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[fic] Fulfillment of Regrets - Part 1

A/N: LJ said the entry was too long so it had to be split into parts. ><



He only had two classes on Friday (Shakespeare and Pre-Calculus) and then he was free until Monday starting at 11am. They had started reading, 'Much Ado About Nothing' in Shakespeare, which Arthur found himself looking forward to since it was one of his favorite plays. He had a mountain of homework assigned from Pre-Calculus for the weekend, which he was not too happy about.</p>

The school was having a big event down in the plaza area by the auditorium to welcome in the new school year starting at noon. All of the school's organizations, clubs, fraternities, and sororities were gathered as well as local businesses and restaurants, giving away free stuff and working to interest people into visiting their places at a later date. This worked out to Arthur's advantage since his friends were either heading there or were already there. He would catch up with them later, but he had something to take care of first.

Which was, of course, that ghost by the pond named Alfred. Arthur was already on the bench, sitting there and eating his lunch as he waited with an excited smile. After thinking about it for a while, the best idea he came up with was to not approach him immediately like he tried the other day, but to tell him that he did want to meet and was not there to harm him even that wasn't possible anyway.

This time, Alfred came out much earlier than he did over the last few days, and also was not making his normal beeline for his rock. Arthur quickly swallowed his food and jumped up, running towards the water's edge, making it there when Alfred looked at him.

There was that sort of awkward pause that happens when things line up correctly and everyone freezes for a few seconds in disbelief. When things started moving again, Arthur made eye contact with him and smiled as warmly as possible. Alfred didn't look puzzled, but he stared back to see what Arthur wanted with him. Things were looking good so far for Arthur who held his hands up in a peaceful gesture.

Alfred nodded to show that he understood and Arthur wanted to jump up and down in accomplishment. However, he was more dignified than that, so he resisted and proceeded on with what he needed to do. Slowly and precisely, he mouthed the words 'Meet me here at 10pm tonight' as he did a set of hand signals to illustrate what he wanted to happen. Alfred looked confused the first few tries, but then got it and repeated it back. Arthur smiled and nodded, hoping that the ghost would feel comfortable with that. Alfred then pointed at his rock and motioned something that Arthur understood as 'Meet me on this side of the pond.'

With one last nod from Arthur, Alfred headed towards his rock and sat down on it. He went back to staring into the depths of the water, but Arthur knew that he wasn't entirely focused on it since he kept sneaking glances back at Arthur. It was time for him to leave so that he didn't accidentally stress him out so he packed away the rest of his lunch, stood up, and left the area with a polite wave.

'Mission accomplished,' he thought to himself as he whistled a merry tune. 'Now time to go get some free stuff.' He hoped that one of the Chinese fast-food places would be giving away free fortune cookies - it felt like his day to get a fantastic fortune. Between the event, dinner, and some homework, 10pm would be there in no time and he simply could not wait.
-----

"You're here," Arthur said as he walked out to the rock by the lake and saw that Alfred was sitting there, not with his hands wrapped around his legs like they usually were.

"Did you think I wouldn't be?" he asked timidly.

"No, no," Arthur dismissed. "I thought that you might have been scared off that I could see you."

"It was… surprising, but you can't hurt me so… I thought I'd take the chance," he explained as Arthur stopped in front of him with a smile.

"Pleased to meet you - I am Arthur Kirkland," he said, extending a hand even though he knew they could not physically shake.

"I'm… Alfred… Alfred F. Jones," he said, reaching out and going through his hand. "I am… was… an aviation major here."

"How long ago?"

"I died of heart failure about a month and a half ago. This would have been my second year."

"I'm truly sorry to hear," Arthur said sympathetically. "It's tragic to have a life ended so early."

"Yeah it was," Alfred said sadly. "Even though there wasn't really anything that could be done. I was just looking forward to my second year to fly some more planks and to see all of my friends again."

"Did you have a lot?" Arthur asked, noting he appeared to be someone who would be very popular with his presumably outgoing and bright personality.

"Knew a lot of people, but I was closest to my friends in the Aviation College. They had me crying at my funeral with their speeches."

"It must be wonderful to have such caring friends," Arthur said with a smile. "Even though your time with them was so short, you still reached them so strongly."

"What about you?" Alfred asked curiously and Arthur shrugged.

"I grew up in a quiet town and kept mostly to myself," Arthur explained and Alfred nodded in response. "At school, I was so focused on my academic performance that I hardly associated with anyone."

"Doesn't that make you feel lonely though?"

"Not usually because I always had my mystical friends to accompany me."

"Wow! So you've always been able to see the non-living!" Alfred said excitedly with a bright smile. "So you have never been afraid of them… because you thought that was normal, right?"

"You are correct," Arthur congratulated and Alfred beamed. "Which brings me to the reasons why I wanted to meet you."

"Oh," he said simply, suddenly losing his enthusiasm. Arthur had seen quite a few miserable looking ghosts and people around, but not to the degree that Alfred looked constantly.

"Please tell me. I won't laugh."

"It's… well… I'm…" Alfred started, turning a bright red despite the fact that there was no real blood coursing through his veins.

"Go on. It will be fine."

"How do I say this?" he said, laughing loudly out of nervousness. "I've always been afraid of ghosts."

"… Excuse me?"

"I knew you were going to react that way!" he said, pointing an accusing finger at him. "It's because I am one myself, but i don't know why I am!"

"Hey, hey! Calm down!" Arthur said, reaching out to touch him on the arm, but realized that it wasn't possible. "I'm sorry… I was just surprised." Arthur was more surprised at himself that he was right about Alfred than surprised at how ironic his phobia was.

"Oh okay…"

"I thought the reason you kept to yourself was that you were too depressed to be near others," Arthur admitted and Alfred turned his head sideways at him.

"Why would I be depressed?"

"Because human ghosts are created from deep regret for anything that they did not get to fulfill in life… or at least that's what Flying Mint Bunny heard from the unicorn…"

"That makes sense," Alfred said with a nod. "There were a lot of things I wanted to do before I died. I suppose I have all of the time in the world to do them now, but I'm terrified of ghosts so…"

"Then let's get you over that fear," Arthur suggested, smiling warmly. "I want to be the one that helps you."

"Me? Why me?" Alfred said, now pointing at himself with his jaw slightly dropped. Arthur found the sight to be quite adorable.

"Call it intuition," Arthur said, turning away and starting to walk. "Come on, you can stay in the living room. I have a really comfortable couch."

"No! Arthur! I can't just move in with you!" he said, floating after him. "We've just met."

"Alfred," Arthur said without looking back. "No one is going to know but me. And besides, I don't want you sleeping in the bloody forest anymore."

"I have a tent!"

"It's going to be cold at some point."

"I don't feel things!"

"I don't care!" Arthur said loudly, clenching his fists. "Quit arguing and come on!"

"Thank you, Arthur!" Alfred said gratefully, zooming out in front of him and giving him a hug as best as he could simulate. "But what if we run into other ghosts on our way? There are so many on campus!" Alfred was extremely skittish and Arthur kept walking on to give him no choice to back out. They didn't say anything for a while since Arthur was on the lookout.

"I'm here Alfred," he reassured as he saw his dorm come into view. "Just hide behind me if you see one and I'll talk to them."

"I have to repay you sometime!" Alfred said happily, drifting back behind him. "It means that I will be able to eventually go to classes again andd be able to get around without being scared out of my mind. I won't be able to eat a cheeseburger again… or fries or drink pop and make those slurping noises with the straw, but man oh man!"

Arthur couldn't help but grin brightly as he rambled on and on about everything he had wanted to get off of his chest. As he listened, he felt more and more compelled and waited to be able to grant his wishes. It was most definitely going to be a great semester.


Comments

( 2 Admirers — Katsu no wa Hyotei )
fivedayslater
Dec. 22nd, 2011 11:48 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful! Such an interesting set up, and Alfred and Arthur's interactions are so adorable! I love this! And it's only part 1? That means I get more? :D Thank you so much!!
absolutehymn007
Dec. 23rd, 2011 12:53 am (UTC)
I am so glad that you like it! I was a little stressed about it since it was an interesting approach at the prompt, but I really liked the idea so I just ran with it. ^^

I have Part 2, which will be almost as long I think. When I typed all of Part 1 into the computer and it came out just over 10,000 words, I was like HOLY COW. I honestly didn't think I wrote that much.

My hope is that Part 2 does not fail to satisfy :D You're very welcome!
( 2 Admirers — Katsu no wa Hyotei )

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