You sighed. Alfred F. Jones, your childish American friend, was begging you for mercy for two hours straight (or so you have counted). You could have given in to his pitiful request, but that would defy the deal you two made.
“Alfred, you are not going to die. You can go one measly day without them.”
He was begging you for permission – permission to eat burgers. As much as you loved the guy, which you literally do, you had to be strong. You couldn't give in to his long, desperate begging or his teary puppy-dog eyes; no matter how much you wanted to. It was the only way if Alfred wanted to see results.
“But _____!” He whined. “I'm going to wither away into nothing if I don't eat anything soon!”
“Yeah, you'll wither away into your own fat,” you muttered. “Look, how about I make you a nice salad?”
The deal you made with Alfred was that if he could lose weight and eat healthier, you'd reward him. Sadly, that deal was made a few days before, and Alfred was already caving in.
“I don't want a salad...” he pouted.
“Well, that's too bad. You have to eat something nutritious. I'll even add some chicken for protein if you want.”
“... I still don't want it....”
You didn't want to force Alfred to eat healthier, but, honestly, he was overweight. Whenever you came over to his house, you'd find fast food containers, candy wrappers, and lots of other garbage laying around. Oh, and you certainly didn't forget that his X-box was always on as well.
Everyone could see his stomach protruding out of his shirt. To add insult to injury, people would make fun of him for it. It was a sad sight to see Alfred being laughed at, but society was never really sympathetic from the start.
It wasn't always like this though. Alfred was really fit until recently. Hot if you had to be completely honest. However, that's beside the point. Something happened, and it was a mystery to you.
“Come on, Alfred! You can do this!” you shouted.
“I-I'm... ugh.... can't...!” Alfred huffed
You suggested that you and Alfred go for a little jog. On the other hand, at the pace you two were going at would qualify as a power walk (sort of...). You were lightly jogging ahead; turning around every so often to check up on your friend. Alfred was lagging behind; hunched over and struggling to breathe another breath.
His lower limbs were under pressure from the excess body weight. Alfred's heart struggled to supply his body with much needed oxygen, and his lungs were working overtime to supply his heart with that oxygen. It was difficult for Alfred to push his body like this, but he was determined to keep up with you.
A half mile later, you stopped and waited. Alfred had stopped not too far from you. He placed both hands on his knees, gasping for air. You walked over to him and handed him your water bottle. Alfred snatched it and practically inhaled its contents.
“That wasn't so bad, was it?”
“U-uh... it... ugh.... kinda was....”
“Well, I'm very proud of you.” You wrapped your arms around Alfred as you brought him into a hug. Alfred was taken off-guard by the embrace, but he didn't complain. He hugged you back weakly, but happily. Sadly, happy moments don't last forever. “So, ready to jog back home?”
You carefully lifted the tray; balancing a steaming plate of scrambled eggs, bowl of oatmeal, and cup of O.J. on it, you made your way up the staircase. The house was quiet, and Alfred was dead asleep in his bedroom. You walked in, noiselessly pushing the door open, and gently placed the tray on the night stand. Then you shook Alfred's shoulder.
“Alfred~ Wakey, wakey,” you whispered. Alfred was as still as a rock. You shook him harder, but he only grumbled something incoherent and turned his back to you.
Now you were pissed.
“Wake up, dammit!” you shouted. You hopped on Alfred's bed and (being the childish person you are) began jumping up and down, chanting for the blonde to get up.
“... I'm up.... Stop jumping....” Alfred groaned, still not moving.
“No,” you refused. “Not *jump* 'til *jump* you get *jump* up!”
Sooner or later Alfred sat up (with your help because he couldn't do it himself). You handed him the tray, his glasses, and told him to eat. Alfred obeyed sluggishly.
You sat there with him as he ate. On the inside, you felt guilty for putting Alfred through his diet. It must have been torture for the poor guy. What you couldn't wrap your head around was why Alfred suddenly began eating so much? And Alfred had also began avoiding/ignoring his friends, including you. This had feed into your own loneliness. Life seemed much more bland without your lovable American around.
“Hey, Alfred....” you started. Your (e/c) eyes were focused on the floor, and yet they also seemed distant. Alfred looked at you. He didn't say anything for a moment because he was in the middle of finishing his eggs. In that time, he noted your thoughtful expression.
“What is it, _____?”
“You know I'm doing this for your own good, right? I don't like seeing you struggling with.... You know. The extra pudge.” You glanced down at Alfred's stomach. Alfred looked down as well, and frowned.
“Yeah.... I know,” he grabbed the pudge and gave it a light squeeze. Alfred sighed.
“Hey, don't do that. Come on, we can get through this!” You slipped your arms around Alfred's torso and hugged him tightly. “I'll be there to help and support you, kay?!”
“Haha, thanks, _____! You're the best.”
Alfred had cheered up rather quickly, which made you happy. You were more determined to help Alfred lose the unneeded weight.
~:~:~Two weeks later~:~:~
Alfred was doing well. He had lost a significant amount of weight, but just enough that you were able to touch your other hand when you wrapped your arms around Alfred's waist. But still, he was making good progress. He was also returning back to his usual cheery self again. Things were turning up for the two of you.
This weekend, Alfred was going away for another conference as a representative for the United States. You didn't know much about what happens at these conferences he attended, but that was Alfred's business. He'll be gone for about a week.
You were at Alfred's house once again, but this time you were just helping him get ready. Alfred smiled as he buttoned up his white collared shirt.
“I can't remember the last time I wore this shirt,” he said contently. You walked over and snaked a simple black tie underneath Alfred's collar.
“That's because you were never able to fit in it without it ripping,” you joked as you began making his tie. You could still see some of Alfred's stomach sticking over his belt, but it was definitely better than before.
“But not anymore~” Alfred sang. You chuckled lightly and continued with his tie.
In the meanwhile, Alfred watched you closely. He noted your (h/c) hair and how it fell around your face. He could see your gentle (e/c) eyes through your eyelashes as they focused on the task at hand. Your skin looked soft and rosy, tempting Alfred to raise his hand and caress your cheek. It really was soft.
“Alfred? W-what are you doing?”
Alfred didn't realize what he had done until you called him out. He actually had his right hand sitting on your cheek. You were already blushing, but Alfred soon joined you and jerked his hand away.
“S-sorry, _____.... I was, uh.... spacing out,” he laughed nervously. “Um, thanks for tying my tie.”
“Eheh, i-it's no problem.” You tried brushing off the awkwardness as well. You two stood there, not daring to look the other in the eye. “S-so... do you have everything you need for your trip?”
“Yeah. I just gotta wait for the cab now.”
And so, both of you waited about twenty minutes until the cab arrived outside the house. You helped Alfred carry his luggage into the trunk and checked the house one more time to make sure nothing important was forgotten.
Just before Alfred stepped into the cab, he hugged you tightly.
“I'm going to miss you, _____.”
“You'll only be gone for a week.”
“I know, but I'm still going to miss you.” Alfred looked at you with those puppy-dog eyes that you knew so well.
“Aww~ I'll miss you, too, Alfred.” You brought him into one last hug before you pulled away. “And don't forget our deal. No junk food while your away, alright?”
“Yes ma'am.” He saluted you and then stepped into the cab. He waved at you as the driver drove them off the property. You waved until they were out of sight before leaving in your own car.
~:~:~At the conference hall~:~:~
Unbeknownst to you, Alfred was already in a bit of trouble. In front of him stood a man; he was also blonde, had intimidating emerald eyes, and eyebrows that could be not be missed. Alfred knew him as Arthur Kirkland, the representative for the United Kingdom. They were never really fond of each other.
This meeting was no different than the other meetings Alfred attended in the past. Everyone was talking or bickering, which made the meeting look more like a room filled with chatty, overly excited men.
“Stupide Anglais. You're eyebrows must 'ave grown since za last meeting. Why don't you shave them off and knit yourself a nice sweater?” jeered Francis Bonneyfoy, aka the representative of France.
“Belt it, beardy!” retorted Arthur. “Why don't you go shut your ugly face in the doorway?!”
Unfortunately, that was the last straw for Francis. The Frenchman tackled the Englishman, and they started to brawl. No one really cared about their fighting because this was very typical of them. Every meeting consisted of their arguing at some time or another.
Alfred, who believed himself to be very heroic, usually intervened in Arthur and Francis' fighting. However, there were consequences.
“Don't you two every get tired of fighting?” Alfred asked.
“Stay out of this! This fight has nothing to do with you.” Arthur was in the middle of strangling Francis, while Francis was trying to pull out Arthur's eyebrow. “Why don't you go be fat somewhere else? We're busy!”
“Excuse me?!” Alfred exclaimed. “I am not fat (anymore)!”
“Be 'onest with yourself, mon ami. You can barely see your own feet,” coined in Francis as he put Arthur into a headlock.
“I-I can see my feet!” Alfred swiftly glanced down. He saw half his foot, though the other half was covered by his stomach. He frowned slightly.
The meeting went on (somewhat) as the rep. from Germany took control of the other representatives. However, Alfred wasn't able to concentrate for most of the meeting. His mind was preoccupied with the comments that were thrown at him earlier. He tried to think about you and how you helped him get this far, but the remarks made him uneasy.
You paced around your living room, eying your phone for any noise, vibration, something that would give you a sign. Ten days have past and not a single word from Alfred. You were getting worried, but at the same time you weren't. You half convinced yourself that the conference was extended for whatever reason, and Alfred had to stay a little longer. It was nothing to be worried over. However, Alfred usually called you when he wasn't busy. How busy could he be to not give you a simple call or txt message?
Hmm... you thought. Maybe I should call him. Just to make sure he's okay.
Your phone rang and rang until...
“Alfred! I'm so glad you picked up. I-”
“Haha! Gotcha! Leave a message after the beep.”
“....” You exited out of the 'call' and began rubbing your temples. “Alfred, you idiot....”
Since that plan didn't work out, you decided to call a friend of yours. His name was Feliciano Vargas. You two met when you and your family went on vacation to Italy a few years back. Coincidentally, he was also the representative for Italy, so he should have been there at the conference with Alfred.
“Ciao, _____! It's been such a long time since you've called, bella,” chimed the bubbly Italian.
“Hi, Feli. How are you? You're not at a meeting are you?”
“Ve~ I'm good. And no. The world conference ended four days ago. Why do you ask?”
“.... Oh, well, I was wondering if you've seen Alfred.”
“Si, I saw him at the meetings. He was always fighting with Arthur and Francis. They were making fun of him for being fat, but I don't think he was that fat. He looked like he lost some weight, which I thought was kind of weird because he kept eating throughout the meetings and-”
While Feliciano rambled on, you became more concern than you were before. Alfred should have been home four days ago. Where has he been in those last four days? You nicely ended your call with Feliciano and ran out of your house.
You quickly drove to Alfred's house to see if he was home. In your mind, you thought about how you were going to scold him for not telling you about his whereabouts, or how worried you were for the past week and a half.
Just as you pulled into the driveway, you turned off the engine and sat in your car. You examined the house to see if there were any signs of Alfred's return. There were none as far as you could see. So, you left the car and walked up to the front porch. The front door was locked and the blinds were as Alfred had left them. When you looked at the blinds more closely, you spotted some light moving behind them. There were also the sound of gun fire, which led you to the conclusion that the television was on and so was Alfred's X-box.
“That son of a-” you stopped yourself and took out your keys. Since Alfred gave you one of his spares, you unlocked the front door and walked in. Alfred was unaware that you were there. And it startled him even more when you started to shout.
“ALFRED F. JONES! Where the hell have you've been?! Do you know how worried I was about you?!”
“_-_-_____, w-what are you doing here?” Alfred stuttered. “Um, I-I can explain-!”
You glared at him angrily. Then you noticed that the surrounding around at where he sat was a mess of food wrappers and garbage. Alfred wore his gray sweatpants, white T-shirt, and had his game control in his hand. This reminded you of the mess from before.
“Alfred.... What happened?” There was silence between you two, and Alfred wouldn't look at you in the eye.
“... I gained back half the weight I lost...” Alfred murmured with his head hanging down. You sighed and cleared a spot next to Alfred.
“Alfred, we talked about this. Why didn't you tell me instead of hiding away for four days?” You placed your head on his shoulder as you hugged him from the side.
“Because you would get upset with me.... And stop being my friend....”
“What? I would never stop being your friend, Alfred. Why would you think that?”
“...'cause I'm a fat-good-for-nothing...” Alfred said bitterly.
“Don't say that!” you exclaimed, shocked that Alfred would say such a thing about himself. You had always known him as a confident person, but something bad must have happened if his spirit was this broken. “Come on, you've got to tell me what happened.”
So, Alfred told you just that. He picked a few fights with Arthur and some of the other people there, but Arthur was usually the one to call him 'fat' and 'overweight.' Alfred said it bothered him so much that he began eating to make him feel more at ease. Then after he realized that he gained weight, he locked himself away.
“Aw, Alfred. You shouldn't listen to them. What do they know? They're just jerks.” You hugged him even tighter and hid your face in his shoulder. “And don't hide. I don't like it when you hide from me.”
“I guess you're right. I'm sorry that all your hard work had to go to waste....”
“My hard work? What are you talking about? You worked hard to lose that weight, not me; I was just there to help.” Alfred smiled and chuckled lightly.
“If that's the case, then you were a really big help, _____. You really are the best!” Then he pulled you into a squishy bear hug. You laughed. You were glad that Alfred was out of his gloomy state of mind, and you plan on keeping it that way.
“Hey, you do remember our deal?” you asked.
“Yeah. If I lost weight, you would give me a reward. But that didn't happen....”
"That's not completely true~”
“Wha-” You cut Alfred off by pressing your lips against his own. When you pulled back, you could see the surprise in his baby blue eyes. Both your cheeks were dusted in a light pink.
“You did lose some weight, so you should be rewarded for that. But if you want another reward, you're going to have to work harder for it.” You jumped off the coach and ran to the door. “I'll give you another kiss if you can catch me!”
“W-wait! I'm not ready!” Alfred struggled to get off the coach, then he started chasing after you. “_____! Wait up!” he whined.
“Come on, Alfred! You can do this!” you encouraged.
“Not this again...!”