The first thing Alfred noticed upon opening the door to Arthur's room was that it was very plain. There was a bed against the wall on the left side of the room, facing a dresser. On the right side of the bed was a currently open window with billowing sapphire curtains. A wall to wall closet took up the entire left-of-the-bed side of the room . Next to the dresser was a book shelf. It was only half filled with books. Next to the bed, on the right, was a desk with a laptop sitting on it. The desk itself was clean but for a few pencils and pens haphazardly stuck into a small, bucket-like container. Alfred stayed at the doorway while Arthur entered.
Arthur looked back at him. "I know it's rather plain. A lot of my things are still packed up in boxes in the basement. I don't really feel like bringing them all the way up here," Arthur admitted. "I could help you sometime," Alfred said immediately. Arthur shrugged. "Maybe. I don't want to cause any inconvenience." Alfred said nothing. Arthur didn't seem to want to talk about moving things right then. He left the subject alone, for now.
He stepped into the room. As soon as he was in the room, Arthur went behind him and closed the door. "I keep the window open for a reason," he explained, trying to fan some of the smoke that had gotten into his room out the window. Alfred sat on the edge of Arthur's bed, quiet. Although there was still a faint smell of smoke in the room, as some of the smell got through cracks in the door, the air quality was far better in Arthur's room than the rest of the house.
"So," Arthur said, sitting beside Alfred once he'd gotten all the smoke he possible could out of the room. "Your brother's kind of an asshole," Alfred muttered before Arthur could say anything else. Arthur chuckled. "I was waiting for you to say something like that." Alfred frowned and eyed Arthur. "Am I that predictable?" He laughed. "A little bit." Alfred looked at the floor, biting his lip. He looked up after a moment. "Hey, so what do you need help on?" Arthur reached for his bag and pulled out a binder. "Social studies and biology. I didn't learn half of this stuff back in England. Guess we never got to it."
For the next hour and a half, Alfred did his best to teach Arthur the biology and social studies he hadn't learned yet. "Alright, so succession is..?" Arthur asked. "It's basically when an environment changes and evolves due to bad stuff that happens over time. I think." Arthur looked in his text book. "Uh, that's pretty much it. Thank you. I'm caught up now, I think." Alfred nodded. "That's good." They were silent, awkwardly watching each other for a few moments. "Are you hungry or anything? Need a drink?" Alfred shook his head. "No, I'm fine."
Something within Alfred was making him to want to push Arthur onto the bed, hover above him, touch him, kiss him. Alfred felt a blush creep up his cheeks. He should not be thinking this. He had a girlfriend. No one at school would accept any relationship like that, not a relationship between two people of the same sex. They thought it was wrong, disgusting. Alfred remembered once, when two girls had come out, announced they were dating, and had held hands in school. Before the month was out, the bullying they'd received had chased them out of school, out of town.
And yet, a little voice in Alfred screamed that he didn't really care, that he really wanted something different, something, that although he knew it was wrong, felt so right. The voice screamed that Arthur was someone special and worth any turmoil caused. He bit his lip so hard, he tasted the metallic tang of blood. Arthur spoke suddenly. "Are you alright?" Alfred's head snapped up at Arthur's voice. "What?" He asked, his voice shaky. "Your face got red. And then you turned pale. You looked sick." Arthur placed a hand on Alfred's forehead. "Your temperature seems normal."
Alfred shook him off, although he actually like Arthur's cool palm on his skin. "I'm fine. Just fine. I've probably gotta go soon, though." He looked at his watch. It was almost five o'clock and he still had to pick up dinner and do his homework. "Oh, don't worry. I'll sneak you down the stairs. Allistor won't notice." Alfred nodded. They sat on Arthur's bed for a few more moments. Alfred stretched and got up. "So yeah. I've gotta go." Arthur smiled slightly. "Thank you for the help. I'll see you tomorrow." Alfred made his way out the door.
Arthur managed to get him out of the house without a sound. Alfred began walking away from the house that hid the miserable life Allistor Kirkland led and the younger sibling that had to suffer because of it. Just as he was almost out of eye sight from the house, he turned back to see if Arthur was still outside. He was. He waved at Alfred and Alfred waved back.
Arthur did not leave his mind that night, no matter how much he tried to distract himself.