Rating: PG13 or T or Whatever
Characters: France, England main with eventual FrUk. Cameos from others.
Summery: Arthur is your average London citizen: He works for a radios station and is attempting to pen his first novel. But Arthur is also the personification of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland..... What? What on earth is going on? And is Francis really th only one who can help?
It wasn't very often that Arthur set his alarm clock. Although not too keen on staying up late like Alfred, he wasn't a morning person either. At least not before his first cup of oolong or earl grey. So on this particular morning, when Arthur found himself repeatedly whacking the timepiece, it took him a few moments to realize that the sound was not coming from the clock but from his mobile. Which was placed annoyingly on his nightstand instead of on his desk where it belonged.
Disgruntled, he grabbed the device and flipped it open, hitting the speaker so he could just lay there, "H'llo?"
"Arthur? Man, I am so relieved that I got you!" Mathais' voice emanated from the phone, "Can you come down to the station?"
He raised a brow, stifling a yawn, "And why would I do that? I take the noon shift on weekdays. And if you haven't noticed- Its eight thirty on a Saturday!"
"Come on, Arthur," Mathais pleaded, "Gilbert called in sick and we can't just play music and commercials for hours on end!"
Groaning, he pulled a pillow into his arms, "So call Antonio in. He comes on at five anyway."
"I can't!" The Dane on the other end of the line whined, "He's got a date in a hour!"
"So," his face heated up in agitation, "that lets him off the hook and makes you call me?"
"Well, its not like you're dating anyone."
Arthur winced. Damn that man… Despite the fact that Mathais was his boss they had known each other since university. And since they'd known each other, the only action he'd gotten in the romance department was a handful of one-night stands and a few flings that barely lasted awake. In his opinion, the man knew him too well, "That's not the point! I'm working a concert tonight; the lights don't exactly control themselves!"
"What time do you have to be there?"
"Six. Sharp," he lied. The concert started at eight, which meant he only had to me there at seven to help get things ready. He just hoped Mathais was smart enough to realize that if he got off at five, getting to the stage supposedly at six wouldn't be possible.
"So I'll call Antonio and tell him to drag his lovesick ass in here by four thirty. I'm begging you here, Arthur."
He covered his face with his hands. Why was the world so against him? "Fine, I'll be there in half an hour. You owe me, Mathais."
"I sure do!" And with that the line went dead. Dragging the pillow in his arms over his head he sighed into the mattress. For not the first time in his life he wished that there was someone who would bring him his morning cup of tea. Tea…
The thought of his favorite beverage was, in the span of another five minutes, was enough to motivate him out of his warm sanctuary of a bed. He stretched, his back cracking just a bit, shook out his hair and, heading into the kitchen, put the kettle on to boil. Yawning again he ducked into the laundry and pulled out a pair of clean pants and a shirt, changing immediately and tossing his soiled night clothes into the hamper. Checking the wall clock he scowled, and pulled out a mug to make bagged instead of his preferred loose-leaf. Opening the cupboard he stopped dead in his tracks, mouth hanging open in shock.
There were four boxes of pre-bagged tea in his cabinet. All but one stood empty: the last an untouched gift from Alfred.
Arthur slammed the door closed, leaning his head against the wood as the kettle screeched and yelled at him. This was not his day. This was not his day. Turning the stove off again he snagged his coat from off the hook and slipped it over his shoulders. Pocketing the necessary items, wallet, keys, phone, he headed out into the London air.
The weather was unfortunately cold and by the time he made it to the bus stop it felt as if his fingers were going to fall off. Securing a seat by the window he stuffed his frozen hands under his arms and hunched into his coat. He closed his eyes, and outside the city gradually changed from apartments to store fronts they were in the heart of everything. The bus pulled up to the corner and Arthur disembarked, running into the building that housed the radio station. Mathais was waiting for him inside the door. "Arthur, thank god! I don't know how to thank you."
"Yeah, well," He handed the man his coat, walking towards the booth, "You can start by getting me a proper cup of tea. I didn't have time to get any before I got here."
Mathais saluted him, "No problem! I'm on it!" And with that he ran off, leaving Arthur to get situated on his own. Easing into his chair he fingered the various records before selecting one and getting everything set for when the current song ended. As the chorus line faded he slipped a pair of headphones on, pulled the microphone to his face, and prepared the cheeriest voice he could muster.
"Morning, Londoners. And for anyone who has to hear my voice at this ungodly hour of a Saturday, I apologize. I mean honestly, why would anyone choose to be up this early on a Saturday? Anyway, for those of you who are up and are accustomed to hearing the often grating voice of our own Gilbert Beilshmidt, the man's called in sick and you get me instead. I'm Arthur Kirkland and this is LPRI. Cheers."
Turning off the microphone he slipped in his selection and leaned back, letting the music wash over him. Oh, the things he would do for music. It was truly amazing, how the correct combination of notes and words could make one's soul want to fly.
Arthur opened his eyes as memories of the night before opened up in his mind. Thoughts of the story filled his consciousness, of the set designer alone on his stage wanting nothing more than to act in the places he created. Of the man with the wavy blonde hair and those piercing lapis eyes…
Before he could ponder the matter any longer the song came to a close and he pulled the microphone back to his lips, "That was Sting's "Send Your Love". And speaking of love, I'd like to give a brief mention of LPRI's Antonio Carriedo, who, instead of filling in for Gilbert and leaving me stuck here, is currently on a date somewhere out there on the London streets. So good luck Antonio. Get here soon so I can leave and try not to get a black eye like last time."
As he was about to put on the next song the phone started ringing. He glanced at the track in his hand, then shrugged and picked it up, "Hello, this is LPRI. You're on the air."
"AAAARRTYY!" Alfred's voice filled the studio, so loud he almost fell out of his seat, "Why didn't you tell me you were coming on air this weekend?"
Righting himself he scowled and gripped the microphone, "You god da- What do you think you're doing?"
"Calling you of course. Duh, Arty," he said from his end of the line.
"Well I am at work, you sorry excuse of an English citizen, and people listen to the radio for music. Not your increasingly annoying voice!"
"So I'll request a song then," Alfred retorted, "Play Born in the-"
Before he could finish his sentence Arthur cut the line and slipped ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" into the player. Safely off the air he leaned back and rubbed his eyes, only opening them again when Matthias stepped in with a to-go cup in hand. He took it gratefully, sighing as the flavors and scents of earl grey flooded his senses, "Mathais, if you really want me to thank me for being here on my day off then just get Alfred to stop calling me!"
"Stop calling?" Matthias laughed, leaning against the doorway, "Come on. We get our best ratings from your little tiffs. The listeners love it."
"Well I don't," He shot at his boss/friend, "One week. That's all I'm asking."
"How about seven Mondays instead of a straight week? Keeps everyone happy."
"Deal," he shook his hand before turning his attention to a legal pad resting on the desk next to a couple of pens. Taking another quick sip of his tea he snatched up the items and let out a sigh, preparing to write his first real novel. It would start with the rain. The rain and the warmth of the theater where the actors would take their positions and the set designer would watch and wish to be in their place…
In the background the song carried on, the lyrics drifting in waves through the air like his thoughts. The perfect tune to herald the beginning of a grand story.
"Hey you with the pretty face… Welcome to the human race…"
Foreboding ELO lyrics... what could they mean...? Oh well :)