(Quick A/N, anything in italics is in French)
The applause was deafening. Tourists of all kinds cheered for them happily and Matthew raised his hands high, holding onto his brothers', before bowing and the cheering didn't stop. He couldn't hide the smile from his face as they stood upright and the ring master happily made his way over to them, hands on either of their shoulders. His wicked grin couldn't be smothered by anything, not even the make-up coating his face. He was always his happiest when he was in his home city.
"Ladies and Gentlemen!" he boasted loudly into his headset, his voice booming over the crowd and making the cheers die down slightly. "The Jones Brothers!"
Matthew was panting from exhaustion, but that didn't stop him from doing a kart-wheel and flip on his way out of the main dome, the canopy moving out of his way as he and Alfred walked through it. People filed around outside, going from dome to dome to see the sights that could be seen. The moon and stars sparkled above them, along with the moving lights of the cars.
"Mattie! That was awesome!" Alfred cheered, pulling his "brother" into a hug and then a noogie and Matthew just laughed, not even trying very hard to pull him away. "You gotta do that more often!"
"Improv isn't really my strong suit," Matthew smiled as Alfred released him and they walked happily around the tent. They still had a little time until Matthew had to come on for the second to last act and then Alfred had to be there for the last one. "I was just trying not to fall."
"Well, you did one hell of a job!" Alfred laughed. "We gotta go out for drinks, dude!"
"After this I'm going to sleep," Matthew rolled his eyes. "I'm ripping myself out of these tights, washing off this makeup, and not going to a pub filled with people drunk off their asses. It's past midnight, only bad people are out now."
"Yeah, and it's a full moon so there are werewolves, too," Alfred nudged him. "Come on, don't be a loser! When was the last time we got out and did something together? I hardly see you when we're not doing this!"
"Germany," Matthew answered. "And I think I tried to speak German that time and got punched in the face because I said something stupid."
"Yeah, you should stick to French," Alfred smirked, watching as children pulled their parents rapidly to the main tent. Matthew waved happily at them as they waved to him. He was usually shy during the day, but when he was in his costume and full of euphoria from the show, he could be as confident as Alfred. "You going home after this?"
"Yeah, our job is done for now," Matthew stretched, feeling the sore muscles on his back from the night before. Whenever they touched on the subject of leaving, everyone in the group would change the subject as quickly as possible. They were a close family, regardless of what they did together, and parting ways always brought everyone down.
"What do you think Francis is doing in there with his fire? Remember when he tried juggling it last night?"
"I remember bandaging his face while he whined for a few hours," Matthew chuckled. "'Mon visage! Mon visage!'" Alfred laughed while Matthew mimicked Francis and his distress. "I can't help but wonder what his most recent 'partner' thinks about the burns on his face."
"You mean the whore tied up in his dome?" Alfred asked and Matthew giggled. Just as they reached the back of the main dome and the audience roared with excitement. Matthew was able to notice, in the small alleyways that were created by the domes, that there were a few shadows in the darkness. The closer he looked, the more defined they became.
There were multiple tall ones that were attacking a smaller one that couldn't even move back. None of them seemed to have any weapons and Matthew couldn't hear anything over the cheering crowd behind him and the rush of people around him, but something was definitely happening. Someone was getting beaten up, but no one was there to stop them.
"Hey, Al," Matthew muttered, looking to his "brother".
"Shit, dude, you're about to go on!" Alfred jumped and grabbed onto Matthew's wrist before pulling him around the other side of the dome, to the place where it would open. Matthew looked back over at the figures, but they were too dark with the rest of the night around them for him to see them anymore. With a sigh, Matthew shook his head and got back into his show mood. There wouldn't have been anything he could have done about it. Now all he could do is forget. "Try not to actually break a leg this time."
"You don't have to say that every time I go in," Matthew rolled his eyes as Alfred pushed him into the dome, giving it barely enough time to open for him. The dome was old, so it was slow, but it was still a part of their group. The crowd was roaring while he swiftly ran in, Arthur introducing the next act. Matthew took his place next to their strong man, Ivan, who was also smiling very happily, his metal glinting in the bright stage lights. Matthew almost went into auto pilot, flipping and balancing at the right moments and the crowd cheered him on.
As soon as he stood on his hand on Ivan's hand, the people for the final act came charging through and the audience practically lost their minds. Matthew flipped off of Ivan's hand and landed gracefully as elephants trumpeted loudly, their mechanics whirring loudly, but too quiet to hear over the crowd. Alfred was having the time of his life, as he usually did during the last act, as he stood carefully on top of one of the elephants. Now all Matthew had to do was sit and wait until they had to bow one last time.
Suddenly, Elizaveta ran past him, pushing him into Ivan as she made a beeline for Arthur, who was standing in the center of the ring. She looked almost panicked and it piqued Matthew's interest. She easily ducked around the elephants before skidding to a stop in front of Arthur and talking rapidly to him. Arthur's eyes widened in surprise before he took off his top hat and flung it expertly upwards. It floated at the perfect height and Alfred reacted quickly and caught it, looking at Arthur before nodding and putting it on before flipping backwards, into the center of the ring as Arthur and Elizaveta ran out of the dome.
Matthew had to wonder what caused Arthur to leave in the middle of a show, but they had to keep going. Alfred would do just fine orchestrating it for the last few minutes, then Matthew would be free to check out what's going on.
"Thank you, thank you!" Alfred boasted loudly over the crowd, adjusting the headset Arthur had left behind. "I know you've all enjoyed the show but we've gotta wrap it up here. So you all can go back to your normal, boring lives. But before you're forced to look back at the normal world, let's look back at all of our performers!"
The elephants left the dome, trumpeting nervously and everyone else ran in, waving and smiling. Matthew ran beside Alfred, who took his hand in his and they raised them high above their heads. Matthew also held onto Ivan's hand, but he was taller and so Matthew had to go onto the tips of his toes carefully. They bowed and the audience roared.
Matthew didn't even try to contain his smile as they stood back up and waved as the crowd began to get up and leave to go to some other attraction they had.
"Do you know what happened to Arthur?" the performers asked each other nervously as they started walking back to the entrance of the dome themselves.
"What the hell did Eliza do?"
"Alfred," Antonio smiled, running up to Alfred and wrapping an arm around his shoulder, his green eyes shining brightly and his chocolate brown hair ragged from his own performance. "That was an amazing job. I was pretty impressed when you flipped off the elephant."
"Yeah, well, Artie needed me, so I couldn't really say no," Alfred shrugged happily. "It's not too hard to get the crowd to like me, you know."
"Wow, you're so humble," Matthew rolled his eyes as Francis, Antonio's best friend, joined them.
"Matthew, might I say you looked quite fantastic on the rope," Francis smirked and Matthew rolled his eyes, knowing the man did not mean any of his flirting. "I am quite curious about, considering how flexible you are, how good you are in bed."
"Francis," Alfred glared slightly at him and Francis chuckled, his hands up in surrender.
"So, do you know what would cause Arthur to leave at the end of the show?" Francis asked curiously.
"I have no idea," Alfred shrugged and they stopped in the small crowd of performers. They heard Elizaveta's voice suddenly through a headset.
"Arthur gave me a message for you guys," Elizaveta said, sounding actually rather distracted. Matthew couldn't see her through the crowd, but he hoped she was okay. "We're done for now," a chorus of groans came from the performers, including Alfred and Francis. "We'll contact you when we'll get back together. You're free to leave when you want, your share of our…profits this time around will be in your own rooms under the domes." Everyone laughed slightly at the word "profits" and even Matthew cracked a little smile at that. No one ever caught them, it was wonderful.
With that, the group of performers moved again.
"Come on, Mattie!" Alfred grabbed onto Matthew's wrist and started pulling him towards their dome. "Spend one last night with your brother before we gotta leave!"
"Al, we aren't even brothers," Matthew groaned, but followed him anyway. Alfred's charisma was hard to say no to.
5 Months Later
Matthew was in his kitchen, carefully and meticulously making pancakes from scratch. Everyone said it was just a waste of time, since he could just have a robot do it, or get the instant mix that he could just pour out, but Matthew thought it was worth it. No other pancake he had had, in any part of the world, could match the ones he made on his own. Just as he was about to finish pouring the mix onto a pan, an old relic Matthew was very happy he found in Belgium, a shrill ringing came from behind him and he flinched, ruining the perfect roundness of the beautiful food. Matthew groaned, emptied out the rest of the batter he needed and turned around to pick up the phone that was ringing behind him.
"Oui?" Matthew sighed in his second native tongue, not even looking at the person who was calling him. No matter who it was, he would be mad at them for doing such a thing.
"Is that any way to talk to me?" Francis asked back, as dramatically as possible and Matthew rolled his eyes.
"You ruined my pancakes, you deserve it," Matthew muttered, turning back to the wonderful food and watched while it cooked. People also said that that was useless, that he could just have it automatically cook in an oven or something, but he refused. "What do you want, anyway?"
"What? I can't just talk to my favorite Canadian when I want to?" Francis asked theatrically.
"I'm pretty sure I'm the only Canadian you know," Matthew stated and Francis sighed.
"You take the fun out of it, Mathieu," Francis sighed. "Anyway, I do have a reason, if you want to be so cruel about it. I need your advice."
"Is this more about Arthur?" Matthew asked bluntly, flipping the pancake and smiling at the perfect, golden color.
"Maybe," came Francis' weak reply.
"Is it something you did or are going to do?" Matthew asked.
"Going to do," Francis said clearly. "I need your advice on how to get him into my dome next time we go out."
"Last time you did that, you had bruises for the next three months," Matthew pointed out.
"I have a better plan this time," Francis whined. "Trust me sometimes."
"Oui, oui, Papa," Matthew sighed and flipped the pancake again with a smirk at how perfect it was. He just pulled out a plate when a sudden letter appeared in front of him, floating and waiting to be looked at. "Francis, did you get a…"
"Yes," Francis replied in English.
Matthew carefully touched it with his finger, turning off the almost ancient stove and placing the pancake on a plate while it read out what it had to say.
"August 5th, 2064, to a Matthew Williams from an Arthur Kirkland. Paris, France. You have one day. End message."
"Looks like you're in luck, Francis," Matthew smiled slightly, very much looking forward to everyone getting back together.
"Oui, finally Arthur decides to start in the most romantic city in the world," Francis sighed happily. "Perhaps this will be the perfect time for my plan."
"Good luck," Matthew laughed slightly, thinking through all of the things he would have to pack and how quickly he could get to a jet. If he was quick, he could get to Paris in just a few hours. "I'll see you in a few hours, alright?"
"I look forward to seeing you again, mon fils," Francis chuckled.
"Bye, Papa," Matthew tossed the phone onto the table and grabbed onto the pancake, foregoing the maple syrup, just because he was in a hurry, and ran into his room in his little apartment to quickly push the few things he would need into his small bag and grabbed the little money he had before running out the door. He didn't need his phone and the door locked itself, so he knew his house would be fine on its own.
Matthew couldn't hide his excitement as he ran to the street to get a cab. The only reason he was noticed so quickly was because he was already getting into the mood of another trip to be with his true family. As the hovercar zoomed towards the airport, Matthew nearly jumped in his seat with excitement. He'd been waiting for this since the minute he left London.
Alrighty, new story, are you guys excited? I got this idea that I really wanted to do a circus fic and my original idea wasn't exciting enough, though it was just going to be a few chapters. Eventually, I made wonderful little plot bunnies in my head and it grew more exciting and also longer, so I'm starting it now! Thanks to everyone who gave me translations in my other fic, as they will be useful here.
Now, it's a circus fic set in the future. I like the idea since the other story I'm writing right now is set to the point where it is basically the past. This gives me a chance to play with technology and all kinds of things. I'll explain things as I go, don't worry, and not a lot of things have changed, since only fifty years have passed. I like to think that the world was able to hold on and not start World War III yet, though that's unrealistic, and so Europe is sort of at peace. Sure, country borders have probably shifted slightly, but I'm sure it's all relatively the same.
Pairing wise, the main ship will be PruCan (because I'm obsessed) and I'm thinking FrUK (because of a situation that cannot allow USUK. It might just become FACE family, I don't know). There might be other minor pairings, like Spamano and AusHun in the background, but they won't be extremely major. Anyway, I think that's all I got on the story so far, be excited for next chapter (cause Gilbert) and I'll see you when I update next!
Speaking of updates, I plan on updating this once every other day, but we'll see how that turns out...
I do not and never will own Hetalia, sorry.
And please review!