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[fic] Fulfillment of Regrets - Part 2

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



"Hey Roderich," Arthur said when he was permitted entry into Gilbert and Roderich's place. "Do you have a moment?" Roderich was currently at his desk studying over some piano scores and Gilbert was bounding back to his spot on the couch after getting the door.

"Of course, Arthur," he said, turning towards him with a small smile. "What can I help you with?"

"I need to talk to you in private," Arthur said, shooting a glade at Gilbert who suddenly looked annoyed that he was being left out.

"What? Something you can't tell the awesome me?" Gilbert pouted as he grabbed the pillow shaped like a chick and hugged it. "You always can talk to me."

"Not this time Gilbert," Arthur said gently and Gilbert's frown grew larger. "It's not you, it's something that I require of Roderich specifically."

"Hey hey, I'm not letting you take advantage of him!"

"I'm not taking advantage of him!" Arthur yelled back, suddenly very pink in the face. "It's not like that."

"Are you lying to me, you coward?!"

"Gilbert!" Roderich said, standing up and giving Gilbert a hard stare. "Control yourself!"

"… I'm sorry Roddy…" Gilbert said, now hugging his pillow again with a downcast look.

"Don't apologize to me."

"I'm sorry, Arthur," he said and Arthur gave him a forgiving smile. "I get protective of Roddy, ya know…"

"I do," Arthur said as he headed towards their bedroom. "But you don't have to worry - I won't keep you out of anything else because you're just that awesome."

"Promise?"

"Promise."

"You hear that, Roddy?" Gilbert said, now grinning ear to ear. "He said I'm awesome."

"That you are, Gilbert," Roderich said as he went over to pat him on the head before retreating into his bedroom.

"Okay, that confirms my suspicions," Arthur noted as he sat down on Roderich's amazingly comfortable bed. "You two have something going on, don't you?"

"Please don't tell Elizabeta," Roderich said as he sat down next to him. "She'll kill him for sure. And then me. And then him again."

"How long have you been together?" Arthur asked politely and Roderich frowned in thought. "About eight months now. Time goes by so quickly and I have been so wrapped up with my recital that I am losing track of things."

"It's okay, I just think that it must be wonderful to have someone who loves you," Arthur mused as he looked over to see an embarrassed Roderich who was currently fixated on looking at his violin case.

"It is. And I love him too even if he is a pain in the rear end most of the time," Roderich said and Arthur laughed in response. "Do you have someone like that?"

"Me?" Arthur asked in surprise. "Kinda… Sorta… No, not really." It was Roderich's turn to chuckle in response.

"Then there is someone that you wish would love you, and that someone probably drives you crazy sometimes," Roderich said knowledgeably and Arthur bowed his head in defeat.

"He goes from one mood to the other unpredictably and in an extreme way. He watches scary movies even though he's scared to death of them. He is sometimes overly cheerful and irresponsible. He fails at reading the atmosphere most of the time."

"But you love him regardless, right? Gilbert has a lot in common with this person."

"Despite how he annoys me from time to time with his obnoxiousness, my heart has never beat this badly for someone. He's the one, but he's very… unobtainable…"

"I would venture to say that, if you put your mind to it, you might come very close," Roderich said, obviously reflecting back on how Gilbert probably went all out trying to win his affections.

"Which leads to why I am here," Arthur said and Roderich perked up an eyebrow in curiosity.

"What can I do to assist you? I am no matchmaker though - just a musician."

"Exactly. I know you're busy and everything, but I would like to have your help in composing a piece of music to be performed on your recital."

"Oh, that's right. You do play piano. May I inquire about your skill level on the piano?"

"It's nothing near your level, but it's above average," Arthur admitted, scratching the back of his head. "I don't have any talent in composing either, but I know the story and I can hear ideas in my head."

"So, I should be able to transcribe it if you can accurately sing it back to me," Roderich hypothesized, looking straight forward in thought. "A piece for two pianos… That is going to take a lot of time."

"I'll do as much as I can on my own so we can dedicate most of our time to practicing together," Arthur announced and grabbed Roderich's arm gently. "Please Roderich, I need your help."

"This is for that person, isn't it?"

"… Yes."

"And you want to win him over with this piece?" Roderich inquired seriously and Arthur shook his head sadly.

"Not entirely. More importantly, I want to share his personality and spirit with the audience. He passed away a few months ago and we never really got to spend the time that we should have together."

"Arthur… I'm sorry to hear…"

"It's okay," Arthur reassured, wiping a tear from his eye and trying to smile it off. "He was obsessed with being known as a hero - he thrived on taking care of people and jumping into any situation without fear. He is someone I look up to."

"You just changed to present tense," Roderich noted and Arthur smiled in response.

"Because even in death, he still continues to inspire."

"Arthur, I'm very touched," Roderich said, holding his hand out. "I will help you as much as I can to make your dream a reality."

Arthur took his hand and firmly grasped it to shake. He knew he had just landed himself a large commitment on top of everything else, but it was going to be worth it in the end.

"Not a word to anyone, please."

"Not at all," Roderich confirmed. "In return, will you listen to me during some of my practices to see if I am doing well and check how my memorization work is going?"

"Absolutely Roderich. Anything for a wonderful friend."

"And I'm going to need your help with Gilbert at some point. He likes attention and I'm afraid he's going to not get much the closer we get to my recital."

"I'll reassure him that you love him with all of your heart," Arthur said with a grin and Roderich turned a bright shade of red. "Is there anything else I should know?"

"Hmm… maybe the fact that Berwald is also going to play on my recital?"

"What?!" Arthur said in shock as he jumped up from the bed. "Berwald from The Nords?"

"Yes, he's the only Berwald on campus," Roderich said with an inquiring look at Arthur. "Is there something wrong?"

"No, no. It's just that I didn't think that you got to know him personally. I mean, I know him because I met him at the stables and talked with him on the day we decided to risk our lives skydiving."

"He plays violin very well. We met last year when he was playing outside by their place of residence. He approached me with a request to play a duet together the other day," Roderich said, fondly remembering the memory.

"Oh man Roderich," Arthur said, feeling very guilty. "I feel as though I have greatly inconvenienced you with my request."

"Not at all, Arthur," Roderich said as he rose up from the bed, putting a hand on Arthur's shoulder. "Music is something beautiful and speaks to the very core of the soul. I am happy that I will be able to share the stage with people that feel the same."

Arthur let out a sigh of relief before he opened the door to leave. Gilbert was napping on the couch, drooling slightly on the pillow, and the television was on with a comedy sitcom playing. They both chuckled at how vulnerable Gilbert looked before Arthur thanked him again and left with a brilliant smile on his face for what was to come.
-----

Roderich's recital finally happened after weeks of frustration and stress mingled with accomplishments on their road towards perfection. The concert hall that night was filled to capacity, which showed that there were a large amount of people that recognized Roderich's talent and wanted to hear him play. All of his friends had come out to support him, getting there quite a bit early to save seats for people who were tied up elsewhere. Arthur was running late from a group project so he was thankful that the others kept him in mind and left him one on the end.

He politely thanked Kiku, who was sitting next to him, before turning to the aisle and looking at his guest with a discreet wink. Alfred smiled back warmly and Arthur felt his heart flutter. He certainly looked dashing in a formal light blue button down and a complimentary tie. Arthur still found it intriguing that ghosts could change clothes into whatever they wanted.

Arthur turned back front and saw that a stagehand was lifting up the lid of a beautiful grand piano before he retreated. There was also a large organ set in an arc on stage behind the piano. The announcement about proper concert etiquette started playing over the speakers, quieting the crowd immediately. He could hardly wait - Roderich had been spending countless of hours practicing and avoiding all social distractions by barricading himself in his practice room.

There was a pause of silence before loud applause broke out the moment his hand poked out from the side of the stage. He strode elegantly to the side of his piano, dressed in a formal tuxedo with tails and a silver cravat, took a deep bow, and settled carefully onto the piano bench.

The first piece was Beethoven's 'Moonlight Sonata', which was one of Arthur's favorites, and he settled back to enjoy the dark, melancholic composition with a content smile. He snuck a glance over to Alfred, who was floating in a sitting position and saw that he was quite captivated himself. It was a bit surprising because Alfred never had a large interest in classical music. He found himself wondering if Alfred was smiling for some other reasons and hoping that one of them was about him.

As the selections of Rachmaninov, Chopin, and Ravel went by, Arthur felt more and more relaxed and drawn in by Roderich's playing. However, nothing compared to Alfred sneaking his hand over to rest on top of Arthur's. When he did notice, his heart leapt and he deeply wished he could stroke his hand in return.

Alfred was looking at the stage with such an intense focus that Arthur was sure he was trying to play where his hand was off as an accident. He mentally chuckled to himself as he turned back, knowing full well that ghosts could touch inanimate objects, but not anything else. Alfred doing what he was doing, which was floating his hand just barely on top of Arthur's, most likely took some concentration on effort on his part.

The first half ended to excited applause as Roderich took a final bow and walked briskly off. People immediately sought to exit the hall to go to the bathroom, but his group of friends stayed in their seats, talking animatedly about parts they liked or how large the crowd was.

"I always knew Roddy was good, but not that good!"

"You've heard him play plenty of times! If only you properly listened half the time!"

"Come on Elizabeta! It's different than his usual. Normally it's all prim and proper, but now it's that and magical!"

"Gilbert is right. His interpretation of Chopin's 'Nocturne Op. 27 No. 2' was so passionate and genuine."

"J'adore Monsieur Edelstein. He is simply divine."

"Keep your flowery hands off of him, ya here?"

"Moi moi!"

"Gentleman, we shouldn't cause a disturbance in the hall…"

"I say he should play a piece worthy of the devil's appreciation."

"Good god, you're so twisted sometimes, Ivan!"

"Hey hey Ludwig! Roderich is truly an artist, isn't he?"

"Yes. He is."

"Veeee…."

"I saw you smile during some of the…"

"… Let's not speak of that."

"Excuse me," Arthur said, rising from his seat. "I must run to the bathroom."

"Arthur, couldn't you have gone earlier?"

"It's… sudden. Don't fret - I will be back as soon as possible." They all gave him a judgmental look, except Feliciano who was all spaced out in happiness, and even Alfred gave him a look of curiosity. Arthur couldn't say anything, but he reached out towards his face, which simply looked like he paused because he forgot something.

"Okay, we'll watch your seat."

"Thank you," Arthur said gratefully as he exited the hall quickly in a dignified manner. Once he was outside and saw that the coast was clear, he bolted towards the greenroom, which was very close to the side of the backstage area. There he started to change out of his clothes and into a nice tuxedo, also with tails like Roderich's.

"Arthur, there you are," a bass voice greeted and Arthur turned to see Berwald in an expensive suit with a black tie. He looked rather like a business man with his stern expression and sharp glasses.

"Evening Berwald," Arthur greeted as he straightened his bow tie. "It sounds like Roderich has already started with one of Schubert's Impromptus."

"This is a very interesting piece," Berwald commented as he adjusted his glasses. "The cascading arpeggios remind me of flowing water."

"Like a waterfall," Arthur said with a smile. "Nothing like setting your audience up with something picturesque and quaint before hitting them with Bach's 'Toccata and Fugue in D minor' on the organ."

"Have you heard the organ here before?"

"No, not yet."

"It's a pity that you will not hear it from sitting the audience. It has a formidable sound and the pedal notes shake the hall quite violently, but the effect is still definitely strong form the side."

"Shall we leave this room and go backstage?"

"Yes. That is a good idea." Arthur allowed Berwald to head out first and followed quickly after him. Roderich was nearing the end of the piece as they took seats backstage. A half of a minute later, the audience applauded and Roderich walked off stage so they could move the piano. He looked slightly winded and wiped his brow with his hand.

"You are doing fine, Roderich," Arthur reassured and he jumped slightly in response. "Look at how many people came to see you."

"Yes, yes, I know," Roderich said, taking a deep breath. "There is a lot of pressure, that's all…"

"Nothing has changed about your music - only the setting is different," Berwald said wisely and Roderich nodded before going back out, this time to play the organ.

Berwald was not joking about the sheer power of the instrument. Arthur's heart jumped intensely when it felt like the entire hall was reverberating with the first few notes. Berwald was not phased at all, but then again, he was never shaken by anything and neither were The Nords.

As he listened, he couldn't help but think of how his friends may have been thinking about him and his prolonged absence. He was heavily anticipating the fact that he was going to surprise them by performing on the recital. There were printed programs, but they were not going to hand them out until afterwards, so Roderich was announcing each piece's title before he performed them. This kept hidden the fact that he had guest artists on his recital, but The Nords knew that Berwald was on it at least. Some people did pick up on the fact that Berwald was not with them, but no one ever tried to figure out why.

"I'm up next," Berwald whispered to him, shaking him out of his thoughts. "And then you are after me. Good luck."

"You too," he whispered back as he watched Berwald pick up his violin from a nearby table and look at the strings.

There was very loud applause for the organ piece and Berwald used the opportunity to quickly retune his instrument, holding it close to his ear with a slight frown.

"I think I may have over-programmed," Roderich said as he walked offstage.

"No, I think it suits you and people already knew that it would be a long recital," Arthur said, smiling gently. "And these last two songs are shorter than the Bach piece."

"Very true," Roderich said, brushing back some of his hair that had shaken loose from the ferocity of his performance. "Shall we, Berwald?"

"Yes, it is time."

They walked out after the piano was moved back, and Arthur could hear some of the advance gasp in surprise at the fact that Berwald was going to perform. Based on only appearances, he looked the least likely to be an instrumentalist out of The Nords because of his stoic demeanor and business-like atmosphere. They both took their bows and Roderich took his seat, giving Berwald a confirmation nod when he was ready.

Their piece was the popular arrangement of Schubert's 'Ave Maria' for violin and piano. It was the least technically difficult piece on the program, but it was completely overwhelming in the emotional way. The way that Berwald played was so honest and moving - the piece tugged on Arthur's heart in a very strong way. Not everything had to be complicated and impressive to be emotionally touching.

He started feeling nervous as he waited, wondering if Alfred was still there waiting or if he was worried enough to go to the bathroom to check on him. He had left his belongings in his seat so that his friends would assume he would be back eventually to get them. Arthur was also slightly intimidated listening to the duet - he didn't want to appear as a total amateur when it was his turn. Berwald was unexpectedly very talented with his instrument and was able to understand music at a deep level and share it with the audience.

Then their song was over to very loud applause and they both took their bows. Arthur stood up to applaud them as well with a smile before flexing his fingers and stretching out his arms. When Berwald made it backstage, Arthur shook his hand to congratulate him.

They had to wait a bit as the grand piano was moved to the side a bit and another was moved on. He could hear the audience muttering in anticipation about a piece with dual pianos and he inwardly smiled.

"Arthur, you would like me to talk about the piece, am I correct?" Roderich asked and Arthur nodded.

"I would get too self-conscious in this environment."

"I understand. It looks like they are ready on stage."

"Then let us not keep the audience waiting."

If he thought the surprised gaps were interesting before, then the responses from the audience members upon seeing him were on a whole new level. At least most of the crowd knew of the existence of Berwald - hardly anyone knew who he was, and so he was met with curious looks in the midst of their applause. They both bowed deeply before taking their seats.

Arthur looked out into the audience when he was settled and saw that his row of friends were stunned in amused shock. Alfred was still there, which caused Arthur to feel a million times more relaxed and a billion times more nervous, glowing brightly like all of the other ghosts watching in the aisle ways or floating above the audience. Like everyone else, Alfred wore an interested expression of what was to come.

"This will be the last piece of the night," Roderich started speaking in his gentle tenor voice. "Before I talk about it, I would like to thank each and every one of you for common to my recital and showing your support. You have my heartfelt gratitude." He paused for everyone to clap in appreciation as he bowed his head before continuing.

"Here on stage with me is Arthur Kirkland, a good friend of mine that I had met this year," he continued and Arthur smiled in response. "He approached me sometime earlier with a request to compose something to be performed on my recital. After a few weeks of hard practice and arduous composing, we have worked something out that I have no doubt you will all enjoy."

"The title of the piece is 'Immortal Heroes' and is essentially about how a person can be a hero to someone else while existing in the living world and after they have passed on. We have incorporated the idea of light and dark in this composition. Arthur will have the 'light' themes and I will interrupt partway through with snippets of 'dark' material in a metaphorical representation of obstacles and eventually approaching death."

"It will be an emotional and dramatic contrast and combination of two opposing elements. The piece will also be a wonderful reminder that good will always shine its light even in the darkest of days - that someone will remember your legacy and will aspire to have your best qualities. This is in dedication to Alfred whose life was tragically cut short, but still lives on in the hearts of those that he had influenced for the better with his cheerful humor and adventurous spirit."

Arthur waited for a few seconds before putting his hands over the keys and starting a simple, tranquil melody. It would be a little bit before Roderich joined him so he wanted to make sure that he did his best to set a good tempo and create a warm uplifting atmosphere. He could already feel the audience settling into what he was playing and smiled.

Roderich's part was quite a bit harder - faster rhythms for longer periods of time as well as rhythms that conflicted against what Arthur was playing. The audience wouldn't know that some of Roderich's part was improvisation because they were running short on time when they were composing it. He was talented enough to make it work and Arthur was thankful for that. Plus, having the unanticipated snippets and interjections made the piece even more symbolic since life was very unpredictable.

Arthur's favorite part was the dramatic call-and-response portion, which represented a person's fight to hang on for their life and remembering all of the good they have done rather than dismaying about their regrets. There was something about the intensity of that part that grasped his heart tightly - something about the powerful chords and chaotic rhythms that accelerated into a break of pure silence.

What followed was Roderich's solo - a soliloquy of subdued melancholy and hopelessness. He had the audience on the edge of their seats with every single note he pressed - each statement sounding like it would lead to Arthur's reentry, but actually leading to heavier, darker material. Finally, it was time for him to come back, and the ending section with its complimentary parts and the occasional unison was simply perfect for ending the piece in such a beautifully inspiring way.

There was a slight pause before the audience started applauding loudly, rising to their feet as the two stood up to take a deep bow. Roderich bowed a second time before leading the way offstage They returned again to even louder applause with Berwald, lining up near the edge of the stage to take their final bows.

After it was said and done, they retreated to the green room where they were bombarded by people within the first two minutes of sitting down in relief. They all shook hands briefly, accepting the praise with bright smiles and thanking them for their support before letting them go to the reception in the entrance hall. Some of the people wanted Arthur, Roderich, and Berwald to sign their programs, and they did so gratefully and thanked them deeply as well.

Their friends did the smarter thing and got the food first to eat while waiting to congratulate them. They waited patiently in their corner of the green room, talking in excitable soft voices. The remaining four Nords were in another corner, sitting in chairs at a table, also eating but not talking. Alfred was hovering above everything with a bright smile and Arthur made sure to acknowledge him before resuming to talk. When the trio was finally done, they went over to greet their friends who waved back.

"Geez Roddy! The whole world wanted to congratulate you," Gilbert moped, crossing his arms. "If I didn't like you so darn much, I woulda left already."

"Why didn't you greet me first?" Roderich asked as he unbuttoned his jacket. It had been too much of an evening for even the proper Roderich to want to appear completely put together.

"Wanted to, but your babysitter held me hostage saying some nonsense about me embarrassing you in front of people you ain't never seen before."

"Good job Roderich, Arthur," Ludwig spoke up in his low voice. "Your performance was exceptionally moving."

"Really! It was!" Feliciano interjected excitably and Ludwig scowled. "We didn't knew where you had gotten to Arthur, and Francis was going to look for you…"

"Thank goodness he didn't," Arthur said a shudder.

"And then you walked onto the stage and played a completely awesome piece with Roderich! Wasn't it exciting, Ludwig?"

"Stop tugging on my arm!"

"It was très magnifique!" Francis said, twirling his hair with one finger. "It was as if Aphrodite came to Hades and showered him with her love and he only wanted to be left alone to hate the world. But alas, she proved a far greater power and he succumbed to her in the end."

"Roderich, you were wonderful!" Elizabeta said, putting her arms around Roderich and hugging him fondly. "I can't believe you did everything from memory."

"Almost everything, but thank you Elizabeta."

"And you too, Arthur," she said, releasing him and hugging Arthur, who was pleasantly surprised. "Who would have known that you played piano so well?"

"Thanks, but I'm not really that good."

"That is where you are wrong," Kiku said softly and he turned to look at him. "Even though you are not as technically strong as Roderich and have far less experience, the fact that you braved the stage with him to perform something dear to you made a world of difference in how you played."

"Well summarized, Kiku," Ludwig complimented and Kiku blushed in response. Roderich and Arthur beamed at everything their friends had said. It was such a good night, but it was about to be even better.

"Excuse me, but I need to leave early," Arthur announced and he saw Alfred nod as he floated towards the backstage area.

"What, Arthur? We're having a party in Gilbert's room!"

"It's my room too you know…"

"Don't worry. I'll be there a little later. I just have some unfinished business to take care of," Arthur reassured and they nodded.

"We stashed your belongings backstage. See you soon."

Arthur thanked them and turned to see The Nords approaching them, which cause all talking to stop immediately. They were unrevealing as usual, but then gave the smallest of smiles when they arrived. The chill in the room suddenly seemed less biting when it appeared that they were not going to be killed.

"We wanted to extend our congratulations to you, Roderich Edelstein," the shortest one with almost grayish hair said. "It was a recital that we all found very impressive."

"Thank you very much."

"And to you, Arthur Kirkland, for having brought a wonderful piece into existence," he said, turning slightly to acknowledge Arthur, who bowed.

"Many thanks to Berwald for perfuming on my recital."

"It is no problem," Berwald said humbly in his bass voice. "It was an honor to have performed with someone as talented as you."

"So tell us, Arthur," the most gentle and cheerful looking one with bright blond hair said. "How long have you known Alfred?"

"It just occurred to him that, if there was going to be anyone in the crowd who would know of Alfred, it was going to be The Nords. He wondered if it was possible to get away with lying to them and also the severity of his punishment if he was caught.

"Tino," the dull blond haired one with the mystical creature and the blank stare said in a monotone voice. "Perhaps he will talk about it at a later date. He has had a long night." He gave Arthur that look that meant he understood the reason why he didn't want to say, and Arthur was very grateful for being saved.

"Yeah, give the lad a break!" the taller one with golden blond hair in a wild haircut said, putting a hand on Tino's shoulder. "We'll be keeping an eye out for him from now on and there will be time to talk to him."

"Most definitely. Now, if you will excuse me, I must take my leave," Arthur said with a respectful bow. His friends said their farewells and he picked up his bag of clothes from under a table before heading backstage to grab his belongings.

Alfred was there, sitting on the edge of the stage, and Arthur mouthed that he was sorry when he turned to face him. He quickly grabbed his belongings and they walked down the stairs heading into the audience and out into the entrance hall that was miraculously devoid of people. After a quick pause to put on his coat and scarf, they left and walked for a little bit before speaking.

"I'm sorry," Arthur apologized and Alfred shook his head.

"It's okay. You deserved every bit of their recognition," Alfred said with a smile and Arthur noticed that he was suddenly wearing a coat as well.

"Still, it was intense," Arthur grumbled, shoving his hands into his pockets. "And put on a scarf, you fool. It's cold."

"Haha, Arthur, you know I can't feel, right?" Alfred said, but created a blue scarf regardless. It matched his eyes perfectly and even had shiny specks that twinkled as they passed the lights along the sidewalk.

"Yeah, I know…" Arthur said as he looked straight forward in thought. "I wish you could though."

"You and me both," Alfred said with another laugh before he flew in front of Arthur. "But seriously, I loved the piece you made for me."

"Really, Alfred?" Arthur asked, turning pink, but not because of the weather. "I'm sure it sounded nice to listen to."

"Definitely. I thought that it was enjoyable to listen to, but it was very special too."

"Because it was dedicated to you?"

"There's that, but really it's because it was dedicated from you."

Arthur felt very hot in the face and tried to look away, but Alfred zoomed in front of him again. He didn't think he would feel so embarrassed when he heard Alfred praise him, but he was sure that he was a bright red. It was a good thing it was dark out.

"You're welcome. You mean… a lot to me."

"More than inspirationally?" he asked, grinning widely and Arthur stopped dead in his tracks.

"What gives you that idea?" he huffed, crossing his arms.

"Because that piece was the first thing in my time as a ghost where I actually felt something, and that shouldn't even be possible."

"No, no, you're imagining things. You can't feel, remember" Arthur said, instinctively reaching out to grab his arm and suddenly felt as if he stuck his hand in a vat of honey.

"What the-?" Arthur asked in alarm and Alfred's smile grew brighter.

"I don't know either, but as we were walking… well, you were… I started feeling a little chilly," Alfred revealed as Arthur drew his hand back.

"You think that maybe… hearing that piece made this happen?" Arthur asked hesitantly in a whisper and Alfred made a face in thought before responding.

"I felt completely touched when I was listening. It was warm, uplifting, exciting, melancholic, intense, adventurous, frightening, courageous… just everything that I have felt in a great degree before," he said, rocking on his feet enthusiastically.

"Alfred…"

"Everything you've done for me has meant so much! Getting me over my phobia of ghosts for starters. You went out of your way on that one."

"Yes, I know, but something told me that's what I had to do," Arthur said as Alfred took a few steps to close the distance. He seemed to be flickering a little - like a light bulb that was about to burn out. Arthur took a glance at the nearest sidewalk light, but it definitely was not the cause.

"But then you kept going… giving me opportunities to live the life I should have… becoming my friend… composing a piece about heroes in dedication to me."

"You are worth it to me," Arthur said, looking at him in his eyes and seeing that they were shimmering in admiration.

"Why?"

"Wh-Why?" Arthur spluttered. "I… don't know that! You're a good friend, that's-"

He never was able to finish his sentence before his lips were sealed with Alfred's in a sweet, loving kiss. Arthur felt his arms circle around him and he pressed his body into his as they continued kissing. He was completely solid and warm and Arthur didn't give a damn about how he was exactly like a human when it shouldn't have been possible to change back.

"Mmm… am I imagining this?" Alfred hummed contently and Arthur shook his head.

"No, this is real."

"So you do love me, Arthur. You always have."

"You're spurting that bloody nonsense again," Arthur complained, but only half-heartedly and with a guilty smile.

"Let's go back to your room quickly before I become a ghost again," Alfred suggested and Arthur slid his hand into his as they walked back. Alfred was no longer floating, but walking with a spring in his step that made Arthur's heart swoon.

"Shouldn't we want the opposite? People will see us going into the dorm."

"No, because I want to smother you in kisses in your bed," Alfred said cheerfully. "There shouldn't be anyone out right now anyways."

"You're right. It would be a bit daft to continue making out int he cold."

"I'll warm you right up, Arthur… If you know what I mean…"

"Just nothing that leaves a visible mark," Arthur said, feeling incredibly embarrassed. "I still have to go to the party in Gilbert's room."

"No, no. Although you might have a rough time walking," Alfred said as he swung the hand that was holding Arthur's hand back and forth. "This is exciting!"

"Well you be gone after this?" Arthur asked fearfully as they climbed the steps to the dorm. "When a ghost is free of their strongest regrets, it moves onto the next life…"

"Not yet. There is still much I wish to do and something even greater that I want to fulfill," Alfred said as he scooped Arthur into his arms.

"Put me down you bloody fool!" Arthur commanded as he entered the commons area, which was thankfully deserted. "Just because you're solid again doesn't mean you need to show off your strength!"

Arthur was silenced again with a kiss and he stopped thrashing around in defiance.

"Mmm…"

"I'm a hero. I need to save you."

"From who?"

"Yourself. And Shakespeare - that's some awful stuff."

Nothing more was said from that point on as they made it down the hall to his door. They entered his room after Arthur unlocked his door and climbed into the bed after turning on a lamp. Words were incapable of describing the magic that took place between them - the exchange of true love that overwhelmed the five primary senses. Arthur melted at his touch, tasted his passionate kisses, smelled his invigorating scent, and said his name with increasing desire and heard his name said the same way in response.

By the time it was over and they caught their breath, Alfred had gone back into his glowy, semi-transparent state with the largest smile on his face and a merry twinkle in his cerulean blue eyes. Arthur himself was grinning as well and his emerald green eyes were shimmering with satisfaction and adoration.

"I need to get going."

"I'll be here when you come back."

"You'll always be a hero to me and everyone."

"Arthur…" he said, kissing him again even though he couldn't physically touch him. "Tonight, you definitely proved yourself as a hero to me."

They smiled at each other fondly. No one could have envisioned a more perfect night than the one that they just had, and they dearly wished for many more nights like this to come.

Comments

( 4 Admirers — Katsu no wa Hyotei )
perkyandproud
Dec. 25th, 2011 11:42 am (UTC)
"he grabbed the pillow shaped like a chick" Is this a bird chick or a girl chick? Oh, wait, he's an item with Roderich...I'm guessing the bird!

Aw!! The hand-holding!!

Immortal Heroes...does that piece actually exist? You make me want to hear it so much!

Oh, the Nords are going to be looking out for him...that's rather frightening to be honest! ;-) (But hey, lot of that Scandinavian blood ended up in England, so I can't be too surprised ;-)

Hey! There is no need to save anyone from Shakespeare! LOL

Nice summary and non-graphical description of their love-making. Very well done!

Awwww!! Very nicely done! An excellent story, I totally liked it :-) Yayayay!
absolutehymn007
Jan. 4th, 2012 05:45 pm (UTC)
And I totally forgot to reply...

LOL! I never thought of the girl chick. But I highly doubt that Roderich would allow such a thing in their room lololol.

Immortal Heroes does not exist. I composed the piece through words as best as I could. And aww, thanks! Describing music is very difficult lol.

I. love. the. Nords. So much. *hugs them* They're really the cool gang around campus... that no one dares talk to because they're just too cool. And mysterious. Ooooo...

Thank you again for reading!! <3
fivedayslater
Dec. 31st, 2011 03:43 am (UTC)
Sorry for not commenting sooner! I've been busy since Christmas and have only been able to read this parts at a time and only had enough time to sit down and write a comment now.

But this is wonderful! It's so adorable and the details with the music were simply fantastic! I have a lot of music major friends so I go to their recitals all the time, so I found that addition simply delightful. And Alfred and Arthur and Arthur was able to save him with music and love and it was glorious. This was glorious and I cannot find enough adjectives to tell you how epic this was. Thank you so much for writing this for me!
absolutehymn007
Jan. 4th, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
On the same token, I'm sorry for not replying any sooner. It was a very long part indeed.

*hugs* I'm so glad that you thought it was wonderful! A lot of heart and soul was put into it. I actually majored in music (in education, not performance) so I ended up frequenting a lot of my friends' recitals as well. I did not hold my own recital - too busy with my classes and work and I was not the strongest performer on my instrument so I always had to do double the work.

Again, I'm really glad you found it enjoyable. I was afraid that Roderich would sneak up and snatch the spotlight at some points lol, but he made the most sense to be Arthur's closest friend. They can be all stubbornly bitter towards their counterparts together! XD

^^ Hope you had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Best of luck to you in 2012 with all of your endeavors :)
( 4 Admirers — Katsu no wa Hyotei )

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