Berwald hadn't been crazy when Matthias had told him about his brand new job. And the rest of his ragtag family was a bit unamused with the way that he had (in their eyes) spit in their faces by wasting their money.

"I told you not to study anthropology if you weren't ready for the long road ahead for getting a PhD. Do you actually think that you'll be able to get anywhere in life with just a bachelor's degree?"

Lukas had a right to be angry. Ber and him had been the ones to help him, Tino, and Emil grow up after their parents had died ten years ago. At the young age of twenty and twenty two, they had taken on the job of taking care of their younger brothers to be able to keep them all together and give them the tools for a good life in the future.

Berwald worked at the local Ikea, earning a reasonable salary that allowed him to pay for most of the bills of the house. Lukas, on the other hand, worked as a teacher at the local high school and helped pay for most of the things the younger brothers needed, like food, clothes, and such. Sometimes, if the money these two earned hadn't been enough, Lukas' girlfriend, a kind woman that taught at the preschool level, would help out and give them money.

The five brothers, Irunya Chernenko, and Berwald's boyfriend, who was a surly Brit with an almost irrational love for everything Disney, all lived together in the same house. This meant that everyone knew what was happening in their lives and who was the most disappointing child at the moment.

Even though Lukas and Berwald were only six years older than Matthias, they honestly saw themselves as these great, big adult figures that could never be wrong. In a way, they both took after their father. But Matthias wasn't a wide eyed fourteen year old boy that would do anything to keep them happy anymore. He needed to find his own way in life. With or without his family.

... That sounded so sad...

He loved his family. Really, he did. But he had always been the black sheep. Which was something that literally no one believed until they met the rest of his family.

Sure, he was the one that loved to play sports and hang out. A rather normal, typical way of being when it came to socially not awkward boys. But his family had always been rather introverted and usually chose to keep to themselves. While others were going out on family vacations to Disney World or the beach or someplace fun, his family was dragging him to museums or historical sites to be able to learn.

Where his family loved watching documentaries, Matthias loved watching rugby and football. Where his family enjoyed spending a quiet day in to clean and read, Matthias enjoyed going out and partying as if there were no tomorrow. And where his brothers longed for stable careers in professional and respectable settings, Matthias longed for adventure and new experiences.

Tino was the only one that was outgoing like him. But even with his sunny disposition, the younger male could be quiet, shy, and somewhat distrustful of others. Matthias, on the other hand, was always smiling and trusted others much too easily. Unlike the rest of his brothers, he always wanted to make friends and accidentally always became the center of attention wherever he went. It wasn't that he wanted to be looked at all the time, but he was just naturally the kind of person that garnered attention.

When Matthias had told his brothers that he wished to study anthropology, they had been delighted. It was because of this profession that they had the information of the past they wished to know within their reach. For their brother to become one and help in the finding and sorting of forgotten history was something that all of their small family could be proud of.

But Matthias had never truly told them just what he wanted to study. Just anthropology. He hadn't known what kind of field he would specialize in. Or if he even wanted to go into something other than the study of humanity and culture after he'd finished his bachelor's. He hadn't known anything at all. And his brothers had just assumed he knew more than he actually did, for Tino and Emil already knew where they wanted to go and what fields they would specialize in even though they were both just finishing up Secondary School.

Being the middle child was not an easy job...

There was no turning back, though. And he'd made his mind up already. With or without his family's approval, Matthias would take a year off from any kind of education before he returned. He wasn't academically inclined like his brothers and he needed some kind of break before he went insane from the stress that learning brought him.

And this was yet another thing in which he was different. While his brothers were like sponges for quite literally everything, it took Matthias days to truly grasp any given subject. Even history, which was his best class, gave him difficulty if he wasn't feeling up for learning.

He had a job. He liked said job. And it paid him enough to be able to save up enough money to be able to rent his own apartment for at least a year. After a couple of months of working, of course. But he could deal with living with his family for a little bit more. Just until he had enough to not have to go back crawling to them after a few months because his plans hadn't worked out.

For he may be an idiot, but he wasn't a dumbass.

Working at the coffee shop wasn't hard. He just had to smile as he prepared whatever drinks had been ordered. And as long as he didn't mess up too badly, his employer wouldn't ride his ass. Even though he was still a rookie by all accounts, he was trusted almost fully with the second barista position in the shop. His employer was a nice old man that had managed this shop ever since it had opened up some thirty years ago and barely ever got annoyed with any of his employees. The only time Matthias had actually seen him even close to irritated was when his American co-worker, a teenager by the name of Alfred that had moved here two months ago because of confusing reasons he didn't even claim to understand, had insisted on calling football soccer. But that had been it.

He enjoyed working at Kaffebar. Even with its simple name that could be easily translated into a non-impressive Coffee House, it was a quaint and relaxing little shop on the corner of a busy street that proved to be a breath of fresh air to all that entered it. And in the hustle and bustle of the city, it was a rather appreciated breath of fresh air.

"Ludwig?" He called once he finished making a simple, barely impressive, black coffee.

His light blue eyes scanned over the barely inhabited coffee shop to try and find the man that fit the name. He imagined it would be someone big and serious, kind of like Berwald. His name sounded like the kind a person like his oldest brother would be. Serious.

"Ja." He heard from the corner of the shop, making him turn to the area left for computer users.

Most of the shop was dimly lit except for that one area. Because it was used for laptops and reading, it was very brightly lit. But it was also nestled into the very back of the shop to make sure that it didn't disrupt the rest of the atmosphere.

An almost as tall as Berwald blonde male pushed off from the desk he had claimed as his own to walk up to Matthias. And from what the Dane could see, he must have been sitting in that area for a while. Aside from his laptop, there were notes of all kinds scattered all around in a rather chaotic, yet somehow organized looking mess. Which was odd, seeing how this man seemed to be the kind to enjoy order if his pristinely gelled back hair and professionally ironed clothes were anything to go off of.

His face was set in a heavy scowl that would have scared most off. But Matthias had grown up around Berwald's scowl and Lukas' glare. Nothing could scare him.

"Danke." He murmured almost breathlessly as he walked up to the counter, which made Matthias smile at him.

He wasn't as tall as Berwald. A few inches shorter, actually. But he was about an inch taller than Matthias. And he seemed somewhat flustered, most probably because he'd been so deep into his studies that he had forgotten he'd ordered a drink.

"Bitte." The Dane responded with a broad smile, more than amused at the somewhat surprised face that the German then gave him. "Don't get so shocked. I only know a few choice words in German."

He didn't know if the man was fluent in English. But that was a safer language than Danish when it came to foreign students. Some took the intelligent step and learned the Danish language, if even to its rudimentary core, to be able to speak somewhat easily with the Danes. But some didn't bother because they would only be in the small country for a few months and would never return afterwards.

Matthias enjoyed the English language because it was a good neutral in Europe. Most of the youth used it to communicate whenever among contemporaries. When around older people, they spoke their native language. But usually never when amongst their equals.

"Sorry." The man's accent wasn't as heavy as he expected it to be, just like his demeanor was much softer.

Berwald was big and scary. He didn't show much emotion other than anger and sometimes pride in his brothers. This man was big and kind of scary. But his face morphed into one of surprised apology when he noticed how rude he might have been perceived.

"Is the work difficult?" Matthias asked after a beat of silence, then motioned towards the area the German had come from when the blonde glanced at him in confusion. "It looks like quite a lot."

The man turned his head to look to where Matthias was pointing, then his face became one of almost horror when he noticed the state in which he had left his work station. "Not really, no." He answered with an almost nervous chuckle. And Matthias could have sworn he could see a blush on the man's cheeks. But he wasn't sure. Damned lighting. "But it is a lot."

This guy, even with his heavy scowl and imposing, muscular physique, was acting a lot like Tino would whenever around his crush. Pretty freakin' adorably. And Matthias found that rather intriguing. Big men with soft shells were something that had always interested him.

There wasn't much of anything else to say. Matthias was called up by the cashier to make a new order and Ludwig quietly returned to his little den to continue working.

Nothing much had changed, really. Except for the fact that Matthias kind of hoped to be able to speak to the big German once more. Hopefully he'd be able to get more words out of him than just a few mumbles and murmurs.

..~..~..

So I'm trying out the Hetalia fandom once more! This came about from a prompt from a good friend of mine called Smartasswolf23. Which went: Customer frequents the café for a quiet place to read and study. Customer is well aware of the very good looking barista behind the counter. Good looking barista is very well aware of equally adorable customer. Barista decides that one day they will spend their break with customer. Queue the coffee scented sexual tension.

Hope you all enjoy this! Please don't forget to review! I thrive on your comments.