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Some Friendly Advice

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John's days off were usually uneventful. He'd been accused multiple times of being 'boring' after college (most of these accusations came from Lafayette).. And maybe that was slightly true. He'd lived it up during college, barely making it into nursing school because he'd rather skip his freshman English class and sleep in.

However, this day had started off strangely eventful and he didn't quite know if that was a good sign or a sign that something was amiss.

When he opened the fridge that morning, he was shocked to see they were all out of milk (aside from Hercules almond milk, but it would be a cold day in hell before he willingly ate a bowl of cocoa puffs with ALMOND MILK). That was pretty unusual, considering that Lafayette didn't drink much milk- and well.. Hercules and his almond milk.. John was nonetheless confused about where all the milk went.

It wasn't until he felt a something soft and furry move across his bare feet, did he realize that something was certainly different in his mundane apartment. He, however, did not expect to see a small orange kitten at his feet when he looked down.

The scream he let out was loud, and certainly higher than he would like to admit. He took a few steps back as the kitten looked up at him, adorably confused.

That's when his foot tipped over a bowl of milk (his milk), and the contents spilled all over his hard tiled floor.

"LAFAYETTE.. HERCULES!" He screamed, not paying any mind to the fact that his neighbors would definitely be reporting him to the landlord- the scream definitely woke up everyone in his apartment complex.

He heard the shuffling of his friends' footsteps down the hallway and when he turned around four wide, brown eyes were peeking around the corner to look at him. He wordlessly widened his eyes at them and then motioned towards the innocent kitten who was attempting to lick the milk off the floor.

"What the hell is this?" He finally spoke, his voice rough from screaming so loud.

"A kitten." Hercules mumbled.

"You've met Gilbert!" Lafayette replied.

"You named a kitten after yourself?" John rolled his eyes, and then he remembered why the hell he was mad in the first place. "That's beside the point. The point is that.. No kittens in the apartment complex.. And you took all my milk."

"We have almond milk." Lafayette smiled.

"ALMOND MILK is not the same thing as regular milk, Laf!" John snapped. "It's crap. It's a poor excuse for milk and I don't know why anyone would drink it."

"I can't help that I'm lactose intolerant, dude." Hercules mumbled.

John gave Hercules an apologetic smile, because when Hercules found out he was lactose intolerant he'd quite literally locked himself in his room for a week because he could no longer eat ice cream. They also had to get rid of all of the ice cream in the house.

"Okay, back to the kitten.." Lafayette cut in the conversation. "I was walking home from the yoga last night, and I saw the poor little kitten without a mama.. What was I to do?"

"Uh- I don't know.. Leave it?" John shrugged, glaring at his friends as if it was the most obvious answer in the world.

"Who made you so heartless, you monster." Hercules gasped.

"I couldn't just leave it.. It was so cold, John." Lafayette regarded the small kitten with sympathy. "So I just took the kitten home with me."

"I couldn't say no to that adorable little face." Hercules butted in, and John decided not to ask if he was referring to the kitten or Lafayette.

"The apartment complex. The rules." John said slowly, trying to remind his friends that their landlord liked them so far and it would be in their best interest not to screw that up.

Lafayette and Hercules looked at their friend like they didn't quite recognize him. John knew that they were going to lecture him about how he was no fun anymore, and adulthood hit him hard.. Or that being a nurse was already giving him burnout.

"You need to get laid." Hercules wrinkled his nose. "George call you back?"

John groaned and practically stomped over to the couch, flinging himself on it and burying his face into the pillow. George King was the newest man John had attempted to date. It had been the worst, and that had been a week ago.. John had yet to tell his roommates.

Hercules and Lafayette were good together, so they obviously were trying to get him someone so he could be as happy as they were. Their relationship had started because they could only afford a two bedroom apartment, so Hercules and Lafayette had to share a room- it was all history from there.

"No.. And he probably won't." John pouted, tucking his head between the pillow and the back of the sofa. "I don't mind though because he talks about himself too much- and he chews with his mouth open. Also he's always talking about how everything is better in England or whatever."

"You remind him that we kicked their ass in the revolution?" Hercules chuckled.

Lafayette gave Hercules a gentle tap on the arm. "Don't get cocky, American.." He turned back to John. "You always find something you don't like with guys. The last guy was too quiet.. Now this guy talks too much?"

"Talks too much about himself." John corrected.

"Give him a chance." Lafayette said kindly.

John snorted. Give him a chance. John was notoriously bad at dating. He dated people for a few months and then he would grow tired, or they would do something that would be annoying to him. Not to mention, he wasn't the greatest with affection- but he blamed that solely on the way his father treated him growing up.

"Fine. Okay." John mumbled.

This seemed to appease Lafayette who placed a kiss on John's head, while Hercules headed over to clean up the mess on the floor and pick up Gilbert who meowed in aggravation because he was no longer allowed to lick up the milk.

"We must take Gilbert to the vet to make sure everything is okay.. We'll be back later and we can go out to eat?" Lafayette smiled.

John looked up at Lafayette suspiciously. Lafayette had been on a new health kick lately, and he was almost sure Lafayette would force him to go one of the fancy vegan places that he had no desire going to.

"..Pizza?" He said slowly.

"Sure." Lafayette smiled.

John smiled gently and watched as his friends walked out of the apartment, with the kitten nuzzling itself in Hercules neck. John was happy to be alone again, because talking too much about his failure in dating seemed to tire him out.

He closed his eyes, trying to get rid of his incoming headache. But much to his dismay there was a loud 'DING' from his phone before he could properly relax. He groaned to himself, knowing that Lafayette and Hercules wouldn't text him so soon after leaving the house.. So it was most likely George (John really didn't want to talk to him).

He picked up his phone and was surprised to see that it was from an unknown number.

Unknown: I'm really sorry for last night, Liza.. Thomas usually isn't like that. He's just really stressed out. I don't want that to be your first impression of him.

Before John could respond the unknown number sent another text message.

Unknown: Also my arm is fine, honest. He didn't grab me that hard.. I just yelled because I tripped.

John's eyes widened. He hesitated on the keyboard not quite sure how to respond to this text message. He knew that he should most likely just inform the stranger that they had the wrong number, but he knew a bad relationship when he saw one.

Me: Wrong number, buddy

John bit his lip before typing some more. He was always the type of person to make sure everyone was okay.. But he didn't even know this person.

Me: Is everything okay tho?

There was a pause, and John watched as the three dots appeared on his screen and promptly disappeared, indicating that the person had stopped texting. Soon there was another ding.

Unknown: Oh.. Sorry

Unknown: Yea, everything is cool. I'm just trying to text my friend Eliza but this is a new phone so ofc I typed in the wrong number.

Unknown: This is awkward

John chuckled at the series of texts from the stranger on the phone. He knew he was out of line with his next text but all he could think about was the way his mother would cry every time his father would grab her arm a little too tightly- the way Henry Laurens' hand had felt as it went across his cheek.

Me: No problem..

Me: But if he loves you, he shouldn't be hurting your arm.

John closed his eyes when the incoming text came in. He expected the person to tell him to go fuck off, or mind his own damn business- but when he opened his eyes he was surprised to see that wasn't the case.

Unknown: Thank you, stranger.

John smiled.

Me: John.

The person sent back a reply almost instantly.

Unknown: Alexander.