You pulled Arthur out of the restaurant and, totally ignoring your car, you led him to a nearby park a few blocks down the street. You refused to slow your pace after what had happened. You wanted to just run to the end of the earth to escape Alfred at this point. You had always known the American to be impulsive and hardheaded, but you would have never pinned him as the person to ruin an entire evening!
When you reached the park, you allowed yourself to slow to a gentle walk, a welcome relief to Arthur who was tripping over his feet the entire way. You looked at the clock on the church tower across the street. It was just after four in the morning. Alfred had to blow the last two hours you had with Arthur tonight. You and Arthur sat down by the fountain and sat in silence. After what seemed like an eternity, you broke the silence.
Tears began to flow down your cheeks. Arthur, who had turned his face from you when he sat down, didn't notice until he heard you sniffle a bit. As soon as he saw you were crying he flew into a panic attack.
"___-_______, p-please don't cry, love. I-I mean, sure tonight didn't turn out swimmingly, b-but there's always some other time, right?" he blurted out quickly.
"It's-it's not that." You said through your tears. "I wanted tonight to be perfect. Just a normal night, in a lovely restaurant, eating fantastic food, drinking fine wine, and enjoying each other's company. But then Alfred ruined the whole thing!"
"No, _______, Alfred didn't ruin it! I had a wonderful time! I swear!" he grasped your hand in his. "The food was amazing, the wine was rich, the restaurant was beautiful!"
"I know I know! But I didn't care about the dinner or the wine or the restaurant at all." You hung your head lower. "I just wanted to…you know…make…you…make you feel…" you drifted off.
"Feel what?" he asked, leaning in.
"Human." You stated.
"Oh…I see. I suppose what he said hit both of us pretty hard then." He said with a small, sad smile.
"He had no right to say that." You said, more tears running down your cheeks.
"I know." He wrapped an arm around you comfortingly, "But it can't be helped. What's said is said and what's done is done. You know that he's right. I can't help what I am."
"Don't say that!" You snapped at him, pulling yourself away. "Don't agree with him! I can't believe what I'm hearing! You're anything but a monster! And you know that I will never say that!"
You continued to cry, dropping your head low again. Arthur scooted closer any held you again, remaining quiet.
"I just wanted one night." You continued, your tears turning into sobs "I just wanted one night where you weren't reminded that you were cursed. I wanted one night where you didn't feel like a monster. I wanted one night to make you feel like a normal human again. And I couldn't give it to you."
"_______" Arthur said, lifting your face so your (eye color) eyes met his emerald orbs "Your lips are moving but I don't understand a word you're saying. How could you believe you failed? Tonight was probably the best night I've had in 200 years."
"What are you talking about?!" you asked him, looking at him as though he'd lost his mind "It was a disaster! Alfred—"
"Forget about Alfred, _______." Arthur cut off your sentence. "Do you know what happened when we walked into that restaurant? I saw people look up. They looked at me. And do you know what happened? They thought I was completely human. Not one person in that eatery saw me as a monster or a doll or a soulless shell of a man. For a few hours, I was a human. I was just as human as the man at the table across from us, as the woman behind us, as the old man on the other side of the garden, as human as all of them. More human than I've been in two centuries."His voice lowered to a whisper "I can't thank you enough for that."
He began to lean in closer. Instinctively, you leaned in too. Both your and his eyes closed. You and he got closer and closer until your lips finally met. His lips were warm, inviting, and tasted of the veal he had eaten before. You wrapped your arms around his neck and his arms wove around your waist. Just as the kiss got deeper, the wind suddenly picked up. It began to swirl and spin around the two of you.
You and Arthur broke the kiss and gazed at the swirling winds around you. It spun faster and faster until it reached the equivalent of a tornado. It closed in closer and closer until it focused on Arthur. The Englishman began to lift off the ground. You held his hand and tried to keep him anchored, but the wind was too strong. His hand slipped from your grip and you fell backward, landing on the grass. Arthur was carried higher and higher into the air until he was a good thirty feet above you.
Suddenly, the wind gained a voice. In a stoic, ancient, monotone voice that at the same time sounded like a chorus of angles it whispered "True love's kiss. True love's kiss. True love's kiss. True love's kiss. True love's kiss."
It repeated the same words over and over, faster and faster. Arthur began twirling and spinning midair. Then the wind seemed to change its form and was replaced with golden glitter that illuminated the night. The light was blinding to say the least. You had to shield your eyes from the glow. Not that you could see Arthur anymore anyway; he had long since been engulfed by the light and was no longer visible.
Suddenly, without warning, the glitter exploded in all directions. The winds stopped blowing, the noise ceased, and Arthur slowly descended back to earth. You ran over to him worried about what had happened. He fell limp at your feet. You kneeled down and helped him sit up. He slowly opened his eyes again and gazed at you sleepily, his lips forming a smile.
"__-_______, w-what happened?"
"I-I don't know."
You looked at the church clock. Five in the morning.
You turned your attention to the east.
The first rays of sun began to show.
You could see the sun slowly rising over the horizon.
Arthur grasped your hand and looked at you. You grasped his hands and returned his gaze. As the morning light stretched over the two of you, you waited for what you knew would happen.
But nothing did happen.
Arthur was still human, even though the sun light clearly hit his pale skin. You both stood up wordlessly, trying to comprehend what was happening. After a long, quiet pause, you and Arthur broke into smiles that led to laughter. Arthur grabbed your waist and swung you in circles before he set you down and hugged you tightly. You hugged back and buried your face in his chest.
"_______" Arthur finally said "I…I…"
"I know" you said, your voice lighthearted and gleeful.
"But how? W-what it the…the kiss?"
"Y-yeah, I think so." You of course already knew that was the cure, but you were shocked nonetheless.
"Doesn't this all sound a bit cliché?"
"Do you want to be a toy again?"
"Then shut up and roll with it."
You both laughed and began dancing and twirling around. Then you both stopped and stared into each other's eyes for a long time. You both leaned in again and began kissing passionately. The kiss was broken when you gave a heavy yawn. You only just realized that you had been up for close to twenty hours now and you were exhausted.
"Come on, love. Let's get you to bed." Arthur said, picking you up bridal style. All you did was give a sleepy nod in agreement. You would have to go back for the car later.
As Arthur carried you home, he leaned in close and whispered in your ear "I love you."
You gave him a peck on the cheek "I love you too."