I Shall Defy Nature

By rain_rebellion

Twisted from Hetalia

In a pale lab coat, a devastated and even paler figure was slumped over a desk holding immense stacks of papers. With glasses askew and hair unkempt, he was not exactly ready for any social interaction. The fogged-over azure eyes scanned the calculations before them. Running a hand through his blonde locks, he growled in frustration, “No, no, no! These are all wrong! All these configurations are wrong …” Slowly reaching into an open drawer, the scientist retrieved a pen which he used to madly scribble out the numbers and words written on the page. With rage now burning in his eyes, he scratched out the information even more furiously. “This is all trash. I’ve done it before, so why can’t I now?” he sighed. Leaning back into his chair, the scientist let his mind wander, all the while looking at the depressing state he lived in. His “lab” was a simple one-story flat with only three rooms and a ruined bathroom. One was the kitchen with a fridge that held his samples; another was his office, which he was currently in. And the third? Well. The third room was one he had to keep a secret. The windows were all boarded up so no light shone except for an artificial stream coming from the single lightbulb. Things used to be good. There was a time when he was happy, and a time when he had an actual carpet instead of concrete. That time had been foolishly destroyed on April 3rd.

“Ah, come on, Arthur! You know how important my work is to me!” complained Alfred, now aged 20. The newfound chemist was working his best at his pharmaceutical job, creating trial pills and exploring the world of reactions. Some days, he had forgotten to eat and even sleep from being so caught up from work. Alfred’s mother had even called to check in on him after hearing of his unhealthy lifestyle. Hence why his adopted older brother Arthur was now here to make sure he rested and took care of himself.

Arthur happened to be glaring, emerald eyes blazing at his little brother for now. “Alfred, you know bloody well that you overwork yourself. Rest. It’s almost 12 in the morning!” It seemed that his English accent came out even more when he was upset. The scientist winced at the loud words, yet he knew they were true. But … he was so close to making a certain pill’s effects last longer with fewer side effects. He could get a raise with this! Maybe he could worm out with a few excuses?

Alfred tried to make his signature pout face, which had worked when they were younger. “C’mon, Artie. I can almost get the medicine Aesthan to work better. Can’t I stay up for it? It’ll benefit humankind if I succeed! Please?” Usually, the “please” was a killer and won the case right away. Arthur hadn’t moved a muscle this time. Apparently, his brother had grown immune to puppy dog eyes and sincerities over the years.

Ushered to his room, Arthur scolded him along the way, “Perfecting a cold medicine is not worth making yourself sick, Alfred! You must learn to prioritize.” Alfred tried to seem disappointed by the refusal. Of course, he had a secondary plan; there was always a secondary plan.

Faking a yawn, Alfred agreed to sleep and resume his work the next day (within reasonable hours). It took moments of lying still and tiring bouts of pretend sleeping until Arthur had finally turned out for the night as well. The second he heard the light switch off, Alfred tossed off the covers and resumed working in his room. The only hesitation was when it was time to light the Bunsen burner. When it was over, Alfred laughed at his silly fear. Two hours later, and he had done it! Aesthan was not only more potent, but would likely have fewer negative effects. The tired, yet happy, scientist rubbed his eyes. Two in the morning. Now was the time to crawl under the covers. In his trudge to the bed, Alfred had absentmindedly left the Bunsen flame on.

At 10 in the morning, he was awoken by an enraged Arthur. “Alfred Jones. You stayed up, didn’t you?” Alfred could only nod “yes” sleepily. “Idiot! That’s not good for you!” The scientist realized that he had left all his instruments out. If only he had put them away … Two fingers started snapping hastily in his face. Dazed, Alfred looked up into his brother’s annoyed face. “See? You can’t even pay attention because you’re so exhausted. Maybe you should quit this science thing for a bit.”

That got his attention. Snapping up, he was prepared to argue his case. “Listen, I know that you worry and Mom does too, but this is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me!” Alfred began to talk energetically of all the things he had learned, people he’d met, thinking it would break through Arthur’s wall. It didn’t.

Arthur had one of those smiles on, the one that revealed the vast depths of just how much he cared, but also disagreed with Alfred’s logic. Interrupting the enthusiastic scientist, he explained, “Until you are able to care for yourself and balance working, put your career on hold.” Alfred stared, devastated. Had he not just explained why work meant everything? Science was what he lived for and now Arthur was suggesting that it be taken away. It was just so infuriating! He needed some time to himself.

Walking away with a blank stare, Alfred called, “I’m going out for a bit. Don’t wait up.” A long walk around the neighborhood ended up turning into a trip to the park. The serenity of the little life and gentle calmness helped him regain any lost composure and a sound mind. It wasn’t until the sun started to set and the mellow violet tendrils of dusk appeared that it was time to start back. What he came home to that evening, though, made Alfred regret ever leaving.

His house was surrounded by bright red fire trucks, jetting water at the charred and crumbling structure. Alfred realized in shock that the burner had still been on in the morning. “Arthur was in the house when I left. What if …?” Shaking his head, he tried to clear any negative thoughts. Sprinting to the closest person, who happened to be a firefighter, he frantically asked if anyone was inside during the time of the fire. The man gave him a sincere look of sympathy and apology.

“There was one person in the building at the time. We came before the flames reached him, but he died of smoke and chemical vapor inhalation.” The firefighter walked away after saying a few words of condolences. Reality had slammed into Alfred with all the crushing pain of a train at full speed. The steely cold reality was that he, Alfred F. Jones, had killed his brother and all because of a cold medicine. The question “Was it worth it?” replayed itself for a small infinity. The truth was, it was not worth it! Arthur was far more valuable than a measly pill for coughs and fevers, but what did that matter? He was gone, and it was all Alfred’s fault.

Weeks had passed. Before Alfred even knew or could emotionally prepare for it, the funeral came. In an open casket lay the still body of his brother. Despite being already pale, Arthur’s corpse was a deadly alabaster. Soon Alfred let what little foundation he had collapse. Torrents of tears fell all while he blamed his accursed work for the disaster. In the end, even the notes and actual medicine for the enhanced Aesthan had been lost in the fire. He had truly lost everything.

After the ceremonies and all those invited left, Alfred sat beside the newly covered grave and fresh headstone. It was there that the first phase and thought of his new ego emerged. “If science can prevent things like colds and even cure threatening diseases, why can’t I use that to bring Arthur back to life?” The idea had suddenly implanted itself into his consciousness. Without further thought, Alfred had already begun to dig up the body while making wild calculations in his head. He set to work immediately that night.

Trial after trial on dead animals (which he performed in a ratty apartment) led to only one conclusion: Reanimation was possible, but it required something. Blood. Alfred found that injecting small amounts of luminol chemical into the bloodstream caused small reactions with the natural enzymes, but with an extra ounce of hydrogen peroxide, the reactions accelerate, leaving not only a temporary luminescent glow but causing enough energy to reawaken the heart. The work was finally paying off! There was only one drawback. Arthur had been dead for some time and any amount of blood had been drained by funeral directors before the burial. Racking his mind for answers, Alfred tried countless times to think up a new solution. He only came up with one grim result. He would have to kill. Given the circumstances, it would be acceptable, right?

A scheme had been hatched and his cousin Matthew was invited over for a cup of coffee. They chatted over little things like the weather, the news, just simple details. Alfred even dressed better for the occasion. He wore a black sweater, which sharply contrasted to the other’s red sweatshirt. The sequence of events after that were a bit blurry. One minute Alfred was excusing himself, the next he was strangling a terrified Matthew. When the struggling stopped and the final wisps of breath were exhaled, he let go. “This is for Arthur,” he reminded himself. “This is all for Arthur.”

Dragging the limp corpse to the bathroom, Alfred ungraciously dumped the shell of Matthew into the bathtub while putting in the plug snugly. A sharp razor blade grazed against the dead man’s neck to allow the vital life fluid to flow freely from its host. The usually bright sky-blue eyes had become a dark and murky shade that were far too out of character. Minutes had passed, which to Alfred felt like lifetimes. He added more slits to speed up the process, eventually just hacking away at the body and leaving a marred unrecognizable carcass behind. The already dark sweatshirt worn by Matthew was now a murderous crimson. Taking it up in both hands, Alfred harvested the blood from the jacket before flinging it into the trash.

The deed was done, and his face as well as hands were covered in treacherous red. A simple accelerated IV injected the blood while he started on the chemical mixture. Alfred could barely contain his excitement. He was merely seconds away from talking to his brother again. Maybe now he could finally ask for forgiveness. At first the concoction, after being let into the bloodstream, had no effect. The trial was about to be accepted as a failure when rough coughs resounded in the room.

“Alfred? What did you do?” Alfred’s eyes widened in joy. It was a success!

“I can’t believe it worked,” the proud scientist began. He took a step forward ready to explain everything, but stopped when Arthur backed away. “Arthur?” Alfred tried.

Arthur’s eyes were wild and dilated with fear. “What have you done?” he repeated while moving farther. “I died, I know I did. Can you see you’ve upset the balance? You’ve disrupted the very laws of nature!” The crazed look did not fade for a second while the newly reanimated man searched for something in the room. Alfred was not sure of what it would be, but knew it would only lead to a drastic mistake. Before another word transpired, Arthur made a dash for the razor that had mistakenly been brought in. It was still stained with some blood from its previous victim. The blade was about to find a new home right in the person it had been used to save. If objects could laugh, it would have at the sheer irony of the situation.

Alfred held up his hands to show he meant no harm and hopefully stop the chain of events. “Stop, please, I did this for you,” he pleaded. There was a flicker of empathy in Arthur’s eyes, but determination quickly overshadowed it. The usually warm and familiar smile was also replaced with a look of pure frigidness. “If you really cared for me, you would have left me dead,” Arthur stated nonchalantly before plunging the razor edge deep into his chest. A dark flower bloomed from the wound and quickly spread across Arthur’s chest. What a frightening color. Alfred could only watch as the wasted figure of his brother crumpled to the ground.

Time had seemed to slow, with Alfred only barely being able to catch the body as it fell. To his relief, Arthur was alive … for now. Airy breaths exited from the already paling ruby mouth, cascading blood pooling around them. Minuscule constrictions began to take place in Alfred’s heart that slowly increased to a crescendo of pain. It hurt to see failure once more and it hurt that he had to watch someone he loved die.

“But you just killed Matthew,” a voice mocked. Oh, but it didn’t just stop there. “You say you aren’t bad, you call yourself a hero. Yet, here you are again. You’ve not only failed, but you’ve managed to murder another one,” it continued. Why was everything true? Why had he done that? Instead of keeping his emotions inside, this time Alfred allowed his tears to fall effortlessly.

“I’m sorry,” Alfred murmured, the deepest turmoil reflecting in his eyes. All traces of Arthur’s previous dispassion were wiped away. Instead his irises shone, displaying an everlasting look of tenderness and warmth. Bringing a deathly cold hand up to cup the side of the scientist’s, he mouthed the words “I forgive you.” Taking one last shuddering breath, Arthur smiled disdainfully before letting the curtains close to his life for the second time. Any trace of body heat quickly dissipated as small tear tracks remained the only evidence of his resurrection.

Though disheartened, Alfred vowed to bring his brother back again. He needed to see reason! If only the razor hadn’t been there, then things would have been perfect. With the memory of forgiveness repeating itself like a broken record, he was now more motivated than ever to make things right. It wouldn’t matter how many innocent others would lose their lives. In the end, it was all for Arthur.

Years had gone by, and test after test had been made to no avail. If it had succeeded the first time, why not now? Alfred placed his head in his hands, grieving once again for his mistakes. Though Arthur would remain unchanged under the blanket of death, Alfred himself slowly became the villain.