Posting now before I change my mindThis picture I drew is based on this story.
Summary: Hetalia, 1950’s AU. Arthur Kirkland is an orderly at Pilgrim State Mental Hospital when he first meets Alfred Jones, a patient who may or may not be crazy. As Arthur begins to see more sides to Alfred and their bond grows, the definition of insanity becomes ever more indefinite. The question is, which of them is mental, and does it even matter in the first place? Welcome to the golden era. (click here to read on ff.net)
Story Theme: Stand By Me (The Drifters)
Chapter Theme: The Great Pretender (The Platters)
(come get your fifties vibes)
~~~The year is 1956 The very first time Arthur met Alfred F. Jones, it was the sort of uninspiring affair he naturally expected from a patient of Pilgrim State Mental Hospital—so bleak and undelightful that he was quick to put the encounter out of mind.
But to be fair, he’d met Alfred’s brother first.
And ultimately it was all Bella’s fault.
“Arthur, I’m busy, can you go to the main entrance for me? There’s a relative here to see patient 13-50, and I told him you’d show him to the Visitor’s Room. He’s a quiet kid, blond hair and glasses. Poor thing looks like he’d rather spoon out his eyes than be here.” Bella was an excellent judge of character. She’d just earned her degree in clinical psychology, after all. “And remember, there’s nothing wrong with being overly kind.”
So Arthur had approached the desk just inside the front doors of Building 13 and spotted his catch immediately. Even with shoulders nervously hunched and hands jammed into his jeans’ pockets, the proposed “kid” look to be at least nineteen, and stood a bit taller than Arthur himself (though by mere centimetres, really).
“Name?” Arthur startled the young man out of his anxious reverie.
“Oh, um, Matthew Williams? I’m here to see Alfred Jones?”
At the time, it was not a name Arthur recalled. “I’m assuming Alfred Jones is Patient 13-50?”
“Um, that’s what I was told? There was a nurse here earlier who I spoke to—”
“Right, of course. Have you signed the visitors’ log?”
Why the uncertainty? This isn’t a test. Arthur was about to sigh, but Bella’s reminder stopped him. Overly kind, she’d said. Nothing wrong with it.
“That’s…lovely,” he forced out. “You will have an hour to visit, is that quite well?” Hopefully it was, because there was no way Arthur could bend the rules to accommodate him further. He added an excruciatingly courteous smile offhand. “Right this way.”
Arthur led Matthew down the central hallway of the building, skirting around a steady stream of female nurses in little white hats, doctors in pressed trousers, and some even flaunting designer suits as they led patients to and from wherever it was they were going. As they walked, it grew painfully clear that Matthew was new to this experience. He seemed to twitch at every voice, an anxious frown creasing his forehead that seemed to deepen as they reached their destination.
“Here we are,” Arthur declared with no amount of pride, pulling open a set of glass doors. He threw in another feigned smile when Matthew caught his eye.
The Visitor’s Room was true to its title. It was inviting. It was actually too inviting, with soft chairs tucked into every corner and tables adorned in flower vases. Against the wall sat a twelve-inch turntable that looked expensive but never got much use, and beside it, a shiny new television set fresh from the assembly line played the daily news on muted volume (it wasn’t even a colour set, anyway). A lamp hung from the ceiling and a large set of French windows ushered in the sun, making the room far brighter than it needed to be. Well, at least we know how to keep up appearances, Arthur thought wryly.
Matthew Williams did not seem impressed. His nervous attention flittered throughout the room, darting between the slew of nurses and the scruffy patients who stared just a bit too long or talked just a bit too loud.
When Arthur set a complementary cup of tea on the table before Matthew, he secretly slipped the spoon into his uniform pocket. Bella was right; he does look as if he’d rather spoon out his eyes.
Sitting across from Matthew was patient 13-50, Alfred Jones.