a.n and so we come to the end of Arthur's story. on the other hand i moved to Ohio, someone should have said something about how fuckin cold it is here.

Niall's face stared up at him from the back seat. Arthur dropped Yeven's briefcase and tried to open the door and Niall did the same unlocking the door and coming out, Arthur let out a whine as he gathered Niall in his arms.

He was thin his hair had grown out and hung in a silk white curtain around his shoulders.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry-" Arthur repeated against Niall's shoulder trying and failing to hold back his own tears as Niall sobbed against him.

"I wanted to come home so bad but-but dad he-"

Arthur pulls back but keeps his hands on Niall fearing that he'd simply fade away if he let go.

Niall wore a pleading expression, "I didn't know what he'd done, while I was in recovery he came and took me, he told me that mom sent me away but…"

"Neil told me you saw-"


It was their mother standing in the doorway and Wendell came shoving her aside as he ran toward Niall.

Earnest caught Arthur's eye and motioned for him to come into the house.

And as Isabella stumbled toward her long lost son who was being hugged to death by Wendell it was Yeven who appeared behind her with his snake-like smile in place.

A single hand gesture from him and Arthur went into the house without any hesitation.

Inside Earnest placed a hand on Arthur's shoulder and guided him upstairs and down the hall to his bedroom. Yeven followed in amused silence.

"Sit on your bed." Earnest commanded with a soft voice, Yeven entered last and closed the door.

"What is this?" Arthur asked politely, trying to hold back his shivering while under Yeven's gaze.

"Neil sent your mother divorce papers."

Arthur frowned, "W-What? Wait-…no. you're lying he wouldn't-"

"He left you this." Yeven says tossing an opened envelope to the floor in front of Arthur. Arthur scrambled to pick it up and he dropped the envelope and unfolded the letter inside.

His eyes widened as he read the words in Neil's neat handwriting.

Dear Arthur,

You have ruined me. I thought I had finally picked myself up, made a family and finally had a chance at a normal life. But simply seeing you made ashes of my resolve. I'm weak Arthur, and unworthy of your love and I can't hide this from Isabella anymore, especially after what happened to Niall I can't stay with her after what I did.

That day we came to the house I knew Niall was going to be there as I had arranged to meet with him because…

Because even though I love you I love him too.

Arthur I just want you to forgive me, to please understand that I didn't mean any harm.

I won't come back once you get this letter, once Isabella knows the truth.

Please forgive me.

Love, Neil

Arthur crumpled up the letter, confusion and anger and shame rushing over his body in horrible, stinging waves.

"Arthur," Earnest began, "What the hell was going on here?"

Yeven scoffed, "Still looking for comfort are we? Well, I do suppose that third time is in fact the charm."

Arthur felt like the ground had sunk from under his feet, his head was filled with cotton and his eyes burned.

"Then Niall-"

"Did you really think I was going to let him come back here after what he told me?" Yeven said; his voice quiet and hard. "I would have let you all believe him dead if that bastard didn't leave."

"Yeven," Earnest warned, "Take it easy, Arthur's just a kid-"

"I am not!" Arthur bit out, "You want proof? Just ask your kids, who has been looking out for them? Feeding them? Guiding them?" Arthur looked at Yeven who stood leaning against the doorway and Earnest who wore a dark look.

"Me." Arthur whispered, "And the one thing I wanted for myself-I…I didn't think it would-"

"You should have paid more attention Arthur, you should have watched Niall closer you should have-"

"Shut the hell up Yeven!" Earnest snaps, "In fact, why don't you get the hell out of here! Nobody wants you here not even your own kid who you had to kidnap! This wouldn't have happened if you had bothered to call once in a while!"

Yeven glared at Earnest and Arthur wondered if they would get in a fist fight in his room that would definitely be something new.

"One call a week doesn't sound like it would build a good relationship."

"Neither does kidnapping an injured kid."

Yeven flinched, "This will change, I won't allow Niall to live here. Do you understand that?"

Arthur nodded, "Yes, Yeven."

Yeven was gone and Earnest knelt down in front of Arthur and took his face in his hands, "Listen, I'm sorry for what it's worth. We're all at fault here and we shouldn't have put all the responsibility on you."

Earnest couldn't have understood what his words meant to Arthur, given forgiveness after such a spectacular failure. He supposed that Earnest saw everything differently from where he stood, his son while angry and distraught hadn't undergone the same trauma that Arthur and…and Niall had.

Yeven however, Arthur knew Yeven wasn't going to let Neil simply disappear.

And Neil, he…Arthur couldn't bring himself to hate Neil.

And then there was Leo and whatever they had. Arthur wondered if he still had a job.

As Earnest finished speaking and drew Arthur into a hug Arthur's phone pinged and Arthur leaned back and checked his phone.


Arthur turned his phone off without reading it. He couldn't bear to hear any more bad news.

Earnest's arms were comforting and he didn't think he wanted to leave them anytime soon but Niall was outside, mother, Wendell…

"Earnest," Arthur whispers, "if I asked for a favor would you do it without asking questions?"

Earnest leans back, "What is it? Are you alright?" he sighs, "Alright, stupid question but seriously a favor?"

Arthur nods, "I just need a minute to recover, if you could distract them for me."

Earnest stared at Arthur as he pondered the idea, he cupped Arthur's face in his warm hands and leaned forward, Arthur turned his face away with a flush, "Wh-What are you doing?" he whispered shakily.

Earnest plants a firm kiss on Arthur's forehead, "Don't be an idiot Arthur." He sighs.

Arthur nods and Earnest stands up and leaves the room and as soon as the door closes Arthur stands up and looks for his school bag lying in a corner.

Niall was lost in the warmth of his mother's embrace. For months he hadn't even heard from her and it came as a shock to find out what his father had done 'in his defense' he had gone on a tirade on what a failure his mother was but Niall didn't blame her or Arthur for what happened.

He'd managed to convince Yeven to let him see them to tell them he was alive.

Yeven had told him that he wouldn't let him come back and live with them and while Niall wanted to fight it at the same time he was mystified and a little thrilled that Yeven wanted him to stay. He had so many questions.

The most important being why his hair wasn't black.

And since he was apparently colleagues with Earnest then he wouldn't be separated from Wendell.

His only doubts came in the form of his eldest brother Arthur.

Earnest came out of the house and began talking to Yeven and Wendell and Isabella pulled away from Niall with a frown, "A letter? What letter?"

Niall watched them and gasped when he mother let out a wail, "What is this!?" but distracted from her cries of 'My sons' and 'How could I have been so stupid?' Niall saw Arthur sneaking past the fence to the sidewalk and heading down the street.

Earnest pointed to the house and said that Arthur needed a minute and to wait-

But Arthur wasn't inside-

Isabella arguing and Wendell reading the letter, Yeven eyed Isabella with suspicion and suddenly Niall didn't want to be here anymore and he slipped away quietly heading toward the backyard where he'd seen Arthur sneak off.

It was too cold to be out without a jacket on and Niall hugged his own jacket closer and followed Arthur's form that only seemed to get farther and farther away.

"Arthur!" he called, "Arthur wait!"

Arthur's form twitched and he stopped and turned and Niall ran to him even as the cold air burned his throat.

"Where are you going? Earnest said you were in your room but I saw you-"

Arthur was a mess, his hair mussed and damp from the cold, he was pale and looked like he hadn't had a restful night's sleep in a long time and his eyes were red rimmed. As he looked at Niall he bit his lip.

"I'm going away."


Arthur looked away, "I can't stay there now…do you understand? Not after everything that's happened."

Niall watched his brother closely since this was the last he would see of him for a long time.

"I didn't understand…back then when I saw you and Neil I was so hurt-"

Arthur shook his head, "Don't-please I can't-"

"I was hurt because even though I liked him a lot I didn't want him close to you!" Niall blurted out.

Arthur paused and stared in genuine surprise as if he couldn't believe that he was worthy of even the slightest bit of affection.

"You're mine," Niall mumbled, "And I was angry at how you looked at him and I ran away and I wasn't careful and-"

Arthur pulled him into a hug and apologized again and again before moving away and without words he turned and continued on his way leaving things awkward and silent between them despite all the unasked questions.

Niall was still hurting inside and as he watched his brother disappear into the cold with those worn sneakers and an old jacket that wouldn't protect him from anything.

It took him a moment as he began walking back to the house to realize the jacket belonged to Neil.

an. so who is up for a spin-off about Yeven and Earnest being single dads slice of life 13 episodes the whole deal?