Thirty-four, you hear Arthur say with a sigh.
See, dude, I told you that you wouldnt get em all, Alfred says, laughing. You walk into the room, an eyebrow raised, as you see him waving his piece of paper around with a grin.
What are you guys doing? you ask, sitting next to Alfred and pressing a kiss on his cheek.
Hey, babe! Were listing the fifty states. I gave Arthur ten minutes and he only got thirty-four. I got all fifty but, well, thats not really surprising seeing as Im an all American hero.
You roll your eyes, Let me see, please. Snatching the paper out of his hand, you scan the list and mutter, Youve written Washington and Texas twice.
What?! Alfred looks appalled as he takes the paper back. He widens his eyes and his mouth drops open as he realises his big mistakes. NOOO!! he wails, loudly.
Arthur rolls his eyes and puts his paper down, Well, not that this hasnt been fun, but Im going to bed. Goodnight, you two.
He goes out of the room, leaving Alfred practically collapsed in a depressed heap on the floor, hugging the paper to his chest.
Oh, get up, Alfie, its not the end of the world! Come on, if you try a little harder, Im pretty sure you can get the last two states. I mean, forty-eight is good!
Not good enoooough! I should have got all fifty! You dont know me at all, ________!
You grab his arm and pull him back onto the couch, Stop it, you idiot. I think its time for bed, dont you?
But I need to know what states Im missing! he whines as you get up and leave him to it. You use the bathroom, change into your PJs and get into bed in the time it takes for Alfred to stop crying about his forgotten states and come to join you. He manages to drag himself to the bedroom, still clutching onto the paper. Its surprising that he hasnt actually looked at a map or cheated in some way, but maybe thats just not how the all American hero does things.
Quit whining, Alfie. Please? I mean, Im sure I know what the other two states are, so I could help, you say as he takes his shirt and jeans off.
He snorts, Yeah, okay babe.
You sit up and look at him, Whats that supposed to mean?
You wouldnt get all fifty states, he says, simply, getting into bed with you.
Crossing your arms, you frown, How do you know?! I could get all fifty if I tried!
He smirks, Yeah, right.
Fine, you say, getting out of bed.
Alfred sighs, Babe, I didnt mean anything bad by that!
Where you going?
You leave the room and go to grab a marker pen from the lounge, making sure its not a permanent marker. That would be awkward for him.
When you rejoin him in the bedroom, hes sat, cross-legged, on the bed waiting for you.
Alright, Mister, Im going to prove you wrong. Sit still, you tell him, sitting next to him and taking the cap off of the pen.
What are you doing?
Well, you said youre an all American hero, so lets see the fifty states, shall we? you ask. Holding him still, you start to write on his forehead, spelling it out loud, Alright, weve got
Babe, why have you written Alaska on my forehead?
Well, youre all American, so Im putting the states on you, you explain, moving to his right arm. Up his bicep, you write CALIFORNIA. A while ago, as a little joke you decided that his glasses were Texas, so you take them off and write TEXAS under his eyes, the X on the tip of his nose.
That tickles, he mumbles, chuckling quietly.
Keep still! Youre putting me off! Alright, so, lets see. Weve obviously got New York, New Jersey and Washington
These three states get written on his chest, as well as VIRGINIA and WEST VIRGINIA. You move over to his left arm and write NORTH CAROLINA and SOUTH CAROLINA.
Alabama and Arkansas, you say, putting them on either side of his waist.
Crap, how do you spell Mississippi? Four Ss, two Ps?
Yep, he replies, nodding. You turn him around to write it on his back. He helps you out, M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I.
He tries to get a look at what youre doing God, this is gonna take me forever to get off! Youll have to help me with that.
You giggle and wink, Sure thing, Alfie. Now, weve also got Hawaii, that get written on his left shoulder at the front, North and South Dakota, they go at the back of his right shoulder, Kentucky and Kansas, you put those either side of his neck.
You pause for a moment, looking over the ones youve already got.
Alfred laughs, Youre stuck, arent you?
No! Im just thinking. Look, I still havent-- Ohio! And Utah, you say, writing them both down on his chest, Nevada, Tennessee, you put these on his back. Moving to the front of his right shoulder, you write MAINE, reading it out to him. OKLAHOMA, MISSOURI, COLORADO and ARIZONA are placed all around his body, his chest and back the easiest places to write them.
Michigan and Wisconsin are there, too
you mutter, adding them to him, Minnesota, Wyoming, Oregon, Rhode Island
OREGON! Thats one I was missing! Alfred announces, Wow, Im an idiot.
Yknow, ________, youre doing really well. Im surprised, Alfred tells you.
Oh, great, thanks for your support, sweetie. I appreciate it, you reply, sarcastically, rolling your eyes.
Yeah, okay, I get it Im sorry. I knew that youd do well, anyway.
Liar. Now, shush, Im trying to concentrate.
Next states to come to mind are the smaller ones gathered together NEW HAMPSHIRE, VERMONT, MASSACHUSETTS and CONNECTICUT all get written on Alfred next. They come to mind weirdly easily. It surprises you how well youre actually doing, but now youre starting to struggle. IDAHO and ILLINOIS are the last two you can think of before you pause, biting your lip.
Alfred smirks, Aww, babe, youre really stuck, arent you?
No! No, dont say that yet, youll jinx it and I wont get anymore. Just give me a minute to think! How many have I got so far?
Thirty-nine. Cmon, eleven more!
It takes you a few minutes between each state, but you say, New Mexico
As youre writing these down, you try to picture the United States in your head. Having seen many different coloured maps since you were young, its easy to picture the shape of the country, but the states are harder to think of. Maryland
How many are left, Alfie?
Four. Cmon, babe, you can do it!
You close your eyes and think hard, eventually saying, Iowa
You rub your hands through your hair, moaning quietly as you try to figure out--
PENNSYLVANIA!!! Pennsylvania, oh my god, Pennsylvania! I did it!
As you write the last state on him, you grin happily, but Alfred doesnt look as pleased as he watches you jump up and dance around the room.
Babe? he tries to get your attention.
Hey, Arthur, I got all of the states! you yell out of the doorway once youve pulled the door open.
A low groan comes from his room before he calls back, Thats great, ________. Now SHUT UP AND LET ME GET TO BLOODY SLEEP!
Sorry! Im just happy! you tell him, closing the door again and jumping onto your bed, arms wrapping around your boyfriend.
________? he tries again as you hug him tightly, a little happier than you should be, but who cares, right? You got all fifty and thats an achievement when Alfred couldnt even get them all.
Uh, babe? Alfred says, a little louder. You let go of him to let him speak.
Theres one left, Alfred tells you, looking sad about stopping your happiness.
You frown and look at him, shaking your head, Uh, no, I havent forgotten any.
Yeah, you have. That was only forty-nine.
The grin that spreads across your face is mischievous as you run your fingers up and down California.
No, I just said, I havent forgotten any of them.
Well, then, whats the last one?
I saved the best for last, yknow, you tell him with a small shrug. You put your thumb in the waistband of his underwear and smile, biting your lip, Can I go visit Florida?
He blushes after realising exactly what youre hinting at, Youre bad. Really bad. Theres a short pause, but he eventually grins as he says, But, fortunately, you got all fifty states so I guess you need a prize. Taking hold of you, he pushes you back down onto the bed and kisses your neck, making you giggle, How about a road trip - all fifty states in one night?
And you say Im bad! you laugh, wrapping your arms around him as you kiss him back, But, it does sound good. Okay, Alfie, prove to me how much of an all American hero you really are.