Papa was crying in the other room, his sobs loud and harsh sounding, as if they hurt on the way out. Matthew listened from the hallway, where not only could he hear his Papa crying, but he could hear his Dad crying in his room as well. Something had gone wrong, another argument that had never seemed to end, and both of them had snapped. Arthur and Francis had said things that they shouldn't have, and now both were in tears.
Matthew could just faintly hear his brother Alfred tying his best to comfort their Dad, but Matthew just sat there. He listened to his Papa's pained cries not knowing what to do at his young age of barely seven. Eventually he couldn't stand the sound of both of the people he loved more than anything and went to where his Papa was, determined to stop the crying.
"Papa?" Matthew said as loudly as his soft voice would let him. He clutched his bear even tighter when Francis finally looked up at his son, eyes red and tired looking from the tears that still stained his cheeks.
"Mon Mattieu, come here." As soon as Matthew was near Francis leaned down and gathered the small boy in his arms. Matthew hugged back as best he could, but his short arms could only reach so far. A few more harsh sobs made their way out of Francis, but already he seemed to be calming down.
"Papa, what's wrong? Are you and Dad hurt?" Matthew asked in his child-like innocence. He knew that there was something so much more behind it, but he didn't know the words to describe what he wanted to ask.
"Non, mon enfant. We are hurt in another way than you have learned," Francis said as he wiped the tears from his cheeks. Still, even though the tears had stopped, he looked as if he was going to burst out crying any second.
"Teach me then, Papa. I want to help." Matthew pulled out the best pleading look he could. Francis always gave way under that look, even now.
"Alright, one day, you will meet that special someone. And whoever that person is, you will spend all your time with them, and be happy, and do all the things that adults do."
"Like what you and Dad did?"
"Yes, just like me and Dad did. One day you'll realize that you want them more than anything in the world, and you will tell them three very important words, 'I love you'."
"But I say that to you and Dad and Alfred all the time," Matthew interrupted yet again. Francis nodded his head and continued.
"This is a special kind of love though. What you feel for me and Dad and Arthur, that's family love. You'll know when you meet that special person, that it's another kind of love that you will never want to let go of." Matthew nodded in understanding, but then frowned, his bow furrowing.
"A special love like you and Dad have?" Matthew didn't understand if his Papa and Dad were in that special love, why were they so upset?
"Non, we had that special love. Sometimes one person doesn't love as much as the other, or the love disappears, or sometimes the love was never there," Francis explained. More tears filled his eyes, and he held Matthew, thinking about how his love had faded and now he was left with a broken heart and tears.
Matthew sat on his father's lap, thinking about what he had learned. His seven year old mind made a decision right then and there, as his Papa cried and his bear was held, that he would never love, because if the people he loved most in the world didn't have it, then truly it must not exist.
Gilbert Beilschmidt was known for his arrogance and attitude for life in general. his favorite word was known to be more of a nuisance with his friends, the word 'awesome' losing whatever meaning it might have had at all. Not only that, but he was also known for one night stands and never really having a relationship. Yet, if you got close to his fiends they would tell you that while he had always had the attitude, he had been one for relationships.
Elizabeta Hedervary had been his best friend in childhood. That friendship had extended through their teenage years and adulthood. They would butt heads all the time (and not to mention a frying pan went flying more than once) and all their friends would watch as Gilbert obviously fell more and more in love with her. Though the day that he was finally going to ask her out, he found out some news that made his heart shatter.
Gilbert invited her to their favorite park, a bouquet of flowers in hand and a tie on. He had asked Ludwig what would be best to impress her, and ended up pushed out of the house with a tie on and money to buy flowers. He had even bought her favorite flowers, hoping that they would help him.
"Gilbert!" she screamed out behind him, snapping him out of his thoughts and worry. He smiled at her, noticing how her hair seemed to shimmer in the light, how her eyes radiated joy, and how she was even wearing that green dress that he had told her looked amazing on her. Before he could say anything in reply, she tackled him in a hug, almost knocking the flowers out of his hands as he caught her.
"Oh I have just had the best day! You know that Austrian student who transferred here?" she eagerly asked, pulling away with a smile still plastered on her face.
"What about him?" Gilbert felt a little resentment towards the man who had stolen her attention.
"He asked me out! Can you believe it? I never thought that he would! Oh, I'm just so happy." By now, she was jumping up and down in her spot, hands clasped tightly together. Gilbert didn't smile though, and didn't celebrate like she did. He shot a glance back at where Elizabeta had come from, and he saw that Austrian waiting for her.
"So why did you want to meet up? And why are you all dressed up and carrying flowers?" Elizabeta raised a brow, as if she already knew the answer. Gilbert scrambled his brain for a reason, anything other than the truth.
"I just wanted to know if this looked good," Gilbert finally got out.
"You look great, I'm sure whoever your meeting will think the same." There was that knowing wink again, and Gilbert just wanted to scream about how she didn't know anything. Instead he just smiled and thanked her.
"Well Roderick's waiting for me; we're going to have to talk more another time. See you Gil!" She waved and ran back to where Roderick was waiting for her.
Gilbert sat down heavily on the nearest bench, throwing the flowers at his feet and watching the once beautiful roses and tulips get destroyed. He watched the petals being captured by the wind, and he placed his head in his hands. He didn't move for a while, thinking that he had wasted his chance.
When he finally got home, tie askew and no flowers, Ludwig had assumed everything had gone well. He had even congratulated his brother, not thinking that something could have gone wrong for his dear older brother. Oh how wrong he was.
"I didn't tell her. She's with that prick Austrian who transferred here, just like she wanted," Gilbert said monotonously to his brother, not even sparing a glance as Gilbert traveled to his room.
Gilbert laid on his bed, looking at the ceiling with his head behind his hands and thinking about what had happened. He didn't want to, but his mind just refused to leave that moment in time. He could hear his bird chirping eagerly from his cage, wanting out from being inside all day. Gilbert just couldn't bring himself to move though.
"It's okay though, the awesome me likes being alone better anyways. Love never lasts anyways."
It was the only thing that Gilbert said for three days.
Two souls that had long ago stopped believing in love met at a bar. Neither were interested in hooking up, and had somehow managed to gravitate towards each other from opposite sides of the room. And after way to many beers, they had begun to talk about anything and everything, and finally they ended up on the topic of love.
"And…and she never even bothered to ask me about anything anymore!" Gilbert practically screamed out, making Matthew giggle and people turn towards him. "And she's gonna get married to that prick! Life sucks man," Gilbert said with a hiccup, and Matthew found himself giggling again, earning himself a curious glance.
"I know, but I guess it's better than being with her when she wouldn't love you, eh?" Matthew was drunk than he had thought, his slurring words coming out of his mouth sounded nothing like him.
"But what's not to love about the awesome me!" Gilbert shook his beer, spilling it everywhere.
"I dunno, but she's missing out," Matthew said with a hiccup of his own. Gilbert shot him a smile.
"How about you then Birdie? Why aren't you taken?"
"Birdie?" Matthew raised an eyebrow, but otherwise didn't really protest the nickname. He figured what the hell, he could have one night of not caring.
"Yup Birdie! Cause you remind me of a bird. Now answer my awesome question!" Gilbert yelled way too loudly, but Matthew didn't care, letting out another giggle. Gilbert grinned at the small laugh, wanting to hear it again.
"Ah, well when I was younger my Dad and Papa broke up. They were perfect for each other, so if love didn't work for them, then I figured that it probably wouldn't work for me." Matthew took another swing of his own beer, drowning the rest of it in a large gulp. Gilbert just watched, not commenting about the smaller man's story.
"Why don't we ditch this place and have some fun?" Gilbert asked suddenly, wiggling his eyebrows and making Matthew laugh again. Gilbert felt a rush of pride and paid for both of their tabs, letting out his own laugh as he watched Matthew try to stand and walk normally. It wasn't working out to well for poor Matthew.
They got a cab together, disappearing into the night with limbs tangling together and an awkward cabbie who really wished that they would be able to wait until they reached their destination.
Matthew awoke to a room that was much too bright for his pounding hangover. He sat up in what he realized was his bed, staring around the room with bloodshot eyes and memories that were slowly returning to his fogged mind.
"Maple…" he cursed quietly when he saw that he was naked and that everything seemed to be a mess. He cursed even more in his head when the memories of a certain white haired man finally made themselves present.
Matthew slowly got up ignoring the pain in his hips and on other places on his body, really thinking more about how long it would take to clean and if he had anything to do today. Luckily he didn't, so Matthew took a nice long shower, hoping that it would make his headache fade a little.
He didn't want to admit it, but he had hoped that he would wake up and see Gilbert still sleeping besides him. He should have known that this was nothing more than a fling, and that he would probably never see Gilbert again. After his shower he went throughout his house, picking up soiled clothing and furniture that had been knocked over in their rush to get to the bedroom.
Matthew sighed for what felt for the millionth time, but continued on anyways. He cleaned up his room with a bit of ease as well, until he had to strip the bed of the sheets. He shuddered a bit at the thoughts of what happened there last night, not really wanting to remember if it meant that it would never happen again.
He shook out the sheets, just to make sure that there was nothing tangled inside them that shouldn't be going inside his washer. He felt something light land right on top of his foot, Matthew dropped the sheet on the floor, staring at the small piece of paper that had landed on his foot. Slowly he reached down and grabbed it deftly, staring down at the words that decorated the paper.
I had to leave early, so I thought I would write you this awesome note so that you don't think that I ran out on you. I wrote my number at the bottom, so feel free to call me, maybe we can change each other minds about love.
The Awesome Gilbert. (505) 555-0771
Matthew smiled to himself, holding the paper tightly in his hand. Leaving the mess of sheets on the floor, he went and got out his phone, dialing the number with ease.
"Hey Gilbert? It's me Matthew."
"About time Birdie! I was beginning to wonder if you ever found that note." Gilbert said with a laugh, which Matthew joined easily.
"Um, but hey, want to go and grab some coffee?" Matthew asked, getting to the point right away. He tugged at the bottom of his shirt, waiting with baited breath for Gilbert to answer.
"That sounds almost as awesome as me."
Matthew smiled and, after they agreed on a time and place, hung up the phone. Matthew did the rest of his cleaning, got ready and went out to meet Gilbert with a bit of a spring in his step that hadn't been there in a long time.