Chapter Four: New Friends
Alfred pulled _____ by the hand down the halls of the old college. The floorboards creaked in a few places when their feet made contact with it.
“Alfie, quit going so fast,” she said, trying not to trip over her own feet as Alfred quickened his pace. “We’ll make it.”
“Sorry,” he replied, “but I’ve never been late before, and now I’m gonna be the last one there all because of you sleeping in. I mean, really, _____?!”
“Hey, it’s not my fault I had serious jet-lag!” she snapped, rubbing her eyes with her free hand. “I’m the one who’s never been on a plane before, remember?”
Alfred rolled his eyes. “Whatever. . .”
The two arrived at a large double-door where one was open and voices echoed from the room. The voices sounded as if they were arguing. Alfred slowed his pace and stopped by the closed door.
“Wait here,” he said, then turned and walked into the room, shouting out in the most obnoxious voice possible, “What’s up, dudes! I’m here!”
_____ rolled her eyes. She was most definitely unamused.
“It’s about time you showed up, Alfred,” said Arthur’s voice.
“Oui, you could have come earlier,” commented an unfamiliar voice. “What took you so long, anyway?”
“I’m about to show ya’.” _____ could hear the smile in Alfred’s voice. “_____, you can come in now.”
_____ sighed, smoothing her hair and shirt as she stepped through the doorway. She immediately felt sick to her stomach as she saw all the eyes on her. She began to mentally count all of the people, reaching in the high twenties when Alfred brought his arm around her shoulders. “Everybody, this is _____ _____. She was my best friend back when we were kids. Now she’s here, well, just to meet you guys.”
A silence ensued, and _____ stood under Alfred’s arm, feeling small, her eyes darting from one face to the next. Some of them were smiling and welcoming; some were edgy and frustrated, which made _____ feel even smaller; and some were just apathetic toward the whole situation. Slowly, she raised her hand at them. “Hey,” she muttered.
One person in particular smiled brightly at her and stood up to walk over to her. He had auburn hair and amber eyes that closed from his overexcitement. He reached out and took her hand. “Amico, e benvenuto ciao! My name’s Feliciano Vargas. It’s nice to meet you, _____!”
“Hai,” agreed a short Asian man sitting nearby. “Any friend of Alfred’s is a friend of mine.” He stood up from his chair and bowed politely. “My name is Honda Kiku.”
_____ managed a half-smile. “Nice to meet you, too.”
“Alright,” said Alfred, bringing his hands together, “time to introduce you to everybody.”
She sighed. “Okay. But don’t expect me to remember all these names. I have a hard time with my own sometimes.”
He chuckled. “Sure thing.” He looked at the group of people in front of him and furrowed his brows, thinking. “Okay,” he said, “I’m gonna take you around the table and give out names and stuff.”
Alfred led _____ around the table, Feliciano following closely behind. Arthur was the first person, and he smiled at _____ wider than he had the night before. “Hello, _____.”
She smiled. “Hey, Arthur.”
“Who is this beautiful creature?” said the man sitting beside Arthur. He had long blond hair, cerulean eyes, and stubble growing on his chin.
“_____,” Arthur replied curtly. “_____, this is my and Alfred’s cousin Francis Bonnefoy. On the other side of him is his brother Matthew Williams.”
Matthew was almost a spitting image of Alfred. The only differences were that his hair was slightly longer and he sat with his shoulders hunched. He smiled nervously at _____. “Hello,” he said quietly.
The man on the other side of Matthew was a giant of a man; he was a pale man with silver hair and violet eyes. He smiled at _____. “Privet, devushka. I am Ivan Braginski. This is Yao Wang.” He pointed to the man beside him. Yao smiled, pushing his long, dark chocolate-brown ponytail back behind his shoulders. Ivan then gestured to the two girls on the other side of Yao. “Those two girls are my sisters. Yekaterina is my big sister, and Natalia is my little sister.” Yekaterina smiled warmly at _____ and waved at her, while Natalia simply grunted and continued to stare intently at her brother.
“Come on, _____!” said Feliciano suddenly, pulling on _____’s arm. “I want you to meet my friends now!” He managed to drag _____ past Ivan’s sisters and toward where Kiku was originally sitting.
“You already met Kiku,” he chirped. “But these are my other friends. And this”––he gestured to a man with dark chestnut hair sitting quietly in the seat by Kiku’s––“is my big brother Lovino. He isn’t very social and he gets kind of mad sometimes, but he’s still my big brother and I love him.”
“Shut your face, you stupid imbecile!” snapped Lovino. “She doesn’t need to know all that merda!”
Feliciano flinched at his brother’s words. “S-Sž, fratello.” He quickly recovered and pointed to a man with pale skin, silvery white hair, and deep red eyes. “This is Gilbert Beilschmidt. He’s best friends with Francis and Toni. Oh! Right, you haven’t met Toni yet. That’s okay! I’ll get to him!”
Gilbert smiled toothily at _____, leaning on the table in an attempt to make himself look more attractive. “Servus, Fršulein,” he cooed, his eyes roaming across _____'s body.
_____ rolled her eyes, annoyed. “Yeah, sure. Hey.”
Feliciano brought her over to a tall, well-built man with light blond hair and icy-blue eyes. “And this over here is Ludwig. He’s Gilbert’s little brother, and my bestest friend in the whole wide world!”
Ludwig scowled at this, but turned to _____ and nodded politely. “Hallo, Fršulein. A pleasure to meet you. My apologies for mein bruder’s actions, now und in advance.”
Feliciano quickly took her hand and whispered in her ear, “Oh, yeah. You know what I said about my brother?”
“Well, for Ludwig, it’s like that tenfold. He’s really strict and uptight and anal about things.”
_____ couldn’t help but smile. She was going to like this guy, for sure.
Alfred and Feliciano introduced _____ to the rest of the people, which basically took the whole meeting time. Some of the more uptight people were disappointed that they didn’t get any work done, but most of them were just glad that it was finally over and they could return to their vacations. _____ headed back to the dorm house with Alfred, Arthur, Francis, Yao, and Ivan. The group didn’t do much when they reached the house; they just watched TV, slept, and yelled at Arthur for attempting to cook. _____ sighed. Day one was finally finished, and it was quite hectic. She dreaded what the rest of these two months would be like.