Club Thorax. As the name suggested, the interior resembled being inside the hollowed out chest of a beast, with the long since decayed heart continuing to beat for the pleasure of its defilers. A constant pulse shook the walls and deafening music kept the crazed mob dancing into oblivion. The scene was tinged with alternating crimson, indigo, and acid green, punctuated by convulsing strobe lights that turned fluid movement into dizzying snapshots. It was a chaotic saturnalia for the senses, with everything from the cloying smell of human exertion to the overwhelming oppressive heat of so many bodies in one place. Even the heavy taste of alcohol and more illicit poisons in the air was intoxicating, though such things never reached the upper balcony.
January 10th, 1946. It was the day of the first General Assembly; a conference for the peace seeking states of the world to gather together and discuss issues of the times and look toward securing the future. That was the day, in London, that one such solution was proposed and accepted in vigor between the two leaders of Great Britain and the United States of America: the ’special relationship’ between them should be solidified and their union made resolute before the world.
The announcement would be made before the first ever meeting of the United Nations that coming October, which was the reason Britain’s Prime Minister had cleared Arthur’s schedule and booked a flight for him to New York not even a week after the assembly’s conclusion.
His orders? Get busy.
All of this had lead to the current awkward situation. Arthur was sitting with his arms and legs crossed on a couch in a high-rise luxury apartment overlooking Long Island. His expression was tight and mute while…his companion sitting parallel to him looked ready to have a bladder-rupturing episode.
The two had been in this tense state since Alfred had retrieved Arthur from the airport earlier that afternoon. The only real change had been on the drive to the apartment, which had been a jittery one-sided conversation on Alfred’s part until Arthur told him that if he heard about the Detroit Lions and their so-called “football” one more time he was changing his national animal and beating Alfred to death with the first discarded effigy he found.
Needless to say, this did not set the mood for what they were supposed to be doing.
His complexion flushed, his leg bouncing up and down like it was trying to run away from him, and his hands constantly going from tightly linked together to grabbing at every article of clothing he wore, Alfred finally broke the silence – and sadly his voice.
“Do you –” he squawked, stopping to clear his throat so he didn’t sound so much like a pubescent school boy pleading with his balls to drop so he could ask the school cheerleading captain out on a date. “D-do you want…something to eat?”
Arthur’s expression never changed and he didn’t move. “No, thank you. I’m feeling a tad nauseous for that.”
“Oh!” Alfred piped up, trying to draw strength from the possibility of a task. “I have some antacid for that!”
Arthur just stared at him and after a while, Alfred seemed to get the point and deflated back into nervous misery.
“Um. Do you…want help unpacking?”
“No.” He said flatly then sighed and decided to stop being too much of a prick; after all, this wasn’t Alfred’s fault. “No, thank you.”
The American gave a bit of a smile, but still looked like he’d eaten something equivocal to a gastrointestinal explosive device and kept squirming all over his seat.
Oh, for God’s sake.
“I’m rather tired so, if we could just make this quick – ”
“Right!” Alfred suddenly cut him off (a little too loudly, Arthur might add) and bounced off the couch like one of the springs had shot up his ass. “You’ve had a long flight and are probably ready to drop dead – ”
More than Alfred knew.
“So, I’ll just go take a shower and you can do…uh….whatever it is…you…do before bed.”
Again, all Arthur could do was give him a look, as Alfred seemed to flush cherry red from head to toe (Arthur thought Nantucket might have glinted crimson) and darted off to the bathroom.
By the time Alfred returned from the longest shower in history, Arthur had already tucked himself into the only bed in the room and completely obscured himself with the comforter. He could sense Alfred approaching the bed with uncertainty (eventually dashing out of the room for a self-pep talk before returning) before working up the courage to crawl beneath the covers and inelegantly scoot just an arm’s length away from him.
Arthur kept his back to Alfred, as the man frustratingly continued to wrestle with indecision. When Arthur could take it no more, he rolled over and yanked a very startled Alfred to him.
“If you’re going to do it, then do it. Acting like a virgin husband on his wedding night is only dragging this ridiculous burden out and irritating me,” he hissed and stared the wide-eyed blond down. “Get this over with or get out.”
Alfred looked cornered and began trembling. Perhaps it should have invoked some kind of sympathy but Arthur just didn’t have the patience for it. It wasn’t until Alfred swallowed and finally spoke that he felt something other than insurmountable annoyance.
“But that’s what I am right now. I’ve never done this before and I never wanted it to happen this way…”
The moment seemed paused for Arthur as the words sunk in, making his hard expression soften a little in lieu of this most certainly impossible information. Arthur had known Alfred nearly the man’s entire life and knew when he was lying; but, much to his distress, he couldn’t find any falsehood now. There wasn’t a single tell to be had and the raw anguish on Alfred’s face was undeniable.
Alfred was telling the truth.
“You’ve never once done this…with anyone?”
Alfred flushed and looked down, “I know it’s something most of you older guys see as ’just business’ but…I see it as something special.” Knowing Arthur was likely going to judge him on it, Alfred seemed to find the will to defend himself and bit out. “I don’t care how human that sounds, it’s what I wanted and still do.”
In the silence that followed, Alfred cautiously lifted his eyes and found Arthur still appearing confounded in the wake of this revelation. As this was likely to be his only opportunity to get it off his chest, Alfred dropped all of his characteristic self-assuredness and pleaded, “This doesn’t have to be tonight, right? …Please?”
Arthur still couldn’t find his words and woodenly nodded, watching Alfred’s face light up with gratitude as he thanked and hugged him tightly. The younger continued holding him until, eventually, he fell asleep with his limbs tangled in his companion’s.
Rest did not come so easily for Arthur, who remained awake and staring at the crown of golden hair brushing his face. From the moment his Prime Minister’s solution for consummating the special relationship had been given to him until Alfred’s confession, Arthur realized he truly had been bitterly treating this as just another business venture. He had only taken into account his own ire over being bartered like some courtesan to an infuriating idiot like Alfred F. Jones, and not that Alfred would be feeling incredible distress of his own. This hadn’t been the first time Arthur had been tasked with solidifying an alliance by these means…but Alfred…
He found himself squeezing Alfred a little tighter and resting his cheek atop the other’s head. They had time to do this right and would, regardless of the pressure they would both be enduring from the top. This was suppose to be a special relationship after all…and he was determined that, for both of their sakes, it would be.
The death of a gentle titan heralded the solemn proclamation of succession from the balustrade of St. James. From the shadows of sorrow, came the first matriarch to bear the burdens of the crown since Her Majesty, Victoria; though it was the spirit of the new queen’s namesake people were hoping to reign reborn. As the loyal masses, tired from years of war and desperate for restitution for their hope, watched and waited around the world, the ancient rites of ascension to a deteriorating throne played out once more.
He wanted to feel the people’s optimism, but all he could marshal was exhaustion.
“You know, people would pay good money for your reserved seat in the front row,” the man in the newly occupied space beside him began. “Yet here you are, loitering about the gallery, like a relative without an invitation.”
The old empire never batted an eye and continued watching the proceedings below, as the Archbishop of Canterbury continued leading prayers for the new queen. “Though I know this may be difficult to believe, I graciously and freely abdicated my seat to someone more eager to sit amongst this sacred pageantry.”
He didn’t have to look at his former protégé’s face to know the harsher truth behind his words had not gone unobserved. Alfred knew Arthur wasn’t avoiding the undesirable company of ostentatious nobles; he was avoiding the eyes of the world.
The time of imperialism had withered and breathed its last. The war had worn the Englishman down to his bones and carved itself into the fabric of his being. His pristine ceremonial uniform was ill-fit and hung about him loosely, barely held in place by the belts that looked to be holding him together too. The real secret of his symmetry, however, was the bandages keeping his back straight and protecting his still-tender wounds from bleeding through his publically acceptable shroud.
The empire within him was dying. The restoration of his strength now teetered on the will of his Commonwealths to continue supporting him and the young woman kneeling before God.
He always seemed to be at someone’s mercy these days…
“This should be a time of renewed optimism and I see your people eager to believe that…so can’t you, too?” Alfred asked with his own cautious hope.
The elder closed his eyes to compose his carefully constructed façade of wellness, and tightened his hands behind his back. “It’s the very reason I separate myself from them now.
"My state is a reminder of the past four decades of hell humanity has wrought upon itself and this world. We have survived on the blood of young men and dogged pride for too long, and now we stand with what many would consider a hollow victory and naught but rations to show for it. I know my appearance reflects that…and I will not make a disparaging spectacle of myself when all eyes want to and should be focused upon the first real hope we’ve had in years. The people need this moment…not a reminder that our golden era has ended.”
For a few blissful moments Alfred rewarded his painful emission with peace, letting his senior listen to the words of Her new Majesty echo through the consecrated halls of Westminster. Arthur remembered a time when her father and grandfather had spoken those same words, as so many of their sovereign predecessors had before them…
“I’m proud of you.”
Arthur returned from the scene below and suspiciously met the eyes of the man beside him. “Are you mocking me?”
The American shook his head and smiled. “I’m being sincere. I’m proud of you,” he repeated, and turned to face Arthur with his hands in his pockets. “These past two wars have changed us, yes, but we’re still here. The days of empires are at an end, but you’re not…and this alliance we’ve formed, that’s not ending either.”
Arthur furrowed his brows but Alfred was swift to stop him before pessimism found breath. “Your people want this to be the start of something new and I do too. I don’t just want to have each other’s backs in trenches and on battlefields anymore…I want us to have them all the time.”
“Alfred,” the Englishman stopped him and tightened his expression. “What are you getting on about?”
The young man just chuckled, tossed his head up and rocked back on his heels in a juvenile fashion. The energy about him was anxious and giddy, and seemed to be getting in the way of his words; so when he leaned forward, taking hold of Arthur’s hand and placing a small box in it, Arthur was only moderately surprised.
“Do you remember before D-Day when we exchanged tags…so that if one of us was killed they’d appear on our own army’s killed-in-action rosters and we’d know? I checked the lists every day, sometimes twice a day for my name and was glad to have never seen it,” Alfred began in a hopeless ramble, still trying to channel his thoughts into coherent speech. “It was like…they were good luck charms and that helped me keep going most of the time. I just kept thinking about that over and over…”
Arthur kept his eyes locked onto Alfred’s face, as the other seemed like he was trying to move towards some point while not letting go of the Englishman’s hand.
“You said it yourself, it was the first time you could remember not dying in a war. I know you tell me I’m a sentimental fool, but that meant something to me,” the American said with a more nostalgic…older smile.
It was then, while the choirs of the Anglican church sang their divine hymns to call God to Her Majesty, he took his free hand and pulled the ball-linked chain bearing two British fiber-disk dog tags from beneath his collar. Arthur stared at them transfixed for a time, before finding it in him to look back at Alfred, whose smile had only widened. “These have been my good luck charms too, and I owe you a lot of thanks for them. So, when you’re ready to let me…I’d like to spend the next eternity doing just that.”
Arthur remained speechless, especially when Alfred used his hold to pull the other into his embrace and kiss him chastely on the lips; leaving more of a heartfelt promise than passion.
“God save the queen and long live England,” the American whispered, and it was all Arthur could hear even with the crowd chanting the same below them.
With lingering hesitancy, Alfred released the dazed Englishman and made his way from the gallery. Arthur remained rooted to the spot for some time before he realized the box left in his hand.
With no small amount of tentativeness on his part, Arthur removed the lid on the unremarkable parcel and stared at the simple gold ring looped through a ball-linked chain, bearing the tags he had returned to Alfred after the war.
Alfred’s tags and a ring conveying Alfred’s message:
Werewolves! The werewolf is a widespread concept in European folklore, existing in many variants which are related by a common development of a Christian interpretation of underlying Indo-European mythology which developed during the medieval period. From the early modern period, werewolf beliefs also spread to the New World with colonialism.
Belief in werewolf develops parallel to the belief in witches, in the course of the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern period.
Ovid wrote the Metamorphoses in 1 A.D. In it, he told the tale of King Lycaon (the origin of the word Lycanthrope) who offended the gods by serving human meat to them at dinner. Jupiter punished this transgression by transforming Lycaon into a werewolf. In his werewolf form, he could continue his abomination of eating human flesh with less offense.
The picture behind me shows Jupiter (Zeus) turning Lycaon into a wolf.
Anyway, there are indeed people executed as werewolves but in history records it indicated that those people are actually serial killers. In 1573, in France, another “werewolf” was executed. His name was Gilles Garnier, otherwise known as the “Werewolf of Dole.” He was a confessed serial killer.
There are numerous accounts such as these, mostly in Europe. Interestingly, real wolves were plentiful in Europe at this time. Could people have simply been associating the carnivorous animal with people who behaved like animals? Who knows! There are more theories regarding this such as murderers wearing wolf skin and the Skin-walker.
It wasn’t as if Arthur had planned to seek out Alfred after school. He was a busy student council president for a large high school, after all, and the last thing on his mind was taking time out of his schedule to go and watch the dumb jock play basketball.
No, he had just been taking a different route out of the school this evening and happened to stumble upon Alfred in the gym. So what if his new route out of the building was actually in the opposite direction to the parking lot? He just had to stretch his legs after sitting his desk for so long going over paperwork, that was all.
Granted, hiding behind the door of the gym and watching Alfred play basketball may look suspicious to an outsider, Arthur would be the first to admit to that. But the truth was, he just didn’t want to disturb Alfred’s practice, so peering out from behind the door was really the polite thing to do. He had nothing to hide, and wasn’t at all shy of the popular new student, it was just a matter of common decency.
“Arthur? Is that you?”
Shit, he’d been spotted.
Arthur jumped out from behind the doorway, his eyes darting anywhere but at Alfred, who came strolling towards him with a friendly wave of his hand.
“Oh, uh, Jones. Hello. What a surprise to see you here so late.”
Although now that Arthur thought about it, he may have overheard Alfred tell one of his friends earlier that he’d be staying late after school. Not that Arthur had retained that information or made plans around it. He just happened to remember it now, out of the blue.
“I wanted some practice since our new house doesn’t have a hoop outside yet,” said Alfred, an easy smile on his face.
Arthur found it off-putting. Not because that warm sunset shining through the gym windows made Alfred’s smile glow and skin and hair turn to gold, but because the idiot was totally oblivious that he was breaking school rules.
“You’re not allowed to be here after school unless you’re accompanied by a teacher or some other school official,” Arthur explained, pompously, and if there was a bite to his words it was only because he was too tired for this, not because Alfred’s bright blue gaze made him nervous.
To his credit, Alfred looked genuinely apologetic. “Oh, I’m really sorry, I didn’t know,” he said. “It wasn’t like that at my last school, but I guess the coach would bend the rules for me a little. I should pack up and go, then.”
Arthur couldn’t help but feel bad. Of course, it was only natural when Alfred slumped off dejectedly like that to get his ball and backpack. It really had nothing to do with the fact that Arthur hated to see a frown cloud the American’s ever-happy, clueless face.
“Well…” he said slowly, and Alfred stopped and turned around, hopefully. “Since I’m student council president and I count as a school official, you could stay as long I’m here to accompany you.”
Alfred beamed, happily, and Arthur stood up straighter, preening a little - but only out of pride that he could help a fellow student.
“Really?!” Alfred asked, excitedly. “You’d stay with me? I promise I won’t be long!”
Arthur nodded and took a seat on the bleachers nearby. “It’s only because I know how much everyone is looking forward to the basketball game next week and I want everyone to be on top form so we have a strong team,” he added.
Alfred grinned at him, and Arthur blushed. He couldn’t quite explain that one away, either.
“Sure it is,” Alfred teased, dribbling the ball lazily as he and Arthur eyed each other. “It’s really good of you to be so selfless, Mr. President. But It’s a shame you never think about yourself because I’d have loved to take you out for ice-cream after my practice.” Arthur went rigid in his seat. The way Alfred was practically smouldering at him, it was impossible to deny that he was flirting. “Of course, someone as busy and selfless as you wouldn’t dream of treating yourself to a night off, right?”
Arthur was very, very good at denial. It was possibly his greatest skill, even beyond his good grades, hard-work and dedication. But even after four weeks of pretending he had no interest in Alfred F. Jones, Arthur found he couldn’t turn down an offer like this.
“Oh, I wouldn’t say that, Jones. Everyone deserves a night off once in a while. And ice-cream would be a good way to pay me back for staying with with you so you can practice now. Seems like a fair trade to me.”
Not that he had to be totally honest about everything just yet, of course.
[Artwork by: Pie]Title: “Fidelitas”
Status: In Progress Author/Co-Creator: General Kitty Girl / Kelbora & Pie Rating: M Character(s): USUK Warnings: Angst, Strong Language, Violence, Gore, Depictions of War, Yaoi (in later installments) Summary: “Breton birthed and Dragonborn destined, Arthur is a man of great power and forever lusting for more. It is a fine line between being the hero of legends or the nightmare of a nation, and Arthur chooses his side based on the rewards to be gained. This is a collection of tales from the combined universes of Hetalia and Skyrim, all of which are USUK/UKUS in origin. Discretion is advised.”
Link to FanFic Collection: Click Here
“Hey there Kel! Robert the Haunted Doll? Hell yeah, he’s frighteningly famous. I heard about him but ya know.. As a skeptic… I avoid ghost thing connected stuffs but when I read your ask, I decided to dig deeper.
The dark story of Robert the Haunted Doll began near the turn of the century when the family of eccentric Key West artist Robert Eugene Otto took up residence in the famous Artist’s House in the heart of the city. Affluent and well traveled, the Ottos found the easy and unhurried lifestyle of the Florida Keys most agreeable. They settled in with their young son and a large staff to wait on their every need.
Local legend holds that the Ottos were stern people who held their son to rigid expectations and expected strict obedience from their staff. It is said that the Ottos took on a Jamaican woman as a nurse for young ”Gene,“ as they called him, and it was she who spent the long hours with him while his parents traveled the States and other parts of the globe.
But the idyllic relationship was not to last, and the story is told that the nurse got on the bad side of Mrs. Otto and was promptly dismissed. But before she left the household she gave a gift to her favorite charge – a hand-sewn stuffed doll, made in the likeness of young Gene. A slightly imperfect replica who Gene took to immediately.
In what many speculate was actually an act of revenge, a servant gave doll made of a wire frame, cloth, straw, and most likely, a soul stone. This type of enchantment in some voodoo practices involves a small crystal being placed into an object, thus imbuing it with power by taking a soul of its own.
Scary things happened in the manor since that doll was given to the young son. Such as glassware and silverware thrown about the dining room, servants locked out while on their nightly rounds, clothing torn up and bedding in rooms long unused disturbed and crumpled on the ground. Most troubling, other beloved toys belonging to young Gene began to turn up mutilated and brutalized while deep in the night there was the sound of giggling.
Anyway, if ya wanna visit Roberts.. You can meet him in the Customs House each October…
And before I forgot… If you ever met him, don’t forget to introduce yourself, failing to do such courtesy will receive a nightly visit…”
The sea; vast ocean blue filled with life and feared for its infinite mysteries. Her velvet surface rose and fell with temperate breaths, lulling seafaring birds to sleep and granting safe passage to ships that dared to sail. Men, with ambitions as untamed as the mistress herself, journeyed far in search of glory to honor their gods and enrich their coffers. No adventure was too trivial to whet the intrigue of kings or peasants with something to prove, and any vessel with oars was considered suitable for the task.
On this night, one of the grander ships passing over Poseidon’s domain was destined for a less than optimistic purpose. It’s bow cut a path through the reflection of Nyx’s canvas and made the stars dance below his hand skimming over them. Long fingers travelled along the smooth surface, chasing the small specs of light bobbing in the wake, as a salty Aegean breeze combed through his golden hair. Eyes the color of Olympus’s fairest skies and skin kissed by his former patron’s sun, the young man bore the attributes of his father’s visage and embodied the light of life…though now, he was a servant to far darker things. His brand carefully concealed beneath layers of armor, he let his mind wander away from fate and into the eyes of the being surfacing below him – bringing a smile to his face.
“Arthur, I was beginning to think you’d forgotten about me.”
Said being, adjusting to breathing air instead of water, shook the residual droplets clinging to his sandy colored hair and scowled. “Don’t be so ridiculous. Tis an impossible achievement to forget you, Alfred of Delphi.”
The man smiled wider and waited until his hand was accepted to pull the other onto the ship’s railing. A bare human torso appeared, followed by the emerald-scaled tail of an elegant aquatic creature. His companion was a true son of Achelous, the river god and father of merfolk, and had made a most precarious journey from the mainland to see him.
Once comfortably situated, the merman took a deep breath of air and exhaled contently, leaning into the current with his hands anchoring him on the rail. “How I’ve dreamt of living a life sailing above the water…even a mortal life.”
Alfred cast his gaze back to the ocean and nostalgically remembered just such a life. Wild, free, with exploits that echoed through the ballads and spoken histories of civilization. Even Olympus still remembered the accolades of his life…even his sire had immortalized his victories and sorrowful end in song. “It is a joy I will never forget.”
Arthur turned softened eyes on his companion and comfortingly covered the man’s hand with his own. Unlike the people on this voyage, all sleeping below deck, Arthur knew Alfred’s story and true purpose here as an agent of Hades. “Which soul are you here for?”
Alfred sighed and rested his arms on the rail. “The king’s son, who was told he would merely be overseeing this farce of an expedition. The prince has no idea he’s a sacrifice to settle his father’s debt over an unsatisfied bargain with Hades.”
Arthur remained quiet and nodded his head in understanding. No god took well to oath breakers, especially where life and death was concerned. He didn’t need to know the details of whatever deal this king had struck with the lord of the Underworld, as he knew only life could pay for life…meaning this king had asked for some reprieve from mortality in exchange for shortening another’s time that would keep things in balance.
“I feel for the prince. I know what it’s like to lose your soul in someone else’s deal,” Alfred added, and Arthur squeezed the hand in his tighter.
Alfred had been born a mortal son of Apollo, the life-loving god of the sun. From childhood to adulthood, Alfred had blazed an existence of reckless abandonment, never stopping for a moment because all of life was an adventure to be had. He’d sailed to every corner of the known world, battled hellish monsters, and braved perils only a demi-god could have ever hoped survived. He had once been able to heal the injured and sick with his voice, and defend the weak with his unparalleled archery. But it was his pure spirit that had earned him his greatest triumph…warming the jaded heart of a merman longing for life beneath the open sky.
Alfred was everything Arthur had ever dreamt of being. Through his gift of storytelling and even sharing an adventure or two together, Arthur felt as though he had lived that dream alongside this precious soul, his personal sun in an otherwise lonely and lightless existence.
Sadly, his sun had set far too soon.
Years ago, when Alfred had returned home for the first time in nearly a decade, an emissary from Sparta had come to the city in search of a divine son of Apollo. Through violent means, this emissary had found Alfred and abducted him, taking him to a temple of Ares where a priest had been waiting for them. Evidently, the gods had gotten into a bloody tiff and a prized son of Ares had been slain, the fault for which had fallen on Apollo. The fight had had nothing to do with Alfred, but the vengeful war god had demanded retribution for the crime and Alfred had been the first child of the sun found. He’d been knelt before a statue of Ares and his blood used to settle the debt.
His father, at least, had mourned his loss; but it had been Arthur who grieved the most.
Given his lineage, the lord of the dead had decided to make use of the soul that had prematurely found it’s way to his realm. Alfred had been made an agent of Tartarus, charged with collecting souls to settle debts that kept the flow of souls in balance. Though it was a far better fate than others that might have befallen a demi-god in the afterlife, it was an anguishing occupation for one who, despite all that had happened, still loved life.
Knowing the weight of his friend’s torment, Arthur laid his head on the other’s shoulder and eventually Alfred’s cheek came to rest on him too. “I brought you a gift tonight.”
He knew he had Alfred’s interest when he could hear the cautious smile in his voice. “Oh? Dare I ask where you’re hiding it?”
Arthur chuckled and raised his hand from the rail to out over the sea, letting the cool glow of moonlight reflecting off the water pool in his hand and form his gift. He didn’t have to see Alfred’s face to know it was lit with that wondrous spark of boyish excitement he always got when witnessing Arthur’s magic. It was so pure…and he treasured it.
The spell was complete and in Arthur’s hand hung a modest silver necklace with an oval pendant, made of pearl. Alfred hesitated before reaching and letting Arthur place it in his hand. Though he was eager to examine it he made sure to treat it delicately. Knowing his gift would be handled with the reverence it deserved, Arthur raised his head and whispered, “Say my name.”
The warrior quirked a brow but obeyed, “Arthur.”
The pendant began to glow with the same soft and silvery light that created it, forming a small star in Alfred’s hand that left him in awe. It was so beautiful and undiminished by the dark night; it was like holding a piece of heaven. “Arthur…”
“It’s easy to forget what the world beyond Tartarus is like, but I…I never want you to forget it or the most beautiful thing about it,” Arthur began and felt the burn of tears he fought not to shed. “And that’s the light you brought to it.”
He knew Alfred’s eyes were upon him but he couldn’t bear to look back just yet. Losing Alfred had been the hardest experience of his long life and though Alfred would return to this world from time to time…it was still only a matter of time before what made Alfred so special was lost in Tartarus’s void. His heart ached thinking about it; the future was so bleak without this beautiful soul to share it with. When he knew he was about to lose the battle with his grief, he felt a soft kiss on his cheek and his breath caught.
Alfred was now resting his head on Arthur’s shoulder, holding the still glowing light before them and…happy. They stayed together like that, watching the rosy tips of dawn spread over the sky, until Alfred closed his hand over pendant and used their last moments alone to whisper: