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[fic] A Rose is a Rose

Title: A Rose is a Rose
Genre: Romance
Pairing: US/UK
Word Count: 2,046
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 (kissing, indication of adult concepts)
Summary: "The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies." Based on a long quote taken from the book "The Inner Game of Tennis", Alfred decides to grow roses of his own to create a way for him to remember the quote that greatly moved him.
Notes: For the usxuk  Summer Camp challenge (Day 9 prompt - Gardening)

Alfred F. Jones was not really into interior decorating as much as Arthur Kirkland, his lover, was. He liked putting up posters on the wall and buying expensive entertainment center items, but his mind was not designed for complementary colors, furniture aesthetics, or making things look attractive without going overboard. He was all about his interests and not about making things look artistic. His house reflected his mood at the current time he worked on it - some rooms had things neatly set on shelves and other rooms had random objects and boxes he had accumulated over the years piled in a corner. Alfred never really took the time to go through everything and clean it up.

Sometimes when Arthur came over, he would start tidying up some of the rooms, much to the protest of Alfred for privacy invasion. Arthur hated messes so Alfred would eventually succumb to Arthur's stubbornness and let him go at it. Especially if it involved a sweet reward at the end of the day, which caused Alfred to help him because he wanted the time to go faster.

One day, Arthur was over reading a book called The Inner Game of Tennis to occupy himself while Alfred was attempting to watch a scary movie. By attempting, it really was more of Alfred screaming loudly and burying his face in Arthur's chest, sneaking glances at the movie occasionally before repeating the process much to Arthur's chagrin. After the movie was over, Alfred was shaking uncontrollably, causing Arthur to groan loudly.

"What is it?" he asked as he put on arm his body and rubbed him soothingly. "Are you going to be okay?"


"Then don't subject yourself to this bloody torture."

"Hey Arthur. Read me something nice! It will make me feel better."

"This book isn't a fiction book or anything," Arthur explained and Alfred pulled his head out of his chest and gave him a pleading look.

"Please please please?"

"Fine, there is one part that might work," he said, flipping through the book for the page. Alfred let out a cry of happiness and snuggled into Arthur's lap. He felt warm fingers thread through his hair tenderly, calming down his nerves.

"Okay, here it is. It's about a rose."

"In a tennis book?!"

"It's a book of metaphoric analogies. Most of them are tennis-related, but there is quite a bit that isn't."

"I was going to say. I thought you were reading a tennis book to help the fact that no one from your country has won Wimbledon for a very, very long time. And you even invented the sport," Alfred taunted and Arthur poked him hard in the cheek.

"Shut your mouth. Our time is coming to reclaim the title!"

"Okay, fine, but you know your country doesn't do well with the sports you have invented," Alfred said, grinning evily. "So, it's about a rose…"

"Yes, and the two paragraphs before it describe how we never judge a rose as 'rootless and stemless' when it is a seed or how we don't condemn it for being underdeveloped when the buds aren't open right away."

"Oh, I'm going to like this!"

"And now, exactly from the book," Arthur announced as cleared his throat. "We stand in wonder at the process taking place and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development."

"The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is."

"That's… That's beautiful…" Alfred said in awe and Arthur chuckled at Alfred's reaction.

"It's my favorite part of the book. It reminds me not to judge something on impulse, to try to have patience, and to think more on the positive side of things."

"Mmm… Arthur?"

"What is it?"

"Can you help me plant a rose bush sometime? And teach me how to care for it?" Alfred asked softly, feeling quite light hearted and inspired.

"Are you off your rocker? You can't even take care of yourself," Arthur pointed out and Alfred took a blind swipe at him with his hand.


"Fine, fine. I can never say no to you," Arthur said, agreeing with a small sigh. "I'll teach you on my next visit. Is that okay?"

"Yes, it is sweetheart. Now kiss me goodnight."

"Do you intend to sleep on your couch?"

"As long as I'm with you, I can sleep anywhere," Alfred said, knowing that a full blush had filled Arthur's face and that he was mere seconds away from yelling at him in embarrassment.

"I give up with you," Arthur whispered, catching Alfred by surprise. He felt soft lips press against the side of his face before a hand helped guide his face so that it was looking straight up into a pair of beautiful green eyes. The distance between them was closed immediately as Arthur gave him a deep kiss on the lips, slipping his tongue teasingly into his mouth before pulling away.

"Good night Alfred," Arthur said as he lifted Alfred's head so he could lay down on the couch. Alfred nestled against his body when he was all settled and smiled happily before closing his eyes and letting his stupor firmly take over.

Arthur kept his promise on his next visit. He brought over several rose seeds and a guide explaining how to care for them. They went into the rarely used shed and found some shovels and a spade. Alfred didn't mind doing the heavy digging to clear some land (it was a nice chance to show off his muscles to a pink-faced Arthur) and left Arthur to sow the seeds in the freshly revealed soil. Alfred requested that two seeds remained unburied and Arthur handed them to him with a really confused look on his face. He went in for a quick peck on the cheek and explained that he would understand in due time.

Alfred kept his end of the deal as well, which was swearing on his life that he would not neglect taking care of his new plants. He found himself nervous at first, re-reading the guide over and over like it was going to change procedures on him when he was least expecting it. The uneasiness eventually went away when he saw the first signs of growth pop up from the ground, causing him to drop his watering can in surprise. He found satisfaction when the buds appeared on the stems some time later, and was overcome with delight when they finally started to crack open. The day that the roses finally came into bloom, surrounded by bright sunlight in the morning, made Alfred's heart sing in bliss, admiration, and pride. The sight of his hard work in the form of red petals and dark green leaves was truly breathtaking and he enjoyed the feel of velvet petals against his skin and the rich aroma that filled his entire body when inhaled.

Although Alfred wasn't much of an artistic interior designer, he did like working with crafts and finding ways to preserve his memories. When Arthur had read him that page that one evening, he wanted to find a way to remember it forever. He considered just writing it down, but he thought that would be too plain for something that moved him so much. Then an idea crossed his mind about making some kind of framed portrayal of it, which meant he needed actual roses. He was glad that Arthur didn't question his hidden intentions anymore after the day the planted the seeds.

On Arthur's visit a few days after the roses had fully bloomed, he praised Alfred for doing a wonderful job with them. Alfred felt his chest swell with happiness as Arthur reward him with a loving kiss, spending some time admiring them before they went inside for a delicious dinner prepared by Alfred. Afterwards, Arthur led him into the living room, pushing him down onto the couch and smothering him with fervent kisses and heated contact.

"Geez, did you miss me that much?" Alfred said, laughing as Arthur pulled away reluctantly.

"I haven't seen you in ages! Of course I missed you," Arthur huffed, crossing his arms while he was straddling Alfred.

"Before I make passionate love to your needy body," Alfred said and Arthur blushed furiously. "I want you to take a look at something I made."

"Where is it?"

"Over there on the wall."

Arthur got up and walked over to where Alfred had pointed and looked at the single frame hanging on the wall. There were four sections - one containing a single seed and another with a stem and a tiny bud. The third had a larger bud that was halfway open and the last section had a fully bloomed flower. All of them had been carefully dried and pressed against parchment of varying shades. Underneath the flowers was a long quote written in fancy lettering, and Arthur read it quietly to himself as a smile developed on his face with each word.

"Ah. So that's why you wanted to grow roses."

"Neat, isn't it?" Alfred asked from his spot, still laying down on the couch with his shirt partway open. "I really liked that quote."

"And you really like keeping memories," Arthur remarked fondly, walking away from the beautiful artwork and back towards Alfred. "Unlike me who tends to want to forget them."

"You've had a lot of stuff happen to you," Alfred noted. "It makes sense why you are the way you are."

"So, why did it mean so much to you?"

Alfred sat up and shrugged nonchalantly.

"It reminds me of the love you invested in me. You've raised me up from a tiny boy to a young man, reading me bedtime stories, caring for my countless injuries, and teaching me how to become a respectable and skillful individual. When I was being all rebellious and spiteful, eventually declaring my independence from you, I could see how you still saw the good in me even as your world crumbled around you. Despite all of your the pain and sorrow, you took me back when I told you that I fell in love with you and missed you, giving me many years filled with joy and excitement."

He stood up when he saw that he had rendered Arthur speechless, taking a few large strides and enveloping him in his arms. He felt Arthur squeeze him back tightly and he grinned.

"No matter what happened," Alfred continued as he led the way towards his bedroom. "No matter what state I was in as a young child to a fully grown adult, I was always Alfred to you. An Alfred that you knew had the potential to be great and I wanted to thank you for your support and love."

"… You're… you're welcome, Alfred," Arthur said breathlessly as he was gently lowered onto Alfred's bed.

"Don't want to keep you waiting any longer," Alfred said, quickly unbuttoning the rest of his shirt and throwing it off. "I know you've been craving me all day."

"One quick question. Back when this all started, why did you ask for two seeds to be kept?"

"To make you an exact replica to put in your house. It probably fits in better at your house anyway since you are so conscientious about aesthetics," Alfred said and Arthur grinned brightly before grabbing his head and pulling him down for a hearty kiss.

"You're alright lad," Arthur said as Alfred started running a trail of kisses down his neck while he worked on removing his shirt. "But you sure made it bloody difficult for me to come up with something creative to give you in the future."

"You'll surprise me. You always do."


( 8 Admirers — Katsu no wa Hyotei )
Jul. 10th, 2011 03:24 am (UTC)

Inner Book of Tennis, huh? :-)

I do love that quote myself, actually. And that was a beautiful way to represent it!

*hugs you*
Jul. 12th, 2011 06:19 pm (UTC)
Inner *Game* of Tennis. I don't know about an Inner Book of Tennis lol!

It's one of my favorite books and it was recommended to me by my college marching band director in my second year. That quote was my favorite from the book, and ironically, it was his too.

*hugs* Thanks for reading!
Jul. 11th, 2011 02:56 pm (UTC)
This is entirely fluffy, baaw. <3 Lovely fic.
Jul. 12th, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
Absolute complete fluff, yes. Quite possibly one of the fluffiest things I've ever written xD

Thank you for reading and enjoying it!
Jul. 11th, 2011 06:33 pm (UTC)
this was beautiful!!
Jul. 12th, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading and enjoying! Btw - your icon is adorable!
Jul. 11th, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
Awww, that is so cute!
Jul. 12th, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
^^ ! Thank you for reading and enjoying!
( 8 Admirers — Katsu no wa Hyotei )

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