~Find The Cost of Freedom~
So there sat one stumped American and his daughter. It seemed that this girl had made herself at home next to him, which in Alfred's mind was a good and bad thing.
"Let me call England," he tenderly nudged the girl away from her comfortable spot.
"England?" She looked just as confused as him. "Like the country?"
"Did your mom not tell you who I am?" He pulled himself off the couch, feeling even more tired than when he had tried to sleep early. Her mother knew who Alfred was, or at least he thought she did. So he was going to have to explain the whole country thing to her? That was just peachy.
The little tike shrugged her shoulders and pulled her book bag onto the couch with her. It seemed that she was more than contented with her new abode. But he couldn't be concerned with that at the moment.
Alfred grabbed his phone off the end table. Quickly he dialed the number waiting impatiently for England to pick up his phone.
He could never recall the last time he was actually thankful to hear the Brit's voice. It was almost like music to his ears…almost.
"What?" The snippy man on the other end bit the simple one word question off.
"Bro! Are you still in town? I gotta see ya!" Alfred looked back down at the girl, wondering if he should try to explain it to Arthur over the phone or wait until he came over. "I've got something really big and I need your help."
"Of course I'm still in the area! I'm sitting at one of your bloody airports because my flight has been delayed. And see each other?" He tsked into the receiver. "Didn't we see each other enough over the last week at that charming meeting you threw?" His voice wasn't laced with sarcasm. It was coated so thick that could spread it on toast.
"Dude," Alfred cleared his throat and turned from the girl. He couldn't tell if it was embarrassment, bitterness, or contempt he felt at that second for the gentleman that was speaking to him.
"Daddy!" (f/n) proudly exclaimed and shook some papers at him. "Look what…"
He turned quickly, cutting her off, "I'm on the phone (f/n)… hang on." He didn't mean it to come off as rude or nasty, but it did. "Please just give me a minute with Arthur and then we can talk." His soften his tone to appeal to her.
She pouted a bit and crossed her arms with papers still clutched in them. He could see himself in her eyes when he didn't get his way. Is this what Arthur had meant by 'comeuppance'? As you make your bed, so you must lie in it.
"I think it positively rude that you're talking to someone else too, Alfred." Arthur dropped down into the uncomfortable plastic seat in the lobby of the airport. "And can't your stupid airports get chairs that…."
"Listen!" Alfred was on a spree of interrupting people. "Please come over. I need your help and don't know who else to ask."
"The hero asking for help?" Arthur smirked, but suddenly realized the desperation in the man's voice. And for the loud pompous American to ask for help was rare indeed. "This better be good."
"Thank you," Alfred gave a thankful sigh as he clicked the disconnect button on the phone and tossed it back on the table. Dropping back onto the couch he knew he just had to wait. But shoved into his hands where the important documentation that little girl had. Or at least it was important to her.
"Was that England?" (f/n) smiled and held out a few crayon drawn pictures to her new daddy. But she wasn't really concerned with the answer to her question. "This one is Mommy," she pointed at the first that Alfred had in his hands.
The simple drawing done on computer paper was a girl with long brown hair and big green eyes. It might have only been a child's drawing but it reminded him of that waitress.
He flipped through the pages and looked at the little people that were on each page. Even if she was explaining each and everyone Alfred couldn't get his mind to focus. He didn't understand why this girl was having an easy time adjusting to her new surroundings.
"Here," he grabbed the remote off the table and clicked on some cartoon. The pressure was breaking him down. "I'm going to go change before Arthur comes over."
"Who's that?!" She looked panicked at the thought of someone invading her new safety net.
"Arthur is my…older brother." He didn't know how to explain Arthur or any of the other countries. It wasn't going to be easy to explain why Arthur looked his age if he said that the Brit raised him.
He dashed up the stairs to his bedroom. Smacking his head into the wall as hard as he could caused the sudden rush of pain to course threw his body. He was really regretting calling Arthur to help. He wasn't sure at that moment what he was feeling for the wee little one sitting on his couch watching his TV at the moment.
"Don't blame the kid Al," he scolded himself. "It's not her fault. It's not her mother's fault. It's yours!" He started on a spiel that no doubt would be coming his way again. Grabbing the cleanest shirt off the floor he slipped it on. "Don't I have any clean pants?" He groaned and sniffed the few pairs he took off the floor. "Now I'm going to have to do laundry all the time! Girls don't like to wear dirty things." Sniffing his nose to cleanest pair he put them on.
"Alfred!" The all too familiar limeys' voice called up the stairs. Around him sat two large duffel bags.
"That was quick!" Alfred flew down the stairs to meet him in the living room.
"Your taxi drivers are crazy blokes over here," Arthur grumbled. "Now what did you want to show me?"
Alfred for once in his life was speechless. He pointed over to the couch where (f/n) was sitting. But the couch was empty. The pit of Alfred's stomach started to turn.
Arthur turned his head and sighed. "My Little Ponies? So sorry, but I've seen this episode already." Arthur picked his bags up and swung them over his shoulder. "I'll send you the bill for the two taxi rides I needed this afternoon. Make sure you don't send any of that funny money of yours."
"(f/n)!" Alfred shirked. "Where are you?"
"Who in the bloody hell is (f/n)?" Arthur turned and dropped his bags. "Do you have a lady friend over?"
"Where is that stupid note?" Alfred ran over to the coffee table, shifting the paperwork around. Sending a blue streak of obscenities threw the air even put a blush on the British man's face.
Arthur stood above him with arms crossed, his typical M.O. "Isn't that cute!" Cue more sarcasm. "You two were coloring."
Knocking half the papers and magazines to the floor he finally found the note that seemed to weight a ton in the American's hand. He handed it over without a word.
The Englishman's eyes scanned over the note. Pure awe would be the description of the look on his face. He knew there was no way this was a joke. Not only the air that the American gave off but the penmanship was impeccable.
"Where is (f/n)?" Arthur looked from the note and carefully handed it back over.
Alfred shoved it into his pocket and shrugged his shoulders. "She was watching cartoons while I changed. And…"
"I thought I heard something in here," Arthur couldn't help but frown. He wondered if Alfred of all people could take care of a child. "I must have startled the girl."
"(f/n)?" Alfred called again and dropped to his knees to look under the couch. Nothing but a few wrappers, DVDs, and science/food experiment that went wrong. "Hey!" Alfred pulled a DVD case.
"Did you find a family of opossums under there?" Arthur chuckled at his joke. "Don't you think we should try to find your daughter?"
Alfred was glad at the moment that Arthur couldn't see his face. It felt kind of good to hear someone be called his daughter. Not a state or ward.
"Maybe the girl likes to hide like you used too." Arthur smiled. "You used to like the kitchen cabinets. Do you remember when you would try to scare me by jumping out of them?"
Alfred started for the kitchen and pulled each of the bottom cabinets open. There was no sight of her.
"Dude! Where could she be?" Alfred groaned loudly. "How the heck could I have lost her already?"
"Let's be real about this," Arthur raised a hand in the air to calm the sandy blonde's mind. "She is still in the house. The girl is just hiding from us. So we just have to find her."
Alfred knew that was easier said than done. (f/n) could be anywhere! Then started the two boy's great expedition to find the missing girl. They both looked over the house top to bottom, but came up empty handed. On the plus side Alfred did find a few things that were missing.
"Did you hear that?" Arthur pointed to a linen closet. Pulling opened the door he spotted a set of big (e/c) eyes looking back at him. A small peep escaped from under the pile of towels and blankets that covered the girl. "Come here love." Arthur kneed in front of the pile of fabric.
Alfred too kneeled next to the Birt. "It's okay (f/n)! This is Arthur."
"Daddy!" Out ran one petrified girl into her Dad's open arms. Towels flew into the air and onto the floor as she jumped into his arms. "You left me!"
"I didn't leave you!" Alfred stood still holding the girl. "I told you I had to change."
(f/n) nuzzled her face into the fabric of his shirt. "Don't do that again."
Arthur had a great big grin on his face. This was going to be fun indeed.