member is offline
Don't Ever Leave Me
« Thread started on: Nov 15th, 2012, 5:47pm »
"Hey... How ya feelin' today man?" Alfred entered the room, and sat on the bed beside Arthur. He carefully ran a hand through the older man's hair, wincing as a little hair fell out. He carefully brushed it away, out of Arthur's sight. "You doin' okay? Need anything?" Questions were suddenly fired at Arthur in a worried tone as he attempted to sit up in bed, chuckling softly.
"I'm fine~..." The reply was croaky and quiet, barely a whisper. He smiled softly up at Alfred, his green eyes seeming glassy and empty from the deepened sockets and darkened circles under his eyes. "No... No need to worry~." Of course, there was every need to worry. Alfred knew this. So did Arthur. But Arthur didn't want him to be upset. Not yet, anyway.
"Okay... Well... I... I was wondering if you... If you feel up for it... would ya like to go out later...? Get some fresh air...?" Alfred looked down at his own suggestion, already doubting it. Arthur was so weak now he could barely move to go to the bathroom, and he felt mean trying to get him to go outside. Before Arthur could answer, he backed out of it himself. "N-no... it's okay... we don't...-"
Arthur cut him off by slowly attempting to get out of bed. "That would be nice..." He smiled slightly, clinging to Alfred for support as they stood together. Until this moment, Arthur had been pretty much hidden by bedcovers. Now, Alfred could see the real damage the illness had caused his brother. His ribcage was visible, his hips jutting out awkwardly. Shoulder blades were promenant. His whole body was sickly pale and tired looking. The pjamas he wore hung off him, crumpling. They were Alfred's anyway, so by this stage he was drowning in them. They were so large, they managed to show off a lot of Arthur's chest, revealing the bones. His hair was also something noticeable. It was still just as messy as before, however now it was thinner, and constantly falling out. Arthur had joked at first about malting. Now, however, if he saw a hair that was meant to be on his head, his eyes would burn with tears and his face would flush deeply.
"I... I'll help ya dress..." Alfred shuddered at the look of the formerly strong nation, barely unable to believe that in a few mere months, he had been reduced to something that resembled a skeletal child. He slowly undressed Arthur, and his eyes filled with misery when he noticed the various bandages on his wrists and around his chest from where Alfred -through no fault of his own- had managed to cause harm to his dying brother. Dressing him as gently as possible, Alfred tried his best to assure Arthur looked as smart and gentlemanly as he would if he had been dressing himself.
* * *
They walked slowly together, needing to stop every now and again so Arthur could regain his breath and recover from pains in his legs. Alfred offered countless times to carry his brother, but was never allowed. Arthur, still as stubborn as ever, wanted to walk on his own, considering this may be the last time he went outside. The world seemed incredibly beautiful and bright today, it was perfect. He smiled slightly, his claw-like fingers digging into Alfred's jacket as he walked. The clothes he wore were now crumpled, being too big for him.
Alfred watched sadly, a soft smile on his face. They reached a park, and Alfred sat Arthur down, not wanting to make him any worse. They sat on a bench, staring off into the distance, both of their minds in different places. They had both been silent up until now. Arthur was just enjoying being outside, whereas Alfred was forcing himself not to cry.
They had not been sitting there for a while when the sound of approaching footsteps caused them both to look up. Francis, who had barely spoken to either of them since Arthur had moved in with Alfred, sat beside them, looking, much to Alfred's almost disappointment, perfectly happy and healthy. He stared at Arthur for a moment, before trying to neaten him up, straigntening his tie and smoothing his jacket down. He pulled away with a shudder the moment he came into contact with Arthur's ribcage.
"Arthur..." He whispered, staring at the younger man, finally seeming to notice how serious the illness was. He felt his heart wrench. This was the tiny, angry, violent child he had grown up with. The boy who had fought with him every time they were face to face. The man he had briefly been in love with. And now he sat there, a slight smile on his face, weak... almost pathetic. "Arthur..." He gulped, unable to say another word.
"Yes...?" He sat up straighter, his clothes crumpling again. He smiled weakly at Francis, remembering the brief time they had spent intimately, a faded blush on his cheeks. "How... are you..?" Alfred winced at the soft kindness in his voice. Arthur rarely acted like himself any more.
Francis nodded softly; also confused by the way Arthur was treating him. He almost expected an apology for all the years of torment. He felt like he should do it himself. After all, Arthur was the one who was dying. He sighed, looking over Arthur carefully. "You never could keep yourzelf looking az nice az moi~" He teased half-heartedly.
"Oh bugger off..." The smile and the slight brightness in his eyes told Francis that he was joking. He grinned, holding himself back from hugging Arthur as tight as he could. Instead, he leant forwards and kissed Arthur on the cheek softly, before whispering something in his ear.
Leaning back again, Arthur nodded and smiled as he watched Francis stand up and leave. "Take care Alfred~." Francis called as he walked off, his head down and his hands deep in his pockets. Alfred scowled. He had always been strangely jealous of the relationship between Francis and Arthur. But Arthur had at least looked happy to have seen him...
"You wanna walk back?" Alfred was mumbling, and had already stood up. He hadn't liked the way Francis had given Arthur a 'secret message' at all, and despised how happy it had made Arthur. He wanted to make Arthur smile like that. His sulky expression softened immediately when he realised it was upsetting Arthur more than he thought.
Arthur was staring up at him, tears in his eyes. He didn't understand why his little brother seemed so cross with him. It was almost childlike, the way he was looking at Alfred. "I... I'm sorry... About... Francis..." He murmured weakly, slowly standing himself up, afraid to cling to Alfred like he was doing before. This reaction almost broke Alfred's heart.
“D-don’t be sorry… please man… It’s okay…” He wrapped his arms around Arthur, holding him close to stop him from falling. Tears rolled down his face as he rubbed Arthur’s back, feeling his spine across the palm of his hand. “It’s okay…” He sounded as if he was trying to comfort himself more than Arthur, his breath shaky from holding back tears. “C’mon…”
Almost refusing to let go, Arthur leant against his younger brother, just wanting to be in his arms for a moment. For the weeks that they had been living together, they had become strangely close, or at least, that was how Arthur saw it. Alfred had washed and dressed him almost every day, taken him to the bathroom, comforted him, fed him, and countless other things Arthur could never be grateful enough for. “L-let’s go home…”
With both of them in a far less elated mood than when they left, both men remained silent for the entire slow journey home, and remained silent as Alfred lifted Arthur up the stairs, dressed him in pyjamas, and laid him back in the bed. He stayed by Arthur’s side, watching sadly as Arthur stared into space, his eyes clouded with tears that refused to fall.
“Um…” Alfred cleared his throat, wanting to lighten the mood. “Wanna play cards or something? Monopoly?” He glanced at Arthur’s face, hoping to be able to tell the answer with the look in his eyes. Grinning, he noticed that Arthur’s eyes seemed to sparkle a little.
“Only if we can go downstairs… I hate this room.” Arthur smiled, easing himself out of bed again. Today had been exhausting for him; it was the most he had done in weeks. Most of the time recently all he had done was lay in bed, and let Alfred do what he could to keep him comfortable.
With a spring in his step, Alfred carried Arthur downstairs, refusing to let him walk any more. He shuddered a little as he felt bones pressing against him, and noticed how weak and fragile Arthur really felt. It was almost as if he were a porcelain doll. He stopped walking for a moment at the sudden thought, his mind racing with impossible, verging on psychotic ideas. And Arthur wasn’t even dead yet. Setting him down on the floor beside the fire, Alfred sat beside him, letting Arthur lay against his chest.
Minuets past, and neither of them seemed to want to play any games. Arthur was just happy to be with Alfred, and Alfred was debating his own sanity and whether doing something extremely unethical and completely impossible would be worth his own selfishness. He remained silent as he brushed hair away from Arthur’s face, staring into the fire.
After a moment, he glanced down at Arthur. The man had a soft blush on his cheeks and a smile on his face. He squeezed Alfred’s hand softly, feeling too tired to speak, but wanting to communicate with Alfred still. His lips moved softly, a murmured “Thank you…” barely heard by Alfred, who smiled but did not feel a need to reply at the moment. Happy with Alfred’s smile, Arthur squeezed his hand again, weaker this time, and yawned softly. After a while, his eyes slid closed and he moved a little closer into Alfred’s arms, letting himself fall asleep.
Arthur had been lying still in his arms long before Alfred realised that there was something wrong. Blinking, he slowly looked down at the pale, limp man in his arms, watching his still chest, waiting for movement. His heart thudded against his chest. He gulped, trying to speak but finding the words catch in his throat. "Please no..." He shook Arthur, trying to wake him up. "please"