…yes, it was very awkward.
So, quick as you could, you both scrambled to your feet again, flushed in embarrassment.
“Well then…” You coughed. “Shall we head back?”
“So we shall,” Arthur replied sheepishly, and the two of you went back to your house, leaving the way-too-cliché park.
That night, you surprised Arthur by pulling on a white uniform and tying a black belt around your waist.
“Where are you going?” He asked, confused.
You whirled around to stare at him, eyes widened incredulously. “Are you freaking kidding me?” You demanded.
“Well, it looks like you’re going to some martial arts-“ Arthur broke off, shifting uncomfortably.
“Let me get this straight…” You said slowly. “You have been living in this house for…more than six months…and you had no idea I went to karate classes?!”
“Um…no, no I didn’t.” Arthur shook his head.
“Oh my god, how is that…” You palmed your forehead. “Where do you think I was coming from when I came back home with bruises and soaked with sweat?”
“On second thought, please don’t answer that,” You groaned. “But yes, I’m a black belt in karate.”
“You should come!” Bailey chimed.
“Oh, yeah! I’m sure Piper will be especially pleased to see you!” You grinned devilishly.
Arthur watched you warily, weighing these decisions in his mind. “Alright, I’ll go,” He answered, not surprisingly.
“If this is puppy love,” Bailey muttered, “Arthur’s the puppy.”
“Shut up!” Arthur flushed in embarrassment.
“Bailey, it’s my job to make him blush!” You exchanged a grin with your sister, high fiving her epically. “Hey, is Jack coming?”
“Nah, he’s back to football. He’s going to stay a green belt forever because of that, you know.” Bailey shrugged, tying her purple belt.
“Well, you advanced, even with volleyball.” You pointed out.
“He’s lazier than me,” Bailey replied reasonably, and looked over at Arthur. “Hey, you might want to change your clothes if you’re coming with us.”
“Oh, he’s participating? I thought he was just watching,” You sounded surprised. “He fights dirty, after all.”
“What do you expect? I’m the second youngest in a family of…” He stopped to count on his fingers. “Six. Six siblings including me.”
“You have siblings?” You blinked.
Now it was his turn to look incredulous. “I thought I told you this.”
“Nyet, you have rarely told me anything.” You replied, shaking your head.
“Well, I’ll tell you in the car.” Arthur hurried upstairs.
“Nice boyfriend you got there, sis,” Bailey snickered.
“He certainly is,” You muttered, ignoring the sarcasm.
Arthur returned in about a minute, and you had the car keys already, since you were driving.
“Shotgun!” Bailey yelped, climbing into the front seat. Arthur grumbled, but grudgingly sat in the back.
“So, Arthur,” You began pleasantly. “Tell us about yourself.”
You could almost feel him giving you the stink eye. “I have a lot of siblings.” He began,
so slowly, you could almost feel him telling you to interrupt.
“So you’ve mentioned!” You replied cheerily.
Bailey giggled and Arthur glared. As was the usual way of things. “I have three older brothers, a sister, and a younger brother. We all live with our mum.” He explained. “My brothers are Allistor, Drew, and Rory, my sister is Rosie, and my younger brother is Peter.”
“Yeesh, you have a big family…” You muttered, pulling into the parking lot. You noticed that he didn’t mention a father, but you were tactful enough to not mention it.
“Okay guys! Andiamo!” You parked the car and hurried into the building.
“HEY _______!” You got a belt thrown in your face the second you walked in the door.
You caught it like the ninja you are and hurled it back at Piper. “Hey, Piper!” You grinned cheerfully at her.
“Aw, fuck it, you brought the jerky limey with you?” Piper scowled. “Do you have to bring him everywhere?”
”He’s a puppy!” Bailey chimed.
“Shut up!” Arthur flushed again, staring at the ground.
Piper fixed you with a hard glare. “You know, if he starts to intrude on more of our activities, I’m gonna ask you to choose.”
You felt a chill go down your spine. “Please don’t,” You murmured softly.
Piper rolled her eyes. “Whatever.” She suddenly grinned. “You know I’m officially dating Alfred, right?”
“I thought you guys were officially dating like…January.” You snorted.
“Yeah, well. NOW IT’S FACEBOOK OFFICIAL.”
The instructor, Yao Wang, clapped his hands. “Alright, aru! Let’s get started!”
You stood at your spot as the third highest-ranking student in the class. You all bowed to Yao, and then started stretching. Midstretch, Yao came over to you. “Is he your doing, aru? He whispered. He was a slight, Chinese man with black hair tied back and looked much younger than he was.
You chuckled. “Yeah, he’s the exchange student at my house,” You explained. “Bailey and I brought him this time.”
“I see, aru,” He straightened up. “Alright, aru! ______ will lead basics!”
You made a face at him when you thought his back was turned.
“Ten push-ups, aru!”
You scowled and fell to the ground, doing the push ups and glaring at a snickering Piper. You stood up and clapped your hands. “Straighten your uniforms! Turn around!” You ordered. This was one place where your leadership skills excelled. “Middle target punch! Ichi! Ni! San!” You counted off in Japanese, and suddenly remembered Arthur. “Bailey, show Arthur what to do,” You ordered.
“Alrighty,” Bailey replied.
“Switch spots with Amy!” You added. “Now, middle target punch again! Ichi, ni, san!”
You counted off and did the rest of the basics, and let the class go to break. You grinned at Yao. “Good?”
“Good, aru,” he nodded approvingly. “Can you take Arthur to work on his basics?”
You glanced at Arthur, who was standing awkwardly while Piper yelled at him. “Yeesh, he’s such an awkward turtle…” You mumbled, walking over without arguing for once (you don’t like push-ups).
“Hey, Arthur!” You poked him in the back. “I’m teaching you basics again. Allons-y,” You tugged his short sleeve and dragged him with you to the back room.
You ran him through his basics without conversation. You got exceptionally serious in karate, and having Arthur in that class wasn’t about to make you stop acting so.
You let him break, and stood next to him while he breathed heavily, bent over. ‘You alright?” You asked, finally letting some concern penetrate your tone.
“No!” He scowled at you, standing upright. “Why didn’t you say you were a drill sergeant?”
You grinned. “That takes out all the fun! It certainly shows who’s wearing the pants in this relationship!”
Arthur, shockingly, didn’t blush, but rather raised an eyebrow, a sly smile crossing his face. “You sure about that, luv?”
“Absolutely,” You smirked. “You try to change my mind, and you get push-ups.”
He looked amused, and kissed you anyway. Luckily, nobody walked in on you, but Arthur still got to do push-ups either way.
“Alright, aru!” Yao announced. “Time for sparring!”
You silently cheered to yourself.
“Everyone find a partner!”
You, Bailey and Piper all exchanged a look. You all wanted to be the first to beat the snot out of Arthur. You played rock paper scissors, mumbling to yourselves in a little huddle, and Piper came out the victor. You wound up sparring Bailey while Piper stood in front of Arthur, making such a smug, satisfied face you’d think she was about to beat up her worst enemy. Oh yeah, she was.
“Go!” Yao jumped, stamping his feet on the ground.
You jumped at Bailey, throwing a roundhouse kick immediately.
“Hey, _____?” She asked as you sparred.
“Can we agree to spar slowly so we can watch those two?”
“I was about to ask you the same thing,” You grinned. You two slowed down your sparring speed considerably and watched Piper throw a roundhouse kick at Arthur, which she really seemed to like doing, and then hit him in the stomach.
“Time! Switch partners!” Yao announced. You and Piper shifted, exchanging a high-five as you did.
You stood in front of Arthur, a grin crossing your face. “Having fun yet?”
“Tons,” he rolled his eyes, getting into the stance.
“Begin!” Yao started the timer for the fight.
You jumped at him with a sidekick this time and stopped just before you hit him. “You’re supposed to block that,” You criticized. “Keep your arms up at all times. One blocking your chest and stomach, the other blocking your face.”
Arthur shifted his position. “Like this?”
“Yeah,” You nodded. “Now I can beat you up without regrets.” You started throwing kicks at him. Kick after kick after kick. Kicking was your specialty, in case you didn’t notice.
Most of them he blocked, but his arm was getting bruised from blocking, and he got hit in the stomach a couple times.
“Done!” Yao announced. “Switch!” You smiled at Arthur and mouthed ‘later’ to him. He chuckled softly and got ready for the next fight.
You all went through the rest of your class quickly, finishing with self-defense techniques. As you ended the class, you gathered your water bottle and bag, and joined Bailey and Piper.
“Hey, ______ can I have a ride home?” Piper wheedled.
“Don’t you have a car?” You sighed.
“I got a ride this time. And my mom’s sleeping.” She started pawing your arm.
“Mein gott, you’re acting exactly like Alfred,” You snorted. “Sure, whatever.”
“YAY ROAD TRIP!” She skipped out to your car before the rest of you.
“Bye, Yao!” You waved to your instructor and you, Bailey and Arthur left as well.
Piper was sitting in the front seat already, squirming impatiently. “Hey, guys, I’m gonna drop you off and then take Piper,” You informed them.
“Sure,” Bailey shrugged.
“Whatever,” Arthur muttered, staring out the window resentfully. You knew he was upset over all the bruises you gave him, but you’d make up for it later.
You dropped off Arthur and Bailey, and turned to go drop Piper off.
“So, ______...” Piper trailed off. “About the whole limey thing…”
“Yeah?” You kept your eyes fixed on the road, but you were listening intently.
“You’re still putting us first, right?”
You blinked, offended. “Of course!” You protested. “I make a point to do that!”
Piper nodded. “Because no boys can break up the inseperable duo, right?!”
“YEAH!” You grinned. “So…how’s Alfred?”
“OHMYGOD.” Piper went on a long rant about how awesome Alfred is for the rest of the car ride, leaving you to smile and occasionally agree on some things, but argue others.
“Bye, ______!” Piper waved and skipped to her door, which was opened by Ludwig. Odd, you had completely forgotten Ludwig was staying at her house.
You waved to Ludwig, who waved back, and turned out of her driveway and went back home.
You took a shower, completely exhausted, and crawled into bed.
Sure enough, not too long later, you felt Arthur crawl in next to you. “Well?” He whispered. “Don’t I get some form of apology for beating up on me?”
You laughed and leaned your forehead against his, smiling. “I’m sorry for leaving bruises.”
“Do you have to say it in such a suggestive way?” He demanded.
You grinned slyly. “Well, we are in bed together…”
You felt him turn red. “Stop it!”
You chuckled and kissed him. “Told you I’m the one wearing the pants here.”
To your shock, his arm circled you and dragged you over. “I beg to differ, luv,” He replied in a murmur, kissing you.
You were shocked into silence, but laughed again and fell asleep quickly.