sherlock, lord of the rings, doctor who, supernatural, once upon a time, atla/lok, homestuck, &more.
Hullo; you’ve reached Arthur Kirkland. I’m unavailable at the moment, but if you leave your name and a brief message after the beep, I’ll get back to you promptly - unless you’re a wine-sipping, frog-leg eating-
He is silent for a long, drawn out moment, before he forces a smile and begins to talk.
"Wow, uh… it’s been a while since I called ya like this, huh? Sorry it’s on short-notice; it was a spur-of-the-moment kinda deal! So, uh… Hi! Uhm, this is Ameri- …Alfred, by the way. But, uh, ya probably got that, huh? I’m not, uh… wow, I’m not myself right now, haha! You’re probably rollin’ yer eyes an’ makin’ fun of me or somethin’, huh? Man, I must sound so lame! But, I… it doesn’t matter now, I guess."
He takes a deep breath.
"So, yeah! I’m doin’ okay, y’know? Tryin’ to get things back the way they were. The economy’s kinda a mess still, but it’s gettin’ bett-… Shaddup, Tony! I can do whatever I w- I know he is- just go away! … Heh. Sorry, Tony was bein’ a jerk an’ tryin’ to get me off the phone. He’s just jealous that I’m talkin’ to you an’ not him! Well, talkin’ to yer machine, anyway. I mean, that’s… that’s really all I-…”
He pauses, shuts his eyes for a moment, then laughs weakly, sadly.
"… I-I must be losin’ my mind or somethin’! I mean here I am, gettin’ myself down, just waitin’ fer you to pick up your stupid phone an’ tell me to shaddup. Are you there? Well, I mean, I know you aren’t, but… can ya hear me wherever you are? I dunno if you can, but can’t ya just, y’know, do that thing you do and get all upset and yell at me? Just this once? I must be crazy to ask fer that, but if it means hearin’ ya, I’ll take it."
His breath began to shake.
"… Please, England. Just… just yell at me like you used to. Call me a git; rip me in two; tear me down; I don’t care - I just- I need to hear you. Please, Arthur, I… I can’t take it anymore! Just- just pick up the phone… P-pick up the phone and say something - anything…”
Alfred’s face presses into the Union Flag-patterned pillow; somehow, it still smells like Arthur. He takes in another deep, shaking breath that makes his body tremble. Finally, the tears fall and re-stain the pillow. He tries to compose himself and fails miserably. “Please, Arthur,” he chokes out, “I miss you too much. I-I can’t do this by myself; I just… I need you back…” He sobs into the phone, “I need you back!”
'I'm so lonely without you.'
Even two months later, he reserves a seat for Arthur at meetings. He still makes jokes about the English gentleman and waits for an angry reply; all the American ever receives is silence and the sad stares of his fellows. He knows they think he’s lost his mind, to still believe that England’s heart is beating somewhere far away. But deep in his soul, America knows he’s gone. He simply refuses and can’t let go of the man who had been in his life the longest, the one he had been been saving three words for; the one who never got to hear them.
"Why’d you have to go?" Alfred asks quietly, childishly. "Why you?” His arms clutch the pillow closer and he sniffs weakly. Quiet settles all around him. He waits, his heartbeat pounding hard in his chest - a drumming noise in his ears, for some sort of reply. Yet, for all his wishing, he hears nothing but the faint static of the transatlantic phonecall. Sadness chokes him as he buries his face in the pillow again, muffling his voice. “… That’s okay; I know you’re busy. I’ll… I’ll call back again real soon, okay?”
Alfred closes his eyes and rests his head on the pillow, murmuring into the phone, “… I love you, Arthur.” His heart aches as the three words spill from his mouth. His fingers clamp the phone shut once more, and the American curls into himself to hide from the world, to escape his sorrow, to stay with his memories and all he has left of the United Kingdom.