trying to accomplish here? Apart from wasting my time, of course,” Arthur countered, spinning around to confront the man once more. This was honestly his last chance, Arthur decided.

“I’m just doing my thing!” the man said, almost whining, raising his eyes skyward and flapping his hands desperately as if Arthur were the exasperating one in this situation.

“And what is that, exactly?” Arthur asked. “You asked me if I’d seen any aliens, showed me a fake badge…I’m sorry if I haven’t the foggiest idea what you’re trying to accomplish here, but I assure you I’m not going to play along anymore.”

“Look, you are not gonna believe me right now, but I’ll just tell you because this is gonna be important later.”

The man spoke with so much conviction, such honesty on his face and surety in his voice, that Arthur’s eyes widened and he went silent, waiting for more.

“I’m a Time Lord. I’m an alien from another planet, I can travel across all of time and space, and my ship brought me to you because it thinks you’re special. I’m just trying to figure out why, that’s all. Either you can help me do something big, or you’re a key to an important event, I don’t know. I just wanted to look out for you, because if you really are special, then you’ll probably need my help eventually. I mean, I don’t wanna scare you but…well, ‘special’ in my world usually means you’ll have a lot of people chasing you at some point. Anyway, it seems you’re okay for now, but if you ever need me, just give me a call. I’m right here if you need me.”

He opened up his wallet again and pulled out a little white card with a few numbers scrawled in blue pen.

“I promise I’m a good guy,” the man said with an offertory smile, watching as Arthur slowly took the white card in both hands, staring at it dumbfounded. “I know I sound like a crazy person, but eventually you’ll run into a situation where I suddenly seem totally sane.” Arthur looked up at him with wide-eyes. “Uh, I guess that doesn’t sound too reassuring. But don’t worry, everything will totally be fine. We might have a bitof work getting you to do…whatever it is that makes you so special. But we can do it!”

Arthur kept staring, not knowing whether he should nod or call for help or ask questions or believe. Even if he’d known what to do, his body probably wouldn’t have been able to function anyway, as it seemed paralysed by the weight of stupendous tale the man was spinning for him.

“Aaaanyway…” the man said, his smile fading as Arthur clearly didn’t react the way he had hoped. “Um, I guess I’ll get going for now. Just remember to call if something weird happens, even the tiniest thing. You never know how these things’ll start. So…see you later, Arthur.”

The man in black turned away and it was only when a crowd of tourists swam in front of Arthur’s vision that he came back to himself. “Wait!”

The crowd cleared and the stranger was still there, smiling excitedly in Arthur’s direction. “Yeah?”

“You know my name. You have been following me!”

The man shrugged, a sheepish smile gracing his face as he scratched the beck of his neck. He looked incredibly young, and Arthur would have assumed this was all some university student prank…if there weren’t just something about the stranger that made Arthur so expectant for all this to come true.

“Well, I like to think that with time travel it’s not really ‘following.’ It’s more like ‘checking in.’”

“It’s following. Probably ‘stalking,’ in fact,” Arthur corrected him.

The man laughed, but it wasn’t creepy or malicious – and despite all the bizarre implications of the man knowing his name and claiming to be watching him via time travel, Arthur didn’t feel scared or threatened.

“Do ‘Time Lords’ have names?” he asked, stressing the words to show he still wasn’t buying the whole charade.

The man in black nodded, smiling brightly. “Well, technically I’m called ‘The Hero’ but since that doesn’t really fly with most people, I usually just go by Alfred. Alfred F. Jones.”

Another chattering crowd passed between them, heading off to the Natural History Museum at the end of the road, and Arthur craned his neck to see round them. But when they had all gone, so had the stranger. “Alfred.” He was nowhere to be seen, disappearing as suddenly as he’d burst in a few minutes ago.

He’d certainly given Arthur a lot to think about. But as Arthur walked away, heading back en route to work, he found that he wasn’t so much keeping an eye out for this deluded American stalking him from the alleyways – but rather for aliens or fairies hiding in the shadows.

Click for notes on this AU.

Saturday morning

“Sir, we’ll be landing in five minutes. Would you mind seat belting up?”

“Yes, of course,” the classically handsome man in the suit and tie replies, sitting up. Fortunately, he’d been able to sleep during most of the night time flight. Tom reaches for his water bottle and takes a sip, looking out the window. The sun hasn’t yet risen, but the sky is a magical shade of light purple, and he can make out the rooftops of New England.  Tilting his head, he can just barely see the ocean in the far distance.

Yawning, he tucks his head back into the off-white leather chair and checks his phone for the time. Quick math tells him he should be with her in about forty-five minutes. He closes his eyes once again, eager to speed up time. For a moment, he lets the plane noise invade his mind and he neither thinks about nor hears anything else. The constant whir of the jet engine is somehow calming, and he finds himself drifting back to sleep.

Keep reading