Alfred F. Jones, an American air force pilot, strode into a London dance club late one Saturday evening, looking around curiously before catching the eye of a small blonde man across the room, who stared back for a few moments before muttering something and flicking the ashes of his cigarette into a small black tray. He replaced the smoke to his lips and looked back out over the dance floor, watching the cheerful servicemen dance with the just as joyful girls.
The pilot thought for a moment, watching the dancers as well before starting to make his way across the room, once again garnering the attention of the vivid green eyes before they flickered back to the floor, accompanied by some more muttering and another drag of the cigarette.
"sup?" cheerfully greeted the American, leaning back against the wall. "How come you're not out there dancing?"
"Find me a girl that isn't already taken," The other drawled, flicking more ash off the end of his smoke while giving the other a glance, "Unless that's your way of asking..."
The tall American jumped, "Huh?"
"My mistake, it's rather hard to tell when you Americans are flirting and when you aren't," The smaller said, "I've already been mistaken for a cross-dressing girl twice, and it's gotten a bit annoying." He put out his cigarette.
Alfred blinked before stepping away and looking up and down the smaller man's body with a frown. "Dude... I don't see it..."
"Neither do I," he replied. "I imagine the fuckers were either blind or drunk." He gave the other a look, "And I have yet to get your name."
"Alfred F. Jones!" he immediately answered brightly with a small salute.
"Another soldier here to fight the war?" the blonde asked sarcastically.
"Totally!" Alfred replied proudly while leaning against the wall once more, cleaning off his glasses. "What's your name?"
"Arthur Kirkland," the Briton answered, offering his hand.
"Nice ta meet you!" the pilot greeted, firmly shaking the hand.
Arthur nodded before dropping his hand and looking back at the dance floor, "Waiting for your date?"
"Hmmm? Nah, I totally just came to see if I could find somebody to dance with... I only just arrived on base."
"Brooklyn, New York."
"I should like to see New York one day..." Arthur hummed.
"You should totally come! It's a really awesome city!" the American bragged, dragging a chair around and plopping down on it. "Well, at least it is in the good parts."
Arthur raised a brow, "And the bad parts?"
"Not so good."
"Didn't think so," He sighed, fingering another cigarette before closing the case and tucking it into a pocket.
"You smoke a lot." Alfred bluntly pointed out.
"I've only had one today!" Arthur snapped.
"Dude, calm down..." the American said while raising an eyebrow.
The other shrugged, "Aren't you going to dance?"
"I dun see any girls to dance with."
"Who says it has to be a girl?" The blonde asked, standing up and waving to a handful of men dancing with each other due to the lack of women.
Alfred hesitantly glanced over in their direction, "It's kinda uncalled for where I'm from..."
"Well... suit yourself," Arthur mumbled, sticking his hands in his pockets.
"...Why, did ya wanna dance?" he asked, blinking down at the Brit.
"I thought to."
"Why didn't you just say so?" he asked, hopping to his feet so quickly that he sent the chair clattering to the floor. "Come on!" and with these words, he held a hand out for the other's.
"You sure?" Arthur asked, taking his hand.
"Totally!" and with fingers closing around Arthur's, the pilot dragged him out onto the dance floor. "But I gotta warn you. I'm totally a hepcat and ya gotta be awesome at dancing to keep up with me."
"I'm positive you will be more than satisfied," the Briton smirked, standing in front of the American and setting his hand on his arm.
A slender eyebrow (much unlike the other's) rose. "Aerobatics?"
"Of course," Arthur replied, waiting for him to start the dance.
"This is gonna be awesome." Alfred stated, tilting his head for a moment, tapping his foot as he got into the rhythm of the song before swinging the smaller blonde out.
Arthur kept a strong hold on the soldier's hand as he swung out, ducking under the other's arm and spinning back in.
In time to the music, Alfred took Arthur by the hips and hefted him up over his shoulders, slinging him completely over and into a back-flip, reaching hands through his legs for his partner's arms to pull him back to the front.
The smaller blonde quickly took his hands, sliding through Alfred's legs before hopping right back up and falling into step with the dance again.
"You're actually pretty good!" Alfred hollered over the music whilst Jitterbugging.
Arthur answered with but a smirk, stepping away only to leap back in and propel himself over and around Alfred's shoulder and head, landing nimbly back in front of him.
Alfred's face broke out into a broad grin. "Dude... You're awesome!"
Alfred just grinned idiotically in response as he swung Arthur out before spinning him back into his arms.
The Briton laughed, allowing Alfred to pull him into a fast Lindy Hop.
"How'd ya get to be so good at dancin'?" the American hollered over the band.
Arthur chuckled, "Charming, young Americans make good teachers.
Alfred tilted his head curiously while transitioning back to the Jitterbug. "Do ya really get Americans in here that often?"
"London is a wonderful place to base and organize before shipping out to Europe, so yes, we get quite a few Americans here," Arthur explained.
"Ohh, I guess ya spend quite a bit o' time here then."
The Englishman shook his head, "Not as often as you think."
"Really?" he asked, honestly a bit surprised.
"I do have a job, you know," Arthur chuckled.
"What do ya do?"
Arthur led him over to the bar, "I teach. More specifically, I teach Ancient History...Rome and Egypt..."
"Really? That's awesome!" he cried, taking a seat.
"Don't flatter me, it's not nearly as impressive as being a soldier and fighting for your country," Arthur mumbled, flagging down the bartender.
Alfred beamed at that comment, "I'm totally a hero!"
Arthur huffed and ordered a rum over ice.
"What?" he asked defensively, getting himself a glass of bourbon.
"I suppose so..." Arthur sighed.
The Englishman shook his head, sipping his rum, "Nothing."
"Oh shush you," Arthur huffed, "How long are you here for, anyway?"
Alfred grumbled, taking a sip of his drink. "Just a couple o' weeks."
Arthur nodded, finishing off his rum and staring into the glass for a moment, "...how about a walk?"
The American blinked before glancing back at the dancing couples. "Sure, I guess a walk couldn't hurt..."
The blonde grinned and paid for the drinks, leading the pilot to the door, Alfred following closely behind as he zipped his bomber jacket up against the cold of the London street.
"So... tell me about yourself, Jones..."
Precisely two and a half weeks later found Alfred in full uniform dress, standing on the edge of the air field with Arthur, who he had promised to meet. The Englishman stared at his feet, biting his lip.
"So... I guess this is it then..." the pilot said slowly, only to be answered by a choking sound from Arthur.
Alfred looked up at him with a frown, eyebrows furrowing as he reached out and put a hand on his shoulder. "It's gonna be fine, dude..." he comforted, assuming that his new friend was worried about the war coming to London again. "I ain't gonna let anything reach this city!"
The Briton rubbed his cheek, "Be careful."
"Of course I'll be careful! Ya don't have ta worry about anything!" he declared with his signature charming grin.
Arthur stared up at him for a moment, before pushing the pilots arm aside and hugging him tight.
Alfred blinked in surprised before wrapping his arms firmly around Arthur. "Hey... it's gonna be ok, I'll take care of all of those damn Nazis and Zeros so ya dun have ta worry about them anymore, kay?" he promised, resting his cheek on the top of the smaller man's head, who nodded weakly. Alfred rubbed his friend's back, trying to comfort hm. "Everything's gonna be fine..." he sighed, shutting his eyes. "You're gonna write ta me, right?"
"Of course, all the time," Arthur assured, looking up at him.
Alfred smiled, pulling away from the hug, lips unconsciously brushing over Arthur's cheek. "Awesome. 'cause I'm holding ya up to that, so you'd better!"
Arthur nodded, dropping his arms.
Alfred reached out, grasping the other's arm. "Dude, cheer up.."
He nodded, quickly scrambling to apologize only to be interrupted by a call for the pilots to board.
Alfred looked over his shoulders at the waiting P-51 Mustangs before looking back at Arthur. "Umm.." he said, hesitantly.
"Don't, I'll- I'll see you soon," The blonde interrupted.
Alfred smiled a bit, stuffing his hand into a pocket. "Yeah, I'll see ya soon... Save a dance for me?"
"I'll consider that a promise!" he said, giving Arthur's shoulder a final squeeze before turning for the planes.
Arthur watched him for a few moments before jolting and digging through his pockets for a pen and paper. Finding only an American dollar, he quickly scribbled a short poem on the back. He ran after the American, tugging on his pant leg, folding a locket into the dollar before holding it up to him.
Alfred looked down in surprise, having been looking down at something in his hand, quickly closing it. "Arthur!"
"Here, take this with you..." the Englishman said.
He took it, looking down at the folded up dollar. "Thanks..." he said, before hesitating and turning around, crouching down on the wing so that he was about eye-level with Kirkland. "Here..." he muttered, jutting out his hand, refusing to look directly at him.
Arthur blinked up at him, holding out his hand, "What...?"
Alfred shoved what had been in his hand into the Brit's, immediately standing and scrambling into the cockpit. "Just so you don't forget ta write!"
Arthur nodded, backing away from the plane, keeping his eyes on the American.
"Clear!" Alfred yelled out before bringing the engines of his Mustang roaring to life, taxiing to the runway once it had warmed up, glancing back at his friend as he went.
Arthur waved to him as he left, watching the plane until he couldn't any longer before lowering his gaze to the little silver cross that was attached to a long chain that Alfred always wore tangled with his dogtags.
Goodbyes are not forever.
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I'll miss you
Until we meet again!