Alfred was always an curious child. He would sit for hours perhaps in a meadow, in his garden or even by the sea just waiting for something to happen. If it was an UFO or a horse he was intent on seeing I shall never know, though many who know him well may argue it was the UFO. Anyway, I am getting off subject. This is the story of the supernatural. I know what you're thinking "what is the person going on about?" Well, I'll show you. But first I need to paint the scene.
Young Alfred, dressed in his brothers red hoodie which he managed to sneak out of their double closet was sitting once again in the meadow near his house. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining bright and the grass had never looked greener. Birds were chirping merrily away in the tree's, the slow trickle of water from the lake over the hill could be heard and a light breeze ruffled his blonde hair. The only thing out of place in this meadow was a wand. It was a simple thing. A stick of black with a pointy golden star perched at the top. Maybe it was his brother's? Alfred cocked his head to the side as he surveyed it. Then again.. why would Matthew have a wand?
Without a second thought he picked it up, it was around the length of his arm. His eyes widened slightly as the object started to glow. Batteries? Motion sensor? He was young but he wasn't stupid. He knew how these things worked. Turning the wand over and over in his small hands a frown made it's way onto his face. Was it really glowing?
Somebody cleared their throat. Alfred froze, was it Ivan? Come to beat him up like he said he would? Or worse! Maybe it was Francis wanting him to play those weird games. He was put at some sort of ease though when he looked up. It wasn't any of his school mates in front of him. Not by a long shot. It was a man, he could see that. He didn't have a very good perception of age but he was sure he was quite a lot older than him, but not older than his parents.
The man stared at him, and he stared right back. Could you really blame him? It wasn't everyday an angel strolled into your presence. The so called Angel was dressed in a simple white shift, much like they wore in the early Roman times, it ran from one shoulder straight across his chest to join at the hip, where it fanned out in an almost skirt like manor at the bottom. If Alfred wasn't so astonished he might of laughed at the fact that a man was wearing such a thing. Gently blowing in the wind were two magnificent wings, they were pure white and lifted high above the Angel's head. The only thing that wasn't so Angelic about the man was his face. He had high cheekbones and he was rather handsome but it was painfully obvious that he had the world's largest eyebrows sprouting up under his tousled dark blonde hair. It seemed to suit him though, in a strange way.
Alfred stared at the man for around another minute before he noticed where the Angels gaze was directed. His bright green eyes, almost the same colour as the fields around them, were looking intently at the wand he held in his hands. Understanding dawning on him the little American boy cracked a grin, shuffling forwards slightly and holding up the wand, as if to say "Here you go"
The man seemed rather taken a back, a light blush spread across his cheeks in embarrassment. He took the wand though, nodding his head in thanks, he tucked the object in the waist band of his clothing, much like a pirate would a sword.
"What's your name?" Alfred chirped, a dazzling smile on his face.
The Angel looked at him, then to the wand and back again. A small smile made it's way onto his lips. "Arthur, my name is Arthur"
Alfred giggled. He was befriending an angel! How cool was that?! Matthew would be so jealous.
"I'm Alfred" he gestured to himself with one thumb "Want to be friends?"
Arthur didn't falter this time, although he did seem to be talking to himself for a few seconds.
"I'd like that very much" he chuckled. Such a bright little boy.
"Awesome! Hey! Let's go!" Alfred grasped Arthur's hand, strangely finding comfort in the fact that his hand dwarfed his own and started tugging him along. Before long they were running.
Alfred visited Arthur many a day, intrigued by his talk of far off lands, fairies, pixies and unicorns. Not that he believed him of course. Much like the way Arthur would always shake his head, laugh and ruffle the young boys hair whenever he bought up the subject of 'alien life' which promptly resulted in a pouting foot stomping Alfred. Today however the Angel had a surprise for the little boy.
"Where are we going?" whined Alfred, not liking the fact that Arthur was leading him blindfolded.
The Angel just chuckled, squeezing his arms to reassure him "To meet some friends of mine"
Alfred smiled, images of more beautiful angels appearing in his mind. Would they have trumpets and halo's like the pictures at church showed? Would they fly around and sing?
"We're here" the blindfold loosened and fell away.
They were by a wall, at the edge of a field it looked like. Alfred frowned, disappointment flooding through him. Where were the angels? Tears began to fill up his eyes and his bottom lip started to tremble. Arthur ruffled his hair again, smiling "Look, up there" Alfred's eyes followed the direction his finger was pointing in. Fairies! He gasped, stumbling back into the Angel in his haste.
"These are my friends. Would you like to meet them?" Alfred nodded, numb with excitement.
Arthur, who had a steady but gentle grip on his shoulders steered him towards the tree surrounded by the little people. The tree was lit up by brightly coloured flowers, vines wound their way round the tree trunk and down to the base. Little crystals were propped up in amongst the emerald green leaves, so that when the sun hit them the light shot off in a million directions, all the colours of the spectrum.
There were only three fairies. Or only three made themselves visible to the two as they approached.
Each one was wearing a miniature dress, one in mauve, one in yellow and one in green.
"Hello, Nieve, Nadia, Ophelia" Arthur nodded politely at them in turn as they flew to them, the widest of smiles upon his face.
"Who's this Arthur?" the fairy in the yellow dress, to which Alfred was sure Arthur had called Ophelia hovered in front of his face, scrutinising him with large eyes.
"This is my young friend, Alfred" Alfred gave her a little wave, suddenly feeling nervous. Would they accept him? He needn't have worried though. Ophelia gave a small giggle "He's adorable!" behind her the fairy called Nieve nodded, whilst the fairy called Nadia just shrugged.
Alfred smirked, guessing Nadia had an attitude and a will to be the centre of attention.
Arthur was truly turning into the little boy's best friend. Even if he did act more like a father figure in many respects. Alfred didn't care though, he was hanging around with an angel and fairies. His life was, as he liked to put it, 'awesome.' He was shown the inside of the tree, which was like a little house inside, small furniture, stores of nuts and berry's and various bits and bobs, such as hair pins, bottle tops and pens piled everywhere. When he enquired he was told these were treasures. It turned out the supernatural world was just as interested in the human world as we are about theirs.
The day stretched on and the temperature soared. Having no shelter from the sun beating down upon them Arthur and Alfred took to sunbathing. Nieve, Nadia and Ophelia were perched on their tree, muttering amongst themselves about the shoelace Alfred had given them as a gift. They were debating whether they could make a swing out of it.
"Alfred ~" Nadia, the fairy in the mauve dress flew down, stopping to stand on the young boy's nose. She was a light as a a feather. Alfred blinked at her "Yeah?" she put her hands on her small hips and Alfred raised an eyebrow.
"Do you swim?" he scoffed. Of course he did! Everyone knew how to swim! Even his brother Matthews polar bear knew how! "Duh" he said, the heat making him a bit irritable.
Nieve decided to take over then, she hovered next to Nadia, her delicate wings a blur as they worked to keep her up. "We have a special lake, it would help cool you down" she gestured to the sweat that was sticking his hair to his head and his hoodie to his chest.
Arthur shifted next to him, sitting up and stretching himself out like a cat that had just woken up from a long nap. "That sounds like a wonderful idea girls" Alfred nodded. Anything that could cure him of this heat sounded like a good plan. The Angel, the boy and the fairies all took hands and started making their way to the before mentioned lake. Alfred started moaning after a while as they walked so Arthur hoisted him up onto his shoulders, shading him under his wings.
The lake was surreal. It was the brightest shade of blue Alfred had ever seen, brighter even than the sky above them. He didn't waste a second, he tugged his hoodie over his head and stripped down to his boxers, he threw his clothes into the forest behind him. A devilish smile made it's way onto his face. "CANONBALL!" with all the energy he could muster he launched himself into the water, it ran over his skin like silk, it wasn't too warm, nor too cold. The perfect temperature, as though it was made especially for him.
Arthur watched fondly from the side, not wanting to wet his wings he sat on the bank, letting his legs swing freely in the cool liquid. The fairies flew around Alfred's head, sparkling in the bright summer sun, they were laughing and it echoed around them, sounding like music, Alfred laughed with them, finding joy in their happiness.
Yet, even the best things must end sometime. After around an hour or so of frolicking around in the water, in which time Alfred managed to soak Arthur to the skin, nearly squish the fairies and drown the low calls of "Alfred!" started up. Arthur paused from trying to dry Alfred's hair with a towel.
Not even a minute later a little boy ran out from the forest. The fairies made little gasps and flitted away to the safe haven of the tree's.
"Matthew?" Alfred asked, annoyance and disappointment evident in his tone.
The second boy was an exact replica of the first, yet his hair was a tad longer with single curly strand running down the side of his face and small glasses perched upon his nose.
Alfred groaned as his brother rambled on, stating how their parents were worried sick and how annoyed he was that he had taken his only good red hoodie.
It turned out however that Matthew could not see the supernatural. Which in a way was quite lucky for the Angel standing behind his brother, who had frozen at the sight of him but had now relaxed and was fiddling with his wand. Anyone could tell Arthur and Alfred's thoughts echoed each other "When is he going to leave?!?
Very soon was the answer to that question. It turned out the twins parents had sent Matthew out to search for his brother and bring him back home. Alfred was devastated. He looked as though he had just been told Santa Claus was not real. Alfred looked to the fairies, who were peering out from behind a golden leaf, to Arthur, who nodded and smiled at him.
The American boy smiled back. He would see them again. He saw sure of it. Gathering his clothes together he swung an arm casually around his brother's shoulders. Without looking back he proceeded to race his twin back home. The Angel smiled, watching the two boys retreat. Nieve, Nadia and Ophelia settled on the tips of his wings, they were holding hands again.
"We like that boy" they chorused, sounding like a wind chime.
Arthur chuckled, his eyes bright "So do I"
The days of summer heat were spiralling out of control. Almost every day was too hot to move.
Alfred however seemed to disagree. He ran to the meadow as fast as he could in the morning, this time wearing sensible clothing. "Arthur! Arthur!" the little boy flung himself at the Angel causing him to stagger backwards whilst he tried to get a grip on he child.
"Alfred! ~ why hello!" he smiled brightly, raising an eyebrow slightly "I thought you were spending some time with Matthew?" the mischievous smile Arthur recognised made it's way onto Alfred's face "I snuck away" the Angel rolled his eyes. Was it greedy of him to take this child away from his family and make him spend the day with him? The way Alfred was smiling adoringly at him he decided he didn't care.
They went into town. They had decided amongst themselves (including the fairies) that Alfred was old enough not to be questioned as to why he was wondering around town supposedly on his own as they doubted that any adults would be able to see the supernatural creatures. Even if they could they could easily pass it off as some sort of fancy dress gathering.
"Don't your feet ever hurt?" Alfred asked curiously, he was holding hands with Arthur as they walked down the high street. The Angel raised one thick eyebrow "Why would they?" he glanced down to his feet and then back up to the boy "You don't wear shoes" Alfred stated bluntly, like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
Arthur chuckled. The little boy had so much to learn. "It's more comfortable not to" he smiled down at the blonde haired child. Alfred seemed to consider this for a moment before shrugging. He wouldn't let anything trouble his mind for too long. As they walked further on he began to process his surroundings, looking for anywhere of interest they could go. His eyes lingered on a toy shop but he didn't make a move towards it.
"Ice cream!" Alfred screeched, eyes bugging. Ahead of them was an ice cream van, giant plastic cones were secured upon the front and Disney characters were painted across every inch of the vehicle. Arthur chuckled, squeezing the American's hand. "What flavour?" Alfred's eyes sparkled
"I can have one!?" the Angel laughed, a hearty laugh that made Alfred and the fairies smile.
"Of course!" he emptied a couple of dollars into the child's hand before ruffling his hair fondly "Knock yourself out" as Alfred sprinted off towards the van Nadia grumbled "Why don't we get one?"
Arthur rolled his eyes "A fairy buying an ice cream? Oh very inconspicuous Nadia" behind him Nieve and Ophelia laughed. "Arthur, Arthur!" the Angel looked up, the small boy was running towards him, holding an ice cream cone bigger than his hand. Arthur smiled "What flavour?" Alfred skidded to a stop in front of him "Mint chocolate!" Interesting. Smiling down at Alfred, Arthur bent down, he ripped a piece of fabric from his tunic "Come here. You're making a mess"
He gently wiped the smudge of ice cream from around the boy's mouth, laughing when he closed one eye and leant away from him in protest. "Let us try!" within a second Nadia, Nieve and Ophelia were scooping up the ice cream with their hands and stuffing their little faces. Within minutes it had turned into a full fledged foot fight. Alfred laughed in delight, not caring that his ice cream was being destroyed.
Arthur spoilt Alfred rotten. By the end of the day the little boy had another ice cream, a box filled with toy soldiers, a blue hoodie of his own (3 times too big as they only had adult sizes) and a book on the supernatural. Alfred well and truly felt special.
The fairies agreed to carry the bags. They were too interested in the toy soldiers to complain anyway. Arthur smiled down lovingly at the little boy in his arms. Alfred has drifted off to sleep, well, to say he drifted off of his own accord would be a lie, yet, Arthur would argue that he only used the power of his wand to help the boy along. His eyelids had been closing anyway.
Arthur tapped his wand to the window latch and it sprung up with a soft click. He was vaguely aware of Alfred's brother Matthew snoozing away in the bed against the opposite wall but he stepped silently onto the floorboards nonetheless. Behind him Nadia, Nieve and Ophelia flew in, holding the presents between them. Arthur gestured to the foot of the bed he was laying the blonde boy in and the fairies flitted down, trails of glitter hung to the air they had just moved through before fading away.
The Angel tucked the striped duvet around the child, his smile gone and a look that only a parent would give a child on his face. It was a protective look. Behind him the fairies whispered for him to come, alerting him that the parents were coming up the stairs. Arthur framed one half of Alfred's face in his hand, smiling at the boys face, his mouth had fallen down into a small O, his cheeks were flushed a rose petal pink and his hair was wind swept. He had never seen anything so sweet. "Arthur!" Nieve squeaked, hysteria inching into her tone. She was hovering at the window.
Placing a soft kiss on Alfred's forehead the Angel swung himself out the room, touching the lock once again with his wand so the window locked.
Back in the room, a small smile made it's way onto Alfred's face.
Alfred was sitting on his bed, his feet curled up under him. His tie was thrown across the floorboards below, he glared at it. He hated the clothes they made him wear to church. They were always too tight and looked stupid. He didn't understand why you had to dress up in your best clothes, surely God wouldn't mind If you turned up in jeans and a tee-shirt?
This wasn't the only thing making him upset. The fact that his parents had made him spend 'quality family time' with them instead of letting him see Arthur and the fairies was just plain cruel. He ran a finger over the painted face of one of the toy soldiers and sighed. He missed them. Especially Arthur.
He threw himself down against his pillow, fighting the urge to scream into it. Looking up at the wall he watched a fly slowly crawl up the surface. "I know how you feel" he mumbled to the fly, for once in his life feeling sympathy for the bug. It was trapped, like him.
He swung his legs over the side of the bed, slipping off the edge and landing noisily on the floorboards. Wrapping his arms around himself to try and warm himself up he pressed the button on his lamp, it flickered a few times before springing to life. A dull yellow glow which reminded him of Ophelia's dress colour lit up the darkness.
There was a window seat at the window, which, for once in his life he was grateful for. It was a beautiful night. The stars lit up the sky, each trying to out shine the other. Where was Arthur when you needed him? His mind wondered if he was perhaps up there, in the sky, flying around with his angel wings. He could imagine that.
Knock Knock. Alfred's eyes flew open. Had he fallen asleep? Was that Matthew? His parents? A smile made it's way to his face. A familiar hand ruffled his hair. "Hello Alfred" Alfred flung his arms around the Angel's neck, burying his face in the others sandy coloured hair.
"I missed you!" he blurted out, inhaling the mysterious scent that seemed to cling to the man.
A strong but comforting grip secured itself around the boys shoulders. "I missed you too"
They stayed like this for the best part of five minutes, just enjoying the closeness of the moment.
"Come on" Arthur shifted the child so he was sitting in his arms, almost like how you would hold a baby "Where are we going?" Alfred asked, curiosity getting the better of him as he stared up into the Angel's face. "To watch the stars of course" Arthur grinned. Before Alfred could remark they were soaring, the wind tore at his clothes and for once he was glad he was wearing a jumper, he buried his head into Arthur's chest, trying his best to protect himself from the cold.
The Angel chuckled and continued to pump his great wings so they pushed forwards through the air. No traffic was honking on the streets below, no people wandered along in a drunken stupor, even the crickets were silent. It was perfect. They settled on a grand tree, Arthur landed gracefully, not once losing his balance as he walked along the branch. He cradled Alfred to his chest as he carefully sat down. "Trust me" he whispered into the boys ear, nothing but ease in his tone.
Alfred nodded and he felt his legs swing loose for a second before settling on top of something. Against his back he was leaning against what he thought of as cushion. Upon opening his eyes he saw that he was sitting on the Angel's lap. Arthur's arms wrapped around his waist like steel bonds, he wouldn't let him fall.
They watched the stars for what seemed like an eternity. The bright orbs always seemed to hold a different secret, each one different and new. Alfred listened to Arthur's detailed description of the stars with interest, his baby blue eyes lighting up when he could find the constellations.
"Look! Look! Arthur!" he stretched forwards as far as he could and pointed. His little mouth a gape.
The Angel looked up. A small gathering of stars glittered above them. He leant his chin against the top of Alfred's head, he noticed the look of longing on the boys face as he lowered his finger.
Raising his wand to the sky it glowed a vibrant yellow "Close your eyes" he whispered into Alfred's ear. With a flick of his wrist the light continued to grow, it would've blinded any human eyes by now but his inhuman eyes had no trouble. Soon enough he felt the draw of another object and his wand dulled. Chuckling he pulled the object towards him, cupping it in his hands. Arthur peeked a look before telling Alfred to look. The boys face was like sunshine.
"Is that a..star?" Alfred gasped, bringing his face closer to the shining light floating in Arthur's hand. The Angel nodded, smiling contently. "It's yours" Arthur said softly as the light lifted up, it hovered above their heads for a few seconds before settling itself into Alfred's outstretched hands.
"Mine..?" Alfred asked, bewildered, his small face lit up by the orb, to Arthur he looked more angelic than any angel he had ever seen, including himself.
The boy laughed, a happy sound that resounded through the silent night. Arthur couldn't help but smile too. "Think of me, whenever you look at this star. Keep it close." Arthur touched a hand to Alfred's chest, where his heart lay "As long as you remember and believe, I'll be here" his smile lightened the intensity of his words yet the child nodded.
Alfred kept the star in a jam jar. He watched it day and night for many a year. Yet Arthur the Angel and Nadia, Nieve and Ophelia the fairies never came again. He swore to himself all his memories were real. Yet, 11 years passed and memories soon begin to look like dreams. The toy soldiers got passed on to Matthew and then on to a charity,as did the book, the hoodie finally fitted him but he could not remember where it had come from and he could not for the life of him remember what the empty jam jar on his desk used to hold.
11 years later and an 18 year old Alfred was getting ready to go out. He grabbed the blue hoodie off the back of his desk chair, his eyes lingering once again on the empty jam jar. Shrugging it off he slung his brown satchel over his shoulder and proceeded out the door. He had moved out as soon as he could, using the money his brother Matthew sent him monthly and the money that he had collected from doing paper rounds he had enough for a small one bedroom flat and enough to eat and drink. He was content.
A person who was not content though was Arthur. He was very far from it actually. He was slowly but surely sinking into a form of depression; his hope that the teenager might eventually see him again the only thing that kept him going. The Angel hadn't left the boy, not at all. Didn't he tell Alfred to wait? To keep him in his memory?
Arthur watched as the lanky blonde walked straight past him, his head bobbing to the beat of the music emanating from his Ipod, his eyes weren't bright any more. They were hollow and empty, just like the inside of the jam jar. Alfred was like the star, his spark had faded into nothingness. Sighing Arthur hovered behind the boy or should he say man now?
They turned into a grey building which Arthur soon recognised as a youth centre. Workers in regulation uniforms were sitting behind desks, either talking dully to a client, yapping on the phone or staring mindlessly into space. Alfred steered towards the last worker, a middle aged woman who appeared to be doodling, as they got nearer Arthur could see the beginnings of a flower etched on a notepad.
"Excuse me?" Alfred asked, leaning his hands down on the little counter.
The woman, seeming rather arrogant, ignored the man for around two minutes whilst she finished her drawing, lingering on the details. Arthur, even if he was an angel, felt like hitting her.
It took three turns of clearing his throat to finally get the workers attention, she sighed like it was the hardest thing in the world to actually pay attention and raised one greying eyebrow at him.
"What can I do for you, son?" her voice was raspy, like she had smoked too many a cigarette.
"Jobs" Alfred pointed to the little pin up notice that professed youth partnerships and grinned.
At least he wasn't turning into a dead end Arthur thought, watching as the two yapped about sign up sheets and such.
The Angel was rather pleased, he watched Alfred speak politely to everyone he met, look both ways when he crossed the street and even help a elderly lady with her shopping. He vaguely remembered one of the conversations he had with the seven year old boy, he could almost see his dazzling smile and his excited expression as he spoke of "being a hero" and "helping the community" This must be his way of doing good.
All happiness stopped dead in their tracks when Alfred walked into McDonalds. Arthur had been following Alfred for a long time so he knew of the man's bad food habits but it never ceased to annoy him. He had been there the day he got his glasses for the first time, he had been there for his first day of high school, he had even been there for his parents funeral and it had almost killed him watching Alfred sob whilst he stood next to him, unable to comfort him.
He had stayed though. For over a decade he had stayed. In a way he felt betrayed, but, as he watched Alfred skim through the job offers whilst biting into his burger, he also felt honoured. He knew this boy, even if he didn't remember him and couldn't see him, he had known him. A smile hinted at the corner of his lips as he recognised the blue hoodie the other wore. It finally fit him.
Nieve, Nadia and Ophelia watched silently, which was a first for them. They knew how much this had hurt Arthur, hell, they had been there those long nights of crying and abuse. They had been there when Arthur had snapped his wand and yelled up at the stars.
Arthur began slowly chewing on one of the so called 'fries' the American man had bought as he watched the other intently. He hadn't changed much. His hair still stuck up at the front in an almost cow lick fashion and his eyes were still the brilliant shade of baby blue they always had been. He looked older with glasses and even more like his brother. The Angel's lips turned down in distaste as Alfred's phone started ringing, the screen lighting up the name 'Kiku Honda' He didn't like it, the way the small black haired Japanese man looked at Alfred. He didn't like it one bit.
Obviously oblivious to this, Alfred swallowed loudly and flipped his cell phone up before jamming it to the side of his head. "Yo Kiku" he listened to the other line for a few seconds before smiling "Sure I'm free"
Arthur watched Alfred go with sorrowful eyes.
"Arthur.. I'm su-"
"I said SHUT UP" Arthur yelled, batting the concerned fairies away violently with a hand.
He didn't need them. He didn't need Alfred. He was an angel. He would fly.
Stretching his pearl white wings out to their full length he ran a few steps before throwing himself into the air. Pushing himself forwards he shot off towards the clouds, a look of complete concentration on his face.
Ophelia sighed and massaged her little arm. She knew Arthur didn't mean it. He wouldn't hurt a fly, let alone his friends. Looking up she saw the elder Alfred, he was walking away with his hands in his pockets.
"I am very disappointed in him" for once Nadia and Nieve could do nothing but agree.
Arthur watched Alfred sleep with an expressionless face. He often had done this, just come into the house to watch him sleep. He looked so innocent and care free when he slept. He hadn't been there to welcome him home, to watch as he flung himself down on the sofa fully clothed, not even bothering to take of his shoes and slip into his slumber.
The Angel had drifted in through the window, just like he used to. He very carefully removed the man's glasses, setting them down on a nearby table. He had just watched then. Sitting there for hours, his hands wrung together on his lap. He wouldn't cry. Crying never helped.
In his memory he saw the child smiling at him, laughing in delight at the fairies and canon-balling into the lake. He saw the look of joy on his face as he ate his mint chocolate ice cream and played with the toy soldiers. The look of euphoria on Alfred's face when he had given him the star had stayed with him through the years, the same old scene replaying in his mind time and time again.
Ruffling the hair atop his head with a hand he knew the man wouldn't be able to feel the Angel smiled bitter-sweetly down at the person below. Without a word more he disappeared, a faint glow and a few feathers clung to the air in his place before dissolving down to the ground like sand.
Where was he? Alfred frowned, looking around for any person of object that might alert him to his whereabouts. His eyes widened ever so slightly. His house? He stumbled forwards, losing the will to stand as he saw his parents through the window. Tears flooded to his eyes but he wiped them away hastily. This was a dream, it had to be.
Crack. Looking down he noticed what looked like a stick wedged under his boot.
"Oi! Mister!" a small boy dressed in a red hoodie hit his leg roughly, glaring up at him with a look he knew all too well. It was him, just seven years earlier.
"You stepped on the angels wand! And look!" he pointed down to the ground accusingly when he lifted his foot away "You broke it!" the small child pouted, cradling the pieces in his arms like they were his most prized possessions. The elder Alfred smirked.
"The 'Angel'?" That was stupid. Did he really used to be this dense? The younger him rolled his eyes like he himself was the stupid one. "Duh! Don't you remember?" Alfred shrugged, looking over the boys head to once again watch his parents. They were talking animatedly to his younger brother Matthew who was as always hugging his favourite polar bear.
The meadow! Alfred grinned in recognition. Of course! This was the meadow outside his old home. How could he have forgotten that? He used to spend all day out here but doing what he wasn't sure.
"His names Arthur" Alfred looked down again, his face one huge question mark.
The little him rolled his eyes again and mimicked wings "The Angel. His names Arthur, he's over there" Alfred followed the young boys finger but all he could see was hill after hill of lush green grass.
He chuckled, blowing it off as a child's imagination running wild. He always had been a dreamer.
"Kid, you need to get your head out of the clouds" he ruffled the child's hair smugly.
Shaking with anger at not being taken seriously the boy shoved the man's hand off him with as much strength as he could muster, he shoved the pieces of the shattered wand in the elder Alfred's face, his eyes wide and unblinking. Tales of fairies and unicorns flowed from his tongue, tales of spending days on end with the Angel.
Alfred face palmed. This child was insane! Was this really how he had appeared? He felt automatically sorry for Matthew. When he bought his head back up though the boy was glowing . His eyes bugged out of their sockets.
"W-what's that?" he asked, pointing at the floating orb in the child's hands like it was some sort of monstrosity.
But he knew already. He knew as surely as he knew himself that it was a star.
Memories began flying at him like bricks. The meadow, the lake, town, the feel of the Angels hand ruffling his hair.
Alone. Arthur was alone. A unbelievable weight of guilt settled on his shoulders. He imagined the Angel slumped in a tree, not even the fairies, who he could now name, around to help. His wings were no longer held up proudly but were slumped down against his back, lifeless.
He stretched , his hand reaching out. How could he forget? The memory of the night the star had been taken down from the sky, the memory of sitting on the Angels lap and of Arthur's smile were pushed to the front of his mind. A bright light began to fill his eyes, it was blinding, he squinted against it though, pushing his hand forward inch by inch, he had to reach the star! Eventually though he had to close his eyes and the light overthrew him.
Alfred's eyes flew open. His hand was raised, reaching outstretched in front of him. His fingers were closed. Unfurling his fingers he felt a pang of disappointment, no star shone out brightly from his palm. He swung his legs round until they found the floor.
Eyes wide he blinked. This was impossible. This couldn't be right. No lamp or candle was lit yet Alfred had no trouble finding his way. He stared, his heart beat accelerating with either fear or excitement, he couldn't tell. The jam jar was full. It was glowing as brightly as his newly restored memories. But that would mean - "ARTHUR!" he yelled, throwing himself off the sofa and out his front door. He didn't even care when it slammed shut behind him, no doubt locking him out.
He followed his gut. It sounded stupid and awfully cliché but it was true. He ran in the direction that he felt was right, no doubt clouding his judgement. The night air was cold and his breath flew out little clouds of moisture as he ran, his chest heaved with the effort and his eyes strained, trying to see to the best of their ability through the blur that was his vision without glasses.
Eventually he found it. A single tree in amongst the long grass. It stood on it's own, no surrounding buildings or tree's, just 'it'. His chest burned with the after effect of exercise. But if his heart was right it would be worth it. It had to be worth It, he had to be here.
"ARTHUR!" he yelled again, craning his neck to look up into the sky, it was a clear night, scattered with brightly shining stars. His eyes flicked around the night desperately. Where was he? His voice caught in his throat as the horrible thought of rejection arose.
He barely felt him at first, he only saw the light. Before long though he felt slender arms tightening around his chest and a body pressing itself against his back. The familiar feel of his touch and the softness of the Angels hair against his skin saddened him as much as it enlightened him. The guilt he felt was overpowering every other emotion.
This was what he'd been waiting for though. Consciously or sub consciously he had been waiting through the years to once again meet the Angel, his Angel his mind corrected him. He crushed the man to his chest, the feathers of his great wings brushed against his cheeks, they were as soft as satin. Resting his face in the shorter man's hair he inhaled once again the mysterious scent. It didn't smell of anything else you could associate it with, just him. It smelt of Arthur. And he loved it.
Tears trickled down onto his neck and he knew with all certainty they belonged to the Angel. He wouldn't cry though. He smiled, closing his eyes, savouring the moment. He had remembered. Arthur was real, the fairies were real, all those dreams were memories and the star was burning brightly once again.
As he pulled back Arthur's grip tightened on him considerably,sending a silent message: 'don't leave me' His placed a soft kiss on the top of the the Angel's forehead, opening his eyes to meet the large green ovals boring into his face. Reaching into his pocket he pulled out the jam jar, it illuminated his face and he smiled, Arthur stared at it as Alfred pressed it into his hand.
He knew by the look on the Angels face as he looked from the star to his face that he wasn't seeing him any more, he was seeing the him of seven years ago. The small child that would forever live in his memory.
"I promised" he slipped his hand into the Angel's, enjoying the warmth of it, unlike the times before it was Alfred's hand that now dwarfed the others.
The spark of childish curiosity was back in the man's bright blue eyes as he smiled crookedly down at the Angel
A beautiful smile lit up the Angel's features, his eyes moist with happy tears.
And Alfred knew, he knew with all the fibres of his being that Arthur was happy once again.