- In the very first chapters of the fic, the gradual buildup of trust between Dr. Kirkland and the twins is adorable. Including:
Child Services Lady: You might like to take a seat; it's going to be a long night.Arthur: You're actually going to help me?Child Services Lady: Dr. Kirkland, it isn't every day that I see a person such as yourself storm in here and demand to adopt a child. I'm fairly certain that someone who apparently cares so much for a pair of children deserves more than just a bemused shrug of dismissal. Besides, it's quite admirable what you're doing, and I'll be damned if those boys aren't left in capable hands.
- Arthur talking down Alfred enough to accept a vaccination shot.
- Arthur talking down Alfred enough to accept a bath.
- Francis agreeing to help Arthur find the boys.
- Arthur storming after the discharged twins, demanding to adopt them immediately.
- On the same note, the Child Services lady's reaction to this demand:
- Arthur's Panicky Expectant Father antics preparing for the adoption, especially when coming to surprise the boys with the news, which results in this exchange first:Child Services Lady: Everything will be fine.Arthur: What if they don't even remember me?Child Services Lady: Just go inside and stop worrying!Arthur: I've changed my mind... I can't do this! I'm not qualified!Child Services Lady: Arthur, please.
Alfred: You didn't forget about us?Arthur: Of course not. I spent the entire winter and a good portion of the spring working out a way to find you a permanent home.Alfred: Did you find one?Arthur: I certainly did. Gather your things, because you're both coming with me. That is, if you want to...Alfred: You mean we're going to live with you?Arthur: Well, yes, but only if you're-Alfred: YES! Will we be there forever?Arthur: Not forever. You might go away to college someday, and who knows how many years I have left on this planet...Alfred: You're funny.
- Following this, the dialogue which ensues when he finally does face the boys.
- Alfred asking Arthur to stay with him the first night, because he's afraid of monsters and ghosts.
- Arthur's unexpected difficulty leaving the boys at school for the first time.
- Arthur taking care of a sick Alfred is nothing short of precious; same for Francis taking Matthew to the therapist, and their walk together afterward.
- Arthur and Matthew's heart-to-heart after Matthew's therapy session, which seems to (for the most part) stabilize their relationship.
- During the 'teenage' arc, Francis picking up a runaway Alfred on the street and explaining to him that Arthur loves him and wants to help. It's awfully sweet coming from someone who supposedly doesn't like Arthur.Francis: You know, Alfred, he tries more than you give him credit for... I guarantee that poor Arthur is clueless as to why you're so angry with him... You see, family is more than just a mother and a father with multiple children, Alfred, and a part of you already knows that but will not admit it... You'll see, in time, what a wonderful and real family you have.
- Following this, Arthur arriving on the scene, having a worried conniption over Alfred's injuries, and then the apologies from both sides for their difficulty understanding each other.
- Also, the offhand comment that Alfred will only take medical attention from Arthur.
- The scene where Alfred admits to Arthur that he's been smoking, and he needs help to quit. Arthur's understanding, and Alfred's hesitant reaching out, is just heart-melting after all the fighting they'd been doing.Alfred: You know, I'm sorry... I know that you're just doing your best to help. To tell you the truth, things haven't been easy for a lot of reasons, and a lot of it has nothing to do with you. I'm just... confused and - never mind.Arthur: Tell me what's been irking you. If you just say what's on your mind, we can fix things together, all right?Alfred: ...I want to stop... I tried to do it on my own, but I can't. I-It's not as easy as I thought it would be... I know you'll be able to help, though.Arthur: Stop what?Alfred: Smoking. I know you said you'd be really angry if you ever saw me- ...A-Are you angry?Arthur: I am fairly disappointed that you would do something so foolish, but there's nothing that can be done about it now... Personally, I'm just relieved that you told me.Alfred: ...Thanks.Arthur: You're very welcome. That wasn't so hard, was it?
- Arthur going all-out Papa Wolf on the teacher that'd been harassing Alfred.
- Teenage Matthew finally coming to the realization that Alfred needs him, and has been trying to reach out.
- Alfred discovering, upon meeting his biological father again, that he really doesn't like when someone insults Arthur.Father: Why did you come here, then? Did your foster family disappoint you?Alfred: Don't ever refer to Arthur badly. He's twice the father figure you ever were.Father: If you're so happy with him, why'd you pay your old man a visit?(Beat)Alfred: I came to show you that I turned out all right without you. I didn't need you... [Arthur] was always with Matthew and me, even when we tested his patience. Even after the horrible way I've been treating him lately, he still refused to just give up on me. And that's one thing that you'll never be capable of; being there when it counts.
Alfred: It's been hard with you gone... I mean, I've been having some problems in school, and Mattie hasn't talked to me like he used to in a really long time. I feel like things are falling apart at home, but I know Arthur won't let that happen, so I just have to hang on... After all, you were one heck of a fighter. You were so brave for holding on for as long as you did, and I'll always be grateful for that. I know you'd want me to be as strong as you were.
- On a similar note, Alfred (immediately afterward) visiting his mother's grave and describing the situation:
- Alfred and Arthur's breakthrough, once Alfred had taken care of the above blockages.Arthur: Alfred, love, why are you crying?Alfred: (crying)Arthur: Hush now, poppet. Whatever this is, we'll fix it. It's going to be just fine.Alfred: I-I know.Arthur: So then there's no reason for the tears.Alfred: I'm so s-sorry, Arthur.Arthur: No, no, stop that - you have nothing to be sorry for. I know all about what's been going on at school, and I've removed you from that class, so there's no-Alfred: (hugs him) Thank you. Thank you for everything. You have no idea what it means to me.
- After this conversation wraps up, Alfred's hesitant offer to help with dinner is absolutely "d'aww"-worthy.
- Arthur crying at the boys' high school graduation is pretty precious.
- After Arthur's first heart attack, Alfred's vigil at his bedside is heartbreakingly sweet.
Arthur: You know, Alfred, I can take care of myself.Alfred: You shouldn't have to.(Beat)Arthur: Stubborn oaf.
- And the fact that the first thing Arthur says upon regaining consciousness is, "Don't cry, my boy."
- This exchange, every time:
- While Arthur is in the hospital following the above, Alfred goes to work at an elementary school, resulting in this conversation:Kyle: Mr. Jones, Mr. Jones! Look at the snowman that I drew! He looks just like the one that my dad and I made in our backyard last week.Alfred: That's an awesome picture, Kyle! Do you make a snowman like that every year with your dad, little dude?Kyle: Yup! We go sledding too!Alfred: That's nice. My dad never really took me sledding.Kyle: You have a dad? What's he like?Alfred: Everyone has a dad. (Beat) Are you kidding me? My dad's the best. He's the smartest doctor I've ever met, and he always thinks about others before himself.Kyle: Then you should go sledding with your dad too!Alfred: I don't think that's a good idea, bud. My dad's been really sick lately, and I don't think he'll be up for outdoor fun anytime soon.Kyle: Oh, what's wrong with him?Alfred: His heart isn't working right, but he'll be okay if he slows down and takes his medicines.Kyle: (handing Alfred the drawing) Give it to your dad! It'll make him feel better.
- Arthur's gift to Alfred on Christmas Eve: a photo album. Add to that Arthur's nerves giving it to him.
- This revelation from Alfred:Over the years, he had realized that there was only one thing in the entire world that could make him feel like the worst person to have ever lived on the planet, and that one thing was the look in Arthur's eyes whenever he was disappointed in him.
- Depending on the perspective, it's this, Tear Jerker, or a Funny Moment, but when Alfred comes home drunk out of his mind on New Year's Eve, this is the conversation he has with Arthur:Arthur: You were always the difficult one.Alfred: I'm your favorite though.Arthur: Don't flatter yourself. Just because Matthew isn't around as frequently any longer-Alfred: You like me more!Arthur: Matthew is clearly my favorite.
- Arthur's reassurance when Alfred starts to doubt whether he is really capable of becoming a doctor, and the tutelage that ensues, with Arthur being his usual self along the way.Arthur: Take my vitals.Alfred: I can't.Arthur: Yes, you can. We'll start with my blood pressure. How do you expect to learn if you won't give it a go? Hurry along, I don't have all day, Dr. Jones.Alfred: You didn't pull up your sleeve.Arthur: Because you didn't tell me to do so.Alfred: Can you please roll up your sleeve?Arthur: Why?Alfred: Seriously?
- The moment where Arthur, after receiving Alfred's comfort in his Moment of Weakness, realizes that, even if he dies, he's done something right with the children he found in the E.R. that Christmas.
- Alfred asks a dying Arthur for a suggestion of something special they could do to lift his spirits. Arthur's answer? "My brothers... I need to see them." Especially after spending the entire story talking about how much he couldn't stand them.
- Alfred's second visit to his biological father falls between this and Tear Jerker.
Heartwarming / Stitching Hearts